Just Start – Reimagining Hustle with Lynn Power

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My big takeaway:

Don’t wait. Have the courage to start.

Lynn is a longtime ad agency executive (formerly CEO of J. Walter Thompson NY) with a love for beauty. Her career has spanned the top ad agencies in the world (BBDO, McCann, Grey, Ogilvy & Mather are just a few) as well as some of the most iconic brands (American Express, Pizza Hut, Campari, Hershey’s). She’s been fortunate to work on many global beauty brands, including Gillette, Clinique, L’Oreal, Nexxus, Vichy, La Roche-Posay and St. Ives.  She loves building teams, reinventing cultures and creating disruption.

In this episode we talk about growing a business, joining a business with a cofounder, and summoning the courage to start something.

Show Notes:

Roxanne: Podcasting during school when my house is quiet enough to work, this is re-imagining hustle. A podcast for entrepreneurial parents, creating a life where business and parenthood live peacefully in the same space. I’m your host Roxanne market. A mom of two micro-business coach and serial entrepreneur on a journey to prove that it is possible to do what you love without sacrificing all your precious time.

Let’s do this. Welcome back to Reimagining Hustle. I’m so excited to introduce my guest to you today. I have Lynn Power with me. Lynn… thanks for being with me. 

Lynn Power: Hey, no problem. Thanks for having me.

Roxanne: Yeah, this is going to be so fun. I’m really interested in everything that you are doing and putting out into the world. So will you just dive right in and tell us about what it is you’re doing and your journey to get there? 

Lynn Power: Oh, my gosh. I could literally spend hours and hours with which I think will bore everyone. So I will try to make it as, um, Short and interesting as possible. So I am a longtime advertising person. I spent 30 years in advertising and marketing. I was the CEO of J Walter Thompson. I left in 2018, J Walter Thompson, New York.

I should specify, um, I left in 2018 to, um, start a brand consultancy because I wanted to get back to brand building and being more hands on and not. Stuck in the weeds of bureaucracy, which is what happens when you’re a CEO CEO of a large company. Um, and so I was, I was working with startups, helping them with their brand positioning and brand story.

And I was really enjoying it because you worked directly with the founders. You know, you have this connection with them. You can make a real impact in their business. And then the universe intervened. And introduced me to my co-founder James in really the summer of 2018. And he’d been working on these haircare formulations for about 10 years.

So I met him through my husband. My husband was working with him in advertising. Actually James had spent like 20 years as a creative services producer. Um, at Clarol. And he had been doing the side hustle, which nobody really knew that he was doing. Cause he didn’t really tell anyone. And it, it was a long side hustle because it’s really hard to do clean haircare.

Um, cause when you take out the sulfates and the parabens and the phalates you pretty much take the performance out. So you have to figure out how to put alternative ingredients. And so anyway, um, he had found this Japanese ocean botanical and had been sort of playing with that and the formulations, and he’d gotten the formulations to a place where they were really quite good.

But I will admit when I first met him, I thought he was a little crazy. Cause I’m like, okay, who does this? Right? Like who works this long on something? Um, like I would, I would’ve given up or just launched, you know, like I, you have to have a lot of patience and, and also like a lot of resilience to keep putting your money behind something for that long, without really knowing if you’re going to actually get anywhere.

You know what I mean? So I thought it was a little crazy, but then I tried his products, the products, and I was like, damn, they’re really good. And so that’s when I thought, okay, he doesn’t know how to bring them to market. That’s what I do. He’s got these formulations that he’s mastered, like really worked hard on and they’re really good.

And he’s got this intuition for creating these formulations, even though he’s not a chemist, he’s not a hairstylist. He just knows how to put these ingredients together and knows what works. And, um, so we decided to join forces and partner together and we launched Masami. the name is, um, named after.

Well, it’s two things it’s, it’s really named after his husband Masa. Who’s our muse. Masa is Japanese and Masa is the one that found this ingredient, that is our hero ingredient called Mekabu it actually is a staple in Japanese diets, especially where he lives, which is Northeast Japan in a little town called Azuchi, which I visited it was amazing.

Roxanne: Yeah. 

Lynn Power: That’s like a whole, a whole nother podcast story. Um, but, um, yeah, so Masa was really sort of the inspiration behind the brand. So we decided to. Try to name the brand after him, we came up with the name Masami, which means truly beautiful in Japanese, which is the other meaning, which was almost like, you know, when the stars align 

Roxanne: oh yeah. 

Lynn Power: and you just go, like you get, literally, when we, when we came up with the name, we looked it up, we got like, like goosebumps.

Cause we’re like, this is it. And then of course you have to make sure it’s trademarkable. 

Roxanne: Right. You got to go through all the branding stuff, right? 

Lynn Power: this amazing idea, but it’s already taken. And that was when it was like, oh, we can actually get the trademark. Oh my God, this is amazing. So that, that it’s like, you kind of know that the universe is telling you something, right?

Like 

Roxanne: Oh yeah. 

Lynn Power: this is something that you’re supposed to be doing and it’s been, so, yeah, as I say, it’s been amazing, but we, we spent a good 18 months doing the branding, the packaging. The e-commerce strategy and the website and all that stuff. And then we officially launched in February of 2020 at New York fashion week.

Which of course we all know 

Roxanne: How that went down. 

Lynn Power: how that one, Dan. Exactly. It was kind of weird cause it was like the last social gathering, but it was the first for us. It was our launch. It was like our first and last. You know what I mean? It was weird. It’s weird. I mean, obviously it won’t be our last cause we’re going to now hopefully, but it feels that way or it felt like that way last year, for sure.

Like, are we ever going to see people 

Roxanne: Oh, yeah. Well, to build all that momentum to, to a launch like that at fashion week, and then have the whole world shut down after that, I can see how that would feel like the last, even though we both know it’s not going to be, but it felt that way for some time, I would imagine. 

Lynn Power: Yeah, it definitely felt a little, well, like we were like everyone else completely in the dark, right. About what was going to happen and how it was going to happen and when it was going to happen. So we just kept thinking, well, the salons can’t stay close forever. I mean, come on. And then it was like months would go by.

And, um, so that was challenging, but we were able to do a couple of great salon partnerships. We’re in all the spoken wheel salons in the. There are eight and they’re really good. And we’re also in all the dream dry salons. Um, we have co-branded products with them and we manage just like when the window of time opened up and like the summer and the salons kind of reopened in some places and then some shut down again.

And other places we just managed to squeak it. 

Roxanne: Oh, wow. 

Lynn Power: So I’m hoping this year is more of our salon year because last year wasn’t, but last year we did other things. You know, we focused on our customers, our e-commerce strategy or content, you know, things that we could control was my strategy. It was like, 

Roxanne: That’s a good one. That’s a good 

Lynn Power: so much, I can’t control that.

It will drive me nuts. So I’m just going to focus on what I can control, even if it’s a little, little things. 

Roxanne: Wow. Wow. I, there are So.

many questions swirling around in my head, but here’s the one that keeps coming to the forefront of my mind is talk to me about coming on as a co-founder for, with somebody who’s been working on this for 10 years. Talk to me about that dynamic. 

[00:07:44] The dynamic of coming on as a cofounder

Lynn Power: I think it’s so important to find a co-founder where there’s a mutual respect, but there’s also a clear division of. 

Roxanne: Um, 

Lynn Power: the way I describe our partnership is like an elegant Venn diagram where we meet in the middle on the vision and the values, but we both have our superpowers and they’re different because I’ve seen too many times.

And this was where my experiences as a consultant really helped because I was seeing it from the other side, as I was watching these founders be on completely different pages. And, um, I’ve seen all too often, um, founders will try to look for a clone of them. You know, because they just think it’s going to easier to get synergy, but it’s not, it’s a lot harder because you’re going to have somebody who’s, you’re stepping on their toes, they’re stepping on your toes.

So I think the key is to find somebody where you align on the vision and the values at the highest level. And we definitely did. And that was critical. Like when we decided to start to talk about doing this together, It was really important that we had that shared vision. And also, I will say James is really upfront about what he doesn’t know.

I am too, but, um, he actually had a different brand name 

Roxanne: Ah, 

Lynn Power: and it, it wasn’t a good name. So if he was not receptive to changing. Um, and to creating a, a brand that had these values throughout it, like we created the Masami Institute, which gives back to ocean research. Like those were important to me. Right.

But they were important to him too. And so if he wasn’t receptive to somebody coming in and saying, you know, I think we could do better than that. It would never have worked. I wouldn’t have, I wouldn’t have agreed to do it because I would’ve thought, oh, we’re going to be butting heads at every step, but he wasn’t, he was completely the opposite.

He was again, it’s like aligning on the things that mattered 

Roxanne: Uh, huh. 

Lynn Power: and then he was open-minded and then when we developed the Masami brand, it was like, he was the biggest cheerleader. Do you know what I mean? Like, so, um, It’s worked really well in that sense, because it’s hard launching a business. It’s hard being a solo preneur, for sure.

You don’t have the support system. And for us, um, we have ambitions to be global. We want to create more products. Like we want to do things that are good for the world and good for the environment and good for you. And it takes a lot of effort. And so you need, you need a team. 

Roxanne: Yes. 

Lynn Power: So that’s where it’s like, we’ve been able to really help each other because there’s things that I just do.

And there are things that he just does and we don’t get on each other’s nerves. We just kind of like get our stuff done. But if I didn’t have him doing his stuff and he didn’t have me doing my stuff, we would not have gotten as far as we’ve come in the year and we wouldn’t be doing the stuff we’re doing this year.

You know what I mean?

Roxanne: Absolutely. I think that takes to the way you’ve described it. A certain level of self-awareness and self-confidence right to say, this is what I’m good at. So how has that just come from that experience of. All these things for as long as you’ve done them, or is that something that is kind of innate within you? 

Lynn Power: Um, I would say it’s more experience than it is innate, because I think what I learned, you know, I’m like a lot of women that I knew who, who, who want to believe that we can master everything. 

Roxanne: Yes. 

Lynn Power: I think we do in a lot of parts of our lives. We’ll talk about kids too. That’s a little bit like it’s like you kind of are used to juggling a lot.

You’re used to figuring stuff out. You’re used to being the one that’s like, I’ll just get it done now, whatever. So, um, I think my tendency would have been, probably had, I been younger to be more, to feel more pressure to do it all. And to know it all and because I’m not, I’m older. And I’ve learned that like, like when I talk about my CEO gig, I did not enjoy the, um, breathtaking spreadsheets that our finance people put together.

Like I would rather not spend my time in finance meetings and in HR problem meetings and in legal meetings, you know what I’m saying? Like, so, um, I. I think it’s really good to have that exposure so that you are self-aware because for me, they’re very clear things that I know I’m not great at, 

Roxanne: That makes a lot 

of sense 

Lynn Power: and I don’t want to be good at frankly.

Roxanne: Right? Don’t want to spend the mental and emotional energy of getting good at something you don’t care about. 

Lynn Power: Yeah. I mean, look, if I really want it to be good at that stuff, I’m sure I could figure it out. But why, why when there are perfectly competent people that you can tap and bring in and they’re better at it than I am and they are, you know, 

Roxanne: Yes. 

Lynn Power: figuring out like your superpowers and then also what you’re bad at or what you’re just not interested in.

It doesn’t have to be that you’re bad. It could just be not interested in. And then also your partners is so helpful. Because then you can really divide and conquer and figure out, okay, what capabilities do we need to launch this business? You know, and what are we missing? And then supplement it that way, as opposed to just trying to like, okay, we’ll just try to like duct tape it together and 

Roxanne: Yeah, little Frankenstein business going on, right?

Lynn Power: Yeah.

Roxanne: Oh my goodness. Lynn, I want to know what does success look like? And I want to ask you from this perspective of, of these in my mind, as you described it, we’ve got the CEO and then the consultant and the. This new business of yours, that’s kind of how I’ve grouped them in my mind.

Has your definition of success changed through those or has it stayed kind of consistent and is manifesting a little bit differently? What does it what does it look like to you? 

[00:13:35] What does success look like?

Lynn Power: I think it’s completely. Because when I was on a career path, which okay, I’m fairly old. And back in my day, there was more of a distinctive path that you went on, like, okay, you start, I started as a receptionist. Then I became an assistant account executive. Then I became, you know, there’s like a progression of 

Roxanne: work your way up the ladder, right? 

Lynn Power: And that was sort of the expectation. And I liked advertising a lot. I really enjoyed what I was doing. So then it was like, well, yeah, I want to just get higher up. Like that’s the goal is just to get higher up. What I realized. I ran an agency called Arnold for eight years and really loved it, but it was a smaller creative agency.

And then I went and was the CEO of J Walter Thompson, New York for years. And I realized that like, the problem is it’s a different job. Like getting to that top job. It’s not all that, unless you’re somebody who really likes the operations and likes that more bureaucratic stuff, which many people do, um, it’s a very different job in many industries than, than the job that you were doing So, um, so for me, um, that job was. My aspirations were to sort of be the boss. And then when I was, the boss was like, this isn’t so fun.

Roxanne: Mm, doing the paperwork instead of doing the work sort of 

Lynn Power: exactly. My, this is so fun. Nobody really told me that this was like, cause you think it’s glamorous, right? You look above you and you think these people have these glamorous jobs and they get to travel, um, you know, go to stay in nice hotels and all that, but it’s really not glamorous because your time is very, very.

Much in demand. And when you do travel, you’re flying in and out the same day, or, you know, it’s just not the glamorous type of, um, you know, situation that you’d project that those people are having. Um, and they’re working around the clock because problems happen all the time and, you know, so, so I wasn’t really enjoying that, but so the, the, the expectations of success then.

The boss then when I was, I was like, well, that’s not so fun consulting. It was more about seeing my, my clients win. That to me was success because I felt like if I could take all this knowledge that I had and apply it to someone’s business and see their business, see it work that was really fulfilling.

And I really enjoyed that. Now. I think it’s much more about putting good stuff out in the world is cheesy. Is that sounds. It’s it’s about, you know, creating products that are good for you. Good for the environment and doing something positive because I feel like so many brands that I was a part of throughout my career.

Don’t think about it that way. You know, they, they think about it in a very much, a high volume capitalistic sense. Um, not necessarily of doing good. Um, that’s, that’s an afterthought for, for most. So I think, you know, for us, we don’t need to be the biggest haircare brand in the world. You know what I mean?

That’s not the goal. It’s not size, it’s creating high-performing high quality products that are clean, that people love that work that allow us to give back and continue to push the envelope on sustainability, because we’re now we’re launching a big refillable bottle with refill pouches. Doing stuff like that, you know, that it’s much harder for a Unilever to do.

Um, so I feel like the little guys, especially in beauty are where the disruption can come from and we’re going to force the big guys to adapt, 

Roxanne: Yes. And rethink their strategy. 

Lynn Power: which would be very fun. So that would, to me, like if that would be success, if we become sort of a, a case study for, you know, Value-based brand, then I would feel like we’ve achieved something.

And of course, consumer love. 

Roxanne: Right. 

Lynn Power: We want people to love our products,

Roxanne: Right. I mean, there’s so such validation. It’s so fun hearing you describe that. That’s, you know, as people ask me, like, what did that, you know, those big audacious goals or whatever it may be. My goal is I want to make millions and millions of dollars so I can invest in women on sustainable company. of this very idea, right? It’s like, I was just going to say like, that’s that this is the kind of like, you are the kind of person that is, that inspires me because you’re doing these things and you’re in it to do good and to put good into the world. So that’s interesting too, to kind of see how that, that progression has happened.

Do you think that that call too, as you said, put good into the world has been there like forever and is just kind of finally starting to emerge? Or how does that, how do you think that 

Lynn Power: Um, I think it’s honestly, for me, I, I think it’s more of a reflection on. When I really enjoyed working on a business or a brand. And when I really didn’t and there are some brands that I won’t name that are not good brands, they don’t have good quality products. They don’t have the best employment practices.

They don’t have a lot of integrity around their culture or how they operate. And, but yet you’re brought in and your job is to try to. Shine that dirty penny and make it look better. Right. 

Roxanne: Oh yeah, 

Lynn Power: Um, so I always felt like when I was having to work with one of those companies that I just didn’t feel like great about you feel a little icky yourself, 

Roxanne: yeah, yeah. 

Lynn Power: but when you work with a company that inspires you, because you start to see that because when you’re doing the advertising and the marketing for these companies, you really get to know a lot of the behind the scenes.

Roxanne: Yeah. 

Lynn Power: You know, you meet the CEOs, you get to see the operational side. You really do get a peek behind the curtain. And sometimes it’s a bad peak and sometimes it’s a good peak and you, there are companies that I’ve worked with that I’ve like, oh wow. I would love to that, that idea, that philosophy, that mindset, you know, you, you, you start to collect things in your brain over time of what you like.

And I think that’s when it was like, well, if we’re going to launch a brand, we have to do it.

Roxanne: Totally. You’ve got to do it right. You’ve got to do it.

in a way that makes sense to 

Lynn Power: Yes. Like, yes, like I would never launch a brand that had toxic stuff in it. Like, why would you do that? 

Roxanne: yes. Yes. Oh yeah. 

Lynn Power: so I just, it’s just interesting. And James is very much in that same space, so that’s why I think it works so well because we’re both like, not willing to compromise on certain things like that.

Roxanne: those values and visions, like you talked about, right? Yeah,

yeah. I wonder Lynn, can I tap into your expertise for just a minute and like take a little little side journey with you because many of the people that listen to this, this podcast, they’re moms who are starting a business. And so it’s not on this big grand scale.

They haven’t been, you know, they’re not working with somebody. Been developing this for 10 years. They’re just, it’s like these little itty 

Lynn Power: Their own business. I totally get 

Roxanne: Right. And I’m curious, what advice would you give them from? And like I said, I really want to tap into this expertise that you have and the experience that you have.

Is there something that you would recommend just kind of as a blanket statement of make sure you’re paying attention to this or make sure you’re doing this, whatever it.

may be. 

[00:21:04] Advice from someone who’s been in it a while

Lynn Power: Yeah, there were a couple things. The first thing is if you have an idea of make sure it’s a scalable idea, and it’s not just an idea that like you and five of your friends, like, because you’ll spend a lot of time and energy in. And so you just need to make sure you can make it profitable at some point.

So, cause I’ve met a lot of founders who were in love with their idea and it just wasn’t. Yeah. You know, and then, you know, they’re they spend money on it and they spent it. So anyway, that’s and you can do that by. Doing research, you know, create a simple survey monkey survey that doesn’t cost anything, send it out to people post it on LinkedIn.

Just, just get some validation of how big your, marketing is and how legitimate it is. Like if you’re going into a crowded market, like I am like beauty, you can’t just launch it. Another haircare, like it has to be different. Right? So for us, it was like, we have this ocean botanical, it hydrates your hair without weighing it down, which was almost impossible to find that anything else like, so you have to have some point of difference and then you’d have to go.

Okay. Is that point of difference relevant to people? Like, do they care about it? So that’s number one. Number two, I’d say is build a network and you can do that while you’re. Doing it as a side hustle, you don’t have to wait until you make the commitment to go full time, but it is absolutely invaluable to have a network of peers, advisors, mentors, older, younger.

I mean, I take a lot of, um, get a lot of value out of a lot of my younger friends who are just more digitally native than I am. It’s again, I’ve, I’ve taught myself how to do a lot of this stuff, but my brain is just not wired the way my 17 year old and my 20 year old’s brain. 

Roxanne: Yeah. 

Lynn Power: You don’t do you know what I’m saying?

Roxanne: Oh yeah. 

Lynn Power: it’s just a diff it’s literally wired differently. So when you think about creating a network, you almost have to think about it as like a holistic approach of people that are your peers. People that are launching a business and moms, maybe not the same industry as you, but going through interesting challenges to, um, you know, advisors, people that have been through it before you, um, and then like capabilities, who’s got like expertise that you want to tap, who knows Tik TOK.

Do you know what I mean? And you’d be surprised. This is what I’ll advise people, because a lot of women are like, oh, but how do I find these people? And it’s so hard. It’s like, no, I have people reach out to me on LinkedIn all the time. If it’s not a spammy, I can increase your e-commerce sales 10 times with our proprietary method.

If it’s not one of those, if it’s literally like somebody saying, Hey, I’m launching a business. I just want to pick your brain. You know, I am always like, yeah, sure. And actually I’ve had two or three people that ping me on LinkedIn cold and I ended up mentoring for several months 

Roxanne: Well, 

Lynn Power: as they launched their business.

So I think you’ll find that people are far more generous, um, and want to give back then maybe you think they will be. And of course there will be a lot of people that don’t respond. But you don’t need a lot of people. You just need a handful of good people that can just be a sounding board for you along the way.

So that yeah.

Roxanne: That’s such great advice and I appreciate you letting me pick your brain about that. Right. I appreciate that. Lynn, I would love to shift our conversation just a little bit and talk about what it’s been like to be a parent through all. So you mentioned you’ve got two kids, 17 and 20. Did I catch that? 

Lynn Power: You got that, right? Yeah.

Roxanne: Okay, fantastic. So how has being a parent during this journey of yours changed you as a person? 

[00:24:50] How has being a parent during this journey changed you?

Lynn Power: Well, it’s been interesting because when I, when my kids were younger, um, and my husband was also an advertising, you know, they would be sort of by us, by osmosis, you know, just having to live with all this advertising conversation around them. Right. Um, and actually when my son was 15, he’s 20 now. When my son was 15, I brought him to Cannes, which is the south of France.

It’s the big advertising festival called lion, which is kind of a big deal to go to. It’s like a week long, you know, advertising love fests, basically. So I brought him with me with four or five people from my office because I wanted him just to experience the industry in a different way than just hearing me bitch about it.

Roxanne: Yeah. Yeah. 

Lynn Power: Right. And it was really interesting because his take on, it was like, I w we were sitting at dinner and with my, my coworkers and stuff, and somebody asked him like, Billy, what do you think about all this? And he was like, you know, you, people are pathetic.

Roxanne: At 15. 

Lynn Power: He was like, all you do is talk about advertising and give awards to like burping for a print ad that honestly, like, really, he was like, it’s embarrassing. And we all kind of were silent for a minute and then we all laughed. Cause we were like, he’s right. He’s right. It’s totally embarrassing. And we have created like it’s so it’s so like Naval gazing, you know, like only the people in our industry give a shit about it.

Uh, sorry. Um, okay. Um, uh, you know, and, and anyone else’s like, what? Like, who are you people? So. He was very astute to call us out on that. Um, I think he did enjoy the time in France regardless. 

Roxanne: Certainly 

Lynn Power: Uh, certainly. Um, and then what I’ve basically been able to do, my philosophy is all about blending. I’m not, I’m not a compartment compartmentalization person, so I basically have dragged my kids now into my entrepreneurial.

Roxanne: Yes. 

Lynn Power: You know, and this is the benefit of having teenagers versus littler kids where you can’t do that when they’re smaller. Right. But look, they’re capable of doing stuff. They’re more socially savvy than I am in a lot of ways. So I definitely have, um, been tapping them on a variety of levels. I drag my daughter to a trade show in January of 2020.

Um, in LA where she had to wear a Masami t-shirt and she had to like work the booth. 

Roxanne: Yes. 

Lynn Power: Um, and she was mortified, 

Roxanne: And what is she? 

Lynn Power: but, but she picked up like, after the word she was saying to me, oh, I remember what you were saying to that one person about dah, dah, dah, dah. And she was playing back parts of the conversation.

So it’s like, she was pretending she wasn’t listening, but she was listening.

Roxanne: Yeah. Yeah. Oh, she’s totally like observing it all. 

Lynn Power: Exactly. So. Like I think my approach to parenting while I’m having a business is to be as open and transparent with my kids about it. Because my feeling is they may not want to do hair care. Okay. This may not be their jam, but launching a business. There’s a lot of things that are applicable to anyone who wants to launch business.

Right. And you also see the types of things I spend my time on, you know, there there’s. In, um, just the conversations I’m having because I’ve been home. So, you know, they’re, there they’re seeing me do this. you know what I’m saying? Like, so I think it’s been just a good way to try to indoctrinate them into what it’s like to be an entrepreneur, whether or not they want to do that themselves as a different story.

Right. But at least they now have a pretty good knowledge base of like, okay, I kinda know what mom does, 

Roxanne: Yeah. Yeah. And not just like the title of what you do, But like what 

Lynn Power: really know what I do, what I spend my days on, what I, I mean, they see me when I’m, you know, oh, you know, we got to go pick up inventory and we gotta deal with this and I’m on a call with China or I’m gonna, you know, they, they see all that stuff.

So, um, hopefully some of it will sink in and, you know, inform something about their career choice, but we’ll see.

Roxanne: Yeah. Have you ever experienced guilt around parenting and your career? 

[00:29:19] Have you experienced guilt?

Lynn Power: At the risk of sounding awful? Not really. I haven’t. 

Roxanne: It doesn’t sound awful. It sounds refreshing. 

Lynn Power: Okay. Because I know myself pretty well, like I’ve I, and I also think it’s a little later in life, so I was 34 when I had my son. So, um, just knew I needed to work. Like, I’m that kind of person. I wanted to have a career. I wanted to work. It’s fulfilling for me.

I get a lot of energy out of the work interactions, the social side of it. So, and I’m an introvert by the way. So it’s not like I’m an extrovert that’s out there. Woo. You know, but it’s just, I enjoy it. And I like the gratification and I like the validation and maybe that’s my insecurity. I don’t know. But I liked, I liked the validation that comes from work.

So. Um, I just decided that was the way it was going to be. And of course, you know, we made choices to try to make it as easy for the kids as possible. We had, um, a nanny for six years in New York city, and then we moved to an AU pair who lived with us. We had three different pairs, varying levels of success.

One was an absolute disaster, but we won’t talk about that. And then, um, we actually had my brother-in-law lived with us for three years and was our main. 

Roxanne: Oh, cool. Very cool. 

Lynn Power: So we had that. And then, um, you know, now the kids obviously are older and don’t need that kind of hand-holding. But to be honest, I was never the kind of parent who wanted to be bringing cookies to the math morning Monday.

Roxanne: Yeah. 

Lynn Power: It’s just my thing. And I said that to my kids. I was like, I’m sorry, like I’m not going to come to that. 

Roxanne: I love you, but that’s not how I’m showing you. My love that’s yet. 

Lynn Power: I’m like, there’s just stuff that I just, to me, that’s not, I don’t know. It’s not fulfilling. It’s not what I want to be doing. And I, and I would say to them, you’re not going to remember if I was at your, whatever, you know, cookie party or not.

Um, and I think we can, you know, I’d rather have holy time and other ways than so I, you know, I was that parent who never participated in anything. School-related um, obviously I went to parent-teacher conferences and stuff, academic things. Yes. But, but school, social things. No. And also, like, I was pretty tough about like, there were parents of my kids’ friends who like wanted to hang out and I’d be like, mm, no,

Roxanne: We don’t, we don’t roll that way around here. 

Lynn Power: Yeah. I mean, it sounds harsh, but I feel like you have to be somewhat protective of your time. And I want to hang out with the people I want to hang out with. I want to, I don’t even have enough time to spend with the friends that I have already. 

Roxanne: Yeah, 

Lynn Power: You know what I mean? So it’s like people that I don’t really like that much.

And the only thing we have in common is that our kids are in school together. I don’t really need to make that a new bonding friendship. 

Roxanne: yeah, 

Lynn Power: So that’s how I basically like, have been able to, I hate the word balance, but like, make it work is by being just as harsh in my personal life as I was in my work life.

So like, if I was saying no to something in my work life, like, no, I’m not going to travel because it’s just too much. I don’t want to be away. I would do the same thing in my personal life. It’s like, no, I’m not going to have drinks with you in that. Cause I just know, and I think that’s, that’s sort of. How it for me, I I’ve been able to be somewhat guiltless 

Roxanne: You’ve 

Lynn Power: or 

Roxanne: those really. 

Lynn Power: it might be a major character flaw though.

Roxanne: I don’t think so, because what you’ve just described to me is having really solid boundaries, really, really firm boundaries. And that’s one thing that I will preach until I am blue in the face is boundaries, boundaries, boundaries, boundaries, boundaries. And I love how you described, like, just as harsh as you are in your personal life, as you are in your professional life.

Like what a great approach, you know, to just say, Hey, this is, this is it. This is what’s happening. And, and to establish that, but to have found peace with that, to. Liberating to, you know, to hear you describe it. It it’s, you’re like, Nope, this is just how it is.

Lynn Power: I think you have to have a bit of a thick skin because definitely there were parents when my kids were in grade school, who thought we were. I mean or cold or, you know, we were not like friendly parents and so you have to be okay with that. And it wasn’t like, I would be rude to anyone. We just weren’t part of the clique, if you know what I mean.

So I think he just, that’s just in your head, you have to just say, you know what, that’s fine. I don’t need to be that. And, um, and I’m probably never going to see these people again and five years, you know, 

Roxanne: Yeah. Yeah. 

Lynn Power: And it’s true. I haven’t.

Roxanne: it’s so refreshing to me to hear you say this, because I feel like you’re, you’re describing my personality so much and it’s like that external validation, right. That I’m like, oh, do I need it? Do I need to be liked by everybody? And it’s like, no, no, I don’t know. I don’t. Yeah. Yeah.

Lynn Power: I know it’s hard. It’s hard. It is because you know, you, you, there are moments where you’re like, oh, maybe I should just, and then I’m like, no, no, because every time I would cave in and I would drag my husband along the, well, we’ll just have dinner with these people. We would regret it. Like we don’t like, why do we waste three hours?

Like that was not good.

Roxanne: Yeah, yeah. And that reminder of no is a complete answer. There doesn’t have to be any excuse. No reason. It’s just, Nope. Sorry. It doesn’t work. 

Lynn Power: Yes. Exactly.

Roxanne: Oh, it’s refreshing. When you are refreshing to me today. I appreciate. Yeah.

What do you wish people knew about parenting and building businesses or consulting businesses or I, I mean the word entrepreneurship, I feel like it doesn’t quite embody like your realm of expertise.

I feel like you’ve got entrepreneurship, but so much more. What do you wish people knew about parenting and this work world? 

[00:35:24] What do you wish people knew about parenting and entrepreneurship?

Lynn Power: Oh my gosh. I mean, I think what I learned and hopefully it’s changing is that you have to be very mindful of the place you work while you have children. And I’m talking about when you are literally in like child-bearing mode, you’re pregnant and in those early years, because having a place that supports you during that time versus ignores you is like night and day.

And I was somewhere where it wasn’t great. I saw a lot of people get promoted around me. Um, because they’re in there a lot. It was very male. The place was very male. A lot of all my bosses were men there. And at one point when I went and I was actually talking to them about this, they, I left and they tried to hire me back.

And I had said, Got to do something about the fact that you’re so not female friendly. And they were like, well, you’ll be the role model. And I’m like, I don’t want to be the role model. I, that’s not my role. That’s my job. Um, so no, I th I want to be in a place where it’s already accepted and it’s okay. And I decided not to go back, but, um, I think that’s super critical if you’re going to make the work parenting thing.

Work is that you have to be at a place that is supportive. That’s not going to downgrade your job when you’re on maternity leave, which even though that’s not supposed to happen, I can’t tell you how many people I know that has happened. And then they make an excuse of why it’s okay, because they’ve restructured and therefore they can get away with it legally and blah, blah, blah.

And so, um, that would be numero. UNO is like, if you’re going into pregnancy, not feeling great about where you are working. I know it’s tough when you’re pregnant to look, go look for another job, but I do know people who have successfully done it. And again, if, if you’re going to go somewhere. And it’s a great way to test out how really, you know, do they walk the walk, right?

How supportive are they actually? Um, so I do feel like, um, get out, don’t go waste your time. Um, in a, in an environment that’s not going to support you because you will be frustrated. If you are ambitious. I was ambitious. You’re going to see people get promoted around you, who don’t deserve it. You’re going to be pissed and you’re going to waste your time and you’re going to, and then you bring that home.

That’s the other side of it, right? Because like, if you’re not satisfied at work and then you go home and you’re in a crappy mood and your kids pick up on that and you know, so, so I think you need to be somewhere positive and supportive. So that’s basically my take on working and parenting is, is it’s, it’s impossible to do if you’re in a, an environment that doesn’t support parents.

And also by the way, men like men should be able to take time off and deal with this stuff too. If their kids are sick, if they need to go to a school function or whatever, it can’t all fall on the woman. And a lot of places just sort of expect the woman to deal with that stuff. Um, you know, so my attitude when I was sort of managing companies was always like, I don’t care where you are.

You don’t have to tell me, I don’t need to know if you need to take time off, take time off. I don’t need to know the details of it. You’re going to get your stuff done. It’s fine. You know what I mean? Like give people the benefit of the doubt that most people are pretty responsible and will get their work done.

Roxanne: Yeah, it’s funny. I’m reminded of, uh, and I hope it’s true. I’ve never verified that this story is true, but a story about Ruth Bader Ginsburg who received a call, she kept receiving call after call when ever anything would happen with her kids at school. And finally, one time she said, I’m sorry, it’s their father’s turn and hung up the phone.

And they basically, she forced him to start alternating calls. And I thought, how refreshing would that be? If that were just the default, right? That that would be. I know, I know, right. I’m like, I’m going to use, 

Lynn Power: Exactly. That is a great idea, but yes, you’re right. Cause it is like it’s taken me a long time to sort of realize how to balance out the, the, the home side of the work piece. Right. 

Roxanne: oh yeah. 

Lynn Power: Like how to deal with all of that, because for a long time I would do all of it. Right. And there’s a point where you’re like, wait, I mean, I could use some help, you know, making the doctor appointments and the vet appointments and paying the taxes and going to the grocery store and doing all that 

Roxanne: the things. 

Lynn Power: right.

Roxanne: Yeah. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. It’s interesting too. To hear you talk about, you know, especially with, within pregnancy and things like that. If you’re in a position that doesn’t work for you don’t and I think about how you were describing a few moments ago about even just spending three hours with somebody that.

Isn’t worth your time. If that three hours isn’t worth your time, why would those nine plus months be worth your time? It’s that very same concept of just stop wasting your time. Move forward. 

Lynn Power: Exactly. I can’t tell you how many people I know that are in jobs. They don’t like, and they just can’t figure out a way to get out, 

Roxanne: Yeah. 

Lynn Power: or they’re just not motivated enough. So they’ll deal with not liking it. Like they’ll do it because they’re complacent and they think, well, it’s the devil. I know. It’s like, oh my God, it could be so much better.

Roxanne: Yeah. Yeah. But yeah. Oh Yeah.

I want to ask you a question about the name of this podcast. So I named this podcast re-imagining hustle because when I started my entrepreneur journey, I was very much, I didn’t have kids.

And I was like that hustle mentality. It feels so good to me. Right. It was just hustle, hustle, hustle, go, go, go. And then I had my first child and my whole world stopped and I knew something had to change for me. And so I’ve been on this quest to re-imagine this concept of hustle, and I would love to know how do you reimagine hustle? 

[00:41:23] How do you reimagine hustle?

Lynn Power: That’s a really good question. And I do love that you have a podcast. That’s all about this. Cause I think it’s really relevant today because I think it used to be about just like grinding it out 

Roxanne: Yeah. 

Lynn Power: and I think that’s awful. 

Roxanne: Yeah. 

Lynn Power: you burn out now. I mean, you just can’t sustain it. 

Roxanne: Right. 

Lynn Power: So now I will tell you how I reimagine hustle.

I think it’s about architecting your life around what you want to do, not the other way around, because, um, I’ll give you an example. I’m sitting here in my Palm Springs house. We also have a place in Massachusetts, but I’m able to do that because we also rent out our house. So renting the house pays for the house, supports my lifestyle of wanting to be somewhere warm right now.

Um, and, and allows me to still do the hustle if you will, because I’m doing it from my poolside 

Roxanne: Hmmm 

Lynn Power: and not, you know, so it’s more like I’m fitting it into my lifestyle instead of making my lifestyle fit into that. Does that make sense?

Roxanne: oh, it makes so much sense?

Palm Springs is one of my favorite places in the world, too. I’m very jealous of you right now. 

Lynn Power: Yes.

Roxanne: And that makes so much sense too that. That it’s. Really seizing control and doing things really intentionally. 

Lynn Power: Yes, because then when you’re. I’m not going to say grinding it up cause it’s not grinding it out. But when you’re working around the clock, because look, let’s face it. Building a business is hard and it’s a massive amount of effort, no matter what way you slice and dice it. So it’s not like there’s shortcuts to just delegated and have somebody else to do it.

If you really want it to be successful, you know, you have to be on it. But like I said, there are ways to make it feel like it’s not work. You know, when I’m sitting in my hot tub doing a zoom call, that doesn’t feel so bad. 

Roxanne: It’s not terrible. 

Lynn Power: it’s not terrible. It’s really not terrible. And, um, the other thing I’ve done is, um, I work with my friends.

So, you know, James is like family. Now my co-founder, I mean, we really are truly like family. I mean, we have Thanksgiving together and his husband is wonderful and you know, he’s really involved with my kids. And I work with my friend, Kristen, who was one of my high school. 

Roxanne: Oh cool. 

Lynn Power: It was on my team and my brother, my brother is on my team.

And so it’s like, yeah, like, like that’s part of re-imagining it too is re-imagining who you want to be working with because that’s part of the blending. If you can actually find people that you want to hang out with regardless then, like the work stuff is not so. 

Roxanne: yeah, it makes a fun, it 

Lynn Power: It makes it fun. Absolutely. And it’s, it’s been really great.

And like, I talked to my brother every day now. Um, yeah. It’s like, work-related stuff. It’s not always work work, you know, it’s it’s and that’s been awesome. Like, it’s just been a really, for me, not for everybody, but for me, that’s, that’s how I’ve re-imagined it is, I’ve just made it work in the lifestyle that I’ve envisioned.

Roxanne: Oh, Yeah.

And I appreciate knowing, you know, I asked this question to every guest because I know it doesn’t look the same for everybody. In fact, as I’ve interviewed many women entrepreneurs, nobody has the same definition of this. And that’s why I ask is, is this encouragement of let it look how it wants to look for you.

So I appreciate knowing that and understanding kind of where you’re coming from as well. Lynn, I felt like I. Absolutely inspired and mind blown by everything that you’ve shared with us today. Will you give us a pep talk for others who are on this journey? 

[00:45:09] Pep Talk!

Lynn Power: Oh, my gosh. Yes. My pep talk is don’t wait until you’re 53 years old to launch a business like I did, because I think you’ll find that it is very invigorating and satisfying and fulfilling on many levels for you personally, if you’re doing what you love, that’s assuming you’re doing what you love.

I’m not assuming you’re launching a business and you’re not that interested in that busy. But if you have a passion and you’ve been doing it as a side business, or you’re debating whether you want to do it full time, or you’re just toying around with, you know, tinkering around with, with some side hustle, just go for it because what’s the worst that can happen.

Right? Like it doesn’t work and you go get a job. 

Roxanne: Yeah. 

Lynn Power: I mean, really it’s like, so I think, um, and by the way, Being able to tell the story of what you did for a lot of employers is, is very compelling because, you know, people don’t look at that these days as failure, they look at that as experience. So, uh, that’s my pep talk is just don’t wait, don’t wait.

Um, just make it happen. Um, you know, like I said, start with just reaching out to some people and. Just once you find that you’re engaging in those conversations, it, that energy will build on itself to the point where I think you won’t be able to say no.

Roxanne: Oh, thank you. Thank you for the pep talk for me and for all of my listeners. I appreciate it, Lynn, we need more of you. Where can we find you on. 

Lynn Power: Sure. So I, I’m very easy to find I’m on LinkedIn. You can just Google me. Um, or search for me on LinkedIn. Um, uh, I’m on pretty much all the social channels at Lynn powered. I’m on clubhouse at Lynn powered, um, and Masami is love masami.com, um, or on all the social channels. We are love Masami hair.

Roxanne: Awesome. And we’ll make sure that we include all of those links in the show notes. Lynn, thank you for the gift of your time today. I am. So just so grateful for your wisdom and for everything that you’ve shared with us. Thank you. 

Lynn Power: Yeah, thank you. I really enjoyed the conversation.

Roxanne: me too. Thanks. Thanks for listening to Reimagining Hustle with Roxanne Merket. If you like the show and want more, check out reimagininghustle.com and please leave a review wherever you get your podcasts. We’ll be back next week with another episode. See you soon.