Chrissy Teigan and John Legend might not sound like your typical “entrepreneurs”, given Legend is a famous singer and Teigan a successful model, but their multiple business ventures tell a different story.
Teigan is the author of multiple cookbooks, a television host, a model and boasts more than 31.3 million Instagram followers. Legend is a three-time Grammy winner, and the owner of Legend Vineyard Exclusives. He also boasts nearly 13 million followers on Instagram.
Together, the couple have a combined net worth of around US$71 million (AU$100 million).
“I think things just spiral, right? If you do something you love,” Teigan told HubSpot’s Inbound conference.
“The first thing that I genuinely loved doing was having my little cooking blog, and just uploading things from my WordPress app, and really interacting with people and always being on social media.”
Legend said his music career was really entrepreneurialism at its core: “I wanted to be a musician, and that’s entrepreneurial in its own way because you’re launching a career based on your own name and your creativity, and you’re asking a record label to partner with you...you’re also starting a small business, you’re hiring people and you’re making marketing decisions.”
But there are some tricks to the trade, they said.
Establish your tone
Teigan said her first priority with her cooking blog was to establish herself as someone who not only enjoyed cooking and eating, but was also wanting to learn about the industry.
“I was always coming from this point of never being the expert and always learning from everyone that I would come across in my culinary life,” Teigan said. “So I think establishing that tone early was really important to me.”
Teigan even said she delayed her first cookbook release to build her brand.
“My current editor...reached out to me very early on, on social when I first started the blog, and I made him give me a few more years so people would know that I actually enjoyed doing this,” she said.
“I needed to get that credibility, and for people to know that it actually was a passion of mine.”
Teigan is best known for her laugh-out-loud commentary on social media, and she believes that this was key to her success.
“I was never going to be someone that wasn’t going to speak - I couldn’t just be the face of something, I needed to be able to interact with people and sell to people, and really have them enjoy the things that I enjoy in my home.
“Being authentic to them through social media was always really important to me.”
Pick the right partners
Legend said the biggest challenge entrepreneurs will face is not saying yes to everything.
“We say no to way more things than we say yes to, and I think the biggest challenge is always picking the right partners to work with,” he said.
And that extends to those you hire, too.
“Making sure you have the right people in your life, whether it’s people you hire, partners, agents, managers, whatever,” he said.
And Teigan agreed, saying she liked to hire creative people, and those who have a clear point of view.
“I want to trust them,” she said. “I don’t look over their shoulder, I’m not going to watch every move, I want people to know that this is their thing, and I want them to take ownership of it.”
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