Estée Lauder, the name synonymous with high-end beauty products everywhere, had humble beginnings that would inspire any Career Girl to build a multi-billion dollar company. Starting out in a working-class family in New York, watching her uncle make skin creams and oils in the kitchen, Estée Lauder built herself a multi-billion dollar empire through hard work and determination.
“I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.”
She established her company in 1946, selling facial creams and bath oils made in her kitchen by her uncle. As her company grew, she started marketing thousands of products, and when her company went public in 1995, it had an estimated worth of $5 billion.
“Whatever you give comes back to you.”
Mrs. Lauder wasn’t just a savvy businesswoman, but also a pioneer for career girls everywhere. She was the only woman to appear in Time magazine’s 1998 list of the 20 most influential business geniuses of the 20th century. She is credited with inventing the gift-with-purchase concept, being the first retailer to give samples to customers with their purchase. She also turned down President Nixon to be the ambassador of Luxembourg.
“If you push yourself beyond the furthest place you think you can go, you’ll be able to achieve your heart’s dream.”
According to the New York Times, today Estée Lauder cosmetics is worth is an estimated $28.8 billion which is proof that if you believe in your vision and work hard to make it happen, the sky truly is the limit. Unfortunately, Mrs. Lauder died at her home in 2004, at 97 years old. Her legacy remains, here are a few more of our favourite quotes to inspire any Career Girl to reach for the stars:
On the most important quality to have in business:
“What makes a successful businesswoman? Is it talent? Well, perhaps, although I’ve known many enormously successful people who were not gifted in any outstanding way, not blessed with particular talent. Is it, then, intelligence? Certainly intelligence helps, but it’s not necessarily education or the kind of intellectual reasoning needed to graduate from the Wharton School of Business that are essential. What, then, is the mystical ingredient? It’s persistence. It’s that certain little spirit that compels you to continue just when you’re at your most tired. It’s that quality that forces you to persevere, find the route around the stone wall. It’s the immovable stubbornness that will not allow you to cave in when everyone says give up.”
On making your own luck:
“People do make their luck by daring to follow their instincts, taking risks, and embracing every possibility.”
On not waiting for life to hand you what you want:
“From where you sit, you can probably reach out with comparative ease and touch a life of serenity and peace. You can wait for things to happen and not get too sad when they don’t. That’s fine for some but not for me. Serenity is pleasant, but it lacks the ecstasy of achievement.”
On keeping focussed on your dreams
“I’ve always believed that if you stick to a thought and carefully avoid distraction along the way, you can fulfil a dream. My whole life has been about fulfilling dreams. I kept my eye on the target, whatever that target was. Whether your target is big or small, grand or simple, ambitious or personal, I’ve always believed that success comes from not letting your eyes stray from that target. Anyone who wants to achieve a dream must stay strong, focused and steady.”