Ep #57: Kick Ass Thought Leadership with Andrea Owen

by | Podcast

I often tell clients that you don't have to be left crying on the bathroom floor at your moment of insight toward transformation for your story to be captivating and powerful for your audience. Yet sometimes, crying on the floor at that deepest low point IS how the story goes. That's how it went for Andrea Owen, this week's fabulous podcast guest. Andrea Owen is living testament to our amazing human capacity to learn from our struggles and create a life we never imagined possible! Even better, Andrea spends the vast majority of her time making sure other women know that they can create what they want in their life, too.

Andrea Owen is an inspirational writer, speaker, mentor and life coach. She got into life coaching when it was still unknown and has become a recognized leader in the self-help and coaching world for sure. She empowers women to take control of their lives and break out of isolationism and reclaim the power to do what they want. She has successfully recorded and released over 300 episodes of her podcast and written two amazing books (with another on the way).

Andrea and I have a great conversation about her amazing life story of overcoming adversity in her personal life to create professional success. We talk about her start into life coaching and her journey with growing her business into a speaking and writing career, all while running a podcast. We also discuss how she has built a career while being a mother and advocate for other women.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How to own your power and overcome adversity in your life.
  • Ways to make yourself magnetic for publishers and event organizers so you can get the book deals and gigs you dream of.
  • Andrea's personal publishing experience and how she built a successful speaking career around it.
  • What it takes to revolutionize the way you believe in yourself.
  • How to build your brand and rethink the way to approach your self-image.
  • Why you should invest in yourself – because you are meant to live a KICK-ASS life!

Listen to the Full Episode:


Featured on the Show:



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.

Hello. My thought leader friends, we just got back from Spain. Oh my gosh. The trip was awesome in so many ways. I think my favorite things were the Parc de la quit today. Am I saying that right? So beautiful. And it was actually right across the street from where we were staying in Barcelona. So I love just walking through that park. It felt so leisurely and it was beautiful. And then we went to the Picasso Museum, which was very cool. And I have to admit, I also got a very large number of oat milk lattes at the juice dudes, which was this cool little juice spot around the corner from where we were. We have a lot of vegans, we have a couple of vegans in our family. We have gluten free. So finding food in Spain for all of our, our family guidelines was a little tricky. I'm not saying it can't be found in Spain.

It absolutely can, but because we didn't live there, you know how it's hard to find those little places in the, in the nooks and crannies where you can get the stuff that meets your needs. So we just went to do students a lot and it was very convenient and again, amazing out milk lattes, which always delights me. One thing I noticed is that coffees are a lot smaller in Spain. So we started in Barcelona, then we went to Valencia. We did a lot of cool stuff there, mostly at the city of arts and sciences. And then I just hung out on the terrace, this amazing terrace at our place in Valencia. I'm not the best international traveler and I have to say that international travel adventures with a family. We went with my mother-in-law and our daughters are no joke. I mean there's just so much to know.

So I feel like I've been schooled on how important it is to prepare well for this kind of a trip. But it was really, I mean, Spain is beautiful and I can't wait to go back there again and know all the things that I now know about what I should have researched and done ahead of time. Anyway, speaking of adventures, I love the conversation, the conversational adventure that I get to invite you into this week. Andrea Owen is a life coach and author, a hell raiser. She's passionate about empowering women to value themselves and fiercely love who they are. She's an author, mentor, and professional certified life coach. And she's a speaker, a really nicely paid speaker. So I'm excited for you to get to hear about her journey into thought leadership. Andrea helps high achieving women let go of perfectionism, control and isolation and courage and confidence instead.

And she's worked with thousands of women on their inner critic and really helped them create loving connections and live their most kickass lives. So you're going to find her everywhere under kickass life. So on Instagram, on Facebook, if you put in your kickass life, you're gonna find Andrea Owen. She is an awesome author. She's the proud author of how to stop feeling like Shit, 14 habits that are holding you back from happiness. And then before that she wrote 52 ways to live a kick ass life. B S for you, wisdom to ignite your inner badass and live the life you deserve. Both super fun, super practical applicable books to read. She's a Mama, she loves to work out and she's Super Fun to follow on social again at your kickass life pretty much everywhere. So there's my little intro to this. Exciting. This conversation was so fun for me.

Andrea and I have known each other for a number of years. We have each coach each other many years back and stayed connected and really she's just such a delight to be around and I'm especially excited for you to get to hear how she thinks about speaking. Opportunity is a book. Opportunities, how her opportunities to publish the traditional route came about. So many things that I know that you're wondering. So let me stop telling you about her and let's just hear from her directly. Hey Andrea, I am so happy to have you here. And to get to have this conversation with you. Thank you so much.

Oh Michelle, I'm so delighted to be here. Any excuse to talk to you. Amen.

So I have loved watching your journey over. I think we established that it was the last seven or eight years or something like that from 20 2011 or 2012 it's been so fascinating to watch you. I mean, you were already doing cool things back then. And just to watch the evolution of the clarity of your stand, I feel like you've, you've kind of always been in the same realm for sure, but then also just the way you've stepped into thought leadership so powerfully. So really I think that the best conversation that we can have and share is how you've done that. So can you just talk to me about how you landed on your message? Well, first of all, let's give them the background. Let's give everyone in the background

quick and dirty background. Yeah,

exactly. Like tell us what you do and you know, what is your message and who you take a stand for.

Yeah. Well, I'll kind of go backwards. So I took a stand for women and women owning their power and stepping into their power. And, and you know, we live in interesting times right now culturally, politically, socially. And so that's evolving and changing as well. And the way that I kind of quote unquote stumbled upon this is I had always been interested in personal development, even back in my twenties and sort of dabbled in it a little bit. And then my life fell apart when I was about, it was, you know, mid two thousands and my husband at the time, you know, we'd been together for a very long time. We were talking about conceiving our first child. He had an affair with our neighbor and got her pregnant. We divorced. I ended up in a relationship quickly after that where it was essentially a con man who conned me out of a bunch of money, left me pregnant.

He was an addict who lied about having cancer. It was drama for me for a, for a few years, you know, just a couple of years actually. And I had that moment like in the fetal position on the ground. Yeah. Thinking like, how did I get here? It was also right around the time, it was my early thirties all my friends were getting married and having babies and just starting that part of their life. And I felt just like the biggest loser and just so ashamed of where I had gotten. But it was really the catalyst for me to jump in with both feet into my own personal development journey. And then I thought, I know I'll be a life coach, which all of my friends and family were like, uh, you're gonna do a what, what is a lot going, what their profession was. And we're so scared for me to go into this particular helping profession. And the truth of it was, is I needed a lot of help myself, which I got thankfully. And I had no idea that even just signing up for the coaches training institute, which is my Alma Mater, that it would completely change my life personally, not just professionally. And that was back in 2007 and so since then I've had a couple babies. I've got remarried and you know, opposite order and, and built and built a business.

Yeah. And so it all started as it often does, right. I mean I just love these stories of transformation, which you don't, you know, you don't know they're happening when they're happening. You just know that everything is a shit show or horrible or feels so devastating and like it's never going to be any different. And then here you are. It's like, can you imagine if you showed this picture to yourself and your family back?

Oh my God, no. You know it's, it's funny cause I think about that, you know, every time something big and magnificent happens in my life, I'm like, oh my God, the 2006 version of me. Like what would I have thought? And I would have been shocked but not surprised if that makes any sense. Like, because I've always known that I had this spirit that is just alive and dynamic and magnetic, like people, you know, it's funny, I ended up talking to someone, this Guy I knew from high school whom I hadn't talked to in 25 years and he goes, you know, I always remember you as being so much fun. Not in a sense like I was, you know, giving blow jobs to everybody, but no, not necessarily that like that's another kind of fun. Yeah. But just, I've always been like this and so that former part of me would not have been like, oh, well that's weird. I've always in some some sense known that I was destined for something big. I just didn't know what it was. And I also always put all my eggs in somebody else's basket, which that had change in order for me to get here.

Um, I mean, I love this window into that little glimmer that you're talking about. It reminds me of that whole, you know, we can't compare our insides to everybody's outsides. I think of that because I think of that guy from 25 years ago saying that to you and imagining that it probably didn't all look as horrible on the outside as it felt on the inside for you.

Yeah, and I think that I did. I've always been outwardly happy and a lot of the struggle that I had was unconscious, but it manifested in very specific ways. So it manifested as I was very quick to anger and lash out at people that I really cared about. I didn't know how to communicate very well. I was also highly a perfectionist and had codependency issues. And so it was I'm, which is like, I think I just described like every woman in her twenties right?

In various forms. I think so, yeah. Okay. So this, your story of transformation starts with you literally on the floor. I often talk about, you know, story transformation is something I talk about a lot because it's at the heart of so much of the thought leadership for the people that I get to work with. And I often will say, you don't have to be on the bathroom floor crying your eyes out in order for your story to matter. It just so happens you actually were on the floor

sideways and it wasn't in the bathroom. It was actually in my bedroom. Yeah. Um, but yeah, I absolutely was.

So talk about if you would the then what, right. So you're on the floor and then what did you do next that started you toward this and did you see this path coming?

No, I mean it was everything I could do to just put one foot in front of the other and that truly was my rock bottom. And it's interesting. I'm a journal saver. I know not everybody is and I don't save a whole lot of things. It's interesting to me that I've decided to do this, but I look back at my journal entries then and you can watch my progression of what's happening in my head and in my soul. Really. It's when I start to really listen to the therapists and counselors that are giving me just as sage advice about saying the basics, like the only person you can control is you. Yeah. His behavior has nothing to do with you and everything to do with him. So I'm, I'm writing these things in my journal and I am, I'm declaring them like they're finally sinking in and I'm understanding not just that as a platitude, but what it actually looks like on the ground level in my life, which I think is what needs to happen for people.

And I'm sort of like, you can sort of see how my head is turning towards a different direction and I'm walking for the sake of sounding really dramatic. I'm walking towards the light, my own light. And the way that I describe it is I took radical responsibility for my life, for my happiness, for my achievements, for my every day slogging through life as sometimes it feels like. Yeah. And that's what I had to do. And no one can do that for us except ourselves. And, and you're right, it does not have to mean that you get to the bottom of the floor and then you go up from there. You can have that realization wherever you are in life. But I do feel like it's an important one for people to get to. Whether or not they go into this business or not.

Yeah, yeah, totally agree. So, okay, so you then at some point on this journey as you're slogging through life, but you got up off the floor or did you decide you're going to be a life coach? And that's really when this journey I've really helping other people. And was it other people like you?

I just, I remember being on the Internet in like around 2002 2003 and Steve Mitten who, funny enough, he's a master certified coach with the coaches training institute. He was the first life coach that I found on the Internet where I was reading what it was. Yeah. And I was like, oh my God, this is, cause I had considered being a therapist, but I, I felt like I was too enthusiastic to be, I'm like, I know like just hearing people's family of origin and I also at the time didn't even know how to be compassionate with people at all. I would've just been like, pick yourself up off the ground. Come on personal, let's go. I'm like, no, I don't, I don't see myself as, as the, uh, the empathetic therapist. So life coaching felt like a perfect fit for me personality wise. I wasn't exactly sure what it was, like what people did. And so hence signing up for training. But I just wanted to, to be honest with you, Michelle, I wanted a career where I could help other people because I felt like I was doing something and I wasn't totally at that point ready to look at all of my own stuff. So like if I could help people change their own lives, it's going to touch something within me and make me feel valuable.

Yeah, that's so interesting. And it really is kind of an interplay, I think for so many of us who do this kind of work of helping others transform. We're all, I mean, at least this is my experience. I'm always transforming in my own way, in my own world, right along with them around something. You don't even know how that interplay is going to happen thousand percent. Yeah. It's so fascinating. Okay, so you start working with women, was it, has it been women all along?

It has. I had some really weird, creepy experiences with men kind of just not trusting them. It's, it's a long story for another day, but just, I've never really been the person who can have a platonic relationship with a man. I don't know. Maybe it's because I was a love addict for so long. Who knows if there's a connection there, but I just am like, you know what? There's way enough women in the world for me to work with. I'm just going to stick with women. And that's really how it evolved.

Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense. Okay. So you start working, you're, you're doing life coaching and it just, can you just tell like what happened as you, as you started to build your business and because so many people who are listening are in coaching and wellness and really related areas and are sort of trying to figure out their own path around building a successful business. And you know, it can because you work with other coaches too, right? A little bit. Not as often as I used to, but yes, yes. That it can go lots of different directions and there's all these different options. So how did you find your way to a place where you have now a full coaching practice? Is that correct? Yeah.

If I had started in 2016 I might be telling a different story than if I had started when I did in 2007 I think the landscape has changed a lot and that's, and I'm not saying that it's a bad thing, I think that yes, the industry has gotten more saturated. The advantage to that is that people now know what life coaching is and they, it's not this weird, strange thing that they've never heard of. And the other thing is, is that there's a lot more resources out there. I mean, when I first started, like Marie Forleo and Danielle Laporte were like, that was it. Yeah. Yes. And they were only like a couple of years ahead of us. So that's the two we followed at the time. And Yeah, and I think that what I did also, which was helpful, was a little bit of ignorance is bliss. Like I just am like, I'm just going to put things out there and they're gonna show up.

So I had to learn. I was, I was never that entrepreneurial kid. I hated selling girl scouts. So, you know, I went to college for Exercise Physiology, which is like not helping me now I can tell you how the Krebs cycle works would edit. So I had to learn how to do things like marketing. And also Internet businesses at the time were very new, having a business just on the Internet. So I had to learn how to do marketing and content creation and things like that. I had to learn how to have a sales conversation with someone instead of just putting it up on the website and praying that they'll come. That doesn't work. And so luckily I think for me too, I am a bit of an extrovert and so I, I love talking to people and it was sort of the birth of Facebook back then.

And so I was friending people and just talking about what I did. And I also picked I think a brand name that is a bit of a novelty and at the same time catchy and people are attracted to it and bought in. So that's really how I did it. And just learning along the way. I didn't walk into, this is what I'm trying to say. Knowing how to run an online business, I have had to learn along the way, made a lot of mistakes, still continue to do so. And you know, it wasn't really, I think things really took off when I decided to write my first book. It was right after I got sober in 2011 and I just sat up one morning and was like, I think I'm going to do this thing that I've been thinking about since I was 11 and I didn't know what it was going to be about. I just knew that I wanted to do it. And so I'll pause because we can probably go in like several different directions from there.

I think we should go right there. So yeah, I love that. So you set up that morning and you're like, okay, I think I'm gonna live into this dream that I've had since I was 11 years old. What did you do next and how did you eventually get that awesome book published?

The next thing I did was then decided that I couldn't do it because I, because in reality, you know, and then our inner critic comes in and as like were you to write this book and you don't even know what it would be about. And I also had been blogging for about four years at that point and knew that I didn't really want, you know, all this self help books that well and they shouldn't say that. Most of the self help books at that point that I had read were clinical and they had long chapters, you know, like 10,000 words each. And I'm like, man I don't, I don't think I can do that. I don't have enough to say about one topic. I have a lot to say about a lot of different topics, but that's coaching on it as we do. And the coach challenged me on that and she says, who says you can't write a book that has, I think she said something like 75 chapters and each one is like 500 words. I was like really mind blown and [inaudible]. So I had examples of that. One of my favorite personal development books was don't sweat the small stuff by the late Richard Carlson and that's what it is. It's like a hundred chapters or something like that. I don't remember. It's across the room in my bookshelf right now, but it was looking for evidence of that I can do it versus I can't.

Yeah. Yes. And so the result of that was, you know, say the name of your book because I think it'll show how you

well, is 52 ways to live a kickass life?

Yes. So it's 52 cha, is it 52 chapters or are there additional ones? I can't remember.

There's like an introduction. I think so, yeah. But it's 52 chapters.

Yes. Do you know I was at Barnes and noble two days ago because it's freaking hot here and we don't have ac over here in California anyway. So I was at Barnes and noble and there I'm looking at the, of course you know self help shelf, there are like six obviously adjust done a brand new order of 52 ways to live a kick ass life. Both of your books were there, but I was like, oh my gosh, it's still in great demand. So I love that. Even though you have a newer one,

I do. And it's, it's longevity that you really want as an offer instead of just a big burst and then no one ever buys it again. So that came out in 2013 and it really was sort of, okay, so I don't teach the law of attraction, I don't even believe all of it. I don't live and breathe it. But that story of how that book came to fruition is a great law of attraction story. If you want to hear it, let's hear it. I had a coach at the time that was super into the law of attraction and one of her assignments to me was to do this specific type of journaling every day. And one of the questions, one of the prompts I should say was, wouldn't it be awesome if, and you fill in the blank? And I wrote down one day, wouldn't it be awesome if a publisher reached out to me and wanted to publish my book, which is almost unheard of, right?

Like it doesn't happen that often. I had started to write some of the chapters and didn't have a title and then I got an email from a woman at, it was like f and w media or something like that. And she said, cause I had been blogging about writing my book. Oh, okay. Oh, because I, I, all of my energy, my creative energy was going into the book. And so I'm like, I don't want to write blog posts because I want to put that creative energy into the book, so I'm going to write about writing in my book. So that's what I did. She found it, zoom out and said, if you don't have a publisher yet, I'd be interested to talk to you. Yeah. I was like, first I thought it was like a scam. Like of course you really get this, this person and they want me to send $10,000 and I forwarded it to a friend of mine who was a published author and she's like, no, they're a legitimate publisher.

So I even have a proposal or anything. And so I quickly did the proposal, got on the phone with them, and then I needed an agent. So I had been researching agents and then I just, one day I typed in who represents Gabrielle Bernstein because those people that don't know, she's an author, she'd been published at least once then. And I knew that I wanted the best of the best. Yeah. I mean sometimes I think about the confidence that I have and I'm like, who does that? I want to harness that 100% of the time, maybe like 10% of the time. So yeah. And I've found Michelle Martin and I reached out to her and I said, hey, you know, here's this, that and the other. And she said yes and took a chance on a brand new author

and that's it. That and then so and so she, I'm sorry, she's the agent, is that right?

She's my agent, Michelle Asia and Mr. John Martin is my agent.

And then so then what Ha, she just says, okay, I'll go shop your book. And then you just keep writing.

Yeah, I mean, I'm sure that it was, I mean I don't, I'm not trying to be disparaging towards myself or self deprecating, but I'm sure that it helped my, cause that I already had a publisher interested. Yes. Right. Yeah. I don't know. She says she would have taken me anyway, I'll take that and put it in my back pocket. And so we had, it was an interesting situation because when that happens, they're not going to leave the offer on the table forever. Yeah. And we were under a time limit and it was also, I can't remember, it was the holidays or the summer or something like that where we were reaching a point where we weren't going to be able, we didn't have a lot of time to shop the book to other publishers. Yeah. So we got a bunch of rejections from other publishers and she said, I think this is probably gonna be your best deal.

Let's take it. So we did. And they were a smaller publisher who have since been bought by Simon and Schuster and it ended up being amazing. And the book came out. And it's, here's the thing with books, you know, not to change gears, but a publisher wants something that is marketable. Yeah. They do. Like at the end of the day, it doesn't matter if you write like Hemingway. Yeah. They want a book that they are pretty sure that they can sell. Yeah. And my brand that I had created was marketable. It was catchy. It was fun and what they wanted. And that's, I think one of the reasons I always like to tell the truth. Yes. You know, had had my, my original URL was live your ideal life, which is fine, but it's very life coachy and it's, it doesn't pack as big of a punch as what I ended up creating.

Yeah. It's so true. I mean, it's just like, you know, understanding your ideal client or ideal audience applies to everything, right. So if you want to write a book, if you want to get a book published by a traditional publisher, you have to understand traditional publishers, what they deeply want, what they're struggling with. It's the same, right. And then approach them or you know, set yourself up so that when they learn about you, however they're going to do that agent or searching around you have that it's obvious that you're the one to at least talk about working with. Yeah. Yeah. It makes so much sense. Okay, so, so you get that first book published and then you said earlier that it was really the publishing of that book that really up leveled everything in your business and in your work overall. What happened after that?

It did. I mean, it definitely put a spotlight on me and grew the audience we know with social media, with my list, with really everything. And that's when I started thinking about speaking. And I think that's when you and I worked together and I kind of, it kind of made sense, you know, as a published author to become a speaker. But my kids were little back then, they were maybe two and four, maybe five and three years old. And you know, my son had just been diagnosed with special needs and it was, it was an easy excuse for me to say no, I can't speak and honest to goodness, it really wasn't a good time. I'm not saying that as as an excuse. It was difficult for me to be gone. Yeah. And so speaking was something I put on the back burner. But definitely the opportunity started to come where they hadn't before.

And I mean this is, I'm so glad you're bringing this up because sometimes I have another client right now who we're having this conversation, this exact conversation. She has kids at home, you know, one of them is really needing a lot of extra time and attention right now as our kids do at various points in their adventures. And she's just like, I know, I know I'm supposed to be out there speaking. She's an amazing speaker and has spoken many, many times on behalf of other missions and she's just like, but I can't right now. And, but that doesn't mean, and I think you are such beautiful testimony to this, that does not mean that we don't step into thought leadership or that we don't serve from a, you know, a broad audience, which is what you did. So what, what did you do instead? You didn't get on stages? I started a podcast. Nice.

Yeah. What happened? It started to, when I was actually writing my first book, and it was sort of by accident because I didn't, again, I couldn't blog anymore. The only thing that I was doing was like writing about writing the book and recording videos. And I just thought, you know what? I still kind of have a lot to say and I want to communicate with my audience. Let me just turn on a microphone. And this was sort of the beginnings of the podcasting era in 2013 and that's what started, and we were talking before the show and I'll tell you what, that podcast has made me a better speaker, if nothing else. You know, I have 300 episodes now. And I listened back to some of my old episodes and I'm like, I hope nobody listens to this, but it's fine. You know, people like to see the trajectory and how people have improved, but that has improved my seat. Speaking really more than anything.

Yeah. Well, and I love that because there's no thinking, no. You know, writing, no, even talking to yourself that will ever get you clearer, more concise. You can't, you have to go out there and publicly say stuff and then let it evolve so that you get better and better at it. It's just the way it works. Absolutely. Completely. Yes, I agree with that. Okay, so you have the podcast, which is what's, tell us the title of your podcast cause everyone's going to listen to my podcast. Yeah. So if you look up your kick ass life, you're gonna find Andrea everywhere. All about your kick ass life costs out or else I need to send out some cease and desist letters. Yeah, exactly. And so you, you, and the podcast you started in 2013 and do you, does it, it comes out every week and weekly. Yeah.

First it wasn't and then I realized, okay, consistency is key here. So I started doing it every week.

Yeah. Yeah. So and it's an awesome podcast so everyone in definitely is going to want to go listen to it. You have amazing guests on there and you're so fun to listen to always. Okay. And now your kids are older and you are doing more speaking. So let's talk about that evolution.

Well I knew, I mean even back then that eventually I wanted this to be, I want to speak in to be part of the model and you know, obviously at the time my kids were little and it was hard and of course I wanted to skip ahead and just, I didn't want to speak for free. That felt like just such a giant waste of time for me. If I hadn't had children, honestly Michelle, like if that would've been my circumstances or if my kids would have been older or grown, I wouldn't have had as much of a problem with it. I would've, I understand that that's where it starts. Like you do lunch and learns, you go speak at the Chamber of commerce and all of those things to get better skilled at speaking and toastmasters and all of those things. And I kind of wanted to skip ahead and I had a, I have a mentor, she's still my mentor and she's much older than I am and never had children.

And she would kind of tease me about it and I just was like, you have such a different life than I do that would work for you. But that does not work for me. And so I am kind of glad that I held steadfast and not speaking for free and just sort of let it evolve naturally. And, and some of that I'll be honest, was out of fear because to think about speaking on, cause it's one thing to turn on your microphone when no one's around except your dog and you can edit. But it's a completely different animal to go speak up on stage where you're there in front of a lot of people and you can't edit out certain audio and they're there in front of you scrolling through their phones or getting up and walking out like all these distractions. And so I, I didn't pursue it really.

And then there was also this other thing that was going on, which I think can be important to mention that I was sabotaging myself unknowingly is my best friend. That was her dream was to speak and she was doing all these other things and not really going after it. And I had told myself, don't be a hog Andrea. Don't be the one who writes books and has this full practice. And then you're going to speak up on stage. And I was afraid of leaving people behind. And I think that for women we can feel like that. Like I don't want to shine too bright and have so much success where my friends feel uncomfortable or my family feels uncomfortable. And it took me a few years to really even notice that that was one of my subconscious thoughts and beliefs that I was having. And I talked to my best friend about it, and of course she was like, what?

Like, how dare you not go out there and speak? No, I want this for you. So it was not something that she was putting on me. It was a story I was making up myself. And then what ended up happening is just people started to reach out and asked me to speak, and, and sometimes they would ask me to speak for free and they wanted me to pay my own way and that were just hell nos for me. But then suddenly it was really after the birth of my second book where I started to get asked to speak and for legitimate money. Yeah. And that's how it evolved. And I didn't have a speaking agent. I didn't even have a speaker's reel. It was all kind of stuff, like I'll get around to it, but I didn't have all of the things, quote unquote, that were supposed to have to be legitimate speakers.

Yes, you had though the foundation that I think everyone needs and it can look a lot of different ways, which is this is what my book's about. Not to plug my book, but you show that you can plug in. That's right. You know, you take a stand for something that matters and it's clear what your stand is and it has been for a long time. Right? So there's just so much clarity around who you serve and how you serve them in the message that you serve them on behalf of you commit to serve through that Stan, which is what you've been doing. And you know, public speaking or thought leadership can look a lot of different ways. So I think it's really cool. And then you go where they gather and serve, which you were doing. So you can do that by going on stages and, and while you know that I'm an advocate for speaking for free, I don't think it's required.

It's obviously not your, a great story that it's not, you know, a lot of people are super called to get on stages. Let yourself get on stages where ever you are of course be discerning and strategic, which is what you were doing too, right? You're like, nope, that's not working for me, but you are still taking a stand. You had this amazing podcast that was growing, you were blogging. So I love this, this example that you're setting, that there are a lot of different ways to do this and still get to that same, which is a position of thought leadership where you serve in a really big and meaningful way.

Yeah, and I had to, and it's a different avenue, but I still had to establish credibility. And so one way to do that is to speak for free. And I think that's great. You get your speaking reel and you get testimonials, all of those things that you actually need because that's credibility. So I just built credibility at a different way with my youtube channel, with my podcast, with testimonials from clients. So people inviting me to come and speak on their stage and pay me. They know what they're getting. It's not cold. You know, it's, it's not a huge risk for them because they figure if this woman can be consistent on a podcast for x number of episodes and you know, can be on video easily, I'm pretty sure she's going to be okay up on stage. You know exactly what I not have known I was going to kill it. But it's just another way of establishing credibility.

So does your youtube channel have, I know it has hit podcast episodes, does it also have video of you, you know, onscreen?

Yeah. I'll go to my youtube channel, everybody, because we're know this summer we're actually, I'm a resurrecting it. That's what I'm calling. So Pinterest and youtube are summer projects for my team where we've hired consultants to come in and, and resurrected and make it be more of a thing. It just for marketing really, I'm not necessarily using it for credibility with speaking. It'll, it'll help, but it's more of a marketing avenue that we've neglected for a long time. But that definitely is a way to establish yourself.

Yeah, exactly. I love that you're zeroing in on what they care about and what they care about is that you're going to kill it on stage, that you're going to delight their audience. So they're looking for ways to have that level of confidence. So hearing you on your podcast and you know, hearing your confidence that you're dynamic, that you know what you're talking about, you know that you can handle yourself in tricky situations, which I know happens in podcast interviews for example, where you're like, oh, I didn't know we were going to go that way. You know? And you have to handle things on your feet and all of that. Yes. Where are you now in this? I love that we're doing this like a timeline, kind of like what is the current focus for Andrea Owen and your kickass life?

So the current focus is, I'm writing my third book. I shouldn't say I'm writing it. I'm like literally this week I'm finishing up the outline. Slash. Proposal. My agents, I have two of them. They're a married couple. When I say agent, like what? That's what I thought when I saw that there are, you know I had one and then they're there, they work together and so they are going to start shopping the book and I'll probably have a deal by, I don't know, I would say August and then I'll be writing the book for the rest of the year and I'm switching my model up a little bit. And here's one thing too that I think is, I'd always love to tell the truth. I remember when I was a first time author and people would talk, would talk about writing their first book or whatever book and they're like, they don't have anything else going on.

And they're like, yeah, I spend like eight to five writing my book. And I was like, that's good for you. Like that is not my experience at all. Like I still had to try to get clients and we were relying on my income. It was not a case where I could just push everything aside and, and not make any money while I was writing this book. And now I can say with enthusiasm that the rest of the year I am pushing aside any group programs which take a decent amount of energy from me because I have to show up for all these people and I am still going to take some one on one clients and speak if the mood strikes me, I get invited, I should say. Yeah. And just be able to write this book. So that's really exciting. And then coincidentally when I decided that I was going to do that and when I declared that I'm going to be a career author, because that's sort of the dream, right?

I remember I was interviewing Jensen Shero and she said, I was just asking her what her model looked like and I'm like, are you still doing your mastermind and stuff like that. And she goes, no, you know, all I'm doing is writing books and speaking. And I remember like the heavens part at Michelle and I like, that is my dream job like right there. So that was clue to me that, you know, that was something to think about. And so, yeah. So the rest of this year I'm going to just do that. And I, I decided I can actually make a living just like Jensen Shero said, like just from writing books and speaking. And as soon as I decided that I was sitting in the Carpool Lane, you know, waiting to pick up my kids from school a couple of days after I had decided that and I got a download from my fourth book.

Oh Wow. So you knew exactly what it was. It doesn't sound like what a download means for you. So for people that don't know, like you just get this flash of creative idea. Sometimes you get them, you know, in the idea goes nowhere because it ends up, you know, Elizabeth Gilbert talks about this a lot in big magic magic. Thank you. And it was, it just came to me, I opened up the notes app on my phone and wrote down their, you know, typed up the title and the entire outline. Oh my gosh, that's so fun. So I love that. Like, I look at those as wings from the universe, you know, when we decide to up level and actually do the work. And in this case it was more than just that declaration of it. It had been months in the making, but sort of the pivotal part of it was declaring that this is what I could do and actually believing it because it's one thing to say it.

Oh another animal to actually believe it. I got that idea for a fourth book and so that's really where I'm at and I just had a conversation yesterday with my agents and telling them about talking about the third book that they already knew about talking about the fourth book and I'll, I have plans to write a memoir and I just sat there on the phone with them just like so giddy with excitement. Like the 11 year old and me think 44 year old Andrea, thank you for going on this journey and doing the thing that has been my dream forever and it's, it's surreal in some moments I won't lie because I'm, I'm here. Like I made it to the place where my dreams were. And I think I know what people are talking about when they say a life beyond your wildest dreams because what's next is the beyond.

Wow. That's so amazing. That's so amazing and inspiring and, and I guess what, you know, I don't want to say too much after that. I just want that to be like our landing place and I guess I'll just, yeah, as kind of add to the anchor of it, which is what I'm hearing in you is so much, it's like I had a teacher who just described this recently, like there's nothing that replaces belief and resolve. This is, you can see it. It's like you believe that this is possible. And back in the beginning, which is just the way it goes and on all of these places along the way, we can't see this like it's real yet. We just can't. So all we can do is keep walking toward it. Right. And see what we can see right now.

Yeah. And you're catching me at a good time. Like, if we had had this conversation a year ago, I wouldn't be saying all these things. So this, you know, what I just said has been a decade in the making. Yeah. And I'm not saying it's over, but I'm, I'm really even, I mean really if I'm going to be truly honest ever since the 2016 election, like we're not going to talk about politics, but that really I think shook a lot of us up and it made me think about things in a new light and going through what happened with me to in 2017 I also lost my dad in late 2016 so a lot of big things have happened. And so 2017 2018 were huge healing years for me. So I kind of did like a deep dive and that's what our lives look like, right? We ebb and flow seasons, peaks and valleys and what I'm doing now, you know, we're recording this mid 2019 is the, maybe it's the result of, as you said, from what happened the last couple of years. And so this is definitely, I've, you know, I've come up for air and this is a peak for me and I'm gonna write it out and birth whatever it needs to be birthed. And then maybe in a couple years I'm going to go back down and have another couple of years of healing and learning.

Yeah. Well I just feel like we're super lucky. I mean, I'll take you at any of those places just for the record. You are fun and, and so generous. I mean, and I say that I really mean that, you know, like thanks for telling us the truth and thanks for inspiring us and it's just, it's, it is really inspiring and cool to get to journey alongside you and also to get to share this with, you know, our audience at the thought leadership school, knowing that you're doing what so many want to be doing and are working toward doing. So. Thank you so much for spending this time with me. Oh, you're welcome so much. It's been a pleasure. So good. Right. I love talking with Andrea. She's just so much fun to be around. So when you listen to her podcast, your kick ass life, you're going to feel like you're in conversation with her too.

So I definitely recommend that you put that in your podcast app for regular listening. Here's the thing, my thought leader friend, you kick ass, you wouldn't be here if you didn't because choosing the path of thought leadership isn't the easy path, but as you heard an Andrea story, it's such an exciting one, especially when you're willing to stick with it to do the work and serve the way your heart is called to. I always want to help any way I can. You know that right, which is why I created the get started speaking guide, which you can get for free at speak. So it matters.com forward slash start in there. You're going to get help getting clear on your message. You're going to get help with the only presentation outline you'll ever need so you'll know how to actually take the great, beautiful content, your stories, your expertise, and turn it into a talk that you can use other places.

That's all in the get started speaking guide. You're going to love it. So go grab that awesome resource. I really did give away the whole process there and then get out there and start making that difference or make that difference in a much bigger way cause I know that we need you out there changing lives with your beautiful message because you know what? I also know for sure aside from your kick acidosis you were made for this. I know this with all my heart because you know this. That's the only sign you need. I already can't wait to be here with you next week. You are going to love the super inspiring founder and thought leader guests that I have for you, so be sure to meet me back here next week so I can share that with you. And in the meantime get out there, share your beautiful light. We need you out there. See you here next week.

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 speak, so it matters.com forward slash free book.


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