My friend, supermodel. Molly Sims shared with me what it means to find your voice. Luck doesn’t just happen to you. You have to go out, make a name for yourself, and create your own opportunities. This was one of the quotes that stuck with me after our conversation. Her warmth, hard work, and determination have helped her transition from model to actress to author and lifestyle expert. Molly embodies badass in every area of her life and career. Her desire, ambition, and commitment have made her the success she is today. She has become the go-to girl for fashion, beauty, and parenting advice.
- Molly Sims – She Really Needs No Introduction
- Tips on How to Find Your Voice
- To Build and Create a Brand – It’s About Passion
- Molly’s Love of Organization
- Being a Connector Is So Undervalued
- Advice for Wannabe Entrepreneurs
Molly Sims – She Really Needs No Introduction
Mimi: I have Molly Sims. She’s an actress and model and known for her roles in Yes, Man, The Benchwarmers, MTVs House of Style, and NBCs Las Vegas. Molly attended Vanderbilt University with the dream of becoming a lawyer until her roommate submitted several photos to a modeling agency, without her even knowing it in New York. And before she knew it, NEXT models signed Molly and she began her modeling career. She has been featured on covers of Mademoiselle, Vogue, Tear Sheet, Cosmopolitan, and Mary Claire. She’s written two books, The Everyday Supermodel and Everyday Chic. Molly’s sense of humor and relatable content has made her a social icon as well. And on top of her incredible career, Molly is an amazing mom to her three children. I’m so excited to have Molly on today’s episode of the badass CEO. Welcome Molly.
I’m so excited that you agreed to come on and this’ll be exciting. I first want to hear about how you made the jump from model to actress to author.
Just by scrolling through her Instagram feed, you can see she is a hardworking mom who makes it happen. Her raw honesty, humor, and relatability have captured the attention of her audience. Work hard, play hard is Molly?s motto. She is an amazing mom to three kids and even sneaks away from red carpet events to have dinner with them. She is the quintessential southern host throwing the best parties, is an expert in everything beauty, and always looks fashionable and beautiful even when she is working out. I challenge you to try one of her Instagram workout videos; they are tough!
Molly: I knew that I didn’t just want a model. I knew that I needed somehow my own crazy mind, like to have a voice. So that kind of led me into acting. I started doing commercials. I got my first speaking part in a commercial was from Old Navy and my only lines were “only at old Navy.” Paired with sports illustrated and cover girl, and I ended up getting on MTV. And so our really good friend of mine, who’s actually the head of ITV now. Adam Cher, who was with Ryan Seacrest for 15, 16 years said, I really think don’t just do House of Style with them. They really want to do cross production and cross promotion on the channels with MTV. And so I did. I remember him saying to me, you can be on five times a year or you can be on every single day after school with these kids.
Unless you have a platform to have a name, you’re kind of just a model. And I think with Sports Illustrated and Cover Girl, Old Navy and MTV that really gave me a platform to have a name. And so from that, I started taking acting lessons. And then I decided that I was going to enter into the Sanford Meisner acting two year course. Meanwhile, I lived in New York and Paris. I don’t know what I was thinking.
I got an agent because I was with NEXT all over the world and she introduced me to Ari at Endeavor and Patrick and they sent me out to see if I could maybe do this. Like I’m not giving up modeling. So I went on a recurring audition to play Delinda Delion on Las Vegas on NBC and I got hired. But right before the pilot, they were like, it’s all or nothing. You can either be on for 20 something episodes if we get picked up or we’re gonna make this part full time. And of course they always tell you don’t worry. Nothing ever goes, it’s never going to happen. We were on for over five years. And so that really cemented me, not living in New York and Paris anymore, but only going a few times when I could get off of work. But, you know, I think with acting, I was on a show and I wasn’t jumping from Paris to London, to India, to Australia, to, to Morocco, to New York, to Kentucky.
I did movies in between that. I really, at that point, I’m in my mid thirties, I really wanted to settle down. I had not found my prince yet. And so I decided to, I was playing pregnant on my last season of Las Vegas and I decided that one morning I wanted to have a baby. And so I was just really, really worried that I’d never meet the one. And so I ended up going to freeze my eggs, going to ask the question. I met with a doctor. At the time it was very new and I met with the doctor. He was like, I really think he should freeze embryos. I’m like, okay. But I don’t like, he goes over to his computer. He’s like, we can find you a donor. And I was like, I think I’m okay.
I did not freeze my eggs. I was just wanting to ask, I didn’t think I needed to like go down, but I definitely wanted to freeze my eggs. He talked to me. At that time, embryos were definitely better. And I remember going back into his office right after I’d met Scott, we’d been dating a year and my girlfriends, we got into like a big argument. How could you ask him to do this? I’m like, well, I think I want, I’m like, I want to marry him. Like I want him like, anyway, just like I put myself out on the line.
I ended up doing IVF, freezing two rounds, but it was interesting how that came full circle. And you know, I don’t know if women, you know, in your community who have issues with having a baby or all I will say about that is that I did IVF in January, February, and then I got engaged in may and I was married September 24th. I was just going back for a picture and it said produced by super films.
I got pregnant on my honeymoon. I don’t know. Did I get pregnant on my honeymoon? Because I had an insurance policy. Like I had, I don’t know, like I will say like your podcast is all about being a bad ass. And I think that was a true bad-ass moment because I wanted to do this just for me. You know what I mean? Like whether he was going to do it or I was going to do it, I was freezing my eggs for me. We went on to freeze embryos, of course. But I think those bold decisions, you just have to take them like in your life and, and those kind of guttural feelings, like we were just talking about like giving models, advice
Tips on How to Find Your Voice
Molly: If you had to give your younger self advice all over again, it would be, go with your gut, speak up, find your voice, like tell your agent, tell anyone, just make someone listen to you. I learned that along the way, being in your forties, now my new motto of don’t mistake, my kindness or wheat for weakness that has really led me to the book. I think we’re in the midst of writing it now and pitching it out. I didn’t say again, it’s “Me and My Mistakes – A Love Story.” Sometimes I don’t even want to call them a mistake and I’ll get into it more in the book because it’s like the yellow brick path.
You could go this way and take the blue pill, or you can take this way and take the pink pill. It doesn’t mean those decisions one is wrong and one is right. But I do think like having a business, being an entrepreneur, you got to pick a lane. When I was getting married and I was really struggling to two of my boyfriends had dumped, like I was getting out of like a really bad codependent, horrible relationship. I remember talking to my uncle, my mom’s brother and, and he just was like, listen, you have to pick a lane. It was such good advice.
It’s what you tell yourself that makes you feel better. In that moment, you take the steps and you line them up. And I did have to pick a path and I did not have to get on a plane to go to New York and hang out. I did have to stay in one place and date and commit and not date a dead wounded bird on the side of the road that I thought I could fix, which is always fun when you’re dating.
Mimi: Those are amazing. And this amazing advice, I love all the tips that you gave. And this book that you’re coming out with now is your third book?
Molly: Third book. I have a first book called Everyday Supermodel. And it’s all about being your best self and like all the tips and tricks that I learned throughout the years of modeling. Then everyday, she kind of takes you into settling down, having children organization.
I was researching my second book called Everyday Chic and my editor at Harper Collins, Carrie, was like, we need something on like organization. As a mom. I always talked about nesting and how like, I would go crazy. Like I’m very an organized person and the closer I got to every pregnancy, I’d like freak out. She’s like, I really think you should talk about organization and how it keeps you accountable, how it keeps you organized. And more importantly, like how your house looks great.
At the time I was new into the world of websites. And at the time they called it blogging, but I reached out to two women, Clea and Joanna from the Home Edit in Nashville and finally said, Hey guys, I’m Molly Sims, I’d love to somehow hire you, fly you out and I’ll let you use the pictures. You know, you can say you work with me. And I think your work is great. I found them. Their ascetic is incredible. And they had like 25,000 Instagram followers. And by the time they’d come, we’d shot, they’d gotten a phone call in my pantry that Gweneth would like to meet them. She actually knew Clea, but we’d like to use them. And they just had started from there to blow up. And while they were there, they’re in our pantry and they were slightly arguing slightly.
My husband, I were listening and they’re like, I mean, you can’t make that up. Like the depth that they would go into about a container in the space and just their method and their methodology, like behind it. And I said to them, you cannot make that chemistry. And my husband was like at sign at, had a production company. And I was like, I really think they could have something on TV. They could have something.
So we ended up getting them an agent and we ended up selling a digital master of the mass series to Reese Witherspoon at Hello Sunshine. And her deal did it with AT&T. And we all just felt that there was still something there. And now they have over a million followers combined on social. I can’t even imagine, but we have a new show coming out in September and it’s eight celebrities, eight civilians. And we’re super excited. And again, you would have never thought me calling to interview someone about a book would lead to, you know, a reality series on Netflix, you know? Yeah. I mean, I love them. I’m obsessed with them.
To Build and Create a Brand – It’s About Passion
Molly: People always ask me about like, how do you start something? How do you have a brand? And I always say, first, you gotta have a passion. You have to have a strong passion and you have to have a strong work ethic and you got to go for it. And I know that sounds, Oh, you know, what does that mean? But that is true. 50% of it. I mean, you look at Mimi and her success in Beauty Counter. And, you know, as an advisor and an investor to, you know, so many different companies, you gotta have it, you gotta have the passion. And also you have to have the interest because you’re the one who’s going to push it through.
I always say that to women, use different verbiage: Like I get to go to school Vs I have to take them to school. Or, I get to make dinner Vs I have to make dinner. I also think like, just really leading with positivity and trying to, you know, I do sound like my mother, but glass half full. It does help a lot, you know, and networking. I have to say like, we can help you. Like I do like, and it’s interesting.
I had a little bit of a story where I won’t name names, but always do favors and I’ll always come through and talk about their products or them or what they have. And they’re awesome. But I reached out recently for a favor and I was really blown off purposely, you know, it felt like, and I just was like, okay, I’m clock that I got you girl. Like as much as you try to help people at one point, like, no, you can help me or your own it, that you didn’t do it. You know what I mean? So, and also even in that moment in my forties, I’m like really hurt my feelings. You know what I mean? Like I have bent over backwards.
Mimi: You never say no.
Molly: You know, I, I do say no. I think that’s the one thing I’m trying to work on through my book is saying no, and being held accountable.
Mimi: But you’re there for everybody. That’s what I’m saying. You’re always you pack your days for you. You’re there for your friends.
Molly: Yeah. But I also like that, you know, I love my tribe. I love my children. I love my husband. Like, I really like, this is the best time of my life, you know, but I also have to have respect for myself and to say like, it’s okay, that makes you kind of yucky or feel fat, or they’re still hard lessons, even though they are her lessons.
Mimi: So take me back to like you did your books. Like what point did you embrace your brand? I mean, everyone kind of now knows you. Like everyone follows you with Instagram and Tic Tok and the videos that you’re making. And at what point did you say, okay, I’m going to dive in and really develop my brand through social media.
Molly: In the last year and a half, I realized that I really do have a brand and I’m going to invest. Mollysims.com is in my voice with amazing contributors. Um, I have Claire Bidwell, she works with women with grief. I have Kao who’s one of my African American amazing bad-ass women talking about what it’s like to be her in this time and this movement. And this moment, she has an incredible beauty line. We have beauty dermatologists facialists we kind of go the gamut, but it’s all the experts and people that
I have come along my way that have helped me, that I have had the privilege of working in as a model or in the entertainment world or in the beauty world. And so it’s really going to be a hub of all things. Beauty. We were just writing our mission statement about like beauty inside and out. And yes, it’s wellness and it’s health, but it’s all based from beauty. But I think in the last like year and a half, I definitely invested money. As you know, when you work on a website, it takes so many creative geniuses to make it come to life and your voice.
We’re going to be doing a podcast kind of based on the book and you know, all things kind of like what Mimi is saying, like, you know, what is it like, like how do you get to be a badass? You know what I mean? Like what are the steps? And like, but more importantly, just doing a little bit of a deeper dive into my life and the struggles of what I did and how I got through it or how I got through it and what I did, you know, we were really gonna deep dive into those things of IVF and thyroid problems. And, you know, I think Mimi is one person because she has a hundred kids and a badass husband and, you know, medically for a brand that said she also has Lyme disease. And I think I had a thyroid problem that went undiagnosed I gained over 80 pounds.
Another piece of advice that I will give anyone who is listening, if you think something is wrong, it probably is. It’s funny. I went to, I told my doctor, I’m like, you have to write this book called, do you believe me or I believe you. I’ll just keep on going. But I do think you have to fight for your health. And you know, I recently lost my mom and you know, I look at the journey with our healthcare system and just be your best advocate because.
Mimi: It’s true.
Molly: It’s really true. You know, I know.
Molly’s Love of Organization
Mimi: So you were talking about how you love to be organized and you have a lot going on and you always have a lot of parties and people and kids and entertaining. And you’re so gracious with hosting. How do you keep working in schools and you’re a hands on mom, how do you keep it all organized? Like, are you a paper person, digital person?
Molly: I’m a paper person. I definitely have to write things down, like over and over and over. But once I write things down, I’m pretty good. I have a lot of papers everywhere, which you guys probably don’t know that. I work hard and I play hard. So if you’re a working mom, especially now, you’re probably in COVID or you’re working in an apartment with your friends.
I’m a big believer as Mimi and I kind of bonded as parents. And then later as entrepreneurs, we really actually bonded over sports and education. And you know, I have to say like, I really, as a parent, I worked very hard at school. School did not come easy to me. My parents drove two hours to Nashville, Tennessee to help me do a Kaplan course for the ACT. I had a terrible public education, but what they did to get me to have that and the importance that they put on sports and being part of a team, it has really translated truly in my life, whether it be working within a company, working with people, being like, okay, great. I think this, but I respect what you have to say too.
I think the best advice is always surround yourself with smarter people than you. And you know, don’t have an ego and just hire good people and listen to them. And listen, I had a situation the other day where they were like pitching me this thing, and everyone I’m never going to get a really strong pitch. And I was like, no, I don’t really like, I really want it to feel more niche. I really want it to be inclusive. I really want to hone it down.
I went against everyone on my team, but normally I’m like, okay, I like that. You know, you’ve got that. So I think really like for me as a mom, education and sports, keep your kids busy, keep them in a sport because then they can’t be bored then. And I’ll just say, I love my kids to be bored. Sometimes I’m like, go be bored, go do nothing. But I do think having a sport and having to get up for games the next day will help me. And I’ve seen it through Mimi has such a bad ass children. How it really, you don’t see it now, but you see it in junior high and you see it in high school.
Mimi: You definitely do. It keeps them out of trouble. It keeps them focused. They have to be at a lacrosse game at 8:00 AM on Sunday morning, two hours away. They’re not partying Saturday night.
Molly: Again, like I said, just being part of a team and like, you don’t want to play that position. That kind of sucks. You’re going to have to, you know what I mean? And you gotta make the most of it. You know what I mean? Like life lesson, right? It’s a life lesson. My husband played baseball and he will always talk about that essence of being on a team. You know, what’s good for you might not be good for the team and how you take that.
Being a Connector Is So Undervalued
Mimi: Yes, exactly. No, it’s true. That’s great advice. I could talk about the social media and whatever, but where do you find you have so many good tips and products. I’m assuming people just sending you stuff, but you have to go through them. Where are you finding your products?
Molly: From my relationships, from the modeling world and the entertainment world. And I’ve really kept up and I’m also like a connector in like my natural, like I love being like, you gotta use this person, do this person for this. This is great. I love this product. I get things sent to me. We DM companies, companies say, Hey, could I send you this? And I am one to really try the products before I talk about them. I had a situation.
We try everything we research a lot, like in, in terms of, you know, having a site, we’re working with incredible writers and ultimately connectors. And I think that’s where really my first two books came from. Whether it be an organizer or a tip on how to do that. I also, that’s what I naturally love. So I’ll be in there trying products like my girlfriend downstairs. She’s trying to products at the moment. I’m like, we think that works. We like the consistency. What do you think? You know what I mean? I clearly need my roots done, but that’s just, I don’t know. That’s just me. I think my game has changed with social media a little bit in terms of, I feel like I’m connecting to my audience more and my community and really building that. And I’m thankful for that.
Mimi: What do you think you’ve changed? Like what was the transition?
Molly: I think the transition I used to get the advice from a lot of different people will just, you just be a regular mom. And I kind of was like, I am a regular mom. I changed diapers. I pick out boogers. I own a minivan, I own two minivans actually, but I’m in an industry that I do get to go to the vanity fair awards. I do get to go to the Cannes film festival. I do get to travel to incredible places to film or to work. And so I can’t deny my work.
Especially with social media now, like I think letting them in on like the fun side of me and like the crazy, and I think they get to see a little bit like the undone of Molly. And I think that has been really refreshing to me and I think refreshing to my community and I really enjoy it. I, you know, I’ve always connecting. My only thing I don’t love is that, you know, Instagram or that perfect picture that you display of your family, you don’t realize it’s the 50th picture that you’ve taken. That’s the best version. Your Instagram is the best version of yourself.
I think that has really changed with my connection to my community. And I think whether you’re a brand, whether you’re a blogger, whether you’re a writer, whether your person with the voice, I think being authentic is number one and really letting them in on not just the good and the polished, but also he want to pull your hair out. And I think, you know, I don’t really think I’m that funny every now and then, but apparently.
Mimi: You are! Especially doing quarantine during COVID, right? All your funny videos.
Molly: They’re fun. I like a little Ted talk every now and then we’re about to film one today. It’s going to be very funny.
Advice for Wannabe Entrepreneurs
Mimi: So any last minute tips or advice that you would give to either someone who wants to start out in your industry or somebody who wants to pitch to you? Cause I know you’re an angel investor as well. Any other last minute pitches for anybody who wants to be an entrepreneur?
Molly: If I tell you the story about what just happened to me, you would be blown away. I had a young actress move from New York to LA and she started helping babysit on the weekends with me. And she was a babysitter in New York. And she’s a musical theater actress. She’s 22, 23. She’s lovely. But she was like, listen, I was sitting there, no one was in the house. It was at lunch. I think everyone was asleep or whatever. And she’s like, can I talk to you for 30 minutes, 10 minutes, five minutes, one minute. And I go, what is this about? She was like, I just want to show you something. I’m like, Oh God, no, no, I’m just, she’s like really? I was like, shit. And I was like, wow, what is it you want? Cause you know, constantly people try to like anyway.
So she tells me what she did in school and she shows me this like 30 minutes short, then she’d done in her final. And I was like, huh, I want to think about that. Talk to my husband and I couldn’t get it out of my head. I couldn’t get the songs out of my head and I’m not a musical person. I am so like, I am terrible at singing. Anyway. I was like, let me see that again. And so cut to, I was like, well, who’s the composer? Who’s the writer. So I dug deeper and I dug into it. It was about six months ago, seven months ago. I can’t get into the details of course, but we got a green light to write a script to it, to be based into a movie.
Mimi: Really? Oh my gosh. How psyched is she?
Molly: Yeah, so it ended up not being what she actually showed me. Not even close, but you know, of course she’s going to be involved and hopefully have an incredible opportunity, but it just goes to, and she was literally red when she was trying to show me and like she persevered and she was like, you know, and again, the reason why that I ended up looking at it was because the girl was so passionate. She just was like, you got to see. And yes, like DM me pitch me. Like I, my agents and everything are listed on my website and all of that. But I think the best advice that I would give people be hungry. I’m a hustler, bump on thumb, but I am. I’m a hustler, you know?
You gotta ask, right? You can’t wait to ask. Don’t not ask because you’re afraid if you’re asked and it comes out wrong. Like even I remember like being on the pitch, I’m like, Oh God, I don’t want to say anything. I don’t want to say anything. I don’t want to say anything. It’s a big network. I don’t want to say anything. And like, okay, of course the person was like, Molly, I know you have a few words to say on that. I’m like, you know what I mean? But like I got going, like the one thing when I was on Vegas, Jimmy Connie’s is a really good actor. He told me, he gave me really good advice that nerves are good nerves, mean you care. And when you care, it’s not a bad thing. Like when you stop caring, you stop being nervous.
It’s OK to be nervous. You know, it’s OK to like to want it. I did a pitch the other day. And I knew like I knew these six phases across on that zoom didn’t they were not interested. I don’t know why in the world they would take the meeting, but I got the phone call made to go listen, whether we sell this or not, or not telling it to them, you know? So just remember someone’s energy good or bad. I don’t know if they would have bought it or not. You can feel it, you know, mean like you can feel like you feel that energy.
So just remember, like, even if you’re on a zoom, you have to bring it. And not as half of it besides the idea, but it will say like, it’s not easy. It’s not, not, not easy, but what’s the old saying Determination plus perseverance equals luck. And I believe that I truly, like, I was certainly not the prettiest. I was certainly not the skinniest. I was tall, but I did not make my career. I call myself like a cat. Like I have like nine lives, but I’ve not made my career or my careers without hustling.
Mimi: Right. You have to make your own luck. Right?
Perseverance + Determination = Luck
Molly: You make your own luck. Perseverance plus determination equals luck. Like people like, Oh, Oh shit. We were talking about that with Kate Bock, this sports illustrated model. She was like, people always say like, well you’re so pretty. Of course like you look so good. You don’t have any problems. Like, no, I make my own luck. You know what I mean?
Mimi: Right. Every model and every actress would have a brand.
Molly: That was the god-given genetics I have like, I think that’s what we’re all saying to go a little bit deeper into the book and the podcast about like, you might not think that I’ll never wear a sleeveless gown. That’s cut like that because I have body dysmorphia in terms of like, you would never know that, you know what I mean? Do you think, Oh wow. Like what is she talking about? You know, anxiety of like getting in a dress like that, you know, the anxiety of still like, you know, if you asked any stylists that I work with, even Rachel to this day. So, you know, I can always have like angst about my fittings from just my years of modeling and like, what if I’m not going to fit into it?
What, so those really those deeper topics of like really speaking truthful about like things anxiety around like weight and body dysmorphia and having to say no and disappointing people and the medical issues like being like, I became my mom and dad’s parents, you know, a few years ago when that sandwich generation and what’s that like having really small kids, I’m an older mom to have such young kids and just what that’s like.
Whenever you can really have those authentic conversations with your community, I do think that that helps you build your brand. That helps you connect. And I love working with different companies. Like I love, I just invested in like a cookie dough company. Well, they’re not a good detail company, but I similarly support them on the West side of LA, but there’s a gluten free. So many kids now have allergies, nut allergies, wheat allergies, soy allergies, you name it. So many children have real issues. And so I started using this cookie dough by Capello’s
I invested in the company last week and I have pizza cross, they have everything. Gluten free love them. But yeah, finding, you know, different, different things you want to back. And you know, that’s also a big thing. Like people need money, you know, people need time. People need expert advice. Like you can be an investor or an advisor and you don’t have to give a drop. Like you may have a specialty. So always ask guests what the answer can always be. No. And if it’s no, you can ask again, I’m a really strong believer in these earrings are really big, but I’m a really strong believer in going for it.
Mimi: I love it.
Molly: My mom, she would always say, go bigger, go home, go big or go home.
Mimi: It’s true. You can end on that note. It’s amazing. You’ve given such great advice and I really appreciate it. And anybody who’s not following Molly, you need to follow her on Instagram or her website.
Molly: We have a new workout series. I did, um, a whole month. Um, it’s really hard. I’m not going to lie. We shot it right before COVID I was in the best shape of my life. We’ve got the sites and more to come and I have a great face Facebook group that I’ve created a beauty scoops. If you go on my website, you can see sign up for the newsletter and it’ll get you to this group. But yeah, I just, I really, I really do love connecting.
I do think that is been my passion to like hook people well up with really good people or really good things or really good experts because there’s nothing worse than a shitty doctor or a shitty friend or a shitty educator. Like there’s nothing worse.
Mimi: You know my favorite dermatologist now is your dermatologist because of your video. I love her.
Molly: She’s amazing. I highly recommend you wherever you was amazing to get a dermatologist do mole checks. It’s really melanoma.
Mimi: What I like about her is like, she’ll do the mole check and then she also does the other skin stuff. I feel like you never found a doctor that did both. So like they would not want to touch you for the most stuff to do your sunscreen, you know.
Molly: Check your moles. And then you’re like, wait, do you want Botox? I’m like, yes, a lot please. Right in here and right in here. And you can do it.
Mimi: Thank you for joining me on the badass CEO podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please leave a review and see you next time. Thank you.