Leadership

4 career lessons you can learn from Rihanna’s latest business ventures

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Oscar Gonzalez | Getty Images

Over the past 13 years, music and creative artist Rihanna has proven her abilities don't stop at breaking pop music records. She has also launched lucrative designer shoe collaborations, luxury jewelry collections, a fashion line with Puma and most recently Fenty Beauty, her own makeup brand with luxury company group LVMH.

And the 29-year-old, with an estimated net worth of $36 million, doesn't plan to stop there.

"I have long-term goals in fashion, not so much with any one brand, you never know what's going to happen," she recently told Vogue's Hamish Bowles at the Forces of Fashion conference.

But having had her career take off as a 16-year-old singer signed to Def Jam Recordings to now participating in a variety of business endeavors, Rihanna has advice for those entering the professional world or who want to work for her.

Do your job and do it well

Even as Rihanna is on the road or flying from one event to the next, she is still in charge of screening people to collaborate with her.

"[When] putting my team together, probably the most important part of the whole process is the beginning," she says.

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Before moving forward, Rihanna checks if job seekers would be able to handle the position.

"If I can do your job better than you, I can't hire you. That's a waste of my money and time," Rihanna says. "But if you have something to offer, I know there's an expertise that I can respect and I put people in place based on what their strengths are."

Rihanna also recognizes that old adage "there's no 'I' in 'team.'"

"I'm only as great as my team, and I pay very special attention to that," she adds.

Be honest with your goals

Rihanna says not to accept a job offer simply because of greed or the chance to work for a well-known person or brand.

"When it comes down to working for [me], you can come to work and hate me one day and just flop at your job just out of spite," she says.

Instead, she wants honesty.

"Most importantly, I love people that want better for themselves and their position," she says. "I really care about people who respect their job, their position and their art."

Do your research

Although Rihanna's Fenty Beauty makeup line came out in September, it's a venture she has been researching for years.

"I've always wanted to do makeup," Rihanna says, but where she has wanted to begin with it has changed and evolved over the years.

Killin’ them with that glow. #KILLAWATT @fentybeauty has arrived!

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Despite saying how much she has always loved and enjoyed her passion for makeup, she says she "wanted it to be right" and "never wanted it to be a rushed project."

"I always wanted it to be something that was respected and if I feel like I'm not there yet, I'm not even gonna make an attempt," she adds.

"So I did my research," she points out, even "working on something independently but it was very premature."

Upon meeting LVMH brand Kendo, which also creates Kat Von D and Marc Jacobs Beauty, she finally found the right partner to help her fulfill her vision.

Learn from your mistakes

The genesis of Rihanna's interest in fashion "started with really bad style," she says, adding, "you gotta start somewhere right? Wow, let's not even go back to those chapters."

But living and learning from your mistakes is what will allow you to get out of your comfort zone.

"I'm always up for a challenge so if I don't get it right the first time or the first hundred thousand times, I'm going to keep trying until I think I figure it out," Rihanna says.

As a result, Rihanna says she's learned more about herself and what her limits are professionally.

"There are not a lot of boundaries with fashion for me really, I kind of just want to do everything and in the most extreme outrageous way possible," she says.

"I enjoy fashion, that's the thrill. It's a challenge and you can only keep learning, growing and evolving," Rihanna says. "I can only hope to continue to evolve and I take it seriously."

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