Episode 278

Finding Your Vision in Business and Life with Monique Shields

December 7, 2021

Entrepreneurship begins with a vision. Especially for women today, crafting a business that carries out your vision is more important than ever before. In this episode, Emily has a conversation with Monique Shields, a business coach who helps women exit corporate jobs to live the life of their dreams. They discuss vision casting in business and life, how to sell with vision-focused intentions, and tips for growing your business community with depth and meaning.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
This Episode Brought to You By:
"Vision is not a set plan toward a defined future. It’s a lot more present and active— it’s about your ability to imagine and connect with what’s true inside of you."
- Monique Shields

Discussed in this Episode

  • How Monique became an entrepreneur
  • What is vision in business? Why do entrepreneurs need one?
  • How Monique specifically found her vision for her business
  • An exercise for tapping into your business and life vision
  • How to implement your vision into what you do and how you show up in life
  • What to do with feelings of imposter syndrome when vision casting
  • Tips to start selling with your vision in place
  • How to overcome the common blocks people run into when doing the visioning work
  • The importance of community and relationships

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In this episode, the 4 Goal-Setting Business Questions worksheet was mentioned. Download your copy here!


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[00:00:00] Corey Winter: Hey there bosses Corey from the Being Boss team here, I'm popping into let you know about a new way for you to stay up to date in the world as a creative entrepreneur, Brewed. Brewed as a weekly email, curated by the Being Boss team just for you. We share articles, podcasts, and resources from around the internet on the topics of mindset, money and productivity to help you show up and do the work in your business.

[00:00:24] Learn more and sign up for free at beingboss.club/brewed. That's beingboss.club/B R E W E D.

[00:00:37] Emily Thompson: Welcome to Being Boss. A podcast for creatives, business owners and entrepreneurs who wanted to take control of their work and live life on their own terms. I'm your host, Emily Thompson. And in this episode, I'm joined by Monique Shields for a conversation on tapping into your vision for work and life and taking the first steps to making your vision, your reality.

[00:00:59] As always, you can find all the tools, books, and links we reference on the show notes www.beingboss.club. And if you like this episode, be sure to subscribe to this show and share us with a friend.

[00:01:12] Sometimes seeing someone else's path to success helps us clearly map out our own. It's why we all like a business podcast. Right? Well, I'm here to share a show for you to check out the female startup club podcast, an amazing resource that shares insights and learnings from the world's most successful female founders, entrepreneurs, and women in business.

[00:01:34] And a recent episode. I loved hearing about how Michelle Grant, the founder of Lively, the lingerie and swimwear brand built and sold her company for $105 million in just three years. Total boss move. So, if you're looking for a new pod to inspire your next steps, listen to the female startup club podcast, wherever you get your podcasts.[00:02:00]

[00:02:03] Monique Shields is an executive coach and entrepreneur who was committed to liberating the professional imaginations and bank accounts of women of color. She is the founder of Seven Pines Leadership, a private coaching company that focuses on helping women, business owners, founders and c-suite leaders better navigate the identity, evolution, time and energy optimization and bold visibility required to lead with authenticity, balance and confidence.

[00:02:30] She's also the creator of the corporate exit accelerator compelled, which specifically focuses on helping moms and women of color, exit six figure corporate jobs and launch their first service-based business without compromising financial stability.

[00:02:47] Monique welcome to Being Boss. I am so glad to have you here.

[00:02:51] Monique Shields: Thank you. I'm excited to be here. This is going to be a fun conversation. I just know it.

[00:02:54] Emily Thompson: I agree. This topic is one for me that I feel like we have, we have in the Being Boss community often, I think this is the perfect time of year for it. If anyone is listening to this as it's coming out, but before we dive into,

[00:03:10] into the things we're here to talk about, I want to know more about you and I want to share more about what you do with our audience. So let's start with you sharing with us your entrepreneurial journey. I would love to know how it is that you got to where you are.

[00:03:24] Monique Shields: Absolutely. So my entrepreneurial journey, I, I technically say started when I became a mom, because, new urgency to go and do things my way, arose as soon as I had my, my baby girl, but I'll rewind a little bit and just kind of tell like a little bit more of the winding story as to how, how I got there.

[00:03:44] So I've been an employee, my entire life, my entire adult life. My 20th found myself at investment banks and asset management firm at one point, working in the back office, seeking shelter, I was a lost English major. Didn't know what I wanted to do, and I need to pay off those student loans. So that's what I did, but it was very much a job.

[00:04:03] They were very much jobs. And so I did some moonlighting to, to find things I was more passionate. And, one of those things happened to be diversity coaching for a virtual recruiting organization that helped MBAs of diverse backgrounds, land jobs in finance and consulting. So it was, it was this really unique experience and it gave me an opportunity to really understand, Hey, well, like what would it be like to be a coach in some capacity and to work with people that I really cared about?

[00:04:34] Like, I really cared about the outcomes for these students and helping them, hit campus, into a really intense experiences, MBAs and, sort of find their way into their careers. But I loved really when I got to move past, the things that you're talking to MBAs about, like resume and things like that, and more into like the vision for their lives and like, the greater, the greater path here.

[00:04:57] And so, so I took that learning and, I also happened to get married, heading into my thirties and I had this chance to start everything over my husband and I moved from our tiny, teeny tiny apartment in New York, to a slightly larger. Slightly larger apartment, in the, in the bay area. So, I found my way here and committed myself really to finding work that mattered to me finding work that I felt connected to.

[00:05:24] And lo and behold, there was this startup, it was a mental health startup that was looking for someone to help them build a coaching team for their digital coaching. Process a digital coaching program. And, so I got that job. I was employee number seven at this startup and it was as close to entrepreneurship as I had ever gotten.

[00:05:43] And so through that experience, I was promoted really, really quickly up through the ranks. I ended up becoming the director of coaching and at one point I was the director of partnerships. So I was like client facing it out and selling and traveling and all these things. I, the stretch, the growth was [00:06:00] astronomical.

[00:06:00] And. This is where, baby girl comes into play. So I have, I have this, this tiny person. And though this job is stretching me and growing me, it's it's startup life. It's like full on figuring things out every single day. And a lot of push and I was like, you know what? I've been doing this coaching thing up and building coaching teams.

[00:06:22] I've been focused on, with a mission oriented company that I really believe. And I'm actually loving it. Like a lot of people, I think escape corporate, because it was, it was just like horrible. And this experience was not that, but it had taught me that, Hey, I can do things me I can build. And a and B, I know what I love.

[00:06:39] And it's coaching. And so from that point forward, I had already sort of done work in my training in terms of becoming certified as a coach from a really reputable organization. And, and, I took the leap. I took the leap and it's been a couple of, Hmm. I guess it's been almost three years. That is crazy, 2020 just kind of drop off..

[00:07:00] I can't tell timelines anymore.

[00:07:03] Emily Thompson: It's a black hole in our existence.

[00:07:06] Monique Shields: I complete that, but yeah, so I took that leap and I started my private executive coaching practice. And from there, I built, a program that I now lead, as well that's for group coaching for moms of color who are trying to incorporate exits.

[00:07:22] And, yeah. And so I do what I love every single day. And it's amazing.

[00:07:27] Emily Thompson: Oh, that is such a wonderful story. We always love windy stories. So I appreciate you giving us the full scope for sure. I feel like every successful entrepreneur slash creative, didn't just. Start doing the thing, right? We have to go through these amazing winding journeys.

[00:07:44] And I love that yours is more of that corporate background because they do know there's a large portion of our audience who, I started working for myself immediately out of college. I never got a big girl job that never happened. So it's something that like I can't necessarily relate to, but I know so many of our bosses have had that experience.

[00:08:06] And I love that yours is also one where you are like pushed out or like left key kicking and screaming or anything, but it was something that you really enjoy, but still just felt called to do the thing. And I'm wondering if you feel like this may be a good place to sort of ask this question. A lot of people who have corporate jobs who love them have a hard time justifying the desire to leave them.

[00:08:33] I wondering how you, what was that process like for you?

[00:08:38] Monique Shields: Oh, yeah. It's so funny that you bring it up in this way, because that's exactly it it's, it's much easier when it's just like, I'm throwing up the middle fingers. I'm out of this place. This is horrible. I can't stand it. And when it's not so cut and dry and it's like, Ooh, I kind of really love this team.

[00:08:55] I kind of really enjoy this work. I kind of. And so for me, I think it boiled down to, which connects nicely. I think to our, our topic today was of the broader vision. And I had given myself some space and a chance to actually connect with what mattered more to me outside of just the work. And it was really the experience of my time.

[00:09:17] That was number one. As long as you're employed, it doesn't matter how great the company is, how great the team is. As long as you're employed by someone else, you're on someone else's time. And I had a lot of flexibility too. That's another thing I hear. Oftentimes when I'm talking to, my clients and our folks who are looking to me to work with me is, well, they let, they let me do kind of basically what I want to do.

[00:09:39] Like I already have a lot of flexibility and. And I think it's us raising the bar on what we think is possible for us in terms of how we define things like freedom. But I think that's, that was honestly it like my time. And I also think specifically also about my inner. And how I'm able to direct my energy and where I feel energetically connected to.

[00:10:00] And just the flows. I mean, I, it's so funny now I look at my calendar, which is, I still have a robust and dynamic calendar today, but it's words for that. I love it. Yes. We're, we're not, we're not going to be busy. And, and, and so it's not like I'm not doing anything, I'm an entrepreneur.

[00:10:17] But yeah, but my energy is directed and just the flow of it. It's according to my rhythms and to. Yeah, literally my energetic state in me and my knowing about like, oh, how I function best on a Monday morning, how I functioned best on a Thursday afternoon. And, and again, it connecting to a much bigger sense of, my life in the lifestyle that I wanted.

[00:10:43] And, yeah, the feeling I wanted to have day to day, that was not just about the day-to-day duties of work and the people that I worked with, there,

[00:10:53] Emily Thompson: Oh, it sounds like there was this really powerful and maybe not a shift, maybe a recognition of what you wanted to put in place of value and priority.

[00:11:07] Right. Of really sort of having that control over what it is that you were doing and having, liberating yourself. It sounds like really

[00:11:20] wonderful. Perfect. Okay. So you did bring this up. I do want to dive into this because I am very excited to have this conversation with you about vision, and it sounds like you very much so have prioritize your vision. It's something that you are teaching and sharing, and it's something that then I'll say in the boss community at large, like larger audience, but also in the Being Boss community, we talk about vision a lot and I'll say that creatives

[00:11:49] often struggle with vision because they're very, they tend to be very much so into what they're creating right now or what inspiration they're getting. And a little freaked out about this idea of committing to a vision, right? Because you never know what can come up and you want to stay open and flexible and go with the wind.

[00:12:11] Or if you guys could see my sh I'm like moving like crazy over here. So I'm excited to have this conversation with you. I think we're going to dive really deep into some good things and do some good work around visioning for creatives, but to begin, what is vision and why do we need one.

[00:12:28] Monique Shields: Yeah. So I'm, I'm gonna begin my definition with where I believe vision is not in what I think we mistake it for.

[00:12:36] So I love that you brought up this, like this fear of commitment to this, like in-state final destination kind of thing, which is, it's kind of how we've been trained to think about vision. As that it's, it's a plan towards this defined future. And that's terrifying, like who wants to, like if it's just, and it's like a defined set of activities and it's, it's like this final in-state, it's so concrete and that's not what vision is.

[00:13:01] It's not a plan towards the fixed future. I think of vision is actually being a lot more present, and active, and really it's about, you're connecting with your ability to imagine, and to then also just connect with, with what's true inside of you, right. Today. So, yeah. I'll and I'll share a little bit more about that.

[00:13:21] But yeah, it's, it's this anchor, I think to ourselves. I think that, and it's incredibly important if we ask you, why do we need one is because, you are the anchor for your business. You must be anchored to yourself into your vision. So if you're not incur to your vision, neither is your business.

[00:13:39] And so, I also think that. Vision is most effective or, in terms of like how we are being with it, if it, if it almost exists on like a spiritual level. And, and you just understand that it's not something that you have to create or build or find you just have to acknowledge it and embrace.[00:14:00]

[00:14:00] And permit it to be because it's all ready there. I cannot tell you how many conversations I have with clients who were so excited to begin this work and to, set this path for their business. And this is not to say that plans are not important. They're incredibly important. There's just, there's just a different thing.

[00:14:16] But we get into these early conversations and they're like, okay, Okay. Like we need to have, I need to set this vision. I've got to find my vision and I'll, we'll have a brief 30 minute conversation with a few questions and then just the space to give themselves permission, to just tell truth, they'll tell the truth of not just what they want, but also who they are.

[00:14:38] And it's like, yeah, there it is. There it is now you've permitted yourself to actually embrace it and now we can play and now we can test and now we can, create from this place of vision, but it is, it is present. It is here. It is with us. And I'm happy to actually share a little bit of a story about this because, really apparent to me, in my early days, coaching, I had a private coaching sessions and part of my training years ago.

[00:15:05] And, I had this, I had this visualization, I was being walked through this visualization of myself and it wasn't even like necessarily a future self state, coaching. This is like a thing that is very common to kind of visit a future self. But it was, it became bigger than that. I honestly don't know what magic was happening to me in the moment.

[00:15:21] All that mattered is that, I landed on and I can close my eyes literally now and landed on this moment in time. And it's like, it's, it lives in this like mythical land in my head. But this moment in time where I am on this carpet and it's kind of like this like Persian knee, like it's very specific carpet that I don't currently own, but it's just this thing.

[00:15:43] And I'm on the carpet and playing with my babies. I have two kids. I only have one child right now. I don't know if I'm going to have a second one, but it's just the energy of it was there. I'm playing with my babies on the floor and my laptop is sitting on this sofa and it's cracked open. And all I can hear is ka-ching ka-ching, like, like a Stripe account, like money's coming in and that's my vision.

[00:16:07] And so when you say things like, we can have this fear of committing to a vision and a plan. It's, there's nothing hard about committing to that. There's nothing really to commit to. It is like this fuller expression of my desire of my being of my values and, energetically, who I want to be and how I want to be.

[00:16:29] And so I can almost gut check myself in terms of the activities I choose to take part in today and how they connect with, as this leading, towards being on the floor with my babies while my, my, my laptop is going off. Payments coming in. So, I think it's about, what's a possible in you, not just what's possible for you.

[00:16:51] Emily Thompson: I love that you don't need Pinterest boards and magazines to make this happen.

[00:16:56] Monique Shields: No, I love a good vision board. We can play, we should. If it suits you.

[00:17:01] Emily Thompson: For sure. Oh, that is the, I found that description so settling and calming, maybe it's just your voice, which I'll say is also just very settling and calming. So thank you for just speaking to me.

[00:17:13] But I think. I think also that takes seeing vision through that lens takes off so much weight around being sure that you very specifically define, who you want to be when you're 65. Right. What that person is wearing, where they all, like all of these things that usually these visioning things will require you to do what I'm thinking specifically, what your business looks like.

[00:17:47] Like I can imagine myself I've had done similar visualizations. I'm wearing a Moomoo walking through a beautiful beach house. Right. I can hear the waves. My grandkids just. [00:18:00] They're not here now, but they just left and it's quiet and fantastic. And for me, like, that's my vision, but whenever it comes to defining vision for my business, that's one where things can get a little, can get a little wonky.

[00:18:15] And I think that a lot of creatives, share that with me. So I'm wondering, you just gave such a centering and calming idea of vision for yourself. What does this look like? Then for what it is that you're building?

[00:18:31] Monique Shields: Yeah. So I tend to, I think again, I believe that like one of the easiest ways to access vision is through just tapping into what pleases you and what you, and what pleases your imagination, what ignites it.

[00:18:44] And so the same principles can be applied to what this looks like through your business and who you serve, I think can be, especially for, I know you have a lot of, mission-oriented bosses listening in and thinking about. The impact of, and an experience of, of you or your work that the person on there on the receiving end gets to have.

[00:19:07] And again, taking yourself to that place, taking yourself in and just, and us making sure that we are not discounting,

[00:19:15] I guess I'm in from our businesses standpoint, what our business gets to stand for and what our business gets to represent in symbolic of, and embodies and emits and like the qualities thereof, and it just, not it not being about the plan just yet. Let it be about. The experience, let it be about the impact, somebody holding your work, somebody in who that person is and what they get to, what they would say about how they would experience, your work or your service and, and letting that be enough.

[00:19:52] And then also, again, checking back in with, because I, I do, I don't really see a ton of a separation between the personal and the business. Honestly, like my laptop is going off on their couch, making me money. That informs how my business should be. There's something in that, that, that re that gives me spaciousness with how I design what happens operationally from our business.

[00:20:14] And how I'm experiencing it on the back end as well. And I think that we making sure that these things are sort of intertwined, but that the full experience of it. Cause I know also, like there's a sense that I have of, of where those dollars are coming from and who I'm serving. And it's not just like this like thing that's totally out in the midst and that this is one piece, this is one tiny visualization.

[00:20:33] I have several that I can sort of energetically reference, but these are the drivers. And I think that we as entrepreneurs. Oftentimes don't want to give herself the space to slow down and not be in the doing and the, execution of the things and to, and to be away from the plan for just a moment to just be in the imagination of it.

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[00:21:17] what's worked for them along their entrepreneurial journey. That's why today I'm bringing you the experience of a real boss using HubSpot to take her business to the next level.

[00:21:27] Monique Shields: My name is Kim Dow and I'm the owner and publisher of Sass magazine, a Being Boss podcast fan and HubSpot CRM customer. So for our business running a magazine, we have three very different lists.

[00:21:40] Each of those audiences have very different interests and different goals. HubSpot allows us to create segmented and targeted lists to ensure that we're communicating and marketing to each audience group very effectively. And using HubSpot has played a huge role in helping to increase our opening click rates and to ensure that our readers stay subscribed to our e-newsletters.

[00:22:01] We love all of the features of HubSpot and we've really been using it this past year to help grow our business. Throughout the holidays and into 2022, we'll be using HubSpot to set up more automation, such as chat flows and more list building tools. This will allow us to become more productive and more efficient in our time and our workflow.

[00:22:21] This is Kim Dow from Sass magazine and my HubSpot CRM platform helps my business stay connected. Learn more about how it can do the same for yours of hubspot.com.

[00:22:34] Emily Thompson: Then I would love to. I'd love to go into the practicality of this. Cause you just mentioned like, getting in there, feeling it, creating these visions for yourself, but what does it actually look like to sit down and access this vision? To garner from it, the details you need that inform your actions now and otherwise like capture and move forward.

[00:23:05] Monique Shields: Okay. So, are we getting for a little exercise? Right. Okay, excellent. So again, this is not about building a plan. It's not about the roadmap. There's nothing to project manage yet. We are just tapping in and getting intentional. And just create a little bit space for self contact, which can be the most terrifying thing to do, but it's absolutely required.

[00:23:26] So as a little micro example, again, as I said, these are pieces, this is like putting the puzzle together. Right. But I, I said, for you, Hey, whoever's listening right now. You absolutely talking to you right now. If you can stop and trust that for the next 60 seconds or so, that you can just be with yourself and follow my voice and just take.

[00:23:49] A few deep nourishing breaths, maybe two, maybe three, but just getting into your body right now. We won't keep your log and recall a beautifully exceptional memory that you have something that is, that stands out immediately. Don't question it whenever the first thing that comes to mind, isn't the most beautiful.

[00:24:16] And allow yourself to breathe life into that memory and just go to that place. One where you felt alive. And I think that tying this to your work, if that feels supportive, where have you felt most alive in your work? Where have you felt most alive in your business? Go to that memory could be last week, could be years ago when you're a student or something.

[00:24:45] Just see it, hear it, smell it, taste it for one indulgent moment and notice one quality of that memory that feels the most warm. That feels the most delicious. And the name, what part of you has come alive or just feels good or pleased? Could be a part of me that's come alive is playful or adventure. The part of me that doesn't give a fuck or the part of me that's sensual, or the part of me that's free-spirited just name it and then open your eyes and ask yourself, standing here, sitting right where you are right now.

[00:25:32] Where am I not permitting myself or my business to be that thing? That's an incredibly important first clue. So I'll pause. I'm going to take a note. Yeah. I mean, in the day-to-day life that we're living, we can just feel like such a puzzles to ourselves, and I think we can really, create this whole vision thing out, out to be something much bigger and more complex than it is.

[00:26:06] And it's just because, we're just. If you get still and permit it, there are these pieces that are so clear and they add meaning and purpose and direction.

[00:26:21] Emily Thompson: There you go. I hope everyone. I hope everyone just saw and felt something amazing. And if you didn't feel free to rewind. Try it again, if you were driving the car, take a moment, make some time later, whatever it may be.

[00:26:41] Because even, even as I'm still engaged here, I caught some good glimpses of some things and had some nice little inklings. But I super appreciate you helping me. You helping me access. Which then takes me to sort of next step. So we have this idea of what this vision, the thing, the things that we want to feel into the things that are maybe glimpses of like actual things we need to do based on where we are or what we're doing or whatever it may be.

[00:27:14] What does it mean to start moving that vision into how you're showing up in what you're doing?

[00:27:26] Monique Shields: Okay, so you have this vision, right? And then we play with a tiny piece of it today, but you spend more time with this and it becomes alive and real. And it's like, oh wow. The thing that we don't always count on is it becomes confronting.

[00:27:39] And then it's like, oh, well that's scary. That's. I can I have that? Is that real? Can I trust this? Like all of that stuff starts to come up right at the inner imposter, all of the, like the craziness. And so I just want to say as step one, in terms of like, how do I make this thing come to life now? Is that I just want us to anticipate that there's going to be

[00:27:59]typically some resistance, in some fear. And that, that is okay. Just as a reminder, that that is okay. And that there's actually some really important information there.

[00:28:09] Emily Thompson: I also want to interject here that for bosses, I know also from experience though, Do you maybe, but you almost definitely do so really big fraudy feelings.

[00:28:21] So know that if you do, you're not wrong, you're just normal.

[00:28:28] Monique Shields: You're absolutely normal.

[00:28:31] Emily Thompson: Right. So, so I just want to say creatives, man. They can really get in their head about things. So I just want to see if anyone does have any fraudy feelings or, feeling some of that imposter situation. No, that, that is, that is normal, especially for sort of big or like relatively abstract visions.

[00:28:55] Monique Shields: Yes. The dreaded imposter syndrome. But yes, it is important to just, to, to, anticipate that and accept that and embrace that as well. Cause there's, there's learning there and it's okay. It's just your body trying to keep yourself safe. So moving through some of those feelings and feeling like, okay, now I'm ready to build.

[00:29:14] This is the thing that is also really, really simple. The first thing that we do we need to do. And it's often times, I think, especially, maybe for creative, cause I work with a lot of creatives as well, is to, we have this instinct to like hunker down, shutter ourselves in and begin building all alone.

[00:29:33] The first thing you really need to do with. It needs to leave your body. It needs to leave your mind. It needs to be vocalized, verbalized somewhere out in the world. It has to go out because the vision will begin to create itself. If you put it to work, which means put it out there for others to bounce themselves off of.

[00:29:53] So to be clear, like, no, no, where you are with. And how precious and, maybe how Tinder it is, depending on where you are with, in terms of who the audience needs to be. But if it's like, I'm just kind of fighting the fear of like anyone seeing this, because like it's exciting and thrilling and terrifying to me.

[00:30:14] And there's not anything really specific or, or anything that actually thinks to be remained confidential for your business sake. Put it out there, put it out there. And I always tell my clients too, if it's just like, I dunno what where to put this yet. Like talk to your neighbor. I would, you'd be surprised how often.

[00:30:33] We're just not sharing with the people closest to us. The things that are biggest in us that are moving and trying to take shape. That's what you can start with immediately today, who lives in your house with you, who who's already in your village, or can you community, if you belong to like a creative community as well, we're an entrepreneurial community.

[00:30:52] Put it out there, find someone to begin discussing this with because that momentum begins to build. And the thing is like, again, I know we're talking to a lot of creatives and, and folks who are just building things and trying to do things new. You'll your instincts just need some space to kick.

[00:31:10] Like, you know how to create things. That's not the issue. It's never like, well then how do I work a plan? You know how to work a plan, you know how to test things out and try things out and make things happen. And, one of the things that's really beautiful about the beginning to share first is that it will help you realize where the actual gaps might be.

[00:31:28] So you can start to say, oh, actually I have like an operational need here, or I have an expertise need here. So if I do need to go seek help, which we always do. What's helped to go to first. It just, it helps to kind of refine and move that vision from the vision state into a plan. So that is what I highly recommend.

[00:31:47] And also just like, when we say get it out of our heads, like literally get it out.

[00:31:53] Emily Thompson: Oh, wonderful. Here at Being Boss, we are all about being together, right? Saying things to the people around you, including your peers. I love that you're just like, tell your neighbor, like, just tell somebody because I completely agree.

[00:32:07] And I also love this additional piece of like, once you start sharing your vision, especially like if you're in a boss crowd, in my experience, there starts being some workshopping that happens even, or like gentle nudges to fill in the blanks or really great questions around. Well, how does that feel like to you or what would it look like for you to do that?

[00:32:32] Or why did you describe it in this way or whatever it may be that can take you deeper and further into it and start filling in the holes and flushing it out. This is, this is one of my favorite techniques for, and I'd never really applied it necessarily for visioning. Big ideas that you have around here.

[00:32:52] We talk often about shitty ideas, this idea that if you go into it and this isn't necessarily the same, but I love the idea of everyone's sort of applying this to the sharing. If you go into sharing something as like this might be a shitty idea, then you sort of release this necessity for it to make sense.

[00:33:13] Right for it to be a good idea for it to be a great vision or whatever it may be. You can go into, it's just this, like, I'm just going to say this out loud and we'll see what happens. Whenever you can go at sharing things like this, with that almost flippant newness of just like, I'm just going to say this thing.

[00:33:30] Let's see what else. Molds and grows into, so much more potential comes out of it when you release yourself of that need for it to make sense or be right, or, be clearly defined or whatever it may be.

[00:33:46] Monique Shields: Absolutely. I think going into this with a spirit of play of creativity of invention, of testing.

[00:33:55] Putting that out there as the intention, when you do share and just say, look, I've got this crazy thing that's forming in me. What do you think? I think that that's, that's a beautiful place. And I also think that's a beautiful place to begin selling. So when we talk about just, there's, here's the vision, the idea of, and I'm give beginning to shape and hone this and want to get some feedback.

[00:34:11] Is this, is it my shitty idea? I don't know. What do you think? And not letting that stop you from moving into, like, you don't mind, I'm actually gonna test the thing in the market. Like what would it look like for me to check, to try to sell this thing now, If it something that's, that's a sellable idea right now.

[00:34:29] I think that, that is another part of just not holding what feels well, we feel curious about what we feel interested in putting out into the world, not holding it as so precious that no one can touch it or see it, or give us feedback into it because you know that the creative process. It's collaborative, I think at its best.

[00:34:47] And so, that includes customers.

[00:34:50] Emily Thompson: Yeah. I also do love this idea that if you're not sharing it, it's literally just staying inside of you. It's not going anywhere. It's not becoming reality is just hanging out inside of you. It might fester, right. It might just dissolve and disappear. It might like who knows what happened if you just kept it inside, but if you do share it, that is.

[00:35:13] A great first step for making it happen. All right. What happens next though? So you've shared it, maybe you've workshopped it, maybe it started as some shitty ideas and started turning into really good ones. What does it look like to, to take it a step further?

[00:35:32] Monique Shields: Yeah. So when I say step two is to sell, that's what I firmly believe.

[00:35:35] And again, so I know that we also have folks who are listening, who are like, no, but I actually sell, artwork or, tangible products. And I will. I will be transparent and say that I know a lot more about selling services than I do about selling products,

[00:35:53] Emily Thompson: We have a lot of service people too.

[00:35:55] It's all applicable for both.

[00:35:57] Monique Shields: Okay. But I do. Yeah. I do think that there is some applicability across the board here, but I'm speaking from this context. But then that to be quick to take in what you've learned and to not wait for it, to then become this perfect thing that you can then go and sell or implement in your business, to get into testing mode.

[00:36:19] So we share, and then we test, and I think that when we test it, it doesn't need to be for free. Right. I think that we can test and share. And I think this is also why it's so important to actually start from a place of vision in the first place, because you want to be bought into, what you've dreamt up and ingest even, who you get to be in this sort of dreamy, imaginative state about what, what you want and what you were trying to create through your work.

[00:36:42] And so it makes it a lot easier to show up in sales conversations where there's a thing that's like, this doesn't totally exist yet, but, but, but I can engage with you from this place and we can allow our imaginations almost to sort of co-create. And build, and I can sell you into, I can enroll you into the vision of what I see, from this place.

[00:37:03] And so I think that really beginning to test it in the marketplace, I don't think that you have to have anything, again, there's lots different business types listening in here, but you don't have to have anything fully crafted. All you need is really like, what's the strong mantra, isn't it?

[00:37:19] Right then I can just, I can share in a, in a quick and scrappy way that is sellable through, conversations or through imagery, Howard. It, however it is that you express, in and sell through your business, I think get it out there as well.

[00:37:36] Emily Thompson: Perfect. And I will say for the product side, this just looks like creating a prototype or your first batch or whatever it may be.

[00:37:44] Very similar. And, I also want to look at this from this life side of the fence as well. If you are working on a vision of your life, what do you, what does it mean to like sell right whenever implementing a vision of your life?

[00:38:02] Monique Shields: Yeah. So I do think is definitely important when you think about, oh, I can give myself as an example, like enrolling my husband into, cause we go off into our respective, he's an entrepreneur as well, but we go off into our respective businesses and our respective day, just as individuals, when we think about people who are closest to us.

[00:38:22] And oftentimes we're like, we're talking about things here and there. But sometimes you've gone and you've had this whole big revolutionary moment and like something in you has actually shifted, you have changed. You now need to come back and bridge that gap and be like, Hey, by the way, a whole new world here, can I talk to you a little bit about this?

[00:38:40] And because. Then you create support for the process of then what that looks like to implement or what that looks like, to, to, make more tangible in your life with the people who are closest to you. So whether it is your partner, whether it is, your best friend, Even your business, Bessie, the people who are already in place in your village that are there to support you.

[00:39:00] It's hard to support you when I don't know what you need support with because you were like on another planet. So like, bring me, bring me over to where you are. Give me a sense of what's going on for you and what, what curiosities or questions or fears or whatever you're sitting with. And, and then you get, you get the support that you need to actually make whatever needs to happen,

[00:39:19] next happen.

[00:39:21] Emily Thompson: I also love this. For like very internal processes as well. Let's say you do live alone and you want to change something about your life, that isn't going to affect anyone by yourself, right. Or maybe you do have a kid and a partner and all these things, but again, what you're wanting to shift in your life is something that doesn't necessarily affect other people.

[00:39:43] I can see some really powerful journaling practices coming out of this as well. Selling yourself. Even on why it is that you should be implementing things in your life to take you closer to your vision, whether it's, wasn't up earlier in the morning or it changing the way you're eating or how you're moving your body or how you're spending your time, whatever it may be.

[00:40:06] I could, I could see some really, really powerful sort of internal conversation things happening. I'm wondering,

[00:40:14] how do you feel about that?

[00:40:16] Monique Shields: So I definitely, I think there's like a deepening of our vision, like in terms of like, how do I like really steep myself into this thing and stay in communication?

[00:40:23] It's not like, Hey, does this visualization okay. By like, I do think that this self work that you're talking to, like continuing the self contact and mistake, keeping that communication with yourself going is important. But I will say I have a very like firm bias towards. Another human being invited. It doesn't matter if this person lives with you or whether the decisions that you've made have a direct impact on them.

[00:40:45] There's something that is impacting them in the dynamic of whoever you're in community with. And so, as you, I know you've shared with your bosses, you all believe in like doing things together, never going it alone, whoever that person or those people are, whether it is like a business group that you belong to.

[00:41:01] Or I don't know whoever it is, Find someone to invite into this, because I think that human co-creation process that human to human experience, it just breeds a life into this thing in a way that, we just can't totally always do for ourselves and it will impact then, what you bring to your journal, and the next day or whatever.

[00:41:23] So, that's all I would add.

[00:41:24] Emily Thompson: Oh, I love it. So both end. Both end.

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[00:42:24] Love it. Oh, this is, this is such good, such good stuff. I'm wondering if during this process, If you can share the blocks that you usually find people coming up against, because oftentimes there's like these key points where people get stuck or have a hard time moving forward or decide to backtrack or whatever it may be when it comes to.

[00:42:48] Committing yourself to a vision and maybe that's not the right word. Cause we actually talked about how that can be scary sometimes. But where do you often see the roadblocks or where are people messing up that we should be aware of as we do some of this visioning work?

[00:43:03] Monique Shields: Yeah. So, I do think again, creating like the separation between vision and plans.

[00:43:10] Setting plans is, is important to just remind yourself, like, I'm not like we're not at the planning stage yet, and that that's okay. Like we can get to that point when we're ready and to give yourself permission, if you need a little extra space with like, oh, I'm not ready to lay plans just yet. What else do I want to see?

[00:43:26] And who else I wants to like feel into being as I'm vision building right now, our vision, connecting, I guess is a better. So there's that, but I also think that, the last piece of advice I gave around enrolling community into your process and like in that sharing component, that is also the accountability that we need to commit ourselves air quotes, to connecting with our vision.

[00:43:54] It's all around us. It's in the relationships that we hold. Like there are these really fundamental elements, I think too, like just moving ourselves forward in anything in life and in community and relationship is one of the most motivating factors. If we can make sure that we're tapping into that variable of our life, again, never isolating yourself in this process.

[00:44:15] That was a huge mistake. I think a lot of entrepreneurs make, because sometimes again, the vision kind of reveals itself to you and you're like, oh, there's this thing. Or these things that I'm seeing that I want, that I want to move towards. Oh, that's scary. Oh, why do I feel scared? I don't know if I can do this.

[00:44:30] Here comes the shame monster. And then, and then you isolate and, and it's like, no, no, no, no, no. That is the exact time that you need to invite in support. This is also why. I hire coaches, why I'm a coach who says why you actually can get paid help for someone who will hold you, accountability held you accountable to your, to your dreams, to your vision.

[00:44:48] Right? I think that, that is one of the easiest ways to rise to the occasion is to have the accountability and the support of community who actually know that this is what you're grappling with. This is what you're thinking about and can ask you about it can support you with it. It's like, it's just one of the more powerful things that you can do.

[00:45:05] I also do think that committing yourself to a test through that accountability. So not just being like, Hey, I've got this thing. I want to put it out there. I'm also putting out there. This is my intention for what I'm going to do with it. This is the test, getting some feedback now, actually having shared about this.

[00:45:23] This is the first test I want to, can you hold me accountable to that? Can we check in afterwards? Will you check on me after this date? The accountability piece and just being witnessed through the process is incredibly, incredibly critical.

[00:45:38] Emily Thompson: Yes, I can second that for sure. As you're saying all these things, I'm thinking of multiple situations in the Being Boss community over the past couple of years where I've watched bosses show up, share the thing that they want to do.

[00:45:51] There's like an accountability happening all along the way within the space of, within that space of people who get the kinds of things that we do and watch. Do the thing it's amazing to witness that, but I also know that sometimes that first step of just showing up, can be so difficult for people.

[00:46:13] So if anyone is feeling it, Being Boss community, beingboss.club/community, come share the thing for sure. We have Monday meetups where I can think of, again, multiple situations where I've had, I've watched bosses take this exact same journey. And if that, if like showing up in those spaces with people, is the, is the hard thing,

[00:46:36] then one, we got some easy help and two. Is that all we got? That's it. Y'all we've got this,

[00:46:48] totally got this, but I do understand that. I do understand that, especially I hear this often from is, well, I will say, especially creatives, but also especially business owners, because I often hear that people who identify with one or both of those, right. Have sometimes have a hard time sharing their vision

[00:47:13] with their partner, or if they're friends that don't understand what they're doing or with other family members who don't quite connect and there is this like fear of rejection or, fear of shame or whatever that keeps them from doing that. If that's where you are finding your blog, I cannot express enough how important it is to find people with whom you feel you have the connection that enables you to share these things.

[00:47:44] Because I feel like sometimes it's not even the block isn't even showing up it's that you don't, you don't feel like you have the right people to show up to. So find your people.

[00:47:55] Monique Shields: Yes. Yes. I would second that all day community is vital. Like you're just not going to do this thing alone. I don't, I don't know any successful entrepreneur who has truly now there's like bootstrapping kind of mythical stories out there.

[00:48:09] It's not real, no one is doing this alone and finding that aligned community, people who do get it, because this, again, As I was talking about earlier, knowing where, what state you're in and knowing what, what the relationship is, and if this person's really going to get it, my parents still don't totally understand what I do for a living.

[00:48:27] Right. And so, expecting that of a relationship or of people who are just like, the context is just so different, it's just, it's just not going to happen. And so yeah, really committing yourself and being, I think, relentless about finding that community is critical.

[00:48:44] Emily Thompson: And I think it's the best investment you can make in yourself and your future success.

[00:48:48] Monique Shields: 100%

[00:48:49] Emily Thompson: For sure. Oh, Monique, this has been fantastic. Are there any other pieces that you feel the need to share about capturing, I guess maybe accessing, capturing, defining, and pursuing your vision.

[00:49:05] Monique Shields: Yeah. So I'm, I'm hanging onto the word capture. And I think one thing I will say is to, so as folks who are

[00:49:16] like just creative thinkers and creative problem solvers and, and creators. There's probably something that you've learned about yourself and your unique perspective, and also like how you're activated in a way. So when we talked about like tools, things like, the vision board, like this, those things have a place.

[00:49:32] So now that you've spent a little bit of work with this self contact. And again, you're in community and actually sharing about it. What are some of the tools that actually work best for you? I talked to myself, I used to express myself a lot through written word. And that's shifted over time. I, I realize I'm a lot more just in tune with myself if I'm speaking to myself.

[00:49:54] So I have this app it's called the Otter app, O T T E R. If anyone's not familiar with it already and it transcribes your audio and I just like, I'll just like tap it when I'm driving. When I get like the best thoughts, or if I'm just reflecting on, things that, maybe the visions,

[00:50:11] ideas that I have in making sure that I'm capturing it in a way that actually speaks your language. So, I also am visually anchored. So doing the things like the, like the, division board or having a journaling practice, but not trying to force it into something because you see it on the internet because that's the way it's other folks do it.

[00:50:29] For instance, I started a newsletter and I realized, again, what this writing thing, it takes me way too long to express myself with written word. I like written word. I like to write, but it's like a long it's like, I need to save that for when it's time to write like. My life or something like I don't have it for every, every week or two to write something.

[00:50:45] So I was like, okay, I'm going to create this thing called an audio newsletter. And so I, the first very scrappy version of it was like an upload into Dropbox and audio recording, the link over it for people to listen to this week's episode of my audio newsletter, because I also didn't at the time knew I wanted to, if I wanted to get myself to a podcast.

[00:51:04] So that's just an example of working with yourself and being like having no shame and acknowledging, like, this is the way I need to express myself this the way I need to be processed with myself. And, and to enter in to do that. To do that thing, to put your vision, place it through the medium. That actually makes sense for you where you feel most connected.

[00:51:23] It feels most easily.

[00:51:25] Emily Thompson: Yeah. There you go. Everyone. Some permission, I feel like morning pages is the go-to right? Everyone's like, okay, you need to do some morning, write journal, write it down. But I love that. You're like, no, do it in whatever format you need to, but do it.

[00:51:42] Monique Shields: But do it for sure. Get tapped into it.

[00:51:45] Doesn't matter, just do it.

[00:51:50] Emily Thompson: There's some interesting opportunities there. Creative habit that I love it. No, I think that is, I think that's a wonderful, a wonderful tip. And again, I completely agree with that. One of the things we talk about here often is, you can't own who you are. If you don't know who you are. Yeah. So there is a lot of, sort of self-awareness that has to be gained that, I mean, will make you a better creative for sure.

[00:52:20] It'll make you a better business owner for sure. But it's also just going to make you a better version of yourself, right? When you can more easily connect with that vision because you sort of get all the. Easily shake all the dust off. I guess that's sort of what I'm envisioning in my head. You're like dust it off.

[00:52:36] Right? You get down to the core of who you are and you know what it is that you want out of this life and this work that you've chosen for yourself. The faster you're going to be able to just walk your little feet right towards it.

[00:52:50] Monique Shields: Absolutely. It's already there. I love that, that, that, that positioning of it, it's already there.

[00:52:55] You have to dust the cobwebs off or peel back the layers or whatever, but it's already there. There's nothing that there's nothing lacking in you. There's nothing missing from you. It's there. You just gotta give us some space to breathe.

[00:53:05] Emily Thompson: I also love that there is this permission to you to sort of release this idea of my newly defining every little thing, because so many of us do not know.

[00:53:15] Call things in that way or move forward in that way. However it is that you want to think about it, but this idea of just like, just get quiet, tap in. Focus on what feels great and move towards that.

[00:53:30] Monique Shields: Yes. And for the women listening, I think in particular, we have such training so much, so much socializing to not be attuned to what pleases us and what does feel good to us.

[00:53:41] And so there's a lot of unlearning and retraining here. And so the fullest permission that you can give yourself to be in that it's really, really important.

[00:53:49] Emily Thompson: Oh for sure. Monique, this has been a treat. Thank you so much for coming and sharing all of this with us. I think you've definitely given us all something to think about when it comes to thinking about how we envision our work and life.

[00:54:04] I'm wondering where can people find more about you and what you do?

[00:54:10] Monique Shields: Yes. Well, actually the easiest way to connect with me right now is on Instagram. I'm just @moniquershields and, yeah, everything kind of flows from there right now. I'll be more active on LinkedIn and things like that soon, but that's the best place to find me.

[00:54:24] Emily Thompson: Perfect.

[00:54:25] And your website?

[00:54:27] Monique Shields: My website is sevenpinesleadership.com.

[00:54:31] Emily Thompson: And are you working on anything cool these days?

[00:54:34] Monique Shields: I am. I alluded to it quickly earlier, but I have a program that I'm, I feel I'm incredibly purposed and excited about. The program called compelled and it is about helping moms of color in particular, exit their six figure corporate jobs to launch their first service-based business within six to 12 months and to do so without compromising their financial stability.

[00:54:55] So you can also message me on Instagram or wherever, and I can share more about that if you like.

[00:55:01] Emily Thompson: Perfect.

[00:55:02] That sounds amazing. My final question for you then is what's making you feel most boss?

[00:55:12] Monique Shields: I've just come out of a winter season, which is a moment that I took to myself a couple of months to like kind of slow it all the way down. And now I'm in spring and I'm planting all of these seeds and like the amount of like yeses, I get to say. And honestly just like the amount of opportunities that are coming my way, just to say yes.

[00:55:30] As to makes me feel like a boss having submitted to that season so that I can be in season I'm in right now.

[00:55:36] Emily Thompson: Oh, that is wonderful. I'm so glad to hear that. Congratulations on taking that time for yourself and then another congratulations for coming out and having things blooming all around you. Of course, Monique, this has been a treat.

[00:55:50] Thank you so much for coming in sharing this conversation with me.

[00:55:53] Monique Shields: Thank you so much, Emily. This has been a pleasure.

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