Meet Lauren Polly, Business and Lifestyle Coach and Entrepreneur – Woman in Business Interview
Tell us about your business.
My business target is to be a catalyst for people who are looking to live bigger and better lives. Through my workshops, 1:1 coaching, books and products I offer a synergy of tools I have studied and used personally to heal my body/mind, to succeed professionally and to live each day to the fullest. For me it is all about levels of engagement, self-empowerment and practical application. If you can develop your self-awareness, recognize and cultivate your strengths and step up to engage more boldly with life there is no limit to what you can achieve.
Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
Truth be told I did not set out to be an entrepreneur. I have had a career as a medical Speech- Language Pathologist since 2005. Up until 4 years ago I have always worked for hospital systems in my chosen profession. The idea of owning my own business was exciting but felt out of reach.
Through my desire to heal myself and find more expansive ways of living I started seeking modalities to see what would assist me. Each one I tried had such an impact on my way of functioning that I deviled in deeper. A lot of those studies–yoga, meditation, Access Consciousness® energy tools–lead into teacher trainings and certifications. I applied this advanced knowledge to myself initially to heal and transform my own body, mind and life. From there it seemed a natural extension to facilitate it in others. Thus my business was born.
I enjoy bringing a personal approach to my coaching and using my real life examples and triumphs to inspire and motivate others. Owning my own business has given me a freedom over my quality of life that working for others or corporations never did. I enjoy the creativity required to stay on the cutting edge of the market, the internal drive you must continue to stoke to move forward and the constant demand to step up to succeed. This entire journey has taught me I am much more capable then I have ever given myself credit for.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
Gary Douglass, the founder of Access Consciousness®, has been my greatest influence in business. Gary functions from curiosity, generosity and kindness with his business. I had always equated the business world with being about the bottom line, being rote, formulaic and not particularly caring for individuals. I have found that this does not have to be the case at all. Watching Gary build a global consciousness-based business from a different perspective allowed me the freedom to explore how I, as a unique individual with unique offerings, could build mine.
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
I have just completed my first book, The Other Side of Bipolar, which will be released October 3rd, 2016. The process of writing a book is a huge undertaking but one that was natural and fun for me. The biggest stretch came after the writing was complete and it was time to get the book ready for publishing. I have hired and managed over ten different experts to assist in the books development, from editing to design to marketing.
Initially I struggled with leading the team, trusting their expertise over my own gut awareness as to what was required. I found that when I took the back seat the book’s message and overall cohesiveness suffered. It was a growing edge for me to lead this project; using and trusting their expertise while allowing my vision to be the driving force. In the end the book is stronger, we have cultivated amazing working-relationships and I have more awareness of what it takes to lead a massive project to completion.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
I have always loved the saying ‘It’s not what you say, but the way you make people feel that they remember.’ This is a key attribute to add to any business. If you can make your client or customer feel heard, seen and valued that personal connection will lead to greater possibilities for you both. When people are happy to come to your business they are easier to engage with, they receive more from your services and are more than likely be a returning client and to tell others about your offerings.
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
Personal connections and referrals from other professionals have been my most successful client acquisition streams. In a coaching business so much of the possibilities you offer stem from your energy, background knowledge base and ability to connect personally. Meeting face to face with potential clients (even via on-line videos) is a great way to give people a taste of what they would get if they chose a session or class with you. To develop referral streams from other professionals I give them a free session so they can see my work first hand. I find that after experiencing a session they are more enthusiastic to refer clients, collaborate on future offerings and can speak to those they are referring from personal experience.
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well?
Go with your gut and be authentic. There are so many experts offering to teach you the keys to business success. They are often selling a paint-by- numbers or very linear perspective on what makes a business work. I find these programs can have good information but I do not follow them blindly. Many times you can use the information you glean from marketing/business experts and add that to you own intuitive process. This allows you to create a unique business that is fluid, has room to grow and won’t get lost amongst your competitors.
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business?
I enjoy using the tools from “The Joy of Business” book by Simone Milasas. It gives valuable information for business creation and maintenance while teaching you how to follow your gut to create a business that is unique to you.
Do you have any new projects coming up? If so, please tell us about it.
My book, The Other side of Bipolar: Revealing Your Strengths to Move Beyond the Diagnosis, will be launching on October 3rd in bookstores and is currently on Amazon for pre-order. My book reveals that moving past mental illness is possible. You don’t have to live with shame, inner angst or self-judgment anymore. The Other Side of Bipolar is a powerful invitation to living a full life through practical tools and a radical new perspective that allows you to go beyond my label you may have.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
Travel, yoga, dance, swim, hike, theater, museums… Anything that stretches my mind, body and perspective of life!
What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year? My target for the next year is to be a best-selling author and to start a conversation on how self-awareness and self-care through consciousness-based tools can revolutionize the way we view and treat mental illness.
You want to write a book on …. “The Art of Being Insignificant: Living on the Lighter Side of Life.”
When we make anything significant it become a stuck place in our life. The ability to change and grow is more readily available when you haven’t made anything more significant than your joy of creating. It allows you to live in a lighter space, where forward momentum and expanding possibilities abound.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Owning your own business is challenging. It has stretched me in just about every way possible and what a gift that stretch is! The rewards for personal development, changing other’s lives for the better and having more fun then you thought was possible are immeasurable. We all have something special, unique and valuable to share. What can you create with your business that will leave the world happier and healthier?
What’s the best way for the readers of WE Magazine for Women to connect with you?
Twitter: @LPollyLifeCoach (https://twitter.com/LPollyLifeCoach)
Facebook: LaurenPollyCoaching (https://www.facebook.com/laurenpollycoaching)