“I think if you really decide that you want to do something, you can’t let the people around you stop you. I think they try to protect you by telling you that you shouldn’t or that you can’t, but you have to just thank them for that and then go ahead and do it.”
Toni Reece: Thank you so much, Connie, for agreeing to be part of the Project, and before we begin, can you please introduce yourself?
Connie Ragen Green: Yes. My name is Connie Ragen Green, and I’m a former classroom teacher, and I worked in real estate during the same time. And I decided in 2005 I was going to come online and start a business. So now I teach people from around the world how to start a business and how to do all of the things that I’m doing to have that income from home. So it’s enjoyable for me.
Toni: Fantastic. Connie, when you think of inspiration, who do you think you inspire, and how does that happen?
Connie: I believe that I inspire people that worked at jobs that they just didn’t love. Maybe they loved them in the beginning, but at some point it was a job they didn’t want to be in, and they weren’t sure what they were going to do next. I inspire them by showing them that they can have a business that will be more fun, more exciting, and more money than anything they’ve ever done in their life before.
Toni: So it’s really the teachings that you put people through — your clients, those students of yours. Those are the people that you inspire.
Connie: It really is, because even though I’m no longer in the classroom, I’m still a teacher; I just do it in a different way. And that way I’m able to reach people and just show them what they can do to really be empowered to live the life that they want to lead.
Toni: Connie, does that inspiration, or the inspirational approach also spill over into your personal relationships?
Connie: It really does. Since I’ve left the workforce and now work from home on my computer, I’m able to do things in my community that I never even realized were possibilities before. I’m very active with my Rotary Club, which is an international service organization, and with other organizations here where I live. I live north of Los Angeles in a city called Santa Clarita.
The people around me have just been amazed, because they’ve seen me grow. I’ve lived in this community for four years now, and that’s the period of time I’ve been online. They weren’t sure what I did at first; now they see what I do a little bit more each day, and the fact that I’m able to do this from home and have time to volunteer and do so many things here in the city. It’s been so much fun, and now all of them want to know more about what I do to see how they can change what they’re doing in their life to do something similar.
Toni: Fantastic! It’s the … work online tends to have this mystique about it, doesn’t it, of being this wizard behind the screen?
Connie: Yes, it really does. In the beginning, you try to explain it to people, and they just kind of nod their head, that you can tell that they don’t really understand what you’re doing at home. When I was saying I was writing articles, they didn’t really understand what that meant. And when I said I would teach people around the world on a webinar or a teleseminar, finally they were trying to get a picture of what that was like.
Toni: How do you think you help others to explore their own potential?
Connie: I like to spend time talking to people, so when I teach a course, I get on the phone with my students, preferably before the course begins, and I have them just talk to me and tell me about their life. Usually within the first five minutes they will talk about something, and I’ll say “Well, what about that? Is that an area that you would like to explore more on the internet?” They’ll say “Yes, I didn’t even think of that as something that I could love once again and make money from.” So that’s a great way to connect with them.
Toni: So it’s really idea generation that’s going on.
Connie: It really is, because most of the time, all of us, including myself, we’re too close to what we do. When I wanted to do something on the internet, I had to turn to the people who knew and loved me, and I said “What is it I’m good at?” and they laughed. I thought “Oh no! I’m not good at anything!” I said “No, no explain … what do you mean?” They said “Well, you’re the person that we talk to about technology. If we need to know something about the computer, you help us. If we need help with our writing, we bring it to you, and you help us edit it.” And so that’s why I decided to work in technology and online writing, because the people around me told me that that’s what I was good at.
Toni: Okay, okay. So really it’s setting that example and mentoring that you believe helps other people explore their own potential, by working with you.
Connie: Yes, yes. That mentoring process is very, very powerful. It’s different than teaching. A mentor is someone who really digs deep inside of you to bring to your attention something that you might not even realize is something that’s a part of who you are.
Toni: Connie, what do you need to be inspired?
Connie: I need to be inspired people around me that really want to do for other people, and that’s why I’ve been a part of these various organizations here in my city and around the world. When I see people reaching out to help others, that’s very, very inspirational to me, because many times – and I know I was caught up with this for many years – I was just leading my life day by day, going to work, paying the bills, doing some things that were fun in my life, going to the movies or something. And you tend to forget or you feel like you don’t have time to help other people that are in need. And there’s so many people just five minutes away from where we live that are really in need in one way or another. So when I see people reaching out to others, I’m inspired.
Toni: So it’s the random acts of kindness.
Connie: Yes, yes.
Toni: I like to … there’s a phrase that I’ve just enjoyed using more and more lately, which is the “spontaneous acts of humanity” – just bring-you-to-your-knees kind of stuff.
Toni: Fantastic. What else inspires you? When you have a day that you may wake up and say you know, “I could use a little inspiration here,” what do you tend to reach for on a consistent basis?
Connie: I like to drive to the ocean. Luckily, I’m only 45 minutes away, and about once a week I drive out to the ocean and I just breathe in that salt air, because supposedly there’s a few percentage points more oxygen in that air than if you’re not near the ocean. So I think of it that way, and just seeing that vast body of water and how large our world is, but yet how small it can be? I find that very, very inspirational, and it just makes me feel wonderful for the next week.
Toni: Are there tools or methods that you tend to reach for on a consistent basis to inspire you?
Connie: Yes. Every day I have several periods of what I call “quiet time,” and it’s like a meditation where I’m just thinking about what it is that I want in my life, how I can achieve that. I am thankful for all of the people that are in my life right now, and I also think of the people that I haven’t yet met that I want to reach in the future. And during that quiet time, I get ideas that turn into products or turn into courses, and always turns into writing. I just really, really treasure that time. I do it two or three times a day.
Toni: How did you find the courage – where did you find the courage – to make such a switch in your life from teaching and selling real estate to going online, to stepping into that mystical world, you know, of online work? Where did the courage come from?
Connie: Well, I don’t know where the courage came from, but I knew that I had to make a change in my life. Working six or seven days a week all those years, I knew that that was not working for me, and I wanted to make a big change, and I didn’t honestly know how. I knew I had enough savings to last about a year, and I thought that was going to be long enough. It turned out I really needed more time than that, but I was willing to just jump in and say “Okay, what I’m doing isn’t working, I want to do something else that I love doing every day and make that work for me.”
Toni: And so really, it was just making that decision.
Connie: Making that decision to just be open to what will come, and to believe that it would all work out well.
Toni: Have you always been that way? Have you always had that sense of belief that things will work out?
Connie: I believe that I have. When I look back over the years of teaching, and I switched to a different school not knowing what to expect, but I knew that I wanted to do something a little different at that time, and that worked out.
With real estate, I was just someone that sold real estate, and I wanted to do appraisal where I would go and measure the people’s houses. And everyone around me said “No, no you can’t do that. They already have the people that are doing that, they don’t let anybody new come in.” I just didn’t believe that, and within a year, I was doing that, and I loved that for many years.
So I think if you really decide that you want to do something, you can’t let the people around you stop you. I think they try to protect you by telling you that you shouldn’t or that you can’t, but you have to just thank them for that and then go ahead and do it.
Toni: That’s a great piece of advice. Now, when you think of your own potential, Connie, what do you do to explore that potential to keep doing the things you’re doing?
Connie: I’m willing to do things that are very, very uncomfortable for me, so speaking in front of groups was something that just a few years ago I was frightened to death. I thought “No, no, no one will ever want me to stand in front of the room and tell them about anything.” And so I practice, especially with my Rotary Club. They always would give me the microphone and let me talk about a project we were doing or something, and I would be shaking.
Later on I said, you know “Do you remember when I used to be so nervous?” They laughed and said no, they didn’t remember. So I think that was probably more of my feeling than what was projected to anyone else, but I made myself get up in front of groups and take the microphone anytime I had an opportunity, knowing it was going to be painful. It was going to be uncomfortable, but within a few months, I looked forward to it. I wanted to do it.
And also the writing – I wanted to do the writing, and now I’ve just finished my first book.
Connie: Thank you. That’s something that I had always wanted to do, and I believe many people want to do that, but most people don’t do it for whatever reason. They may start, but they don’t finish, and I made that commitment to work on it every day until I could get it finished. So I think jumping in and being committed to what you really want to do, it works.
Toni: I hear that might be the way that you correlate how you explore your own potential to what you do for others in the way that you help them explore their own potential as far as an online business, because stepping out of your comfort zone is what you’ve stated. And having that commitment and conviction to know that this is what you want to do, stay with it, and it will happen – plus you’re a great teacher for them, so I see a great parallel between what you do for others, but also what you do for yourself.
Connie: Well thank you. Thank you. My goal is really to help people explore the possibilities, because I believe we can do great things in our lives if we’re willing to give it a try and to think about what’s possible, instead of just looking around and saying “Well, this is the way that it is.”
Toni: Well Connie, we can’t thank you enough for showing up today on the Get Inspired! Project, and we will post your links as far as how to get a hold of you, possibly your new book if you’re ready for that, and people will be able to see how to maybe participate in one of your classes or learn more about you at the bottom of your transcribed interview. So for the time you’ve given today, the information that you’ve given away today, we can’t thank you enough.
Connie: Well thank you so much for having me. This means a lot to be included in this great Project.
Toni: Thank you, Connie. Take care of yourself, and hopefully we’ll meet again.
Connie: Thank you.
For more information about Connie Ragen Green: BigMoneyTinyList.com