As entrepreneurs, it’s nice to hear from famous women in business who have been where we are now. If you are feeling stumped or discouraged about your business, have confidence that many have been in the same position and came out on top.
Quotations can be inspiring, enlightening and sometimes they can even be exactly what we needed to hear. Being a lover of quotes, I collect and horde them like a dragon hordes gold. Hopefully the ones I’ve collected here will help you in your own endeavors.
Carol Bartz Crushes Gender Stereotypes
Carol Bartz was the CEO of Autodesk from 1992 to 2006 and the CEO of Yahoo! from 2009 to January 2010. Bartz has always stomped on stereotypical gender roles. For example, she was one of only two girls at her high school to take a physics class and an advanced algebra class. She worked hard and was awarded a scholarship to attend a prestigious all-girls college, William Woods, and later earned her Bachelor of Science at the University of Wisconsin.
In 1972, she worked for a company called 3M, where she was the only woman alongside 300 professional men. When Bartz applied for a transfer to headquarters, they blatantly refused her request. Their response (straight to her face, as she recalls) was “women don’t do those jobs.” Disgusted, Bartz immediately quit and pursued greener pastures. She went on to become the CEO of two companies and one of the most prominent famous women in business.
Her quote: “Most people assume that because I’m a woman, I’m someone who’s standing behind a leader, a man. The fact that they’re unenlightened is their problem, not mine.”
What we learn from her: Don’t feel pressured or influenced by gender roles.
J.K. Rowling Doesn’t Get Discouraged
J.K. Rowling, author of the famous “Harry Potter” book series, has a net worth of about $1 billion. Everyone knows about her books and movies. Did you know that she submitted her first “Harry Potter” book to 12 publishing houses and it was rejected by all of them?
Her quote: “What’s the worst that could happen? Everyone turned me down; big deal.”
What we learn from her: Never give up, never surrender! If at first you don’t succeed, just try it again — even if it takes more than 12 attempts. If she had given up, there would be no Hogwarts School of Wizardry to choose from under the “education” tab on Facebook. I can’t live in that kind of world. If she can continue standing tall after 12 failures, you can, too.
Inspirational Quotes From Other Famous Women in Business
“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, owner of The Body Shop
“When my company started really growing, I didn’t have any help in my house at all. I had the upkeep of my daily life, I had a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old, and I had my house. So I had to prioritize.” – Julie Aigner Clark, owner of Baby Einstein
“It was a risk. I had a husband and I was pregnant with my oldest son. But I don’t look at risk the way other people do. When you’re an entrepreneur, you have to go in feeling like you’re going to be successful.” – Lillian Hochberg, founder of Lillian Vernon Corporation
“Decide what it is that you are and then stay true to that thing. My brand is based very much on how I live my day-to-day life.” – Rachael Ray, famous food connoisseur who has her own television show
“There is no royal flower-strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it, for if I have accomplished anything in life it is because I have been willing to work hard.”— Madam C.J. Walker, first woman millionaire entrepreneur