CEO Advice Video

Entrepreneurs, Your First Business Isn’t Always Your Last

Entrepreneurs, Your First Business Isn't Always Your Last

Your first business may not be your last business.

There is a slight downfall of that mentality in which this first business may not be your last business.

The entrepreneurial mindset, and what it really means when starting a business, really matters. Those who are familiar with starting a company, probably understand it more from an emotionally-driven standpoint. A lot of brand owners can’t imagine doing anything else. It is so valuable that it makes you really committed. It makes you really attached to what you’re doing.

Different CEOs and different founders start new things. Some things end unsuccessfully, while some things end successfully with a selloff of the company and then they start something else. But at the end of the day, the first business that you have started may not be the last. 

Look at the following examples:

  1. Sophia Amoruso from Nasty Gal: There’s so much happening now about bankruptcy, the rise of the business, and the downfall and what is going on at Nasty Gal. She has got venture capital backing her Girlboss Media company. Nasty Gal may not have been the best thing for her in terms of where the business ended up, but it did a lot for her as a leader and as a CEO. Now, she has a venture-backed business that is going on to do great things. Just recently they had their Girlboss matches, they have books published, they have lots of different assets and they are creating a media conglomerate. Now, that is a really smart way of looking at positioning.

  2. Dov Charney:
 He started American Apparel. We know American Apparel went bankrupt, had all these different issues with the management, and with the business practices. And now, he went on to launch Los Angeles Apparel.
  3. Scott Sternberg:
 He used to run Band of Outsiders. When Band of Outsider folded, he went back to the drawing board all over again and came out with a new brand: Entireworld.

Brand owners and business owners are launching successful second and third companies. Going into a business and being passionate and committed to it, don’t ever think of it from a very myopic, shortsighted standpoint. 

It is very important to take the following points:

  • Take a longer-term view
  • Understand the skills sets needed
  • Grow and learn

Being a founder of one company to a co-founder of another, doesn’t mean that anything bad has happened. It simply means moving to a different business entity and to a different structure.

It is not necessarily needed to think about movements within the entrepreneurial worlds as being extremely lateral or using the hockey stick approach.

Keep in mind the following questions that will guide you along the way:

  • What are your intentions in running your business?
  • What standpoint are you coming from?
  • What will you have wanted to extract out of it (when it eventually ends)?
  • What are the skills sets that you want to grow out of it?
  • What do you want to take to your next business?

Remember, life is an accumulation of experience. Your entrepreneurial journey might just be starting, but it is hopefully never going to end- and that is very important.

Make sure that you understand what you need in order to make this first or second business one that is going to last you for quite some time- because guys, businesses can last 10, 20, or 30 years.

If you want to read more about the topic of entrepreneurialism or starting a business, check out this blog post on “Seven Characteristics of Highly Successful Fashion Entrepreneurs.” And if you’re interested in getting your business off the ground in the right way, the first time download our 21-point checklist on how to launch a fashion business.