Anna is a global bestselling author of ‘Podcasting with Impact’ and ‘Get Visible’, both books of which I can highly recommend. She's also the host of an no.1 international podcast ‘Entrepreneurs Get Visible’. Anna has developed a real passion for helping ambitious entrepreneurs and coaches get seen and heard.
Who is Anna Parker Naples?
Good afternoon, Anna. Thank you so much for joining me. I feel slightly under pressure today because I do have you on the pedestal of podcast Queen.
So, no pressure. I didn't give myself the acronym, that title, but it definitely works to help kind of position yourself in a field. I didn't ever set out to help people with podcasting. It's just one of those wonderful things that's unfolded as I've uncovered the things that I'm really good at.
You have had quite a journey, which I'm really looking forward to sharing today for people that don't know you. How do you describe and Introduce yourself?
I help ambitious driven entrepreneurs who feel that they have an important message to share, work out how to be heard and get more visible.
The being heard part is about helping you to have a podcast that's a powerful front end for your business. The get visible part is about how you pull together all of the authority pieces so that someone might see you on social media. They might read your email. They might come across you because you've written a book.
How do you pull all of that together so that you can have greater impact and influence on people so that we can affect more change? So that's the kind of really long title, but I help people impact different people. Purpose driven people to reach more ears. I love that this is what someone wants to try to do with the podcast and encourage people to find their passion and purpose.
The Journey to Success
You’ve definitely found your passion and purpose, but it has been quite a journey hasn't it?
Let's take a few steps back to how this all started.
Right now, Rachel is looking at me and I'm sitting in what looks like a very posh, proper recording studio. I've got all of the padding on the walls. I've got a very posh microphone and what I'm actually sitting in is in the center of my house, in what used to be a long time ago my airing cupboard. This airing cupboard actually has a lot of meaning for me.
If I take you back about 11 or 12 years ago in my final pregnancy. When I was pregnant with my son, I suffered some complications and they told me to expect that I would never walk again.
That's pretty devastating, but I had three very young children, a newborn on the way. I had always expected that after I had this third child, I would return to acting and stage, which is what I’d been doing before my pre-children life. I felt that everything had been snatched away from me.
I was massively resentful, bitter, fairly twisted and in a really, really dark. I have a natural exuberance and a natural energy, so for me to go down for me to go down that far and hit that hard. It was quite shocking for people around me, but I always, even then, when I was really dark and depressed, I still felt a responsibility to put a bright face on it.
My bright face actually was full of bitterness. You know, the jokes we make about ourselves, the things we try to lighten with humour that actually are really just quite depressing and sad. I basically got to a point where I knew I had to do something about it.
Overcoming life changing hurdles
I went to see a hypnotherapist, who was also a neuro-linguistic programming professional NLP.
It was my first kind of experience into the whole world of mindset and personal development. That day, that decision to go there in my wheelchair at a point where I hardly ever left my bed helped me suddenly realize that there was way more to me, there was possibility, there was future.
It started a massive, massive journey for me.
I’ve heard you say that it was your positive mindset that really helped you change physically.
What I want to say. It's not just positive mindset, as in, I'm just going to pretend everything's happy.
That's not actually positive mindset for me. It was about undoing a lot of the damage that I was doing to myself over and over again with the things I was saying about myself. I came to realize that, and this didn't just happen in one session. This was a period of unraveling things I had been telling myself for a long time.
There were things I couldn't do because I was now a mum that I couldn't be an actor and be a good mum. I couldn't be a good mum and make money I could. And on and on and on these justifications for why I'd left my acting career behind five years earlier that were full of. I mean, to be honest, it was just rubbish, but where had those limiting beliefs come from?
To then be in this situation where, well, what if I never walk again? I can't have that life that I thought I was going to go back to. But realizing its kind of more than that. So then starting to tap into, well, as an actor, what did I, what did I really want? What was that all about?
He said to me, well, what would happen if you could be globally recognized for your work and earn great money and be at home with the kids and be disabled, what would that look like? I just remember saying to him, well, that's not possible. He said, well, what if it was? What if over the next month you thought about how it was possible?
It was like something just shifted in my brain from this door being completely closed to all of a sudden there's all of these opportunities and the opportunities that came up for me, whether I could work from home as a voiceover artist, initially doing commercials, and then later specializing in radio drama and audio books and video games.
The Road to Recovery
I started on that path quite quickly from bed learning how to edit, I'm not a techno geek. I don't love all of that stuff, but I learnt it all because I had to, to get my voice out there. I ended up becoming one of the UKs leading British voice actors and going on to be a finalist in Hollywood, seven times with the best of the best.
I was fully recovered, and I really believe the reason I recovered was because I changed how I felt about myself.
Changed how I felt about myself and by throwing myself into something which was audio, where I could express myself. Alongside this I trained and became a master NLP practitioner, and I had this massive breakthrough, a kind of awakening moment as I was completing that training. It coincided with my final award in Hollywood, where I'm standing on the red carpet in Hollywood, in a pair of heels, the most glamorous I've ever been within six years. In that moment when I’d thought it was all over and I felt in that moment, Rachel, I have to get this out there. I don't know what it looks like, but I have to reach other people like me, who somewhere deep inside of them thinks and know on some level they're supposed to be doing something more and show them that it's possible.
Dealing with Limiting Beliefs
It's amazing. During that time, did you struggle with imposter syndrome because you were reaching these highs of getting all these accolades in quite short space of time?
I absolutely felt like I could own it.
It's such a huge thing and what we uncovered from going back into some quite traumatic things that happened in my early years when I was 16, I was brutally attacked by a gang of girls and it was arranged by my best friends. So that sense of not being able to speak up, I told my truth.
I told my version of the truth, and then this awful thing happened to me. I had to have surgery on my face and all sorts. At that point I had kind of limited myself.
It's understandable why I did that, but I'd been limiting myself. I think once you realize those limiting beliefs you've created; you can then do anything.
I'm not waiting for anyone else to give me permission. If I give myself permission to be the best, I can be not the best in the world because that's not even achievable, but the best I can be and achieve whatever I want to do to the 9th degree.
What happened next?
I remember flying home and my dad saying to me, well, what next? People around me could see I'd just been on this massive trajectory.
I started with a couple of clients at home in my office, but the light bulb moment came in the February. I remember having this moment of, I have to create an online business that could have global reach and I want to inspire people. I want them to understand some of the stuff I've understood. What am I going to do?
Female Leaders Rising
I actually think Rachel that there's more and more female leaders rising, and I think it's a really powerful time to be a woman. We have all the things that used to be barriers that, how do you run a business when you were at home? Well, we now have social media. We now have podcasts. We can reach anyone.
It's exciting to see so many more powerful women realize their own potential and start to achieve it and then reach down and help other people up that mountain. The podcast became a way of doing that.
I actually started my first podcast when I launched that Inspiring Mummy Club business, because somebody said to me, you should do a podcast, so I went okay.
I’d never listened to a podcast, but I knew I could recreate one, I had no understanding of the mechanics and even three and a half years ago, podcasting isn't like, it is now. Now it's a major vehicle. Over 50% of the world's population, regularly tune into podcasts.
What makes me tick is the idea that someone somewhere could listen to your podcast or one of my client's podcasts and you don't know what life that's going to touch. You don't know what difference that's going to make.
Celebrating the Wins
How good are you at celebrating your wins, acknowledging them and allowing yourself space to celebrate your wins?
That’s been slightly more challenging during lockdown. Two or three weeks after I launched my second book Podcast with impact, which gained 37 number ones globally was just insane.
That week I was high as a flipping kite all week, even now, I'm still just getting back in touch with people to say, thank you for supporting me. I couldn't do a thing that week, but then comes the crash. I think that's normal as well to acknowledge that if you're going to have highs and you're going to celebrate that hard, there’s going to be a lull as well. I had at a bit of an energy crash rest, I can't be bothered. What am I doing? But that's part of it too.
It's not always going to be easy and it's not always going to be plain sailing. There's going to be days where you cannot be bothered and there's going to be days where you think, how could I do anything other than this? It's the ebbs and the flows.
If you could pay yourself one compliment, what would it be?
“Anna you are doing more than enough. That's probably as far as I'm going to go. “
It was great to hear Anna’s, honesty, sharing how she's got to where she is now. It’s not always plain sailing, but we can all learn from that. Hopefully Anna’s own story can give you some inspiration because if you are struggling, it doesn't mean to say that's a fixed state. You can't get past this and work towards your goals.
A timely reminder that we mustn't let our fear of failure stop us from trying, because that fear of failure can often stop us from just getting started.
You can listen to the full interview here-
To find out more about Anna please visit here website www.annaparkernaples.co.uk
You can also follow Anna. on social media- Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Keeping being fabulous x