Beata Drzazga – an entrepreneur, business and life advisor, winner of over 200 prestigious awards and distinctions for both business and philanthropic achievements talks about the power of successful women. Founder of the largest company in Poland providing long-term patient care – BetaMed SA, whose success attracts invitations to lectures at international economic and medical conferences. A woman known as INSPIRATIONAL.
You consider yourself a strong woman, and has your charm contributed to your success to some extent?
Beata Drzazga: Rather, I see the main merit in my character traits. It offends me a lot when I hear how I am judged by my appearance and attribute the label of “blonde” whose beauty helped in success. This is absolutely not the case, quite the contrary. Beauty was often an obstacle on my way, because, unfortunately, there is a common stereotype of thinking that if a woman is pretty, she is probably stupid, and if she is successful, there is a man behind it. And the features that stand behind my causative power in business are actually a strong personality, but above all dutifulness, openness to challenges, self-discipline and ease of establishing relationships with people, courage, the ability to make quick decisions and manage stress if this decision turns out to be wrong. Because if stress keeps us from taking action, then we’re not cut out to be entrepreneurs. I know that I was born with an entrepreneurial streak. In addition, my inner need to improve the world around me does not allow me to rest on my laurels.
Are entrepreneurs born or can you learn to be one?
I don’t believe that you can learn the qualities that entrepreneurs are born with. You can learn the rules of running a business, but with the qualities of an entrepreneur, we must be born.
You preach that business has no gender, and is power feminine?
Beata Drzazga: I am often asked about it during meetings on discussion panels where I am a motivational speaker, because there is a lot of talk about strong women and I invite them. Wherever the subject of women’s power in business is brought up, and it is even said “power is a woman”, I repeat that we should be careful with such a claim, because it sounds too feminist. Personally, I am not a feminist, because I do not support any extreme – neither saying that now is the time of women, nor that today’s men are losers. Fortunately, the truth is that in Poland we have more and more women who develop and manage companies. However, I do not think that it is a matter of women changing, but of systemic changes in Poland – from a centrally managed communist state, limiting the role of women to a housewife or a field or factory worker, to a democratic state in which everyone has equal rights to to perform a role in which he feels comfortable.
Pay injustice is still an issue, unfortunately, but more and more women are joining formerly male-dominated teams and making careers as fast as theirs, with the possible exception of the IT industry. I preach that business has no gender, because I often encounter such prejudices that if I, a delicate blonde, represent my company, then I’m probably just the president’s wife. I convince everyone not to look at what gender is behind the president, founder, entrepreneur, but rather to look at who this man is. Take into account what qualities he has, what experiences and what he has created. I repeat, let us not be guided by gender, but evaluate the broader picture of the situation. I care about a fair assessment of what everyone has created with their work, commitment, vision and creativity.
Unfortunately, I regret that many business clubs still only allow men as members. I hope that men will appreciate women’s power in business and this will slowly change, more and more women will also become members of these clubs. That’s why I try to keep the balance – wherever women scream that they are strength, I remind them of the strength of men, and vice versa. Where men diminish the merits of women, I emphasize the business power of the fairer sex.
Which women are you more attracted to, strong like you or the opposite?
Beata Drzazga: Of course, I feel good among strong and self-confident women, but I emphasize that at the same time they are modest. Such women are classy and can inspire each other, not compete with each other. We draw handfuls from our experiences. I don’t like women who try to disguise their inadequacy with the appearance of strength. I don’t like to brag about my abilities and exalt myself. I definitely prefer to be among strong women, but those who do not impose themselves with their strength. I also have a heart for weak women, I am even attracted to them to be able to somehow support, motivate them to fight for themselves. I am very impressed by ambitious women, but so delicate that just anyone clips their wings, destroys their faith in themselves and their dreams. Then the power of fighting for such women awakens in me, and later I get messages from them that I inspired them to act so much that they started their own companies or got wings.
Do you have your own ways of recognizing people and their intentions? Are you guided by experience or more by intuition towards people?
BD: Both one and the other. I have long since worked out in myself what kind of people I want to surround myself with and which ones to avoid. I can easily recognize it today. I always choose people from whom I can sense sincerity and warmth. I surround myself with positive people and immediately recognize people who are self-interested or dishonest, both in private and professional relationships. I’m sensitive because I’ve been burned many times in the past. But I’d be lying if I said I don’t forgive people’s mistakes and flaws. I can accept people who have both flaws and weaknesses. I know that we are all full of them and that is not the main problem, but our intentions. Bad intentions. I don’t like and I don’t think anyone likes to feel used and if someone tries it, it’s unforgivable.
What are your life values and what motivates you the most?
BD: Humility and empathy come first. My motto is “success is that when you are successful, you still remain yourself”. I am glad that despite all that I have achieved, I am still the same person, I see people, I want to help them. And I want help to always be selfless. I have a lot of humility and empathy in me. And empathy not only for people, but also for animals. I also raised my children in this spirit, because family is another value for me. I always wanted my children to grow up to be people full of respect for other people and a heart for all living beings.
So the fact that it is said that you hug people around you is caused by empathy, or rather care about your image?
BD: I have had this inner need to address people with love, tenderness and cordiality since I was a child. Especially when a person who needs support, warmth or understanding stands in front of me, I feel an irresistible urge to hug them. I also hug my employees because I am very attached to them and I feel that we like each other. Our employees are not our slaves, so if many of them have been with me for so many years and try to do much more than I expect from them, I owe them respect and sympathy, and I show it best with a hug. I also hug my patients in the clinic because I can’t resist not to do it. I look into their eyes and I see their soul. I don’t judge whether they are beautiful, ugly or bland, I just want to tell them directly how important they are to me. I also hug random people, newly met, who broadcast on the same wavelength as me.
Thank you for this sincere female conversation.