How To Boost Your Confidence and Handle Your Critics with Heather Monahan

Updated: Feb 20

I'm thrilled to introduce you to confidence expert, Heather Monahan!


Heather is a best-selling author, keynote speaker, TEDx speaker, host of the Creating Confidence podcast, and founder of Boss In Heels.


In today’s episode, Heather talks about how she navigated her way through corporate America for over 20 years and the challenges she faced along the way. Heather breaks down the fear that comes with becoming an author and dives into her two amazing books “Creating Confidence” and “Overcome Your Villans”. Her transformation from being fired to one of the Top 50 Keynote Speakers in the world is truly inspiring.


Whether you're navigating corporate America or just starting out in your career, these tips will help you stay strong and confident. So don't let criticism hold you back - learn how to deal with it like a boss!

Memorable Moments:

  • 0.00 Once you overcome your villains, it really opens up that door for positive people, positive opportunities, and blessings, like you said, to start showing up.

  • 4:35 Me dimming my light didn't ignite hers. Me playing small didn't make her feel better. In fact, she gained in strength and treated me worse.

  • 10:58 I will always be proud that I'm the woman who will be at her death bed saying, "Yeah, my first book has three mistakes in it, and I am so flipping proud it's out there." Done will always be better than perfect in my life.

  • 12:41 It's my job and duty in the world to make the world a brighter place, a better place, and if I'm going to withhold information and not do it, that's selfish and crappy.

  • 16:58 it's like practicing anything. The amount of frequency of doing something to truly become an expert, you've got to put that practice in and just get up and do it.

  • 18:39 A lot of people in your life love you and they want to protect you, but they're going to project their self-limiting beliefs on you. It's up to you to accept that, or thank them for it and hand it back to them.

I hope you LOVE the episode and pick up a copy of BOTH of her books. They're amazing!

Buy Overcome Your Villains: https://amzn.to/3gwXpLE

Buy Confidence Creator: https://amzn.to/3GxoIAd

Check out Allison's book review here

Check out the Forbes Article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinessdevelopmentcouncil/2021/09/16/five-books-by-women-to-enhance-your-confidence-and-mindset/


Follow Heather:

Follow her on Instagram: @HeatherMonahan

Follow her Podcast: Creating Confidence with Heather Monahan

Website: www.heathermonahan.com




 

Loved the episode? Read the transcript below:


Heather Monahan:

Once you overcome your villains, it really opens up that door for positive people, positive opportunities, and blessings, like you said, to start showing up.

Allison Walsh:

Hello there, and welcome to the She Believed She Could Podcast. I'm your host, Allison Walsh. I am so glad you're here. I'm a corporate exec, entrepreneur, coach, and mom of three, who is obsessed with all things related to mindset, goal setting, and leveling up your personal brand so you can go after opportunities that you never even thought possible. I live by the philosophy that the whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be, and I created this podcast to motivate and inspire you, and give you actionable tips and advice for you to use as you chase and accomplish your goals.

Allison Walsh:

I've also had the chance to build an incredible network of successful leaders, entrepreneurs, impact makers, and world changers who will also be sharing knowledge and words of wisdom with you. Remember, no dream is too big if it's matched with ambition and action. Most importantly, I believe in you 1000%, and my goal is that you do too. So sit back, relax, and grab your favorite note taking device, because it's time to fill up your mind and soul with positive vibes and advice to help you achieve your dreams. Now, let's get to work.

Allison Walsh:

All right, ladies. I am so excited to introduce you to Heather Monahan. She is a bestselling author, she's got two amazing books out that you've got to pick up, if you haven't read them already. She's been named as a top 50 keynote speaker in the world. That's a huge honor. She's among some of the best of the best, the most elite speakers. She is the podcast host of Creating Confidence. She's graced the TEDx stage. And of course, she has launched her own business, really being able to help people create the confidence that they want for themselves, to be able to chase and accomplish every goal that they set their minds to. So I'm not going to take up too much of the time on the beginning of this episode, because this episode is packed full of valuable advice. Every word that she says is powerful and it is intended to help you become your best, most confident self. So let's get to work.

Allison Walsh:

All right. Well, Heather. I am so glad that you are on the show today. Would you mind introducing yourself to our audience?

Heather Monahan:

Sure. I'm still recovering from corporate America, I spent a little over two decades in corporate America. I started out as a salesperson, I became a VP of sales, and then ultimately a chief revenue officer. And then two weeks after being named one of the most influential women in radio, I was fired, and I took that opportunity to reinvent myself as an author and then a keynote speaker, and then a podcast host, and then a board member, and then... I don't know what else I did. I mean, I don't know. I've been doing a lot of crazy things the past couple of years, and here I am today.

Allison Walsh:

Well, I love it. I love how you've really leaned into your brand too. I think that you noticed the importance of that prior to even leaving corporate America, you were really starting to stand out and shine brightly on your own. I think that's a lot of what women want to do, but it takes bold, courageous action, and sometimes leads you in a windy path, but ultimately you're here now. So would you mind sharing a little bit more about that story, and really how you decided it was time to start really shining brightly as you?

Heather Monahan:

Yeah. For a while, and I personally believe that you can be confident in different areas of your life at different times and whatnot, and I had had times in business where I was really confident and felt good. But I went through a window of time when I was at the last company I was with, I was there for 14 years, where I started second guessing myself. I had someone who was side-by-side with me, it was the other woman in the C-suite, the CFO, always giving me disparaging looks, always putting me down, always trying to keep me out of meetings. Really sneaky kinds of... She never walked up and slapped me in the face and told me I was a jerk, right? That would've been easier, but it was just always trying to find a way to set me up, to see me fail. Even though we worked together, right?

Heather Monahan:

It was just so crazy, and I knew it, no one would talk about it, and I would try to bring it up sometimes. So it makes you start thinking you're crazy. You start feeling like, what, maybe this is me. Maybe I'm just a jerk. She's nice at everybody else. I don't get it. And so I really started losing my confidence and losing my way, thinking, okay, maybe I should dim my light a little bit. Maybe then she'll leave me alone. This woman handled the finances, so always my expense checks would be delayed. Like there was just always some BS going on. And so I tried that for a while. It didn't work right. Me dimming my light didn't ignite hers. Me playing small didn't make her feel better. In fact, she gained in strength and treated me worse.

Heather Monahan:

So ultimately, I just started really thinking about, okay, I'm showing up as a B rate version of myself at work. It's not helping me. I don't feel better. In fact, I feel worse and I'm literally second guessing everything I do. And that's when I made this very intentional decision to work on building my confidence and rebuilding it, and I did that, and that's when I said, I should start practicing what I preach. I was in media, running a radio company, and I was always talking to my clients about the importance of leaning into their brands and putting a face and name with a company name. I thought, wait a minute, I'm preaching this all day long. I'm supposed to be an expert in media. I've been in this business for over 20 years. Why don't I start living it?

Heather Monahan:

It just made so much sense to me, and so I decided to launch a personal brand. I made a very hefty investment. I hired a phenomenal photographer and I started working with my friend was a CMO and it was, I'm really proud of my brand, right? My website's amazing. And so I did all this as a chief revenue officer and I got so much pushback from the CFO and the GC, who was her right hand at the time. This is kind of why I think a lot of people don't do this, is that they're afraid of the negative kickback they could get. And listen, I got it harder than anyone. I can't imagine someone having a... They threatened me. They threatened that I wouldn't be able to stay employed there.

Heather Monahan:

I'm a single mother. Having money is critical to my life, and I put that out there clearly. I'm not someone who's independently wealthy and my husband is going to take are of everything. Some people are in that situation. I just want to make it clear, I needed my paycheck. And so it got really scary for me, and I remember I would come home at night and I would cry, but I knew in my heart of hearts, I had done research, I'm a smart woman, Bank of America's executives have personal facing brands. Huge companies in the U.S are doing this. Sheryl Sandberg, the President of Facebook has a personal brand. Why can't Heather Monahan, the chief revenue officer of a media company? It made no sense.

Heather Monahan:

I had an attorney look at all of my contracts. There was nothing that said I couldn't do it. So they were just trying to bully me and intimidate me, and it worked. I was a mess. I really was so upset, but I remember ultimately coming home and saying, "All right, do I shut it down and just go back to work and give in, or do I push forward and stand up for myself?" And I just made the decision I'm going to push forward, and that next year was not fun. Not fun at all. It was awful, and in the end she was promoted to CEO and that's when she fired me.

Allison Walsh:

Yeah, and I mean, you've had such an unbelievable journey and I do think that it brings up a lot of what people do worry about is the pushback, is what are other people going to think? I've known a lot of women that haven't had that same type of journey that you have, but ultimately you've had so many blessings as a result of that situation. And I know you've worked your tail off, right? Everything that you have, you've worked so hard for and you've earned, but you're also carrying women along the way to you and you're sharing it. I think that's why Confidence Creator is such a great book, and anybody that really wants to boost their confidence, stand out for the right reasons, go for it, lean into their dreams, know that they're meant for more, needs to pick up a copy of it.

Allison Walsh:

So would you mind sharing more about what's in the book? I know that story's in there, but what else would you like to share with the audience about the lessons that you share in that book?

Heather Monahan:

So, that's my first book. My first book is Confidence Creator, I wrote that in 2018. I wrote that right when I got fired, and it's really a compilation of my lowest moments and how I leverage them to create confidence in my life and how the reader can too. So each chapter covers a different tactic or strategy around creating confidence, tied to a personal story in my professional and personal life, up until getting fired.

Heather Monahan:

My new book, Overcome Your Villains, really picks up where Confidence Creator left off, which is the first chapter in Overcome Your Villains, is all about what really happened behind the scenes when I got fired, because that is a question I'm asked all the time. So I give all the detail onto that, and then how did I go from being fired at this really lowest point in my life to where I am today? I map out for everybody, every initiative that I took on, the failures, the wins, the strategies behind them, how I landed Gary Vee my podcast. All the behind the scenes into what it's taken to get to where I am today now and how the reader can, once you overcome your villains, it really opens up that door for positive people, positive opportunities and blessings, like you said, to start showing up.

Allison Walsh:

Absolutely. Well, I love that you've done that. So talk to us a little bit about writing books, because I think there's so many people that have that on their bucket list of what they want their legacy to be and leave, just imparting wisdom with others along the way. So what is that process like? How has that been for you?

Heather Monahan:

It's not a big deal. I think people overthink it, right? It's like anything. It's just when you show up and you're a rookie at something it's intimidating, but giving a TEDx talk for me was way harder than writing a book. It just depends for you and your situation. The funny thing is, I'll have people come to me and they'll say, "Oh, I want to write a book. I have a book inside of me." People say that all the time, and I say, "Great, do it. When are you going to do it?" And they say, "Well, I'm working on a strategy." There is no strategy. The strategy is to sit down and write. Okay, people? Don't overthink it. That's just going to slow you down. That's just fear, and there's no time for fear. Now is the time to take action.

Heather Monahan:

A really dear friend of mine and mentor of mine during the pandemic started writing a book, and he passed away before it ever came to light. That chapter is in my new book, Overcome Your Villains. He always taught me about legacy and it was just such a bizarre situation that he was working on this rough draft of this book, and he sent it to me and he was so proud and he wanted to get it done, and then there wasn't enough time. And so to me, that is such a reminder that the only time we have is right now. And if you do have a book inside of you, don't go to your deathbed and say, "Oh my gosh, I wish I have gotten this done." I will always be proud that I'm the woman who will be at her death bed saying, "Yeah, my first book has three mistakes in it, and I am so flipping proud it's out there." Done will always be better than perfect in my life.

Allison Walsh:

Hey there, it's Allison, and I wanted to invite you to join the She Believed She Could Society. The Society is a premier private membership group for motivated women who are committed to achieving their goals and are ready to level up in business and in life. Through virtual training, downloadable exercises and accountability tools, the Society provides valuable resources for ambitious women who believe they are meant for more and are ready to enhance their approach to make their dreams a reality. If you're ready to level up and have your best year yet, get your seat today, go to www.shebelievedsociety.com and sign up. Again, that's www.shebelievedsociety.com. See you there.

Allison Walsh:

Absolutely, preach that, because we talk about that all the time on this show and just on social media and everything, is that so often we hold on to everything, whether it's because we're perfectionist, whether it's fear based, whatever it may be. And then ultimately we never get it across the finish line, we never learn from it. You can't learn from it until you do it, right? And then I'm sure that this process now, I mean, as you said, like just do it. You've you've already done something that so many people are afraid to do or just don't have the confidence yet in themselves to do so. [crosstalk 00:12:25].

Heather Monahan:

Well, the thing is, it makes it a little bit easier when you focus on the people you can help. That was what pushed me through the finish line, was thinking, who did I write this book for? And if I don't put it out there, they're not going to have this roadmap. They're not going to have this help. That's not fair. It's my job and duty in the world to make the world a brighter place, a better place, and if I'm going to withhold information and not do it, that's selfish and crappy.

Allison Walsh:

No, really good point, and I know that you share your wisdom in a lot of other ways, congratulations on being named as one of the top 50 speakers. That is amazing.

Heather Monahan:

Yeah. So, to give a little behind the scenes on that, I spoke my entire career in corporate America, but I didn't know it was a business. This is true. I had no idea, right? Oftentimes we get so in the bubble of our industry and our routine, that we don't pick our head up to look outside of it. And that was me. I was just in the radio business, I knew media and that was it, and I never looked outside of it to think maybe my skillset could be applied outside of this world. No, I just stayed head down. Do not stay head down. I was wrong. Please pick your head up.

Heather Monahan:

So what happened was when I got fired, I'd been speaking for years, I never was compensated for it. It was just part of my job in corporate America. And I remember I wrote the book and I Googled, how do you sell books? And it said, you speak. I thought, oh great, I know how to do that. So I started cold calling businesses saying, "Hey, I'd love to come in, speak to your team about innovation, confidence in the workplace, but I just need you to buy some books. Can you do that?" "Oh, sure, Heather. Come on in, come on in." So one day someone said, "What's your speaker fee?" And I said, "Hang on a second," and I Googled what are speaker fees? I had no idea, and it turns out I saw Gary Vaynerchuk at the time, this was 2018, was getting $350,000 for a 60 minute keynote. That was the moment. That was my epiphany moment. Why did I not leave that crappy job a decade ago? I could've been making as much money as Gary Vaynerchuk. This is crazy.

Heather Monahan:

That day really changed everything for me. I said, I'm good at this. I know I'm really good at it. Maybe I can, again, I didn't know, maybe I could build a business in this if Gary Vaynerchuk, but I don't know. I'm going to try. And so I got back on the phone, I said, "$5,000 is my keynote fee," because you've got to start somewhere. Again, I had no idea. I was a rookie starting all over, even though at the time I was 44. I still didn't know, and so I just, trial and error, trial and error. Started quoting fees and then I joined some speaker bureaus, and then I got an agent and then I started getting some success and I gave the TEDx talk, and then I interviewed Sarah Blakely live on stage and my speaking business took off and then the pandemic hit, and it disappeared overnight.

Heather Monahan:

And then I had to reinvent myself as a virtual speaker, which I didn't even know what a virtual speaker is, but I share that because it's this constant up and down, up and down, up and down of, I don't know, I'll start over. I don't know, I'll try again. And I have no game plan behind it, I'm just stepping into this unknown and trying, and then I ended up, during the pandemic I was named top 40 female keynote speaker for 2020, which I was super grateful for. But I remember when I won that thinking, well, I want to be keynote speaker. I want to go up against the boys too. Like, let's go. Why do I just get put on the female list?

Heather Monahan:

But then I didn't think about it again. Fast forward to just a couple, I think it was two weeks ago, Real Leaders put out the top 50 keynote speakers for 2022. Tony Robbins is on there, Mel Robbins, Brené Brown, Les Brown, all these amazing speakers, and I'm on there. It was a pretty exciting moment, and just hopefully for everyone listening, you just never know what's possible. If you just step into it, do the work and take the chance on yourself, who knows what might happen as a result?

Allison Walsh:

Well, and you stayed so nimble through it too, right? Like you could have easily said, "Oh, nope, no speaking engagements last year. Oh well." But you didn't. You're like, "Okay, figure out how to make it work. Get out in front. I don't know." I mean, in some ways you probably got to speak on virtual stages in more places than what you would've been able to do if you had to hop on planes.

Heather Monahan:

Look, I hate the pandemic, right? I am not a virtual person. I love in person everything. However, that time you're right. I was able to do, some days I would give six keynotes in a day. That is not feasible. That's not going to happen in real life. You could do one in a day is the most you're ever going to be able to do. And so for me, I didn't like that time, but I hate to say it probably did make me better, because just the amount of, it's like practicing anything. The amount of frequency of doing something to truly become an expert, you've got to put that practice in and just get up and do it. And so, yeah, I think you're right. Even though I hate to admit it, because it definitely was holy cow, not my favorite time sitting at home, looking at my face on a Zoom screen all day.

Allison Walsh:

I think we're all Zoomed out. So I appreciate that we're recording this interview over Zoom, but it definitely has made it possible to do some things that we weren't able to do before. But yeah, I agree with you, in person. I'm so excited that the world's opening back up again. I just pray that it continues to do so, and we all stay safe and we can kind of return to somewhat of normalcy and be able to see you in person, because you are a rock star.

Allison Walsh:

As far as, I love to ask every guest that comes on this show though, because you got on my radar many years ago, I read your book, loved it, found so much value in it. Put it on the list on Forbes as one of the top five books for mindset.

Heather Monahan:

Thank you so much for doing that. Can I tell a quick behind the scenes story?

Allison Walsh:

Yeah.

Heather Monahan:

First of all, for everyone listening, if you don't have a Google alert on yourself, take it