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Diane von Furstenberg: Every Successful Person Feels Like a Loser (Even Me)

The fashion icon knows that things will go wrong, and that she'll have doubts -- even today! But she says there's just one thing entrepreneurs can always control: themselves.

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This story appears in the December 2019 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

To most people, Diane von Furstenberg is a fashion icon -- the creator of a famous wrap dress, who built her namesake company into one of the most recognizable in the world. But von Furstenberg does not see herself this simply. She believes she’s a constant work in progress, having moved through multiple phases of her career and, even at the age of 72, happily on to the next. The transition hasn’t been without its bumps: She announced a handpicked successor for her company in 2016, but he resigned a year later. (She then picked another.) While she’s still involved in the business, she’s also thrown herself into new work -- dedicating herself to a wide range of philanthropic causes, serving as chair of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and more. After she spoke this fall at Babson College’s centennial celebration, she sat down to tell Entrepreneur her message for all entrepreneurs: No matter what happens, own it.

Courtesy of Diane von Furstenberg

Onstage a minute ago, you said, “All successful people feel like a loser at least once a week.” Did you actually feel like a loser this week?

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