Andrea Woolf on Being a Woman of Impact | PoP 460

Andrea Woolf on Being a Woman of Impact | PoP 460

Do you want to be a woman of impact? Are you a man who wants to help women embrace their magnificence? What can you do to push yourself to be your best self?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks to Andrea Woolf on being a woman of impact.

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Meet Andrea Woolf

Andrea is the founder of Women of Impact, a community and movement of amazing women who are ready to change the world and, in the process, take their business, career, and life to a whole new level.

She is also the author of ‘Ignite Your Life – How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.’ Andrea is a dynamic coach and highly sought after trainer and motivational speaker.

Visit Andrea’s website, and connect on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Listen to the podcast here.

For women entrepreneurs and executives, as an entry point to Women of Impact: Ignite Your Life Blueprint.

For coaches or women interested in becoming a coach: 7 Reasons to Start Your Coaching Business Yesterday

In This Podcast

Summary

  • Making the leap from the corporate world to coaching
  • Women and empowerment as a specialty
  • Things that stop women from fully realizing who they are and what they can do
  • What men can do to help with this approach

Making the leap from the corporate world to coaching

I hear what people aren’t saying. And then we can go there very easily because I make it safe. But, it’s what’s not being said that that’s where the juicy stuff really is.

Andrea’s whole professional life was either in management or working directly for management. Working for the chairman of a multinational company in the executive search field, Andrea (who was single at the time), literally devoted her whole life to the job. Her role involved hiring department heads and growing the departments with new hires. While she knew nothing about coaching, she realized in this process that she was very good at the “people stuff” of business – making sure that there was great communication and there were healthy, not dysfunctional, relationships. An ear, nose, and throat health challenge resulted in hearing loss which Andrea sees as a major asset in her coaching field.

A friend, Rick, from the marketing department at work, left the company and told Andrea that he was leaving to build his coaching practice. She had no idea what coaching was and Rick stopped her mid-sentence and said, “My God Andrea, this is who you are.” Andrea hired him on the spot with no idea what she was letting herself in for but knew she had met her destiny. She loved her job and was very successful there, but Andrea had a growing, gnawing feeling that there had to be more to life. 18 months later (by design, due to supporting family members), Andrea left her company on great terms to launch her coaching practice.

Women and empowerment as a specialty

I believe it’s possible when more women really step into their power and shine in the world, it will change everything.

Andrea loves to create a very big vision and when thinking about what she was really passionate about, and what she wanted to commit to helping bring about, it was world peace. At that same moment, she realized that what It would take is more women stepping into their power, embracing their magnificence, finding their voice, and giving themselves permission to shine, to rebalance what is going happening on a global level.

Things that stop women from fully realizing who they are and what they can do

None of this is hard, you just have to become aware of it and learn how to make the shifts and embrace your magnificence.

  • How they are showing up – There is so little known by women, about how they’re causing and creating their own limitations simply by how they communicate and how they show up.
  • Embracing leadership – Often, women show up wanting to be a friend which can sometimes be great but, really embracing leadership involves not becoming one, a good organization needs a leader of the pack.
  • Competitiveness – If you let go of this then you can really focus on being your best self as a leader, as a woman, and shift to inclusive communication to bring out the best in those around you.
  • Fear of being judged – Women often hold back as they don’t want to be seen as shrill or bitchy.

What men can do to help with this approach

  • In the workplace – Andrea believes that we’re all on this planet to be good and make a difference. If you apply that and put it side-by-side with bringing out the best in those around you, and you live by that, you can’t really go wrong because you’ll never do harm. Women of Impact is all about connection, collaboration, and community, so imagine a business being run like that.
  • As a dad of daughters – Shape them to be well-behaved human beings and encourage them to be who they are.

Books by Andrea Woolf

Useful Links:

Meet Joe Sanok

private practice consultant

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

Thanks For Listening!

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Podcast Transcription

[JOE]:
This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 460.

When you’re in private practice, it can be tough to find the time to review your marketing efforts and make improvements where needed. Whether you are a seasoned clinician whose current website needs to be revamped, or a new therapist building a website for the first time, Brighter Vision is here to help. By first understanding your practice and what makes it unique, Brighter Vision’s team of developers will create you a custom website catered to your specific marketing goals. Better yet, they provide unlimited technical support to make sure it stays updated, and professional search engine optimization to make sure you rank high in online searches, all at no additional cost. To get started, for $100 off, head over to brightervision.com/joe. Again, that’s brightervision.com/joe.

Well, happy birthday to my daughter, Lucia. Today is her birthday. And that little nine-year-old is taking over the world. So, I know, I don’t know about you, but birthdays were a really big deal in my family. And my birthday was, it was and is, on December 22. And my mom did such a great job of having a very clear distinction between my birthday and Christmas. And it was awesome. It was like party week. And so, happy birthday to my daughter. We’re actually, and I don’t think it’s gone live yet, but we’ll let you all know, we’re working on a podcast together called Leave to Find and that’s… we’ve already recorded seven episodes, and we’ll probably have more by this time. And it’s a family podcast; originally it was going to be about our road trip of going around the United States for a year while I do this work, and just talking about the national parks we stay in and just the ups and downs. But now it’s, instead of Leave to Find it’s been pretty much Stay to Find because of the quarantining. But it’s been awesome. They’ve been processing through their thoughts and all sorts of things. So that’s going to be coming out soon. And I love the idea of a Woman of Impact. I have two daughters and a wife: I’m the only guy in the house. And you know, to think about how do I raise strong women that can go after their big dreams, that aren’t gonna be held down by guys, or at least if they are that they’ll know how to, you know, fight back or push back or say, hey, I have been raised by a man and woman that really want me to go out there and go after what I want to go after. So, a very appropriate episode for my daughter’s birthday. So, without any further ado, Andrea Woolf on being a Woman of Impact

Today on the Practice of the Practice podcast, we have Andrea Woolf. Andrea is the founder of Women of Impact; a community and movement of amazing women who are ready to change the world. And in the process, take their business, career and life to a whole new level. She is the author of Ignite Your Life: How To Get From Where You Are To Where You Want To Be. Andrea is a dynamic coach and highly sought-after trainer and motivational speaker. Welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast, Andrea.

[ANDREA]:
Thank you, Joe. So great to be here with you.

[JOE]:
Yeah, I am really excited about this. As we were just talking, hearing just a little bit about your story, I want to go back to that you were in the corporate world and then transitioned out. How did that happen? What was going on in the corporate world and what made you make that leap?

[ANDREA]:
Yeah, so, all of my professional life I’ve either been management, worked directly with and for management; titles were never my thing. So, I was right hand person to the vice chairman of a multinational company in the executive search field, and I was working with him in the five years that he was taking company public. It’s now the largest in the world. So, to say that this was a full-time job barely describes it. I was single at the time, so I literally donated my life, totally voluntarily. No one tied me down and tickled me, right. And so because he was traveling, doing mergers and acquisitions all over the world, I became his eyes and ears and so what needed to happen in that same timeframe was that there was massive hiring internally going on in the departments that service the company worldwide as it got bigger and bigger and bigger. So, the reason I share that is because I helped the new heads of department get hired, I was very connected. And for example, the IT department; when I started it was a couple of guys in a dark back room. And over the five years it became a floor and a half of this skyscraper we were in. So that’s just one example, one department. So, it was massive growth. And while I didn’t know anything about coaching, it actually wasn’t really known, I’ve been a coach for over 25 years now. So, it was kind of in the background, secret. But I, what I realized in that process is I was really, really good at the people stuff in business; making sure that there was great communication going on, that everyone was like getting along, that it was healthy, not dysfunctional. And also that, of course, all of them were keeping us, at the apex of all this, very well informed about everything going on.

There were a couple of tricky situations that did occur where my gifts really played out. There was someone in a particular department – I’m not going to get specific about this – but he… it was something, I just sensed something about him. And you know, I just shared with my boss, and very carefully, that I couldn’t put my finger on it. And of course, this was not specific enough at all. But you know, he didn’t listen to me. And it turned out that he sabotaged the entire system backing his department before he was let go and before he left the building, and it ended up costing the company millions to put it back together again, you know, so anyway, I saw that I really had great instincts in business, especially as I say, in the people stuff. My only health challenge in my life, the main one has been ear, nose, and throat.

So, growing up in very damp England, I had colds all the time and ear trouble and stuff, which led to, dot-dot-dot, hearing loss. And so, what I have come to really see very clearly is that that is actually a major asset in my coaching field. Because how I describe it is, I hear what people aren’t saying. And then we can go there very easily because I make it safe. But it’s what’s not being said that that’s where the juicy stuff really is. So anyway, there I was in the corporate world and consumed by this job, even I got tired, believe it or not; I was working till 10, 11 most nights, often on the weekends. I mean, there was always so much to get done. And like I said, I was connected with people all over the company. And there was one guy in the marketing department who became a buddy of mine. One thing I did, not realizing it, but was very smart is I kept a fully stocked kitchen, in the corporate offices, head offices where I was, and people like me who were there at night, like moles, they’d stop by and have something to eat, we’d chat for a bit. And so, I got to know people like this guy, Rick, who, you know, we became friends. So, then I heard he was leaving the marketing department, amicably, right? So, I took him for lunch on his last day and it was at that lunch, where I discovered he was leaving to go start to build his coaching practice. Since I didn’t have a clue what that was, I said, Well, what is it? What’s coaching? And in mid-sentence, he just stopped dead in his tracks and said, my God, Andrea, this is who you are. So, I literally hired him on the spot, had no idea what I was gonna letting myself in for, nor what he charged. I just knew I had met my destiny. It was one of the two times in my life where I had a full body chill. I knew I had to take action here. And he knew me so well, so our coaching was so funny because I had no idea that I had no life, basically. I was so in the swamp of the wonderfulness of this company. I mean, it was great. And you know, I was very successful there. However, I had this growing, gnawing feeling that there had to be a lot more to life than this, which of course is what impelled me to say an immediate ‘Yes’ to working with him. And his first assignment for me was very simply to leave early one evening, just to leave early. I picked the time. And it was so funny, I got to see how out of whack I was, literally how out of whack. And it was obvious to everyone around me, but not me in the middle of it all. So, by design over the next 18 months, with coaching with him, my first coach, Rick, I actually… I couldn’t just quit because I was supporting family members at the time. And so, by design, 18 months later to the exact date that I picked, I left on great terms and to launch my coaching practice. And that is how I got into it. And oh my god, it was honestly like finding the glove that fit me, what I’m here on the planet to do, and I have been doing it, like I say, for 25 years.

[JOE]:
Wow. So then when you first started, did you have a clear ideal client? Or did it take a while for you to develop that?

[ANDREA]:
Well, yeah, so we’re going back a long time here, right?

[JOE]:
Or maybe even, um, yeah. And I’d rather jump forward to where you’re at now because I think you have so much to offer in what you’re teaching now. Maybe in the last couple of years, how did you zoom into helping women and empowerment and, maybe, just in the last couple of years, how did you dig into that as a specialty?

[ANDREA]:
Yeah, okay. So, starting very high level. Um, so I love to create very big vision, really big vision. And so, I heard myself when I was doing my planning, I heard myself coming up with world peace as really, what I’m really passionately interested and committed to helping to bring about. And in the same breath that I came up with it, I then heard this voice in my head that said, well, what it’s going to take is for more women to step into their power to, what I call, embrace their magnificence, to find their voice, give themselves permission to shine in the world, to rebalance what is going on, on a global level, the global conversation, which right now is extremely masculine. It still is. So, this is how I realized, wait a second, I’ve been coaching men and women going into companies, all that, all the way along, my whole time as a coach. Really, what my passion is, is to empower women – my peeps, right? – to do everything I just said, and to shine brightly in the world. Because when that happens, one woman at a time, right? When that happens, gradually, gradually, gradually, this is how we’re going to get to world peace. I do believe it’s possible. People look at me like I’m absolutely crazy. But honestly, I believe it’s possible. When more women really step into their power and shine in the world, it will change everything.

[JOE]:
Mmm. Well take us through, I mean, me being a dad of two daughters, and having a wife and many women in my life that I love and appreciate, what are some things that you’ve noticed that stop women from maybe fully realizing who they are or what they can do in the world?

[ANDREA]:
Yes, great question. So, the first thing I listen for, when I connect with any woman is how are they communicate. There is so little known by women, about how they’re causing and creating their own limitations simply by how they’re communicating. Sometimes it’s the words they’re choosing. Sometimes it’s the energy that they’re showing up with. Sometimes it’s passion. It’s believing in themselves, right? So, there’s many sources of opportunity in these and many other areas. But I look at how are you showing up? I can’t tell you how many women executives I coached, who are just withering on the vine in what they’re doing. And they don’t know why they’re not loving it, they don’t know why they’re not getting promoted, or getting passed over for opportunities within companies. It happens all the time. And it’s simply because… it’s not about showing up like a man; that doesn’t work either. Because then you know, and again, none of this is anti-male. It’s just the world we live in, you understand? So, how they’re showing up has them not get noticed, not get heard, and simply not get considered for fill-in-the-blank. So, this is an easy shift to make. Funnily enough, ironically enough, there’s nothing hard about anything I just said. It just starts with awareness. It starts with willing to exercise the uncomfortable muscle to show up differently.

Women entrepreneurs often are leaders, right? They’re the leader of their own company. There’s so much that becomes like, wow, so simple to shift. When they get into the conversation about leadership, how are you leading? Often women show up wanting to be like a friend, and that’s great. Of course, we want collaborative, we want great relationships, we want all that. However, really embracing your leadership, and leading the fray from a collaborative style is the name of the game and not becoming one with, because otherwise you’ve got no leader of the pack which is not good for any organization. And then building leaders; so often, there’s competitiveness with women. And again, once you let go of all that, and you really focus on being your best self, as a leader, as a woman, and then communication shifting, to be inclusive, it’s not about you having to know everything, or requiring any one person, but it’s about really how to bring out the best in those around you. Like I say, none of this is hard. It’s just it’s usually not known by women. And then fit the… there’s massive fear with women about being judged as shrill or bitchy, or, you know, just like a man, and so women often tend to hold back because of that, especially if you’re a recovering Brit, like me, I’m a proud American for a long time. But I’m originally from England, you know, from outside the US, there’s all kinds of other complications about being nice and being appropriate. To some degree, it’s here but much more over in Europe. So, um, you know, I could go on and on about this, but none of this, let me stress, is hard. It’s all simple and easy when you become aware of this and then you learn how to make these shifts to what I call embrace your magnificence.

[JOE]:
Maybe take us through some case examples of where some people you’ve worked with have been, and then how you helped them get to a new spot.

[ANDREA]:
Yes, okay. So, one former client, she was working in a very big media company, in the entertainment business. And above her, she reported to a man, and then above him another man. So, the two of them above her were men. And she was very high up so these guys were really close to God in the organization, right? And it was like they almost listened to her but not quite. And by the time she hired me, she was crumbling, she was crying often, she felt like she’d lost herself. And you know, her confidence was shaky. This is a brilliant woman I’m talking about, by the way, she really knows her stuff. And what happened was she had some amazing ideas; they had put her into this position to be innovative. And so, as the energy got sucked out of her through their leadership style with her, she was crumbling, and so she was hesitant to bring her brilliant ideas to them. And then what developed was a breakdown in trust. And this applies to all of us, men and women, but trust is foundational in business. It’s absolutely foundational. When trust gets shaky, or disappears completely, you’ve got a difficult situation to be successful in business, with that happening. So, we started to identify all of these kinds of things. what was really going on for her? Her experience of where she was? And then, which I do with everyone, ideally, how did she want it? And she would say to me things like, which often women do, but Andrea, you don’t understand. And yes, I do. It was my ready answer to her. However, let’s get clear what you want. But she said, but this is what’s going on. So great, but what do you want? So, women often forget that they have a say in the matter called their own lives. Now, can they go in and change everything when somebody else is above them? No. But then it’s about enrolling them, engaging them in the vision of, if what we’re all about is the success of all of us. And being that proactive woman, take something when it’s dysfunctional. But honestly, that’s what needs to be done, is to be an invitation to, how about we go about it in a different way here. And enroll them and engage them in coming on board with you, which means shift. You know, most people do resist change. So, it’s about being patient, it’s about being a positive, even when it doesn’t seem… it seems crazy, right? Doesn’t seem sane to do it. But eventually helping them get the picture, like what’s possible if we, and that’s what we worked on with her, was about engaging these two gentlemen, who were very bright, in helping them see that the pathway they were choosing and trying to force her into, probably wouldn’t lead to the success they all wanted together, and to give her a chance to show them what might be possible, which she then did very, very quickly. So net net, she shifted the whole way communication was going, the energy between the three of them, it was about showing up as the equal. Even though role wise… they had different roles, but really like getting her confidence back, getting her mojo back. So, it started to go better. And they started to see results. They still kept meddling, and you know, different things happened. But what happened was, on her terms, she left that company on good terms, always on good terms. It’s always a good idea. And she started her own business with a partner, a woman partner in the romance arena, which they are having their time of their life with. Building community, etc, etc. So now she’s a successful entrepreneur, having a wonderful, wonderful time living her dream.

[JOE]:
Hmm. Yeah, you know, I want to also know, as a man has privilege, being someone that is raising daughters, what would you hope that husbands, dads, men in the workplace, what are things that we can do that can help with this type of approach? Or like what advice would you have?

[ANDREA]:
So that was a very big question when you grouped all of that together. Sure. Let me let me just think about…

[JOE]:
if you want to segment them out, then feel free to segment them out as well.

[ANDREA]:
Yeah, cuz it’s… there’ll be some links through all of it. So really, honestly, I believe that we’re here on the planet to be good, do good, make a difference. I strongly believe that. So, if you apply that to all of those groups, so being a great husband, being an incredible father, being a wonderful, you know, whoever you are in your business, right? In the business you’re in, whether you’re an employee, a management team member, owner, whatever. So, if you take on coming at it from that, where what goes side by side with that is bringing out the best in those around you at any given time. And you live by that, like, you almost can’t go wrong because you’ll never do harm, right? You’ll never block somebody if they happen to be a woman. Right? So, if you just give them a chance to be authentically themselves. So, let’s say they’re a team member, management team member, and you’re the owner of a company. So often founders and owners think they have to run it all, and move into, which is so much easier, to being an empowerer of those that you’ve chosen to be your management team. And then encourage your management team members to be empowerers of those who are lucky enough to be in their teams. If you create a very clear culture of… Women of Impact is all about connection, collaboration, community. So, imagine business being run like that, right? Connection, collaboration, community. The sky’s the limit when everyone’s singing that song. The sky is absolutely the limit. A company, I coached the management team; what got me hired is I had a meeting with the owner and his whole management team, which was quite large, around a very large conference table. And there were two women in the management team. One was head of sales; one was head of marketing. And for some reason or another, historically, they weren’t talking to each other. Imagine that – head of sales and the head of marketing, not talking to each other. How is that possible? So I took a breath, and I had got permission from him to be bold, if needed, and I just invited them, before the day closed, to find a room and not come out till they solved whatever was the upset because this isn’t daycare, this is business. That was my suggestion to them. I said it’s up to you if you choose to accept my challenge to you, but watch what happens when you… whatever it is, you get over it, you solve it and go forward together. You cannot not be talking to each other. Right? So, situations like that where it’s a simple, like holding up a mirror.

Now coming back to what you were saying, what you were asking me. So being a father of girls, hmm. So, balancing, you know, shaping them to be well-behaved human beings, right? I’m sure there’s some of that, right? Parenting. So also, then encouraging them to be who they are. I was blessed with my parents. My mom was the leader in this where she allowed each of us, my older brother and my younger sister, to explore what each one of us wanted to explore. So, it became very clear for me, I’ll just speak for myself, not my brother and sister. I was very good at languages very young. I knew I wanted to be a teacher. And so, I got to travel, to live abroad. I was also very into performing and music and all of that too, you know, to just become fully myself. I didn’t become an expert in all of it, but it became a big part of who I am. And as you can probably hear, they also allowed me to be fully expressed. Often, I hear parents stopping kids from talking or participating in conversations with adults. I was included whenever we had friends or visitors coming over. I was like right there, you know, helping my mom and also chatting, chatting with everyone. So, for me that’s very much formed who I am and what I was saying before about, bringing out the best in your girls and allowing them to become, in each of their own separate ways, fully, authentically themselves.

[JOE]:
Oh, that’s so awesome. Andrea, the last question that I always ask is, if every private practitioner in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to know?

[ANDREA]:
Here’s what I say to women. It’s one of the main messages of Women of Impact. I’d want you to know how much you matter, what a difference you’re making, and to fully embrace that, I mean, fully embrace that. Often as we’re starting up or we’re starting to build or we just go to that next level, it’s really uncomfortable. The one person we can be hardest on is ourselves, or doubtful, like torturing yourself. I’m a recovering perfectionist, so if you know what I mean, it’s like, no one could be harder on you than yourself. So really get that you matter. And that what you’re doing is amazing, it’s awesome. And the difference you’re making. So, here’s what I know about women. But the same applies for men, that when you get – really, really get – that you matter, and that you’re making a difference, anything and I mean, anything is possible in your life, anything and everything. Just by embracing those two simple things. There’ll be no wasted time or energy around self-questioning, or delaying, or one day, I’ll, you know, whatever that next level thing you might be thinking about, dreaming up. Oh, but I’m not sure I can do it. You know, all of that noise will just simply go away. You matter. That’s what I would say to them.

[JOE]:
Awesome. And Andrea, if people want to connect with your work, what’s the best Wait for them to connect with you.

[ANDREA]:
Okay, so I understand that you… So, I’m going to speak to two different places for you to explore. So, for those amongst you who might be thinking about becoming a coach, I have a wonderful gift for you. It’s www.andreawoolf.com/7reasons and that is seven reasons to start your coaching business yesterday. And I hope it will have you levitating six inches off the ground, getting excited about this wonderful field called coaching. So that’s one way. And then for everyone, I have a blueprint, which is the whole first section of my book, which is all about what’s holding you back, helping you identify it, I literally take you by the hand. So, the link for that is the same website, andreawoolf.com/blueprint. And that’s an experience that will help you sort out the clutter, and all the very creative ways you might be holding yourself back and you don’t even realize.

[JOE]:
That’s so awesome. Well, we’ll have links to that in the show notes. And Andrea, thanks so much for being on the Practice of the Practice podcast.

[ANDREA]:
Thank you so much. It’s been incredible. Thank you, Joe.

[JOE]:
So, go take some action, go be your own Woman of Impact or be a person that supports Women of Impact. Thanks so much for listening to the show today. In the next show, we’re going to be talking about what’s working in marketing. And this is some really big picture stuff that… a lot’s changed in just the last six months to a year. So, what’s working in marketing? It’s a really important episode here coming up. And so, we’re going to be talking about that.

Brighter Vision is such an amazing website builder; they do hosting, they help with SEO, they do all the IT backend to make sure things are clicking along for you. Head on over to brightervision.com/joe to get that deal that we talked about at the beginning of the show. And if you are a Next Level Practice member, make sure you tell them that because you’ll get an even bigger discount and even more freebies. They give you so many awesome things. But if you’re not a Next Level Practice member yet that’s opening up again in August so you want to go over to practiceofthepractice.com/invite and then that’s where you can get that invitation to join us. But again, brightervision.com/joe. Thanks so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have a great day.

Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music. We really like it. This podcast is designed to provide accurate, authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.

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