Developing and trusting your moral compass: Know who you TRULY are and knowing what matters to you is the first step in building resilience. You know that at the end of the day, you can do anything you want and have anything you want.
In this interview series, we are exploring the subject of resilience among successful business leaders. Resilience is one characteristic that many successful leaders share in common, and in many cases it is the most important trait necessary to survive and thrive in today’s complex market.
Katie DePaola and Liv Chapman are the co-founders of Inner Glow Circle, a company that helps women who want to work for themselves, not by themselves as an entrepreneur. Inner Glow Circle trains clients to become an accredited life coach through the International Coach Federation (ICF) and helps them to create a sustainable business they’ll love through group training programs and masterminds.
They are on a mission to share the message that no challenge can’t be turned into an opportunity when we bring it home to what we stand for — and the shared vision of teaching people how to find their purpose, live it and get paid.
Inner Glow Circle have been featured in ICF, Time, HuffPost, Elite Daily, Hay House, Entreprenista, and on podcasts including Raising the Bar, Life Unfiltered with Alexa, Light Hustle, Curiously You, and Struggle to Success to name a few.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?
From death and disease to addiction and affairs, we both know a thing or two about resilience.
Katie: 100 days into the launch of Inner Glow Circle, I received a phone call that my brother Bo passed away from an overdose. A year earlier, I had lost feeling in half my body and was diagnosed with Lyme disease. I knew I needed to work quickly and efficiently to build a business that I could feel supported by no matter where I was physically, mentally or emotionally.
Liv: Two years into business, I discovered that my partner had been cheating on me with multiple women and I was forced to suddenly move my two sons, two dogs and myself into a new home and learn to single parent while running a full time business.
We believe what has saved us over the years is that we have created a business we still have to show up for every day. One of our greatest motivators to keep moving forward is that we have created a space for women to learn how to do what we have done, so that they can support themselves no matter what hardships they face.
Our company, Inner Glow Circle is the only all women, all virtual accredited training company for female entrepreneurs. It began as a single woman startup and has grown into a global company with an all female team of 20.
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
We take turns with our life challenges as unexpected things pop up in business and our personal lives. We each hold down the company when the other one is going through something.
Katie: For example, when I had Lyme disease and was bedridden for months, Liv held the company together.
Liv: And when I had a baby and also found out my partner was cheating on me, Katie held down the company while I figured my life out. Running a business together, we constantly are experiencing new life situations that we navigate together.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
We’re an all female team of 20 that teaches women how to run their own business and be in charge of their own lives. We give them everything they need to start making money, change lives and support themselves.
For example, one of our clients was in a toxic marriage for years and after going through our program and connecting with the women inside our Mastermind, she had the courage to leave her toxic marriage and become a public speaker. Now she is giving other women the courage to do the same as a public speaker.
Our company wants to empower women to find their true purpose, live it, and get paid doing so.
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?
Katie: After starting Inner Glow Circle and watching it grow, I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it alone, so I hired Liv to help me scale the business. I am really good at creative things and the overall vision for the company and Liv’s background as a schoolteacher means she’s really good at creating curriculum. Liv was able to design our Coach Training curriculum while I could keep working on the bigger vision for the company.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?
To us, resilience is being willing to fail forward. It’s being willing to get visible and share your message with the world. To keep showing up and sharing even when people don’t believe you’re going to be successful or don’t agree with your message. Resilience is consistently showing up every single day even when you feel scared, despite whatever is happening in your life.
When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?
Honestly, each other comes to mind. We’ve been in business together for years and have witnessed so much in each other’s lives. We’ve also experienced so much in growing a business together. We literally started as a self-funded startup and now have an all female team of 20 and are a million dollar company. So many insane things and learning curves have happened over the years.
Katie: I’ve gone through a broken engagement that led to a lawsuit.
Liv: I’ve had two unexpected pregnancies, dealt with my partner having an affair and had to transition into becoming a single mother while being COO of IGC. The company has demanded so much from us and also given us so much, but if neither of us were as resilient as we were during those times, we wouldn’t be here now.
Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?
Liv: I was always told that I would never be able to make a lot of money or have certain things that I now have. And at the time, I believed those people. I was a DC public school teacher and felt so restricted. I couldn’t take it anymore and felt absolutely miserable.
That’s why I hired a life coach in the first place. Doing so made me realize I didn’t have to be a teacher forever. I became a coach and started making more money in my first year coaching than I did as a teacher. Things just kept growing and eventually I partnered with Katie and grew IGC.
Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?
Katie: My brother passed away from an accidental overdose 100 days after I launched Inner Glow Circle, which was incredibly difficult to navigate.
Between meetings, I cried, punched my pillow and made deals with God. I knew giving up wasn’t an option. Even on the hardest days, I still had somewhere to be. I had created something in my life that was worth showing up for.
In grieving the loss of my brother, I had to learn how to ask for help, delegate and hire the right people fast. I worked hard to save my business, but in the end, my business saved me. My business was the giant gift I gave myself but hadn’t even realized.
Liv: I discovered my partner and the father of my two sons had been having multiple affairs while we were together, which was heartbreaking.
I realized I didn’t need to rely on a man to be financially successful. I had Inner Glow Circle, which was more than providing for me and my two sons. It was one of the toughest seasons of my life, but I made it through and I’m glowing more than ever.
Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?
Liv: Growing up everyone always told me what I “should” be doing and I did all of those things because I thought that’s what would make me look successful to people and they would be proud of me. One day I decided to stop doing all the shoulds, hired a life coach and quit my job teaching to start living an unconventional lifestyle of entrepreneurship.
Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.
- Developing and trusting your moral compass: Know who you TRULY are and knowing what matters to you is the first step in building resilience. You know that at the end of the day, you can do anything you want and have anything you want.
- Facing your fears: We all will experience fear throughout our lives but what matters is how we handle it and how we move forward. Sometimes, that means facing your fears head on and knowing that everything in life is working for you and not against you.
- Surround yourself with the best people: It’s difficult to strengthen your resilience if you’re surrounding yourself with people who aren’t supportive. Find the friends and family in life that support you and develop deep relationships with those people. Ditch anyone who constantly makes you feel bad about yourself.
- Reframe your mind: You have to truly believe that everything will work out. When you’re feeling stressed about a situation, ask yourself…”Why am I feeling stressed? What is stressful about this particular situation? How can I approach the situation in a calm manner?” Reframing your mind will help you handle less than ideal situations much more calmly and effectively.
- Self-care like it’s your job: When you’re going through tough situations, self-care can drop to the bottom of your to-do list, but it really should be the first. Self-care doesn’t have to mean face masks and bubble baths (though we do enjoy those!), it can also mean setting boundaries, saying no, cooking a healthy meal, getting in some exercise, putting yourself first.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire 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. :-)
Everyone should hire a life coach. It would literally make everyone a better person and people would experience powerful transformations in their relationships. We see it happen at Inner Glow Circle daily.
We are blessed that some very prominent leaders 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, especially if we tag them :-)
Sarah Blakely. She’s self-funded, never tried to raise capital, she’s a hustler and a mom. She’s like if the two of us had a baby.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Katie’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/itskatiedepaola/
Liv’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thelivchapman/