Staying empowered - International Women's Day

In celebration of International Women's Day, we were delighted to speak to a number of inspiring and influential women across the UK about what helps them remain empowered and postive in their day-to-day lives. 

Two brilliant businesswomen, Polina Montano and Sam Linter, share their advice with women to stay empowered and achieve daily success: 

Polina Montano is founder of an app, Job Today, that helps young people get immediate, casual employment and starts them off in the world of work. Polina’s path to business success has been anything but smooth, working as a waitress, shop assistant and petrol station manager all while pursuing her dream. On a personal level, Polina is a firecracker with a huge amount of enthusiasm and is a mum to two - having founded her company when her youngest was just one-year-old. 

Don’t let fear stop you 

‘Don't let your fear stand in your way. Sometimes we allow ourselves to become our worst enemies. We speak to ourselves more than anyone else, so make sure the voice in your head is a positive one! Self-pity, fear and not giving ourselves credit are the negative voices that hold us back. Talk to your friends, family, support networks about your fears or hesitations. Are those fears / concerns even real to begin with? Are they based on facts or just fruits of your imagination? Should you even be worrying about them? Sometimes we see limits where there aren’t any. A quote I love is, "Courage is not about not being afraid. It’s about being afraid and fighting it.” I find a lot of comfort in that.

Learn to ask for help 

‘Many us of don't reach out for help - we all want to be superheroes, and we don’t want to burden anyone else. However, talking to people that have experience can actually help you on your path to finding the best way of doing things your own way, and it will get you there faster. Indeed, the simple act of asking for help shows your strength, not your weakness. We all do things differently and to the best of our ability, so it makes sense to find out how you work best by calling on a little helping hand sometimes.’

Celebrate your victories 

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a fulltime mum or a hard-working employee, you should take some time out of your day and look at the victories that you have achieved and pat yourself on the back for it! As human beings we’re more likely to talk about the negatives than the positives. Why not flip the script and start talking about your positive ones! We all need praise and encouragement at times to keep us going. Instead of constantly reminding yourself about your mistakes and the things you handled badly, remember what you did brilliantly and use those moments as a source of encouragement for your next adventure. Life is too short to be too demanding on yourself. So, how about this; take time to celebrate your little victories, and don't just run them over on your way to the next achievement. Take a moment to say “hey, that worked out well, what can I learn from this? How can I do it again?” And allow yourself to enjoy the moment. 

Sam Linter is the Managing Director and Head Winemaker of one of the most successful UK wine estates, Bolney Wines

Sam first trained as a hairdresser and wasn't initially interested in joining the family business. Today, she runs the business alongside her daughter, making an epic mother / daughter business duo. Sam is a fighter - when everyone told her that creating an English red variety couldn't be done she paid no attention and went on to create one of their most successful Pinot Noir’s the brand has seen.

Find your focus 

With our never-ending to-do lists, it’s hard to stay grounded, but it’s key that you find a way to find and keep your focus. Mindfulness has made a huge difference to my life overall. I find mobile apps (ironically) like Headspace help you to learn and practise meditation very simply - even if you have no prior experience. At Bolney, we’re also lucky enough to work at our beautiful estate in the countryside so for me there’s nothing better than getting out into nature to find my focus - even if you’re located in a big city try to find that calming space that will help alleviate your stresses. 

Never stop learning

A hunger and a passion to learn more will set you apart in life. I’m always trying to evolve what I do through learning, including how things work; helping me to better solve problems and also identify some amazing opportunities. Learning can also be a key part to fostering our relationships - whether in the workplace or home. The more we understand - through learning - about someone's background including where they’re from, where they’ve been and what job they’re doing, the better that we can relate, have informed and sensible conversations and even help them to problem solve.