Women Branching Out: Sarah Robinson

For a while now I’ve had the idea of doing a series of interviews with inspiring entrepreneurial women in the back of my mind. Quite honestly I was trying to think it all out and get it perfect before I started. Perfectionism is a problem you might be familiar with.

So when an opportunity came to interview my business coach Sarah Robinson of Escaping Mediocrity (who’s a very inspiring gal), I knew it was time to stop thinking and start doing.

But still I waited, trying to think of the perfect topic and questions. Then Sarah posted this video about being a decisive entrepreneur. It tipped me over the edge and the Women Branching Out interview series went from idea to reality.

I’m happy to present Sarah Robinson of Escaping Mediocrity.

In this audio interview she walks you step-by-step through the Body Compass clarity exercise (my favorite way to get clear) and we chat about her upcoming live event: Creating Irresistible Presence.

Listen to the whole interview (Body Compass exercise & Creating Irresistible Presence information) 20 minutes:

Listen to just the Body Compass clarity exercise: (7 minutes)

Or read the transcript below.

Sarah Robinson of Escaping Mediocrity is the Chief Of the Hooligan Tribe, escaping mediocrity in life & biz one adventure at a time. She’s a Forbes and Dun & Bradstreet Top Tweeter about entrepreneurship. Her live event: Creating Irresistible Presence is September 29 – October 1, 2011 in Atlanta.

Watch the #wbo hashtag on Twitter for more interviews in this series.

Transcript of the interview.

Christie: Hi, it’s Christie Halmick and I’m here with Sarah Robinson of EscapingMediocrity.com. And Sarah’s a small business strategy coach. You are often going to find her on Twitter where she’s talking about escaping mediocrity in live and in business. And also talking about Harry Potter and …

Sarah: and my Turks

Christie: …and her small children. One of the first times I was introduced to Sarah was a call where she was talking about using your body as a compass to make decisions and get clarity on things in life and in your business. So I invited her here today to talk about that and introduce that to the readers of my blog.

Sarah: Yah!

Christie: So if you want to talk about that Sarah. Explain how that works.

Sarah: Sure, well, before I explain how it works, I would love to hear a little bit about your experience when you first heard me talk about it. Sort of what did you find in it that you hadn’t found in other kinds of clarity exercises, cause clarity exercises are everywhere right?

Christie: Yes. It was in the explanation of reading your body. Because, I am really good at listening to my body and then saying no to it.

Sarah: Really.

Christie: Saying no to that feeling. So it was a reminder to me at the right time that what my body says to me is accurate and that I need to pay attention to it.

Sarah: Yeah. I learned this exercise from Martha Beck her very self. She personally trained me as a life coach. I was very, very, very luck. This was some seven or eight years ago … and she … this was an exercise that she taught me.

The thing that I learned then and have simply had validated over and over over again as a coach is that … and as a human being on this earth … is that our bodies are a wealth of information.

We are not heads on sticks as Andrea Lee likes to say. Our whole body carries lots of information but because of the frontal lobe of our brain we like to think that we can just think things through, we don’t feel things through. We think things through.

Which is what you experienced, you out-thought yourself right?

You knew what your body was telling you and then your brain engaged and you out-thought yourself. So the body compass is a really great way to tap into the wisdom that your body already holds and to use the information that you find out through the Body Compass when you’re making a decision.

People are like: “Is the Body Compass infallible?” No.

No decisions making process is infallible. But what is wonderful about the Body Compass is it is intuitive. It is 100% intuitive. And so that piece of information really deserves weight as we’re making a decision.

So that’s where the power of the Body Compass comes in.

So the way it works it this. I will describe it slowly and hopefully your listeners will go through it as I’m describing it.

Body Compass
So what we need to do is get in sort of a comfortable place you know, you don’t have to be lying down or in a dark room or any of that, but just get yourself kind of comfortable. So you can breathe.
And I want you to close your eyes and I want you to bring to mind a really happy moment in your life. The happier the better. The more significant the better. But bring that memory to the front of your mind in full technicolor.

Where were you, exactly?

What did the room look like?

What did the room smell like?

What did you see as you looked around?

Who was there with you?

What did it feel like to be in that space?

Breathe in, breathe that memory in. Remember all the details that you can.

And once you have that memory in as full 3D as you possibly can make it. I want you to check in and ask yourself where does this memory reside in my body?

Where does it reside? Anchor down on that. Place a holding anchor in that spot.

So now come out of that memory and we are going to go to the opposite end of the spectrum.

I’d like you to call forth a memory that was one of the worst moments of your life. Not the worst but a bad moment. And I’d like you to flesh it out in 3D as best you can. Full technicolor.

Where are you?

What does the room look like?

When you look around what do you see?

What do you smell?

What do you hear?

Who is with you? What’s close by?

Bring all the vividness to this memory that you can. So that it is very present for you.

And again, I’d like you to check in with your body. Where does this memory live in your body?

Where do you feel it?

And I want you to set an anchor point in that place, as well.

Now come out of that memory.

You can open your eyes.

What you’ve just set are the points of your compass.

The point of joy and the point of not joy.

And this compass is incredibly helpful when you have decisions to make and you truly feel like you are so confused you can’t make a good one.

So you bring the decision to mind and you think about the two possible choices. You think about going in direction A and how does that make you feel?

Does it make you feel closer to joy does its compass point lead you closer to joy or does the compass point turn closer to not joy?

Now think of alternative course B and go through the same exercise.

When you imagine embarking on course B and you imagine that feeling is it closer to the feeling of point joy or point not joy?

How your body responds to possible options or choices will tell you a lot and give you a lot of really great information for making a decision that is going to lead you toward that joy point.

So it’s very simple actually, the Body Compass, a simple exercise.

People tend to sort of skip over the details.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, I already know where joy lives. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I already know where not joy lives. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, ‘cause that’s your brain. Yeah, yeah, yeah, don’t need the body.”

Don’t do yourself that disservice.

Do that body piece first. I cannot tell you how many people are surprise to discover where joy and not joy actually live in their bodies.

So do that piece for yourself.

Because then once you have those pieces, those points, anchored. They will be easier to find. And you will find them faster and faster.

Like for me, when I first started using the Body Compass I had to like spend a lot of time getting centered, and retouching joy and not joy and then you know, going through the whole exercise.

Now I’ve been doing it so much that it is really easy for me, almost automatically. Does that take me towards joy or not joy? And because I’m so familiar with that territory and that map and that compass it doesn’t take me nearly the same amount of time.

Christie: So it’s a practice?

Sarah: It is a practice, it is a practice, it is a practice and it can serve you. It can really serve you as decisions come up, large and small.

Christie: Can you give me an example of a decision you’ve made recently, or in the past that you really consulted the Body Compass to make?

Sarah: Oh gosh, I think I instinctively and almost subconsciously consult my body compass now on most everything. I want to try to think of one that… um… yeah! So this year one of my really good friends is president of the PTO (parent teacher organization) at the young turks school.

And I’ve never been involved in the PTO at all ever mainly because I don’t have time. But I really want her year to be successful and she asked me to chair something and I didn’t want to do it. My immediate response was NO!

But you know, I check in. You know would this give … does this take me towards joy or not joy? And as a I actually sat with it and thought about it, it does take me closer to joy than not joy for a number of reasons.

You know, I want my friend’s year as PTO president to be successful. I want this event that she’s asked me to chair to go really well for my child’s sake.

You know so, yeah. So I said yes! I said yes. My brain was immediately saying no but once I check in with the compass it’s like you know what we can make this work.

This will take you towards joy.

Christie: That’s a great example.

Sarah: But if I hadn’t checked in on it, I wouldn’t have found that out.

Christie: Yeah. I can see that the practice is the big part. At least for me, that’s going to be what helps me. Continue to do that.

Sarah: Yeah, a lot of people will put …um… they actually print a picture of a compass out and put their compass points on it and stick it on the wall so that they remember.

Christie: That’s a good idea.

Sarah: You’re writing it down

Christie: I’m writing it down or I will forget.

Christie: Can you talk a little bit about CIP? and what that is.

Sarah: Sure would be happy to.

Christie:It’s only a couple of weeks out now.

Sarah:It is two and one-half weeks away. (Sept. 29 – Oct 1) Which I’m very, very excited about and I’m thrilled with the crowd, the community that is gathering itself to be there. It’s going to be very, very fun.

Creating Irresistible Presence, that’s what CIP stands for, Creating Irresistible Presence is a very small live event.

I do very intimate events. I’ve been to the large events where there are 400 of your nearest and dearest friends in a large crowd and you never actually get to talk to the expert who’s event it is. I don’t really, I’m not very comfortable in those environments. I really prefer small intimate gatherings and that’s what Creating Irresistible Presence is.

And it’s an event for entrepreneurs of all levels. I have people there who have just an inkling of an idea. I have people there who’ve been in business for 20 years, but who really want to create a business that incorporates all of who they are.

Meaning their experiences, their skill sets, the things they are passionate about. They want to create a business around that, but they also want to create a viable business around that.

So often I see “do what you love and the money will follow” that may or may not be true. You know it’s all about how are you gonna know there are people who want what you are putting together and that you are putting it together in a way that will resonate with the people you are trying to reach.

So that’s what we talk about at Creating Irresistible Presence because I believe that businesses first have to be irresistible to the business owner. We have to love what we do with such a deep passion because there are days when it’s hard and you don’t want to do any of it and you wish you’d never thought of it.

That happens. And so you have to really be truly, madly, deeply in love with the business you are creating because it’s got to be irresistible to you and then, and only then is it … does that make it into something that’s irresistible to others.

So that’s what we do at Creating Irresistible Presence.

Christie: And could you tell me some of the speakers who are coming?

Sarah: Yes! I’m very excited. All of my friends are coming to speak. It’s always very fun when my friends come to speak.

So Bob Burg is coming to speak, he his a wildly successful best-selling author. His book the Go Giver has sold like over 250,000 copies. Which is just unheard of in today’s book market. It’s sold 250,000 hard, hold in your hand copies. Not Kindle versions, not ebooks versions, but hardback, in your hands copies. He’s coming.

My friend Les McKeown who wrote a wonderful book called Predicting Success. Again, he’s a best-selling author. He’s coming.

My dear friends, Elizabeth Marshall and Janet Goldstein are coming. I’m going to take them separately.

Elizabeth Marshall is … yes, she is a dear friend… but she’s also masterful at really taking your message and building a plan around how to take that to the largest possible audience that you want to take it to. She does that with best-selling authors.

She works on book tours, for example with people like Seth Godin and Michael Port. She has Seth on speed dial and Seth like takes her calls and stuff. She’s wildly successful with authors.

Janet Goldstein has years and years and years of experience in the publishing industry. And what she is masterful at is helping people shape a remarkable message. So she helps you sort of tease out what it is you want to talk about and then shape it into something that is remarkable. That people really want to talk about and hear you talk about. So she’s coming.

Jen Louden is coming. She wrote a book called the Women’s Comfort Book she’s written lots of books since then. And she is just tremendous on using the power of writing to get at who you are and what you have to say in the world. So she’s coming

And then I’ve got two virtual speakers. I’m very excited about, Mark Silver. Mark Heart of Biz is going to be talking about money models. All the different ways that you can actually make money.

I think it’s really, really important that we choose the money models that suit us best. And he’s going to be talking about that.

And then my dear friend Reese Spykerman, whom you know. Who lives half-way around the world is going to be talking to us about creativity and bringing creativity into our businesses. Her presentation last year was one of the highlights people are still talking about it. But really how to tap into our well of creativity to make our businesses stronger and better.

So those are all the guest experts that will be sharing their wisdom at Creating Irresistible Presence.

Christie: So when do you need to sign up by?

Sarah: You can sign up the day before if you want. Go to irresistiblepresence.com and read all about the event, what we are going to cover, who’s going to be there. All the fabulous bonuses and all of the great stuff that’s going to be happening in Atlanta. And you can reserve your seat there, as well.

So I’m very, very excited about what’s going to be happening in Atlanta.

Christie: Yep! Me too.

Sarah: Yeah! I’ll tell you one of the things I did not expect to have happen that happened last year out of Creating Irresistible Presence is a community unlike anything I’ve ever seen spun out of Creating Irresistible Presence and it’s really a community that I’m sort of just an ancillary member of. That community functions 100 percent without me. The people who came to CIP have talked to each other for 12 months. It wasn’t just sort of a flash in the pan that faded, you see that a lot at live events. These people are still talking to each other and they are bringing the new people who are coming like you, into their fold.

It’s not like it’s some exclusive tight knit “well we were there last year and you weren’t” kind of crowd. It’s a very open, “we can’t wait to meet the new people” kind of community.

And I gotta tell you that being sort of the outside observer of that is very awesome.


  1. “And so you have to really be truly, madly, deeply in love with the business you are creating because it’s got to be irresistible to you and then, and only then is it … does that make it into something that’s irresistible to others.” I hear this over and over. Yet somehow this time it sunk it at another level and is boiling around in my blood. Wonderful. Maybe it’s the intimacy piece she is creating.

    Thanks for the introduction!

    • christie on at

      Rebecca – thank you so much for stopping by and listening to Sarah’s interview. She’s a wonderful coach.