Every year on March 8th, we celebrate International Women’s Day, commemorating the movement for women’s rights. I’d like to celebrate IWD this year by taking a moment to focus on the achievements of various women around us. As an entrepreneur myself, I am not surprised to see that most of these women consider going off on their own and leaving a secure job, their biggest achievement. Read on to see what they’re proud of today.
My greatest achievement was leaving behind my 10+ year career in tech to start my own business, a minimalist swimwear line called Segara Swim. For me, the significance of this achievement is less about whether I build a successful business and more about the action of taking that leap into the unknown. I come from a pretty traditional business background and never envisioned myself as an entrepreneur. I consider myself fairly risk-averse, so to quit a director-level role at a tech startup to self-fund and build a brand in an industry that I had no prior experience is something that a few years ago I would’ve considered crazy! It’s been challenging every step of the way, but I’m constantly learning more about myself and what I’m capable of. @segaraswim
My biggest accomplishment is gathering the courage to leave my successful but ultimately unfulfilling job in financial services to teach yoga–which I then wrote a book about (Where in the OM Am I? One Woman’s Journey from the Corporate World to the Yoga Mat). It a was Shape Magazine Book Pick, won the NIEA book award for best memoir, and was named a must-read for anyone considering a career change by Working Mother. Best part? Now I speak nationally at conferences, festivals, and events helping other to find their path and step into their most fulfilling lives! @saradivello
Merriam-Webster defines achievement as “the act of achieving something; a result gained by effort: accomplishment; a great or heroic deed.”
The first of my family to graduate from a US college (Ivy League), I feel like I have “made” it in New York (the greatest, difficult and rewarding city) with a balanced media career, sense of spiritual community and purposeful work as a teacher assisting people through yoga/meditation. So, it’s hard to choose a favorite spot in my journey. Accolades, titles and markers aside, success to me means feeling good/integrated/whole on the inside and being kind to others as well as myself along the way. I have to remind myself I am my own hero, and the biggest accomplishment comes every day, making a difference with a smile. It is today. @konakafe
I won second place in the Rising Tide Capital Start Something Challenge pitch contest last year. When they announced the winners, I wasn’t expecting a prize. In fact, shocking to myself, after I presented my pitch, I felt a wave of immense relief and accomplishment. Getting there was actually my greatest achievement.
When I heard about the contest 3 months earlier, I had no intention of entering. The excuses I told myself included, “this is a waste of your time, you need to focus on your business.” “you wouldn’t win anyways.” “how could a jewelry company win anything in a pitch contest when tech startups are the hottest thing?”
My business coach emailed questions she told me to answer for myself only. I had one of 2 answers I could choose from, A Excite B Protest
I found my reply to all was PROTEST. The answers that I only told myself revealed to me that I was simply afraid. I was not picking a practical logical answer. I didn’t want to enter because I was afraid of winning. Upon that realization, I challenged myself by entering and choosing to put in my entire effort. @ironstrongjewelry
My biggest achievement is definitely having decided to leave my safe and secure job to start something new. I had wanted to start my own company for a while but having worked in education my whole life, had no idea where to start or how I could possibly transition. And then, I just did it! I am still working things out, getting frustrated, disappointed and still being hard on myself but I am also so grateful for the support I’ve received and for everything I am learning. I am so proud of having made the leap, made space for what I wanted and as I see some of the results I am already getting, I trust that starting Lead With A Twist was the perfect way to go! @leadwithatwist
I have always known that sitting in an office day in and day out was not for me. I never wanted to wake up one day and realize that I had let my whole life slip by while focusing on something I wasn’t passionate about. Truly, I thought something was wrong with me because I was always hungry for more: more experiences, more lessons, more adventures, more substance in life. So one day with no backup plan and no idea how I would pay the next month’s bills, I quit my job, took a road trip to Seattle and since then have been working toward building a life I am excited to live every day. Quitting my job has been one of my biggest accomplishments because, in a world that tells you to devote your life to building someone else’s dream, I decided to take a chance on my own instead. I’m currently focusing on my blog, heres-thething.com
My greatest achievement has been starting my podcast, YOU WANNA DO WHAT?! As a first generation Latina living in the Bronx, my parents pushed me to follow the “safe route” – working a reliable job with a stable paycheck. After 15 years of working in Corporate America and feeling like I was wearing clothes that no longer fit, I took a leap and began my podcast for people just like me – stuck in a rut and needing a nudge to do something new. It’s been 9 months (and counting) and has listeners in over 70 countries. @youwannadowhat
My greatest achievement is following my dream to pursue a career abroad. I’ve always had dreams of moving to and working in London and in 2016, I decided to make move towards my goal. Though moving abroad to the UK is an incredibly hard task, I set out on a course where I was able to land internships at prestigious companies, taking on freelance work, writing for the Huffington Post, taking courses abroad and launching my own side project all in an effort to grow my communications capabilities and transition into a role in London. I’ve met many people and have built relationships and profile that has allowed me to move forward in my UK dream in ways I’d never imagine (I’ve spent lots of time networking and learning in London when I can/could). Although my goal hasn’t been reached yet, I have made many strides, the first of which is motivating myself to take the step to go abroad. It’s an achievement that deserves to be celebrated! @aliciabarnes
I realized that most of the pain points and inefficiencies in shopping for clothing could be solved by developing an automated expert system that accurately recommended clothing you’ll love, that flatters and fits. When leading experts told me that the technology I envisioned wasn’t feasible, I convinced them otherwise by tapping into my long-forgotten CS classes and designing the software’s architecture. And when I kept running up against the Catch-22 of being unable to build AI software this complex without significant funding, I started learning everything I needed to know in order to build it myself — from artificial intelligence, cognitive neuroscience, and physics, to creating the algorithms and developing the software. And if that weren’t enough, I simultaneously tackled the (arguably even more challenging) task of drafting and prosecuting the patent application to protect the intellectual property. Fast forward to today and Click2Fit’s about to start beta testing its expert recommendation software, and its game-changing artificial intelligence is in the final stages of the patent approval process. @chayacooper
Until recently, I was waking up in a cold sweat and panic every morning and convincing myself to get out of bed to start another day in a life that no longer felt like my own, in a place that didn’t make me happy- New York City. I knew I had to make a change so I quit my job on 5th Ave, left a 7-year relationship, and went to the place where I am more myself than anywhere else- Italy. There, I could hear my own voice clearly again and be my own strength instead of so easily finding it in others. I worked for a tour operator and quickly found that all the pieces I’d thought were missing to launch into my dream life were being filled one by one. When I ran out of excuses- I did it… I launched Creative Edge Travel, offering immersive trips in off-the-beaten-path Italy to help people connect with locals on a deeper level and experience the authentic culture in a more meaningful way. In less than one year, I totally flipped my life. My greatest achievement isn’t founding a company. It’s that amongst all the naysayers, all the people that love me but don’t understand, and all society’s expectations pelting down on me daily, I prioritize my own inner voice. True achievements are those that bring us inner peace and help us live fuller lives. @creativeedgetravel
What are you celebrating this International Women’s Day? Let me know below!
Originally published at www.alexismera.com