What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Rihanna

What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Rihanna

For years, business owners have left behind clues on how they became successful. We would be foolish not to investigate those clues, wouldn’t we? We can learn things from other successful people that can help us become successful as well. What can we, as entrepreneurs, learn from someone like Rihanna? We all know Rihanna is a multi-platinum solo recording artist who has millions of fans worldwide. But what some people don’t know is Rihanna is an entrepreneur as well. She is the founder of the nonprofit organization Clara Lionel Foundation, cosmetics brand Fenty Beauty, and fashion house Fenty under LVMH. The 31-year-old entrepreneur has established herself as an institution in the makeup and apparel worlds.

How does a new company stand out in an extremely competitive market? One thing is for sure: you can’t do what everyone else is doing. I would imagine that the first thing Rihanna did when she began working on both her fashion line, Fenty, and her cosmetics brand, Fenty Beauty, was figure out who her target audience was. She surely knew that brands like Victoria's Secret and Clinique were thriving in the women’s lingerie and cosmetics areas, respectively. But she also knew that Victoria's Secret had a specific target audience. It takes a certain type of woman to wear Victoria's Secret lingerie and we know that, as women, we are all built differently. We have different assets and Rihanna chose to address those of us who weren’t just in the smaller demographic that Victoria's Secret targets. The same goes for her cosmetic line, Fenty Beauty. A large part of Fenty’s success was because it positioned itself as a diverse brand for a diverse customer base. They have built products for a huge market — women whose skin tones don’t fall into the ranges that the major makeup brands have focused on. Rihanna reached a demographic of women often overlooked in marketing. In her own words, Rihanna has said, "the brand was created for everyone: for women of all shades, personalities, attitudes, cultures, and races,” her goal was for “everyone to feel included.” The brand has had a huge impact on the beauty industry because of the wide range of shades they offer.

So, what is the first thing we can learn from Rihanna as we begin or look at our own businesses? Don’t be afraid to be different. Don’t see others’ successes and think you can do the same and have the same success because that’s not always the way it works. In order to be successful, we must stand out. We must look at the way that the top-selling brands/companies are operating and figure out what target audience is not being addressed. More than likely, the people who have been left out for years will be more than willing to spend money on products that are created for them.

The second thing we can all admire about Rihanna is her laser focus. As stated before, she’s a multi-platinum-selling recording artist. She’s been in movies, on tv, won countless awards, has millions of dollars to wine and dine and vacation with the rich and famous. When it came to creating her businesses, Rihanna’s focus was unmatched. She removed the distractions from her life, she put her singing career on hold, she committed her time to make sure she was successful in her Fenty business.

The third lesson, I think we can learn from Rihanna is her work ethic. It seems so simple that she can work hard and gain success. But I think it is overlooked at times. We want overnight success and it just doesn’t work that way. “Work, work, work, work, work, work,” is the opening line of Rihanna’s 2016 song titled, Work. I think it could serve as her personal anthem because it is obvious the amount of hard work she pours into everything she does, especially her fashion and cosmetic lines.

So, the third thing I think we can learn from Rihanna? Work your tail off! Then work some more! Work when you’re tired, work when you’re sick, work when you don’t think you can work anymore. Because guess what! Someone else is willing to work for it if you’re not!

Rihanna may have become successful for her music, but she has since evolved into a style icon and entrepreneur. With the combination of her target market strategy, laser focus and her work ethic, she has become very successful and wealthy. All those efforts add up to a $600 million fortune, making her one of the wealthiest female musicians in the world.

A fortune of $600 million might not be in the cards for most of us because Rihanna did have some advantages that ordinary people don’t have. But we can be successful entrepreneurs by learning from Rihanna. We can launch our successful businesses. We must identify a problem or gap in the market and address it, then remove all possible distractions that defocus us from our work and lastly but most importantly, “work, work, work, work, work, work!”