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126: How this international life coach came out of poverty to run a successful remote business with Elizabeth Miner.

In this week’s episode, I speak with Elizabeth who is a full-time business and international life coach.

Before diving into full-time coaching she spent 20+ years as a corporate paralegal and struggled to provide for her family as a single mother.

Elizabeth found the strength to leave her job when she found a new purpose to help others create actionable plans to empower her clients to make their dreams a reality.  

Listen on to find out how Elizabeth helps people move into the lives they dream about.

Listen Below:

 

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Show Notes:

Debbie:  

Hey everyone, thank you so much for joining us. I’m really excited to have Elizabeth here. Hey Elizabeth, how are you?

Elizabeth: 

I’m doing great. Thanks. How are you doing? Thanks so much for having me here.

Debbie: 

I’m really excited to learn more about you. So can you tell us a little bit more about you and why you live an offbeat life?

Elizabeth:  

Yeah. I’m not a conventional person, I guess, by nature. I grew up with a terminally ill mother so, I learned early on that our tomorrows are not guaranteed and I think that set me in a direction that was unconventional just from the get-go. I was somebody who didn’t want to wait for tomorrow. I knew that for some people they don’t come. It gave me a certain amount of impetus to just go follow what I was looking for at any given moment. And that did get me into some trouble as well as doing great things for me. But it’s given me, really, that push because I never had that sense of comfort that, “Oh yeah, I’ll do that later, I’ll do that tomorrow.” So, I think that so often for people, some of the things that cause them to struggle are oftentimes the source of their greatest strengths.

Debbie:

That is really true because that’s really how we learn about life in general, is when we go through all the struggles and pain and we understand what we are really capable of doing. And that’s what you had to go through when you had to do that with your ailing mom. Now, before you actually set off to travel the world and do these incredible things with your life. What were you doing before then?

Elizabeth:

I actually have a high school diploma and I worked my way because I became a mom at 19 and a single mom at 20. Again, I don’t wait for things. So, I had to go figure out a way to make a living and I ended up apprenticing my way into a paralegal career which was a great blessing. So, I could raise my family and afford to raise my family as a single parent. And so I spent 20 plus years in the paralegal world doing legal assisting as I started out as a person with no background in the legal department, and then, worked my way through as a legal assistant and learning the legal world and became a paralegal. One of my kind of claims to fame is that I started out in a company as a receptionist and I thought I just want to get my foot in the door and I want to grow with the company.

And I kept applying for the next level job and they kept saying, “that’s really great, but you have no experience” and “you’re not qualified” and all these things. And so, I had to find a way to create value that they didn’t originally see. And so, I was asked while I was a receptionist, we had recorded phone lines at the company I was working and I was asked to pull a phone call from the recorded lines. And I had done a little bit of work in recording studios as a teenager. So I was like, “oh, I can run a reel to reel machine” and I was successful in pulling a call and they asked me a couple more times to do the same thing and I was able to do it. And so, I decided that they needed somebody to do this on a regular basis.

So, I crafted a job description and I submitted my resume with the job description to my supervisor. I went up to the director of telecommunications and I said, “Hey, by the way, you guys have a great need in this company for this position and I’m qualified and I’ve been doing it so, I think you need to hire me for it.” This was really a great thing because a couple of weeks later I got a raise in a position as a recording specialist in the company I was working for. And that’s how I worked my way into the legal department.

Debbie:

I love how you created a job for yourself, Elizabeth. When no one wanted you to keep going, you created it for yourself. They couldn’t refuse you because you are already doing the job, might as well. Right?

Elizabeth:

Exactly. The thing is there wasn’t a path for me. That wasn’t an acceptable answer for me. And I wasn’t gonna stay a receptionist. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but I had bigger dreams. I didn’t know what they were at the time, but I needed more, I wanted more. And it was a great thing. I actually went on to do that one other time at another corporation where there was no longer a path. So, I crafted up a job description and attached my resume and walked it in and said, “Hey, by the way, you guys need this. I’m just the person that’s fit for the job and here you go, take a look at it. And these are my recommendations on the salary for this position since it doesn’t exist right now.” So it’s a little unorthodox, a little unconventional, but I’m not going to wait around for somebody to discover me. It just takes too long. The tomorrows are not guaranteed, man.

Debbie:

You probably have really good negotiating skills too, Elizabeth. I can tell because you going into that office of your bosses and say, “listen, I am coming here. You need this. How are you going to do this and how are you going to pay me for what I’m worth” is pretty ballsy and amazing.

Elizabeth:

Yeah. Well, I have nothing to lose. It’s funny because when I mentioned to my father, I had done this, he’s like, “Elizabeth, people don’t do that”. And I said, “Yeah, but maybe they should.” And then, when I called him to say, “Hey, by the way, I got the job,” he was like, “you’re crazy. I don’t get it, but, okay, congratulations”.

Debbie:

Yeah, you’re that type of person who makes things happen. And that’s really what you need to do if you want to make up a different way for yourself. Because honestly, there’s a lot of jobs that should be made into reality but maybe the companies just don’t know about it. That’s really going to help them.

Elizabeth: 

Exactly. And I encourage people on a regular basis to think outside the box. I just don’t happen to see the box. So, it’s just a natural thing for me. But that’s one of the things that I do with my clients is I help them get outside that box and I say, “Well I’m hearing all of this. What do you think? You could go forward with this.” And they’re like, “yeah, but there isn’t where would I go?” I’m like, “you create it, girl!” And it’s really fun to watch people kind of light up and realize that they are limiting themselves just because they don’t see the path we can, we can create one. It doesn’t matter, it’s all good. And right now you don’t have it so, what’s the worst thing you go when you approach and then you still don’t have it? You’re the same ground, right? If you do get it, bingo you won!

Debbie: 

And there’s a lot of things that we keep in ourselves that it’s just going to eat you up and you’re always going to be wondering, “what if I had just done that?” or “what if I’m this or that.” It’s always better to just speak out and speak your mind and what you feel like you want to do rather than wait for things to happen. Because otherwise, you may just stay at the same place. I mean, Elizabeth, if you had not done what you did, who knows, maybe you’d still be a receptionist right now instead of doing this with your life.

Elizabeth:

Exactly. That’s something that I encourage people to think about because the old adage “time is going to pass anyway” so, you might as well try it out and see where you can go.

Debbie: 

Absolutely. Now, Elizabeth, you worked in these different companies for a long time. You had a nine to five as a say. What led you to finally step out of that nine to five situation to be on your own and start your own business?

Elizabeth: 

Well, there’s a couple of fascinating twists and turns in my life. I was a corporate paralegal for all those years as a single mom, but as a single mom, it wasn’t paying enough of the bills. So, most of my adult life I’ve worked multiple jobs. And I got to a point in 2005 where my daughter was about to go into her freshman year in college, my son was about to enter his grade eight in middle school, and I was working three jobs at the time trying to support a house and my family – my children were virtually raising themselves. And I thought, “This is crazy. This is not what I became a parent to do.” And I just had this, this mode. I thought “my son is about to go into high school and if he continues to raise himself, God knows what might happen, and where he might turn. And with all that empty space.”

So I said, “I really want to make sure that we’re fully connected, that I’m part of his life and I’m just killing myself for what? For material goods. That doesn’t mean that much to me.” So, I quit my three jobs. I sold my house and I moved to an island for a year. I took a year of retirement, my son did eighth grade on the Island, my daughter went to her freshman year in college and I planned only a year to live on an Island. My son, my dog, and I moved to Ambergris Caye, Belize and we lived on the Island for a year. And my daughter would come during winter break or spring break. She came out to the Island and hung out with us. So, it was my first taste of living abroad and I thought, “Oh! This is it.”

I went from a 12-room house on a hill on two acres of land in an upper-middle-class neighborhood in Massachusetts to a 3-room, concrete brick, concrete apartment building on an Island in a third world country. And I was the happiest I had ever been. I would walk my son to school, I would do homework with him after school. We would go to Mayan ruins and that would be his history lesson. I’m a scuba diver, so I would take them out on the ocean, all these types of things. And I was like, “this is where it’s at.” But I knew I needed to bring him back to the US to make him compatible with US colleges. And so, we came back after a year of that. But the idea of living abroad never left me.

So, throughout the course of the next five or so years, I started trying to figure out what do I want to be when I grow up. And I started to think about what are the elements that I want and part of it was I wanted to work for myself and I wanted to do things that I thought mattered. And I did not want a brick and mortar business. Those were really the only elements I had but that’s what I had in my mind at the time. And a gentleman who was a family friend had called me up and asked me to go out for coffee one afternoon and I thought, ” Uh oh, he’s going to ask me out on a date and this is not my kind of guy for a date, but okay, I’m going to go out for coffee with him”.

So, I went out and he said, “Listen, I know a little bit about your history and I know a little bit about your life and there is absolutely no way you should be this happy or this successful. Will you teach me what to do because I’m miserable and I need help.” And I thought, “Oh my God, people will pay me for what I know.” And that’s how really my life coaching business began. And that was really how it all started. People had been asking me for advice all my life, but this was when I realized this is something I could make a business out of and it fits all the other criteria. So, I started coaching people. And that was really how the whole thing began. And then, when I moved across the country and my clients followed me, I realized, “oh, this is portable.” Then, it just continued to blossom from there. Now, I have clients all around the world and I’m able to live wherever I want for however long I want, as long as I can figure out the darn time zones.

Debbie: 

Well, it seems like you left something that you really were not happy with. And I think that’s a really hard thing for a lot of us to do is to leave something that is stable but we’re not happy with. And especially for you as a single mom, it’s even harder, right? Because I know I’ve spoken to a lot of different women who are single, they don’t have any children and it’s a really big thing. But for you as a mother, you’re not just thinking about yourself, you’re thinking about your children and how this is going to affect them as well.

Elizabeth: 

Absolutely.

Debbie:  

Making sure that you have enough. Now, let’s talk about one of the biggest obstacles for a lot of people before they do this is financials. How were you able to make sure that you and your family were supported in the right way in order for you to take this time off with your son in a different country and not panic and have a hard time of it?

Elizabeth:

That’s a really great question because there was a time where I was working three jobs, right? So, I didn’t have this huge financial cushion, but I did have a house at the time. I had bought a house after my mother died and I was able to then sell my house. I had a little chunk of change that I was able to use as a cushion for a year. And that was really a gift. A gift from my mom who had died and I did move to a country that was very inexpensive and I lived in a manner that was very inexpensive. You can live anywhere abroad and eat like the locals and shop like the locals or you can live like a person from the US in a different country and still have to buy a certain name brand things and it’s really expensive.

Elizabeth:

But if you eat like the locals, it’s really inexpensive. So, I went to a country where the exchange rate was two to one so, I was immediately twice as wealthy as I was when I arrived. And I kept my expenses very, very minimal. And so, that was my opportunity. But for the clients that I work with on a regular basis that don’t have something like that, ’cause that was really just a gift. When I did go and do my life in business coaching full time, I started that on the side of my full-time job. Because you’re absolutely right, there are responsibilities. You can’t just pick up and say, “oh yeah, I’m just going to go abroad and it’ll all work out” it doesn’t work that way. And if you don’t have a strong sense of your financial security, then, you start making decisions for your business that have more to do with your bills than actually your integrity and what you feel is the best thing for the business. And I just don’t recommend that either for myself or for my clients. So, having that full time job that’s current, building your side hustle, as it’s now been called, on the side and building that passion project on the side and getting that going so that it can get to a point where then you can take it on full time and it can replace your monthly income. That’s the way I recommend it and that’s what I encourage most of my clients to do.

Debbie: 

Absolutely. You definitely need to make sure that you have some sort of a cushion just in case anything happens because otherwise like you said, you’re going to be making bad decisions that you may as well have stayed at your day job at that point. The reason why you leave is you want a better life for yourself. You don’t want to make it harder for your life. And if you have other people in your family that you are also taking care of, it’s just gonna make it worse. So, that’s a really good idea to do that first before you dive into it.

Elizabeth:

Exactly.

Debbie:

Now, what are you currently dealing with right now in your own business that is a challenge to you and how do you usually handle those challenges?

Elizabeth:

One of my biggest issues and I’ve been listening to your podcast for a while. I listened to people’s biggest issues and I thought to myself, “what is my biggest issue?” and frankly, right now one of my biggest issues is I have so many ideas that I want to move forward and I cannot bring each of them to live. So I have to be very, very conscientious of really making sure that I say “no” just because it’s a good idea. I do have to say “no”. I can’t move on to some of the things that I’d like to and really focused on the things that I think are important or in alignment with what I’m doing and will serve my clients the best.

Debbie: 

Yeah. That’s a really hard thing to do is saying “no”, because most of us are programmed to say “yes” to things.

Elizabeth: 

Right! And it’s so exciting. New things, shiny things. It’s very exciting. So it was hard. It really is hard.

Debbie: 

I am definitely a victim of shiny objects syndrome.

Elizabeth: 

Absolutely. I hear you, girl.

Debbie:  

I’m really excited too because for your extended interview, Elizabeth, we’re going to talk about how to make actionable plans to make your goals into a reality. Because as you all can hear from Elizabeth’s story, she definitely makes things happen. So, I can’t wait for all of you to hear that and for you to answer some of our questions as well. Now, Elizabeth, let’s fast forward to 30 years from now and you’re looking back at your life. What legacy would you like to leave and what do you want to be remembered for?

Elizabeth: 

Oh gosh, I really want to help people live into the possibility of their dreams. And that’s what I am dedicating these next 30 plus years is helping people get rid of these limitations that they have. There is that article about the number one regret of the dying and that people didn’t follow their dreams and they didn’t try and I just hate to see that for people. So, my goal and the legacy I’d love to leave is to help people live into those dreams and to live into the possibility to create that job position in the company that you really love working for. Or to not say, “Oh, I’d love to do this, but I can’t because I got to get rid of that. I can’t because of business….” and figure out how to help people live into that.

Debbie:

That is such a great legacy to leave. And especially with your background, Elizabeth, with everything that you had gone through, it just shows us that we can pretty much do anything as long as we work really hard for it and we have actionable plans and goals to make this into a reality. Almost nothing is impossible if you think about it in that sentence.

Elizabeth: 

Absolutely. And it’s oftentimes that we ourselves are the ones that get in the way of these dreams because we’re afraid to dream.

Debbie: 

Absolutely. Now, Elizabeth, are you currently working on anything that’s really exciting for you?

Elizabeth:

Oh my gosh, I’m working on so much that’s so exciting for me. And all of my clients are working on new and exciting things and that’s one of the joys I get as a business coach because I get to watch all these dreams come from this jumble of ideas into birthing this new business or idea. So, that’s really fun. I’m currently working on my second book and that is about the mindset that is required for entrepreneurship. That’s super exciting. I am working on getting that finalized and over to my editor in the next couple of months. And that’s what I’m doing right now. Hold up in Denver, I am really spending a lot of time in coffee shops and doing a lot of writing right now.

Debbie:

That is so exciting and I can’t wait for you to launch that. Now, Elizabeth, if our listeners want to know more about you, where can they find you?

Elizabeth:

I am everywhere. I’m under name of Thrive This Day – that’s my company name. My social media is under that name. My website is thrivethisday.com and everything I do falls under that arena.

Debbie:

Perfect. Thank you so much, Elizabeth, for speaking with us today. I really love your story and thank you again for being here to share it with us.

Elizabeth:

I am so privileged to be here and thank you so much for the opportunity to talk to your community.

 

GET THE EXTENDED INTERVIEW WITH ELIBATH MINER WHERE SHE SHARES HOW TO MAKE ACTIONAL PLANS TO MAKE YOUR GOALS INTO A REALITY. 

 


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Show Credits

Audio Engineer: Ben Smith


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