Meet Linda Hope, a panelist at our Women’s Leadership Summit on March 19.

When Linda Hope started her Beautycounter business almost six years ago, she was confident her sales pitch about clean beauty products would resonate with others. Only it didn’t—at least not at first.

That feeling of failure wasn’t familiar for this Miami-born businesswoman, wife and mother who was accustomed to success. But, thanks to a strong North Star, she did what any smart and savvy woman would—she picked herself up and kept at it. 

“It was a defining moment in my career,” she says. “It felt like a failure, but it was actually the moment in which I decided to choose my dream over my fear.”

Linda will be participating in next week’s Women’s Leadership Summit, sharing her tips for how to create personal wealth – even in a pandemic. She joins more than 30 leaders donating a one-hour mentoring session to the Play Like a Girl Executive Auction. We caught up with her recently to discuss the power of a strong purpose and the role mentorship has played throughout her career.

PLAY LIKE A GIRL: What’s the best career advice you’ve gotten?

LINDA: It came from one of my mentors, who was a top executive at a Fortune 100 company at the time. She told me, “Never underestimate the power of networking and always leverage the discipline of following up.” That's advice @BeautycounterHQ ambassador @LindaDHope received from her mentor 20 years ago. Hear more at #NewRulesNewWorld Summit,… Click To Tweet This was a seed she planted in me over 20 years ago and one that is still bearing fruit today. My career success since then has greatly depended on the practice of her words of wisdom.

PLAY LIKE A GIRL: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?

LINDA: When I launched my clean beauty business, the topic of toxic ingredients in personal care products in my community was nonexistent. As a woman of color with an audience that looks a lot like me, and considering the disparity in our toxic burden, this was a much-needed conversation that I needed to initiate. But when I did, I received a lot of objection, rejection and opposition. I learned that you have to have extraordinary patience in the process and belief in the mission you are carrying out to remain steadfast and focused. Unbeknown to many, there’s a lot of sweat and emotional equity that goes into being a trailblazer. I thank God for my strong ‘why’ and commitment to my purpose because without it, I could have easily been deterred.

PLAY LIKE A GIRL: You have a daughter. How does she influence how you show up in the world as a business leader?

LINDA: My daughter is my greatest inspiration, and I am committed to being her best role model. I want to teach her by my example, not just by my words. Growing up, I was definitely more impacted by my parents’ actions than by their words. The work ethic and business acumen I have developed over the years was first instilled in me by my father and mother. I witnessed their determination and resilience in business, and it inspired me to become the entrepreneur and leader I am today.  

PLAY LIKE A GIRL: The theme of the summit is “New Rules for a New World.” What do you believe are some of the long-term implications (good and not-so-good) of the COVID-19 pandemic for women? What are your new rules for this new world—as a wife, mother and business owner?

LINDA: I have never experienced a crisis that has significantly impacted our society like the COVID-19 pandemic. For the first time in my life, I witnessed the world shut down and saw some of the busiest cities become ghost towns. From the loss of loved ones to the loss of livelihoods, this unprecedented time has presented us with challenges that we could never have imagined. The amount of loss that we have had to endure is devastating. As women, we often carry the heavier load of such loss and are hit the hardest. Studies have shown how women are more vulnerable economically considering the inequalities that already exist in the workforce. Also, the job loss rate is higher among women compared to our male counterparts.

But I must say, during this pandemic our resiliency and ability to pivot as women has been revealed. Many of us have become entrepreneurs during this time and have pursued more meaningful work. We figured out a way to thrive and leverage our virtual platforms. We have also gained a new appreciation for our health, our time and relationships with those we love. Having the flexibility to grow a business from the comfort of my home is what I appreciate most. In this new world, I will continue to create opportunities, and not just wait for them. I hope to make an impact in the lives of those I touch by continuing to unapologetically pursue the best version of myself as a mother, wife and business owner.

PLAY LIKE A GIRL: Let’s talk mentoring. Why is it important for girls and women to seek out mentors?

LINDA: I am where I am today because of the mentorship and guidance from others that have graciously poured into me. I once read a quote that said the greatest legacy anyone can leave behind is to positively impact others. And one of the greatest values of surrounding yourself with great mentors is that you can learn in less than an hour what it took them a lifetime to figure out.

Bidding is now open for the Executive Auction, and there’s still time to get your ticket for this can’t-miss event. Join Linda and other successful, emerging and future women leaders for the Women’s Leadership Summit, happening on March 19.