37-year-old president of a $1 billion brand reveals her 3 keys to success

As president of Cinnabon, Kat Cole helped turn the brand into a $1 billion business — and she thinks that any entrepreneur can do the same.

On Wednesday, Cole, now the group president of Cinnabon, Auntie Anne’s, and Moe’s Southwest Grill parent company Focus Brands, revealed her three top business tips on the Today Show.

“I believe anyone has the power to start and build a $1 billion brand,” says Cole.

Cole skyrocketed to success after starting her career as a Hooters waitress. She moved up the ranks at the breastaurant chain, helping open Hooters locations around the world. After becoming Hooters’ youngest ever vice president, Cole was hired by Cinnabon, a brand she helped reinvigorate and transform into a $1 billion business.

The 37-year-old executive’s success story is already inspiring others, including one Twitter user who created a note spelling out Cole’s three biggest business lessons.

Here’s Cole’s three keys to success, in her own words.

1. Be honest, authentic, and confident in what you stand for.

According to Cole, your values and transparency are what differentiates you in the marketplace.

2. Stay incredibly close to the customer.

Cole responds to every single person who tweets at her, as just one small way to stay close to the consumer. 

3. Do the right thing for the right reasons.

This golden rule should guide your partnerships, product launches, and funding decisions.

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