We all need a little Laura Bacon in our lives right now. I am so honored to feature this incredible entrepreneur, and her stories and inspiration around embracing change. Laura is also our spotlighted leader in this month's issue of En Root, so be sure to check it out her piece to learn more about the evolution of her life and business. You won't be disappointed.
Tell us about your personal approach to change. How do you view new changes in your life/work?
I'm definitely a go-with-the-flow-lady. Resisting feels like a stressor so I try to ease myself through change with care, knowing that forward movement must occur.
At OutGrowth, we are committed to growth. What do you think we as individuals and communities can do to begin to grow our skills in embracing change?
Empathy. Empathy for self and for others. That first part is the one that took me a bit to learn, but it's the key.
Tell us about a pinnacle point or moment where you encountered a major life shift. How did you handle it?
Whew lawd! Don't get me started. I'll stick to the ones that I know we're all facing. When the pandemic hit, I turned my business from looking to build to looking to reach out. This amplified that empathy for others core that motivates almost everything. As George Floyd's murder revisited an all-too-familiar trauma on to Black America and opened the eyes and hearts of many to a pain felt all too deep for my community, I turned the empathy inward. I had to care for myself in order to keep up with the drive I had to move this vision forward.
How did this experience change the course of your life, your career or your outlook?
I feel whole. I feel supported. I feel driven and I feel balanced. Now, are somedays spent becoming one with the couch and the remote, or feeling like I can't hold on to my emotions in a way that feels normal or comfortable for me? Hell. Yes. But when I hit the groove for a couple of days or even hours, it feels so good.
What are your top three pieces of advice for students and professionals for navigating the (very) uncharted and uncertain road ahead? How can they start to hone the practice of effectively embracing change?
Meet people. Big Vision Gang. Tell your truth. Meet and talk to as many people you can. Listen. Craft your vision. Make it big, make it stretch you and know that there are really no boundaries. Say what is important to you.
If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
What is your favorite quote?
I get inspired in waves and cycles. The one that's hitting right now is “The place in which I'll fit will not exist until I make it.” -- James A. Baldwin
Based on your professional experience, what are the top three career competencies that you believe can be gained/developed as a result of remaining open to change?
Productivity, Creativity, Accountability
What's next? What are your next steps toward growth in 2020?
The 3rd is opening a revolutionary space, bringing together communities and fostering the growth of WOC entrepreneurs. Check it out and how you can help create it at the3rd.org.
Laura Bacon is the founder of The 3rd, a nonprofit organization that supports women of color entrepreneurs through access, education, and community. She is also the director of Maude, a community building consulting firm. She is a native to Columbia, MD and is invested in justice, kindness, and the power of sisterhood.