Some of the Most Successful Female Entrepreneurs Share the Best Advice They've Ever Received

Daniella Cressman

Disclaimer: This information is accurate and true to the best of my knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

The startup world is a volatile one, filled with twists and turns, ups and downs, false starts, and passions: It's possible to make all of your dreams come true, but the journey to get there can be extremely difficult at times, to put it lightly.

Thankfully, 15 female entrepreneurs have shared the best advice they've ever received.

1. KNOW YOUR BUSINESS INSIDE AND OUT

You'll want to know your business inside and out, according to You'll want to do your research on your industry of choice, so that you understand every detail—Having a wealth of knowledge could also help you stand out from your competition!

Daleen Vorster learned this from Mark Slaga—the former CEO of Dimension Data Americas—and the knowledge has served her well ever since.

2. KEEP TRACK OF YOUR CASH FLOW

Keeping track of the finances is crucial, according to Larah Strahan: The Director of Lolly and Cooks. She received this help from a man who was quite knowledgeable about the process of tracking a business's cash flow.

"I've been given so much great advice over the years it's hard to pinpoint just one piece. However, somebody, many years ago, helped me set up my first cash flow projection excel document. This was just before opening our very first Lolly and Cooks on Drury Street. He advised me on how to read and act on the figures calculated. It was the first time I had ever done this, and I still use the very same cash flow projection document today?? although it is somewhat modified to include much more!" —Larah Strahan

3. KNOW YOUR PEOPLE AND DO RIGHT BY THEM

This will help you familiarize yourself with what your clients or customers respond to while also prioritizing your employees' health if you hire more people as you expand your company. Ellen Kavanagh Jones—The CEO & Founder of Waxperts— learned these valuable lessons from Louise Phelan in the Going for Growth program.

4. NEVER LOSE YOUR FIRE

It's so easy to get discouraged in the world of entrepreneurship: There are ups and downs constantly, and months fraught with financial struggle, but you have to keep going. Choose something you are passionate about and hang onto it for dear life! ....says to never allow external circumstances to dim your spark.

Entrepreneurship is a risky route to take that is paved with good intentions, but a lot of onlookers may be discouraging while you are in the building phases: Don't ever let anyone bring you down!

"In my entrepreneurial journey, I have received really valuable advice and while I can't share them all, here are three - never let anyone bully you. Be strong and face every situation fiercely with grace and dignity. Appreciate what you have built, protect it and be proud of it." —Meghna Saraogi

5. FOLLOW YOUR INTUITION

If you've wanted to be a writer since you were three, perhaps that is the best path to follow, even though it is a risky one. Listen to your heart—If you are entrepreneur, you will have to love what you do with a passion!

Linda Ennis, the Managing Director of Beauty Academy, received this great advice from one of the best teachers of all time: her mother.

6. NEVER BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP

It can be difficult to ask for help, especially if we were conditioned not to do so as children, but it's absolutely crucial to ask for assistance if needed, whether that means taking a course from someone who is familiar with the industry or asking a trusted friend to babysit if you have kids and are feeling overwhelmed, especially during the beginning stages of your business.

Oonagh O'Hagan, the Founder and Managing Director of Meaghers Pharmacy Group, learned this through trial and error, and through watching other people trying to juggle everything at once.

7. DON'T BE AFRAID TO DELEGATE WHEN NECESSARY

If you have the resources to do so, it's crucial to delegate: Few people can manage a thriving business on their own without feeling completely burnt out—You don't have to hire hundreds of employees, but it might be helpful to pay an editor to take a look at your manuscript if you are an author or spend a bit of your money on a graphic designer before you self-publish your book, for example.

Sara Wager has learned to do this to avoid overwhelm and burnout. She's also assisted countless entrepreneurs who working twelve-hour days and exhausting themselves with what seemed like a million different tasks!

8. BELIEVE IN YOUR MISSION, PRODUCTS, AND SERVICES

It is really hard to market and sell something you simply do not believe in, which is why you will have to choose a mission you strongly believe in. Anne Butterly says this is a gamechanger. She learned this through trial and error. She also realized early on, as she watching other entrepreneurs, that it is nearly impossible to actually receive money for something you don't totally believe in or agree with.

9. CONTINUALLY INVEST IN YOUR PEOPLE

Employees love working for a company that treats them well, whether that consists of paid time off, a few extra perks if they have a stellar performance, or even a decidedly nontoxic workplace, according to Mary McKenna: the Managing Director of Tour America.

If you have the resources, it's essential to make your workplace feel like a comfortable, safe place for your employees: If you take this approach, they'll likely stay with you for a much longer time.

10. CONTINUALLY INVEST IN YOUR OWN PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

Your business thrives when you thrive. It's a simple as that. ....says so.

11. NEVER GIVE UP, NO MATTER HOW HARD IT GETS

Entrepreneurship is hard. You might have to take on a few extra gigs if you have a tough month, and many have struggled to pay their bills, but it is ultimately a journey that you have chosen, and one that can bring enormous rewards if you persevere. Lilian Ajai Ore, the Founder and CEO of the Global Connections for Women Foundation, thinks as much.

12. ONLY COMMIT TO A SIGNIFICANT OTHER WHO HONORS AND SUPPORTS YOUR AMBITION

Your partner and your family impact every area of your life: If you choose to be a mom and a working woman, you'll likely benefit from having a very supportive partner! That being said, it's of the utmost importance that whoever you are with does not want to diminish your ambition. After all, you want to be able to be your passionate, hardworking self around this person!

Lilian Ajayi Ore—the Founder and CEO of the Global Connections for Women Foundation—remembers receiving this advice from Sheryl Sandberg.

It changed her life.

13. ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES

"You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf." —Heather Hartnett's parents

There will be good times and bad times. The only part of the equation that you can control is your behavior and your reactions.

Heather Hartnett is the CEO and Founding Partner of Human Ventures. She keeps this words close to her heart as she progresses through business and life.

14. YOU CAN EMBRACE YOUR FEMININITY WHILE ALSO BEING DIRECT, TOUGH, AND AMBITIOUS

It's worth mentioning that you don't have to give up your feminine qualities to succeed in business: There are many types of femininity of course, and you have the right to follow whichever version resonates most strongly with you, whether that consists of wearing your signature red lipstick or your favorite earrings, or simply going to the spa during the weekend to rejuvenate.

It's essential to embrace and honor your womanhood as someone who is entrepreneurial in spirit.

Kathleen Griffith, the Founder and CEO of Grayce & Co, says so. She has learned this from admiring, interacting with, and taking inspiration from Diane von Furstenberg.

15. BE CONFIDENT AND ASK FOR WHAT YOU DESERVE—AVOID BEING CONFRONTATIONAL AND ANGRY

It can be easy to fall into the trap of timidly asking for a what we want in business and in life or to be overly angry about it, but it's important to remain confident, calm, cool, and collected as you request what you ultimately deserve. Janett, the Cofounder & COO of MadeMen, has learned these lessons partially through trial and error, and partially through watching other people navigate the world of entrepreneurship. Her main takeaway? As a female in the industry, it's especially important to ask for what you want and work on your terms. It's okay to walk away if a company isn't willing to negotiate with you or doesn't meet your expectations. At the end of the day, hanging onto your sense of self is of crucial importance: You are an immensely valuable worker, but you are also immensely valuable simply because you are a human being.

Life is hard, and entrepreneurship is risky business, but you can absolutely succeed if you play your cards right and never give up! Thankfully, you can learn from these 15 powerful ladies who have mastered the art of entrepreneurship!

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Canadian-American author writing about local politics, personal finance, & dining in Albuquerque.

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