Have you ever wondered about how you can achieve equality and joy in your job? In this episode, Camille welcomes Laura Casselman, the CEO of JVZoo, best-selling author of Trust Your Increments, and the co-founder of Vidastreet.
Laura shares her journey pivoting from professional dancing to being a CEO of a tech company. She shares her insights on how she was able to achieve her success through small, consistent steps and the issues that she sees women face when it comes to equality and pay in the workforce and how you too can break through those barriers.
If you’re thinking about how you can find greater success in your work, tune into this episode to hear Laura’s tips on how you too can set your own goals and work towards achieving them through consistency and determination.
LAURA CASSELMAN [0:00]
I think it’s ridiculous that we waste intelligent brains on trying to fight for equal pay when we could be solving much bigger and important problems together.
CAMILLE WALKER [0:15]
So you want to make an impact. You’re thinking about starting a business sharing your voice. How do women do it that handle motherhood, family, and still chase after those dreams? We’ll listen each week as we dive into the stories of women who know. This is Call Me CEO.
Welcome back everyone to another episode of Call Me CEO. This is your host, Camille Walker. And today, we are talking about equality, joy, and the tech world. Laura Casselman is the CEO of JVZoo and has just come out with a book called Trust Your Increments, all about going through the phases of your life as a woman and finding joy within it. Thank you so much for being on this show today.
Thank you for having me. I’m excited.
Yeah. Oh my gosh. I was just telling you that I brought your book with me to Mexico. And when I was on the airplane, I’m like, okay, right off the get, I loved that your approach to success for women is that it comes in phases. We don’t attack everything all at once and that there’s some more work we need to do for this generation so that our daughters and granddaughters are not fighting the same battles that we are now. Yes, I’m like that's what this podcast talks a lot about and I love that you hit the nail on the head. So, first of all, introduce yourself and tell us a little bit more about how your story began and how you got to the place where you are now.
Sure. So, I’m Laura Casselman. I grew up in a one-stop small town in the middle of nowhere South Carolina. And I had three television channels. And on those three TV channels, I saw the Radio City Rockettes dancing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and declared that I would be a Rockette.
And I think that determined a lot about my life. One is that I came from a small town where your word was everything. So, I had said that I was going to do it and I was then going to do it. My word mattered. I followed through every choice I made from three years old to my first performing job at 16 until the Rockettes hired me at 25 years old to make me a Radio City Rockette. And I’ve learned a lot about what I think a lot of the things I’m going to say and when I say them. I will accomplish them.
Also, I think a big stepping stone for me is that I’ve realized now that nothing is impossible. Everything feels so big and grand and mighty. And I have big dreams like everybody else does, but nothing about me is special. The only reason I accomplished all of the things that I’ve accomplished, and when I look at my resume or someone lists out all of the things I’ve accomplished, it seems super impressive, but not one thing about me is special. I just break everything down into steps and I follow the steps. I check them off my list all the time. So, that’s me in a nutshell.
Wow. First of all, amazing. And second, I want to rewind a little bit to that determination and you do what you say you’re going to do. Is that something that was instilled with your parents? Tell me a little bit about your upbringing because I think we need to unpack some of this. And there’s a lot of secret nuggets of gold in there. I’m like let’s talk about that.
So, I think both my parents and community. When I say I grew up in the middle of nowhere, what I mean is nothing puts the town that I’m from on the map. It’s a place called Clio, South Carolina. I guess there's one stop light. There's nothing significant there except for the people. And I not only had my parents who instilled values and morals within me, but the community supported each other. It was not unusual for me to drive up to the gas station, pump gas, and not pay and say, put it on my dad’s tab. That's not a normal thing in today’s society, but it was normal for Clio.
And everyone looked after each other. My parents knew that if I wasn’t with them, if I was doing something wrong, someone else was going to correct me really fast. And it was a great community to grow up in. And your word mattered there and you had to stand behind what you said. And people built everything off of trust. And so, I do think, yes, that played a massive role in who I am today.
I love that. That does sound very Nicholas Sparks. I was just saying one of my best friends said, “I think I want to live in South Carolina, but I don’t know why. I think it’s because of Nicholas Sparks’s books.” And that sounds very Nicholas Spark-esque of what a beautiful way to grow up.
And in your book, you talk quite a bit about being able to shift between dancing, to corporate and being a performer, but also being succinct with what your plans are and executing the plan. Let’s talk about the discipline that it took to get that Rockette level. What did that journey look like?
So, discipline, I feel like was instilled in me from taking dance. My parents put me in dance at the age of three. I had a natural talent. There was a time I wanted to quit only because my sister who was older who did not have a natural talent at dance wanted to quit and was allowed to not re enroll. My parents were, “One, you’re not quitting. You’re very good at this, but also, we’re very big on when you start a season, you finish a season. You get your word. You signed up. You can quit at the end of the season, but not before then.”
And then, my mom talked to me a lot when I just wanted to quit just because my sister was about like, “You’re not making your own choice. You’re following a path here. You’re following because your sister’s older. You need to be making your own choice and you need to recognize where your strengths are.” And so, that was a big lesson.
But also, by the time I was in the fourth grade, which I don’t even know what age that is now at the top of my head, but I had a vision I was in a traveling performing group. And in order to perform at all of these events and competitions that we did, we had lists of custom pieces. And if we forgot one piece, we’re not allowed. There were no honorable mentions. There was no thanks for showing up o'day. It was you have everything that’s on your list or you didn’t show up prepared and we will reblock right now, which taught me two really valuable lessons.
Be prepared and respect everyone else, but two, how to re-block and pivot at a moment’s notice because we did. And so, I learned both as a dancer how to instantly change the dance and everything I’ve been practicing, but in life, how you can get handed a lemon and guess what? You can still make great lemonade.
I like those. I grew up dancing too and you’re right. If you don't show up with that hair bow or that one piece, sorry, you're out. And you really have to readjust and make it happen on the fly and that really makes you quick on your toes. Do you think that that’s helped you as an executive as well?
Absolutely. And I think not only that, but any team sport that your child can play teaches them so much about life. Unless they're born into generational wealth, they’re going to have to work. And working is most often a team sport. It’s either the team that you join or the team that you build. And if you don't know how to work together, it’s far less likely to accomplish big goals.
Girl, you could frame that. That was really beautiful. Whether you’re part of a team or you need one, it is a team sport. That is so good. I hope you are all writing that down because I am thinking that is something I would love to tell my kids. Now, you are a mother. You have a young one. Tell us about your daughter.
Oh my goodness. Like most parents, I think my kid is amazing. She’s two and a half. She’s full of spunk. She’s very intelligent. I keep telling my mom, but I hope she doesn't peak at three. But she’s very strong willed. She knows her mind. She’s already not afraid to speak her mind, which I love because I think our children in today's world need to be able to speak up and they need to know their own minds and their own opinions because we live in a very different world than the world I grew up in.
And where there’s so much convenience to these telephones and smart devices, there’s so much danger in them and there are so many other people’s opinions coming at them 100 miles per hour all day long or our children don’t even have time to think today. So, being a woman in tech, I am very big at keeping my child off of tech.
Let’s dig into that a little bit. So, as you were going into the tech industry, was that something that you had a passion for as a young person or how did you grow into that role?
That’s an interesting funny maybe story. I was dating the man that I ended up marrying when I was 16. We started dating and our dates mostly consisted of me going over to his house, him saying, “I need five more minutes to finish this program I’m working on,” me sitting behind him watching him code for 3.5, 4 hours, and then me saying, “That’s my curfew. Got to go,” and absorbing a lot more than I realized.
That’s so interesting.
I didn’t necessarily realize, I ended up marrying him, but while we were engaged, I also didn’t want to be the dumb girlfriend. I was a dance major, but I wanted to be able to talk to him about this difficult job and what he was doing. And so, he would get assigned something with his job that says, “Hey, you’re going in and you will be an expert in two weeks at whatever was new at the time, JavaBeans, whatever.” And I wanted to hold thoughtful conversation.
So, being a broke college student, textbooks were expensive, but especially computer textbooks. So, I had $100 that I kept going to Barnes & Noble. I would buy one book. I would come home, read it as fast as I could, take as many notes, and then go return it or exchange it for another book. And I did that for about two years.
I was constantly taking notes and conversing with him about what he's doing at work. So, I guess I was eventually found out at the Barnes & Noble, but the manager told me because I didn't break the spines, he would let me continue to do so. But then, it was an easy transition from the dance world into technology, even though it doesn’t seem natural. It was for me.
That is so cool. Talk about tenacity to be like, I’ve already graduated. I've done this other thing. I’m going to learn this on my own. And to do that, that is so cool. Did you fall in love with tech? Obviously, if you kept doing it or do you feel like it was like I’ve got to learn this, so I can communicate with my lover and that’s it? What was it?
Yeah. So, I am more of I love knowledge. That’s who I am as a person. I don't need to know it and be an expert on it. But even if I'm sitting, say, I go to a work event or even a friend’s party, maybe I meet someone that’s talking about something that’s new to me. I might ask thoughtful questions just by being curious, but then I will learn things that make me want to know more.
So, I’m the person that’s up all night on my phone Googling a million different things and going down rabbit holes because I’m just intrigued. So, for me, I think I’m naturally curious. I complained about our smart devices earlier, but one of the great things about our smart devices is that there’s so much knowledge on our fingertips. And so, I like to use that to my advantage and just Trivial Pursuit it. I feel like, hey, let’s play a game of Trivial Pursuit. I’ve got lots of useless information stored away.
I love it. I was telling you earlier before we got on the call that I went to a conference this week, a group, it was actually called Moms in Tech and they have programs. It’s a non-profit program where you can take courses on coding and experience, what do they call it? Like a website experience, WebEx? Okay.
UX, there you go. And it was so fascinating to me because it was a group of women who were trying to find their way back into the workplace and were doing the path of tech. And before the event started, someone stood up and said, “When you go in for an interview, make sure that you are asking the right questions about the progression for the women in the business. Are there women in positions of authority? Is there free, what’s the word, credits that you can take or will they reimburse you if you keep learning if you're getting some scholarship or reimbursement?”
And another question that they ask that I thought was really clever is ask if you can speak with a woman who works there. And do they feel like there’s advancement opportunities? So, it was so interesting because in the tech world more than ever that was laid down as the foundation that you have to really put your work into making sure you're going and interviewing at the right places to be able to advance. And so, I’m really curious about your experience with that and how you were able to advance in your career as well as helping other women to do the same.
Yes. So, I was super fortunate and I talk a lot about this in my book, coming into JVZoo, which is the company that I've been a CEO now for what seems like an eternity, even though we’re only 12 years old. I was super fortunate that the owners of this company saw my worth. I came in as a consultant. It was less than a year later, I was the COO. And less than a year, I was their CEO.
Oh my gosh.
Yes. They appreciated that I wanted to learn and that I constantly told them, “I want to make you lazy. I want to make you lazy. Make me do the work. Let me do it.” Now, I’m also open about that I am in the history of the company, the lowest paid CEO, even though I’ve accomplished things no other CEO before me did. So, give and take there.
One is that one of the former CEOs was an owner. And being an owner, it’s a little different, your paycheck. So, I accepted that and that’s just part of small businesses. The other thing is that I’m not unsatisfied with my pay. I feel like I’m paid higher than the average actually. I’m paid well for what I do. I think people in the past were grossly overpaid in particular because they were egotistical men who thought they deserved a lot more than they did and who didn’t accomplish anything compared to me either.
So, I think that's one thing women have to not feel badly about. Asking what we’re worth, we have to stop feeling badly about that because there are these boys asking for ten times more than what they are worth and not even feeling an ounce of shame. So, asking what we’re worth is the bare minimum we should be doing, ladies.
I agree with that. And I’m curious about what your advice would be to helping someone to understand what their worth is and even knowing what to ask for.
So, do research. Always, always go into your interviews or for your meeting asking for a raise prepared. You need to do research and you need to know what the norm is, the normal range for the job title and the workload. You need to be prepared, if you’re currently with a company, your contributions to the company thus far and how those things have either helped to increase profit, productivity or morale. I don't care what it is, but what has your contribution done to assist the company?
Because if you aren’t thinking of those things, for me, as an executive, then you’re just a cog in the wheel. And I can pay bare minimum for a cog in the wheel. I want to pay someone who is thinking how does this benefit the company? How am I helping the company grow? So, those things really matter for me as an executive.
But then finally, is that you need to be emotionless in this negotiation. Leave your emotions at the door. I don’t care if you go home and cry and scream and yell. But this conversation does not involve your emotions. So, come in prepared. Do not feel shame in presenting what you have brought to the company or for saying, “I’ve done my research and it appears I’m currently being paid about $10,000 a year less than the going rate. These are my contributions. This is why I feel that I should be deserving of this pay.”
And if the person says no, then you need to know right then and there you should come in prepared fully. So, you need to know, am I leaving today or am I asking them, “Would you be willing to work with me on a 90-day plan where today, you lay out clear expectations of what you need to see in 90 days, so in 90 days, you give me that raise?”
I’m a big fan of the 90-day plan. I’ve done it myself to employers multiple times. So, if an employer’s not willing to say, “Here’s what I need to see,” and make reasonable expectations, then you know where you stand with them. So, that’s your time to then say, even if you’re going to take the next 90 days to find your next job, that’s your time. That is a two-way street.
Yeah. I agree with that. That's a really interesting and very clear formula. What I’ve seen and this is really interesting because I am married to someone who is running a business with many, many people. And on my side where I run a team that’s small, what I’ve seen and what I think is really interesting about what you’ve said is being prepared with facts, but also leaving emotions at the door because too often, I have seen people lose their heads a bit with the negotiation and nothing can be accomplished if you’re in a fight or flight emotional state. That energy is just not going to produce the results that either of you are looking for. Would you agree with that?
Absolutely. And also, that’s the one thing that consistently gets used against women is our emotions. And I talk a lot about that in the book as well. I can be in a heated meeting with men and a man can say, “Ugly word, this, blah, blah, blah.” And I can say the exact same thing and, “Whoa, Laura’s lost it.: It’s totally fine if he says it. I say the exact same thing. No, Laura’s lost it.
That is so true. I’m just hearing the lyrics of the man from Taylor Swift, if you’re a Taylor Swift fan. Yes, you love her?
Love that song.
Yes, and that song. I have three sons and a daughter. And I listen to that song and one of my sons said once like, “This is a man hater song. She’s a man hater.” And I’m like, “No. This song is saying that we can be saying the exact same things, but be perceived differently because women often get labels of being crazy or unhinged or whatever it is using the same language or behavior.” Not that I said that exactly to him, but that kind of messaging. So, I love that you are bringing that to the forefront and you talked about that in the book too.
And one of the parts, I want to see if I can find it quickly because I bookmarked a couple things. Okay. Here it is. It says, “We are still 200 years behind equal pay for women and that just blows my mind. How can we still be penalizing for giving birth or even the very threat of giving birth due to their age? Employers are thinking what am I going to do when this person needs time off?”
What’s really interesting about that to me is when I was interviewed for a management position or as a mortgage broker, the person interviewing me said, “So, what happens when you start having babies?” And this was in my interview, which is so illegal. I could have turned him in. That’s honestly what a lot of them are thinking and the disparity of even our ability to have those conversations and that fairness, it’s really sad.
And I love that in that part too, I’ll go back to it because I really loved it, you said something to the effect of,and I don't know if I can find the exact word, it was something like, if we want the human race to continue, women need to continue having babies. So, how can we create an environment where we support them? So, let’s talk about that a little bit about your passion for that and also best practices for people who are listening that think that could be the best way to do that.
Yeah. I think too we’re in a really difficult time for women. We were getting closer to equality. The pandemic happened. The majority of people who had to lose their jobs were women. Willingly at the time because someone had to stay home and homeschool their kids, everybody was home, but someone had to take on the responsibility for their kids for getting their education and taking care of them and taking them out of the room while the other person was working in the room, etc.
And women are naturally better caregivers. And then, women also took on the burden of taking care of their elderly parents. And so, we saw the majority of job loss happen to women. Then we saw a new type of thing happen when people started getting back to work and that was younger generation. Those females said, “I no longer want to try to break through this glass ceiling. It’s unfair. It’s impossible. People have been trying forever. And you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to walk out the building,” which I understand.
Wholeheartedly, I understand, but it also breaks my heart because what it means is we will become nowhere closer to pay equality and that we will be stepping further and further back and that we are going to have to start over at this whole thing again. And what our grandmothers have already fought for, we are going to step back and start this fight over. So, I refuse to give up the fight. I’m going to stay here and stay steadfast in my fight.
And also, it’s also a strange time too because for the first time, we are seeing a new thing where men are identifying as women as well. And so, it’s just a new time. It’s a new time. There's all kinds of new things happening. And the only thing that I could say that as a female, I’m fighting for equal pay. And if we had equal pay, it wouldn’t matter what anybody was. So, I think it’s ridiculous that we waste intelligent brains on trying to fight for equal pay when we could be solving much bigger and important problems together.
Yeah, amen. That is so powerful. I think that you’re right in that disparity and also I think we’re going to see the ripples of that for a while and it is. We’re in it. This is the part of that battalion and I think that what I loved about your book in that regard too as the CEO is you have an example of someone who had had a baby and was going through some mental health struggles getting back into the office and the baby having their own physical issues and how real that is and how you were still able to make accommodations for that. It didn't have to be an all-or-nothing thing. You are able to create a new path.
And I actually discussed this with my husband is so many, like you said, had to come back home and do maybe a part-time or a remote position where they were only coming into the office three of the five days or two of the five days or whatever it is. And the work was still getting done. And I think that women are so capable of creating that ability. And it’s just opening our eyes up to that possibility and I think that it would be really interesting for you to share that as a CEO how you were able to do that.
One is that I care. When you care, you can find solutions. We talked about women asking for pay. But one of the things that I talk about in the book is when I’m hiring, we post a job pay range, and then I let every employee name their salary when I hire them. I’m the final interview. You have to pass all the other people whose team you’re going to be on. They have to all approve of you before I ever interview you.
And then, I say, “Hey, what questions do you have? Did you have all your questions answered? Interviews are a two-way street. Are you sure you want to join our company? Here's what you’re signing up for. How much do you want to be paid?” And then, I say, “Great. You set the bar. Jump to it every day. Cool?”
What I found consistently is that women asked for less pay than they should. I talk about in the book how PhD, mom of 5, only asked me for $3,000 a year more than her bachelor husband. I’m like, “You have a PhD. He has a bachelor’s degree. And you think you're only worth $3,000 more?” And so, I accepted her offer as a CEO with the caveat that I’m the one who put the 90-day stipulation in. In 90 days, we review your performance and discuss your pay. And I knew I was already going to give her a raise in 90 days because she undervalued herself.
Because I am who I stand out and tell the world who I am, but behind closed doors, I’m that same person, I had to say, “Listen, this is where as a female in negotiation you went wrong. You named the lowest price in my range. And of course, I want to save money as a CEO for my bottomline. And I accepted it, but as a female who tries to help other women out, you went wrong by not asking what you were worth. You literally used your husband who didn’t give birth to 5 humans while getting his PhD and asked for $3,000 more. How much more did your PhD cost? How much more is your work experience worth than what he has?”
And she was like, “Oh my gosh.” Pull your hair out and also believe in yourself and your worth and your values, ladies. It kills me when women don’t understand everything that they do and contribute. We are master multitaskers and we have to stop devaluing what we do at home and not realizing the transferable skill sets to the work world.
Amen to that. What do you think as far as running a business as a CEO are some of the things that you learned that have helped you be more effective in your job?
So many things all the time. One, I hire intelligent people, so I’m always learning from them. If there’s something I don’t have an answer to, I go to the person that I hired that specializes in that. We collaborate and we talk. We brainstorm together. It is my job as a CEO to listen and pick the best route. It is not my job to have all the answers naturally. And I think a lot of times, leaders feel like we’re belittled if we don't have the answer, but we aren’t. We are our strongest when we listen to the people that we have intentionally surrounded ourselves with.
Yeah. I like that. And I think that there’s also power in saying, I’m not sure. Let’s get into that and sort it out together or that you’ll research that or find the solutions that you are a problem solver, but not that you have all the answers. I really like that.
Yes. And while we hope and we really shouldn’t making a ton of mistakes because if we are, we’re likely going to lose our jobs or our companies if we’re also the owner of the company, but it’s super important when we do make a mistake to own it in front of the team. And it’s silly. I harp on my team about reviews and never putting anything out with grammatical errors and whatnot.
And one time, I posted something and there was a grammatical error and I'm such a stickler for it that I had to call myself out on it and I said, “Guys, this is why I always say get a second set of eyes. I didn’t wait for the second set of eyes. It was a bit of a situation and I jumped the gun.” It’s important to say, “We all make mistakes, but this is why we should not skip processes.”
Love it. I’ve noticed that you’re really good at posting vertical videos on social. Do you have a way that you pump out? Obviously, you’re a very busy mom CEO. How are you pumping out such value-filled content consistently? What is your SOP for that? What do you do?
So, it depends on how big you’re going. Sometimes, I have a spare moment in a day and something’s weighing on my mind. So, I’m just like, I’ve got 3 minutes. I’m going to record this video and send it. But I do have a team. It helps when you have a team. And what I like to do is if I can, I will pick one day for recording and I’ll do 100 videos in one day.
Wow. How are you coming up with that many ideas? Do you have an idea list that you work on or does one generate for you?
Yeah. I have an idea list. And then, someone, whoever’s recording, just sits there and says, “Okay, let’s talk about this.” And sometimes, when we record it and we’ll say, “Flip it to this is your intro line,” like the one where my cat eats jello and we started it with jello. And it takes me and two other people. One person sits there watching the videos and the other person's setting up the camera and the lighting. And I just change outfits a bunch throughout the day. So, it doesn't look like I recorded 100 in one day, but really I did.
That’s smart. And you know what I’ve heard social media experts say more than ever is that people don't care if you’re wearing the same thing. You can still switch the shirts. But I've just been really impressed with that pump out of content that I’m like, girl, you are on it. That’s a really good idea to slam it out and I think it really helps too to have someone there with you that’s like, “Okay, let’s do this one next.: So, you don’t have to go and switch between editor to creator to person on screen where you can just be in one zone of genius, which I think helps too. So, that’s really cool.
Yeah. And like I said, I keep that running list and I just reorganize the list that says, hey, all these fit together. So, it’s a natural flow when I’m recording to talk about these things. And then, if stuff comes up throughout the day when we’re recording, we’re like, “Hey, we’ll tack that on at the end. Write it down. We'll tack that on at the end.” Because sometimes, you’re taking a five-minute break and you’re just talking about random stuff or checking an email and something comes up and you’re like, “We should talk about that.”
I like that. In the book a lot you talk about creating time for yourself and keeping your mental health in check. I marked a spot right here. Let’s see if I can grab it real quick. No, no, no. Okay. I’m going to come back to that one because the one that I just found that I marked was about decision fatigue. And I believe that this is so real and it says, “Keep your head clear until you've made all your major decisions ahead or at least as many of them as possible. If you’re not careful, a 100 small decisions will use up all of your brain power before you manage to make a handful of big ones. It’s like death by a thousand cuts.” Yes, so do you have a way that you organize your day? Do you have a morning routine that you do to help you execute that or what does that look like?
So, because I’m a mom, like many moms, we’ve got responsibilities in the morning. So, I try to keep things as much routine as possible. One is that have the toddler have a routine, but I try to lay out my clothes the night before. I have my workout clothes ready to go. My outfit for the day is already picked out. That’s not something I need to spend any power thinking about. My coffee pot’s set on a timer. Everything just flows. And then, I have a toddler meltdown, I just have a seat. Give it five minutes, and then out the door, we go.
So, I try to remove as many decisions as possible. I don't ever get on Instagram or any social media first thing in the morning because you will be surprised at how much brain power it zaps. And I don’t check my emails unless I’m expecting something that will change the flow of my day. Otherwise, those things will have to wait until later in the day. \
Once I get my kid to school, for me, my flow has to go a little backwards. I would rather work out first thing, but instead i've got my kid ready and my kid to school and hit the gym. It’s a home gym. I hit my home gym, and then I go right into my morning flow. So, I make sure that the morning things get done that require the biggest amount of my brain power. The big decision-making, and then I check all my Slack messages before I check my emails because that's my team communicating. I don’t want my team held up because I’m not responding to them.
I like it. That feeds into that other question that I have about taking time yourself and your mental energy and taking care of your workout needs and your mental health. What are some things that have helped you? Do you have any favorite apps that you like or workouts that you do or mantras that you say?
One, I think it’s really important to find out what works for you. I’ve listened to people talk about like, “I love this meditation app.” Those things have never worked for me. One, I love to run. I don’t actually love to run. I love the way I feel after I run. And it’s interesting because I used to live on the oceanfront. And so, I ran the beach every morning for years. I’ve now moved and I live on the inner coastal water right now.
And I should not complain at all, but it’s different. It’s changed my workout. Where I am, there’s coyotes in my neighborhood. I can’t run in the dark in the morning. So, it’s changed. I don’t run as often and I'm doing more of weight lifting and it’s changed the way I have to adjust my thinking. I honestly used to run so hard that I couldn't think of anything but breathing. It was great for my well being because I have a hard time turning it off. Even when I'm lying on it at night, I could stay up all night just thinking in my head. So, I have to consciously tell myself, acknowledge, let go, acknowledge, let go until I fall asleep.
But what I think is super important is that we have to figure out the things that work for us and be consistent on them. One, everyone falls off the wagon from time to time. I just recently did. It’s so hard to be consistent for years on end. I have had a good probably, I don’t know, about three-year run and just yesterday crashed hard.
My book was published March 7th. We hit The Wall Street Journal’s best sellers list. Because of that, all these opportunities started rolling in. I’m the CEO of a tech company that’s really successful that’s going 100 miles per hour. I’m the CEO and the cofounder of a media agency that’s doing really well. I started a new start-up last November, Hestla Trades. And startups are work. And then, I had this book launch. And then, all these opportunities are coming that you don’t want to say no to. And then, my daughter’s been sick. And so, all these things have just been happening, happening, happening.
And I am good at saying no to things that don’t support my end goal, but all of these things that have been coming have been supportive of my end goal and I forgot to say no when it’s not good for your own well being. And when I tell you I hit a brick wall, I hit a brick wall. There wasn’t a thing on my body that didn’t hurt two days ago. I could feel my fingernails. I could feel everything. I was in excruciating pain.
And then, I slept for 13 hours. I don’t normally sleep for more than 5 hours. I slept for 13 hours, woke up, got my team going for 30 minutes, went back to sleep for another 5 hours, couldn't stand up. I was so tired. And that was my own fault. And silly, like I said, we all fall off the wagon. I’m back to annoying, hey, I know better. I’ve got to say no to some things.
Yeha. Oh my gosh. Thank you for saying yes to this and being here. That’s a lot. That’s a lot of things going on. Are you doing all of these positions remotely or how are you managing all of these different teams and businesses?
Yes. So, I have always run my teams remotely, always. Vidastreet started 12 years ago and it’s always been a remote company. We have office locations. If you want to come into the office, you need an office atmosphere, cool, come in. And sometimes, I’ll even say, “Hey, for the next 6 weeks, we’re doing a workout every day at 4 o’clock if you want to join on the workout.” And that's a fun thing to do, but I just think that if you hire responsible adults, they don’t need to be in an office because we don’t run a company that’s like a medical company or in need for someone to be there face-to-face.
And for the most part, we hire great, and every now and again, we hire someone that says, “I need more micromanaging. I want it. I need it.” And we help those people find some place that sits into middle management and micromanagement. And I’ve said it all the time, “I’m not your mom. I have one kid now. I’m not your mom”
I love it. This has been so helpful. I know I’ve learned a lot. I’m sure the people listening have learned a lot. Where else can we connect with you online?
You can go to my website, www.lauracasselman.com. All my social media’s connected there. I usually do check my Instagram once a day. I’m on TikTok and all those other things too, but everything's connected to my website.
Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing so many wonderful things and you can, of course, buy this book, Trust Your Increments anywhere, Amazon, anywhere books are sold. And it’s awesome. So thanks again. It was such a pleasure to interview you.
Thank you so much.
Hey, CEOs. Thank you so much for spending your time with me. If you found this episode inspiring or helpful, please let me know in a comment and a 5-star review. You could have the chance of being a featured review on an upcoming episode. Continue the conversation on Instagram @callmeceopodcast. And remember, you are the boss!
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