If you have big dreams and want to truly make an impact in the world, you can’t do so by staying silent. You have to leverage your voice.
Today’s episode is a special one—I’m passing the microphone to real business owners just like you. I thought it might be helpful to hear how other entrepreneurs take courageous action, get results and believe everything is possible if you just start taking that first step to step up and help your ideal clients.
I hope the stories that you hear today unravel something in you to push you to be a little more brave for you to try new things, for you to raise your hand for a speaking opportunity, for you to be a little bit more louder with your voice and have more courage to share your message because the people that you can help are waiting to hear it.
In this episode, you’ll meet:
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Heather Sager 1:13
So on today's episode, I want to pass the microphone. I'm gonna pass the microphone to real business owners just like you. These are not professional speakers, these are not people out there on the road speaking on the stages, and booking the big giant contracts. These are real women just like you. They're women who are building their businesses, they're building digital courses, or they're building coaching programs, or they have a company and they ir mission out in a bigger way but these are real people with real stories and my favorite part is the wins they share aren't these big in the spotlight wins. They're, I would say they're more quiet confident wins and you're gonna hear why I describe it like that here in just a moment, but I'm gonna pass the mic.
Heather Sager 1:59
And here's what I'm gonna tell you, so the people that you're going to hear from these are graduates of my original program, Speak up to Level Up and all of them have continued forward and will be inside The Speaker Society. And I share these, I don't want this to be this episode where you're thinking like, oh, here how Heather goes with testimonials for her program. Yeah, these are great testimonials from my program, y'all. Emily and I are very excited to help you if you choose to jump into The Speaker Society but that is not the point of today's episode. You have a message to share and somewhere in your heart, in your head, in your gut, something is blocking you from doing it in a bigger way, and I can only be your coach and cheerleader in so many ways. Sometimes hearing it from someone else is going to unravel something in you where you're going to be a little more brave. Step up a little bit more, be a little louder with your voice, try a new thing. What I want you thinking about is the stories you hear today, let them inspire you to step up in whatever way that looks like for you. This isn't about joining our program, this is about you having the courage to share your message because the people that you can help are waiting to hear it, so I'm gonna pass the mic.
Heather Sager 1:59
And here's the instructions I gave my crew, I said, Hey, I want to do this episode. I want to share the wins, the big, the small. But I really want to understand, why did you decide now was the time to use your voice? What led to that decision? What did your business look like? How does speaking fit into your business now today? And I asked them some specific questions. I asked them, what was it like when you started using your voice more? What was hard? What was surprising? What did you mentally have to grasp? What did you have to shift? And I also asked them to share some power tips to give you some little golden nuggets that you can try. We had a really good conversation. I'm so, so proud of these women for the impact they're making in the world and I know that you will soon join the lineup of changemakers of, of wave makers, whatever we want to call it. People who are going to have their message ignite change in other people, so let's go ahead and dive in the episode starting with our first speaker success story.
Merritt Onsa 4:09
Hi, my name is Merritt Onsa. I'm a dream coach and host of the Devoted Dreamers Podcast, and my passion is to connect with Christian women who have God shaped dreams who may be struggling with fear or insecurity about writing their book or starting their podcast or starting the nonprofit or the ministry that they've been dreaming about for years and I coach them through the process of actually making that happen. About a year ago, I began to realize that my messaging was really a struggle that I wasn't reaching the clients that I wanted to or as many as I wanted to, and I was fumbling my words whenever I was speaking and I just felt like I needed to focus on speaking and getting my messaging clear. You know what felt harder and yet at the same time easier was this concept of getting the repetitions in of practicing. Heather always talks about word vomit, get the words out, practice, stand in front of a mirror, like get those repetitions in place and I really struggled with that. I was actually not a very good student at the beginning making that happen and yet, it is one of the easiest things you can do. Once you start to get an idea of your messaging and this was it for me too, like when I was able to and chose to spend the time to practice, the words began to flow so much more easier than it was like, well, if I'm trying to do one and done, there's always mistakes, and that's one of my biggest struggles is I want to be perfect and that's just not real.
Merritt Onsa 5:39
So compared to a year ago, speaking has really changed for me. A year ago, I was really irregular at doing solo episodes on my podcast. I was hardly ever going live or creating stories or reels on Instagram, and I've upped the ante on all of those. I've done a solo podcast series to start off my current season that I'm in right now. That was like, I don't know, six episodes, all in a row that were me developing my messaging and that's been huge. I'm more willing to go live or to do stories where it's my face, and I'm talking and I'm connecting with my audience. And I've had a live event back in March, and this month, September, I'm doing four live workshops on Zoom with my ideal audience. So that's been really, really fun. It felt so amazing to connect with the people who connect with my message and just inspiring to have those voices, face to face with me and me getting to see well what is it that they actually need and want from Devoted Dreamers Podcast.
Merritt Onsa 6:48
I think one of the mental blocks that I had to work through was this idea of wanting to be fully perfectly prepared anytime I was going to talk. I want an outline, or I want to have a detailed script that I memorize and the reality is, you never going to come across natural and authentic and inspiring by reading from a script. And so I've learned that once I know my message, once I've gotten the reps, and once I've practiced what comes out of my mouth naturally when I'm in my element, when I'm with my people is so much better, by far better than what would come out of my mouth if I was reading from a script. I think one simple technique that could help you and that helped me is really just to listen to your audience to hear the words they're communicating about the struggles that they're having and then utilize that language as you teach, or train, or speak to them. You will start to hear people say, she really my mind, are you reading my mind? Are you reading my email? And in fact you are because you're paying attention to what they're struggling with and then you're responding to it in kind and it meets them right where they're at and captivates them and makes them so engaged with the work that you're providing.
Merritt Onsa 8:08
I think in the next year, my goal is to really double down on more influential, impactful solo episodes on my podcast, and to have more guests opportunities on other podcasts to be able to share this messaging that I'm still tweaking and refining but getting that opportunity to get that out into the world more is what I'm working on over the next year. And if you are a Christian woman or you have any interest in faith, and you have a God shaped dream, something that's been in the back of your mind for as long as you can remember and you're ready to take action, come on over and find me at the Devoted Dreamers Podcast or drop me a DM on Instagram. I'm @merrittjo.
Heather Sager 8:46
Alright, let's introduce you to our next speaker success story.
Unknown Speaker 8:49
Hi there. I'm Michele Lyman and I teach yoga and mindfulness techniques to people who are sick of living with anxiety and chronic stress, so that they can feel more calm and grounded and actually live the life that they deserve. About a year ago, I was asked to prepare and present a 10 part mindfulness series to a group of employees at Johnson and Johnson. And I don't think a lot of folks realize but part of learning how to speak is also learning how to pitch your own programs, feel confident in what you're providing, and also negotiate price. Thankfully, I was able to speak with Heather and the Speak up to Level Up crew about what I was gonna say and how I was going to say it. I was really nervous about pitching a particular cost because I didn't want to come across like too greedy, and I also wasn't sure that my product was going to be as awesome as I thought maybe the value of it was. I was so nervous to pitch a reasonable cost for my program. As a yoga instructor, most of the time we don't make all that much per hour because folks are paying, you know, 10 to $15 a lesson, but for a corporate organization, and to prepare and create a 10 part series over the course of a year. Now, that's a different story, and so Heather and the Speak up to Level Up crew helped me realize that. And we walked through some different techniques, some different types of ways that I could speak to what I was providing, and also how to pitch the cost of the program and let it just be that. I was very nervous about offering my services overpriced and them saying no, thank you. And I was also very nervous about underpricing the value of the program and so Heather helped me figure out the price that we thought was reasonable, and then she also walked me through the different techniques to use in order to pitch myself and also negotiate the price. I'm so grateful for her because since then, not only did I get the price I was looking for at Johnson and Johnson but I have since negotiated probably three or four more contracts that have helped me grow my business and now I feel a lot more confident when I pick up the phone and call or speak with a corporate executive or an HR department rep. I'm so grateful to Heather and the crew because I now have the tools and techniques that I need in order to speak better about my own programs, to pitch myself and to go negotiate the price that I think is value add.
Heather Sager 11:39
You just getting goosebumps hearing the confidence boosting off these women. This next one, it's going to give you chills. It gives me chills every time I hear it and let me just give a little precursor before we turn on the next speaker success story. I want to introduce you to my friend and client, Echo. I met echo years ago. She slid into my inbox and she had asked, hey, Heather, do you have a transcript for your podcast? I don't remember where she discovered my work but she's deaf. So she can't listen to the podcast and she wanted to have the transcript because she was interested in using her voice in a bigger way and you're going to hear more about her work in a moment. But I remember thinking, holy cow, here I am somebody with a hearing loss taking for granted that there are people who cannot hear. But quite frankly, it had never dawned on me to talk about speaking for a deaf person because I didn't think about that, and I think that's the problem is we don't think about how to make our things more accessible to other people. But I was so encouraged, I was so inspired by Echo reaching out and when she joined the program earlier this year, it got me thinking about accessibility and all these different ways which side note is what Echo teaches. But the most amazing thing is Echo is deaf. She lost her hearing when she was younger. I think she was a teenager when she lost her hearing but she still has her voice. She can use her voice and you're going to hear Echo speak and tell you her story and I want you to pay attention because of this one thing, so many of us are so terrified in using our voice. If anyone had the right to be terrified it's Echo because she actually doesn't know what she sounds like but still she has the courage to step at the mic, so let me pass the mic to her.
Echo Greenlee 13:25
My name is Echo. I'm founder and CEO of Deaf Friendly consulting. Before I took up Heather's training, I would get emails from people and organizations wanting me to be on our stage or podcast. Inside my heart, I would scream, yes but fear but take over. And I would respond, nope. And fortunately, I missed out on a lot of opportunities to really leverage my method because of that fear. I have big dreams. I want to change the world. And I realized, if you want to make an impact, you have to leverage your voice. Public speaking, whether it's through our voice or your hands, it's necessary to make impact. Now after taking Heather's program, I had the tools to craft a presentation. I had the tools to engage with my audience and I know that I have the power to change minds. Now when I get an email from potential clients, people who want me on their stage or podcast, I scream, yes. And my body follows if it aligns with my vision, I say heck yes. More than anything, I feel now confidence. I have the tools to craft my message and I have the tools to engage with my audience and that alone gives me the sense of confidence that I never knew existed inside me. I'm now confident to say I've had several opportunities to be on stages, virtual, in person, on podcasts and panels, but I thought about public speaking as a deaf person, I was so sad I had to get through many mental challenges and barriers and the most recurring with my self worth and wondering if I could actually make an impact. One tip I wanted to do today, find a mentor and be coachable. I can't tell you how much my mentors have helped me to grow and open my mind and to build my confidence. You can find me on Linkedin. I'm Melissa Echo Greenlee or feel free to reach out to me back by email. My email is e, c, h, o, @, d, e, a, f, r, i, e, n, d, l, y, .com.
Heather Sager 16:46
I still have tears every time I hear her share her story and I hope that inspired you. I'm gonna pass the baton to the last speaker story. I want to introduce you to Jess, who has been working on this now for 18 months and you are going to hear the confidence ooze out of her voice the energy. Let me pass the mic to Jess.
Jessica Brooks 17:08
Hi, I'm Jess Brooks. And I'm a conversion copywriter and wait for it, recipe developer so I write launch fundraise, I build launch fundraise for digital entrepreneurs and I write recipes for big brands like BuzzFeed. So when I think back to a year ago and how speaking showed up in my biz, it was virtually non existent. I was so scared to get on camera and I was so nervous about showing my face on video, like even my Instagram Stories. Forget it. It was just text, no sound. Nothing, I was so scared. I decided to work on speaking because I knew that it was so important in the online digital world. I come from a content writing background as a freelancer and I want to break into the online business world. So I knew how important it was to reach a larger audience was to show up as an authority and to speak my message and to speak the frameworks that made me different but actually articulating that message was so so hard, and I knew I needed to get better at it. What felt harder than I ever expected with speaking was definitely doing a live for the first time. Oh my god, I knew it was going to be hard, and Heather in her program tells us to rip the band aid off but oh my goodness, it was like how am I going to do this?
Jessica Brooks 18:30
The thing that felt easier about speaking was when you build your message using Heather's frameworks, like the micro messaging triangle, or the Magnetic Messaging framework, you actually have a roadmap to build your message around so it makes speaking, you have like an outline and you don't need to write a script, you just know the direction that you're going to take and so having those scripts felt easier and it made speaking so much easier.
Jessica Brooks 19:07
What does speaking look like for me now after taking Heather's program is that I can actually do Instagram lives. It's like the most amazing feeling is to show up and talk and not feel like a total blabber mouth. I feel more confident, definitely. And I'm more aware now when I listen to speakers or when I'm speaking myself, I know where the filler words are, I know how to like move my hands and make a beach ball, I want to share a couple results and wins I've had in Heather's programs. So I negotiated a large contract with a television network that I never would have thought I could ask that for that kind of money and Heather coached me through the whole sales call and I pitched them a number I never would have thought that I could ever get and they because I packed it with the value and she showed me how to ward it. I got it. And I've also managed to launch a conversion copywriting business and to actually speak in groups now and say what I do with confidence. That's huge.
Jessica Brooks 20:08
The mental blocks I definitely had to work through along the way were imposter syndrome and just that feeling of how am I ever gonna do this, and Heather has a way of guiding you and coaching you on every call to move you forward. So I would show up so stuck in the hot seats and I'd like raise my hand and ask a question and she would just kind of swoop in there and coach me on to the next step. So I moved in baby steps, it was baby step but I definitely moved forward and now I have a conversion copywriting business. I start with my first client next week, and I am wanting a digital, I'm launching a paid newsletter which is my first digital product. These are huge and this wouldn't become possible if I didn't have the confidence to get visible in front of my audience.
Jessica Brooks 21:00
One simple tip I want to share that I took away from Heather's program was just the saying that it's for now and not forever. So every hard decision you make in your business, every pivot you want to do but you're not sure if you're going to do it, you're unsure how to move ahead, well, if you step back and say, Okay, it's for now, but not forever. You have the freedom to play, you have the freedom to have fun, you can see what's working, look at it from all angles. That is so powerful and that's how I've been able to move ahead in my business by remembering that I can change my mind. It's just for now.
Heather Sager 21:42
Alright, I hope that the speaker success stories have inspired you. I hope they've touched your heart but more than anything, I hope that it's giving you some enthusiasm and excitement and belief in yourself that no, you do not have to go out and be a big, giant influencer. You don't have to be the next Mel Robbins or Brendon Burchard. If that's your goal, one day, it'll happen. But first, you have to start by taking that first step. Start sharing your voice.
Heather Sager 22:08
Let this episode be the encouragement for you to raise your hand for a speaking opportunity, to reach out to someone and say, Hey, can I come share something on the podcast? Go live with someone, go on your Instagram stories start speaking up because if you truly want to make an impact in the world, you can't do so staying silent. You have to step up for your ideal client that you can help. They aren't just some avatar, some ideal person you want to get money from. These are the people that you can help your expertise can do it, so it's time for you to step up to the plate, start taking this seriously and get your frickin message out into the world.
Heather Sager 22:51
All right, friend, I hope today was exactly what you needed in the moment. Be sure to give a shout out to each of our guests. Their Instagram handles and contact information are in the show notes. So please, please please send them some love on social media. Tell them what resonated with you, that would mean the world to them. I know you would like to save if you were in the same position. So let's leave it at that and I will see you next week with another episode.