Ask A Heroine: Welcome to the experts corner, love. This is where you ask your burning questions on business and life, and receive personal advice from the best. Each month we feature amazing industry Heroines and their wise video answers to your deepest inquiries. Here, questions give way to solutions, insights transform into action, and more »
Kristen Noel is a writer, speaker, motivator, lemonade-maker and believer in all things possible. She is Editor-In-Chief of BEST SELF Magazine and blogs regularly for herself and others, including the Huffington Post.
She has a personal mission to empower people to take charge of their own destinies, to write their next chapters and to tap into their best selves – no matter what hardships they have experienced. She is currently working on an inspirational memoir.
Kristen lives with her partner and teenage son in upstate New York where she strives to see the glass half full each day.
Enjoy her exclusive Business Heroine interview…
BH: How did you end up doing what you do? Tell us your story!
Kristen: Best Self Magazine was born of stardust…well, stardust and determination. That’s a really good question because rarely do we land where we think we are going to and I took a windy road through a bunch of potholes to get here.
When I was 15 years old, I was on a plane to Paris by myself to begin what would be a 15-year modeling career around the world. It was during this period of my life that I became a global citizen. The more I traveled, the more I wanted to see. The more I tasted, the more I wanted to sample – my seeking became insatiable.
I always say my life has been anything but linear. Somewhere along the line, I felt like I had to “settle down,” go to school, get married, act responsibly – the noise of the world of “shoulds” danced in my head – and with that, I slowly abandoned myself.
I began to fall in line and do what I was supposed to and made some decisions that weren’t aligned with my soul’s calling. Little did I know, that until I realigned with my purpose and passion in this life, I would never be truly content. And thus the journey back to self – began.
BH: What is your ‘Wake Up Call for the World?’ In other words, what is most of the world asleep about that you would love to wake up?
Kristen: That’s simple – intuition. When you learn how not to abandon yourself, you are set. It sounds so simple, and in reality it is once you practice it – but that doesn’t mean we do it.
We come into this world as sparkly beings full of possibility and dreams until we allow the world around us to dull us down – tell us what we can / can’t do. We start believing untruths about our own capabilities. We tell ourselves this for so long we begin to believe it to be truth. I falsely started to believe that it was bad luck of the draw, this was all there was, poor me. All the happy-ever-afters are for everyone else.
I had what felt like a monumental life upheaval that literally flipped the game board upside down. Everything was in flux and chaos – and the only true exit strategy from all of this was turning inward. No amount of external validation or accomplishment could shift things for me. I had to dig deep and get back in touch with what how I really felt.
Don’t get me wrong, the situation I experienced was dramatic, painful and gut-wrenching at the moment it was going down. As they say — hindsight is 20/20. It all led to here. Each step I took to climb out of my perceived personal despair led me to this moment and to this version of me.
The solution wasn’t about fixing a particular problem – it came about when someone explained to me that I got to choose – how I was feeling, how I was reacting, who I was going to give my power away to. That was the day a light bulb started popping – suddenly I no longer felt like a victim. With the shift of a mindset, I went from feeling victimized to believing I could reclaim my power.
That’s when the real fun begins…then you can start asking yourself – why was I in that situation? What was my role in all of this? What did it have to teach me? Those are the juicy nuggets. Best yet, now you get to choose what you are going to do with that information.
BH: What are the biggest challenges or aspirations your clients come to you with, and what does your work make possible for them?
Kristen: I don’t work one-on-one with clients per se as a coach would, but I feel a deep responsibility to share my experience through my writing and through the celebration of my co-creators. I believe we learn best through the authentic sharing of our personal stories.
When we stop pretending that we have it all buttoned up, when we can share our messiness and our experiences – we can stand as testament to what is possible when we just keep on truckin’ and view the experiences unfolding around us as interesting gifts placed before us to teach us to become our best selves.
Working as an editor, I get to collaborate with amazing talent – I get to cull their beautiful wisdom and find creative ways to repackage and present it (and best of all, be inspired).
I don’t believe in coincidence – each issue takes on a life of its own. People cross my path, things pop up, something inspiring ends up in my inbox – I love the playfulness of the Universe. I’m not saying that there isn’t a great deal of time, thought and hard work involved, but this goes beyond me.
When you love what you do, it no longer feels like work. I spent way too much of my life “working” – I’m now living my life for me, figuring out how to do it on my terms. And that’s not a lot of blah, blah, blah.
The path is different for everyone, but this is what I want to help other people do – to activate their superpowers, to find what they are meant to be doing here in this lifetime on this planet, to find what really lights them up (and how to let of all the roadblocks of excuses standing in their way).
BH: We’re curious about your breakthrough moment in business. Looking back, what created the breakthrough?
Kristen: For me the breakthrough wasn’t one cataclysmic moment – where the world cracked open. The big moment for me was taking a blind faith step in the direction of my dreams – that was monumental.
I like to be in control. I like to have things buttoned up and know what comes next – but that isn’t the place where the magic unfolds. Clearly I think it requires defining a recipe of your own that incorporates a bit of both; the pairing of action and faith. I had so little faith in myself as a writer that I literally closeted myself away for years before “coming out.” When I finally did – the world around me said, “of course you are,” – and I realized that I had been my biggest obstacle.
You can’t wait around for the world to come knocking on your door. You need to make a move on your behalf.
Initially I set out to write a book, my story – an inspirational memoir. I attended a Hay House Writer’s Workshop and there was all of this talk about building platforms and social media etc. You might as well have been speaking Swahili to me. I simply had visions of New York Times best-selling accolades dancing in my head. But I had a willingness to roll up my sleeves and go for it – even when I didn’t know what “it” was.
Just 2 years later, I’ll be speaking at the most recent Writer’s Workshop in NYC – a beautiful full-circle wink from the Universe. This is the place where intention meets action – where unimaginable things begin to emerge…like Best Self Magazine, like finding Business Heroine, like being interviewed here today.
BH: What words of wisdom do you have for all the emerging Business Heroines out there who are on the cusp of creating their own purpose-based business?
Kristen: Start now. Don’t worry about what anyone says. Follow your heart. Make a move. Get going. Take one step today in the direction of your dreams – it will ignite something.
Don’t be attached to the outcome – the Universe may have much more than you could possibly dream of in store for you. Find ways to talk to that Debbie-downer voice within your head. It’s easier to fall prey to fear and to stay anchored to the status quo — that is if you are down with the status quo.
Listen to your gut, trust your inner compass and you will never be lost. I spent too many years abandoning myself. Shut out the noise of the world around you and forge your own path.
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