Although inequality still exists, women have come a long way in society and the business world. Above all, that progress has proved one thing: women won’t stop until we reach the top.
With that in mind, it’s a good idea to pay attention to what female entrepreneurs have to say. After all, they have more obstacles to overcome than men in today’s market — and yet they’ve still made their entrepreneurial dreams come true.
Wherever you are in your career, and no matter your gender, these words from some seriously inspiring women will make you want to crush your day at the office…or even take some entrepreneurial risks yourself!
On Getting Started and Making Progress
“Whatever it is that you think you want to do, and whatever it is that you think stands between you and that, stop making excuses. You can do anything.” – Katia Beauchamp, co-founder and CEO of Birchbox.
“The best way to leapfrog in your career is to get advice from someone who’s done what you’re trying to accomplish. It helps clear all the doubt.” – Heather Anne Carson, co-founder of Repable
“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.” – Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop
On Being a Great Leader
“Good leaders organize and align people around what the team needs to do. Great leaders motivate and inspire people with why they’re doing it. That’s purpose. And that’s the key to achieving something truly transformational.” – Marillyn Hewson, CEO of Lockheed Martin
“Leadership is the ability to guide others without force into a direction or decision that leaves them still feeling empowered and accomplished.” – Lisa Cash Hanson, CEO of Snuggwugg
“I believe in a quiet, strong and grounded leadership. I think some of the best leaders are those whose work is widely known and respected but who, themselves, are relatively unknown.” – Rachael Chong, founder and CEO of Catchafire
On Voice and Strength
“A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.” This “voice” is your best tool in the board room, when talking to investors, when finding partners and when pitching to clients. Once you find your voice, hone it and practice.” – Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.” – Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx
“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.” – Arianna Huffington, editor-in-chief of Huffington Post Media Group
“It is pure mythology that women cannot perform as well as men in science, engineering and mathematics. In my experience, the opposite is true: Women are often more adept and patient at untangling complex problems, multitasking, seeing the possibilities in new solutions and winning team support for collaborative action.”— Weili Dai, president and co-founder of Marvell Technologies Group
“The most important factor in determining whether you will succeed isn’t your gender, it’s you. Be open to opportunity and take risks. In fact, take the worst, the messiest, the most challenging assignment that you can find, and then take control.” – Angela Braly, CEO of WellPoint
“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.” – Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook