Get Big Things Done: Michelle Phan, Pharrell And Being An Empathetic Entrepreneur

Here are three work strategies that help the empathetic entrepreneur thrive.

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  1. Fail fast and fail forward.

    If you are an empathetic entrepreneur, then you must dabble, play, mess around and experiment. It hardly matters if you are good at it or not at first. You can move on to another form or genre without having to worry about humiliation of failure.

    For example, Pharrell took a big risk when he moved away from the typical music persona of most famous rappers. He tied everything he was working on back to that sustaining purpose of being proud and genuine in his nerdiness (as opposed to the cool music industry persona he sometimes adopted). This was merged with his desire to make a difference in the lives of young people who were outsiders, like himself. This internal compass led to the greatest breakthrough of this career.

  2. Set up a system of incremental rewards to sustain your business.

    Being an empathetic entrepreneur takes guts and requires structures that fuel your passion and energy. For example, the daily support and input Michelle Phan receives from her fans helps her to connect more deeply with her community and create new videos based on what her fans are asking for, and fuels her for her work. Take the time to build structures to re-energize and keep connecting with the deepest needs of who you serve.

Finally, some words to live by: “Believe in your idea, trust your instincts, and don’t be afraid to fail.” – Sara Blakely


This article has been edited and condensed.

Erica Dhawan is the CEO of Cotential and keynote speaker driving innovation across generations and cultures to prepare the global workplace for tomorrow. Pre-order her forthcoming book: “Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence” by Erica Dhawan and Saj-nicole Joni. Connect with @edhawan on Twitter.

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