An entrepreneur risks everything chasing their vision – money, mind, time and most importantly their heart and soul. This is true for business leaders of both genders. Sadly, in our country, a man is always encouraged but a woman is burdened with comments like “Why do you want to work?” or “Marriage should be the end goal of your life” or “You’re never going to find a respectable husband with your brains. You have to be pretty for that” and even ridiculous statements like “Babies and business don’t mix.”
Most people fail to see that for every successful entrepreneurial journey there are 100 failed start-ups. What we get to see is just the final product and hear the success stories, we don’t see the initial struggle to establish a stable beginning. This ignorance becomes tenfold where women are concerned.
At the first sign of trouble, women entrepreneurs are told that they cannot manage something so important, there is no point in trying, and that they should just give up. To add to it, women are always put into a position where they are never the decision makers. If they’ve never dealt with risk and uncertainty, they are easier to influence into giving up.
An effective solution to overcome this social prejudice and stigma is for a woman to embrace her right to confidence. While the eco-system might take time to transform, women can introduce gradual changes in their lives and that’s where the process of self-discovery will begin; to find out who she really is, what she is really capable of and what is the best she can really be – is the most important.
Women are conditioned to say that they can’t, and that’s always our first response. We need to come out of our comfort zone, put ourselves in new experiences at the risk of failure, keep trying and trying, and find facets of ourselves that would have otherwise remained untapped.
My personal journey of boosting my self-confidence has really been one that’s taken years and success came mostly from own entrepreneurial journey. Every day I faced my fears and insecurities and learnt how to deal with them. I had only one aim in mind – to go out there, win something, achieve small successes and have people back me and my dreams, and make sure that there are people who believe in me.
After 15 years of working in the healthcare industry, the thing that I’m most proud of is the fact that I’ve made a change – helped provide better quality healthcare and made it more affordable, more accessible.
Throughout my journey I was plagued by these questions – Can I? Will I be able to? Am I aiming too high? Am I going to fall flat on my face? Am I going to be a failure? But the most important question for me was – When I don’t feel confident enough, how do I get over that feeling and give it my 100%?
In a male dominated society and work environment, self-confidence is the only real asset that I think an Indian woman can hold on to. And that’s all I needed to go from being a 10-year-girl helping my dad out at the lab by playing secretary to becoming the CEO, promoter and managing director of a $350 million company, Metropolis Healthcare.