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Success in Business and Sports: Listening To Your Own Voice

October 11, 2017

Business inspiration, advice and tips for women entrepreneurs and female business owners

The chamber of historic Sheldon Hall was bustling with twenty year olds filling the room. Books sales were taking place in the entrance of the lobby. Lights were dim. An announcer asked everyone to take their seats. A single chair was staged on the auditorium raised platform with only a white backdrop behind it. It felt like an important conversation was going to take place and it did.

Enter stage right ESPN columnist, panelist and bestselling author Kate Fagan, guest speaker at the SUNY Oswego’s I Am Oz Diversity Speaker Series to speak to the audience. In her memoir, “The Reappearing Act: Coming Out on a College Team Led by Born Again Christians,” Fagan reveals how she lost motivation to play basketball at the University of Colorado and how close she was to walking away from her full scholarship until self-acceptance, and embracing her inner truth about being gay stopped her from leaving the sport she loved.

Kate’s overall theme to the audience of young sport writers, communication majors and athletes was to “make sure you know your own voice and nobody else’s” because it will propel you into a future only meant for you. The misconception of people trying to get ahead by imitating other people’s words, actions and beliefs leads to failure. Fagan said, “What ESPN, and the world, is looking for are people who know and understand their unique voice that makes them who they are.”

Imitation in business ends up producing the same response. Companies can copy another company’s success but in the end lose their way because they lose their voice and unique perspective, style and delivery in the marketplace. Following other women’s success strategies can be wise as long as you don’t try to replicate everything they did to bring your own company success. You must have a unique position in the marketplace or a specific niche that only you can serve. “Use your unique voice,” Fagan said.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to remind you just that to use your authentic spirit in running your business. Act, speak and be the truth of who you are because you can’t be anyone else but yourself. This doesn’t mean you can’t learn from others in business or life. True success will arrive because you found, know and speak the truth of who you are, why you are in business and what you are passionate about changing in the marketplace. If you have lost your voice, then consider Kate’s book title “The Reappearing Act” and find it again.

There is time to rework your marketing materials, business plan and entrepreneurial spirit if you look inside and listen to what you really want to accomplish as an entrepreneur or woman in this one life of yours. Make the decision to listen and use your unique voice.

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