When Lisa Thompson was struggling with self-love and confidence, she knew that she was not alone. In 2012 she started Self Love Beauty, which today has transformed into a non-profit offering workshops and events that help bridge the gap of confidence across all generations, so everyone can reach their full potential. Today the Midland, Michigan based entrepreneur is proud of how her programs have continued to help thousands of individuals over the years, and especially now during the Pandemic, as so many struggle with self-love, self-care and wellbeing.
Thompson’s story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:
This was my first ever start up and my proudest joy. It truly was ‘my baby’ for years. I built Self Love Beauty in 2012. We’ve transformed over the years and now are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. I started this company because of my own story of struggling with self-love and confidence and I knew I was not alone. Through sharing my story and creating these programs we have helped thousands of individuals grow in confidence and self-love. My vision is really to be a catalyst to help bridge the gap of confidence across all generations so everyone can reach their full potential.
Our main programs are our confidence workshops, which are built on an evidence-based curriculum for adults, teens and youth that teaches social and emotional skills with a focus on confidence where we partner with schools, universities, shelters and other nonprofit agencies to bring this to their clients. We also have specialty programs that focus on families and we have female focused conferences.
Currently, this pandemic has increasingly made more individuals struggle internally including with their confidence, self-love, self-care and wellbeing. Studies are showing this across the spectrum, therefore the gift of confidence and self-love are the perfect gift for this holiday season! Many individuals do not know where to start with their journey to become happier and live their life to their fullest – so why not help them?
These workshops gave me eye opening thoughts into how I am using my confidence and what activities are getting my attention during this pandemic. In particular, maximizing your energy and confidence workshops taught me about how to manage when I am struggling. Also I learned the importance of being honest with myself and that it is okay to feel both, giving myself grace.
If you had asked me when I was 16 years old what the definition of success was, the answers would have been a title at a company, climbing the ladder and the white picket fence life. The focus of my younger twenties was really to just get a job, make good money and have a family. I thought that would make me successful and happy. Overtime I started to realize the definition of ‘success’ that I was working with was wrong for me. So I did a lot, and I mean a lot of soul searching. Now I define it with one simple question posed to myself, “are you happy?” Happiness is success.
My personal success comes from being happy with who I am, what I do for a living and who I surround myself with. Also I am proud to be a solo-founder, a co-founder, and to have started a success podcast call ‘The Confident Podcast.’ I also wrote my first book that launched in 2021 called The Strong Women of Haiti. I think these are my personal favorites successes and gratifying moments.
However if we look at the bigger picture – impact is also very important to me, ie. helping individuals, mainly women, find their own personal confidence and self-love. It has been beautiful to see them literally change their lives between careers, marriage, growth in dreams, confidence to fight for a raise or a leadership position, and to have the skills to be a good mom to their children. Their life transformations from our programs are the most remarkable success to see. They are the definition of our mission and vision by being the ripple effect of positive change for themselves, their home life, and community.
If I am vulnerable for a second, I think some of my top challenges are
internal and surround questioning myself. Like most entrepreneurs we wear multiple hats, so trusting the process, being resilient and fighting through the hardships is something that I am always working on.
The second biggest challenge is a strength but it is also something I have
had to really work on. I am a visionary, so I love new ideas, new projects and thinking differently. However it is hard to stay focused on just one thing and see it flourish. I am grateful to advisors who have helped me understand this and who have helped me become more focused on priorities – it really has paid off.
I am really blessed to have so many role models: my parents, friends,
advisors – I have been supported in the most amazing ways over the course
of my career and starting up my organizations. To this day one of my most important mentors is Mike Reed. Mike and I used to work together at a corporation and from day one of working together, he believed in me. It was a time in my life when I was looking for some guidance and he was there to help me work on problem solving. His leadership style is something I admired a lot and still do. He allowed me to think big and always had my back. As someone who was trying to find her voice, he allowed me to be me and never put me in a box. For that, I am grateful because it has led me to
where I am today. He has taught me in immeasurable ways and I hope
one day I can be such a great role model like he is. He has set the bar very high.