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12 Famous Business Women and the Secret to their Success

I believe you are familiar with the popular saying that what a man can do, a woman can do better. I don’t know if that statement is true but what I do know is that there are women who have risen above their circumstance and taken the entrepreneurial bull by the horn.

What do you think is the secret to the success of famous business women such as Mary Kay Ash, Debbi Fields, Anita Roddick, Lillian Vernon, Jenny Craig and Oprah Winfrey; the richest black woman in the world? How were these successful women entrepreneurs able to balance their act between family obligations and business?

How were these famous business women able to achieve much in the fierce world of entrepreneurship and what advice do they have for aspiring women entrepreneurs? How did they surmount business challenges? How did these famous successful business women handle business failure? If any of the questions above matches your thinking, then please read on as I share with you the secret to the success of the famous successful business women.

In this article, you are going to learn the exact secret to the success of some selected successful women entrepreneurs but this time, you will be learning directly from the horse mouth. None of the women entrepreneurs mentioned here became rich by inheritance; they all became rich and famous by building a business from scratch. They became rich by successfully undergoing the entrepreneurial process.

Some of these famous successful business women inevitably became multi millionaires and others went on to become billionaires. So if you are ready to learn how to build a successful business; if you are ready to learn from multi millionaires and billionaires, then read on as the famous successful business women share their business success secrets with you.

Famous Successful Business Women: What’s the Secret to their Success?

Mary Kay Ash – Mary Kay Inc

1. “I was taught to put my best into anything I did and I can honestly say I’ve always done that. Still, there are many times when I failed, when I was disappointed.” – Mary Kay Ash

2. I can say unequivocally that every decision we make at Mary Kay Cosmetics is based on the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” – Mary Kay Ash

3. “I envisioned a company in which any woman could become as successful as she wanted to be. The doors were wide open to opportunity for women who were willing to pay the price and had the courage to dream.” – Mary Kay Ash

4. “We must have a theme, a goal, a purpose in our lives. If you don’t know where you are aiming, you don’t have a goal. My goal is to live my life in such a way that when I die, someone can say, ‘she cared.” – Mary Kay Ash

5. “We treat our people like royalty. If you honor and serve the people who work for you, they will honor and serve you.” – Mary Kay Ash

J. K. Rowling – Billionaire author of Harry Potter series

6.  “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our friends, but as much to stand up to our enemies.” – J. K. Rowling

7. “Never be ashamed! There’s some who will hold it against you, but they are not worth bothering with.” – J. K. Rowling

8. “I really don’t believe in magic.” – J. K. Rowling

9. “What’s the worst that could happen? Everyone turned me down; big deal.” – J. K. Rowling

Madame C.J. Walker –    Walker Cosmetics line

10. “I had to make my own living and my own opportunity! But I made it! Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them” – Madam C.J. Walker

11. “I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South. From there I was promoted to the washtub. From there I was promoted to the cook kitchen. And from there I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair goods and preparations….I have built my own factory on my own ground.” – Madam C.J. Walker

12. “I got my start by giving myself a start.” – Madam C.J. Walker

13. “I am not satisfied in making money for myself. I endeavor to provide employment for hundreds of the women of my race.” – Madam C.J. Walker

14. “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

15. “Perseverance is my motto.” – Madam C.J. Walker

Coco Chanel –   Chanel Inc

16. “There is time for work, and time for love. That leaves no other time.´- Coco Chanel

17. “I invented my life by taking for granted that everything I did not like would have an opposite, which I would like.” – Coco Chanel

18. “When I can no longer create anything, I’ll be done for.” – Coco Chanel

Jenny Craig – Jenny Craig Inc

19. “What really started me off in this business was my own research into what kinds of foods I should be eating.” – Jenny Craig

20. “Whoever heard of cholesterol when I first started in this business in 1959? People didn’t pay any attention to what they ate. I noticed a need before it was a whole industry and in that sense, I was entrepreneurial.” – Jenny Craig

21. “I always told people in Australia that I had a 24-hour job because we’d get up in the morning; talk business at breakfast and again at dinner. Our whole life was the business when we were developing the company.” – Jenny Craig

22.  “I am an extreme optimist, while my husband likes to play the devil’s advocate. He wants to know the worst thing that can happen. I don’t even want to think about the worst case. I provide the discipline and stick-to-it-iveness.” – Jenny Craig

23. “I really love what I do. It’s extremely motivating to me.” – Jenny Craig

24. “My husband always tells me that I’m the most unrelenting person he’s ever met, and it’s true. If I make a commitment to something I will stick to it no matter what.” – Jenny Craig

Anita Roddick -The Body Shop

25. “ I started The Body Shop in 1976 simply to create a livelihood for myself and my two daughters, while my husband, Gordon, was trekking across the Americas. I had no training or experience and my only business acumen was Gordon’s advice to take sales of £300 a week. Nobody talks about entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what it is and what nurtures creative thinking. Running that first shop taught me business is not financial science; it’s about trading: buying and selling.” – Anita Roddick

26. “It’s about creating a product or service so good that people will pay for it. Now 30 years on The Body Shop is a multi local business with over 2.045 stores serving over 77 million customers in 51 different markets in 25 different languages and across 12 time zones. And I haven’t a clue how we got here!” – Anita Roddick

27. “There is no scientific answer for success. You can’t define it. You’ve simply got to live it and do it.” – Anita Roddick

28. “We were most creative when our back was against the wall.”

29. “It is a critical job of any entrepreneur to maximize creativity, and to build the kind of atmosphere around you that encourages people to have ideas. That means open structures, so that accepted thinking can be challenged.”

30. “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.”

Candice Carpenter –

31. “Success is about creating value.” – Candice Carpenter

32. “My character was formed by mountaineering. Enduring rainy slopes and cold bivouacs to spend an hour at the top of the world shaped my ability to handle adversity.” – Candice Carpenter

33. “If you are committed to creating value and if you aren’t afraid of hard times; obstacles become utterly unimportant. A nuisance perhaps; but with no real power. The world respects creation; people will get out of your way.” – Candice Carpenter

Martha Stewart – Martha Stewart Living OmniMedia

34. “It is within everyone’s grasp to be a CEO.” – Martha Stewart

35. “I’m a maniacal perfectionist. And if I weren’t, I wouldn’t have this company.” – Martha Stewart

Julie Aigner Clark – Baby Einstein

36. “I believe the name of our company was incredibly important to our success. When I first created it, I didn’t think I was creating a company just the name of a video. However, the name Baby Einstein caught on very fast and became the generic name for baby videos.” – Julie Aigner Clark

37. “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 one year old and a three year old, and I had my house. So I had to prioritize.” – Julie Aigner Clark

Lillian Vernon

38. “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 Vernon

39. “I think there’s one secret to all successes in any merchandising business, and that’s the merchandise. I have been and still am a really great merchant. I have won many awards in the industry for being a great merchant.” – Lillian Vernon

40. ”I don’t know how you can learn instinct. If you figure it out, call me back. I have been more right than wrong about merchandise over the years.” – Lillian Vernon

41. “How do you balance growing the business with raising a family? You just do. I had a business, a lot of orders, and a baby howling for supper. You balance it. You give your baby supper first and then get your orders in. I have worked on more holidays… but what are you going to do? – Lillian Vernon

42. “Work hard, that’s the bottom line. Don’t spend more money than you’ve got. Don’t spend money before you’ve got it.” – Lillian Vernon

43. “I would advise those starting out to carefully research your niche and know your competition and the marketplace before you start a small business.” – Lillian Vernon

44. “I became successful due to several reasons. I never gave up and I never let anyone or anything get in my way. I use the power of positive thinking to tackle obstacles and challenges so they don’t defeat me. Passion for my work and my business is another important reason. I really love my work and I get great satisfaction from it.” – Lillian Vernon

Estee Lauder

45. “I have never worked a day in my life without selling. If I believe in something, I sell it, and I sell it hard.” – Estee Lauder

46. “I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it.” – Estee Lauder

47. “I was a woman with a mission and single-minded in the pursuit of my dream.” – Estee Lauder

Oprah Winfrey – Harpo Production Studios

48. “I am a woman in the process; I’m just trying to be like everybody else. I try to take every conflict, every experience and learn from it. Life is never dull.” – Oprah Winfrey

49. “I don’t believe in failure. It’s not failure if you enjoyed the process.” – Oprah Winfrey

50. “My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” – Oprah Winfrey