As entrepreneurs we have grand ideas but it is not possible to scale up and still only be one person. Find some people who you trust, cut those who don’t have your back loose and then grow and let them grow with you.
Emmanuella Grace is a Voice and Performance expert, entrepreneur and mother. She has helped thousands of people worldwide to find their voice and flourish. She is the founder of Melbourne based Voice and Performance coaching studio, Find Your Voice. Qualifications include a Masters in Music Performance Teaching (Melbourne University), Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology (UNE), Honors Bachelor of Music (Kingston University, London), advanced training in Alexander Technique, Estill Voice Training Level I, II and Advanced Certificate as well as previously serving on the board of the Australian Society of Performing Arts Healthcare (ASPAH).
As a performer, Emmanuella performed both as a soloist and in choirs at venues including the Sydney Opera House, Hamer Hall and for ABC Radio in Australia and Royal Albert Hall, The Barbican and BBC Radio in the UK. As a composer her music has been featured in film and advertising, was short-listed for an award at the ÉCU European Independent Film Festival in Paris and was featured at the Theresianisten Ball in Vienna.
As a Voice and Performance expert and vocal coach, Emmanuella has been engaged worldwide by high profile individuals, educators, therapists, entrepreneurs and C-Suite leaders and their teams from a range of industries including financial institutions, government organizations, tech companies and the arts. Her clients have been featured in media and stages worldwide from TED Talks and WiBF (Women in Business and Finance) to the Vatican.
Where did the idea for Find Your Voice come from?
I was approached many years ago by a lady who had seen me perform and she wanted me to coach her. I told her I was not a singing teacher but it turned out she knew how to sing, she was an american idol finalist and very experienced singer. What she wanted someone who could fill in the gaps and teach her more about performance. I didn’t know it at the time but this was the start of me following a path that would be a passion and a calling.
I didn’t know about voice or performance coaches. At first I was coaching her about what I had learned intuitively from years of performance, then I pursued people I respected in various fields to mentor me and to study not only music but education and psychology. I started coaching more and more, my practice growing through word of mouth. Most importantly I was led by my clients. I always asked for feedback and ideas then would pursue the information that would help me help them better. The need for people to grow and be supported in their ownership and confidence in their voice and performance guided me to what became Find Your Voice.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My days have changed a lot in the last 5 months since our daughter was born.
Two things are pretty constant; I wont touch technology until I have meditated. This way, I never miss a day of practice. Mindfulness is fundamental to everything that I do. I usually end the day with a bath with my daughter, then my husband puts her to bed and I stay in the bath with a book and a glass of something lovely.
In between meditation and bath, my days vary a great deal depending on what we have on. I usually bulk my emails, so I check them once of twice a day. My team has a private number they can call me on if there is an emergency so I only take calls that are vital. Not being constantly interrupted by calls and emails enables me to focus on my priorities and do one thing at a time.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Doing them. I will think about something carefully, sleep on it. But when I decide to go for it, I set fear aside, go with my gut and give it all I’ve got.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Workplaces accommodating people with children. Not just women, but dads too. It is almost impossible to exist on a single income these days and yet we need to care for our little ones. I don’t want to be apart from my daughter for a minute so being the boss enables me to take her with me to work. That is a privilege and it is by design. I hope the trend to support parents through the transition into parenthood continues to gain momentum.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
As I mentioned, I think carefully then when I make a call, I am decisive. I was not always like that. I used to worry about being nice to people but sometimes the nicest thing you can do is make a call that no one else has the courage to make for the greater good.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Stop trying so hard to please everyone. The people who really matter will accept you for who you are, warts and all. And the people who don’t accept you aren’t good for your soul. Move on. Let go.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
That I am the more introverted one in our marriage. Relationships are fascinating. We often feel the right to comment on them, but the only people who really know what is going on are those in the relationship. For many years people thought I was the extrovert and my husband was introverted, it was actually the other way round, just neither of us felt free to really be ourselves but as we grew up together we started to realise that I liked quiet time and one on one time and he overcame his shyness, joined a band and started playing festivals and sport. After 17 years of getting to know ourselves and each other it turns out we are totally opposite to what our friends and family had us pegged as. Reading Susan Cain’s book Quiet started us on that journey and I recommend it to all my clients!
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Ask myself the following questions that I learned to use as a song writer. “Are you being honest?” and “whats your point?”. However many times you ask yourself those question you can go deeper and challenge yourself to be more honest and more concise.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Letting other people help me and letting people who were experts in what they do, do their job. You can’t do it all and you can’t grow on your own. As entrepreneurs we have grand ideas but it is not possible to scale up and still only be one person. Find some people who you trust, cut those who don’t have your back loose and then grow and let them grow with you.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Going down the rabbit hole. I can tend to obsess over things and sometimes that takes up mental space and energy that would be better placed elsewhere. It’s important to know when to let go. Meditation helps, and also having peers and mentors that I can bounce things off to get some perspective.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Beer for breast feeding and pregnant women. I love beer and the alcohol free ones in Australia are pants. We need someone to make really good beer for people who don’t want the alcohol but want the fresh fruity taste of a good beer!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
A clutch that is also a nappy bag! The Baby Clutch from local female Melbourne Designer, She Lion. It was just under $100 as I was able to pay the difference with my frequent flyer points. I am taking my daughter to Europe for a couple of weeks and always travel light. I want to walk around with her in baby carrier. I also don’t think that being a mummy means that you have to compromise on comfort, quality, convenience or style and this bag is beautiful and ticks all those boxes.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
The Mindbody booking system enables me to see what sessions are being taught at our studio, when people have attended, do pay roll for our team and bill people online or over the phone.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Anything by Daniel Golemen. My favourite is The New Leaders. It is a really important book for anyone that is stepping into leadership roles and managing teams. As is Legacy by James Kerr. Both books help you understand leaderships styles, how to motivate people and how to take responsibility for the influence that you have as a leader.
What is your favorite quote?
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
This quote defines a sense of responsibility that I carry with my every day and that leads the way I build my business. Ever when you have to make the hard calls, you can do it with respect and kindness. The work by Maya Angelou is so important to me that we gave our daughter the middle name, Maya.
- Strong leaders understand the responsibility that comes with their influence and inform themselves so they can lead well.
- It’s important to know when to let go and have peers and mentors to bounce things off to get some perspective. You can’t achieve anything as an entrepreneur alone.
- Ask your clients and team for feedback and ideas, this will lead you to information that will help you and your business grow. But remember ultimately the buck stops with you.
- Know your priorities and be mindful of them in every decision that you make.
- You can’t teach what you don’t know and you can’t give what you don’t have. It is each persons responsibility to care for themselves and inform themselves so they can in turn care for others and set and example.
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