There are some “rules” of business success most entrepreneurs abide by. But many also have their own “secrets”—things they do or believe that helped them achieve success. In “Secrets of Success,” a weekly interview series here at Web.com’s Small Business Forum, I ask some of today’s smartest, most innovative, most successful business owners to share their insights and success secrets with you.
Meet: Ariana Pierce, the CEO of Superstar Nail Lacquer, a luxury nail polish company, and Style Shoppe, an online accessories store. Ariana, a Millennial, was influenced to be an entrepreneur due to the scarcity of jobs facing many in her generation during and immediately after the Great Recession and by the encouragement of her mother, Stacia Pierce, a life and career coach.
Ariana and Stacia have also teamed up to empower women and girls around the country. They coach and mentor them about issues such as beauty, life, careers and taking control of their entrepreneurial vision.
Rieva Lesonsky: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Ariana Pierce: Ever since I was young, the thought of being an entrepreneur was always in my head. Of course, at a young age it started off with having a lemonade stand and over time, grew into something much bigger.
Lesonsky: Why did you start your own business?
Pierce: I’ve always felt a calling to be a leader and impact thousands of lives in a big way. I realized I could make that happen through entrepreneurship. In high school I launched a brand called The Billionheir’s Girl Club, which was created for young people who wanted to learn etiquette and how to relate to their parents. It offered clothing and accessories as well. Once I turned 18, I launched my current company, Superstar Nail Lacquer, which has been successful and has opened the door to many of my brands.
Lesonsky: Did you experience a pivotal moment on your way to success?
Pierce: A pivotal moment in my career was when I was in college and starting Superstar Nail Lacquer. I was just a freshman trying to figure out how I could balance being a good student and business owner. Learning to plan every day, prioritize and cultivate relationships helped me be successful at both. I realized that if I could do it, I could motivate and help other young people live their dreams now and not later. That is when I went full force with doing workshops and training for other individuals looking to find balance as an entrepreneur.
Lesonsky: What’s the best small business advice you ever gave and/or received?
Pierce: The best small business advice I’ve ever received is that social media is your friend. When advertising and marketing dollars are few, using social media is a great way to get the word out about your business. If used the right way, it can put you before millions of people who were once unavailable and it can cause you to make major profits. A successful social presence is one that tells a story and leads to engagement.
Lesonsky: What’s one “best practice” more entrepreneurs should be embracing?
Pierce: Always have your product and/or business cards on you. You never know whom you may run into, so having product or information on hand will do you wonders and could mean more money and opportunities. I was recently invited to an event with lots of celebrities, so I knew that I should prepare by having cards and nail lacquer ready to give out. Of course, I ended up running into one of my favorite celebs and I was able to not only tell them about my business, but also to give them a sample, and it went over very well. The key is to be professional and not bombard the recipient.
Lesonsky: Do you have a 2015 small business prediction?
Pierce: I believe that this is the year for Millennial entrepreneurs. Young people are becoming more and more motivated to become their own bosses and take things into their own hands. With the awesome information and business coaching available today, I’m more than positive this will be a reality.
Lesonsky: What’s your favorite book?
Pierce: My favorite book is Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill because it deals with your mindset. What you believe, focus and meditate on daily will be your reality. I love that this book pushes you to think bigger and let go of past fears that can hold you up from living your best life.
Lesonsky: Is there a quote you find particularly inspiring?
Pierce: My mom, CEO and life coach Stacia Pierce, always says, “A prepared person is never wasted.” I love this quote because it’s a reminder that when you prepare, you will always be ready for your next big opportunity. You prepare yourself by reading up on your industry, staying current and having the proper business tools in place that will help you go big.
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Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.