Doctor, philanthropist, TV star, author, and mom – Dr. Lisa Masterson is a woman who seems to have it all.

“I do things that are always first and foremost inspired by what I love,” she said.

But success didn’t come easy growing up in a black and white world smack dab in the middle of the Civil Rights war in Louisiana without a father.   

“We moved around a lot, a lot!” said Masterson. “She was very innovative at trying to make money go very far.”

Sometimes it meant quietly leaving an apartment just before rent was due. While there were times of uncertainty about where they’d sleep or eat, one thing was certain: Masterson’s mom would ensure her daughter would get a great education.

Masterson explained, “My mother believed in education from her mother and I went to some of the best private schools with no money.”

While she knew she wasn’t rich with money, she says she was always rich with support.

“I was with a wonderful woman who gave me lots of love. She showed me how important I was in the world,” said Masterson. “She just made me believe and feel that I was; I was important to her and that I had something to contribute.”

Today her mother’s legacy lives on in the life lessons Masterson shares with young women about health and their own self-esteem.

"The girls who have a good image of themselves, who have a great self-esteem; they are the ones less likely to have unintended pregnancies or acquire STDs,” said Masterson.

While her path to success wasn’t an easy one, with perseverance Masterson has become the person she says she was meant to be. She hopes advice from her mother will empower other women to do the same.

“Nothing beats a winner but a try.  It’s ok not to do things perfectly or to get things on the first try. What’s important is that you try,” she said.

Masterson is still trying to improve, opening her own health and wellness spa, releasing a yoga DVD, she even learned to surf and twirl the baton, saying you have to keep learning to keep living a meaningful life.

Masterson’s latest book, Paper Dollhouse, can be found in stores and online. It’s named after the day her teacher asked all the little girls to bring their dollhouses to school. She was so poor she made hers out of paper.  Her mother made her believe it was the best dollhouse in the class.