In Conversation with Lauren Armes: the Founder of Welltodo - a global platform for forward-thinking brands, entrepreneurs, and investors in the wellness industry. Our own Founder, Jas is an avid follower of Lauren's works and likens Welltodo to FinanceAsia / Mergermarket - her go-tos for business news in the industry.
Lauren is also a columnist at Women's Health UK and has been featured in multiple top publications including BBC and The Times.
"At heart, I’m just a small country-town girl from Australia – but when I was little, my Dad would say to me, “You’ve got bright lights in your eyes”. I think that’s why I ended up living in London all these years later.
At my core, I am constantly seeking greater self-realisation and my mission through my various business ventures is to help people realise more of themselves and the power that they have to create a truly meaningful life." - Lauren Armes
What are you busy with?
It’s kind of ironic that it has taken me such a long time to get to this interview – although I hate to say that I’m busy. Busy is never a good enough excuse in my opinion, because we choose to be as busy as we are today. In saying that, the last few years have been intense. I quit my corporate job about 3 years ago and it’s been go go go since then.
My typical day is now a lot more about managing my team than it was a year ago; when I was doing pretty much everything myself. Welltodo has grown a lot and I’m now able to delegate a lot more. So I’m on emails, reviewing projects, focusing on new business and creative elements of the brand. Every day is different but it pretty much always starts with some me-time to get my head in the game.
Do you use tools to support your day-to-day routines?
My calendar rules my day; so if it’s not in there, it’s not happening. That goes for everything from exercise and eating to planning sessions and meetings. I use Trello to manage my task list, lots of notebooks so I don’t forget things, and Unroll.me to keep my inbox comprehensible.
Would you call yourself a tech / wellness / creative / business / people person? What about Welltodo?
I’m definitely interested in all of those things, but the one that resonates the most is ‘people person’. Welltodo is build on a foundation of relationships, partnerships and community of like-minded people. I’ve only been successful because of the people who have helped, guided, supported, mentored and celebrated with me along the way. The rest (tech, creative etc) is pretty much outsourced to someone else on the team who is better at it than me.
Who or what continues to inspire you?
I read like a bookworm. If you ever read Matilda by Roald Dahl then you’ll know what I mean when I say: “I was Matilda” as a child. I used to read a lot more fiction, but now you’ll generally find me soaking up some personal development or business-focused text. I love Brendon Burchard, Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin, Mel Robbins, Jeff Olson, Gay Hendricks, and anything that challenges me to rewire old patterns of thinking that are holding me back.
In that sense, I’m inspired by concepts or strategies that can help me perform better and do well at life.
What is one thing in your life right now that you’d like to improve on?
Here’s the truth. My biggest growth area in the last year has revolved around my money mindset. As a woman in business, it’s not uncommon to find it challenging to make money AND do the thing you love. We have this and/or mentality – where we often think we have to choose between two great things.
I’m learning that I can have both. I’m learning that I choose the value of what our business offers, and that in the past, there have been many thought patterns that held me back (that I didn’t even know were there).
There are some great books about re-wiring your money story to accelerate growth and enable even greater impact in business and in life – and I’m enjoying reading them all right now. One of my favourites is by Jen Sincero and it’s called “You Are A Badass At Making Money”. Read it; you won’t regret it.
Share with us 3 of your favorite personal development / business books.
I beat you to it. I just mentioned the Jen Sincero book, but here are three more of of my recent favourites:
- The 5 Second Rule – Mel Robbins
- The Course of Love – Alain de Botton
- Presence – Amy Cuddy
If you had to name one female entrepreneur who you look up to, who would that be and why?
A dear friend and mentor, Sian Sutherland, who launched, grew and sold Mio Skincare. She’s the most upbeat, life-loving, energising, happy person you’ll ever meet. Her energy is electric and you know she’s walked into a room before you even see her.
I try to always think about the energy I bring to people, places and situations in business and in life, because I have a choice to make it high-impact and it’s got to be a conscious decision.
Business for me is about positive impact, on all the people around me – and Sian epitomises that in every way.
Do you see women limited by the traditional stereotypes?
Truth be told, I really don’t. That doesn’t mean it isn’t happening right in front of me. We can either live in victim-mode or we can take situations into our own hands.
That said, I am very conscious (and grateful) that I live in a country and society that supports women in business, and rarely feel part of a minority group.
We are products of our emotions, our thoughts, our habits, and our actions – so starting by looking at each of these and questioning any that support a victim mentality, is a great way to break through all sorts of barriers.
Having chaired multiple panel discussions and interviewed hundreds of successful entrepreneurs, what are some common trends you see in them?
Persistence, optimism, mastery of specific skill sets, confidence, and a consistent self-care practice. I also notice that every successful person I know is unapologetically themselves. That’s challenging when you break it down, but not impossible.
Share with us the most inspiring interview you’ve held.
Great question! Of the most inspiring interviews was with Daniel Lubetzky, the founder of KIND Snacks. He built a billion dollar business from literally nothing – and his father was a survivor of the holocaust. We hosted Daniel on our Founder Series panel, and he talked about the importance of generosity and giving back. His philanthropy work is hugely inspiring and I loved everything about the brand and business that he has built.
Do you still fear stepping on stage – and if so, any ‘rituals’ you practice to mental prep yourself?
Elizabeth Gilbert talks about fear in her book, Big Magic, in a way that really resonates with me. She says that fear will always be with you; you’ve just got to ensure it sits in the back seat as a passenger rather than in the driver’s seat directing you.
Speaking is still scary for me, but sometimes you’ve got to decide whether you want to be scared or have an impact. A quote I love is: “your dreams have to be bigger than your drama”, and so even though there are things you don’t want to do in life and business, if your dreams and goals are more significant and clear in your mind, then you won’t let anything get in the way.
From a practical standpoint… I always take some time in a quiet space (even if it’s a bathroom cubicle) before I get on stage, to take some big deep breaths.
Box breathing is a good strategy too: breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, breathe out for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds. Instant calming effects.
What advice would you give aspiring wellness entrepreneurs looking to get their business off the ground?
Visualise the life you want as a successful business owner and then expect it as if your life depended on it. This is something you cultivate over time, as it’s easy when you’re just getting started to want to see instant results. Dreams and goals are important, but if you don’t honestly expect to realise them, then you’ll give up pretty quickly.
Ask yourself: do you believe you can do this? Do you believe that you can have everything you’ve ever imagined for your life? If doubt creeps in, feel it, get real with it, explore it, don’t ignore it. Ask yourself why it’s there and what needs to change (usually thought patterns) to eradicate the doubt. Let it shape you and drive you to new levels of confidence and self-assurance. You are not your thoughts and you have more power to create your life than you ever realised.
What are some interesting businesses or startups that you’ve seen recently?
I see lots and lots of cool new businesses every day. Some of my favourites are Well Spoken (pioneering new standards in communication in wellness), By Chloe (for delicious vegan food), WelleCo (Elle Macpherson’s super green elixir) and Good Zing (a new tech company democratising natural remedies).
What do you think is the biggest trend in the Health, Fitness & Wellness scene that has changed over the past few years?
I really think that it’s the normalisation of wellness; which sounds kind of counterintuitive. But with all the hype has come backlash as well. And so I think the next, and most important development for the industry, is that people begin to see wellness as a normal part of life – rather than as good vs. all the “bad” habits.
Lauren will be hosting a panel of wellness entrepreneurs to share their industry insights, strategies to grow and challenges they've faced along the way.
"Every successful person I know is unapologetically themselves."
What is important to you? Are you being your authentic self and living your purpose? As always, feel free to drop us an email with your feedback and thoughts at [email protected]. We'd love to hear from you!