1708 – Equalizing the Playing Field for Women in Business with Laura Gisborne

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks with the Founder of Limitless Women, Laura Gisborne.

Laura Gisborne is not just an ordinary woman; she does extraordinary things. As the founder of Limitless Women, she explained that the organization is more than just a business. It's a vehicle for creating a positive impact in families and communities. Since its inception in 2015, Limitless Women has raised over $700,000 for charity through business training, fundraisers, and education-based platforms.

Laura's journey to founding Limitless Women is an inspiring one. Over the last 35 years, she has founded nine different companies and has been a leading voice in philanthropy since 2009. She saw the invitations to speak and lead as an opportunity to make a difference, not only for the women they educate but also those lacking access to resources.

When asked about gender observations and how to level the playing field, Laura discussed the power of positioning versus posturing. She noted that men and women often postulate to prove themselves, but it's more effective to be positioned with who you are and your valid voice. She also emphasized the importance of men giving women their voice and showing respect.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Mission and purpose of Limitless Women
  • Providing business training, fundraisers, and education-based platforms
  • Raising over $700,000 for charity since 2015
  • Laura's journey and background in entrepreneurship and philanthropy
  • The power of service and giving back
  • Gender observations and equalizing the playing field
  • Book recommendations for personal growth and entrepreneurship
  • Engaging with the audience through free gifts, live events, and business training fundraisers

About Laura Gisborne:

Laura Gisborne is a highly accomplished business expert with an impressive 25-year track record. She began her entrepreneurial journey at 23 and has since owned nine businesses, including a multi-million-dollar wine and real estate empire. Laura is renowned internationally for her expertise and serves as a business growth strategist for leaders in the private and non-profit sectors.

One of her notable achievements is the innovative business model of her company, Limitless Women, which demonstrates that companies can be both profitable and purpose-driven. Through the Limitless Women community, Laura has overseen raising over $700,000 for charitable causes, impacting thousands of women and children across five continents.

Laura's commitment to social causes extends beyond her business ventures. She has served as a Guardian Ad Litem for foster children through CASA, held the role of Parent Education Coordinator for Family Outreach, and served on the boards of organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and The New Peaks Foundation.

Laura is also an author, with books like “Stop the Spinning – Move from Surviving to Thriving” and “Limitless Women” to her credit. Her expertise has been featured on CBS, ABC, and the national hit show, “The List.” Laura Gisborne's career embodies a remarkable blend of entrepreneurship and philanthropy.

About Limitless Women:

Limitless Women is an empowering community that unites extraordinary women business leaders. Its core mission centers on fostering the growth of profitable businesses, enabling women to make meaningful contributions to themselves, their families, their communities, and the broader world.

This dynamic community is a platform for women entrepreneurs to connect, collaborate, and share their expertise. It provides invaluable resources, support, and mentorship opportunities to help members achieve their business objectives while aligning with a broader purpose. Limitless Women is dedicated to not only helping women excel in their professional endeavors but also to making a positive impact on society.

By bringing together like-minded women with diverse backgrounds and experiences, Limitless Women encourages collaboration, innovation, and a shared commitment to personal and collective growth. It stands as a beacon of empowerment and solidarity, empowering women to reach their full potential in the business world while making a positive difference in the lives of others.

Tweetable Moments:

06:55 – “When we really realize that we're sufficient, we really realize that we're capable, what we get to do is we get to give.”

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Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Limitless Women website at

Check out Reignite Masterclass at

Check out Limitless Women on Instagram at

Check out Laura Gisborne on LinkedIn at

Check out Laura Gisborne on Twitter at

Check out Laura Gisborne on Facebook at

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Josh (00:00:05) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach, or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my influence and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my influence and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us. Right now it's Laura Gisborne. Laura, you are the founder of Limitless Women. You're found on the web at Limitless Women. Laura, thank you for joining us.

Laura (00:01:09) - Thank you for having me. Josh.

Josh (00:01:10) - All right. Tell us what limitless women are who are limitless women and what are limitless women doing in the world.

Laura (00:01:17) - Yeah, well, limitless women are ordinary women that are doing extraordinary things. They are women that really know that they have a calling on their lives, and that their businesses are more than just a vehicle to create revenue for their families and for their communities. They know that they can get back and make a difference with their work. So we do business training, fundraisers, and we have education based platforms where everyone who joins us makes a contribution to the charity of their choice. Often we do fundraisers that are very around a specific nonprofit, but we've raised at this point over $700,000 for charity since 2015 and really $10 at a time. You know, just really women coming together, supporting other women and lifting them up.

Josh (00:01:57) - Yeah. And how did you find yourself in this position?

Laura (00:02:02) - Such a good question. My husband was asking the same question how are you going to have a business where you give away all the profits? I don't understand. So I've been really blessed. I've founded nine different companies over the last 35 years.

Laura (00:02:15) - I just turned 57 and sold six of them, and I started being asked to speak in lead back in 2009 2010. The invitations started coming in and I kept saying, what is this? You know? How can I help? You know? They would say, do you want to come lead a breakout session? I'd say, what's a breakout session? And we literally was not in this purview at all. Hadn't written any books. It wasn't wasn't on my radar. But I prayed about it. And I kept being shown that the invitations were around women, that the invitations were global and that they were around philanthropy. And so I put my foot on the water and said, how do we use this vehicle to really make a difference, not only for the women that were educating, but also for those who don't have access to resources?

Josh (00:02:54) - I would imagine when you are evoking, you know, kind of doing good in the world. And then I think that you add to it, you know, the fact that, you know, hey, you know, we're a little bit of an exclusive group, as you know, women entrepreneurs and women leaders.

Josh (00:03:10) - It's really great to have that kinship. Talk about the culture and why this kind of this one two punch creates such valuable experiences for your members.

Laura (00:03:23) - Yeah, thanks for that, Josh, and really appreciate your insight in that question. The biggest obstacle, I believe, that I've heard in my own experience, and I believe this in other places. I've worked in nonprofits really along the time that I was doing my private sector work, I was always working as a volunteer in nonprofits. The biggest obstacle for people to making a difference, often with their dollars, is that they feel like they're not ready. Someday when I'm wealthy, I'm going to give. Someday, when I'm like you, I'm going to give and make a difference. And so what's underneath that is this idea of not enough and if someone comes from a faith based background, they might already be familiar with tithing. What we understand is that when we give, when we think we don't really have to give, right? Just that we give that little bit, we start to become expanded when we start to realize that we can actually operate and thrive with less than we thought we could financially.

Laura (00:04:13) - You know, I just love what God does with the difference, right? What happens is that these women start to bubble up and start to see themselves empowered. And I was on a podcast a couple weeks ago, and a man reached out to me and said, please, please, can you take me as a client? And I said, you know, this is what I have going on, and these are the places we can support you. And we are a community of women supporting women. And, you know, everyone's well, there's a few cool guys that will come along that really are turned on, that already have that giving gene and, and love, you know, making a difference with their own companies. Yeah.

Josh (00:04:42) - You know, this happens to be an area that I'm such a big fan of. And and you think about the business that can get done. And there's something first off, you know, it's like any time that we can create proximity with, with other amazing people, I think that there's, you know, that's the path to building relationships and doing amazing stuff.

Josh (00:05:02) - And this one plus one equals 11 kind of energy. But then, you know, I think this is so magical is if you can get two people together and then in an act of service serving another community, the, the I don't know and I'll listen feels free to get as spiritual as you want on this concept. And maybe, in fact, maybe you might be able to add some context in a way that I don't haven't really considered. But you know, this, this power that comes from service together. And it's such a powerful force and I'm such a big fan of it. You know, it's to our friends that's listening right now. And you think that marketing and sales is all about scarcity and or, you know, one person winning and the other person, I don't know, maybe not. You know, it's just like, that is just so not my experience of like what is working well today. Sorry. That was a lot of word salad. All right. Pick and choose whatever you want to talk about on that topic because yeah.

Laura (00:06:04) - I'm going to tell you, you know, I was reading the interview that was written about you, you know, and your history and how you created your businesses and your your story. Right? And what you did with the, the, the coupon and the giving and the structure and I apologize, I don't remember all the the correct terminology, Josh, but I'll tell you that it is a place of it's fascinating. It's fascinating what we're capable of. And it's often so much more than we think we can do. And when we do it, thinking that somehow it's a zero sum game. So if I win, you have to lose. Nobody wins. And there's something that happens for many people. We were talking right before we started the recording about me going to college at FIU many, many years ago and studying you in psychology about Maslow's hierarchy of needs, this idea that we're in survival mode and we have to grab, and then we kind of move up to the other. And, you know, at some point there's self-actualization.

Laura (00:06:55) - I live in the arena with people who are in the conversation about then what? You know, it's great when we've been blessed. It's great when we've come through, especially those of us have come through adversity, come through hard times, which is pretty much everybody in their own version. Right? When we really realized they were sufficient, we really realize that we're capable. What we get to do is we get to give. And I think that happens in business often. There's this blue sky there, strategic philanthropy where people give to get right. They want to look a certain way, you know, that's just not our playground. It's our honor. It's our privilege to be able to contribute.

Josh (00:07:30) - I, Laura, kind of going through some of your content and you have by the way, you are a great follow on LinkedIn. I highly recommend I just in case I didn't mention this already. Limitless women. Com actually a lot of great resources here and then. But again your content on LinkedIn is pretty fantastic.

Josh (00:07:49) - One of these I wanted to ask you about and this idea of, you know, maybe someone who in business feels like they're struggling and they never feel caught up versus those that and maybe we've experienced this, like, I feel like I'm in the flow right now or versus I am just not in the flow right now. It's just like it's just everything feels like a struggle. Could you maybe talk about your kind of experiences on that?

Laura (00:08:15) - Yeah. I mean, I think I'm a typical overnight sensation at this point. Josh. Right. If you would say that. Like, you know, I married into a family business when I'm 23 and now I'm 57, and there's a little bit of a gap in between there, right? So lots of journeys, lots of mistakes, lots of things that I learned. What I find often is that in the work that we, we get to do, whether we're working in the private sector or for benefit, it's this idea where it's so much more than mindset, right? The idea that something is holding us back, it's not simply that we're wrong or that we're insecure.

Laura (00:08:45) - There's more to it. There's the doing the right actions and the right order. And that feeling of overwhelm, the feeling of I'm never caught up. Usually what's underneath that is an old message, right? There's an old message that we're in comparison with somebody. And I see it's interesting. I see women do this differently than men. Right? I mean, men compare, but men, you just have a different bravado about it. Right. And and women were just often putting ourselves in this comparison game. What I love to share with a woman when she's feeling that way, and to a gentleman, if it helps, is instead of comparing yourself to other people, why don't you compare yourself backwards? You know, compare yourself to where you came from? When I was in college and it just this comfortable because we're talking about it. I was severely anorexic. I was in a domestic violence relationship. People see me today with all the blessings that I have. That didn't just happen, right. You know, there's a whole lot of my journey that helped me become who I am today.

Laura (00:09:38) - There's a whole lot of your journey that helped you become who you are. In each one of us that's called to share our message is called that way for a reason. There's another person out there that needs to hear what you have to say. So one of the ways to get out of overwhelm or get out of not enough, is to be in the act of service to others. When you get to lift up another person, it's a little hard to be obsessed with your own stuff.

Josh (00:10:00) - Were leaders and influencers, you know, either male or female. What are some gender observations? Maybe historically or maybe some that you see that still are kind of lingering on that, that you think everyone should at least acknowledge or be aware of just so that when. You know, we have the opportunity to use that, you know, that that sensitivity or whatever it is, you know, what can we do to equalize the playing field? What can we do to, you know, maybe limit some of the unhelpful aspects of gender differences moving forward?

Laura (00:10:43) - Yeah.

Laura (00:10:43) - It's interesting. I would say one thing that's going to be interesting for both genders is to really understand what I just said about the power of your positioning versus posturing. What happens often when I'm in a mixed environment with men and women? There's a lot of that kind of Ramada where people are trying to prove who they are, right? They're trying to posture, they're trying to get their word out and get their thing out. It's a very different energy when you're just positioned with who you are and who you're here to be, and each one of you has a valid point and a valid voice. Sometimes the quietest person in the room has the most to say, and I think that's something that's interesting to see. When I see mixed audiences, I see how men get married to a man and I have two sons. I love men, but, you know, it's a different energy. And what happens is that women often take themselves out of the game. So a way that a gentleman can be more kind to a woman is to give her her voice.

Laura (00:11:35) - I was on a call earlier today with a woman who is very powerful. She works with franchising, and she's really and she's often the only woman in the room. And so it's that place where she said, you know what? I have to pipe up and get my story in, you know, a little more respect for the other. Whether it's a male person or a female person is always a good way to do business. I think it's a good way to build relationships.

Josh (00:11:57) - Uh, are there any books that that you find yourself recommending? Offer. Doesn't have to be a book or book resource. Just something that you're like, you know. I think the world would be. Or, you know, I think that there's maybe some challenges in the world of business or elsewhere, relationships, whatever it may be. And I, you know, something that you find yourself championing often and where folks can go from here.

Laura (00:12:22) - Yeah, I'm.

Laura (00:12:23) - A pretty voracious reader. So that's a that's a big question.

Laura (00:12:26) - And so I try to read about 2 to 4 books every week. So in the personal sector, I can tell you the book that I have recommended for more people than any book is Louise Hay's book, You Can Heal Your Life. It was absolutely a game changer for me. Someone handed me that book when I was in my early 20s, and it it helped me have perspective that life could be different on a personal level. You know, in a business level, I feel like some of the stuff that you probably have, because you're working with entrepreneurs and business owners all the time. I think that the, you know, the, the biggest game changer for entrepreneurs, if they're looking at entrepreneurship is Rich dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. Understanding the difference of how you position yourself a business as an entity, what that looks like, how you're taxed, that, that, that that's a Bible. I think for entrepreneurs it just really has such good foundation places. And if someone's been in business for a while, my favorite business is Abundance by Peter Diamandis.

Laura (00:13:20) - And it's not always easy to find. And it's really talks about leveling the playing field, right. There's no lack of resources on the planet. There's a lack of resourcefulness. And so looking at yourself as a futurist and as a leader in the world, if you're well established, it helps expand your capacity.

Josh (00:13:37) - Yeah, solid, solid.

Josh (00:13:39) - Classic book.

Josh (00:13:40) - Recommendations.

Josh (00:13:41) - I had to pull that out.

Josh (00:13:44) - Yeah. Cheryl, just a little bit more about limitless women and how you work. You know, obviously it looks like you're have events, but tell me more about how you engage and work with your audiences. Yeah.

Laura (00:13:56) - Thank you for that. So for seven years we've been giving away free gifts on Friday. So we have this free gift Friday. And we send that out to our email list and use that content to share on social media. And it's kind of a combination of trainings and perspectives that I've learned as an entrepreneur, and wisdom that I've gained from other entrepreneurs and and things like this. You know, having a conversation with a, with a trusted mentor who's not me often brings good stuff.

Laura (00:14:23) - We offer live events that are business training, fundraisers, and those are open to men and women. If they are something that you see advertised to the public. As an example, we have our floor retreat every year. I'm always a little particular about who comes to the room, because I think it makes sense that we're all aligned more. It's more important that our core values are aligned then that our gender is aligned, if that makes sense.

Josh (00:14:48) - Yeah.

Josh (00:14:49) - And so what was the what was the last event that you did and what happened.

Laura (00:14:53) - Oh, that. Well, that's that's a great question. The last event I did was in April. I hosted in a private retreat called The Lead Life, and I invited what was supposed to be 12 of my girlfriends to come together and talk about their walk of faith. And it ended up being 19 girlfriends. And we met in North Carolina. That's actually another book that I'm writing right now is all about the walk of Faith. So that was the last one.

Laura (00:15:14) - The prior to Covid, we held leadership and legacy events every year in Southern California. And yeah, and so the retreat is really all around revenue and cash and leadership and flow and the good stuff, all kinds of good stuff.

Josh (00:15:30) - Yeah. Tell me more about maybe the relationship with money that we may have, particularly if you have some insights into if there are any. Again, since I have you you're an expert in this role.

Josh (00:15:42) - I don't know anything you've observed.

Josh (00:15:45) - You know, that might be specific to women or might be more likely to happen amongst women.

Laura (00:15:51) - So, you know, the underlying mission of our work is to heal the poverty consciousness of Western business leaders. And people. Don't come to me and say, hey, will you help me heal my poverty consciousness? What they say is, I've been in business for a while. I'm really great at what I do. I tend to attract high, fast moving people like yourself. Josh. Right. I'm really educated. I've got this great network, but I'm not getting the profitability that I want.

Laura (00:16:14) - Usually that's a sign that underneath there's again that not enough conversation. So it doesn't always manifest in the way that we think it does. And when we go to school, unless we're studying accounting and finance, we don't know what we don't know. And often what I see, you know, traditional accounting and bookkeeping, things like that. It's not even the way that entrepreneurs think about money often. Right. So I think that there's a place of finding out that you really are in abundance and remembering that we get more of what we focus on. And I don't mean that just from the woo woo. I just think that there's something powerful about granular gratitude. If you've had any kind of wake up call, it would be a death, a divorce, a disease, anything in your life that had you wake up and realized like, hey, this is what really matters for me. I think we as a species had a wake up call with Covid 19, right? We really are more sufficient than we think we are.

Laura (00:17:04) - And if we spend time always, you know, telling God, I don't have enough. I'm not enough. That's why. Isn't this better or why isn't it, you know, how do you think you're going to experience your life versus that, that simple gratitude of everything we need being provided for us in really small ways. You know, it can be like you get a parking space. It can be that you go to open the fridge and what you need is there, right? I mean, just little simple things that really are gifts. When you look at the fact that close to 3 billion people live on less than $3 a day in the world, it's hard to get perspective. Often when we live in the developed world because we have so much, you know, we have so much abundance that always has created a false scarcity for us.

Josh (00:17:43) - Now, I.

Josh (00:17:44) - Wanted to ask you about something that happened a few years ago, and you had a. Well, listen, as someone who has suffered with some, some back issues and I just have a disc that just, you know, it's I injured it a number of years ago and it gets re-injured fairly easily.

Josh (00:18:04) - And I know you had some some back experiences and something kind of powerful magical to happen. You mind sharing a little bit about that story?

Josh (00:18:13) - Yeah.

Laura (00:18:13) - Thanks for asking. So December 26th of 2020 I'm an avid Yogi, and I was driving out in the afternoon to go to a yoga class, and I drove head on into traffic at 60 miles an hour and created a head on collision that prompted, you know, luckily, I was okay. The sheriff pulled me out and said, I don't know why you're alive. I don't know how this works. And I said, you know, God's not done with me yet. And I said that kind of flippantly. But I also knew internally there was some things that I need to pay attention to. Something was going on. Right. So over the next almost two years, I was on a journey. I had four surgeries between September of last year and March of this year. And I have, you know, I have what I have genetically, which is an interesting thing because my son's a geneticist, but I have what I have genetically, and then I have what I have in opportunity.

Laura (00:19:03) - And so one of the surgeries we were talking about, two of the surgeries for my back, but I have spinal fusion, so I feel like I'm a bionic woman now, you know, absolutely pain free. And I think that what's available is I could have taken this diagnosis and said, okay, this happened because and now I'm going to carry that, or I could take this opportunity and say, okay, what is available and who can I partner with to heal my body and what? This was a big part for me as an entrepreneur. Josh, how do I pause with my mission and my work? And I'm on track and things are moving. We've got all these things that we know we have on our agenda. How do I really take a pause and and stay in bed for a couple of months? It was a very interesting adventure and I can tell you today I'm paid free. I'm so very blessed. And it really it gave me an opportunity to once again really evaluate what matters. Yeah.

Josh (00:19:57) - Yeah. Your website, Limitless Women. I just want to, you know, someone that's been listening to our conversation. I know you offer free trainings, but I do. Let's talk about where folks go from here. And I know you provide so much value. Um, talk about like what that looks like. You know, all the, you know, where where someone that's kind of going from here can go next.

Laura (00:20:17) - Yeah. You know, I think it's that place. If I can just if you go to my website, you can figure out how to contact me. It's not rocket science. It's all over the pages. You know what I mean? Contact us and it'll come to me. And if somebody wants to have a telephone call, I'll tell you where. My life experience can be super valuable for a business owner. There's a couple of places. Again, after having had six businesses that I've sold, I'm really good at exit strategies, at building systems, at building rockstar teams that run your company for you.

Laura (00:20:43) - I love owner independent operations, and I'm also deeply connected to people who have a calling on their life. If they know that their work is as a messenger. Often, you know, people I meet are coming from all different shapes and sizes and different times of life. But, you know, if you're in a in a mature season of life and you know that you're committed to getting your message out so you can help people, you know, let's have a conversation. Because I know that messaging with a mission changes the world. And and I was happy to help get you connected. You know, if they're looking to up their influence, I'll send them right back to you. Josh, you're the guy. So, you know, I mean, again, I think it's that place of how do we. A good friend of mine, Sandra Yancey, founded an organization called Women Network and love one of her core values, which is lift as we climb, you know, how do we support each other? It's really an honor and a privilege, and I'm happy to chat with anybody who who needs some help if I can help.

Josh (00:21:38) - Laura Gisborne, again, founder of Limitless Women. Your website, Limitless Laura, it's been such a pleasure having you. Thank you.

Laura (00:21:46) - Josh, thanks for your generous on your generous invitation and your generous interview. Thank you. Here.

Josh (00:21:55) - Thanks for listening to the Thoughtful Entrepreneur show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up my influence slash guest. If you're a listener, I'd love to shout out your business to our whole audience for free. You can do that by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or join our Listener Facebook group. Just search for the Thoughtful Entrepreneur and Facebook. I'd love, even if you just stopped by to say hi. I'd love to meet you. We believe that every person has a message that can positively impact the world. We love our community who listens and shares our program every day. Together, we are empowering one another as thoughtful entrepreneurs. Hit subscribe so that tomorrow morning. That's right. Seven days a week you are going to be inspired and motivated to succeed.

Josh (00:22:53) - I promise to bring positivity and inspiration to you for around 15 minutes each day. Thanks for listening and thank you for being a part of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur movement.

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