Recognizing Beauty From the Outside In, with Debbie Penzone

Debbie Penzone has a distinguished resume as a salon industry innovator, community leader, author, philanthropist, and lifestyle expert. She is passionate about wellness and inspiring others to live their fullest life, and integrates these principles into the business. She is a certified yoga instructor, meditation guide, marathon runner, cyclist, vegan, optimist, traveler, art lover, and fashion enthusiast. When not leading a team of hundreds as President and CEO of Charles Penzone Incorporated, you can find her cooking up a new recipe, laughing with her husband, or on a yoga mat.

One thing Debbie inherited from her father was an unbeatable work ethic. His father passed away when he was just 13 and he had to step up as the man of the house. When it was his turn to raise a family, he wanted to pass that work ethic on. So, Debbie picked up a paper route when she was 10 and quickly understood a penny’s value.

In middle school, Debbie had a skin disorder. She would sometimes get made fun of because of it, making her feel not pretty. The lessons that experience taught her helped make her the woman she is today — with a different perspective on what society says is beautiful. When she went to cosmetology school, she didn’t judge people for their appearance on the outside. What was most important was understanding who they were on the inside, a thread she’s continued throughout her life.

What Brett asks:

  • [01:41] Start at the beginning.
  • [11:22] What were some of your first hustles?
  • [14:29] When did you start thinking about cosmetology?
  • [20:49] Tell me about the path to PENZONE
  • [25:41] How did you go from an entry level position to CEO of PENZONE?
  • [35:36] How did you prove to people you could run the company?
  • [44:12] How did yoga become a part of your life?


Lessons for intentional living:

  • Take the time to understand your parents and where they are coming from, because they shape who you are. That does not mean you have to follow in their footsteps, but you have to know them deeply to realize how that will affect you.
  • If you’re a business owner or leader within an organization, it can be invaluable to have experience working in all of the roles you employ. When you start from the bottom and work your way up you learn all of the aspects of business and understand them better. That’s a very powerful thing as a leader.
  • Figure out what self-care means to you and make time for it. You need to be overflowing so that you can give to everyone else.