Laura Rinnankoski is an international life and relationship coach, a neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner and a motivational speaker. Rinnankoski was born in Finland, grew up in Venezuela, studied in Boston and began her business in Ireland 10 years ago.
As well as one-to-one work with clients Rinnankoski has created her own group-work programme Breakthrough to Love.
What sets your business apart from the competition?
Well I coach in four different languages – English, Spanish, Finnish and Italian – so I’m very much an international life coach! I think what sets anyone apart is their personality and life experience and so what sets me apart is me! It’s very important when choosing a coach that you resonate and connect with that person.
I come from a corporate background, I studied advertising and psychology in university and I worked in some of the biggest advertising firms in Miami when I lived there. I moved to Europe over 12 years ago to start a new life. so when I’m talking to my clients about following what they really want to do, I did that, I know what it takes.
What’s the best piece of business advice you ever received?
There are constant opportunities, you just have to be open to them and not be too blinkered. Even if you have set a goal, you have to be open to any opportunities.
What has been your biggest mistake?
Well not so much a mistake but two good lessons for me were to be patient and believe in yourself. It takes time to build a business and you have to have patience while you're developing it. Also you have to believe in yourself. Sometimes friends and family want you to stay in the safe job but if you want to follow your passion you have to really believe in yourself. I think it was Henry Ford who said 'If you believe you can, you're right, and if you believe you can't, you're right'.
What’s your major success to date?
Creating my Breakthrough to Love course. I designed it myself and it encompasses everything I’ve learned and I teach so much during the course. I’m very proud of it.
Whom do you admire most in business and why?
Anthony Robins, a life coach in the US and Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul. I met Canfield in 2008 when he was in Dublin giving a talk with Bill Cullen in the Shelbourne Hotel. He was such a warm person, really down to earth.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Advertising myself! Everything is done on social media now! So I had to upskill in order to promote myself and my work. I remember in 2000 I worked on my first ever internet campaign for an advertising client. It was for the launch of the International Space Station and the Discovery Channel Networks was our client and we launched a big internet campaign for them.
Advertising yourself is so different and online marketing and advertising is so different now too. I use social media, Facebook mostly, to promote my work but I also started a Meetup group. It’s called the Dublin Self-Empowerment and Coaching Meetup group. We have nearly 900 members now. That really helped me to connect with people and I get a lot of clients through word of mouth.
Based on your experience in the downturn are banks in Ireland open for business?
I funded my business myself so I didn’t go to the banks for any help. I took on some advertising contract work at the beginning in order to be able to train and develop my client base until I could coach full-time.
What do you see as the short-term future for your business?
I’m giving a workshop in Rome in the autumn and I’ll be giving a talk there. And my workshops will continue in Dublin. I just met someone this week who I’ll be developing another workshop with later in the year. I get to be very creative in this work I really enjoy that.
What’s your business worth and would you sell it?
It’s priceless. I am my business and I know what I offer is extremely valuable. I can help people and I know that.