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6 Things Women Entrepreneurs Can Do To Enhance Their Performance and Achieve Success

6 Things Women Entrepreneurs Can Do To Enhance Their Performance and Achieve Success
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The mantra that women entrepreneurs are actually becoming more successful and ambitious than their male counterparts isn’t exactly unheard of today. They are highly ambitious and often start their career at a young age. There are known female actors, athletes and investors and directors who started in their teens and are now some of the most successful women in the world.

According to this report, over 8.6 million US businesses are run by female entrepreneurs. It is also reported that 90% of women entrepreneurs anticipate their companies’ revenues to either increase or remain stable the following year. The report’s revenue data indicates that companies commandeered by women entrepreneurs saw 13% higher profits than those run by men.

If you’re a struggling and ambitious female entrepreneur who’s looking to make it big in the corporate world, here are six things you can do now to boost your performance and attain unparalleled success:

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1. Surround Yourself with Positive Energy and Like-minded Individuals

The most productive female entrepreneurs surround themselves with people who propagate success and positive vibes. And these are the kind of people you can benefit from the most as they simply do not tolerate negativity or listen to what the whiners and naysayers have to say. There’s a little saying that goes along the lines of: “Those who can’t get it done shouldn’t deter those who can.”

There are many groups online and offline that cater to business owners seeking inspiration. Look for a network that matches your vision and business goals and don’t hesitate to share your problems or ask for help. Be inspired and motivated, celebrate your successes and tap into the power of such groups.

2. You Are Authentic and You Are Awesome

Authenticity, particularly in the business world, happens to be a highly bankable currency. It defines your business and truly sets you apart from the entire cookie-cutter industry. Leadership itself demands authenticity and if you try to steal someone else’s limelight, you will eventually fail. People want to look up to someone “real” who can lead them to success.

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Muster up the courage to offer a unique value proposition and market yourself strategically so that it speaks to your brand. If you’re constantly trying to be “everything to everyone”, you will end up as a jack of all trades and ace of none, something which can spell disaster for you as an entrepreneur. Develop a platform that says “this is what we do, who we are and why we love doing it”. Unleash your authenticity and awesomeness.

3. Ditch the Gender Baggage

One of the best pieces of advice you will get from the most successful businesswomen today is that success isn’t determined by your gender, it’s solely determined by you. Understand what your strengths and weaknesses revolve around and fearlessly pursue what you want. If you get stuck in a rut and worry too much about gender norms and expectations, you won’t get very far.

4. Work Smarter Not Necessarily Harder

Despite the fact that you have some pretty big shoes to fill, you don’t have to take everything on your shoulders. Consider outsourcing jobs that you either don’t have time for or don’t like doing such as bookkeeping, company formation, and admin or devising digital marketing strategies. All these tasks are important, but can be done by others too. Why not spare a small expense to unload a little extra mental bandwidth and free yourself up for tasks that demand more of your attention?

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Graeme Donnelly, CEO at Rapid Formations, says, “While most people come to us in order to get their company registered, some also discuss how it is getting more and more expensive to run a business today. All I tell them is to be smart. I also guide them on how they can save money on registration as a lot can be done for less .”

You can work smarter by leveraging your time – consider working with groups – especially if you can earn more at the same time. You might also adapt and repurpose old blog content instead of coming up with new ones all the time. There are many ways to work smarter and not harder.

5. Don’t Run Away From Your Fears

The idea of leaving a secure and well-paying job to start your own venture can instill a lot of fear and uncertainty. Understand that you must tap into every last ounce of confidence you can; confidence in yourself as well as your product.

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You’d be surprised to know how some women entrepreneurs tend to be conservative when it comes to promoting their talents; however, if you want to perform at your level best and find success, you need to be your own best friend while selling to prospective clients and investors. When you’re trying to build a business empire, there is just no place at all for false modesty.

Don’t let a lack of confidence get the best of you – that little voice that keeps telling you, you aren’t good enough or no one will ever buy what you’re selling. Put your vision into action and march forward with full confidence, by believing in yourself and what you have to offer.

6. Remember Why You Got into This

Running your own show can be a very stressful proposition and you might often find yourself thinking “Why am I doing this?”; during such times, take a few moments to reflect so as to why you got into entrepreneurship to begin with. Is it your spouse who motivates you? Is your youngest daughter the driving force behind your dreams or ambitions? Or are you simply looking to make a positive change in the female entrepreneurship world? Hone in on these factors and reflect on them from time to time to keep your drive going.

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Good to know:

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Ahmed Raza

CEO of Samurais.co

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Published on July 27, 2021

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

Put the Pro in Professional

After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

2. Dress the Part

While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

3. Stage Your Workspace

Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

5. Arrive on Time

In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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6. Turn on Your Video

Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

Attend to the Pesky Details

8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

Talking Has a Time and a Place

11. Chat Appropriately

Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

Manage Yourself

14. Minimize Distractions

While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

15. Save Snacking for Later

Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

Final Thoughts

Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

Reference

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