Calling all lady bosses and business owners: this is for you! No doubt at some time in your life, you’ve heard the lie that business is a man’s world. Sure, it’s true that male-owned businesses are the dominating force–but that doesn’t mean women aren’t steadily moving forward. The fact is that in 2018, women business owners generated $1.8 trillion from the 12.3 million businesses they led–and they employed 9.2 million people. Those numbers have steadily grown over the last several years.
While employment for most businesses dropped by 0.8%, women-owned businesses saw a 21% rise in employment. And while most businesses in the U.S. saw only a 12% increase in revenues in 2018, women-owned businesses saw a 46% revenue growth.
While women-led businesses might still be the minority, they (or should we say YOU) are, by far, a force to be reckoned with.
We’ve compiled some important quotes and advice from some of the top women leaders in society to inspire and fuel your own business growth and success.
Sara Blakely, Founder + CEO, Spanx
“You have to visualize where you are headed and be very clear about it.”
“Don’t let what you don’t know scare you, because it can become your greatest asset. And if you do things without knowing how they have always been done, you’re guaranteed to do them differently.”
“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.”
“Instead of failure being the outcome, failure became not trying. And it forced me at a young age to want to push myself so much further out of my comfort zone.”
Condoleezza Rice, Former U.S. Secretary of State
“I think the truth of the matter is, people who end up as ‘first’ don’t actually set out to be first. They set out to do something they love and it just so happens they they are the first to do it.”
“You might not be able to control your circumstances, but you can control your responses to circumstances.”
“The essence of America — that which really unites us — is not ethnicity, or nationality, or religion, it is an idea – and what an idea it is: that you can come from humble circumstances and do great things.”
Marissa Mayer, CEO Yahoo!
“If you can find something that you’re really passionate about, whether you’re a man or a woman comes a lot less into play. Passion is a gender-neutralizing force.”
“I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.”
“I have a theory that burnout is about resentment. And you beat it by knowing what it is you’re giving up that makes you resentful.”
Hillary Clinton, Former Senator & Presidential Candidate
“Always aim high, work hard, and care deeply about what you believe in. And, when you stumble, keep faith. And, when you’re knocked down, get right back up and never listen to anyone who says you can’t or shouldn’t go on.”
“You have just one life to live. It is yours. Own it, claim it, live it, do the best you can with it.”
“We can tell stories all night and we can talk about the women who have inspired us. But what inspires me is not just who they are, but what they do. They roll their sleeves up and they get to work.”
Sheryl Sandberg, COO Facebook
“It is the ultimate luxury to combine passion and contribution. It is also a very clear path to happiness.”
“If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask which one.”
“The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have.”
“Every woman I know, particularly the senior ones, has been called too aggressive at work. We know in gender blind studies that men are more aggressive in their offices than women. We know that. Yet we’re busy telling all the women that they’re too aggressive. That’s the issue.”
“When you look at successful women, they have other women who have supported them, and they’ve gotten to where they are because of those women.”
“You are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. Like a muscle, you can build it up, draw on it when you need it. In that process you will figure out who you really are–and you just might become the very best version of yourself.”
Jessica Herrin, Founder and CEO, Stella & Dot
“If you don’t fail, you are not trying hard enough.”
“The difference is the doing.”
“I work really hard and I never consider giving up! Efforts and tenacity cannot be overrated. Most overnight success stories take years.”
Well, we certainly hope you’re feeling just a little more inspired to go out and win big like we (and you) know you’re capable of!