FIVE COVERS

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Did you know that Elle Macpherson holds the world record for the most covers of a certain publishing juggernaut? 

Elle recalls a lifechanging professional “5” and how it influenced her transition from supermodel to successful wellness entrepreneur.

“For young models, metric for success is often based on the number of magazine covers, runway shows, and income earned. Landing the right job can give instant cred and catapult a career. 

For me, it was a funny Australian television commercial for Tab Soft Drink in 1982. I was 18 years-old and appeared walking along an Australian beach in a red bikini.  That particular image and skit stuck and had impact. It was my first step into the world of celebrity and an Amazonian body became ‘my thing’.

But my career really changed, when I appeared on a record breaking five Sports Illustrated covers in 1986, 1987, 1988, 1994, and 2006. 

In 1989, when I was on the cover of Time Magazine they named me “The Body”. It’s a title that has served me well over the years, yet I am not defined by it. The truth is this body also has a brain and heart, both of which lie in the areas of business and entrepreneurship. 

As a model and business woman I have always actively invested in projects I believe in, which is what has given my diverse career the longevity I love so much. The first time I invested in myself was on a particular job for Sports Illustrated. I decided to do something more than be hired by somebody else. They’re wonderful, and I had been in a couple of their calendars, but I just kept thinking to myself, why don’t I do a calendar? I was able to finance it myself so I produced one. I hired a photographer, styled it myself, and found a company in Los Angeles to print and distribute it for me. But I wasn’t going to break even with it, so then I went to a television station and said, “Would you be interested in making a documentary on the making of the calendar?” They were into it, and that was the first time I invested my own money into my own business, my own self, to do things that I wanted to do.

Today my company WelleCo is, not surprisingly, body-focused. As a business woman, I have had to learn to be courageous, honest, and not procrastinate when things got tough. I also had to think outside the box, be flexible, and focus on cooperation. I say it a lot, but “jump and the net will appear”. It is a mantra that still serves me every day.”