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Every creative career is littered with mistakes and learning things the hard way.

Mine sure as hell was!

I guess that’s how it should be.

Here are a few tips from tough creative women that I wish I had known before launching my career in advertising!

No one will make your dreams come true but you!

“Whatever it is that you think you want to do, and whatever it is that you think stands between you and that, stop making excuses. You can do anything.”

—Katia Beauchamp, co-founder and CEO of Birchbox.

Learn to conquer your fears.

“Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it, the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.”

—Arianna Huffington, editor-in-chief of Huffington Post Media Group.

Don’t ask for permission.

“The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”

Ayn Rand, writer and philosopher

Hard work is compulsory.

“I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.”

Estée Lauder

Stay flexible in your thinking.

“Option A is not available. So let’s kick the sh*t out of option B.”

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook

Know where you’re going.

“So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.”

—Caterina Fake, Co-founder of Flickr

Be open to change and learn as you go.

“The road to success is always under construction.”

Lily Tomlin, actress, comedian, writer and producer

Push through your panic.

“I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.”

Marissa Mayer, former CEO of Yahoo

Gradually build your confidence.

“Confidence is achieved through that willingness to continually put yourself in vulnerable situations. Success or failure has nothing to do with it.”

Debbie Millman, graphic designer and founder of Design Matters

Making mistakes is a way to grow.

“It’s through mistakes that you actually can grow. You have to get bad in order to get good.”

Paula Scher, graphic designer and Pentagram partner

You define “success”, not them.

“Success isn’t about how your life looks to others. It’s about how it feels to you. We realised that being successful isn’t about being impressive; it’s about being inspired. That’s what it means to be true to yourself.”

Michelle Obama

Embrace what makes you special.

“Whatever you do, be different – that was the advice my mother gave me, and I can’t think of better advice for an entrepreneur. If you’re different, you will stand out.”

Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop

Keep your integrity.

“Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.”

Janis Joplin

Beauty woman in neon light, portrait of beautiful model with fluorescent makeup