“Who run the world? Girls.”
We think Beyoncé had it right! When it comes to success and overcoming limiting beliefs, women are absolutely crushing it right now. There are so many incredible female entrepreneurs out there running businesses big and small, and every single one of them deserves her chance to shine.
Now for all the men out there — before you feel the need to defend yourself, you deserve credit too. But let’s be honest — women in business face a very different set of obstacles. Sexism, limiting beliefs around gender, and workplace mistreatment are just a few of the hurdles women have to overcome to succeed in the business world all too often.
That’s why today, we want to tell you about some of the women who have inspired us the most: Sophia Amoruso, Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Nicole Lynn, and Jamie Kern Lima. Each of these women started with a dream, developed the right mindset, and overcame whatever obstacles life could throw at them to build incredible businesses from the ground up. They’ve inspired us, they’ve taught us, and they’ve challenged us to work hard, grow our businesses, and be more successful than ever before.
If you haven’t heard of these incredible women before today, you’re going to want to stick around. Each one has a fascinating story, and we know at least one will resonate with you! To all the ladies out there, especially those of you who dream of starting your own business — we hope this post encourages you to reach for the stars and achieve new heights of greatness. Let’s go!
Sophia Amoruso: The Original “Nasty Gal”
Sophia Amoruso — her name is synonymous with success. But do you know what? She started out with nothing but her laptop. That’s right — once upon a time, she was just a woman sitting in a 1987 Volvo with a computer. Sound familiar?
Even before Sophia launched a multi-hundred-million-dollar business — you read that right — she had some pretty significant struggles to overcome. Sophia knows what it is like to deal with both ADD and depression, and she’s had her fair share of difficulty with each.
What about you? What are your struggles? Do you, like Sophia, wrestle with your mental health? Do you struggle with depression or anxiety? Do you have ADD or ADHD? If you deal with any kind of mental disorder, we encourage you to reach out to a professional. Doctors, therapists, and counselors can make a world of difference on your mental health journey, and you deserve the opportunity to pursue your dreams unhindered by these issues.
Sophia refused to let her mental difficulties keep her from trying to succeed. Instead of sitting still and letting life pass her by, Sophia decided to take a small first step — in 2006, she set up an online store selling vintage clothing she found on eBay. It was a modest venture — she started out with only a few hundred dollars — but the money began to multiply very quickly.
What was that business called, you ask? Nasty Gal Vintage. Sophia quickly outgrew her first online store, however, and in 2008, NastyGal.com was born (And by the way, it sold out on day one). Today, “Nasty Gal” is an icon and a symbol of feminine power and success like none other. The brand continues to inspire women and girls all over the world to strive for greatness with style. It’s hard to believe it all started in one woman’s old Volvo!
So how did she do it? How did Sophia build a multi-million dollar business from scratch? And how did she go on to appear on the cover of Forbes magazine, write the New York Times bestselling book, #Girlboss, and feature in the Charlize Theron-produced documentary series of the same name about her life? According to Sophia, she did it by showing up. Every day, she showed up. She worked hard, she started with what she was good at, and she grew both her skills and her profits over time.
What’s your dream? How are you going to show up for it? What small step can you take toward accomplishing your dream today?
Sukhinder Singh Cassidy: Invest in What You Know — You
Wealth, abundance, and financial security — all things we want, right? But here’s the bottom line: Those things don’t come without a certain amount of risk. If you’re not willing to invest in yourself and raise the stakes in your business and in your life as a whole, you’re going to struggle to reach your financial goals.
No one understands this better than Sukhinder Singh Cassidy. As a prolific businesswoman, Sukhinder knows all about risk management. She’s helped grow and scale such businesses as Google, Amazon, Twitter, and more, and throughout her career, she’s become something of an expert in taking risks.
So why is risk-taking so hard? So often even the smallest risks can feel monumental. How can we develop the courage we need to take control of our financial futures and take necessary risks to build lives of abundance?
Sukhinder says it’s about overcoming your fear of failure. Fearing failure is normal — we all experience it at some point — but it’s a powerful limiting belief. As long as you’re holding onto that fear, you won’t be able to take risks, make mistakes, learn, grow, and increase your wealth. But if you can overcome your beliefs around failure, you can succeed.
“First of all, you have to get out of this idea that you have one shot at glory. … Now, if you believe that what’s between you and a reward is probably not one decision, but 30, 40, a hundred, then it focuses on your ability to keep choosing. If you can keep choosing, you will find a path. You may not end up where you started, but there will always be a path for you to reach your goals.” – Sukhinder Singh Cassidy
What would you do right now if you weren’t afraid to fail? What action would you take if you knew that, whatever the outcome, you would always have a next choice and a next one and a next one? Consider these questions, and the next time the opportunity comes up to take a little risk and invest in yourself, take it!
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Nicole Lynn: Break Through Barriers — But Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself Too!
If anyone knows about the unique barriers facing women in the workplace today, it’s Nicole Lynn. This woman is a powerhouse in a particularly male-dominated industry: sports management. That’s right — this woman has represented multiple NFL draft picks. She’s a legend in the world of sports agents, setting a new standard for women — and especially women of color — everywhere.
But make no mistake — it wasn’t always an easy journey. Nicole faced plenty of challenges on her way to becoming the incredible sports agent she is. So how did she do it? How did she overcome the negative expectations and stereotypes stacked against her? For Nicole, it’s all about one thing: purpose.
Nicole likes to call her purpose her “superpower” — that’s how important it is! Her purpose — her superpower — is to help others reach their full potential. She loves advocating for young athletes starting out in their careers and helping them reach their wildest sports dreams.
What’s your purpose? What’s your superpower? What lights you up more than anything else? When you’ve figured that out, you already have the most important piece of the puzzle. Once you know what your purpose is and commit to pursuing it with all of your energy, you can achieve greatness.
But it’s important to remember to take care of yourself along the way, too. It’s fantastic to grind and hustle and put in the sweat to accomplish your goals, but if you don’t take the time to fill your own cup, you could risk burning out.
If you struggle in this area, know that you’re not alone — Nicole admits she struggles with self-care too. The good news is you don’t have to spend a ton of time or money to treat yourself! Spending even just a few minutes a day journaling, enjoying a nice cup of coffee or tea, chatting with a friend, or relaxing with your favorite song can make a huge difference.
Have you taken time for self-care today? If not, find something small you can do to relax and renew your energy level so that you can keep making strides toward your ultimate goals.
Jamie Kern Lima: Overcome Your Limiting Beliefs
Throughout this article, if there’s one main theme, it’s that each of these women, in her own unique way, had to overcome her limiting beliefs. Each one had some belief about herself that held her back from achieving greatness until she chose to overcome it, take the first step, and ultimately reach great heights of success.
What are your limiting beliefs? Maybe you struggle to accept your worthiness. Maybe you think that you’re not smart enough to accomplish your dream. Perhaps you struggle with the fear of failure, or maybe, for you, it’s the opposite, and you struggle with the fear of not knowing what to do when you succeed. You could have issues surrounding your money mindset, your mental health, or negative experiences in your past. Whatever your limiting beliefs are, you can overcome them.
Jamie certainly overcame hers. For years when she was trying to launch her makeup business, IT Cosmetics, Jamie faced constant rejection. She pitched her products to many retailers and investors, and she heard the word “no” more times than she could count. It was hard, it was painful, and those years preyed upon Jamie’s limiting beliefs. She struggled to believe in her own ability to succeed.
But did she give up? Absolutely not.
“The hardest thing is many people actually never step out of their comfort zone because they’re afraid of rejection. I agree that it hurts, and it sucks when it happens. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense, and it doesn’t feel fair. … But I believe that rejection is God’s or the universe’s way of protecting me.” – Jamie Kern Lima
Jamie turned those negative experiences into positive ones. She overcame every single one of those rejections to create the largest beauty brand in QVC history — that’s no small feat! She made a conscious choice to see those rejections as directions telling her where to go. Each time she got another “no,” she realized it was just a “yes” to something else. She persevered, overcame her limiting beliefs, and reached her goal — and by the way, she eventually sold IT Cosmetics to L’Oreal for 1.2 billion dollars.
What are your limiting beliefs? What are those little negative thoughts that pop up in your head when you think about pursuing your goals? Now, how are you going to overcome them? How can you turn those negatives into positives?
What Have These Businesswomen Inspired You to Do?
No matter your goals, no matter your past experiences, no matter your unique limiting beliefs, you can achieve success just like Sophia, Sukhinder, Nicole, Jamie, and all the other incredibly successful businessmen and women. It’s a simple formula — it’s a matter of showing up, taking risks, taking care of yourself, and choosing not to let your limiting beliefs get you down.
So what are you inspired to do? Are you a female entrepreneur looking to start a business? Take that first step today. Make the phone call. Schedule the meeting. Put down the deposit. Whatever action you have to take, we encourage you to take it.
Greatness Authors is a collection of writers, thinkers, curiosity experts, and students of the world who are committed to bringing you the most up-to-date, impactful, and inspiring information surrounding Greatness topics.