Small Business

Words of Wisdom from 11 Women Entrepreneurs

March was officially declared Women’s History Month by Congress in 1987. In honor of Women’s History Month this year, here are some valuable words of wisdom and encouragement from 11 successful women entrepreneurs.

Happy Women’s History Month! March was officially declared Women’s History Month by Congress in 1987. Thanks to the hard work of the National Women’s History Project, this important month is celebrating its 32nd anniversary this year. 

In honor of Women’s History Month, FundThrough is proud to celebrate the incredible contributions of women from around the world.

39 percent of businesses in the United States are run by women. Let’s hear what those women have to say! Here are some valuable words of wisdom and encouragement from 11 successful women entrepreneurs.

1. Sarah Blakely

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.

When Sarah Blakely started Spanx in 2000, she had a lot of people telling her what she didn’t know. Blakely never let that stop her. Instead, she turned everyone else’s negatives into positives. It’s impossible to stand out in a crowded marketplace if you aren’t unique. Her advice to continue to think outside the box and stand out from the pack is inspiring for everyone looking to try something new. Fast forward to now, and Spanx is a household name sold in 65 different countries, and Blakely is worth $1.1 billion.

2. Oprah Winfrey

Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.

Oprah knows a thing or two about struggle. Born to a single mother, she ran away from home when she was 13, after enduring years of abuse and hardship. She earned a full scholarship to college and worked her way into the television industry. After being fired from her first reporting gig at the age of 23, Oprah kept working toward her dream. Today, Oprah is one of the most powerful women in media and worth $2.6 billion. Always remember that every struggle is a challenge that will make you stronger in the end.

3. Tory Burch

There is no need to apologize for being ambitious.

For women entrepreneurs, ambition and confidence are keys to success. Tory Burch knows what it’s like for others to make you feel like ambition is a bad thing, but that didn’t stop her from following her dreams. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Burch worked her way through the fashion industry at a number of magazines and designers before launching her own brand in 2004. Today, her label has 250 stores around the world and Burch herself is worth a whopping $800 million. How’s that for ambition?

4. Estée Lauder

I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.

One of the most important things for entrepreneurs to take to heart is that success can’t arrive on its own. All your hopes and dreams will never amount to anything if you don’t work to make them happen. Estée Lauder started her company in 1946 and worked tirelessly to turn it into one of the largest makeup empires in the world. You can achieve anything you can dream, if you’re willing to put in the work.

5. Judy Faulkner

Be a builder.

Judy Faulkner founded Epic Systems in a basement back in 1979. Today, that same business is one of the largest healthcare software companies in the country. Faulkner has been called the most powerful woman in healthcare. This self-made billionaire did things her way by following her own path and building her own space in the medical industry. For women entrepreneurs, it’s important to remember that when you can’t see a path in front of you, you can always build your own.

6. Cher Wang

If you have a vision, no matter how difficult things are, everything just becomes a process.

Cher Wang is a pioneer in the world of tech and is considered one of the most influential people in her field. As a co-founder of technology giant HTC, Wang understands how to make a vision reality and create the processes a business needs to succeed. The closer you come to realizing your dream, the closer you are to establishing the practices you need to turn that dream into a success.

7. Barbara Corcoran

The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves.

Barbara Corcoran is probably best known to most of us as one of the hosts of “Shark Tank.” To everyone else, she’s a powerful real-estate magnate that built her empire from the ground up. Still, “Shark Tank” fans will know Corcoran for her honesty and refusal to cut anyone any slack when it comes to a deal. It’s always helpful to remember that successful people don’t waste time having a “pity party.” The best women entrepreneurs are thinking of what lessons they can learn, how they can do better next time and what their next move is going to be.

8. Arianna Huffington

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.

It’s important to remember that there are no such things as losses, only lessons. The founder of the Huffington Post reminds us that there’s no success without failure. If you never fall, you can’t learn how to pick yourself up. Don’t beat yourself over the mistakes, and remember that everyone makes them. What matters is how you respond to bumps in the road and what you take from them.

9. Vera Wang

When you have a passion for something then you tend not only to be better at it, but you work harder at it too.

It’s hard to understate the importance of passion for a successful entrepreneur. Although successful, Vera Wang saw her share of disappointments and missed promotions, but remained steadfast in following her dream. At age 40, she designed her first wedding dress. It’s difficult to work hard at something you don’t care about. Follow your passion and you’ll never have trouble putting in the extra effort.

10. J.K. Rowling

Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences.

Good or bad, it’s vital that you understand the choices you make. Whether it’s taking responsibility for a mistake or taking credit for a success, it’s important you remember that you’re in control. Before “Harry Potter” made her into a billionaire, Rowling was an unemployed single mother struggling to get by. Through imagination and determination, she created one of the most beloved novels (and most successful franchises) of all time.

11. Angie Hicks

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.

How could we make a list of women entrepreneurs without including the founder of one of the world’s most popular lists, Angie’s List! One of the most important things you can do as an entrepreneur, beyond believing in yourself, is knowing when you need help. Great women entrepreneurs are skilled at finding the right people for the right jobs. If you know how to build a great team, you’re on your way to also being an effective leader.

We hope that you’ve enjoyed these women entrepreneur quotes and are as inspired as we are by these impressive and powerful people. Are you an entrepreneur looking to start your own business, or do you have a business just getting off the ground? FundThrough can help you find a way to make your startup a success. Consult our cash flow guide to see how you can get the capital you need to succeed.