This is Mentoring Moments, a series of WOW-you-need-to-know-these stories from successful women of multiple generations. Mentoring Moments is now a podcast.
Jane Wurwand, Founder and Chief Visionary Dermalogica. Photo credit Amanda Friedman
Jane Wurwand is a self-made woman who gives people what they want and need, and she’s great at what she does. Jane is the Founder and Chief Visionary of Dermalogica.
In 1983, Jane left the U.K. and arrived in Los Angeles with an entrepreneurial dream, a suitcase, a beauty school diploma and eyes wide open. That’s when she discovered a gap in the marketplace: a skincare line that’s free of harsh irritants and fragrances. Within three years, she launched Dermalogica and grew it to be the number one professional skincare brand. FITE, Dermalogica’s global philanthropic initiative, has supported and funded over 75,000 women in 68 countries.
Jane’s success story starts out with five simple words that her mother taught her early on: “Learn How To Do Something.” And then Jane added on three more words: “Don’t Shrink Yourself.” Below are excerpts (in Jane’s words, condensed and edited) from mypodcast with Jane that was released today, starting with the three words that made her career explode:
Don’t Shrink Yourself
Several years ago a student thanked me for not shrinking myself and since then “don’t shrink yourself” has become one of my favorite phrases. Don’t shrink yourself for what your capacity might be. Often we limit what our future might be, we look at the things we think we aren’t good at and we let that limit us. Look at the amazing things you are good at because within that, that is your capacity for scale and growth.
Instead of shrinking myself, I say to myself, “I am going to be at my full capacity.” And the first thing you need to do to be at your full capacity is edit what you’re focusing on. To do that, I tell myself, “Keep only that which only you can do.” You need to keep what you do super well, the things that are most important for you to do and delegate everything else to people who can do it at least 70% as well as you.
In the early days, we started out as an education company, The International Dermal Institute, which we still have. I was doing it all, six day a week — from doing the company’s laundry to writing and teaching every class. We had been in business for three years, working really hard. My partner Raymond said, “We need to expand and you need to teach others how to teach your methods.” I said, “It’s not possible. I can’t teach this. The way I do it is something that’s within me. I have to do this.” He said, “If what you’re saying is true and you’re the only one who can do this, then we’ve reached our max. If you can teach others to do it 70% as well as you do, we can scale, we can go global and still be better than the others.” When I thought about it, what was holding me back was my own ego saying “only I can do this” and my own insecurity asking “is what I’m teaching really all that great?” But I wanted to scale so I said, “We’ll do it.” Now our teachers teach it better than I would teach it. We’re in 107 countries and we have thousands of teachers around the world.
The Missing Middle
When I immigrated to the U.S. from the U.K. in 1983, I came with a suitcase and my beauty school diploma that empowered me to get licensed in California and then to have a career.
Early in my career, people would ask me what college I went to. I would proudly respond that I didn’t go to college, but instead went to beauty school. I could see them look at me with a look that said, “I thought she was quite smart, but she’s not smart at all because she only has a beauty school diploma.” Over the past 30 years, this elitism and snobbery has gotten worse and there is even less respect for skill set or vocational training.
But it shouldn’t be that way. I have always felt very empowered that I have this skill set in my hands. I work in an industry I love and I know that
There’s a lot of focus on the four-year-university degree. That is one route and it’s highly prized and highly respected, as it should be. But it is not the only route. Let’s not ignore what I call the “missing middle,” the big piece in the middle that we’re missing.
I hear two conversations happening at a global level. One is about disenfranchised women in the developing world and the terrible, dire situations that are extremely important to recognize and work on. The other end of the conversation is that we need to get more women into STEM and get more girls to go to Stanford and MIT. It’s like a barbell with these two weighted ends. But what about the other women, this big bit in the middle, the missing middle? What is the pathway to financial independence for these women?
I can call ten people I know right now who are working in the world of finance to help me with my finances, but I cannot find more than one decent electrician. And
There are huge opportunities. I think we can disrupt and reinvent industry if we focus on channeling people into those career paths. And people can do things they may love to do. Kids have been tutored up the wazoo to get into colleges. Our kids are suffering from anxiety and depression.
Skill set training is one of the fastest ways to the American dream of starting your own business and hiring a couple of people or a couple of hundred people. I’ve lived a career in an industry that puts more women into their own businesses than any industry in the world. So I’m a enormous advocate for vocational skill set training. We can build our futures with our own hands, literally.
For more of Jane’s Mentoring Moments — more about the missing middle, how she’s simplifying her life (from what she’s eating for dinner to packing tips), how she learned about human touch from an 80-something woman and how she lives in the moment – grab your ear buds and take a listen to our podcast.
Source : http://www.forbes.com/