How do women find opportunities?

How do women find opportunities?

If you want to be successful, there are a few things you need to know.

There are women succeeding all over the world – in every culture, in every country and in every economy. While they face all kinds of challenges to achieving what they desire at work, they don’t let these obstacles stop them.

How is this possible?

I spent the past four years interviewing hundreds of working women all over the world. What I uncovered and revealed in my new book, Undeterred: The Six Success Habits of Women in Emerging Economies, is that women who succeed view obstacles as opportunities. What successful women have uncovered is that if you know how to look for them, there are opportunities everywhere.

Since the theme of this month’s issue of Focus is Asia, I thought you would find it helpful and interesting to meet three women from the region who have creatively transformed obstacles into opportunities:

Look for Problems

For years, Liheng Bai, worked in several different types kinds of positions and companies. She was never sure what she liked or wanted to do until she was exposed to the college counseling field in China. She saw how current providers took financial advantage of the students they counselled. She believed that there could be better way to help students. So, she decided to start her own college counseling business. She began by blogging about the problems in the industry, and becoming an authority on the topic. Parents found her articles and sought out her expertise and more equitable approach to help their sons and daughters. She gained clients through word- of- mouth and her business began to grow. Liheng believes that opportunities are found by solving a problem, finding your niche and becoming an expert. Liheng said that when she paid attention to what she was passionate about, education, she finally found her path to success.

Change the Way You Do Business

Originally from Malaysia, Wee Yen Lim took a huge risk when she moved from Malaysia to Mexico to start a business in the fashion industry. She had so many things to overcome. She had learn Spanish how to become an entrepreneur and how business is conducted in Mexico. The assumptions she made about the demand for the type of business she conceived were incorrect. But, she was not discouraged and she didn’t give up. Wee Yen believes that obstacles are overcome by changing your mindset, and that’s exactly what she did. She found a mentor, a business partner and worked to overcome her shy nature. She reached out to people in the industry and shared her ideas with them. She began to experience success when she pivoted away from her original idea for a fashion swap business to a designer rental business.

Remove the Obstacles You Set For Yourself

Anna Liu, is the Director of Product Marketing at a multinational company in Shanghai, China. Anna was uncertain about what she wanted to do when she graduated from university. Although, she studied literature at both the undergraduate and graduate level, she was always interested in business.

So, instead of limiting herself, she pursued her interests and started working part-time as a market researcher during college for a small Danish consulting company. This led into a full-time job as a project manager working on plans for foreign companies to enter China. After building her knowledge and skills, she was able to get land successively higher level positions in product marketing first with one multinational and then another.

“Your biggest obstacle is yourself,” Anna said. She described that one of her biggest professional obstacles was learning how to operate within the workplace politics. “I overcame it by paying more attention to how senior leaders’ deal with critical issues and learnt from them.”

Like these women you too can identify market based problems to solve, turn obstacles you face into an opportunity and think more creatively about your future to re-imagine what is possible. There are millions of women like Liheng, Wee Yen and Anna successfully navigating their careers and businesses. I met quite a few like them when I was travellinged around Georgia a couple of months ago. Are you one of them? Do you want to be?

For more inspiration from the examples of women in emerging economies around the world and ways to create your own success, look for my monthly column here,find me on Twitter or Facebook or on The Way Women Work or pick up a copy of my book Undeterred: The Six Success Habits of Women in Emerging Economies at Prospero’s bookstore in Tibilisi or on Amazon