Entrepreneurship is not for everyone. It comes with its fair share of challenges regardless of your gender. From defying social expectations to dealing with funding problems, building a support network to balancing work and life, female entrepreneurs must handle all that and much more. Even if they manage to overcome all the odds, they rarely get the attention they deserve.
In this article, you will learn how successful women entrepreneurs achieved business success.
15 Women Entrepreneurs Share Their Secrets of Success
1. Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey thinks that women entrepreneurs should look at failure as an opportunity to learn. That is why she encourages female entrepreneurs to “Go ahead, fall down. The world looks different from the ground.”, “Turn your wounds into wisdom.” She also advises young entrepreneurs to forge their own luck. According to her, “Luck is a preparation meeting opportunity.”
2. Arianna Huffington
Arianna Huffington, the founder of Huffington Post, wants women entrepreneurs to be fearless in their approach. “Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it, the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.” Even if you fail, you will learn a lot and improve.
Focus on understanding the failure as it can lead to success. She said, “We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.”
3. Sheryl Sandberg
Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, urges women entrepreneurs to be positive and stop focusing on negatives. When you focus on positives, you can find ways to turn things around. She once said, “Knowing that things could be worse should not stop us from trying to make them better.”
4. Sara Blakely
Founder of SpanX and one of the youngest self-made millionaires in America suggest that female entrepreneurs should make mistakes and stop fearing failure. According to her, “It’s important to be willing to make mistakes. The worst thing that can happen is you become memorable.”
She shares an inspiring story of her childhood, “When I was a child, my father used to encourage my brother and me to fail. At the dinner table, instead of asking about the best part of our day, he would ask us what we failed at that week. If we didn’t have something to tell him, he would be disappointed. When we shared whatever failure we’d endured, he’d high-five us and say, ‘Way to go!’ The gift my father gave us by doing this was redefining what failure truly meant.”
You should never feel ashamed of what you don’t know. Instead, you should, “Embrace what you don’t know, especially in the beginning, because what you don’t know can become your greatest asset. It ensures that you will absolutely be doing things different from everybody else.”
5. J.K Rowling
J.K Rowling, famous author, film and television producer, thinks that success does not come through magic. She believes that there is no formula for success. According to her, “Humans have a knack for choosing precisely the things that are worst for them. She believes that “It is our choices…. That shows what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
6. Martha Stewart
Founder of Martha Stewart Living Omni media asks female entrepreneurs to be as curious and open-minded as possible. She admitted that “I was a very curious person because of my parents. They encouraged me to be as curious about as many things as I wanted.” According to her, “Without an open-minded mind, you can never be a great success.”
7. Cher Wang
Cher Wang, Chairperson and Co-founder of HTC Corporation is considered one of the most powerful women in tech. According to her, “If you have a vision, no matter how difficult things are, everything just becomes a process.” She encourages young entrepreneurs to ask themselves, “What’s next?”
Beyonce is a singer, songwriter, actress and entrepreneur at the same time. Her advice for young entrepreneurs was to stop chasing perfection, follow your heart and try to be yourself. “If everything was perfect, you would never learn, and you would never grow.”
Reflecting on her childhood, she said, “I always try to be myself. Ever since I was an introverted kid, I’d get on stage and be able to break out of my shell.” Shedding light on how she goes about her business, she said, “I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, I only have to follow my heart and concentrate on what I want to say to the world. I run my world.”
9. Tory Burch
Tory Burch, CEO and chairperson of Tory Burch LLC, want women entrepreneurs to be ambitious. “Women have to embrace ambition. I had a lot of trouble taking compliments in the beginning and it is really important for women to embrace their title.”
According to her, Entrepreneurship is a state of mind, not a job title. While defining the qualities of successful entrepreneurs, she said, “Successful entrepreneurs see connections others can’t, seize opportunities others won’t and forging new directions that others have not.”
10. Madam C.J.Walker
One of the pioneers of hair and beauty entrepreneurship, Madam C.J.Walker asks young entrepreneurs to create opportunities instead of waiting for one to come your way. Her advice, “Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.”
11. Anita Roddick
Just like Sara Blakely, Anita Roddick, who is the founder of The Body Shop, inspire female entrepreneurs to be different. Her advice, “Whatever you do, be different – that was the advice my mother gave me, and I can’t think of better advice for an entrepreneur. If you’re different, you will stand out.”
12. Yang Lan
Yang Lan is the leading female media entrepreneur, chairperson and co-founder of Sun Media Group and a popular talk show host. She went from a chat show sofa to a corner office. She advises female entrepreneurs, “Don’t be carried away by interesting ideas – as is usually the case with creative people. I was like a one-man engine – I was running ahead and hoping everybody else could automatically understand me and follow my steps.”
Unfortunately, that did not work, so she emphasized on bringing all stakeholders on the same page “Because I want everybody to be in line with where the company is going.” To ensure this, she set up a weekly meeting of middle and top management so that the message does not get drowned in excessive layers of organization hierarchy.
13. Michelle Zatlyn
Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Cloudflare ask women entrepreneurs to worry about the right things. Sharing her wisdom, she said, “I often hear three common worries from entrepreneurs:
- Someone is going to steal my idea
- I need to raise venture
- The media won’t pay attention to me
Unfortunately, those aren’t the right things to worry about.
Instead, ask yourself, Am I working on a big, meaningful problem? Obsess over how you’re going to do all the things needed to build a product that solves that problem and how you are going to create a company that attracts and retains the best people. If you get those two rights, the other things follow.”
14. Rashmi Sinha
Rashmi Sinha, the founder of SlideShare, follows Mark Zuckerberg’s “move fast and break things” formula and advises young female entrepreneurs to do the same. Sharing her experience, she said, “I have learned that it is better to move fast. We might make mistakes and realize we did it and try something else instead of spending a lot of time thinking and not doing anything.”
15. Wendy Kopp
Wendy Kopp, the founder of Teach for America, believes in embracing change and bringing innovation. According to her, “Change is not always a process of improvement. Sometimes it’s a process of invention. She explains her point with an example, “When Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, he didn’t start by trying to improve the candle. He decided that he wanted better light and went from there.”
How did you succeed as a women entrepreneur? Let us know in the comments section below.