Find your own way. Just because some people’s perception of the perfect life is a “multi-millionaire,” for example, that doesn’t mean it has to be your goal. Too often we get caught up in the “should be” rather than what we really desire. Only YOU can decide what your perfect, imperfectly balanced day looks like. What’s weird to others could be just perfect for you… and vice versa.
Yvonne Heimann, web designer and business efficiency coach has over 10 years of experience organizing, strengthening, and streamlining businesses into profitability and success. She was born and raised in Germany where she caught the entrepreneurial bug early on, working in her parents’ business and owning her own pub by the tender age of 22.
Yvonne left the safety net and security she had in Germany to pursue her own dreams in America in 2007. Since moving, Yvonne’s goal has been to help empower entrepreneurs so they can successfully run a sustainable business while also enjoying life.
Her own life-changing challenge came in 2014, when she lost her husband to cancer. Yvonne was determined to resume her passion of building “bulletproof businesses” that can withstand anything.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
A favorite anecdote of of my backstory is how my dad traded pages of two Playboy magazine for cement and stones in order to build a two car garage and dog kennel. (For those who don’t know, you were sent to prison in East Germany for owning that magazine.)
There was no better example set for me on how to be resourceful! I remember standing in line for oranges as a kid and when I came to the states, I had only two suitcases and my dog. I am a true example of an immigrant who attained “The American Dream.”
Divorced once, widowed once, I have rebuilt my whole life more than three times. In the end, no matter how challenging my past has been, I am thankful for each event. They have made me who I am today, humble and passionate — seeing the world not only in black and white but in all the colors in between.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
We tend to look at people that are in the public spotlight for guidance and inspiration. Yet I find the quiet ones, those behind the scenes, so much more interesting.
I had the pleasure to meet Rolfe Auerbach, whose name would not necessarily ring a bell if you are not in the film and movie industry or run marketing for a big brand. He has insight and knowledge on so many topics, much more than some public faces have.
Or consider that there are so many amazing assistants. They are behind their desks and running someone else’s life, deciding if you get to be on that VIP’s calendar or not. They know exactly what’s going on in the office and what first impression you make with their boss. Relationship marketing at it’s finest.
For those two reasons alone, I always seek out “the quiet ones.” And, it always is so interesting to see those behind the scenes people who pull the strings. It’s amazing how many connections they have and how easily they seem to be able to get things accomplished.
What was your biggest challenge to date either personally or professionally and how did you overcome it?
There is no bigger challenge than being a caretaker for one you love. I was my late husband’s caretaker for two years, and I, of course, had to put my own life and business on hold.
So many emotions, experiences, and lessons…
Watching someone disintegrate in front of you, while maintaining a big smile on his face and caring more about everyone else, is humbling and inspiring.
Those two years were my biggest challenge, personally and professionally.
Needless to say, those years were a huge struggle, but also provided invaluable lessons and inspiration.
They made me who I am today — passionate about self sustainable businesses, my aversion to wasting time, my need to get out of my comfort zone, and my draw to experience new things.
How I got here after all that pain and stress?! One step at a time.
What does leadership mean to you and how do you best inspire others to lead?
Leadership to me is the ability to let go a little bit. Allowing others to get things done in their way, not always how we think it should be done. It allows everyone to work more efficiently and potentially discover new and even better methods of productivity.
It also allows a team to be proud of their individual strengths and to get comfortable outside of their comfort zone. And we all know, magic often happens right there…outside of our comfort zone.
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?
I’ve have had and still have many angels in my life.
People that have helped me throughout my late husband’s cancer, people that have helped me after to get back on my feet and to this day, people that show me a different perspective, connect me to other amazing people, or just have an open ear on a bad day.
I couldn’t have done, or do, any of this without them.
Was it difficult to fit your life into your business/career and how did you do that?
I am blessed that my business is my life.
My struggle is taking time off, whether just down time, silent time just for me, or time to let down my hair with my girlfriends. I love nerding out, testing new tools, and just doing what I do, so I easily get lost in my screens and suddenly a whole week is gone and I never left the house.
How did I fix that?
I took my own advice and now lay out the routines I know I need to integrate into each week: workouts, massages, girls’ nights out, for example. I even had to design my own custom planner to make sure every aspect of my life was scheduled and accounted for. It all goes in my Bulletproof Business Planner, personal obligations followed by work obligations.
And, I told my friends to not let me bail out — no more “I am too busy,” for an excuse. Whatever think I have to do right now will still be there tomorrow.
Did you find that as your success grew it became more difficult to focus on the other areas of your life?
I wouldn’t say focus has become more difficult but rather more clear and specific.
I do schedule time for each area of my life, but who I spend it with and what I say yes to has become more targeted and deliberate.
So, it might seem that one area of my life gets less attention, yet I only really cleared my focus in that area and eliminated pieces that didn’t serve me personally, intellectually or emotionally. The key is to compartmentalize and not think you can give 100% to everything all at the same time. Give 100% to each area you are in at that moment.
Can you share five pieces of advice to other leaders about how to achieve the best balance between work and personal life?
5. Keep your goals and priorities close. We get sidetracked really fast — a new tool, course or connection. The new is exciting and a break from the everyday but can derail you. A tool like my Bulletproof Business Planner will help you keep on track grounded — make a fast decision if you should or shouldn’t do something.
What gives you the greatest sense of accomplishment and pride
A client, friend, or someone I just met having that “AHA moment” on their face when something I say or explain clicks or suddenly makes sense to them. There’s no better feeling!
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. 🙂
We all know tomorrow could be our last day… yet it takes a major life event, a trauma, for us to live like it. I would love to be able to trigger that emotional response, that “let’s do this, I might not get a chance again,” in every single person without them having to go through the trauma to get there.
Life would bring so many more experiences, deeper relationships, and bigger smiles than ever before.
I would love for everyone to see life how I do now, without the pain I had to experience to get here.
What is the best way for people to connect with you on social media?
Jacob Rupp is a coach, author, speaker, podcaster, and rabbi. He is the founder of Lift Your Legacy, a community that helps people live a more authentic life. He has a regular, syndicated column that appears in ThriveGlobal and Medium magazine. To learn more about him or to listen to the Lift Your Legacy podcast, search iTunes or visit his site: liftyourlegacy.live