March was Women's History Month, and I respect that. I respect that because one-third of my full name is my great-grandmother's maiden name. That woman mustered up some major strength to board a boat by herself at age 17 in the early 20th century to come to America -- a country she didn't know, among people she didn't know, and listening to a language she didn't speak at the time. She wanted a better life for herself. And she didn't simply figure it out -- she built a life and a family and a legacy. Celebrating women like her who came before us holds a pretty sacred space in not only my name, but also my heart.
I think it's fair to say that that same female bravery lives in many women today -- including the female entrepreneur. And with the unique combination of President Obama's executive actions to close the wage gap and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker's initiative to inspire more global entrepreneurship, we will need her now more than ever.
Several months ago, Bea is for Business reached out to several female entrepreneurs. We were launching a new book that featured two young girls building a business, and we thought it would make sense to lean into female entrepreneurs to show the movement in action -- to show what's possible. We heard from American female entrepreneurs all over the world -- women who work in different industries, who started different businesses. Some are married, some are engaged, some are single; some are mothers or not-yet-mothers and some aren't sure if they want to be mothers. They range in age and geographic location. Some of their businesses are small and local; others span the globe.
We asked each woman to share who she is, what her business is all about, what inspired her and what advice she would give young entrepreneurs. There was a fifth question which each woman answered even more powerfully, though: "What are words that describe the person you want to be?"
We're sharing some of their answers -- 20 words these real, American female entrepreneurs used to describe who they want to be.
I absolutely cannot restrict this next part of the conversation to female entrepreneurs. The truth is we need the woman who stepped foot on a boat 100 years ago, the woman tapping her iPhone en route to a corporate job, the woman who made the decision to stay at home. We need women who know who they want to be. Celebrating Women's History Month or closing the wage gap won't have the impact we want it to have otherwise.
Write down the word or 2-3 words that describe the person you want to be. It not only brings clarity to daily decisions you're making today, but also helps to build your legacy. Someone three generations down your bloodline with your name as her middle name might be paying attention, too.
DISCLAIMER: Meg Seitz is a founding co-partner in Bea is for Business. An educational platform that teaches business and entrepreneurship to kids ages 5-9. For more information, please visit www.beaisforbusiness.com .