Be willing to define and redefine success for yourself. Growing up I was somewhat of a chameleon. I learned quickly to adapt to my surroundings and molded my personality around who I was with. As I got older, this made it very easy for me to soak up other people’s definitions of success as my own. Whenever I felt stressed or unsatisfied, it was, at least in part, because I needed to connect back to MY definition of what success would look and feel like in that situation (and redefine it if necessary). Doing this consistently over the years has allowed me to feel a lot more fulfillment along this journey of growth.
As a part of my series about strong female leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Allison Braun. Allison known as the Queen of Ease, uses her 10+ years of experience in communication, relationships, personal development, and business to help successful women business owners around the world tap into deeper levels of business prosperity and life fulfillment with more ease & joy, without sacrificing what’s most important to them. Through The Business Pleasure Map™, Clarity To Clients™, and the Living Richly™ framework, Allison takes financially successful women business owners from stressed out, lonely, and out of alignment to empowered, connected, and passionate powerhouses. When she’s not helping her gifted clients shed the overwhelm that’s been capping their success and fulfillment, you’ll find her splashing in water, drinking espresso & writing, or making potions with crystals and essential oils.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Living Richly was born out of a culmination of many moments and experiences from:
– backpacking around the world at 18, waking up in an open air house in the jungle with the view of lush greenery, sunbeams and tea steaming at the foot of my bed
– to snorting with laughter with a group of women from around the world after facilitating life changing activations
– to waking up with my husband’s arm around my waist and my puppy coming to snuggle between us
– to painting with my 2 year old niece.
There were so many pieces that created this special career path and it’s evolved over time.
Things really clicked into place when I was at a business event with a group of entrepreneurs, and I realized that despite absolute brilliance and huge business success, so many people around me were dissatisfied and unfulfilled – missing out on so much of the richness of life, despite having reached some of their biggest business goals.
I looked back at my life and realized I have a gift for:
– helping women who are success driven and stuck, striving for more
– unlocking the full potential within these women to create the life of their dreams and live richly—a deeply fulfilling, satisfying life where the journey is savoured and enjoyed as much as possible, even in the challenging moments (IF they are willing to choose it).
I knew then that Living Richly™ was begging to come to life, which has been so needed in this world of hustle, busyness and striving.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
I was driving into Marrakech, after a retreat I hosted for my Living Richly Mastermind, with the owner of our private villa. He was saying that years ago, he was so confused because he couldn’t figure out why he was guided to take all these different studies in completely different areas.
We laughed because now looking back, he can see how each of those studies and career paths led him to this moment where he’s running 3 huge businesses throughout Morocco where he gets to use all these skills and passions, but where he wouldn’t be able to do what he’s doing without all of them either.
I think the most interesting thing is looking back to see how all the experiences I’ve had in my career have all led up to the creation of Living Richly. Each piece of the puzzle didn’t feel complete on its own. Whether it was getting my degree in Holistic Health, practicing energy work, ending up with a very successful Sexual Expression & relationship coaching business, to focusing on business mentorship, it was the culmination of those experiences that made me the powerful leader for this company and cause.
For the last several years I’ve been blessed to integrate all of my passions (that didn’t seem quite right on their own) and skills into the powerful work I’m now able to do with these brilliant business women.
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?
Without fail, whenever I’ve claimed an area of expertise in my business, I’m “blessed” with a challenge in that area that I’ve never experienced before. This challenge is usually big enough that it causes me to question everything ::insert imposter syndrome worry face here::. Keep in mind this is typically after really mastering & rocking that area of expertise for YEARS.
Every single time, I realize this is an opportunity to deepen the practices that I teach and have a greater understanding and empathy for what my clients are and will be experiencing. As soon as I realize that, the feeling of “challenge” disappears, and sweet curiosity and fast growth happens.
The funniest mistake I made when I was first claiming Living Richly was FORGETTING this pattern I experience Every. Single. Time!
It actually took me a few months of tumbling in the doubts and challenges—things that made everything in my life feel so uncertain, when my whole life, I’ve felt so grounded. After a lifetime of feeling SO rich, I questioned my ability to survive.
In the moment it didn’t feel very funny, but it makes me giggle to myself now because it’s SO clear what was happening—I was preparing myself, once again, to have that empathy and understanding for people who truly don’t feel rich right now and who question if living a rich life is even possible for them.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
In a world that still celebrates white knuckling it and sacrifice, we are a company that views AND models success differently. We’ve been on the leading edge of showing woman/humans how to live and work in a way that honours and supports them in experiencing their greatest desires while being all of themselves, fully expressed, without the old belief systems that say they aren’t worthy of success unless they sacrifice something else important (themselves, their values, their relationships, their happiness, creative expression…).
We don’t just preach Living Richly, we live and breathe it – expression, enjoyment, growth, connection (to self, Source and others).
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Currently we are offering a new experience focused solely on RICH Expression & Visibility. It’s geared towards supporting women that have a history of receiving the message that they need to be seen & not heard, please others, not ruffle feathers and not take up too much space.
Together, in this nurturing container, they are finding what their next iteration of unique, RICH Expression looks and feels like, as well as how to share it visibly with their community and the world to create change (and ultimately so they can feel free and fulfilled within themselves!).
We believe that sacrificing your expression and joy are actually the demise of your success, and by cultivating that rich, self expression and feeling more enjoyment in that process, you become even MORE successful.
Plus, it gives everyone around you the permission to be free, fulfilled and successful too.
What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?
Do your best to consistently model and embody the values you and your company stand for. Then, even if your team’s personal core values don’t match yours, you’re setting the example of integrity and leadership.
Take care of yourself, and encourage and support your team in taking good care of themselves too! To run a healthy, thriving team, you need healthy, thriving people.
What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?
Full disclosure—I don’t run a large team, nor do I desire too. I love simplicity and efficiency, and with my company and vision, a large team is not necessary. That being said, something powerful that I’ve learned from Adrienne Dorison, is giving ownership over delegation. In order to take things off your plate and run things as efficiently as possible, your core team members really need to have ownership of their area of expertise and responsibility. From that foundation, you teach those core team members to lead and delegate in the same way with the team members they manage.
Look at where you may be asking others to do things, giving them jobs, but where you (or other leaders on your team) are still holding onto the heavy weight of being in charge of it.
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 about that?
I’ve received invaluable support all along my journey, without which, I’m not sure where I’d be. There’s one person in particular though who I feel really opened the doors to the reality I wanted to be living.
She came into my life when I was surrounded by wonderful people, but who had so many limitations to how much richness they would allow into their lives. I was begging for permission to experience more, to charge more, travel more, own my gifts more, to maintain an amazing partnership through it all—to live and work on my own terms.
Kris Ward was that woman for me. She was the first coach I ever hired and she gave me all the permission slips and guidance I needed to go all in, to experience everything I desired. That relationship and the lessons I learned through it set me up for success by my own definition and doing it my way, and for that I’ll forever be grateful.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
So many of the women I support have grown up with a bad taste in their mouth about success and people who are successful, because of what the media, their families, their communities, etc. told them about what it means to be successful.
This led to subconsciously avoiding success, because there’s a fear that success would make them a bad person or that other people would perceive them to be a bad person if they were successful. When women who CARE and genuinely want to contribute to the world being a better, safer, happier, healthier place experience success, the more nourished they can be in the process of doing their big work in the world.
I hope that by modeling self care, self expression, contribution and authentic success, that I’m empowering more women to know they can do the same. A huge part of the work I do with clients is to support them in being even more financially prosperous so they can spend and give their money to other businesses and causes they believe in, because bringing goodness to the world is a core value of my business.
I love contributing to women’s education and the future of their businesses through donating scholarships to programs and gifting a portion of our proceeds to The Adventure Project, Because I’m A Girl, and local bursary programs.
What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
1. Be willing to define and redefine success for yourself.
Growing up I was somewhat of a chameleon. I learned quickly to adapt to my surroundings and molded my personality around who I was with. As I got older, this made it very easy for me to soak up other people’s definitions of success as my own. Whenever I felt stressed or unsatisfied, it was, at least in part, because I needed to connect back to MY definition of what success would look and feel like in that situation (and redefine it if necessary). Doing this consistently over the years has allowed me to feel a lot more fulfillment along this journey of growth.
2. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about being fulfilled.
This lesson keeps coming back in new layers, thank goodness. I was talking with a wonderful woman yesterday, and a new layer struck — I recognized there was still a bit of fear that if I really owned and shared my success that others would project that I’m perfect. Of course I’m not, which means there’s a huge opportunity for judgement and disappointment from others.
Then she said something that simultaneously blew my mind and landed so sweetly in my heart — I’m not about being perfect, and I’ll never claim to be perfect, BUT I am about fulfillment and THAT I can own for myself and my ability to support others with, without a shadow of a doubt. This also shows another lesson that’s been profound for me — speaking fears out loud. When I do, it allows them to dissipate, hold less power and for solutions to arise.
3. Enjoy the journey as much as possible.
Enjoyment is one of my core values. In a society that says you can’t enjoy your accomplishments until you reach the BIG goal, I really struggled. It was nearly impossible to reach any goal without enjoying the journey.
During a launch of one of my signature programs, Clarity To Clients™, and in attempts to have this be the most “successful” launch yet, I forgot my enjoyment value.
So there I was, working for this superficial success (that I had not defined for myself) and sacrificing enjoyment along the way. Although the results were slightly better than I’d had in the past, they weren’t even close to my goal, and more importantly it FELT like the worst launch I’d ever had because I was stressed the whole time and didn’t enjoy a bit of it.
If you define success only by reaching the goal, then you’re ignoring the greatest reason you set the goal in the first place — to feel good in the achieving of it.
If you want to relish success, enjoying the journey is a non-negotiable.
Ultimately, all we have is this journey, so if you aren’t enjoying it, what’s the point?
4. Self expression is the key to true freedom.
Have you ever had that feeling of wanting to say something but it was trapped in your throat? Or feeling inspired to dance to an amazing song, but the thought that you shouldn’t bust a move in the middle of the grocery store kept those twists and shouts trapped inside of you? I have.
I held my thoughts in so many times that I started to question what I had to say, and if my thoughts were even valid. At that point in my life, all I wanted was to feel free. I thought the answer was to travel — to be free of someone else’s rules and schedule.
While those were pieces, the most impactful part of my journey to feeling free was giving myself permission to express my thoughts, my voice, my movement, how I dressed — letting the things that were important to me out instead of keeping them trapped within me.
If you’re feeling trapped or tight, chances are there’s something that wants to be said or moved through you.
5. Trust your inner guidance and the way you feel called to do things.
Aligned action leads to exponential results. A couple years ago, I was opening enrollment for what’s now known as my Living Richly Mastermind. I knew I wanted to enjoy the process, I knew I had big goals, and I knew that it had to be done differently than the standard launch process — but I didn’t know what the process was going to look like. So I sat and I listened.
I received unconventional guidance that I could have easily ignored or dismissed, and instead I trusted it. I was being asked to take bold and edgy actions by most of society’s perception, but for me they were natural, easy, and enjoyable.
Because I was willing to slow down enough to listen, I was able to receive my own unique guidance on how to move forward, and take fast action. I ended up making $225,000 in the span of 2 weeks with more ease than I’d ever experienced before… all while doing the work that I MOST loved, with women who were total Soulmate Clients.
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 mission is for Living Richly™ to be a movement — for people all around the world to define what Living Richly™ looks and feels like for them, without holding back their greatest desires, and then to start living it. Living Richly™ is about knowing that you are worthy, that you are enough, so you can start experiencing your desires NOW, not when you’ve reached some artificial goal post. You don’t have to sacrifice love for success or success for love, or passion for financial nourishment, or anything else. You don’t need to give up one thing that’s important to you to have another important thing.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Pleasure is productive.” I was shamed for years for working the way I do — with pleasure, enjoyment and flow at the forefront. The rumors going around (especially in the business world) were that pleasure was indulgent, lazy, hedonistic. You have to work HARD to get where you want to go.
The truth is, overworking is not efficient and it’s not sustainable. True pleasure IS productive. It leads to million dollar ideas, inspired flow, courageous action, and healthy self care that allows you to be the best in your industry and receive results for the rest of your life.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment 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 if we tag them 🙂
Hands down, Suzy Batiz, the founder of Poo Pourri. From what I know about her and her company, she’s got a blend of humour, soul, and business brilliance that really gets me going. I have so many things I’d love to have a conversation with her about. Plus, as someone with a digestive care background, anyone I can joke about poo with tends to be an instant friend.