Smita Shah Has Some Advice for Aspiring Women Entrepreneurs

Smita Shah, President and CEO of SPAAN Tech is a Professional Engineer and industry expert who wants to empower other women in the workplace. Her philosophy is that talent is genderless, and she hopes to see more women in the feilds of work generally occupied by men. In a piece in the Premier Gazette, Ms. Shah’s 10 Best Practices are laid out as a guide to other women hoping to achieve her level of success. Learn more:

Here’s a quick summary of those 10 Best Practices.

1) Ms. Shah asks you first and foremost to believe in yourself. It’s a familiar mantra often used as a jumping off point for empowerment. But Shah gets a little more specific, saying that you should give yourself the same credit that you would to your employees. 

2)Shah believes that women must become more assertive, which is generally seen as a masculine trait. She asks women to overlook what they’ve been taught about politeness, and go for what they want.

3)Along with being more assertive, Ms. Shah emphasizes the importance of a commanding appearance and first impressions.

4)Shah reminds women to take the credit they deserve. Just as importantly, she asks that women be an example to other women, and show them how you obtained your success.

5)Number 5 is pretty straight forward advice–live in the present and focus on short-term goals.

6)Shah says to refuse stereotypes. She believes women should not only avoid being servile, but also refuse special treatment. 

7) Piggybacking on number 6, Shah recognizes cultural factors are at play in women’s ultimate success. Ms. Shah notes that women have to work harder to get recognition, so you have to be willing to step outside of your comfort zone. 

8)Demanding respect is key. One way to do this, according to Ms. Shah, is to make others address you by your title and not your first name. This makes it clear that you’re in charge. 

9)Number 9 is just great business advice for anyone, but may play a more significant role for women. Shah says to not be afraid to delegate tasks. This way, you won’t bring your work home with you. 

10)Time management is especially important for women, according to Shah. She asks that you take time for rest to make sure you avoid burnout. 

Women can look to this formula and see Smita Shah as a living example of its effectiveness. Not only is Shah a CEO of an engineering firm, she is the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, a civic leader and strategic advisor. Her company received recognition from Inc. Magazine as One Of The Fastest Growing Companies. She is a keynote speaker,and has served under White House administrations.

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