Curious, enthusiastic, approachable, smart. That’s Lauren Russo. In the past 4 months this girl’s built herself a business from scratch. And she’s loving every minute!
My favorite thing about Lauren’s story is that she moved to Rome. You might think that’s irrelevant, but I love it for 2 reasons. One, because I’m weirdly Italy obsessed at the moment, and two, making that move and starting a business at the same time shows impressive boldness of character. You’ll see what I mean when you read on. I LOVE boldness.
It seems Lauren’s found an enviable sweet spot between making and following just the right type and amount of planning AND leaving plenty of room to enjoy spontaneity in her life.
This girl’s got balls, and I like them a lot. Ok, so I realize that last sentence sounded wrong, but get your mind outta the gutter girl! You know what I mean.
It’s my pleasure to introduce Lauren. I can’t wait to see where her business takes her in 2013.
Tell us about your journey into entrepreneurship.
My whole life, I have had what some call “a problem with authority.” So, I think I always knew that, ideally, I’d be working for myself. After the usual stint in college and grad school, I spent almost ten years working for the non-profit University of Virginia Women’s Center. I spent the last five of those years interviewing and writing about incredible women, learning their secrets of resilience and success and sharing them with younger women who wanted to live a life of joy instead of crippling perfectionism.
The women I interviewed made me realize that I would never be satisfied until I had at least given starting my own business a shot. I hired a career coach and the process just confirmed for me that I wanted to be a coach. I was able to use the benefits from my job to pay for part of my coaching training, and I completed the Martha Beck Life Coach Training program in September 2012. Once I finished training, I quit my job, moved to Rome (where my partner is working) and launched my website. The rest is still in process—I have an ever-growing client roster, I run two creative mastermind groups, and I’m about to launch The Visionaries Project, highlighting the work of creative visionaries in a variety of fields in the hopes of sharing their insights and tools.
Do you have a business plan?
I do have a business plan—several, actually–but it’s not a traditional one. One is a map I drew in my sketchbook of where I want to be in three months, six months, 12 months, etc., up through to 10 years—just a series of goalposts. Another is a one-page plan that has my vision, my mission, my objectives, my strategies, and my action plan. Finally, I have a client attraction plan that outlines my ideal client, what they’re looking for, and how I serve them. It helps remind me who my clients are, where to find them, and how I help them. So far, I find these three plans to be all that I need.
What was the biggest challenge you faced setting up your business? How did you overcome this challenge?
My biggest challenge was knowing how to pare down all the resources and information out there. I am a fact finder by nature and I realized, at some point, that I could spend from here to eternity learning “the best way” to start a business and that I better just jump in and do it. So, I figured out what the basic requirements were for me—that was getting a business license and LLC, a website, and coaching as many clients as possible—and made those things my priority.
What’s been your most exciting business success for far?
I am so lucky that I haven’t had to struggle to find clients—they have found me mostly through people who know me. One of my most exciting successes so far was when I got my first client who found me through my website and booked a sample session with me, without knowing me through anyone else or hearing about me from anyone. It felt like, “Yes, the whole process I put into place of having a website and doing a sample session is working! I am too legit to quit!” She was a perfect fit and I was able to help her do amazing things. It really inspired me.
Another success I have to mention is that I helped a client put together an incredible portfolio that she sent to her dream company—they were so impressed with the work that she did and how she presented herself that they asked for an interview even though they weren’t hiring anyone. I will let you know how it goes!
You can find out more about Lauren here.
Here’s your take away hottie:
Lauren completely embodies my version of boldness. This is one girl who’s unafraid to go after what she wants (for example, she put herself out there and contacted me cold), and seriously, nor should you be. I love that Lauren realized that instead of continuing her research she should just go for it! Research is totally important, but heaps of peeps never progress past the research zone.
Do you want to be a recipe researcher or a cupcake catering business owner? A researcher or a freelance graphic designer? Researcher or health coach? Cover the basics, and then woman, go for it. Spend most of your time at the core of what it is you want to do. Point yourself in the direction of your dreams. Be bold. Take action. It’s the ultimate game changer.
PS Everyone’s learning as they go!
Now tell me: Do you want to be a researcher or a ….(fill in the blank)? Holler and let me know your answer!
- Like I need a stiff drink
- Like I can do anything
- Like Im at a yawn-fest
Learn how to prioritize, plan, and actually make shit happen Betty style!
Get your copy of Kill Overwhelm + Make Shit Happen (RRP $19.99)
PLUS weekly tips to help grow your dream business... for FREE!