Don’t take rejection personally. It is easier for people to say no than yes because it is safer to stick with what is familiar. Sometimes people don’t say yes because they don’t fully understand what you are offering, or maybe you just caught them at a busy time
Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? In this interview series, we are talking to mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, and business leaders who can talk about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives.
As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jill Liberman
Jill Liberman is a successful serial entrepreneur. She is a best- selling author of five books, a sought-after motivational speaker and Founder of Choose Happy, a lifestyle brand devoted to spreading positivity. She speaks all over the world on the power of happiness.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?
I’ve always believed in the importance of being happy. I believe when you are happy you can do anything. When you live your life with that mindset, opportunities seem to find you. For me, if it doesn’t have passion or purpose, I don’t do it. I love thinking of ideas and making them happen. I founded and ran three successful companies when I was in college and have founded and run several since. I also have hosted and produced television shows, hosted a popular talk radio show and authored five books. I constantly ask myself “what do I want to do now”
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
One of my favorite stories from my career is when I was writing my first book, American Pride. I had never written anything other than a grocery list. I didn’t know how to write a book or find a publisher. I’m not one to do what others do. I make my own path. Trusting my gut has always been the best way to go for me. Because I was writing about America, I wanted to include the President of the USA. I cold called the White House and got the President to be in my book. You don’t need connections or experience you need confidence and passion. Believe in your cause and find a way to make it happen. Sometimes too much information can hold you back. For me, it is better not to be told “this is how to…” that way I can be creative and resourceful. There is more than one way to accomplish something. I also cold called a publisher and had my book published a few months later.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Choose Happy spreads the powerful message happiness is a choice. Happiness is something everyone wants. When you are happy, you make better choices, feel better, sleep better, even look better. My company Choose Happy stands out because it is a whimsical company with a very powerful message.
We aspire to inspire. Today more than ever, people are worried and feel alone. We provide a positive message and daily motivation. I love hearing from people. We receive stories daily about how the book Choose Happy has helped change people’s lives. They appreciate it is not a preachy self-help book. It is a fun, positive read with stories and easy helpful tips on living a happy life every day.
One man called me so excited to share his story. He has MS and doesn’t walk well. He was on his way to his son’s high school basketball game and couldn’t find a parking spot near the gym. It was pouring rain. He walked with difficulty in the storm, cursing his life and feeling sorry for himself. Then he remembered what he read in my book. He started to choose happy. He was happy he has a son who is healthy. He was happy he was able to watch him play ball. He was focusing on the good. He felt so good about that, he called my office the next day to share the story and to thank me.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
We all need a cheerleader. Someone who makes you feel like you can do anything. A person who celebrates your victories and encourages you. For me, that is my husband. He makes me feel like I can do anything. It takes a very confident person to be married to someone who is a public figure. He comes to my events, laughs at my jokes even though he has heard them many times before, and supports and encourages me. I wouldn’t be where I am without him.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?
Resilience is the ability to bounce back, and that is exactly what resilient people do. They have grit. They keep going. They don’t see obstacles as a time to quit. They figure things out, create their own opportunities.
Courage is often likened to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different to resilience?
It does take courage to be resilient. It is always easier to not do something. Most action requires courage because there is a fear of the unknown. To me, resilience is less about courage and more about motivation. If you really want something, you will stick with it. That’s resilience.
When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?
I think of myself. I have been to “no” many times but never hear it. If something doesn’t work out I believe it is because something better is on its way. If I’m thrown a curve ball, I go all in to hit it out of the park. That’s resilience. It’s the only way to be. Don’t accept circumstances, create them.
Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?
Just about everything I have done, people have told me it couldn’t or wouldn’t happen.
I’ll go back to my first book. I understand why people thought it was impossible. I had never written a book. I didn’t have a publisher. People knew of others who tried and failed. I wanted to collaborate with famous people and didn’t know any at the time. None of that mattered to me. I don’t focus on the why not- or what others think. I never let others tell me what I can make happen.
So, I did it anyway. I created a list of high profile people I wanted in the book and found a way to reach them. In only 6 weeks I had some of the most famous people in the USA in my book! The participants included Mark Cuban, Peyton Manning, Michael Dell and the President of the United States. I didn’t know them at the time, and they were not compensated. My publisher even told me things I wanted were impossible. As an example, I wanted to do national talk shows, and the publisher said I couldn’t get booked because I was a first time author. I called the networks and made it happen. The list goes on. Hearing people say something is impossible only fuels me to make it happen.
Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?
I was offered a job hosting my own talk show and was so excited. I wanted to get in great physical shape, and hurt my back in the process. I couldn’t walk and needed to be in bed for a while, ruling out the show. That was a big setback. I used it as an opportunity. I needed to find something I could do without leaving the house, or even bed in the beginning. This was before people were working from home, and it was a time videos on line were just emerging. I created an online company. It was the first travel video search site in the world. People said it would never work. Who wanted to watch videos online? I worked with hotels, countries and attractions all over the world. The company was later acquired.
How have you cultivated resilience throughout your life? Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?
I think we all have experienced situations growing up that contributed to building resilience. Even socially, or with dating, friendships and relationships end and we need to be resilient. As we get older, we tend to withstand challenges better than when we were younger. As kids, something as little as not getting invited to a birthday party can be devasting. It’s really a mindset. I was a sensitive child growing up, but determined and confident. I didn’t let things stand in my way or hold me back.
Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.
- Don’t take rejection personally. It is easier for people to say no than yes because it is safer to stick with what is familiar. Sometimes people don’t say yes because they don’t fully understand what you are offering, or maybe you just caught them at a busy time
- Remember your why. The reason behind why you are doing something should be enough to keep you going.
- Stay positive. Mindset is so important.
- Be flexible. A situation may not have resulted in the exact outcome you wanted but be flexible and creative. There is more than one way of doing things. Chances are you will discover a better option.
- Stay the course. You never know what is around the corner. Every day brings a new opportunity.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I want to inspire a movement to encourage happiness. Inner peace is so important. Happiness impacts so many things in our lives- our health, our choices, who we spend time with. Happiness is something everyone wants. Now more than ever, people need joy. I believe when you are happy you can do anything.
We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂
I value family time so I’ll never miss an opportunity to have a private lunch with my husband, son and daughter in law.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
You can follow me @choosehappy365 on Instagram
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!