The Future of Women in Innovation with Lauren Imparato

The Future of Women in Innovation with Lauren Imparato

“Innovation is an industry, but innovation is also what creates our future. This is an amazing organization and I’m so happy to be working with an organization that works to help women along in innovative roles – so really, working toward true gender equality in the sphere that shapes all of our futures. And it’s pretty cool.” – Lauren Imparato

Why do stories matter to the innovation process? What values can be instilled in innovators who share stories? How do innovation leaders inspire creators to tell and share their success and failure stories?

We speak with Lauren Imparato, Co-CEO & Co-founder of The Association, Best-Selling author of the multi-country, multi-language best-selling book, RETOX , an advisor of a basket of consumer-touching companies including Women in Innovation as well as the former CEO and Founder of I.AM.YOU., a first-of-its-kind health/wellness/fitness businesses she successfully exited after 10 years. Lauren shares with us her career-long mission of becoming an innovator across all walks of life.

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 The Future of Women in Innovation with Lauren Imparato

Innovator. Entrepreneur. Author. World-Renowned Speaker.  

Raised in Northern California, Lauren Imparato travelled east to the classrooms of Princeton, and upon graduating, to the trading floor of Wall Street.  After stints starting businesses for the firm in London, Istanbul, and Latin America, Lauren quit her job as VP of Morgan Stanley Fixed Income in 2009 to self-start I.AM.YOU., a first-of-its-kind health, wellness, & fitness company, which she exited after ten years and writing a multi-country Best Selling book, RETOX (Penguin Random House, 2016)  

Lauren has become revered as one of the globe’s top entrepreneurship experts. She has led courses for ten thousand on the Great Lawn of Central Park, spoken to audiences of three thousand each in Times Square, Madrid, Barcelona, Panama, opening weekend in Ibiza, the Cannes Film Festival, and more.  Named one of the 100 “Women in Wellness” and Elle’s “This is 30,” Lauren has been profiled in over 500 outlets including Dr. Oz, CNN, WSJ, Vogue, Bloomberg, Fox Business, Entrepreneur, Success, SELF, New York Magazine, The Financial Times, New York Times, Marie Claire Spain, NY1 Television, TVE, BBC, The London Financial News, a full page profile in Life & Style, as well as the cover of Marie Claire. Her first blog was selected by tumblr as one of the world’s 15 best in the space and went viral naturally twice, and  since exiting her business, Lauren advises and consults entrepreneurs and companies on the nexus of business and brand strategies. She thrives on creating something out of nothing, and turning back-of-the-napkin ideas into reality, kids books included. She currently writes on Between the Waves and advises a portfolio of companies on brand and marketing.  She is also the founder of “The Association,” a first-of-its-kind global leadership community of elite, extraordinary women. 

Lauren holds an Intermediate Level Certificate from the International Wine Center and is fluent in three languages. She has been named the “Goddess of the Sun” in the Sakya Tradition of Tibetan yoga philosophy by Jetsun Luding, holds multiple wellness certifications, and a BA Cum Laude in Romance Languages and Literatures from Princeton University.

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Katie Taylor [00:00:04] Welcome to Untold Stories of Innovation, where we amplify untold stories of insight, impact and innovation powered by untold content. I’m your host, Katie Trauth Taylor. Our guest today is Lauren Imparato. She is founder and former CEO of AMMU, a 360 wellness lifestyle brand and fitness company, which she exited recently after 10 years of success of growth, profitability and innovation. Lauren is also the best selling author of the book, RETOX Yoga, Food and Attitude Healthy Solutions for Real Life. Lauren, I am so grateful to have you talk with us today about your experiences as a founder and an innovator as well as an advisor to other companies. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you very much for having me. So I love how you break down this idea of the impact this story has on innovation and create, live and perceive. There’s a lot of conversation out there about story living, meaning typically it’s defined as a brand trying to create an experience for a consumer that helps them feel as though that experience becomes a story and that they are part of that story or even that that story living is sort of part of our everyday lives. Now, we sort of imagine and envision certain stories about our lives. And we want the products, the services, the people who we interact with, the communities that we build to all kind of fit within those narratives about ourselves. Is that what you’re referring to when you say create, live and perceive?

Lauren Imparato [00:01:41] In a way, yes. But I think that what you mentioned really is focused on the living part. But I think that how a story is created affects not only how it’s lived, but how it’s perceived by the user, the consumer, the public, etc.. So I think that the other two prongs are actually really, really important and often forgotten about a lot of the time companies. And the first focused so much on the living of the story. They forget that the nuances of how it’s created actually matter.

Katie Taylor [00:02:13] Yes, yes. Well, as a content creator, of course, I am so passionate about what you’re referring to. Tell me more about your experiences as a founder and the ways that you were able to create a story around that. The brands, obviously, you’re an author as well, so you’re a natural storyteller.

Lauren Imparato [00:02:31] Well, you know, I think we often think that entrepreneurship or storytelling is one type of person or one type of company or one type of thing or another. I myself labeled myself as a non creative for many, many years. And it took me a long time to realize that storytelling and creativity comes from a lot of different angles. I was a literature, romance, languages, literature major in college, and then I went straight to Wall Street and worked on the trading floor. And there I helped start businesses in Turkey and Brazil and in the States and in London. And that was a lot of storytelling. It was figuring out how to take this one financial product of this one political movement or this one economic movement and tell a story that was the right story to tell for the firm and for the client. And that naturally translates, even if you don’t think about it as storytelling, innovation or entrepreneurship into other levels as well. So it kind of comes from within in a certain way. And I think that forced stories are generally, at the end of the day, perceived that they’re forced by the consumer or the customer snapping.

Katie Taylor [00:03:34] Now, I love those points. And I think your background is so interesting. Can you tell us about that moment where you left Wall Street in order to pursue your own company? What were some of your fears? Tell us about that part of your personal story.

Lauren Imparato [00:03:48] That was scary. I really never thought that I was going to do what I did to a certain point. I had really put my eye on getting really high up at the firm. And there was one particular woman there who always impressed me and I wanted to be like her. And I figured maybe when I was retired I would delve into wellness as a side project or the sorts. But I started to notice, to use your phrases, the stories being told around me and the stories we received around me about each person’s individual health and wellness. You have to remember that 12, 15 years ago there was not a health and wellness industry. The way there exists now just did not really exist to the magnitude, the size, the accessibility. And I started to teach and coach with certifications that had gone as a hobby. My colleagues and friends across the trading floor, across different cities, across all different industries. And it was there that I realized that in a way their story about how to be healthy was not really the reality. They had told themselves the story that health was difficult, complicated, yoga was new agey nutrition meant that you could only eat salad. And I went in and tried to shift that story. And in my free classes and teachers and coaching, I started to realize that this got a lot of momentum and over very short but quick, but long periods of time decided to quit this career. And I have to on the scariest days of my life, including the fact that for like the week before. Forehand, I just kept bringing out pairs and pairs of high heels that I had under my desk. And you go in with all those shoe that’s like the new shoe wardrobe coming.

Katie Taylor [00:05:28] Wow. I love that visual. But that’s one of your final memories of that phase of your career.

Lauren Imparato [00:05:35] That and wanting to puke. As I walked into my boss to tell me, I was to tell him I was quitting.

Katie Taylor [00:05:39] So what was the vision at that point? Can you take us on a journey? Obviously, it was scary. I remember when I quit my job as well to pursue entrepreneurship. It was a really scary conversation. But tell us, what did you have?

Lauren Imparato [00:05:54] And so what I had at that point at the time with the foundation that I had with yoga teacher training, I was a nutritional coach in training and I finished my official degree yet. But I had been experimenting with myself and colleagues who were very willing and kind and mindfulness training. And I had been doing this all for free on my weekend and my free time in the evenings. And I had been working on clients and consumers. I’d been teaching these free classes. So I had a foundation over many, many, many, many months and seemed almost like a petri dish. Let’s call it what would work and what didn’t work, what resonated and what didn’t resonate, what words jived and which pronouns actually turn people off. And as I was sitting there on the trading floor out at night with my friends who worked in Wall Street, I really came to realize that there was not a lunch for health and wellness that spoke to the type of a go-getter in the know, like someone that wants to work hard, play hard. They want to have a social life, a grooming career, and they want to be healthy. They want to go to that best restaurant, have that bottle of wine, but feel like a billion bucks the next day and succeed in all these different aspects of life. And that was really my portal was really a way or a lens or a toolkit of how to keep it together in modern life, which naturally translated into a book.

Katie Taylor [00:07:13] Yes, yes, absolutely, and it’s really built this incredible community of people who have that same vision and goals for their lives as well. I’m curious, you know, of course, you’re an author. You have a background as an English major. We have that in common as well. I’m curious to know now, these days when I look at your sort of public presence, you define yourself first as an innovator. And I agree. And I think there are a lot of people in the health of the wellness space who maybe don’t put that as their very first, you know, tagline or the thing that defines them most. Why do you choose to call yourself an innovator?

Lauren Imparato [00:07:54] You know, to be honest, a lot of people were calling me an innovator and I didn’t feel it, but I realized that all the things I’ve done in my life so far and the things that I continue to do and aspire to do, they’re all in innovation space, whether that’s innovating these small businesses that I started while I was in college to innovating the way that the coffee shop in Palo Alto that I worked at as a first as a dishwasher, then as a bus girl, then as a cappuccino maker, and then as a register person innovating how that was done to the way I did things on Wall Street, the way the firm did some sort of things on Wall Street to industry, to all the products that in between. I’ve never defined myself as a health and wellness person. Business and innovation are what I like to do best, and within that, the storytelling.

Katie Taylor [00:08:45] Yes, and you’re also now an adviser for women, which is women and innovation, of course. Tell us about that and some of the ways in which that adds to that identity.

Lauren Imparato [00:08:58] Innovation is an industry, but innovation is also what creates our future. And this is an amazing organization and I’m so happy to be working with them that works on helping women along in innovative roles, innovation roles. So really true gender equality in the sphere that shapes all of our futures. And it’s pretty cool.

Katie Taylor [00:09:20] Yeah, absolutely, there are quite a few odds still stacked against us as women, unfortunately, in terms of getting venture capital and succeeding in the same ways that men can. And so it’s really neat to see organizations form to, again, create community, create a larger story and amplify it around how women are also innovators and can also be successful.

Lauren Imparato [00:09:48] And I would actually even adjust a little bit of what you say, if I may. I think women can be innovators. I think that they are, I think, female. All right. Whether it’s, you know, finding something that gets lost or significant others or how to put dinner on a table in a different way, like there’s a quote unquote, more female things or things that have nothing to do with the home, feel like we’re constantly looking at problem solving in a different way. I don’t know if that’s from a DNA perspective, perhaps related to our caretaking and nurturing nature. That is that it has shown that it is the way it evolves. But I do think that we are innately, in every female, an alien invader.

Katie Taylor [00:10:27] Yes, I completely agree. I see in your writing and in your content, you are a teacher at heart, too. So I think it’s interesting. You have so many different identities as an innovator, as a business person, as an author. And also it seems as though in your yoga practices or your former studio and the businesses that you’ve built, you have a heart for empowering others and teaching. Can you tell us what you’ve learned about, you know, storytelling in particular and how you’ve sort of infused that into the brands you’ve created or advise?

Lauren Imparato [00:11:02] You know, at the end of the day, we buy things, consume things, join things, share things, because it touches part of our something. Emotional, emotional doesn’t have to be like a songfest emotion. Something strikes a chord. And I’ve always found that being real is my best voice. There have been times along the decade of IMU that I, for whatever reason, decided to sort of adjust my voice, which would then affect my storytelling because I felt that I needed to be a different way. Or someone told me for a contractor project I needed to be in a different way. And it never worked. Yeah, and for me, being real is my voice, which is the way I tell stories. And I try to hide the companies that are most attractive to work with me or advising me or sensing that either they’re trying to be real, but it’s not it’s not coming from within or they don’t know what real needs to them.

Katie Taylor [00:11:59] I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been in a meeting or getting onto a meeting, preparing for it, thinking what tone of voice should I take? I need to know every single factor that’s running through my head. I want to lower my tone of voice or I want to be a little more delightful in this conversation or I need to be strict in this conversation. I just stand my ground like I get in my head so much about the way that my voice sounds and the way that my story sort of comes across in a business context. It really is such an interesting challenge.

Lauren Imparato [00:12:30] I actually had it that people were like not Wall Street and finance and the corporate world in the corporate world surviving on a trading floor. As a female, I was just myself. And I think that’s part of the reason they hired me was for my whatever it was. Right. And then the wellness, health and wellness industry from inexistent to what it is. I saw how people thought that people in health and wellness, people in yoga, in meditation, nutrition should have a certain voice. And I started my whole business and continue to grow my business because it was terrible, terrible. But I was trying to show a different way and really take ancient practices and historical practices and make them legit and relating to people today. And I used to there were phases in that I am you phase a couple of years in particular, where I really struggled, like you’re saying, and it just it was just such a flop or I just hated the product at the end of the day or I really didn’t want to share it, even though it was like a business thing or whatever, because it didn’t feel like me or my business and then really aided me. And then I decided I just couldn’t let myself be to have those thoughts anymore. I just had to be real for what? I need to be real for me and my business that moment in time.

Katie Taylor [00:13:45] Yes. Isn’t that the dream to get to that phase of.

Lauren Imparato [00:13:48] But it’s hard. It takes a lot of suffering sometimes together.

Katie Taylor [00:13:53] Yeah, I think so too, but hopefully any woman or really any professional listening to this can know that we all struggle with that, especially in the beginning of our careers. And it’s really important to kind of practice and really play with different aspects of your voice and how you represent yourself in that setting. It’s really not unlike experimenting with the way you represent yourself socially.

Lauren Imparato [00:14:15] Agreed. And I think it also in that remember that you don’t have to sound like the TED talk tells you to sound or the podcast tells you to sound off on tones of voice. People have a very similar way of speaking now and similar intonation, similar pace. But one or two organizations, corporations created that. Right. And so we don’t all need to kind of fall into that. So I think that goes back to that idea of being innovative to your true self and being real and with the story of you from the inside out.

Katie Taylor [00:14:45] Yeah, absolutely. Could you tell us more about some of the companies that you advise and that aspect of your professional life now?

The Future of Women in Innovation with Lauren Imparato

Lauren Imparato [00:14:54] I took a long breather after Ayumu and and really stepped back and realized that what I love doing and the companies that have come to me kind of organically have really been what I call a category called consumer touchin. So people always talk about consumer goods because basically they’re blah, blah, blah, blah. And I realized that in an innovative sense. I guess now that we’re talking this out, consumer touching companies or what I like and what I’m good at, whether that is a technology that somehow and really affects the consumer or it is a product like a legitimate food product or a accessory or a clothing brand or product, I like things that touch the consumer. And I think that’s partly because of that storytelling that we’re talking about here.

Katie Taylor [00:15:39] Absolutely. That makes so much sense. And so when you’re advising, how are you bringing the consumer story and experience into the world, views of your clients or your partners?

Lauren Imparato [00:15:51] It really depends, because some companies come in as entrepreneurs and they have a very clear brand and a very clear vision. Others think they have a very clear vision and story. But the sales aren’t working. So there’s clearly something wrong. And on the other side, you know, the ones that really don’t have any don’t have the brand or the story, and they need to create one. So what I try and do is figure out why behind the product, the why for both the company entrepreneur that created it and the why for the ultimate and consumer. And a lot of the time the business doesn’t want to hear it. Right. They have created a product or technology in which they think that it should be received or used for this purpose and this purpose only. But the better story is completely different and it takes a lot of bravery and entrepreneurship. And we’ve all been there who are entrepreneurs in the trenches to make a pivot, whether it’s a pivot of a product or pivot of a product placement over the pivot of the story itself.

Katie Taylor [00:16:55] Yes. Yeah, absolutely. And realigning in that way or sort of refocusing your understanding of your audience or your community or your consumer, however you want to kind of conceptualize that group. There’s I think there’s a lot of lessons there for mindfulness, actually. And I’d love for you to riff on this with me if you’re a game. Sure. But there’s a lot of conversation now about the role that empathy plays and innovation. And of course, we know that empathy is always central to a powerful story. It’s going to make you feel it’s going to make you see the world differently. And it’s the same with innovation and. Right, if you’re servicing your product or your approach doesn’t resonate with the people you’re trying to serve, then you’ve missed something. And so I’m curious how I don’t know that there’s as much conversation in the innovation space, at least at conferences and books and such, on mindfulness and its role in innovation. Have you heard much buzz on that?

Lauren Imparato [00:17:48] Here and there a little bit. But I feel mindfulness and empathy. I consider it almost different things. And when Buddhism is a concept of exchanging yourself and others. So it used to teach this when I was taught mindfulness and yoga. And you can read about it in my book, which there’s a whole chapter of that. But it’s about putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and not just the other shoes, but really in their body. It’s almost like stepping into a suit and looking at the world, perceiving the world, going through the actions with them. And that’s something that I use a lot when I’m brought in to advise or consult with companies, and am trying to put myself in that consumers use. You know, there was a beauty company once that I worked with and they had this great product, but they really wanted it to be used by their consumer in a certain way. And it wasn’t working. And all this investor money was going out and blah, blah, blah, all the bad things you don’t want to happen. And I came in and I said, OK, well, actually, if we look at these facts of your consumer base, their day to day lifestyle, their income. The challenge is what if we actually positioned the product to solve a problem of time management and instead of being a quote, how would you look at it? What if we needed an efficiency product? And that was a subtle way of innovation by just trying to put myself in the consumer’s shoes?

Katie Taylor [00:19:13] Yes, absolutely. Yes. That makes so much sense. So I think in those ways, I love that practice of taking a moment. Did you say that you try to practice that kind of empathy building before you go into that kind of strategy session?

Lauren Imparato [00:19:29] Well, I really do. I’m hesitant with the word empathy because I think it implies a lot of different things for a lot of people. So I’ll go with I try to exchange myself and others and others being not even just the company, but the end user, that consumer that company is trying to touch.

Katie Taylor [00:19:46] Sure, sure. So what about the relationship of mindfulness to innovation?

Lauren Imparato [00:19:53] You can’t innovate, I firmly believe, comes from being aware, from observing and then letting those observations create something in your mind. So if you’re not mindful, quote unquote, there’s no way you’re going to be properly observing something, whether that is a laid back observations or one that you don’t even realize that is permeating your eyes or your ears or your nose or your mind or very conscious observation without being quote unquote mindful. It’s very difficult, I think, to even be innovative or to be creative, which is a step of innovation.

Katie Taylor [00:20:28] Yes, I love that point. Yes, that’s that’s completely true. And it’s interesting, too, even as a founder. I know in the early days of, for instance, that that’s infused into the heart and soul of every decision, and I think as the years go by and the business gets more established, it can become increasingly more difficult to realign with that understanding of your purpose and the consumer. You sometimes have to know, you just have to constantly have a mindset of curiosity or, as you said, observation about the world, about your customers and how to continue.

Lauren Imparato [00:21:03] Absolutely. And also reminding yourself of why you did it to begin with. And everybody has a different reason for that. But it can be hard, as you know, to manage expenses, income, revenues, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, investment. And it’s hard to juggle all those things and to be mindful about all of them.

Katie Taylor [00:21:23] Yes. With that in mind, what advice do you have, especially for those listeners who are really interested in innovation, whether that’s startup innovation or they’re working inside of a corporate enterprise and or wanting to create change or have successful innovation projects? What advice do you have for them in terms of their mindset, the way that they approach that work?

Lauren Imparato [00:21:46] It doesn’t always have to be one big bang or anything by that. Some of the most innovative occurrences and in our history and definitely some of my more innovative, innovative moments I don’t even realize are innovative. Sometimes if we force ourselves or try to solve for that, the right product doesn’t come out. It’s almost like when you have writer’s block and you’re forcing false information to get up and go for a run and come back. And probably the next day or two days later it’ll come out streaming perfectly. More innovative moments on Wall Street was actually just because I didn’t like my first position on Wall Street and I was like, OK, my skill set isn’t suited to the seat they gave me. And I started printing. Instead of telling whole stories, I started writing three bullet points, printing them out on a piece of paper, cutting those pieces of paper in half, leaving those pieces half pieces of paper on all the traders chairs so they would see them and be like, weird. It’s a half piece of paper. And it turns out that those trading calls were correct. And then that allowed me to move around the firm and get into a seat I liked better. Was that innovation at the moment? No, that was me problem solving. And I think that a lot of innovation is problem solving, but we try and force it sometimes.

Katie Taylor [00:23:01] Yeah, we have this fancy word now that it’s like a buzzy catchphrase and we throw around the word innovation and it will feel like we’re doing something really, really important.

Lauren Imparato [00:23:10] Well, just like passion was the buzz word not many years ago to write all your passion. Now it’s like being innovative. We catch all these words. And that’s that is what it is. But I think there’s something quite important behind it.

Katie Taylor [00:23:21] Yeah. And what I think what you are referring to as well is not to psych yourself out to kind of meet these really large expectations around some of these buzzwords. At the end of the day, if you’re being curious, observant, your problem solving and you’re being mindful of what problems we’re trying to solve and developing solutions, then sometimes that looks like a big giant idea and sometimes it just looks like a tiny tweak that can really change.

Lauren Imparato [00:23:48] Exactly. Going back to our initial part of this discussion about storytelling, we know that by changing one pronoun, the whole sentence, paragraph and story can be altered. And I love it as it is always a constant reminder as I write that just one tiny two to three letter pronoun could change everything. And those big it’s almost like sailing on a tiny tax can make a big, really big shift in the final destination. And we should always remember that.

Katie Taylor [00:24:18] I would love to hear about your process for writing Redhawks. What was that like?

Lauren Imparato [00:24:22] You know, it started with me sitting on the trading floor and being like, God, if we just had a manual for how to keep it together in the least stressful workday, it would be so easy.

Katie Taylor [00:24:32] I love it.

Lauren Imparato [00:24:34] And then obviously, I built the business and I wanted to have this book and no book had been made like that before. It was the first of its kind that combined three different facets that are now considered one, quote unquote, wellness. But there hadn’t been a three pronged book like that. And I wanted to do that because, you know, if you have a stomach ache sometimes because it’s because of something you eat, sometimes because of stress, sometimes because of how you slept, sometimes there’s a thousand different reasons you can have it. So to just go to the diet book, nutrition, book, meditation, book, stress book, yoga, blook, religious book didn’t make sense to me. You have twenty books. They all say something different for the most part. You just want to solve your stomach ache. So I decided to break down the book or create a different structure for the book, which was a bit rebellious, I guess at the time, or whatever word you want and really try and break the structure again, thinking of the consumer, putting myself in their shoes and be like, OK, I don’t want to buy twenty books and read them all. I just want to solve this one. Thing and I tried to structure a book with those innovative ones, for lack of a better phrase.

Katie Taylor [00:25:40] I love it. Yes, it makes absolute sense to combine those things. And I think it’s really neat to hear how really the whole wellness, sort of the identity of influencers, wellness influencers that has so much more established identity to it now as compared to when you were first coming onto the scene in the space. And so it’s really neat to hear the ways in which that really broke ground to kind of guide us towards a larger understanding of wellness and how to encompass multiple facets of it and to our ways of viewing ourselves and our and our habits.

Lauren Imparato [00:26:12] Yeah. And I mean, to give context, you know, when I started my business, I mean, it started when I had a BlackBerry, all my original audio classes you can find on iTunes or Spotify or video classes you can still purchase. Those are all originally filmed on a BlackBerry or a camcorder. Right. That’s how long ago this was. And.

Katie Taylor [00:26:33] Did you know how important content would be to the growth of your business when you first started out?

Lauren Imparato [00:26:39] No, and I think that was a double edged sword in the sense that none of us knew. And I was just creating content at a weekly newsletter before every class that I taught or my teacher thought we had to add in a story. So let’s call it a weekly newsletter story. The story before each class. I wrote a blog five days a week, and then I wrote for other sources. And at the end of the day, I realized I was producing a dozen, let’s call it seven to 12 pieces of content a week for ten years. And then I just got burned out. You can’t do it anymore. And I just actually wrote my first public piece about a month and a half, two months ago. And that’s after almost a three year hiatus. And I’m trying to approach it in a very different way this time. You know, this is an exploration. Even the way I approach social media, I’m trying to be a bit rebellious or innovative or whatever. Do I love it? Yes, I love following you. And I think that we this constant desire to create more content, whether it’s from, quite frankly, a corporation, whether it calls itself a medium to small high startup or a larger corporation and consume content, it’s gotten a little out of hand because we’re not really processing or thinking about not only what we’re creating below, we’re consuming.

Katie Taylor [00:27:55] I am completely here where you’re coming from, especially so many businesses. You know, it’s smart to think about it, but when it comes down to quantity over quality, it becomes very dangerous. When we leave the world of evidence base. And everything is just about an algorithm inculcated with content that is not well thought through. It’s not pulling in the insights of experts. It’s not even really referencing those research based or evidence based facts that we need to have in order to know whether those resources are legitimate or not. So there’s a lot, I think, that still needs to be done when it comes to continuing to remind ourselves that quality is critically important. And you see a lot of advice around content marketing really just focused on how you produce, produce, produce. But if you’re not being mindful about how you do that, you’re really putting the world in a worse place.

Lauren Imparato [00:28:54] I couldn’t agree with you more. And I also think, though, it’s so challenging because the world in many ways is run by a few very large platforms and they control the algorithms completely. That was one of my biggest frustrations towards the end of my time. If I use it here, I am creating stuff and know they change the algorithm or they decide I haven’t created enough and then you get bumped and then blah, blah, blah. And that whole cycle, you know, so well start and then you get stuck in the situation as a small business, as an entrepreneur, you get stuck in this really moral paradox in a certain way. For me, it was a moral paradox. Do I dive into what these large companies and large platforms want me to do, which is create more despite the quality? Or do I stick true to who I am and who I want my business and personal self to be? And that is a very hard line to walk every single day, particularly when the basis of reaching consumers now, whether it’s reaching their minds to encourage them to think or in my case, make them feel better is through these platforms I started also there was no such thing as Instagram when I started my business. There were no influencers. So I had to live this whole trajectory of none of that to being told that I need to look lighter and more bubblicious and soft on my Instagram photos. And yeah. And then meanwhile, you see, as you know, you see people on the other side, particularly health and wellness, who have literally no degrees or expertise in this. But they have a look at consumers like. So in. It’s a very tough moral dilemma in my mind.

Katie Taylor [00:30:39] I completely agree with you and I I think more, you know, digital literacy will help the world. And so if we continue to commit but the most important thing, like you said, is staying true to the story that you want to live out in your professional and personal life. And, you know, yes, you have to be resonating in order to reach people where they’re at. But at the same time, if you if I kind of equate it to the experience that people have when they go on Survivor, you know, you don’t want to be you don’t want to have your story resented. And it’s so dark and evil that you have to live with those choices for the rest of your life. You probably won’t win the million dollars with that approach either, come to find out.

Lauren Imparato [00:31:22] But it’s kind of hard. It’s a decision I feel like I had to make every single day, multiple times a day. And that doesn’t always win you accolades or profit or clients. But I just really had to make it from the inside for myself to sleep with myself at night.

Katie Taylor [00:31:39] Yes. Thank you for sharing that. You know, you do see a lot of inflow of letters burning out for those reasons. And so, gosh, it kind of goes back to the hope that the world can continue to be a kind place, even if we’re virtual and we’re removed from one another like we are right now with a pandemic that we’re all we’re all trying to kind of fight against together.

Lauren Imparato [00:32:00] I launched a new blog during the past couple months. It’s called Between the Waves. So Between the And that first piece I wrote, my first public Jaeson in almost three years, is actually about that. I encourage you to do what you and your listeners to check it out, if you don’t mind.

Katie Taylor [00:32:16] Yes, definitely. Please check that out. If you’re not already following Lauren Imparato on social media, please follow her. Definitely read RETOX. And I’m so inspired by everything we’ve talked about today. Lauren, thank you so much for being here on the podcast.

Lauren Imparato [00:32:31] Thank you for your time. Really been. It’s been fun.

Katie Taylor [00:32:34] Absolutely. Take care. I’ll talk soon. Thanks for listening to this week’s episode. Be sure to follow us on social media and add your voice to the conversation. You can find us at untold content.

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*Interviews are not endorsements of individuals or businesses.

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