By Jennifer Niskanen
Margie Warrell decided to change careers in the late twenties because just working in corporate marketing wasn’t really rewarding enough. That drove her to go back to college and study psychology. Combining that with her business back background, she then added executive and leadership coaching. It was then suggested that she write a book, which led to some speaking and Warrell reports that her business just continued to evolve from there, as she started pursuing something that she was passionate about.
Her best-selling books, including her newest called, “Brave,” are available internationally, on amazon, and through other online booksellers through her website: http://margiewarrell.com. Her newest book also has a website of its own, http://www.trainthebrave.com, that features the, “Train The Brave Challenge,” where participants receive a video message and a different way to act bravely every day for ten days, “Because the more often we act bravely, the braver we become.” The exercises bring clarity about what we want most in life and give us the courage to go and do it.
Q: I know you have a best-selling book “Brave.” What is this book about, and what benefits will I get from reading it?
A: Well, I think a lot of people don’t realize where fear is actually piloting their lives. It’s not that people consciously decide not to do things that would ultimately help them to be successful, or not to address things that make them miserable and unhappy, but often, it is fear in some shape. So basically, my book, “Brave,” helps really shine a light on where fear is helping hold people back and self-doubt, and it doesn’t only just help them realize where it is holding them back, it helps give practical tips and steps to overcome fear. For instance, how do you actually get started out toward a big goal? How do you have a difficult conversation? How do you hold someone accountable?
Q: You are the founder and CEO of Global Courage. What made you decide to start a women’s organization?
A: I do a lot of work with women, and it’s been my repeated experience that women tend to doubt themselves more and back themselves less than men. That’s not to say that men don’t also struggle sometimes with a lack of confidence and self-doubt, but women tend to struggle more, so when it comes to being courageous, many women have a difficult time putting themselves out there and believing in their ability to pursue and achieve really big, audacious goals. Often, women don’t have as many mentors and role models to look up to and we know that women over history have faced many, many more barriers. So, the work I do with my company, Global Courage is really helping to empower women to believe in themselves, to take more risks, to speak up more boldly, and to be more daring with the things that they do because women so often sell themselves short.
Q: What do you think has most attributed to your success?
A: Passion, tenacity, bravery: I’ve had to get out of my comfort zone thousands, and thousands, and thousands of times. I do it all of the time. I also embrace the mantra, “Dumb is better than perfect.” As you know, I have four children, and so, raising four children and having a career, there is a constant juggling act. I’ve got to really focus on what matters most; that means letting go of any desire to do things perfectly. It’s just, what do I need to get this done? What’s the minimum, viable amount that I need to do to actually get this article out? I’m have to constantly focus on where can I add the most value, whether it’s just sharing an article, or preparing for a TV interview or speech, whether it’s writing a book. I say to people, “Don’t wait until you know everything, before you do something,” and so, I really live by that.
Q: Is there any personal story that has changed your life?
A: I lived in Papua New Guinea for three years, and while I was there, I was involved in an armed robbery. I had a gun pointed at my head. I later lost the baby that I was carrying, my first baby in my late twenties, and I decided that life is too short not to be doing something that we really feel passionate about. That’s really helped to propel me in a new direction.
Q: You have mentioned passion so many times. What is your biggest passion in life?
A: I feel passionate just about using my gifts in a way that makes a difference, and so, for me, that is helping other people to have more faith in themselves and to think bigger about what is possible for them.
Q: How do you feed your mind every day?
A: I do new numerous things. I pray often. I read uplifting things. I connect with people regularly who are like-minded — who are big-thinking, big-hearted people.
Q: All successful people do some kind of daily rituals, so what are your daily rituals?
A: I exercise every morning. I have a latte every morning, at mid-morning. I always go for a walk in the evenings with my husband, both around and when we’re traveling, just to talk about things. But, I would say, every morning exercising, and I just read something that inspires me, every day in the mornings, something I have set up on my calendar or just something that really helps me to tune in. When I get out of bed in the morning, I have this prayer, “God, just use me for my highest contribution today.”
Q: What is success to you personally?
A: Success is for me living purposefully, without being attached to the results, and I don’t want to say that I achieve it all the time because I don’t achieve that.
Q: What are the keys to success in three words?
A: Purpose, courage and resilience because, I think being purposeful is vital. We have to be willing to get out of our comfort zone and take risks, but we also have to be resilient, knowing that things always won’t go according to plan and not to let our failures and setbacks define us.
Q: What is the biggest difference between an average person, and a successful person, or someone who is trying to achieve success?
A: I think it is someone that has a compelling why. They are very clear about their big why, and why they do what they do.
Q: If you could interview three successful people, who would they be?
A: Oprah, Angelina Jolie, Richard Branson.
Q: You also mentioned that women do not have enough mentorship. Who are your mentors?
A: I’ve had a man that has been a mentor and a kind of coach to me for many years that you wouldn’t know, and then there’s other people that I really look up to when I watch what they do, but they haven’t mentored me directly. So, there is just a lot of people that I admire, and I’ve watched what they’ve done and their steps and that’s how they have impacted me.
Q: What brings you happiness on a daily basis?
A: Hanging with my kids.
Q: You mentioned in your book that fear often stops people from achieving their goals and many other things, so what are the best ways to overcome fear?
A: One, I think, is to confront your fear and really own it, what you are really afraid of, because if you don’t own your fear, your fear well on you. Secondly, to be honest about the cost of inaction because we have a tendency to lie to ourselves, about how we will feel if we don’t do something that we are afraid of. And three, is to break down big challenges into smaller goals, and do one, smaller thing every day.
Q: What drives you every morning?
A: A sense of adventure about what’s possible, just to feel like, “I wonder what I can do if I just give my best with something?”
Q: In your own words, what is greatness to you?
A: Humility and service.
Q: Imagine it is your last day and all of your work and books have been erased and all that you have left is a piece of paper to write the three big truths of your life. What would they be?
A: That you are really are enough, no matter what. That you are put on earth to do something only you can do, and that every worthwhile endeavor will require risking failure.
Q: How should people go about discovering their purpose?
A: I wrote about this in my second book, “Stop Playing Safe,” and I say, look at what you are naturally good at, what you’ve always been good at, what no one has even had to teach you to be good at. What are your strengths? Find the intersection of your natural strengths, the things you care about, what you’re passionate about, and what you’re interested in. What is it, for instance, that if you didn’t have it, it would make you sad? Look for an intersection for when there is a need in the world and what you care about, and what you’re naturally good at; therein lies your purpose.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to add, some kind of words of wisdom that can inspire and empower our readers?
A: Ultimately to know that if you have a vision for your life that truly inspires you, then you have what it takes to achieve it because you wouldn’t be able to dream it if you really didn’t have what it takes to ultimately accomplish it. Don’t waste time waiting for it to be the perfect time. Just get into the action, and know that even if things don’t go to plan, your life will be far more meaningful because you had the courage to pursue something bigger than yourself.