People say it’s harder for women to climb to the top of the corporate ladder than men do. I would agree not because they are less smart or talented than man; but they are more inclined to prioritizing their family and children than their work.
Experience in point
My mother used to brag to me all the time that she was one of the pioneers when the National Computer Center in the Philippines was established and should have been one of the foremost people in the industry today had she not resigned and decided to work as a full-time mother.
Highly successful women CEOs
Below is a list of highly successful women CEOs that Money Central came up with:
Barbara Corcoran, real-estate mogul
“Forget the fact that you’re a woman and out-hustle everyone else. Being an entrepreneur is all about hustling harder and persevering longer than the next guy. Whether you’re a girl or a guy makes no difference. ”
Bobbi Brown, creator of high-end makeup
“You have to be passionate about the product or service you’re offering. You also have to make sure that it’s a product other people either need or really want. Then you have to figure out how to let people know about it. Start small and don’t invest a lot of your own money. There’s a lot of learning and mistakes in anything you do, and if you start too big, it can be very costly. In other words, make sure you have the foundation built before you build the house.”
Dany Levy, Web-based media pioneer
“Try to boil down what you’re doing to one very simple idea. And ask a lot of questions. That’s the nature of being an entrepreneur. It doesn’t matter if you come from a farm or if you went to Harvard Business School. The fact is, you don’t know jack until you’re doing it.
Read a lot about different people you admire and hear what they have to say. I admire Nell Merlino (who helped create Take Your Daughter to Work Day and the Make Mine a Million women’s business contest). I admire someone like Kate Spade, who grew her business at the right pace — slowly — and then blew it out of the water.”
Genevieve Bos, publisher of Pink Magazine
“Do all the market research you need to do. Once you logically know your business can work, the hardest part sometimes is feeling the fear and doing it anyway. You need to have a group of cheerleaders around you who will help you through the tough times and help you stay focused on the goal.”
Geraldine Laybourne, creator of the Oxygen Network
“You have to start with ideas. You have to dig deep within yourself and be completely consumed by it. Then you have to be ruthless about them and personally test them with as many people as possible. We are, by nature, part anthropologist and part psychologist. One of our best assets is our gut.”
Ina Garten, ‘The Barefoot Contessa’
“Be willing to jump off the cliff and figure out how to fly on the way down.”
Liz Lange, clothes designer
“Find your inner healthy competitiveness. As women it is hard for us to admit to ourselves (and to others) that we want to be the best at something. To succeed in business and be a successful entrepreneur, you have to want to win.”
Muriel Siebert, Wall Street powerhouse
“Give yourself time to think. I used to take myself to a beach with a pad of paper. It was a place where I could speak to myself. I would make an accounting column shaped in a “T.” One side would be: What do I bring to this? What are the positives in terms of experience or knowledge or training? And then on the other side, what am I lacking? Then I’d ask myself: What are the best things that could happen, and what are the worst things? If I couldn’t take the worst thing that could happen I wouldn’t do it.”
Judi Henderson-Townsend, mannequin maker
“As much as I am passionate about the creative side of my business, it’s so important to make sure you get grounded in basic business principles. I had to become much more of a financial person. As my sales increased, I knew I had to get a more experienced person — a bookkeeper/business strategist. In addition to hiring someone, I went to seminars and a one-week program for minority entrepreneurs at the University of Virginia’s Darden School.”
Marsha Serlin, owner of scrap-metal business
“Don’t listen to anyone but your heart. If you think you can do it, you can do it. Most people will tell you that you can’t, and that’s probably the most debilitating part. Don’t investigate your idea until it’s dead — jump in with both feet. You’ll never be sorry if you follow your dream.
Most women want to be taken care of, but try to take care of yourself. You waste a lot of time complaining and lamenting over what may never happen. Just get on with it. There’s nothing more satisfying than when you do it for yourself, against all odds. When the light is the most dim, it’s probably when there’s the most promise.
And don’t quit too fast! My sage advice: Get your business to the third year, and then you can sail. We all want instant success, but you have to build the foundation of any business.”
Wilka Toppins, law-firm founder
I have four quick tips. The first thing: You need to be professional. There is a lack of professionalism in our world today. Especially women entrepreneurs — we roll up our sleeves and we get to work, but sometimes we forget to be professional. The shoes you wear, the paper you write on, the briefcase you carry — it all matters.
Second, if you don’t cultivate a good reputation in your community, you’re not going to get the business.
“Third, you need to trust your gut. There are several times in my career that I didn’t trust my gut. Every time I deviated from what my gut told me, it was always the wrong decision, without fail. As women, we have very powerful intuition.
The last thing I would tell people is: You need to understand the money aspect of your business. Never lose control of that. You can delegate human resources, sales — never delegate the financing. The pulse of any business is the finances. Understand it, always keep control of it, and insist upon people giving you reports.”
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People get absorbed in work and before they realize their current situation…