Forbes Woman: Real Entrepreneurs Make Things Happen

For Moira Forbes, president and publisher of Forbes Woman, bringing an entrepreneurial spirit and approach to everything you do is critical for achieving success, and making an impact in the world.

“We see now more than ever that women are striking out on their own, they’re charting their own courses,” Forbes says. “To have tenacity around what you believe in and to constantly be challenging the status quo [is necessary].”

And Forbes (magazine) this week is spreading the message – and working to make it stick – through its second annual Forbes Women’s Summit.

“Entrepreneurs don’t just come up with ideas. They make things happen,” the event’s tagline reads.

By bringing together multigenerational leaders from vast backgrounds under one roof, Forbes hopes to spark conversation and empower entrepreneurs across industries. The publisher says that while an “extraordinary community” already exists through Forbes Woman – reaches over 55 million people worldwide each month – bringing the message to life makes all the difference. Forbes Woman launched five years ago as a multimedia platform with the goal of helping women achieve success, both with business and in life.

“Live events are a cornerstone of bringing these dialogues to life, literally lifting them up from the pages of our magazine and having these exchanges … [which] aren’t a culmination of ideas, but they’re a catalyst for ideas and conversation,” Forbes says.

This year’s list of speakers run the gamut from C-suites and design studios, to government hubs and home offices. Among them are Sports Illustrated swimsuit model-turned-entrepreneur Kathy Ireland, founder and CCO of her namesake cosmetics brand Bobbi Brown, Cisco Systems CTO Padmasree Warrior, JP Morgan Private Asset Management CEO Mary Callahan Erdoes and the Navy’s first four-star female admiral, Vice Admiral Michelle Howard.

What do they all have in common?

According to Forbes, “these women are embracing an entrepreneurial approach and mindset to change the world, to lead great change, whether it be in corporations, whether it be launching a social movement or starting a business.”

Growing up, she says, she looked up to these types of leaders, women who were “bucking trends” and “making innovative, bold decisions.”

She says these characteristics are also what’s been driving her family’s company, Forbes Media, which is nearing its hundredth birthday. The company announced it would be exploring sale options last November, but today it’s business as usual at the business magazine and website named after Forbes’ great-grandfather B.C. Forbes who founded the company in 1917.

As media today continues to be “completely disrupted,” Forbes says what’s allowed the century-old startup to thrive, adapt and reinvent their business, is staying true to their mission. She hopes what people take away from the exchanges at the Forbes Women’s Summit are the three tips she would give to young entrepreneurs: first, to have clarity of vision; second, to have tenacity; and lastly, to have self-awareness.

Knowing what you want to do and developing a thick skin, she says, will allow you to understand who you are as a leader – and entrepreneur.

“Now more than ever there’s opportunities for [people] to engage or connect … to create these very powerful networks and start businesses,” she says. “[And cultivate] amazing communities who are behind them and amazing followings behind what they do.”