As long as you are not aware of your own negative thoughts that may be killing your success, the longer the road to success may be. To explore this topic, I asked a mentor for millennials, Nora Oravecz, what she has learned by helping over 500 female entrepreneurs.
Nora Oravecz works with female entrepreneurs from all over the world on a daily basis. She specializes in helping next-generation makers find what their uniqueness is and how to bring it to the surface so they can achieve their wildest professional goals. I met her during the world’s largest tech event, Web Summit 2018, in Lisbon, Portugal. Nora was a mentor to female entrepreneurs during the whole week at the “Woman in Tech Lounge.” She spent time helping serial entrepreneurs and young women who just started out as business owners, answering their many questions and advising them on how to stand out and how to reach more people.
Female Entrepreneurs are Seeking Permission, Bravery and Confidence.
“’Am I good enough?’ In my experience, that is the very first question that women ask me, even ones who already have 10 years of experience in their field. They want to learn how to be brave and do the things they really want. They want to get the secret recipe. But the secret is trusting yourself, and daring to do things your own unique way,” Nora said.
Many of the worries female entrepreneurs face are related to personal issues. “In general, 99% of entrepreneurs who are reaching out to me want to gain the confidence that I have. Women are asking, ‘Can I do this? Am I interesting? Will people be interested in my story? Do you think I can stand out?’ A man rarely asks this. Sometimes I see powerful, smart, outstanding woman, but if they don’t get this validation, they might take the easy way out,” Nora said.
Nora mentors not only women but men as well. In this case, there is an essential difference between the kind of struggles they each face. “Most of the time, men come to me because they want to learn my method for ideation and buzz-generating. I don’t think that this means that they don’t need validation. I asked a young entrepreneur about this, and he said: ‘Definitely, I need confirmation,’” Nora said. It seems that at first men are more focused on how to increase their business, but women are more focused on how to manage themselves in business.
While talking to Nora, I remember myself having experienced lack of confidence and the desire to get permission to do the things I really wanted. I was struggling and not moving further because I needed the permission to be myself and to hear that I was good enough. I was only collecting all the stories I created and the products I have and not showing them to others. I was afraid that nobody would like them. I was afraid of rejection. I wasn’t showing what was behind the scenes, because that is the most vulnerable state, when I am just at the beginning, having many doubts. I was thinking that the best time to show up is when I am already successful, and not having to show what I went through to achieve that.
Millennial Mentor Shares How She Gains Confidence
I asked Nora what she tells mentees when they ask her how to gain confidence. “First, travelling alone helped me to gain confidence and trust because I had to trust not only in myself but in people I didn’t know. It is a great feeling to know that wherever I’ll go, I’ll be fine,” Nora shared. “Second, interviewing outstanding, revolutionary people, and understanding what they are going through and how they handle an extraordinary lifestyle is helpful. There’s no therapist who could help as much as someone who was going through the same journey and knows what it means to become famous when you don’t want to necessarily, or to experience PTSD-symptoms due to social media.”
Next, I asked Nora if she had experienced changes in her outlook since she has really become more true to herself. For example, I believe that your clothing shows others how confident you feel, even if you don't notice that. “When I grew up, nobody taught me what colors fit me, so I chose the safest one: black. My personality is very vibrant, so I thought I would be just too much when wearing colors. Then, as I’ve started opening up more, I started to wear colors, and they make me feel better. I still wear black because it fits me, but not because I want to hide,” Nora said.
“Surround yourselves with people who are having the same problem or who are ahead of you and they might tell you what the solution is.”
“People admire braveness.”
If you someone who still asks yourself, “Am I good enough?”, think of how much closer you could be to success if you stopped doubting yourself and started trusting yourself. Try to find what the best way is for you to get out of the shade, to gain confidence, and to succeed.