Will you work to create the perfect illusion for yourself? Or will you STOP FIGHTING and start doing something that you ACTUALLY love?
Laura Weil (Germany). Former startup co-founder and startup builder. Studied business. Gave it all up for a Psychology MBA. We met her only recently, but her enthusiasm and her straight-forwardness definitely caught our eye. Effortlessly being at home both in business AND in psychology, she is now setting up her new passion project Aly. Was it all perfect? NO! Is she fearless? NO! But the difference between someone who would still work in a “half-fulfilled job” and someone like Laura is that SHE DARED TO GET GOING. Here’s her story.
The Arc: Laura, in 3min – what’s your life been like?
Laura: Puuh, this is not easy! I try to be crazy at first: Quit my job recently for going to travel and volunteer three months in Asia – feeling a bit like a hippy but I am actually not. Normally, I am very organized and have my 3,5, and 10 year plan. Thus quitting without a clear opportunity afterwards is my craziest milestone so far. I quite rushed through in my past life which makes me quite young at my current stage. After graduating from college (Abitur), I studied at a business school and joined a start-up as a founding member in between my graduation. In the last job I developed and built start-ups for a corporate (company builder) and facilitated the digital transformation in existing structures.
Always quite focused on improving my career, walking up the ladder with a little voice in my head always whispering that it is not quite my thing.
Coming from a family with a psychology background, I was always thrilled by how psychology works – thus, completed my (Business) Coaching education in 2016 and my MBA in Psychology in 2018. Enough said from the past – I am looking forward to set more and more impressive milestones in the future with working in the field that I love and dare.
The Arc: Talking about the future. Who are you and what are you building?
Laura: I’ve often wondered what I like and what I am good at. I have long thought that I have to work harder and harder to achieve my goals and fulfill my high expectations of myself.
I worked on a perfect illusion of myself instead of perceiving myself. I realized that I fought with myself for a long time and tried to train my weaknesses into strengths. But in the end, it has always been very tiring and only with discipline, rather than with my inner strength.
My training in coaching, my psychology studies, and great encounters with inspiring people helped me along the way to understanding that I do not have to fight against myself, but recognize my potential and inner strength. So then with a balance to achieve my goals. After my graduation as a coach, I started the reflection and concepts as a hobby and generated a pool of methods, trainings, and exercises. I met many people who felt the same as I did and who I helped with my learnings. With Aly
, which stands for “Accept & Love Yourself”, I want to shorten the way to for other people outside to recognize more quickly, what their needs are and what they need to get in balance and work with themselves and not against.
The Arc: When doing this – what has been your biggest struggle?
Laura: Argh, this is a tough question. I think there is struggle all the time.
When I started with my idea as a hobby, I had the struggle that I was ambiguous between making this real as a business or keeping my well paid corporate job which I really liked at that time.
I had the problem to trust in my strength and I was not sure if I want to be the 1,000,000 person who is doing coaching. Trusting in myself, my experiences and skills was actually a big big big struggle. So I kept it as a hoppy filling up the pool of content I had. At some point and after I met more and more people who I could help with my content, I thought a bit more serious about the idea. I started quite analytically with the processes I know of how to build a product. Nevertheless, I again struggled a lot because I did not trust in myself.
When I met people who liked my idea, I was basically on fire working more and more on it. When I met someone who said “Oh dear, coaching is so hard to get in” – I was so touched and critizised everything that I did so far.
The Arc: Arghhh…. yes, this sounds pretty familiar. So… with the benefit of hindsight we know that you stayed course. What happened?
Laura: Good question actually! I mean, in the beginning, I was in a safe zone – I still had my corporate job, I basically applied and learned how to build products and startups within a paid job. Interestingly, I was so shy and insecure if I shall talk to people about it and if I share my prototype because I was and still am not sure if I start again in an employed job somewhere after my travels.
I was afraid that people think that I would have failed when I don’t do it as a full-time entrepreneur.
However, I actually had great discussions with coaches and my parents (who are apparently coaches as well). This helped me to focus more on the moment and stop planning crazily ahead. I managed to keep on working on Aly
by talking to other people and telling them about my progress, asking them for feedback. I think unintentionally, this put some healthy pressure on me to keep on working even in days when I thought – “Shit, is this right?”
The Arc: Bam! Guess, we should get coaching from YOU actually. What kind of things can you tell others with the same struggle?
Laura: It sounds so cheezy but it is really it: At least try to stay in the moment. Not for everything, I mean you should have a business PLAN and forecast costs etc.. But try to disconnect yourself from your business sometimes and take yourself serious. Take your needs and also fears serious and stay in the moment. Only when you are healthy and without great fear, your business will strive. By the way – Aly
helps you with that, haha.
The Arc: Ok, so… you are already so effective. Now we are dying to know – Why have you come to The Arc and what did you get out of it?
Laura When I got to know Astrid
(The Arc: Astrid is our founder
), we were sitting in the startup co-working space “Factory” in Berlin. It was this great negotiation workshop she held for my fem.couraged. At the time, I was preparing a salary negotiation with my boss.
had a very different effect because she kind of activates some magic in me with her workshops . Sounds cheezy and weird again. But what I mean is that she really asks the right questions and has a very good structure even if she talks fast…
At this workshop “Making money with your life purpose
“, I actually did not manage to stay until the end. Astrid
gave so much great input in the beginning and I really felt that need to work through those questions alone. I really loved the atmosphere in Astrid’s
workshops. Because she does not really mind if I did that and left earlier without working in teams.
She shows that we have to take what we need to achieve where we want to go.
Thus, I went home and did a night shift with those questions and changing my whole website to make it more specific to my niche group and kick out unnecessary information.
The Arc: Ok, Astrid will just turn all pink when she reads this! Haha! Especially the part about her talking fast we will DEFINITELY print! Ok, so last but not least: Who do YOU dare to be and which IMPACT do you wanna stand for?
Laura: Great question – this took me not so long as the others to answer, fortunately! I want to be around ambitious and energetic people who know themselves and take what they need in order to get into balance. I want to help those people to find the paths to their needs, bridge them with their ambitions and train a healthy balance in their life to be more energetic and achieve their own goals!