I pressed the snooze button on my clock-radio and gathered the bedclothes up to my chin. The comfort of my bed was made appealing by the icy breath of winter creeping through the window. I’ve had the ensuing conversation with myself hundreds, if not thousands, of times. You know the one, ‘It’s still dark outside. Do I really have to get up now?’
This decision was more difficult than usual as I didn’t have to get up – it was a matter of choice. At stake was the small amount of money I’d paid for a business breakfast, one of the many that focused on women’s advancement in corporations.
I was finding it difficult to be motivated to go.
Was it going to be another event filled with disheartening statistics, featuring another author who’s written a book filled with more well-meaning advice for women?
But then again, isn’t it good that there’s advice there to help women?
Yes, but I have a concern. I’ve noticed a trend amongst the advice aimed at women; it tends to tell women how to change themselves to compensate for the negative effects of, well, being a woman.
I’ve had a long and fortunate career, and I’m not chasing corporate success anymore. My purpose now is to help other women achieve their success, so this was partly why I felt guilty for my lack of commitment to attend the breakfast. How can I help others if I don’t keep up to date? So, I got up and went out into the cold dark morning. It was a great event, and I’m glad I went, but my doubts lingered. How do women sort through all the guidance and advice?
What is success anyway? Is trying to ‘make it’ in a man’s world really success?
What are we basing our judgement on when we classify someone as successful? Out of curiosity I searched ‘successful women’ in Google. It came up with list of fantastic and inspirational women who all had two things in common – they were rich and powerful.
What about the rest of us?
Not all of us can, or want to be, a Fortune 500 CEO or a mega-star. We’re all different, and importantly, someone else’s success is not necessarily yours.
I’m lucky I’ve found my recipe for success.
It’s this: being myself, looking after my health, caring for my nearest and dearest, and doing what I love: helping other women to work out what success means to them.
What does success look like for you?
Jacqui Alder is a respected HR executive, writer, and mentor to women.
I write these articles for you and value your feedback. If you’d like to hear about a topic, have tried one of the exercises, or used any resources please let me know your thoughts. You can contact me by posting a comment below, send me a message via the Facebook page, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.