In this episode Amy introduces us to Lynn Power, CEO of Masami, a clean, premium haircare line. Lynn’s career journey provides an interesting study in how risk-taking and self-awareness can be a winning combination for finding real satisfaction and fulfillment in the workplace. Lynn traveled from a receptionist’s desk to CEO of her own company and shares with us today her exhilarating trip.
Lynn graduated from Indiana University with an interesting dual major in English and criminal justice. She immediately applied to the FBI, but found herself on a long waiting list to get accepted. Eager to begin her post college career, she scoured the want ads for a job that would combine both her left brain and right brain abilities. An enticingly worded job ad caught her eye, and shortly thereafter, she became the receptionist at an ad agency. Lynn saw this as an opportunity to combine the creativity she knew she possessed with her head for business. She stayed for 3 years, paying some initial dues that would support her in the job she would take on next at Ogilvy and Mather in Chicago. While there she met her husband, and the two decided to broaden their opportunities with a move to the advertising mecca of New York City.
New York agencies such as Grey, BBDO, McCann, Arnold and J. Walter Thompson afforded Lynn years of experience and opportunities to launch or reposition such iconic brands as Gillette’s Venus, Clinique, L’Oreal, Natural Match, VIVE, Nexxus, Vichy, La Roche-Posay and St. Ives. And should you think that she only involves herself with beauty products, let me list some of the other product lines she’s lent her creativity to: American Express, Hershey’s, Campari, Kimberly-Clark, Nestle and T. Rowe Price.
Lynn has always “traded up”. She discovered that making more money and expanding her career usually means moving to another firm. She keeps an eye on her career compass and realigns when she finds herself straying from her true path. When she departed as CEO of J. Walter Thompson, then a longstanding institution in the advertising world, she found she had not been using her creative abilities as much as she would have liked. The company became embroiled in a lawsuit before her arrival, and it was left to her to deal with the consequences. After two years of less than fulfilling challenges, she departed and began a consulting partnership.
She once more found her work gratifying as her new venture attracted many new startups as clientele. It was a definite change of pace, and rewarding work helping new ventures find their footing. But six months into this new endeavor, Lynn was introduced through her husband to her current business partner. James had been employed at Clairol and had been working on his own small batch formulations of hair care products for years. He was ready to take next steps, but needed experienced help to begin a business. Together, Lynn and her new business partner planned their product launch for New York Fashion Week 2020 and ran squarely into the Covid-19 pandemic. Listen to Lynn tell Amy how the brand-new company is weathering the storm and one of the innovative strategies they are using.
Lynn offers lots of tips and insights on career building throughout the conversation. What she has to say will urge you to be decisive and fearless about making career changes. She gives some sound advice as well to those wanting to grow their own business. Her frank and honest responses let you know that’s she’s the genuine article with lots of good experience to share with you.
Topics in this episode:
Pros and cons of running your own company vs. working for someone else How to not let your age get in the way Starting at the bottom is a great way both to observe and learn. Not only will you learn about the business, but you’ll learn if it’s the right one for you Understand that movi