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Lara Westphalen was born in the Netherlands and pursued her studies in Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. With a career spanning 15 years, she has been actively involved in diverse Relocation and Event Management projects. Lara thrives on the emotional satisfaction derived from ensuring her clients’ happiness. Renowned for her meticulous attention to detail, she possesses an innate ability to anticipate and fulfill her clients’ every need and desire. Backed by extensive experience and unwavering reliability, Lara has established close collaborations with C-level executives and other high-level managers across various industries.
In a rapidly evolving world characterized by swift changes and increasing demands for prompt solutions, the team at Life Curators, led by Lara Westphalen, holds a pivotal role.
Table of Contents
THE INTERVIEW: We are delighted to share your knowledge, experience & insights with the GallantCEO audience.
Let us begin with a little introduction.
Tell our audience a bit about yourself and your company?
I am a highly experienced professional in the field of Relocation, Event Management, Concierge, and Personal/Executive Assistant.
With a diverse educational background and 15 years of industry expertise, I am known for my meticulous attention to detail and my ability to anticipate and fulfil my clients’ needs and wishes. I have worked closely with C-level executives and high-level managers in various companies, delivering exceptional results and making my clients happy.
I am the founder and leader of my company, The Life Curators where I have a team of dedicated professionals who specialize in providing PA / EA and concierge services. In a fast-paced and ever-changing world, Life Curators’ team understands the increasing need for prompt solutions and personalized experiences.
The company’s mission is to curate every aspect of its clients’ lives, ensuring seamless transitions during relocations and flawlessly executed events. With an unwavering commitment to excellence, Life Curators’ team anticipates clients’ needs and strives to exceed their expectations. They offer a wide range of services, tailored to the unique requirements of each individual or organization.
We are proud of ourselves for our reliability, attention to detail, and our ability to deliver exceptional outcomes. We are trusted partners for clients from diverse backgrounds and industries, working closely with them to understand their goals and provide tailored solutions that meet their needs specifically.
We have built a strong reputation for providing top-notch services, ensuring client satisfaction, and making a positive impact on our clients’ lives.
2021 and 2022 have been a tough year for business around the globe.
In your experience can you share how businesses prosper in 2023?
2021 and 2022 were amazing years for me to improve so many areas in the company.
Focus on client satisfaction: During challenging times such as the pandemic, my goal to prioritize client satisfaction became even more important. At The Life Curators, we continued to deliver exceptional service and went above and beyond to meet and exceed our client’s expectations. Building strong relationships and providing personalized experiences that lead to client loyalty and positive word-of-mouth referrals.
We embrace technology and digital solutions, investing in digital tools and platforms to enhance operational efficiency, improve communication with clients, and expand the reach of The Life Curators’ services. Embracing technology enabled the business to deliver services remotely, streamline processes, and provide a seamless experience for clients.
Strengthened strategic partnerships, collaborating with other businesses and /or professionals in complementary fields to create synergies and expand the range of services offered by The Life Curators. By forming strategic partnerships, the company can tap into new markets, leverage existing networks, and enhance its value proposition.
The economy has been turned on its head in the wake of the pandemic.
What should businesses focus on in 2023?
In 2023, businesses should consider focusing on several key areas to navigate the aftermath of the pandemic and adapt to the changing economic landscape:
The pandemic has accelerated the shift toward digitalization. Businesses should prioritize investing in digital technologies and online platforms to enhance operational efficiency, improve customer experiences, and enable remote work capabilities. In our case, embracing automation, data analytics, and cloud-based solutions positioned our businesses for success in the digital age.
Customer needs and preferences have evolved during the pandemic too. Businesses should continue to prioritize understanding their customers and delivering personalized experiences. Conducting market research, analyzing customer data, and leveraging digital channels can help businesses tailor their products, services, and marketing efforts to meet the evolving demands of their target audience.
The business environment remains so dynamic. Businesses should foster a culture of adaptability and agility to respond quickly to market shifts and emerging opportunities. This involves staying informed about industry trends, monitoring customer feedback, and being open to adjusting strategies and operations as needed.
Building a skilled and motivated workforce is essential. Companies should invest in talent acquisition strategies, offer competitive compensation packages, and create a positive work culture to attract and retain top talent. In my opinion, HR is the hardest part to manage in a company and it is really important that companies focus on retaining the talents they have.
The shift to remote work during the pandemic has proven successful for many businesses. Companies should consider embracing remote work or hybrid work models to attract talent, reduce overhead costs, and promote work-life balance.
Collaborating with other businesses, organizations, industry peers or stakeholders can lead to new opportunities and synergies. Businesses should explore strategic partnerships to expand their market reach, share resources, and drive innovation.
Many businesses went from working in the office to working at home.
What are the pros & cons of working from home?
In my case, I chose to have everyone working remotely. For me, working from home allows greater flexibility in setting work hours and managing personal responsibilities. It eliminates the need for commuting, saving time and reducing expenses associated with transportation. Some people find that working from home can lead to increased productivity due to fewer interruptions and distractions commonly found in office environments.
Remote work can provide a better balance between professional and personal life, allowing the team to spend more time with family, engage in hobbies, or pursue personal interests.
Which is exactly what we like to offer our clients as a service. Not only do we save commuting, but working from home also results in cost savings related to meals, and work attire. People often say that working remotely can also bring some problems like the lack of social interaction if you work remotely (which for me does not make sense as we interact after work with whom we love the most), or communication can be more challenging (no. it cannot. I have bi-weekly meetings and we communicate the whole day through our digital platforms. Or the house distractions that there might be. If you hire the right person, this won’t happen… People are responsible and know that there is a time and place for everything.
The war between Russia and Ukraine has caused a rising effect on inflation.
How can business owners combat the rise of inflation?
For me, there are two ways we always must have in mind: Always monitor and forecast and make our cost management.
We must stay informed about economic trends, particularly inflation rates, to anticipate potential impacts on costs and pricing. Also, evaluate and optimize expenses to mitigate the impact of inflation. This may involve renegotiating contracts with suppliers, exploring alternative sourcing options, or implementing cost-saving measures without compromising quality or customer satisfaction.
In the last 5 years, we have seen the rise of Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, NFTs, Digital Marketing, and many more!
What do you think will impact the world most in regards to online selling?
In the past five years, the digital landscape has witnessed the ascent of transformative trends. Cryptocurrencies and blockchain have emerged as game-changers, potentially revolutionizing online transactions by enhancing security, transparency, and cross-border payments. Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) have garnered attention for their ability to authenticate unique digital assets, promising to reshape digital goods’ sales and creator monetization.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is poised to refine online selling through personalized experiences, leveraging consumer data to offer tailored recommendations and drive conversions. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are breaking barriers between physical and digital shopping, allowing customers to virtually try products and visualize their fit in real-world contexts.
As ethical and environmental concerns grow, sustainable and ethical practices in online selling are becoming critical for gaining consumer trust. Social media platforms are integrating shopping features, enabling seamless purchasing within the social experience.
Anticipate regulatory shifts in data privacy and consumer protection, influencing online selling practices. While these trends hold immense potential, their success hinges on factors like user adoption, technological advancements, and legal landscapes. Staying abreast of developments and adapting strategies accordingly will be pivotal for navigating the evolving terrain of online selling.
On a more subtle note…
If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive who would it be?
I would have dinner with lots of people 🙂 But I would choose these three who have had a significant impact on various fields and whose insights would likely make for an interesting dinner conversation:
Elon Musk: A visionary entrepreneur and innovator, Elon Musk’s work spans electric vehicles, space exploration, and renewable energy. Conversations could explore his insights on technological advancement, sustainable development, and the future of humanity.
Marie Curie: A pioneering physicist and chemist, Curie’s groundbreaking research on radioactivity earned her two Nobel Prizes. Discussions might revolve around scientific discovery, gender equality in STEM fields, and the challenges she faced as a trailblazing woman in science.
Nelson Mandela: Mandela’s leadership in the anti-apartheid movement and his journey from prisoner to president embody the struggle for justice and reconciliation. Sharing stories of resilience, forgiveness, and social change, he could provide perspectives on human rights, unity, and transformative leadership.
This mix of contemporary innovation, historical scientific achievements, and social transformation would offer a thought-provoking blend of discussions, ranging from technology’s impact on society to the legacies of pioneers in science and social change.
Reading is still one of the most popular ways to learn anything.
What is your most recommended book(s) by who and what did you learn from them?
1. “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl: Frankl, a Holocaust survivor and psychiatrist, explores the human search for purpose and meaning, even in the midst of suffering. The book’s profound insights offer lessons in resilience, psychology, and finding meaning in challenging
2. “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain: Cain delves into the strengths and unique qualities of introverts in a society that often values extroversion. The book encourages readers to embrace their introverted nature and offers insights into how introverts can thrive in various environments.
3. “Becoming” by Michelle Obama: In her memoir, former First Lady Michelle Obama shares her personal journey, from her upbringing to her experiences in the White House. The book reflects on identity, leadership, and the power of resilience, inspiring readers to pursue their
4. “The Paradox of Choice” by Barry Schwartz: Schwartz examines the effects of an abundance of choices in modern society. Exploring the psychological impact of decision-making, the book offers insights into how to navigate choices and find greater satisfaction.
5. “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah: Comedian Trevor Noah’s memoir provides a humorous and poignant account of his childhood growing up in apartheid-era South Africa. The book explores issues of race, identity, and the human spirit’s ability to overcome
6. “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth: Psychologist Angela Duckworth examines the role of grit – a combination of passion and perseverance – in achieving long-term goals. The book provides insights into the qualities that contribute to success and
7. “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking” by Malcolm Gladwell: Gladwell explores the concept of rapid, intuitive decision-making. The book delves into the unconscious processes that influence our judgments and offer valuable perspectives on intuition and snap judgments. These diverse book recommendations touch on themes of personal growth, psychology, leadership, perseverance, business strategy, decision-making, identity, and innovation. Each offers a unique perspective that can inspire readers to reflect on their own lives and consider new ways of thinking.
What is your purpose for getting out of bed each day and what do you aim to achieve in the future?
My purpose for getting out of bed each day is centred around my commitment to making a positive impact on various issues that matter to me – starting with my children and family and with my team and company.
Personally, I’ll continue to work towards my goals of empowering my children, promoting their healthy lifestyles, and advocating for social change.
My professional aim for the future includes leading The Life Curators in strategic directions, ensuring the stability and growth of the company, fostering innovation, and maintaining positive relationships with both team and clients.