Breaking the Silence with Corielle Heath Laaspere
Meet Corielle, a serial entrepreneur and champion of female empowerment. Founder of liftUPlift, a global chamber of commerce for women-owned businesses and liftUPlift Worldwide, a global nonprofit dedicated to ending all forms of violence against women, Corielle is dedicated to ending all forms of violence against women and creating more space for them to flourish in business and in life.
Why do you do what you do?
In 2014, I met a young woman from India, who told me, "American women don't appreciate how much power they have. You are free to do whatever you want, and you should because not all women get to choose who they become."
She helped me realize that there is so much work still to do, to create a world where all women are free, and she made me ask myself if I was doing exactly what I wanted with my time and talent. The answer was no, so I quit my 9-to-5 job as the marketing director of a software company, and I embraced my life's greatest passion: empowering women and girls.
I am so proud to be a woman, and I believe that more Women Power is what the world needs now more than ever!
What is one thing you hope never changes?
This is a tough one...I love change and try to make change happen every day! The one exception is the town where I grew up, Frankfort, IL, which I hope will always be a safe, friendly, and empowering place to call home.
When do you feel most alive?
I feel 1000% alive when I'm exploring new and foreign places. I love to travel!
What are you really good at, but kind of embarrassed that you're so good at it?
I am an excellent PR specialist, but I'm not super proud of how good I am at spinning the truth. I can definitely help your brand recover from any crisis, but I won't brag about it at the end of the day.
What's the hardest lesson you've had to learn?
During my first few years in business, like too many women entrepreneurs, I was working my butt off without earning a dime of personal income. I was funneling all my money into my companies, without paying myself, and soon enough, my savings were completely depleted. I was forced to acknowledge that staying in business and paying myself a reasonable salary were one in the same thing.
To rebuild my savings, I took on a part-time desk job and a few side gigs. This also bought me time to reorganize my companies and find a way to start paying myself. It was a painful adjustment, however necessary, but it left me in an infinitely more comfortable and sustainable position as a business owner.
What's the title of the current chapter of your life?
"Breaking the Silence" -- When I was a college student, I became a trained sexual violence prevention educator through an amazing student-run program called “Break The Silence.” Last year, through liftUPlift Worldwide 501(c)3, I adapted "Break The Silence" trainings for the general public, because it has never been more important for each of us to recognize sexual violence and take effective steps to intervene or get help. Educating and empowering Prevention Allies everywhere is my #1 priority in 2018!
Be sure to follow Corielle and liftUPlift all over the internet.