5 Striking Similarities Between America’s Richest Self-Made Women

5 Striking Similarities Between America’s Richest Self-Made Women

  By Justin Biel, trends editor at Grow Wire


In short:

  • This week, Forbes released its annual list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women based on net worth.
  • The top 10 earners hail from a variety of industries, and their net worths range from $2 to $5 billion.
  • After studying these female entrepreneurs, Grow Wire identified five common core beliefs that lead to their success and wealth.

Female entrepreneurs are on the rise, and according to a recent roundup, the most successful among them are stacking serious cash.

This week, Forbes published its annual list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women. The list is based on the net worth of females who “have substantially made their fortunes in the U.S.” and are either citizens or permanent residents, according to Forbes. To rank the women, researchers analyzed candidates’ assets, considered stock prices for public companies, and consulted experts to estimate the value of stakes in private companies.

The top 60 female earners on the list have a combined net worth of over $71 billion, Forbes notes. The list includes 24 billionaires, and each of the top 10 women has a net worth between $2 and $5 billion.

The list offers some fascinating business trends. Overall, top self-made females have a strong presence in a broad range of industries including tech, retail, fashion, media and entertainment. The top-ranking woman is the owner of a distributor. California has the most list-makers, with 27, but the top three women hail from the Midwest. A surge of female entrepreneurs launched businesses with the help of social media: a prime example is 21-year-old Kylie Jenner, who is on track to become the youngest self-made billionaire via her cosmetics line, Kylie.

Each of the women on the list offers a lesson through her career. Here are America’s 10 wealthiest self-made women in 2018, according to Forbes.




5 core beliefs helped America’s richest self-made women succeed. 

While they hail from different industries, the women above share five core traits -- as identified by Grow Wire -- that will prove valuable to any high-aiming entrepreneur. Anecdotal evidence shows that adopting these beliefs could not only grow your business but also lead to major wealth.

1. They want to be the boss.

Ninety percent of the women in the list’s top 10 founded or cofounded the company that generated their wealth. In a business landscape that lacks female executives, these women flipped the script, took control and became the boss.

2. They believe in risk.

If starting a business were easy, everyone would do it. The women on Forbes’s list knew that with big risk comes big payoff. Johnelle Hunt and her husband, for example, sold their house and took out loans to start the company that led to their $3.1 billion fortune.

3. They understand the power of family business.

While some claim family and business don’t mix, seven of Forbes’s top 10 women cofounded companies with their spouse. If you and your partner share an entrepreneurial dream like Marian and Mike Ilitch of Little Caesars, then going into business together may be the right choice.

4. They know it’s okay to start small.

Like many aspiring leaders, the list’s top earners undoubtedly needed to remember that where you start in life does not need to determine where you end up. For example, Oprah was born in poverty in rural Mississippi. The now-billionaire refused to let her past define her future.

5. They’re committed for the long haul.

Each of the women on Forbes’s list dedicated themselves to a particular industry, gained expertise and remained committed for the long haul. Consider Doris Fisher, who served as the merchandiser at Gap for over 40 years. This decades-long commitment paved the way for all three of her children to reach billionaire status.


In 2018, women face unique workplace challenges. However, America’s richest self-made females prove that gender isn't always a barrier to success. By sharing the beliefs above, they’re taking the business world by storm and illuminating a path for the next generation of female entrepreneurs.

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