INTERVIEW - CAREER COACH - HEATHER MONAHAN
I got the amazing opportunity to connect with Career Coach, Business Expert, Mentor, and Speaker Heather Monahan. 'Heather Monahan is a multimedia force empowering women to use their unique attributes to achieve success in all aspects of their lives. Her inspiring attitude, tireless passion and hard-won wisdom have enabled Heather to work her way up the corporate ladder, where she has gained the firsthand experience she now shares with others.' - heathermonahan.com
What was it like growing up poor, and having no guidance? How were you able to stay motivated to keep moving forward no matter what obstacles you faced?
Growing up poor was challenging. I didn't know any other way of life so it was the way life was. The real problem was that I began to feel less than others which really created a self esteem issue for me. Lacking confidence caused me serious problems growing up, the funny thing is that lacking confidence is not exclusive to those of us that grew up poor. So many women lack confidence it is shocking, the good news is that confidence can be developed just like a muscle if you choose to do so. I chose to develop it! You can let your circumstances dictate your life or you can choose to create the life you want, I chose the more difficult and challenging route which was more rewarding. I chose to work hard and create the life that I wanted.
When did you decide you were not going to allow your impoverished childhood to hinder your future? What pushed you to become the successful woman you are today?
This is a funny question. I never woke up one day and said I am going to do this or that. Every day that I struggled I developed the ability to deal with and overcome adversity. Those situations developed me into an adversity ninja. Today when adversity strikes, I do not flinch, I find solutions and a way to overcome the odds. Others that did not grow up in challenging situations find adversity much more challenging. One of the beautiful things about growing up surrounded with struggles is that you become exceptional in dealing with struggle. Struggle will strike everyone no matter what your upbringing or economic bracket. I am blessed that I learned to overcome adversity at a very young age. My childhood taught me that I can withstand anything and that allows me to take on everything that comes my way with ease. Taking risks for me today is something I am more comfortable with than others.
What does "The Monahan Method" stand for?
The Monahan Method is a practical way to overcome challenges and advance in the world. This is the method that I have created and developed over my lifetime. The Monahan Method allows me the opportunity to share my experiences and hacks with the world so others don’t have to get set back the way that I did when I was younger. It is my chance to share insight with others so that they excel.
How does it feel to be your own boss, and a woman in the corporate world?
Everyone is their own Boss. This is a fact. You are the boss of your own life and world. You do not need the title of CEO or otherwise to become your own boss. You need to decide to take responsibility for your life and who you are and decide to assume the helm of your ship and sail it where you want to go. Being your own boss is empowering. I have been my own boss since a very young age. When I realized I was essentially on my own, I decided to take responsibility for where I was going and what I was doing. The sooner you look inside instead of outside, the sooner you become your own Boss and inevitably direct your life where you want it to go. Being your own boss is a gift that we can all give to ourselves. Being my own boss feels amazing.
How do you define skills from talents?
Skills are developed through hard work and effort. Talent is a natural god given ability.
What is it like being able to travel across the country speaking at conferences, conventions etc. to get your powerful messages across to women?
It is a lot of work and not nearly as glamorous as it seems. I tire of the facades that people create and I challenge myself every day to be transparent. So the real truth is, it is exhausting. I work a full time job to pay my bills and the extra time I have at night and on weekends, I work to promote my brand and often times that is pursuing speaking opportunities. While I love to speak and share my story and message to inspire others, I don’t have someone handing me these opportunities. I work hard to build a network and reach people that can connect me to opportunity. I give up a lot of time that I could be spending with my son or taking care of myself to instead build presentations and do interviews to promote my brand. Like anything, if you want to be successful you need to make sacrifices and work endlessly to follow your dreams. My dream is to inspire and help others that may be in a challenging situation like I was when I was growing up. I feel nervous right before I speak, I don’t want to let others down and I wonder if I will be good enough. I am just like everyone else making tough decisions daily and burning the candle at both ends hoping it is all going to pay off in the end. Things are not always what they may seem.
How does it feel to empower other women by sharing your testimonies, and success journey?
When I realize I am reaching people when I am speaking or sharing my thoughts and stories, it is the most emotional and rewarding feeling. I feel blessed that God has given me the opportunity to reach others. When women come up to me to meet me and they say, “I don’t know why I am standing here but I just wanted to meet you and say thank you” those moments make everything worthwhile. There is a lot of good in the world and I am doing my part to contribute all that I can. I am so appreciative and grateful.
How has surrounding yourself with positive and successful women impacted your life and get to where you are today? Why is this so important for up-and-coming women in the Business industry?
Surrounding myself with amazing women has changed my life. I literally think this is one of the most important and impactful things I have ever done. The people you surround yourself with will determine what you can withstand and where you will go in your future. Everyone will face tragedy, when you face it alone it is debilitating, when you face it with a team that has your back, anything is possible. Fire those people in your life that bring you down and pull those close to you that lift you up. My network and friendships are everything to me and I am so lucky to have every single one of them.
Why is it important to have a good support system and a team that stands behind you?
It takes a village to raise a child, run a business, have a life and accomplish anything meaningful. When I was younger and had been let down and hurt, I chose to close myself off to others. No one knew this at the time but I didn't ask for help or lean on my support system. Today, I lean on them everyday and I ask for help everyday and I am able to reach new heights as a result of it. Surrounding yourself with great people that want to help you is a game changer, even if it is just one solid person. Lean on them and let them lean on you.
How has having over 20 years of sales and marketing experience helped you to become the Chief Revenue Officer for Beasley Media Group, Inc. ? What it is like holding such a big title?
Having experience is not the only thing that helped me become the CRO of Beasley. I had the courage to pitch a job that didn't exist and that was an impactful task that changed everything. By being a loyal employee that delivered results and treated people kindly, I built a reputation that others sought after. When you create success and others want you, you become more desirable. Instead of feeling happy in my past role, I decided to push for a new role that had not been created. Moments like that can be scary because it is easy to say no to something that hasn’t existed. I choose to push forward whenever I feel afraid. We only get one shot at this life and I am destined to Iive mine the the fullest and sometimes that means taking some very big risks. Close your eyes and jump, every time I do, it pays off.
What does the moniker "Boss In Heels" stand for?
“Boss in Heels” means a few things to me. When people hear the term “Boss” often times they think of a male stoic figure. To me, “Boss in Heels” is representative of being you and for me that means celebrating that I am a woman while still commanding respect and delivering results in the workplace. “Boss in Heels” is about treating employees, partners and clients well and having a vested interest in their success. “Boss in Heels” is a more modern way of leading.
What role do you think self-confidence plays in being successful?
Confidence plays a MASSIVE role is success. When you feel insecure, typically you hold yourself back as a result of fear of failure. When you are confident, you are willing to take risks and be yourself and those are the moments you tap into your greatest super powers and truly begin to succeed.
How do you feel your fashion choices affect your presentation as a business woman?
Fashion, wether we like it or not, does affect how others perceive you. As I have gotten older, I have been more mindful of my appearance and clothes. If you really want to succeed, you need to invest in yourself and create the image that you want others to see. Dressing appropriately can make all of the difference between someone taking you seriously or not.
What is one piece in your closet you would recommend to an up and coming #bossinheels?
There is not just one! There are a few must haves. I recommend getting a great knee length pencil skirt or dark pair of plain trousers that you can mix up with various blouses. It is also important to have a structured work bag and clean shoes.
What do you like to do in your free time when you aren't working? What are some of your favorites places to travel?
I love to be with my son and my friends when I am home. Working out for me is my saving grace. When I don’t work out, my stress gets the better of me. I travel a lot for work so my favorite place to go is my home.
How do you define personal success, and what have been some of your major accomplishments thus far in your career?
Defining personal success is different for everyone. For me, personal success is having a thriving career where I feel like I am contributing to society in a positive and meaningful way, while my son is thriving and I am getting a chance to take care of myself and my loved ones. My most major accomplishment in life is having my son. Raising the most amazing young man and getting the chance to know him and watch as he grows and accomplishes so much is the by far the most amazing aspect of my life. I could not be more proud of my amazing son.
What advice would you give young females who aspire to go into the Business world and be their own boss?
You already are your own boss, realize that and own it. People will treat you the way you allow them to. Listen to your own voice over everything else. Pick your squad wisely and lean on them. Be Brave. You only get one shot at this life so make it everything you want it to be. Who says you can’t? I say you CAN. #bossinheels
Thank you so much Heather!