Ep. 1 | What I Learned By Interviewing Different Women In Business | Nicole Constante
The past year has been magical though to say the least. I remember scrolling through instagram when I was younger and there was this one photographer. She posted a picture of her holding a camera in the dubai sand dunes and she captioned it “I wonder where my camera is taking me next..” And at that time I was SO So jealous because she gets to go to different places with this blogger doing what she loves.. and getting paid for it etc etc I mean girl!! Livin the dream life. And Ive felt this hunger.
But over the last few months of taking photos for entrepreneurs and small business owners, and even getting to places because of my camera and my business, I found that I asked myself a different question. Instead of where, I often find myself looking at my camera with gratitude and enchantment saying “I wonder to whom you are going to introduce me next..” because People, they have just become such a big part of my journey. A big part of why I do what i do is because of the people that I get to meet and the conversations I get to have because of it. Ive done a few weddings and I would always compare doing weddings and doing digital marketing content and the reason I find myself leaning more into the latter, enjoying working with creative people, with business owners, with local entrepreneurs, it always always comes to down to the conversations that I get to have. Like, during client meetings, I am learning a lot! Sometimes we’re talking about acupuncture, sometimes mortgages, sometimes real estate, sometimes meditation, sometimes SEO and Pinterest.. And the best part is whenever they tell me their WHY as well as their vision and I see their smile.. it’s the best thing.
Also, I am such a sucker for stories and that’s why I started this interview series in the first place.
I did not come from a business-minded family so my hunger for community is just over the top. When we got here, even though I had no idea what I wanted to do, I was certain of one thing.. I knew the kind of people I wanted to surround myself with..
And so I started reaching out to people and I learned that people are always generous with their time and energy. You have to learn to be courageous and ask for help and come from a place of genuine intention and curiosity. Like, it seems daunting at first, asking people to come sit down for coffee with me so I could pick their brains and learn about their mindset and their lives, but it did not feel that way at all. It almost always felt like a conversation between friends.
I once heard a quote that goes like “You can’t be what you can’t see.” I find that it’s when Im surrounded by these women that I’m so inspired to create, I’m hungrier in a good way to reach my fullest potential, and be the woman I want to become because they prove to me that not only is she possible, but she’s necessary. I learn to dream big not only for myself, but for my family, for the people whose lives I will impact, for that confused girl in the future who might reach out to me and ask to sit down for coffee with me to pick my brains too.. The way that they’ve been generous to me helped me dream for something that’s so much so much bigger than me.
Like what I said, this werent the people I grew up surrounded by. I did not have this kind of community or the kind of role models that felt reachable to me.
I wanted to renew my mindset about successful people and businesses in general. I did not have such a healthy perspective on success and business because The tv shows I was exposed to growing up, the typical Filipino drama I would look forward to watching sitting on the floor with my cousins, they all portrayed successful people, without fail no matter whether the genre was comedy or horror or hard core drama, they portrayed business people as ones who are always grumpy, who didnt have time for their families, who treated their employees horribly and looked down on other people. They were portrayed as secretly miserable with their personal lives despite the career success.
And so I grew up having a very distorted mindset about CEOs. Whenever Id hear that word, I would think of people in business suits and polished shoes and straight serious faces. I thought of people in big offices with lots of paperwork waiting to be signed on their desks that stressed them out. ⠀⠀⠀⠀
The longer I walk this journey, the more I realise that it’s all just me breaking my imposed beliefs. The beliefs that were shaped for me, the ones I did not choose and they are ones that are the least empowering. The past few months, through my photography journey, I have been fortunate enough to have come across and work with them and interview them and sit down for coffee with them and I was slapped in the face.
Because I see them, and they have the biggest smiles. They have the healthiest relationships and marriages. They have the most freedom with their time and they get the best experiences out of life because tadaa, turns out money is not evil but it just magnifies who you are and hey hey allows you to do things that make you happy. Everyone has just been so generous not only with their time, I appreciate the fact that they make sure I understand what theyre saying because most of the time, things were jargon to me.. They would make sure to slow down and explain it in a way that would make sense to me even though for them it’s like reciting the alphabet. They took the effort to use bite sized english, as I would call it and never once did I feel bad for not knowing. I never felt ignorant. Haha! And every single time, after every single interview or coffee date, they would be the first to say “if you need anything, if there’s anything I can do for you.. Just let me know” or “Do not hesistate to reach out. I will always have time for you.” And It’s so so heartwarming.
The more I learned how they did it, the more I believed in my own ability to do it as well.. Growing up, Whenever I was surrounded by wealthy & successful people, I always felt like I had to curl up and shrink myself and just stay in the corner and not say anything because i thought i didnt really have the right to be in the same space as them, that i did not belong with them or they were this other species I cant come in contact with. it was a very unhealthy mindset that I was almost afraid of them in a sense.. I just always felt small 🤦🏻♀️
When I look at myself today, I can barely recognize myself from that girl. We’re just light years away it feels like. I think about that I come up to every speaker after every event because I no longer feel like there’s a gap between us. I think about the times we are talking just about over coffee and we laugh together and sometimes share personal things or brainstorm for our businesses and I am treated as an equal. I learned that the way they would treat you and look on you would reflect the way you see yourself and show up to them.
The more I did it, the less it felt weird and scary. The more I surrounded myself with successful people, the more it felt possible and ATTAINABLE for me too. I love hearing how their story unfolds. Learning about their mindset, work ethics, and values.
Also, I realised that the platform that I have, the platform that Ive been given, this isnt just mine. I want to utilize it to share other people’s stories as well because everyone deserves a platform and even though that’s easy nowadays with social media for us to tell our stories, it’s still different when you share with other people.
Their stories are so meaningful and interesting! Somehow, I also find pieces of mine in it. I recently attended the Rise conference in Calgary where Danielle Laporte was speaking and she talked about why we need to tell our stories, that it’s because we are alone in it. I learned that our stories, the chapters that we walked through, other people could be in that right now and maybe our stories could be someone else’s breakthrough.
Everytime I go to an event where there would be speakers or panel interviews, it always amazes me how I relate to them. I mean, we are in north pole south pole different industries. How could I relate? But somehow I do. Whenever they talk about fear and self-doubt. Whenever they would mention being so frustrated or crying on the floor or being so afraid because they are taking a big risk.. I realised that yes, we are on different paths, but our jouney, it’s all the same.
Another reason why this interview series has been a blessing is because it revolutionized the way I see other people’s businesses and establishments. So often we just see the building and the finished product, or the successful restaurant or the fully booked spa. I used to always get very intimidated because of how shiny things seem from the outside. Like it’s all put together and successful and all is going well. But there is so much more story that went behind that. Lots of tears and days of uncertainty and big sacrifices and ugly cries on the floor that had to happen before that thing could come about. And once I learned that, I was more inclined to hearing about the heart behind all of it. What’s the story before this came to be? What was the journey like? What brought you here today and what keeps you going? I also learned that we’re all continuously learning and overcoming challenges no matter what stage we are in.
It is such a privilege to be able to do this— interview different business women and founders in different stages of their journey. I would always get nervous before stepping in, trying to be prepared with the right questions, or do my diligence and read about them but as I do it over and over, I learn that all I really have to do is be there to listen fully and make the other person feel heard and understood. That’s all they need. When I show up with my heart that’s genuinely willing to learn from and about them, when I don’t have any other agenda than to share their story with others, that’s when the magic happens. Some want the spotlight, but I want to BE the spotlight. I want to shine the light through me on to others and use the platform Ive been given to share their story.
So with this podcast, my current intention is not to be like an educator or give you tips and tricks to do business although that may change. But for now, I want it to still feel the same. Just us, sitting down, talking about anything without pressure and me asking the silliest questions like a baby still figuring the world out. And then I’ll record it. And share it with you. So we can be students together and listen to their stories and hopefully, it will inspire as it does me. Because whenever I hear them talk about their life, I find pieces of myself. I discover new dreams I did not know I have just because I was not aware of its possibility or that it even exists. It’s like the more I learn about them, the more I learn about myself and the world around me and how it’s so full of opportunities and goodness that are available to us if we’re just willing to go and grab it.
So yeah, there will be new episodes and they will be of people from different kinds of businesses, organizations and career paths. Some may even be in school or working a corporate job, who knows? We can learn from anyone. Ooh I would also like to interview a doctor! Haha!
For now, that’s it! I hope that this is something that excites you as much as it excites me!! This thing has been on quite a journey. From written interviews to recorded ones which I had transcribed for the blog.. I just figured it didn’t do their story justice and it was harder to communicate sarcasm or their different tones of voice telling a certain part of their story.. So I thought I would bring it on audio! My cousin, who does the transcribing for me once joked that maybe I could do video interviews too like Oprah one day. And who knows? I meannn.. Haha! But baby steps!! Written and then now, we’re audio. Yay!