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Rising Through Resilience: “Remember you’re never alone and find those that have been through something similar”, With Lamia Pardo of Journify

Some future bad experiences can be predicted. For example, as an entrepreneur I know I have to fundraise, and that’s a journey that requires many rejections along the way. If you start getting rejections early in the process before you reach out to your top choices, once the bigger rejections come in you’ll be able […]

Some future bad experiences can be predicted. For example, as an entrepreneur I know I have to fundraise, and that’s a journey that requires many rejections along the way. If you start getting rejections early in the process before you reach out to your top choices, once the bigger rejections come in you’ll be able to handle them better.

When events are unpredictable, remember you’re never alone and find those that have been through something similar. Sometimes it only takes posting in a relevant online community, and the empathy starts flooding. This isn’t only helpful to feel emotionally supported, but also to quickly get ideas on how others have overcome the same difficulty.


I had the pleasure to interview Lamia Pardo. Lamia is the Founder of Journify, a burnout prevention and personal coaching platform, and a product, marketing and growth strategy leader with more than 11+ years of experience across the fintech, CPG, media, and health and wellness industries. She specializes in building performance-driven brands, bringing successful tech platforms/apps to market, and optimizing customer lifetime value.

She started her career at the advertising agency Leo Burnett working with global companies (P&G, Samsung, and McDonald’s) and pitching to new potential clients. Years later, her passion for data-driven programs and leveraging new technologies to solve systemic problems led her to the startup world where she has thrived for the past 8 years. First, she built and scaled Marketing, Product, and Data Analytics teams at Pangea Money Transfer, a Fintech startup in the US helping immigrants access affordable financial services. Then, she moved across the world to Singapore to launch Helo (a live streaming app for college students) and Consentium (the first crypto app with a community monetization model). In early 2019, after a burnout-related epiphany, she brought Journify to life.

Lamia also has experience fundraising and managing B2B sales programs, and is a mentor at several programs including WeWork Labs and Start Small Think Big. She believes in constantly learning by doing and she also has an M.S Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University.

If you’re interested in talking more about burnout or mental wellness corporate programs, email her at [email protected].


Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?

I’m the Founder of Journify — a burnout prevention platform. As an overachiever with an adventurous heart, I’ve lived in many countries and explored different paths. Change is the fuel that keeps me going, but with change comes resilience. Changes are not easy at the beginning.

Professionally, I started my career in the exciting world of advertising working for Leo Burnett. After a few years and a masters in Integrated Marketing, I took an opportunity as one of the first employees for a startup based out of Chicago. I was hired as the VP of Marketing, but the scope of my responsibilities quickly expanded as I became more proactive and involved in the business. I ended up spending 7 years in the Fintech space until one day I got really burnt out (and was also responsible for my entire team burning out). The hours and hours of research into the topic made me realize there was a big unsolved opportunity, which led me to become a Founder in the mental wellness space. Today I have my own company focusing on burnout prevention.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

The only time I decided to take a personal trip to London without being glued to my phone, my boss (the Founder and CEO of my first startup job) left the company. I landed and when I turned on my phone I saw over 50 missed calls from my colleagues and new boss. I went to the office at 9 pm where I found out what had transpired over the weekend. I wouldn’t say it was the most interesting story from my career, but definitely a big learning moment and the beginning of my “growing up” period. After his departure, I was assigned many more responsibilities by the newly appointed CEO. He asked me to work on some aggressive business optimization goals, but with that came his trust and unconditional support. While processing the new situation, I started hearing from other team members that were reaching out to seek some validation and support. The unexpected transition from being the boss of one team to a company leader and overall performance gatekeeper was scary. I immediately started focusing on my flaws and weaknesses, but externally my only choice was to project confidence. The challenge became less overwhelming after the third day after walking to work and realizing that my best path forward was to break things down into doable short-term goals. I was never sure if the goal I was choosing at the time was the right one, but I was able to move fast because I accomplished one thing after another without analysis paralysis. One month into it and I could already see so many positive changes and KPIs in the right direction, so I just kept going with this method. I am naturally relentlessly positive, so a good attitude helped along the way, but without clarity, I would have still been stuck like the first 3 days.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

My current company focuses on burnout prevention so the topic definitely attracts a wide audience. We published a free burnout assessment online and we get many people taking it and sharing it every week. As we grow, I’ve received many emails from potential users, candidates, job applicants, coaches, and more. Most of them include a personal story of burnout and a mention of feeling lost, overwhelmed and even lonely. I still make sure I read every email we receive, even the very long ones, so my perspective is unique. While most people believe they’re going through this bad moment or phase alone, I know the majority of us can understand and relate to their journey. 99.5% of the users taking our assessment score at least level 1 of burnout and over 50% has severe burnout. Burnout is now an epidemic problem, so we’re working against the clock to launch an affordable solution in Q1 2020 (a tool that will empower individuals to manage burnout for $2.99 per month).

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I’m extremely grateful to everyone that believed in my potential and gave me responsibilities when I wasn’t ready for them (all of my first bosses) and my direct reports that saw me as a leader even when they had many more years of experience than me. I know now that I can only shine when I’m extremely uncomfortable because I become more diligent, energetic, and daring.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?

In simple, resilience is the ability to recover quickly over a bad experience. Resilient people expose themselves to more risk because they know they can sift through the journey without any negative mental impact.

When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?

Every entrepreneur I know. While sexy on the outside, the entrepreneurship journey is the hardest thing anyone can do. Since day 1 you’re exposed to rejection from customers, investors and potential partners. You start with a big vision and you need to convince people to follow you. Those that start a business thinking that building a company follows a logical path never succeed. I’ve heard many times that many startups fail because of poor execution. I think they fail due to a lack of resilience. If you’re truly innovating, you will make executional mistakes until you test, test, test. Startups simply fail because entrepreneurs at some point in their journey decide to stop trying.

Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?

Almost every day. I am a true analytical and creative thinker, but both sides of my brain take turns. I have moments in which I need structure, numbers, and processes. That’s how I like the foundations of my business to be. But then at times, I need to let my crazy side come out and just spontaneously do random things instead of focusing on my priorities. Luckily I’m able to limit those spurs of creativity to a few hours per week, so I allow myself to do whatever I want. For example, I told my friends I want to be on the Ellen show so I emailed her. I haven’t heard back yet but I’ll keep trying. Many people said I couldn’t start a business in wellness because my background was in fintech, that building supply and demand for a platform would take years, that starting a business in the US as a foreigner is simply crazy, and so on. I don’t just take risks because I think that I can do anything I want. I’m very aware of the times I took risks and things didn’t play out as expected. Even at the moment, I know my business is young so it can still fail. I’m not confident in the outcomes, but in the idea that nothing is binary and forever. And that every success story has so many failures along the way, so once I built resilience into my emotional system I was able to grow and thrive.

Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?

In my case, every year that goes by in my adult life I build more and more resilience. The first time I thought about it as a concept even was two years ago. I had an easy childhood with two loving parents, financial stability, many friends everywhere, fascinating trips, and the opportunity to go to great schools and perform really well easily. My adventurous spirit served me well then, but that’s the same spirit that led me to constant changes in my adult life. And for that, you need to be resilient.

Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.

Some future bad experiences can be predicted. For example, as an entrepreneur I know I have to fundraise, and that’s a journey that requires many rejections along the way. If you start getting rejections early in the process before you reach out to your top choices, once the bigger rejections come in you’ll be able to handle them better.

When events are unpredictable, remember you’re never alone and find those that have been through something similar. Sometimes it only takes posting in a relevant online community, and the empathy starts flooding. This isn’t only helpful to feel emotionally supported, but also to quickly get ideas on how others have overcome the same difficulty.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Remember that movie Pay It Forward? The other day I thought we should start a similar movement for accountability partners. If we all had at least one person that’s always checking in on us there wouldn’t be so much loneliness in the world. As part of my research, I read a lot about the impact of loneliness the other day and the metrics are reaching epidemic levels (same as burnout). Today, loneliness is the biggest contributor to mental health problems.

We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂

At the moment, Ariana Huffington. We’re both specializing in burnout and I think her work on raising awareness personally and through Thrive Global has impacted many people that have shared their personal story with me. Our new platform will bring evidence-based methods into an app, so I would love to invite her to be an initial app tester and share her feedback with me.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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