“Follow your intuition and do what feels right to you.
Not what you think is right. What feels right.
If you turn to yourself, you’ll always find the right answer.”
- Alexa Carlin, author of the bestselling book Adaptable: How to Lead with Curiosity, Pivot with Purpose, and Thrive through Change
Today, Michelle Vandepas is joined by Alexa Carlin to talk about Alexa’s bestselling book that was just released in audiobook form, Adaptable. At 17, Alexa Carlin became CEO of her first company, designing jewelry that made a difference, one bracelet at a time. But at 21, she was induced into a medical coma and given a one-percent chance to live. In Adaptable, she shares the stories of her journey, offering powerful insights into hope, courage, and life’s challenges.
“Follow your intuition and do what feels right to you. Not what you think is right. What feels right. If you turn to yourself, you’ll always find the right answer.”
Life’s obstacles offer two distinct directions: They can push you backward or fuel you forward. The choice is up to you.
To find out more about Adaptable and Alexa Carlin, listen in and then get the book on Amazon in audiobook, eBook, and print form at https://amzn.to/3DrRyQK
In print form on the GracePoint Publishing bookstore at https://gracepointpublishing.com/bookstore/books-cards/adaptable/
Or in audiobook form on Audible at https://tinyurl.com/adaptableaudiobook
About Alexa Carlin:
Alexa Carlin is an in-demand public speaker, TV personality, and founder & CEO of Women Empower X (WEX), the premier community for women entrepreneurs. Alexa uses her infectious energy and courageous spirit to empower women to turn their obstacles into opportunities and pursue their dreams. Genuine by nature, caring at heart, and always inspirational, Alexa’s vulnerability allows her to authentically connect with diverse women around the world, helping them understand the true potential they hold. Her company, Women Empower X, helps women entrepreneurs grow their businesses and brands through WEX’s cutting edge courses, events, and publishing division, WEX Press. Alexa Carlin has worked with Fortune Global 500 brands to create captivating and relatable content and has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network, Cheddar TV, FOX, ABC, CBS, TEDx and in Entrepreneur, Glamour Magazine, and Forbes among others. From a one percent chance to live to now on a mission to make a difference in one person’s life a day, Alexa is creating ripple effects of change for women everywhere.
To connect with Alexa, please follow the following links:
TikTok, @alexarosecarlin (where you can see the video Michelle mentioned at the start of the interview!)
Keep writing. Keep creating. Your words matter.
Find out how to begin your own book publishing journey at gracepointpublishing.com
Produced by Number Three Productions, numberthreeproductions.com
Welcome to the grace point publishing podcast. Join us on a journey with our authors as they explain the meanings behind their message, discuss what inspires them to write and share the MIDI parts of their book publishing journey. And now, here’s your host, co founder and publisher of Gracepoint. Publishing, Michel Vandepas.
Hi, and welcome to Gracepoint Publishing. I am Michelle Vandepas, your hosts where we talk about new books, authors and everything related to getting your book published. today. My guest is Alexa Carlin, who published adaptable through Wex press and we’re gonna talk about what’s press in a minute. She’s the founder of Women Empower X, the founder of y Express, just had a tic tock video go viral was 7 million views. I can’t wait to hear more. I love Alexa, because she is a true comeback story. She was, I don’t want to say left for dead in her hospital bed. But that’s kind of how it feels. To me. It’s a gut wrenching story. Welcome to the show. Alexa, thanks so much for having me so much to talk about start with the course. You know, I love this book. And the book is adaptable, and is full of stories about how you have had to be adaptable through your life and also how to help others pivot and change. And of course, we’re in the middle of not just COVID. But that has forced so many changes. People are working from home, you really hit the big time doing live events, which are not so big time anymore. So I want to talk about all of those things. But the first thing is I chose the quote from your book, follow your intuition and do what feels right to you, not what you think is right, what feels right. How do you know the difference between what you think is right, and what feels right.
That’s a good starting question. So there’s been so many times along my journey where I’ve listened to what I think I should do, or what other people are saying you should do. Right? I have a chapter called the shoulds of life. And I think it’s really important to learn throughout your journey to tap into your intuition. And the difference really is what are you following? Are you following a feeling that brings about excitement, or pulls on your heartstrings? Or are you following a logical response? Sometimes it’s the same thing, which is great, but sometimes, and many times, they’re different. It’s so easy to follow what other people are saying to follow what society is telling you to do, or to follow a logical example of what you should do. And anytime I’ve followed what I think I should do that wasn’t aligned with my true feelings of what I know is right for me and aligned with my purpose, I always end up pivoting down the road. And that’s what I’ve learned through a lot of experience. But I always go back to this feeling of when you think about it, does it bring about a level of excitement? Do you feel an emotional response. And a lot of times, if that emotional response is positive, you should follow it. If it’s negative, then you know that you need to pivot in some way. I love that because what I heard you say, and tell me if I understood this correctly, when it’s correct, your mind and your heart align.
I do find that true. And sometimes it takes a little bit of trust and surrendering to the flow, I say surrendered to the universe to be able to discover the alignment between your mind and heart and mind and feeling because it’s very easy to get whether it’s your spouse, or your mom or your dad or a friend saying like, this is too hard or you shouldn’t do that. Or you have a 1% chance of turning this dream into reality. But if you know deep down, this is right for you. You’ll end up finding the logic there. But it may be a little bit hidden. At the end of the day. Anytime I’ve chosen my intuition trusting the journey trusting myself. It’s always worked out in the long run. But for sure it’s hard. It is hard.
One of the other things I remember about your book is sometimes you have to take a step backward to go forward and this seems like the perfect example.
Many times I hear people feel like they’re moving backwards and they feel so distant encouraged. But along this journey, anytime I felt like I was moving backwards, it really was a launching point forward. The time when I gave up my blog that I thought was my full time career to pivot towards my current venture woman in power x, or when I had to move back home from New York City and moved back in my parents in my 20s. But really, that was a launching point for it for my health journey. Anytime I’ve had to take a step backwards. It was to learn something or discover a new path that led me to taking the next right step forward.
It’s not always easy. I mean, you were in a hospital bed, you are fantastic comeback story in many ways, right? Not just that, that doesn’t define who you are. It’s just one piece of your experience. And people can read the book. To find out more, it feels like we’ve all had to come back over and over and over. And over again, the last couple of years, it feels like everyone I talked to is like, Oh, that was a hard year. And then the next year, oh, that was an even harder year, women in power x. And that’s where we first met was this incredible live event structure that you had put together? And I’m presuming you had to really pivot from that in the last couple of years live events?
Oh, definitely. I mean, when the pandemic hit, we basically lost our entire business outside of brand equity in my own reputation. Everything was start from scratch I was doing in person conferences, two to 3000 women per event around the country. And I’m a public speaker. So I was speaking at universities, corporations around the country. And all of that was gone in a split second. So it was like, how am I going to make money? How am I going to be able to support my team support my life? Like all of these questions, it was for sure challenging, and there was times where I felt like I worked so hard to get to this point, we’re finally getting big sponsors. And then another big obstacle comes my way. And I sat in that for a while. Why did this happen to me, until I remembered life’s journey, that everything I truly believe everything happens for you for a reason. But it is your job to discover what that reason may be, for some time, I was listening to everyone else and trying to put a bandaid on the pandemic, basically on my business, to say, oh, you know, this is only gonna last a few months, oh, let’s do this, you know, this can help us make money in the interim. And then all of a sudden, months, a year, long time passes, and that band aid slowly peels off. And we saw that with a lot of companies, we saw that with a lot of careers. We saw that with even working moms from home, I’ve realized I had to learn how to truly adapt to the things that I could not control, just like I did with my autoimmune disease that’s chronic debilitating, I had to learn how to adapt, just like I’ve had to learn how to adapt with so many different things like all of us along this journey. What do you do? How do you keep going, and instead of seeing this obstacle as something that you have to wait until you overcome, wait until this pandemic is over, wait until things go back to quote unquote, normal? This is your life happening right now, right here. And I never think that you should just wait to overcome these obstacles turn these obstacles into opportunities. And so that’s what I did. I started virtually speaking, we did a virtual conference. But then we completely pivoted our business model, where our mission is the same elevate diverse voices in business really help women grow their business and brand by using their authentic voice. But now we’re focused on really educating women through public speaking courses, as well as helping women get published through Xpress, what helped me get to this point, which I described in one of the chapters of the book is creating that non negotiable list of what’s really important and non negotiable to me, as an entrepreneur, as a founder, as a leader as a woman that I want in my career. And when I wrote out this list, I realized live in person events or in person speaking was never on the list. What was on the list was being able to use my voice to share my story, my message and my advice. What was on that list was to create a community of diverse women to elevate diverse voices, like all of these things, and I’m like, well, events, they were the pathway there, but that was not our mission or our purpose. There’s a lot of different ways to get to where you want to be. And I always say don’t give up on that first try.
The pandemic was another opportunity for you to really focusing on those non negotiables. And I love that you say you had to adapt, because adaptable is the name of your book, how to lead with curiosity, pivot with purpose and thrive through change. Do you think live events are going to come back for you are a viewer 100% pivoted to women in power x being mostly online.
So our business model for sure has changed. And it will remain an online platform. But I love events I love in person connection all about community, we plan to bring back an annual event. So instead of all around the country, one big event where people come connect, same mission, same energy, same inclusivity, and all of that we are planning to hopefully have that in 2023. But it will be more of a marketing line item, then our revenue generating activity,
I can’t wait is part of publishing your book, what was the most surprising thing to you now, as a published author, there was a lot of different things that were very surprising one was, this was surprising in a really good way that once I worked with a book coach through the grace point team, and got all my ideas out of my head onto paper, and organize them. I have so many stories, Karen was like this is three bucks, Alexa. But once I did that, and figured out the theme of adaptable as this book, and wrote out all the stories I wanted to include, I wrote this in less than six months, and it flowed so easily I would wake up in the morning, pick whatever I felt that I could really get them motions across. And it just flowed. That was very surprising in such a good way. And I think that was the biggest holdup and why it’s so amazing working with a publisher working with a team that understands the writing process, because once I got out of my head, I was able to write freely. Another thing that was super surprising was because I wrote the chapters out of order, because it’s not a chronological book. And I really wanted to write based on how I was feeling a lot of the stories I pulled from past journals to not write based on a memory but right based like I was back in that moment. So if I was feeling super energetic and happy one morning, I wouldn’t write about my near death experience or an auto immune struggle, I would write the chapter on like the flag football, you know, embarrassing story or something that was a little bit different. And in the days that I felt really Intuit my feelings and emotions, I would write those harder chapters on resentment or illness or whatever those chapters were to get that strong emotion across. So then, trying to put this in order in a way that wasn’t chronological, but made sense to a full front of backstory was very hard to that was definitely surprising. There’s so many different things. But for sure, if I didn’t have that support, my stories would still be on a Google document.
And that’s part of the support, you’re offering other people through WebEx press two, if there are women who are interested in publishing a book, we’ve partnered together for you to offer support. So talk to me about what your goals and dreams are through Express.
So I’ve heard so many amazing, incredible inspiring stories from women of all different walks of life, all different industries, all different ages. And their story needs to be told their story needs to be heard. So many times it’s the roadblock of not knowing what to do what that next step is. And we understand the self publishing journey is very hard. You need to understand business, you need to understand the publishing industry, you need to be able to find all these different freelancers to get your book out there. And it stops a lot of people from really getting their story told, as well as getting it in the hands of more people. I want to really help women that have the story that want to impact people with their words, with their advice, with their knowledge, get published in the traditional route, because I know the power behind that, as well as the confidence it brings you as well as the ability it positions you as a thought leader in your industry. And the other thing with it is that I’ve just seen a lot of the publishing industry is still very male driven. It’s just hard to get your foot in the door unless you have millions of followers. And I’ve never found that to be the case with helping women grow because then all lead people have followers grow. And I did the same thing with our events when I started, we never looked at follower count to pick people for our stages. We looked at value, we looked at what are you going to offer our audience and that’s the same thing we do for L’Express authors. When you submit your story and your idea for your book, we’re looking at will people find value in this? Is it a win for the author a win for the audience a win for our team, and that creates a really successful partnership. So I’d love to see wax press in the next year. So publish 1000 diverse voices of female business owners to really grow their story and get out there.
Yeah, I love that. Thank you. Thank you, Alexa. So what is one of your personal goals? If goal setting is still something we do in this time of change and pivoting? Right, but where do you see yourself in two or three years from now?
That’s good question. I still set goals. Big journal buff, big President writes down her goals. But I would say two to three years definitely working on my second book. Another big goal is to really focus more on video, whether it’s a talk show that I host on my own channels, or platform or partner with some type of network, very much focused on getting more in the entertainment industry, to help more authentic voices be heard. And I love that I love telling people’s stories. I love interviewing, I love finding the fun in some hardship. So that’s two to three year goal. Definitely still writing and more in that industry.
So you just got back from Vegas where you have to surprising video go viral 7 million views and counting and going Yes, with some technology that I’m not even understanding yet. So give me the rundown. What was this?
So I was at CES and at CES there was this humanoid which it’s a robot basically. But it’s built through AI technology. And it’s the world’s most advanced human like robot. And it’s crazy. If you’ve ever seen the movie I Robot, it’s very similar. So a lot of people are scared of it, which every right it’s it’s definitely the future that we’re looking at. So anyway, I saw this the first day I was at this conference, and I went up and I asked if I could take a selfie with this robot and the name is Amica. It’s genderless. So they said yeah, of course you can take a selfie and I asked to smile and they smiled and I posted this 22nd video on my Tik Tok at midnight, and I woke up the next day and I had close to a million views. And five days later now 7 million views and has been reposted across multiple accounts on Instagram and Tiktok reaching I think it was like over 50 million follower count now with all the different reposts. And that was literally just unplanned. And I just went for it. I actually have a full interview with this robot that I posted on my YouTube channel. So if anyone wants to see this, I’m Alexa rose Carlin across Tiktok, Instagram, YouTube. And it is crazy. I asked Amaka a few questions like how she will change the world for the better. But the question of what’s her advice for us humans. And her advice was to remain curious, because that’s what sets you apart from the robots. And that’s very interesting, because my book, The subtitle has the word curiosity in it. And I think being curious is so important. And not enough people talk about it. But being able to be curious of what may happen if you do try to chase after your dreams what may happen. If you do go and ask that person out what may happen. If you do try to invest in yourself, get your story published, get yourself out there, whatever it may be, and like that curiosity really can lead you to the greatest adventure of your life. And for this robot to say that it was a very interesting response.
Yeah, I think that is one of the things that helps us be flexible in this incredible time of change. Right? And because we have to have a very flexible mindset. If you’re very fixed or have a fixed mindset right now, it’s not going to serve any of us. Well.
Yeah, I have a chapter called The flexible plan. I think your plans always have to be flexible. They always have to be fluid so you can adapt to when things change that are out of your control. You don’t just give up you have to fit You’re out a new way to make it happen.
Yeah. And so curiosity is a way in, it’s a way in to, rather than being a victim to, I mean, even flights are getting cancelled, left, right and center and places are closing down and reopening and all kinds of things. So instead of being a victim to be curious, I think that’s great advice. What’s the one thing that you would like to leave our listeners with?
A good question? I would say, the one thing I would want to leave, anyone that’s listening, moving into 2022 is to understand that you are not a victim to circumstance. There are so many circumstances that are not your fault, out of your control, but it is your choice. To not be a victim. It’s very easy to be victimized by circumstance. I mean, I was victimized by my autoimmune disease by my near death experience by feeling like all my dreams were taken away from me at such a young age because of my health. It was definitely a mindset that led me to so much darkness. But I realized that yes, I don’t have a choice over this illness over this chronic thing. That’s forever part of me. But I do have a choice of how I choose to react to it, of how I choose to accept it and really become a thriver versus a survivor. So moving into 2020, to know that you do have a choice over that, and this is still your life. So even if things aren’t working out as you planned, there’s still so much magic to be found. And it’s your job to find it or create it yourself.
Beautiful, be curious find and create the magic. Thank you. My guest today is Alexa Carlin. You can find her everywhere online under Alexa rose Karlin. She is the founder of women in power x her book is adaptable, how to lead with curiosity, pivot with purpose and thrive through change. available everywhere books are sold. Thank you, Alexa, thank you so much.
Thank you for joining us on this episode of The Gracepoint publishing authors podcast. We can’t wait to talk more next time as we introduce you to another one of our amazing authors. Make sure you hit subscribe on your favorite podcasting platform, so you never miss a single episode of The Gracepoint publishing authors podcast. To find out more about our authors and to see how we can help you publish your book. Head to Gracepoint publishing.com. Keep writing. Keep creating your word matter.