Megan Murphy is a Women’s Empowerment Coach, Business Mentor, Kindness Activist, Meditation Instructor, Author and Lecturer. She is a business mentor for SCORE, Freelance Writer, and Creator of The Kindness Rocks Project. She resides on Cape Cod, MA with her husband, three daughters and two giant dogs.
Megan is a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) and Score certified mentor earning her coaching certifications through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) and is a member of the International Coaching Federation ICF. Megan has been featured on The Today Show, Fox News Boston, NBC Boston, WCVB Channel 5; 5 for Good segment, The Boston Globe, The Detroit Free Press, The Washington Post, Cape Cod Life Magazine, Conscious Life Magazine, Parents Magazine, Highlights for Kids Magazine, Country Living Magazine, First for Women Magazine, The Cape Cod Times, Today.com, The Huffington Post, Mind, Body, Green, Tut.com and Grown & Flown, Southern Living Magazine, PsyCentral, ThriveGlobal, BuzzFeed and many other regional news media outlets across the country where members of the project participate. She has been published in The 2017 Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Kind America book, and recently published her book A Pebble For Your Thoughts; How one Kindness Rock Can Change Your Life.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? How did you get to be where you are right now?
I have always been an Entrepreneur. Fifteen years ago I founded a chain of retail stores selling fashion jewelry along the tourist towns of Cape Cod. My business had great success, however, along the way, I realized that I had lost my joy.. My definition of success had changed and I realized that I needed to make a change and so I sold my business and began walking the beach each morning searching for inspiration for my next chapter in business and in life.
That is when I began finding little treasures along the beach such as heart shaped rocks and sea glass. I viewed them as “signs” or “messages”- answers to the questions that I had posed on these long introspective walks. One day it hit me! Many of the other beach walkers were most likely there, seeking solace and inspiration too.. I began writing inspirational messages on rocks with a sharpie and leaving them for these people to find. I thought that maybe I could provide them with a “sign” or an uplifting message at just the right moment when they needed it.
This simple act turned into an International grassroots kindness movement and today I travel and speak about the importance of Kindness and compassion towards others. My next chapter in business actually found me. I am now an Author, Coach, and Inspirational Speaker.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? How did this quality help you overcome obstacles on the path of becoming an influential and inspiring leader?
I have always been an extrovert with the exception of the periods of my life when I experienced difficulties or challenges. The fear of judgment during these times always made me more introspective and introversive. That shift actually created more anxiety for me and hindered my process in finding a solution to the problem at hand because I was not able to express myself authentically to others. I held back, and disconnected from my true self. Upon becoming aware that we are all more alike than different, and that I was not alone with these feelings, I began to share my struggles with others through my audience. I learned to push through my fears and embrace my role as an extrovert even during challenging moments. Especially during the challenging moments, for in sharing my perspective and feelings with others became therapeutic and healing. I realized that these obstacles were my influence and could help inspire others.
What does it mean to be mentally-strong in the hyper-competitive world of running a business or an organization?
In running a business, an organization or a movement being mentally-strong is so important! You must have a desire to achieve a certain goal to compel you to act. This desire must be driven by a personal intention or purpose. Leaders who remain in alignment with this intention will make better decisions, withstand criticism and outside influences and find inspiration for the future vision of their organization. Being mentally-strong brings with it a sense of confidence and leadership. People admire and want to follow those who have vision and confidence. In a hyper-competitive ever-changing world, success comes from collaboration, cooperation and a greater vision beyond the “self”. We can make a greater impact together than we can alone.
A lot of people in the business would feel as if talking about mental health makes them appear weak. How do you feel about showing mental strength and setting an example of what it takes to have strong mental stamina to succeed?
Relate ability is a main component of leadership. Sharing with others “your story” and what makes you “vulnerable” can actually become your strength as a leader. People trust those whom they feel connected with by means of values, including honesty and authenticity. I believe that to be a great leader we set examples by showing others that it is ok to be human first. To show that we are more alike than different and that the obstacles we struggle with personally and overcome prove as examples for future successes for others. Creating emotional bonds is not a weakness, but rather an asset towards future success.
Is there a particular person, a book, or place of wisdom that has inspired you to become a successful and mentally-strong leader?
The book that has inspired me the most is Lynchpin by Seth Godin.
Being authentically YOU, and standing out from the crowd is your strength and creates value in your leadership. You distinguish yourself as an innovator and a creative rather than a “widget” in the cog of the corporate machine. Widgets are replaceable, lynchpins are irreplaceable!
Can you give us 5 tips on maintaining strong mental health stamina to succeed in the modern business world? Tell us a little about why each point matters.
1. Get intentional; In order to tap into your true intention in doing anything, ask yourself “why”? What is your reason or your why for doing something and make sure it aligns with your true intention? Not sure how to do this? Meditation and introspection are great ways to uncover this.
2. Seek confidants. Find those people who inspire you and those whom you trust and share the same vision. Surround yourself with positive influences.
3. Reflect daily. At the beginning of each day show gratitude for another opportunity…another chance to make a difference. At the end of each day, reflect upon the things that you did to make the world or your organization a better place.
4. Be Kind! It is in showing kindness towards others that we cultivate a better life experience. When we give to others we receive so much more back in terms of good energy and joy.
5. Do not attach yourself to certain outcomes. Be prepared for change, and embrace it. Often our outcomes either send us in a new direction (one that is meant for us) or become grander than we ever imagined! Don’t limit yourself.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
My coined quote for my grassroots kindness project is:
“One message at just the right moment can change someone’s entire day, outlook, life!”
Don’t be afraid to walk in wonder and always keep your chin up. You may miss something important if you are too focussed and unaware of the inspiration that surrounds you each and every day.
Megan Murphy Coaching & The Kindness Rocks Project
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