Series 36: For the Love of Flipping the Script | Episode 05
Fighting Fear of Failure and Taking the Leap with Jamie Kern Lima
Taking a leap in the face of uncertainty is scary. It’s hard to envision a life in which you are living your dream, especially if your current reality is not living up to your expectations. But, what if it all works out? What if everything you are dreaming of comes to fruition and you get the life you want? Wouldn’t that be worth the leap? That’s just another facet of flipping the script of our lives and we are so inspired by women across the world that take that leap into the unknown with the hope that things are better on the other side. This week, we are talking to one of those “leapers” who started a cosmetics company in her living room, who kept getting told “no” by the big beauty brands of the world, and persevered despite personal and professional rejection to build a multi-billion dollar cosmetics company with a heart. Jamie Kern Lima is the founder of the internationally known beauty brand, IT Cosmetics. As Jamie struggled to believe in herself enough to keep her dream alive–even after she was told she didn’t have the “look” to be selling cosmetics–she decided to trust her gut enough to let it guide her through the sea of rejections she received while trying to grow her business. And through this journey, she also realized that the beauty industry needed to change–and that no one should be showing women an unrealistic, unattainable “look” and making them feel less than if they didn’t fit the mold. Jamie would come out winning by standing her ground to show “real women” (including herself) of all shapes, sizes, skin types and colors as part of her brand, and her determination to make every woman feel beautiful and to trust themselves to know what is best for their lives is her mission and message to this very day.
Hey everybody, Jen Hatmaker here, your host of the For the Love podcast. Welcome to the show. I’m absolutely thrilled to have you, delighted that you are listening in today and you are going to be too, because right now we are in a series called, For The Love of Flipping The Script. Okay. We spent a lot of time coming up with that title. We went around and around on title options on flipping the script, but ultimately we landed on this one because I was interested in talking to people who had been handed a certain set of expectations or a limited array of possibility.
Here’s the wall, here’s the ceiling. This is what you get. Maybe a limited way to think or believe. They made some conscious decision to flip that script, to rewrite it, to change it up, to expand it, to re-imagine it maybe. That work always inspires me. Evolution inspires me. Change inspires me. Risk inspires me. Obviously this is in my personality wheelhouse, but I’m drawn to this. I’m drawn to these people who imagine something more, something better, something more just, more equitable, more beautiful than what they were told was possible. These are the ones out there that are dreaming new dreams and creating new spaces and hosting new conversations and pushing forward important change, both social and cultural and emotional changes that are huge, that matter, that matter to our world.
And so I know that flipping the script can look a lot of different things individually, as we think about ourselves, as you’re thinking about yourself today, as you’re listening in. It could be as simple as the way in which you are taking care of yourself now, maybe having neglected yourself or harmed yourself, or ignored yourself all these years. Maybe you are flipping the script on the way that you treat other people. Maybe you’ve decided I am not stuck in these dysfunctional relational patterns, just because I’ve repeated them for a lot of years. And you’re flipping the script on that. And I say, bravo, if that’s you. Maybe it’s just your outlook on life in general. Maybe it’s your belief system, maybe it’s your conviction. Or if you’re like our guests today, maybe it’s a career flip.
And so I’m excited to really pick up this conversation today that’s in this case centered around entrepreneurship, dreaming something up from scratch, entrepreneurship, for those of you who are one. It’s a challenging road to walk. It’s a pretty big rock to pick up and carry. A very unique way to move through the world, because having and holding a dream close to your chest for years can be both an absolute source of inspiration, but it can also be a stressor, right? And maybe that’s a good thing, that push and pull is sometimes what kicks us out of the nest. But I know that, I can speak for myself, certainly because I flipped the script on my career. I started out as a teacher. I was an elementary school teacher and out of the clear blue, Jen decided to become a writer, with no credentials, no backers, no platform, no clue.
I think maybe this is why this is precious to me, because I know what that exact spot feels like, where the fear of failure lives, the fear of being rejected, right? By retailers or investors or customers or whatever the thing is. I have questions for that space right there and I have a lot of love and nurture for that space because how do we learn to overcome that, right? How do we get through that? How do we come to accept the discomfort right there, standing between us and what is in front of us? This is why we’re so lucky today to be speaking with the one and only Jamie Kern Lima. If you don’t know, she is the expert on fighting the good fight and pushing through years of no and rejection and obstacles and roadblocks in pursuit of what she just knew in her gut was her thing to do. She just knew it.
Let me tell you what that thing is. Jamie is an absolute self-made entrepreneur. She’s a co-founder of the beauty brand, IT Cosmetics. Jamie started this brand in her living room, which she’s going to talk about, her living room, and she spent years working and reworking after hearing hundreds of rejections by retailers and investors. And she actually worked tirelessly down to her last penny essentially, to keep the dream alive. She hung on, she persevered, she pushed through, and Jamie eventually sold that brand for 1.2 billion, billion with a B, as in boy, dollars.
She became the largest beauty brand ever sold on QVC, and she earned a place on the Forbes, Richest Self-made Women list, having gone down to her last penny, her last shot. She’s pretty candid about that struggle. She’s also very open about how prayers and faith in God were her core, her central, keeping her steady and focused and anchored and resilient as she kept moving forward, despite it all. Now IT Cosmetics is a household name. She built something incredible. Jamie is super passionate about mentoring entrepreneurs, about investing in other companies and then ultimately making a difference in the lives of women and girls. Obviously you can see why I’m drawn to her completely. She’s also a very renowned public speaker and shares her story with a lot of candor, about overcoming fear and rejection and self doubt.
And so you are going to be inspired today, I think. I’ve found myself listening to Jamie and just feeling so much identification. We obviously have completely different spaces. I didn’t build a beauty brand, but she’s a woman who had a dream in a field that she wasn’t qualified or experienced in. And that makes sense to me, that’s how I started. I You’re going to love her. This was one of those things when you wildly cheer for somebody else’s success, because they’re so great. She’s fantastic and generous of spirit and wonderful and kind. And so, gosh, you guys, enjoy this incredible conversation with the absolute wonderful go-getter, Jamie Kern Lima.
Books & Resources Mentioned in This Episode
Believe IT: How to Go from Underestimated to Unstoppable – Jamie Kern Lima
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XO – Team Jen