Featuring the Big Dreamers, Believers, Creatives and Entrepreneurs.
The Life Lovers, Spirit Seekers and Thought Leaders.
The Everyday Inspiring women who are creating change in the world in a small or BIG way through their vision, lifestyle, and business.
Today’s Change Maker is the oh so talented Lauren Abi-Hanna from the beautiful brand
Sol + Co.
Her photographs are incredible, capturing entrepreneurs in the most natural and fun way.
I believe Lauren is fast becoming one of the go-to photographers for entrepreneurs in Australia (I think I need to book myself a shoot stat)!
There were so many nuggets of wisdom throughout this interview, I was constantly saying YES or nodding my head smiling while reading it (I may have read it 3 times because I loved it so much).
I am so excited to share this woman and her talent with you and let her uplift and inspire you through her experiences + insights. Please welcome the gorgeous Lauren Abi-Hanna…
What does living an inspired lifestyle mean to you?
To always stay curious!
This is one of my personal life-long goals! Curiosity is the gift that keeps on giving! Curiosity entices you to travel, to make new friends, to learn a new skill, to take risks and I believe that incorporating these things into your lifestyle keeps things interesting. I get inspired by almost everything! The way my niece tells stories, learning about a new culture, finding an awesome new cafe. Being a visual person, even the pink clouds at twilight, evoke a sense of wonder and appreciation that inspire me.
How do you create change in your life and/or business?
Oh! Change, this one has become an interesting element in my business. I’ve come to realise that life is ALWAYS changing and my business was the biggest example of this. I often find myself updating my systems and process because I learn something new. The more I work with people and get an understanding of what they want, the clearer I become on how best to serve, which means I’m in a constant state of planing and changing. I think that the growth of my business is due to the fact that I am open to change, I’m willing to learn new things and then take action to implement them.
What challenges have you faced along the way?
I often say; “If you want to truly get to know yourself, then start your own business!” My entrepreneurial journey has been a really exciting one of ups, downs, twists and spins! Getting out of your own way is something I get reminded of time and time again. As soon as I developed a support system, outside of my immediate family, my business completely changed. Sometimes you just need to get out of your own head, step away from the computer and ask for help. It’s ok to ask for help! Actually, it’s necessary and really important!
When did you first know you were meant for something more and how did you take the leap?
I’ve always had a desire for something “more”, something “bigger than me” but I never really knew that that meant. It’s only been in the last 6 months that I’ve begun to feel what this could be for me and it’s really exciting!
It was this inkling that pushed me into the entrepreneurial world in the first place. I was working really hard at a photography portrait studio and I begun to get really frustrated with EVERYTHING. I was complaining about every little detail, but when I think back on it, it was just a huge sign that I was craving the choice to create my own lifestyle. I have always had a really strong work ethic and desire to “do more” and I wanted to be the one benefiting from all of my hard work. I was ready to step into uncomfortable and uncertain because I thought, “If not now, then when?” It was actually the fear of never giving it a go that drove me to take the leap.
If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
Oh! Another good one… When I think about the “Big Picture” I always come back to children. In my previous life (before my photography business) I was a preschool teacher for many years and I still have a passion for connecting with children. I think that we learn so much about ourselves by watching and listening to them. So, if I could change one thing in the world, I would put my thoughts and focus here. Children learn in completely different ways and I think it’s about time we begin to create a system that really listens to what children individually need. The old way of educating (sitting all day in a class room listening and writing) just doesn’t cut it anymore. Wouldn’t it be cool to learn about self-love in a lesson before they learn about algebra?
If you were to give one piece of advice to someone who is ready for more but holding back through fear of the unknown, what would it be?
I would say this; no one is ever truly ready! Confidence is learnt through trial and error and it really only begins to shine a light on success once you step out of your comfort zone. Begin by connecting with like-minded people! Honestly, having friends and mentors who know your dreams and goals, who can hold you accountable and offer advice when you get stuck is one of the most important things. You will never be able to know everything you need to but if you stay curious, you will know that you can and will figure it out!
What are your top 3 ways to stay inspired?
Take yourself to networking events. Meet and mingle with like-minded people. Women crave community and you can get a lot of inspiration through real connections.
Book a holiday – Evoke your curiosity in the world and see something you’ve never seen before!
Play – spend some quality time staying in the present moment. If I’m feeling sluggish, stuck or uninspired, I take a drive to my sisters and hang out with my three year old niece. She’s hilarious, creative, sweet and so much fun. She demands presence and it’s a big release for me to give that to her – laughing and being silly in the process.
What is one thing most people don’t know about you (it can be something fun, a fear, or something close to your heart – whatever you would like to share)?
[Some people may have figured this one out…]
My favourite author is Dr Seuss! His books are fabulous and even though they’re written for children, they are also full of insights for adults. I’ve had so many ah-ha moments and sparks of inspiration when reading them. He writes truth and honestly in such a creative way. If you simply google Dr Seuss quotes you’ll see this too. Reading them makes me happy. Here are a few of my favs;
“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There’s no one alive who is truer than you!”
“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
“ I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells…”
I absolutely loved connecting with Lauren and getting to know all of these beautiful insights into her life and business. A couple of my biggest takeaways were:
- I loved how Lauren spoke of living an inspired lifestyle as staying curious. When you have that mindset, you will always look at the world with wonder.
- How Lauren used her fear to propel her forward in the direction of her dreams – Gold!!
- Ohhh my gosh YES to children learning about self love before algebra!
- Annnndd the Dr Seuss quotes – love love LOVE
I’d love to hear what your biggest takeaways or inspirations were from Lauren’s interview? Please share away in the comments below.
Sol + Co strives to bring unique inspiration into your everyday life. We draw on our key values of connection, empowerment and grand adventure, to create authentic products and services.
Lauren is Sol + Co’s in house photographer who has worked with many entrepreneurs that aim to pursue and share their story.
Lauren combines her intuition with her unique style, empowering women to feel confident, prepared and excited to up-level their visual brand.