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5 Female Entrepreneurs You Should Watch In 2015

5 Female Entrepreneurs You Should Watch In 2015

We live in a time where the average woman makes 77 cents to a man’s dollar. Becoming an entrepreneur can be an incredible experience. But for women, it will require some extra grit, determination and going against the norm to succeed. Yet these days, women are becoming more noticed for their entrepreneurial endeavors and are remarkably successful. When a woman can be the founder and leader of an organization, it can inspire others who are just beginning their entrepreneurial journey. Here are some female entrepreneurs who are doing remarkable things and have redefined their industries.

 Julie Aigner Clark, Founder of Baby Einstein, Baby Bytes and the Soft Skin Company

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    “When my company started really growing, I didn’t have any help in my house at all. I had the upkeep of my daily life, I had a one-year-old and a three-year-old, and I had my house. So I had to prioritize.” — Julie Aigner Clark

    Co-founder of Baby Einstein, Clark invested $15,000 dollars into the company and aggressively marketed it by meeting retailers at trade shows and sending its products to publications for reviews. Focused on infant entertainment, it was later sold to The Walt Disney Company in 2001. Now Julie Clark is involved in startups like Baby Bytes and the Soft Skin Company.

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    Melinda Emerson, Media Entrepreneur and Founder of Melinda Emerson Foundation

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      “You never lose in business, either you win or you learn.” — Melinda Emerson

      Melinda Emerson left television as a producer to pursue her entrepreneurial dream to create an award winning production company Quintessence Multimedia. The production company she founded has done productions for Verizon, Comcast and Radio One. But she didn’t stop there. She wanted to see other small businesses become successful ventures. She founded the Melinda Emerson Foundation, which has become a facilitator for small businesses by providing free information, educational materials and opportunities.

       Leah Busque, Founder of TaskRabbit

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        “I wake up every morning and think to myself, how far can I push the company forward in the next 24 hours.” – Leah Busque

        Leah Busque founded TaskRabbit in Boston in 2008 and has since raised over 5 million dollars in funding from different venture capital firms. The company was built as a marketplace for errands. If you want an errand completed, you simply need post the task on their marketplace and say how much you will be willing for to pay for the task to be completed. Tasks are completed by everyday people who have certain skills they can market, or are simply in need of some extra income.

        Although Leah Busque has stepped down as CEO, she remains at the heart of the company.

        Alex Von Tobel, Founder and CEO of LearnVest

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          “A good financial plan is a roadmap that shows us exactly how the choices we make today will affect our future.” – Alexa Von Tobel

          After leaving Harvard, Alex von Tobel proceeded to start LearnVest in 2009, a personal finance and financial planning site for women. She is also the author of New York Times bestseller Financially Fearless, which came out in 2013. In March 2015, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. announced its intentions of acquiring LearnVest.

          Jennifer Hyman, CEO and Co-Founder of Rent the Runway

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            “Be humble, be curious, and listen to the people who have come before you. I’ve found that entrepreneurship only gets harder every year and as your team gets bigger, the stakes get higher.” – Jennifer Hyman

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            Jennifer Hyman is the co-founder and CEO of Rent the Runway, a company that is democratizing the luxury industry for women. The New York-based company makes it possible for regular women to rent luxury items such as outwear, special occasion dresses and accessories.

            Featured photo credit: http://www.balancedmommagazine.com via balancedmommagazine.com

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            Casey Imafidon

            Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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            Last Updated on July 18, 2019

            How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

            How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

            Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

            However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

            Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

            Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

            There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

            Better Job Offers

            Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

            People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

            Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

            You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

            Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

            A Shot at Entrepreneurship

            Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

            We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

            13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

            1. Update Your Resume

            You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

            Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

            While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

            There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

            2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

            Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

            That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

            To hone this skill:

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            Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

            Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

            This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

            How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

            3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

            Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

            Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

            To hone this skill:

            Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

            4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

            No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

            Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

            To hone this skill:

            Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

            Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

            These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

            The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

            5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

            Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

            How to hone this skill:

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            Practice being resourceful.

            Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

            Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

            No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

            If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

            6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

            6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

            Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

            The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

            Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

            How to hone this skill:

            Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

            Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

            17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

            7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

            Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

            What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

            How to hone this skill:

            Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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            Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

            5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

            8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

            Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

            Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

            How to hone this skill:

            Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

            Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

            What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

            9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

            How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

            Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

            How to hone this skill:

            Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

            Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

            The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

            10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

            Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

            How to hone this skill:

            Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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            Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

            What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

            11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

            Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

            You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

            How to hone this skill:

            All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

            How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

            12. Build Networks and Relationships

            You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

            Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

            How to hone this skill:

            Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

            To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

            How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

            Final Thoughts

            Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

            You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

            Happy career switching!

            More Resources About Career Advancement

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

            Reference

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