5 Tips for business success from martha stewart, bobbi brown & other power women

It takes too much to build an empire. Take it from those who’ve done it.

Six of the best-known ladies in business sat down on Wednesday for a leadership roundtable at Martha Stewart’s second annual American Made event in NEW YORK. The function serves as a venue for successful entrepreneurs of most stripes to network and showcase their goods.

Within their discussion, cosmetics bigwig Bobbi Brown, fitness entrepreneur Tracy Anderson and many other all-star business leaders including media mogul Martha Stewart herself, shared a number of the keys with their success.

Listed below are five tips that anyone – female or male – ought to know as a business owner.

1. Most probably to improve.

Whether entering a fresh field or facing unexpected challenges face to face, entrepreneurship requires keeping an open mind. Martha Stewart started her career on Wall Street, while Tracy Anderson was inspired by her are a dancer. When Fern Mallis, creator of NY Fashion Week, realized back 1991 when she was working as the Executive Director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America that there is potential for a significant fashion event in NY, it led her to a big career shakeup. She recalls thinking to herself, "I believe my job description just changed.” From these changes, however, the panelists could actually achieve their greatest successes.

2. Realize friends and friends of friends might help your business.

When Mallis was establishing the first NY Fashion Week, she found support in friends and acquaintances that helped the theory take hold. Bobbi Brown, founder of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, did the same. “All I did so was invite some friends, some models, some editors – and I assume that’s called marketing,” says Brown about the launch of her first lipstick. The panel itself was proof that friends and friends of friends could be brought together in unexpected ways: Martha Stewart had catered another panelist’s event decades earlier, while eBay vice president Richelle Parham uses fitness entrepreneur Tracy Anderson’s workout tapes and every panelist had some experience with Bobbi Brown makeup.

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3. Be naive…

“The reason why I’m successful is I’m the most naive person on earth,” says Bobbi Brown. A common thread in the panel was a willingness to venture into uncharted territory. Martha Stewart created the thought of marketing a lifestyle with few guidelines to work from. Ditto with Mallis and Fashion Week. Rachel Shechtman’s gamble founding STORY, a retail and events business, hasn’t yet established itself as a clear success just as other panelists’ efforts have. However, the buzz around STORY shows that revolutionizing retail by concentrating on theme instead of a particular brand or product pays off – particularly if no-one else has tried.

4. …But know who you can trust

While entrepreneurs have to take chances to achieve success, they also ought to be careful in who they take these chances with. “Have people around you that have confidence in you,” says Tracy Anderson, who struggled to find trustworthy and helpful business connections early in her career. A lot more established entrepreneurs have to focus on who they hire. “I wish I had focused more on the people I was dealing with,” says Martha Stewart, reflecting on whether she’d have make any changes in her career. “Find people as entrepreneurial when you are.”

5. Don’t dwell on days gone by

“When bad things happen, as bad because they are, you never have to accomplish it again,” says Shechtman. All six of the panelists emphasized the need for thinking of the near future rather than dwelling on days gone by. Entrepreneurship could be disheartening and exhausting. For women entrepreneurs, especially those balancing pregnancy and motherhood, it really is a lot more so. However, “You do it, you complete it,” says Brown. “Exactly like anything in life, [take parenthood] one second at the same time.”