Program: New York
Intake: September 2006
Current Role: Climate Finance Consultant, AECOM & Founder of Run Your Best
Lawrence was placed at the Welsh Assembly Government when on the Program. After spending a number of years working at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, where he rose to Head of Climate Investment Funds, Lawrence now works part time for AECOM, as a Consultant – Climate Finance. His passion however is running, which Lawrence took up only 5 years ago and achieved the incredible feat of running the London Marathon in 2 hours 29 minutes, placing him 52nd overall! This led to him launching his running coaching business during the summer, Run Your Best (www.runyourbest.net), and he is hoping to expand his roster of clients.
Describe your business/service you are offering and your role within it.
About 5 years ago I took up running and have loved it ever since. I’ve been able to improve a lot in that time and decided to set up a coaching business to help others improve and to share what I have learnt as a runner.
What motivated you to set it up?
Running has become my passion and I wanted to find a way of making it a part of my career. Inspired by lots of other Mountbatten entrepreneurs and by the confidence the program gave me, I took the plunge and launched my own running coaching business, Run Your Best, over the summer. I offer personalised coaching plans, individual coaching and running advice through articles, blogs and interviews. See my website: www.runyourbest.net
How did you go about launching your business?
I set up a website and spread the word via social media and word of mouth. Social media is key for a business like mine and I’m still learning how best to use it.
What are your short term business plans for development and expansion?
My short term plan is to increase my number of clients, become a better coach through experience, and to develop my website. Currently I am doing coaching part time, but maybe in the future it will become my only job!
What has been the proudest moment in your working life thus far?
My business is very new but my proudest moment has been setting it up. Receiving good feedback from clients is always great too. My proudest moment in my own running career has been breaking 2 hours 30 for the marathon. I remember watching the NYC marathon when I was a Mountbatten and being inspired by it. I didn’t run much then – I would never have thought I’d go on to run a marathon, let alone that I would finish 52nd in the New York marathon 11 years later. My running experience has taught me the importance of perseverance and focus in chasing your goals, and to have goals that are ambitious rather than self-limiting.
What has been your biggest mistake/learning experience?
The biggest learning has been the importance of patience. It takes time to build a business and develop a reputation, and there will be lots of work at the start without much in the way of rewards (financial or otherwise). But the hard work will pay off in the end.
Any words of advice/wisdom would you impart to others thinking of setting up their own business?
Doing it part time has worked for me as it’s allowed me to have a bit of security from my office job and meant I can build the business gradually. But above all, just go for it! If you have passion for your idea and you are committed to it, you just need to believe yourself that you’ll make it work,