Building Her Dream is excited to chat with Stage Director, Author, and Branding Coach Carrie Klewin Lawrence. Carrie is from Monterey, California and has been running her business for 25 years.
At BHD, we believe in building our dream lives. Carrie, what does your dream life look like? Are you currently living in it or still working on it?
My dream life involves living on a large property with a retreat center on site where creativity and innovation are a palpable part of daily life. My book, Origin Story is the next step in laying the groundwork for that dream.
The retreat center sounds wonderful. Tell us more about what you do.
I am a professional stage director who is also a public speaking and personal branding coach. I have always been interested in the people and community aspect of being an artist – wanting to make an impact, improve lives and help people to fulfill their dreams.
Coaching has opened me up for work with executives, entrepreneurs, and other creatives who are not professionals in the theater. A coaching session with me focuses on anything from preparing for asking your boss for a raise, to writing and executing a speech for a keynote event.
Origin Story, the book, is a provocation to reframe your(self) narrative, in consideration of future goals. The method is an antidote for Imposter Syndrome, asking the question, “What makes you TRULY unique?”
What inspired you to get started?
I was inspired to write Origin Story because I have seen the power of personal discovery storytelling to change lives. When you gather the evidence of who you really are, and who you are meant to be, you will realize that you aren’t just “lucky”, and that your career interests aren’t just a passing phase.
So many of my colleagues are making drastic career changes because they have started to realize that what they have been told they “should” do or what would make them happy – isn’t working for them. They feel like there is still something missing in their lives – even though they are checking off boxes on the typical “measures of success”.
I want people to write THEIR OWN measures of success, and develop the confidence to live their life towards those goals.
I would love to read your book. Where can we find it?
Origin Story is on presale and will be published in the spring of 2023. A simple search will lead you to options for putting your name on the waitlist or purchasing.
You’ve been in business for 25 years. I’m sure you’ve faced many challenges along your entrepreneurial journey. How have you overcome them?
I’m a military spouse, a theatre artist, and a mom. I’ve moved more than 17 times in 20 years, including overseas. I’ve met so many challenges it would be impossible to make a list.
The way I overcome a challenge is (1) by sleeping on it, (2) by putting it into perspective – listing the negative AND the (potential) positive, and (3) by reframing the situation first for myself, and then for others.
There is nothing particularly negative about facing a challenge – it’s how we face and conquer it that matters.
How has being an introvert affected your business?
I didn’t realize that I was an introvert until I took a test that revealed I am an introvert/extrovert. This means, that I am an extrovert in select situations but need a large amount of recovery from those situations. I now give myself grace for that recovery and recuperation.
I can experience a great deal of anxiety about large social gatherings, but if I give myself a job, it is so much easier.
The true advantage is the empathy I have for people who need to speak in public or face a situation where conflict resolution is necessary. I have gone to great lengths to develop these skills, and love to share those tips and tricks with others.
My clients’ success is in some very small way also my success because I understand exactly how they feel, how challenging it can be, and how amazing it is when someone conquers their anxiety in social situations, while public speaking, or during conflict resolution.
What methods do you use to bring in new clients?
Every client has specific needs, but some of the most popular themes we address are: public speaking, stage fright, imposter syndrome, personal discovery storytelling (crafting, and communicating), developing social media content, evaluating tools for communication, personal branding evaluation & overhaul.
Curating, crafting, communicating & connecting with your Origin Story. Answering the question – “What makes you truly and unapologetically unique?”
Is attending networking events a part of your marketing strategy?
Absolutely. Everything I do is about communication. Telling a story. Building a community. Networking is an essential part of that. Every time you introduce yourself you have an opportunity to add a star to your constellation.
You build the picture of your life one moment at a time, and you never ever know when you will meet someone that will reappear in your life sometime in the future and will change absolutely everything. There is no story without an audience. And you can’t succeed in business without a good – GREAT – story.
How do you define success for yourself and your business?
Possibility. Sparks. That feeling of connection. The knowledge that you have made a difference, made an impact on just ONE person today.
What advice would you give to other introverted women who are just starting their own businesses?
Pay attention to what fuels you and helps you to get through the challenges.
But TAKE RISKS. Be honest with yourself and the people in your circle. You have to take a risk and summon the energy, and the strength to make a plan and execute that plan.
And then, celebrate, hibernate, put up the “Do Not Disturb” sign and practice self-care. It’s a cycle. Ride the cycle but don’t give up.
Thank you for taking the time to share your story. Where can our readers find more information about you?