From modeling campaigns and magazine covers, sitting front row at Paris Fashion Week to becoming CEO & Founder of a multi-million dollar health and wellness brand, former E! Entertainment Television Host, Brianna Meighan, sits down with LA WIRE and shares her advice for new female entrepreneurs.
LA WIRE: Your background as a fashion model and former E! Entertainment Host is not the typical business executive profile. How did you get your start as an entrepreneur?
BRIANNA MEIGHAN: Honestly, I think I was born to be an entrepreneur and to create brands and sell. My family all jokes and says that “business is in my genes” because I have literally been selling things since I was in kindergarten. When I was little, all the other girls my age were always busy playing with their dolls or playing dress-up, but all I wanted to do was play “make-believe store owner” or be with my horses. Pretty much all my childhood was spent asking my family members to buy something from my little shop I had operating out of my bedroom closet. So I guess you can say I was born to be an entrepreneur.
LA WIRE: If business is in your blood, how did you end-up pursuing a career on-camera as a model and E! Entertainment TV Host?
BRIANNA MEIGHAN: Being on-camera also came very natural to me. When I was 14, I had a small part in the movie PATCH ADAMS and I got to work with Robin Williams. It was my first big movie and my first time working on-camera and I absolutely fell in love! It was such an amazing experience and I knew right away that I also wanted to make TV, cameras, modeling a part of my life as well!
LA WIRE: What is your favorite part about being an entrepreneur?
BRIANNA MEIGHAN: I have always loved everything business and business related. I find that the initial stages of product development, from early-conception, research to creating prototypes and samples to be absolutely fascinating and very, very fun! I also tend to be a perfectionist when it comes to everything related to the brand that I am developing, from the product itself, the product design and packaging, the website and shopping experience and I equally love customer service and building relationships between our loyal customers and our brand. But then again, I also love negotiating big deals, so it’s very hard to choose! I don’t think you could easily stick me in just one department—I love it all! I think that it is very important for any new female entrepreneur to be involved in the entire A-Z process. I’m not saying that you need to be an expert in all areas or micromanage people in other departments. However, I do think that entrepreneurs must be aware of what is going on in all areas of their business at all times. It is crucial!
LA WIRE: You seem like you have very strong leadership skills. Do you consider yourself to be a natural leader or is this something that you have had to learn?
BRIANNA MEIGHAN: I would say both! I am fortunate in that I am naturally calibrated to assume leadership roles in most areas in my life. I’m rarely the one who is going to wait around for someone to assign me a role or task. I’d rather be the one assigning roles to others and leading the group forward. Again, this probably all goes back to that “family gene for business” that my parents have been joking about for my whole life. But at the same time, leadership is an artform, and good leaders know how to pause, listen, strategize, and then respond with the appropriate guidance or response to any given situation and this comes from practice and is developed over time. Sure you can read books and pay for coaching on how to become a phenomenal leader, but I don’t think there’s any magic pill for developing leadership skills, I think it is something that you just learn with time and experience, trial and error.
LA WIRE: Do you ever feel daunted being a successful female entrepreneur?
BRIANNA MEIGHAN: I am grateful that there are more female founders, female entrepreneurs and women in leadership roles now more than ever! I think this is amazing and we absolutely must continue to cultivate and nourish the entrepreneurial spirit in women on all levels, and to answer your question, the short answer is: absolutely not!!! I do not feel intimidated or daunted by anyone: male or female.
LA WIRE: How do you stay motivated when times get hard?
BRIANNA MEIGHAN: This is such a great question and such an important one, because times do get hard and being an entrepreneur can be very, very challenging! It’s not always easy-peasy to develop products, run a business, manage a team, stick to a budget, beat competition, grow a brand from zero to hero in the most competitive marketplace on the planet: the US market, and then, add-on all of the additional roles and responsibilities that female entrepreneurs have outside of business, such as: being a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, a human being–who just wants 5 minutes of uninterrupted, peace and quiet to just sit and chill out (LOL)—so yes, it can be hard, but you have to learn to metabolize the stress, if not, you’re going to burn out. For me, I meditate daily for 11 minutes every morning when I wake up. It helps me to center and just connect with my inner-knowing, my inner-guide. I also run almost every day. I have completed 5 full marathons and running is a wonderful outlet for stress.To learn more about this inspiring entrepreneur and female founder BRIANNA MEIGHAN, follow her on Instagram. LA WIRE Contributor: Amy Haddad.