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International Women’s Day – 5 leading women in business share their #1 advice for other founders

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a worldwide celebration of women’s social, economic, cultural, and political accomplishments.

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.” Women’s Day aims to spread the message of gender equality, recognise women’s achievements and contributions in various fields, and work toward a society free of gender biases, stereotypes, gender parity, and discrimination. Five female entrepreneurs discuss their experiences, lessons learned, and advice for anyone in business.

Kate Dillon, Founder of She Lion


“My number one piece of advice? Well, that’s easy. The best piece of advice that I’ve ever received was from my grandfather, and strongly reinforced by my mother: “many things are possible with persistence – anything is possible with guts and determination – your only limit is you”.  

“What does this mean, practically? Well, it means; if you can envisage it, you can do it. If you’re willing to put in the work, you can make it happen. If you’re willing to push outside of your comfort zone, you will grow faster. But most importantly, it means; follow what energises you – forget bliss and passion, those things will follow anyway. Do what energises you.

“It will naturally expand your thinking, help you cultivate that amazing feeling of ‘possibility’, propel you into action, and give you the courage to follow through. Good energy is contagious, it will also help you bring others along the journey with you. So, keep going. You can do it. Create success by YOUR design. #WalkFearlessly”

Chantelle de la Rey, Founder of Disruptiv 


“Knowing your worth and trusting in your intuition. One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give to you is trusting your intuition, yourself and knowing your worth. If your gut is saying to you something smells fishy here, don’t just ignore it, listen to it and try to understand it. 

“For example when hiring someone, if something doesn’t feel right don’t trust the person in front of you and their resume goes with your gut feeling OR when someone is giving you a business opportunity and it seems too good to be true… it probably is. You need to be confident in who you are, your worth and to believe and trust in yourself. 

“Be honest with yourself, don’t try to be something you are not, letting others get into your head or letting ego take over. To me, that is a sign of weakness. Some who know their value and are authentic is a sign of strength. When you know your worth, you stop caring about the noise/what others say about you. You stop caring about ‘reputation’ as that means nothing, your character is the only thing that matters and that’s what people will be attracted to.”

Rima Alijew, Founder of Trunk Studios


“My most significant piece of advice is to run your own race. When you’re starting out and as you go through certain waves that come with business, you’ll get hit with opinions from family, friends and anyone else around you. It’s normal and something that just happens. Everyone will tell what you should do from the comfort of never having even tried to step outside their comfort zone. 

“Whilst they’re coming with good intentions, and their first instinct might be to protect you from what might seem like the unknown, the truth is, you need to learn to back yourself regardless of what others might say. You’ll find that most of the time, the advice you get comes from their own experiences or what they have heard or seen from others. But, just because something has or hasn’t worked for them doesn’t mean it will or won’t work for you. Better yet, your way may end up being the new and improved way, or if it doesn’t go according to plan, you may learn a lesson or two. 

“Either way, you can look back and know you tried on your own terms. The more you trust within yourself, the stronger your instincts will become and in the long run, this will become your most powerful skill. You’ll also find it will keep you on the right path of what is in alignment for you and, at times, might even save you from disasters.”

Alexandra Ormerod, Co-founder and Managing Director of Luxico 


“Trust your gut and trust that you can tackle any challenge that life throws at you! My own mum was a business founder and rather than giving advice, she asked a lot of questions to help you realise you had the answers yourself. Through the pandemic as a tourism business, we’ve faced our fair share of challenges! I think trusting yourself to make decisions – good and bad because life isn’t perfect – is the best way to grow in your business.”

Anna Swoboda, Founder of Heart Match


“When things get tough I go back to my purpose and remember why I am are doing this. In my case, that’s helping others find love and creating financial freedom.

2) Don’t be a perfectionist. I just do my best now and get it out there, and I know that’s the best way to make versions 2 and 3 even better.

3) Outsource things early that are not your strengths and you don’t enjoy. Too often we women think we have to do everything, we don’t. Do what you love and are good at.

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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