Recently, Rat Race Mutiny had the opportunity to talk to the amazing Delores Pressley. Delores works with women entrepreneurs from around the world. She is a sought after keynote speaker and an executive life coach. She’s written numerous books on self-empowerment, appeared on every major television network on shows such as OPRAH and Entertainment Tonight, and has spoken in more than 60 major cities and countries.
Exclusive Interview with Delores Pressley
Rat Race Mutiny (RRM): Tell us about the Global Up Woman™ Network. What inspired you to start this movement?
Delores Pressley (DP): UP Woman International is a global network that plugs women entrepreneurs into training, mentorship, and collaboration opportunities with top influencers and thought leaders from around the world. We hold the Up Woman Circle gatherings of top leaders from every field and every area of expertise.
I was inspired to start the network because I felt women needed a network that truly supports them and offers them resources to grow their business, be confident and increase their personal power to achieve success in life and business.
Our Motto: You’re in business FOR yourself, but never BY yourself.
Rat Race Mutiny (RRM): Your goal is to inspire and uplift business women. Why this specific audience?
Delores Pressley (DP): So often, I was denied the opportunity to achieve my full potential as a girl and woman. As a child, I had such a strong determination to be a ballerina that I dreamed about it every night. When I heard a dance troupe was coming to my school I begged my mother to sign me up for ballet lessons. Much to my surprise she returned to inform me she signed me up for tap dance instead of ballet. I was devastated and could not understand how she could do that to me. At that time she explained the dance instructor thought I was better suited for tap, not ballet. It wasn’t until later in life she revealed the truth that she spared me from the pain of the dance instructor telling her I was too big for ballet.
My mother spoke confidence into me by constantly telling me how beautiful I was and how I could achieve anything. Once I found this out it was a turning point for me… I decided I would never allow anyone to rob me of my power.
As an adult I had a similar experience. I wanted to be a model, but every agency I turned to told me “you are too big, too fat.” It took me back to my childhood years and I could hear that dance instructor telling my mother the same thing.” This time I took action, bound and determined to prove them wrong. I mustarded my confidence and started the Dimensions Plus Model Agency. I had the agency for 18 years and our models worked for Glamour, Essence, Saks Fifth Avenue to name a few.
Do not let others determine your self-worth. Your power to change your beliefs gives you the power to change your circumstances.
As a little girl, I don’t think I knew what full-potential meant, but what I knew was that I would not let people rob me of my dreams and I was determined to live them in spite of what others thought. Subsequently, my life mission is to help women be undeniably powerful and live life beyond their potential.
RRM: What has been the hardest part about getting your network started?
DP: The hardest part about starting the network was convincing women that it is okay to ask for help. Asking for help is a sign of strength not weakness.
RRM: What has been the most rewarding?
DP: Seeing women entrepreneurs starting and growing successful businesses. Changing their mindsets of disbelief into producing a business that they always dreamed of. Many have gained financial independence as a result of having a business. That truly excites me.
RRM: Do you have any success stories of business women you’ve really helped along the way?
DP: Absolutely, Shalon Barnett hardly spoke above a whisper when I met her. Now she is a professional speaker, owns a business and has given birth to a non-profit organization that provides physical, educational and personal support to women who want to overcome a negative past ; Shalon’s H.O.P.E.; Helping Other People Excel.
Shalon was at one time homeless. She is sharing her powerful story to help women.
RRM: What do you think is the one thing that holds women back from achieving their dreams?
DP: Women often allow fear to keep them from taking action. Women should be bold, confident and courageous.
Below are four keys that can help overcome fear
- Bring fear out into the light of day and acknowledge it. Be honest, tell the truth and be real about the fear you hold. When we hide our fear, we give it life. When we deny that it exists, we allow it more power that it should hold. When we shine a light on fear and talk it through, we often find that it was not nearly as scary as we thought.
Honestly admitting our fear gives us the needed breathing room to deal with it. It opens the door to moving beyond.
- Own the fear. Take responsibility for your fear. Own up to the fact that it is your problem. This is because too often we tend to want to blame others or “circumstances beyond our control” for the fear we are experiencing. Can people or circumstances be scary and fearful? Sure, but the control of that fear lies squarely in your lap. You determine its influence over you and your life.
By taking responsibility for our fears we begin to own the fact that we are the only ones who can change them. When we realize this truth, we are on the path to moving beyond fear.
- Let it out. Do not repress your fear. Speak, write, journal, run, hit something (not someone), scream – do something to let fear out of your body. When we express our emotions with intensity they begin to move through us. When we truly “feel the fear”, we start the process of lessening it’s power and hold over us. Make fear weak by becoming strong.
- Take action. Overcoming fear is not a spectator sport. If you want to let go of and move beyond your fear, you have to be in the game and not on the sideline.
RRM: You give speeches around the country. What is the most interesting place you’ve visited and why?
DP: I have so many wonderful experiences on the platform that it would be difficult to pick one favorite. If I must, it would be speaking for Athena International in Rotherham UK. Having the opportunity to help people worldwide be inspired and help them motivate themselves to action was an incredible experience for me. There were Lords and dignitaries in the audience and it was such an honor to be invited to speak in England.
I recently spoke for the Turks and Caicos government employees. Turks and Caicos is one of the most beautiful places in the world where I have spoken. I find that people worldwide have the same need to be inspired.
RRM: You encourage others to use their past successes to fuel their future successes. Can you explain this a bit more in-depth for our readers?
DP: It’s easy to feel like a failure after a particularly harsh setback and even the most empowered of us can, at times, doubt ourselves. However, no matter where you are in your career or life, you have undoubtedly done something that has made an impact. For instance, I had a client who was having suicidal thoughts and I talked her out of being suicidal. This had a tremendous ripple effect as everyone positively impacted by her is a result of the conversation we had to keep her alive. If I’m not proud of anything else, I can be proud of that and realize if I’ve had one success I can have others. You need to take the same mentality. Not every past achievement needs to be as profound as saving a life but find those times you made a difference in the world and know that you can do it again.
RRM: I love your idea for the Power of You jar. Can you explain this to readers?
DP: Everyone should regularly invest in the power of themselves. I call this “Believe in the Power of You.” Do you ever get to the end of the day, week, month or even year and feel like you haven’t accomplished anything? Chances are you’ve accomplished much more than you realize but without any tangible, physical evidence it can be difficult to bring those accomplishments to mind. A great way to create a visual bank of your accomplishments is to make deposits in what I call, “The Power of You Jar.” Every time you accomplish something or do something good, write it down on a slip of paper and put it in a jar. Watching that jar fill up is empowering. Then any time you’re feeling bad or doubting yourself, just reach into the jar and get that reminder of what you’ve already accomplished.
RRM: Any other tips like that to keep one on track with staying inspired?
DP: I have the DECAF principles that are life empowering.
It stands for Decide, Empower, Commit, Act and Follow-through
First, make a Decision. Many people struggle with making simple decisions. When they vacillate nothing concrete is achieved. Trust your gut (your intuition, your spirit) when making decisions. Empower is about believing that you have the power to accomplish the decision. Commit to do everything in your power to make the decision happen. Act – I takes action to be a success. You can make decisions, have dreams, visions and hopes, but not much will happen unless you become engaged and create a plan of action to make it happen. Follow-through – There is a saying, “The fortune is in the follow-through.” Do the work, make the necessary calls, emails and connections to make decisions and stay inspired.
RRM: Are you working on any new books or programs right now?
DP: I am in the process of writing a new book about life seasons.
Life is best described metaphorically as continuously transitioning through each of the four seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. Truly successful people are not those who try to avoid certain seasons, but rather are those who choose to embrace, overcome, and thrive as they seamlessly flow between seasons, regardless of how long or difficult each one may be. And, successful people don’t just overcome the difficult season of winter, but actually thrive during the harsh cold; they also blossom throughout the spring; reap a lush harvest during the summer; and adequately prepare for the fall and winter that inevitably follow. Such cyclical expectations and preparations are mindsets that are key to sustained and ‘against the odds’ success.
RRM: Anything you’d like to add?
DP: As a keynote speaker, I’ve had the opportunity to speak on stages with legends such as Zig Ziglar, Les Brown, Former Supreme Court Judge Sandra Day O’Connor and Magic Johnson.
I enjoy teaching people how to tell powerful stories as a Speaker. I help them to take their speaking to another level by helping them to position themselves and an expert, excel on the platform and increase their speaking opportunities. I’ve created the Launchpad Speaker MasterTeleclass for individuals who want to use the power of their voice to make a difference in the world.
A special thank you to Delores Pressley for taking the time to share a small piece of her wealth of knowledge with us. You can visit her website at DeLoresPressley.com.