THE BLOG
01/20/2016 02:44 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

4 Savvy Business Women Slay Their Way To Success

"Personal mastery is the discipline of continually clarifying and deepening our personal vision, of focusing our energies, of developing patience, and of seeing reality objectively." --Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline

Slaying your business begins with pushing through life's challenges, obstacles and setbacks. By pushing through you develop this untapped strength and tenacity that gives you access to higher levels of creativity and learn to consciously control your life in accordance with your desires, life purpose, and vision.

In my work as a lifestyle coach, I have observed unique characteristics possessed by those who are fulfilling their highest potential. Characteristics such as:

  • Clarity about your life purpose and vision.
  • Awareness of your strengths, gifts, and unique contribution.
  • Staying focused on activities that capitalize on your creative genius.
  • Being inspired, energized, and fully engaged in your life.
  • A commitment to creating positive change in the world.

I had the honor and pleasure of interviewing these powerhouses who possess these characteristics and more.

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Meet Business Slayer: Karen Civil www.KarenCivil.com

What is the best and worst decision you've ever made?

Best decision: Is following my gut and believing in myself and pursuing my purpose in life. Taking the first step is always hard but I'm glad I did.

Worst: Spending many of my early years pretending to be everyone else but myself. Doing whatever it took to stand with the crowd instead of trying to stand out.

What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

The notion that it can only be "one". We have been taught in society it can only be one at the top so we find ourselves knocking out the "competition" not realizing the more of us means the more doors being open to us.

What woman inspires you and why?

I can't name just one but of course Michelle, Oprah, Lisa Price & Melody Hobson. Powerful women who continually use their platforms and voice to make changes in our society.

What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

Social media has been a gift & curse. People have now put a time limit on their success thinking if they don't have it by the age of 22 or in 4 months, they are a failure. The "illusion" of the process of success being sped up has caused people to loose focus quickly. People want to mimic success but not successful behavior.

What's one core message you received from your mentors?

Aspire to Inspire, be the change and difference you wanted starting your career.

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Meet Business Slayer: Meagan Ward www.creativelyflawless.com

What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

Instead of expecting society to work for us on demand, we have to do the work for ourselves first. We are our own barrier to female leadership, we must rise from jaded stereotypes and push for the greatness that has already been embedded within us. Now, you see the secretaries rising to CEO's, beauty queens as the tech gurus and the stay at home mom's creating dynamic businesses. Once we understand our power as women and know that we are truly unstoppable.

What woman inspires you and why?

Being a millennial, I'm always looking for someone who is changing the game by making bold moves. For me right right, Taraji P. Henson is doing exactly that. Her ability to take a role, excel in it and make it iconic is making a powerful statement not only for actresses, but for women globally. She's designing her career and her life influentially based off of her excellence and that is what we need to propel us forward.

What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

Our next generation of women leaders are going to push the bar like never before with the foundational mindset of innovation. Instead of the focus being adaptability, they are going to create their own lane whether that's in corporate America or in their own businesses. That generation of creatives will exercise the right to make decisions that impact community which in turn will challenge our voice to be heard.

What's the most important business or other discovery you've made in the past year?

Having my own business and running a women's empowerment organization, my leadership has been stretched in ways I could have never imagined. I've learned to be unapologetic in so many ways. Unapologetic about my decisions, my excellence, my imperfections, my prices and even the word that we shy away from, "NO". At one point in time I was afraid to say no in fear of being labeled cold or disconnected, but I had to become comfortable in who I am as a business woman with no shame in my game.

What are three events that helped to shape your life?

Leaving my job to pursue entrepreneurship was a defining moment in my life. Walking on unknown waters and banking on excellence was a risk, but it was a risk I was willing to take because I had become that confident in the direction my life was going. Now, understanding that I not only made that decision for myself, but I made it for other people that will one day face the same decision.

Getting married last year fueled the fire of my dreams more than ever. My husband has been the #1 supporter of everything that I do, especially empowering women. The way he supports me is a mirror reflection of the way I support women, which is important for me to serve this mission. Having a life partner by my side has genuinely made my love for life grow immensely.

Founding The Powerful Women in 2013, has allowed me to be a part of an amazing network of women who strives for excellence. By functioning as a supportive community for women, we've created out own culture of sisterhood, accountability and success. We've hosted 6 sold-out events and I've bonded with women all across the country just because of it.

What's one core message you received from your mentors?

Mentors have played such a significant role in my life, granting me my most valued opportunities that have catapulted my career forward. They all differ in career and personality, but they share a scared trait that they have passed off to me.

Exuding their womanhood full out.

Being confident in our feminine characteristics, being fearless in peeling the layers of our evolution and embracing the grace that shines on us daily.

It's important for us to continue the mentor domino effect so they future generations of women have a strong foundation of mentors.

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Meet Business Slayer: Sherry Williams
www.thisisherway.com

What's the best and worst decision you've ever made?

The best decision I've made was following my dreams and not allowing the noise to cloud my determination; and when I say dreams, I mean who I am as the whole woman. The mother, the sister, the daughter, the aunt, the friend and the entrepreneur. Yet one of the worst decisions I've made was not stepping into that power sooner.

It was not until I fully understood the unique gift that I bring to the world that I can now say; I am able; I can, and I will.

What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

One of the biggest barriers to female leadership is our ability or lack there of to exercise the power of collective leadership. Women have a super power beyond the capacity of what popular opinion may show, yet often stand in the way of our own success by limiting the potential of what we can become as a united front. We are commonly known for endorsing the women's empowerment agenda, but if we are not living the advice we are so eager to promote to others, then what is the true message we are sending. We as women must get in the habit of 'empowerment' and what it means to "proactively" show up in the word in its entirety.

What woman inspires you and why?

Last year, I wrote a personal note on Instagram about this very question and as I said then I'll say now. Myleik Teele, Founder of Curlbox, has and will always be a great motivator and example of what dedication, drive and persistence looks like. It is not just her brand, but her work ethic, her authenticity and her unapologetic ambition to change the game. I've learned from her that if you want it bad enough, anything less than excellent is unacceptable. You have to pour all of you into IT, consistently and to NEVER take anything personal. Business is business. So when I am in overdrive and operating with a certainty that sometimes I only know, her success alone is enough for me to say to me, 'You Go Girl'.

What's the most important business or other discovery you've made in the past year?

One of the most important business discovery I made last year is that business is business. You have to be able to separate the side of you that is connected at the heart and understand that tough decisions require judgment that is both practical and logical. It's a fine line when we are massaging relationships because we want to stay relevant or be liked, but its important to file relationships accordingly. Some are meant to give us an intended end result, some are meant for a more long term outcome. Whatever that may be, it's very important to be clear on what each person represents to you and your brand, their role, the shelf life of that role, and the terms and conditions. And most importantly, being able to walk away with that choice.

What are three events that helped to shape your life?

A. Becoming a mom - It is the one thing that I can wake up today, until I take my last breath, and know that it will always be there. It is the one thing that I know for sure. It is the thing that gives me joy, and meaning, and love, and life, and discernment, and lessons and mistakes, and honesty, and failure, all at once. It is the thing that makes me ME. My daughter is my reason. She is my why.

B. Being raised by a Single Mother - There is nothing more that drives me to want to see other women win, than knowing how important it is to know what opportunity looks like. I learned from my mother the importance of sacrifice, humility and resilience. You don't quite understand as a little girl the amount of selflessness that goes into putting your children first, being their first super hero, their idol, example and guiding light. I did not quite understand this until I had a daughter of my own and today I am full in knowing that I am because She is.

C. Moving to DC - The Bronx raised me, and I will be forever a city girl. New York is my blueprint. It gave me everything I needed to be able to step into a chapter of living that I knew nothing about. But moving to DC brought things out in me the things didn't even know I had. Especially deciding to fully commit to building a movement, I had to come out of my shell. DC did that for me. It taught me how not to have regrets. It taught me that what is meant for me won't miss me. It taught me self love.

What's one core message you received from your mentors?

Stop worrying about the money...the money will come....get the people right.

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Meet Business Slayer: Koereyelle DuBose www.TheSingleWivesClub.com

What is the best and worst decision you've ever made?​

​The best decision I ever made was stepping out on faith and quitting my teaching career. I knew God had something more for me and although I wasn't sure what it was, I knew I couldn't find out until I stepped out.

The worst decision I ever made was ignoring my instincts and entering a relationship that turned abusive. Two of the best lessons I ever learned!

What woman inspires you and why?​

I'm extremely inspired by Joy Mangano, I love her tenacity and her fearlessness. She (like so many of us) tried to deny the genius inside and it literally drove her crazy until she let it out. What I loved most about her is that she (1) was willing to WERK and do every single thing it took to succeed and (2) she gave back and helped others succeed when she started winning. ​

What are some of the obstacles to leadership that are unique to women?​

One of the major obstacles that's unique to women in leadership is lack of collaboration. Men will work together and close million dollar deals whether they like one another or not, but women refuse to work together over a petty disagreement that happened years ago. If women could learn to work together, they would be able to build much faster and we could all win!

What's the most important business or other discovery you've made in the past year?​

The most important discovery I've made is that self-development is the seed of success. Your willingness to develop yourself in all areas of your life determines your success in any area of your life. You have to be willing to become better all the way around if you want to become your best in business.​

What are three events that helped to shape your life?​

(1) Earning a Master's degree in Curriculum really solidified my love for learning as well as gave me the foundation to create the educational programs that I provide today.

(2) Ending an abusive relationship and walking away from an engagement taught me that I could literally survive anything. I was fearless after that, more empowered than ever to figure out what I really wanted because I knew I could make it happen.

(3) Giving up the opportunity to teach overseas because I realized I was going out of fear. I was literally trying to run away from an abusive relationship and was willing to move out of the country to do it. Choosing to stay and "figure out my purpose" gave me the opportunity to create The Single Wives Club.

What's one core message you received from your mentors?​

Put love in everything you do. Your energy matters and people can feel your love through your business. If you love what you do, they'll love what you do.

For more information about the Activate Movement and the work we do please visit www.lucindacross.com.

Thank you ladies for reminding us that it's Slay Season!