Wake Up Women! Interview with Shann Vander Leek
Professional Coach, Yogi and Best Selling Author
Aspire: You are a Coach and a co-author in a new best selling book - Wake Up Women. What is Wake Up Women?
Vander Leek: Yes, I am a professional coach and the founder of True Balance Life Coaching. I coach women in transition to set big goals, achieve extraordinary results and create balance in their lives through coaching, yoga and creative expression.
Wake Up Women Be Happy, Healthy & Wealthy is the first best selling inspirational guidebook written by women for women. Fifty expert authors contributing to one book – filled with great stories and golden nuggets of wisdom. I am happy to report that we soared to the top of the Barnes and Noble best seller list in January topping the charts for Women, Women’s Career and Women’s Health and shared the top ten spotlight with President Obama and John Grisham!
Women are busy. Like your readers they are balancing work, family, activities, volunteering. Wake Up Women is divided into sections that deal with everything from our emotional well being to career, money and relationships.
It’s full of great stories you can read in bite sized pieces and it is also a guide book. And you are getting the insights from fifty different and diverse women experts.
Aspire: You say the time for women is now? What do you mean?
Vander Leek: I think too often we as women put everyone and everything first. We will start a new business when the mortgage is paid off. We will take yoga or art classes once the kids finish school. Get healthy or fit when we have more time.
My goal is to inspire as many women as possible to be willing to put themselves first, take care of their bodies, nurture their dreams, and make the best use of their talents.
We forget that we can give the most when we are living lives we love. We can be the best mothers, wives, business owners or colleagues when we are feeling nurtured, fulfilled, inspired and self expressed.
We can have the biggest impact on social and community changes when we are feeling confident and powerful.
What I want to remind Aspire readers to do is to take care of and express themselves, and to live their dreams.
Aspire: How is this book different from other inspirational books like Chicken Soup for the Soul?
Vander Leek: What is unique about Wake Up is like books like Chicken Soup for the Soul there are these amazing and moving inspirational stories from women across the globe.
The difference is each author is an expert – a coach, a professional or an outstanding business executive, and each inspirational story includes 2 – 3 tools, techniques or strategies they can implement in their life immediately. The book not only offers great stories but is also a guidebook to life.
My story and contribution to the book is titled Walking Away From the Big Bucks in The Pursuit of True Balance which was first published in Aspire’s Fall 2008 issue. The story includes several tips to prepare you for becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Aspire: How else are you helping women – Wake Up?
Vander Leek: I earned my yoga teaching certification to create and conduct luscious living play shops involving yoga, guided meditation and creative expression. The first two play shops sold out quickly with the attendees wanting more … Women are ready for extreme self care.
Aspire: What’s special about the growing community of Wake Up Women?
Vander Leek: I am blown away by my co-author community. This group of women has become part of my professional network. We support each other, share ideas, collaborate and dialog about how we can make a difference for women across the globe. Women joining collaborative forces are not only a powerful business tool but an empowering personal one also.
Each author also believes in giving back and making a difference in their community and each is partnering with not for profit organizations by offering book signings and fund raising events.
Aspire: What is the vision that drives Wake Up Women?
Vander Leek: Each of us in our own way believes in the power of women. We believe the world is hungry and in need of the vision, leadership and compassion of women. I became a coach because I am committed to inspiring women in transition and employees who want to become entrepreneurs. So Wake Up Women is one more way that I can make an impact and a difference in peoples lives. In this way I can reach out to tens of thousands of women I would not normally be able to reach.
Aspire: Please explain to our readers how women in business working together differ from the old paradigm of competition and struggle?
As women – I think we are naturally about community, about something greater than ourselves, but we have not always had the mechanisms to come together. The business environments to date have been based on old models of competition and scarcity and Wake Up Women is a business model based on abundance and community very similar to what you have created with Aspire.
Aspire: Do you ever feel competitive with the other authors – some of whom are in your same field?
Vander Leek: No, not at all – we are truly working in collaboration, support and mutual respect. We each believe that there is an abundance of clients and customers for each of us. We believe and live by that adage that by coming together, working together, and merging our individual audiences we are all reaching tens of thousands more people who we previously would not have connected with.
Aspire: If you could give our readers one simple life tool to use right now – what would it be?
Vander Leek: The one tool I would give your readers is for them to make a list or inventory of what they deem to betruly important in their lives and a list of the things that bring them down. Then begin eliminating the things that bring them down so that they can begin living the life they desire.
“I would like to offer Aspire readers a Free Dynamic life survey tool– 101 Things to Work on with a Professional Coach. Just visit my website and click on Free Assets.” To learn more about Shann’s work and to order her new book please visit www.truebalancelifecoaching.com