Founders that have been there, done it, and learned the tough lessons you can use !!!
Lori Greiner, Shark Tank; Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook; Barb Corcoran, Shark Tank ; Sarah Blakely, Spanx & 8 more.
Any aspiring business Founder can learn from the leading, most influential, successful entrepreneurs of our time. When it comes to female entrepreneurs, they’re blazing trails & helping women become powerful, from achieving CEO status to starting their own successful businesses. Here are top Female entrepreneurs you can learn from – no matter your gender or goals.
- Lori Greiner, “Shark Tank” investor & QVC Host: Most people recognize Greiner, but many don’t know she has created > 400 products & has > 120 patents. She’s a co-host on Shark Tank and has hosted a QVC show since 1998. A product development & marketing guru based out of Chicago, Greiner is an institution. She says, “Dear optimist, pessimist & realist: While you guys were busy arguing about the glass of wine, I drank it!” LoL
- Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook, Author of best-selling business book “Lean In.” She’s inspiring, courageous, and encourages women to achieve, dream & succeed. “I want option A,” she famously said about her struggle with acceptance. Even in the face of great loss, including the death of her husband, she continues to be a pillar and model of excellence to women.
- Barbara Corcoran, Shark Tank & Real Estate tycoon: Barbara has always been quick to share her rags to riches story. She got all Ds in HS & college, yet went on to create one of New York’s largest Real Estate firms with just $1,000 in Seed $$ back in 1973. Later, she sold it for $60 million and is now the founder of Barbara Corcoran Venture Partners. “The difference between unsuccessful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves,” she says. “Just do it !!!
- Sarah Blakely, founder of Spanx: Dubbed one of the wealthiest self-made women in business, Blakely has a fortune of > $1 Billion and it’s all thanks to what began as a free invention. Frustrated with the under-garments of the time, she began snipping at pantyhose to create what has become women’s go-to “support” Hosiery of the era. Now offering Jeans & Yyoga, she’s maintained a privately owned company. “Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know,” she says. “Ask for help or do the research to find it”.
- Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post [News Agrigator]: Inspiring bloggers around the world, she has remained editor in chief of The Huffington Post for years and is currently signed on through 2019. She’s fast to share her trials with fellow journalists in training, including her talks at Sarah Lawrence College. She notes, “We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes. Failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of learning process and is critical for limitations & borders”.
- Debbie Fields, founder of Mrs. Fields Cookies. Everyone loves Mrs. Fields, and with good reason! The founder of the insanely popular Cookie company with > 300 franchises says, “What I wanted was to be allowed to do the thing in the world that I did best, which I believed then & believe now is the greatest privilege there is. When I did that, success found me.” She didn’t compromise, and remains one of the most successful commercial bakers of the century.
- Mary Kay Ash, founder,Mary Kay Cosmetics: Arguably the first famous female entrepreneur, she founded the company in 1963 although her entrepreneurial spirit was evident years before. First, she joined the Stanley Home Products direct sales team in the 30s as a way of making pocket money, but it became her full-time career in 1939. Having to raise & support 3 children on her own after her husband left (and following the death of her second), she said, “Aero-dynamically the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know that, so it goes on flying anyway.”
- Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Gates Foundation: Both of the famous Gates are known for their entrepreneurial drive & philanthropy. Formerly, she was General Manager of Information Products at MicroSoft, and she’s gone on to lead one of the most impressive foundations in the country. The Gates Foundation has many arms, including prioritizing education & global health. She says, “If you are successful, it is because somewhere, sometimes, someone gave you a life or an idea that started you in the right direction.”
- Jenny Craig, founder of Weigh Management co. No other weight management guru has sustained success over the ups & downs of such a volatile industry. Jenny is skilled at adapting. “My husband always tells me that I’m the most unrelenting person he’s ever met, and it’s true,” she says. “If I made a commitment to something, I will stick to it no matter what.” This advice is critical for both business & health management.
- Mellody Hobson, chairwoman at DreamWorks Animation & president of Ariel Investments: She’s used to dis-comfort and is a voice for diversity & acceptance. “Invite people into your life that don’t look or think like you,” she urges. “If we can learn to deal with our dis-comfort and just relax into it, we’ll have a better life.”
- Andres Jung, President of Grameen America: Also the former CEO of Avon, she moved on to manage a Micro-Finance group that was established by a Nobel Peace Prize winning Micro-Lender. The non-profit serves the country’s poorest communities, including some borrowers who are Avon sales reps. Jung says, “My parents ingrained in me early on that the perfect score is always something to strive for. I want to win and I want to succeed no matter what.”
- Minnie Ingersoll, founder of Shift: Along with a motley crew of Google alums, Ingersoll founded Shift after graduating from both Stanford & Harvard Business Schools. She spend over a decade with Google before taking what she’d learned and branching out to find her own success. The company has secured over $73 Million in funding, including the whopping $50 Million from Goldman Sachs. “Surrounding myself with the right contacts & support, has been key for my achievements.”
Conclusion: In many cases, the fact that these entrepreneurs are female doesn’t matter. They’re experts at what they do and inspiring to all. Everyone can learn from the pitfalls, trials & achievements of the top leading female entrepreneurs of our time. Why re-invent the wheel, when someone else has already offered a great foundation for you? So read the bio’s of those who seem most interesting to you !!!
Comments: Do you know any other Female Founders that you’re impressed with?
from Inc.com Zine 6/16 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz