Carine Vloemans: Let’s use technology only in order to make life easier without giving away our…

Carine Vloemans: Let’s use technology only in order to make life easier without giving away our humanity and spirit which make humans so unique

If I would inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most people, it would be to use technology only in order to make life easier for people without giving away their humanity and their spirit which make humans so unique! We definitely don’t want to end up as empty shells, robots or zombies who gave their power away to technology and inbuilt chips etc.

As a part of our series about how technology will be changing the beauty industry over the next five years, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mrs Carine Vloemans.

Mrs. Carine Vloemans is a gifted, acknowledged, holistic, physical therapist with over 30 years experience in physiotherapy, acupuncture, manual therapy, body & facial massage, energy treatments like Reiki, Etheric Body Treatment etc. She works in her own practice: IASIS center for physiotherapy & alternative therapies, Kalamaria/ Thessaloniki, Greece. She also is a teacher and mentor in her field. Her mission is to help every client to feel great and healthy again, with ease and grace.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I choose to have this career path because I want to offer health and wellness with ease and grace.

In order to have a wider range of clientele than only patients with health issues, I specialised also in natural cosmetic rejuvenating modalities like Rejuvance and facial /head massage and cosmetic acupuncture.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

The most interesting story that happened to me since I started with the cosmetic modalities is the following.

An acquaintance came to me for the series of 6 sessions of Rejuvance facial massage.

I wondered if we could see a rejuvenating effect on her. Although she was 60 years old she had a very tight facial skin without lines or wrinkles,due to a slight obesity and a very healthy lifestyle. She had no health issues at all.

I did my very best, but personally I saw no visible results. I didn’t tell her this, I kept my opinion to myself.

After the last session she shared with me that for the first time in her life she loved herself! She said if somebody works on me with so much love, care and detail, I AM LOVABLE! She meant she loved both her outer appearance as well as her person.

For me this was the most appreciated result in fact I can get!

Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?

A major tipping point in my career was the moment I stepped on a new life path, following my inner voice and passion. I left my steady job in the Netherlands when I was only 27 years old, to start a life on the island of Crete, Greece. I opened my own practice in an apartment on the beachfront of Ierapetra. From that moment on, I attracted all kinds of interesting twists and turns in life and work. It gave me a happy and successful life to this day now in Northern Greece.

Success is inside of you and reflects itself in your outer life. I followed my inner passion which still gives me the drive while showing me too the path to follow.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

There is not so much one particular helpful person to whom I am grateful. The first thing that comes to my mind is my inner voice, I am very grateful to my inner voice to lead me on my path!

The second one in fact is a particular person that appeared and disappeared in my life just like that, in only two days. This is a nice story. I was not even a week in Greece when my belongings arrived from the Netherlands in 1989. In those days it was very difficult to bring belongings into the country. You had to have detailed lists of the contents of your goods.The lists needed to have all kinds of stamps and seals from authorities.

My goods were at the customs, waiting for me to “bail” them out. I asked my brand new neighbours, in my broken Greek language, how do people transport here: where to rent a truck? They answered that you have to ask a private truck owner to help you out. They intermediated for me. Well, next morning there was a short skinny older man ringing my doorbell! He drove me 100km with his truck to collect my belongings at the customs office .

To make a long story short: he saved me from a nasty female clerk who did her best to make my life difficult! He defended me with his thoughtful ideas, and also pleaded for me that I was a foreigner who would bring new ideas to the healthcare system for the island. I was impressed by his passionate plea! The result was that I had to take the bus back home, to get another paper done. The next day he picked me up again and everything resolved itself smoothly, without bribes, and I had to pay the truck driver for only one drive!

I never met the driver again, although he lived in the same small city. He appeared and disappeared as if he was an angel in disguise! Everytime something looks difficult to me in life, I remember this story, with the feeling of trust that something or someone will pop up, right when I need it.

Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. The beauty industry today has access to technology that was inconceivable only a short time ago. Can you tell us about the “cutting edge” (pardon the pun) technologies that you are working with or introducing? How do you think that will help people?

My “cutting” edge technology is the natural & human approach technology, Rejuvance massage! I also teach Rejuvance and it is available as an online massage course.

This massage modality is a series of 6 very subtle massage treatments in the area of the face, scalp, neck and decollete and aims for both a rejuvenating lifting result as well as general relaxation. Rejuvance is also called the bioenergetic fingertip facelift massage.

The frequency of the sessions is once, twice or three times per week and the clients are stimulated to drink at least 2 liters of water per day after each session, in order to stimulate a proper replenishing of lymph in the head area.

After the Rejuvance, people feel real good about themselves and look fresher and younger with a good skin quality and with more symmetry of the face.This all happens without ANY nasty side effects. You are the best version of yourself.

The second “technology” I use is facial cosmetic acupuncture!

Keeping “Black Mirror” and the “Law of Unintended Consequences” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?

Rejuvance facial massage has no drawbacks

The other beauty technologies certainly have potential drawbacks.

As an exception on the drawbacks of course I need to mention therapy and operations after cosmetic deformation due to accidents,diseases or burns for example. If the gain is more important than the drawbacks it is easier to decide for surgery, injections or other therapies.

We have to think about the following concerning drawbacks.

By paralysing muscles using botox or surgical facejobs people change their facial communication with others. In communication, the most extensive information exchange is the unconsciously reading of the face and the body language. When the face is distorted and partially paralysed this communication is impaired! It is difficult to relate with others like this!

Another drawback is a short term side effect like rashes and bruises which makes you unable to appear in public for a while.

Also a long term drawback is a change in the face that you don’t like, or a change that does not fit with you anymore after 10 years.

Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the “beauty-tech” industry?

I am excited for people who have a medical need for plastic surgery or secondly for other improvements like a beautiful artificial working limb after losing the physical limb for some reason.

My third excitement though, is a negative excitement concerning the “beauty-tech” industry. I explain this further on.

Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to reform or improve the industry, what would you suggest?

The 3 things that concern me most about the industry are the following.

  1. The impaired facial communication is a result of the beauty-tech and therefore creates an inability for making relationships.
  2. People are not accepting themselves as they are, do not gain a healthy self esteem because they keep on searching for plastic solutions.
  3. There can be nasty side effects like rashes, bruises, infections and distortions of the face.,

My 3 ways to improve the beauty industries are the following.

  1. Re-valuing the human touch by massage.
  2. Creating more 100% natural shampoos, creams, lotions and serums, to avoid the hormone disruptors that are contained in the conventional products.
  3. Supporting people by boosting their self esteem, just as they are.

You are an expert about beauty. Can you share 5 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”?

  1. Allow your beauty to surface by eating healthy without feeling punished by lack of certain foods. Drink 2 liters of water per day
  2. Be careful with smoking, alcohol, and excessive coffee intake.
  3. Sleep enough to allow the body to rejuvenate itself. Enjoy nature and breathe fresh air!
  4. Don’t strive to look like a doll or robot: who wants a doll or robot as a best friend? Be an authentic real person!
  5. Use all natural products, not tested on animals. This way you give value to nature and value to yourself! Receive a massage or offer yourself a massage as the ultimate expression of self-love.

If you choose and follow this suggested lifestyle you feel beautiful, balanced and your self esteem will show in your face and posture. Your walk is youthful and has an attractive bounce to it. That is real beauty by wisdom! You don’t have to be bashful about your appearance when you are without make up ever anymore! I suggest trying it for one month to decide for yourself.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

If I would inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most people, it would be to use technology only in order to make life easier for people without giving away their humanity and their spirit which make the humans so unique! We definitely don’t want to end up as empty shells, robots or zombies who gave their power away to technology and inbuilt chips etc.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“The body is not there to end up in the coffin as a beauty.

The body is there to serve as a vehicle, as a means to experience life to the fullest!”

It is relevant to me because I “service” my body to be able to experience a lot more in life. I look back on traces and scars on the body the same as I look back in my photo albums from the past!

How can our readers follow you online?

Concerning the online Rejuvance massage course the readers can find me on www.qicarine.com ( & FB : Rejuvance online course)

In general the readers that want to follow me can find me on Facebook & Linkedin as Carine Vloemans or on my sites www.physioalternative.com and www.resetyourrhythm.com

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.


Carine Vloemans: Let’s use technology only in order to make life easier without giving away our… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Influencer Cait Curley: Why I choose to focus on all that is going right in the world today

…I also try to focus on positivity and all that is going right in the world vs. highlighting the negative. I try to be conscious of not just discussing issues, but also providing solutions.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Cait Curley.

Cait is an educator, entrepreneur, social media influencer, marketing specialist, and content creator with a passion for all things hemp and cannabis. She stays informed and up to date with the industry’s most heart wrenching stories, as well as the progress of the biggest movers and shakers. Cait was so intent on pursuing her work within the cannabis arena, that she uprooted her life and moved from New York to cannabis-centric Denver. After obtaining a health sciences degree and spending years of dedication in healthcare and client relations, she has navigated the underground cannabis world, while seeking to utilize her connections to educate the masses, represent a shift in culture and motivate continued progress within the community. Living in the forefront of the movement to end cannabis prohibition, fostering both B2B and B2C partnerships and connections inside the industry, Cait’s passion also extends to developing her own entrepreneurial investments and pursuits.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Before I moved to Colorado five years ago, I lived in upstate New York and was very alone in the sense of cannabis advocacy. I had been passionate about the plant for over 10 years and had a strong desire to connect more deeply with people that related to it, so I simply decided to drop everything and move to the epi-center of cannabis.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began this career?

I would say something that was astonishing, at the time, was being at an event years ago where someone handed me a hemp business card. I was like “this is cool, is it really made from hemp?” I was blown away not only by the ability of the plant to do many things but the people who were there advocating for those endless possibilities.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

To be honest, none of the mistakes I made when I first started were funny. I learned many lessons and none of them were easy.

Ok super. Let’s now jump to the core focus of our interview. Can you describe to our readers how you are using your platform to make a significant social impact?

I use social media as a platform to educate and advocate cannabis and all of the good connected to it. I create art through photos and videos and then tell a story or give facts on the cannabis plant and sustainability. I also try to focus on positivity and all that is going right in the world vs. highlighting the negative. I try to be conscious of not just discussing issues, but also providing solutions.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted by this cause?

A woman reached out to me via messenger one day, and told me that her husband had recently died. She said it was really difficult for her to get out of bed most days and it was hard for her to want to live on. There was a specific quote I had put out that day that made her want to get up and fight for her and her family’s happiness. That touched me so deeply. It affirmed that what I was doing was working.

Was there a tipping point that made you decide to focus on this particular area? Can you share a story about that?

Well, I do focus on industrial hemp more than any other area in cannabis. When I began to do so, I also became aware of how badly it was needed. There is a huge lack of industrial hemp education and all of the products that this plant can replace, supplement or improve. Once I started learning more on all of the potential benefits of true industrialized hemp commercialization, I committed 111% to join the revolution.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

  1. Force social media and internet platforms to allow for hemp and cannabis companies to promote products and services like any other legal industry because #HempIsLegal
  2. Force all banks and financial institutions to allow for hemp and cannabis companies to bank their business like any other legal industry because #HempIsLegal
  3. Force all governments to recognize hemp and cannabis for what it is, a benefit to humankind and encourage it to be a central part of society.

What specific strategies have you been using to promote and advance this cause? Can you recommend any good tips for people who want to follow your lead and use their social platform for a social good?

For me, I promote what I am passionate about and what I believe in through the social channels I am involved with. I encourage everyone in the advocacy and promotion space to do the same — promote what you believe in!

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. It can be difficult for some individuals to welcome young and new people into the space. Don’t mind them. I have been personally attacked by certain individuals and the reasoning always comes down to their own fear, lack of understanding, and sanity.
  2. Remember that you are honoring the plant. You don’t owe anyone anything and you don’t need to bow to anyone.
  3. Never doubt your connection to the plant. It doesn’t matter where you or your admiration for the plant came from.
  4. It’s not going to be easy fighting against a force such as the government.
  5. Don’t speak it or believe it until a contract is signed.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

The global adoption and commercialization of all that cannabis and hemp can do to benefit the world.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Be kind.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Elon Musk. He seems to be someone that is open and willing to experiment with best options for the planet. He smoked weed with Joe Rogan which was pretty cool, too.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Facebook- @caitcurley

Instagram- @cait_curley

LinkedIn- @caitcurley

YouTube- @caitcurley

Twitter- @caitcurley_

This was very meaningful, thank you so much

Thank you! Grateful for the opportunity!


Influencer Cait Curley: Why I choose to focus on all that is going right in the world today was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Gwen Jimmere of Naturalicious: “The number one idea I would suggest to feel beautiful is find what…

Gwen Jimmere of Naturalicious: “The number one idea I would suggest to feel beautiful is find what helps you boost your confidence level”

The number one idea I would suggest to feel beautiful is find what helps you boost your confidence level. Confidence is sexy, it’s bold and it’s attractive. Do things that make you feel sexy. Personally, I attend a twerk dance fitness class 3x a week. When I’m in that element, you can’t tell me a thing! Do whatever that “thing” is for you that makes you feel powerful and unstoppable.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Gwen Jimmere of Naturalicious.

Naturalicious is an organic, all-natural hair care brand with products for women with curly hair, with a focus on women of color with natural kinky or curly hair with a mission to eliminate the frustration, time and expense that can come with hair maintenance. As the first African American woman to own a patent for natural hair products founder and CEO Gwen Jimmere is a true trailblazer. Having started her company after getting laid off, going through a divorce with a young child, she created and grew Naturalicious out of the ashes of her life and from the ground up. 13 employees later with a growing brand, she is now managing her small empire remotely all while raising and educating her 8 year old son. Naturalicious is sold in hundreds of stores nationwide including Whole Foods and Sallys. Above all else, Gwen wants women to feel beauty as they are. Naturalicious exists to enhance the beauty that’s already there and give you more time for the things that matter most.

Thank you for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

After being laid off from my job at Ford Motor Co, my life quickly started to spiral downward. But there was one night that gave me the idea of what is now a multi-million dollar company. I was watching a movie that was produced by Chris Rock named Good Hair and there was a scene where a can was dropped in a tub of hair relaxer. The can completely disintegrated! Being pregnant with my son added to my fear that if this chemical was able to disintegrate a metal can, it had to be highly damaging to my unborn baby, and even to me.. In many ways you could say I was frightened into my destiny. That’s when I began

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

I was once on a Delta flight, and one of the flight attendants kept walking past me, staring at me. This was a 4 hour flight, and this went on for about half of the time. So for 2 whole hours she was walking back and forth, staring at me as she passed. My mind was racing as to why she was looking at me specifically. I wondered if maybe I had accidentally sat in someone else’s seat or something. After a while of this, she finally stopped and asked me, “Is your name Gwen?” Of course I responded with “Yes”, but at that point I was super confused. How did she know my name? Then she said, “Do you own Naturalicious?” And of course, I said, Yes!”. She immediately got excited and said “I’m a Claymate! I’m in the Naturalicious Nation! I’m so excited to meet you!” When the flight was over, I waited for everyone else to get off the plane so she and I could talk for a while. We ended up making a video and going live for my tribe of customers. And I even sent her a gift in the mail. It’s always an awesome surprise to meet customers out and about, and they actually know who I am. I’m such a low-key person, it usually shocks me when someone recognizes me out and about, but it actually happens pretty often.

Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?

I started being more visibly present to my customers. I started showing up more as the face of the company and the expert of my industry. I no longer wanted to hide behind the brand. The tipping point came when my customers realized that I cared about the health of their hair and that I cared about them as people, not just dollars. I really strive to build emotional connections with every one of them, not just transactional ones. Maya Angelou said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

The people who are game changers for me. Is my mother and my partner Michael. When times were toughest they were both there every step of the way and helped in more ways than I count. The successes I have had only could have been accomplished by her tough love and teaching.

Can you tell us about the “cutting edge” (pardon the pun) technologies that you are working with or introducing? How do you think that will help people?

Right now we are working on a brand new business model concept for the textured hair industry. We are still refining it, so I can’t spill too many beans right now. But it’s definitely a disruptive game changer and I’m incredibly excited about it.

Keeping “Black Mirror” and the “Law of Unintended Consequences” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?

I think there could be drawbacks. But both Black Mirror and Law of Unintended Consequences both share the commonality of the unforeseen future that could punish our actions and people should deeply think about. It just goes back to the principal of thinking before your actions, to calculate your actions to see the end result.

Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the “beauty-tech” industry?

Augmented reality excites me. The possibility of customers being able to see how they’ll look before they buy makes for better business for everyone. That means less confusion, less returns, more customer satisfaction, increased happiness all around.

Smart mirrors and customized products for face and hair are exciting as well. We are rapidly moving toward a hyper-personalized society and everyone wants something made just for them

Speaking of personalized products, we are seeing makeup companies begin to develop at-home tools that custom blend makeup colors and foundations for consumers, on demand. And exciting innovation will be the same thing created for hair care.

Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to reform or improve the industry, what would you suggest?

One is “fake inclusivity”. Many brands are including “natural hair” but it’s still the “socially acceptable” version of natural hair. The loose curly textures that are closer to the universally accepted standard of beauty is what we usually see when they’re talking about being inclusive. Rarely do we see images of coarse, kinky, highly textured hair in all its gorgeous glory. If you’re going to be inclusive, be completely inclusive. Don’t just check a box to say you did it.

The other thing that grinds my gears is the plethora of half truths, incomplete information and just straight up falsified details when it comes to beauty overall. There are so many people giving “expert” information and they’re not experts at all. They make very definitive statements, which consumers believe. This then leads people to be utterly confused my so much conflicting info all over the web.

The last thing that concerns me is that so many companies are selling snake oil to customers with promises of “miracles in a bottle.” This makes the customer jaded and frightened to try other products. Who wants to keep spending money and time on something when so many others like it have fooled them over and over again? By the time they get to a legitimate company, like Naturalicious, we have to undo so much of the damage the customer has suffered that it makes serving them even harder because they’re scared to even try something new to them.

You are an expert about beauty. Can you share 5 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)

The number one idea I would suggest to feel beautiful is find what helps you boost your confidence level. Confidence is sexy, it’s bold and it’s attractive. Do things that make you feel sexy. Personally, I attend a twerk dance fitness class 3x a week. When I’m in that element, you can’t tell me a thing! Do whatever that “thing” is for you that makes you feel powerful and unstoppable.

Next, understand that beauty is not vanity. It’s a foundational element for how we show up in the world. When you feel gorgeous, you show up differently. There’s a different sway in your swagger. You stand up taller. You own more of the room. You are less apologetic for being you. You deserve and are worthy of all of this.

Third, stop wishing you had someone else’s hair, face, or body. You were created in divine order and you are absolutely perfect. There is nothing about you that you need to fix. Buy from brands that exist to support your glow and help you shine brighter, like Naturalicious.T Truth be told, the people who you are envying very likely have their own set of insecurities.

Fourth, get up, get dressed and show up for yourself every day. Put in the time and effort to make yourself look beautiful for you. This is not about looking great for your partner or for any one else. Personally, I can go without a face full of makeup but I have to fill my eyebrows in. It makes me feel pretty, so I do it, even if there’s nothing else on my face. It’s easy and comfy to walk around in leggings and big sweats every day. But the moment you get the energy to truly get dressed in something you feel pretty in — even if it’s just jeans and a cute blouse — your whole mood will immediately change.

Lastly, self care is not selfish. You cannot pour from an empty cup. Take care of you and let everyone else benefit from your overflow. It’s impossible to be at 100% for everyone if you’re not at 100% for yourself.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-))

Personally I would definitely lead the eradication of domestic abuse. I was a victim and it can be traumatizing. 1 out of 7 women in America are victims of domestic violence. And 1 out of 16 men also report domestic violence. I will never understand it. Violence literally has no upside. I often hear people assume that victims are “stupid”, “dumb”, or “weak” when that’s not the case. The vast majority of abusers also control the finances of the household. It’s almost impossible, as an abuse victim, to completely leave a situation such as this and pull yourself up by your bootstraps when you have no money to do so. When we can begin to empower abuse victims with financial literacy, and actual funding to care for themselves and their children independent of their abusers, that’s when we will see a drop is such cases.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Speak what you seek until you see what you’ve said.” I completely believe in the law of attraction. I’m a living testimony that when you speak what you want, and truly believe it is not out of reach for you, the desires of your heart will manifest. But it’s not enough to just speak it, you have to believe you’re worthy of it. And when you do that frequently and consistently, nothing is out of your reach.

How can our readers follow you online?

You can reach us at Naturalicious.net. On Instagram we are @naturalicious_beauty and on Facebook, we are at facebook.com/naturalicious.


Gwen Jimmere of Naturalicious: “The number one idea I would suggest to feel beautiful is find what… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Chirag Pancholi of JennyLife: Five Things We Can Do To Close The Gender Wage Gap

…We are committed to ending the gender wage gap. To that end, our pay scale and offer letters for compensation are gender agnostic. We have instituted a continuation salary review model that eliminates the gender biases in compensation reviews.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Chirag Pancholi a veteran insurance industry executive who has been involved in the industry for more than 12 years.

Currently, he is the co-founder of JennyLife, mobile-first life insurance provider geared to providing financial security for families. Prior to Jenny Life, Pancholi served as strategy officer at Asurion, the world’s largest handset insurance provider. During his tenure at Goldman Sachs, he was the central banker with the Federal Reserve Board of Governors under Chairman Alan Greenspan. He holds a MBA, Strategy from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, a masters of public policy from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Science in engineering from the University of Maryland.

Thank you for joining us! Can you tell us the “backstory” that brought you to this career path?

My backstory into entrepreneurship is pretty circuitous. As an immigrant child, I was admonished to work hard in school and get a good job at a big company. I followed that track, and was miserable, but doing well. Shortly after several company moves, I was recruited to help grow a cell phone insurance company called Asurion based in California — which turned out to be an incredible learning experience. Through Asurion, I witnessed how rewarding it was to help fix people’s lives via insurance. That journey inspired me to try my hand at entrepreneurship and launch me into a new chapter. I have not looked back since.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began this career?

I’ll admit, there are many interesting stories in the early start-up days, but there is one that really stands out to me. It all started while couchsurfing at my friends place — some couches more comfortable than others. There were always those stories in the back of my mind, penniless entrepreneurs working all day and night, couchsurfing to focus on their vision and execution of their company — I never thought I would wind up being in those stories.

It seemed as though everything happened all at once, my first child was born, I launched my first company, and it was the beginning of the Great Recession. My wife and I decided this was the time to start saving money, and thought it was best for her and our newborn to live with her parents, while I stayed in California. With nowhere to live and no desk, I found myself working 14 hours plus at the Hacker Dojo, a community of founders in Mountain View, Calif., eat where I could at sponsored events, and sleep on innumerable friends’ couches.

While at times disheartening, the focus and drive to build something special pushed me to overcome the fear of being judged by peers and the skeptical eye of my parents.

Can you share a story about the funniest or most interesting mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

If there was a picture book about common mistakes while starting a company, there would be a picture of me on every page. For this instance, I wasn’t focused on the product solution like I should have been and instead I overspent on buying high quality “cool-looking” t-shirts featuring the company logo. At the time, I was under the impression that getting t-shirts was the first step to entrepreneurship. At the end of the day, I had a lot of t-shirts and no website — lessons were definitely learned.

Even in 2019, women still earn about 80 cents for every dollar a man makes. Can you explain three of the main factors that are causing the wage gap?

This is the heartbreaking truth about pay inequality and it’s unacceptable. We salute companies like Salesforce and Glassdoor for their work not only raising awareness around this crucial area but also taking steps to fix the problem. At Jenny Life, we believe there are three main factors that perpetuate the wage gap:

  1. Lack of Salary Transparency — While not a cure-all for pay inequity, it is an important first step. When wages are transparent, it’s harder to hide the discrepancies.
  2. Equitable Offers — Making equitable offers to certain groups of employees, such as women and older workers, are less likely to negotiate — accommodate for that by offering salaries that more closely reflect what the positions are worth, eliminating a reliance on negotiation to achieve a fair salary.
  3. Paid Parental Leave: Paid family leave promotes gender equality, as it takes into account the importance of both parents’ time with children during those paramount early months after birth.

Can you share with our readers what your work is doing to help close the gender wage gap?

At Jenny Life, we are committed to ending the gender wage gap. To that end, our pay scale and offer letters for compensation are gender agnostic. We have instituted a continuation salary review model that eliminates the gender biases in compensation reviews.

Can you recommend 5 things that need to be done on a broader societal level to close the gender wage gap. Please share a story or example for each.

As a business owner and entrepreneur, I believe it is more important than ever to implement changes on companies board of directors, to get new and encouraging voices to the table. Additionally, it’s pivotal for business owners, and leaders to start creating transparency within their companies messaging and allow for voices to be heard — even when disagreements arise. As more companies become driving forces for change, women and overlooked communities will have a better chance of success, and closing the gender wage gap. Lastly, I think it’s important to educate women on different leadership opportunities at companies, no one knows what they’re capable of if they never heard it was reachable.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I’d love to see a movement around the importance of parenting. In my opinion, parenting is probably one of the hardest jobs an individual will undertake, but also the one for which the least amount of training and preparation is provided — parenting can be an emotional rollercoaster. There are many emotions a parent feels while raising a child, anxiety over their child’s vulnerability, anger when they refuse to cooperate, guilt when they struggle, a sense of loss as they grow up. Empowering parents by teaching positive parenting techniques is one way to help people understand what they’re in for and how to help them along the way. Parenting programs such as The Incredible Years in Norway, are one of most effective ways to promote positive parenting — a strategy that encourages mutual respect, creativity, realistic expectations and self-care as a parent. Areas of focus could be around caring for infants, nutrition, education for young children and more.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

A saying that always sticks with me, “treat everyone as if they were your janitor or surgeon,” it’s a great example of how we are all tied together, no matter their title.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

There are many incredible entrepreneurs in the world that inspire me everyday, however, if I were to choose one it would be the founder of Spanx, Sara Blakely. She disrupted an industry that overlooked the importance of comfort in women’s style and built a company based on that principle — women’s self confidence. I would love to sit down with Sara to talk about how she drove Spanx’s success in a time when web/mobile was not society’s foundation.


Chirag Pancholi of JennyLife: Five Things We Can Do To Close The Gender Wage Gap was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Jennifer Yen of Purlisse and YENSA Beauty: 5 Things We Need To Do To Close The Gender Wage Gap

Currently we are in midst of a global pandemic crisis, the entire world is shut down, businesses shuttering everyday and 6.6 million people in America filed for unemployment. The lesson here is it would have been easier to manage 2 months ago before it got more difficult. And for an entrepreneur, working with a lean team, creating under constraints and having a healthy balance sheet when times are good prepares you for difficult times like this.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Jennifer Yen, founder of Purlisse and YENSA Beauty. Jennifer started her career on the hit TV Show POWER RANGERS and now she saves complexions with her award winning beauty line, Purlisse. Jennifer Yen is a single mom who has a goal: to share the Asian Beauty Secrets that cleared up her skin while she was a Power Ranger; the show destroyed her skin! Now women can fall in love with their skin again from tried and true Asian remedies that date back 1000s of years. Going back to her roots and her Grandmother’s Asian beauty secrets, Jennifer was able to improve her skin and her confidence.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us the “backstory” that brought you to this career path?

My path to becoming a CEO is an unconventional one. I’m a former TV villainess. I used to fight Power Rangers on TV and spending 15 hours a day with heavy makeup on, under bright lights really wrecked my skin. I tried absolutely everything to restore my complexion but nothing worked. That’s when I rediscovered my grandmother’s Asian beauty rituals, and immediately saw a difference in my skin. I was determined to bring these rituals to everyone around the world, so I created Purlisse.

However, after giving birth to my daughter, I was again faced with troubled skin. My mother insisted that I participate in “Zuo Zue Zi”, a 2000 year old tradition in Chinese Medicine where a new mother sits out a month right after birth, in order to rest and heal her body by integrating superfoods into their daily routine. This inspired me to start my second brand, YENSA.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began this career?

Life and work challenges never get easier, you just get better.

Can you share a story about the funniest or most interesting mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I thought building my own business was going to be so much easier. Having survived the great recession and now going into the great pandemic, 2 lessons stand out:

  1. Solid, steady and sustainable businesses win the race.
  2. Do more with less and create under constraints.

Ok let’s jump to the main focus of our interview. Even in 2019, women still earn about 80 cents for every dollar a man makes. Can you explain three of the main factors that are causing the wage gap?

1. Women are forced to take time off from work when they become mothers because there is not enough infrastructure to care for children.

2. Women hold less executive positions.

3. There are not enough women investors investing in women led companies.

Can you share with our readers what your work is doing to help close the gender wage gap?

I am a woman, creating beauty products for women, therefore we have an all women team. This is not to say that we wouldn’t hire men. Right now, we only have a team of talented and passionate women. In addition, most of our contractors such as our marketing agency, PR and others are also women led. I hope we are doing our part to close the gender wage gap.

Can you recommend 5 things that need to be done on a broader societal level to close the gender wage gap. Please share a story or example for each.

1. In a relationship, partnership or marriage, when both partners are working, the childcare, the household chores, cooking, errands, grocery shopping, cleaning etc should be shared by both partners.
2. More infrastructure for childcare that enables women to work and stay in the workforce.
3. Advice and mentorship from other women who have been able to raise children while continuing to work.
4. Have more women executives and more women in leadership positions.
5. For every man a company hires, hire a woman.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would strive to continuously empower, promote and enable women’s economic independence.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Anticipate the Difficult by Managing the Easy” — Lao Tzu

Currently we are in midst of a global pandemic crisis, the entire world is shut down, businesses shuttering everyday and 6.6 million people in America filed for unemployment. The lesson here is it would have been easier to manage 2 months ago before it got more difficult. And for an entrepreneur, working with a lean team, creating under constraints and having a healthy balance sheet when times are good prepares you for difficult times like this.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

I admire Sara Blakely, she is self-made, passionate and believed in her mission and product and self-financed her company. Her company was born out of her own personal pain and her brand and company is authentic.

This was really meaningful! Thank you so much for your time.


Jennifer Yen of Purlisse and YENSA Beauty: 5 Things We Need To Do To Close The Gender Wage Gap was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Hairstylist Paul Labrecque: Don’t over-process or overdo, then you will only look good when someone

Hairstylist Paul Labrecque: Don’t over-process or overdo, then you will only look good when someone else has primped you

Keep your approach simple;

Have attainable goals that you can recreate;

Keep your style as natural as possible;

Don’t over-process or overdo, then you will only look good when someone else has primped you;

Wear your style, don’t let your style wear you;

And have done only what you can afford to keep up

As a part of our series about how technology will be changing the beauty industry over the next five years, I had the pleasure of interviewing Hairstylist Paul Labrecque.

Paul Labrecque Salon and Skincare Spa was founded by Paul Labrecque in 1988 with a simple passion for beauty and fashion. This passion grew as Paul soon realized the power of beauty and how making people feel and look their best could truly change lives in so many ways. At this point he knew this is what he wanted to do in life and his entrepreneurial spirit took over. What started as a 2-seat boutique salon on the Upper Westside neighborhood of New York has grown into a highly successful full-service salon and skincare spa in Manhattan at the chic CORE: club, another full-service location at The Royal Poinciana Plaza in Palm Beach, Florida, and another location in downtown Philadelphia at The Rittenhouse Hotel. Paul has also created an award-winning line of hair care products, a thriving retail and e commerce business and a highly regarded education center for young stylists in training.

Selected as one of Vanity Fair magazine’s “Top 3 Stylists” in the USA, Paul quickly became recognized as one of New York City’s go-to salons. Paul prides himself with a focus on excellent customer service, personal attention and the best in beauty services. His natural penchant for carefree cuts, innovative techniques and custom-blended color has resulted in a loyal and dedicated following. His one-of-a-kind engaging personality combined with his creative hair-styling, sophisticated sense of style and spot-on eye for color keeps his clients looking beautiful and always coming back for a truly memorable visit to his salons and skincare spas.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I truly love hair and felt a calling at a very young age that I had to create and provide beautiful, wearable styles.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Traveling with Renée Zellweger! I have styled and colored her hair for a Golden Globe Awards red carpet and for some of her previous movie premieres.

Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?

Yes, this happened when I met my husband Brian and he started to manage my career. I owe so much to us meeting and to him. He saw in me things I didn’t even see in myself. We are really complementary partners, and he pushed me forward in business so that I could no longer be complacent.

I let him help get me organized so I could pay off debt. When that burden was lifted I started to flourish. My creativity and business took off.

Know that you cannot do it all yourself! A strong business is defined by quality employees that are trained, engaged and presented with opportunity. Invest in training staff as that translates to the customer and their experience, creating a positive and respectful work environment for all. Accept help and you will have more time to pursue your passions.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Once again Brian Cantor, my partner. He runs the Paul Labrecque Salon and Skincare Spa business. I’m also extremely grateful for Paul Grasso, my best friend since childhood. He runs our internet/e-commerce business.

Remember to surround yourself with people you can trust. With Brian, our story really began when we fell in love and then it progressed to the point where we had to get him a green card. Working together made that possible in a time when two men were not allowed to marry — look how much has changed!

Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. The beauty industry today has access to technology that was inconceivable only a short time ago. Can you tell us about the “cutting edge” (pardon the pun) technologies that you are working with or introducing? How do you think that will help people?

Social media plays a big part in connecting with our customers and creating relationships with the Paul Labrecque “PL” community. It is key in sharing our work lives and expertise with our customers, giving them insight into our day-to-day and introducing them to all that’s new with our business. Social media enables us to personalize our business on a much higher level and customize the beauty experience. It also gives us a more global approach to our business. We have access to so much more information from around the world and our business can also connect with a much broader audience 24/7.

More and more technology is also becoming available for our service side of the business. We have always embraced the newest and best in beauty products. Now new technology is available like never before. From products that are driven by science to actual technology that helps us deliver better services and more results driven beauty experiences. Biologique Recherche skincare has really taken the lead in this area over the last 2 years.

Me and my team are also excited about new non-chemical formulas for hair straightening, advanced hair color technology that is less damaging to hair, a wider range of hair color options and techniques, advanced hair addition and extension systems, hair and scalp therapy, and hair loss treatments with micro-needling, LED Light Therapy and PRP. All are making a real difference in how clients approach beauty.

The science of skincare has made some great advances in the last few years with more advanced product formulations and technology to support them. Micro-current lifting facials, micro-needling for skin, LED Light Therapy and very specific treatment protocols are setting the standard and raising the beauty bar in the skincare category. It’s all about customized treatments designed specifically for each clients’ unique beauty needs.

The Vegan beauty movement is also taking hold. New technologies and formulations are producing very effective products in this category. We work with many brands including Londontown nails and Biologique Recherche that continue to make advancements in this area.

Information is the key to knowledge! We love working with our clients to cater to their individual hair and skin needs, concerns, desires and goals.

Keeping “Black Mirror” and the “Law of Unintended Consequences” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?

Sometimes technology stops us from living in the moment. I don’t think everything has to be photographed. Technology today can either be a positive or negative depending on how you embrace. We must be careful not to get lost and disconnected from our clients and staff. However, if used properly it can certainly be a great connector to stay engaged and create closer relationships.

Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the “beauty-tech” industry?

We know so much more now about keeping hair healthy and thicker — PRP and re-bonding products for use during chemical treatments are just a couple examples. The envelope can really be pushed now.

The advancements in skincare science have taken spa treatments to a new level, too. The benefits go far beyond a relaxing experience. It’s all about real results with the new technology that is available. The new science of skincare has also propelled at-home care. Products today are much more effective, customized and results-driven. Serious skincare on a personalized level is now attainable for most, if they are willing to invest and commit.

Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to reform or improve the industry, what would you suggest?

Blow Dry Bars — Untrained labor and this can steer people away from trusted salons.

At-Home Style Services that are discounted — These people have changed the price of a house call and ruin it for themselves when they become more experienced. Previously, leaving a salon to go out and do someone’s hair and/or makeup would garner a premium fee plus travel costs.

The Loss of the Large Salon where one Trained with a Notable Hair Stylist — This is being replaced by cubicle leasing with a central desk, with training now taking place on YouTube and Instagram.

I would first restructure state board and education training to properly educate future stylists about what is actually done in a salon every day. Juniors today can barely hold a blow dryer. I would also revamp the exam by implementing a in-salon mandatory piece to new stylist education, where testing takes place in a salon. Additionally, I would teach people how to talk to clients. Empathy is a must in our field and a stylist must know that we make our living from pleasing the client, therefore the client is always assumed right and we aim to please. Service, service, service!

You are an expert about beauty. Can you share 5 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. Keep your approach simple;
  2. Have attainable goals that you can recreate;
  3. Keep your style as natural as possible;
  4. Don’t over-process or overdo, then you will only look good when someone else has primped you;
  5. Wear your style, don’t let your style wear you;
  6. And have done only what you can afford to keep up

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Giving back — paying forward to clients, employees and the community. We just did an event at my Palm Beach salon and skincare spa to help homeless children. I made all of the food we raised a lot of money. We try our best to make a difference and that in itself is beautiful.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

What goes around comes around and you meet the same people going down as coming up, so always try to be a gentleman or lady.

This is how I live life. At times I’ve wanted to kill when an employee I trained wanted to leave, but I composed myself as a gentleman and when they were quoted in a magazine about their beginnings they mentioned me fondly. Thank god I used self-control and knew that there is enough business out there for all of us.

How can our readers follow you online?

Paul Labrecque Salon and Skincare’s website: www.paullabrecque.com

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/paullabrecquesalonandspa/

On Instagram @paullabrecquesalon

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.


Hairstylist Paul Labrecque: Don’t over-process or overdo, then you will only look good when someone was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

The Future Of Beauty: “Machine Learning To Help Solve For Healthy Skin” With Bianca Maxwell of…

The Future Of Beauty: “Machine Learning To Help Solve For Healthy Skin” With Bianca Maxwell of Skinary

…Honestly, I want to see more people of color — but specifically women — breaking into the tech space and seeing big ideas gain traction and funding.

As a part of our series about how technology will be changing the beauty industry over the next five years I had the pleasure of interviewing Bianca Maxwell.

Having grown up with acne for most of her life, Bianca Maxwell leaned on her experience in global brand management and digital platforms to develop Skinary, a digital health company that uses machine learning to understand skin issues.

Bianca was looking for a way to track the progress of her skin, which led her to building the skin diary app skin, Skinary. Launching in Spring 2020, Skinary as a free mobile application that offers recommendations on habits changes based on your daily journaling of your food, product usage and lifestyle habits.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Of course! I grew up in a household that loves beauty, health and tech and I always knew that I would be an entrepreneur. I studied Business, Marketing and Entrepreneurship to build up my skillset so I could end up in Silicon Valley out of college, working with a tech startup.

I actually “fell” into the fashion and my first few roles after college were in New York City, working with startup brands. Those roles taught me alot about brand heat, press and marketing, creative problem solving and appealing to your target market. After a few years in New York, I decided I wanted corporate experience, so I switched gears and worked for a global corporation where managed product marketing, platform development and global negotiations.

All of those career experiences put me in a great position to build my own company.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

So this is an interesting story, because this experience actually gave me the nerve to start Skinary!

In a previous role, I was hired for one thing and the day I started they pivoted my role to a focus on leading a project that was deemed impossible and couldn’t get off the ground for 3 years! It was a real sink or swim moment being so new to such a large global organization. With a mix of grit and creative problem solving, I was not only able to roll-out the project, saving the company over $1.5M annually, but I rolled it out across the world.

After I accomplishing that, I realized that if I could do that for someone else, why not do it for my own business!

Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?

The tipping point was when I decided to embrace being a solo founder, after having a few bumps on the road of finding the right CoFounder to partner with.

After speaking with some successful founders and tons of advice, I decided to solve for what we needed, and not who we needed.

Within 2 months of making the decision to embrace being a solo founder we had a number of wins. I signed a Machine Learning development partnership, finalized a licensing agreement for an unbiased AI and launched our BETA to Apple.

Trusting your own set of unique skills will always give you an unique advantage to hitting your goals.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My community, not one person, has really supported me at every single step I have taken to date. That support comes in forms of intros, lunches, resource sharing or listening ears. Many of my friendships have grown stronger since I started Skinary, some have turned into Advisors. Having a startup gave folks in my life an opportunity to support in a way that is pretty rare!

Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. The beauty industry today has access to technology that was inconceivable only a short time ago. Can you tell us about the “cutting edge” (pardon the pun) technologies that you are working with or introducing? How do you think that will help people?

We are using machine learning to help solve for healthy skin from your home. We want to help people have healthy skin, and understanding of how to work toward that with healthier habits.

People personalized recommendations on habit to change over time

We aren’t pushing products, and we aren’t teledermatology because we leverage deep learning with integrative dermatology and functional medicine.

Keeping “Black Mirror” and the “Law of Unintended Consequences” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?

It’s not the technology that is a drawback, it is how it is leveraged by individuals — which is why you see Black Mirror episodes go so tragical wrong.

Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the “beauty-tech” industry?

The potential to find ways to have healthy skin without relying or being dependent on products, new skin research that can push progress on melanated skin concerns, and faster diagnosis of skin concerns so everyday people are left to Google Images and guesses!

Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to reform or improve the industry, what would you suggest?

Some of my concerns about the beauty industry is that product ingredients and formulations aren’t as less regulated in the US than the EU, integrative dermatology isn’t widely practiced and skin health resources have a high barrier to entry for the average person.

I would love to be part of initiatives to change regulation around product formulations to ensure toxic ingredients are left out, assist in making integrative dermatology more mainstream and help the average person have access to healthy skin without reliance on products or appointments!

You are an expert about beauty. Can you share 5 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)

Beauty is really about how you feel about yourself. Positive feelings exude outwardly and radiate confidence. Some rules I live by are sweat for 20 mins a day, resting when I need it, exfoliating often, staying hydrated (internally and externally), mitigating my stress and remembering to smile often.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Honestly, I want to see more people of color — but specifically women — breaking into the tech space and seeing big ideas gain traction and funding.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Please: Do everything you possibly can in one lifetime” — @KanyeWest via Twitte

I got this as an embroidered piece of art a few years ago. Aside from Kanye being a fellow Gemini from Chicago, I loved this quote because it reminds me that you don’t have to just accomplish one thing in your lif. You can go after as much as possible.

How can our readers follow you online?

@BiancaMaxwell or @SkinaryApp on FB, Twitter and Instagram

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.


The Future Of Beauty: “Machine Learning To Help Solve For Healthy Skin” With Bianca Maxwell of… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Dr Marina Bruni: “Dreamers; They Told Me It Was Impossible And I Did It Anyway”

Imagine making the right choice, the right decision every time. Every single time. Effortlessly. With ease. No more second-guessing yourself. No more confusion. No more slowing down. No more procrastination. No more fear. No more frustration. No more lack of clarity. No more stress. No more low energy level. No more being stuck.

As a part of our series about “dreamers who ignored the naysayers and did what others said was impossible”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr Marina Bruni.

Dr Marina Bruni, aka The Global Brain Activation Strategist, is a mentor, lawyer, an executive coach, business consultant and international speaker who specializes in brain integration strategies and energy. She gives her clients the keys to unlock creative solutions to the problems they’re facing.

Dr Marina is featured as one of the Global Thought Leaders in the movie How Thoughts Become Things, sequel to the hit movie The Secret, alongside many big names from The Secret’s original cast.

She is well-known for helping businesses identify additional revenue streams within their existing business through strategic relationships and delegation.

As dual qualified lawyer with over two decades of experience in the financial services industry, Dr Marina has seen the destructive consequences of poor choices. She is on a mission to empower men and women to use her proven method to make the right choice with ease — consistently.

With the mindset of a lawyer and the skill-set of a coach, Dr Marina fast-tracks her private and corporate clients through shifts using innovative and proprietary methods from her Power of Choice: Brain Activation Mastery Program.

Dr Marina is a Master of Neuro-Linguistic and Energy; speaks 4 languages; loves dark chocolate and traveling the globe.

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to ‘get to know you’ a bit better. Can you tell us your ‘backstory’?

Thank you for having me, it’s a delight being here.

Yes, of course.

So, I come from a family and generations of lawyers and I’ve been a lawyer myself for over twenty years, with a career in corporate and financial services. For us being a lawyer has always meant doing the right thing, helping people. That’s how I’ve been brought up.

I started my legal career, and went into my corporate career. You know how it is, very demanding job, very fast paced environment. My life was ruled by projects and deadlines. Leaving very little — or no room at all for anything else. That was what I had worked for, what I wanted. And I got it. And that was it. That was my life. Day in day out. From a meeting to another. From a project to another. From a deadline to another. Always on the case. Never missed a deadline. Always delivering the best possible result. Basically, I was an overachiever.

But, at some point, my body started to disagree with that lifestyle and started sending me some signal of intolerance. Which I either ignored or didn’t understand. And that’s when it hit me. And it hit me BIG. Enough was enough. And my immune system got shut. I ended up at the hospital. Intensive care for a couple of days. And when they discharged me they put me off work for one month.

That was the catalyst. That’s when my inner journey started. That’s when I started asking myself questions like what do I want? What do I really want? Am I happy with where I am at right now? Do I want to keep living like this? Is this the life I want? And who am I? Because, see until then I used to identify myself with my job title, my role in society and my family, my projects, my achievements. But now. What now? Who am I, if I’m not all those things…

So, I deep dived into the unknown, well what was unknown to me back then: meditation, mindfulness, yoga, neuro-linguistic, neuroscience, energy, quantum physics. And I started to make sense. Deeply. And I started to implement all of that. And I started, naturally, to teach all of that to others. And, to cut is short, the rest is history.

Fast forward to present day, I ended up in the movie sequel to The Secret, alongside some big names from The Secret’s original cast. I teach my students how to activate their brain to tap into their energetic DNA, create more powerful choices and shape your own outcome as you want it. And I make an impact.

Are you working on any new or exciting projects now? How do you think that will help people?

Yes. I’m about to launch my new workshop. And I’m so excited about it. It’s about how you can design your energetic morning blueprint. See, we are all made of energy and each one of us has their own unique energetic DNA. But very few of us are actually able to tap into that powerful force of creation. When you do it, when you tap into it that’s when you’re able to create more of what you want and more powerfully.

In your opinion, what do you think makes your company or organization stand out from the crowd?

We are committed to deliver premium quality services to our clients and students.

We have a deep understanding of our clients and students’ needs. And we are well known for delivering solid lasting results, fast.

And thanks to my unique background and experience I have a 360 degrees vision and approach. See, I’ve been on all sides of a transaction or service: as a lawyer, as a consultant, as a teacher, as a client and as a student. I have experienced all kind of flaws in receiving services and certainly don’t want any of my client and student to experience any of that.

And this is one of the core values, that we live by in my company, together with authenticity integrity and honesty. These pillars are all non-negotiable for us.

Ok, thank you for that. I’d like to jump to the main focus of this interview. Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us? What was your idea? What was the reaction of the naysayers? And how did you overcome that?

Oh yes. All the time. Since I was a kid. But it never stopped me.

And let me tell you, there was this time when one of my brothers even told me — in a funny(ish) way of course, I love my two brothers — well he told me not to share with the whole family every single idea, everything I do because … “too crazy”… hahaha can you imagine that?

But, I understand them: I’m a powerhouse of ideas and actions and, sometimes …well … often, this is overwhelming for those around you.

Now: story. I’ll give you this story.

There was this time when I was in law-school that even my professor said to me not to even think about it… because it would likely turn out to be a waste of time.

At that time, I was very much into international law and, of course, changing people’s live and make an impact in the world. And I wanted to get into some international organization to give my contribution. So, I found out that, back then, the UNO had an internship program. And that intrigued me. A lot! So, I decided I wanted to do it. Of course, it must not have been easy to get in and I didn’t really have any connection. But, hey — what if? …

I wanted that. I really really really wanted to do that internship. And so, I applied.

In all this, my prof kept saying to me not to get my hopes us because, you know, the selection process is tough and only very few exceptional people are awarded this type of acknowledgment. And so on.

To cut it short. The day arrived when I received my letter from the UNO. I had those mixed feelings of excitement and fear because I didn’t know what the outcome would be. I open the letter and … guess who was one of those very few people? Yes. I got my internship to the UNO Headquarters in New York City.

And not only that! When I came back to Italy after that experience, that same professor offered me a job on a special project at the university where I would be in charge of the international aspects of it.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Yes, of course. A lot of people have helped me along the way. My family first of. They’re always there for me. My teachers and mentors.

And then, the amazing thing that happens all the time, is that whenever I feel stuck or seem not to be able to find the right solution. Well. The solution comes to me. It can be in the form of a person, situation or anything really anything.

So, I’m very grateful and blessed. And there is one person that I want to thank over everybody and anybody, and that’s me. Because without her, without me, without my persistence, without my intuition, without my trust, none of these would have happened. And we wouldn’t be having this amazing conversation right now.

And please note, this is not an act of arrogance on my part. On the contrary, it’s an act of love and respect. For myself.

It must not have been easy to ignore all the naysayers. Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share the story with us?

You’re so right. Building resilience is not easy; most of the times is painful in fact. But really, there’s no other way.

I’ve always been different. Never fitted in. And I’ve always been ahead of my time, in some way. When I was a teen I left my family to go to high school at 750 km away from my home town — actually, my parents proposed it to me and I accepted.

I was 13. I didn’t have any friends in my new town. I had no idea whether I would have been welcomed in my new school. What kind of environment. What kind of people.

And in a way I was prepared to the worst. My aunt, I was going to live with her in Florence, had sort of prepped me that Florentines are not that open and can turn out to be quite unfriendly. Well, thank God that turned out not to be the case! And since my first day in my new school I got invited by my schoolmates to do homework at theirs, socialize, play etc. And that was amazing.

But, still, I had my own challenges. School was tough and most days I would finish my homework at about midnight or so. Yeah, school was really tough.

My family was far away. Yes, I was living with my aunt. But it’s not quite the same. And most of the time I felt like she and I were on two different planets. Not connecting. Like she didn’t get me. See, it kills your enthusiasm when you’re savoring all the things you’re going to tell your parents next time you talk to them on the phone. And then. When you’re there. With them. On the phone. It turns out they already know everything…

Or when you get subtle — or not that subtle — comments about your physicality and your body. Now, regardless of whether those were true or not, you don’t say that kind of stuff to a teenager. You just don’t. Period. Especially if you’re an educator yourself…

That would open an awful lot of questions that’s not the case to get into right now. And normally I wouldn’t mention that. The reason I did, is that there might be someone out there feeling exactly like I did back then, or behaving like my aunt, maybe without even realizing it. And my words here, my experience might offer them a different perspective or trigger some questioning.

Clearly, I had a lot on my plate. And, yes, I had difficult moments. Let’s just say it was no walk in the park.

But never, not one day, not one minute I’ve ever thought to give up. To go back and have an easier life. That was not an option. At all. I was going to make it through. Whatever it took.

And that’s what I did. One step at the time. When things were getting even tougher. One step at the time.

And let me tell you. I am very grateful for that experience and all other experiences I’ve had because those experiences, and the choices I’ve made, made me the person I am today.

Based on your experience, can you share 5 strategies that people can use to harness the sense of tenacity and do what naysayers think is impossible? (Please share a story or an example for each)

Absolutely! With pleasure

First of all, I want people to understand that this is a process. It requires practice. It requires consistency. Like yoga or when you go to the gym. The more you practice the better you get at it. You need to train that muscle.

And that’s the n.1, the foundation of the foundations.

Then, we need to build the foundation. You know, everything starts from the beginning. So, what’s the beginning? The start of your day is the beginning. And that’s when you can give a clear and powerful direction to your entire day. In Italy we have a say: a good day starts in the morning. And that’s why I’ve created a Guide on how you can Design Your Energetic Morning Blueprint and all your readers can get it downloaded for FREE from my website www.marinabruni.com

All the strategies I explain in the guide are all proven and highly effective. Here’s few of them

Setting your mood: The first thing you do in the morning is going to set your mood for the day. So. Smile as soon as you open your eyes. That will lift your mood instantly. And do this experiment (actually this is one of my practices): smile at all strangers who cross your path on your way to work, and whenever you go about. You’ll see they will all smile back at you. I do this all the time. And I love it.

Meditation is a great technique to clear your mind and ground yourself. And listen, you don’t have to meditate for hours and hours. Few minutes are enough. Even just five or ten minutes is a great start. And even just few slow breaths where you focus on your breathing.

I like what I call meditation-on-the-go. I talk about that in my guide as well. DO NOT do that when you’re driving please. But you can do it when you commute on the train or tube/subway. Just close your eyes or lower your gaze and listen to what’s around you. All the noise. And observe your thoughts as an external observer. Without engaging with them.

And then one of my favorites: the shower meditation. It’s on my guide too and is very powerful because it combines the power of the meditation with the power of water, which is a life force element. Water is life, nourishment, cleansing.

The last strategy I want to mention is: listening to your body. This is one of the foundations and yet very much neglected. Listen to the signals your body sends you, it does that all the time. But we have numbed ourselves to those. Listen for what feels right and what doesn’t, so you can pick exactly what you need and implement it. And also, on a more pragmatic perspective, if your body needs you to stretch your legs or go to the toilet, don’t force yourself to send this one (or more than one) last email first and then …

What is your favorite quote or personal philosophy that relates to the concept of resilience?

Great question!

What I put my mind to, I know I’m going to achieve it. I always truly and strongly believe that. And I do whatever it takes — legally — to achieve that goal. Because nobody can, and nobody is going to tell me when or if to stop or give up. I’m the one who calls the shot. I am the powerful creator of my own reality. Nobody else is, unless I let them. And I do not let anybody else to tell me what I should do, whether to give up, or how run my life or business. Of course, I have advisors, mentors and collaborators but I don’t allow them to make choices on my behalf. I’m the one in charge. I am the powerful creator of my reality.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

Yeah, you never know!

The reason I do what I do is to empower people to create their own reality as they want it. To make the right choice, every time. So, they can tap in the infinite flow of prosperity.

Now. Imagine. What would that be like? How would it feel like? If every single human being would become the powerful creator that they truly are.

Imagine making the right choice, the right decision every time. Every single time. Effortlessly. With ease. No more second-guessing yourself. No more confusion. No more slowing down. No more procrastination. No more fear. No more frustration. No more lack of clarity. No more stress. No more low energy level. No more being stuck.

And yes to time freedom. Yes to more success. Yes to abundant money flow. Yes to infinite prosperity.

And so, the movement would be: Become the Powerful Creator that You Are.

Can our readers follow you on social media?

Yes, that would be a pleasure

www.linkedin.com/in/dr-marina-bruni-jd

https://www.facebook.com/drmarinabruni/

https://www.instagram.com/drmarinabruni/

They can also join my mailing list at www.marinabruni.com where I share insights I don’t share anywhere else.

Thank you for these great stories. We wish you only continued success!


Dr Marina Bruni: “Dreamers; They Told Me It Was Impossible And I Did It Anyway” was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Ardak Yeraliyeva of Tynt: “Why You Should Find Something To Admire In Yourself”

Find something to admire in yourself. Even those simple things that just came to mind. Appreciate it. Own it. Instead of beating yourself up, treat yourself. Imagine what you could do with all that energy used up on negative thoughts about yourself?

As a part of our series about how technology will be changing the beauty industry over the next five years I had the pleasure of interviewing Ardak Yeraliyeva, founder and CEO of Tynt — a social media platform for beauty-focused content (www.tynt.live). Ardak is an experienced professional with a demonstrated history of working at the Big 4, capital markets, and the beautytech industry.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

It all started when I came to America for 2 weeks… and stayed for almost 2 years.

My story goes back to 2017, when I quit my perfectly good job to follow my passion. My parents just couldn’t understand why I would leave a well-paying job and jump into the unknown, following an entrepreneurial path. And they still don’t!

When I first started, Tynt wasn’t even a concept yet. It was around that time I came across a wine discovery app that completely changed my customer experience. You just scan the label on the bottle and get immediate product reviews, ratings, and prices. And boom, there it was! I wanted the same tool for beauty product discovery.

Why beauty products? Well, it was my personal struggle. Back then highlighters and concealers were very popular and yet I didn’t know how to use them. For a moment I thought: Wouldn’t it be great to have a similar tool for beauty product discovery that gives you immediate reviews, prices, DIY makeup tutorials, etc. All in one place.

Since I couldn’t find one, I decided to create one. Tynt was born after many iterations, trials and errors since those early days. Today it’s a niche community of beauty enthusiasts who create and share a unique, live experience daily.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Well, I think a series of interesting events have come together to make up my professional journey. I came to the US with a small bag of personal belongings, planning to go back in 2 weeks. But what happened next changed everything.

During those 2 weeks, I met my future co-founder through a friend. We started talking and quickly realized we shared a passion for entrepreneurship. Soon, we set-up a company and started working on our first idea. Of course, I canceled my return tickets and stayed in San Francisco for a while.

Just when I was planning to go back home again, as fate would have it, I took an elevator ride with Cinta. She just happened to own Cinta Aveda Institute (beauty school) and salons in the Bay Area. Yes, we got a new partner on board! As you may have guessed, I canceled my return tickets again.

And finally, we usually say that Tynt in essence, is Twitch for beauty enthusiasts. Guess what happened next? In one word I can sum up everything — serendipity!

Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?

You know, I’ve never thought of it as a ‘tipping point’ per se, but I still remember that exact moment: The day when we partnered with Cinta Aveda Institute in San Francisco. It was the first big name in our portfolio. Later, we got Saks Fifth Avenue, Armani Beauty, and many others. But it will always be the first big win for me. Right around that time, beauty bloggers with significant social media followings started joining our platform. I couldn’t be happier to get validation from the industry, and for the first time ever I felt we’re doing something that customers wanted. As they say, build a customer-focused product, even when you don’t have any customers.

Hmm… takeaways? Since the beginning of my career one thing I understood is — you’ve got to start. You’ll be surprised at all the opportunities that will come up along the way. Regardless of doubts and criticism, you’ve just got to start. The thing is that most of us want to start a business with the perfect idea. But there’s no such thing as the perfect idea. Speaking of which, Tynt was born as a result of constant iterations. So, my advice is just start with something small and keep improving it.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I can’t say there’s one particular person, rather there have been a few key people who have supported and helped me to get where I am today.

First of all, I’m thankful for my brother who is always there for me to bounce ideas off. Since we have similar backgrounds and share the same interests, I find it natural to discuss things with him. Even though he doesn’t believe in every idea that I have, he’s still supportive and makes sure I don’t lose touch with reality. Sometimes as founders we tend to experience excessive optimism or pessimism about our own ideas.

Second of all, I’m grateful to my co-founders, with whom I share the burden each day. The ups and downs of startup life are endless, but life goes a lot more smoothly with the right ones.

Finally, business partners that gave Tynt our early chances. An angel investor that wrote the first check. Friends and family. And many others shaped my life and helped to get me where I am today. I couldn’t be more grateful for having them in my life.

Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. The beauty industry today has access to technology that was inconceivable only a short time ago. Can you tell us about the “cutting edge” (pardon the pun) technologies that you are working with or introducing? How do you think that will help people?

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak the world will change radically and we need to adapt to a new way of living. We’re witnessing a massive spike in online content consumption. This phenomenon creates new opportunities, and social media is proving to be ahead of the curve.

In fact, we live in remarkable times. Today social media allows anyone to become a celebrity. However, millions of independent content creators with huge followings struggle to access sponsorships or meaningful revenue on existing social media platforms. So the question is, how can content creators access capital to help their personal brands or businesses thrive?

The truth of the matter is that content monetization is one of the biggest challenges that social media influencers face. To meet this challenge head on, Tynt is focused on building an attractive ecosystem for content creators to help them to monetize their social media content. Our platform is niche and customized to the needs of content creators, whereas other content platforms, like YouTube have too broad of an audience to resonate with our creators. Because live streaming is the new wave of digital communication, content promotion, and consumption, we are at the precipice of a content revolution, and we are so happy to be providing the solution!

Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the “beauty-tech” industry?

First of all, I’m fascinated by the rise of beauty IoT. Over the years, beauty brands have introduced an assortment of high tech beauty devices to enrich the user experience. For instance, L’Oreal and Dior offer smart devices such as skin analysers, smart brushes and customized printed makeup to improve the customer experience. It still feels somewhat futuristic to me that these smart devices can provide information about your skin condition, or send an alert whenever you need extra care. It’s amazing what can happen when personalization meets technology.

Second of all, I am intrigued by the use of AR tech in beauty. Cosmetic brands are leveraging AR to enhance customer experience. In 2019, L’Oreal reported a record high in online sales partly thanks to its AR technology allowing online shoppers to try on makeup before purchasing the actual product.

Finally, the new trend in online beauty communities is especially exciting. Tech enables beauty enthusiasts and industry professionals to connect and share their experiences with each other, monetize their social media content, get sponsorship and collaborate with beauty brands. Being a social media celebrity is becoming a full-time gig nowadays.

Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to reform or improve the industry, what would you suggest?

I’d start with privacy issues since this has recently been a visible trend across various industries. In particular, beauty-tech hardware companies that collect users’ personal information must convince customers that they take data privacy concerns seriously.

My second concern is beauty cyberbullying. More and more beauty influencers are abused online because of their appearance or identity. Two thirds of those will never talk about it, however, the consequences might be devastating. After experiencing some kind of cyberbullying, they simply shut their social media accounts or experience low self-esteem, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, etc.

We need to talk more openly about this and bring greater awareness to the world that cyberbullying is a serious case that needs to be addressed. We at Tynt take it seriously and host special events with a focus on cyberbullying in the beauty industry.

I am also concerned with ‘fast-beauty’ trends, the products that launch in a short period of time (skipping the 9–12 month full product development stage) to capitalize on short-lived market trends. Hot and available tomorrow at a pharmacy nearest you. Unfortunately, according to research, 85% of all newly launched ‘fast-beauty’ products fail in the short run, and the products end up in the ocean, causing massive amounts of damage to the environment. I firmly believe that collaboration between brands and niche beauty communities will help the world reduce the negative environmental impact as a result of small batch product testing. Also, how about the concept of refillable makeup? Why not? Many of us have been reprogrammed to religiously carry our reusable grocery shopping bags, so why not to apply the same concept to beauty products?

You are an expert about beauty. Can you share 5 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”?

1. Smile. As simple as that. Too often we underestimate the power of a smile. Simply putting a smile on your face, even when everything feels overwhelming, has the power to turn your mood around. It is also the source of joy and beauty.

2. Find something to admire in yourself. Even those simple things that just came to mind. Appreciate it. Own it. Instead of beating yourself up, treat yourself. Imagine what you could do with all that energy used up on negative thoughts about yourself?

3. Do you see the beauty in other people? Well, surprise, surprise, you have that thing in you too. Yes, yes, you’re beautiful too! That’s how it works. Isn’t it amazing?

4. Work on your confidence, because beauty is confidence. Proven fact: if you think you’re beautiful, others will feel the same way. It’s contagious. I don’t exactly know how it works, but the truth is that it works. Always.

5. Do what makes you feel beautiful. If it’s makeup, go for it. If it’s a specific self care routine, go for that too. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to taking care of yourself. In fact, being happy positively correlates with feeling beautiful.

And whoever reads these lines, listen up! You don’t need to lose weight, put tons of makeup on, or buy new clothes to feel beautiful. Join us on our ‘Everything beauty’ talks and get support and love from our Tynt community.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Lately, I’ve been inspired with the idea of giving back to our community in these trying times. In essence, bringing the most amount of good to the most amount of people. I think any action big or small can make a real difference when it comes for a good cause.

In fact, we at Tynt have just started a free online therapy series to support our community’s emotional health in these trying times. Each day we interview experts, engaging in informative conversations about self-care and mental wellbeing. I believe online meetings will help us to survive isolation during the coronavirus outbreak.

Frankly speaking, you don’t need millions of dollars to contribute. You can simply donate your time, skills toward a good cause and become a philanthropist. Ready to join our community? Please reach out to me at www.tynt.live

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Mark Zuckerberg once said: “Now it’s our turn to do great things. I know, you’re probably thinking: I don’t know how to build a dam, or get a million people involved in anything”. But let me tell you a secret: no one does when they begin. Ideas don’t come out fully formed. They only become clear as you work on them. You just have to get started.”

There’s just something about this quote that inspires and resonates with me on some personal level. Oftentimes we look at successful people and think we’re not good or experienced enough. But so did they, when they first started. And the only way to get the experience is to go out into the world and just do it.

How can our readers follow you online?

You can find us on IG/FB/Twitter @tynt.live and join our community of beauty enthusiasts at www.tynt.live Stay tuned!

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

Thank you for having me!


Ardak Yeraliyeva of Tynt: “Why You Should Find Something To Admire In Yourself” was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.