Women in Business by David Evans For many years, women did not stand very much chance of gaining one of the top jobs in a company. The chances of a woman running her own multi-national company were even slimmer. This book tells the stories of five successful women who have started their businesses and have become rich beyond anyone's dreams as a result. Success in business comes from many different qualities, but these women have some in common. They all had an initial good idea, something that would give them a new product with a new marketplace. They all had a passionate desire to succeed and worked every hour in the day until that success was achieved. They all made great sacrifices on the way. Perhaps most interesting of all, some started from very poor and humble beginnings. Success can be won by anyone with enough passion. Madonna I bet you have heard a song by Madonna and seen here in a video. She has been the world's top pop star since the 1980's, a very long time in an industry that thrives on new faces and is constantly changing. In that time she has made millions and millions of dollars. What makes Madonna interesting is that her success is not just due to her ability to sing and dance and act. She is a successful businesswoman who has made sure that she is in control of her life. She has made careful plans, generated publicity around herself and used her profits to build a hugely successful international company. How did she do it? Poor beginnings Madonna was 19 when she arrived in New York in 1978. She came from an ordinary family and had just $35 in her purse. Life was hard and she lived in a number of rooms scraping her living as a waitress and dancer. But she had a powerful dream of wanting to be a star. She learnt to sing and play instruments. She taught herself to write music. She wrote and recorded her first song that became popular in New York dance clubs. Her career had started. An unusual audition Madonna realised that she needed a good manager to help her reach a wider audience. The best in the business was a man called Freddy Denman. Usually a singer would persuade a manager to take her on by sending him a sample recording. Madonna knew she had to so something more unusual. So she discovered Denman's address, walked into his office and performed her songs right there in front of him. Denman took her on, and between them they conquered the new market emerging on MTV. You can see Madonna's business qualities here. She knew that if you want to be the best in a business then you need to hire the best people. She knew that she had to use unusual tactics. She was prepared to take risks. In the public eye Madonna was an expert publicist. She made sure that her face was always in the newspapers, her videos on MTV and her songs everywhere. Her most famous song had the line, 'And I am a material girl.' She meant that she liked the material things in life, and she made sure that she had them. Her marriage to Sean Penn broke up, partly because he could not face the publicity that she loved. Of course the divorce was distressing for her : but she also made good use of the publicity. Religion and Sex Madonna has ensured that she always gains publicity by being controversial. She caused controversy by filming her videos to go with her song 'Like a Prayer' in strange situations in churches. This was so upsetting to many religious people that the Pope said she would not be welcome to perform in Italy. She upset people again by publishing a book of photographs of herself, often naked, entitled 'Sex'. Many people were shocked and many were angry, but the book was a great success, selling 500,000 copies in a week. Again, Madonna thrived on the publicity. Madonna : pop star and businesswoman We still know Madonna as a pop star, but she is a businesswoman as well. Wherever she goes, she is in touch with the managers of her businesses, just as the leader of any other industry. If she can do it, so can you. Enjoy reading these stories of success.