Changing career paths is a pretty natural thing. Scary, intimidating and anxiety-inducing? Absolutely. But it’s something a lot of women pursue at some point in their lives. Molly Sims knows all about the pressure and stress of venturing into new industries while focusing on raising kids. In 1993, Sims left college to pursue a modeling career and became a five-time Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue model, a CoverGirl model and achieved countless other accomplishments in the modeling industry before deciding she wanted more.
Now, on top of her modeling career, Sims is an author, actor, entrepreneur and mom of three. We spoke with Sims after she gave the closing keynote speech at the #BlogHer19 Biz conference in L.A. on November 9, and she shared best business tips and offered solid advice for everyone who feels the need to judge working moms.
SheKnows: Can you tell us a little bit about the challenges you faced breaking into new industries and how you overcame those challenges?
Molly Sims: Trying anything new is always tough. I really struggled at the beginning of my career when I felt alienated everywhere I went. I didn’t fit in and no one spoke to me. This was in modeling and then when I turned to acting, you’re stuck in a trailer by yourself for hours. It was a struggle for sure. I knew there would be a silver lining at the end of it and that my hard work would pay off. I mean, I would call my mom crying and telling her that I wanted to go home but she pushed me and motivated me to stick it out and give it my all. That’s what was the hardest for me so now, I do my best to surround myself with friends and family because I know what it’s like to not have that support system around you.
SK: What unique obstacles do women face when starting their own business?
MS: Probably being told no or being asked: “how can you do all of that with kids?” Yeah, women have that bone in their body where they feel like they need to be home with their kids, but we should praise that quality and not see it as a fault. I know so many incredible and badass women who DO IT ALL because they have children. They’re taking conference calls at carpool or running into a meeting after breastfeeding. Some women can experience mom-shaming because they’re not the “stay at home mom” and then others get mom-shamed because they’re not working. If you’re a woman in today’s era and have time to shame others, you need a different hobby— everyone’s doing their best so stay in your lane.
SK: What should women who want to start their own businesses prepare themselves for?
MS: Be ready to be told no a thousand times. I just introduced my friend Elyse Walker at the Women’s Guild for Cedar’s Sinai, and when I was preparing for my speech, I remembered when she was about to open her store in the Palisades. Literally everyone told her that she was crazy for opening up a brick and mortar store, and look where she is now. If you have a dream and vision, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
SK: Did you receive any great advice from mentors when you were branching out into new business ventures? If so, what was the best piece of advice you received?
MS: My acting coach, Leigh Kilton, taught me my favorite line that I’ve been using for 20 plus years: “Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness.” This applies to every aspect of my life.
SK: If you could only offer one piece of advice to women looking to start their own business or advance their business, what would it be?
MS: I would have to say to follow your dream. As cheesy as that sounds, you know your own strengths, dreams and passions. I recently listened to an episode on Ed Mylett’s podcast about breaking down the wall between you and your dream and his advice was to do “one more.” In everything you do, do one more of it. Whether that’s one more rep in your workout, one more phone call or one more kiss to your kiddos before you go to bed. Because the more repetition you do in your life, the better you’ll be at it. So my advice to women who are looking to start their own business is do one more thing in your daily routine and it will make you stronger.
SK: Do you have any kind of self-care routine to help you relax after a particularly stressful workday?
MS: Honestly, there’s nothing I cherish more than a shower without three children that’s longer than five minutes long.
SK: Equal pay for equal work is something women are still forced to fight for in 2019. What do you think are some of the best ways to help close the gender wage gap?
MS: I would have to say to keep talking about it. The more we talk about it and raise awareness, the more our voices will be heard. And I think it’s important to raise strong women to know their worth and not take anything less.
SK: Are there any exciting new business projects in the works that you can tell us about?
MS: There sure are! I’m in the process of writing my third book. It’ll probably come out closer to 2021. And we’re working on developing a podcast in the meantime. I have a group chat with all of my closest girlfriends called Morning HQ and it’s kind of a hub for everything we love so I hope that the podcast will be a hub of that information.