Being a Woman in Business

It's International Women's Day! So we sat down with the woman herself, Tara Solberg to ask her about the challenges and triumphs of being a woman in business!

Which women inspired you the most when starting your business?

I'm not sure if when we actually started the business, if there was any one person in particular who inspired me, it was probably more organisations such as Anthropologie. Since going through business and building a business, I've been really inspired over the last few years by Chip and Joanna Gaines and how they've built their business, how they've managed their growth and just the values that they've retained throughout growing their business.

To me, that's really inspiring because they're still very grounded, very family oriented. You can see that they're extremely passionate about what they do – they donate to charity. They've just got such an amazing business, and I really admire everything that they've done.


What are common misconceptions of women in business that you have come across in your TRADE WINS course?

A lot of the women that I speak to in TRADE WINS, I think the biggest thing that comes across to me is the lack of confidence.

A lot of the time women can really lack a lot of confidence in terms of what they think that they can achieve or what they think that they can or can't do.

I think we all need to band together and just become more confident in our ability and in being able to pursue our dreams. In the monthly Q&A sessions, I've experienced a lot of women with a lack of confidence.

After sitting with them for the hour or even ten or 15 minutes of chatting to them they're offering guidance or advice or things that they would do in their situation.

I've had the feedback that it's almost like a therapy session because they've come in, not so confident with their idea or not sure of which direction to go, and they come out afterwards with a clear picture.

What tips do you have for women juggling business and babies?

That's a great question! You really need a good support network around you. Whether that's family, friends, neighbours, babysitters, husbands, all of those people are so important. You need to be able to ask for help, because you can't do everything on your own as much as you think you'd like to be able to.

I know when we had our first child, we thought that child will have to adapt to what we're doing – but it doesn't happen like that. We thought that we could keep going on as we were when we had Jonah. He visited three countries before he was one, but it was really, really tough. So, I think if you can develop a really good support network, whether or not it's helping you with the children or being able to help you in your business. Obviously being able to either outsource or delegate to other people to assist your work load is a huge help!


What has been the biggest challenge as a woman in business and how have you overcome this?

The biggest challenge probably comes back to again, that lack of confidence. Although, I've always I felt like once I get an idea I can really set my mind to it.

I've got a lot of determination and a lot of focus, so that basically gets me through. But, I guess the challenge is I don't like confrontation but, obviously you've got to stick up for yourself in some circumstances or sometimes you might have to be firm.

That's been the biggest challenge for me, but I feel like I've developed my own style in terms of managing and running a business, as well as dealing with challenging customers and clients. I feel like I I have definitely grown over the years in terms of my confidence with that, and also in the way that I manage those situations.



What advice would you give to other women starting in business?

My advice is to definitely don't squash an idea. If you have an idea or a passion, go with it. Trust your instincts. Trusting your instincts is so important. It's basically what Danny and I have grown our business on – our instinct.

But alongside that, you also need to have a good plan and a structure in place so that you can follow your passion and your instinct. But definitely trust your gut. And really, if there is something that makes you truly happy and that's what you want to do, then follow that.

Just have a go, give it a go and take a risk and take a punt, because once you're doing something that makes you happy every day, you can be happy every day for the rest of your life.


What is your favourite thing about being in business?

There are too many things to list! But for me, a big thing about being in business for myself is being able to be flexible in terms of my work routine so that I can work around my lifestyle and my family as opposed to just being there for my business.

Having the flexibility to pick up the kids from school or to take them to after school activities or to go to parent teacher interviews, or maybe an assembly or something that might be in the middle of the day.

I can do that without, feeling guilty or asking for permission because I've built that and I've built my work life around my lifestyle and my family. So that's definitely my favourite thing.


If you could swap lives with another business woman for a day, who would it be and why?

Similar to my previous answer, in terms of which women have inspired me the most, I would definitely swap a day with Joanna Gaines. I really just want to say how she runs such a huge, successful, thriving business.

She looks so calm and relaxed... I would love to know, how they have built their business in terms of who works underneath her? What do those people do? What is her role within the business? How involved is she? How much does she do? How much time does she get to spend with their children?

All of those sorts of things. Danny and I have always been big on mentors, and if I could have somebody like her as my mentor or somebody to say, "Okay, when you get to this level, this is what you need to do, so that you are not kind of doing everything or being overworked or all that sort of thing." I would love to even just have her for the day to speak to. That would be amazing.