Women’s empowerment expert. Business guru. Mentor. Public speaker. Style adviser. Heather Monahan does it all! She’s been a wine distributor, a radio station personality, a sales director and more, before she started asking, “Why wear the pants, when you can wear a skirt?” Now she’s using that girl boss attitude to help women all across the country get glam, get hired and be their best selves. Whether that means going after a promotion, to finding your inner confidence and style, to becoming a great public speaker…Heather has our back! How does she do it? Let’s find out…
What is the best part of your job?
After having worked in corporate America since graduation, getting the chance to work for myself is amazing. The best part of working for yourself is there are no hold backs. The sky is the limit every day and you get to create the business and life you are envisioning.
And the toughest?
The toughest part about working for yourself is the financial uncertainty. When you work for others it is very clear what your pay structure is and where money is coming from. When you begin working for yourself the clarity on your compensation is not the same. The great news is that when things seem uncertain it also means that anything is possible. Turning the challenge of lack of compensation security into the opportunity to make more money than I ever have is one of the things that makes me leap out of bed each morning excited!
How do you balance a personal and professional life?
The first thing to realize is that balance does not exist when you are a spouse, mother, employee, etc. There is no perfect harmonious balance. I have never seen it and that is how I know it is not real. Unfortunately, as we women have all grown up in a society that put the emphasis on men succeeding in work, they never had the pressure to create a good home and home life and parenting responsibility. While this has certainly changed over the years, much like any strong branding, it doesn’t go away instantaneously. Women innately have been conditioned to think that we are the ones that need to find the balance. The first step is realizing that there is no perfect balance. Then the best things to recognize are:
– What are your priorities?
– No one can do this alone
– What does success look like to you?
– Be present in this moment.
– Make the most of where you are today.
– Figure out your passion, and find it.
– Do not put yourself last, this will absolutely create failure.
– Take vacations.
Do you think we really can “have it all”? Why or why not?
I do believe we can have it all. Having it all for me is having my son, my loving finance, and pursuing my passions each day. It really depends what having it all means to you. Also, whatever it means today will probably change as you get older. When I was younger having it all meant having a certain title at work or earning a certain amount of money. Today that has changed to being surrounded by those that I love and having fun pursuing my dreams.
Why does change scare so many people, and how can we channel that into something positive?
Change can be petrifying for everyone, myself included. The reality is though, that without change we will never grow. The one constant is that change is happening everywhere in the world and the sooner we embrace that and accept it, the faster we will evolve and grow with it. Instead of focusing on what you are giving up, what about shifting to focus on what you can gain? When I lost my corporate job in radio I immediately focused on losing a paycheck. Today, however, I have shifted my focus to what I have gained. I have gained more confidence than ever, as well as more support than I could have imagined and opportunities that didn’t exist previously. […] Take the leap today out of your comfort zone and throw yourself into change if you are looking for a better and different life. What’s the worst that can happen?
You focus a lot on inner beauty, but still love fashion. How can we showcase our inner beauty for the world to see?
Many people are afraid to shine their light but really shining your light is letting the world see your inner beauty. For me this was removing the mask that I wore, which meant I would say what others wanted me to say or look a certain way to fit into a certain box. The day I removed that mask and owned my own inner beauty and superpowers is the day things started to change for the better. Shining your light and letting others get to know the real you is not only critical it is your duty. We all have something so special and unique about us and not sharing that with the world is harmful. If you choose to shine your light and write a blog about it, you will certainly touch and inspire other people. […] For me fashion is a way to unleash my inner beauty and give me the pick me up I need. Other days fashion is a chance for me to invest in myself and remind myself that I am worthy of everything beautiful and fabulous in this world. Shine your light, stand in your power, and be the real you with no mask needed and watch what happens!
What are your public speaking tips and tricks?
It’s Okay To Use a Script.
Not every public speaking engagement involves something that we personally care about or feel invested in. In these instances, you may need to be more scripted. Be sure to read scripts over countless times so that you familiarize yourself with the concepts well enough that you don’t have to bury your head and read while presenting. This is a surefire way to lose the interest of your audience!
Borrow a Story.
Even though you’re not speaking from the heart this time around, try whatever it takes to get a story to introduce your speech. If you can’t think of a story of your own, ask your friends, co-workers and family members for ideas.
Let Go of Perfection.
Many people feel nervous when they are about to speak because they want to be perfect. […] The bottom line is, you don’t have to be a perfect speaker to be a great speaker. You just have to be good. If you touch just one person in the room during your speech, you’ve done your job, and that is enough.
Practice Before Presenting.
Practice is critical. I know some extremely smart and talented people that practice for hours—even weeks!— before presenting. Know your strengths and weaknesses and address them accordingly. Be sure to write out what you will say. Have notes, highlights, and outlines and practice in front of someone at least once or twice to see where you trip up. This is a game changer!
Engage Your Audience.
Whenever possible, get your audience involved. This doesn’t mean you need to interview various members of the audience or call on someone to shout to their answer, but what it can mean is asking a big picture question like, “Has anyone in this room ever felt they couldn’t accomplish something, but tried anyway?” Then—and this is key—give a long pause. Even if no one yells out, you have gotten everyone’s attention and can continue to pull them in by saying, “Well, that is me today, so please bear with me while I’m up here.” Instantly, you’re allowing your audience to connect with you on a human level—something great public speakers are masterful at doing.