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By Impulse4Women on April 13, 2023

Successful Story vs. Success Story. An interview with Larissa Best


Larissa Best is an inspirational Advisory Board member for Impulse4Women community. Throughout her career, she said yes to opportunities, which led her to a varied and wholesome career. We talked about key ingredients for women as entrepreneurs: self-confidence, learning and networking.

She has various experiences such as CEO, founder, employee, business angel and mentor.  She used to be president of LBAN (Luxembourg Business Angel Network) and co-founder of Equilibre, a Luxembourg-based association, well known as a think tank, delivering insight on inclusion of women in the business sector. Today, she teaches at the University of Luxembourg within the Master of Entrepreneurship, works for the EIC as jury member, manages a club of entrepreneurs, works as an LMS manager and sits on boards for a PE company.

202211 RRSS Expert talk (Blog Banner) (8)


Impulse4Women: Starting off with your story, could you introduce yourself Larissa Best? 

I have a natural curiosity and willingness to explore that has led me to diverse experiences. Rather than having a clear plan or direction, I've been open to opportunities that came my way and have taken risks to try new things. This approach has allowed me to gain a broad range of skills and perspectives, and has even helped me to discover a sense of purpose and passion along the way.

I try to be open-minded and adventurous, and I feel like this approach has served me well so far. I continue to build on this pattern of saying "yes" to new experiences while also reflecting on what I've learned and where I want to go next.

I4W: You come from a finance and banking background. Do you consider that you are jumping from one opportunity to the next one ?

When I am ready for a new opportunity, it usually presents itself. Even though I have a strong foundation in banking and finance, I have never really worked directly in that world. That background has howeve helped me a lot because banking and finance is  all about logical thinking, such as understanding the stock market. Everything is Maths based….there is no Accounting for example, which is more like a language to master. 

I continued to educate myself through various means such as online courses or even podcasts. It’s important to keep learning and growing within and outside your field, especially with how quickly technology and industry is changing. 

I4W: Are there some specific moments in your professional life you want to comment on?

Honestly, I think each and every moment has taught me something. When I struggle, I know that I have reached a personal limit and the universe is giving me an opportunity to grow and learn something new. This is my mantra when I feel overwhelmed or frustrated. 
I have recently become more aware of the fact that I seem to be looking for situations which make me uncomfortable. I thus set myself up for learning opportunities, even if they are always a bit painful.

A nice example is working in a team. When you graduate from university, you have no clue how to work in a team, but the work world needs you to work in teams. Thus, you need to learn really fast and adapt. I remember when I came from the university, I thought I knew everything….life taught me that I know almost nothing….and that is okay. 

I4W: Do you think that these challenges made you stronger? Do you have some advice for businesswomen?

As said above, I strongly feel that every challenge makes you grow. I also believe that anybody can overcome a challenge if they have the right support system around them. I really feel that a support network is important.

A professional support network and a personal support network, which could be outside your family, are the most important tools in your tool box to put yourself out there and try new things. Achieving anything on your own is hard.  Achieving something with other people is much easier….with the right people of course. 

I4W: So do you mean that success isn't possible without support and network?

I don't think so. People who are not able to trust other people will never be as successful as they could be. They will limit their success potential because they will micromanage everything and everyone, and you only have 24 hours a day.  You cannot work as much alone as in a team. It's all about working in sync, trusting other people, and understanding that everybody brings something to the table which is different to what you bring to the table, and then you build something beautiful. So I'm absolutely convinced that this is what makes any company successful.

I4W: Do you have some specific situation that you faced as a businesswoman which you can share? How did you deal with?

Don't let anybody tell you, especially you yourself, that you can't because you can. Don't be afraid to do things which you barely know something about.

If you think you know 60% of the job, then go for it, because the other 40% are fun to discover. Those 40% are your learning opportunity which you then bring to the next job where you only know 60%. That way, you can accept bigger and more important positions over time. I usually shy away from positions where I know 120% on how to do the job because then I can't learn anything new anymore.

So put yourself out there and don't get hung up when making mistakes. Everybody makes them. We're not perfect. Finally, whenever I felt like I was lost or did not know what to do, I activated my network.

I4W: Could you specify what you mean with network ?

There's a great researcher at the University of Washington who looked at the number of connections you have personally and professionally in life. Her studies prove that the best opportunities career wise and in life, are directly correlated with the amount of people you have in your network. She goes even further as she shows that the best predictor for career success is not the amount of people you have in your close network but rather in your broad network. I concur with her research through my personal experience.

The best jobs, the best opportunities, the best interviews, the best everything came through people that I barely know and not through the people that I know very well.

I4W: what are the tips you will provide to a woman who starts or wants to start a startup? 

Have fun. I find that the best moments are the moments where you had fun because then even if you fail or things don’t turn out exactly how you wanted them, you still had fun. Also, you work a lot harder when you are having fun than when you hate your job.

Secondly, don’t worry because things are never going to work out exactly as you want them. You can make the best plans but they rarely ever work out the way that you planned. And that's okay.

Finally, be gracious with yourself, be humble, be okay not to be perfect and then surround yourself with people who support you, who are fun and help you to not forget that life isn't all about work, but it's also about having fun. Then you can't do anything wrong!

I4W: Larissa, thanks for the interview. 

Published by Impulse4Women April 13, 2023