We love Net-A-Porter, so we were surprised to discover that Natalie Massenet started Net-A-Porter in a small studio in Chelsea back in 2000, using American English to sound more international and signing everything off with ‘The Editors’ even though it was just her and a couple of others packing boxes with clothes! Natalie’s story is the perfect example of hard work paying off, so here are 5 important career lessons we can learn from her!
#1 If you believe in something, don’t listen to the naysayers!
Natalie proved that even though people lined up to tell her that Net-A-Porter was an idea that was destined to fail, if you believe in what you’re creating it will succeed. Pure hard work and determination brought Net-A-Porter to where it is today! If you’re prepared to work hard for success, anything is possible, it won’t happen overnight but it will happen. If family and friends are warning you against it, it’s likely because they don’t want to see you fail, but failure goes hand in hand with success, so if you don’t try, you’ll never know!
#2 Be connected because you want to be, not by obligation!
Natalie openly admits that she is regularly online, whether on Instagram or doing her shopping, she maintains that she isn’t obligated to do the majority of things online, she just prefers to. Keeping this mindset allows her to disconnect whenever she wants and appreciate the real world. If you regularly find yourself using the Internet over the real world, evaluate whether you are there by obligation or because you genuinely want to be. Never underestimate the power of disconnecting for a few hours.
#3 Judge others on what they do, not what they wear.
Natalie has said in a past interview that she wants to be judged on what she does, not what she wears. “I hate going into stores in my raggedy jeans and seeing an assistant sneer at me.” Despite being the founder of a ground-breaking fashion site, Natalie knows the importance of dressing in whatever makes you comfortable, and just goes to show that you can’t judge people on their choice of outfits!
#4 Never fall in love with the way things are.
In a constantly changing world, Net-A-Porter has to keep up with the customers changing needs and preferences. “ I believe we must never fall in love with the way we are doing things, but we must always focus on what our consumers want.” If you enjoy the way you’re doing things and get stuck, you might get left behind. This is true for personal and professional development, in order to be better you have to push yourself, even if it makes you uncomfortable![show_lookbook_widget id=”224099″]
#5 Know your customers!
If you’re starting a business you need to know your customer as well as you know your goals, although sometimes the two don’t align. Natalie and her team know that their customers don’t like gimmicks, so they never developed any. Even if you are climbing the corporate ladder, you need to know exactly what the consumers of your business want, what your competitors can offer and how you can adapt to changes.
Featured photo: The Net-a-Porter Group