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Entrepreneurship, collaboration, and purpose

By July 19, 2020August 6th, 2020131 Comments

Laurie Brown talks: entrepreneurship, collaboration, and purpose

Laurie Brown talks: entrepreneurship, collaboration, and purpose

by Lauren Jane Heller


How the Pondercast host learned to harness creativity and trust her team in order to build a better company.

As the co-creator of a media production company, Laurie Brown knows first-hand what that entrepreneurial fear and resistance can feel like when you’re facing your purpose head-on. “It’s scary. You don’t know if people are going to think you’re nuts, if it’s too much, if you’re overreaching, or if people will think you’re an imposter, a fraud, a phony – so you resist purpose for a long time.”

When conceiving of Pondercast, what helped Laurie get through that resistance was the depth of her own experiences, which it turns out, were far more universal than she’d initially thought. Rather than being called out for getting it all wrong, “you realize you said something so true but so tiny – so deep down and hidden – that everyone else says: ‘I feel that way too. I thought I was the only one.’ I got great encouragement that way and I went, ‘Okay, now I know.’ If I’m putting it out there and it feels risky…I know I’m doing the right thing.”

“If I’m putting it out there and it feels risky…I know I’m doing the right thing.”

That’s not to say that Laurie gets it right all the time. Like any good entrepreneur iterating on an idea, she approaches her business as a constant work in progress; she might only get part way there in some instances, but that simply gives her the opportunity to keep pushing closer to the edge.

Of course, having trusted partners who help fuel her creativity and trust her own vision goes a long way too. While Laurie had initially thought she would produce the Pondercast on her own, she quickly learned that hiring and working with a team where each member is equally invested is truly the way to make magic happen. As it turns out, Joshua Van Tassel and Ty Johnston, a musician and graphic designer with whom she had worked on The Signal, were just as excited as she was about the project. They were ready to go all-in, but she was struggling to let go.

“Why was I denying all their energy and their creativity by trying to hold onto this ownership? It struck me that I was about to make a fatal mistake. If it doesn’t come together organically, if you don’t get to feel like there’s energy coming from other places pretty quickly, then something’s not right. It might just be timing, but there’s something not right.”

Laurie’s advice to other creators and entrepreneurs is to share it all, to give each member equal creative input and authority over their own area of expertise in order to build the best possible business.

In the case of the Pondercast, Josh, Ty and Laurie’s differences in age, background, and lived experiences all contribute tremendously to the company’s agility and vision. As a result of their intense mutual trust, they’ve been able to build a project and collaboration that continues to excite them. 

“It’s such a blessing because I get fed by their energy all the time. Our successes are shared in a wonderful way — and we prop each other up. When one person gets really busy, the other two can shift things around to make it a little easier for them.” 

This has been one of the biggest lessons for the Pondercast team, and one that inspires them on a daily basis. 

“Just give it away and you’ll be fed and rewarded with this kind of energy that you never would have had,” Laurie says. “You’ll be pushing it uphill forever if you don’t give it away.”

If you’re curious about Pondercast and committed to digging into your own purpose, check out the Night Journal, an audio-guide and journal in which Laurie “reintroduces you to your senses as she guides you through seven nights of drawing, writing and designed activities set to the soundscapes of Joshua Van Tassel.” We believe that getting back into our bodies and senses is key to creating the space necessary to make the best decisions and lead from a place of strength and clarity. Are you ready for the journey?


Lauren Jane Heller

As the daughter of an entrepreneur, Lauren Jane realized early in life that for her, settling for the status quo feels infinitely more terrifying than plunging into the unknown. A seeker and a sharer, LJ is passionate about finding and telling stories. After over a decade working in communications, from documentary film to travel journalism to director of communications, she found her calling as a coach and storytelling advisor. Now, you’ll likely find LJ helping high-potential founders to dig into their purpose, develop their leadership and find their stories, or creating her own stories, hanging out with her family and connecting with herself in nature.


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