By Lolita E. Walker, Founder of Walker and Walker Enterprises
My Founder Story put out a call to BIPOC womxn business founders with an invitation to amplify their voices as content contributors on our platform. Lolita E. Walker, founder of Walker & Walker Enterprises, is one of many talented founders who answered the call. We look forward to sharing articles from womxn entrepreneurs like Lolita on an ongoing basis. For information about becoming a contributor, visit the Join Our Team page.
“That was an unwritten rule.”
“I thought I’d already shared that.”
“You must first do this before you can do that.”
I imagine I am not alone in admitting that these declarations have, once or twice, pierced my ears within the workplace. In fact, these statements were on constant repeat during my first year in corporate. They were present as I climbed the ladder to a senior position. And they dared to follow me even on my way out of the door after 17 and a half years. What I didn’t know at the time, yet quickly recognized, is that these proclamations are also commonplace in the world of entrepreneurship. Far too often, women have experienced fewer opportunities to be at—or better yet, to be invited to—the right tables for learning and growth. I am ecstatic to share that today is a new day.
Ms. Power Woman, it is our time and we are here. We are not only showing up; we are showing out. We are not only being invited to the table; we are leading discussions and decisions at the table. We are not only excelling; we are exceeding the expectations that others have put on us and that we have put on ourselves. We are creating our own businesses and constructing our own tables, our own rooms, our own buildings. We are writing the rules, calling the shots, and creating the paths that other women will now journey.
Navigating business ownership is similar to navigating the corporate space in many ways. One of the most important is that we must learn how to play to pay. Here are four coaching strategies for how you can begin to “play” (pause, look, act, yearn) today:
Pause with intention. When we gift ourselves permission to pause, we become our most creative selves. We finally create the time, energy and space to reflect on our challenges and triumphs, then use them as step stools to unleash the endless possibilities within us.
Look and learn from others. Where and how do you envision your future self? Find and connect with those who are successful in where you want to be, have surpassed what you want to do, and have journeyed to where you want to go.
Act in your strengths. We each possess innate gifts that are uniquely ours. We must continuously remind ourselves that we stand upon a strong foundation. It is here that we will continue to stand, unapologetically, to embrace, act and thrive.
Yearn for your more. No one can do this for us. We must long to soar bigger, better and bolder. We must remember that progress and complacency cannot coexist. We must become allergic to average. We then become positioned and well-equipped to yearn, act and shift accordingly.
Ms. Power Woman, when we pause with intention, look and learn from others, act in our strengths, and yearn for our more, we become ready and willing to:
Pay it forward.
Pay it intentionally.
Pay it unapologetically.
Ms. Power Woman, it is time that we play to pay. It’s time that we show up and show out. It’s time that we change the game and shift our narrative to now be the boss women we are intended and created to be. It’s time that we reach to grab our courage and allow it to help us face our fears. It’s time that we play to pay.
I challenge you to commit to these coaching strategies today. Let’s do our part so that another woman will not be subject to the piercing declarations that have faced us on our journeys. We own this space. We own our pace. We own our next moves.
About the author: The founder of Walker and Walker Enterprises, Lolita E. Walker is a certified coach, TEDx speaker, author, and “Change Champion” focusing on driving clarity, commitment, accountability and results for women and teams.