We probably all know those corporate environments which exude stress the moment you walk into them. Well, one South African entrepreneur, Bronwyn Kilroe, founder of Laughter Sessions, has created a highly successful business that reminds companies and organisations about the power of fun and laughter to create positive and productive working environments.
LoA met with the inspirational Bronwyn Kilroe to find out more about this unique business and how it is changing lives and companies for the better.
What does your company do?
Laughter Sessions is a staff skills training company focusing on Stress Management, Health Promotion and Happiness Development. Known as Cape Town’s Laughter Coach, I show companies that by incorporating more fun and laughter into the workplace not only boosts staff morale but also increases productivity and performance levels. I offer a range of super fun Laughter Sessions, Workshops, Skills Training and Online Coaching Programmes – to empower and educate teams on how to use laughter as a tool, not an emotion, to reduce their stress and tension levels, improve their health and boost their happiness. If you can laugh together, you can work together.
"I show companies that by incorporating more fun and laughter into the workplace not only boosts staff morale but also increases productivity and performance levels."
What inspired you to start your company?
The Purpose of Life is to Be Happy! But for many people this is challenging as we face difficulties and stress on a daily basis as we try to navigate life. Coming from a corporate background in the high pressure world of the film and television industry, I met many unhappy, stressed out, anxious and overwhelmed people, struggling and trying to cope with the stressors of life but not succeeding. I then had my AHA moment to become a Laughter Coach to help people rediscover their smile and remember how good it feels to laugh, as well as educating them about all the scientifically proven benefits Laughter has on the human body – mentally, emotionally and physically. Laughter is an excellent stress buster, improves your mood and instantly makes you Happy. So if you want to be Happy – just Laugh more! This is my passion, joy and bliss to share with everyone I meet.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
Laughter is Serious Business! No Joke! In a recent study, Forbes.com reported that Happy Employees were at least 50% More Productive in their jobs! The happiness of your employees directly affects your bottom line, as happy employees are productive employees and one of the quickest and easiest ways to create happy employees is with regular Laughter Sessions. It is more than just laughing, it is science-based methodology strategically designed to empower teams with practical Stress Management Laughter Skills that they can use in their daily life at work and at home, to be able to work under pressure, cope with stress, deal with change and boost their workplace performance, and it produces immediate results. Clients include Parliament of SA, Pick n Pay, Sanlam, Media 24, Old Mutual, Woolworths, FNB, SARU, Brandhouse Beverages, ABSA, Momentum and Mediclinic to mention a few.
"If you can laugh together, you can work together."
Tell us a little about your team
I am a solopreneur managing all aspects of my business myself, which has been challenging but highly rewarding. Having a strong support system and networking with passionate, uplifting, like-minded, positive women entrepreneurs has been the cornerstone of my ability to overcome hurdles and challenges.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
It has been a bumpy but worthwhile, exciting and awesome adventure starting my own business. I took a chance leaving the corporate world, ignored the nay sayers and just followed my bliss. So I always encourage people to follow their bliss, no matter what it is. If you follow your passion, you will thrive. When you love what you do, it is not work it is fun. Life is supposed to be fun and we are supposed to feel good. My philosophy of having Fun in Business and Building Relationships First, Business Second has been the foundation of my business success and I was thrilled to be nominated as one of the ‘Margaret Hirsch Woman in Business Achiever of Year Finalists’ last year.
"The Purpose of Life is to Be Happy! But for many people this is challenging as we face difficulties and stress on a daily basis as we try to navigate life."
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
There is little success where there is little laughter, so I would love to see Laughter and Fun becoming part of the corporate culture in all companies in South Africa and throughout Africa. To see companies that really care about the happiness of their employees and to transform the management mind-set into seeing the benefits of cultivating employee happiness which will increase staff productivity, improve their bottom line and create a Win Win Scenario.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
I love to inspire, uplift and encourage people to follow their dreams, to have fun and to do what makes them feel good. And Laughter instantly makes everyone feel good. Seeing the transformation in teams before and after a Laughter Session is pure bliss for me. They arrive stressed, anxious, depressed and then to see their frowns turn into smiles of joy and happiness, and to hear the roars, shrieks and chuckles whilst doing some good belly laughs together is a pure delight.
Hearing the feedback from participants on how relationships have blossomed, marriages have been saved, illnesses have been cured through laughter and how they are teaching the laughter techniques to their families and kids, and practising the laughter exercises when sitting in traffic or feeling stressed out at work– this is priceless for me.
"Laughter is an excellent stress buster, improves your mood and instantly makes you Happy. So if you want to be Happy – just Laugh more! This is my passion, joy and bliss to share with everyone I meet."
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Follow your Bliss. Find the thing that makes your Heart Sing and jump in! If you would do what makes you feel good, you will be who you were born to be. There is no better way to achieve financial abundance than to do the things that you love, things that are fun for you and that make you feel good. Don’t be afraid to target a unique and niche market. And don’t be so focused on where you are going, that you miss the fun of going there. And if you can approach all situations you encounter with Laughter, you can literally laugh your way to health, happiness and success. So take time to laugh out loud every single day, do things that feel fun, do what makes you happy, be with who makes you smile and follow your bliss.
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Why LoA loves it….
There are people you meet in life who are genuine life-enhancers, those who bring something unique and enriching to any encounter or conversation and who leave behind them a feel-good factor that spills out into the rest of the day. Bronwyn Kilroe, founder of the company Laughter Sessions, is one of those people. Importantly, she is building a business that can positively impact on the lives and business success of so many others in the corporate world, and in society at large. She has found a true niche by harnessing her unique people skills and is making a huge and positive difference as a result. The world needs more like her! --- Melanie Hawken, founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa