It is ... to my three children [that] I owe my very being. In attempting to fulfill my duty to them as a mother, I met the challenge of their helplessness, their innocence, their dependence. Despising cowardice in others, I wished to prove myself no coward. Believing in the good, the gentle, the beautiful things of life, I addressed myself to the sweet duty of keeping these attributes for my children's sake and my own. And in striving to provide a living for them, I found a success beyond my wildest dreams.
Alice Foote MacDougall (1867–1945), U.S. businesswoman. The Autobiography of a Business Woman, ch. 4 (1928).
Her husband's catastrophic financial failure had driven MacDougall, at age forty and without vocational training or experience, to the necessity of supporting herself and her three young children. She progressed from being a struggling coffee wholesaler to running a thriving wholesale-retail business in coffee, tea, and cocoa, and owning five successful New York City coffee houses.