7 Secrets of Success for Women Who Hold Back

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Kris Martinez

Kris Martinez, Owner and Creative Director, Martinez Creative Group

Women tend to project less confidence than their male peers. They are more likely to think about their businesses with modest expectations and to consider the obstacles, compared to men who often boast big goals and bravado. 

Maybe it’s because women tend to be more risk-averse than men. Women are often more conditioned to stay in the background and not seek the spotlight for themselves, versus men who are more comfortable taking bigger risks.

Maybe it’s because women still tend to shoulder more of the responsibilities at home. It can be very daunting to think: if this business goes big, what am I going to do about daycare? How am I going to manage that? How will I get everything else done? Fears like that can stop anyone in their tracks.

I invite you to take a look at whatever reasons you have for holding back – and I challenge you to look at success in a different way. 

The biggest challenge all women face is the negativity that goes on inside our own heads. Pushing past those little negative thoughts that keep coming at you will teach you to be resilient and to tackle any challenge that comes your way. 

Whether you’re a business owner, an entrepreneur, or someone who’s trying to find the right fit for your next opportunity – making things happen and realizing your dreams can be incredibly fulfilling. You don’t do anyone any favors by playing small. 


Below are our 7 Secrets of Success that we hope you can apply to your business:

1. Identify trends that will help your customers

When you have success in one area of your business, look for additional ways to help your customers. Send them articles that will pique their interest, let them know about upcoming events they may want to attend, or share technologies that can help their teams achieve their goals. When you have good customers, you want to keep them. Do everything you can to let them know you’re thinking about them and you want to help them succeed. 

2. Build a good team – then trust them

None of us works alone. Build a team around you who are experts in what they do – whether that’s sales, writing, or coding – then trust them to do their job.

When a client approached us a few years ago to build an iPad app, we had never designed one before – but I knew that our development team could handle it, and I trusted them. I rely on our development team to keep us up to speed on web trends and mobile techniques to help our customers achieve their business goals. Similarly, we have writers who are experts in different industries, and our social media team has a solid handle on social media trends and techniques, which are always changing. Our clients rely on us – and I rely on our team – to stay ahead of trends so that we can make solid recommendations to help our clients meet their business objectives.

3. Focus on what got you where you are

It’s natural for successful businesses to grow and expand their service lines. But too often, we see companies stray a little too far from their core business strengths by branching out and offering additional services that aren’t quite their areas of expertise. We’re always in favor of trying new things – just make sure that your business decisions are carefully calculated risks that make sense to your current customer base. 

4. Be decisive

Every business owner makes a million different decisions a day, both large and small. Hours can be wasted by taking too much time in making small decisions. There’s a reason Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein wore the same outfit every day – they didn’t want to spend any unnecessary energy thinking about what to wear. For them, their energies were better used in a bigger capacity. The quicker you learn to follow your gut and make decisions, the faster you can move on to the next big thing.

5. Learn from failure

Successful people know that failure is part of the territory. Entrepreneurs tend to be risk takers, and they understand that there will be many failures that help pave the way to success. Understand that you will make mistakes, and learn to embrace whatever lessons you can learn from your mistakes. Don’t spend too much time dwelling on your failures. Learn the lesson quickly, apply it, and move on. Those who keep moving forward and pushing past failure are the ones who succeed.

6. Networking

Networking can be a double-edged sword. Most business owners have very little time for networking events and it can feel like a waste of time that would be better spent on other things. However, it’s important to grow your network and be part of associations and events that are critical to your business. The more people you know, and the more you stay in touch with them, the more opportunities you create for yourself and those around you. Be sure to go to events with a clear purpose in mind, and not just to exchange business cards. Read guest lists ahead of time, plan whom you’d like to meet and what you’d like to ask them, and have a few things ready to share about yourself.

7. A positive attitude

A positive attitude is what sets winners apart from the rest. People with a positive attitude don’t let setbacks keep them down, they don’t take no for an answer, and they see opportunity where others see obstacles. Positive people don’t blame others for their mistakes and don’t make excuses; they get out there and make things happen. Optimism allows people to understand that their own success is only limited by their own mindset. Try being positive and see for yourself just how successful you can be.

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