Lauren Foxwell: Insights and Inspiration
We connected with our newest coach, Lauren, to learn more about what inspired her to join the ithrive31 Collective.
Dorene: Could you describe your role at ithrive31?
Lauren: I am a coach at ithrive31, and I specialize in helping mid- to upper-level women in engineering/technology fields who want to have an influence in a male-dominated field. I chose this focus because I have a background in engineering, and I know all too well how difficult it is to navigate your day-to-day career when you feel as if the odds are stacked against you. I help these women take back their power and overcome these challenges so they can focus on making a better world through engineering and technology.
Dorene: How has coaching influenced your life and career?
Lauren: Coaching has consistently helped me expand my mindset to see what’s possible for me, even when the circumstances seem grim. For example, in 2022 I received some great coaching, which supported my personal development and abundance mindset. This was all put to the test in January 2023 when much of my life got up-ended in the span of one single week: I signed a lease to move in with my partner, then was laid off from my job 18 hours later, and finally three days after that I left for a pre-planned trip to go support my parents while my mother underwent intense cancer treatment. In the span of one week, my relationship, home, family, and job were all drastically changed. If I hadn’t had prior coaching then, I truly don’t know how I would have navigated that wildly turbulent time. But thanks to “2022 Lauren” putting in the work via coaching, I was able to navigate this and even make some great memories during a time when the circumstances were far from ideal. And I am now happy to report my new home, my relationship, my mother, and my new job are all thriving! All because coaching helped me to see that, despite the circumstances, thriving was still an option for me.
Dorene: What was your first experience with coaching?
Lauren: I would like to say I sought coaching because I chose to uplevel my life … but that is candidly so far from the truth. I was living in a state of chronic stress (which I thought was normal), and my body physically started to retaliate. I began going to the doctor to sort out the health issues, and she recommended a health coach for me. I worked with this health coach, and she helped me see both the tactical changes (ex. eliminate certain foods that affect my health) and the mindset changes (ex. trust that things will turn out okay) I needed to make in order to thrive. I am eternally grateful to her for being my mirror and helping me see my fullest potential. Now, even when I slip up on the dietary changes, I still feel exponentially better than when I did prior to coaching because of the mindset shift. Coaching literally probably added several years to my life, and I hope to help others obtain this in their own lives.
Dorene: What special skills or talents do you bring to ithrive31?
Lauren: I think the specific value I bring to ithrive31 is my experience in the shoes of those who I coach. I’ve spent many years working as a mechanical engineer, and I know all too well what it’s like to be the only woman in the room. There’s an increasing conversation about recruiting more women into technical roles, which is wonderful, but I feel strongly that women need tools to help bridge the gap between where society is right now and where these recruiting efforts will eventually lead us.
Dorene: Why is ithrive31 a good fit for you?
Lauren: I love ithrive31’s model of coaches investing in themselves and each other in order to have a positive impact on the world. I knew it was a great fit for me when I mentioned this idea I had for “Affirmation Cards.” Not only did the team fully support my idea, but they also gave constructive feedback to make them even better than what I had planned!
Dorene: What inspires you in your work each day?
Lauren: The women I coach continually inspire me! These women push through the challenges as a minority in the workplace and keep marching toward their goals of making the world better through engineering and technology.
Dorene: What do you find creative about your work?
Lauren: Problem solving! That’s what I loved about engineering, business, and now entrepreneurship … solving problems, seeing alternative options, and creating paths to move forward is truly a creative endeavor. Whether I’m asking questions to help clients creatively solve their problems or thinking of ways to uplevel my business, I love the entire problem solving process.
Dorene: What’s the most challenging thing about your work?
Lauren: The most challenging part is absolutely pushing the limits of what I believe to be true in this world. For example, I thought client acquisition would be difficult until I got into it and realized what was actually making it difficult was my mindset (and my irrational fear of sounding like an inauthentic used car salesperson). Working through my own mental blocks is by far the most challenging and most rewarding part of my work.
Dorene: Why do you think ithrive31 coaching is valuable?
Lauren: I think ithrive31 coaching is valuable because it helps clients realize their highest potential. Additionally, my past coaching still helps me through situations; coaching isn’t just a “quick fix,” but rather I view it as an investment in one’s future / best self. And what better place to invest than in yourself … the payoff is guaranteed!
Dorene: Where did you grow up? What was your favorite thing about that place or time?
Lauren: While I now live in Los Angeles proper, my upbringing was far different! I was raised in a very rural community in Iowa. Factoid alert: long ago there were glaciers that scraped the Midwest area flat, consequently creating the Great Plains. The glaciers, however, missed a specific area of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois. This area is now called The Driftless because the glaciers didn’t drift there, which resulted in them being quite hilly and very different from the rest of the Midwest. This is where I grew up. Folks in Los Angeles are mind blown when I tell them I grew up two hours from any shopping mall or airport. While I do now enjoy the amenities of the city, I am grateful to have been raised in that small rural community because it taught me to use resources wisely, take care of the environment, always help a neighbor, and know that you will, at one point or another, need help, too.
Dorene: What was your very first job?
Lauren: I worked at a “take and bake” pizza shop in high school. Later in my career I went through intense Lean training, and it was fun to look back at how much I actually knew about Lean simply from making pizzas during a busy Friday night
Dorene: What personal interest might surprise your colleagues or clients?
Lauren: I love crocheting, and people are always surprised to learn I have no idea how to read a crochet pattern. My grandmother gave me a crochet book when I was young, which I used to learn, and ever since then I have just naturally figured out my own patterns. I truly think spending years as a design engineer and constantly thinking in terms of 3D space, manufacturability, et cetera, helped me hone my crochet skills. I once saw a Tweet that said “Knitting is like 3D printing with your bare hands, pretty metal,” and in my case I think my experience with engineering equipment helped me with crocheting!
Dorene: What activities are important personal outlets for you?
Lauren: I certainly have the standard response here (exercise, eating healthy, family/friend time, et cetera), but I think the most important thing for me to feel grounded is actually, truly paying attention to what I need. In the Midwest during the winter we would talk about “cabin fever,” which is basically the longing in your soul to get outside again. I have come to learn that when my soul tells me something is off balance (for example, if I haven’t spent enough time with friends recently or made time for hobbies), I just need to listen.
Dorene: What else should we have asked about you?
Lauren: “Hey Lauren, what are some extremely obscure goals you have on the radar?”
Well, last year I was in the top 0.05% of Eric Church’s Spotify listeners, and I will stop at nothing until I am his top listener. Oh, and I am a National Park nerd and will stop at nothing until I’ve visited every park and hung up a vintage poster on my gallery wall.
Learn more about Lauren here.
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