“A lot of people look at the modeling industry and say ‘oh, those girls are born that way and become supermodels’. But there’s a heck of a lot of models that looked way better than me… Supermodels are made, not born.” – Tyra Banks
Tyra Banks is a supermodel like no other.
Very few women in the world succeed in earning the title of Supermodel and even fewer transcend the word entirely. Tyra Lynne Banks is part of that unique class of women who climbed to the top of her industry and molded it to fit her goals.
She’s smart, articulate and gorgeous and leveraged those traits to become a model mogul with her own hit TV show, endorsement deals and makeup line. Not everything she has touched has been a runway hit (her makeup line is still a work in progress), but she’s obtained a level of success that many would be proud to emulate.
Banks’ has dropped tons of business knowledge throughout her career, but here are our favorite top model Tyra Banks tips to transcend your business:
“It really is about a strategy and looking at the white space and saying okay, what’s not there? How can I penetrate? How can I stand out?”
When it comes to what you do with yourself career-wise, it’s about being strategic; being conscious and thoughtful in taking what you have and making it work for you.
The best way to accomplish this is to look for places where your uniqueness and difference can be a positive. Instead of rushing to the place that everyone else is going, look for the underserved niches.
Build your personal brand
Part of being strategic is working on your personal brand – what you become known for, what you stand for.
It would be easy to think, “of course, Tyra Banks has a brand – she had the modeling agencies creating a brand around her”. But that’s about the brand of the products she was modeling for.
Personal branding is about the strengths that give you your competitive advantage and distinctiveness relative to everyone else. It includes elements such as your ethos, work-ethic, creativity and resourcefulness.
Banks’ personal brand includes being a risk taker, a fearless innovator, highly exacting about excellence, and confident to stand up for who she is and what she wants.
An important aspect of personal branding is about making it visible to others. If you know what your brand is but no one else does, you don’t really have a brand.
It’s impressive how Tyra Banks put herself out there, leveraged her brand and kept it on point through so many different iterations of her career, from modeling to acting to talk shows to her own cosmetics line. And she’s not done yet!
To what extent are your key stakeholders aware of your personal brand? And how could you keep extending your personal brand to that next stage you aspire to?
Be determined, yet adapt
“I always had it in me to fight and find a way.”
“Fight” and “find a way” simply means to be determined and to adapt when the going gets tough.
Determination is about the “why” or our purpose. Alongside determination is the ability to adapt the “what” and the “how” as the situation changes.
What’s your bigger “why” and how does your determination (“to fight”) and ability to adapt (“and find a way”) serve it?
Confidence is key
Tyra is a strong proponent of cultivating confidence and self-esteem and encourages others to do the same. Much of this comes from her personal experiences and struggles as a child.
When she was 11, she grew 3 inches taller and lost 30 pounds in 3 months, and her classmates taunted her for looking different. This made her feel insecure and alone and led her to think that being different was bad.
Thankfully, she had mentors and role models who helped her overcome this, which contributed strongly to her subsequent success.
Confidence is a fundamental mindset that we need if we are to feel comfortable to take calculated risk and spot opportunities, and then reach out and grab hold of them.
You need to be cultivating your confidence and spending time with those who help you believe in yourself.
Make the most of what you have going for you
“While it’s crucial to know what your assets are in this life, it’s simply not enough. What truly matters is knowing what to do with them.”
Whatever your set of assets and strong suits, it is important to go forth and make the most of them.
And while you’re doing that, remember to be strategic, build your personal brand, be determined yet adapt when you need to, be confident, and keep investing in yourself.