You see something that you can make better and so you do. You’ve never met something that can’t be improved, fixed or altered in some way, and the solutions always come easy. It’s a gift, really, one that you’re happy to share with people, so why not take a page from “Idea Makers: 15 Fearless Female Entrepreneurs” by Lowey Bundy Sichol and make it a career?
“I coulda thought of that!”
You’ve probably said that a lot, especially after you’ve seen something that’s making somebody a lot of money. You could have created that. You could improve on that idea right now. You could be rich like Mark Zuckerberg or Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk.
But what about women entrepreneurs? About 40% of the businesses in the United States are run by women, says Sichol, generating nearly $2 trillion a year. Their stories are just as exceptional, and just as inspirational.
To be an entrepreneur, Sichol writes, solve a problem. Heidi Zak realized how inconvenient it was to buy a bra in person, so she founded ThirdLove. Jenn Hyman understood that designer clothing was expensive, and she sketched out Rent the Runway.
If there’s something for which you have a passion, then look at the story of Alli Webb, who knew that women wanted fun, fuss-free beauty and so she founded Drybar. Lisa Price followed her de ella nose de ella, quite literally, into Carol’s Daughter, an empire that offers wonderfully scented beauty products specifically for African American skin.
Think about Reshma Saujani, if you like to make a difference by helping others. She had two careers before realizing that helping girls learn to code was what she loved to do. Jasmine Crowe knew the stats: millions of people go hungry every day in this country, and her Ella Goodr helps fix that problem.
Finally, pay attention. Good ideas often come naturally when you work hard and keep your eyes open. It happened to Tate’s Bake Shop’s Kathleen King and Spanx’s Sara Blakely, and it could happen to you.
As you’re paging through “Idea Makers” and feeling quite inspired, one thing might eventually strike you: the women inside these pages are not necessarily household names. Some, in fact, may be totally unfamiliar to you which, in a way, makes its own point: fame isn’t a requirement for entrepreneurship. The Gwyneth Paltrows and the Beyoncés of the world aren’t the only ones who can launch businesses.
In her introduction and repeatedly through the profiles she shares, Sichol also shows that gender has nothing to do with success, either, nor does speed. The stories of the women inside this book subtly show perseverance and dedication, two traits that are often ignored in many be-an-entrepreneur books. That honesty may, for readers who dream of being their own boss someday, be the best part of what you’ll read.
You may find this book in the Young Adult section, but it’s completely appropriate for any adult struggling to find a path. If that’s you, reading “Idea Makers” may solve that problem.
“Idea Makers: 15 Fearless Female Entrepreneurs” by Lowey Bundy Sichol. 224 pages. Chicago Review Press. $16.99.
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