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We’ve compiled a list of quotes from some of the world’s most successful businesswomen to inspire you on your journey. No matter what business you run, the words of wisdom in this article can empower you.
We’ve all been blessed with unique gifts and the ability to become high achievers. If these entrepreneurs listed below can make it, so can you.
Believe in yourself.
Quotes from powerful business CEOs
1. Sara Blakely – (Founder of Spanx) – Net worth: $1.06 billion USD (2017) Forbes
“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know.”
“Embrace what you don’t know, especially in the beginning, because what you don’t know can become your greatest asset. It ensures that you will absolutely be doing things different from everybody else.”
“You’ve got to visualize where you’re headed and be very clear about it. Take a Polaroid picture of where you’re going to be in a few years.”
“Failure is not the outcome – failure is not trying. Don’t be afraid to fail.”
“My first account was Neiman Marcus. I cold-called them just like I had cold-called businesses when I was selling fax machines for seven years.”
“My revenue was $4 million my first year in business, off of one $20 item.”
2. Sheryl Sandberg – (COO of Facebook) – Net worth: $1.37 billion USD (2017) Forbes
“Feeling confident—or pretending that you feel confident—is necessary to reach for opportunities. It’s a cliché, but opportunities are rarely offered; they’re seized.”
“We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored.”
“Trying to do it all and expecting that it all can be done exactly right is a recipe for disappointment. Perfection is the enemy.”
“We hold ourselves back in ways both big and small, by lacking self-confidence, by not raising our hands, and by pulling back when we should be leaning in.”
“I feel really grateful to the people who encouraged me and helped me develop. Nobody can succeed on their own.”
3. Elizabeth Holmes – (Founder and CEO of Theranos) / Net worth: $4.5 billion USD (2016) Forbes
“I think a lot of young people have incredible ideas and incredible insights, but sometimes they wait before they go give their life to something. What I did was just to start a little earlier.”
“I don’t want to make an incremental change in some technology in my life. I want to create a whole new technology, and one that is aimed at helping humanity at all levels regardless of geography or ethnicity or age or gender.”
“What I really want out of life is to discover something new, something mankind didn’t know was possible to do.”
“I think that the minute that you have a backup plan, you’ve admitted that you’re not going to succeed.”
4. Ursula Burns – (Former CEO of Xerox and first black-American woman CEO to head Fortune 500 company)
“I’m a black lady from the Lower East Side of New York. Not a lot intimidates me.”
“If you don’t transform, you’re struck.”
“The world is full of opportunities – every day there’s something new that you can do. For example, you could make dirty water potable. Why does anyone not have potable water? Because it’s a problem that hasn’t been solved yet, but it can be.”
“Believe that there are no limitations, no barriers to your success — you will be empowered and you will achieve.”
5. Zhang Xin – (Co-founder of SOHO China) – Net worth: $3.2 billion USD Forbes
“Isolation means a lack of growth. I grew up in China at a time when the country was completely isolated. That era is over.”
“I have a profound dislike for showing off one’s material wealth. This is insensitive and it is not what human hearts are made for. But what I like about China and sometimes miss in Europe is the entrepreneurial spirit of our young people, their ambition and dynamism.”
“I’m very, very focused on my children. In fact, I’m very religious about having breakfast with them every morning, having dinner with them every evening, and spend all the weekends with them that I don’t work. So as long as I’m not traveling, I’m always with them and I go to their soccer and tennis matches. After dinner we’d just sit together and do homework with my children because they need help. I love doing that. It also makes me realize the world is so much wider than just your business world.”
6. Debbie Field – (Founder of Mrs. Fields Bakeries) – Net worth: $65 million USD The Richest
“Good enough never is. Set your standards so high that even the flaws are considered excellent.”
“I’ve never felt like I was in the cookie business. I’ve always been in a feel good feeling business. My job is to sell joy. My job is to sell happiness. My job is to sell an experience.”
“Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it.”
“Remember, the greatest failure is to not try.”
“There are people out there who want to say yes. That gave me confidence to keep asking.”
7. Indra Nooyi – (CEO of PepsiCo)
“Take a stand. Be known for your courage and confidence.”
“The glass ceiling will go away when women help other women break through that ceiling.”
“An important attribute of success is to be yourself. Never hide what makes you, you.”
“The distance between number one and number two is always a constant. If you want to improve the organization, you have to improve yourself and the organization gets pulled up with you. That is a big lesson. I cannot just expect the organization to improve if I don’t improve myself and lift the organization, because that distance is a constant.”
“Just because you are CEO, don’t think you have landed. You must continually increase your learning, the way you think, and the way you approach the organization. I’ve never forgotten that.”
8. Ginni Rometty (CEO of IBM and first woman to head the company) Net worth: $45 million USD Celebrity Net Worth
- One of the most important things for any leader is to never let anyone else define who you are. And you define who you are.
- I learned to always take on things I’d never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist.
- Be first and be lonely.
- Don’t let others define you. Define yourself.
- Never love something so much that you can’t let go of it.
9. Meg Whitman (CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise) – Net worth: $2.3 billion USD Forbes
- “The price of inaction is far greater than then cost of a mistake.”
- “Run to the fire; don’t hide from it.”
- “Do what you love and success will follow. Passion is the fuel behind a successful career.”
- “Communications is at the heart of e-commerce and community.”
10. Oprah Winfrey (Founder of OWN production company) – Net Worth: $3 billion USD Forbes
“You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”
“Often we don’t even realize who we’re meant to be because we’re so busy trying to live out someone else’s ideas. But other people and their opinions hold no power in defining our destiny.”
“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.”
“Everybody has a calling. And your real job in life is to figure out as soon as possible what that is, who you were meant to be, and to begin to honor that in the best way possible for yourself.”
“I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity.”