Empowering Climate tech Founders to Build the Future, Faster
Growing up as a Barefoot Country Kid: the Early Impact of Climate on Laurie’s Ambition
As the founder of Via Lucent, Laurie McGinely helps “the elite group of geniuses who will save the world do it faster, with greater ease, and more balance in their lives.”
With a grin, Laurie proclaims she “grew up feral in rural Wisconsin.” She’s “the child of back to the land hippies,” whose “family had a really big garden where [they] would put up food.”
“I grew up in the dirt. My mom lost her wedding ring in the garden, and joked that it would come up on a carrot some year. She never found it.” Laurie says that family joke demonstrates the close ties to the food system that brought climate to the forefront of her world at a young age.
“We knew farmers, and we were always in touch with them in terms of the cycles of the season. If it rained a lot this time of year, early November, it'd be hard for them to bring the harvest.”
Discussions about energy were also common during Laurie’s childhood. “My dad ran an auto mechanic shop out of our garage when I was really little, and then later moved it to its own building.” There, the family also operated a gas station “when you could still buy leaded gasoline.”
Laurie says climate was “integrated into everything. You could pick a random topic, and I could probably find a story from my childhood that was really about climate.”
The Foundations of Via Lucent: A Book from her Sister
“About a decade ago, when we were expecting our oldest child, I had this crisis of, ‘oh, we're gonna be parents, I need to earn more money. How am I gonna do that?’
“My sister handed me this book. She said, ‘I really think you would benefit from reading this. I have used this to bring incredible things into my life and you can too.’ I was ready for it. I needed a solution. And the book came from a very trusted human.
“The book is called The Circle written by Laura Day. I read through it and I integrated the lesson of when you practice living in the future that you want, you practice what it feels like.
“So you use your five senses. You think in that future, you respond in that future, and you have emotions in that future. Then you bring that mind back to today's body, it shortens the amount of time it takes to get to the life you’ve imagined.
“I did that with a book on my own. It took a lot of willpower to do it. But I did earn more money. And I did it again and again with other things in my life. Then I realized that I love doing it so much with myself, and I was actually qualified to guide other people through this because I had done it so many times. That's part of the core of the work I do today with my clients.
“When I started Via Lucent, I helped my clients clarify their stories. One of the clients who trusted me with his time during my first year, we slipped from clarifying his company’s story, a fairly complex thing, into ‘Who are you being, man, because I see you being in the way of progress of what you're building, and you can't see it.’
“We as humans, when we think about a big change, it challenges the fantasies of self. When you challenge the self, the core of who you are, your belief system, your identity, your body isn’t going to let you do that; your subconscious isn't going to let you do that. You have to willpower and muscle your way through it.
“Or you can do what I've been doing for a decade. This is what I guide my clients in, and what working with that early client helped me understand: you can use your incredible brain to feel safe where you're going. And you get there faster with greater ease and less stress.
“When clients buy in and they hire me, we compress time together. I can do this with a client in a month or two. This is actually goes back to my whole thesis: if we say that climate is a crisis of time, the service that I bring to the world is I compress time.
“I'm really selective about who I compress time with. I work with the elite group of geniuses who will save us all with their climate solutions. They are the ones who need time compressed.
“This group of geniuses, the thing they all have in common, is their heart. They care so deeply. For all of us. Every single one of them could have a very safe and fine life doing something else.
“I think the ones that get me the most are the super technical ones. Because it's harder to see their emotions sometimes. So when it comes out, it's just like, you have this huge brain and this incredible resume that you've put together. And it's your heart– you're here today because of your heart.
Coping with Eco-Anxiety
“I have so much hope. And I spread hope now; I no longer have climate anxiety. I meet people all the time, who have that furrowed brow. I ask them this very generic question, what is it that gets you about climate?
“Everybody comes up with whatever it is that's personal to them. I have not yet had somebody who picked something who I couldn't tell them the story about a founder, a real human, who I know who's working on that problem.
“The act of doing that, for that person who's listening, you can see everything about their expression and their posture change. They can breathe better.
“So I don't have climate anxiety, because I know we have all of the brainpower, corporate partnerships, and money we need on this planet to solve this. It's just a matter of compressing time for the humans who need time compressed, and making those connections.
“I was walking my daughter to school and she said, ‘Mommy, there's so much garbage and nobody recycles. The climate is ruined; we're gonna be ruined.’
“She just went into a spiral. We stopped walking. I said, ‘Sweetie, what is it that gets you? What's your big worry about climate?’
“She said, ‘All the plastic garbage.’
“I told her a story about a company that is bringing pyrolysis into municipal solid waste to harvest the molecules that are in municipal solid waste, and turn them back into the raw ingredients we need to keep society running. There's no smokestack on that. If somebody forgets and their glass bottle falls into the municipal solid waste, the glass comes out of the bottom of this process of slag and it can go to the recycling facility.
“As I’m explaining this to her, her heart rate is going down and her nervous system is relaxing. I do that with kids all the time. Honestly, kids need it less than grownups do. The kids haven't learned to put on a brave face, they'll just ask. All the grownups have learned to put on a brave face. So it builds up.”
The Intuitive Future of Via Lucent
“I’ve gone public with something that I'd been bringing in secret to all of my sessions, that I'm a deeply intuitive person. I use intuition to help me coach people. This is how I compress time, you can see behind the curtain, I can feel what you're feeling. I can feel what you want, that you're not asking for. I can feel how you need to hear it so it lands. That’s why my clients get such fast results.
“I have taken on a business partner who brings a deep experience in startups, investment, business and executive coaching who's also been using intuition her whole career. We are selectively finding people who have been using intuition anyway, because of the positions that they're in. We're training them how to use it effectively.
“We're building a portfolio. The idea is, to bring in investors and founders who are excited about using intuitions to make better connections and get the funding to the geniuses who need it.
“We are shifting more towards investing. We're doing it by elevating more founders at once. We're doing this through group coaching instead of private coaching. And this feels like the closest I've been to fulfilling my life’s calling.”
Ready to start feeling your future? Try out Laurie's 5 minute guided meditation to get you started!