Today, we have the pleasure of interviewing Julianna Dawson, Founding President and CEO of Whole Life Change LLC.
She is also an Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker, Life Coach, Strategist, Marketing and Management Consultant. For many years, people have enjoyed the empathetic and life-changing power of her on stage, in her books, and in the personal development business. In a previous career, she was Director at one of the leading medical newspaper companies in the US, managed projects for Newsweek and FORTUNE magazine in the US, Europe, and Asia. She's also a poet, loves reading, and when she's not helping someone make positive life changes, she's with her two children and husband.
As part of Julianna's continuing commitment to personal growth, she especially enjoys inspiring others to see life's obstacles and challenges as growth opportunities with which to discover and build on hidden talents. Julianna has made her life a living example of the continued desire to grow, explore, and discover who she is, as well as her unique gifts and talents. She encourages and inspires others to do the same and has made it one of her missions in life to create a community where like-minded people gather and find tools to use to continually improve themselves in ways that positively transform their lives and the lives of others.
At the beginning of her 2nd book, Inspiring Words: Finding Yourself, Julianna shares why she does what she does in a poem called “Why I Do What I Do” that chronicles some of her most potent life experiences that influence her ability to help people who are faced with many challenges. She then aims to inspire you to discover your why, benchmark where you are now—and she provides you with a live Life Evaluation or a Life Evaluation Guide you can use to do it yourself, a live Goal Setting session, or a Goal Setting Guide to help you set goals in a way that increase your chances of success by as much as 95%, and then she reviews, brainstorms with you, interviews you if necessary, before helping you as you decide on and put together a strategic plan of action steps to bridge the gap between the life you have and the life you want so you may implement on your own or with her help.
With ten years on the consumer side of publishing and ten years on the business-to-business side, Julianna was uniquely suited to leverage her experience from her work at FORTUNE magazine in the US, bringing unique special projects sales and marketing ideas to people at FORTUNE 500 companies, to leverage it around the world when she went on to NEWSWEEK INTERNATIONAL.
Julianna inspires people to live their best lives. You can also find her books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Audible.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Julianna Dawson. Here are the excerpts from the Interview.
Hi Julianna, Great to have you with us today! Where did you grow up? Tell us about your childhood, teen years, college years.
I was born in Barbados, lived in New York for many years, and now reside in Connecticut with my husband and two children.
Although poor, we lived a blissful and simple life that was filled with adventure as we explored the island's beauty as children. When we were young, our mother left us to go to the United States. It was a devastating time. This experience provided me with the impetus to become a stronger and more independent person.
At the age of 14, I faced another traumatic experience: I was attacked by a rapist at knifepoint on the way home from school. Although I narrowly escaped, everything else that followed–fear, anxiety, even depression–threatened to break me. Seeing my devastation, my grandmother, with whom I lived, contacted my mother. She came to my rescue, despite her own challenges at the time, and brought my brother and me to the United States.
From the age of 14 to 17, we lived in the Bronx—near Rosedale. I attended Adlai E. Stevenson High School, where I was on the honor roll. During my senior year, I was offered the opportunity, through the Academy of Finance, to take a college-level course at Baruch College. I didn't know it at the time, but that experience allowed me to become the first in my family to go to college. At 17, I moved to Park Slope in Brooklyn and worked three jobs while attending Baruch College.
It was at Baruch where I found a job listing on the board for bookkeeping that led to an internship at FORTUNE magazine. That's where I began to hone my expertise in publishing and soon developed to manage special advertising projects.
I'd pick the best job opportunities from what was available to me. I'd never started by thinking about what I wanted. I didn't even know that was possible.
Please tell us about your latest project.
In an effort to meet, engage with, and help as many people as possible, I created a 2-minute quiz-like assessment that may help you, via a process of self-discovery, find out your #1 life coaching style match for maximum results, get a quick preview of what type of life coaching student you would be—providing you with pitfalls to watch out for as well as how to maximize your coachee type superpower, provides you with access to free training, with a live Life Evaluation or a Life Evaluation Guide you may use to do it yourself, a live Goal Setting session or a Goal Setting Guide to help you set goals in a way that increase your chances of success by as much as 95%, and then I review, brainstorm with you, interview you if necessary asking clarifying questions, before helping you as you choose and put together a strategic plan of action steps to bridge the gap between the life you have and the life you want so you may implement on your own or with our help.
When and why did you begin working on this project?
When I first started doing this for myself, it was triggered by an emergency. In fact, it was an emergency that knocked me off my feet—literally. It was just over nine years ago, and this is where I was. I had just been told that there was a 90% chance that my unborn twins would not make it—after six years of trying to have kids and a miscarriage, I had an emergency surgery to give them a 50% chance of survival, and the doctor told me that I had to go on bed rest for five months until the twins were born. He specified that I was only allowed to lay on my back and on my side for five months and was only allowed to sit up at a 45-degree angle to eat. By the end of the five months, I was being wheeled around in a wheelchair. I had to relearn how to walk because I had lost so much muscle mass in my legs. Standing and moving my legs even an inch was a feat. However, during that time, for the first time in my life, I began to think about my life in a way that I never had before. I began to ask myself questions about who I was being, what I was doing, what I had in my life and didn't, and I noticed things. For example, I noticed that while I felt deeply whole with my family, friends, and clients, I felt this nagging dissatisfaction in some of my other relationships, and that's when I realized that the only real difference was that I was myself with everyone else except them. I was wearing the mask of what I felt a corporate executive should be. Long story short, during those five months, I chose what I wanted my life to be like. I chose to give myself ten years to achieve certain goals, and they weren't just money-related. They were also goals that included feelings and experiences. I chose to begin and never give up.
I aspired to be a speaker, and I began to (1) tell people what I wanted to do and (2) do it—even if it was for free. I started speaking. First to 1, then 10, then 24, then a hundred and forty-four, and it continues to expand more and more. People started asking me to speak on panels, to do workshops, and then it happened when I least expected it—and ahead of my 10-year schedule. I achieved that goal of being paid to speak, but that was just one of the things I wanted to be, do, or have in my life. My goals have evolved over time, and I've gone on to meet and exceed them and continue to grow from my own personal Whole Life Change experience.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your work?
Because I want to help as many people as possible, but also because I'm only one person with a finite amount of time and resources, I've been focusing on helping individual people one-on-one for years. However, with more and more people asking for help, I felt compelled to provide them with enough to at least get started on their own or with someone else if I'm not available at the time or we're not the right fit. Hence the reason I've taken the time to develop the 2-minute quiz-like assessment, free online training, and do-it-yourself guides, but I still provide a free consultation, and I always let interested people know when a spot opens on my waiting list because I love working with people one-on-one the most.
Please tell us about your company ‘Whole Life Change LLC‘.
I chose to stop looking for work as an employee and start the kind of company that I want to work for, doing the kind of work I want to do.
Today, Whole Life Change LLC takes the time to get to know people and where they are in their lives right now first, then where they want to go before working to help them bridge the gap. And that could mean helping an entrepreneur with a full-time job who wants to start their own business but still needs to pay the bills while transitioning; a CEO or even a receptionist who wants to write and publish a book, a person who wants to change careers midlife, a financially successful investor looking to build in other areas, and more.
What are the strategies that helped you become successful in your journey?
One strategy I used was pointing the finger squarely at myself and my own actions when it came to conjuring up results. Doing whatever it took to surmount anything that was standing in my way. I'm happy with where it got me, but I want to take a moment to explain with a few examples to clarify. At first, I was too young, so I'd wear extra-long skirts, style my hair to look older—back then. I had hair, and I'd wear glasses instead of contact lenses—to hide any beauty, to dim any light. Later it was my focus on never giving up. Dogged persistence. Being Optimistic even in the face of challenges. A willingness to do almost anything–if it was legal–to put in as much time and effort as needed. Whether it was to dig through data, research, whatever.
Courage: I developed the ability to no longer fear bad experiences because I'd learn most from them.
I decided what to end in my life, and I chose what to begin.
Commitment: I'd work till my last breath.
Any message for our readers.
If I can, with all the life challenges I've faced, imagine what you can do! If you want someone like me who has been through the fire on your team helping you perform a life evaluation on where you are now, helping you do your goal setting, and helping you with a strategy and plan to get there that you can execute on your own or with my help.
Fantastic! So tell us, how can people find out more about you?
Go to wholelifechange.com and click the button that says, “Take the FREE 2-minute QUIZ to get started,” and I'll be in touch.
Click this link to select the services you're interested in: Work With Me – Let's Give Life All We've Got!
Thank you so much, Julianna, for giving us your precious time! We wish you all the best for your journey ahead!