Kayaking Through Alligator Waters

Now that it’s summer, I’m enjoying kayaking in Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway. It keeps me active, allows me to admire the beauty of nature, and immerse myself in the silence. I also discovered that kayaking is one of the best ways to clear your mind and make room for new ideas. One of these emerging thoughts was how kayaking resembles the challenges of women in business.

Through entrepreneurship or corporate careers, women face challenges specific to our gender. For example, they typically lack access to funds for a new business. Gender inequality issues remain a typical obstacle for all women in business, as well as the challenges with work-life balance or setting their expectation bar too low.

However, I will focus on the two female-specific challenges that remind me of my kayaking adventures:

1. Low self-confidence & fear of failure
A few weekends ago, I got a bit carried away and ended up kayaking four miles away from the launch site. Of course, there wasn’t an Uber I could call or anyone around I could ask to replace me. I relied on just two things: my physical strength and the belief that I could do this.

I was utterly exhausted, but I made it. How? I just kept paddling! Even when the waters looked unknown and my arms and shoulders were in pain, I kept going.

The same is true for all female entrepreneurs; you must keep going, even when the odds look like you will not make it. Believe in yourself, keep pushing, and you will succeed!

2. The lack of a support system & networking community
Another time I was kayaking, I was in a much more dangerous situation. I needed to hop on the kayak from the dock even though I had never learned that technique. My sports spirit didn’t allow me to withdraw, so I tried.

Unfortunately, the attempt was a complete failure: I tipped and ended up in the water, soaked up from head to toe. But the main problem was not getting wet. It was the fact that some of these waters are home to alligators! I will admit I felt terrified, and as I grappled with getting out, I saw someone’s hand above my head.

A woman on the dock offered a helping hand, and after a few tries, she snatched me out of the water. I expressed my deepest gratitude, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget her.

The idea behind this ‘alligator story’ is that we need supporters on our way to success. We cannot do it alone. We’ll always need someone by our side to give us a hand or a community of ‘cheerleaders’ that can provide us professional, emotional, and even financial support.

So, here’s this week’s challenge for all women in business here. Think about those two critical aspects of success: self-belief and confidence and networking and community building. Then share how you work your way in overcoming those struggles.

You might inspire someone else to move forward and a step closer to her dreams!

#1millionwomenby2030 #WomenInBusiness #FemaleEntrepreneurs#WomenLeadership


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