Tory Burch is a powerful example of what can be achieved when you are driven and ambitious. In less than 10 years, she has grown her company from a small staff of 20 to 3,000 employees with annual revenues surpassing $800 million! What’s even more impressive is that according to Business Insider, Tory is beating competitors like Michael Kors and Coach – all while starting many years after they did. A definite testament to the power of hard work.
Joanna Coles, the renowned editor-in-chief at Cosmopolitan, declared that “People love her. They want to be her. And she’s nice. Tory is not a monstrous, crazy fashion b*tch. She is an incredibly liked, well-respected woman.”
We have faith that she will one day share her entrepreneurial knowledge in a book, but until then we are fortunate to have heard her inspiring commencement speech at Babson College. After all, they offer the best undergraduate and graduate programs for entrepreneurship!
Let’s take in the advice she shared during her speech and make use of these top tips:
Don’t believe it when it sounds like someone became successful overnight
She recalled the moment when someone described her as an “overnight success” after she opened up shop in 2004. “I guess that made sense—if you didn’t count the 20,000 hours we put into building the business up to that day or the combined half a million hours we all spent learning the industry in the years before that,” She emphatically stated.
Furthermore, she continued. “We may live in an age of instant messaging, instant gratification, and Instagram, but there is no way to short-circuit the path to success. It takes hard work, tenacity, and patience. There are many things you can do overnight. You can write a decent paper. You can put the finishing touches on a runway show. I hear you can even have a pretty good time at Roger’s Pub. But there is no such thing as an overnight success.”
Do look to solve a problem
Her creative spark ignited when she identified a need that wasn’t being met and consequently gave rise to her business.
“It all started when I noticed a void in my closet for beautifully designed, classic pieces that didn’t cost a fortune. It wasn’t just a void in my closet; it turned out to be a white space in the market. I started working out of my apartment with a small team that could help me turn my concept into a reality.”
Do feed your passion
From the beginning, Burch had a clear vision of establishing a foundation to support other female entrepreneurs in addition to launching her own business. She proclaimed, “Social responsibility was always part of the business plan. This was not always viewed as a positive—some people told me never to mention the words social responsibility and business in the same sentence. That only made me more determined.”
“I knew our foundation would benefit women and children. We had learned so much from our experiences starting a business that we thought we could help other women who wanted to do the same.” She went on. “In 2009 we launched our foundation to support the economic empowerment of women entrepreneurs and their families. It has been incredibly meaningful not only to me personally but also to our customers, our employees, and our business partners, all of whom care about giving back and helping women.”
Block out the negativity
Pay no heed to the disparagers and continue moving forward – never look back! She declared, “One of the best pieces of advice I ever received from my parents is to think of negativity as noise. Believe in yourself and what you’re doing. Remember: if the most unique ideas were obvious to everyone, there wouldn’t be entrepreneurs. The one thing that every entrepreneurial journey has in common is that there are many, many steps on the road to success.”
Initially published on Your Coffee Break, this piece provides valuable insights.