Someone once said, “I can give you every book, every podcast, every, single motivational quote in the world, but if you won’t get up and get busy, it won’t matter.”
Today, reaching “boss” or mogul status can at times look simple because of fast fame displayed on social media, but it takes time and hard work. Climbing the corporate ladder and starting a promising business isn’t easy, but Leesa Brunson, Executive and the founder of OS Candles is proof that it can be done well and even simultaneously. After 15+ years, Leesa Brunson sits at the top of her career as a corporate executive and the founder and CEO of OS Candles.
Leesa’s work experience has taught her a lot and helped her establish her own keys to success. This month, she was kind enough to drop some gems for aspiring moguls like you and me.
Here are the top 5 takeaways from her interview on building a career you enjoy working while finding balance in the everyday.
1. Your climb doesn’t have to end with your current role.
Leesa started out as a temporary receptionist in her current industry where she now sits as an executive. When she first started her career, she didn’t have a set plan either. She just knew that she wanted to be in the music industry. She stated, “I didn’t really have a plan. I was just so excited and nervous to be in the music industry. I did however quickly (a week in) decide that once I had one foot in the door, I was determined to get both feet in, explore every department, and decide where I wanted to be.”
Even once you know where you want to be, a lot more is needed in order to be successful. Leesa advises, “Be patient and rely on God’s timing. Everything works out in its own time. [To keep yourself going] offer your time, as a temp or intern, in the various departments [that peak your interests, so you can] learn and then decide what you’re truly interested in.“ Be patient with yourself through the process and remain present in all opportunities that come your way.
2. Actions speak louder than words.
As a person of color in the workplace, it can sometimes feel like you are not being heard or respected the way you should be. When this happens, don’t feel intimidated or act out of character.
When asked, “What advice do you have for young women of color in male dominated industries looking to move up in the workplace?”, Leesa says, “KNOW that you are great and gifted. Women have an innate sense of structure. Use it! Also, never water yourself down or feel the need to be intimidated. You never need to overcompensate your voice for not being “seen” in a room. Just focus on excellence and it will be noticed. Never deliver a “no” to anyone. Boss up–but keep it light. I would give that advice to an aspiring MALE as well. Lions don’t need to roar no matter what the gender is. Just focus on excellence. Let your success and hard work make the noise.”
Your presence is just as distinct and strong as others. You don’t have to act out of character or try to fit in to prove that you are good enough. When we act out of excellence, our actions will speak louder than any words could ever.
3. Make everything a learning opportunity.
Being an entrepreneur wasn’t a goal of Leesa’s, but as a lover of scents, she was inspired to leave her mark on the world, so she started with scented candles. She stated, “I want to contribute to what the world will be privy to [in terms of scents] while I am on this earth. The only way for me to do that is to work with a perfumer and make it happen with my own brand.”
As with most things in life, starting OS Candles came with its own challenges. “In the beginning I had to learn the science behind wick testing, melt pools, and then getting trademarked! [After that, I had issues with] the manufacturing plants twice. But you live, and you learn. It really [makes a difference] when you have a reliable and honest manufacturing company. The third time was my charm. I’m now all set with a great plant who pours for OS Candles.“
Who ever said the journey would be easy? No one who’s done anything worthwhile I’m sure. The best you can always do is to reflect on what you can learn from every situation, good or bad.
4. You are in control of your time.
Managing two full-time positions can easily rob a person of their me time if they allow it. Leesa encourages us to remain intentional with our time throughout the day. She says, “I recommend waking up early and drinking green juices to keep your energy up. With this, [hopefully] you can accomplish more things in a day than the average person. Keep a list and don’t procrastinate. The moment you think of something you need to do, do it! Also, I personally like to send tons of emails late night so that I can get all responses when I awake. Therefore, I can start my day with the answers that I need to be productive.”
In short, do all you can to stay in control of your time. Something as simple as controlling when you send and potentially receive emails can make a big difference on the flow of your day.
5. Love what you do, but don’t forget to find time to love YOU too.
Managing a full-time job and a personal business can be hard, but as Leesa says, “If you feel as if you are juggling too much and cannot balance, the things you are doing are probably not your true passion(s). When you are in love with something and obsessed with it, you will stay up late, eat, sleep, and drink it with every spare moment you have. But don’t forget to have a life.”
Finding that balance can seem impossible at times, but for Leesa, managing her time with OS Candles and as an executive has been smooth. “I do both with the greatest of ease because I enjoy both. Do what you love ONLY (if possible).”
Essentially, take care of you first. At Mogul Millennial, we believe you can’t pour into others if you yourself are empty. Find what keeps you going and focus on maintaining your balance. For Leesa balance is, prayer, hard work, relationships, home life, good food, and plenty of good wine. What helps you maintain your work–life balance? Let us know in the comments.
Learn more about OS Candles and purchase your own here.