6 Words of Wisdom for Launching a Business from Successful Entrepreneurs
Advice from Jessica Alba, the founder of ClassPass, and more.
Ready to start that company you’ve been planning in your head? Six successful entrepreneurs offered their secrets to success at the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit. Remember their words as you pursue your passion.
“You’re only as good as the people you work with.” —Jessica Alba, co-founder of The Honest Company
One of Alba’s most important investments she has made at The Honest Company (launched in 2011) is an investment in her coworkers. She has cultivated a friendly, flexible environment for families, and maintains that happy, balanced parents and people who can spend time with their children actually bring more to work. Additionally, by surrounding yourself with people who complement your weaknesses, you’re able to learn more and build a stronger business.
“Have unbounded enthusiasm for what you’re doing.” —Tyler Haney, CEO of Outdoor Voices
At just 27, Haney has created an athleisure line and mindset whose aim is to “free fitness from performance.” Through brick-and-mortar shops and a robust online presence, Outdoor Voices is appealing to athletes and non-athletes alike, and bringing joy back to activity. When she was young, her mom had a saying: “TYB baby!” where “TYB” stood for “Try your best.” With that in mind, Haney has been able to maintain excitement and optimism for her business, to which she attributes much of her success.
“If you’re not willing to take a risk, you’re not an entrepreneur.” —Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group
Branson is known for his stunts that differentiate his airline—the “brand is bigger than reality,” he says. His company is based on thinking out of the box, and he is not afraid of failure. “You learn more from failure than success,” he says.
“Figure out what your muscle is.”—Payal Kadakia, founder of ClassPass
Similar to Haney’s advice, Kadakia believes that the best companies are built from passion. As a dedicated dancer, Kadakia built Classpass from the desire to help every consumer “live fully.” If you build a business based on passion, your consumers will ultimately recognize the strength of your mission.
“You can’t do everything at once, and you can’t do everything well at once.” —Danielle Weisberg, co-founder and co-CEO of TheSkimm
Weisberg is one half of the brain behind TheSkimm, a daily newsletter that keeps more than four million subscribers in-the-know about current events with a tongue-in-cheek edge. In the first year of launch, Weisberg and her co-founder Carly Zakin were told to focus almost exclusively on their growth before moving forward. In doing so, they built a strong, loyal user base that has grown into millions of active subscribers.
“Know your partner’s limits, and protect those limits.” —Carly Zakin, co-founder and co-CEO of TheSkimm
Zakin, the other half of TheSkimm, says that friends are lucky to work together because they know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. If you know your friend has certain boundaries, help protect them from their tipping points so they can remain a strong, helpful leader.