I have a vision of inspiring women to achieve their full potential
By Lela Struga
Laura was born in the small Baltic country of Estonia. She grew up in a modest family, which didn’t stop her from thinking big. Living abroad, travelling, running businesses, inspiring and empowering people, was part of her vision since an early age though she only spoke about it with a few of her closest friends. She thought her plans would have sounded insane to a lot of people who would say that it is impossible but Laura knew that it would become her reality.
Laura Timm remembers some tough times from her childhood, especially her second grade, but she says that it really forced her to stay strong and not let herself be put down by a few bullies. Being the new kid at school she got picked on because of a few things she hadn’t done before and wasn’t initially very good at. Since that time Laura has been very determined to not allow others to control her life and she refused to go into hiding or keep her head down as some of the other children would do.
But Laura kept working on the things that she wasn’t good at and after a very long period of trying, and sometimes feeling she could see no improvement, eventually came the breakthrough. She started to get better one thing at a time and soon she became accomplished, or even excellent, at different things.
Now she refused to let others tell what she could or couldn’t do and started to believe in herself more. There is a Dodge-Ball example that she uses because she used to be a terrible player but she kept playing and practicing and after a lot of hard work and constantly failing she got better. Then she became really good and was soon one of the best players on the team. After that she started doing the same with other sports – she also played football and basketball and even represented the schools girls team, amongst other sports. Then she started doing the same with other things in life whether it was studies or anything else that challenged and interested her. She started to love challenges; “When something became possible for me I knew it would be possible for others” Laura says, “And that is why I do what I do”.
“When something became possible for me I knew it would be possible for others”
All her ventures and successes are to show others that they can achieve anything if they believe in themselves enough and work hard to achieve it. Her philosophy is that if a girl from a small country like Estonia can succeed in life and business anyone else can do it too. “And this is just the start” says Laura, “I will keep reaching higher as I want to inspire people around me”. One of her goals is to share her story with kids in school. She wants to share her story and tell them they can achieve what they want in life no matter what anyone else thinks or tells them. This is what Laura shared for our magazine.
A young woman involved in a field dominated by men, with high achievements – how much work and effort is behind your success: What motivated you to invest in this path?
I think fear can be a great motivator and for me it’s always been the fear of not doing something. Not taking action towards my goals and the life I had envisioned for myself, that’s been my fear. I don’t want to regret not using my full potential and not inspiring others with my actions. I always thought that if I make something possible for me I can then inspire others to do the same. Because if I can do it, then they can. And that’s why as a little girl I didn’t share my vision, I thought that instead of telling people what I will do, I will show them and both inspire and teach them to do the same.
What is the first job you have done when you arrived in the UK and how did you develop your career?
My first job in the UK was working in logistics for an international wine imports/exports company. It was a great environment to start with. I worked hard and I always tried to add value and make a difference. I would always point out what could be improved in different departments and I never settled for less than great results. I’ve always had an eye for details and a great understanding for systems especially when it comes to business. After I left that company I started as a business consultant helping companies with their systems, which then led me to join a company in the construction industry where I am a board member now, while working on a few of my personal projects and speaking engagements.
I’ve definitely had a number of challenges that I’ve had to overcome. But once you start seeing challenges as opportunities to grow and change, you will become a lot more successful and also start enjoying your life a lot more. We can not control what happens to us but we can certainly control how we react to what happens. Your attitude determines your success rate.
If I would have to point out what helped me in career development I would say hard work, sticking to high standards, always improving myself and systems, helping others achieve more and to be more, stubborn persistence, standing my ground when I knew what I stood for was for the greater cause, for the bigger picture, for the long term goal. It’s rather been about everyone achieving together for me.
If you are looking to advance your career think about these points:
- How can I make a real difference to the organisation?
- Am I currently making a difference (this does not mean just doing your daily tasks)?
- Does the management know that I am making a difference and that I want to develop my career and not just earn a paycheque?
In todays environment it’s not just working hard any more that will help people succeed, its making a difference and creating awareness.
What was your goal to achieve before arriving here in this country?
My goal was to become successful in business and life and to help others do the same. I knew I would have to work hard and be open to change, be open to doing things I had never done before. My goal has always been to do business internationally and to inspire people at the same time.
You have just launched “The Millionaire Underdog Club London”, can you tell us more about this project?
I am very excited as I have also launched a new business club in London with my business partner, an amazing business woman Vikki Thomas. The Millionaire Underdog Club London brings together entrepreneurs, business owners, investors and health experts. It connects members globally over 5 continents as part of an international network of business clubs and it is designed to take their lives and businesses to a completely different level. Not only that, it also gives them access to the worlds top CEO’s, MD’s, innovators and game changers in various fields. I’ve learnt that “in order to be great you must surround yourself with great people” and the Millionaire Underdog Club London is the place where these individuals come together.
The Millionaire Underdog Club is such an exciting project and an amazing environment of not just successful and driven people, it is a network of like minded individuals who thrive to achieve more both in life and business and are motivated to help others do the same. I know how important relationships are when it comes to business and making deals. To make quality business deals you need quality relationships and that is the environment we have created. In todays world businesses and investments are done globally and the Club helps it’s members make more deals and attain more success over 5 continents. We are all stronger together and the impact we can have not just in business but in the world will be so much more significant as the more successful you are, the greater the difference you can make in the world.
What are the challenges that you overcame to become who you are today?
Not letting anyone tell me what I can or can not do. Even if someone tried I would not buy into other peoples impossible. I think it’s important to stay true to yourself and the person you are. Standing for what you believe in and what your values are. It was also difficult moving abroad because of how close I am with my family and friends. But not following my passion and my vision would have meant holding myself back and not creating a life I had envisioned.
How do you remember your childhood?
I’ve always been a happy child with a curious mind. I learnt to value true friendships and I knew if I follow my heart and trust my intuition I would go far. I have wonderful and fun memories from times spent with my family and friends. That’s when a few lifelong friendships started that I value greatly, especially for having the most amazing best friend who knows me better than anyone and who is family to me. I remember trying new things and developing a can do attitude. I was quite an active child and played different sports like tennis, football, basketball, dancing, aerobics etc. I remember learning a lot from my mum, she always made time for me and gave me advice, never judging my choices and always encouraging me.
I’m grateful to my mother for her support and for the way she raised me.
How would you define the relationship with your parents and what is their influence in your path to success?
I’m very close with my mother. She is an incredible woman, my greatest influence. I’m grateful to my mother for her support and for the way she raised me. She always encouraged me while giving me her honest opinion, though allowing me to make my own decisions. I look up to her and I wouldn’t be who I am and where I am without her. I would not be as successful as I am today without her influence. I’m not as close with my father. He is not an affectionate person and has always been quite strict. Though it did help me build character and stand up for myself.
How important are friends for you and how much time you dedicate for them?
My family and my friends are very important to me. That is where my strength comes from. They keep me grounded and are part of my motivation and drive. I built up a strong foundation with them and we spend quality time together. For example I travel back home every one to two months.
What are the most important things in your life?
Family & Friends (spending quality time with them and with my partner), continuing to inspire and help people have more success and achieve more in life. Business is one of my passions so it is definitely important to me.
What makes you happy and how do define happiness?
Happiness for me is doing what I love (running businesses, helping people to succeed, inspiring and motivating) and being the person I always wanted to be by staying true to myself. It is having people in my life who are most important to me and who also love me for me. It’s doing what I love and spending quality time with the people that matter the most to me.
How do you manage time between career and family?
I try to balance the two. Sometimes doing what I love takes most of my time and then I stop and spend quality time with my family and friends. It can mean some planning at times to make sure I get the balance right.
You are now preparing to launch a new project for women. Can you tell us more about this?
Yes, it’s an exciting project for me and for my business partner, Adrianne Westman, a successful South African business woman. It will be an online environment where women can read, learn and be inspired. They will be able to watch interviews and read articles about successful women internationally and be inspired by the stories of these incredible women. Women we can all look up to. Women who inspire and empower others around them. Women who have and are making a difference in businesses and in peoples lives. Women with integrity, passion and drive. Women of value.
What motivated you to start this venture?
I have had a lot of women asking about my story and my struggles and about the things I do in order to succeed. They ask me about my passions, my drive, the lessons I’ve learnt along the way. And they get inspired by my story and my experiences. So I think there is a need for an environment like this. Sometimes it’s easier for a woman to relate to another woman. It’s about inspiring women and encouraging them to achieve more, for them to become influencers in their environment. It’s an incredible feeling being able to inspire and motivate someone and make a difference in their lives and that’s why my partner in the project and I are working on this.
A lot of people see only the success that you have achieved- how many times you had to fail before this?
Gosh, I think I fail all the time… and then I try again and again and again. Because every time you fail you learn from it and doing it again is a way of doing things better next time. You have to continue to improve every single time and every single day. What I’ve learnt is that usually our greatest wins come after our biggest struggles. You just can’t give up. If you give up you won’t break through.
If you give up you won’t break through.
Can you give us an example?
There was a point during my first year in London when I was considering moving back to Estonia as it was a lot harder to fit into the UK than I anticipated and the first year was really hard. From making things work financially, and having to eat macaroni a lot to save money, to finding genuine people around me who would support me. There are a lot of people in London but finding true friends is so much more difficult and coming from Estonia where I have an amazing family and incredible friends to London, where many people were not as genuine, was hard.
What is your vision for the future?
I still feel I have a long way to go but an exciting journey ahead of me. I will keep on reaching out to influence and empower more people internationally. It will involve speaking, mentoring, different business ventures but also giving back to the society and making sure I spend quality time with friends & family. I will continue to innovate and work on different projects that I believe will make a difference in peoples lives and businesses.
To become the best you need to learn from the best.
I realised that I need to start doing things differently to take my businesses to a completely new level. That’s when I really started my personal development journey and started being coached. Coaching I believe can make a massive difference in peoples lives and businesses. It accelerates success rates and minimises failures. Getting advice and guidance from someone who is more experienced and more successful than you are is invaluable. I’m grateful to JT Foxx and especially to my amazing coach and mentor Jason Gilbert and my coaches Dana van Hoose, Reggie Batts, for the guidance and support they have given me. To become the best you need to learn from the best.
Who is Laura?
Laura Timm is an International Ultra-High Achievement Authority. She immigrated from Estonia in 2010 where she was a secretary and personal assistant, and after rebranding herself as a systems consultant in the UK, Laura has become known as a Trusted Mentor, Stellar Leader, Entrepreneurial Maverick and Elite Speaker. She enjoys helping women overcome their limiting beliefs, and create a blueprint to attain their full potential.
@Photo credits: Joanna Jõhvikas & Jay Watson