Working way past 9 to 5: Dolly Parton on how she succeeds in business

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UNITED STATES – Dolly Parton is a live performer, recording artiste, songwriter, novelist, philanthropist, Netflix producer, theme park operator and hotelier, just to name a handful of her business ventures.

She sells everything from dog accessories to fragrances to even muffin mixes.

How does she keep up the momentum? “I work my butt off,” she says in an interview with Bloomberg News to hawk her newest endeavour with Conagra Brands, a grocery store-wide food line, starting with Dolly Parton’s Buttermilk Pancakes.

Fifteen minutes is about all the time this celebrity-turned-business mogul has between performing at the Thanksgiving football game half-time show to promote her newest album, Rockstar – her highest Billboard 200 debut to date – filming a commercial for the 2024 Olympics and launching a new pirate-themed dinner theatre in Tampa, Florida.

She is almost certainly the only American to have been offered the dual honours of a dedicated episode on RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars (2012 to present) and a statue at the Tennessee state Capitol (she politely declined).

For Parton, though, her allure goes well beyond the music.

In an age where “quiet quitting” has pervaded workplaces across the United States and hustle culture is being criticised by the rising number of Gen-Zers shuffling into the office (or Zoom rooms), Parton works for her success, way past nine to five.

And at 78 years old, she shows no signs of letting up.

Dolly Parton is not just a person – she is an empire. How do you run all of it? What decisions do you make and what do you delegate to others?

I have thousands of employees. I am smart enough to know that I do not know all the things I need to know about any of that, other than my music.

I am more of the creative force and the one that has an overall sense of things. I try to find the best people and trust them to do what they say they can do. Then I have people looking out after all of them.

I have a pretty good gut. And we know if somebody is not right, they will show themselves or it will be pointed out so many times by other people that you do trust, you will know it is time to move on from that person.

So, I depend on my own higher wisdom of knowing if I am in the right place with the right people.

I have been so blessed through my lifetime to be surrounded by great people. We really care about each other, or I think they lik...

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