Episode 169: Elizabeth Borelli - A Life of PivotsOct 10, 2022
Elizabeth Borelli is a best-selling author, executive coach and nationally recognized speaker. She helps busy executives develop the mindset mastery and increase emotional intelligence to reach their highest potential. Elizabeth is the bestselling author of Breathe into Breakthrough, An Easy and Proven Process for Shifting Mindset, Overcoming Obstacles, and Achieving Your Goals. She is a top-ranked coach and facilitator who helps busy executives develop mindset mastery and increase emotional intelligence to reach their highest potential.
In this episode, you will learn the following:
- How we can use our past experiences to inform our future vision
- How to package new ideas in a way that resonates with people
- How to find the sweet spot between what we're offering and what people are willing to pay for it
You can reach Elizabeth on LinkedIn.
“What you just described is the process, but it wasn't that straightforward. So it was a lot of putting stuff out there, seeing how it resonated with people. It was almost there, not quite. So it was a lot of going back and refining.”
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Welcome back to your next stop. This is Juliet Hahn. In this episode, I speak with Elizabeth Borelli. She is an author, a corporate speaker, and a power of presence coaching executive. Elizabeth's book is breathe into breakthrough.
You can also find her at Elizabeth Borelli.com. She is on LinkedIn. That's probably the other best place to find her. Fun, exciting episode because Elizabeth has done a lot of different Pivots. Pivots before she had kids, pivots when she had kids, pivots during COVID, and then Pivots for where she is in her life right now.
And it's just one of those episodes that's going to get you thinking about your life and like, where you want to be so you don't want to miss it again. Don't forget to follow Elizabeth on LinkedIn and you can also go to Elizabeth Borelli Borelli.com. Don't forget to follow me at I am Juliette Han on most socials juliet Han on LinkedIn and Facebook. And you can go to my website. I am Juliet Han.
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Welcome back to your next stop. This is Juliette Han. I hope you guys are doing well. What do I always say every single time? I am so excited to bring you a story of inspiration.
My guest is Elizabeth Borelli. She's a corporate speaker and a power presence coaching executive. How are you, Elizabeth? Doing great. How are you, Juliet?
I'm good. And so I'm excited to dive into the story. I know we have spoken a number of times. I always like to tell my guests where my listeners where we kind of connected, and we connected on LinkedIn through other guests that have come on Your Next Stop. And so I know that you have a book that has come out that is really, I mean, doing really, really well.
And there's so many different Pivots in your life that I'm excited for the listeners, really to kind of get in there and really think about. I want them to be active listening and listening to where you have taken turns in your life because you have done that so well and so many different stages. So welcome again to your next stop. And let's kind of start with a little bit of a background of where you grew up, where you went to university, and then we'll get into the meat of the episode. Thanks for asking.
I grew up in a little town called Preston, Connecticut, opposite side of the country from where I live now. And when I was growing up, I just was really into nature and animals and helping and all of these things that I think really developed my sense of empathy. So I think I always wanted to bring that to working with people. And so I ended up going to school Eastern. I graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University many years ago and then with a degree in marketing.
And then my life took me, my life's journey took me to California. California was calling me. It was high tech.com central and so, you know, wanting to really dig into that opportunity to get more experience and expand my horizons. So I ended up doing that for a number of years and then met my husband, had my two beautiful children in California and through, as you mentioned, a number of Pivots, ended up as an executive coach in Outplacement, originally in Silicon Valley, working with people who had been laid off from their jobs and were looking for their next opportunity. And so my role was to help them find it.
And that was what really opened my eyes to all the stress, all the burnout, all the challenges that people are facing in corporate America. Even when they weren't laid off, even when they were employed, they were just facing these challenges that they were really struggling with and in a lot of cases being held back by. I love that. So can you give us a little bit of a timeline? So when you were doing that, was that before COVID?
I mean, was that in the not 80s? I'm dating us, but yeah, give us a little bit of a timeline so people can kind of wrap their head around that. Sure. So after I moved to California, I was working in high tech. Then I took some time off when I had my children and actually started a business that was an online retail store.
So that was really fun. I did that for a number of years, but then when I was ready to get back into the workforce, I got a coaching certification and wanted to try doing getting more into this coaching realm. And that was probably eight years ago that I started working for the out placement firm. And I worked there for five years right until COVID started and a little bit into COVID. And that's when I really had my big breakthrough moment of this is what I really need to be doing is teaching people the strategies that I was learning.
Because when Cobid hit, I was working with people who had been laid off. We had no idea what was going to happen with the job market. A lot of the people were from big retail manufacturers like Nike and Adidas. A lot of them are in the Northwest in Colombia, they just shut down and laid everybody off. So all of a sudden our little coaching office was inundated with all these people and of course at the same time that COVID was happening.
So we were scared for ourselves. Our kids were out of school. So it was like the home schooling thing. It was like the whole world turned upside down, as we all remember very well. And here I was trying to help people figure out how they're going to find their next job when they really needed to be able to actually be able to sleep at night.
So the things they were looking for then were the things we were all looking for, and it was how to manage our mindset, how to stop ourselves from just ruminating and freaking out and being so scared we didn't know what to do. And so it was at that time that just coincidentally, I learned about an online yoga and breath work training program. And I had been doing yoga for a long time before that, probably ten years before that. I never saw myself as a yoga teacher, but I thought something about that program spoke to me and said, do this now. So I listened.
I kept coaching probably for another six months after that. And I started thinking about ways that I can incorporate some of the techniques I learned with the breathing methods into practices and exercises that were super easy for people to do, ways to shift out of stress that didn't require sitting and meditating for an hour, because nobody that I spoke to was interested in hearing about that. Right? Okay, so this is what I love. And I mean, there's so many Pivots in there and I know you just touched on each one, but what I always want my listeners to take out of episodes is that there's really never a wrong path that we go down.
It might not be the path that we're meant to be, whether you believe in God or the universe, but there's never a wrong path. And I really believe that it is learning that we take from each one. So I love how you kind of took from all your different paths. You know what, I kind of now see where people can use some of the training that I have gotten, not even realizing that this is where you are going to be in your life. And so take us through a little bit of that.
Once you started that, was it a slow growth or was it you had a base because you had been working with people. How did you kind of grow that side of your business? Well, so I had a lot of connections in corporate America and with HR through LinkedIn where we met. I use LinkedIn so much as a career coach that I already had a lot of these connections established. So it was a matter and still is a matter of reconnecting with people and really it was a lot of trial and error.
So back to your point about incorporating experience, your former experience, into your future vision. That's so important. And I think I agree everything we've learned and done in the past can be packaged into something really new and exciting. And a lot of that is also trial and error, trying it out on people, does this resonate with people? Do they understand what I'm talking about?
Is this interesting to them? So there was really a lot over probably the past two years because I'm still kind of cultivating this process and refining it. And it was a lot about what resonates? What are people interested in hearing? And the more I have these conversations, the more I learned that again, people in corporate America, the number one challenge they're facing is they're too busy, they don't have enough time, they're already burnt out, they don't want something else in their todo list.
So then it was a matter of, for me of going back to the drawing board and saying, OK, how can I package this so that it is as succinct as possible, so it does not take away from other things. It's not another to do item on the list. But again, it was just through those conversations that I learned that and I. Think it's so important. What I took out of that is the networking.
And that's where I always say to people, ask questions, be curious, talk to people, don't just live in a shell, even if you're an introvert, because there are people listening that are an introvert. I don't know how I could go about that. I mean, there's so many things you can email, you can DM, so many different avenues that you can do to connect with people. If you are stuck in your life or if you have an idea that you're like I don't know how to kind of make this idea whole and see where it can lead. And that's where you have to think back in your life like who would I know that can help me do this?
Or who do I know that I can bounce this idea off of? And I think that's where a lot of people get stuck. Especially soon to be entrepreneurs. Because it's really like they don't know where to go. They have this idea or they have something that's been working because really with your kind of pivots.
And I would love to hear if you agree with me or not. But your Pivots. Would you say that you kept hitting up against a wall or it was really once you found that flow. Things just started opening. Like some of your experiences.
You were like. Oh wait. Now I can connect that dot to this dot. And then a door opened. Oh wait, now I can connect this dot to that dot and another door opened.
Or was it more of hitting the wall and then having to really pivot. If you can explain that a little bit, that would be great. Yeah, absolutely. What you just described is the process, but it wasn't that straightforward. So it was a lot of putting stuff out there, seeing how it resonated with people.
It was almost there, not quite. So it was a lot of going back and refining. So I wouldn't say so much it was hitting a wall. It was just realizing I wasn't getting the response I wanted. And when I started packaging things into really short segments, I started getting a lot more traction.
So it's like, okay, short segments, but that still wasn't enough because then it was like, okay, how long should the program be? So there's so many different aspects to it. But so I think it is it's a little at a time discovering, okay, this I'm keeping, this I'm getting rid of. So it's almost like pruning the tree until it comes to, like, the perfect shape. And it takes time.
It takes patience. And it takes a lot of mindset management. Because it is really tempting to say when you're not getting the positive feedback that you hope. Or when things take ten times longer than you expect them to. Or all of these things that we come up against when we're trying to do something new and hard.
We will come up against these selfdefeating thoughts. And it's a combination of keeping moving forward anyway and continuing to try new things, get rid of the things that aren't resonating. So it's being willing to be really flexible and open while still holding on to your core central idea, but really finding that sweet spot for people where they get what you're talking about. They want it, and they want to pay for it. And I love that that you said that, because that's the thing.
As entrepreneurs, we're going to go through the, you know, the hills and the mountains and the lows. And I always it's funny because I have now that I've been doing this for a number of years, I always know when there's a low, that there's going to be a high right around it. And I wait, even though there are times where you're like, oh my gosh, okay, am I doing the right thing? And we all have that. Even when we have a successful business, there's times where it's like, okay, do I need to pivot here?
Do I need to change? But I think what, you know, talking to so many different people, sometimes what is time and time again is the people that are successful are the people that keep at it. The people that are not successful, as you said, are the ones that really just stop because they don't. They think, okay, maybe I've run into too many walls and I just don't have it. And there are times, right, that you start a business, and it's not the right business and you have to pivot.
I mean, we've all been there. We've all been at jobs that it's not the right job and we've had to pivot out of it. But it's really kind of finding that sweet spot. As you said, that where it's like, okay, when everything kind of connects, and when that does and we get into the flow, it's so incredible. Can you tell us a little bit about when you've ever experienced that flow and you're like, okay, this is it?
Like, I really found something here. Yeah, well, just about a month ago, I did take the lead conference, and I was able to speak at that conference, and I really felt that connection with the audience. And I think at that time, because I've been building this program, focusing more on Mindset Mastery burnout as opposed to breath work. So before it was breath work, and that was the name of my book, breathing to Break Through. So it's very focused on breath work.
But again, it wasn't because it was breath work, wasn't necessarily connecting with the audience. Even though they liked the programs, some people would do the programs. I felt like it wasn't reaching as many people or resonating with as many people as I wanted it to. So when I did this event and had a chance to do some speaking, you know, live, finally getting that energy, getting that feedback from the audience, and hearing what was really, I think, true for them, true for so many people now. And that's how burnt out people are.
Burnt out from the pandemic, burnt out from the uncertainty, all of the things we're experiencing right now, everything going on in the world, there's just a tremendous amount of burnout. And when I was able to, again, pivot my message to Mindset Mastery Overcoming Burnout, that really opened up a lot of doors. And I started I made that shift in my marketing, and I really saw the positive effect that it had. So it's those things, it's being out there, it's putting stuff out there, even though you might think it's done. You might think at that point, I was like, oh my God, I'm breath work and this is it.
But when I shifted a little tiny bit, just tiny pivot in my messaging, I got a lot more traction. And that will probably continue to happen as things evolve with my business, but it is it's looking for those opportunities to put it out there and get the feedback that you need to be able to pivot or refine your message in real time, right? I love that. So I have a question for you. So where do you think that you found kind of the grit?
Because there's many people that all the different pivots COVID these different things. I've had guests on that had really successful businesses and COVID completely squashed them, right? I mean, literally turned them upside down. They lost everything and they rebuilt. Some of them are still rebuilding, but some of them have rebuilt.
And the question I always want to know is, where do you get that grit? Do you think it's something that we're born with? Do you think it's something that happens, like through experience as you grow? Do you think it's an environmental thing? So I would love to hear your thoughts on that.
I think it's a combination. And I actually used to talk about grit and career coaching a lot because looking for a new job requires a lot of grit. And so I think it's a combination, first of all, of self care, so making sure that you are in the best place you can be at the moment, getting enough sleep, making sure you're taking care of yourself so that you personally are feeling whole and strong. The second piece is believing in what you're doing so much and loving what you're doing so much and finding so much meaning and purpose in it that you didn't care if you don't get paid for it. And I don't suggest not getting paid for your work or that it's a hobby and not a business, but knowing that even if you didn't get paid, even though you're going to, you would still want to do it.
So I think it's caring about it enough to keep going even when you're hitting those walls. And then I would say the third piece is this is why people hire career coaches, is getting that support, whether it's community support, whether it's friendship support, joining a group of other, likeminded, people and entrepreneurs groups, listening to podcasts like yours, really finding that community, and whether it's one on one coaching or a community of like minded people, that's really going to help you get through. I love that. And I know in the beginning, when the episode before it comes out, in the beginning, I give a little snippet to tell where everyone can find you. But you hang out most on LinkedIn and then your website, Elizabeth Borelli.com is another place that people can really find information there.
So now I want to talk about the book. Where did that come from? Was that something that you were thinking about for a long time? Because again, I have a lot of listeners that will say to me, I have this idea I always wanted to write. I don't know where to start or who am I to start a book?
So I would love to know a little bit about like, where the book came from, where the idea came from, and then how you really started it. What the process was that's another Pivot story. Yeah, so I started the book probably, I would say in 20, 1920, maybe even 2018. I started the idea because I had written a book a long time ago, in 2013, and it was about nutrition and it was a positive process for me. It went well.
The book did well, I got some speaking engagements out of it. So then with the role I had been doing of coaching and executive coaching. Working with a lot of women and seeing a lot of the challenges that women have in remembering to believe in ourselves. Or overcoming imposter syndrome. All of these things.
Challenges of not speaking up or feeling like we need to have every single thing box checked on the job description before we can apply all of these similar challenges that I had resources and ideas for overcoming. That was what the book was about. And then when Covent hit and I had all this experience that I explained earlier with the breath work and helping people to overcome a lot of these challenges through mindset management, mind body practices, at that time I realized this is a different book. So I really wanted to talk about that experience because it was so transformative in my own life and I saw how it was really helping people and the bigger impact it had. So at that point it became a passion project where before I had this idea I wanted to write a book.
And actually I think I hired an editor or hired somebody to help me with the book process. And I had this process and it was writing down all these ideas, every idea I had on these note cards and then the idea was to compile these into chapters. So I did that process, but I really wasn't feeling excited about it, I wasn't feeling passionate about it. And then when I had this new experience that really drove all of the writing so it went from kind of an idea, sort of an intellectual idea, I should write a book, I want to write a book, here's what it's about. To a passion project.
And I think that was a big shift for me. And you know, to people who are thinking about writing a book, start by just writing. And that's what I did, just writing. So it could be every morning writing for half hour about something you care about and then review it in six months, three months, and look at what is the theme, what are the themes you keep coming back to? What do you most want to talk about, and really kind of hone that in as the topic for your book.
But I also suggest joining an author's group. So I'm a member of a group called Author S. There's a lot of free groups that you can join of fellow writers and that's a really good way to stay on track and to get, again, feedback for your ideas because. It is about the support in this podcast we talk about all the time. Yes, a lot of people can do things themselves, but when you have that network, when you have that support, it just makes it sometimes more fun.
But also it helps us with figuring out our strengths and weaknesses. And we talk about this all the time on Your Next Stop. Knowing what your strengths are, knowing what your weaknesses are, and knowing where you need the help with your weaknesses to kind of even it out. And so many people will be ashamed of their weaknesses, like, I'm not good at this, or I'm not good at that. And they really shy away from starting a business or writing a book or doing certain things because of the weaknesses that they have.
But when you have a support system and you have someone to bounce things off or you have someone to check your work or to help you figure out the way to start writing or how to compile chapters, it really helps be able to see your idea kind of come into fruition. And it's a really important thing. And again, I can't emphasize enough when you are passionate, because people will ask me all the time, well, I have so many different passions, you know, how do I find one of them? And I say, we all do. I mean, I have a ton of passions, but there's certain things I can talk about all day long.
There's certain things I can talk about for hours. There's certain things I can talk about for days. And when it's something that I can talk about literally day in and day out, and I don't get bored of it and I'm excited, really, to talk about it, I know that is really my number one passion. And so I think people need to kind of do some of the work to figure that out. Like you said, writing things down.
What are things that I'm interested in? What, you know, do I feel like I want to share? Who do I want to hit? I think that's another thing a lot of people miss. Who is the audience I'm talking to?
Time and time again? I'll talk to so many people that want to start a podcast. And that's the first question, who do you want to talk to? Who do you want your podcast to reach? And a lot of times that's where the people will say, oh, well, everyone.
And I'm like, no, I need you to think about it, because I did the same thing when I first started mine. I'm like everyone. But then when I really thought about it, it wasn't everyone. You know, not everyone is my demographic. And so it is a good idea to kind of figure that out.
And then when you're putting words to paper or putting stories to paper, you know, think about talking to the actual person, think about talking to the demographic, and it makes it a little bit easier. Absolutely. Yeah. And back to joining a writers group. So that could sound intimidating because you might assume that these are people that have written numerous bestsellers, but everybody will be at different levels.
It's just like and I think writing is intimidating too, because it's very personal and it's a form of artistry. So same thing. If you were going to an artist meetup, you might assume everybody is really well established, super successful, but they'll all be at different levels and so everyone is welcome. And so I think if that's the barrier to joining, I just invite people to take that first step and they'll be surprised to see how welcoming the other authors are and how supportive. I love that.
So is that something that you do like locally or is that a global thing? I know my brother is a writer and he belongs to a group in Philly, but they meet face to face. But I know that there are virtual ones. So can you tell us a little bit about yours and how you found your group? Yes, so mine is called Authorized and it's based in the Bay Area.
It's women authors and it's based in the Bay Area, but there's people from all over the country and I found it through a friend of mine who had written a book and she referred me. So. Yeah, it's called authorize. And it's a great really supportive group that meets. When do we meet?
We meet monthly, but there's also a listserv so you can introduce yourself. We support each other in terms of even if somebody posted something on LinkedIn, liking it or sharing it. So through social media with questions and resources and answers and all of those things. So whether you meet weekly, whether you meet to write together or just to support each other's written work, there's all levels of groups that you can find out there to work with. That's wonderful.
So what is next for you? Is it just a steady flow and just building or do you have some big projects, big things that are coming up? Well, I'm really excited to launch my mindset. Mastery 92nd rule Workshop Individual So I launched a corporate training module on the same topic and I'm excited to turn that into an individual program that I'll be launching within the next month. So it's a way to help people just use these everyday 92nd practices throughout their day as a way to help be more self aware, more in control of where their thoughts and emotions are able to focus better.
All of those things that can hold us back from reaching our goals. That's awesome. That's so exciting. And I love how we all evolve, people in every business you become stronger and better as you get older. I say to everyone all the time, like, I'm approaching 49 and I'm just getting better with age.
I had such fun in my youth. I'm probably a little bit more serious, not really, but a little bit more, but just the wisdom. And I want to say the guts. I've always had guts, but I feel like the older I get, the more guts I have to just go after those things. That I want with no apologies, just be myself, go after those things.
And that's what I want, you know, really, for everyone at every age, because we all have something to share. We all have something to learn from each other. We just really need to kind of pause our bodies and just be aware of what's going on. As you said, like, life is crazy. Right now, I'm raising three teenagers.
Three. And I chuckle because every day I'm like, Wait, what? What did you just do? What just happened? Everyone paused.
Like, okay, let's all just talk about this. And so it's just funny. My husband. And I said, really? Since the summer, it's been, like, zero to 60, and it's a wild ride, and I wouldn't change anything for the world because it's my crazy town, and I love it.
That's awesome. So thank you so much, Elizabeth, for joining Your Next Stop, and I'm excited for the listeners to hear. Is there an email that people like, how do you want people to reach out to you? Is it through LinkedIn? Is it through your website?
Where would you want people to kind of connect with you? Yeah, so LinkedIn or if you wanted to email me, it's Elizabeth at Elizabeth Burley.com. That's my website as well. So, yeah, happy to connect via email or LinkedIn, answer any questions or introduce you to any of my programs. Wonderful.
Well, again, thank you so much for joining Your Next Stop. And, guys, you know what I say every single time, like, share, rate, and review, but send this podcast. You listen to this if you're like. Oh, this is great. This is exciting.
But you don't know who needs to hear it. Your neighbor, your friend, your brother, your sister. Someone in your life needs this podcast because they're in crossroads in their life. They're stuck in their life, or they just need a little kind of a little inspiration. So send them this podcast and send the love.
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My focus is entirely on helping you follow your passion, even when you feel like you've got stuck in crazy town. There is a way out, its me helping you. You don't have to ditch everything in your life that is making you feel overwhelmed and stuck, you just need some help to navigate it.
WHEN YOU FOLLOW YOUR PASSION YOU WILL NATURALLY ENRICH THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE