Gwyneth Paltrow shares one of the most important lessons her mother taught her — and it’s something other entrepreneurs can learn from it too

Gwyneth paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow at a Q&A session with Katie Couric at New York University during the Fast Company Innovation Festival in November. Craig Barritt/Getty Images

“I really don’t worry about the competition,” said actress and food writer Gwyneth Paltrow referring to the female celebrity entrepreneurial sphere during a Q&A with Katie Couric at Fast Company’s Innovation Festivalin New York earlier this month.

Paltrow, 43, who started her lifestyle newsletter Goop in 2008, said her laid-back approach to the growing market comes from her mum, actress Blythe Danner, who raised her to not be competitive.

But that wasn’t always the case.

When she first started going to acting auditions as a teen, Paltrow says she remembers being more aggressive and thinking, “If I don’t get this part, that’s it.”

But that all changed when her mother told her: “There’s a piece of the pie for everybody and you just need to focus on what you’re doing.”

This lesson has stuck with Paltrow, who’s now sharing the “pie” with good friends and fellow actresses-turned-entrepreneurs Jessica Alba, who cofounded the Honest Company, Reese Witherspoon, who started her own production company Type A Films and southern clothing company Draper James, Lena Dunham, who launched email newsletter Lenny Letter earlier this year, and Blake Lively, who founded the now-closed lifestyle website Preserve.

“I think we’re in such an exciting time where women feel that they have the capability and the permission to expand and to go into different areas, and I think it’s terrific,” Paltrow said. “It’s wonderful to see women feeling entrepreneurial and bold about what they can bring to the market and to the culture.”

Paltrow said all of her celebrity entrepreneur friends have very different brands and markets — but when one company does well, it helps all of their companies. “I feel like the more water in the ocean, the higher all the boats go,” she told Couric.

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