Every year, thousands of women, worldwide, start their own businesses. These woman take their passion and find a way to monetize it and share it with the world. Not all of these startups are in the technology industry, but more and more women are jumping into the “tech men’s club.” I am one of those women.

Since I started on my career journey, the workplace has changed. Where women were once relegated to the role of secretary or assistant, they have now become a force to be reckoned with at all levels of corporate America. However, there are only 24 female CEOs on the Fortune 500 list.

” As the Owner and CEO of BlackHawk Data, I didn’t get here by accident and I didn’t do it alone. But I did have to step out of my comfort zone and follow my calling. With support from my friend and fellow entrepreneur, Jason, I took a chance, stepping off the ledge and finding myself elevated to a higher level of confidence, empowerment and responsibility than I ever had before.”

Read more about BlackHawk Data’s start, here.

Part of the responsibility I have as CEO is to not only lead my team to success, but also invite other women to take a chance on their dreams and lead.

Rewrite the Rules

Those who came before us wrote the original rules for business. Look at your history books and you’ll see the names of several famous and successful business men. Need more proof, check out an episode of Mad Men to see the clear delineation in the roles of men and women. Once you know the rules, then you can change them. Don’t forget it’s your business, you make the rules now!

Push Through Adversity

Believe in yourself. Those three words seem so simple, but I know that when you’re at a conference or in a business meeting, and you feel like the only woman in the room or are, it can be daunting. Trust in your own abilities, they got you this far. If your ideas are different than those around you, then speak them proudly since that is what drives your success. When I started BlackHawk Data I wanted to create a unique approach to technology — offering the right solutions to meet customer needs and building long-lasting relationships with vendor partners they can trust. I have created a company culture that does just that.

Openly Receive Support

I found immense support in the business community, from an array of advocacy groups for women business owners and entrepreneurs — WEBNC — to federal, state and local government certification opportunities to other female CEOs in tech and other traditionally male-dominated industries. No matter that the grand myths portray the iconic businessmen of yesteryear as solitary, invincible figures, they’re just myths. Every leader has benefitted from the support of others. It’s not a sign of weakness, but a strength to be willing to let others help you.

Build and Contribute to Your Community

Getting support also means giving support. Being a part of a community of women leaders enables you to share your knowledge of achieving success and learn from those around you. I value the women in my community who, like me, left their jobs to pursue a dream of entrepreneurship. Together we can learn from one another, provide support for each other and help mentor the next generation of women and men to become successful leaders, in whatever field they feel called to.

Share Your Success

Use your success for the good of your community. We’ve partnered with a non-profit organization to donate technology equipment for the foundation’s office staff and helped them meet the needs of the community. This is very important to me. It’s my chance to pay-it-forward and help others in need benefit from my success. In the future, we’re looking for other ways BlackHawk Data can get more involved in giving back to our community.

About BlackHawk Data

BlackHawk Data is focused on delivering the best solution for the customer from design to support. We ensure that every solution not only is the best on day one, but for the life of the system. With the BlackHawk Data deploy and support model, the customer avoids the pitfall of only installing solutions that can be supported with their staff’s current knowledge, instead of the best available.