Magic Moments Don’t Exist: Why NOW Is the Time To Discover Your Purpose
In this episode, I chat with keynote speaker, leadership coach, and relationship expert, Rosa Ponce de Leon.
Rosa helps professionals stuck in high stress + toxic environments to reconnect and optimize performance through signature talks and coaching.
Rosa shares strategies on how to get unstuck in your career, why investing in yourself will get the best returns, and why NOW is the time to discover your passion and purpose.
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stopfeelingpowerlessatwork.com (Company Website)
I'm honored to be able to hang out from somebody from the West coast, Rosa Ponce de Leon from Empowered To Bloom. So, tell us a little bit about Empowered to Bloom and what fun stuff you guys are doing right now?
Well, Empowered to Bloom is kind of a little brainchild from a couple of years ago. I decided to embark on this journey of starting my own company. It's kind of a dream I had a long time. I got my MBA back in 2015 and I figured I'll do something with it one day. And that time came in a little bit more in 2019. So, we're only about a year old and, a lot of backend stuff, as I'm sure you know about from all your business endeavors. And we're basically a coaching company. I'm a leadership coach and career strategist. So, I believe that there's a lot of different paths set before us, by society, by our friends, by people. And sometimes we embark on those paths, but they're not unique to our talents and our gifts. And so, I'm really a fan of what is your skill set and what strategy do you need to implement to make the most out of your abilities and your value so that you can really be fulfilled in your career?
So, 2019, you had this idea to start your own business. And we run into a lot of people on our podcast that they want to start a business, but they maybe don't know where to start. So, when you think back to that spot was something that made you kind of jump off the pier and into the water? Do you remember that specific situation and share as much as you feel comfortable sharing with our listeners?
Yeah. So again, I'm a fan of finding a home for my talents and my abilities. I think that there's plenty of opportunities and options out there, but not every one of those options and opportunities is for you. As a side note, I still do work full time in a day job and I'm in law enforcement so that I wasn't necessarily looking to retire. I was actually at a crossroads of, is it time for me to promote again? And I was getting ready to gear up for an exam there to go into management. And it just wasn't feeling right. And so, what I realized is that if I were to go to management, at least now the timing wasn't right, because there's still a big generation of new people that need to be trained.
And my skill set is in coaching people and developing people. That's what I love to do. It wasn't the right time to give that up. So instead I decided to focus my energy on starting this business and I didn't know anything about it. So, the first thing I did is I started reading about it is coaching even viable? And I mean, it was a whole new world that unpacked out of that. And I did hire a coach. I went to a four-day retreat where I met with other likeminded people that were looking to do the same thing. And that was amazing. So, I did invest in myself. People have a hard time asking for help, but I was definitely all about asking for help. I didn't want to start anything new that people already know how to do.
So, I went ahead and invested. I realized it was viable. It's something I very much could do knowing that I still have a full-time job and that I could only devote a certain number of hours each week to this business. And so that gave me the confidence of knowing, okay, now that I see what it is and what it requires of me, I can definitely CEO this thing and I can definitely create the content and delivering and provide the service that I want to provide. So, once I saw that possibility, I just went in with both feet. And I think that people have such a fear of going in and just taking that jump because they're afraid to fail. And you and I spoke before about failure and failure is part of it. It's not going to come out perfect right out of the gate, but it's going to be something that you can, at least when you're in motion and you have traction, you can taper it and, and tailor it so that you get better and better.
And all that you do there, how did you decide? I mean, cause so many people are like, it's either one or the other, right? I have to quit my job and I have to jump into this as opposed to kind of starting at the way you did. Do you recall that? How did you come to that decision?
So, I think one of the biggest life lessons that, that we get to learn is sometimes we say I'll do this when the time is right but it’s never going to be right. So, if you keep waiting for this magic moment, that magic moment doesn't exist. So, you have to start with what you have. It's not what I want to have to get. Like what do I have right now? And I looked at my calendar. I go, I can do these many hours each week. So, I did kind of an evaluation of, yes, I'm working full time, but realistically I can set aside this, these many hours to do the business. And once I had that starting point and then I could surround myself with people to support it. So, I sold my house, right? So, I didn't want a mortgage. I didn't want to deal with other things that would potentially become liabilities.
If I'm going to do this, I'm going to create the circumstances that are going to remove stressors from my life that I don't need. So, I went ahead and made some changes in my life that would set me up to win. So, one of those was how many hours. And then I didn't know anything about virtual assistants for example, but they exist. And they're great. You can hire someone like that doesn't even have to be in your same city.
They can be anywhere. But the idea here is that you can build a team around that and then move forward and succeed. So, I did set aside a little bit of money to invest. Now you have a budget and then you decide accordingly. So, you have to start with what you have. You can't wait for the timing to be right. You can't wait for the stars to align or for all of these things to be there for you. They're not, you have to make them happen.
But the reality is to your point, there's a lot of fear in this whole mindset. And I think I use fear the, the acronym, false expectations, appearing real. As a coach, then start to look at fears that people have and help them through those things. Have you picked up any feedback or any advice for somebody that's kind of like contemplating jumping in? What do you, what's your wisdom for those people?
So, the first thing that I always talk about in, in my coaching is purpose. Like we were all created with a purpose on this earth and you can choose to do whatever you want with that purpose. You have value. You have something to offer to this world and you get to decide how deep you want to go with it. And if you are having confidence issues where you don't know that you have anything to offer, the first thing you have to believe is that this is a fact, you have a purpose. You're not here for by accident. You didn't just fall into the earth to just exist and eat and die, right? There's so much more of you. And, and, and when you take the time to unpack what, what you have to give and to offer, and if you're not excited about who you are, then start there. Start getting excited about who you are, you got to play the odds.
And the odds are really good when you invest in yourself, because the return is guaranteed. You have every bit of control and decision-making power to see where that return is going to come from. So, you are a valuable investment and you should invest in yourself every time you get the chance. And so, I think when you realize that that purpose is there and the world will make room for it, that now becomes just a, a big snowball effect, right? You start little, and then you just start gathering momentum. And it definitely unfolds as long as you stay committed.
How did you reveal or come to understand your purpose? Because I think that's a lot of people get stuck there and then they retreat right back into the comfort zone and they just live on their nine to five, nothing wrong with that. It's just, you could have so much more potentially some people. And so, when you were at that spot, how did you find your purpose?
We're this society wires us to just be, go, go, go, go, go. And there's nothing built in to say, take a moment and breathe and figure out if go, go, go is where you need to be. Because if you don't take that moment for yourself, you don't get to figure out what is unique about me and wonderful about me that maybe is undervalued. Maybe I've been trying to fit into molds that are out there for me. And those molds don't define me correctly. Right? So, I'm defaulting that development side to other people where I could be more strategic and say, wait a minute, maybe I don't want to develop that. That's not my strength.
I want to play to my strengths. So, this thing might be developing something that I'm putting in so much work, but that's not even my strength. So why am I even doing this? They need it, but maybe someone else is better for that. So, taking that step back to recognizing what are my true attributes, what are my strengths, so that I can play to them. And then secondly, what are the external things that are frustrating me that I take for granted that I probably should be the one taking action about, right? There's a gap in the marketplace. And I see it, it's completely obvious to me. If I had the chance, I could totally fix it. Here's your chance to fix it. You have to give yourself permission to do that.
So, those two things mainly have to happen. What are the things that are really frustrating you for me? That thing was just the way corporate was working. So many people are frustrated in the way that they do work. And a lot of these corporations that were these big names now are starting to show some cracks in their foundation and go, okay, well, where did they not adapt to the world? So, something happened there in leadership that, caused them to fall apart. So, I then found that those were my passions now.
And so, I was raised where my mom and dad said don't just stand there, do something. And you add that to that entrepreneurial spirit on top. I take those three and I enter into the business world and what you just said, flies completely in my face. And it's interesting because I've learned now as I'm aging, I guess the I'm flipping it around and it's like, don't just do something, stand there. And now all of a sudden, it's like, you get to appreciate beauty. You get to appreciate where you're at. You get to make a little bit more strategized move.
I'm very intentional now about having times of rest and a reset and of making sure I'm still grounded and heading in the right direction. I think they say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. And I think sometimes we get caught up in those cycles. And when you think about efficiencies in companies or teamwork or anything like that, you have to take that step back and go is what we're doing, working for today? And I think when you think about the way the world is changing, I think that's one of the reasons corporates corporations are failing because we seek that safety, that security of this is working. Let's just keep doing that. No, you have to be ready for the next thing. And the corporations and the companies that thrive are the ones that are always looking for that next thing. And they've accepted that there will never be a time when I get to just sit there and stand there. There will always work. I'm sure, as a leader of your company you, you never really get a break. So, you have to keep challenging yourself. It's different than going to the gym. You can't just lift five pounds today and then expect to lift five pounds. The rest you have to either change the way you lift those five pounds or add weight. Something needs to change.
Let's say there are people that choose to stay in their profession. Awesome. Nothing wrong with that. I totally think that that's great for that type of individual. Again, nobody's better or worse, like you said, but there are going to be people that kind of what keeps them from advancing. Some people are stuck right now, in maybe listening to this. And they're like, man, I want to something different, whether that means moving up in the company, moving over in the company might even mean away from that company. You talked about career coaching, so what are some things that keep people from advancing that you found in this situation?
I think there are so many. But the people lose themselves in their work sometimes. But what I mean by that is yes, there's people that are very great employees and they come in and they do great work, but they fail to take the driver's seat of their career. And what I mean by that is they just think that the company is going to take care of them, or the leaders are going to take care of them. And they feel like it's up to the leaders to train them and all that. And there is some responsibility there, but ultimately, they have to run the business. So yeah, training you is important to them too, but they're going to train multiple peoples versus having the time to say, Hey, let me see what Dave needs specifically, which is a little bit more on the mentoring side.
And if you have someone that's going to believe in you, invest in you. You're very lucky. That's not the majority of people's experiences because mentoring is hard work. And it usually means I have to do this in addition to my what's in my plate. So, having that expectation that the agency is going to take care of you is unrealistic. You have to continue to invest in yourself and to have some idea of where you want to go next and not just settle for the path that's in front of you. Again, be willing to charter your you're only just because one path worked for someone else doesn't mean it's the right path for you, or just because there's a role in place that looks appealing doesn't mean that role can change. Job descriptions should change. They should, we should adapt.
Even if I have two people for the same job description, those two people are going to do the job differently. And if I take advantage of those qualities and talents or the person we might get to advance in our company and move the ball forward in terms of the mission in a different way than maybe the leader thought. So what I mean by that is when you leave, you have kind of this vague idea of how you're going to get there, but when you bring the team together and it all starts the brainstorming and the creativity starts to happen then, then you actually end up with a product that may not be exactly what you thought, but it's exact thing that you need for the market in that moment. So, people get stuck because they fail to come in with their bright ideas and they fail to invest in those relationships that are around them.
I think people think I'm supposed to get along with everybody and they're supposed to be these wonderful people. And sometimes, especially for, for us as women, I've noticed that there's some gender differences that I want as a woman. I want to like the people I work with; I don't necessarily care about competing as much. I want to connect. And for guys, they don't have to like each other. They just want to compete and be their best. And, and that's fine. I think both are very necessary. There's room for both. But when you have these expectations of people that I work with should be A, B and C that's unrealistic, we need to be able to respect who they are and accept that they bring their value in their own way, and somehow still connect and somehow still come together and bring results. And I think when you become that person that can keep a team together, you become very attractive to your leaders and you become a go to person. So, knowing who you are not getting lost and not do not defaulting, that, driver's seat of your career to someone else, and also being relational and being the person that can bring people together in their best talents and bring results.
So, when you coach somebody, whether at the law enforcement or on your Empower to Bloom do they struggle with self-esteem as well? And if they do, what are some tips that you've helped people get through that?
I think it’s human nature to have that little voice, right. I think it’s human nature to have those fears, because sometimes you feel like you're in this vacuum and you have this bright idea, but you're not connecting with your audience in that moment. You're writing a book that you've seen some things that you could maybe add value to or clarify for people, but you don't know, is there even anybody out there that sees the same thing? And usually the answer is, yeah, those people are out there. Do the work, be diligent and wait for that reward because we want that, that feedback right now we want 100% clarity. We want all these things to happen. And the thing is you have to take action. One of the biggest lessons that I learned early on is build the plane while in flight.
And you see that a lot, especially with the technology world where a lot of stuff gets crowdsourced. You roll out this solution. It's not going to be the end product until people actually get their hands on it and start using it. And so those people are building those applications as we go. And I think in tomorrow's world, you won't have that immediate feedback of while I'm writing this book, this is exactly what was what's going to sell, you just have to, you just have to have the courage to do it. And so that little voice you just kind of got to go. Hmm. Okay. I see it. I acknowledge it, but that's head trash and just identify it as such and then go, no, I do have value to add here. There is something going on. That's causing me to write this book. Like when you wake up and you're to write about it, that alone should tell you something because that motivation and that excitement isn't in vain, it's there for a reason.
Even from a sales perspective, it just it just invades so many places in business. So, I don't know if you struggle with that and what it is. I mean, when think of an example of when you struggle with that, how do you work through that for people? Because I'm guessing to your point, there's more people listening that they may not even know what it is. They might call it radio interference you can call it whatever you want at the end of the day, there's a task to do. And I'm talking myself out of this task is I go start a business, write a book. Whatever it is, start a podcast, post on a podcast, talk in front of a group, whatever. I mean, whatever it looks like for anybody on this show, it's different for everybody. Right? So, think of a spot where you had that and kind of walk us through how you achieved success so that we can hopefully learn from that piece.
So, I'm going to give you an analogy because those moments happen a lot, David, it doesn't just happen once. And then I've never happens again.
So again, we talked about how, great leaders are always innovating and are always looking for that next challenge. And so, every single challenge is going to come with its own doubts and fears, and it's very natural. So that's not the moment to say what's wrong with me. There's nothing wrong with you. You are human that welcome to the human race. So, it's just part of being human. But, then you do get to have that part of being human is that you get to have a mind that engages with your surroundings, including that little voice. And the best analogy that I can use is I used to work a lot with horses. And part of my day job is I deployed with a horse for four years. I did this and I learned so much from that relationship with my horse because there had to be trust between us that big animal will only do the thing that I asked if it, if that horse trust trusts me to make sure that that, that horse isn't going to get hurt.
Cause that horse lives in the wild, in his prey. So other animals eat that horse. So, little movements, it's very acute in the way that it sees things and recognizes dangers. And those are lifesaving mechanisms, just like they are for us as human nature, right? Nobody wants to fall on their face and get hurt. We want to survive. We want to avoid those situations. But what you do is you take a deep breath, like what I did with my horse and I needed to stay and say, ah, I know that you see this movement over here. It's just a grocery bag. It's not going to hurt you. And then the horse learned, okay, that that's the voice I need to listen to because I trust that voice. So, you need to become that voice that comes in reasonable with reason and says, okay, I know you're afraid.
Yes. I acknowledge the problem. Yes. I see the threat. I see the problem and, and you're afraid and it's okay, but here's why we don't need to be afraid. We're doing A, B and C. We're investing this much for there's something here that is very important and we're going to do it. And we're just going to take it a step at a time. Rome wasn't built in a day. Kind of have that inner talk, pep talk and just go, okay. We saw it. It was there. No big deal. Let's move on.
So, the vulnerability piece, it rears its head in a variety of ways in our life. When you're coaching somebody does it take a while for you to get that trust built up, to be able to get vulnerable with you? How do you tend to do that?
So, I mean, obviously it does take time. Trust always takes time. But the important thing is that you have to show up as yourself. And so when you're coaching, what we're working on right now, we're not going to build this thing overnight we have a plan where we're going to be together for a while.
And so, let's go ahead and take baby steps. It's okay. You're not going to fall. And so, I think like you said, that initial step is the hardest one, but once you have movement, it's very easy to adjust. And I think as a coach, the key is that I have to see the person that's in front of me. And I have to also believe that that person that's in front of me has greatness inside of him or her. And I always believe that because anyone who is willing to say, I need help. That's the first step.