Episode #154 Personal Evolution

March 6 , 2023

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 You are listening to My Freedom Grove podcast with Gretchen Hernandez, episode 154.

Welcome to My Freedom Grove Podcast, your calm space for practical help to get your dream business up and running while being authentically you and taking care of your mental health. I'm your host, Gretchen Hernandez. I'm so glad you're here!



Hi My Strong Friends.  I have 3 exciting updates to share with you. 



First - I’m proud to offer you the first ever Evolve - Emerge Retreat!  This Business & Wellness retreat lasts for 3 days and 3 nights.  I reserved all of the Elk Cove Inn & Spa, located in Elk, CA.  This gorgeous Inn is ocean side and features 16 unique luxury rooms with breathtaking ocean views.

The Evolve & Emerge retreat will calm your soul with emotional & energy regulation techniques, Help you break your own glass ceiling with Personal & Business Evolution planning, and help you make more money in your business by evolving your most lucrative business processes.


By the end of the retreat you will emerge with an upleveled version of your business and your authentic self.  Even better, to capture your journey, professional photography and videography will be there.  You’ll walk away with stunning images and reel-sized video that you can use to market your business.  


The Evolve - Emerge Retreat is happening May 5-8th.  You can learn more about it on my website.


Second - I have an exciting podcast guest lined up for the first week of April.  Molly Rose Speed will be here to share about the Virtual Assistant Academy and Virtual Assistant Management.  This is perfect for individuals interested in becoming a work from home virtual assistant and for Business Owners searching for quality virtual assistants.  In my words, the Virtual Assistant Management program is a “matchmaker” between VA’s and Business Owners. You’ll want to tune in the first week of April.  This is a great opportunity.


And Finally - I am headed off to Miami this week.  I’m attending The Life Coach School’s Work Hard, Play Hard event.  I always love to uplevel my skills.  Here’s what I’m going to learn:

  • How to sell on a Webinar
  • How to be a better Teacher
  • How to run a Challenge Week
  • How to write the best Copy Faster
  • What’s working best with funnels and ads
  • How to sell expensive things
  • And learn all of Brooke’s secrets to a top ranking podcast


There’s something even more profound for me at this event.  Part of the Play Hard includes a Yacht party.  This is an important part of my Self Healing & Evolution journey.

I invested in Grief coaching last year.  I was struggling with my mom being homeless and not open to my Business Process or Mindset coaching.  During my coaching I shared about feeling like I was keeping my Golden Yacht tied to the dock as I tried to convince her and others to accept my help.  I believed in their eyes that they saw my boat as a beat up old Dingy boat.  The truth was, I was treating my services that way by staying at that dock for so long.  It was a codependence issue.  I had to allow other people to have their journey without me, even if their result was undesirable.  It was heartbreaking, but necessary for my Mental Health.  I envisioned myself as the captain of my Golden Yacht, helping people get extraordinary results quickly.  If those on a solo journey changed their mind, they were always welcome on my yacht, but I was finally setting sail.

The happy ending here is that as of last Friday, my mom is no longer homeless.  After 5.5 years, she was finally willing to allow me to help her.  She got the keys to a duplex by the ocean.  Even better, she has 10 years of guaranteed rental assistance through the Emergency Housing Voucher system.  I hugged her tight and sobbed happy tears.

During my vision exercises in Grief coaching,  I even imagined hosting an upleveled retreat on a golden yacht.

When I worked at Genentech, my self concept was elevated because they exposed me to upleveled restaurants and accommodations.  I want to be able to do that for my clients too.

Attending the Yacht party at the Work Hard, Play Hard event in Miami is helping me to physically step into that reality I envisioned.

It’s healing.  It’s evolving.



This leads into today’s topic of Personal Evolution.  All living species on this planet are constantly evolving.  As a former scientist, I’ve seen plenty of evidence of Survival of the Fittest.

You can survive in many conditions.  But you always have a choice of which conditions you want and whether you just want to survive or if you want to thrive.

I know how to survive.  I grew up poor.  I started babysitting at age 10 to make pocket money.  By age 13 I had a full time job.  I appreciated having money.  It empowered me to buy important things like food, clothes and makeup.  Lol  Yes, at age 13, the most important thing to me was makeup.  Life has changed a lot since then.

In High School I wanted to be included in the extra curricular activities such as going to the Model United Nations conference in New York City.

Did I need that for survival?  No


That trip was all about thriving.  I wanted the experience.  I wanted the personal development.  I wanted to be one of the best in debate and peace negotiations.

I had a strong desire.  I needed to evolve to be able to step up into that level.

At age 16 I had to come up with the money for airfare, hotel, food and entertainment.  To make that kind of money, I had to get out of my comfort zone.  I had to do things I hadn’t done before.  I built up my courage and ability to fundraise door to door selling catalog products, candy, and car wash sponsorships.  I also learned how to balance working 2 jobs and staying on the honor roll at school.  I evolved, so I could thrive.

Have you ever wanted something that was out of your financial reach?  What did you do to earn the money to do it?  Were you willing to evolve out of your comfort zone?

I was the first person in my family to go to a 4 year university.  I wanted to qualify for good paying jobs.  Again, I had to get out of my comfort zone to evolve.  I rented my first apartment at age 18 and worked 32 hours a week, graveyard shifts, to put myself through college.

I was rewarded with a lucrative career in Biotech.  Over the years I kept upleveling my skills and capabilities.  I stand back and assess what was needed to go to the next level.  Then I would get myself out of my comfort zone and evolve.


Growing up we always lived in rentals. Some were houses, some were apartments.  All of my friends lived in homes that their parents owned.  I wanted that for myself too. So, I bought my first house at age 26.

It felt out of my league.  Have you ever felt that way?  Have you ever stepped into a circumstance that felt out of your league?

Now that I’m aware of the Mindset model, I realize that the sentence “out of my league” is an optional thought.  Just because I had the thought, did not make it true.

We can think anything we want.

When you were a kid, did you ever put on your parent’s shoes?  I did.  My feet were about half the size of those shoes.  I wasn’t thinking “this is out of my league”.  I was thinking “I’m going to be a grownup someday”.

I have a motivation plaque on the bookcase in my office.  I keep it there so people can see it when we are on a zoom call.  It says “Dreams Come a Size Too Big So We Can Grow Into Them.”

That really resonates with me.  It’s just like putting on my parent’s shoes.  Yes, I knew I didn’t fit in those shoes, yet.  Notice I used the word “Yet”.  


It’s your acknowledgement that it will happen.  You are not at your final stage.  You are still evolving.


I’m now on my 5th house.  It overlooks the ocean.  Growing up on government cheese and handme down clothes, I never imagined I would live in a house overlooking the ocean.


But, here’s how I did it.  I kept putting on bigger and bigger shoes.

I knew I could grow into them.

I did the same thing with jobs.  I stepped into bigger and bigger jobs.  I knew I could grow into them.

I remember my first year working at Genentech.  I was ecstatic to make $70k a year starting out.  I was a single mom with two kids under 5.  I remember going grocery shopping at the fancy store.  I was able to buy the freshly prepared meals from the deli case.  The skirt steaks swirled with spinach and feta cheese was one of my favorites.  I also started our annual tradition of having crab on New Year’s eve.

It wasn’t about surviving.  We were in the Thriving lifestyle.  And it felt really good.  I knew my kids would never have to be excluded from extracurricular activities due to lack of funds.  I could provide for them nicely.

Eventually, I moved past the 6 figure mark.  On top of that I was getting yearly bonuses in the $20k range.  When my husband and I got married, I was able to fully support our family of 7.

It’s interesting.  I’m in many entrepreneur communities where some women have never been financially self-sufficient.  Sometimes there are conversations about the Patriarchy holding them back.  I don’t know everything these women experienced.  But, I know I never allowed anything to hold me back.

I know it’s always possible to evolve as an individual.  It is also possible to evolve a culture.

When you evolve yourself, you become an example of what’s possible.



I remember in early 2018 I was watching a webinar from Brooke Castillo.  She was talking about becoming an entrepreneur.  She said one of the reasons she chose to do it, was just to prove to herself that she could.

Ooo, that got me.  I knew how to make good money as an employee.  I also knew how to make some money as an entrepreneur.  I started when I was in middle school selling cherries and Christmas candles.  For one summer, when my boys were toddlers I had an online baby clothes company.  Both made money. Both were profitable.  Neither were sustainable.

I thought to myself, how amazing would it be to evolve my skills and confidence to create a sustainable business.

It was the next biggest size shoes to step into.

In the beginning, I thought those shoes were only 2 sizes too big.  Once I took the big leap, I realized I had 2 different sized shoes.  The left was 7 sizes too big and the right was 4 sizes too big.

The left shoe represented the healed, non-codependent, non-people pleaser person I needed to evolve into.

The right shoe represented the business acumen and financial discipline needed to run a business.

It was a choice.

Not a survival of the fittest.  I could survive by being an employee.  I could even survive without healing, and changing my codependent people pleasing ways.  I could even survive on a much smaller financial footprint and live a simpler life.  It was a choice.

It was about Thriving.  To be able to create my own business from scratch was a thriving option.  It’s exhilarating to know that I did that.  It’s a huge challenge and accomplishment.  The pride I feel for having done it is immense.  I evolved and created a 6 figure business.  I did that.  From scratch.  Not only that, I evolved into the left shoe.  My Mental Health and relationships are better than they’ve ever been.

It’s a feeling I want others to experience also.  You can evolve.  It’s a choice.

Is it something you want to do?

Do you want to move past surviving and move into a thriving lifestyle?  Do you want to be able to buy the fancy food at the fancy grocery store?  Do you want to be able to enroll your kids into the extracurricular activities?  Do you want to go to the fancy restaurants or live in an upscale neighborhood with a great view?

You are worthy of this.

It is OK for you to have this.

Do you want it?

Are you willing to step into the oversized shoes and feel uncomfortable for a while?

I promise you, you can fill those shoes.  You can evolve.  Anything is possible for you.

It just takes being intentional about what you want.  Then you just experiment to resolve any obstacles that pop up.

What personal evolution do you want to do?

I’ll be thinking of you as I step on that yacht this weekend.  I envisioned this 6 months ago.  Law of Attraction brought it into being.  My desire to evolve helped me say Yes and pay for the expensive trip in cash from money I made from being an entrepreneur.

I had cash available when the opportunity was presented to me.  Even if I didn’t, I would have figured it out.  This is a big part of my healing journey.  I matter to me.  I want this for myself.

I’m excited to also evolve my business acumen.  As I evolve, I bring that higher quality of service to my clients.  Who in turn get to evolve faster and to higher levels.

When I raise my glass of champagne, I’ll be saying a toast to you.  Here’s to your personal evolution.  Here’s to you having the business and lifestyle you want.  Cheers!

Do you want help to Evolve and Emerge as your next level personally and in your business?  The Evolve - Emerge Retreat is now open for registration.

Escape to the luxurious Elk Cove Inn where you’ll experience doing business in a whole new way.  We teach you how to soothe your nervous system, take care of your mental health and evolve your business, lucrative business processes, and most importantly, you.

This intimate retreat is limited to 20 guests.  Reserve your spot now to get first pick of the Ocean View rooms and suites.  To register go to www.myfreedomgrove.com/evolve-emerge-retreat.

My friends, have a wonderful few days.  I’ll talk with you later this week.  Bye bye.


Thank you for listening to My Freedom Grove Podcast. When you are ready to make your dream business a reality and take care of your mental health, I invite you to join the Unshakable Business Co-Lab. This is the mastermind membership you've been waiting for. There's no limits on your imagination, nor your timeline. We're with you every step of the way. To learn more, please visit www.myfreedomgrove.com/join. I'll see you there!


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