Above: Founders of businesses making >$1M, after coaching at the Million Dollar Women Summit!
This Women’s History Month, I am taking inspiration from women who dared – women who lived bold lives and paved the way for us to enjoy the financial and professional opportunities we do! Not just the entrepreneurs, but all women who defied gender and societal expectations and charted their own course. From Amelia Aerhart to Shirley Chisolm to Gloria Steinem to Oprah to Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama. It is in part thanks to them and the path they forged that we have the ability to have big careers and be mothers and spouses and girly when we want and all the amazing choices we have about how we live our lives, both personally and professionally.
AND we still have so much more to do! Good thing we are just the ones to do it.
Did you know it was just 44 years ago when women (and men) lobbied to pass the Equal Credit Opportunity Act? This act made it possible for women to get a credit card, checking account or bank loan without a husband or father to co-sign. A game changer for women and their financial independence. When it was enacted, the common practice of lending discrimination based on sex or marital status was ended forever.
What daring things will WE be known for, 44 years from now? What paths do we want to clear for the women of the future – and for ourselves today? #MeToo and #Time’sUp are making sure that sexual harassment will no longer be the “don’t ask don’t tell” staple of the workplace, and the brave women who confronted Angels and VCs – and have made it exponentially safer for women to say yes to raising capital without having to say no to unwanted sexual advances.
Closing the gender pay gap would be a huge contribution to gender parity, but today, women are still paid just 79% of what men are paid. A recent World Economic Forum study predicted the economic gap between men and women will take another 217 years to close.
So what can we do besides vote, contribute, lobby, speak up and write blog posts?
For one, we can create our own companies, where there are no glass ceilings. And we can give back and “lift where we stand” as often as we can. No matter where we are in life, we are always ahead of someone else and can help them learn something we painstakingly learned ourselves, whether it’s how to ask for a raise, secure a bank loan, find an angel investor or set up a sales process. To quote one of last year’s Million Dollar Woman Summit keynotes speakers, Alpana Singh (owner of four restaurants in Chicago), “When you get a door to open, grab another woman by the hand and pull her through it, too.”
I got the proverbial million-dollar door open when I grew my company from a $30,000 investment into a multi-million dollar business, with hundreds of belly flops and sleepless nights along the way. This is what inspired me to pursue the Million Dollar Women mission and make it easier for other women to get to $1M. Our mission is to help one million more women entrepreneurs get to $1M in revenues by 2020. Currently, fewer 3% of women entrepreneurs reach $1M in revenues, and if you add the color lens, fewer than 1%! Those numbers are just too small. I look forward to the day when future women gawk in disbelief that there were not more of us.
But what does that big goal look like on a daily, weekly and monthly basis? Right now, I am “lifting where I stand” through working extra long hours to gather amazing speakers and teachers and sponsors for the Million Dollar Women Summit for high growth women entrepreneurs.
The Summit honors women who dare by bringing together successful female founders, the women on fire to get to $1M in revenues, and the investors and the corporations that support them (scroll down to see our female founder coaches) on April 5-6 as part of our mission to help one million women entrepreneurs get to $1M in revenues by 2020.
The women who attend the summit will have the chance to learn from experts, get coached by successful female founders (see below), and surround themselves with other high-growth women who are in the exact same stage of business development as they are. They will get access to capital, mentors and proven business acceleration tools.
The theme for this year’s Million Dollar Women Summit is #WomenWhoDare. I invite you to reflect on the women in your own life who dared and who you are grateful for, maybe it’s your mother or grandmother, a high school teacher who taught you speak up or a boss who showed you what owning your worth looked like? Let’s all lift where we stand right now, by mentoring other women, sharing the best ways of getting ahead and staying sane and joining movements for change. Thank you for being part of ours!
P.S. You can apply to attend our Summit by clicking here. Spots are limited and we will sell out like we did last year, so don’t delay!