I met the gorgeous powerhouse that is Kendyl Hopley at ProBlogger this year and there was something so authentic about her that I was fascinated. Kendyl is from Bendigo and she is absolutely passionate about where she lives and also a passionate about building community for business women. I was really interested in talking to her about the challenges facing business women in regional areas (some are vastly different and of course many are the same as us here in the city). I asked her to share some of her learnings and her experience with us.
Take it away Kendyl!
1. LOCATION – THE BRIGHT LIGHTS OF THE CITY AREN’T CALLING ME
Being located two hours from major city Melbourne may seem a world away for some however honestly you can have the best of both worlds. Living in Central Victoria, Bendigo offers a vibrant city rapidly growing which offers great restaurants, cafes and great liveability especially for raising a young family. Melbourne is just down the highway, and in a matter of hours you can be amongst the hustle and bustle of the City life.
2. COLLABORATION – WE CAN ACHIEVE GREATER OUTCOMES WORKING TOGETHER
From experience collaboration is not a word that regionally all have embraced. A modern term and modern thinking can somewhat be a foreign and daunting concept for some who can immediately close the door on good ideas and innovation. As a young business woman in a regional city, I know we have a long way to go with this one and a ‘gently gently’ approach may see us turn the corner in time, hopefully sooner than later.
3. WE RISE BY LIFTING OTHERS – WOMEN CAN SUPPORT WOMEN
As women sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. I am a strong believer that we rise by lifting others, and by supporting and helping each other get a few steps ahead is a much better outcome for all women instead of expending energy to step on each other. I recently listened to a well-known business leader of the community make a bold statement on how she would do anything to help other women succeed in business as from her own experiences she knew how hard it was. However, her actions following that presentation days later did not truly reflect her words. Lip service? I think so. Ladies, now is the time to lift others and go around those who are blockers.
4. EMBRACE CHANGE
This one has taken me a long time to come on board with. We often get comfortable with the ‘status quo’ particularly in a regional area. Forcing myself out of my comfort zone and embracing new things has been an exciting journey and certainly opened me up to new people and opportunities I could have missed.
5. NEW WOMAN ON THE BLOCK
It’s not easy being the new woman on the block in business in a regional area, especially for women. A new business can often be seen as threat and fierce competition. It takes time to build and establish relationships in a regional setting. You have to work harder as business is often done through word of mouth, good credibility and a good reputation. Easier said than done but never give up and keep pushing the boundaries.
6. BE AUTHENTIC
This is critical! BE AUTHENTIC in all aspects. Be you, be creative, and don’t steal other people’s ideas to make them your own.
7. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH GOOD LOCAL PEOPLE
Surrounding myself with good people and leaders in the community, good businesses with both male and female has served me well. It’s an opportunity to learn from good role models in order to grow and develop. Regionally, its very much ‘who knows who’, so this is a key step to any success with building strong personal and business relationships along with building a good personal brand.
8. BEING A WOMAN IN BUSINESS IS A JUGGLING ACT
As a mother of two beautiful young children and a very supportive husband life is a juggling act. I don’t believe it matters if you live rurally, regionally or in metro areas, all mothers experience the balancing act, on a uni cycle trying to keep all balls in the air. I have learnt that time management, routine and a good support network are key. Focus on the priorities and sometimes you do just have to say no. I have learnt I can’t do everything, even if I think I can, the balls do eventually come crashing down if you don’t priorities and look after yourself.
9. BE MATCH FIT
As a business women living regionally, you need to be match fit! Now I don’t mean match fit for a game of tennis, I mean match fit for business. Be the best possible version of you, be up to date with current issues, trends and be involved in your community and never stop learning.
10. JUST SAY YES
When opportunity arises, just say yes and figure the rest out later! In my 20s I let some great opportunities pass me by, thinking there will be plenty more. Now, I’m not letting many opportunities pass me by as I now know there may not be another opportunity of its kind and if I don’t say yes, someone else will.
Kendyl Hopley is a Business Broker by day and blogger by night who also finds time to parent two children, coach and play netball. Passionate about rural and regional women Kendyl created a platform to share, inform and collaborate with women on all levels. The beStella blog showcases women at all different stages of their life, career and industries for the purpose of encouraging women to follow their dreams and take a leap of faith.