Jennifer Maanavi, the CEO and co-founder of Physique 57, recently received the Seventeenth Annual Distinguished Alumna Award from Columbia Business School. As a result, she was asked to speak at the2013 Columbia Women In Business Conference to motivate and inspire other women in the business school.

In this recap from her speech, Jennifer Maanavi offers some insights on owning a business and advice on how to succeed at whatever endeavor you may choose.

1. I don’t believe that a consistent work life balance can be achieved. I have a 1, 4 and 8 year old. I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, colleague, CEO and partner.  I cannot be good at everything all the time.  My view is that I give everyone my attention, just not all at the same time.  The scale tips from day to day but on average it is balanced!

2.  Take care of yourself.  A fit body and healthy diet will keep you confident.  Your confidence radiates to everyone around you – it is a tool and a weapon of success!

3. Understand that a flexible schedule really means that you are at least a little busy all the time.  When people tell you that you are fortunate to have a flexible schedule, they are correct.  I find that those with flexible schedules are the happiest people I know, but they are also the busiest!

4.  Surround yourself with people who support you. My husband, parents, in-laws, sister, friends, co-founder and children all support my ambitions and are incredibly helpful.  As you set out on your journey, don’t for a second underestimate the value of a support network, especially among your loved ones.

5.  While you are in school, pay close attention to what are sometimes called the “soft skills.” Corporate Finance, Accounting and Economics are very important but expertise in these areas will not help you solve a difficult and convoluted business problem.  When you run a business you have to be effective more than you have to be right.  You have to strategize, communicate, empathize, motivate and inspire.  This is what will propel you – these areas will be the difference between success and failure.

6. Finally, Don’t be afraid! Rosa Parks said:

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”

Tanya Becker says:

“You are the sculptor, you are in charge.”

Let’s face it. Women are generally more afraid of success in business. In order to succeed, we have to plan ahead and we must be tenacious.  Be the sculptor!

Seven days a week at Physique 57, we strive to inspire our clients to reach their full potential through our challenging, dynamic and invigorating technique. I am most proud of the fact that my young company is comprised of 98% women who are dedicated to helping women get fit, combat fear and be proud of their efforts.

What is the best business and life advice you’ve ever received?