We had the good fortune of connecting with Laura Whitmore and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Laura, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Assessing and taking risks has played a huge role in my career. First of all I think the music business is inherently risky, but more specifically, leaving a steady job to start a business was probably the first big career risk I took. There was a lot of stress and hard work involved in making that business become successful. And over the years I learned to trust my instincts more and more. I often took risks that didn’t pan out, but those also helped me to learn that sometimes those missteps lead to some really great knowledge for the future. Most of all I think of risk taking as the only way to achieve big steps and to grow in any significant way. Don’t get me wrong, research, knowledge, hard work, team building and so many other things go into having a successful result as you take risks, but even so, sticking your neck out is the only way you can progress and achieve a new goal. Plus it’s exhilarating and never boring!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
The Women’s International Music Network was founded in 2012 to bring women in the industry together. It was my experience that many of us didn’t know each other and that we didn’t know the stories of other role models. Over the years we have grown into a large organization with our flagship event, the She Rocks Awards, as a focal point. It’s interesting because I didn’t start the organization with a business plan, or organized outlook. I just wanted to create a way for people to come together. So the organization grew very organically. But I won’t say that it was easy. The amount of time, planning, negotiating and effort that goes into making a difference is significant. But every time someone tells me how much it has meant to them that women’s stories are told, that we have created a new opportunity or that they have been inspired by our work, it makes all of it worthwhile. This organization relies on a lot of volunteers, and focusing everyone on working together to make change. Strong leadership and a vision is required, but so is a lot of legwork, and even politics. It’s been interesting and exciting to make a difference!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I don’t live in a city right now. I live in a small beach town called Onset, MA. It’s a great little out of the way town right near Cape Cod. For sure we’d spend a day or two right in Onset at the amazing town beach, eating at the local pizza place and walking by the bay. Day trips would include Plymouth, MA, which also has great beaches, tons of restaurants, and of course the historic Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth Rock, the Mayflower replica and many other historic areas. You can take a boat off the pier at night for a stargazing tour that is amazing. A drive out to the Cape Cod seashore is always fantastic…just watch out for sharks! Great towns are Orleans, Chadham, Falmouth. Book passage on a sailboat charter out of Falmouth for a great sunset sail. Or go all the way out to Provincetown for a day or two and take a whale watching cruise. You can also take a boat from Woods Hole to Martha’s Vineyard, which is gorgeous and peaceful. Near me is the Cape Cod canal. You can rent bikes in Buzzards Bay and ride the entire length on a bike path by the sea. When you get to the end there’s a fabulous beach called Scusset Beach. On a sunny day it’s a great adventure.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My partner, Brad, has been a great steadying influence. We work in the same industry and he has such a great way of looking at my challenges and opportunities from a different point of view. He helps me to examine the possibilities and to reach for exciting, new goals. I will also add that the book, ‘The Power of Nice,’ has had significant influence on my outlook in business and personally too. I’m a great believer in karma and this book helped me to realize that you can achieve a great deal in business while also helping others, being thoughtful and having a positive outlook.
Jim Belmont Diane Webb Kevin Graft