006: The Journey To Self-Love with Laura Gray

The Journey To Self-Love with Laura Gray

Laura Gray is the director of client services and business development at Maloney + Novotny LLC, a leading accounting firm based out of Cleveland. She is also the founder and executive director of IPride, a self-esteem program for youth that focuses on meditation, mindfulness and creative expression, as well as a published author and mother of three sons. Laura driving principle is “Who can I help today?”, drawing on painful and traumatic past experiences to help others love themselves and be the best and most generous people they can possibly be.

Show Notes:

  • What is Laura most excited about right now?
    • Life in general, and the energy she feels in her professional and non-profit work.
  • What was Laura’s first step in her career?
    • Working in marketing for the United Way in Cleveland, which introduced her to non-profits and compelled Laura to work to help others.
  • How did she transition from non-profit United Way to the for-profit private sector?
    • General Electric recruited her through the United Way campaign she was working on for them.
  • Did Laura know she was going to return to the world of non-profit organizations?
    • She did not have any plan, but it was destined to happen because of her innate drive to help others.
  • What was the most challenging part of restarting her career following a period of temporary retirement?
    • Getting hired in the first place and establishing trusting, working relationships
  • How does Laura’s “Who can I help today?” philosophy manifest in her regular interactions?
    • Thinking of ways to serve or be of service to others.
    • Hear her talk about how one good deed came back around to help her later.
  • How did IPride come to be?
    • Laura drew on her prolonged, horrific experience with abuse as a child .
    • Took up activities and participated in programs that allowed her to build up physical and emotional self-esteem, and wanted to bring the joy they brought her to others.
    • Created a program that embraces fun.
  • What is Laura’s advice to those looking to heal from trauma and love themselves?
    • Don’t try to diminish your pain by comparing it to someone else who has endured “more.” Everybody’s pain is equally valid and real.
    • Journaling and meditation help a lot.
  • How does IPride operate?
    • Starting off with establishing calm and mindfulness, then moving to physical fitness and art therapy.
    • Children learn how to visualize and present their inner thoughts and ideas.
  • What was the most challenging part of getting IPride off the ground?
    • How personal a project it was to her.
  • What is Laura’s advice for those looking to start their own non-profit?
    • To do it, but also listen to your heart to figure out the best time.
    • Make use of the networks and connections available to you.
  • Who has been the most impactful person in Laura’s journey to do well and succeed professionally?
    • Her father.
  • Who has been the most important person in feeding her drive to do good and make an impact?
    • Her mother.
  • What does she do to get herself out of a negative headspace?
    • Singing and dancing (Michael Jackson helps a lot).
  • What book does Laura find herself recommending to people most often?
  • What is the best piece of advice Laura would like to hand off to our listeners?
    • Best: Be humble

Do Well & Do Good Challenge Nomination:

“IPride is a self-esteem building program for youth with an emphasis on creative thought/expression and basic physical fitness. IPride is comprised of 2 sessions: IPride Write and IPride Fit.”

About IPride

Do Well and Do Good’s free Facebook community can be found here.

About the author, Dorothy

Dorothy Illson is the founder of Needle's Eye Media, a full-service Facebook advertising agency. She's also the host of Do Well & Do Good, a podcast dedicated to telling the stories of people who have created financial success and leveraged it to increase their positive impact on the world.

1 Comment

  1. Heidi Skok on 07/30/2018 at 5:38 PM

    Wonderful wonderful!!!! I am the Founder of the opera company that she mentions. Laura made a huge impact on our singers. Singers believe they have to be negative because the business has made them so. She brought a new view and challenge to our singers: no. We don’t have to e negative. We can live from a positive standpoint and be helpers not only to ourselves but to the world. Bravo Laura! We love you and look forward to welcoming you back.

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