25 Inspiring Quotes From Women Business Leaders

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur looking for that extra push of inspiration? In celebration of International Women’s Day, we wanted to take some encouragement from strong female business leaders from around the world. Here are 25 inspiring quotes from women business leaders:

On Starting Out

  1. “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. 
  2. “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.
  3. “If you’re clear on what you believe, you have a great foundation to go make a market.” – Ginni Rometty, former chairman, president and CEO of IBM.
  4. “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.
  5. “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

  1. “Option A is not available. So let’s kick the sh** out of option B.” – Sheryl Sandberg, former COO of Facebook.
  2. “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

  1. “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.
  2. “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” – Coco Chanel, founder of Chanel.

On Getting Stuff Done

  1. “The road to success is always under construction.” – actress, comedian, writer and producer Lily Tomlin.
  2. “One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.” – Marie Curie, physicist, chemist, and two-time Nobel Prize winner.  
  3. “Repetition makes reputation and reputation makes customers.” – Elizabeth Arden, founder of Elizabeth Arden Inc.
  4. “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 of Flickr.

On Becoming a Leader

  1. “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, former chair and chief executive officer of DuPont.
  2. “True leadership stems from individuality that is honestly and sometimes imperfectly expressed… Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection.” – Sheryl Sandberg, former COO of Facebook.
  3. “People respond well to those that are sure of what they want.” – Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of American Vogue.
  4. “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, co-founder and former editor-in-chief of Huffington Post.

 On Not Being Afraid to Learn

  1. “I learned to always take on things I’d never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist.” – Virginia Rometty, former Chairman, president and CEO of IBM.
  2. “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.
  3. “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.
  4. “Find the smartest people you can and surround yourself with them.” – Marissa Meyer, former president and chief executive officer of Yahoo! 
  5. “Know what you bring. Know what you don’t bring. And build a team that covers everything you need.” – Angie Hicks, co-founder of Angie’s List.

On Planning for the Future

  1. “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 of Mary Kay Cosmetics.
  2. “Define success in your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.” – Anne Sweeney, former co-chair of Disney Media Networks.
  3. “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, former CEO of Pepsi Co.

Resources for Women Entrepreneurs

  • WeBC is an organization that supports women starting, developing, and growing their businesses in BC.
  • The BDC’s guide for women entrepreneurs includes initiatives of their partner organizations that can help women grow their businesses.
  • The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s resources for women in business features tools, grants, government supports, and more.

Small Business BC is Here to Help

SBBC is a non-profit resource centre for BC-based small businesses. Whatever your idea of success is, we’re here to provide holistic support and resources at every step of the journey. Check out our range of business webinars, on-demand E-Learning Education, our Talk to an Expert Advisories, or browse our business articles.