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10 successful women talk about the secret to their success

In Boss Mama, Features, Stories by Nicole Fuge

Not only does every woman have her own definition of success, but every woman has her own path to success. And we’re here to celebrate that. We want to validate everyone’s journey. Everyone’s experience.

To celebrate women doing amazing things here we look at what 10 successful women have to say about success – what it means to them, their tips on the journey and what they want you to know about getting there.

Whatever you do, don’t give up mama! You’re doing a great job.

1 // Susan Wojcicki, CEO YouTube

“Speak up. Don’t be afraid to say what’s on your mind or ask for what you want.”

2 //Ita Buttrose, media icon

Ita: “Latte Magazine found this pic taken 1979 when Publisher Aust Women’s Weekly Not long after I became first woman to edit major metropolitan newspaper On IWD I encourage all girls to aim for the top job and break what’s left of the glass ceiling #NeverBeforeBarbie #YouCanBeAnything.” Picture: Twitter/ItaButtrose

“Firstly, don’t let people intimidate you. They’ve got the problem not you. You have to believe in yourself, you have to believe in your talent and sometimes you have to rock the boat a bit, take a risk, be innovative, think outside of the square, or, if you’ve got a good idea, present it and make sure no one knocks it off and let people see what you can do. Don’t hide your talent… a boss likes staff with ideas, who tells them what they are doing. A good boss admires someone who has a good idea and is prepared to think creatively. I think Australia is so conservative these days, we need all the innovation we can get at the moment, we need creative thinkers, especially female ones.”

3 // Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer Facebook

“I’ve cried at work. I’ve told people I’ve cried at work. And it’s been reported in the press that ‘Sheryl Sandberg cried on Mark Zuckerberg’s shoulder,’ which is not exactly what happened. I talk about my hopes and fears and ask people about theirs. I try to be myself—honest about my strengths and weaknesses—and I encourage others to do the same. It is all professional and it is all personal, all at the very same time.”

4 // Vera Wang, Designer

“Don’t be afraid to take time to learn. It’s good to work for other people. I worked for others for 20 years. They paid me to learn.”

5 // Turia Pitt, athlete, motivationalist, and author

Can we turn the wind machine up just a smidge? That’s perfect, thanks!

A post shared by Turia (@turiapitt) on

“It’s one thing to be motivated. It’s another thing entirely to show up day in, day out and apply yourself consistently. If I spent too much time thinking about what my future looked like I would have been overwhelmed. All I could do was focus on things literally one step at a time. When we get our minds working for us, not against us, we do become unstoppable.”

6 // Diane Von Furstenberg, Designer

“The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself…You are the solution! Look for the light, and build around it. You have the keys to your happiness. Let others be negative, your light will shine on them!”

7 // Bryn Freedman, TED Talks Curator and Co-founder Voices 4 Freedom

“Everyone has a place where they feel they are most authentically themselves or in their element. It’s the place where your heart, gut and brain meet and don’t fight. It is the place where what you are good at meets what you aspire to. You know you are where you are supposed to be and feel you are on the path even when it’s hard. This is where you need to spend a lot of time. Whether it’s in nature, with friends, exploring new places. Go here and stay here often.”

8 // Zoe Ghani, Chief Technology Officer The Iconic

“Know what you want and learn about it. Define the exact areas you want to work in and combine with your unique talents to create a vision for where you want to go. It doesn’t need to be perfect. You just need to figure out the additional skills required and then educate yourself to fill in the gaps by working on pet projects which utilise these skills. For example, if you are interested in design or code or any other area, create your own website, play with new technology, install applications, visit tech meetups – have fun, break things! You can then talk about these projects in an interview as the formal job experience you don’t currently have.”

9 // Oprah Winfrey, media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist

“I sit here profitable, successful, by all definitions of the word. But what really, really, resonates deeply with me is that I live a fantastic lifemy inner life is really intact. I live from the inside out. Everything I have, I have because I let it be fuelled by who I am and what I realise my contributions to the planet could be.”

10 // Jenna Lyons, designer and business personality

“Don’t be afraid to speak up. I find it impossible to understand where a person stands if they don’t join the conversation. Opinions aren’t reserved for those in the corner office. Find your voice, and make sure to balance your input; you should be contributing roughly equal parts complimentary support of others with thoughtful, constructive criticism. And never be afraid to pitch an idea; we all have good ones, and we all have bad ones.”

You might also like: 7 boss-mamas who are totally killing it,  6 badass female empowerment Insta accounts you need to know and 5 inspiring mamas to help you kickstart the week.