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This May, in celebration of Mother's Day, Creative Chat Cafe celebrates and shares stories and journeys of successful women and mompreneurs. In this episode, We feature two women in business who have thrived through change and self reinvention.
Rosann Levy is an entrepreneur and the President of The Roart Group. She has more than 25 years of experience in helping business owners achieve their desired success. Her award winning memoir, It’s Never Too Late To Dance, Life’s Journey to Empowerment, Success & Change was published in August, 2009. Based on the qualities admired by the judges of The Delaware Press Association about Rosann’s memoir, they awarded her a non-fiction award. She was honored with this prestigious award from the Connecticut Press Club on May 6, 2010.
Meena Singh is the Executive Director and Founder of In Awe Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps people affected by abuse, addiction, or anger rebuild lives through recovery coaching and counselling. She was awarded “Woman of Outstanding Leadership in Personal Development” by The International Women’s Leadership Association, New York, NY in May 2013.
Some key points of discussions in this episode ...
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Table of Contents (click on the minute timeline for the specific content):
Table of Contents shortcut:
00:34 - Greetings and introductions.
02:19 - Rosann Levy of The Roart Group
05:40 - Memoir: "It's Never Too Late To Dance" - a journey through self reinvention.
06:42 - What are we waiting for?
11:06 - How to embrace change that would help lead to reinvention of self.
12:21 - Set your intentions and believe!
14:42 - Life is a journey, what's going to make you feel happy?
15:27 - How to build relationships that help you thrive through change.
17:52 - How to build relationships that will support you.
20:08 - Show reminder - what's in this show.
21:37 - Meena Singh of In Awe Foundation
29:00 - Changing lives through dancing.
33:01 - Taking action and building a happy community.
37:46 - Live your dreams!
40:07 - Become a great student and listen.
43:44 - Keep on dancing!
45:44 - Taking action through inspired actions leads to change.
48:40 - Happy Mother's Day - a tribute to our moms!
57:17 - Contact information.
1:00:22 - Pardon our tech challenge.
The Conversation: Your Hosts:
SONDRA: How do you meet new people that turn into new friendships and new business opportunities that thrive?
ROSANN: I believe in helping others and build relationships that always lead to new opportunities for success in business and personally. I am the ultimate networker and actively involved in many organizations. My objective is to get to know as many people as I can and make appointments to meet for lunch or coffee and get to know them - their likes, dislikes, hobbies, details about their business and life. These relationships ultimately turn into good friendships in which we can support one another. Without realizing it, I am networking 24/7.
ZEF: In your own personal journey, do you feel that many people resist change?
ROSANN: I do feel that many people resist change, and I think they are controlled by the unknown. They don’t want to leave the comforts of their lived. But the only way to grow and learn is to take risks and embrace your fears. We all have different areas of expertise, of what we are good at. It could be a hobby or a business, or even a socialist. But whatever it is take the chance. What is the worst thing that can happen if you make the change? I know we learn from this yes, but even if it’s a mistake but then sometimes it really works out for the better and takes us to the next adventure. I like this and I really think life is full of adventures. I mean I’ve done so many things that are adventurous. Like, as I’m saying this I’m actually looking up at the pictures on my wall of when I went zip lining. I mean, for all those people who live in that fear, you know this is not a dress rehearsal, this is our lives.
ZEF: This reminds me, just yesterday I was at a networking event about the power of positive thinking and one of the things the speaker said really stuck with me. She said “When we say we will ‘try’ to do something, we are actually just setting ourselves up for failure. Just do it. Like Nike says “Just do it.”
ROSANN: So many people live as a victim and they have this dark cloud over their heads and they’re afraid to move. It is the fear that holds you back. There is this dark energy, but it is so empowering if you just take that step and test the water.
SONDRA: My friend works for Facebook, and you know, she does not love the job and she would really love to be a blogger…but she makes six figures right now so. In starting the blog she would have to take a huge pay cut, but it would be something that she is genuinely passionate about. But she said “Well, I would lose so much money” and I said “What’s the worst case scenario? Would you have to move back with your mom and dad, is that really so bad?” And she said “Yeah, I guess I will stay with Facebook because it’s safe.”
ZEF: Well, because safe is always easier. It’s what you know.
ROSANN: Again, it’s about not leaving your comfort zone. People are conflicted. They are in their comfort zone but they are really not happy. Life is a journey that we all have to go on, and we all have to deal with the obstacles in front of us. I feel so strongly about this, it is one of the reasons I wrote the book. It’s all there. I want to say one thing that is interesting about my husband. He has a mantra within the blog that it’s not about the money. In this particular time we were at a memorial service and he said it really isn’t about the money. What do you want in your life?
ZEF: Yeah in our business it's not all about the money. Right Rosann? It’s about the networking and relationships you make.
Paying It Forward & Making A Difference ...
SONDRA: Right, it’s all about what you want in your life. And now, we have another guest. Meena Singh is the Executive Director and Founder of In Awe Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps people affected by abuse, addiction, or anger rebuild lives through recovery coaching and counselling. She was awarded “Woman of Outstanding Leadership in Personal Development” by The International Women’s Leadership Association, New York, NY in May 2013. Welcome, Meena. Tell us about yourself.
MEENA: The In Awe Foundation provides recovery coaching, in such a way that it compliments the counseling. The main reason I started this foundation is my own life story. I never really wanted for anyone else to feel what I felt. But you have to move through and forward with those feelings. It is unfortunate that we have to be called a victim, because we do not even realize that word. We believe that everyone can be empowered. It’s not just coaching, it’s a process about engagement, encouragement, and then comes the empowerment.
ZEF: You know there’s always a story behind every great idea, and you have a story of your own. I love the fact that you’ve taken something negative and made something so positive. So that in itself is Kudos to you.
SONDRA: So the story that led to you starting the foundation. Tell us about that, Meena.
MEENA: The funny thing is that this never came to my mind until you ladies came up with this idea and that you are not only honoring women, but Mother’s Day as well. My mom and I were talking about 18 years ago about these “battered people’s shelters” that I would be opening, but then we changed it. My husband had this idea about six years ago to have some coaching centers. So now everyone knows me as the women who wants to open coaching centers. My mom was my inspiration because she used to come into my room and tell me to remember what I went through. To use that focus, and she said “I believe that you are true to your cause” and my fear automatically lifted. My story in short is that in 2009 I was laid off and I was distraught and crying but, you know God has a plan, because the next day I found my dream.
ZEF: Talking about change and reinvention of yourself, I want to ask each one of you ladies. What was your A-Ha moment?
ROSANN: I’ve had many A-Ha moments – that led to change - It’s hard to pinpoint one – I love challenges, I thrive on change and I love new adventures. I built 3 successful businesses in NYC, and continue my passion for helping others in Ct.
A-Ha moments that led to reinvention:
• Taking Salsa dance lessons as a result of a trip to Cuba – This led us to opening a Latin ballroom studio in NYC
• Attending a networking meeting soon after our move to Ct. that led us to opening the Roart Group and continue our passion to help small businesses grow.
ZEF: What about you, Sondra? What was your A-Ha moment?
SONDRA: I've only been in business 14 months. When I started I wanted to help everyone. I knew I could help anyone with my personal concierge business. I want everyone to know that every action they take has an impact on their happiness. And I want people to choose happiness. What I want is to build a community of people helping other people. and now I am able to say to people "The reason I'm doing this for you is to make you happy. It is not to help you work more. I want you to take this time to grab the reigns in your life and choose opportunities that are going to be enriching to you. Not just to spend your money on new TVs or go on vacation." What I found is that a lot of people are just out of touch with what makes them happy. This is troubling to me, especially when I talk to young people, and they just feel that happiness can wait. I just want to make people realize is that "Life starts now. "
ZEF: That's super awesome. That is in itself self-reinvention. Kudos to you. What about you, Meena? What was your A-Ha moment?
MEENA: There are so many..how do I choose one? It was when I was at the Tony Robbins event in 2013 and I did the Firewalk. I envisioned all the people I could help, I had tears in my eyes and 5000 people in New Jersey listening and we were all shakin' and groovin' and the ability he has..he is also my mentor. But the A-Ha moment was when I was walking on the 1200 degree coals I realized I was already living my dream. Working with board members, working with clients, coaching, and being with the man of my dreams too. And when I graduated from coaching school in 2010, that was when my life began.
ZEF: One thing we all go through is change. And my A-Ha moment was at my past business I was going to meetings and conferences. And I was getting bored but my mentor said "Just listen, and you may find out something that will change your life." And she was right, I became a student, and I was a great student because I was like a sponge-soaking up information.
ROSANN: You know, my metaphor for life is Dance. And whatever your passion is, just dance and keep on dancing.
SONDRA: How are you helping your customers now that your business has shifted?
MEENA: Thank you. I was just thinking about reinvention. That is what life is all about. And it is through actions that real change begins. We talk about this on our radio show. It's called "Speak up and Step Out" on Tuesdays from 1:00 PM eastern time. And I'm always saying "Just Do It." I mean I got that from Nike, but it fits. It is all about facing your fears. Let's Shake N Bake!
ZEF: So ladies, this Sunday is Mother’s Day and we want to take this opportunity to wish all our audience out there who is watching the show today a Happy Mother’s Day!
Yes, it may be a few days early but we want to make sure that we thank all of you awesome mothers and mompreneurs out there who are superwomen - managing business and life - juggling the act everyday!
ZEF: If you could say one thing about your mom that relates to our topic today, what would it be?
SONDRA: She is the first to admit that we are all works in progress. She has always dealt with temper issues. She introduced me to meditation and self-evaluation. She also said you need to deal with your issues head on instead of pushing them aside just because they hurt. Deal with them, deal with the pain, and move on. I love my mom.
ROSANN: My mom has been gone since 1981 and I miss her. She was my mentor. I am who I am today because of her. And my daughter, she got me into yoga and meditation. She is awesome.
ZEF: My mom and I did the same thing. We used to butt heads all the time. My mom is gone but I got all my strength from her. I learned from her. She raised us by herself. She said "We are not defined by what happens to us. We are defined by how we respond to it."
MEENA: My mom is truly an inspiration. She has such great morals and she helped me through all my trials, my addiction and being in an abusive marriage. One word for her I think is flexible.
SONDRA: My mom was flexible too. And I want to add muteability too. The ability to mutate.
ZEF: Thanks Sondra. And thanks everyone! It's been a great show, but it's that time again. We have to go, but we will see you next week. Same time-same place!
Thoughts and Tips: