Reflections written by Lyn Hawkins, Director – Business Women Australia.

The Business Women Australia team is busy working to get everything underway for our flagship event, Women on the Rise 2016. It is my favourite events in our calendar as the women nominated are all so interesting and successful. They truly deserve to be celebrated.

It is important to give recognition; and peer recognition is one of the most beautiful experiences anyone can have.

I have been dwelling on what success looks like, and how we recognise it. We all have different definitions of success. For example, in early English language, success was simply a noun for an outcome, good or bad i.e. the good or ill success of their expedition. In today’s use of the word, success is attached to a positive result or triumph. For some it can be wealth and power, for others it is choices. And for many it is to make the world a better place and impact on problems actively leading change.

As women in business, success is often to build companies ethically, to keep teams employed and income steadily growing. I have noticed that some of us; especially those who have left corporate life to start their own businesses, describe success as being true to your “why” – to be present in the moment and grateful of here, and now.

Success is clearly experienced differently by each of us. And how we define it does change over our lives.

I remember being a young student, thinking I will be successful when wearing a power suit and in the boardroom, impressing everyone with my wise ideas. When I achieved that goal, I shifted my views of success. I wanted to be like the male mentors I had, to juggle a career and family, and to listen more. When I was a mum of four tiny tots, no longer able to balance corporate life and parenting, I viewed success as ‘letting go’ to be with my young family. I redefined my success as being vulnerable, giving permission to others to support me. And be happy with the fact income had been replaced by wiping bottoms, and snotty noses rather than performance reviews attached to a bonus!

When we consider our own success, our natural reaction is to critique it. To immediately think how we can improve, and focus on how to fix the flaws. Often when we finally achieve something we’ve been working long and hard to achieve, we immediately focus on the next goal and the next plan. That’s not a bad thing; staying focused and driven keeps us growing. However, we need to stop and enjoy the successes we have. Take a breather and reflect. Be aware of our achievements, what we’ve learnt along the way and learn to smile at our journey; to pat ourselves on the back for a job well done.

If you’re an entrepreneur or building a career, you will be juggling all aspects of your life while striving toward a set of goals.

Now, ask yourself, when will I be satisfied? Remind yourself, the joy is in the journey.

It is with this spirit of joy , reflection and celebration that we will toast the achievements of all women in business at the 2016 Women on the Rise. The three women chosen by the judges, who have been nominated by their peers, are truly outstanding and inspiring. They are humble and hardworking, focused on taking others with them on a journey of growth. They should be proud of their success, however they define it.

Alison Balch, owner of Halo Communications has built a growing business employing a great team of young women, which she operates with absolute integrity and a real focus on helping everyone around her. (Pictured top left)

Kalyn Fletcher not only manages two businesses, the RB Dessert Seed Company and Hoochery Distillery while juggling the needs of three boys, she is a vocal advocate for the Ord River region, bringing opportunities to the wider community. (Pictured central)

Jay Crisp Crow, whose business is called Crisp Copy, is an entrepreneur who inspires women to live their dreams, tell their stories, build their confidence and discover their strengths. (Pictured top right).

The Women on the Rise 2016 celebrations are a fabulous way to round off a phenomenal year of growth for Business Women Australia. Our expansion to new locations in Perth, the regions and Victoria is due to the hard-working leadership and operations team, together with our members, sponsors and supporters, whose generous spirit makes it all possible.

Let’s toast the achievements of all women in business and hear the stories of these amazing three women as they are interviewed on the panel.

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