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Harnessing your superpowers to achieve success in business

Written by Editor

January 31, 2023

By Keri Rudolph, Founder and CEO of The IV Bar Group

Business success as a woman can be a challenging journey. It takes a unique combination of drive, determination, and the ability to navigate and overcome the obstacles of being a female entrepreneur or executive. In some cases, success can mean you have to work twice as hard as your male counterparts. 

But I don’t want to magnify the challenges. I’m here today to share the good news that you have superpowers at your disposal as a woman in business! Not all our superpowers are the same (I can’t bake to save my life, and don’t get me started on trying to French braid my daughter’s hair), but there are core superpowers that have had an immense impact on my journey in business. I know they will impact yours too. 

Community and networking

I love meeting other strong women in business and seeing them succeed. It makes my heart happy! Unfortunately, I’ve seen too many women who feel threatened by other women or competitors in the same industry. 

In the five and a half years as leader of The IV Bar Group, and the many years before that in corporate communications, I’ve experienced how building a supportive community and establishing strong networks can be incredibly powerful for women in business to overcome obstacles and achieve goals. Surrounding ourselves with those who understand women’s unique challenges and obstacles in business provides encouragement and inspiration. 

There is immense power when women come together. When we pull each other up along the way and show kindness, we can all reach our potential and become the best versions of ourselves. Women are starting to learn that we can be confident without becoming hard. Empathetic yet firm. Kind yet strong. It’s not one or the other.

Your community or network can also serve as a sounding board for ideas, provide valuable feedback, and offer mentorship and career advancement opportunities. Networking helps us build meaningful connections and expand our professional reach, which leads to new business opportunities, access to resources and information, and even successful collaborations and partnerships that drive success. 

I would have loved clairvoyance as a superpower, so I could take things a little less seriously and be a bit less anxious, knowing that things would work out! It would have reduced so much unnecessary stress early on in my (and my franchisees’) business. We spend so much time worrying about things that never actually happen. 

Alas, clairvoyance still eludes me. But a girl can dream!

 

 

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Mentorship

Mentors are imperative at every stage in your career or business. We always have something to learn from someone else, be it a friend, business coach, psychologist, or formal mentor. When we stop learning, we die! Sometimes, we need someone to say: “You can do it”, “It will be okay in the end”, and “If it’s not okay, it’s not the end”. 

Imagine what a positive impact we could have if it were obligatory for more senior businesswomen to mentor younger women in business, with a points system not dissimilar to professionals receiving their CPD points. Entrepreneurship is the cornerstone of job creation and wealth in South Africa, so every entrepreneur starting out should be coached and guided through the hard times and reminded to celebrate the good times.

Keep in mind that mentors can come from unexpected sources. One of my favourite books is The ride of a lifetime by Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney. I identified with Bob. He was the underdog for the CEO position, but he turned Disney around from the brink of bankruptcy and redundancy to one of the most successful businesses on the planet, and he had a lot of fun doing it. His philosophy is, “If something doesn’t feel right to you, it won’t be good for you”. Bob ‘mentored’ me through his book and encouraged me to keep making decisions based on my gut. I’ve hired on gut (not based on their skills), brought in new products on gut (not necessarily based on data), and even turned down an acquisition of my company based on gut.

Focus

One of the most important superpowers I’ve discovered in business is to take away Plan B and back myself. When I first started The IV Bar, I was so worried about money. I was no longer receiving my corporate salary, and being a single mom to three kids, I kept jumping back into communications consulting to have an additional income while the business grew. 

But every time I stepped out, the business would dwindle, and every time I focused, it would fly. So, after six months of stepping in and out, I took away Plan B and decided to make it work. 

Where focus goes, energy flows. When I get distracted, I remind myself to focus. I’m a creative at heart, and I can get bored quite easily, and that’s where procrastination and distraction come in. I’ve learned to break down my ideas into projects (like introducing a new drip, value-added service, or geographical expansion). In this way, I get to be creative over and over again, and that’s exciting for me.

Joy and purpose

Not everything in business (or life) will ‘spark joy’ but identifying and focusing on the things that bring you joy and give you purpose is life-changing. The IV Bar started as something that would give me more flexibility, but it quickly became more than that. It’s what gets me up in the morning, along with the energy I get from my monthly Jetfuel drip (oh, and my kids nagging and dogs barking). Joy and purpose drive The IV Bar. It’s a place where our clients and staff can be happy. We’re making people look, feel, and perform better, and that’s a magic feeling.

I hope you’re ready to embrace your superpowers as a businesswoman! Always remember you’re worthy and stand your ground. You know more than you think you do, and you’re better than you give yourself credit for. And your track record for making it through the tough times is 100%. So, say goodbye to imposter syndrome, hold your head high, and stop flying under the radar. Nothing good comes from hiding in the shadows, so let your light shine!

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