We had the good fortune of connecting with Elizabeth Suárez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elizabeth, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
We all hear about work life balance. But in reality how many professionals truly engage in this practice? Throughout my career, I struggled with reaching this balance. First it was corporate America, where I was well compensated but I felt as I sold my soul; due to all the long hours and unrealistic goals I was expected to reach. That was followed by becoming my own boss and realizing that if I wasn’t working or engaging in business development efforts, I wouldn’t be bringing money home. Therefore, like every other professional, I got caught in the hamster wheel phenomenon where I worked extremely hard and felt exhausted. Five years ago, I made a conscious decision to deliberately jump off the hamster wheel. How did I do that? For the first time I looked at my professional journey in a three piece approach; career, family and interest. I realized the importance of reaching balance across all three. This meant that any career decision or effort, was made based on my family demands as well as my interests, which classify as an activity that helps re-charge my batteries. At first it was very difficult to reach any balance across all 3 pieces, since we are all wired to first take care of our careers and expect for the rest of our lives to fall into place. Unfortunately, such assumption is not realistic. Proud to say that I do practice work life balance by equally placing my three pieces as my most important professional goals. I do this via the effective use of calendar management, hiring a VA, collaborating, and asking for help. Proud to say I have been able to perfect my approach. I even wrote a best seller on my approach. It’s titled The Art of Getting Everything. (I know, a shameless plug)
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I spent my entire youth getting educated and attending Ivy League schools on scholarship so I could climb the management ranks of Corporate America. I started my career back in the late 80s and became disillusioned by the end of the 90s. I realized I was living the Me, Myself and I syndrome….where I was the only woman, mujer, person with an accent in every meeting, trip, engagement. Making me feel very lonely as well as a token. In 2004 decided to stop the madness I was experiencing by exiting Corporate America with an incredible severance package. The day of my departure (I was at the VP level of large telecomm conglomerate) I had no plan or strategy for my future. All I remember is sharing with my husband that I’ll figure it out. For the next 2 years, I spent time reconnecting with different networks while expanding my knowledge on the topics of leadership, negotiation and conflict resolution. I even became a certified mediator. This new knowledge complemented with my education and corporate experience, positioning me as a strategist focused on making a difference across the business world. Due to this, I launched my Negotiation Unleashed platform to help professionals and executives become effective leaders, who are able to make significant change in their organization. For instance, my clients become better decision makers, negotiators and outstanding influencers who are empowered. I have focused a large portion of my work in ensuring POC and WOC are in positions of power. My corporate and entrepreneur experiences have taught me that we can’t make change alone. We need others as advocates and allies. It also taught me that seeing the people in power (mainly white men) as the enemy is the biggest mistake. Instead, we need to embrace them as our allies so we can become part of their outer network and eventually become part of their inner circle. My main goal is for the world to see me as an effective, no nonsense, straight to the point strategist, who is a humanitarian. When my paid and pro-bono clients succeed, I succeed with them! I’m most proud of the fact that for the past decade, on an annual basis I have mentored two professional Latinas as well as take into my client portfolio a non-profit organization that I assist with their strategy and communication approach.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m assuming my friend is visiting once we are all vaccinated and it is safe to go places. Since I live in the beautiful mile high city, my itinerary would include outdoors, arts, entertainment and networking. Day 1: Acclimate my friend to Denver; after all, there is less oxygen here.😁Go for a stroll in Central Park, stop for some coffee at a locally owned shop (due to Covid some of my favorite shops have closed). Dinner at home to relax and get ready for the next day. Day 2: Wake up early and head over to Rocky Mountain Park for a nice hike (6+ miles of amazing views and fresh air); followed by a stroll in Estes Park for some retail shopping and dining out. Day 3: Restore your body with some great yoga at CorePower followed by lunch in the RiNo District. Spend the afternoon checking out the street art throughout the area. During the evening attend a baseball game until the stars followed by bar hopping in LODO. Day 4: Time for some inspiration by hiking the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. Culminate the day going to Manitou Springs for a late lunch and amazing artisan and jewelry shopping across main street. Head back to Denver to get ready to attend a local theatre show at DCPA (Denver Center of the Performing Arts). Day 5: Spa Day in Cherry Creek area, followed by lunch in Cherry Creek North and some shopping at Cherry Creek Mall. Concluding the day with a stroll down Santa Fe Drive for 1st Friday of the month gallery visits. Day 6: Nice drive to Vail for a late morning hike; followed by an afternoon lunch and a spa date at Vail Cascade. Come back to Denver to attend a concert at the Pepsi Center. Day 7: Brunch at Central Market, stroll down the Platte River; head to the airport.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
But of course! We can’t do it alone. For the past 5 years I had focused on getting known internationally. When 2020 began, I was booked with engagements across the country and Latin America. I was riding high….then COVID hit and all of my engagements were cancelled in less than 48 hours. I felt as such a failure. I thought it was the end of my career as an International Keynote Speaker, Coach and Trainer. Except for my dear friend and colleague, Benny Samuels, a Philanthropist Executive plus the founder of projectstyle. She checked in on me, encouraged me and even brainstormed with me ways on how I could pivot and reinvent myself. Thanks to her, I have become an international speaker, facilitator and strategist on the topics of leadership, negotiation and conflict resolution. She is the founder of https://www.projectstyledenver.com/. An impressive organization.
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSbzijdZwnOZfqA9mKfstvw (Speaker Elizabeth Suarez)
Denver Promo Studios: https://www.linkedin.com/company/denver-promo-studios/