13 Women Leaders Share Insights for Entrepreneurial Success

Opportunities and barriers line the path to entrepreneurial success. Are you inadvertently an impasse along the route or are you the instigator leading the way?

Better take a look at how you’re approaching the process. How willing are you to learn, listen, reach out to others and reach inward to reflect? Are you resolute? Learn from the insights of entrepreneurial women members of YPO:

Go for it

“Don’t sit around and wait for right time. Just start.”— Gen George, Founder of OneShift, Sydney, Australia

“A constant seeking for undefined balance has always left me dissatisfied with the current moment, so I left that journey behind and decided to enjoy the ‘right now’ instead and do what was needed of me to get this moment done well.” — Jennifer Labit, Founder and CEO of Cotton Babies, St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Keep learning

“As I saw the need, or opportunity, for business growth, I would support my efforts with a greater academic understanding. For example, as I became more and more involved with public policy, I chose to bolster my skills by studying sociology. In addition to my MBA from INSEAD, I’ve earned degrees in engineering, the law, sociology and environmental studies.” — Celina Carpi, Member of the Board of Libra Holdings, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

“The most advantageous way to learn is to ‘take yourself to Harvard every week.’ During the process of negotiating the sale of my company, whenever I didn’t know something I would hire somebody and say ‘Teach me X’ and for three days I would lock myself away and focus on only that aspect of the business.” — Lizanne Falsetto, Founder of thinkThin, Santa Monica, California, USA

Be self-aware

“It is a great strength to know what I don’t know. If I find that I’m the smartest person in the room, I’m in trouble. It is so much better to be in a room with people who can teach me things.”  — Joelle Goudsmit, President of Dimension-All Formworks and Scaffoldings, Philippines

“I needed enough confidence that I would learn on the job. There were steep learning curves but not to overthink was a key lesson during the early years.” — Leah Busque, CEO of TaskRabbit, San Francisco, California, USA

“Because I was young, I had to work harder as a managing director at 22. But being a woman in the Arab world can be turned into a positive. I think sometimes the biggest limitation for women is themselves.” — Christine Sfeir, CEO of Meeting Point and Treats Holdings, Beirut, Lebanon

Be authentic

“I founded my business and became CEO at 26. I was insecure and wanted to show people how smart and strong I was so I hid my vulnerability. I became friends with a work colleague for whom I had great respect. She shared with me that I was so much better to be friends with than to work for and I realized that if I could bring my true self to work — all my outrageous humanity — I would be more respected and successful.” — Suzanne Klahr, CEO of BUILD, Redwood City, California, USA

Have resolve

“Be independent. It doesn’t mean you live alone or that you don’t depend on anybody, it’s a mindset. I think sometimes young women are intimidated by the peer pressure. If you have something you want to pursue, it could be different from your peers or even your husband or your parents, but you have to be independent enough to pursue it.” — Monita Mo, Founder and President of Ascend Capital Partners, Beijing, China

“In order to succeed and for your work not to feel like a job here is what I believe in: Follow your passion, trust your gut, and plan to reach your dream, otherwise it only remains a wish; continue to learn; and take time out for yourself every day.” — Catherine Hodgson, Joint-CEO of The Hodgson Group, Cape Town, South Africa

“The key is to be really present and committed in everything you do. When you can really connect, you are the most effective in all aspects of your life.”— Ayesha Vardag, President of Vardags, London, England, UK

Seek and accept input

“One thing that can get in an entrepreneur’s way is they think they can do it all by themselves, they’re too proud, or they don’t want to seem vulnerable. If you’re looking through one lens, you’re going to be myopic.” — Patty DeDominic, CEO and Chief Catalyst of DeDominic & Associates, Santa Barbara, California, USA

“Getting the right people around you from the start allows you to elevate and amplify the dream that you have.” — Kimberly Rath, Chairman and Co-Founder of Talent Plus, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

For more than 30 years, Heather has been creating innovative content for a myriad of communities including business leaders, nonprofit, energy, health care, education and aviation. She has been with YPO since 2014, currently serving as Communications Director leading the member communications team.