This has definitely been the year of change within the fashion industry. We have witnessed several fashion brands change ownership, merge and hire and fire new talent. People are shifting around more than player pieces on Candyland. But we know change is good (most of the time) and everyone has their own reasons for it.
This year we watched two women at the helm of their careers step down from the companies of which they found and gave persona. Luxury e-commerce pioneer, Natalie Massenet, fashion editor and new mom, began a luxury online shopping experience from the ground up because she wanted a better way to purchase new season luxury items while juggling a family and career.
She unexpectedly stepped down from Net-a-Porter after a merger with Yoox.com. On the other hand, Sophia Amoroso, Nasty Gal Founder, handed over her CEO hat to allow her e-commerce site and brand to expand to levels she couldn’t take it, yet she remains in the Creative seat to get back to what she loves best.
So what can any #GirlBoss or future entrepreneur take away from the stories of these two women?
Focus on what you do best
We’ve all heard it – there is no I in team and no good leader got to that position alone. Both are very valid and true. A great leader recognizes that she cannot do it all. Someone else has experience in that area, or that role. So let them do it. There comes a time in every leader’s life (hopefully) when you’ve just got to get on with what you do best and allow everyone else to do their part. No one likes a micro-leader so just stay in your lane and trust in your leadership skills to move your team where they need to go.
Recognize when it is time to step aside and let someone else take you to the next level
I admire Sophia Amoroso for this particularly. Many businesses have failed or fallen into turbulent times because the head wouldn’t let someone take over the wheel. When you are in a position of power and leadership, your job is to move that company forward to a level at which you can attain. However, when you have moved up a few notches and your skills or experience max out, step aside and groom the next leader to take the big girl chair.
Discern when it’s the right time to explore new ideas and opportunities.
Even if you have started something from humble beginnings, as did Natalie Massenet, a true business has an exit strategy. Whether if that is in 3 or 50 years. Therefore before embarking on your self-made millionaire status plan, remember at some point, you will and should explore other opportunities when the time is right – by choice or by force. Nonetheless, be sure to leave a mark. One that is left by a permanent marker.
Persistence and passion are the critical links to success in anything in life
If you read enough, you would be lead to believe that both founders started their companies and immediate success was upon them. That could not be further from the truth. Natalie and Sophia worked tirelessly to see their dreams turn into reality. Although the road wasn’t easy at times, persistence (even when many said no or that’s impossible) and passion drove their businesses to the millionaire, revenue streaming successes they are today.
Leadership is…knowing yourself and what feeds your soul
This is the root of true leadership. Would you agree? Knowing who you are, what you can and cannot do, your passion and dislikes, along with an idea or plan toward your future goals. What feeds your soul? Whatever that is, do it! At least until it’s time to feed your soul next level goodness.