– by Lyn Ola, Founder and CEO, Chimes Consulting
Girl, girl, girl
For many reading this word, there may be a little cloud of bias hanging over it; whenever used, the term often comes with a connotation that may make the subject seem little, dainty, or even inferior. But I’m here to reclaim the word and show you what being a girl can really mean.
A Gritty, Independent, Radical Leader. A GIRL.
Being fresh meat in the corporate world is bound to be difficult for anyone, much more for women such as me. Unfortunately, being young, inexperienced, and seemingly less than because of something biological is certainly not far from reality for many girls entering the world of business or trying to make an impact. But that shouldn’t stop us, or anyone really.
When I started out, I did the usual nine-to-five; I set my roots and learned whatever I could about the industry, about the work, and about myself. I was given the opportunity to work with renowned companies such as Deutsche Bank and had several projects at Asian Development Bank, but it didn’t take very long for me to realize this set-up wasn’t the right fit for me. I think most entrepreneurs would tell you that same thing. Once you fully set your eyes on the prize, once you realize you want your time spent on your own dreams and passions, all the risks and obstacles just seem to be worth facing head-on.
I’m not telling you it will be easy as many of the best things in life aren’t. But that’s where grit comes in. Grit isn’t about blind positivity; I’m not here to tell you that everything will be great, and all your dreams will come true magically. No, grit is about doing whatever you can, whenever you can, however you can make it happen yourself. Despite all odds, all the failures, you push through because you know it’s worth it.
For me, I set my eyes on collaboration with businesses and the education of those who share my passion for learning. I decided to integrate my love and expertise in I.T. and Marketing to this and built my company, Chimes Consulting, not only because I’m capable of sharing my knowledge in these fields but because I believe that in the importance of marketing and information to any and all organizations.
Without the right information, organizations would not be able to understand or empathize with the needs and wants of their customers, which is crucial in order to attain their patronage and loyalty. Without Marketing, on the other hand, these groups would not be able to strategize and would not properly reach their intended audience in the first place. Information and Marketing go hand-in-hand in delivering the right value to the right consumers, which is what Chimes stands for: #ITmeetsMarketing.
Being an entrepreneur has its own special kind of loneliness; because everything is in your hands, all the weight is on your shoulders and that can become overwhelming and terrifying at times. But that’s the kind of thing that helps foster a strong sense of independence, an important value to have in business and in life.
I built my business from the ground up. It was a slow, step by step process with more hardships than I can count. It was definitely no easy feat, especially when I was more or less on my own. I needed to learn, to grow, and to work on my business (and myself) to keep it thriving. Chimes certainly didn’t pop up out of nowhere; it came from countless hours of learning and adapting that I needed to decide on my own.
Now, this isn’t to say you should never ask for help, collaborate with others, or learn from people who are far more knowledgeable but what I’m saying is that you need to keep understanding yourself and continuously working on yourself to avoid relying on others. Having others around could drive you forward faster but the thing is you need to ensure that you can still make it on your own. With that, no matter who comes or who goes in your life, you know you have your own two feet to stand on.
The value of independence has truly helped me in staying updated with the ever-changing worlds of I.T. and Marketing. If I relied on getting someone to do all the work for me, I would not have been able to gain the knowledge or experience that I now share; I owe a lot to the mentors and resources that I’ve come across through the years but independence has made me who I am and I believe everyone would benefit from it.
Being different, embracing creativity, and breaking out of the proverbial box is important for anyone who wants to make a name for themselves in the corporate world. There are a lot of risks involved but there are also great rewards to reap as well.
In fact, trends and changes in the industry can force us to change and become radical. A few decades ago, the only distribution channels for most businesses were physical ones and, now, technology and current events are continuously pushing companies to go online and reach their customers through digital means.
In order to do this, however, a business needs to start by being present, significant, and distinct online.
Nearly anyone can be a boss, but many fail at becoming a leader. It’s easy to tell people what to do, when to do it, or even how to do it but the challenge comes in finding ways to help your team members to grow with you and with the business. Maybe for some, the challenge is even caring about those individuals more than they do about the company or of profit. But it is my personal belief that a business cannot thrive if the people in it do not thrive with it.
This is why I love education, why I choose to be a mentor more than I do a boss, why the people I have working in Chimes have made every struggle worthwhile. I get to share with my team my passions, they get to learn from the work that they do, and together we give our clients our best and only continue to keep getting better and better. In fact, I truly believe my team and I fit together like IT & Marketing; we’re each powerful on our own but together we’re an unstoppable force.