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Success Advice

It’s Imperative That Women Take the Field And Find Success

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Image Credit: Unsplash

As a former Division I softball player, captain of multiple USA Women’s Rugby Teams, and an elite Aquabike athlete for Team USA, I’ve experienced more bumps, bruises, and concussions than I can remember. But that doesn’t compare to the challenges I encountered while bringing to life my vision: a revolutionary toy that celebrates girls’ and young women’s athletic identities.

In retrospect, it’s been one of my most rewarding journeys, but it didn’t come without significant hurdles. I could easily write a book about the experience, which has ultimately been one of my most rewarding journeys. But instead, I’m going to focus on the three insights I gained in the process that might help other women carve out their own entrepreneurial paths:

1. Start with the ‘why’ and let it guide you.

Growing up as an athlete, I never understood why every sports-related figurine, magazine, and poster I saw featured only men. The “why” behind developing my company, SPORT BIGS, started with creating the toy that I always wanted but never had — because it didn’t exist.

What the toy represents further establishes my purpose. As an athlete, I’ve encountered inequity my whole life. In high school, my basketball team had to change in the sprinkler room while the boys’ team got the real locker room. We also played in the “bad” gym while the boys enjoyed the new facilities. These conditions still exist at the grassroots level: In 2019, coverage of women’s sports on televised news and highlight shows accounted for only 5.4% of all airtime, and women teams and athletes have historically received less than 1% of sponsorship dollars.

You’ll always learn new things along the way, but it’s important to develop your “why” when you begin your entrepreneurial journey. Dig in to find it, and let it motivate you and inspire resilience through your entrepreneurial journey.

“Whatever it is that you think you want to do, and whatever it is that you think stands between you and that, stop making excuses. You can do anything.” – Katia Beauchamp

2. Don’t take your ball and go home.

I thought my sports background prepared me for the difficulties of running a business. Challenges on the field are expected. You’ve seen them before. You know how to deal with them. And you know when the game ends. But entrepreneurship is a whole new ball game.

Challenges in entrepreneurship can often feel overwhelming and never-ending, and winning can sometimes seem impossible. When a purpose-backed vision fuels you, it’s easy to set your sights on the end game of your idea and overlook all the details you’ll have to cover to get there. Along the way, those details can come out of nowhere and try to knock you off your feet. Get back up, stay in the fight, and keep your eyes straight ahead of you.

When I decided to make my idea a reality, I didn’t consider how complex the differences between stuffed toys and figurines were. I didn’t think about how the toy’s size would impact its shelf liability, or how to source materials and coordinate with suppliers. Figuring out the details with each new step was challenging, but I kept thinking back to my athletic training that baked perseverance into my DNA. When you come face-to-face with a new hurdle, remember the other places in your life where you’ve shown resilience. Bring that spirit to the entrepreneurship table and fight for your success.

3. Add new players to your team.

A huge part of my journey was learning to temper my instinct to “put the team on my back.” When I look back at times I hit a wall, I realize I never broke through by myself. When I struggled to build out the concept in the beginning, for example, my brother connected me with his wife’s best friend’s cousin, who happened to be in the business of incubating toy ideas. And I joined a mentorship program with the Women in Toys group, which connected me to a toy expert named Irene. She was retired in Hong Kong but decided to bet on my success and come out of retirement just to help me.

Author Dan Sullivan wrote a whole book about how better teamwork can lead to achieving bigger goals. In “Why Not How,” he writes, “If you are like most people, the first thing you do when you imagine a bigger future is ask yourself: ‘How do I achieve this goal?’ A much better question is ‘Who can help me achieve this goal?’”

Knowing who can help you is more effective than walking a lonelier path. When you get stuck, don’t try to figure out yet another way to put your team on your back. Think of who you can add to your team instead. Building out an effective team that believes in your vision and has the skills to bring it to fruition is often the key to success.

I was driven to put a new toy into the world because I wanted to open new doors for young women and girls. Now, I’m driven to share the journey of its creation to help women entrepreneurs who, frankly, are still forced to play behind the scenes.

Pam Kosanke is the founder of SPORT BIGS, the global marketing leader for EOS Worldwide, and a Professional EOS Implementer®. She has experience at both the corporate and small business levels working in industries ranging from consumer packaged goods to franchising, sports marketing, fast food, and retail. At EOS®, she’s eager to help entrepreneurial leadership teams and companies learn to champion brand skills, gain more control, and experience real traction in their businesses.

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Success Advice

20 Ways You Can Become a Powerful Communicator

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Emile Steenveld Speaker and Coach

Some people seem to naturally know how to effectively communicate in a group setting. They can express themselves clearly and listen attentively without dominating the conversation.

Being a powerful communicator is important for several reasons, including building and maintaining relationships, achieving goals, resolving conflicts, improving productivity, leading and influencing others, advancing in your career, expressing yourself more confidently and authentically, and improving your mental and emotional well-being. Effective communication is an essential life skill that can benefit you in all aspects of your life.

But, don’t worry if you don’t naturally possess this skill, as effective communication is something that can be developed with practice, planning and preparation.
 

1.  Listen actively: Practice active listening by giving your full attention to the speaker and responding to what they are saying.

 

2. Use “I” statements: Speak from your own perspective and avoid placing blame or making accusations.

 

3. Avoid assumptions: Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling.

 

4. Be clear: Express your thoughts and feelings clearly and concisely by getting to the point and avoid using jargon or overly complex language.

 

5. Show empathy: Show that you understand and care about the other person’s feelings.

 

6. Offer valuable insights: When speaking in a group, provide a valuable takeaway or actionable item that people can walk away with.

 

7. Be an active listener: Listen attentively and respond accordingly, incorporating your points into the conversation.

 

8. Choose the right time: Pick the most opportune time to speak to ensure that you have the group’s attention and can deliver your message without interruption.

 

9. Be the unifying voice: Step in and unify the group’s thoughts to calm down the discussion and insert your point effectively.

 

10. Keep responses concise: Keep responses short and to the point to show respect for others’ time.

 

11. Avoid unnecessary comments: Avoid commenting on everything and only speak when you have something important to say.

 

12. Cut the fluff: Avoid being long-winded and get straight to the point.

 

13. Prepare ahead of time: Sort out your points and practice them before speaking in a group.

 

14. Smile and be positive: Smile and nod along as others speak, to build a positive relationship and be respected when it’s your turn to speak.

 

15. Take responsibility: Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings.

 

16. Ask questions: Ask questions to clarify any confusion or misunderstandings.

 

17. Avoid interrupting: Allow the other person to finish speaking without interruption.

 

18. Practice active listening: Repeat what the other person said to ensure you have understood correctly.

 

19. Use your body language too: Use nonverbal cues such as eye contact, facial expressions, and body language to convey your message and build rapport.

 

20. Be aware of the tone of your voice: it should be calm and assertive, not aggressive or passive.

 

By keeping these tips in mind, you can improve your communication skills and become a more powerful communicator, which can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a more fulfilling life.

I you want to learn how to become more confident in life then you can join my weekly mentorship calls and 40+ online workshops at AweBliss.com so you can master your life with more success.

 
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Success Advice

Dead Men Tell No Tales: How to Navigate a Mutiny as a Leader in 10 Steps

You’re the manager. You’re the supervisor. You’re the leader. But maybe your people don’t see it that way

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You’re the manager. You’re the supervisor. You’re the leader. But maybe your people don’t see it that way and perhaps that has created a divisive and adversarial working environment that makes it difficult for you to influence and inspire your team in a way that meets your vision. (more…)

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Success Advice

How to Think Like a CEO for Your Future Success

A blueprint for CEOs to draw a disciplined strategy

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Strategic thinking helps CEOs build successful businesses. It helps them establish everlasting enterprises. It is one of the key elements of decision-making. It is different from strategic leadership. It differentiates between leaders from managers.  (more…)

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Success Advice

How to Focus Your Mind on Your Goals in 2023 Constructively

In this world of distractions due to information overload, it has become a big challenge to focus our minds

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In this world of distractions due to information overload, it has become a big challenge to focus our minds on positive aspects and constructive activities. Sometimes we waste our precious time mentally and physically due to distractions arising out of technology. We must understand our priorities and learn how to focus on them religiously. (more…)

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