Monetize Your Passion: Inspiring Career Advice From 10 Female Entrepreneurs

This post originally appeared on Refinery29.com

Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

What do ClassPass, Bumble, and Birchbox all have in common? Besides being universally loved by millennials, these companies were all founded by women. Every year more and more females are turning their creative ideas into successful businesses. In fact, women now make up 40% of all new entrepreneurs in the United States, the highest percentage since 1996. As we enter what some are calling “the golden age for female entrepreneurs,” now more than ever women are searching for places and opportunities to connect with like-minded aspiring business owners. No one knows this better than Create & Cultivate founder, Jaclyn Johnson.

When starting her own company at 24, Jaclyn felt isolated and alone. Frustrated with the lack of resources available for female entrepreneurs both online and offline, she launched Create & Cultivate, an online platform and IRL conference for women looking to create and cultivate the career of their dreams. “What I found was, I wasn’t alone,” said Johnson. “Women wanted a community and further wanted a place that not only gave them hard-hitting advice but spoke to them in a way that was authentic to the experience.”

Over 800 women flocked to this year’s Create & Cultivate conference in New York for a day full of inspirational panels, networking, and mentor “power hours” with female influencers and thought leaders. From complimentary hair and makeup applications to photo booths and chock-full swag bags, there were an endless amount of “insta-worthy” moments for attendees to take advantage of. However, hands down the best thing we took home was the brilliant career advice from powerhouses like Rebecca Minkoff, Gloria Steinem, and Refinery29’s very own, Piera Gelardi. Ahead, we’ve rounded up memorable quotes from the event along with some of our favorite photos of speakers and attendees.

Don’t Let Failure Define You

“Failing is part of the process, truly. Entrepreneurship ebbs and flows. There are good months and bad months, good years and bad years and it’s 100% normal.” – Jaclyn Johnson, Founder of Create & Cultivate

Own Your Individuality 

“It’s so important to be who you are, even if you don’t please everyone.” – Katia Beauchamp, Founder of Birchbox

Be Kind To Yourself

“Look at yourself as if you were someone else. The Golden Rule works for guys (treat everyone the way you would like to be treated), but I think women have to reverse it. We need to treat ourselves as well as we treat other people. Put all your attributes on paper, and pretend they were someone else’s. I bet you would think they were fan-fucking-tastic.” – Gloria Steinem, Social & Political Activist

Play To Your Strengths

“It’s important to do you and know what you’re good at and what you aren’t good at. I didn’t have a traditional background. I wasn’t originally in the beauty industry. I didn’t go to college and when I was younger I had learning disabilities. At times I would feel insecure and unsure of myself. But it’s important to know your strengths and really lean in on that.” – Kiana Cabell, Co-Founder of Kopari Beauty

Be Your Biggest Cheerleader

“Be fearless in your approach. If you want something, no one’s going to be more passionate about that than you are. No one’s going to fight harder for it than you are.” – Rebecca Minkoff, Founder of Rebecca Minkoff

Turn Your Passion Into Your Career

“Know your brand. Know what you love. Monetize your passion. If there’s something that you love, find out how to make money off of that or how to make a sustainable living off of that.” – Maile Pacheco, Founder of beGlammed

Get Comfortable With Change

“I always ask people who I’m interviewing a bunch of questions related to change and how open they are to it. That’s the number one quality that you need as an entrepreneur is to be able to adapt to change. It’s so important to be able to pivot and come up with new ways of doing things over and over again.” – Piera Gelardi, Executive Creative Director & Co-Founder of Refinery29

If You Can’t Find Opportunities, Make Your Own 

“I struggled to be accepted by the fashion community so I started my own thing. Thankfully there are so many women out there who can relate to me; women who are curvy, who have natural hair, who don’t fit into a size zero, and who don’t fit the status quo. Start your own movement.” – Claire Sulmers, Founder of Fashion Bomb Daily

Use Your Femininity To Your Advantage

“There’s an advantage to being a bold woman. It’s really opened doors for me. Women have an ability to listen, to be empathetic, to form relationships, and to figure out how to get things done. That’s what makes me different and I love it.” – Karla Gallardo, Founder & CEO of Cuyana

Thank The Haters

“When someone tells you you can’t do it. Tell them thank you. Thank you for giving me that little bit of fire.” – Kendra Scott, CEO of Kendra Scott

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