9 Women Executives on the Worst Advice They Ever Got

Whether you’re starting your own business or contemplating a career change, people are always going to have advice. Sometimes it’s super helpful and saves you from making a move you might regret. Other times, not so much. That’s why we checked in with nine badass women for the worst piece of advice they’ve ever received. Take note, ladies.

9 New York Women Share the Game-Changing Advice That Shaped Their Careers

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Don’t Leave Your Stable Job

"I've received a lot of bad career advice, probably because I've always followed my passions rather than any sense of a traditional ‘career,’ and this worries people in my family, who like to offer advice. The worst piece of advice I probably ever received was to not leave my job to start Andie. I was advised not to leave a well-paying, stable job to ‘sell swimsuits on the internet.’ Thankfully I did, since Andie is now the fastest growing digitally native swimwear brand!" -Melanie Travis, Founder and CEO of Andie

Don’t Put So Much Time Into A 'hobby'

“'Isn't Beauty Bakerie just a hobby?’ People implied that I shouldn't be investing so much of my time and effort into it. One year later and it was definitely not a hobby, but a company employing 30 people with products sold in more than 120 countries and more than 500 brick-and-mortar locations. When people diminish your dream, don't take offense and don't accept their truth as your own. Often times they're just projecting their fears onto you.” –Cashmere Nicole, Founder of Beauty Bakerie

Move Fast, Break Things

“We've found that this advice just leads to Band-Aids on Band-Aids, that you inevitably have to spend a lot of time and money unwinding. There is a happy medium where a business can be agile and adjust without being in a constant state of whiplash.” -Linden Ellis and Sara Raffa, Cofounders of Coterie

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Sell, Sell, Sell

“The worst advice I’ve received has been ‘to try to sell as much as possible.’ Initially, it might seem counterintuitive, since often the goal is to make sales and increase revenue. However, it’s more important to form long-term and meaningful relationships with your customers—even when that means selling less. Do not force your clients to purchase a product that you know won't work for them. Have them try fewer units, come back with feedback and then develop a solution that fits them. As a result, you will not only gain their trust but your accounts will grow bigger than they would have otherwise.” -Ana Sanchez-Gal, CEO of Oliver Gal

Don’t Rush Into Things

“Some of the worst advice I’ve received is to ‘just sit on it.’ As a female creative entrepreneur, being decisive and trusting my instincts has been the most vital tool in my career. I find the longer you sit on something, the more diluted your instincts become. And in my opinion, time is one of the biggest deal-killers. So do your due diligence, gather research, trust your instincts, and be decisive. When making pivotal choices for your life and career, you instinctively know what you need to do. The most courageous thing you can do is trust yourself.” -Alyssa Rosenheck, Founder of The New Southern

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Don’t Risk Too Much

“The worst advice I ever received was from a very good friend and mentor, who told me not to take my current job opportunity because it was too risky. At the time I was working at SoulCycle and he thought, because I loved my job and the company was wildly successful, that I shouldn't leave. I was 25 and always had an entrepreneurial spirit, so fortunately I leaned in and it was the best risky decision I ever made!" -Danielle Axman, CEO of BABE Rosè and SWISH Beverage Co.

Don’t Bother

“'Don't bother, I just don't see it.’ Not everyone is going to see or understand your vision...but you have to trust your gut. Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and trust your inner compass because nine times out of ten it will lead you in the right direction.” -Lulu Cordero, CEO of Bomba Curls

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If You’re Not Making Money, Give Up

“When I opened our flagship location, I was underfunded. I knew that. I also knew that the timing was right, and funding and growth would come together. It was a gut feeling that was backed up by a clear vision, a solid business plan and conservative projections. One of my advisors had told me around my one-year mark that because I wasn’t profitable I should file bankruptcy and try to unload my debt and see if I could salvage the company. Businesses normally take two to five years to break even, and we’re at the one-year mark and hitting our projections, and I wondered if this guy was crazy! I opted not to listen to him, and we’re just one month away from our two-year anniversary and just received a million dollar valuation, have more than 25 employees and 200 members, and we’re expanding our space and launching a skincare line in the coming months.” -Cristin Smith, Founder of Saffron & Sage

Fix Problems Later

“’If you wanting to start something new, just get it out there and fix it later.’ It’s true that obsessing over perfection can only hold you back, but rushing to launch may not be the best strategy when it comes to introducing a product or brand.” -Annie Rodriguez, Co-Founder of Caley Cosmetics

sarah stiefvater
Sarah Stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...
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