The CEO of a $28 million business says the hardest part of entrepreneurship is also the most exciting

Hollis Johnson/Business InsiderCofounder of Who What Wear and CEO of Clique Brands, Katherine Power, explains the hardest and most exciting part of being an entrepreneur.

  • Clique Brands CEO Katherine Power says the hardest thing about being an entrepreneur is also the most exciting part: Not knowing what’s coming next.
  • Power decided to skip a college education entirely and go straight to work; she eventually cofounded the fashion blog Who What Wear.
  • Power has been CEO of Clique Brands – which has raised $US28 million, serves an online audience of 25 million, and has a popular clothing line in Target – since 2014.

After skipping college and going straight to work, Clique Brands CEO Katherine Power said the hardest part about being an entrepreneur is also the most exciting: You don’t know what’s coming next.

It took Power 45 minutes to decide she wasn’t going to pursue a college education at Santa Monica Community College and instead begin her career. “I have, since a very young age, just wanted to work,” Power said on an episode of Business Insider’s podcast “Success! How I did it.”

After working for Touchstone Pictures, Power worked for special-events producer and night life connoisseur Brent Bolthouse. Her work for Bolthouse got Power recognised and hired by Elle magazine where she stayed for a short time before teaming up with an Elle co-worker and creating the fashion newsletter Who What Wear in 2005.

“I have a natural sense in me in that I love fashion but I love making money off fashion more,” Power said.

The newsletter turned into a fashion blog and lead to the creation of Clique Brands Inc., where Power has been CEO since 2014. Since the company’s debut in 2006, Clique has grown to 220 employees and raised $US28 million. The fashion and media empire has a total audience of 25 million people.

But as the founder of a startup, Power says she plays every role.

“I mean, all of it’s hard – all of it – and especially as an entrepreneur,” she said. “It’s very hard for that type of person to stop and appreciate what they have accomplished because you’re already on to the next thing. It’s kind of what makes you great and crazy.”

But Power said the “next” thing isn’t predictable as an entrepreneur, especially if what comes next is uncharted territory for you. “You don’t know that your greatest challenge next year is going to be all around scaling your infrastructure or international expansion or… those are all things you haven’t been through before,” Power said.

She continued: “But I think the hardest part is also the most exciting part, which is you don’t know what’s coming.”

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