My motto is, you feel the fear, and you just do it anyway. That is just a mantra to live by.

When seasoned entrepreneur Laurel Brown first began to build Upper House, a Stephen & Laurel Brown Foundation initiative, she knew she needed someone with a background in Christian theology and business. This led Laurel to Industrial-Organizational Psychology Ph.D. candidate John Terrill, a match seemingly made by divine intervention. Now, Laurel and John have cultivated a remarkable Christian space where students at the University of Wisconsin can gather together and grow.

Laurel didn’t necessarily have a plan when she began the nebulous idea of Upper House. However, Laurel knew she had to face crippling anxiety to make her dream happen. By deciding to trust the people around her, she was able to have faith that everything was going to work out. Feeling a natural alignment with the project and an accumulation of trust, John was able to bring Upper House’s vision to life as it continues to impact college students passionate about Christian theology.

Tune into this week’s episode of Move Forward Anyway for a motivating conversation about following your dreams despite fear. Learn how Upper House came to be, Laurel and John’s anecdotes to self-doubt, and the benefits of giving up control.


• “I’ve been an entrepreneur my whole life. I’ve owned my own businesses for almost all of my life. I can say without a doubt that if you wait to start something that you want to do, you will never do anything with it.” (11:33 – 11:46 | Laurel)

• “My motto is, you feel the fear, and you just do it anyway. That is just a mantra to live by.” (15:26 – 15:33 | Laurel)

• “I was so overburdened in my mind and in my soul that I honestly didn’t know if I was going to make it. It was just too much on my shoulders at that time. It literally became survival. You’re going to either allow this to take you down, or you’re going to figure out how to work through it.” (30:44 – 31:10 | Laurel) 

• “We take little steps that allow us to ultimately get to that big, big thing we are after.” (43:42 – 43:50 | John)

• “There is a transition that happens over time if you’re an entrepreneur and you’re starting something. You are probably in all the details and there’s a value of learning that.” (51:45 – 51:55 | John)

• “I think a lot of people struggle with hopelessness and a lack of really being able to dream and have agency. And that’s why your work is so important, why the work we do is so important because I think we all have an opportunity to make a difference.” (1:00:56 – 1:01:12 | John) 



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