As icon Heather Monahan always says, “at any moment you’re either building your confidence or chipping away at it.” Little did I know how profound this statement was going to be.
I discovered Heather when her first book, Confidence Creator, came out. I learned so much about just going after what you want in life, no matter how impossible it may seem. Heather’s book was threaded with multiple stories of how she confidently kept going for the next goal, bet on herself, and made opportunities happen despite any adversity. I read her book the summer of 2018, not knowing that autumn I was about to step into one of the most challenging seasons of my life.
When the autumn season came around, I was struggling to stand back up. It felt like my whole world had come crashing down. And as we do, I drew closer to Heather and her work for the much-needed motivation I was seeking. I stayed focused on her words like they were scripture. Every morning I put my earphones on and listened to her new podcast episodes. I wanted so desperately to be done with my dark season and step powerfully into the next level of my life. If I learned anything from Heather, it was that the next level was going to be 100% worth the battle I was currently facing!
That winter I reached out to her to let her know how much her words meant to me and to my surprise she was eager to jump on a phone call. I vividly remember sitting in a child-sized chair in the kindergarten classroom I was currently teaching , dressed in my waitressing clothes about to head into my night shift and THE Heather Monahan was calling me!!! (Eeeek, major #fangirl moment). She was so down to earth and easy to talk to, it’s still one of my favorite memories.
That spring, I attended the Level Up Boston event where she was keynote speaking and got to meet her in person. During that event, I watched her stand up on stage in a room filled with women and completely own one of her valley seasons of life with complete confidence…and get this, the one she talked about was exactly the one I was currently in. My jaw dropped. She showed me what was possible! She demonstrated the beauty of setting yourself free by owning your mistakes and flaws, instead of exhausting yourself trying to hide them. After the show, I gave her a big hug and I left that day feeling more liberated than ever.
Needless to say, my next level came the second I found that self-permission to own it. Thanks Heather!
Obviously I continued to follow her work and have been absolutely mesmerized by her ability to continuously achieve everything she sets her sights on….she makes sure of it!
Heather is a 2x best-selling author, podcast host of Creating Confidence, Top 50 Keynote Speaker in the World (2022), and TedX Speaker. After successfully climbing the corporate ladder for nearly 20 years, she was one of the few women to break the glass ceiling and claim her spot in the C-Suite. As a Chief Revenue Officer in Media, Heather was a Glass Ceiling Award winner named one of the most Influential Women in Radio in 2017, Thrive Global named her Limit Breaking Female Founder in 2018, and in 2021 Girls Club named her Thought Leader of the Year. Her first book, Confidence Creator, ranked #1 on Amazon’s Business Biographies and Business Motivation lists within its first week. Forbes named the book one of the 5 must-have books for women in business 2021. Heather was named one of the Top 40 Female Keynote Speakers in 2020 and Top 50 Keynote Speakers in 2022 by Real Leaders. You can also find Heather as seen on USA Today, CNN, Forbes, Gary V’s Audio Experience and The Steve Harvey Show.
They say when someone’s at a level you desire to get to, learn how they think. So with that, here’s an exclusive interview with Heather that certainly delivers!
Q: Tell us a little bit about how you got started in your current business/career. What inspired you to pursue it?
A: After over 20 years of leadership in corporate America, I found myself unexpectedly fired by another woman. That was the redirection I needed to write my first book, Confidence Creator, which led to my speaking career, podcast and second book, Overcome Your Villains.
Q: I truly believe emotions can be powerful creative forces, which we often see exemplified in “comeback” stories. Do you have a comeback story that you attribute to being a pivotal part of your path to success?
A: Going to work for myself was definitely my comeback story. I had never planned to work for myself but now that I do, I am grateful to do the work I do everyday. It definitely hasn’t been easy. Any time you start out as a beginner at something it’s going to be challenging. The key was to not give up and consistently take action and move the business forward. There are days I miss leading a huge team and days I couldn’t be happier working on my own, but in the end this has been worth all of the risk I have taken.
Q: What life advice would you give to your younger self and why?
A: I would have told my younger self to stop pleasing others and start pleasing myself. For many years I would defer to others to make my decisions and I should have been listening to the one voice that matters, my own.
Q: What do you believe to be the most powerful characteristic a person can bring into the work space and why?
A: Honesty, integrity and confidence are critical to success. If you don’t like the position you are in but you don’t say anything, then the team loses. If you don’t share your opinion or speak up when you have an idea, then the team loses. It is so important to remember that you have been invited to the table, now it is your duty to speak up and share your perspective.
Q: What daily habits/routines do you practice in order to protect your feminine energy?
A: Feminine energy is something that I have struggled with, as I didn’t understand it and I was afraid to let others help me. I actually did a podcast episode about this topic recently because it is so important to me. Most of my life I simply outworked everyone around me, I would muscle and push my way through any challenge. This year my word for 2022 is receiving. My mantra is that I am open to receiving all of the blessings the universe has for me and I will trust and move with the flow of the universe. This is very new to me and is definitely a departure from how I traditionally operate. Feminine energy is about allowing support and having gratitude for it.
Q: What does self-love mean to you and how does your hustle nourish it?
A: Self-love can mean different things at different times in your life, but the biggest thing it means to me is putting yourself first. That means standing up when you see things being done that are wrong and honoring your voice and opinion. It means firing your villains and protecting yourself from negative energy so you have space to think and find peace.
Q: For someone in a position right now where they feel like giving up on their goal, what is one piece of wisdom you would share with them?
A: What if you are so much closer than you realize? Don’t you want to see what happens if you don’t give up? I applied to 100 TedX opportunities before I landed my TedX talk. I pitched my book proposal to my agent 14 times before she said yes on lucky number 15. The majority of people will fold long before the breakthrough, I challenge you to be in the minority and see what happens if you don’t give up.
Q: What’s your favorite quote?
A: I love the Steve Jobs quote about not being able to see the dots connect looking forward. “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future”. This is very powerful as I remember getting fired and having no idea what I would do for a living. Fast forward 4 years and I can see how the dots had to connect the way that they did. The key is to trust that they will.
Q: Clearly you’re a strong woman! Tell us, how do you continuously build your confidence and resilience?
A: In every moment we are either creating confidence or chipping away at it. When you simplify things to this level it is very easy. Life is a series of choices that we all get to make, I leverage past challenges for future success and as indicators that I will be able to handle the next challenge ahead. I also share my 3-step process to overcome any adversity in my new book, Overcome Your Villains. This process has been a game changer for me.
Heather’s Closing Thoughts:
“What is possible for you is always changing. Never let another person tell you what is available for you. Only you decide that.”