- INSIDER sat down with Kate Walsh, Anastasia Soare, Lisa Price, and Jaclyn Johnson during this year’s Create and Cultivate event.
- We asked them to reveal the best and worst career advice they have ever received.
- Walsh is glad someone told her to “trust her gut,” while Soare received some invaluable advice about building a brand.
- Price is glad she didn’t listen to guidance about changing her personality, while Johnson received some bad advice about putting money above everything else.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
When starting a business, it’s normal to receive tons of advice from those more experienced than you. Oftentimes it’s difficult to figure out the advice worth listening to and the advice you should let go in one ear and out the other.
Each year, thousands of young entrepreneurs hope to gain helpful advice and guidance during Create and Cultivate, a millennial-centric conference that connects women with powerful leaders in their field.
INSIDER got the chance to speak with some of the women featured in this year’s event held in New York City earlier this May, and we asked Kate Walsh, Anastasia Soare, Lisa Price, and Jaclyn Johnson to tell us the best and worst advice they have ever received.
Kate Walsh is not only a popular actress on shows like “13 Reasons Why,” but she’s also behind the Boyfriend line of fragrance products.
She originally launched the Boyfriend brand in 2010, and it quickly became a top 20 fragrance in Sephora stores. Walsh eventually took a break from the business and discontinued the fragrance when marketing costs became overwhelming, but she’s recently revived it for a post-Instagram world with a fresh aesthetic and a direct-to-consumer business model.
“We’ve used social media, Facebook, and newsletters to really have an intimate connection with the consumer and really understand clearly what they want and what works and what doesn’t work for them,” Walsh told INSIDER about rebuilding the brand.
Walsh says the best advice she’s received was reiterated after making some risky mistakes.
She said listening to her instincts and not being afraid of the word “no” has helped her step outside of her comfort zone.
“I’ve learned by my mistakes to trust my gut,” Walsh said. “We’re in a very ‘yes’ culture, and there’s a beauty to taking risks and jumping in with not knowing how you’re going to do it until you get there, but there’s also a lot of power in saying no.”
She once received some pessimistic advice that ended up fuelling her drive to succeed.
“I remember this guy said to me, ‘your first business always fails,'” Walsh told us. “I was like, not mine, sweetheart.”
Though she did have an initial setback when she temporarily discontinued Boyfriend, she says the demand and loyalty from the fragrance’s fans taught her that her first business didn’t have to “fail.”
“I was very excited by that and so thrilled to relaunch and have it be the success that it is,” she told us.
Anastasia Soare is currently one of the most successful names in the beauty industry.
Soare first launched Anastasia Beverly Hills in 2000, and she’s since built it into a massive beauty empire. Though she’s most famous for her line of eyebrow products, the brand has expanded into a full range of makeup and brushes.
The best advice she’s ever received came to her once the Anastasia Beverly Hills brand started to take off.
She went to a trademark lawyer when she noticed other brands emulating her eyebrow products, and his advice shifted her focus.
“He said to me, ‘My advice to you is to start focusing and building your brand,'” Soare told us. “And when people hear your name, they will associate it with eyebrows.”
Soare says her focus on quality has helped her products remain as in-demand as ever.
“Now I go to places where I don’t know anybody, and the moment I say my name, everyone is like, ‘Oh my God, I wear your products!’ That’s the best compliment,” she told us.
She says she’s had to ignore bad advice about dwelling on failures.
She says her trick to moving on quickly from failure is to have several backup plans in place before making the first move.
“I never have one solution, I have solution A, B, and sometimes C,” she told us. “If the A doesn’t work I immediately switch to B […] I never look back because it’s a waste of time anyway. Let me focus on what really works.”
Lisa Price is the founder and CEO of Carol’s Daughter, a line of natural hair-care and beauty products.
It’s grown into an expansive line of inclusive hair and body products, of which the Monoi Repairing Anti-Breakage Spray is Price’s personal favourite.
“It doesn’t build up in your hair and it’s not greasy or oily,” she told INSIDER. “So it’s almost like it vanishes once you use it, but if you don’t use it, your hair knows you didn’t use it.”
Price says the best advice she received is to let her passion lead the way.
When someone told her being passionate about something is “the key to being successful,” she said she was able to follow that advice to the booming business she has now.
“I knew that I was very passionate about what I was doing and it gave me confidence to keep going,” she told us. “I felt like the way that this person presented [the advice], it was as if that was the most important box that you had to check: be passionate about what you do.”
She was once told to change her personality to succeed, which is advice she’s glad she didn’t listen to.
“The worst advice I received was when someone tried to convince me that I needed to change my personality,” she told us. “That I was too nice to be a leader and too nice to garner respect from people. And I’m glad I didn’t listen to that.”
When it comes to using your voice in an effective way, Price says her best advice to young entrepreneurs is to be prepared with facts and statistics.
“The best way to get your voice heard is to have your numbers,” she said. “People listen to numbers, they can’t avoid numbers.”
Jaclyn Johnson is the CEO and visionary behind Create & Cultivate, a series of events that connects entrepreneurs with powerful leaders.
“I think of us as their business big sister,” she told INSIDER. “We’re providing information I wish I had when I was starting my first company.”
Johnson said the best advice she’s ever received is to always “get it in writing.”
“Be a business person about it, get it in writing, get that contract tight,” she said. “I think young entrepreneurs are sometimes so eager to have a deal that they’re like, ‘we’ll figure it out!’ But I think it’s really important to take your business seriously from day one.”
Johnson also thinks it’s important not to dwell on failures, which is something she would tell her younger self.
“I think the moment that you start thinking of failure as data points and lessons and things to improve you as a person and as a businessperson, the more you’ll accept that and be ok with it,” she said.
She says the advice she’s more than happy to ignore involves focusing on money first.
“I think something that we hear a lot is that you need to be raising a ton of money to be successful,” Johnson said. “I think there are pros and cons to being self-funded and pros and cons to being venture-backed, and think a lot of women get hung up and obsessed on the idea that I need to raise millions of dollars for my company to be legitimate. But I don’t think it’s the right path for everyone.”
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