It's not easy to make it in the startup world as a woman, but it's far from impossible. With a great idea, the right mindset and a strong support system, any woman can be on her way to making her entrepreneurial dreams come true. In honor of International Women's Day yesterday (March 8), Business News Daily asked female entrepreneurs to share their best advice for women looking to start their own business.
"What drives your product and sets you apart is your passion. Surround yourself with those who believe in your product as much as you do. Be a game changer by thinking outside the box and create new and innovative products that will set you apart from the competition." – Melissa Ravo and Jaime Boreanaz, founders and creators, Chrome Girl Nail Polish
"Take time to energize yourself. Building a company is a marathon filled with extremes of ups and downs. As the visionary and leader of the company, everyone — investors, employees and customers — will be looking to you to bring the energy." – Meaghan Rose, founder, Rocksbox
"Have a clear vision of where you're headed, but be prepared that it might unfold in an unexpected way. If this happens, find the opportunities, and adapt to your new reality." – Mary Fisher, CEO, Colorescience
"The passwords on our computers and phones during our first year included the phrase 'justdoit,' like the Nike slogan. This means taking action versus being paralyzed by plans, models, presentations, and the nebulous unknown. If you wait until you have the foolproof answer, you'll never move forward. It sounds scary, but just do it and somehow you will accomplish your dreams." – Sophie Kahn and Bouchra Ezzahraoui, founders, AUrate New York
"You don't have to have all the answers. Seek out people with expertise where your skills may be lacking. Use their knowledge to assist you in achieving your goals. Creating synergies of purpose can create extraordinary results." – Michele Torres, founder and president, HFS Company and 2014 American Express OPEN Woman Contractor of the Year
"Don't be afraid to ask for help. Historically women don't do this well and we should — men have no problem asking." – Rebecca Boenigk, founder and CEO, Neutral Posture Inc. and 2014 American Express OPEN Teaming Contractor of the Year
"Work on knowing who you are as a person and what you want to express through your designs. This is very important — it's the key to confidence, to believe in what you are and what you offer." – Johanna Castillo, online boutique owner
"When you start, be wary of partners. Don't spend before you start bringing in money and most of all, believe you can do it despite what others say." – Katherine Niefield, president and CEO, Blink PR
"Surround yourself with those who know how to do the things you do not, always have a plan B even if you never need it, and understand asking for help is a sign of strength and not weakness. These are characteristics of not only great but effective leaders who create opportunities for others as well as themselves." – Sheila Ronning, CEO and founder, Women in the Boardroom
"Build a business around a problem that you know needs to be solved and that you are passionate about fixing or making better. There will be many long nights and stressful situations ahead, but having the passion to fix the problem will get you through every time." –Sheri Atwood, founder, SupportPay
"Get really good at time management. There are always more things on your to-do list than time or people to finish them. As a result, every day you are faced with the challenge in deciding what not to do. You have to evaluate what activities are really going to make an impact on your business and focus your time accordingly." – Kwany Lui, co-founder, Bundle Organics
"Take the time to plan to help alleviate fears that may be holding you back. You have to know your business better than anyone else, show your passion to everyone you meet, view all rejection as an opportunity to learn and grow, and most importantly, be kind to yourself." – Summer Kramer, founder and president, SummerSkin
"Don't be afraid to start a new chapter of your life and stick to your core values. Being able to channel my sweet tooth and my passion for healthy eating and living into a successful career has been especially fulfilling. Lastly, always be open and receptive. You never know when inspiration might hit." – Chloe Epstein, president and co-founder, Chloe's Soft Serve Fruit Co.