Ep #74: The Fast Track to Great Stages with Elisha Alcantara

by | Podcast

In this week’s The Thought Leadership School Podcast episode, I’m talking with my friend, colleague and client Elisha Alcantera who definitely took the fast path to thought leadership.

Elisha is an amazing example of someone who just followed her intuitive hit that she was meant to be out there sharing her own stories of transformation. Having been through some tough Dark Nights of the Soul, she absolutely knows what it means to come out the other side of something difficult – and in her view, be better for it all. I can’t wait for you to tune in and soak up her wisdom.

In this episode, The Fast track to Great Stages, you're going to hear Elisha’s story of getting started (on a total whim, from the hot springs on a family vacation) to only a year later sharing the stage with a super well known thought leader and getting incredible, heart-filling response from the audience. 

From there, the amazing speaking opportunities have been flowing steadily – and she just received a very nice contribution to her non-profit – all from deciding one day that she was going to DO THIS.

Get ready to be inspired by Elisha’s story – I know you’ll get so many little nuggets you can apply to your own speaking when you tune in.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Hear Elisha’s personal story of getting started with public speaking on a whim 
  • Get the behind-the-scenes story on her business “failures” and how they’ve lead to the work she does today
  • See Elisha’s great example of putting yourself out there and serving as a speaker while learning along the way as fast track to great stages 
  • Why Elisha started her Podcast and how that has helped her as a speaker – and how she met her dream podcast co-host
  • Learn how Elisha decides what to share and what not to share on stage (and online)
  • How a very cool speaking event led to a very nice contribution to her non-profit

About Elisha Alcantara:

Elisha is on a mission to educate others on how to make lasting life changes that lead to becoming their own success stories. 

From starting real estate companies, a construction firm, and a non-profit focused on housing homeless families, through her failures in business and life, Elisha has learned how to live from the inside out instead of from the outside in. She understands the life-altering difference this makes and is passionate to share this with others in the hopes they will live a calmer, more fulfilled life. She lives in Portland, OR with her partner, Steve, and two bright and beautiful kiddos Grace and Bradley, and she’s the kind of mom who’ll hold a tarantula just to make her kids happy. 

Whatever you’re secretly feeling or going through, you can live a happier, more connected, more confident life by following her method. Come as you are and learn the steps to get REAL so you can start living the life you imagine.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Full Episode Transcript:

Michelle: Welcome to the Thought Leadership School Podcast. If you're on a mission to make a difference in the world with your message, you are in the right place. I'm Michelle: Barry Franco and I'm thrilled that you're here.

Michelle: Hello, hello. My Thought Leadership friends. Ooh, it is fall. Do I keep saying that I'm actually drinking this delicious vanilla coconut and special spices green tea out of my new I love fall mug. This is another tea by Harney and Sons, which I think I've talked about before. They have a Bangkok spice, which I'm pretty sure is this same tea, just different name. Anyway, I hope you're having a wonderful day. Whatever you're doing, hope you're drinking something warm and delicious like I am or enjoying a cozy fall moment or evening. I am so excited to share this conversation with you with Elisha Alcantara. She's an amazing example of someone who just followed her intuition, that she just knew that she was meant to be out there sharing the stories, her own stories of transformation that really changed her life so much over the last number of years. What's interesting, and you're going to get to hear her story, is that she kind of realized it all in this moment.

Michelle: She was on a road trip with our family and then there was a hot tub moment or a Hot Springs moment, and each time what's really cool is just listening to how Elisha has an idea and then she takes some action on it and sees what happens. She has no idea what's going to happen from it, but it has meant some incredible speaking opportunities and some amazing outcomes for her nonprofit, for example, over the last year. I'm excited for you to hear those stories. I'm going to tell you a little bit more about Elisha in a minute, but I also want to make sure that you know that we have a free online Facebook community that I'd love to have you join. I don't think I've talked about it for a while. So you can go to the thoughtleadershipschool.com/Facebook and it'll automatically take you to our Facebook group where you can join us.

Michelle: I share tips in there. I have freedom Friday in there and I recently realized that I think it's really confusing being out there in the world, trying to get your message clear, know how to get on great stages in a way that actually works now with high integrity because I know that you wouldn't be here if that wasn't a big part of who you are. While I have this Facebook group for a while, I think we have about 350 people in there. I have big plans for doing a lot more sharing around tips and strategies because I want you out there sharing your message. I know that you were made for this, you know that, right? And I want to support you in that process. And yes, I'd love to work with you more intimately through one of my programs, but I want to catch you as early as I can and get you into clarity and confidence around your message now, because the fact that you know you're called for this, that you're called to do this work means it's not going to go away.

Michelle: That call is not going to go away.  Join us in the Facebook group, let me serve you and getting that clarity and conviction starting right away. So again, thethoughtleadershipschool.com/Facebook. Let's talk about Elisha a little bit. Elisha has started multiple real estate companies, she started a construction firm, she started a nonprofit on housing homeless families, and along the way she's had a lot of amazing successes and she shares some of those successes, and she's had a lot of failures along the way and she's learned how to live as she describes it from the inside out. Because of those failures, through those experiences, she spent a lot of time living from the outside in. She thought that was the solution. Going through this cycle of success and what she describes as failure, I mean, you're going to hear her and be like, I don't see failure in this story.

Michelle: But certainly she had some very hard things happen and businesses that did not succeed. So I guess you do call that a failure, right? But she's doing this amazing work in the world. And again, as I said earlier, just noticing how she had the realization that she should be sharing these stories. She took immediate action on it, which is how she and I met. That was about two years ago, maybe 18 months ago and so many amazing things have happened since then. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her partner, Steve and her two bright and beautiful kiddos, Grace and Bradley and I love this part. She's the kind of mom who will hold a Taran Sheila just to make her kids happy. I read that and I'm like, yeah, I don't know if I'm that kind of mom. I'll have to come up with what my like big bold statement as about what kind of mom I am.

Michelle: But it doesn't surprise me that Elisha is willing to do that. She loves to share this message. You'll see this in her social accounts and all of that, because I know you're going to want to follow her after you hear my conversation with her. But she just wants everyone to know that whatever you're secretly feeling or going through, you can live a happier, more connected, more confident life by being more real. And she actually takes this word reel and breaks it down so you can use it in any given moment. I know you're going to love it. I can't wait for you to hear this conversation. Here we go with Elisha Alcantara. Hello Elisha. I am so excited to talk with you and even more excited that I get to share this conversation with our Thought Leadership School community. I wanted to bring you onto the podcast because I think you are such a fun example of the fast track to Thought Leadership and really a great example of getting out there and serving and just kind of being willing to learn along the way. So I can't wait for people to hear your stories. Thank you. Thank you.

Elisha: Thank you. I love it. And you're one of my favorite people so I'm super excited to do this.

Michelle: No, we're a mutual admiration club for sure. So first I keep remembering the story that you shared with me about before we met. We'll also share the story of how we met, but it's really how you started venturing into speaking in a bigger way. So would you just tell the story about, I think you were on a road trip and you heard about world domination summit and decided to go on a whim or something. Will you tell that story? So that everyone can hear how you ended up in that room and really started your speaking adventure?

Elisha: Yeah, I love it. It's one of my favorite stories cause it was such a pivotal point in my life and it took me being just aware and in action. So I was on vacation with my family and we drive, we drive from Portland to San Diego every year and it was a Friday. We were supposed to head out and I thought, why are we leaving today? We're just going to be stuck on the freeway and traffic. Let's add one more day to our trip and leave Saturday. Well, it also happened to be one of the only rainy days that we had on our trip. So our normal going out to legal and or whatever we did was shifted and we went to the hot tub bleeder that day and I ended up in the hot tub with Cathy Heller who has the podcast, Don't Keep Your Day Job and we just start chatting.

Elisha: I didn't know her, I didn't know her podcast at the time, but she's like, Oh, I've never been to Portland. I'm going there for a conference in a couple of weeks and she tells me about World Domination Summit again. I still don't actually know who she is or what she does. I just think that this conference she's telling me about sounds amazing and I need to be there. So on the way home, the next day we're driving down and I look up this conference and it's not cheap, but it's not the most expensive. It was the most expensive conference to me at the time. I look at my husband and I'm like, you know, we're getting our taxes back. Do you mind? And he's like, do it. I signed up for it. It was what happened next though. I said, okay, if I'm going to go there, I don't want to be one of those people who just arrived at this conference and says, oh, when I do this then I'll execute. You know why? So I'm like, I'm going to start a podcast before I get there. So I didn't have a couple of episodes done and that really started my non-existence

Michelle: At the time. Non-existent.

Elisha: Non-existent. The awesome thing about that is I just had this intention of doing the podcast and speaking that when I looked over to offerings for the conference, you know, because there's some meetups and then there's the Ted style over the weekend and then there are academies, which is what you were doing, where they have people and you pay some small fee to go to this extra session and yours was, you know, speak. So it matters. I don't know if that was what it was called, I think it was though. And I knew right away, Oh yeah, done. It was the only account from you. It's the only class I took was yours. Oh, who is that? And I'm a real naysayer about conferences and meetings and classes. I don't know why I'm definitely getting better, but no, it was not something that I did when I met you.

Elisha: So I mean quite honestly, I probably arrived in there and was a little bit skeptical even and, but you know how you are and this is, you're one of my favorite people. You'll stand in so much conviction of your message and that's what you share with people and teach people is the standing conviction of their message that people take notice. They have no choice but to take notice because you stand from that rooftop and you tell them and we went through the exercises and I just started to feel something. I'm like, this is amazing. I feel like she is extracting from my brain what I want to share with other people. I went up to you at the end of the class and I said, I just want you to see my face and know who I am. My name is Elisha Alcantara because we're going to work together one day. I don't know when or how, but we're going to work together. Then,  I ended up on your list and I think it was about five or six months later, I said yes to myself again and signed up for your private, not private, but semi-private coaching, the small group coaching. And it was the best thing I ever did.

Michelle: I love that story on so many levels. I mean I love it because you and I met and we have such a great connection and I love the work that you're doing. What I also love, especially as people get to hear more and more of your story, which we're going to get to, but it all happened so fast, right? And you were just following these hits. I should go to this conference and then yes, I'm going to the conference. Well, I'm not going to go to the conference, not having done anything. So I'll start a podcast and you started a podcast and each time a hit came along, you followed it. Is that something you always do or was this just this like a new thing in your life?

Elisha: It was so fast. It is something that I always do. I will say that through owning businesses and being an entrepreneur, I have learned to refine and hone that in a little bit more as of the last year. But yes, I'm a jumper. This is what I do. You have an idea and you go for it. And when I have an idea, I know step one sometimes I barely know step one and as you're in step one you're like, Oh there’s step two and you just follow that trail.

Michelle: Yeah. So let's go back a little bit, because I know I would be wondering this if I were listening, you're on this road trip with your family, but you also are out there in the world working and building companies and all of that. So talk a little bit about your background that got you up to that day on that drive.

Elisha: I have been doing residential real estate for the last five and a half years now and I had, well kind of much like this, I'm doing this speaking, I had an idea that I was going to go into real estate. I had two small children at home. I told my husband I was going to do it part time, maybe do like five or six transactions a year just to help friends. Every time I said that he would roll his eyes because he's like I know you and I know people are going to want to work with you. Of course, he was 100% right. I did like quadruple in my first year that I thought I was going to do. Then I ended up owning an office my second year and growing that. I had tremendous growth and year two and three where I had 40 something brokers underneath me and a huge team.

Elisha: Then I started a construction business. I never had the idea I was going to be in construction, ever. It was the next natural step because we were doing a lot of investment real estate and buying foreclosures and doing rehabs. I started this construction business and that was just incredible. The amount of work I was able to get there. I grew a big team there and it was all okay. But again, I was learning as I was going and it was through all of that that I really got this idea that our personal wellbeing and our deep connection or lack of connection in ourselves is so closely tied to the work that we do in the world or especially for entrepreneurs, the businesses we set up and how we run them. I was not in alignment and so that started it for me, you know, my businesses, but I had no idea that it was happening and I had no clue how it was going to hit me or how hard it was going to be.

Michelle: Mmm. Ooh, that's kind of one of those mystery building statements, right. Set up for what was to happen next. So say more about that. You, so you're going along and you've built all these amazing things. You also built a nonprofit somewhere in there as well, right? You started an anomaly

Elisha: That came towards the end of the first building phase before the rebuild. Yeah. I started at the Encompass Life Foundation. I grew up with some housing instability. My mom was a single mom raising kids. She had some mental health issues and there were multiple times that we ended up homeless or we had the four of us in a one bedroom house, but we didn't have a lot of food. So people would come in and they would, you know, they were like angels for us. They would take my brothers and give us food or they would bring food to our home. Some times we were living out of my mom's office space or separated and living with other people and the adults that came into my life that were really the first mentors to me have always stuck with me. It's been so meaningful because I would not be where I am today if it wasn't for those people on paper.

Elisha: I shouldn't be where I am today. And once I started building these businesses and I had money and resources and connections, I knew that it was time to do something to give back, but in a way that resonated with me. So not just folding into somebody else's nonprofit, but to set something up so that it could closely resemble me and what I wanted to do and I wanted to help people. So we started the Encompass Life Foundation and now every year we go very deep, not wide. So we only help like two to four families per year, but we make sure those families are set up top to bottom, that someone has given them the opportunity, even if they have an unstable background with a rental history or foreclosure or job status. A lot of people have vouchers, but no one wants to take a chance on them. So we use our resources and connections to get them placed into housing. We furnish it for them and then we set them up so that they're able to not worry about how they're going to provide for their kids for the night. And they're able to go out into the world and engage from a place where they feel whole and start creating their own legacy. Oh, that's just so that's what we can do there. Yeah. Really, really great. So all of that was happening.

Michelle: Yeah. So I know a lot has changed in your business, but that's still there. Right. So let's talk about, I would love to hear you set us up for the, and then everything changed. So what has changed in the last year? What did you learn and then what has changed in your business and your messaging as a result?

Elisha: Well, it's been about the last two years. When I went into starting my businesses, I was really, I feel like idealistic. I'm a questioner by nature. I don't know. Have you ever read, what is it, the four tendencies, The Fight Tendencies by Gretchen Ruben? Yep. So good. I'm a questioner actually. I'm a little bit of all of them, but I lead with the a questioner. So when things don't make sense, I've got to do it my own way. Hence that's why I had like five businesses because I'm like, that doesn't make sense. I could do it better. When I started the businesses, I'm like, okay, if I just bring these people in and pay them more money and support them and be their cheerleader and giving them unconditional, unwavering support and love, then we're going to be unstoppable together. That's not really how it works.

Elisha: Sounds great though. It sounds amazing. Of course. I can't imagine how people were flocking to me. They were like, yes I want in on that. I need no experience in this girl's just going to love me and support me and pay me more than anybody. Yes. I do not see it that way. Seeing and thinking it right now, I can see how it sounds a little bit ridiculous from a business stance, but this is what I did. And so there was a point where I'm surrounded by all of these people. I think I have over half million dollars in payroll and this is your one and a half year, two of businesses and they're not the right people. I felt like I built this really great business and at the same time I built this prison around myself and my life. I wasn't happy, I didn't have any joy, the same people that I thought I was providing so much for ended up being takers.

Elisha: I don't know if you've ever listened to that. I think it's a Ted talk where the guy talks about givers, takers and matchers and it's so on point. There's no room in a business or in any kind of like positive culture for takers. It needs to be mostly in my opinion, givers and you can have a couple of matchers cause if they're with givers, they become matchers. But there's no room for taker and I had set up this space where I didn't realize I had takers, but by nature of me just showing up for people and giving, giving, giving. That is what I created. And I didn't know it until it was almost too late where I found myself drinking a lot before I was not home a lot because I was working and then that morphed into working till about nine or 10 o'clock at night and then basically turning my office into a bar or going to the bar and not being with my family and trying to escape.

Elisha: I wanted to escape everything. For me, doing that and going out and drinking, I didn't have to be somebody's wife or somebody's mom or somebody's boss. No one knew me and no one wanted anything from me, and that is what almost completely took me out where there was no resemblance of who I was. I was just this soulless, joyless person and I am like one of the happiest, most optimistic people there are, and at first I thought, Oh, I'm just going through a rough patch. This is going to pass. I'll hang on for a few days and it'll all move forward. Then it was a few weeks. Then it turned into months and then it got to the point where I was like, what is going on? What is this? I likened it to wildfire because all these people start showing themselves for who they were.

Elisha: Then I'm looking at myself thinking, how did I get here? How did I end up like this? I had to take a real deep and hard look at my life, what was in it, who I'd become and what I really wanted. And I knew it was going to be a really hard and painful process to show up and say not what I want and show up and start to discipline people by letting them go or closing businesses down or changing relationships. It was incredibly painful and hard. I can tell you that a year and a half later on the other side, it was the most meaningful and most worth it instead of actions I ever could have taken.

Michelle: Well, I mean, seeing your message over here on this other side and the clarity of it and the conviction, you know, I can see that too. Thinking about what it must have been like in it or in the beginning of it and you know, just imagining the scenario you'd created in many ways what you had always dreamed of. What many people dream of, right? A very successful business. You are a mover and a shaker, you know, and you were someone that everyone wanted to be around and this is supposed to feel great, right? This is supposed to be arrival, but instead it was so bad that all you wanted to do was get away from it. Just numb out, you know, and just not be around anyone and hide,

Elisha: Truly not be about anybody. Even myself, I did create what I had always wanted, but what I didn't realize is it, when is it just business? I was approaching the business from a perspective of somebody who was also seeking unconditional love. I thought by showing up for other people with this unconditional love,  I had found that magic mix of what it took to, create something successful, but my blind spot was the lack of unconditional love from really my parents and my mom and I had been a strange that mother relationship and it all actually culminated when I got into mentor. What was it mentor because I paid her, it was a business coaching relationship. It was the first time I've ever done that cause it was the first time I had money to pay for something like that and it was quite expensive.

Elisha: However, she is brilliant and I felt like she was like a mom to me and she acted like a mom to me. The thing is that she saw my blind spot and she was able to hone in on that. It ended up being an inappropriate relationship where she made a lot of money off of me. And it was somewhere in that I was like, wow, you actually are just like my mom. The really negative parts of my mom, but I didn't see that and I wanted her to love and affection and there's someone to be there and support me and tell me how amazing I was and how smart it was so badly that I missed it. Then I looked around at the three closest people to me at that time and they all had snuck in on the same blind spot.

Elisha: They were all people who were very much like my mom and I was giving, giving, giving, and they were taking, taking, taking. There was just my brain. I couldn't believe it. That's when I had that shift in my messaging and knew what I really wanted to take a stand for. Now I'm able to go into anything that I do with a perspective of being whole and not having that blind spot and having confidence and sharing that with people. And that's, you know, part of my messaging is that no matter what, what were secretly feeling or going through, we can live a happier, calmer, more confident life. If we get real with ourselves, which I've broken down to recognize it, embrace it, align it and live it. I just kept applying that to everything in my life and now I'm on the slow track to rebuilding things in a way more meaningful way. I just can't care about what anybody else thinks. I have to care about what I think and today have enough confidence to only need that.

Michelle: Yeah. I love, oh, you know, I love real and I love how much it has so clearly risen up from your experience. That's really where the greatest conviction and the clearest, most powerful messages come from when we're willing. First of all, we have these moments of insight that you don't even know exactly how they come. You can't really make them happen, but it's that moment when all of a sudden you see something you weren't seeing before. You were like, wait a minute, I'm replicating something from my childhood. Oh my gosh, there's four people in my life who I'm replicating it, and then your ability to get enough distance to look at it and put some words around it. That's when beautiful messaging starts to rise up. And I think your messaging is such a clear example of that.

Michelle: If I could ask you, because I would love to just hear how it comes out of you differently. You know the rooftop message process, right? You're in a town, the streets are full of people. They're all struggling with the thing you know that you can help them with. You try to help them. They can't hear you. You look off to the right, you see a ladder against a building, climb the ladder and you're on the edge of the rooftop. What would you want to shout to them to say, listen to me, beautiful people.

Elisha: I would say that any answers they're seeking, any troubles they're having, any questions they have, it all ties back to something within them. They have it all inside of them. It's about getting that broader perspective to get really real and vulnerable with yourself to sit and find the answers. People are not triggering us. People are not doing things to us when that stuff happens. It's something that's inside of us that we need to align everything. We can have everything we want. Once we understand that we make those connections inside of ourselves first.

Michelle: Clearly this message has resonated not just with me and I mean I know because you've been on this fast track. Almost immediately you started getting speaking gigs that many people go years building a platform to get. So people who are listening to this conversation right now are wondering how do I get on my dream stages? You were on a version of a dream stage as one of your first stages. So can you talk about how you have gotten these great opportunities? Tell us a little bit about that first one I'm talking about. And then the other ones you just did these last couple of weeks.

Elisha: Yeah, the timing and working with you. It was just at the right time. You were part of watching some of this stuff implode in real time and some of my realizations and being able to just be connected with you and honing in on that message and really being able to sit back and look for that clarity. It was your prompts that helped me move forward in a lot of what I'm doing and then I think it just takes on a life of its own. Really the first one, if we're talking about the same one, I mean I asked for it, is that the one word the liner was, yes, Todd got on how you asked for it? I got to feel the same stage with Lori Harder.  It's unbelievable. One of my friends is a speaker and an author and she hosts this annual Women's Empowerment dinner and I don't even know why.

Elisha: I spoke the first year and I'm not sure why it didn't enter my mind, but then I was so connected with you and what you were doing and I went to Ben because you were coaching someone who was doing a TEDx talk and it was while I was in bed. Being in that environment you feel that energy, it's so cool. You're like, I want to do this. I can do this. Me, me, me, me and it just seems so clear, you know? For me that it's bizarre because that would have been so clear anyway. But I think when there's that thing that you really want and you're a little bit scared because you want it so badly. In fact, I believe you and I talked about that that weekend that you're like, you let some of this go.

Elisha: Because when you want something so badly that can hold us back. And I never really listen. I trust you and I respect you. So I really listen when you give me this advice. It was through being okay, it's fine. It's all going to be okay. I'm like, wait, go message Sarah and my friend Sarah and Trella and ask if you could be on her stage. What's the worst that happened? She says, no. Okay. I mean fine. I sent her a text message, Hey, I'd love to be able to talk however I can bring value and contribute to your event. I'd love to do it. I'm sure for her here she has this amazing woman, Laurie Harder coming on. She wanted to make sure she had a really solid lineup and I appreciate Sarah give her so much credit because she was thoughtful about it and she had a theme and she's like, here's the theme and if you can talk on this.

Elisha: Yeah, sure. And it was, she wants to know about my five biggest achievements, I believe it was in business or the five biggest things that I had learned in business. So I basically crafted a talk about my five biggest failures in business and how, how that connected to my life and how those life lessons were sending me into this different direction. That just felt so much more true, aligned and whole. So that was the first step. And when I was there, cause this is, you know, this is how it happens. And for the people who like worry about speaking for free or not speaking for free. Oh my gosh, I, I for me I would say speak cause that's what I did. So I went there and someone in the audience that I know was like, Hey, I'm doing an event next month. It's with Patty Aubrey.

Elisha: For those of you who don't know, Patty Aubrey is like the CEO of Jack Canfield's company and she's the one who helped get Chicken Soup for the Soul to where it is. She has 14 Chicken Soup for the Soul, best sellers out. Patty Aubrey was doing an event in Oregon called permission granted. So the next month I was able to go to permission granted and speak while I'm there doing that event. As a six woman lineup and as I'm listening to these women, there was one particular person who stood out to me because I had been dreaming of my cohost, a cohost that I knew would bring the best out of me and give the sound to my podcast that I desperately wanted. I want it to be kind of dark and twisty and funny and very, very real. So there's this woman that speaking and I just sat there and I'm like, who is she?

Elisha: I must know her and at the end of the event she walks up to me, Shannon Beekman and she says, hi, can we be friends? And I'm like, no way. I was going to come up to you afterwards and say we need to be friends and not to get like real weird, real fast. I think you're my next podcast cohost and literally we met for coffee. Later that week, I recorded our first episode and the rest is history. Love her to death. She's exactly who I was dreaming of. So from there it's so cool. Shannon owns a chain of waxing salons in town. She's introduced me to some other cool women. This lady named Carolyn owns these really great boutique gyms. They just did an event, had me as a speaker. One of the other panelists needed a nonprofit to donate some funds to cause our local Lulu Lemon is working with her and her partner to throw an event and they donate like X amount of dollars every year.

Elisha: She looked up all the panelists. I happen to be one of them and saw that I had a nonprofit that resonated with her and we actually got an award at $7,500 for the nonprofit because of that event. All of my free speaking events have not actually been free. Then I got invited to speak, it's called Woman Up and it was over 300 women and real estate, a panel of 70 women or not a panel, but there were 70 women speakers over two days and I just flew out to San Diego to do that. So it's blowing my mind.

Michelle: It's just mind blowing and for everyone who's listening, one of the biggest questions that I get as a speaking coach is how do I get speaking gigs? How do I even get on these stages? Even free ones and then they're everywhere. They are everywhere. But you do have to be out there. You have to text your friend who knows someone who has a stage or your friend who has a stage in your case. You also, you know that your podcast, let's make sure everybody knows the name of your podcast because they definitely want to listen. It is both hilarious and so touching at different moments. I love it. Tell them about it.

Elisha: Yes, my PSA is, we swear a lot. If it's in the car, great. If not, this is your warning. So it's called Real Talk, Real Change. And you can find us wherever you like to listen to podcasts. It's Shannon and I come with all the real stuff in life. And our whole purpose is so that you don't feel alone because we know everybody, every one of us is struggling with something and a lot of us are not sharing it with other people. Maybe our partner knows, but our friends don't know that we're struggling with our partner because that's not something we talk about. Or maybe you're estranged from a parent or maybe you're fighting with your partner or maybe you feel like less than other people. We talk about it all and yeah, we swear a lot. We have a lot of humor and it's just a great time.

Michelle: Yeah, it is. I love listening to you both and one of the things I love about following you and all the different things you do, your podcast, all your social media posts, is that you're really generous and you are very real time in sharing your life experiences and the learnings. It doesn't feel like you're trying to whitewash or Pollyanna eyes, you know, difficult experiences. You're willing to talk about them, but there's always this glimmer of light and I think it allows us to stay with it, to be present with the difficult message even because you're always showing how there's light at the end of it or as part of it.

Elisha: That is something I'm so grateful and fortunate to have is the ability to find the silver lining. I think a lot of that is just from having such a rough upbringing and it is so meaningful to me when people will private message me because they've connected with something. It's not a fake positivity. It's truly how I live. If there's something that I haven't quite fully processed or I don't know what the other side looks like, I will just sit and get quiet because I know there's another side. I know there's a positive outcome that seems to survive and thrive isn't there for no reason. Typically some of our best moments are on the other side of the struggle and I embody that. I know when I'm in the struggle, I'm looking for that magical moment on the other side, cause it's always there.

Michelle: Oh, I love it. Well, if there's anyone who was made for this and I believe those of us who are, we know it, it's you, my friend. It's just such an honor and a gift to watch you serve and the way that you do with your message. I want other people to be able to find you. Follow you. Where can they learn about you, your nonprofit or whatever else you want us to look up, beause I know people are going to be looking you up.

Elisha: Oh gosh. I'm in the middle of setting up my website and, but for right now on Instagram, Elisha Alcantara, Facebook, Elisha Alcantara or also on Instagram, Real talk, Real change podcast. At some point I'll have my website set up. I made the deposit. Yay. I'd be so much.

Michelle: Yeah. It's been really, really fun. And we'll make sure all those links go in the show notes. So it's easy for people to find you. But yeah, this has been such a pleasure as I knew that it would. And I'm so excited that I get to share this. You're awesome. Thank you. You're awesome. Thank you. See what I mean? Wasn't that so cool? Elisha is so real little play on words there. Did you get that? You know her whole message is about being real and raw and I love how she took the word real and turned it into this recipe for living your most authentic life. So I hope you found some beautiful inspiration in Elisha's story. You definitely want to follow her on social media because she really has given you real time learnings as she goes and she's out there doing kinds of cool things and you'll also find in the show notes here ways that you can learn more about her nonprofit and see what's going on and when she actually does share her website for her speaking.

Michelle: We'll be sure to add that to the show notes. In the meantime, I hope this conversation has lit that little fire in you. The kind of thing that Elisha was talking about, that little bit of inspiration that when you follow that nudge and you try the next thing, you send the text to your friend, you reach out to someone who you think might know someone, where you could speak on their stage or be on a panel or beyond their podcast, because that is really how it works. I know that you're meant to be out there sharing this message because you were made for this. You know how I know that, right? Because you know it. Now, get out there. I can't wait to be here with you next week. See you soon. Thanks so much for being here with me on The Thought Leadership School Podcast. If you want specific and actionable guidance on how to become a recognized leader in your industry, you can download a free copy of my book Beyond Applause: Make a Meaningful Difference Through Transformational Speaking at speaksoitmatters.com/freebook


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