By Jessica Estrada | May 14, 2015 | People
In honor of our Women of Influence issue, we enlisted some of LA's most successful girl bosses to share their best career tips. Have a pen and paper at the ready—you’ll definitely want to take notes.
“You can’t do it by yourself. One person can never get you across the finish line, you have to build a team in order to be successful. Find people who have different strengths, even if you don’t see eye to eye. Sometimes it can be a good thing, as you will avoid missing things and making the same mistakes. The other thing, that my dad taught me, is that the CEO is just as important as the girls managing the stock in the back. In the end, we are all contributing to the overall success, so each person is important.”
2. Lisa Hoffman, Founder of Lisa Hoffman Beauty
"The best career advice I ever received […] was from a friend who told me to always have a notebook by my side and write everything down. I've done this since day one, writing about all sorts of things—from call and meeting notes to brainstorming sessions. I now have dozens of notebooks and refer back to even the first of them, often. Reviewing these journals, even those from years ago, has been extremely helpful in gaining perspective on what is happening today and remembering my ultimate goals.”
3. Emerald Listermann, CFO & Cofounder of Riveting Entertainment
“Know what you're passionate about, learn the trade, and be determined. There will be moments that you feel defeated or unsure, so dig deep and remind yourself of your goals and what is important to you. There has to be a balance in life, and for me, that is working hard and spending time with my family.”
4. Anine Bing, Fashion Designer
"My best advice is to have a strong vision and a clear goal. Work hard every day and stay focused on the important things. It’s always good to know a little bit about everything, but identify your core strengths and find the support you need in fields where you’re not as strong. Create your dream team of people you trust who are willing to work as hard as you are and don’t be afraid to use your network and connections. Last but not least, be smart with your time and money.”
5. Raina Penchansky, Cofounder & Chief Strategy Officer of Digital Brand Architects
"Know more about your area of expertise than anyone else in the room. Knowledge is your greatest asset. I heard an acronym years ago that I still use: WAIT, [which stands for] 'Why Am I Talking.' I think it’s so important to know when to just listen and learn.”
"My best career advice starts with believing in your brand. If you don't believe, no one else will. Then, build a good team. Even if you think you can do everything by yourself, you need support. Next, take risks. Sometimes you'll fail, but all you need is one believer to keep you motivated. Finally, love what you do. Everything needs TLC to thrive. Oh, and have a drink every once and a while—it helps.”
"I once worked for a chef who told me ‘everyone is replaceable.’ While that is, of course, in the long run true, I take the opposite attitude. When you have valuable people working for you, engage them, empower them, and let them know how important they are to you. Do what you can, even if it’s small gestures, to show them your appreciation. And remember these key people were probably once entry level so watch for those up-and-comers and show them the same respect—you would be amazed how far one little check in, conversation, or treat can go to help keep your team engaged and connected."
8. Cara Santana, Cofounder of The Glam App
"Be fearless. There will always be a level of uncertainty, but you have to be stronger in your vision than that voice is loud. It's almost like blind faith. If you do the work and have the ability to learn what you lack, then the rest comes from [believing] in yourself. The difference between people who have ideas and the ones who make them come to fruition is drive, determination, and an unwavering ability to block out [the] fear of failure.”
9. Shefali Khanna, Cofounder & Chief Merchandising Officer of DailyLook
"I have always believed that if you are passionate about something you will succeed at it eventually, no matter how long or bumpy the road is. It is important to identify the end goal you are trying to achieve and be open to the constantly evolving process along the way. You have to be tenacious and accept that every failure is a step closer to success. Do not let go when it gets tough or mistakes are made, just learn to adapt. I've tried to never be in a job where I'm just collecting a paycheck—that is something that is going to breed mediocrity.”
10. Julia Cohen, Co-Owner of Switch Boutique
"When I opened my first business, everyone had an opinion. They said you can't open another clothing store in Beverly Hills, you won't be able to cover the lease, you don't know enough about running a business yourself, and on, and on. I ignored them and built my business from scratch. Now, 10 years later, I am opening my second business. And guess what, the same voices came out again and said I couldn't and shouldn't do it. The world is full of people who will tell you that [you] can't do things. The lesson for me was, know when advice is constructive from smart, positive people, and know when the [negativity] is about their own fears and not really even about you.”
11. Jaclyn Shanfeld, CEO & Founder of Shop-Hers
“In my first year of being a so-called, ‘boss lady,’ I did a lot of talking. I imagine that I thought silence was a sign of inadequacy, and as a first-time CEO I certainly didn't want to look inept. When you're constantly talking, it's really hard to listen. So, in my second year, I stopped talking so much and started to listen. That proved to be the smartest thing I could have ever done. When you listen to your customers, team members, investors—anyone and everyone—you learn an incredible amount of knowledge about both yourself and the problem you are trying to solve. Now, my work is filtering my productive learnings from the counterproductive, but if you can get that right, the world is your oyster, or in my case, your luxury marketplace prime for world domination.”
12. Alisa Gould-Simon, Cofounder of Pose
“Hire for your weaknesses. This is important for a number of reasons. [One,] it forces you to acknowledge your own weaknesses—we all have them—and self-awareness is an incredible asset in building a business. [Two], building a business takes a village. You may have developed your idea, but how well you execute it is largely affected by the team you build. [Three,] delegating is one of the most important things a CEO can do. Hiring the right people around you ideally makes delegating easier."
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANNA MARIA ZUNINO NOELLERT (BING); DAVID YOUNG-WOLFF (GOIN)