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I was recently approached by an online education company with a request to post a blog entry about what I think is the key to success as a businesswoman.  Initially this question puzzled me. I never really think of myself as a businesswoman – I’m just making stuff I enjoy, maybe getting paid for it and making sure that I answer all the questions that Mr Tax Man has for me. Maybe a silly attitude but ….

Really if I’m honest, the thought of ‘being in business’ is a little scary. Full of grown responsibilities and hard work. That led to the next thought of, well I’ve been doing this for about 18 months now. I’m getting by, things are even beginning to pick up, so would I, by my own standards, count as a success …. I think I would. Most small businesses fail within the first 12 months – I’ve survived 18 months and things are steadily progressing. I put in long hours sometimes, I stress a lot about final products & customer happiness, I’m always panicking about quality control and if *I* would be happy if I brought this item (I’m my own worst crtitic ….) but I’m honestly the happiest I have been in years. So, was my initial assessment of being in business correct?  Probably not.

But anyway back to the question, what do I think is the key to success? I look back to 12 months ago, when I had *just* finished Uni. I was scared, bewildered and confused about what I had to do next. I didn’t know, as a graduating art student what kind of career paths would be open to me. If I’d done teacher training, I would become a teacher. If I had studied law, I could become a lawyer. But I studied Art – what did that mean and what should I do about it?

My response was to write a list – possibilities, what I didn’t want & what I wanted ultimately. I’ve been thinking back to this time and the following 12 months and realised that this was the key instrument to my success. This is the trait that has shown itself over and over again, through my educational career, my working life and now my business life. I had realised that if I didn’t have a strong sense of organisation and liking to be organised I wouldn’t have gotten as far as what I have – I’m convinced of it!

So my answer to the question is Organisation – this is the thing I know I could not function without. When work and stresses are upon me, I write a list. I organise my priorities and then work out what my next move should be. It helps me to focus, to know what I should be doing now. I’m also able to plan in this way, if I have a list and know that I have to complete the items listed by the end of the week then I know that if the list is completed I am able to have this downtime, move on to the next stage of this project, work on the next designing stage of that project.

I think that organisation is skill. I am a firm believer that some people are unable to be organised no matter what they do, they are just naturally disorganised. I’m lucky, it seems to be easy for me to spot the key points to organising the weeks meals, food shops, cleaning plan, holidays and now I can acknowledge that it is the key to my business.

My question to those reading this post is What do you believe is the key to your success – whether it be for home or business life?  Do you believe that there is one trait that has seen you through good times and bad? Before sitting down to consider this post I wouldn’t have said there was one for me, that maybe luck had some part to play, but now I’ve looked at it from a different angle I think not. I think that I can definitely say this was all down to my and my lists.