In today's age, whether you work for yourself or are looking to climb the corporate ladder, there are so many things that you have to juggle in addition to being skilled at what you do. Having someone that can ensure that you're well rounded by providing confidence and direction are essential skill sets that may not come natural to you or need to be tweaked. We sat down with Heather Monahan to find out how she got into this business, how she empowers, an exciting partnership with Perry Ellis' line - Rafaella and how she juggles this in addition to being a single parent.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about your background and how you came to be a life coach and business expert.
HEATHER MONAHAN: Growing up poor, I had limited access to resources and mentors. Through sheer hard work, I muscled my way to the C-suite in media. What I realized once I got
there was, it didn’t have to be so difficult. Unfortunately, I had never had a female mentor along the way to help me and teach me the tips that I needed to advance so I took a much harder route. The more successful women that I encountered in business were cold and more concerned about holding women back instead of mentoring and advancing others. I realized that other women must be in the same situation that I was in. Once I realized this, I became dedicated to sharing my insight and offering the same mentoring that I provided for the people that worked for me and for others. This is how and why I launched my website initially and my social handles. Being qualified to be a business expert is a testament to my work experience and the various business segments that I have worked with or collaborated with over the years. In high school and college I, worked in the restaurant/bar business; after college I got into the
Wine/retail business; and finally into radio. What I was able to accomplish in radio was gaining insight into other industries and helping them to drive revenue in their respective industries. This opportunity to partner with so many companies in different industries really allowed me to see the commonalities in business that were necessary for success in any vertical. I had never
thought of myself as a life coach until Elvis Duran called me one on his show. The “life Coach” title came as a natural evolution from me advising businesses and then people on how to advance at work. The natural progression from advancing at work leads to how to advance in life in general and overcome adversity. This taps into my own personal life experience and is grounded in my transparency in my own struggles and fails.
AM: What does your job entail and how do you assist businesses and those who work within them to put their best foot forward?
HM: After 22 years in corporate America, I have finally taken the leap into entrepreneurship. My track record in business has attracted companies looking for my consultation on how to drive revenue, create a positive culture and connect with and win better talent. As my schedule allows I also work one on one with those trying to identify their superpowers, find their voice, get promoted, launch a personal brand or otherwise. My primary goal is to share what I have learned over the past 43 years with those looking to advance or get ahead at work and in life.
I recently finished my book on how to build confidence and leapfrog the villains along the way. My hope is to empower others to sidestep the landmines that I walked straight into. My job
entails identifying the right corporate partners for my brand to enable me to extend my reach and help more people achieve their dreams. I evaluate partnerships daily against my overarching strategy of empowering others to advance themselves. Every day there is a larger amount of companies looking to empower their employees and customers and impact change, creating an experience is the new way of doing business and this is what I am bringing to market.
AM: Tell us about #BossInHeels, why you're focused on this and what its purpose is.
HM: “Boss in Heels” means a few things to me. When people hear the term “Boss” often times they think of a male stoic figure. To me, “Boss in Heels” is representative of being you and for me that means celebrating that I am a woman while still commanding respect and delivering results in the workplace. “Boss in Heels” is about treating employees, partners and clients well and having a vested interest in their success. “Boss in Heels” is a more modern way of leading. I focused on this initiative because for me what I saw in leadership roles were older men or cold, frigid women. I didn't see leaders that looked different, we're open and transparent and rocked their own vie with confidence. I was always my own person and by not following traditional guidelines I found my superpower. My purpose is to help others find their superpower and through that, make the world a better place.
AM: Right now, the culture of women in the workplace, whether in film/TV, corporate ladders and even those that are entrepreneurs, are coming to light in the challenges that many of us have faced as we work in the space as well as advancing - how does this affect your work and guidance to women seeking your advice?
HM: It is amazing! I launched my initiative two years ago and now to see the world ready to receive and discuss these topics is overwhelming. Every day I wake up to some new opportunity and potential collaboration, this is a constant reminder to me that putting your best foot forward with good intent will always pay dividends. This timing has allowed me to have a much broader conversation that otherwise would have been limited to my social handles and my website. Media is not only open to the topic, they are looking for ways to address it daily. I am so appreciative to all of the women in the world that have started this movement and continue it daily. The outreach that I have received from various women has escalated over recent months. It truly is the domino effect where one story has allowed for the next, and now it is up to us to keep this momentum going to ensure we change the landscape moving forward.
AM: We know that you're partnering with Perry Ellis with their line, Rafaella - tell us about the line, partnership and what we can expect from this union?
HM: I am so excited to share this with you! Rafaella is all about fit, style and comfort which for me has been elusive most of my life. I will find brands I love that have fantastic style, but that
don't fit in a way I feel comfortable or confident in. Much like a recent conference I had in NYC when I put on my new and stylish designer pantsuit only to have the seam rip before I left the
hotel room. Comfort and fit are paramount! Rafaella shatters this story by bringing a form fitting, stylish line to women to empower them to feel and look their best. With sizes ranging from 4-24. Rafaella has built their business on the belief that women feel their best when they are in clothes that fit them best. Most importantly, Rafaella finds a way to do this that doesn’t
break the bank and makes it possible for women to invest in themselves. Our partnership is focused on bringing to life the element of empowering women which is so deeply ingrained
in both of our brands. I am proud to have the opportunity to represent the line and create content on their behalf while speaking to women on the power of our own choices in fashion and otherwise. Helping to create an experience around this heritage brand and bringing this concept to life is one of my most exciting opportunities for 2018. This is going to be an amazing partnership which I am hoping you will follow over the coming months because
you will LOVE IT!
AM: What do you feel are the biggest challenges or perceived obstacles that face women and what advice do you give to those that need a little push to take charge of their lives?
HM: The biggest challenge or perceived obstacle any woman faces is herself. The advice that I give to those needing to take charge of their lives is to accept that truth that they are the ones creating their lives and are to blame or to applaud for the life they have created.
I understand that some will say that is harsh, but I have been there on food stamps in awful situations and I have worked my way out of them, then I have gone through divorce, then I have reached the highest level of success and been fired, I have some experience in this whole thing and in understanding standing the role I play in it all. At the end of the day we are the
hero in our own story or we can be the villain that causes us to fail. We all have choices, they may not be easy choices, but they are our own and up to no one else. I suggest firing the negative people from your life, claiming responsibility for your life, stopping the blame game, picking your head up to see where it is you want to go and building a plan to get there. I suggest taking action each day to do something you are scared of and writing it down, what is
the worst that can happen? In order to change you need to do something different, why not start today?
AM: What philanthropies/charities do you give your time?
HM: City Year has been my preferred charity since I have lived in Miami. I have also worked with various charities across Florida to help those in need including Children’s Home Society among others.
AM: As someone who works on so many projects and is a single parent, how do you take time for yourself and how important is this?
HM: Getting divorced, while having been difficult, has forced me to make time for myself. When my son is with his father, I find myself free at night to go out and do things I want to do, which is fantastic. I now realize that making myself my number one priority is key to my success. When I was younger, I saw this as selfish, now I realize it is my job, If I am not happy and feeling
healthy and excited, how am I going to loft those around me up? Today, I put the oxygen mask on me first before I give it to everyone else. The airlines wouldn’t stay in business if they were
Photos courtesy of Heather Mohahan