I'm a female performance coach, emotional health advocate, best-selling author, and global educator. My jam is to accelerate other lady-prenuers through programs & private workshops on their mindset, business & being boundless in life.
Today, I’m an international speaker, advocate for emotional confidence, author, and socially-conscious entrepreneur who is shifting the global paradigm to inspire a new wave of building leadership that focuses on empathy-based solutions and GRIT. But it wasn’t that long ago that I was a broken version of the best me. I grew up the daughter of Filipino-Indian immigrant “tiger parents” who had a strict, demanding approach to childrearing. My family was, and still is, my world, but the tough exterior I built during those formative years only grew more solid after I endured a string of losses. By the age of 19 I was an orphan who had not only lost her parents but her eldest brother as well.Maybe it was a way to hide, maybe it was a way to block it all out, but in the years that followed, I dedicated myself to my work. I graduated from dental school, built a million-dollar cosmetic dentistry practice, had a first-class dream wedding, married, and was branded traditionally “successful” and perfect in every way. This, all before the age of 30.
I thought the times living through the ghosts of my parents and Asian cultural upbringing: constantly doing more, chasing accomplishments, striving if it was ever enough. In essence, always wondering if I fulfilled their legacy of perfection, honor, and pride. But, the achievements I saw on paper didn’t translate to feelings of pride or joy. Despite everything, I still wanted to hide, still wanted to block it all out. It didn’t happen overnight, but in the years that followed I got divorced, sold my dental practice, mentored and invested in budding entrepreneurs, created a foundation to lift the voices of young women, expanded and grew my insatiable appetite for curiosity with high-profile CEOs, began consulting healthcare professionals and executives, and traveled to over 45 countries. It was in my quest for self-mastery and self-discovery that my biggest gift to the world is my own story.
Is there one “rookie mistake” that new entrepreneurs keep on making? What is it? Did it happen to you?
Yes, needing to meet with everybody, or co-create with people. While there are different stages for each business you are in. Make sure you devote time to building, creating, and executing. If you are in the building phase, it's okay to have 3-7 coffee dates in a week. But, if you're in the creating stage, you need to hunker down and zone in and focus- distractions and new ideas don't get you anywhere... I tell my visionary clients to keep ideas in a different folder and to revisit them at specific scheduled times in the month. Efficiency, and focused consistency is what I can preach for rookies!
What is failure? Do you think it’s a crucial step to success?
Celebrate your failures every single day. It's just a reminder that you are on the right track, feedback for you and a sign of humility. Think & reflect, What else needs to happen? What can I gain from this?
Success means… Moving forward with curiosity, allowing room for growth, and always emerging anew. Fulfillment in serving love in a way that is aligned with your greatest gifts.
The best thing about being an entrepreneur is… creativity, pivots, unchartered freedom, gifts to provide opportunities for others, create impact through your own visions.
You can’t run a business without… #emotional GRIT. Resilience by far is THE most important characteristic within the realm of the natural ups and downs, upheavals and magic chaos of being an entrepreneur.
In the next 10 years I wish to be… laying a foundation for future she-bosses & SHEroes.
Do you have hobbies? What are they? Is it important to take “time off”?
Self-care time is a must. As a former type A-alpha-overachiever, it's SO wildly important to fill your cup first.
Movement, Music, Meditation & nutrition are biggies for me. Spending time in nature, a fitness class, laughs with my girlfriends or setting sail for adventure (luckily I travel quite a bit, so coordinating time to adventure & explore) satisfies my curiosity for learning & living life. =). Balance in your daily life can be achievable, (not always but count the little things, like 5 mins of journaling, or 15 mins of a walk outdoors)...
Did you have to fire someone before? What’s the best way to go about it?
When I can my health professional company with a team of 15 at our largest point, 5 doctors and 10 team members. I've gone through tons of turnover. Here are some pivotal steps:
-Create your fact sheet
-Create your performance sheet
-How often was the behavior repeated, how many notifications occured
-Is the person repeatedly aware of their behavior?
-How does this affect the vision of the company, the day to day workings
Stick to these facts when letting go. Remember 'cancer' spreads.
What is the scariest thing that happened to you while being an entrepreneur? What did you learn?
Learning that my employee that I trusted embezzled 25k from me for over 6 months. Largest learning lesson where boundaries between work, leader, friendship needed to be laid out. Wildly important to trust your gut, and ask questions without accusation. Be fearless in bringing up situations and clearing the air before it becomes gigantic.
Who is the one super successful person you look up to? Why?
Michelle Obama. A momma of two, even when she wasn't in the oval office, family & teamwork, & partnership for the long-game was clear. She is consistent, fierce, graceful and poised. She's also badass in the way she is raising future SHEroes.
What is your proudest accomplishment in 2016? What’s the biggest goal for 2017?
Self-publishing and making my book a best seller on Amazon Emotional GRIT: 8 Steps to master your emotions, transform your thoughts & change your world. It was #1 in behaviorial psychology & leadership management training. We had a launch team of 20 people from 7 timezones in the world. Amazing fleet.
Taking my trainings global to teach 20,000 this year.
What helped you get to where you are right now? Was this accomplishment a clear goal or did it happen by chance? Was it another person or an event in your life?
Being open to possibilities. Throwing yourself in the deep end sometimes. I used to be the 'smartest' person in the room, and in my circles as a former cosmetic dentist. It doesn't get you anywhere if you aren't growing. Most of the time, being the smallest fish allows you to observe, ask questions, and grow. It allows for mentors, angels, and advisors to show up when you least expect. This is where the secret sauce to your badassery is molded. This is when you learn the most.
Everything happens through consistent hard work, consistent out put, and consistently being open to new ways of testing. Surround yourself with the power players, groups, masterminds, coaches and advisors.
Are there difficult times you go through? What helps/inspires you?
Negative little voice, her name is crazy carmen. She shows up at times. Those times I feel small, that the work that I'm doing is inadequate, is not going to help people, but she is just a voice. I realize that I get to 'turn her off' any time I wish. Don't let her consume, don't judge, just be aware that it's there- and sometimes it's there for your protection. That's okay. With the seasons of life, you know that those 'times' will pass too.