Oftentimes, women in business get told to hunker down their businesses, not try to sell anything, or put things on hold. It’s time to cut through that BS and just go for whatever it is that you want to pursue. Having built a seven-figure business without sales calls and as a former Dominatrix, Dana Pharant knows all about owning her power and being unique. She has worked with clients for over 25 years, helping them scale with ease, and is the author of five books, winner of multiple awards, and a woman who treats her own personal development like an extreme sport. In this episode, Dana joins host Lisa Pezik to talk about making internal changes in order for us to change how we show up in business. She also discusses how to get out of your comfort zone using your own guidance system about what lights you up and hitting at the core pieces of trauma before you go into anything business-wise. Join this episode to learn how to stand up for yourself, find your definition of success, and achieve them with no holds barred.
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Cutting Through The BS In Business With Dana Pharant
I'm excited to get into this, talking about closing your ears to the noise that's going on, especially for females in business right now. “Don't launch anything. Don't be trying to sell anything. Let's wait until the election is over. Put a freeze. Put a hold. Hunker down in place and don't let business go on.” Those are the words of the death of your business. I could not have a more interesting woman on my show with me. A fellow Canadian from Toronto, Dana Pharant is in the house. Dana, I’m glad you're here. How are you?
After that intro, I'm ready to run a marathon or something. You got me so pumped up. This is awesome, Lisa.
Let me tell you about how awesome Dana is in this first line. Having built a seven-figure business without sales calls and as a former dominatrix, Dana knows all about owning her power and being unique. She's worked with clients for over 25 years, helping them keep their head out of their ass so they can scale with ease. She is the author of five books, winner of multiple awards and a woman who treats her own personal development like an extreme sport. Let's dive in right to the piece that probably made everybody's eyeballs go, “Whoa.” I don't know anyone who was a dominatrix in my life before or they didn't tell me. Tell me about how you got into that and were there any lessons from that that carried over into writing books, coaching clients and the work that you do now?
How I ended up in it, I had a client come to me. At that time, I was a massage therapist and I had a client come in and she disclosed that she was involved in the kink world. That's the slang for BDSM. We can have open conversations about marks, bruises and not worry about what's going on, and that sparked an interest for me. I was like, “I want to know more.” I kept asking her more and more questions. Eventually, I got myself into it as well and it had the most profound and unusual effect that I didn't expect. I was able to re-enact some of the abuse that I grew up with and create a different outcome within what we call a scene because we have control over what's happening.
The ability to change what was happening in my body at a cellular level was profound that after two sessions, I was able to wipe out my long-standing depression. I didn't even realize I was depressed until it lifted and start to feel a sense of good in my life. Feeling powerful and good in my body, and because of all my background as a healer, that prompted me to pick up the whips and learn how to do this craft. I wanted to take other people on this dramatic healing journey. I was involved in that world for about six years.
Change who we are internally, so that we change how we show up in business.
The part of your question, “Does it translate to business?” Absolutely. In fact, the book Become a Badass in Business talks about all the lessons that I learned in that path of becoming a dominatrix on both sides of the whip and how that translates dramatically into business. Particularly, I think for women in business, but it applies for men as well. It's about changing who we are internally, so that we change how we show up in business. That of course changes our results. It is all about the embodiment of that energy. That for me, I feel is such an incredible gift for people.
That’s beautifully well said. I believe there's a stereotype when it comes to you hearing, “Someone is a dominatrix. She wants to have power over men.” You beautifully explain that how it was taking back your own power and rewriting your stories. I love the two gems of beauty in that. One, it was unexpected that you got into it. How many times do we let our judgments or worries or fears, stop us from trying something new? Number two, it helped you see things like your depression and it helped you uncover things that you didn't know you had. What an unconventional way to heal yourself. I think the world, we've been shifting that way for a while, where we've been moving away from just pumping another pill or healing, inner child work, body work, meditation and all of this is coming to light.
It's funny when you've been ahead of the curve and everyone is catching up and you're like, “Yes. I've been doing this for a while.” A lot of times we do go back. When we have that ability to rewrite our stories or tell our stories even, we can heal ourselves. Tell me about the work that you do now. What does that look like with the client? What do they come to you for? When you say, “Take back their power and be a badass,” those are terms that have such a broad meaning. What are the blocks or issues that people come to you for?
There's always that piece of what people come in for is rarely what the real root of it is. What prompts them to take action is one of two things. Either they have hit a slump in their business. Let's say, they've been doing $100,000 or $200,000 a month in sales and then all of a sudden, it flips and they have like three months in a row, either around 60 or 80. That's a dynamic WTF moment like, “What's going on?” What they start looking at is like, “Maybe I need to change my mindset. Maybe I need to look at what's going on internally.” They'll reach out for that reason. It sparked the business to come back up.
The other thing that I find people prompt to reach out is that they know that something is missing. Either they're not getting the results, they know that they're brilliant. They're doing maybe multiple six figures but it's like, “Why can't I scale to $1 million?” If they've already scaled to $1 million, $2 million, eight figures, then it's like, “Now what?” It’s kind of that spiritual crisis. It all comes down to realizing that the systems are not the thing that needs to be changed. I need to look within and I need to get there in short order. I'm a real big one for, “Get in, get out, don't mess my hairdo.” I don't want to be doing therapy for years. It's, “Get in, find the route, change it and get you back on track,” and that's where people reach out to me.
Do you find the root has nothing to do with business? It's like that phrase of, “You don't have a business problem. You have a personal problem that's going over into your business.”
It shows up in business. We talk about holding our power. One of my favorite clients I worked with had a dramatic dip in her income and we started to look at what's going on and drilling into the root. Where it came down to was this one key employee that she couldn't let go of. That key employee needed to go. She was ready to go, but there were all these reasons why she wouldn't fire her. It's that. It's rooting out all of the reasons that were keeping this person stuck. Once she got that person out, then she could see everything else more clearly. That's the thing. We removed the actual cause and then all the other symptoms either clear themselves up or become easy to fix.
I love that you said that because people are like, “I don't want to open Pandora's box. I don't want to go deep. I don't want to deal with the emotions that come up.” I love that you said that once you get to that pattern, that 1 or 2 or whatever that root cause is, it's initially, probably, hard and sucky to uncover that, but then everything else works for you and falls in line with that.
You hit on a great point that we have this resistance and it's like, “I don't want to go there. It's going to be hard and emotional.” Your life sucks ass right now. Can we be honest? It's not comfortable right now. This is where I hate the comfort zone phrase. It drives me crazy. There is no comfort zone. You are not in a comfort zone. You are in the discomfort zone. You need to get out of it. I talked it in my book. I call the comfort zone, the pee-soaked bed. It's warm and squishy initially, and then, very quickly, it's stinks and it's cold. You need to get out of it. You have made up this lie, that it is going to be hell to get out of it when it's a matter of popping out of it. Do that tiny bit of work. Maybe the emotional piece is 15 or 20 minutes of feeling your feelings and then it moves. When you have someone to hold the space for you and let you drop all the way in, feel all of it. It is dynamically faster than you think it's going to be. If you resist it, it will be there for years, I promise.
I'm taking a second to let that, “The comfort zone is the pee-soaked bed,” sink in. That is true, because what are some of the phrases people say when they're in their comfort zone? “I'm doing good. I'm doing fine. Things are all right, but they could be worse.”
“It's not bad.” It's all that meh feeling and it's not the alive feeling. When you are stretching yourself, when you're going for something that you're aligned with. Here's the thing, when you're going for a goal that you're aligned with, it lights you up, it fires you up. There's some challenge, but it's like that marathon piece where you hit that wall, you move through it and then it’s like you're in a rhythm. The thing with our business is that when we clear out our crap, that’s at wall, then we could hit that stride and be like, “This is awesome. Bring it on.”
Letting all those things introed with, they keep you in that comfort zone. “I'm not going to launch. I better not market. I shouldn't have this call. I’m not going to do that webinar. I’ll wait until the election is over.” Even us, where we are. My son got on virtual schooling and the teacher is like, “I'm hearing that we're going back to phase two.” It's like, “What stage of the lockdown are we in?” If you don't take your power and you keep making decisions based on what everyone else is saying, that's a slippery slope as well.
I see that as this piece of where we haven't been fully taught to value our own inner knowing, own intuition, internal guidance system. Many people end up buying into courses and buying the latest whatever system like, “You're one funnel away from two commas.” That kind of hype, when we haven't stopped to say, “Is this the right fit for me?” We know that the vast majority of people that sign up for those things do not hit anywhere near the promised figures.
I remember when those books, You are a Badass, was coming out. I know how you said you treat your personal element like an extreme sport. I do as well. There are many ways that we connect that I love. I remember it's like, “You’ve got to read this book.” I was like, “What's the book about? Confidence?” They were like, “Yeah.” I was like, “I'm good.” At that point, I had done so much work and I had slayed that dragon and I had read a bajillion books on confidence. I was over the hump. I had climbed that mountain. It was like, “You’ve got to read this.” I said, “That book doesn't apply to where I am right now in my life.” I had money mindset issues. That was my next thing, I had to retell that story and rewire. I said, “I’ve got to read books on that.” Many times, people say, “You go into this conference. You read this book. You check it out this thing. You’ve got to aim your personal development at the problems or the things, the solutions you want in your life.” That’s why I love that you brought that up.
Going for a goal that you're aligned with lights and fires you up.
I love that you're like, “No.” Just because everybody is reading, it doesn't mean that it's for everybody. Most of the time, when people are saying, “This is a fabulous book.” Everybody is reading, it's the best seller. Usually, I pick it up and I'm like meh. I read Jen Sincero's book. I loved her writing. I will give her kudos. She's a great writer, a great storyteller. Were her techniques anything wow? No, but what's great is that she brought it to the masses. She brought some awareness to the masses. If somebody says, “Read that,” I'm like, “that's what I did twenty years ago. Thanks. It was a fun read.” I have to follow where it is for me. Now, I do crazy things. I'm doing the psychedelic plant medicines. That's my latest extremes.
I love how you push the boundaries on. That's not living in the pee-soaked bed. It's such a freeing thought when you're like, “Where do I want to go because anything's possible?” I had that flip probably about in 2019, the culmination of a decade of personal development and being in this world and multiple businesses and getting my butt kicked in life and healing things. I had that flip from, “Who am I? That'd be nice to why the hell not?” Anything is possible.
I think what people don't realize is that you have to do that work first in order to be free and be open and know that no matter what, you have options. You can get in to doing something and if it's not right for you, you can get out and try something else. We're quick to stay pigeonholed, even when people describe who they are and what they do in business, it's like they're reading it off a teleprompter. What you said about like, “What lights you up?” Does that light you up in what you're doing? Are you excited to tell people about what you do or did you get into this business because you were good at it or someone told you, you should?
Maybe you thought you'd make a lot of money at it.
Those expectations. You don't have that internal why that everybody talks about. It's true, but I take it one step deeper. That internal why helps you see the possibility. It grounds you in why you do what you do, but I think especially now, everyone's, “It's gloom and doom. 2020 sucks.” I'm looking back at 2020 going, “2020 was a blessing. 2020 was a gift,” but I made the most revenue and I don't say that to brag. I'm sure you're probably the same. My business exploded in 2020 because of the same solutions that you could provide, but that didn't happen in 2020. That was the culmination of a crap ton of work that manifested and came to fruition.
You've refused to believe that there was anything wrong with you. That culmination of everything that you've done allows you to step into that possibility. Oftentimes, we can see what people are doing and you can see why that would work and how that would work, but if you don't have the alignment internally, you're going to put up those roadblocks, you're going to put up the resistance as you're going to have stuff going on. 2020 was a blessing for me as well but not in the same way. This has not been the financial year for me. 2020 has been my year of healing. It has kicked my ass. I've been grateful. I've only been able to work about a third of the time, but I'm still pulling in over six figures, working a third and not doing promotion in the show like this. For me, it's still a huge blessing because I can relax and trust that the universe will bring things to me because of all the work that I've done, because of all the promotion that I'm letting it flow as opposed to pushing and shoving it all.
I feel like 2020 was like, “Take what you need.” That going inward and looking at, as we come into 2021, are we going to bring the stuff from 2020 in or are we going to take what we need to finally heal and move cleaner on the things that we need? We both are talking about how 2020, for you, it was healing. For me, it was income. It was the fruits of our labor. Let’s go back to the very beginning. If we’ve got readers going, “These two ladies sound like they're kicking butt. Here I am, feeling like it's going to take me a decade to get to where they are.” That's the whole point of why we share. We want to help people get it quicker. What were some of the things you did in the beginning that helped you get to where you are now?
I wouldn't go that route because what I've learned has allowed my clients to have accelerated progress. I wouldn't go back to what I did because that's now slow. What I would suggest is, A) hire someone like myself who can help you drill into the core pieces. For a lot of people, if you have any kind of trauma in your past, sexual, physical, otherwise, you need to be addressing that so that it gets down to the very root. When it gets down to the very root, you feel a sense of forgiveness automatically. That's an indicator. If you don’t have that, if you feel anger towards people easily, you probably haven't fully healed that trauma. The other one that comes up again with people is this sense of, “I'm broken. I'm messed up. There's something wrong with me.”
I call it the addiction to the wrongness of you. That plays out over and over again. When you're addressing that, instead of looking at all of the symptom pieces, which is usually like money and relationships, you start drilling down to these core pieces. That accelerates what you're doing. You don't need decades. I've taken people on a six-month journey and gotten them through twenty years’ worth of therapy in six months. That's the power of what has shifted in what I've learned and the world and consciousness and all of the things.
Same for me. My life changed when I got a mentor, a healer, when I talked to a therapist. When you allow people in, when you stop suffering in silence and you stop letting, “What are they going to think of me?” Your ego can protect you, but your ego can be the worst of you. “What are they going to think of me? I can't share those secrets with someone, the shame and the judgment.” I remember my mentor said to me, “What got you here isn't going to get you there.” He was saying that you've always had to figure it out on your own. You've always had to fight. You've always had to provide for yourself. You've always had to stand up for yourself. Now, you’ve got to let people in, let people help.
If you feel anger towards people easily, you probably haven't fully healed your trauma.
I agree with you 100%, the things I was able to do in 3 to 6 months, traumas and things from decades, from many years ago, I was able to heal in 3 to 6 months and life got easier. I am a proof of exactly what you told. I love that because I find in business, people are always looking for the next strategy, the next marketing plan, the next system, “What website should I use? What should I build my funnels in? What ad?” If you don't take care of the core pieces, if you don't have someone help you with those core pieces, it doesn't matter what strategy or marketing funnel or system you have.
No, because you'll do something to sabotage it. I don't say this out of like, if you're reading and this is you, this is not a wrongness. It's to step back and go, “If I continually sabotage, that means that I'm not addressing it in a way that's going to move it. There's nothing wrong with you doing that. It's the methods that you've been using are not addressing the real issue. Switching it up rather than spending the money on the next system or strategy, take a moment, redirect that funds into what is going to change at the core so we can build a stronger foundation for you to go for.
I've been doing so much partner work with people like yourself. If people come to me and we had this initial call and they're like, “I want to build this course, I want to build this membership,” and we start talking about it. I hear all of the pieces of sabotage come out, all their worries, fears, thoughts and I've been saying, “Go and talk to my friend, Dana. Talk to this person. Talk to Jim.” I have a couple of friends on speed dial. I'm like, “I would recommend that you work with them first. That way, when it comes time to build, we're building clean, smooth and fast.”
If you don't have that resistance, then it goes. You implement. When we let go of the core pieces, we also tend to let go of our need to control things and then we can hand it over to somebody like you and say, “You've got this plan. Run with it. What do you need? Let me get you everything you need for you to do your job.” That's a huge piece. If you want fast, come and talk to me about the plant medicines.
I think I need to have you back on another show to talk all about this. What are you most looking forward to in 2021 or even ending this year and transitioning into a new year? What lights you up? What are you focusing on or looking forward to in this time?
I'm sitting in a place of curiosity. 2020 has also been a journey for me to let go of control and surrender to the bigger picture. My work is more on the shamanic side of things where it's not a set system. It's following what the energy is. I'm curious to see what will unfold. I'm definitely looking forward to having more flexibility of being able to open up more of the plant medicine retreats. As things open up, we can have more people, bringing my American friends up here and invite that in. Those are the key things that I'm excited about.
You've got a freebie for them. Tell them about it.
You can get a free copy of book number five, and this is Badass Intuition. It is a six-week proven system to get you the tools that you need to start trusting yourself, to implement. If you follow it step by step, I promise you that you are going to have a killer system for being able to follow and find out what works for you. Your life and your business will flow with so much more ease. They can head over to BadassIntuition.com.
Dana, thank you for this amazing conversation. This is one of my favorites. It’s real, raw to the point, but chock-full of things that make you go, “Hmm.” That's exactly my hope in this show is maybe it's a strategy that you need, maybe it's a perspective shift, that awareness that makes you go, “She called out that thing that I didn't want to say or I didn't want to deal with, but now I know that I can go. I've got people in my corner.” You've got myself and Dana. There are community groups. Reach out. If it's not us, we'd be happy to connect you with who that right person is to get you through those blocks, to get you healed, building clean, running clean, even finishing in the end of 2020 and going into 2021 clean. That is my hope for you. Thank you for being here on the show. Dana, thank you for being here with us.
Thank you, Lisa. It's been a blast.
Readers, thank you. We will catch you next time. Bye for now.
- Become a Badass in Business
- You are a Badass
About Dana Pharant
For the first 18 years of my life, I lived in a mild cult (Jehovah’s Witness) and went through almost every type of abuse available—the whole smorgasbord! Then I moved in with my mom, and found myself in a home that was the polar opposite; everyone was addicted to sex, drugs, and alcohol. I tried to numb out as much as I could by drinking and eating compulsively (I was such a sugar addict!) while at the same time going for counseling. At 21, I graduated as a registered massage therapist (RMT), and by 25 with the help of therapy, I was no longer experiencing nightmares, flashbacks, and other triggers. I was functioning.
Most women are functioning; they’re head down, let’s get the kids’ lunches made, let’s do what we need to do. Husband wants sex? OK, bang, bang, bang. They think they’re doing well but they’re still dissatisfied, they’re judging the shit out of themselves, and they’re not as happy as they’d like to be—even though they’ve worked through some of their issues.
I was functioning, tackling my issues with lots of counseling, and working as an RMT. One of my clients was involved in the kink world and over the next several years, I started dipping my toe into it. During that time, I also started my own RMT supply outlet and massage clinic, but in spite of all the counseling I’d been doing, I made some bad business choices. I hired people who had no skills to do the job and they fucked up—a lot of the time. But I let them and I ignored what was going on, so I was blindsided when five of my therapists moved out on the day I took the key to a bigger space!
I didn`t realize it then but the mistakes I was making were a result of the programming set up in my body from the abuse (just like the programs that run in the background on your computer). And it was playing out in my business. Surprisingly, the rewiring I needed was waiting for me in the kink world. My partners and I would create the script ahead of time so that I was able to re-enact the abuse, but I could alter the outcome and fight back. That changed things neurologically in my system, which began to change the programming. Once I had done that work, I moved over to the other side of kink, the dominatrix side, and worked with people to take them through that same healing journey.
Fast forward a few years, and even though I’d made changes in my company, I was still carrying a shitload of debt from past mistakes, which crippled the business and it went bankrupt. The cool thing is I did not make myself wrong in any of it, which is incredible for most people to imagine. But it was because I’d spent 10 years implementing some really good tools. I had only two ten-minute meltdowns, in that six-month period!
Self-judgment is the single biggest reason women aren’t bolder in their lives and businesses. Most are not willing to take a chance, because they’re not willing to make the wrong choice. So they hesitate, and the bigger and bolder the choice is, the more risk there is of it being the wrong one.
I was willing to lose everything, to surrender to bankruptcy, so instead of desperately clinging onto something I was able to reach out for something different. I made a commitment to myself that business was going to be fun and make me money or I wasn’t doing it. So I restructured the company and sold it.
When you resist failing you don’t play full out, you don’t dive in and take the opportunities and risks that will propel your business forward. But when you surrender and let go, you lose that heavy, serious energy. Then laughter and playful energy shake things up and you get back into who you are; you tap into your creative juices and that is the sweet spot for your business. If you’re creative and you’re lit up—boom! You’re gonna rock it!