May 16, 2024 - Business

Axios Finish Line: Life lessons from Tory Burch

Tory Burch

Tory Burch. Screenshot via LinkedIn

On Thursday, I spoke to the iconic American designer and founder Tory Burch. We traded tips for new college grads and future entrepreneurs, and talked about what we wish we'd known when we were starting our careers.

The big picture: I've shared the lessons I've learned — as co-founder of two companies, and CEO of each — in these Finish Line columns and in my new book, "Just the Good Stuff."

Here are a few of Tory's illuminating tips to add to your toolkit:

  1. Stay humble: Even after reaching the pinnacle of success in fashion, "I am just so appreciative of any amount of success I've ever had. I still have an amazement that goes along with that," Tory says. "I hope I'm never jaded."
  2. Negativity is noise: That's a tip Tory got from her mom and dad when she was thinking about starting her own company. "That has served me well over the years. There were so many things along the way where I had to tune it out," she says.
  3. Company is key: "Surround yourself with incredible people who want to build you up instead of tear you down."
  4. Being a gentleman isn't a part-time job: Tory says she reminds her sons to "treat everyone with kindness and respect, whether it's a cab driver or the Queen of England."
  5. Keep a little distance: It's great to throw yourself into your work and your passions, "but it's also important to have a sense of yourself and outside interests and family and friends for support."
  6. Be off-brand: Don't let others put you in a box — and don't be afraid to reinvent yourself over and over again.
  • Tory was CEO of her company for 14 years, then gave that title to someone else so she could focus on what she really loved and where her talents were — the creative process of fashion.

Go deeper: Watch my LinkedIn Live conversation with Tory.

Go deeper