Kate Morris, CEO of Adore Beauty busts the most common fibs people tell themselves that stops them reaching the top.
Kate Morris, CEO and founder of Adore Beauty, started Australia’s first beauty e-commerce site in 1999 in a garage when she was just 21 years old. At a time when dial-up internet was the norm and online retail was still considered suspicious to most, Kate didn’t let this deter her. She powered ahead with just $12,000 in the bank and only two small cosmetic companies signed on. She has since transformed Adore Beauty into Australia’s biggest online beauty website, a million dollar business that made $28 million in revenue last financial year alone.
Most of my achievements came through my “failures”
Kate has overcome many challenges and career lies that would hold most people back. This includes being fired twice before she decided to go it alone and start Adore Beauty. Drawing from her 17 years of experience as an entrepreneur, Kate Morris shares the most common career lies that she believes people should not just disregard, but defy:
You should know exactly what you want to do when you finish school
Generally if you stick to doing things that you enjoy, you’ll find your way into a career that makes you happy. Choose something that you find interesting and the rest will sort itself out. When I finished school, my job at Adore Beauty didn’t even exist. I created it. Similarly, if you didn’t get the ATAR score you needed to get into uni, it’s not the end of the world. Most of my achievements came through my “failures”, as it’s these experiences that make you more resilient and resourceful, which is an invaluable skill to have in both your personal and professional life.
You should wait until you’re “ready” to start a business
People think that they have to wait until they think they’re “ready” to start a business, such as having the right degree or having an ample amount of experience. You don’t. If you’re waiting for a time when you feel confident, it’s not going to happen. Your confidence will grow from taking the plunge and actually doing the work you set out to do. If you’re worried that you will make mistakes and stuff it up, good! The natural way to feel when starting out is completely terrified, so don’t expect anything different. You learn from your mistakes, after all how are you going to know how to swim before you jump in the pool?
Being a woman will set you back in the workplace
A lot of people ask me now if being a woman made it difficult to get ahead in my career. No it didn’t. Women can achieve anything and at any age, I was only 21 when I founded Adore Beauty. At times it did make it harder to be taken seriously, but this comes back to resilience and resourcefulness, and how these skills will help drive you forward in whatever career path you choose.
Having a family will stunt your career
A lot of people think that having a family will restrict you in your professional life. With this belief in mind, many people start limiting themselves because they plan to one day have kids. Obviously part of this falls to the expectation surrounding who does what around the house, but you shouldn’t make those assumptions. You can get quite a lot done, even with a young family, if you put your mind to it – and you should expect your partner to support you.
Don’t let other people’s doubts make you doubt yourself
Along your career path, you will meet the doubters who will try and discourage you from your vision. When I founded Adore Beauty, the notion of buying beauty products online seemed ridiculous and daunting to most of the brands I approached. After all, cosmetics are a personal item, and everyone assumed that customers needed to try before they buy. But I did not let the doubts of others deter me from turning my dream into a reality, I took the risk and it paid off. Today Adore Beauty attracts millions of customers each year who are looking for a personal and convenient beauty shopping experience. If you believe in your ambition strongly enough, eventually others will too.