8 Celebrities Who Have Successfully Plunged into Entrepreneurship

Becoming a business owner is not as simple as it sounds. Just ask any successful business person and you’ll see that it takes a whole lot of grit, patience, business sense and even a good dose of luck to turn entrepreneurship dreams into reality. And through it all, you have to battle that pesky little question constantly niggling the back of your mind: Am I really cut out for this?  

The good news is, feeling scared or apprehensive when you first set out to open up a business is totally normal. You could be a highly talented digital specialist, cook, web designer, or (fill in the blank), but running a business centered around your specialty is another beast in itself because it means you’ll be doing less of the labor you’ve worked so hard to become skilled at and more of the managing and oversight, which may be qualifications you don’t necessarily have.  

If you’re a would-be or going-to-be business owner who’s questioning your ability to domineer the reigns of a business, you’re not alone—lots of first timers experience the jitters when it comes time to put their money and talents where their mouth is. But several thousand others with no business experience whatsoever take the leap into entrepreneurship each year—and go on to make a raving success of themselves.

Take celebrities for example, artists who spend years, even decades perfecting their artistic talents for a living—people who you would expect to be least likely to know the first thing about running a business operation. Surprisingly, many of them have ventured beyond the confines and comfort of those talents to dapple in entrepreneurship—and succeeded.  

So if you’re still not sure you’d be a great businessperson per say, because you’ve never run a business before or don’t know the first thing about what a P&L is (or even what it stands for!), shake off your worries and get ready to draw inspiration from our list of successful entrepreneur celebrities. If they can figure it out, surely you can too!

Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen

These twins took the 90s by storm with their adorable appearances in the then-hit TV show, Full House. But today, they’re still not a forgotten sensation, having left their imprint on their own lines of fashion and even makeup brands since 2006, when most people their age were still trying to figure out college.

Jay-Z

One of the most prominent names in rap and hip-hop, Jay-Z, also known as Shawn Carter, is an entrepreneur too. As a co-founder of Roc-A-Fella empire, the artist’s company has its hands in everything from movies to clothing. Additionally, he owns a music streaming service called Tidal.

Victoria Beckham

If you know Victoria Beckham, it’s probably because you were around when she was rocking the stage as a Spice Girl, a major British singing group. Known for her talent and beauty, Victoria branched out into entrepreneurship in 2009, when she launched her own boutique. Today, her brand is known throughout the U.K. and across the globe.

Lebron James

He may be known for his prowess on the basketball court, but player Lebron James has taken his passion for sports to another level with his side hustle as an entrepreneur who’s launched his very own sports marketing business. James just proves that if you love doing something, stick to it…and then find unique, out-of-the-box ways to make money off it.

Jessica Alba

This beauty is most known for her appearance in movies like Fantastic Four, but it didn’t take long for her to sprout her entrepreneurial wings and take the world by storm through her all-natural product line, Honest Company, specifically designed for babies. This brand is a raging success because it boasts using only the most natural ingredients in its line of baby products.  

Jessica Simpson

When you think of someone who’s branched out beyond just their artistic talents and done it all, Jessica Simpson fits the bill. Actress, singer and reality TV star are just a few of the titles this starlet has held. But beyond that, she’s also started her own shoe line, not to mention her own clothing and cosmetics lines, diving head first into entrepreneurship.

Jennifer Aniston

This popular blue-eyed, blonde haired Friends actor is more than just a sought-after onscreen beauty known for her amazing acting. She’s also co-owner of Living Proof, a hair care company, proving once and for all that you don’t have to be master of just one trade to find success in others.

George Clooney

America’s heartthrob from his early appearances on the smash-hit series ER, Clooney is just as talented offscreen as he is on. Aside from stealing the hearts of women across America, the actor once owned his own tequila company and sold it in 2017 for just around $1 billion, proving that even those not skilled in the trade of business can make lucrative business moves.

As you kick start your own entrepreneurship dreams and look to fuel your confidence at times when every hurdle seems insurmountable, whip out this list of your favorite celebrities. Yes, they may have the celebrity status and bundles of money that you don’t, but some of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs were dirt poor unknowns and still went on to succeed (see our article “How 9 all-time famous entrepreneurs went from rags to riches)—so don’t let that deter you. Instead, focus on the fact that these celebrities, like you, didn’t necessarily come from a business background, but they still succeeded in the name of business—and you can too.  

3 Easy Ways to Fund Your Start Up In No Time

Written by Salina Jivani

You’ve got a brilliant business idea brewing. Or maybe you’ve already launched your small business. In either case, at some point, you’ll probably need an extra influx of cash. Of course in those instances, you can consider the typical avenues, like applying for a loan through a bank or credit union, or you can get a little creative to drum up those extra funds. Here are some lesser-used options to consider.  

Bootstrapping

If the thought of taking out a loan buried with interest and then being tied to it forever (or what feels like forever) makes you a little nervous, you can always bootstrap. This is basically a self-financing method where you pool together available funds from your savings account, personal funds, credit card, home equity, etc. In most cases these funds equal enough to give most businesses owners the extra stash of cash they’re in need of—minus the interest.   

Angel investing

If you’re looking to get more than just the few grand you’ll probably gather from bootstrapping, you might consider angel investors. These are business professionals who have excess cash they wish to invest. In most cases, angel investors are a good option if you’re looking for anywhere from $10,000 to a few million. A few places to search for these investors are AngelList and Angel Capital Association, both of which help connect entrepreneurs with willing investors.

Crowdfunding

If you’re passionate and skilled enough to promote your business idea in a way that persuades people to put their dollars behind you, try crowdfunding. With no interest, loan term or strings attached, crowdfunding is an increasingly popular way to find the extra injection of cash your business needs. Sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are known to have given many entrepreneurs the jumpstart they needed.

If none of these options sound right for you, consider talking to a banker or lender about other alternatives available for your particular situation and business.

Angela Yee Is Helping Side Hustlers Turn Their Dreams Into Reality

Entrepreneur and The Breakfast Club co-host Angela Yee is teaming up with AMP Energy Organic for the “Ultimate Side Hustlers” nationwide contest.

The Juices for Life co-owner will give contest finalists the chance to showcase their unique side hustles live at Power 105.1’s Powerhouse NYC 2018 this October. “When you want something bad enough you need to put in the work and keep going until you make it happen,” Angela Yee stated. “I’m excited to hear from people who are getting home from work and turning around to put the same amount of energy into their passion project. It’s also why I’m excited to partner with AMP ENERGY® Organic, which gives me a boost of energy with only five simple, organic ingredients, to help show how the hustle pays off.”

“Everyone wants to get more out of life, but few are willing to go the extra mile. AMP ENERGY Organic respects the hustle and knows that sometimes you just need an extra boost to stay unstoppable. We’re looking for the afterhours moguls and on-the-side creatives who are doing whatever it takes to turn their dreams into reality. We know these unsung entrepreneurs are out there and we can’t wait to help share their stories,” said Justin Schwarz, Marketing Director, Flavors and Energy.

The contest will kick off August 27th-September 16th, 2018, with a national call for entries in the categories of food, fashion, beauty, art, or music. Online submissions will be evaluated by the AMP ENERGY Organic team and Angela Yee. 

For more information about the contest visit http://www.power1051fm.com/AMPEnergyOrganic

This Celebrity Assistant Speaks on The Importance of Building Good Relationships in Your Industry

Interview by Maria Rochelle

Darius Bradley is the founder and C.E.O. of GatekeepersAgency. GK-Agency is an Atlanta based assistant agency (staffing and recruiting) that provides personal, executive, and production assistants.

Darius shared with me an assistant story while he was working with his client Rotimi.

“In 2012 while working with my client Rotimi. Rotimi had a last minute photo shoot promoted by his publicist in LA during his meetings. He was to be out there for 2 weeks. It was during this year that we were currently seeking more TV/film opportunities with the success of “Boss” on Starz. With it being such a last minute thing (as the industry is typically like), I had to pull together a list of photographers in LA. The good thing here is that I had a strong relationship with celebrity photographer Kawai Matthews of www.Airphilosophy.com, and she did the photo shoot.”

Darius also adds “One thing I always suggest to assistants is to always build your network. Because assistants have a 3-5 year window when growth begins to happen. Clients let assistants go all the time, so you need to have relationships”

With your background as a celebrity assistant, would you share how it all began for you and what you have enjoyed about your position?
It started late 2010 when I was managing an artist, and he shared with me this R&B artist by the name of Rotimi based in Chicago who he wanted to collaborate with. So, I reached out to Rotimi on Facebook, and we spoke about it. We had a brief introduction, and he directed me to his then manager to set it up. Me and the other artist just ended our business with one another, so I emailed the manager to join their team. He got back to me, but once I sent my resume he never replied, so I took it as I didn’t have much experience. It drove me so much that I went to get the experience and landed an internship at Warner Bro Records. Seven months later, I was at my desk at Warner in mid April 2011, and I saw on Rotimi page it said looking for area reps email. I reached out to his then assistant, and she connected me to his publicist at the time. She and I spoke for close to an hour as I was running an errand for the SVP of Promotions. We set a date to meet her and Rotimi at his CBS charity performance. Then I was officially on the team May 2011. It was my dream artist to work with, so I was beyond joyed to have the opportunity. I knew he was going to be a star back in 2010.

How were you inspired to create Gatekeepers Agency?
I’m always thinking of how to inspire the next person, help the next person, and uplift the next person. So this company, which is my first, gives me that chance to help others begin a career in entertainment.

What challenges and rewards are there with being an assistant?
The reward is simply the opportunity to showcase what you can do. There are thousands of individuals that want to be in that space. Challenges come in so many forms, but one of them is living not only your life but the clients as well. I quickly adjusted to Rotimi and learned all his habits, so I can be the best person for him. It was my mission to always look out for him. Rotimi will concur on that.

You mention that assistants need to build their network, could you share a few tips on how an assistant would do that?

The assistant travels with the client. The assistant is the right or left hand person to the client, so this means majority of the contacts will come in contact with the assistant at some point. Sell your personality is what I’ll tell the experienced and aspiring assistant. I’m thriving in my career more than ever now because of it. I use what I built over those 5 years assisting Rotimi.

What are you looking for in assistants that you’ll be staffing?

I’m looking for the individuals that will be ready to sacrifice, willingness to help others become great (in turn making you valuable), and no excuse mentality. Now there are many more traits; these are the ones that pop up to mind because I embodied those traits. They’re the bedrock to who I was as the assistant and road manager. One time Rotimi in 2016 had a high school performance at 9:30am. He was already in Jersey, it’s a quick drive, and I was in Harlem where transportation will take me 2-3 hours depending on traffic. Name of the game sacrifice, and I woke up at 5am to arrive before him because that was one thing we always did to challenge each other was who can get there first. True professional in my eyes and we are very competitive which promotes nothing less of greatness.

Also, with your experience, what can future a client expect from your business for their needs and wants to be met for the assistants that they’ll hire from your agency?

Well the process is direct. Each assistant under GK-Agency will have a profile. These profiles help us identify the best places for the assistant (Personal, Executive and Production). The client will then have the opportunity to select a few to interview. Which then after that they can select the assistant they prefer, and then we handle the business end to get that assistant ready. We run this company like the white house (not like the current one however); they come prepared day 1 for the job. That is why we train them each day with the many tools and experience we have.

How do you stay motivated and encouraged to go for your passions and dreams?
It’s easy to stay motivated when I’m helping someone else. It’s a skill I developed over the years to make others become the best they can become.

Share with VEU readers three fun facts about you.

– I started my career in music at Hot 97 (Promotion department) in 2009 at 21
– My first international road managing spot date came in 2015 when Rotimi and me traveled to London and opened up for 50 Cent. I got to be on the stage in front of 15,000 fans!
– I also assisted Gbenga Akinnagbe (The Wire) and Saycon Sengbloh (Broadway/film/TV actress and singer).

Gatekeepers is currently recruiting in the following markets Atlanta, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami