You can’t look on social media without a Steve Jobs or Warren Buffet quote flashing across your screen. But in celebration of International Women’s Day, we thought we’d find a little inspiration from the strong female business leaders of the world. Here are 25 inspiring quotes from women business leaders:
On Starting Out
- “Whatever it is that you think you want to do, and whatever it is that you think stands between you and that, stop making excuses. You can do anything.” – Katia Beauchamp, co-founder and CEO of Birchbox.
- “Walt Disney told his crew to ‘build the castle first’ when constructing Disney World, knowing that vision would continue to serve as motivation throughout the project. Oftentimes when people fail to achieve what they want in life, it’s because their vision isn’t strong enough.” – Gail Blanke, President and CEO of Lifedesigns
- “If you’re clear on what you believe, you have a great foundation to go make a market.”—Ginni Rometty, Chairman, president and CEO of IBM
- “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.” Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop
- “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, founder of iVillage.com
On Being Motivated
- “Option A is not available. So let’s kick the sh** out of option B.” – Sheryl Sandberg , COO of Facebook
- “Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know that so it goes on flying anyway.” – Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics
On Making a Difference
- “If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room.”—Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop
- “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.”—Coco Chanel, founder of Chanel
On Getting Stuff Done
- “The road to success is always under construction.”—Lily Tomlin, actress, comedian, writer and producer
- “One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.”—Marie Curie, physicist and chemist, and two-time (1903 and 1911) Nobel Prize winner
- “Repetition makes reputation and reputation makes customers.”—Elizabeth Arden, founder of Elizabeth Arden Inc.
- “So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.” – Caterina Fake, Co-founder ofFlickr
On Becoming a Leader
- “With kids, they don’t do what you want them to do when you want them to do it. Organizations don’t necessarily, either. You’ve got to listen. You’ve got to learn how to influence.” — Ellen J. Kullman, formerly Chair and Chief Executive Officer of DuPont.
- “True leadership stems from individuality that is honestly and sometimes imperfectly expressed… Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection.” — Sheryl Sandberg, COO ofFacebook
- “People respond well to those that are sure of what they want.” – Anna Wintour, editor-in-Chief of American Vogue
- “Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.” – Arianna Huffington, Editor-In-Chief of Huffington Post Media Group, AOL
On Not Being Afraid to Learn
- “I learned to always take on things I’d never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist.” — Virginia Rometty, CEO of IBM
- “Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.”—Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx
- “Do the best you can in every task, no matter how unimportant it may seem at the time. No one learns more about a problem than the person at the bottom.” – Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman appointed to the US Supreme Court
- “Find the smartest people you can and surround yourself with them.” — Marissa Meyer, CEO of Yahoo!
- “Know what you bring. Know what you don’t bring. And build a team that covers everything you need.”—Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List
On Planning the Future
- “Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” Mary Kay Ash, founder Mary Kay Cosmetics
- Define success in your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.” — Anne Sweeney, Co-Chair of Disney Media Networks
- “There is nothing like a concrete life plan to weigh you down. Because if you always have one eye on some future goal, you stop paying attention to the job at hand, miss opportunities that might arise, and stay fixedly on one path, even when a better, newer course might have opened up.”—Indra K. Nooyi, CEO of Pepsi Co.
Here to Help
Has reading inspiring quotes from women business leaders sparked the entrepreneurial fire within? No matter what stage of business, or what problem you face, Small Business BC offers a range of seminars and one-on-one advisory sessions to suit any business.