“Expect The Process To Be Painful Yet Rewarding” 5 Leadership Lessons With Limor Weinstein
“Expect a lot of growing pains. Expect the process to be painful yet rewarding. Just seeing everything come together takes time so being patient is key. For us, the challenge was finding a pool of the right people so that we could have someone specific to help each and every family with all of their unique needs. Knowing what we wanted and then actually finding those providers wasn’t an overnight process, so patience is key. For example, we have seven providers who are working for one family alone. We needed to get the right psychologist and the right dietitian. Even to match them to the right doctor. We started working with a 32 year old who had been to various treatment centers for eating disorders and when she came to us we set her up with a team of psychologists, dietitians, and a mindfulness coach who all specialize in the treatment of eating disorders. We set up weekly calls with her primary doctor, too. Now she is able to be in her own natural environment. For us, it’s all about pulling the right team with the right energy, etc.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Limor Weinstein, the executive director and founder of LW Wellness Network, which is based on NYC’s Upper East Side. Limor is a psychotherapist, an eating disorder specialist, and a family wellness consultant. LW Wellness Network is a referral-based family concierge agency full of experts who help families navigate, enhance, and promote wellness in their lives.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I am originally from Israel, and I credit living on a Kibbutz during my challenging childhood and serving as a commander in the IDF with giving me a unique set of skills and experiences. I hold two Master’s Degrees in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University and City College, and I have served as a Mental Health Counselor for Behavior Therapy of New York and as a Counselor for Center for the Study of Anorexia and Bulimia.
Twenty years of experience in childcare fueled my desire to promote healthy, collaborative care for individuals and families in need of guidance. When my husband and I started our own family (I’m the mom of three girls!), I saw a major void when it came to a support system and resources for parents. This is what inspired me to establish LW Wellness Network (www.lwwellness.com).
LW Wellness is a family concierge service built around a team of passionate professionals who specialize in everything from family wellness and nutrition to educational coaching. We provide families with experienced health professionals, coaches, and advisors to help them navigate through everyday challenges and life’s toughest moments. We primarily service Manhattan and the NY metropolitan area, but also have providers in other states. With decades of experience and a holistic approach to the family and individual, our team is a trusted, invaluable resource for families. We’ve built our reputation on strong relationships, personalized service and a commitment to success.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?
We have a lot of interesting stories to choose from in the short history of our company, but the story that comes to mind is from a client I worked with whose grandmother had survived the Holocaust. As her therapist, I helped her work through many personal challenges, including her lack of closure over her relatives who had died in WWII, how the Holocaust had affected her entire extended family, and how it felt to be a direct descendent of a survivor. She remembered visiting the grave of her grandmother in Holland 30 years prior, and that the name on the grave had been spelled incorrectly. She wanted to get the name changed, but the problem was that she didn’t know where the cemetery was! She asked us to find the location of grave, and my partner Matt actually tracked it down! She also wanted us to go with her to Holland to make sure they changed the name on the grave. It was a very powerful process to work toward that personal closure with the client, and I’ll never forget it!
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Personalized attention is what sets our company apart, as well as the quality of the provider and care and the holistic view of helping an individual with their wellness-related needs. I started working with a mom who had an 11-year-old transgender child who was also dealing with a lot of digestive issues. The mom had relationship issues herself and was completely overwhelmed. We thrive on putting all of the puzzle pieces together. We were able to help the mom find a therapist who could focus on her relationships and help her make changes in her life. We were also able to recommend therapists for her child, particularly people who could focus specifically on issues that affect transgender teens as well as ones who deal with a lot of nutritional and digestive issues. We don’t believe in a one solution fits all approach, which is why we’ve had such success with people whose problems and concerns vary so greatly.
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?
This is absolutely true! Since the beginning I knew that in order for me to achieve my goals I would need the right people with the right personalities and qualities to help pull together the referral-based wellness network that I had in mind. I would definitely give a lot of credit to Lori Zaslow, who is a high profile matchmaker and one of my great friends. She was the one who introduced me to my business partner, Matt Perry. He compliments me in all the right places, which is what has made our business work. Our whole business is founded on the power of connections, so the fact that I was connected to so many people is something I am always looking to pass forward. My husband has also supported me in starting this company from the beginning. It’s a lot to start a company with three girls all under the age of 13, and he helped make this possible! In terms of the emotional side of things, my sister has been there every step of the way to help me talk out the highs and lows of embarking on this business. Throughout my life, I’ve learned that it is so important to speak to others and connect with them, and my sister gives me such great support with this!
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
The promotion of mental health and general well-being has always been my passion. With every client we are able to help, I believe we’re bringing goodness to the world. Our focus on individualized, customized care and our commitment to making every person feel heard and supported is something that I feel good about every day. I know what it’s like to struggle to have your problems heard and so I know even the smallest problems we are able to help with make a meaningful difference.
Do you have a favorite book that made a deep impact on your life? Can you share a story?
A book that deeply affects me is Man’s Search For Meaning, by psychiatrist Viktor Frankl. I love it because it talks about resilience, overcoming challenges, and how anyone, despite whatever hardships they went through, can create a life with meaning if they choose to. It’s a book full of lessons for spiritual survival.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Expect a lot of growing pains. Expect the process to be painful yet rewarding. Just seeing everything come together takes time so being patient is key. For us, the challenge was finding a pool of the right people so that we could have someone specific to help each and every family with all of their unique needs. Knowing what we wanted and then actually finding those providers wasn’t an overnight process, so patience is key. For example, we have seven providers who are working for one family alone. We needed to get the right psychologist and the right dietitian. Even to match them to the right doctor. We started working with a 32 year old who had been to various treatment centers for eating disorders and when she came to us we set her up with a team of psychologists, dietitians, and a mindfulness coach who all specialize in the treatment of eating disorders. We set up weekly calls with her primary doctor, too. Now she is able to be in her own natural environment. For us, it’s all about pulling the right team with the right energy, etc.
- It’s an emotional investment. Things fall through at the beginning. There were definitely times when I wondered if it was even worth the investment. I developed SIBO from emotional stress. SIBO stands for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, and it is a medical issue that partly stems from stress.
- It’s a financial investment. I worked without getting paid for a few years.
- There are sacrifices that need to be made with relationships and family life. The amount of time is just so much more than I thought it would be. I would work nights and weekends. I think no matter how much you prepare yourself for this, it will still come as a major life-altering shift.
- You will have doubters, but it’s indescribably amazing and rewarding when you actually get to see your vision come to fruition. Everyone said it’s not possible to create a referral-based network, and then three years later we have over 150 wellness professionals and there are many more professionals trying to get in.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. :-)
Honestly, I know everyone says this, but I would love to have lunch with Oprah! She encourages truly incredible changes in people, and she has a big effect in others’ lives. I believe that she really cares about people and their wellbeing. She inspires, and I also love to inspire people!
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!
If you would like to see the entire “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me” Series In Huffpost, ThriveGlobal, and Buzzfeed, click HERE.