7 Inspirational Women Entrepreneurs to Learn From
Looking to successful entrepreneurs for inspiration is helpful to business owners at all stages of their careers. It can help you set a trajectory for the growth of your business. It can help you power through challenging times. It can help you get started in the first place. Getting a glimpse into the history of impactful entrepreneurs can make your journey feel less impossible and your goals more achievable.
Our company was founded with the goal of helping entrepreneurs find work-life balance. And we love encouraging entrepreneurs and watching them grow. The list below includes some of the outstanding entrepreneurs who have inspired us over the years. Wherever you are on your path, we hope these stories offer you encouragement and renewed motivation.
1. Laurence Bradford
Laurence started her blog “Learn to Code With Me” out of a passion for learning how to code that she found while dissatisfied with her dream job. After creating the blog (and now a successful podcast), her passion morphed into teaching. She was eventually able to quit her full-time job and run Learn to Code With Me full time. Now, her days are filled with helping people interested in entering the tech industry find the resources they need. She said, “today, I’m driven by the goal of making education affordable and accessible to all.”
2. Ilise Benum
After quitting her first two jobs out of college, Ilise began her business as an administrative organizer for her friends in the creative community. During this work, she came across a few unused marketing attempts for her various clients. She decided that marketing is how she could best help artists and creatives. Since then, she has published several books and writes a popular newsletter. She’s also a speaker who runs training and courses. Today, the core of her business Marketing Mentor is to be a business expert for creative professionals
3. Emily Giffin
Emily started her career as a lawyer in Manhattan. While practicing law, she used her minimal spare time to work on a novel. She dreamed of becoming a writer. After her first manuscript was rejected, she decided to go after her writing dream full time. She quit her job and moved to London where she penned her hit novel Something Borrowed. Since then, she started writing full time and has published ten additional books
4. Tara McMullin
Tara started out her career working at a bookstore, marketing for her mom’s Etsy shop, and then blogging. She eventually founded What Works to help entrepreneurs uncover “what works” in business. She guides business owners in finding more profitable business models, better messaging, and more influence. She hosts a podcast and formed the What Works Network which is “a community of small business owners getting real about what’s working & what’s not as they manage their businesses.”
5. Kara Goldin
Kara is the mastermind behind Hint Water. She created the product after realizing how unhealthy diet soda can be. On her own health journey, she switched to water but wasn’t quite satisfied. She eventually started adding fruit to pitchers of water. Her friends and family loved it, and she realized that this idea could help more people live healthier lives. Now her company is dedicated to giving people healthier experiences altogether. The company has diversified into skin and body products that use the same essences as Hint Water. Kara has also authored a memoir and hosts a podcast.
6. Sophia Amoruso
Sophia started out by selling vintage clothing on eBay. She used her influence on MySpace to promote her online store. From that, she was able to build the Nasty Gal fashion brand. Though Sophia stepped down from Nasty Gal in 2015, her legacy has now grown to earn almost £100 Million in yearly revenue. She now focuses on guiding other entrepreneurs as an author, coach, and course leader. Her company Girlboss Media produces a blog, podcast, and newsletter aimed at helping women “redefine success on their own terms.”
7. Sara Blakely
Sara Blakely founded Spanx after cutting off the feet of her control top pantyhose to look slimmer in a pair of white pants. Her idea gained massive appeal when it landed on “Oprah’s Favorite Things” list in 2000. After several more successful product launches, Spanx has become a household name in shapewear, swimwear, and undergarments. To this day, Sara still owns 100% of the Spanx brand and has never received outside funding. She has gone on to create the Sara Blakely Foundation with the goal of providing women with education and entrepreneurial training..
The biggest takeaway from these stories is that success is possible. It often requires luck, help, and good timing, but you are completely capable of starting and growing your business. Whenever doubts begin to surface, check in with your business role models for the advice and inspiration to keep pushing forward. You’re not going it alone. You are part of a community of entrepreneurs who all benefit when each other succeeds.
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