Social Impact Authors: How & Why Author Elizabeth Pearson Is Helping To Change Our World

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Everything is temporary. The low pay, the growth, and the “paying your dues” are all temporary. Keep your head up and just take small steps forward.

As part of my series about “authors who are making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Elizabeth Pearson.

Elizabeth Pearson is an Executive Coach for Women in Male-Dominated fields. She’s also the author of Career Confinement: How to Free Yourself, Find Your Guides, and Seize the Fire of Inspired Work and host of the ASCEND and TRANSCEND Podcast.

She specializes in getting leaders “unstuck” so they can achieve their highest goals in all aspects of life. Throughout her 13-year sales career, Elizabeth has built brands such as Vitamin Water and Coca-Cola, as well as managed national accounts such as Amazon, Target, Whole Foods, Walmart, and others.

Elizabeth parlays her corporate and entrepreneurial success into her coaching of Powerhouse leaders in the C-suite.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

I grew up in a suburb outside of St. Louis with my sister and I was raised by our single mother. She worked a ton, so we were latchkey kids and fended for ourselves most days. I respected that she had her own life and career, but it wasn’t glamorous, and I knew huge sacrifices were being made by all of us. Therefore, early on, I was determined to create a life where I felt free — free to do what I want, live where I want, and not stress, or be obsessed with, money all of the time.

When you were younger, was there a book that you read that inspired you to take action or changed your life? Can you share a story about that?

It actually wasn’t a book but a TV show. I grew up in the 90s, and the Oprah Winfrey show came on every day after school at 4pm. Even as a teenager, I felt drawn to Oprah and her message of vulnerability mixed with power. She was spiritual, entrepreneurial, empowering, and nurturing, and it was just what I needed as a role model. I say she was a “coach-in-my-head” growing up and most definitely influenced my later decision to move to Chicago and then California. If it was good enough for Oprah — it was good enough for me.

It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I made the mistake of quitting my first job out of college because I thought I was “above” it. I was working for Glaceau (makers of Vitaminwater and Smartwater) and selling cases of water to convenience store managers felt like a waste of my hard-earned degree. So, I quit and took an office job on Michigan Avenue, and I was absolutely miserable. After 90 days, I was fired from that job, and when I went back to my boss at Vitaminwater to ask for my job back, he welcomed me with open arms. I stayed with them for another 7 years until the company sold to Coca-Cola. Going back, and admitting my mistake, was a pivotal moment in my life and career.

Can you describe how you aim to make a significant social impact with your book?

The intention of the book has always been to provide a resource to those who are in enough pain to be self-motivated. When you feel stuck or trapped, it can either be paralyzing or incredibly motivating. My book is a resource for the latter group who wants to go at their own pace, start right away, or aren’t financially able to hire me as their coach.

Can you share with us the most interesting story that you shared in your book?

Chapter 3 on Angel Signs is probably the most impactful. There are a few different stories about how I, and clients, have asked our non-physical selves to show us proof of their existence — that Universal energy is always listening and eager to support our endeavors. The chapter goes through all sorts of fun angel signs that clients have come up with, and how they saw those things within 24–48hours. Most went from being skeptics to full-blown believers in their Spiritual Board of Advisors.

What was the “aha moment” or series of events that made you decide to bring your message to the greater world? Can you share a story about that?

I had to turn away so many amazing potential clients because they couldn’t afford to work with me, or I was on a waitlist. It was then, that I knew a book was needed, so these women had options and could start their journeys ASAP.

Without sharing specific names, can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

I had a client who came to me because she felt trapped in a family business, and her father controlled all of her finances. She wanted to believe she could get a job totally on her own and live a life independent of her family’s money and control. About 2 months into working together, she told me she was unexpectedly pregnant. To her, it was game over. She was juggling a 2-yr old son, a husband who traveled for work, and parents who lived in the UK (aka no free babysitting).

I explained that her pregnancy was in no way a liability, and we went on to get her a multiple 6-figure job (while not disclosing her pregnancy). When she showed up at her first work meeting, she was 5 months pregnant, so she discussed with her boss why she didn’t disclose it in the interview. They were incredibly supportive, and she did so well in her time in the role before she went on maternity leave that she got promoted and relocated to work out of the headquarters office.

My point is — you’re never trapped.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

Where do I start?

  1. Paid parental leave- it’s an absolute necessity to keep women in the workforce.
  2. Supporting partners- deciding who to spend your life with is the most important decision a woman will ever make. They must be “on the bus” towards your dreams.
  3. Detaching from external approval — once you can get to a place of not caring what other people think, only then are you totally free.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

Leadership is inspiring your team rather than motivating them. I think all leaders should strive to have a team that wants to make them proud versus being fearful of possible retribution. I also think good leaders are vulnerable and model that vulnerability to their employees.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Everything is temporary. The low pay, the growth, and the “paying your dues” are all temporary. Keep your head up and just take small steps forward.
  2. You don’t have to have “it” figured out. Let your career path be organic and free flowing, rather than linear and tactical. Explore things you are gravitated towards, even if it wasn’t the thing you went to school for.
  3. Just because your parents didn’t have it doesn’t mean you don’t need it. The whole “it was good enough for me, so it’s good enough for you” phrase that your parents or elders say, is B.S. You have a right to ask for what you want and need and expect those needs to be validated and fulfilled.
  4. Your productivity does not equal your worth. You don’t need to do anything to have value. Period.
  5. Everything is happening for your expansion and higher good. The more resistance you feel towards something, the more likely it’s what’s best for you — so don’t fight it. Instead, find the lesson and learn from it.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.”

– Dr. Wayne Dyer

When clients seek out my help, they’re usually feeling powerless in an area of their life — some are even miserable in a “toxic” work environment. I always recommend that they use those feelings as a catalyst for change and improvement of the situation. Complaining about it will only keep it in your vibration and therefore in your reality. When you choose to be grateful for everything — well, that’s when the magic of transformation happens.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

I’d love to have a meal with Stacey Abrams. She is the epitome of grace under pressure and continues to push for change around voting rights and for marginalized women everywhere. She’s an inspiration on so many levels.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Check out my website, IG @coach.elizabeth.pearson, or grab a copy of my book Career Confinement!

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

Social Impact Authors: How & Why Author Elizabeth Pearson Is Helping To Change Our World was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.