Amid in Autumnal Tallinn in September, the American Chamber of Commerce in Estonia held one of their most popular events, Women in Leadership.
Women in Leadership event series is created to celebrate the success of women in business and to inspire smaller entrepreneurs to take bold steps in their path to success. I got an invitation to this wonderful event thanks to Future Heroes, who asked me to report about this event a bit and to take with me some good advice that would inspire others who are just starting to find their right path.
The event was held in a lovely, spacious museum called Vabamu. During the 1-hour of the event's predominant part, guests had the opportunity to listen to many inspiring stories and to ask questions. Two of the speakers were Estonian - Kristi Täht and Kristel Kruustük, and two of them Finnish - Elina Kivioja and Carola Teir-Lehtinen. All of the four women had different background stories that taught us how to rely on yourself and get through anything, even if getting through means letting go of something important.
Elina Kivioja hadn't thought of herself as an entrepreneur, until becoming a mother. While raising her children as a single mother at a young age, she learned how to prioritize important things in life and how to be a leader. She noted that one of the things that helped her to rise on the work ladder was the ability to take skills she had used or learned in her previous job to her new job. That's why she is so successful in the energy work field, although she has a background in communications. Through being able to use the many skills she'd gained through life, she was more insightful of different problems and solutions, thanks to her diverse history. Kivioja's words of advice were to believe in victory because inevitably, it will lead you to victory.
Kristel Kruustük found out what she wanted differently. She discovered her fate through a series of lucky events. From getting a recommendation from her friends to study IT to trying out testing as a job, Kruustük found out that testing was what made her heart skip a beat. Although she'd never considered becoming an entrepreneur, thanks to her love for testing, it seemed that the creation of Testlio was inevitable. Her words of advice to starting (and continuing) entrepreneurs are to be courageous and dive in!
Already at the beginning of her work career, Carola Teir-Lehtinen knew where she was headed. She was bold enough to write to different CEOs for a job offer, which landed her a job in one of Finland's biggest companies.
Later in her life, she felt a need to promote female entrepreneurship in Finland, so she created Diamanten - a female networking club. Carola Teir-Lehtinen wanted to mix different women in business and help starting entrepreneurs by offering a mentoring program at Diamanten. Her advice is to socialize as much as you can because she believes that connections and networking are very important for success.
Kristi Täht had an entrepreneurial drive in her from a young age. Already at 17, she knew she was going to be a businesswoman. She began her path by selling foreign goods at school to other students and continued her way by soon starting a sewing company. Her initial success was based on sewing clothes to companies that didn't have sewers. Although many people told her she wasn't going to make it, she proved them wrong. An example of her perseverance - she didn't give up and pursued Ralph Lauren 9 times until she finally got a deal with them. Today Täht is the owner of many companies, most popular of them being Qualitex.
It was inspiring to see that although the paths of these women have been very different, their mindsets were very similar and goal-oriented.
Some words of advice from the four businesswomen for a starting entrepreneur:
● Know your strengths
● Stay true to yourself
● Be goal-oriented
● Think where should you spend money, don't throw it around recklessly
● Set expectations
● Be humble and kind
● Surround yourself with good people
● Remember to take care of yourself and your health