Ep298: Listening to Internal Direction with the Leading Online Business Coach and Entrepreneur Leah Gervais
November 30, 2021
Modern human life for many of us has often descended into a repetitive pattern of school, work, and retirement. Many of us feel chained to a 9 to 5 job that we will probably have until our 60s, and it is completely reasonable to break free from this cycle, but it is terrifying to act on especially if this has been our reality for a long time.
This was true for blogger, coach and entrepreneur Leah Gervais. Before her blog Urban 20 Something popped off, she described it as a rough start with a lot of mistakes and embarrassment, but in knowing herself, Gervais understood the steps she needed to take to be successful.
Originally from Colorado, Leah started her early 20s with a dream to be a corporate lawyer in New York City. And for a young aspiring lady boss, what sweeter fruit to pluck than The Big Apple itself. But later on, that dream seemed less and less appealing to her and she found herself at a crossroads.
“After two years working as a paralegal, and this is so close to being my reality, something in me was like, ‘Hell no, this is not it.’”
Leah had gone through the entire process of enrolling at New York University, from taking her tests, to securing recommendations, but after fighting with what her guts were telling her, she put the dream on hold and received other offers from different schools. She’d gone on-campus tours and measured the pros and cons of each university, but after all that, she had decided to decline them all.
High on life, Leah started her blog Urban 20 Something to document her story of growth and success, in hopes that it would inspire and help others as well, and even though she lacked direction, she was sure this was closer to what she wanted to do.
“The thing I’m sure about is my passion for entrepreneurship and my passion for working with entrepreneurs, but I was so misdirected and unclear in those early days of blogging.”
“The first 2 years looked like a lot of trial and error, a lot of embarrassment, a lot of putting myself out there and hearing nothing in return.”
Reading about other entrepreneurs, Leah felt hopeless for a time in her journey since she had the drive but she lacked the ideas.
“I prayed to God to please send me an idea,” she said, comparing herself to Spanx founder Sara Blakely and LearnVest.com CEO Alexa von Tobel, “It didn’t occur to me that I could be my own asset and I could use what I had gone through to help others.”
This was the direction that she needed and from here she is helping many others listen to their internal compass.
Leah affirms that “In the online business world, we need to collectively put more emphasis on the power of knowing yourself and recognizing that what works for other people may or may not work for you.”
She tells us that instead of listening to other people’s morning routines or productivity hacks, she instead spends more time listening to what her body and mind are saying, and listening to their needs. She notes that this is sustainable in the long term and will work for her more effectively.
The same goes for business, and for breaking away from the repetitive patterns of modern living and the 9 to 5 life. For those who want to leave their work in pursuit of being their own boss, she advises them to ask themselves.
“Is going ‘All In’ gonna’ psych me up? Is that gonna light a fire under me? Or is that just going to stress me out?”