You know how there are people in this universe who, the moment you meet them, you know you were meant to be in their lives?
That’s how it is with Laura Mansfield.
Though we’ve been virtual friends for about a year, we finally met in person in Cleveland this week at Content Marketing World.
I’m totally bummed I didn’t get a photo of us together. I’m not so good at the selfie movement.
Laura is the chief visionary at digital audio storytelling startup, PAGATIM, and is one of the smartest women entrepreneurs I know.
She lives in Portland (Oregon, not Maine) and is health-conscious, promotes sustainability, and is one of those people I’m certain—if world peace were possible—would be at the forefront of its success.
I spent about 90 minutes with her and came away with about 16,000 ideas for my own business growth.
She is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and that is why I asked her to sit on the Spin Sucks Inquisition hot seat today.
What is the Biggest Mistake You’ve Made in Your Career?
There have been so many… which one to pick…
I think the biggest mistake I made was not raising enough capital, at the beginning, to fully support the growth that needed to take place when we started our company.
I will say that this forced us to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps, be scrappy, creative, and nimble.
It didn’t allow us to get a jump on the market, get out in front of our competitors or really get the right infrastructure in place from the beginning.
That being said, I don’t know if we would have made the right choices at the beginning because, even though we thought we knew what we were doing, our business model and plan have morphed and changed with the market.
So, it may be that while the start-up phase has been more painful, in the end it is all perfect. I have come to believe that “mistakes” are opportunities for growth.
I know that sounds cliche, but I really mean it.
Every time something bad happens there is an opportunity to learn from it, grow from it, and move forward versus beating ourselves up and ending up paralyzed by the so-called mistakes.
Mistakes are what we make of them.
What is One Thing about Yourself that Would Surprise Most People?
I’m a pretty transparent person so, as I pondered this question I thought, ” Do people know I meditate?”
Do people know I like espresso and mate, ALOT?
Do people know I love the wilderness and that my first job was working for Outward Bound?
But maybe one hidden pleasure I don’t talk about much is that I LOVE TV.
I mean, I really love it.
I think it is because it is the only time that I can just shut my brain off and space out. AND, I am a binge watcher.
Meaning I start on a series and want to watch the whole thing and then I am done for months and will plug in again when a whole new series of say, House of Cards, is released.
If You Could Achieve Everything You Ever Wanted in Life, but Had to Die 10 Years Sooner, Would You Make that Trade?
Yes, definitely yes. Mainly because I am pretty sure I am slated to go when I am 120 years old.
What Industry Advice or Practice Would You Most Like to Cry Foul On?
That it is best to pretend you are someone else than who you are.
I have mainly heard this advice given to women.
Do a certain stance that makes you look “stronger.” Don’t EVER show your emotions, it makes you look weak.
While I definitely believe there is a balance, I think women have an opportunity to show our authentic selves and that that is going to be what eventually changes the world of business.
Finding the balance between the male and female approach to business AND letting go of judgements that we have about one another and working on becoming our best selves instead.
What is the Best Book You’ve Read in the Past Six Months?
Why Does Spin Suck?
When we spin things to be different from what they are we loose the opportunity to really look at the Taproot of what either we as a company or we as an individual are really all about.
People know when you aren’t telling the truth, when you are spinning a story, when your purely selling something to sell it.
I deeply believe that finding a unique, brave and authentic voice is vital to really thriving in the world.
The more one “spins,” the more likely the are to be caught in web that they have created for themselves.
Where You Can Find Laura Mansfield
We are working on a project with Laura and her team that we are going to launch very soon. The experience has been incredible and I highly recommend that PAGATIM team if you’re considering audio storytelling.