Blake Lively Shares Why She Shut Down Her Lifestyle Site 'Preserve'

Entrepreneurs and A-list celebrities have one major thing in common: they are fodder for unbelievable scrutiny. From a product's success to what they wear on the red carpet, it's all fair game for criticism.

So when actress Blake Lively launched lifestyle site "Preserve" last year, she was hit with a double whammy of 'hateration.' Fans slammed her about issues with site design, product descriptions, and sky-high prices. Plus, all of the outside critiques were heaped on top of her own dissatisfaction with the site, which she revealed to Time.

On Wednesday, Lively announced that she is shutting the site down completely on October 9.

"It never caught up to its original mission: It's not making a difference in people's lives, whether superficially or in a meaningful way. And that's the whole reason I started this company, not just to fluff myself, like, 'I'm a celebrity! People will care what I have to say!' It was so never meant to be that."

As any entrepreneur can relate, pulling the plug on a startup is a huge ego blow. It can feel like a failure, like everything you’ve worked so hard to create has crumbled and you'll be pegged as a quitter. With the shuttering of "Preserve," Lively knows exactly how that feels.

Ending it is "very exciting and it’s also incredibly scary. I never thought I would have the bravery to actually do that, to take the site dark and to say, 'You know what? I haven't created something that is as true and impactful as I know it can and will be.'"

While walking away can be scary, not only is it completely understandable, it is a decision that true leaders have to make.

Lively added, "I know what it'll look like, what I'm facing publicly, that people are just going to have a heyday with this. But it's so much worse to continue to put something out there — to ask my team to put something out there — that isn't the best we can do. I'm going to take this hit, and the only way I can prove all the negative reactions wrong is to come back with a plan that will rock people."

So the next time you're beating yourself up for walking away from a job or a project, remember the power of making tough decisions and following your gut. As Blake proves, quitting and walking away aren't the same things, and they sure as hell don’t make you less of a boss. In fact, it will make you stronger "because without great risks it’s impossible to have huge success."

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