In this final of 3 returning guest episodes, you’ll hear me chat with Swapna Thomas, and Brooke Vulinovich and I share my answers to the questions I asked each of our guests in this series. Check the rest of the show notes for links to their original guest episodes because if you missed them the first time, I know you’ll want to tune in now. And if you heard them the first time around, there’s so much wisdom to learn all these months later.
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Connect with past episodes featuring today’s guests and check out their bio’s while you are there
- Swapna Thomas – episode 15 – Brave marketing with a side of smart girl wisdom
- Brooke Vulinovich – episode 13 – Instagram, digital nomad life & imposter syndrome
- Shannon Dunn – most popular episodes
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07:33 In the last year, what’s been your greatest personal evolution?
11:31 What’s gone on behind the scenes for you this past year in business that maybe we haven’t seen on your socials?
16:07 What if anything, do you wish you’d known a year ago that you know now as the business leader that you are?
20:36 Connect with Swapna
27:30 In the last year, what’s been your greatest personal evolution?
32:36 What’s gone on behind the scenes for you this past year in business that maybe we haven’t seen on your socials?
35:34 What if anything, do you wish you’d known a year ago that you know now as the business leader that you are?
48:14 In the last year, what’s been your greatest personal evolution?
52:59 What’s gone on behind the scenes for you this past year in business that maybe we haven’t seen on your socials?
55:12 What if anything, do you wish you’d known a year ago that you know now as the business leader that you are?
She Lead She Thrives, the home of inspired conversations, practical and creative wisdom, expansive leadership and business insights, abundant Bragaudacious moments of celebration and useful info you can actually do something with.
You’ll hear about mindset marketing, money, magnetism, self awareness and the Thrive Factor Framework, it’s Archetypes and more. Amplify your role as a leader, a self led soul. Tap into your effortless success zone. Turn your ingeniousness and wisdom into profitable income streams.
From solo shows to guests you’ll definitely want more from, there’s something for every ambitious ingenious soul.
I’m Shannon Dunn, a true OG of the business coaching space, with an obsession with thriving. You are so welcome here. Let’s dive into today’s episode.
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Welcome everyone to our celebration series for our first birthday of She Leads She Thrives. So across three episodes, I’m going to be chatting to previous guests from the early months of the podcast. These are guests whose episodes still rank amongst the most downloaded in our very first year of sharing the most incredible conversations and information and wisdom with you.
Team Thrive Factor and I thought it was a brilliant opportunity to check in with them now and ask a series of reflective questions so they could share more of their wisdom with you. And it’s been such a joy creating these conversations to bring them together and to share them as part of this birthday series.
Now before we begin with the first of our feature guest conversations for today’s episode, I also want to say a huge thank you to you, our listeners. Without you there wouldn’t have been as much fun and joy and celebration in this past year. I really adore and I hope this shines through, but I adore the podcast medium for connecting with a global audience. But it also makes the work and the energy that goes into every episode that much richer when we know there are people actually out there listening and downloading our episodes every week. So thank you, I truly hope that you’ll be a long term listener if you’re not already, and that you’ll continue to share our episodes and with your business and your leadership community.
So a huge big love to you all and if you still don’t know who I am because you are brand new to She Leads She Thrives. This a little final reminder before we dive into the first of our conversations in this special birthday series. I’m Shannon Dunn, I am the host of She Leads She Thrives. I’m a longtime business and self leadership coach. And I just love being able to bring more wisdom to the world. So thank you for your time today and have a magical day wherever you are.
Shannon Dunn 03:16
Welcome back, everyone. Here we have another guest for our first birthday series, one of my favorite friends in business. And I’m sure we shared this Swapna when we actually recorded your episode, which was episode 15, which went live in December of 2022. It feels like so long ago now, but not really long ago at all right? But I’m sure we talked about the fact that we have such a beautiful friendship we’ve created by connecting online and we still haven’t met in person and we still haven’t met in person 10 months later, but we will change that in the future, won’t we?
Shannon Dunn 03:51
So I’m delighted to welcome back Swapna Thomas, as I just shared with you that she’s a dear friend of mine and one of the very first people that I reached out to to say, Come on, please be a guest on my podcast, knowing there’s no way you’re going to say no. And we’ve had great conversations on my previous podcast, Swapna and I had some really fabulous conversations there and also for her podcasts over the years. And back when we had you on the on episode 15 we talked about brave marketing, which is a big part of what you I guess the philosophy that everything that you stand for in your business. So tell everybody who you are and what you do and then we’ll get into some great questions.
Swapna Thomas 04:30
Hi, everyone, I am Swapna Thomas, I’m a business and mindset mentor for visionary entrepreneurs. And I’m also known for my messaging magic that I absolutely love to sprinkle all over my clients content and copy, that elevates their message and helps them call it their dream premium clients with organic social content. And just like Shannon just mentioned, I have known Shannon years now I feel and then we haven’t met in person.
Shannon Dunn 05:01
I’ve lost track of how many years in a good way, right? I know, it’s it’s probably seven or eight to be honest.
Swapna Thomas 05:08
More than that I feel like. My daughter today, just today, she said this, like, I feel like some of your closest friends are people you have never met in real life.
Shannon Dunn 05:19
Swapna Thomas 05:22
And I think that’s the beauty of what we do. The connections we make are so real. And yeah, people can say that it’s online and, you know, it’s not technically real world. But I think I have known some of the stuff that you’ve been going through and you’ve known some of the stuff I’ve been going through before many of the people in our real lives, so to see right. It’s not about how geographically how close you are or how often you meet. But it’s really about the energy and the authenticity, which is also I feel like I’m all about in business and you are also about in business.
Shannon Dunn 06:00
I know, it’s like when we first met, which was probably in a Facebook group, because you know, way back when that was where most people made connections, wasn’t it. Yeah, it was like this instant, like, we kind of just made sense to each other and realized how much we had similar shared interest and values and just curious about each other. And, you know, the rest is history, as I say. It’s very cool.
Shannon Dunn 06:27
And one of the highlights for me in the time we’ve known each other was getting to profile you and getting to introduce you to your Archetypes, and then seeing how you’ve worked with your Thrive Factor Archetypes so beautifully in your business to really kind of express who you are in a in a way that you weren’t doing as much previously. I don’t think you didn’t know yourself. But it was almost like this next level of being okay – I don’t really want to use the word permission – but like you were able to be more of you. And do that in such a beautiful way. And every time I see little sprinkles of your Archetypes through your content and what you’re sharing is like, Oh, there she is. So yeah, very cool. Very cool.
Swapna Thomas 07:07
Yeah, I think recently, I’ve been living in my Queen Ruler a lot,
Shannon Dunn 07:12
Swapna Thomas 07:15
I think we have had this conversation on your podcast, and in many different ways about how much I have resisted the Queen Ruler. But I think finally I’ve come to a place where I’m really comfortable with her and embodying that in everything.
Shannon Dunn 07:33
So they said, it really is such a joy for me to sit back and watch someone that I care about so much step into those parts of yourself and kind of build and nurture such a beautiful relationship with those parts of yourself. Because as you very much shared over the years, that particular Archetype has not always been one you’ve been comfortable with. But it’s like, oh, there she is. I can see you’re coming through now, which is cool. Awesome. All right. So we’ve got three questions that I’ve been asking every one of the guests that we’ve been having back for this First Birthday Celebration Series, and I can’t wait to hear your answers on these. The first one I’d love to know is in the last year, what has been the greatest personal evolution for you? So not necessarily specifically in your business? But that real personal evolution? That’s, of course, probably flowed into your business? What’s it been?
Swapna Thomas 08:20
I think for me, it has been about standing in my personal power a whole lot more than I have before. It’s not like I don’t know about personal power. I haven’t known about being in my personal power. And I think when we start off on our business journeys, right, I think a lot of us are in our personal power, like we instinctively trust ourselves, and we know what we are doing, and we have ideas. But as you start interacting and watching what other people are doing, and you start working with mentors, you start chipping away on that power, and you start giving pieces of your personal power away to others. Not just people, but algorithms and social media, and economy, things that are happening outside of you and your personal universe.
Swapna Thomas 09:16
So I think thats what I have been, I won’t say I have mastered it, but I have become more and more self aware about when I give away my power. And I’ve been more and more, I would say intentional, about reclaiming that power. And also staying in my power. When my ego is like I want to give it away to someone else, which is almost like the other side of being a victim. When you feel like I want to give my power away to someone so that then if this doesn’t work, then I can play the victim. Because it was their responsibility to make me successful or it was their responsibility to understand me but then they don’t live up to that. So then I can be the victim, right? So the shadow aspect of us.
Swapna Thomas 10:07
And I think that has been something I have really been working on, I think not always by choice, but sometimes it has just because Universe just shows it to you. Like, this is the thing you need to be working on. If you don’t work on this, I’ll keep repeating the lessons until you learn them. And I think for some of us, that might be the only lesson that we’re supposed to be learning because we have spent so much of our lives, giving our power away to other people. So that might be the only thing that we need to really understand and integrate within ourselves.
Shannon Dunn 10:40
It’s such an interesting concept, though, that having personal power, having awareness of it, giving it away, keeping it, working with it, because I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I really heard that phrase until I was in business, like, I was aware of people’s power as such. And I think when you watch the media, you see leaders around the world, particularly from a political perspective, they talk about their power, and then being powerful. So we kind of have some awareness, but in terms of in a personal, like everyday person, kind of a way. I don’t think I really knew of that phrase, as much as I have an awareness of it and it’s been talked about a lot now.
Swapna Thomas 11:24
And I think it’s also when you give it away is when you actually have the awareness of it, right? Like, oh, that’s what I did. .
Shannon Dunn 11:31
That’s what that was all about. Yeah. Very, very cool. All right. So the next question I have for you – very curious about this one, what’s going on behind the scenes in your world that you’re happy to share that we haven’t seen on social media?
Swapna Thomas 11:44
Um, I think you have seen the result of it on social media. But what you might not have seen is the work that goes on within that, is how I have elevated a lot of my content, and my messaging and my positioning and branding over the last few months. And I think ever since we spoke in December, the journey had already started, like, internally, I was already feeling that like I am meant to be up leveling in lots of ways. But I couldn’t put my finger on what exactly was it. And then it took a while for it to sort of unfold itself. And then even then I started working on it. And even now, when it is out there, one of the things I talk about is when you start working on anything, up leveling your mindset, or up leveling your message, or marketing or sales, or anything, there’s this period of void, where nothing is happening. You feel like, I’m doing the work, I’ve changed everything, like I’m showing up for it, and I’m doing the things and saying the stuff. Why? Why isn’t anything happening.
Swapna Thomas 13:04
And that is behind the scenes, like no one knows about it, like people only see what’s happening on the front, right? So this void is the space where really that personal power I talked about, that really gets tested, because you want to give it away to someone to just like, take responsibility for this, like I’ve done my part. That is where I spent quite a few months there, just holding my personal power and holding that I know what I’m doing. Like, that’s what I kept telling myself, I know what I’m doing, I know exactly what I’m doing. And I think that was a huge shift for me to just not give in to my fear, like that primal fear of “what if all of all of this is waste”, or if this doesn’t work, right. And you just want to go back to where you started from, or where you were really comfortable.
Shannon Dunn 13:56
Yeah, where you’re comfortable, where you were getting results, perhaps certain things were easier, they felt differently. And when you’re in that void space, and I’ve been you know, I haven’t hidden it at all, I’ve been in that a lot this year, it can be really disheartening a lot of the time because even though you’re putting in the effort, the energy, the commitment, the intention, to hold the space, to trust in yourself, to believe in yourself, and then there’s nothing happening in terms of the measures you want to see that it’s working or whatever you’re looking towards. It can be really challenging to be in that space of, I don’t know how long this is gonna go for, I don’t know when things are going to shift or change, I don’t know when I’m going to see results, but I’m okay with that.
Swapna Thomas 14:43
And I think I also became radically focused on seeing that this is working. Like every single thing because we often count a sale or money in the bank as the result of this being working? Right? But what if every single DM I get or every single time someone comments on my posts, like that’s a sign of this is working. And it’s all adding up, right? It’s all going to add up to where now I feel like yeah, I obviously now I am seeing the results, I am seeing the money in the bank, I’m seeing the clients, but for a long time, and that was not happening. That is what I really focused my energy on. Because at the end of the day, the sales and the clients, what a client does, you know, whether they see yes or no, however, brilliant our pitch is or however brilliantly we are marketing or selling. It’s not in our control, right, that is something that is completely out of our hands. So we have to focus on the things that we can control, which is being really focused on looking at things with this attitude of it’s all working, it’s all adding up. It’s all showing up for me, which is again, where your personal power comes in, you really hold that energy of I know what I’m doing.
Shannon Dunn 16:07
Not always easy, but so important. And I think it’s a testament to self leadership when you can be in that space. So this leads me to our next and our final question, what do you wish you’d known a year ago, like when we first talked and recorded that episode, which was probably around October, November, and then it went live in December? You know, what do you wish you’d known a year ago that you know now as a, you know, a woman leading in business?
Swapna Thomas 16:33
Honestly, I don’t know if there’s anything. I feel like we get to know things at the perfect time that they’re supposed to know them. There is no hindsight is always like, you know how thesyaing is 20/20, you never know what it could have done.What I would have done with that information, I don’t know. But I feel the sense of just letting things unfold on its own, like not hurrying things, sometimes you feel like I’m already 10 steps ahead. But these things are not catching up like people are not catching up with me, my audience is not catching up with me. They’re not catching up with me.
Swapna Thomas 17:13
And letting that be okay, you are supposed to do your job and just keep focusing on that. And things will catch up with you, things will unfold as they are meant to, you cannot hurry them by being more impatient, it’s just going to take longer, or rather, it’s going to feel longer because of your impatience. If I had known about it then, to just be more patient, just to be more calm and just keep your energy because I’m an overthinker, like I can overthink like no one’s business. And I think that’s something if I had known that, all of that overthinking is absolutely a waste of your time. And everything that you can be spending all of that energy and time on something else. There are so many other things that you could be doing, like literally laying down bricks in your foundation of your business. And if I had known that, it would have helped a lot more.
Shannon Dunn 18:17
It’s such an interesting thing to learn about isn’t it, the thinking space and how much we can go into overthinking. I know that for me, I not as much of an overthinker as you are. But I can over process you know, we share the Liberator Engineer Archetype. And that Archetype can go into overcomplicating, that’s where my stuff comes up. More than overthinking but saying that I can also be very stuck in my head, rather than feeling into things and just allowing is just thinking it and processing it and making sense of it when sometimes we can’t make sense of things. But yeah, I don’t feel like compared to some of my friends in business and women that I know, that have certain patterns of Archetypes. I’m not as much of an overthinker, an over-complicater instead. I know. It’s so interesting how it all plays out, isn’t it but patience – how much could we all benefit from understanding that there is no set predefined timeline to achieving something or doing something or launching something or seeing a certain amount of success or money? Like no one ever knows what the timeline it will actually be?
Swapna Thomas 19:29
Yeah, absolutely. And one more thing that sort of just occurred to me. Another thing is that I think we overexaggerate for ourselves, how much we are doing, or how much we are showing up or how much we are selling. But if you actually sit down and you start looking at how many times I’ve actually pitched this program, how many emails have I sent, how many posts did I post on social media or stories that I’ve done. It’s literally not even close to 50% of what you have been thinking maybe 10% or 20%. In your head, you make it up to be like, why are we talking about this thing forever. And every single day, I mean, like just all, you know all about it. But we aren’t doing that much. And I’m not saying that you should be hustling or just constantly talking about your program. But sometimes we just make this to be too big for ourselves, we start thinking like I’m doing too much.
Shannon Dunn 20:36
The reality is, we’re the only ones that see all of our content. Right, so you can, you can understand though how people can get to that place of feeling like they’re doing or sharing too much. But you’re right, like, it’s usually a small percentage of what’s actually being seen by your ideal audience. So, yeah, so interesting. Of course, we have so many things we could talk about, well we are going to wrap up for today. The last thing I’d love you to share, though, is where can people connect with you, if they are not yet following you. And what we’ll do, we’ll link in that episode from, you know, the end of last year, so that people can go back and listen to that as well. Where are your social media, your favorite places?
Swapna Thomas 21:17
Um, my website is the best place to find out about all of the stuff I do. But on social media, this might be a little bit more unconventional, but I will ask you to follow me on Facebook, because that’s where I show up a lot more than Instagram, which is what I know most people talk about. But I really love Facebook, maybe I’m a dinosaur, I don’t know. But I still really enjoy being on Facebook more.
Shannon Dunn 21:46
And I know, it’s someone like me, who loves marketing, and we get asked a lot by our clients about where should I be, I think you and I are probably on the same page as, be where it makes sense for you to be, Which is a platform that feels really easeful for you to be playing, sharing in – go there. And then think about where else like, and for me that is Instagram and then Facebook, but you’re not the only one that shared Facebook, so yu’re not alone there. It does feel like there’s a big emphasis on Instagram. And interestingly, no one’s mentioned Threads. So, you know,
Swapna Thomas 22:24
I forgotten about it honestly, I don’t think I ever even…. I saw a notification pop up on my Instagram about someone posted something on Threads. And I was like, What is this? And then I realize oh Threads, right? That was the hot thing a month ago.
Shannon Dunn 22:40
Exactly. I know, it’s so interesting how things come and go and yet some things stick. I love it. So very, very cool. Well, thank you so much again for joining me, my beautiful friend. And thank you listeners for tuning in and listening to Swapna and I chatting today. It’s been so fun creating these conversations to share in these episodes for this first birthday celebration. And I hope you’ve all enjoyed them and that you reach out and follow our guests on whichever platform they’re on. And, you know, connect with their content and reach out to them and go back and listen to the episodes, if you haven’t heard them already from when they were first guests on the podcast, I know that they’d appreciate it.
Shannon Dunn 23:15
And you know, I love when someone reaches out to me with a message and says I was listening to this episode. And this is what I got from it, or this is what I’d like to know more. And I know you’d be the same. And I know every one of our guests on She Leads She Thrives to be the same as Swapna. It’s a nice thing to have someone say they’ve listened to a conversation and reach out. So yeah, so if you’re not doing that yet, listeners, please do that as well, reach out to our guests be the person that reaches out and says hi.
Shannon Dunn 23:41
I know that, as a side note, I’ve built beautiful connections with some incredible women who have actually ended up being guests on this first year in the podcast, because I dared to reach out because I heard them somewhere or was recommended to listen to something that they shared or a teaching they had. And it’s just resonated with me. So I’ve reached out and said, I heard you. I heard this or I want to know about this. Let’s connect. And you know, you never know where that can go. So yeah, lots of fun. So thank you again, everybody and take care wherever you are in the world.
Shannon Dunn 24:23
Hello, everyone and welcome back to another of our first birthday series. Conversations. I don’t like the word interview because it feels far too formal and stuffy. I’m so happy to welcome Brooke back. So Brooke, you were on our 13th episode of She Leads She Thrives which went live in December of 2022. So here we’re going to be in the first week of October and our first birthday. And at that time, we talked about topics that are still highly relevant in your life. We talked about Instagram, of course because that’s kind of everything…
Brooke Vulinovich 24:57
Very relevant in my life.
Shannon Dunn 24:59
We talked about impostor syndrome and the impacts and influences and how to work with that. And also digital nomading, like what that’s all about, like traveling and working, which again, is so much about what you do. So, we were just having a really quick chat before we started recording and was saying how different your life is, and how it’s evolved in the kind of almost a year since we recorded the episode that went live in December. And at that point in time, you were in Bali, you were living there, you’d moved from Perth to Bali, and now you’re in Croatia. So totally showing the digital nomad thing, right.
Shannon Dunn 25:32
We’ve been a few places.
Shannon Dunn 25:33
Yeah, you have. All over. I feel like almost all over the world. But yeah, your episode was such a significantly downloaded one. As soon as we went live. Like there was lots of downloads, it stayed in our top 10 until just recently, so all the way through and consistently gets downloads, which again, is a sign to me that its a topic or topics because we kind of covered a lot of things that people want to hear more about. So I’m so happy that you said yes, to come back and to record another little chat today and as part of this birthday series.
Shannon Dunn 26:07
So I’d love you to just introduce yourself and tell everyone about who you are in case they missed that episode. from way back in December, we’ll make sure we we tag that in the show notes. If anyone hasn’t listened to it, they can go back and do that.
Brooke Vulinovich 26:19
Oh, well, that’s very lovely. And thank you to everyone who listened to the previous episode. And thank you for having me back. It’s very exciting. I’m honored to be here. So my name is Brooke Vulinovich. I’m an Instagram coach and specialist. I am an international keynote speaker and I’m the founder of the Social Club, which is my online training community for business owners wanting to learn how to grow and sell on Instagram. I am a wifey and I’m a Mum to my beautiful little two year old boy. And I guess we could say now firmly, I’m a digital nomad because I have been away from home for 12 months. So we’re not really in the testee part anymore. We’re in…we’re in it.
Shannon Dunn 27:01
Not trying it out. We’re actually in it. You’ve even got longer in Croatia, as you’ve said, you’ve been to many different places since we chatted for the podcast episode last year. When you were in Bali, you flew back and forward back to Australia for speaking gigs and all kinds of different things. So yeah, definitely doing the digital nomad thing. Can’t go back now. It’s a way of life. particularly while Carlo’s little right? And you’ve actually got ability to move around. I love it. Yeah, totally. Yeah.
Shannon Dunn 27:30
Okay, so questions we have for you. So ones we’ve asked everyone who’s been in the birthday series, I’m excited to hear, as I have been with everybody, what your answers are. So the very first one is to reflect in the last year, what would you say has been your greatest personal evolution, so not necessarily business, even though we know they’re kind of interweave with each other. But what’s been your greatest personal evolution in that time?
Brooke Vulinovich 27:51
So for me, I’m born and bred in Perth. I lived at home with my parents, until I bought my first place, I moved into my first place. I stayed in there for seven years, and pretty much only lived in two places in Perth my whole life. And so when we had this idea to leave Perth, although I was really excited about it, there was a big part of me that thought, I’m a creature of habit, I don’t really like change. I’m not sure how this is gonna go. And not only am I leaving my home, I’m doing it with a one year old baby in tow and, and also trying to run a business at the same time. And I’m excited to see if it works, but I just don’t know….knowing me, and how much I love routine and my creature comforts, I just didn’t know how it would go. And it worked. And I’ve been more adaptable to every country and every new routine and every new house we’ve lived in and Airbnbs and hotels, than I ever actually thought I would be okay with.
Shannon Dunn 29:07
Yeah, that’s amazing. When we get gifted if we could say, these challenges that we’re unsure about, but we go into them. And I guess you had the support, because you and Dom, your hubby made the decision together. But yeah, you did. You’re taking a one year old who’s now you know, two and a half-ish, toddlering all over the place. So yeah, and walking away from your support networks as well. Lots of different things. So yeah, huge, huge challenges that if someone was uncertain about that, I would be more concerned about them. If they thought yeah, I’m gonna cruise through it all.
Brooke Vulinovich 29:43
Yeah, yeah. My husband, he had lived all over the world. He’s originally from New Zealand. So even like for him it wasn’t as scary because it was something that he had done before we got together. They say opposites attract. So yeah, I just didn’t know. But I realized since doing this how much adventure and new opportunities is something that I do really, really value in my life. And obviously, this is a world and a life of adventure and opportunities. And so that’s why there’s a lot of frustration that comes with it too, with visas and canceled flights and cancelled accommodation, accommodation not being what you thought and wasting money on all kinds of things and just not having those creature comforts of home. And that normality of home. Until you leave home for a long time, you don’t realize how much extra time you actually have in your day in your life because you’re not spending it, setting up those things. You’ve spent your whole life setting them up. Even just things like where you get your hair done, or where you do your food shopping, or where to find the the things you need. Or like as a Mum, what the good nappies are – all those sorts of things that you don’t realize you have spent your whole life learning. And when you’re constantly moving to different countries, you’ve got to relearn all those things in amongst running your business and being a wife and being a Mum and keeping some sort of sanity. Yeah, yeah.
Shannon Dunn 31:20
I think this is the point to say that if anyone is not following you on Instagram, if you’re new, that’s the place to go and get an insider’s look into exactly how you’re doing all of that. Because you practice what you teach in regards to Instagram, and your stories are always full of the adventure of the challenges – you don’t hold back. And, you know, there’s the funny things that….I know sometimes I’ll look at some of the looks on Dom’s face and be like, what are we what are we sharing now?
Brooke Vulinovich 31:49
Shannon Dunn 31:51
He’s come a long way over these years, though, right?
Brooke Vulinovich 31:55
I mean, absolutely. He works for the business now. And he’s really good. Yesterday, I asked him to write a press release for the International Women’s Day event that we’re hosting in Perth in March, that I collab with Ash from Fusion with. And he wrote it and I just thought, Oh, you you’ve used Chat GPT. And he hadn’t, he just wrote it. And I sent it to Ash and even Ash was like Dom, who knew you’re listening? You actually know the history of the event and where the idea came from, and all the places we’ve done it, I was like, Yeah, you, you may stay employed by Social Club…for now.
Shannon Dunn 32:36
Another test will be coming soon. I love it. Second question I’d love to know your answer to is what and this is gonna be an interesting one for you, because you are so on Instagram as your key social media platform. But what’s gone on behind the scenes this past year that you’d be happy to share with us?
Brooke Vulinovich 32:54
We really stumped me, this one really stumped me. Because I am so honest with what I share, maybe too honest sometimes. And then I thought about Shannon, what we spoke about on our first episode. And so I actually want to flip this one a little bit and say that the lead up to Covid, and the time of Covid. And even the year after Covid. That was a really hard time in my life, because what was going on behind the scenes with my business, and then also the passing of my sister, and she was sick for two years.
Brooke Vulinovich 33:35
And so in that time of my life, there was so much going on that you didn’t see on social. And I think why I got really stumped was because….and it was really nice for me to have this moment of realization and reflection…there isn’t really anything now. And that’s nice. Yeah, that is nice. It is a nice place to be obviously like Dom and I fight, and there’s things like that, that you don’t see. But that’s part of relationships. But actually, I’m finally after, you know, three, four, almost five years because she got sick in 2018. About five years, it’s been about five years really where everything that I’m sharing, obviously, to a point is my life. Is what’s going on. There is no big thing going on behind the scenes anymore. Businesses doing really well. I’m sharing that There’s a lot of frustrations with are moving around and visas and visa applications and residency things and I share the frustrations of that.
Shannon Dunn 34:36
You share the lessons you’re learning, which I think for a lot of people – I have no doubt that your followers have increased – with people who are curious about what you’re doing and how you’re navigating that.
Brooke Vulinovich 34:48
Yeah, but it’s a nice place to be. It’s actually, I feel very content now. Obviously there’s still grief and there’s a lot of times where I feel sad about my sister and everything that happened in that time of my life because that was really a lot. But I don’t have any big things going on behind the scenes anymore. And that’s nice. It’s nice to be able to say that.
Shannon Dunn 35:15
Yeah. Because at any given moment in time, just being human is always potentially some big thing happening or just past or just around the corner, and you’re going to take every moment, don’t we and really enjoy that place, as you said, contentment, peace, whatever else that comes with that. So awesome.
Shannon Dunn 35:34
So final question I have for you, Miss Brooke, what do you wish you’d known a year ago? So about the time we chatted last year, when you were just you’re first embarking into Bali? Yeah, that you know as a woman who’s leading in business?
Brooke Vulinovich 35:50
Well, I thought about this too. And it’s a lesson that I should have learned, but I got reminded of. Because when I first started teaching social media, I only did in-person, I did nothing online, right. And the reason I did nothing online, there were two reasons. Reason number was one was, again, that imposter syndrome, I thought, if I put my lessons online, a bigger, better brand is going to come steal them, and take them and recreate them, and they’re going to be better and have more money, and no one will want to learn off me anymore. That was reason number one.
Brooke Vulinovich 36:28
And reason number two was a lot of the feedback that I got about my teaching style and my workshops. And my lessons, was that when people came, they really enjoyed the energy. And it was always such a good, good energy in the room. And it felt like a really positive environment. And they always felt really excited. And it was fun. And I was really concerned that that just wouldn’t convey through a screen, that that energy wouldn’t convey through a screen. And that was another reason I was like, Look, everything’s going really well in-person. But I just don’t think online, it’s going to work like that, which is really interesting to say because I built my whole business on Instagram, which is online.
Shannon Dunn 37:06
I know, this is the funny ironies of the belief systems and the things that we decided are true.
Brooke Vulinovich 37:11
The ironies, I know, right. So then, when I left Perth last year, obviously a really big part of my business strategy and marketing strategy, and also just to give back to my community was the events that I used to run in Perth, the Social Clubs Spotlight events, and when I left Perth, obviously, I found a way to do a couple of events. But now we’re totally on the other side of the world. It’s not a reality for me to fly back to Perth for 24 hours anymore and host an event. And I just thought, well, events are off the cards. Because I’m on the other side of the world, I can’t do this anymore. And then I had this idea to do a live online masterclass. I’ve never done it ever, I’ve never done something like that in my business as a way to attract an audience and teach them and help them to achieve their goals. And I thought, well, we need to do something new. I need to give the advice. I need to take the advice that I give to others. And we’ll try. We’ll try an online event. I don’t know if it will work because people like the in-person events, there’s a whole point they want to be there. And we started to I started talking about it on Saturday and today’s Thursday, and we’ve had 73 people register.
Brooke Vulinovich 37:30
I’m not surprised and I’m still shocked that you’ve never done live. I know you are and I love it. I’m not surprised and I again I am more surprised that you have not… and I know how much you love live events, I’ve been to your live events. I know how much people resonate with the energy you bring in and hold in the room and how well they’re received and how they’re talked about in this local community. But I’m still shocked that you hadn’t done beyond them the kind of stuff that you do for Social Club like for your members.
Brooke Vulinovich 39:12
I just got in my head again and I was like no one will want this because they want the live, they want the in-person events and I can’t offer them in-person events. So there’s no point me doing events and imagine if I started doing these live masterclasses 12 months ago, Shannon.
Shannon Dunn 39:27
I know, but you’ve learnt. I feel like I’ve been doing it online masterclass kind of things, you know in the days when we used to call them just webinars, for most of my most of my business when the technology was really bad or teleconference kind of learnings and summits. So again, it surprises me that that you’re so into the digital space.
Brooke Vulinovich 39:49
But like you said, and I already do them. I do one every single week in the Social Club. Yeah, I didn’t think it would work to the general public. It just it sounds so silly and I wish I knew that and I did know that. But you’re forever learning and you’re even forever repeating the same learnings.
Shannon Dunn 40:09
It is. I don’t know about you, but I know that I often find myself when I’m having conversations and coaching sessions with clients and just working through things with them. And I’m like doing this internal dialogue of are you listening to this too, like are you paying attention to this yourself?
Shannon Dunn 40:28
So what’s next for you? This was an impromptu question. I just had to ask, while I’ve got you here. What’s next?
Brooke Vulinovich 40:34
Two things, potentially three things. So circling back to I was talking about the International Women’s Day event that Dom wrote the press release for, Ash and I have secured our biggest sponsor ever. That actually pitched to us. This is the first time someone has pitched to us. Normally, we spend at least six months pitching to get sponsors. It’s such a big part of the event.
Brooke Vulinovich 41:08
Its so much work to organize. So much behind the scenes. And for the first time ever, a brand pitch to us. And it’s a big brand. I can’t say who it is yet. But trust me, when it comes out. I cried. Ash called me. We both cried on the phone together. We cried. It was that big. So that’s the first really exciting thing. So save the date for that. 7th of March in Perth, International Women’s Day. Incredible.
Brooke Vulinovich 41:39
Second big thing, one of the biggest global brands in the world approached me to do some work with them next year. And it’s across two countries. And it’s like the dream gig, the absolute dream gig. So again, I can’t say who it is because we’re still negotiating. The other one slid into my DMs, the International Women’s Day one was from a conversation in DMs. This one slid into my DMs. Again proving the power of Instagram, you never know who’s watching. Never know who’s watching.
Brooke Vulinovich 42:18
And then the third one is. So when Dom and I were in Bali, I had this idea to create well, he had an idea. And then we had the idea together to create this Bali retreat. And then we started working on it, we had people on a waitlist for it, and then just visas and life. And just because you want to live anywhere in the world doesn’t mean the visas will let you live anywhere in the world. So we had to leave Bali and the retreat, just no longer was going to work out. But because I’m coming back to Perth for International Women’s Day. And there are some other opportunities that have come up during that time. So originally, I was only going to come back to Perth, by myself for a couple of days. Now I’m going to be in Perth for a whole month. And I thought all these people want a retreat. So why don’t we do a one day retreat in Perth, and combine all the questions that I’m starting to get asked now. Yes, I can teach you Instagram. But I can teach you a lot about mindset. And I can teach you a lot of personal development and what it has taken me….
Shannon Dunn 43:27
Not just Instagram
Brooke Vulinovich 43:30
…has taken me personally to build this brand and my life to what it is. And what I wanted to be able to share at the retreat in Bali, packing that into a one day Perth event, which is what we’re now working on, and it makes me so excited. So that’s yeah, that’s the big three.
Shannon Dunn 43:51
Oh, love it. So yeah, I knew there’d be more than one, it’s just such a Brooke thing. Oh, I can’t wait to tell you and I love that there’s three.
Brooke Vulinovich 44:02
I’m really excited. I’m really excited. I felt like something was building. And I didn’t know how it was gonna look whether it was going to be a program or online course. But even an online coaching course for me, it just didn’t sit right. Like I have the Social Club and the Social Club is incredible. I love the Social Club. But something that can delve in deeper, I couldn’t figure out how it looked. So I had the idea based on what I keep getting asked by my clients and my customers and my followers and my audience, and I just couldn’t map out how that looked. But I just kept writing down like writing down bits and pieces and then I just it literally Yeah, just recently I was like, oh my god, this is what we should do. Yeah, yeah. So it’s really funny.
Shannon Dunn 44:52
It’s like the spotlight events completely reimagined.
Brooke Vulinovich 44:59
And I’d love to do a spotlight. But I just don’t think we have the time.
Shannon Dunn 45:04
Oh goodness no. As a retreat host, knowing how much time things take to cover all of the things you want to cover in a week, because that’s how long my retreats are. Yeah, no, I think just focus on your content and maybe have an open kind of Q&A portion. You know, you might only still get two or three questions.
Brooke Vulinovich 45:27
Yeah, but I’m excited. I think it’s something that both people want and need, and are asking me for, and something that I’m really excited to do. And I know in business, the only way forward is to match those two. Just because people want and need it, doesn’t mean you’re excited about it, or that you want to do it. And when you find that beautiful alignment between what you’re excited about and what people want. That’s what propels you forward That’s whats propelled me forward.
Shannon Dunn 45:58
All the green lights are on, right?
Brooke Vulinovich 46:00
All the green lights.
Shannon Dunn 46:01
Nothing in your way. Lovely lady, I have had so much fun talking to you again. And it’s been great to reconnect. So thank you for being a part of the She Leads She Thrives journey. And I look forward to seeing how we go with these birthday episodes and how much attention they get, bringing our guests back and then we’ll see what we do for me come to year two, who’s going to be on the invite list to come back for the second birthday. It’s gonna be lots of fun to see.
Brooke Vulinovich 46:29
I hope its me.
Shannon Dunn 46:31
Love it. Maybe once people start to hear about the first birthday extravaganza, they’ll be like, Oh, this is a thing to actually work towards.
Brooke Vulinovich 46:41
You never know. You never know. You got to put it out there.
Shannon Dunn 46:43
You don’t, you never know. So thank you so much for your time and everything. And yeah,it’s been fabulous to connect. And we look forward to hearing from our listeners how they find these incredible conversations reconnecting with our guests from the first year and really the first few months of She Leads She Thrives. So yeah, it’s been a lot of fun. So thank you for everything.
Brooke Vulinovich 47:04
Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Shannon Dunn 47:06
Hello superstars, welcome to the final piece of this. Let’s have a look back at where we all were a year ago with some of the guests that we had on She Leads She Thrives. If you have missed it, by some chance, I am your host here and have been your host for a year now on this incredible podcast. And as it turns out, while I thought we had nine incredible guests gonna come back and join us to celebrate our first year and do a bit of a Where are they now, we ended up having eight who were able to join us.
Shannon Dunn 47:18
So I figured I would put myself into the spot of the final final conversation if you like. And I’m going to put the turn the questions on myself and ask myself the questions that I’ve asked each of the guests that we’ve had back to celebrate this first year as part of this first birthday series. So if you have been listening, then you’ll know the questions, but I will share them again. And I’ll share with you, from my heart, as I always do my own answers to these questions.
Shannon Dunn 48:14
So the first one that I’ve asked everybody is, in the last year, what’s been your greatest personal evolution? And I will admit that I have been stumped by my questions, the questions that I have asked the guests that we’ve had, they definitely challenged me to come up with answers to these. So I have had a challenging year. If you listen to back at some point in the last kind of few weeks to Episode 50, I shared with you some of the ins and outs of what’s been happening for me on a personal level this year, in 2023. Lots of things to navigate.
Shannon Dunn 48:47
So when thinking about my greatest personal evolution, I know that this year has been a bigger, deeper, more insightful, and sometimes more frustrating lesson in surrendering, in going with the flow. I remember in the early phases of 2020, we all know what happened, we don’t need to talk about too much. But I know that the word surrender kind of came up so many times for myself and my clients at the time. And I remember thinking back then – I know what that’s all about. I’m surrendering, I’m kind of going with the flow. I am being realistic about the circumstances, the situation, the what’s going on, but doesn’t mean I have to like it. But I get it and I get what surrender is.
Shannon Dunn 49:36
And I remember a particular client that I was working with at the time, we had a bit of a laugh about surrender because she was giving the same kind of messaging coming through and feeling very frustrated that she felt like she was surrendering and allowing herself to just be in what was coming up when we didn’t really know what was happening and coming and how things were going to move forward. And so we used to talk a lot about surrendering to the point that you know, we even both having a essential oil that is called Surrender that we have used and still use and laugh about.
Shannon Dunn 50:05
But until the events of this year, I can honestly say that I didn’t really understand what it meant to surrender, to have an experience of injuring my knee and surgery and long term rehab, where I physically can’t do things that I’m so used to doing that make me feel so energized and alive and strong and great for my mental health and so many different things. Not being able to do those things has been a surrender on a whole next level. And that has also been going with the flow of being able to sit in a space of well, this is what it is, I don’t have to again, like previous times, I don’t have to like it, but accepting it. And not pushing, when it’s not something to be pushed is incredibly important to acknowledge and to sit with all of that, to work through it, to acknowledge emotions, when they came up all of those kinds of things.
Shannon Dunn 51:04
My trust, particularly in myself and in what the Universe could deliver, or what the circumstances are, has been tested more this year than I have ever had it tested. And that’s saying a lot, I’ve definitely had plenty of experiences over my lifetime where trust has been tested. And in all of that, there’s also been an experience that’s very much been of great personal evolution of holding the vision for what I actually know I’m here to do and to leave in the world as my legacy. It’s not been getting less attention necessarily, but I haven’t shared it in the same ways that I have in the past. And I have taken steps backwards if you’d like in a more of a metaphorical sense than necessarily racing backwards with a dodgy knee to be able to consider how this may come to be.
Shannon Dunn 52:03
The vision is clear, the vision is strong. It’s not evolved and changed unnecessarily in terms of what the end result and the end impact and legacy will be. But the way it could become reality, I’ve let go of the needing to know that. So that is a huge thing for me as a Liberator Engineer Archetype. You know, you’ve got to know all the moving parts, everything to get to the end result, as a Mentor Teacher got to understand all the knowledge and all the pieces, you know, moving behind the scenes in terms of the what I need to know. The Inspirer Believer doesn’t do so well, when she doesn’t have inspiration and things to motivate her and move forward. But my Visionary Creator, I’ve called in more of her as an Archetype this year, to ask for her support on keeping that connection to the vision and the Creator to step up and to really guide me support me in whatever is most important right now to stay connected to that vision. So that’s what’s been my greatest personal evolution, a few different things there.
Shannon Dunn 52:59
So what’s gone on behind the scenes in this past year that I haven’t spoken about, or people haven’t seen so much on my socials? Well, in the last few months, I have been less active on social media, because I’ve had a lot of other things going on. You know, hosting my first retreat back in May, in three and a half years was the most joyful experience. But it was also happened immediately after I injured my knee and navigating all of the medical aspects, then the coming home and surgery and, you know, just not having the motivation and the inspiration and the energy, because of my physical wellbeing to put into business like I usually would.
Shannon Dunn 53:38
It’s very unusual for me to not be motivated and inspired. And it’s not that that’s gone. But it hasn’t been as readily available as it has been, I would say all of my life. So I have shared some of the ins and outs of what I’ve experienced. I’ve shared some of the challenges. What I haven’t shared so much as some of the unreliability that has been in existence in business this year, not just with the more recent months and what’s happened for me on a personal physical level with my health, it’s been prior to that. I felt like this year well I started the year full of motivation and energy ready for kind of fresh things and travel and all the things that will come with that, there’s been a lot of unreliability and instability in business and I don’t always share that. I share little bits every now and again but I haven’t shared a lot of it.
Shannon Dunn 54:26
And with that the juggling of all the emotions or frustrations that instability in many different ways.You know the irony is not lost to me that I injured my knee and have not been able to stand properly for the last – when I’m recording this and to share this with you – the last you know a few weeks or months I’ve been using crutches and then a single crutch to aid my walking and I’m not going to be back doing all the things that I’m used to being able to do that require stability like my stand up paddleboarding for some months yet, so, yeah, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes, but again, I also want to take this time to remind you that we don’t have to share everything, on our social media or in our stories in our content. Sharing what feels right for us, what feels safe for us to do is more important than sharing everything, very much so.
Shannon Dunn 55:12
And what do I wish is the third question I’ve asked everyone, what do I wish I’d known a year ago that I know now as a business leader. This again, like both of the other questions was one that stumped me a little bit, and I had to really dig deep to think about it. And the answer I got when I reflect on this question was that support is available for you, if you ask for it. I’m not someone who prides myself on doing things on my own all the time. But I am also an incredibly independent person. I have loved being able to work things out, I can say this in my Archetypes, my Liberator Engineer is definitely to blame for that one, she’s always going to wait to kind of come up with a solution or an answer to something.
Shannon Dunn 55:57
But in what’s happened with me, personally, more so than in my business in this past year, there has been a need to reach out and ask for support, and to create this space to allow myself to receive it. To be in a space of gratitude and joy more than I ever have in terms of receiving support from people, even from organizations from all kinds of different individuals and groups that I never imagined I’d even have any interaction with. So that makes me also reflect on the fact that or the reality, that support is also more available than we often realize for us and our businesses.
Shannon Dunn 56:38
It doesn’t always have to be paid support. Some of my business friends and connections have been the most supportive people during the last year. With me sharing what I’ve been going through how I finding things, how I’m feeling, to even some of the times of not even sharing, but just them, you know, the connection that we have is strong, and there’s an intuitive connection where they just reach out. And they;re like I just neeeded to check on you today. And being able to be open to someone doing that. And then having a conversation if that feels right, to be able to share a little bit maybe about what’s going on and thank them for for tuning into their intuitive selves that were suggesting that they reach out and just check in. Yeah, so much gratitude for all of that.
Shannon Dunn 57:21
So it’s been an incredible year in so many regards. But in terms of the success, I’m so much in a space of joy and expansion in terms of what we’ve achieved for She Leads She Thrives podcast in this first year, and can’t wait to see what the second year brings for us. Got some incredible guests lined up. Some of those episodes that we have coming up in the next month or so, we’ve already recorded, so I know what’s coming. I’m excited to share those with you.
Shannon Dunn 57:48
And as I always will, I’ll continue to commit to bringing you incredible guests from all walks of life, from different parts of the world to share their stories, some of them will be incredibly successful and what they do, some of them be up and coming in their their life and their business and their leadership roles and capacity. But you know, She Leads She Thrives is here to stay. Got lots to share. I’ve got a lot personally to share with you, which I will continue to do. And we’re gonna look at what new kinds of episodes we might bring in for the second year of the podcast. So thank you again for joining me for these birthday episodes. I think we’re going to be four or five in total, but three of them were these reflective back where were we a year ago from now with some of the guests that we had on in the early months of the podcast, and yet so much more to come. So thanks again. Have an amazing day wherever you are, and never ever forget that you were born to thrive.
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