Julianna Dawson is the Author of the Inspiring Words series of books: Love’s Journey and Finding Yourself… and our latest featured Fempreneur!
Julianna is also a Certified Life Coach, Keynote and Inspirational Speaker, as well as the Founding President and CEO of Whole Life Change LLC.
In her earlier working life, she was a Director of a medical publication and managed projects for FORTUNE magazine and Newsweek in the US, Europe, and Asia.
Julianna is also a poet, loves reading and when she’s not helping someone make positive life changes she’s with her 2 children and husband, writing or performing her poetry.
In this video interview and podcast, Julianna reads one of her most beautiful, touching poems.
Meet Julianna Dawson, Author of Inspiring Words: Love’s Journey
How to Work with Julianna
Connect with her at juliannadawson.com by clicking the Work With Me button and filling out the form with your areas of interest and hitting submit. She’ll be in touch shortly thereafter.
Here’s the full transcript of our interview.
[00:00:00] Lauren Kinghorn: Hi everyone. It’s Lauren Kinghorn again, with Inspiring Mompreneurs. And I have an incredibly inspiring Mompreneur with me today. Her name is Julianna Dawson and she is the proud founding president and CEO of Whole Life Change, LLC. Tell me more about your company, Julianna.
Why Julianna Created Whole Life Change LLC
[00:00:24] Julianna Dawson: Hi everyone. So I created Whole Life Change LLC, because there was a specific thing that I wanted to do and to bring forth in terms of helping people from wherever they are, kind of get where they want to go. So I always say that it’s bridging the gap between the life that you have and the life that you want. So whole life change was created to help me bring that vision forth.
Julianna’s Coaching Process
[00:00:56] Lauren Kinghorn: Awesome. Amazing. And so you do that mostly with one-on-one coaching sessions with people, is that right?
[00:01:04] Julianna Dawson: Yeah. Usually, I work with people one-on-one, first to find out where they are. I take them through a process to figure out where they want to go, what they want to be, or what they want to do. Most of the time, it’s a person who either wants to start their own business or improve the business that they already have. Sometimes it’s a person that wants to write their first book or their next book. It really depends on what that first conversation leads us to. And then we come up with a strategy and figure out how to make one of those things that they choose actually happen.
[00:01:47] Lauren Kinghorn: And so how long would it normally take you to work with someone to get to a whole life change where they feel like they’ve turned everything around?
[00:01:57] Julianna Dawson: Well, it really varies, it depends on the person and what it is that they’re after. So I’ve had people, for example, who I may be communicating with for the first hour or two and they’ll describe that they’ve already had such a shift in perspective. And they don’t understand how they actually got there, but they’re already where they wanted to be in terms of how they wanted to change the way that they felt about their life. Right. So even though this has happened many, many times, it’s always still very surprising to me every time it happens and happens so quickly. Right.
[00:02:42] But if a person is looking for something that’s more specific, for example, I’ve had people, during the course of 24 sessions or something like that, they will get through the process of writing and publishing their first book. I always tell people, we could lock ourselves in a hotel room and work for two days and get that done, or we could spread it out over the course of a couple of weeks or a couple of months. Right. Or once a month for two years and get that done.
[00:03:15] So that’s why I say, it varies, but I’ve also had people who have wanted to change their careers, from whatever it is that they’re in, to something totally different that might require going back to school for a degree. If it’s a four-year degree that you’re going after, then I may be with you for that period of time as you kind of navigate your way through that change but that’ll be a very different process. It’s not like we’re talking to each other every single day or anything like that for four years. But it really depends on what the person is after.
Who Julianna Serves
[00:03:51] Lauren Kinghorn: Yeah. So we hadn’t really talked about who you serve.
[00:03:54] Julianna Dawson: Yeah, I kind of base that on my past self, right. Understanding how my past self felt when I was working in corporate America, the things that I wanted to do myself.
[00:04:08] And when I think about it, I think, you have your full-time job at work, you’re working eight-plus hours a day, you’re a mom, right, but you still have these entrepreneurial tendencies or desires, you want to start a business or you want to do something else in addition. how do you fit that into your life and you’re a parent at the same time?
[00:04:33] So, I really want to help people who are in that place, where they have that experience and expertise in a specific area that they’re already working in, but they still have that desire for something else and something more, maybe they don’t have as much time to dedicate to executing the strategy and the plan, and implementing it. So that’s what I’m there for.
[00:05:04] Lauren Kinghorn: So they’ve got a full-time job and they’re moms and they want to go and start a business as well. So are these normally people who just want to have a side hustle or do they want to have a business that’s eventually going to grow to a big business?
[00:05:21] Julianna Dawson: It’s usually someone who wants to have something that’s going to grow. Usually, it’s not someone that’s just looking for a side hustle. It may start off as something like that, but usually, I’m working with people who want something long-term.
[00:05:39] Lauren Kinghorn: So they are ready to make a shift away from working for someone else to working for themselves.
[00:05:45] Julianna Dawson: Sometimes that’s the case, but sometimes, surprisingly, they end up so much happier in their job that it’s really strange, the whole taking someone through this process. You could take someone through this process who is so unhappy with their job and by the time you’re done, they’re so happy with their job that they want to stay with their job but they also have this other thing.
[00:06:17] Yeah, it’s really, really, really funny how it works. Right.
From… I don’t believe I can
to… what am I going to choose that I’m going to do next?
[00:06:27] I tell you every time I see it happen, like I still end up in awe, looking at the whole situation and saying, wow, this is really different from where we started. And I hear people come back and they’re gushing about how much they love their job. And also, they’ve written and published their book.
[00:06:47] And, you know, I don’t usually tell people about that before we start working together, it usually kind of evolves and it happens and they experience it and then we can talk about it. But the great thing about it that I love is that it puts a person in a position to have choices.
[00:07:12] They can choose if they want to continue to work at their job, they can choose if they want to put more into the business that they’re creating, or whatever else it is that they choose that they want to do next.
[00:07:26] That’s the other thing that usually happens too because once we select something that they do and they realize that they can do it and they actually get it done, all of a sudden everything opens up and they’re talking about, I want to try this or I want to do that. And it’s just like a totally changed person. Just to totally change, going from, I don’t believe I can, to, what am I going to choose that I’m going to do next?
[00:07:58] Lauren Kinghorn: So the name you came up with, was perfect.
[00:08:01] Julianna Dawson: That’s why I came up with Whole Life Change. I made it an LLC for the business side of it, but it’s really hard when people say, what do you do, to describe that.
[00:08:13] And it’s different for each person. So I usually invite people in, come on and start an experience and then they get it and we move from there.
[00:08:25] Lauren Kinghorn: And are people coming because they are in some kind of existential crisis or a midlife crisis, or they have this longing to be more and do more and become more and leave a legacy, is it those kinds of people who are coming to you?
[00:08:40] Julianna Dawson: Yes. Yes, exactly. You’ve worked and developed an area of expertise over the years. Right. You have a solid foundation with your job or whatever, or your business or whatever it is, but there’s something more that you want that you haven’t gone after, or that you have not been able to get.
[00:09:06] That’s the spot, right there.
[00:09:08] Lauren Kinghorn: How do these people find you, Julianna? How do they know that you’re there?
[00:09:14] Julianna Dawson: Well, before it was literally people that got to know me, asking me for help. And that’s how I started years ago. Just helping people. And now, I’m just starting to go out to the public and say, I am available. You know, I’m fully available to help people and take people through this process that I’ve developed over the course of the last several years, just doing it with people and observing the different types of people that I encounter and how they take action.
It all starts with a FREE Assessment…
[00:09:59] I’ve shared with you an assessment that I’ve developed, that really takes people through understanding where they are, which is a good basis from which to start.
[00:10:10] Lauren Kinghorn: Yes. I loved doing that. It’s been so interesting because it went into the business side as well, it was fun to look at my numbers again and see where I’m at. It wasn’t what I expected at all. So I would encourage anybody to do the assessment because it’s not just about your personality and what you want to change about where you’re at right now.
[00:10:33] I loved it. And I love that you also have this business side. Here we are, inspiring mompreneurs, you’re exactly the kind of coach, any mom entrepreneur needs, especially when they are considering making the transition or considering starting their own business.
[00:10:50] And yeah, the book coaching, people are realizing nowadays that it’s so important to differentiate yourself and build your authority, not just by owning a business, but by writing the book and doing the motivational talks, maybe a TEDx talk, all of these things have become really important if you’re going to grow, really grow a business.
[00:11:12] So I know you do some motivational speaking and inspirational speaking as well. What is your favorite topic to speak about?
[00:11:22] Julianna Dawson: Usually what I do, if I’m asked to come and speak with an audience, is, I’ll inquire with the person who’s asking me to do it, to, survey the audience, find out a little bit about what it is that they need. Sometimes it’s a person who has a group of people and they know what the problem is, so they can very clearly articulate what they’re after but sometimes you need to get very specific information from the audience about where they are and what they need.
[00:11:59] So I love doing that process first before I even put pen to paper to think about what it is that I’m going to speak with them about so that everything is customized for the group that I’m speaking to.
[00:12:16] I really don’t like doing anything cookie-cutter, as you may have noticed when you went through the assessment. Anyone that goes through the assessment, it’s very specific about you and it’s going to give you specific tips based on who you are and what your experiences are. So, when speaking, I love to do that first.
Inspiring Words: Love’s Journey
[00:12:41] I have a series of books called Inspiring Words: Love’s Journey and Inspiring Words: Finding Yourself.
So usually, I’ll get calls for doing inspirational speaking, but sometimes it’s about helping a group of people get through a very specific challenge.
[00:13:02] Lauren Kinghorn: It was very kind of you to allow me to include your poem in, your written interview, that we will be publishing as well. So thank you for that. I would love it if you could read out one of your favorite poems. That one about your children was absolutely beautiful. Would you like to do that for us?
[00:13:25] Julianna Dawson: Yeah, I will. I think I’ll do that one. That’s on page 22. So I’ll do that one just for time.
[00:13:40] Okay. All right. This poem is, is from my book called Inspiring Words: Finding Yourself.
Inspiring Words: Finding Yourself
[00:13:52] And it’s called when my babies cry.
When My Babies Cry
[00:13:56] When my babies cry it’s as if they left something inside me, where the umbilical cord was attached. And those cells become so powerful that they overthrow all my senses.
[00:14:15] They stir me and make my stomach churn until I can taste it in my mouth.
[00:14:26] Spurring me to action coming, to their immediate aid.
[00:14:33] But relentlessly preparing, preparing to be there, close by so that when they cry, I’m there to soothe in the way that only I can.
[00:14:49] When my babies cry, I become brave. I gain supernatural strength.
[00:14:58] I become capable of doing things I never before knew I possessed the power to do.
[00:15:07] I grow when my babies cry like a tree being fed with superfood, fast, strong, my leaves, green and full of luster!
[00:15:24] When my babies cry, I cry and water the tree that is me with my own tears.
[00:15:34] Stretching and growing more and more, reaching to heights that I had never before dreamed or even desired to reach.
[00:15:48] When my babies cry, I want more so I can give more, not just for them, but to the world to make it a better place for them as they grow.
[00:16:06] Lauren Kinghorn: I’m so glad I asked you to read it. That is sooo beautiful.
[00:16:13] Julianna Dawson: Oh, that poem is a poem that I wrote on my way to work, on the first day back to work after I had my twins. Oh, yes. In about like six or seven minutes. I remember very clearly, I got onto the Metro north. I was living in Westchester, in New Rochelle at the time. And I got on the train and my son was crying as I was leaving the house and it was so hard. Any mom watching this can understand what I’m talking about. And I just wrote that as I was on my way to work that day and I saved it and put it in that book, there is nothing like that feeling, nothing that you can describe to accurately describe that feeling.
[00:17:12] Lauren Kinghorn: Our viewers and listeners don’t know yet what you went through to have those twins. So do tell that story too because it wasn’t easy to become a mom.
[00:17:25] Julianna Dawson: No, it wasn’t easy to become a mom at all. I always thought it was an easy process. You grow up and it’s almost like you’re told not to for so long, you think that it’s, it’s an easy thing. And I had always said to myself that I would, push it off and do it later after I have developed this career. And after I have all of these things, I feel like I’m capable of taking care of my kids and that’s what I did, and my husband actually let me do it.
[00:17:59] So I pushed it off and I pushed it off and then once we started to try, then it wasn’t happening. And it literally took six years of trying and I had all sorts of issues. I had a miscarriage, you name it. I’d probably been through it in terms of dealing with infertility.
there’s a 90% chance your twins won’t make it
[00:18:24] And when I went to the doctor, I remember really clearly he was like, You need to come back, you have to make a decision first of all because you know, there’s a 90% chance that your twins, your kids, they’re not gonna make it. And you know, hearing that is… there’s nothing that can describe, what hearing that feels like.
[00:18:52] So when he added, okay, you can come back tomorrow morning at five and there’s this emergency surgery that I can do that will give them a 50% chance. Wow. So of course I was there and, what he didn’t tell me was that after that, I would have to be on bed rest until the kids were born. You know?
[00:19:15] And you know, I was like, wow, he gave really, really specific instructions, like laying on your back or your side, right for five months.
[00:19:29] Lauren Kinghorn: That is so uncomfortable.
[00:19:35] Julianna Dawson: You cannot imagine what that’s like. I couldn’t even walk around a corner slowly before this process, I had to slow down to doing nothing. That was one of the hardest things that I’ve ever had to do. And, you can sit up at a 45-degree angle to eat, you know? So by the time I had gotten through those five months, I couldn’t even walk, I’d lost so much muscle mass that I had to relearn to walk at the end. It was crazy. Like you’re being rolled around in a wheelchair. (And you’re a Mom)
[00:20:09] And yes, of course, it was a huge success, but I always like to look at the silver lining in everything. And when I think back about that time in my life, and that’s where I went through this whole process, I went through a life evaluation. Looking at my life, where I was, what I had, you know, all of that stuff and deciding like, what is it that I want going forward? What is it that I’m going to choose for myself that I want? And, that was the first time I really sat down and did that because there was so much time available to me.
What I learned through that process was…
[00:20:49] And what I learned through that process was that if you don’t stop and take a moment to think about those things, you can end up just doing things your whole life and not living for what you really and truly want. And that’s why I really want to be able to help as many people through that process as possible, nobody has to end up where I ended up in order to stop and think about their life and choose where they want to go next.
[00:21:24] Lauren Kinghorn: Yeah. Although it normally does take something, maybe it doesn’t always have to be that extreme, but something happens, there’s a catalyst before someone will really make a change, a life change like that.
[00:21:37] Julianna Dawson: Yes. Yes.
[00:21:39] Lauren Kinghorn: Wow. And were they born premature as well?
[00:21:42] Julianna Dawson: At the end, they were full term.
[00:21:48] Lauren Kinghorn: Full-time twins, wow, how uncomfortable you must have been.
[00:21:59] Julianna Dawson: I wrote that first book during that time. I placed the computer on my belly and I’d write, I did so many things during that time that were really valuable to me, but it was amazing to see them make it all the way, full term.
[00:22:20] Lauren Kinghorn: And look at them now, 9-years-old, it was all worth it.
[00:22:26] Julianna Dawson: I tell them that story, I share with them that story, just so that they know that we purposely made an effort to bring you into this world.
[00:22:37] Lauren Kinghorn: And they also are survivors, they also had to work in there somehow to be where they are today.
[00:22:48] Julianna Dawson: Oh Yeah.
[00:22:51] Lauren Kinghorn: Incredible, that’s such a beautiful story. And then you also had another story you mentioned that was pretty radical and that happened when you were much younger before you became a mom, that was also a catalyst in your life.
when I was 14, I was attacked at knifepoint…
[00:23:07] Julianna Dawson: Yeah, when I was 14, I was walking home from school and I was attacked at knifepoint by a rapist. And, I was very, very lucky, I was actually saved by a dog that barked so hard that he distracted this person enough to allow me to escape.
[00:23:34] Cause he literally had dragged me at knifepoint backward into this space. And I don’t want to give too many graphic details, I don’t want to trigger anyone that’s watching this. So this is something that I have gone through therapy and all of that, so I’m healed, so as I talk about it, it’s not triggering for me, but I don’t want to trigger anyone else.
[00:23:57] But what I would say is with that experience came things that I didn’t expect as a 14-year-old, people pointing the finger on your way to school. Oh, that’s her, they may not know the details, but like the stigma and all of the stuff that kind of goes along with it.
[00:24:17] And at the time, not being able to clearly say, oh, that’s him, when, when they put all of these men in front of me, for me at that age to say, I am a hundred percent sure that this person is the one as they’re contorting themselves or whatever it is, the maturity level that I just didn’t have at that age to be able to do certain things.
[00:24:46] So I learned a lot from that experience, but it was the experience, as unfortunate as it was at that point, that’s when my grandmother called my mom and said, you know, I really do need you to come and get her. That’s how I came to the US because after that, my mom who had gone off to America, to try to make a better life for us at the time, came back and got me.
[00:25:14] And I come out of that experience with so much insight about how these things could happen, empathy for people who end up doing stuff like that. Over the years, studying and going through therapy and having discussions. Now, at this age, having all of that wealth of knowledge, with me, it’s very different, from back then.
[00:25:48] But I share that story because there are people who go through those types of experiences and they feel like they can’t come out of them. And I want people to know that regardless of what experience you’ve gone through, we can find a way to help you to come out of that experience and have a much better life experience.
[00:26:14] Lauren Kinghorn: I can imagine you’d be amazing as a coach having had that experience and worked through all of that, just that already made you a coach, because you’ve dealt with PTSD, you’ve dealt with trauma and especially at a very young age. Wow.
[00:26:31] Julianna Dawson: And usually if I encounter someone who has a situation like that we will pull in an expert in a specific field for that person to help them with that specific thing. And so, it’s not just me, it’s putting together the right team, that’s able to help you with whatever it is that you need.
FORTUNE Magazine and NEWSWEEK
[00:26:54] Lauren Kinghorn: Right. Okay, that’s amazing. And you have a very interesting career that we haven’t really spoken about yet, working for FORTUNE Magazine and NEWSWEEK, which also has made you into who you are today. So can you give me a little bit of your background just for our listeners and viewers to get to know you better?
[00:27:19] Julianna Dawson: Oh, sure. Yeah. I count myself very, very lucky, but I also believe that you create your luck. So while I was in college and I was working at some points, three different jobs, and, as I got to a point where I was about to graduate, I remember, I went to the job wall and I applied for this job.
[00:27:43] I had no idea where this job was going to be. It turned out to be for FORTUNE Magazine.
[00:27:54] And I remember, at first it was a phone interview and I felt like I really connected with this woman, Lee, who has been one of my greatest mentors in life. And she was amazing, meticulous, I get a lot of my meticulous nature from her. She also was inspiring because she was the first person that told me things like, invest.
[00:28:21] I just was not thinking about investing when I was working at that young age, it was not something that I was thinking about. And I remember really clearly she was like, just do it.
[00:28:39] And I trusted her enough, to just do it, even though I didn’t quite understand it, 401k and those kinds of things. And, that has served me well over the years. Now it’s a little bit different. I do things differently, but that was key. But my experience working at FORTUNE magazine, she taught me how to first do my job, but then she also helped me to train someone to take my place so that I could rise into the next position, which is a beautiful thing. Right? That was wonderful.
[00:29:14] That was here in the US but I ended up going to NEWSWEEK International, and that was for Europe, Asia, and Latin America. And I got to travel to Paris and Switzerland and Zurich and London and Hong Kong it was a totally different experience.
[00:29:37] What happened, I’d work on some problems that might be presented, Hey, we’re not receiving business in this specific area or industry, can you help? So I’d go in, I’d ask questions and try to understand the situation. And we’d come up with an idea with the team to figure out what would work.
[00:30:03] And then usually I’d get the call saying, can you come, can you come and present it? In whatever country it was and I’d go with the team and we’d go and we’d present. And, you know, I had wonderful, one beautiful experience I really remember and loved was with private bankers in Switzerland.
[00:30:29] Getting them to come in. And that was close to a million-dollar project, within 60 days or so, just listening to what was needed and crafting a strategy and executing that over the first year in the second year, it ended up being a really nice project. That experience helped me understand how to put projects together for FORTUNE 500 companies.
[00:31:01] Okay. So doing it for individuals is different because sometimes you don’t have those large budgets that you might have, but having that experience and knowing what’s possible today with today’s technology and with all of the changes that we’ve experienced in the world, right? A lot of people are still operating as if we are still in the past.
[00:31:30] They’re not really utilizing everything that they could be utilizing to get where they want to go, because they’re still operating by a lot of traditional mechanisms.
[00:31:41] And that’s where that knowledge helps me to put that together with what’s really available today and come up with some unique ways for just a regular person to develop themselves really in a way that, prior to now, you would consider only a FORTUNE 500 company might be able to do.
[00:32:09] You know how they say, now you’ve got your iPhone and that has the power that only Presidents used to have.
[00:32:18] Yeah. Wow. It’s the same thing with life. Yeah, the power that we have now.
[00:32:25] Lauren Kinghorn: And even in the book industry, the book industry is completely different to what it was before. I know that you are working with a publisher, but hardly anybody works with publishers anymore because they are all self-publishing.
[00:32:37] Julianna Dawson: Yeah, I’ve done it both ways,… I’ve self-published and I’ve worked with a publisher. But, when it comes to writing your first book or writing your next book, in my opinion, what’s important is your audience. Right. That’s another opportunity for more people to get to know you and for you to have that connection with them, it’s all about you and the people that you’re serving.
[00:33:05] And that just is one more tool that will help you to develop a good relationship with them.
Julianna Dawson’s Message to the World
[00:33:13] Lauren Kinghorn: Wonderful. And your message to the world? I always love to ask this question.
[00:33:21] Julianna Dawson: You know, I always say you want to have awareness. And you want to take action. You want to measure your results and you want to repeat.
[00:33:35] And you take yourself through that process over and over. And as you do that, as you’re going through your life journey, as you do that, you’ll find that you’re rising. And you’re achieving and you know, it’s one goal after another, but you’re also living in that space of being able to be happy with whatever it is that you have at the moment at the same time.
[00:34:04] That’s important.
[00:34:06] Lauren Kinghorn: Yeah. That is beautifully said. And I think that’s a great place to end unless of course there’s anything else you would like to say.
[00:34:15] Julianna Dawson: Well, I’d love to invite you guys to go to WholeLifeChange.com and feel free to take the assessment there. It will walk you through a process where you’ll have the opportunity, not just to learn about yourself and what type of a coaching student you might be, but I also include a ton of bonuses in there, like a free life evaluation that you can either take yourself through, or I can take you through myself or have someone on the team do with you.
[00:35:17] So, go check it out and reach out and let me know if there’s anything that I can do for you.
[00:35:01] Lauren Kinghorn: Awesome. Thank you so much, it was really wonderful to chat with you today.
[00:35:06] Julianna Dawson: Awesome. Thanks, Lauren. It really is a pleasure being here. I really appreciate you taking the time to have this chat with me.
Connect with Julianna Dawson
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