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3 Essential Things to Remember as a Woman in Entrepreneurship and Leadership

After a semester’s worth of trial, error, and learning about both entrepreneurship and how I can become a more successful female entrepreneur, my understanding of what leadership means in the context of entrepreneurship has significantly shifted. One of the most important lessons I learned is that constantly being open to innovation – or, as founding director of the Kendra Scott WEL Institute Lesley Robinson says – new sights, new sounds, new tastes, and new smells – is the only way to push the envelope of what’s possible forward. But there are three main takeaways every woman striving towards entrepreneurship and leadership should have in her back pocket.

Here are some crucial lessons I’ve learned this semester:

1. Failure is key.

As an entrepreneur especially, it can be hard to accept a loss. When you’re fully invested in your business idea, it’s difficult to face any obstacle – but especially failing to meet some standard you’ve set for yourself. Whether it’s losing a potential investment or bombing a pitch, it’s important to remember that these setbacks help you make the next pitch even better or your next investment proposal even more enticing for venture capitalists. Failing at something gives you the opportunity to improve for next time. Especially as a woman entrepreneur, you grow stronger with every setback.

2. Network, network, network!

Build a connection of people who will support you – and who you can also support. As women especially, it’s tough to try to build a business from the ground up alone. Connecting with people who will serve as mentors and guide you on your entrepreneurial journey will help you find your own path. Networking can also open doors that may not be accessible to you otherwise. In fact, 31% of job seekers find listings through professional referrals. In terms of entrepreneurship and innovation, connecting with new people garners more ideas, can offer up more resources, and help you build strategic partnerships that will sustain you throughout your entire career.

3.Know your strengths.

Whether it’s through taking the CliftonStrengths Assessment, the Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile, or another assessment, understanding both your strengths and how to apply them in a work environment is essential to being able to innovate an environment or transform your business into a reality. It’s important to remember that strengths are only strengths in the right environment – so understanding what you need to use your natural skills is just as important as knowing what they are.

After the semester, I wanted to take some time to reflect on our accomplishments, setbacks, and goals for the future – both as a community of women and leaders and individually. These tips are guide rails to help me stay focused on the goals that might also help you – but KSWELI has a wealth of resources to continue to support you on your journey.

In Kendra Scott’s words, “Dream big and be disruptive. If you’re doing the same thing as everyone else, you’ve already failed.”


About The Author:

Grace Robertson'23

Sociology and Public Relations

Entrepreneurial LeadHERship Course Student - Spring 2022

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