Alexandra Fine is the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company, but most mornings she doesn’t feel successful.
Fine launched Dame, a sexual wellness brand, in 2014, when she was 26 years old. She and her co-founder Janet Lieberman, an MIT-trained mechanical engineer, wanted to design vibrators that could help unite the “pleasure gap”.“
While Fine never dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur, she did know that she wanted to spend her career talking about sex. She earned her master’s degree in clinical psychology from Columbia University in 2011 and aspired to become a sex therapist.
But after volunteering with Planned Parenthood and the Red Cross, Fine realized that she wanted to not only hear about the problems people were having with their sex lives, but she also wanted to give them tools that could help them be happier in the future. bedroom.
Fast forward 10 years and Dame has raised over $15 million in funding and sold over 1.6 million products, according to data from Pitchbook and Gimme. Earlier this year, Dame introduced her stylish vibrators at Target.
And yet Fine, now 35, says she’s not satisfied with her achievements. “I don’t really feel successful,” she says. “I always think that I could be doing more, or doing certain things better.”
Success is an often misunderstood concept, Fine adds, with many people assuming it’s all about “money, control and power.”
In her decade-long career as an entrepreneur and now CEO, Fine has discovered that certain beliefs about success are not only false, but can also harm your career and self-esteem.
Here are three of the biggest success myths Fine says you should ignore:
Successful people work long hours.
“Executive coaches and millionaires always talk about how the only thing we can all control is how much time we put into our work: if you put in twice as much time, you’re more likely to succeed, because you’ve put in twice as many hours as your competition.” I think that’s nonsense… Logically, there’s some sense in that argument, but that’s never been my experience.
The success of a week at Dame for me is never correlated with the number of work hours I put in, but with the intention and energy I put into those hours. Your intentions, focus and attitude will always have a bigger impact on your success than your attendance sheet.”
“Whoever came up with the phrase, ‘early bird takes the worm’, was dead wrong, in my opinion.
I love reading about the habits of successful people, and what always amazes me is the diversity of their responses. The dominant image of success is that of the tech CEO who wakes up before 6 am to meditate and run a mile. But if you read about the routines of other accomplished professionals, such as artists, musicians, and other creatives, many of them say they sleep late!
Or they do their best work outside of the traditional 9-5 hours and wake up later as a result. Sometimes success means doing nothing until 1 pm, if that’s when your brain is most alert.”
“Most people think that being an entrepreneur is all about having a great idea. To start something new, you have to have a good idea, but what’s far more important is how scalable that idea is, how you market it, and what Your backup plan is in case things don’t work out.
You will make more money if you think beyond having a single great idea. I won’t sugarcoat it, being an entrepreneur can be very hard and very intense. There are high highs and low lows.
But I think everyone should try being an entrepreneur at least once in their careers because you learn a lot, and even if you realize it’s not for you, it can still be a beautiful and rewarding experience to find out what you don’t want out of your career. “
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