Laura Miolla, in her own words, is a brand, business and divorce coach focused on the personal, professional and financial empowerment of women. She told us that, “I work with female executives, entrepreneurs and business owners to show up, stand out, play by their own rules and make bank. My clients gain the clarity to own, communicate and monetize their unique value without compromise, negotiate from a powerful position with confidence and create a life, career and bank account that reflects their dreams and desires. Why? Women work too hard to continually settle for less in a system that is inherently unequal and inequitable. We have to make our own changes.”
What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your corporate journey/venture/initiative.
My father had a career in the Air Force in the U.S., so my very early years were spent moving and living in various places. My dad was originally from New York City and my mom grew up in a little town called Saucier in Mississippi. They each came from different worlds, but that diversity has served me throughout my entire life. So, when I was in my early 20’s in graduate school, I moved to London for a relationship. Living in England was a wonderful experience and even though I was a poor student at the time, I used my proximity to Europe to visit as many other countries as I could. And since I was a student, I didn’t bother with that pesky thing called a visa. Then one time, coming back into the country from France, UK Passport Control realized I was living there, not just visiting, and took my U.S. passport. For approximately a year, I was a guest of the Queen while I worked out my status with an immigration attorney. As fate would have it, once I could be there legally, the relationship ended. After 4 years abroad, I came back to the U.S. no longer a student, after earning my graduate degree, but still very poor to figure out what was next. I like to think of this as my first big reinvention.
Every industry that is now a large-scale, top-notch business once started as a small idea in the minds of entrepreneurs. What was that idea or motivation that made you start your business /initiative? What motivated you within to say YES, go for it!”
My business was born and has grown from a series of small choices and big “failures” (which are really learning opportunities in disguise.) I didn’t know what coaching was until I had an executive coach of my own. After 3 months of working together, she said to me: “Every day you stay here violates your core value of integrity.” And I felt it so deeply, I quit my corporate position on the spot as the sole source of income for my family. I realized how deeply unhappy I was once I started evaluating my life through the lens of my core values. I knew I had values before then, but I didn’t specifically know what they were before having a coach and I didn’t know I could use them as tools for making better decisions. My life looked wonderful on paper, but in reality, I was exhausted and on the brink of a nervous breakdown from being on a hamster wheel of, what I call, do more, look better at work and at home. I wore hard work like a badge of honor just to prove how strong and capable I was, not realizing until much later, that it worked to everyone else’s benefit but mine. I’ve since learned that strength is not defined by how much or how long I could persist in being miserable. It is defined by staying true to my own authenticity regardless of the circumstances. I started my coach training in the same month I hired an attorney to get divorced. Both of those choices … my second major reinvention … became the foundation for my businesses, MoxieLife Coach Inc. and Smart Divorce Strategy. Moxie means an attitude of fearlessness in everyday circumstances. Most people allow the world to tell them who they are and they base their entire lives on it because it feels safe. I know I did. Now, my purpose is grounded in women fearlessly defining themselves, for themselves, with the freedom to evolve and reinvent as they choose. And I want women to make money from it so they can continue to have the power to choose. Anger has been the primary motivator for my businesses. I was, and am, still very angry about the divorce process, especially in how it treats professional women. I’m angry that women still don’t have equal rights. As women, we work so hard to climb the corporate ladder to ultimately earn less than a man in same job and then have our hard-earned assets equalized in a divorce, when we have never been equal in the first place. The lack of equity for women in this world is astounding, made worse by the fact that we are complicit in our own inequality because we don’t think we have any other choice or that we have to prove ourselves by earning it first. It is those exact lies that keep women, like me, on the hamster wheel. The key to power, voice and freedom is money. And women need more of it in a world that continually gives us less. And the world won’t change by asking for equality. We have to create our own paths to financial freedom. So, in each of my businesses, I am helping women save money in the divorce process through better positioning and strategy, while also helping them make money on their own terms by advancing their career, starting a business or growing a business. I have worked with hundreds of women who have changed their entire lives for the better by knowing their worth, leading from authenticity and not settling for less. I am so incredibly fortunate to do this work helping women show up and stand out in authentic ways they are proud of, negotiate for themselves with confidence and make more money because of it.
Your journey and your vision are very inspiring, but are there any achievements or accomplishments you would like to mention?
My greatest achievements are my two sons. And although I know my work is just a drop in the ocean, I am deeply fulfilled when my clients use challenges as a springboard for positive change, leaving unfulfilling relationships and jobs to confidently claim their worth. Every client story is an achievement. Traditional accomplishments include a professional background of 20+ years in brand and business development, leadership and strategy as a Vice President of Business Development, Consultant and Advisory Board member, a Master’s degree and certifications as a Professional Coach (PCC), Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC), Parentology Coach and Mediator. I was named one of Boston’s best business consultations by Expertise Magazine in 2021 and 2022. And in 2015, I hosted a national radio show on divorce called Divorce Sucks: The Smart Girl’s Guide To Doing It Better.
Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?
I want every female entrepreneur to find and walk their own unique, authentic, purpose-driven path towards creating the life of their dreams without compromise. Finding that inner clarity is the first big challenge. Do it anyway. Negotiating through external obstacles is the second. Do it anyway. Being true to yourself in all situations is the greatest. Do it anyway. You are teaching others who you are and how to treat you based on how YOU treat you. Trust that your example will inspire countless women around you. It is through these small choices that we make big changes towards equality and equity for all women around the world.
Women are a growing force in the workplaces worldwide, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. There are cracks in glass ceilings everywhere, with many women breaking through to carve out a space right at the top of the pyramid. What are your thoughts about women leadership today?
Women are just now learning that we have a leadership style that is uniquely our own. And that style is more collaborative, relationship-based and effective than the assertive narcissism associated with traditional male leadership. There is a long-standing myth that women have to be like men to get into the corner office. And many of them have. Those circumstances are changing, which means there is greater opportunity to define and leverage your own unique brand of leadership than ever before. Let’s not waste that opportunity.