The power of visualization is my #1 tool. You can play out scenarios or you can take a moment to visualize the best possible outcome. Before I speak, I imagine the audience captivated. Use the power of your visualization. When you visualize this success and make it multidimensional, your mind doesn’t know the difference and you build confidence. When you are in the situation you have already seen the outcome as the best opportunity. This is why people say they want to work with me because they recognize my energy and they realize my focus.
As a part of our series about “Optimal Performance Before High Pressure Moments,” I had the pleasure of interviewingAndréa Albright.
Andréa Albright, who is recognized as a thought leader and publisher, is on a mission to create the next movement for authors and evolve the publishing industry. She’s not just a publisher, she is a Legacy Maker. She’s become the author of 25 books, reaching tens of millions worldwide in over 40 countries. Now, she has taken her passion for helping authors find the same success by publishing books with meaning.
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?
Iwas born in Dallas, TX and come from a middle class family. My mother is a psychologist and my dad is a technical writer. I am also the middle child of 3 girls. As a child, I was always curious and wanted to do all of the activities, dance, swimming, cheerleading, karate, you name it. It was hard for me to stick to just one thing. Now looking back you can tell that I have always had an entrepreneur spirit which has led me to create my own path and explore my own interests without having to box myself in.
What or who inspired you to pursue your career as an entrepreneur or business leader? We’d love to hear the story.
My pursuit of entrepreneurship began by accident, after a nervous breakdown that I had in Corporate America. I was a very successful businesswoman and made six figures right out of college. I was one of the top salespeople in the organization and 3rd in sales the entire country at the corporation the first year I was there. People kept telling me how successful I was going to be in the future. I had a Glendale high-rise apartment and lived a comfortable life. It all seemed perfect, however, it was a very toxic work environment. I was sexually harassed, and no one was listening to my complaints. In order to avoid others at work, I would go into the office and work at night. I remember crawling under my desk and holding my heart in a fetal position and I asked myself if this was success and my heart said no. After this I started my own company and became a CEO at 26. I remember incorporating the business and writing my name next to the field of CEO and this moment completely shifted my course of life. I chose myself in this instance and started to create my own reality.
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?
At the beginning, I was struggling to be an entrepreneur and didn’t know what that term meant exactly. I attracted my mentor at 28. My mentor, Eben Pagan, is an entrepreneur who helps to scale companies. When he came into my life I was really transported to a new dimension. He made me feel understood for being different, when no one else could help me understand these gifts. I am here to create something never created before, so there is no manual or playbook to follow. My mentor taught me to be self-reliant and own my gifts and personal sense of strength. He taught me that I need to be a lifelong learner. I have learned so much and still continue to grow and inquire. My mentor gave me these tools to navigate the world of business while staying true to myself. This gift has been the foundation of my continued growth and success as not only a businessperson but a human being. My skills are always developing, and it is so important to continue to find mentors to serve at the level you are at. A new mentor, Satyen Raja, came into my life and helped surround me with other entrepreneurs when I was at a very difficult time in my life. I was dealing with a divorce and lost financial support and success. Essentially, I had to start over. Satyen reached out and explained that he worked with high level CEOs raising the consciousness of the planet. He believed that I had the potential to be one of the most successful CEOs he had ever met. He was able to see me at a very hard part of my life. He has been my mentor for 2 years and I know his belief in me contributed to my current success.
The road to success is hard and requires tremendous dedication. This question is obviously a big one, but what advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success?
My book Visionary Boss explains how to tap into your vision. I have always had a connection to my vision. Some people call it intuition, but I call it vision because I actively visualize. I realize now that my vision has pulled me through the ups and downs and obstacles. So many people questioned how I could ever leave a six-figure career, but I trusted in the vision. If more visionaries trusted themselves then I believe we would have the solutions to all of humanity’s needs. Visionaries see the future and tap into the future possibilities of what we can achieve and fix. Society tries to tell entrepreneurs that we are weird, and we must become more realistic, but that cuts us off from our vision and our ability to see this vision. I want to share with other visionaries that they are gifted, and they must share this with the world.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
I love books. My first mentor told me that I needed to become a speed reader. There is an abundance of information within books and new content comes out so fast that there’s no way to keep up with all of the latest knowledge and perspectives in entrepreneurship. Reading books is the essential ingredient to staying aware of all of the information being released. After learning this skill of speed reading, I now read two to three books a week and also publish books for a living. Books are essential to evolution and growth as a thought leader and successful businessperson. Many books have impacted me. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey has made an immense impact on my outlook on business and leadership. This book shifted my whole perspective of radical self-reliance. This became a bible for me. The first habit is to be proactive. This is so important because others are reactive, and they wait around to have a reaction. Entrepreneurs are proactive; they like to create and lead with innovative ideas. This foundation of proactiveness is how I created two successful brands in crowded industries. I started in fitness and health and I’m now a publisher. The reason for my success is that I proactively create value which sets me apart.
Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?
My favorite quote is by Gandhi which states “My life is my message.” When Gandhi says, “My life is my message,” that is total transparency and alignment with who I am and my core self. Your true self is who you are when no one else is watching you. As an entrepreneur, this connection to my authentic truth is where my power comes from. My book, website, interviews, etc. all connect with my message and you can see this alignment in everything I do. Whether it be personal or business, it is all aligned with the same integrity. If people could create a business with something that is aligned with who they are at their core, then there would be less lies and fakeness. The lack of integrity today is so appalling. We are starving for true leadership where leaders align with full integrity in their whole life and being. As a thought leader, I align my core message with my truth of who I am. When Gandhi says “My life is my message,“ I take this on every day.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
At Beverly Hills Publishing, we are disrupting the publishing industry because authors are not being served by publishers. The old publishing model is broken and outdated. In today’s world of digital technology, it is necessary to publish a book and also connect with your audience. By combining digital marketing with publishing and PR, we are the first seven star marketing firm and publishing firm combined. It is so necessary to reach your audience and get publicity. Oftentimes there is a lack of marketing. At Beverly Hills Publishing we do all the marketing first. We get the marketing strategy, we align the marketing message with the audience, we know that the audience is seeking the solution to what the book is offering. So, when we publish the book in 90 days then the audience is excited and ready for the book to be released. This integrated approach to marketing and publishing is how we are disrupting the industry. The gifts coming through the authors are connecting to the audience who they are meant to help. The publishing industry is so competitive, and it brings out the best in me. It also allows me to find the greatest value in the authors we are serving.
OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. As a business leader, you likely often face high stakes situations that involve a lot of pressure. Most of us tend to wither in the face of such pressure and stress. Can you share with our readers 3 or 4 strategies that you use to cope with the burden of stress?
The best way to handle stress is to proactively eliminate it. You need to prepare for stress by going into deep relaxation and meditation. My first brand and the health and fitness side of me understands this. What happens is that your nervous system goes into fight or flight response. Society creates stressful environments that our nervous system has not adapted to. The stress cycle that goes on all day, deteriorates the nervous system. This is very ineffective for being a business leader. The leader remains the calmest under any stressful situation. We must train the nervous system proactively to interpret these situations as growth and the opportunity to grow. The first way I do this is by waking up and taking the first hour to meditate every morning. During this time my nervous system is being conditioned to channel this perceived stress and train the nervous system to have space and clarity. This hour sets the tone for the hours that follow. Next, I proactively eliminate stress with yoga. I have been a yogini (yoga practitioner) for over 4 years. I love how yoga takes this energy and renews it by releasing stress and tension so that it doesn’t affect the mind. Finally, nutrition is so important. Your mind is connected to your body so not treating it well will affect the way you respond to stress.
Aside from being able to deal with the burden of stress, can you share with our readers 3 or 4 strategies that you use to optimize your mind for peak performance before high pressure, high stress situations?
The power of visualization is my #1 tool. You can play out scenarios or you can take a moment to visualize the best possible outcome. Before I speak, I imagine the audience captivated. Use the power of your visualization. When you visualize this success and make it multidimensional, your mind doesn’t know the difference and you build confidence. When you are in the situation you have already seen the outcome as the best opportunity. This is why people say they want to work with me because they recognize my energy and they realize my focus. The great thing about this is that it always ends better than you can imagine. We are the creators of our own reality. It is how you choose to show up in every moment and the people around you will treat you based on the way you show up. I don’t like the term “fake it till you make it” because it implies that you’re faking something. I’m talking about active visualization and consciously creating your reality. The secret portal that I call the vision is the access point to every dream coming true you have ever wanted and bringing your highest version of yourself to the moment where it matters the most.
Do you use any special or particular breathing techniques, meditations or visualizations to help optimize yourself? If you do, we’d love to hear about it.
I really love the square breathing technique. You inhale for four slow counts and pause at the top of the inhale for four slow counts, then exhale for four slow counts and then pause at the bottom of the exhale for four slow counts. You repeat the cycle, so it actually looks like a square. When you repeat this in the morning it oxygenates your brain and floods it with oxygen. It also gets you into the parasympathetic nervous system which is the rest and relaxation nervous system. Unfortunately, most people live in their sympathetic nervous system which is the constant activation of fight or flight. These people are shallow breathers. Shallow breathing tells your brain that you are in danger. When you switch to square breathing then it helps tell your brain you are safe, ultimately shifting you into a nervous system that is calm.
Do you have a special technique to develop a strong focus, and clear away distractions?
I use the timer on my phone like a trainer at the gym. I learned about this early on in my career from a book called The Power of Full Engagement. This book taught me about scientific research regarding the mind and brain. The brain can only focus for about 50 minutes before the mind gets distracted or tired. The key is to focus for 50 minutes and then take a 10 minute break in between to create the best productivity. You can do anything in this break that you want as long as you take a mental break from the activity that you were focused on. I call these focus blocks. Typically, I listen to music with taps into my alpha wave frequency and productivity. During my 50 minute block, I turn off all distractions. I have used this tool for over 16 years now. This is my secret to writing a book in a month. The hardest part is that you have to stop in the middle of the thought, spreadsheet or sentence. When the timer goes off you must stop because if you don’t, then you are not honoring the timer. If you stop in the middle of your thought the minute you come back you can already pick up that thought and you still have momentum. Learning to use the timer for focus blocks of productivity is such a simple tool, but so effective.
We all know the importance of good habits. How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey?
We are a result of our habits. I have read this in many books. I am a personal development junkie and have invested over 1 million dollars in my business, personal and spiritual development and growth. The key to becoming who you want to me is to look at your habits. In our culture we get our habits by accident and we take these habits on unconsciously. When you start to take ownership of success, then you look at every element of your life. It takes radical responsibility to take 100% ownership of the outcome. Habits are the way that we have to stop thinking or forcing what you are doing. These learned habits over the years have stayed with me. The first habit I have found to be essential to success is that every successful person I know has a morning ritual: exercise, nutrients, reading, affirmations, meditation, etc. The course of this day is set by the energy from this time. The rest of the day will be aligned by this vibration. People respond differently, people want to work with you and people give you more opportunities. You create your own success by investing in yourself first. Other people invest in me because I invest in myself. The next essential habit is reading. If every person reading this article became a speed reader, then our culture would be changed forever. This is a habit that I want everyone to learn. It is so important to absorb knowledge from books that are readily available to us. The third habit I recommend is to only surround yourself with people who are investing in themselves. People like this give out of service because they are overflowing with abundance. That’s why mentors and like-minded entrepreneurs are so great. They connect you to people that you want to be around and give you energy and lift you up. I have a standard for myself. I surround myself with people who see my vision or have a bigger version for me than I have for myself. Set this standard for yourself.
What is the best way to develop great habits for optimal performance? How can one stop bad habits?
The best way to break bad habits is to replace it with a positive one. Consciously creating a habit of success will replace an unconscious habit that is taking away from who you want to be. An example is eating and nutrition. The best way to stop eating junk food is to have a continued supply of healthy food for the body. Eating health foods will eliminate this craving for junk food. It’s the same thing for success for your business. If you want to break a bad habit, then replace it by saying you will actively create value for your business. An example of a bad habit is too much time on social media. By actively working to create value for your business you fill this time more productively. What you will find is that there is not as much desire because the bad habit is used as an escape mechanism. Your energy is focused on consciously creating who you want to be. Success is not a sprint, it is about long endurance. These small moment by moment decisions add up to your success over time. Invest in your health and create value for your business. You will find that there is then no space for bad habits. Another area to focus on is exercise. Don’t diet but replace the focus by gaining health and vitality. Stop weighing yourself. Create habits that serve us and these bad habits that were unconscious fall away because your life is so full of energy that you want. To create good balance, give yourself opportunities to celebrate and be free but don’t make these opportunities habits!
As a business leader, you likely experience times when you are in a state of Flow. Flow has been described as a pleasurable mental state that occurs when you do something that you are skilled at, that is challenging, and that is meaningful. Can you share some ideas from your experience about how we can achieve a state of Flow more often in our lives?
As a writer, I am constantly trying to find the flow. I have a ritual around how I put myself in that space. Ritual implies that there is a higher level of consciousness and devotion. I love to write in beautiful hotels. This allows me to put myself in an inspiring and luxurious environment. This is a way to put myself in an environment that is luxurious and inspiring. This stimulates my senses and I immediately get creative. I also dress for the occasion. I wear heels and a beautiful dress makes me feel like what I am doing is a special occasion. This ritual brings me into this flow state. These are some of my most favorite moments. I especially love old hotels with history because I feel connected to the stories and lives of those who have been there previously. When I reach this flow state, I don’t break it because it is all about creating. This means no edits or deleting during this time. You need to allow this flow space to take over you. Then when I get back to my office, I am no longer in this environment and I put on my editor hat. At this time, I go back and make edits. Making this distinction and ritual allows me to separate my environments into two different places at different times.
Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
I’m here to inspire visionaries to trust themselves. The gifts of visionaries will save and serve humanity. Entrepreneurs are less than 10% of the world’s population. It is necessary that we support our visionaries. Lack of support is why we see such a high rate of failure from entrepreneurs. Only 15% of businesses will be in business five years later. The visionaries start a business with an idea, but they become overwhelmed and bogged down by everything that comes with it. This could be anything from taxes to employees to lawsuits. Those 85% of visionaries that started with a vision that they can serve and make something better. I want to help that vision stay alive. That’s why I have written my book Visionary Boss. This book is meant to support and help entrepreneurs believe in their vision.
How can our readers further follow your work online?