Susan Barber is an accomplished Executive Coach, Leadership Development Facilitator and Information Technology & Consumer Goods Business Leader.
She spent over 20 years in the Consumer Goods Industry as an IT and Leadership Executive. She left her corporate career to become a leading Executive Coach who partners with business professionals to accelerate their results by building confidence and enhancing their leadership skills.
On today’s episode Susan talks about her journey, struggle and shares some insights and invaluable tips on how to pursue our passion, face our fears, do what we love, stay disciplined and true to ourselves.
My challenge was to give a 7 minutes inspirational speech. It was my first time ever, and I nearly had a heart attack before I went up the stage. Public speaking was my biggest fear but fortunately, I never, ever shy away from any challenge or fear so I faced it head on. By saying that I got a lot of help from my wonderful friends, mentor and hubby and the speech was well received. I won the first two rounds and came third at Division level.
No trip to Vancouver this year, sorry to all my Canadian friends!
After each competition, people came up to me and asked if I could record my speech because they want to share it with their loved ones.
I was hesitant at first because I didn’t think it was good enough. But one day I overheard my hubby’s good mate Gary Vee saying “don’t be fancy” so here it is :)
Today I’m talking to a brave and determined young woman who’s speaking out against her culture and looking to make a change in her community.
Fatu was born in Sierra Leone. As a young girl, she was subjected to a cruel and brutal practice called Female genital mutilation (FGM) also known as female genital cutting or the somehow innocent sounding female circumcision.
This is by no means similar to male circumcision. FGM is the ritual removal of some or all of the external female genitalia. It involves the total removal of the clitoris and the narrowing of the vaginal opening through stitching or cutting and repositioning the labia minora or labia majora. The practice has no health benefits whatsoever. In fact, it harms girls and women in many ways and sometimes it leads to death.
It is one of the most extreme forms of violence against girls and women across Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The practice has also been found around the western world, in countries such as Australia, UK, USA, Canada etc. It is estimated that more than 200 million young girls and women around the globe have been mutilated and are living in immense physical and psychological pain.
Soness Stevens is the Head Speaker Coach for multiple TEDx events and has coached over 109 TED & TEDx speakers. She represented Japan for TED Worldwide, spoke at TEDxFukuoka and TEDxWasedaU.
Soness has a weekly nationwide broadcast TV show on communications and is an Associate Professor of business presentation skills at YNU. You may have seen her on NHK TV and Fox TV Japan, or heard her as the official English voice of Hello Kitty. She lives near the beach and practices Zazen Meditation at her local temple in Japan.
I’m so grateful to have Soness Stevens on the show and I’m so thankful for her willingness to share with us her intimate and very personal life journey living with a mother who was suffering from mental illness.
For a good half of her young life she lived in a car with her mother and brother. They were constantly on the move, running from landlords because her mother didn’t have a job and could not afford to pay rent. Despite growing up in such a difficult circumstance, drifting from place to place, Soness went on and became a beautiful, positive and successful individual. Her ability to see life in colours as a child is truly inspiring!
Genna is a beautiful young lady. She dedicates her life and sacrifices her personal finances to help the poor and the underprivileged half way around the world. At the age of 19 she raised enough money to build a school for the people in a remote community in Kenya. And she has been unstoppable ever since. She has a nine to five job just like most of us and every free moment she gets she spends on raising funds to provide financial assistance, basic needs and teach the women and children in Kenya life skills so that they can stand on their own feet.
She’s full of life, passion and love. She goes above and beyond to help those in need. She’s a rare kind and such a great pleasure to know.