Finding Work-Life Blend with Tamara Loehr
Everyone is told to find a 'work-life' balance, however Tamara Loehr doesn't think this is healthy. As a successful entrepreneur, wife, mother, boss, and active global citizen she realized that balance was impossible. Instead she is blazing a new way by creating the blend of work and life. This has freed her up to become at all of them. Removing the barriers and segmentation in life has opened new possibilities of creativity.
In today's episode we talk about this new blend, creativity, being an entrepreneur, building businesses that give back, building an impactful life, defining your values, and finding your freedom.
Today's episode is sponsored by:
About Tamara Loehr
Entrepreneur and creative powerhouse Tamara Loehr has spent her life making disruptive change for good by ‘doing the opposite’. Now she’s encouraging other women to leverage their personal power for global impact.
Born in Australia into a third-generation mining family, Tamara was raised in a mining town of less than 10,000 people: a culture of hard work and moderate aspirations. She was an artistic, nature-loving free spirit: catching tadpoles, dancing, singing, drawing and dreaming.
While her classmates expected to follow their parents into the mines and marriage, Tamara longed for different challenges. As a teenager, she spent long hours in her room writing songs, started a band and performed locally. She was an enthusiastic fundraiser and school council president, later competing in Miss Australia and winning the title of ‘Miss Fundraiser.’ This was when she first realized that she had a talent for making money—and the impact she could create by using that talent for the good of others.
Her high school results would have won her place studying Law at university, but she ‘did the opposite’ (to the horror of her parents) and pursued Fine Arts majoring in Illustration, with a minor in Marketing. Graduating with top marks, she was snapped up by a Gold Coast marketing agency as a graphic designer. Less than one year in the job, she realized she loved the work but hated the ego-driven, male-dominated industry. This pushed her to start her own digital marketing agency with a different approach, Mitara Empresa, which she still owns over twenty years later.
Inspired by reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Tamara started asset-building in her early twenties. She lived on vegemite and toast to save up the deposit for her first investment property, a site overlooking the river and city where she later built a block of units.
While Mitara skyrocketed into the top 2% of marketing agencies in the country, Tamara continued songwriting and worked on projects around the world as an indie writer and recording artist. Performing under the stage name ‘Claire’, Tamara kept her parallel career separate from her marketing clients, who often assumed that the singer they saw on TV and performing at football games was Tamara’s sister! Heading up her own agency gave Tamara the flexibility to go on six-week overseas writing tours while the business remained running under her team. This is when Tamara first started blending: business, travel and music.
Retiring from music at 30, Tamara was on her final tour when she met her husband during a stopover in London. He moved to Australia, and when their first child was born he chose to become a stay-at-home father. With her husband delighted to ‘do the opposite’ with roles in their family life, Tamara was able to continue as a passionate entrepreneur and the family breadwinner.
She refocused her energy and ambitions on business, getting her first business coach. In 2015 she joined Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and found her tribe. With her typical drive and natural leadership, she became the president of her chapter in only her third year of membership.
Through EO she learned about the ‘sweat equity’ model of business and started her first venture in the wellness space, growing a business from under $1M annual turnover to over $10M in less than two years with no capital investment—an astonishing achievement for a first-time investor.
Hungry for more, Tamara was accepted to the Entrepreneurs Masters Program (a.k.a. ‘The Birthing of Giants’) at MIT in Boston, where she completed a three-year course with fellow entrepreneurs from around the world. Here she focused on defining her values, establishing her mandate and creating her legacy project.
Jeff Hoffman (guest lecturer at EMP, founder of Priceline.com and advocate of ‘Business for Good’, regularly representing entrepreneurs at the UN) agreed to mentor Tamara to transition into her next growth phase: global impact. Feeling limited by the model and partners from her Australia-based business, Tamara sold out and moved on to expand her investment in ethical wellness, through capital raising and breaking into the United States market.
With her instinct for picking brands that elevate the industry, Tamara invested in a gut health functional snack food company called Gutsii, and premium vegan haircare brand Hot Tresses. Within 12 months of launching Hot Tresses in the States, the products were available at a range of premium outlets such as Nordstrom and Hudson Bay and featured on QVC’s Beauty IQ. Gutsii was launched more recently and has also achieved amazing results out of the gate, picking up 600 stores in six weeks from launch date and being available in-store in four countries.
Forever determined to ‘do the opposite’, Tamara has set her sights on disrupting the beauty industry with her Dollar Beauty Tribe. Tamara believes the purchasing power of consumers in the beauty industry can abolish animal testing, set a new ethical standard for beauty brands and positively impact the world.
In 2018, Tamara was accepted into the Young Presidents Organisation (YPO), becoming one of 25,000+ global members turning over an average of $45M across their businesses. Sadly, only approximately 10% of members are female, a disconnect from the fact that 40% of households in the States are now supported by a female breadwinner. This revelation prompted Tamara to write a book to empower female breadwinners to play a bigger game in business, titled Balance is B.S. In the book, Tamara shares her personal formula for building a work/life blend (not balance!) in order to scale your business without burning out.
The book also addresses the recurring issues women (and many men) face as entrepreneurs: the reality of losing more than we win, the need to take a stand against bad behaviour in business, and misconceptions around having to ‘compromise’ as a working parent.
A major share of Tamara’s profits from the book are being donated to Buy1Give1. For every 200 books sold, a business loan will be provided to a female in a developing country.
From a frustrated creative spirit in small-town rural Australia, to the leader of a global tribe of beauty influencers, Tamara’s passions and priorities have remained the same: “Doing the opposite”, disrupting old patterns to create positive change, and leading other passionate people to create a legacy that changes the world.