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Hey everybody, welcome to another episode of Impact Theory. I am here with somebody who is going to blow your mind. Jamie Kern Lima, welcome to the show. >> Thank you so much, so excited to be here. >> I am super excited to have you on. And so I have a very strong agenda after reading your book of the things that I want to get to. You've told your story extraordinarily well in terms of the business success. And if nowhere else got a whim of impact, the interview there was smashing. You walk people through just the insane success you had going from selling out of your living room, essentially. I know that story very well, to building a billion dollar business and exiting. And I mean, like the dream, CEO of L'Oreal for three years, I mean, it's absolute insanity. If we can just take a quick second, what's the 60 second synopsis of your business life? >> Business life, it's really a journey of the real business life, starting as a Denny's waitress and kind of knowing deep down inside that I wanted to get out and see the world, make people with different backgrounds. All that, I knew I wanted to serve more, give more, all those things. I didn't yet know how and battled with a lot of self doubt, all of that. Eventually I was a journalist and had this moment, Tom, where I thought something was a big set back in my life.
Jamie'S Business Journey And Personal Development
Jamies 60 second synopsis of her business life (01:30)
I got a skin condition called Rosacea, said the anchor in the news live. And I would hear while I'm talking live over television, I would hear in my ear from my producer, there's something on your face, there's something on your face, wipe it off, wipe it off. And I developed this right, right skin condition that was no cure for. And long story short, I went through a season of worried I'd be fired, worried like trying to solve my problem, realized that I couldn't find any makeup that worked for it. And kind of had this, I guess classic entrepreneurial moment of, oh, if I have this problem, there must be so many other people out there that can't find anything else that works for them. And had the crazy idea on my honeymoon flight to South Africa, right the business plan with my husband, got back, put our jobs, dove all in, and spent three years hearing no from everyone, kind of rejection, and didn't know how we were going to survive, got down to under $1,000 in our bank account. And it all came down three years into the business. One big moment on QVC, where I kind of risked it all, went with my gut over what the experts were saying. And long story short, we built this business, and what I thought was a set back, right, was my skin challenges, and that being a set up for like part of my calling, part of what I was supposed to do. And over the years, we built what's now the largest luxury makeup company in the country. So in built to over a thousand employees, and then in 2016, L'Oreal acquired the company for $1.2 billion cash. And it was really, it was a, and making it sound easy, it was literally the hardest decade of my life. A hundred hour weeks made so many mistakes. And I think that, the last thing I'll say is that, when I read the headlines about my story online, it's like, "Oh, Denny's Waitress to Billie Noll and Entrepreneur." And the reason I wrote this book is because I realized, like, "Oh, if we don't share the real story behind the story, all the mistakes and all the setbacks and the rejection, and if we don't ever share that, then people going through it in their own space, they feel like they're alone, and they see everyone else's highlight real."
Sharing the real story behind the story (03:28)
And so this whole book is like, what really happened? The stories behind the stories, and then just how I got through them. And my hope is that for everyone in your community, that I'm so grateful just to share this time and the space with that, you know, I think it's a common thread through humanity for all of us. And I am journey in business or in life that we kind of go on this journey from not believing in ourselves, and then hopefully learning how. And that's really what this book is all about, is how I went from not believing myself to believing, doubting I was enough to knowing I'm enough.
It doesnt matter who you are it only matters who you want to become (04:24)
And the stuff I did wrong and right. And yeah, thank you. Thank you so honored you read it to you, by the way. I know how smart you are, so I'm a little scared of your question. That is hilarious on two levels. So one, I'd certainly do not identify as somebody who's known for his intelligence, but two, your book is amazing. People should read it and they should read it for the following very specific reasons, so people know that I'm not just BSing. You're going way out of your way to show what it means to really build a business and transcend where you are. And so I'm obsessed with an idea that now reading your book, I realize you're obsessed with as well. We use slightly different wording for it. What I say is it doesn't matter who you are, it only matters who you want to become, and the price you're willing to pay to get there. And that was a theme that runs through your book, and where I want to start, and we are definitely going to cover the hard stuff. So people are not going to walk away from this interview thinking that what you did was easy. I want to start with a quote from the book that I thought was so powerful. And this really defines the way you talked about my community. This defines what I want my community to think of in life. Like this is sort of that guiding principle, and this is directly from you. When something hard happens, once you're able to process it emotionally, you're left with choices. Do you victim up or do you warrior up? Do you give up or do you level up? The up is up to you. I have the chills, that's so crazy. I love that. So now when you put it back in context of what you go through in the book, from just like not coming from means, and one point you can't even afford your car, and you're having to borrow car from family members, and being on air, and having people tell you, hey, there's something wrong with your face.
In your business, people telling you, I don't think people are going to buy makeup from somebody that looks like you. I am just the bullying behind the scenes, which was crazy. So all of those stories, you detail in the book, like a thousand different points where I promise you, 99.99999% of the world stop. And you have a Jay-Z quote in the book, and you say, Jay-Z says, the genius saying we did was never give up. And that feels like the genius move that you played as well.
Who We Can Become (06:48)
Talk to me about the idea of who we can become. What is it you want us to believe? Yeah, my biggest hope, prayer, and tension is that each person closes this book and is better able to hear their own gut and trust themselves. And what I mean by that is, I think sometimes I think what Jay-Z said is so right, right? But I also think it's not a victory, because we're told so many times, keep going, don't give up, don't give up. Like, since the time we're little kids, we watch, even if we don't play sports, we watch movies and kids are taught, just don't quit, don't give up. I actually think it's a failure. If we don't ever learn how to tune in and hear our gut and our truth and our calling, and then we just keep going, and don't give up anyway, and we're not on the right path. And what I mean by that is, you know, I, since the time I was a little girl, I'd watch Oprah in my living room, and I just had this, this knowing. Oh, I want to interview other people. Like, my whole instincts, Tom, I literally just want to ask you questions right now about you and Lisa, who I'm obsessed with. And like, that's my, who I am, right? I love other people's stories. And so I knew that's what I always want to do for my career. So, you know, eventually, that's what I did. I was working as a journalist. I was working as a television news anchor. When I got that problem, and I mentioned earlier that skin problem, you know, I was at this moment in time, and I think, you know, hopefully everyone in impact their community, like, wherever you're at in life right now, at this very moment, I believe everyone has a knowing inside of them. I don't think it matters if they have a faith or no faith. I don't think about any of that. I think everyone universally has a knowing or a truth inside. And I think most people never learn how to get still and hear it. And most people, if they do get still and hear it, they're going to know right now live, while they're listening to you and me, are they in the right job they're supposed to be in? Or are they playing it small? Are they in the right relationship? Or are they in it and dimming their own light because of fear that maybe there'll be a limit? We all have a knowing, right? And, you know, what I'll say about the idea of giving up, leveling up all of that, I think it's so important that, you know, in that moment where I had the, and again, let me just say there's so much I did wrong and I share all that stuff to you. One of the things I did right was when I had this gut feeling, as I'm sitting there with this skin problem, this gut feeling, oh, you're supposed to figure out how to create a beauty company, even though I knew nobody in the beauty industry had no connections, had very little money because television news does not pay very well. I had that knowing, right? And yet I was sitting there in my dream job. Like that was my dream job since the time I was a little kid. So I think sometimes knowing when to let go of a dream, knowing when to quit is actually a victory too. It's actually as important as when to keep going, right? And so with Jay's news quote, the genius thing we did was we didn't give up. I think that applies only if someone hears their truth and says, all right, I have this knowing I'm supposed to be doing what I'm doing. And when I look back at this journey of three years of constant rejection down to under $1,000 in a bank account, literally getting knocked down over and over from all of these beauty retailers that I put on a pedestal and I couldn't understand why they were telling me I wasn't the right fit for them. Every time I would check in with my gut, right? And maybe someone who people out there can relate to this because you feel like you're doing something you're supposed to be doing. But like for me, there was no proof around me that my idea was right. There was no traction in my business. There was nobody saying, yeah, that's a great idea. Let me buy your product. And then I'm going to the beauty retailers and they didn't believe in the brand. And everything around me was saying you're wrong. And the easiest thing in life is to confuse that with the truth. And I think the only way we know the truth in life is when we get good at getting still and hearing that in our knowing. And so for me, every time I would get knocked down, I would just check in, get still. And it's hard sometimes because a lot of people out there, they have not heard their own gut in a long time, right? Because we have our friends and family that are worried about us or they're saying everything through the lens of their own life and their own fear and their own experience or lack of experience. And then we have in my case, experts who I valued so much saying like, you're not the right fit. You're not literally saying no. And as you know, as I shared in so many stories in the book, they said so many other crazier things that all but basically said, like it's not just a no now, it's a no forever, right? But I think the victory is learning to get still and hearing your knowing and then trusting it. A lot of people don't trust themselves. And I think that is what keeps people inside their comfort zone in life, which I think when you stand here comfort zone, it chips away at your soul. And you end up talking yourself out of your own truth and then never becoming the person you're born to be, not to get all dramatic on impact theory. But that to me is the biggest. And listen, to me, it's not about the outcome. Oh, here's how to create a billion dollar company. It's about the journey of are you stepping into all of who you are and the person you're born to be. And how do you do that? All right, that was amazing. But now are you ready to get into the weeds on this idea?
Develop Your Intuition (12:58)
Let's do it. In your book, you talk about developing your intuition. How do people develop their intuition so that when they need to turn to it and they learn to be still and listen to it, that it actually gives them good advice. Yeah, the very first step is to pay attention, right, which it's listen, we are so busy in our lives right now and so many of us with all the stuff going on with with the pandemic with this with that with our job with. And then frankly, at the end of some days, all I want to do is scroll Instagram or like yesterday eat candy hearts for Valentine's Day. Like, you know what I'm saying? I don't want to like actually put in the work. But I believe that it's so important. Like, if someone's going to do anything and you hear so much about morning routine or this or that or whatever, taking five minutes a day and just starting building that muscle. And at first, it may make no sense, right, especially because so many people are out of practice, but literally getting still, even if you have to just go sit in a closet, leave your phone out, just go sit in the closet and just see what you think and you know, and can you hear your own truth. And another thing I would say just as a real fundamental level is to look back at your past because I believe it's something we build over time if we pay attention, right. And I can say that most of my mistakes I've made when I look back is because I didn't trust my own gut and I trusted my mind instead. And my mind was able to say, oh, these are all the experts, they're experts for a reason. They're touted visionaries and they're telling you to change this about your product packaging or they're telling you to do this about and they have a proven track record and you don't. So even though Jamie, you have some gut feeling like go, you know, my mind won. And when when that's happened, those are some of my biggest mistakes. And I think looking back on that's important just to like break it down at a real fundamental level. So many of us have dated the person we know is not right for us. You know what I mean? But we know, right. And I can think at times where I was dating a guy who I was so into and like his phone broke and he disappeared. And I knew he's lying. I knew it, but I didn't want to know it. I didn't want to know it, right. So what happens? I'm like, oh, well, it's only the first time it's ever happened. Maybe he's telling the truth. Maybe all the things, right? I know he's sketchy. I know he's lying, right? But we sometimes we know it's just such a basic example. And we just choose to not to talk ourselves out of it anyway, right. And I think that every human being can really actually just put in a little time thinking about different moments in their life and actually start to remember like, did I have a gut feeling about this at the time or did I not? Or, you know, was there a time I listened to that inner knowing and I was right, right? And we start thinking about those times and it starts to build up our own trust in ourselves over time. And for me, this was a huge way that I was able to keep going.
Develop Your Intuition Muscle (16:15)
You mentioned one thing that I remember and Tom after, you know, this we were a couple of years into our business and I had been saying our product out to all the retailers and saying, hey, I want to show models that actually have skin challenges like I do and that had never been done before, right? And I wanted to do all these things. And they were all telling you no and it's not the right fit. And I knew my product was really good. I learned the lesson, the hard lesson, a lot of entrepreneurs learn that you can have a great product or a great course or a great service or a great but that's not enough. Like people have to know it exists, right? And when you have no money and no ad budget, that's really hard. This is 2008, 2009, 2010. YouTube wasn't huge yet. So no one had gone out there and said, oh, instead of overly photoshopped perfect skin models, let's show real people with real skin challenges and all ages and sizes and skin tones. And that's what I had this vision for because that's what I was, you know? And we could have a product that was so good. And then after all these rejections from all the department stores, all the beauty sources saying, no, thank you. It's a pass. Your product will never sell. Those kind of images don't work. I had one store tell me women will only buy from an aspirational image of beauty they'll never be able to look like if they can actually look that way, they won't buy it. And it was just like over and over and over rejection. And I'll never forget this one moment just to share as an example because it helped me develop my intuition muscle so strongly. But we had gotten an inbound call from a potential investor and they were a really well-known private equity company and they invested in a lot of consumer products in the grocery stores, like household names that we buy. They loved our product. And so we started taking meetings with them. And I was so freaking excited because I felt like, oh my gosh, if they invest in us, then maybe they'll use their leverage to get us into these retailers. And also I won't go bankrupt and all those things. And there's that. And so we did meetings. We started the diligence phase. We presented product pipelines, all that stuff. And it got down to the last meeting and my husband and I flew there for the meeting. And it was the head guy who was standing about three feet from me. And I thought it was going to be like the best day of my life. And I'll never forget he is three feet away. And he says to me, I just don't think women, well, he's the person he said, it's a no. We're going to pass on investing in it cosmetics. And I heard no thousands of times. So I'm devastated, but I'm like, okay, can you share why? Because feedback is usually a gift. And he says, you want me to be really honest with you? And I said, yes. And he literally was three feet from me. And he said, I just don't think women will buy makeup from someone who looks like you with your body and your weight. And I remember when he said that to me, a bunch of things happened. The first thing was, I remember feeling like my whole body fled with like a lifetime of body issues, body doubt and self doubt. And I felt all that so kind of like I was staring my own fear state in the eye talking to him.
Never Taking Rejection Personally in Business (19:44)
I never felt anger toward him. I felt hurt and crushed. But I also got this feeling. I'll never forget this time. I'll never forget this. I got this feeling like literally in my gut, like a knowing he's wrong. Even though I was still doubting myself, even though I had dealt with like a lifetime of body doubt, I got this feeling he's wrong. And I remember that feeling because I remember then for a few years, wondering like, am I right or is he right? I would still doubt myself, right? And I went out in my car and I cried. And I had to figure out how do I turn down the volume in my own head and not replay those hurtful words over and over and over. But I also remember that feeling I got and and I don't this is a big business thing not to be on topic. But like one of the things I did do right was I never took rejection personally in business, right? I always figured out how to go. Okay, like if this is a game of chess, maybe we will partner one day. So I'm just going to pretend we are with every retailer with them. And I'm just going to keep sending them product and keep sending them updates and keep telling them I can't wait till I'm in your store no matter how bad that rejection hurt. And in his case, what I realized also was, oh, okay, the reason I'm creating this company, I want to try to shift culture and beauty. I want to try to use different images of models. And he's literally passing on investing in my company because he is just as much influenced by a lifetime of seeing beauty images too. So he believes also whether he realizes or not, you look a certain way to sell products. And the last thing I'll say about that is I do believe in that famous saying that like rejections God's protection, right? And you could say rejections the universe is protection. I do believe in sayings like that. And when you fast forward six years later, the day that L'Oreal bought it cosmetics, it was all over the like the Wall Street Journal homepage is everywhere online because they hit their public company. So that means for them, they decided to release the purchase price everything. I got an email from that guy from that investor. I got an email that day that said, congratulations, I'm so happy for you.
Rejections God's Protection (22:04)
I was wrong. But the other thing when I talk about like, rejections God's protection, I really believe that because even though we don't see it at the time and it doesn't make sense at the time, but like, I was so desperate Tom, I would have probably given him the majority of the company for like almost no money. And because he didn't believe in us and because so many people reject vessel on the way by the time we did sell our business to L'Oreal, we're still the largest shareholders. So it was like, there's so many situations like that. But anyhow, that deep knowing that knowing he's wrong, that's an example of, okay, looking back over time, where did I make mistakes and where did I do things right? And then we refine that muscle of learning. Oh yeah, you know, learning to trust ourselves. There's so much in that that is extraordinary. We're now going to test my abilities as an interviewer to see if I can tease out some of the things that you talk about in the book to put a capstone on this idea of training your intuition. So I have a deep and abiding fear of being spiritual entertainment. People will be moved by you. They will be moved by your story. But if they're very careful and they pay close attention, it will change how they move through the world, certainly as a person just pursuing goals, but potentially even as somebody who wants to start their own business. So now I want to talk more about how I see intuition. Tell me if you think I go astray, if you have an insight, maybe that I'm missing. This is what I've taken from your book. So obviously, if I get something wrong, let me know. But so when you get to that moment in the book and you talk about hearing that devastating news, which for anybody would be ruthlessly difficult for a woman, just multiply it by 100. So the fact that it maybe was a dazing blow, but you regain yourself and you get back in the game. And I start replaying your story from the beginning things you'd already talked about in the book up until that moment. And I realize, okay, wait, she struggled with her weight in school. She was sneaking diet shakes and drinking them in the bathroom with other girls who are going through the same thing. And that was like the first ding. Okay, other girls that are going through the same thing, that's interesting. And, you know, really struggling with your weight and seeing how it affects other people and, you know, wanting to find ways to connect with them and make them feel better. And you develop disability almost to soothe other people even more effectively than you soothe yourself, which ding was another. Okay, that's interesting to see sort of what you could give to somebody else. And what I want people to understand what I'm building here is the context. It is your, I talk it about it in terms of context or frame of reference, but it's your, it's what people would refer to as their gut. The thing that sort of escapes logic that's built on everything you've lived up to that point. And then there's one thing that when I read in your book, I legitimately was by myself and out loud, I was like, what? I had no idea that you found out in your late 20s, 27, if I'm not mistaken, that you're adopted and that you become obsessed with who am I? And the notion of who I am has sort of fallen away into tatters. And I was like, oh, I had the chill, I wish you could see that on camera. I have the fucking chills thinking about how your story, all of those elements, because you had the ability to contextualize it, see it as intuition. God speaking to you, however you translate that, but that that quest of identity of realizing that what your mission is in it comics was to help people love themselves as they were. And so it would be an affront to your very reason for existing to take that guy's advice. So it's like, if I'm a screenwriter leading up to that moment for the character to be true to herself, of course, she has to reject that advice, because the being in the bathroom and sharing those shakes and loving those women, those girls for who they were and seeing something they couldn't see in themselves and battling with your own weight and then the adoption and having to re figure out who you are, all of a sudden you realize yo, identity is like extraordinarily important. And now the piece de resistance, you marry that with a real business education, not only of experience, but actually having gone to school and studied this stuff. And now it's like, okay, I've got pieces that I can explain, which by the way, I'm literally just walking people through what's in the book, which is why this book is so powerful of when you understand that your life has been hard, everybody's I'm talking to everybody now, your life has been hard, it's full of upsets and slights and abuses and dumb mistakes and embarrassments and all that. What your book and your ideas teach people is how to turn that into feeling that when you're still you can interpret through a mission to make choices that are counterintuitive. Now why is that important? Your life is an explanation of one very simple idea, which is if you want to succeed big in business, you must bet against the consensus and be right. For you to have built something that you could exit for $1.2 billion, everyone had to be against you, otherwise they would already be doing it. It had to be the counterintuitive idea and seeing the pieces that led up to that moment is breathtaking in your ability to lay it out and draw those pieces together. And so what I hope people don't lose because here is, and we may see this differently, but when I am compelled by one simple fact, right now your zip code is the number one predictor of your future success. That is true because the context of your youth binds into your mind in a way that is ruthlessly difficult to recognize as a construct. You simply mistake it for truth. And so people get trapped in these very terrifying ways. So I think a lot about how do you get people to train their intuition so that really when they turn inward, because most people, I think they turn inward and they're still so broken, they think I'm not worthy. And so when this guy says don't do this, they crumble because they haven't translated the hard experiences into a mission, which is what you did. So good. I can't like seriously, by the way, I've never heard anyone put it together like that in such a through line. And I think that it's so true. And I just want to call out one thing that you said to every single person listening right now, it is so easy for us to see our our setbacks and our hard times and our things where we feel like we're not enough or we didn't go to the right job or the right we don't come right family or we don't come from the right zip code or any of those things. It's so easy to think that, okay, so here's what I'm destined to do. And again, it's wild, the power, because I believe everyone has a calling. I believe everyone has more than one purpose in their life.
Turning our hardships into superpowers (29:17)
And I feel like the things we go through. And by the way, let me just be real honest with you. You're really honest. I didn't even connect the dots until just now with you about the diet shake. I've never shared stories. The stories I share in this book, I've like 95% of them, I've never shared with anyone ever, right? My family is going to be like, you were drinking diet shakes in the bathroom in school, right? So this is like a lot of like, it feels so vulnerable. But until you just said this right now, Tom, I didn't even put the dots together of that. When I was sitting there drinking diet shakes in the bathroom, it's because I didn't feel like I was enough. And I felt like, oh, if I can just be this size, I'll be happy, or I'll be loved, right? Those are the things that we don't even realize we're thinking in those moments. But those things we go through, whatever those hard times are in different forms, right? It's like, oh, wow, they actually, if we do pay attention, they can become our message, our mission, our superpower, right? But I'm putting two together live with you right now. And I do a lot of this in the book, but never on that one moment. And I just want to share it in case someone else out there needs to hear this right now, that if we really pay attention to everything we've gone through, and it sets us up for what we're called to do. Even when we think it's stuff we're embarrassed about or want to hide or we're ashamed of or we're ashamed that something happened in our family or that we made a big mistake in our lives or had a big misjudgment, those things can truly, if we pay attention to them, not only help us refine our intuition, but literally turn into our superpower, right? And when I think about the journey, because the beauty industry is crowded, there's a million brands. And when I entered that space, it was impossible to get departments for floor space, because it was dominated by all the big companies. And, you know, it's like, sometimes we have an idea or a dream and it's very easy just for that simple fact of saying, oh, it's been done before. There's a million other people doing it before. And hearing you talk live now to one of the things I'm reminded of is every single person in your whole audience, in the world, frankly, nobody can do it the way you're going to do it if you live your truth.
A time when nobody tells us we're right (31:27)
And when I think about the decisions along the way of when all the departments were told me no, when, and when I said you're not the right fit, you're not this, you're not that, I'm also realizing live with you right now that you're right in the bathroom. I've never had this conversation with anyone, by the way, in the bathroom, drinking those diet shakes, I understood at a deep level of pain, the idea of not in that, I also understood the power of community, understanding and seeing the light in other women. In that case, it was girls, we were young, seeing the light and the beauty in other girls when they're not seeing themselves, but still not seeing it myself and having that understanding, right? And that through line then, all the way through the investor telling me, you know, women, I don't believe women will buy makeup, some looks like either body and your weight. It's like going all the way through that by that point, when he told me that, I had a lot more life experience. I made a lot more mistakes, and I could actually hear my own gut tell me he's wrong. And I made the decision to trust myself, right? So, you know, it would be a lot longer before we finally got a shot on QVC, and a lot more knows after that investor still. And it's hard in life when nothing around us tells us we're right. You know, it's hard to then listen to that gut and keep going, but for me, it's everything. It's everything. And to use your wife Lisa's example, you know, I think we all have it, but maybe it's a superpower to actually learn to hear it and to trust it and to trust ourselves. You know, for me, it's life's greatest journey. For me, it's how we all step into the person we're born to be versus talk ourselves out of ever becoming that person. Yes, I am obsessed with an idea that you have in the book about how all the hard things are going to, you know, like we started with that quote, they're either going to break you or they're going to make you and really that's up to you. And the stories you share in the book are really, they draw you in with their, they're both entertaining because they're well written and well told. They're gut wrenching at times because I can imagine what it would be like to go through that. But they act ultimately as a yellow brick road in a way that I found very enticing in your book.
Who Turns the Clock (34:17)
And one of the bricks on the yellow brick road was that your father was an alcoholic. And you said something in the book that I was really impacted by given my wife Lisa and what she's like. You said, you know, my dad loved me and he was a kind and gentle man who quietly struggled with alcoholism. And the way that you described that was very generous. And you said, but there were times he would sit and stare at the clock and because you had to wait for him to wake up, which your mom would be off working. And so sometimes it could be hours of waiting for him to wake up and he would wake up or he would get to the time where you were allowed to wake him up and then he would ask you for an hour or two. And then I just imagine you sitting there watching the clock flip until he finally gets up and you guys can hang out. And in that you said, my dad inadvertently taught me that women are superheroes that have to be stronger than men because that's what my mom was a superhero who's essentially doing everything by herself. And I was like, I know that it is Jamie, I don't wish difficulties on anybody. But man, when they're looked at from the right lens, they make pretty extraordinary people. So that's a story you tell early in the book. The yellow brick road then leads to a photo of you and seven of your friends, you and six other people. And you break down every one of you guys has overcome it's almost absurd. The fact that out of seven, two of you were adopted. There's breast cancer, there's learning difficulty. I mean, it was crazy. And yet each and every one of them is absurdly successful.
Empowerment And Self-Improvement Strategies
How to Not Pull the Victim Card (35:57)
How do people harness difficulties like that to become something powerful instead of leaning into the victim side, which anybody would understand people pulling the victim card from that. But how do you pull something else? The very first and most important thing on how is you have to want to. And I think that every human being can easily go into victim mentality on a lot of things that have happened in all of our lives. And it's a mentality that actually can, I think, reward you in a lot of ways and also become a justification to for staying inside your comfort zone when it comes to things like going after your dreams. And it makes sense for a lot of people. And again, I think there's a time. I mean, I'm not going to speak to people that I'm not going to speak to a lot of the really hard things that require a lifetime of work to figure out. What I will say is therapy is the best thing I've ever done. And really understanding this. And I actually talk about that. Does it allow you to recontextualize? Is that the idea? Yeah. And to understand it at a deep level. And by the way, your show, like this conversation, to me, these are the things that are so important that we invest in ourselves and undo, right? Because I mean, I don't want to stay in a place where it can be easy to stay at in my life. I think that the quote you started out with, like, you know, when these tough times happen, you know, do you worry your upper? Do you victim up? Do you level up or do you give up, right?
How to Create an Inner Circle of Empowerment (37:45)
The up is up to you. And I do believe why I share the story of my seven closest friends is because I think this is important. I think a lot of people out there are like me and maybe have loving family, loving friends. But if you were to turn the volume up on all of them and they were to be your only inner circle, it'd be really easy for self doubt to take over. It'd be really easy to dim your own light. And I talk about my journey of so have how I chose my circle around me. And it's never based on a commonality of life experience. It's my closest friends. And I think this is important for everyone listening. Because a lot of people are like, Oh, you know, I don't have an inner circle that empowers me. How do I find one? You know, I would say impact theory and impact your university that that alone can be a part of your inner circle. That's a voice and conversations and information that you want to turn the volume up on. And I talk about this because I think this is universal for everyone. And it's so important to do this. A lot of times people build their circle of friends based on who they went to school with or, you know, things they have in common and all the stuff, right? Maybe it's a group of people from work because you're around them all the time, whatever it is. And I think that that's not always the right thing. I think who your circle is so important. And for me, I go deep on this in the book and talk about each one of their stories because I want to drive the point home that who you do surround yourself with. And when you judge them by their heart and how they pour into you and champion you and don't tell you this crap, you just because you want to hear it, they tell you the real truth, which is so important. They don't get jealous when you're flying high. They want you to fly higher. I talked about this this commonality of traits. And yet my closest group of friends have literally almost nothing in common. You know, they their backgrounds are so different. They have different faiths and no faith. One of them was homeless all growing up and lived in the projects and then figure it out how to build her own circle and become an entrepreneur. And she figured out how to turn down the volume of negativity and lack of dreaming of all the people around her for the most part that she was raised in. And how did she turn that volume up on her own like inner light. And I shared this common thread really just to inspire mindset shifts sometimes of, oh, you know what? My circle of friends, you know, each person listening right now, my circle of friends, they don't need to think like I do or pray like I do or love like I do or anything else. But like if I surround myself with people that are truly telling the truth, loving me authentically and uplifting and dreaming big with me and calling me out on the BS when I start to like talk myself out of my own truth, right, which we all do. It's a lifelong journey. I'm talking about the power of finding people like that and surrounding yourself with them.
The Power of Turning Down the Volume (41:08)
And I think they can be people in real life. And I also think that they can be people that you let pour into you who maybe you've never even met like you, like your show for people. You know what I mean? I think that that's really powerful. Who we let speak into our lives and who we turn the volume down on but still love anyway is so important. Because one of our biggest mistakes is turning the volume up on the people just because we love them and they're our family. And then all of a sudden that's all the noise we hear and it impacts our whole life. Talk to me about the ability to turn the volume up and down. That was one of the things I found really extraordinary in your book. Like if I were going to do like a spoof of your book, it would go something like this. Somebody was really fucking mean. I cried like a motherfucker and then I walked in the next room like a warrior. Like it's that over and over and over. Like every time, well, I mean, you you actually have a whole chapter in the book about swinging your big balls, which we should definitely talk about. But first, give me the idea. How do you turn the volume down? When you said that earlier about the guy who said, look, people aren't going to buy makeup from somebody that looks like you. How do we grab the volume knob on something that gnarly? Yeah, I mean, it is such a discipline practice. It's such a skill. It's hard. I mean, just yesterday, I had someone do something that I thought was like a super close friend and I was just blindsided and I felt so betrayed. And listen, we all go through these things and they're hard. And one of my friends many years ago, Bob Goff is his name. He taught me this and it just stuck. I just feel like it was so important to talk about it because this tool that Bob had taught me, where he talked about your own microphone and then the volume dial. And he basically, I imagine, right? Because, you know, that I have this microphone, everyone listening, I imagine you have your own microphone and you have to get into really good practice of like, who you hand your microphone to and let speak into it. And what I had to learn, one example of this is, you know, my dad who was an alcoholic, who was a good man with a really bad addiction and loved me the best way he knew how with his own capacity. And I remember I was, you know, working, I was always super ambitious. I wanted to get a car and go travel all the things. So I had four jobs in high school and, you know, I got, I was working, one of my jobs is working in a health club. And I started as receptionist and then they said, well, if you sell memberships, you'll make commission on those too. And I started selling a lot of memberships. And I was like, this is great. And so after high school, I didn't go to school right away. I moved out, got my own apartment. I was making like $55,000 a year, which was more than my dad at his job he'd been at. And I never forgot when I made this decision, I was going to go to school. I was like, okay, because I just wanted to get out, meet other people and like, figure stuff out. And I remember when I told him I'm going to quit my job and I'm going to go to school. And he was mortified. He's like, what are you doing? Like, do you know how much money you're making right now? I mean, he was so upset and so worried about me that I was making a huge mistake. And so I remember even in that moment, you know, we all have experiences like that in our life, with our family, right? They're seeing things through their own lens of experience. But whether it's a story like that, or it's just a friend that you love hanging out with and you go to the gym with only, but anytime you share a hope and dream, all of a sudden you feel them lower your vibration. Like you feel it, right? Because they don't get it or they don't like it or whatever it is. Bob Gough taught me this that basically you learn, oh, I'm going to take back my microphone from them on those topics, right? I'm going to talk to them about my workout today or in my dad's case, you know, what's happening on the news or whatever. But I started learning with my own big hopes and dreams. I don't give other people my microphone who are then just going to literally lower my vibration because of their own lens of limitation. And it's the skill you develop. And when you imagine holding your own microphone, listen, we all, you know, if you have, if you were blessed to have a family or friends that you love, it's not like, you know, you want to just ex them out of your life because they don't understand your hopes and dreams. But learning to just not share them all with them. Hold your own mic. Talk to them about other things. Like, what's on the bachelor or like what's going on with whatever, right? And love them, but put those boundaries in place. And then the other thing is the volume dial and that's big. And, you know, people have said things to us that have hurt us probably universally. There's probably not a single person out there that hasn't had someone say something to them that hurts them deeply. And it is human nature to relive it over and over and over and over in our own head to the point where we carve a groove. And it's like it starts to stick and take root. And I think it is so important mentally for me. Like, I'd have every time that dude who said no one will buy a make it from you. And there are so many other rejections that I talk about in the book. You know, when I went to Sephora and felt like I didn't belong and I didn't fit in and all those things, you know, a lot of times the most hurtful words we hear are the ones we say to ourselves and the ones we make up and telling ourselves we're not enough and all that kind of stuff. And I have to be mindful and intentional and literally imagine myself when those thoughts come up, stopping them, turning down the volume, and then turning up the volume on something else until I believe it. So you use visualization quite a bit. Is that intentional? Because I know that when you had your first big thing on QVC, you went a week early, sat in the parking lot every day and imagined it going well.
And I was like, whoa, she preps like an athlete. I did. I am, you know, after three years of rejection and hearing no and that we're not literally, literally the words, you're not the right that the QVC are for our customers. When you hear that, it's really hard to not believe it. You know, so I'd heard that for three years and we finally got one shot. We finally got a yes. We had this 10 minute window and I'd sell our product and anyone is a business owner out there. We'll kind of understand this that we were only selling two to three orders a day on our website and barely surviving. And to take this one shot on air, we had to sell over 6,000 units of our product to hit their sales goal. Yeah. And so we had to figure out how to literally get an SBA loan, borrow money to manufacture it, to ship it to them, to get this one shot. And it was consignment. So if it didn't sell, we'd have to take it all back and we'd go bankrupt, right? So you should never say yes to this unless you're totally desperate and you're going to maybe go out of business anyway, which was the case that we were in. So, you know, we said yes, we'd finally got a shot and I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. I flew out and I sat all alone in this rental car out front of their building for a week. Literally imagining, and by the way, Tom, at the time I was not trained on how to do this, I was like, I think Olympic athletes, they imagine themselves like landing the triple axle or like, you know, standing on the podium. I'm like, that's what I'm going to do. And I sat in that car and imagine the sold out sign coming up across the screen. I imagined, you know, my message connecting with real women watching at home. I imagine all those things. But the other big thing is probably like that moment in time for me was one of the biggest life and business lessons I've ever learned, like literally learned and fold right in front of my eyes, which was, you know, we had one shot and we hired third party consultants that help a lot of people sell on television and they help a lot of people with their businesses. And, you know, I shared with them, okay, we have this 10 minute segment. I think I want to take my makeup off and just show my bright redization, like prove live how this works and put all models that are different ages and sizes and skin tones and skin problems. And they were like mortified. They're like, okay, here's the thing, because they wanted us to win, right? Like that's their job. They wanted us to succeed. And what they all advised was, you know, if you want your best shot at success, here's what you need to do. Use this type of model with perfect skin, the kind I'd seen my whole life on TV, you know, on television ads. And I'm like, but that's not why I created this company. Like that would be inauthentic to why I'm doing this. And, you know, but they're like, and we would fight about it. And I was like, plus, like let's just take a big step back. This doesn't make sense to me. If I'm sitting at home watching and maybe I have hyperpigmentation or I'm 75 years old and I'm like, oh, is this product for me? And I only see one type of model who like with perfect, with perfect skin, how do I know it's going to work for me? Like, this doesn't make sense to me. And we would fight about it. And they wanted the best thing. And that's the other thing I've learned is like sometimes experts, I wish I knew this lesson earlier. I would have saved myself so many nights crying myself to sleep. But sometimes experts that are touted visionaries, they would never be able to admit this ever, but they still subconsciously can't imagine something succeeding if they haven't already seen it succeed before. So it's like anybody doing anything novel or different. And by definition, if you're doing something authentic, even if there's already been none before, no one's going to do it like you. So you're doing it novel and new. It's hard for anyone to imagine it succeeding. So oftentimes when people don't believe in you or don't believe in your dream or don't believe in your idea or your product or your vision is not personal and it's not even often valuable because they just actually can't imagine it because it hasn't been done before. So anyhow, they're all telling me to do it a certain way to do to take my one shot in that 10 minute window and do it a certain way and use perfect, not as a perfect skin and all this. So I sat there in that car like literally praying and crying because I also didn't want to go out of business. You know what I mean? And I was like, okay, well, I just keep having this gut. It was like, my gut was on one hand and these experts advice around another. And I always, we're so tempted to put experts on a pedestal too, but my gut kept telling me not to do it because it's inauthentic. So then I'd have thoughts like, okay, well, maybe I'll try it their way and I'll build success and I won't go bankrupt and then I'll try it my way. I had all these thoughts. And that's why one of the things I talk about in the book is the idea that authenticity alone doesn't guarantee success, but inauthenticity guarantees failure. And I knew that and I just sat there in that car and I imagined who was going to be watching and I imagined like that person sitting at home. And I made this decision that I would rather have her, whoever she was, I'd rather have her look up on her screen and see me taking my makeup off and showing all different types of women and calling them beautiful and meaning it. I'd rather have her look up on her screen and feel like she's seen and like she matters and like she's enough, even if she buys nothing, if she's going to give me a few seconds of her precious time, I'd rather do that than sell a shit ton of product and stand for nothing. And it was that moment where I knew what I had to do. But sometimes we know what we have to do and it's really freaking scary. And I remember that I got my one shot and I was in the QVC studios and I see the countdown clock and I know we're about to go live with 10 minutes to 100 million homes. And what I learned also, Tom was, oh, you're not guaranteed that 10 minutes. Like if you go live and you're not hitting the goals like a minute or two minutes in, you can get your time cut live. And then you're totally, you know, like, Oh gosh, I'm totally screwed. And, and you can't, I've also learned this now you often you can't try to sell because then nothing sells, right? You can't fake authenticity. So it was so much pressure and it was like I knew what I had to do. And how you started this interview is exactly why we succeeded. It was like, I remember the clock went live and it was, you know, and I remember it was like 959, 958, and I was freaking out. And my hand was shaking like crazy, right? And it was like, but maybe a minute left when the host was, it was all the sudden, and I didn't know how it was going, but I knew our time didn't get cut yet. And there was about a minute left and the host started saying doing what they call a shade countdown, meaning, okay, we're almost sold out of the deep shade. There's 200 left in the day. And I'm like, I remember at the 10 minute mark, literally the sold out sign I envisioned so many times comes up across the screen. And I just start crying on national television. And my great picture in the book is fantastic. You said a picture, right? Yeah. That okay. So literally in that moment, you saw this sold out sign camp and then, and then my husband came rushing in the double doors. He's like, we're not going to break Rob. Like he was like, so happy about me. And I'm like, this work, like real women is spoken. And it's this big thing. And that one show turned into five, we got welcome back. Turned into five that year. And then we ended up doing over 250 live shows a year for eight years and right now do. And so it cosmetics. So we built the largest beauty brand in QVC's history. And it is right now at this moment. And, and I only think that that is important to share because it was three years of them, of them saying, no, you're not the right fit. And I just think that, I don't know, I think that anyone going through that right now, like no one can tell you you're not the right fit. You know what I mean? I do indeed. My dear, this was extraordinary. Where can people catch up with you?
Jamie's Social Handles (56:08)
Where can they get more of you? Well, I am on Instagram at Jamie Kernmima. And that's kind of platform I'm on most. And then the DMS and all that. And, and the book is on Believe It dot com. And there's a bunch of free gifts, by the way, we're doing a big, like, launch celebration around launch timing. So free, lots of free gifts. If you order the book anywhere, wherever you feel like it, it's sold everywhere. And then you just go to Believe It dot com. Because the book's name is Believe It. So Believe It dot com. And you get a bunch of free gifts to celebrate for launch week. And so yeah, this is an honor though, an honor to spend time with you. I will receive. It was amazing. This was a lot of fun. You were welcome back anytime. There's so many things that we didn't get a touch on.
Show outro (56:57)
It'd be fun to do an interview at some point. That's just like raw business, how to make business decisions. That would be a lot of fun. I would love that. Thank you so much for coming on guys. If you haven't already, be sure to follow her and read the book. It will blow your mind. It is amazing. Whether you're into business or not, you're going to love it. Again, it's called Believe It. And speaking of things you should believe, if you haven't already, be sure to subscribe. And until next time, my friends, be legendary. Take care.