Gwyneth Paltrow is learning the hard way what it takes to be the face of a company. She isn't just the name and profile behind Goop. She sits in meetings with VC investors. She is involved in the running of the company.
She recently told Bloomberg:
"I didn't realize that I would be taking on so much more risk. I was a fool. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. But I have to say it's been incredibly rewarding. I learn so much everyday, and we're at a really exciting time in the business right now. It's amazing to be the creative force and to also understand what's going on over on the fiscal side, with raising money and all that. It's very challenging, you know. It's a side to me that I didn't necessarily know that I possessed."
Many people come up with an idea, plot out a startup, and head out into the world to get money from people who have money to give. Even Gwyneth Paltrow had to sit across the table from those guys.
"[Fundraising and dealing with VC investors] has definitely been an interesting experience, out of my comfort zone. I still struggle with it ideologically a little bit, only because when those VCs come in, you're beholden to them and the bottom line. So, I have trepidation about it, but it's also exciting."
But her reasons for getting personally involved were based in trying to leverage the power that her own name and face bring to bear for other companies.
"I started questioning being hired as a face to represent a company, and I always represented companies that I respected and that I was a customer of anyway. I started to question, as I'm doing this business on the side and building this brand, 'What would it be like if I were to channel the power of that into my own brand? It would be sweat equity that I put into the company and also my own actual equity.'"
But she does not want to be the sole face of the business. In fact, she wants it to outgrow her. As she begins to distance herself from the brand that is literally built on her initials, she has a vision for what it would look like without her.
"I very much want Goop to be its own standalone brand. My dream would be that in 20 years, people would sort of recollect that I maybe had something to do with it at one point and my involvement would be less essential. I think that's what we're building toward, and I thin we're doing it. It'll be interesting to see. I never wanted to do a proprietary brand. I wanted it to be its own thing that my children could run one day if they wanted to.