There are many powerful women in the world of business, these are the leaders and a good representation of the 8.6 million female-owned businesses in America. They are role models, scientists, mathematicians, media personalities, entertainers and philanthropists but above all - they are collectively worth billions.
Kip Tindell, CEO of Container Store, has a work force of 70% women and he attributes this figure to the overall success of the business. At a conference earlier this year he said, "I think that [women] make better business leaders than men. I think what is happening now is that you are getting more of a conscious capitalist approach and less of this top-down, military kind of structure … there's a beautiful feminization of American business taking place."
Any successful leader will tell you it's all down to a combination of risk, reward, talent and determination. But what specific advice do these power players have for those who are starting out? Find out as we look at the success secrets from the most powerful women in the world.
20 "You Never Lose In Business" - Melinda F. Emerson
"You never lose in business, either you win or you learn."
Melinda F.Emerson is the award-winning author of Become Your Own Boss In 12 Months. She is also known as "SmallBizLady" and America's number one small business expert so if she advises that you should not worry about losing - then don't.
Emerson is a regular columnist for the New York Times and Forbes magazine named her the number one woman entrepreneur to be following on Twitter. Other advice from her is to make sure you have a supportive partner at home. She warns, "An unsupportive spouse can kill a business faster than a bad marketing plan."
19 "Kick The S**t Out Of Option B" - Sheryl Sandberg
"Option A is not available. So let's just kick the s**t out of Option B."
Facebook's COO, Sheryl Sandberg, suffered an unimaginable loss when her husband of ten years, SurveyMonkey founder Dave Goldberg, died unexpectedly. Goldberg, who Sandberg had two children with, fell on a treadmill and was killed by fatal blood loss, during a family holiday in Mexico. In June, Sandberg wrote a 1,700 word letter on her Facebook page describing her grief.
Her inspirational quote explains how having her husband alive would be option A, the one thing she wants more than anything else - but as this isn't an option then "kick the s**t out of option B." It's always about looking ahead even during the most difficult of times.
18 "I Only Try To Dance Better Than Myself." - Arianna Huffington
"I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself."
Arianna Huffington founded online newspaper The Huffington Post in the 90s, then in 2011 the newspaper was sold to AOL for $315 million, where she remained as President and Editor-In-Chief. She is now globally recognized as one of the most influential women in the world.
Earlier this year she released her the deeply personal book, Thrive, about challenges she has faced throughout life. Her quote about only trying to dance better than yourself, explains that we should not compare ourself to others but only try and achieve better than we did the day before.
17 "Growth And Comfort Do Not Coexist." - Virginia Rometty
"I learned to always take on things I had never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist."
IBM CEO Virginia "Ginni" Rometty, became the first woman to head the company when she took the post in 2012. She has appeared in Fortune's 50 most powerful women in the world list for ten consecutive years running and Forbes' 20 most influential women in the world list.
She first joined the company in 1981, aged just 24-years-old as a systems engineer. Over the years she has climbed the ladder all the way to the top through sheer work and determination.
16 "Don't Be Intimidated" - Sara Blakely
“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.”
Take it from billionaire Sara Blakely when she advises never to be intimidated by what you don't know. Fifteen years ago, she launched Spanx from her apartment in Atlanta and the brand has since changed the way women can wear clothes with confidence.
She invested $5,000 of her own savings into making the first ever pair of Spanx when she was working as a door-to-door fax machine saleswoman. Now, she has a net worth of $1.15 billion and still holds 100% ownership of the company.
15 "Prioritize" - Julie Aigner Clark
“When my company started really growing, I didn’t have any help in my house at all. I had the upkeep of my daily life, I had a one year old and a three year old, and I had my house. So I had to prioritize.”
In 1997, former teacher and stay-at-home mother of two Julie Aigner-Clark, founded Baby Einstein after investing her life savings of $18,000 into the company which is now worth $400 million. The toys and videos they produced were labelled "crack for babies" which went on to be incredibly successful.
Julie no longer is involved with the company but has since become an incredibly influential public speaker. Had she not have prioritized her time between work and home life then she might never have been the millionaire she is today.
14 "Look In The Mirror!" - Katherine Miracle
"Do not wait on a leader...look in the mirror, its you!"
Katherine Miracle is a successful marketing executive and motivational speaker. She started her career as a reporter, which led her to public relations with March of Dimes research. In her 15 years within the company, she was promoted eight times and eventually landed the highest position as Executive Director.
Miracle is an expert in salesmanship, advertising, promotions and small business management. She has helped businesses turnover $28 million after they trusted her expert advice.
13 "Dream Bigger" - Tory Burch
"If it doesn’t scare you, you’re probably not dreaming big enough."
American fashion designer, entrepreneur and philanthropist Tory Burch is the CEO of Tory Burch LLC. She is currently listed as Forbes' 73rd most powerful woman in the world. After graduating college, Burch worked for many designers including Ralph Lauren and Vera Wang before setting up on her own.
Her label was endorsed by Oprah Winfrey who called it "the next big thing in fashion" and after this broadcast the website received eight million hits in one day. Tory Burch stock can now be found in 3,000 department stores worldwide. She encourages all women to dream so big that it scares you.
12 "Take Power" - Beyonce
"Power is not given to you. You have to take it!"
Aged just 34-years-old, Beyonce is a performer and businesswoman who has slowly been taking over the world for the past decade. Her 2014 self-titled album went platinum after reaching number one in 104 countries in just three days.
Last summer her On The Run tour alongside husband Jay-Z embarked on a run of nineteen North American shows. The tour grossed $100 million and put their average attendance up to the same staggering numbers the Rolling Stones pull in. She is also a mother of one, a philanthropist and motivational speaker for young ladies everywhere. Just as she suggests - take the power.
11 "People Will Always Have An Opinion" - Gisele Bundchen
"People will always have an opinion. Some people will say she should be a cleaning lady.' And then another will say I’m beautiful" At the end of the day, it’s about what those people think about themselves."
Gisele Bundchen has been the highest earning supermodel on the planet since 2004 and it's not all about just walking down the runway. She has turned her name into it's very own brand and this year alone she has bought home an eye-watering $43 million in earnings.
Her business ventures include a line of sandals with fashion label Grendene, a collaboration with Hope (think of it as a Brazilian-style Victoria's Secret) and she owns her own beauty company, Sejaa Pure Skincare, which collectively generates roughly $1 billion in sales each year. She's a smart woman who speaks fluent English, Italian, Spanish, German, French and her native tongue of Portuguese, so she can negotiate business on an international platform.
10 "Go In Feeling Like You're Successful" - Lillian Menarche
"I don't look at risk the way other people do. When you're an entrepreneur, you have to go in feeling like you're going to be successful."
The Lillian Vernon Corporation was founded in 1951, by Lilian Menarche from her Mount Vernon, New York apartment. She was only 24-years-old and began placing adverts in the back of Seventeen magazine for personalized purses and bags. In 1987, it became the first company founded by a woman to trade on the stock market.
In 1997, Menarche was appointed by President Bill Clinton to become the chairwoman of the White House National Business Women's Council. She advises all women to adopt a positive mental attitude and approach every decision as if you are going to be successful.
9 "Life Isn't A Dress Rehearsal" - Mikki Taylor
"Many women live like it’s a dress rehearsal. Ladies, the curtain is up and you’re on."
Mikki Taylor is one woman everyone could learn from. She is a best-selling author, TV personality and a motivational speaker respected by women from all around the globe. Her media career has lasted three decades and she is currently the editor of Essence magazine as well as president of Mikki Taylor, LLC.
Taylor is the first woman the media calls to discuss Michelle Obama's style, which she writes about in her book Commander In Chic. She offers women smart advice on how to get the "polished and pulled together" look, which allows you to communicate your success through your wardrobe. Just like she says, "Life is not a dress rehearsal."
8 "Success Will Come" - Cassandra Sanford
“If this is something that you really want to do, if you believe in it … simply keep forging forward because success will come.”
Cassandra Sandford is the co-founder and CEO of KellyMitchell, Inc. Since 1998, she has been big in business, as well as a licensed attorney by the American Bar Association in the State of Missouri. She holds degrees in both Political Science and Corporate Law.
She began her company with $10,000 worth of savings. Her business plan was to knock on companies doors and ask if they were willing to out-source their IT needs to her. Over the decades, KellyMitchell has provided temporary IT staff to huge companies such as AT&T , Target and General Mills . They now have offices in 11 cities, more than 500 employees and an annual revenue of more than $78 million.
7 "Get People To Follow You To The Ends Of The Earth." - Indra Nooyi
"Leadership is hard to define and good leadership even harder. But if you can get people to follow you to the ends of the earth, you are a great leader."
Indra Nooyi is the current Chairperson and CEO of Pepsi, the second largest drink company in the world. She joined the company in 1994 and in 2001 she became President of the company. She lead the merger with Quaker Oats Company and last year Forbes named her the third most powerful woman in the world.
Her secret to success is to invest in people. She told Forbes magazine, "Train people at work. Train your (staff) to be your extended famiy. If you don’t develop mechanisms with your secretaries, with the extended office, with everybody around you, it cannot work."
6 "Move Forward Fast" - Rebecca Woodcock
"Don’t waste a single second. Just move forward as fast as you can, and go for it."
CakeHealth is the brainchild of Rebecca Woodcock, who founded the company after she discovered documenting her close friend's medical expenses was almost impossible. She found trying to track how much had been spent hospital visits, treatments and medication was out of control, so she came up with the solution.
In early 2010, she developed CakeHealth which allows users to enter their insurance credentials and then you can manage your health care expenses in one place. Tom Geron at Forbes called it "the biggest no-brainer of the day" when it first started. The company now turns over an estimated $10 million a year and it's all because, as Woodcock suggests, they moved fast.
5 "Push Through That Feeling Of Being Scared" - Marissa Mayer
"If you push through that feeling of being scared, that feeling of taking risk, really amazing things can happen."
Since 2012, Marissa Mayer has been the CEO of Yahoo! Inc, previously she had been a long-term executive and spokesperson for Google. Fortune magazine ranked her as the 16th most-powerful businesswoman in the world and she was ranked at number 20 in Forbes' list of most-powerful women in the world.
Mayer earns a seven figure annual wage and was even awarded the position of CEO when she was pregnant with her first child. She has been recognized as a trailblazer for the future of women in business.
4 "How Far Can I Push In The Next 24 Hours?" - Leah Busque
"I wake up every morning and think to myself, ‘How far can I push the company forward in the next 24 hours?’"
Leah Busque is the founder of TaskRabbit, an online source for tasking people in your area with jobs that you can't do. Originally the company was named RunMyErrand, then soon after it's name change and the staff force grew that they began to generate $4 million a month in revenue.
TaskRabbit is considered the "eBay of the real-world labour". Their company slogan is "Do More, Live More. Be More" and with Busque's positive attitude around it's certainly infectious.
3 "Think Like A Queen" - Oprah Winfrey
"Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness."
Oprah Winfrey was born into rural poverty in an urban neighbourhood, she then went on to become a millionaire at 32-years-old after her talk show went national. After decades of building a career in the media, she has a net worth of $3 billion and is the richest African American of the 20th century.
Her life story is said to be one of the most inspiring of all time, after she started with nothing at all. To date she has received two Academy Award nominations, ten Emmy Awards, five NAACP Image Awards, four People's Choice Awards and in 2013 she was honoured with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
2 "Work Hard" - Estée Lauder
"I never dreamed about success. I worked for it."
Estée Lauder first started her beauty company in 1946 with a cream which was developed by her chemist Uncle. In 1947, Saks Fifth Avenue ordered $800 worth of her products, which sold out in two days and put her on the road to soon becoming the richest self-made woman in the world. In 1998, Lauder was the only woman on Time magazine's 1998 list of the 20 most influential business geniuses of the 20th century and her company generates $10 billion in sales each year.
In 2004, she passed away aged 95-years-old. Her advice still lives as she suggested, "If you have a goal, if you want to be successful, if you really want to do it and become another Estée Lauder, you've got to work hard, you've got to stick to it and you've got to believe in what you're doing."
1 "Build A Life You're Proud To Live" - Anne Sweeney
"Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you're proud to live."
Forbes magazine placed Anne Sweeney, former Chairwoman of Disney Media Networks, as the 24th most powerful woman in the world. She had a tough job overseeing the operations of ABC TV, ABC Studios and Disney Channels worldwide. Just to put her career into perspective, that's 107 channels with 431 million viewers in 166 countries. a sprawling portfolio indeed.
In 2014, it was announced that she would be leaving her position to become a television director. She advises that you should live life exactly how you want and make your own rules when it comes to defining success.