Bill Matlockā€”CBS/Getty Images
April 1, 2016 12:32 PM EDT

This piece was written by Reba McEntire for WhoSay

With the end of National Women’s History Month, I’ve been reflecting on what it means to be a working woman in today’s world. Growing up, I was lucky. I watched Mama and Daddy work on the cattle ranch harder than anyone I knew. I saw two businessmen and I learned from both of them.

Years later, my list of jobs became longer than my arm: singer, songwriter, actor, designer, producer, mom, vacationer (ha!), and they go on and on… As you can imagine, I’ve run into my fair share of roadblocks along the way. There are all kinds of challenges that come from being a woman in a man’s world, but I don’t let them keep me down. Here are a few lessons that I hold close to my heart that I hope help you, too, in business and—ultimately—in life.

1. Accept and Move On
The first thing you’ve got to do is accept that you are a woman in a man’s world. And then, you’ve got to work harder and longer hours and dedicate yourself to being the best at what you’re doing. Give it your all. Be a self-starter.

2. Give your best effort in everything you do
My niece, Calamity, is a basketball coach and tells her team, “All I’m going to ask from you is be coachable and give me a 110%.” That’s what I’ve always tried to do. Whether I’m producing a television show, working in a recording studio, or designing my Reba line for Dillard’s, I know that if I take direction and give everything I have, the project will be successful.

3. Find What Makes You Happy
I learned this at a young age: If you love what you’re doing, you will always succeed because you will love your job. Find a job that you love, so that you’re a happy person all the time. Plus, happiness is infectious. When you love what you’re creating, chances are your customer or audience will love it, too.

4. Be Kind
I wish all of us women would support each other more. I’ve noticed that women get very competitive with each other. Whatever happened to team work? Help each other. Advise one another. Lift each other up.

Karma will bite you in the butt every time! I’ve seen it happen; I’ve had it happen. If you’re kind, it swings around and is returned ten-fold. So, be kind.

5. Find lessons in challenges
In retrospect, there are lots of things I would have done differently — thunder, yes! For example, when I started my line at Dillard’s 11 years ago, it was all new to me. I didn’t know anything about creating a clothing line, and I—admittedly—almost failed a couple of times. It was very challenging. Thankfully, Dillard’s hung in there with me and gave me another chance. When my team and I finally learned what our customers wanted, the line developed and grew organically to shoes, luggage, beauty, and more. But before our success, we had to learn a lesson the hard way and get in touch with what our customers wanted. Looking back, I know God put me through trials and tribulations like those because they taught me something and made me a better and stronger person. There was a reason for them, so I can’t go back and change things.

You can’t look back; you can’t look forward. You’ve got to live every day and plan for tomorrow. Live in the moment and enjoy what you have right now, this minute of this day. And remember, my friends: everything happens for a reason.


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