Journey of a Lost Girl: A Path to Resilience and Success with Rebecca Contreras

Please enjoy this transcript of the Crown Yourself Podcast, with President & CEO of AvantGarde LLC, Rebecca Contreras [@rebeccaanncontreras], and your host, transformational story coach, Kimberly Spencer (@Kimberly.Spencer)

Rebecca Contreras is currently the President & CEO of AvantGarde LLC (AG), a consulting firm she cofounded in 2011 as the majority owner.  AvantGarde has grown to over 120 employees across nine states including a team in the great State of Texas where Rebecca resides. AG's Offices are in the Austin and Washington DC area with clients in 26 different government agencies.  AG offers a one-stop-shop approach to addressing complex organizational issues, AGs capabilities center around four key areas:  Human Capital (HR), Organizational Development, Business Operations and Technology. Rebecca commutes back and forth between her TX and DC offices.

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In this episode of the Crown Yourself podcast, host Kimberly Spencer interviews Rebecca Contreras, who shares her inspiring journey from a challenging upbringing to becoming a successful entrepreneur and leader. Rebecca discusses the importance of forgiveness, faith, and mentorship in overcoming adversity, including abuse and addiction. She emphasizes the value of seeking psychiatric care and building a supportive community. The conversation also covers Rebecca's transition from working in the White House to founding her own multi-million dollar company, her nonprofit initiative, and her approach to creating a healthy home life. Rebecca's resilience and commitment to personal growth and positive influence shine throughout the episode.


What you will learn from this episode…

  • Rebecca's journey from a challenging upbringing to becoming a successful entrepreneur and leader
  • Importance of forgiveness, faith, and mentorship
  • Creating a healthy home life while balancing a successful career
  • Overcoming challenges such as addiction, toxic relationships, and self-blame
  • Transition from working in government to building a multi-million dollar company
  • Entrepreneurial skills and insights into negotiation and influence
  • Using influence for the greater good and serving humankind
  • Initiatives to empower and enable inner-city girls for development and scholarship
  • Bridging divides and having constructive conversations with differing opinions
  • Insights into self-care and personal growth

*Transcripts may contain typos. We do our best to catch any human or robot errors prior to release. And we thank you in advance for your understanding. Enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, or your favorite podcast platform. And, you can always watch the episode on YouTube here.





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Crown Yourself LLC and Kimberly Spencer own the copyright in and to all content in and transcripts of the Crown Yourself podcast, with all rights reserved, as well as outright publicity.

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We good? Great. Let's get to the goods.



Rebecca Contreras (00:00:00) - Like when you know that you have an issue with forgiveness and you have an act with somebody, it's important to take action in that way. Human nature likes to hold on to grudges and hold onto well until you acknowledge that you hurt me and you know some of that, you will never get to the bottom of it. Sometimes you just have to let go and forgive and love unconditionally. And after all, that's how God loves us, doesn't he?

Kimberly Spencer (00:00:27) - Welcome to the Crown Yourself podcast, where together we build your empire and transform your subconscious stories about what's possible for your business, body, and life. I'm your host, Kimberly Spencer, founder of Crown Yourself. Com and I'm a master mindset coach, bestselling author, and TEDx speaker, known to my clients as a game changer. Each week you get the conscious leadership strategies you need to help you reign with courage, clarity, and confidence so that you too, can make the income and impact you deserve. Imagine this podcast as your royal invitation to step into your full potential and reign in your divine purpose.

Kimberly Spencer (00:01:04) - Your sovereignty starts here and your reign is now.

Kimberly Spencer (00:01:09) - Rebecca.

Kimberly Spencer (00:01:10) - I don't know how many lifetimes you've lived in one life.

Rebecca Contreras (00:01:15) - So I feel like it's been at least 6 or 7.

Kimberly Spencer (00:01:20) - I mean, just.

Kimberly Spencer (00:01:21) - Reading your book, Lost Girl, it's amazing how far you've been able to come. Like, you literally went from the hood to the white House. You went from cockroaches crawling on you. To now running a multi-million dollar company, multiple companies. I think the place that I want to start, because there's so many places is really in in fate. And throughout the book, you have a through line of faith and an understanding and a relationship with God. Sometimes, not always like the best one, but I think that it happens with anybody who's gone through any form of abuse. Seeing people who did things like, Grandpa Willie who did things. I mean, he raped your grandmother. She had a child. And who was your mom? And then he. He changed or he went often and was involved with the Pentecostal church.

Kimberly Spencer (00:02:21) - And so how do you or how how did you come through to a relationship with God that I know you're very faith based now. And what was that journey like, seeing people who were speaking one thing, but who had done such horrible things in their past?

Rebecca Contreras (00:02:37) - Yeah. You know, first of all, Kimberly, thank you for having me. I just love your heart. I love your passion for transformation and especially for, propelling people, encouraging people to live their best life in terms of their embracing their own change and their own destiny. And it's really my jam. So I appreciate you having me on your podcast. Listen, there is all sorts of abuse that has gone on in the world and here in America. there's a lot of a need, a lot of lack, a lot of want. I had a significant amount of what I could refer to as spiritual abuse. certainly the physical abuse was there, the emotional abuse was there. the mental abuse was there. Mind, mind abuse. But, you know, the spiritual abuse is one that goes really deep.

Rebecca Contreras (00:03:23) - Because when you grow up with such dysfunctional religious people, you know, I always tell people there's religion and then there's relationship. So I grew up in religion to God, and it was a very dogmatic religion, that was stifling, that was detrimental. I spent probably two chapters in the first chapters of my book talking about growing up in that intense abuse. my grandfather, bless his heart, he was bigger than life. He was literally six foot five, six foot six, almost £400. His clothes got to be special babies. Where where my mom was half Spaniard, and have, Mexican. So the Spanish side of his genes were just he was monumental big. I mean, he was huge. So was a huge man. So when he abused, it was scary because he was a big man. Right. but, you know, he also only knew what he knew, and I, I forgave. I remember going to my grandfather's funeral. I was the only one in my entire family that went to his funeral.

Rebecca Contreras (00:04:29) - My siblings wouldn't go. My mother would not go. But I remember going to his funeral and looking at his frail body in that casket. Kimberly. And the reason I went is I had a dream of him about a week before that, and I knew he was dying. He was in his 80s. He died of cancer. did not believe in doctors. He believed God was going to heal him. So he was one of those ignorant people that didn't understand that God sometimes heals through medicine. Right? So he died and he was decimated with cancer. And so I looked in his coffin and I saw a shrunken, frail man riddled with a cancer body. He was no longer a beast. I'm big man. And I remember God feeling the impression at that moment of saying, you know, no one is beyond frailty, and no one is perfect. And I, I, I always tell people that our have experienced negative things with God, you know, through other people that abuse them or that teach them in the wrong way.

Rebecca Contreras (00:05:26) - You know, you gotta you gotta take in, you know, spit out the bones and take in the meat. You know, I learned over my adult life now to spit out the bones of what I learned through my grandfather and my mother because he abused her as well. and taken the meat and my round the father was. He was bigger than life. He was a Mexican, evangelist. And he he helped help a lot of people that were predominantly poor through Juarez, through all of their different parts of Mexico. They traveled to. And he was known as as a kind of a healing evangelist of his day. But he was a very sick person, and, you know, so I had to probably in my, I would say, early to late 20s when I truly experienced the God of love, the God of forgiveness, the God of grace, not the God of hellfire, riverstone that was gonna, you know, strike me down every time I sinned. But I came into my relationship with God on my own through a lot of really good people in the church that I started attending, including my husband and my then teacher who became a husband.

Rebecca Contreras (00:06:28) - He was the youth teacher in the youth ministry that I was part of and just an incredible, incredible teacher of the Word of God. And, you know, I came into my relationship to God on my own. Everybody has to find God for themselves. You cannot live. In your relationship with the divine connection, the god, the deity you know, wherever whatever you aspire to, you have to find it for yourself. And you have to understand his heart, for you, for yourself. Nobody can teach you that. You have to find that. And I found him, and it was quite, quite revolutionary. I depict that transition in, in Lost Girl.

Kimberly Spencer (00:07:05) - I think one of the things like from your husband to all the, the mentors that you found along the way. If there was a person in your circumstances when you were younger, poverty, abuse, maybe even pregnant, and they needed support. What mentors would you encourage them to seek out?

Rebecca Contreras (00:07:28) - Well, for me it was pastoral care.

Rebecca Contreras (00:07:30) - It was people in that in that little youth church in East Austin. And there were there was a couple in particular, Dave and Lupita. They were the pastors of the little bitty, you know, ministry, inner city church. And so I had a mentor in my workplace when I worked for Ann Richards and Kay Bailey Hutchison. Donna and I talked about her and then my spiritual mentor, Lupita. Lupita was the kindest, most loving person. And she she oozed the love of God. And I remember just thinking, wow, that's amazing. And, you know, I came under their leadership. They took me through a very intensive 12 week Bible study and learned who God really was. And, you know, they were available to me. They paired me with women that had had my journey and that I could talk to and meet with when I struggled. And and believe it or not, my mom, my mom, I moved back in with my mom. My mom came full circle and she, you know, was the the culprit of my abuse in the beginning.

Rebecca Contreras (00:08:22) - And then when she gave her heart to God and she began her journey, she came around and she became very instrumental to me. My mom helped me a lot, and she helped me a lot with forgiveness. And, you know, so, you know, everything was redeemed. you know, I always say, you know, when you go through life, things can be redemptive, right? you actually talk about this in linear episodes, how it's important to embrace the mess sometimes because sometimes it could be your propeller, you know? And I firmly have lived that in my entire life. So I think people that are facing that should look, look at it, the perspective of seeking out those community, you know, whether it's in a church or whether it's in a small group, a small women's group, you can connect with women that are walk in life similar to you and just being available and make yourself available to have others speak into your life and, and, you know, taking the meat and, and spit out the bones.

Rebecca Contreras (00:09:14) - You know, if you're looking for that perfect person who's going to be your mentor forever and give you everything perfectly, that probably is not going to exist. I'd had a variety of people, all which brought value to my life and especially the spiritual component.

Kimberly Spencer (00:09:28) - I love the point that you touch on of finding that perfect person. It's what I call the pedestal problem, because anytime you put someone up on a pedestal, it's a very shaky surface and they can easily fall off. And we're all human and we all make mistakes. And so at some point, somebody is probably going to let you down in some way, whether whether it's a boundary or an expectation. So I love that you share like to find the people and to find the meat of what it is that they, that they can offer your life and then to. Spit the bones out. Let out a phenomenal metaphor.

Rebecca Contreras (00:10:04) - I. There's no need to eat those bones. Yes. No. And you know, if you like to eat them, then.

Rebecca Contreras (00:10:10) - But nobody likes to eat bones. I recently, a couple of years ago, was mentoring a single mom who had a lot of challenges in her personal life, and she dealt with a lot of mental trauma and as a result, you know, needed a lot of mental psychiatric help. And, you know, I, I worked with her for about a year and, you know, spending twice a month, you know, an hour or two hours a month with her. And after a year, you know, I just I said to her, you know, I, I feel like I've done all I can. I provided you the tools. I shared my story with you. It's really up to you. And she was never really taking hold of the reins of dealing with her mental trauma. And I told her, I said, do you need psychiatric care? Like you need to talk to a counselor about what has happened to you because you've been through a lot. I am certainly a mouse and board to pray with you and to give you counsel about how, you know, I lived my life and how I forgave my abusers.

Rebecca Contreras (00:11:00) - But you need psychiatric care. I got psychiatric care. I still see a counselor today every couple of months, and she never did. So I had to cut that cord because I felt like, you know, I'm only enabling her lack of getting that self initiative. But it's so important to get care. There are so many ways. And now with the internet can really there's so many great podcasts. Doctor Caroline Leaf, who you and I both and talked about. I listen to her podcasts regularly. She has a phenomenal wealth of resources available to you to learn and to implement through her think, learn, Succeed podcast. She has one that I love called How to Deal With Your Mental Mess. I love that podcast and it's like 300 episodes, so there's so much data and content available to us for learning and for coaching. Now that you and I, 20 years ago didn't have access to.

Kimberly Spencer (00:11:49) - Yeah, it just takes the initiative and it also takes ownership and acceptance of where of where you're at and.

Kimberly Spencer (00:11:56) - I think that that's a hard one to teach in. In a society, in a culture that promotes victimhood and sometimes rewards it in a way. And so how do you cultivate? Because, I mean, you're running multiple companies, very successful. You've been a at the rank of what, a two star general is leading people at the white House. How do you cultivate or or seek out or is it something you have to seek out? Is. People who take ownership because there's some a through line with your message is the responsibility of legacy. And I think responsibility. It starts with being responsible to yourself and taking ownership of where you are and who you are. And you've done that with your past and with where you're going in your future.

Rebecca Contreras (00:12:40) - Yeah. And, you know, can really it all starts at home. You know, I encourage women, especially moms, you know, and wives, you know, you have to start at home and you have to make sure that you are being transparent and accountable and reliable and available.

Rebecca Contreras (00:12:56) - you know, my kids, they think their mom hung the moon on the matriarch of the family. And, you know, people oftentimes ask me, how did you work for almost, you know, 15 years with President Bush and then, you know, you're in the white House, then you go to West Point and you're you're traveling all over the world sharing your story, and you're launching a book, and you're running a little time on business, and you have your nonprofit and your mom and your wife. How do you do it all? Are you losing something? But it all starts in my home. My home was always and has always been my priority. I tell the story in the book, in my Pride Month two on being in the white House, where I walked into the Oval Office, and I almost resigned to the president because my eighth grader was just really, really rebelling and having a lot of challenges. She did not want to be in D.C. she wanted to know why she had to move from Texas.

Rebecca Contreras (00:13:46) - You know, I didn't want to move. You work for the president. I know. Why do I have to be here? I had to leave my friends, and she was just rebelling. And I shared with the president, and he asked me how, how's your daughter doing? And I said, she's not doing really well. I may need to step down. This may not be working, you know, because I was working 14 hours a day in those early months. My husband was an incredible anchor during that time in the home. And, he hadn't gotten his job quite yet. He, he started working with President Bush and mother of our transition. So he had a few months to be home and settle the kids with that moved from Texas to D.C. and president, first thing he said is bring her to me. And so I found an opportunity. I have a picture of this in my office where the president was coming back from Camp David. And, you know, hitting marine was landing on the lawn.

Rebecca Contreras (00:14:30) - And I had my kids and my husband there with me at the line. Normally stop can greet him when he's coming in. And he darted right to my daughter. I have a picture of this where he pulled her in and he said, Krystal, how are you? Christina? He knew her from me working for him as governor. And then he pulled her in and said, do you know how important it is, what your mom does for me? Your mom is so important to my team. Thank you for allowing your mom to do what she does for me. And her eyes are like, I cannot believe the president's thanking me now. She was in eighth grade. Okay, just don't take it for granted, Saul. But I'm sorry anybody that has that experience is going to get their shit together. So, you know, we began to see little transitions a little, you know, along with getting her plugged into her local church. We sent her on a mission trip that summer to get a little bit of, you know, service in her belt under her belt.

Rebecca Contreras (00:15:23) - But those things were so important. But I almost resigned. And, you know, my kids are so important to me. My husband, our family unit. And listen, you can gain the world and lose your family, and it's not worth it. So I always tell women, especially moms, you know, make sure that you're there's a balance for that. Focus on level. Let it start with the accountability and the and the ownership at home.

Kimberly Spencer (00:15:47) - Yeah. And being really present like in the time that you are, how did you bring presents when you're working such long hours into the home when you were with your daughter?

Rebecca Contreras (00:15:59) - Well, our kids, I have a 30-year-old son and a 36-year-old daughter. Our son was in first grade at the time. my daughter was in eighth grade and, you know, very little, very young. He was very young. And my husband and I were a team and we tag teamed and, you know, you have to have a strong partner.

Rebecca Contreras (00:16:14) - And listen, ladies, don't marry someone who wants to just throw their feet up and do nothing in the house and expect you to do everything. You have to have that partner. And we we divide and conquer. I literally can really would get home from the White House. We would get home from our work in DC, probably about six, six, 30in the evening and we'd leave, you know, around five was an hour and a half commute each way. Get home. I would have a suit on. I had had my apron. I throw my apron over my suit, kicked my shoes off. I had all the meal prep done. So all the big meal crackers then I have. In my whole career I've been working mom. I'm meal prep even today. So the weekend on Sunday is about meal prep and, you know, chopping stuff up and having things ready to go and, you know, literally put dinner on in 20 minutes. And every night while I was in D.C., working those long hours, serving the president and really every night of our entire family, we sat down at the table.

Rebecca Contreras (00:17:06) - There was no TV's on. We would have a sit down dinner, you know, every single night, Monday through Friday. Weekends were for fun and having pizza and going out. But Monday through Friday, those kids had me and daddy, you know, and we he would he would help. With homework, I would start dinner then, you know, we would we would divide and conquer on the bedtime. It was a team effort and I think I think that's that that's what's missing. I think in our culture is this is a this is a fatherless society, as you know. And there's a lot of challenges with the fatherless, you know, going on and single moms and single moms are our heroes. They're the biggest, most amazing people on the planet. And I know single moms who do exactly what I did without a partner at home, but they make their children their priority and they're still very successful. So it's possible it's a little harder when you don't have a partner, but, you know, leverage your.

Rebecca Contreras (00:17:59) - And that's why being part of a healthy church body is so important. In those early years, our church community was life giving to us. They helped us in many, many ways.

Kimberly Spencer (00:18:09) - I find it so interesting your journey because you never had a health what would be considered a healthy home modeled for you. So was it just intention? And in being very intentional with how you were setting up your home with your husband? Because I know you've described your husband as your biggest cheerleader, and having my biggest cheerleader and being married to my biggest cheerleader is like a game changer. Considering having relationships with that was that was not the case. but because you didn't have that model, what boundaries did you put in place initially? What or how did your relationship evolve so that you were able to cultivate this really healthy present home life?

Rebecca Contreras (00:18:55) - Yeah. Well, David and I both were up with single mothers. My mother abandoned me when I was five, as you know. And the last girl, I tell the full story.

Rebecca Contreras (00:19:02) - She was a drug addict. David's mother. they lost their dad when he was five, and she went into a real deep mental depression for about a year or so. she was a single mom. The hardest working single mom. She worked three jobs so she wouldn't have to get on over. On the opposite of my mom, living on welfare. So we come from single parents to a very different lungs. So when we got married, we knew we wanted to do something different. So here's the thing about trauma and tragedy. You can either use it to learn from it and it propel you to success and do it totally different. Or you can be in the dysfunctional cycle of dysfunction and generational tragedy, which happens a lot, especially with our inner city families. You know, there's a lot of dysfunction and the cycle going on. So David and I determined we were going to do it different, and we sought out how we read, but we were big readers and books. You know, we took classes.

Rebecca Contreras (00:19:53) - one of my mentors, very early on in my career, Donna Reynolds, who I talk about in the book, was the mom of eight kids. had been married at that point, almost ten years. she ended up losing her husband when they were married after 40 years. But, she was an incredible model. I asked her lots of questions. I was always asking Donna questions. You know, whenever I went to things in the home, I would come to the office. She was my boss at the time. And Governor Bush's office. And I would ask her questions. I I'm an insatiable learner. I'm like, not afraid to ask questions and learn from people that do better than I do. I still do that today. I'm not the smartest life in the book, in the drawer. But I ask a lot of questions, and I get a lot of smart people around me that are feeding into my content and my brain and learning. So we determined we were going to do different life, different in our family.

Rebecca Contreras (00:20:41) - Now, listen, we had a lot of problems. you know, we were both very dysfunctional. We got married, so David had an anger problem. I had an emotional dysfunction problem. And I talk about that in the book and how we healed through that together. But we always made our kids our priority and got lots of hell, to learn what we did. You know, you can always learn. The brain is so powerful to expand and learning and doing things different. You just have to have the drive and the plan. Let's do it.

Kimberly Spencer (00:21:10) - And it also is a testament to changing your environment, because I remember when I, when I was 19 and I moved out of my family's home and I changed growing up with addiction for 30 years and shifting, and I was teaching ten hours a day teaching Pilates, and some of my clients became my greatest mentors, where I was suddenly learning and seeing how to do life differently. And it's that shift of environment, and you changed environments a few times, like coming from that border town and, and to, to then moving into Austin.

Kimberly Spencer (00:21:43) - So when you think of the environment and how the environment concurrently shaped you, what were the biggest ones that were the biggest leaps for you?

Rebecca Contreras (00:21:53) - Yeah. So your environment will make or break you mine. And I am a product of my network. I'm a product of the people that have influenced me. I was a product of my environment when I was a drug addict and got pregnant out of high school, and I, and I'm a product of my environment as a successful entrepreneur executive now and thought leader. So I am a product of my environment. There really are three things that you have to do in order to really re-engineer your environment. First of all, it doesn't happen through osmosis. It's not going to happen because you wish it. I'm all about positive thinking and speaking things in the air, but all of that can be hogwash to someone who doesn't take action. Okay. and you know, my case in point, my mother was the biggest or order of God's Word and knew the Bible well.

Rebecca Contreras (00:22:40) - Victorian in her Bible school class. Amazing. She knew all the positive affirmations there were. She lived in abject poverty on welfare her whole life, and she died of cancer because she refused to fight. So all that speaking and affirmation didn't do her any good, because she didn't take action to change her environment and move the needle. so, you know, you have to be able to put a plan in place to change it. I personally had to completely eliminate relationships that were toxic. I just went through last year another cycle of relationship elimination that I call it evaluate your relationships every year. And they have to either provide value, breathe life, or encouragement. They have to be able to to encourage you. If you have toxic relationships that are bringing you down, that are draining you, and sometimes family or I family could be the worst. And Joel Osteen, favorite pastor, America's pastor, says some family just got a love from a distance. You know, if you're finding toxicity and negativity and just, you know, not a healthy environment for anybody in your life, you really have to eliminate that and make good decisions to surround yourself with the right environment.

Rebecca Contreras (00:23:50) - The second thing is I had to be willing to take action and fail. you know, your mental things, sometimes things happen in life that just cause failure. It's not because you went out to fail or you tried to do it wrong. It's just happens. People are flawed and, you know, you have to be willing to fail, and you have to be willing to learn from those failures. Those are super important to changing your situation and re-engineering your brain and your environment for success. and the third thing is just getting that, relentless. You, you call it grit in your linear podcast, I call it grit resolve. it's that resolve and that grit that says, you know what? I'm not going to give up. I know what I want to do in life. I know I'm talented. And even if you don't think you are talented, you fake it til you make it. it's like, you know, even if you don't have confidence in yourself, you find a way to get that confidence.

Rebecca Contreras (00:24:48) - But it's that resolving grit that never, never relents and never gives up. Those are the three, I think, most importantly for me.

Kimberly Spencer (00:24:56) - I love the breakdown of the toxicity, because I think sometimes we can misconstrue a relationship that's toxic for a relationship that's triggering us to grow, especially if we are challenging us to rise and or that's allowing us to see something within ourselves that we may that may be our shadow. That may be something we don't want to see necessarily. How do you determine the difference between a relationship that's triggering or challenging you to evolve beyond, and a relationship that's toxic?

Rebecca Contreras (00:25:28) - Well, I will I have a perfect example of that. my husband, you know, my husband and I, when we first got married, we're completely different personalities. And now I'm a lot more like him. And we butt heads because we're both badasses. And that suspected that my husband was a laser focused visionary. a little a little less empathetic than I'd like him to be about my situation. And, you know, he challenged me to step up and deal with my mess.

Rebecca Contreras (00:25:58) - He also challenged me to think different and to get outside of that poverty mentality. And I tell several stories in the book of where he did that. But at first I thought he was cruel. I thought he was being mean. I thought he was not being empathetic and the lowest me, and he just was relentless and he would not tolerate or entertain emotional if I was an emotional basket case, which I did, I would crumble every time there was conflict. He'd say, get up, let's deal with this. Quit crying. I'm not gonna talk to you while you're crying, you know? And I thought, well, he's being an asshole, but you know what? David strained. and now he's like, can I, can I go back a little bit and can you be a little less strong? Don't tell me cause I, you know, have my Rebecca back a little bit because I'm too. I'm probably a little stronger than you know, that I'm very strong now, but I'm a little more relentless in terms of my focus, and I.

Rebecca Contreras (00:26:54) - I don't tend to be in show as much emotion as I used to. And, I've had this protection on the wall exterior. And so sometimes he's like, you know, I really do want you to be a little more emotional. So you got to balance it out, right? but David was a big catalyst in that, and that strengthened and also my environment and working for political officials. Listen, when you work for Ann Richards, Kay Bailey Hutchison and George W Bush, three Texas icons and the people they surround themselves with are tough as nails. They're they're taking crap left and right from the media. You're watching that and you see that resilience built up. You know, you have to be strong in your core. And so I've built my core and my ability to leverage the things that I saw 20 years ago or 30 years ago. That's a really toxic behavior. It really wasn't. It was really to strengthen me and to make me deal, but also to make me stand on my own two feet.

Rebecca Contreras (00:27:49) - I remember one argument in particular. We were primary, you know, year two, where I would sit on the couch with my head and just cry in my hand, and he's like, stand up and start crying like, stand up. Like he wanted me to stand up to him. And those were really pivotal moments for me, Kimberly, a strength that I had to display.

Kimberly Spencer (00:28:10) - I identify so deeply with that emotional roller coaster in a way of, you know, when my husband and I first got together, he said, for at least the first couple of years, he said there was always drama. It was always, oh, your dad did this, and there was this because there was always some drama that that was going on. And he always, he always said, he's like, I was just waiting. Okay, what what's the next thing that she's going to show up into my house. So, so unfortunately, like he was this guiding and grounding force. And I know David has been such a grounding force for you and creating what you've been able to create in the partnership.

Kimberly Spencer (00:28:51) - And it's that's just invaluable is having that person to to ground and to also challenge and champion you and to rise and to into your highest and best.

Rebecca Contreras (00:29:04) - Yeah. And he helped me put boundaries in place with my family because he saw the dysfunction in my family. And he's like, I'm sorry, but I'm not going to let them take advantage of you. And he put that boundary in place. But my mother was my twin brother with my, you know, other siblings. And, you know, sometimes with family, they don't understand that when somebody comes in and puts boundaries in place. But my husband has done it out of a father protecting me, but also helping us as a family. Be healthy. He would say, I'm sorry, but we're not bringing into that into this house because we have children now and that's not going to be healthy. A good example of that. My mother was notorious for just popping in whenever she wanted to, 10 p.m. at night. She'd been after her revivals to come and hang out or eat, and he's like, no, Grace, you're not going to do that.

Rebecca Contreras (00:29:51) - You're going to call. I can just pop in. Rebecca's not going to be available at your disposal. They weren't. And, you know, my family early on saw that as well. He's being controlling. but for me it was a healthy boundary.

Kimberly Spencer (00:30:04) - Yeah I so identify with that. I remember the the letter my husband wrote to my father and saying you will never speak to my wife like that ever again.

Rebecca Contreras (00:30:15) - Have those letters go to to my siblings. And they're tough letters. And you know it's caused a break in the relationship at times. But you know God is the master of healer and he heals things in all. But you're it sounds like you're a husband. And my husband would get along.

Kimberly Spencer (00:30:30) - I think they would get a lot of pretty well.

Rebecca Contreras (00:30:32) - We have to find time and you make that happen.

Kimberly Spencer (00:30:34) - Do a double date sometime. Yeah. I love how in your book you really highlight how your environment growing up and all of the poverty and all of the abuse it created internally, a self-talk of self-blame.

Kimberly Spencer (00:30:49) - And I know from those who have been abused and having done a lot of research and healing on my own abuse from childhood, it's nowhere near compares to what you went through. But oh.

Rebecca Contreras (00:31:01) - My God.

Kimberly Spencer (00:31:02) - But that there's something called a just world bias. And it's basically our bias where we it's our inner child. It's like trying to see the world is fair, and when something isn't fair, when it's just wrong. What happened to you? It can create in us a belief that, oh, it's our fault because, oh, I must observe this.

Rebecca Contreras (00:31:23) - Because the shame.

Kimberly Spencer (00:31:24) - Yeah, the shame, the shame. The belief of being fundamentally flawed. Does self-blame. Or what role does self-blame still play, if at all, in your life today?

Rebecca Contreras (00:31:36) - Well, I can tell you one example of self-blame was I unfortunately became promiscuous very young. I was raped at 13 by a man in his 20s, and, I did I was raped at the time. I thought he was being nice and, but, you know, call it what it is.

Rebecca Contreras (00:31:53) - but it created for me growing up without a father. I didn't know my father. As you know, the book talks about the dysfunction around that whole birth process, but, I always thought it was my fault. And so, you know, I, I ended up getting involved from the age of 13 up until I married. Really? My husband, and stopped the nonsense. my, men in their 20s and older men who would take advantage of me and, you know, I was I was a really pretty girl. I was always the life of the party. And, in my community, which was Hispanic, I was the lightest person there. I mixed, as you know, half Hispanic, white. So I never looked like anybody in the room. I always stood out, and I loved that because it gave me attention. Well, I always believed when I came into my relationship with my husband, who was a true, true lover of God and loved me and wanted to treat me like the church queen than I was.

Rebecca Contreras (00:32:47) - I had a hard time with that because I thought he wanted something from me, and my whole life I had been abused by men. And so, you know, I saw myself as I've done it, I'm deserved it. I went to that party, I had that drink, I took that drug, I let them. And so I had to deal with that with my counselor. over the years of early years and, and let that shame go because guess what? I didn't I didn't deserve any of that. I don't know, I did not deserve to be sexually molested at age five. I did not deserve to be sexually molested at age 13. I did not deserve to be impregnated by a baby daddy drug dealer in 1617. And so. I had to deal with. Yes, I made poor choices, but it was the environment and the lack of knowledge. there's a scripture in the Bible that says the lack of knowledge for my people perish. It's so true. When you have knowledge, you die.


Rebecca Contreras (00:33:40) - You really lack knowledge, you die. And I was dead to myself. And so I had to find a way to deal with all that shame. And I talk about how I did that in the book. But it's so important to not blame ourselves. Women are the worst. You would never will see so hard on ourselves. You never see a man blaming themselves for anything. They always try to blame you, right? It's always a shit. No, I behave this way because of your fault. But women are the worst of blaming themselves and blaming. You know I deserve it. Or I put myself in that situation or woe is me. And I think we have to get outside of that and know that sometimes shit just happens. Life happens, tragedy happens, and we cannot blame ourselves. We just have to move forward and forgive ourselves. I had to forgive myself and release before I could forgive and release others.

Kimberly Spencer (00:34:30) - What is forgiveness feel like to you?

Rebecca Contreras (00:34:33) - Forgiveness is honestly the most incredible catalyst to my change.

Rebecca Contreras (00:34:40) - I have a whole chapter dedicated on how I went through the forgiveness process. And here's the incredible thing about forgiveness. It doesn't have to mean that other person owns anything, right? I forgave myself, and it's a very empowering thing, and it's a very liberating. But it's also it also gives you the ability to deal with the darkness in you that you feel is there, and just release it to God. I'm a firm believer that God is a grace. The divinity of grace covers a multitude of things that happen, and there is no vast, there's no limit to that, right? There's no cap. Oh, jeez. You know, forgiveness. You're capped out. You've already had too much of it. It's just the redemptive way that God works. And so it's such an empowering thing, and it is probably the biggest catalyst to my transformation is forgiveness.

Kimberly Spencer (00:35:36) - Which one was greater? Your forgiveness of self or your forgiveness of others? Which one do you feel was a greater catalyst?

Rebecca Contreras (00:35:42) - The biggest.

Rebecca Contreras (00:35:43) - The biggest? Person that I had to really forgive and release was my mom. I was the only one in our entire family that really honored her to her death through her, through her battle with cancer. And, it was really difficult for my siblings to do that and for my family to accept her because she was very dysfunctional and she was very hurtful. but I loved her where she was. I remember I had an epiphany in my 30s, and it, you know, it accelerated when she got diagnosed with cancer, and, and I had to move back from DC and resign to the administration to be close to her because I knew she was going to, you know, accelerate the process of her, her transition with the cancer. She didn't want to get treatment the way she needed to. but I had to forgive her, and I had to leave her where she was. But here's the powerful thing, Kimberly. When I forgave my mom the first time, I went through a process of forgiveness with her over ten years, the very first time I verbalized it to her, she was she was a preacher.

Rebecca Contreras (00:36:43) - She was an amazing author of God's Word. She had just finished preaching and I came over to her and I said, mom, I want you to know I forgive you for all of the abuse. She looked at me and she said, mija, forgive me. For what? And I said, for all the abuse in my life, she's like, I didn't abuse you guys. All of that stuff Jesus forgave me for already. Why don't why do you why don't you just let it go? None of that is relevant anymore. Just move on. And she never wanted to talk about what happened, that she never wanted to take ownership. Because in her mind, God had forgiven her. Therefore, let it go. Well, guess what, Kimberly, that's not real life. We're not in heaven. We're here on earth. We're here on earth. 80 plus years. And we have to. We have to verbalize. If we hurt someone, we have to say, hey, I'm sorry I hurt you.

Rebecca Contreras (00:37:33) - I know that was really hurtful. Please forgive me. And my mom went to her deathbed not thinking that there was any forgiveness to be had because she had been forgiven. And. But that's okay. I let her go. I released it, and I said, I love my mom and I loved her, I served her, I took care of her financially when she got really sick and couldn't do anything for herself. And I remember that death, that death experience with her for me was liberating because I knew I had done everything that I needed to do while she was on this earth, and now she's in heaven, and I'm thrilled that she's healed both in her mind and her body. And my mom was was she was an amazing person. She was just a sick person, you know, the shoes of an amazing person.

Kimberly Spencer (00:38:14) - How did you process the grief that also simultaneously came with the freedom? Of no longer having that influence in your life, was that challenging for you to? I hold the.

Rebecca Contreras (00:38:29) - Line a lot because. Because I knew my mom was going to live a short life. I knew, and I saw the writing on the wall and I. I knew I had her for about 5 to 7 years. And so I worked through that, over that. A lot of people don't have that time. They don't have parents are abruptly taken or a loved one's taken in a in a tragic or accident and, you know, they don't have that time. I always tell people, don't wait. I'm dealing with this situation right now with the loved one, that I've been, you know, really hopeful that the forgiveness will happen and he's just not open to it. And, you know, I'm like, I don't want to wait. Tomorrow's promise to no one you literally love. Those could be taken overnight. Like when you know that you have an issue with forgiveness and you have an act with somebody, it's important to take action in that way. You know we wait too long.

Rebecca Contreras (00:39:18) - Human nature likes to hold onto grudges and hold onto well until you acknowledge that you hurt me. And you know some of that you will never get to the bottom of it. Sometimes you just have to let go and forgive and love unconditionally. After all, that's how God loves us, doesn't he?

Kimberly Spencer (00:39:37) - I would love to know the transition from being in the White House to growing a multi-million dollar company. Something again, you pioneered the way you never had that modeled for you. And yet I have this suspicion because I told this to one of my clients. She was struggling with them, her child getting into dealing drugs and whatnot. And I said, he sounds very entrepreneurial. She said.

Rebecca Contreras (00:40:03) - She was taken.

Kimberly Spencer (00:40:04) - Back and shot it and it would actually I took that from one of my mentors, Tom Bellew, who when he was building was nutrition like he was hiring people who were in like the ghetto and know that experience. He said. A drug dealer, they know the competition. They know where, they know where only.

Kimberly Spencer (00:40:22) - So they're there.

Rebecca Contreras (00:40:23) - They know how to make sales.

Kimberly Spencer (00:40:24) - They know how to make like. And that's what I did. Like I said, it sounds like your son is really good in sales. And she's like, I never would have thought that I'd prefer he sold something differently.

Rebecca Contreras (00:40:32) - I said, I know.

Kimberly Spencer (00:40:33) - Exactly, but it was a reframe that actually she needed at the time to see. So this actually it doesn't mean that he's a failure. It means that there's actually like there's there's a skill set there. It's just being used in a negative way. So if you were to know, like, what are those positives from growing up that you were those lessons that you took from being in, in on the, in the drug scene and dating a drug, one of the biggest drug dealers in Austin that may have served in your entrepreneurial sales career.

Rebecca Contreras (00:41:04) - Yeah. So honestly, I wasn't ever close to that. my thankfully, my baby daddy, who's dead now, he got killed by his probation officer, but, I call him our sperm donor because that's about all he did.

Rebecca Contreras (00:41:17) - I was never in his network, and I'm thankful for that, because when I busted him, I. There were no there wasn't a trace of my involvement. He kept me at bay at that. My entrepreneur skill sets came from working on in government and working, believe it or not, under the bushes. as you know, there are business people. My my top mentor played Johnson, who is President Bush's best friend from high school in Yale. He was an entrepreneur, so but the bushes surrounded themselves with business people who happen to also understand government. And they were not bureaucrats, that lived in government their whole life. They had a really smart I mean, I could name a smart business people that have that, that had started and sold companies or acquired companies and built companies. And so I was around that entrepreneurial spirit in government with people that worked for Governor Bush and President Bush. so watching them and just the skill sets, it's the negotiation. It's everything that I did for the president. I was in the people business.

Rebecca Contreras (00:42:16) - Right. So it was negotiating skills. It was making an effective change to initiatives. It was implementing policy. It was building an initiative from the ground up. It was launching an initiative. It was, you know, negotiating with government leaders about President Bush's policy because there were, as you know, the president gets elected and there's a whole career of bureaucrat that exists. You've got to as a as a political official, you have to be able to influence those people to help you. Otherwise, you know, they'll squash you and not ever get anything done. But there's a lot of good people in government. So working with those people and bringing them along. And so all those skills, I never really thought of starting a business. And I tell the full story later on in the book, which your readers can read. But, it happened when I started, I left government and I went into private sector for the first time in my private sector career to help them start a government practice because they were interested in working with the government.

Rebecca Contreras (00:43:12) - And I built it from the ground up. And within six years, I grew discouraged. 7 million. So all of a sudden I'm like, wait a minute, I've done it out for this owner and I have no ownership. And I was sitting down with my mentor and telling him about all this. You know, my practice and how it was, you know, the highest paid employee and executive vice president and how the owner was super happy with all the things that I was doing. And he looked at me and he said, you know what you're doing for him, you could do for yourself, and I can really. I had never thought of that. This is why the power of influence and people you're with matters. If he had not said that to me, and subsequently enough, my practice had gotten so much success that one of the owners was threatened and was kind of trying to come in my domain and take over. Not having any background in government, but he wanted to take over my practice.

Rebecca Contreras (00:44:03) - It was his company. He could do whatever he wanted to do, but he started inserting himself into my business and it ruffled a few feathers because, very, very few people that don't know me know I have to be in charge, like, I'm good. So get out of my way and leave me alone, because don't get into my stuff unless you're going to bring something of value. Where are you going to come in and change the way something that's working for you? Well, they tried to do that. They rearranged the company and, you know, put me as more of a Smee, and I saw it as a way that they it was time to get out. And so I negotiated my way out, talk myself out of my non-compete, which long negotiating skills are quite, quite good. And, started my business, and I would never in a million years imagine that it would be 130 people strong across nine states, small, $10 million, and growing. And, but I believed in myself.

Rebecca Contreras (00:44:58) - I believed in the people that believed in me. And what they were saying was possible about me. And I just took the leap and a faith and decided, you know what the heck, I can always go back to work for somebody if this doesn't work, but I'm going to try it. And it's worked.

Kimberly Spencer (00:45:16) - I love what you said. If you believed what other people believed in you. And something one of my clients, Lauren Wittig, had said on a podcast. she said one of the most powerful things I said when we were in our coaching, as I said, just borrow my belief in you. And she went off and just skyrocketed her business. But it was like the power of belief in someone else. And I know you're nurturing that with your girls of legacy and, you know, showing up and providing a container of belief for these women to be able to grow and evolve.

Rebecca Contreras (00:45:52) - And it's so important. And here's a coach. You know that better than anybody because this is what you do for a living.

Rebecca Contreras (00:45:58) - And sometimes it just takes that one person believing in you to make you believe in yourself. I didn't have just one person I had. I have about 5 to 7 people in my journey that I can pinpoint believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. But why did I have them in my life? It's because I put myself in a position to be influenced by them and to see me in action. I was in May. This past May, I was at the Bush library with the bushes and, had a chance to see the President. Hayes read in my book Lost Girl and wrote me a personal note about it, was incredibly touched by it. But one of his top advisors, who's very, very nationally known, I'm not named her name, but she's just a bigger than life, you know, expert. And, everybody, you know, that follows the bushes knows this woman. She was hugely influential. I knew her and she knew me. And we talked, you know, ever so often.

Rebecca Contreras (00:46:53) - But it wasn't like we were in relationship together. I saw her and I thought, oh, there she is. I want to go say hello to her. And I walked up to her. The first thing she said is, oh, there's our Rebecca. She said, we are so proud of you. You are our shining star out of the Bush legacy. And I, she threw me back because I hadn't seen her in ten years. And then I started talking to her. She was like, oh, I understand you wrote a book. Oh, we all have it. So somebody in the Bush circle circulated my book and she's like, we are so proud of you. We always believed in you. But Kimberly, when she said that to me, this is a bigger than life powerhouse woman. I never knew that she was watching, and I never knew that she was perceptive enough to watch me. But she was. And so when you are in your workplace, when you are in your sphere of influence, you don't know who's watching you.

Rebecca Contreras (00:47:48) - So how are you going to show up to that? Right? And sometimes when we let things ruffle us and let you know environmental factors in the office, you know, get us off our back. And we need to remember people are watching us and it doesn't mean we have to be perfect. I hate that word doesn't exist. But we should always know that there's opportunities to be influenced by people and for have to have people influence us in order to help yield our success.

Kimberly Spencer (00:48:17) - And sometimes they're they're not the ones engaging necessarily.

Rebecca Contreras (00:48:22) - Exactly.

Kimberly Spencer (00:48:23) - Yeah. so there's, there's a through line of influence that you've been using a lot. And I want to know what does influence mean for you?

Rebecca Contreras (00:48:36) - it's interesting because when I think of influence, I think of impact to people. I don't care how much power people think they have or how much influence. If it doesn't serve humankind and it's not helping people be better, helping communities be better, helping develop people and using that influence for good. I mean, Kimberly, look at the situation we're in right now in our country, in the political arena and how divisive, how toxic.

Rebecca Contreras (00:49:07) - How incredibly just disturbing things are. People are using their power for self-gain. It's like influence when, when, when we are blessed with influence and it is a blessing to have influence, God does bless it. Now we're working hard to make events ourselves. It doesn't happen through osmosis. But when you get influence, when you get power, when you get that positional positional influence, it's meant to be used for good. What would America be like if every person, every CEO, every community leader, every politician, every person in the community, no matter what level they're at, use their influence to serve humankind and for good? What would we be like as a country?

Kimberly Spencer (00:49:53) - Service instead of self-gain.

Rebecca Contreras (00:49:56) - So influence for me is about service and about impact.

Kimberly Spencer (00:50:01) - Where are you looking to influence next?

Rebecca Contreras (00:50:04) - Well, we shall see what the future holds. Right now, I'm focused on growing on guard. we are growing at a rapid pace. Last. Last year, we grew, about 10%.

Rebecca Contreras (00:50:16) - This year, we're trying to get double digit growths. the year before, we grew at 22%. So every year we're, like accelerating, growing, and we can grow. And, you know, I can get in a place where, you know, this is a well-oiled machine. We'll see what the future holds. I, you know, I worked for three political icons, and Richards, Kay Bailey Hutchison and George W Bush. And you can't work for three amazing Texas icons and not get the Texas bug first public service. but I'm very intently thinking, you know, what does that look like for me? Is there a reason for that? Like, what do I need to think of in terms of my next reinvention? Because I've had, as I said, seven. Do I have an eight coming along that the.

Kimberly Spencer (00:50:58) - Perhaps nine lives like in Canada bouncing back?

Rebecca Contreras (00:51:02) - We'll see. 2024 I think is going to be a really strategic year for really honing in on what is that next step look like.

Rebecca Contreras (00:51:09) - But right now it's about growing avant garde and investing in girls a legacy. And my nonprofit and my initiative to empower and enable inner city girls for development and scholarship. And so we're all about girls, the legacy. And so those two things, along with the the book and the Public Speaking Kid, made plenty to say, oh, we need a grandmother-in-law.

Kimberly Spencer (00:51:31) - That too. That's a huge role. Especially grandma. Grandmas are so important.

Rebecca Contreras (00:51:36) - Yes, I have, amazing grandbabies who love their nana, so try to spend time with them.

Kimberly Spencer (00:51:43) - If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about how our country is currently run, what would it be?

Rebecca Contreras (00:51:51) - So my my magic wand today is to deal with the Texas border issue. it is a tragic, tragic situation. And it's a humanitarian crisis, incredible proportions. I'm very concerned for the women and children that are here. What's happening to them? The lack of care. I'm very concerned with the lack of security on our border and who's coming in and not knowing that.

Rebecca Contreras (00:52:18) - I think the number I heard yesterday was this upwards of 10 million. I think I think America is going to have a mess on their hands. And it's the biggest issue for me right now because I'm in Texas, because I'm from Newcastle, a border town where they're being decimated with this crisis, humanitarian crisis. And, you know, that's that humanity that that magic wand for me is probably not going to happen anytime soon. But, you know, I think we do enough to, we have to look at changing the direction of this country in the political tone. I worked for three political officials, all of which were very collaborative in their styles. And actually, back in the day, Kimberly, when Democrats were talking to Republicans and Republicans were talking to Democrats, there is no if I could wave a magic wand, it would be to get them all worked together and just get stuff done on by the American people and quit fighting. And it's just very discouraging. And it's the worst I've ever seen in my career.

Rebecca Contreras (00:53:20) - And having been involved for a very long time. So I'm hopeful that that will change. But I don't have a magic wand, so I'm not holding my breath. But that's a great question. Thank you for asking.

Kimberly Spencer (00:53:33) - So we do the best we can with the resources that we have available. And how are you bridging the divide? Because I think the divisiveness, it goes beyond just political parties. I think there's divisiveness. Within the home, within, social media with it, like within the fact that any, you know, ki moon warrior can can spout whatever they want through the protection of a screen and it creates like for me, my, my awareness is really in AI and in technology. As far as like how are we training AI as a collective human race to. Learn from who we are because it's going to become really smart and sentient at one point, and now in the not too far future. And do we want it seeing our divisive humanity and be like, you know what, we all need to be controlled.

Rebecca Contreras (00:54:29) - That's right. Yeah. I attended a part of a women's group CEO, top earning CEOs here in Austin, and we about 15 of us attended an AI session last week where an AI expert came to talk to us about the evolution of AI, what's happening. And it's fascinating to me, the charts and the graphs of how fast it's taking off from other, what we call it, platform innovations. You know, it's like they took ten years. AI is like on an 18-month cycle. It's crazy. you know, all I can tell you what I do in my brand and in my social media, if I take it through a lens of is it going to provide encouragement, knowledge? knowledge isn't facts. Don't put any fake facts out there because there's a lot of fake facts going on. But knowledge, insight, encouragement, or anything that's going to add value to people. And I've been really disciplined about trying to put the negative stuff out there that is going to be toxic or opinionated and a point where it's going to divide people.

Rebecca Contreras (00:55:29) - And when I do put an opinion out there, such as the Texas border, because it's a very it's a very divisive opinion. But I'll put it out there. I'll say, you know, here's what's going on. What do you think? What position do you take? And no haters on my feed, please, I'll delete you. So I let people know if they're going to provide an opinion. Don't hate on other people you know. My friend tonight I'm going to a book signing for my friend Denise Ketcham who by the way you have to meet and I'll make that introduction happen. She wrote a book called politics for People who Hate Politics. And in the book, her entire premise is, how do you have conversations with people who have differing opinions than you do and in some cases, polar opposite? And how do you walk away from the dinner table without hating each other? And she's not just turning off politics. She's talking about conversations on race, conversations on issues that you may not agree on.

Rebecca Contreras (00:56:25) - You know, there's got to be a way we can, as a human race, have dialogue without killing each other or discrediting each other. Or more importantly, in her book, she talks about entire families are split up over divisive issues. And I certainly seen that in my family. And so it's so important. I'm really proud that she's putting that message out there, and I would encourage people to look it up. It's really I listened to it and it was convicting for me, and I'm a pretty positive person, but it made me think different about how I need to be having conversations with those of opposite opinion.

Kimberly Spencer (00:57:00) - Yeah, yeah, it's I had, Brent Hammond, who's the founder, a co-founder of Common Ground Campus that is all about his podcast, was all about how to bridge that divide and how these events that he's staging at college campuses. At least provide some sort of awareness and perception of the other person's side, and that it's not that the other side is bad or wrong or immoral or horrible.

Kimberly Spencer (00:57:26) - It's that we're just people with differing opinions on how to bridge that divide, and remember that we're all still human and have some compassion. And I think that I'm in love with Ryan and Martha. Yeah. Having, putting being able to put that forth in, in leadership. And so having, having come from that emotional background that you did. And now the level of empathy that you have. How do you how do you lead with empathy instead of emotionalism?

Rebecca Contreras (00:57:57) - Well, I am very, empathy. So I recently did a leadership test and my coach said you're on the low scale of empathy meter. And I was like, I am. He's like, you measure like low empathy. I'm like, that's interesting because when you talk to people that have worked for me and you line them up, they'll all say that I'm very empathetic. So I think what we gather out of that is that I can be empathetic when I want to be empathetic, depending on the issue. So case in point, my people at Avant Garde are very important to me.

Rebecca Contreras (00:58:32) - Therefore, when they bring an issue to me, I'm empathetic with them because they're important to me. But my husband, because we've been married 34 years. If he says you're not being very empathetic right now, I'm like, well, you're a grown ass man. We've been married 34 years. Get over it. And my empathy meter goes down with him. So my coach is like, train yourself to rise your empathy meter up and be empathetic across the board no matter the issue you're dealing with. So I'm learning in 2024, my homework is being pathetic across the board, and not just with things that are important to me, because what's important to me is not as important to that person. But maybe what's important to them is more important that one's word to me. And that goes with understanding people and learning how to how to have that, you know, empathy meter. So being empathetic for me and being emotional are two different things. You know, I can I can listen and I can teach myself to listen and see things from the perspective of David's eyes, my husband, and walk in his shoes without falling apart.

Rebecca Contreras (00:59:43) - Right. So I've learned how to eliminate the fall apart piece and be more empathetic in what where he's coming from. And I think we could do that in every conversation in an area interface. The relationship that we have is if we truly apply empathy in the way we want it applied to us. Right. So put ourselves in that shoe. Do you want people to be empathetic with you when something's important to you. And if the answer is yes then you have to dish it back.

Kimberly Spencer (01:00:11) - Amen. Off Rebecca. I love how growth-minded you are. I love how you're still working with a coach at your level, and you're still growing and still learning, and I think that's such a testament to your success and your journey and the seven lifetimes that you've already. Yeah. And we'll see what others, you know, eight, nine, 14 other lifetime.

Rebecca Contreras (01:00:35) - That.

Kimberly Spencer (01:00:35) - You would have. I have loved our conversations so much, and I would love to shift gears into a little bit of rapid fire. Are you ready? Okay.

Rebecca Contreras (01:00:43) - Yes.

Kimberly Spencer (01:00:45) - Who is your favorite female character in a book or a movie and why?

Rebecca Contreras (01:00:48) - Doctor Caroline Lean because she has so much scientific knowledge, knowledge, and data in the lessons she provides. And they're not just soft ideas they're data-driven.

Kimberly Spencer (01:00:59) - Guess what? Woman alive or alive in her time, would you want to trade places with just for a day?

Rebecca Contreras (01:01:07) - Elena Cardona. I would love to be the lady for a day. She's, Actually, she's not going to be together next week. She's coming to Austin. But she is incredible. And a lot of people dismiss her because she's so beautiful and she's a former model, and now she's a, you know, married to a billionaire icon, but she's a woman of power within her own rank and stands alone without Grant. so I think Elena Cardona would, it'd be fun to be a day in her shoes.

Kimberly Spencer (01:01:35) - And there she is. She wears some cute shoes.

Rebecca Contreras (01:01:38) - Sit down.

Kimberly Spencer (01:01:41) - What is your morning routine to set you up for a successful day?

Rebecca Contreras (01:01:44) - Oh, gosh.

Rebecca Contreras (01:01:45) - I start my morning every morning for an hour in meditation, prayer, and devotional. I have to have my quiet time to center my mind, my spirit, my brain, and it helps get me off the ground. if I lose that time, I have a completely different day.

Kimberly Spencer (01:02:02) - Yes. What is the evening routine to set you up for a successful morning?

Rebecca Contreras (01:02:08) - I love to cook. I'm a chef in many ways, and my husband loves to eat, so we're making great pair. But, my favorite thing is cooking with a glass of wine. And believe it or not, watching a little bit of TV with my husband and we both love. We're both news junkies, so we both love to watch the news. and just having that downtime with him is really special.

Kimberly Spencer (01:02:30) - What do you define to be your queendom?

Rebecca Contreras (01:02:33) - Oh, my queendom is, being able to influence and impact women and girls, on their next journey. And my girls, a legacy is a huge catalyst in that. here, over the course of the next few years.

Kimberly Spencer (01:02:48) - And lastly, how do you crown yourself?

Rebecca Contreras (01:02:52) - well, I do a lot of self-care. I take care of our see, as many of my team refers me, refers to me as, and that's, you know, I, I worked out orange theory five days a week. I have my facials. I have, you know, my treatments. listen, I work really, really hard, but I also work hard to take care of myself because I'm number one.

Kimberly Spencer (01:03:14) - such an important lesson. And in prioritization, no matter what level of success you're at. Rebecca, how do we find you? How do we work with you? How do we connect with you? I know everyone should go out there and get lost, girl, it will blow your mind. This interview just scratched the surface and went deep in a few parts, but my gosh, the amount of light you will see how many lifetimes Rebecca has actually lived in in her book. It is extraordinary.

Rebecca Contreras (01:03:44) - Well thank you. so the best way to connect is Rebecca

Rebecca Contreras (01:03:48) - and subscribe, go to the contact page. Those subscribers come directly to me. Believe it or not, I still personally read every note that comes in. I might not get to it for a week, but I personally do it once a week. And, and they can also get the book online, through my website or Amazon. If it comes in through the website, I can personalize it to you and, also connect with me on Instagram. I love to connect. I'm always putting out some positive context. It's Rebecca. And to Adams Contreras so they can find me at Rebecca and Contreras on Instagram. I'd love to hear from you.

Kimberly Spencer (01:04:24) - Amazing. Rebecca, it has been my honor to have you on the Cross Yourself podcast, and as always, own your throne. Mind your business because your reign is now.

Kimberly Spencer (01:04:34) - Thank you so much for tuning in today. If what you heard resonated with you, be sure to subscribe and start creating a bigger impact now by sharing this with a friend. Just by doing that one simple act of kindness, you are creating a royal ripple to support more people in their sovereignty.

Kimberly Spencer (01:04:49) - And if you're not already following on social media, connect with me everywhere at Crown Yourself Now for more inspiration. I am so excited to connect with you in the next episode, and in the meantime, go out there and create a body, business, and life that rules because today you crown yourself.

The Crown Yourself Podcast is a fast-growing self-improvement podcast, ranked in the top #200 personal-development podcasts in two countries, so far,  out of 4.5 million podcasts. Each week, you get the conscious leadership strategies you need to help you reign with courage, clarity, and confidence so that you too can make the income and impact you deserve. Imagine this podcast as your royal invitation to step into your full potential and reign in your divine purpose. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.


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