About Our Guest- Lauren Ramsey – Finding Success Through Gratitude & Perspective-Shifts

Lauren Ramsey is an experience-seeker with an insatiable curiosity of people, places and things with a desire to experience the world around herself. Lauren spent many years in the technology industry solving problems and creating strategies. Over a multi-decade career she amassed a great deal of skills and learned from amazing leaders, eventually leaving the corporate world to step out on her own, back to independence. For the past few years Lauren has found herself in the world of entrepreneurship learning more lessons, meeting more people and experiencing more places, continuing to grow..

Full Podcast Transcription

Lauren Ramsey 00:00
When things feel really hard with some of our companies, you know, what I try to guide them for is this is just the experience that you’re having right now. And I start talking through what are the positives of the experience that they’re having, you know, so yes, this feels really hard. But Gosh, if you weren’t doing this, you would never have learned x, right. So it’s sort of using what they’re feeling right now and flipping it to a positive slant.

Diva Nagula 00:27
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of from doctor to patient. I have Lauren Ramsay joining us today she is an experienced seeker with an insatiable curiosity of people places and things. With a desire to experience the world around herself. Lauren spent many years in the technology industry solving problems and creating strategies. Over a multi decade career. She amassed a great deal of skills and learn from amazing leaders, eventually leaving the corporate world to step out on our own back to independence. For the past few years, Lauren has found herself in the world of entrepreneurship, learning more lessons, meeting more people and experiencing more places continuing to grow. Lauren, welcome. Thank you for being on our show today. Thank you, I appreciate it. Well, tell us what you do and how you got into the line of work that you’re doing.

Lauren Ramsey 01:33
Yeah, so I left corporate America back at the end of 2016. Actually, my husband and I invested in a business, we bought into a restaurant franchise, and then spent some time developing that idea. And in the course of doing that, and we’re diversifying at that point, because my husband also worked for the same company that I left. And so we figured one of us needs to kind of go out and do something different. And so we invested in this restaurant franchise, and unfortunately, that franchise ended up getting purchased by a third party, and you know, during a sale like that, you you’re, you don’t get access to who that’s gonna be. And so we kind of held on it. And actually, we are still holding on it. And I guess to some degree, I’m kind of excited about that, and feel like that was a good decision. Now fast forward, you know, three years, and we’re in a pandemic, and the restaurant industry is not doing as well, but we still own the rights to it. It’s a healthy fast food restaurant out of Arizona. And, but in the course of that year, you know, of developing that idea and looking for locations and stuff, I found myself, you know, someone who had been in corporate America, which is really, you know, high energy, you know, environment where I learned a ton and, it was just, you know, a 60 hour a week job, I found myself really missing, like business discussions like and I’d say to my husband, what did you talk about today? Because I’m just I’m like yearning for, some of those, types of discussion of just really missing it. And he said, Well, maybe you should consider, you know, maybe finding something to do while we’re developing this idea. And so I started doing some consulting, and I went to work for a small food startup that was based out of Atlanta. And that ended up being something that was just was really appealing to me in a variety of ways, super high energy, it really requires folks who have a lot of ability to execute and who understand strategy and who can pivot very quickly. And it can be very adaptable. And I just found that that environment really served me well. And it made me feel actually like what I felt like when I first went into the technology field. And so it just really, really worked for me, and, I spent some time there for a few years. And then now I find myself I working for a venture firm here in Atlanta, small boutique firm, where I get a lot of opportunity. I’m an equity partner with the firm, and I get a lot of opportunity to work with small early stage companies, who are looking for revenue opportunities, who are looking for introductions to potential financial partners. And so it’s a really good place for me. And I find that, you know, those business discussions that I was really missing and seeking, I have those now.

Diva Nagula 04:21
Oh, that’s awesome. So it’s Yeah, I guess it’s sort of a consultant essentially?

Lauren Ramsey 04:27
Yeah, absolutely. You know, it’s the opportunity to kind of look inside other other businesses and really, you know, from every industry and sort of help them understand, you know, where they are, where they may be stuck, where they may have some weaknesses, where their strengths really are, and help them you know, sort of, you know, position themselves properly. So it’s a lot of fun. I get to work with really intelligent, smart people, and I’ve just, I’ve amassed a great deal of a network and doing this type of work. And, I really appreciate that. I love to learn from Other people, so this is just a really good opportunity to do that.

Diva Nagula 05:03
Right. And I guess that’s kind of where your skill set comes in is from your, your wealth of knowledge from your own personal life and from the people that you’ve amassed is knowledge from?

Lauren Ramsey 05:12
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, as you stated, in my bio, I am what I would consider an experience seeker. And, and I look at that, I mean, I look at my whole life, by the way, as sort of, and this is sort of my philosophy on life is that, you know, it’s just this myriad of experiences that occur, like on a daily basis, you know, it’s, it’s everything you’ve done in your past, and it’s everything that you’re going to do in your future, all these like, little, like, unique moments, and that, you know, all mass, they’re this large collection, and it all of it is basically it’s your human existence, right? It’s your human experience. And so that’s kind of how I look at my life. And being able to work with all these different companies, and all these different individuals really feeds that sort of business and professional side of my life. And so it really does work well for me.

Diva Nagula 06:06
And when people seek you out, and they consult for your services, I mean, what are they
engaging in, when they have a discussion and utilize your services?

Lauren Ramsey 06:16
Yeah, a lot of times, it’s, you know, they’re, again, they’re typically fairly early stage companies, and they’re really looking for guidance, you know, I think the hardest thing about, you know, being a business owner, and, you know, it feels like right now, in the past decade, it feels like, there’s been a lot of folks who have entered the field of entrepreneurship. And, you know, the hardest thing about is a very lonely place. And, being able to tap into networks, whether those or other people’s networks or networks that you’ve created on your own is incredibly important, right? Because those are the people that are going to be helped are gonna be able to help you advance your business in one way or another. And, you know, the small companies, they come to us because they’re seeking, a leg up, if you will, you know, so they may come to us and say, you know, we really feel like we can increase our revenue opportunity if we just had a contact here. And what’s interesting about our firm is that we have a lot of contacts within the C suite have a lot of fortune, you know, 100, 500, 1000 companies, you know, and so we’re able to make those connections for them.

Diva Nagula 07:27
Yeah and that’s, you know, what really can help jumpstart their business with people like yourselves who have that experience. And that knowledge, and that’s what sometimes these these entrepreneurs are lacking is, is someone who has that experience that can guide them, you know, in that nice path of entrepreneurship that’s waiting for them to traverse.

Lauren Ramsey 07:47
Yeah, exactly. And, you know, it’s funny, because I would not have recognized honestly, that being a networker is a skill set. But the reality is, that is a skill that is developed over time. And, you know, until I stepped away from corporate America, and kind of was in the startup world, I don’t think I realized, also what a network I had a mask during that time. When I was in corporate America, I worked in several different business units, one of which was like, at once one enterprise, I spent, I don’t know, probably 10 years or more in the enterprise space working with, you know, large companies like Bank of America, Home Depot, you know, SunTrust, you name it UPS, Merck, you know, across all these different industries. And I guess, you know, according to my husband, anyway, I’ve just been very good at keeping in contact with people. And obviously, we have tools now at our disposal, things like LinkedIn that make that a lot easier. But you know, over the course of a career, I have just, you know, created this network. And so to find myself with an opportunity like this, where I actually get to, you know, put people together, you know, for a mutually beneficial reason, you know, is a skill actually, and it’s it’s fun to do that it’s fun to be able to work with these smaller companies earlier companies and put them in contact with, you know, the folks that can really help them advance their businesses,

Diva Nagula 09:09
Right. And I guess it’s almost like what you’re doing is sort of like a mentorship, coaching kind
of thing, that you’re that you’re offering these folks?

Lauren Ramsey 09:17
Yeah, to some degree, you know, a lot of it is, you know, obviously, before we make those connections, there’s, you know, there’s a discussion that occurs that says, hey, we want you to be able to put yourself in the best position and to have the, you know, the riches conversation that you can have. And so there is a coaching aspect to it, for sure.

Diva Nagula 09:34
And I’m sure there’s a lot of themes that you you see with various entrepreneurs, what is like one of the top one to two themes that you see that people are seeking your guidance or actually not even knowing that they’re seeking your guidance for?

Lauren Ramsey 09:50
Yeah, a lot of it is in the realm of how do you find the right partner when you are seeking to raise capital. If you don’t come from, you know, the entrepreneur world, this is a really scary place, you know, this is, you know, how do I find somebody that would be interested in my business? You know, and what are they going to be asking for? I mean, I think, you know, a lot of people have been watching Shark Tank, like that. And so they see these, you know, these sharks? Yeah, you know, they’re like, I want, you know, you know, 60% of your business for 300 grand and da-da-da. And so, you know, while that’s exciting to watch on TV, it’s scary, what it actually comes to, you know, how do you want to position yourself? Or how do you want to structure your company? And what are you really seeking. And so you know, that that’s part of what we do is we just, we have a network of folks who, you know, are interested in, you know, being introduced to early stage companies. And so we sort of match them up.

Diva Nagula 10:58
I got it. And I guess you have an array of expertise, like, I mean, what is the specialization entail
through your network that you have with you?

Lauren Ramsey 11:08
Honestly, I think, you know, what I bring to the table is that I’ve worked across I think, every industry, I’ve had some insight into every industry. And so what that makes me I guess, is kind of a jack of all trades, if you will, you know, I know a little bit about every industry. Yeah, I know a little bit about everything. And, you know, as we mentioned, I’m intensely curious about things. So I’m a big time reader, I listen to a lot of podcasts, I do a lot of research, just out of curiosity. And so, you know, I think what I bring to a lot of these smaller companies is I’m looking across, you know, companies at every level, and I’m looking at every industry so I can bring to them, they may be looking at their business, they may have a business model, right, that they have developed. And I may say, wow, that’s super interesting. Have you ever thought about pivoting in this way, because I know that this particular industry, or this particular company has been trying to solve for that. And you actually have a solution that’s sort of aligned. So it’s kind of like, you know, it’s basically bringing some some guidance and advisement. You know, a lot of times when you’re an entrepreneur, you don’t necessarily have a ton of time on your hands, because you’re running a business. So having somebody that you can talk to you or you can provide that guidance to you about, what’s happening in other industries, I think it’s super helpful.

Diva Nagula 12:31
Right. And with this particular approach that you use, I mean, I’m sure that it’s not only about business, but it’s, I guess, there’s also some specific appreciation for what you have, and not really focus on what you don’t have. And I believe that there’s also a mention of how you use gratitude to support your perspective and your approach.

Lauren Ramsey 12:52
Yeah, like I mentioned, you know, I am, I consider myself somebody who uses experience as really the lens of how I look at everything. And experience is a way in which you have this, or at least for me, it’s just sets of perspective, right? So, you know, when things feel really hard with some of our companies, what I try to guide them for is, this is just the experience that you’re having right now. This isn’t what the experience is going to be forever. But in this moment, this feels really hard, or this feels very uncomfortable to you. And so what I try to do is sort of flip their perspective. And I start talking through what are the positives, you know, experience that they’re having, you know, so yes, this feels really hard. But Gosh, if you weren’t doing this, you would never have learned x, right? If you weren’t going through this, right now, when you get on the other side of this, you’re going to recognize how hard this was, and you’re going to have this skill, and no one can ever take that away from you. So it’s sort of flipping you know, it’s sort of using, you know, the sort of what they’re feeling right now and flipping it to a positive slant, and I do that not only with, you know, the clients that I work with, but I do it with my family, and I have four kids. And, you know, it’s about like, let’s take, for example, we just started virtual school here in Atlanta a couple weeks ago. And this is hard for them, right? This is uncomfortable to them. But what we talk about is, yes, I recognize that, but let’s be super grateful for the fact that one, you have a device that you can use, you have internet service, you have the ability to communicate with your teachers, you have a learning opportunity, so we kind of talk through all the positives that are coming out of the situation that they’re having now. So I use it in my family, I use it in my personal life, and I use it with my clients.

Diva Nagula 14:46
It’s so important. I think gratitude is something that should be practiced by everybody. And it’s actually been shown in literature and research, that it actually releases positive hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain, and it’s Almost like the equivalent of having a dopamine hit, you know,

Lauren Ramsey 15:03 oh yeah!

Diva Nagula 15:03
When you express gratitude, it’s the equivalent of getting that dopamine hit. So it’s, it can be very addictive, but in a positive way, because it really releases positivity. And it shows you that you should be more appreciative for what you have and not what you don’t have or what you lack.

Lauren Ramsey 15:18 Right.

Diva Nagula 15:18
It’s a great tool to really impress upon not only people who are just getting into the stages of entrepreneurship, but also to children. And that’s what you’re doing currently is also using those perspectives for your family as well.

Lauren Ramsey 15:33
Yeah, I mean, I think I agree with you, by the way, everything that you said is that, I mean, when you practice gratitude, there’s so many different ways to do it, right? There is no perfect practice, there is no me, you, obviously, there are frameworks out there that you can follow. But ultimately, everybody sort of falls into what feels the most comfortable for them. I started my gratitude practice in a formal manner. Back in 1995, I believe, at the beginning of 1995, in 1994, my brother passed away unexpectedly, and it sent me down like a massive, massive, sort of just, you know, grief, I was just grief stricken, you know, I don’t even really remember 1994. And, you know, 1994 was huge, no, the baseball was on strike, there was no World Series, you know, and I don’t remember any of it. All I remember is feeling really sad. And I remember the moment that I actually, for the first time felt grateful for something and it was, you know, I remember getting up and I don’t know if you’ve ever lost anyone unexpectedly, but it just rips your heart out. And, and I remember waking up and every day I would wake up after he passed away. And it felt like I mean, it felt like a boot was like standing on my chest. And it was so heavy. And I remember this one morning, waking up and feeling that and I was alone, I was living in Cincinnati at the time by myself. And I remember waking up and feeling that way. And I remember walking into the bathroom, and like looking at myself in the mirror. And I didn’t recognize the person that I saw. And I thought to myself, I literally thought to myself, you are dying, like you’re dying. And I remember thinking this cannot continue. And I went and sat on the edge of the bed and had this big window that was in front of the bed, I remember looking up, and I could see the sun. And I can feel the warmth of the sun. And I thought this feels really good to me, like this feels really good. And it was like that one sort of glimpse of hope, in that moment. And I felt very grateful for it that, you know, from that moment forward, I said, I need to move in that direction, right, I need to move in that direction, because this feels good. And everything else feels like crap. And I literally started very, very simply by just writing down little tiny things that I was grateful for, you know, sometimes it was just getting out of bed, sometimes it was maybe the color was returning to my face, whatever it was. And so it started out sort of in an informal way. But eventually, I moved into a more structured gratitude practice. And, and I would say that today, you know, here I am 25 years later, it is very innate to who I am. It is like part of my DNA, I wake up with gratitude, I go to bed with gratitude. I use it when when things are hard, you know, when I’m thinking man, this situation sucks. I think Yeah. However, I’m really excited to be able to have this experience, I’m excited that I have this opportunity. Because when I move past it, I’ll be glad that it’s over. You know, it’s just the little things, it’s again, it’s gratitude can be so helpful. And right now, you know, with everything that’s going on in the world, you know, this gratitude, you know, for the things that you can do, and things that you do have, I think is super important. But I also think as you are out in public, it’s super important that you acknowledge people and that you see people and that you also give gratitude and giving gratitude is so simple, right? It’s looking someone in the eye and saying thank you, you know, just acknowledgement. And so yeah, so I again, I’m a big, big believer in gratitude, and I use it, I think it’s sort of woven into everything that I do.

Diva Nagula 19:14
Right. And it’s so important. And I think that I mean, I’ve only been expressing gratitude on a regular basis, not even six months, and I can tell that things already definitely in transforming the way I look at things and the way how I appreciate what I have, and, and I appreciate the things that are given to me in my life. And, and it really makes me feel I don’t really have those negative thoughts that I used to know no longer compare myself to other people and say to myself, I wish I had what that person had I wish I could be more like him or her. those thoughts don’t don’t really come across my mind anymore. And I think it’s because I’m not I think I know it’s because I express gratitude on a regular basis.

Lauren Ramsey 19:55
Yeah, I mean, you know it again, it’s super important as you you know, because again, it’s like a dopamine hit, right. But it again, it’s about changing the perspective and something does sort of comfort you when you are being grateful. And we do in our house. So two of our children are our children and two of our children are our nieces. And we are raising them, and they have not had what I would consider yet an easy time, you know, and they came to us a few years ago, we were already kind of raising them as a village. But now we are raising them full time. And you know, they, they have a tendency to, you know, kind of go down a negative path at times, and I say to them, I say yes, I recognize that you feel this way. However, we can also feel this, we can also just be glad that we have a bed to sleep in. Or we can also be glad that we have a pair of shoes to put on our feet, you know, so I recognize that, you’re missing a parent. However, we can also be grateful for the time that we had the parent, so it’s, you know, we’re working really hard because what I would love, and I think my measure of success as a parent will be if when these kids are older, and they’re hopefully productive humans out in the real world. If gratitude is again, just like it’s part of my DNA, it’s a part of theirs.

Diva Nagula 21:19
In addition to gratitude, and I know when you speak to your clients and even to other people and family members, you know, you probably live by specific quotes and mantras. Can you share any of those?

Lauren Ramsey 22:27
I have so many Yes. So I have one that I use a lot. And it’s it thick, I almost think about it so often that I kind of giggle when I think about it. And one of the quotes that goes through my head a lot is “a mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” And that’s Oliver Wendell Holmes, I can’t take credit for that. And to me, what that means is that, you know, I think this feeds off my, I’m just intensely curious, you know, it’s just that, you know, once you experience something for the first time, you could never not, you know, you can never un-experience it and so you’re just constantly expanding, and your mind is constantly growing. So that kind of goes through my head quite a bit. The other one that I use, that’s like, our personal motivation, is “it’s never too late to be what you may have been.” And that’s George Eliot. And, and I’ve used that when Gosh, so many times, you know, when I feel fear, or when I have a tendency to put myself through a lot of hard physical challenges, I like to do a lot of endurance sports. So that one tends to tends to go through my head a lot, when I’m thinking about like, this is really hard, or I want to stop running, or whatever, I think, Oh, you know, it’s never too late to be what you may have been just keep moving forward. So, so those are two that kind of like, go through my head. And I have another one that I use, I borrow from Oprah, which is “turn your wounds into wisdom.” Yeah, so it’s sort of like, you know, acknowledging your pain, and then you know, doing something positive with it.

Diva Nagula 24:03
You know, and then this also comes to mind about what entrepreneurs go through. And it’s just kind of specific to me, because this is something that I’ve always had struggles with just as a physician, and it’s learning to really live in the present moment. And I have always had issues with that simply because as physicians, we’re trained never to really look at the present moment, we’re always trained to look at the future. And when you apply to medical school from college, it’s always about looking for the future seat in school. And then when we’re in school, we’re always taking standardized tests, preparing ourselves for residency. And the same cycle continues until we finally get to a position where we have a job. And then we’re sitting there for a job and then we’re almost stuck in this in this new cycle where it’s like, Okay, what am I waiting for? Because I don’t know how to enjoy what I have, because I’m always looking for the next thing. And so how do you how do you coach your clients or family members, on how to stay in the present moment, and enjoy the present moment?

Lauren Ramsey 25:01
Yeah, that’s a great, you know, it’s a really great question. Um, I’m trying to think if I really, if I actually coach people in that. And I don’t know, if I necessarily coach them on how to be present, I, you know, it’s, it’s hard when people are going through sort of the journey you just explained and, and asking them to stop and smell the roses, right, it’s really hard for them to think, Oh, I need to just take a moment and acknowledge where I am. So I don’t know that I specifically coach my clients that way, I would say that, you know, probably, as a parent, I spend more time thinking about that for myself. And, for my kids, because, you know, if you if you go back to March, when, you know, the world was still sort of sort of normal, what we knew normal was, you know, everybody was kind of, you know, on schedules and doing this and doing that, we were all talking about how important it was to try and be present, you know, on a day to day basis, and then all of a sudden, everybody’s you know, under a shelter in place. And all of a sudden, you are very present, you all of a sudden, when all of that, you know, to some degree noise has been extracted from your life, you suddenly become very present, right. And I would say that for me, the way that I look at being present is it kind of goes back to this going back and looking at life through the lens of experience is that, you know, every day, it can feel very ordinary, you know, because we do the same thing kind of on a daily basis, you know, you get up, you do your gratitude practice, you make your bed, you brush your teeth, you know, and you get into these routines, and you forget to acknowledge sort of the unique moments that are occurring. I truly believe that everything I did yesterday is completely different than I did today, even though I might be doing the same things. And it’s because I’ll take a moment and just kind of look around and acknowledge the differences. You know, there’s another mantra that I like, which is to “see each day through the eyes of a child” you know, because as a child, everything’s new and different to you. And as an adult, it’s sometimes it’s the same old, same old, right, so I just really, you know, I’ll give you an example. Because I may not be explaining it that well. But, you know, I go to the grocery store a lot as a parent. And because we talked about where I’m from, you know exactly what grocery store, probably that I go to, but I go to the grocery store a lot as a parent, and you know, a lot of times I’m in a hurry, right, or I’m in a rush. And you know, what I do in there is I run in there, I can feel myself kind of feeling fairly tense or whatever, but I will literally force myself to kind of stop at a grocery store and look around and acknowledge what’s happening. Because I want to, you know, to recognize that this time, when I go to the grocery store was different than the last time I went to the grocery store, and I’ll just look at things, you know, like, Wow, look at the beautiful, you know, color of the red and that Apple or, wow, that woman over there looks like she’s having a bad day, or that guy over there is having a great day. And it’s just that sort of like, mindful, you know, mindful moment of silence, like take slow down, take a minute, and then just observe what’s happening around you. And in so doing that it changes it right, it changes it. So it wasn’t like the experience you had the last time, you know, so you’re giving yourself this opportunity to kind of have a different perspective. I don’t know if that really answers your question. But that’s how I do it, you know?

Diva Nagula 28:23
Yeah. And I think that’s really important. I mean, I think it’s really important is to also learn to appreciate things from not only your perspective, but from the lens of another person’s perspective, exactly, that it really allows us to be more empathetic. And, you know, when we shift our reality to say, Okay, well, you know, I’m looking at this perspective, and it might be in an argumentative situation, and or debate. And then when you finally look at it from the other person’s lens, it just makes things a little bit easier and lighter, and doesn’t seem to be as much animosity, you know, and it makes things more relatable. And I think that’s what it’s really all about is how can we find connection and viewing things from other people’s perspective enhances that?

Lauren Ramsey 29:06
Oh, absolutely. And if we go back to the discussion on gratitude, you know, I mean, the thing is, is like, when you are being grateful, or when you are being appreciative of other people, so, you know, to me appreciation is sort of the, the action of gratitude, right? It’s the appreciation of something or someone else, when you’re doing that it’s very difficult for the person who is the recipient of that, to still be, you know, uptight or frustrated or whatever, right, it diffuses the situation. And I do think that when you’re, you know, let’s go back to this grocery store example, right, you’re in the grocery store, and you’re the one that is feeling very grateful. It’s contagious, you know, I mean, it’s like, you feel like you said, you’re getting this dopamine hit, you know, which is calming you, but it’s also sort of coming out of you, your tie, and it’s really hard for people when you’re very calm, and they’re agitated, it’s hard for them to stay agitated.

Diva Nagula 29:59
It’s very It’s hard to be mad when someone has that positive attitude and an effect that’s just
displaying all over you.

Lauren Ramsey 30:05
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah.

Diva Nagula 30:08
Well, Lauren, it’s been really awesome to chat with you. And how are people able to find more
about you?

Lauren Ramsey 30:15
Yes. So you can find me on social I have a I guess my Instagram is @experiencesareeverything. And I have a website, which is also www.experiencesareeverything.com And then I also have a podcast coming out, It’s called Experiences are Everything. Yeah. Do you like my branding is like very consistent. But the podcast is coming out exclusively on an app called BYLR Radio that stands for build your life resume radio, and that should be launching actually at the end of this month.

Diva Nagula 30:51
Well, fantastic. Well, thanks so much for being a guest on our show.

Lauren Ramsey 30:56
Thank you so much. I appreciate it.