Facing uncertainty can be challenging – being a business owner facing uncertainty is tougher.
Red Direction helps you [fast track and] grow your business – authentically, pragmatically, and resiliently.
Starting the conversation:
In this interview, Tracie Lamourie, Managing Director of Lamourie Media, discusses how she faced issues around business growth. There are structures and profitability points that we look at and use to confirm alignment to the businesses' three- and five-year plans. Lamourie shares with Jess Dewell how she faced overwhelm, built inner strength, and is currently building an adaptable business.
How do you know you are ready to break through to the next growth stage? Tracie Lamourie, Managing Director of Lamourie Media, shares how she faced issues around business growth.
Host: Jess Dewell
Guest: Tracy Lamourie
ANNOUNCER 00:05 This is Uncharted, a series of candid conversations about facing uncertainty. When we are called upon to be courageous, the strength of our leadership is tested. Red Direction has developed the Fast Track Your Business program to help you stay aligned to your business's true north. Jess Dewell is your guide. Jess brings you a 20-year track record of Business Excellence, where strategy and operations overlap. Your Path comes from consistently working from the special place your unique true north. Now, here's Jess,
Jess Dewell: 00:40 Welcome back to the Bold Business Podcast where I am excited to bring you another Uncharted program. Today I'm talking with Tracy Lamourie, a high-profile international award-winning publicist. She is the Founder and Managing Director of Lamourie Media Inc. She has numerous awards, including universal Women's Network 2020, Woman of Inspiration winner, and the women in Media Award, as well as becoming an author. She has a book that's going to be coming out called Get Repped – Build Your Brand with Effective Public and Media Relations.
Okay, so not only is she an advocate, not only is she doing all of these things that you're going to hear about in just a minute, she is a business owner like us, and being a business owner like us, before I tell you any more about that which you already know a lot. I'm going to just say Hi, I'm Jess, welcome back. It's going to be great to have you here with me for this conversation about how to increase the capacity of yourself and your leadership team. We're talking about the real the nuts-and-bolts, the nitty-gritty in our businesses, and the things that we've learned that make us more resilient over time. Oh, Tracy, thank you for being here with me today.
Tracy Lamourie 01:59 Thank you so much. I'm super excited about the conversation really speaking to your audience.
Jess Dewell: 02:04 Oh, yeah. Well, and you know, they love being flies on the wall. So this is the perfect part of that. The, the perfect setup for this. So one of the things that we do in these Uncharted programs is we dig into a lot about challenges that we've had within our businesses or challenges that we've had because of our businesses personally and how we've moved through those. So will you tell us about a situation that you faced and a challenge that you've worked through, in, in your company?
Tracy Lamourie 02:33 Sure, I want to mention one really briefly. And then one a more universal one that really was that this year that I think COVID love people that were. But first, not specific to this year or any year, in general, one thing as an entrepreneur, that's been really hard for me, an entrepreneur who started as a freelancer. And then I built a business five years was a general partnership, which is like a solopreneurship only with no, my husband. And then we just Incorporated, as you said five or six months ago, which yeah, I mean, yeah, so it's a really interesting for me trajectory because I didn't grow up knowing how to build businesses or ever think of myself as starting a corporation, freelancer, that was my comfort zone. And then, you know, I was my business consultant. Finally, looking at my resume and all the things I've accomplished like you are kicking way above your Freelancer position, you need to incorporate so finally I did. But finding that comfort zone, I actually, I mean, stepping out of my comfort zone to do that kind of thing, because I think I would have continued to be a freelancer forever because I'm really good at what I do in dealing with clients and getting the results. But I knew nothing about the back end. And to be honest, that it's intimidating to me still, like, you know, reporting in those employees and all the different kinds of CPA, all the different kinds of things you do when you become a corporation. Thankfully, my husband, you know, he's looking after that, for me. He's the, he's done finance and all that stuff. So that's his side of things. And I'm communications, but also really finding your price point and trusting yourself as an entrepreneur, that clients will come at that price point and not being afraid of losing a client. So pitching yourself too low. Really finding your value in the marketplace, trusting that value in the marketplace, was really a challenge for me, even as my resume and my results. And my profile went way, way higher than you know, most people in my area would possibly do. So yeah, that was one. And the other thing was COVID. I'm actually really, really proud of the way I let us pivoted through COVID because in March a year ago 80% of our business was probably on the always doing a lot of entrepreneurs and such, but a lot of our active plans in business at that time was speaking engagements for authors for clients of ours, events and concerts. We were supposed to be my husband and I on reality TV going to travel to six different cities across the West Coast as part B plus ourselves as PR on a music show. And just, you know, another big conference was supposed to be happening in August. So all of a sudden, boom, we literally lost 80% of our business, just because I mean, the clients were still with us. But they had nothing to do. There's nothing to promote. It's everyones. So for three weeks, or two weeks, or whatever it was, I'm doing like everybody else in the world, just staring at the television, looking at the Internet, watching every leader and what they're saying provincial and federal and state leaders, everybody, and just be like this, oh, no, what are we going to do? And then I suddenly realized, if I lost 80% of my business, I still have 20% of my business. And if I'm sitting here, staring at the TV worrying about all this, I'm not effectively doing that 20% of my business, right? So I went back to my desk. I turned off the TV. Literally went back to my desk. You agree with that? You're like, right.
Jess Dewell: 05:48 I am. Okay. So I want to know, how low did you go? I mean, were you depressed? Were you? Were you spiraling? Or do you? Are you one of those people who you just kind of see it and can flip the script right away.
Tracy Lamourie 06:02 I'm pretty even-keeled. But I was pretty straight. I mean, all of a sudden travel, the travel. I mean, it was a weird year. And the fact that it was different, it was no different. I couldn't go to Europe and make a difference. I can't go to the states make a difference? I can't, it's the same everywhere like, Whoa, what's going on? How do I even navigate this? So like, I think I was just in that stunned, you know, sit just staring at the TV like, literally in shock. And thinking I get Am I gonna have like a forced vacation. I'm like, I'm just been doing so well, building my business 2019, I had nine trips with nine different clients to five different countries on four continents. And now all of a sudden, what, you know, so all the stuff that was we were developing to continue it on that track is gone. So all of a sudden, I'm just thinking, so I think I didn't, I mean, I didn't really get too depressed or anything. I both cried a couple times, I guess, more. But the thinking of the travels, that overwhelmed. I got overwhelmed by the idea that it was so big. But then when I thought no, you know, what, if I still have 20% of my business, I still have 20% of my business. And you know, I have to.
Jess Dewell: 07:05 How did you have? And it sounds like so after that shift, you've got you've like, I've got 20% of my business. So what did you do with that 20% of your business?
Tracy Lamourie So first, I just went, I literally went to you and just asked you, how can I serve these clients? You know, still, What can I do to serve these clients? And also, then I started thinking, you know, okay, the author's number one, we took all the authors we can, we got to wrap things up because people can't watch Netflix forever. This would be a good time, you know, to hopefully get that kind of conversation out there. And, and just, you know, started doing I mean, just doing anything that was still we have the computer in front of and it wasn't about physical location. So any client that still had a product, a book idea, about you know, speaking about inspiration, a lot of stories when inspiration getting through things. So I just did a lot of research to find, you know, there's like this year I won the Women of Inspiration. Somebody now you when you called nominated me for that I ultimately won. As soon as I found out I was nominated. I nominated like 20 power women clients, oh, quite different industries. Two of them One, two, so I made stuff happen for them. They're got them on stages. And it'll just find what can we still do. And that's what I think it is, is just, you know, ultimately the end of that story. Somehow, I navigated and pivoted so well, and found other projects and reached out and did between last October next April, I'm booked on 180, or I've done business theme podcasts, literally around the world, from all men to India. I've been hired as a result when I wasn't even thinking about that, by the podcasters. Because it turns out is great for marketing and networking, as we're all sitting here in front of these screens, wondering what we can do. You know, so I ended up just finding ways and now and what and ultimately, our descent and we ended up doing so well that we, you know, we're confident to incorporate, and then are in the middle of COVID. And then our December and I'm embarrassed to say this because some people are not doing well. But our December was better than any month we've ever had. And then our January beat that. And then on February beat that. So now I'm at the point where like, things are just coming and people hearing me people are seeing other people are being told, oh, this person did amazing work for me. She changed my business. And they're coming, you know, they're coming to the point where I'm almost like, well, I got it. Now I got to figure out how to be a job creator too because I can keep getting all these clients. I can make jobs happen now. And that's another jump. That'll be when you have me on next year when I explained that challenge because I don't know how to do that like the jump from being an entrepreneur or solopreneur to a company and then to being teaching people to do it in hiring. It's all other..
Jess Dewell All the strategies want to do it. I'm telling you, it's okay. You've got a lot of really good experience just from this last year and that makes me want to know you know what did you lean into the most when you were like I've got to find the new I've got to focus on what I already have what did you, what did you rely on and lean into within yourself during that time?
Tracy Lamourie 10:20 I don't even know. I think I've always just been like, people have told me even since I was young. I remember my friend's mom when I was 15 telling me. You know, watch you and you get through a lot of stuff. It doesn't matter what, you know, you go through a lot and I mean thought of myself as going through a lot of that time. She said, I see you go through a lot of stuff. Your parents divorced this and that. I'm like, oh well, you know. I think I've always, I learned, you know, it's funny. I read in psychology. I'm a reader and I read in Psychology Today not long ago because I read everything which happened to be reading cover to cover was picked up at the doctor's office somewhere dentist I don't know and I enjoyed it. I was like, I should get a subscription to this is neat. But one thing, I because I learned like three things in this one magazine. When and when that happens, I like it and then one of the things I learned, they were talking about our reading. Apparently is an amazing coping mechanism, you know, for people who've been and I thought that's so true because ever since I've been like five have been a reader and doesn't matter how emotionally upset I get or upset I get a big fight or an argument with my mom when I was a kid or my husband now or whatever and then I go sit okay I've had enough of this let's sit down pick up the New Yorker or whatever. Two pages in now, I'm reading now I'm not my brains not thinking about that anymore. I'm not going over that in my mind instead of reading with this incredible invention or this annoying politician or whatever right and now I'm thinking about completed so I think a lot of that just as a lifetime thing. I've always been like that I always pick up a book calm down stressed out I'll just, I'll just read for 10 minutes, you know.
Jess Dewell: 11:43 I'm telling you, there's so many fun things that we can do I do puzzles when I need to clear my mind because it sounds like when you're even-keeled you like settle in and go alright you automatically what do I have and where do I want to focus me I'm like how many ideas can I think of what could be next and so I do you know it sounds like you read to take a break and I do puzzles to let everything like settle back in exactly there you go and I think that that's super fantastic and you've already shared the outcome which is you've been having fantastic growth.
Tracy Lamourie 12:24 It's crazy like I can't even believe it.
Jess Dewell: 12:26 Mm-hmm fantastic growth and so what did you learn about yourself and your leadership in all of this.
Tracy Lamourie 12:32 Um that I can get through it all. Like it doesn't matter that it doesn't matter you know what it is but I can actually get through anything. I'm apparently lead a company through it.
Jess Dewell: 12:42 So I've heard that um confidence is incredibly important in making things happen has that been your experience.
Tracy Lamourie 12:50 Confidence?
Jess Dewell: 12:50 Yeah.
Tracy Lamourie 12:51 Absolutely. I mean I see the truth in the very beginning I mean I whenever I speak to any expert in any field I'm always like why aren't you being interviewed on TV and stuff and the very are in the media are getting out there writing and the first thing that I was like me well why would anyone and that's literally so if everything I think the reason for all of my successes as a young person as an older person in everything is that you know I've no I haven't been afraid to speak out I've always you know from activist staff to young you know to now growing my business i've always been like no i'm in the room i have every right to be at the same table as everybody you know I'm here because I'm knowledgeable and I think a lot of people just stop themselves it really is that there's of course there's the glass ceiling and there's no ceiling for people you know of color and this is all kinds of challenges and all kinds of but everyone has different things in front of them we don't want to start at the same place right but like I was saying to somebody if we it doesn't matter who we are or what those challenges are this isn't just airy fairy positivity if we just if we're standing there and looking at those challenges and just thinking oh man I just can't get by this is just too much then we're obviously you're not going anywhere but if you're like okay what's the first one I'm going to try to knock this down maybe you can probably you can you see yourself do it and then you think and then you have that confidence like you said tonight the second one down and that's literally what it takes when you instill that in yourself you can honestly move mountains help free guy from death row you know whatever whatever it is that you're into doing.
Announcer: 14:24 You've been listening to uncharted Fast Track Your Business subscribers receive access to a vast set of resources including extended conversations to this and other uncharted episodes visit Fast Track Your Business today.com your preparedness and the right perspective is absolutely necessary when you find yourself somewhere uncharted. Special thanks to The Scott Treatment for production assistance.