- Amy Garvey
- Be Brave, Sell Yourself and Get Results!
- Freelance Copywriter, Content Manager, Web Content Developer, Branding Specialist, Sales and Marketing Wordsmith, and Proofreading and Editing Professional.
- Where did your passion start? In the 4th grade she won a creative writing contest and was able to audit a college course. She heard Maya Angilou speak.
- She needed to write. It was her form of self expression. This was her outlet. Her mother was a teacher and read to her constantly.
- She felt called.
- She has had emotional issues over the years and writing helped her just like when Dena lost her daughter and it allowed the grief to get out of her being. It passed through her.
- Was it a positive voice in your head? It was mostly creative writing. She is making it into a children’s book. It is about two socks who get separated in the laundry. Amy is so chill.
- She daydreams and then turns it into writing. How are her rituals. It happens long before she sits down at the keyboard. And this is why she doesn’t charge by the hour.
- Her process to write is the same as Colleen’s work as an artist.
- She thinks in words. She spells words out in her head as people talk to her. Things stick with her.
- She has a morning routine that she sticks to. She gets up very early. She spends two hours of my time every morning.
- Hal Elrod, wrote the Miracle Morning which sounds just like your routine. This fuels her creativity. Yoga, reading, bible work, journaling.
- Find the time to fill your cup.
- If your cup gets empty, you need to fill it.
- What led her to become a copywriter? It laid dormant for a while. She was in direct sales. She started writing a trade publication. Then another trade publications picked her up.
- Her work is well researched and well written. That is her MO. It is hard to do humor in writing.
- Marketing is usually the biggest hurdle. It is hard for people to get your vibe.
- How do you write for others?
- Ask questions in your writing! No yes or no questions. You want the client to talk and tell you about themselves.
- She needs to write in other people’s voices.
- How do you bring out a voice in us? She would start about what our hobbies are? What led us to do the podcast. Finding out what someone’s passion is. A lot of people don’t know what their passion is.
- Is it about the customer? You want to be yourself. You want them to get to know you. The material is about THEM. They are interested in features and benefits.
- You need to address their wants so you can give them what they need.
- They live the problem that they are solving.
- The avatar needs to be specific but we need to know what they value.
- Go as if from the reverse. Who is going to buy it? Who is it going to fit?
- Do they go out to eat? Are they spendthrifts? Finding your customer!
- This is tangible. People can put into action and identify themselves and the client.
- How does someone work with you?
- Two packages • Done for You or Done with You • and a one off are available
- She does graphic design as a content manager
- She will write to an audience and design a call to action. It could be to sell a story!
- It was hard to be a freelance copywriter and she went full time with it this past August
- What is your favorite ad copy to write? She likes landing pages and sales pages. Longer copy sells better!
- Do you use formulas? Feel, felt, found? Or is yours different. Audience combined with the client and the interaction determines what she writes.
- How did she get the courage to go out on her own? She was fed up. She took the time to figure it out. She had loaded a full pipeline! Good copy is good copy! It is evergreen.
- In the trenches of running your own business…. Is it scary? Share words of wisdom. If she has a month of cushion, she feels comfortable. You have to trust in yourself! She is desirable in the marketplace.
- What kind of energetic state do you need to be in to do your best work? The back of the brain needs time to get rattled around and have free time to just be creative and think.
- Honor the times where you can’t work and have no ideas.
- You created a space for you to have clear thoughts and a physical space as well!
- There is a formula to the thoughts and creativity on paper! It isn’t solely creative… it is logical sometimes. Set aside time to work on the work.
- How long is your production funnel? 2-3 weeks is a general timeframe!
- Tell us about your course. One is a mini course. Powerhouse persuasion about writing copy. The other is still in the works. The copy write Course. How to write when you don’t know how to write. It happens between the head and the hand. And sometimes there is a disconnect. Most people haven’t written for 20 years! The more electronic we get the less we have to write. It takes a lot to get someone else into the emotional space of someone else. Amy is great at self care. It was all trial and error. It was about figuring out what works. It takes a lot of self awareness.
- Parting words? Be brave. If it doesn’t work, you can crawl into your little hole! Amy went with what is internal! That is powerful!
Neuroscience student, USC
- Isabella Gianatiempo is a student at the University of Southern California, where she studies a full range of Neuroscience subdisciplines.
- Today she will be talking about how to use your brain to your advantage.
- She is double majoring in Neuroscience and Health and Human Sciences.
- Dena asks Isabella to go back to what started her on this path of Neuroscience and Human Sciences.
- Isabella says that she had no idea what to study when it came time to pick a major for college.
- In her junior year of high school she worked in the special education classroom where she would help them with everyday activities such as counting money, doing laundry, etc. Most of all, she was their friend.
- There was no specific moment that struck her that she wanted to study Neuroscience. It more occurred to her when she was researching majors at universities she was applying to when she realized that Neuroscience would be a good fit for her.
- Isabella was very curious about what neural differences made those kids that way.
- This excitement led her down the path of wanting to study Neuroscience.
- Colleen asks what Neuroscience is?
- Isabella says that our brains help us sleep, eat, speak, feel, move our bodies, and remember things.
- It is the command center of our body, it is a very “selfish” organ because it takes the most amount of energy. It is most important that we take care of it.
- Neuroscience is the brain, the connections within it, and how they work. It is more than that; it emcompasses linguistics, biology, chemistry, physis, and human biology.
- It is incredible to see how nuanced and technical our brains are and how evolution was able to make us like this.
- Dena asks about neuroplasticity.
- Isabella says it is a very new, up and coming field. It is the notion that our brain has the ability to change. Scientists are learning there are indeed ways to change.
- Dena asks how we are able to tap into patterns that will allow us to be successful. Will a certain system yield similar results for everyone?
- Isabella says there is not a scientific formula to what helps people achieve happiness.
- A lot of times, our brains are looking for the next best thing. Not only in comparing ourselves to others, but even within ourselves. Humans are conditioned to always want the next rung on the ladder; to graduate college, to then get a job, to then get a promotion, etc. We are programmed to want new things, and we have to rewire our brains to be grateful for the success we have now.
- Dena asks about the innate notion of “wanting.”
- Isabella said that “wanting” was probably not caused by evolution, but more so engrained by society. But, this societal notion tapped into neural networks that were always looking for the next meal and water to keep oneself alive. We have translated this into society today in terms of wanting the new car, the new house, and the new job.
- Because our brain is plastic and can change to a certain degree, creating habits such as regularly practicing gratitude in the form of a walk, a meditation, etc., people can rewire their brains to be happy right now instead of wanting what comes next.
- Dena asks if we can trick our brains to convince ourselves of something.
- Isabella says that our brains are definitely easily fooled. We must take this into account that when we are “fooling” our brain that we are grateful for what we have instead of what we want, this will allow our brains to rewire and over time it won’t be fooling our brain, we will just believe it.
- Dena asks about instant gratification that social media perpetuates in this day and age.
- Isabella says that dopamine is a neurotransmitter that a lot of people may have heard of. It is a reward that our brain releases when we do something rewarding.
- This reward system was created in our brain evolutionarily when we would forage, eat food, and feel better. Dopamine would be released and we would be more inclined to do that behavior again.
- Today, we get dopamine from so many things and it can become addicting. We are addicted to the notifications because of the dopamine hit they give us.
- Not only do we need food for our bodies, but food gives us dopamine hits that we are addicted to as well.
- Dena asks if the phones are a form of addiction?
- Isabella says that yes, not only is the content addicting, but even the dopamine hits we get from a simple like on our post or even an email ping are addicting. These likes or notifications are a positive reward for when we release dopamine, so we become addicted to that gratification we receive.
- Isabella says what she tries to do is limit phone use as well as social media use. She recommends 1 hour a day, especially for young adults whose brains are still forming and an addiction could have negative long term effects.
- Dena asks about serotonin and when it is released.
- Isabella says that serotonin is an inhibitory neurotransmitter because it takes away the bad. It is important for our happiness. People with depression and anxiety have decreased serotonin. Serotonin can also bond us to our friends as well as partners.
- Dena asks if we know how to stimulate serotonin?
- Isabella says that a lot of times, people may simply just not have enough serotonin.
- Majority of neurons communicate by releasing neurotransmitters from one to another to indicate what to do. This is done in a place called the synapse. Sometimes within the synapse, there isn’t enough serotonin available. People can take an SSRI which can allow more serotonin to be present in their synapses and therefore they can be happier.
- Dena asks if a combination of drug treatment as well as mental and physical actions can help to combat depression and anxiety.
- Isabella says that a combination of therapy as well as medication is the most successful form of treatment. Medication can only do so much. When that serotonin is available, what do you do with it? Are you doing the activities you enjoy and spending your time doing things you love?
- The second thing Isabella mentions is that diet is extremely important because our digestive tract has a huge role in our brain. 90-95% of our serotonin is made in our gut. A lot of times, the root of depression can be from peoples guts. People who eat a lot of processed or fatty foods may be experiencing depression. Eating well can help to improve a lot of these depressive symptoms naturally. Often this is not the only solution, but it can help.
- Dena asks Isabella to talk about oxytocin and physical touch.
- Isabella says that oxytocin is a spectacular human that is released in your brain. It is mainly meant for mothers to bond with their children for evolutionary purposes in terms of lineage propagation. Now oxytocin plays a huge role in social and emotional bonding.
- Oxytocin is often referred to as the “cuddle” hormone that gives you the warm fuzzy feeling when you are physically connecting to someone.
- Isabella thinks that hugging is so important because it gives you that great feeling that can also be coupled with dopamine and serotonin. Something so simple as a hug can bring people joy and happiness.
- Humans need human connection to survive, and oxytocin is our brain’s way to allow us to connect and bond with others.
- Dena asks Isabella to talk about stress and how it impacts our brains.
- Isabella says that when you are stressed, it is typically something that is causing stress such as paying the bills or something at work. Stress’ evolutionary purpose is to allow our sympathetic nervous system to activate to make us run away from a predator who is chasing us.
- Sympathetic nervous system is our “fight or flight” response, our heart rate increases and we are able to run away from something. Then, when the predator leaves, your parasympathetic nervous system kicks in which is our “rest and digest” response
- In this day and age, it is very difficult for people who are chronically stressed to turn off their sympathetic nervous systems. Our kidneys release a hormone called cortisol which feeds back up to our brain and causes us to keep being stressed, it is a positive feedback loop. This is very bad for our health because it can cause inflammation. When we are in fight or flight response, our digestive system halts in order to send energy to other parts of our bodies, so a lot of times people who are chronically stressed may gain weight.
- Dena asks what strategies we can implement to help that system calm down if we are on that loop?
- Isabella says that going from sympathetic to parasympathetic is difficult, but when you figure out how to do it, it becomes easier.
- Managing stress may look different to everyone, whether it’s mindfulness, breathing exercises, eliminating the stressor, etc.
- Managing stress leads to better health outcomes across the board.
- Dena asks if a certain amount of stress is good to motivate and direct as a guiding light to work towards something.
- Isabella says that a certain amount of stress is needed to get us out of bed in the morning. It is similar to a guitar string, it needs to be taut enough to where you can play it, but not enough to the point where you cannot play it.
- Our bodies naturally feel stress to get us out of bed or to motivate us to achieve our goals. This is very different than the very stressful heart pounding stress feeling. We must manage this type of stress long term so our health does not decline.
- Dena reiterates the takeaway of knowing that you are the guitar string. If it lacks too much tautness it is bad, and if it is overly tuned, that is also not okay.
- There is a certain level of excitement and joy in terms of some stress, but if it gets too much, it is not joyful.
- Dena asks if part of tuning in is reading oneself is important?
- Isabella says that oftentimes, stress is not addressed. Doctors often treat the conditions that arise due to stress such as obesity and high blood pressure, but often they do not go to the source and figure out what is causing the stress and how to manage it.
- Emotional regulation and emotional awareness of knowing when to do something about your stress levels in order to have good health.
- Colleen asks if when we have certain thoughts, are certain hormones emitted? Does this have a role in neuroplasticity in terms of the things we say to ourselves?
- Isabella says she does not know the exact answer to this, but from her personal knowledge is that your brain can be fooled, meaning if you convince yourself “I am very happy right now” etc., over time, our brains are able to release serotonin and dopamine that help contribute to our happiness. This can wire us to get happiness from our thoughts. Positive self talk is very important, which goes along with gratitude. Over time, you will believe it and if you practice it, your brain will change and adapt.
- Dena says how you can retrain your brain when your emotions match your words.
- Dena asks about people who are obsese and why losing weight can be such an uphill battle.
- Isabella says that obesity is the second most preventable cause of death in the world today, this is because of the problems associated with obesity such as heart disease, diabetes, and other things like that.
- Millions of people struggle with this issue that is an epidemic.
- Isabella is not here to give weight loss tips, she is helping to explain the neuroscience behind why we eat and why we search for food which can help make people feel better and be a little bit easier on themselves.
- Dopamine plays a huge role in people who are obeses, which shows that it can be an addiction. Brain scans that measure dopamine levels of obese people look the same as people who are addicted to heroin.
- This shows that obesity can be an addiction and oftentimes, it is not people’s fault. It is a mental disease. Their brains have been wired to continue eating.
- Isabella says that it is just the way your brain is wired.
- Isabella is in a research lab where they are studying the neuroscience of feeding behavior. Her project is studying the aspect of searching for food. When someone is searching for an object such as their keys, it is the same pathway for other novel objects. It is very different for food; if someone were to want to go look for an apple or any other kind of food, it is a completely different pathway. Our food wiring pathways are very different from novel object pathways.
- Dena asks if food can be seen as a drug in our body and if it has the same effects?
- Isabella says that now that we know that we have this separate pathway for food, can we study why this may lead to an addiction that leads to obesity?
- How can we override this pathway?
- This pathway lies in the hippocampus which is a very interesting brain region. This region is specific for learning and memory. It allows us to map our world as well.
- There was a fun study done on London taxi cab drivers who had giant hippocampuses because of how much of the city they had to map in their brains.
- Dena asks about changes to the body before and after kids and why the brain can change in terms of weight loss and other physical changes?
- Isabella says that obesity and food are not just tied to the brain. Metabolism has a huge role in this which is physical. Thyroids could be messed up and could be separate from the brain. The body changes so much with age, the brain does have a role in this, but many times it is the body independent of the brain.
- Dena asks how can people discern if their body is reacting to food like a drug vs a shift with the thyroid or another body part?
- Isabella says it comes down to being in tune to how you feel around a meal. Do you find yourself seeking our high calorie food and ingesting them? How is your relationship with food? Do you need to eat the 10 brownies that are on the table right now? This is different from someone who is eating normally and gaining weight but may not be addicted. It is all about tuning in.
- Dena asks if our gut is important and how it translates into mental health? Is our gut really that big of a deal?
- Isabella says that the basic notion is when you eat good, you feel good. Having a balance is important, though. Allowing yourself to enjoy all types of foods, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean meats is very important for our guts as well as our general well being.
- Dena asks Isabella for her parting words.
- Isabella says that her biggest takeaway for people to know is that a lot of times, these things that are happening to you are not your fault. If you are depressed, anxious, obsese, or in a negative thought loop, it is not your fault. Your brain is controlling you, but you can change. You can find things to do that will help you improve, or even just accepting that your brain is that way and acknowledging that it is ok. Cut yourself some slack and know that sometimes it is your brains fault. But you can change, you can become more positive, and you can rewire your brain.
Louise Heite, High Achievement Coach
- Louise Heite is an expert in taking high achievers to their greatest levels of success. She has an interest in human behavior. She will be sharing special tips and tricks with the audience today.
- She is a high achiever coach.
- She is the first international guest iSoulify has ever had!
- Louise is coming from Portugal.
- Dena asks where the purpose to work with high achievers started.
- Louise did competition swimming as a young girl, and this is where it started. She questioned how far she could go and how she could do more and become better. She also wanted to help others find this and push themselves more.
- Louise said when she was in the sports and still young it took her awhile to believe her strength.
- Her internal power took awhile to click in herself. It was only three years ago that she realized this. She woke up one day and realized that she wanted to pay attention to her own dreams. She began this dialogue with herself about her own importance.
- Dena asked if she found it difficult to be a leader.
- She says yes, there is a learning curve to it. One obstacle that remains is that she was brainwashed from working 8 am – 6 pm and never allowed herself breaks. She wanted to tap into what she needed and listened to herself.
- Colleen asks about Louise’s upbringing.
- Her grandfather would always tell her to work hard which influenced her. She learned how to work hard in running one’s own business and not taking days off. She believes you have to work hard to get what you want in life.
- Dena brings up the idea of flexibility in the hours we work. There is now the opportunity to work in more flexible hours, but it requires a mental process to free oneself of mental guilt after taking mental breaks. She asks how we work through shifting through this pattern of thinking and acknowledging that it is okay to take breaks.
- Louise discusses productivity and when people are most productive. Different tasks require different energy, and what timelines work best? When are we most productive? Maybe during this time we exercise or take a walk. How do we get to our most productive spot? How do we optimize this and repeat it every single day?
- Louise works with high achievers. Colleen asks Louise to define high achievers.
- Louise says that high achievers are people who are looking for what’s next. They are on the move and want to reach the next level. They have a curiosity for what comes next.
- Colleen asks Louise to walk her through the process of what a high achiever would experience from her training.
- Louise would help them get some clarity in what they want to achieve. What does success look like to you? Is it growing a business? How can we achieve it? Do we need to acquire some new skill sets? Are there other people we need to get involved? It is completely okay to ask for help. We don’t have to do everything on our own. People with specific expertise are sometimes needed. From there, it is the mental game of mastering or changing a mindset to optimize performance. It is also important to notice thinking and question the thinking. Is it helpful? Is it bringing one close to their goal?
- Dena asks if Louise teaches a rule about letting go of work that entrepreneurs do that they love, yet they do not get money from.
- Louise says that this question is important to ask yourself: Is this work bringing me closer to my goal?
- Dena asks about prioritization within work.
- Louise says it is important to take a look at how people spend their time during their week. Having this insight will allow people to recognize what time is not productive and what are things that can be outsourced. She wants people to win back time.
- Dena asks what the experience of moving from country to country has been like and what it has taught her in terms of applying these skills into her coaching business?
- Louise spent 12 years living in London, then New York for 4 years. Her move was work driven because her husband is also an entrepreneur. When she was in New York, she thought of the future she wanted to create for herself and her children. She was missing nature; she wanted to live near the ocean.
- She learned how to set an intention individually as well as a family. This allowed her to picture her life more clearly and make a decision based upon that.
- Recently, she moved to Portugal. Her goal was to be near nature and connect with that. The intention was there, and her and her family made it happen and did not let it fall on the back burner.
- Dena emphasizes the theme of our pursuits in life. When we are intentional, we are living in the present. It is important to be intentional about where we spend our time.
- Colleen asks Louise to elaborate on “flow.”
- Louise says the flow state is when someone is working and losing perspective on time and space and just fully in the moment.
- Louise loves to work with a calendar with her clients. She wants them to block off that time for them to be in a flow state.
- Colleen asks how one gets into a flow state?
- Louise says you can command your mind by setting an intention for the flow state. It takes practice to command flow but once you get good at it, it becomes easier. She also says to give some body cues, such as exercising beforehand or putting distractions away to let your mind know to enter the flow state.
- Colleen asks if there is a pattern for optimal time management in terms of times to be creative, or for writing, etc.
- Louise believes everyone has a different clock and that different people need different schedules.
- A great tool to implement is tuning into emotional effects that certain activities have on us at certain times a day. This is how you know a shift may or may not be needed.
- Colleen asks Louise to speak to procrastination.
- Louise believes we all have it in us. It is about asking yourself the right questions. What is keeping me from starting this right now? Is something more important? Why am I not doing it right now? Louise says that writing down the three things you have to do in a day, and one of them may be the task you want to procrastinate. It is nice to forget about it once it is written down because it leaves our mind.
- Dena asks if after writing things down on a to-do list, should there be a day and time to complete it? Or should it be more flexible and intuitive?
- Louise says it takes us being honest with ourselves when making priorities for the day but not micromanaging our lives.
- Dena asks if being in the coaching role is the push many people need to be accountable for themselves.
- Louise says that yes, this is true. She says in her sessions to ask people what they have achieved because she believes people do not celebrate their wins as much. Then she goes into what they did not achieve and why. Was it procrastination? An emotional issue?
- People listening to this who are struggling with procrastination or poor time management should seek out a life coach and invest in themselves. There is no reason to stop your hopes and dreams if you are struggling. There is always someone there to help support those aspirations.
- Louise’s parting words are “I am in charge, not in control.” Being in charge is about creating a life that you like. It might not be from day one, but heading on that journey is so important. You are not in control because there are so many factors that are out of our control. We only have control over ourselves and our reactions. If you want to get to the next level, it is never too late. It starts with one small step. Anything is possible. You are more powerful than you can imagine. Sometimes we are scared of our own power, but don’t be scared!
- Snehal Singh, speaker, author, coach and publisher!
- Snehal has been intuitive since childhood. She has always done what felt right. She was often thought of as the black sheep.
- Her passion began when she was 17 or 18 when she realized she loved teaching. She wanted to learn more to be able to teach others even more. This is where her journey kick-started.
- She one day decided to write a book, which surprised her. She changed the lives of many people. This made her realize that stories have power beyond people can imagine.
- Snehal enjoys life-long learning and the life lessons she discovers through her life. She is inspired by these lessons.
- Dena asks how tuning into her intuitive self made her differ from her family.
- Snehal says being the black sheep was difficult. She did not realize she was intuitive until later in her life. Growing up, she felt like a rebel and felt as though she did not fit in.
- She knew she wanted to stay true to herself by following what her heart says. She sticks to what she feels is right.
- Snehal says that she did not have the ability to think about religion while growing up. They had more pressing challenges and bigger things to worry about such as getting food on the table and how they were going to pay for their electricity.
- She was not ok with limited beliefs as a child. She doesn’t believe in creating limiting statements and does not want to be a part of negative conversations.
- Snehal grew up in India and moved to the United States five years ago.
- Snehal began distancing herself from her family so she did not have to be a part of the negative conversations. Her advice now is to detach from the conversations and learn to love others for who they are and not expect them to believe what you believe in. You can become ok being around anyone because you are not indulging in their beliefs and thoughts.
- When you love these people, judgement falls away. Judgement is present when we look for lack in another person.
- Dena asks what inspired Snehal to write her book.
- Snehal learned she was capable of writing from her first book.
- “I Work For Me” is a book she has written for people who want to venture into business. It is for the initial phases of launching a business.
- She has another book about awakening power within people that features stories from women who found their power.
- Dena asks how Snehal stepped into her own power and how she is teaching others to do the same.
- Snehal learned it the hard way. It began with letting go of her own beliefs. She learned how to be accountable for herself.
- She has a workshop series called “Right to Abundance” that helps people envision their business and build confidence to step into their own light. She uses online platforms to help people make their voices more visible.
- Dena asks how Snehal taps into abundance.
- Snehal says abundance can be tapped into by taking one action step each day as well as deserving that we deserve these good things. Believing that we deserve everything that is best sets us up for abundance.
- She says to move towards claiming abundance.
- Dena asks what happens when hurdles and hardships block us from reaching this abundance? How does she help people work through these moments?
- Snehal believes that each and every person is whole and complete and is capable of finding solutions within them. All they need to do is peel off certain layers or switch on a certain light to find this solution in them.
- Life is all about ups and downs. It is similar to a road trip; if someone is going to go on a 15 hour car ride, they will make pit stops along the way. The down times are picking up what you need for your journey. These pit stops are for collecting what you need, and then moving ahead.
- Colleen then asks about the layers that Snehal mentioned.
- Snehal says that love + gratitude = abundance. In terms of layers, there are many people who have created walls within themselves that they don’t truly know what they are thinking and feeling. Helping people understand their thoughts and feelings allows the root cause to come forward.
- Snehal says that the best gift given to us is the ability to think.
- Snehal says that writing for her has been like all other things in her life. She started writing only because she wanted to fit in. When she moved to the United States, she had no friends. She talked to her mentor, and Snehal ended up going to a book event and meeting a publisher. She wrote a story which went through 30 rounds of editing and eventually it got into the book.
- She began receiving messages from men and women from all over the world who told her how life changing her story was. Snehal realized she had a calling. This is when she realized writing was for her.
- Snehal thinks that writing helps to manifest faster and is also very therapeutic.
- Snehal has two more books coming out this year.
- Colleen asks what Snehal is writing about?
- Snehal made writing a routine. This creates a habit. Writing every day at the same time allows your brain to be creative at a certain time every single day. This practice has made words work with her rather than her searching for the words.
- Colleen asks about the format which people can work with her?
- Snehal says that working with her is simple; it can be individually or within a group. She mostly works with entrepreneurs or coaches, or anyone who wants to write a book.
- She does abundance coaching as well as coaching on how to write and publish a book.
- Snehal says that each person listening must believe that it is true; you are blessed, prosperous, forgiven, and more than anything, you are the creator. You can create whatever you want. You can write what you want in your life. We have the blessing of choice. Are you aware of the choices you are making? Remember you are the author of your life.
Lauren Jonas, Artistic Director, Diablo Ballet
Lauren Jonas trained at the Marin Ballet, performed with the Milwaukee Ballet, Oakland Ballet, and toured the US with the Moscow Ballet.
She has recruited dancers from all around the world. She wants to stimulate cultural development in future generations.
She wants to empower women in the field of ballet.
Dena asks Lauren to take us back to when her passion was born.
Lauren says she started ballet when she was six years old. She is the middle sister, she has a younger and an older sister. All of her sisters are professional ballet dancers.
She knew from her very first day that this was her passion. She was very serious about ballet. Her mother was surprised she became a professional dancer because Lauren was such a free spirit her whole life.
When she was in high school, she graduated early so she could train all day long in ballet.
After graduating from Marin Ballet, she was offered a position at the Milwaukee Ballet, which became the trajectory of her career.
She then danced in other companies after that.
Dena asks if Lauren struggled with the demands of ballet.
Lauren did struggle with it, she says. She was blessed with a curvy figure, but this was difficult for her because she would get weighed as a ballerina. It was a struggle for her because she was trying to fight her puberty to stay lean and healthy. It was very difficult for her to be health conscious but to be the correct aesthetic that her directors were looking for.
Lauren constantly struggled with this. It was something she never stopped thinking about. She remembers coming off stage and asking her mom if she looked heavy on stage. It was always in her head.
Colleen asks how she overcame these issues.
Lauren wanted to not over-do her food intake but also not deprive her body. She was never a drinker so that was not an issue for her. She wanted to figure out a food balance because her metabolism was slow.
Something that helped her was to cross train. After work, she would go to the gym and do weight training and running to increase her stamina.
Her last performance was when she was 42. It wasn’t until the last 10 years though that she was able to figure out what was best for her body.
Dena asks how Lauren was able to keep her passion alive and not have a burnout?
Lauren says she is a very driven person so that helped. She also became very dedicated, strong willed and resilient because of her training which helped her to keep her passion alive.
She did leave situations in companies that she felt were not good for her, and she went onto another situation that she felt worked for her.
Colleen asks about the family history and how all three sisters became professional ballerinas.
Lauren lived with her grandfather, who took them to the Nutcracker at a very young age and this is where their passion started. He instilled this love of the arts in them.
Dena asks Lauren how she knew she was living her passion? How does she follow her own internal GPS to know she was on the right path?
Lauren knew it was something she was in love with. She wanted to do it more than anything else. People just know when it happens to them, it is hard to articulate. She just feels at home when she is dancing.
Dena says that one way we know we are living our passion is through our joy.
Lauren agrees with this, but sometimes the feeling of pain and trying to strive for a certain “perfection.” She says that there is a certain type of fulfilment that comes from this. This is a type of “good work” she enjoys so much.
Lauren says that whenever she has something negative on her mind, she has no choice but to focus on every single part of her body. She is able to erase those negative emotions for that short period of time. This results in an exhilaration.
Dena asks if this feeling is transferable outside of the studio?
Lauren says she does not think so.
Colleen asks how Lauren developed the skill of positive self talk.
Lauren says she learned it in training because when she is trying to learn a step, positive self talk and positive thoughts are essential.
Lauren says she is constantly trying to positive self talk with herself so it can become what you want it to be and not just how you are feeling.
Our minds can be our best servants, or our worst enemies.
Greatness comes from the training of the mind as well as the physical body. Most importantly, there is that higher level of being which is where excellence is born.
Dena asks what Lauren did after age 42 when she ended her professional performance career.
Lauren started Diablo Ballet when she was 27 and she was still dancing with a company. At 42, she had a lot of injuries with her knees, and she knew it was time to stop. She was trying to avoid surgery.
She then became artistic director of the Diablo Ballet which was a full time job. She also does a lot of executive director work. She does a lot on the business side as well as the outreach program.
When a dancer has to retire, it is very depressing for them. It is a huge loss.
She is very lucky because she was in this new position and could focus on Diablo Ballet.
Lauren knew she wanted to start an outreach program, she started working with underserved communities. They started with one school and now they are in six schools. They serve these students every single month and there is a whole curriculum they teach and it is a lot of social and emotional education.
In 2015, they were approached by the California Arts Council where they work with incarcerated teens. Now they have been working with these incarcerated teens for 6 years. Lauren thoroughly enjoys the program.
Most recently, Diablo Ballet has also started working with boys as well as a behavioral therapy unit at John Muir Hospital.
She wants to teach these kids that they can put anything they put your mind into. She wants to give these kids confidence in being able to express how they are feeling through their movement.
Lauren also had two mentors who encouraged her throughout her whole career. They always gave her confidence. She doesn’t know where she would be in her life without these people. She feels very fortunate to have had these experiences, and she wants to give back to people who do not have these people available to them.
Colleen asks where Lauren’s creativity as an artistic director comes from.
Lauren says that she has always had an innate feeling of being able to power through adversity. She did not expect to be an artistic director, but her mentor told her she could learn how to be one. She learned how to create graphics, write grants, how boards work, and how to run a business. She said it was an incredible experience.
She also had to learn a balance between challenging and fulfilling dancers and giving the audience what they enjoy.
She really likes to have dancers that look very different. She wants the audience to feel a connection with each of them. She wants dancers from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds who can bring something unique to the table. She also wants dancers who are passionate about working with kids and teens.
She likes to hire both female and male choreographers, but she wants to show young people that you can direct a company and run a school as a woman. She wants to empower every member of the Diablo ballet.
Colleen asks if the ballet industry is dominated by men?
Lauren says that most of the artistic directors and choreographers were men in the 1990s, but now it has changed and women are running these companies.
Colleen asks how Lauren is handling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lauren says that when COVID happened in March 2020, they were about to have a huge performance. They had to go home but they began offering company class on Zoom. They ensured all dancers got a Marley floor and a barre.
The company teachers taught class every single morning. Lauren wanted to continue paying the instructors.
They also began making video footage that they posted on social media of past performances. Dancers also created dancing videos from home. All of their outreach programs also went on over Zoom.
They had their summer intensive in person and had no COVID issues. They had masks and social distancing and other strict protocols.
The main issue with these dancers was that a lot of them were getting injured after taking a long break. They eased back into it after a while.
After a month they were able to film their first performance without masks.
The dancers had their own bubble and they did not do any other activities other than ballet.
Dena asks for Lauren’s parting words.
Lauren says that she is a deep believer in whatever makes you be in a place of calm, to think about what you want to do in your life to try to impact others. For Lauren, she wants to give back because it is her passion. There is nothing you can’t do when you put in the work and are passionate about it. She had so many “nos” throughout her whole career, but if you really love something so much and don’t give up, that is the most important thing. Everyone deserves a chance in this life. Trying to make the right decisions to stay focused on what you love and not get distracted with bad energy is very important. Your passions will come to you.
Keynote Speaker, High Performance Leadership Coach
People can connect with Rosa by going to www.rosaponcedeleon.com
- Facebook group called Empower to Bloom:
- Her podcast is called Powerful at Work. She does solo casting as well as interviewing people.
- Rosa has worked over 20 years in a male dominated industry. She discovered her voice and took ownership of her love to make a global impact. She believes you are in the driver’s seat of your career.
- She is a leadership coach.
- Dena aska Rosa to take us back to when she felt she was a natural born leader.
- Rosa talks about her parents and how they were both immigrants. Her parents raised her to be an independent thinker, be useful, and to be proud of their work. She was always encouraged to be a fix-it person, and she learned you should not be intimidated by problems if there is a solution.
- Her father did not speak very good english, so Rosa was her father’s translator. She learned there are experts out there that know more, and you should always ask in order to find solutions.
- Rosa’s parents immigrated from Mexico. She was able to visit and have a strong understanding of the culture when growing up.
- Rosa saw the world as full of opportunities. She is disappointed when she sees talented people full of potential who are unable to see where they can add value.
- The fun of the workforce is figuring out what you like to do and what you don’t like to do.
- Rosa learned early on how to say no to things you do not enjoy.
- Dena asks about getting a college education vs entering the workforce early to get work experience.
- Rosa believes this decision should be made as a collaboration within the family. Rosa thinks that even work around the house allows people to learn how to be considerate and tidy.
- Rosa says that it’s ok to let people suffer a bit, because that’s where they develop different muscles. When we provide too much and make it too easy, we fail to develop those muscles for our children.
- Rosa works in a male dominated field. She says that men tend to be competitive and she had to learn how to elbow her way in as well.
- Dena asks how Rosa learned how to stay in her truth, be sincere, and bridge more of a strategic mindset.
- Rosa said she learned how to be independent. She didn’t ask for permission, she just did it. She learned to take more initiative, and she learned how she could be a leader.
- Rosa said there was bantering between male peers, whereas female peers help one another. For men, competition was more important.
- Rosa likes to get things done on her own.
- Rosa demanded respect in the male dominated field. When there is an issue with Rosa, she can have a conversation that she is prepared for. She says it is not personal.
- Dena asks how this translates when it’s more females in the workplace than males?
- Rosa says that 1:1 interactions are important to establish relationships. These relationships matter to women and are very valuable to culture. We need to be more intentional about slowing down and having a conversation that is not about work.
- Dena asks Rosa’s opinion about being led.
- Rosa said we are sometimes programmed to take a back seat and let someone else tell us what to do.
- Helping leaders be collaborators and problem solve is very important. If a leader just shows up and tells people what to do, they will get a product but it will not create as successful of an outcome.
- Collaboration between people working on the ground to the leader is important. The people on the ground have a good outlook as well. The leader needs to get input from these people. This starts with daily contact and questioning. This allows everyone to grow and collaborate.
- Rosa was a police officer for 10 years. Colleen asks about her career.
- Rosa is a field supervisor now. She has worked in very busy areas. When it comes to crisis leadership, she needed to step up. As a supervisor, it was hard to bring everyone together in a crisis situation. She wants people to be more independent in these situations.
- Having good leadership to work through problems is one of the most important things.
- Rosa discussed how the social movement about police officers was very difficult on her. It was personal and hurt her.
- Dena transitions to talking about Rosa’s personal leadership coaching. She asks where she starts with someone who wants to become a better leader.
- Rosa said the leadership issues she saw in her industry was not unique to just her industry, she began to work with others to help them with these leadership issues.
- Dena asks what tips and tricks people can use to develop their own leadership skills.
- Rosa says the biggest issue is in confidence. People need to slow down and get to know themselves and what makes them happy. Why did they take this path? Have you been following others advice that you have strayed far from who you are?
- There is value to having mentors, but people should differentiate themselves from their mentors so they are able to discover themselves. The mentor will root for them and will be there to help navigate situations, but people must know who they are and why they are there. This leads to confidence.
- Dena aska how Rosa leads people to get to a place of passion.
- Rosa asks questions because she finds people very very interesting. She likes to have conversations about where people are at and she helps them work through their passions.
- The Powerful Professionals is a year long program she has and she is able to get to know someone and get people to a place of wins and passion. She wants people to be able to command their worth. She helps people work on 4 things: purpose, leadership, community connections, and emotional intelligence.
- Nobody is supposed to be out here alone.
- It is important to have a coach to guide people. Rosa is with people for an entire year which is important because it takes time to grow and evolve.
- Rosa says a year is a perfect amount of time because it helps hone in goals.
- Rosa monitors the amount of people who she trains at one time. She has a team who helps her. She is able to scale to the needs of people.
- Rosa’s clients have access to the diverse team at all times. She has people with backgrounds in sales, law enforcement, corporate, etc.
- Rosa does not like pigeonholing people.
- Dena aska for Rosa’s parting words.
- Rosa says that hopefully the rough year has allowed people to discover their priorities, this is a good thing because we have nothing but worth to gain from this. She hopes communities are becoming stronger and more tight knit. She wants people to leave the place better than they found it. She wants people to step into the leadership and go for it. Don’t worry about messing up or asking for permission.
- Heather runs a Group of over 31 thousand mothers, called The MamaHood, which is a connection of mothers in the Bay Area. She also has a club called The Club for mothers.
- Heather is a serial connector, she believes it is all about who you know. This episode will allow you to learn about networking.
- Dena asks where her passion started.
- Heather loves bringing people together, and she has always been the person throughout her life who gathers people to do something.
- Everything unifies around bringing people together and trying to create something.
- Dena asks if she has ever deviated from this gift of gathering people?
- Heather says yes, she never turned them off but she went down the path of day-job land where her gifts were sidelined.
- She relates to people who are stuck in a day job that does not resonate.
- Colleen asks about Heather’s roots and what led her to be a connector.
- Heather was born in Connecticut and then her family moved to the Bay Area. She has been in the East Bay Area ever since. She has one younger sister and she also has kids.
- Heather is a loud person, cheerleading type.
- Heather’s number 1 superpower is connecting people.
- She does not like the word networking, because the word brings to mind a self-centered way of thinking. She likes to live and grow communities in more of a natural way. She wants people to look at it as building relationships and having great people and friends in their life. She wants people to take the business aspect out of it and instead simply think about who they want to spend your time with.
- Making friends is the key and then sharing what they want to bring into the world next.
- Instead of networking, she likes to use the word community building.
- Heather’s dad was an entrepreneur and created a bank. She ended up working there 13 years and it definitely was not what she envisioned for her life. At night she had a band that she would market for and play for at night. This and the bank gave her a background in community marketing.
- Facebook groups were just beginning.
- Heather just had a baby and she didn’t know any other mothers.
- She began meeting mothers at breastfeeding classes and such, she created a group chat to keep in touch with them after.
- She had the idea to create the Facebook group for these mothers.m
- Over the next 6 years the Mamahood blew up.
- Heather applied to go to Facebook’s community summit; over 5,000 applied and they chose 500. She also was selected as 1/12 to present.
- Dena asks when Heather accepted that this was her life course, and asks if she had to make a choice between this and music.
- Heather says that sometimes the universe pushes you down a path and in hindsight you look back and realize things.
- At first, she resisted the idea of Mamahood being a business.
- Heather did not want a business around being a mom; it did not excite her. She loves her kids and loves being a mom, but she did not want to make a business about it. At the time she wanted to write songs and wanted her band to be successful.
- The Mamahood still began to grow, and she had 5 kids so she had to take care of them.
- She had a realization one day, and she still wanted to create a women entrepreneur community as an offshoot of the Mamahood. She became excited and passionate again.
- The way she made this realization was through being quiet, self-care, and listening to her true self.
- Dena asks if Heather had to bring someone into her life to help her with her business?
- Heather says yes, she has a virtual assistant.
- Some advice she is giving is imperfect action, baby steps, and not worry about perfection. Everything in business is about getting the ball rolling, and the first efforts are very difficult. Once the ball is rolling though, it has its own speed.
- Daily action is another metaphor she loves. She wants people to “toss three pebbles in the pond a day.”
- Don’t get hung up on details. She just wants you to get stuff going.
- Dena asks if she had friends help in the beginning?
- Heather took a big risk in the beginning, which she does not recommend doing. She supported her family from savings and jumped into it as a full time job even though she did not have any money from it. In terms of hiring, her advice was “do it yourself until you don’t have time to do it yourself anymore.”
- Heather hired a virtual assistant in the Philippines because they are paid well which truly makes a positive difference in their lives.
- Heather says to figure out where your passion lies within your business, and get a virtual assistant for everything else.
- Colleen asks about the Mamahood
- Heather explains that it is a free support group for moms in the Bay Area, they have a Facebook group which has 32,000 moms in it. There are breakout rooms for other forums as well. They will be launching regional chapters in 2021.
- There will be a new platform called Ujamaa. Both are free.
- The Club is a paid membership for women entrepreneurs who do not necessarily have to be moms, but they do have to be a founder or creative.
- They also have a resource directory called the M list on a web platform that links The Club and The Mamahood. She created this because all day long people recommend things in the Facebook group, so this directory has lots of resources.
- A perk of being in The Club is it can intersect with the Mamahood. Separately, business and personal development is covered in The Club.
- Heather says that starting relationships and friendships is the secret sauce. She wants to bring joy, life, and connection back to busy entrepreneurs who would not have that otherwise. This connection truly helped these women.
- The Club does not have any promoting, it is more about support, guidance, and advice.
- One can save 20% if you pay in advance, it is $500 for the year or for $50 in payments.
- Colleen asks if there is any area in The Club that allows for promotion.
- Heather says there is one main forum without promotion, and then she has others with promotion that goes to the Mamahood audience. There are also breakout rooms by industry.
- Dena asks about Heather’s book she wrote
- Heather wrote a book about how she met her husband because she had a very weird love story. When she met him, he was a compulsive liar due to trauma, and everything he told her was a lie. After living together for two months, she realized everything was a lie. They made it through, and they have now been together for 14 years. Her book is called “Liar Liar Heart on Fire.”
- The book is about one hour. She wants people to learn how to be empathetic to people going through trauma. Be open to the possibility that not everything is black and white.
- Heather also talked about her band. They have been together for 14 years. They recorded their last album in 2016 and her 2021 goal is to record a new album. The album is called Blue Rabbit. She sings and plays guitar in the background.
- Heather’s final words are that she is very excited for 2021. 2020 was powerful for her to get quiet and reflect. She feels much wiser and ready to take on the year.
Artist, Business Coach, Podcaster
- Miriam Schulman has a BA in Art History and a minor in Engineering from Dartmouth College. She also has an MS from MIT. She has always loved technology as well as art. She shares how the two blend so beautifully to foster a thriving business.
- Dena asks Miriam to take us back to when her story began.
- Miriam’s story begins in the 4th grade when she had just moved to a new place. It was a difficult time in her life to be the new girl. Her teacher noticed she had some artistic ability and it was the first time she labeled herself as artistic. This teacher saw something in her that she did not see in herself.
- Miriam continued to have a passion but it was kept in the closet. A lot of her friends from high school are surprised because she never took an art class in high school. She was very academic but the only way she could stay focused was to draw.
- When she was young, her father passed away. By the time she was in high school, her mother’s second marriage was falling apart. These circumstances did not allow her to follow her dreams of being an artist because she thought it was not associated with financial security.
- Dena asks how she was able to incorporate business and art so she can have financial success.
- Miriam did not pursue art in high school, she did not officially major in art in college but she was in some art classes, and her first job was on wall street. After 9/11 happened, she realized she did not want to go back to wall street. She then worked as a pilates instructor where she learned marketing techniques that would help her in her art business.
- She learned the sales and marketing from being a pilates instructor. She knew of predictable selling systems that could be used to sell anything.
- Dena emphasizes how they want to help women take on that business side and incorporate it into their passion.
- Miriam goes on to explain how that was around 20 years ago. She began using those marketing techniques that she learned from her pilates class to sell portraits. In the last few years, she has been coaching other artists because she learned her system can work for others as well. She taught her clients her Black Friday Hack, for example, and every artist who used it ended up selling art.
- This system does not just work for Miriam, it is a marketing system that works for everyone. It isn’t just because of Instagram, or where you live, or if you have a podcast or not. It is the system itself that helps sell art.
- Systems that we tap into regardless of what it is, as long as it is duplicatable, it can work.
- When Miriam first started, she did not have the information on the internet that we do know. Her curiosity was sparked and she began lifelong learning on the subject.
- It does not have to take this many years to learn it, you can study with a coach like Miriam who can help you get to where you want to be with your business. It is about sales, marketing, and psychology.
- The platforms we use may change, but the psychology and rationale behind marketing never changes.
- Dena asks what Miriam’s stages of education look like in terms of her clients.
- Miriam has levels of belief systems. For example, someone who is at ground 0 and has never sold anything because they believe their art has no value, she cannot help them a whole lot. Someone who is at this step, she recommends her free e-book called The Artist Profit Plan which is available at schulmanart.com\profit. She also has over 100 free podcast episodes that are very helpful.
- The people who come to Miriam who are not at step 0 are usually at step 1. They have sold some art but they are struggling. They are further along on that ladder of believing what is possible.
- Colleen asks about shifting people’s mindsets before Miriam even works with them.
- Miriam says that people do not have to come to her with the kind of confidence that she has herself. She says that increasing confidence is the key to unlocking possibilities and most people know this.
- Mindset is baked into everything Miriam does. In her premium programs, she has a life coach that helps supplement the program to help with the mindset shifts.
- In order to be a top business person, you have to act like a top business person.
- Dena asks Miriam what her biggest goal she wants to achieve is.
- Miriam says a big driver to her is the legacy she is creating. When she is creating portraits, she is aware of that legacy. That becomes a family heirloom and will live on even after she is gone. When she is teaching her classes, she is also passing on her legacy of how she paints. With her coaching clients who are learning how to sell their art, her “passion professionals,” she is passing her legacy onto them as well.
- Miriam specializes in portraits of people, and Colleen asks what got her into painting as well as what medium she uses.
- Miriam says that drawing people is what she loves to do most. When she first started painting, she was using watercolor. She dabbled a bit in oil, but watercolor was her choice since it is not toxic and is easy to clean up. It was the perfect medium for someone who was struggling with making time for her children as well as following her passion of painting.
- Dena asks for people who are not willing to quit their day job, are there opportunities for people to still work with Miriam to get their business off the ground before they quit their day job?
- Miriam says yes, absolutely. Many women in her program have day jobs that they want to leave because it does not feel like it aligns with their life purpose. The people in her program who are able to give more time will be able to accelerate the results faster, though.
- Dena asks about the online space for selling art and how it works.
- Miriam says that online art still sells the same in this day and age. She sells her art with risk reversals, in case it does not work out for them they can return it. Miriam says that seeing art in person is all about the relationship with the person who is selling the art. Miriam likes to tap into the psychology and emotion of the in person setting. Translating this to the online format is essential to selling the art.
- Dena asks if this is done through storytelling?
- Miriam says that storytelling is very important, it isn’t as much about what the art looks like, but instead what the story of the piece is. People will not buy her art until they have the story. People collect art because they have a connection to the artist. The more you can help create that connection, the more successful you will be.
- Colleen asks about Miriam’s podcast and her storytelling. Miriam says it is much easier to teach by using stories as metaphors; stories are used to teach.
- Stories get us into an emotional space which allows us to resonate with the message.
- Dena asks what the next steps after step 1 would be, and the time frame of it.
- Miriam says in order to work with her, it is application based only.
- Miriam does have art classes and everyone is welcome there. In terms of her business classes though, she has an application process because she does not want to take on clients who are not ready yet.
- She then talks to them about their goals and struggles and the next steps they need to take to get to where they want to be. Usually her coaching and mentoring program lasts about 1 year.
- Miriam’s parting words are you are enough, you are more than ready, and you deserve to make an income from your incredible artwork.
- You don’t have to know everything right now, it is okay to be a lifelong learner.
- The power to have a coach or mentor at any time in your life is so impactful. Having someone in your corner is essential. You are worth it to have a coach and mentor, especially one like Miriam Schulman!