How To Amplify Your Message

I had the INCREDIBLE honor of being on the Divine Living Podcast with the QUEEN herself, Gina DeVee. If you're not already following her, please do! She's been an inspiration in my life for years and I am so grateful to have been interviewed by her.


I shared about my journey becoming a brand and business coach for women as well as how I turned a difficult season of my life into a purpose-driven career helping others.


I held nothing back in this episode and I hope you enjoy it! Also, check out Gina's episode on The She Believed She Could podcast. It was fabulous!


xo,

Allison



Love the episode? Check out the transcript:


Gina DeVee:

Oh, my goodness, queen. Aren't women amazing, so amazing? I cannot believe how isolated I let myself get living in such a bubble, thinking that my community and my people didn't really exist.

Today's podcast episode is going to introduce you to a true soul sister. Allison Walsh, I mean, first of all, she won miss Florida in 2006, she's gorgeous inside and out, has totally not only recovered from an eating disorder, but also is just a champion for healing holistically for women with body image issues and eating orders and all sorts of other things. Of course, she's a mother of three, she's a graduate from law school, and now does consulting and brand building. She's worked with over 250 one-on-one clients because that's how obsessed she is about building women's brand and helping you get to the uniqueness of your story.

It's a really beautiful conversation that we had today. I'm so excited, if you don't already know who she is, for you to get to know her more, but just really bask in the epicness of how incredible you are, how incredible women are, and how many resources are actually available to help you get to the next level. So, enjoy it.

You've gotten great at divine working, but what about divine living. Welcome to the Divine Living Podcast. I'm your host, Gina DeVee. You're not alone in wanting more, and here at the Divine Living Podcast, you can expect to be part of conversations from women like us, who unapologetically dream big and are obsessed with manifesting our most fabulous lives. The conversation starts now.

Allison, it is such a delight to have you on the Divine Living Podcast. Thank you so much for being here and welcome to the show.


Allison Walsh:

Oh, Gina, it is my honor. I am absolutely thrilled to be here.


Gina DeVee:

Oh, good, good, good. Well, it's not often that I get to interview a pageant queen. We interview a lot of queens, and we're going to get into your business queendom as well, but I wanted to take a little trip down memory lane and share with my audience a little bit more about you, the woman behind the brand that you have created today. You won Miss Florida, is that correct?


Allison Walsh:

I did, a long time ago.


Gina DeVee:

It wasn't that long ago.


Allison Walsh:

Oh, it feels like it. 15 years ago already, but yeah, it was a dream job with an expiration date, but it was amazing.


Gina DeVee:

How'd you get into it?


Allison Walsh:

Yeah, I didn't grow up competing in pageantry or anything. I always just idolized the women that were on the stage at Miss America and really respected everything that they did to get to that point, and just to set my sights on that being something that I wanted to accomplish for myself. I started competing when I was 18 years old and I was a freshman at the university of Florida. My first title was Miss University of Florida, which was an incredible experience to be able to represent my school. I competed at Miss Florida that year, made the 10 and just got hooked at that point. I'm like, "I'm coming back. I will make this happen."

I actually competed four times during the course of my years. I was actually crowned on my 23rd birthday. I had won Miss Miami that year and then won Miss Florida on my birthday.


Gina DeVee:

Wow.


Allison Walsh:

It was unbelievable. It was just a blessing and definitely opened up so many incredible doors for me. I had the chance to really promote causes that I cared about. I had started a nonprofit when I was 18 as well, so I got to really champion that. So many of the doors that opened because of being Miss Florida I walked through later in life, it was a direct result of those relationships and those connections. I'm very, very grateful.


Gina DeVee:

Wow, wow, wow. All right, let's back up this bus here, because you're obviously beautiful inside and out. To look at something like that, I think most of us would look at those like that's something that happens on TV and that's other people. You just set this intention, like, "I want to do that." I'm presuming you didn't go into it thinking that you were going to lose. What went on inside of you that was like, "Yes, that's mine."


Allison Walsh:

For me, I knew that it would send me in a totally different direction. I knew that the doors that would open, as I've mentioned, would be huge. I knew that would be transformative and I'm a huge advocate for pushing yourself to be the best that you can be and to truly show up and to constantly evolve. I live and die, and have forever, by the saying of the whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be.

What I noticed, even after that first year of competing and making the top 10, I knew that I had already elevated so much as a person. Actually, I competed three years and then I took one year off in between. I noticed that I wasn't as focused, I wasn't working as intentionally on things that mattered to me on that one year off. That was a big part of it. When I came back, I was like, "You know what? I am my best when I have something that I'm working towards."

I've always been very intentional around goal setting and everything, but that year in particular really highlighted the fact that when you set your mind to something and you're working to towards it, yes, it's amazing when it happens, but everything else about that growth process is even that much more beneficial. Yeah, I was very clear that I wanted it and it was a lot of hard work that went into it, but I also grew tremendously in the process and I'm so grateful for that.


Gina DeVee:

Oh, I love, love hearing this, Allison. What you're reminding me of, I'm sitting here like, "Wow, Miss Florida pageants," the whole thing, I never looked at that stage and was like, "Yeah, I ought do that," but when I was, what was I, 21, I did it with the White House. I was like obsessed with the White House and all things politics, and I was like, "I'm going to go work there," and I did. I just want this to be a reminder to queens everywhere that whatever ... Also, I remember Kim Kardashian was talking about when she saw the glimpse of some first reality show. She was like, "That, that's what I want to do." It's just a great reminder. I never looked at a pageant or reality show and said that, but I did for the White House. For anyone, whatever you're looking at, where you're like, "Yes, that," go for it, go for it. Because, as we're demonstrating, it's meant to be yours.


Allison Walsh:

Absolutely.


Gina DeVee:

Totally. Let's take now, we'll connect the dots. How did you go from all things Miss Florida and what you did for Miss America to where you're at today?


Allison Walsh:

It was just a wonderful journey. I mentioned I started a nonprofit when I was 18. I had actually struggled pretty severely with eating disorders while I was in high school, and I had made it my mission to help others because I didn't want anybody else to feel the way that I felt. I just felt so alone and that my parents didn't know how to navigate it, and so we said, "Well, the best thing you can do, if you want to change something, is to do it," to do it yourself. That's where it really started.

I became a huge advocate for this and got really involved with many organizations, the National Alliance for Eating Disorders, the National Eating Disorders Association. I became a spokesperson for so many, especially once I became Miss Florida. I got to really champion a cause and I loved it.

During my year as Miss Florida, I traveled 80,000 miles, which was unreal, and completed over 250 speaking engagements and appearances and had all of these wonderful opportunities to connect with people. One of the women that I connected with during my year of service reached out to me several years later and said, "Hey, I'm looking for somebody to get into the business side of healthcare. I have a spot on my team and I would love somebody from your foundation board to apply, if anybody's interested."

At that point, I was in my third year of law school and realized quickly that that was not what I wanted to do. I said, "You know what? I'm going to raise my hand for this. I think that this is much more in alignment with who I am as a person and I would love to learn this. I've always been on the nonprofit side, but yeah, let's go for the for-profit side and let's learn this."

I took the job and had the chance to be there for a while. Then I was recruited to be part of a startup healthcare company shortly thereafter. I was the second person brought on the team eight years ago, we've grown it to a thousand team members.


Gina DeVee:

Wow.


Allison Walsh:

Yeah, no kidding. Talk about growth. Right? Six states, nine locations, and it's been unbelievable to be able to really scale an organization that has such a wonderful mission of helping to save lives, repair families, and really restore communities. Talk about an unbelievable opportunity. That was on that side of it, and then I, quickly after being Miss Florida, got into the consulting side of things too and coaching. I've, for the last 14 years, simultaneously been running several different businesses and have been as a solopreneur, then in a partnership, now as an entrepreneur with a team. It's been just so much fun and I love it. I get to literally build brands and businesses, whether that's on the personal brand or on the healthcare side of brands and help other people do it too.


Gina DeVee:

You are just such a delight. Okay, I have to just stop everything again, because you're just tossing things out, like, "When I was in my third year of law school," I got my gap year from college to high school. I'm like, "Okay, law school." What were you going to law school for?


Allison Walsh:

During my advocacy time, I got really frustrated that insurance companies weren't covering treatment for people. I was watching a lot of families struggle with getting access to care. There was this woman in California that was this unbelievable rockstar attorney that just was championing this and going against the insurance companies and getting people coverage so they could get the lifesaving care that they needed. I was like, "I want to be her," again, kind of that like, "Yes."


Gina DeVee:

Wow.


Allison Walsh:

I actually flew out there and interviewed her, because I'm like, "What is this? I'm amazed." That was really what I wanted to do when I got started, but I got into it and law school's really intense, really, really, really intense. I got into my first year and I'm like, "Okay, I knew it was going to be hard, but this is a lot more than what I realized." Second year came and I'm like, "I don't think this is how I'm supposed to feel about my career," and started to do this just inward audit of what was going on and started to have the feelings like this was probably not the right thing for me, but I am also a very stubborn person sometimes and I hate the thought of quitting. I'm like, "Okay, I will figure this out."

But I also knew I had to have some really brave conversations with a lot of people in my world that were excited about me being an attorney and going to law school. I was like, "You know what? That's going to be not necessarily the way this all turns out." There was a lot of contemplation, a lot getting honest with myself and then deciding that it was most important to live my purpose and to not worry about people pleasing as much as I used to.


Gina DeVee:

I cannot believe how aligned our paths are, because when I was working in, well, I was a psychotherapist and I saw those same things with the insurance companies, so I went to law school to do mental health advocacy, to get the insurance companies to cover more of that. I went to law school for one year. I got kicked out, so I didn't make it to year three.


Allison Walsh:

You were saved.


Gina DeVee:

I didn't see it like that at the time. I remember going and telling my family not only was I not going to be a lawyer, but I also got 0.04% underneath the grade point average to be invited back for year two. Ladies, listen to this though. I was devastated that I wasn't going to be able to return to a place where every day I woke up and said, "My soul is dying." The whole first year, my soul is dying, it was just life crushing.


Allison Walsh:

Well, and it's so crazy too because my husband's an attorney and he loves the practice of law, loves it.


Gina DeVee:

Good, great.


Allison Walsh:

[crosstalk 00:12:56] for him. On top of it, he didn't just go to law school, then he went and got his masters in tax law. That does not light my soul on fire. It's so important that I think that we live intentionally, we live on purpose, we find what it is that we love, what we can lean into. The world needs everyone, right?


Gina DeVee:

Yes.


Allison Walsh:

I have so much respect, I had respect for attorneys before I went to law school, I have even more respect for them now. But yeah, I realized that was not going to be my path.


Gina DeVee:

Yes, yes, yes. No, I get it, I get it. All right, talking about all things passionate, you seem obsessed with building brands.


Allison Walsh:

Yes, I am.


Gina DeVee:

Talk to me about that. What do you love about building brands?


Allison Walsh:

Well, on the personal side of it, when I work with women and I'm helping them build their brands, what happens in that process is that they realize how truly spectacular they are. Yes, the aesthetics all come together and we can package it up and we can make everything look amazing, but what happens on the inside when they truly own who they are and allow themselves to authentically and genuinely show up, it's the most beautiful experience.

I've done this with a wide range of women too, young and all the way through to reinventing themselves after their corporate careers and finally going for something. I've done this now over 200 times, 250 clients that I've worked with one on one over the last decade.


Gina DeVee:

Oh my gosh.


Allison Walsh:

Yes, yeah, no. I love it. I love to walk alongside them too, because there's so many things that come up when they're really investing in themselves and they're getting visible and they're showing up in a way that they haven't had the confidence to show up before. It's such a beautiful process and I love it. It makes me so fulfilled, especially, I call it the light switch effect, when all of a sudden the switch goes on and they realize like, "Wow, I am amazing," and they start to see themselves in the way that I've seen them or that others around them have seen them, but they haven't given themselves permission to really shine as brightly as they're capable of. I love that, that to me is just the best.

On the business side of it, when I can create something and can bring a company to the forefront that can actually create meaningful change in the lives of those who it serves, that is, again, just as powerful. I think about just my career at Advanced Recovery Systems and everything I've been able to do there, every single time that we open a facility, every single time we start a new business, we just launched a mental wellness application too during the pandemic, bringing that to life, the whole process, it becomes just such a powerful experience to be able to make sure that who we're creating it for can find it and we can be of service and making it as spectacular as it possibly can be.

We're at the point now with our main brand that millions and millions of people hit our website every single month, over three million people come and visit us online. That is such a powerful thing to have that type of recognition. Then it goes not only beyond the online presence, it's how are we showing up in the communities in which we serve. All of my team members that are out in the field, they are our frontline, they're the people that are interfacing and it's important for there to be alignment in brand standards, not just, again, aesthetically in how it all looks, but who we are as a company and the values and what we're bringing to those we serve.

It's so much fun to create and I think that's what really gets me so excited, is I'm not afraid to roll up my sleeves to take on a client or a new company or whatever it may be and say, "Okay, let's do this and let's do it to the best of our possible ability. We don't need to play small here, we need to go big. I promise you that if you really focus on doing it intentionally and with that mindset of I'm going to step into my greatness here, you're going to be blown away at the results. You're going to attract who you want to attract, you're going to be vibrant. You are going to build your own confidence in the process and you're going to just continue to be able to level up and level up and level up."


Gina DeVee:

I love it. I love it, I love it. What would you say to the woman who, because I've seen so many women come into my seminars or coaching rooms or whatever it is, and they're just terrified that there's not something unique about them or special about them, or they don't know who they want to serve or what their thing would be, but how do you start with someone with that blank slate?


Allison Walsh:

I think when there's lack of clarity there, I think it's really important that they write their own story. When you can write your own story and you can really map out