I’m talking to you! You know who you are. You are pretty unstoppable in your world.

Whatever it is you’re doing, you make sure you do your best and people notice you. And when you’re best doesn’t work out, you believe there’s something else you can do. In the end, you keep trying. You are a female entrepreneur, which also makes you a diva in my opinion. Now, I used to have problems with accepting the word diva, but this week I started using (and claiming) it and I believe you should too.

Here’s why I believe you should claim the word “diva”:

The first obstacle to owning the word was that I assumed it was not a favorable thing to be called. I associated it with other not so flattering words that made divas seem like spoiled children who threw tantrums when things didn’t go their way. We’ve all read those online articles about female divas in the world of pop music who don’t behave like they’re expected to. But, after many evenings of listening to Beyonce’s song Diva, I decided to fully claim the word. Anyone with me on that?

I was staring at my computer and watching Beyonce dance and I could not get those words out of my head. Over and over I just kept saying to myself “A diva is a female version of a hustla” and even after I was done watching, I played it again and again and again. And for the rest of the day, it became like a mantra in my head. And I said to my husband,  I do hustle. Every day I hustle to launch our startup. And, why can’t I own that? And for me, that was it!

I hear varying views on the term. There are women who never want to be called that word and there are others who embrace it. I know the origin of the word comes down to a celebrated lead female singer who is in fact celebrated because of her outstanding talent. Does this sound like anyone you know? Yes, I’m still talking to you.

We work hard. We go beyond what we (or others) imagine possible. We think beyond the boundaries of what can and can’t be done. That’s why we’re founding companies and speaking at conferences and giving voice to a very human need to create something of deep personal and collective value in our lives.

The thing is, to me being a diva in the business world is about hustling and doing what needs to be done because we know our individual and collective great ideas won’t happen unless we propel them into the world.

And, that takes courage and leaps of faith that are hard to imagine if you’ve never done it. And on top of that, it takes a tremendous amount of self-esteem (the kind that your fake until you make when you pitch your next great idea to the all male lineup of investors) and the ability to take responsibility for your triumphs and your failures.

Uchechi’s 4 Signs that you might just be an entrepreneurial diva:

* If you are willing to take risks on behalf of what you want to achieve, claim the word. If you are conjuring up faith when all else fails, claim the word.

* If you just quit your day job and painted your home office with no success in sight but your imagination of the clients you want to attract from your freshly painted new office, claim the word.

* If you’re ready to help a fellow sister doing what she needs to do to get her business off the ground, claim the word.

* If you’re a connector, an influencer, an entrepreneur, a tech junkie, a girl who codes, a 3rd world girl who dreams of coding instead of sewing or simply just someone unwilling to give up what you were meant to do for someone else’s idea of what you are supposed to do, claim the word.

And guess what? Not everyone will like it. But, not everyone liked when you backpacked through some foreign country right after college, so they’ll get over it. Just make sure you’re taking a minute to help the other divas on your way up! And you know what? Why is it so easy for us to own the things we don’t do well, but the minute we’re great at something we shy away from praise? That’s what I want to know!  Are you tired of shying away from the praise you deserve? Change starts with claiming your talents.

I feel this even more strongly as a Nigerian American woman in the world of tech startups. I’ve been to my share of events, and most people don’t look like me. So, the hustle is on. You with me?

 Claim it! There’s no need for an apology or to feel embarrassed if someone calls you a diva.

It means you’re good. Yes, really good! And it also means that you’ve earned that word.

So, what makes you a diva?

originally published on Thriving Blog

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