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Advice I Would Have Given My Younger Self

Do yourself and your business a favor early on; connect with people who will support you with cheers and a shoulder to cry on. -- Avkin CEO Amy Cowperthwait

By Amy Cowperthwait, CEO of Avkin

You. Have. Arrived.  

You are your own boss. Your business is getting off the ground. Your dream of being an entrepreneur is coming true. So, what could be standing in the way of helping you get to that next level of success? Of achieving your next goal?

You. You may be your own worst enemy.

Here are some tips I learned along my journey and things I wish I would have known when I began my own path a decade ago: 

Silence (but address) your inner critic – As women, we fight the inner voices that are constantly telling us we need to do more, or we're doing it wrong, or we're not experienced enough. We hold back, trying to compensate more in order to hopefully, one day satisfy our inner critic. Instead we need to silence it. When you have an innovative idea, the inner critic can become louder than the idea. So, you work harder at perfection instead of just presenting a viable product and getting feedback. Don't overcompensate. Don't nurture the critic, put your idea out there and seek feedback from others.

Stay focused, not overwhelmed – Your brain is always on, and it's usually two steps ahead of everyone else when it comes to explaining your business. So, when you're presenting an idea to a customer or business associates, be very clear about your messaging.'They have not been walking the same path so they will need a clearer message than you think and more time to process the information. Share what you're passionate about but, remember they may not be as passionate as you are about the idea.

Surround yourself with champions – Gather people around you who aren't like you but who will give you their honest opinion - and will be your champion when you need it most. By connecting yourself with people who will support you with cheers and a shoulder to cry on, you'll be doing yourself - and your business – a favor early on.

Sit down (aaahhhhh….) and read a book – My two resource recommendations for women about leadership are "Playing Big" – Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create and Lead," by Tara Mohr, and "Stiletto Network: Inside the Women's Power Circles That Are Changing the Face of Business" by Pamela Ryckman. If you want to learn about how women can realize their dreams, lift each other up, and be successful in business, then these are for you.

No matter where you are in your own personal or business journey as a woman, know this: You are capable of achieving what you want. Listen to your best self and good things will happen.

Amy Cowperthwait is a nurse educator, inventor and CEO of Avkin wearable-technology for patient-centered simulation. Based in New Castle, Delaware, the Avkin mission is to imagine, create, and provide products that improve the learning experience and education of future healthcare providers.

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