“Visualize the result you want” with Erica Martin

Visualize the result you want, instead of the outcome you’re trying to avoid. We can’t hold two separate thoughts at the same time. Fear and inspiration can not co-exist. We must choose one. Visualizing the outcome I want keeps me focused on what I need to do to get there. It also keeps me excited […]

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Visualize the result you want, instead of the outcome you’re trying to avoid. We can’t hold two separate thoughts at the same time. Fear and inspiration can not co-exist. We must choose one. Visualizing the outcome I want keeps me focused on what I need to do to get there. It also keeps me excited about the outcome. When I am about to go on stage for a big speaking engagement, or present for a big launch, I spend the entire evening before visualizing. I imagine how I’m going to open, what it’s going to feel like when I deliver, and what stories I want to tell. I see myself all the way through to celebrating the win. The habit of visualization helps me strengthen my neural pathways so I can perform at a high level and be agile at the same time.

As a part of our series about “How Anyone Can Build Habits For Optimal Wellness, Performance, & Focus”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Erica Martin.

Erica Martin is a world class, high-ticket sales expert, entrepreneur, and international public speaker. She works with women who value their freedom and understand their deeper purpose to not just clear their hurdle but win their race. Her mission is to help female entrepreneurs build business momentum, attract ideal clients, and become wealthy without stress through mastery of tactical business and intuitive mindset strategies.

A former competitive athlete who is guided by a lifetime of business experience after launching her first business at 18 (building multiple 7-figure businesses in an industry that typically hits $100k/year), Erica leads her clients through a process to orchestrate an aligned business that nourishes their lives, is surrounded by play, and is truly sustainable.

Erica can be found on Instagram and at SellIrresistibly.com.

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?

My childhood was pretty unique. I grew up in Largo, Florida and was raised in our family business, a martial arts school. My dad built our 10,000 sq/ft school from the ground up with our personal residence in the back. Growing up I watched my dad pursue his dream of becoming a world champion while my mom took care of me and my 2 younger sisters. Both of my parents worked in the business. As a child, I was very curious. I spent my childhood studying people and became fascinated with what made people tick. My obsession for personal development, human psychology, and peak performance started on the wood floors of our family dojo.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

I was always a daddy’s girl. He was my coach, mentor, Sensei, and hero. He exemplified strength and persistence, with such optimism. I wanted to be just like him. So, I started training when I was 6 years old, and earned my blackbelt at 14. While playing competitive basketball during my sophomore year in high school, I had an epiphany after practice one day. Basketball wasn’t going to lead to a career for me. So I asked myself what I was good at. The answer was obvious: martial arts. I was already teaching adult and youth classes at my dad’s school, so I registered for dual enrollment to college my junior year and early admission my senior year. By 16 years old, I was going to college and attending business meetings with my dad on the weekends. This declaration inspired my dad to join a business consulting group for martial artists school owners, in Jacksonville, FL. I would ride 4 hours there and back on weekends to sit in a room of 45-year-old martial arts dudes learning how to run a business. I kept my head down, took notes, and implemented what I learned when I got back to my dad’s school. When the opportunity arose to open our first branch location, I pitched my dad on letting me run it. He believed in me and backed me. We opened my school 4 months later when I was 18 years old.

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?

It’s humbling for me to think about how many people have believed in me, and invested in me and my journey. One of the most powerful and humbling experiences was when I decided to invest in my first mentor. I was 27 years old and 7 months into my first online consulting business. She picked me out of a room of 400+ entrepreneurs and said, “The stage you’re at…you’re ready for a quantum leap. I want to work with you 1:1.” The investment was $100,000 for the year. I had $2,000 to my name. Everything in my gut told me I needed to figure out a way to work with this mentor. But I was terrified and broke. I ended up calling my mom, rambled for 30 minutes straight about my dream to help thousands of people, and told her I needed to work with a mentor to help me get there. When I told her the investment, without hesitation, she offered to liquidate her retirement funds to loan me the money. My mom is disabled and on a fixed income, so this was a huge leap of faith for both of us. I burst into tears when she said yes, and vowed not to let her down. AS a result of that leap of faith, 6 weeks later I’d closed $90,000 in sales and I went on to close $340,000 at my first 3 day event. I wouldn’t be where I am today if she hadn’t believed in me.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

I was doing high level consulting for an 8 figure company in Australia. I put a ton of pressure on myself to perform. They flew me in to lead a high ticket sales retreat, and I really wanted to impress everyone. I bought a new wardrobe, and was really feeling myself. I had on a black tank top with high waisted flowy pants with heels. As I mentioned, I grew up in a dojo and have no business wearing heels. I’ve been barefoot the majority of my life. But, I was trying to create this perfect appearance and be what I thought they wanted. The day I was presenting I felt anxious. We were in a pre-event team meeting in an adjacent building when I realized it was 5 minutes to start, and I was opening. I jumped up, and everyone followed me out the door. I was so anxious and high strung that I ended up stepping on my pant leg, and puncturing it with my heel. Causing me to start falling, face first, into a perfectly manicured bush. My martial arts skills kicked in, and I landed on my back, flattening the bush, staring at the sky. The entire team, including the CEO of the company watched it happen. I remember laying there, for what felt like an eternity, hoping the ground would swallow me up and take me back to California. This was a big lesson for me in showing up as myself, and not trying to be perfect. I still had greenery in my hair when I walked on stage. Even though I was mortified about what happened, I ended up using the story in my pitch, and closing 50% of the room.

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?

Fall in love with the process, not just the end result. So many people want to be rockstars, but they don’t want to buy a guitar and sign up for guitar classes. They just want the end result. They want the fame, wealth, recognition, and impact. But whatever you do, be wildly passionate about the process. Follow your obsessions. Dedicate yourself to serving a purpose bigger than yourself. If you help enough people, the money will follow.

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 read Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle during the early days of the COVID pandemic. Her dedication to uncovering and sharing her truth was really inspiring to me. Her raw authenticity emboldened me to start sharing in a much more real way with my audience on social media. The response was overwhelming. People wanted more. They wanted to know more about me and my journey. They were finding their own stories in mine. It not only created a huge shift in my business, but it empowered others around me to start uncovering and sharing their truths too.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

With investment comes commitment. People value the things they are willing to invest in. If you really want to change someone’s life, ask them to invest. Investment comes in the way of time, energy, money, and emotion. I’ve found the most powerful transformations happen when someone is willing to invest the resource they covet the most, or have the least to spare. The higher the stakes, the more likely someone is to be successful.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I am on a mission to help 100 female entrepreneurs add $100,000+ to their bottom line. I believe the people who hold the wealth in the world are the ones who can create the most impact. I recently launched a group program called Selling Irresistibly. We are only 4 weeks in and the results have been life changing. One woman closed an $18,000 sale 2.5 hours after our call together. Another is finally attracting ideal clients after years of struggling. All of these women are doing important work this world needs. Political coaches, relationship coaches, human design experts, business coaches, spiritual mentors. These women are on a mission. I’m here to support them in reaching as many people as possible with their messages. I’m loving every second of it. I’ve never been more excited to see notifications on my phone. Every day it’s win, after win, after win. Sale after sale. So many lives are already being transformed. It’s really exciting!

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. This will be intuitive to you but it will be helpful to spell this out directly. Can you help explain a few reasons why it is so important to create good habits? Can you share a story or give some examples?

What we focus on grows. What we do and think repeatedly we become. Our conscious and subconscious habits make up the fabric of who we are. It’s one of the reasons I’ve been so obsessed with human psychology. I wanted to understand how I could uncover subconscious habits that were holding me back, and reprogram them to be in alignment with the life I wanted to live. Intentionally creating habits around self-care and work-life balance has been critical in building a sustainable business. The last year I ran my martial arts school I completely burned myself out. I had no idea what self-care was. My entire life revolved around my business because I was afraid to lose what I’d built. I never turned off. I ended up suffering with an eating disorder and anxiety attacks. I didn’t get my period for 8 months because the stress created hormonal imbalances. After I sold the business I decided I needed to make a drastic change. I asked myself what I wanted. It came down to 3 words. “Happy. Healthy. Balanced.” I used those 3 words as anchors in my decision making. If it didn’t meet all three, I didn’t do it. Five years later, I enjoy a tremendous amount of free time while making more money and helping more people than ever before. It all started with a simple habit, and 3 words.

How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey?

One of the topics I teach is my “Irresistible 5.” These are the 5 habits I do every single day. They’re probably the most important things I do in my day. Each habit supports the next. Doing all 5, daily, is extremely powerful.

Irresistible Habit #1: Body — Five minutes of movement. Dance parties are my favorite way to get in my body. We’ve actually created a rule that someone MUST call a dance party on each group call we have. Getting into our bodies in ways that feel good connects us to our primal wisdom. Our brains will lie to us, our bodies won’t. When we get into our bodies we connect with our intuition which gives us the ability to make big decisions confidently.

Irresistible Habit #2: Mind — Make “I am” statements. I anchor onto feelings I want to amplify and turn them into powerful “I am” statements. For example, I got a new bathing suit several months ago. I was looking in the mirror and thought, “Damn. I look good!” Then I asked myself, “What am I feeling? How can I turn this into an ‘I am’ statement?” I felt irresistible, so I started incorporating “I am irresistible” into my I am statements. I never told anyone. Months later as I was launching my program, my brand architect comes to me and says she has the perfect name for my new program… Selling Irresistibly. The lesson here is that we become what we think.

Irresistible Habit #3: Spirit: Take 3 deep belly breaths. Taking the time to be present, and connect with ourselves is vital in achieving our goals. Who knows how to create the vision for our future if it’s not us? Too many times, I see people abdicating their authority to some guru instead of connecting with themselves. It’s really dangerous. Nobody outside of ourselves can create the vision for our future. Breathe. Be present. You’d be surprised at how much you DO know.

Irresistible Habit #4: Heart: Have 1 high-vibe conversation everyday. We become most like the people we are surrounded by. Sometimes it can feel lonely and isolated when we’re trying to move our lives forward. Most people want to stay comfortable, and they want us to stay comfortable with them. Find at least one person who wholeheartedly supports you. Someone who will lift you up when you’re questioning yourself. Have one high-vibe conversation that leaves you feeling motivated and energized, everyday. Eventually, those are the only conversations you’ll have. That’s when life gets really fun.

Irresistible Habit #5: Sales: Do a top revenue generating activity. I work with ambitious, high-performing female entrepreneurs. These are not women who need to be told to do more. They need to do less, with greater impact. That’s what habit #5 is about. What’s the one thing you can do today that has the greatest impact on your future? What’s the one thing you can do to stop suffering? Do that thing. Most of the time, it’s what’s right in front of us. We are just scared or resistant. If we can make a habit of “eating the frog” as Brian Tracy says, big shifts start happening quickly.

Speaking in general, what is the best way to develop good habits? Conversely, how can one stop bad habits?

The first step is curiosity. Get curious about why things are the way they are in your life. Are there things you complain about? Explore them. Examine the thoughts and feelings that led you there. When we take responsibility, instead of acting like a victim to circumstance, we have the power to change our circumstances and our future. We can’t change anyone but ourselves. Aristotle famously said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” I like to add that we become what we repeatedly think. Creating optimal habits starts with self-awareness, followed by aligned action.

Let’s talk about creating good habits in three areas, Wellness, Performance, and Focus. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum wellness. Please share a story or example for each.

Breathwork has become my favorite wellness practice this year. Every single day I make time to breathe, intentionally. At the very least, I close my eyes and take 3 deep belly breaths. I took my first breathwork class just before the first COVID lockdown. I found myself digging deep and searching for ways to connect to myself and my inner knowing during such an uncertain time. Since then, it’s become a daily practice for me.

Everyday I move my body in a way that inspires me. Coming from a very competitive athletic background, I’ve learned that “hard” is not always good for me. I spent years training until the point of burnout. Thankfully, I was able to avoid major injuries. I’ve started to honor my body’s needs and respond to them. Some days it’s a 5 minute dance party. Other days it’s an intense hike. The biggest shift for me was allowing my body to dictate the workout, without self-judgement. “Crushing it” everyday is not sustainable or healthy.

Mirror work has been a surprising game changer for me. Every morning I stand in front of the mirror naked. I look at my curves, dimples, imperfections and look for what I love about them. I remind myself of how they serve me and how grateful I am for this body. I genuinely lavish myself with love and compliments as I scan from top to bottom. It was VERY awkward and uncomfortable at first, but it’s become a deep form of self-love and self-care for me. I used to look in the mirror everyday and loathe my body. I’d look for any bulge or bump and hate on it. One day I decided to see what would happen if I switched my internal dialogue. I decided to try to see myself in the way others who loved me did. I’d look in the mirror and practice viewing myself as irresistible. I’d search for evidence that was true. To my surprise, my body started to change. My style changed. People started noticing something was different. One day I woke up and stood in front of the mirror, and it didn’t feel forced. I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, “This is the first time in my whole life I’ve actually loved my body.” We can accomplish great things when we love ourselves. It all starts with us. The greater our capacity is for self-love, the deeper the well from which we can give.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

Humans are naturally creatures of habit. We become very comfortable with what we know, even if it’s dysfunctional. I always say, “Do the scary thing.” What is that thing you’ve been wanting to do, but are too scared to try? Do it. Part of creating new habits is interrupting our patterns. It starts with a choice to do something that feels intimidating, and proving to ourselves that we can survive. For me, I tried a breathwork class. It was really intense. I sobbed during the 20 minute class, in a room full of strangers. It felt extremely vulnerable. After, I felt clear and connected in a way I’d never experienced before. Today, breathwork is an essential part of my day, especially when things feel overwhelming and stressful. It’s one of the most powerful tools in my toolbelt. It all started with trying something new, putting myself out there, and doing the scary thing.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal performance at work or sport? Please share a story or example for each.

“Hold the vision, not the circumstance.” This is a quote from Mary Morrissey that I love. It takes discipline and focus to hold the vision when things are not going well. If we can create a habit of attachment to the vision, instead of the present circumstance, it empowers us to create the life we truly desire. When I was in the middle of launching my current business I remember telling my fiance, “I’m playing a high stakes game right now. I can’t stop this momentum or everything will come crashing down.” Two weeks later I found out he’d been hiding a major alcohol problem and lying to me about it for our entire relationship. I was totally blindsided, and devastated. It was one of the hardest and most pivotal moments of my life. I held the vision of what I wanted for my life, despite feeling like my whole world was crashing down. I ended the relationship with loving detachment, took a month off (even though I told myself I couldn’t), and put one foot in front of the other. Four months later, I found myself living in a place I loved just walking distance from the beach, and surrounded by amazing friends who constantly reminded me who the fuck I am. My business went from 0 to turning over multiple 6 figures. My clients were getting insane results. Most importantly, I found myself starting each day deeply happy and fulfilled. We can’t win them all. We can’t get it right all the time. But, if we hold our vision, especially when the chips are down, we become the architect of our future.

“Put first things first.” When I ran my martial arts school I became trained in facilitating Dr. Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It’s an amazing book. I highly recommend it. Habit number 3 is “Put First Things First.” During my training I watched a video of Dr. Covey demonstrating this habit on stage with an audience member. He had a glass container and several large rocks with words on them. They said things like, “FAMILY, WORK, RELATIONSHIP, FRIENDS, and VACATION” to name a few. They represented the important things in life. Then, he pulled out a jar of tiny rocks that represented the little, small, comparatively unimportant things that fill our lives. When he filled the glass container with small rocks first, the woman participating couldn’t fit all the big rocks in. The small rocks had taken all the space. However, when he emptied the container and asked her to fill it with big rocks first, something amazing happened. She placed the big rocks in, and they all fit. Then, Dr. Covey poured in all the small rocks. They filled all the empty space in the container until it was completely full. If we create a habit of putting first things first, we can have it all.

Double down on your strengths and natural abilities. When I was in my early 20’s, I decided to start competing in martial arts again. I began training with a high level team in Tampa. I would drive 2 hours to get there on Friday night, because of rush hour traffic. I’d train for 2 hours, then drive home. It was intense. I was competing in a new circuit, with new rules. Everything was different from what I’d learned. I ended up making it to a national competition in Fort Lauderdale. We had a big event at the dojo the same weekend, so I ended up going by myself. My first match was paired up with the Women’s Open World Champion. She was from Hawaii. She trained 8 hours per day. She was competing in hopes of making it to the 2020 Olympics, ironically. I gave it everything I had but she still kicked my ass. I sat there on the mat, with a bloody nose and tears of humiliation in my eyes. It was the same moment I had when I was 15 on the basketball court. I knew I didn’t have the time to be an Olympic athlete. I was running a business. No other competitor in that room was running a business. I made a decision. My best opportunity to be an “Olympian” was in the area I was already strong — business. That was my last martial arts competition.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

Let’s think of this like a road trip. First, we need to be clear on the destination. What are the results we are looking for? What kind of life do we want to live? Once we know where we’re going, we plot the course to get there. In other words, we reverse engineer our goals. Now, we know where we are going. We have a vision and a plan. Our habits determine how fast we reach the destination, if at all. Side trips to see the World’s Largest Ball of Yarn or Llama Land are fun, but they aren’t going to help you actualize your potential in life. Practice doing the things you don’t want to do, but are necessary to move you forward on your path, first. Then, go snuggle a llama.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal focus? Please share a story or example for each.

“When you’re in the gym, be in the gym.” I saw this quote above the door leading into the gymnastics facility at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. I was there for an Olympic training workshop for martial arts. It reminded me that focus requires us to be fully present. The more we divide our focus, the less effective we are. When you are working, work. Eliminate distractions. Turn your phone on Do Not Disturb. Work from a place you won’t be interrupted. Part of focusing means being willing to miss out on things that are less important. The beautiful thing about focus is we aren’t supposed to do it all the time. Rest. Relax. Play. Take breaks. But, when you’re “in the gym,” be in the gym.

Visualize the result you want, instead of the outcome you’re trying to avoid. We can’t hold two separate thoughts at the same time. Fear and inspiration can not co-exist. We must choose one. Visualizing the outcome I want keeps me focused on what I need to do to get there. It also keeps me excited about the outcome. When I am about to go on stage for a big speaking engagement, or present for a big launch, I spend the entire evening before visualizing. I imagine how I’m going to open, what it’s going to feel like when I deliver, and what stories I want to tell. I see myself all the way through to celebrating the win. The habit of visualization helps me strengthen my neural pathways so I can perform at a high level and be agile at the same time.

Prioritize rest, play, and self-care. The reason most people struggle with focus is because they are taking an all or nothing approach. High performers feel pressure to focus all the time. Then, we burn out, and feel guilty. I see it all the time. I’ve done it myself. One of my biggest secrets to success is prioritizing play, fun, and rest. It’s an intentional and proactive approach. I’ll look at my calendar for the day and see what requires my focus and attention. Then, I look for the gaps in my day. I don’t try to fill the gaps with “productive activities.” I look at them as an opportunity to recharge and enjoy the life I’ve worked so hard to build. Even if you aren’t where you want to be in life, it’s important to take ownership of the fact that you worked hard to get to where you’re at. Just because you don’t like it, doesn’t mean you deserve to abuse yourself in the name of “productivity.” When things are hard, don’t make them harder. Hustle culture, especially for women, is a recipe for burnout and illness.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

Give yourself grace in the process. Creating high performance habits is like building a muscle. It’s really challenging the first day in the gym. You’ll stumble. You’ll fall. You’ll scrape your knees. The most important thing you can do is be compassionate towards yourself in the process. Reward yourself when you get it right. Forgive yourself when you mess up. Most importantly, keep trying.

As a 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?

The thing about Flow that nobody talks about is the ebb that precedes it. I call this desire. Desire is built when we practice delayed gratification. We must allow for desire to build in order to maximize our Flow state. If we are constantly chasing and pushing, the things that light us up start to feel like a burden. We stop doing them in exchange for the insignificant, or mundane. This is when we get stuck. The key to maximizing Flow state is giving yourself the space to get hungry. Take time away from work. Be fully present in that time away. Then, when you come back, dive straight into the things that light you up the most, and ride the wave!

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 am redefining what it means to be a wealthy woman. People shy away from the word wealth. Almost like it’s a bad thing to be wealthy. I want to change that narrative. Wealth is not about hoarding money. It’s not about status. It’s about impact and influence. Historically speaking, the majority of wealth is held by a few powerful men. I’m here to help level the playing field.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂

Sir Richard Branson is my hero. I read a quote one time that he gets his best ideas laying in his hammock on Necker Island. It inspired me to slow down and allow for “thinking time” in my day. I used to think success required go, go, go all the time. “Thinking time” revolutionized my business. It forced me to be creative and find the most efficient solutions to get things done. I aspire to build a business with the same values as Virgin. I want to take great care of people, and change the world. If I could have lunch with Sir Richard, it would certainly be a highlight of my life!

How can our readers further follow your work online?

I share my best content on Facebook and Instagram! You can find me at www.Facebook.com/EricaMartinConsulting and @EricaMartinConsulting on insta.

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

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