Skimm’d from the Couch: Lilli Gordon | theSkimm

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Once Lilli Gordon found the beauty industry, she left her old career in finance and economics behind. After decades crunching numbers, Lilli wanted to solve different kinds of problems. Specifically, skin challenges. So she founded her own business, First Aid Beauty. She joined us this week to talk about how she knew it was time to change industries. And how she built her company from the ground up.

On Building Relationships

Danielle: What’s some advice for people that have spent years building up a network and a core competency in one industry, and then think they can use it to do something different, but aren't sure necessarily how to take those first steps, or how to present that on a resume or when talking to someone in an interview? 

Lilli: I think there are a couple of things. I think you really have to understand what your passion is. Because passion is contagious. And passion is something I think people are naturally attracted to. I think you have to use your connections. And you might say, "Well, you know, I don't have connections, because I was in this industry." Well, I found connections.

I found [that] it just takes one person to get on the pathway to connecting. And so I think [it’s about] connecting with people in the industry that you're interested in, and really, really conveying your story, your passion, your skill set, and why this is the pathway to do it. It’s hard work.

On Being An Industry Outsider

Danielle: What do you think some advantages were coming into the beauty industry as an outsider of sorts?

Lilli: You know, I think if I were an insider I'd be stuck with a way of looking at it, and I think I came up with the idea for First Aid Beauty because I was an outsider. There were no rules. There were no walls. There were no ceilings…. I came at it as a true consumer.

…. So I was free from the traditional ways of looking at things, which really made everything possible, and I could approach it without bias and with more authenticity.

On Betting On Yourself

Lilli: I don't take no for an answer. I always believe there's a way to achieve what you want to achieve. I mean, for most things…. And I guess I had to hold on to that belief, because the self-doubt is just so antithetical to what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. You have to have guts. You have to have this crazy almost irrational belief in your own ability to get something done, in your own vision that you're creating.