Observations: What sets apart thriving women entrepreneurs
Lessons from women industry leaders in the WPO
Recently I spent several days with women CEOs of exceptional companies with annual revenues from several million to over 50 million — The Women Presidents’ Organization, WPO. Clearly, women at this level are driven, motivated and talented. What else did they have in common?
Not only were their businesses thriving, but many of these business women were thriving in their personal lives as well. The keynote speaker, Shawn Achor, and I both encourage people to leverage what the field of positive psychology has revealed in the past 20 years. In good times and in bad, many times we can choose to live a life of meaningful happiness. Shawn Achor summed it up succinctly at this event by explaining that meaningful happiness is not something one will attain one day when a goal is reached, but instead, meaningful happiness is a process — an approach.
Instead of waiting for meaningful happiness to come on the horizon as an outcome, it is something that we can create. It is still a widely-held misconception that happiness will arrive once we achieve a particular goal. What happens in reality, however, is another goal is set and people tend to hope that attainment of the next goal or the next achievement will suddenly create happiness. Moving the goal post doesn’t work. Creating a positive approach does.
The good news is one doesn’t have to wonder how to experience or create this. There are evidenced-based, specific ways to create this in our life and it is what I work on with many of my clients and it is what I teach in my workshops. Some of these evidence-based approaches include: consistent meditation (Don’t knock yourself out of the running here…this is a skill like everything else and many people who once thought they could not do this, can and do meditate.), consistent exercise, journaling about positive experiences to strengthen our positive neural networks, performing random acts of kindness, getting out into nature and — perhaps most importantly — investing time and effort into our social network.
This is exactly the mission of WPO. Women CEOs connecting with other women CEOs to both learn from one another as well as support one another’s businesses and personal growth. The women of WPO have learned what a powerful tool connecting with one another can be.
The standouts in this amazing collection of women were impactful. They understood the importance of self-care. They practiced gratitude and were connected to a larger purpose that often involved their employees, their employees’ families, and their company’s mission.
Call to action — What can you learn from successful, thriving and happy women CEOs that set them apart? Incorporate what Barbara Frederickson suggests in her book on positivity: “Positivity is a choice — -a choice we all need to make again and again, day after day…your emotions are far from random…”
Take control (click here for article) of that which is truly in your control so that you can thrive and be happy. Enjoy the ripple effects you create.