I am a Transformational Coach, Power Shifter, Diversity Advocate, Author and Speaker with a Passion for Dance (transformyourperformance.com).
I work with women who want to advance their careers/businesses without suffering in the process, guiding them to step into their power and into their role as leaders. My workshops and 1:1 coaching based on my signature system Powerful Leadership Transformation (PLT) help companies create more powerful female leaders who do not drop out on their way to the top. The 4 elements of my Powerful Leadership Transformation (PLT) are an Empowering Mindset, Distinctive Uniqueness, a Body-Conscious Presence and Effective Action.
For more details, visit transformyourperformance.com.
Women are already competent. A power shift allows them to upgrade their success, create more wealth and make a greater impact, which leads to a more fulfilled life.
I have made it my mission to drive female advancement because we all benefit when we have more female leaders.
Everything I do is in the service of freedom: The freedom to speak up, stand out and shine. This is also the title of my book: Speak up, Stand out and Shine – Speak Powerfully in Any Situation, available on Amazon as paperback and Kindle: amazon.com/Speak-Stand-out-Shine-Powerfully-ebook/dp/B01M0N0558
I am also a Leadership Ambassador for Gloria Feldt’s Take The Lead Women.
What is your proudest accomplishment in 2016? What’s the biggest goal for 2017?
Writing and publishing my book as Kindle and paperback: Speak up, Stand out and Shine – Speak Powerfully in Any Situation (Amazon). This book contains valuable tools that have helped me re-gain my confidence (which was completely crushed after a painful experience with a business partner) and become a successful speaker. I wanted to make them available to anyone who has an important message, product or service to share and wants to have more fun with it. A more enjoyable experience leads to increased success, whether we are speaking from a stage, pitching to investors or presenting to clients.
My biggest goal for 2017 is to grow my business and bring the Powerful Leadership Transformation to as many women as possible, not only in the U.S. but internationally. I speak 5 languages. I want to use them in the service of driving female advancement. A greater balance of yin and yang will favor more stable economies, more wealth for all and a more peaceful world.
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?
My eclectic background. My transformational coaching approach is a result of my international corporate and entrepreneurial background in 6 countries on 3 continents, my holistic studies, and my passion for dance. My entire life plays into it, from my early years as a shy kid in a tiny village to who I am today.
Do you have hobbies? What are they? Is it important to take “time off” and focus on other things such as friends, family, hobbies etc.? What do you think of the stereotype that entrepreneurs are workaholics?
My big passion is dance. Dance helps me recharge my batteries. Dance has taught me a lot, from confidence to presence. It has made me an expert in body-conscious business presence.
Dance is also my preferred meditation technique; it’s the easiest way for me to be fully present in the moment, and it’s a wonderful practice to train my body-mind and to renew my energy. Dance connects me to many cultures, especially African and Latin American.
Yes, it can be challenging to make time for family, friends and hobbies as a business owner. As to workaholics: I have seen them in corporate as well, and I personally worked very long hours as an employee and executive, especially in Spain and Portugal. What's undeniable is that you own your business 24/7, 7 days a week. That’s why it’s critical to build a professional and loyal team over time. I’m still very much at the beginning of building my own team, but I do have a solid support system around me: friends, business friends, coaches… and the holistic techniques I studied.
Is there one “rookie mistake” that entrepreneurs keep on making?
Not delegate enough. Delegating is not an easy talk when you build a business, while you’re still gaining clarity, experimenting and establishing processes. There are many different tasks to be executed, and it can be challenging to bundle them together in a way that makes it easy to outsource these tasks.
However, we must take the time to organize the individual tasks in a way they can be delegated so we can focus on what we do best instead of doing our own accounting or creating a landing page if that’s not our forte. Other people are experts in these areas, and they can deliver better results faster while we serve more clients and comply with our purpose.
Success means... fulfillment & impact.
The best thing about being an entrepreneur is... being able to choose who I want to work with.
You can’t run a business without... courage.
In the next 10 years, I wish to be... a thought leader who makes a difference for women on a global level so we can all create more wealth for our companies, our clients and ourselves, and support the causes that are close to our hearts.
What is failure? Do you think it’s a crucial step to success?
In my understanding, failure is only when I give up because I have lost faith in what I do. Most of the time, what we commonly call a “failure” is just another step on our path growth. Many of the most successful people are at the top because they had the courage to “fail their way forward.” I prefer the words “lesson” or “stepping stone” over failure. No one is perfect; everyone’s life is a path plastered with lessons. The more we learn to believe in ourselves, while taking into account what the market is hungry for, the more successful we become.
Why do you think it is that women get less funding than men? What can we do to change that and close the gender gap?
I believe this is changing as some investors are openly declaring that the female-owned businesses they invest in yield a higher ROI. That said, there is a lot to be done.
Just as in corporate, where women negotiate their salaries less fiercely than men, female entrepreneurs tend to be less assertive when it comes to asking for the money. They tend to doubt themselves more (although millennials seem to have less of a problem with it than baby boomer women).
This question is another reason why I wrote my book Speak up, Stand out and Shine – Speak Powerfully in Any Situation, like pitching. The ideas and the 26 proven tools in it allow the entrepreneurs to pitch confidently and powerfully so they obtain the investment they need to growth their dream business.
What is one thing you find to be true that most people would disagree with?
1. We can only empower ourselves, not others. I hear so many coaches and speakers say: “I empower … [fill in the blank: women/business owners/minorities].” In my understanding, we can only assist others so they empower themselves, or rather, so they connect with the power they already possess. (When I say power, I always mean inner power, never power over others.)
We all have this unlimited power inside of us. We just often forget to activate it. As a coach or speaker, I cannot "em-power" my clients or audience. There’s no need to install power in them. They already have it; it’s innate. What I can do, is guide them so they can tap into their own power and connect with it; so they can use it in the benefit of their careers, businesses and communities.
2. There’s no such thing as work/life balance. Work is an integral part of my life, and the goal is to make it a satisfying part. To achieve a healthy, enjoyable lifestyle, we must consciously set priorities. These may change over time: Sometimes our main priority is our business or career, at other times it’s traveling, family, health…
What does it mean to have competition/competitors? Do you compete/collaborate or just observe? What is the best practice to approach your competition?
I am a proponent of collaboration and co-creation instead of competition. One of the cornerstones of my system is “Distinctive Uniqueness.” I believe that when we are fully aware of our unique appeal, competition becomes irrelevant. It’s a good idea to observe our “competitors,” of course. We can learn from them; under certain circumstances, they can even become partners.
With my first business, one of 45 B&Bs in Buenos Aires, I immediately learned that collaborating with the other B&B owners was a far better idea than competing with them. When I first opened, other B&B owners sent me their overflow. Later, I sent them any guests I could not accommodate. We supported each other’s businesses, everyone got a nice piece of the cake and our clients were happy. Through differentiation and collaboration (not competition), my B&B made it to the top of the Trip-Advisor ranking.
How as being an entrepreneur affected your life? How did it change the way you think about life?
Working from home can sometimes make us feel lonely, even if do a lot of online sessions or calls. Unless I speak to an audience, teach a workshop or meet with my corporate clients to discuss future projects, I usually work with my coaching clients over Skype or over the phone. While this is more efficient and saves time and money, it is not quite the same as seeing someone in person.
While I worked in corporate, I was used to communicating with employees at all levels, every single day in the office. Back then, I sometimes wished I could have more quiet time in my office to get everything done by the end of the day. Now I miss this interaction, even though I attend a lot of networking events.