No more Ms Nice Girl: trust your gut instinct

Business coach and podcaster Melitta Campbell gives BV readers some timely advice for International Women’s Day

RESEARCH last year by Starling Bank found more than 1.5 million UK women had started their own business in the previous 12 months — and many others harbour ambitions to start one very soon.

Melitta Campbell
Melitta Campbell

Another study by YouGov and The Telegraph, canvassing female sole traders who started a business during the pandemic, painted a picture of resilience and innovation — with 77 percent feeling confident about their chances of success.

I’ve interviewed 100 entrepreneurial women for my podcast about what they believe it takes to be successful in business. I’ve been blown away by just how candid they have been in sharing the good, the bad, and the unexpected.

I’ve collated the most common success factors. And one is self-belief. If your vision feels like an impossible dream, that even could be a good thing. It will drive you to grow, connect, and achieve.

Understanding your values is another vital factor; align those values with your activities to provide a foundation for future success.

Trust your instincts; years of being “good girls” have led many of us to disconnect from, or even distrust, our natural instincts. Gut instinct is the culmination of all our learning and experience to date.

Build your network; it can help you to develop goals, and a solid pipeline of leads and referrals for your business. Surround yourself with inspiring women. It’s worthwhile curating an “inner circle” to support you in your journey. Most of my podcast guests believe that mentors and business besties have played a pivotal role in their success.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. This can be hard, and many women admit to having learned the lesson the hard way. Recognise that there is only so much we can achieve on our own. Learn to delegate, investing in a small team and asking those around us for support are essential to our success.

Embrace your skills and successes. We often discount the tasks and activities we enjoy and that come naturally to us, thinking that they are easy for everyone. When you feel this way about your work, it’s a sign that you are operating in your zone of genius. Embrace and appreciate your natural talents.

Failure is not the opposite of success, it’s the process of experimentation. Learning from failure can help us to grow in the right direction. Failure is part of every success.

Invest in yourself: shortcut your route to success by upgrading your skills. And finally, define what success means to you — and use that to determine the path towards it.