6 Inspiring Quotes About Money From Successful Women

It's no secret that most people tend to think of finance as a boys' club. But women have been blazing trails, disrupting entrenched ideas and industries, and making serious bank for centuries. It is unfortunate that their words of wisdom have been so often overlooked.

The following quotes from female financial gurus will inspire anyone to improve their lives, their careers, and their bottom lines.

1. "Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." — Oprah Winfrey

At a net worth of $3.1 billion, Oprah Winfrey is one of the richest women in America — but she didn't start out that way.

Winfrey was born into poverty and raised until age six by her grandmother before bouncing back and forth between her mother and father. She suffered sexual abuse at the hands of family members, and at age 14, she had a baby who died within days.

Her early life was not characterized by abundance, and yet Winfrey still learned to be thankful for what she had, rather than what she lacked. Her sense of gratitude helped her to focus on building her career rather than feel bitter over her childhood of abuse and neglect.

Winfrey's attitude about the power of gratitude is actually borne out by scientific research. People who are thankful for what they already have are more successful, more emotionally resilient, and often even physically healthier. That's because they recognize there is no way to "have it all." Feeling grateful for what they do have makes it possible to focus on appreciating the life they live right now, while also working toward the life they want to live.

The fact that Winfrey overcame such a difficult, scarring childhood and feels grateful for the goodness in her life is part of what makes her so beloved. We can all learn to appreciate the abundance we already have while we work to build the life, career, and relationships we want.

2. "One thing I've learned is that I'm not the owner of my talent; I'm the manager of it." — Madonna

Madonna may be the original "Material Girl," but the singer, songwriter, actress, entrepreneur, and writer has parlayed her incredible talent into an estimated net worth of $560 million — meaning she never again has to wait for a man to present her with diamonds.

Madonna's description of her talent may sound surprising. If she is not the owner of her own creativity and money savvy, then who is?

As it turns out, Madonna's view of her abilities is reflective of something called the "growth mindset." Rather than viewing her talent as an innate and fixed part of herself, Madonna sees it as something that she can manage and grow. If she believed that she "owned" her talent, then it would be easy for her to rest on her laurels and assume there is nothing new she could do with her music or writing.

But as the manager of a prodigious talent, Madonna accepts the challenge of trying to push her creative boundaries and recreate herself over and over again. This mindset has allowed her to have an unparalleled career that has spanned close to four decades.

That makes it an attitude we should all try to emulate. Whatever abilities we have can always be managed and improved by refusing to see them as static, which can lead to great success.

3. "My best successes came on the heels of my failures." — Barbara Corcoran

Most people know Barbara Corcoran from her role on the show Shark Tank, but the Manhattan real estate investor, who is now worth $40 million, started off as a serially unemployed teacher and sometimes-waitress. After failing at 22 different jobs, she borrowed $1,000 from her boyfriend in 1973, and started a real estate business that she called The Corcoran Group. The boyfriend didn't last, but the business did. It grew to a $66 million company, which she sold in 2001 before embarking on her writing, speaking, consulting, and television career.

Corcoran understood throughout her series of early failures that each of those missteps did not reflect poorly on her. They were simply different options to try until she found the right fit for her career. Since she did not internalize these failures, she was able to take the lessons she learned from them and find success.

We should all take a page from Barbara Corcoran and learn to see each failure as a potential steppingstone to success. Picking yourself up after a failure may be difficult, but that is the only way you will ever succeed.

4. "Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity. Luxury is the opposite of status. It is the ability to make a living by being oneself. It is the freedom to refuse to live by habit. Luxury is liberty. Luxury is elegance." — Coco Chanel

The iconic creator of the Chanel brand, Coco Chanel was born to an impoverished family in France. She died in 1971 with a net worth of $100 million. Her commitment to fashion and luxury made her one of the most influential people of the 20th Century, and her fashion line is worth $19 billion to this day.

Growing up, Chanel knew the deprivations of poverty. This was part of the reason why she was so determined to enjoy luxury throughout her adult life. For Chanel, luxury was not defined by the corseted, heavy dresses that had been haute couture for many years before her own success. For Chanel, luxury in fashion had to be comfortable and true to the wearer. Trying to impress with excess was vulgar, and that was the true opposite of luxury.

By Chanel's definition, luxury is available to anyone, no matter their income. And this is an important distinction to remember as you pursue your own successes. You can easily enjoy the luxurious comfort of being yourself, even if your budget runs more Old Navy than Chanel.

5. "Money doesn't fall out of the sky. We had a business plan, an extraordinary proposal, and it was the right timing." — Sheila Johnson

Sheila Johnson is the co-founder of Black Entertainment Television and current owner of the WNBA team the Washington Mystics. Her net worth is currently estimated to be $710 million — but she wants to make sure that anyone who aspires to her kind of wealth understands what it took to get there.

Johnson is not a multi-multi millionaire by accident. In 1979, she and her husband Robert Johnson created the television channel BET in order to provide a crucial outlet for African American voices in media. They knew exactly what they could offer, and they worked hard to create an excellent proposal in order to secure the funding they needed. They were also lucky to jump on the growth of television programming in the late '70s and early '80s. BET grew to the point where the Johnsons sold the channel in 2001 for $2.4 billion.

Johnson makes it clear that there is no such thing as overnight success. You need to have a plan, you need to time things right, and you need to be able to persuade people to invest in you.

6. "Did we ever plan on being billionaires? No, but we wanted to be millionaires." — Diane Hendricks

With a net worth of $4.9 billion, Diane Hendricks is the richest self-made woman in America. She and her husband Ken Hendricks created the Wisconsin-based ABC Supply Co. in 1982, which sells roofing, windows, gutters, and siding for residential and commercial buildings.

Their success is all the more impressive considering the fact that Ken was a high school dropout and Diane only completed a high school education. The husband-and-wife team built their empire through hard work, financial savvy, and a shared vision. They both wanted to be millionaires and aimed their sights at that impressive goal.

The fact that they were both on the same page in terms of growing their business, along with their lofty goals for their finances, eventually made them billionaires. They did not shy away from wanting financial success, so they were always ready to pounce when opportunities presented themselves.

If you hope to emulate the Hendrickses, you would do well to partner with someone who shares your same goals and work ethic. Your level of success just might surprise you.

Heeding the words of wise women

The rags-to-riches stories of self-made women can offer incredible insight, hope, and inspiration to anyone who dreams of a successful life. Their words make it clear that opportunities are available to anyone, provided you have the drive, the mindset, the gratitude, and the audacity to chase your dreams.

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