Erica Castner joins Tonya Dawn Recla to talk about being a super powered entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship can be challenging even on the best of days. Those who experience success learn how to balance personal growth with business growth in a combination that works for them. In this interview, Erica shares information about how to be a super powered entrepreneur in a complex world.

Show Notes

Hello everyone this is Tonya Dawn Recla your Super Power Expert and I am excited today to have with me Erica Castner who is master certified business and break through coach. Also, near and dear to our heart she has a podcast show called Power Factor Biz Chat. She has this amazing mix of the energy of the journey, which is a big part of what we all talk about here, entwined into that entrepreneurial space.  So, I am excited to move into dialog with her.

Erica, welcome to the show!

Thanks, Tonya for having me I really appreciate it.

Oh absolutely. The first question we ask all of our guest is what are your super powers?

Oh let’s see if I could only pick one. I would have to say my super power is connecting the dots for people. So, being able to ask enough of the right questions to then learn about people pretty quickly to understand what resources or people they need to be able to help them on their journey especially on their entrepreneurial journey.

Oh, I like that. That is very powerful in that process especially as you move into some more of those synchronistic vibrational spaces connecting those dots is huge. I always look at as a puzzle all the little pieces start to come together I see systems and cogs as part of my visions. So, when people come into play I see what happens, so connecting the dots is powerful both in the personal journey as well as the entrepreneurial journey.

Yes, definitely and a lot of has to do with communication too and I am sure as we connect today and talk we are going to discover some of those communication tactics. I think that really helps people understand where you are connecting, why are you connecting with those resources and why is that important to you and how does it really complete your journey as an entrepreneurial or even as a person.

I really like that. So, most people that I talk to start on one of two trajectories, either they were really hyper focus on the personal journey and switched over to the entrepreneurial realm or vise versa. Where did you start? Did you start one and then bleed over or how did that work?

That’s a great question. My twenty years of career experience started in the corporate retail space. So, I was teaching, coaching, training, obviously I started out in the trenches on the sales floor and then as I developed I started the training other sales associates, branding and how to do things at the corporate level.

Then when I moved into the Southwest Florida market in 2005 I actually made a huge shift, I got out of retail all together and started working for actually a title insurance company of all things because at the time real estate was booming and of course there were a lot of different business in the area related to that. That job actually landed me the opportunity to work for the Chamber of Commerce space. So I really was connecting the dots, I found myself getting out of the corporate space and now working in the nonprofit community based space and helping entrepreneurs’ sales professionals connect the dots. So I really grew into that and I had no idea at the time that I would ever leave what I was doing for the chamber and work for my own company. Then twelve years later here I am working for my own company and I am helping people do this on a deeper level connect the dots not just professionally but personally and intuitively to make them feel more, well rounded,  and more whole and complete.

I really like that. So what did it take for you to make that leap? You know from the security of a job, you know a lot of people view it as a “security”. Going from having that job and moving into that entrepreneurial space.

Well it started with my own exploration of my own personal growth. About four years ago I found myself at a life pivot. I had got married to my current husband today and he came to the marriage with two teenage daughters. I had never had the joy of being a mom before so now all of a sudden I found myself in this really weird place where I had given all of my energy over to the career. I did have a relationship before I was married before but we didn’t have kids that lived at home in that relationship. So, it was quite the shift for me to go from being able to work all these crazy hours and now all of sudden I have to be home for dinner. At that time it was every other week because we had a joint custody situation, and I wanted to be a very intricate part of their world. It was confusing for me going through that transition.  

So, six months into our marriage I was like I need to get someone outside of my own head space to really help me understand where I am professionally, where I am personally, how do I fit in, how do I connect. All of a sudden, I found myself “the connector” that is what I was known for but I was in this space where I didn’t feel connected to anything. So, going through my own personal journey, getting a coach myself discovering that there were things keeping me limited in my own transition and in my own growth. As I started going into that process myself, about seven or eight months into my personal growth journey started connecting the dots. I thought you know if I am a professional leader in the community; and I have some of these anchors and limiting belief systems holding me back; I bet there are others professionals out there struggling too. So, I began to ask myself how do I help those people. That is when I really started taking ownership of that and saying you know this is beyond the chamber. It is me starting my own thing and what does that look like and then doing some exploration around that.

I really like that. That is such a powerful place to be in when your able to observe your own growth and then apply that to other people. We have a lot of folks we work with that are sort of dipping their toe in that entrepreneurial journey. When you stepped into that space, what got you through that? You mentioned a coach, was that kind of the high light of that process for you?

That is an excellent question. A coach started the process. I give so much credit to my husband. He is such a rock star when it comes to being patient. My beautiful gift daughters they’re now nineteen and sixteen. It was one of those things were I had to be very open about the process. I didn’t know what it was going to look like. I had made the decision that I was going to leave the nonprofit chamber space at the time and do something entirely different. I had never even thought about running a business. So, it was not only coach helping me work through some confident issues I had at the time. Then also having the confidence and the communication skill set to get everyone on board with that or at least paint the picture for them so they could know how to support me.

So, I imagine some of your listeners out there can feel a little isolated because they don’t know what to do next. Instead of feeling stupid and asking for help they just retreat and say “You know I got it I’m good.” And they suffer by themselves. I think ones of the things I did was role my sleeves up and said you know what I have this tremendous network, my family’s on board, I’ve got a coach that is really patting me on the back and giving me the confidence to get out there and do it. I was empowering myself too, but I just tapped into the people who already knew, like, and trusted me and said okay how do we do this together; how do we figure this out? It’s going to be a process but I am willing to learn and I need support.

I love that. So often we forget to ask for that. I like what you said about you needed to guide them on how best to support you. I think it’s easy to get into what I call my “wa wa “moments to stomp my foot and say well this persons not doing this or I’m not feeling this. But then to take a step back and say where am I not providing guidance in that way, where am I not clear that’s what I need or how to even communicate that.  I love that you talked about the communication piece. A lot of times the communication piece is within ourselves. So, when you can master that and you have amazing people like your husband or your coach to play that off of. That’s huge. Sometimes it’s easier to master that with other people and then really master your own self speakSo, I love all of those pieces that your saying in there.

At what point in your journey or was there a point in your journey where you looked up and said this is bigger than me. I heard you mention that realization piece when you were still at the bureau. As you ventured out into it, did the idea of you impacting the world in a bigger way drive you? Or was just kind of always a given that you were going to do this?

That’s a great question. I think in a lot of ways intuitively I felt my purpose was bigger than just my back yard. Call it the first-born syndrome if you will, I am the oldest of seven. I think in a lot of ways I was always like you know driven on some level to always stand up and stand out. There are obviously variables in our world, you know I’m the oldest of seven and we just had a very challenging upbringing. It wasn’t like things were just handed to me. I feel like I had to work a hundred times harder then my peers. So, I think that fight and really being tapped into my voice. I think for a lot of us we don’t feel like we have earned that right.

In some respects, I didn’t think I earned that right until I became a gift mom. I felt like when I was passed that torch it gave me an opportunity to connect with people in that space. I don’t know if it’s the entrepreneurial space or if it’s moms in general or gift moms, or step moms, I like to call them gift moms. The more birthdays I have the more I discover the more I realize it’s not just what I’m doing for my family or my network; it’s what can we do together as a team to really go out there and show people in huge way how to show up. How to show up for their industry and how to show up for themselves.

I was actually in a very similar situation. When my husband and I met, he has two kids and I call them my pre-fab kids. So gift kids is probably more gentle and compassionate. I like the pre-fab idea because I realized it was a unique situation and then with the birth of our daughter it changed even more. I do re-call, and this is after I had written my book about being raped and the cognitive aspects of power. I remember when they came into my existence asking myself who do I want to be for them. It does change things when you know people are watching, especially young minds who are trying to figure out how the world works.

So, my husband and I found that we had a unique opportunity to present his children with the idea of something different. So as they quickly became my children as well, the modeling was huge and then like I mentioned with the birth of Neva. She was always very clear from the beginning that she was going to shake some things up and so allowing her to have the impact on us that she did, as well as stepping into that space.

So, I commend you on hearing the call but then also doing the work. It’s easy to step back and say now I have to be a mother to these children and how do you do that versus really owning it. I think that can also happen in the entrepreneurial journey as well.

Well, yes absolutely that evolution happens and eluding back to what I said before, the more birthdays we have the more wise we become, right.

Sometimes! I have my moments where I think that last birthday might have actually set me back a few. 

Haha! You stole the words right out of my mouth! Sometimes is right. A lot of times I am like “ Huh, that was really interesting that I made that decision.”  You can look at that and say this is my opportunity to show up. Sometimes it doesn’t even have to be in this loud boisterous way. Sometimes it can just be subtle, there’s a book that really changed life is The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. Just being impeccable with your word. I know there was a point in my life where I just didn’t respect that. I mean I half-heartedly respected it, I said it on the service but deep down inside I didn’t respect and honor that. When you have kids now in the mix, and even with being a community leader one wrong word and it diminishes your integrity. People do forget they get busy with the world. If you can live in integrity, really stand, and honor your words that you’re saying that is powerful stuff. When kids are looking up at you they might not act like they care but they show up in mysterious ways. With my girls, I am like I didn’t realize you were paying such close attention to what I was doing. But they get it at some level.

Yes! At Super Power Experts we work with a ton of people that are helping to guide others through this journey. I always remind them that people are always watching wanting to know if its safe. I take that into the space that energetically we know where people are sitting, we may not acknowledge it, we may not be consciously aware of it but energetically we get where people are. We feel them. So, if you come into contact with and they are vibrating at a higher frequency than you are and they are down playing or are playing in a small way, or playing in out of integrity. If they are playing in way that compromises all of us, we will get that in congruity. That automatically sends the message that it’s not safe to be who you truly are.

For me personally I take that responsibility very seriously. If that is truth and people know energetically when I step into a room the work that I have done and were I’m sitting and what I am accessing. If I am down playing that for whatever fears I have coming up for me, then fooey one me. Then I am talking out of both side of my mouth on one hand saying “Ya you can be everything you want to be” but then on the other hand saying “but I am afraid to do that or I don’t believe that for myself.”

That does send the message that it is not safe and we have way too many stories in our collective consciousness that it’s not safe. For my tribe and me we constantly perpetuate this idea that No it is safe, and more and more people are doing it.

For those of you who weren’t gifted with amazing children in any capacity never forget that as you are walking on this pat, there is always somebody right behind you looking at you wanting to know, is it safe? I feel like we owe it to them. Somebody did it for us. Always somebody emulates something that we want. Whether it is somebody who is incarnated or somebody who’s not incarnated. I am getting myself in the weeds a bit with that one. You know what I mean!

You brought up a point that made me think of something that I struggled with, I had found myself changing my message. I would see other coaches, because there are so many coaches and experts in this space. I would find myself seeing what other coaches were doing and feeling like maybe I should switch my messaging to cater to whoever was in front of me. What I learned was if you’re just intuitively taking ownership of what you do. Understanding that what you do and what you give and what you represent is unique and special to you that’s going to show. People will pick up what you’re putting down. If they don’t then that’s okay too. Just show up and be you. The right people who show up for you and who you’re going to serve and who you’re going to support are going to show specific for you. So, act on that, and don’t waiver from that, and be present with that. That was huge lesson I learned on my entrepreneurial journey.

Absolutely. It can be hard I get it, it is hard to be patient, it’s hard to know. I think that is where it is so crucial to have an ally, mentor, or coach. Otherwise, we get in our own heads about things. So, you can think okay I am in a solid space of knowingness and I will attract to me those individuals. Then, other times we need that affirmation from other people to say “ Yes, absolutely the trajectory I feel you’re on is in congruence with what your saying” being able to affirm for people where their knowingness is coming from versus some of the little stories in the mind.

So, I get it folks it’s hard sometimes to just be confident in that space. But what Erica is talking about is so amazingly crucial. When you have done the work at some point, you have to recognize that you have done the work. Yes, there is always more work to be done but there is that pivotal moment where you become both student and teacher simultaneously. That’s when you get to really do amazing things in the world. Also, attracting amazing individuals that you can really contribute to. It takes jumping of that hamster wheel of having to constantly fix yourself. People really transition when they just allow that healing process to go on auto pilot. Of course you have certain areas to attend to and develop new processes. We all have really important stuff to do here and if you don’t transition into doing your work and I mean your work in the world, you just stay on that hamster wheel.

Yes, and people they feel that. Especially, if you halfhearted kind of doing the work or saying you’re doing the work but you’re not. If you haven’t allowed yourself to fall flat on your face, I meant I have done that a number of times and then I step back and say okay what did I learn from that process and how is this going to affect me moving forward. You don’t say I failed I am a loser. No, you say okay I failed, so now what? Through that process you come into your own and then you can stand up and be more confident. Then saying “ Okay, I think I am going to do this now.” Or “ This is really calling to me now” and people are now showing up because you do that. I think it really that trial and error process and really connecting with you voice in that regard. 

I love it. I want to move into the next questions about living in your power. Can you give us an example of a live in your power story and when you got an intuitive hit and you took action on it and what transpired from it?

I have like twenty trillion. Haha!  

Yes, so I’ll go back to my kids. Ed and I had been friends for about five years before we started dating. So, it made things a little more simplified to bring me into the mix. So, we get married and everything is rock in and rollin. At the time we were doing an every other week custody schedule and the girls came to us and said we want to live with our mom full time. And their mom is great person but it was a big blow to the gut for me. It was really one of those moments where I was like okay how did I jack this up? 

I really had to slow down and say okay that’s the service talking. What is the real deal? So, it was a lot of internal work that we had to do as a family to open up and have that communication. We were on this auto pilot thing for a while where their dad and I were on this personal growth track. We had hired a coach and brought that into our world. We were making all of these changes and we were like okay let’s do this. For the girls they would see those changes for a week and then they would leave for a week and everything had changed again. Because we were just moving so fast. 

I really had to take a step back and say okay how can I advance, how can I keep going. Then how can I also connect with my kids so that they get it. It was a really interesting time in my life because again I was pretty new to the whole gift mom thing it had only been a year. So, it was a constant going back and opening up the dialog with them. Then just stepping into that, and being present for them, and meeting them at their level.  Not forcing it and just engaging. Also, understanding that teenagers are kind of an interesting critter to begin with. They are trying to understand themselves and they have their own stuff. Knowing that this is a process and that I could just be and I didn’t have to have it perfect. 

Well, and I love that story. Sometimes we forget, we forget that there are other things at play. There are agreements and other things at play. When you start operating in these higher echelons, you can see all of those agreements and what they served for everyone. I think we like to look at children as not knowing their own agreement but they come here as whole entities. It’s a powerful reminder that things are not always what we think they are. Kuddos to you for creating that space to allow things to unfold.

Thank you. It’s a process, my oldest daughter went of the college and my youngest is having a great time in high school. Very popular girl, and it’s all these things. What I learned is that I can’t own the entire relationship. I putting so much pressure on myself like what was I doing that they wanted to spend time somewhere else. I mean it was part of me but it had really more to do with them. The way they were processing the separation but I was owning that all by myself.

So, again just asking them how can I show up and how can we get on the same page so that we can all feel connected to each other and the journey that we are on. 

Well, very cool. I know our listeners are going to want to know more about you, where can we sent them for that?

Thank you for that. The easiest place you can find me is also, on Facebook The Power Moms and Business Group, it’s a super fun place for professional women who want to connect with other moms that are going through some of the daily joys of being a mom and running a business.

Very cool I love that! Thank you for being on the show I really appreciate knowing that you are out there doing cool things in the world. 

Thank you, Tonya, I really appreciate being on the show today, you rock my friend!

Thank you! To all of you out there as always thank you for your loyalty and until next go out uncover your super powers and change the world.