Taking a voice class transformed Laura Handke from a claims adjuster to a voice coach and now she is transforming the lives of others.
What’s your story?
I am a “recovering claims adjuster” who wanted to start singing again. I took my first Transformational Voice® class in 2009 and fell in love with my teacher, Linda, and the holistic and compassionate Transformational Voice® process. (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.) This system is a mind/body/spirit approach to vocal training, working with the entire person, not just their vocal instrument. I became a certified teacher in 2011, quit my day job in 2014, and have been teaching and writing ever since!
What excites you most about your industry?
I get to help people bring their inner voices and creativity into the world. Many people have experienced shame, and/or embarrassment, surrounding their voices; whether being told “you can’t carry a tune”, or believing that public speaking or singing is somehow for the “talented, gifted few” who were just born with a fantastic stage presence or gorgeous singing voice. Excuse my “French”, but that’s just a pile of horseshit. Yes, different people have natural aptitudes, talent, for different things…but healthy and effective vocalization is a skill virtually anyone can learn, just like riding a bike or cooking an omelet.
What drives you in business to push beyond what other people consider normal?
I imagine many people consider “normal” to be going to college, getting a degree, and working for a company someone else founded. If I were interested in “normal,” I would still be in a claims job with a steady paycheck, paid vacation time, and built-in health insurance benefits. Individual creativity drives me. Freedom, Flexibility, and Creativity are my top three values, and those values aren’t embraced in most traditional jobs. As a voice teacher, I have the ability to help others express their own unique individual creativity and voice.
What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?
Being a voice teacher has meant my becoming a better writer, marketer, and better singer! As a teacher, it’s important I honor my individual vocal practice and become the best performer and singer I can be. I have gotten back into theatre and am planning my first solo video concert. I had to learn to write and talk about what I do (marketing) in a way that feels authentic and natural to me. I wrote my first book about vocal training, a fable called ‘How Abella Found Her Voice,’ which is now being made into a screenplay.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Wow. Hmmm. I’ll say it’s everything in Dr. Wayne Dyer’s 115-page book, ‘10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace.’ I send a copy to every high school graduate I know, because it’s all the wisdom – encapsulated into one slim volume – I wish someone would have shared with me at that age.
Who inspires you?
I could name 100 celebrities or 100 people I personally know. Instead of trying to create a list like that I will simply say anyone who has the courage to express their innermost dreams and voice in the outer world. Especially people who come from a background (culture, religion, family, society) where individual expression and creativity isn’t encouraged.
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
How much we’re all alike, despite our differences. I’m in a Wish-Weaving/Mastermind group with different women of different backgrounds. I have family members who vote differently than I do. A Spanish tutor in Mexico of a different spiritual background than me. And yet the knowledge of how absolutely human we are, with the same fears and same desires, has been coming to me over and over again recently. My new mantra is “Many Voices: One World.”
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I’m not one to linger on regrets. I feel everything has unfolded for me in perfect, divine order as I’m moving into the fullest fruition of my life now. Yet if I could have a talk with my 13-year-old self, I’d tell that Laura to trust her intuition, and inner voice, more. To not worry about being popular or making others happy. To simply listen to those inner leanings and follow them where they lead her.
How do you unwind?
Unwind isn’t the right word; I don’t want to be wound in the first place! I usually start the day reading uplifting books and meditating in bed. Hopefully with my cat if she graces me with her presence! I walk outside in nature almost every day, a ‘Godwalk.’ This is when I get my best ideas. I spend as much time with animals as I can. Yoga stretches, and my body wants more dancing. I love to cook. I usually have wine and write before dinner. And read a novel with chamomile tea in bed before I fall asleep.
What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your business?
That is really is the mindset which creates big changes. Being in that energetic flow/vibration is what creates the shift, not necessarily what you “do” or how hard you “work.”
Everyone in business should read this book:
This could easily change depending on what books I read next, but for now it’s: ‘Think and Grow Rich’, Napoleon Hill, ‘How to Be a Badass at Making Money’, Jen Sincero, and ‘The Big Leap’, Gay Hendricks.
Shameless plug for your business:
I’m Laura Handke, Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher, and I would LOVE to bring my Speak Up! workshop to your children’s school or speaker/coaching organization! My 2-3 hour trainings (via Zoom or in person) are interactive, lively, so much fun – and provide vocal tips (for both the inner and outer voice) that will last a life-time. And you can purchase my five-star reviewed eBook here: https://laurahandke.com/product/how-abella-found-her-voice-e-book/
How can people connect with you?
Social Media Links?
This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.