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I’m all about the idea of the self-made woman and not having everything handed to you on a silver platter. I truly believe that in order to create the massive success that you want in your life and really appreciate it, being a self-made woman is something you need to go through. It allows you to dream bigger and achieve bigger.

When I first started my real estate business, I had a lot to prove. I brought a lot of energy and willingness to learn from others to try and emulate their success. Many of the things I learned helped me get to where I am today, but there was one thing I wish I’d known – all the answers already lay within me.

What I want to share with you guys today is some real insight into my journey and how it’s brought me here. If you’re a woman who wants to build something amazing and bring it to the world, this episode is for you.

If you want to dive into this work on your own, I’ve created a vision worksheet to go with this episode to help you identify and achieve the results you want to see in your life. 

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • What it really means to be self-made.
  • Why we have to own our self-made status.
  • What I have learned over the years about building a team that works.
  • Why money both does and does not create happiness.
  • Where meaningful success comes from in life and work.
  • How to view your goals in a way that helps them become reality.
  • Why only you are responsible for your own success.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to Love Your Living, a podcast for ambitious women who choose to have it all. Learn how to achieve the massive success you’ve been dreaming of in your business and your personal life. Here’s your host, multiple six-figure business owner and a life stylist, Brooke Keeling.

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Love Your Living podcast. This is episode 27, The Self-Made Woman. So last week, I did my first ever speaking engagement. And I can tell you that it was one of those things that I was really nervous about.

It was a big goal that I set for myself earlier this year. I prepped, I hired a speaking coach, I worked on my talk. But life got really crazy in the midst of this. You know I have a two-year-old and a puppy and life and businesses that I’m running, and so the time kept kind of escaping me, I guess you could say, as to when I was actually working on the talk.

And oftentimes, when I do something big, I tend to put it off until the end and then I’m all in. I always figure it out. I know that I got this. I have 100% self-confidence in myself. However, this time around, I had some big takeaways and learning lessons. And I realized what I needed to move forward.

I realized what it took for me to prep for something this big and feel comfortable and confident going into it. At the end of the day, I was incredibly proud of myself for pushing myself past this and learning a new skill that took a lot more work and energy than I thought that it would. I also have so much respect for incredible speakers that I’ve listened to in the past, conferences that I’ve attended where people are teaching incredible concepts.

Speaking and putting together content and delivering and engaging an audience is not easy, my friends. It is not easy, but it was a lot of fun and it was such a great learning experience. I thought of the quote that Eleanor Roosevelt says, that I love and I take with me almost every day. She says, “Do something that scares you every day.” And it was something that, leading up to it, it really did scare me and it was a lot of work that I had to put into it.

But again, I was so honored to be part of this incredible event called Be Golden, Stay Golden. They’re going to be going on the road this next year and doing more of a national tour and I hope to be a part of that moving forward. So you can check that out.

So when I thought about what I was going to talk about, and what I wanted to share with you guys today was my journey, and also what I talk to people about, what I presented at this speech. So giving you some insight as to what that looked like and what I shared with the women that I was so fortunate to be in an incredible room and at an incredible event with.

So this is a women’s empowerment event, which is totally up my alley. And I spoke on success and leadership. And when I was preparing this, I thought, gosh, what do I want people to know? And this is exactly what I’m going to share with you guys today.

So, I’m all about self-made, the self-made woman. I am all about it. I truly believe that in order to create the massive success that you want to see in your life, to appreciate it, to go after big goals, it’s something you need to do. It’s not getting, to put it into perspective, getting handed everything to you on a silver platter, having your parents support you through everything and hand everything to you with a silver spoon, right?

So I’m a big believer in actually doing the work and creating success for yourself. And that’s what my talk was all about; the self-made woman and how I’ve created the business that I’ve created now.

So when I first started in my real estate business seven years ago, I brought a lot of fire and passion to my work. And when I stepped into this role, I really wanted to prove to people that I was worthy, that I could be something more, that I could be successful. And I was also really scared at times and I thought, oh my gosh, what did I get myself into? Am I going to make it? Can I do this? What if I fail? You know, all of these fears that come up when you start something new.

And I wanted to do things right, but even more, I wanted to be successful. So I did all of the things that others told me that I should do to be successful. I found other incredible leaders within my industry. I followed them, I studied them, I spent weekends away on educational programs and conferences, learning about my industry. I read books, I got coaches, I did all of those things.

And many of those things really helped me get to where I am today and I’m so grateful, but some of those things actually confused me and they got in my way. And so, this leads me into what I really wanted to share with you and what I wanted to share with this group of incredible women, which is, the most important thing that I can help you see is that you already have the answers within you. You are a self-made woman and that’s how you’re going to get from where you are today to where you want to go from here, by truly embracing that truth.

This has been one of the most important realizations for me as I’ve built my first dream and now am on dreaming up the next level and beyond, because things get hard along the way and we start to look for external help, but truly knowing that your heart is your way and you have the answers within you.

Now, of course, we’re all self-made when you think about it. Our life is a result of the actions that we take and the reactions that we have to our circumstances, whether you want to believe that or not, that’s the truth. But when I say self-made woman, I mean something bigger than that, something totally intentional. Because I know that, when you own your self-made status, when you own you, things are totally going to change and they’re going to change for the best.

At the heart of this, as entrepreneurs, as business owners, as real estate agents, if you’re in business for yourself, we all want so many of the same things. We want to build something amazing that we can bring to the world. We want to make a great living, doing work that feels good to us, that feels amazing and makes us feel successful. And, we want to make a lot of money doing it, right?

Now, don’t get me wrong, it isn’t all about the money, but I truly believe that if you are in this world, creating a business and taking time away from your family, putting your heart, sweat-, tears, nights, weekends, into your idea, you need to make money. You deserve to make money. And I’m going to talk a little bit more about money because money is such a sticking point, yet the place of so much freedom. So I’m going to come back to that a bit today, because especially as women, we get stuck there.

So we want to build something amazing, do work that makes us feel good, that makes us feel successful and we want to make money. It doesn’t seem like too much to ask, right? But the truth is, it’s hard to make things work, especially in the early stages. You work, you put in the hours, you make decent money, maybe you don’t make any money in the beginning.

But eventually, hopefully, you see this level of success. But then, all of a sudden, your life is consumed, and that’s not what we dreamt when we visioned up this business idea in the beginning. So we seek out business advice, maybe we get a coach, some support. Maybe we hire someone, put a system or a few processes in place to help support us, and things feel better for a minute, we feel hopeful.

And then, your employee leaves or your best client decides to go another direction or something blows up in your face. Whatever it is, all of that ease starts to disappear. This is the rollercoaster that I talk about often. So now, suddenly, we’re desperate and we feel like we need this person, we need this thing to work out. We need someone to support us; we can’t do this alone.

I’ve struggled with this and I still do at times. It’s a part of the adventure of entrepreneurship. But when we recognize that we are self-made women, we harness all of the power of making a life and legacy that feels amazing. We take back that control.

So what do we do as self-made women creating a legacy of success in our business and our lives? I can tell you that the success and the enjoyment that you seek is in full force, right at the center of your greatest connection with yourself; the self-made woman within you. And success that matters in life and work, it comes from a commitment of leadership of yourself and others.

So when I break this down into what does that actually look like – one, I want you to know that your success is not dependent on anyone. It’s not dependent on any team member, it’s not dependent upon any system that you have, any lead generation that you have put in place, any building that you’re going to acquire. Whatever it is, your success is dependent on you. And when you know that and you can stand in that strength, you will always find your way and you will be able to take back that control and really be able to see where it is that you need to go for you.

And so knowing what you really want, your vision, that’s the very first step in all of this. And I’m not talking just about your business, I’m talking about life, because we want to create a business that fits into our incredible life rather than trying to squeeze our life into our business, right? So what’s your vision?

What do you want your life to look like? What do you want your business hours to look like? Do you want to have a family? Where do you want to live? What’s important to you? Do you want to travel? Do you run a big team? Do you support a big team? Are you in a leadership role? What makes you feel good? What makes you thrive? What do you want in your life? What does that vision really, really look like?

I can tell you that about three years ago, I was just starting to really scale my real estate business. And at the time, I called my team the motley crew because I had just a whole array of people that I was bringing on board just to build this massive team. And I was using all the hiring systems and the profiling systems. I knew them like the back of my hand, the Kolbe, the StrengthsFinder, the DISC Profile, Index Culture, all of those things.

I could look at all of them and look at a person’s profile and be able to decide right off the bat, like, is this going to be a good fit or not. I also used a system that helped me rank people depending on what job the applied for within my business. So it would rank them from zero to 100. And I’m telling you, if I got a 99 or someone that was in that red zone, I wanted them on my team. It didn’t matter what they cared about, their values, their lifestyle, anything, I wanted them on. I wanted rockstars.

What ended up happening is I got all these people on board and I was having a really hard time leading them, inspiring them, and just flat out getting them to do the work. And the reason why was I didn’t start with a vision. I didn’t start with what I wanted my team to look like, what I wanted it to feel like, who I wanted on board. It was just numbers and bodies based off of production numbers and money, and that’s all it was.

And it was very, very difficult for me to provide the value to these people and get everybody moving in the same direction. And so I realized, what I was missing was my own vision, culture. And so then, I went out and I thought, okay, I need to build a culture. And so I had some incredible mentors at the time who had great cultures at their business and I tried to implement it into my motley crew. That really didn’t work because I didn’t start with it. So I had to back up and I had to figure out, what’s important to me, what do I want my business to look like and feel like? How do I want clients to be served? How do I want my team members to feel? How do I want to feel about them?

And now, we have an incredible team that I’m so proud of that’s like a family to me. They’re amazing, aligned with the same values and they’re all so close and we have fun when we work together. And it’s a night and day difference, but it’s because I stepped back and I got really clear on who I was and what I wanted and what my vision was first.

You have to have that first, otherwise, you’re going to spin circles. You’re going to see what someone else has, you’re going to try to implement it and it doesn’t work for you because it’s their vision, it’s not yours. So being able to get really clear on what’s important to you is one of the biggest takeaways that I’ve learned in my life. It drives everything else, whether you think it does or not.

The second piece of this is financials. So how much money do you want to make? And talking about money, I mentioned money earlier, money sometimes is this place of tension and sticking point, but it’s also this place of massive freedom in our lives. Over the last couple of years, I’ve struggled a little bit with money mindset. It’s a real thing.

And the reason why is, I saw so much success in my real estate business and fairly quickly and I was making more money than I thought I ever would make in my life. And although that sounds so wonderful and such a dream, all of a sudden, I started to get resentful. And I started having this conversation in my mind that money doesn’t matter and money doesn’t make you happy and things don’t make you happy.

And although that’s really true, it’s not. It is true and it’s not. Like, money alone is not going to create happiness for you, never. So that’s why having this vision so that while you’re building your wealth and your success in your businesses, you have a great life while also making incredible money.

So I had to shift my mindset around money because all of a sudden, I saw my bank account starting to drop. And then I was like, whoa, whoa, whoa, actually I really like money, right? So money can’t buy you happiness, but money now, my mindset around money and what I say to myself around money is money is incredible.

Money allows me to live in a place of wealth. Money allows me to send my daughter to the best schools. Money allows me to build my dream home. Money allows me to have the nice car that I love to drive. Money allows me the finer things that I really actually do love in life. Money allows me to employ people, make a difference in our economy. It allows me to give back and donate to causes that I’m really passionate about, to make a difference in our world.

Money allows me to buy a home for my parents for retirement. Money allows me to travel the world; so much opportunity. So until I could figure that out, again, I was having some issues there. So I think this is a big thing, especially for women, because we have this notion of, oh gosh, we don’t want to make too much money. We don’t want to make people feel bad. We don’t want to look flashy and cause a scene.

I want you to change your mind around money because there’s so much freedom when it comes to money and there should be zero negativity associated with it, as long as you’re doing good with it too and you’re doing things that align with your values and you know what those values are.

So how much money do you want to make? Think big. I always like to think big. How much money do you want to make? And before you answer that question, I want you to think back to that vision. Think back to who she is, what does she do? Where does she live? What kind of car does she drive? What’s important to her? Does she travel? Do you have kids?

And then, think, how much money do you need to create in your life to support that big picture vision? Clarity is power, you guys, I’m telling you. Now also, I don’t want you to forget about your family and your personal vision as well. This is another piece of that resentment that I had with money because I was basically trading all of my time for money, which is one of the worst trades you can ever make; time for money. You can never get back your time, you can always make more money.

But think about what you want in your life and what you want your family life to look like. Do you want to vacation with them? For me, this changed significantly when I had my daughter because I wasn’t willing to give up and sacrifice the time with her and so I had to get really crystal clear on what I wanted my schedule to look like. And it took me some time to work through that, but now, it’s like a non-negotiable. Outside of work hours, that’s my time with Reese.

And in the beginning, it was not like that. In the beginning, it’s not like that for many people that are setting out on a new adventure because it really is all about surviving and creating success for yourself. And so you’re trading a lot of time for money. You’re working with clients that don’t align with your values, that are wasting your time, not respecting you.

So get clear on what you want your personal family vision to look like first. Set some boundaries for yourself and respect them because if you don’t respect your boundaries, if you don’t respect your family time, if you don’t respect your quality of life, no one else will. You have to do it first and set expectations with people and you will start to see a massive shift in who you’re aligning with and working with. And it’s actually going to create so much more income coming in the door and so much more happiness in who you’re actually working with.

So we’ve talked about this vision for our life, financial goals, and also our personal and our family life. You have this incredible vision in your mind, right? Life is but a dream, and it should be. But now, you have to take massive action on that. You have to get it done. You have to do the work.

When you first set out on a new adventure and you’re super excited about all of the great opportunity to come, you’re on this high of emotion. And then, all of a sudden, we sit down to actually do the work, the hard work, the not so fun things – maybe they’re tough sales calls or phone calls, maybe it’s putting yourself out there to the world and saying, hey I’m doing this new thing, and you’re scared to death because you don’t feel like you have enough credibility or experience.

Whatever it is, you need to push through that fear. You need to push through that fear and get to the other side because that is the only way you are ever going to realize what you are truly capable of. And the way to do that is massive action. Don’t wait until you’re ready. Don’t wait until you are 100% prepared.

This is the same as me going and doing my speech last week. I could have waited a whole ‘nother five years, maybe even 10, until I had the time, right? Until I had the time to do it, until I felt like I had enough experience – experience doing what? You’re not going to get any experience by sitting behind your computer desk and hiding from the hard things. You need to put yourself out there.

So whatever it is that you want in life, whatever fears that you have that are standing in your way, are they really worth you not going after your dreams? Massive action towards your dreams, it’s the only way to get there. Now, there’s a couple of things that are going to absolutely help you in moving forward. One of them is peer groups and accountability. I’ve talked about this before.

You’re an average of the five people that you spend the most amount of time with. Your bank account is also an average of the five people that you spend the most amount of time with. So really, really think about that. write it down. I want you to write down today, who are the five people that you spend the most amount of time with?

Are those people aligned with where you want to go and what that vision is that you have with your life? Because if they’re not, you’re going to be held back. You’re going to get talked out of things. You’re going to think, okay, maybe this is good enough, or I’ll just settle for this. Think big and go for it.

You can achieve anything that you want in your life; anything. You just have to be willing to do the work and persist when it gets hard, right? So think about your peer groups. Also, who do you have that is an accountability buddy or someone that knows what your goals are and that can truly hold you accountable? Not someone that you call up and say, oh I didn’t get this done, and they say, oh that’s okay, you were really busy, you have a lot going on. It’s alright, give yourself a break.

I want someone that’s actually going to hold me accountable if I have big goals; someone that, if I have a call with them on a Friday to check in and say these are my goals for the week, did I accomplish them? And if I say no, they make me feel like shit. If you have big goals, you need to have accountability.

And if you don’t have that accountability within yourself, find someone that can help you achieve your goals and that’s going to hold you accountable to the things that you are saying that you’re going to do, that are playing at the same level, that if you show up on a call or a meeting and they have all of their stuff done and they’re moving forward, you feel like a total asshole because you didn’t do anything.

So who do you have that can help you. Find an accountability partner once you have some big goals and you have that vision for your life, because you really do need that. massive action, like everything in my business and in my life, literally has been a series of massive action moves. Some of them that have worked and some of them that haven’t, but ultimately, they’ve led to my success.

So some of the things that maybe I’ve invested a lot of money in or I thought, this is it, this is going to take my business to the next level, sometimes it’s doesn’t work. But you keep going. You learn from those things. If you want something bad enough, you’ll go for it and you’ll find a way. And if you don’t, you’re going to find an excuse.

It’s like, if anybody listening has had a baby or is thinking about it or planning it, if you ask any mother, when is the best time to have a baby? There is never a perfect time. You just have to go. And everything works out, but just go and believe in yourself and move forward.

The last thing that I want to talk about today is owning it; owning your vision for your life. Own the vision, your goals that you have. Take complete and unapologetic responsibility for your choices, for your actions, for your dreams, your visions, your big life. There’s no hiding. There’s no reason to hide what it is that we truly want in life.

Share it with the world. What are your goals? What’s your dream? What’s your vision? If you have a partner, share it with them. My husband’s come on this journey now long enough with me. Sometimes, he looks at me like I’m crazy, and other times he’s like, yep okay. but I think now, he realizes if I have something on my mind and I say I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it.

And if it takes me a month or if it takes me a year, it doesn’t matter, I’m going to do it. If I fall flat on my face, that’s okay. I’m going to stand back up and I’m going to do it again. I’m going to figure out what it is that I could learn. I’m going to restructure. I’m going to put a different strategy in place and I’m going to keep trying until something works.

I want you to own your visions. You get one life; one life. What do you want to make of it? Who is she, that you’re building? What’s your empire look like? What is your legacy? How are your kids going to remember you? What’s going to make you so happy and joyful and fulfilled? What’s wealth to you?

Spend some time thinking about this. I love vision boards. You could do some vision exercising. I have a worksheet that I also have used on all of these topics as well that I’ve put in the show notes. You guys can check that out and download it. But I want to know what it is that you want to go after.

I want you to get super clear on that because that’s what’s going to move you forward in that direction. More than anything, what I want you to take away from today and take with you today and every day moving forward is that you are a self-made woman.

You already have all of the answers that you need within you. Lead with your heart. Go for whatever big visions that you have. Get clear on it and know that it’s up to you. Success and leadership starts with you. You have everything that you need.

I hope you all have an incredible week. I hope you enjoyed today’s podcast. As always, you can check us out on our Instagram account, which is BrookeKeeling_ and see what’s going on over there.

And in addition, like I mentioned, if you want to do some of this work on your own and put it into your life, apply it to your life, and do the work, which I highly recommend, I also have a worksheet attached to this week’s podcast. You can download it in the show notes. Have an incredible day and we’ll see y’all next week.

Thanks for showing up and listening to this week’s episode of Love Your Living. If you’re ready to create a business and life you love, or simply take your already pretty incredible life to the next level, head over to to download our five-step guide creating more balance in your life.

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