I have always found great wisdom from the quotes of other women. They give me the inspiration I need during tough times and remind me to keep moving forward no matter what.

Over the years, I have collected various words of wisdom from women across different backgrounds--from business to politics to the arts. For International Women's Day, here are 10 of my favorite quotes and messages from trailblazing women and role models from the past and present.

If you're like me, reflecting on them can give you a quick pick-me-up when you need it most in both your business and personal life.  

1. "Do the best you can in every task, no matter how unimportant it may seem at the time. No one learns more about a problem than the person at the bottom." -- Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court.

No matter where you are on your career path, you have to do mundane and seemingly unimportant work at times. Yet, your experience from doing the small work will eventually pay off. Plus, I've found that you learn more about any inefficiencies when you roll up your sleeves and get into the work yourself.

2. "I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse." -- Florence Nightingale, nurse

Own everything you do and don't make excuses or blame others. I have found that people who points fingers at others, not only reveal their character, but whether or not they are right for the job.

3. "Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas." -- Marie Curie, first female Nobel Prize recipient

This reminds me to always expand my thinking and to look at things in a broader perspective. This way I'm not always stuck planning only for the short term. At the same time, this quote is a good reminder to challenge ideas so that we can create something even better in the end.

4. "You create opportunities by performing, not complaining." -- Muriel Siebert, first female member of the New York Stock Exchange

Life isn't fair and complaining about it won't get you anywhere. Some of my worst mistakes and job experiences have given me the insight I need for the next challenge.

5. "None of us can know what we are capable of until we are tested." -- Elizabeth Blackwell, first woman to graduate from medical school in the United States

Entrepreneurship is a constant test of your belief system and leadership skills in order to overcome daily obstacles. Yet, it is during these rough times that we learn the most about ourselves and develop grit. 

6. "I'd rather regret the things I've done than regret the things I haven't done." -- Lucille Ball, TV icon

I get asked many times how I do everything. My response: if the opportunity excites me, it doesn't feel like work, and I never want to look back and wonder, what if.

7. "Many receive advice, only the wise profit from it." -- Harper Lee, Pulitzer Prize winning author of To Kill a Mockingbird."

Accepting feedback is always tough, but when you remove your ego, and be more open to what a customer or employee says, the information can turn into a new business or personal development opportunity that leads to new possibilities.

8. "As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others." -- Audrey Hepburn, Oscar-winning actress and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador

You will never regret giving back to others. The goodwill you send out always comes back in some way. And when you have a purpose-driven business, everyone can align to its ultimate goal and feel that their work matters.

9. "Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be." -- Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love and Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

I love this simple message because it reminds me that if I want something, I need to use my strength, mind, and experience to get it. Wishing for something will never make it happen.

10. "The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud." -- Coco Chanel

Always stand up for yourself and never, ever, be afraid to speak your mind. Remember that you are always your best supporter, even when your viewpoint is not popular.

The best advice comes from those who have been there before us. For me, these women are not only inspirational role models, but act as my private support group whenever I need a little lift to keep pushing forward and know the work I do matters.

Published on: Mar 8, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.