Boss Lady

Women growing in a man’s world – secrets to success


I’ve been reflecting on what it means to be a working woman in today’s world. Growing up, I was lucky. I learnt from the best, my father. When I was a child, he would say to me: “If you want success you have to work hard, be totally committed to what you want and keep on going even when things go wrong. Life can be tough and is not always fair but you are master of your own destiny – do not blame anyone or anything if you do not achieve what you want.”

My father was a successful business man, and this advice always stayed with me. I instil the same mind-set into my two children.

As my years progressed, my list of jobs included working in my father’s business at the fruit and vegetable markets at Rocklea from the age of 15. After getting married and having two children, I coordinated the Mrs Pageant of Australia Quest, before moving over to the real estate industry.

As you can imagine, I’ve run into my fair share of roadblocks along the way. There are all kinds of challenges that come from being a woman in a man’s world – my biggest road block but I don’t let them keep me down – just as my father advised all those years ago.

Here are a few lessons that I hold close to my heart. I hope they help you too, in business and — ultimately — in life.

The key to success

  1. Be driven – I believe this is the inner quality many people lack. It is drive that makes a person not accept the status quo. It is drive that makes someone to not want to be mediocre. It is this drive that brings people to make the jump into being their own boss. It is easy to stay the course in your life; it is much harder to harness your drive and take the leap.

Life is a journey and there are many journeys in one’s life.

  1. Helping others – our greatest successes in life are often found in helping others succeed. This may sound like foreign thinking to a culture that often sees the world as one giant competition. In their mind, there is a set number of winners and losers. And if somebody else wins, that’s one less opportunity for me. But I have come to realise the mind-set of the competition is based on a faulty premise.

There is wonderful freedom in realising the size of the pie is not finite – in reality, the pie keeps growing and there’s a piece for everyone to take.

Another’s success does not mean I or you have less opportunity. In fact, another’s success can actually be our success if we had opportunity to enable, encourage, and promote them along the way!

Accept and move on

The first thing you’ve got to do is accept that you are a woman in a man’s world. And then, you’ve got to work harder and longer hours and dedicate yourself to being the best at what you’re doing.

Give it your all. Be a self-starter.

Find what makes you happy

I learned this at a young age: If you love what you’re doing, you will always succeed because you will love your job.

Find a job that you love, so that you’re a happy person all the time. Plus, happiness is infectious. When you love what you’re creating, chances are your customer or audience will love it, too.

Be kind

I wish all of us women would support each other more. I’ve noticed that women get very competitive with each other. Whatever happened to team work? Help each other. Advise one another. Lift each other up. Watch each other grow in today’s world.

Karma will bite you in the butt every time! I’ve seen it happen; I’ve had it happen. If you’re kind, it swings around and is returned ten-fold.

Does everything happen for a reason?

In retrospect, there are things I would have done differently.   For example, stop being so hard on myself and accept I can only do my best.

Looking back, I know I was put through trials and tribulations but I’m glad I was, because they taught me something.

Did it all happen for a reason? I am not sure… but I do believe in my particular case, all the obstacles I had to overcome made me stronger, wiser and helped me achieve where I am today; a woman working and competing in a man’s world, successfully.

Final words

You can’t look back and you can’t look forward but you can live every day like it’s your last, and plan ahead for tomorrow. Live in the moment and enjoy what you do and have.

About Jan Goetze

Jan Goetze is Co-Principal of Raine & Horne Cleveland with over 27 years in the Real Estate Industry and brings to the business a wealth of experience, strong commercial expertise and business acumen, a moral compass and an inclusive leadership style.

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