It's Wise Women Wednesday, each week I interview a woman that I believe is inspiring, living abundantly and following her passions. These are all women who live a life of abundance and bring creativity into the world.
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Q. Who are you? What is your background?
A. I’m Lauree Ostrofsky, an author, motivational speaker, career coach and hugger.
My books are the memoir, “I’m scared & doing it anyway,” about how a brain tumor changed the entire trajectory of my life and career in the most surprisingly-beautiful ways, and “Simply Leap: Seven lessons on facing fear and enjoying the crap out of your life” with practical steps for your own reinvention using the inspiring stories of my most successful clients as a guide.
My background is in marketing and media relations for start-ups and known brands like IBM and the Girl Scouts of the USA. That knowledge translates into how I now approach marketing and social media for my business Simply Leap and @SimplyLeap on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and how I advise women in business who are putting themselves out there.
Q. What is your work?
A. I help women leap. Fundamentally change their belief in what’s possible in their work, their families and their communities.
Women do business differently. We are natural connectors, collaborators, and cheerleaders. I build vibrant communities of women in business so you can:
- Clarify what you really want instead of worrying about what others think you should do;
- Know you’re not alone in feeling intimidated by the size of your dreams;
- Gain the confidence you need to really go for it.
It’s incredible what’s possible when we have like-minded women to lean on and learn from.
Q. What is one project you are excited to be working on right now?
A. One of the communities I founded is called Hudson Valley Women in Business and has grown from four women grabbing a beer together one night in December 2014 to 1,700 women (and growing!) who meet regularly to brainstorm together and lift each other up – building their businesses faster, bigger, more successfully as a result.
Q. What is one thing you've done recently that's scared you and took courage, but you're glad you did?
A. Speaking in front of 250 elementary school kids for their Women’s History Month assembly earlier this month. Holding the attention of those precocious wiggling balls of energy for 10 minutes might have been my most challenging speech to date and to think at least one of them may have learned they can be scared and do it anyway made it all worthwhile.
Q. What is the work you most want to be doing and are you doing it? If not why not what's stopping you?
A. Publishing my next book, another memoir. I’ve sat on the draft of it for a while afraid of sharing my most personal stories – vulnerable moments of relationships, dating, getting in my own way and keeping myself small. Though I know the fear is a sign I need to put this book out there, that it will be worthwhile, it’s still really tough to push through!
Q. What would you tell your high school or college self?
A. I would tell my younger self: “Your quietness, sensitivity, how you read a room and sense what’s happening around you is a tremendous gift. You know things others don’t. This is the skill to cultivate. We need it.” I’d also tell her how beautiful she is.
Q. What's one piece of advice or motto you love and use in your daily life that you would like to share with my sweet readers?
A. Two mottos and mantras that have served me well for years:
1) I’m scared & doing it anyway.
2) Hug like you mean it.
Q. What keeps you creating when you don't feel like it?
A. Purpose helps me. Believing wholeheartedly that women do business differently. That when we come together in support of each other, more is possible than any of us can imagine. This purpose propels me to keep sharing, keep connecting, and keep encouraging. Also structure helps. If I post on a specific day and time of the week, then I just stick to that instead of having to think about it.
Q. What's your favorite yoga pose?
A. Gate pose. It can seem like you’re doing it wrong and then suddenly it works.
Q. How do you live a life of abundance?
A. Last year I shifted my thinking around MONEY, what many business owners consider a marker of abundance. How I did it was by talking about how much I love Money. I would interject in conversation how I love signing the backs of checks and depositing them in my bank account. I love the ding on my phone when a client has paid through PayPal. It’s fun to watch my savings and investments grow. It feels good to pick up the tab when I’m out with a friend or colleague. Paying taxes is a sign that I made more money, and it makes me happy.
When I’d say any of these things people would pause, the wheels turning. Most would then respond that they love it too and we’d laugh about the ways we like money. As if it was a secret we now shared.
Living abundantly includes our surroundings. By putting this appreciation out in the world, I received more money and also supportive messages that it’s okay to welcome it in.