Saturday, 14 November 2009

Inspiring women

The last few days flew by in a blur. I spent the entire Friday attending a forum for women entrepreneurs. I always enjoy learning from successful businesswomen. Hearing them share their stories about how they overcame adversities to get to where they are today always inspires me.

Indeed the panel of speakers this year is well chosen. Most of them have succeeded in tough, male dominated industries like construction and used car sales. Many had a difficult childhood riddled with family violence or the sudden death of their father. Faced with siblings to feed, they assumed the role of big sister or caretaker from a tender age.

I can relate to some of their stories, especially that of one woman who had won many local awards. Her father died and left behind an ailing business when she was still in the university. Being the eldest child, she suddenly had a mother and brood (5 siblings) to care for. Everyone discouraged her from taking over the business. Yet, instead of looking at it as a burden, she turned it around and made it into a successful enterprise. Life was looking up and she married her sweetheart.

Sadly, he passed away and she became a single mum to three little boys. Someone asked her what made her decide to become a businesswoman? Here's what she said, "At that time, if I were to drop out of university and work for someone, I could bring home $1,800 but how could I feed my entire family of 7 with that salary?"

"Now I enjoy the flexibility as a business owner. When my kids need me to pick them up after their rugby sessions or other lessons, I could be there for them in a heartbeat. That would not be possible if I were a salaried worker."

Well, those were the same reasons why I went into business.


WaterLearner said...

It's always good to know how people chose the unbeaten tracks and pathed a new road for others to follow suit.

Jan said...

Hi there,

I've been reading your blog - backwards from the latest entry to this one and will keep going till I hit your first post.

I think women entrepreneurs such as yourself are amazing and I'd love to start up my own business too but I lack courage and confidence and ideas. So I think you and other women are inspiring, but I don't think I could ever become one of you! Unless you want to mentor me? Hahaha.