Lauren Klein has over 20 years of experience in the technology sector, developing online communities, and nurturing person to person communication through consistent action with many global organizations and a Fortune 500 company. Lauren full-heartedly believes in creating and driving change, and as such, is also the CEO of the Reno based company; Girlmade. Her organization is focused on the sole mission of helping women play big, by connecting female founders and business women to value focused events and interactions that promote growth and invite greatness.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I launched a consulting business years ago to allow for better work/life integration. It provided the flexibility I needed to travel to far away places where my family lives and go on vacations, as well as parent with more engagement and less rigidity.
Tell us about your business.
I advise clients on business strategy. In large organizations, I’m often hired to engage with people, processes and technology programs ranging from knowledge management to marketing. HBR calls someone like myself a “super temp”, as I tend to get hired to play a tactical role. But since I am able to silo span, I’m often delivering change management through my roles. I also took over a company called Girlmade. Our tagline is ‘to help women play big’. We have two programs: Brekkie for Bosses, a Business Partner Conversation Network, and Girl Empire, a program where we train future lady bosses (ages 10-20) to build entrepreneurship skills as a core competency.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
Follow Girlmade on Instagram as we will be giving away t-shirts in the month of June for our fans and community members.
I have a Bachelors of Arts from Michigan State University in Social Science with an International Studies and Latin America certificate. I am a mentor with a specialization in collaborative business strategy, community leadership, workforce education and change management with experience as a strategic member of corporate leadership teams. I am skilled in grooming impactful leaders in today’s fast-paced business environment. My background is in breaking down cultural and communication silos, while designing process improvements and driving policy decisions. I have experience in designing, engaging, training and developing communities, mentoring managers and leaders, leadership coaching, and external speaking, presenting and facilitating. I have a strong professional foundation with over 20 years of business experience with Fortune 500 and international corporations.
I was 1 of 200 national nominees invited to the White House South By South Lawn (SXSL) event on October 3rd, 2016. Additionally, I won the 2016 NCET Technology Advocate – Ecosystem Award and 2016 Inspiration Award from the Girl Scouts of Sierra Nevada Women of Leadership Award. I was an invited speaker to the Global Women in STEM Conference, Dubai and contributed a chapter to the book: #DearFemaleFounder which was published in 2016. In 2015, I was in the Nevada Governor’s Conference on Business Pitch Competition Emcee. In terms of speaking engagements, I was the keynote for Microsoft Reno DigiGirlz 2015 and have been an invited speaker to organizations such as ABWA Reno-Tahoe Express, UNR Student Delta Chi organization. I will be speaking at the Change Makers 2017 program in Reno. I also evaluate and judge business plan competitions such as UNR Sontag, the Governors Cup and Space Apps Challenge.
Where is your business based?
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
I found a billable client.
Finding the first client willing to pay you for a service project is really difficult. Also, marketing yourself is difficult to do, so perhaps find ways to offer up your expertise through pro bono speaking engagements or service engagements for nonprofit’s as a way to demonstrate value.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
I find talking about yourself is very difficult to do – seems counter intuitive to me. However, it’s necessary to get the word out about your skills so the market can understand the value you bring.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Funding to grow your business.
How did you overcome these challenges?
Ask friends or family for a personal loan.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I find reading and support groups most useful.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I continue to deliver the work. This offers that feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction despite market valuation.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
Say no to negativity. Remove toxic people from your highway.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Find your tribe.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
- Naturally, I find Girlmade programs fill my watering can.
- Making time to digitally disconnect.
- I’m attending Camp Out Yonder soon and can’t wait for the analog time to recharge.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
Fast Company, Wall Street Journal and MIT Review inspire me daily.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
Girlmade’s Brekkie for Boss program has grown substantially, and we have moved from a free-based service to a fee-based service, so any insights from others on their preferred business infrastructure for small business networks would be appreciated.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
Efficiency and scale are my focus. Time management and prioritization will allow me to accomplish the short term goals.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
Twitter @thelaurenklein, @gogirlmade, @girlempirecon
Hashtags #GirlEmpire #IamGIRLMADE #LadyBoss #GoGirlmade #Girlmade
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