At the Create + Cultivate conference in Downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, more than 500 women gathered to celebrate female entrepreneurs forging new paths in the digital space. Among them, influential bloggers, designers and business women like Chriselle Lim, Joy Cho, Mandana Dayani, Bri Emery, Emily Henderson, and the aforementioned celebrity power players, who were interviewed by equally big-time friends, Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power of Clique Media Group, Allison Statter of Blended Strategy Group, and jewelry designer Jennifer Meyer.
After a full day of panels, pop-up shops, coffee and cocktails, Alba, Handler and Zoe took to the main stage for three separate keynote conversations tackling everything from their career highs to their most difficult boss decisions. The takeaway: three key insights for building successful brands. When women this strong echo the same sentiments over and over again, we can’t help but listen. Follow their advice and you’ll be leading your own empire soon.
1. Trust Your Gut:
“One thing I undervalued in starting a company is how important it is to trust your gut. It’s nothing you can learn in business school; you just have an intuition. That thing inside of you that keeps you up at night, or wakes you up in panic and sweats at two in the morning consistently, you have to listen to it at a certain point.” —Jessica Alba
“There are times when something really jolts you and you’re like, 'Ok, I can see how something like this could work but I can also see how it completely feels wrong.' As soon as that happens you have to dig deeper... Those kinds of things are very instinctual. Follow your gut and your instinct because most likely you’re right.” —Rachel Zoe
“When something bumps you the wrong way I always go, 'That’s not me.' If I ignore something and try to put on a face that something’s great when it’s not or that I feel confident when I don’t, that’s not me. Be honest, be bold... You’re benefiting from all of the weirdness of your personality, so be the biggest part of it.” —Chelsea Handler
2. Acknowledge What You Don’t Know:
“It doesn’t matter if you don’t have expertise or a degree in whatever it is you’re trying to do. Surround yourself with people who have done it before and support your weaknesses with their strengths. Be open and learn from them.” —Jessica Alba
“When the business started to turn beyond styling I just looked at my husband one day and said, ‘So, how 'bout it?’… He has a totally different side of the business than I do because I know what I know and I know what I don’t know.” —Rachel Zoe
“Let’s make it fun to admit how much we don’t know that we pretend to know… Because if I think that, then how many other people are out there? I’ll ask the questions that we don’t know the answers to.” —Chelsea Handler
3. Believe in What You Do
“You have to believe in it. Everyday I just knew that The Honest Company needed to exist. It just had to. People needed to have access to great quality products at an affordable price and delivered to their door... I’m pure about the mission and it comes from a good place; it comes from a real place.” —Jessica Alba
“Have patience and passion for what you do, because I don’t think you can be good at something if you don’t love it.” —Rachel Zoe
“Believe in yourself. You have to believe in yourself, otherwise there’s no way that anyone will believe in you. You have to be so into what you’re saying that you can convince people to send you to Peru to do ayahuasca.” —Chelsea Handler