Lo Bosworth Has Some Excellent Advice for Impressing Your Boss

Lo Bosworth, Love Wellness CEO

Getty Images/Katie Couric Media

The Love Wellness CEO shares the lessons she’s learned after starting a business from scratch.

Lo Bosworth has come a long way. 

Since we first met her on Laguna Beach and followed her to The Hills, she’s left reality TV behind in favor of a more fulfilling way to spend her time — as CEO of Love Wellness, the company she founded in 2016 to create “innovative, total body care products for women and individuals who identify as women.”

For the first two years, she was the business: “I did every job,” she tells KCM. “I cold-called manufacturers, I built our website myself, I created all the product pages, I worked with our warehouse to manage all the shipping and logistics and customer experience.” The workload was immense, but Bosworth was grateful for the learning opportunity as the company grew. “Through that process, you also learn what you’re really bad at and where you need to bring people on to support your mission and vision,” she said.

That mission of educating women about the vitamins they need — and how supplements and probiotics can transform their health — has turned Love Wellness into a thriving brand, and it’s also marked a significant personal reinvention for Bosworth, who says she finds much more bliss in being a businesswoman than she ever did on MTV.

“I’ve had the opportunity to share with people who I am, my expertise, and what I love to do, which is to build and operate this business. I think that story is my authentic one, and it’s more compelling — to me, at least — than what I’m wearing or who I’m friends with,” she said.

For our new series On the Job, in which we’ll be chatting with inspiring leaders at businesses we love, we caught up with Bosworth to pick her brain on navigating office politics, building a balanced work life, and the best way to impress your boss.

What’s the biggest difference between running a business and being on reality TV?

It’s really about the kind of life that you want to live, and the kind of life that’s most comfortable for you. Being on reality TV meant I was actively working in the entertainment industry, where you work paycheck to paycheck and job to job. And that, for me, never felt safe and secure because I never had long-term stability. So a big part of why I love Love Wellness is because of that stability, and knowing what I’m doing every day when I wake up. 

How do you handle uncomfortable conversations with employees?

I’ve always been a straightforward, no-nonsense kind of person, but backed with a lot of empathy — I believe I have a high emotional IQ. If you’re able to understand the human side of challenging conversations, that removes a lot of difficulty. Trust me, if I have to let somebody go, I’m definitely up at night thinking about it. But as somebody who’s responsible for the performance of a business and has to answer to investors and other shareholders, you have to sometimes make challenging decisions and execute on those decisions without allowing it to affect how you’re operating day to day.

Speaking of day to day, what’s your average workday like? 

In our remote-work world, I’m currently online from about 9 to 6, and I do give myself that 6 p.m. hard out. I will look at Slack and answer emails later in the night, but I’m not on my computer forcing myself to do it. One of the biggest lessons from the pandemic for many people is appreciating downtime and recognizing how much that actually gives back, from an energy and sustainability perspective. In New York for so many years, your social currency was based on how busy you were. It was a thing of pride to be going from work, to an event, to another event, to a dinner, to drinks. And I just don’t think that’s the case anymore. Recognizing that we need rest is important.

I’m sure your employees appreciate that too, because when the boss says, “We’re signing off at 6,” you can actually do it.

Absolutely. And we’re a wellness brand, so we actually just implemented quarterly Wellness Wednesdays, where the entire team takes the day off. Nobody’s allowed to email or be on Slack. We just did our first one, and it was very successful.

What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?

My dad told me, “Loose lips sink ships.” I’ve found that to be really important when starting and operating a business. I think a lot of founders are so excited about what they’re building that they’re inclined to tell everybody everything. And it’s really important to keep things close to the chest, and be able to recognize the difference between conversations where you should be more forthcoming or more withholding.

Lo Bosworth celebrates the Love Yourself Well campaign from Love Wellness on February 13, 2020, in New York City. (Getty Images)

What’s the best way to impress a boss?

Allow yourself to show vulnerability. What I mean by that is being willing to say, “I don’t know the answer to that,” or “I need help with this,” or “Can I talk to you about this problem that I’m having?” That, to me, is really impressive because I think it takes a lot of self-awareness. And if you want to lead a business one day, self-awareness is critically important because you’re doing a lot of relationship management when you’re operating at a really high level. Being able to communicate effectively and ask for help is a great way to impress your boss. 

That’s interesting because a lot of people have a fear of saying “I don’t know” to their boss.

Think about your own life: It’s really easy to tell when somebody isn’t being totally truthful with you in your personal life, right? It’s just as easy to tell when somebody on the team doesn’t know or is covering up for something they don’t know. So it’s just better to ask for help.

What’s your go-to tip for being a good negotiator?

Try to never show your cards first. Generally, if you’ve been working with someone for a while, you can cut through the noise, but if you’re negotiating with somebody new, you don’t know their negotiation strategy. So it’s important to hold back for as long as possible.

What’s your number 1 pet peeve in a coworker?

When people apologize to me when they need something, like “I’m so sorry, but I need this from you.” Or, “I’m so sorry, but do you mind doing this?” Just ask me! If you need something from somebody on your team, just be polite and get what you need.

What’s your vision for Love Wellness in terms of location? Are you thinking you’ll be back in the office?

The goal is to do a part-time return to office. I’m not sure at this point if we’ll ever go back five days a week, but it’d be great to be back together at least three days a week.

What have you felt is missing from remote work?

There’s so much more creativity when you’re in a room with people and can communicate openly, versus scheduled Zoom meetings where you have a very specific agenda and goals and items to get through. I find that it’s challenging to really think outside the box in this digital-only world.

Which Love Wellness product would you recommend to a first-time customer?

We just launched our new Daily Health Kit. It has Gut Feelings Probiotics, our new probiotic for a calm gut and supporting immunity; Daily Love, our multivitamin that has 25+ vitamins and nutraceuticals; and then Sparkle Fiber, which is critically important for digestive health, which affects your overall health. That kit is where I would start.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.