Everyone has dreams, but what are you doing to stay on track in achieving those dreams? Well, by writing vision letters, you can visualize your dreams in detail and set up a timeline to achieve them. Joining Jen Du Plessis today is nationally recognized speaker, author, entrepreneur, and vision coach, Carey Conley. She specializes in helping women create life-changing vision letters to empower them in achieving their goals and dreams in life. The magic happens when you write them out. Carey also shares how she overcame the big walls in her life that were once obstacles on her path to realizing her life’s purpose. We all have a calling. It’s all a matter of identifying them and knowing how to pave the way to achieving them. If you want to learn more about how to stay on top of your goals and stay true to your calling, keep your ears glued to this episode!
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How To Stay On Track With Your Goals Through Vision Letters With Carey Conley
I am so delighted to have a wonderful guest with us, Carey Conley. Welcome, Carey, to the show.
Jen, thank you so much. We finally made it happen.
I’m delighted to have you on the show. I want to take this opportunity to introduce you to everybody. Just so everyone knows, Carey is a nationally recognized speaker, author, entrepreneur and mom specializing in helping women create life-changing vision letters for their life. I can’t wait to talk about that. Her personal story is full of extraordinary success and devastating tragedy, which we’ll talk about briefly here.
It’s these experiences that bring power to her message to women to help them create, develop and execute a rock-solid thought process, thinking that everything was possible. Her bigger-than-life vision propels them to succeed in all areas, including self-love, financial prosperity, a healthy lifestyle, caring relationships, a strong family, supreme confidence and spiritual connection.
Known for her contagious passion, her speeches, books and she’s got a couple of workshops to build self-confidence and create a community of support for women from all walks of life. I know you’ve had some male clients as well but it’s mostly about women and how they can manifest these beautiful things for their lives. I want to get started with this life-changing vision letter for their life. When I first met you, I thought you help women with their vision. That’s hard enough to do as it is to help people decide what their vision is and determine their core values or what they want in life. What’s a vision letter?
This all started when I was in my late twenties, Jen. I was at college in the late ‘80s. In those days, what you did is you got the degree, the job and worked your way up the ranks. My husband did that very successfully. He stayed with the same company for 25 years. On the other hand, I had an entrepreneurial spirit and changed jobs about every two years. I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t love the job. All of our other friends were going, “What is the deal? Why can’t you stick with the job like we’re doing?”
I thought there was something wrong with me until my first mentor showed up in my life. She encouraged me to take a day off of work, get in a very quiet space and wrote out in great detail what I wanted my life to look like. I wrote a lot about my relationships with my husband, what kind of mom I wanted to be, what kind of values I wanted to instill in them, what kind of person I wanted to become, what kind of impact I wanted to make and what kind of leader I wanted to be. I wrote a lot of ideas around if I were to be an entrepreneur, what would I want to do? This is the first time I’d ever thought about it. Without knowing it that day, Jen, I wrote out my first vision statement for my life. I wrote it out futuristic.
Fast forward, years later, I get in front of people in workshops when I speak and get people to do what I did. I start with having them put a date at the top of the piece of paper as if it’s three years from that day. What most people do is they will have a vision. They’ll have something rolling around in their brain that I call their hope, wish and prayer plan. Hoping it happens, wishing it to happen but they don’t have any dates on things.
The next thing I get them to do is to think about how old they will be on that day. I also get them to think about the ages of their family members or people who are involved in their life because time and aging are non-negotiable. The last thing I get them to do is to sit down and write the letter as if it is three years out. They’re writing it to somebody as if they haven’t talked to that person in three years and they are getting them up to speed on their life in as much detail as they can give it. It’s powerful how the hand and the brain works. Writing it out and getting it on paper, super clear, that’s where the magic is. That’s the step that most people don’t take. They might make a pretty vision board with pictures and stuff on it but it just sticks on the wall and they don’t put any dates or any action behind it.
What you’re referencing is Parkinson’s Law. Given as much time as possible, that’s how long it’s going to take. I’m paraphrasing. If there’s no timeline given on something, it will take forever to get to it. That is typically what we see. Both of us are in this space. We’re talking to people all the time and this is exactly what the issue is. “One day, I’m going to.” It should be called the “not going to” workshop or something. It’s funny because in my first book, we wanted to call it Stop Talking, Take Action, Get Results and that’s what it is. Stop talking about it. Put it into action. Put it in paper and get results. That’s wonderful.
I want to ask you a couple of questions. Tell me how you help people walk through this. I’ve done an exercise very similar to that. “Believe it’s a year from now. Believe it’s X amount years and you’re talking to yourself.” I’ve done letters to God, letters from God to me, all kinds of those things but there’s always something nagging in the back of your mind while you’re writing it. You’re going, “I’m writing it out but it’s probably not going to happen.” How do we get past those limiting beliefs as we’re looking at what we want to manifest for ourselves when we’re creating this vision?
When I am in front of a live audience, which I love the most and I get people to write the letter, the very next thing I ask them is, “Tell me how you feel about writing the letter.” A lot of times, people go, “This is so great. I feel like a ray of hope. I’m feeling inspired. I’m starting to see how I can maybe make that happen if I reverse engineer the plan.” I get the brave little souls to go, “I’m scared and overwhelmed. I don’t see how this is possible being where my life is at.”
We have to talk through that because we all have those walls. I’ve hit lots of walls that I’m sure you’ve had too. I get started on my vision and here comes a wall. My first business was in network marketing. Out of the gate, there was a lot of rejection. A lot of people are going, “You’re crazy. Don’t talk to me about it.” Those kinds of things can shut you down. The key is that the vision has to be bigger than the wall. It’s the only way I’ve gotten through everything and the stuff that you’ve gotten through too, Jen. What you and I wanted and what we could see was more important. It was bigger than the wall.Writing the vision out and getting it on paper super clear, that’s where the magic is. Click To Tweet
It’s not about us. It’s about serving other people and how we can make an impact in the world. That’s usually what it is. Someone’s vision is how they can make a difference and leave their mark in the world. Thank you for sharing that. Let’s talk a little bit about the wall that you’ve experienced. This show is Success to Significance, everything in between. Life after breaking through the glass ceiling. You’ve had a couple of glass ceilings or walls that you’ve had to break through. Share with us some of the ceilings that you’ve had to break through in your life.
I stepped into network marketing years ago when network marketing was taboo and crazy. People were like, “Why can’t you stick with the corporate ladder thing?” There was a lot of that from my very own family members as well. It was challenging.
Why don’t you share a little bit about what your network marketing is so that people understand what you’re talking about? Some people still don’t know the words network marketing. You were very successful in it so I don’t want to scooch by that and make it seem like it wasn’t a big glass ceiling because it was.
Network marketing is also known as multilevel marketing or direct sales. I was in a company called Arbonne. Most women are familiar with it. I joined that because it checked all the boxes off of my vision that I wrote like I wanted to work from home, raise my kids, a residual income, earn all the trips, the car and the leadership. I wanted to become that leader. That was my vehicle for many years. I went all the way to the top rank in the company, had a great team of people, lot of fun and achieved a lot of awards in success with that.
First thing that happened when I joined Arbonne is my best friend from high school was the woman who brought me into the company. She was the one who introduced me to it. A year after me joining Arbonne, she died very suddenly. She had a brain aneurism, went straight into a coma and thirteen days later, she died. I had to make a choice. Do I keep going? I did because I knew it was the vehicle and it’s what she would have wanted me to do.
As I was raising my kiddos, that was what I did. I loved it. When I became an empty nester, I decided that I wanted to take the one thing that I’ve been teaching all my leaders in Arbonne, which was the vision thing, how to write the vision so that it got them through all the rejection and all the walls. I created my own curriculum and my own workbook called Vision Is Victory, that’s been out since 2015. I started doing little workshops in and that became bigger workshops. I brought people into year-long coaching programs. I’ve been very successful with that. I’m happy to say.
Unfortunately, in 2014, I lost my husband to suicide and then three years later, I lost my son also to suicide. Those were big walls. I tell people, “It will get you through anything if you know why you want it. It’s not about you.” It’s never been about me. People will quit on themselves all day long but they’ve got it attached to something that’s beyond them. That’s what’s gotten me to where I am. I kept pushing through. My daughter and I co-authored a book that we launched in 2019 called Keep Looking Up. We speak together now.
You are creating something that works for both of you that you can combine your vision because I’m sure she has her own vision. She’s younger. She’s your daughter. She’s a different generation. You have different life goals. Going back to when you lost your husband and subsequently lost your son, maybe both periods of time, did your vision ever change? Did it waiver? Did you have to go back and say, “This isn’t working. This isn’t what I wanted?”
We want to talk to people about this letter of vision, this letter for your life that it does change. Even though I’ve not experienced that kind of a tragedy, my vision does change. It’s ever-evolving. Tell us a little bit about that piece of it. Did it change? How frequently should we be changing? Should we be concerned if we’re flipping too much? For me, as I’ve matured and as my children left the house, my vision changed because there were more opportunities that I didn’t see when I was worried about the details. Can you share with us a little bit about that process?
There are two pieces of this. One, it is going to change if you’re evolving, if you’re choosing to personally grow, evolve and get bigger. Those are the tactical pieces of the vision, the lifestyle. Did I see this lifestyle at this point in my life? Absolutely not. I saw something completely different that involved my husband and my son in the business with me and lots of things. I had no idea I was going to be living in Oklahoma again either. There’s that but who I am hasn’t changed?
When I wrote that first vision out, Jen, I was noodling ideas about what I thought I might want to do. Remember I told you I had a lot of question marks and stuff. I wrote things that led me to Arbonne because I was looking for a company where you could make residual income, become a leader, all the things but on the last line on one of those pieces of paper, I wrote out of the blue for the first time that someday I would like to teach people about vision, purpose and knowing why it’s so important in your life.
After the tragedies that I’ve been through, it was a wake-up call as to me understanding why God put me on that path so long ago. Now more than ever, I am passionate about people knowing their vision, knowing their purpose and following it because we are living in a world that so many people are drifting. That’s a very scary thing.
As you’re talking about that, I can see that in mine as well, even though I asked the question thinking that I’m flipping with all this. You’re right. It’s a tactical piece that’s still serving that long-term vision. It’s the vision that I’m manifesting on my new TV show, Tell Me I Can’t. I want to show people that they can because that’s my vision. It’s based on my experiences in life, like yours as well. I see that the long-term never changes.
It’s like the North Star. You may go left or right, down or up but the North Star still stands there. It’s a North Star type of vision that I see in that. How does this help people by having a vision? Everyone says, “You should have a vision. You should know what your purpose is or purpose-driven life.” You’ve heard all these phrases before. How does this truly help people both personally and professionally?
It helps them keep consistent. There were so many days especially early on in Arbonne that I wanted to quit so bad. What kept me going was my vision. It helps you stay consistent, which is one of the keys to life in every area of life. You don’t need to blow it out one month and then not do anything next month. If you can do it a little bit every single day, you goal it. It helps you stay consistent, personally grow, stay inspired so that you don’t quit and become an inspiration for other people, which is even bigger.
I love following people with vision.
We need that in this world more than ever as well. I think about that on the days where I think, “What am I doing? Why am I doing this? This is crazy. It’s too hard.” The speaking and coaching world, as you and I both know, has become super noisy. There are lots of moving parts to it. We have to stay on top of it. It’s the imposter syndrome, all the doubts, fears, everything. It helps me that no matter what I’m going through, I’m still going to get in this chair and do what I’m called to do.
What you’re talking about is the difference between inspiration and motivation. Motivation is very cyclical. You need booster shots all the time, whereas inspiration is a direction that you had, an ongoing process, a marathon and all those beautiful pieces that are in there. You’re going to have setbacks. If you’re going on a long trip, you’re going to need to take an exit to get more gas, to eat and to sleep but you still are heading on that same path. That’s what you’re telling us.
Someone takes the time, do their visual and their vision. They write this letter to themselves three years out. They talk about how old they are, how old their family is, what it looks like and what it feels like that moment that they’re there. They say, “It’s done. Let it be written and done.” No. There’s some work behind this. What would be the first step? Is it mechanical? Is it a mindset? Is it both? “I’ve got it written. Now, what do I do?”
There are so many things. This is a big exercise that I’ve taught thousands of people that every time I do it, people come back to me and tell me, “That thing changed my life.” The first thing I would tell you to do is making sure that you surround yourself with people who are going to be your 9s and 10s. They are the people who are going to lift you up every time you want to go down, connect you to the right people, remind you how great you are and believe in your vision. They’re your biggest cheerleaders and mentors. Usually, they are people who are a little bit further ahead than you are in your personal life and in your profession.You can’t go up without investing in yourself. Wisdom always comes before wealth. Click To Tweet
Number one, make sure that you check on your tribe and whoever is less than a 9 or 10 needs to be put back a little bit in your life. It’s powerful to do that. The second thing is we’ve got to reverse engineer the plan. Take the three years, take one of those things and put some one year very tactical metrics-based goals down. An easy one to think about would be your health if you’ve got a weight loss goal. Get super clear on how much weight do you want to lose and by when. Put a date on it so that you’ve got some way to track how you’re doing and you’ve got a number to work with. Take the one year and reverse it to, “That’s one year from now. Where am I going to be at six months? Where am I going to be in 90 days?” Ninety-day goals are magical. You and I both know. They then know, “This month, I’m going to do these key things to get moving in that direction.”
It’s breaking it down to bite-sized pieces. They always say this, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” This is a perfect example of that. You cannot consume it all at one time. You have to take the little steps to do that. Who were or are your mentors? Give us some examples of who you looked up to from both a personal and a professional perspective.
My first mentor is still in my life. I still reach out to her every once in a while. My first biggest mentor was the woman who was the President of Arbonne, Rita Davenport, who was also a very highly recognized speaker in this world. She’s become like my second mama. She’s still very important. As a matter of fact, she was the last person I talked to before you.
My current mentor and business mentor is Sharon Lechter, who is also very big in the financial world in teaching people how to create assets in their life. Dave Meltzer, I also love him. He’s very spiritual. I look to him for more into growing my intuition, trusting my gut, checking my attitude kind of thing. There are so many of them, Jen.
I want to ask you what the difference is. Someone’s sitting here thinking, “You’ve got these people in your life.” As you’re saying this, I’m saying, “I have these people too.” Some of them are paid people and some of them are not paid people. What is the difference from your perspective between hiring a coach and hiring a mentor? Sometimes you do have to hire mentors, as well as coaches.
I know Sharon talks about this because she’s talked about the difference between coaching and mentoring. How do you find these people if you don’t want to pay them? For those reading, they’re saying, “That’s fine for her. She can hire all these people but I don’t know that I can hire these people.” Who do we reach out and look up to? How do we approach these people to ask them to give of their time, the whole picking your brain conversation that so many people have?
I’ve done both. I have a lot of mentors that I did not pay that gladly mentored me because they saw the potential and then I’ve hired coaches. I believe in both. You can’t go up without investing in yourself. The wisdom always comes before the wealth. You have to invest in yourself. I reach out to people that I see on social media, I meet networking or they’ve been connected to me from a mutual friend that are maybe playing in the space that I want to play in and willing to give me some advice.
They aren’t necessarily holding me accountable to my game plan and that’s what a coach does. You hire a coach because they’re going to be the ones that say, “Carey, what’s your game plan for the next year, 6 months, 90 days?” You are responsible checking in with them on the game plan, adjusting if needed and hearing the tough stuff when you need to hear it. That’s what I have people sharing in my life for. She course corrects my plan when I need it.
What’s next for you? What’s happening for you in your three-year letter?
My daughter got married and had a baby. I have moved my life to be closer to her little family. My number one thing has always been to be with my family wherever and whenever they need me, which is why I moved from Scottsdale to Oklahoma so that I could be helping her with my grandson. It’s very important to me that I’m a big part of his life, not just the holiday grandma. That’s a big part of my vision, Jen. I’m sure baby number two will be coming sometime. I want to be a part of that.
Professionally, my daughter and I are working together as speakers. We’ve been working with a speaking mentor or coach who has been working on our brand for us together and teaching us how to reach out to get on those bigger stages that we want to be on, get more press and media around what we’re doing. We have a big story to tell and we want to reach more people faster.
Tell us a little bit about the story that you’re talking about on stage. It’s partly vision but there are some other pieces to it as well for those who are reading and thinking, “Maybe I’d like to come and see you speak. I’d like to hire you to speak.”
I share my back story of why I’ve been teaching vision for so long. Laurel shares a little bit about why she is teaching this as well as a young adult. She’s reaching a whole different demographic than I’ve done. It’s a beautiful partnership. We talk about our stories first and then we talk about how knowing our purpose and our vision has gotten us through our tragedies and how we’re applying it to our life so that we can continue to be an inspiration for those people that are going through some pretty tough stuff and wondering, “How do I get through this?” We do the tactical parts of how to write the vision, getting it out on paper with the date so that they walk out with something tangible they can work on.
What do you think have been the toughest obstacles that people have been experiencing during this pandemic? People probably had these underlying struggles and challenges but they were so busy doing what we were all doing before the pandemic that was being pushed underneath the rug. What’s been the most consistent thing that’s emerged from the pandemic that you’ve seen helping people overcome any of their challenges and see that vision for themselves?
It leveled the playing field for all of us, Jen. There are a lot of people that had never been through anything tragic in their life until this happened. We all had a common denominator that we were all working through a tough time. It shook some people up. Nothing like what I’ve been through rock their world yet. The second thing is that people started looking around at what they had spent their time doing up to that point and let a lot of stuff go that didn’t matter anymore.
They were forced into it because they had to or they had more time to think about it and get rid of those things. I’ve done some of this and I know you have too in 2021 of letting go of the things that are like, “Do I want to be doing that anymore?” The last thing is valuing who they want in their life, who they want to become, making a lot better choices about boundaries and how they want to show up.
I’m so glad that you’re out there with this mission. What people don’t understand is that people that are speakers, coaches and mentors are trying to get a message out to make an impact on the world. Often we’re criticized or we are looked at third of a second, whatever the number is, that keeps changing, of making a first impression and how we’re judged. It takes so much to stick your neck out, tell stories and share.
I remember speaking at an event a couple of years ago. I was the closing keynote speaker. Monica Lewinsky was the opening keynote speaker. She said something that I thought was so profound that I still remember. The first thing she said is asked everybody, “Raise your hand if you’ve done something that you don’t want anybody to know about.” Everybody raised their hands. We all have little cobwebs of things that we don’t want people to know about.
For me, I thought, “That’s true.” Here she was. She was the first cyberbullied that ever existed. It was at that time where the whole world could see it. That’s what we’re all contending with. It’s these things that we didn’t want to come up to the top of the surface but they have to in order for us to be able to grow. What you’re doing is very powerful, sticking your neck out and saying, “I’m going to share some of my stories, things that I don’t prefer to show.”
I want to recognize that. I hope that you keep it up and your vision helps you continue to move through that as quickly as possible. I want to ask a question and this is going to be so off-topic. You’re going to be so surprised but I do like asking some funny questions to people. When it comes time to not trusting your vision and you’re getting a little down, what’s your go-to junk food?More times than not, people shut down from even trying something because they're already telling themselves it's not possible. Click To Tweet
I would say cheeseburger and fries.
You’re the fourth person who said French fries. There must be a French fries fetish going on around the world.
I’m not much of a foodie so I don’t turn to food but that’s comfort food.
I might send you some French fries and a hamburger if you’re feeling down instead of a card. The last question I want to ask you is whether it’s a book, a quote or a mantra, what would you like to leave us with so that we would be inspired to take action on this vision?
One of my favorite quotes that’s been a lifelong thing for me is where there is a will, there is always a way. That’s what I want people to know. More times than not, they shut down from even trying something because they’re already telling themselves it’s not possible. I know that when you want and desire something, it is your calling. I believe we all have a calling. We’ve all been sent here to accomplish one thing that we can uniquely carry out. There’s always a way. It’s always what Marie Forleo says, “It’s figure-outable.”
Often these quotes that we’ve had around for years are passed over but there’s a real true meaning behind it. The way that you said it resonated with me because we always say, “If there’s a will, there’s a way.” What you’re talking about is knowing the will. Otherwise, it’s just superficial and doesn’t go anywhere. It’s a question of what is your will because when you have that will, there’s a way. That’s totally it. It’s not finding your why. It’s finding your will or what you want to have in the future. I love that. We’ll have lots of links in here for people to get in touch with you but if they need to get in touch with you where they’re like, “I love what you said. I can’t wait. I’ve got to talk to Carey,” what is the best way for them to reach you?
There are lots of ways but I’ll give you my website, which is CareyConley.com. There’s a place in there that you can request to have a call with me. I’m all over social media.
Carey, it’s been an honor to have you here. We probably should tell everybody too we’re in a mastermind together. That’s been a wonderful experience. We still have more time and more that we’ll be learning about one another, helping one another grow, be mentors, coaches or shoulders to cry on. I appreciate you taking time to be part of this show and shedding light on your story so that it makes an impact for others.
I’m so grateful, Jen. Thank you.
Thank you so much for reading or watching if you’re watching us on YouTube or PodNation.tv. We are so delighted that you spent time with us. We’re hoping that you are leaving with something new to think about, something that you could sleep on tonight and tomorrow morning when you get up, you hit taking some action on it to make an impact in your world as you move from success to significance and crack through the glass ceilings that you have in your life. We will see you in the next episode.
- Carey Conley
- Vision Is Victory
- Keep Looking Up
- YouTube – Jen du Plessis
About Carey Conley
Carey Conley is a nationally recognized speaker, author, entrepreneur, and mom, specializing in helping women create life-changing vision letters for their life. Her personal story is full of extraordinary success and devastating tragedy. It’s these experiences that brings power to her message and helps others achieve what they never thought was possible. Her ability to help women create, develop, and execute a rock-solid, bigger-than-life vision propels them to succeed in all areas of life, including self-love, financial prosperity, a healthy lifestyle, caring relationships, a strong family, supreme confidence, and spiritual connection. Known for her contagious passion, Carey’s speeches, books, and workshops build self-empowering skills and create a community of support for women from all walks of life. The common bond is a desire to shed past pain, fear, and hardship, in order to manifest a beautiful life that’s within reach.
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