What does success mean to you?  Does it mean reaching a certain status in society?  Is it associated with making a certain amount of money?  Is it having a certain title in your professional life?  Does it mean simply being happy in life?  I’ve come across a plethora of definitions and quotes that shed light on success and I’ve shared these on Twitter and Facebook.  Here are a few of my recent favorites:

 “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” – Maya Angelou

” Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph.” – Zig Ziglar

“Success is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.” – Jim Rohn

No matter how you personally define success, being active about making it happen is crucial.  Pablo Picasso put this nicely by saying:

“Action is the foundational key to all success.”

So with this in mind, I’ve put together a list of actionable items that women can apply in order to take control about our own success.  We’re arguably not as aggressive as men are about creating our own path but with knowing what to do and practice, this can change.

Be comfortable in your own skin.  It is easier to go with the status quo and this approach generally makes others feel more comfortable.  But taking this route, you risk not being true to yourself.  It is important to take the time to reflect on who you are, what you’re about and take ownership of it.   The list of outside pressures and influences is long but once you are firm in your stance, everything else tends to fall in place.

Know your stuff.   You want your qualifications and track record to hold their own weight.  Always do your research and know the facts.  If you have a presentation, anticipate what questions others could ask so you’re ahead of the game.  Always strive to perform a level above where you are.  This gives others confidence in your ability to step up and take on additional roles and responsibilities.  As always, luck favors the prepared.

Executive presence.  Having a presence isn’t something that comes automatically once you move into the corner office.  In fact, it takes practice and it is never too early to begin.  Take pride in your poise, dress and presentation.  Pay attention to detail so that your intention with your first impression is always successful and helps close the deal.  Always make eye contact when you’re speaking with others and

Nail down your elevator pitch.  You never know who you will meet or when.  As an extension to that, you never know who is who when you first meet.  You may expect to meet “important” people at networking events, but you may run into a seemingly average, but influential, person at the bus stop as they run errands on their day off.  At all times, you want be able to clearly and concisely communicate who you are and what you do.  Thirty seconds from the 27th floor to the ground level may be all the time you have.

Ask for what you want.  Most people don’t do a good job of raising their hand when they need help.  We can make it on our own but the journey is more tough and much more lonely.  There is great joy in sharing your good days and successes with others.  It is especially rewarding when these are people who have a vested interest in and have contributed in your success.  People love to feel like they’re making an impact and helping others.  But the fact is, they aren’t given the opportunity to do so if you carry on in silence, don’t share what you’re doing and don’t initiate the conversation to get their input.

Support each other.  We have an automatic network with other women.  And we should leverage that to build and encourage each other.  Invite a group of women to go see a play or attend a charity events.  If one of the women has an art exhibit, take the lead in inviting others to support her by attending with you.  In general, the idea is to be proactive and create environments where you and everyone else can succeed.

What do you do to play an active role in your own success?  How do you and other women support each other?  What are some additional skills that you think women can benefit from?

Connect with TheAfter5Edge:  Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

Related posts: