The Power of Frameworks: How Sharon Ehrlich Found Her Voice and Message: Podcast Ep. 353

The Power of Frameworks: How Sharon Ehrlich Found Her Voice and Message: Podcast Ep. 353

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Many accomplished professional women come to a point in their lives where they struggle to balance their personal and professional responsibilities. 

Whether it’s their high-pressure career, raising children, caring for aging parents, or all of the above, it can often feel like you lose control over your lives and yourself in the process. 

On this week’s podcast guest, Sharon Ehrlich, a former hospital administrator, English teacher, and professional at IBM and now an executive coach, and our lead speaking coach Diane Diaz chat about the challenges Sharon faced when she felt she was losing control of her life while juggling her role as a mother, caring for a disabled parent, and managing her demanding professional life and how she came to realize the importance of setting boundaries and prioritizing her needs.

Sharon, a graduate of our Thought Leader Academy, shares how the program helped her gain clarity and direction for her message. 

She talks about her transformative experience during her VIP Day, where she worked intensively on her signature talk. 

The result was a powerful framework for her talk – OWN (Observe, Weigh, Negotiate) – which she used to regain control of her life and now shares to help other women do the same.

In this episode, Sharon and Diane talk about:

  • Sharon’s journey from hospital administration to IBM leader to executive coach, and her life-changing move to Austria
  • Her struggle with balancing her personal life and professional commitments and how very long (6-hour!) hikes helped her find clarity and a way forward
  • How empowering others, both personally and professionally, can lead to growth and free up our own time
  • The creation and application of her O.W.N. framework (Observe, Weigh, Negotiate) during her VIP Day
  • How the Speaking Your Brand Signature Talk Framework that she learned in the Thought Leader Academy helped her to create an entirely new talk, boosted her confidence, and enabled her to deliver a powerful talk that got rave reviews . . . and leads!

Sharon’s story is a testament to the transformative power of the Thought Leader Academy and the VIP Day. Her experiences underscore the importance of finding one’s voice and sharing one’s message with the world. Tune in to this episode for an inspiring conversation filled with insights and practical advice on finding balance, setting boundaries, and stepping into your power.

 

 

About Our Guest: Sharon Ehrlich is a passionate advocate for female empowerment, diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging and has been invited to share her views and lived experiences as a keynote speaker, podcast guest and webinar panelist. Sharon is the founder of Living While Leading, a premier executive coaching service which focuses on supporting women IT executives in their quest to optimize their lives so that they can live and work authentically and in alignment with their priorities and values. She also hosts the Living While Leading Podcast, a weekly podcast which focuses on topics related to women in leadership and female empowerment. 

About Us: The Speaking Your Brand podcast is hosted by Carol Cox. This episode is hosted by Diane Diaz, our lead speaking coach. 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, voices, 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/353/ 

Sharon’s website: https://livingwhileleading.com/

Discover your Speaker Archetype by taking our free quiz at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/quiz/

Enroll in our Thought Leader Academy: https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/academy/ 

Connect on LinkedIn:

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353-SYB-Sharon-Ehrlich.mp3: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

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

Carol Cox:
Listen in and how frameworks can help you find your voice and your message. With our guest, Sharon Erlich. On this episode of the Speaking Your Brand podcast. 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. I’m your host, Carol Cox. We recently graduated another cohort of our Thought Leader Academy. So you’re going to be hearing from some of those women in upcoming episodes, starting today with our guest, Sharon Erlich, who’s a former hospital administrator, English teacher and professional at IBM who’s now an executive coach living in Vienna, Austria. She and our lead speaking coach, Diane Diaz, talk on this episode about some of the challenges that Sharon faced when she was trying to juggle her role as a mother. She was also caring for a disabled parent and managing her demanding professional life, and how she came to realize the importance of setting boundaries and prioritizing her needs.

Carol Cox:
And then Sharon, Diane, really get into the power of frameworks. So not only the framework that they created during Sharon’s VIP day as part of the Thought Leader Academy that Sharon’s now using for her signature talk and her presentations, but also how Sharon learned how to use our own signature talk canvas framework and how powerful that was when she very quickly needed to create a different presentation than the one that they had worked on in the VIP day. And Sharon explains the approach she took and what happened and what the results were. I know you’re going to be inspired by this conversation. If you would like to join us in our Thought Leader Academy. We are currently taking applications for our next start date in January. You can get all the details, including how the program works, if it’s the right fit for you, and pricing at speaking your brand.com/academy. Again, that’s speaking your brand.com/academy. And then you can fill out the application form. And then the next step is that we’ll schedule a 30 minute zoom call so we can talk about your goals. Make sure the Thought Leader Academy is the best fit for you and then give you the next step. Now let’s get on with the show.

Diane Diaz:
Welcome to the Speaking Your Brand podcast, Sharon.

Sharon Ehrlich:
Oh, I’m really happy to be here.

Diane Diaz:
So excited that you’re here. And I’m excited for our audience to hear from you. So if you would, before we jump into talking about your work and all of that, tell our listeners a little bit about who you are and what you do in your business.

Sharon Ehrlich:
Sure. So like you said, my name is Sharon Ehrlich. I am a proud native New Yorker and Bronx native, and I’ve been living in Europe precisely in exactly in Vienna, Austria, for over 20 years now. I am an executive coach for executive women and women in leadership roles, and I particularly have a focus on it since I was a corporate citizen in it for decades. And basically what I help women do is to close the gap between where they are and where they want to be, and remove obstructions so that they can achieve their greatness. And they either come to me directly, or their companies hire me to coach them because they want their women leaders to be strong and powerful, because it knows they know that it will contribute to their organizational excellence.

Diane Diaz:
Oh, I love that so much. That’s good. I love hearing that organizations recognize that and then want to develop these women. So that’s that’s good to know. Yeah. Um, now, I know from working with you in the Thought Leader Academy and from our conversations during your VIP day, I know that you have had sort of a twisty, winding road personally and professionally. So maybe you can share a little bit with our audience about what what kind of brought you to where you are now and kind of the experiences that you draw upon for the work that you do, but also and we’ll get to your talk in just a moment, but that you’ve drawn upon for your talk. What what was that you’ve had like some shifts and changes happen.

Sharon Ehrlich:
And I’ve had a lot of shifts and changes. And so like I said before, you know, I was raised in the Bronx, I had a career in health care and actually did my master’s degree in hospital administration. And then I met a very dashing Austrian surgeon, and I married him, and that brought me to Europe. And I had to pivot because I couldn’t speak German at the time, and I had to find a new way to make a career and make money, make friends. And I initially started teaching English, if you can believe that. So I left a junior executive role at a major New York hospital and then started to teach English, which was a very humbling experience. But it was important for me to make my own friends and just to carve my way out for myself. And I ended up at IBM, and I took a temporary job there, and I stayed for nearly 15 years. And so that was the beginning of my IT career. And, you know, I’ve been a lifelong learner, and I love teaching. Even when I was in high school, I used to be a tutor for the boys in the football team. So, you know, I’ve always had a love and a lust for teaching people and imparting knowledge. And eventually I navigated my career to sales, training and sales performance, perfection and optimization. And as you can tell, I’m a really big talker and, and, you know, have spent a lot of time on main stages at big events like sales, kickoffs and leading trainings as a trainer or facilitator. And I just always knew that speaking was going to be part of my life. I just never knew that it would become a professional part of my life, and I actually would get paid for doing it. So, I mean, that’s a really condensed story, but you can get a feeling for how I ended up where I am today.

Diane Diaz:
Yes. Thank you for sharing that. And I wanted the you know, I wanted our listeners to know because I know a lot of women, especially as we get into the 40s and 50s, we’ve had these career shifts or life circumstances happen to us. And we’ll talk about that a little bit more in a moment, too, because it relates to your talk. But we’ve had these things that we’ve gone through, and then we end up at some pivot point like that kind of unclear maybe where to go with it or what we can do or like when you moved to Austria and it’s like, oh, this is a whole new world. Now what do I do? So I think it’s important to see that it’s, you know, we all go through this at some point or another. So thank you for sharing that. And that must have been I can imagine being in a foreign country. You’ve spent your whole life in the US, and now you moved to a completely different country with a completely different language. And sure, you have your significant other, but that’s it. That must have been really challenging.

Sharon Ehrlich:
It was very challenging. And you have to think, Diane, when I moved to Austria, there was no social media. People really were just starting to get mobile phones. So the way in, the ease that we have to communicate with people now, that didn’t exist back then. And so that made it that much more challenging to find a way to communicate and to be understood. It made it that much more urgent for me to find my own friends, because I knew I couldn’t rely on being in contact with the people I had left behind in the United States.

Diane Diaz:
Yes. I mean, that’s a really great point. I hadn’t thought about that, but social media and all the tools like FaceTime and things that we have to help us communicate with people when we live so far away, those did not exist. And I can imagine you had to be really motivated then to figure out what you’re going to do to build a network there.

Sharon Ehrlich:
Absolutely, absolutely. But but I made it. You know, I’ve, you know, I’m not a shy person by any stretch of the imagination. And what I did was, you know, I just decided, where can I find people who speak English? I wasn’t necessarily looking for American women. I just needed to find women that I could communicate with. And there were two groups, networking groups that I found, and basically those being a member of those two groups was what really got me started. And then, you know, there was no holding me back after that.

Diane Diaz:
That is wonderful because I know again, I can imagine how scary it is. But like you said, you just needed people who spoke English. And I think to just, you know, culturally, probably a lot more European speak English than Americans speak other languages. So probably a greater chance of finding those English speakers there. Yeah. Well.

Sharon Ehrlich:
But back then, I can tell you in Austria there weren’t a lot of people who spoke English. It was very, very challenging. Yeah, very, very challenging. I can speak German now. I would not go as far as to say that I’m, you know, native speaker, but I can hold my own. I don’t make I don’t make presentations in English. I mean in German. I have to tell you. Yes.

Diane Diaz:
Well, good for you, though, because I think that that does speak to sort of this message of making a pivot and, you know, finding the ways to make the changes, to move into the life that you want to build. You know, you had a life, now it’s changed. Now you’ve got to build something new. And and I know when we worked together in your VIP day as part of the Thought Leader Academy and we worked on your talk, some of these stories came up as we were working on your talk, because, of course, our signature talk framework incorporates lots of stories to make sure that your message resonates with the audience. So maybe you can talk a little bit about that experience during the VIP day and the stories that we incorporated into your talk and your and your. Let’s start with maybe who is the audience for the talk that we worked on together?

Sharon Ehrlich:
The audience is usually a corporate audience. So when I was envisioning who would be in the audience, I was thinking professional, corporate, possibly it, of course, every gender. But I really do speak to women, which is important to me because I feel like I’m my most authentic when I’m speaking to women. And what was the other part of the question?

Diane Diaz:
Yes, I was thinking about the stories that came up because if you’re speaking to this audience of women, high level professionals, the stories that we incorporated into your talk, they connect to your message, but they’re also personal stories. And so maybe what were some of I know what the stories were, but I want our audience to kind of hear some of those stories that came up as we were working together, and that made it their way into your talk.

Sharon Ehrlich:
Yeah. Well, you know what? One of the things that’s really important for me to be an advocate of is female empowerment, that we have so much more control than we think we have. And there was a point in my life where I felt like I really lost control. I had a young son at home. I had an international position where I was every week I was flying to another country. My mother was disabled, she became disabled, and I was her caregiver. Plus, I had a husband who, you know, I needed to somehow pay some attention to and all of these things, you know, converge. And I really thought I was losing my mind. It was so hard for me to manage any single day with the 24 hours that I had been gifted, and it got to the point where I was feeling really ill, you know, I just couldn’t balance it and had a conversation with my husband about, you know, what am I going to do? How am I going to do this? And and it was it was a hard talk. It was a really tough discussion because in the end, he didn’t have answers for me. I had to dig deep and I had to find the answers myself. And one of the things that I understood was that I was saying yes to too many things. I hadn’t outsourced anything, you know, I was so incredibly hands on as many women are, because we feel, you know, we’re raised and we feel like we have to do everything.

Sharon Ehrlich:
And let’s face it, society judges us a bit when we don’t do everything. And so I was drowning under all of this weight of everything that needed to be done. And I the way that I climbed out of it and it was a hole, a black hole. So I really when I say climb, I’m being very intentional about using that word was really to just start to say, okay, what are the most important things that really have to have me involved in all the time? And what are some of the things that can be outsourced or offloaded, or they don’t have to be as perfect as when I do them. And that was what saved me. And that’s what I talk about is for for women to really to sit back and to really observe their situation and weigh what’s going on in their life and try to get rid of this impulse that we have to be perfectionists and to own everything and negotiate with ourselves about what can we release, what do we have to hold on to? And when we release those things, we get space. And when we gain space, we find we find our joy. Right? Because then that that we can use. That time in that space to do anything or nothing, which I think is amazing, that everyone has that choice.

Diane Diaz:
Absolutely. And I think your experience is quite common, especially among women who, you know, are very accomplished because we I mean, obviously you become accomplished because you’re very driven and can get things done. And then, like getting things done turns into getting everything done for everyone all the time, you know, and that’s and then I would imagine a lot of professional women end up in that place where they have all these things going on and they are burning out, but meanwhile all everything else is shining on the outside, but they’re withering on the inside and don’t know necessarily how to step off of that, that hamster wheel, right to, to kind of stop things and say, wait a minute, this isn’t working and something needs to change. And, and ah, you’re right. The society judges us and it’s known it’s common and commonly known that women are doing a lot of the emotional labor to to make sure, okay, I’m thinking about who has to go to the doctor, what what maintenance has to get done on the home. And they’re constantly keeping track of things. So not just the physical doing, but the mental doing as well, the mental doing.

Sharon Ehrlich:
Right. And if you think about all of the unpaid labor that women do every single day, so we’re just not talking about work. There are real hands on things that people actually could get paid to do. If you would release them and let and you had the resources naturally to let someone you know do that for you. So you know what I can say, Diane, is one of the other things which is really important. And I’ve come across it so often with the women that I coach is that this cycle that we’re talking about usually goes on for years, if not decades, and then what you have at the end is a middle aged woman who doesn’t even know herself anymore. She doesn’t know if you would give her five days to say, this is your time. She wouldn’t know how to spend it because she doesn’t know what her interests are because she has basically, you know, she’s basically given up all of her time to pursue her career, a very successful one, and to manage everyone else’s lives around her. And we know our parents are living longer, so it’s not just managing the lives of young people and children, but of course, you know, elderly folks who sometimes can require a lot of attention and even management of their lives or their health care situation.

Diane Diaz:
Yes, absolutely. So that sandwich generation that we hear about, a lot of women are finding themselves in that middle where they’re still raising children and also taking care of elderly parents who, you know, of course, need help, but then they don’t have any time to spend on themselves and then they end up everything else is shining or maybe not. And but meanwhile, they’re they’re struggling with their mental health or physical health or, and no time to address that. And so does that come up a lot with the women that you work with like this, this sort of, you know, burnout that happens from giving attention to all that and sort of the perfectionism that comes along with all of that.

Sharon Ehrlich:
Absolutely, absolutely. And, and one thing that’s worth mentioning as well is that a lot of these women, when they climb the ladder of success, they are the only one of their kind at these executive levels. So in terms of creating community or having, you know, your self called off this friend, that’s really hard to come by when you’re working in a very male dominated industry. So you have to deal with that of being, you know, the one and only or, you know, a minority representation of your gender. Right. And then if you and if you happen to be an ethnic person, then you have to add that one on top, right? So that, you know, it’s really challenging because work and climbing that ladder of success is not very easy. And so what I have heard in a lot of my coaching discussions with women is a few things. There’s never enough time to do anything. Even if they have the time, they’re not sure exactly how they would spend it. Sometimes there is a misalignment with what they’re doing now and what they think they should be doing. Because let’s face it, when you’re 35 years old and you’re trying to build your career, you just go full steam ahead and and then all of a sudden, 15 years later, you end up somewhere and you have all of the trappings of success. And then you’re like, is this what it’s about? Is this, is this what I was really fighting for? And so there’s this internal struggle as well. So it’s not only just about trying to find time to do things, it’s also trying to assess, am I where I want to be, and do I want to be here and doing this kind of stuff for the next ten to 15 to 20 years? And a lot of conversations are around that as well.

Diane Diaz:
Mhm. Mhm. Mhm. Mhm. Yes. And I, I can relate because I found myself there, you know, having been married for 19 years and in my 40s and all the nice things and then realizing wait why do I have all this stuff. Like it wasn’t doing it for me. So, so then when we worked together in your VIP day and you shared all of these ideas with me, we did work on a framework. So can you walk us through that framework and talk about what it means? Because you mentioned the word a little while ago, but wanted to have all this conversation first, but share with us the framework that we created and what it sort of represents in how you look at this issue that women are dealing with.

Sharon Ehrlich:
Okay, so. The framework is called the Owen framework o w n, and each acronym stands for something very specific. So the first the O is about observing your situation really sitting with yourself. And this can be very challenging as you and I discuss. This requires silence. This requires you to get intimate with yourself and brutally honest about where you are. And that’s a difficult exercise because as we just mentioned a few minutes ago, if you’re incredibly busy, where do you find this time? Right. And as I mentioned to you, when I had my VIP day, I had to be very strategic and very intentional about how I found that time. And so I’ve managed to find childcare for my son, managed to find someone to manage my mom for five days. And I live in a country where there’s lots of woods and a lot of nature. And I went hiking every single day, 6 or 7 hours a day, just with silence around me. And I initially thought that I would be listening to my headset and listening to e-books, but I didn’t. I needed the silence, and sometimes it was deafening. But on the other hand, it was so important because when I came out on the other side of this hiking expedition, I realized I had more clarity about some of the things that I needed to at least examine.

Sharon Ehrlich:
I’m not saying I had all the answers, but at least I understood where there were some areas that I needed to make some changes. And then that’s where we get to the W in the acronym is the weighing. So you understand what the landscape is. And now it’s the question of okay, what does good look like, what is great and what does excellent look like. Because probably in most cases we’re all pursuing excellence in all areas. And sometimes good enough is just good enough. Right. And that good enough could mean me not being involved in it, or me not spending hours and hours trying to get it to the state of excellence, where I can just do it in a half hour and it’s great enough or good enough for the people who are going to get whatever this result is, that that’s a balancing act. That’s a balancing act, and that’s where the N comes in. And that’s the negotiation because you have to negotiate with yourself. What am I going to hang on to and what am I going to give up. And sometimes that means saying no to things to I mean, if you think about some of the women I’m working with, these are women that are sitting on multiple boards.

Sharon Ehrlich:
They are leaders, so they are director level, VP level. Then their organization has asked them to mentor women to be a sponsor of an employee resource group. You know, so they’re doing all of this other work that may not necessarily be strategic for them. It might be nice for them to be engaged in, but these things take time. And so they have to decide as part of the negotiation process is to figure out, okay, what’s going to go, something has to go. And of course, on the other side of that is sometimes some disappointment from people when you say, you know what, I’m sorry. I loved being on this board, but I can’t serve on this board anymore, or I love supporting this group. But, you know, I can’t do it. And I have somebody else who I could recommend, who I think would be, you know, equally committed to your cause. And that’s those are tough conversations. And, you know, we always want to be liked. We never want to disappoint people. But at some point, if you want to prioritize yourself, that is a necessary step that needs to happen.

Diane Diaz:
Absolutely. Yes. I love that framework because not only is it very sort of step by step of how to go through the process, but it does bring to mind taking back ownership of your time, taking back ownership of maybe your health, who you are, figuring out who you are really owning, where you’re going in your career, but also personally. Because the reality is, if in trying to be a perfectionist and say yes to everything, you know, you almost end up a victim of your own success and a victim of your own hard work, and then find yourself struggling while everything else is. People are giving you accolades, but you’re not necessarily happy. So I like that. Own is really it’s yours. It belongs to you. You belong to you. And then you can take that back, right?

Sharon Ehrlich:
Right. And we all have.

Diane Diaz:
You, Sharon. Yes. Yes, I love that. Yes. And we should have agency because I think it’s easy to let everything kind of run away. Like let time run away. And like you said, 15 years goes by and you don’t even recognize who you are or what happened or how you even got there. And now you have other aspirations and no time to work on them. So when you were going through that, with your taking care of your mom and taking care of your son, and then you started doing these, these walks, how did it unfold and what were the realizations that you came to? And then what changes did you make? What were the negotiations that you made to make changes to what how you wanted your life to be?

Sharon Ehrlich:
One of the first ones was that I realized that I could not be the IT person for my mother seven days a week, and so I was able to find a woman who could spend time with my mother, take her on walks, take my mother shopping, and take care of those things which were important to her, which I just simply did not have the time to do. The other thing, and this is going to sound really ridiculous. Maybe, you know, I was preparing hot meals all the time when I was home, and I realized, you know what? You know, it doesn’t have to be that way, you know? You know, I’ll make hot meals a few days a week, but I can’t do it, you know, because I always wanted to, you know, feed people nutritious food and be really responsible. And there had to be some sacrifices there as well. The other thing is, is that I started to empower the members of my team more because let’s let’s not forget, I mean, usually when you get to to that level, you have resources who work for you. And so one of the things that became very clear to me was they can do more and they probably want to do more, because this is going to help them learn and develop and grow and get them to the next professional step that they want to take in their lives.

Sharon Ehrlich:
And that was, for me, really an eye opener, because I did not realize how much I actually had on my desk. So they were empowered and they started to understand that they were empowered and they could make decisions. And even if it wasn’t the best decision we could work through, why it wasn’t the best decision and how they could do it differently the next time. And this freed up an enormous amount of time for me. I mean, you know, so much time, Diane, that I started to sort of kick myself in the pants and say, why didn’t you do this a long time ago? You know what I mean? But it just was, you know, as you say, when you’re on, on this hamster wheel, you just don’t see it. And so those were some of the things, I mean, the list goes on and on and on. But there were some changes which were huge and some changes which were smaller changes that cumulatively made a huge difference for me and for my health. And that was at the end, what was the most important to me that I felt like I had was really starting to lose control of me and taking care of me and making sure that I could be healthy so that I could then give to everybody else, you know. And that was the real end game for me.

Diane Diaz:
Mm. That’s so good. I think to what comes to mind as you were talking about that, is that in an effort for us to do everything, we’re not only hurting ourselves, but for those of us who are people pleasers and are saying yes to everything, we’re also actually hurting other people because we can’t show up the best that we can be. But also, you weren’t delegating to others so that they could shine. So really, it’s hurting everyone. And when you can own that again, you can do better for yourself, but you’re also doing better for other people. So it’s a win win situation really. We’re looking at it that way.

Sharon Ehrlich:
Yeah.

Sharon Ehrlich:
So I agree everybody wins.

Sharon Ehrlich:
And oh go ahead I’m sorry.

Sharon Ehrlich:
There might be a little bit of growing pains in this whole process and this whole evolution. But at the end everybody wins.

Diane Diaz:
Absolutely, absolutely. And now you mentioned a little bit that you you’ve done some speaking before you came to thought Leader Academy. But what what was your goal in joining Thought Leader Academy? What brought you to Thought Leader Academy and to wanting to work on maybe having a bigger impact with your message? What was the goal there?

Sharon Ehrlich:
Well, first off, I have to say I’m a complete fan girl, so I really love listening to you and Carol so much. I’ve been listening to the podcast for a long time. What I had discovered was that any time I was asked to deliver a speech or a presentation, it was such a grueling experience for me to get my ideas together. And, you know, I would end up staying awake until the wee hours of the morning trying to prepare something and then going on the stage completely bleary eyed. You know, I would deliver the goods, and it was, and it was good, but I just wanted it to be next level good. And I also wanted to find a process where I could reliably create something that had an impact, and it would not cost me my nerves and tons and tons of time. So that was the stimulus for me reaching out to you. And I know that you and I had our first call together, and after being on the phone with you for 15 minutes, I was like, I’m sold. I’m going to do this. I’m going to make this investment in myself, because I saw it as an investment in myself and my business, because the fact of the matter is, when I speak publicly, that amplifies my voice and naturally, business then comes my way. So it’s really important for me to get that right. And I just thought that every minute that I have spent looking through the resources that you guys have put up on the platform, being on the weekly calls, and then of course, the framework, which for me is like everything has just really been a game changer for me.

Diane Diaz:
Yes. The framework, Sharon, because I know that. So you and I worked in the VIP day. We worked on your talk in that three hour session. But after we created that talk, then you were giving a talk. And that talk turned out not to be a good fit for that particular audience. So you had to sort of on the fly, create another talk, which you did on your own using the framework. But and then you send it to me and I reviewed it and it was amazing. And you had even created another acronym for your message. Yeah. All from using the signature talk framework, which I think it looks like made that, like you said, made sort of an easier process for creating that talk.

Sharon Ehrlich:
Absolutely Diane, I tell you, I took the framework out, I copied it on a piece of paper, had it in front of me, had, you know, I’m very analog. I still like to use paper. I don’t I don’t type anything. I wrote the speech in an hour and a half using the framework, and I was just I was astonished, I was really I just kept looking at it and saying, did I really finish it? And I did, and then that’s when I sent it to you, and you sort of gave it your blessing, saying, Sharon, that looks pretty cool. I mean, you had you had some advice for me, naturally, but it was just so validating to know that the process really works. It did work. And I delivered that speech last week on Thursday, and the feedback was so positive. People told me I was inspiring and I motivated them and there was audience engagement. I could not believe how many questions were coming from the audience and how many more followers. I got on social media, and I got two leads. And so, you know, it’s just everything I, I can I will scream that off the rooftops that this framework really is going to change the trajectory of my business, for sure.

Diane Diaz:
Oh, I love that so much. Yes. When you told me how well it went. Well, first of all, when I reviewed the talk that you created on the fly, like you said in an hour, it was amazing. And then when you told me how well it went, of course, I had no doubt that it would. But just knowing that you had all that interaction, which is really the that is really the key, is bringing the audience in. And when when they’re interacting with you and asking you questions because you’ve worked that into your talk, you know that the message is resonating with them because they’re responding to it. And then the fact that you got two leads from it really tells you something that’s really proof positive that your talk hit the mark.

Sharon Ehrlich:
Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely, absolutely.

Sharon Ehrlich:
And, you know, I would tell anybody who’s listening now if you’re if you’re sitting on the fence thinking about whether or not you’re enrolling in the Thought Leader Academy is for you, I can fully endorse it, I really can. And nobody has. Nobody asked me to say that. But I’m really from the bottom of my heart. It really has made such a difference for me and what that has done. Diane, it’s increased my confidence because now when the next opportunity comes in for me to speak, even if it’s, you know, a short term gig where I just find out about it a week or two before I have the full confidence that I will be able to deliver something meaningful and impactful. And I think that is invaluable. So it’s really changed my confidence level tremendously.

Diane Diaz:
Yes. Thank you for sharing that, because I think that’s probably one of the biggest things that comes from having a process like that. And then and then seeing it actually play out and knowing, oh, this actually works, then that confidence that you’re not you’re not going into the talk unsure or like, I’m not sure if this is going to hit, you know, it’s going to hit. And then of course you’ve gotten proof that it did hit. And so that builds up your confidence even more. So I love that. And I’m so I am so thrilled to hear that. That was the experience. And as you said, I did not ask you to say that. But I will take the I will take the, the the feedback and the accolades all day long. And I do hope that people hear your story and think about how they can have an impact on the audience like you had with their talk, because it really takes a talk from the signature talk process, takes it from good to great, right? And it really makes an impact with the message, which, again, is more of a service to your audience because it’s it really clearly resonated with them and I love that. So so what is next for you for your speaking?

Sharon Ehrlich:
Well, for my signature talk, I already have one engagement booked next year in January to deliver that as a webinar. So you can see how this thing gets legs. So it you know, it’s it started off as a signature talk. But now it’s going to be a webinar. And I’ve already developed my outline for what the webinar will look like. And I’m really excited about that. And I have developed some material for my prospects so that they can evaluate whether or not they want to partner with me. And these are really important. Customers with with really solid reputations. And so I’m really excited about what the future holds for me and my speaking and my coaching. You know, so, you know, I initially embarked on this because I just wanted to create more visibility for my executive coaching business. But what has happened now is that I am, you know, I always was a speaker, but I had never intended on marketing myself as a speaker. But here I am, and now I will do that as well. So it’s just sort of changed the the breadth of my business as well.

Diane Diaz:
Yeah. So another revenue stream from speaking. We love that.

Sharon Ehrlich:
Yeah.

Diane Diaz:
We love to see that. So. Well, Sharon, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. I love talking to you. I love your story, and I hope that your story really resonates with our audience, because I know there’s a lot of women out there listening who are probably in that position where they’re doing all the things and burning out and or, you know, maybe they’re building a business at the same time and wondering how they can get their message out. So thank you for sharing not only your personal story, but about your experience and the Thought Leader Academy. Take a few minutes to just tell our audience where they can connect with you, because they are maybe some women out there that need coaching from you or want you to come speak.

Sharon Ehrlich:
Sure.

Sharon Ehrlich:
Well, you can start by visiting my website, which is living well leading.com. I also have a podcast which you can find on every podcast platform, and the episodes come out on Tuesday, and that’s called the Living Well Leading Podcast with Sharon, Eric, and I’m also very active on LinkedIn, so you can follow me on LinkedIn or connect with me, you know, send me a DM if you want. Those are my that’s really the only platform I focus on. Diane.

Diane Diaz:
Yes. Okay. Well thank you for sharing that and highly recommend Sharon’s podcast. I listen to it. I like it too, because it’s like short snippets of really actionable things that you can integrate into your life and work and how you move about the world and really start to see some, some things change from the feedback and the insight that you share. So I love that. So thank you for sharing that. Well, thank you so much for your time again and I really appreciate you sharing with our audience.

Sharon Ehrlich:
Thank you for having me, Diane, and thank you so much for your guidance and your support. I really appreciate it. It’s been the highlight of my year, I would say.

Diane Diaz:
It was my pleasure, Sharon.

Carol Cox:
Thanks so much to Diane and Sharon for that inspiring conversation. If you would like to join us in the Thought Leader Academy. Get all the details and submit your application today at Speaking Your brand.com/academy. Again, that’s speaking your brand.com/academy. Until next time. Thanks for listening.

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