Joanna Griffiths On How To Step Into The CEO Role Confidently
By Melissa Houston
Women often face CEO imposter syndrome when running their businesses, and we need to own who we are unapologetic. You need to step into the role of CEO with confidence and do the things that all CEOs do with confidence, like understanding your business numbers.
Being a CEO requires mental and emotional strength. When you are building a company, you need to prioritize your growth and development to step into that role and mindset of a CEO, and a great one.
Joanna Griffiths, founder and CEO of Knix, began her journey ten years ago. Knix is the intimate apparel brand and champion of living unapologetically free. Knix led Griffiths on her path and personal journey of growth. She grew and developed as the CEO, but what often surprises people is that it was only two years ago when she fully stepped into the title of CEO to her business. She gave herself a cutesy title before because she didn’t feel she was “tough enough” for the CEO title.
As many CEOs know, raising capital for businesses is no easy feat and requires CEOs to be fully present in their roles and prepared to answer tough questions from potential investors. Knowing your numbers is when it is most important to be ready for any question that can come your way.
Thankfully Griffiths knew right from the beginning that knowing her business numbers would give her the competitive advantage when seeking funding from investors. Understanding your business numbers helps you have a strong sense of your business. “Metrics and numbers are arsenals to make a case for why your business is viable,” says Griffiths.
A Harvard Business Review article noted the differences between how men and women were questioned on venture capital rounds and indicated that men were positioned to describe how the company would succeed where the women were asked about potential losses and failures.
Knix’s Big Strong Woman campaign with Ashley Graham offers inspiration and courage for women to boldly and unapologetically claim their space in the world.
Griffiths leaves these tips for female founders seeking investment capital to grow their businesses:
Know your numbers
This has to be the number one tip for all female founders, and when you confidently present financial forecasts and scenarios to investors, they will take notice. Numbers don’t lie and tell the story of your business and presenting this knowledge confidently can be your greatest asset.
Have a brand that has a message
When you create a brand that is bigger than yourself and gives back to the world in a way that your business can’t, this will fuel you and your purpose on those days when it’s hard to keep going. When your business is more significant than you and helps others, you know you are showing up for someone other than yourself.
Yes, Knix sells underwear, but it’s not what Knix is all about. Knix’s brand message is to encourage women to show up unapologetically and empower themselves, take up more space than less, and show up every day in significant ways, strong and boldly.
The bottom line is that you are continually facing obstacles and challenges as the CEO of your business as a woman. When you step confidently in your role and operate your business from a place of being true to who you are, which is a big, bold and beautiful woman, you are less likely to hear no’s from others, and they will be more likely to get on board working with you.