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Gwyneth Paltrow on Goop: I had ‘a lot of trepidation’ on becoming an entrepreneur

Hollywood star Gwyneth Paltrow may have made a name for herself in the business world over the last decade, but that doesn't mean the nerves didn't kick in when she first set foot on her entrepreneurial journey.

In 2008, the Oscar-winning actress launched Goop, a "lifestyle brand" which started off as a weekly newsletter, aimed at providing information related to food, health and travel.

"I think that I had a lot of trepidation about planting this little flag — and saying like 'I want to do this, but I don't know if this could be a business' or how I could execute the business; but it was scary for me to do it," she told CNBC's "Trailblazers."

"Immediately, there was a lot of 'Why is she doing this?' I remember once I also had a movie coming out around the same time and there was a huge article in the New York Times about why am I doing this? And I thought, this seems extreme, like I'm just writing banana nut muffin recipes!"

Gwyneth Paltrow, founder and chief creative officer of Goop.
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Gwyneth Paltrow, founder and chief creative officer of Goop.

"But I think almost immediately there was a lot of interest in what I was doing and why I was doing it, both in a positive and negative way … And I was such a neophyte. I had no experience," she added.

Fast forward to the present day and Goop has transformed into an internationally-renowned business; one which has expanded into e-commerce, provides recommendations on travel, food and health. It has launched its own pop-up stores and in 2017 saw its own magazine and Wellness Summit materialize.

It was only recently announced that Paltrow had been made CEO by the board. She told CNBC that she now felt ready to take her "seat at the table," adding that it was a "long, slow process."

Celebrity reputation

When asked about whether she believed having a celebrity status hinders the creation of a new start-up or project, Paltrow said the reputation provides both benefits and pitfalls.

"I think the celebrity both helps and hurts equally at the same time. When you're a celebrity, people have a pretty clear preconceived notion of who you are and who you should be in the culture."

Gwyneth Paltrow (R) signs autographs for fans as she arrives to the premiere of 'Iron Man 3' at Le Grand Rex on April 11, 2013 in Paris, France.
Laurent Emmanuel | WireImage | Getty Images
Gwyneth Paltrow (R) signs autographs for fans as she arrives to the premiere of 'Iron Man 3' at Le Grand Rex on April 11, 2013 in Paris, France.

Paltrow isn't the only celebrity shaking up the entrepreneurial space. Actress Jessica Alba helped co-found The Honest Company in 2012, a goods maker that offers eco-friendly products; while Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and Victoria Beckham have launched their own fashion lines.

For Paltrow herself, almost a decade in and Goop is an internationally renowned brand, but it wasn't always smooth sailing.

"I just felt like I had a lot of wind in my face and I wasn't looked at just like an entrepreneur who was in her 30s and starting something. There was a lot of baggage that came with it," she said.

"But then of course, the celebrity piece is an important lever that we can pull in the business when we need it. And I had sort of wondered because I, over my career, represented various brands and I thought what would it be like to leverage your own brand, for your own brand? Instead of a third-party brand."

Her top priority

As well as being the founder of a lifestyle brand, Paltrow has had to manage her time effectively, as not only does she dabble in the business space, she's also an author, mother and acts in movies such as those featured in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

When it comes down to it however, her children remain her top priority.

"I still do a little bit of film work here and there, but it's really just one day on "The Avengers" here, two days there," Paltrow said.

"My children are obviously my main priority, but the business is like my third child. It's been a very rewarding and challenging experience."

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