The Power of Being Vulnerable with Your Personal Story with Cyndi Shifrel: Podcast Ep. 237

The Power of Being Vulnerable with Your Personal Story with Cyndi Shifrel: Podcast Ep. 237 | Speaking Your Brand

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I know from first-hand experience how hard and scary it can be to be vulnerable sharing a deeply personal story that reveals something that shows you’re not perfect.

And I also know how incredibly powerful doing so can be. Not only for those who hear it, but for yourself.

This is the journey that our guest Cyndi Shifrel has gone through during the past year, as COVID dramatically impacted her events businesses.

As the CEO of two businesses (with nearly 40 employees) and a leader in her community, it wasn’t easy for Cyndi to decide to share what she went through, both from a business perspective and also her own personal struggles.

And yet doing so has helped others and has shaped her thought leadership message.

Cyndi is currently in our Thought Leader Academy and has been working one-on-one with our lead speaking coach Diane Diaz, so I asked Diane to interview Cyndi about her journey.

Diane and Cyndi talk about:

  • How Cyndi’s thought leadership message emerged from the dramatic impact COVID had on her events businesses
  • The fears of being vulnerable and sharing your personal story when you’re a CEO and leader in your community
  • On the flip side, the benefits of being vulnerable and sharing your personal story
  • The work Diane and Cyndi are doing on her keynote signature talk
  • What Cyndi has most appreciated about being in our Thought Leader Academy

Enrollment for our Thought Leader Academy is opening again in September! Get the details and join our interest list at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/academy/.

 

About Our Guest: With over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience, Cyndi Shifrel is the President and CEO of Orlando Wedding & Party Rentals, a full service luxury event and party rental company that specializes in upscale, tailored event rentals. She is also the President and CEO of Central Florida Luxury Restroom Trailers, a company that provides luxury restroom trailers for events. Cyndi has helped to grow her award winning company to a staff of more than 40 employees and is considered to be a leader in the event rental industry. Her company was fortunate to make it on Orlando Business Journal’s Fastest 50 growing companies in Central Florida for the past several years. Most recently she started her own brand, The Gingerpreneur, a podcast that provides insight, tactics and advice on the daily challenges and success stories from women making a difference in the hospitality industry.

About Us: The Speaking Your Brand podcast is hosted by Carol Cox. This episode is hosted by our lead speaking coach, Diane Diaz. At Speaking Your Brand, we help women entrepreneurs and professionals clarify their brand message and story, create their signature talks, and develop their thought leadership platforms. Our mission is to get more women in positions of influence and power because it’s through women’s stories and visibility that we challenge the status quo and change existing systems. Check out our coaching programs at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com

 

Links:

Show notes at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/237 

Cyndi’s websites: https://thegingerpreneur.com/ and https://orlandoweddingandpartyrentals.com/

Download our FREE workbook on how to position yourself as a thought leader: https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/guide/

Get on the interest list for our Thought Leader Academy: https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/academy/

Schedule a consult call with us to talk about creating your signature talk and thought leadership platform: https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/contact

Connect on social:

 

Related Podcast Episodes:

237-SYB-Cindy-Shifrel.mp3: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

237-SYB-Cindy-Shifrel.mp3: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Carol Cox:
Being vulnerable with your personal story can be scary and it can be incredibly powerful for you and your audience, as Diane Diaz and Cyndi Shifrel will talk about in this episode of the Speaking Your Brand podcast.

Carol Cox:
More and more women are making an impact by starting businesses, running for office and speaking up for what matters. With my background as a political analyst, entrepreneur and speaker, I interview and coach purpose driven women to shape their brands, grow their companies and become recognized as influencers in their field. This is speaking your brand, your place to learn how to persuasively communicate your message to your audience. Hi and welcome to the Speaking Your Brand podcast. This is your host, Carol Cox. I know from firsthand experience how hard and scary it can be to be vulnerable, sharing a deeply personal story that reveals something that shows you're not perfect. And I also know how incredibly powerful doing so can be not only for those who hear it, but for ourselves and the courage that it takes to do so. I remember the episode that I did a year ago in August of 2020 about my dad, and that one was a very deeply personal story that I shared, definitely showing that I'm not perfect and my background is not perfect, but I am so glad that I did that episode. If you like to listen to it, it's episode 185. I'll include a link here in the show notes, so you can also just look back in your podcast app or just go to speaking your brand.com/185.

Carol Cox:
In this journey of being willing to share our personal stories and being vulnerable is the journey that today's guests, Cyndi Shifrel, has gone through during the past year as Covid dramatically impacted her two businesses, which are both in the events industry. And you can imagine what a dramatic impact Covid and the lockdowns had on her and her businesses. She is the CEO of those two businesses with nearly 40 employees, and she's a leader in her community in the Orlando area. So it wasn't easy for Cindy to decide to share what she went through, both from a business perspective and also her own personal struggles. And yet doing so has helped others and has shaped her thought leadership message. Cyndi is currently in our Thought Leader Academy and has been working one on one with our lead speaking coach, Diane Diaz. So I asked Diane to interview Cyndi in this episode to talk about her journey. Diane and Cindy talk about how Cyndi's thought leadership message emerged from the dramatic impact Covid had on her events, businesses, the fears of being vulnerable and sharing your personal story, especially when you're a CEO and a leader in your community. And on the flip side, the benefits of being vulnerable and sharing your personal story.

Carol Cox:
Diane and Cyndi also talk about the work that they're doing on Cindy's keynote signature talk, and Cyndi shares what she has most appreciated about being in our Thought Leader Academy. Enrollment for our Thought Leader Academy is opening again in September. You can get the details and join our interest list by going to speaking your brand.com/academy. It truly is a transformative experience for the women who go through the academy. You get both one on one coaching and the weekly group Zoom calls so that you can work on your thought leadership message and project and create your signature talks. Our goal is to help you identify your thought leadership message and to position yourself as a thought leader so that you can uplevel your business and your visibility efforts. We keep the groups small about 12 women, so if this is something that's of interest to you, I definitely recommend that you join our interest list as speaking your brand.com/academy. You're also welcome to schedule a consultation call with us at any time. We're happy to talk with you about your goals and to see if the thought Leader Academy is a great fit for you. You can find the button on the academy page to contact us, or you can go to the contact page on our website. So that's again, speaking your brand.com/academy. It has been a pleasure to see Cindy's evolution with her thought leadership message in our Thought Leader Academy. So I'm excited for you to listen to the conversation between Diane and Cindy. Now let's get on with the show.

Diane Diaz:
Welcome to the Speaking of Brand podcast, Cyndi.

Cyndi Shifrel:
Thank you. Thank you so much for inviting me to come on today, Diane.

Diane Diaz:
Oh, I'm so excited to talk to you and I'm excited for our listeners to hear from you. Now I'll let you take a few minutes to tell everybody about who you are and what you do in your business, and then I'll give a little insight into how we ended up knowing each other. Okay, Sounds great. So my name is Cyndi Shifrel. I am the CEO of Orlando Wedding and Party Rentals, and I've had that business for 13 years now. And I also am the owner of Central Florida luxury restroom trailers. And most recently, I started my own personal brand back in 2020, known as the Entrepreneur. Ah, that's so yes. And that's that's a fun sort of shift and we're going to get into that a little bit. But I just want to give everybody an idea of how you and I know started knowing each other. And I was trying to think earlier today when I was going through my notes here, I can't even remember exactly how we met. But. I know we we met or someone referred you to me, and then we ended up working together when I had my business because I worked with you on your personal brand as it shows up on LinkedIn. So we worked on kind of your LinkedIn strategy and your your presence there.

Diane Diaz:
And I don't even remember exactly who referred you or how we exactly met, but that was a couple of years ago now at least, I think, right? Yeah. I think we're showing our age. And it's funny that you mentioned that, Diane, because I was thinking about that too. I'm like, How did I get to know Diane to reach out to her, to do my LinkedIn? I don't even know Diane But now it's driving me crazy. I'm have to go back and figure that out. Yes. No, I cannot recall. So but I know that when we worked together at that time, you know, you're you were working on kind of growing your business and you were super busy. And so for everybody who maybe isn't familiar, can you give a little idea of what you do in both of your businesses? Because it is really interesting. And and as background information for our listeners, we are both in the central Florida area, Cindy and I. And so this is a large event area. So just give everybody a little idea of exactly what your businesses do.

Cyndi Shifrel:
Yeah, we are a large event area. Orlando is the wedding capital of the world and it is getting busier even here. Now during the virus, the demand has been pent up and we are seeing it just unleash itself full force. We're going to have a very, very busy fall. So Orlando wedding and party, Reynolds, we are a full service luxury event rental company. So whatever type of event you're having, we don't just do weddings. We do corporate events. We do any type of event where you might be needing tables, chairs, tents, linens, flatware, glassware, pipe and drape backdrops. I mean, you name it, a DJ's photo booths, you name it, we have it. And we've been in business, like I said earlier, for 13 years now. Lucky number 13. And I think it was about 6 or 7 years ago that I had the idea that I wanted to start another company called Central Florida Luxury restroom trailers. I wanted it to be separate because I wanted a place where people could find the two businesses, could feed off of each other. So if you're looking for restrooms and I can ask that person, well, hey, do you need a tent and tables and chairs for your event, too? Well, we have a sister company who can help you out. So I felt like they would both be feeding each other business. And so we started that company and it has done pretty well over the years. We own two luxury restroom trailers, a two station luxury trailer and a four station trailer. And I'll be honest with you, Diane, I wish I owned a lot more of my potties because these potties are quite popular right now. So, you know, during Covid, a lot of people were having outdoor events instead of events inside ballrooms and stuff because they were closed down.

Cyndi Shifrel:
So everybody was calling us, well, we only have two of them. And so I wish that I owned like 20 of them. And the interesting thing is, and it makes sense, everybody was buying these trailers and getting them made for them. They're custom made. So when we reached out to them to possibly think about getting another trailer, they're so far behind on production and they have remained that way as well. So they have become very popular. So those are those two brands. That's what I do. And then in 2020, like I said, I had started the ginger preneur years ago. I bought the domain name, the Ginger Norcom, but I didn't do anything with it because I didn't have time. And then I finally lifted it up off of the ground in 2020 when I had a whole lot more time. And that's a whole nother story. Yes. And I remember you actually had attended a workshop that Carole and I had done, and I remember you talking at that time. This was in 2000, I want to say 19, maybe 17 or 18. Okay. Yes. And you had mentioned this idea for your podcast, the Ginger Preneur, and kind of talked a little bit about that. So so then let's touch on that a little bit, because I think that gets to this idea, you know, I want to talk a lot about thought leadership and you moving more into a thought leadership space.

Diane Diaz:
You know, you're running two very successful businesses that are super busy. And then you have this idea for the Ginger Preneur podcast, which I feel is the beginnings of this idea of thought leadership for you. But what what sort of was the impetus or what kind of transpired that brought you to this thinking of, you know, I want to maybe move more into building my brand, your own brand as a. Leader. And yes, you still have your businesses, but what made you kind of want to position yourself more as Cindy the Ginger preneur or Cindy the thought leader?

Cyndi Shifrel:
There's so many things, I think that go into how I came about with the idea of the ginger preneur. You know, if we want to go way back, I was a very shy child. I was made fun of for having red hair. I stood out. I was called freckle face, red headed woodpecker, and I became a very shy person. And so getting up in front of people and doing this kind of thing scared the bejesus out of me. It's not something that I was ever interested in. So I started going to comedy classes like through comedy Club. I joined Lake Mary Toastmasters and was just doing all that I could to become more comfortable speaking in front of people, because during this time, Diane, I was going to networking events and at these networking events, some of them I would go to, they would have you go around the room and say who you were and what company you were representing and what you did.

Cyndi Shifrel:
And I remember my heart just beating out of my chest and being so scared to say who I was and what I did. And when I was done, I don't even remember what I said. And I hated feeling that way. So I wanted to start changing that. And as I began to change that, I felt like I was becoming more confident with who I was as a business owner and just me and my own personal life. And I started to see that more people were coming to me with questions. And I don't know, I don't think it was anything related to what I was doing at the time, but I was posting that I was doing these things and maybe posting some videos of me doing some of the improv that I was doing or the excerpts of speeches that I would do at Lake Mary Toastmasters. But I found that more people were reaching out to me about different things on business. Like how how did you decide when it was time to make your first hire or what was it like, you know, having to fire the first person that you had to fire or, you know, hey, I'm wanting to do this business and go into business with my husband.

Diane Diaz:
And I know that you are partners with your husband and business. How does that work?

Cyndi Shifrel:
And so I felt more and more that people were coming to me with these questions. And I am the type of person, Diane, that loves to help and support other people. And so I loved it when they would ask me and I would take the time to do that. And then I just started thinking about, you know, Hey, why don't I start doing this and come up with my own brand where I can support women in the event and hospitality space and get their stories out there? Because I just want to support other women with where they're at because it's hard being a woman business owner. There's a lot of challenges that we face and it's in the hospitality space and a specifically in the rental industry. When Darren and I, my husband, Darren, when we first got started in this industry 13 years ago, it was very much a male dominated field. So you would go to these trade conferences and all you would see was men. And it's not that way anymore. I'm so happy to see a lot more women are in this industry. And so I really wanted to do what I could to help bring more attention to women and to support them and I guess become the thought leader. I never, ever in my life thought that I would be here in the place that I'm at right now.

Cyndi Shifrel:
And I think I have to, you know, give kudos to you, Diane, for you helping pull me out of my comfort zone. Because you every time that you guys were doing a workshop or you were doing your coaching, you reached out to me like, Hey, I think that you would be a good candidate to take part in this class and or this workshop, and it never was the right time for me until most recently, I think I reached out to maybe you reached out to me. I can't remember again, Diane. I can't remember all you and I can't remember anything but what just happened. It's hard to remember everything, but, well, in some things, maybe we don't want to remember. Exactly. I do have to pay some homage to you that I believe that you had a big part in me moving forward in this space. And even now I'm taking one of your workshops. You're coaching me right now and have really, really helped me so much in this space. So that's, I think, how I got from point A to point B, Thank you for sharing that. And also thank you for the compliment. I appreciate that. Since I've worked with you a while back, even in my own business before I worked for speaking your brand, I know that you have it in you to not only run successful businesses, but also be a thought leader, like you said, to show other women in the event industry. All that is possible for them and to take leadership roles and have, you know, more successful companies or have a bigger influence in their area.

Diane Diaz:
So speaking of the Thought Leader Academy, so for all of our listeners, Cindy is a member of our Thought Leader Academy and we're working together also doing one on one coaching in that and working on your keynote talk. And so can we talk a little bit about this thought leadership message and sort of you're starting to see I think you're starting to see yourself or at least, you know, you were when reached out to you and said, hey, I think this would be a good fit for you. And we chatted and you said, you know what, I think it is time to do this. So it wasn't the time until it was the time and then it was the right time for you to come into the Leader Academy. But you have this bigger idea for a thought leadership message. And so we started working together in coaching. And I know that you kind of want to draw on your experiences that you've been having and how women in business can kind of look at their lives and look at what they're doing to have more fitness in their in their businesses and as business women. So could you share a little bit about what prompted you to start thinking in that way, which again, is more of a thought leadership position versus running a business or just speaking? It is very much a thought leadership message.

Diane Diaz:
So tell tell our listeners a little bit about your thinking around that and what kind of brought those ideas to the forefront for you.

Cyndi Shifrel:
Well, first off, Diane, I have to say you, I believe, came to me. I it was like a month or two before Covid hit, before the shutdown. And you were telling me about the Academy and thought that I might be a good candidate. And I said, you know, I'm interested because I have an idea, but I don't think it's the right time right now. And several reasons I'm glad that I did not join then. I felt bad for telling you no. But I just knew in my heart that it wasn't the right time. So then Covid hit, and you have to imagine the event industry. We were one of the first industries that was impacted by what Covid did and continued to be impacted, you know, even to now, you know, it's it's affected our industry in a in a very bad way. But we are coming back. And if I hadn't waited to join the academy a little bit later on in Covid this year, I joined in 2021, then I wouldn't have had the experiences from Covid that I went through to bring about my message that I want to get across because it was the traumatic times that I went through, all of the trials that I was going through once Covid hit, that gave me the idea for what my platform, what my speech was going to be for when I do keynote presentation.

Cyndi Shifrel:
So everything worked out perfectly. So, you know, things were really, really bad during Covid and everything in our business came to a complete stop. And we were before we came to a complete stop, my business was like my husband, like like to describe our company as a train going down the tracks. And it can't stop. It's not stopping. It's just picking up speed and it's going faster and faster. I'm fortunate that my kids are grown now. They're in their mid 20s, so I was able to pour all of my self, all of my time into my business and that's what I did. I was a workaholic and just constantly working. No time for myself, no time to really reflect on things that was going on in my own life. And then Covid hit and it forced me to look at some things, whether I wanted to or not. I went into a deep depression. It was a very hard time for me because my whole life was built. This past 13 years was around my business and helping our clients and helping my 40 plus employees that I had on March 15th.

Cyndi Shifrel:
I had in 2020, 40 plus employees, March 16th, close to 40 of them. I had to let go. That was really, really hard. And my identity was all built into what my business was. So it showed me that I needed to slow down and I needed to look at some things in my life. And if the virus had not happened and shut down my business, I don't know where I would be this year or next year physically, you know, if I could have had a stroke or a heart attack, I could only keep going as hard as I was going for so long before something was going to happen. So it really forced me to take a hard look at everything in my life. So that's how the keynote presentation idea came about, that in order for. Were anybody in business, but specifically women, because that's what the Ginger preneur is all about, is helping women in business and lifting them up, supporting and encouraging them where they're at in their stories and what they've gone through, their triumphs and their victories and their trials. And if that hadn't happened, then I wouldn't have uncovered these areas that we need to get fit in in order to be a success. And that is how it all came about through the hard times that I went through. So I'm very, very thankful for it because it's what gave me the idea for my keynote presentation.

Diane Diaz:
Yeah, I love that. I mean, I don't love that you went through that, obviously, but I love that you're able to and you're a very positive person too. I mean, I know that about you, but you're you're able to kind of look back on the experience that you went through and see some lessons from it that, you know, other women could benefit from. And I think that is where thought leadership is so important, because you yes, you have these businesses, but now you're going to also then use the experience that you've gained from the trials and tribulations of that business and use it to become a thought leader in a space that helps other people in your industry, other women in your industry to learn from you. So you'll have a bigger message that you can share with them based on your experiences, which I think just goes to show you how important personal stories are to thought leadership and to our talks that we're working on, whether it be a keynote or a TEDx talk or, you know, even just lead generation talks, those personal stories are golden. And so it's been really fun working with you to pull out what what the story is in that talk as you work on your keynote.

Cyndi Shifrel:
I've enjoyed that. So I hope that you have too, because it's been really fun and interesting. I have too. And you know, talking about the personal stories, Diane, you know, I thought I would never share the Depression story and where I was at and where it brought me to.

Cyndi Shifrel:
It brought me to I've never been depressed in my life. I didn't know what it felt like. And it was awful. I had to go on medication. I'm not on it anymore. I was able to come off of it. I'm in a much, much better space. But there's so many people in business that are going through similar issues and not everybody feels like they can talk about it. And then if I'm able to help one person, I don't care if it's just one person, Diane, that I'm able to help through this with my story, that, you know what, this happened to me and this is what I did, and this is very real. And it's okay to go through this. And let me tell you how I got through this and and what can I do to help you then I feel like it is all worth it because that's what I want to do. I want to help other people through what I've been through. And so I never thought that I would be able to share that. And I was very scared the first time that I did that. And I hit send or you know, whatever on social media and just put it out there for the world. I'm like, What did I just do? But the private messages, the text messages, the emails and the people that were there to support me like, Oh my gosh, thank you so much.

Cyndi Shifrel:
I've been going through the same thing and you've really helped me by what you said. I really appreciate you sharing your story, and that just really solidified that I did the right thing by doing that, and it's helped me to move forward to share even more and be more vulnerable. Yes. Well, I'm glad you mentioned that, too. The fear of sharing your personal story. What so what were some of the fears surrounding, you know, because when we if we want to move into thought leadership, it requires kind of more of a personal connection and sharing personal stories. But what for you personally, what were some of the fears surrounding sharing that story or any of the stories that you'll share when you start to give your keynote talk and share this message? Well, you want to you know, on social media, we all, I think, like to portray the our best selves. We're never really going to put on there. I mean, some people do, you know, I had a crappy day or things aren't going so well. Please pray for me. But you know, as a business owner and I'm a, you know, a decent sized business, I'm up to probably close to 30 employees now. We're going to be probably back at 45 come fall because we have a lot on the books right now, which is great.

Cyndi Shifrel:
And I'm going to have to really hire a lot more people to get ready for that. But I think part of it for me was having like employees and fellow vendors that I work with see that Cindy isn't all perfect and that there's some areas of her life that she's struggling in. And and are they going to judge me on that and are they going to stop using me because I'm having problems with, you know, self esteem or with depression? And and I hit this really low point and I'm scared. I think that was part of it. And but I tell you, once you get that out there and you start seeing that positive feedback from your story, that gives you the motivation. You know what? I'm going to keep doing this. I'm going to keep sharing this. So I think it was more so in the business aspect of it that Cindy, the CEO of Orlando Wedding and Party Rentals, she has some weaknesses and it's hard to show that off to other people that you are weak in some areas. Yeah, vulnerability is scary, especially when we're in a position of leadership because we've all been taught leaders aren't supposed to be vulnerable. But we but we know deep down inside everybody's got vulnerabilities. So I think it makes your message much stronger, though. Like you said, you put the message out there and the positive feedback you get back and knowing that you did touch some people and probably really helped some people helps to solidify that.

Cyndi Shifrel:
Yes, I did. The right thing by sharing this, which then I think even further supports this. You know, the keynote talk that you're working on and giving that keynote talk, you know, it's going to resonate with some people because it does include personal stories that you already have. Confirmation will resonate with people. So. Exactly. Super proud of you for putting yourself out there because I know it is scary, especially when you're running a large business like yours that is well known by everybody. I know. It's super scary. Thank you. And you know, you have been I've never worked on a keynote speech before. I've done speeches in front of other groups and then, of course, in my Toastmasters group, but never have done anything on the keynote level. And there's a lot more that goes into it than what I would have thought. But the framework that you and Carol provide for us to do in the Thought Leadership Academy has been super helpful, and I never thought that I would be able to craft such an awesome keynote presentation. And I don't have anything lined up for my very first speech yet, but I cannot wait to get the first one under my belt so I can improve upon it and do even more.

Diane Diaz:
Yes, I'm excited for it too. And so tell us a little bit then, Cindy, who's the audience that you most want to reach with that message that you're that you're going to share? You know, it's an interesting question because I don't think that there is a specific audience that I, I think that it is useful for anyone to hear, no matter where you're at in your life. I don't think it's specific to any particular genre of people. And I think that's why I really like it, because I can alter it for whoever it is that I am speaking to to make it reach that particular group of people. But it really is for anybody, and that's what I love about it. Yeah. And I think you mentioned earlier that you were, you know, as you were thinking through this idea of all the things that you went through during this time with your business and how difficult it was, you know, you kind of mentioned that particularly with business women. And I think that's a really great starting point when you're thinking about audiences to reach out to, because women, they're running these businesses are super successful, but then they're probably also dealing with things at home and not that men necessarily aren't, but we know a lot of women are running businesses, running homes, and they're just doing everything all the time, 24 over seven. And it's hard. So we forget to have fitness in our business.

Cyndi Shifrel:
Right? And so I think for you, that'd be a really great starting point because I could see, you know, audiences of women in business, especially high achieving women in business, could really will really resonate with your message. Well, thank you for that tip, Diane. I'm going to take that to heart and see if I can start there.

Diane Diaz:
Absolutely. Absolutely. And so what do you when you give this talk or when you start going out there and sharing this message, not, you know, beyond even your keynote talk, when you start sharing this message of fitness and your business. And for everybody listening, the talk Cindy's working on, she'll be talking about different areas of fitness and business. So it's a very dimensional talk, we'll say, with lots of details on how to be fit in your business. And it's more than just physical fitness, obviously. But when you're sharing that message, what do you want the outcome to be for your audience? What do you hope that they take away from it and do with it? You know, honestly, I'm talking about the four areas of being physically fit, emotionally fit, spiritually fit and financially fit. And I'm hoping that each one of those four areas that it's going to resonate with everybody with some some type of nugget that they can take away in each four of those areas. But even if it's just one area, maybe it's someone that is struggling right now with their health and they're feeling awful and sluggish throughout the day.

Cyndi Shifrel:
Maybe there is through my own story because I was like that last year. Maybe something that I share is going to resonate with some of those people that they can take it and implement it into their own daily lives that will create more positivity for them and positive results. So that they are more fit in whatever area it is. So I'm not expecting to have everybody try all the tips that I give them in the four components of being physically, spiritually, emotionally and financially fit. So you can really win and succeed in business. But if they're able to take just one nugget of information away that helps them, I think that I did my job. And then hopefully from there it just snowballs. And, you know, they start doing more of maybe, you know, the other things that I, you know, share, you know, different tips and things that they can do. Yeah, I think that's the nice part about the framework that we've created for your talk, too, is that you've got those four areas. But like you said, you don't have to do them all. I mean, maybe, just maybe, they walk away from your talk and they think, Oh my gosh, my finances are in a shambles. I have to work on that. Right? So that's perfect. If that's the only thing you work on, you know, they really walk away with something meaningful and valuable that could really shift things for them.

Diane Diaz:
So you had shared with me that you kind of went through many of those things yourself, and that's kind of how you arrived at that whole concept, right?

Cyndi Shifrel:
Oh, totally. I mean, all the four areas I'm talking about, I my life was in shambles during Covid and all of those four areas, and it made me really self-reflect on these areas where I thought I had it all together. And then you look and you realize that, okay, I need some serious work in these four areas. And I had all the freaking time in the world to work at it during Covid. So why not work on myself and get fit in these four areas? And through my experience of going through those awful times that I went through, I'm hoping to be able to share that, to touch some lives and encourage people in those four areas so they can so that they can be fit. That's so great. I think it's so important because I know especially because I know you and I know I've known you for a little bit now and I know how hard, how much of a hard worker you are. So I can see a lot of other women in similar positions, kind of just working, working, working and not really paying attention to those things because it just gets away from you.

Diane Diaz:
So I think I think your talk will be really meaningful for them in that way. So I want to ask you then, Cindy, what you know, as I mentioned, you're in our Thought Leader Academy and I know I value you being in there and I know the other women in the group are getting a lot from your being a member of the this cohort. But what has been what have been the maybe the biggest benefits of your experience in the Thought Leader Academy? Share that with our listeners.

Cyndi Shifrel:
I definitely have to say it is being in a group of other amazing, powerful women that have great messages that they have to get out there to their audience. But hearing that it's not just me that's struggling with, you know, I need help in this area. You know, what do you guys, you know, suggest that I do. So it's a community. The Thought Leadership Academy is a community of other women that are looking to be more successful and get their word out there, whatever their message is that they're trying to share with their audience. And having that community that you can turn to, you can message each other and just reach out to each other for support, for help and the ideas. I think even my hashtag that I'm using right now with something get fit for biz. One of the other girls in the group came up with and I just I was at a standstill.

Cyndi Shifrel:
I couldn't figure out, you know, what does that hashtag going to be? And immediately, you know, someone in the group came up with that. So it's that community of support that you get with it. And of course, on top of that, you and Carol are so good at what you do. And just hearing the ideas that you guys come forth with for us ladies and how you are able to coach us has been I mean, I don't I didn't come to the group with really any expectations. I didn't know what to expect because I have never really had a business coach. I've been a part of business groups and advisory groups that I'm with, but never a group like this where I'm doing one on one with you and I'm with these other women. And it has far exceeded any expectations that I have had. Oh, my goodness. That warms my heart so much. I'm so happy to hear that. Let me ask you this, then. What has been the biggest shift that you've seen or felt in yourself as you've gone through, you know, not just in the Thought Leader Academy, but just the process of thinking about becoming a thought leader, messaging that creating your talk and being part of thought. Leader Academy What has been the biggest shift that you've felt for yourself? So that's an easy one for me, Diane. So I think a lot of us women, we.

Cyndi Shifrel:
I don't always look as highly upon ourselves as we should. We have that imposter syndrome, like, who am I to be doing this? And I have had some of that. And I'm not going to lie. I mean, that's something that's still I have to fight against from time to time. But it's made me realize that you have a message to share. You need to get that out there. You need to share it. And I'm not thinking as much anymore. Like, who am I? Like, who's going to listen to me? What do I have to say now? I'm like, No, you have something to say, girlfriend. Get it out there to the world. Tell everybody about what you've been through, what you've experienced, so you can help other people grow and get through what they're going through. So that right there, that was a that was an easy one to answer for me, Diane. I mean, I never thought of myself as a thought leader until I came into your program. And it's really made me realize that I am a thought leader and that I can do this.

Diane Diaz:
I love that. Yay, That's so exciting. Oh, I'm so excited to hear that because I know that a lot of women tell us and not just our clients and the Thought Leader Academy, but I hear this from lots of women is, you know, that they don't see themselves as a thought leader or they don't think of themselves that way or what even is a thought leader.

Diane Diaz:
But I think it's almost like once you start to go through the process, right, and you start to work through that and what is my message? And then you like you said, you see these other women in the group thinking about the same thing and you start to realize, Oh, okay, wait, I actually do have a message. And Cindy, I think your message is especially, you know, as everybody's coming out of Covid and people are figuring out ways to make their businesses stronger and make themselves stronger and more resilient, I think your message is even if it could be even more important, because we have to be prepared for the unexpected. And I think your fitness, your four areas of fitness and business will help entrepreneurs, especially women entrepreneurs, to be prepared for things the good and the bad right in business. And you never you never know what's going to happen. I mean, you can't prepare for the unexpected. But I mean, Covid totally taught us that, you know, like anything can happen in life and you have to be as fit as you possibly can in all areas of your life. So when the crap hits the fan or the sky does come falling down, that you are as prepared as you possibly can be for that, well, you are definitely going to be prepared.

Diane Diaz:
And like I said, I'm truly enjoying working with you on your keynote talk. I'm excited to see where that's going to go. And so tell everybody how they can connect with you if they'd like to or, you know, share where you hang out online so they can connect with you. Okay. So our website for Orlando wedding and party. Reynolds Sorry guys, it's long. We'll put the links in the show notes okay W WW dot Orlando wedding and party reynolds.com and then WW W dot central Florida luxury restroom trailers.com And then I have my personal brand which is the ginger preneur.com and you can also find me on all of those platforms on Facebook and on Instagram. Fantastic. And we will like I said, we will share all of that in the show notes to make sure people can connect with you. Cindy, thank you so much for coming on the podcast, for being vulnerable, for sharing your personal story, and not only your personal story here on the podcast, but for sharing it soon in your keynote talk. I know that's going to be wonderful and I hope everybody gets a chance to hear that. I'm looking forward to it. So thank you for taking the time to be on the Speaking Your Brand podcast.

Cyndi Shifrel:
Diane, it was truly a pleasure. Thank you so much for inviting me on the Speaking Your Brand podcast. I really appreciate it and appreciate all that you have done for me so far and all that you're going to do in the future.

Diane Diaz:
Yes, well, it is my pleasure and Carol's pleasure as well. Thanks, Cindy.

Carol Cox:
Thank you so much to Cindy for coming on the Speaking Your Brand podcast. And thank you to Diane for another excellent interview. As you heard from Cindy, our Thought Leader Academy truly is an incredible experience, not only the one on one coaching that you get so that you can truly identify your thought leadership message and work on your signature talk and also the group aspect being around other women who have similar desires, who are purpose driven, who are mission driven, and that you can help and support each other, you can get on the interest list. Enrollment is opening very, very soon by going to speaking your brand.com/academy. Again, that's speaking your brand.com/academy. Until next time thanks for listening.

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