With International Women’s Day approaching, we wanted to feature some inspiring businesswomen and hear their stories on how they got their start – from failures to dreaming big and making it happen, here are seven female founders on how they began their business.
“Growing up everyone always told me what I ‘should’ be doing and I did all of those things because I thought that’s what would make me look successful to people and they would be proud of me. One day I decided to stop doing all the shoulds, hired a life coach and quit my job teaching to start living an unconventional lifestyle of entrepreneurship. I felt so restricted and miserable working as a teacher and knew that I had to make things happen for myself if I wanted my life to change.
这就是为什么我聘请了一位生活教练放在第一位。Doing so made me realize I didn’t have to be a teacher forever. I became a life coach and started making more money in my first year coaching than I did as a teacher. Things just kept growing and eventually, Katie invited me to partner with her and grow IGC.
Two years into business, I discovered that my partner had been cheating on me with multiple women and I was forced to suddenly move my two sons, two dogs and myself into a new home and learn to single parent while running a full-time business.
The experience was absolutely heartbreaking, but it ended up making me stronger. I realized I didn’t need to rely on a man to be financially successful. I had Inner Glow Circle, which was more than providing for me and my two sons. It was one of the toughest seasons of my life, but I made it through and I’m glowing more than ever. If I wasn’t resilient during that time, I wouldn’t be here now.” –Liv Chapman，联合创始人Inner Glow Circle
“My journey into personal development started in 2012 when I started my first business and began devouring personal development books on my commute to and from my architecture job in NYC. When I started applying what I learned and experimenting, I started to get more accomplished, felt happier and everything in my life got an upgrade. Then I realized what was missing from the traditional education system and wished more people could experience this change earlier in life. That was why I decided to start BestSelf Co. It started not as a business but as a passion project on the side of other businesses. Our first product, the SELF Journal came from scratching our own itch and wanting a journal goal system to exist for ourselves. When our Kickstarter was funded in only 28 hours and went on to raise over $322,000, I knew we were onto something and that’s when I really started to focus on it as a business. Since starting it we’ve helped hundreds of thousands of people reach their goals, get back their time and lead better lives. Continuing this trend is what keeps myself and the BestSelf team pushing forward and improving everyday.
We launched our first product, the Self Journal on Kickstarter. I had some prior experience with Kickstarter from a previous business so I knew a lot about launching a successful campaign – although with BestSelf it would be my most successful yet. You can find the details of how we did thishere。我们众筹竞选活动中提出的款项使我们能够在2016年1月1日履行我们的订单并启动我们的网上商店。从那时起，我们已经从2人到10人团队成长，所有人都在美国，加拿大和欧洲远程工作。在2016年，我们赢得了Shopify建立了一个商业奖，这是全年竞争的全新业务。然后不到一年后，我们在收入近4倍缩短了近4倍，并赢得了与Tony Robbins合作建立更大的商业奖。会见导师喜欢蒂姆·弗里斯，玛丽·格勒罗，日间约翰和托尼罗宾斯是一个令人难以置信的经历。从那以后，我们在2019年在Inc 5000上放了＃318，并继续发展。Over the past five years, I have had to learn many new skills to get the business to the next level, it has been at times tough, challenging but definitely worth it.It’s great to be setting an example for other women who want to start their own business or trailblaze their own path. As a child, I never knew this was a career path. In fact, I didn’t know anyone – man or women who ran their own business growing up, my parents and everyone I knew had “regular” jobs. Never give up on learning new skills and focusing on where you want to be. Never settle for less than you deserve or you’ll always be thinking what if. Time is our most valuable asset and we can convert it into anything we want, more money, more experiences, more skills — we just have to ensure we’re intentional with it.”- Cathryn Lavery，联合创始人兼首席执行官BestSelf Co.
When my co-founder and CTO Kaliyuga Sivakumar and I launched Kango, the success of a ride-sharing service for kids was far from guaranteed. We were confident that it filled a crucial need, but we didn’t know what the adoption rate would be. Now, it’s evident that the marketplace has been validated as parents rely more and more on Kango’s service, and it’s exciting to see the demand coming from cities across the country. Kango is committed to continuing to be the most reliable, trusted, safest ride-share service and we’re looking forward to continuing to grow and care for even more busy families.
我建议其他女性企业家的工作idea that you’re passionate about and willing to devote all of your energy to. Good ideas don’t become good businesses without passion and an unending commitment to seeing your idea come to fruition. I fully believe in Kango’s mission to empower busy families to do more, and even throughout the tough days, this strongly-held belief kept me motivated.”- Sara Schaer，联合创始人兼首席执行官Kango
“It started with a phone call. My husband John was somewhere in the world on one of his marathon business trips. With an MBA in marketing, he was constantly traveling the globe working with Fortune 500 companies. I was describing what happened with the kids that day when he said three words that nearly broke my heart: ‘I’m missing everything.’
At that moment, something in me shifted. I knew the little side business I had started with only $50 was going to change the lives of my family. I set a big goal for myself, standing there in the middle of my kitchen. I decided that I was going to grow my business so my husband could leave corporate America behind for good and come work with me.
It wasn’t a simple process, but I am a stubborn woman (I always have been) and I knew I could do it… so I pulled out a planner and I laid out my plans right there at my kitchen table while the evening light streamed in and my kids played at my feet. I wrote out milestones, I designed streamlined systems and I organized…stopping only for a short time to bathe the kids and tuck them into bed. I kissed them hurriedly that night with no extra bedtime stories because I was already itching to get back downstairs to the skeleton of a business plan I was creating. I had an idea formulating in my head and I couldn’t rest until I sketched it out on paper.
Now, I’ve always loved organizing, so that part was easy, but I realized that I had to push my productivity to an all-time high because I was still a full-time stay at home mom raising 2 small kids with a husband who traveled for weeks on end at times. But I did it… by 2009, I had grown my business to the point that my husband was able to permanently leave the corporate world behind forever and come and work with me at the business I had created.
One of the biggest challenges in closing down my jewelry business and opening inkWELL Press was figuring out how to budget my family’s finances and survive six months without income. But because my husband and I knew we were chasing our big dream, we found saying no to the little splurges in life was actually easy when looking at the big picture.
Because of the rapid growth of inkWELL Press, I had to make a lot of sacrifices personally during the first year of business. There were times that I wasn’t able to be the hands-on mom that I really like to be to my kids—time I cannot get back. I wish I had told myself to outsource a bit more. Instead of designing and coding the website myself, I should have hired out… things like that. Sometimes it can be scary turning things (especially important things!) over to others, but I really should have looked at my plate with a more realistic eye. I believe though, that every struggle is a learning experience, so I am working hard to not make this mistake again.”-Tonya Dalton, Founder of墨水瓶新闻生产力有限公司万博app版下载
“I started my first business at the age of 24 and it was an organic spray tanning company called Whole Glow.
You know how they say hairstylists have all the secrets in the world? Well, I think spray tan artists have even more secrets, because we get clients totally stripped down… literally, and as it turns out, figuratively too.
Since my clients were being so open, I knew I needed some sort of professional training to be able to support them. I set my vision on life coaching and was able to build Whole Glow into a double business venture: “outer glow” services with the spray tanning and “inner glow” with the life coaching. You may find those two things to be an odd pairing, but because I had such a loyal customer base who trusted me, it took off. People loved the mix between the inner and outer glow!
As my path with life coaching evolved, I decided to launch Inner Glow Circle, a coaching and training company for women entrepreneurs that offered support from many coaches and experts, not just me! I started to realize it was my calling to help people build successful lives and businesses, and with that came a sense of tremendous pride. It felt like a rebirth, like there was so much on the horizon to look forward to.
100 days into the launch of Inner Glow Circle, I received a phone call that my brother Bo passed away from an overdose. His death turned my world upside down. I started to question everything.
But just in case the grief wasn’t enough to take on, I was also battling Lyme disease. After ten years of misdiagnosis, I lost feeling in half of my body. I kept working through the pain, but it took a toll. The Lyme was getting worse, and I started to really worry that I didn’t have much time left. Even though I was in treatment, I lived in fear the paralysis would return, and I’d have to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair.
My favorite quote I remind myself of is 4 SWs: some will, some won’t, so what and someone’s waiting. That tip was shared with me because I was making the efforts. I was putting myself out there. I was networking and showing up for events and for myself and that is what brought me to where I am today; launching thePassion to Paycheck VIP Membership。I want to show up for people and remind them of what they are worth.” –Erika de la Cruz，最畅销的作家＆创造者Passion to Paycheck