Episode #29:
Personal Defense for Businesswomen
with Cynthia Jolicoeur Rood

Do you know what to do if you find yourself in an unsafe situation? In this episode, Caterina is joined by personal power and courage coach, Cynthia Joliceour Rood, who shares her super tips and insight to help women step into their power. Listen to this episode to help you feel more aware, more prepared, and more confident in your daily life.


Hi! I’m Cynthia, speaker, coach and change agent dedicated to helping you discover the strength within you so you can live free from worry and fear and feel confident, capable and powerful.

I believe you are a beautiful, vibrant, badass woman who has a juicy, luscious, meaningful life to live, and that nothing should hold you back or keep you down. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to let fear of what might happen to you define how you live your life or what choices you make.

You don’t have to let an experience you’ve had where your safety, your body or your life has been threatened or violated dictate how you live in the future. I’ll teach you what your body is designed to do naturally, and how to make the best, most effective use of your human survival tools.  -Cynthia Jolicoeur Rood

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Expand Your Fempire Podcast #29 Transcript

Personal Defense for Businesswomen

with Cynthia Jolicoeur Rood

Welcome to Expand your Fempire with Caterina Rando, the podcast for women in business on a mission. Sharing ideas to support you to grow and thrive. Now here’s your host, Caterina Rando.

Caterina Rando: [00:00:24] Hey, my friends. Welcome back to the Expand Your Fempire podcast with Caterina Rando. So happy to be with you today. I have an awesome, amazing, fabulous, incredible, wonderful guest, Cynthia Jolicoeur.

[00:00:41] Cynthia and I have known each other for years. She’s an amazing woman on a mission, supporting other women in their lives to stand up for themselves, to stay safe, to use their voice. Cynthia, thank you so much for being with us today.

[00:01:01] Cynthia Jolicoeur: Oh, thank you so much. I’m so excited cause I absolutely love your show.

[00:01:05] Caterina Rando: Thank you, my friend. Bing, bing. Make me so happy. Now, Cynthia, I want you to start telling your story about how you got into doing your thing. Because you’ve definitely found your mission. and it started in a way that was not quite ideal to give a positive spin. So, Cynthia let’s hear it because that has formed you and built your Fempire.

[00:01:32] Cynthia Jolicoeur: Indeed. Yeah. Like a lot of women in the country, I grew up in a very sheltered environment and I had absolutely no idea that there were dangers out in the world. So, I was super naive when I was younger. And in my early twenties, I lived in Tampa and I went dancing all the time with my friends cause I love to go to clubs and dance.

[00:01:53] And there was one evening where we had a wonderful time. We came out, we were walking to our car and we had to kind of walk down the sidewalk, and these two men came around the corner in front of us. They were like the end of the block and they came around the corner. And I looked at them and I said to my friends, “Oh, don’t worry. I’ve got a gun,”

[00:02:14] Which was total bologna Because at that point in my life, I don’t think I’d ever even seen a gun, let alone actually touched one.  But clearly, I picked up that there was something threatening about them when they came around the corner. And no sooner did I say that then they actually pulled out their firearms and pointed them at us and forced us back down the street, down an alley, into a little alcove where we had to sit, you know, in the filth, on the ground and hand over everything that we had.

[00:02:40] So they mugged us. They took all the jewelry, the cash that we had, watches, all that stuff. And when they were done, they said, “Don’t leave here for 20 minutes, because if you come out too soon, we’ll shoot you.” And so, I just sat there with my friends, absolutely petrified and wondering what on earth had happened and totally without any resources to deal with that kind of situation.

[00:03:05] And I mean, it could have been worse. We were really lucky that all they were after was stuff, but the impact on me was that I realized that I didn’t have a clue, (a) what kind of dangers there actually were out in the world and (b) what to do to avoid them in the first place, but also to deal with them if I couldn’t avoid them. And so that’s kind of what sent me off on this path of trying to discover how to be safe in the world.

[00:03:34] And it led me through martial arts. I went 20 plus years through a martial arts journey and got my fourth-degree black belt in mixed martial arts. But along the way, I realized there was kind of a big difference between what I was learning in the nice safe studio and real-world situations like the one I had been in.

[00:03:53] And lucky for me crossed paths with somebody who had developed a reality-based self-defense system that not only started with how do you detect and avoid danger, but the physical part of it was based on how your body is really designed to work to protect you. And at that point, all the bells went off. It was like, “Yes, ding ding ding! This is what I should be doing!” This is what I needed and I didn’t have, and this is what all women should have.

[00:04:22] I don’t know why I didn’t learn it. I mean, my parents didn’t really know anything about this.

[00:04:27] Caterina Rando: Right.

[00:04:27] Cynthia Jolicoeur: There weren’t any resources in my environment where I grew up. You know, there were maybe one or two martial arts schools, but I certainly wasn’t ever interested in going to them.

[00:04:36] Caterina Rando: Right.

[00:04:37] Cynthia Jolicoeur: It’s like we learn to swim. We learn how to cross the street. We’re told a little bit about stranger danger and, you know, go find an adult if you need help. But like nobody tells us, “This is what being in the world is like, and here are some common threats, and here’s what you can do to deal with them.”

But like nobody tells us, ‘This is what being in the world is like, and here are some common threats, and here’s what you can do to deal with them.’ -Cynthia

[00:04:54] And so when my kids got old enough for me to go do my own thing, I had a choice of, do I go back into high-tech and do the high-tech thingy, or do I do the thing that really is calling to me? And it was pretty obvious I had to do the thing that was calling to me cause that was what I had told all my kids to do.

[00:05:15] At that point I had learned quite a bit and I just thought I can’t have this knowledge that I now have and not share it. It would be criminal on my part basically to not actually give to other women, these resources and tools, this knowledge, this understanding that I developed because we should all have it.

[00:05:34] Caterina Rando: Absolutely. And Cynthia, I have been to your personal defense class where we learned a lot of things to help keep us safe. What I know you’re a proponent of though, is you don’t want to get in a physical situation and that you really are advising women how to avoid those situations, how to notice the red flags, et cetera, et cetera.

[00:06:01] You know, I’ve been fortunate enough. I’ve had a few bad dates. I’ve had a few situations that were uncomfortable, but I have never been personally assaulted like so many women have been. And I want us in our brief time together today, my friend, to do everything we can to keep our listeners safe.

[00:06:24] Please give your philosophy and your recommendations on how we never even find ourselves in those types of situations.

[00:06:35] Cynthia Jolicoeur: Sure. That’s what every woman wants basically is, I would far rather not be in a situation than have to fight for my life.

[00:06:42] Caterina Rando: Right, right.

[00:06:43] Cynthia Jolicoeur: That’s what we all want. And clearly, there are some situations that we can’t avoid, but, the vast majority of them, we can. In fact, most women are at risk, not by some stranger out in the world, but by somebody that they already know – whether that’s an intimate partner, or a colleague at work, or somebody that they know who’s a clerk at Starbucks or something like that. There’s already some sort of a connection.

[00:07:08] And so the step that every woman needs to take right upfront at the beginning, number one, is to recognize what she’s worth. That she really is worth defending. That she’s here on the planet for a reason. And that reason is important. Because without that, without tapping into “why does it really matter that I survive any incident that I might encounter?” it’s very hard to get into action when you have to. So first is just tapping into that.

[00:07:36] Second is to give yourself permission to take action when you get a bad feeling. And if you talk to women or other victims of any kind of violence or assault, the ones that have survived it will tell you, like a hundred percent of them, “I had a bad feeling before it happened.” Like something felt off. Really uncomfortable. There was something about the person or the situation that just didn’t feel right.

[00:08:04] That’s no accident. That’s part of how we’re designed as human beings. That’s part of how our brain works. It’s part of our human survival system that we all are born with. So we have to make the choice and the commitment to pay attention. And to honor that, when we get that uncomfortable bad feeling and not just dismiss it and say, “Oh, he would never do that to me,” or “Oh, this is my sister’s best friend, he wouldn’t ever do anything,” or “That’s my boss, of course, I must’ve been mistaken, I must be over-emotional or exaggerating things.”

[00:08:38] We do so much to dismiss that warning. So those are the first two things. Know what your worth is and why it matters that you continue to be here. And second is, honor that bad feeling or that uncomfortable feeling. That is your intuition speaking to you saying “there might be a threat here.” So those are the first two fundamental steps that all of us need to take.

Know what your worth is and why it matters that you continue to be here. And second is, honor that bad feeling or that uncomfortable feeling. That is your intuition speaking to you saying ‘there might be a threat here.’ -Cyntha

[00:09:03] Caterina Rando: And Cynthia, I know that you are also all about using your voice. You know, I’m about the loud and proud in your business about the value you bring.

[00:09:14] I want you to share a little bit about using your voice. Because like you’re saying, we doubt ourselves. “Oh, I’m sure he was just playing around or something” like dismissing that intuition. Also, though, there’s the not wanting to say anything, not wanting to create a disturbance or a situation that is going to make anyone uncomfortable. You know, we’re concerned about that BS sometimes. Can you say about using your voice because that is our first line of defense in many situations?

[00:09:52] Cynthia Jolicoeur: It is. And its part of a slightly larger picture, which is giving yourself permission to take action. And that [00:10:00] action might be saying something, might be confronting somebody, it might be lying your ass off because that’s what you need to do.

[00:10:08] Caterina Rando: Right.

[00:10:09] Cynthia Jolicoeur: Behaving in a way that is totally abnormal for you but would actually get you to safety. There’s a lot of different things that you can do in a situation. So, as you’re saying, you could cause a ginormous commotion.

[00:10:22] And so what you have to think about is who are you actually dealing with?

[00:10:27] So the person who is causing the issue, right, they initiated it, not you. They’ve got a goal. They typically want your property, they want you, yourself, your body and what they might be able to do with it, or they want your life. Sometimes they want something else like they’re seeking status with the group that they belong to, but primarily it’s those three things.

[00:10:50] And what they don’t want is they don’t want to get caught, obviously. So they don’t want to get hurt and they don’t want things to take too long. And that’s where using your voice can really come into play. Because if you are out at a restaurant, for example, and your date is getting very handsy or is saying things inappropriately. Or somebody random comes to you when you’re out by yourself and is trying to make a connection with you through some of the manipulations that predators use – which are actually very well-documented in a great book that I recommend everybody called The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker.

If people are coming up and interacting with you in a way that’s not appropriate, and you have given yourself permission to take action, you can cause a commotion. -Cynthia

[00:11:22] If people are coming up and interacting with you in a way that’s not appropriate, and you have given yourself permission to take action, you can cause a commotion. You can draw attention, you can use your voice to challenge them, to set a boundary, and you don’t have to be nasty about it. For some people using your voices to saying, “Hey, take your hand off of my arm right now.

[00:11:48] And if they don’t listen to that, following it up with, “You need to remove your hand off of my arm right now. If you don’t, I’m going to call the security officer over here.” And if they continue, then you can amp it up and you can follow through on that boundary that you set. If somebody’s dismissing, you they’re ignoring what you’re saying. You may need to amp up the volume and the energy and really, as I said, cause a commotion.

[00:12:17] And it’s one of the most fun things that we do sometimes in the workshops, is just practice tapping into being able to use your voice like that. Because we’re all told, right, “be ladylike, be seen and not be heard. Don’t draw attention. Don’t be too dramatic. Don’t be hysterical or over emotional,” all of that nonsense.

[00:12:34] But sometimes it’s really appropriate to tap into your power and to unleash it through your voice. And honestly, a woman who taps into that and uses her voice really sets a strong boundary and can draw attention from other people. This is where courageous bystanders will know like, “Hey, there’s something going on over there” and can come over and say, “are you okay? Do you need help?” Or, you know, you might be using your voice to say, “I don’t know this guy, you won’t leave me alone. Call 911.”

[00:13:06] It all comes back to knowing your worth and why it matters that you do something to giving yourself permission to do it. And who cares if the response is, “Well, hey lady, I didn’t mean any offense,” Or something like that.

[00:13:19] Because people who are doing bad things like to give little parting shots. They like to make little digs.

[00:13:26] Caterina Rando: Right.

[00:13:27] Cynthia Jolicoeur: But who cares?  If I’m protecting myself or my family, my kids and the consequences of me doing that is somebody calls me a bigot or stuck up or, I mean any number of things, hysterical female.

[00:13:40] I don’t care because my goal is not to appease them or make them feel good about themselves. My goal is to keep myself safe.

[00:13:50] Caterina Rando: Right. And for us to remember that that’s our highest priority and that not being nice, being the bitch that we usually are not, or maybe even never are. It’s important to call on your inner B to assist you and to not worry about making a scene or anything like that.

[00:14:15] Cynthia, you know, one of the things that you’ve heard me say, I’m sure, is that it’s not just about learning stuff, it’s about mastering stuff. And that’s why I want ladies to hear you, but then I want them to go to a class with you or practice, because, you know, again, we learn it, but we haven’t mastered it.

[00:14:38] You know, I remember once I was someplace and I fell down. And it was very interesting. Like I was falling, and I rolled, like I would roll when I used to ride my skateboard. And it made me feel like, wow, my body remembers what to do when I’m falling down, you know, because I had ridden my skateboard so much and had fallen off so many times, but rolled so it wasn’t like an injuring fall.

[00:15:07] I mentioned that because I don’t want ladies to just listen and say, “that’s a good idea.” I want them to have safe situations where they can practice. And maybe ladies, you can get together with a friend and you all can practice or go to a class with Cynthia. Probably a lot of our listeners have done a class at some point, but it’s the kind of thing that you have to get masterful at. Therefore, you have to keep putting some attention on it. So, the reason I’m mentioning this, my listeners, is if you have done something, don’t think like you’re going to remember that from 15 years ago, time for a refresher.

[00:15:49] And Cynthia has a very different perspective, really a woman’s perspective on how this can work for you. Cynthia, give them the report.

[00:16:00] Cynthia Jolicoeur: Yeah, well, there’s a couple of things. A lot of women have done self-defense classes and that’s great. I would never tell anybody not to do that. But here’s the thing, what you’re talking about, about the need to do things over and over and over again, to develop mastery. That applies specifically if you are learning how to do a technique or to build a technique that you can then execute. That’s what the old classical self-defense stuff is. It’s the magic moves. It’s the, if the attacker does this, then you do that. So that’s really in the physical realm.

[00:16:38] So two things I want to say is that’s not what I teach at all. I don’t teach anything at all that is technique-based. So, you do learn how to use what we call your human weapon system. So, your hands, your elbows, your knees, your teeth, you know, everything that your body is designed to do in order to do damage to a person who is attacking you. So you do learn how to do that.

[00:17:01] But it is not at all about having to become super great at a technique. Because if you use your elbow against somebody’s face, if you’re technique oriented and you’re trying to target the nose specifically and you happen to miss, you might have a kind of a like, “Oh crap. That’s not what I was aiming at.”

[00:17:20] But actually on the receiving end, it still hurts if you get hit. You know, we don’t ever talk about, like, you have to learn these techniques to execute perfectly. What you have to do is you have to learn how to use your body. Because we’ll want it to be there whether or not, you have recently practiced it. And this thing about tapping into how we’re designed as human beings.

[00:17:41] So that’s not to say that practice is not important. It definitely helps because you get more comfortable and play games where you just put yourself into situations, positions, for example, like maybe I might play a game with a partner where I’m on my knees on the floor and the threat is looming over me while they’re standing.

[00:18:04] Well, that’s very different. And my question is, not well, how do I punch him in the face properly? It’s what targets are available right now? And what of my tools could I use? So that’s the kind of practice that we do.

[00:18:17] But the other piece is – that’s just looking at the physical part and that’s what most self-defense courses teach is just the how to fight.

[00:18:26] But as you alluded to right up at the beginning, it really starts with how do I not be there in the first place?

[00:18:32] Caterina Rando: Right! Exactly.

[00:18:33] Cynthia Jolicoeur: So how do you change your mindset about how you think about your personal safety? And how do you build your awareness so that you do notice things sooner? And so that you do pick up on cues and you do understand people’s behaviors differently. Because that’s what allows you then to not be in the situation or to know how to get out of it.

[00:18:58] And so we do a lot of work like that in the programs where we’re coming up with scenarios and creating what we call mental blueprints. And this is something you can do with your friends. You know, you don’t have to come to a class to do this.

[00:19:10] You can sit with a friend, you know, maybe you go out on a date and you’re like, “we’re going to go to this restaurant, and I don’t know this guy very well. It’s like the first time we’re going out. Can we just kind of play with that scenario so in case something happens while we’re there? Or in case something happens when we are leaving the restaurant.” And what would I do if he’s like, “well, let’s just take an Uber back to your place together.” And what do I do if he’s like, “well, I’m gonna walk you to your door.” But once you get there, he tries to push his way in.

[00:19:39] And you can just play through those scenarios and ask yourself, “what could I do?” And come up with ideas and options about what you could do in each little specific scenario. And the cool thing is what you’re actually doing is not just kind of “what iffing” and playing with ideas.

[00:19:59] You’re actually giving your brain the chance to create like little cards in your mental Rolodex or tiny bits of software code, that if you’re later – maybe not even right the next day, but I’m on the down the road or a year down the road – in a situation that is similar to one of those things that you created that mental blueprint for your brain just goes, “Oh, I remember this. I got the program for this.” And it’s so fast.

[00:20:26] It’s faster than if you could sit there going, “Oh wait, I once had a conversation with my friend about what I could do here. And I think what I said I was going to do was this.” That’s your cognitive brain and it doesn’t work when you’re in the moment. And it’s slow. But you’ve given yourself the gift of sort of pre-programming options and possible solutions. So, if you’re ever faced with a situation, you know what to do.

[00:20:49] So those are the kinds of the things that we do in my programs, or when I’m doing one-on-one coaching, is we look a lot at mindset. And how you can mentally and emotionally prepare so that (a) you’re not in a situation and (b) if you are, you can navigate through it. And then of course, if you have to fight, then you learn how to fight using your natural tools, not stuff that you have to memorize. Which is what I spent 20 plus years doing, right, in the martial arts was memorizing whizzbang sequences of techniques.

[00:21:21] You know, Cynthia, one of the things that is a by-product for any woman of working with you is the increased sense of you matter, the increased sense of personal power, the increased sense of confidence. And this is a business podcast, and the truth is that we’re right on point. Because your certainty, your confidence, your knowing that you matter, not only as a businesswoman but as a woman, is so important.

[00:21:52] And Cynthia, you’ve heard me say to the ladies in our community, it doesn’t matter if you’re a health coach, a life coach, a business coach, doing what you do, we’re all in the empowerment business. And if anybody listening doesn’t feel empowered in your life, then working with Cynthia is one solution for that.

…because it doesn’t matter what sales or marketing stuff we learn if we don’t feel that we’re worthy of being more successful, worthy of using our voice, worthy of being of service through our work. -Caterina

[00:22:14] Because it doesn’t matter what sales or marketing stuff we learn if we don’t feel that we’re worthy of being more successful, worthy of using our voice, worthy of being of service through our work.

[00:22:31] Caterina Rando: Cynthia, you have a podcast that we want to let the ladies know about. And then I have a couple of business questions for you. Tell the ladies about your awesome podcast, which I had the privilege to be a guest on recently.

[00:22:44] Cynthia Jolicoeur: Yes, it is the “Born to be a Bad-Ass Podcast.” And the reason that it’s called that actually came from doing the coaching and the courses that I was doing several years ago, where women would come to the courses and like the number one piece of feedback after they went through the training was like, “Oh my gosh, I feel like such a bad-ass now.”

[00:23:05] Caterina Rando: That’s a good feeling, right? That’s a good feeling.

[00:23:09] Cynthia Jolicoeur: It is. And you know what you were saying – I so appreciate that you were talking about the empowerment piece. And there are a lot of people who talk about empowerment and they’re kind of selling you on empowerment. But the reality is, if your sense of power is coming from something outside of yourself, it’s not going to last and it’s not going to be there when you need it.

But if you learn how to tap into your own self, to your own power, and to exercise it in the world and to take up space and to recognize that you are worth defending – whether that’s in like a self-defense situation or in a business relationship or within a family relationship – that’s when you have true empowerment, it’s coming from you. It’s not being given to you by anybody else. -Cynthia

[00:23:29] But if you learn how to tap into your own self, to your own power, and to exercise it in the world and to take up space and to recognize that you are worth defending – whether that’s in like a self-defense situation or in a business relationship or within a family relationship – that’s when you have true empowerment, it’s coming from you. It’s not being given to you by anybody else.

[00:23:54] So I love that you really focused on that. So that’s what the podcast is all about. It’s about women who have been through experiences in their lives that were either trauma and abuse and violence, and they have amazing survival stories to talk about or women who have been through other kinds of experiences where they really had to sort of sit back and say, “well, now what am I going to do with my life?”

[00:24:20] It’s with fellow self-defense coaches who have different kinds of insights than I do. And we have some really cool conversations like that. Healers, because this is something in the self-defense world that most coaches don’t include in their programs. It’s like, well, suppose something happens, how do you get past it? What do you do with the aftermath? It is about empowerment, embodiment, and self-defense for women.

[00:24:45] Caterina Rando: Wonderful. Bing, bing. You know, I love that Cynthia. Now I want to ask you, how has being a Fempire Builder… how has being a woman in business empowered you?

[00:25:00] Cynthia Jolicoeur: Holy cow. What a question? You know, I think we first met, I was right at the very beginning and I was trying to figure out how to do this. And how to do it in a field that is dominated by men and the men in the field, there are a lot of great ones, they’re not women. They haven’t had the same life experiences women generally have, and the language, the imagery, and all of that just doesn’t fit.

[00:25:28] And so I was really struggling with that right at the very beginning. And it made me take a look at not necessarily a sense of like being an imposter. I don’t think I had imposter syndrome, but I wasn’t a hundred percent sure that I would be able to create a business. I didn’t know whether women would want to come and work with me. It was like, well, if I’m not coming from law enforcement and military, you know, does it matter if I have a black belt and how am I going to connect with women? And so I had a lot of self-doubt and it’s pretty hard to build a Fempire if you have self-doubt.

[00:26:09] So that has been one really major consequence of saying, you know, what, and this came from you, right? It’s like I do have massive value to bring. And there are in your words, an endless supply of a woman on the planet who want and need to work with me.

[00:26:26] Caterina Rando: Right

[00:26:26] Cynthia Jolicoeur: Never going to be able to do that if I don’t get visible and if I don’t offer programs and I don’t offer to them the opportunity.  So that was a big stumbling block for me too. It was, “Oh, I hate sales.  I don’t want to be salesy and tell people that ‘here come to this class and pay me money.'”

[00:26:43] And that was another huge mindset shift. That is not what sales is about. And again, I have to thank you for that because you were the first person who said,” it’s about relationship.”

[00:26:52] Caterina Rando: Right.

[00:26:53] Cynthia Jolicoeur: About building the connection. And it’s about the value. And that is so different from trying to convince somebody.

[00:27:01] Caterina Rando: Right. We don’t do that.

[00:27:02] Cynthia Jolicoeur: Another big mindset shifted that totally changed my sense of power was when you, at one point said, not everybody is your peep. You get in a room and half of them might be your peeps and half of them might not be. And don’t worry about that half. They’re not your peeps. And that was what a relief, to recognize I’m not going to be everybody’s cup of tea and that’s okay because there are plenty of people for whom I am the exact right match.

[00:27:32] Caterina Rando: Exactly.

[00:27:33] Cynthia Jolicoeur: All of those things were realizations that have come along the way, that really encouraged me to go for it. And then since then, I mean, the process is really just again, knowing what your value is. And recognizing that the more you’re out there, the more you connect with people, the more you talk with people, the easier it gets. And if you’re authentic and you’re coming from a place of love, then great things happen.

…the more you’re out there, the more you connect with people, the more you talk with people, the easier it gets. And if you’re authentic and you’re coming from a place of love, then great things happen. -Cynthia

[00:28:06] You know, there’s not really any way to fail if that’s where you’re coming from.

[00:28:09] Caterina Rando: Exactly.

[00:28:10] Cynthia Jolicoeur: That’s where the power has come from is like, “I am enough as me, my knowledge and my skills, my ability to teach and communicate. It’s all fine. I don’t need to feel insecure. And I have all the tools and resources that I need.”

[00:28:26] Caterina Rando: You’re more than enough, Cynthia. You’re more than enough and you have massive value to bring. And, you know, I feel that because you don’t have a military background and you don’t have a law enforcement background, that’s gonna make a lot of women say bing, bing you’re who I want to talk to because you’re coming from a more relatable place. Because you know, most women don’t have a law enforcement background and most women don’t have a military background. Of course, we have many sisters in arms and sisters who do.

[00:29:00] Your a regular gal with massive value to bring, to help women not only stay safe, but be empowered. And that’s the thing we are in the empowerment business.

[00:29:11] I have a question for you. What do you feel is one of your personal traits that supports you in being successful in your business?

[00:29:22] Cynthia Jolicoeur: I’m persistent. Hmm. You know, in any business or any life venture, you’re gonna get obstacles and things that don’t go the way you think they’re going to go. And you’re going to hit some lows as well as the highs.

[00:29:37] And I think it was Churchill who said something along the lines of most people they give up, like right before where they’re going to breakthrough. The concept always is with me. Like, I know that this particular phase may be really, really hard. You may be kind of struggling and wondering how am I going to get through this part, but don’t quit.

[00:29:57] And at the back of my mind is the thought that like, if I let any of these things deter me from my mission, which is to change the balance of power between women and those who want to harm them, then millions of women around the world are not going to have what they need in order, not just to keep themselves safe, but to live the lives they want.

[00:30:19] And that’s the thing – having your sense of safety be very strong and solid is what allows you then to focus your attention and your resources and energy on everything else. If your safety is in question and it’s a shaky foundation, it doesn’t feel safe to step out and do other things. So, for me, I can’t ever quit doing what I’m doing. I’ll probably be 102 still teaching classes because it’s that important.

[00:30:46] So I think that persistence, you know, it’s something I actually was criticized for in the high-tech world.  I had people who would write reviews and who would give feedback at the end of the project. Like, one of them just totally stood out for me when I was doing information security work. And this project manager and I, we butted heads all the time because I was trying to tell them what the right things were to do. And she had these glowing words for everybody on the team. And she got to me and she said, “well, you are really persistent.”

[00:31:16] It was such a struggle for her to actually say that in a positive way. And I was like, “yes, thank you. I am.” I think it’s important for any woman in business to own that.

[00:31:26] Caterina Rando: Yes.

[00:31:27] Cynthia Jolicoeur: Own those things that maybe other people see as a negative, but really are parts of you that are strengths and things that really help you do whatever the work is that you’re doing. So, whether it’s creativity or relationship, building, communicating, whatever that happens to be to just like totally own it.

[00:31:50] Caterina Rando: My friend that’s the thing, own who you are own your power, own that you’re a woman on a mission with massive value to bring.

[00:32:00] Cynthia, thank you so much for being with me. I love having you here. I love watching you build your Fempire and soar through your service. And my friends check out Cynthia’s podcast, check out her programs, because I want every single one of you listening right now to feel super empowered so that you can keep doing your thing and being persistent on your mission. Thanks, everybody! Caterina Rando signing off, sending you some love, and we will talk with you next time.

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Expand Your Fempire with Caterina Rando.

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