Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Little Miss Perfect! Bursting the Myth Around Working Women Who “Have It All”

Her hair and nails are always immaculate, her clothes look professionally styled, her kids are perfectly behaved; she runs her own successful business, buys the most thoughtful gifts for her friends and never misses a single important event from a hot party to a school play. Most of us know at least one woman like this and don’t they just make you wonder how it’s done? How can any one woman appear to have
everything so together?
Well, let us share something really important with you, these girls don’t have some magic quality, nor do they achieve this on their own. Any woman that gives you that impression has a series of secret weapons that we’re going to share with you. Our speaker panel at WOWe Nigeria in June is blowing the lid off the “perfect woman” stereotype and showing you how to be a go-getting goddess who’s got everything under control.
WOWe speaker, celebrity businesswoman and Nigerian Idol founder Chichi Nwoko says “Work-life balance is a tough challenge and the balancing act is different for every woman depending on her situation. Regardless of these individualized situations, I applaud any woman that is able to manage her situation seamlessly and achieve every of her goals perfectly. In order to survive in the business world of today, it is critical that one has to be an entrepreneur first without derogating the fact that she is a woman because at the end of the day, her business or entrepreneurial obligations have to be accomplished while the home front must also not deteriorate. “ Very true, so how do we do it?
The Right Support
Your first tool is called the support team. Everyone’s looks a little different, needs and circumstances require that you shape your support team around your unique situation, however all the women we know that match the above description say that you need one. It might be having a flexible person to look after your kids, an ace beautician who’ll come to your office and do your nails whilst you take a call, a husband who knows his way round the kitchen/laundry, a personal shopper who’ll have great suggestions ready in your size the moment you show up… Basically your support team is whoever you need to make things happen quickly and efficiently whilst you get on with driving your business forward.
A Real Life Juggling Act
The perfect outside illusion is often hiding something very real and imperfect, albeit lovely in it’s own way. For all that you might look at someone and think they have it all, they have to work hard and compromise just like everyone else to make it happen. Acknowledging the need for compromise and embracing perceived imperfections is your second key tool.
WOWe woman Chichi Nwoko explains “For me, that sometimes means that I simultaneously hold my 2 month old son in my left arm while typing a proposal or sending an email with my right hand and, having a phone conversation with the telephone usually propped between my ear and shoulder. While I often strive to multitask and juggle all these roles, I find that there are times when I must stop the juggling act and make time to be 100% mommy, 100% wife or, 100% entrepreneur. I think it would be impossible to accomplish these cluster of objectives without an incredibly supportive husband.”
It Won’t All Come At Once
Expecting to achieve perfect balance off the bat is just unrealistic. As with any skill it requires practice and a significant amount of up front effort before you finally achieve your goal. Cult shoe designer and WOWe speaker Afua Dabanka says “I believe you can have it all, but you will have to sacrifice a lot until you get there. Key for me was a very strict time management policy to avoid going completely off balance.” So the third tool is all about commitment, dedicating time to practicing getting the balance right and having the patience to do so.
Pick Your Time
Another key point is to pick your time of life for different achievements; WOWe woman and celebrity makeup guru Eryca Freemantle says “I came into success at a mature age. Using my maturity and life experience I adapt my work life balance around the things that make me happy. I am single and my daughter is 23 years old. It was a struggle at the beginning, now I have mastered the art. Yes one can have it all. Pick, Choose and refuse. You are as good as your accountant, lawyer and bank manager.”
It’s not that you have to wait until you have grown up children before you can have success in business; WOWe speaker, Nail Bar CEO and Bella Naija beauty columnist Ameera Abrahams says “It’s been easy for me as I am still single, I’m not responsible for anybody or anything on the home front so it’s safe to say I have it all. I work hard and play hard.”
So choosing when is as important as making sure you have the right support network and attitude, combine all these things and there’ll be no stopping you!

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