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Author Suzanne Evans: “To be resilient stop caring about what others think — Truly”

Stop caring about what others think — Truly. You do! Are you in business for yourself or others? Your job is to run your business with smart choices and strong decisions. You can not do that if you are worried about what others think about you! In this interview series, we are exploring the subject […]

Stop caring about what others think — Truly. You do! Are you in business for yourself or others? Your job is to run your business with smart choices and strong decisions. You can not do that if you are worried about what others think about you!


In this interview series, we are exploring the subject of resilience among successful business leaders. Resilience is one characteristic that many successful leaders share in common, and in many cases it is the most important trait necessary to survive and thrive in today’s complex market. I had the pleasure of interviewing Suzanne Evans. She went from secretary to a 7 million dollar business in record time. Her company, Driven Inc, has been on the Inc 500/5000 list of fasting growing companies for 5 straight years. Her NY Times Best Selling book, “The Way You Do Anything is the Way You Do Everything”, set hundreds of thousands of business owners on their fast path to success. Suzanne has grown her brand from humble beginnings inside a 350 square foot Manhattan apartment to a sprawling office where she works with clients around the world. She currently lives with her family in Chapel Hill, NC.


Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?

Istarted as a secretary in New York, overwhelmed by my debt, that is when I decided to launch my coaching career. I was able to skyrocket my bottom line to seven-figures in record time because I was not afraid to be who I am. As a business coach, I have felt the grind and depended on my hustle to get to where I am. I have landed a New York Times Bestseller and am on the Inc. 500/5000 honor roll, none of that happened by accident.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

There is never a dull moment. Most of the speeches and presentations I give always mention where I started. It was my most vulnerable moment, I was putting myself out there. We all have to experience this before we find success. My interesting story started at a small table between the bananas and tomatoes at Whole Foods, at this tiny table draped with a cheap table cloth and homemade sign, I was recruiting clients for my life-coaching business. Talk about awkward, people just wanted to shop for groceries, but I was there, eager and ready to solve their problems. Oddly enough, it worked and I landed my first clients.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

We share our mess. Growing our company we have had our share of fumbles and of course, wins. As a business coach, I want my clients to know that you will get something wrong, but you have to get that to figure out what is right for you. It is ok to fail, as long as you know why and go from there.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

My dad. Absolutely without a doubt. As a 7th generation Farmer in North Carolina, he wanted me to experience the whole world. He encouraged me to try things he was never able to do like learning to tap dance or take up professional waterskiing. He showed me that anything is possible.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?

Resilience to me is all about the hustle and correction. Are you willing to keep at it even if you aren’t winning? Being ok to fail is part of resilience. Being ok to be embarrassed is also part of being resilient. That is where the hustle comes into play. You have to keep going! If something is not working fix it, but never stop moving forward.

When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?

Nelson Mandela. When I think of resilience it is him. He kept on fighting for what he knew was right. He faced danger, opposition and continued to keep going. He created a world of change through his actions.

Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?

When I started my coaching career I was working a fulltime job in the Broadway theatre industry as a secretary. It was my job to make the impossible happen. I was fortunate to work for someone who pushed me and knew that anything was possible. That expectation made it impossible for me to back away from any challenge.

Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?

Everything changed in my life when I took a deep look at my finances. I get it! It is something that no one truly wants to do, but for me, it was a must! I was living in New York City, living on credit cards and barely scraping by with my salary of $45,000. When I realized it would take me over 20 years to pay off my debt, that was when I knew I need to be resilient and make change happen. All while working full-time as a secretary I started my coaching business. I was on a mission to work as hard as I could and never give up, even if I failed. Within my first year as a coach I cleared the 6-figure mark, granted there were challenges along the way, things were falling into place and I was at the 7-figure mark in 3 years.

Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?

I had countless great moments in my childhood, my family is funny, smart and determined. My mother was a high school basketball coach. We continue to take basketball very seriously in our family! We were taught to win. In my home growing up, we celebrated our wins. This is a practice I still use in my business and teach my clients. When you celebrate your wins you are recognizing what is working for you and want to keep going.

Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.

To be resilient you need to dial in on the following:

Stop caring about what others think — Truly. You do! Are you in business for yourself or others? Your job is to run your business with smart choices and strong decisions. You can not do that if you are worried about what others think about you!

Stick to your gut — Chances are if you feel strongly about something, it is the right choice for you! Don’t allow yourself to get caught in a world of indecision. Making a choice is a step in the right direction!

Know that you will fail — Ouch. It hurts to know that we all suck sometimes! But we all do, even our best friends and competitors have moments where they will stumble, and stumble hard. Relislence is about how you recover.

Keep an eye out for what makes others successful — Maybe you are just starting or have been in the game for a while. It’s important to take note on what is working and always know what your next goal is. Chances are others in your industry are thriving, so study up on what they are doing and morph it into something that will work for you.

Always keep moving — If you fall, get back up! It’s to easy in business to sit back down and get buried in what you should do next. Don’t do that, you have to keep moving! If something is not working, correct it quickly but don’t lose momentum.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

My parents are getting older, and it has opened my eyes to the fact that you never stop learning at any age. Your community is always evolving and it is about how we all take care of each other. I was fortunate enough to talk to a group of teenage entrepreneurs and they were working on projects to help seniors with technology. Our youth want to older generations to stay connected. Programs that inspire our youth to help others are the backbone of true community innovation.

We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂

Jean Georges because his food is art and his business is brilliant!

How can our readers follow you on social media?

https://www.instagram.com/thedriveninc/

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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