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Natalie: Today on the show I'm speaking with Beth Johnston from The International Women's Leadership Association and she's talking about the amazing work that she's doing around the world connecting women so that we can make the world a much better place. So, stay tuned.
Natalie: Hi! I'm Natalie Ledwell and this is The Inspiration Show and today my special guest Beth Johnston. How are you, Beth?
Beth: I'm very well today. How are you?
Natalie: I am fantastic! Beautiful sunny day in San Diego so, we've been getting a little rain but I'm glad it's all gone now which is good. Now, you have some really great information to share with us so let's not dilly dally around. Why don't we just start first with what it is that you do and your background is?
Beth: Thank you. Thank you. I'm the co-founder along with Keitha Rocco and I am the executive director of The International Women's Leadership Association. Our goal is very simple; it's to talk to as many wonderful women anywhere they are in the world. To listen to their story, meet her where she is any moment and then helped take her where it is that she wants to go. And we do that through a number of ways basically by providing very reliable and dynamic resources for her that grow all the time. Most importantly, the best resource for a woman is another woman. So, connect her to someone who shares this energy or goal, experience, maybe educational background even geography is a great connection for a lot of people. So, we do that day in and day out and as I said we are privileged to talk to extraordinary women from around the world.
Natalie: Okay. So, when you say around the world like what countries are we talking about?
Beth: We're on every continent right now I believe except Antarctica and I don't think we're going there anytime soon. So, mostly we're in North America, we are here first in the United States so that is where the bulk of our membership is North America, United States, Canada, Mexico. Many now also in South America, in the Latin countries which was so wonderful to welcome those women. Australia.
Beth: Australia sounds familiar to you, does it not?
Beth: You know extraordinary things happening in Australia all the time and such dynamic people who are so willing to engage and to kind of step outside of maybe their own comfort zone or to share their experiences. So, we do a lot of conversations into a lot of women in Australia as well but all throughout Northern Europe. Of course, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain we're rolling, we're moving.
Natalie: And are we talking mainly business women?
Beth: You know that's a great question because we're not exclusive to any one type of profession or a job title or to a level of education. So, we really talk to women in all professions, in all industries and all stages of their career development. And well, there was things that were very differentiating among people. We find that no matter who she is, where she's from, what she's trying to do that the common denominators far outweigh what differentiate us. Women are women wherever we're coming from. So, we want to be as inclusive as we can because we are trying to take so many people to where does she wants to go. And as I said the best place, the best way is to talk to someone who's maybe already been on that cap.
Beth: Who's already walked the steps that you were just trying to learn how to take.
Beth: So, no, we don't limit at it and we hope everyday that we expand our own vision as we meet every new woman around on the world. She really inspires us to think in different ways and humbles us too.
Beth: We are truly humbled every day when we share these stories.
Natalie: I know and I think that's the richness of something that you've created is that now, women from all over the world from different cultures and different backgrounds and different you know ways of being brought up can all like sort of share ideas together and it really helps to bring the whole world closer. So, what was your motivation behind starting this?
Beth: I'm a woman, plain and simple. You know Natalie on my own career path from starting out when I did a long time ago. I was for a long time the only woman in the board room, the youngest one in the management team and while you would hope that I would have been celebrated by other women, often times it wasn't. I didn't get that as a woman. I was raised in a big family where support is just a natural occurrence every day. There really was no competition. A big family, it was always a team, always done that way. So, I was just to support and I missed it in the workplace and it took me a long time to understand that it really wasn't me; it was just a different frame of reference that other women had and it was theirs to have. So, coming up and moving along and becoming an entrepreneur and starting different businesses and being hired by other companies to do corporate training, to do sales training, to coach and to teach was when I really realized that so many women felt the same way.
Beth: Women are often so clear on their watch, what they wanna do and why they wanna do it is often in a 100 % focus. The how to do it is sometimes fuzzy and for women in particular it's when do I do it?
Beth: So, I kind of came up through it and said "Well, the best time to do it is when you feel it in your heart and when the passion rises to the level that you can't not do it and the how to do it is just take the first step. So, I without realizing I kind of became that person who helped to motivate other people. To follow what it is that they wanted to do and I was called you know a free spirit, a daredevil, a risk taker. Maybe I was a little bit of all of those things but when I was kind of a little fearless maybe. When I never wanted to live with was not failure, was not succeeding on my 1st or 100 and 1st try. It was to live with regret that I didn't try.
Beth: So, I think that kind of just became a little bit of what I live with day in and day out for myself and other peoples seem to get that about me and this became an evolution. And I think a destiny for me and my partner Keitha that when we came together we said that "You know what between the two of us we have the experience, we have the passion, we have the willingness to step out there. And if we don't get it right the first time, we'll be willing to do it again." That's really how it all started.
Natalie: Yup. Awesome! So, okay, so do you think things are changing for women now? You know from when that, from you know I know that you're talking about being the only woman in the board room. Do you think that's changing?
Beth: God! I'd really hope it is. In my experienced, in my world it has.
Beth: Probably just some extent because I put myself there. I align myself now a lot with other women and we're not you know anti-money in any way.
Natalie: I know.
Beth: It's just who our market is. So, on a day to day basis aside from you know family members, my husband, my hubby. I really am in a woman's world. But everywhere you look Natalie, you know you do such inspirational work and you drive people to see it in themselves that the world is calling upon women.
Beth: I'd listened to a report last week where Warren Buffett came out and said "Our future with women." And he's talking you know, we're talking about Warren Buffett here, we're talking the Dalai Lama here, we're talking about people with extreme influence that that recognized that we are the future.
Beth: We are the future. So, it is changing I think in the perception globally, now you have to endow to the individual women herself. We're being tapped on the shoulder and are we ready to respond? We talk to women everyday who say "Yes, I am. Help me do it. I want to do it. I believe that I can. I take the responsibility to do what I can." And you wanna know what Natalie and I know you know this; you're such an example of it. Women will always willing to do the work.
Beth: But we need to get the results. So, yes, I believe that it is changing and you know hope that we're doing whatever role we can to help them along a little bit more just like you are.
Natalie: So, and I know that you like you've mentioned before you've got women that you work with all over the world. Can you share some inspiring stories of some of the women that you have you know inside the group?
Beth: You know everyone is, what binds us is beautiful, it's just the fact that we are women and that we get it. The individuality of these people is really what we celebrate you know.
Beth: That which makes her unique, her background. We hear stories everyday that truly moved us to tears because women stripped down their story to us. They know how much we care. They know how willingly and compassionately we listen. And for that maybe because we do it so objectively, they're willing to for some I know and of course they tell us. For the first time, they're sharing an experience that all through their life may it negatively at first and then they use that to make it her strength.
Beth: So, you know people tell us about you know the abusive relationships that they were in as children, as young women in their first marriage. It just moves you to gratitude that you have the opportunity to come in to this person's life and in many ways that you were blessed not to be on her path as she was. So, you know just once they're too many, every woman has her story, every woman and every one of them so worthy of being told.
Natalie: Yeah. You know and the other thing too I think which you know maybe you have these observations as well. I'm thinking age is no longer a barrier. You know the success that we have with mind movies, I was 40 at that time and I'm trying to learn how to edit videos and do all these new things and it's like this whole new world and a whole new country that we moved to but it doesn't seem to be a barrier anymore.
Beth: I totally agree with you. Thank goodness!
Beth: Not in my case. Thank goodness, it's not a barrier. I always say "I wish I were 20 years younger." I said it to just a meeting we had this morning and it was to a gentleman as a matter of fact and he said "But if you were 20 years younger, you wouldn't have the wisdom that those extra 20 years have given you." So, that is something that we do have to remember as well.
Beth: But you were so right, you were so right that it really makes no difference at all and it shouldn't, it never should have really, I think it was more a social thing than anything but in the business world, in the personal relationship it doesn't matter.
Beth: It doesn't matter.
Natalie: I know and I've spoken before, I've actually done a couple of recent interviews as well talking about this new we paradigm that we're moving into which is more of collaboration and cooperation and working together and I think women grabbing the bat and then running with that first. You know I think for men competitiveness is more of an instinct for them but for us you know we are looking for you know that camaraderie between other women.
Natalie: And I think that that's you know why you know groups like yours also grown so fast.
Natalie: Because we really are seeking it out. And we realized now that you know even though we may be like in a business or on our own, we never have to be alone because there is so many organizations like yours that can really help support women to go to the next level.
Beth: I agree with you and I heard a great statement, I think just yesterday or certainly this week. Any one of us, we could say "We may not have it all together but together we can have it all."
Beth: I have a very mathematical side to me and I've learned a long time ago that the total is always greater than the sum of the parts. And that is so true with women especially that and women still need because it's our code, its part of what makes us women. We seek the approval of other women.
Beth: And I don't know if a whim that will go away. I don't know that it's necessarily a bad thing but it is important to women. We do seek each other's approval, we might seek permission in a different way but we do seek approval.
Natalie: Yup. And you know and the other really exciting thing and maybe you can you know tell me if this is your observation as well is that you know we are very grateful for all the women that have come before like in the years before now who really had quite to be masculine in a male dominated world. But now on the new way women are coming through can still be feminine and actually their femininity is their power. But if it wasn't for the women that have come before then we wouldn't have sort of got to this position. Is that what you find as well?
Beth: I do believe that also personally to a large extend but I'm glad that one does not have to be at the cost of the other because they're mutually exclusive parts of what makes a woman a woman. And maybe that was a demand that women put on to blend in, to meld a little bit, to become more invisible and still yet to be present. And I think that would be a sad thing if today women thought they still had to do that.
Beth: There is no need. I always say you know the ability to you know put on lipstick everyday or something, it's one of the joys of being a woman and why not do it if that's what you choose to do. You should not do it because you think someone else may think that it's not necessary or you would play better in the board room if you didn't have it on. That's just silly. I think that comes from your own personal security.
Natalie: Yeah. Totally! Beth, it's been so great having you here. We had such a great chat this morning. I've really enjoyed it.
Beth: It's been truly my pleasure. I've anticipated this for a long time and I so respect all that you do because you do bring such incredible inspiration to so many people all around the world. You work so hard at what you do. You are such a great example of a woman in the workplace today who obviously has tremendous passion for what she does and through that passion can affect so many other people. So, thank you for being such a great example of what any woman of leadership can and should be in today's day and age.
Beth: It's been a pleasure to speak with you.
Natalie: Thank you. Thank you so much. So, look where can we send people if they wanna find out more about you and the organizations?
Beth: Oh, thanks for asking. We have a beautiful website. It's very simple, its www.theiwla.com. There's an opportunity there and take advantage about all the information. There's an opportunity to link to us right through there. We have a wonderful concierge service that the number is actually available right there on the site. So, we do of course invite any of your viewers who have that connection, sense of connection, a feel that we can do something together. Please, please do pursue it and I look forward to speaking with as many of your viewers as we possibly can.
Natalie: Wonderful! Now, guys if you click on the banner to the side there you go straight to that website from there. Now, look I encourage you to share this video and all the information in it. You can do that by clicking the Facebook and the Twitter share buttons above. And if you haven't done so already, make sure you put your email on the box above there cause I'd love to send you my Manifesting with the Masters Video E-Course. It has masters like Bob Proctor, John Assaraf and Joe Vitale. Its valued $87 but I'd like to send it to you for free but you have to put your email on the box to get that. So, until next time, remember to live large, choose courageously and love without limits. We'll see you soon.