If you want to know the backstory of the founder of Create Business Academy, Lauren Wallett. From being a child actress in South Africa to a business mentor in the United States Of America, here’s everything you need to know about Lauren.
It’s impossible to separate my life milestones from my business achievements because everything is interconnected. So here are a few highlights that have shaped Create Business Academy (and me) today.
From child actress to business creator
I’ve always been driven to achieve my dreams. From childhood as a professional actress to marrying my junior-school crush to spontaneous immigration to America from South Africa, I go for what I want with abandon. And I get it. Here are 7 quick examples:
- I appeared on my first magazine cover at 6-months with my mom.
- I was a paid professional actress by 9.
- By 13, they nominated me for the South African Artist of the year award for my role as Annie in Annie.
- In 2006 I won a playwriting award for a children’s show I directed and produced.
- I graduated from AFDA – the African School of Film and Drama and got my BA in performance.
- After that, I acted, wrote, directed, and produced shows.
- I’ve won modeling competitions and appeared in dozens of magazines and on covers.
I’ve never held myself back from attention and recognition and I love to help others flaunt what they’ve got, too. Putting myself out there comes naturally to me and it’s a fully transferable skill. Confidence training is one of the soft skills baked into all my offers, and it’s especially direct inside the Video Star category in The Vault.
“Show, don’t sell.”
“Show, don’t sell” is my motto, and it works wonders if you work it every time. You’ll notice that in all my pieces of training, courses, and resources, I use lots of examples and visuals to illustrate the points. By showing, you don’t have to stress about the sleazy sales stuff, but you’re also actually selling more! Including the element of “show business” is how you truly master sales, and I break it all down for you inside the Sales Mastery category inside The Vault.
I believe that creative expression is the ultimate freedom and I live my life focused on that goal.
I know that our greatest art comes from our hearts and that sharing what we love (and sharing how we love) is what we’re here to do. Love is at the center of reimagining businesses because it’s the center of everything. So LOVE is the secret ingredient in my business, and it’s yours too. Combining what I loved into a community PLAY space made the success I achieved feel like MAGIC – and it still does. I actually wrote a business book about it. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Let’s set the stage for how I choose to develop businesses. It all comes from entertaining an audience. Knowing how to create characters and act them out gave me an edge in marketing because I brought something unique to the space. I created brand personalities that people fell in love with.
Birthing my first business
Once upon a time, was touring the country in a theatre show when the producer ran out of money.
From living my dream as a starlet one day to being unemployed the next, I vowed to never have an incompetent man in control of my livelihood again. Actress for hire proved too volatile for me and I wanted to be in control of my career.
I started Fame Academy Holiday workshops, teaching kids singing, dancing, acting, and musical theatre during the school holidays. After a few months, I expanded and opened Star Quality Performing Arts School. From my first class (with one student in a scout hall), I scaled my business to a double-story house, (painted bright pink,) with a huge flower-filled landscaped garden and had over 100 students in attendance.
Over the next 2.5 years, I expanded my business to include:
- Vintage Star bath and body products
- Rehearsal clothing
- For kids by kids: A theatre production company
- A birthday party entertainment division and opened
- An acting agency.
It was a mini-empire built around kids expressing themselves and I loved it… until I didn’t.
I sold the performing arts school, the acting agency division (it still runs nationwide in South Africa today), and the corporate entertainment division. And at 26, I retired to live on my farm estate with my then-husband.
Within 6-months I was bored and opened a showcase space called Malva (the first pop-up store in South Africa).
Malva became my equivalent of Richard Branson’s Virgin, and I used it for everything from pop-ups to products to parties to my marketing agency, referral network, and business academy. I still don’t like the term “multi-passionate” or “multi-potentialite”. No one calls Branson that. It feels like a made-up problem online coaches use to sell you on their solution. I prefer mogul, empire-builder, legacy leaver, prolific creator, serial entrepreneur – any of these terms are more honest. My multi-talents enable me to create businesses – as many as I like repeatedly, all over the world.
Back in South Africa in 2010, Malva, the store, got lots of press and attention. Inside, I had a theatre (which still runs today as Pop Art Theatre in the same space), a coffee shop, and a variety of custom products, alongside products by top South African makers and designers. I even designed a hotel room. And my own homes made it onto magazine covers.
When I moved back to my hometown after my divorce (did a quick reality tv show), I threw “Miss Malva” parties, co-created a theatre festival, ran markets, and did multiple events… until I had a shift in perspective again…
I no longer wanted to be bound by time and space and that’s exactly what products in a shop and real-life events will do. I wanted to be free to work anytime, anyplace, on my own terms, and not held back in the slightest. As a result, I pivoted Malva from physical spaces and started Malva Marketing.
I finally entered the world of the digital nomad with a laptop lifestyle vibe and soon was on the move again.
I launched my internationally recognized content marketing agency that told stories and created experiences through content for communities. And that was the seed of what Create Business Academy is today.
The turning point
Keep leaving. Until staying feels like a holiday…
In 2016, I got hired by a creepy corporate guy who never paid on time and lied about bonuses that never came.
The accounts I won from big agencies gave me marketing clout. I got to prove my marketing methodologies with well-known global brands, but being in the toxic environment of misogynistic corporate culture was killing me. Why everything had to be put into a PowerPoint presentation, I’ll never know. The snail’s pace, policies, and procedures were (are) absurd to me.
I’d strayed from the art in my heart and even though I wrote online magazines and blogged relentlessly, so always kept creating, I still wanted more for myself and felt that I needed to shift into higher gear.
So I started the Rebella project, made a short film, gathered a community of fellow wild, wolf, women rising, and took a creative sabbatical that landed me in Los Angeles.
And I have stayed in Los Angeles ever since.
After deciding to stay, I applied for a green card for my exceptional ability as a celebrity entrepreneur and got it. Starting over meant I needed to build my credibility, reputation, and results with Americans, and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since.
I’m a Kolbe quick start, which means I dive in and learn through hands-on experience. Through the result, I prove what I’m capable of by doing it. “Show business” is how I’ve shown what I do and how I do it to attract new clients. I built my reputation by getting my clients big results. After 5 years, my clients keep coming back for more.
- Facilitating a men’s transformation workshop with Neil Strauss (a then hero of mine) and presenting on stage for him.
- Coaching celebrities live on NBC.
- Having my own TV show.
- Working with incredibly talented business owners and celebrity clients.
The Up-level: 2020s Global Pandemic
The future is CREATIVE
I finally stopped listening to all old, rich, white business males. After all, I realized: maybe he’s not born with it – maybe it’s white supremacy? Finally, I broke out of the cult of capitalist patriarchy that had indoctrinated me.
I’d been to these massively capitalist and male-dominated 100k annual events, had one-on-one consultations with pervy old males, took their courses, read their books, and realized that patriarchal premises belonged to a paradigm that no longer existed.
I wrote my business book (currently being re-written) and I’ve never looked back.
The more I reimagine business, the more I reimagine my entire life. I’ve built businesses with incredible collaborators and mostly do what I truly love: write in coffee shops all day long.
I live a richly satisfying and deeply enchanted life. I hope you do too, because then, maybe one day we’ll get to collaborate on something creative together! I’ve discovered that the process is my reward: perpetual creativity.
Get access to all my courses, training, and resources to grow your business here inside The Vault.
Lauren Wallett went from a child actress in South Africa to a business mentor in the United States of America. She writes about reimagining the future of business from the patriarchy to a Playrirachy.
- Show don’t sell
- Creative expression is the ultimate freedom
- You’re not multi-passionate, you’re a mogul
- The future is creative
- Reimagine Business
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