Finishing a great book is like ending a great relationship. It’s bittersweet. On one end, I am happy to have read such a great book. On the other end, now I gotta find another great book to read.
So I just finished “Believe IT” by Jamie Kern. It’s her autobiography about her journey of creating her company from her living room to being sold to L’oreal for 1.2 billion dollars in cash and became the first female CEO in L’oreal history.
Her story is inspiring to say the least. Not knowing anything about the beauty industry, she had a vision, a mission. At the beginning, it was to help herself cover the redness on her face due to rosacea, and then she went on a mission to change the way women see themselves. To make a change in the beauty industry. To celebrate the natural beauty of women instead of portraying photoshop-perfect images that women all around the world unrealistically strive to become.
In the first 3 years of the business, she got rejected by all of the retail stores, QVC, Sephora, ULTA beauty you name it. Those rejections did hurt her, make her cry her eyes out but it didn’t stir her away from her mission. She used those rejections to get stronger, to get better. Eventually, she turned all the no’s into yes’s. She did it with authenticity, grace and perseverance.
The book was written so well that I felt like I was in the story with her. There were so many times my heart hurt with her, cried with her, cheered for her, celebrated with her. I went through the ups and downs with her through her story.
I’ve always been inspired by stories like this. How somebody (especially a woman) could start from nothing and build an empire that helps many many people. This includes Jamie that I mentioned here, Sara Blakely (from Spanx), Madam C.J. Walker, Oprah – are all my role models. Their stories touch my heart and I strive to become a woman like them.
In their stories, I learn to never give up, to strive to be the best version of myself, to contribute to my family and the society, to live from my values and vision and to do good in the world with my power.
Many times I wonder why God wants me to walk this path. I am just a Chinese Malaysian girl, grew up in a small town, and was always afraid to speak up. Why choose me to be on this path? But I know God has a bigger plan. God wants me to learn, to level up, to grow into the woman I am capable to be so I could carry his vision and be on this mission of serving the world.
Here are some amazing quotes that I’d like to share with you from the book:
“In life, we aren’t who people say we are, we’re who believe we are”
“Pay attention to your struggles, as they can become your superpower.”
“Sometimes those no’s are actually serendipitous grace, wrapped in a package labeled painful rejection.”
“In business, your authentic relationship is with your customer.”
“Not fitting in can be a superpower.”
“The genius thing that we did was, we didn’t give up.”
“Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.”
“Precision beats power, and timing beats speed.”
“Even miracles take a little time.”
“Remember the power of believing in your power. That, along with working hard and never giving up, made all the difference in transforming an idea that began in my living room into a billion-dollar company. And in turning a journey filled with underestimation into a dream that was unstoppable.”
“I love you way too much to give you what you’re asking for. Just trust me.”
“Either pray or worry, but don’t do both.”
“We need to risk speaking our truth, and brave being hurt, in order to be fully alive. We need human connection to feel true love. We need community. We need each other.”
“I’ve learned that revealing how you truly feel, even when it’s hard, can be key to connection, freedom, and healing.”
“What will you do with the power that is YOU?”
“All of our difficulties in life aren’t just setbacks, they’re actually setups from God, to help make us strong enough to carry the weight of both the highs and lows of our future calling.”
“When you follow your calling in your life, all things are possible!”
“Take away what you’re known for, and whatever’s left is who you are.”
“We need women to take chances, launch businesses, challenge industries, speak out against injustices, and shine their own lights brightly, without being afraid to fail or worrying about getting shamed for it. We need to have grace for each other. We need to lift each other up. And celebrate each other.”
“The warrior knows that her heartbreak is her map. – Glennon Doyle”
“A true billionaire is someone who positively impacts a billion lives.”
“Live for the moments you can’t put into words.”
“When fear knocks, let faith answer the door.”
“God doesn’t need us to show up perfect, He just needs us to show up.”
“Quit waiting for a plan; just go love everybody.”
“God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.”
“The longest journey we take as human beings is the eighteen inches from our head to our heart.”
“Think about your victories, where you found strength to overcome fear, and where you chose love. Think about just how far you’ve come and how strong you are. Proof that you’re a miracle in motion. Now, place your hand on your heart and thank it for beating for you all these years. Feel it beating for you right now and say thank you. Right now, at this very moment, it’s showing up for you. Again and again. It’s endured heartache for you during your lowest times and it’s pumped fast for you during your highest. It continues to show up for you, giving you chance after chance to fill up yourself and the world with love. It’s never failed you. It always shows up. Take a moment and say thank you to your heart that beats and to your soul that guides you. Next, look up to the sky with a big smile on your face. Then, still smiling, close your eyes. Visualize the feeling of complete power and utter joy when you channel true self-belief through your entire body. And just feel that for a few minutes. You can call this a meditation or a prayer, whatever feels right to you. Take a few minutes to get still and continue to give appreciation for how far you’ve come, for the challenges you’ve faced and the obstacles you’ve overcome victoriously.”