Wynne Tyree is CEO of an internationally known children’s market research firm. Her clients are some of the largest companies in the world (Think: Lego and McDonald’s.) She’s also a wife and a mom (which is how I know her; our kids are in Tae Kwan Do together.) When it comes to inspiration for other business women she’s full of practical advice.
Here are twelve success building tips she presented to the “Women Empowered” gathering sponsored by the Bank of Tennessee.
1. Know your WHY. Wynne actually had us take a few minutes to write down our personal “whys.” After thinking her son was developmentally late at crawling, she placed a red toy just out of his reach in front of him. Guess what? He crawled! What moves you forward?
2. Specialize. Be an expert at something. Take a cue from the medical world and specialize. “Tell me why you’re awesome in 60 seconds.”
3. Take Calculated Risks. This was my favorite visual as one fish jumped from one gold fish filled bowl into a bowl of water with no fish in it. Be willing to do what others won’t. “99% of Americans swim in the same bowl,” she said. “You don’t regret the things you do. You regret the things you don’t do.”
4. Be Passionated and Contagious. Tell yourself you’re great and you will be!
5. Get Uncomfortable. Sometimes we have to move outside of our comfort zone in order to really grow, learn and succeed.
6. Surround Yourself with Amazing People. Nobody succeeds alone. Move with the people you want to be, not the people who you used to be. Move toward the people who are where you want to grow. Along with that, be slow to hire and quick to fire.
7. Demand Excellence. Wynne said if you’re concerned with an employee who’s turning in less than excellent work, role play with a trusted companion/spouse. If they’re not performing up to par they may not want to be in your company.
8. Know your value and ask for it. Wynne said women often won’t ask for their real value whereas men will ask for “another $10,000 and then go out and play golf together two hours later.” She asked each of us to actually put a pencil to paper and calculate own net worth as we considered the many facets of our work and home careers. Add up the value of each job and then divide by two to get our real hourly rate. When she looked at life like this, cleaning the living room wasn’t quite so important. What is the best use of our time?
9. Stop Multi-Tasking. Learn to Compartmentalize. Multi-tasking is a lie. We actually need to create walls, structure and time frames. Set boundaries with e-mail (and with our kids if we work from a home office.)
10. Be “Selfish.” While that may sound strange, Wynne said we have to first put on our own air masks before we can start saving others when a plane is going down. What “fills our bucket?”she asked. Do more of that to save our own sanity, first.
11. Say “No.” “Remember the trampy girl in high school?” Wynne asked, as chuckles filled the room. “When you’re not so accessible, you have more value. It ups your ante,” she said.
12. Reassess and Course Correct. Check where you are and be willing to make a detour. For example, if after three years your original business plan didn’t work out, let it go and move on.
Which of these tips resonates with you? How will apply them in your business or every day life?
For more information about Wynne’s fascinating market research business visit www.smartypants.com.