What Reese Witherspoon Learned From Pitching to Venture Capitalists
Reese Witherspoon is a Hollywood star who, apart from her acting gigs, is also a successful entrepreneur. With her clothing and lifestyle brand, Draper James, she had to face the reality of pitching to venture capitalists for funding.
In a panel discussion with Kirsten Green, a VC and Draper James investor at the Vanity Fair Founders Day conference in New York City, Witherspoon shares lessons she learned from her experience.
In this blog post, we will delve into what Reese Witherspoon learned from having to ask venture capitalists for money.
You Need Thick Skin
“It’s like an audition,” Witherspoon argues, referring to pitching to venture capitalists. But instead of one person, it is 20 people in a room staring at you like: “Why are you here? We don’t need another clothing line or another lifestyle brand.”
What Witherspoon shared basically says that you need to develop a thick skin if you want to succeed in the business world. Rejection is part of the territory, and you need to learn how to bounce back. As an entrepreneur, you will face many challenges, including pitching to VCs. Plus, you must learn to weather these storms.
Target the Right Investors
When Witherspoon was looking for VCs for Draper James, she did her research. Throughout her search process, she had her sights set on Kirsten Green, the founder of Forerunner Ventures. She chose Green because she knew that Green was the right investor for her business, considering her track record investing in successful e-commerce ventures such as Dollar Shave Club and Jet.com.
This lesson is particularly important for entrepreneurs. You need to look for the right investors who have a strong interest in your industry. Understand what investors are passionate about and what kind of companies they like to invest in.
Success Requires Persistence
Throughout her journey as an entrepreneur, Witherspoon has learned that success requires persistence. She believed in her brand and vision. So, she persisted in her search for the right VC investor. Even after being rejected, she continued looking for the person who would be the right fit for her company.
Persistence is key when you are an entrepreneur. You need to be willing to fight for your vision and never give up until you find a way to achieve your goals. With every rejection, learn from the experience and move forward with more confidence and resilience.
Stay True to Your Vision
Witherspoon had her own vision for her clothing line and lifestyle brand. She wanted Draper James to be true to her roots and her Southern heritage. So, she did not want to compromise the brand’s identity. Being true to her vision, she managed to create a unique brand that meets the needs of her clients.
The lesson here is that as an entrepreneur, you must stay true to your vision even when it is hard. Do not give in to the pressure to compromise your values or what your brand stands for. Likewise, be confident in your vision and stay on course even when the going gets tough.