Last week, Forbes reported that Kylie Jenner has a $900 million net worth and is the youngest woman on the 2018 Forbes List of America’s Richest Self Made Women.
Not only that, if her cosmetics company Kylie Cosmetics continues to grow, she will become the youngest billionaire in history.
I don’t know about you but as I read through the story of how she grew her net worth to $900 million in the past 3 years, I felt inspired.
Like many of her critics, a few years ago I used to judge the Kardashian Jenner family.
I just couldn’t understand why anyone would waste their time watching their show. What can anyone possibly learn from a family that fends off doing whatever it takes to get public attention?
Then in the summer of 2014, my little sister was staying with us and she loved watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians(KUWTK).
So I found myself watching a few episodes for the first time. That’s when it dawned on me that I had misjudged them without even knowing what they are about.
No I’m not their biggest fun. But after watching a few episodes of their show that summer, I realized just how hard they all work for everything they have.
Perhaps their hard work looks a lot different than what I think is real work. But it’s still work. It takes a lot to stay relevant for as long as they have managed to. And I respect that.
Which is why I have no issue whatsoever with Forbes referring to Kylie Jenner as a self made soon to be billionaire. No one handed it down to her, she worked for it.
Yes she had some assets to jump start her success. Her celebrity status, $250,000 that she earned from modelling gigs and a business savvy mom-ager to support her, but she had to put in the work to turn that investment into $900 million.
Something that most people with these similar resources at their disposal haven’t been able to do.Especially not as fast as she has.
What I’ve seen coming up from this story is people focusing on why she is or she is not self made instead of focusing on what we can learn from her success. Which is why I wrote this post.
I believe that success leaves clues and here are some lessons I picked up from Kylie’s success story.
Lessons I feel will also be helpful for other women with the desire to build successful businesses and generational wealth.
Turn your pain into profit
Kylie admits to feeling insecure about her looks and often turning to makeup to help her feel confident.
In 2014, she got temporary lip fillers that created a huge scandal.
But while everyone was busy criticizing her for performing cosmetic surgery at such a young age, her mom saw an opportunity and helped Kylie capitalize on the scandal to jump start her cosmetics company.
As entrepreneurs, we have to train our minds to see opportunities everywhere. And sometimes, they will show up as obstacles, challenges, insecurities or disadvantages.
If we are brave and courageous enough to face these challenges head on, perhaps on the other side lies our greatest success.
No market is too saturated to penetrate
There are so many cosmetics brands already in the market.Did we need yet another company that makes lipstick? Probably not.
But Kylie cosmetics is now a multi million dollar company that started out selling lip kits. Maybe the market doesn’t really need another lipstick company, but it sure did love the idea of a lip kit.
You can be successful in a saturated market, but you have to know how to differentiate yourself from the brands that already exist.
It’s all about being different and being creative about how you market to your target audience, not necessarily about being unique.
Leverage your strengths
Kylie’s biggest strength has been the social media following she had built from her celebrity status. And she’s mastered the art of profiting in every way from her fame.
First through sponsorship and endorsement deals then by using this very fan base to start and grow her company with zero advertising budget.
Her strengths are building a loyal fan base which is why she is the face of her company.
The rest of the business stuff including manufacturing, formulating products, packaging and operations is outsourced to other companies with expertise and experience in those areas.
Successful entrepreneurs use their strengths to soar and delegate their weaknesses to experts.
Diversify your income
While most of Kylie’s $900 million net worth is from dividends from her company, she still has other income streams that have grown her net worth.
From endorsements to a clothing line with her sister Kendall to income from modelling gigs just to name a few.
She is profiting in every way from her fame.
As entrepreneurs, we need to not only leverage our strengths but also find multiple ways to get paid. We can’t build generational wealth with only one income stream.
Make money work for you
Kylie invested $250,000 that she had earned from modelling to jump start her company. An investment that paid off and has multiplied over time to grow her net worth to $900 million.
The goal isn’t just to make money, the goal is to make money and then use that money to make more.
That’s how the rich get richer.
They know that you can’t save your way to wealth. They know how to make the money they have work for them by investing.
Follow the flow of money
Sell what people are already buying.
Kylie is not selling anything new or fancy. She is selling the same lipstick sold by Loreal and the rest of the cosmetics companies.
The only difference is that she is packaging it differently.
Most entrepreneurs try to reinvent the wheel creating things that no one is interested in buying.
Follow the money flow. Look at what people are already spending money on and create products to meet that demand.
Leverage technology and the internet
Kylie attributes her success to social media. Because of her huge following, she hasn’t had to pay for advertising.
Some of her products have sold out within minutes of being launched. That’s how powerful her brand is on social media.
In this day and era, you can’t ignore social media as an entrepreneur. Technology has made it possible for anyone to start a business and become successful.
Our challenge as entrepreneurs is to learn how to use technology to start and grow our businesses.
Be your own golden ticket
And finally, the greatest lesson we can all learn from Kylie is to be our own golden ticket. She is the youngest sister in a family that is famous.
She could have been a shadow behind her sisters. And she admits to not knowing what she wanted to do on her own.
But she kept trying different things until she found her way.
While a family name gave her a jump start, she decided to build her own personal brand that she can now pass down to her daughter Stormi.
What I’m taking from this inspiring story is that entrepreneurial success is about starting where you are, using what you have and doing the best you can to create something that others find valuable enough to pay you for it.
Have you read Kylie’s story? Share your insights in the comments section below.