Erica Diamond is a lifestyle & parenting correspondent, keynote speaker, podcast host, author, entrepreneur, certified life coach, and certified Yoga and meditation instructor. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of EricaDiamond.com and the host of The Erica Diamond Podcast. Diamond is the author of the book 99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before Starting Their Own Business.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
I grew up in Montreal, Quebec. On April 7, 1975, I was born to two incredibly wonderful and doting parents. My earliest memories are of my mother and I—always together, always talking. I was constantly being nurtured. My father was out hunting to provide for his family, all the while fighting his own insecurities as a result of growing up lacking many resources at home and having to help his family financially at a young age.
My parents were polar opposites. My mother, a teacher, and a therapist was calm and rational. My father was an astute businessman, a people person, and a lover of life. But they were a unified front when it came to raising me. I was taught the value of a dollar early. Whenever I received my allowance, it was half to spend, and a half to save. As a child, I played at entrepreneurship.
Each day I would play in the basement with my dolls. (and talk to them– I am an only child!) I would develop a new business idea each day—opening a restaurant, designing clothing, or simply selling something. I loved sales. The entrepreneur in me was cultivated at a very early age, and I was given every encouragement and opportunity to work hard and to chase my dreams.
And so I did. I can’t remember a day since my early to mid-twenties that I haven’t lived my life in passion and purpose.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
I wish I would have been more of myself. I wasted many years suppressing who I was. I learned later that you don’t have to be anyone else but yourself. I am a naturally outgoing and talkative person, but I thought that was a bad thing as a teenage girl, so I quieted down and dulled my shine. It was only around the age of 25 or 27 that I started to come into myself. My husband also made me realize that the real me is beautiful, that I can be my 100% authentic self. Today, that is what the Erica Diamond brand is – pure authenticity. Always embrace the real you.
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?
The year was 2001. I was 26, newly, and happily married. I had managed to turn my passion into my paycheque. My business was flourishing. I had just been featured on the cover of the business section, was a Profit Hot 50 Company – One of Canada’s 50 Emerging Growth Companies and I was the only female CEO on the list, a huge accomplishment if I might add! as well as numerous other publications and TV shows. Life was Rockin!
Except, one little thing. I wasn’t sleeping. I was anxious. I was consumed by obsessive thoughts. I was crashing. I was on the brink of a burnout.
The onset of burnout feels like the inability to feel at ease, happy, and restful. It feels like constantly being agitated. Everything pisses you off – traffic, lines at the bank, phone calls. You get into bed at night, and your thoughts come at you a million miles a minute and consume your brain, and you are unable to shut them off. Because of this, you do not get restful and restorative sleep, which leads to more anxiety and worry. I became so fixated on implementing the right strategies for more growth, and that what happened was, the more I grew, the more I stopped appreciating this lovely business I had created. And the more obsessed I became. Success became a moving target. Every milestone hit became no big deal, and the target was just reset. The bar got lifted again. I was monopolizing our marriage with talks of daily work stresses AND work strategies. Everything was do or die, life or death, fight or flight. I mapped out and planned every minute of every day, and managed to become a highly functioning and successful MESS.
I thank my mother who saw the hurricane I was becoming. She told me that maybe I should speak to somebody professionally, and not her (despite being a wonderful therapist herself). At the gym, I was working out with a lovely psychotherapist. I loved her aura… we got to know each other as we pushed through our weekly workouts. I asked her if she’d see me professionally.
Slowly but surely, with her help, and the support of my amazing husband and family, I started to return to myself. I remember one of the greatest things my therapist told me was “don’t diminish your gifts, but rather balance them.” Don’t stop doing the things that make you excel at what you do, rather complement them with a calmer lifestyle. Well, that was my aha, frying pan, light-bulb moment. I didn’t have to change who I was, I just had to balance my hectic pace, with calming activities. She suggested I try yoga.
That’s where my love affair with yoga began, and I haven’t stopped since.
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
Tenacity. I feel like Will Smith when I say, you will probably be smarter than me, but I will probably be the hardest working person in the room. I have dedicated thousands and thousands of hours over the years DAILY to perfect my craft. I take my work very seriously and work really hard. I also feel I’m very resilient. When I fail, I’m committed to failing forward. I don’t let it keep me down- I get back up and try again. I try and retrace my steps to see how I can avoid making the same mistakes again.
What is your morning routine?
I wake up around 6 am. Most every day, a mini guided meditation in bed before waking up. Then A CUP OF HOT COFFEE WITH ALMOND MILK. Pure heaven! Then generally yoga or a workout before the kids get up. Then onto making school lunch, carpool, get back home, and work.
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
I have l been living and health and wellness most of my life, but since COVID reared its ugly head in March 2020, I upped my meditation to include 7 nights a week RELIGIOUSLY before bed, with the exception of maybe a handful missed. I have never experienced this kind of deep and restorative sleep in my life, and consistently night after night. True story.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
I eat the frog. What do you mean, Erica? Eat The Frog was a term coined by Brian Tracy. It means that thing you really don’t want to do— Do it first! Eat the frog first! This ensures things will get done. We naturally put off what is difficult and tackle the easy stuff. Simply put, DO Your Most Dreaded Task FIRST. It’s the frog that keeps getting put off each day that causes us distress. Time block the frog and do it. I think to myself; what can I realistically do, and I make sure the hardest ones are done first to ensure they actually get done. This is how I say goodbye to procrastination.
What are you currently working on?
I am thrilled that I have created my first ever online course, launching January 25th, 2021 called BUSY TO BLISS, The 4-Week Mind & Body Transformation for Busy Women Who Want To Reclaim Their Time and Energy I am beyond excited! If you’re a busy woman looking to kick off 2021 with a plan to live in more balance, calm, joy, and abundance, I’d love to have you!
You can also join me in a FREE LIVE Women’s Wellness Masterclass happening now!
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
One of my favorites is Shoe Dog the autobiography of Phil Knight, founder of NIKE. If you haven’t read it, I highly suggest it. I love his story, and what it took to create a legendary brand. Phil Knight is the living example of fearlessness, tenacity, and grit- everything I’m trying to instill in my children. In fact, I made them listen to the audiobook on a 5-hour drive to Toronto! They loved the book too.
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
Of course. I’ll share two.
“And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst.”