Are you living in your 10%?
On the surface, you may have it all.
✔️ An amazing career…
✔️ An amazing spouse…
✔️ Amazing children…
…but not a good life.
That’s because we often fall into the trap of pouring so much of ourselves into just one or two aspects of who we want to be.
This is the focus of Sheri Riley’s book, Exponential Living: Stop Spending 100% of Your Time on 10% of Who You Are.
Sheri has spent the past 20 years creating marketing strategies for a few people and companies you may have heard of, including Usher, TLC, Toni Braxton, Coca-Cola, Converse, Nike, NBA, and Warner Media.
Today, she’s an empowerment speaker and life strategist working with celebrities, athletes, entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and all-around busy individuals to make choices that lead to less stress, better clarity, and a more fulfilling life.
In short: she is a total badass, and I am SO happy that she joined me on the latest episode of Maximize Your Career with Stacy Mayer.
In this episode, Sheri and I discuss how you can live a more exponential life, including what it means to stop spending 100% of your time on 10% of who you are, how to own your greatness by understanding your vulnerabilities, and the link between peace, clarity, and courage
What You'll Learn:
- How living in your 10% causes you to doubt yourself
- Why you need to stop trying to “balance” your life (and practice what Sheri calls full life integration instead)
- Why allies need to speak to and represent women of color when talking about diversity
- Why you need to eliminate “I don’t know” from your vocabulary
- Why you need to stop living off fumes and fill your own cup first (and exactly what that looks like in action)
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
- Get an autographed copy of Sheri’s book Exponential Living: Stop Spending 100% of Your Time on 10% of Who You Are
- Connect with Sheri on LinkedIn
- Learn more about Sheri by visiting her website
- Follow Sheri on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook
- Connect with me on LinkedIn
- Download my 7-Step Promotion Roadmap
- Join the next round of my 6-week group coaching intensive, Executive Ahead of Time
Stacy Mayer: Hello everyone, welcome to another episode of Maximize Your Career. I'm your host, Stacey Mayer, and I am super excited to be here with you guys this week. I have a very special guest for you. Her name is Sheri Riley, and I first was introduced to Sheri through one of my clients who you've heard many times on this podcast - Jennifer Fisher. And Jennifer had Sheri come into her organization and give a talk to her - I think their FIM power group or something like that, I thought it was such a great name. And then lucky for me, I received an autographed copy of Sheri's book in the mail, and I was like, 'Oh my gosh, this woman is absolutely incredible - I need to have her on my podcast,'; and you guys are going to get so much out of today's conversation. I cannot wait, wait, wait to share this with you.
So let me just give you a more formal introduction of Sheri, and then we're going to dive right in. Sheri Reilly spent 20 years creating marketing strategies for Usher, TLC, Toni Braxton, The Coca-Cola Company, Converse, Nike, NBA, Warner Media, and now serves as an empowerment speaker and life strategist. She works with celebrities, athletes, entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and all-around busy individuals to make choices that lead to less stress, better clarity, and a more fulfilling life. She is also the author of Exponential Living: Stop Spending 100% of Your Time on 10% of Who You Are. Sheri, thank you so much for being here with us today.
Sheri Riley: Oh, I'm so excited about our conversation.
Stacy Mayer: This is just fantastic. I love this tagline. I think it says so much. So why don't we just start there with what does it mean to stop spending 100% of your time on 10% of who you are? I think I get it, but let's unpack that a little bit.
Sheri Riley: Oh, my goodness. That's where it all started - is that tagline 'Stop Spending 100% of Your Time on 10% of Who You Are'. And it really applies to anything that is consuming your time. If you are a career woman, and all of your time is being consumed with work, if you're a stay at home mom, which is a career and all of your time is consumed with your children, or if you literally are serving in your community and all of your time is going towards that community; but you're expecting 100% of your fulfillment, but you're only working in 10% of who you are. And that's where the catch is - is we're spending 100% of our time on 10% of who we are, but we expect 100% of our fulfillment; and we don't understand why am I unhappy? Why am I always stressed? Why do I have this anxiety doing what I love? Here's the thing because we're doing what we love, but why are we not happy? And that's where the 100% -spending 100% of your time - on 10% of who you are was birthed - is that I realized I was only living in the 10% of who I was. There was so much more of me that I just wasn't exploring. And then as I began to uncover that truth for myself, I realized I wasn't the only one. I wasn't the anomaly. That literally was the truth for so many people. And it almost didn't make the subtitle... if I could tell a quick story.
Stacy Mayer: Oh yes, tell us - I love these behind the scenes.
Sheri Riley: My publisher, my editor, my agent hated the name 'Exponential Living: Stop Spending 100% of Your Time on 10% of Who You Are'. One - 'nobody can say exponential' - is what their concern was. No one knows what exponential means. It was just so many things that was wrong. And then the subtitle was entirely too long. And so, I went to a book title specialist, spent money, and at the end of it, he said, 'You know what? This title breaks all the rules, but I can't come up with anything better. Like, this is literally the best thing.' So it was about a year, year, and a half of this whole process. And when I was signed with Penguin Random House, the agent was like, my editor was like, 'We need to change it.' But I was like, 'Look, I've already gone through that process. I'm putting my foot down. This is the title.' We are literally at the place of printing, and I get a call from my editor and says, 'the head of sales wants the title changed'. The title will not work. Now, being that I had a background in marketing and sales, I understood you don't want your sales team not supporting your book. You want them to be completely bought in. So, when they said the head of sales was like, 'We can't work with this title', it was on a Friday. And I said, 'You know what? Let me fly to New York. I want to meet with the head of sales and let me explain, let them hear from me why this is the title.' So, we agreed that I would fly in the following week. This was on a Friday. Monday morning, I get a call from my agent, and they said, 'Guess what? Everything is fine. We're not changing the title.' And I'm like, okay, what happened between Friday and Monday? I hadn't been up there yet. What happened was the head of sales had the book on the kitchen table - like he always does when he has his books that he's about to work. His wife saw the title, sat down, and begin reading the book. He asked her, he said. 'I have books here all the time, what made you - you don't do that.' And she said, 'the title stopped me in my tracks'. And that's how he called on Monday and said, 'Look, I've been doing this for 20 years, my wife sees books on the kitchen table all the time. She never stops and literally is dumbfounded in a way that she has to start reading the book.' And he said, 'If my wife stopped because of the title, we're going to keep it.' That's how we ended up.
Stacy Mayer: It is amazing. It is a scroll-stopping title, as I would say, right? It totally is.
Sheri Riley: And it speaks to your audience - we have, as women, to make things happen.
Stacy Mayer: I was listening to your story. And at the point of writing this book, you've had an incredible career journey where you were living in that 10%. I mean, this is your life. And you realize that, and we can talk a little bit more about what you experienced because certainly on the surface. I'm going to link to Sheri's Instagram - her Instagram page is fantastic - and she'll do like what's happening in her life today. But then she also shows really cool people - famous people - that she's known throughout her career. So, you kind of look at that, you're like, 'Oh, she's amazing - she had this in her 20s.' - this fantastic, incredible career and everything. But you weren't living exponentially. And so, at the point of writing this book, it seems like that obviously you had some transformation - you walk the talk? And the way you describe that story - to me it feels like exponentially living. You showed up not out of that fear, of like, 'Oh, you know, they're saying it's wrong. Maybe it's wrong. Maybe I shouldn't have done this'. That's the fear and second guessing ourselves when we're not living, when we're only living in the 10% because it's about getting it right or wrong. And so, you were living exponentially, which allowed you to say, 'I'm going to fly out there on Monday because this is worth it.'
Sheri Riley: And I knew that the impact that we needed was not just to live these amazing lives. Because again, like you said, 'on the surface, we've got it all'. We've got the amazing career, we have the amazing spouse, we have these phenomenal children, but we don't have a good life. And what I discovered is I had this great career, but I didn't have a good life. One of my clients who started working with me as her coach, she said, 'Sheri, I feel trapped in my own life.' And so, I knew that it was more than just living. I knew - I wanted to experience 'exponential'. I needed the exponential living. And that's why I knew that that was the title because there were so many high performers, so many people like your audience that on the surface and on paper, all the boxes are checked. Internally we're empty. We feel like impostors, we're filled with anxiety, and we're constantly riddled with guilt. And I knew that there was more to life than that. I just knew that there was more of me being in a place of peace and clarity and courage to really live this exponential life. And so, I was happy that there were more women out there like me.
Stacy Mayer: Yeah, for sure. I mean, you know, it's like, we want more out of life. And so actually, this is a great transition - is that I have some women who are listening who really desire more out of life, but because their families, like success isn't everything to them. So, their 10% kind of is their family - their 10%. And so, they're willing to spend their focus and their energy on that level of happiness and feeling fulfilled in that area. And so then therefore they don't raise their hand for the promotions, even though they do have that high achiever. They are a high performer. But at some point, especially you get midway through your career, you're like, it's not all about the career. And one of the things that I really admired about your work is that I think you give us a way to go for success because that's 100%. Go for success. Have the success. Get the promotion. Be able to make a bigger impact in your organization and be there for your family and eat healthy and take care of ourselves. Can you talk about that?
Sheri Riley: You said the key word. It's those three letters A - N - D. 'AND' I always come from a place of 'AND'; and with that, it's 'stop trying to balance your life.' In the first 68 pages of the book, I talk about balance as a myth because that's where the guilt comes in. Because the reality is, right now, I'm doing this interview with you. I can't go pick my daughter up from volleyball practice, Balance says, I could do both. I could do that. And I could do this. That's not realistic. Now the reality is, I need to have this conversation with you, and my daughter needs to get picked up. Full life integration means that I have the ability to coordinate, to make sure she gets picked up, and make sure I have this interview. And so, when we remove this idea of balance - 'I have to make it all happen' - and we change that into full life integration: 'I need to make sure that these things are happening, but I don't have to do it.' So, one, make sure that you have a solid village. As women, we need to have a solid village, whether it's parents, in-laws, friends, colleagues. A good friend of mine, her and her colleague worked out that on two days a week, one of them would make sure that they picked up the kids from daycare and take them to their home. And three days a week, the other mom would pick up the kids from daycare and take them home; because they both worked at the same place and sometimes the hours were extended. So, what do you do to actually create that village? One of the main things with that is we have to give ourselves permission to get help. It's okay if we can't do it all as long as we make sure that it gets done. The other thing is - stop feeling guilty for taking care of yourself first. There's a reason that the plane says, 'put your face mask on first'. And what happens is we feel guilty if we make sure that we are taken care of first. So, I always tell my clients - instead of thinking, 'I need to take a vacation to recover, recuperate and rejuvenate,’ every day, what is the one thing that you can do that's going to allow you to rejuvenate yourself? Some of my clients, they say 'if I could just take a bath uninterrupted one night a week, that's all I would need.' Some clients are like 'if I could just read for 30 minutes a day'. And so, I want all your listeners, what is that one thing that you can do daily that will pour back into you and rejuvenate you and recharge you? So, give yourself permission to get help? What is that one thing that you can do daily, or at least do it on a weekly basis that allows you to pour back into you? And then the third thing I want to share is I want us to be absolutely proud of the superwoman cape that we wear. I want us to own our superwoman cape. Because here's the thing the superwoman cape is not one dimensional, it's multipurpose. So, with my superwoman cape, it allows me to do great things in my career. That's my strength and my power. Also, there are times I take that superwoman cape off, wrap it around me and take a nap. Sometimes I have to take that superwoman cape and use it as a handkerchief so I can wipe my tears when I need a really good cry. And there's other times I take that superwoman cape, wrap it around my head like a crown and own the authority that I am a queen. So, the third thing I want to offer is don't run from your superwoman cape. Understand that it's a multipurpose cape that you can use as your power, use as your handkerchief when it's time to cry, use as your blanket when it's time to rest, and use as your crown when it's time for you to own the authority of who you are.
Stacy Mayer: Oh my god, I love that story so much. That is incredible. This idea of 'don't be afraid of your superwoman' because I have to be honest, I saw 100% - I'm already giving so much. It seems like a lot of work. And when you talk about balance, and striving for balance, that's why it feels like a lot of work. How am I going to be there to pick up my daughter and do this interview? How am I going to be able to do and juggle all of these things? But when you put on that superwoman cape, you trust, you trust your power.
Sheri Riley: And you empower your village. And a lot of single women or women who have husbands that their career is their 100%, so they feel like they're raising their children and managing the home as a single parent, even though they have a spouse. But we have such a power as women to support each other. I can pick up my phone right now and text five women that will go and pick up my daughter just like that. And they know they could text me and I'm going to make sure I get their child. I have a village. And one of the things that we have to do as career women is when we create that village - and not just for our children - who are the women that you can go to that when you need a good cry, they're going to let you cry. They're not going to ask any questions and then they're going to say, 'Okay, you're good. Get back out there.' You've got to have that support system. You've got to have the support system that will allow you to just be you and all your flaws, and they will love you all the same. So, I have friends that I can just be butt-naked raw with, and they're like, 'That's just Sheri.' They pay me no attention. I have friends that will allow me to cry, and I will wipe my tears and get on the phone with a professional athlete and handle my business, run my corporate board meetings.
We have to have that village, and I think a lot of times we suffer in a silo. We think that we can't show anyone our vulnerabilities. We can - we just have to be intentional. Who are those people in our village that allows us to get the different things? And the last thing I'll say with that is we have to also know that we can't get everything from one person. Can I say that again? We can't get everything from one person. So, I make sure that I have people in my community that I can strategize with business. I have spiritual people in my community that we can talk about the word of God and talk about our relationship and our prayer time. There's people in my community that I can literally just go crazy with and go have a girls’ trip, and whatever happens on the girls’ trip stays on the girls’ trip. But we can't get everything from one person.
And so, when we are intentional about our village - and it may just be two or three people - but we have to make sure that we have that village around us and that's where the 'AND' is. Then you won't have the concern of 'how do I go after this promotion?' And the other part of that is - when we get the promotion, believing that we are actually qualified for the position. The other side of that is not just those women who won't go after the promotion because they don't know how to figure it out. But I also have the women who get the promotion and then suffer with imposter syndrome. Or they suffer with 'Am I qualified... Oh my God, if I make a mistake'; and so, a lot of my clients, I work with them after they get the promotion so that they can truly learn how to own their power - own their greatness. And that's what we talk about with those principles - The nine principles of exponential living. The very first principle is living your power. And there's five keys that we practice that allow us to own our greatness, which is also being able to understand our vulnerabilities.
Stacy Mayer: One of the things that I've really noticed from a lot of - in particular - the black leaders that I interviewed for my podcast, is there is this idea of stepping in to owning their power. And I wonder if there's some connection that you might be able to speak to in this level of feeling like you have to be everything for everyone. And then also being a little bit afraid of owning your power. And I notice - I always ask, 'What's your secret to success?' And I swear, every single black leader that I have on here says 'I finally learned how to own my power. I felt like I really became my authentic self at work.' Can you talk about that a little bit? What does that mean?
Sheri Riley: Thank you so much. I so appreciate your intuitiveness to even ask the question; because one, is having the platform like this where we can just share honestly what that is and having an audience that really wants to hear, so that their ally-ship is really authentic and helpful and impactful. Because as a black woman, you're taught to be the absolute best. But you're also taught being your absolute best will also be threatening to people. And so, you grow up as a black child, getting all A's, but making sure that your white friends don't feel intimidated because you're valedictorian. And that's been my story. I've always been the best, but I've always had to - and to be very honest - it ends up being where you have to minimize who and what you are, so others won't feel insecure around you. And so, you think about your growing up and you hear your parents say, ' be everything you could be.' But then when you get in certain environments, your parents are also saying, 'you know, don't show too much, because the more you show, the more likely you are to have an attack against you in some way, subtle or overt'. So now you take that growing up and you hear these mixed messages and then you become the leader in the company, or you become the boss, or you become the person others report to; and you've lived your whole life being the best but minimizing who you are. Being the best but minimizing who you are.
And so, it's so liberating for a black woman to be able to be authentically who she is with no excuse. But here's the value in that - is when you have a community of women of other colors - White women, Hispanic women, or a mix - that understand, as an ally, a black woman being the best that she is doesn't minimize who you are. So, you don't have to have this dichotomy or when you see a black woman minimizing who she is, the allyship is 'No, don't do that. You are the leader. You are the one.' It's that - literally - that verbal support that says 'you don't have to minimize who you are. I get it. I'm great at what I am. You're great at what you are.' And so, it's this interesting dichotomy that we continually struggle with, and then also allowing your voice to be heard.
I can't tell you how many rooms I've been in where I've been maybe one or two black women, and I can say something and another - a white man - can say the exact same thing, or a black man can say the exact same thing, and they will get the credit. So, one of the things that I will coach my women, especially women who are coming up in the ranks, I'll say 'never take notes in a meeting'. Because the moment you take notes in the meeting - everyone in that room, especially the men, begin to look at you as the note-keeper, the secretary, or the person that 'oh, can you send us those notes?' No, I cannot. And so, I will say, I don't care if you got to run to the bathroom and do a brain dump, so you can remember; I don't care if you're typing under the table, do not take notes in the meeting unless other people in the meeting are taking notes. Because just that positioning allows your power to be diminished because you're the one taking the notes. So it's a very interesting dichotomy, but I will tell you when you get to that place where you just own your voice, own your greatness and still be able - again living in the 'AND' - still be able to allow people to see the vulnerability in you to understand that you are just as vulnerable as they are, but you are still powerful in your own right. That's why Stacy, you doing this is so important because most people just don't know. They have no idea.
Stacy Mayer: What else can we do? I mean, you mentioned that supporting leaders when you see them minimizing their power - notice it, say something: "No, no, no, you're going to do this, you're going to own that.' What are other things that we can do as leaders to really be better allies?
Sheri Riley: Understanding that diversity is inclusive of black women. There are so many organizations - female led organizations - that are working for it and towards diversity; but when you look at their leadership, it's all white women. When you look at their board, it's all white women. When you look at the opportunities that they're positioning themselves for, the gateway is white women. And so, understanding that diversity, true diversity, is women of color as well. And I've had this conversation with a lot of women-led organizations that are focused on making a difference for women; and I'll go, 'but where's women of color on your board? Where's women of color in your advertisement? Where's women of color in your leadership?' So that would be such a big gateway of opportunity to really bridge that gap in the allyship, is recognizing that you have to also speak to, and represent with women of color when you're talking about diversity.
Stacy Mayer: Absolutely. I have gone through this transformation this last year in my business and just making such a commitment to really bring in black women and help them feel welcome and then understand that the challenges that they're facing are not the same as the white women in our groups. And that's why I ask these questions, because I'm trying to learn and I'm trying to understand, and I want to be the best ally that I can be. And I completely agree with you - it has really been very eye-opening for me and it's just it gives me goosebumps.
Sheri Riley: And you said something very important when you say - when you said that the differences, because I think that's probably the third thing, I would say is there are differences and that's okay. Because the level of responsibility that black women have, we literally carry a community. One of my clients - the white woman was my actual client - but her colleague was a black woman who had just gotten promoted. And she was sharing with me this 'aha' moment because when they were colleagues, when they were peers, she never really understood the level of responsibility outside of the job that her colleague had until she became her boss. And then when she realized that all of the students, all of the black students, all of the black employees were constantly coming to her for insight, for wisdom, for advice, for mentoring, where she had like 20 others, that she was mentoring. So, she was doing the job. She had a husband, she had children, so both of them had the spouse. They both had children. They both did the same thing/job. But she was like 'Sheri. She had 20 other lives' that she was constantly pouring into as a mentor because she had made it to that position in the company.' She said, 'Sheri, I've never had anybody ask me anything.' But it's because we as black women, we have the community that we also feel responsible for; and so just recognizing that additional responsibility - I don't want to say burden - but that responsibility that we carry. And I'll say this - that one of my clients, she's recently been promoted to general manager. And one of her biggest concerns in this new role is how does she communicate when it's negative information and not be considered the angry black woman? That is a title that we are constantly having to deal with, because in her role, she's going to have to fire people. She's going to have to have tough conversations with people. And so, she's constantly having to think, 'Well, how do I do that and not be considered the angry black woman?' When the truth of the matter is - our white colleagues - they never have to consider that. They can come in and say, 'Look, you are fired, you haven't done the job you haven't done...', and everything is fine. But a black woman coming in and doing the exact same thing, now there's a label that will be placed on her just because - with all the history we know. So, it's those dynamics that when white women understand and can appreciate those nuances and just be a support system.
Stacy Mayer: Yes. I love this so much. I have a client who refers to herself very lovingly as the poster child for diversity and leadership at her organization - as being the only black woman in leadership at her organization. And she talks about that level of responsibility and really owns it. I mean, she loves it. But I also really appreciate that she shares that she does have that level of responsibility because it allows other people to see exactly what you're saying - that we're willing to have this awareness around what is going on. And so that we can be allies and we can support and notice. It doesn't mean that she doesn't want it, but we have to be more aware. So, I want to go back to the book here for a second. This is a real how- to guide. You could take this book, you could highlight it, you could put your Post-it Notes - all of these things - and have an actual blueprint for exponential living. She tells you exactly what it is. So would you be willing - you touched on this at the beginning of the interview a little bit - but there's a process of three. I know you have the nine steps, but then there's also these three steps of peace and clarity. And can you speak to that a little bit for us so that we can really take something away?
Sheri Riley: So exponential living is pursuing peace, choosing clarity, and living courageously. And the reason it's pursuing peace is because it is literally a day by day, minute by minute, second by second decision to pursue peace. And what I want people to really understand is peace is not the absence of chaos and struggle and frustration and challenges; peace is that intercom - that inner decision that we make - that no matter what's going on around me externally, no matter what I'm dealing with internally, I choose peace. And when we choose peace, when we intentionally choose that peace and that positive mind, it automatically gives us clarity. And I have proven this over and over and over again. When you allow yourself to get in that place of peace, you're able to get clarity. And when you put peace and clarity together, you have the courage to do anything. And I have found whether it's the hardest decision in the world, or if it's just the smallest thing I'm going to try to figure out - when we are chaotic, when we are filled with anxiety, when we are struggling with transition, we're always going to be cloudy and we're always going to minimize our strength and our power.
But when we are intentional with peace - which gives us clarity - and when we have peace and clarity together, it gives us the courage. It gives us the strength to make a decision, to not make a decision, to speak up, to not speak up. And so, the core of exponential living is pursuing peace, choosing clarity, and living courageously. And the nine principles that I outline in my book really are the guide that empowers you with that peace, that clarity and that courage.
Stacy Mayer: I just thought back to the beginning of this episode, the story of 'I'll see you on Monday, and I'm willing to hop in...' Yes, that is peace, clarity and then the courage to push back, to say, to challenge, to say, 'let's have a conversation about it'. But you couldn't have done that - you probably couldn't have done that in your 20s, when you had success in your career?
Sheri Riley: Absolutely not. One of the things that robs us of our power is that anxiety, that stress, that second guessing - because without the peace, we don't have clarity. And when you are clear on something, it allows you to make decisions. And one of the things I hear all the time is, 'Okay, Sheri, all that's great, but where do I start? Tell me where I start.' And I always say the same thing - 'Make a decision'. Make a decision. It all starts with a decision. When we decide that I am going to choose peace, when we decide that I am absolutely going to own my clarity; when we decide that I am going to allow myself to grow in an area that I will have courage - It all starts with 'make a decision'. And one of the things that I say all the time is 'we can't say, I don't know'. We have to remove those nine letters - those three words - from our vocabulary. Because the truth of the matter is we always know. Now we may not be ready to make the change. We may not be ready to deal with the reality of what we have. We may not be ready to accept the total truth, but we always know. And we don't always know everything. But all we have to do is deal with what we do know. So, what I say is when you say, 'I don't know', it robs you of everything you do know. And when you don't focus in on what you do know, that's when you get the anxiety. That's when you get the confusion, and that's when you minimize your power and your strength. So, we have to eliminate 'I don't know' from our vocabulary.
Stacy Mayer: That is so, so good. 'What do you know?' I mean, it can be very simple. So, I was just thinking about... I wonder if you have any stories that you would be willing to share about your own personal transformation and these relationships, because Usher wrote the foreword for your book. I know that you knew Usher from your work way back when. You've met - you've known all of these celebrities. And now you're still working with celebrities and some of the same. Can you speak to how - because now you're living this exponential life, you're living for the 100% - how are both? How do you show up in these relationships with very, what I would say, you know, somewhat intimidating, yet powerful people? And then also, how are you treated in those relationships as well, because you're now living this exponential life?
Sheri Riley: You know, such a great question. I'll tell you honestly the most recent experience is with Maycee Barber, who is a UFC fighter and most recently had a fight on this past Saturday. She's number 14 in the world. She's probably going to move up in the rankings now that she won her fight. But when I started working with her a few months ago, she was coming off with two losses and a major injury and literally was just in that place - that sunken place. And when I started working with her, the first thing I do with her, and all my clients is a peace and a positive mind challenge. How are we going to get the mind straight first? And just fast forward - she won her fight. She has sent me the most beautiful testimonial and talked about how it all started with her learning the power of peace. Understanding that it was in that place of peace, that she gained the clarity over what her challenges were. And when she gained the clarity over her challenges, she had the courage to make some decisions. And she made some significant decisions over these last few months that put her in a much better position to be the fighter, to be the winner that she really is.
And so, when I'm amongst those celebrities and athletes, one of the great things is - what I tell people all the time, Stacey, 'I am my first and most important client'. I am literally, literally my first and most important client. And what I get to do is just share what I'm learning and what I'm growing through. And so, what people recognize when they come in my presence, or they start working with me is the authenticity that I am genuinely living what I'm sharing. It isn't something that I took - and even with the book - I didn't want it to be research and focus groups. I literally lived that journey; and worked with others to bring those case studies into the story because I wanted people to know that it's real. Because when I first started this journey, what I heard all the time is peace is not possible. 'Oh, Sheri, that's not possible. Do you understand how chaotic life is? I'm busy. Do you understand all these kids I'm trying to deal with?' And that's why we say peace is possible. And so, they feel that peace, they want that. And then there's a very simple - and I was very intentional - I wanted this to be so simple. My book - I tell people all the time - you've probably heard most of it before. I wanted that. I wanted you to see that it was very doable. I wanted you to see that it was easy. All you had to do is commit. So, it's that exchange of 'You've got peace, I want it. What do I have to do to get it?'
Stacy Mayer: Thank you for sharing that story because it really hits home that this isn't work that we're doing for ourselves because we're broken. So, we see this, you know, celebrity fighter and we're like, 'she's got it all together' and this isn't really going to work for her. She needs a deeper level of peace. Or there has to be something that's bigger. You're like, 'No, this works for everyone.' And it is simple, and you can start doing it today.
Sheri Riley: Everyone. And that's what I love. Everyone from the highest level of celebrity or professional athlete to my 13–14-year-old daughter. Everyone. Because it is an internal decision. It is literally a mindset that regardless of what's going on around me, I choose peace. I choose peace.
Stacy Mayer: You are changing the world, Sheri. This is incredible. Thank you so, so much. Do you have any final words of advice for a corporate leader who's looking to advance her career and feels a little bit stuck right now? And it's like 'what do I need to do next before we head out today'?
Sheri Riley: I would love to share, and I want to give a visual for your audience. I want our women to stop literally living off of fumes. And I want us to fill our cup first. So, you know how when you're driving and the gas tank is at that "E", and you're literally praying as you try to get to the gas station, and you know you're driving on fumes. Well, that's what our women are doing. We are living life on fumes. And so, what I want us to do, if you can kind of visualize this as a saucer, and there's a cup sitting here and there's water pouring into the cup and the cup gets so full that the water then pours over the rim of the cup onto the saucer; and then the cup is still so full that there's water pouring from the saucer. This is where I want women to serve. I want you to serve from your overflow. Stop trying to serve from an empty cup. Fill your cup so much that the overflow is where everyone else is served. Your work, your community, your family - everyone gets the overflow. And that's how women stop feeling guilty from filling their cup first - is when I give that visual of 'it's not selfish to fill your cup'; because when you fill your cup and you serve from the overflow, you stop having regret and you stop being resentful. The challenge we have is - especially career women - is we start being resentful at our jobs. We start being resentful with our spouses. We start being resentful with our children and our community because we're serving from an empty cup. When you fill your cup first and you serve from the overflow, everybody gets the best of you. Right now, you're not giving the best of you. Let me say that again, you're not giving the best of you because your cup is empty. Fill your cup. Allow people to then be served from the overflow and that way you won't be resentful and you're able to give from the best of you. That's how we live in the 'AND'.
Stacy Mayer: I just had this second level visual here, which is that when we're trying to go for a promotion and the reason that we have this disconnect is because we're doing it from this empty cup. And we're pushing harder and we're like, 'That's not us, and this feels very disconnected. And so, I don't want to do that.' And so, then you just sort of stop - you stop doing it. Rather than what you're saying is 'how can I fill my cup?' And you've given us so many great ideas today for how we can start to fill our own cup. And you've given us permission to really do both. It's this idea of 'okay, I can - I literally can see this cup starting to get fuller and fuller, and I'm still showing up at work. I'm letting go of the resentment'. Now I am going for the promotion or the next level of impact that I want to be making at my company. But yet I also feel better. I'm more aligned. My cup does feel more or fuller.
Sheri Riley: And be intentional with your time. When I know I have a busy day - like my daughter, she just came down, you know, we're all working from home. She just came down the steps. She saw that I'm doing something. The moment we finish, I will shut down and I'm going to go say 'hello', I'm going to spend lunch with her, and then I'll come back to work. Be very intentional with your time. In my calendar, Stacey, I literally have an alert that goes off every day and it says, 'What can you do today to be in Dominique's world?' That's my daughter. Every day, I make sure. It may be as small as when we finish, I'm going to go have lunch with her. It may be as big as planning a whole weekend with her and her friends to spend the night at the home. But every day in my calendar, I have an alert. Be intentional. Every day I have an alert. 'What are you and your husband going to do today?' It may be surprising him with a kiss. It may be 'Being Grown' (It's an adult show.) It may be going for a walk with him when he walks the dog. But every day there's intention about what I'm going to do with my husband. Now, here's the whole point in that. If it's in your calendar, that's exponential living because every day there's something I do for me, something I do with my daughter, something I do with my mom, something I do with my husband, and then I also give my time at work. And so, the whole idea of 'I don't have enough time'. No, you have enough time. What are you doing with the time that you have - 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes? Sometimes it's all you've got to take, but you've got to put it in your calendar. If you don't put it in your calendar, you won't do it. Put it in your calendar every day.
Stacy Mayer: I'm going to do that. I'm going to do that. Oh, that is so, so good. So, Sheri, how can we find you if we want to learn more about you and your work?
Sheri Riley: So, my website to learn more about me is SheriRiley.com That's also my Instagram, as well as my YouTube page, as well as my LinkedIn. And then for autographed copies of my book - you can buy the e-book, the audio book, and the hardcover anywhere books are sold - but also you can get an autographed copy at PeaceIsTheNewSuccess.com - That's where you can get autographed copies.
Stacy Mayer: Yes, this is the message that you had for me. Yes, I'm glad to see that - Peace is the New Success. Sheri Riley, thank you so, so much for being here with us today - I so appreciate it.
Sheri Riley: Thank you. I appreciate the opportunity to share with you and your audience.
About Your Host
Hi! I'm Stacy Mayer, a Certified Executive Coach and Promotion Strategist on a mission to bring more diversity to the leadership table by getting 1000 underrepresented corporate managers promoted into senior executive positions each year worldwide.
I help undervalued executives scale to the C-Suite using repositioning strategies that build your confidence and visibility, so you can earn the recognition and support you need from key stakeholders while embodying your unique leadership style.
My podcast “Women Changing Leadership with Stacy Mayer” tackles topics like executive communication, getting more respect in the workplace from challenging bosses and team members, and avoiding the common mistakes that sabotage career advancement.