Hire a life coach to support you in elevating the following five areas of your life: business and financial wellbeing, physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, relationships, and your spirituality. Most of us are good at maintaining maybe one or two areas of our lives, but not all five. I’ve personally had a coach since 2011, and the impact from this level of guidance and support is a major contributing factor to how I overcame the darkest moments in my life.
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Stephanie Korour.
Stephanie Korour is a speaker, writer, Peak Performance Expert, and the founder of You’re Beautiful the Label, a lifestyle company dedicated to empowering individuals with tools for success. She is also an elected Board Member of the Dalai Lama Center, serves as a Director of the Heart-Mind Wellbeing Foundation, and is an appointed member of the Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal of British Columbia. She received her Bachelor of Arts with a minor in French from the University of British Columbia and an LLB, with Honors, from the University of Buckinghamshire in England.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
I suppose you could say my life started not so differently from many others, growing up pursuing goals and living within the confines of others’ approval — whether the approval of my parents, friends, or colleagues. I often made choices and moved in directions seeking other people’s approval while burying the needs of my heart at the same time. Although there were a few times where I followed my heart and began to pursue such endeavors, I was unable to handle the guilt and pressure that came with disappointing my family and left many things behind that I truly loved.
After completing my undergraduate studies, and at the request of my parents, I chose to attend law school. And to be completely honest, I actually enjoyed my time there and sincerely appreciated the education I was receiving. I won mooting competitions and national negotiation competitions, and even managed to rank at the top of my class in legal studies. However, as is the case for many others, the education to “prepare” for a career is often very different from the career itself. In Plato’s words “Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many.”
As reality began to set in, it was clear that I was on a path that I had not truly set for myself. Working in a law firm was one of the most difficult times in my life.My energy levels were incredibly low as I felt tired all the time. I was unhappy and sick quite often as well. It was clear that I simply didn’t want to be there. This compounded into serious depression, forcing me to take medication just to compel myself to stay at work. (It’s interesting how no matter how hard we try to force our mind to commit to something that our heart isn’t on board with, the more our bodies try to stop us from getting out of alignment.) Additionally, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get myself to truly study for the bar exam. I sat there with my eyes glossing over the pages of my books for hours and hours but I just couldn’t get myself to read the words on the pages. “They say that You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. But you can put salt in his oats” Unfortunately there was no salt in my oats. This in turn resulted in me failing the bar exam three times. Needless to say, that was one of the most difficult times in my life as I had never failed at anything before.
However, failure is a funny thing. It is often a turning point in one’s growth, and this was much the same for me. Les Brown says “accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you to where you want to go, no one else.” It was then and there that I made the decision to leave law and regain control of my life. I immediately quit my job at the law firm, then took my law degree to be framed and gave it to my parents as a gift. And with that my life began to change. My depression went away, I started getting my energy back and I am thrilled to say I have not had a day of being sick since! I had to hit all time low in order to see clearly, to gain the power to connect with what my heart truly wanted. I could resonate with the words of Karen Blixen “here I am, where I ought to be!” Once I aligned with my desire to bring light to people’s lives and support peak performance, I knew I was on my way.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
This journey towards entrepreneurship and self mastery took a series of paths. As is often the case, the journey is not a simple line, but is instead a complex maze of twists and turns. This was not much different for me.
One of my early endeavors was to develop a sustainable and quality beverage product that was connected to philanthropy and local initiatives. Although exciting and interesting, the timing and circumstances weren’t quite right. So I moved on and continued to explore what my true calling would be. What I discovered is that when we’re aligned with the needs of our heart and the wisdom we gain from this connection, magical things begin to happen to us!
As I was gathering the strength to quit the law firm, I began to discover the need to start surrounding myself with people and thought leaders that supported my choice and strengthened my courage to take the leap. The easiest pathway was to begin studying their work. I went on a strict diet of only consuming (i.e., reading, watching and listening to) inspirational leaders around the world. In the morning I would listen to leaders like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steve Jobs, and Ed Mylett, and in the afternoon and evenings I would listen to inspirational stories of overcoming challenges from athletes like Mike Tyson.
And then the craziest thing began to happen. As I would listen to these amazing people with amazing stories, I would envision meeting them and listening to them in person. Then, as if by divine intervention, these individuals started appearing in my life. I would run into them at the strangest places. For instance, I was exercising one day at our health club and out of nowhere, Mike Tyson walks up to me and gives me a sincere compliment on my strength. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Another time I was again exercising, when out of the blue Arnold Schwarzenegger walks up to me, introduces himself and tells me a joke.
This even happened during the days of COVID. I was again exercising (likely a pattern of these moments) my mask fully on, my headphones in my ears, just singing to myself and loving life, when all the sudden I got a tap on my shoulder. I’m asked politely, “Excuse me, are you talking to me?” I turn around, and there is Ed Mylett! I couldn’t believe my eyes. This was a voice I had heard a hundred times with words that truly guided me through some tough times. (Funny enough, I actually wrote him a letter three years prior, thanking him for being such a light in my life when I needed it most.) Now here I was, in the most random place with the same person tapping me on my shoulder asking me a question! My response, “Naw man… I’m just singing to myself” and began to laugh. The point of all this was that I truly began to see how magical we can be when truly connected to our hearts.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
It’s okay to start something from scratch and have no idea what you’re doing. This is honestly how you start anything in life. Unfortunately, I had a hard time accepting this fact.
Although it takes years to learn and develop skills as an entrepreneur, I thought that by getting support from those whom I thought were savvy entrepreneurs I may be able to speed up my learning process. This is not to say that guidance and support from those who have achieved what you want to achieve is not essential to the process, I’m just highlighting the fact that “hacks” or “shortcuts” are often lined with trap doors. Nevertheless, this is what I thought was the best route to take, so I started reaching out to friends who I felt “had it together” as entrepreneurs and asked if I could pick their brains and even get mentored by them.
I reached out to one particular “friend,” let’s call him “James.” I desperately wanted his help. This was all so new and there was so much I didn’t know and honestly wanted to be educated on it all NOW. Seeing my vulnerability and desperation, James offered to build my website for 6,000 dollars. I told him that this was all the money I had to launch my company, and had someone else in mind to build the site at a lower cost. I simply wanted to be coached and learn from him. But James had what appeared to be a successful start-up and continued to pressure me to utilize his services.
He offered to coach me, help me run my business for about a year, and even set up my website for me. This seemed perfect since it was within my budget to launch the business and covered everything I was looking to achieve. What a bargain!
Needless to say, the joke was on me as James was a simple scam artist. He took most of my money, never put together a functioning site, and despite an NDA he passed all my information to a third party I had never heard of or met.
This was a critical lesson for me. Had I been more patient and taken my time, had I trusted the process and my instincts I would have determined his true capacity. In my rush to get the business up and running I made the critical mistake of leaping before looking. This kerfuffle set me back by about a year.
Let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
Health and wellness isn’t just a physical game, it is also a mental and spiritual game. Learning and focusing on getting our mind connected with our body will help us achieve greater results.
My work is dedicated to helping people redefine fulfillment and sincere happiness by focusing on their mind-body alignment and synergy in all areas of their lives. I’m passionate about empowering and energizing individuals towards peak performance and I sincerely believe that when your mind is operating at optimum capacity your body is as well. The truth is that to maintain a peak state, one must consume clean, non-GMO, organic and sugar-free products that are void of free radicals and ingredients that aren’t natural. And since those aren’t easy to find these days, it meant creating a product that embraces nature at its core.
My passion for this truth also led me to ensure my product is sustainable and environmentally conscious as well. I’m proud that for every bottle of Empowered Elixir™ sold, I will be planting a tree. I’m also trying my best to create products with a negative carbon footprint through a combination of green packaging and give-back programs.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
1) Start your day at 5am (go to bed earlier if you need to to make that happen) and use that time to focus on something that will help you grow and progress. Whether it’s hitting the gym, reading a book or meditating. With fewer distractions at that time, you can get so much accomplished. The sense of accomplishment it gives me is indescribable.
2) Although it seems simple, one must remember to breathe and focus on the exhale, as it’s the most important part. Additionally, there are unbelievable breath strategies you can learn which will revolutionize the way to feel.
I’m a huge believer in the Wim Hof breathing technique and immersive cold therapy. I had the privilege of attending a workshop with Wim in 2018 where he took us through intensive sessions of his technique, allowing me to break through some serious emotional and spiritual roadblocks, and I even learned to take the plunge into a full ice bath for about 3 minutes without significantly affecting my core body temperature. It was an amazing experience and his teachings have been a part of our life ever since!
3) Hire a life coach to support you in elevating the following five areas of your life: business and financial wellbeing, physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, relationships, and your spirituality. Most of us are good at maintaining maybe one or two areas of our lives, but not all five. I’ve personally had a coach since 2011, and the impact from this level of guidance and support is a major contributing factor to how I overcame the darkest moments in my life.
4) My fourth “lifestyle tweak” is also very simple, but often overlooked. You must exercise, or at the very least move your body, every single day. Physical motion is our primary energy source (well, beyond caffeine) and it drives all aspects of getting into a peak state to take on the day. It has been a core part of my lifestyle and I can truly say that no challenge seems as daunting after some moderate exercise.
5) Finally, I can not stress enough the power and importance of meditation. Quieting your mind and connecting to your self will allow you access to incredible wisdom in the silence. If you study remarkably successful people, from CEOs to movie stars to athletes, you will often find meditation as a core tenet in their lives.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I think something like that would come from a unified global community of meditation on love and unity. Millions of people meditating about connection, what it means to be connected not only to ourselves but to every living being on Earth… and perhaps beyond! I mean, just imagine every Wednesday everyone in the entire world sitting down in unison and meditating on love and connection — how cool would that be?!
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
1) Going through major transitions in life can alter one’s definition of self and this requires not just small adjustments in our way of living and thinking, but also a full-on psychological metamorphosis. It is normal to experience different phases of change and we should honor each stage. I’m particularly drawn to the way my mentor Martha Beck, who I’m currently being trained by, describes this. She uses the metaphor of a caterpillar’s metamorphosis into a butterfly. The phases go something like this:
Phase 1: Death and Rebirth. This is a phase I experienced when I quit my career in law. I thought that I could start taking massive action right away. But this is not an action-taking phase. As an A-type personality this was a hard pill to swallow. If you’re an A-type, you can probably relate as we’re all about taking action! However, I had lost my identity and I was feeling a rollercoaster of emotions. I wasn’t expecting to feel this way at all. After all this was a decision I was ready to make. If I had expected or known about this phase, I might have been a little easier on myself. I would have allowed myself to grieve the loss of my old identity and accept that I may not know what is going on emotionally. “This too shall pass.”(2 Corinthians 4: 17–18)
Phase 2: Dreaming/Imagining. Again, this is not a phase for massive action taking (externally). Rather, it is where we turn internally and begin to form our idea of what action looks like. This is a stage where we create our vision boards, set our goals, see what we want to bring with us, what we choose to leave behind as we create our new identity and life. As an A-type you may feel the pressure to start taking action, but we can’t rush this stage. We’ll have much more favorable results by allowing ourselves to dream and then aligning with what we truly want to create in our new chapter. If you’re at this stage, you need to let go of the need to control and surrender to the process. It will allow you to move into the next phase.
Phase 3: Re-forming. This is where we start taking action. Martha Beck says “as your dreams become schemes, you’ll be itching to make them come true.” This is what this phase is all about. As an A-type personality, I love this phase! This is where you stop dreaming about getting your book published and start reaching out to various publishers, or go beyond wanting to create a course to recording it and then marketing it. As a disclaimer, you must also expect rejections and failures before entering into this stage. It’s simply a part of the game of course-correction and trying again and again. Don’t let it dishearten you. Persistence will lead you to your potential. Michael Jordan said he ‘missed more than 9,000 shots in his career. He’s lost almost 300 games. Twenty-Six times he’s been trusted to take the winning shot and he’s missed. He has failed over and over again in his career,’ but he kept on at it and succeeded. Be open to starting over, trying different strategies and using the lessons you’ve learned to adjust your plan until it works. Keep your eyes on your goals, keep moving forward and enjoy the process. Have fun with it!
Phase 4: Full Flight. This is the payoff, the time when your new identity is fully formed and you’re able to fly. Like a butterfly! This is the stage so many of us — myself included — try to skip to. It’s the phase society likes to portray as the dulce vita. However, without experiencing and honoring each phase we can never fully get here. Feel gratitude at this phase and make tiny adjustments when needed. Know that change is inevitable and you may likely face another psychological metamorphosis which is perfectly okay.
2) When things seem tough or unnecessarily stressful, ask yourself how could this be more fun, and/or what is funny about the situation? Add fun where you can and enjoy the journey!
3) Our value and success in the marketplace is directly related to the service we render. We are compensated according to the number of people we serve, by the value of the service we give and by our irreplaceability.
4) Don’t be afraid of getting no’s. Rejection is an intimidating thing, but it’s part of the process. The more no’s we get, the more it increases the chances of getting a yes. Go enthusiastically after the no’s!
5) There’s no such thing as failure. There are only things that didn’t work out, and the lessons learned. Without failures we never learn what works or what doesn’t; they contribute to our growth and evolution.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Sustainability and mental health are topics that are near and dear to me. I understand how important it is to bring value to people’s lives through Empowered Elixir™ in an environmentally conscious manner and through personal development, I want to personally make an impact on the mental wellbeing of every person I come across..
Notwithstanding, at the same time, I want to ensure that I make products that are sustainable and environmentally conscious. I’m proud that for every bottle of Empowered Elixir™ sold, a tree will be planted. I’m also trying my best to create products with a negative carbon footprint through a combination of green packaging and give-back programs.
The resulting product should bring value to the mental wellbeing of every customer. Since I suffered from depression, mental health is a topic that is very close to my heart as well. My goal is to put products into the market that support mental health, while at the same time contributing to the personal development of every customer.
This is also a reason why I endeavored to become a certified coach. I want to ensure that I truly understand how to support clients, that are working with a therapist, and who may be suffering from mental health, and to make sure the products I create contribute to this level of mental support.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Please follow me on Instagram @StephKorour, and visit my site www.yourebeautiful.co!
Thank you for these fantastic insights!