The multi-time WWE champion shares exclusive insights to help women in any business excel.
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A guitar, $50 in my pocket, not speaking English; I came to this country as an immigrant dreaming the impossible dream. And there were women before me, and there will be women after me, who continue to be relentless in their chase for freedom of choice. Most of all, I wanted to be able to say, “I did that. I built this. This is me.”
Thirteen-time WWE Women’s Champion and actress Charlotte Flair knows what it’s like to create a legacy all her own — despite the name recognition of her father being legendary wrestler Ric Flair. As we continue to celebrate Women’s History Month — and with WWE’s Fastlane PPV coming up this Sunday at 7 p.m. — I stepped into the ring, so to speak, with the 34-year-old history-maker to tackle what it’s like to be a woman fighting for success. And, hopefully, to motivate women in all walks of life and business to pursue their aspirations with flair.
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How have you overcome pressure and adversity in a male-dominated environment and society to become successful?
I am building my own legacy, and I truly believe that when you find something that you’re passionate about, it shines through. There’s nothing I am more passionate about than professional wrestling, and second to that is my love for the business. Believing there’s nothing that a man can do that I can’t helps me stay focused. People believe in me because I’m passionate about what I do and I am myself. Having the passion to continue to work at my craft, you can’t take that away. You can’t take away passion or love or work ethic or growth. It’s about having the belief that you are equal and that you can do exactly what a man can do. Authenticity is central to success, whether you’re in the ring or in the boardroom.
At your core, what is most important to you as a professional?
I think for me it would be to only focus on competing with yourself, not any opponent. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in what everyone else is doing. But as a professional, what you bring to the table is different from what someone else brings to the table. So if you become your own competition, it’s so much easier to see that when one woman is succeeding, we are all succeeding.
How did you decide wrestling was worth the commitment it would take to be the best?
I chose to fight for my dream because that was the most important thing I could imagine as a fight worth the time, the effort, the heartbreak and the victory. We have to ask ourselves, “What am I willing to fight for? Is this a worthy battle? Am I passionate enough to see this fight through every round?” For me, the answer was yes!
What advice do you have for women entrepreneurs who are fighting for their dreams?
I created this character of this woman that I wanted to be in my real life. It’s OK to succeed. You don’t have to apologize for being successful. You don’t have to apologize for being good at what you do, and I think, as women, we tend to feel like we can’t be all those things, but we are. We’re wives, we’re mothers, we’re sisters, we’re friends, we’re business owners. And having those life experiences to bring to the table, we’re actually more equipped, because with experience comes knowledge. When I step into the ring, even though I don’t feel like a superhero every single day, I am this dominant 13-time Women’s Champion. When I put on my robe and my gear and I lace my boots, I know that.
Related: All Elite Wrestling’s Brandi Rhodes Flexes Her Entrepreneurial Muscle
Any final thoughts?
One last thing I want women to know is that I didn’t start in the WWE till I was 27, and I feel like that’s later in life. So, for women fighting for their dreams: Just remember that your age doesn’t matter. You can change the course of your life anytime. It’s never too late.