Lessons from 8 inspirational female leaders

Earlier this month, I had the wonderful opportunity to volunteer at 2X – an all-female speaker event hosted by news media startup The Hustle. As a perk for volunteering, I was able to listen to each speaker’s journey to success in the startup world. To share a room with them was an honor. What I heard was nothing short of inspirational.


  1. Question everything — Leah Busque, Founder of TaskRabbit

Look at the world through an inquisitive lens. Why do you do the things you do in the ways you do them? Is there a more efficient method or process? Does it make sense? What problems do you consistently face? Is there a solution? Can a solution even exist?


  1. Foster a community — Lu Zhang, Founding Partner of NewGen Capital

You can’t do it alone. Befriend anyone and everyone you can. Genuinely connect with them, and don’t be afraid to reach out for help or advice. Your community is your support system. The people in it want you to succeed. The bigger and stronger it is, the higher your chances are to achieve your goals.


  1. You’ve discovered your passion when you find you can and want to do more — Rachel Katz, Director of Social Innovation at AngelHack

What motivates you? What makes you feel accomplished? Then, what keeps you going? The ability to succeed, take a step back to acknowledge it, and then drive yourself further toward your next goal. That’s your passion. Find it.


  1. Take calculated risks — Stacey Ferreira, Co-Founder & CEO of Forge

Determine the potential consequences and rewards before taking a risk. What are your next steps if it doesn’t work out for you? What if it does? Then make your decision knowing that regardless of the outcome, you have a plan of action. Just follow it.


  1. Rock bottom is not a bad place to start — Meredith Davis, Head of Community & Partnerships at The League

It’s when things are most interesting. You’re not conventional. With all your options exhausted, you start making new ones. With your passion in mind, you’re open to anything and everything to which you can apply it. You’re not afraid to be persistent, and you will yourself to success.


  1. You get a lot of “no’s” before you get a “yes” that changes your life — Maran Nelson, Founder of Clara Labs

You can’t get discouraged from failure or rejection. Reframe your mind to perceive every “no” as an opportunity to take another path to your destination. Take your dreams and your lives desperately seriously. It’s amazing to find something that matters to you so much that you’ll face rejection over and over again, and still continue. You only need one “yes” for your life to change for the better. Then, you’re golden.


  1. You can do anything you set your mind to — Adriana Gascoigne, Founder of Girls in Tech

You can’t get complacent and think “this is it” or “that’s enough for now” when you reach an obstacle, a goal, or a crossroads. You must be scrappy, take the plunge, and do what it takes (and more). Your mind is so very powerful. If you can motivate yourself to keep going, take the step, then the next one, and then the next, you will achieve what you set out to do.


  1. Don’t stop dreaming — Shruti Gandhi, Managing Partner of Array Ventures

Your dreams keep you going when you think you can’t go any longer. Your dreams are your last line of defense, and they are impenetrable. When you begin to question yourself or your passion, your dreams come in to pick you up, dust you off, and reaffirm who you are and what you are doing is worth it. Because it is.