What Can We Learn From Celebrity Entrepreneurs?
Celebrity entrepreneurship seems like the high life: parties, connections, and of course money. But is it really that simple for celebs? Maybe, maybe not. It does, however, take a degree of business acumen to keep any venture afloat, no matter how much money and fame someone has. Here are five things we can learn from celebrity entrepreneurs:
1. Engage fully in your venture. It's important to note that an entrepreneur is different than an endorser. Endorsement is arguably easier than entrepreneurship, because it takes less involvement, whereas entrepreneurship means a celebrity owns and runs his or her venture. This is an indicator that despite their fame, celebrity entrepreneurs don't expect others to make success happen for them.
2. Structure your entity carefully. Remember that in this industry, "The more control an entrepreneur gives up to gain outside capital, the less control s/he has over the direction of the venture". Perhaps this is where celebrities have a leg up on the regular Joe: independent funds to finance their ventures. Still, to build a business into the reflection of yourself and your mission, control has to be primarily in your hands.
3. Start small. Even celebrities understand the importance of not starting with more than you can manage. Think of Kathy Ireland: known for three appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, she began her venture by selling socks. Since then she has sold over $2 billion in apparel.
4. Keep your eyes open for new opportunities. Celebrities are known for having their hands in many different cookie jars. Bethenny Frankel, for one, is a real housewife of New York, owns the Skinnygirl Cocktail line, produces exercise videos, and has written a novel. Always be open to new opportunities or to pivoting your current project.
5. Give back. Celebrity philanthropy is advised for a reason: founding a business with a culture of service toward customers and clients is a great way to build rapport. Take Paul Newman: Every penny he made from his now-famous salad dressing line was given to thousands of charities, summing over $340 million.
Takeaway? Despite the different playing fields of celebrity entrepreneurs and us ordinary citizens, no business can be sustained without the necessary knowledge. So instead of assuming that celebrity entrepreneurs have it easy, lets learn what we can from their successful (and sometimes unsuccessful) ventures.