Quick Question

Carol's Daughter Founder Lisa Price On Journaling, Resilience, & The Importance Of Failure

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Getty, Margaret Flatley/Bustle

In Bustle's Quick Question, we ask women leaders all about advice — from the best guidance they've ever gotten, to what they're still figuring out. Here, Lisa Price tells Bustle about the importance of trusting your gut instincts in business and the best advice she's ever received.

When Carol's Daughter founder Lisa Price looked at her calendar in March, it was packed with tasks related to the coronavirus pandemic. She had to cancel a flight for an upcoming wedding, attend her daughter's parent-teacher conference via FaceTime, and figure out how to connect her laptop to WiFi now that she's running her beauty empire from home.

"The day-to-day is changing so much ... my biggest goal is to figure out how to flow through this new normal and not let it overtake me," Price tells Bustle. "Yesterday was rough, and my emotions were going up and down, but today I feel more balanced."

The Brooklyn native says that starting her mornings off with journaling — she loves Rachel Hollis' Start Today Journal — helps her stay grounded and find hope amid the chaos. "For me, it's like active meditation and a good practice of daily gratitude, as well as calling forward your dreams for yourself," says Price, who founded Carol's Daughter in 1993 to fill a void in the natural hair market.

Below, Price shares how she stays on top of beauty trends, what she does to get pumped up before TV appearances, and why she's grateful for her mistakes.

What’s something you still need advice on?

LP: I like to get advice on what's trending. At 58, I'm one of the older people amongst my team at work. But I always try to stay in touch with what's happening now, and I've been grateful to have people around me in their 20s, 30s, and 40s who keep me up to speed. When you're in the beauty market, you need to stay in touch with the consumer. So that's something I always need advice on, because I can live in a completely different world if I'm not mindful of that.

How do get pumped up before a big Carol's Daughter presentation on HSN, where you appear in front of millions of viewers?

LP: When I feel tired or sluggish, or I've just gotten off the plane, I’ll put on some music and dance. But if my energy's at a good place, I tend to be quiet before showtime because I'm an introvert and I'm getting ready to do an extroverted activity. It's better for me to be still if I can and reserve that energy, so that I can turn it on when I need to.

What's your favorite way to recharge?

LP: I love television. I just got into Little Fires Everywhere. I watched Love Is Blind, along with the rest of the world, because I was curious. I don't know that I would run back to season 2, but it was fun. I thought Netflix's Miles Davis: Birth Of The Cool was excellent. If I'm on a plane, I listen to audio books while I knit.

What’s the best advice you've ever received?

LP: To remember how important it is to be authentic and truthful — and that nothing grows in a space of lies and deceit. Is this authentic? Is this truthful? That's my own litmus test. If I can't check off those boxes, then I have to go back and analyze why I'm doing it in the first place.

When we have conversations about business, we focus so much on success, but you’re going to make mistakes. That's where the strength comes into play. That's where the longevity is built.

What’s the worst advice?

LP: I am a “glass-half-full person,” and I was given advice to accept reality and stop looking at things through rose-colored glasses. Perhaps that's how that person brings out whatever fight is in them, but I can't function that way. While it may appear that I'm looking at things in an idyllic way, I'm not. I just have to approach it that way because that gives me the fuel I need to go forward. Otherwise, I'm depleting my own strength.

What business advice would you give to your younger self?

LP: To trust your gut, because sometimes we say yes to things out of fear, or because someone said it was the right thing to do.

There are times when your gut will say, "You should do this." And then you're having a conversation with people and they’re saying, "You should go this way." And the spirit of camaraderie has you saying, "I've got to give them a shot because they've got data and research." Then you watch it play out. Your gut might have been right, or maybe you should have met in the middle. Instead of lording over the outcome, you learn to listen to your gut more and make better decisions going forward.

When we have conversations about business, we focus so much on success, but you’re going to make mistakes. That's where the strength comes into play. That's where the longevity is built. That's where the knowledge comes from. It comes from failure.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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