Grit, passion and a little help, featuring Laura Webb
The saying goes that when it rains, it pours. For Laura Webb, a series of professional and family crises presented the most trying time of her life—but also a chance to learn what she was capable of and how resilient she could be. Her key lesson? Don’t try to take on everything by yourself, and know that this too shall pass.
Laura remembers the exact moment that nearly broke her. It was in the middle of the Great Recession. She had just moved into a new office space, having separated from her family’s insurance company, the markets were cratering, and her husband went into heart failure. Laura was suddenly in the position of running her business during one of the most volatile and uncertain times in recent history while caring for her husband, and on top of everything, managing his dental practice on her own. “Navigating that, finding the resources, was probably my biggest time of being resilient, of having hardship and then being resilient.”
Laura is reassuringly comforting about this perfect storm of events, though, noting she lives by the idea that “life is made up of storms and calm.” Recognizing that calm would eventually follow the storm helped her be more resilient.
What also helped? Laura wasn’t afraid to ask for help. She assembled a stellar team to take care of her clients and another one to save her husband’s practice. She also relied on her trusted network of professional colleagues and great personal friends, whom she affectionately calls her “posse” and “peeps,” all of whom provided support during this time of need.
So what’s her advice to others looking to be more resilient? Build a dream team and practice self-care.
Laura credits her much of her success to her personality. She describes herself as gritty and focused. she astutely notes.
You can’t navigate this industry, that is still a male-dominated business, without being a little gritty.
Additionally, Laura attributes her success to being a life-long learner. “There’s always something I can learn, and it can be of interest and help me do my job better,” she says.
Laura’s path to success has been full of lessons, of course. One of the most valuable lessons she learned was to “never be afraid to ask for help.” She admits to being a little prideful when she ventured off to start her own business, thinking she should find all of the answers on her own and avoid looking weak. “I think things would have happened faster had I been willing to ask questions.”
Never be afraid to ask for help.
Laura is paying forward her deep experience, drawing on her passion to help women in all areas of business. This is especially evident in her participation in the WomanUp initiative through the Asheville Chamber of Commerce, which aims to inspire, connect and support women in business.
The global pandemic has changed the way so many people do business, and it appears some of the changes are here to stay. For Laura, that means stepping out of her comfort zone to embrace social media and video, in particular, to connect with clients and the community. She’s also focused on next-generation succession planning and in building the brand of those who will eventually step into her shoes. In the meantime, Laura is still working diligently, feeling prepared to navigate the next storm if it comes.
Q+A with Laura
What is your hometown?
“Asheville, North Carolina.”
How long have you been in the financial services industry?
What’s your theme song?
“‘Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves’ by the Eurhythmics.”
What or who inspires you?
“Strong powerful women, specifically RBG and my 88-year-old mother who had to move into an assisted living/nursing facility on March 17, 2020.”
What are three charities close to your heart?
Follow along on social media with #RJWomen.