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Louise M Empowerment podcast series with Lesa Hinchcliffe -Finding The Power Within

Posted on August 30 2021

Louise M Empowerment series with Lesa J Hinchcliffe

 This episode Founder of luxury cabin crew and corporate women's shoe brand Louise Matson speaks with Perth based former flight attendant, now author and professional speaker Lesa J Hinchcliffe about her empowerment journey from childhood to today. 

Lesa is a Professional Speaker and author. Reading Think and Grow Rich at 16, set Lesa on a journey that has seen her experience the highs and lows of a hugely diverse business journey.

I believe that everybody has some great abilities, but unless somebody comes along and acknowledges those, you can go through life and not realise that you're worthy, and that's how I felt as a child. I did not feel worthy” - Lesa J. Hinchliffe

A strong belief in yourself can bring you all these benefits and more. ​You will begin to recognise your ability to accomplish goals and you are optimistic about the future as you set goals and achieve them. ​Deep down inside of you, you know you can do anything.

Lesa spent 20 years in the media - the first 5 predominately in front of the camera before founding her own production company. In 2015 Lesa started to write Entrepreneur to Megapreneur a book that documents the business life journeys of 8 highly successful West Australians.  Initially, it was a daunting and hugely challenging undertaking.  A decision to implement the daily actions and habits of the Megapreneurs she was writing about, unleashed a level of determination she’d never before experienced or expected. 

The process changed Lesa within although, as she now acknowledges, if she had known before what she knows now, she would have realized change was inevitable. 

Interview Transcript:

Louise Matson:

Hello and welcome to the Louise M Empowerment podcast series. I'm absolutely thrilled to have Lesa Hinchcliffe speak with me today. Lesa is a Professional Speaker and Author reading Think and Grow Rich at 16 set Lesa on a journey that has seen her experience, the highs and lows of a hugely diverse business journey. She spent 20 years in the media, the first five predominantly in front of the camera before founding her own production company. In 2015, Lesa started to write Entrepreneur to Megapreneur, a book that documents the business life journeys of eight highly successful West Australians. Initially it was a daunting and hugely challenging undertaking, a decision to implement the daily actions and habits of the megapreneurs she was writing about unleashed a level of determination she never before experienced or expected. Entrepreneur to Megapreneur was released in late 2019. The process changed Lesa within, although as she now acknowledges if she had known before what she knows now she would have realized change was inevitable. Welcome Lesa. I thank you so much for speaking with me today.

Lesa Hinchcliffe:

Thanks Louise. It's good to be here.

Louise Matson:

Well, I'm really intrigued about where our empowerment started from. And so I'd love to take you back to your childhood and I must admit your book Entrepreneur to Megapreneur which is a beautiful book, and we'll talk more about that later, you go back to the early childhood of your entrepreneurs as well, but what does empowerment mean to you? It's a little bit different for everybody.

Lesa Hinchcliffe:

I've thought about this so much over the journey of writing the book and obviously before Louise, but for me to be empowered means to be unencumbered by limiting beliefs. It means to have the courage and the confidence to go forward and do whatever it is you want to do in life, because you believe that whatever you do it is possible to have success. You know, it is that confidence and that, and that courage. I think that there is a lot in that it means to be in control of life rather than life being in control of you. That to me is, you know, there's quite a few things that make it up my definition of empowerment. And I know that for many people, it's many, many different things, but that's how I see it.

Louise Matson:

And for you, is it more an emotional thing that starts, or is it a physical? Is it the emotional becomes a physical feeling?

Lesa Hinchcliffe:

No. I think, I think without question again, this is my view, but I believe it's both. When you're empowered, you think differently, you feel differently and because it's all happening from within, but when you are empowered the way you talk, the way you walk, the way you sound, the way you hold yourself is different because you're having this feeling of great confidence and courage. And so therefore it can't help, but come out of you in a very physical way. It is so important to have that, to feel empowered because, and I do think that once you are empowered, it's not something that stays with you all the time. It's something that comes and goes. And if you are to actually be empowered on a perpetual basis, which is not really, I don't believe that's absolutely possible, but there are many things that you can do to, to give yourself the best chance of being perpetually empowered or as close to as you can get.

Louise Matson:

Yes. So let's start at the beginning and take you back to your childhood and you were saying, I mean we talk about business journeys, don't we and all that. And, and how it was as a child for your empowerment, you talk about your limiting beliefs. Did you have limiting beliefs as a child, or did you just think you could do anything where you, did you feel listened to and valued as a child? You know, I mean, you've got two sisters.

Lesa Hinchcliffe:

Yeah. I've got two sisters. I'm the youngest. Quick answer to that is no, I did not feel empowered as a child. Not that I gave it any thought, I didn't really know what was going on at all. I was probably almost, I had debilitating limiting beliefs, absolutely debilitating. And it is the reason that I read probably a book at the age of 16 that for me was life-changing in fact, I've got it right here. I'm going to hold it up. Can you see this book? It's Napolean Hill's Think and Grow Rich. A lot of people read it and a lot of people get different things out of it. As I say, I read it when I was 16 Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill was written in, I think, 1936 and so the change, you know, the lessons there while the lessons haven't really changed, the way of writing was sort of a little bit difficult to embrace.

Lesa Hinchcliffe:

But that book gave me the first glimpse that anything was possible, but it, at that time I was young and I didn't really embrace the whole idea that any problems, any limiting beliefs or anything that was holding me back was actually coming from within, that happened later on. But as a child, like so many children at the time and still goes on, there was bullying to contend with. There was a feeling of powerlessness unheard, because back then, as children going to school in the sixties and in the seventies, you know, were almost taught, we would, it was right to be considered, you must be seen, but not heard, you know, you please be humble. Don't show. Do you know, don't talk about how good you are or let anybody think that you're good. And so therefore you actually have to just suppress yourself. And not that I really had any, anything to actually, write home about, but I believe that everybody has some great abilities, but unless somebody comes along and acknowledges those, you can go through life and not realize that you've, that you're worthy. And that's how I felt as a child. I did not feel worthy.

Louise Matson:

We are very similar in our childhoods, I think. And yeah, I had a blissful childhood, but yes, you were definitely seen and not heard. I was brought up more to be more the house wife I suppose, and that's not putting my parents down at all, it's nothing to do with that. And I think with this empowerment journey, that's what I want to show people that it really doesn't matter at the end of the day, what your childhood was like, there are ways to becoming empowered as an adult. So what fascinated me then was Think and Grow Rich, I mean, that's quite an adult book. You were only 16. Does it fall off a shelf in front of you?

Lesa Hinchcliffe:

I actually, I found it on my dad's bookshelf. I found a number of books on my dad's bookshelf. I found a lot by Edgar Allan Poe at the time, which I got into first, but I was very much a loner and I was, but there was something within me. There was a strength within me that I don't know where it came from, but it was within me. And when I found, Think and Grow Rich, I think I was searching. I was searching for something that I had, that I could develop and reading Think and Grow Rich, made me think of life outside of the school yard for the first time, but it never, but I didn't see the part about the belief system. I believe I saw that you had to believe in yourself and that was okay. I didn't realize that I didn't believe in myself, but I just thought, yeah, I believe in myself. That's all good, but I didn't really understand what it meant to believe myself, believe in myself.

Louise Matson:

So, so the book was a significant change in your life. So then what was your next step after the book that made you start feeling more confident and feel empowered to be more than just exist?

Lesa Hinchcliffe:

I think that I didn't, as I said before, I, I didn't see myself. Hey, I didn't really experience any wins along the way. So when I was young, I didn't really experience, I wasn't an amazing runner or swimmer I did okay in swimming, but I wasn't anything. I wasn't particularly good at anything, although I'm sure that I was, but nothing was ever, ever nurtured. Nothing was ever encouraged as children we were all loved equally. And, and I guess our abilities or what we were good at were also treated very equally. Now. I think that that is an issue I think, and nothing against my parents. They were amazing. They didn't know any better. This is how they were brought up. And unless you read things like Think and Grow Rich, that start your mind thinking and going off into different tangents.

Lesa Hinchcliffe:

Our parents were so busy raising their children, trying to make enough money to survive, that they didn't have time to think about the parents that perhaps that they should nurture their children's, you know, even no matter how small they were their successes. And I think that those acknowledgement of small successes along the way are crucial to us becoming empowered adults because only when you recognize and acknowledge the small successes, do you start to believe that they're possible. And when you realize that something is possible, you are prepared to give more of yourself to achieving that goal, because, you know, it's more likely that you're going to succeed, that you're going to achieve it. So from reading Think and Grow Rich by the time, as soon as I got out of school, I was ready to go in and start business after business. But I did become a flight attendant at first Louise, which you will totally understand that little bit of that journey

Louise Matson:

Traveling. Fantastic.

Lesa Hinchcliffe:

Yeah. So, um, there were quite a few things that happened, but the true change in me, the truly empowered knowledge didn't come to me until much later.

Louise Matson:

So let's go a little bit further then. So a book had a huge impact on you, and then now it interesting, isn't it? Because, I mean, you had a production company before you wrote the book. So even to have a production company, that's incredible that you had the confidence that I can do that.

 

Lesa Hinchcliffe:

Yeah. Well I think, and that's exactly right. I, at the age of 38, I had I'd left my flying career. I'd gone and started many, many businesses. I started many businesses over that journey over the next 10, 15 years, but I'd always wanted to be in television. I just thought it was so I don't know where it came from, but it was always there. And so by the time I got to 38, I thought it's now or never. And so I got into television and I really, really enjoyed it. I loved the story. I'd always wanted to write a book. And so there was writing because when you are presenting on small-time television, like channel nine, channel seven, that the small, you know, the lifestyle shows you have to do your own production. So you have to write yourself. So you, you develop new skills.

Lesa Hinchliffe:

So I got into television and then I thought, I wasn't really happy with where the stories were going or what they were giving back. And I wanted to write a more humanitarian kind of content. So I started up my own production company and I made a number of short films. I also made a documentary on the prevention of youth suicide. And that was a very, very difficult was one I wanted to tell because so many of my friends and friends and children of friends of mine had taken their own lives. And I saw the impact and I, myself, I'm going to be honest. I struggled with suicidal ideation and didn't realize for many, many years that I actually had been, what do you call it, self-harming but I, I can pretty much tell you, there are a lot of people out there that self-harm in many, many different ways.

Lesa Hinchcliffe:

And so I had done, I had gone through all of this and then my marriage broke down. It was terrible. It was a very, very difficult time. So there was much going on and it was during the production, the post-production of that documentary, that something truly profound happened to me. I won't go into it now, but it was so profound. But nevertheless, it took me two years after that event for me to actually acknowledge for the first time that I was the holder to the key, to my future. And it was a massive awakening for me to realize that actually, if I was going to be, to make anything happen for myself in my life, it was going to have to be up to me to make it happen. And it was a real switching point.

Louise Matson:

So at what age were you there? You talked about being 38 at the production companies

Lesa Hinchcliffe:

In my forties that happened in my forties. That's when my journey really began.

Louise Matson:

It's interesting. Because as you know, I was a flight attendant as well, and I would sit on that plane and say to myself, there's more, there's more I could be doing. I want to do. It's interesting. Isn't it? It's in the forties.

Lesa Hinchcliffe:

Uh, you know, did you go through the, every take off landing thinking I don't have time to sit here as we go. Because we had to sit down for every takeoff and landing and I'm thinking I want to be out there doing things I want to be out there achieving things.

Louise Matson:

Yeah. Well, I think that's when, you know, we started doing a lot of mining flights and the customer service side of it wasn't there, the guys or the miners would just get on and sleep basically. And I'm like, this is a waste of time I could be doing something else. So, yeah, it's definitely what happened to me.

Lesa Hinchcliffe:

That realization happened to me in my twenties with the flight attendant side of things. That was when I realized that business was my calling and I had to leave to, I left flying to start a number of businesses. And of course eventually had my own production company, which is where I was then.

Louise Matson:

Fantastic. So what led to the book and how has that changed? I think that has changed. Um, again, you've listened to so many amazing successful West Australians, and seen their empowerment. They must have added to your empowerment journey.

Lesa Hinchcliffe:

Without a question, without any question at all the change, the massive changes have happened since then. What that did is that while I was, I obviously wanted to know how, because I'd been on my own journey and I had tried so hard for so many years, tried so, so hard to have great success because that's what I wanted. Great success. And so I was searching for this, but even despite me trying really, really hard doing all of these different things, make it, trying to make it happen. I never ever had that great success and I wanted to know why, but I actually believed that it was too late for me to have success. So I started to write this book, not for me. I wanted to write this book for other people, for, you know, for those young aspiring entrepreneurs who, who are just starting out. And I thought, if I could go and interview these amazing, if I could get, find out how they did it, I could then share that information in a book so that other people would be able to benefit from that knowledge and not have to go and not have to experience what I did, which was debilitating self doubt and never to achieve what I really wanted to achieve, which for me was great business success.

Louise Matson:

After  it might have been at the launch of your book that I was privileged enough to be at, or a conversation we've had in your kitchen at times when we have felt disempowered over the years, ourselves in business journeys we've had these kitchen conversations, but you said, I now feel successful. And I love that. So what was it that you, you realized you were actually a success?

Lesa Hinchcliffe:

Well, I think I did because I had always been looking outside of myself for success, but the success comes from within. It comes from being an empowered spirit and that's, that's been the biggest, the biggest realization for me, but I want to say this because I only just thought about these words the other day, that the book writing the book changed me, but it didn't change me because I wrote a book. What changed me was because I implemented, I started to implement the actions and the habits of the people I was writing about. And that included my mindset, which is now what I speak about because it's having that, the awareness I actually, I'm going to just fairly quickly. I have three, I call them my three. A's the awake, and these are the three A's of mindset management, or for me the megapreneur mindset.

Lesa Hinchcliffe:

You've got to be aware. You've got to have an awareness number one, because without awareness, you don't, you can't go anywhere. You've got to have an agreement with yourself that something needs to be done. And then you have to take action. Now, they are the three things that I realized that these megapreneurs had that I didn't have. And that was where I first started to realize I was sitting in the living room with Sasha de Brettan. Now this amazing Sasha de Bretton from Million Dollar Make-overs. And I'm thinking, oh my goodness, isn't she a confident girl, almost in a negative kind of a way I have to admit as embarrassing as that is now, but it wasn't until I got home that I realized that without that sense of confidence, without that absolute belief, there is no way she could have achieved what she did now. That was when I also realized that I had a confidence about me, which enabled me to do these things, but I didn't have that belief and it's because confidence you can wear, belief is on the inside. And so therefore you need to change yourself from the inside.

Louise Matson:

Yes. So let's talk about that. I know it's fascinating. I love it. And the self-development and we were just saying actually about Tony Robbins courses and that we were both signed up for, but can't go due to COVID but what other things, who do you love listening to, you know, is there, anyone? I mentioned to you Joe Dispenza, who do you listen to? Meditation is a big thing for you, isn't it?

Lesa Hinchcliffe:

Yeah. Meditation is a big part of my life. I realize how important it is because when I don't meditate, it's a problem for me. I feel, I don't feel as good, but yeah, Joe Dispenza, he is truly a remarkable, remarkable person. I don't know if you've heard of a guy called Jim Kwik. Now, Jim Kwik is known as the super brain and as a super reader, now his courses are extraordinary. My mother has Alzheimer's. And so I think, you know, I try not to live with fear, but there is always that little bit of fear. And so I started doing the Jim Kwik super brain, super reader life-changing stuff, extraordinary stuff. So if you get the chance, have a listen. Marisa Peer, I think Marisa Peer she's another extraordinary woman. There are so many amazing people out there. And, and I really think Amy Cuddy is incredible.

Lesa Hinchcliffe:

Which I love, I'm sure you've actually been somewhere where I've talked about that. In fact, I recall at an event that you and I were at Louise, look, there are, there are quite a few, Brenee Brown, another extraordinary human being. So these are all the people that I read about, I have got a library shelf, well, a library full of books that I am trying to get to, to read. And Sam Horn is another one. These are extraordinary people and one thing I do want to share though, and I think that this is important. It's a very important part with empowerment. It's something that happened to me late last year. There was a lot going on in my life. COVID was of course very much there and a lot of my speaking, speaking events had been canceled and we'd sold the house.

Lesa Hinchcliffe:

We didn't quite know where we were going. There was just so much going on. I was in a bad way, emotionally and I spent two months. I spent, I think it started in September, October and into November. And maybe even closer to three months that I spent pretty much living in my tracksuit, packing up a home that I had lived with packing it all up, getting it all ready, not knowing where we were going to go. And over that time I stopped my daily meditation. I stopped reading. I stopped looking at my computer and learning and doing courses, which I do on a daily basis. I feel that reading, learning is so vital. I just, I didn't know, I didn’t realize until I moved into my new home and I set up my office again and sat down in front of the computer, and went back to my reading that I realized that over that period of time, that my world, by not learning, by not reading, by not meditating, my world had contracted, it had absolutely contracted. And as soon as I started to read and learn and get back into my meditation, my world expanded again. And I think that for many women I've realized this, that for many women that work from home or stay at home with their children and they are completely their whole worlds evolve around their children. Please open your mind up to the learning, get on and learn something every single day, because it makes your world expand. And that is so important. That is empowering.

Louise Matson:

That's fantastic because one of the things that I do ask is, you know, when you do feel disempowered, how do you become empowered? How do you turn that around? And so you've just answered that one for me. Lesa, how do you now help others feel empowered. Obviously through your talks.

Lesa Hinchcliffe:

I do. I think it's the way again, it's when you are empowered that you just live and breathe in a different kind of a way. And you know, I don't even think you need to say a lot. You need to listen and you need to give people, even though here I am chat chat, hearing now talking about myself, but I'm learning to listen better. And I love the word, listen and silent having the same letters. And I, I never really thought about that, but I now realize that when you listen to someone and you really listen and you ask questions rather than telling them what they should do, we all know the answers, but we just need to stop and really listen to what's going on inside here. And so that's how I find it such a, an important way of empowering people is to sit and listen to their stories.

Louise Matson:

You just have such a beautiful energy about you anyway. So I love that, you know, you walk into a room and you bring energy into a room. So even that is just beautiful for someone to experience and you are so approachable. So I'm sure you're just empowering others by that, you know, our conversations, they go on forever because you just have that wonderful energy. And I love speaking with you. So Lesa, how can someone get in touch with you if they want you for a speaking engagement or to buy your book?

Lesa Hinchcliffe:

Oh, buy the book. Thank you for bringing that up. The book is available in all well, it's available at Dymocks, it's available in many of these smaller stores, Planet, New Edition. I hope I haven't missed, I have missed a few out because there are many it's available in regional areas as well, but you can buy it on my website, which is LesaJHinchcliffe.com. And you can go there. And if you leave me a note, I will always put an inscription if you'd like me to write something in there in the book. It is worth reading, and I actually can say this now with a greater conviction, because the book itself is about, is quite immersive. And that is the best way to learn and to become, is to actually immerse yourself in the actions of others, of really successful people. If that's what you're searching for.

Louise Matson:

What I love about your book is, you can just sit down and read about one person and then another, you know, you don't have to sit and read a whole lot at once I haven't read all the chapters, but I must get onto the rest. I must do that after you've actioned me.

Lesa Hinchcliffe:

Louise have you read Sascha de Bretton?

Louise Matson:

Sascha de Bretton I have, yes.

Lesa Hinchcliffe:

It's an amazing story of great success, debilitating failure. And she rises again. And she's the classic reason why having that empowered mindset is so important because that allows you to fall over, but get back up again.

Louise Matson:

Resilience is a whole other topic, isn't it? All right. Well, thank you so much, Lesa, always a great joy speaking with you and I feel so honored that you have given me your time today to be on my empowerment series.

 Links to connect with Lesa. 

Website: https://www.lesajhinchliffe.com
Facebook: Lesa J. Hinchliffe
LinkedIn: Lesa J. Hinchliffe

Feel empowered wearing Louise M shoes. Visit www.louisemshoes.com
Contact louise@louisemshoes.com

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