I am a single working mother to two wonderful children and I can’t stress enough the importance of a good routine in being successful as an entrepreneur and a parent.
How do I manage a busy life as a mother, author and entrepreneur with two offices and two houses in two different countries, three companies, two children, two pets and two books, all without losing my temper or smile? Simply by finding time for myself, to recharge and refresh my mind.
I practise two hours of martial arts every morning, which helps me to relieve any stress, stay focused and maintain good health. As the Latin saying goes, “Mens sana in corpore sano”, translated as “A healthy mind in a healthy body”. This is a motto I adhere too, and I’ve witnessed too many men reaching their 40s or 50s out of shape, losing sleep, with anxiety and no longer enjoying life properly. Having a good routine, healthy diet, plus time to train and empower your mind and body simultaneously, helps you remain balanced. Of course one needs to be disciplined, but I believe everyone has the ability to maintain this lifestyle, taking it step by step.
Another motto I follow is from the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu: “Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” It doesn’t matter if you do something good occasionally; it matters that you do it every day. This is your routine.
I am proud to be a single woman in my forties with two grown up kids. Successful women are usually single by choice, not by chance, as they don’t want to lower their standards. The fact I am successful and rich can also often intimidate men. The common culture is in fact totally wrong as it portrays single women as women who are sad and lacking something in order to feel complete. We should totally reverse this point of view and show how different the reality is.
Self-empowerment is fundamental for girls and for women. Everything starts from this foundation. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one will – especially if you are a woman. Since we were young we weren’t educated to feel powerful and strong, we were instead educated to be humble and kind. That’s how I was brought up, as were billions of women around the world.
Despite the general culture that tends to locate woman only in one sector (they are mothers, they are businesswomen, or they are victims of the system), women can be anything and everything they want. Women just have to believe in themselves and have good role models to look up to. Nothing is impossible, you just need to believe in yourself and to get out of your comfort zone.
If you asked me what my advice would be to young female entrepreneurs, I would say:
- Be bold, be strong, be yourself. People will try to scare you with their fears. You must enlighten them with your strength.
- You were taught that you must be humble and good. I’m telling you to be ambitious, competitive and to never give up.
- No one will offer you anything on a golden plate. Go and get it for yourself. If you want it, it is already yours.
- Believe in your ideas, your gut. People will always doubt you so listen to yourself.
- In a world made for men, be the game changer. Don’t play the game, change the game.
- Being an entrepreneur is pure adrenaline. Enjoy the life in the jungle and be the lion you know you can be.
About the author
Paola Diana is an Italian-born entrepreneur and business woman. She is the founder of Sigillus, which arranges various luxury lifestyle experiences for an elite worldwide network of individuals, and Nanny & Butler, a bespoke childcare and household services agency. In 2006, she founded PariMerito, a network focused on equal opportunities and women empowerment.