By Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO of WBENC
“Does this spark joy?” That is the question pre-eminent de-clutterer, author, Netflix star, and the latest cover feature of Professional Woman’s Magazine, Marie Kondo, recommends you ask while determining which possessions in your home to keep and what to give away.
The premise is to only keep items that truly spark joy, allowing you to focus on and appreciate the things that matter most – and get rid of extra clutter in the process. This has proven to be a successful way to tidy up a house, but Marie Kondo’s approach to organization has broader lessons for all of us in how we network, prepare, and do business.
As the nation’s leading certifier of women-owned businesses, WBENC is a conduit for thousands of business connections made between certified Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs) and leading corporations and government entities. Throughout the year, we work with women business leaders around the country to expand their capabilities and scope, strengthen their leadership skills, and ensure they have the tools and resources to grow and succeed.
With that experience and perspective, here are some pieces of advice to help women entrepreneurs take the lessons of Marie Kondo and apply them to their business.
Simplify & Focus
Decluttering your house is one thing; decluttering your to-do list is another. But Marie Kondo’s message is a helpful reminder – is what you are doing truly providing value? Are you focusing on what matters most to your business? In our executive education programs, we frequently remind women business owners to work “on” their business, not “in” their business. This helps reshape the perspective, allowing these talented entrepreneurs the space to focus more on strategy and growth.
Stay Organized to Fuel Opportunities
Staying organized is not about keeping a tidy desk – it’s about putting yourself in a position where you are prepared to pitch your business and discover business opportunities at every turn. At our two national events – Summit & Salute in March and the National Conference & Business Fair in June – business opportunities await around any corner. Many WBEs spend weeks, if not months, getting organized and prepared to meet with potential clients and buyers, understand their needs and challenges, and customize their business pitch and differentiators.
Innovate & Lead
Marie Kondo took the world by storm because of her innovative approach to organization. She identified a unique challenge, developed a specific and tailored solution, and now has achieved great success and notoriety as a pre-eminent organization expert. There is a lesson in this for all business owners as well. Innovation and leadership, when paired together, often beget success. Whatever your business, ensure you are providing a unique, innovative solution to a problem your clients or customers are trying to solve, and then demonstrate that you are the leader in that area. In other words, become the Marie Kondo of your industry. Another way to spark joy and business? Join us in Atlanta from June 23–25 for the 2020 WBENC National Conference & Business Fair, the largest event of its kind for women business owners. Learn more and register at conf.wbenc.org