I was interviewed by Jessilyn McCash of Balanced Bloom on who I am and why The New Firm was born.
I love sitting down and chatting with the fabulous and inspiring female entrepreneurs on the HG team, I not only get to learn so much about who they are and what they do, but I also learn from them. Each woman has a unique story and journey that has gotten them to where they are in life, and this month I got a chance to learn more about Gabriela Brunner, Accidental Lawyer, Founder of Operation Change Career + Lover of Mondays!
1. Tell me about Gabriela growing up, who she was and where she saw herself going in life.
When I was younger, I remember always having a goal, a mission, and I always made it happen. I grew up in Central America and had a lot of wonderful experiences there. It definitely shaped who I am today. I remember a specific dream that I had and worked towards. I knew that I was going to have a corner office in a skyscraper and earn lots of money. My friends would even joke about how focused I was on making that happen. One day, I found myself in that exact situation. A few years later, I realized how powerful we are as creators of our own reality.
Growing up, I always did what I needed to do. Part of that was my discipline + focus, and part of that was a lot of “should” energy. I worked hard, had great friends, and had a really nice life growing up. We all have our challenges and our own ups and downs. Trust me, I had my fair share. But overall, I had a good upbringing.
2. I read on your website thenewfirm.co that you “went to law school somewhat by accident.” This doesn’t seem like a choice most people can make accidentally…lol, explain how this happened for you.
Haha. Yes. Here’s how that went down. After graduating college with a BA in Government and a minor in Studio Art, I moved to Miami to be with my mom and sister. My mom had just moved back to the States after living in Honduras for almost 25 years. I searched for jobs. I remember one opportunity I had was going door to door selling catalogues or discount booklets or something along those lines. This did not appeal to me (hello scorching Miami summers!). I felt I was designed to do more. I worked for Carnival Cruise Lines for a bit, then moved into the hotel industry working Front Desk at a gorgeous resort. My mom knows me well and she knew I was itching for something else. At the time, I felt a pull towards business school. I had always dreamed of doing something with art and business. A friend (ok let’s be honest, boyfriend) was going off to law school and he gave me his LSAT book if I decided that would be a good option for me. I thought to myself, ok, law school, let’s do that! I’m basically Elle Woods from Legally Blonde! So the decision was somewhat by accident, but of course, once I decide to do something I’m all in. I studied, took the LSAT and a few months later was accepted to a few law schools. The rest is history!
3. So when did you realize a shift needed to be made? Was it one moment or an accumulation of things? What gave you the courage to leave?
Looking back I recognize that it was an accumulation of things. The overarching theme was that I never felt 100% myself in any of the work I was doing. Not in college or law school or practicing law. What I found joy in was not part of the money-making flow of the business. I enjoyed mentoring students, helping people create their visions for their careers, and counseling them through not-so-great times in their careers. That brought me so much joy, but it didn’t pay the bills, at least not in those settings. I was paid to be a lawyer, not a coach. So, I lawyered!
Courage. Well, I wouldn’t say it was courage as much as it was a series of invitations to move on. Hehe. I’ve been fired from jobs. I’ve been told I don’t “fit” with the culture and would be better off elsewhere. I guess you can say the courage part comes in picking myself up after each one of those experiences and continuing on the journey. Eventually, things really started lining up, one opportunity, then another. I was aware enough to see them and curious enough to see where each opportunity would take me.
That is so inspiring Gabriela. Many people would have a hard time picking up and moving on after being told they don’t “fit in”, but you continued on…well done! That leads me to my next question:
4. What advice would you give young women who are seeking balance between success and happiness?
Oh boy! This is what it boils down to for me. 1) You are enough period. 2) You matter, your ideas matter. 3) You hold this sacred inner wisdom that knows you so well, remember how to trust it. 4) If it doesn’t feel good, explore why, there is incredible wisdom there. 5) Have courage to live your most authentic life, however that feels good to you.
This isn’t always easy to apply. We get told, from every single angle, how we should live our lives. It’s hard to listen to the inner wisdom when everything (and everyone) around you is telling you the “secret formula” for a successful and happy life.
Here’s the secret: YOU are the formula.
Your dreams, your wishes, your whims, your desires. Listening to YOU is the secret to living YOUR best life. We’ve forgotten how to listen to ourselves. I forgot how to listen to myself. And that’s why I believe in the right kind of support to help you remember.
5. Describe how The New Firm came about and a little about the programs you offer.
The New Firm had been brewing, in one way or another, for many years … possibly my entire life. The kick in the pants I needed to actually act upon the idea came when I was working with my first business coach, an empowering woman who I met through my USANA family. After working with her, I not only got clear on my vision, but I truly started to believe that it could happen. I think of a Danielle LaPorte #truthbomb where she writes “Sometimes you have to believe it to see it.”
After working with my business coach, I met my second coach and mentor. She awakened me to my own intuitive gifts and helped me strengthen my connection to myself and God. Working with her has been incredibly powerful for my life and my business. I continue to stretch myself in ways I never imagined, and I continue to tap into my courage and strength to keep going on my life’s path … because it is my purpose.
The New Firm is a beautiful combination, a mosaic of all my gifts and talents. I work with clients on a 1:1 basis and in group programs. I also do online workshops and I’m transitioning into in person workshops in the Decatur, Illinois area. (I hold a license to facilitate Danielle LaPorte Firestarter Sessions workshops!) I share my own experiences and inspirations through Instagram, Facebook and my blog. I’ve also got a podcast in the works now where I’m interviewing some really neat creators. They’ll share how they harnessed their creative power through discipline + focus to bring their passions to life.
When I work with my clients, they get all of me. They get the analytical, rationale, no-nonsense lawyer, they get the nurturing and loving mother, they get the wisdom of my intuition, they get energy alignments and learn how to tap into their own sacred wisdom’s. They get exactly what they need in each moment. They get someone who can help them figure out the most complex issues, and someone who will guide them through their own journey with love, patience and a gentle fierceness they’ve never known before. They get a mentor, teacher, guide and coach. And, friend.
6. You recently made a transition with your family and actually moved in with your extended family. Tell me how you all decided that this was the best fit for you all.
How much time do you have? LOL
It really all came down to wanting to be closer to family. We lived in Minnesota for ten years. We went from dating, to married, to one baby, to two babies and life got real! It took many years for us to truly feel ready to make the move to Illinois, and about 1.5 years ago we made the decision. It took another year and change to actually make the move, but now we are here. We’re grateful to be around for the little things (birthdays, everyday dinners, etc.).
7. You’re a Mom of 2 gorgeous little ones, tell me about them? What is your favourite part about being their Mom?
My sweet babies! I enjoy them so much! They are my greatest teachers. And each day I think to myself, wow, I created them! It’s powerful to simply be in their presence. Luciana is 3 and a half and Alexander is 2. They test me on every possible level and they bring me so much joy!
8. When and how did Healthy Girl come into your life?
I’ve got a really unique story. (Of course I do!) I joined USANA first as a customer back in 2014 after my daughter was born. Like many moms, I wanted something I could trust that would help me return to pre-pregnancy weight. I fell in love with the products, and quickly felt that this could be an incredible opportunity to find that “career” that I was seeking. USANA gave me hope.
It was a struggle for two years to make my business work. Once you get to know me you’ll come to see that I’m honest. I got pretty fed up with not being able to implement the “simple formulas” in my “five minutes a day” to earn the buckets of money others had. That’s when I had my own reality check. USANA was no longer aligned with what I wanted to accomplish. I quit the business entirely for six months.
During that time, I was immersed in my Intuitive Coaching certification and growing my business. Then, my sponsor and I reconnected on a USANA level (we still connected as dear friends on a consistent basis). She told me about HealthyGirl and the direction it was taking. She shared with me how HG is all about showcasing your authentic self, and not some cookie cutter mold. She shared more and more and I grew much more intrigued and curious.
I did my research (yep, always a lawyer!) and I knew that HG was unique. The energy felt aligned and I felt like it was a glowing community of incredible and AUTHENTIC women who all desired to live their most aligned lives. THEIR most aligned lives, not the aligned life brought on by formulas are pure hustle with no heart.
These women are inspiring. They are real. They are growing businesses in their own ways. Multiple businesses. It’s gorgeous to witness. HG is pretty magical. I’m honored to be a part of this group.
9. Where do you see Gaby in the next 5 years?
I see myself doing more of what I’m doing now. My desire is to continue working with a few women each year in a really meaningful way. I thrive on sacred connections. I thrive on meaningful interactions. I thrive on getting to know people’s stories. I see a retreat in Italy centered around the creative process. I see more podcast episodes where I get to interview everyday people with fabulous stories of creation. I see intimate group programs and more 1:1 work. I see being there for my kids and laughing a lot.
I look forward to watching you create all this magical and inspiring work. Thank you for sharing a bit of your story with us today Gabriela and good luck with everything you do moving forward.
Want to know more about Gabriela or how you can work with her? Go to thenewfirm.co.
This interview was originally published on Klusster.