How this tenacious entrepreneur beat brain trauma to become a tech success story

How this tenacious entrepreneur beat brain trauma to become a tech success story

Christy Laurence knows better than most what it takes to be a resilient businesswoman.

The seasoned advertising executive left a cushy corporate gig with Insurance Australia Group to chase the entrepreneurial dream just over three years ago.

Laurence then founded Plann, an Instagram planning, scheduling and analytics tool which is designed to help people get discovered and make sales on Instagram.

Adjusting to the life of a self-made entrepreneur is a challenging task for anybody, but for Laurence the uphill battle was made even more difficult when a freak illness struck.

Due to a rare complication with the flu, Laurence suffered lasting brain trauma which rendered her constantly dizzy, feeling as if she was "drunk", nauseous and constantly staving off panic attacks.

She also lost most of her mobility for more than 18 months.

Although times were tough, she was determined not to be defeated by her condition.

Instead Laurence put all her efforts into building Plann, the company which was originally born when she was illustrating and selling her own artwork on Instagram.

Plann is now one of the top 1200 grossing apps in the world and to date has been downloaded more than a million times across 120 countries. Each week Plann acquires more than 15,000 users to its platform.

Laurence says a big part of Plann's success came from sheer tenacity and a refusal to be defeated by major obstacles.

"I would yell at myself every morning: what are you going to do today to make money!" she says.

"You need to work really hard on focusing on what makes money and not let anything else get in the way."

Now, the happy and healthy entrepreneur is proud of her journey and mentors others through startup accelerator programs Elevacao, Tech Ready Women and Founders for Founders.

In January last year Laurence turned down a multi-million dollar acquisition offer to sell Plann and instead ramped up capital expenditure to scale to 22 staff across nine countries.

She has a passion for helping other entrepreneurs achieve success and aims to see the day when tech becomes a more equal industry.

"I can't wait until I'm not a female in tech, I'm just, in tech," she says.

"I invite other up and coming female entrepreneurs over with their products where my marketing team will create content for them to give them a kickstart."

Laurence also enjoys working with her husband Tim who recently left a successful corporate career to become Plann's chief operations officer.

The pair are loving being in business together and enjoy Laurence's favourite pastime, rollerskating, on their lunchbreaks.

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