Christy Turlington

 

WOMEN TO WATCH

 

KATHRYN MINSHEW

Founder and CEO, The Muse

 

I WAS INSPIRED TO LAUNCH MY BUSINESS BECAUSE…

I was looking to move on to my next job and felt frustrated by the user experience on job boards out there. I wanted to find work I was passionate about, and part of that was being able to imagine myself in different careers. Helping people understand the day-to-day experience at different jobs propelled me to start The Muse.

 

DIGITAL MENTORSHIP IS IMPORTANT TO ME BECAUSE…

I learned so much in the workforce from bosses and mentors who took the time to give me specific feedback. But that sort of advice wasn’t available online. My dream was to create a place that would dig into business basics, such as negotiating a raise or managing others, and give actionable advice.

 

FAILURE HAS TAUGHT ME…

To get things in writing. When I started my first company, I allowed one of my business partners to avoid formalizing our equity and ownership relationship until five months in, and even then we wrote up a short contract ourselves — on notebook paper, no less! It turned out to be an expensive mistake. When the business saw signs of success we had some serious jockeying for power, and without a formal legal contract I was left with nothing but my word against hers. I had to call the entire company's staff and explain that I was going to have to start over with a new company from the ashes of the first. I'll never forget the moment that every person said, "We're with you." Three weeks later, The Muse was born.

 

 

MY ADVICE FOR ENTREPRENEURS…

Trust your gut. Most entrepreneurs have an incredible instinct for their product and market, but they don’t always trust it. The biggest mistakes I made were when my gut was telling me something else.

 

SOMETHING I WISH I KNEW STARTING OUT…

Place lots of small bets. Many of the things that led to our early success started off looking small. And a lot of the big things that seemed like possibilities didn’t end up materializing. For example, in the early days I went to a number of entrepreneur networking events in the evenings, and I’d go back to the office after to do hours of emails. At one of the dinner parties I met a producer from Bloomberg. I had been tired at the end of a long day, but if I hadn’t gone I wouldn’t have ended up on TV.