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: Lizzy Klein, the founder of SuperDuper, who decided to bring much-needed transparency to the makeup industry. SuperDuper is designed to be a consumer’s personalized digital beauty advisor. Prior to launching SuperDuper, Lizzy founded LK (ad)Ventures, which helps early-stage entrepreneurs move from “idea” to “in business,” based on her 20+ years of experience in the tech startup world. Lizzy has held top roles at companies like GrubHub, EverydayHealth and Zagat, and was recently recognized as one of Mobile Marketer’s “Mobile Women to Watch.”
I met Lizzy a few months ago on the set of MSNBC’s Your Business—and she is a dynamo. You can find her on Twitter @lkstar.
Rieva Lesonsky: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Lizzy Klein: Glamorous!
Lesonsky: Why did you start your own business?
Klein: I’ve carried the idea of SuperDuper in my head for 5-plus years and after working on eight startups with other founders, I knew it was my turn.
Lesonsky: Did you experience a pivotal moment on your way to success?
Klein: I’ll go with a pivotal decision: Shortly after being accepted to MBA programs, I was exposed to the nascent World Wide Web and had a strong feeling that being “on the ground” for the next two years in New York City tech was a better plan. While I’d never discourage anyone from pursuing a formal education, I’m confident I learned more launching Time Warner’s early ecommerce venture than I could have on campus.
Lesonsky: What’s the best small business advice you ever gave and/or received?
Klein: When I was VP of Product at StarMedia and wrestling with a strategic decision, Fernando Espuelas told me, “You only have to be right 51 percent of the time.” Fernando’s advice encouraged me to take more risks and still resonates 15 years later.
Lesonsky: What’s one “best practice” more entrepreneurs should be embracing?
Klein: Getting enough sleep (I hear.) I don’t, but I embrace the potential and aspire to 7.5 hours a night.
Lesonsky: Do you have a small business prediction?
Klein: Digital and bricks-and-mortar retailers are becoming showrooms, losing sales to entrenched ecommerce giants like Amazon and perhaps to new players like Jet.com. I expect smaller merchants will focus on sourcing exclusive products, requiring customers to purchase in the same channel [they] researched.
Lesonsky: What’s your favorite book?
Klein: Little Women. That family had grit!
Lesonsky: Is there a quote you find particularly inspiring?
Klein: “You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” –Edith Head
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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.