Chapter 2 – Radical Purpose
It is amazing how a sense of purpose can light a fire in your soul and propel you to overcome seemingly impossible situations. It can make you suddenly feel alive when you have felt like you have been on automatic. Movies and books are written about stories of determination, drive and fortitude.
After 15 years in a career where my sister and I had created over 100 skincare products, I suddenly felt a sense of ‘What now?’, and a lack of drive and enthusiasm. The day I turned 46, my hormones were off, leading me into random states of depression. I was gaining weight, getting wrinkles, I had lost that youthful glow, received the gift of adult acne, and was looking at time wishing it would slow down. Through numerous conversations with friends, I realized I wasn’t alone.
My sister Rachel just had her second child and was dealing with Rosacea, a first time skin event that caused red bumps all over her face with intense drying and peeling as it progressed. This was the perfect storm with necessity being the mother of invention. It was a tsunami that had taken us all by surprise and now we were trying to make sense of the aftermath and felt a bit out of control. However, there was one area that I had significant knowledge and access to to do something to solve part of this collective frustration. That was in the area of skincare. Given my family background and years in the business, my sister and I knew some of the biggest and best chemists and scientists in the world. We had a real shot at changing our reflection in the mirror utilizing the most advanced technology to look and feel our best.
We called our chemists and scientists and said that we wanted the most powerful skincare possible. We wanted to review the best clinical studies and put the maximum amounts of actives in each bottle in order to deliver the best results, regardless of cost. However, there were a few catches. It had to work for my skin that was in need of an anti-aging miracle, and it had to be sensitive enough for my sister’s inflamed skin.
Our challenge was to find the balance between power and sensitivity and a way to deliver results in record time without having sensitive skin react. Within a year we did it. We developed a technology that was the best for protecting and repairing skin. We then combined this potent formula with soothing agents to reduce inflammation. Then we started using the products from our lab.
Rachel was so afraid of putting anything on her skin for fear of making it worse. But unbelievably, her skin healed after use and started looking better than it had looked in years! Soon after, people began stopping me on the street to ask what I was using on my skin. After being in the skincare business for 15 years, I had never been stopped because of my skin. It was crazy! We then started giving the product to our friends, using all of the orphan bottles lying around in our office. We would write on the containers with magic marker… serum, cleanse, moisture, eye, neck etc. We figured this would be our personal stash as well as for our friends, and of course, our 75 year old mother. Then something happened. Our friends started calling to tell us the same thing was happening to them. People were stopping them on the street and asking what they were using on their skin. Rachel and I never intended this to be a business, but we started thinking… what is an asset really worth if you don’t give it away and share it with others? This is the reason we felt compelled to share our skincare formulation with the world. It really worked!
Next, having the scientific background we were raised with, we decided to send it to a USDA certified lab to see if it was clinically more powerful than what was already out there in the luxury skincare market. We had the lab pull the biggest products for comparison. Our product measured over 300% more potent!
And so our mission began. We were sisters on a mission for youthful skin, but on a detour to take technology more than skin deep. We were determined to make a difference in people’s lives worldwide by engaging in a conversation that supports a radical lifestyle. Suddenly, a sense of purpose kicked in and my energy soared. I realized that I could actually use all of these years of knowledge to create a Radical solution for myself and my friends! I believe this sense of purpose driven energy is a key to overcoming challenging places in life.
Personally, nothing has taught me more than the purpose driven fortitude of my own father. Having graduated high school at 15, college at 18 and medical school at 22, my father, Dr. Richard F. Edlich, is one of the most awarded plastic surgeons and authors in medicine today. He had the option to make millions of dollars in private practice, but instead he chose to remain on staff in esteemed Universities so his findings and research could forward medicine and make a difference in the world. His career is replete with numerous contributions, from the development of Steri-Strips for 3M, founding the Burn Unit at the University of Virginia, to revolutionizing Emergency Medical Services in our country as we know it. Too many seemingly impossible battles in medicine he won, but none as breathtaking as the fact that most of his contributions in the last 20 years have been from a wheel chair.
My father has Multiple Sclerosis, which has rendered him essentially immobile. Through his assistants and caregivers he dictates, does research, works with medical students, petitions the FDA on the dangers of latex powdered gloves and publishes numerous peer review articles annually. He does all of this using his voice and his unwavering focus and determination to make a difference.
His purpose to make a difference, right the wrong and encourage others to reach their dreams has allowed him to overcome his physical challenges. It is the passion for something greater than his own life that drives him and has forged his missions. There is no doubt in my mind that growing up and experiencing such purpose and determination has fueled my own drive as well as my sister’s. More importantly, I believe that purpose fuels passion and desire, whether it is the drive to love and support a child, rid the world of disease, or create a fun environment to learn…the examples are endless. I believe it is a sense of purpose that drives the ordinary to do the extraordinary, which makes the difference.
When I think about the times in my own life where I have felt lifeless, bored, flat and dead inside, I look around at all of the wonderful things that I have, places that I live in, and friends that surround me. I want to scream at the top of my lungs, ‘Are you kidding me? What is the problem! I have everything to be grateful for and so many blessings. Why do I feel so lethargic?’ My answer tends to live and breathe in the same place year after year. My passion is driven by a sense of purpose and embracing something bigger than me. My excitement comes when I am on a path that creates a fire within me, energizes me and sends me into this purpose driven mission. When I am not feeling alive, I have probably traveled off of my path.
At this point in my life, Radical Skincare and making a Radical difference in the lives of others has given me that purpose and passion again. Being inspired to be there for another, doing something outside of myself, and embracing my mission, breathes life and passion into me and I hope it does the same for you. So put out your feelers, find out what lights you up, no matter how big or small, and breathe that sense of purpose into your days. You will see that it is one of life’s greatest youth elixirs!
Say a Radical yes to purpose and live your passion.
WRITTEN BY LIZ.