There’s no such thing as challenges because everything is doable. This is the advice of Sheri Keys, bestselling author, inspirational speaker, activist and the CEO of the Smart Women’s Institute™, a global company with over 60,000 women subscribers and members.
She lives by the code that attitude is everything and you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. All it takes is a little hard work, commitment and the unwavering belief that if you follow your passion in life everything else will follow.
I finally pinned down Sheri amidst her extremely busy schedule to pick her brain on how she’s managed to be so successful and what you can do in your own life to achieve similar results.
Conscious Connection: What inspired you to start the Smart Women’s Institute?
Sheri Keys: I had a troubled childhood where my mother made lots of bad choices because she didn’t have financial independence. And in my early twenties, my life started to mirror hers until I broke the patterns. What I learned is that when a woman can be financially independent, she will make healthy choices for herself, her children, and her community (all of humanity actually). Not saying men don’t too… we just tend to put others first more consistently. Let’s face it, we are the face of most of the communities we live in. We are the communicators and the volunteers at the ground level. So this became our mission at the Smart Women’s Institute and later evolved to include health since that is such a crucial concern in our current American society too.
Conscious Connection: How did you originally market it?
Sheri Keys: By the time I started the Smart Women’s Institute in 2010, I already had a following on the Internet from the first company I started back in 2001, the National Association of Women Writers.We’ve always combined the traditional marketing techniques like live events and snail mail with the online strategies like email marketing, video, and social networking when it became available.
Conscious Connection: What are your thoughts on transitions and taking risks in life?
Sheri Keys: Mostly, just that people view transitions in a negative way. Transitions are really just opportunities for growth that you attracted. They are the place where you get to become liquid in the cocoon before you become a butterfly.
In regards to risks, I’d love to quote Pink (the singer/rocker here, hopefully no one gets offended!) “Screw fear, it’s contagious. Infecting everything. Makes me do such stupid stuff!” That’s pretty much how I feel about fear… There is no such thing as taking risks anymore. You risk everything if you stand still. You MUST follow your passion.
Conscious Connection: What was your biggest challenge along the way?
Sheri Keys: I don’t really see challenges anymore… everything is doable… it is a choice and it takes time to build. But it is all possible. You just have to decide if at each point in your life, you want to put in the time and effort to make it happen or you want to take some time off. I do both because the universe requires balance or you will become unhealthy and burn out… which actually deflects success. And you have a responsibility as a leader to be healthy or you teach others that it is ok to sacrifice health for money. Too many people do that… not good.
Conscious Connection: What are the benefits of a membership-based business?
Sheri Keys: Membership-based business models are equitable and leverageable. You build something outside of yourself as well as become an industry leader and gatekeeper to a tribe. There are a lot of details to understanding the model from the inside to really be successful with it. I teach all of this in a video tutorial program where you can grab a free book too. I am actually the lady behind most of the institutes, associations, and academy’s you see on and off the Internet today. Very grateful that I stumbled into this niche back in 2001.
Conscious Connection: What effect does our mindset have on our success or failure in life?
Sheri Keys: Oh, it is all about the mindset, every single minute of our lives is determined by how we think. Every person we manifest is determined by how we think… the children I created in my womb and who they turned into were literally affected along the way by my thoughts. It is the biggest factor to your success. Period.
Conscious Connection: Any final advice for entrepreneurs just starting out in the world of Internet marketing?
Sheri Keys: Find one mentor for a period of time and actually implement what they say for at least 6 months to a year… If things don’t go as you planned…do not place blame on external reasons… like the mentor, your spouse, your clients. You are in change of your destiny and taking ownership of all the waves is part of growing along the path of LIFE.