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Julia Cha of Cha Global Coaching: 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became A Founder

An Interview With Jerome Knyszewski

Boundaries are tested at so many levels in an entrepreneurial journey, especially if you’ve been an overly giving person most of your life. When you start a business, there isn’t a structure. You have to create and maintain that structure, and that’s why your boundaries get constantly tested. You have to be very certain and keep your boundaries strong.

As part of our interview series called “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became A Founder”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Julia Cha.

Julia Cha is a best-selling author and a success coach for women leaders ready to shatter glass ceilings. With her expertise in subconscious transformation, she guides her clients to create their dream life in all aspects: a thriving career, financial abundance, and supportive relationships.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

This career path started from an accumulation of decades of struggle with forging my success.

Growing up in a very dysfunctional and traditional family, I was conditioned with a belief that my success as a woman was measured by how well I can support my family while suppressing my own desires. I was aware of this conditioning, and fought against it hard. Yet, by 25, I still found myself in a life that was “predicted” for me.

This led me to a decade of therapy and experimenting with healing modalities. After establishing my life and career to a level of success beyond what any woman in my family has reached, I started doing this work with clients.

Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?

If I had to pick only one, it’d be leaving my marriage to build my own life.

I realized that my marriage wasn’t helping me. I was emotionally dependent. I was financially powerless like many other women in my family. It was contradicting my desire to be a successful leader who makes a great impact. I didn’t have a stable career to fall back on as a single mom. My kids were little.

Building a prominent career as a single mother was a continuous juggle and playing tetris with my time, energy, and money. To make ends meet I started at the very bottom, almost at a minimum wage sales position. That was the beginning of my new life, building it from scratch. This pivotal moment became the foundation for success in my life as an entrepreneur.

Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

My biggest drive has been my kids, and the legacy I want to create for my future heirs.

Along with creating true generational wealth and an abundance of love, I want to set up my future heirs so they can have a life of freedom.

The vision of my lifetime contribution to humanity also keeps me going when things get tough. I want everyone who comes across my work to understand the importance of their legacy. Legacy is what some people call “knowing your why.” If you have children, the kids are a part of legacy. Our life purpose is about understanding that all our good and bad experiences are meaningful. No experiences or pains are useless. My “why” is to empower women to alchemize the adversity and pains to make a positive contribution to humanity.

So, how are things going today? How did grit and resilience lead to your eventual success?

It really depends on how we define success, which is what I do all the time with my clients.

From the business perspective? Yes. I have the success that most of my industry peers want. My practice is full of incredible leaders. The practice has a decent sized waitlist. I’m grateful to be a contributor to their business and professional success.

What people have to understand is that there is never an absolute, nor a guarantee, that the same things we’re doing now will work forever. That’s what keeps entrepreneurs on our toes at all times. Grit, resilience, and embodying a flexible mind allowed me to beat my own conditioning and recognize my blindspots faster. It is what will continue to help me thrive as the company that continues to expand with more systems, products, employees, and clients.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Many years back, I was doing a Facebook live with a nice shirt, but no pants (in my underwear). My phone at the time was an iPhone 8+. It had a wide screen, and it was a stretch to get it into my existing phone clamp, due to its width. It was held really delicately, but it kind of worked, so I proceeded.

About 15 minutes into the Facebook live, the phone popped out of the clamp, fell, displaying my bare half on the live stream! I was mortified! I recovered the phone, finished the live stream, then I frantically went back to watch the live replay to see if my Calvin Kleins were visible. Luckily, you could only see my bare legs because of the way I was sitting, and how my top covered my torso down to my hips. Wearing a black top and black Calvins also helped to create a camouflage, like I was wearing perhaps a short black dress where a lot of my legs were visible!

Lessons for this digital age? Even if nobody may see you, be professional inside out. It not only affects your mental state, but it keeps you prepared for anything that may happen.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Of course! What makes my company a stand-out is that we leave no stones unturned. Life-changing self-development is not for the faint-hearted. So many companies brush aside issues such as gender, culture, or other areas that the client didn’t come to them for, but they are important aspects that hold the client back from transforming and succeeding. Problems that clients want to fix are symptoms of something much deeper, and therefore, only laser-targeting to fix that problem won’t create a true transformation people are looking for.

My company goes all in. All problems and issues are interlinking from business to personal life like a spiderweb. So when someone is stuck or not getting results, we get to the root of it really fast. This not only makes a huge difference in the area that they want to work on, but in every other area in life.

Here’s an example that happens quite often. We had a woman leader that came to work with us because she kept on getting overlooked for promotions. When we started doing the work, we discovered that she has a tendency to let other people breach her personal boundaries. This was making her show up less powerfully in meetings as well as everywhere else.

When we worked on that root cause, every part of her life started to change. She finally got the promotion she wanted. Her relationship with her spouse is amazing. Relationships are every leaders’ kryptonite, and the key to their next level breakthrough. Every success begins and grows with thriving relationships.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Burning out only happens when you give a lot and don’t receive enough back.

There are 3 aspects to burnout prevention:

  1. Get off social media
  2. Have positive human relationships
  3. Self-care

Social media is good for business, but terrible for your brain and mood. You can’t control what you’ll end up seeing. You need to protect your mindset from draining news, other people’s scarce opinions, and disempowering thoughts that come as a consequence. Also, new entrepreneurs never seem to have an off day. You need at least one day a week you’re not doing business activities, because rest is important for your brain to function optimally. You burn out when you’re not optimizing your brain.

Have a healthy personal life and a lifestyle. Have people you can laugh with, have fun with, and have hobbies outside of your profession and business. Take care of your relationships. I keep myself busy with my kids. The depth of connection with my kids keeps me grounded and active. Having a lot of other friendships and hobbies are also pivotal. Diverse friendships and interests outside of our business elevate us, give us perspectives, and help us become more well-rounded in other industries and insights that we otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to.

Self-care is not about having drinks or getting your nails done. It’s about meeting your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Self-care is having solid, rejuvenating sleep. I’m in bed by 9:30 pm every night, and up by 5:30 am. Self-care is connecting with nature. Frequently become one with nature. It’s a habit that soothes your soul. Meditation is key for self-care. All your genius ideas and key awareness come then too. Also, eat high quality natural foods that fuel you, rather than consuming processed foods that deplete you. Eating the right foods is important when it comes to optimizing your energy and preventing burnout.

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?

Two people come to my mind.

When I was at my lowest state, I met Frances Fagan. Our long-term work together and our connection made me who I am today. She’s been a mother figure and a mentor to me, more than a professional who I pay for services. Connection is what moves a person. When you hire help in any area, make sure you have a connection beyond just a professional relationship with this person. Soul connection makes the transformation exponential.

Tahilia Rebello is my best friend who I met in high school. She and I hit it off immediately when I was 15. She’s currently a professor at Columbia University, in the public health sector. She has been there at my most embarrassing, low, and highest moments of my life.Tried and true female friendships are essential for any woman’s success. I trust her so much that she’s my trustee, and the executor of my will. She’s like a real sister to me, and Auntie to my kids. Real friendships get deeper and more valuable with age and time. Time magnifies what’s already there.

True friendships and deep connections are the foundation of life. I know most people don’t even find 1 of these relationships in their whole lifetime. These relationships give us a stable foundation to continue expanding our minds and hearts. If your family doesn’t play that role for you, like in my case, and in many people’s cases, you need other healthy friendships. I’m forever grateful for the women who have been rocks in my life, which in turn, taught me by example who I want to be to others.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I’d been an advocate for women for as long as I can remember. I believe that those who are meant to make a difference have been doing that even before they are successful or have enough money.

In highschool, I was the counsel to other friends with boy problems. In university, I helped more than one friend leave an abusive relationship. After university, I volunteered at Battered Women Support Services. This whole time I had plenty of issues, I was broke, had a very shaky foundation, and a lot of mindset issues.

Success helps to magnify our contribution. I’m a regular donor to organizations that help women and children. My company stands to close the gender gap all around the globe. That starts with women getting the right support, understanding her value, and putting herself out there with confidence.

When we help one woman, we change the course of the generation, because women are always helping others. We’re helping her kids, and her extended family. Helping a woman has a cascading ripple effect of rapidly spreading positive change in this world.

When our hearts and intentions are at the right place, circumstances don’t stop us from making a contribution. We definitely want to take care of ourselves first, but no matter where we are, we can give in ways that we can.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Be prepared to be a beginner every day

We can sometimes come into business feeling pompous about certain skill sets. For me, it was sales. I came from a sales background. I couldn’t figure out why sales felt so triggering when I started selling my own services. I had to unlearn a lot of what I previously thought was right and what I learned selling products for a company.

Many of us think that we have a good and curious attitude towards learning. It is frequently untrue. We let our egos get in the way all the time. What we think we’re the best at is often what we need to work on the most.

This is especially important because as entrepreneurs, what worked at one point won’t always work. A beginner’s mindset will allow you to open up to true self-awareness, and to continually adapt and change with the changing market conditions as well as the phase of the business.

2. You won’t work less, you’ll work more than ever

Many of us want freedom, and that’s why we start our business. We want time freedom. But this time freedom is not what we think it is. You’ll work more than ever, although you will have flexibility when you are doing certain kinds of work.

If you see your business as a newborn, it makes a lot more sense. She needs a lot of nurture and care. You can get help, but the newborn cannot be outsourced, she needs her mother, you, the founder. She needs a lot of hand holding, nurture, and accompaniment, until she can eventually stand on her own. It’s your job to lead so she can grow up to become independent, to eventually thrive with less supervision from you.

3. Your boundaries, beliefs, and mindset will constantly be challenged

I experienced this recently when expanding the company. I had a set structure and boundaries as to how I believed my company’s clients can be a key to clients’ success. But all of that was challenged when I asked myself “how can I design my business so that it runs independently, while making sure my clients still have the personalized help and privacy that they need?”

I found loopholes in contracts that I’ve never noticed before. I got sucked into time and energy black holes coming from clients, vendors, and staff. I had so many limiting beliefs that came up around this change. It really challenged me in all ways — time, energy, money, and self-beliefs.

Boundaries are tested at so many levels in an entrepreneurial journey, especially if you’ve been an overly giving person most of your life. When you start a business, there isn’t a structure. You have to create and maintain that structure, and that’s why your boundaries get constantly tested. You have to be very certain and keep your boundaries strong.

4. You’ll be tested in human relationships more than ever

This ties in with boundaries. You’ll meet all sorts, from all walks of life, with various degrees of work ethics, value systems, personalities, and sometimes… even people within a possible personality disorder spectrum. You’ll meet nice people who are opportunistic, smiley clients who are taking advantage of you without you knowing, shiny people who turn out to be your worst nightmare.

But also, the most wonderful relationships form out of an unlikely situation. We tend to make relationship decisions way too quickly. Instead of arriving at a conclusion so fast, continuously observe people and their behaviors. Though people are constant and have a pattern, know that relationships are forever changing and are fluid. Do exactly what Maya Angelou says, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” Don’t let their sweet talking and your logical brain talk you out of what you feel about this person when they show you who they are. Time will magnify the energy from that relationship.

5. Face your shadows and act before you’re ready

All our results start from our mind. When we’re stuck, there is an aspect of us we’re not willing to face. This is our shadow side.

If you’re resistant to something, lean into it. I’m a spontaneous, creative thinker. That means I have to become more detail oriented, data-driven, and methodical. Nobody wants to behave opposite to the tendencies that we’re already used to, but growth and results we want requires us to do so.

Success is not random. Before I made it to my first 6-figures, I already felt like a 6-figure entrepreneur. Every day, I did what 6-figure entrepreneurs do. I lived and breathed those habits. Hire someone before you’re ready. Fix an aspect of your business before you’re ready. Face details you don’t want to face before you feel ready. Admit to things faster. You have to face your shadow, and become the person who already has the desired results. That’s how you create your desires into reality.

Can you share a few ideas or stories from your experience about how to successfully ride the emotional highs & lows of being a founder”?

Learning to manage your triggers is key. You normally want to react immediately. Keep calm. A trigger is hitting an old wound. It is also triggering a shadow part of you, a part of you that you don’t want to acknowledge.

Another suggestion is to use the power of your subconscious. Your subconscious state is imperative to your success. Start meditating regularly. Set aside time to just reflect. It will help you with emotional management and making the right decisions.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

If I could start a movement, it would be something beyond what is understood as feminism now. Feminism is currently contrived. It is at the rebel/teenage phase, which means that we think we have it figured out, but we’re far from reaching maturity and true gender equality.

In many parts of the world, girls are still being forced into child marriage. Women all across the globe experience oppression or abuse in their household. Current feminism has made things much harder for the “empowered” women who work and build their careers. To feel “in charge,” she’s now responsible for traditionally feminine and masculine roles. Sometimes, she’s the breadwinner, plus the primary caregiver for her kids, parents, and her partner. She’s impossibly burdened with responsibilities that one person couldn’t possibly juggle them all, with such little support.

True equality doesn’t just come from having the ability to own assets, work, and vote. It also comes from expectations, perception, and how she is being valued and treated. I want to redefine what it means for women as a whole to have power, and to have true equality. It’s about how she conducts herself in her intimate relationships, her family, at the workplace, as well as how she forges bonds with other women.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Visit my website at www.juliacha.com to find out more. If you’d like to go deeper into the process of beating conditioning to reach success on your terms, read my best-selling book, “Am I There Yet?” Connect with me on social media. The links on my website as well.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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In-depth Interviews with Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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Jerome Knyszewski

Jerome Knyszewski

CEO of HeavyShift

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