5 Business Lessons We've Learned from Rihanna

Updated: May 29

Rihanna is indeed one of the few people in this world who need no introduction. From her hit singles , Take A bow (2007), "Umbrella" (2008), "We Found Love" (2011), "Diamonds" (2012), and "B*tch Better Have My Money (2015), to her long gone, but never really forgotten, infamous relationship with Chris Brown we've never had trouble keeping up with her life. Speaking of the life of Rih Rih she bought in 2022 with a net worth of 1.7 billion USD in 2022 according to Forbes which is more than what Forbes says Beyoncé is currently worth.

Now, I've always been told not to take advice from someone you wouldn't trade places with. And while we don't know every piece of Rihanna's business, and I'm sure she's had days that felt like they should/could her last with all the pressure of being celebrity. But, with all that considered, I'd take 1.7 billion dollars in a heartbeat.

With that said, here's 6 lesson's we've learned from our fav Barbadian Billionaire.

Lesson 1: Keep Going & Success Will Find You..

Take it from Rihanna. You might not make your fortune from a breakout music career — you might actually make it from co-owning a beauty brand. This is exactly what she did.

Rihanna didn’t make the bulk of her wealth from music. Instead, she made it from Fenty Beauty, the makeup brand she co-owned for two years with luxury goods group LVMH. The idea of Fenty Beauty, Rihanna says, was “so that women everywhere would be included.” She focused on matching a range of traditionally difficult-to-match skin tones.

If you have a passion for what you do as an entrepreneur, and solutions are crafted with your audience’s pain points at heart, success will find you. Keep going.

Lesson 2: It's better to learn from a fall than to be safe with regret.

Rihanna has lived much of her adult life in the public eye enduring scruitny about what she wears, who she dates, how she looks, what she says in her music, not making music, and everything in between. Even still, Rih Rih acknowledges the importance in taking risks and fighting for what you want out of life. She once said, "It’s nice to look back on your life and see things as lessons, and not regrets.” Speaking of taking risks, did you know that the song "Umbrella" which made Rihanna a Household name wasn't "meant for" her. There were other entertainers in line who wanted the song but Rihanna says she walked up to the producer and told him that she HAD to have that song. The rest is history. Take it from Rihanna. Jump! Either you'll fly or learn to fly.

Lesson 3: Surround Yourself with Greatness

Let's see, Rihanna signed to ROC Nation in 2010 after being connected with HOV for a few years. She also has a partnership with LVMH which is the entity that co-owns Fenty Beauty.

She later partnered with investors, including online fashion firm TechStyle Fashion Group, for Savage X Fenty Just to name a few. If there's anything you can learn from watching Rihanna's hustle it's that your partnerships can make or break you. Connect with people who are where you want to be and learn. Be a student of the world around you generally, but especially of those people who align with the life you've envisioned for yourself.

Lesson 4: Give Back

Rihanna, one of the most publicly charitable celebrities, has donated upwards of $8 million to coronavirus relief efforts. She gave $1 million to New York's needy, $2.1 million to abuse victims in LA and $5 million to other charities through her Clara Lionel Foundation. It's more than likely not possible to be as charitable as a superstar being a small business owner, but the lesson here is that being of service to your community, showing up and supporting the causes that mean something to you are as beneficial to your brand as it is to the community around you. Giving back is necessary. Take it from a billionaire.

Lesson 5: Inclusivity isn't optional

In Rihanna's Amazon documentary chronicling the Savage X Fenty fashion show, Fenty senior vice president Jennifer Rosales explained why Rihanna takes a different approach: "There's not like a target audience. It's for everyone. Everything that she does is for everyone. She wants everyone to feel beautiful, everyone to feel empowered, everyone to feel that strength to become the best version of themselves," Rosales said.

When Fenty Beauty launched, it did so with 40 shades of foundation, to be inclusive of women who had different complexions all around the world. And with the Savage X Fenty lingerie line, Rihanna again is as inclusive as possible with all women, incorporating something for all sizes. -Inc.com Article. The secret to inclusivity is that most of the people of the world crave it and most of the businesses in the world don't see it as being a profitable marketing strategy. Most business coaches take time to help you find your unique position in your market. I remember my business coach telling me, "If you're marketing to everyone, you attract no one." Rihanna's uber successful and inclusive business have made her a billionaire. That's a billion pieces of evidence that lead me to believe there's more than one way to get the bag.

Lesson 6: Pay Attention to Details. No Detail is too small.

During the documentary Rihanna thinks back to how "anal" she was about the details, "Everything was thought about down to the detail of the tags," Rihanna said, when she spoke about her lingerie line in the documentary. "How they feel, and how easy they are to remove, because no one wants to see a big tag when they're trying to get cute for their special someone."

The last lesson is one that most of us need no pop quiz in. It's okay to borderline obsess about the details of your products, services, and brands. How you handle the details, even the smallest ones, can mean the difference between winning a customer for life and someone who never comes back. Be intentional with every detail of your business. Think from the customer or client's perception. Give it 100% every time.

You can build a brand that your customers adore, and you don't have to have a successful music career to do it. Follow the principles Rihanna has stayed true to, as she has built her massive empire, to guide you along in your quest to build your own. It's possible! And no one is made to follow your dreams like you were.

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