This week’s profile features an interview with Lauryn Colatuno, who is located in Raleigh, NC. I met Lauryn in July 2013 through the Yelp Triangle Elite Community. She had become the new Community Manager, and as an Elite Reviewer, I was eager to meet her. Lauryn was loaded with tons of personality, excitement for community, and had some fun ideas to keep our community connected and having fun exploring the region’s best businesses, restaurants, and other fixtures. I learned a lot from her about branding and personalized business marketing tactics. Her passion for stories, digital media, and food is evident.
- Lauryn, it’s good to connect again. What did you want to be when you “grew up” and how has that evolved?
I definitely wanted to be in show business since I was obsessed with movies, particularly musicals, since I was a kid. I have a Film degree from UNCW and originally minored in theatre, as well, but then realized I was much more comfortable behind the scenes. So, I moved to Los Angeles after college and pursued my film career. I fell in love with storytelling and it’s still my passion today. I still believe there is no better way to tell a story than through video. I worked with many celebrities while producing documentary TV shows for A&E, History Channel, Animal Planet, and Spike TV. Though I didn’t become a “star” – well not yet:) — my job as the Community Manager for Yelp.com put me in the spotlight quite a bit so I often referred to myself as a D-list celebrity. I loved promoting the Yelp brand and it gave me the opportunity to be in front of the camera for once. My career continues to evolve and I’m definitely still pursuing my show biz dream, I won’t give up till I make it on the Food Network!
- That’s quite a journey. What do you do in your “day job” now and why have you chosen that?
I work in Digital Media for a local radio station, WCHL and Chapelboro.com. To be honest I needed a job and it was a good opportunity. I’m in a bit of a hybrid position where I handle social media, the website, graphics, blogging, and analytics, as well as sales.
- How happy have you been with your choices, along the way?
Overall, I’ve had a really crazy career path with so many amazing opportunities. I’m happy that I get to be creative daily. The creativity keeps me going. I’ve built a unique skillset which I think is pretty valuable. I battle with my creative career choices and not choosing a career that was more lucrative, but at the end of the day money doesn’t buy happiness.
- What are your best sources for learning?
I watch a lot of webinars, and listen to podcasts and audiobooks.
- What advantages, barriers, and motivators for women have you observed?
Age – I recently worked in a woman dominated environment with a crazy amount of young talented women. Upper management would not move these women up as they deserved because they were “too young.” Fitting family life with work life is a big barrier for women. Even though I don’t have kids of my own yet, I am even fearful of the transition. I’ve also been asked to work weekends and nights before other women because I don’t have kids and they do, with no extra compensation. People just assume if you don’t have kids that you don’t have any other commitments. I’ve come across a lot of woman rivalry in the workplace which is so unfortunate. Women leaders should be guiding and cheering on their female co-workers’ successes, not trying to compete with them or be putting them down. I also believe women are given titles over compensation and it’s so frustrating. As far as motivators, I know positive feedback works for me. When I’m recognized for my hard work, I feel more accomplished.
- What is your passion and why is it important to you?
Cooking! Nothing brings people together like food. Cooking also relaxes me after a long day of work. It’s another creative outlet for me.
- I bet I know what the answer to this one is. What do you devote your time to outside of “work?”
Family, cooking, and fitness.
- You’ve heard many stories and developed a variety of skills. How do you feel most inspired?
Seeing other people succeed. Seeing someone who’s worked hard and accomplished their goals inspires me to keep moving forward and to work harder for the things I want. I feel most inspired when I can create, share, and help others.
- What causes and organizations are you most passionate about?
Animal rescues and the Ronald McDonald House.
- What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced?
Work life balance. I often put my work before my personal life. I also have a very hard time saying no and overwhelm myself trying to balance all my commitments. My motto for 2017 is “Say Yes to Saying No”
- Best and worst advice you’ve ever received?
Best advice – “There is no better time than right now.”
Worst advice – If you’re not happy, just quit
Want to see what Lauryn is up to? Check out Lauryn’s blog all about food, fitness, and fun in and around the NC Triangle area and beyond, connect with her on LinkedIn, like NC Triangle Girl on Facebook, and follow her on Instagram or Twitter.
Thanks for reading Lauryn’s story. Share in the comments how it impacted you or share it on social media. Check out next week’s weekly post on Women & the Ways We Work. Missed the others? Take a look at my blog to read the others. Know someone you think should be featured? Can I help you or your organization with a storytelling project? Contact me and let’s chat.
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