Anastasia Soare, founder of multi billion dollar beauty brand Anastasia Beverly Hills and her chief of staff Luca Carp, share their advice on how to succeed
Before I emigrated to America I lived in Romania, where I was only just surviving. I wanted more, and I knew that I was the only person who could change it. I had to have ideas, and I had to be prepared to flesh out and implement them myself. It was tough, but it’s made me the business woman I am today. Because of that, I’m not an easy boss. I am a total perfectionist. I constantly want (and need) my team to be doing their best. If I think someone isn’t shining in their role, and has talent outside of it, I’ll encourage them to consider a different path. Just because you enter a company in a certain role, does not mean you’re bound to it. Conversely, if someone isn’t quite right for a role, I address it. I don’t shy away from confrontation or criticism, but I always keep it constructive. I guess you could say I’m direct, but it’s the only way I can get stuff done. You’ve got to be tough to work with me, but from a business perspective, I fully believe Anastasia Beverly Hills is on par with Harvard.
I can attest to all of the above. I’ve been on the receiving end (in the best possible way), and because of it, I too try to steer people in more promising directions if they’re unhappy or unfulfilled. Anastasia has always been inspirational, and it’s important to have someone like that around. I've worked here since I was 20, and although I’ve always been driven to succeed, observing her constant hard work makes me go up a gear.
Every day will teach you something new. You need to adapt, be flexible, and learn from your decisions. It’s more important to remember the bad ones than the good ones. Surround yourself by people you trust, and who have different expertise in areas that you don’t. Success at this level is collaborative.
I remember the exact moment that Anastasia said to me, ‘you need to learn how to delegate, otherwise you can’t grow’. Learning to trust that people will step up, and perform in your absence is hugely important. Of course, this requires training, encouragement, and acceptance that they're going to make mistakes. Anastasia’s advice to me was to give them room to breathe, and check in as frequently as possible, without watching too closely over their shoulder. That way, you’ll limit damage control while still allowing them to grow.
Millennials are very ambitious and I really respect that, but it’s important to hone your craft and cut your teeth before climbing the ladder. Doing so prematurely can batter confidence, and not give you a solid enough understanding of the so-called boring bits. Of course, a lot of roles require growing into, but you should for the most part be shining, rather than always feeling afraid because you’re ill-equipped and under qualified.