Tarryn Reeves of Four Eagles Publishing: “Support is key to being a thriving, successful, powerful woman”

Support is key to being a thriving, successful, powerful woman. Learning to ask and receive support is one of the biggest learnings we strong women need to learn in order to expand into our full potential. You don’t need to know how to do everything and you don’t need to do it all. Focus on […]

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Support is key to being a thriving, successful, powerful woman. Learning to ask and receive support is one of the biggest learnings we strong women need to learn in order to expand into our full potential. You don’t need to know how to do everything and you don’t need to do it all. Focus on what you are really good at, delegate what you aren’t and build yourself an amazing support network. It will be the most freeing thing you ever do.

How does a successful, strong, and powerful woman navigate work, employee relationships, love, and life in a world that still feels uncomfortable with strong women? In this interview series, called “Power Women” we are talking to accomplished women leaders who share their stories and experiences navigating work, love and life as a powerful woman.

As a part of this series I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Tarryn Reeves.

Tarryn is the CEO and Founder of Four Eagles Publishing and The Publishing House Concierge. She is a USA Today best-selling author and works with high-level entrepreneurs to create best-selling books that grow their business. Together with her team of experts Tarryn excels at using books to create massive visibility and impact.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood “backstory”?

I was born in Zimbabwe and lived there for fifteen years before we were forced to flee due to violent political conflict. I am sure I was reading books in the womb! As a child I spent much of my time in nature, using my imagination and reading books.

Can you tell us the story about what led you to this particular career path?

I started my own entrepreneurial journey as a Virtual Assistant. I quickly realised that I could not scale that and so developed my own Virtual Assistance and Web Development Agency. I then added business coaching into the mix and had the two businesses thriving side by side. The opportunity came to learn how to start my own publishing company and that really excited me! I could develop a business in the world of books which I have always been passionate about, but it was a large investment and I was scared! My coaching and VA business was doing really well, and it was scary to completely pivot my business during a pandemic. Now I am a spiritual person, so I asked the Universe to show me an eagle if I was meant to take this leap of faith. That same day I saw four eagles which is not a common sight where I live and so Four Eagles Publishing was born.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

I have had the opportunity to meet and develop relationships with the most amazing people! Diana Wentworth and Rhonda Swan for example. The most interesting thing I would have to say though is watching the transformation of people as they write. I think many people come into the book writing process thinking that it is a very logical and linear process. What they don’t realise is how much transformation and expansion can happen within themselves as a person when they write. It is magical and a joy to watch.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

The three character traits that are most instrumental to my success are my determination, my self-belief and my courage. If business was easy then everyone would be doing it. You have to be able to dig deep and the strength to keep getting up again when you get knocked down.

I am a naturally determined person (my husband would say stubborn!). Once I set my mind to something there is no holding me back. Yes I stumble, often, but it is my determination that gets me back up again and pursuing my goals.

Self-belief was a character trait that I really had to nurture within myself. I think as children we are born with it but then life happens and we can often forget just how amazing we are! Through my journey of PTSD, chronic anxiety and major depression I really had to find and remember who I really was, what I stand for and why I do what I do in order to find and reignite that belief in myself. You can have all the tools and strategies in the world but if you don’t have the belief in yourself to do the work or achieve your goal then it is just not going to happen.

Courage is the most essential of the three. Without the courage to keep showing up, to keep striving, to step outside your comfort zone, to be seen, to speak up about what you believe, to ask for what you want then it is very hard to stand out in a crowded market and be seen as the expert in your field.

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. The premise of this series assumes that our society still feels uncomfortable with strong women. Why do you think this is so?

As far as we have come in terms of equal rights for women I still see so many areas in our society where there is the underlying thinking that women are softer than men and therefore incapable of leading, should still be the ones running the home single handedly and shouldn’t be so outspoken. I think then that when a strong woman does stand up for what she believes in, does break the mold of the ‘traditional’ woman, then those around her can feel uncomfortable. A woman standing in her power, a woman who loves herself is a sight to behold.

Yes we are naturally ‘softer’ than men but that is an asset not a weakness! Our society can greatly benefit from bringing in a more feminine approach to doing things. It takes balance, we need both the masculine and the feminine. One is not better than the other. This isn’t about ‘bad-mouthing’ the masculine at all, we need our men, but we also need our strong women.

Without saying any names, can you share a story from your own experience that illustrates this idea?

I used to work in the railway (a largely male-dominated industry) in my early twenties and I ran into so many issues in regards to being a powerful, young, foreign woman in the workplace. I was in a management position and was often verbally abused when navigating requests for leave, shift changes etc. The HR manager told me to try to ‘speak more Australian’ and perhaps I wouldn’t have as many issues. I often dealt with inappropriate sexual comments. Navigating the work environment in a world that still feels uncomfortable with strong women means we need to have firm boundaries and speak up when we feel they have been crossed. We need to be comfortable with who we are and what we bring to the table. Be firm and fair whilst balancing the masculine and feminine parts of ourselves.

What should a powerful woman do in a context where she feels that people are uneasy around her?

Being a powerful woman doesn’t mean we have lost touch with our more feminine qualities of listening, nurturing, intuition and compassion. When we feel that people are uneasy around us we need to take the time to have those conversations. It is our job to pave the way for the women coming behind us and part of that job is breaking down the barriers, having courageous conversations, letting people know we are human and authentic at the same time as having strong boundaries and speaking up about what we will and will not accept in terms of behaviour towards us.

What do we need to do as a society to change the unease around powerful women?

The more women who show up and stand in their power, who speak out, who set their boundaries, the easier it will be to break down the unease around powerful women. As I said before, it is our job to break down those barriers and educate society on what a powerful woman really is. She is not bent on destroying others, she is determined to lift us up and lead in a way that is loving, nurturing, inspiring, impactful and strong. We need to stop seeing the powerful woman as a threat and start seeing her for the wonderful gifts she brings to the table.

In my own experience, I have observed that often women have to endure ridiculous or uncomfortable situations to achieve success that men don’t have to endure. Do you have a story like this from your own experience? Can you share it with us?

I agree with you. Sometimes women do have to endure situations to achieve success that men don’t have to endure. An example of this that I have personally experienced is putting up with inappropriate sexual comments in the workplace and having to hold my tongue about it for fear of upsetting the boss as he was the one making them.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by women leaders that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?

The biggest challenges faced by women leaders are that of not being taken seriously and being seen as a “ball-crusher” or “money hungry/power hungry b**ch.”

Let’s now shift our discussion to a slightly different direction. This is a question that nearly everyone with a job has to contend with. Was it difficult to fit your personal and family life into your business and career? For the benefit of our readers, can you articulate precisely what the struggle was?

I was made redundant from my corporate job a week before finding out I was pregnant. Trying to get a job whilst pregnant was impossible. Nobody wanted to hire me with the knowledge that I would soon be needing time for maternity leave! That’s when I decided to start my own business. I was tired of trying to fit myself into the box society told me was acceptable. I wanted to create a life on my own terms, to be present as a mother but also have a successful career. Being a mother, a wife, a business owner and also finding time for self-care is a juggle but one I believe we are all capable of. We need to become experts at deciding what needs to be done, how best to do it and to delegate the rest.

What was a tipping point that helped you achieve a greater balance or greater equilibrium between your work life and personal life? What did you do to reach this equilibrium?

I am so passionate about what I do that I can easily fall into that trap of being a workaholic. The tipping point for me was realising how much my business thrived when I was feeling joyful, rested and expanded. Taking time to do the things I enjoy, spending time with my family, taking care of myself is essential to the success of my business. When we push too hard we strangle the life out of the very thing we are trying so hard to create. Allow space for grace, learn when to surrender and when to do and the rest will fall into place.

I work in the beauty tech industry, so I am very interested to hear your philosophy or perspective about beauty. In your role as a powerful woman and leader, how much of an emphasis do you place on your appearance? Do you see beauty as something that is superficial, or is it something that has inherent value for a leader in a public context? Can you explain what you mean?

This is a brilliant question! I am not heavily into makeup, doing my hair or matching my jewellery to my outfit but I do understand the importance that this can bring to a brand. I think there is a fine line between showing up authentically and showing up unprofessionally. I wear comfortable clothes and minimal makeup. When I speak on stage I take off my shoes (if I am allowed to!). I would never show up in my slippers and no makeup to a business event. I believe we should take pride to match our appearance to our brand whilst showing up authentically.

How is this similar or different for men?

Put simply, it is not common for men to wear makeup or jewellery so they are not expected to show up in that respect. I do think that they are expected to take care of their appearance when attending a business event but not to the extreme that it is expected of women.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your opinion and experience, what are the “Five Things You Need To Thrive and Succeed as a Powerful Woman?” (Please share a story or example for each.)

Five things you need to thrive and succeed as a powerful woman are courage, determination, self-belief, boundaries and support.

Courage will allow you to step outside your comfort zone, to ask for what you want and to do the things that many are afraid to do.

Determination will be your driving force that picks you up every time you fall down. It will be your ‘nothing is impossible’ attitude that will get you to where you want to go. Giving up is not an option.

Self-belief will keep you grounded when things seem out of control, impossible and scary. You know that you have what it takes and you won’t let anything or anyone stop you in pursuit of your goals.

Boundaries will keep you sane. They will allow you to thrive in a balanced environment and support you in juggling all the balls that it takes to be a powerful woman in today’s society.

Support is key to being a thriving, successful, powerful woman. Learning to ask and receive support is one of the biggest learnings we strong women need to learn in order to expand into our full potential. You don’t need to know how to do everything and you don’t need to do it all. Focus on what you are really good at, delegate what you aren’t and build yourself an amazing support network. It will be the most freeing thing you ever do.

We are very blessed that some very prominent 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.

I would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with Oprah. I’d love to be in her presence and learn from her. She is a fantastic leader and looks like a lot of fun. I think we would get along well!

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.

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