By Rosa Bullock - Founder of SOCIATE, a communications agency in JLT Dubai, offering brands of all sizes support with public relations, marketing, events, and design. Rosa launched SOCIATE at the age of 28. She is passionate about startups and female empowerment in the Middle East.
2 minute read
Being a female business owner is a cocktail of emotions. Anxiety, imposter syndrome, and insecurity may all darken your door during this journey.
Here’s some groundwork that will help you smash through that glass ceiling.
Build and know your worth
Your network is your net worth. Grinding doesn’t just mean midnight emails and scrolling LinkedIn for hours. You need to put yourself out there.
Dubai is a close-knit community and making new connections is worth your time. There are countless free and paid networking events. Block two or three days on your calendar to mingle and thicken your address book.
When you’re not working on your address book, work on yourself. Seize every opportunity to upskill that comes your way. Agility is the key to survival in the current professional landscape, so aim to be a Jane of all trades.
Enrol into a free online course, set aside a budget for a professional mentor, or start hunting for projects that will help you expand your skill set.
The power of power posing
Have you ever noticed how Wonder Woman stands? How Oprah is poised? What Beyonce’s arms and legs are doing after she’s crushed a performance?
The classic stance of arms on hips, with a puffed chest, will come to mind.
Power posing is far from a complete science, but it can be transformative for people looking for an instant confidence boost. If you’re someone who tries to occupy the least amount of space in an elevator, or keeps your contributions to a minimum in a meeting, you need some power posing in your life.
Power posing has been found to lower cortisol (the stress hormone). This will leave you feeling empowered and in charge of the situation. The next time you’re at a networking event, try this. Be mindful of eye contact and folding your arms. Approach new situations with an “I can do this” mindset.
Dress to impress, dress for success
Your outfit is your license to thrill. Don’t leave outfit planning for the night before or morning of an important event. That’s just inviting stress into your life. Scan your wardrobe, in advance, and start mentally planning ensembles.
Power posing’s companion - power dressing - rose to the spotlight in the late 1970s. It was a way for women to establish authority in scenarios traditionally dominated by men. Chanel was ahead of the curve, sowing the first seeds of power dressing in the 1920s. Power dressing has evolved over time, though.
Start off by ensuring everything in your wardrobe fits perfectly. That blouse that’s kind of loose, but was on sale, won’t make the cut. You need to feel “like a boss” in your outfit. Keep it simple and sophisticated - a blazer, comfortable trousers, and a well-fitting blouse. Your favorite abaya will do too.
Being an entrepreneur is a journey. You may never feel like you’ve got complete control of a situation, but it’s important to feel like you’re in the driver’s seat. Embrace the rush of setting up and growing your own company!