Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Laura Nespoli, founder of Meshin Movement, located in Rochester, NY, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Meshin Movement is a brand strategy and story consultancy with a commitment to social impact. Meshin works with brands, founders, and start-ups to help them articulate positioning and purpose, and also with agencies and independents as an extension of their team on brand, creative, and messaging strategies. I also partner with causes and community initiatives, using stories to inspire a movement for the greater good.

Tell us about yourself

For 15 years, I worked as a strategist in multiple capacities across the brand marketing spectrum with a focus on brand storytelling for companies across industries and categories--from fortune 100s to local non-profits.

Then in 2018, I had a vision for a meal experience with a narrative of connection woven into it. I saw this meal paying forward proceeds to organizations in need. From that vision, Meshin Movement was born. "Meshi" means meal or rice in Japanese. Today, Meshin Movement fulfills my purpose of uniting people through shared meaning, whether by articulating a shared brand purpose, or connecting as people through a keynote or workshop, in the same way, people gather around a table to share a meal—or Meshin Meal.

I'm passionate about the magic that happens when strategy, story, and social impact come together to create meaning that inspires behavior or mindset change. I have a special knack for hearing the unsaid, seeing the unseen, and sensing the most meaningful threads in a story, and I'm committed to using that ability towards social good and growth for individuals and teams.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I've enjoyed business successes in the financial sense, including earning more for myself than I ever have working for someone else! But I consider my biggest accomplishments to be those that help me live my values and purpose. I've made a pledge to donate 10% of my profits to the world's most effective charities through Giving What We Can, and I apply the same mindset to giving in my own community. Beyond financial resources, I'm proud of the initiatives I've explored that blend strategy and social impact. Pushing myself beyond my comfort zone and asking, "What can I do?" and "What if we could...?" are accomplishments, even if the answers result in nothing more than a learning experience on what doesn't work.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Balancing the focus on evolving to meet future opportunities while also building a pipeline for the moment is particularly challenging. I know the pipeline is something every leader worries about in today's market. I struggle with having multi-faceted goals and pursuing different modes of leveraging my expertise and ensuring the one that is the clear revenue driver gets enough attention while not excluding growth in other areas.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Do what you love. When you're passionate about your work, it doesn't feel like "work."
  2. Operate from a mindset of abundance. It will help you maintain the positive energy to draw the right people and make abundance a reality.
  3. Ask for help and create a strong support network. Whether it's your inner circle of confidants or a member network of people who share your skills or mindset, having the encouragement and support of others will get you through the inevitable starting out and growing pains and evolutionary changes inherent in business.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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