Today we’d like to introduce you to Laurie Shiers.
Laurie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’m an LA native and a lifelong creative. As a kid, I adored mixing weird potions in my parents’ bathroom and then acting out commercials for my new product in the bathroom mirror. When I look back to that childhood memory, my career path kind of makes sense. I started out acting professionally during my late teens and early 20s. When not on set (which honestly wasn’t all that often), I was making stuff: snarky slambooks, poems and short stories, a line of flower-adorned suspenders that was sold at Fred Segal, hand painted furniture sold to no one. Paid or not, it didn’t really matter; I’ve always been engaged in some sort of creative process.
Fast forward a bit, and what I’m doing looks different from the outside, but really it’s all the same. As one of the co-creators of the world’s first episodic website, The Spot, I’m writing, editing, and mugging in the mirror– only for a worldwide audience who thought we were real. This was an amazing training ground, and where I learned the power of a deadline: by 3 pm, ready or not, our content was published.
After years of content creation, I began copywriting for brands, first at big agencies, and then as a very busy freelancer. I loved using my conceptual chops and brainstorming superpowers, but after a while, the business of advertising had lost its luster. I knew it was time to make a change, yet couldn’t quite tear myself away from my cushy situation– until tragedy struck my family and everything inside me changed instantly. When I lost my little brother, I lost the ability to pretend. I left advertising and went on a search to find a career path that used my talents in a meaningful, make-the-world-better kind of way. My first stop: a degree in human development from Pacific Oaks with an emphasis on social change.
Today, I am a creative development coach, writer, and entrepreneur with a new product, Creative Block (breakthroughblocks.co). I have a passion for helping creatives shift perspective to allow for more of what fulfills them. As a coach, my strength lies in helping others make emotionally resonant connections to what matters most in their lives while sparking new possibilities they never could have imagined.
My mission today, no matter the medium, is to help others break through mental blocks, wake up to their limitless potential and find satisfaction– NOW. Because if you think about it (and even if you don’t) now is what we’ve got.
Has it been a smooth road?
The death of my younger brother has been the biggest challenge in my life, and it profoundly affected every aspect, including my career.
My advice for other women, especially the younger ones who are just starting their journey, is to trust yourself, don’t hold back your ideas and opinions, and be bold even if that seems scary. So often we give our power, and our ideas to the boss or whatever authority figure is in the room. I did this for years, especially early on in my career. I’d write down my ideas before meetings so that I’d remember them and was sometimes still too nervous to share. The work I did on The Spot helped me get over that because eventually my job was to speak up and share ideas, and I was rewarded for my contributions. However, I started off as an assistant, and often I let the guys (I was the only female) treat me like one even after I was basically running the show. I didn’t feel confident enough to speak up. As a bonafide grown up, I have learned that confidence is a result of being courageous– it’s not something that you just wake up and feel one day. I wish someone had told me that early on.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Brainchild Coaching – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I’d love to share!
I’m a creative development coach who works with artists and entrepreneurs break through blocks and get grounded, focused and inspired to create what matters most to them– personally and professionally. The clients I work with are creative and full of ideas, but challenged when it comes to seeing bigger possibilities for themselves. They come to me when they’re ready to be pushed (lovingly) out of their comfort zone and pulled toward what it is they really want.
I love helping others write a new narrative for the stories they tell themselves, I love guiding people to places in themselves they’ve never explored. I love the sound of the silence that comes after a client has had an insight that changes the way they see their world. I love how giving someone your deep attention and having unwavering positive regard for them can be like water in a desert. I love watching people blossom and become even more amazing than they’ve ever imagined.
A couple of examples: My client Erin, a talented physical therapist, faced personal and strategic obstacles in getting her genius product to market. Now her product is being sold across the globe. Jess, a successful Amazon retailer, is now selling her business and buying a boat to hold floating spiritual retreats—a dream she hadn’t fully owned until we clarifying what was most important to her.
Inspired by my clients and looking for a solution to my own creative struggles, I’ve just launched a product called Creative Block. I researched and collected suggestions from artists, creativity experts, and neuroscientists on how to break through a creative block—and then tried these myself! The best ideas can now be found inside Creative Block, which contains 100+ proven breakthrough suggestions to help you get out of your head and back to work.
Do you think there are structural or other barriers impeding the emergence of more female leaders?
It’s hard to speak to this generally. Leadership– male or female– begins with a belief in ourselves. As a young woman, believing in myself was my biggest barrier to taking a leadership role. From speaking with women of all ages, I know I’m not alone.
I’d also hypothesize that being a rule follower is another significant barrier. All our early conditioning around how girls are supposed to behave and comments like “smile, you look prettier” has left generations of women feeling like we’d be outright rejected if we colored outside the lines. And yet, this kind of coloring is what leaders do.
There’s a finding in a Hewlett Packard internal report that shows men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them, which speaks to this rule following issue. Initially, this statistic was cited as proof that women felt less confident, but the Harvard Business Review dug deeper. They discovered that what held women back from applying was not a mistaken perception about themselves, but a mistaken perception about the hiring process. As in, women felt like they had to meet all the criteria of the job description. However, that’s not how men play this game.
Studies show that women’s failures are remembered longer than men’s, the gender pay gap is still a thing. But luckily so is #metoo. I’m proud to be part of a generation that is speaking up and out, and I want to encourage other women to do the same.
- First session with me is complimentary! Email email@example.com to inquire.
- Website: brainchild-coaching.com and breakthroughblocks.co
- Phone: 310.936.0464
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: brainchildcoaching