Be competitive: "To succeed in business you have to want to win," says Liz Lange, founder and president of Liz Lange Maternity. "Too often, women feel they have to be nice. Don't," says Lange.
It's not about friendship: "Women want everyone to like them but it doesn't really matter what people think of you," says Renee Edelman, senior VP of Edelman. "It's that you get the job done and deliver results."
Stand up for yourself: Restaurateur Donatella Arpaia is responsible for two restaurants and 140 people. "I protect my interests, their interests. If someone is going to mess with that, I cut them out like cancer."
Trust your instincts: Dozens of people tried to talk Lange out of growing her business, now a major force with nationwide distribution at Target. "There are a lot of naysayers out there," says Lange. "Shut out negative noise andgo for it."
Always project confidence: Oscar-winning film producer Cathy Schulman says presentation is key. "When someone asks 'How are you?' don't go into a litany of what's wrong with your life," says Schulman. Instead, present yourself as in control and happy.
Own your success: Say goodbye to fear and insecurity, says Arpaia. Have confidence in your decisions, and make them.
Reach out to other women: When Lange started her business, she called every woman (and man) she admired and asked to meet. "Don't be shy," she says. Schulman begins each day by noting colleagues' accomplishments with a quick call or e-mail. "We don't have golf so create other communities of support."
Insist on being well paid: Don't view wanting money as inelegant or "not classy," says Schulman. "Men make decisions on the bottom line. Why shouldn't we?"
It's OK to make mistakes: When Arpaia realized a business partnership was doomed, she cut ties and moved on. "Don't obsess over things," she says.
Be a problem-solver: If something on Schulman's desk seems difficult to deal with, she tackles it first. "Big problems are an opportunity to grow."