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Janine Bolon: Hello and welcome to The Thriving Solopreneur Show, I am Janine Bolon. Today, I have Rachel West with me who is not only an author and has a book that describes her journey in it. But she is also a professional growth coach, and she is a certified trainer, breakthrough expert, speaker, best-selling author, and founder of Empowering Growth. She is a certified master Neuro-Linguistic programmer and a master timeline therapy practitioner. She volunteers at SAFE House in Las Vegas and is a certified domestic violence victims advocate.
Rachel is passionate about helping individuals ready to transform themselves, to transform their life by helping identify those things, all those little things that hold us back in the areas of your life where you struggle the most, right? We all know we are our own worst enemy, but sometimes it takes a moderator like Rachel to help us see what is keeping us held back, help broaden our perspective and help us understand firsthand what we are trying to release as far as that negative, mental, emotional, and behavioral programming.
She not only can help you feel, hear, and see new possibilities for yourself, but she can also give you an assistance with the new mindset, and this is one of the things I love most, a new set of tools for your toolbox to help you get the results that you want at a higher level. Thank you so much for joining us today. Rachel.
Rachel West: Thank you so much for having me. I am excited to be here.
Janine: Yes. You and I have been trying to get together here for a couple of months. So I am so grateful that you had time to do that. So just real quick, so that we all are on the same page. NLP, Neuro-Linguistic Programming is something that has been around for quite some time, but not everybody knows about it. So do you mind talking to us a little bit about what that is, and what is timeline therapy, if you could kind of help define that a bit for us?
Rachel: Of course, I will do. So NLP, Neuro-Linguistic Programming is basically a deeper study of psychology. It is the science of how your brain processes information through your five senses. It is the scientific study of how you communicate with yourself and with others. It is the scientific study of your internal program. So that is your behaviors, your beliefs, your habits, your patterns, your perceptions in life.
Then timeline therapy goes in again, with NLP, it is a holistic technique, it is used at an unconscious level working with your unconscious mind, and it is the use of imagination. I explain it kind of like your brain is a filing cabinet. It has all the memories stored in there from the time that it is formed in the womb. It starts storing all of your brain files or your brain memories.
What the timeline therapy allows you to do is to kind of dig through those files or those brain memories and pull out the memory that you want to work on. Sometimes you have forgotten about it, sometimes you just do not know that it is there and it could be holding you back. It could be a traumatic situation that you wanted to forget about, some emotions that you need to deal with. So it is working through all of that, it is a really cool technique.
Janine: Well, so with talking with NLP and timeline therapy, one of the metaphors that I have heard you say, and I absolutely love it, because of my own understandings with some of the work I do is that the conscious mind is like an ant, it has the power of an ant. So if you get enough thoughts together, if you get a whole colony, if you will, you can move mountains with your conscious mind, but it takes a lot of thoughts to do that.
Whereas the subconscious is an elephant, it is huge. If you can get that turned in the right direction, if you can get your elephant, it is like it will obliterate your colony of ants. So anything you think you could do with your conscious mind and your subconscious has it on steroids. So is that something that you can kind of run with and explain a little bit about the power that you have seen in your own life and your clients?
Rachel: Yes. So I say the conscious mind runs ten percent of our life. It really thinks it runs all of it, and our unconscious runs ninety percent of things that we have forgotten about, the things that we do not think about, the things that we do not know about. So working with NLP, your unconscious mind, your conscious mind, and helping people discover what they do not know, they do not know. We grow up and we tell ourselves the story, the story that we have created based on how we were raised, based on the beliefs that we have, based on the labels that we have accepted, we go through life, living the story that we have made up.
So our conscious mind believes this story. It is like, “Yes, you are on the right track, you got it.” Your unconscious mind, however, knows that it is not the truth, it is not the right story, it knows that you have made it up and that you are lying to yourself, the number one person we lie to most is ourselves. So it is really working with people to bring that awareness. The first step is identifying those thoughts that you have in your mind every single day, what is it that you are telling yourself, and become aware of that.
Before I learned about NLP, I had no idea of the story that what was running in my head. I did not even know unconscious versus conscious, like I did not even know that existed, that I was telling myself things that were not true, based on beliefs and labels that I had. So it is really just helping people become aware that it exists, that it is there. Then practicing, learning, listening, and identifying when you have those thoughts and switching them. It is like reprogramming your mind to a new story.
Janine: So one of the things that you were chatting with me about before we got on the show was just talking about how people, like, you said, you did not know about the story that you were telling yourself that really was not even true, kind of living the life by default is what some people, you are on default settings. Like, you said, the subconscious mind is running ninety percent of the show, and you do not even know it. You do not even know why you are being triggered, you do not know why you act out the way you do.
So tell us a little bit about your story as you learned about your own self-sabotage? I mean, you do not have to get personal or anything, but just things that are going to affect an entrepreneur. That is why we are on the show is because, as business owners, you can not be a business owner and hang on to your old story, it just will not work. You are required by the very nature of the fact that you were a business owner to deal with your incorrect assumptions. So help us out. Rachel, we need backup.
Rachel: Yes. So I was living my life the norm, the story that I was told that you do. So that is you go to high school, you graduate from high school, you go to college. Well, when that happened, I did not know what I wanted to do in college, you go to college, you pick your career, this is going to be your life. So make sure you pick the one you want. How do you know at eighteen years old what you want to do? Well, I have no idea, and I felt like I had to go anyway because I did not want to be a disappointment to my family if I did not go to college. But at that time, I had no idea what I wanted to do. So I just went anyway to get my Gen Eds. I will just go and get my Gen Eds done, and I will figure it out along the way.
Well, what I found, because we did not have that end goal in mind or did not have even an idea of what it was that I was there studying for, I ended up not going to class, not doing homework. I would rather be with my friends and do something else. I now know it is because I did not have that goal. It is so important to have that end goal in mind. If you do not know what you are shooting for, your brains like, “I do not know how to get there, I do not know what I am aiming for?”
So it is really important that you have that goal in mind, and that you have broken it down into steps in implementing those steps. So back to college, I had no idea what I wanted to do, I was just going to go. So I ended up dropping out because I was not doing well, I did not want to be there anyway. So I am working two jobs, one full-time job one part-time job, doing the norm. One day, I am driving home, I am probably about twenty-one, twenty-two years old, and it just kind of smacks me in the face. I am like driving home thinking and like, “Man, this life kind of sucks. I do not want to work two minimum wage jobs for the rest of my life. This is not working out for me. It is not going to be the life that I want.”
So then, I was like, “Okay, let us focus. What is it that I am good at? What do I want to do? What do I want to be?” So I decided on graphic design. So I got back, enrolled in college, I made a commitment to myself this time, “Hey, I am going to do my best. I am going to make honors, I am going to get straight A’s. I made this commitment that I was in it this time. Now, I have this end goal. So I was able to reach it. I made honored every quarter, I did my best because I had that end goal in mind that I did not have the first time.
Janine: So I am just going to cut in here and say congratulations, by the way, as a person who was a C student, because I was working three jobs and trying to put myself through school. Anybody who says, “Oh, yes, and I made it to honors.” I am like, “Bravo.” Yes, that had to be said. Okay, keep going. What else?
Rachel: Thank you. So then I kept going with the norm. So after you graduate from college, you have your degree, what do you do? You get a job and you start your career, you start working up the corporate ladder, as the norm. So that is what I did, I got an internship doing design work. I was in Chicago at this time, decided to make a move to Las Vegas, started applying for jobs, was getting all of these interviews, everybody seemed to like me, they liked my resume. Then I always got that same answer from everyone. “Oh, well, we really liked you, and we are going to go with someone who has more experience than you.
I am like eight months out of college, just have this internship, and I am thinking, “How can I get this experience you are looking for if nobody is willing to give me a shot?” I was really frustrated at this time, I was working at a coffee shop, and I met a girl there. She was working there, and she was also a graphic designer. She jokingly said, “One day, hey, we should start our own graphic design business.” I was like, “Yes, we should.” So I took her seriously. So we formed a graphic design agency. At that point, I was so frustrated, like, nobody else is going to hire me, I will jump into entrepreneurship, I will start my own business, I will hire my own staff, and I will figure it out along the way. That is exactly what I did.
So I was doing all the things, I was learning as a brand new business owner. I was doing the networking and meeting people and having conversations and doing the social media and all the things that you do as a business owner. Four years into it, I realized it is not going how I want it to go. For some reason, I have this grand vision of what I want it to be, and it is not getting there. Why is it not getting there? I am doing the stuff. Then I stumbled into NLP. My business partner said, “Hey, there is this boot camp in town, you got to go check it out, see what it is, and so that is what I did. She was my business partner, I trusted her, I had no idea what it was, I went.
From that moment, it seriously changed my life. I discovered the brief six-hour boot camp of what it was. I was like, “Yes, I want this. Whatever this is, I want it.” So I started studying it for the design business. I want to learn all the different ways that people communicate so that I can craft their marketing message to reach more people by speaking into their language.
I started my NLP journey and personal development and discover that I no longer wanted to have the agency. Part of that was I had been sabotaging it that whole time. That for years, I thought it was my life. I thought that is what I was going to do. I was going to grow it and then become successful in that business. Like, I said, I was doing all the things and for some reason, it just was not taking off how I wanted it to. I discovered I had that “Aha,” that I had been sabotaging. It really was not what I wanted to be doing. It really was not the path I was supposed to be on. It was for the moment. To lead me to NLP, to lead me to my next chapter in life, I will say.
So it was really easy to transition after learning the tools and modalities to becoming a personal growth coach and releasing the design agency. When you have that “Aha” lightbulb moment that you are sabotaging it because it really is not aligned with you, it was something you were just going through the motions and doing because that is what my program was, that is what you do in life. You go to high school, you graduate, you start your career, and you climb the corporate ladder, or started your entrepreneurial journey. That is what I was doing and it was not aligned.
Janine: It is fascinating to me how many entrepreneurs and solopreneurs I get to talk to, and as much as the circumstances of why they got into business or the circumstances that got them to where they are today, are very diverse. They come from different walks of life, very diverse people. At the same time, the journey, though, is the same. It is almost like Joseph Campbell’s journey of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, it is just there is this pattern that you see over and over. It is like, “Why am I working my butt off to try to fit into that square hole when I am a round peg? I know, I am not going to be happy with it. But I am going after it because it is the safe thing, iI is the sure thing.”
Then we are seen as rebels or we are seen as incredibly courageous because we are going out and doing this stuff on our own, taking a lot of risks. We do not know if it is going to work out. But yet at the same time, it is like, “Is life not kind of like that anyway?” So what are some, if you do not mind, let us talk to the younger solopreneurs that listen to this podcast, we have people that have contacted me that are sixteen, through ages twenty-four that listen, what are some lessons that you have learned along the way that you are like, “Oh, my gosh, if I had known this earlier, I would have made different choices.” So do you care to share some of that for us?
Rachel: Yes. So some things I have learned along the way. So kind of, I have mentioned that a little bit is the number one person we lie to the most is ourselves. So really become aware of the story that you are telling yourself and the thoughts that you are having. That is so important to your journey and the outcome of your journey. If you have that negative voice constantly in your head telling you, you are not worthy, these are the things that I would have been telling myself back then. I do not matter who wants to hear from me, why do I matter? There are people doing it so much longer than I have been, who is going to listen to me?
Something that I always say, because it really resonated with me, an expert is someone who is one step ahead of the people they are teaching or working with. That is so powerful. Because we live in a society where we are always comparing ourselves to other people. If you can remember that, you are an expert as you are right now, even though you are on your journey, and you are growing and evolving over time. Right now, you are still an expert, you still know more than the people who you want to work with. So that was huge for me.
Janine: Oh, okay. Forgive me, I am going to jump in just real fast because you are doing something. That is I used to read a lot of science fiction in the 1970s, 1980s. Frank Herbert had a line in one of his books and it said, “A great teacher only needs to be a chapter ahead of his students.” So I do not care where that comes from, I do not argue those sorts of things. But I love it when I see patterns of those thoughts going on, which is true, you are an expert because you are further ahead than the people you are going to serve. Moving on, next step, so please take it away, Rachel.
Rachel: Yes. So then another really big eye-opening thing that I have learned is, and this may not be a business statement, it is more a personal statement, is that people do the best they can with the tools they have. When I learned that statement, again, it was just eye-opening. It allowed me to accept people for where they are at. It gave me a better understanding for every person I come in contact with. No matter what they say or what they think or where they are at in life, they are doing the best they can. So to me, that is helpful from a client standpoint, in understanding the people who come to you to work with you, meet them where they are at. They are doing the best they can with what they know, right now. That was huge for me.
Janine: That is a big element of compassion. It is not being sympathetic, where it is almost superficial, you say a lot of platitudes or something. Yet, it is not empathetic, where your empathy can actually get you in trouble as a coach, where you are actually resonating at the same emotional state as the people you are serving, and that is not really good either. But compassion rises above both of those things, and it allows you to stay in a very high frequency of your knowledge base, while at the same time communicating care and concern for the people who you are serving. So compassion is huge and it is not just for the spiritual, as I like to tell people. It is very important for a coach such as yourself to have compassion for your fellow humans. Okay, what is the third one? You are walking us through this beautiful path here?
Rachel: Okay. The third one, let us see. I know what it is, I am just drawing a blank.
Janine: Just take a minute because Bryan will edit this out. So just take your time.
Rachel: Okay. Focus on what it is that you want as opposed to what it is that you do not want. So many people go through life, saying all the things that they do not want. What do you want in life? Focus on that. It is like the law of attraction or every negative has to have a positive. So most people, when you ask them what they want, they will tell you what they do not want. “I do not want to have a failed business. I do not want this. I do not want that.” Okay, well, if you do not want all of those things, what do you want? We forget to focus on what we do want.
So that is another thing that was huge for me in realizing and understanding is that I was focusing on that. I was that person that always said, “I do not know. I do not know what I want.” Or “I know I do not want that. What do you want for dinner? I do not want this. I do not want that.” The simple question, you say all the things that you do not want, but you never say what you do want. So that is a huge thing to know, as a young entrepreneur, is to take the time to focus on the things that you want.
Janine: That is brilliant. Because I have a vision board workshop that I do once a year. Then throughout the rest of the year, I talk to people about “Okay, so how are you doing? We are four months into the year, what is happening, how are you doing?” I have a lot of people that resist me, “I do not need a vision board. I have it all in my head.” To which I start laughing going, “You need something in three-dimensional space-time to help remind you that is your desire or your dream because you can get so wrapped up in the day-to-day life that you forget. Then you start seeing all the things you do not want like you were saying, and you forget to focus on what you do want. So for me, a vision board is very helpful.
Do you have little gimmicks or tricks, gimmicks are sometimes seen as a negative word, not for me, but do you have tools that you use to keep you in that remembrance? Because as a solopreneur, we have fifty different things hitting us at any one time with our business. So how do you stay in your harmonic resonance?
Rachel: So right behind my computer desk where I work, I have a bulletin board. On the bulletin board, I have a big sign it says “Refrain.” So every day, I see that sign that says “Refrain.” So that is my reminder to focus on what it is that I want. When I am starting to think negative things. When I am starting to think about the things that I do not want, I see that sign, “Refrain” that, what do I want? What is the positive to what I just thought about? So that is huge. Some people use Post-it, like, write it somewhere where you see it all the time. This is my big gigantic Post-it. Put it on right behind my desk, I see it every day. I am in my office every day and it is this giant sign that says “Refrain” and it is my reminder to focus on what it is that I want
Janine: It is brilliant. Thank you very much for that. So, Rachel, you help people all the time. So tell us about what you do for people to help them over their things? What are the things you enjoy most about what you do now since that whole graphic design thing is not what you wanted to be?
Rachel: Yes. So I focus on mindset mental health, and I specialize in addiction. So I help people discover the root cause as to what is holding you back and preventing you from moving forward in those areas that you are struggling with. Whether that is through an addiction or through depression, anxiety, stress, that is really big right now in these times. That negative self-talk, that self-sabotaging, I am helping you discover the root. Where does it stem from? What are you avoiding or suppressing, ignoring, putting a bandaid on top of, and not dealing with? So I help you work through the emotions and heal internally and discover the root. So that you can move forward and no longer have that thing holding you back
Janine: So would it be correct to say that the type of person that you are looking for is somebody who feels overwhelmed like there is too much on their plate and not enough time? Somebody that is doing emotional eating like they are so frustrated by everything that is going on, they just eat. Then you also have domestic violence that you are an advocate. So if you do not mind kind of chatting about those three areas of how you can serve communities?
Rachel: Yes. So yes, I help people who are struggling in specific areas, who are feeling overwhelmed, addiction could be turning to food. My belief is whatever your choice of outlet is, whether that is alcohol or food or gambling or shopping, being a workaholic, all of those things are the outlet. The problem is the root.
So using the timeline to dig through those files, those brain memories, and discovering where it is coming from? Where was the belief created? Where was the decision made that is keeping you stuck? Was it your parents or teachers or people from the church that told you something and you believe them as an authoritative figure that you still have a belief of, as an adult, that you have forgotten about that is holding you back? That could be in relation to money, “Money does not grow on trees,” your parents say. Or “Oh, you can not have that, it is too expensive.”
So now, as an adult, “Oh, my money does not grow on trees. We do not have enough money. I can not have expensive things I can not afford that.” So things that your parents say innocently stick with you. So that can be a sabotaging strategy. You hear stories of people in successful businesses or winning the lottery and then at the end of the day, there is no money. Why is that? They are sabotaging the money. They are getting rid of it as quickly as they can because they have that belief that it is bad, that they do not deserve it. Or they can not have expensive things or money causes arguing and fighting, that was in my family. So that was my belief that I carried with me that was also a sabotaging strategy of not making money and not feeling worthy enough.
So what is that root? Working to overcome that domestic violence because I am working with people in the addiction realm. I work with family members of addicts, I help them to understand addiction, understand the addict, work through all of their internal emotions they have going on from fear to guilt, anger, and frustration. Then working with the recovered addict, somebody who has admitted they have a problem, they are seeking out that help, and they want more, instead of going back to that same environment, the same friends, the same family, the same behaviors, how can we work to change your environment so that you do not relapse into your outsource? That is not the word.
Janine: That is okay. We understand where you are going with this. So say somebody wants to get a hold of you? What is an easy way to get a hold of you to enlist your help?
Rachel: The best way would be to visit my website, it is empoweringgrowthcoach.com. There, you can find my contact information to reach out to me. You can also find all my social media links to connect with me there as well.
Janine: Wonderful. Well, thank you so much for your time today, Rachel, you have been delightful and educational. We appreciate all your assistance you give so many of us.
Rachel: Thank you.
Janine: This is Janine Bolon with The Thriving Solopreneur. Keep your feet firmly on the ground while you keep reaching for those stars. If you find that you are having difficulty reaching for those stars, do not hesitate to contact Rachel West.