Have you ever wondered how you can harness your inner CEO by letting go of guilt and claiming your self-worth? In this episode, Camille welcomes Becca Powers, a hi-tech sales executive and best-selling author, speaker, and career/life coach. She is the author of the book, Harness Your Inner CEO, which helps guide women in business to have the confidence they need to live life with empowerment, passion, and prosperity.
I am willing to do things differently. I am willing to see possibility where I wasn’t able to see possibility. I’m willing to just look with eyes wide open at the world. And that was the point of expansion for me.
Becca shares her journey from how she started at a career in tech sales and moved into a new job where she overworked herself and lost her self-worth. She shares how she was able to find the courage to leave that job to return to a career in tech sales and have time for her family and her side business. She shares her advice on how to avoid burnout by setting boundaries, how you can set your priorities based on the ladder of self-worth, and how you can embrace your opportunities for expansion. She also talks about the process of how she became an author.
In that space of time and space and rest, that’s when opportunities come in. That’s where expansion comes in.
If you’re thinking about ways to harness your inner CEO, tune into this episode to hear Becca’s journey and advice on how to improve your self-worth, expand your business, and achieve a work-life balance.
It starts with considering yourself at least as much as you can consider other things.
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BECCA POWERS [0:00]
So, the first thing that I had to do was protect my personal power.
CAMILLE WALKER [0:14]
So, you want to make an impact. You're thinking about starting a business sharing your voice? How do women do it that handle motherhood, family and still chase after those dreams? We'll listen each week as we dive into the stories of women who know. This is Call Me CEO.
Hello, everyone. This is Camille Walker, your host for Call Me CEO. And today, I'm really thinking a lot about the human spirit. I just got back from New York City watching my brother and sister run the New York City Marathon and they both finished and they both had to dig so deep to finish the race and to create space to reach this dream of theirs. And both of them were at very different levels of preparation and yet they both achieved the same goal.
And as I watched these runners come through, I was thinking again and again that the human spirit and deciding something for yourself and going for that moment and making it happen is so inspiring. And it also made me think that everyone that goes for those goals and achieves those goals, the preparation looks different. The running style looks different. The mind game looks different.
And my brother actually pointed this out to me where he said, "Those who can finish this race in just over two hours have no idea what mind game it takes to stay out on the track for four hours, for five hours, for six hours or more for those who cannot run a race of 26 miles in only a matter of two hours." But it's a different journey for all of us.
And I want you to think about that concept as we're listening to today's episode, that your course of action of discovering your inner CEO and also listening to your gut of where you are meant to be. And where you're meant to be is something that only you can identify as you go. So, as you're listening to this episode, I want you to know that we are giving away a copy of Harness Your Inner CEO. There is a code word that I need you to DM to me @camillewalker.co on Instagram or @callmeceopodcast on Instagram. Either account is just fine and you'll be entered to win one of Becca Powers' new books that hit the top seller's list on Amazon. So, stay tuned for this episode. It's a good one and I can't wait to hear what you think.
Welcome back everyone to another episode of Call Me CEO. And today is special because we are talking with Becca Powers, the author of Harness Your Inner CEO, which we were just talking right before this recording started and she has hit a best-selling author status, which is incredible. Becca is going to talk to us today about how to harness your inner CEO by letting go of guilt and claiming your self-worth. We're going to talk about the ladder of self-worth and what that looks like. So, thank you so much, Becca, for being here today. I can't wait to dive in with you on this topic.
Yes. Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to dig in.
Yay! I was already squealing like, "Yes!" She was saying she was up there with Mel Robbins with her new book and to hit best author, that's incredible. So, take me back a few steps. Tell me where you live, where you come from, and how you were able to step into this place.
Yes. So, I currently reside in sunny South Florida and completely enjoying the weather. But how I came into this space was through my career journey. I like to say this part of my story stops and restarts on the bathroom floor, but I'll explain that in a second.
So, I've been a career sales professional for a long time. I was a regional sales manager for Dell back in 2013. I was a sales leader and I was super passionate. And I had this belief, and I still do, that people come before profits. That's my leadership mantra when I'm leading. Oddly, coincidentally, whichever word you want to say, I got recruited by a company that had a very similar mantra. So, I'm like, star shining, I have to leave Dell and follow this and go to this company. And I did.
But in the process of resigning back in 2013, I had to call my VP of sales to do this and I was terrified. I was like, "Oh my god. I was 35 years old. I’m leaving Dell. I'm crazy, but I'm doing it anyway." I call my VP of sales and I thought he was going to reject me and tell me I wasn't going to be hirable again. And he told me something opposite. He accepted that my people before profits mission and mantra and told me that he was proud of me and that I was the CEO of my own life. So, there you go. That's when it first dropped in. I was like, "Oh, I'm a CEO of my own life. I really like the sound of that."
Amen, yes. We believe that too. Don't we, girls?
Yes, you do. But some things in life, you don't know always take that "aha!" or that lesson when it first shows up. So, I went to this new company. And pretty much within the first couple of months, I could tell that it wasn't a fit. But I was bound and determined to prove, here we go, my worth, prove my this, that, this was the right job. I wanted to prove my tech people that I made the right choice. There's a lot of proving going on here.
But after three years of working in what was a toxic work environment for me, it might not have been toxic for everybody, but it was toxic for me, I ended up getting really sick. I ended up staying in a position way too long that I knew was wrong. And I ended up forming two anxiety disorders, autoimmune disease, and I’m not even going to lie, my hair was falling out in clumps. That's how stressed my whole body and everything was.
So, one day, after work, I was just exhausted and fatigued and really couldn't handle it anymore. So, I get the kids in bed. I did all the mom things. It's 9 PM at night and I start wiping off my makeup. And I just start crying because I couldn't power through again. And I don't know if any of the listeners or if you can identify with this, but there's a lot of powering through that happens in women. And a lot of it comes from a positive place like, "I got this. I'm resilient."
But sometimes too much powering through is bad. And so, I hit that moment of pure desperation. I couldn't power through again. I hit my knees. I'm like, "Dear God, universe, I know I haven't prayed to you in a long time, but if you could help me out of this situation, it would be really amazing." And so, there in my moment of desperation, I say my miracle happened. And it came in the form of that message coming back to me.
And so, I'm sitting there and all of a sudden, I have this whisper in my head like, "You are the CEO of your own life." And I'm like, "I'm the CEO of my own life. If I'm the CEO of my own life, then why am I crying on the bathroom floor?" I'm like, "I have a lot more power than I think I do." So, that's really what brought me here. Once I was healed enough to write the journey, I wanted to scream from the rooftops, "You are the CEO of your life." So, that's why I'm here.
That's amazing. And in that moment when you transitioned, how able were you to step into that space of letting go of that job? Was that hard for you or was that easy because that moment brought you so much clarity?
It was hard and easy. I know we'll probably talk a little bit, but I like to call it the AND. It was very hard because even though the job was toxic for me, it had excellent leaders. I had friends there. I had a team that reported to me that relied on me. So, there was a lot of emotional breakup that had to happen.
Also, I had to have a lot of self-reliancy. I had to belief that I wanted to go back into the tech industry. I'd left that industry to go to this job. I had to believe in myself enough to go back to tech and believe that I was hirable and I had to have all my self-worth in place. So, it was hard from that aspect because I had to keep my mindset looking forward. But I had that inner power. I stepped back into my personal power and I was holding it. So then, from that space, it was easy. Opportunities came in. All I had to do was say yes and be present. So, it really was both.
That's wonderful. So, tell me more about the next steps that you took as far as getting into that new role. What did you do next?
So, the first thing that I had to do was protect my personal power. So, as you rise and you re-greet yourself and you're standing, I like to say, like the phoenix rising from the ashes. You're feeling your power again. You need to protect it. And so, that started off for me with some boundaries. I had to, at my job start saying no instead of yes.
And I know as a lot of moms in the audience and as leaders and coaches and women, we like to serve. We like to say yes. And sometimes we say yes to the point of self-sacrifice. And so, I had to start saying no instead of yes like, "No, I can't take that extra meeting. No, I can't take that extra project." And that was hard because then I wasn't as popular or as well-liked and I had to be okay with that. So, that's where it started. But as I started saying no, I started to get more time and space. Expansion started.
I love the idea of expansion because when we're thinking about living our lives in a greater balance, oftentimes we think that that can be more of scheduling. Scheduling the pockets of time that we have to a tee where sometimes that means creating expansion or space is actually the better fit because we can have space to let our minds have rest. And I think in our busy paced world, it's so often that creating space and expansion and rest is really the hardest hurdle to overcome and to accept that as an answer we all have which is how can I have more peace?
I love what you're saying exactly. And as I chased that balance and that perfect scheduled calendar, that's how I ended up in burnout. So, I'm not the biggest fan of that outward balance game because it gave me no time and space. I was scheduled from 6 AM to 8 PM every day and then my weekends had schedules in them too, which is fine.
I think we do thrive in structure to a certain degree, but you were just saying, when you're overscheduled, there's no time. There's no expansion. There's no peace. There's no rest. In that space of time and space and rest, that's when opportunities come in. That's where expansion comes in. So, I get really passionate about that topic of balance and being overscheduled.
What would you say is the best first step to take? I know we've talked about saying no, but I know that you also have a alder of self-worth that you like to teach on with helping people create space and being able to say no. So, let's talk about that a little bit.
Yeah. What I call that is the ladder of self-worth. And what I'd like to do is first just talk about there's five rungs to it. So, for the listeners, I just want to go through the rungs real fast, and then talk about why that order matters. So, rung one would be yourself. So, if you're looking at the ladder of self-worth, the very first rung at the tippy top is going to be you. The second one is going to be the universe. That way, the universe can support you in your efforts. The third is going to be your intimate relationships. The fourth is going to be that second level of relationships. These might be people you work with or extended family or friends. And then, the fifth one is going to be your job, your money, your beliefs.
And I know this sounds crazy. I've had someone people be like, "Really? You're going to have all that stuff at the bottom? Because that's everything I'm working for." But that is true. I can say from my own personal experience of some of the things that brought me to the bathroom floor is that I had my job first.
I had this belief of people before profits first. And I was all doing it to provide for my family and get us to that next level. But I had my job first, my family second, probably the universe third, the other people fourth, and I was fifth. And I'll pause there because I don't know if there's anything that you want to throw in, but from that space of being on the bottom metaphorically, it happened in real life. I ended up on the bathroom floor.
So, walk me through your thought process of these rungs. Someone is starting at the top and working on our way down or we have to work from the bottom to the top? I'm not quite sure what the orientation is as far as conceptualizing this.
Yes. Thank you for that. So, everybody's ladder looks different. So, that's what the healthy ladder looks like or a thriving ladder, I like to say. That's what a thriving ladder looks like. But you need to identify where you are on that ladder of self-worth. In my example where I came in at the end, I was at the bottom. So, I wasn't able to thrive.
And as a mom, what I learned, I'm just going to digress for one second because I think it'll help give some context. I shared I had auto-immune disease and all this stuff, but what happened because I scarified myself to the point of illness, externally I wasn't present for the relationships that meant the most to me, which were my kids and my husband. I wasn't there for myself, so how could I be there for them?
So, I really had to look at this ladder and understand where I was, where everything else was. and then you asked where to start. So, I was number five. I was at the bottom and I had to bring myself to number one. And it starts with considering yourself at least as much as you can consider other things. That make sense?
Yeah. So, we're talking about a list of priorities? You're talking about prioritizing yourself first. So, you're actually starting at the top of the ladder and working your way down?
Yes. The outcome would be you on top, but not everyone obviously starts there.
Yeah. Okay. All right. So, we're starting with ourselves as the top priority, working our way down. And that is so that we can create a better balance. It's that whole pouring into yourself, so you can give to other people. But talk to me again about your concept of the universe versus your belief system. Tell me how you're identifying the difference between those two.
Yeah. It took a lot to conceptualize this, but beliefs are not always facts. Beliefs are ours. They're personal. And a lot of times, they come down from family or from experiences. And what I believe is not what you believe. And I think that any time that you are even for the most noble reasons, if you are putting a belief above yourself, you're lessening yourself. It's going to impact your self-worth over time.
For an example, and this blew my mind when I reflected on it, but in the pursuit for this job, like I said, it aligned with this very, very mission-based mantra that I had, people before profits, I took a salary cut to go to it because I believed in it that much while I was raising four kids in middle school and my self-worth immediately was impacted just by that decision. Immediately.
And so, that's where I knew that beliefs aren't something that I should put over myself. They need to be lower. And I do believe that people should come before beliefs for the most part. We're human. Our relationships need to have a priority. If I just think about that one decision, I took a pay cut almost a third of my salary. That decision because I followed a belief impacted my family. It impacted my friendships because I was stressed out. So, it's like when you can wrap your mind around how a decision can impact so many things, I don’t believe that our priority should be money or beliefs. And so, that's why that ended up at the bottom.
Okay. So, would you say that number two rung could be interchangeable, somebody's belief in God and then the universe? And the last one is your core beliefs?
Yes, that would be.
Okay. So, it sounds like you, your higher power, your spouse.
Okay. I’m with you now. So, that means you, the higher power, your spouse, the people you work most intimately within your life.
And then all the other stuff.
And then all the other stuff, okay. I got you.
Yeah. But that's really good to talk about. Getting the clarity around that.
Would you say that finding that resource of clarity for you moving forward was what enabled you to write this book? How did you decide that you wanted to become an author? What was that process like?
That's a great question too. I always knew I was supposed to be an author. And that will lead into a little bit is one of the topics I want to get into, but I always knew I was supposed to be an author ever since I was a little kid. I wrote. I journaled. And I believe that all of us have a unique creative expression. And I always knew I wanted to write. I was really shy.
COVID gave me the chance to come out of the writer's closet, I like to say. But also, my confidence was increased as I harnessed my inner CEO, I followed what I knew was my truth. And when I got to a place where I wanted to share it with people, I just knew that I had to write. It was there. But it also came from this place of me accepting myself wholly and saying like, "I am a writer. I have this gift and I've always had it." And I've been so shy because I was so afraid of being judged. I was afraid that if I leaned into, and as a mom, if I tried to put one more thing on my plate that the guilt would arise or I had to wait until I retired because I could pursue passions that I was interested in. And that's so not true. So, once I knew that I had a framework that I could really help people, help them become the CEO of their life, then I was like, "I have to have the courage to write."
That's amazing. So, I might have skipped a step because you left that job with Dell. You found a new job that you hated, but you wanted just to get through. And then what? What happened between that point and now that created this system for you?
Yes. So, that's a very good question. So, I knew at that moment when I hit the bathroom floor that I was ready to go back to tech. Tech's my home. I love it and I needed to embrace my self-confidence and my self-worth. So, when that thought came back to me, you are the CEO of your life, I was like, "Yes. I am the CEO of my life."
And I literally made a phone call to one of my best friends who's in tech and I was just like, "Jessie, I am over this. I am overplaying small. I'm over sacrificing myself. I'm ready to go back into tech." And I wasn't looking for a job. In that moment, I like to call that moment of surrender when I hit the floor, my callout was, "I am willing to do things differently. I am willing to see possibility where I wasn't able to see possibility. I'm willing to just look with eyes wide open at the world." And that was the point of expansion for me. And so, within 24 hours, I had a job lead and that job lead led me back to tech and I doubled my income on the way out.
There we go. Isn't that interesting that when you let yourself actually receive and be open to what is available for you, that that's often when your real path opens up? I feel like that's like they say, the secret. It's just being open to that receiving.
That is the secret sauce. And that's why I have the universe number two or your higher power on the ladder of self-worth because this is what I realized. I was like, "I was willing to put myself first. I was willing to pull myself out of a bad situation. I was willing to see what was open."
And I think in some of my prior days, I had the universe first almost as if I was smaller. And once that job lead came in, and then I was doubling my income, I was like, "Oh my god. The universe wants to support me. It can't support me if I'm below it." And I think of myself, I had this epiphany like this "aha!" moment as a mother. I was like, "Oh my gosh. I would never want any of my kids sacrificing themselves for me." I would be like "Hey, you tell me what you need and let me know because I'm going to support you." And I think of that like my relationship with the universe. I had it upside down. I'm like, "No. the universe wants to support me." I need to be like, "Hey, this is where I want to go." And they'll be like, "Oh, here's your opportunities."
I love that. I think that that's something that it's what we're conditioned to do. And listen where I'm going with this because it's a new epiphany I've had is that oftentimes when we're raised, we're told to make a wish, but keep it a secret or else it won't come true. And you hear that with a star, you hear that with your birthday candles, you hear it with whatever. And so, I thought, that's really the opposite of the way that energy and intention and welcoming greatness comes, it's by claiming what you want, writing it down, telling someone and creating space for that flow into your life.
And so, the other day, my daughter was blowing out a candle. And I said, "What was your wish?" And she said, "I can't tell you. It won't come true." And I said, "That's not true because you need to tell the universe what you want. You need to ask for what you want and you need to say it out loud. And when you say it to someone, it's ten times or a hundred more times more likely to happen because you're saying it and claiming it." And she's like, "Oh my gosh, okay." So, she told me. And she's a sweetheart and said something like, "I want COVID to end," just this pure, pure wish of a child. But I thought, from now on, I'm going to teach my kids that you say your wishes. You claim that space because that is where the magic happens. Because if we keep it a secret, it just stays buried.
I love that so much and I have the goosebumps from head to toe because that's exactly right. And what I learned is that's how it works. That's real manifestation. That's how the miracles happen. It doesn’t come from keeping it stuffed in. I've stayed stuffed in for three years and look how sick I got. And just kudos to you too for telling your daughter that that's something that can change the trajectory of her life.
Yeah. I hope so. Thank you. Yeah.
Yeah, that's really incredible.
Yeah. Let's talk about writing this book. Now, you're back into the tech world. What was that progression from being in that tech position and then claiming this space for writing your book?
So, it started with that prioritization of myself and restoring my self-worth. And once I was able to prioritize myself, and I know I said earlier in this episode I was just talking a little bit about saying no instead of yes, but doing that a few times, helped my self-confidence. And as my confidence and my self-worth began to restore, I've realized I've had all these gifts and talents and not just writing, but within my job. I realized, "Oh my gosh, I love to create from self-expression. No wonder I've been in sales my entire life."
There was a point in time where I was like, "Am I even in the right career field even though I have awards and I've won things?" I was just like, "Am I really a salesperson? Is that my career?" And at some point, I owned it as my career. But after this transition, I was like, "I'm a salesperson. I love tech. I love what I do. I get to transform organizations and I love transformation on a personal level." Now, I'm doing that in my full-time job as well. I just found this joy in what I was doing.
And then, here comes more expansion. My confidence has increased. My self-worth has increased. I'm finding joy in my work, which I hadn't in a long time. And then, I'm getting recruited. Number one, the competitors are seeing me. They're like, "Oh, she's beating me in all the accounts." And then, I kept getting offers and each offer was better than the next one. And now, I'm sitting at a company called Fortinet and I'm absolutely in love with what I do. I am no longer a sales leader. I left that position and went into executive-level sales.
And I think this is a really important part of the story because if you're listening whether you're an entrepreneur or you're a mom thinking about going back to work or you're in a corporate position like you're doing it all, just owning yourself makes the difference. I was authentically expressing myself. I'm honoring that I love transformation. I don't care if it's business transformation or personal transformation, I'm in this transformations phase.
Because I started loving what I'm doing. I’m making more money as a salesperson than I was as a sales leader, A. And B, I'm working for an organization that completely supports me being an entrepreneur on the side, that completely supports me being an author. They're written into the book. They're excited for me. And so, it's breaking through every barrier that I ever had in my head that you can't work corporate and be a writer. You can't work corporate and have a side business and be supported doing it. I can't be a mom and have all these things going on. Yes, you can. Now, I have all these things going on and I'm also very protective of my evenings, so I have time for my kids. I'm cherishing my weekends more. So, I'll stop there, but there's just so much.
Yeah. Gosh, I'm so excited to read your book and it is now available. And I was going to let all of you know who are listening, I'm going to give you a keyword on this episode. And I want you to go to my Instagram page, @callmeceopodcast or @camillewalker.co and tell me what the keyword is, but you have to DM it to me. So, the keyword for this episode to win the book is, I'll let you choose it, Becca. What do you want the keyword to be?
Okay. Inner CEO. And DM that to me for your chance to win your very own book. And before we end here, Becca, I just want to hear, just some quick rapid-fire questions now that we've been through this transformation and going through those rungs in self-worth, what would you say your number one way to decompress is?
What would you say your favorite way to spend time with your spouse is?
Drinking coffee in the morning before everybody wakes up.
What would you say your favorite thing to do with your kids is?
I love just going to a park and walking with them. They're teenagers now, but that one-on-one time, it's really cool.
That's awesome that they'll still go with you. This has been so much fun to spend this time with you today. Please tell everyone where they can find your book and support you online.
Awesome. So, you can find the book. Amazon's probably the easiest. It's Harness Your Inner CEO. You can also find it on my website, which is beccapowers.com. And all my handles are all super easy to find too. I'm on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn. It's all @beccapowers1313.
Awesome. Thank you so, so much.
Thank you. It was an awesome conversation. I appreciate you having me.
Thank you so much for being here today. I would love it if you would leave a review where you are listening to this episode, reviews on Apple or wherever you're listening to this. Whether it's Spotify or Audible or Amazon or any of those, please leave a review. That helps so much and I would love it if you came and talked to me on Instagram. I love having one-on-one conversations with you and it means the world when you tell me that you love these episodes. I cannot tell you how much it means to know that there are people listening on the other side and to hear your thoughts and your inspiration and talk to you about your goals. So, come talk with me over there. Thank you for your reviews and thank you for referring to your friends.
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