The Women in Business event at K Ba-Nana on November 4th was both refreshing and insightful, offering guests an opportunity to connect with a diverse panel of women who spoke in-depth about their career trajectories and lessons learned along the way. Featured panelists included K Ba-Nana founder Liz Kang Yates, Nordstrom buyer Jillian Peterson, high school English teacher, style blogger, and Sweet & Power series creator Carolyn Yuen Marino, and multi-passionate entrepreneur Brandy Brown of Marabou Design.
The discussion covered a variety of topics including career building, navigating a healthy work/life balance, overcoming adversity, strategies for personal development, and the importance of surrounding yourself with positive people. Here are the top 5 takeaways from the discussion:
1) Listen - If you’re someone who does more talking than listening, it may be time to press pause. Listening is a vital skill for anyone who wants to be successful in business and is especially critical for those who are working in teams. It’s easy to overlook how important the art of listening is, but it is an essential part of building trust in the workplace.
2) Ask for Feedback - As you move through your career it’s important to ask for feedback from colleagues, supervisors and even clients (if applicable) so that you can continue to learn and grow. In the early years of my career it was difficult for me to take feedback because I always perceived it as criticism, but ultimately hearing the feedback and understanding my patterns was a game changer for my personal development. Asking for feedback continues to be a critical part of my success as an entrepreneur. “When it comes to getting promoted, ask how you can step up and take on other things,” says Liz Kang-Yates. “Ask your manager for regular check-ins so that you know if you’re on track or not.” Say good-bye to surprises at review time. If you’re in constant communication with your manager, you’ll know where you stand and how you can improve.
3) Negotiate - As a woman in business, it’s important to get comfortable being uncomfortable, especially when it comes to negotiating. Whether the conversation is about money or the terms of a contract, it’s important to voice concerns upfront. “I frequently send contracts back to clients and ask for edits,” says Brandy Brown, “If the standard payment terms don’t work for me, I ask them to make adjustments.” It’s all about speaking up and finding common ground so that contracts are workable for everyone involved.
4) Schedule time for self-care - Whether it’s weekend brunch with the girls or a spa day at the Four Seasons, scheduling time for self-care is a must. “The business isn’t going to prioritize you,” says Jillian Peterson, “You have to prioritize yourself and the business actually improves when you do.” It makes total sense, because when you’re healthy and ready for anything, it’s much easier to get in the flow. Self-care can come in many forms, meditation, yoga, journaling, taking a spin class, or even stepping away from your desk to have lunch with a friend, they all count and they’re equally important to your health.
5) Enjoy the process. Have fun. - There’s not a singular path to career success. Everyone has a different journey and it’s important to embrace the process and have fun along the way. Try new things, experiment with different methods as you hone in on your craft, and when you find yourself in a downward spiral just remember that Instagram is a highlight reel, not the full, beautiful, messy story.
We want to send a big THANK YOU to each of the featured panelists and everyone who joined us bright and early on a Sunday morning (during daylight savings!) for the K Ba-Nana Women In Business event. If you missed it, don’t forget to sign up for the Gossip & Glamour mailing list to stay in-the-know about future beauty, fashion, and lifestyle events.
K Ba-Nana is located at 2656 NE University Village St. Seattle, WA 98105. Follow along on Instagram @HelloKBanana.