Prioritize community from Day One and do not isolate yourself! For years, I was so focused on my business, working 8am-8pm every day behind my laptop, that having a community was my last priority. I had a few close friends and my husband at my side, yet I judged other women who I perceived to be “wasting their time” at brunch together on a Saturday. I’ve since grown to realize that in fact, when you surround yourself with uplifting, high-vibe people, friendships and community never hold you back. In fact, they move you forward faster. The feminine way to do business is collaboration, not competition. No woman thrives in isolation!
I had the pleasure of interviewing Gina DeVee.
Gina is an author, speaker, talk show and radio show host, creative director, business coach and self-made multimillionaire entrepreneur. She has dedicated her career to helping women connect spiritually, start prof-table businesses, create wealth from a feminine perspective, and become highly visible so they can make a global impact. Gina’s own journey from struggling psychotherapist to globetrotting entrepreneur has taken her from the First Lady’s Office at the White House, to studying under renowned spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson, to getting her Master’s in Clinical Psychology, graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and founding her growing multimedia and training empire, Divine Living.
Her mission is to show women everywhere how to be Queen of their lives. “Every woman has a Queen within,” Gina affirms, “And only from the position of Queen can you fulfill your purpose.” Her forthcoming book, The Audacity to be Queen, brings together over 20 years’ experience in transforming women’s lives through the deep spiritual and feminine wisdom of Queenhood.
Thank you for joining us! Can you tell us the story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Since I was a little girl, I wanted to help people. I also had big dreams of living a glamorous, globetrotting life. My parents instilled in me that “anything is possible,” and yet, growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, I learned to do what every other midwestern good girl does: go to college and get a job. I worked hard, got good grades, landed internships at the White House and Supreme Court, and eventually made my way back to Michigan where I got my Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology, wrote my thesis on “Living Life Unlimitedly,” and began working as a therapist.
Seventy-five thousand dollars of debt and a few years into my clinical career, I realized that my own life was limited by the traditional structures of my profession, and so were the results could get for my clients in one 45-minute session per week. Coaching broke open the possibilities for my lifestyle, my income and most importantly, the impact I could make in the world. So I saved up all the rolled quarters I could find, kissed my expensive therapy license goodbye, drove out to Los Angeles with a goal of becoming a life coach, and the rest is history!
Can you share one of the major challenges you encountered when first leading the company? What lesson did you learn from that?
Once I had some clients and started to expand into online marketing, I hired a part-time virtual assistant to support my growth. I immediately had some lessons to learn around communication and delegation. It’s amazing how even “ASAP” can have different meanings to people when you don’t specify an exact deadline! Learning to be exact with my directions, notes, desires and expectations has been invaluable in now running a 20-person team, and it’s something I’m always coaching my clients on as well.
As women, delegation doesn’t typically come naturally; more often, we’ve learned to “do everything ourselves,” fix every mistake, correct every error and suffer in silence as our plates get overly stuffed. It’s why I dedicate an entire chapter to “Communicating like a Queen” in my book, The Audacity to Be Queen. There is an art to having your voice heard, without ruffling feathers or feeling like you’re being a “bitch” or “bossy.” I’ve learned this the long and hard way, and part of my mission is to shorten the learning curve for the next generation of feminine leadership.
What are some of the factors that you believe led to your eventual success?
The top factor has been my spiritual connection. As a new entrepreneur, every time I felt stuck, trapped or dangerously low on funds, I tuned in and received guidance that led me in a new direction. Without that spiritual strength, I could have easily been another one of the 4 out of 5 business owners who closes up shop after a year. And of course there are always new challenges in owning a business, no matter how big and successful you get!
What I know for sure is that solutions are always available, and we each have the opportunity to tune into the realm of unlimited possibility. For the women in my business accelerator, the Divine Living Academy, their foundation is a strong spiritual connection. In addition to business training and one-on-one coaching, our participants receive meditations, journal prompts and reading lists to make sure they’re mentally empowered and in tune with their own intuition, ready to handle whatever comes their way.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO/Founder” — Please share a story or example for each.
- Profitability starts with transforming your money story. When I first moved to LA and started my coaching business, I felt like I could do anything in the world EXCEPT make money. My pattern was earning just enough to cover my expenses, living with constant financial stress and always worrying about where to get my next client. One day, I was offered a free ticket to a seminar where my eyes were opened to wealth consciousness, and I was able to finally unravel my belief system that money was “unspiritual,” that you couldn’t be wealthy and have a meaningful career, and that there wasn’t enough money in the world to go around. I quickly committed to transforming these beliefs, and within 3 weeks I manifested more money than I had made the entire previous year. You’ll have to read my book for the full story!
- Delegate as much as you can, as fast as you can. As I mentioned before, few women grow up learning to delegate and it’s the most important entrepreneurial muscle to develop. I used to have a sticky note on my computer that said, “Who ELSE can do this?” Even if you’re starting with one virtual assistant for one hour a week like I did, offloading any task that doesn’t actually require your unique gifts, talents and presence is essential to creating a thriving business.
- Everything is happening for you, not to you. This a Queen’s deepest wisdom.Every challenge, “failure,” or missed opportunity is there to teach you something. And if you make yourself available to see it that way, and take action based on what you’ve learned, a miracle is always on the other side. In my book, I tell the full story of a sleepless night I spent wondering how I was going to make payroll, and how this one mantra saved me. When you deeply understand that everything that happens is guidance from a loving Universe, those restless nights become a thing of the past.
- Be visible as exactly who you are. I used to hide a lot of my interests and passions from my audience and clients, thinking that as a transformational coach I had to be exclusively about serious topics like personal development, psychology, and women’s empowerment, otherwise no one would work with me. As it turned out, the opposite was true! Once I started to own and share my interests in fashion, food, fine dining, and travel, women who shared my passions flocked to me with ease.
- Prioritize community from Day One and do not isolate yourself! For years, I was so focused on my business, working 8am-8pm every day behind my laptop, that having a community was my last priority. I had a few close friends and my husband at my side, yet I judged other women who I perceived to be “wasting their time” at brunch together on a Saturday. I’ve since grown to realize that in fact, when you surround yourself with uplifting, high-vibe people, friendships and community never hold you back. In fact, they move you forward faster. The feminine way to do business is collaboration, not competition. No woman thrives in isolation!
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
I believe that overwhelm is a choice. A Queen makes decisions to set herself up for success so that her time is managed effectively and everything that genuinely matters to her is completed without any drama or overwhelm. I coach my clients to live by their calendars. We don’t do to-do lists, because if it’s not in the calendar, it doesn’t happen. The other major factor is, as I’ve mentioned, getting support. We have to say yes to the grocery delivery, the housekeeping service, the personal assisting, the nannying, the accountant and the Uber to the meeting so we can work on the way. For many of the women I talk to, at first these services seem like a “waste of money” because “I can do that myself,” however once you get into the mindset of a Queen, you realize that you can only truly have it all if you’re not the one to do it all. Make the conscious choice and effort to surround yourself with systems and support that literally set you up for success, the stress-free way.
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 former mentor, Marianne Williamson, has been one of the greatest teachers and a lifelong inspiration to me. I worked with Marianne closely many years ago while she was based out of Detroit, and she was one of the first true modern-day Queens who I came into contact with. She gave herself permission to be both feminine and powerful, spiritual and successful, and by modeling that, opened the door for me to do the same.
What are some of the goals you still have and are working to accomplish, both personally and professionally?
This year, I’ve become obsessed with the book, The One Thing by Gary Snyder. I have tons of big dreams for my business, including relaunching my magazine, creating physical products and opening a hotel in Provence, and yet for 2020 I am giving attention to none of those so that I can be laser focused on my ONE THING, which is taking my client community from the hundreds to the thousands and spreading my message in The Audacity to be Queen everywhere!
What do you hope to leave as your lasting legacy?
For most people today, “Feminine Leadership,” feels like an unknown, if not an impossibility. And what I know for sure is this new style (which by the way, is for men and women) is destined to become the new normal. I’m honored to be a part of discovering what it looks like to lead from a feminine place of compassion and connection, and to share the wisdom I’ve gained with the world. My legacy will be in the ripple effect of all these new leaders choosing to make a difference.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would enhance people’s lives in some way, what would it be? You never know what your idea can trigger!
A movement of “ordinary” women daring to be QUEENS is already well underway. My audience is interested in playing BIG in the world, daring to be wealthy and beautiful, sexy and smart, stylish and politically active, fulfilled and fabulous, and all while making a difference in the lives of so many people. If you’re one of these audacious women who dreams big and is ready to have it all, I am so here for you. Please introduce yourself on Instagram @GinaDeVee!
How can our readers follow you on social media?
I’m @GinaDeVee on Instagram and Twitter, and my Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/ginadevee