It’s incredibly important for women in the workplace to support each other. So says Rapelang Rabana, founder of Rekindle Learning. “Men dominate a lot of industries, and so my advice to female entrepreneurs is that you shouldn’t expect to find external validation for how you see the world and what you want to do and achieve, because more than likely, you’re surrounded by people who are not like you.”
Instead, Rabana advises female entrepreneurs to do the inner work, guide themselves from within, and support each other.
“The way you see the world and your ideas need to work for you. You don’t need validation for them,” she says. “I have invested in doing the inner work for myself through business coaching, working with a psychologist, a kinesiologist – I’ve aligned my inner aspirations and ambitions with how I live day to day. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it.
“The biggest liberation for me is that doing the inner work frees me to operate in any environment, I’ve already reflected on what works for me, what gives me joy and why I am here, I don’t need to wait for someone in the room to validate me. This gives me tremendous freedom to explore and go into spaces. Once you have this realisation, you step into your own power.”
Rabana is clear that this shift didn’t happen to her; instead she made conscious choices to do the inner work.
Mind, body and energy alignment
For neuroscience coach Tanya Kunze, inner alignment requires the body, mind and energy working together. According to Kunze, the mind is our rational brain, the body is our physical being, and the energy body is inextricably linked to feelings.
“For many of us, these three bodies aren’t aligned. Our minds are conditioned in one way, and so we end of doing things that don’t speak to our emotions or our energy body. I believe that much of the stress we experience and discontent in our lives stems from this misalignment.”
In 2011, Tanya’s world view shifted. “It all started when I was employed at a large corporate. Although the people were amazing, the salary was more than enough and the expectations of me were reasonable, at the risk of sounding ungrateful, I was deeply unhappy and empty inside. I knew there was more for me out there,” she shares.
“This unhappiness eventually drove me to look deep within myself and I realised that I wasn’t living a life of purpose. What that purpose looks like changes from person to person. What’s important is recognising if our three bodies are in alignment, and that we’re being true to ourselves, our values and our purpose.”
This firm focus on purpose has allowed Tanya to walk into rooms filled with people who don’t believe in ‘soft skills’ and change their minds. “I have the confidence to ask for a chance to prove my methods and I stick to my guns. The key is to have confidence in my methods, which I do. I’ve walked this path, which enables me to help others find their true potential.”
Your inner game begins with an authentic narrative
When Kate Moodley, author and franchise director at Discovery, began her authentic leadership journey by registering for a Harvard course of the same name, her goal was to gain a greater understanding of herself.
“When you understand the foundations of authenticity – and authentic leadership – you start to understand your own narrative. It was a fascinating journey, because we uncovered what has influenced us to become who we are as individuals and leaders,” she says.
“The psyche of understanding myself, the decisions I’ve made in my personal life and professionally, and how I treat people have coalesced into a much stronger appreciation of potential as a leader, a mother, an entrepreneur and woman.”
During what was arguably one of the most accelerated years of change, 2020, Moodley leveraged this enhanced self-awareness to accept that things had changed and that she had no control over a pandemic, but that she did have control over herself, her ability to evolve, and her opportunity to support her team to do the same.
“When we discover and embrace our own potential, we are well positioned to help others do the same, which is what I want for myself as a woman, a mother and a leader.”
Working with female entrepreneurs to build better businesses
Partnerships are one of the foundations of entrepreneurial success. At Sasfin, we not only partner with innovative entrepreneurs ourselves, but we support the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The more entrepreneurs work together and support each other, the greater the growth within the sector. Who are you partnering with, and how are you reaching out to your fellow entrepreneurs?