Dec 19, 2019
Jess Ekstrom, founder + CEO of Headbands of Hopes, has had a
front-row seat in finding inspiration in frustration.
As Bernie Madoff's great-niece, Jess channeled the embarrassment
of that highly-publicized scandal into the reason she's changing
the world, one headband to a child fighting life-threatening
illness at a time.
Today’s episode will warm your heart, spark motivation, and have
you asking yourself, "what more can I do?"
- For every headband sold, Headbands of Hope donates one to a
child with cancer. Since launching in 2012, they’ve donated over a
half-million headbands to every children’s hospital in America and
- Front row seat to watching
ambition: Jess’s mother + father inspired her in
business + life.
- Make the ask: Jess’s grandfather reminds
her it’s okay to throw out the plan and ask for what you
- Entrepreneur at heart: Jess got her start
in business by selling American Girl Dolls on eBay.
- "We can’t always control what happens but we can control the
meaning we give to it + how we respond."
- The Bernie Madoff investment scandal personally affected Jess +
her family, yet it taught her incredible lessons.
- "Optimism is not about staying in your happy place. Sometimes
it’s about sitting in the dark, absorbing it, and then fully coming
to an understanding of what you can do about it."
- Inspiration from frustration. Hard times
give us a choice. They can be an excuse to do less or the reason to
- “Failure will always feel better than regret”
- “I’m not living a life. I’m building a legacy.”
- "Every expert was once a beginner."
- Stay connected with Jess Ekstrom on her website, Instagram or through Headbands of Hope.
- Get Jess Ekstrom's latest book Chasing the Bright
Jess + I chat about my friend and past Live Inspired Podcast
guest Travis Thomas. On ep. 20, Travis shares how living "yes,
and..." has shaped his life + how it can shape yours. Listen to our conversation on ep.
JESS EKSTROM'S LIVE INSPIRED
- What is the best book you’ve ever
read? That Will Never Work by
- What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as
a child that you wish you still exhibited
today? Having no shame.
- Your house is on fire, all living things and people are
out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one
item. What would it be? A photograph of my
family from a photo booth when I was a kid. It's on my
- You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous
beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with
anyone living or dead. Who would it be? Sara Blakely,
the founder of Spanx.
- What is the best advice you’ve ever
received? Say yes and figure it out.
- What advice would you give your 20-year-old
self? Just because you hear crickets doesn’t mean no
one is listening. Keep putting your truth out there, keep going
after what you believe in, and eventually, people will find
- It’s been said that all great people can have their
lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to
read? The girl who went for it.
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