I always enjoy reading about career advice. Even if it’s stuff we already know, it’s a good reminder and if it’s something we’ve never thought about, even better!
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.”
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.”
“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.”
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.”
Elyse Walker, Owner of Elyse Walker Pacific Palisades and Forward by Elyse Walker
“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.”
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.”
Read the rest of the advice from LA’s top girl bosses (including Anine Bing) right this way.