Momentum4 is a consultancy specialising in ‘people performance’. They help businesses build a happy, mutually supportive workplace, instilling teams with a sense of real purpose. Helping ambitious organisations to grow, improve and evolve – Momentum4 tackle challenges ranging from staff attrition to absenteeism, conflict resolution to motivation, onboarding and integration.
They are the first UK preferred partner for Six Seconds the world’s largest EQ Network, whose diagnostics and tools provide us with a proven, evidence-based approach to employee resilience, fulfilment and wellbeing.
Co-founded by Lara Williams and her husband Chris, Lara combines the numerous skills she’s gained in her 15 years working as a consultant. She has a style that challenges traditional beliefs of what is realistically needed to be truly effective, encouraging her clients to ensure a healthy work life balance.
Co-founder and Director Lara also has a passion for sport. A keen runner and cyclist, Lara achieved her first Ironman in 2016 – an impressive feat! As part of our #WomenInSMEs campaign we chatted to Lara about her experience founding Momentum4.
1. Hi Lara, thanks for taking part in the campaign. Can you tell us why you and Chris founded Momemntum4?
I always knew at some point I would work for myself, it was just about when and what? It was when I took redundancy from a great job I had working in London, that I decided to go travelling for a while. I wrote out all the pros and cons of work and my future at the age of 30.
At first, I concluded that I wanted to be a teacher, but this swiftly moved into corporate learning and development. After deciding that this was my next step, I was on a mission and the next few years were about retraining, hard work and long hours. I created a compelling vision of what I wanted and what I had to do to get there. Then my life changed - I had my first daughter Chloe, moved to the coast and set up on my own. It was liberating and scary at the same time!
However, for me it was about being happy, self-motivated and creating work and life harmony. It was after my second daughter Grace that my husband Chris (also an independent consultant) and I decided to combine forces and set up Momentum4. This was an opportunity for us to grow, develop and take the business to a new level.
2. What’s been your greatest success and challenge so far?
I think the main success has been us, our energy, passion and ability to facilitate engaging, performance driven sessions. Our main challenge has also been us! To grow our brand and revenue we have had to produce more of 'US', or at least that's how it felt for a while.
As we started to spend more time talking to clients and keeping abreast of developments globally, we took the decision to invest our time, energy and money developing how we coached 'emotional intelligence'. It was a three-year journey for me and one I thoroughly enjoyed, albeit the business did take a hit for a while. Eventually we added a great new product to our portfolio and had a really compelling offering that delivered greater results for our clients and revenues for us.
3. For other female entrepreneurs starting out in business, what would be your biggest advice?
To believe in yourself, believe in your ideas and take action to create something you're proud of and passionate about. Be authentic and don't let the world around you change who you are, stay true to your values and pursue them with purpose. Have fun and laugh at yourself along the way, and finally, bring other women along with you. Help, support and nurture women as well as men.
4. Can you tell us why were you drawn to the campaign, and offer a comment on why you think it's important?
The disparity that remains between men and women in the world of business is an issue that I’m really passionate about addressing. I want my daughters to have positive female role models that they can look up to, and to never feel like their options are restricted because of their gender. So much of this problem stems from the ingrained psychological barriers that society instils in us, as women, from a very young age.
Those hang-ups are only strengthened by structures that exist in the workplace, which is why I think that emotional intelligence is so important in that environment; it gives organisations and teams the tools to understand each other’s perspectives and motivations, which is the first step to doing things differently.
We’ve just published a research report that digs into these issues in a lot more detail, building on feedback from more than 100 women in leadership roles to understand the challenges they face, and suggest strategies that may help to overcome them. You can read the Women in Leadership Report here.