If you’re looking for some inspiration, then you MUST check this list out! We’re highlighting some of the most inspirational entrepreneurial women today to convince you to take the next step in your life.
What can we learn from these amazing 7 entrepreneurial women?
The number of women-owned businesses has nearly doubled in the past twenty years, leaving us a trail of amazing powerhouse women to watch and learn from. In fact, the latest data shows that women are starting more than 849 businesses every single day. That is a big dose of incredible happening daily in the US. While we no doubt have something to learn from each of these determined businesswomen, this list I’m going to share with you today presents 7 very special women, each with a unique lesson to share with the world. A couple of them may be very familiar to you, and some of them you may be meeting for the first time.
It should be noted that these women are being highlighted for their impact on the world as women entrepreneurs, and I do not necessarily share or endorse their personal or political views. So, let’s check out these powerhouse female entrepreneurs.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past twenty years, this is a name that’s hard to miss. Undoubtedly one of the most famous women entrepreneurs, J.K. Rowling is the author of the Harry Potter series and a woman who single-handedly changed the coming of age experience for an entire generation. Her rags to riches story is of the fairy-tale sort. She literally rose from poverty to billionaire through the Harry Potter empire. But I didn’t select this successful woman because of the money she earned; I chose her for the money she’s given away.
According to Forbes, Rowling is the only person on record to have “lost” her billionaire status from philanthropic giving. In other words, she has given away so much money that she’s not technically a billionaire anymore. That, my friends, is some epic giving.
How does Rowling feel about being bumped from billionaire status? She’s quite proud. In her own words, “You have a moral responsibility when you’ve been given far more than you need, to do wise things with it and give intelligently.”
This is exactly why I love this successful woman so much…because she understands that we are blessed to be a blessing. The more we make, the more we can give. And she’s definitely leading by example with this awesome life philosophy.
The next famous successful businesswoman you will likely recognize is Sara Blakely, founder and CEO of Spanx. No doubt we all already love this woman purely for her gift of life-saving undergarments. At 41, Blakely became the youngest woman to join the year’s Forbes’ World’s Billionaires list without help from a husband, family fame, or an inheritance. She’s quirky, genius, raw, hilarious, and totally relatable to soccer moms and aspiring dreamers alike.
Sara was chosen as one of our top 7 entrepreneurial women for one special reason: her approach to failure. She says her dad taught her to embrace failure and raised her to overcome her fears of trying new things.
“What it did was reframe my definition of failure,” Blakely said. “Failure for me became not trying, versus the outcome.”
“My dad would encourage me any time something didn’t go the way I expected it to, or maybe I got embarrassed by a situation, to write down where the hidden gifts were and what I got out of it,” she said. “I started realizing that in everything there was some amazing nugget that I wouldn’t have wanted to pass up.”
This is a quality that she now works to share with her own four children. Sara Blakely, your undergarments and your mindset are both a gift to this world!
The third successful businesswoman on our list is Jennifer Hyman, CEO and co-founder of Rent the Runway, a fashion and technology logistics company. She first had the idea for the company after watching her sister agonize over buying an expensive outfit for a wedding. The company’s concept is simple: It stocks up designer dresses, then allows women to rent those dresses for a fraction of the retail cost.
Hyman has definitely built fame and fortune for herself over the past decade since the company’s inception and ensuing success. She was even listed on Fortune Magazine’s 40 Under 40 List in 2012.
Clearly, she is noteworthy. But why did I choose her for this female entrepreneurs list? Like the other women on our list so far, she was also selected for how she handles herself behind the scenes.
She is a spokesperson and activist against sexual harassment in the workplace, and she led her company to equalize benefits across its salaried and hourly employees. In her own words, “RTR team members in the company’s warehouse and stores and on its customer service team receive the same parental leave, family sick leave, bereavement leave and sabbatical packages as the company’s corporate employees”.
As Hyman states so eloquently, “It’s time for business leaders to step up and fulfill …their moral duty to society.”
This is legendary leadership.
Mei Park & Hansni Thadhani
These next two women may not be household names yet, but they are definitely worth watching and learning from.
Mei Park is the creator and founder of Tiny Hands Food Jewelry. Park says, “Tiny Hands serves a drool worthy menu of scented food jewelry that come in all sorts of candy shapes like cupcakes, donuts, waffles, french macarons, rainbow lollipops and more!”
Hansni Thadhani is the founder of Strand Boards, which makes surfboard showers. Thadhini says that the idea for her business came as she was redecorating her own home. “We wanted to bring the beachy vibe to our home in a playful way.”I’m including them on the list together, because I selected them both for the same reason.
They both took totally zany ideas and grew them into successful businesses.
Tiny edible jewelry? Showers made from surfboards? Errrr….sure, why not?!
How many times have you had an idea and then brushed it off with the thought, “Nah, that would never fly.”?
These two chicks are a beacon in the night for all of us! What they are showing us, in technicolor, is that there is no such thing as a business idea for women that doesn’t have the potential to succeed. The question is whether we have the guts to chase our dream and create it as a reality!
The next profile of a woman entrepreneur I chose to share with you is Jasmine Crowe. Jasmine is the founder of Goodr, a sustainable food waste management company that leverages technology to reduce food waste and combat hunger. She developed the idea after watching a close ‘successful’ friend fall on hard times and struggle to feed her family. She then became aware of how much food is being wasted in the USA every day and began to brainstorm how she could create an intersection between this excessive supply and desperate demand.
Crowe is a “do-goodr”, hunger hero, and savvy businesswoman. Her Ted Talk has inspired millions. She is being featured here as one of our top women entrepreneurs to learn from for how she brilliantly made it her business to change the world for good.
Notice that her business is fighting hunger. Many women today struggle with the concept of making money, based on our generational programming. We grew up with unhealthy associations around money, which cause many subconscious obstacles around financial success as we mature into women and attempt to enter the business world.
This is one of the many reasons I love Crowe’s story so much. She’s not ashamed of creating financial abundance for herself amidst making the world a better place. She understands that the more she makes, the more she can give. We must learn to truly value ourselves in order to give value to the world.
She also works hard as an advocate for other black women entrepreneurs, again using her success as a platform to help others. Jasmine is showing us all that there is only one true way to lead in the world today: by example.
The final woman entrepreneur that we’re highlighting today is Kim Constable, aka The Sculpted Vegan. Kim is a homeschooling yoga mom turned vegan body builder who built a multi-million-dollar online empire in 18 months from her kitchen table in Ireland.
She creates digital coaching programs featuring weight training and plant-based foods for goal-oriented women to follow at their own pace and capacity. In fact, Kim has become one of my own coaches over the past couple of years, and I’ve watched her solidify her space as an online marketing queen.
She’s definitely redefined what’s possible for high-achieving housewives and raised the bar of expectation for women around the world with an idea and a dream.
Constable says no one, including her own family, supported her in the beginning. But she refused to be deterred and used her single-minded focus as fuel to keep her going. In fact, that’s why I included her on this list; to serve as inspiration to the rest of us. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter who else believes in us as aspiring women business owners. What matters is whether we believe in ourselves.
The Qualities of a Woman Entrepreneur
Let’s recap some of the incredible qualities and character traits that we can glean from these female powerhouses.
Dealing with failure
Failing forward is the name of the game. Failure is only failure if we don’t learn the lesson and use it to make ourselves better.
There is really only one way to fail as a female entrepreneur: to quit. Resilience, otherwise known as ‘never say die’ mentality, means that we keep going until we win. Don’t take no for an answer. Winning in business is a numbers game. Work enough numbers until you find your yes.
At the same time, we must be constantly on the lookout for feedback. After all, that’s what “no’s” and “failures” really are…short-term feedback. So, while we never want to give up on our dream, we must be flexible in how to execute that dream. The ability to innovate, pivot, & reposition yourself could be a make or break factor in your long-term success.
Servant Leadership is the philosophy that we lead by serving others. And vice versa, we serve others by leading. A servant leader shares the spotlight and control, puts the needs of her people ahead of her own needs, and aims to create a thriving organization over filling her own pocketbook. With this mindset, we can help ensure that our ego doesn’t take over and drown out what’s really important.
Strong sense of self worth
For any woman to build an empire, we must truly believe in ourselves. As the old saying goes, your business is nothing more than an extension of who you are in life. So, if your life is a mess, your business will only naturally follow suit. We may be able to keep it together and fake “success” for a little while. But until we are truly whole on the inside, we’ll never create a sustainable picture of success that we’re proud of on the outside.
Let’s wrap up our review of some of the most inspirational entrepreneurial women today. My hope is that learning from these powerhouse businesswomen will help convince you to take the next step in your own life. Maybe you’ve been nursing a dream that you’re afraid to pursue. Maybe you already run a business, but it’s time to take it to the next level. Or, maybe you’re already an elite powerhouse and you just need a little extra fuel to reach your next stratosphere of success.
Whatever the case in your situation, please know that you are never alone. You are surrounded by like-minded women all over this planet who refuse to settle until their dreams have become a reality. These qualities of what it takes to become a successful and fulfilled woman entrepreneur are within reach for all of us. If you’re missing some of these traits, don’t worry. You can work hard on yourself and develop all of them. And as you chase your dreams, never forget that your success…your impact…your influence really can change the world.