SDH 002: Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Boss with Farissa Knox

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Farissa Knox, the founder of WhatRUWearing, the interactive source of fashion feedback and daily inspiration. Farissa also owns RLM Media an advertising agency that does media planning and buying.

Farissa started her first company, RLM Media, 6 years ago. RLM is an advertising agency that does media planning and buying. One of the agencies that is resourceful in putting ads on TV, radio, or on billboards.

What R U Wearing came to Farissa when she thought, “wow, I really will be trying my best to work for myself for the rest of my life.” She decided that if she can fit more on her plate, why not make any really great idea a reality? [Touché!] The interactive source of fashion feedback and daily inspiration – the forum invites you to upload images of your personal style and ask for advice from fellow followers. // Currently working on a rebrand, keep up with the forum via Instagram (@whatruwearing), Facebook, and Twitter(@whatruwearing_).

Farissa’s Passion: fashion, style, and putting together looks for others

“Why isn’t there a place where we can go see women around the world what we’re wearing every day? […] It’s cool to see what Beyonce is wearing, but I can’t necessarily go buy and afford what celebrities wear every day.”

Entrepreneurship, When did she know?: The realization that there was damn near no way that she could go back and work for someone else again and have to tell her boss why she was 5 minutes late or just not be as fully in love and engaged with what she was doing everyday besides getting her paycheck. 

“As an entrepreneur … You’re excited about the opportunity to really prove to yourself that you’re as amazing as you think you are.”

How do you determine what you give your time to?: Never let go of what you want your results to be.

Motivation: “When I walk into my office every morning, and I see what I’ve been able to accomplish so far with the help of my team, and being around them every day is really what keeps me motivated – I don’t want to fail for me and I don’t want to fail for them”

Have to have a little bit of (inspiration and motivation) on your own. You can’t be looking for it in other places. Most days you’re hit with “no’s” and walls and obstacles.

Obstacle: WhatRUWearing website getting hacked -- $15,000-20,000 down the drain in a minute because of a lesson that I had to learn. To get back up – Start from square one all over again and justify re-investing all of those dollars was a very difficult decision that a lot of people would look at as a wall that’s just not climbable.

“Just keep going because it’s the people who stop who never achieve anything”

Entrepreneurs are the people who work really hard and come up with the strategy to maneuver the obstacles and to keep the rest of their team motivated. I’ve learned to learn from other business people and their decision making and how they operate.

Farissa’s Biggest Fear: Admitting to her team that she tried but she failed and now they are out of work

Handling Conflict: the feminine emotions of a woman – when inside the workplace, deal with outside-work conflict like a man would. Let go of those emotional things. HOWEVER, if someone is rude to you and you need to put them in their place, handle it the way a woman would. Especially in a leadership position, in front of a team, because you don’t want your team to think it is not okay for their leader to be spoken to like that.

Transition from an entrepreneur to a leader:: Real leaders have to be able to put up with difficult situations and not have it ruin anything beyond that minute that it happened in.

SDIHW Advice Nugget: Emotions Drive Action – Step back and understand what is worth getting emotional about

If you’re completely cut off from your emotions, you’re not going to be as good of a leader as you can be because at the end of the day you need people helping you execute the goals that you put in place.

Addressing the Haters: You don’t have to tell everyone what you’re doing. Just go do it and people will start to see. Everyone doesn’t have what it takes to take an idea from a thought to a reality. It’s not a wide-spread skill set. That’s why not everyone is owning their own company or creating their own music or are fashion designers because not everyone can do that. Just because someone is not happy for you doesn’t necessarily mean they honestly don’t think that you can do it. It’s their own fears and limitations that they’re putting on you.

Challenge: All the things that are the most non-sexy part of owning your business.

Accounting | Money Management | Taxes

“I want to come up with the ideas and the steps and people it will take me to get there and then there’s taxes… If I’m going to be the best business owner I can, it’s at least understanding the concept of the things even if I have someone else doing it for me.”

Challenge: Being able to see past the steps: so difficult to see the forest beyond the trees.

“Be okay taking about what (the business) could be 5-10 years from now and work at that. It doesn't need to take away from the steps that need to be executed on a daily basis.”

How do you stay centered: Focus on the task at hand and the people in front of her in that moment. Give 100% of your attention. You do a better job when you’re focused on what you’re doing in that moment versus trying to diversify your mind so much in every minute of every day.

“When I’m out to dinner with friends, my phone is in my purse, I’m not wondering what my other 500 friends are doing on Facebook”

Mantra: Excellence, Honesty, and Hard Work

What I would tell myself 10 years ago: Just keep doing what you’re doing. Start sooner not second guessing yourself. The fear of rejection can’t stop you from putting it out there in the first place.

Book Rec: “The Purple Cow” – Seth Godin How to train your mind to think outside the box. 

“When I get too afraid, I just open up a bottle of red wine and go ‘you know what? I’m trying’”