There’s a reason why interviewers often ask candidates to share their greatest strengths. The answer is an insight into their skill set and professional abilities. The same goes for founders. We asked female entrepreneurs the same question: what are your strengths, and how do they help you run your company?
We’ve picked 10 responses to highlight the unique perspectives of women across all industries.
Essential strengths of female entrepreneurs:
Amanda Victoria, CEO and Co-Founder of Siponey:
Empathic leadership. Being able to put myself in the shoes of my teammates, as well as lead by example, all while learning to stay out of the way of talented employees, has become my edge for 2022. Leadership on most days is simply being a good editor.
Whitney Hill, Co-Founder, SnapADU:
I’m highly effective at defining what’s needed to reach the next step for our business. Whether it’s in the context of measuring the success of our advertising dollars, effectively screening candidates for a job opening, designing a repeatable model for our operations or just driving towards the next steps in an email, I’m constantly thinking about what actions will keep the momentum going and help us continue to improve.
This might mean creating a workflow that automates a lead intake process so that new potential clients can quickly get the information they need. It might mean writing a clear role description to find the right talent to bring into our team. Clear understanding of the problem and next steps leads to a business becoming more independently viable outside of individual actions. As a business owner, you can then start to work on the business instead of in it.
Masha Mahdavi, Co-Founder, SEM Dynamics:
A network is very important in building and developing a business. One of my biggest strengths is being able to create relationships with other people. Connecting and being in terms with different people may lead to more partnerships and opportunities that will be beneficial in the long run.
Luisa Zhou, Founder, LuisaZhou.com:
My biggest strength is only focusing on a few things at a time. I don’t try to do everything when I’m building my business. Instead, I choose one or two strategies that will help me get to where I want to be the fastest. I focus on those strategies and never waver from my focus. For instance, when I started my business, I focused on Facebook as an acquisition channel. It wasn’t until years later that I added on YouTube and Instagram.
Kathy Bennett, CEO and Founder, Bennett Packaging:
Adaptability. In business, being able to adapt to the changing market can save you in tough times. In good times, it can catapult your success. Whether it’s being the first in the country to invest in high-speed, eco-friendly digital printing or working to simplify the ordering process for our customers, identifying a need and adapting my business to fill it has served me well.
When the business started, we focused on which equipment we could invest in that would make us unique in the market. We looked for gaps in the industry that would offer more to customers. That took time to research. The result of our efforts to adapt to the market has been a woman-owned business with a network of locations across North America that has become a top competitor in the packaging industry.
Susan J. Farese, MSN, RN; President/Owner, SJF Communications:
My biggest business-related strength is a combination of my professional nursing experience and keen intuition. Using the “nursing process” and my strong intuition as my guide, I’m able to assess then diagnose a client’s needs systematically, plan a strategy with an optimal outcome for the client’s PR/Marketing or other communications, implement the plan (PR, marketing, website design, social media, writing) and evaluate the effectiveness, along with the client. Ultimately, the goal is for the client to be successful, empowered and independent.
Naomi Hudetz, Founder, Treeline Review:
My biggest strength is my attention to detail. I honed this skill in my prior career as an actuary, where attention to detail is crucial. In my new business, running an outdoor gear review website, I’ve found that attention to detail is equally as important in just about every aspect: SEO, quality content and the user experience, for example. While I initially thought my skills as an actuary wouldn’t translate well to my new career, I’ve found that these major, overarching skills have served me well.
Leigh Coggiola-Belza, Founder, Leaxy:
Kindness. We often think you need to be tough to run a company, but kindness goes a long way. People are leaving their jobs now more than ever. Many employees are seeking careers where they’re valued, seen and validated. Being kind and showing gratitude go a long way.
Jessica Haefke, Owner, Actlive Life:
I’m curious and always learning. I listen to podcasts daily about a variety of topics (marketing, branding, side hustles, business, startups, entrepreneur stories, tech, fitness, mom life, subscription boxes and more). I watch shows like Shark Tank and online training videos (like Master Class and industry-specific courses). On a daily basis, I pay attention to other marketing strategies, creative execution and business ideas that pop up as well as read books, magazines, blogs and online articles.
Staying curious and absorbing the world around me helps me grow! There’s always a lesson to learn and apply to my own business (or to possibly stay away from). I write down a lot of notes each day that lead to further research and exploration. Learning, testing, implementing and sometimes failing are the best ways to grow and successfully run a company.
Molly Maine, CEO, Molly Maine Creative:
My biggest business-related strength is figuring out how to set and respect my own boundaries. After learning the hard way and getting burnt a few times, I now have strict boundaries that I communicate to my clients regarding the hours I work, the ways I’m happy to communicate, the deadlines I work to and the prices I charge. Not only does this prevent me from being taken advantage of, but it also helps me to retain a healthy work-life balance and avoids confusion or misunderstandings. I encourage my team to set their own boundaries and stick to them. I believe that we all need to draw the line between work and life somewhere, and as an entrepreneur, no one is going to draw that line for us. We have to draw it ourselves.
For more useful insights to help your work-life, read 12 Mental Health Tips From Successful Entrepreneurs.