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Jamila Payne Finds Bliss in Putting Ideas Into Action


May 20, 2016
Jamila Payne ’00, MBA ’06 started her first business at 10, and by the time she was a student at Lankenau High School, she was earning $500 a week making and selling jewelry to fellow students.

As an MBA student at LeBow, Jamila also ran her business full time, Milla By Mail, which was an inaugural e-commerce startup in the Baiada Institute’s incubator. (She points out that many people think “Milla” was a reference to her name, but it’s actually a Hindi word that translates to “I got it.”)

Nowadays, Jamila runs another business, Ideas Action Design, which as the name suggests offers stationary products and a community that helps people bring good ideas to life. Inspired to help more people take action to reach their goals, she constructed a 90-day planner that’s based on a productivity methodology that she designed, and named it the Daily Success Routine.

For the past two years, she has been teaching the system aimed at making productivity simple at conferences and workshops for business leaders, entrepreneurs and college students. Thus far, Jamila’s workshops have trained 3,000 people on how to use the routine to their advantage.

“A lot of people have a dream they want to come to life – writing a book, starting a business or doing something philanthropic, but most never actually find the time to make it happen,” Jamila says. “This product helps people with the planning necessary to make those dreams a reality.”

“The Daily Success Routine” was chosen by West Elm to be part of its West Elm Local initiative, which features and tests products from area designers and makers with the potential for participants to expand their products to additional stores. As part of this initiative, it will be featured at a “Pop Up” at the West Elm located on the 1300 block of Chestnut Street on Aug. 3, 2016, from 6-8 p.m.

One of Jamila’s current personal projects is shaping up for a bodybuilding competition. She says her success routine methodology is helping her make that goal a reality. “I’m training five to six days a week to get myself in the physical shape to walk across a stage feeling fit, strong and healthy. I have a lot of mini tasks under this big project. Daily practices, like juicing my kale at night, so every morning it’s already there. If something comes up, it won’t derail me. I map out the days I’m going to go to the gym every Sunday and put the dates in my planner.

“So you see, having a daily practice of chipping away at those projects leads to the completion of the bigger projects, which leads to the completion of the bigger goal.”

She compares the Daily Success Routine mindset to the ancient practice of yoga. “It’s really about reaching for the pose – not necessarily getting the pose, but always reaching for that next step.”