Hello. Hello and welcome back everyone. We are sitting down with Lori Kelo today. Laurie Kelo is a brand and business strategist. She is an a plus conversationalist. Lover of country, all things Western. And of course the Calgary stampede, but don’t worry if you’re not into the Western vibe, we don’t really go there today. Laurie, his lifelong passion for business began at the age of six.
When she asked her mom for a business woman’s package for Christmas. From there. She curated her very own store and the living room with a price tag on everything from the Chesterfield to the piano and little, did she know that she was crafting customer experiences and journey mapping long before these concepts became industry buzzwords? After earning a marketing degree from the university of Lethbridge, she had her sights on a career in fashion music or sports marketing, but she unexpectedly found herself immersed in the world of banking. Surprisingly, she discovered that helping people achieve their dreams and attain financial freedom was genuinely quite exhilarating.
After that she joined one of the world’s largest advertising agencies and then onto one of Canada’s top workplaces. She had the opportunity to work on groundbreaking campaigns. And solve complex industry challenges all while building meaningful relationships with her leaders, teams, clients, and business owners across Alberta and beyond. Four years ago this past June, Lori decided to channel her six year old self. And make the leap from corporate to entrepreneurship as a marketing consultant. Although it’s been challenging and there’ve been a few tears and all-nighters along the way.
She’s never felt more confident or happy pursuing this dream. One of Lori’s life. Mottoes is dance. Like everyone’s watching. And I love this conversation with Laurie today. It’s really just. A deep dive into what it looks like to choose yourself, what it looks like to bet on yourself and the truth about that.
You know how it’s not just always roses and sunshine, but there’s some adversity. Along the way. We talk about Lori’s journey, starting from the bottom, from her living room floor. Two lessons learned in leadership, what to do, what not to do as a leader. And how betting on yourself is always a solid strategy. So lace up those shoes, take us for a walk and let’s dive in.
Lori Kello , this is gonna be a fun conversation and I am excited to, we’re gonna have to remember that we’re being recorded. LAurie and I know each other intimately. We’ve been friends for a long time.
We’ve done a lot of work together. Laurie and I , get to see each other every month because she’s a part of the well membership. And so she sits at the table as part of our leadership groups. And we’ve had. Like just such a journey together. I feel like we’ve known each other for lifetimes at this point.
So the conversation today is going to be fun. And I’m looking forward to diving in with you, talking all things, leadership and expression and who you are and really what matters to you. And before we dive into everything, I would love for you to take us back a little bit, take us back to little Lori.
And can you remember what did little Lori wanted to be? when she grew up. I actually put this in the bio I sent you the other day because little Lori wanted to be a businesswoman when she grew up. So yeah, that was beautiful. Yeah, there’s this beautiful story about how well I think I was around six and my mom said, what do you want for Christmas?
And I said, a businesswoman’s package. And she was like, I don’t know what this is, but I’m just going to roll with it. And she went to the, I think it was Wilson stationary. We lived in a small town in Alberta and she bought me a basket Receipts and staplers and tag tags and a calculator, and I set up store in our living room and people would come over and I would take them through our store, try to sell them things.
I had a bag with stamps on it that had You know who I was and then I would call them and follow up and see how their experience was, and it was the Chesterfield, it was the piano. It was my mom’s clothes, but I just, my dad was an entrepreneur. And so I think it’s just really been in my DNA and my mom is too.
And I just at a very young age, I, it was very natural to me and I was very curious about it. And so even now today when I’m really hard on myself or I’m like, what am I doing? I just go back to that little six year old self. And I remember she knew she was ready. I have the picture right here that I love, I keep next to me.
I have the same kind of bangs right now. But yeah, I just. I, and my parents fostered it. They encouraged, I always I made menus for dinner. I just was, had this like creativity and spirit and business mind at a very young age. And I would say I was always working in big companies and I succeeded.
I always felt like a little bit on the outside because I was an entrepreneur at heart and it’s hard to. be that way in big organizations sometimes, but I always would treat projects or people like it was my own business, my own company, and I always did that no matter where I was or who I was working for or with.
So I think that served me really well because you get a bit scrappier and you look at the world a little differently when you put that lens on it. So yeah, Little Lori was business woman at a very young age. She knew. She knew. She knew. Yeah. And look at you now. So is it, has it lived up to the expectations that you had, that little Lori had?
Oh little Lori didn’t know like about cashflow, cashflow and like finding new clients, like her clients were just family friends that came over, but I have to say. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it’s the happiest I’ve ever been and the most confident I’ve ever been. And I just, it’s very natural to me.
Like I think, I said, I grew up at the dinner table with my dad talking about making payroll and like him and his family started a business from the ground up in a very. Small town in the agriculture industry. So I just, I was always around those conversations. I was around the business.
And so I it’s, I’m actually surprised how natural it’s been of like. The actual principles of business. I would actually say I love running the business more than doing the work sometimes, which may be like, maybe my next life isn’t operations or helping run a beautiful company, but yeah. Yeah, it’s very natural to me, which I find interesting that everyone wants to be an entrepreneur or now you can go to school for it.
I do think it’s something you either have or you don’t. And I don’t say that in a mean way. It’s just more, it’s like leadership. I think some people are just more natural. You can learn things, but it’s in my DNA. It’s just a part of who I am. Oh, I so resonate with that that I so resonate with that.
I feel like my first job was like selling herring to fishermen off the dock when I was like six years old and grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. And same with you. Like people ask me when I wanted to be, when I was a kid and I was like, I want to be CEO. And I served the dinner parties to my, my, I had an alter ego for myself.
I called myself Casey pickle. And I served everyone during, like it, I totally get it. It’s just it’s in the spirit. So it’s really powerful. And that we were allowed to just play and dream and yeah I sometimes need to take myself back there and remember, the, that I just, yeah, it was a really fun thing for me to do.
So I love it.
I would love if you could share a little bit about your journey of that, because you’ve worked inside organizations, you now work for yourself, but you also, work with and alongside some amazing brands, some big business, some small business, all that, if you could share a little bit about what that journey has looked like to, through business and through leadership that brings you to today.
For sure. I was not really great in school. I found it really hard to learn. I was good at the drama classes and like where I could perform. I grew up on the stage. I did a lot of singing, dancing, acting, those sorts of things. I just, I, That was very easy to me, but like the actual school part, and I think that’s the saddest part for me is I went to university and I studied business and marketing, and I finally got it like it started to click.
And so I always when I meet younger people and it’ll start to make sense once you get out in the world and find your thing. I always thought I’d have a career in the arts. My mom really wanted me to pursue a career in the arts. I actually auditioned to go to some schools and different things.
And then I just decided I didn’t want to be a broke actor or, musician. I wanted to have a career. And so I decided on marketing and advertising. Because it felt like a natural transition from the performing side of my life. I got to pitch ideas. I got to stand up in a group of people. I got to be creative.
And so it just felt like a nice transition into work I would really be passionate about. And then the entrepreneur business side of me was like, Hey, you can’t ever go wrong with a business degree. There’s always something I can figure out into. So I went off to university. I struggled. I didn’t get the greatest marks, but I got through and I learned, those key things you need to learn in university, like how to work in teams.
And some of the, it wasn’t the business classes I would thrive in. It was like these electives. I had to learn, different things. And then from there, I actually got a job in a very small credit union in central Alberta as a summer student and I was a parade float hauler and mascot wearer. So I started at the very bottom.
I always say like all good marketers have been a mascot because that just seems they say all great entrepreneurs have had a paper route. Yes. Everyone’s done that mascot costume. And I was like, I don’t know if I want to do this, but I got to work in a really small organization that prioritized marketing.
We had great leadership we worked with a wonderful ad agency out of Calgary called trigger and I got to just learn a really young age strategy and I got to lead projects. All my friends were trying to climb out of the mail room at oil and gas companies in Calgary. I was actually doing the work, which.
Now, looking back was a really smart decision because I got to just hit the ground running and I had a beautiful woman named Tracy Kelly that hired me into this organization and really championed the work I did. And then from there, we went through a massive merger actually throughout the province. And so I was moved to Edmonton at a very young age.
So somebody, a man there named Gordon saw something in me and promoted me to a leadership role where I had 10 people and I was in charge of 110 branches. And let me tell you, mergers don’t bring out the best in people. And I was pretty young and naive and just learning not being a manager but being a leader like it’s such a mind shift of how you show up and it’s not about you anymore.
It’s about the people you’re championing and their success. Then I got laid off. I got packaged out. I was like, my ego was bruised. I was like, this doesn’t happen to me. But honestly, looking back, it’s the best thing that ever happened to me. I went on to work for one of the world’s largest ad agencies.
I learned from , really strong women that taught me the cores of my business, like how to write a brief, how to pitch, how to close, how to write an estimate, how to manage my time. Although it wasn’t perfect, I wouldn’t really know what I was doing in the marketing ad space. And then from there I got recruited to come work at ATB and head up the digital part of the digital marketing vision to start.
And then I moved over into entrepreneurship and really telling the stories of all these beautiful Albertan entrepreneurs and companies from startup to massive corporation. And then one day I just was like, the culture was changing a little bit, not in a bad way, Just didn’t feel right anymore.
And I was around these entrepreneurs and not very much money in the bank and not a very good plan. I just like leapt and I thought, if I don’t go now, I’m not going to do it. And I just started one day. I didn’t tell my parents for a couple days. I was like, I don’t know what I’m doing. It was a beautiful exit out of ETB.
I was treated with such kindness and care, leaving an organization and really supported to go live out a dream and try something different and new. Yeah, I started as, a small business woman at six. I’ve gone on to have like really beautiful experiences. They didn’t always end up how I thought they would.
bUt yeah, I’ve just taken it all in stride and enjoyed it and taken opportunities when I could.
I love that. And I, what I’m really hearing from you, from your experience is like, it’s all about getting in there and actually learning by doing. It’s not I’m with you, like the textbook learning and in university, it’s get me in practice, throw me in coach, right?
That’s the way to learn. And and you’ve really stepped into the unknown and been able to thrive and build a career on that. So I think that’s really powerful. I remember Lori, I remember I met you the day I met you. You and I had a drink in the bar at the Fairmont in Edmonton the day you left ATB.
I met you for happy hour that day. I, and you, I specifically wanted to see you and meet you because you were already on the journey and you were doing it and I. I wanted to be around somebody that I felt safe to be around and that would celebrate with me, right? That is such a thing on entrepreneurship.
It can be really lonely. And so you got to find those people that you can celebrate and be honest with absolutely. Yeah I do remember that and I’m so grateful that you took the time to, to come. It’s such a remarkable. Yeah. I was like, this is, it’s, I was like, yes, you quit your job party. Let’s go. So tell me, what have you learned about yourself and this journey from leaving a comfortable corporate job to starting your own business and becoming an entrepreneur, like there’s an identity shift there.
What have you learned about Lori?
Speaking of our relationship, so the week after I quit ATB, I actually hosted the brunch in Edmonton, and I struggled so hard to introduce myself because I, my identity was so tied to my role at ATB, and they created such a culture there where you were so proud to work there, right?
And so it was like a really big transition. But I had a mentor who sent me a client right off the hop that she couldn’t she was like, Oh, you’re on your own now. Here you go. Here’s a client. And it was actually Athabasca university. They were setting up a new business unit called power ed, which was micro learning and small quick hit courses that you could, log in and do to upskill and.
Like on demand, learn how to manage teams, things like that. And I remember I went in and I did my first presentation of their strategy. And I had a session where I took them through, brand personality and all these things. And I remember walking to my car after, and I was floating. It was like, I was levitating and I texted my mom.
I was like. This is what it feels like to be alive, like to go in a room, to own it, to help people understand brand and like the strategy piece. And so I just, I didn’t really, I hit the ground running. I charged what I was worth and I just found clients. Some of them didn’t work out.
It was, like at the beginning, you just take everything you can. Now I’m at a point in my business where I actually onboard people with a survey and I’m like, what’s your alignment here? What are, what is your budget? What are you trying to achieve? So I can find like those perfect clients that are, want to do the work I want to do.
And sometimes I just need honestly money and I do things that. I might have a different outcome in the end, or I might not, it’s not that I’m less passionate, I just how do I say this nicely, curb my enthusiasm of where they could, like sometimes you’re just like, ah, this might not be the best, but I’m going to try it.
And it’s all about experimentation. It is. And honestly, people, there’s a couple things I said yes to that I probably shouldn’t have that led to amazing experiences and amazing clients. So I know people are always like, put up boundaries and have all these rules. And I threw all the rules out in the first year and I just went for it.
I managed. I had a great network and a lot of people refer me, which is a beautiful thing. I haven’t really had to advertise myself. It’s all word of mouth. I do project. I do good work. They tell someone else. So I’m very grateful for that. And then the pandemic hit, which actually helped me grow my business because I could do now business with people all over Canada.
I helped them in some very tricky situations. Are we open? Are we closed? Are we laying people off? How do we communicate this with compassion? So I got it. Like a crash course and how to get at this during COVID. And now that the world’s opened back up, I have some beautiful clients and beautiful contracts that I’m really passionate about.
And I care about, what they’re doing and the people that work there and what we’re trying to achieve. So yeah, it’s not always easy. Yeah.
I think there’s seasons where, and I love your mentality of I’m just going to say yes. Because through those yeses, we actually find out like, what’s a no.
What’s not for me, and I think in times when we’re trying on a new business model or, starting a new evolution of our brand or starting a new business or anything like that we think we know, but we don’t know until like your past experience so you get on the mail room floor.
So you get into the mascot outfit and you’re like, actually, I don’t want to be a mascot. I tried it. I tried it. But I think I think there’s seasons of Yeah let’s be a yes woman and let’s figure it out. And also I think that there’s different like what you said about taking on clients that maybe you weren’t so enthused about, but you needed the financial situation.
I like to look at that through the lens of like zone of excellence versus zone of genius work. And zone of excellence work is sometimes that’s the stuff that you could do with your eyes closed. Doesn’t necessarily light you up. But you can do it. You can deliver. And you know that’s great.
It’s a great way to earn a living. Zona Genius work is okay, this is the stuff that really makes me feel alive. And of course, we want to like work towards getting there, but it’s not always perfect. It’s not always something that you can do right off the bat. And I did a post on this yesterday.
It’s you need money for your mission. And so you have to say yes to figure out what is profitable, what works and how to build that sustainable business model from there. So I love that you didn’t let like your ego get in the way. And you just said let’s go. And then that’s unlocked some, that’s unlocked some doors for you.
I Did the math on one project. I think I made like 7. 50 an hour, but I made amazing connections. And I would say those things that maybe it’s not in perfect alignment. My goal in any company I go in or even personally interact with is two things. Leave it better than I found it. And make some new friends along the way and learning all the time, right?
And like when you can do that in your organization, that’s powerful. And then that zone of genius piece, man, when you can master that cause a lot of what we do with entrepreneurship, you gotta hunt, you gotta close, you gotta find the clients, right? So that’s a very masculine energy.
And then the work I do, which is creative and brand building and foundation work and why you get up in the morning, it’s actually very feminine work. And so when I can balance and be in flow between the two, I’m unstoppable. It’s such a powerful place to be in, but I have to really take care of myself and hone myself.
And I used to just do everything for everyone, but I, for the first time in the last six months, I’m now making myself a priority, which makes me a better consultant and a better. Person to be around and also do business with because I’m rested and I’m creative. I’ve just learned I’m constantly learning.
I’m constantly getting my ass handed to me and I’m constantly like loving it. It’s fun for me. And I don’t know if it’s forever. I look at other options or even career changes, but right now it’s it’s a fun, fun space to be in for sure.
So you say something that’s really powerful, which is organizations don’t change, but people do.
Tell me a little bit about that.
I’ve just, I’ve seen it time and time again. People they want to create change, but they hit their head against the wall because the organization won’t change. And so I, I got to work at ATB in, It was a moment in time, which only a select few people got to be a part of, and I’m very grateful for that, where I came to work every day knowing exactly why I was there.
And so I’m not really answering your question. I don’t think it’s a roundabout way, but if you’re going to lead and be on teams you have to have kind of permission to change and to make impact in the organization, but I also think it is a roundabout way. It’s like investing in the people, Dave Mowat went out at the top of his game with a 99 percent approval rating with employees and the best financial year that company ever had.
And you know why? It’s because he focused on happy people. He focused on people coming to work and having fun. And we live by these 10 ATBs that were just a beautiful way to live your work and personal life. I. I’m so honored that I got to be a part of it and to got to experience that kind of leadership and joy to be a part of a workplace and pride, right?
And I think though you can’t change organizations, but you can show up in ways that show people a better way to do things or I have some clients who I’m like, let me just let me try this. I won’t ruin the brand. I won’t break the bank, but we have to try some new things and inject some new ways of thinking.
And so I think it’s just being brave and courageous enough to have a voice at the table to say, Hey, let’s give this a shot. I think as a consultant going into organizations, I have a bit more, I feel very responsible to bring good ideas to the table, to change it, change things. But I also feel like, that’s expected of me.
I’m there to Dismantle or poke holes at things or look at things a different way because I’m not in the day to day every day. And so that’s a beautiful and powerful place to work from, right? That you can change organizations by changing the way people think about what you’re doing or how you might approach it differently.
My pet peeve when people are like we’ve always done it that way. And I’m like, Oh, good luck. Cancel that one and how’s that working for you, right? Like I, I love, I’m, I thrive in change. I’m a, I’m lucky that I like change and Getting curious about, how we could maybe do it different.
Yeah, and it really starts with culture and having leaders that are willing to be bold and courageous, like you said, and I think in the world that we live in now, we have to be able to innovate. Quick. We have to be able to move quickly. Like when you look at how, something like AI is impacting how we work and how organizations or how the pandemic impacted working from home or, getting like people in the office and all of that as.
As a leader, you have to be able to respond to the current environment. You have to be able to meet people where they’re at. You have to be able to move quickly. And if we do have that mentality of this is the way we’ve already done it, or this was the plan. So we’re sticking with the plan.
It’s yeah, good luck. Did you live through 2020? There was no plan. There’s no plan. Yeah. But, mAybe that’s a good segue into some of your experiences with leaders and culture. And really, what are some of those characteristics that you’ve learned from? And some of those mentors and leaders that you’ve learned from along your journey?
I Don’t think you realize how young your leadership journey starts. So you look even in school or playing sports or going out like I was always, I was actually overlooked a lot, but I knew I had this leadership, ability in me. And so I always, And I say this to people and I can see them deflate because everyone wants a title, right?
Like we put so much into the title of being a manager, a senior manager. And I used to care about that. I don’t anymore. Like people make fun of me. They’re like, you don’t have CEO. And I’m like, I don’t, maybe I need to lean into being a CEO more and have that kind of energy for me. It’s there’s different language that speaks to me.
I was exposed to female leadership very early in my career that was not positive for my mental health and I’m a very sensitive person. I’ve really worked on, I read the four agreements. My mom gave me that book in my twenties, but not taking things so personal. Yeah, it’s such a great way to live your life.
And it’s simplistic. But yeah, I had, early on I had female leaders that didn’t want me to succeed and that was very clear and I just couldn’t get it, I couldn’t understand it, I didn’t know why. And then there was men in the organization that championed me and they saw, Oh, there’s something here, this girl, like she’s got something.
And it like, let’s be honest, it’s so hard getting that first gig and getting that door in, they go to school, but it’s, you gotta really, they get some breaks, and it’s not easy. And so I find really early on in my career, the men really championed me, and who I was and actually were very comfortable with me being there and , I’m not boring to work with.
Like I bring a lot of fun and energy and play. I work hard and I play hard and I’ve always lived by that. But I think he’s, he spends so much time at work. Like you gotta have some fun and joy. And and so yeah, a lot of women actually didn’t like that about me. And then can you share a little bit?
I want to stop there for a moment because I had similar experience and I’m curious with you when you felt resistance or whatever was going on with like women who maybe didn’t have your back at that point, did that cause you to. Suppress any part of who you are. Did that cause you to hold back or like, how did that impact you?
100%. It made me question so many things about my ability and my confidence. If I was good at what I was doing and then they would do things and they knew it was maybe too far. And then they were like apologetic and like almost too far. And so it really hurt my confidence and , my ability to be fully expressed in the workplace.
I remember doing things like the colors exercises and like my profile was always up here and everyone else’s. was over here. I loved people. I loved connection. I loved, I think I’m like a 33 out of 30 on the extroversion scale. I think that shifted a little bit as I got older, but it would put your colors up on your cubicle and people would come by and make fun of me for having these soft skills, which I think like that has served me so well.
I either not. Soft at all. Like they, that’s, there’s a reason I haven’t had to go out and find business all the time. It’s totally, no, what I bring to the table. And I actually went and did, I went to Toronto and there was a man there who did a presentation on personal branding, which I’d never heard of it.
And I’d never thought of it that way that you’re a person, you have a brand, Ron tight was his name. And he was Like open and honest, and I actually left that conference and I was like, F it, I’m just going to be myself in the workplace, and if people don’t like it , that’s their thing to deal with and how did I actually, I just was like, I’m just going to be me and.
Someone actually said to me, they’re like, wow, you’re just so good at being yourself. And I’m like, that it was so funny to me that, people would like, people had different voices at work or they answered the, I’m just like, I just, at that time, I just decided at a very young age, I was going to be who I was.
And if people didn’t like it, then that was their problem to work through. And I actually had a very conservative leader who I ran into a few years ago, say. I didn’t, I don’t normally miss people, but I miss your energy around the office. And so I, yeah, I just decided to be my, positive, quirky, engaging self and never changed that, never turned it off, and then I finally got to ATB where it was encouraged and, people. People were just, one of our mandates was to have fun and we did, and I look back now and because you’re getting your start and you look up to these people , I wouldn’t tolerate that shit ever again in my life.
But I, I did back then cause I didn’t know any better. You just want to have a job and try and get ahead. And I give that advice to younger women. Oh, I’ve been coming up in the ranks, but it’s just not as easy to just, leave or, but I encourage them to, be respected in their workplace and.
Not tolerate, things that I did back on early in my career because I was too afraid to open my mouth or to leave or find something better, so I think that’s really powerful. And I think a lot of us have have had some story in some way where. We were being ourselves and then someone had some judgment about it.
And then there’s some doubt about maybe I shouldn’t be. And, hiding parts of us. And I love your fully expressed self. I always, like the day I met you, I was like, yup. That woman is a lot of fun talking about my online dating career. Literally the first day I met you, you were you’re like, Hey, nice to meet you.
And then we were talking about, ATB being a part of one of my events. And then like within five minutes, you’re like, So I’m on Bumble. Look at this guy. And I’m like, Oh, okay. Tell me more about that. And so the friendship was like, okay, tell me all your, dating like what’s happening in the dating world right now.
And instant friends. It’s I like her.
Yeah. I I just, I thought, you don’t have a work version and a home version. I think if there was anything beautiful that COVID did, it melded the two together, at first I was like, oh my god, people in their sweats and they’re too, and then I was like, ah, this is where we’re at right now.
And it’s actually beautiful. I also found I feel like women that really changed the game, or are amazing leaders, or like the rare time you get that woman that just champions your future. And you’re like, they’re always the hardest to people label them as hard to deal with, right?
Instead of breaking the mold or like doing different things. And I just, I would rather be known as somebody that, people look at maybe they’re like, Oh, she’s out there, difficult to work with than just someone that’s vanilla and blends in. So I’d rather, I’d rather be memorable too.
Yeah. And it builds confidence too, right? Like people say how do you build confidence? I’m like, I put myself in situations that like, My mom always said, feel the fear and do it anyway, like I, I’ll do things that make me uncomfortable, but it grows my confidence. I’m like, I lived, that wasn’t that bad.
I can do that again, and I think just giving yourself permission to try new things. And sometimes I fail and it’s hard and I don’t like it, but I’m learning all the time from it too, what are some of the key standout experiences that you think, the positive and the negative ones, the failures and the wins that you feel have really shaped who you are as a woman and as a leader?
Yeah. I Was told no a lot when I was a young age, like I, I didn’t make teams. I didn’t make certain things didn’t happen. And I, Okay. Okay. It was so devastating at the time, but I learned from that the world or the universe or God is always upgrading your options that are coming and so I learned at a very young age kind of resilience and that if I didn’t get something just because I really wasn’t supposed to and something better was coming.
So I just always adopted that philosophy. That. iF something didn’t happen, something else was coming my way. And so I think resiliency has been like a huge thing for me that I, I think too, when you lose your job. You land on your feet and it’s almost like a badge of honor. Now I look at resumes and I think, Oh, they haven’t been fired yet.
Have they really lived? They have their ass handed to them and have to pound the payment and get back on their feet. As much as I didn’t like how that felt. It was the best thing that ever happened to me in the sense of, I got the gift of time and money to go dream and figure out what I really wanted to do next, and so I think getting fired is a badge of honor that everyone should at least have happened once. So prove to yourself, I never worry about making money now or finding work or like it, it just proved to me that I can do hard things and get to the other side. I finally forgave the woman that did it.
So forgiveness is big, I think. And what has, not everything’s perfect and it doesn’t all go how it’s supposed to, but, I think being forgiving and just learning and going with the flow has served me really well. I said to my mom the other day, I said, man, I’ve had. I’ve got to be on film sets and TV, like just really cool stuff.
And she goes, yeah, but you took the opportunity. You didn’t sit back and let someone else and I also learned at a very young age, no one else was going to tell my story for me and I was getting overlooked a lot. And so I decided to open my mouth. I decided in an authentic way to tell people what I cared about, what I was good at, wanted and wanted more of, what I needed more of.
Because I have young people come to me and they say, I don’t want to do this part of marketing. I don’t like it. And I said, go get the experience because if you want to be a consultant to know in your business on business, like me someday, it’s, you got to be well rounded and you’ve got to have tons of experiences.
Do I like writing comms for companies? No, but I make good money at it. And I have the skillset because an opportunity was given to me and I learned how to do it by being coached properly. So I think. I just, I was resilient. I went with the flow. I didn’t take things so personally. And then I just yeah, getting fired was like a big one to really, I made a list.
I still have it. I, when I moved, it was like 10 things I want in a company, 10 things I don’t. And I think I got seven out of 10 of what I wanted. Yeah. And then when I went to ATV, I had nine out of 10. I love it. And you know in your gut when you’re interviewing or ask the questions because you know when it’s the right thing for you, and and sometimes you say yes and you know you shouldn’t have but yeah you learn from that too there’s no right or wrong choices. There’s just choices, yeah, I love it. You shared a little bit about like depletion and burnout and how you’ve learned how to take better care of yourself and how you, that routine, those routines are really important to you now. And I think that.
Calls to, what you’re just saying, which is listen to your intuition. And in order to listen to your intuition, you need time and space to do that. So can you tell me about how you’ve gone from a shift of kind of, pedal down to making more space for Lori and, taking care of you.
Yeah, I remember the exact moment the switch shifted for me because I am a people pleaser. I like people to like me. I like, I, I’ve had to unpack that. So it was January and I just got I let go unexpectedly from a contract, my biggest paying contract. I threw up because I had such bad anxiety.
I had nowhere to go but come up and then I went on a live podcast and sucked it up and told sold this course for a organization I was doing work for and I hung up and I just started crying. I thought, yeah, you can’t do this anymore. Like I now would call and be like, you know what? It’s an on air show.
You got to figure this out. You’re a producer for a reason. But I was just so worried about letting people down or I like, Yeah I got physically ill, I threw on some lipstick, brushed my hair, and just sat there. And the guy didn’t even listen to me. He just didn’t even care that I was there. Yeah. And that was a moment for me of, I can’t live like this anymore. I can’t, I’m not an anxious person, but I had, and it was like the deep, dark COVID, like we’d been alone for so long. And so I just started little things. I’m like, okay, I’m going to get a morning routine. I’m going to do, I’m going to do one thing better in the morning.
And then I just curated this beautiful morning routine and ritual I’m I move matings now if I get up a little late because I have to do them, and I’ve added new things to it. I brought in, people like you, I joined a group of women that I could be supported in and those women that I get to see with you every month are like, they’re gold, they’re gems, they’re my people, and I wouldn’t I don’t know what I did before them, so that was, that’s a beautiful thing. I called in practitioners, acupuncture, health people to just really help me figure out what this means to me. I’ve had a little blip with my sleep the last little bit. I didn’t realize what a big deal sleep is. Then the night routine too, and the nutrition and just like I do an 80 20 now.
Where I 80 percent of the time I nail it. And then the other 20, I have fun. I enjoy myself because I’m not going to be that strict anymore. But for me, it was like the morning routine was the what changed my life and the trajectory in which I was able to slow down and take that time for me. And the more I do that for myself, the more I love, like I fall in love with myself every day.
I know it sounds cheesy, but I think the purpose of life is like to conquer the self love game. And so when I do take care of myself and I do invest, I just can’t believe how much more I like myself and I’m proud of myself and I nurture myself. And that’s a completely different person than.
Five, six, seven years ago, I also had very high cortisol, so I had to really lower that and I was like going all the time and hit the ground running, have coffee no, I was sad when I think back now of how I thought it was so cool and I was an entrepreneur, but I was like ruining my health and doing great work.
Yeah, it’s not sustainable at that point, and I think it’s powerful that unfortunately we need those like breakdown moments like, Brene Brown calls it the spiritual awakening, but it’s like the breakdown to breakthrough and that moment of. Like for me, I’ve had a moment like that and it was self abandonment.
It’s wow, I chose someone else over me again for the last time. And then it’s okay, like it’s time to take our power back. And I think it’s really amazing how you flip the switch and said, I’m going to put Lori first and I know firsthand, and I’d love for you to share in your own experience.
This is the hard part to teach. The entrepreneur who’s like still trying to figure it out and in survival mode, maybe what’s my business model, whatever, what do you mean prioritize myself? I have to figure like there are things to do. The to do list is going, but I’m the more like seasoned leaders and entrepreneurs actually know that it’s the opposite.
It’s put yourself first and your business will be impacted. So I’m actually curious by taking your mornings back, how different do you show up in the day when you put yourself first?
Oh, I’m a completely different human. Like I do now rounds of breath work. Thanks to you. You’ve taught me that. skill.
I, I’m doing the artist way where I write three pages every morning. And to be honest, I don’t take the BS into my workday. I get it out on that paper. Some days I don’t even know what to write. And I’m like, this is stupid. I hate this. I don’t want to do this, but it like, it gets the negativity out of me.
And, I don’t know. I think you just maybe got to learn the hard way that this is important. I think I said to you the other day in one of our calls. I was out for coffee in the middle of the day and I’m like, what do these people get to do that they just get to go for coffee in the middle of the day?
And I can do that. I run my own business. I call my own shots. I get to like timeline things. I try and take time on Monday mornings to ease into the week cause I do have a bit of the Sunday blues or some anxiety. So I do give myself that space. If a client’s Hey, I need to have a call and I have no other time, I will take it.
But , the one thing I have had to put boundaries in is working at night because I’m way more creative at night. But you know what, I’ll go for an appointment in the middle of the day or I’ll go out for a walk at lunch. And I just have to get off my screens at a certain time. I do love scrolling the gram and TikTok at night, but I’m getting better at that. So I think I didn’t do this to be locked in my computer all day or at everyone, I also just, I realized how driven I am by money. And, we have to bring in money and pay for things. Absolutely. But I’ve gotten a bit more creative and price things differently where I can maybe take.
One less client. Yeah. Yeah. I’m like, speaking of AI, chat GPT is a time saver, like things that take me usually half a day or four hours to map out. I can actually put in there and it will organize it for me. I still have to do some work and tweaking because it’s not perfect. The quickness I get, I can almost be way more efficient.
So yeah make copy that one. That’s good.
Leverage the leverage, the tools to increase capacity. And I’m with you. Like I’m in a season where I want to work with less people, create a bigger impact and create more space for myself. So looking at pricing models and things like is that is interesting too.
Cause same with you. It’s I want to build a life of freedom profitability and building wealth and financial goals. I have lots of them. And so how do we create. The business model we want that allows us to also live the life that we want. And i’m totally with you on that like the woman running her business from a deficit is not You know shouldn’t be celebrated at all.
And so putting yourself first and choosing what works for you in your schedule like Take the coffees do the flexibility like go have brunch in the middle of the week and just enjoy yourself And like I have had to really undo this hustle mentality like go and I mean I’m not gonna lie There is a certain amount of that when you’re first starting like you have to and there’s seasons that invite.
Yeah I’m in a season right now where I have some great clients that have been with for a while I’ve been Brad Brack on another contract with one of them and like things are really important low. It’s the right things I want to do, and it’s what I’m good at. I now outsource or I just refer things that I don’t want to do or I know just take up too much of my time that I used to greedily want to keep to make some money.
I farm it out. I give somebody else a great chunk of business and I find night times out of 10 that client will come back and say they loved how honest I was with. That I wouldn’t or I wasn’t good at that kind of work that they come back and they’re like we want to work with you we want to work with somebody that’s not honest and yeah but like before I would take all of it.
I’d work all these hours. I was a moonlighting copywriter and I was like, no, I’m not doing that anymore because it depletes me and I resent it more yeah.
Resentment is not a great foundation for building a business. Been there. I know that. It’s not a good look. Nope. No one. And one thing I’ve learned about resentment.
So if anyone listening to this is Ooh, feeling a little resentment. If you are resentful, you’ve waited too long to communicate your needs. You’ve waited too long. Yeah, and you feel it in your soul. You feel it. Yeah. Yeah.
Yeah. Totally. Yeah. You said something in our in our last call, and I don’t know if you can elaborate on this but you said something the last time we talked that really stuck out to me and you shared that you’re really feeling like you’re being called to lead and serve in a new way.
What is this new era of Lori look like? What are you excited to bring to life? How do you want to serve your customers right now? What’s the work that you want to do? Yeah. Where I do my best work, I’m not going to lie, I love what I do, but the part I miss about the corporate life is leading a team that is, a lot of people, they will say they want the title, but they don’t want to do the work, or they don’t like it to be a good leader, you have to like people, you have to care about people, right?
And so I miss That. . But I have a couple clients right now where I would say it’s zone of genius where I get to strategically lead the marketing and branding efforts, but I get to coach a team or a group of individuals to look at brand and how they show up and do things a little differently.
So that would be that’s what I’ve called in right now is I get to think big. Doesn’t mean I don’t roll up my sleeves and, do the things that need to get done. I think that’s the biggest thing is people just want to do strategy and Hey, you still got to, be real and authentic in what you do.
But I get, these little glimpses of getting to help. People like see brand differently or connect the dots or, Oh, I worked with two young women that are just so open to learning and feedback. And, when you get feedback and then it comes back another time down the road and they’re like, Oh, they listened, they like actually, wanted that feedback.
And I think the people that are open to feedback, like they’re, they’ll go places, right? And so that is the work I want to call in where I get to maybe be what I would call a fractional CMO or a consultant that gets to lead brand work, but gets to influence how people Who doesn’t want to work for a beautiful brand that stands for something, right?
And I get to be that reminder. I get to push the boundaries or get to think big and get outside of the box and ourselves. And so that’s the work I love the most. Getting to dream and create these plans to, that, get people thinking differently, but get people in the door and converting and making more money in sales.
From a heartfelt position though, instead of just. I Hate the word push. We’ve got to push this and if we don’t have to push anything, we have to tell a great story. It gets people to want to interact with us and be a part of our brand and tell their friends about it and, grow that way.
So that’s my favorite work to do. And that’s what I’m like really blessed right now that I get an opportunity to be for people in different organizations.
Yeah, and that’s cool. And you’ve got here by saying yes and trying and experimenting and now you get to you get to really choose you to choose that.
So I think that’s amazing. What advice do you have for someone who’s sitting on the edge of knowing that they want to go all in on themselves? Maybe they’re maybe it’s their current business or maybe they’re in corporate or maybe they’re just thinking about a big life change because you’ve been through a lot of them.
What’s the advice that you want to give that person listening?
Oh, such a lotus teeth question.
The question from okay, so we’ll take you back to before you left corporate and went all in on yourself, what’s the message you needed to hear?
I went to a course that both you and I have done together, and I just kept hearing the…
The leader of the course for voice just your life is happening now go for it And I think I just didn’t want to look back on my life and say oh, I played it safe, right? I didn’t take any chances. I get people DMing me that I haven’t talked to in years I don’t even know and they say it’s so fun to watch somebody actually live out their dream Like I think that people they don’t live that was life, right?
Like it’s They, it’s easy to stay safe and play small. I think for me, I wanted to make impact in the world and I wanted to, do that in my own way, in a way that felt natural. It’s not for everyone. Like I’m not going to sit here and say, yeah, jump off the fence and go for it.
Like I probably could have had my finances in better order and maybe a business plan, but I think if you can’t go all in on yourself, who can you, and so that, I see opportunities sometimes to of coaching, women and men in marketing in the corporate world, because that is.
We need great corporate jobs. We need great corporate leaders. And, can I take my experience of that and the entrepreneurship and, give back in those ways? I think whatever you’re doing, be fulfilled, stand up for something, care about the people around you, make them better, listen.
I think, shutting up and listening is huge to you in leadership of just. I Read a great article about Chanel. Anyone that starts at their company of top senior leadership, they’re not allowed to talk in meetings for three months because they just want you to listen and like listening is powerful.
And so I would say, yeah, if you have this dream, go for it. Absolutely. But no matter what you’re doing, show up, be your best version yourself, do the work, and that’s when the opportunities come to and things I thought I really wanted. I didn’t always get cause I knew something else was coming.
So I’m not telling everyone to quit their job and to be an entrepreneur. It’s really, unless that’s what you’re called to do. But I don’t know. I feel like when I left or with the organizations I was in, I left at the top of my game because I wanted to be at my best instead of being resentful or pissed off or unhappy with how I was treated.
I cleaned up those relationships that served me well when I left too. So that was a rant, but I don’t know. I just think whatever you’re doing, show up and do your best job and see what can happen out of that. Or make the change. I think people stay too long. They don’t change. Yeah, that’s scary, right? I think that fulfillment piece is so big.
It is we often get so busy like just sometimes complacent and just keeping up with things right and it’s like taking that pause and slowing down and reflecting and saying does this bring out the best in me does this allow me to do my best work? Does this feel good? And sometimes the playbook needs to shift.
Sometimes the choices we made back then, it’s like we’ve evolved, we’ve grown, we’ve transformed. And our environment around us is no longer something that can allow us to thrive or the people around us or, can no longer help us to thrive. So we’ve got to always be paying attention to that.
Yeah. And believe in yourself. You’ll always land on your feet. And if you don’t, you figure it out because you’re forced to, but , yeah, I just, I want people to lead a good life of purpose and stand for something. And that’s not always easy either, right? Especially in the world we live in now.
But Yeah, I love it. tHank you. Thank you. Thank you, Laurie, for this amazing conversation before I let you go.
Laurie is one of the amazing women that sits at the table as part of the weld membership. She’s in one of our leadership groups and these are the types of conversations we get to have quite often at the table. And I feel like being a part of our groups. It’s like an underground club.
If you’re in it, you understand it. And otherwise it can feel a little bit hard to explain because there’s such a collision between personal expansion and business success. And. Women connection and leadership development, business growth. We go on all ends of the spectrum. And I’d love if you could explain what your experience is at group and what it is for you being a member of this community and how that’s impacted your life, your business, and your leadership.
Thank you. I know I think about it a lot. It’s it is. It’s very hard to explain until you’ve experienced it. I don’t mean that in a weird way. It’s just all of a sudden I joined these calls with these women. I didn’t know. But you do a really good job of structuring it and helping us, get to the root of, what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.
And I think, as females and, As entrepreneurs, you need a safe place to just work it out, be honest, be ugly, be, have some tears. I, and I just, I always feel so there’s so much permission to just be authentically who I am in that group and. I don’t know that I’ve ever experienced that to be honest.
And then you go away to Kelowna for a weekend and then that blows your heart out in another direction of, experiences you create for all of us. I don’t know, I just. I can’t really imagine my life without it. Now, these women that I look forward to seeing I will say it’s a bit of a time commitment at the end of the month for me.
And I think, oh, I don’t really have time for this or, how do I get out of this today? And then I go to it and I’m like, oh man, it’s the best three hours I’ve spent on myself. So I think, if you’re searching for. A group of women that just see you for who you are and really want the best for you and give sound advice and care about, where you’re going in life.
It’s definitely that kind of environment to check out. So I do anything for any of you. You call me anytime I would be there.
Same. You need your car. You like you’re on the side of the road at 2 a. m. I’m there for you. I’m there for you.
Yeah, bubble date went bad. I’ll answer. Oh, yeah, I’ll go. We’ll go. I’ll go out with you.
You need me to stop in wing woman? I’m in. Yeah. No, I appreciate you sharing that and it is really special and I think it’s interesting because every group has its own culture and seeing the culture of Our particular group and the bonding and these are not women that you would necessarily put together In any, it’s like we’ve all found each other and everyone is so unique and comes from all these different backgrounds and that adds to so much perspective and like such fresh eyes, like, when I think about you and Megan and your relationship you guys are the opposite people and the fact that you become so close and then also get to provide.
Such perspective for each other is so cool.
It’s so interesting to be with someone who, like her and I look at the world, probably opposite, but it’s the first time I experienced general, no genuine listening and empathy for each other. And it wasn’t like, no one was getting their backup. It was just like, Oh, I think this cause of this.
And, Oh, and I think this and. I think, it’s just a really beautiful thing. I don’t think she would care if I shared this, but we were driving out to Okotoks to the event you hosted about a month ago and she was dating this new guy. And she refers to everything as a group. And so everyone looks at her funny.
And she’s it’s not a group for addiction. It’s it’s a group for workaholics that can’t like, get out of the road. I was like, what a great way to put it, and lots of times in life, we don’t surround ourselves with people that think different than us because we want to be right all the time, or we want, we don’t want to feel uncomfortable when someone doesn’t agree with us.
And she’s really grown my heart in a different way to actually where I’m going to launch a passion project around like people betting, having better conversations. So you just never know where your inspiration is coming from and how you connect. With people who maybe just don’t think the same as you all the time.
Love it. Oh my gosh. When you girls shared that with me, I was like, that is such a perfect. Description and to be clear. We are recovering workaholics.
Recovering workaholics. We are in recovery. We still struggle with it. It’s an ongoing thing. We’re high achievers, but we’re also trying to take care of ourselves over here.
Then some days I lessen, I’m not so hard on myself. It’s like there’s nothing wrong with having a hard day’s work or like working hard, every once in a while you gotta just really lay it all out there. And that’s okay, but you just have to learn how to like. rEcruit from that or, celebrate, celebrate, and , I love, I’ve always broken down leadership into inspiring people to achieve something, being of service to show them a way to how, and then celebrating when they do, right?
And if you can do that for, anyone in your life, you’ll change it, right? Yeah.
And celebrating people, even when you are not winning. And that’s, that’s the thing. It’s like this whole women supporting women, it seems like a lot of women say that, but it’s but only if I’m also winning.
And I think that when you really find community and when you really find people that See you, celebrate you and champion you, even when all the doors you’re knocking on, no one is answering, you can still celebrate the win of someone who, opened a new door for themselves and send the elevator back down.
I think it’s really important. I know just quickly. I was on Instagram the other day and I was not in a good place and I was like, I was being critical. I was. And then I not liking stuff like that, and that’s not really me or, and then I just took a deep breath and was like, why are you being like this?
Why are you being stingy with your love for people, leave there’s nothing more beautiful than getting a comment on your post from someone you love or care about or, and I know that social media is a validation thing, but when you do it genuinely from the heart and put the letter of love on it, it actually changes your mood and your day.
Just as much as theirs. So shower with love and always want the best for people. Jealousy is real. We have it, but maybe you can feel that to maybe look at your life differently or reach out and say, Hey, can I have a conversation with you about how you did that? I’m so inspired, right? It’s like getting curious.
I know. I find if I’m ever triggered by other people’s success, it’s obvious. It’s a sign for me of there’s something I see in them that I’m not activating within myself. And so it’s always a catalyst now of that awareness piece of Ooh, why am I triggered? Okay. I gotta go do that. And let’s high five them because they’re just showing me that there’s space and then that’s available for me.
Oh, totally. It’s all.
Learning all the time. Always learning.
Lori, I love you. I love you, too.
Thank you so much for this conversation and I get to see you in see you in group next.
For anyone interested in learning more about the well women’s group, you can find everything you need in the link in our show notes. The well is really a space where you are invited to drop the pressures. To expand your leadership and to focus on holistic growth while prioritizing your wellbeing. If you’re tired of living life on empty as a business owner or a leader, we can help. Our world has normalized that burnout, stress and overwhelm are a normal part of everyday life for high achieving women.
But I know it doesn’t need to be this way. And there’s a more sustainable path to create more harmony in how you work and lead in your everyday life. There’s a way for high achieving women to take their power back and lead differently. There’s a way to end burnout and feel more present and alive in your life and your work. With the right tools know-how and supportive community. And that’s exactly what we do inside of our groups and inside of our community. Because we believe when a woman is well-resourced and supported, she can do anything. And those resources can look like anything from community, from building more sustainable income, sustainable success, and being surrounded by the right women at your table.
So we have an upcoming invitational where you’re going to be able to take a tour behind the scenes of everything that we offer. And get to know some of the women in our collective, you can jump to the show notes to request an invitation. And I look forward to seeing you there.