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I feel the impact of our work in pretty much every area of my business, life, and...
Through my work with Cat (in the Unbounded mastermind and 1:1 coaching), I was able to launch two dream businesses: my jewelry business and my brand strategy business.
I feel the impact of our work in pretty much every area of my business, life, and relationships - I don’t think I could’ve survived those major transitions without her support.
Cat helped me honor my boundaries as a CEO - there’s actually time for me on my calendar now! She also made me believe I’m actually good with managing my money - and it shows!
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Working with Cat made me realize that there are ways to work 15 hours a week and have the money and impact you desire - my income has grown 40%. So now I do exactly that - and the rest of the time I’m living, reading, relaxing, traveling internationally, and nourishing myself.
My ability to show up powerfully and vulnerably has transformed both my romantic relationships and my client relationships and continues to be one of the biggest attractors for new clients in my business.
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She lets you come to your own conclusion in your own time and gives you ownership of your decisions,...
She’s very gentle about her approach and doesn’t just give you the answer - even though that would probably be the easiest thing to do for her.
She lets you come to your own conclusion in your own time and gives you ownership of your decisions, which I find so empowering.
She's never going to sit there and make you feel bad for dropping the ball on an assignment. She always allows you to give yourself the grace even if you're not able to give it to yourself in those moments.
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I’ve partnered with her since 2014, and Cat gave me the strength to say no to a steady paycheck, create stronger boundaries, and finally launch my personal styling business. It was everything I was looking for.”
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Behind the Scenes of the Unbounded Potential Rebrand
About the episode:
Welcome back to episode two of The Prosperous Empath Podcast! By the time this episode is live, the Unbounded Potential rebrand and new website will be available for everyone to see! I feel like the true behind the scenes of a process like this is so important for every entrepreneur to know, but is something that is not often talked about or talked about very superficially. So I wanted to be honest with you today and share how this past year and half has felt, the investment, and the top six lessons that I’ve learned. No matter what stage of business you’re in, I hope that this episode is helpful for you when it comes to choosing to invest and choosing change!
- A look behind the scenes of the new rebrand of Unbounded Potential and the new direction of the business
- Catherine’s (bad) experience with a previous contractor and how that highlighted her unhealed empathic self and impacted future hires
- How to create a conscious business approach and stay true to yourself as your business grows
- Why it’s important to manage expectations for any project and clearly articulate your vision
- Shifting from being overly giving, or getting taken advantage of, to be exquisitely supported
- The top six lessons Catherine has learned through the rebrand process
- The dollars and cents of the overall investment for the rebrand from copywriting to the website
- Copywriting: Allison Janada Brown
- Opt-In: Avocado Toast Marketing
- Podcast: Heart Centered Podcasting
- Branding: Martha Cristina Garza
- Styling: KLV Styling
- Web Copy: The Happen Co.
- Photography: Stephanie Craig
- Photography: Emma Bushey
- Coaching: Martia Bolles
- VA + Social: Vine and Venture Virtual
[expand title="Click here for a raw, unedited transcript of this episode"]
Catherine A. Wood 0:00
Hello, hello, and welcome back to the second episode of the podcast. I'm really excited to be here with you all today. And I just got back from the dog park. It's super cold outside today here in Boston. And now I'm sitting in my office with Luna, who hopefully will not snore too loudly as I record this episode. And I have my favorite Voluspa candle lit which I coincidently just sent to our wedding photographer as a gift for being so amazing. And I'm wearing my favorite electric heating pad around my shoulders, which basically, I think everyone in our unbounded mastermind has at this point, because we literally almost all wear them to the goals. And I'm going to link to both of these products in the show notes today in case you're interested in increasing your own cozy factor in your office. And today is a huge day for us in my world. And I'm really excited to share about it with you today on the podcast. By the time you will have listened to today's episode, we will have unveiled our new website, our new rebrand, and our new strategic direction for the business. And it has been a massive, creative journey to get here. Honestly, I feel like I birthed a creative child. Yet it's a bit more anticlimactic, right? Because it's like when you launch a new website, you just press Publish, and voila, it's not quite the same excitement. Not that I've experienced childbirth. But that's another story. But anyway, I am really excited to take you behind the scenes of my business today and share a little bit more about my rebranding new website and new direction of my business. Because I think we don't always hear about how people undertake a huge project like this. And this has been a, it's been a long journey for me. i It's been so long that I literally had to write down a little timeline to take some notes about when I hired who and at what point along the journey. And I totaled it up and in total, this project from start to finish as taken 17 months. Now, that's not to say that when I started last August, so June of 2021, that what I intended to do at that point looked like what I ended up creating, it was so much bigger than I could have possibly envisioned in the beginning. But I think that's oftentimes how creative projects work. You start with a vision. And then as you begin the creative process, your clarity and excitement for your project unfolds. And that's certainly been my experience. And I'm really excited to share with you about this rebrand. And this new website because this is not my first rodeo with taking on big creative projects like this. I mean, I've never taken on one of this magnitude. And I'm going to share the the price tag of that at the end of the episode. But
what's different is I tallied it up, and this will be my fifth website. And the last one was done with the same designer. They are amazing. But I had a really crappy experience multiple years ago with a web design team. I had found this web designer online, and she had completed the site of an online business owner who I admired and I loved her site. And so I ended up hiring her. And it was just not a fit. She was a poor communicator, she really lacked boundaries. And she didn't follow through like she really had low integrity, which, for me, I've just come to realize is super important in business. And it was just a real horrendous experience. And I at the end I was so impatient to to bring the new website to life that I just settled for less than what I had hoped for. And I defaulted to her preferences to her desires to what she wanted at my own expense. And those are all examples of the unhealed empathic parts of myself which have been a huge part of my journey in business and a big part of what we're going to chat about in our podcast here and this rebrand. This website has been then just a completely distinct experience for me, it's not to say that we haven't met hiccups and delays along the way we certainly have. But overall, it has been a magical experience. The experts that I've hired the designers, I've worked with the people I've partnered with, either all of them, I know and have been in pre existing relationships with, or they were direct referrals from people that I trust or work with. And it made a world of difference. I just felt exquisitely supported throughout this whole journey. I felt incredibly trusting of the people that I hired to support me. And it's been just a really wonderful encouraging, validating experience for me to be supported. So well. And I work with a lot of heart centered entrepreneurs. And that is a huge journey, transitioning from hiring, support and not getting your needs met, to shifting into that mindset of being exquisitely supported, right, like what I mean is like the idea of attracting into your world, just aligned, values oriented partners, it just makes the a world of difference. And that has been my experience. And that's what I want to chat with you all today about on this episode. So I'm going to share the behind the scenes of what this creative project has included for me, I'm going to share the timeline for the journey, who I hired, at what point along the way, I'm going to provide the names and websites of all of the contractors that I hired to support me with the rebrand in the show notes, so you can check them out. Because they're all amazing. And I highly recommend all of them. I'm going to share some of the lessons learned along the way. And then at the end, I tallied up the price tag for what this rebrand and new website cost. And I'm going to share that because I think that transparency is really valuable in business. And I think for my first website, I paid like a couple 100 bucks, I think it was like 400 bucks for the first website. And this is just a far cry a far far cry from that. So with that, let's jump in. And I let's see if we back all the way up. When I started this creative project, I was most interested in owning my voice, I realized that I I was really lacking a skill set to write compelling copy in my business. And while I've always loved writing, the style of writing that I learned in college was really different than how I thought or what I felt like was lacking in my writing for my book but also for my website. So I ended up hiring a copywriter.
I chose her hire me for a day package. And she was amazing. I hired Alison Janda Brown, and she helped me write more clearly and more compellingly, for my business. It was incredibly useful. I think sometimes we hire consultants to to do Done For You services. But when I started, I was really interested in this done with you package because I wanted to learn how to write better, I really enjoy writing, and I wanted some clarity and some tips around how I couldn't write more effectively. So we worked through some of my copy. I drafted the copy for a new opt in offer. And she helped me edit that and, and it was lovely. And that was literally a year ago last summer. That was from June to August of 2021. So that was kind of the beginning of their journey. And then later last fall, I realized that I wanted to update my opt in offer on my website. I had had this five day ecourse and a guide on my website is my opt in offer and I've had it there for years. And honestly I I've been pretty embarrassed by it for a while now. It didn't feel like me. It didn't feel like my voice. It didn't feel like a accurate expression of who I am today and how I support clients and what I love to talk about just felt super outdated and I used to feel a little embarrassed when I'd see people download it on the site but it it was there I just kept it there because honestly, people downloaded it. And I always wondered kind of, you know, did they think I was boring? You know. So, last November, November 2021, I hired Cara ray of avocado toast and marketing. And Kara and Tim Ray are there the hands and eyes and soul and heart behind a lot of work we've done here over the years, that amount of potential, Tim oversaw the complete rebrand of the site, which I will come back to later. But I initially hired his wife, I heard Kara and I had met Kara first, like back in 2018, I think, through a networking organization, o 2019. And I hired her to help me edit the new opt in offer into an a course because the topic was about boundaries, in business and boundaries is something that has been really fundamental in my journey to becoming a prosperous Empath, right, like, all of us who identify as heart centered and empathic, I have it that learning how to reclaim and honor and protect our boundaries is a journey that we all have to step into, at some point along the way of learning how to thrive in business, and in honoring our generous souls while not being at the expense of our time and our energy and taking care of ourselves. And that's a topic that has just been hugely important for me, clarifying, for me healing for me, boundaries has been part of the linchpin to my success, and they've certainly been a huge part of my journey in becoming a prosperous empath. So we developed the boundary bootcamp course, which is a new course that I'm unveiling with the website, and Cara helped me develop some long form copy into email sequence and the training copy for the course, which was, which was really awesome. So that was back in November. And then last December, I was introduced to Haley Hatcher of heart centered podcasting. And Hayley had been referred to me by another online business owner who, whose podcast I really have come to love.
Emily, Louise is the founder of the ambitious introvert. And we'll be having her on the podcast here. And I'm really excited to share her with you, because listening to her podcast, really presents me to maybe this would be a great way to share some of my message and share some of my learnings and thought leadership with a greater audience and seeing her do it and seeing how she did it with such grace and ease, really, kind of opened the door for me, and made it seem possible. And Haley has been just such a wonderful partner for me in pro in producing the podcast and in overseeing the weekly production of the editing. And behind this, all of all the behind the scenes stuff. She's wonderful. And I also so appreciate her because I hired her last December. And then literally the next month, I decided to completely jump ship with my website and my brand and, and throw it all out to redo it all. And she has stuck with me and held a spot for me in her business ever since then. So we started that journey back in December. And more on that later, clearly. So then, this is really kind of where I, I decided this was going to be a much bigger in endeavor than I had imagined. And this was back in January. I hired Martha Christina Garza, who's a luxury brand strategist. And she's also a long term client of mine who I just adore. And Martha just does exquisite work. And I don't typically hire clients, I really honor keeping those agreements and honoring those separate relationships. But I felt like knowing Martha since 2019 If there was anyone that I could trust to walk those paths together simultaneously, and knew that we could maneuver any The conflicts or communication challenges that she was the one and and working with her was nothing short of magical. I mean, having a client to be able to reflect back your impact was very humbling. It was a really humbling and, and emotional and vulnerable experience for me. And there were tears shed, which is not uncommon. And it was, it was really awesome. So I hired her back in January, I traveled to New York for an in person intensive to do all the strategy work. And then for the past, let's see the first two quarters of this past year, we worked on all of the design, and the languaging. And the new tagline, the new font, the new colors, the new logo, it's just been awesome. And I am really excited for you to take a peek at the website, because I finally feel like the website is me. And I'll share more about that in some of the lessons learned. But it's just really impactful to feel fully like yourself online, then get creates space for so much more space for attracting your ideal clients for for modeling, showing up as yourself and creating, creating a conscious business approach, which I think I didn't necessarily see how I was trying to be someone other than who I am. But But I was. And that's probably one of the biggest lessons learned that I'll share more.
So after we initiated the branding work in January, then once I had the foundation of the brand colors and the new direction for our style, I decided to hire a personal stylist because we were going to do a new shoot a new photoshoot for the new website. And I really wanted to have outfits that really fully reflected who I am. And I hired Carolyn Vainio of Klv styling, who is also a former client and since become just one of my closest friends and was one of my bridesmaids. And it was so awesome working with her, we did a closet clean out where essentially, we cleaned out my closet and I donated all of the clothes that no longer represented, who I am today, my style, my my look my feel, which was really fun. And then we went on a shopping trip. And we specifically picked out outfits for the photo shoot. And we also picked out some everyday items which have literally since become my everyday outfits. And that was that was back in March of this past year. And then let's see, the month after that. I knew I kind of got to the place with my website that the rebrand was coming to the final stages. And I realized just how outdated my copy was. And that I really needed to rewrite all the copy, which was a big endeavor, because my site is not a simple site. It's hosted on WordPress. I've had it for eight years, I've published a weekly blog for many, many years, you know, it was a very expansive, extensive site. But I really wanted the copy to reflect my voice. So not only did I hire Satoshi Sen Gupta of the happen company to write the web copy. I also hired her to interview some of my long term clients and success stories and write complete case studies that I could feature on the website and really share some of my clients journeys because coaching can be really hard to explain to people who have never experienced coaching before or worked with a coach. And I really wanted to presents a larger audience to the impact of coaching because coaching has, I mean I love I love what I do, but it's also been hugely transformational on every level in my own life. And I that's what I wanted to portray, in these case studies and Soryo she just did an A gorgeous job capturing their voices and I'm so grateful for the five clients who consented to not only being interviewed but then having their coaching journey be written up into a long form case study and some of some of them allowed me indulge me to take some some quotes to create a testimonial video which was awesome. So that was back in April. And then at the end of April, on the eve of my birthday, we scheduled our rebrand photoshoot. And I worked with Stephanie Craig photography, who's located in Western Mass in Holyoke. And it's I've done a lot of photo shoots over the years, and they've all been really special. But I think this one was the most impactful on a lot of different levels. And for one, I hired I also hired a hair and makeup artist to do my hair and makeup for the day. And if you know me in real life, I don't wear makeup. I don't wear makeup, I don't do anything to my hair, besides put in some curling product, like I'm just super low key. So I was really nervous and wanting to maintain my face on camera. And I've worked with Emma Bushi, who, who partners with Steph and she was the best like so, so much. So the best that she came to our wedding a couple months later and did hair and makeup for me and our wedding party. I just loved her like she just had such amazing calming energy, and I felt more at peace being in her presence. So back to what was so different about this photoshoot is that I created the environmental
experience so that I could be myself. I brought my two dogs to the photoshoot, right? Like there's nothing like dogs to make you laugh and feel comfortable. We played but chata and a lot of Latin beats throughout the day. And I invited a couple longterm clients to join in for the photo shoot and some group photos. And it was just so amazing. I've never spent so much time planning for a photo shoot. I've never spent so much time planning for the specific shots that I wanted the angles that I wanted the landscape versus portraits that I wanted, it was just so intentional and purposeful. And I get this feedback a lot that I am intentional. And I I really see and saw that I was not only during this photoshoot, but during the rebranding experience, as a whole, I really envisioned thoughtfully ahead of time, what I wanted to create from the photoshoot experience what I wanted to walk away with and and they over delivered, the photos are amazing. And I'm excited for you to dig into the site and see them. So then let's see. Up next was the new website. So Tim ray of avocado toast marketing, we have been working together since 2019. And I have no doubt we'll be working together for as long as I'm in business because he is just such a wonderful values aligned, integrity driven, wonderful communicator, business owner, and I appreciate everything he stands for. And those are the types of people that I hire at this point in my journey. And working with him has just been it's been. It's been amazing. And we started together. I think I hired them back in April. But then we technically started the work on the website in early July. So let's see July, August. So it's taken four months to bring the website to life. Now I say that for a couple of reasons. Like first of all, I think it's helpful to manage expectations for large websites to know what you can expect. And I had no idea what I was getting into when we started. I don't think he did either because I don't think I had clearly articulated my vision for how big I wanted this to be for how many components I wanted to include. And once we got started, you know, like it just got it got real. It got really exciting. And it's been just a creative brainchild for the past four months in bringing this website to life. I hope that you have enjoyed this timeline. And with that I thought I'd share just quickly six of the top lessons I learned And the first one is the reminder that it is super important as business owners and specifically empathic ones, to create an empowering relationship with feedback. The single reason that I endeavored to hire a brand strategist and a web designer at this level was due to feedback that I received from clients. So the first piece of piece of feedback that I received was from an ideal client. someone I admire someone I've known for many years, who told me that my copy on my website didn't speak to her. And that was really useful feedback for me, because she's my people like, she is literally the type of individual that I love working with. So the fact that my copy wasn't speaking to her anymore, really spoke to a gap that I needed to close to make sure that I was speaking to the people that I wanted to attract into my world. And then the second piece of feedback I received was from one of my clients in the mastermind, who told me that my Instagram feed and the pictures on my feed that they didn't feel like me. And that really landed for me, because I had been feeling the same way for quite some time. And so much so that I had kind of fallen out of love with Instagram, and I wasn't posting so consistently,
because it did not feel like me. So I really leveraged that feedback to my advantage to, to really jump into this creative project. And I'm super grateful for that feedback, because I'm not sure would be here had they not shared their experience with me and had I not been willing to listen. The second lesson learned is to embrace being a creator. In my experience, all entrepreneurs are creators, we are all bringing creative ideas to life, whether they're services, products, visual expressions of our business, social media feeds, like we're always creating. And one of the both blessings and curses of being a creator is that we don't know where we're headed. When we begin a creative project. Like we actually have to trust the creative process, trust our intuition and surrender control. Now, that is not always easy. For ambitious, ambitious, driven, high performing arts centered entrepreneurs, right, we are typically so driven by results and, and struggle with controlling the outcome. So as a creator, you need to find the strategies that allow you to be connected with your intuition, and to be able to surrender control. For me, some of the practices that have been incredibly supportive with me over the years have been journaling, and meditation. Those are two structures that I just consistently use, and they consistently connect me with my knowing and my intuition. The third life lesson learned is the idea of detaching from the outcome. And what I mean by that is, as ambitious entrepreneurs, we typically have a vision in mind for when we want something done by many of us resist setting goals because, you know, we're scared that the day will come and we won't have landed on our deliverable. And in, in bringing a creative project to life, like it requires us to detach from the outcome and learn to embrace the process and fall in love with the journey. And as a heart centered entrepreneurs, we are in business because we love what we do. And learning to love the process and the experience of creating is as important as providing your services otherwise, if it's not, then you really need to hire out those those jobs so that someone else can can fall in love with that. That part of your work that part of your business because people feel it, right. Like if, if if I put something out there on social media or in the world and I'm not committed to it, I don't believe in it. I don't love it. Those those posts fall flat 99% of the time. Okay, number four Be clear on your intention. This is super important. When I started this rebrand and this new website, my intention was to be fully me and to show up as authentically myself. And knowing that knowing that that that was my highest intention, it supported me in making all of my investments, all of my business decisions along the way, in service of that commitment. And it does require some foresight right. Whenever we start a new endeavor endeavor, whenever we hire a consultant, hire a coach, we have to be clear on what we are empowering that structure or that container to help us create and for me, envisioning and getting clarity on the intention sets me up for success and fulfilling on that intention.
To recap, the first lesson learned is to create an empowering relationship with feedback. The second is to embrace being a creator. The third one is to learn how to detach from the outcome throughout the timeline and embrace the process and journey. Number four is to gain clarity on your intention to get super clear around what you're committed to creating from any creative project or endeavor that you say yes to. So number five is around open communication. As empathic entrepreneurs, we are incredibly generous. We want to be of service we want to contribute. And we're inherently generous. So it's super important to honor and value open communication. And my version of this in during this rebrand was something I've never experienced before, I was working with my web team. And like I said, we've been working together for four years. So we have lots of relationship. And about halfway through the project, we got on a phone call. And Tim shared with me that he had under quoted me for the project. Now I feel like typically, as service providers, you don't typically hear about a business owner really just owning that. And I had a lot of compassion for him, because I could totally see how he under quoted me and and he asked if I had any wiggle room to increase the budget. And, you know, that vulnerability, that willingness to ask me and to partner together at that level it it made me trust him even more, it probably made me an even more loyal customer. And we absolutely did we we split the middle of the difference that he was asking for and and he's, you know, made a lifelong client of me and huge referral partner, because I really value open communication and working with partners and consultants who also model transparent communication. While for me, that's one of my most important values. And the sixth lesson learned, is to remember to be in relationship. So when we are hiring contractors and consultants and working with experts, you know, even if they are completing a transaction for us, it's a relationship and in business, your relationships are so important, I have a deep sense of appreciation for the business relationships that I have developed over the years. I honor them, I take care of them, I think of them when I'm making referrals. And there is nothing more useful in business than to have a thriving network of business relationships. So I hope those were useful. And I want to leave you with the dollars and cents of this investment. And I had to do some some research to remember how much I've paid over over the months and the years for this rebrand. And right off the bat. What I'll say is this only includes specific contractors hired for the rebrand and the new website. This does not include my amazing coach and my amazing VA team, who have helped me in countless other ways throughout this. Throughout this process, my coach Merida bullies in helping me kind of put ideas to words around the clarity and helped me clarify on my decisions and which direction to move. That's just invaluable support for me. We've been working together for five years now. And then my VA team who has been just my saving grace, my knight in shining armor. I work with vine and virtual. And Nnamdi is just amazing. And earlier this week, he he really rallied for me in at the last hour helping me totally change the platform for our boundary boot camp course. We had originally wanted to host it on another platform and then we figured out it wasn't going to work. So at the last minute we had to scratch everything and start from the beginning which was just amazing to have his tech genius and know how to walk us through that and really create an amazing product. So the dollars and cents of it. For the website and the branding alone I spent $20,000 and And then in
total with all of the copywriting support, the styling the photoshoot, the hair and makeup, all of the other people I paid in total $28,686 I hope today's episode was useful if you are considering a rebrand or website and or know someone who is I highly encourage listening to this episode or sharing it with someone who's beginning that journey. It is a really fun and wild and fulfilling ride. Have a great day
The 4 Structures of Becoming a Prosperous Empath
About the episode:
Welcome to our very first episode of The Prosperous Empath Podcast. I am so excited to be here with you today, and a little unnerved too, if I'm being honest. As an empath, introvert and highly sensitive person, I am much more comfortable on the listening end of a conversation, getting to be the one who asks questions and offers insights and reflections. However, I’ve had countless clients tell me over the years that I needed to start a podcast, and not only does the timing feel right, but auspicious. More on that in the episode! Also, on the inaugural episode of the show, I thought I would share the four structures that I believe every prosperous empath must have to achieve the success they are craving. I’m so happy and honored that you’re here, and with that, let’s go!
- Catherine’s journey as a prosperous empath herself, why she believes now is the best time for her to launch her podcast, and her goals for the show
Reframing the emotions of envy and jealousy and how to use this to drive your passion
Why you must fall in love with yourself before you can find true success, healthy relationships, and more
Why Catherine has fallen in love with the client group of empathic and highly sensitive entrepreneurs and how she hopes to support them
The lack of regulation in the coaching industry and why Catherine has pursued all of her credentials throughout the past few years
What it means to be prosperous beyond the money in your bank account
The four structures that are required to become a prosperous empath
Why your community is the core structure that will help you find success as an empathic entrepreneur
Embodying rituals so you can fully show up for yourself and your clients with confidence
Learning how to set and honor boundaries in order to grow a scalable and thriving business
Why investing in the future you want to create for yourself is a must and finding the right mentor for you
- Accomplishment Coaching
[expand title="Click here for a raw, unedited transcript of this episode"]
Catherine Wood (00:01):
Hello there, and welcome to our very first episode of the Prosperous Empath podcast. I am so excited to be here with you today, and a little unnerved too, if I'm being honest, as an empath and introvert and highly sensitive person, I am so much more comfortable on the listening end of a conversation, getting to be the one who asks questions and offers insights and reflections. That is just totally my jam. But honestly, you know, one client after the next has told me over the years, Kat, you need to launch a podcast. And being an avid podcast listener, myself and a lifelong learner, I eventually decided they were right. So if you're listening, thank you. You know who you are. And today is such an auspicious day to be launching this podcast among all podcasts. So to provide a little context, we're recording this episode at the end of October, and today is Dali, which is India's biggest and most important holiday of the year.
Catherine Wood (01:09):
It's the Festival of Lights that celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and the human ability to overcome, which is pretty awesome. And a common Dali greeting is to wish someone happiness, prosperity, and joy. And that just feels so incredibly aligned for me, because that's what becoming a prosperous empath is all about. That's been my journey, my own personal transformational journey and my journey as an entrepreneur. And so it almost feels just incredibly fortuitous and auspicious that I'm recording this first episode today. And I'm recording this episode in Cambridge in Boston. We recently relocated to the Boston area with my husband of a week, <laugh> recently married to my best friend of the past eight years. And there's just a lot to be celebrating. So I'm, I'm excited to be sharing this podcast today at this point in my journey because it's been a, a long one to get to this place, and I'm really excited to get, to share some of my learnings and experiences over the years, as well as share the stories of some of my guests who also identify as prosperous Esse.
Catherine Wood (02:42):
So we are gonna keep this pa this podcast super casual. You may hear some ums and ahs, <laugh>. You may hear some of my two dogs in the background. They are, at this moment lounging comfortably behind me on my couch and they absolutely identify as empaths and it's just gonna be, it's just gonna be real candid conversations. So here's a little bit about what you can expect from our first episode today. I am going to share a little bit about my journey and how I got to be here. What inspired this podcast and the name for the podcast, what you can expect moving forward. And I'm gonna kick us off today by sharing four of the structures that have really supported me over the years in becoming a prosperous empath. So let's begin with a little bit of my journey.
Catherine Wood (03:49):
So my journey really started back in 2008. At the time I was living in the Dominican Republic, and I had just finished two years of service as a Peace Corps volunteer. It was the height of the oh 7 0 9 recession, and there were really no jobs to come home to. So I ended up staying in the Dominican, and I got a job working for a U S A I D project to promote sustainable tourism in the Dominican. And I had the most amazing job I got to. I, I served as a small grants manager, and I oversaw the request for proposals and the monitoring and implementation of ecotourism startup grants to launch community run businesses. All along the eco-tourism polls across the Dominican Republic. We, we launched businesses and they were community run organizations and mostly women's groups. And I loved what I do. I mean, I lived in the Caribbean.
Catherine Wood (04:58):
I got to travel. I spent the weekends on the beach in the evenings dancing UE and batta, which is, is my absolute favorite. I like to call myself a wannabe Latina. And I was incredibly unhappy, and I didn't understand how my life could look so magical and blissful on the outside, and my internal experience could be so different. And it really started me on this journey to figure out what was missing for me. What was the thing that was missing in my life? Why was I unhappy? So first I started with going back to school, which I think a lot of us do. You know, I went back to school and I pursued my mba, and that was from, let's see, 2008 to 2010. I thought, Oh, maybe I just need another degree. And that was certainly not the thing that was missing.
Catherine Wood (06:01):
And then I thought, Oh, you know, it's been four years. Maybe I'm homesick. Maybe after four years of living abroad, it's time to move home and be closer to my family. So the year was 2010, and I got a job in Washington, DC as a senior economist with the federal government, with one of our statistical agencies. And that was a real life switch. I found myself kind of shifting from that Caribbean island life where everyone is incredibly familial. You know, you go to work and you end work every day with kisses and cafe leches to start the day, and you share your lunches. I went from that life in Santo Domingo to being stuck in a cubicle with no Windows, two computer monitors in a highly introverted office with a sea of data staring back at me. And I was like, Oh, no, no, no, no, Catherine, what have you done <laugh>?
Catherine Wood (07:14):
This is not the thing. And about that time, I was ending another unhealthy relationship, one of many. And I was chatting with a friend of mine who was becoming trained as a coach. And every time she would talk about coaching, I was envious. I was envious of the books that she was reading and the insights she was having about herself and the post-it notes that were posted all over her apartment. And, you know, I've since come to realize that I have a really empowering relationship with envy and jealousy for that matter, because in my experience, envy and jealousy are typically simply signs of things that I want for myself and I haven't yet pursued. So that's what started me down the coaching field. And I went to observe a coach training session with my friend, and I was sitting along the wall observing these coaches coaching one another, and being trained, and I really had this epiphany.
Catherine Wood (08:31):
I realized that I had been coaching people to some degree my whole life. People have always felt comfortable sharing intimate aspects of their lives with me. And I didn't realize that there was a, a field for this. I didn't know that I could do this for a living. So I jumped ship and I signed up for a yearlong coach training program. The, the program was called Accomplishment Coaching. I'll link it in the show notes. And it was amazing. I started getting hired and coaching people from the get go. And a part of that, an aspect of the program was that we were assigned a coach who I worked with for that whole first year while I was becoming trained as a coach. And in working with that coach, I really had a profound, I mean, it changed my whole life, but my very first breakthrough was in falling in love with myself.
Catherine Wood (09:36):
I had a breakthrough in self-love. And I realized that that thing that had been missing all of those years was that I did not love myself. So no matter how amazing life looked on the outside, if I didn't love myself, I was never going to be able to love the life that I had created. And it really helped me reevaluate and reassess how I pursue goals and how I pursue external achievements and accolades in order to feel better about myself from within. That was the beginning of my coaching journey. And when I first started out as a coach, I thought I wanted to be a financial coach. I was simultaneously pursuing a certificate in financial planning with the background in economics. And in mba. I, you know, I've always loved talking about money and finances, and I thought, Oh, this is a great niche for me, <laugh>.
Catherine Wood (10:38):
But at the time, you know, I was still highly empathic and I cared deeply about the people I was serving, and I didn't know how to enroll people who felt like they had no money in why it was important to invest their money in order to transform their relationship with money. So I really wanted to help folks boost their self worth in order to amass their net worth. But at the time, you know, I was really, I was still an unhealed empath. I still wanted to help people at the expense of myself. I was still overly generous with other people and highly unbounded. And it was, I mean, it, it was <laugh>. It was a pretty big failure. So I quickly pivoted and I found my way as an executive life coach, and I found that I attracted a lot of high level leaders and executives in the Washington DC area who had really high level positions and were thriving in their careers, but they too were wildly unhappy.
Catherine Wood (11:50):
And they didn't understand the disconnect between their external world, their external results, and their internal experience of themselves, their joy and their personal satisfaction in life. And honestly, it was a really great match for me, because that had been my journey as well. So I, I pursued that and I made a great name for myself in the DC area, and eventually I found that who I most love to work with are heart centered entrepreneurs, essentially entrepreneurs who are empathic and mission driven and, and values oriented, and really want to make an impact and contribute. And I find that I, I just really love working with that audience because they are just so driven by their passion and their impact, and they often struggle with their experience of having it all, their experience of running the business that they want, earning the income that they desire, while also experiencing the freedom in their time, their schedule, their finances, while also having thriving relationships and wellbeing.
Catherine Wood (13:11):
And just kind of that, that balance. You know, I think there's this, this joke about entrepreneurs that we quit the nine to five to have the five to nine, and for many of us that's true. So I, I've really kind of landed in working with that segment of the population and, and love it. And along the way I've also pursued credentialing as a coach. You know, the coaching industry, it's an, it's a highly unregulated industry. And I'm sure you see lots of people out there right now calling themselves coaches because it's one of the fastest growing industries, and anyone can call themselves a coach. It's not a regulated industry. You don't have to have a license. And for me, the credentialing and the certification of the coaching industry is extremely important, and it's something that I've pursued from the get go.
Catherine Wood (14:08):
So the International Coaching Federation is the supervisory board that oversees the credentialing of coaches worldwide. And I've pursued all my credentials over the years. I obtained my professional certified coach credential back in, hmm, I think it was in 2015. And last year I obtained my master certified coach credential, which is a highly regarded credential. And honestly, I think even as I pursued it, I didn't think I was good enough for it, <laugh>. So that's been a little bit about my journey. I, upon graduating from the, the coach training program, I stayed on for about six years after graduating and helped train new coaches. And and I've loved that journey. I've loved that work. So that's a little bit about my journey and how I got to be here. So I wanna share next about what inspired this podcast, because if I'm being completely candid, claiming that I am a prosperous empath is, it's still uncomfortable for me.
Catherine Wood (15:23):
<Laugh>, there's, I think there's something about claiming that we want to be prosperous, that is uncomfortable for a lot of heart centered entrepreneurs. And this podcast is really about bridging that divide, about helping you see how you can honor the heart centered entrepreneur that you are cherish and value your big heartedness and your generosity, while also teaching you how to thrive financially and in every other way. You know, I think there's, there's something about identifying as empaths that that still has negative connotations for many of us. I think there's you know, there are some perceived preconceived notions that empaths are highly sensitive, that we're driven by our feelings that we're highly emotional. And all of those things are true <laugh> and also empaths are incredibly generous and are changing the world and are hugely driven by their mission, their impact, and their values.
Catherine Wood (16:39):
They're certainly the types of people I surround myself with and the only types of people that I choose to engage with. And then on the other side prosperous. So listen, I think prosperity and being prosperous, I think that there's a connotation that it's all about financial wealth, and yes, that's true. And also being prosperous is about so much more than that, right? Like, coming back to the, the blessings for Dali, it's about wishing happiness, joy, and prosperity. It's about that experience of having it all. And I think for many heart centered entrepreneurs, we oftentimes can lose sight of that experience of having it all. We might learn how to thrive in our businesses and have that be at the expense of our relationships or our wellbeing, or our personal joy. So for me, the journey, the experience of becoming a prosperous empath is about honoring the intrinsic qualities of who you are without being at odds with your values and your desires.
Catherine Wood (17:58):
It's about the experience of having it all. So my goal is that you really take away tips and, and mindset hacks and stories that support you in stepping into the next level of who you are becoming as a prosperous empath. And that's really what I'm gonna be sharing on this podcast. I'll be sharing about some of my own mindset hacks and my journey as a prosperous empath. And I'll also be interviewing guests who identify similarly, and hopefully you can learn and be inspired by their stories. I think the world needs more of our stories, and oftentimes when we can hear other people's vulnerable stories and their journeys, we can hear ourselves, we can hear our own journeys and our own struggles in a way that makes them more applicable, more digestible, and easier to implement. So with that, I, I'm really excited to share with you for structures that have truly supported me in becoming a prosperous empath.
Catherine Wood (19:14):
And my hope is that in sharing these structures today, but also in moving forward, that you won't need to struggle as much as I did, that your journey can be quicker and shorter than mine has been in becoming a prosperous empath. I think a lot of these lessons and these structures that I've acquired along the way have been at the expense of falling flat on my face, or in having my journey take a lot longer than I hope it does for you. So a lot of these structures were learned from just kind of throwing pain at the wall and seeing what stuck. They weren't necessarily intentional structures that I put in place, or things that I did on purpose. They were lessons learned after the fact. And I mean, essentially, like really deep aha moments for me that I'm really excited to share with you today.
Catherine Wood (20:14):
So the first one, <laugh> and listen up, because if you identify as a prosperous empath, you re or are in the process of becoming one, you really need to take a look at these four structures for you and how you're implementing them in your life. So the first one is community. If you are empathic and generous and really driven by service, you likely need a community to help you to help remind you who you are and reflect your gifts to you, and allow your own internal image and opinion of yourself to catch up with other people's. Because what I know being an empath is that I am my default is to care about other people and prioritize other people at the expense of myself. And I, and I do it in some weird ways. Like I notice that for me, I often val overvalue other people's opinions or experience or expertise at the expense of my own.
Catherine Wood (21:27):
Honestly, I think that's probably one of the reasons why I was uncomfortable launching this podcast because I really enjoy listening to other people's expertise and mastery and claiming my own. It's, it's still a growth edge for me. And listen, I'm nine years into business. So we in particular need community to reflect our gifts, to remind us of who we are and to hold us accountable. When I first started training as a coach, I serendipitously signed up for two communities that really supported me in the first years of business. So the first one was a networking organization. It's called Business Networking International. And again, I'll, I'll link to that in the show notes as well. But essentially it's a, it's a franchise model, and it it's a networking group. So you join a networking team, and there's one member that holds each occupation.
Catherine Wood (22:35):
So for instance, one life coach, one financial planner, one real estate, one realtor one banker, one cfp, et cetera. And you serve as each other's marketing team. And I just got married last weekend, and literally three of my guests at my wedding were some of the first entrepreneurs I met who were in my BNI chapter eight years ago, back in 2014. And those are, you know, those relationships will be with me for the duration of my life, and they have supported me intimately over the years, and they continue to refer business to me. So that was the first community that I joined. And I also maintained a, a deep community with my coach training organization and being surrounded by other coaches who were building their businesses offering reflections to one another about what we saw for one another, where we were getting stopped and challenged in our business, was deeply supportive for me.
Catherine Wood (23:42):
Some of my first clients in business were referrals from some of my colleagues from that coach training organization. And every time I raised my rates, they were there to hold me to it <laugh> to not let me decrease my rates. And having that community that again, believed in me before I believed in myself, made all the difference for me. So the first structure is community. You need to find a values aligned community where you feel safe to show up, to be vulnerable, and to ask for support. And I think you'll know when you find the community for you, if you can generate that experience for yourself, if you can allow yourself to be vulnerable, show up as who you truly are and ask for support. So the second structure are rituals. And this is something that I talk about a lot.
Catherine Wood (24:46):
So I will likely will likely link to some of the articles that I've written over the years about rituals. And you can read more about my entire morning routine. But what I wanna say first and foremost about rituals is that when I started coaching, I had zero <laugh>, I had zero rituals, <laugh>, and they were really hard for me to incorporate. I knew that I wanted a morning routine. I knew that I wanted to meditate in the morning. I knew that I wanted to work out, I knew that I wanted to journal. And all of those things were incredibly challenging for me to implement on a daily basis. And what I've realized in hindsight, and this was actually an aha that I got when I read the book, Atomic Habits by James Clear, which I highly recommend if you are on a journey to integrate more rituals and habits into your life.
Catherine Wood (25:45):
But what I realized for me is that the reali, the reason that habits and rituals were so hard to incorporate into my day-to-day routine was because I was focused on the outcome. I was focused on that external gratification of doing this thing every day, of achieving this, of checking this off of my list every single morning. And I was focused on that. I was focused on that outcome. I was focused on what I wanted to achieve. And so much of my journey as a prosperous empath has been about shifting away from what I want to achieve into a more identity based conversation, into more of an experiential based conversation around who do I wish to become. And what I realized for myself is that as I realized that who I wish to become was a woman who took exquisite care of herself, a woman who was gentle with herself, a woman who nourished herself and started her day focusing on herself and filling her own cup so that she could serve everyone else from a full hearted, fully resourced place.
Catherine Wood (27:07):
And when I made that mindset shift away from focusing on the outcomes, and that a egoic based external gratification to a more intrinsic model, it allowed me to incorporate and embody habits and rituals as an expression of who I am. So truly, rituals have been a game changer for me. They have been incredibly helpful in becoming and thriving as a prosperous empath because what I notice is that when I prioritize rituals and taking care of myself, it allows me to show up fully and be of service to the clients that I serve. It allows me to stand for my full rate and not feel uncomfortable or awkward. It allows me to be more vulnerable, to be more authentic and fully transparent because I know who I am and I'm fully resourced and cared for, which then allows me to care for others at a deeper, more fully hearted place.
Catherine Wood (28:18):
So again, the first two, the first one you need is a community that's values aligned and mission driven. The second one that you need to focus on are the rituals that are expressions of who you are, and that really support you in showing up fully resourced and fully open hearted. So the third structure are boundaries, <laugh>, and this is another structure that I talk about a whole lot. And they've been a huge part of my journey because I am the daughter of entrepreneurs. My parents owned a bed and breakfast in coastal New England, which is actually a just about an hour from where we are now in Cambridge. And I didn't grow up with any boundaries. You know, you can imagine growing up in your parents' place of work you were constantly on, you know, we had guests walking through our house every hour of every day.
Catherine Wood (29:24):
Our doors were always unlocked, our home was always open to guests. We answered phone calls throughout meals. We were constantly serving and supporting guests. So I really had no sense of personal boundaries, let alone personal space. And being highly heart centered and empathic learning to both set and honor boundaries has been really important for me in being able to grow a scalable, thriving business. And it makes sense, right? Because for most heart centered entrepreneurs, you likely really love what you do <laugh>. So you just wanna help and be of service and contribute. And for me, this often looked like coaching every hour of the day, seven days a week, working on my business at any moment. And it was you know, it was a setup for burnout. It was a setup for exhaustion and just complete burnout. So boundaries have been incredibly essential in allowing me to build a sustainable, scalable business model.
Catherine Wood (30:39):
And I love talking about boundaries, and I think you'll really enjoy my five day boundary boot camp course that you can find in my website and will link to it in the show notes as well. But it really incorporates a lot of the lessons learned that I learned the hard way, <laugh>, about how to implement boundaries in service of me, and and really getting to be and find that sweet spot between being generous, but also being boundaried with my generosity. So the, again, the third structure is boundaries. And the first two are finding that heart centered values aligned community and finding the rituals that truly are in alignment with who you wanna become. And then the fourth area, which has been incredibly valuable and crucial for me over the years is in finding mentorship. So mentorship might look different for you, but for me it's looked like always having a coach.
Catherine Wood (31:48):
And as a, as a credentialed coach and someone who really supports the credentialing of coaches, I am a huge advocate and stand for all coaches having their own personal coach, because to some degree, the degree to which I develop and evolve as a coach is the degree to which I will hear and be able to offer reflections for my own clients. So one of my first huge breakthroughs in mentorship was actually in investing in high level mentorship in, in, in investing in a high level coach. When I did my yearlong coach training program, which it was also a huge investment, it was, I think it was about 16,000 at the, the time. I received a coach as a part of the program. But after graduating from the program, I, I, you know, I was still, I was still kind of finding my way as a coach and I made the leap and I hired my first coach who was really, he was someone I deeply admired, and I saw a future vision for my own business in him.
Catherine Wood (33:12):
And something I always say to people who are considering making big investments in their business and in themselves is that you need to invest in the future that you are creating for yourself. You know, we oftentimes think about making investments from where we are in this moment, but in reality, you're investing forward, you're investing forward into the entrepreneur you're becoming, and the vision that you are bringing to life. So I hired my first high level coach, and we worked together for three years. And his rate at the time was 1400. And honestly, I don't even think I was making 1400 a month in earnings at the time or maybe on par, but honestly, I think it was like, nah, ma Sonos the same <laugh>, and it was incredibly uncomfortable and risky. And working with that coach is really what it took to get me to reaching my first six figures.
Catherine Wood (34:21):
And he, he was a game changer for me in my business. And after working with him for three years, I went on to hire his former coach. And I've been working with her ever since. It's been five years since I've worked with her weekly. And she's been an incredible thought partner for me. And I deeply value having that partner on my team who can continually reflect to me who I'm becoming and how far I've come, because I think sometimes we can forget how much we've overcome to get to be where we, where we are today and who we are today. And having that thought partner who is so deeply invested in me and who can hold a mirror for my vision and what I'm committed to creating when I lose sight of it, when I feel disconnected, when I, when I wanna run the other way, has been just the most, the single most important structure that I have had since first becoming a coach in 2014. So that wraps up the four structures.
Speaker 2 (35:36):
Again, they're community rituals, boundaries, and mentorship. I am so grateful for you being here with me today. Thank you so much for listening, and we'll see you next week.
About the episode: Welcome back to episode two of The Prosperous Empath Podcast! By the time this episode is live, the Unbounded Potential rebrand and new website will be available for everyone to...Continue Reading