The True Story of How My Worst Fear Came True

Mentioned in this video: Christine Kane (Go to her site NOW!)

Transcript:

[0:00:00]

Hey, I’m Laura Roeder, and today, I want to tell you a story. It’s actually kind of a sad story about facing your worst fears in your business and how it can turn out to be a good thing, or how it turned out to be a good thing for me.

So, I’m young, if you can’t tell, younger than most people who start businesses, and I was only 22 when I started my business, very young, even younger than I am now. So, I would always go – I actually built my business, my Web design business when I started off going to networking events, because I didn’t know anyone in Chicago and I needed clients, so I went to networking events, which by the way is actually really great way to build your business.

So, I would go to networking events and I was always, by far, the youngest one there. I mean, I stuck out like a sore thumb. And often these events are predominantly men. So being a woman, being really young, looking even younger than I actually am, I mean, I definitely stuck out. And sometimes people will make comments to me. Sometimes, they were nice, encouraging comments, and sometimes, they were rude comments, to be honest, about my age and about my being so young in being there.

So I was always a little bit self-conscious and I would try to dress and do my make-up and do my hair in a way that made me look older and tried to make people think that I was at least a little bit older than I was. It was always kind of this hang-up that I had. And I went to the eWomenNetwork National Event, and I guess it was in 2008, 2007 – it must have been in 2008. I went to their national event, which was actually a really good event in Dallas. I met a lot of great people. I had a great time, and they had these laser coaching booths set up where they had this professional coaches and you can sign up for which coach you wanted, then you got like a 15-minute session with them for free.

So I was looking through the coaches and I saw the one who’s a sales coach, and I thought, “Okay, well, I need some help with selling. Let’s go and see the sales coach to see what she has to say.” So I went in this little booth with the sales coach, and she immediately just started [0:02:22] [Inaudible] the shots, and it was all about my age and how I looked and my voice.

She told me – and I am not exaggerating, I’m not joking – she told that what I needed to do if I wanted to get better at selling, and if I wanted to grow my business was everyday I needed to practice in front of the mirror speaking in a lower voice, like I was supposed to look at the mirror and speak in a low – I don’t know what she wanted me to do. That’s ridiculous, right? But she told me that my voice sounded too young. No one was ever going to buy anything from me, so I need to change my voice. I need to change everything about my appearance. I need to change my hair. Apparently, I touched my hair when I was talking to her, and she told that my mannerisms made me look too young, so I kept – you know, I kind of tried to steer in the conversation being like, “Okay, but what about selling?” But this was all that she was fixated on.

She told me basically that I looked young, I sounded too young, my appearance was terrible, and everything was wrong with me. So as you can imagine, I was – you know, I’m laughing about it now, but I was holding back tears while I was talking to her. I mean, it was terrible. It was literally – it’s like imagine all your worst fears of what you think everybody is saying about you, and then imagine someone actually saying those things to your face. That’s kind of what happened to me.

So, I – you know, the whole time, I was holding back tears. I, immediately after I was finished, went up to my hotel room and just cried and just kind of, “Oh, my God. Do I have to lower my voice? Everything is wrong with me.” I was really upset. I mean, I could, even at the time, kind of see the ridiculousness, but I was very upset. And I actually remember Christine Kane, who I met at that event, ended up coming up to my room. I don’t remember if I called her or if she just came by, but she came up and I was really upset. And I remember she told me very genuinely, and she’s like, “That really didn’t even …” She was talking about my age. She said, “That really didn’t even cross my mind at all when I met you,” and I believe her, because Christine’s the type of person that kind of doesn’t care about those stuff, a.k.a. the type of person that I like to associate myself with.

So it happened and it was terrible, but I guess the moral of the story is I soon realized that my worst fear had come true and it was okay. You know what I mean?

[0:05:00]
Like all these things that I were afraid, people are thinking or saying about me behind my back, someone had said, someone had – they had said it. It was true. You know what I mean? My worst fears had come true. They were confirmed and I survived, you know, like my life went on. And I soon – and what she was saying was such an outrageous example, especially the stuff about practicing everyday to lowering my voice. Seeing it come true made me realize how silly it was, and of course now, I’ve built my business around doing these videos and doing a lot of webinars where I talk and you hear my silly, high-pitched voice that’s mine and that’s how it is.

So I guess what I want to say is when you think about the very worst thing that could happen to you or your fear of how people are judging you or what they’re saying about you, what if it actually is true? You know, I mean, when your business crash, would you die? What’s kind of the worst thing that can happen? The worst that could happen in my mind happened to me and it was okay. It really was, and so I just want you to think about, is the worst really so bad?

[0:06:27] End of Audio

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About Laura Roeder

Laura Roeder is a social media marketing expert who gives businesses of all sizes the tools they need to make their mark on the web. She is the creator of the social media scheduling software Edgar, as well as social media marketing web courses like Creating Fame and Social Brilliant.

Comments

  1. Total insanity. I really think we need to create a Rowdy Roeder video and send it to that coach ;) We’ll get your voice as high pitched as we possibly CAN. Awesome lesson and awesome vid. Keep m’ coming!
    .-= Marie´s last blog ..3 Ways To Really Start The New Year Off Right =-.

  2. It’s sad but true that women in sales and corporate jobs are always being told to lower their voices. It’s that old (and thankfully becoming more outdated) idea that women need to act more like men if they want to compete in business. I expect it’s still there in the corporate environment but elsewhere it’s not such a problem anymore.

    You have a great personality and your pro speaker status proves that you are easy to listen to. I’m glad you didn’t let that coach knock your confidence and stop you doing what you are clearly good at.

    Thanks for sharing that story.

    Lisa
    .-= Lisa Hartwell´s last blog ..Winter Warmer Sale =-.

    • Interesting Lisa, I had no idea that this used to be a common thing. How sad! Thanks for your comment. :)

  3. Wow that is insane. But also good to realize that you survived, and that actually you can be great without listening to your fears / bogus people’s advice. :)

    Honestly, your youngness is an asset – at least in my opinion. I mean you understand the young crowd and you’ve got energy. Why would that be a bad thing?
    .-= Nathalie Lussier´s last blog ..What Are Chia Seeds? =-.

  4. I genuinely appreciate the courage it took to make this video, Laura. The funny thing is that I admire your work MORE because of your age. I’m sure that it would have been fairly easy for you to get a corporate job, which would have made everyone around you feel comfortable, but left you demoralized and uninspired. The fact that you chose to take control of your own destiny speaks volumes about who you are and your sense of personal authenticity.

    I went to graduate school when I was in my 40’s. I was generally 20 years older than everyone, closer to the age of the teacher, rather than the students. The 20-somethings always seemed to feel uncomfortable about their lack of work experience. Meanwhile, I would be thinking: These people are brilliant! I really admire them because I was a mess when I was in my 20’s and never could have gone to graduate school.

    Now, in my 50’s I choose not to let my age be a limiting factor in what I do. Youth is a spirit of self-expression not an automatic dictation of intelligence, wisdom, responsibility and competency. My last boss was 30. He was one of the best leaders and most brilliant entrepreneurs for whom I’ve ever worked.

    I’ve pointed others toward you many times as an example of someone to emulate. My feeling is: Be like Laura Roeder. Funny thing is, that I have no idea how I heard about you and we’ve never met. But what I do know is that you make a difference doing what you’re doing and I admire that!

    • Thank you so much Maryellen! Especially as women, it seems we always think we’re too young or too old when really we’re all juuuuust right! ;)

  5. What an awesome story. That sales coach was horrid … I think we all had people like this in our lives (I remember the client who told me that I was a cold person and didn’t care about people) who tell us our worst nightmare. But the difference is we actually turned that around and now can use it as a great story.

    BTW, you being young actually intimidated me, like I’m somehow behind you because you are a bit younger than me but have a great business already. LOL!!

  6. Laura! your lower voice is freaky and awesome at the same time – but i think you should stick with the one you have – haha… also what is the “truth” to one person, is not to someone else do you know what i mean? Just because one person finds me annoying doesn’t mean that all people do… but you know that. Thanks for the great story Laura! Keep kicking ass in 2010…
    .-= John Lepp´s last blog ..What did you fail at today? =-.

    • Thanks John, and thanks for confirming that the lower voice is (obviously) NOT the way to go, haha!

  7. James Fowlkes says:

    Perfect example of: “Don’t let the bastards grind you down.”
    Thanks for the reminder.
    Keep kicking tail, Laura!

  8. Love this post, so awesome of you to share your transparency (and yes at such a “young” age.)

    I actually learned about you and become a reader because of Clay from Project Mojave of which I’m a member. You struck me then as someone who had their act together. Age is nothing but a number. Keep sharing your story Laura!
    .-= Tony Teegarden´s last blog ..5 Steps to Performing Your Philosophy =-.

  9. Laura, you are an inspiration and at such a ‘young age’! I think this so called coach took one look at a bright eager and young woman and the green eyed monster reared it’s ugly head and she just had to try and feel superior to you. It says much more about her failings than it does yours.

    Glad you were able to look deeper and have the strength of your own convictions to ignore her ‘advice’ – you are successful because you are young, bright, attractive to watch and fun to listen to.

    Keep doing what you are doing – you have many fans!

  10. Maryam Webster says:

    Hey Laura,
    As possibly the eldest person on this thread, may I be the first to welcome you to the ranks of Brazen Breasted Business Hussies who say what is true, feel what they feel with no apologies and serve others by persevering through the fear, “doing it anyway” and teaching invaluable lessons along the way.

    You rock!

    The “coach” you interfaced with (and I put quotes around the word because I don’t think this person deserves the title) was an IDIOT. Anyone who would tell you to modify your body in ANY way to be more attractive to your customers is an idiot to be avoided. Run, don’t walk away from idiots like this. Unfortunately, folks like this are present at every event.

    When asking for advice like this, keep in mind YOU ARE PERFECT AS YOU ARE.

    PERIOD.

    You were given the unique set of gifts and immense talents you have to appeal to a particular person and niche. To those people, your voice drips with honey and flows like melted chocolate. Your offerings are golden treasure-boxes bejewelled with diamonds.

    You don’t have a goddamned thing to apologize for, and your perfect clients are LUCKY, beyond their wildest dreams, to have you in their lives.

    PERIOD.

    My voice was high pitched like yours when I was young. Labelled a squeaker (with an unfortunate sibilant “S”), I got similar advice and artificially pitched my voice lower to the point where it actually screwed up my vocal cords and I barely escaped surgery. Barely. For years, I had to do vocal exercises daily to keep my voice in my own normal register, and today it remains much lower than it might have been. Now I get occasional comments about how ‘deep’ my voice is for a woman. Geez. My voice is FINE FOR MY MARKET, thank you very much.

    So is yours. Squeak on sister, squeak on.

    I personally find your voice perfectly CHARMING. Your youth is an ADVANTAGE. I turn 50 in April and though I’d never inject myself with toxins, am beginning to understand why women do Botox. Enjoy the firm skin, attractive hair color and lovely voice you were given, the years of wisdom and living you’ve got to offer and unique perspective ONLY you have.

    They are gifts. As are you.

    Thank you for reinforcing that and keep the videos coming. They are inspiring in corners of the world you would be amazed at. I got the link to this from a correspondent in a tiny town in southern Korea. You’re giving her hope and firming her resolve. And she’s sharing your site with others in Hong Kong, Egypt and Iceland. (gotta love the ‘net)

    Well done, girlfriend, well done.

    • Maryam – wow. I’m blown away. Thank you for everything you wrote, I read it over and over again and will keep coming back to it. Thanks for the welcome to the Brazen Breasted Business Hussies, I’m PROUD to be a member!

  11. Melissa Blue says:

    As a voice and acting teacher (as well as a photographer), your voice is NOT high piched!! And you wouldn’t want to try and deepen it–you could start all sorts of bad vocal problems from that! Love your site, and all your help! Keep it up!

  12. People trust people who are good at what they do. Case in point, your success. Good job, Laura. Don’t look back.

  13. Laura, that coach was foolish and short sighted. Your youth is not an issue – in fact, I’d rather listen to someone who is young and has their finger on the pulse instead of some crusty “traditional” business person who is following an outdated model. I’ve learned a ton from you – you rock!

  14. By the way Laura I forgot to say being English I find your accent really good to listen to!

  15. Omg – I was JUST talking about you yesterday. I was saying that you are a genius and how I remember so vividly the day I met you. You lit up like a Christmas tree sitting across the table from me at a networking event. What made you stand out to me was your brilliance. I remember thinking – wow! This gal is intelligent, honest, articulate, driven, determined and fearless!

    Just goes to show ya how different people see things differently.

    Keep being YOU because you rock!

    PS – There is nothing wrong with your voice or anything else about you.

  16. Love the vid! I have a friend that saw your picture and said “she looks like she is in High School” And I said, “yes, but she knows what she’s doing and I feel really good about learning from her.”
    Sad to hear she was so mean.

    But glad you went on and thanks for all the help.

  17. Good video, yeah who cares what other people have to say. So you’re not the norm, but you’re not giving up, that’s the important thing. Really like the site.
    .-= Greg London´s last blog ..Free and Powerful takes 3 steps to a $50.00 sign up bonus =-.

  18. Popping by to say hi after watching your video. Your inclusion over on the problogger site pointed me this way.

    No words of wisdom to add that hasn’t been said, other than an observation your eyes seem to dash to the top right a lot, as if you’re thinking back. Maybe look into the camera more?

  19. Stephanie Phillips says:

    Hi, Laura

    Thanks for sharing your story. People like you (young, vibrant, professional, successful….) amaze me and, yes, I am a bit envious that you have achieved what you have at such a young age. You just didn’t see many young people starting their own thriving businesses when I was your age. The internet has changed all of that in my opinion. I’m 38 now and just getting started, but you and a couple of other young women are my inspiration. So, keep it up. I wonder if that coach has any inkling of what you’ve become since you had your session with her…lol

    I had a friend in Atlanta, GA who was in her 40’s, petite, blond, cute (pixish looks), with a very Minnie Mouse like voice (with lots of southern twang) to go along with it. She was an account manager for UPS and was one of the most with-it women I knew, but said she had a really hard time getting clients and collegues to take her seriously because of the way she looked and sounded. And she wasn’t even that young. I guess you just have to get past all of that and let what’s on the inside shine through until people get that you really are a force to be reckoned with.

    Thanks again for sharing

  20. I’m really impressed that you were not only able to recover from such a blow, but have built your business delivery on your voice and youth via your videos. How did you not only get past that block but run with it? I have yet to get up the nerve to do a video blog!

    btw, I’m sure that coach was just totally jealous!:)

    Thanks for being yourself!
    Tisha
    .-= Tisha Morris´s last blog ..Being Happy: How Not to Love Stuff =-.

    • Tisha – I guess what I didn’t make clear in the video is that experience allowed me to let go of my fears in that area. Once my fears had been confirmed I was able to see how they didn’t really matter or affect me at all. So this terrible woman really ended up giving me the confidence to record video and audio.

  21. Nice video Laura. Even better on pointing out that the worst fear and worst case scenario are usually pretty harmless, so just go ahead in the face of those fears.

    The true worst case scenario is when we back down from the fear and don’t do what we know we want to. Sadly most of us allow this to happen to ourselves.

    Keep rocking Laura! Your newsletter is about the only one that survived the new year purge and the first thing I get in the inbox proved to me it was a good idea to stay connected.

  22. Lori Latimer says:

    Laura: I was so impressed with you at RHH Live in Oct. that I promptly came home and became a “customer.” And I’m pretty picky about who and what I spend my money on! You are articulate, smart, and sassy! You make it easy and fun to learn from you, and that is a gift that you can’t learn – you either have it, or you don’t, and girlfriend, you absolutely have it!

    That person was no “coach,” and I’m so happy that you were strong enough not to listen to her crap because now the rest of us are able to benefit from what you share. Keep being you and all will be good!

    Hugs, Lori

  23. Wow, I can’t believe that is all that woman could think to say to you. Personally I’ve never thought anything about your age, voice, etc. I just look at your content on your site, videos, etc, and go from there. Also, like a couple people said above, if I ever think about your age it’s only to beat myself up for being older than you and yet behind in my own business. LOL.

    So glad that you didn’t let what that person said knock you down. I think we should all take that as a good lesson.

    -Moki

  24. Laura –

    I have to second Elizabeth PW on this one, your age makes you even more amazing for what you’ve done!

    Even though I (and many of your loyal community) am older than you, I really look up to you and what you’ve done——you are an inspiration, girl!

    Thanks for being fearless enough to always share your story with us!

    ;)

    Cheers!

    @portacreative (formerly @apwcreative)

  25. Before I started my business, my former manager told me the EXACT same thing! And it made me equally angry and I would always resist this same advice. I didn’t realize anyone else got that same advice. Thanks for sharing!

  26. Laura, that was a hilarious and poignant video. I love your site and your blog BECAUSE you’re so down to earth, voice and all. I had a friend in college you sound exactly like. I frankly find your success at such a young age intimidating. I’m 33, and starting a new career after 10 years in journalism, and know for a fact that if I were 22,23 etc. launching a business, I would have never made it. You’re very wise for your age.

    And yeah, obviously that coach was nuts!
    Patrick Garmoe

  27. Hi Laura,

    I certainly think there are some ridiculous people in the world. I am so glad that you had that reality check with Christine.

    And I think I already told you this, but the MAIN reason I signed up for your Creating Fame program last year was because of your age. Being Gen Y, you have a completely different perspective than me. You basically grew up living and breathing the Internet and social media. And I was curious on your take.

    I also watched your Walking Team “mock-umentary” and your “Suck the Money” video. You were doing things so playfully and having so much fun using video, that I was completely attracted to your style and approach.

    Quite honestly, I don’t care if someone is 12 or 120. They could be a purple centaur for that matter. The bottom line is, if I think I can learn from a person and they are providing me a solution then I am on board.

    Thanks for telling this story!

    Best, Wendy
    .-= Wendy Maynard´s last blog ..Want to Know the ROI of Social Media? =-.

  28. Laura,

    I remember coaching you through this ordeal! I am so so so proud of you, you have come so far in knowing who you are. Did I already say that I was proud of you? Cheers!

  29. Love you, LKR. By the way, I think my voice is too high pitched also!

  30. Wow, what a great story. Really inspiring,thank you. My biggest business fear has been, what do I do when I client actually wants to meet me? I don’t lie about myself, but I do hide behind the computer. I’m 63, disabled and obese. These things just aren’t attractive. So I do business by email and phone, creating websites and getting known by word of mouth. I want to expand but I keep getting stuck on the appearance factor. I’m working on the weight and health, but it’s my age that makes me feel the most out-of-sync with the people in my field.

    Btw, speaking of voices, I was a radio announcer for 22 years. My voice is in the middle range, not high or low. What I learned is that to have the best voice FOR YOU, breathing properly is the key, not forcing it in any way. Breathe with your diaphragm, that was the mantra when I was learning, and it works. Helps you relax too, which always has a good effect on the voice. :)

  31. Christian Russell says:

    Real estate is one of the fields where I work with a lot of clients. If you saw some of the sales training materials prevalent in that industry, you would laugh your *ss off! Seriously, these old school, narrow-minded, completely ridiculous ideas. I’ve seen the franchise training manuals. Some haven’t been updated in what looks like 50 years :)

    Sorry you had to go through that Laura. It’s a good experience all said and done though. You’ve learned your age doesn’t matter a bit, and that’s a good thing. You should call that “sales trainer” up and thank her!

  32. Great example of success law number six — your perseverance in the face of obstacles or ridicule.

    (1) Having the right goal;
    (2) Education, study, preparing oneself;
    (3) Maintaining radiant health;
    (4) Drive;
    (5) Resourcefulness;
    (6) Here it is – Laura’s Perseverance even in the face of obnoxious people!
    (7) Contact with our Creator for His Blessings & Guidance (affects all the other six).

  33. Ramiro Ferrer says:

    Hi Laura. By definition, anyone who thinks that sales is about faking some part of you in order to deceive the person in front of you is either a liar or an idiot. That old-school method of falsifying reality to “make the sale” is quickly loosing its momentum in this hyperconnected world. Truth, honesty and being real is the key to success. I always say that telling the truth is a niche business.

    You have what it takes to be very successful, don’t change anything more than just getting better at what you do.

    Thanks for sharing!

  34. Patty Sherin says:

    Hi Laura,

    Thank you for sharing this video, it was exactly what I needed to hear RIGHT NOW! I am starting a new business in an industry that is different than anything I have done before; as such, the learning curve has been overwhelming at times. I’m enjoying the journey but have been scared to take certain steps. Your video has convinced me to look that fear in the face, keep moving forward and take action regardless of what my fears or what other people have to say.

    Thank you for being you and posting about such a personal demoralizing experience. You are awesome! You took a not so pleasant experience and turned it around to inspired others. In my mind, this is a beautiful thing!

    Wishing you all the best and much success!
    Patty

  35. Laura,

    weird as it may seem, I think this is truly one of the best things that could have happened to you. Had this so called “Coach” broken you down at that point, you would never have been able to face the many other hurdles that I’m sure you’ve faced along the way. But because you came through it even stronger than before, building your reputation on your video and speaking prowess only serves to reinforce the fact that all that was said was just jealous BS.

    I must admit that I too am jealous of your accomplishments. Yet I would never try to bring you down. I only use it to inspire myself to be a better me. I never had my act together in my 20’s, no way I could have accomplished anything near what you have. Heck, I’m not sure I could even come close now. So congratulations to you for hangin’ tough, being true to YOU. And thanks for the great video.

    Bryan

  36. Scott Webb says:

    Really positive video post. When you step back or go through those fears and realize life still exists and the sun did come up, it’s amazing. I have a draft right now about how I went through one of my biggest fears for my photography. I will probably leave the written word, but I just might try a video. You’ve given me a boost to try out another fear! Well, not really a fear but I just need to get used to it.

    Keep rockin’

  37. Yvonne Padgett says:

    Laura,

    I’ve always thought that your youth was one of your best features given the youth driven market of twitter. I’ve always naturally thought of your youth as your BIG ADVANTAGE!! I think you are the PERFECT person to be in that business because twitter is a new technology that younger people just seem to get quicker than others (myself included!).

    Any “coach” should have recognized that with your market niche and your appearance (which is gorgeous and cute and perky) that you definitely have an advantage in the field. Not that twitter is only a youth phenomenon, but younger people may just catch on faster and be better at figuring out this stuff and as long as they have the ability to teach what they’ve learned to others, it’s a GOLDMINE for the right person…which is YOU! You go girl, don’t change. Yvonne

  38. Leslie Keffler says:

    The first time I saw you on Ask Erin Live my first thought was “Wow, she looks so young!” However, your fabulous personality and professionalism shone through so I couldn’t help but be intrigued and fascinated by you. You and your business success are truly inspirational.

    Bryan said exactly what I was thinking – no way could I have accomplished anything near what you have when I was in my 20’s. I look forward to seeing your accomplishments as you grow older.

    Don’t change a thing about you!

    Leslie

  39. Chris Warner says:

    Laura –

    Great story! You’ve actually incorportated the essence of my acting coaching philosophy – helping actors, performers and speakers discover and recognize their assets (the things that make them – them) and then honing those skills to such a degree, that nothing can stop them!

    Thanks for sharing your inspirational story. :)

    Keep bein’ YOU!

    Chris
    Acting Coach / Motivational Speaker
    The Asset Construct

  40. You’re videos are always a joy to watch. Everything you talk about and say is just an inspiration to me, and what I’ve been trying to do, but I’m not really doing right, or as well as I feel I should. I’m okay with that though.

    It may have to do with my fear I have of failing at everything I do, among other reasons. I want to turn my website into a business, and it sort of has in a way but I make $0 from it. I also have no clue what I can offer to people that would be useful, and generate revenue. I fear I will fail at whatever end up doing though. Never know until you try I know.

    Anyways, screw that old lady who sounds like she’s living in 1985. Since the year 2000, the internet has changed in such a way that it doesn’t matter who you are, you can do anything you want to if you are driven and motivated enough. I mean look at you now, Miss Im on the list of 12 successful online entrepreneurs of 2009. Good for you. :)

  41. Hey Laura, I’m so sorry you had to go through that. The funny part is that all of the stupid things that “coach” wanted you to correct, were the reasons I talked to you at that conference in Chicago. While just about everyone else in the meeting was going on and on about themselves in the same typical fashion, you stood out from the crowd.

    PS: When you lowered your voice in the video, I laughed so hard. Way too funny!

    Hope to see you in a few months, Katy and I are trying to figure out a date to come out to California.

  42. Kristina Moore says:

    Laura –

    Your authentic approach to providing quality content to viewers/readers is exceptional. I just loved this one too! Your experience with the sales coach was relatable and your intentions in sharing it were to genuinely and effectively help others – unlike the sales coach tactics with you. I particularly appreciated when you made the point that even if your worst fears come true they should not hold you back. To me, the fundamentals of your work is selling confidence – confidence with learning something new, with taking risks and putting yourself out there; and with not letting anything or anyone hold you back. In my own business, as an online fashion consultant for professional women, I really strive to support others too – in my own way – at helping women look their best. So that they appear dynamic and consequently, feel more confident to fully engage in more important business endeavors – giving that presentation, making that deal, leading that company, etc.

    Today, your video has really inspired me and made me feel even more confident with my business approach and message – that you don’t have to shame people into getting them to listen to you, that one persons opinion is just that – one person, and that even if your worst fear comes true you can and will survive and may actually feel empowered by the experience. Thank you so much! I find you to be absolutely inspirational – youth, voice and all. Authenticity is so refreshing! Keep up the great work, Laura.

  43. Its interesting that her version of sales coaching was to try to make you look like everybody else, when most of selling is an effort to make you stand out. It takes a great bit of character to be brought to tears in an afternoon, and try again the very next day.

  44. Your youth and energy are a delight to all of us, Laura. Thanks for sharing this life, rather than social media, lesson. Your openness and authenticity distinguish you from so many others. Keep it up.

  45. Love your video…you should send it to that sales coach as a thank you.

  46. What a story Laura! It’s amazing how some people just underestimate you because of your looks or your age. They really need to know that some people can get there regardless of the looks and the age. Let’s keep on proving these older marketers wrong and show them that young people like us can get the job done too. ;)
    .-= Static | ahnternet´s last blog ..5 Tips to Quickly Writing A Quality Post Part I =-.

  47. Wow. I SO remember that moment at eWomen!

    And i’m happy i could be a voice of reason for you too. :-)

    From the perspective of someone whose music was trashed by the Washington Post (then, a year later, praised by the Washington Post, hello?), who has been rejected, reviewed and raged at by all kinds o’ people (and even one best-selling author/coach, who told me to give up my career and go get a job) … you are now proving what I tell everyone about ANYTHING in life.

    NO ONE’S opinions can stop you unless you choose to believe them!

    (thanks for the mention. made me waggy!)
    .-= Christine Kane´s last blog ..5 Large Lessons of 2009 =-.

  48. Great video, Laura – you have GREAT energy and presence and I think you use your natural gifts and talents BRILLIANTLY – you serve as a wonderful example to us all. Sad that there are still people out there who purport to help others but who only focus on the negatives and the “what’s missing.” You are demonstrating a clear focus on possibility and abundance and, as one of the “older” members of your audience I aspire to your level of confidence and clarity of vision. Keep the great stuff coming!!!

  49. What a great story. And inspiring on so many levels, not just in business.
    .-= Cindy Peterson´s last blog ..Happy New Year! =-.

  50. Laura–You ALWAYS manage to come across so sincere and real in EVERYTHING you do…that’s why I keep coming back for more!

    What a crazy story–Just like EPW wrote, I am more intimidated by your age than anything because you have done so much in such a short time! I see it as your little secret weapon. You are a FORCE for sure!

    As for me, I have tons of fears in business and I am going to take a good look at them and ask myself “What would I do if they came true?” …and I think the answer would most likely be, “I would get up and keep going!” ok, maybe after a good cry :-)

    Thanks for the great reminder, Laura!

    Amy

    • In response to Amy’s comment about why she keeps coming back to Laura for more, I might add this. I keep coming back to Laura because, among other things like what Amy so well mentioned, Laura is so pretty (and that especially without being made-up or masked-up with makeup) — and she calls me ”good-looking”– along with the rest of you too — which evidences a very positive attribute about her. She says encouraging, positive things in a sincere and uplifting way about people (and even if she’s just joking in some cases, it’s a fun joke intended to uplift which, yeah-yeah, it does).

      And, she likes Lindy Hop — and if you don’t know about that, you’re missing something great to watch or do.

  51. WOW! Thank you Laura… this was such an amazing video and you are so adorable!
    .-= Rose Goddess´s last blog ..“To Thine Own Self Be True” ~ The Power of Journaling =-.

  52. hey laura ~
    may ask what kind of camera you shot this with? the video is great with the real you shining through.

    thanks!

  53. Thanks for sharing, Laura. Great that you recovered from that horrible encounter.

  54. Kriszia says:

    Hi Laura!

    Thanks so much for sharing. I have the exact same problem. I look younger than my age, some people tend to not take me as seriously, whether in business or just in my personal life.

    One time, I was helping a friend start out with her jewelry biz. We both looked young for our age, and none of the suppliers would talk to us. They thought we were high school seniors, when in reality, we’d been out of college for YEARS!

    We still have that problem now, but we’ve just learned how to work with it. And honestly? It’s not that bad once you make it known that you know your stuff. Besides, who doesn’t want to look young!

  55. Hey Laura! I just watched this and the funny thing is I just tweeted about meeting you and Christine at that eWN event. How bizarre is that?

    Anyway, I wanted to let you know my impressions of you at that event. My impression had nothing to do with your age. My impression was how smart, dynamic, outgoing, extroverted and personable you were.

    We sat together in Loral’s session, where you introduced yourself to Christine (I had no clue who she was Lol) and I thought, wow she is super outgoing to approach people like you did.

    And again at the wisdom circle where I was blown away by your feedback.

    Your age is not and was not a barrier to your success because your maturity, professionalism and skill level is what everyone sees first. You are amazing, and the fact that you are young makes it that much better because if you are amazing now, just imagine what you will be like in your 30s? I can’t wait to see it!

    Meeting you, getting to know you, being in touch with you was one of the best take aways from that event for me, so cheers to you for being young and great!

    Lisa

  56. Thank You so very much Laura.

    I agree with everyone else. You are completely genuine and sincere. You take the time to respond to private emails, and you’re just an amazing gem, and BTW – I REALLY NEEDED TO HEAR THIS today!!

    I have the exact same concern – I am 24 and I’m often wondering about whether I should do my hair to make me look older (I only look about 18 according to some) :S but I completely agree with your take on it – to think abut whether or not the worst is ‘really so bad’.

    Well, if they’re saying stuff behind you’re back, then so be it. It’s fine. They will anyway!

    And, you do look young Laura, but it’s an appealing thing to me (you’re gorgeous) but also happy and confident just being yourself. Trying to look and sound older would really just turn me off.\

    Thanks once again Laura.

    much love and blessings,

    Renee.

    -XxX-

  57. hello,
    thanks to Laura for this testimony, well the worst things in life are past when we know its know its not worser than ourselves, its i thats the worst to think of worser things to come, it may be that i may not be so successful as the others around me, yet its always me who is thinking, others cant think along with my mind, so its always going good when i think positive, here i would again thank Laura for all the positive things 1.people say about her 2. its because of her that people can say these good things, i really take a lot of inspiration from her though by just visiting these sites and not interacting, keep it up Laura,

  58. Maaike Quinn @ A Gorgeous Life says:

    OMG, you are so right! Now I feel all happy and alive. Thank you so much! :D

  59. Maaike Quinn @ A Gorgeous Life says:

    By the way, I’m new to your website and so far I love it! Now I’m gonna see if you’re on Twitter :)

    • Maaike Quinn @ A Gorgeous Life says:

      Oops, you even offer Twitter advice lol. So I guess I will be able to find you there hah!

  60. Wow, this came at just the right time for me, what an AHA moment! I am 28, but I have people ask me all the time if I just graduated high school, so I can definitely relate!

    A lot of the people I network with are 10+ years older than me, so I have always had a problem with confidence as I tend to get ignored or not taken seriously. I have been letting this fear slow me down in my business, and have been wanting to break free from that vicious cycle for some time now.

    So thank you for sharing your story, it was just the push I needed to get over this fear!

  61. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you for sharing your story Laura! I love hearing your voice, I think it’s just completely you, which is the whole point, right?

    I’d be curious to hear what that sales coach has to say about the encounter! I’m sure she was coming from a really specific point of reference, and whether or not it was good for you, she was sticking to it! Funny that she’s a sales coach and she wasn’t listening to you or seeing you as a whole person…

    It also speak volumes about your values as a relationship-builder, that you had someone right there with you after it happened telling you different.

  62. hey laura,
    i’ve been hearing your presentations on B-school and you are FANTASTIC! even before i saw this video, i was thinking about how smart and knowledgeable you sound and your age didn’t even come across my mind. i think when you are passionate about something, it just comes across in a genuine, authentic, real way…. which is what you do!

  63. Laura, I have to say that this video on this topic hit home for me in a most profound and timely way. I also have a high-pitched voice, I am small and petite, and look a lot younger than I am. Your worst fear is so close to mine I had tears streaming down my face watching you tell this story.

    I was teased by a classmate in junior high for my high voice and ever since I have been reticent about public speaking. Then a colleague in grad school gave me feedback similar to what that sales coach told you (e.g., hire a voice coach to fix my voice). Those experiences were so humiliating and a lot of my work in the last few years has been quite literally about reclaiming my voice — and realizing that the people I want to associate with are the people who accept me as I am and find value in what I have to offer. Your sharing this is SO validating because if you can do it … I can do it too!

    I suspect that it was painful to retell this story and I can’t thank you enough for your courage in sharing it. You are SO smart and talented and this RHH B-School program you and Marie have created is blowing me away! It really goes to show what you can do when you disregard the criticism and the noise and just follow your call. I am so grateful you didn’t let her words delay your work! And grateful you had the courage to share your story and offer your example. :)

  64. Karen Kuntz says:

    Hi Laura,
    What a great video! You are amazing, smart and dynamic! I am currently in B-School and I tell everyone who will stand still for five minutes about this amazing young woman who has built a business from “scratch”, from her own dreams, ideas and hard work. You are an inspiration to so many!!

    :) Karen K

  65. Hi Laura,

    I was so happy to see this video come through my inbox this morning. Thank you SO much for posting this. I started my business when I was also very young and can relate to the struggles you faced. I often find that one of the greatest “creativity blocks” in my life is my fear of what people are thinking of me. You reminded me of something my mom always tells me and that is that there will always be people out there that want you for YOU.

    Thanks so much again and keep up the awesome work!

    xo Sophie Mae

    sophiemaestyle.com

  66. Suzanne says:

    Hi Laura,
    This is such a great story of how the BIG BOOGEY MAN AKA FEAR (provoked by that horribly misguided “laser” coach) came a’knockin’ at your door and ultimately you were able to see it had no power over you. I LOVE IT!!! I have a few boogey men I’m working with here too. I am going to put them in their place and go on being my one-of-a-kind self. Thanks for the inspiring reminder!
    Aloha, Dr. Suz

  67. Laura,

    What a great timing! I am experiencing similar situation and having the right mindset, I turned my worst fear into a positive experience.

    It’s great that now in hindsight, you can laugh about it!

    Cecilia

  68. Wow what an inspirational and brave video! I loved your last question for the viewers: What is the worst that can happen if the worst of what you think of yourself is actually true? I honestly don’t know the answer to that for myself. My biggest fear is incompetence. I am mortified if some even hints my work shows incompetence. And I really never know how to handle it, in public or private. There are people out there who use the word “incompetent” only to put others down. I have seen it happen. And still I can’t tell that to myself when I hear it about my own work. I can’t even ignore it.
    I am inspired by this video to try to answer this question again.

  69. Heather says:

    Laura,

    Thank you for sharing this story with us! We all struggle with fears and hearing your story of facing yours and realizing that they are a) not so bad as we think, and b) not the end of the world just helped me to laugh at my own! What a wonderfully healing moment :)

    *hugs*
    Heather

  70. Hey there Laura,
    PERFECT timing! I am currently designing a program to help Yoga teachers learn anatomy. I taught rehab massage and its anatomy components at a massage school a couple years back. There was one student, who clearly did not like me. Whatever. She made it a point to publicly quiz me on my knowledge in front of the rest of the students. I had to take her aside and have a “talk” with her. Sure enough, when I got my student evaluations back there it was, my biggest fear: “instructor needs to learn more anatomy and is ineffective in coming across clearly.” I immediately tore the evaluation up and hid it in the garbage under banana peels etc. and then cried. Later, I got the nerve to ask the receptionist to print out another copy of the evaluation. I looked at my scores and cumulatively, they were all above average! Funny how a person’s comments can trigger us. Not only that, I have since studied more anatomy and taken a course on teaching clearly and it’s all good.

    Also, I am 46-years-old. My voice is really high, I look young for my age (which is good, now) and I get really enthusiastic when I’m happy and even jump up and down and automatically clap my hands and cheer. I am fit, I shop in the Jr. department and have long hair. These are qualities of mine that stand out and actually attract people to me. It’s a nice alternative to being my age with an elderly-lady haircut and sporting mom jeans!

    So I say you keep your look and be grateful for the gifts you were given!

    Julie

  71. Hey Laura!

    I did indeed get a kick out of this story. Thank you so much for sharing. I totally totally get it. I’m a Holistic Voice and Yoga Coach and the voicework I teach is all about owning your own unique voice, not trying to make it anything else. The fact that that woman told you that you weren’t okay the way you are is bulls$*t (pardon my french). But it’s so important that there are people like you in the world sharing stories like that so we can expose the bullshit (oops) because it’s only when we look at it that we realize it’s actually poop.

    You’re an inspiration.

  72. Wow! if I could only have just a bit of
    your self confidence…
    merci for sharing your life experience
    all the best to you
    Erika

  73. Laura, thank God I found Marie Forleo who led me to you because I have found your content so enormously useful. I’m getting ready to launch my coaching business and although I’ve been repeating Marie’s mantra “Everything is Figureoutable” some days things don’t seem so figureoutable. Then, with brilliant timing, I get an issue of The Dash or your fabulous Solopreneur webinar arrives in my inbox and immediately I’m given the inspiration and swift kick-in-the-ass I need. So many times on that webinar in particular I was shaking my head thinking “Exactly! That make so much sense! Duh!” Now I’m in the throes of your Backstage Pass to Twitter, moving next to the SEO optimization course. You are such a great resource and form of support for me and I can only hope that my customers will feel as passionately about me and the value I offer them as I and the many other lkr devotees feel about you.

    Thumbs waaay up with a big ol cheesy grin!

    Annika

  74. Hey Laura… This is exactly what I needed to hear. I am 21 and starting my own business! Like you, I look and sound young!!! Every time I am feeling down I will watch this. Thank you. You have no idea how this has helped me.

    Danika xx

  75. Jennie HK says:

    Hey Laura, thanks for sharing, loved it. Good for you, you have and will continue to achieve fabulous things – you are an inspiration just the way you are. Am going to take your advice on this for sure.

  76. That’s funny, but also a wonderful story because you can reflect on it now and see that it didn’t break you. :)

  77. Laura–track that bitch down (she’s probably waiting tables at a coffee shop) and give her a tongue lashing, then in your fabulous voice “chant” how successful you are!

  78. Hi Laura,

    This is actually the first video I’ve seen of you and you are younger than I thought you were but that’s totally a good thing. It’s inspiring and you come across really well. The moral is – be who you are and your qualities will shine through. People get too caught up in how they’re perceived but it doesn’t really matter…and people’s perceptions will be better anyway if you’re natural…

    Cheers!

    Adam

  79. Jeez people are harsh I’m only 17 and I’m trying to make a success too. So this video means a lot :D thanks I feel like I can do it right now. I think age is only a number. For example your small little child can use this big words and you may not even know some of these words it’s shocking. Thanks Lara your my mentor :D

  80. Laura – so glad to find you as I was dreaming about attending Marie Forleo’s event and saw you were one of the speakers.

    I think it is so wonderful that you were able to turn such an upsetting situation like that into a positive one. I have always been very impacted by external feedback and believe that woman’s judgmental comments would quite possibly have stopped me in my tracks at that age.

    Now that I am trying to start my own business at the ripe age of 43, I am learning the necessity of having a thicker skin and building my confidence from within.

    I am truly amazed that you had the strength and know-how to start your own business at 22!

    Thanks for a great video!

    All my best,
    Fran

  81. Renee Allen says:

    Laura,

    This resonates with many people our age. I am a young looking 27 year old and have been told that I look to young to be in Vegas trade shows by professionals. I always just smile and say “thank you!”, but it is something that I think about. On top of it, I have tattoos and many people frown upon those. I can understand why, so I go out of my way to prove my knowledge and professionalism in my field. I practice honesty and integrity, and people, above all, cherish that. Best of luck!

    -Renee Allen

  82. This reminds of a quote:

    “Your worst nightmare is someone else’s best dream.” Or something like that.

    In my opinion people like the sales coach who make comments without really trying to help are just jealous, washed up old hags. I wouldn’t even sell my stuff to or do business with that type of person. If you had a handful of diamonds to sell, would your voice even matter to her? Talk about discrimination at it’s finest!

    Keep doing your thing everybody!

    Keith

    Brute Force Sandbags

    http://www.bruteforcesandbags.com

  83. OMG – this is such an important break through – thank you for sharing – I saw the beginning of your video and it never crossed my mind that you were too young to learn from you.
    I too arrived in this country when I was 23 and my first boss told me to get rid of my accent if I wanted to be taken seriously – and to never tell anyone that I was from Mexico so I could have “credibility”.
    What croc.
    His boss, however told him he was a turkey and we all moved on. But I do think at all those prejudices that people have. What they say about you is actually what’s they see as being wrong with them.

    Thank you for such an important lesson. You are amazing and a role model to this 40+ year old!

    MONICA

  84. Hi Laura,
    I’m new to your site and mailing list and was really attracted to your video by the title – I’m just starting out in my business and I’m having to face many fears (including age, despite being a few years older than you). You are so brave and you’ve really inspired me here! Thank you for posting this!
    FYI, Marget Thatcher, who was Prime Minister in the UK for 10 years, was also coached to speak lower in order to be taken seriously by men. I think it’s been really common place for years. The truth, however, is that the proof is in the pudding. No one can ignore what you have and are achieving despite what you look or sound like (both delightful, in my mind). That’s a lesson for us all! :)
    Thanks again,
    Ania

  85. Whatever you fear WILL show up to test you. I had a guy yell at me at the top of his lungs in a crowded restaurant in NYC yelling “You are a freak!” over and over because I asked him a direct question and put him on the spot after he shared his personal tragic story of his wife leaving him for his best friend. I hit a nerve on something he didn’t want to face. I just stood there as she screamed into my face and walked away, it didn’t shake me and I knew that I had grown tremendously not to feed into his drama. Lesson: don’t coach strangers in a bar after a few glasses of wine :)

  86. Wonderful story, Laura, and a rich lesson for all of us. Thank you so much!

  87. Very inspiring and incredible. :-)

  88. I tried to leave a comment….instead it turned into a whole post…
    http://tanyamalott.blogspot.com/2011/11/juiciest-lessons-make-you-cry.html

    I think the woman who made you cry was a gift. She gave you an experience that some people don’t even get in a lifetime.

    I’m sure you are perfectly aware that Mark Zuckerberg was far younger when he started his company…..20% younger. Old that a 13 year old is planning to scale all the tallest mountains of the world, or that Nadia Comaneci was 14 when she scored one of the first perfect 10’s in Olympic history. If you think your age is an issue, it is an issue. If you don’t, it isn’t.

    Age is just time passing. What you do with that time is the more interesting part of the equation.

  89. Hey Laura

    I just want to say I’ve only heard of you in recent months but you’re an amazing gal. I’m in my 20s myself, and being young & attractive should be the least of peoples’ worries with you. You’re well beyond your years in marketing, sales and presentation knowledge.

    Your sales coach needs to stop. She probably wishes that she had your tenacity at such young age!

  90. Laura, thank you so much for this video and the boost of confidence! I totally understand how you feel as feeling and looking young is my biggest road-block and confidence buster as well. I actually just watched your Fox News segment and I love how your age was the first thing the reporter asked you about… sheesh!
    One thing that has helped me a lot recently is telling myself that “I’m not young! I’m really not.” I was younger when I started my business than I am today, and I wasn’t young then either. When will I stop being young? When I’m old? There doesn’t seem to be a “right” age to start a business. Every time someone asks me how old I am or comments on how young I am to be owning a business, I try to come back with some version of, “Actually, I’m not young.” :)

  91. Jason Baudendistel says:

    Awesome stuff Laura! It really makes you appreciate every little victory when you overcome adversity.

  92. Ivan Bickett says:

    The worst thing you thought that could possibly happen to you … happened!

    And you SURVIVED!

    That is a POWERFUL lesson that many of us (myself foremost!) need to hear, and remember, and come back to.

    I am a constant worrier. I worry about everything. And have even found myself worrying in those few moments where I didn’t have a worry, “What should I be worrying about that I’m missing?”

    It’s stupid. It’s maddening. It can kill you (literally!).

    Like you said above, Dale Carneige said in How to Stop Worrying and Start Living something along the lines of “The vast majority of what we worry about doesn’t come to pass, so why worry about it.”

    The same is true for the consequences of what we worry about. We are rarely, if ever completely accurate in the outcomes that we predict. So why let those incorrect predictions dictate our current behavior, mood, and feelings?

    Now if only I could implement this wisdom myself…

    ~Ivan

  93. Laura,

    I loved your story and I totally agree with you! I just realized recently thanks to a voice coach that I have been speaking with a lower voice than what my nature pitch is. I’ve been doing it without even noticing it just to make myself sound more professional. Thank you for sharing!

  94. This popped into my email today and it was perfect timing! I need to stare a couple of my fears in the face and tell them to pipe down.

  95. Jason Baudendistel says:

    Laura great stuff! I know there arent many guys coomenting on here but I feel this applies to young entreprenurs in general. You battle constantly with your inner voice about whether or not your good enough or deserve this.

  96. Lee Block says:

    Hi Laura, I’m new here and recently subscribed…love it, btw, and thank you for all the inspiration. My worst fears come from myself and although they seem to be realized…from myself, I still power on, because what else can we do in life?

    2012 will be a year of change…retooling if you will. It should be interesting. Time to buck the system.

  97. Hi Laura
    You go girlfriend. If there is anything that has really release me to go for it was when someone said to me to be my authentic self as people will always relate to you, and I definitely think your so cool especially because you are so young. Very proud of you.
    Sonya

  98. Laura,

    I have been told the same thing!!! Actually, all throughout college and still in my professional career, but I was in an acting conservatory so I learned to break down characteristics of myself and explore my range of vocal tones, styles, physical characteristics to trial different ways of reaching people. I think the bigger picture is to be you, and explore other possibilities within your range to learn how to connect to people differently! There could be worse things, I agree.

    Katie

  99. I can totally relate. People have always thought I’m younger than my actual age, and everyone always told me – oh, you’ll love that when you’re in your ’30s. Well, I’m 31 now and starting to appreciate it. :) But, I still think people have to get over the fact that I’m A. a woman and B. a young-looking woman. Sounds dumb to people who haven’t experienced it, but in business, appearance means a lot. You have to go a bit further to prove yourself. Kudos to you for sharing your story!

  100. Robert Burnett says:

    I click that link to watch your video but there don’t have any subtitle “CC” on. I am still frustrate! Bob

  101. OMG YOU SOUND LIKE ME! I was traveling to financial and business seminars when i was 21 years old…trying to figure out how to stay out of the corporate rat race! I wanted my own business soo bad and I was always the YOUNGEST ONE! Luckily I had many people that were nice and told me “I wish I was as mature as you when I was 21” LOL!

    God bless you Laura!

    -Susie
    http://www.stayathomesusie.com/

  102. Laura,

    I can completely relate. I was 23 when I started my business as a coach. People would walk into the room and visibly smirk when they saw me as the woman they were meeting for coaching. Some even said, “you’ve barely lived…how can you coach me about life?” I would smile and tell them that if the age issue bothered them, they were welcome to work with a different coach. But I challenged them first by asking what coach would have walked in their exact shoes already? And pondered what would happen if someone came to the table with genuinely curious questions about their journey to gather more information. They usually signed on. Thanks for sharing your story! Many young women need this encouragement to start their businesses!

    – Katie