Jamie Kern Lima on Faith and Pursuing Your Dreams

In this pair of videos, the founder of IT Cosmetics recalls how her faith in God sustained her as she strove to get her business off the ground and shares three tips to help you pursue your dreams.

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Guideposts Video: Inspiring True Stories

Video 1
Hi, Guideposts. I’m Jamie Kern Lima, author of the new book Believe It and also co-founder of IT Cosmetics.

I’m so excited to share everything about Believe It with you. It’s truly all about a story, my story, of going from not believing in yourself to believing in yourself and from going from feeling like you’re not enough to knowing you are enough.

Three of my favorite tips for starting a business or maybe just going after and pursuing a goal, three key things. Okay, the first one is you’ve got to know your why, right? Like the why, the reason you’re doing what you’re doing, the reason you really want to launch this business or keep it going. They actually have to be so deep, so meaningful to you that you’re not going to give up and you’re not going to quit during all the times you get knocked down.

Beneath my why was like, oh, all growing up, I’ve seen magazine after magazine with these, like, flawless images of beauty that were never really real. For me as a little girl growing up, they made me feel like I wasn’t enough. And so I wanted to create a company where the why behind the why was to show real images of all kinds of people, right, no matter what they look like, no matter their age, their size, their skin tone, their skin challenges. I wanted to use those as models and really try to shift culture in the beauty industry for every little girl out there who was about to start doubting herself and every grown woman who still does.

Number two, and this one’s big, especially if you are an entrepreneur or you want to, like, launch a blog or write a book or launch a podcast. You have to prioritize cash over flash, right? Cash flow over flash flow. And here’s what I mean by that. You know, we are in such a digital world now, social media-driven world, where it’s so easy to, like, think like, “Oh, I’ve got to do something for my business that looks really good on Instagram or Facebook,” or “I’ve got to make, you know, I need selfie moments,” or, “I need this.” And that stuff’s expensive. And in the early years, you have to choose, like, discipline of cashflow over, like, the fun stuff that just, you know, fills your ego and looks really good on social media because people go out of business every single day who have these beautiful, you know, social media sites. But, like, they’re not actually putting their money into what really matters, which is stuff that really keeps your business going and adds value to your customers.

Number three, and this one is probably my favorite of all of them, and this is really sticking to the power of authenticity. When you think of authenticity, right, which is literally being who you are, like fully who you are, the good parts, the bad parts, the quirky parts, the messy parts, embracing who you are and showing up as who you are. And if you’re an entrepreneur, you want to launch a business, there’s literally no one else on the planet that can do your idea or even your same product the way you can do it. And when you step in to all that you are and you embrace it fully, that is when magic happens.

Video 2
Hi, Guideposts. I’m Jamie Kern Lima, author of the new book, Believe it. And also founder of IT Cosmetics.

Faith for me is like the espresso shot inside the latte. Like, for me, I know without a doubt, it’s what powers me. I remember, you know, year after year when I was getting told no from all the big department stores and all the fancy beauty stores and I would, like, send in my product and I would literally be praying. I’d be, like, please say yes, because I didn’t know how we were going to make it. We’re down to under $1,000 in our bank account, and every time when one of them would say no or tell me they didn’t believe in my product or my dream, like, it was hard.

And one of my best friends, Natasha, used to always tell me, like, you know, I’d be so upset. She’d be, like, “Don’t put anyone else on a pedestal, like, you’re putting these beauty experts on a pedestal. The only person you should ever put on a pedestal is God.”

Like, God’s the one who opens the doors. He’s the one who closes the doors, right? When I sit here now and I look back on, you know, going from a struggling waitress at Denny’s to trying to pay my way through school, then to try and, like, start this dream, and literally, right now, this company I started in my living room is now the largest luxury makeup company in the country, and I look back on this journey, and I know this for sure, that painful rejection can actually be serendipitous grace. Right? All those nos are really serendipitous grace wrapped in this package that is labeled “Painful Rejection.”

And so many people say to me, like, “Oh, you know, you’re self-made, like, congratulations. You’re a self-made entrepreneur.” And it’s like, yeah, I’m self-made partly, but I’m mostly God-made. I made the commitment to stay in faith and to work harder than I could possibly have worked and to keep going every time I got knocked down, but like, he did everything else. The opened doors, the closed doors, the serendipitous connections, the grace beyond comprehension.

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