In a business world that can sometimes feel isolating, daunting and with one too many old white men, women supporting women is imperative…

With the recent launch of the ‘new LinkedIn for millennial women’ platform, Girlboss.com – I felt inspired to draw some advice from the women who have built their empires from the ground up. Hopefully what they say will hit a spark within you, resonate, or just make you feel a little more supported. 

Let’s start with the genius behind Girlboss.com, Sophia Amoruso

While it’s important for your strategies to have some sort of competitor analysis, it’s *way* more important to focus on yourself as a business. Ideas, strategies and products can be replicated. Creative execution, deeper values and personal experiences that shape the way you go about things cannot. I don’t want to use the massively overused and corny quote “stay true to who you are”, but I’m going to, because there’s no one in the world with your brain or your heart. So if you truly focus and compete with that, your competitors will have nothing on you. 

While this quote doesn’t exactly fit into the ‘inspirational’ category, it hits home on some pretty crucial advice. Are you solving a problem? And is there a big enough market of people with that problem? Melanie Perkins is the hero at this with her design platform Canva. The problem? Photoshop is way to confusing to use. The market? Everyone, except our amazing LKO designer Rhidian. And maybe a few other pros. 

Quality is obviously something that’s super important to us here at LKO, but Ann Handley’s advice is relevant because quality doesn’t just pop up out of nowhere, it takes practice. In order to be a pro, you have to be an amateur first. So if there’s something you want to do in your business but you don’t think you’re good enough, just have a go. 

Take this one with a grain of salt, because moving fast isn’t always the best option. However, Rashmi’s words might resonate with you if you haven’t been moving at all, and/or you’re spending too much time worrying about making the right decisions. Sure, moving fast will probably lead to more mistakes. But it’s those mistakes that help you learn, grow and move forward as a business. If you sit at a crossroad for an hour worried about which route to take, you’re not moving. But if you decide to take a left turn, realise it’s not the right way, turn back and take a right, you’re making progress. 

Emily is right. It’s not just the prepubescent girl with 250K followers posing with a teeth-whitening kit that influences others, it’s everyone who interacts with your brand. Positive word-of-mouth is an ancient marketing concept that has growing merit in the digital age. When you treat everyone that interacts with your brand as an influencer, you truly realise the power of the ripple effect. Emily’s strategy seems to be working, as Glossier’s cult-like Instagram following exceeds 2.1 million this month. 

Nothing drives long term success like passion. When things get tough, looking at the bigger picture and remembering why you started something in the first place is a refreshing way to get back on track. 

 

Although it can be refreshing from a passion point-of-view, looking at the big picture can also be overwhelming. But instead of getting stressed out by that vision, break it town into the baby steps. Set milestones, celebrate wins and remember that every step counts, even if it’s two steps forward one step back. 

On a similar realm to Ann Handley and Rashmi Sinha’s advice, Arianna Huffington believes that a big part of success is making mistakes and viewing failure as an integral part of the journey. At the time of course failing doesn’t feel good. But the truth is, the more you fail, the more you learn, and the more you learn, the stronger your business will be. 

 

No matter where you are in your business journey – an idea with nothing to show for it, a rapid growth phase, a slump, a mid-life-crisis…there are other business-women out there experiencing exactly the same thing. Share your advice, reach out for help, and start a conversation, because women supporting women is a powerful thing. 


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