“Don’t be afraid to make a fresh start. When are you going to do what you’re meant to do? Keep on going until you get there.” – Candace Bushnell, author, speaking 3/17/16
On St. Patrick’s Day this year, I had the wonderful privilege of being in New York City. For those of you familiar with New York, you know the long-held tradition of the St. Patty’s Day Parade. I was there on that day, for the second time in my life, and I have to say that there is a unique spirit in the air. Everyone–regardless of background, heritage, or skin color–is Irish. It is fun.
On St. Patrick’s Day this year, I also was able to attend a Women’s Networking Breakfast for the organization (DCAT) conference I was attending for my job. The speaker happened to be Candace Bushnell, author of Sex in the City and Killing Monica, among many other notable honors. It was a delight to get to hear Candace speak. Her topic to the ballroom full of women in the Pharmaceutical industry: Societal Limits on Women’s Success. It was wonderful. Below, a few of my notes …
Candace Bushnell on Success
What society says about women’s limits aren’t true. Women get to think for themselves, and if they choose, can have a career. Candace spoke about her mother, who creatively found a way to begin a career when she was school-age. She remembers the juggling of laundry, carpooling, meals. And it’s only gotten more demanding in our busier age. But she saw that her mother benefited from having a career she loved.
Success, Candace says, true success comes from the inside, knowing yourself really well, feeling good about yourself.
Success isn’t about doing one thing and stopping, doing what you love, what you think matters, again and again. It’s about not giving up. How much do you want success? You have to stick with it. And then when success comes, it’s a new challenge. When you have success it means you’re going to change, and success (and change) can be harder than failure.
We don’t respect successful women enough, as a society. A successful career takes dedication. Like being an Olympic athlete, it takes time to develop skills. But what we learn accumulates to add to success. She started as a pencil-sharpener and became a writer slowly, after much failure.
Don’t be afraid to say yes to things outside your skill zone.
Learn to deal with criticism and failure — gets criticized all the time. It’s part of the job. Can be paralyzing. Learn to take in the helpful parts of criticism and put it aside, and be willing to ride out the bumps of failure.
Work with other women as much as possible. “Just don’t talk badly about other women– make an effort to stick up for other women.”
Yes. I agree. And, as I quoted at the top of this post, “Don’t be afraid to make a fresh start. When are you going to do what you’re meant to do? Keep on going until you get there.”