Woman dressed in a business suit inside an office staring out of the floor-to-ceiling windows.
Starting a business can be intimidating, but it helps to garner advice from people who have been there and succeeded through it. — Getty Images/Shannon Fagan

In the United States, 12.3 million businesses are women-owned, making up 40% of total businesses. If you’re considering creating a business, the process can seem intimidating and overwhelming. Luckily, there are many women founders who can share lessons and experiences they’ve gained during their time in business.

Here are 10 quotes from women founders who have trailblazed the entrepreneur landscape.

1. “Don’t ever buy into the belief that you need to behave like a man to succeed. Instead, embrace all of the unique qualities of your personality and bring this into business with you.”

Hulya Mantion, Founder and CEO of CircleHood

Leading with authenticity and integrity supersedes fitting into a mold of what society tells us a leader “should” be. Consider the traits, qualities, and office culture you would like to bring to your own company.

2. “Don’t let anyone tell you that you are too ‘emotional’ about your business. A founder’s passion … [is] the biggest asset a business can have — a founder that sees the business through the eyes of a customer and truly loves the product. ”

Sahar Hashemi OBE, Co-founder of Coffee Republic

As a business owner, you have the best interests of your company, staff, and products or services. Your emotions and perspectives can be a strong guide for your business's future.

3. "Don't be afraid to do something big."

Daphne Koller, Co-founder of Coursera

As an entrepreneur, taking risks can feel intimidating. Create excitement and creativity through your business – your “big leap” can create big impacts!

4. “Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.”

Sara Blakely, Founder of Spanx

Part of being a business owner is exploring the unknown and finding out new ideas and methods. It is okay to not know something — the process of learning can be a valuable part of your growth.

When things get hard (which they will), your WHY needs to be strong enough to keep you going.

Ali Bonar, Co-founder, OatHaus

5. “Surround yourself with a trusted and loyal team. It makes all the difference.”

Alison Pincus, Co-founder of One Kings Lane

As you incubate your business, creating a team and network full of supportive and honest thought partners is a valuable part of your organizational growth.

[Read more: 10 Entrepreneurial Quotes to Keep You Motivated Through Tough Times]

6. “It’s important to be intentional in finding champions and allies who are rooting for you. When you draw a line in the sand and communicate your values publicly, you will find the folks who you’re meant to build with and alongside.”

Kim and Vanessa Pham, Founders of Omsom

Having allies and a network that supports your vision plays an instrumental part in your organizational impact. Recruit people into your circle to be your “cheerleaders” and mind melders.

7. “When things get hard (which they will), your WHY needs to be strong enough to keep you going.”

Ali Bonar, Co-founder of OatHaus

A strong mission and vision are ultimately your company’s foundation when you find yourself in difficult times. Having a strong “why” will be a grounding factor in decision-making and brainstorming.

8. "Say yes and figure out the details later. Saying yes when you think you can't is exactly when you should."

Leanne Pittsford, Founder of Lesbians Who Tech

While taking risks can be nerve-wracking, challenging yourself toward rewarding results is a great growth point for you and your company.

9. “Launching with one to three hero products is more than enough. Putting love into those three products and then building from there, especially if you're a solo founder, [is a better strategy].”

Brittany Chavez, Founder of ShopLatinx

It can be exciting to pursue all possibilities, however, this might not be sustainable in the long run. Consider a few items and products your business can do exceptionally well before taking the next steps.

10. “You can’t do it all. You have to give what you’ve got for the day and leave the rest for tomorrow.”

Beatrice Dixon, Founder of The Honeypot Company

Taking care of yourself and resting is part of organizational growth. Know your functional limits and seek practices to help you center yourself when your entrepreneurial ventures feel difficult.

[Read more: 10 Inspirational Quotes About Teamwork]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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