Lora, the Beauty Buster, is an award-winning aesthetician. She has appeared on Dr. Oz, Entertainment Tonight, Cosmo, Refinery29, and Beauty Insider. Her book, “Spa Wars – The Ugly Truth About the Beauty Industry,” was featured in the New York Times and compared to Anthony Bourdain’s, “Kitchen Confidential.” She is working on her second book and audiobook to relaunch her spa consulting kit.
I found out it was the only thing I was good at doing.
What have you learned about yourself running your business?
I learned that I don’t know anything and that I’m not as good as I thought I was – that is pretty much the daily life of an entrepreneur.
Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? Maybe someone who has been a mentor to you? Why and how did this person impact your life?
Jesus, because he is the ultimate servant leader and that is true leadership. You can’t have one without the other – not for very long anyway. Every day I am trying to learn and relearn lessons of humility, having a servant heart, and killing my pride.
What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
Believing in myself to open my business instead of being an employee.
What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
I try to inundate myself with information and people that are where I want to be personally, professionally, and spiritually.
What motivates you each day?
How do you approach change or the unknown?
I thrive on that. Comfort is a killer.
How do you keep yourself grounded? What do you do to unwind?
Jesus and wine.
What is your favorite spa treatment?
I love them all. Thai massage in Thailand, craniosacral from one of my friends, and Mayan abdominal massage in Belize.
If you could go back in time to when you first were starting out, what advice would you give yourself?
Work in one of the big trendy spas in New York City, stay there, get a clientele, then start my own. It would have made my life much easier.
What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
Never get fat. Seriously – it has hindered me personally and professionally.
What’s your most irrational fear?
I don’t have irrational fears, but I’m terrified of having to move back in with my parents if I fail.
What’s something you wish you’d written?
I wish I had already finished writing my second book about the beauty industry. I’m halfway done.
How do you stand for what you believe in?
I have a big mouth – I’m like the Rock of Gibraltar. I find it hard to not stand for what I believe in. Love me or hate me, I’m not fake or easily swayed. I also take action to put my beliefs into practice, rather than just complaining on social media.
What do you love most about your job?
It’s always different. I am in control and have no one to blame but myself for anything that happens.
If you could ask another leader any question, what would it be?
I would ask Anthony Robbins to help me figure out my “why.” I don’t think I’ve nailed it down yet.
How do you measure success?
Living in New Jersey, I can’t deny money, but second would be whether or not people feel better after talking or spending time with me. Neither one is always easy. What will people really say at my funeral if they even come?
Early bird or night owl?
Sweet or salty?
Chocolate covered potato chips.
Laundry or dishes?
Both are in a pile, waiting to be done.
Camping or glamping?
What is your proudest accomplishment in the industry?
I’m proud I’m still in it because I had 100 jobs before finding aesthetics. I’m also very proud of my book, “Spa Wars.” It changed my career for sure. I love my new CBD and olive oil products I created.
What’s the biggest myth in the industry?
Oh Lord, I wrote the book on that. There is no “hope in a jar!”
What hurdles have you had to overcome?
There is a small (but not that small) part of me that thinks I should be taken care of. I’m also the biggest procrastinator, basically waiting for help that is never coming. It’s hard when I love an idea in my head, pay a lot of money to make it a reality, and then don’t like it.
Where is the brand headed over the next five years?
I am rebranding and working on launching this year, so the next few years will be building my product sales and continuing consulting salons and spas through my consulting kit. I’m currently making it an audio file for easier use.
Where is the entire industry headed?
I think the cream will rise to the top and the best will stand out easily and have long-term success. We sell ourselves and, if there is no connection between you and your clients, they will hop from spa to spa looking for the cheapest price because they think we’re all the same. We as professionals, have the touch, intuition, knowledge, and passion to curate the perfect treatment for someone. I think clients want us to stand in the gap between doctors and internet garbage. We must know how nutrition, stress, digestion, quality of ingredients, food, and water affect skin. We are healers and, when we stand in that power and educate ourselves, we are irreplaceable.
What distinguishes your company from others in the industry?
My skin care products are not water-based and contain only active ingredients. They are solutions targeted to specific problems. I didn’t create them just to have a product line.
What are your current goals?
First, to continue to save money the way T. Harv Eker taught me. Second, to eat less carbs. And, third, to focus on finishing the audio version of my consulting kit, finish my second beauty book, and try to go to Italy every year for the rest of my life.
How would you define your company’s culture?
We kick ass and ask for forgiveness later. God forgives right? Integrity makes life easier.
What has been the hardest lesson learned in business?
If you don’t know your numbers, you shouldn’t have a business.
How do you motivate your employees and team?
I clean the bathroom, have a servant’s heart, and offer commissions and good food.
Gut instinct versus expertise: which is more important?
My body never lies to me. I kind of Forrest Gump my way through life, it seems.
How do you encourage creative thinking within your organization?
I’m all about throwing the most absurd, off-color, bizarro ideas out there and, then, someone with common sense can dress them up and make them pretty for the people.
Where do the great ideas come from in your organization?
I ask Jesus to give me ideas, words, and direction. He is my GPS – God Positioning System. I need a lot of help and I’m definitely not that smart.
What are the most important decisions you make as a leader of your organization?
How I am going to inspire people to want to spend their day doing my idea.
How do you stay relevant and current?
I don’t have television! I feel like everything old is new again. I take advantage of my smart friends and troll the smart people in the Facebook groups willing to share their knowledge with the rest of us.
What is the hardest thing about being a leader?
I feel like I have to be perfect to every single person and fit their idea of who they think I should be, how I should act, and what I should and shouldn’t say. It’s a losing battle because no one is perfect and people can’t wait to tear someone down.