Laura Casselman is an influential figure in the tech industry, making waves as the CEO of the acclaimed international company, JVZoo.com.
With a stellar track record of success, Laura has also co-founded Vidastreet and authored the Wall Street Journal Best Seller, “Trust Your Increments.” Throughout her career, Laura defied the odds, surpassing the challenges posed by the traditional “old boys club.”
She mastered their rules and consistently outperformed them at their own game, propelling herself to the top. Her remarkable achievements have garnered recognition and admiration from the business world.
Laura’s expertise has attracted widespread attention, leading to her work being published in reputable publications such as Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur, and SmartInsights. Her insights and thought leadership have inspired countless entrepreneurs and business professionals.
Under Laura’s visionary leadership, the companies she has directed achieved ex- traordinary growth and recognition. Mul- tiple appearances on the esteemed Inc. 5000 list of the Fastest Growing Companies in America exemplify her ability to drive success.
Furthermore, her outstanding contributions to the field have earned her prestigious accolades, including the CEO World Awards and The American Business Awards, honoring her exceptional leader- ship skills.
Laura Casselman stands as a role model for aspiring entrepreneurs, demonstrating that determination, resilience, and strategic thinking can break down barriers and lead to remarkable achievements in the tech industry. Her unwavering commitment to excellence continues to shape the future of the business landscape.
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Table of Contents
How do you navigate gender bias in business and what advice do you have for other women who experience gender bias in the workplace?
Laura Casselman: Gender bias remains an ongoing challenge in the business world, and I regularly encounter it. Recently, at one of the industry’s largest trade shows, I faced a recurring situation where men overlooked my company and assumed the man standing next to me was in charge.
However, upon my team’s clarification, these individuals would apologize for their assumption, ex- plaining that they had mistakenly believed I was the girlfriend or wife of the man they assumed held decision-making power. While disheartening, I have found ways to address this bias without resorting to blame or negativity.
In response to these scenarios, I often employ humor, referring to the man next to me as my “plus one.” This allows me to subtly address the underlying bias without directly confronting those responsible, as I believe maintaining positive business relationships is crucial for my goals.
Despite being appointed as CEO by a board consisting of educated men, I have noticed instances where individuals in lower positions overlook my authority and prefer to follow another man’s guidance.
Recognizing this pattern, I encourage fellow women to arm themselves with factual evidence to strengthen their opinions. By presenting well-supported arguments, we can ensure our voices are heard and our expertise acknowledged. Overcoming gender bias requires persistence and a commitment to challenging established norms.
As I continue on my journey, I aspire to inspire and empower other women to assert their presence and demonstrate their value in traditionally male-dominated industries. Together, we can work towards dismantling the barriers that hinder our progress and fostering a more inclusive and equitable business environment.
Which common misconceptions about being a CEO or executive would you like to address and clarify? Could you elaborate on your perspective?
Laura Casselman: When people envision a CEO, they often associate it with the glamorous position within a well-established, financially robust company. I must admit I have fallen into that mindset in the past.
However, it is essential to dispel this misconception by highlighting that according to statistics, a staggering 99% of all businesses in the US are actually small businesses, and globally 90% are small accounting for 50% of jobs. The US currently boasts over 70,000 startups, with a staggering 9 out of 10 failure rate.
When I initially assumed the role of CEO at JVZoo, we were still in the startup phase. Although we have successfully transitioned into the small business stage, my experience as a CEO has been far from glamorous. We have encountered every conceivable growing pain, including staffing shortages and overages, challenges with payment processing, navigating complex laws and regulations, and even legal disputes.
Our journey has demanded a blend of luck, relentless hard work, long hours, unwavering determination, the ability to adapt to an ever-evolving market swiftly. The truth is, being a CEO of a startup is an incredibly stressful and exhausting undertaking.
What guidance would you offer individuals aspiring to establish a prominent presence in their careers and ascend to executive positions?
Laura Casselman: To succeed in reaching executive levels, here are my key recommendations:
- Find balance by humbly learning from others while also confidently sharing innovative ideas.
- Be a problem solver who can offer multiple approaches to achieve goals.
- Consider switching companies if it allows for career advancement and growth.
- Maintain professionalism when transitioning by showing gratitude and leaving on good terms.
In your opinion, what is the primary obstacle that young or newer entrepreneurs are currently encountering?
Laura Casselman: One of the greatest challenges faced by young or new entrepreneurs today is the overwhelming influx of conflicting advice and guidance, particularly through social media and online advertisements.
The presence of fake gurus, self-proclaimed CEOs with limited success, and individuals who sell their fabricated expertise online have created confusion and misinformation. Unfortunately, these individuals often prioritize their own financial gains over genuinely helping aspiring entrepreneurs. To address this issue and support the success of others, I have made the decision to lower my consulting prices and offer coaching with a low monthly fee without long-term commitments.
I bring verifiable experience and firsthand knowledge of the entrepreneurial journey, having experienced both triumphs and setbacks. I recognize that implementing solutions and taking the next steps often requires time, especially for financially constrained startups.
It is my firm belief that there is ample room for everyone to thrive, and by providing genuine advice and guidance, we can diminish the influence of unscrupulous individuals who prey on deserving entrepreneurs. My aim is to contribute to a supportive entrepreneurial community where solid guidance is readily accessible, empowering individuals to seize real opportunities and pursue their dreams with confidence.
Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?
Laura Casselman: Definitely Reese Witherspoon. She’s southern, talented, an incredible businesswoman, and hella smart!
If you could hang out with any business leader in the world for a day, who would it be?
Laura Casselman: When it comes to business leaders I find inspiring, Alex and Leila Hormozi are among the top individuals I would love to spend time learning from.
Their accomplishments in a relatively short span of time have intrigued me. Yet, I am aware that their success is a result of years of hard work and dedication.
What impresses me the most is their ability to share valuable insights and knowledge on social media (as I mentioned earlier – there are a lot of fake gurus on social media.) The information they provide resonates with my own experiences and current experiments.
It’s evident that they are not just a passing trend; they are here to stay, building and growing their ventures for decades to come. Being able to learn from their expertise would be an incredible opportunity for personal and professional growth.
As the current CEO of one business, co-founder of another, and mother do you feel you’re able to achieve work/life balance?
Laura Casselman: I believe that the concept of work/life balance often perpetuates a sense of inadequacy, as it suggests we are constantly falling short in one area of our lives. Instead, I advocate for the idea of work/ life harmony, where it is possible to seamlessly transition between work and personal life.
As a CEO of an international company, I recognize that there are occasions when work demands my full attention beyond the traditional 9 am to 5 pm schedule. Similarly, I understand the importance of being present with my family, knowing that I can trust my capable team at work to handle ongoing projects without the need for constant micromanagement.
By establishing a strong foundation in both aspects of life and fostering trust in those I have hired and invited into my personal life, I can navigate the demands of my professional responsibilities while also enjoying quality time with my loved ones.
This approach allows for a sense of harmony, where work and personal life complement each other rather than competing for attention.
The power of an idea to inspire change should never be underestimated. What kind of movement would you envision that has the potential to bring substantial positive impact to a wide range of people?
Laura Casselman: I’d love to inspire a “happiness movement.” It is essential to take ownership of your own happiness. After all, no one else is responsible for YOUR happiness and yet, I’m constantly shocked by how many people don’t know what brings them joy in life.
If you are uncertain about what truly brings you joy and fulfillment in life, I encourage you to make it a top priority to explore and discover it. Once you have identified what truly makes you happy, find ways to incorporate it into your life regularly, ideally on a daily basis. I firmly believe that when individuals are happy, they excel in almost every aspect of their lives, and happiness has a remarkable ability to spread to others.
My conviction on this matter is so strong that I have dedicated an entire chapter of my book, “Trust Your Increments,” to delve into this important topic. By acknowledging the significance of personal happiness and actively pursuing it, you empower yourself to live a more fulfilling and satisfying life.
Remember, understanding what brings you joy is the first step, and integrating those elements into your daily routine will lead to a happier and more vibrant existence.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Laura Casselman for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Laura Casselman or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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