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I'm Kelly - the founder of She Is Fierce! and your host on our blog featuring stories and wisdom from fierce women all over the world! 

She Is Fierce! Talks

Featured Interview: Marie Forleo

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Watch the full video below:




Read the Interview Transcript:


Kelly:                        I am so grateful to Marie for joining us and being a part of today and our B-School promotions and for sharing your wisdom with us Marie. I am just delighted to have you here, and I’ve been getting so many messages from women in our community who are ecstatic who are also followers who’ve been probably following before She is Fierce! even existed.

I just think the enthusiasm, and the excitement in our She is Fierce! community to have you here is just through the roof. So thank you for spending a little bit of your time with us in this precious period of your life. I’m very grateful.


Marie:                      Oh of course, thrilled to be here.


Kelly:                        Well I want to just take a moment, I know we’ll have lots of people will start joining us on Facebook, but I want to take a moment for those of you I’ll be shocked if you don’t know who Marie is, but if you don’t I want to just take a moment to make sure that you know how amazing this woman is that we’re speaking to.


Kelly:                        Marie is the founder of B-School, which you guys have probably heard a ton about, from me and from everybody else who is a successful online entrepreneur in the last few weeks. It’s something that you can see just by how enthusiastic pretty much everybody online is. I think that might be your experience Marie, is about this program and about what Marie has put together. You know, with B-School and then also I think all the amazing free resources that shared throughout the year that kind of builds up to this incredible program.


Marie:                      Yes.


Kelly:                        Yeah, and I feel like, you know, I can personally attest to the success of B-School. I’m a 2015 alum, yay, and I’ve shared my story with so many women in our community in the past, but B-School was the very first thing that I did when I started my business. I mean, the day I made a choice, I had a baby on my lap, I had a two year old, and I’m like, I’m gonna do this. I have this big idea, and what do I do next, right? I knew I had the talent or the capability but I had no idea how do you actually create something, which is the hard part.

So really just by fate, I came across your program right at that time and signed up. I just knew right away that it was something that I felt could be transformative, and I’ll be honest, I have tons of really mindset and practical questions for you. But for those of the women in our community who haven’t gotten to experience that, yet I have to say that I have a background in media, and I thought oh maybe I’m signing up for something, and I already know how to produce TV, I already know how to do these things, and is it really gonna be worth it?

For me, it was transformational. It was an experience that allowed me to get really clear on what I actually wanted to do, ’cause there’s always 1000 different paths you can take. So I want to say thank you to you Marie.

Yeah, and welcome you into our little She is Fierce! world. Those of you, yeah, who are watching for the first time, Oprah called Marie the thought leader for a new generation. She’s been on Oprah’s Super Soul Sessions, has taught more than 44,000 entrepreneurs around the world, which is absolutely unbelievable, and is my personal guru, whether you know that already or not. You’re the person I turn to when I’m like, what am I gonna do next? I’m sure a lot of people say that, but it’s true for me, and I’m super excited to have you on today.


Marie:                      Oh thank you, I’m so honored by your words and by what you shared and I’m super grateful to be with all of you guys today. And we can dive in to questions, anything that you want to talk about. I want to make sure that everyone’s time is so valuable and that they get a ton out of our session.


Kelly:                        I want to start with the thing that I think is the core of your message, which is this concept of everything is figureoutable, right?

Marie:                      Yes.


Kelly:                        Can you talk to us about what that actually means for you in your life and how that translates for women in your community?


Marie:                      Yes. So this notion that everything is figureoutable, is bedrock belief. It’s a conviction that has allowed me to really tackle every single obstacle, problem, pain point, disappointment, conundrum that I have ever faced my entire life. You know when I was in high school and I was actually in a physically abusive relationship, it was the thing that helped me extract myself from that and understand all of the mechanics and then heal myself from that situation and do better next time.

When I was in college it’s what allowed me to get into the classes that I wanted despite not having the right pre-requisites and not having everything all together. It allowed me to secure work study positions that were really difficult to get to help pay my way through college. It’s helped me get every job I’ve ever had, it’s helped me figure out how to start a business when I was 23 and had no idea what the hell I was doing and was so insecure and so afraid and tens of thousands of dollars in debt after college, like many of us are.

So this one bedrock belief and conviction has literally been kind of the meta transformational key that has unlocked everything valuable in my life. Helped me save relationships, helped me rebuild when I’ve hit a wall, and so how it’s helped our community is really transferring that conviction that each of us have a potential, a whole range of potentials that we’re here to activate and to actualize.

When you believe, and you know in every fiber of your cell that everything is figureoutable, all of a sudden you can step into the unknown, you can step into industries, fields, new opportunities where you don’t know what the hell you’re doing, and you can trust that, hey, I’m a beginner I’m a neophyte I’m completely inexperienced here, but I can figure it out. One of the most beneficial kind of by products, I think, of this belief is that it gives you the ability to always be a student, and always willing to learn. You’re never in a position of like no this can’t be possible, or I already know this, or this isn’t gonna work, which is a very closed down position.

Everything is figureoutable allows you to step in to whatever you want to do next, and go hey, I may not know what the hell I’m doing, but I can figure it out. Someone who’s either figured it out, and I can go, kind of type into their wisdom or their roadmap. Or if it’s completely new, I can piece something innovative together because everything in our world, the way that human history has changed is that someone thinks something is figureoutable. So at one point women didn’t have the right to vote, and then someone said nope, this is figureoutable, this should change.

Then after 100s of years of women working towards it, it finally happened in 1920, right? At one point in history we didn’t think that people could fly, they wanted to fly. It’s like someone is gonna figure it out, and eventually the Wright Brothers, you know, they made that breakthrough and then forever changed the course of our culture.

So, this notion that everything is figureoutable is kind of the bedrock of everything, and it’s especially applicable to us in our careers and our businesses. So if you have that idea in your heart, it means you already have what it takes to bring that dream to life.


Kelly:                        I love that, I keep that kind of close to my heart as I’ve been building a business. Of course, we, no matter what you’re doing in life you come up against roadblocks, right? One of the things that I really love about what you teach is following your purpose. Creating something that is profitable, right, as a business. Being an intelligent business owner, but also bringing the sense of purpose into what you’re doing. Can you talk a little bit about what that means for you as somebody who does it from a business perspective?

Marie:                      Yes. So I think that what we human beings crave almost more than anything else is meaning and connection. Right now there’s a statistic out there, and it’s been true for a few years, the trend has been roughly 70% of us, at least here in the U.S. are unhappy at work. Disengaged, miserable at what we’re doing day-to-day. And we’re spending the vast majority of our adult waking lives working, so that’s a problem. When you start to peel back that research a little bit, what you discover is that what people want sometimes even more than a very high salary is meaning.

We want to know that what we’re devoting our lives to each and every day is making some kind of difference, a positive difference in the world. We want to feel connected to ourself and others. So the way that, that has come about for me and our business specifically, when I first started I knew that I didn’t just want to make a ton of money because I wanted material things. I wanted to be comfortable, and to not have to stress over money, but I never wanted to have like a ton of fancy shoes or jewelry. I’m just not into that, and it’s fine if you are, it’s just not my thing that makes me happy.

But what does make me happy, is creating possibilities for other people. Just seeing the state of the world that we’re in, and understanding the vast income and equality and how many problems there are that frankly financial resources can help to fix. I mean, we have to fix things on a level of consciousness as well, but there’s also other pieces that we you direct more resources in that direction you can actually see some positive change and some growth.

For me, since I started my business I always wanted it to have a greater impact than just even the change I was making in peoples lives, to help them make, through my coaching. I wanted it to have an even bigger ripple effect. When B-School came about, 10 years ago, I realized that most of the people that I was talking to and that I was attracting through my work had similar goals and values. They didn’t want to just be successful just to have a ton of cash sitting in the bank, or to have jet planes or fancy cars. My folks tend not to be into those things quite as much, but what they really wanted was to make a difference in their community.

Or to make sure that their kids had an education and then their kids, kids had an education. Or they saw some issue on some other side of the world that broke their heart, and they wanted to be able to go over there, or write a check, or devote their idea capital or their time or use their platform to help make positive change.

B-School, or tag line is “Make money, change the world.” What we focus a lot in the program is how to teach people to use their unique gifts and strengths to not only grow a business that makes sense money wise, meaning that it’s actually profitable, but it’s meaningful. That it has a deeper purpose and that purpose is up to you. We had one B-Schooler come in it was earlier on in her business, she’s been around for a while, so I’m thinking of her.

She was a nutritionist at this time, and she loves trees, and planting trees and the environment. Through the program she’s like oh wow I didn’t really realize that not only could I do all of this raw food nutrition work but that I could also support and plant more trees and have it connected. She didn’t really see herself as a philanthropist, because she thought she had to be much further ahead and be making all this more money before she was able to actually tie purpose into her business.

I was like no, you can actually do this now. Starting small doesn’t mean thinking small. So one of the things that we walk people through in B-School are all the different ways that you can connect your business to your deeper purpose, and it provides so much meaning and inspiration and creativity when people start to link these things up. It’s just not something that we talk about, and you don’t have to be a social entrepreneur per se to do it, and you don’t have to be a non-profit or for purpose business to do it. You can do it as a for profit business. There are so many different iterations of that and it’s really, really fun when people start to realize how much power they have right now.

Kelly:                        I love that. I have to say that I brag about you to people when people talk to me a lot, they ask oh, are you a non-profit? Because they assume because we’re doing a lot of things that are of service, because we work with a lot of non-profits that we are a non-profit. For me, I feel like that’s been a really powerful message that you can create something for yourself, right, you can do something that’s beneficial to you and you can have this greater impact to everybody else. I want to talk about potential.


Kelly:                        That’s certainly what I’ve been talking about to women in our community, I know your sharing that with all the people in your community right now. I heard you say something recently that I just loved, and it’s a simple thing, but it’s just “Take yourself seriously, and then do the work.”

So what does that actually mean to you? I think that’s the biggest challenge, right, we have all these people that are probably watching right now thinking I have this big dream, I have all this possibility, I know I have all this potential, but what is it actually mean for me to translate that into something?


Marie:                      Yeah, so taking yourself seriously, and I didn’t hear the second tail end of it.

Kelly:                       “And then do the work.”

Marie:                      Yes. It’s really about ownership, and owning these gifts that you’ve been given. So, one of my other beliefs is that every single one of us is on this planet for a reason, that there’s no extra people. That you have been given a unique set of gifts and talents and strengths. You have a unique perspective, unique stories, unique quirks, personality, and there has never been and there never will be another you. This unique expression that you are on this earth you have to do everything possible to share these gifts, ’cause that’s really why were here is to give to others.

Owning that and taking yourself seriously means putting this flag in the stand to say I am here to contribute and to create and I’m not going to apologize for that. I’m gonna do everything in my power to get those things out there in a way that’s aligned with my values and my heart. Doing the work, it’s not cute all the time. It’s hard, it’s gonna be difficult. You’re gonna bump into resistance, you’re gonna feel afraid, you might even feel like, oh I don’t know if I’m doing that right, but I think what’s so lovely about B-School Kelly, is that when you put yourself in this environment in this program you are surrounded by people who are stepping up to be more courageous.

You’re surrounded by people who are taking responsibility for their gifts, what they want to offer the world, and putting it out there. So they’re experimenting, they’re gonna try certain things that will work and they’ll try certain things that don’t work. But when you’re by yourself, kind of off in your own silo, it can get really lonely. You can get swallowed in what I like to call a Tsunami of self doubt where you pull back.

But doing the work, and I think doing the work in community, meaning your doing the work by yourself, ain’t no one gonna come and sit down at your table and hold your hand and actually make you, you know, take your pen out, do the exercises.


Kelly:                        You’re not gonna do that for me Marie?!


Marie:                      I’m not gonna do that for you, ’cause it is a group coaching program. Honestly, I think it does people a disservice. It cuts off how powerful they really are. It’s not just about one extreme or the other, you don’t have to be this lone wolf. You have to do your work, you have to show up every day, but you can also show up in community with people. So that when you hit these tough spots, and we all hit them. I still hit them to this day.

But you have other people to connect with, to reflect with, to get some perspective, ’cause you all know, right, when you get into a funky place and we all get to scared funky places, you can kind of talk yourself into a tizzy and into this scared place. Someone will go, oh wait hold on a second, we need to get some perspective here. Let’s just get grounded in what’s reality and what may be a story, and then let’s refocus our energies on what we can do and what can be productive and what can move us ahead.

I think that’s one of the most powerful pieces of B-School. So, yes, you do have to do the work. You have to take yourself seriously, you have to take ownership of this and there’s been no better time in history for us to do this especially for women. Obviously what we teach in B-School is not based in gender, I just happen to attract a large proportion of powerful women and I think that’s many of us need ’cause we haven’t had many role models like that for most of our lives.

And to put yourself in the kind of community like that were people are generous, they’re supportive, they’re kind, they’re positive, they want you to win, there’s no backbiting or cliquey kind of stuff, no competition. It’s like, no there’s more than enough to go around. It’s amazing Kelly, how that can propel you even further than you would have gone on your own.


Kelly:                        Yeah, I love what you are sharing, and I have to say that, that is a huge principle that I took away from B-School and that we definitely bring into She is Fierce! community and to all of the different people that we partner with. I will be honest though, I did not come into entrepreneurship thinking I want to be an entrepreneur. I thought, I have this amazing idea I want to elevate woman stories. My background’s in media so I know there’s a way to do it. I want to bring this to life, but I’m not sure what that looks like. I had asked lots of people for permission and had been at lots of big international networks and not gotten permission to do it.

So I thought, I’ll just try this on my own. But one of my biggest fears speaks to what you are talking about, which is, if you become an entrepreneur then are you in competition? So I love what you’re sharing about this idea of it’s about collaboration it’s about being with like minded people. I know certainly my experience with B-School members has been absolutely about that. Watching other people rise, and instead of thinking, uh I’m down because I see their success, you think what is the ‘possibility’?


Marie:                      Yes. One of my other beliefs is there’s more than enough to go around. Meaning there’s more than enough opportunity, there’s more than enough clients, there’s more than enough customers, there’s more than enough money, there’s more than enough love, there’s more than enough creativity. [inaudible 00:36:02] people are like, oh I’m gonna run out of ideas for my free content, what am I gonna talk about on Instagram, or what am I gonna talk about in my email newsletter, what I am gonna talk about on my show or my webinar or whatever it is that folks share for free in a new world. I’m like, honey don’t worry about that ’cause that’s coming from a scarcity mindset as though you’re gonna run out.

You have a well within you. You are tapped in to complete infinite … you can’t run out of the juice that’s inside of your heart. ‘Cause you’re connected to something greater, and when people really shift that paradigm, everything opens up. Especially around competition. [inaudible 00:36:35] that way. If you think about it, in terms of cookbooks, sometimes when I’m interested in a new type of cuisine or a new type of eating, I don’t just buy one cookbook. I buy all the cookbooks, right? So that maybe, quote un quote competitors in a certain [inaudible 00:36:52] but they’re not. I’m buying this one, I’m buying this one, I’m happy to take it in. Same thing in self-help and personal development.

When you’re interested in a topic, let’s say it’s productivity, you’re not gonna buy just one productivity book, you’re gonna buy all the productivity books, ’cause you want to get these different points of view and these different perspectives and they’re all rich and beautiful in their own unique way. For someone starting a business or thinking like, oh it’s all been done before, it’s like, nope scarcity minded not a great place to come from, and it’s just factually not true.


Kelly:                        Yeah, I think that principle is at the heart of successful online entrepreneurship, because if somebody is out there just trying to do it all by themselves, you’re stuck in a little bubble, and you don’t have this potential. One of the other things that I wanted to ask you about, and I know you share some insights on this often, but I know we’ll have people that are watching right now who are thinking, well that’s all very well for Marie, she’s amazing look what she did. Or that’s all very well for Kelly, she was able to turn it into something, but I’ve been trying, and I’m struggling because I’m trying to find the people that will buy what I have to sell. Or I’m trying to figure out what … where my next paycheck is coming from, which is a tough thing to be in. It’s a tough place to be in.

 I really love, and I know I tried to ascribe to this, that you share, which is about finding a way to add value. Can you talk a little bit about how to get out of that scarcity mindset and start to think about how you’re adding value?

Marie:                      Absolutely, so there’s a couple components to this. The underpinning is always making your business, and your life frankly about what you can give not what you can get. It’s a complete paradigm shift where you’re always looking for how you can be of service. How you can help, how you can add. Now someone understandably be like, look I don’t have enough myself I just need to get, get, get right now. That energy is part of what holds the whole back.

Now I’ll say this, for most of us again we’re not independently wealthy, which I was not. When I was starting out, I needed to keep my side jobs, which was bartending, waiting tables, being a personal assistant, cleaning toilets, I do so many different things to have money coming in so that in my coaching business what I could put out was a generous energy.

Because I wasn’t worried about keeping a roof over my head, or having enough money to buy my little mac ‘n cheese in my Kraft boxes, because that’s what I was eating a lot of at that time. I could coach clients from a place of abundance because I wasn’t relying on them for my income. I was letting my income come in through other sources and when I could build up my confidence, also build up my rates, you know what I mean? So you have to do what have to do.

There’s actually a study out, American Management Journal, they tracked about 5000 entrepreneurs over 14 years, and they found that those who kept their day jobs while starting a business were 33% less likely to fail. I thought that’s an interesting-

Kelly:                        I believe it, absolutely.


Marie:                      So for many of us, right, there’s some people that are built like this if they burn the bridges, and they’re like, I must make money. That’s how they rise, they’re just unique souls that, that’s where they come to life, and they make it happen. That’s how their DNA is built, I’m not like that, I’m more risk [inaudible 00:40:07]. If you need to keep a roof over your head, you can start your business on the side. You can start small, you can do it a few hours a week, you can dip your toe in the water, B-School will help you do that ’cause it’s a take it at your own pace kind of program.

We’ve had many, many people … no one comes into B-School, quite honestly Kelly, with I got 10 hours a day, I’m just gonna hang out and do nothing and just absorb all this B-School. No, we’ve got kids, we’ve got families, we’ve got full-time jobs, we’ve got illnesses, we’ve got a whole host of challenges and things to navigate.

Frankly, some of my most productive time in life is when I’m the busiest. If you want something done, give it to a busy person. That’s right for a reason, because you’re very structured about your time, so you don’t waste a lot of it. If you have a pocket of an hour or two you’re gonna spend it on something that really makes a difference and moves the needle ahead.

So the answer that question, it’s about that underpinning of energy to make it about what you can give, not about what you can get. When you come from that space of generosity it’s an intangible energy that people sense and two, if you need to work out the money thing, it is fine to take it slow. Studies show that you may be actually giving yourself an advantage because you can take care of some of the core financials without having that neediness in your business at first.


Kelly:                        I honestly love that advice. It’s something that I did not do myself, so I can’t speak from experience. I had two small children, and I was like I can only balance these things. Yet, the advice that I give to everyone is, keep another income stream coming so that you can find that value in yourself more quickly. So I just love that.

So I want to ask you, as we kind of are coming to a little bit of close, just to talk about what I think everybody struggles with. At some point, no matter how successful you are, or if your kind of just at the beginning or your journey, we all come to these upper limits or these mental blocks and we have this fear of failure or sometimes a fear of success. I know I’ve heard you speak about this before, and I know that you, I’m sure, have been through many different barriers like this.

I was wondering if you can share some of your tips and tricks for people who are just starting out and thinking oh my gosh, I have this big dream and then for people who … people like me who are like wow, I’ve been able to turn it into something, how do I get to that next level and overcoming those challenges?


Marie:                      Yeah, so I think one important identifier is we all fail. We are all gonna flop, we’re all gonna face plant. I’ve done it, I still do it, I will continue to do it. It means that I’m trying new things, it means that I’m innovating, it means that I’m stepping outside of my comfort zone. So you have to know, that it’s not a glitch in your journey, it’s a feature, it’s a must have feature if you are going to do big things in this world.

Honestly, I’m actually writing about this in my book right now, failure, it’s a first attempt in learning. It’s a faithful attempt in learning for many of us. So if we can reframe that and just see it as hey, we’re learning, we’re trying something it’s not permanent. We had a brilliant woman named Judge Victoria Pratt on the show, she’s incredible, and she said something great. She’s like, failure is an event it’s not a person and not a characteristic.

It helps us depersonalize this and recognize that it is something that we all experience, but you don’t have to stay there. So that’s on that side, so just realize if you’re fucking up, that’s a good thing. It’s a really good thing, ’cause it means you’re putting yourself out there, and you’re learning. Now on the flip side, like the fear of success, I think when it comes to that fear it’s like you have to drill down. One of the biggest challenges around our fears is that we let them remain vague and amorphous in our minds.

Actually take the time to write down what am I actually afraid of and why. What’s the worst thing that could happen here? You don’t just think about it, you articulate it on the page. What you do is you give yourself a chance to objectively look at it, to A, evaluate what’s the likelihood of this actually happening, ’cause most the time it’s not very likely. And two, how would I deal with it if this fear did come true? How would I recover, how would I get back on my feet, how could I mitigate against it happening in the first place?

So there’s magic that happens when we actually take the time to address our fears on paper, not from a place of hysterics, but from a place of just calm expression and inquisitiveness and curiosity. That’s how I would suggest on a tactical level to tackle those things and then just to remember if you are making progress in your life, if you are doing new things, yes are you gonna fail, quote un quote, you’re gonna have a flop, you’re gonna have a misstep. All it means is that you’re growing and learning, it’s actually a positive sign.


Kelly:                       I know we are coming to the close ’cause you have got so much going on right now. I want to just ask you, is there any … on our She is Fierce! stage we’ve had all these amazing women who come on stage, and I always ask them, you know, after they share their story, what is the one message that you hope that the women in our community can just take to heart? I know we have so many people who are watching or engaging who are looking for just your inspiration. So what would you say to people who are like, ‘okay this could be my chance, let ME do something.’ So what would you say to them?


Marie:                      I would say, if you have a product, a service, or an idea that you believe in your heart of hearts can help change another person’s life that you know this needs to be out in the world, please for the love of all things holy, learn how to market and sell that idea. Otherwise, you are stealing from those who need you most. There’re people like that out there right now, with pain points, with dreams and aspirations that you have a solution for. Or you have a product or service for that could help them get to that next level. If you play small, if you hold back, if you stay in your fear, you are literally stealing from them.

So whether you learn from me, or you learn from someone else, these are the skillsets of the future of being a modern creative of participating in livelihood in a way that is aligned with your heart and your values. Obviously I’m biased because I’ve been doing B-School now for 10 years, we’ve had 44,000 people from over 564 industries go through the program from over 139 countries. So the reason I say that is its battle tested, it’s proven. We know that it works, if you resonate with our style come please join us, but even if you don’t commit to yourself to learn these skills because it is what will help you share your gifts with those who need it most.


Kelly:                        Thank you so much Marie, I am so grateful for your time and so grateful for you just being a part our world, and I know the women in our community are as well. So thank you and good luck. For those of you who are dying to get into B-School, I’ve been getting a lot of emails from people asking questions, you can find our link it’s above us on Facebook, or I’ll send out an email right after this and check out our bonus, you can get one on one coaching with me, you will get Marie’s phenomenal wisdom, which I didn’t even have time to go into some of the incredible things that I learned in B-School. I will do that separately, and Marie thank you again for joining me!



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