Women Entrepreneurs: Here’s How To Go Get Your Own Chips

 You wouldn’t show up to the poker table without a proper stack of chips, right? Without them, you’d be rendered pretty much worthless as a player of value. Your chips are essentially your currency. In fact, it’s said that in the 19th century and prior, players would use any small valuable objects in their possession, such as used jagged gold pieces, gold nuggets, gold dust or coins. And up until today, no matter how you slice it, your chips are what allow you to stay in—and ideally—win the game. Think of your chips as business ideas for women entrepreneurs.

creative thought

So, when I was told to “go get my own chips” by one of her billionaire bosses, I knew right away that to stay in the game of true self-reliance, I’d have to make some radical moves.

Like many, during the early part of my career I was wowed by the glitz and glam of working for high-profile individuals at large corporations. But something key was missing—and that something happened to be precisely what my employer was suggesting. What he meant when he told me to get my own chips was that, despite my success and accomplishments, it was high time for me to have something of my own.

Redefining Stability

While having a job seems like a sound, reasonable endeavor to have checked off on your list of life priorities, at the end of the day no paycheck can really compete with actually owning something of your own. Why? Because ownership gives you control. It forces you to use another dimension of your brain. And it asks you to be present in an entirely new way. It places you squarely in the driver’s seat, which granted, can feel insanely daunting—but it can also be mind-opening, liberating and empowering on levels that no job might.

As an Employee You Learn, but as an Owner You Flourish

We know it’s easier said than done, as we’ve all heard the adage, “it takes money to make money.” Sometimes, to “get chips” you need capital, which isn’t something that everyone has access to, or even knows how to approach. We get it. It’s a process and we certainly don’t mean to oversimplify that piece of it.

That said, we still encourage you to start thinking about all the various ways you can get your own chips—from working on your side-hustle while you keep your day-job, to dropping everything to focus on your new invention or startup. There’s a wide spectrum here, and each and every one of you can find your place on it at different stages of your lives. But it definitely starts with your mindset.


Do You Want to Really Play the Game? Or Do You Just Want to Watch as the Others Take Their Wins?

You want to win. We know you do. You want to control your financial destiny, not just for your own sake, but so you can truly provide for your families. To not only create an environment of abundance for those you love, but just as importantly, to serve as a role model for them, showing them that having a stake in the ground matters; and that paving your own road is far more worthwhile than walking someone else’s path.

So, with all that in mind, here’s a bunch of different business ideas for women entrepreneurs. We invite you to be unapologetic, intent and creative as you get your own chips!

     Dare to Disrupt

“Disrupt” is the new “innovate.” Spotify disrupted the music industry; Airbnb disrupted the hotel industry; Lyft and Uber disrupted the taxi industry—you get the point. Millennials, such as Denise Hewett, founder of Scriptd, know that thanks to the sharing economy, the sky’s the limit when it comes to shaking up old paradigms to come up with something lucrative that’s new.

     Go From Hobbyist to Expert

Hobbies or passion projects can often be seeds you’re planting for a bigger picture. It’s all about being willing to go from “something I do on the weekends to blow off steam” to really refining your expertise. If you love to bake, for example, why not take a serious pastry course? Who knows, maybe a year from now you can own your own patisserie.

     Invent Something

You all saw the film Joy, right? If not, consider it mandatory SELF MADE homework. Inventions—like the famous self-squeezing mop Joy Mangano designed after she cut her hands mopping up a pile of broken glass—often arise from necessity. So, as you move through your own day-to-day, keep your eyes open and your intuition on. You never know when the light bulb will go off.

     Buy a Franchise

I often say that if she could do it all over again she would buy Franchises. The franchise route is ideal, as I say in SELF MADE, for someone who may not see themselves as a creator type, but has great execution skills. A franchise is a great way to start a business with less investment, and with the know-how and the marketing support of other owners and the parent corporation behind you.

     Sell Stuff Online

The Internet is basically an at-your-fingertips-marketplace. You can sell stuff you own, stuff you make, or even use it to sell different kinds of services. It’s just a question of getting acquainted with sites such as eBay, which by the way, offers courses on how to use it for those of you who feel intimidated. Try doing it for one hour per week, if for no other reason than to flex your entrepreneurial muscle.

     Partner with a Friend or Relative

Have you and your sister or girlfriend ever fantasized about going in on something together? Stop fantasizing and start doing! Teamwork is a beautiful thing and as we all know, there is great strength in numbers. Get out there together; divide and conquer!

     Invest in Real Estate

When it comes to smart investing, cue my famous mantra Don’t Buy Shoes, Buy Buildings. I consistently encourages women to make less instant-gratification-buys and focus more on the big picture investments, such as buildings, which will ultimately liberate you financially.

     Milk an Emerging Opportunity

Think of emerging opportunities as low-hanging fruit. Such opportunities exist all around us—your job is to stay attuned and keep your radar up for one that makes sense for you. If you’re a foodie, for example, and you read that, say, hummus is increasingly popular, maybe open up a hummus truck! All you need is chickpeas and a little gumption.

     Look for a Business to Buy

Businesses are like cars. Someone somewhere is always selling one. Why not explore your community (start with your local chamber of commerce) and see what’s on the market? Much like a franchise, an existing business has built-in features, such as clientele, so that as you develop the business further, you can at least cross that initial legwork off your list.

     Find Hidden Money

This is the secret sauce. As I write in SELF MADE, there is so much hidden money in America for women, and particularly women of color. There is an abundance of opportunities—but sadly, a lack of information. Consider us the key to that vault, because at the top of SELF MADE’s list of priorities is helping YOU connect with all the different ways to access the hidden money in this country.

This guest post was authored by Nely Galán

Bio: Nely Galán is a self-made media mogul. Dubbed the Tropical Tycoon by the New York Times Magazine, she was the first Latina President of Entertainment for a U.S. television network (Telemundo). She is an Emmy Award-winning producer of over 700 episodes of television in Spanish and English, which she produced through her multi-media company Galan Entertainment. Galán is the founder of The Adelante Movement, which seeks to empower and train Latinas economically and entrepreneurially. She is the author of The NY Times bestselling book SELF MADE, Becoming Empowered, Self-Reliant, and Rich in Every Way (2016) Random House, about the revolution in women’s entrepreneurship led by multicultural women in the US and emerging women around the world.


Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.