This conversation was so freaking good and so freaking juicy. Today, I’m talking to Deanna Ricciotti, who is a life and business coach and an absolute badass.
Deanna is an NLP certified life and business coach. She helps women to heal their past trauma and release emotional blocks and limiting beliefs so that they can begin to live a life of overflow and abundance. She’s trained in over 20 modalities to help her clients get out of their own way, become a clear channel for manifestation and awaken their magnetic goddess within.
Dee works with female founders of small businesses to cultivate empire-worthy brands and coaches to stand out online. She believes that it’s a combination of energetics, mindset, personal brand and marketing strategy that scales a business to 6-figures and beyond, and I am with her 1,000%.
Today, we talk about personal development, building a 6-figure business and what it takes to do that. She shares her experience with life and past trauma, and how she was able to move through that so gracefully and launch her own business.
If you love the topics that I talk about, you are going to LOVE this conversation with Dee because we are basically the same person! It’s a beautiful testament to collaboration and community in business instead of competition.
Stick around, soak it up, and make sure you check out my interview on Dee’s podcast as well!
In this episode, we talk about:
- Dee’s amazing holistic approach to coaching and feminine energy
- What is a trauma response and how do you notice it?
- Embracing feminine flow and what it means for your business
- Getting out of your own way to live a life of abundance
Tune in to the episode here:
🎙 Listen on iTunes – elleymae.com/itunes
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🎙 Listen on iHeartRadio – elleymae.com/iheartradio
The Episode Breakdown:
Elley: Well hello Dee, welcome to the podcast! I’m so excited to chat.
Deanna: Hey Elley, I’m so excited to be here too!
Elley: Oh my gosh, cannot wait. You recently had me on your podcast and now I’m having you on mine because I thought, why not have another juicy episode for people to come and join in on the conversation?
Can you give us a bit of a rundown of who you are and what you do? Tell us about your zone of genius in your business – what are you really good at helping your clients to achieve?
Deanna: I am a life and business coach. I used to call myself a holistic business coach but I don’t think people really understood what that meant! It’s otherwise known as ‘can’t decide on my niche’.
I’m a certified NLP life coach first. That’s how I really started in my industry after leaving my corporate job after 6 years of coaching, sales and marketing for a big gas and electricity company in Australia. My journey started with life coaching focused on mindset and helping women to understand their subconscious mind, and all the juicy things that you do as well, Elley.
When I started my business, it looked like there was a huge demand for my kind of coaching. I grew my business quite quickly and organically. Within a couple of months, I ended up being very much booked out but also very much burnt out in my business. I achieved those $5k months that we talk about really quickly, but that also came with consequences for my wellbeing and me just learning how to be a business owner.
It’s funny – when you’re a coach, you’re a business owner as well as working in your business as the coach. As I was transitioning on this journey and learning about how to set up my business, I realised that I also needed my own stuff that I was teaching my clients – I needed my own mindset help, I needed to understand where to put my energy, I needed to set my intentions every morning, I needed to look after my nutrition and my wellbeing. All the things that I was passionate about helping my clients with, *I* desperately needed in my business.
I very quickly decided that there was a big opportunity for me to pivot into business coaching, but to marry up strategy and scalability with ensuring our mindset is in check and that we’re feeling good and enjoying the journey. I think it’s so important that we’re actually happy every day in growing and being in our business, not just waiting for the day when we “make it”.
I started working with a lot of women starting businesses, working with them on their mindset and helping them with strategy on anything from starting to launching to scaling their business. Most recently, I’ve gone deeper into really obsessing over energetic and trauma healing, which is the healing of trauma in the body.
When we think about mindset and mindset blocks, it’s really a thought process. Say someone frustrates us – we’re *thinking* the things. We’re thinking, “They’re so annoying, they’re frustrating.” We can change that through working on our mindset.
What I also realised is that sometimes the way we would be triggered is actually in our bodies. Let’s say we want to launch a program. Every time we sit down to do the work and take action, our whole body might get hijacked with anxiety. We might have heart palpitations or struggle with breathing. We might find ourselves in this addiction-to-stress cycle where we’re thinking, “I’m going to do all the things to make this launch really, really successful” and not understand that our body is actually in a trauma response in that moment as well.
I was fascinated and started seeing my own cycle with this as well. I started noticing my own addiction to stress and how I recreated stress in my business. I would be teaching about taking time away and looking after yourself, but I was really struggling. I had so much resistance.
It’s the same with spiritual and manifestation processes. Let’s say you’re manifesting money but you have money trauma. Your audience can try this right now – as I’m bringing up money, what response do you have? Not in your mind, not in your thought patterns, but what is happening to your body in that moment when I even say the word ‘money’? Does it make you feel really stressed? Can you feel your muscles tensing? Do you feel like you’re getting a rush of adrenaline or cortisol through your body? Because that might potentially be a trauma response and you might not be aware of it consciously. A lot of our trauma responses are suppressed and we’re numb to them.
All the work I did on mindset and business led me on this journey of understanding my inability to work from a place of feminine embodiment, and tying that into the trauma I had and the wins I have with the feminine. I’m very good at the hustle and the go go go, but actually sitting down and being influenced, surrendering to mess and things not going my way gave me a trauma response and severe anxiety.
So all in all, the mindset, the marketing, the business strategy, and the trauma and feminine embodiment stuff is my jam.
Elley: But you know what, it all comes into play. I love that you take this holistic approach. I’m the same – I think business is not just energy, mindset, strategy, daily practices or launches, it’s *all* of it. So I love that you encompass so many of those things.
How did you actually get into business in the first place? Were you always an entrepreneurial person at heart or did it fall into your lap?
Deanna: Me and my best friend in high school always spoke about owning a business, but it wasn’t in my blueprint. My parents were hard workers in professions so it was always – go to uni, get a job, grow at your job. Even though I had all these little dreams, I didn’t have the mindset yet to be able to know that these were just my parents’ beliefs and this was the model of the world for my family. I think we’ve got this innate contract of love with our parents, provided we have a good relationship with them, that we want them to be proud of us and we want them to approve of what we do.
Tying in to what I do now in coaching, when I was leaving high school I desperately wanted to be a psychologist or psychiatrist. I was really fascinated by psychology and how the mind works, etc. There were always these little seeds of entrepreneurship and helping people.
However, everyone kept telling me I’d be a great journalist so I studied Media and International Studies instead. My husband and I also started dating during my time at uni and there was a lot of turmoil in our relationship for most of our 20s. He started hanging out with the wrong crowd early on in the relationship and I was just a naive 20-something year old. That meant that he ended up having quite a serious drug addiction.
It’s such a complex thing to talk about, but looking back from the person I am today, it’s like – How did I stay? How are we still together now? He’s been clean for 5 years now. You don’t realise how much you’ve grown until you look back.
A lot of that also prevented me from pursuing anything other than this codependent relationship and just surviving, but I was always very adamant of somehow being successful. My life was quite stressful in my 20s, so I just settled for what I knew I could do well, which was getting a corporate job where I knew I’d be able to grow a career. I pursued that for 6 years, but I guess the entrepreneurship thing never really died. It wasn’t until I had my kids and my husband and I did a lot of healing that I came back to my truth and was able to trust my intuition that said – yeah girl, you were meant to start a business and you were meant to help people.
Elley: Thank you so much for being really open and vulnerable and sharing that. I think it’s so important because so many people think that starting a business is having a great idea, launching it, having it just work and everything being great. The reality is that these things can go on in our life and we can go through them and work through them. It can be when we least expect it that our business takes off, so I really appreciate you sharing that.
Deanna: You’re so welcome. I honestly think that I wouldn’t be the business woman nor the coach that I am today without having had the ups and down, the rollercoaster, the pain and the suffering, but also the beauty in everything that I learned from that time in my life. Perfect timing and no regrets. That’s just the way it happened for me. I guess I always had the seeds, I just never watered them.
Elley: When it’s time, it’s time. It’s the same for everyone listening, your journey and your life and everything you experience makes you who you are. We’re all so unique.
I know you’re NLP certified and have trained in over 20 different modalities. Fun fact, I’m actually NLP certified as well! What made you want to get NLP certified?
Deanna: NLP is the most well-known certification. When I say NLP, people will more or less understand that it’s a mindset coaching certification. I landed on that because it was the only certification that I really knew to get certified in at the time when I was looking to become a coach.
Going back to seeing synchronicities and everything happening *for* you, I actually wasn’t looking to become a coach. I’ve always been good at brain-dumping my stream of consciousness onto paper, so I started a mum blog because I wanted to help other women. When I was blogging, I realised I really wanted to be able to help with the mindset. I was sharing tips, but I wanted to offer a solution.
I was following my previous coach, Luka, on social media before she even became a coach. I watched her become a coach and go to events with the coach Luke Hawkins in Australia, who does NLP certifications. I saw Luka helping other women and I messaged her saying, “Hey, I just want to know – this Luke Hawkins dude, should I call him and do this? I don’t know if I completely understand this world, but I feel like you’re doing something that I want to be doing.”
She gave me a big F yes to give him a call, so I did. And man, is that man fantastic, both at NLP and use of NLP. In literally 15 minutes I was swiping my card in the midst of a pandemic and packing my family to go off to Sydney. We went to his 7-figure business event and then I was doing my certification there.
That’s how I started but honestly, I didn’t know what I was looking for. It just happened that way.
Elley: How has NLP changed your life since then? For me, it’s understanding that we do the things we do because of our trauma and patterns. Understanding the subconscious mind is mindblowing and just has such profound shifts. How has NLP affected you and the impact that you have with your clients? How do you utilise the NLP modalities, both in your coaching and in your own life?
Deanna: I don’t use all of the NLP modalities as such, I use NLP theory. Like you said, it has helped me fundamentally understand what makes up my clients’ mindsets as well as my own, which helps me deconstruct it and rebuild it into something that’s going to align with what they want. Out of all the NLP modalities, I still really enjoy timeline therapy. I get great client results with it, so I’m not going to let it go when it’s really working.
I’ve been working with Monica Yates doing her Feminine as F*ck certification and with that comes a lot of NLP-inspired modalities. They’re not what we generally get taught in an NLP certification, but I like having a bunch of tools because every client is different. If a woman comes to me and she’s not ready to balance out her spiritual body, for example, then we’re not going to start there and I will pick something that’s going to resonate with her. I just mix and match different modalities including NLP, what I’ve learned from Monica, EFT tapping and stuff like that. Whatever’s going to work for my client because they’re all so unique.
Elley: Everyone’s different and on their own journey.
As someone who is always supporting others, as a wife, a mum, a business owner and a coach, how do you take care of yourself and make sure that you have support as well?
Deanna: It’s definitely been a process. I’m still in the process of getting better at honouring myself and looking after myself.
Understanding my feminine core essence has been huge. Having a feminine core means that I am most magnetic and most powerful as a business owner, a mum and a wife, and means that I am always seeking pleasure, surrender, flow and am able to receive, which is really, really important.
For a very long time, I wasn’t able to receive any help or emotional support. To paint you a picture, my husband’s addiction went on for as long as it did potentially because I never ever asked anybody for help. Not even my best friend or my mum. It was something I was deeply ashamed of and I didn’t want to burden anybody. I know that’s an extreme example, but I know that women will resonate with this. They don’t want to be too outspoken, share their opinion, complain about something, share their trauma, their past or something that’s hurting them because they feel like they’re a burden. They’re probably afraid of being supported and held in that, but they’re also unable to receive support and love and to stand up and say, “I need love. I need support. I need people to look after me.”
Even as a mum, I had to learn to just allow the village, family and friends to help me. I had to do a lot of healing around my feminine wounds because I associated femininity or my feminine core essence with weakness, inability and being overly emotional.
Now that I’ve done a lot of that work, these are the things that I do to look after myself. We hire a cleaner. It’s expensive, but she’s amazing and I want to spend time with my kids on the weekend instead of cleaning the house. I book a massage for myself once a month. This morning, I went for a hike. It’s my favourite thing to do in my favourite place. I don’t allow myself to feel bad about it. I prioritise my fitness, I leave my kids screaming their heads off with my husband and I say, “Bye. I will return the favour when I get back, but you got this.”
Elley: If you don’t make it a priority, it’s not going to happen. No one else is going to make it a priority other than you. Especially when you are someone who is supporting others all the time, you’ve got to make sure that you are giving to yourself.
I’m going to switch gears and get a bit business-y here. What are 2-3 key things that you think it takes to grow a 6-figure business with a beautiful balance of the masculine and feminine energy? What should people be prioritising in their life and their business?
Deanna: In order to scale or grow a 6-figure business, you need to allow and be comfortable with the unknown and the mess that comes with that.
Allow and welcome mess, the unknown and unfamiliarity. That ties into the feminine/masculine balance because as a woman, that’s you being able to surrender.
If you’re someone that puts all the effort into your strategy and don’t get the exact result you want to achieve, then attaches meanings to that outcome about yourself, like “I’m not worth this, I can’t do this” – you are not going to get very far.
You need to be able to absolutely detach from outcomes and results and not try to control everything. It’s good to have a goal, it’s good to have a strategy, but you also need to welcome and embrace whatever the result is. If you can do that, what you’re going to quickly see is a lesson – that it’s got nothing to do with you or your self-worth, it’s a business thing. You’ll be able to see that you are worthy, but what was missing was actually something from your strategy.
You won’t be able to be so agile, fast-thinking and creative in business unless you are able to embrace mess, surrender, release control and really just trust. That’s where that spiritual element comes in and why spirituality and business couple so beautifully together to help you do that.
The other thing that I think is essential is for your self-worth to be intact. That’s where the mindset and the healing comes in. If you are starting your business because you want to feel good about yourself, then you are setting yourself up for massive disappointment because it is so normal for your business ideas and things that you do to flop. It’s so common for businesses to even go bankrupt and then rebirthed into something completely different.
It’s not a linear thing. You’re not going to start here and then end up there. It’s entangled and confusing, and there is a lot of emotion that goes into that. But if your self-worth is intact, if you’re confident and you know who you are, then you’re going to be able to get up a lot faster, become more resilient and take action.
This is where I see a lot of women struggle. They’re stuck in fear. Imposter syndrome is fear of not being good enough. Procrastination is fear of failing. It will perpetuate and perpetuate until you go – Actually, who cares if I fail? Who cares if people judge me? I’m just going to give this a go from a place of service and wanting to create positive change.
You’ve got to be willing to take the risk, and you can do that when you can keep your ego in check and know that nothing is about you.
Elley: I’ve struggled with all of that. Making things mean something about me is one of my biggest flaws that I’ve worked on so much. I think it’s a really common one for a lot of people, especially when it comes to launching an offer, finding that no one’s joined after a couple of hours, and then feeling like no one wants it and you’re never going to hit your goal.
Have you ever had a situation come up where you’ve made it mean something about you?
Deanna: Literally what you just said!
I think that what we both will agree on is that it’s not about it never happening. It’s about you becoming aware of it, catching it and transmuting it. I cannot tell you the number of times I have launched something and then had crickets after all of that work and energy.
The first thing that I do is automatically check in with my body and my nervous system. I will notice the stress, the fear, the cortisol and adrenaline building up, and I will do everything to calm my nervous system first. Belly breathing, stepping away from my computer, breath work, just doing anything at all that is going to allow me to relax, because when I can relax, then I can think coherently. I can use the front part of my brain, the frontal lobe, and I can actually think. When we’re in that state of fear, we can’t think so we can’t be creative and overcome it.
Once my nervous system is calm and I feel safe in the perceived disaster at hand, what I then do is think about what I can do next. This is the problem, what is the solution? And the solution always comes.
I’ll give you an example. One time, I launched a group program and I didn’t get a lot of interest when I thought I really would. Women have fear around launching group programs for this exact reason. My clients have asked me, “What if only one person shows up and I said it’s a group program?” You don’t even have to say it’s a group program! But also, what kind of a badass are they going to think you are if you just say to them, “You know what, this launch actually didn’t go like I planned but I’m going to give you the best freakin’ 8 weeks of your life.”
This comes back to the thought process behind giving things meaning – the only way that this could mean I’m a failure is if I allow it to mean that. What if I gave it a different meaning? What if I chose a more empowering meaning?
Think about who you’re showing up for. If that happened to you and only 1 or 2 people showed up and you wanted 10, what kind of space would you want to create for them in the world? What if they’re going to launch a program one day? Do you want them to just cry, crumble, shut the doors to their business and not show up for 1 or 2 women? No. So there’s a lesson in that. Tell them what happened.
You don’t have to make out that you’re someone you’re not as a business coach. Teach them the lesson you learned, teach them the strategy that was missing in your launch, then give them the best program of their lives. They’re going to feel empowered by that.
We can always come up with a solution. There’s always a way if you can just choose a more empowering meaning, but you have to calm down first.
Elley: You’re basically talking about leading by example, which I love. And to be honest, when we say we have a goal of having 10 people in a program, it’s a number that we’re pulling out of our ass, so if you don’t hit your goal, who cares?
Deanna: Who decides the goal? Why do we just give our power away like we can’t change the goal?
I was just speaking to one of my clients this morning and she is a really great example of this. She had a goal of a $7.5k month this month and she was stressing out because it’s the last day of the month and she’s $200 away. She was having a borderline panic attack because she was so close.
If it feels exciting and expansive, then tap into that energy. But if it’s starting to literally give you a mental breakdown? I said, “Look, what if we just changed the goal to $7k and then we could just party.”
You can change, you can be flexible. Again, this goes back to being embodied in your feminine energy, being able to flow with it and not be so rigid and fixated and trying to control everything. That will go so far for you as a woman in business and it’ll take you places.
Elley: If it doesn’t happen this month, it’ll happen next month. Just go for it, who cares?
I want to ask you a really super juicy question. You help women to live a life of overflow and abundance by working through their traumas and really embodying that feminine energy in business. What do you find are the main things that get in the way and hold women back from living a life of overflow and abundance?
Deanna: Definitely themselves. It’s limiting beliefs and traumas.
When we talk about manifesting abundance or living a life of abundance, it’s a choice. I could tell you right now, “Be abundant”. You can embody that, you can feel abundant, you can find 1,000 reasons why you’re abundant. The reason why you would have resistance to that in your body would be because your beliefs and values don’t align with what I’m saying or what I’m telling you to do. It’s the same with trauma.
For example, when we’re manifesting money, the manifestation can only happen easily without any resisting thoughts, beliefs or energy. It’s why people say that affirmations work, but they also don’t work. It depends on how you feel when you’re saying it. You can consciously say to yourself, “I’m manifesting more money”, but if you’re not tuning in to how it really feels to have that money subconsciously at your core, then you’re going to be blocking it.
Wanting more money and consciously asking for it is one thing. But there are two other things:
How do you feel in your body when you’re saying that? Does that feel safe and true for you? If it doesn’t, you have possible money trauma or emotional blocks in the way.
What are the subconscious beliefs that you might have? These are the subconscious beliefs telling you – no, you can’t have that, that’s not possible for you.
I think it’s definitely yourself and your past. It’s your past conditioning, events and traumas that you need to clear so that you can become a clear channel for what you want.
Elley: It’s so true. It’s very easy to put the blame on external events and other people, but the only thing that’s actually getting in the way of you achieving what you want to achieve is you. It’s radical responsibility and owning who you are, and knowing that no one else is going to change these things for you, you have to do the work yourself.
You’re such a great testament to that. You’ve obviously worked through so much of this stuff yourself and it’s just proof that the mindset work and the personal development journey pays off because hello, look where you are now! It’s pretty inspiring.
Deanna: Radical responsibility is key, like you said. It can be a slap in the face but it’s one that’s done with so much love. I still have to check myself and still practice radical responsibility every single day.
Elley: No one is exempt from it, no matter what stage you’re at. Radical responsibility and mindset work are those things where no one ever gets to a point where they don’t have to do it anymore.
Deanna: No one ever stops going to the gym because they’ve hit their peak physique, right? You keep going to maintain it. It’s the same thing with mindset, you have to keep working on it. You might not need a coach forever but you should be consistently working on it forever.
Elley: This has been such a bloody good conversation, I could just go on forever. To wrap up, I have a question for you that I ask all my guests. In your opinion and in your personal experience with growing an incredibly successful online business and just being a badass, what would you say are 1-2 key characteristics or personality traits of a really empowered CEO?
Deanna: I think someone that leads with love is really important. It sounds super cheesy, but when you lead with love, you can open your heart up to everyone that you touch with your business. People stop being numbers to you and that is really felt on the other side of social media, sales conversations, DMs.
Lead with love towards yourself as well and be compassionate for the fact that you’re still a human being. You’re not a productivity machine, you’re going to make mistakes and you’re going to get up.
Opening up your heart and leading with heart is really, really important to be an empowered CEO. It encompasses a lot of things, even just how you treat or view other women in the industry. Look at me and you – we’re both business coaches, but I feel so empowered to speak to you and collaborate with you, even though we’re technically in direct competition with each other. But to me, leading with love means that I can open my heart and know that this conversation is far more important than the competition. We’ve got a message to share and a mission and we’re aligned in that mission. That’s beautiful to collaborate in. There’s a message in that in itself.
Elley: What a great way to approach business, I love that. I think this is something that’s forgotten about in the industry, but we’re here to serve. Yes, there’s money and strategies and all these things involved, but really we’re just serving and supporting others. Like you said in the very beginning, that’s what you always wanted to do.
This has been so freaking good. Dee, thank you so much for coming on, I loved and appreciated this so much. Everyone, make sure you follow Dee, soak up her energy and get to know her better because I promise, you will love it!
You can follow Deanna here:
WEBSITE – https://www.hersoulfulsuccess.com/
INSTAGRAM – https://www.instagram.com/hersoulfulsuccess/
- PODCAST – https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/her-soulful-success-the-podcast/
Hope you loved the episode and reach out to me on IG if you want to chat about the episode.
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