On this instalment of Business Leader Insight, we spoke to Lara Morgan, a British entrepreneur with a track record of delivering exceptional accelerated growth. Her investment strategy in wellbeing products primarily is pinned to improving life’s journey.
Lara founded her first business, Pacific Direct, in 1991 at the age of just 23. Having arrived in the UK from Hong Kong with little or no hotel experience, Lara quickly grew Pacific Direct into a specialist global supplier of luxury high-end brands for five-star hotels.
Lara invests in British brands including Scentered.com, the 100% natural, portable, Wellbeing Ritual aromatherapy brand; Gate8 luggage, lightweight, time-saving, functional, business luggage and accessories that reduce stress; KitBrix, a functional, robust, modular, sports kit bag and organiser system for active people, Yogi Bare, the best in class yoga and fitness mats and accessories. Lara is a proud mother of three girls and a committed volunteer and philanthropist.
Here’s a breakdown of what we discussed in the interview:
- You were set to go to university but following your father’s bankruptcy, this didn’t happen. Could you explain the impact this had on you? (1:18)
- You started your first business at the age of 23 and eventually sold it for £20million. What were the key ingredients to building this business? (2:38)
- What’s the feeling like when you’ve signed on the dotted line and sold your business? (4:47)
- What did the sacrifice of achieving your goals mean to you? (8:31)
- What tips do you have for anybody planning to – or going through – an exit? (9:41)
- For you what are the most important elements to scaling a business? (11:35)
- What does a good business do to motivate their employees? (13:29)
- What do you think makes the mark of a good leader in business? (16:18)
- What advice would you have for entrepreneurs going through a difficult time at the moment? (17:37)
- Could you tell us about your typical working day? (19:32)
Questions from the public
- Do you think it’s an employer’s obligation to look after their employees’ mental health? (21:00)
- What advice do you have for leaders who have had to close their businesses during COVID-19? (22:20)
- What keeps you motivated and hungry in life and business? (24:18)
- What is the best advice you’ve ever received? (25:48)
- What is one thing about you that people won’t be able to find online? (27:34)
Final word from Lara (29:09)
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