Laura Fredricks is an expert fundraising consultant, international speaker, media expert, Ivy League lecturer, civil litigation attorney, and industry-leading author. She is the Founder and CEO of ExpertontheASK, where she trains and empowers people at every level, in every category, regardless of their age, job, career, or personal life.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
I grew up in a wonderful and nurturing town, some call it a “hamlet,” Ridgefield, NJ. From a perspective, it is a bit south of the George Washington Bridge. I still have the friends I made when I was 5 years old. They are and always will be my “life-long friends.” The life story is that truly caring for one another, being the neighbor whose door is always open for you in good times and during stressful times, and appreciating not what you could have but what you do have, well is simply PRICELESS and Timeless.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
That all the struggles that seemed like roadblock after roadblock would be the stepping stones paving the way for who you will become in the future. Everything happens for a reason.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
My expertise, my passion, and my calling in life are that you can have your best life through THE ASK. Everyone can benefit and become empowered by asking for what they want and deserve. I have a 5-step foolproof method to get any person of any age living anywhere on the planet exactly what they want. The only prevention or as you say, bad recommendation, is that people must 1st FEEL that they deserve to have the things, relationships, experiences that are about to come their way.
Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?
As a Deputy Attorney General IV, Commonwealth of PA, Civil Litigation (yes I practiced law for 8 years right out of law school) I had over 100 cases and absolute burnout. I lost a lot of weight, and while 5’2” at one point I was down to 75 pounds. I honestly never saw it or felt it. I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t see my way out of not practicing law and paying for my law school loans. One day on my walk to work I saw a Billboard advertising to be a Big Brother/Big Sister for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Philadelphia and thought I need to get a life, I need something more than me and work. So I became a Big Sister volunteer to 3 Little Sisters.
That experience of focusing and caring about someone else and helping to make their life just a bit better and lighter, well It turned it all around for me because I had purpose more than my job title. Ironically, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America has been one of my most cherished fundraising clients for the past 4 years!
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
Follow my instinct as a Pisces I always say “If I don’t follow my instinct I lose!”
What is your morning routine?
First, I try to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. I need it as I burn my brain thinking for a long time each day. When I wake up I always do stretches because I will be sitting like a statue at my workstation for hours (taking breaks/walks of course). Then religiously I read The New York Times, yes the actual paper is better for your eyes! I’ve been reading NYT since I was 16!
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
EXERCISE – anyway anytime during the day. I literally every day look at my calendar and say “When can I walk, bike, hike, hit the gym?”
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
We go back to one of my guiding principles –
Organization – You need to Organize to Optimize your time.
Structure – Structure Secures your Stability, your place in the world.
Focus – WHERE FOCUS GOES SUCCESS GROWS! Keep the focus and erase the distractions the noise in your life!
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
As an author, I can honestly say that any book I read influences my life. My selection of books to read depends on my frame of mind. For example, I needed to up my game and learn new skills on “listening”, so I read Kate Murphy’s You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters. Over the past few years, I’ve been doing some serious snowshoe mountaineering hikes, so I recently dove into Wilderness Navigation: Finding Your Way Using Map, Compass, Altimeter & GPS by Bob Burns and Mike Burns. Honestly, I do so much writing on a daily basis that I do have to get much better at reading more books.
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
Yes, here are some of my favorites that I created out of my own experiences:
“How they treat the process is how they will treat you”. (I share that with everyone who wants advice on selecting a new job, volunteer opportunity, or forming a new professional or personal partnership/relationship)
“Where Focus goes, Success Grows so stay focused”
“The key to getting exactly what you want is to ASK for it.” Your ASK has to have: Organization – Structure – Focus