About a year after graduating college, Bobbi Brown moved to New York City to start her career as a makeup artist. She didn't know anyone in the industry, so she reached for the phone book. "I opened up the Yellow Pages, I looked up 'makeup,' I looked up 'models,' and I just started making calls and asking a lot of questions."
Being inquisitive is a habit she's kept and it's served her well — talking to anyone who crosses her path literally helped Brown build her eponymous makeup company, which she sold to Estée Lauder in 1995, making her a millionaire. She continued to run the business as Chief Creative Officer and turned it into an empire.
At so many pivotal moments, Brown was helped along to the next step in growing her business because she was friendly and struck up a conversation with the right stranger at the right time.
"I talk to everyone. I find people really interesting," says Brown speaking to CNBC at the iCONIC conference in New York City Wednesday.
"Just be nice to people. It's like common sense. Don't do it because you want something, it actually makes you feel good," she says.