Episode 18

Claire Morris returns to share the importance of community and facing your fears

Episode Notes

In this episode, Claire Morris returns as a guest and joins Roksana to talk about Claire’s personal experiences and how she started her business with Arbonne. Claire shares how she discovered a synergy with Arbonne as it aligned with her core values. She also shares the importance of community and sisterhood. This conversation gives clarity on how we can create and choose the life that we want. Ready to get inspired? Make sure you stay tuned!

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Community has a huge positive impact on women’s emotional well-being

  • That women can give themselves permission to make new decisions when old choices no longer serve them

  • That if you want your business to grow, you have to align with your core values

  • Face your fears to tap into your potential and ultimate success

  • Why it’s important to surround yourself with positive people

  • Sharing your own experience can be hugely supportive for others!

  • Don’t settle on what you have right now, strive harder to achieve your dreams!

You can find Claire Morris on…

Website www.clairemorris449228884.arbonne.com

Instagram httsp://www.instagram.com/retailwithclarity

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pg/Claire-Morris-Arbonne-International-1088430444530619


[Roksana] My guest today is Claire Morris. Claire is a corporate escapee, and she’s currently running not one but two businesses which she is proud to say she runs on her own terms. She’s lived in over four countries and she’s currently living with her husband and her 5 year old daughter in Saint Albans. She’s also represented her country playing pool. Welcome Claire, welcome back to the show.

[Claire] Thank you very much.

[Roksana] Claire the last time you came on you were talking about how you’ve defined success and satisfaction and one of the big things that you were talking about was community, and the sense of networks, collaborations, the support structure that you’ve been able to surround yourself by and before we go into that a little bit more I’d love to know a bit about you… so who you are as a person and just to see how you got to where you are today.

[Claire] Okay, so I was actually born in Glasgow as I’m sure you can tell by the accent, but when I was very little we moved to Milton Keynes and that’s where I grew up. I have a younger sister and despite the fact that we are only 2 years apart in age, we are very very different to each other personality wise. I’ve always been very practical, very process driven, and she’s always being a bit of a dreamer. We’ve taken kind of opposite directions as we’ve grown up… but my parents separated when I was 17 and that was actually a big relief at the time which… I know that most people won’t experience that emotion if their parents go through separation, but I had witnessed my mum being quite unhappy for some years and that was very difficult to see… so when they finally made that decision to separate it really felt like it was a time that everyone could move forward in their lives and I was just about to go to University as well so for me it meant that I could go to University without some of that family stuff hanging over my head… and we were quite comfortable financially but we didn’t have extra really in life… and that was something that I always felt like I wanted to create when I grew up, to have not just enough but enough to never have to worry about anything. To be able to take Holidays whenever we wanted. Not be flashy, not to have anything to show off, but just to have zero financial concerns… so that was probably playing a big part in shaping what I wanted to create later in life.

[Roksana] So just going back to when you were growing up and the kind of childhood that you had, did you feel that you had opportunities?

[Claire] Yes definitely. mum always made sure that we had those opportunities, even if it meant that she had to go and secretly work three jobs that we didn’t really realise or were aware of when we were children… and so playing the piano, going to dance classes, I did karate as well… anything that we wanted to do within reason, we really were afforded that opportunity to do it… and as long as we stuck to it and were dedicated and were enjoying it, then we were able to continue doing that.

[Roksana] Sounds amazing, sounds like you had a lovely childhood and I think that what’s really interesting is often when people talk about their parents splitting there’s normally some pain associated with that but you sound like it was… you were old enough to be in a position to notice that it was for the best and that there was an element of relief around that for all of you.

[Claire] Yeah very much so and I do appreciate it’s not going to be the same for most people but what it has meant is that having seen that and been aware of my mums unhappiness through my teen years, it really made me want to create a happy atmosphere when it was time for me to have a family and for my daughter to see both of her parents being happy and fulfilled. We had lovely times as children as well, so we had lots of fun with music, we’d go on walks in lots of play parks, very kind of cuddly family household. None of that went away even when my mum was really unhappy, but I was aware that she had this deep unhappiness that didn’t stop her making life for us fantastic but stopped her making life for herself fantastic… so having all of those wonderful experiences has really been a bedrock for what we create, my husband and myself, for my daughter… but layering on top of that the fact that she gets to experience both of her parents being fulfilled in themselves.

[Roksana] So Claire, take me back to the moment that you were triggered to create these new businesses. So you’ve got two businesses, I assume you started with one and then the other one came along, take me back to the moment- cause you obviously were working in a corporate world, and you decided that you needed to do something else, or wanted to do something else, so talk us through that.

[Claire] Yes it’s probably quite a long moment, takes quite a long journey. There wasn’t really a Big Bang moment as such… but even in my 20s where I had a great career already and left University and started in a job that I didn’t even know existed, but turned out to be the best possible job for me… a combination of numbers and products, and it was really really exciting, I really loved what I did, and I promoted through the ranks very quickly, and there was a lot of excitement and external… not pressure, but external realisation that I was a bit of a superstar in that world… and despite all of that, and despite the fact that I really loved my work, I always felt that there must be more out there than working on someone else’s terms and doing the same stuff every single week, having the same conversations every Monday morning about the same performance reports… being on fixed times and having to ask permission to do life things… so this was wy before I had a family or any other dependencies… this was when I was kind of young free and single, as such, I wasn’t single all of the time but I didn’t have anything tying me down and even then I felt like there must be more… so at that stage I really didn’t know what alternatives there were; that’s all I’d ever known: go to school, go to University, get a job and work 9-5 forever more… so I didn’t realise that there would be other options, but I also- I didn’t have the confidence to do anything about it even if I had been aware that there were other options. And then fast forward a little bit when my daughter was born five years ago, I’d gone back to work, I was working in London at the time, and I was commuting back to Saint Albans, and I wasn’t getting home before her bedtime. Every single day, this wasn’t  the odd occasion situation, this was every single day, and that is when I knew that something had to change because that’s not the kind of family life that I wanted to live. I wanted to work, I wanted to be successful in whatever I was doing, but I did not want to be sacrificing that time with my daughter. So I was working full time, I was earning the main chunk of the household income, obviously had a toddler, I had some big sporting commitments as well, we had a mortgage to pay and I wasn’t in the position where I could just stop working and start doing something and hope that the money would come in… so I was really actively looking for something that I could build up around my job, around everything else, but that ultimately would be substantial enough to replace my corporate income… and while I’d been on maternity leave I’d actually come across network marketing… hadn’t really thought too much about it at the time but then kept meeting more and more people who have been very successful in their respective network marketing companies. So I started researching it because I realised that it was very flexible, I could work it completely part time, it was pretty low investment compared to say a franchise which I’d also looked into, we certainly did not have the capital to be looking at franchise, and then I researched lots of different companies and I found a company that my values were completely aligned to, and jump straight in as soon as I discovered them… it was this gut feeling, just knew this was the right vehicle for me, and I haven’t looked back since… and what came with that business that I hadn’t anticipated in any way was the amazing mindset and personal development support that you get, so that’s helped me to grow in all areas of my life.. it’s helped me to become a better wife, a better mummy, and it’s helped me to create the belief that actually I really do have something to offer people… so through this I was able to develop the clarity and confidence about how I could still do the work that I’ve been doing in my career and the work that I loved, but to be able to do that on my own terms. So 18 months into my first business I was able to leave my 9-5 job, and I launched Retail With Clarity which is a consultancy focused on helping small retailers to grow their profit and reduce their stock, and I would never have been able to do that without the confidence that I’d learned how to grow through my first business so it’s very much being a vehicle for me to a better personal health situation, to be able to help others improve their wellbeing, a vehicle to create choices in my life because of the financial safety net that is created and also the time freedom, and a vehicle to help keep building my mindset and my skills that support my second businesss, and to learn how to communicate with people better and to have these communities around me who are there to cheerlead and support me and me to them as well… so I was very very lucky to 1st discover this sense of community and the importance of it when you’re running your own business, with my first business because it’s actually part of the package and then realising the importance of that, I was then able to make sure that I created that around my second business as well, so that’s where starting my own networking group for local women in business came into play… and the sense of collaboration that exists in this group and other groups that I’m part of is phenomenal and something that I never expected to be the case outside of the corporate world.

[Roksana] That’s amazing, oh my goodness, I’m just listening to you feeling completely inspired. I can’t believe it took you just 18 months to be able to quit your corporate job. I’m still shocked by that, that’s phenomenal. And it sounds like you found a business or you found this what is it called network marketing?

[Claire] Network marketing, yes.

[Roksana] So you’ve found something that’s aligned with your values and I’m just wondering Claire, do you think that is the… one of the reasons for your success that, you found something that you align to?

[Claire] 100%. It’s so important for whatever it is that you’re doing to be aligned to your values, otherwise there’ll always be something holding you back and stopping you achieving that success, always.

[Roksana] That’s amazing, that’s amazing. So I would love to know a little bit more about the days that you were thinking about launching or buying or investing or becoming part of these- becoming part of the network marketing, how did it feel? What were you thinking in terms of the possibilities that were opening up for you?

[Claire] I was incredibly excited about the possibilities and because I am a researcher and planner, so I had done lots and lots of research, so I was very very aware of what the opportunities and possibilities were. I guess there was at the time for me, this limiting belief that that’s fine for them, but can I do that? I knew if I didn’t take the leap, that nothing would change and I would be doing the nine to five forever… so I have this moment of I’ve just got to say yes and I’ve got to figure it out as I go along. I’m three years in now to that business and there are still days where I have these limiting beliefs of can I do this, can I do this? But because of the community that I have around me, I’m always being inspired by other people and spurred on by other people and seeing other people achieve is the evidence that I need to know that I can do it. I might just have to learn a few things along the way.

[Roksana] Absolutely. Isn’t that incredible though? So I think what I’m hearing from you is that not only did you find something that’s aligned to your values, but you also surround yourself with people who are maybe a few steps ahead of you in some aspects but maybe not in others, and the opportunity that you get to see people winning, and succeeding and moving forward, gives you and your limiting beliefs or your false beliefs that evidence that’s required to keep pushing forward, to know that you can do this.

[Claire] Exactly.

[Roksana] That’s amazing. That’s amazing and I think it takes people years and years to be able to get to a position where they can actually- especially people that go it alone and start their own business- to actually even just to identify what their core values are because it’s not something you’re taught to do at school is it?

[Claire] Not at all and I was very lucky in my corporate career to go on a leadership course which had- an element of that course actually focused on distilling right down to your core values… so even prior to me starting my own businesses I did have an understanding of that, but I wouldn’t have had that through any other means and I’ve done a lot more work on it since. I’m very much into personal development I do a lot of reading, listen to a lot of podcasts and I realise now the importance of understanding those values, and then being able to say no to things that don’t align.

[Roksana] Yeah, and isn’t that that sense of clarity also liberating because you just know it’s not going to work for you?

[Claire] Yes absolutely, and as someone who is innately a people pleaser and wants to say yes to everything, it’s been a hard journey for me to get to this point but now I respect my own time enough and understand my own values enough to know when it is right to say no.

[Roksana] Amazing, amazing. So Claire, what would you say you love most about your life right now?

[Claire] It really is the sense of freedom that comes with everything being on your own terms, and my daughter started school in September so this is very much an of the moment example, but being able to go to her school place and assemblies etc. without having to ask anybody’s permission and know that I am still contributing to our family life and our family income in the same way that I was before, that is the most precious thing to me… and sense of fulfilment that I have from knowing that this is something I’ve created, but also being able to help others to do the same thing, that is… I can’t even put into words how important that is for my own states of mental health, to be able to support others.

[Roksana] I mean I think that there is such a gift, an incredible gift that you’re giving people because they’ll be also thinking all the things that you were thinking a few years ago when you were setting up you know, can I do this is, is this suited to me, and you being able to distil your experience to share that with them to say I’ve had all of these thoughts and this is how I overcame them, I think is such a special thing to do for other people. I really admire you for that, that’s amazing, and I love the fact that you’re now able to create a life yourself where you can be there for your daughter in all the ways that you want to and to be able to know that you are contributing even when you’re probably at these assemblies or at these plays, that you know you’ve created a business that is working or you, where you don’t need to be switched on 24/7 to make it work. That’s the ultimate freedom that we’re all looking for isn’t it?

[Claire] It absolutely is.

[Roksana] So what would you say to any of my listeners who may have a dream or a desire to do something else? And it might not necessarily be to go into business, it might be something else altogether; to quit a relationship, to start a new relationship, to do something that is a dream or a desire for them but they don’t think they have what it takes right now. What would you say to that person?

[Claire] That you absolutely do have what it takes but you may have to do a bit of work to be able to believe that… so don’t settle, and this is what I would also say to my younger self and anybody else who wants to listen, don’t settle because there will always be a way to achieve that dream and most of the time when someone doesn’t go after their dream, they might think that it is something like money or time that’s holding them back, but usually it’s actually a fear… and the bit that you need to work on is figuring out what your fear is so you can get past it because actually the world is really ready for what you can bring into it, even if you don’t believe that yourself yet.

[Roksana] Oh wow that’s beautiful and amazing answer. Claire what took you the longest to learn to accept about yourself?

[Claire] Probably that I’m not actually boring because I like a spreadsheet and a bit of process and really that there are people out there that crave that in their lives… so what I might find boring they really want the need, and I do still have moments where I assume that if I think or know something, then everyone else must do to so it won’t be valuable for them, and I’m still realising and still working on realising that that is untrue, and just because I have it in my head it doesn’t mean that other people don’t want to know it or don’t know it already.

[Roksana] Oh my gosh, so you’ve just completely touched me there because that was my thing for the longest time. I wanted to become a coach, and I’ve been in the coaching field for about 15 years and when I decided to move from corporate coaching to personal coaching, I looked around and saw all these amazing people who are coaches and I just thought, what new information do I have? What new magical solution do I have? And that just debilitated me for the best part of three years. Three years I wasted just thinking I haven’t got anything new to offer and it was only when I started having my one to one coaching client that I realised that I was so relatable so many people. And that even though there is amazing hot shots out there who got their massive platforms, they are not accessible to everyday people, and it was through that hat I realised that there I do most definitely have something amazing to offer people, and it took me but that took me the longest time to accept that what I have to say is interesting and it’s helpful, people need it.

[Claire] Yeah I love that and that is a feeling that it rings so true for me and I wouldn’t say I’m completely past it, but I’m much more aware of it and I know how to pull myself into check on it so that I can keep going.

[Roksana] I think that’s the key, isn’t it? Just knowing when you’re feeling that feeling and having that- coming into your awareness and then being like oh here comes that thought again, what do I do with it? Do I listen to it? Do I entertain it? Do I now let it go? And it’s that sort of process, that internal dialogue that you have to constantly shape and direct otherwise it will just take you into a dark place that none of us have got to go to. We haven’t got time for that dark place as far as I’m concerned, there’s people that need help, they need your services, they need you, and yes there are amazing people out there who got big platforms who are constantly in everybody’s faces, but what I’d love the listeners to recognise is that your uniqueness is what’s going to make you interesting for somebody to want to work with, and that’s something that if you keep yourself playing small, if you keep yourself away and down and out of sight, you’re actually not helping people. I think that’s something that you need to recognise that it’s not about you, it’s about who you can help, and when once you figure that out and you make that slip in your mind, just like Claire you’ll have so much success in the shortest amount of time because people relate to you when they need you and they want you and yes there are hot shots out there, but they are not accessible. People don’t relate to them because they’re 15, 20, 30 years ahead and how do you achieve that? Often we’re looking for people who are a few years ahead of us, and I think Claire you’re such an inspiration to so many because you have success in the shortest time and I think just listen to your story, the formula I think is amazing. Knowing your core values and then recognising how a business fits in with your core values, and then having the foresight to create a sisterhood or a tribe or a network or whatever you want to call it of people willing you on, that is just so powerful. I think that’s probably what propelled you, and obviously your tenacity and skill and your drive and all those other kind of personal traits that you have, but would you agree with that?

[Claire] I would completely agree with that formula and I think for me, I discovered most of it by accident but the beauty of hindsight is now that I can express that to other people and give other people a little bit of the a journey or a map to follow to model their own path on. And discover these things more on purpose than by accident.

[Roksana] But isn’t that isn’t that wonderful when you’ve had that experience and it’s been by accident? And it’s actually a formula, if you follow the steps you’ll have this this level of success and satisfaction. I think that that’s your gift to the world. Your mess is now your message.

[Claire] Yes. I love that.

[Roksana] If you could go back in time and whisper a little life lesson or an affirmation to the little girl in you, what would you say to her?

[Claire] Ooh this is a good question. Conforming is sometimes necessary, but exploring and bending the norms is way more fun.

[Roksana] I love that, wow! Yes, yes. Conforming is sometimes necessary…

[Claire] But exploring and bending the norms is way more fun.

[Roksana] Way more fun. That’s amazing. So that’s what you would say to the little girl in you.

[Claire] Yes, the little conformist.

[Roksana] Was she a conformist?

[Claire] Hugely. She hasn’t gone away either, but she’s learning.

[Roksana] She’s learning to be a rebel.

[Claire] Yes.

[Roksana] Amazing. Claire, this has been such a fascinating conversation. I love the fact that you’ve been able to have a vision and create and live your vision and the formula… the formula that you’re sharing with us today, and sharing for my listeners is just really simple, really doable. I think there will be a lot of people that will be listened to this who worked on the fence, who were thinking can I follow my dream or not, and I think if you can surround yourself with the right people, whatever whether its business or whether it’s a hobby or whether it’s just something altogether different, surround yourself with people who believe in you who get you who know who you are who know where you want to be in life who’s been through the pitfalls who can direct you little bit. Who can pick you up when you when you fall down. And then to know your core values to know who you are, and there’s so much out there in terms of understanding your core values and I will add some links to the show notes for this podcast, but getting to know yourself and then aligning yourself with that vision of who you want to be. I think Claire has really hit the nail on the head today by saying start there… start there and then the rest will kind of figure itself out. So Claire if my listeners want to know a bit more about you or they want to just follow you or stalk you on social media, where do you suggest they go?

[Claire] Well on Instagram I have two accounts. I have one, @mrs.mcmz, so that’s more my personal account and my journey through life and supporting other people as well who are going on that same journey… and then my account for my retail consultancy is @retailwithclarity, all one word, and my website for my retail consultancy is www.retailwithclarity.com.

[Roksana] Amazing, and guys I will make sure that these handles and websites are all added onto the show notes for you so you can go find Claire and join her amazing networks because I’m going to be doing that soon as I get off this podcast today. Thank you so much Claire, that’ been an amazing conversation.

[Claire] Thank you so much for having me, it’s been a pleasure.

[Roksana] Bye!

[Claire] Bye.