As the years pass, more and more women are choosing the entrepreneur route, and becoming their own bosses. It’s certainly not easy, especially when you have to balance home life and other obligations along with it. We’ve gathered business advice from the world’s most powerful women.
Of course, one of the most powerful business women in the world would be media icon Oprah Winfrey. Her track record speaks for itself. One of Oprah’s pieces of advice has been for people to slow down.
“Sometimes in the thick of life, when my call list is longer than the day and people are lined up waiting for meeting after meeting, I just stop. I still myself. And look at a tree. A flower. The sun’s light reflecting off the window. And I remember love is available. I inhale it, exhale, and get back to work.”
The COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, gives some nontraditional career advice. “I tell young women the most important career choice you’re going to make is who your life partner is.” The “Lean In” author claims that the secret to having it all and achieving work life balance is dependent on the person you decide to spend the rest of your life with.
Bobbi Brown is a professional makeup artist who started her cosmetics company in 1991. Brown tells a story of when she first pitched her lipstick shades to Bergdorf Goodman. Initially, the company agreed to debut her products, but they then changed their mind. Instead of being defeated, Brown told Bergdorf Goodman that Saks Fifth Avenue would be having the line in their stores instead. The department store changed their mind almost immediately.
“It’s not bluffing. It’s thinking on your feet, and it’s helped me a million times”. When you’re faced with adversity, don’t take the first “no” as an actual “no”. Be ready to walk away from a partnership or proposal on your terms, and you’ll be surprised with who changes their mind. Remember, everything is negotiable.
Diane von Furstenberg
Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg has been in business for herself since 1970. No stranger to innovation, she’s the brains behind the “wrap dress”. In promoting her newest book “The Woman I Wanted to Be”, von Furstenberg says women need to find their door.
“When I was a young girl, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew the kind of woman I wanted to be. I wanted to be an independent woman, and I wanted to be in charge of my life, and that’s really what I wanted. I think what’s important [is] to be honest with yourself and figure out what is your door.”
Ursula Burns is the first African-American female CEO of a Fortune 500 company, Xerox. When young women ask her for career advice, one of the things she encourages is to not take life too seriously. “Ninety percent of this stuff is just not that serious. We get crazy about it.” Sometimes you have to relax, and just let things happen as they’re happening. 99.9% of the time, whatever is happening in your business is not a life or death decision, so you shouldn’t treat it as such.
These women have built their empires and are reaping the benefits of the hard work. Follow this advice, and maybe you could be among the world’s most powerful women.