Beautycon Media Co-Founder & CEO, Moj Mahdara, Shares 6 Ways To Help You Drive Startup Growth by Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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Beautycon CEO, Moj Mahdara

Photo credit: Beautycon Media

Thousands of makeup enthusiasts, beauty influencers and cosmetics brands flocked to Manhattan for the fifth annual Beautycon Festival NYC. Attendees enjoyed the chance to strut down runways, test out exclusive products and rub shoulders with some of the biggest names in the beauty. While this two-day event was as glittery and fabulous as you would expect from something called Beautycon, the convention’s theme of women’s financial literacy made green the colour of the weekend.

One of the highlights of the event was the fireside chat between Moj Mahdara, Beautycon CEO, and money-minded rapper Cardi B. The two discussed why it’s important for women to study business, manage their money well, and push for equal pay. The conversation is one that’s near to Mahdara’s heart. A long-time entrepreneur who founded two global branding agencies and a digital studio before taking the helm of Beautycon in 2015, Mahdara passionately advocates for women to expand their financial literacy and go after their “F-You Number”—the dollar amount that will allow them to choose the life they want, both personally and professionally.

Mahdara is no stranger to pursuing—and reaching—financial goals. In the four years that she’s been leading Beautycon, she transformed it from an invite only B2B conference to a B2C consumer cosmetics summit that features notable brands like L’Oreal, Pixi, Milk Makeup, and Yes To. In the year after the switch, Beautycon had made $16 million dollars by the end of the second quarter, almost double their earnings from the previous year. Mahdara shows no signs of slowing down, with a number of high-earning ideas in the pipeline for the growing brand.

I caught Mahdara in a rare few minutes of calm amidst the hustle and bustle of the Beautycon Festival NYC weekend and she shared some advice for female founders who are ready to kickstart their businesses’ growth.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – APRIL 07: Hennessy Carolina, Cardi B, Sanai Johnson and Beautycon CEO and Co-Founder Moj Mahdara speak on stage at Beautycon Festival New York 2019 on April 07, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Beautycon)

Photo credit: Beautycon Media

School Yourself on the Game so You Can Play to Win

When it comes to capital and corporate structures of business, Mahdara acknowledged that women are dealing with an education gap. Female founders often don’t know enough about equity investments, board seats, governance and other details of dealing with investors and it can cost them control of their business. Her advice: pay attention to the founders who have managed to hold on to their visions, even with major investors in the picture. “Questions women need to be asking are, ‘How does Mark Zuckerberg control the majority of voting in Facebook? How does Jeff Bezos control the voting within Amazon?” she said.

Invite Yourself to the Boys Club

It’s no coincidence that the examples Mahdara listed were men. Though some might try to argue that there is no boys club in the business world, Mahdara noted that a lot of the best institutional information is amongst male founders. That’s why she has asked the male founders she knows to include her in the conversations they are having about business and she encourages other female entrepreneurs to do the same, even as they establish their own spaces and resources. “As much as you’re trying to build your own table or your own seat, you still need to integrate into where that information lives and that’s mostly with our male counterparts.”

Choose Mentors and Sponsors with Intention

Mahdara noted that people often ask for mentorship and sponsorship, but few understand how to get it. She offers two key pieces of advice: ask the right people and know what you’re asking for. “Don’t always choose the most famous person you can find,” Mahdara said. “Find someone who has ready access to information for you and a connection that you can actually make. The mentees who have been successful in approaching me were consistent.They showed up with a plan and a strategy and they kept me posted. ”

Not All Capital is Good Capital

Mahdara admitted that one of her early mistakes was partnering with investors who weren’t a good fit and the decisions they encouraged and outcomes they wanted were not necessarily in line with the vision she set. To entrepreneurs looking to avoid this pitfall, Mahdara recommends getting second opinions on any potential investors. “When you are interviewing investors, you need to interview founders who have been with them long-term and see how they were through pivotal moments of change and reflection.”

Prepare for the Long-haul

Mahdara encourages any female founder looking to scale to ask herself some tough questions. “Do you have the right team around you? Do you have the right capital? Do you have strategic vision? Are you committed to it? Are you in it for the long-haul even during the days when it is really going to suck and be terrible?” Because success is rarely linear and businesses goes through cycles, consistent long-term growth requires founders to be prepared to ride out the ebb and flow.  

Understand that Failure is a Part of Success

Mahdara has had the opportunity to be in the room with some very successful people and one of the key differences she described between men and women is that men will leap into ventures while women tiptoe around the idea of failure. But Mahdara thinks women should embrace failure instead and be humble enough to use mistakes as opportunities to grow. “I’ve made a lot of really bad mistakes and done things that I wouldn’t necessarily do again,” Mahdara said. “But it’s all learning. You have to grow a tough skin, listen to the criticism, and be open to evolve.”

 

April 17, 2019 at 09:20AM
https://www.forbes.com/sites/pauleannareid/2019/04/17/beautycon-co-founder-ceo-moj-mahdara-shares-6-ways-to-help-you-drive-startup-growth/
Forbes – Entrepreneurs
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