Business Not 101

Talking with Becca Powers, Author of "Harness Your Inner CEO"

June 08, 2023 Olivier Bousette Season 4 Episode 37
Business Not 101
Talking with Becca Powers, Author of "Harness Your Inner CEO"
Show Notes Transcript

Becca Powers is an award-winning hi-tech sales executive and motivational speaker. With over 20 years of experience, her career boasts Fortune 500 giants such as Dell and Cisco. From growing up with musician parents who flirted with addiction, to dropping out of college and becoming a single parent of two by the age of 28, Becca’s guts-and-grit journey to success reaches beyond business. As a motivational speaker, she empowers women to prioritize themselves for a more fulfilling, joyful life. Learn more at

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Olivier B: [00:00:00] Welcome to Business Not 1 0 1, a podcast that explores the uncommon side of business, goes beyond the conventional teachings, delves into the practical real world strategies and insights from successful founders, entrepreneurs, industry experts that understand what drives growth and how to achieve success in an ever-changing business landscape.

So join us and let's go beyond the basics.

OlivierB: Hi, Becca. How are you?

BeccaP: I'm good. Nice to be on your podcast. I'm excited for this interview.

OlivierB: Thank you so much for joining us. We really appreciate it. All right, so please introduce yourself and give us a quick overview of your book.

BeccaP: Yes, I'd love to. All right, so I'm Becca Powers. I am author of Harness Your Inner c e o. And that opening right there, people are like, well, what's inside the book? And I'll tell you. So the book title came from one of my most dramatic and powerless moments. I fell to the bathroom floor. One night after [00:01:00] work, it was my fourth bad day in a row.

I was working 12 hour days. I'm a corporate sales leader and I had four kids in middle school at home. I walked through the door, I walked through the door exhausted, and they're running up to me happy. Like, Hey, mom, like we had a really good day at school. We wanna tell you about it. And I had no presence.

I was running on empty, and I told them, Mom needs five minutes and I saw them shift. I saw them go from happy to sad, and my mom heart broke, and so I had to carry that with me. The whole rest of the evening. I tried to recollect myself to be present for them and stuff like that, but when I got to the, that end of the day and I was getting ready for bed, I collapsed the floor in complete exhaustion.

I no longer was able to power through my day or to hype myself up. You know, I'm in sales, I'm able to be [00:02:00] like, your tomorrow's gonna be a good day. You know, I wasn't able to do that. I had nothing left. And When I fell to the bathroom floor, I started to cry and curled into a ball. Cause I, I had nowhere to go but up.

That's what I say. I had to like, call out to universe, God, hey, I need some help. Like, I, I can't do this the same way tomorrow. And I had no idea how I was gonna do tomorrow. But in that moment, I say I got my instant miracle. And I remembered a conversation I had had like three years earlier where a former VP of sales had told me, Becca, You're the CEO of your life.

And so it was in that moment that I thought, Hey, if I was able to harness my inner CEO, then maybe I wouldn't feel so powerless on the bathroom floor. So it was kind of, that's where the book came from and what it's about is about rising back into your power, reclaiming your life, taking charge, and putting, reestablishing your priorities and [00:03:00] your boundaries so that you can love your life, both at work and at home.

OlivierB: That's fascinating . So did you just jump into your, your current role or did you have to sort of figure out where you were and sort of rebuild your life around that, that new concept, sort of like reawakening of your, you know, your

BeccaP: It. Yeah, it was a reawakening and I think it's like a both and I I was in that role for three years and it wasn't a fit. And I think like as. We pursue our careers when they're not pure callings, right? We can find ourselves in a position where we. Stay because the paycheck's attached to it. We might be primary providers.

And I was in a very similar situation like that where there was a lot of emotion tied into my role. I also was a sales leader. I had a team. I loved the company and the motto and things like that. So there was a lot of, I always say leaders are [00:04:00] very service-based for the most part and very impact based.

And so I found myself. Almost self-sacrificing to serve what I thought was the greater good or to do the right thing. And what I didn't realize is that in prioritizing everything else, I wasn't even on the priority list, which is how I got there. And then to, you know, answer your question more directly too, is once I got into that next day, I had to just kind of like, I had a situation and I could tell you the story after, but I had to put in a boundary right away that I didn't even know how to set boundaries.

I just knew that if I said yes to this thing that I was being asked to do, that I would probably end up on the bathroom floor again because I would overextend myself. So I ended up realizing pretty quickly that. That role wasn't going to be a fit anymore. So I ended up within about 90 days to 120 days [00:05:00] shifting, shifting roles in companies.

OlivierB: Yeah. I feel that because it's, it's something that some, some companies just take so much and certain roles take so much, and you do need, certainly when you find yourself in that position where you've hit. The wall you need to refocus and reset your life. And it's interesting you say this, so you left your, the, the employer and you went and wrote your book, or did you go somewhere else and work and then realize, you know what, I, I'd rather write a book about this.

BeccaP: so, it's a little bit of an interesting story. So I am in tech sales. I actually still work full-time. I work for Cisco. And what I love so much about my story, what I wanna encourage the listeners to kind of absorb here is that you can have it all. And it just comes down to choices. Like, you know, some people wanna whole buffet.

Well, you might not be able to have a buffet, but you can certainly have a Thanksgiving plate if you want it. And what I mean by that is once I, I knew that I still [00:06:00] wanted to be in sales, but I didn't know if I wanted to lead, I needed to repair myself. So I went back to an independent contributor role, and I, I've been an independent contributor since that moment, and it's going on seven years now.

So probably going back into sales leadership soon. But I really just wanted the freedom of being myself and, and still making the money that I needed to make to provide, but relearning myself and like you said, reawakening that rediscovering and in that re rediscovering process. I ended up kind of landing my, my dream role at Cisco, and I was so happy that there was just more time and space.

I don't know how else to put it. Like I was like, as part of my passions, I love to write. I'm a geek, I like to read, I love to write, and I just started writing. Because I like to write. And the next thing that you knew, I signed up for a writer's group and they're like, oh, you're gonna write a book in 30 days.

I was like, ah, we'll see what happens. And [00:07:00] I had a rough draft in about 30, 45 days.

OlivierB: That's, that's great. I find in a collaborative environment we can do so much. It's in a, in our own little bubble, we tend to just sort of simmer there. But in a collaborative, I'm always a. Amazed when I hear people write things or do things in collaborative groups. I'm like, yes, that's so true. It's like that energy just flows.

So now, what made you decide to write about this subject? Was it your experience or was it more like, this is what I feel really strongly passionate about? So let me share it with my audience.

BeccaP: I would say starting with my own experience, but both I realized. That I wasn't alone when I started. When I realized that I wasn't, I basically fell to the floor in extreme burnout and I realized that. I wasn't alone, and I also knew that I healed myself. It took two, it was a two year journey. It [00:08:00] didn't happen overnight.

I didn't start writing the book till two years later when I had enough reflection and enough, you know steps that I could share with somebody on somebody else how to do the same. But once I got in a place of putting the. The outline together, I was like, actually, I do have steps. I, there was a way, a progressive way that I did this that I could share with someone else.

So then it really turned in from, Hey, here's an experience. Like I started off kind of memory, and then it turned into like a true balloon like personal growth book for someone else.

OlivierB: Yeah, I can see that. And having skimmed through it a little bit, I want to ask you a question about what is the A W T A F method?

BeccaP: So that's a good one. It's one of my favorites because I feel like all change starts with awareness and I call it admit when things are effed. Because so many times, especially in like modern day [00:09:00] society, like we've already built the picture. Like there's kids, there's jobs, there's money, there's bills, there's soccer practice, there's all these things.

You don't have time to stop and think about yourself, like you're just on the go and. I was in a role, if I'm being completely honest with myself, I wasn't a role that I knew wasn't a fit six months into the role. Here I am three years later still in that freaking role, and it took me like coming to terms that this situation's just.

Messed up and, you know, I need to admit it. And, and the reason that I threw the f-bomb at the end of it too is because I'm a big like Tony Robbins fan, and he does drop the F-bomb now and then, but there's a psychological effect that happens. It it interrupts your nervous system and grabs your attention.

And so that's why I wrote it like that too, so that the reader would actually stop and be like, oh my God. Like maybe I do need to admit that things aren't going well right now.

OlivierB: That's brilliant. [00:10:00] And Anthony Robbins is awakened the giant. That's what started my a lot of my career moves. So I love him.

BeccaP: yes.

OlivierB: So when you were writing this book, and obviously when you start writing a book and I, I haven't written a book yet. Myself, so I'm only going with, you know what people have told me.

One of the things is that that, so the, we have the moment, the aha moment, why we launched the book, we've explained that, but now it's actually writing the book. So what were some of the roadblocks? Because now you're taking what you've experienced over a couple of years or months and are trying now to put it into a format that people can read.

So what were some of the roadblocks you hit trying to do that?

BeccaP: I think for me, the first one kind of goes. Back to a, a question. You had a, a couple back, which was, you know, am I doing this full-time? Am I still working? What's going on? One of the biggest challenges I had when I was through the, the first draft part, which there was so much more after that was time, because I work full-time, I [00:11:00] have kids.

Like I really found it challenging to Carve out the time. Then it became like, like a blanket, like something that I truly enjoyed. I started waking up at five 30 in the morning. Fast forward, I still do that. Like that's when I write now. But it was finding a spot for it in my life was the first challenge.

And then the other challenge was just my ego. Like once it got into like an editor's hand, you get all the red lines back and I'm, you know, Recovering perfectionists, I like to say. And that was like a blow to me. I was like, oh my gosh, I thought I was a good writer, but I might not be.

OlivierB: That must be like really harsh. I've only, some other of the guests, authors, they said the same thing, where they felt, you know, really nervous handing it over to somebody else There. Or manuscript or their, their book. And you know, you don't think about it cuz you're like, oh it's, you know, good enough.

When you're in the business world, it's like perfection is the enemy, right? You want it good enough to launch it. [00:12:00] But in it seems in books, it's the opposite. You want it to be almost perfection. So that's really interesting. So how did you research your book? Because obviously it comes from your personal experience, but as well, you're now trying to bring in some science behind it to make sure that it's just not your story, but a story that people can sort of relate to and also build off of.

So how did you do some of your research? 

BeccaP: Yeah, there's a whole bunch that I did, I did interview a bunch of women and not that it's a book just for women, but that was, that's my like, core audience. So I interviewed a bunch of women that had. Gone through some similar things and started seeing the pattern. I'm a pattern junkie, like I love seeing patterns and things.

So then I started seeing the patterns in all the interviews. I started being able to relate it back to me. I'm also a Kundalini yoga teacher, so I know a lot about the nervous system breath resetting, and that's how I was able to do a lot of my healing was to go into my own. Toolbox. But then I did also get certified as [00:13:00] a life coach.

I got certified in trauma awareness. I got certified in shadow Beliefs because I did want to be able to bring a fully comprehensive, here's how to get unstuck and how to, here's how to get back into your personal power formula for the readers.

OlivierB: That's really interesting. I recently had a guest who also specializes in resetting your nervous system and, and, but I've never heard of the shadow part that, could you elaborate on

BeccaP: Sure. So shadow beliefs are really, are limiting beliefs. And what's really interesting when it comes to burnout, I I, because I have this very, I have this 20 year corporate background, I ended up creating my own framework for burnout. And I call it the five stages of burnout, but it. It comes back to the shadow because the shadow are our core wounds.

Like, I'm not good enough, I'm not lovable, I'm not wanted, and when, when we get into our adult years, you [00:14:00] know that our childhood years are fall, behi far behind us, but those. We call them shadow beliefs are still in us, and especially at work, they get triggered. And when they're triggered, I call 'em the uns.

But when we feel unwanted, unloved un like things like that it triggers us feeling undervalued, underappreciated, under-recognized. And those are all those shadowy qualities that really lead us into like a downward spiral.

OlivierB: That's super interesting. So I've never heard of it. I understand sort of the core memories and the effects it has, but that's really interesting. So you know what, and mental wellbeing, wellbeing is super important and certainly for entrepreneurs and startups, it's really be able to understand that because it's so easy to fall into a pit of despair sometimes.

So that's

BeccaP: Yes. And when you can, like how, how, so this is how they all, they're all interconnected is, let's just say at work, I'm feeling. I don't know, unwanted, [00:15:00] just no one's paying enough attention to me or whatever. But that's what I'm internalizing. I'm feeling unwanted, and then I'm feeling. And then I start feeling, oh, are they undervaluing me?

They are under valuing me. I'm working so hard. And then I start looking at my behavior. I'm like, oh my gosh, I'm overworking, I'm overcommitting. And then that, that whole kind of cycle is, is together where, you know, I'm feeling unseen, unhear. I am, I'm overworking overcommitting, taking on more projects because I wanna give value, but hey, at the end of the day, I'm feeling undervalued.

And that's when people start con, start questioning their belonging to an organization, or even, I mean, it could be relevant to a family too.

OlivierB: Yeah. No, that's brilliant. That's brilliant. See, I learn something every time I interview somebody, so I love that. So what is one thing you want your readers, if they, if they read the book, what is one thing you really want them to take away from your book?

BeccaP: That they are worthy of living their BA best life. I, I, I talk, and that's [00:16:00] such a cliche saying these days. But the worthy piece is really important to me because when we don't feel we're worthy, we don't prioritize our wellbeing. Is what it comes down to. And when we feel worthy, we are willing to prioritize our wellbeing.

First. We're willing to put in a boundary. We're willing to say yes to ourselves, no to other people. And that's always my message. I'm like, you are worthy of your wellbeing, period. No one deserves to take that from you. And it's. Ultimately our responsibility. At the end of the day, if we let it, if we do let someone else or an organization take that from us.

OlivierB: That's a great point. I love it. , since the launcher book, what has been some of the most successful ways you've been able to grow your community? And grow your readership.

BeccaP: I feel that showing up, it was one of the hardest things like we talked about. B, the hard part of writing. I think the harder part for a [00:17:00] writer is becoming visible because you have to be visible on social media. You have to, that's how people find you. And even if you're not that big of a platform yet, you just start growing every time you show up.

And It took a while for me to find my voice like I could, I felt more comfortable writing than I did speaking a hundred percent. And it's weird because I feel comfortable speaking to large audiences a keynote speaker, but you've hit me one-on-one with the camera. And I like wanted to barf. So I think that was one of the hardest things that I had to overcome, but also the most rewarding when I could find a way to authentically connect with with my people.

My readership grew cuz people do what they do. Hey, did you see this? Like, I wanna share this. And, and that's kind of how it happened.

OlivierB: Have you founded that these interviews, these podcasts and let's say what, you know, video class have been the most successful word of mouth to [00:18:00] grow your readership?

BeccaP: for sure. Podcasting for sure. I found I did a pretty good podcast tour, I say during my launch, and I saw I saw orders almost after every, every interview. I think that if I was to relaunch again, I would probably put more time into podcasting. Then I, I did, I wrote some articles and did some other style type of interviews, but I think podcasting probably had the most result.

OlivierB: That's really interesting. So it's good to hear as a podcaster.

BeccaP: know, right?

OlivierB: Yeah, and I always, I tell people from my experience when I started a podcast, I was amazed how much word of mouth. Carries. So that's super interesting. Now switching it up a little bit, if you can go and leave yourself, your past self. So before you were on the bathroom floor, a message, what would it be?

BeccaP: I'd be like, girl, quit that job. I'm just kidding.

OlivierB: I love it. I love it.

BeccaP: But [00:19:00] something serious to that I, you know, I always say, In hindsight, we knew the answer. We knew, like I knew most people have been like before I dated that person, I knew something in my gut feeling or before I took that job, something told me any. Now we ignore those things.

OlivierB: Yeah, that's so true. We, we should listen to our gut. I always tell that to people. I mentor people and I always tell them, listen to your gut, cuz that's probably the best you can ever do. If, and here's a fun question I like to ask everybody who's an author, certainly a business author, if you can write a biography of any business person or famous person, let's say like, like a Warren Buffet, who would it be and why?

BeccaP: You know, I'm going back to Tony Robbins. I guess that's who's in my like space right now. But

OlivierB: do it too. I a hundred percent agree.

BeccaP: Yeah, I really love his work and I have been, you know, as I mentioned the shadow, I'm gonna j I just wanna give the audience like a little color. So shadow work is really everything that's on that more limiting belief side.

So that's [00:20:00] trauma work and all of those things. Burnout, trauma are really popular right now. The thing that I don't like about the popularity is that people are getting stuck in their limited beliefs. Their shadow work and their burnout because there's not a way out. And what I love about Tony Robbins and his work is that he, you know, you break through your barriers.

You let go of your limitations, but you spend like all this time programming yourself to, you know, for your potential. And I just, I'm like, whoa, if all of us were in our potential, this would be a much better world. So anyway, that's, that's my why behind my pick Tony Robbins right

OlivierB: yeah, a hundred percent agree. And that's a great point you brought up because we, we do tend to wallow in our own little bubble If we want to our own silos. We, we, if it's so easy to fall into and then Whoa, me.

BeccaP: Yes.

OlivierB: know that, you know why you're, you're, you're not happy and you're looking at it.

But [00:21:00] instead of saying, okay, well now I know why, now I need to find the door to leave. And I don't know if it's a generational thing, but I've seen that it's a, it's a conversation that comes up, like what happens when you start spinning your wheels in the mud? So that's a great point. I love it. And it's so true.

Tony Robbins is not the type of person I can see. Wallo too long,

BeccaP: Yeah. It's like and let's get, let's get outta that.

OlivierB: That's it. That's it. Yeah. You had a five minutes. Let's move along

BeccaP: Yes.

OlivierB: So aside from your book, what is one business book that you read in your career that's helped you professionally?

BeccaP: My favorite, favorite leadership book is, it's Not About The Coffee by Howard Bear. It was probably written around 2012 ish, I'm thinking. But he's the former vice president and, and, and president of International Starbucks. And so that's why it's not about the coffee, but you really get a full sense of that.

It was really about the people and that's what made the coffee great.[00:22:00] 

OlivierB: That's great. I love it. How do you stay productive and focused now that you're, obviously you have a day job, you have your family and you're writing books or are, are you writing another book by the way,

BeccaP: I am writing another book. I'm podcasting. I'm speaking, I think, and this is where I was gonna, where I was indicating before that you can have a very full plate and not be overwhelmed. You just have to choose all the things. So I'm totally in my passions now. I don't do many things that don't fill me up.

And if I do, Then I, if I have to, I always say choice has to pass. They can either help us, or choices either help us or hurt us, or they empower us or disempower us. And like we can't say no to everything. We have to participate in life. But I do know now that if I say yes to something that's gonna zap my energy, I'm gonna put it back in.

And because of that, I've gotten really good with boundaries. Like I said, I wake up at five 30 in the morning, not because I have to, but because I want to. And. [00:23:00] Wanting versus needing is a whole different ballgame. Cuz my energy is full and alive and like I'm like, you can see I'm like jazzed up right now.

So, but I wake up in the morning, I write, I do a lot of my like, podcasting outlines whatever I I'm doing in my like, thought leader world, but I wanna call it that. And then I, I work and then I spend time with my family. My days are done by five 30 for the most part, unless like there's an opportunity like this to have.

Be on an awesome podcast.

OlivierB: Thank you. Yes, I know it's, it's so hard finding time, so I tend to. You know, record in the morning, record at night, whenever it's really hard to find every, you know, a fixed schedule for everybody. So my last closing question to you is how could my listeners come out and, and connect with you and connect with your book?

And we'll be adding this to the show notes as well.

BeccaP: Yeah, that's great. So social media is really super simple. LinkedIn and Instagram are my biggest platforms, but I'm on Facebook too and they're all at Becca [00:24:00] Powers 13. 13. And my website is becca Super easy. And if you go to the website, there's a free downloadable there that's like the leg, the Your Legacy Empowerment guide, but it'll help you get your dreams going and start thinking a little bigger.

OlivierB: Perfect. Well, I wanna thank you so much for joining us today. It was an absolute pleasure to have you on.

BeccaP: Yeah, it was awesome to be here. Thank you so much.

Olivier B: Business Not 101 is hosted and written by me, Olivier Bousette and produced and edited by our talented podcast team to listen to Business not 1 1. You'll find us in all your favorite podcast apps as well as YouTube. We hope you've enjoyed this interview and it's given you some valuable insights and helped you along your business journey.

And if you have any comments or questions, please reach out to us. Thank you for joining us and listening to this episode of Business not 1 0 1.