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Meet Laura Dewey of The Self Leadership Lab in Orange County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Dewey.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I spent 25 years as a groundbreaking female in the restaurant industry, rising from entry-level employee to first female partner.

That was a fine life, even extraordinary until two events changed the course of my life forever: my recovery from alcoholism and, later, my Masters of Arts in Spiritual Psychology. There, I found a whole new way of being in the world… an inside-out approach. Instead of being rocked by outer circumstances, I learned skills of self-leadership and began to live life with ease and grace rather than fear and struggle. Basically, I learned ‘the stuff no one taught us in school.’

I also learned that I had a real gift and passion for working one-on-one with people and creating extraordinary results. I felt compelled to share what I learned and to touch lives in a more direct way. I left the restaurant industry in 2012 and at that time I founded my unique coaching and training company based in Southern California.

Since then, I have been providing leadership training and coaching for individuals, executives and companies in California and throughout the U.S. My aim is to help clients become better leaders personally and professionally through the use of concrete tools and experiential learning.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I’m not sure I would use the word “smooth” to describe the growth of my business. What I can say is that it has been full of learning from day one.

I excelled at working for others yet after going into business for myself I found that doing “me” as me, for me, was a challenge. My work and my success were suddenly very personal. I can say with confidence that the only thing that hindered my success in my first years of business was me. I was always confident in my ability to coach and train but business development was a real challenge, as I was often plagued by insecurity, comparison, and perceived limitation.

Through self-coaching, study, and experience, I have refined my brand and overcome those challenges. That said, the learning hasn’t stopped. I’m continuing to grow and evolve each and every day.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with The Self Leadership Lab – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
The Self Leadership LAB is devoted to sharing the skills, power and freedom of self-leadership with individuals and companies. We do this through coaching, highly experiential training, and speaking.

You may ask, “What is self-leadership?” Basically, it is our ability to move ourselves from where we are now to where we want to be. This path can be full of stress and struggle or it can be graceful in more of a straight line. The difference between those paths lies in our ability to lead ourselves effectively.

The LAB creates effective self-leadership through a focus on three things:
Self-awareness: Anthony Tjan, of the Harvard Business Review, states: “The one quality that trumps all, evident in virtually every great entrepreneur, manager, and leader, is self-awareness.” We start there.

Skills development: There are a number of critical skills that no one taught us in school such as how to stay cool inside even when things are challenging outside. This emotional self-mastery is at the core of The LAB’s curriculum.

Experiential learning: Experiential learning is not only fun, it is proven to both accelerate and aid in the retention of learning. It’s a great way to build healthy habits.

In short, at The Self Leadership LAB, we teach our clients how to navigate their complex inner worlds so they can be more successful in their outer worlds.

I’m proud of the work we do on a daily basis, one person at a time. I never tire of witnessing the moment of recognition when a client realizes that one insight has just changed their lives forever. It never gets old.

I’m also proud that the work we do affords me the ability to give back in meaningful ways. As a person in recovery, I understand the need for the skills I teach in populations that may not be able to afford my services. I do pro-bono training within organizations serving men and women in transition out from various hardships, including addiction.

Three main things that set The Self Leadership LAB apart from other companies include:
First, I have an education that fewer than 10,000 people on the planet share. This leaves me uniquely qualified to work on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels with my clients and teams. I am an expert at helping others navigate their complex inner worlds.

Next, a big differentiating factor of my work is my focus on the inside first, then the outside. Companies often just focus on the outside, period. You can have the best plan in the world, but if your inside is not aligned I believe nothing or nothing good is likely to happen.

Lastly, at The LAB we have a unique overall approach or “Formula”: BE Highly Self Aware + LEARN Cool New Skills + DO Experiments & Build Habits. That’s what makes The LAB and makes learning last.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
This year I began sharing the life-changing skills I’d been teaching within businesses to the public through a five-part series of highly experiential workshops in Irvine, Calif. The Experiential Learning for Professional Women series kicked off in February. This unique series provides a safe environment for professional women to become more self-aware, learn life-changing skills and gain experience with those skills before they leave the room.

Three events have been held thus far: Emotional Self Mastery, High-Level Listening and Powerful Presence. Our fourth event, Growth Mindset, is happening on August 10th. The last event of 2018, Authentic Leadership, is occurring on October 12th. Registration is open for both events.

Each workshop can stand alone, so women can feel free to jump in anytime. Our aim is to help women feel powerful in whatever role is important to them: within their families, partnerships, careers or communities. It has been deeply satisfying to help women become better self-leaders, especially given the current political climate. Years ago, one of my mentors told me, “Hope is not a strategy.” The LAB is helping women move out of “hoping” to have a seat at the table too, instead, equipping them to claim it.

I’m also in the process of bringing a much-requested online learning aspect to my company and I’m proud to say that I’ve begun my second book spilling all my secrets of self-leadership. It will enable readers to feel the power, progress and peace that comes from using my self-leadership tools.

My first book, Shine Your Light, Illuminate Your Love, offers twelve specific steps to finding love and chronicles how I went from a drinking, fearful, eternally-single woman to the person I am today: sober, happily married and successfully serving the world doing work that is the perfect expression of who I am.


  • Growth Mindset Workshop August 10, 2018, $125 | $97 Early pricing until July 29, 2018
  • Growth Mindset & Authentic Leadership (2 Remaining 2018 Workshops), $175 until July 29, 2018

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Kait McKay Photography

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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