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May 15, 2020 10 mins

In this episode of Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020, professional makeup artist, author, and founder of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics Bobbi Brown motivates graduating seniors to pursue the next steps in their life with enthusiasm, fearlessness, and perseverance. "Get over it. Get over yourself. Get out there."

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Commencement Speeches for the Class of is a production of
I Heart Radio. Class of Parents, faculty, rising graduates, Welcome
to commencement. You made it. This year is a little different,

(00:23):
a difficult time to graduate because the traditional graduation day
has been put on hold. So we're bringing it to
you wherever you are because this is still your day,
your moment. And now put your hands together. It's time
to be inspired. This year's commencement speaker the one and
only Bobby Brown. M Hi everyone, I'm Bobby Brown, and

(00:54):
I am honored to speak to the class of But
first to all the parents live saying thank you for
all you have done to get your child to this moment.
I am a mother of three sons. My youngest is
graduating the spring. I know how proud and excited I am,
and you must be too. Graduates, Thank your parents, just

(01:15):
do it now and again later. To all the university
faculty and staff, thank you for all you do. Your
dedicated service to educating and molding our children is commendable
and appreciated. And finally, to the graduates of the class
of twenty, congratulations. I know this semester isn't what you

(01:37):
are anticipating. No lounging with your friends, no lazy hours
wasting time, no drunk nights together, and no public graduation.
It sucks. It's just plain sucks. My advice to you
get over it. You are not where you thought you
would be today. You probably thought you'd just simply be
worried about getting a job, starting a career, and where

(02:00):
to live after graduation. And now, on top of all
of that, you're probably home with your parents, maybe some siblings,
and you're not sure where to begin. Yes, I know
it sucks. As my friend Liz Murray, who was homeless
as a teenager, graduated from Harvard and then wrote several books, said,

(02:22):
so what now? What? So get over it? I want
to talk to you about how I get over it.
I am an entrepreneur by accident. It's just who I
am and what I do. So what makes me an entrepreneur?
It's simple. I figure things out. When it seems like
nothing is going right, I'll find a new way to

(02:42):
make it work, or I discover some demand that nobody
else ever realized. That's my advice to you. Figure it out.
Look differently, act differently, don't be tied to the expected
or even anticipated, and The best part is this, You
don't need to have your life all planned out right now.

(03:02):
If there's one thing the current situation is teaching all
of us, it's that nobody knows what the future holds.
You never know what opportunities will come your way, but
you do need to be passionate and make the most
of what you have and to get started. In normal times,
you can be picky about your start, what jobs should

(03:23):
I take or what degree I should get next. Now
it's more important to just get out there and do
something other than worrying about the specifics. I believe there
are real opportunities for people that are courageous and open
and creative and willing to do whatever is needed to
be done now. When I graduated from college many years ago,

(03:43):
I had no clue what my journey would be. I
thought I'd find a job, and then I learned there
were no jobs and what I did just freelancing. But
I went with it. I was open, and some crazy
stuff happened. The more I was open and allowed myself
the flexibility, the more crazy things I became involved in.
When I graduated from Emerson College with a degree in

(04:06):
theatrical makeup, I moved to New York City to be
a makeup artist, and I knew nobody, so I looked
people up in the beauty, fashion and modeling industry in
the Yellow Pages that's what you now call Google. I
called photographers and magazines to show them my portfolio, and
I offered to work for free. I heard no a lot,

(04:27):
and of course the rejection was discouraging, but I never
gave up. This is a big part of getting over it,
not giving up. I was a waitress to pay the bills,
but didn't give up on my goal, which was to
make a living as a makeup artist with a long
term goal to do the makeup for a Vogue cover.
That goal took seven years to achieve, but I eventually

(04:48):
got it. The style of makeup when I started in
the eighties was very bold, think technicolor eyes and bright
pink cheeks. But I always believe women look better when
they look like themselves with makeup colors that look like
their skin. There were no products that allowed you to
do this, so I made my own. I started a

(05:09):
cosmetics company because I didn't listen to people who told
me it was a stupid idea. I named it Bobby Brown. Essentials.
After selling the lipsticks out of my house, I met
a buyer who worked for Burgder of Goodman, who took
them into the cosmetics department. We sold them on a
table until we got our own counter, and then expanded

(05:29):
the line, and then we launched into other stores. After
four years, we sold the company to a big corporation,
and eventually the company reached a billion dollars a year
in sales. I stayed on as the chief creative officer
for almost three decades. Then I left that brand three
and a half years ago. And what did I do well?

(05:53):
It wasn't an easy transition. I didn't take a vacation.
I didn't lay in bed and mope around. I got
over it. I got up, I shook myself off, picked
myself up, and started making phone calls. I didn't wait
for something to happen. I called friends. I found new
and interesting projects to work on. I made a pop

(06:13):
up shop, I worked on some websites. I started making podcasts.
I had no idea what I was doing. I just
figured it out and had fun doing it. I started
a line of supplements because I met a vitamin manufacturer
and told him it was something I always wanted to try.
This was also completely new to me, and I'm still
figuring it out. People often asked me, how did you

(06:36):
do it? My answer, I put one ft in front
of the other every day and keep going. I planned
to continue to be there in new and creative ways
to help people become the best versions of themselves. I
try my best to not let my failures stop me.
We all fail a lot of the time. Successful people
feel more than everyone else because we just try more.

(06:59):
We take chance is of course, it all doesn't work out,
But don't let your fear or your failures get in
the way of trying new things. Who knows where they
will lead. So to all you entrepreneurs, here are my
five tips for success. Number one, take care of yourself.
Many of you might be feeling stuck right now, and

(07:19):
I know how that feels. Figure out what makes you
feel good, motivated and healthy. For me, that's drinking water,
exercising as soon as I get up, and eating nourishing foods,
which I believe absolutely helps your mood and your brain.
For you, it could be anything. Do that push up challenge,
take a walk, hold a plank, whatever works for you

(07:42):
to connect with people, you don't have to ask for jobs.
Just think about what you know and what they do,
and how you can learn from them, even if it
meant not getting paid. It's an advantage that a lot
of you are living with mom and dad right now.
Think about what you could do, even from home, to
help people with their businesses. You never know. Reach out

(08:04):
on Instagram, damn people write people letters on paper, rate emails,
call people. Just start reaching out. Number three, be flexible.
Think of all the opportunities, the mega opportunities, that will
be in front of you in this new future. We're
not going back to the way things were, at least
according to this entrepreneur. So what could you do differently?

(08:26):
How are you going to use this historical time to
change it up? Think outside the box to something nobody
else is doing. Number four, take this time to reflect.
Things don't always go as planned, things are not always perfect,
And I'm someone who knows for sure that sometimes by
taking a step back, you're able to leap forward. So

(08:47):
take this time to think and to feel. Figure out
who you want to be, who you could be, then
figure out how to get there. And five be yourself.
My career was possible because I stayed true to what
I believed despite the current trends. My most important advice
to all new graduates is simple. Just be yourself. Be authentic,

(09:10):
be comfortable with yourself, not what you think you should be.
And once you do that, you'll find that people like
you for you. It's the greatest gift. So graduates, now
is the time. Who needs you the most right now,
the food pantry, the soup kitchen. Donate your time if
you have to, but get out there and beat everyone

(09:30):
else by your enthusiasm, fearlessness, and perseverance. These three things
will help you along the way in the next couple
of years. Get over it, get over yourself, get out there.
Congratulations to the class of You've got this. You can

(09:58):
find the collection of the credible commencement addresses from all
your favorite speakers at the Commencement Podcast on I Heart
Radio or wherever you listen to podcasts. M
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