Expert advice from Rita Rainieri Polak

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We asked Rita Rainieri Polak, Creative Director and Designer at Juliet & Company, to give us a little expert advice:

What advice would you give to someone who feels overwhelmed by the competition? There will always be interesting concepts and well-positioned companies that parallel what you are doing. Who cares? Be special. Be useful. Be exciting. Focus on your own product or service, and be overwhelmed about that, not about the competition.

What top three tips would you like to pass along for those who have just started to use social media? 1: Share what is relevant to your brand. Personal input is great as long as it’s aligned with your brand’s character.  2: Have fun with it!  3: Start following Juliet & Company immediately!

When you think of the best people to work with, what traits do they share? They are honest, they are passionate about what they do, and they keep it simple.

Give a budding entrepreneur your best hiring and firing business practices. Hire the best, and take your time to find a mutually great fit. I do not have a lot of experience with firing, but I would not hesitate if it was best for the business. If it’s not a good fit, letting someone go is what’s best for them and their future as well.

Entrepreneurs often say that “you can’t do it all.” What three things do you always outsource? You can do it all and you can have it all. But not all at the same time. I am always outsourcing help with packaging for larger orders, interns for various new ideas and projects, and financials to my accountant.

What business book would you recommend to someone who is either about to launch or in the early growth stage? A book? Who has time? Sometimes it’s best to learn by doing.

What are your thoughts on raising capital? We all need money to grow. If you are raising capital, find someone who has raised similar levels of money in your element to mentor you. Without my mentors (and my parents), I wouldn’t have known where to begin.

What piece of invaluable advice did you receive that you would like to pass on to women pursuing their dream? Good things take time.

My best advice to a woman launching a venture is… Learning from the first (or second) time around is invaluable.

What would your advice to your younger self be? Don’t worry about being different.

And finally, please share your top five tips that would benefit an entrepreneurial woman launching or growing her business:

  1. Master, love and believe in your product or service.
  2. Listen to and know your customer.
  3. Have a solid plan, budget, and goals.
  4. Continuously give back, donate, and gift.
  5. Don’t ever get too comfortable.


Image: [Jenn Sturtevant]


Copy Editor: Noelle Hale is a writer/editor/proofreader/wordsmith who in a former life was a lawyer and senior sales executive for legal research and education companies. She has known Nada Jones for 20 years and one of their first collaborations was the ill-advised completion of the LA Marathon without actually having trained for it first. After many wonderful years spent living and working in New York and Los Angeles, Noelle and her husband and their two children are now happily ensconced in beautiful Fort Collins, Colorado.

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