What does it mean to be successful? Is it securing your first round of funding for a business you’ve wanted to build for years? Or is it climbing the corporate ladder? Or perhaps, is it making it as a freelancer?
Thankfully, these days “success“ isn’t defined as just one thing. That said, there is one common denominator we’ve noticed among the women who do reach the top: tenacity.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from successful women we’ve interviewed over the past few years, it’s that you don’t reach success unless you set. While grit, dedication, and confidence are traits that all successful women share, we need to also establish habits and get sponsors for ourselves if we want to triumph in our career.
Keep reading for 5 habits of the most successful female leaders.
1. Successful Women Go After Their Dreams Now
Success isn’t handed to us on a silver platter. As great as that would be, real life doesn’t usually work that way. Even the most successful women didn’t get from point A to Z in one night, so why should we? To achieve our goals, we have to put in the work necessary to reap the results. Whether you want to start your own business, get another degree, or cultivate a new passion, the time is now. The beginning is the most difficult part of the journey, so congratulate yourself for doing just that.
The key to accomplishing your goals is not just visualizing them but also writing them down and investing towards achieving them.
2. Successful Women Invest In Their Futures
Ellevest, the tech-enabled investment and planning company built by, for, and with women put out a report last year that explores how women and men feel about money, power, equality, and their opportunities to get ahead. In the study, Ellevest asked 2,000 American professional women and men about everything from gender pay and investing gaps to the role that their values play in their personal and professional lives. Key findings:
Investing and financial security:
- Only 55% of women are aware of the gender investing gap (how much they invest versus their male counterparts), and they still greatly underestimate how much the gap costs them over the course of their lives.
- The #1 confidence booster for women is saving and investing (63% of women ranked it over things like salary and education).
The full report can be found on the Ellevest website here. New to investing? You can speak with an expert financial advisor at Ellevest on topics ranging from how to get rid of debt to tips on how to start investing as a beginner. Plus, start as small as you’d like – there’s no minimum deposit for Ellevest Digital, meaning you can start investing with as little as $5.
What are you waiting for? Get into it here.
3. Successful Women Grow From Their Mistakes
We all make mistakes, big and small. And there is nothing wrong with that. As a matter of fact, mistakes fuel our wisdom and give us the chance to gauge what doesn’t serve us.
Through our mistakes, we understand what kind of life we want for ourselves. Instead of wallowing in shame, regret, and self-pity, successful women grow from their mistakes and appreciate them for what they are worth. They find treasure in the depths of their disappointments. The lesson here: don’t be afraid of failure, as your wrong turns may be the precursor you need before your biggest success catches up with you.
4. Successful Women Have a Positive Mindset
Every minute that we spend immersed in negativity is a minute that we could be using to better some element of our lives. Dwelling in negative thinking is something that is easy to slip into when we face obstacles in our paths or when it takes longer than anticipated to achieve the desired result.
You aren’t alone in your struggles even though you may feel like you are singled out. Successful women also experience moments of uncertainty, frustration, and disappointment and aren’t immune to gloomy days, but they don’t allow themselves to sink into despair and let their inner critic take the front seat. Instead, female leaders acknowledge their challenges and exemplify a positive, encouraging mindset instead.
5. Successful Women Make Peace with Their Fear
Fear be a total buzz-kill, right? This four letter word shouldn’t be underestimated, as it can stand between us and our success. That’s why it is imperative that we make peace with a fear. Studies show that we Millennial women have a lot of money power—when it comes to spending, that is. But when it comes to building wealth, like saving and investing in the future? Not so much. Why? Because of fear.
To figure that out, SoFi teamed up with Levo to survey 2050 millennial women on their behaviors and motivations around money and found that a good majority of Millennial women have extra money each month, after paying bills but aren’t investing for the reason above: fear.
Fear is a normal evolutionary mechanism that we humans have developed to keep us safe, but it is vital that we separate actual danger from a mentally constructed apprehension that isn’t a threat. Timed to Equal Pay Day 2018, the co-branded study, titled “How Millennial Women Invest” shows that while millennial women are financially responsible with their budgets — with 70% of us reviewing our bank accounts once a week or more frequently and 53% of us have an emergency fund, 56% of us who have the money to invest do not do so because fear is holding us back—and this is a problem.
Really successful women face their fears head-on, not giving them the chance to stand in their way of triumph. Stop putting it off.
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Questions? We’re here to help. Leave us a comment and we’ll get back to you!
Disclosures: We’re excited to be teaming up with the team at Ellevest to start this conversation about women and money. We may receive compensation if you become an Ellevest client.