Questions for Kelly Lawson
What advice would you give your 16 year-old self?
You are enough. You are good enough, you are smart enough, you are strong enough, you are pretty enough, you are capable enough. You are enough.
Who were your mentors when you were in high school and university? And why?
I believe that my mentors were my peers, parents and professors – the people that I surrounded myself with. I still strive to be a sum of my favourite aspects of the company I keep… and I intentionally keep very good, very influential, successful, creative and positive company.
How did your mentors guide you then?
What do you remember about growing up that was fun? What were some of the challenges too?
At an early age I was a risk taker, but not in the traditional sense. I felt the biggest risk to myself was to leave any opportunity on the table. My biggest fear was the risk of being left to wonder “what if?” So instead of wondering what if, I DID!
Which of your traits are you most proud of?
My ability to see the world from a place of equality.
What would you do if you weren’t afraid to fail?
Haha… I suppose am not afraid of failure… so I would be doing exactly this! (starting many businesses, hustling hard, learning, earning, failing, succeeding and answering interview questions for this website)
In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself up?
I am truly an introvert. My batteries get their charging on the days that I can sit alone and meditate, read, surf the web, and spend time with my closest friends and family.
Where does your confidence come from?
My confidence comes from my ability to see the world from a place of equality. This is not interchangeable with “the world is equal” but instead, the ability to visualize what an equal world looks like and feels like, and to behave as if it is indeed equal, and to recognize when it is not.
Courage and resilience are so important to living an authentic life. Where do you find yours?
A supportive family. A supportive husband. A set of parents who never doubted my ability to do anything in the world I wanted to do. Friends and colleagues who cheer me on. Two sons and a daughter that I want to set an example for.
What’s the best piece of advice you were given when you were starting out?
“Get ready to fail; eat failure for breakfast.” Yum!
Has learning from a mistake led you to success?
At the risk of sounding cliche: Mistake is really just another word for learning. I am not afraid of mistakes, I can’t be, because in life, mistakes are inevitable. I suppose my first “mistake” was missing the mark with my original career choice… but I don’t really see it that way. I see it more as part of the journey that made me who I am and brought me to where I am.
What does success mean to you?
In its simplest form, success means going to bed each evening and thinking, “today was awesome!” If you can do that most of the time, you are successful!
What are sacrifices that you’ve made in running your business or building your career?
I’ve never really thought of it as a sacrifice purse, but I suppose in the early days I was taking risks. Financial risks and risk of failure. I have failed. I am not afraid to admit it, I am not afraid to talk about my failures. I think it is a health and essential aspect of success.
What characteristics do you admire in other women?
I admire women who charge forward and accept nothing less or nothing more than equality.
What does the world need more of?
The world truly needs more love. It is the single best weapon anyone can arm themselves with. Anger doesn’t resolve anger, but love does.
The Up and Go tag is Be Brave. Be You. What does that mean to you in how you live your life?
Being true to yourself is a big one. For me that was something that I learned how to do over time… I guess like everything else I had to fail/make mistakes at being true to myself in order to learn what it really was.
What do we need to do more of here in New Brunswick to have more girls and women in leadership roles?
We need girls and women to know that they are enough. They are capable enough, they are smart enough, they are strong enough, for whatever they strive to be – they are everything enough.
Supporting one another goes a long way. Supporting someone else’s success will never hinder your own. Be a “goal digger” and SHOW UP. Sit among the greatest, surround yourself with people you admire. You are enough. You belong.