Despite a myriad of challenges faced by women in the workforce, there is no lack of female leaders who are not only successfully leading companies but also launching them.

With businesses ranging from tech and finance to trade and fashion, these women are everywhere – from close friends to prominent leaders such as Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx and the youngest self-made billionaire in 2012, Natalie Massenet, founder of Net-a-Porter, and Lauren Maillian, founder of a boutique winery at age 19 which later became an internationally recognized award-winning brand, and founder/co-founder of other companies including an early stage venture firm.

Wondering what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur? I spoke with two friends who are also entrepreneurs and they’ve kindly shared their thoughts on things every entrepreneur needs to do :

Be tenacious.

If you have a laissez-faire attitude, you’re not going to get started, talk less of go far.

Create opportunities for yourself.

Don’t make excuses, instead make things happen. Reach out to people – sometimes the opportunities don’t come to you, so you have to take action, otherwise you’re just waiting.

Invest in mentorship, invest in knowledge.

Different mentors will offer different things. Don’t be afraid to pay for a mentor if necessary (Note, this is industry specific and is not uncommon in, for example, the creative industry). In addition, many people want to become entrepreneurs without necessarily learning how to run a business. It’s worth investing in workshops, online courses, and mentorship amongst other learning tools, so you not only learn your art but also how to run your business.

Let go of gender issues.

It’s a dog eat dog world. The men (and women) you’re competing with do not care if you’re female and aren’t going to treat you with kid gloves. Your game face needs to be on.

Don’t be afraid of failure.

Don’t let your fear of failure be the reason for not pursuing a dream. Push through the fear! Even if things don’t work out as planned, you’ll probably learn a thing or two along the way.

Nothing beats a support system.

Be it family, friends, a church group, partner and even an association of likeminded women e.g. Women Entrepreneurs NYC , WimBiz , Create Cultivate etc  They’ll be there to provide advice, celebrate with you when the success comes and also stick by your side during the not so good times.

Share with us – what do you think makes a successful entrepreneur?

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