Paula Davis-Laack, JD, MAPP – Founder & CEOStress & Resilience Institute

Tell us about your company: the service you provide and your mission.

I work with organizations and busy professionals to help them identify and prevent burnout and build employee/individual resilience to stress.

Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur?

My parents owned a plastic injection molding company for 15 years, so I grew up in an entrepreneurial world.  Owning my own business has always been a goal of mine, but I decided to go to law school after college and practiced law for seven years.  I had anticipated practicing law until I “retired,” then I would start a business in something.  As it turns out, burnout was what shortened my law career, and I became interested in studying that topic, the effects of stress on busy professionals, and how to teach people to develop the skillset called resilience.  I’ve always loved the autonomy associated with owning your own business and the freedom to call your own shots.

What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?

My dad has been a huge influence since he’s ‘been there, done that’ in terms of building a successful business from the ground up.  I have also learned a lot from my fellow business owners.  I love studying business success stories to glean what I can learn in terms of leveraging success or learning from my own mistakes.

What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?

Creating a business from scratch and introducing its concepts to two different professions (legal and healthcare) as a thought leader and somebody who is on the cutting edge of a new way of leading and dealing with stress.  Also, keeping my business going when my husband and I adopted a baby girl in April 2016.  I had to navigate months of unknowns and then took a three-month maternity leave.

What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?

Know why the world needs your business and be able to articulate that succinctly.  Also, I think business owners are often thinking about ways to mitigate failure, but don’t forget to think about success too!  Someone once asked me, “What if it all goes right?” and I literally had to stop and think.  So balance expecting success for mitigating failure.

What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business and spread the word about your services?

For me, it’s been a consistent combination of writing and speaking.  I knew early on that I wanted to have a national and international platform and presence, and that meant getting my ideas into national and international publications and onto the national and international stage. 

What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?

Every business is a service industry.  Whether you sell cupcakes or stress resilience programs and trainings, like me, everyone who walks through your door or sees you online wants to feel like they matter.

Do you have any new projects or announcements coming up?

I will be writing and releasing at least 3 new e-books on my website this year.  I am also going to publish my first online e-course so I can reach more people with my resilience skills and tools.

What do you do for fun/relaxation?

I love traveling and seeing new places – especially warm places with a beach and a lake or ocean!  I am a food and wine enthusiast and love cooking and baking for friends and family.  I am also a sports nut and am a bit overly fanatical about the Chicago Cubs and Green Bay Packers.  Snuggling with my daughter is also very relaxing!

What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish in 2017?

Finishing writing two books.

I want to write a book on stress resilience for a general audience, focused primarily on professional women, and a second book focused on burnout prevention and stress for lawyers.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

If you’re feeling burned out or maxed out, please say something.  Know that there are tools and tips to help, even if it means nothing more than sending me an email to vent; I’m here!

What’s the best way for the readers of WE Magazine for Women to connect with you (feel free to include the links to your social networks and websites)?



Twitter:  @pauladavislaack