Stephanie Larson, LIFT Consulting

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Stephanie Larson, director of operations, LIFT Consulting.
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What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

The most challenging aspect of my job is that I am constantly pushing myself outside my comfort zone. One of our core values is making an impact and I believe that in order to make a real impact, it’s important to think outside of the box and push yourself to be the most objective and passionate person in the room. The most rewarding part of my job is working with the top-notch professionals we are fortunate to partner with. I love that my job allows me to help organizations grow and improve — it makes every day different and inspiring.

Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?

Someone I admire in business is Amelia Earhart. She set lofty goals and worked tirelessly to achieve them. Her dream of flying solo fueled her and she didn’t let anyone deter her from trying. I’ve always admired her tenacity and courage. Applying her philosophy to my role at LIFT has truly made a difference.

What has been the high point of your career so far?

The high point of my career was when I took the leap to start working at LIFT Consulting. I left an established bank to join a startup. It took courage for me to leave what seemed like a secure career path to an unknown one. It was the high point mainly because I had always chosen the safe choice throughout my career and this was a riskier choice. In the end, I’ve contributed to over 60% growth and never looked back.

Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

The advice I would give my 21-year-old self is to do hard things. There were times in my career that I chose an easier path. If I could do it all over again, I would say yes to every scary and exciting opportunity I was given. As I get older, I realize that doing scary things makes you grow.

What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?

The best thing about living and working in Dane County is the “big city” life with the “small town” feel. Doing business with other like-minded professionals always leads to a stronger-knit community. Every time I meet a new person, it turns out we have so many common connections. In addition, I love all the fun events in Madison including the farmers market and the Taste of Madison.

Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?

A secret talent I have is singing. I love to sing in the car with my daughter. I don’t think I’ll ever end up on stage singing, but there’s something therapeutic about it for me. If you ever see me on the Beltline and it looks like I’m talking on the phone, I’m probably singing!

What are your guilty pleasures?

My guilty pleasure is cooking. I love to create recipes and try new things. I love to eat, so I’m glad I also have a little bit of talent in the kitchen. Preparing a delicious meal for family or friends is so fulfilling for me. One time, I tried a new recipe for white chicken chili based loosely on a recipe I found on Pinterest. It turned out better than I expected and when asked for the recipe, I didn’t remember it! I’ve never been able to quite get it the same. That experience taught me to write down the ingredients so I can make it again!

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