Welcome to the Forty Over 40 blog. Every week we spotlight one of our female disruptors and their thoughts on reinvention, mentorship and momentum…plus a peek into what makes them tick.
This weeks Q & A is with Hilary Weeks, Singer/Songwriter; Top 10 Billboard Chart; Motivational Speaker; Founder of BillionClicks.org
1. What was a pivotal moment of reinvention for you?
The moment I heard a woman say we think over 300 negative thoughts a day. My curiosity about the power of positive thinking had lead me to study the topic, but that number was news to me. I immediately wanted to know if I really thought hundreds of negative thoughts every day, so I bought a hand-held tally counter – a clicker – and began counting. What I learned changed my life and has been affecting the lives of people all over the United States over the last two years! Additionally, it launched me on a mission to teach others how to harness positivity in their thinking and on a quest to collect one billion clicks (one billion positive thoughts) at www.billionclicks.org (Editor note – site no longer active).
2. Who has been a valuable mentor or sponsor?
This question gave me pause as many times I have wished for a mentor – another woman who could show me the ropes in business, giving insight and guidance in my decision-making. As I pondered this question and somewhat lamented over not having a mentor, I realized I most definitely have had a mentor for over 20 years – my husband! Tim is a brilliant businessman and entrepreneur. I have been well-guided in my fledgling business as I’ve heeded his advice. In addition he has taught me to be generous, to give the benefit of the doubt, to bend, to never burn bridges, that the answer may not be A or B it might be C, and kindness is always the best approach. Not to mention the therapist fees I have saved by bringing my concerns, issues and worries to him and listening to his sound opinion and insight!
3. What is your biggest goal right now?
My biggest goal right now is to become more involved with public and corporate speaking as a means of sharing what I have learned about the value of positive thinking. Positivity is the foundation of peak performance in the workplace as well as in our homes, neighborhoods and communities.
4. How did you get your first job? How did you jump to your second job?
My mother was the self-proclaimed “work witch” – giving herself that title because she required each of her children to find a job the summer we turned 14. I complied and was hired on at the A&W in Anchorage Alaska. At a young age, I learned to show up on time, put in long hours, balance a bank account and save for the future. One of my favorite jobs came as a senior in High School. Applications for the job were accepted only after students took a ten-week course on the history, geography, politics, etc. of Alaska. Once we passed the course, we were allowed to apply for a job as a tour guide on the Alaska Railroad which traveled each day from Anchorage to Fairbanks. I was one of seven graduates who were hired. I loved talking with the tourists and answering questions about my beautiful home state of Alaska!
5. What time do you typically wake up? What do you do every morning?
I usually wake up around 6:00 am. I spend 30 minutes in quiet study, meditation and prayer, which grounds me before starting my day. I like to exercise in the morning, otherwise I won’t do it! I tend to get in a breakfast rut and eat the same thing for months. Right now, I habitually eat a bowl of granola with strawberries, banana slices, blueberries and rice milk. I use an app called Duolingo to study German while I down my breakfast.
6. How did you feel on your 30th birthday? What were you doing at that time?
I felt old. Oddly enough, I felt less youthful and pretty on my 30th birthday than I did on my 40th. I even bought a book about how to keep yourself looking young and healthy! There were many tips, but a decade later I only follow two of them – “stretch each night before bed” and “wash your face gently to prevent stretching your skin causing wrinkles” (The wrinkles are still showing up!).
7. How do you unplug? How often do you unplug?
I have two favorite ways to unplug – go on a date with my husband and digital scrapbooking. I love to eat out, so sharing a table with my husband and talking about everything under the sun makes me so happy! Also, I love the memories we create as a family and preserving them in a beautiful way brings me joy!
8. What was the last business book you read?
My incessant desire to learn more about positive thinking has lead me to recently read Learned Optimism, Strengths Based Leadership and The Happiness Advantage. I recommend any and all of them!
9. What song can’t you get out of your head?
Oh, this is a problem for me as a songwriter! Every song I hear gets stuck in my head! If my daughter practices her violin, the exercises stay in my head. If my daughter hums a tune at breakfast, I find myself humming the same tune while cleaning up the dishes! Even today, my youngest child made up a song to remember a code…and I found myself singing it!
10. What is your secret indulgence?
Ice cream, root beer floats, brownies, chocolate chip cookies, carrot cake, fruit tarts, cobbler, donuts…anything sweet! The sad part is, it isn’t a secret – most people know desserts are my kryptonite! There is nothing I like better than a little treat at the end of a busy day!