1.Lynda, you are known as the Oprah of San Diego. Tell us more.
Aww, yes, the Oprah of San Diego. A few of my friends dubbed me as that and it stuck.
Being curious by nature, I ask a lot of questions (and I mean A LOT). My first husband used to say I was a nag because I asked too many questions. I didn’t want to be a nag, so I stopped asking questions for about 30 years.
But in 2015 I had an epiphany and that was that I ask a lot of questions because I am curious and want to learn, not because I’m a nag. So in 2016, when Facebook Live came out, I decided to start my own “show,” Living Live TV, interviewing people. The beast was unleashed and I was having a blast.
Interviewees and viewers told me my questions were good, so it went to my head (just kidding, of course). It seemed like a match made in heaven. I’m good at it and I love doing it, so keep doing it.
2. Tell us about your background.
I grew up in a household with a raging, abusive alcoholic father and a submissive mother.
My first marriage was to someone just like my dad. After two years and two kids (a boy (14 months) and a girl (4 weeks)), I gathered the diaper bag and flung it over my right shoulder, flung my purse over my left shoulder, put my daughter in the baby carry case and my son on my right hip and walked out to never look back.
What I decided at that moment was that I was not going to live the same life my mom lived and that walking out of an abusive relationship and being alone was much better than being with someone who made me absolutely miserable.
My mom’s fear of regular beatings kept her from speaking up. Unfortunately, I learned that trait from her, so I lacked confidence. Even though walking out on my ex-husband may seem like I had confidence, it wasn’t confidence that got me out of there. It was fear. Fear for my life. There seemed to be no other option: leave or die. Weighing out the two options, I chose to leave.
I was a single mom for a little over three years. I dated so many different men that I felt like there was no such thing as the Prince Charming I had heard about as a kid. But I was hopeful that he would show up some day. Well, that day happened August 23, 1988. I met an amazing man who later became my husband. We’ve been together almost 30 years and it’s been amazing.
Even though I have this amazing husband, there was still one thing missing. Confidence. I still didn’t have confidence. My childhood lingered with me even while living with a supportive person on a daily basis.
But things changed in 2014 when I asked myself, “Why am I here on earth? What is my purpose?” I decided to hire a life coach. I was 51 years old. This was one of the best decisions, I ever made in my life. My life coach asked me the right questions at the right time that got me thinking differently than I had ever thought before. She changed my life and started me on the journey I’m on now.
After hiring my life coach, I started a journey where I met some really amazing people who helped me open my mind to the possibilities of living a completely different life than I had been living.
I had had 49 jobs in 34 years and realized that working for someone else was just not my thing. (BTW – I never got fired from a job but was part of a massive layoff at one job.) The last 20 years I was a legal secretary working for 8 law firms and my ultimate job was working for a judge in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. I finally discovered that I was easily bored and was driving myself to my own personal prison every day—and I built that prison for myself.
One day I came home from work and told my husband, “I’m quitting my job (which didn’t surprise him after 49 jobs) and we’re selling the house (which had been in my family since I was two years old) so I can follow my dream and passion of helping people.” Ummmm, he said, “I get the quitting the job thing, but we aren’t going to sell the house.” I said, “Yes, we have to. I have been called on earth to help people and this job isn’t doing that. I am selling the house with or without you.” This wasn’t an ultimatum. This was my calling. I was called here to do this work and I realized that no human body could get in the way of what the Lord sent me here to do (even if it was the man I love so much).
You are the Facebook Live Queen. Can you tell us about your journey and “Living Live TV?”
After quitting my job and selling the house (we sold it in three weeks), I embarked on the journey of discovering “what” I was going to do.
It took me almost three years to come up with Living Live TV. I had done more than 1,300 Facebook Lives in a little over a year (there’s a story as to why I’ve done so many Lives, too, that I won’t get into now) when I started it. In the beginning, it was literally just for fun because I’m nosey and ask a lot of questions AND I love connecting people. So interviewing people on my show satisfies both of my needs.
I interviewed one person, then another, then another. I just kept interviewing people for fun. Then I and the interviewees started making some money, so it turned into something more than I ever thought it would.
Next thing you know (after a lot of sweat equity), I’m standing on the Red Carpet for the Academy Awards After Party interviewing celebrities. What? Is this really my life?
3.What should entrepreneurs expect from “Living Live TV?”
Living Live TV provides value to entrepreneurs in many ways. Shows are geared to help entrepreneurs get and remain motivated, let them know they are not alone, give practical tips and advice to help them grown their business, help them break through fears, and to provide entertainment.
4.When did you know you were an entrepreneur?
I was age 51 when I attended an event called Secret Knock. There were a bunch of entrepreneurs in the room and that was where I made my discovery that there are other people like me who dream big and follow their dreams. That’s what entrepreneurship means to me.
5.What has been your greatest achievement?
Oooh, this is a great question. Achievements come in various forms. I’d say my biggest achievement was that day I decided to quit my job and make the leap into nothingness. I had no idea what I was going to do or how I was going to do it, but I knew that I was NOT going to live that life any longer. I was NOT going to drive myself to the prison I built for myself. I was NOT going to let a job hold me captive so I could NOT live my life. That’s actually how I came up with the name Living Live. It took me a couple years to come up with the name, but it stemmed from me quitting my job and deciding to Live my Life. You see, my mom died not living her life and I didn’t want that to happen to me.
6.What is the best advice you ever received?
One of my mentors always talks about this – “Seek Counsel; Not Opinion.” Everyone has an opinion, but not everyone can give you good counsel. Seek those who are successful who have gone before you and ask them how they got to where they are now. How did they get started? What advice do they have for you? What should you avoid doing? What would they have done differently had they started their business over again?
7.Who inspires you?
I have learned so much from my mentor, Greg Reid. He has taught me to not take “no” for an answer, to think way beyond who I think I am, to continue to grow on a daily basis, to listen to what others think about me because my opinion of myself is somewhat tainted by my childhood (but it’s changed since working with Greg).
8.Describe “Master Connector” for us.
I love being a master connector. If you need me to connect you with someone, I might be able to do it. I have surrounded myself with influencers in so many different fields and love making connections happen. Everyone is looking to connect with someone. You just have to know who you want to connect with and ask. I know some heavy-hitters and know how to leverage their Rolodex (is that even considered a word anymore?).
9.What should women expect from “Living Live TV?”
They can expect to be inspired and motivated to expand their beliefs about themselves by hearing from people who “have their back.” We know what it’s like to be a woman wanting more out of life and we aim to help them discover what that is for them and help make it happen.
10.You are the Editor-In-Chief of Life By Design Magazine. What is Life By Design?
Life By Design Magazine is an entrepreneurial magazine written for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs. Our purpose is to provide valuable articles to entrepreneurs so that they can live their life by their design. We all are designing our own lives every day, but sometimes we get stuck and don’t know where to turn. Life By Design hopes to fill in that gap.
11.Do you consider yourself a dreamer?
Yes, big time. My vision is of me motivating and inspiring more than 550 million women to discover their authentic self and stepping into it. When I hired my life coach and discovered who I am and what my purpose is here on earth, it propelled me onto a bullet train living every day doing what I love doing, helping others. I am living live.
12.What is your favorite quote?
“Be brave and share your weaknesses, for in your weakness others see your strengths.” Lynda M West
One day I posted a video on Facebook sharing one of my weaknesses (overeating). In the video, I was wearing my gym clothes and you could see the rolls of fat on my back. I was not happy with the way I looked, but I decided to post the video in hopes that it would hold me accountable to my goal of losing weight. I was terrified to post it because I was blatantly showing my weakness of overeating by not having my clothes hide my fat. I put myself out there in a scary way. BUT what happened was people started commenting and tell me how brave I was for posting it. I realized at that moment that when we share our weaknesses with others that there are people who “get it” and know what you’re going through and they know how hard it is to share your weakness and they see you showing your weakness as a tremendous strength. Since then, I share my weaknesses often. It feels good to know I’m not alone.
By Jules Lavallee