We had the good fortune of connecting with Debra May and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Debra, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My inspiration for starting my business began when I was home raising my kids. Having left my job a few years earlier, the transition from work to home was difficult. I felt overwhelmed by the busyness of kids, schools, activities, and helping care for my parents. I knew I needed something more to fill my cup. I needed a whole new set of skills to deal with the powerful emotions surging through my life.
I’d fallen into a rut of masking my emotions and trying to look good to the outside world. Instead, I felt overextended and undervalued while saying yes to too many things. So, I minimized myself to get it all done and felt blindsided by the full spectrum of emotions, including anger, resentment, and fear. Having always been confident and outgoing, now it felt like I’d lost my identity.
I knew that if I didn’t figure out how to regain my voice and confidence, I could lose everything. Not knowing where to turn, I went back to personal development courses, as I had in my career. Then, as soon as I felt a shift and the momentum kicked in, I committed to doing whatever it took to pull myself out. When I realized it wasn’t just me who felt stuck, I knew I needed to help other women find their way too. My experience exposed a more far-reaching need than I’d ever expected. So now, I help women across the globe instill confidence and self-love and have stronger relationships on every level.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I lean on my intuition, vulnerability, and hard-learned resiliency to adapt to always-changing business climates. A frequent theme from clients is they appreciate my authenticity and the breadth of knowledge and tools that I pull from to create a custom experience.
Here are the top 5 lessons I’ve learned along the way.
- Being real and vulnerable is the most powerful way to lead and connect. These qualities make you approachable because you are living and sharing your truth. After years of hiding and living up to others’ expectations, sharing my truth is often my biggest hurdle. Yet when I openly share, other women see themselves and reach out. Raw authenticity magnetizes the right people to you because they resonate with the message.
- Be specific and clear on who you help and how you help them. As I enter each new phase of my life and business, I redefine my ideal client and expand my services. For example, when I first started coaching, I tried to help everyone, which often led to helping no one. However, as I gain more experience, I can specify where my strengths match my clients’ needs.
- Stay current and open to learning. Embrace changes as opportunities to see new possibilities in all areas of your life. The risk of not accepting change is staying stuck and missing out. So instead, I continue to hone my skills and make meaningful connections through deep, often vulnerable, conversations. This has organically unfolded through my willingness to learn, expand, and connect.
- Be willing to ask for help and surround yourself with a team. Spend time with people who inspire, challenge, and support you through all areas of your life. Be bold and courageous enough to walk away from people, ideas, and situations that no longer serve you. It feels terrifying beforehand and so right and freeing when it’s over.
- It’s OK to make mistakes. It confirms you took action, and the universe loves action. What you perceive as failure is actually information, feedback, or redirection. When I started my business, I was often embarrassed by my mistakes. Now I see how far I’ve come because I kept going.
There are many chapters in each person’s life, and my journey inspired my chapter as an entrepreneur. My evolution, not seamlessly, from a successful and rewarding corporate career to Stay-At-Home-Mom erased my sense of self. I focused on everyone else except for me. I learned powerful mindset practices and self-care techniques to regain my sense of self and self-love. My reinvention now helps me help women embrace their truth and live lives full of meaningful relationships and renewed clarity. As a Resiliency and Reinvention Mentor, I help women honor and reframe their challenging experiences so they can use them as a foundation to build a life that lights them up.
I’ve been featured in Authority Magazine, The Mindfulness Journal, Thrive Global, Medium, Kopa, and UpJourney. In addition, I’m a speaker and host of the “Own Your Story” Video Interview Series and a frequent guest on podcasts addressing women & resiliency.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
You don’t have to be spiritual to feel breathless by the beauty of the red rocks in Sedona. Visiting here and experiencing the intense power of the vortexes in the area is always a highlight of my trip. While there are all types of restaurants, my sister introduced me to The Mariposa Grill the last time I visited with its gorgeous views and delicious food. We’ve celebrated other occasions at Steak 44 and True Foods, which are also favorites.
Arizona is always an ideal destination, with everything from high-end resorts and restaurants to gorgeous hiking trails and scenery. While my heart is drawn to Camelback Mountain, which reminds me of my grandparents who lived in the area, every trip has been memorable.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Overcoming adversity in a complex world takes a team, and there’ve been many people who’ve supported me along my journey, including family, friends, coaches, and mentors. Before embarking on my solopreneur journey, I had some life-changing experiences attending Tony Robbins Unleash the Power, UPW. Revisiting the philosophies taught there helped me find my way.
I’ve continued to build my collection of mindset philosophies and practices by taking courses and being involved in mastermind groups. I know that there’s always more to learn and ways to expand. So, I stay open to what can be understood even when hearing a familiar topic for a second or third time. New life phases give you those life-shifting, aha moments and perspectives that catapult growth.
Last year, I made life-altering connections in courses and groups guided by Jen Gottlieb and Chris Winfield of SuperConnector Media. The group has completely changed my career and life trajectory. I also frequently participate in peer groups and masterminds. Most recently, in groups led by Jamie Thurber, Deborah Ann Corbin, and Carrie Jeroslow.
Stephanie Bartz Photo