Finding Your Why, Using Struggle to Ignite Growth with Author Julie Solomon

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My guest today is author, podcast host, and personal brand coach Julie Solomon. Julie wants you to accomplish whatever dream or goal you have but haven’t yet realized. She has put together a road map in her new book, GET WHAT YOU WANT, on how to amplify and develop your brand. Julie has used her own experience to hone a message to help others. There are a lot of useful takeaways in this conversation, just around habits and what are the things we are doing and NOT doing to move us in the direction we believe we want to be going. Smart, kind, and energetic, Julie shows how much she wants people to go for it. Enjoy

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Finding Your Why, Using Struggle to Ignite Growth with Author Julie Solomon

“If there was no struggle, no contrast, and no resistance, then we wouldn’t have the contrast of knowing what it is that we don’t want to then be able to know what it is that we do want to then get what we want. There has to be, in some way, struggle.”

“What I love to tell people is that you say you want to do something, do you want to be the absolute freaking best at what it is that you want to do? Yes or no? If you’re saying yes to that, you can’t take that lightly. Your why for wanting to do what it is that you want to do has to be greater than any excuse that you could ever have for not doing it. To me, that’s the difference between someone who gets what they want in life versus someone who doesn’t get what they want in life. The person who gets what they want, they wanted it bad enough.”

You have to start testing things out. You have to be curious and open-minded. If you’re someone that’s like, “I know this already. Nothing ever works for me.” You’re already limiting yourself. You have to be open to, “How can this work for me? How can I learn something different? Maybe there’s a new approach or a new take that I can take to this.”

Welcome to the show. My guest is Julie Solomon. She is the host of The Influencer Podcast. She has a book out called Get What You Want. I’m allergic to this idea of a life coach. When I say that, it’s because we’re all different, our mechanisms, what motivates us, and how we organize. Julie is a coach. What I appreciate is what she has done is difficult. What she’s done is through her own experience. It’s occurred to her that other people maybe have goals, want to create businesses, or want to amplify their platform or their brand but they don’t know how to get from point A to point B.

Through her own experience and trials, she has put together an organized system to help people and it’s asking those questions and instilling new and different habits that would lead someone to find not only their path and passions but also how to do that. Maybe you already have an idea but you don’t know how to put it all together. She is incredibly passionate about it.

Personally, I tend to put things together by going through them. We’ll say, “I claim to not know much except I know it’s important that we try to take care of ourselves.” What I realized though about someone like Julie who is willing to stand there and go, “I can coach you. I can help you. I can ask you the questions with confidence.” It’s because she wants you to be successful.If you’ve got that little voice inside your head and maybe you’ve been thinking about doing something but you haven’t gotten started, she’s the person who’s like, “I want to see you do it.”

She’s tender-hearted. When you look at her, you go, “She’s figured out something.” She looks organized. Her makeup looks beautiful. She has two kids. She’s in a relationship. She’s created businesses. She’s getting things done. Simultaneously, her business is built around helping other people, which is valuable. The other thing that’s been important is all of us finding that person or those people that speak to us in the language that we hear. I know a lot of people will benefit from being inspired by Julie Solomon. Enjoy.

Julie Solomon, thank you for joining me. I have a lot of questions, as usual. We’re going to get into your journey into helping people discover purpose, develop brands, monetize brands, and even your own journey, which has a lot to do with how you got here. In this day and age where everybody has a lot of feelings, you talk a lot about grit. I thought that maybe you would be the best person to usher me into it.

I come from the old school where everyone sucked it up and deal with it. There were authority figures, especially coming from sports. Even in business, it’s hard, there’s a boss, and it’s all of this. I have other businesses besides sports. Maybe we could start there and then I’ll backtrack and talk about your journey. How do you deal with bridging life is hard, being an entrepreneur is hard, work is hard, and then managing people’s feelings, especially maybe younger entrepreneurs? How do you bridge these worlds? No matter what we say in our culture, business, getting anything done, or nature is savage.

One thing that we all have to remember is that it’s great to feel our feelings. It’s great that we’re now at this age where we are open to people doing that and being more in tune with their feelings and being more in line with their feelings, all of that is great. There’s also the reality of contrast and resistance that has to be there to succeed and get what we want.

It wasn't about being perfect. It wasn't about being the star. It’s, “Can I be the best version of me?” Click To Tweet

If there was no struggle, no contrast, and no resistance, then we wouldn’t have the contrast of knowing what it is that we don’t want to then be able to know what it is that we do want to then get what we want. There has to be, in some way, struggle.” Not always suffering. Suffering is different than struggling. I do feel that there has to be a struggle. My son is playing padded football for the first time, which is something that, as a mom, I’ve had to get to the other side of. He’s a little guy. He’s 59 pounds. He barely even was allowed to play. He’s so fast.

My husband and I knew this struggle of him having to be in those heavy pads. At 9 and 8, they’re not hitting with a lot of impact. Still being met with that resistance is what is going to get him to be faster, more focused, and more determined than ever before. You have to be aware when you’re feeling of wanting to stay in the feeling and be happy and floaty and the feeling starts to become complacent to what I think is the natural evolution of survival as human beings. Does that answer your question?

Yeah. I’d like to take it a little further. If I have somebody who’s 25 or even in their early 30s and they’re taking on and they want to be entrepreneurs, they’re going to work with people that have a difference of opinion. They’re going to have people that they have to work with and get something that makes them feel uncomfortable, all of that.

You’re coaching or mentoring. You have a podcast, The Influencer. You have a book, Get What You Want. You wrote a course in 2016, Pitch It Perfect. You have been communicating with people and giving them tools to get certain things done. I’ve been so fascinated to watch our world shift and people using different feelings in a work environment that may not be appropriate. It’s become very blanket.

What I’m interested in is you because you are a bridge. You’re a person who’s giving these people the tool. You’re in your later 30s so you live in both worlds. How do you get this group or someone who’s maybe not comfortable? You work a lot with women. I am fascinated. Are we talking about compartmentalizing? I have young adult children. I’m interested in also how to keep reconnecting back to the next group. Everything’s always changing.

As a coach and as a mom, in which you’re doing a lot of coaching as a mom, to me, it’s not so much compartmentalizing as it is boundaries. I don’t assume responsibility for anyone else’s feelings, success or happiness. I express my own in a way that if you turn into that or tune into that and can be in the vibration of it, you can start to experience the benefit of your own success and happiness and the benefit of understanding and being aware of your feelings even if they’re feelings that you don’t like.

When we become dependent on being responsible for other people’s successes is when it can get hairy. I’ve seen that and even in my earlier days of coaching, I talk about it. The metaphor is as if you’re looking at a wall with two ladders on it and there’s one ladder and all of my clients are going up and I’m at the bottom. I’m pushing them up and then one of their hands gets tired and they slip and fall. They fall on me, I take the brunt, and then I’m back at it. I’m pushing them up begging, pleading, tweaking, and testing.

After a while of doing that, I look over and I see that the other ladder that was there had my name on it. It wasn’t until I got off their ladder and started climbing my own that I was able to show up and be of service to them. My success as a coach, my love as a coach, and my work as a coach are not contingent if they’re successful or happy. It’s contingent if I’m successful and happy by being a conduit and a reflection of that.

Leading more from the front. The other thing is when it gets hard, especially when you’re talking about taking this more unchartered path. If people are going to be entrepreneurs, content creators, and all these things, this is an un-navigated place for most of us. You’re cutting the trail as you go. Regardless of whether it’s been done when you’re doing it for yourself, it’s usually unchartered when they hit all the walls that they’re going to hit. What I’m looking for is, what is it that you communicate as somebody who understands? Sometimes you have to deal with it. It’s hard. Are you able to have that direct communication with the people that you work with?

I am. I don’t know any other way to be. The way that I was raised by two parents that never went to college, they had to do whatever was possible to put food on the table. My relentlessness, my determination, and my drive and grit, because you used that word, I have no other choice. I wake up every day and live out my life and do my work as if my livelihood depended on it because I don’t know any other way to be. That was what was reflected to me. I’m grateful that’s what was reflected to me.

It’s doing my family, my grandparents, my great grandparents, and my lineage a complete disservice by not trying to show up and be the absolute best version of myself that I can be and continue to evolve because they already did all of that. They already struggled, strived, and had to do all of that hard work. For me to float through life would be a complete slap in the face to the path that they had paved.

What I love to tell people is that you say you want to do something, do you want to be the absolute freaking best at what it is that you want to do? Yes or no? If you’re saying yes to that, you can’t take that lightly. Your why for wanting to do what it is that you want to do has to be greater than any excuse that you could ever have for not doing it. To me, that’s the difference between someone who gets what they want in life versus someone who doesn’t get what they want in life. The person who gets what they want, they wanted it bad enough.

That’s the frame of mind that I come from. It’s how I was raised. It’s the school of thought that I come from. I’ve had to find that own balance in my life. When I was growing up, we didn’t have time to feel our feelings because we had stuff to do. I had to find the balance of becoming aware of my feelings, my thoughts, my belief systems, and why they make me think and feel and react the way that I do. It’s important. I don’t want to dwell on that. I’ve got to use that as a tool to persevere and to get to the other side of what it is that I want to get to the other side of.

I want to go deeper into that. Your grandma lived in a double wide and people were paying the bills and getting it done. I grew up not so dissimilarly. Sometimes you grew up working to keep the lights on and to keep food on the table. This is a whole different set of rules. Have you as an adult person with two children, married, and all this stuff been able to offload? The thing that’s so hard for us is the thing that’s great for us but then becomes maybe unuseful again later. You’re at a place in your life. You don’t need certain traits that propelled you to where you are. Have you been able to offload this? If so, how have you done that?

Julie Solomon Caption 1

Julie Solomon – To me now, winning is honoring the work and realizing that the joy is in the work. That’s the win. I know that I’m winning when I find joy in the work.

It’s interesting because I’ll spot it in other people first but they say that if you spot it, you got it. I’ll see it in my mom all the time. I’m like, “Mom, you don’t have to eat every single thing on your plate because you don’t want to waste the food. You don’t have to check in with me fifteen times a day to ask me if I’m saving my money.” That comes from her own scarcity mindset of the way that she used to live.

There are parts of me that have had to check myself into that. To me, first, it’s the awareness of I’m having this thought. What receiving mode am I in right now? Am I in this scarcity fear-based place? Am I in this place of curiosity, excitement, and joy? If I am in a fear-based place, it’s noticing. The hardest thing for people is the acceptance of, “Even if it’s 1%, what is my part to play and having these thoughts that are now getting me these results, these solutions, and this reality that I don’t want to have?” It’s hard for people to accept what their part to play is in those.

The more that we can become aware of when we’re having those moments and start to accept them without judging ourselves and becoming this victim mentality or whatever that may be for people, the more that we can then go into a state of action. It’s like, “This is the reality of the situation. What are you going to do about it?”

You’re married. Johnathon, is he different than you? My husband is different in that way. He didn’t grow up with anything. Because he spent so much time in nature, his true faith is, in a way, much naturally more fluid than mine. He always says, “It’s going to be okay and it is okay.” Do you talk to Johnathon and is he different than you in that way? We do need little things to help us. We can recognize it. We need these little practices to go, “I’m going to course correct. I’m not going to default to my old, rigid, and grinded-out way to get it done. I’m going to maybe try from a different place.”

We tend to balance each other. In some ways, he will be a little bit more scarcity of a mindset. In other ways, I’ll be. The interesting thing about Johnathon, first off, is he’s fifteen years older than me. He has this wisdom and outlook on life that is different than mine. He’s lived more life than me. Johnathon is also someone who comes from a working-class family. He’s from Baltimore, Maryland. His dad was a police officer and his mom worked in HR. His dad was a cop in Baltimore, that’s not an easy job. There was a lot of struggle and strife there. A lot of mental health stuff happening there.

When he was 19 years old, he packed up his little pickup truck and drove across the country to LA to make it as a star, to become an actor, which no one from his town had ever done. That in and of itself was insane to even think that and he did it. He’s been a working actor for over 30 years and has starred in a multitude amount of films and has worked with some of the greatest actors of our time. That hopefulness, believing in a greater possibility, and that ability to see creativity and creation at that level are huge.

He’s also traveled the world extensively and has been surrounded by a lot of different types of cultures, people, and ethnicities, which brings a beautiful perspective on life. He does have this way of pushing me when I will want to retreat or falter or maybe feel bad about myself. On the other end, I bring this fresh Millennial approach to things as well. I’m way more like, “Take me to Vegas and I will freaking roll the dice and gamble this.” John’s a little bit more traditional and conservative with things like that. He’ll think through things a little bit more, while I tend to be more of Zess with that spirit of testing things out.

It’s the balance of that, that you do need. If you can have that in a partner that can catch that within you, that can be that mirror. You’re constantly seeing yourself in the other person. I appreciate him for that and for having that within him. Luckily, my goal, and I always say with him and our family dynamic, is that I never want to get too high with the highs and I never want to get too low with the lows. If we can find what that baseline is of peace and serenity for ourselves, then that’s what we’re working on day in and day out. That’s how we come into that together.

You’re both, in a way, practical dreamers, which is a pretty amazing combination. Someone’s like, “I’m willing to dream but within it, I’ll put a system in place.” You framework things systematically. Otherwise, there’s no way you can help other people do that. Have you learned anything that has surprised you about marriage that you thought it was one way but now you’re like, “Looking at it, I’ve shifted and it’s this way.” Is there anything showing up for you after over 9 or 10 years of marriage?

For over ten years, we’ve been together. I was married before Johnathon for a short time. I had that experience and then the experience with him. I’ve had children with Johnathon and with my first marriage. That dynamic in and of itself brings in a whole other layer as parents. Before I got married, you would hear people say things like, “It’s a lot of work.” That’s such a general blanket statement. What does that mean?

What I thought was the work is we got to balance our schedules. I looked at everything as being external-intangible without realizing where the real work comes from, can I love this person with no conditions? That starts with me loving myself unconditionally and seeing the ugliest, messiest, and worst parts that I may see in himself. It’s a reflection of the messiest and worst parts of me that I don’t want to face.

To me, that’s the work. Doing the work is by wanting to support my husband, my family, or my marriage. What that means is that I have to help myself and I have to support myself first. I have to take care of myself and put myself first in a lot of ways. That’s not selfish. That took me a long time to understand. I also loved to fix people once upon a time. If I could fix everybody else, I didn’t have to worry about fixing myself. I thought marriage was like, “I’ll go in and I’ll make this person better. They’ll be grateful that I came into their lives and made them so much better.” No.

For me, the testament of what makes our marriage work is that we give other people the dignity to be themselves even if that means, “I don’t like the decisions that you’re necessarily making right now. I don’t agree with them but I’m going to give you the dignity to have your own experience.” That’s the whole point of the human experience.

That’s wise and well said. My father was from Trinidad. I have two uncles from Trinidad and they’re funny. I had a friend come over and he was getting married the next weekend. This was many years ago. My uncle is in this beautiful lilt of the West Indian accent. He goes. “Remember when a man marries a woman, he hopes she’ll never change. She’ll stay curious and fresh and like, ‘I’m listening to every word.’ When a woman marries a man, she’s thinking of the first thing that she’ll change about him like that shirt.”

What you said is important. It feels like females have this internal mothering thing to do and then you realize you can’t do it with your partner. It’s better if you don’t. It’s better for yourself. It’s better for them. It’s better for the romantic element of the relationship that you don’t have those dynamics. It’s so well said when we can pull back on like, “I know how to do that way better for you or what you should do than you.” I appreciate that.

There's a difference between needing a moment and then a habitual practice of something. Click To Tweet

Before we slide over into brass tacks questions about building a brand, what is a brand, and some of those things, as somebody who’s doing a lot of things, you are a perfect example of what a lot of people experience, which is you’re wearing a lot of hats and you’re being a mom. You’re supposed to have your crap together. You’re helping other people be like, “Let’s get it together.”

As we said earlier, leading from the front, you have to. You’re still a person. To look at you, you go, “For this person, it’s dialed.” How are you navigating the hats? Enough healthy selfishness so that you can show up for everybody else. Let’s say in the weeks that it’s upside down. That’s how life gets. It doesn’t go as we always plan it.

Where do you go? What do you do for yourself, I would imagine that would be good for all of us, to figure out how to get to a place that you go, “It’s cool. I can weather it. I can also figure out how to get closer to a sense of homeostasis even if it’s crazy out in the world and my kids are crazy. My husband is away shooting. He’s nutty or going through his own thing. With my clients, I don’t know what’s going on.” Do you have anything that you have developed to help you with that besides being very tough?

I learned this idea of taking life one day at a time, once upon a time. Sometimes it’s one hour at a time. I will remember that in those moments. This is when we have to be keenly present but in those moments is when we’re mostly not because we’re so frantic and we’re so out here. We’re not allowing ourselves to be embodied.

This is Julie allowing herself to feel her feelings. I’ll be aware of the feelings that I have. To give you some context, I have a son and a daughter. We’re in it right now, the diapers and making sure that we survive mode. There are times that I don’t want to be a mom. It’s not that I don’t want to be a mom but I’m like, “I don’t want a mom right now.” I’ll have those moments. I have many friends that are moms that have those feelings throughout the day but they will never say it because they don’t want to be shamed or they don’t want to start shaming themselves.

I will allow myself to say, “This is the feeling that I’m having. I do not want to mom right now. I’m not going to shame myself about it. I’m not going to guilt myself about it.” What is this feeling telling me? A lot of times, what it’s telling me is that whatever I’m focused on at the moment, I need to switch gears. It’s not bringing me to this state of joy, peace, excitement, curiosity, or whatever the feelings that we all need to have to be at our most optimal selves.

If I start feeling those things, I know that I’m doing something wrong. That’s when something like moving my body comes into play. when I’m usually in that state of being, the last thing that I want to do is move my body. Luckily, I do have a husband who is physical and he takes care of himself every day. He’s like, “Even if it’s just going for a walk, Julie, you have to move your body and drink water.” These are simple things, Gabby, but it’s what helps. It’s walking, getting out in nature, some fresh air, and drinking water. If I’m near water, I’ll walk towards the water. It’s meditating, reading a book, and changing the subject. Anything that I can do to get out of that toxic way of thinking or feeling help.

I also allow myself to go easy on myself. As a mom, an entrepreneur, and a wife, there are seasons. There’s this particular type of season that I’m in right now and then I’m going to be in another season and then I’m going to be in another season. I allow myself to be in the moment of that. I know that if I’m given tomorrow, tomorrow’s a new day. I also know that I have the chance to start today over if I want to. If my morning ends up being nutty, I can be like, “I’m going to start today over. What do I need to do to start today over?”

To me, it comes from this idea. I do talk about this in the book. It’s that have-do-be versus be-do-have. A lot of us live in this place of have-do-be. “Once I have the money, the house, the family, or the job, then I can do everything that I want to do and then I’ll be happy, then I’ll be successful, then I’ll be excited about life.” When we’re living in that place, we’re always waiting for this have-ness. We’re always waiting for our externals to change in order to start embodying our day-to-day life. That has gotten me nowhere when I’ve done that. The life that we’re living right now is not a dress rehearsal. This is it.

If I want to get out of life what it is that I say that I want, I have to come from that place of be-do-have. I have to become the woman who wants that life that I’m saying. I have to become her first in order to do what is necessary in order to have what it is that I want. I don’t wait for some mystical source to bring her to me. I don’t wait for that. I become her. The money, the house, the guy, the kids, the woman, or whatever it is for anyone, they don’t make you, you make that.

It’s coming from this state of, “If I want to be someone successful, healthy, lit up, and whatever that goal may be for somebody, I have to start becoming that now.” When I wake up, what is my morning routine look like? What am I putting in my body? How am I moving my body? What am I consuming? Am I making sure to create before I consume something else? Consumption can be very toxic. Am I creating and getting my thoughts and feelings flowing before I’m consuming something else? Start mapping out who she is, “Who is this person that I want to become?” Don’t wait for the externals to change to start living it.

I appreciate that. A lot of times, it’s hard for people sometimes to be honest, even if it’s for a moment of like, “This sucks.” I’m an only child and I would come home and I’d be like, “Who are all these people?” It’s my family. I’m like, “What are they doing here?” It’s having a good laugh with your partner or girlfriend that knows, “Of course, you’re not going anywhere. Of course, you love your children. Of course, you’re going to show up.” Sometimes it’s like, “Everybody, eff off.” They know that you don’t mean it. You need to honor it so you can get on with it. Sometimes we’re so afraid to take ownership of that and be like, “Great. Back to our original programming with maybe an improved perspective.”

You moved to California based on saying, “I’m not great at that.” You did find a rhythm for yourself about how to monetize and use content. That has led you to do all kinds of things. You have a podcast, The Influencer, and your book, Get What You Want. Let’s talk about brand. When I was coming up as an athlete and when I was with Nike, none of the athletes ever said, “It’s good for the brand.”

Julie Solomon Caption 2

Julie Solomon – What helps is getting out in nature, fresh air, drinking water, or anything that can help me out of that toxic way of thinking or feeling.

Because I came from fashion and then I went over to sport, I did understand some importance about certain things, whether it was like, “They’re only going to see you once in a while on the TV or in a magazine. Make sure who’s shooting you is making you look good. Try not to be a total buffoon when you do interviews. Try to represent yourself. Honestly, don’t make it so polished that it’s a disconnect.” Nowadays, everyone’s a brand. I’m fascinated.

I’ve been at this for more than 30 years. I’m like, “They’ve been here for five minutes and they’re talking about their brand.” I’m interested in this. When you have somebody come to you and you go, “You want to create content. You want to do this.” In your mind, what is a brand? Is it something that you’re telling people, “What are you representing? What are you selling? How do you start there?”

There are brands like Starbucks or Nike and then there’s what someone else would call a personal brand. Personal branding is this conscious and intentional effort to influence or persuade the public perception of an individual by positioning them as an authority or an expert in their industry with their credibility. For example, let’s take Nike. Who’s the CEO of Nike? I don’t know. Does it matter? I’m still buying the shoes. The person that created Nike is never going to be contingent on the sell-through of the image, the mission, the brand, or the products that are Nike. The same thing with Starbucks.

You take Oprah, for example. Oprah, nowadays, is a personal brand. She’s also a brand. When we think of Oprah, we identify it with a core person and it is our trust, our love, and our connectivity to that human being that is Oprah that makes me want to buy what Oprah is selling. That is the difference between traditional brands and personal brands.

With the age of social media, more specifically, the age of influencer marketing that has arisen over the last several years, we have seen this rise in personal branding. John, my husband, who’s an actor said it. He’s like, “There are no stars anymore. Anyone can be a star. You can create a TikTok tomorrow and now you’re a star.” It’s because people can create Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube channels and become personal brands overnight.

Personally, I feel that there’s a difference between someone who is just creating content for the sake of creating content and maybe has this image or this perception out in the public forum versus a personal brand that has a deeper calling, a deeper meaning, and a purpose. they want to leave a legacy and they want to create a deeper impact. They want to be in service to others. How are they using their persona and their influence and the perception of that to do so?

Personal brands that have the longevity to succeed are the ones that do have credibility and expertise to back up what it is that they’re saying and that they’re talking about and that they’re creating. That’s where my personal brand came out. I was a publicist by trade for many years before I got into what we now call influencer marketing.

That’s when I realized that my years as a publicist had helped me to perfect this art of pitching, marketing, and working with companies and monetizing my brand by landing brand deals. I became somewhat of a natural for it because I was doing it for years for clients. That’s how I started the business that I had today. I started doing it for myself and then other women started seeing that I was doing it for myself and then they wanted to learn more and so on and so forth.

If there’s anyone reading that is curious about branding or wants to create a personal brand, it’s about getting clear on starting where you are with exactly what you have and getting clear on, “What is something that someone would need from me that I could be a solution provider for and that would create impact in their lives no matter what that is?” Getting clear on that first and then getting curious about, “How can I show up to be that solution provider?

To me, that’s the core. That’s where you figure out what your offer is. That’s the core essence of a personal brand. Anyone can get on social media and talk in front of a camera but the ones that are going to be here, 9 months from now, a year from now, 3 years from now, are the ones that get clear on what it is that they’re offering to the world and why does that matter.

It makes me think of two things. You talked about pitching. What goes into a good pitch? For a lot of people, this is a tricky proposition. It’s an element of presentation and public speaking and things like that. What goes into that? You’re very confident. You have an inner toughness that is a dialed-in element to your personality. Let’s say someone’s reading and they think, “I don’t even know how to pitch.”

First, it’s a mindset piece. A lot of times, people get scared to pitch themselves because they think that it’s sleazy, slimy, and salesy. We get the idea of the vision of the used car salesman and they don’t want to come across as that. What they’re doing is keeping themselves small because they’re not allowing themselves to crack open. They’re not advocating for themselves. They’re not asking for what they want and they’re not going after it. What I teach clients and students is that, first off, we’re always selling something whether you realize it or not. We might as well get good at it.

A good way to get good at it and stop seeing it as being so sleazy is to realize that pitching is a service and not a sale. The more that you can come from this place of service and genuinely be of service, the more that you can create an impact. The more confident that you’re going to feel because you’re creating impact, the happier you’re going to be, and the more that you’re going to want to pitch.

It’s getting over that idea first that selling is bad or selling is wrong or, “Who am I to do that?” It’s gross. It’s a service. The other thing that you can realize for people that are like, “I’ve never pitched before. I don’t know how to do that. I’m not as confident as other people.” The truth is that you’re pitching all the time whether you realize it or not. In business, a large part of the way that we communicate is dedicated to persuading others whether it’s on social media, board rooms, emails, or your website.

Networking and building community and getting people on board with your ideas and perspectives aren’t any different. You can pitch an idea or suggest a course of action and you’re sharing your values and hopes of persuading someone to come on board with those shared values. In our personal lives, it’s happening all the time. Every time we suggest a restaurant, what our kids should eat, a book to read, or tell a friend about a podcast that we’ve enjoyed, we’re not only pitching our perspective but we’re also sharing what we feel is important.

When we become dependent on being responsible for other people’s success is when it can get hairy. Click To Tweet

It’s about thinking of pitching in a way that serves. A great way to think about this is if you think about someone in your life who you’ve maybe happily given money or given your time because they pitched you something that resonated with you. It touched your heart and it made you feel understood and it made you feel seen. That’s the beauty that is the art form of pitching and how I look at it. It’s relationship based. When it’s done well, it’s subtle like a recommendation. The more that you can come from that place of seeing it as a service, the more that you can get comfortable and confident starting to use it in your life in a way that helps you get what you want.

If someone goes, “My brand.” Maybe somebody has something. Do you think it’s always obvious to people what their brand is? Is there maybe a vetting? How would you get through that?

A lot of times people don’t. This is where as human beings, we love to overcomplicate things and make things a lot harder than they need to be. We’re always looking outside of ourselves, like, “What’s my brand? What’s my offer? What’s this thing that I could give to the world?” What I’ve noticed through my years of coaching thousands of women is that 9 times out of 10, our offer, we’re always serving someone who used to be a former version of ourselves.

Even my business, I created my services and my coaching because it was something that I needed at one time that didn’t exist and so I created it. When you think about it in that way, it makes it less overwhelming, less daunting, and less complicated. That’s why I love to tell people that you have to start exactly where you are with what you have. Who you are today is more than enough.

You don’t have to be or do anything else today with what you have. You have to start getting clear on what is something that you have that is valuable that somebody else would see as valuable and happily pay you for it. What is your core piece of value that you have? For some people that may take a little bit longer because a lot of people have a lot of self-worthiness issues. They don’t think that they have anything valuable. They don’t think that they have anything that they can bring to the table.

For those types of clients, we have to dig a little bit deeper and work a little bit more on the mindset. We all have something that is of value. It all comes from our background, our experiences, our education, and the family dynamics in which we were raised. We all have unique perspectives on how we view and see the world. Our perspective could be the thing that person out there needs. It’s our job to be able to effectively discover that, document it, and articulate it.

The way that I teach is by putting it into a process. How can you take what it is that you offer? Getting clear on that. What do you offer? Who are you offering it to? How much does that cost? Now, let’s put it in a process that someone can easily consume. A lot of times, it’s a lot like baking a cake. If I want to bake a good tasty cake, I could either wing it. Hopefully, I have the right amount of sugar. Hopefully, I’ve got the right amount of eggs. Hopefully, I’ve got the right amount of flour.

I could go and find a good recipe that’s already been tested, tried, and true with great reviews. The person that made the recipe knocked it out of the park. I could take that. Maybe I sprinkle in a little bit of chocolate or cinnamon or give it my own little dash of something that makes it tasty to me. The core foundation of that recipe remains the same. The more that you can document or replicate a process that’s already been there and create it in your own unique way, the faster that you’ll get to what it is that you want as well. That’s what trips people up. Everyone thinks they’re reinventing the wheel and that could not be further from the truth.

Don’t reinvent the wheel. The other thing is important for people reading. You work a lot with women. I have a large male audience. This has also been a development for you. You’ve gone from A to B and B to C. Yes, you started a podcast, and then you’ve written a book that took three years to write. It’s also important for people to realize that if you keep moving forward, new doors show up.

The lessons that you’re learning make you more equipped to deal with what’s coming. You’re not expected to know everything at the beginning and you’re not going to. It’s important for people to realize that that’s for everybody. Whoever you want to look at, they’ve all gone through the school of doing it. There’s no way around it. You might as well get going and see what happens. It’s important. What do you see as the common do’s and don’ts of the people that you work with?

The common do’s and don’ts is to get started, that’s a big piece. A lot of people that I work with make up and tell themselves that they have to wait for clarity in order to get the confidence but it’s the confidence that creates the clarity and not the other way around. You have to start testing things out. You have to be curious and open-minded. If you’re someone that’s like, “I know this already. Nothing ever works for me.” You’re already limiting yourself. You have to be open to, “How can this work for me? How can I learn something different? Maybe there’s a new approach or a new take that I can take to this.”

Curiosity is a major do. You have to be a critical thinker and think critically. People hear something and freak out, like, “I don’t want to be that person. It’s going to be hard for me to work with that person.” You have to make sure that you can come into a space where even if you’re scared, even if you are freaked out, it’s okay to be freaked out. Can you be conscious enough and aware enough to say, “This freaks me the eff out but I’m here, I’m open, and I’m willing to listen and learn.” To me, that is the best client that I can have.

I remember when I was little, I was terrible at sports, Gabby. I was the worst. I was the girl out in the outfield sitting there playing in the grass. I was horrible at soccer. I was good at tumbling and cheerleading but everything else was not so good. When I think back and look at that and think about achievement, focus, and drive, I always wanted to try so hard to be the best that I could be.

It wasn’t about being perfect. It wasn’t about being the star. It’s, “Can I be the best version of me?” That’s another do versus don’t. If you get bottled up in the perfection of things and then have to look the part and have to dot your I’s and cross your T’s, it’s going to be a lot harder to find the crux and the magic that’s inside you.

Julie Solomon Caption 3

Julie Solomon – It’s the balance that you need. If you can have that in a partner that can catch that within you, that can really be the mirror. It’s constantly seeing yourself and the other person.

What about when they experience it? We all experience it on some level, a form of imposter syndrome. Sometimes you have to almost put yourself in the situation and then everything catches up. Do you have any advice for people when they are experiencing it? It’s like, “I might be in over my head. I hope they don’t find out.”

Imposter syndrome is a form of control. Myself included when we’re in that impostor syndrome, it allows us to say, “Who am I had to do this? I’m a fraud.” Whatever we make up and tell ourselves. I’m going to control my ability to do this or not do this. I’m going to control the resistance. I’m going to control how I’m showing up because I feel this way. It is a way to try to control the outcome, which is keeping you from the outcome that you desire.

The more that you can see that as a form of control and the more that you could release that and lean more into the trust, the better off you are, at least for me. It sounds cliché but the reason why everybody says it is because it’s true. Trust the process. Trust that you are supported. Trust that it’s always working out. Even when it’s not working out, it is always working out.

This is meant for you. Where you are right now is exactly where you are meant to be. You’re going to get so many downloads, information, thoughts, and ideas. You’re going to receive so much that is going to allow you to get to the next step. Imposter syndrome is one of the most common traits because it’s fear as well that people can have. In some ways, feeling like an imposter, I call it special snowflake syndrome. It makes people feel very unique. We’re all unique, yes. At the same time, we’re like everybody else.

The moment that you can see that, “Maybe I’m wanting to feel this unique and helpless and hopeless person that can’t seem to figure it out or can’t seem to get to the other side of it.” How is that serving where it is that you want to go? It’s that balance of, “Am I having special snowflake syndrome? Can I accept that I am unique but I don’t have to be terminally unique? What about me is like everyone else?” That also downplays it a little bit. It’s not that crazy or scary if it’s a universal feeling.

You’re not faking the whole thing. You might feel parts that you feel a little over your head and that’s all part of it. You’re big on habit building. If you have somebody who comes to you and maybe they’re not inherently disciplined or they haven’t put systems in place before. They weren’t the president of the student body or they didn’t run for election. Who knows? What are the practices people get along the way? What’s the encouragement you give them for effective habit building?

What I love to do is do a lot of vision mapping with clients. I love to write things out. I get tactile. I’m all about tactics. If it’s habit building, it’s first going back to that be-do-have. Who do you need to be? If you want to be the person that is one of the most sought-after keynote speakers in the world, who do you have to be? What does that keynote speaker do when they wake up in the morning? If you don’t know, let’s start guessing, let’s play.

I’m sure that they probably have some morning routine because most successful people do. They probably meditate, pray, journal, or do something. They probably exercise because most successful people that I know exercise. This is not rocket science. You can read any book and listen to any podcasts. Any successful person that I know that is at peak performance working at a high level moves their body. They have some spiritual practice and connection to their source. They’re eating as well as they can for themselves.

They are probably going to bed a little bit earlier and waking up a little bit earlier. They’re being mindful that if they’ve got children and things like that. They need to be somewhat responsible during the day than how are they getting in that me-time. What does that look like? I make my clients get super tangible, “What time does that person that you want to be become go to bed?” Write it down. Are you going to bed at that time? I map that out. To me, that in and of itself is documentation.

When you can start to see that, you can start to become aware of how far removed or how close are you to embodying this person. You can say that you want something but showing up for it is a completely different thing. I even did this with myself. I told my husband  that I got lost in my book marketing and I was like, “John, I’m going to the gym with you.” I went to the gym and I was like, “I have to go move my body.” Who am I to think that I can do this without having the physicality that I need and take care of my physical form? It’s impossible.

It’s also a process. There’s never going to be that day where you’re like, “Here she is.” There is that day but on that day, you’re dead. Here she is and life’s over. It’s also preparing the documentation of what that is for you and then checking in with that. Sometimes it can be daily for people or weekly for people. Am  I showing up to what it is that I say that I want to do and who I want to become?

I have you for a few more minutes. When you have somebody who’s doing a 9:00 to 5:00, I’m sure you get a ton of clients that come to you and they go, “I want to make this switch,” but they’re reluctant or afraid. Is there an approach that you have to that? It’s also based on reality. How do we make that transition?

This is where I love to say honor the season that you’re in first. Let’s get clear on what season are you in. You’re working a 9:00 to 5:00. What does your life look like? We want to set it up toward realistic for you to attain, not these bigger ethereal things that are not realistic to you at all because of the circumstances of your life at the moment.

You have a 9:00 to 5:00, what does that look like? What are your responsibilities before you get in there at 9:00? What are your responsibilities after? It’s mapping out how many hours of sleep you need at night. For some people, it’s eight. For some people, it’s six. For you to be at your optimal performance, what is that? Let’s pad that in.

I use a lot of simple math. You’ve got 24 hours in a day. X amount of hours is going to sleep. X amount of hours is going to your work. We’re left with X amount of hours. What else do you have to do? Are you a mom? What are your responsibilities there? What self-care are you implementing? We put that there. We’re left with these extra hours. How are we using these extra hours?

Julie Solomon Book

Get What You Want

The other thing that I encourage people to do when they have a 9:00 to 5:00 is that once you are aware of the hours that you have left in the day, how are you spending them? The fastest way to cut back your hours of overwhelm and we’ve mentioned it numerous times so far is to find a trusted expert who has a method or process that you can follow and invest in that. You are going to get to where you want to be ten times faster and cut your workload in half by doing that.

It’s when people feel like they have to do it all themselves and they try to hunt down things on the internet or aimlessly look for the answers that they start wasting exorbitant amounts of time. They then feel like, “How am I ever going to do this? I don’t have enough time in the day.” You do have enough time in the day. Are you using the time to get you closer to where it is that you want to go?

I’m going to bounce for one second to something. There’s a woman and she has a product. She’s The Korean Vegan and she was an attorney. She’s a great example of somebody who did that. She had a real grown-up job. I want to remind people. You’re talking about time. This is personal but you said, “I’m not going to drink anymore.” That is a time suck too. Was that a conscious, “This isn’t serving the greater her that I’m trying to be and stop that.” People don’t realize that stuff is sneaky.

For me, it was the glass and a half of wine, which would then lead to food that I wouldn’t normally eat, which would then lead to a crappy sleep at night, which would then lead to feeling sluggish the next day and foggy the next day. You start down this perpetual loop. It’s about being mindful with, “I’m spending an hour a night drinking wine and watching Netflix. That’s interesting.”

Maybe you do need a break. Maybe there are times that you do need to chill out and veg out. Let’s be aware of that. Is it becoming habitual? There’s a difference between needing a moment and then a habitual practice of something. I didn’t want drinking to become this habitual practice because it was not giving me the clarity that I want. It’s not giving me the foresight that I want. It’s not giving me the sleep that I want. It’s not making me feel good in my clothes. All of the things.

It frustrates other people when you make changes that maybe makes them have to look at what they’re doing. Did you get a lot of like, “That’s boring.” I want to remind people that sometimes when we make changes, not everyone’s going to be like, “Good job.” That’s okay. Stay alert that you don’t let that stuff creep in.

You could be surprised that it may give other people permission to do the same. What was interesting for me is when I would go to dinner and wouldn’t order wine or margarita and would instead order a mocktail, three other women at the table were like, “I’ve been curious about doing this. I may order a mocktail too.” We don’t realize how much sugar, bar food, beer, wine, and all of that stuff, it’s this social glue that people think keeps them together. when you change the scripts, the script changes. It’s been interesting to see, by ordering that, what the rest of the table may do.

Besides The Influencer Podcast, your book is out, Get What You Want. For anyone who knows anything, doing a book is not easy. I commend you on doing that with a young child and COVID. It’s Unbelievable. Tell me all of the other places where people can find you.

My website is JulieSolomon.net and that’s where you can go to learn more about me, my history, and my work. All of the stuff is there. I do have The Influencer Podcast, which I’ve been airing an episode every Wednesday since 2017. There is a mountain of content to dive into there, lots of strategies, lots of mindset, and lots of development support there. Also, the new book, which you can get wherever books are sold, Get What You Want. I tend to spend most of my social media time on Instagram. You can find me at @JulsSolomon.

Are you pressured into TikTok yet? I’m sure you are. Good luck with that.

Absolutely not. I refuse to do it.

I want to end on one question, which is, what do you consider a win? Sometimes people get it backward. Someone like you who has watched people achieve things, helped them, and has done it yourself, you have a different perspective on what a win is.

I do now. For a long time, my wins were money driven. “Once I make $1 million, once I have this house, and once we can get the beach house, then I’ll win.” It was contingent on these accolades and these things. If people are into that stuff, more power to you. I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with material at all as long as your side of the street is clean and you know your intention.

There is nothing wrong with wanting a beach house, a Range Rover, or buying some jeans at TJ Maxx on the full-sell rack instead of the half-price rack. Whatever it is to you is great. To me now, winning is honoring the work and realizing that the joy is in the work. That’s the win. I know that I’m winning when I find joy in the work. Sometimes there can be ease in that and sometimes there can be struggles in that. It’s finding the joy in that and letting that be enough.

Thank you, Julie Solomon.

Thank you.

Thank you so much for reading this week’s episode. Stay tuned for a bonus episode where I go deeper into one of the topics that resonated with me. If you have any questions for my guests or even myself, please send them to @GabbyReece on Instagram. If you feel inspired, please hit the follow button and leave a rating and a comment. It not only helps me but it helps the show grow and reach new readers.

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About Julie Solomon

Julie Solomon Headshot

For more than fifteen years, Julie Solomon has been empowering lives—including her own. As a brand and pitch expert, coach, and host of The Influencer Podcast, Julie, has launched several successful online programs and masterminds, including Pitch It Perfect, The Influencer Academy, and SHINE Mastermind. She helps women turn messages into movements and empowers entrepreneurs to grow their influence and impact through her work. Julie was recently named one of the Top 100 leaders in influencer marketing by Influence Co. In her weekly chart-topping podcast, The Influencer Podcast, she offers up real-time coaching, straight talk, and conversations about business growth and personal development to her millions of listeners worldwide. From her start as a publicist representing some of the top music acts and thought leaders of our generation, Julie has grown to teach tens of thousands of students worldwide. Julie’s new book, Get What You Want: How to Go From Unseen to Unstoppable releases June 7, 2022 with Harper Collins Leadership

 

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