Catherine B. Roy: Author, Personal
Growth/Business Coach and
Founder of LHM Academia
Catherine B. Roy is a CEO and Founder, internationally recognized Personal Growth and Business Coach with a client base in 14 countries, LinkedIn Ninja, Bestselling Author as well as a Human Potential Thought Leader. She is a MENSA member (with an IQ > 156 which can’t be further measured and qualifies her to be in the less than 1% of the human population).
Catherine is officially certified by the Goldman Sachs 10000 Women Program for business development and enjoys the distinction of receiving the Top 30 Under 30 Young Entrepreneurs, Top 20 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers in Future at Work, Top 100 Women Global Thought Leaders and Influencers to Follow in 2020 and Top 100 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers in B2B to Follow in 2020 Award.
She is also an experienced business entrepreneur and IT system architect for the last 12 years, as well as a linguistics researcher with published scientific works. Catherine is certified in the fields of positive psychology, assertive behavior, emotional behavior, emotional intelligence (EQ) and intelligence (IQ).
Catherine’s writings are published in The Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Simple Reminders, McGill Media and many others. Catherine was featured as a guest expert at many summits and podcasts worldwide. She has also been a participant and expert speaker at numerous international conferences in the fields of leadership, business development and international cooperation.
As the bestselling author of “Live from Your Heart and Mind,” which hit the bestseller lists on its release day, Catherine is the guiding force behind the LHM team, its vast community and system for increasing a person’s emotional and intellectual capacity and inspiring them to positive change and accomplishment. Catherine’s most popular quote reached 1.2M people in less than 10 hours. Her community counts over 150K followers and she is featured in many more online communities which count over 50M people in total.
Her only mission is to help you realize your greatest potential, do what you love and make your dream business flourish.
TSM: Hi Catherine, thank you so much for doing an interview for Talent Spotlight Magazine. It’s really great to have you in the magazine.
CR: Thank you so much for having me. It’s my pleasure and honour, and I’m very happy to share this space with you.
TSM: Can you tell us a little more about your background in business and IT.
CR: That’s quite a story. I was a programmer for thirty years. I was a Java back developer, so a very, very in depth IT specialist, in terms of developing enterprise applications. However, as you’re familiar in January 2017, I published a book, which has nothing to do with programming or anything else. It is called Live From Your Heart and Mind, it was a calling from my heart to do so. I’ve developed a system for emotionally intellectual growth to help people to re-establish balance in their lives. Also, as you know, Bryant McGill and all of you beautiful guys from the Royal Society actually helped me when my book was published.
My book became a best seller, I was a mom for two months, and never dreamed that something like this would happen. I’m enormously grateful to all of you who were there with me because I was so shy and so closed off, and I couldn’t have do it without you. I’m really, really very honoured because that was the moment when my life started to transform. People started to recognize me on social media, and I remember you also creating the spotlight for me back then. A lot of other people helped as well with huge pages, such as Heidi from Love Wide Open, who already had an online presence and I was just starting out. My network started to expand a lot, people started to reach out to me, and to hire me as a personal growth coach. Then I realized that I needed to do something if this was going to become a business. I graduated with economics, so I’m very familiar with how to do a business. It’s just that I never did it on my own. So, I started to learn a lot about business modeling and digital marketing, and all of that.
Basically, now I have a client base in forty countries. I’m very recognized business coach helping people get more visibility, leads, and clients especially over LinkedIn. I’m actually certified by the Goldman Sachs, which is absolutely something I could never have dreamed about, and I just wish to share this. We can do anything, every desire if we just believe, if we have people who support us. And if we learn and do the action. I’m the proof, there is no more.
TSM: What was your very first business venture ever?
CR: That’s an interesting question. No one actually asked me that, and it’s a very cool question. I never liked sales, and never did anything around that. This is now very enjoyable and easy for me because I have social media, so people can see what I know and how I can help them. So, they approach me and I don’t approach. I never even played creating a business when I was a kid.
TSM: What inspired you to write the book Live From Your Heart and Mind?
CR: That’s a very interesting question. All my life I was struggling, and in pain from a dysfunctional family; a lot of bullying, surviving war in ex Yugoslavia, surviving Koksaki virus and in the end overcoming infertility and becoming a mom. Of course, there were beautiful moments at the time too, but mostly struggle, and I didn’t want to struggle anymore. I didn’t want people to struggle anymore because I knew if I was facing all of that, there are others who are feeling like that. So, I had an urge to help, both myself and others. I was trying to find a solution for myself. At that time I was told I couldn’t be a mom, and that was my biggest wish. I was in depression and didn’t know what to do, so I decided to get online to find people I can at least talk to. I tried a lot of things, and one of them was a meditation. It was a 21-day meditational challenge, and I started to receive information through the downloads from these meditations.
Back then I was a scientific person, a programmer, and had been working for four years in a scientific center, basically as a researcher. When they tell you, you can’t be a mom, and that’s something that you have always desired then you try things which other people say may work. So, I started to write down information that I got from those meditations, and I’ll be honest, it was complicated. I didn’t understand the concepts, and was writing down the information, not knowing what to do with it. At the same time, I was invited in MENSA to research human potential and the human mind. Somehow those connected because the information from the meditations were about healing,emotional intelligence, and balance and fulfillment in life. On the other side, was learning how to activate the mind potential. So, I thought, what if I start writing about that. I started a blog, people reacted, so I decided to write a book. That’s honestly how Live From Your Heart and Mind was created, and I like to call it, a baby of my own reincarnate. That was the moment my soul started to awaken itself.
TSM: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
CR: When I was in high school I was one of the chosen talented kids to go to the scientific center to research linguistics. That was kind of an interesting thing because I was in the mathematical department in high school. Those things have nothing in common. I was always with a pen and paper, and always writing something. I have written maybe about 40-50 poems, wrote two books in the Serbian language, and have written a lot of material. I never thought I would publish something.
You know what happened…I was sitting in the office with two of my colleagues, we’re all programmers. They said, “here is the test for Professional Orientation, we should try that.” I did the test, and the result of the test was that I should be a writer. I was thinking, how in the name of God am I going to be a writer now, I’m a programmer. That was back in 2008, and I started to write something, but it didn’t make any sense. That thought never left my mind, and one day I just sat and started to write my first book. That’s how everything happened.
TSM: What process did you go through in creating your book? And did anything surprise you that you learned during the process?
CR: Yes, I have to say that’s not easy at all. People think I’m going to write a book and publish it. However, if you want to write a book that has value and of good quality, it’s not good to just put out any book. My book took many years to write, it wasn’t something that just happened. I transformed it many times because basically, when you start you have an idea and then this idea is cut into pieces in order to make chapters. Then you need to edit the book. English is not my native language, so when I finished writing my book I needed an editor.
To publish a book in Serbia, it’s very difficult. There is no Amazon or opportunities, unless you are very famous or pay a lot. So, I decided I would go to America, and I would do that there. From this perspective, that might sound crazy, but I did succeed in that. I met a man online who agreed to be my editor, and we worked six months in the editing process. Then I spent about a year finding a publisher, and then about another year to year and a half with a publisher preparing the book for publishing. When it gets to this point, I would say just think if you want to be a published author, or self-published author.
Self-publishing is much easier because you don’t need to struggle with all that I did, or need much time to invest. You just need someone to help format it and prepare the book for publishing. I took a longer a process, but I’m happy because I learned it. Now I have a team that does it for others, and I’m transforming everything to business.
TSM: What are some mistakes you wished you could’ve avoided?
CR: A lot because this was not an easy journey. When you build your own business first, you learn from your own experience and that can hurt a lot. For eg. I had a business partner, and it didn’t end up well because when we were looking for an investor and there was a potential investment in my system back then, the investor called and asked me if it was my project or that of the other guy. I said it was mine and my book as it has my face everywhere. He wanted me to come with the 10% and a specific amount of money. Both my partner and I each had 50% and wasn’t interested the investor. So, the partnership didn’t go well. I would suggest to everyone that until you are so huge, you don’t need to bother about the little details and be in a partnership. That can be very bad for business actually.
In terms of finding the publisher and all of that, I wasn’t lucky with that either. I signed a contract for three years, but everything the publisher delivered wasn’t on the quality level I would accept. My publisher didn’t want to work on that and said it was my problem if I wasn’t happy with it. It wasn’t about liking it, but that my book didn’t look good on every device. If it’s an e-book, it needs to be perfect on every device. If it doesn’t work on an iphone than it’s not good. So, I needed to find outsource companies that would do formatting preparations, cover, etc. I paid it on my own. So, I invested in a lot on that, just to be published.
Next thing when you have a publisher, you get reports which they give you. My book was a best seller. I will be honest, and this is the first time I’m saying this because my contract with the publisher is over, and I self-published my book, so I can say this. I earned maybe 20 – 40 dollars maximum from everything because I got the reports solely from her, and didn’t have the rights to go to Amazon and see the real reports. That was going on for three years. That’s why I created the business about self-publishing and all of that because my advice is that you don’t need a publisher. You will just lose from all the sides, at least from what I personally experienced.
I would like people to learn from this, and get their own opinion and perspective. When you hear that someone leaked this, it was very hard for me for three years because I couldn’t speak out about that. For three years, I was promoting my book as if it were mine, but it really wasn’t. I was on a call with Bryant McGill about that, and I want to share what he actually told me. I told him what happened to me, and he shared a story of his. He had a very similar experience. Then said that he wanted to see what I was going to create next, and to just forget about this. After my talk with Bryant McGill, my husband and I started from scratch again. We built a completely new website, built all new courses, new packages for coaching and re-did my book and published it again. So, I was like born again. People who have been following me online can see that I’m truly happy now, and that when I speak and share my experiences you can feel my happiness.
TSM: The algorithm illustrations in your book are amazing and effective. What is the inspiration behind them, and how long did it take to create the illustrations?
CR: That’s a journey, so you will see that my book wasn’t just born overnight. When I was writing the downloads from the meditations, it was complicated. I didn’t understand them, and needed to draw to help myself understand what they were about. As I mentioned, I was a programmer, so before writing the code we write algorithms. I realize the same advice given to me and to you don’t have to be equal. If you are doing the algorithm left or right on your own, giving yourself the answers, and I’m doing the same through the same algorithm, we might get better results that are actually very different but works for both of us. So, I made a small export system because when you are doing an algorithm, it asks you something, and you go left or right. You come to the conclusion of your own. It’s not my job to tell someone this is a mistake and you’re doing it wrong, but it’s my job to lead them to understand them on their own.
Then I needed someone to prepare that for the book. So, a friend of mine is an architect, and I went to her and gave her what I was drawing on the paper, and asked her if there was any way she can create algorithms out of them. She responded with yes. However, I needed illustrations because my book is associated with learning. Basically, we needed a story in pictures. My publisher didn’t have an illustrator who can do that, so I found someone who is actually a drummer in a band, but who draws perfectly. So, the illustrations were hand-drawn by him, and then made combinations from him and the architect to do the algorithms.
TSM: Tell us about LHM Academia.
CR: I was doing a lot of coaching and people were asking me a lot about business development online. I couldn’t follow-up with all the questions and with all one-in-one clients at the time. So, I decided to build an e-learning platform to integrate all the knowledge that I have to help people develop their business. LHM Academia is an e-learning platform for business development for coaches, consultants, entrepreneurs, small business owners, who want to start creating a business model and then translate it to social media.
It was a beautiful journey because everything that I teach in LHM Academia is my path which I went through. So, I know exactly what works and what doesn’t work. It saves tons of time, and the most beautiful thing is that I actually combine it with my coaching. So, in some of my packages, people purchase the whole academy plus my coaching. So, it’s much easier for me to explain to them how some things work when they already learned from the e-learning platform.
The idea for the future is to build an e-learning platform with different expert instructors for different areas of business growth. I can give a general perspective and go deep into business modeling, Linkedin and re-generation. However, there are people who are much better in other areas.
TSM: If you could interview one person in your field, who would it be and why?
CR: Arianna Huffington and this is my reason. One day I woke up, and I saw that our friend Uchenna published something for Huffington Post, and back then since I’m from Europe I honestly wasn’t familiar with it, and how powerful it is. I just reached out to Uchenna, and I asked if I may write something, and if I can publish something for Huffington Post. He gave me an email address, and just sent an email, and in fifteen minutes I got a response. That response was, “Hi Catherine, of course Huff would like to feature your voice. I will connect you with my marketing manager. We’re really happy to have you on board.” I got credentials and started to write for Huffington Post. My best friend called me, she is a professional journalist, and said, “What are you doing on Huff?” I said, “What, what am I doing? I’m writing, I publish.” She asked me about the back end of the story. You won’t believe, but I wrote directly to Arianna Huffington, and I got a response directly from her. So, if ever I get a chance to speak with her, I’d like to thank her because I was no one, just starting and she gave me a hand, helped me and gave me a space. I’m so grateful, enormously grateful that I would like to interview her.
Besides Bryant McGill, of course. If that man didn’t show up in my life, it’s a question if I would have ever had the trust in myself to become what I did become. Somehow I feel that I will really him in person, and maybe interview him. That’s why I said Arianna.
TSM: You are great at marketing yourself on social media platforms. While I know you’re active on the most popular platforms – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, you also have a huge presence on LinkedIn. What makes LinkedIn unique, and why should people be on this platform as well?
CR: I’m in love with LinkedIn. It completely changed my life, business and the perspective that I had, and this is why. From September to December 2019, and now during the pandemic, I tripled my business from LinkedIn. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are amazing platforms, but that’s like you’re having a BBQ in the back yard. On LinkedIn, you are on that working event. Every single person over there is there to do business. When you’re trying to do business on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, you’re swimming in the ocean because 90% of the people on those platforms are there to just have fun. You struggle, invest a lot in ads, personal branding and all of that. However, not much of a conversion happens. On LinkedIn, everyone is in a business mindset. They expect valuable content in terms of business, and recognize you. You become an expert, build your reputation brand and they come to you. So, what I’m experiencing on LinkedIn is the result of providing a lot of free material there, every single day I have a video. People started to recognize me, and to reach out and hire me. I’m not reaching out for clients. They are reaching out to me, or they are coming as referrals from previous clients. That’s the most beautiful thing that can happen.
LinkedIn is now what Facebook was in 2012. It gives 100% of free reach. We don’t get that on any other platform. Facebook is giving 10%, Instagram 15%, everything else you need to pay. You need to boost your posts and pay for advertisements. If you learn about LinkedIn, SEO, keywords, how to position yourself as an expert over there, it becomes a reputation branding machine in sales. I don’t they will be like this for long because they have started business pages there like Facebook. I believe they will also transition to paid reach. That’s why I’m talking a lot about LinkedIn and telling people to come now. Later will be too late because guys that became huge on Facebook started out in 2012. Now when you have the chance to have 100% free reach, you are wasting time in other places if you’re not on LinkedIn. I have 22,000 connections on LinkedIn, so if I comment on your post, 22,000 people will see it. If I leave a comment on your Facebook post, maybe twenty-two people will see it. That’s the point. Definitely LinkedIn, if you are doing business and want to build your brand in any kind of way.
TSM: If you had the power to do something in the world today, what would it be and why?
CR: A few things…First thing, there would never be a war ever again. If there is a way to do this, I would never allow innocent people to suffer for someone else’s mistakes. So, there would be no war.
Second thing…Since I went through infertility, and I was successful with in vitro procedures that were very stressful and extremely expensive, I would try to build as many hospitals that provide in vitro fertilization for all the couples that can’t have babies the natural way.
Third thing…Protection for kids with no parents, so build homes and places for kids who don’t have parents.
TSM: What is one of your favourite quotes (or lines) that inspires you?
CR: I have to say, one by Nicola Tesla…”The Present is theirs, the future for which I’m working for is mine.”
TSM: Anything else you’d like to share?
CR: This was a very pleasant conversation. I truly enjoyed every question, you surprised me because no one asked me such wonderful, in depth questions. I had the chance to tell my story from a different perspective that can really help people who are thinking about doing anything online. I’m very, very grateful, and I wish you all the success in the world with the magazine.
TSM: Thank you so much. It’s such a pleasure to have you in the magazine, and thanks again for your time.