Corey Spiegel had a thriving career working as a senior executive in the entertainment space (Playboy, Warner Bros., Extra, Ellen and TMZ to name a few), overseeing digital sales, product integrations and brand partnerships, before starting her own business. She created Light House as a place for women to find clarity and perspective. Light House is a large community of bold women seeking to live purposeful lives, having real conversations on real topics with real women about real life. We talked to her about what it’s like running a business that’s all about uplifting and creating community for women, how she stays motivated through it all, and what exactly a board of directors for your life is.
First of all, tell us about your business and what it’s all about, in your own words!
Light House is a diverse community of bold women learning and transforming together with the guidance of trusted experts. We curate classes and events that are relatable to help one another navigate various life stages and provide meaningful connections with others who are in the same boat.
That sounds like something we all need! Why do you think it’s so important for women to have these kinds of support systems?
You’re not meant to do life alone. Light House cultivates a network of unbiased women who offer each other insight, clarity and wisdom. In the process, our participants forge lasting bonds with each other as every woman shares her own unique perspective. There is a camaraderie and a sense of sisterhood when vulnerabilities are shared over a common denominator that is unbreakable.
You talk a lot about a personal ‘board of directors’ and we’re intrigued by it. What is a ‘board of directors’ for your personal life and how do you use it?
Every woman should have her own “board of directors”! While many of us have a tight circle of friends, it’s simply not the same dynamic when you ask your BFF to problem-solve. It’s too biased, too loving, too one-sided. A board of directors is an objective audience who has zero skin in the game and who doesn’t know how you’re predisposed to respond to certain things. They are there to provide wisdom, support and guidance.
Who is on your personal board of directors and what roles do they play?
My board of directors consist of whip-smart women who have walked the walk and are willing to share what they’ve learned. I am fascinated by the complex and varied stories I hear from so many women all over the world who are finding their unique way on topics that we all can identify with. It is an honor and privilege to hear each journey and take the learnings and knowledge from them and apply them to my own situations.
Yes, connecting with other women and hearing about their journeys as we go through life is so powerful, but it can be hard to actually find those women or facilitate those experiences in real life. How do you create this type of community in a purposeful way?
Each class is an interactive opportunity for women to share tangible life lessons and hear new perspectives. As you share your experiences, you feel the support and validation of the women around you in a confidential, judgement-free environment. As you listen to other women, you also receive their wisdom and guidance on what they learned, what worked and what didn’t.
There’s always a lot that goes into running a business, and it’s a constant work in progress. Is there anything you know now that you wish you knew when you got started?
I knew I was ready to start my own company and work for myself and I also knew there would be a great deal of hard work. When you’re a first-time entrepreneur, it is impossible to know what’s ahead of you work-wise. I could never have imagined how many tasks needed my laser focus and attention on a daily basis. I am constantly inspired by the creative aspect of my work and had no idea this would play such a huge part.
How do you stay motivated and on track with growth of the business and everyday tasks?
I cannot function unless everything is written down on paper where I can see it. The last thing I do before leaving my office at night is to write down everything I have to do on the following day. This discipline allows me to shut my brain down knowing I won’t forget what needs to be done in the morning as it will be waiting for me in ink. There is nothing more rewarding to me than crossing something off my to do list. It gives me such a tremendous feeling of accomplishment.
Building a business can be super rewarding but also obviously a lot of work. Where do you get your best inspiration?
I make it a point to surround myself with positive people who are doing good things. I am also obsessed with biographies and documentaries as I love hearing how others got started and what keeps/kept them going.
What’s your favorite part of running your business?
I worked in the corporate world for 25 years prior to starting Light House. There were so many cooks in the kitchen and the approval process took forever. Now, I make decisions very quickly and am able to be far more productive as a result as things don’t get stuck in the weeds.
What is your can’t-live-without morning essential?
Every day is different but I will not make it through any portion of the day without a hot chai tea latte and a blueberry muffin from my local donut shop. It’s 15 minutes of pure heaven. I get so excited about it that I start thinking about it the night before!
You talk about how you started your business when your kids were teenagers. When it comes to running a business and having kids, we’ve gotta ask: do you have any mom hacks?
I wish I did! If you hear of any good ones, please share them with me. The working mom juggle is real and there are so many of us out there. Some days I feel like I deposited more time and energy into my kids account and some days my business gets everything from me. No two days are the same. My goal is to have sufficient balance in both family and work accounts by the end of the week. Then I’m a happy camper.
That totally makes sense and is definitely relatable. Do you try to incorporate your kids into your business in any way or keep them pretty separate?
My kids are so busy with their own lives (school, work, friendships, chores) which leaves them with little time to help me. I do, however, pay very close attention to what’s going on in their world as it’s extremely challenging to be a teenager right now. We talk all the time about the struggles they face and oftentimes these conversations do turn into great topics for my business. I know I’m not alone in hearing them and it’s an honor and privilege to learn how other moms are handling similar situations with their kids.
It can be a lot, to run a business and keep your family filled up as well. Do you have a favorite way to relax and shut off at the end the day?
I love climbing into bed with a clean face and a hot shower and then settling in with my favorite makeup artist tutorials on YouTube. It’s total brain candy for me and completely relaxes me.
And lastly, as a fun recommendation for us all: what’s the best book you’ve read lately?
“What Are You Going Through” by Sigrid Nunez. This incredible author follows the musings of a woman recruited to help her terminally ill friend die on her own terms. It’s probing, witty and gentle while shedding light, comfort and clarity on a very dark moment. Can’t get any more real than this!