‘Success is an exception, so be exceptional’ – 50 inspiring quotes from women entrepreneurs

Madanmohan Rao
29th Dec 2014
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From HerStory’s pick of 25 most read stories of women entrepreneurs in 2014 and other recent articles, we present you 50 memorable quotes from women entrepreneurs, business leaders and social activists. Every story has a punchline or message, and we hope these quotes and linked stories inspire you as well to even greater heights of excellence. We wish all our readers all the best for the holiday season and a terrific, successful and creative year ahead in 2015!


You women entrepreneurs out there, blaze new paths and don’t allow yourself to be restricted by outdated traditions. – Lisa Srao, I Brands Beverages

Every story, each poem that a person shares, each voice that speaks against menstrual taboo, inspires me. – Aditi Gupta, Menstrupedia

The only thing stopping you from achieving what you want is you. Women have the capacity to do whatever they want, and they should fight for it. – Roshini Sharma, bike rider extraordinaire

I don’t know how to give up. That is an integral part of who I am. – Arpita Ganesh, ButterCups

We ask ourselves every single day: what more can we measure to improve the score that defines young people’s lives? – Aditi Avasthi, Embibe

You don’t wait for choices to appear, but you move on by making your own way. – Srimathi Shivashankar, HCL

Knowing the problem and taking a step towards it is more important than giving up and saying it is going to take time. – Shreyanka Mally, MuSigma

Rule number one of being stylish – be an inventor of your own style. – Masoom Minawala, Style Fiesta

I love the opportunities that an empty canvas gives me, the thrill to write my own story. – Gauri Jayaram, Active Holiday Company

I attribute my business acumen to my gut feel. – Anita Dongre, ADIL

Getting out of your comfort zone will take you through the best of learning experiences. – Pramad Jandhyala, Latentview

You must always know what everyone else is doing in your industry but you’ve got to spend time focusing on your goals. – Schauna Chauhan, Parle Agro

Ups and downs are synonymous to a startup. Every day is so different. One day is filled with a mad rush of optimism and the next day feels like everything is going down the drain. – Nazaneen Jalaludheen, Applied Robotics

Life is never balanced. There will always be an imbalance between your work life and personal life. – Meenakshi Lekhi, Supreme Court lawyer

Failure is my best guide because I failed a lot. – Shivika Sinha, Intermix

We hear a lot about ‘aam aadmi‘ (common man). Why not ‘aam ladki‘ or ‘aam aurat’? – Karnika Kahen, Gesture Graphics

Running marathons is therapeutic. The distance gives perspective and sense of freedom that is unparalleled. It’s definitely a lot easier than running a startup! – Kavitha Iyer Rodrigues, Ibiopro

I want to make sure that people start associating sports as a form of recreation, something like going for a movie or shopping or eating out. – Dhruv Swamini, DUPLAYS

Breaks are the best way to re-invent oneself. I have seen many successful entrepreneurial stories emerge out of breaks. – Roopa Nath, Mumbai Angels

There isn’t just one source, the entire world is my source of inspiration. – Alicia Souza, Illustrator

There may be times when the going is tough, but moving ahead despite challenges is the key to success. – Seema Lal Gulabrani, Sopra Group

Success is an exception, so be exceptional. – Malti Bhojwani, Multi Coaching International

I aimed at women empowerment through the field of motorcycles. Women should look at us pillars of strength on two wheels. – Urvashi Patole, The Bikerni

3-2-1 Get ready mentally, Get Set Physically, Go forward Emotionally, right here right now you can lay down the foundation to a better future! – Ramona Braganza, 3-2-1 Fitness

I strongly believe that I want my son to grow up in a culture that respects women, men and children and where safety is a given, not an aspiration. – Surya Velamur, @pinthecreep

Ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing. – Kumud Srinivasan, Intel

Teaching helps me accept feedback graciously. – Rinku Suri, Yoga 101

I dream of a day where we can just be, as people, and the fact that we are women, is not even a matter of discussion, that we as humanity can rise over this one fact that has become a mental barrier. – Nazia Izuddin, SN Group

Broadening the base of women entrepreneurs is extremely critical to India’s energetic economy. – Geetha Kannan, Anita Borg Institute

Life is full of challenges. That’s just how things are. So, we need to start somewhere, right? – Shabana Faizal, KEF Holdings

The gender equation in the workplace flips when you see women come up to the fore confidently. – Tina Garg, Pink Lemonade

Fitness is far more than just how you look. It includes strength, flexibility, stamina, endurance, high energy levels and much more. – Namrata Purohit, Pilates coach

An amazing team, a vibrant community and a goal worth chasing – giving every Indian woman a dream of the career of her choice, that is our mantra. – Sairee Chahal, SHEROES.in

India and its potential is my major inspiration, everyday there’s a new brilliant idea that launches. The landscape is ever evolving with people’s dreams and ambitions. – Nina Bual, SPA.ce

What meets our eye is an iota of what exists. – Kiran Nadar, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art

Any sport teaches you that there are good days and there are bad days. And you just have to keep going. – Meenu Handa, Amazon

Women can have it all as long as we have the dedication, determination, soft and hard skills to make life work for us. – Revathi Avasaral, Deloitte Consulting

Help comes for worthy causes from many sides, often unexpectedly. – Kala Charlu, Multiple Initiatives Towards Upliftment

Never ever give up your dreams just because you’re a girl and that you don’t have any support from anyone. – Deena Venugopal, Anabytes

As working women, we juggle a lot of balls. It is okay if some of the balls fall down! – Radhika Shrivastava, Fortune Institute of International Business

Talk to as many people as possible who are in the industry. Do lots of internships even if they are unpaid. Show up and ask people if you can help them. – Lavanya Ashok, Private Equity, Goldman Sachs

Being different and unique in whatever I do is what drives me more than anything. I like to be a trend setter rather than a trend seeker. – Aishwarya Nair, AMAI

When you believe in miracles, they happen. Period. – Anuja Pathak, hypnotherapist

I hate giving up. I consider that the biggest failure. – Deblina Chakrabarty, MGM

Entrepreneurship can be very, very demanding and challenging. Unless you are totally, madly and completely in love with challenges please don’t get into it. – Srijata Bhatnagar, EthnicShack

Never sell yourself to a notion. Never sell yourself to a relationship. You have to be true to yourself. – Abhijita Kulshreshtha, GemStoneUniverse

Once you have the idea that you believe in you can make an enterprise of, plan well and then jump headlong. If you are not sure, then do a pilot. – Jonali Saikia, Heeya

Everything aligns for success if you have conviction. – Dr Vandana Jain, Advanced Eye Hospital and Institute

See also YourStory’s Storybites compilation of recent quotes by entrepreneurs, published every Sunday. YourStory has compiled the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).

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