Christine Rich is a master teacher and multi-entrepreneur for over 30 years. Christine is an author, inventor, patent holder, speaker, successful business owner, dance teacher, award-winning choreographer, certified coach in multiple platforms, spokesperson, former actress, model, and dancer. She is a thought leader in motivations for reducing fearful anxiety to create your best self to accomplish your need of the moment. Christine also creates digital courses.
In an exclusive interview with ScaleUp Magazine, she talked about her life and how she grew herself despite all odds and making difference in the lives of people around the world.
Christine, tell us about your life journey.
As a grade-school aged child, I daydreamed about inventing and having my own businesses. The seeds of entrepreneurship were already there and about to take root.
But first, in a bid to accommodate societal expectations, I took a “regular job” twice for two months each, at age 19, and knew then and there I could never work for anyone else. I became a serial entrepreneur. It felt right.
I’ve found direction by letting inner wisdom guide me for my next play and by saying “okay” to new directions.
I started with what I knew, which was teaching dance classes. After a divorce, I got an urge to visit a girlfriend in Houston. She took me with her to pick up her headshot pictures from a photographer. The photographer insisted on taking modeling shots of me. I said no, “I’m not a model,” but he reassured me that I could pull it off. That became my first “okay” that changed my course.
The day I picked up my pictures, the photographer had put them in a vinyl portfolio cautioning me not to leave it in the heat of my car. I carried the portfolio with me as I walked through the mall. There, a talent manager from New York walked up and asked to see my portfolio. He suggested I go to NYC to explore modeling. I said “okay.” Within one week I was signed at Ford Modeling in NY. Suddenly I was a print model and actress. Note: I consider modeling, acting, waitressing and the such as pseudo-entrepreneurship. Technically there is a boss, but you have a wide berth to be creative and set your course.
By the second week in NYC, I was cast in a major movie. I said, “okay” not knowing how to act and I was flown to Atlantic City for the filming. A month later, I booked my first TV show and commercial because I went to the wrong auditions due to agent’s incorrect directions. Instead of going home, I had the inner wisdom to ask to audition since I was there (even though I wasn’t dressed for the part or had the physical type the client was looking for). The director said I could audition. I winged it. I booked both gigs.
The more I kept my focus on the adventure of it all and having fun with a new experience and continuing to say “okay”– the more careers came to me.
Jumping ahead, I moved to L.A. I started thinking of inventing. I followed that energy to invent a fitness product, researching how to get a prototype manufactured. I got patents on the product and exercise movement.
Out of all the fitness manufacturers, it came to me to call an international one, Tunturi, who flew me to Seattle to pitch it. I said “okay” and winged the pitch despite not having any experience. They licensed it and filmed me in an infomercial. I thought that was it and returned to L.A. to await my royalty checks, but Tunturi soon called.
They got my product placed on a QVC television (a home shopping network) airing, but the QVC’s execs wanted me to do the live TV selling after rejecting five Tunturi fitness execs. I had no idea how to live-sell but I said, “okay.” It will be helpful for you to know, I wasn’t clueless, or arrogant, I trusted that the skill set would be there when I needed it. Also, taking an improv class helped.
I went on-air at QVC television as the second non-celeb spokesperson, right after Joy Mangano and her mops. We sold out. QVC asked me to be their in-house fitness spokesperson for their own line of exercise products. I said, “okay.”
I returned to the Midwest to resume the dance studio business, write a book and spokesperson on QVC. After outgrowing three dance rental locations, I built a mammoth state-of-the-art facility and started developing professional dancers. I became an award-winning choreographer. I just followed inner energy and said okay to it.
I’d always had a passion for helping women when it comes to men. I got my certification for coaching relationships. My two favorite relationships to coach are women dating or couples, as well as individuals needing to develop their relationship with themselves in order to pursue their dreams. I’ve done that with many of my dancers.
Tell us about your high and low points in life and what did you learn from them?
Got a week to listen? The highs are anytime I’m plugged into inner wisdom feeling that loving the warmth and marveling at the serendipitous ways that the universe provides beyond my imagination. The lows are the times I resist connecting within and stubbornly or ignorantly delve into fear. But I say, “Every fear is there to heal by reaffirming truth.”
Society conditions us to become, unlike our true self. The more I slow down mentally and stay tuned to within, the drummed-up fears fall away. Society often wants us to work excessively hard, dangling the carrot of retirement, to only then partake of pleasurable activities. For me, quality of life experience must be a daily event because we’re not promised our days on Earth.
What one advice did you get in life which transformed you into what you are today?
It was one word from my father, “ENJOY.” That word can be taken many ways, but the net result is the same; enjoy life, enjoy yourself, enjoy moments, enjoy your passions, enjoy taking care of yourself, and choose the thought or thing that brings the most enjoyment.
In a world of five senses, be guided by invisible inner wisdom. Said another way, enjoy the freedom to be uniquely you instead of contorting to please others.
How does your day looks like with respect to work and personal life?
I stay tuned in. I go with what I’m guided to do. The second I get frustrated or feeling like I’m having to do something or please someone, I stop and recharge. Recharge is to go for a walk outside, quick exercise, ride a bike, meditate, or do something silly.
I reframe “work” day to the “day’s adventure.” I have a “day-starter” routine, which I liken to Legos. There are blocks of things that prepare me for the day and longevity, but each day I do them in the order that feels right that day.
My “Legos”: back stretches, water intake, walking outside, nitric oxide dump exercise, lymphatic release bounce on mini-trampoline, basic calisthenics including 100 abs crunches and squats. Next, spiritual reading and journaling, meditation, and cold shower. Afterwards, I begin the day’s adventure. I let intuition guide me with what needs to happen first. I follow that lead. If I take on a task that I don’t feel connected to, I end up frustrated and stall progress.
What tools and systems make you productive?
Having a purpose in what I do. Having joy and adventure in what I do—or I won’t do it. I get energized from a clean and ordered environment. If every belonging has a spot (its home in my house or business) that saves time from searching. Walking away from problems (even though I’m a problem solver by nature). I fix what I can and drop mentally and physically what I can’t. I don’t engage in time wasters like video games, watching the news, other people’s opinions of what I should be doing, or engaging with toxic people. I limit social media. Exercising early and walking in nature gives me energy for the day and sets the stage for instant creativity that would have taken weeks to mind map into place.
I meditate and follow spiritual principles. Stay in joy; heal notions of fear.
I set a timer and work for 50-minutes uninterrupted and then take a break. Repeat.
I avoid diving into email until I’ve had the opportunity to produce high-value long-range content first. That includes business ideas and exercise. There’s nothing worse than neglecting your physical fitness. That mistake will eventually cost you.
How to achieve confidence, self-awareness, self-esteem?
Confidence is acquired after mastering a skill. Once you can count on your abilities in the skill, you can become charismatic with your knowledge—a fun state to be in. For example, the first time you must fire an employee, it feels gut-wrenching. But with enough firings, you gain confidence. At that point, you can smile and tell the truth which is the employee is great but it’s the wrong fit for your company. I brainstorm with employees during these firings and suggest a better job that compliments their abilities. I’ve had many write me thank-you letters.
Mogul Gary Vaynerchuck says the most difficult thing to learn is self-awareness. Self-awareness is defined as an awareness of one’s own personality or individuality. Personality and individuality are very different. Having an awareness of both is difficult. The personality (ego) of us reacts in habitual ways when triggered. Getting caught in drama, it’s easy to blame another instead of reflecting on our ego’s needs to keep us down. The goal, of course, is not to react when triggered but instead choose a healing action.
Individuality is what the self (inner connection or soul) wants so we can expand in joy. There’s nothing worse than bulldozing your way into monetary success and being miserably depressed from lack of inner connection.
Self-esteem is an ongoing reflection and action of what serves you and your soul. When we choose in favor of an esteemed response, life propels us towards an expansive understanding of our day to day purpose.
Life is a journey. Hopefully, we are becoming more enlightened with our days. To prove this point, you can pick up a previously read book from more than two years ago and you will either a) have new insight into the book’s messages because you have experienced more in life, or b) discover you have catapulted past the messages.
Do you have any idol in life?
My dance teacher growing up demonstrated female entrepreneurship coupled with high creativity–before women unabashedly did that.
My ultimate inspiration is always from the universe (God). Teachers appear, better practices fall under my nose, direction knocks, and guidance will show up if I stay meditative.
Resources you would suggest for scaling up life, health, wealth and happiness?
When I’m in a restaurant and a waiter says, “Such and so entree is my favorite,” I always think, “who cares?” because, like books, I think we should see what books we feel inspired to read. We’re all unique and here for different purposes. One person’s way is not another person’s. Books introduce new ways of looking at life, but they won’t change you. Our change comes from the implementation of those seeds.
Here are some, but, let your inner wisdom guide you:
From years ago: Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway, E-Myth Revisited (for systems in business, not franchising), Tony Robbins Personal Power course, Theatresports improvisational classes
Books: The Untethered Soul, Tools of Titans
Scaling Up: EbenPaganTraining.com
Wealth: following spiritual principles (and this goes for each of these categories)
Happiness: books by Eva Bell Werber; meditation
What advice you would give to readers of ScaleUp Magazine?
Let go of physical and mental things that don’t serve you. That list includes toxic friends, employees, and family. It also includes gossip or getting involved in drama triangles out of habit. Turn away from activities (mental, emotional or physical) that don’t serve you and stay focused on the invisible inner wisdom.
I suppose that’s where “Let go and let God” comes from.
Keep expanding. Negative events, as traumatic as they are, lead to leveling up. Realize that all of us operate irrationally. Everyone sometimes thinks they aren’t good enough or competent enough. That’s why I try my best to stay with the invisible inner wisdom and keep in that joyful adventure.