By Ashley Stahl, Originally Published in Forbes

What does success look like to you?

I ask this because success means and looks different for everyone, and the roads we take to get there are rarely the same.

As a business and career coach, many people have asked me how I found my success and got to where I am today. I am happy to share my story, but the thing is, my way isn’t the only way.

The African Proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone if you want to go far, go together,” has resonated with me on this journey. In fact, the key to my success was hiring mentors and investing in myself as I built my business and sharpened my acumen.

There is incredible value in seeking out people to learn from their journeys. So I reached out to five of the most inspiring female entrepreneurs I know to learn more about their roads to success, the failures they faced along the way and what inspires them daily.  

1. Sarah Pendrick, Founder of GirlTalk Network (Instagram @girltalknetwork)

Business Success: Sarah is an international speaker, humanitarian and TV show host. She is the founder of the GirlTalk Network, one of the biggest women empowerment platforms both on and offline. What is great about Sarah is that she showcases how being a female entrepreneur doesn’t have to look just one way.

Key Advice For An Entrepreneur:  

“The entrepreneurship journey has been hands down the most rewarding and difficult things that I have ever been through. The difficult times will come, and when they do, be resourceful and committed to your dreams. If you do this, you can get through anything that comes at you. Always remember to ask yourself, how else can this happen and who else has done it?

When you make the decision to become an entrepreneur, and when you choose to be resourceful, you get to have everything. Become resourceful, because if you do, you can do anything!”

Biggest Lesson Through Failure:

“I learned that failure is a choice, plain and simple.  

One of my greatest lessons in failure has been to stay true to who I am and embrace the concept of “fail fast” to learn from it. Consider this, the most innovative, life-changing companies stayed true to their ideas and vision, no matter what anyone else said. Remember when people thought the internet couldn’t be possible? You must have certainty in yourself because there will always be outside opinions coming your way.”

Inspiration To Master Your Life:

“You get to be the CEO of your life. You get to choose to decide. Everything is a choice.”

2. Natalie Ellis, Founder, Boss Babe (Instagram

Business Success: Natalie is a successful serial entrepreneur and the CEO and cofounder of BossBabe, one of the largest and fastest growing online movements of ambitious women and female entrepreneurs in the world.  

Biggest Lesson Through Failure:

“One of my first ever business partnerships broke down so badly that we had to bring in lawyers to help decide who would keep the business and who would be bought out. It was one of the most stressful things I’ve ever been through, I was literally fighting for something I’d spent so long building.

During this, I realized I only got into the business relationship because I didn’t have enough confidence in myself to go at it alone. After it dissolved, I promised that I wouldn’t doubt myself and my abilities to achieve something ever again.

I came out of it stronger and know that actually, I am enough.”

The Journey to Success:

“I got so crystal clear on what I wanted to create in my life and took every single opportunity that I knew would get me one step closer. For a long time, I didn’t know my exact path, but I knew the destination. I was happy to take any road as long as it was heading in that direction.  

I have found success through a combination of pure determination and resilience, alongside having incredible mentors and friends who saw the best in me and always reminded me of my worth. Because of their support, I always say to go be that woman for another woman.”

Inspiration To Succeed:

“If it’s not making me happy, making me money or making me better… I’m busy.”

3. Samantha Skelly, Founder, Hungry For Happiness (Instagram @SamanthaSkelly)

Business Success: Samantha is the CEO and founder of Hungry For Happiness and Pause Breathwork. She is a Hay House author, international speaker and host of the Hungry For Happiness podcast. Her mission is to help the world heal from disordered eating and body image issues.

Key Advice To New Entrepreneurs:

“Hands down the most important thing for aspiring entrepreneurs to understand is how to manage emotionality, and how to use emotions as a vessel of growth rather than destruction.  

You can be spun in vicious cycles so quickly if you allow yourself to be swept away by your emotionality. When emotions arise, it is always important to observe them, to recognize them, but not to make decisions from them.”

The Power of Mentorship:

“Since Day 1, I’ve had a mentor that I’ve worked closely with. When I was making $2500/month as a waitress in Canada I hired a coach who costs $3000/month to light a fire under me so I could thrive. I haven’t stopped investing in mentorship since.

Something that is important to me when hiring mentors is ensuring you respect and value them in all areas of life, I believe who we are in one area is who we show up as in all areas.”

Guiding Inspiration:

“Everything is happening for you in perfect, divine timing”

“I live by this quote, entrepreneurship can be the wildest of rides, one moment you can feel on top of the world and the next moment it feels like you’re losing it all. This quote reminds me that even challenges have their divine purpose.”

4. Jen Esquer, Wellness Influencer (Instagram @docjenfit)

Business Success: Jen is a Top 40 Physical Therapy Influencer and with a Doctorate in physical therapy, she is ranked as one of the best fitness trainers on Instagram by Shape Magazine. She is the founder and owner of Mobility Method, LLC, sits on the medical advisory board for Women’s Health and Strong Fitness magazine and is an online sensation helping people shape and reshape how they use their bodies.

Key Advice To Offer Aspiring Entrepreneurs:

“Showcase and promote your business or product from your passion to create, rather than focusing on the results or money you are hoping to achieve.

When you build a connection with your customers, this will drive incredible results.”

Consider You Value During Difficult Times:

“When I face a difficult time, what keeps me going is knowing that people are gaining massive value and knowledge into their bodies from the information I am sharing consistently. It could be the value from my social media posts or those who have decided to dive deeper with the full programs. I ask questions, I connect with my customers and I continue providing content that will ultimately help them connect to their bodies, relieve pain and live longer.”

Inspiration on Belief:

“Self-doubt is the single greatest enemy of success.” – Jessie Itzler

5. Anna David, Founder, Light Hustle Publishing (Instagram @annabdavid)

Business Success: Anna is the New York Times bestselling author of seven books as well as the CEO of Light Hustle, a high-end publishing agency for entrepreneurs who want to increase their credibility by publishing books.

Key Advice For Growing Entrepreneurs:

“If you want your credibility to reach the next level, you need to publish a book.

My friend Jill Adams, who used to produce Oprah’s Book Club and has therefore made more authors famous than anyone in the world, says that writers are the only true celebrities in a day and age when anyone can get Insta-famous.

Still, people need to go into book projects with this understanding: they will probably not make money directly from that book but if they use it the way they can, they will make a lot of money from having that book…whether it’s through speaking gigs, increasing their client bases or attracting investors who will take them far more seriously now that they’re authors.”

Positivity Perseveres During Difficult Times:

“When a difficult time comes, I remind myself that life is full of hills and valleys, and if I’m on a hill that means a valley is coming.

Admittedly, I tend to delude myself, whenever things start to go really well, thinking that I’ve made it and everything will continue on this upward trajectory. Then, BAM!, I’m slammed with challenges. But I’ve learned that if I can keep negative thoughts at bay during the hills, I can make it to the other side, always with new knowledge or at least a greater appreciation for circumstances I may have previously taken for granted.”

Inspiration To Let Go:

We get what we want when we stop insisting on it -David Hawkins

The path to creating success is not black and white, there are many different ways to go about cultivating a business, career or life rooted in the type of success you want while staying true to who you are.    

I hope you found these women were able to provide a different perspective about the path to entrepreneurship and give some powerful inspiration for you on your journey to success!

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  • I'm a career coach, keynote speaker, podcast host (You Turn Podcast) and author, here to help you step into a career you're excited about and aligned with. This may look like coaching you 1:1, hosting you in one of my courses, or meeting you at one of workshops or keynote speaking engagements! I also own CAKE Media, a house of ghostwriters, copywriters, publicists and SEO whizzes that help companies and influencers expand their voice online. Before being an entrepreneur, I was an award-winning counterterrorism professional who helped the Pentagon in Washington, DC with preparing civilians to prepare for the frontlines of the war on terror.