THE BLOG

The New Power Girls: How to Ignore Gender in Business

01/08/2009 10:37 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

In Monday's post, I mentioned that one of the common traits I've seen among the women entrepreneurs I've met and know is how they seem to ignore gender when it comes to who inspires them, who they look up to, and (most of all) what they believe they can accomplish.

Power Girls know that success can be attained by any gender. In fact, they're motivated by it.

Justine Kenzer of Psychic Girl is inspired by Peter Shankman of HARO and Perez Hilton. Myinspirationlounge.com founder Misty Gibbs cites author and Alltop.com founder Guy Kawasaki as one of her biggest role models in business. Entertainment Consultant and Independent Producer Jen Grisanti looks up to Aaron Spelling and Barack Obama as much as Arianna Huffington and Oprah Winfrey.

Maria Vasilevsky of Stilista in Boston shares that she doesn't think about gender as much as what she needs to be professionally fulfilled. Sunday Cosmetic's founder Beverly Davis pointed to the number of books on business being authored by men and women.

"Original visionaries inspire me. People who are not only great business people, but great people. I really do not look at gender or race as the primary factor," said Budgetfashionista.com founder Kathryn Finney.

Today's successful women don't just set gender aside when it comes to who moves and motivates them. They also turn a blind eye to it in their work and the industries they work in.

Here's how to do it:

Know You Can: If you think you're the first entrepreneur to struggle or fail, regardless of gender, you're wrong. It's just the same for being a woman in business. Millions of women have endured far worse limitations than most do today, and in some cases, still do. Keep foraging ahead. Dozens of examples show that success can happen to anybody, male or female.

See What Is, Not What Isn't: While there are a lot of things women in business still endure due to the sexes today, there are so many more positives, particularly in the United States. Women in many parts of the world don't see these same opportunities that we do - in fact, in many cases it's far less. It moves people forward as much to take advantage of what opportunities exist as it does to combat the limitations.

Focus on You: The best way to run a mile is to keep focused on what's ahead. Try to look around while you're running and you'll more than likely stumble. No matter what competitors, obstacles, difficulties or adversaries you might meet, the most important thing is to keep your pace and path. Anytime you keep an eye on the prize, you're more likely to get it. Today's successful women do the same when it comes to gender.

Focus on Them: Watching good business people in action is one good way to learn and spark new ideas in your own work, so pay attention to everybody that's around you. Include every sex, race, background, history, experience, education, age and type, etc. A pulse on who's who and doing what also has value.

Most of all, know that it's not about what a woman can do or what a man can do, but what people can do.

Power Girls recognize this and live by it.