Career Advice & Entrepreneurship

Paula answers interview questions about her career.

*   What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done!

Don’t go in debt, it is the #1 killer of small businesses. Being a struggling entrepreneur is better than worrying if your job is secure in a company you don’t own (this one helped me go through so many ups and downs working through the hard times of creating my company).
Don’t worry about leading a “balanced life”, it’s not possible (life can never be in balance, all you can do is to try and wisely choose priorities).

*   How would you describe your job as an entrepreneur?
Over the years it’s changed quite a bit from running every aspect of my company to what I do now. I knew I was successful when I had the right team around me to handle the “business” so I could just formulate skincare products, research medical and science journals about skin physiology and skincare ingredients, and write about beauty. I also get to travel the world meeting women and beauty editors to talk about beauty myths and Paula’s Choice Skincare! I LOVE my job.

*   What are your go-to resources for keeping up to date with the industry?
Couldn’t live without and downloading relevant studies, sure beats the days of going to the library to research using microfiche (only people my age would even know what that is) and working with cosmetic chemists that are far smarter than I am. (I always say if I’m the smartest person in the room, I’m in the wrong room.) I try to avoid fashion magazines, they often make me hate the beauty industry.

*   What is one thing in your career you’ve regretted?
I was never very good at hiring people to run my company so I could concentrate on what I love most. I hired some terrible execs in my time. Thankfully I’ve also made good some very good decisions and I have a brilliant team around me now!!!!

*   What are the top qualities you look for when hiring?
Integrity, flexibility (rigid people are scary), appreciation of a woman’s desire to look beautiful, belief in work being 50% serious business and 50% fun, being able to have intelligent respectful debates where agreement is not the goal, and belief in a flat management structure where no one is more important than anyone else, the CEO is NOT god and the warehouse worker is not the low person on the totem pole.

*   What do you wear to work to feel powerful?
I feel empowered most of the time and it’s rarely affected by my clothes but for certain I never wear anything immodest. Showing cleavage or wearing short skirts disempowers women from the moment they walk in a meeting.

*   How would your employees describe you?
Blatantly honest (to a fault), too brash, willing to laugh out loud (love laughter in an office!), generous (they know no one flies economy when I’m flying business class or stays in a less expensive hotel), decisive, can say when I’m wrong without hesitation, and I am passionate about what I do.

*   What do you do when you’re feeling uninspired?
I enjoy uninspired time, it’s exhausting being inspired all the time. I watch TV, play video games, zone out, and then wait for my mood to change which it always does eventually!

*   What is the most common mistake you see your entry-level employees make?
Actually, not just entry level employees but any employee doesn’t take the time to learn what we value as a company and embrace what we are really trying to do for women all over the world.

*   Who do you love to follow on Instagram?
I don’t do Instagram, facebook, or twitter. They are time sucks.

*   What do you do when you’re stressed?
I don’t care very much about being stressed. Life is just stressful from the moment I get up in the morning, to brushing my teeth, making dinner, relationships and on and on. I think people spend too much getting stressed over the fact they are stressed and worrying they aren’t doing enough to destress. What a waste of time. I use the stress the give me energy to thrive and deal with the details of life with any emotion that comes with it.

*   What are you working on now that you’re most excited about?
New products and launching Paula’s Choice Skincare in India!!!!!

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