There was a story last week that took many of us by surprise:

…Kylie Jenner is on track to be the youngest self-made billionaire.

I have to confess that I didn’t know anything about Kylie Jenner’s business.  I’m also the exact opposite of a fan of any of the Kardashians people. Tha being said, I have always admired the mother’s entrepreneurial genius. As a marketer, I admire how she managed to build an empire leveraging the power of marketing and the media. And as a mother,  how she taught her girls the value of work and earning their keep, by putting them to work early on.

I must say when I first read about the news, I thought to myself – How in the world did she make that list?

Everyone knows that Kylie’s story certainly isn’t a rags-to-riches tale.

But it turns out she is the sole owner and the face of Kylie Cosmetics, which Forbes valued at $800 million.  According to their calculations, her net worth exceeds anyone else’s in her family. She made her fortune outside her family business and this is what Forbes considers self-made.

Her success says so much about:

  • The power of social media as a major business tool.
  • The power of focusing your business in one specialty and knowing intimately the target audience for that specialty.
  • The power of leveraging outsourcing and automation to build a lean business.
  • The power of having good coaches and advisors.


The Bigger Lesson

But there is another entrepreneurial lesson from this story, specifically, from the backlash this piece of news caused.

So many people reacted to her success in a really negative way by disqualifying her business ability and attributing her success to being born in a lucky situation. I’m sure that it helped, but I’m also sure it’s not the only factor.

The tons of negative comments I saw on on social media can be summarized in these two concepts:

“It’s easy to succeed in business if your parents are millionaires”

– I don’t know about you, but I know plenty of millionaires’ children who never made it in business.

“All she does is post selfies on social media…she doesn’t even really do anything.”

– Go ahead and start posting selfies on Instagram and see if you can get 111 million followers….

The fact is, these “commenters” don’t know her. They have NO CLUE how many hours a day she works and how she’s created this kind of success.

By making these kinds of assumptions they place success outside of their reach.

I also believe they don’t read past the headlines, but that’s another post altogether.


What All This Has To Do With You.

These type of comments made me think about another “story” that I see more and more frequently in promotional products discussion forums: losing clients to 4Imprint and the like.

Distributors negative reactions to 4Imprint always revolve around the same ideas:

About their Radio and TV advertising:

 “Radio-TV doesn’t work, they are throwing money away”.

– Yet they have no idea of what their marketing plan is or the results they are getting. Plus,  they’ve never spent a dime on advertising.

About their unmatchable low prices:

“They’re losing money so I don’t care because they’ll go out of business sooner or later. And I’ll be here”

– Are they aware they are a public company? They can look up their margins and see for themselves that in fact, they’re making money.

About their better websites:

“I send my clients to their site to find what they want and show me so I can get it for them. They prefer to buy from me.”

This one kills me. In the scale from 1 to 10, how would you rate a provider’s professionalism if they send you to their competitor’s store to fetch you what you want? That would be a ZERO in my book.

About their service:

“I take better care of clients than they do.”

– Actually, their clients seem happy with their service. Just go and read their client’s reviews.


Your Mindset Makes You Or Brakes You

My point is that your reaction to the success of others speaks volumes about your own mindset and your potential for success as an entrepreneur. It is worth some serious reflection.

I’m pretty sure that every single one of us,  working our tails off every day, struggling at times to build a business, had a strong reaction to this Forbes story.

Whatever your reaction, it’s worth reflecting on what it says about your mentality about success, and how that mentality is impacting your approach to building your business every day.

Assuming that the reason for her success is luck and family name is just a loser’s mentality…plain and simple.

Same goes for ignoring that 4Imprint is a very successful company that knows what they’re doing. The fact that it’s among the largest distributors and growing year after year proves it.

I’m with Tony Robbins’s when he says, if you want to succeed in business, find the best in your industry and model what they do.  

So the question to ask is, what can you learn from successful businesses that you can apply to your own business?

If you find yourself disqualifying bigger successful competitors instead of respecting them and learning from them, you need to check yourself and your mindset.

Modeling the best is your fastest way to figure out how to improve your own business.

Don’t rob yourself of the opportunity!