Lessons from supermodel and boss lady Kathy Ireland

By Jess Perez, CEO of Tycoon. 

Kathy Ireland is a supermodel, business mogul, devoted wife and mother, and a compassionate human being. I recently got the rare opportunity to watch her own a room and speak about entrepreneurship. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the fact that her Kathy Ireland Worldwide brand (intentionally lowercased) has annual merchandise sales of $2.5 billion that impressed me the most. It was the slide after that which read, “She is the sole owner of her company.” These are some of my favorite quotes from her speech.  
She had an unconventional start into the business world.
“People said, ‘Kathy, you can’t start a brand with a pair of socks’. Well, that’s what I did.”

Her words of wisdom for women.
“Women are not owning their disruption. Hang on to what you’re building.”

How she views herself.
“Some people call me a control freak. I like to call it passion."

What other people think of her.
“I’ve been called relentless and I take that as a compliment.”

She believes in disruption and change.
“Just because something’s always been done that way, doesn’t mean it should continue.”

Her view on the riskiness of running your own business.
“Comfort is irrelevant when there’s things we want to accomplish.”

Why her company doesn’t go public.
“I can’t make decisions based on money all the time. It’s people over profits.”

Rejection as a model helped her in business.
“If the door slammed in my face I thought, ‘Well at least we are talking, I’ll come back tomorrow.’”  

She thinks perfection is unproductive.
“Perfection is the enemy of accomplishment.”

She likes to give credit where it’s due.
“A great team is what makes it all possible."

Why she isn’t wishy-washy.
“Having conviction will lead us to fight any battle.”

What ‘box’ we should put her in.
“I don’t fit into anyone’s box. I don’t intend to until I’m 6 feet under.”

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