Skip to content

Female Disruptors: Laura Lorta Co-Founder of BellaValiente On The Three Things You Need To Shake Up Your Industry

An Interview With Candice Georgiadis

This is not an exact quote but, some of the best advice I’ve gotten is that fearlessness isn’t something to aspire to because fear will always be something to deal with. Instead, we should aspire to do things that scare us, in spite of that fear. Leaving the teaching profession, launching a new business — these were not things that I did fearlessly. I’ve never been afraid of change, but the magnitude of these changes was scary because their outcome would affect my family. I did them anyway and I have no regrets.

As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Laura Lorta, Co-Founder of BellaValiente.

Laura is a teacher-turned writer, with a passion for helping others be the best version of themselves. She launched her professional copywriting career in 2017 and teamed up with her accountability partner to create BellaValiente, a goal achievement coaching service that helps women from all walks of life to accomplish their goals. When she’s not writing, you can find her spending time with her husband and two kids.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

In the words of Marie Forleo (who I would absolutely love to work with one day), I am a multi-passionate entrepreneur. By the time I was 25, I’d already had so many jobs that I was losing count, and it wasn’t because of a lack of commitment — I’ve just always been interested in different things and want to try them all. It’s also been clear to me from a young age that I didn’t want to work a “regular” job, but rather work for myself.

The career path I’m on now started because of my desire to pursue so many dreams. I would get started with one, then get distracted or lose interest and move on to something else, eventually chasing too many goals and never actually accomplishing any of them. My partner and friend, Ashley Durden, and I became accountability partners. We would read books on topics that we needed to work on (time management, goal setting, boundaries, etc.), and discuss them weekly, also holding each other accountable to whatever steps we said we’d take to work towards our goals. Eventually, we came up with a system to set and track our goals and stay hyper-focused on them for a certain period of time, and things just started clicking! We made so much progress and were both able to quit our “regular” jobs to pursue our dream business ventures full-time.

BellaValiente was born out of our desire to take what worked for us — having an accountability partner, working on our personal growth, setting and tracking our goals — and share it with as many women as possible.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

At BellaValiente, we’re changing the way women do personal development. One of the biggest frustrations Ashley and I would come up against was lacking tools and resources to put everything we were learning from the books we were reading into practice. The tools and resources existed — workbooks, conferences, VIP groups — but they cost hundreds of dollars that we just didn’t have the luxury of spending.

We’ve created a way for women who are working on themselves to be a part of a community, receive guidance, and use a tool specifically designed to help them keep track of their goals and stay motivated daily to work towards them. Our BellaValiente Goal Setter is the only product of its kind (as of this writing). It’s a planner, notebook, affirmation-holder and vision board all in one, cute package, and our community membership is cheaper than your Netflix subscription. The price doesn’t mean a lesser quality, either. We believe so much in our process and product that we know we’ll grow our community over time, and we’ll make our money through volume, not by outrageous prices.

It’s worth mentioning here that we aren’t throwing shade at the authors, life coaches, and professional speakers that charge higher rates for their services. We have the utmost respect for the people who we have learned so much from. We just want to offer an alternative for the everyday woman who has dreams she wants to make a reality, needs help and guidance doing so, and doesn’t have the financial means to pay for traditional coaching.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

The funniest mistake I’ve made was actually recently on social media. We’d planned to announce the winner of our raffle on Facebook Live — but neither Ashley nor I had ever done a live stream before, much less using a business page. (Note to all the new entrepreneurs read this — test your platform before any scheduled event!) I was supposed to start our stream and had planned to log on 15 minutes before we were set to go live to test things out, but as luck would have it, everything leading up to the live stream time was going wrong and I was only able to log on about 5 minutes before. The level of panic that I felt when I couldn’t figure out how to add my partner into the live stream can hardly be described. We did eventually figure it out, but we didn’t get the amount of people watching that we’d hoped for because we started so late. It’s funny to think about now, but it was a sweat-inducing level of stress!

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

I’ve only met one of the women who I consider a mentor, but there are three of them.

Marie Forleo, author of Everything is Figureoutable, helped me accept and embrace my multi-passionate nature. She showed me that it’s OK to want to pursue more than one career and that it doesn’t make me weird or wrong. In fact, it’s my superpower.

Luvvie Ajayi Jones, author of Professional Troublemaker — The Fear Fighter Manual, and I’m Judging You — The Do Better Manual, has helped me to be unapologetic about who I am. She has inspired me to do the things that feel scary, and to view that fear as a sign that I’m doing something important and necessary (unless it’s actually dangerous, then I should absolutely see the fear as a warning).

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

There are, of course, systems that have withstood the test of time — education and law & order being the first to come to my mind. In my opinion, children need to be in school to learn, and human beings in general need structure — rules and laws to follow to avoid chaos. However, as the world changes, those systems and the people in charge of them should change with it, and there’s a low level of disruption necessary to make that change happen. By that I mean that the system itself should stand, but the way in which its carried out should be fluid, evolving to meet the needs of the current population.

For example, classrooms today can’t look the way they did 50 years ago, when students sat in rows of desks and listened to the teacher talk all day. Humanity has evolved, and children’s learning experience should be centered around their preferred learning method, which is through play and socialization. Classrooms today need movement and diverse methods of both instruction and assessment.

The law-and-order system today can’t be the same as it was 50 years ago. The world looks completely different today than it did then, and laws that were in place half a century ago simply don’t make sense for humanity as it stands in 2021. Again, humans have evolved, and we now know that the color of a person’s skin shouldn’t be a factor in the opportunities they’re afforded, just like their sexual preference and religious beliefs shouldn’t be either. We need laws to follow, but they should reflect our needs as a society now.

Both the way things are done in classrooms and the way things are done in courtrooms have evolved all thanks to the disruptors of the world, who were willing to speak up about the changes they felt were necessary to move humanity forward. They were so disruptive, in fact, that they got enough people to agree with them to put those changes into action. That kind of disruption will always be necessary and, in my opinion, always be a positive thing.

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

This is not an exact quote but, some of the best advice I’ve gotten is that fearlessness isn’t something to aspire to because fear will always be something to deal with. Instead, we should aspire to do things that scare us, in spite of that fear. Leaving the teaching profession, launching a new business — these were not things that I did fearlessly. I’ve never been afraid of change, but the magnitude of these changes was scary because their outcome would affect my family. I did them anyway and I have no regrets.

In a similar vein, I’ve heard from many people that real change happens outside of our comfort zone. This is something that I always keep in mind because my goal is to constantly grow and evolve, and that can’t happen without change.

Finally, a piece of advice I got from a fellow teacher that has stuck with me is “the work will be there tomorrow.” When you find something a job that you’re passionate about, it’s tempting to work around the clock. It’s important to nurture other areas of your life — your relationships, your health — so that you can still be at your best to do the job you love, and just to live a more well-rounded life. I try to manage my time so that I’m not always working — although my kids will tell you I could be doing better at it.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

Hopefully, what’s next is that I’ll be a published author! I’m working on a book to help career switchers find a job that not only pays the bills, but that also fills them up with joy and purpose. In our country, we are super obsessed with higher education, and as a former teacher I see the value in going to college, but I believe that the real learnings happen beyond the walls of the lecture hall, and we don’t necessarily have to find a job that aligns with our field of study (unless you’re going to be a doctor or a lawyer — those jobs definitely need formal education in their specific field).

My book will give people actionable steps to find a job that marries their skills, education and interests, and if they find that the job they want doesn’t exist, then they’ll be given the steps to answer the call to create it.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by ‘women disruptors’ that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?

Let me preface this by saying that I know many men who are courageous disruptors, fighting to leave the world a little better than they found it. The disparities between men and women go too far back in history to blame the current generation of men, especially when they acknowledge the inequalities between genders and use their platforms to raise awareness and make a positive impact. That said, when a male encounters something that he doesn’t like and takes a stand against it, he’s seen as courageous and brave, while a woman who does the same is viewed as difficult. Since women’s rights have evolved so much, society expects us to be happy with where we are, simply because we used to have it so much worse. The fact that we strive for more equality and have the audacity to believe we deserve it can be viewed as greedy, when we are simply demanding to have what’s rightfully ours.

Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?

The Marie Forelo Podcast is one that I can’t recommend enough. Oftentimes, we talk ourselves out of pursuing our dreams because we don’t think the world needs another writer, life coach, mentor — whatever your dream may be. One of the things Marie says at the end of every podcast is that we should keep going for our dreams because the world needs that very special thing that only WE have, which is ourselves. Listening to her episodes reminds me that even though there are people who have done what we’re doing at BellaValiente — offering coaching and accountability — no one has done it the way that we are doing it. It reminds me that what we’re doing is necessary and that we have a responsibility to keep going so that we can help as many women as possible to be the best version of themselves.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Right now self-care is really popular, but if I could inspire any movement, it would be that each person prioritizes their mental and physical health. It sounds a bit naïve, but I believe that if we were healthier and happier in our own lives, we’d move differently in the world. We would be kinder, friendlier, more willing to help, and that would make the world a much better place.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.” — Marianne Williamson

The first time I heard this quote was in a movie starring Samuel L. Jackson, called Coach Carter. I’m going to age myself here but I was in 10th grade when I watched it, and this quote has been a constant presence in my life ever since. It serves as a reminder that the things that scare me the most are the things that I should pursue the hardest because it means that they’re going to be the most impactful.

How can our readers follow you online?

You can follow BellaValiente on Instagram, and you can follow me on my personal Instagram profile and read about my work on my website.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Female Disruptors: Laura Lorta Co-Founder of BellaValiente On The Three Things You Need To Shake Up… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.