Our founder and owner, Karen Roe, recently spoke at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas. As part of the Voices from the Industry conference that takes place during the tradeshow and offers learning opportunities for Continuing Education Units, Karen presented Women in Stone – Growing a Business Against All Odds.
Here are the highlights from her speech for all you other women business owners and entrepreneurs:
Dealing with Adversity
It doesn’t matter what your hardships are in life, because let’s face it – we all have them. The truth is it’s really hard to draw a line between personal and professional experiences, especially as a business owner. And unfortunately, when we experience personal hardships it is likely that it will affect our attitude and our professional life.
With this in mind, we should aim to spin our difficulties with positivity as an incentive to stay motivated. When we get told “no” or experience the inevitable setbacks and stall outs we have to push through those barriers as best we can. Of course this is easier said than done but if we’re able to learn perseverance and overcome our physical circumstances with a strong mind we can get past our trials to the next part of our story. From hard times comes growth, strength and knowledge. It’s also important for us to be verbal and confident about what it is that we want and are trying to accomplish.
Working in a Male-Dominated Industry
Karen shared her journey of entering into the stone industry, the personal struggles she overcame early on in her career, and the professional trials that spurred her to start NSMotif.
Touching on the challenges of running a business in a male-dominated industry, she also spoke about shifting your focus from being the underdog or the “target” to playing on your competitive advantage. You can use your dedication and continuously improve upon your knowledge and skills so that you stand out BECAUSE of those things. Battle the “what ifs” by concentrating on honing your skills and making yourself an invaluable team player and asset. Own your place. After all, if you don’t believe in your own abilities, how can you expect others to?
Keys to Success
Ultimately, there is no magic bullet or sure way to “win” at accomplishing your dreams. It takes work and persistence and a whole lot of self-reliance and support from others. Karen shared what she calls the “Crisis of Confidence”, explaining the importance of getting back to basics to push out the overwhelm and restore direction, doing the inner work to realign with your vision and goals, and surrounding yourself with cheerleaders who will help encourage you to push forward. Part of developing and living out your vision is fine-tuning along the way and understanding that getting off track doesn’t necessarily qualify as failure.
You can elevate yourself by elevating your circle of influence and cultivating a support system. She strongly advocates for involvement in professional organizations to learn and grow in community with others who are in the same field.
Continue to learn and seek knowledge. Some of Karen’s greatest sources of knowledge have been from awesome speakers such as John DiJulius, Katie Mares, Kendra Hall, and Neen James. Make it a point at least every six months to search out a great speaker and go see them, read a book and get the encouragement you need to keep moving in the direction you see for your future.