Terri Levine is the founder of Heart-repreneur® LLC and is a business and executive coaching expert. She assists businesses worldwide with business growth, sales, and marketing. Terri is also a bestselling author of dozens of books, has her own radio and TV show, and is also a keynote speaker.

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 Yonkers, NY, and was very poor; however, my family was loving, and I had no idea we were poor. I was happy and well cared for. When they began busing kids to our school, a young girl came from a foster home and wore the same clothes each day. I felt sad for her. So on Halloween, I double the amount of trick or treating and brought BOXES of candy to school for her. I realized giving felt so much better than receiving, which has been a lesson for my lifetime.

What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?

I wish I had discovered living in the moment and not focusing on the past or predicting the future. The present is all we have, and it is perfect.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

To set up funnels! To constantly down-sell and upsell instead of offering people the one and only solution they really need. I think funnels have been the worst mistake in marketing.

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?

I got a neurological disease called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) – the most painful disease known to humans according to the McGill pain scale. I spent 18 months in excruciating pain, in a wheelchair, taking 29 medications, and getting Ketamine (elephant tranquilizer) infusions. I felt so depressed I was considering taking my life. Then I went online and started looking at children with this disease and began to see the “disease” as a gift. I had a voice, wrote books, spoke on stages, TV, and radio, and could fundraise for these kids and their care and educate people about RSD. When I turned the situation around and made it about others, I stopped the pity party and began to live again.

What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?

I commit to my goals. I stay the course, and I never give up. Persistence pays off. I say, “Find a way or make a way.”

What is your morning routine?

I get up at 6 AM and immediately do a GID process – Gratitudes, Intentions, and Delegations. I don’t get out of bed until I write down all that I am grateful for, how I intend to feel and experience the day and then jot down the things I can not figure out and turn them over to the Universe as delegations to solve.

What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?

Fifteen minutes daily of meditation along with doing transformational breathing at the same time. I am clear and centered from this process.

What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?

I set blocks of time for 45 minutes. While I am working in a time block, all distractions like my phone and computer are off. After 15 minutes, I take a break by walking, reading, calling a friend, having a glass of water, or sitting quietly. Then I am back to my next time block.

What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?

The E Myth (Michael Gerber): This book helped me design my businesses by being in the CEO’s chair and operating in that place, and not trading time for money.
See You At The Top (Zig Ziglar): helped me get my mindset right, so I am conscious and intentional about my thoughts.
How To Win Friends and Influence People (Dale Carnegie): helped me learn to build teams and relationships
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen Covey): taught me to focus and be efficient.

Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?

These three from Zig Ziglar:
“You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
“You don’t have to be great at something to start, but you have to start to be great at something.”
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”