3 Billion-Dollar Career Lessons From Ralph Lauren
This week Ralph Lauren announced that he is going to step down as CEO of his legendary Polo Ralph Lauren brand. As one of the most successful designers (and businessmen) of all time, it seems only natural that we reflect on the billionaire’s brilliant career decisions that made him so successful. Read on for key tips and inspiration from this business leader.
In his book Genuine Authentic: The Real Life of Ralph Lauren, author Michael Gross describes the motivation of Lauren’s aspirations: “He would literally fall into the fantasies of the movies of that era. He sees the characters that populate his dreams and visions, and that vision—that ability to step into a fantasy world—Ralph brought to the fashion business.”
Our Takeaway: Dream big, and never stop trying until you fulfill your goals.
After viewing his first polo match in New York, Lauren was inspired to quit his job as a clerk at Brooks Brothers and start his own company. He had no experience, and only a high school diploma and a few business classes on his résumé, but he won over Bloomingdale’s with his brazen attitude. Within one year, the designer sold $500,000 worth of ties at the department store.
Our Takeaway: There is never a “right time.” If you have an idea, go for it and shock everyone with results.
Despite Lauren’s immediate success, the designer relentlessly expanded his company. His protégé John Varvatos told Bloomberg, “Ralph doesn’t sit on his laurels for one minute. You can enjoy the moment, but you have to keep things going—and you can’t be a one-trick pony.”
Our Takeaway: You’re only as good as your latest success. Appreciate your accomplishments, but always strive to improve.
Are you impressed by Ralph Lauren’s self-made empire? Share what makes you passionate in the comments below.
Opening photo: Bruce Weber