The entrepreneurial path can be just as lonely and tough as it is exhilarating and exciting. There are high highs and low lows — whether you’re going it alone or working with a team. And while social media and easy-to-build websites surely have helped small businesses increase their online presence, the competition to make your product or service stand out is fierce. We asked women who have participated in our 1,000 Stories Project how they find inspiration on their darkest days. 


Dana Rubin, Speaking While Female

“Learning something new usually does the trick. I am highly motivated by learning. I read a fascinating article, I watch a documentary, I watch YouTube and learn a new skill. It’s my strategy for getting out of my miserable head!”


Elena Darmenko, Global Expats Therapy

“I remind myself of the words of Winston Churchill, ‘If you go through Hell, keep going.’ This alway helps me.”


Dr. Alaina Rajagopal, The Emergency Docs

“I find inspiration everywhere! It depends on the day and the problem but I often find peace in exercise, particularly running. Sometimes, I need a distraction that I can find through reading or watching a movie. Other times, I might just need some quiet time for thought with yoga or meditation. There are an infinite number of ways to relax and I think the world is such an interesting place.”


Mandy Nicholson, business coach

“I keep my vision strong, practice gratitude and meditation and look at my children who inspire me daily. We all need to anchor ourselves to a vision of our future self. There will always be obstacles along the way. My advice: think big, take action and don’t let anybody talk you down.”


Shari Hammond, Inspired Product Development Group

“When things get frustrating, I get up and take a walk outside and breathe before returning to work and looking at things objectively. I wear many hats — shipping, tech support, supply chain, sales, marketing. It’s a lot. A walk gives me that inspiration to reset.”


Ciara McCarron, Redesign Your Vibe

“I look back at where I was and how far I’ve come and I know in that moment exactly why I have to keep going. I’ve fought so hard to become who I am, and so in the darkest moments, I light up that tunnel and I walk through.”


Nguzo Ogbdoo, Yara Shea Beauty

“I listen to music and watch my youngest child, who is a ballerina, dance.”


(Credit: Destini Copp)

Destini Copp, coach

“I love listening to podcasts and audiobooks. When I’m looking for inspiration, I’ll search for podcasts where I can learn something new, find inspiration, or even get mindset coaching. There are so many great and free resources that anyone can tap into.”


Brook Eddy, Bhakti Chai

“Poetry, skiing, cannabis, hiking, tequila, yoga, writing, antidepressants.”


Eri Kikunaga, Chrysmela

“There were many times in the past 13 years when I felt anxious and wondered if I would ever make it. But I was always okay. With the trust I had built up, I didn’t feel so anxious. My belief that every moment is for the best, that everything will be okay, and do what you can do now, has served me well.”