Lauren Rauen, better known as “Lo,” hangs with the three co-founders of SUPER73 and the entire C-Suite to make sure they’ve got the low-down on all projects, processes, and people.
In this episode of The Leader Assistant Podcast, Lo talks about what it truly means to be an executive assistant, changing the perception of the role, shifting from one industry or position to an EA position (and the pros and cons to such a move), and more!
Leadership is not a position or a title, it is action and example.
CONNECT WITH LO
Executive Assistant & the unofficial Coordinator of Creativity at SUPER73. Lauren, better known as “Lo”, hangs with the three co-founders of SUPER73 and the entire C-Suite to make sure they’ve got the low-down on all projects, processes, and people. She also helps the entire team dream up cool ideas and put them into practice by arranging the right resources. Lo’s keen eye for organization, experience with brand development and infectious energy electrifies the work environment and inspires all teams to deliver results needed to shock the industry.
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Lo Rauen 0:00
Hi, my name is Lauren Rauen most known as Lo and one of my favorite leadership quotes is, leadership is not a position or a title. It is action and example.
Podcast Intro 0:14
The Leader Assistant Podcast exists to encourage and challenge assistants to become competent game changing leader assistance.
Jeremy Burrows 0:24
The Leader Assistant Podcast is exclusively brought to you by goody which provides effortless gifting for all occasions. If you’re tired of sending tacky impersonal business gifts, then you should definitely check out goodie my friends at goody offer a collection of hundreds of curated brands like Levain bakery, Thera body, milk bar, and Ember mugs. With goody, if your recipient doesn’t like your gift, they can swap it out for one they do like you can find perfect gifts for any occasion. Whether it’s work, anniversaries, birthdays, new hire onboarding or company swag. It’s free to start gifting and you get a $20 credit when you sign up. Also, be sure to mention The Leader Assistant Podcast when signing up and Goody will add an extra $10 credit to your account. So go to leaderassistant.com/goody to disrupt the inefficiencies in your team’s gifting strategy. Again, that’s leaderassistant.com/goody. Hey friends, thanks for tuning in to The Leader Assistant Podcast your host Jeremy Burrows. And you’re listening to Episode 162. You can check out the show notes at leaderassistant.com/162 Leaderassistant.com/162. Today I’m very excited. I’m speaking with Lauren Rauen. And she actually goes by Lo so I’m gonna call her Lo. Low is executive assistant, two co founders and entire C suite at Super 73 Which Super 73 is an electric motor bike company. They’ve got a fun Instagram account I was scrolling through earlier. But Lo how’s it going?
Lo Rauen 2:15
Great. Thanks for having me. Jeremy. Happy to be here with you today.
Jeremy Burrows 2:19
Yeah, what part of the world are you in?
Lo Rauen 2:22
I am currently in Irvine, California, Orange County. It is I grew up just about an hour from here. And it’s where Super 73 is headquartered out of
Jeremy Burrows 2:32
awesome. And I have to ask, do you have an electric bike?
Lo Rauen 2:36
I do. So I have two roommates. And between the three of us we have three bikes at the house still belong to me. And my roommate was so convinced he bought one for himself. So we all cruise around on them quite a bit.
Jeremy Burrows 2:50
Awesome. I’ve been doing research myself, trying to figure out if that’s our next move to cruise around the neighborhood. So
Lo Rauen 3:00
yeah, they’re very popular down here, especially by the beach cities. And we’ve started to see these kind of gangs of young kids maybe gang isn’t the right word. But you know, we call them our super squad writers. And I don’t think you can drive around with school ending without seeing a bunch of bunch of kids cruising along the streets on him. Nice.
Jeremy Burrows 3:20
So awesome. Well, glad to have you on the show. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about how you ended up becoming an executive assistant. Maybe a little bit of your background.
Lo Rauen 3:30
Yeah, so it wasn’t really a role that I was actively seeking. I was kind of on a different career path. Two years ago, I worked for a hospital or sports and hospitality lifestyle agency. And so I was kind of the middleman between large sponsors and sporting events. So Super Bowl, masters, tennis, how to you name it, anything sports related. And right when COVID hit one of my biggest accounts, the Masters was canceled 2020 I was living on the East Coast and came home just to be with family and kind of got that, that feeling that it was time for a change. Start looking for something new. And my dad gave me some really good advice. He said if a company can hire during this type of a climate, just imagine what they’ll do kind of when we’re back to quote unquote norm. So I kept my eyes open. I wasn’t quite ready to leave that position. Within hospitality. I loved it. I loved my company, my clients, my co workers. And as my dad mentioned, I just kept my eyes open and I fell across Super 73 who had many job postings, which was unusual to see a lot of brands were unfortunately laying off people, furloughing people. So to see so many open places shins, I actually applied for three positions at Super 73, before they hired me, the first was a brand specialist, and kind of you know, was speaking with someone in HR, but never really got an interview out of it. And the second position, I don’t recall the exact title, but it was in marketing. And same thing. My contact on LinkedIn was saying, just keep applying and, and I saw the position for executive assistant, I think in my head, I personally at the time had to a different idea of what that meant and what that role would entail. But something about this company was just really, I was really drawn to it. So I applied and ended up getting the interview. And within a week, I had an offer and was putting in my two weeks notice at my agency. So that’s how I kind of landed the role.
Jeremy Burrows 5:57
Wow. So how did they take it? Or how did you communicate with them? You know, cuz you, you this was your first executive assistant role, correct? Correct. So how was that process? Like? Are they like, Well, we were kind of looking for someone with experience, you know what I’m saying?
Lo Rauen 6:18
Yeah, it was a really great conversation. My second interview was with two of the co founders, our CMO and our CEO. So you know, right off the bat, I was talking to them, the people I would be working with directly. And I think it was just good synergy. They had never had an executive assistant before, at the time, the company was four years old. So I think they were just realizing that they needed help. They needed assistance, they were in this phase have huge growth and huge demand. We’re talking June and July of 2021, everyone wanted a bike. So I was very straightforward with them, I was honest, and that I had never had a position of executive assistant, I told him, I applied to some of the other positions, which I thought more fit my background, having a master’s in marketing, coming from more traditional marketing agency where I was familiar with brand and brand development, which is why those two positions were appealing to me. But something just wasn’t quite fitting. So I think that they liked that I was eager to be part of the company wanted my foot in the door and was kind of willing to do whatever it took to be part of the team. And I think at the end of the day, they were looking for someone who was organized could help organize their lives, and just be excited about the brand, the lifestyle that they were creating, in where the company was headed. And I think despite not having traditional executive assistant experience, that is what they were most excited about.
Jeremy Burrows 7:56
Yeah, that makes sense. So as you got into it, and got started, was there any moments where you’re like, oh, man, I really don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know what this role is gonna take.
Lo Rauen 8:10
Yeah, almost almost every day. Until today, there’s those moments where I don’t know, and I’ll have to ask the questions. Right, when I was hired on, they were just kicking off or in the middle of a series B fundraise, which was something that was still a bit foreign to me and fundraising and startup life and, and what that entailed. So I had to really jump in and learn a lot about that, because I was kind of at the forefront of talking to potential investors, having meetings doing, you know, all the research I could so they were prepped for the calls. And I got to learn a lot about you know, startups and, and how you need to operate and what you need to look for in a strategic partner, or if you’re just looking for strictly cash. So right off the bat, the first six months, I would say was dedicated, very heavily in our series B fundraise, and every day, I was trying to learn more, you know, educate myself on, on how I could better assist them. And it was a learning experience for all of us. Like I said, they had never had, you know, a me in their lives. So I think we, we kind of took it day by day, but every day, there’s something new that I’ll learn at this company, and I wouldn’t change that. I love that.
Jeremy Burrows 9:29
Nice. So you shifted from a different industry and position into the EA role. You talked about how you jumped in and just learned a lot. What are some pros and cons for those even assistants that are considering switching to a different industry?
Lo Rauen 9:47
Yeah, I think at the time when I was looking for jobs while I was still with the agency, I was looking for similar positions that I I wanted to still work in sports and I wanted to still work in hospitality. And I think having a very narrow mind was limiting me to opportunities and job postings and companies that are out there. So shifting into an executive assistant role, you know, at the time, I was like, I hate to say this, but I felt overqualified. You know, like, Am I just going to be managing calendars and doing busy work. And I was very upfront in my interview, and I said, you know, I applied for these other two, I have a lot of experience in marketing. And I’d love to incorporate that in my day to day and not only support our CEO, but support our CMO and our entire marketing department. So I think what I kind of saw in that year is, you know, unfortunately, a lot of people were were laid off, especially in the hospitality and sports industries, but they were looking for jobs in those same industries, and the demand just wasn’t there. So shifting to a sector such as electric mobility, sustainability, it’s only getting bigger. So although the the title seemed very drastic, to me, my day to day hasn’t seemed to change much. I’m, you know, much like a project manager, as I was with the agency, I deal with multiple different people on a day to day. So our CEO, our CMO, our Chief Brand, officer, those are the three co founders that are supported right at the beginning. Within my first year, we hired on our COO, our CFO, and then also support our CTO, along with we just hired general counsel and our VP of sales. So we all got to grow together. But like I said, I don’t much of a difference. I may not be working with a specific sports team, or working with a specific brand, but I do have to juggle, wear a lot of hats, multitask, be able to shift from a conversation about batteries and dangerous goods, and how are we solving a solution here? And then talking about company culture internally with our marketing department? And how can we be doing better, but those conversations while the topic may be different, I think the, you know, what’s going into it, the effort, the organization, the the creativity, the need to be on top of everything, in so many different ways, is very similar. So what I think what I’m trying to say is encouraging, if you are looking for a new position that maybe you think an executive assistant isn’t the right position for me. There’s a lot that transfers over from really any position that you held before.
Jeremy Burrows 12:43
Yeah. Well, I love what you said about that, you know, there wasn’t the demand in the industry you were in. And so you kind of broadened your horizons and thought outside of the box and looked for industries that are hiring a bunch, and we’re growing in spite of the craziness in the world. So yeah, for those systems, listening, and I’ve been a big proponent, in our leader system community, encouraging assistance to check out, you know, software, innovative companies, tech companies, these companies that have high margins are that are growing in a space that is not going to slow down anytime soon.
Lo Rauen 13:27
Jeremy Burrows 13:29
Lo Rauen 13:30
that’s and I would to just piggyback off of that, I think it could be daunting, applying for a position or with a company that you may not be familiar with. I mean, I didn’t know anything about electric mobility, mobility, e bikes, I knew they looked cool. I had seen him before, but just do a little bit of research on more of the brand, you know, company culture, things like that. They’re not going to expect you to know, every piece of the bike, you know, just the other day learned out what a what a sprocket was, and a year and a half to learn to learn that but yeah, I think it can be a bit scary trying to move sectors. But ultimately, I think it was the best decision for me and I’m really happy I did it.
Jeremy Burrows 14:15
Yeah, I think are our skills are more transferable than we like to think they are. And so yeah, well, well said. So, what’s your favorite part now about being an executive assistant?
Lo Rauen 14:29
I think my favorite part is there’s never a dull moment. And I since I was a kid juggled many things, you know, school, dance, family, friends, and I am still juggling today. The three co founders are amazing. I get along with them so well, but they couldn’t be more different individuals. I sat in the office with our CEO for a full year before we moved headquarters. I got to support marketing a lot of their campaigns and their shoot. So I still get to, you know, have that marketing integrated in to my day to day. And I wrapped up an amazing project with our Chief Brand Officer. actually funny enough kind of filling the shoes of that brand position that I wasn’t hired for that employee left. So I kind of took over a project and managed our YSL Super 73 collaboration, which was one of our most incredible collaborations to date, so I didn’t get to project or manage that project. So I got a little taste of the brand. But I love that I kind of get to be involved in every aspect of the business, from finance, to operations, to HR to company culture, I feel I have a pulse on everything that’s going on. And while we grow, I get to kind of be the voice to our founders to the C suite on, you know, what I might be hearing what I might be feeling with some of our junior employees, people that are just coming on. And while it might not seem like a huge responsibility, it’s so important to our, our co founders that we maintain our true integrity, and I feel this position allows me to, to kind of bridge the gap.
Jeremy Burrows 16:23
Yeah, so Okay, so on the other side, what’s your least favorite part about the role?
Lo Rauen 16:30
Um, I think the answer could, could kind of be the same, you know, every day is so different. I’m a very scheduled person, obviously, I was hired to manage many schedules. And you know, I’m looking at my computer right now. And I’m looking at the same time I ate different calendars, as well as my own and seeing what everybody’s doing. So I’m have that organizational mind where everything is kind of very clear cut to me. So sometimes that can be great, but it can be very chaotic. I think it can be a blessing and a curse, because a lot of people lean on me. And I take that, that they you know, they trust me, they know I can handle something. But it can become overwhelming when you have eight people coming to you asking for things, asking you to get something done. But also at the same time wanting to work on projects that fulfill me, because I want to make sure that I am enjoying my day to day while I’m supporting the rest of the organization. So it’s a it’s a tough position to be in, you are in a bit of an island as an executive assistant, at least for in our company. It’s just me. I know other companies, each executive might have their own assistant, but right now, I’ve all I am all they’ve got. And I love that. It just can be overwhelming. And at times, you’re stuck doing kind of the grunt work. And that’s just part of the role. But there are so many more fulfilling things that outweigh the negatives.
Jeremy Burrows 18:13
How many employees do y’all have? Right now?
Lo Rauen 18:17
We are at about just over 100 in the state. And then we do have a headquarters in Amsterdam, that’s growing rapidly. And I would say we’re about 60 employees over there.
Jeremy Burrows 18:32
I see I feel Yeah, on the being the only assistant where I was hired number one at my company capacity. And I’ve been supporting the founder CEO ever since. And we’re at 95 people or so right now. And so it’s definitely can be like working on an island. Thankfully, I’m an introvert and I like working from home and I like being on an island. But, but there are, that’s part of why I reached out to so many assistants all over is because I do need to connect with people that understand my role.
Lo Rauen 19:11
Yeah, a very unique position to be in that. Unless you’re in it. I don’t think you fully understand kind of what it is that we do you know what would slip through the cracks if we weren’t there?
Jeremy Burrows 19:24
Yeah, so you reached out to me on LinkedIn, and just basically asked if I had recommendations for you slash assistants who would want to put themselves out there to help shift the stigma of what an EAA truly is. So tell me a little bit more about why you reached out and what you’re passionate about. What in regards to the EAA role?
Lo Rauen 19:52
Yeah, so I had reached out because I’m, I’m coming to a point it’ll be two years with the company in July where, you know, I kind of Want to see myself grow, and I want to, you know, succession plan or things like that, and what the different routes are for an EAA, because I think that that is very blurry as well, you know, some people, this is what they want to do for for their lifetime or for their entire career, there may be others who want to shift. You know, I’ve done some research to chief of staff role, or others where you said, might want a vertical transition. So into a specific department, if I wanted to really focus on sales, because I enjoy working under sales, or under marketing or brand or whatever, you know, operations. I think, as an EA, we have so much visibility on so many departments that sometimes one department can be very enticing. And oh, I really want to do that. I really want to do this, or, you know, do I do I love this where I get a little slice of each department and continue to grow in this position. So just in the past couple of months, for my own sake, I’ve been doing a lot of research, a lot of thinking, reflection on where do I see myself this year, in two years? Where do I see the company growing? How can I benefit my co founders, our C suite? Now, as our headcount just continues to grow? How can I continue to put an impact? And I think, now almost two years in, I reflect back to when I first applied to this position, thinking, Well, you know, I personally don’t want to be an executive assistant, it seems, you know, that’s not the title that I’m aspiring to have. And I regret that that was my mindset. And I don’t want that to be the same mindset for people that see open positions. Because having this position, there are so many opportunities, so many doors, there’s so much growth potential, I think it’s important that a lot of people are aware of that. I can’t tell you how many times people kind of assume that I just get coffee, or or lunches and, and that may be the role for some executive assistant, some personal assistants, but at least for myself, it is so so much more than that, the responsibility the day to day thing. So I just felt, you know, I think there is a bit of a stigma that sometimes an executive assistant as a personal assistant, or a secretary or receptionist. And while we are those things were so much more. And so I just wanted to get a conversation started on where do others go when they feel like they’re ready to propel their career? Or how do you transition? Or how do you become even better in your current role?
Jeremy Burrows 22:42
Yeah, I love it. So that brings me to our last question ties in perfectly. So what is it that makes an assistant stand out from the crowd? What makes an assistant a leader?
Lo Rauen 22:59
I mean, I think they’re kind of like, behind the scenes leaders. You know, we’re the unsung heroes, maybe the CEO mind readers, you might say, a lot of times, those who I support, say, low, we wish we could clone you. We have we have our European headquarters and so many times they they said can we get a low shipped over here. And it’s, it’s a funny compliment. But I think, you know, everything goes smoothly. And we don’t need to be praised, because everything goes smoothly. But you know, we’re leading our leadership team to be even better. So that’s what you know, I love about this position is we have such an incredible leadership, executive C suite team, and having someone that can allow them to, you know, be their best, is, you know, why we’re leaders, we’re leaders among those who are new to the company, we’re leaders, you know, to our entire C suite, they lean on me as much as I lean on them. And, you know, at the end of the day, where they’re where their right hand, man, and I think, yeah, I think sky’s the limit. And it’s the golden age of executive assistants.
Jeremy Burrows 24:25
Well put, well put. I actually did have one more question. I totally forgot I was going to ask you. So I was, you know, stalking your LinkedIn. And I noticed that you were a dance team head coach at the University of Oregon. So that was pretty impressive. That’s awesome. So have you applied any skills from that time in your EA? Role?
Lo Rauen 24:52
Yeah, that’s, that’s a great question. And it it seems like a lifetime ago that I was doing that while I was getting my masters at The University of Oregon, I was able to coach their dance team. And I, it’s funny because I was rather young holding that position. And just a year before I was a member of a college dance team. So it was a very quick transition from being on a collegiate competitive team to then coaching a collegiate competitive team. So I had this very unique dynamic with the students that I was only a year or two older than them, but was still leading them. And I loved it. I took them to the collegiate national championships for the first time the team hadn’t been in about 10 years. So once I kind of took him under my wing, I use the experience that I just had from the years, three years prior I while I was competing and and translated that into coaching, but I had been teaching for quite some time during my undergrad. So I teach and it’s one of those things in coaching that I absolutely love. But yeah, I think there are many things that transfer over, I had to manage the captains of the team, just like I’m managing the co founders of the team. So you’re, I think it’s a little bit different. They’re younger, yeah, How to Manage Grades, make sure they were staying out of trouble, things like that. But it’s really not not much different when you’re talking about a company, you
know all about just, you know, managing and making sure we get the job done, and still have fun while doing it.
Jeremy Burrows 26:36
Love it. Well, lo thank you so much for sharing a little bit of your of your story and insight. I’m excited to keep in touch and follow you as your career progresses. How can people reach out and say hi, if they if they want to connect with you?
Lo Rauen 26:53
Yeah, they’re more than welcome to say hi on LinkedIn, which is I know how we first connected so I believe my LinkedIn is Lauren rauen if they want to follow me there, shoot me a message. I have a weekly reminder to check all my messages. Because I get a lot on behalf of the company. And yeah, they can also check out super 73 Follow us on socials there. Give us some love and hopefully some listeners will will get a bike and get out there right in and join the super squad.
Jeremy Burrows 27:26
Awesome. Well, I’ll put your LinkedIn link in the show notes. Leaderassistant.com/162 and I am definitely still waiting on my super 73 discount code. So I can get me a bike now. Thanks again Lo Have a great one and we’ll talk soon.
Lo Rauen 27:47
Speaker 1 28:02
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