We sat down with Amber Olson Rourke of Nerium International, who was voted Top Female Executive, to get to know the woman who has achieved so much at a young age.
Olson Rourke is part of the founding team of beauty brand Nerium International, which came out of an accidental discovery that led to an “exclusive anti-aging ingredient” and a skin care line built around this ingredient.
Q: How did you find the motivation at such a young age? Did you have any idea how successful the company would be when you began?
A: My motivation comes from wanting to serve our customers and brand partners. I focus on what my team can do each day to positively impact someone’s life, and that keeps me going, even on tough days.
Starting out, I knew Nerium was special, and we had the potential to do something historic. We have been so focused on continuous improvement and expanding the business that we rarely stop and celebrate the success we have experienced. While it is record-breaking, we know there is so much more for us to accomplish still.
Q: When you can, how does your team stop and celebrate?
A: We do celebrate together a team in many ways: we have monthly company outings (lunches, Six Flags, etc.) to celebrate all that we have achieved together. We may not stop and pat ourselves on the back, because we are always focused on what can we do next to be better. We celebrate the successes we have, but are careful not to get complacent with what we have already achieved. We recognize that there is still so much left for us to do.
Q: Tell us about your family life. Who do you turn to in moments of stress or doubt?
A: My mom, dad, husband, aunt and in-laws are all involved in Nerium, so it truly is a family affair! Sharing the journey of Nerium with my family makes it much more than a job—it becomes a way of life.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time? Do you have any hobbies?
A: I love to read! Whether I am reading a book to learn and improve myself or getting lost in a fictional world, I could lay around reading all day! My husband and I have made a goal to visit a place we have never been every year. Last year, we visited Hawaii, and I fell in love. From the mountains to the oceans and sunsets—it was all perfect.
Q: What is your philosophy in life? Likewise, what is your philosophy for success?
A: A lot of my philosophies on life come from my dad’s book, The Slight Edge.
Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. I think success is less dependent on your natural skill set or where you got your degree, and more based on your work ethic, determination and attitude. Success is not easy, but it is not elusive either.
Be consistent – you can get ahead of most people by simply being disciplined and consistent on a daily basis.
I also love the notion of “be the change you wish to see in the world.” It really stresses taking action on what we can do to make an impact on the world, and the ripple effect that leads to even bigger change.
Q: What was the last great book you read?
A: I recently read Thrive by Arianna Huffington. It was filled with sage advice on how to balance career with family, wellness and other priorities. It had practical tips that anyone could implement. I love learning from other successful women.
Q: What are you doing to learn and grow both as a person and as an executive? How important is this to you?
A: I believe that the day you believe you are good enough is the day you lose. I am a big advocate of continuing to learn and grow. I have been involved in an executive leadership program over the last year that has helped me learn tools to be a better leader, co-worker, spouse, friend, etc. A lot of my growth in the last year has come from learning how to better communicate, delegate and lead.
Q: Do you feel there is more for you to achieve?
A: There is always more to achieve. “Drive and embrace change” is one of Nerium’s core values. We will always continue to innovate and push ourselves to drive continuous improvement.
Q: Do you or Nerium support any charitable organizations or community programs?
A: Nerium is the largest corporate partner of Big Brothers Big Sisters. We raised $1 million dollars for the organization last year and are on track to do it again this year. We are very dedicated to its mission of serving at risk youth through mentorship.