I love a good television series – political drama (I need to catch up on the latest season of House of Cards), sci-fi thriller (can we speed up the slow suspense on The Walking Dead please!), a period drama (Downton Abbey, tear – I still can’t believe it’s ending) – basically any show with great character development and a good story line. Since diving head first into entrepreneur life I haven’t been able to keep up with my shows like I used to. I tend to DVR everything and watch an episode or two here and there. I am a faithful Game of Thrones (GOT) watcher. And before you ask, no I did not read the graphic novels and I probably never will. It’s the only show I watch regularly on the night it airs because:
- I don’t think I’d be able to avoid the spoilers.
- I don’t think my heart could withstand more than one episode at a time.
GOT isn’t for the faint of heart …and neither is entrepreneurship. In both cases there always seem to be some world shattering, course changing event right around the corner. SPOILER ALERT: I love the the bad-ass female characters on the show. They’re strong, confident, driven and they don’t back down from what they believe is right. Daenerys Targaryen blew me away this week, as she often does. I sat in my recliner with my mouth hanging open as Daenerys emerged naked and unburnt from a flaming temple after burning the leaders (Khals) of the Dothraki people alive and establishing herself as the ruler of their people. As she stood there completely naked watching the masses bow down to her as their queen (or khaleesi), I couldn’t help but crack up at her sheer boldness.
Daenerys was captured by the Dothraki people and the Khals had been meeting to decide whether she should live out the rest of her days with the other widowed Khaleesi or if they would pass her around as a play thing. (I know, crazy right?) Instead, she killed them all and took their kingdom. If you think about it, conquering nations is hard to do and so is being a successful entrepreneur. There are some key things (other than being fire proof) that contribute greatly to Daenerys’ success – some key pieces of swag that every female entrepreneur should master.
- Clear Purpose – From the beginning of the series Danaerys has known exactly who she is and what she was meant to do. As an entrepreneur you have to have the same clarity of purpose. Otherwise you’ll be easily distracted, easily discouraged and easily defeated.
- Unshakable Commitment to Your Purpose – There have been ups and downs but Daenrys’ never falters. She is laser focused on reclaiming the throne. Every step she has taken has been strategic and designed to help her fulfill her purpose. Each goal she sets is in complete alignment with her larger vision. It’s easy to get distracted with tasks and activities that do not help a business grow. Take a quick minute and do self assessment. What’s your purpose or vision for your business? Now think about how you spend most of your time. What are your daily, weekly and monthly goals? Are they bringing you closer to you purpose or leading you away?
- Wise Counsel – From the start Danaerys has had a few trusted advisors around her. They experts in their respective fields and they usually have her best interest in mind. She understands that she can’t reach accomplish her goals without help and that is where many entrepreneurs fall short. How much time have you wasted researching something or tackling a problem only to find out that you actually know someone who has the skill and expertise to help? Make a list of the things keeping you up at night. Then take a moment – look through your Facebook friends and LinkedIn connections – and think about who you know that can either help you or introduce you to someone who can offer some assistance.
- Confidence – One of the things I love about Daenerys is that she always hears her advisors out but in the end she trusts her instincts, even if everyone else is saying something else. Studies have shown that female entrepreneurs exhibit less confidence than their male counterparts even when we know we are right. This can’t continue. This is your business, your vision. You are creating it from the ground up and there are things you know and understand about what you’re doing that can’t be explained. Trust your gut. For every new disruptive business that exists today, there was an army of people out there saying “this will never work”. What if those entrepreneurs had listened? How would the world be different? For one, I wouldn’t be able to catch up on my shows on Netflix! Don’t put other people in the driver’s seat of your business. Be self-assured and trust yourself to make the right decisions.
- Boldness – Daenerys. Is. Bold. The Khals were laughing at her – threatening rape, torture, slavery and death – but Daenerys stood her ground. She looked them in the eyes and told them how small minded they were and how they lacked vision. She said, “None of you are fit to lead the Dothraki but I am. So I will.” They laughed at her and offered more threats. Minutes later they were all dead and Daenerys emerged as leader of the Dothraki people. Now, that was a boss move. How do you talk about your goals and your business? Are you apologetic and uncertain? Or do you stand boldly in your purpose and declare your intentions? Are you asking permission to be great? Or are you comfortable with your brilliance as you walk boldly toward your end goal?
At the end of this week’s episode Daenerys stood fully exposed in front of a nation of people. She didn’t shrink away. She didn’t avert her eyes. She didn’t flinch. That’s what we do as female entrepreneurs every day. We are raw and exposed as we chase our dreams. We are vulnerable as we share our vision with the world. We combat negativity from some who just don’t get it and others who doubt us because of who we are or who they think we are. We deflect doubt from people who think we know less or can do less because we’re women. Don’t shrink away. Don’t change course. Don’t flinch. Take a page out of Daenerys’ book. Be bold. Conquer nations. Live your destiny.