Welcome to another episode of Explode Your Expert Biz Show, brought to you by http://gtex.org.uk/,
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Today I have the pleasure to Interview Carol Anne Cooper
‘I can help!’ Three words that altered the course of Carol Anne’s life, from Maths Teacher to Writing Facilitator. She now works with women empowering them to expand their business through the written word. Moving them from feeling frustrated, depressed and stuck to feeling happy, successful and fulfilled.
In this episode, we talk about
- What the key skill is and its components
- Why go back to basics
- The power of sharing your story
Connect with Carol Anne Cooper
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– Hello ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another episode of Explode Your Expert Biz Show. And today I’m here with one of our lifetime members, Carol Anne Cooper, how you doing Carol Anne?
– Very well thank you, yeah, very well.
– Oh fantastic, so today is all about the story, is all about the words, about business. But before we get started I know you have a quote, which is very important for you. Can we start with that quote and then we can use this as a starting point to get to know each other a bit more?
– Yeah, okay, it’s a quote by Alvin Toffler. And it’s, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”
– Wow, that’s a very powerful one. What made you select that quote? What was it about that quote that was important for you?
– Its one I heard many, many years ago. And it’s really been a driving force for me. I sort of lose sight of it now and again, but I reconnected with it just before we started doing this podcast and I started looking at quotes that were relevant to what I want to talk about and that one just came boom, straight back again. Because, for me, it is about… We’ve learnt how to do something, we’ve learnt ways of being, then we seem to stick in that, and what’s important if you can then unlearn that and relearn a different way of doing something or new ways of being, it helps you to move out of stuckness, it helps you to move out of you know, maybe you’re getting frustrated with something or you can’t quite, I don’t know, something’s not working for you, so that, yeah that one has really spoken to me for many years now and as I say been quite a driving force.
– Sure and now that’s made me think about… Can you give us a moment in your life, it could be a recent or it can be the past, where you had to kind of reinvent yourself or relearn new things?
– Oh, gosh, it’s like a whole host sort of crowding. The one that really sort of shouts at the moment is stepping away from teaching and using the… what I started to train then trained in, the new sort of techniques and things, I can feel it here.
– What was the…
– To actually then, sorry, to actually create a business out of that and to move away from being employed to being self-employed, you know? So I really had to let go of a lot of things. But also learn different ways of communicating with people. And actually unlearn a lot beliefs that I had about myself and my ability and what I could do. And relearn new ways, and actually really relearn there’s much more that I’m capable of, than I actually believed I was.
– What was one of the… You mentioned beliefs. What was some of the beliefs that you had about yourself that you had to unlearn? ‘Cause I think that in the process of moving from a job or doing having a career for a number of years and then starting something new, something that it becomes like your baby, I had to unlearn a lot of beliefs, as well, that I had about myself. So which one is one of the one that you had to unlearn or and relearn?
– One very key one here is actually about me being able to write about being able to explain what it is I do, being able to use words, find words, because I always had beliefs about myself that I couldn’t explain, I couldn’t make myself understood, I could never find the words, and I was, I hated words, to be honest. And I believed that I couldn’t write. I never ever understood how I ever passed my English language A level. And I certainly didn’t believe I could ever achieve an English language A level, and yet I eventually I did. Things turned around. I relearned how to, sort of, connect with words, how to find words and enjoy words. And use them and actually I did about 11, 12 years ago, I did do an English language A level. As I said, something I never, ever, thought I was capable of doing.
– Wow, and so, which is a bit of a great starting point for our conversation because now you are helping people with their words. I think you’ll find a lot of times that we started in a path and we never thought that we are capable of it, and then we become really good at it after a while, and we start teaching it to other people. So what made you say, what made you say or made you make the decision? How did you make the decision to go from I hate this, I’m not capable to do this, to actually right now people need to know about this because this is so important and everyone should understand how the word, how to use words?
– What woke me or prompted me or just… It was probably about 16, 17 years ago now, I lose track of time but it was a long time ago, I was sitting on a boat in San Francisco Bay and I was looking up at the mountainside and I just saw this mansion up there at the top and I went, “That’s gonna be mine one day.” and this voice said oh yeah, you know, three, four, five million how you ever gonna afford that? And I literally heard this loud voice, “You’re gonna write a book.” Just in my head, and I went what, me, no, no, no, no, no. That’s not possible. And then it just started the inquiry, it’s like well, how, what am I gonna write about? What are the topics? And so from there I… It just sort of, things unfolded. So that inquiry sort of led me through a lot of I just guess, I don’t know, I can’t explain it, I get… Things just sort of happened and I think in an unconscious way I then was just doing activities and courses and that, that just have and different processes and things to unlock that within But that was that driving question, well what’s the book gonna be about? And I actually, many years ago, I started, I’ve got the outline of a book. I’ve written the structure of it, I’ve got the chapters, I’ve got the beginning, and sort of the forward and the end, and it sort of got a bit stuck, it’s there and I’ve got a few other ideas of books, and I’ve got some courses I’ve written out of all the trainings I’ve been on, and they’re all sort of just stuck. So it’s all of that it has helped me to say, “Well, how can I do this, what do I need to do to bring this out and to let it out to the world or to bring it together? And it’s just been an amazing journey, and I would actually just like to share, and I never thought, you never know how it’s gonna happen, you just sort of, and interestingly enough, the title of the piece that I’ve just written is I Never Saw That Coming. And it’s a 200 word piece of writing that I submitted to a community book project that happened at the weekend, and it was accepted. So it’s gonna be in print, so I’m gonna be in print, and I’m going, oh my God, how did that happen. Do you know what I mean. You see you suddenly turn around and wow, things just happen. So it’s trusting the guidance and even though at times you, you know, I felt, God, is this ever gonna happen. You know, you just find some resilience deep inside or there’s something that guides you and you just go, okay. What’s in the way? Do another process, do another course. Do something else. Talk to someone else, you know and just keep trusting the process the whole time.
– Think of that. You’re a brilliant example of resilience and just like, keep finding, keep going up until you find what works. And for a lot of people that are in a situation where maybe they’re running their business but they are not… They kind of give up on their words. And they kind of give up on the fact that they can get their stuff out there. What would you say was the biggest learning that you had throughout this process that could help them out.
– What, oh gosh, the words that come to mind is there’s always a way. And I, actually many, many many, years ago when my 14 year old granddaughter was just a baby, I was sat feeling in that space of not knowing what to do and I was just cradling her. And literally, out of that space of just being with her, out came the words. And just the poem sort of just of came out and it’s like there’s always a way. There’s always a way to get out of the dark, no matter how black, no matter how stark, there’s always a way to get out of the dark. And it actually carries on… There’s a bit more to it, but those key, those first few lines, just stuck with me over and over. There’s always a way to get out of the dark. There’s always a way, you know? ‘Cause most people, you hear them say, well I’ve tried everything. Well, actually, no. You tried a lot of things, you know, that kind of come back to the words you use. If you listen to your language, and what you’re saying, that’s where it actually exists. So that’s how it is, I’ve tried everything. Well then that actually creates a space of there is nothing else you can do. Whereas if you say, “I’ve tried a lot of things.” It actually allows for well, there might be something else I can do. You know?
– So if someone wants to get started, or want to get… Talk about the power and importance of your story. Of the storries that we all have. Because a lot of times we start our businesses because something happened to us. Something happened to us and all we want to make things right Or we want to prove something to someone, or maybe just to prove it to ourself, that we can do something different. That we can make it. Or because we really, deeply care about the particular category of people. If someone wants to link their story to the work that they do in their business, in a written format, where can someone start? Because someone… I talk to a lot of people and sometimes people are stuck. They’re like, but this is my business, it doesn’t have anything to do with me. That’s what I do, it’s not who I am. Tell me your point of view on that.
– Where do I start, their business has everything to do with them. There will be something that drove them to that in the first place. And it may be something they’ve lost sight of, and may be something that they’ve got a ‘why’ within them, you know, a driving force. That they may have lost sight of, or even sound of. It’s like gone into some silent area within them. There will be something, and it’s connecting with that. What had them do what they’re doing, you know, set up the business that they’ve set up. And maybe, what I’m getting is, maybe there is a question. Is this the business for me? If it’s not going the way they want to or what is it about this business that maybe I haven’t fully connected with my ‘why’, and maybe they need just changing a little bit with it. You know? If you connect with your ‘why’, that’s where to start.
– And how can we connect with our ‘why’?
– What I’m getting is like putting your hand on your heart. And just going inside and just asking what is it that is important to me. What had me start this business, what is the driving force here? And ultimately, what is important to me? So it comes down to your values there. Really connect, because the answers are within you. Most people are looking outside. So that’s a great place to start, and then just in that space, just pick up a pen and start writing. And just let the words flow, whatever comes out, just let it come out. It can be jumbled, just odd words, even if it’s just splotches on the page. And even using your other hand to write with. You know, or having maybe something in your other hand to fidget with, so that you’re connecting both sides of the brain, you know, some activation going on. That’s an initial one to do. I take people back to the basics of writing to reconnect with learning to write. Because I feel that there is a… steps that are missing, when we first learn to write, which has us then be stuck later on, with that flow? So it’s finding that flow, and then again reconnecting with the flow of writing. Actually, hand writing is key. Before you go typing, you use different parts of the brain for that. And that also helps you to connect more deeply with yourself.
– So is handwriting… It is really fascinating to listen to some of the processes that you use and that you teach about writing. Because a lot of people, nowadays, they will just type, because in a way, even if you write something on paper you’ve got to type it later. It’s easier to start just starting but I think I agree with you. We’re doing some processes when you are doing some work or exploration or even, for example, journaling. Which is very connected to finding your ‘why’ in writing. It doesn’t have the same effect if you type. Not at all, because there is… When you’re writing there’s this connection between the brain, the paper, you and the paper, and the hand and the pen. And everything works together while having a machine interrupting the kind of process, then a lot of times doesn’t access the same part, it doesn’t work, but doesn’t access the same part of the brains that you would access if you are writing…
– That’s right, it’s very true.
– With a pen. So Carol Anne, I’ve got one more question regarding the writing. Sometimes some people can have the question of what if I, what I put out there isn’t good enough? And they will never put something out there because it is never good enough. What would you say to those people?
– I would say, go to that inner child who’s saying that. And what age comes to mind when you think of that inner child who’s saying I… There is not good enough, or what I have written isn’t good enough. And ask her or him what would they like to hear that would have them know that what they write is good enough. And maybe just give them a big hug, and say you did the best with the resources you did at the time. And now I have resources that you can have access to. Give them a big hug and ask them, invite them to grow up inside of you. And join you, you know? Because actually, perfection, it’s like what is perfection? What is good enough?
– Sure. A lot of time you mention about the work about the inner child. Do a lot of work with people around the inner child. So what is the link between the inner child and writing?
– The experience that you had at school. Is what I find to come back to. Because how you experience writing at school, learning to write or what you were writing. There’s always something that happened that if you go back to that inner child, she’s there still stuck, or he’s still there stuck, Wondering well, what happened? Why wasn’t I good enough, what could I have done better, or well, that just hurt me. You know and they… Something happened and they just made it mean something about themselves. And then they’re just stuck, and that inner child is what’s holding you back and once you release that inner child’s wound, and believe what ever happened there, things shift for you. And it doesn’t matter how much people say to you as the adult, well, just get on with it or do it. And you know that you’re capable of doing it, or what you’re doing is good enough. That inner child doesn’t know. So by actually… And I found it can be an inner child who’s maybe just a few years younger than you, or it could be that the child from school. I’ve always found that that’s what who I end up working with. Because that, in that moment, that’s the behaviour that is running the show when you’re stuck, when you’re upset or anything like that, you know? So that’s where I always end up. Find myself working with that inner child and that’s where the magic happens.
– It is very, very, very powerful. I do a lot of work, personally, with the inner child. I think has been with all that kind of spiritual or deep work that I’ve done. Definitely that the one that stayed with me the most. Or that I keep doing more regularly. Because there is, I find that is quite quick and effective. I don’t know, lots of times, a lot of time it is just like this little child inside that is craving for attention or for a kind word or for something. And just giving it to them, they can change our day, they can change our world. And get us to step into, like it becoming, regaining control of what we want to do rather than having a little child dictating or throwing a tantrum or a strop Dictating what our day’s gonna be like, right?
– Right, yeah.
– Alright Carol Anne before we wrap up you are one of our lifetime members. What do you value the most about being a lifetime member of GTeX?
– Oh gosh, the community, the support that’s there, but most of all the wealth of experience that you and Ben have brought to this. Your trials, tribulations, and all that you’ve been through, and what you have now put together. It’s just amazing and has created such a, the word family comes to mind. It’s that space for family to bond to support each other. And it’s always the encouragement. There’s never any, oh that was rubbish, anything that is said to improve it, never comes over as criticism or put down. It’s really empowering and what well, yeah, great. And you take it on board and you just play with it. So it’s that support, the family, but most of all, your, you and Ben, your tenacity and resilience at bringing this together because that’s what gives us that bedrock to stand on and be resilient and determined to get there.
– Thank you, thank you very much for sharing Carol Anne So guys, if you’re listening right now and you want to know how you can become one of our different, one of our member, whether it’s a lifetime membership or other membership options that we have, then check the link that there is in the show and also we’d be more than happy to chat with you and see how we can work together and you can join our incredible community. And now it’s time to wrap up Carol Anne. If someone wants to connect with you, reach out to you, have a chat with you, what’s the best way?
– It’s to email me and request a call so we can have a conversation.
– And what’s your email?
– The email address is Carolanne So that’s firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Brilliant, so the email will be here in the show and make sure that if you want to reach out to Carol Anne, connect with her, book a session with Carol Anne, then send her an email. Carol Anne, it has been an absolute pleasure having you on our show and I’m looking forward to talking to you soon.
– Sorry, can I just say if they put in the topic GTeX podcast just so I know.
– Sure, right, absolutely. So make sure you put this topic GTeX podcast as the title of the email, so then she will know where it’s coming from.
– Right, thanks a lot Carol Anne. Thank you for joining us,
– You’re welcome, thank you.
– It’s my pleasure, and ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for listening to the show. It’s great to have you here. If you haven’t subscribed yet, what are you waiting for? Subscribe right now and up until next time, remember that together we grow exponentially. Bye for now.