YEDaily: Theresa Laurico

Theresa Laurico is the Chief Visionary Officer of the SociaLIGHT Conference, an entrepreneurship and leadership event that inspires forward-thinkers to come together and share knowledge. The concept behind SociaLIGHT developed when Theresa was just 19; read on to find out how she made it a reality…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
I’m the Chief Visionary Officer of the SociaLIGHT Conference, which is the ultimate entrepreneurship and leadership event that brings together 1,000 entrepreneurs and top speakers for a day of empowerment and knowledge-sharing. The conference inspires emerging entrepreneurs to create successful social enterprises with a focus on the triple bottom line – People, Planet, Profit. SociaLIGHT stands for a Leader Impacting Global Humanity Today.

Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
When I was 19, I read Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins and I started looking for resources for entrepreneurs. There was a need for a place for dreamers to come together to discuss what’s possible and to put change in motion. SociaLIGHT has become that place for many.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
I love to know that what I’m building inspires and enables people to pursue their dreams. I get tons of notes after the conference from people telling me how it changed their lives. Many attendees have told me that it gave them the courage to leave their jobs and create something on their own!

I love that I get to work with my best friends, although that is also the most challenging part. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to draw the line between being a friend and being a person of authority.

Another challenge that I faced was making the transition from a steady, secure, paying job to becoming a bootstrapping entrepreneur!

Where do you see your business going in 5 years?
Next year I am expanding the conference to New York City, but over the next five years I hope to have SociaLIGHT gain international trust and respect as a brand and develop an online community for emerging entrepreneurs. I want to continue making a genuine impact and eventually work with Oprah!

What does success look like to you?
Success is being your authentic self.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
In 2011, I stood in front of 1,000 entrepreneurs and spoke at the first SociaLIGHT Conference; it was the realization of my dream and I’ll never forget it.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
1. Surround yourself with people that support you and believe in what you’re doing
2. Don’t be afraid to ASK!
3. Take a journey to your inner self and remain true to your discoveries
4. Believe in the power of manifestation

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I’m involved with several charities but I’m really passionate about United Global Shift, which aims to cause a united global shift in what is possible for humanity, focusing on the environment, employment, entrepreneurship, health and education. UGS helps people design projects that go beyond band-aid fixes to problems in the world.

What is Notable to you?
Integrity is essential; it is important to be someone who pursues his or her dreams.

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?

How do you keep active, energetic, and vibrant?
I meditate regularly, play with my puppy named Love, and spend loads of time with my loved ones.