Clarissa Burt is an award-winning actress, international media personality/producer/director, writer, author, public speaker, and supermodel. She is the CEO and Founder of In the Limelight, a multi-media platform for women entrepreneurs. As a women’s advocate and a leader of social change for a new standard of living, Burt was instrumental as Ambassador to the United States for the Walking Africa campaign that awarded African Women the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011. She was also recently awarded the Certificate of Global Honor by the University of Pune, India, and the “Women of Excellence” Award by the Women’s Economic Forum in Los Angeles.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
Firstly, one must assume that I’ve grown up! I was born in Philadelphia I moved to Texas when I was 12 for 2 ½ years. After which, I moved to New Jersey to finish the last three years of high school. I was living in New York City by the time I was nineteen. I left for Europe when I was twenty and lived there for 30 years. I think that the idea of moving so frequently instills in you the characteristic of being able to adapt quickly to new environments. It’s another of life’s survival mechanisms.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
The importance of relationships. Having moved as much as I did, it made it very difficult to continue relationships/friendships that had been started. Remember that in my childhood we had no Internet or cell phones. At best we had snail mail and it wasn’t the greatest way to keep the relationship ongoing long term. The type of work I chose in life meant I met different people every day. It was very transient. Today, with the internet and cell phones, it’s much easier to stay in touch.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
My profession is audio/visual. I see people on video frequently that are looking down into their computers and have a horrible looking background along with poor lighting. Nothing screams amateur more than this! It’s really important to remember that during Covid while we are working from home, but we must remember that we are professionals and should still be putting our best foot forward.
Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?
Dark periods exist so that we can appreciate the light ones. It’s never a good thing to go back, remember, or drum up unpleasant memories. I’m in a really great place in my life right now and continue to do the work on myself that encourages me to be my best self. What I did learn while I was ‘going through it’ however, was that the strength you need is always inside you.
Depend on no one else but yourself.
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
Believe and be alive! Dream it, envision it, work for it, ask for it, and the Universe will provide.
What is your morning routine?
I wake up at 5 o’clock every morning and follow the Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod which consists of 10 minutes of silence, 10 minutes of affirmations, 10 minutes of visualization, 10 minutes of exercise, 10 minutes of reading, and 10 minutes of scribing.
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
I cut out sugar completely. I don’t drink alcohol. I take supplements and am a vegetarian.
I make sure to get eight hours of sleep every night. I also make time for self-care which usually consists of detox baths, diffusing essential oils, listening to chill/lounge music in the background while I work….just to name a few things.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
Zoom calls are really sucking up a lot of time these days. I have cut many of them out. In some of the calls, I work while listening when possible. I make sure to let everyone know as soon as I get on the call that I have a hard stop so I set the expectation and we can work quickly and efficiently. Random phone calls are off the table. I work 12-14 hours a day every day.
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
Both Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy have been extremely important reads in my life. They are both blueprints for how to live your best life, to keep on track, stay the course, and continue to think positively.
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
“Kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” – Dalai Lama