Skeptics told Mariam Naficy no one would ever want to buy cosmetics online. They said the same thing about stationery. In both cases, she trusted her gut and proved the naysayers dead wrong.
This darling of the ecommerce world is riding high today, but she’s suffered her share of failure. Key to her resilience: Being able to learn from her misfortunes — and find opportunities in their wake.
If you’re a current or aspiring entrepreneur, you have to read Inflection Point radio host Lauren Schiller’s Fortune piece about Naficy’s rise and fall as a dotcom pioneer — and her successful re-emergence as the founder and CEO of Minted. (Full disclosure: Schiller is a Shaddock Agency client.)
“It was a very humbling experience because you went from being somebody to nobody. That’s a great experience to have in life,” she tells Schiller about the collapse of her first venture, Eve.com, in 2000. “To have the industry that meant something, that created your status no longer really exist. People leaving town, your peer group dissipating, your temporary leadership of an Internet company basically meaning absolutely nothing to anyone.”
Failure of this magnitude could have sunk Naficy into depression. Instead, she viewed her return to obscurity as an opportunity to become a stronger and more knowledgable businesswoman. So she took a step back from being the boss and went to work for The Body Shop. “Before I led another company, I needed to learn how to run a P&L and make a business profitable, and I needed to learn how to manage large groups of people and organize business processes,” she tells Schiller.
As the saying goes, things are what you make of them. What a refreshing dose of inspiration.