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3 Business Lessons I Learned From Reese Witherspoon

Sometimes essential life and business lessons can show up in the most unexpected places. 

Despite never having met American Actress, Producer, Entrepreneur and Champion of Women (in my opinion) Reese Witherspoon, I’ve long been a fan of this powerhouse woman for her unapologetic ambition, business savvy, sense of humour, cute dogs and desire to help others along the way. 

So it came as no surprise to me, when I found myself sharing some of her story (that I’d soaked up via credible sources, i.e. Instagram and countless Facebook videos) to a client recently in a private coaching session. It seemed, I had been inspired by Ms Witherspoon’s words of wisdom for some time and could easily recite it as a wonderful example of what another woman has gone through to make a point. 

Sitting down to think about it further, these are the 3 business lessons I’ve learned from Reese Witherspoon over the past few years.

Lesson 1. Don’t Accept Stock Standard

Frustrated by the roles she was getting offered and the lack of depth women were portrayed of having in film scripts, Reese felt compelled to find a way to tell more female stories and create movies with dynamic female leads. She created a production company in 2012 which produced Gone Girl and Wild, and then went on to create Hello Sunshine in 2016 to tell more stories for women, by women and about women. Her biggest hits to date include Big Little Lies, The Morning Show, Big Fires Everywhere and now rumour has it she is also creating Legally Blonde 3. Can’t wait!

What I took from this is, just because someone tells you, “this is the way it’s always been done” doesn’t mean it has to be that way forever. Don’t accept stock standard answers when you know they are no longer acceptable and are not a true reflection of the times. You’re allowed to change the script and be innovative when the ‘old ways’ are no longer serving you or justifiable.

“Choices used to be made for me a lot. I made a conscious decision about eight years ago to start my own company, because I wasn’t happy with the choices that were being made for me, and I didn’t see a place to exist within the industry.  There just wasn’t a spectrum of storytelling for women that I felt like was representative of the world that we walk through and that our daughters are seeing on film and television.” Reese Witherspoon

2. Success Will Shine On Those Who Follow Their Heart

In telling women’s stories, Reese has also revealed and showcased her own story as a Southern Girl with the label Draper James. Founded in 2015, the line is a nod to her southern upbringing and has been extremely successful, despite investors telling her it would never last. The story goes that Reese was told not to put her own money in to companies in case they go bust, but Reese was so passionate about both the clothing line and her production company that she was happy for foot the start-up cheques while hustling for partners. 

To me, I love this because it’s a story of how a woman has made her dreams and vision a reality by backing herself and knowing that they are valid. 

These companies weren’t started because of she had spare time on her hands, they were developed because of a desire to do more and create a different conversation for women around the world. That’s heart-driven impact at its best! 

3. Life Is For Learning 

Despite her success, Witherspoon has also had her fair change of incredible challenges but has never failed to keep trying and learning. The once divorced Mother of 3’s company Draper James was sued in 2016 for copyright infringement for the Magnolia logo used in branding for the line. I’m not sure of the outcome, but the logo was changed under a “brand refresh” cloud.

My takeaway? Shit is going to happen. You can’t be perfect or even right all the time, but you can take action, double down on WHY you’re here to make an impact during the challenging times and live to fight another day.  

Business is not smooth sailing but that’s where the magic lies. Don’t stop yourself from building your dream business out of fear something could go wrong. That’s not what Reese would do!

Would you like support to follow your heart and double down on your WHY to make an impact? Book your free 30 minute consult with me and let’s chat about how we can amplify your message and help you shine online to make an impact too.

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