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Women Who Mean Business: 5 Success Stories of Entrepreneurs Who Defied the Odds

Updated: May 18, 2023

Are you ready to be inspired? Today we are shining a spotlight on five incredible women who have overcome challenges, defied expectations, and achieved success as entrepreneurs. These women have proven that with passion, determination, and a willingness to take risks, anything is possible.

From launching their own startups to building successful brands, these women have broken barriers and paved the way for the next generation of female entrepreneurs. So grab your coffee, get comfortable, and let's dive into their amazing stories!


Jamie Kern Lima: Believe IT

In the world of entrepreneurship, it's essential to have a strong mindset and unwavering belief in oneself.

Believe IT by Jamie Kern Lima is a book that perfectly encapsulates this sentiment. In this inspiring memoir, Jamie shares her journey from struggling with self-doubt and rejection to building a billion-dollar business, IT Cosmetics. She talks about the challenges she faced as a woman entrepreneur, including being told "no" countless times and struggling with the fear of failure. Despite all of this, Jamie remained committed to her vision and worked tirelessly to make it a reality.

Believe IT is a story of hope, resilience, and the power of believing in oneself. It's a must-read for all women entrepreneurs who need a little push to keep going and a reminder that success is possible if they keep believing in themselves.

Kendra Scott: Born to Shine

Kendra Scott is a well-known name in the fashion and jewelry industry, but she is also an inspiring entrepreneur and a philanthropist. In her book "Born to Shine", Kendra shares her personal story and the journey that led her to create a multi-million dollar business.

Kendra's story is one of resilience, determination, and passion for her craft. She started her business with just $500 and a dream, and through hard work and dedication, she built a brand that is now loved by millions of people around the world.

In this book, Kendra shares the lessons she learned along the way, including how to overcome adversity, stay true to yourself and your vision, and give back to your community. "Born to Shine" is a must-read for anyone who wants to start their own business or is looking for inspiration and motivation to pursue their dreams.

Barbara Corcoran: Shark Tales

If you're a fan of Shark Tank, you probably know Barbara Corcoran as the savvy investor and entrepreneur with a keen eye for business opportunities.

In her book, "Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business," Corcoran shares her inspiring journey from a struggling waitress to a successful real estate mogul and TV personality.

With humor, candor, and practical advice, she reveals the lessons she learned along the way, including how to spot a promising business idea, how to pitch to investors, and how to bounce back from failure.

Corcoran's infectious enthusiasm and "never give up" attitude make this book a must-read for anyone who wants to turn their dreams into reality. Whether you're a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out, "Shark Tales" will give you the motivation and guidance you need to take your business to the next level.

Shonda Rhimes: Year of Yes

In her book "Year of Yes," Shonda Rhimes, the creator of hit shows like "Grey's Anatomy," "Scandal," and "How to Get Away with Murder," shares her personal journey of saying "yes" to new opportunities and experiences.

Rhimes, who was known for being a workaholic and introvert, decided to challenge herself to say "yes" to every invitation that came her way for an entire year.

This decision led to transformative experiences, including giving the commencement address at Dartmouth College, losing over 100 pounds, and discovering a newfound love for public speaking.

Through her humor, honesty, and relatable anecdotes, Rhimes encourages readers to step outside of their comfort zones, embrace vulnerability, and seize opportunities. This book is a must-read for any woman entrepreneur looking for inspiration to take risks and live life to the fullest.

Sophia Amoruso's #GIRLBOSS is a must-read book for any woman who dreams of starting her own business or climbing the corporate ladder.

In this book, Amoruso shares her personal journey from a broke and rebellious young adult to the founder and CEO of a multi-million dollar fashion empire. She provides valuable insights on how she built her business and overcame obstacles along the way.

With a humorous and relatable writing style, Amoruso encourages women to be their own boss, take control of their lives, and pursue their dreams.

The book is filled with practical advice, motivational quotes, and personal anecdotes that will inspire and empower any woman looking to make her mark in the business world.


In conclusion, the stories of these five incredible women entrepreneurs have shown us that success is possible with hard work, determination, and a little bit of faith in oneself.

These women have defied the odds, overcome obstacles, and made their mark on the business world. Whether you're just starting out on your entrepreneurial journey or looking for inspiration to keep going, the stories of Jamie Kern Lima, Kendra Scott, Barbara Corcoran, Shonda Rhimes, and Sophia Amoruso are sure to motivate and inspire you.

And if you're looking for more insights from these amazing women, add these books to your reading list: Believe IT, Born to Shine, Shark Tales, Year of Yes, and #GIRLBOSS. With the guidance of these successful women, there's no limit to what you can achieve.

Remember, you are a woman who means business!

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