Unveiling Confidence: An Interview with Entrepreneur Lauren McWilliams

In this inspiring interview with Lauren McWilliams, a passionate entrepreneur and photographer, we delve into her journey of overcoming challenges, finding her authentic voice in business, and empowering others to do the same. Through her online program, The Visibility Rebellion, she helps entrepreneurs and coaches step out of their comfort zones and embrace their confidence. Lauren shares valuable lessons on balancing creativity and strategy, the importance of surrounding yourself with a supportive community, and the power of saying yes to opportunities that scare you. Join us as we explore her insights and wisdom, offering inspiration for anyone looking to pursue their passions and make a meaningful impact in their careers and lives.

 Photo Credits: Zoe Campbell

What were some of the challenges or struggles you faced when starting your business, and how did you overcome them?

When I first started my business, I had no idea what I was doing! I had no experience of running a business. Nobody in my family had a business. So, it was completely eye-opening. I felt so much pressure to show up how I thought women in business should appear – from wearing outfits that just weren’t me to accepting any type of work just to try and make my business successful. It took me some time to realise that I just needed to be myself and authentically show up. When I accepted that, everything changed. I was attracting more people who aligned with me and my values.  

Could you tell us about a particularly memorable or inspiring moment in your career that reaffirmed your passion for what you do?

I recently developed my online program. The Visibility Rebellion is for entrepreneurs and coaches looking to step out of their comfort zones and find their inner confidence to show up as the face of their businesses. It started as an idea of my own personal journey of how much my confidence has grown over the past few years of running my own business. One of the “rebels” who joined was a new mother. She had lost all of her confidence, and juggling that new experience with running her business made her feel lost. Through our work together over the four months, she said to me that she felt like I had seen her and that she had rediscovered her purpose. That is why I do what I do.

In the early stages of my business, I felt great guilt about leaving the Criminal Justice System. I just wanted to help people. It took me a while to realise what I was doing now, which was capturing people’s photos and helping them show up. I was still helping people, but in a different way. It was a great reminder that I love what I do and have the motivation to keep doing it so that I can help even more people make an impact in this world.  

What lessons have you learned along the way that have significantly impacted your approach to your work and your life?

The biggest lesson I’ve learned along the way is doing the things that scare you. There have been so many moments in my business that I would have run away from in the past. From speaking on stage to even having a photoshoot myself, these are all things that feed the imposter syndrome. “Who do you think you are?” 

But facing those fears has created some of my favourite experiences and opened up many more opportunities. Most importantly, I have shown that I deserve success and happiness and that I am so grateful I get to do my dream job. 

How do you balance creativity and strategy in your photography work, especially when working with clients to help them tell their brand story?

I love stories. When I am capturing my clients’ photos, I don’t just see the setup, the colours, or the location. I am always thinking okay, so what? How can they use this image to tell their story? How will this photo help them to connect and engage their audience? With that, I then help them think about the strategy before we work on what shots they need for their brand and messaging. 

I then work with them again after the photoshoot to look at ways to increase their visibility with their new photos. What opportunities can they create now to be seen as the go-to in their industry? I love that I have created the blend of imagery and strategy because it means my clients have powerful images that are going to raise their profile and give them a purpose to know how to use their photos. 

What advice would you give to individuals who are looking to pursue a career change or start their own business, especially coming from a background like yours?

Changing my career was one of the best decisions I could have ever made for myself. It wasn’t an easy decision at the time but, looking back, things would be very different now. I would say to anyone who feels like they’re constantly burning out from their career  If you keep burning that candle eventually your sparkle goes away. You have the control to walk away. Find something else that helps you find your passion, your purpose. It’s never too late. I hear it time and time again from clients especially women who get to a point in their life and wish they had walked away sooner from their old careers. You are the most important person in your life and that means you should take care of yourself. Whether you want to start a business or just change careers, your future self will thank you. 

How do you stay motivated and inspired in your work, and what practices or habits do you find helpful for maintaining a healthy work-life balance?

I am part of a Mastermind with my coach, and I attend a city co-working space both are filled with like-minded people who have become some of my biggest cheerleaders. When things are tough I turn to them for advice and support. I also turn to them to celebrate the wins. Having the right people around you, I have found to be the most essential part of staying motivated and inspired. 

What projects or goals are you currently working on, and what do you hope to achieve in the near future with your business and creative endeavors?

My Visibility Rebellion, my four-month online program, is open again for application. I am so excited to be able to work with more incredible people for the second time. I also have some amazing photoshoots lined up over the next couple of months. 

Finally, what message or mantra do you live by that you would like to share with our audience as a source of inspiration or encouragement?

Just say yes! Obviously, as long as you’re safe, but when an opportunity comes, don’t let fear be an obstacle. Every time I have said yes to the things that have scared me, something amazing has happened, and my confidence has grown so that the next time a similar opportunity comes along, I go for it and know I can do it.


by Harness Editor

Harness believes that freedom of expression equals female empowerment. The truth? We’re a badass authentic community of fierce women, and we exist to help your voice be heard. Harness is here to be your safe haven. A place to shed the competition, the insecurities. This is a place to rise by lifting others. This is who we are.


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