Dr. Heather Simone
Best-selling author, international speaker, and leading Savvy Business Mindset Strategist, Dr. Heather Simone supports women on their success journey to accelerate business growth while amplifying their own voice. Her woman’s wealth advocacy promotes passion, purpose, and prosperity lifestyles. Dr. Heather’s award-winning work in business strategy & development is augmented by her in-depth professional insights and academic research. Heather’s passions include international travel, community service, and attending theather and fashion shows in her beloved New York.
“One thing I’d like to say is that your diamond brilliance was always there. Sometimes we have to go through a disruptor to get to that shine, but that journey is so worth it. And when we think about diamonds and the pressure, heat, combustion, that comes out to be such a beautiful gem, I akin that to the same thing in a success journey. Your diamond brilliance is always there, just find it and continue to shine brilliantly.”-Dr. Heather Simone
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Esmie Lawrence: Dr. Simone, welcome. Oh, I’m so excited that you’re on the show!
Dr. Heather Simone: I am thrilled to be here, Esmie. Thank you so much for having me today! Esmie Lawrence: Oh, you’re welcome. I want you to go back to your childhood, when you were young. What were some of the struggles that you had?
Dr. Heather Simone: Just pick one? Well, let’s just say each challenge kind of built on itself. And going through that journey, you don’t realize that it’s building on itself as you’re kind of experiencing it. But now that I’m in a position where I can reflect back and think about it a little bit, they were meant to happen and meant to be and are connected in a serious way.
Dr. Heather Simone: When I think about my childhood, I grew up in Brooklyn, New York. I am first generation American from the beautiful island of Jamaica, West Indies.
Esmie Lawrence: Jamaica! That is where I’m from, too, young lady.
Dr. Heather Simone: Yes!
Esmie Lawrence: We have something in common.
Esmie Lawrence: That’s awesome.
Dr. Heather Simone: As you may … yes. How exciting is that, right? Esmie Lawrence: Yes. Dr. Heather Simone: As you probably know, education is a big deal in a West Indie household, in the Jamaican community. And that was at the forefront. And my mom decided to send me to the neighborhood, the next neighborhood over, to go to school. I went to private Catholic school. And yes, it was absolutely a great experience. I was able to get an excellent foundation.
Dr. Heather Simone: But the challenge for me was coming back home to where the neighborhood was. Here I am as a little girl, having to take mass transportation, wake up in the dark, and take two buses over. Because the school bus certainly didn’t come to our neighborhood. And go back home and try to integrate with the people who lived in my community. And it was coming and speaking with them with conversations that already you don’t know the context, that were already in play. And being able to find likeness, aliases, it became a challenge. Because I was sort of always one step removed. Always one step removed. And it became a little bit of a juggling act to be one way in the day during school and trying to be another way when you’re not in school, when you’re in the neighborhood. You know what I mean?
Esmie Lawrence: You went to private school. You went to private school and the other kids didn’t. Dr. Heather Simone: I did. Correct. Esmie Lawrence: Then you get the division right there.
Dr. Heather Simone: Absolutely. Esmie Lawrence: Right? Right. Dr. Heather Simone: Absolutely. Esmie Lawrence: How did the kids … How did they react to you when you came back from school? Dr. Heather Simone: They were quite standoffish. They were standoffish. And it became a challenge to fit in. You’re wearing a uniform to go to school, and so your clothes may look slightly better, because you don’t wear them that much. You have on a uniform. It became a situation where they were pointing out the differences and were quite frank with it. For some time, you tried to fit in and tried to blend in and go with the flow what they had. But it was changing who I am. And that internal dynamic can be emotionally draining.
Esmie Lawrence: Right. Now how did it change you? How did it show up? Dr. Heather Simone: Yes. In school, you had to be one way. They were listening to a certain set of music. The conversations were about a certain thing. And then it was totally different at the home front, on the block, in the neighborhood. It was totally different. And so you tried to fit in, if you will, because at a young age, you’re always wanting that belonging. We as humans, we have much more alike than we have unlike. And so finding that commonality. And for some time, I really tried to dress how they dressed. And it just wasn’t working, because it was emotionally draining for me. And came to the realization that I have to show who I am at my core, regardless of what environment I’m in.
Dr. Heather Simone: When I made that decision internally and how I showed up was very much different, but the real me, it turned out that they liked me. Yes, being different was the thing that kind of attracted and was the bridge. “Oh, she’s interesting. Oh, she can speak on X.” It became the bridge and the connection, the very thing that I thought was keeping the divide became the bridge to sort of building out that network, gaining genuine friendships, and just blossoming in a way that I never imagined. Esmie Lawrence: What challenges was it for your parents to be able to … Was there sacrifice to be able to send you to private school? All right? So what kind of sacrifice was it? What did that look like for your parents?
Dr. Heather Simone: Sure. Sure. I’m one of the first to go to … have a college education. And so they sacrificed. They didn’t have the higher education. My mom worked in the city. And she fixed her work schedule so that she could take me on those two buses and then hop on her train to be able to get to her big, fancy hotel that she worked in. And they invested in me and poured into me in a way that I’m just so appreciative for. Because it turned out to be sort of like you water a seed and then it just blooms on its own. Esmie Lawrence: Right. Dr. Heather Simone: And they allowed me to try different things. If I wanted to try soccer, if I wanted to try kick boxing, they made those sacrifices for me. Taking on extra jobs in the evening, household work, to be able to send me to camps, et cetera, that I wanted. That I desired to. But it was me being in a place and trying to find what I liked. Trying to find the passions.
Dr. Heather Simone: As you know, in my book, The Diamond Advantage, I talk about that genius zone and finding that genius zone. And I describe that genius zone as a place where you already have a strength in. You have an innate strength. And now as an adult, often in corporate America and other industries, they talk about your weakness and strengthening your weakness. Esmie Lawrence: Right. Dr. Heather Simone: And my view is lean into the strengths to begin with. If you’re good at poetry, for example, lean into that. Sure, we need to be mindful of our shortcomings and some things we need to work on, but leaning into that strength, what you have an interest in, what you have a passion in, and perfect that. And then that is really how you to the next level to get to the next level success. And that’s just my philosophy. Esmie Lawrence: Right. I’m going to back to the sacrifice that your mom and dad made.
Dr. Heather Simone: Yeah. Esmie Lawrence: For you to be the doctor that you are today. Because we have that in common where, I mean I’m not a doctor, but my mom sacrificed. Like we lived in the ghetto in Jamaica. And you know what the ghetto is like. Everybody’s poor. But my mom, she worked really hard and left us in Jamaica and came to Canada so that she can make a better life for us. I understand the sacrifice that your mom and dad made. And I would say bless those parents that made sacrifices for us- Dr. Heather Simone: Thank you. Esmie Lawrence: so we can have a better life. Dr. Heather Simone: Absolutely. Esmie Lawrence: But now- Dr. Heather Simone: Can I just share, Esmie, when you said that, it just triggered in me that I’m the last of the siblings. And so she came to the States and left my brother and sister back in Jamaica. And then I was born here as a first generation American.
Esmie Lawrence: Right. Dr. Heather Simone: The same things that you’re saying, my older brother and sister went through the exact same thing, where she’s shipping things home to them, she’s packing a barrel, sending clothes, sending school supplies, sending a bike. And even recording her voice and messages on a tape cassette recorder and sending it back home under her sister, my aunt, under her guide. We absolutely … She came with very, very little. Practically just her one suitcase and built and started a whole other life in a whole different country. Esmie Lawrence: Oh, yeah. Exactly. I mean, you know the difference is my mom came to Canada. And a lot of immigrant women, they come here and they work as domestic. They work in factories.
Dr. Heather Simone: Absolutely. Esmie Lawrence: And you went to the States. My mom came to Canada. Dr. Heather Simone: Yes. Esmie Lawrence: What a blessing it was to leave the ghetto so we can have a better opportunity. Dr. Heather Simone: Absolutely. Esmie Lawrence: That we can even be here today. Dr. Heather Simone: Exactly. And be an example for the next generation, right? Esmie Lawrence: Exactly. Dr. Heather Simone: What’s possible, absolutely. Esmie Lawrence: Anything is possible if you put action, right? Dr. Heather Simone: Absolutely. Esmie Lawrence: Sacrifice. The sacrifice was leaving her kids for so many years. Right? But we saw it as a blessing, this opportunity she created for all of us. Dr. Heather Simone: Absolutely.
Esmie Lawrence: But now I want to go back to your teenage years. Dr. Heather Simone: Teenage? Esmie Lawrence: Yes. Dr. Heather Simone: Yes. Esmie Lawrence: What were some of the struggles that you had? Dr. Heather Simone: My struggles were, I went to this private school in a far place that it was away from home. And had one group of friends and another group of friends. And it was about finding myself. It was about exploring, about wanting to go out. Right? I was a very strict household, so it was basically if it wasn’t school or church, then you really weren’t going. I had to figure out where I can discover my likes and discover what interests me in a healthy way. But you know, because of the sacrifice, there’s a very … there’s a protection. “I don’t want her to make any missteps. I want to make sure that she has everything.” We kind of made this in road and want to make the best of it. It was always a sort of attention, if you will. And being able to decide where can she go and explore versus not so much. And I’ll give you an example.
Dr. Heather Simone: I was accepted to the University of Maryland College Park. And I was so excited. And it’s about a three and a half, four hour drive from where my home was. I went down and I met my college roommate, my to be college roommate. I was excited and we started chatting about what clubs and activities we wanted to get into. And I was thrilled to go. [inaudible 00:10:43] I was to leave for college, my mother started … She broke down completely in tears. And she was almost inconsolable. She just felt like, “You’re too far away. I need you to be closer to me.” It was, again, this protection. It was the investment, the sacrifice. And that is an example of you want them to explore and you want them to see the world, but at the same time, you want to keep them close, very near and dear to protect. It was a tough time for us, because I really wanted to go away. I really wanted to go away and see things and start new things.
Dr. Heather Simone: And in the end, we made an agreement. She was reasonable enough to say, “Go to your state school, Rutgers University, but you can live on campus.” And so that was less than an hour away. Where I was far enough that I can explore and bloom, but close enough that she can be there if needed. Esmie Lawrence: Right.
Dr. Heather Simone: And that was a compromise. It seems like a mountain, when I was going through it, now it may seem like a little bit of a molehill. But I’m sure there’s so many others out there going through, wanting to go out and explore versus staying close to home. It’s the risk. The example I used back then was, don’t you remember America’s Top Model, Tara? She went away to Paris in teenage years. And she made something marvelous of herself, but she had to leave her location. And sometimes we have to leave what we know, where we know, that comfort zone, to get a little bit uncomfortable to really push us to that next level.
Esmie Lawrence: Right. Dr. Simone, I can relate to your mom. Because my son is a swimmer. And the first time, I think he was 12 years old, and he was going to the States or Europe. I can’t remember exactly where he was going. At 12 years old. And I thought, with his team, and I was so nervous. I thought, “No, he’s too young, he’s too young.” Dr. Heather Simone: Yes, yes. Esmie Lawrence: And then one of my friends that I was … like a teammate on the Olympic team. She said, “Esmie, don’t you remember that when you were young and you left and you traveled the world? He’s going to be fine. Your son is going to be fine.”
Dr. Heather Simone: Absolutely. Esmie Lawrence: I thought, “Yeah.” You know what? You have to let go. Let go your children. But it was tough. And even now, my daughter’s in Europe playing volleyball. Dr. Heather Simone: Congratulations. Esmie Lawrence: I’m thinking, “Oh, my God. My daughter, I miss her so much.” Right? Dr. Heather Simone: Absolutely. Esmie Lawrence: And at this moment, my son is in the States swimming. Dr. Heather Simone: Yes. Esmie Lawrence: But now I’ve gotten used to the fact that you have to let your children go. Dr. Heather Simone: Absolutely. Esmie Lawrence: My mom let me go. Even though she missed me, she said, “Esmie, you have to go and just do your thing.” And so it’s tough to do that as a parent. But you have to let them go. Dr. Heather Simone: Absolutely. Esmie Lawrence: Fly and be, become who they are. Dr. Heather Simone: Absolutely.
Esmie Lawrence: Now, what are some of the other challenges that you had as a teenager? Dr. Heather Simone: That was when … That was going through the, “Okay, can I explore, can I not explore.” I made an agreement. I negotiated with her and stayed closer to home. Dr. Heather Simone: And then in school, in high school and throughout college, it was always about getting to know others who were different than me. I was always interested in that. I was always interested in learning about cultures, learning about who they are. Not just what the stereotypes were. Dr. Heather Simone: At first, it was like, “Oh, why is she always trying to sit with those folks? And why is she,” but I had no boundaries or barriers in that sense. In fact, I had an interest in that and constantly reached out across the aisle, across … it just became so much more enrichening. But where the sting was, was in the people who were closer to me, who perhaps didn’t have that courage to be able to do that. And it was a judgmental criticism that you had to reconcile for yourself. And that took a sense of courage. I think back as a teenager and a young adult, that you make your own judgments and you win some, you lose some. But at the end of the-
Esmie Lawrence: How did they criticize you? What did they say to you? Dr. Heather Simone: Who are you trying to be? Folks typically want to put you in a square box and then that’s all there is. But there’s a lot of different edges and there’s a lot of different layers in there. That if you just tap into, that you’ll be able to express. And so gymnastics, just doing things that weren’t customary to my particular group became … you raise an eyebrow like, “Why is she doing too much. She doesn’t have to do all of that. What is she trying to do? Is she trying to be in competition with us?” And it was never, ever about being in competition with anyone but myself.
Esmie Lawrence: Right. Dr. Heather Simone: You had to sort of finesse it in a way that, “Hey, I want to do this, you want to come along?” And they’re like, “Well, why do you want to do that?” And no, it’s not about trying to be legging up someone or being better than anyone, it was about an expression in myself that I wanted to explore. Esmie Lawrence: Right. Dr. Heather Simone: That can be misread. And that can land like being competitive with someone else, especially amongst women. Even as teenagers, especially amongst females. It’s not about legging someone up or over shadowing someone. It’s about … It’s your own desire to grow that you’re working against. I had to save the relationships I cared about for those misreadings, because they were quite judgmental and frank in that, “Oh, she’s exploring and she’s doing this. And we’re not.” I would invite them to come along and have a really inclusive attitude about it.
Dr. Heather Simone: But again, the fear, that negative chatter in your head, “Is this going to be accepted, is this going to be okay?” It takes time to be able to overcome that, reconcile that for us as individuals, and overcome that and move forward. That was always a challenge. Because I was always raising my hand to try different things. The things certainly weren’t necessary, but it made me as a whole person. And that allowed me to explore different things. Esmie Lawrence: It’s like crabs in a bucket. When you want to leave and explore your environment, meet different people. Dr. Heather Simone: Yes. Esmie Lawrence: The people around you are just going to pull you back. Dr. Heather Simone: Absolutely. Esmie Lawrence: Sometimes, because they want you to stay in your little box. And how dare you try and stretch yourself. How dare you try and to learn new things. Dr. Heather Simone: Absolutely. Absolutely. Esmie Lawrence: Right, they are trying to pull you back. Not because … some people, I think, it’s just they love you, want to make sure keep you safe, right? And they don’t want you to go anywhere. But you’re going to grow when you leave that bucket. Dr. Heather Simone: Absolutely. And Esmie, that rings so true. That if we just … We’re not going to grow if we’re always in our comfort zone. Esmie Lawrence: Yes.
Dr. Heather Simone: And so, stepping out on that edge, just taking that little step of action. It’s not so bad. We’re still here. We may have learned some things from it. But it gives us the confidence to take yet another step and to say I can take this even further. Esmie Lawrence: Right. Dr. Heather Simone: And that’s what it’s been. It’s been these incremental wins that kind of say, “Okay, the universe has my back. I’m safe, I can do this, I have all the tools and resources I need. And if I have a misstep, it’s okay.” Esmie Lawrence: It’s okay. Dr. Heather Simone: Because you can brush yourself off and we can reset and move again. Yes. Exactly. Esmie Lawrence: Right, you know fail- Dr. Heather Simone: Yeah, that’s been a theme throughout.
Esmie Lawrence: That’s good. Dr. Heather Simone: Absolutely. I say fail forward. Esmie Lawrence: Exactly. Dr. Heather Simone: Fail forward. Esmie Lawrence: Exactly. Fail forward, because when you fail, you learn. It’s like, “Okay, I tried this way, didn’t work. I’ll try something different.” And you tweak it and you try again. Dr. Heather Simone: Absolutely. Esmie Lawrence: Because failing, it’s a way to reach your success. And success, it’s a marathon. It’s not a sprint. Failing- Dr. Heather Simone: Exactly, it’s ongoing. Esmie Lawrence: Right. I say, fail and fail fast. And just keep going. Dr. Heather Simone: That’s right.
Esmie Lawrence: I want to bring it back to- Dr. Heather Simone: Absolutely. Esmie Lawrence: I want to bring it back to some of the challenge you had as an adult, now. Dr. Heather Simone: Yeah. Which that is not too far away. Esmie Lawrence: Young adult, how about young adult? Dr. Heather Simone: As a young adult. Dr. Heather Simone: And about the unwritten word. Esmie Lawrence: I would like to take … Dr. Simone, I’d like to take you back to some of the challenges you had as a young adult. What were they? Dr. Heather Simone: I want to think back to when i first entered the work field. And I entered into corporate America bright eyed and ready to take on the world. I was in the financial markets. And so I was handling the finances of small business owners and growing their business as a financial advisor.
Dr. Heather Simone: And my colleagues, to be honest, they were majority white males. And they were trained all the same, Esmie. They were Ivy league grads that had … They were accounting majors. They were economics majors. They were all business majors. My background was that I ended up with my undergraduate degree with a bachelor’s in Biological Science, to go premed. And I decided that I was going to change fields and go into finance. And I can tell you, at least for the first 10 years of my career, that negative chatter was in my head very profoundly. That you were not trained the same way, why are you sitting here? You’re not good enough. They were business majors and you were not. Dr. Heather Simone: And my voice was subdued, because I didn’t have the confidence to be able to speak up. But what happened, and it took me years to learn this, and I’m so happy to be able to sit here and share now, is that we solution things. Regardless of what job we’re in, our job is to find a solution. Whether you’re in healthcare, whether you’re in education. Whether you’re in the financial markets, our job is to find a solution.
Esmie Lawrence: Right. Dr. Heather Simone: And what I found out was because they were trained so similarly, they solutioned the same way. Esmie Lawrence: Right. Dr. Heather Simone: The problem solving was the same way. All those classes that I took, physics, organic chemistry, and what have you, all those natural science classes, it did something for my critical thinking, to be able to problem solve correctly. And the world that we live in, we’re living in a global market. We’re living in a global market with a local feel. And we’re working for multi-national companies. And so our competition is the global competition. Esmie Lawrence: That’s right.
Dr. Heather Simone: To innovate and disrupt the market and move forward to be the fastest, the best, and to be able to understand market trends and to be able to pivot correctly takes a lot of bit of problem solving and critical thinking. And if you’re doing things the same way … I can name organizations that have fallen into a demise because they weren’t able to replicate. And Blockbuster comes to mind right now. When I did get a seat, and they said, “Well, Heather, what do you think?” And I would say, very softly, what I would think. And they’re like, “Huh. Didn’t think of it that way. Let’s try that.” What happened was, the way I solutioned seemed to be out of the box way of getting there. But it was creating winds. It was creating winds. So it came to a point when a decision, when a business decision had to be made, they were not making it until I was in the room.
Esmie Lawrence: Nice. Dr. Heather Simone: “Let’s run this by Heather and let me see what she thinks. Because she only has a different way of approaching this. So before we make a final decision …” And my calendar began to fill up. And that was my acceleration through corporate America and that … It was just wind on top of wind where I began to be known for my performance. But it was the root cause of that performance was being able to look at something and take those data points, assess it, and then say, “Okay, what about this. Let’s do it a little bit differently.” And that became many years later, I can say now, amplified my voice. Esmie Lawrence: Right. Dr. Heather Simone: Because I started to believe in me more so. I gained the confidence to be able to raise your hand. And it became a way for me to be able to amplify my voice and bring other women along. There’s enough room for more than just one token at this table, if you will. Esmie Lawrence: There is! There is! There is really. Dr. Simone, there’s enough room at the table for everyone.
Dr. Heather Simone: Absolutely. Esmie Lawrence: And if we work together and not be selfish, and pull each other along, then we can fly. We can soar together. Dr. Heather Simone: Absolutely. Esmie Lawrence: But if we’re going to become selfish and we’re jealous and we don’t want to … to make sure that you don’t win, then we end up crashing together. Dr. Heather Simone: Yes. Absolutely. Esmie Lawrence: I’m so glad that you are helping women to soar. Tell me, how are you helping women to soar? Dr. Heather Simone: Yes. Absolutely. There was a catalyst moment, I lost my job. I was working for a Fortune 100 company. And there were about 50 minority women that we all knew who we were. And it was sort of a group of us, where we mentor each other. And we would laugh hard, but the tears would roll, as well. Because there were so many unwritten rules that you weren’t aware of. And, “That’s not what I meant. That’s how they received it?” It was … okay, speak up, but then when you speak up, “Oh, you’re too assertive.” It became a juggling act to figure out how to land how you intended to land. Esmie Lawrence: Right. Dr. Heather Simone: Long story short, I was … they told me to go … they gave me special assignments and they told me to go into another area to get experience. I did whatever was the rules of engagement to be able to get to the next level, to gain the experience and to put forth the best value add. And while doing that, I was tapped and said that, “You have this special assignment. Not a lot of resources, but you have one year to fulfill it. And after that, we can talk about what the next thing is for you.” 10 months in to this assignment, my manager switched. And I no longer had the manager that was aware of this. The new manager was my peer. And now my peer became my leader. As my peer, we would often not always see eye to eye, because again, I’m bringing it from a different perspective.
Esmie Lawrence: Right. Dr. Heather Simone: And he was more of the traditional sense in his views. Long story short, my job was eliminated. And it became the disruptor for me, personally, that, “Wow. This so called path that was supposed to be going forward and it became a disruptor.” That was an awakening moment for me, Esmie, because my job was taken from me. Where you were doing 110%. Where you were staying until 7:30 at night and coming in early. Where you were leading all these other charges that were not even part of your scope and responsibility. And I said, “What is it worth?” I began to reconcile. And I went back to those women. Those women, those about 50 or so women, that we were in a network together. And I was thinking about them. Like, “Wow, I didn’t have college experienced parents. I kind of learned this on my own. I want to pour into. I want to pour into these women.” I started speaking engagements, decided to have my own consulting firm. Which is going well. I started- Esmie Lawrence: Dr. Simone, I must stop you here. Know why? Dr. Heather Simone: Yes! Esmie Lawrence: Because when you got fired from your job, you know really what it was? It was God tapping you and saying, “Move to a different direction.” Dr. Heather Simone: Absolutely. Esmie Lawrence: “You’re not needed here.” It was a blessing.
Dr. Heather Simone: It was. Esmie Lawrence: I just have to inject that. Dr. Heather Simone: It was a blessing. Thank you, because it’s almost the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Yes. Esmie Lawrence: It was a blessing. Dr. Heather Simone: It was, “Your assignment is done here. And I have a new assignment for you, sis.” It’s done. Esmie Lawrence: You know what? Dr. Heather Simone: Your work is done here. Esmie Lawrence: For people there who have lost their jobs, look at the good side of the job, because that job wasn’t for you. It’s time to move on. Dr. Heather Simone: Yes. Esmie Lawrence: Instead of being depressed and crying about it, look at the blessing and say, “Where shall I go now?” Dr. Heather Simone: Absolutely. Esmie Lawrence: And if you’re a Christian and religious like I am, I say, “God, what direction you want me to move now?” And sometimes it comes to you and sometimes you have to go and find it. I just want to say, Dr. Simone, it was a blessing. And I’m [inaudible 00:29:46] fired you. Dr. Heather Simone: I know. It was a blessing, absolutely. Because I have new fire. A new fire. Esmie Lawrence: A new passion. Dr. Heather Simone: New passion that I’m absolutely committed and dedicated to. Because it brings me so much joy. It brings me so much joy. Esmie Lawrence: Right.
Dr. Heather Simone: My passion is to help women get to their next level success. And that journey looks different for each of us. My success journey looks different from yours, Esmie, as does everyone else. Esmie Lawrence: Right. Dr. Heather Simone: But sometimes my success was being defined back then by the title that was being chased. By in that job. And what I found was having that limited view of success limits us as a person to really soar. And that realization of there’s multi-dimensional success that we each have to define for ourselves. Re-defining success under your own terms. It is what The Diamond Advantage, my book, is all about.
Esmie Lawrence: Right. Dr. Heather Simone: In that book, I speak about five dimensions of success. Esmie Lawrence: Explain what … tell me what that is, I’m so excited. Because I’ve heard so much about your book. So please, explain what those advantages are. Dr. Heather Simone: Yes. Absolutely. The Diamond Advantage is made up of what I call the prism, which are five dimensions of success. The prism is really an acronym for the five dimensions. The first one is P for personal. In the personal space, if we’re not taking care of ourselves, as women, we’re not going to be there to serve anyone else, right? Esmie Lawrence: Right. Dr. Heather Simone: Like they say on the airplane, put the mask on yourself first before you on someone else. But what does that really look like? How does that show up for you? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you keeping stress at bay? Are you eating clean? Are you moving your body? All those things come into play. Are you organized? Because disorganized stresses me out, I got to keep everything organized. Finding what that is for you in that personal domain is critically important for success. In other words, if we just work on one section of the success that’s not true success. Because the other areas are going to be depleted and going to be lacking. Dr. Heather Simone: The second is R, about the relationships. Right? I’m a relationship person. On Myers-Briggs, my E was off the Richter Scale, I think it was the highest level it could have been. And I see that now, even through some of my examples, that I’ve always been relational. But we can’t be everything to everybody. Right? We have to be able to know the relationships that mean the most to us, who are our support group, and who’s meant to be there. And then we have to prioritize that. And the relationships that we care about and it means something to us, we have to nurture those. We have to nurture those.
Dr. Heather Simone: I think back at how many games, football games, did I miss for my sons. Was that always the right thing to do? Because I was in the office trying to get everything done. And so, the struggle there’s always a tension there about those relationships and being able to make boundaries around those relationships that are appropriate. When we do that, it feeds our spirit, it feeds our soul, and we’re happier. That was the R. Dr. Heather Simone: The I is for intellectual. And that goes back to how fast paced this environment, especially the business environment, is through innovation, through technology. And I always … We’re all lifelong learners. Feeding that, learning something new, reading a book, whatever it may be that you want to explore. Learning how to [inaudible 00:33:38] and Salsa. Whatever it may be. Do that, because we are growing. And if we’re not feeding that, then we’re not growing. Esmie Lawrence: Oh, for sure. For sure. Dr. Heather Simone: Yes. Esmie Lawrence: You have to grow, because I mean somebody would go, “Oh, haven’t read a book in years.” Right? In decades, haven’t taken a course. How are you going to grow if you don’t stretch yourself? Take a course, take maybe something totally different from the usual. Dr. Heather Simone: Yes. Esmie Lawrence: Meet some people. Dr. Heather Simone: Absolutely.
Esmie Lawrence: It’s funny, because they say as you get older, you meet less people. Your circle of influence becomes smaller and smaller. Mine is growing. Dr. Heather Simone: Yes! Esmie Lawrence: Getting bigger, because I’m stretching myself, right? Dr. Heather Simone: Absolutely, absolutely. Esmie Lawrence: That’s what you have to do. Because you have to grow and learn. If we don’t, you start dying. Dr. Heather Simone: Absolutely. I couldn’t agree with you more. For me, it’s travel. I love to travel. I love to travel. I love to see, first of all, God’s beauty every where. Esmie Lawrence: Yes. Dr. Heather Simone: I’m just in awe every time I go somewhere. I’m like, “Oh, my goodness!” The people, the people, the connections. It’s nothing that you would have learned out of a textbook. Sure, we can understand and we can read in a textbook about a culture. But when you connect with folks, you see that we’re so much more alike across continents than we are different. Esmie Lawrence: Yes, that’s right. Dr. Heather Simone: I just fully enjoy that. I just fully … I love to travel. That’s my I. And [inaudible 00:35:07] can think about what their I is and do some more of that in this year.
Dr. Heather Simone: After the I is S, in spiritual. And it may be quite obvious that I am a spiritual person. Esmie Lawrence: Nice. Dr. Heather Simone: And I could not have made it if I couldn’t put my burdens on and trust that they would be taken care of and put my focus somewhere else. It doesn’t matter what the religion is, it’s believing in something bigger than yourself. Which also drives the impact and fuels why this is my mission, this is my assignment that I’m called to do, is to support other women in their growth. That spiritual connection, regardless of what it looks like, I can’t encourage you more to be able to have that and meditate and figure out and get clear on what the next steps are, right? I don’t move without praying. You can move with confidence knowing that everything may not line up 110%, but it’s going to be pretty close there, because it’s already designed and taken care of for you.
Esmie Lawrence: I so agree with you. Because with me, I always say, “Lord, help me, guide me.” Because I remember the times in my life. I mean, I grew up as a Christian. But times that God was in the background, you know? Kind of forgot about God. Right? When I rededicated my life back to God, I said, “God, guide me and protect me.” Because you know my life, you know how the story ends, right? Dr. Heather Simone: Yes. Esmie Lawrence: Because sometimes when you lead, you’re trying to lead yourself. Right? And you say that you think that you’re bigger than everything else. Well, no. Let God guide you, protect you. You say a little prayer. Then I don’t get as stressed as I used to. Because I know there’s somebody leading me, watching out for me. Dr. Heather Simone: Absolutely. Esmie Lawrence: It gives me comfort. Dr. Heather Simone: It gives comfort. And it takes so much pressure off. Esmie Lawrence: It does. Dr. Heather Simone: It takes so much pressure off. And we talk about sometimes I hear, “Hustle so hard.” And it’s really my view is getting more in the flow. Because when you’re more in the flow, it doesn’t feel like this strenuous hustle. It feels aligned, like this is what I’m supposed to do. I can’t even describe that it’s so far from this hustle. Sure, there’s a solid work ethic involved. Sure, for sure there’s a solid work ethic involved. But you’re in the flow. It’s not this anxiety, the stress, this internal turmoil. Because you are in the flow. There’s a comfort level and a trust that it’s going to be okay at the end of the day. Esmie Lawrence: Yes, oh, I love that. Dr. Simone, you’re awesome. I could talk to you forever.
Dr. Heather Simone: Oh, thank you. Esmie Lawrence: No, you’re very powerful lady. I would like to know, what is it that you’re still struggling with now? Dr. Heather Simone: Yeah. Right now, I am learning again about boundaries. I’m totally committed to helping everyone, but I know that I have to meet folks where they are. Esmie Lawrence: Right. Dr. Heather Simone: And I’m devising, right now, new ways to be able to reach more and have a more of an impact than the one on ones that can be time intensive, to be able to help others map out their success journey. Dr. Heather Simone: Right now I’m working on modules that are online modules. That my clients can download. And then we can come together with questions. It’s guided, but I don’t have to be there in terms of that commitment, that full-time. And creating that boundary, I think, becomes a win-win. Because I feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. As well as I’m opening up to others to support them. But it’s in a way that I can have work-life integration, right? This doesn’t feel like work, because it’s in the flow. However, the time it takes and commitment it takes to see someone, build a business to seven figures, it takes a lot of one on one work. Introducing the online modules, for me, helps me with my boundaries. That I can have the reach and impact that I desire, still while doing it meaningfully, purposefully, and my client’s getting what they well deserve.
Esmie Lawrence: Right, awesome. Tell me one thing that you would like to say to our audience today. Dr. Heather Simone: Wow. One thing I’d like to say is that your diamond brilliance was always there. Sometimes we have to go through a disruptor to get to that shine, but that journey is so worth it. And when we think about diamonds and the pressure, heat, combustion, that comes out to be such a beautiful gem, I akin that to the same thing in a success journey. Your diamond brilliance is always there, just find it and continue to shine brilliantly. Esmie Lawrence: Continue to shine. Oh, my gosh. Dr. Simone, that was awesome. What an awesome conversation we had today! Dr. Heather Simone: Thank you. This has been amazing! I could talk to you for hours, as well, Esmie. Esmie Lawrence: I could talk to you for hours! Oh, my gosh. Dr. Heather Simone: I truly enjoyed this. Yes. Esmie Lawrence: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for listening to Sprinting to Success podcast. And have an amazing day! Thank you!