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Why Rihanna Slays as an Entrepreneur

Why Rihanna Slays as an Entrepreneur

With the launch of Fenty Hair, Rihanna’s business ventures continue to innovate and expand. Clearly, she is not driven by money. After all, her net worth is estimated at $1.4 billion, which is a fortune by any standards. So why keep going, and keep growing? Because as any true entrepreneur will tell you – building a business is FUN. Read on to learn why Rihanna slays as an entrepreneur.

Strategic Alliances

Building a successful business requires more than vision and leadership. If it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes a team to build a brand. Where would Apple be if Steve Jobs hadn’t had his team of brilliant computer programmers? For Rihanna, she launched her brand Fenty as a partnership with Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVHM). Which was such a smart strategic alliance for her. Because LVHM has the infrastructure for manufacturing and distribution. And she joined a team with decades of expertise in running a fashion and cosmetics business. After all, why start from scratch? By entering into this partnership, Rihanna showed savvy judgement as an entrepreneur.

Authenticity

Rihanna as an entrepreneur
Ganzon/Getty Images for Fenty Beauty

Nothing kills consumer trust more than not being authentic. After all, why buy from a brand when its owner doesn’t use its products and services? This is especially true of celebrity-fronted brands. Buyers need to believe the celebrity genuinely likes the product. Fenty says that Rihanna tested and perfected the line on stage and in her real life. And not only does Rihanna show up wearing Fenty designs and cosmetics, but she represents her brand values of inclusion and diversity. Fenty launched with 40 shades of makeup, immediately signalling that this was a brand committed to doing things its own way. And Rihanna was front and centre for the marketing campaign, even applying makeup to models to showcase the products. 

Innovation

But success in business is never a slam-dunk, not even with a powerhouse global superstar like Rihanna and an established company like LVMH. Especially when market conditions are challenged by, you know, a worldwide pandemic. So by 2021, the fashion label was paused. But as all great entrepreneurs do, Rihanna pivoted. She switched focus to her collaboration with the lingerie brand Savage, and landed another $115 million in new funding to expand the Savage X Fenty line. Of course, she also had Fenty Beauty. Her innovation and willingness to adapt with changing consumer demands shows how savvy she is as an entrepreneur. And successful! Fenty made Rihanna a billionaire by 2021. 

Image

Setting aside the quality and appeal of Fenty products, it’s a fact that Rihanna’s image is a key driver of its marketing reach. Generally, this is true of celebrity brands. After all, this has been the basis of celebrity endorsements for decades. The Cola Wars of the 1980s paid big money to the likes of Michael J. Fox, Micheal Jackson, and Madonna in an effort to gain market share. But the value of these deals rely on a clean image that doesn’t conflict with brand values. Just look at what happened when star swimmer Michael Phelps was caught smoking marijuana. The cereal company Kelloggs, whose key target audience is children, immediately cancelled their endorsement deal with him.

Clearly, image is important. And this is another area where Rihanna slays as an entrepreneur. Her image is unblemished. There are no scandals or bad behaviour. And Rihanna is authentically herself, which is critical to establish trust with her target market. Also, she knows how to coordinate public appearances to align with and support her business. For example, just days before launching Fenty Hair, she rocked a public appearance with her natural curls. This made headlines in high-profile fashion publications, which generated loads of free publicity. This is just another way that Rihanna strategically uses her image to build her business.

What you can learn from Rihanna

Be resilient. If an idea doesn’t fly, or sales level off, keep going. Take a step back, assess, and reevaluate. Where are the opportunities to adapt? 

Be different. If no other business is doing it, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea. Fenty Beauty disrupted the market by offering makeup in 40+ skin colour tones. 

Be yourself. Align who you are with what you do. Just because it’s a great business idea doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for you. It’s important that you care about the concept. Then your passion and commitment will shine through.

One more reason why Rihanna slays as an entrepreneur

Another reason why Rihanna slays as an entrepreneur is that she knows her Why. She has said that she just “wants to make something new and fresh that everyone can relate to and feel confident in. We want you to feel sexy and have fun doing it.” The simplicity of this purpose is relatable for her target market across all demographic profiles.

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Famous Introverts

Famous Introverts

It’s a myth that to succeed in business, you need to be an extrovert. Because there are famous introverts who prove that otherwise.

Surprisingly, being a leader, talking to the media, and being OUT THERE does not have to mean being the sort of person who is comfortable with that. In fact, famous introverted leaders like Oprah Winfrey and Wendy Kopp have successfully built teams, brands, and wealth.

How did they do it? They understood that the attributes of being an introvert are also the same characteristics of great leaders and CEOs. Rather than trying to change their true nature, they embraced it.

Next are 3 lessons from famous introverts which may inspire you to see the advantages of your introverted nature.

This post may contain affiliate links. I will receive a small commission if you use these links, at no additional cost to you. For the full disclosure, visit this page.

Lessons from famous introverts

1. Listen

As Richard Branson said, “listen more than you talk”. Listening to people is widely recognized as a valuable skill which contributes to business success. So listen to staff, to suppliers, and to customers. This is more than hearing the words. Listen to the intention behind what is being said, and be open to what may arise from it. In the very early days of Airbnb, Brian Chesky stayed with hosts and listened to what they liked about the platform. Those listening skills contributed to developing features and functionalities which contributed to their success. For example, the initial concept required the host to be home and prepare breakfast for their guest – that other B in Airbnb. It was against the rules to rent unoccupied space. It was only after listening to hosts share why they wanted to rent their vacant places that they changed their policies. And as they say, the rest is history.

2. Research

By research, I mean read. Highly successful famous introverts all tend to read. Mark Zuckerberg has said he likes to read about different cultures, histories, and technologies. Mark Cuban credits reading 3 hours a day with gaining a competitive advantage early in his career. He researched everything available about the sector he wanted to succeed in so that he was the most knowledgeable person in the room. And of course, Oprah Winfrey leveraged her love of reading to build her brand and expand her media empire. Oprah’s Book Club selections launched careers and bought houses.

3. Reflect

Famous introverts teach us that ideas and innovation comes from taking the time to reflect. Inspiration is often found in the quiet spaces between thoughts. The famous “eureka” moment came when Archimedes was lounging in the bathtub. Newton was contemplating alone under a tree when that falling apple inspired him.

Bill Gates has his Think Weeks where he turns off technology and takes time to process. He takes a whole week alone to reflect on what he has read, learned, and experienced. Going away for a full week is not available for everyone. There are many strategies you can build into your regular schedule so that you gain the advantage of regular reflection. For example, meditation, yoga, walking, and my personal favourite – journalling.

These 3 attributes work together, combining as a superpower for introverts who can leverage these into competitive advantages to build their business.

Famous Introverts

Best books for introverts

These are the best books for introverts who are at any stage of entrepreneurship. 

by Susan Cain

This book changed my life. If you’ve ever thought that you have to be an extrovert to be successful, this is a must-read. Her research into the physiology and brain chemistry of introverts reframed my perspective of myself.

by Dr Jennifer Kahnweiler

This book is less data and more action plan. She sets out a specific strategy to succeed in a world seemingly designed for extroverts.

 by Sophia Dembling

A happy balance between the last 2 books, this one is motivational and encouraging. Reading this will support self-acceptance, and boost appreciation of the advantages introverts have.

by Marti Olsen Laney

Let’s face it. This is a world where extroverts get the attention and pull focus from highly capable people who just happen to be introverts. Read this book to learn strategies and tactics for how to cope and succeed in a room of extroverts. 

Conclusion

For all the famous introverts on the covers on business magazines and doing high-profile media appearances, there are countless other entrepreneurs who have leveraged their introverted nature to build success, out of the spotlight. Overall, it’s most important to embrace the attributes of what makes you, you – and use these superpowers to achieve your entrepreneurial dreams.

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Best Habits for Entrepreneurs

Best Habits for Entrepreneurs

With 2023 coming to a close, talk tends to turn to New Year resolutions. Personally, I see each day as the start of a new 365 day cycle. Essentially, every day is an opportunity to begin a transformation. However, I do appreciate how the crispness of a fresh year is motivating. To inspire your 2024 resolutions for your business, here is a list of the best habits for entrepreneurs.

What are habits?

First, let’s get clear on the definition of habits. Habits are behaviours and choices you make regularly. These are frequently automatic, unconscious actions, like scrolling through your phone while having that first cup of coffee.

According to James Clear, the author of the groundbreaking Atomic Habits book, research has shown that habits account for about 40% of our behaviours on any given day. And each individual small habit may seem insignificant on its own. However, as it is repeated again and again over time, the aggregate effect is enormous. Think of a leaky tap. It’s just one drop at a time, but after enough hours pass, the sink would overflow and flood the room.

This is what I find so inspiring about hagstones – they are proof that small actions over time have the power to create breakthroughs and significant change. Which is why these best habits for entrepreneurs are valuable for service business owners looking to level up in 2024.

Best Habits for Small Business Management

Keeping on top of business management functions is one of the best habits for entrepreneurs. When these tasks slide, it creates problems which can be costly and stressful to resolve. Therefore, it is important to maintain these regularly.

1.Bookkeeping

Ok, this is boring stuff, but it is important. When bookkeeping is updated monthly, financial reports can be reviewed to track budgets and monitor results. This includes monthly and annual tax filings for employee remittances, government tax submissions, and any required reporting.

2. Journaling

The habit of keeping a journal creates space to reflect and brainstorm. It’s useful for small business management as a safe place to record ideas and vent frustrations. 

For more, read How to start a journal to increase success as an entrepreneur

3. Taking a break from business

Certainly, it seems counterintuitive to say that taking time away is a good habit for small business management. However, burnout for entrepreneurs is real. So making a habit of time for fun, rest, and relaxation benefits the business. After all, when an owner is exhausted, it negatively impacts their ability to manage effectively.

Best Habits for Team Building

Even a small team benefits from team building. Doing these activities regularly will create stronger communication and cooperation, which improves productivity. 

1. Hold regular meetings

This could be a monthly review of KPIs, or weekly share of projects and priorities. Keep it short and meaningful to boost staff engagement. 

2. Build a feedback loop

To create a supportive environment, make sure there is a feedback loop to hear from your team. While a structured annual performance management review is valuable, also make regular check-ins a habit. Monitor mood and performance for changes. Give them an opportunity to share concerns and ask questions. 

3. Reward and recognition

Does your team know when they are doing well? Make reward and recognition a habit. This can be as simple as sharing when someone has gone above and beyond. Also, you could build a structured system of earning points to be redeemed for paid time off, a cash bonus, or a gift card. 

Best Habits for Strategic Planning

It is not unusual for business owners to be so involved in daily operations that no time is spent on review and analysis. The best habits for entrepreneurs in 2024 include these strategic planning activities.

Best Habits for Entrepreneurs

1. Monitor KPIs

Not sure what this is? Read What are KPIs.

How do you know how your business is doing if you don’t monitor metrics? Numbers don’t lie. Make it a habit to regularly review performance, output, quality, and financials. Compare current results with last month or last quarter, and also look at the difference year over year. This is a valuable habit of small business management which drives decision making. 

2. Competitor analysis

Make it a habit to keep track of what competitors are doing. For example, if part of your growth strategy relies on a specific competitive advantage, that may shift depending on what your competitors are doing. Smart strategic planning requires understanding what similar businesses are doing. Otherwise, how will you know how to stay competitive, and spot opportunities to grow?

3. Review market and sector

Also, regularly check in with trends and changes in your sector. Consumer expectations shift over time. And changes in technology impacts productivity and profit margins. Therefore, make it a habit to stay informed and up to date with political, technological, and societal changes that impact your strategic plans.

Overall Best Habits for Entrepreneurs

As shown above, actions repeated regularly over time creates meaningful results. By making these activities a habit, entrepreneurs develop strong business management skills. Remember that where your business is now is a direct result of habit and behaviours of the past. Finally, embrace these habits in 2024 to level up and grow your business.

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Rebecca Page-Chapman