The Nudge Series #2: Some Great 'Origin Stories' That Will Inspire You
The reality is, success doesn't happen overnight; success grows from one tiny seed that we have to continue to nurture. The most successful people have one thing in common, resilience. You have to have the will to go after your goals despite the failure, disappointments, and rebuilding you may have to do along the way. One of the things that kept me going is by relating to the triumphs and tribulations that many other entrepreneurs have had to face on their journey.
Today, I want to share with you what some of my favorite female entrepreneurs shared with www.inc.com about getting their start as entrepreneurs. The answers divulged the personal qualities and drive that motivated them to go after their big ideas. I hope that by reading about their journey and how they achieved their success, you will be inspired and identify similar entrepreneurial seeds, within yourself.
1. Sophia Amoruso
In 2006, Sophia founded Nasty Gal as an online eBay store that provided vintage clothing. Her small online store quickly turned into a multi-million dollar empire that also sold her line. Additionally, she has made The New York Times Bestsellers list off of her #GIRLBOSS book and was named the "Fastest Growing Retailer" in 2012.
"Don't give up, don't take anything personally, and don't take no for an answer," Sophia advises.
She did it all without any business or fashion knowledge and attributes much of her success to her ability to overcome failure. "The people who told me no, we're the people who eventually told me yes," she adds.
2. Tara Gentile
"I decided to become a business owner after I was looked over for a promotion while nine months pregnant.
"Six months after my daughter was born, I started a little niche website and community. I then purchased an existing blog business, and almost overnight, started making more money than I had in my previous job."
"My business has evolved significantly since then, but I'm so grateful for the way I started!"
Tara Gentile is a business instructor at CreativeLive and has gone from selling her services, to packaging them into digital products to clients.
3. Melissa Galt
"The year following my graduation from Cornell, my mom died suddenly of a brain aneurysm. It took me the ensuing five years to understand the lesson in her passing. Life is too short to do something you don't love. She had been a maverick in her field, an Oscar-winning actress who knew at age 7 what she wanted. It took me a bit longer.
"I decided to pursue my dream of interior design and went back to school full-time while picking up full-time work in the field. However, I was still frustrated that I was not in charge of my day and my decisions.
"Ultimately, my headstrong nature was both my undoing and my new beginning...
"I'd planned to launch my startup in September 1994. When I asked my manager for time off, she said I didn't have it. I said I did and dug my heels in. Arguing with your manager when you need your job is never wise. I walked out.
"I was unemployed, in debt, and six months premature to my planned launch. I launched immediately while taking up side jobs supervising a catering kitchen and teaching busy professionals (aka potential clients for my interior design practice) during evening education programs.
"It was that magical place you hear about where fear meets breath and becomes unstoppable exhilaration. I worked 15 hours a day, 6 days a week because I wanted to. I couldn't wait to get up, and hated to go to bed at night. I was totally on fire. I went from $70K in debt to rocking six figures and debt-free in 18 months and that doubled every year for five years. Today, I design both home and business environments, while also advising the business and lifestyles that go on inside of them.
"My advice is to find what lights you up, and do whatever it takes to make it happen. You will meet with unexpected success."
4. Yasmine Khater
"After a successful corporate career in a Fortune 500 company, losing my dad to cancer led me to redefine life and the impact I want to create. I knew that I didn't want my boss' job, any of the other senior management roles, or to work more 12 to 14 hours a day. I also knew I didn't want to sacrifice my quality of life, and regret not living.
"That's when I decided to start my business. I brainstormed which skills I could build upon, and what people needed. At the time, my friends were searching for more career direction, so I offered 30-minute career clarity sessions. I booked 4 sessions and got my first three clients.
"I realized shortly thereafter, that I didn't want to help people with their careers. Instead, I wanted to leverage my corporate experience to help small business owners build their sales processes, and develop winning sales systems that could stand the test of time."
5. Jenn Scalia
"Entrepreneurship was something I was always destined for. But until a few years ago, I had always adhered to the status quo of having a 'real job.
"After two layoffs in two years, I got a gentle nudge from the Universe that I needed to create my destiny and my financial security. While staying home as a full-time mom, I started looking for opportunities where I could use my skills to make money. That's when I discovered that I could be an online coach, and decided to dive in headfirst."
6. Amy Schmittauer
"How did I get my start as an entrepreneur? Hard freakin' work.
"When I realized at my 9-5 that I wanted to work for myself, it was a year and a half before I left to make it happen. During that time, I was getting all experience I could in my field, on the side of my full-time job. I spent vacation time and extra money on conferences, networking, and working for anyone who would let me help. First for free and then for cheap, until I had confidence in my portfolio and leaped to focus on my business alone.
"Everyone wants the decision to be easy or great timing, but it never will be. Do the work. Prove you're going to keep doing the work when you're the only one in your corner. And then make it happen."
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