So, you have an idea. It’s great, creative, and innovative. Before you tell the world about it, what comes next? Where do you get started? And how do you get your idea to grow once you finally get the ball rolling? Entrepreneurship isn’t without its rollercoaster of emotions, from feeling excited and accomplished to overwhelmed and frustrated. But you can handle this ride, and best of all, it isn’t a ride you’re going on by yourself. These five influential women prove that being an entrepreneur, while filled with its share of hard work, is worth taking the plunge.
Entrepreneurship isn’t without its rollercoaster of emotions, from feeling excited and accomplished to overwhelmed and frustrated…it isn’t a ride you’re going on by yourself.
THE MEDIA PIONEER
Arianna Huffington, Co-Founder of The Huffington Post
In 2005, Arianna Huffington launched the content machine known as The Huffington Post. What began as a blog of aggregated liberal news grew to encompass a wide range of media news, blogs and content across all industries. The Huffington Post was ranked as “the most powerful blog in the world” by The Observer, with more than 207 million unique visitors a month devouring its content. Huffington sold the site to AOL in 2011 for roughly $300 million, becoming the President and Editor-In-Chief of the Huffington Post Media Group.
The Takeaway: Love what you do and take time to relax.
If you’re passionate about a topic and have dreams of starting your own site, self-host a blog with your own domain name for a small, monthly fee. As you develop your website, remember to take time to unwind! In her latest book, Thrive, Huffington has stressed the importance of recharging and sleeping to avoid burnout and fractured relationships, both with your personal and professional life. Entrepreneurship will always involve hard work, challenges, and dedication, but not remembering to slow down will ultimately undermine your creativity, productivity and leadership.
Entrepreneurship will always involve hard work, challenges, and dedication, but not remembering to slow down will ultimately undermine your creativity, productivity and leadership.
Sara Blakely, Founder of SPANX
Sara Blakely has been making women feel good about their bodies since 1998, when she began shapewear company SPANX with only $5,000 in savings and a dream that grew out of visible panty lines. One year later, she snagged Neiman Marcus as a distributor. Two years later, Oprah named SPANX her favorite product of the year. Today, SPANX rakes in more than $250 million in revenue. Impressive, right? Even more impressive knowing that Blakely never advertised or invested her company, but generated it’s buzz through strong word of mouth.
The Takeaway: Break the mold and have gumption.
Blakely’s inspiration came after cutting off the end of her pantyhose to have something seamless to wear under pants. Armed with a female perspective, she took a new approach to developing women’s undergarments, and hustled forward with commitment and vigor. Never be afraid to think differently, even if your idea comes from an unconventional place. What others may never have thought of might just become the product that they can’t live without.
Never be afraid to think differently, even if your idea comes from an unconventional place.
THE NEW FACES OF JOURNALISM
Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin, Co-Founders of theSkimm
Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin are one powerful entrepreneurial duo redefining the face of news one daily newsletter at a time. In 2012, Weisberg and Zakin left their jobs at NBC after realizing their friends weren’t connecting with existing news sources. The pair cooked up a free, daily newsletter of their own, loaded with today’s current events, called theSkimm. Created with savvy women on the go in mind, the newsletter contains bite-sized versions of current events that makes news enjoyable to read and keeps readers in the know. Fun, informative, and witty, theSkimm’s relatable voice keeps its more than 1 million readers up-to-date with the latest news in less than five minutes.
The Takeaway: Take a new perspective and find your niche.
One of the reasons why theSkimm is so successful is because it meets its readers’ needs and has a voice that speaks to them. In the case of Weisberg and Zakin, their idea wasn’t necessarily outside the box. Rather, it was inside the box, but looked at from a new corner. Despite being told that email was dead, they reshaped a traditional outlet for the millennial generation after finding a gap in the news industry. Sometimes the best ideas are right in front of you. You just need to put a twist on it for your target public.
Elizabeth Holmes, Founder of Theranos
Stanford dropout Elizabeth Holmes is revolutionizing healthcare by putting it in the hands of patients themselves. In 2003, at age 19, Holmes created the now $9 billion dollar company Theranos, which has transformed blood testing. With a single prick of the finger, one drop of blood can be used for multiple tests. The technology can produce results in four hours, a lifesaving technology that is painless, cheap, and fast.
The Takeaway: Have a mission.
Holmes had a mission in mind when she started Theranos: to enable early detection of disease. She addressed inefficiencies in lab medicine because these drive about 80 percent of clinical decisions made by doctors. Knowing why you want to start a business will help you narrow in on your idea and accomplish goals for the broader picture. Make sure you can answer the “why” and the “what” — what difference do you want to make or what impact do you want to have?
Knowing why you want to start a business will help you narrow in on your idea and accomplish goals for the broader picture.
Sophia Amoruso: Executive Chairman, Former CEO and Founder of Nasty Gal
How could we conclude this list without the #GIRLBOSS herself? Sophia Amoruso, the shoplifting, community college dropout, successfully launched eBay store Nasty Gal Vintage at the mere age of 22 in 2006. Fast forward nine years later, and Nasty Gal has turned into a global brand influencing women’s fashion choices, with more than $100 million in fashion retail, a 65,000 square foot office space in Los Angeles, and its first brick and mortar store that opened just this year.
The takeaway: Do the grunt work and be a #GIRLBOSS.
When Amoruso started Nasty Gal Vintage, she was a one-woman engine cranking out merchandising, photographing, copywriting, and shipping duties. She kept her eyes on the prize and did everything she could to get there. From being directionless and broke to building an online fashion emporium, Amoruso has become the ultimate #GIRLBOSS, proving that no matter where you come from you can do it too. As Amoruso says, “You’re a badass.” Be assertive, work for what you want, and follow your gut.
This article was originally published on Career Contessa (www.carreercontessa.com/conversations/most-influencial-entreprneurs-innovate/) by Hillary Hoffower