Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.
Hi everyone, I’m Susan Eckstein. I’m an empowerment expert, coach and speaker. I help high-achieving women who are ready to break the chains of conformity find the courage and confidence to be true to themselves and live life unapologetically. Many of us look to society to tell us who and how we’re supposed to be. This often leaves us feeling disconnected, trapped and unfulfilled. I help my clients reconnect to their power, challenge their stories, change their beliefs and find the courage to be boldly authentic.
Currently, I am focusing on building my 1:1 coaching practice and speaker platform, and am in the early stages of writing a book.
Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?
I became a member in September, so I am relatively new this group. I’ve participated in three online events so far and have connected with some fabulous women.
I joined Ellevate because I wanted to connect with likeminded women who want to support each other. I believe there’s more power in collaboration.
How would you define your professional mission?
To empower all women to be true to themselves.
What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?
In 2019, I gave a talk at the Triad Theater in NYC where I shared how I made the unconventional decision to have my two boys live with their dad following our divorce a decade ago. For many years, I felt ashamed and was afraid to talk openly about this because anytime I shared my children’s living situation, I was stigmatized by other women.
After my talk, a woman came up to me and told me that her daughter lived with her ex-husband. She said that hearing my story gave her the courage to own her decision. Since that day, I’ve been committed to openly talking about my choice to go against societal norms. By giving myself permission to do what feels right for me and my family, I am giving other women permission to do the same.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Watching my clients connect to who they really are. When they give themselves permission to explore what feels right for them, they step into their truth. It’s incredibly powerful.
What legacy do you hope to leave through your work?
Even though we’ve shattered the glass ceiling, made strides against gender inequality and sexual harassment, and changed the parenting dynamic with more breadwinning moms and stay-at-home dads, we have more work to do. I hope to inspire and empower all women to be true to themselves instead of defaulting to who society says we should be.
What is your morning ritual?
I get up at 5:30 every morning, even on the weekends. I love to watch the sunrise. I make coffee, journal for 20-30 minutes and then listen to an audiobook. Having my journal open while listening allows me to capture new ideas and explore things more deeply. Journaling first thing in the morning helps me get clear on how I want to show up for the rest of the day. It’s one of my non-negotiables.
What does success look like to you?
Success is having the freedom to boldly share who you are with the world and living a life that makes you wildly happy.
What is the best career advice you ever received?
If you could save one life with your message, would you put it out there? I heard this from my speaking coach, Tricia Brouk. Anytime I’m wavering about sharing something deeply personal, I remember her words and share my message. I believe we all have something powerful to share with the world.
What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?
As moms, we have the power to define motherhood for ourselves. We get to ask, “Who do I want to be for my children? What lessons do I want to teach them?” We need to answer these question not by how society defines a good mother, but how we define it.
Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.
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