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BroadBand the Blog: Elaine Blais

I launched a special blog series to honor and champion other women in business. This is a companion service to a new podcast that launched on October 1, 2020.

My intention is to share insights of lessons learned by businesswomen and also elevate their services to the greater community. The goal is to inform and inspire other women with ideas in order to empower them to grow their own business ventures.

I met Elaine through my membership with Polka Dot Powerhouse – Central RI. She followed her heart to pivot into a career that aligned with her purpose and she supports other women on similar journeys:

Hi! I’m Elaine, a Life Coach, Author, Speaker and passionate encourager. I’m also a mother, grandmother, tree-hugger, dog lover, and personal development junkie…which led me to doing what I am passionate about; coaching other women to live their best life. And, I’m on a mission to empower one million women to live into their dreams.

1.    How long have you been an entrepreneur?

I’ve been a life coach for 5 years. I spent 25 years in corporate, mostly in customer service management in a variety of industries including telecom, banking, and manufacturing.

2.    What motivated you to pursue being your own boss?

My life really. Everything I’d ever experienced led me here. Growing up the eldest of 5 children and being the responsible one. None of my women role models had careers and most spent their lives making sure everyone else was happy and putting themselves last. I became a big people pleaser, a co-dependent. It was an exhausting way to live, always doing more and more thinking “then they’ll like me or love me or accept me.” At some point, I realized it was time to love myself. I saw a lot of this in my corporate career as well. Women working hard to be liked and accepted, hoping to get some crumb of recognition or the promotion. They didn’t know how to like and value themselves. I mentored many women (and men) in the corporate setting, and soon realized that I have more freedom and flexibility to coach women outside of the corporate context. They are freer to explore what’s truly possible for them. I’m thankful every day for all the learning and experience in those 25 years and I’m blessed to be doing what I am doing now.

3.    If you could go back to your younger self, what kind of advice would you give yourself about your pursuit to create your own business?

Trust yourself and follow your intuition. We spend a lot of time seeking other people’s opinions about what we want and comparing ourselves with so and so. The truth of the matter is only I know what feels right to me. It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else. You truly have to be your own wise counsel and belief in yourself and your dreams. I think more women would follow their hearts desires, their passion if they would just be willing to stay in their own lane and focus on that brings them joy. Stop listening to what everyone else thinks because that’s about them, not you. The work I do helps women to known themselves more deeply and be empowered to live into their dreams.

4.    Who influenced you – professionally?

Oh my goddess. I’d have to say everyone I’ve ever worked with or for and there have been hundreds, maybe thousands of people over 25 years. One of the most influential managers I’d ever worked with is my friend Jennifer. She genuinely cares about her work and the people working with and for her. She was the one manager that most made me feel valued even when I made mistakes which is incredibly empowering.

As a professional coach, I trained through Martha Beck’s program and she continues to be an influence in my work today. I’m a personal and spiritual growth junkie so I’m often reading or listening to Martha (Beck), Oprah, Brene Brown, Michael Beckwith, Brooke Castillo, and Dr. Joe Dispenza to name a few.

5.    When was your moment of realizing, “you know what, I got this!”?

This is an interesting question. There have been many, many moments in my life where I knew I ‘got this’, whatever it is or was. Life is consciousness and we are always reaching new levels of consciousness, so I think this happens all the time. Maybe we only notice it when something feels ‘big’.  I believe we’re all here for the adventure of living. What I mean by that is there’s no place to get to, rather experiences to be had, enjoyed, and from which we grow. When I began coaching for example, I coached peers in training. At times I felt like a complete fish out of water, and then some little awareness shifted and I became more and more confident as I moved into private practice. I’m not trying to master things rather I want to experience them and in the experience grow and learn and become more of who I am here to be. It’s a continual practice of living in the present moment and trusting my inner wisdom. This is my life and my life’s work.

6.    How do you keep your momentum going to keep a healthy pace as a business owner?

For me, it’s in alignment. Which I believe is our natural rhythm of rest and play, or being and doing, and we all have our own natural rhythm. I’ve learned to manage my energy, rather than time. To listen to my body and pay attention to my feelings and I do a lot of thought work. This is a big part of the work I do with my clients. I spent years believing that my worth was tied to how busy I was, mostly trying to control the world around me. It was exhausting and disempowering. Thought work has helped me break out of the delusion that success in any area of life comes from hard work or pushing your way through, or making it happen. When we’re in alignment we’re actually more productive than when we’re in the trap of being crazy busy.

7.    What advice would you share with someone who is thinking about, or just beginning, managing their own business?

The most successful people begin before their ready. Look, many of us spend a lot of our lives waiting to follow our inner calling or dream. We fear what other’s will think, we believe we aren’t enough is some way, so we wait for more time, more money, to lose 10 pounds, to have more education and on and on. This is your life, your adventure. What are you waiting for? Just begin. Take one small action in this moment that supports your intention. This will lead you to the next action. And stop all the busyness that is distracting you from what you want. Keep asking yourself, “does this support the life I want to live?”

8. What surprised you the most as a business owner?

Recognizing my own limiting beliefs around being a business owner and making money. I think I’m most grateful that my business is coaching so I know how to self-coach and I have an outstanding support network. We all have limiting thoughts and beliefs that keep us from stepping into our greatness. It’s sometimes hard to get clear on our own limitations. A good life coach is invaluable.

9. Are you more of a every little bit counts kind of person or an all-or-nothing kind of person?

I’m definitely more of an every little bit counts person. Moment to moment choices, tiny habits, are what get us to the next level of awareness, to greater understanding, and more growth in ourselves and our businesses.

10. Using a scale of 1 (scaredy cat) and 10 (Evel Knievel) as far as taking risks, where would you put yourself?  

I’m always working on my confidence muscle. It used to be a 1 or maybe 2. Now, I’d say 7.5 heading for 8. Just don’t expect to see my jump out of a plane in this lifetime. 

Can you share a favorite quote?

 “Talk to yourself like someone you love” ~ Brene Brown

Learn more about Elaine:

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