Having someone you look up to can be a huge catalyst for change and progress in your life.
For me, it’s a way to become a better person and business owner. I essentially look at where they started, what they did, and where they ended up. And if these women could get through hardships and barriers, finding a way to succeed when it wasn’t easy, then it acts as an incentive for me to work hard and overcome obstacles of my own.
If I think things are too hard, or it’s too difficult, for me to accomplish my dreams, then that’s on me! I can do anything.
Because if these women can do it, then I can do it, too!
Here’s a shortlist of women that inspire me and also a little mention as to why it's important to have mentors and inspirational leaders to look up to.
If you live under a rock, only then can you possibly not know who she is. She started from almost nothing and made herself the powerhouse that she is today. She was the first woman -- and many times the first black woman -- to enter into the world of television in her region and field. In the mid-1970s, Winfrey was the first black woman to anchor a nightly news program in Nashville. She was in college at that time and only a tender age of 19. That’s amazing! These “firsts” only seemed to make her world harder. Which is a perfect example of the strength and fortitude I need to emit to make things happen!.
2. Audrey Hepburn
This woman was diverse with a capital D! Not only was she a great actress (and beautiful to boot) but within her television and movie career she evolved into a woman with a beautiful heart, an incredible artist, and humanitarian. As a UNICEF ambassador in 1989, she traveled all over the world meeting the most underprivileged and vulnerable children helping to raise money to feed, house, clothe and care for them. A movie star does not have to do this. But, that she did shows her real heart. I admire her beyond words!
3. Angelina Jolie
Let’s be honest, when it comes to Hollywood and nepotism, it wasn’t hard to depict the young Jolie as a rebel; she felt entitled to her role as a movie star just like her father. Almost as if it was handed to her. But, as the years have passed, as real-life entered into her movie-star world, she changed. She had children (adopting many which was the start of her heart change) and became an ambassador for children. She became a special envoy for the UN and visiting refugee camps when she was in her early twenties. While she has financially donated to the UNHCR, she has helped to fund long-term health and conservation programs. And she's helped to build schools for refugee girls. Jolie is an actress, mother, and humanitarian who also just happens to be gorgeous. But the way she was able to use her fame (and fortune) to help those who really needed it was an eye-opening concept for me. She is admirable, strong, and in spite of her cancer issues, still remains undaunted in her quest to help others while still acting and directing. She’s a phenomenal person.
4. Mother Theresa
Mother Theresa is a woman who transcends almost any other woman, ever… in the history of women! This lady was God in the flesh, it seemed. She grew up in a wealthy family. Her father was a merchant, trading in tobacco, medicine, and gold, from Macedonia to Romania. But she chose to leave the comfort of wealth and ease and instead care for the poor in Calcutta, India. She did this herself! With her own two hands and her heart full of love. She devoted her life to serving those poor and destitute around the world. Who does this? Only someone with a heart of Gold. Someone who saw the need for love in the world. Someone who wanted to share the love of God with everyone she could.
5. Ann Cook
Okay, I’m just going to say it. This woman was badass! Ann Cook was the first female photographer in the United Kingdom in the 1800s. When her husband died, she was 46 years old and had nine kids to support. She decided she couldn’t sit there and starve! She would do what she loved and she would do it well. She opened the first photography studio in the UK and became the first woman in England to declare her occupation as a “Photographic Artist.” What an incredible accomplishment!
These women have been inspirational for me. They come from all walks of life with very diverse backgrounds. But what they do have in common is their drive to succeed -- and do what they were called to do -- no matter what. If you’re looking for some guidance in your business journey, reach out to me today. Visit my website to sign up for a consultation, or sign up for one of my many programs to hone your skill and create that incredible business empire -- an empire each one of these women built -- of your own. We can find that inspiration you need to make your world not only a better place but a place you love to create!
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