Focus, authenticity and collaboration is a recipe for success. Sherry Vaswani shares her top 5 tips for female entrepreneurs.

Sherry Vaswani, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Xalient recently shared her top 5 tips for success to female entrepreneurs at a WeConnect event.

I started my first business, Worldstone, in 1994, not long afer graduating. 17 years later we sold it to a major telecoms player. I learned so much during that journey – about myself, business, leadership – that I couldn’t wait to do it all again when, 3 years ago, I founded Xalient Group, a provider of network services to a fast-growing global customer base.

So what were the most important lessons? Here’s my top 5:

  1. Have an unwavering focus on your end game. It’s easy to get distracted – learn how to say no and how to delegate.
  2. Be authentic, be yourself. This applies irrespective of gender but for women, I think it’s really important to understand that being clear and disciplined in business does not mean trying to be macho and aggressive. Intuition, nurturing and emotional intelligence are assets that differentiate leaders. Add rational analysis to the mix and you have a powerful winning formula. Be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses and balance this with the team you build around you.
  3. Hire the best people with great attitude. Set high standards and be rigorous in hiring. I am surrounded by talented people with the skills and can-do culture that have been an essential part of our success to date. Invest in young talent, provide learning opportunities for everyone and offer flexibility where it matters.
  4. Build and value your network. I’ve always enjoyed networking and building relationships, but only when we launched Xalient did I truly see the power and value of my own network. I received advice and encouragement from so many people, which gave me huge confidence. Having a powerful network is a significant asset and a personal investment worth making.
  5. Carve out time to step back. It is essential to create space and time for reflection. Find space to think big picture, on your own as well as with your team. I practice yoga and meditation; both give me inner strength, energy and a sense of calmness required to be effective and make good decisions in a fast-paced, noisy world. Find your space.

And, once you’ve built your business, use your knowledge and experience to mentor and advise other female entrepreneurs. Giving back in this way is so rewarding and you’ll never stop learning and growing.