5 Tips for Becoming a Successful Woman in Business

Tip 1: Define YOUR "Success"

WSU Executive MBA Online female students standing outside at leadership conference event.

What does YOUR "success" look like? Yours may be different than what is the traditional definition of "success". For some, it may be defined by money or influence. For others, a philanthropical or environmental mission. Maybe it's a combination of both. When you're at the end of your "career," what is in your portfolio of accomplishments? Where do you live? What friends do you have? Do you have a family? All these factors play into your definition of "success".

For example, I have a visual definition of "success" in my mind that encompasses all I want to do and become. I visit this simple scene every time I am faced with a difficult decision or pivot point. My following tips are based on my own personal definition of "success".

Again, my definition of “success” may be different than yours, and you may want to consider how these tips fit with your own vision.

Once you know what your goals are, don’t take “no” for an answer.

Tip 2: Build Your Team

Be wary of people who put you down, or leave you feeling uninspired . Instead, surround yourself with people who will enable and encourage you to achieve your definition of success.

Tip 3: Equip Your Brain

Set aside time for learning. Learn whatever skills, techniques, or information you need to achieve your goals. Always keep your mind open to learn something new.

Tip 4: Be Yourself

In the early days of my career, I felt like I had to be one of the "guys" to fit in and get ahead. This was especially true when I worked in the male-dominated industries. When I transitioned into non-profit education (female-dominated), I realized how much more productive I was. What changed?

I spend less time thinking how I should act, and more time getting things done. 

By letting my super-sparkle-self shine, I find others are more willing to let their own individuality glow. I truly agree with the power of a diverse approach and have plenty of examples of how different minds saved projects from failure.

Yes, bias still exists, but thanks to the rise of skilled individuals who work unabashed by who they are, I believe we will incrementally see a more inclusive professional environment.

Tip 5: Have Fun


  1. Having fun is much more enjoyable than not
  2. You're more productive if you're enjoying what you do
  3. Fun is contagious, and you will likely increase the enjoyment and productivity of others around you if they see you having fun

Go catch your dreams!

By #CougaMBAssador Karli Barich

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