When interviewing successful female entrepreneurs I often ask the question "what are the secrets to your success" and "what are the must-haves for successful entrepreneurs". Diane von Furstenberg, Stella&Dot founder Jessica Herrin, Tory Burch and several others have indicated that confidence is one trait that is critical to success.
However, research has shown that women continue to be less self-assured than men and this lack of confidence is impacting their ability to succeed. What leads to this lack of confidence and what can we do to improve it? Claire Shipman's and Katty Kay's book The Confidence Code addresses these very questions. Shipman shared her findings on this confidence gap and recommendations on how women can build more confidence at the CWB Science Of Success conference.
According to Shipman, men are genetically wired to be more confident than women. However, confidence is a skill that women can learn and train themselves to embrace. Shipman states, "Women have to make confidence part of our definition of talent...confidence can be learned and we need to treat it as a skill".
Shipman provided recommendations on how women can work to build this confidence:
1. Fail Fast: According to Shipman, we need "to be willing to fail and risk failure in order to succeed. Women need to become more comfortable with failure and the idea that if we don't fail we don't succeed. This also includes the idea that not every decision and action has to be perfect, accept things that are good enough".
2. Act More, Think Less: Shipman talked about women's propensity to ruminate and the importance for us to "stop rumination"! In order to accomplish this, Shipman recommends finding an alternative explanation for what you are ruminating about and embracing that explanation in order to stop the obsession!
3.Authenticity: "Authenticity is critical to confidence" according to Shipman. She also adds that confidence does not necessarily mean that you are the loudest voice in the room, "confidence can be quiet and is often times about listening".
Finally, Shipman shared that women need to push each other to build confidence in one another.
Often times knowing is half the battle. Hopefully by educating one another on the importance of confidence and pushing one another to build this confidence we can close the confidence gap and fuel more success for female entrepreneurs.
For more advice and inspirational quotes from successful women business leaders, click here.
Anjali Varma is "The Modern Mompreneur", her site and YouTube channel provide entrepreneurship and lifestyle tips. Anjali recently launched a Marketing On A Shoestring Budget e-Course to help entrepreneurs market and get PR for their business at little or no cost. She is also the owner of Kidville Bethesda, an enrichment facility that offers classes, retail, haircuts, and birthday parties for newborns - 6 years old. You can find Anjali on Twitter and Instagram @anjvarma.