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When to trust your instincts

Tiffany Masterson believes in a simple lesson: Sometimes you have to trust your instincts, even when everyone around you says you’re wrong.

Masterson is the founder of the skincare brand Drunk Elephant, which was launched in 2013 and sold to Japanese beauty company Shiseido in 2019 for $845 million. At the very beginning, her friends and family thought she was making a huge mistake that was bad for her business: with her company name.

“My best friend said, ‘No way…I have to tell you, I hate it. I don’t like it,” Masterson said in a recent episode of NPR’s “How I Built This” podcast. “My mom didn’t like it. My grandmother said it was the stupidest thing she had ever heard. A lot of people said it looked like a bar.”

When Masterson was designing her company’s branding, she wanted to avoid giving it her name. Most of her competitors were named after doctors or had French names, she said. She ended up taking inspiration from marula oil, one of the ingredients she wanted to use in her moisturizers.

“I googled it and a video came up of animals in South Africa eating marula fruit off the ground, fermented, and they were tripping,” Masterson said. “So the implication was that they would eat the fermented fruit (and) they would become drunk.”

She thought Drunk Elephant was a perfect match for her eccentric personality, but those close to her thought she was crazy, she said. She hired a publicist, who wanted her to give her name to a focus group, which reportedly cost $30,000 to put together. Masterson also suspected the group would hate it and that other industry professionals would try to change her mind, she said.

In the end, she trusted herself – and it paid off. “I couldn’t listen to the others, because then where are you going with this?” Masterson said. “Then I wouldn’t trust any of the choices I made…So I just accepted.”

“Make decisions for yourself”

People often turn to mentors, bosses, and friends for help, but you should always trust your intuition, according to Ryan Roslansky, CEO of LinkedIn.

“Being able to balance the opinions of many different people, but at the end of the day you have to have your own conviction deep down and make decisions for yourself,” Roslansky told LinkedIn’s “The Path” podcast. last year.

The next time you’re faced with a career or company change, weigh the downsides and make a choice that feels right to you, even if others disagree, he advised.

“Take all input, consider what everyone is saying and be aware of the situation around you,” Roslansky said. “But you have to come with your own heart when you make a decision.”

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