Break Through Business Barriers With Better With Becker
Leslie Becker has traveled to more than 40 countries, learned to deep-sea dive in the Great Barrier Reef, practiced yoga in Bali, camped throughout Australia and Tasmania and even worked on reality television shows including “The Apprentice” and “Survivor.”
Through an incredible amount of enviable life experiences, entrepreneur Becker has found her joy as a life strategist and confidence coach, and now, with Better with Becker, she’s selling solutions to businesses and individuals seeking new ways to succeed.
The New Orleans native shared some of her secrets with Biz.
Leslie T. Snadowsky: There are consultant companies out there that try to step in and conventionally help accelerate growth for businesses, but Better with Becker seems different. How did you get started?
Leslie Becker: People have been coming to me for advice since I was in high school, especially my male friends. I have long been fascinated by the male psyche and how men and women view the world differently. The trick is how we bridge the gap and learn to love and accept each other for our differences and strengths. When I was living in Los Angeles, I started a business called Mr. Confidence – think the original “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” meets “Hitch.” Before I knew it, I was honing my skills with men and women in LA in my 20s while working in Hollywood as a TV producer. At one point, a boss suggested I apply for a position to be a “wing lady.” Basically, I got paid to go to bars and help men pick up women. I was really good at it! One of my favorite gigs was befriending pickup artists and getting paid to get hit on and then telling the men what they did right and where they went off track. Eventually, I made my way back to New Orleans and worked in real estate, property development and other various industries. But it was through gaining valuable life experiences during my extensive travels that I decided to follow my true joy and combine my business acumen with my playful side and Better with Becker was born.
I help people find the confidence to better their lives, and I could not be more grateful for each and every opportunity.
LS: Better with Becker offers “life coaching for your business and a business plan for your life,” and is supposed to help people who feel stuck, get unstuck. How do people and business owners get into these ruts and how does Better with Becker help them clarify their motives and goals? And what happens during your 30-minute Discovery Consultations? What do you learn about your clients and what do they learn about you?
LB: Many of us form habits out of convenience. It’s easy for us to become complacent. We get comfortable going about our daily routine, but then one day we realize hey, wait a minute, why I am doing this? Is this working? Do I need to change? Normally, clients come to me when they realize that what they have been doing no longer works for them. Essentially, they feel stuck in some part of their lives. Initially, we have a Discovery Consultation. During this session, I create a safe space where I get to know them, and we determine if we are a good fit. For example, you would be asked a lot of questions and we would start to see the metaphoric layers of your “onion” being peeled back and your truest goals start to surface.
LS: You say Better with Becker takes an holistic look at your client’s life and business and reworks the things that do not bring them joy so they can focus on what does. This sounds kind of complicated and transformational – how do you streamline this process?
LB: We focus on the eight essential areas of life: emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social and spiritual. Together, we reevaluate each of these aspects of your life as you begin to discover if you are where you want to be. We look at what keeps you up at night. Is your marriage in a good place? Are you single and happy about it? How is your health? Are you stressed about going to work… and you’re the boss? When is the last time you were truly present with your children or spouse? When is the last time you smiled at a stranger?
There is no magic pill to fix all your angst. Trust me, I would have swallowed it. But what is magical is when you commit to changing and placing your love inwards.
Fundamentally, I am a confidence coach. Most people are ashamed to admit that they are lacking confidence in any part of their lives. When you allow yourself to be vulnerable and seek guidance you begin to live a life full of joy. You will be challenged and given exercises that will push you out of your comfort zone. I will guide and support you throughout your personal and professional growth. The saying is true that your cup must be full before you can give yourself to others. I steer you to find ways to top off your cup!
LS: Explain the merits of your life coaching five-step process called UGEAR™. What is it, and why does it work?
LB: Whether I’m working with an individual or a business it is imperative that we establish total respect, honesty and transparency. We get personal. You find yourself opening up and sharing in ways you may not have even done with your closest friends. The “I can’t believe I am telling you this” thoughts may surface. Even if this is about your “business” it really is about you.
In order to do this we go through a five-step process called UGEAR™ that gets your life back in gear:
• Uncover your uniqueness
• Gain clarity on your objectives
• Expose self-limiting doubts and fears
• Accumulate resources and create an action plan
• Reveal and redefine your renewed self-confidence
LS: Your “breakthrough sessions” sound pretty intensive – why are they effective?
LB: A breakthrough session is just that – a breakthrough. Basically, it is a half-day intensive session where we focus on one main aspect of your life where you are stuck and fearful. You must wholeheartedly be willing to take a deep dive with me. Depending on what the blockage is, I tailor our time together to release it. During this process, I remind clients that fear is just an indicator that one of their triggers has gone off. We work through that fear together. If the issue is with a relationship, and when it comes down to it all of our emotions and issues are, we often forget when we lose a relationship with someone else we gain a deeper understanding of ourselves. When one door closes, another door opens. I adapt business principles to create a personal development path for my clients to follow. I guide them through this journey and am their sounding board along the way. This process is effective because you can quickly see what is being reflected back. When you want to make a change, you have to take a look at the “man in the mirror.” This session can work well as a standalone or, better yet, it is a great jumpstart to a successful foundation in life coaching.
LS: You are a Goldman Sachs 10K Small Businesses scholar. What did you learn going through this program, and would you recommend it to other local entrepreneurs?
LB: The Goldman Sachs 10K Small Businesses Program is game-changing. It provides business owners with new tools and sharpens the tools they already have to continue to grow their businesses. They are big advocates of working ON your business and not IN your business. I completed the program in 2013 and the alumni program, which I remain involved in, is a great way to continue to stay connected to other owners who share similar business concerns. I made incredible connections and have recommended it to many of my colleagues who have since joined me as alumni.
LS: You are fiercely protective of your clients and their identities. Can you anonymously share what type of clients you have, their industries, their obstacles and the results you’ve been able to help them achieve?
LB: Thank you for understanding that. I really enjoy working with men. So let’s use a composite client we’ll call Joe who’s a business owner in his early 50s who develops real estate and has other successful business ventures. He is married with two kids, but he realizes he is not getting the respect he needs at home. His efforts are being taken for granted and he lacks the appreciation he desires, but he’s afraid to fail and uncomfortable with an uncertain future. Joe and I reevaluate his circumstances and create a plan to navigate what his future could look like. Joe imagines an outcome where he would be living his most joyful life and relish in his newfound confidence. I guide him through this process through a series of exercises.
Perhaps that means seeking marriage counseling and ultimately ending his marriage. If that is the direction Joe and his family decide to move in, I help him walk that path, determine what that means for his business endeavors and for his family. To be clear, I am not an advocate of divorce, but I am an advocate for self-improvement and trusting your gut.
Joe may also have conflicts with his employees, and we discuss conflict resolution for those issues. Maybe he works in a family business and deep down knows he needs to fire a relative. We get to the core of Joe’s pain points in his life and his business/es.
In Joe’s case, the result might be ending his marriage, strengthening his relationship with his children, selling one of his businesses and making a career shift towards devoting more time exploring his passion project and discovering how to make it financially lucrative.
LS: You have a lot of life experience. You have traveled to more than 40 countries; you worked on reality TV shows including “American Gladiators,” “The Apprentice,” “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “Shear Genius,” “Survivor” and “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover;” you are a certified yoga instructor; an advanced deep-sea underwater diver; and you say you are motivated to live outside your comfort zone. How does all this personal history help you help others succeed in their businesses and their lives?
LB: I have been fortunate to have had so many incredible and self-broadening experiences. Self-mastery is a lifelong practice. I believe all experiences, good and bad, design your future. All you can control is the way you react to your circumstances and which lens you choose to view your life through.
Did I think years ago I would have chosen to be divorced and starting a new career? Not exactly, but the one thing I am sure of is how fortunate I am to have lived, really lived and wandered through so many different life situations. It has taught me to be kinder, to connect deeper and accept people in a whole new light. Also, a little yoga and meditation can help with that!
By constantly challenging myself and my clients to put themselves in new situations, like enrolling in an improv class, which I did a month ago, life can be experienced on an entirely new level.
Simply put, I help you change your perspective on change. When you are ready to make a shift, first you have to admit the problem. Second, you have to accept it, and then it’s time to do the work. I am your confidante throughout this journey and will lead you through this evolution. I listen with understanding and empathy, but I hold you accountable. My relationships with my clients are sacred, honest and rewarding.
LS: On your website, you have a resources page with links to podcasts, videos, books and an uncanny personality test that appears to be very accurate (I took it). How do they inspire your clients?
LB: My coaching style is zany, just like me. I am outgoing and vivacious but don’t let that fool you; I mean business. There is a myriad of resources that I use to inspire my clients. I created a list of books and exercises that I like to pull from; however, each client is unique and while there are some trends that continue to show up, like “am I good enough for…?,” “am I capable of…?,” fear of failure, inadequacy and uncertainty, I thrive on making each client’s experience unique to their particular needs. As your life strategist, I will support you in understanding and managing the obstacles in your way.
When clients schedule a Discovery Consultation with me. I immediately start to help them rediscover their mojo and find ways to BETTER their lives.