At the annual C200 conference, Forbes had the opportunity to meet so many inspirational women leaders, including successful entrepreneurs and members of the C-Suite at major corporations. They asked each one of them the same question:      “What advice would you give to your younger self?” 

Here’s what they said.

1. Don’t let a lack of the “right” credentials hold you back.

“Don’t be intimidated because you don’t have the right credentials, you don’t come from a certain background, you didn’t go to the right school, and you weren’t introduced. I was so insecure for so long, and…don’t be.” – Elizabeth Tumulty, Former President of Affiliate Relations, CBS Television Network

2. Don’t be afraid to dream big.

“Set your goals from day one super high. Write them down. If you want to be the number one skin care company in the world, you may not have a plan for how you’re going to do it, but have that super strong goal.” – Janna Ronert, CEO & Founder, IMAGE Skincare

3. Find partners to go farther together.

“You cannot do it alone. It’s impossible in this world to come up to speed with the amount of knowledge you need, and expertise. You have to partner. And if you partner, realize that collaboration is all about aligning your expectations, which means you have to understand what the other party has in it, what you have in it, and if you have more than they do you get to do all the work, and that means their work as well.” – Larraine Segil, Entrepreneur & Author

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4. Stay focused on the end goal.

“Stay steady and focused on what you want to do long-term with your career. Do not let anybody get in the way of that, tell you that you can’t do it. Keep that vision in front of you and plot your life accordingly, and you will get it.” – Michele Fabrizi, President and CEO, Marc USA

5. Be brave.

“There are amazing opportunities for women today, and it’s for us to take them.” – June Yee Felix, President, Verifone Europe

6. Define success your way.

“The piece of advice I would give myself is to not take myself so seriously and to not try to be a perfectionist or be Superwoman. I was married, I had children, I had a career, I was a hard charger, and I was always trying to live up to someone else’s ideals instead of my own. So I guess what I would realize going back is that: you’re going to define success differently at different points in your career, and it’s okay if what’s good for you may not be good for someone else. All that really matters is pleasing yourself and pleasing your family.” – Maryann Bruce, Public & Private Company Independent Director.


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