At the core of the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO)'s mission is an unwavering commitment to helping entrepreneurs at every stage learn and grow to new levels of leadership. In recognition of Global Entrepreneurship Week, November 12-16, EO will host EO24/7, a five-day, free virtual learning event aimed at empowering entrepreneurs. One of the featured speakers is Winnie Hart, author and CEO of brand strategy firm TwinEngine. She gave us a preview of her presentation:
What do they stand for?
Anne Sullivan: At just 20 years old, she taught Helen Keller, a child who was both blind and deaf, to communicate. What does Anne stand for? Helping others overcome their obstacles, so that they can pursue their dreams.
Katherine Switzer: The first woman to run the Boston Marathon in 1967--when women were not officially allowed to run in the race. A race organizer tried to tackle her, but her boyfriend pushed the organizer to the ground. A few years later, women were officially running the Boston Marathon. What does Katherine stand for? Breaking down gender barriers, so that physical attributes aren't a predetermining factor of one's success.
Miep Gies: Anne Frank didn't hide herself. Miep Gies is the woman who helped protect Anne and her family from the Nazis for more than two years during World War II--and it was she who saved Anne's diary. What does Miep stand for? Following one's moral compass, so that others will do the same.
Ada Lovelace: When you think of computers you think of Steve Jobs or maybe Bill Gates--but probably not Ada Lovelace. This woman is said to have written instructions for the first computer program--in the mid-1800s! What does Ada stand for? The never-ending search for knowledge, so that we never stop improving.
Junko Tabei: Not only the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, but also the first woman to ascend all seven of the world's highest summits. What does Junko stand for? Pursuing your passions, so that nothing is impossible.
Stand up and stand out
When someone asks what you stand for, what do you say? What qualities make you unique? There are billions of people in our world, all different. It's not just about standing for something--it's about the difference you make in the world and stepping up to share what you stand for to encourage others to do the same. Think about the impact Katherine made on the Boston Marathon: Today, almost half of the 35,000+ runners are women! Now, with the world's focus on women leaders, we need to communicate how we stand out and the difference we can make.
To stand out in a positive light, be more of what makes you who you are--those values, qualities, talents and experiences that make you and your business what it is. Your challenge is to identify those things and nurture them, then expose and promote them--because they are your distinct advantage and the source of your success.
What does the world need?
Women are extremely valuable to any team or group. A Harvard Business Review study found that "a business group's collective IQ went up significantly when women were part of the team." The world needs women to realize our potential. The world needs us to be our own selves. The world needs us to share. The world needs us to choose ourselves. The world needs us to make it a better place to live.
The world needs us to have a voice. What you say and how you say it impacts how you are perceived, which affects the influence you build, your opportunities, and the success of your career.
The world needs strong women leaders. The difference between success and failure is knowing what you stand for and using that purpose to stand out. To improve your life, first, you must imagine what is possible. Forget the limits you believe hold you back--most of these are in your mind and not real limitations.
Share what you stand for
Women entrepreneurs today must communicate how we stand out and the difference we make. We must proudly assert ourselves as respected, valuable members of the business world: It's been found that companies with more women in leadership have increased bottom line success.
Take the time to look inside and share what you stand for. What inspires you? How are you unique? What does the world need? What did you want to be growing up? What are you afraid of? Where do you get your courage? What's your story?
Entrepreneurs--both women and men--hold the power to change our world. It's not about being a man or a woman. It's about leveraging our unique qualities to step up, speak up and stand out, so that we can contribute, together, to change the world.
There is a better you in you. There is a better us in us. When we stand up and stand out, nothing is outside of our collective reach. So, what's holding you back?
The world is waiting.