When and why did you decide you wanted to start Larger Than Life?
Larger than life was born in February 2014. But it’s more of a rebrand than a new business. It came off the back of closing another successful events business. My business partner and I simply decided to go our separate ways and for me it was a no brainer to continue running an events company. I have been in the industry for over 10 years and just couldn’t fathom doing anything else. I also couldn’t walk away from all the extremely supportive clients and suppliers and a rocking team that work tirelessly with amazing passion.
Starting any business can be scary, what three bits of advice do you have for other women who have an idea bubbling away?
Write down your goals and what you want to achieve, be realistic yet dream crazy-big at the same time (take risks where you can). I find that when any goal/wish/positive thought is put on paper, it gains more traction and help you to define it, change it and make it real and yours. It is imperative to have a strong business plan, but more important to remember to refer to and update it as you progress and evolve.
Figure out what keeps you motivated and passionate and actively take the time to pursue those things, both at work and personally. When you have those moments when it all gets too much (and let’s be honest, you will have those moments) go back to the roots of your passion to give yourself a boost – stay positive and you will surprise yourself.
Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all; surround yourself with those who see greatness in you, even when you don’t see it in yourself. Also, don’t be afraid to admit that you aren’t skilled in a particular area, but more so, don’t be afraid to employ someone who is better skilled in that area than you…
What would you say your career highlight has been so far?
Owning an events company was never on my bucket list, so falling into it has been the biggest highlight. I studied commerce and psychology at Uni and always thought I would progress through the corporate world; that was, until I got into the corporate world! Working in Project Management I gained great experience and learned so much, however it didn’t give me the ‘buzz’ I knew work should if it was going to take up the bulk of my waking hours. A friend asked if I would help run their catering business, and suddenly I realized my project management skills could be transferred to event management and so I made the transition. Event management was far more suited to my personality.
Larger Than Life is the first time I am the sole owner of a business – I took the leap. I had more than enough experience and I finally had the confidence – it was liberating.
Securing and working on the account for event management for the 2014 Melbourne Cup Carnival Lavazza Birdcage Marquee was definitely a thrill. We celebrated accordingly with Champagne in the office. We work with so many amazing clients and produce for insanely cool events, but for 2014, working with Lavazza to produce one of the most-talked-about marquees of the Birdcage was definitely a highlight.
Chrissie and Jane’s 500th show celebration at Flower Temple was another special highlight. They are such positive role models and amazing women to be around. It was a delight from start to finish.
You are in a competitive industry, how do you keep innovating and set yourself apart from others?
The exciting and very lucky thing about the events industry is that what is ‘cool’ is constantly changing. Fads are coming and going much quicker than ever before and we get to tap into each of these trends. We love to create events that differ from the last, exceed clients’ expectations in the process. There are many Australian event companies that stick to a particular look and style – that works for them. For us we love keeping on top of what’s new so our events and styling is constantly evolving – that’s not to say we don’t love a throwback 80’s theme! Every company, person, wedding, product launch, fashion parade, birthday party is different, so every event should be different too.
What would you say is the best and also the hardest part of running your own business?
Addiction and balance – when you have your own business you become addicted to it. This is the best and hardest part; you live and breathe it. It is you. Your business becomes included in everything you do, and a factor in every decision you make. It’s hard to switch off, or to be completely honest you don’t want to switch off, because it is like your child. The important part is finding a balance so that you don’t lose sight of the important things – you don’t miss too many of your friend’s birthdays.
I have learnt the hard way through burn out and emotional exhaustion that you HAVE TO make time to switch off. It is very much the talk of the moment, however, there is so much that holds true to being mindful and not running on pure adrenalin. There is a great TedTalk on the pace of modern life that I think all women should watch –
What are your hopes and dreams from Larger Than Life?
That the company continues to grow and thrive – that it is recognized as one of Australia’s leading boutique events agencies.
I hope it continues to attract the wonderful employees it has so far, continues to work and collaborate with the talented and creative people of Melbourne, Australia and the world! I am so proud of where we have come and what we have achieved, I can only imagine what is to follow – the sky is the limit!!
We are super excited to see what Lauren and Larger Than Life create in the future. We wish you loads of luck and continued success.