Warning: This post is light, but full of spoilers. If you have not seen the most recent episode of “Game of Thrones,” do not read beyond this point.
Now that’s how you take charge.
The last season of HBO’s ratings juggernaut “Game of Thrones” continues to astound viewers, most recently through its long-awaited episode-length battle between the living and the dead. “The Long Night,” the season’s third installment, showed dozens of main characters fighting side by side for humanity’s future.
Its finale came when the beloved Arya Stark swooped in and delivered a critical blow that not only ended the battle, but also the war against the undead army. (For those who are not fans of the show, trust us — this is a big deal!) It was an earned moment for the younger Stark family daughter, who dedicated years of her life to learning how to fend for herself, growing into a brave, if often brutal, warrior in the process.
She embodies a mix of traits that women entrepreneurs should strive for — even if your work is done far from the battlefield — experts and owners say.
First and foremost, take-charge women like Arya Stark need confidence — after all, it takes true belief in oneself to launch a solo sneak attack on an enemy colloquially known as “The Night King.” Numerous women we’ve interviewed over the years have impressed upon us the importance of believing in yourself and what you bring to the table — especially in a world that can be unkind to women leaders. Cultivate a “belief that you are good enough,” says Martha Silcott, founder of U.K.-based FabLittleBag, a maker of eco-friendly tampon and pad disposal bags. “Good enough to meet your own targets and goals. Good enough to compete with the status quo. Good enough to be yourself and be successful. Good enough to excel.”
Persistence and resilience are also critical for weathering an entrepreneurial journey. Business ownership is tough and full of uncertainty, no matter your gender. Add the heavier domestic and family responsibilities that many women shoulder, and it only gets tougher. Yet millions of women push through and succeed in building businesses. “[E]xtra responsibilities are not justification for setting aside business women under some pretense that they are delicate or distracted,” Kelly Woo of Profectus Financial told Forbes. “Rather, they serve as testaments to the weight we can carry and our ability to act as leaders in all facets of life.”
Deborah Sweeney, founder of MyCorporation.com, stresses the value of vulnerability. Arya Stark gets that, too — prior to reuniting with her family, she had lost touch somewhat with her humanity. But she found renewed strength and purpose in reconnecting with her true self — something Sweeney encourages in entrepreneurs. “For decades, a stereotype has persisted that successful leaders should climb to the top by pushing everyone else out of their way,” she says. “Thankfully, this stereotype is beginning to crack and break. Vulnerability was once taboo — now, it’s natural. At the end of the day, leaders are human beings.”