According to the 2016 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, commissioned by small business payment card issuer American Express OPEN, women own 11.3 million of all U.S. businesses. Think that's great? Well, the report also uncovered this juicy statistic:
"Between 2007 and 2016, the number of women-owned firms increased by 45%, compared to just a 9% increase among all businesses."
Translation: Over the past nine years, the number of women-owned businesses has grown at a rate five times faster than the U.S. average.
Women are indeed strapping on their stilettos and strutting into this beautiful world of entrepreneurship. And that's the incredible news.
Now, before we all run into the streets to toss confetti and host a Soul Train line, the report also found that women-owned businesses, on average, employ just ONE additional employee besides themselves. PLUS, women business owners earn salaries of $143,431, well under the $400,000 for typical private business owners. And this is the not so good news.
So what does the data say about our ability to build thriving, sustainable businesses? Absolutely NOTHING! Here's the thing: While, it's important for us to understand the gravity of these statistics, we must also realize numbers are merely numbers, and they do NOT define our destiny.
You can and will launch and grow your own intriguing and long-lasting business story by taking risks, collaborating with other ambitious women and trusting your ability to change lives.
However, YOU likely will not have all the answers. None of us do. So I tapped 19 fearless women entrepreneurs to share their very best advice on how to launch, grow and maintain a successful empire.
Here's what they had to say:
1. Follow your passion ... if it's profitable.
I wish someone would have told me that even as an entrepreneur, I don't have the luxury of only doing what I want to do, I must also do what makes money. I wish I had known that following your passion is fine as long as it's profitable. I also wish I had understood my freedom wasn't in my ability to choose, but in my ability to get results. Knowing all this now, means that it's my job to teach this to others. And I wholeheartedly embrace the responsibility.
- Jai Stone, Master Brand Coach, Jai Stone, ULTD
2. Strut with confidence.
As you travel along the path to your success, be confident in yourself and your skills. There may be a million others who do something similar, but no one can do it like YOU.
- Tandee A. Salter, The Confidence Engineer
3. Choose to simply be YOU.
Your business will truly blossom when you let go of comparisons, stop internalizing failure, and make the bold choice to go after the things in your life and business that truly set your heart and soul on fire. There is really another life on the other side of choosing to just be you!
- Tiana Patrice, Speaker/Author/Coach
4. Monetize your zone of genius.
To succeed in the online marketplace, you have to remember one thing - you are the competitive edge in your business. Instead of following what is on trend, monetize your zone of genius and ride that baby until the wheels fall off!
- Kim McCarter, Brand Strategist/Business Success Coach
5. Make some NOISE!
When you know you're the answer to somebody's prayer, you have a responsibility to MAKE SOME NOISE! People are losing sleep, wasting money and are under unnecessary stress, so you don't have the right to play small and timid.
- Tajuan "TeeJ" Mercer, Chief Media Maverick
6. Leave 'perfect' behind.
You don't need to be perfect to be successful. You need to be effective. Stop chasing perfection and chase possibilities!
- Rachel Wilson Thibodeaux, SWAG Strategy Solutions
7. Do what you love.
My advice to every woman determined (and yes it takes lots of determination) to pursue her calling, passion and dreams is to find her inner confidence first. Before I asked anyone to believe in me I had to believe in myself first.
- Catherine E. Storing, Founder/Chief Style Coach
8. Create an irresistible brand.
Your brand is who you are, what you represent, and what makes you and your business unique. It's up to you to create a brand your prospects won't be able to resist.
- Sheila Edens-Brown, Virtual Admin Strategist, Virtual Admin Professionals
9. Break out the pom-poms.
I wish someone would have told me it will cost more and take longer to start a business than I planned. You see, there is a significant mindset shift required to transition from an employee to a business owner. And no one really talks about that piece of entrepreneurship. You'll have to be your biggest cheerleader as you build, expand and grow.
- Jenenne Macklin, CEO, Spirit and Riches, Inc.
10. Market your heart out.
I wish someone would have told me about building my personal brand and building a name for myself earlier in my career. I also, wish someone would have told me to master marketing if you want to stay in business. After all, marketing is truly the lifeblood of any business.
- Audria Richmond, Branding and Marketing Genius, Building BIG Brands Agency
11. Bust outside the box.
Your business doesn't have to fit in a box. What makes your business special is the fact that it's YOUR business. Trust your intuition and create a business that allows you to live a lifestyle you desire.
- Shayla Locklear, The Unlmtd Lifestyle Coach
12. HALT before you move.
H.A.L.T. your way to business success. Don't make major business decisions when you are: Hungry, Angry, Languid or Tearful. These temporary feelings interfere with judgement and logic.
- Katrina L. Alexander, Owner, KLA Web Designs
13. Retire the Superwoman cape.
Don't try to be a "jack-of-all-trades" just to create numerous streams of income for yourself. It's impossible for you to do everything, but very possible for you to do something. So, discover what you do well and delegate the rest to others.
- Maleeka T. Hollaway, Founder/CEO, The Official Maleeka Group, LLC
14. Prioritize your success.
Don't be ashamed of making your business a priority. A lot of people will try to make you feel like focusing on your business means you have to sacrifice a life and family because you're a woman. But that's not true. YOU can have it all!
- Kiarra Solomon, Business Strategist, Fix Your Crown
15. Hustle hard.
Work like there's someone spending 24 hours a day trying to take away what you've earned and what you're working towards. That means work through fear, stress, negative comments, low energy, and lack of immediate results.
- Danielle Davis, Financial Strategist/Nonprofit Consultant, Diversified Consulting and Legal Services
16. Make it happen.
If you can't stop thinking about it, then make it happen! At least you can say you tried, reinvented yourself and bounced back.
- Rolonda Hernandez, CEO, LocdLovers.com
17. Unleash your inner mogul.
Don't run from, turn down, shy away or put off your greatness for any reason. There's a mogul inside you, screaming to come out. Motivate her.
- LaNée Javet, Mogul Motivator, Mogulvation
18. Trust God's assignment.
Never bless others at the expense of your own success. I see so many of us giving away our genius for free or for much less than we should. And when it's time to leave that 9-to-5 behind, always remember that man can send you on a job, but only God can send you on assignment!
- Dawniel Patterson Winningham, Master Sales & Business Coach
19. Jump, girl, JUMP!
Trust yourself. When that voice says jump ... JUMP! When the voice inside of you says no ... TRUST IT! And last but not least, always know and value your worth.
- Pamela J. Booker, CEO/Founder, Koils by Nature
And there you have it ... powerful tips from 19 fearless female entrepreneurs. Now, I challenge you to do something TODAY that moves you closer to your goals.
Apryl Beverly, The Million-Dollar Word Stylist is a six-figure, award-winning copywriter who slings million-dollar smack-the-buy-button sentences for solo entrepreneurs, small business owners, CEOs and marketing executives of big profitable brands.
Known for her educated, "tell-it-like-it-is" writing voice, Apryl has broken just about every grammar rule she ever learned and survived the wrath of her English teachers. Grab your copy of her wildly popular, FREE "Write Like A B.O.S.S." guide today.