It’s easy to hate on Kim Kardashian. A spoiled rich kid who was able to create a multi-million-dollar business empire out of a controversial tape and a reality show, she represents the darker side of fame in the Information Age, where people earn seemingly undeserved fame for seemingly no reason. Earlier this month, Kim boasted that she earned $80 million from her mobile app “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood”. Some estimates have put the net worth of her family at over $300 million. This might be frustrating for those brilliant people who struggle to get the recognition they deserve, and it might seem like Kim Kardashian’s fame was by accident, but I recently read an article that argued that she was actually a brilliant entrepreneur. Even if I’m not the biggest Kim Kardashian fan, the article has a point, and entrepreneurs can learn a lot from her.
Kim is actually very entrepreneurial. It can be easy to hate on her, but that’s not constructive; rather, we should try to learn from her. As an entrepreneur, it can be easy to get caught up with buzzwords such as “passion” and “changing the world”, but often-times the most successful entrepreneurs are most interested in making money. And that’s been Kim’s modus operandi for years now; she started designing accessories as a teenager and by the age of 16 had her own eBay store. Through this experience, she was able to start a new business that cleaned out and redesigned closets. Through all of this, her father, a successful attorney, loaned her money, yet he always made her sign contracts.
Even if not all of her publicity has been good, Kim has been able to leverage it to make more money. She was able to convince E! to pick up her reality show, and 11 seasons later it’s the network’s most-watched show. From her eBay store, Kim now owns a chain of clothing stores, and has a string of endorsement deals for all sorts of products. For speaking appearances, she charges big fees. Ultimately, Kim has been able to profit from potential opportunities, one of the keys of being a successful entrepreneur. It has nothing to do with “breaking the Internet” or a leaked tape, but because she’s been able to exploit her publicity. She also doesn’t try to do everything on her own; every product endorsement and deal involves a commercial partner. Like Donald Trump, Kim licenses her name to companies and lets them use it.
I’m personally not the biggest fan of Kim Kardashian, but I do recognize that she’s a brilliant entrepreneur. As somebody who is driven, utilizes opportunities, picks her partners wisely and never backs down, entrepreneurs can learn a lot from her.