The news about Lady Gaga's new beauty startup broke around this time last year. She wasn't the only name from music to launch a makeup line--see Rihanna, for example. But things have been quiet since then.
Until now, as word comes that Lady Gaga is partnering with Amazon. The brand--Haus Laboratories--will be available exclusively at Amazon and launches in nine countries, including the U.S., Germany, and Japan, starting in September.
That's one strong partner: eMarketer estimated that Amazon's health, beauty, and personal care sales were hitting $16 billion last year, which was a 37.9 percent increase over 2017.
The Lady Gaga makeup line brings Amazon a lot as well, including huge name recognition, a massive online and real-life following, and tech venture money backing the new business--Lightspeed Venture has also backed Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop and Jessica Alba's The Honest Company. Gaga's performance in A Star Is Born only heightened her profile. Plus, her Haus of Gaga creative team can bring talent and experience to marketing and packaging.
But there's one other thing she has that puts her ahead in the drive for a new business. She has the courage of her vision and convictions. Not confidence but courage.
The site Business of Fashion got an exclusive interview with her and had the following quote:
"There are companies that see me and what I stand for and the way that I view the world, and if it's not perfectly in line with what they do...they'll be like, 'Can you just change half of the equation?'" Lady Gaga said. "The answer is no. No deal. No message of self-acceptance, no deal. This [deal with Amazon] was so wonderful because this was like, 'Let's make a deal, let's make a deal to change the world with their beauty.'"
This is courage, not confidence. Here's how, and why, you get there.
Have a conviction
She has a conviction or believes, in the first place, that self-acceptance is critical for people. As Newsweek quoted her:
"I didn't used to be brave. Tonight, I want you to forget all your insecurities," she urged her flock at a recent concert in Cleveland. "I want you to reject anyone who didn't make you feel accepted. Maybe you felt misunderstood--" Gaga went on and on like this between sets, sans music and backup dancers, to the cheers and ululations of the "Little Monsters," as she calls her fans.
She reportedly used to be dumped on in Catholic school and called Stefani Germanotta. Apparently she carries that with her. It's become a mission. There was something to win beyond a business deal.
Recognize your own brand
Of course, it's going to be easier for Lady Gaga to get deals than you. And yet, the principles are the same. If you are nothing more than a clod of clay someone is going to turn into a business property, then what are you, really? Nothing.
Maybe you'll make the right choices and maybe not. But if you don't at least try to push forward with your vision of what you want to do, no one else will do it for you. Do you really want to be someone else's product?
Take the plunge
If you get an opportunity, you might see it as a gift horse and hold to the advice not to look in its mouth (one way of judging the health and condition of a horse). But do so anyway.
A business proposition is not a gift. Someone is looking for you to give up something in return for a gain. But what's the price?
If you sell out, you can lose the respect of the people who helped bring you to the current point and, as a result, maybe what really offers you a shot at success. Take a chance on yourself. Now that's courage.