Happy Friday! With Winter very much in full swing (thank you Storm Ciara), I know you guys might be needing a little inspo to get yourselves out of the house this weekend. Well, look no further than this week’s interview.
This week, I had the pleasure of chatting to Jacob Hyzer, CEO of Emerging Markets at LimeLife by Alcone. Jacob talks all things beauty, empowerment, and what a healthy work/life balance looks like. We hope this week’s chat gives you the boost you need to head brightly into the weekend, even if that storm comes back for round two…
Thanks for joining me Jacob! Could you start by telling me a bit about your childhood and how you feel that has influenced you today?
Wow, you go right for the jugular, huh? I like it…I grew up in a loving, yet quite restrictive, religious home. My dad worked really hard and was always dedicated to his work so he could provide for us and my mom, after raising four kids to the point of us being in school, also went back to work. Money never came easy, and looking back, there were plenty of struggles, but my parents took everything in their stride and had a positive outlook overall. Rather than being embarrassed about things like reduced-cost lunches at school, the occasional block of government cheese and powdered milk, hand-me-down clothing and thrift store shopping, I learned to be grateful for everything I have. I learned not to react and not to constantly look back, but to keep pushing forward, which was one of the most solid foundations my parents could have given me. My parents were always clear on their values, which was great for me to learn from, because I base my decisions now on a set of core values for myself. I take the ups with the downs, and choose to create a life I love, based on my values, my passions and service to others; all things that I learned growing up. This attitude has brought me a ton of success in the sense of joy, love, friendships and personal fulfilment.
"I know great people when I see them, and I pour everything I have into what I believe in. I think the combo of their brains, our hearts, our passion and our combined years of experience in the beauty industry is what still carries us to this day and keeps us moving forward."
That’s wonderful that you learnt so much from your parents. Those lessons are invaluable. How did you get started in the beauty industry?
This goes back to my childhood also actually. I always had an interest and passion for beauty. As a kid, I would sneak into the bathroom and rub my mom's soft powder brush all over my face. I can close my eyes and still feel it. I would try on her lipsticks and lip glosses too but wash it all off before I left the bathroom. I will never forget when I was 12 and I saw my sister who was 17, in a bold, matte red lip and I thought it was the most amazing thing ever. I became very interested in beauty, but at the time, didn't think it would take me anywhere. Then, at 19 years old, a friend asked me to take an aesthetics course with her. I didn't even know what that was, and my friend said, "it's like makeup, and stuff..." I was sold. Well, I didn't learn much at all about makeup, but the desire to build a career in the beauty industry came alive inside me, and everything unfolded after that.
It’s amazing how vivid those memories are. So, when did you decide to start up LimeLife by Alcone and why?
Backtrack about six years ago and I was the National Retail and Creative Director for Alcone, our parent company, a family-owned professional makeup supply company. I was really passionate about helping the pro makeup artist community. I started an event and a workshop sector for Alcone that saw a lot of success. I knew building a community was something I was passionate about and realised it might help a lot of people. In addition to this, I started petitioning for a pro makeup artist discount, which we adopted also. This is when our co-founders and Global CEOs Michele and Madison, Aunt and Niece from the family that owns Alcone, said to me: “We think we can do even better than a discount. We want to create a company where makeup artists can get more than a discount, they can get paid for recommending our bestselling, tried-and-true products.” Makeup artists recommend great products all the time, so the idea made so much sense. I instantly fell in love with the idea, because it brought everything I loved together: cosmetics, artistry, community, education, empowerment, making money, and giving back! Our founders are the real brain children behind the brand, I am just someone with an incredible amount of faith and trust in them; I know great people when I see them, and I pour everything I have into what I believe in. I think the combo of their brains, our hearts, our passion and our combined years of experience in the beauty industry is what still carries us to this day and keeps us moving forward.
It sounds like you have a very healthy business relationship. Tell me about your Beauty Guides and why you decided to create this business model to sell beauty?
It reflects a source of pride for us. We are a direct-selling company that started with a background in beauty, rather than a company that wanted to make money selling a product, so they went into beauty. There’s a real difference! You can see that difference in our product quality, and the thousands of beauty industry professionals that have joined our brand, or advocate for our brand. The amazing thing about this business model is that it is all about creating wins. For one person to win, everyone around them must be winning too. It's an incredibly empowering and collaborative environment, which for me, (being in business management and training for the better part of 11 years) is very different. I love seeing others help each other win, rather than trying to step over each other to win.
That is honestly so refreshing to hear!
Anyone who knows me, knows how incredibly passionate and dedicated I am to our Beauty Guides. I really love them! Our Beauty Guides are what we call our ‘Independent Reps’. These women and men constantly blow my mind! The amount of business acumen they have, the strategies I see them create, and the support they give each other is truly inspiring. They are constant learners and love to help each other, even if doing so means no financial gain for themselves; that’s a reflection of the kind of world I want to live in.
Me too! What about social media and influencers? Has working with influencers been important to developing the brand?
In terms of the way the world thinks of influencers these days, I wouldn’t say that this has been part of our strategy. Beginning with high quality products and offering one of the highest paying compensation plans in the industry to driven people (our Beauty Guides) has been the basis for our success. Then, once we find those people; pouring into them, pumping them up, training them, and supporting them as much as possible has been key to developing the brand. It comes down to passion, faith, vision and having grit to get through the tough times.
LimeLife’s ethos is certainly unique. What is your favourite thing about having started with LimeLife by Alcone?
One of my favourite things has been seeing a significant change in the world. At the beginning, it was hard to really visualise all that would come to be. This company doesn't just get people to look beautiful with high performing products, we really focus on inner beauty as well. The amount of Beauty Guides that have come to me and told me that we have changed their lives; that we have got them to start thinking and acting more positively, to learn how to deal with their emotions, which has improved their families and communities, is amazing to me. We also have a charity foundation, Brighter Together, that has funded entrepreneurial education for thousands of women around the world in under-developed countries. This company is making a significant global impact, and it brings me so much joy to see.
Wow! That must be so fulfilling. Apart from the impact you’re seeing globally, what is the best part of your job?
To this day, I still love doing work in the field. I enjoy supporting our Beauty Guides with training and support. I still go to a lot of the Beauty Shows and events that our Beauty Guides conduct, so I can connect with them and be by their side to understand their struggles and their successes. Overseeing eight countries, I have the pleasure of traveling and seeing the world, but it would be a lonely place without the people that have helped me get to this place in my life.
And if you had to pick a favourite LimeLife product, what would you pick?
That is really tough. Personally, I love our Skin Polish facial mask, our Dew Date facial oil, and professionally, I love our foundation! It is one of the best I have ever used in my 16 years of doing makeup.
Ooh, I need to check this out! What would you say were your biggest challenges in starting up a beauty business?
For me, it was getting people to really grasp the concept of how incredible this business model is. As a society, we aren't taught to be entrepreneurs; we are taught to get a job, do our best, hope for a raise, and be happy with what we get. Beauty is a huge business and since we have years of experience, the hurdle isn't so much about products, it is about teaching people a new way of thinking, working and making money. It's an entire paradigm shift for many people, but when they get it, it's a brilliant shift in their way of thinking and living.
"The key is knowing what my body and mind need, as well as delivering on what the business needs, and communicating when I need time away from work. "
I bet! What has been your biggest “pinch me” moment?
They happen all the time actually! When I see people find their confidence because their skin looks better than ever and they can walk out of the house without makeup, or because they finally nail a winged liner and they never thought they would be able to do it. It really hits me; especially when they receive the biggest paycheck of their life from working with us, and I get to see firsthand how it changes their family and their future for the better. The tears of joy so many of them shed never gets old, and always reminds me how important the work we are doing is. Being able to be a part of this positive impact on a global scale is constantly a pinch me moment!
How beautiful! What inspires you personally?
Nature, travel and adventure inspire me the most. I find clarity and inspiration in the silence of a forest and in the crashing waves of the sea. I find inspiration in artists around the world I meet when they are selling their goods on the street and have no fear because they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I find inspiration in the colors of nature, as well as the relentless will to live that mother nature has. Nothing stops nature; it doesn't dwell on drama, and it always finds a way. That is inspiring!
Definitely. Could you describe your average day?
I don't really have an average day. Some days I am speaking in front of hundreds or thousands of people about leadership, business, and beauty. Some days I am applying makeup and teaching others how to do the same. Some days I am in business meetings discussing strategies, analysing spreadsheets, and responding to emails. Others, I am filming training and empowerment videos. Sometimes, I am on an airplane and checking into a new hotel or Airbnb to meet with my teams around the world. It's quite exciting and sometimes completely exhausting, but I love it, and always create time to take care of my personal needs and enjoy life as much as possible.
It sounds like you have a healthy work/life balance then?
I definitely do! I didn't always, but I learned that if I want to be truly successful, I had to work on that. I learned that success isn't just about money and business growth. It's about spending time with loved ones and it's about self care. It's about travelling for fun, exploring new places, taking time off from work, enjoying food and drinks, and enjoying the silence. I get up at around 5AM during the week usually. That way, I have a solid four or five hours before I start work, so I don't feel like work consumes my whole day. This is so important for my mental and emotional well being, as well as for my performance at work.
I do a similar thing before work. It’s important to give yourself that time. How do you like to spend your time-off?
On weekends, and especially when I am travelling for work, I always find something great to do or explore. The truth is, enjoying life is as much of a commitment as work is and it requires advanced planning and scheduling. Some days, I don't feel like travelling in the car to get to the beach or a cosy cabin, because I don't want to put in the work to get there. To get up early and gather the things I need for the trip requires effort, but the reward is always worth it. Work/life balance is incredibly important for everyone. For me, balance doesn't always mean an equal 50/50 though. Some weeks I work 55 hours and some I work 35. The key is knowing what my body and mind need, as well as delivering on what the business needs, and communicating when I need time away from work.
What words do you live by?
"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return." Love is the root of everything to me.
Finally, what’s next for LimeLife by Alcone?
The mission of our brand drives us, which is to teach women their worth and pay them their worth. So, while we have exciting plans for rolling out global makeup education in 2020, expanding our global impact with our charity: The Brighter Together Foundation, super exciting product launches and expansion into new countries, the only way any of it will happen, is if it helps us fulfil our mission.
Like what you read? Head to LimeLife by Alcone to find out more. Or if you fancy checking out some previous interviews you can find them here. All images are via LimeLife by Alcone.