7 Essential Insights for Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs - Empower Your JourneyDiscover invaluable insights from Tiffany Pham, founder of Mogul, on taking the first step in entrepreneurship, building a network of mentors, and radiating positive energy to accelerate your growth.
In recent years, an increasing number of women have been breaking away from traditional, male-dominated workplaces to embark on their entrepreneurial journeys. Whether they're venturing into the realms of art, pioneering new technologies, or establishing themselves as freelancers, female entrepreneurs are asserting a growing presence in the business world. In fact, there has been a remarkable 114 percent increase in female entrepreneurs over the past two decades. Gone are the days when we predominantly saw white men at the helm of companies; today's aspiring female entrepreneurs have inspiring role models like Tiffany Pham, the founder and CEO of Mogul, to look up to. Pham, who recently authored the book “You Are a Mogul,” offers invaluable insights to help not only women but individuals of all genders achieve their entrepreneurial aspirations.
Pham's journey to success is a testament to her determination and resilience. Moving to Texas from Paris at the age of 10 with no knowledge of the English language, she defied the odds by rising to the top of her class. She pursued her education at prestigious institutions such as Yale and Harvard Business School. While juggling three jobs in the bustling streets of New York City, she taught herself how to code—a skill that would be instrumental in realizing her dream of creating a global platform for women to support one another. This dream culminated in the birth of Mogul, a website and app where women engage in discussions, offer and receive advice, share articles, discover job opportunities, and much more. Today, over 18 million women across the globe visit Mogul every week.
So, how did she make it happen? According to Pham, the key lies in taking that initial step when an idea sparks. It's about putting your thoughts down on paper without obsessing over perfection from the outset. She emphasizes the importance of rapid prototyping and gradually refining your concept over time. Additionally, she encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to reach out to not just one, but a network of 50 role models. Collaborating with these mentors not only provides invaluable learning opportunities but also offers support for their endeavors. Pham believes that by surrounding yourself with the best in the business and cultivating genuine friendships, you can accelerate your own growth. Lastly, she underscores the significance of kindness, authenticity, and generosity. By giving wholeheartedly, you radiate positive energy and attract it in return, propelling your momentum forward.
In her book, Pham shares more pearls of wisdom and actionable advice that aspiring entrepreneurs can benefit from. These insights are a testament to the power of determination, resilience, and the unwavering belief in one's entrepreneurial dreams.
While some entrepreneurs may focus on gaining expertise solely within their intended field, Pham advises a broader approach—working across various roles and industries. According to her, comprehending all aspects of a business is essential for success.
Pham's realization of this came when she was offered an internship at the United Nations while working in finance. Although her aspiration was to work at a place like the UN eventually, she understood that the path to achieving that goal involved gaining expertise in diverse areas, including finance. Consequently, she remained in her current job, which ultimately equipped her with the skills needed to run a business capable of making a substantial impact on the world, akin to her aspirations at the UN.
She shares the wisdom her father imparted during this decision-making process: “I understand your desire to make a difference, and you will. But presently, you are investing your time to acquire the skills necessary to bring about that change… If you ever decide to start something, give it your all, excel in it, and then move forward. Strive to become the best at it before transitioning to the next venture.”
Pham emphasizes the importance of going above and beyond in every task you undertake, regardless of its scale. According to her, there are no tasks too trivial to excel in.
She suggests that if you find yourself in an intern role responsible for making coffee for your boss, strive to make the best cup of coffee imaginable. Even if you're answering phones, make an extra effort to be exceptionally courteous to the individuals on the other end of the line. Pham shares an anecdote about a friend who had to lick stamps for her job but approached it with such enthusiasm that she was eventually promoted.
By excelling in even the most mundane tasks, you stand out and gain recognition. Hence, regardless of your responsibilities, aim to exceed expectations and consistently deliver exceptional results.
While many of us are conditioned from a young age to perceive failure negatively, Pham offers a different perspective: failure can signify progress and experimentation. Beyond the lessons it imparts about what doesn't work, failure can hide within it the seeds of success—if you choose to view it that way.
Pham draws upon her own experiences, such as her childhood in a foreign country where she struggled to fit in with her peers. She transformed these challenges into valuable life lessons, learning how to adapt to new environments, remain curious about different cultures and ideas, and incorporate diverse perspectives into her worldview.
In essence, when you make a mistake or encounter failure, channel the energy that might have been consumed by regret into a catalyst for change in your life. Embrace failure as a source of growth and a stepping stone toward achieving your goals.
Pham's philosophy encourages aiming for personal growth and surpassing your own achievements rather than comparing yourself to others. She realized the power of this approach during her high school math class when she consistently received
Pham emphasizes that achieving what may initially appear “impossible” becomes feasible with hard work and unwavering dedication. Setting yourself up for success often leads to surpassing what once seemed unattainable. This principle extends beyond academic grades and accolades; it encompasses the fulfillment that comes from giving your best effort, whatever your personal best may be.
Pham's personal experience underscores the importance of selecting a life partner who wholeheartedly supports your career aspirations. She once believed she would marry her partner when she embarked on her journey with Mogul. However, when he presented her with an ultimatum to choose between him and her career, she realized the significance of having a partner who aligns with your professional goals.
Citing research showing that married women who bear the disproportionate burden of household responsibilities often face hindered career progress, Pham emphasizes the importance of this life decision. She echoes the sentiment of Sheryl Sandberg, who has highlighted that a woman's most critical career decision is choosing a life partner and the support they provide.
In situations where you find yourself as the sole woman in the room, the only person of color, or the youngest, it can be easy to feel as though your voice holds less weight. However, Pham urges individuals in such circumstances to recognize the significance of their perspectives. Diversity in leadership and decision-making is essential to cater to diverse audiences and ideas.
She encourages those facing situations where they are the minority to understand the importance of their presence. By being in these spaces, they contribute to the ongoing progress toward inclusivity and representation. Pham emphasizes that each step taken in such environments is a significant stride toward claiming one's rightful place at the table.
Pham shares her morning routine as a glimpse into how she manages to function on just four hours of sleep each night. Her routine begins with sending “good morning” messages to close friends, fostering a sense of connection and accountability. Subsequently, she attends a dance class and kicks off her first meeting of the day during breakfast, transforming business interactions into enjoyable outings.
This routine allows her to start her day feeling most authentic when she connects deeply with someone. Pham emphasizes that every day should be marked by high-impact actions. She stresses the importance of consistently giving your best effort, infused with kindness, authenticity, and generosity, in every moment of your professional journey. This approach, she believes, applies universally to individuals in various professions, contributing to overall success and fulfillment.