Authentic Conversations with Entrepreneurs Episode 4: “Unpack Your Truth” with Dee DiFatta

 

Our latest edition of “Authentic Conversations with Entrepreneurs” was a conversation with PositiviDee Coach Dee DiFatta. Dee shared her experience of processing BIG transitions in her life (and how they impacted her business). She shares her Authentic Story of being reminded of the importance and value of unpacking your truth.

Katherine Morales: Hi, everyone. Thank you so much for joining Authentic Conversations with Entrepreneurs. I have with us today, Dee DiFatta. I’m so excited, Dee. Dee is a PositiviDee Coach, if you can’t already feel that positivity coming through your screen. She’s an inspirational speaker, author, educator, and she is also the founder of A Dose of PositiviDee, which I think we all can use a little bit more of these days in our lives. So thank you for being here, Dee. This is our fourth episode of Authentic Conversations with Entrepreneurs, and before we jump into your story to “Unpack Your Truth,” I just want to explain, what is an authentic conversation with an entrepreneur? Well, today we’re lucky to have Dee with us, but in general, the guests on this show are entrepreneurs, and it’s about not just being an entrepreneur, but being an entrepreneur open to sharing authentically about your journey in entrepreneurship.

I think there’s a lot that is assumed about what it means to be an entrepreneur. And obviously, the word I most commonly hear is freedom, but I think that there’s a lot that happens behind the scenes and in that journey, to being the most successful entrepreneur you can be and being happy in entrepreneurship. So that’s what this story is all about, connecting that to you, the audience, and you, the entrepreneur. So thanks for being here, Dee. We are excited to talk about Unpack Your Truth.

Dee DiFatta: Yes.

Katherine Morales: So as we kick off with that topic, I know, because we talked before this, obviously, that you recently downsized. You moved out of your home and literally unpacked something.

So tell us about that experience. Where did you… What does this phrase mean to you?

Dee DiFatta: It was a whirlwind. My daughter graduated from college in May of last year. In August, she moved out. In September, my husband put the house on the market. We got our buyers, closed on it in October, even though we didn’t completely move out until December. And it was like, “What just happened here?”

Katherine Morales: Whiplash.

Dee DiFatta: Oh, my God. It took a long time to recover. And it was a very tumultuous process. That’s the only way I know how to put it. Whenever you go through something huge like that. My daughter graduating college, that was huge.

Katherine Morales: Mm-hmm.

Dee DiFatta: My daughter moving out was even bigger. Then us moving out. Hello, can we slow down now?

Katherine Morales: Like freight train, yeah.

Dee DiFatta: Craziness. Yeah.

Katherine Morales: Yeah.

Dee DiFatta: Holy cow. It was a lot. It was a lot, and I actually had to step back from being an entrepreneur for a little bit to take care of myself.

Katherine Morales: Well said. I think, if I can just dive in right there, I think that whether you’re an entrepreneur who’s moving or… I think what you’re hitting on is these big transitions.

Dee DiFatta: Yeah, huge.

Katherine Morales: And what is often not spoken about is that sometimes, it’s entirely necessary to pause, and sometimes that’s the best thing you can do for your business.

Dee DiFatta: Yes.

Katherine Morales: So yeah. What… So in that pause, where did this come about, the truth? What everyone’s wondering, what truth did you unpack, Dee?

Dee DiFatta: Oh, my God. So it was crazy. I started with baby steps, and I’m like, “Okay, let me just do a little drawer upstairs.” And I did a little bit here and there upstairs, and while Casey was packing to move out, I decided to go through closets and drawers. And I’m like, “Okay, this is good. I’m feeling good about this.” After that, this is where it happened. I decided to go down into the basement, okay? Down in the basement, we have boxes, and boxes, and boxes of so much stuff. And when I say stuff-

Katherine Morales: That’s where everything hides.

Dee DiFatta: … I mean stuff. I haven’t looked at this stuff in years, and yet I was faced with it. I said, “Oh.”

Katherine Morales: You had to go through it, right?

Dee DiFatta: I did.

Well, we were downsizing, so it’s not like I can take all this stuff with me. And the first time we moved from our one-bedroom apartment into our first house, we just… you don’t have a lot of stuff. You pack it and you go. Then, we moved from that house into the house that we were in, and everything ended up in the basement.

Katherine Morales: Mm-hmm.

Dee DiFatta: So I didn’t have time to go through anything.

Katherine Morales: Yeah.

Dee DiFatta: And this time, I’ve grown so much as a person and as a coach, that I knew I had to release everything that was no longer bringing me joy. I had to. I didn’t care how painful it was. I had to address every single piece of paper, every single book, every single piece of clothing, whatever I found. Even deepest corners of wherever, I had to go through it. I’m like, “Ah.” Yeah.

Katherine Morales:  I told you… You saying joy reminds me of the Marie Kondo book. She has the show now, but The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I obviously did that, but I… You just made me laugh mentioning books, because I just thought, “I wonder how many people could actually throw out Marie’s Kondo’s book as you were tidying. The irony is not lost.

Dee DiFatta: Oh, that is funny.

Katherine Morales: But I know, even for me in that process, what I realized, and we were talking about just before this is, these old boxes that I had high school things in, right? Even though it was at the bottom of the box, these pieces, these memories, live in you. And as long as you… It’s not even about just tossing the box, not going through it. I think… I would love for you to hit on this, but for me, it was the process. You have to process it in order to release it. Is that what you felt too?

Dee DiFatta: Oh, that is so funny. The way that you just said that, because I went through some of these boxes so fast, and I made this huge stack of stuff to shred, and then everything else went in the recycle. And I was fine with that until I found out how much it cost to shred, and I’m like, “Oh, we got to go through this again?” And I’m like-

Katherine Morales: Oh, man. By the pound, right?

Dee DiFatta: … “I don’t want to go through this again.” And it was one of those things where you look up and you’re like, “Why?” I didn’t get the point. I did not receive the entire message. I did not clear myself with the stories. I had not completely separated the stories from the emotions, and that’s when I find there’s so much. There’s so much there. And the stories we tell ourselves are even worse than the emotions we’re feeling sometimes.

And they move over time. And geez, I was finding stuff… I found stuff in my baby book. I found all of my old report cards. I found pictures from guys I dated, and I was like, “Oh.” I found old letters I wrote to my friend in college, and I was talking about soap operas. I’m like, “Really? Oh my God, I created the drama in my own life.”

Katherine Morales: Guilty. Grew up watching Days of our Lives.

Dee DiFatta: You have no idea. I really had to sit with that. I had to sit with all of it. And as I was going through all this paperwork, I got really depressed. I got disappointed in myself. I got frustrated in myself. And at that moment, I said, “No, you’re a coach now. You have learned to sit with this, but not let it become your story again, to separate yourself.” You have to up level. It’s almost like you take yourself out of it, and you look at it from a third-party observer.

Katherine Morales: Yeah.

Dee DiFatta: So what I did then-

Katherine Morales: Like floating outside your body.

Dee DiFatta: Well-

Katherine Morales: Wait, wait, wait. Back up. I lost it here and I don’t know if anyone else did, but like you said, you had this stack. You were like to this stack of things, and then because of the cost of shredding, that’s what caused you to slow down and process it? Wow.

Dee DiFatta: And go through all of it. Yeah. I’m like, “I’m not paying this much money.”

Katherine Morales: Thank you, Universe.

Dee DiFatta: But that’s the whole thing. Yeah, it was a divine sign from the universe. And the funniest thing was-

Katherine Morales: … can actually grow from it. Yeah, I love it.

I love that divine design.

Dee DiFatta: … in all these things that I found that were negative and brought out these negative emotions, I found one thing that I wrote about myself. I had written it. I don’t know if it was for a class project or what, but I’m like, “Oh my gosh, I am full of BS, and I never even realized it.” It was my actual story, my actual story about my senior year and when I took on my first full-time job, and I was so excited. It was part-time during the year, but then the summer, I really, I chose to work full time.

Katherine Morales: Mm-hmm.

Dee DiFatta: It was in retail. What I had never understood is… My friends kind of disappeared. They went and did their own thing, and for the longest time, I thought it was because they didn’t like me anymore, because I had done something wrong. Now, this is the me completely oblivious because I had made up all these stories in my head.

But when I read this sheet of paper, I went, “Oh.” It was an aha and a duh moment at the same time.

I chose to be an independent woman and work full time, and I loved my job, loved my job. My friends didn’t have jobs so they could do whatever they wanted to do whenever they wanted to do it, and they stopped calling me because they knew I was always working, but I loved it.

Katherine Morales: Yeah.

Dee DiFatta: Oh, my gosh. You know?

And when you have that moment, this was stuff I was going to purge. It was mixed in with all of that, and I never would’ve seen it, I never would’ve understood, I never would have gotten the truth.

Never would have unpacked my truth had I not had to go through it again.

Katherine Morales: I love that. I love that. I think this is something… it’s like strengthening a new muscle.

And it’s beautiful because this is the truth. So many… I believe so many businesses, and especially coaches, as you are, are their client.

Coaches, consultants usually have walked that path before, so it doesn’t mean you’re done.

Dee DiFatta: No.

Katherine Morales: It doesn’t mean you’re done walking the path. Things will come up again.

Dee DiFatta: Oh, yeah.

Katherine Morales: And it’s like, “Ha, ha. Let’s take this on again,” So I love that you are open to sharing this. And what’s so interesting is, and I imagine, as you talk about the high school, and graduating, and that job, did you feel this, as you’re floating above you, did you feel this sense of empathy for your younger self?

Dee DiFatta: I just wanted to give her a huge hug.

Because I could feel her pain. When you feel somebody’s pain, whether it’s yours or somebody else’s, you just want to hug them and be like, “It’s okay. You made it through, that’s the important part. You made it through. You are who you are today. You’re standing on your own two feet as an entrepreneur and leading others on their journey because of all the crap you went through.”

Katherine Morales: I love that. That’s one way of putting it. That’s every inspiration for this show, because what I believe is, and this is what I think another way to say that, but I love that way too, but that crap or the rocks that we carry around in a bag, we lug them, we drag them, the rocks that we carry, the moment that you allow that story, this story here, and even all the ones in the stack of papers, right? All the little, tiny pebbles that form some big boulder, when you decide, “I’m going to share this story. I’m going to release it,” it’s like you lay it down.

And it builds this path. Imagine those stones build a new path for you.

Dee DiFatta: Exactly. It’s beautiful.

Katherine Morales: So I thank you. I can only imagine though that… Let’s talk about, you knew this, I think, because obviously, you were probably already talking about it before your business, but here, life brings you this opportunity, again, to deepen your connection to this. And so, what did this shift in you sense? How is this showing up in your business? How’s that showing up in your client’s lives?

Dee DiFatta: As if I wasn’t authentic enough in sharing my truth and who I am, I went even deeper. I’m like, “Oh, my gosh.”

Katherine Morales: Oh, shit. It’s much deeper than I thought. Yeah.

Dee DiFatta:  Actually, it’s taken me this long in order to really share it. Being invited to speak on this show and have this authentic conversation with you, I’m like, “Oh God, I got to create a blog about this.” I’m like, “Ah.”

Katherine Morales: Well, you didn’t have to. It was an invitation.

Dee DiFatta: No, but I’m like, “I got to relive this all over again,” which is funny.

Katherine Morales: Yeah, yeah. I’m glad you did.

Dee DiFatta: It just makes you laugh, because for three days, I was writing, and writing, and typing, and typing, and I’m like, “I don’t want to read this again. I’ve been through this enough. I just want to release it now, release it and move forward.”

But it got easier every time, and every time I read something, I read it differently. I saw it from a different perspective. I could understand why, and how, and it wasn’t about, “Why is this happening to me?” It wasn’t about, “Oh my God, Dee. You’re being punished. You’re being just beaten up and now you’re beating on yourself.” It’s like, “No, you were being redirected,” and there were so many different instances that I saw that happening.

Katherine Morales: Right.

Dee DiFatta: We, oh my God, major moves in my lifetime. When I was nine and a half years old, we moved from Maryland where we had family, friends, stability, everything, to Connecticut where we knew no one, and I used to blame my dad for that because he got a promotion. And after doing a lot of healing within and being like, “Where does that story even come from?”

Katherine Morales: Right.

Dee DiFatta: I realized that my whole family was kind of in survival mode because they had never done this before.

Katherine Morales: Mm-hmm.

Dee DiFatta: And I’m like, “Okay,” so I ended up in survival mode.

It was one of those things that got passed down. It wasn’t even my story, it just got passed down. And I realized that that move made me so incredibly independent, and I was never meant to have the same friends from grade school all the way through my life.

Katherine Morales: Yeah.

Dee DiFatta: I was born to be a leader, a leader. I was not meant to be a follower. I’m like, “Ooh.” It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it now. I’m like, “Ooh.”

Katherine Morales: Yeah, yeah. I love that. And I can’t help but… You know one of our dear friends and a previous guest on this show, Dori Klass. I often quote her and I’m going to quote her here because what you made me think of is, she says, “A shift in perspective is a miracle.”

Dee DiFatta: Oh, yeah. Most definitely.

Katherine Morales: And I think that’s exactly what happened. It’s not that the story dies, it’s that you change your perspective on it.

Dee DiFatta: You do. You do.

Katherine Morales: And I think… I’ll just add that I think, and you let me know if you agree, but I really feel… One of the things I do in my business is, and actually this week in my Group Program, is storymining.

Dee DiFatta: Yep.

Katherine Morales:  And yes, it’s with the purpose of marketing your business, but I think that one of the other effects of it is revealing these stories.

Dee DiFatta: Mm-hmm.

Katherine Morales: Because on some level, I think that the stories we tell ourselves, if they are not shifting in the direction they need to go, can kill businesses.

Dee DiFatta: Yeah.

Katherine Morales: I think… We often think it’s, “Oh, we didn’t make enough money,” or, “We didn’t change with the times, COVID killed my business,” or whatever it is, there are certain things that the environment shifting, and response, and all those matter, but a huge piece that is never discussed, I think, is how the stories that live within you will either make or break you.

Dee DiFatta: Oh, yeah. For sure.

Katherine Morales: So I love this. I love… I guess I’ll ask you just, have you written down, in one phrase, what that truth is for you? Is that what you recommend for the listener? When you’re in these moments of big transition, whether it’s a move, or your child graduating, or whatever that big transition is for your business, and I’d even argue maybe the moments where you’re stuck.

Dee DiFatta: Yeah.

Katherine Morales: I think those are the moments to unpack some things.

Dee DiFatta: Yes.

Katherine Morales: Whether it’s a stack of documents or just clearing your desk, do you recommend that someone sit then in reflection and say, “Okay, what did all this mean? What is that truth? What story am I telling myself?”

Dee DiFatta: Yeah, but when you sit in reflection, you have to sit in reflection from a place of love, from a place of kindness, and compassion, and love, and understanding. Be your own best friend.

Katherine Morales: Oh, yeah.

Dee DiFatta: If you’re not your own best friend-

Katherine Morales: Well said.

Dee DiFatta: You really have to look at it. That’s the different perspective. That’s the shift right there.

Instead of going in and going, “I didn’t get this done. I should have done this,” and berating yourself, you go in as your own best friend, and your own best friend says, “Listen, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. It’s the exact moment in time. You need to chill. Take a pause.”

Katherine Morales: Baby steps.

Dee DiFatta: Yes. “Take a breath. Here, hold my hand. Let’s breathe together.”

And just take one baby step, because this is your… obviously, this is your divine calling right now. It may seem like a pile of trash that you have to get rid of.

No, there’s something in here that is trying to be revealed to you and you need to step back and look at it from a third-party, observer standpoint.

Katherine Morales: What a beautiful invitation to give yourself.

Dee DiFatta: Mm-hmm.

Katherine Morales: And what, if anything, I should say, is the invitation you would give our listeners?

Dee DiFatta: You know what? Just connect. Please, reach out and connect with me. I want to hear your story. Sometimes, when you tell your story to somebody who has been through stuff before, and who’s a very open listener, we can find the blocks.

We can find what’s holding you back, the story that’s holding you back, because there’s always a common thread that goes throughout, but you can’t really figure out what that is if you’re going through it yourself, because you’ve said it to yourself so many times, you don’t hear it anymore.

Katherine Morales: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

Dee DiFatta: Yeah.

Katherine Morales: Well, and here’s the link. I’ll leave it up here for a minute because it’s a little lengthy, or you can just take a screenshot. But no, I will tell you, Dee, from the moment we met, what? 2020, I think.

Dee DiFatta: Yes.

Katherine Morales: At a virtual networking event, I felt your positivity come through the screen to me, and just, yeah, magnetize. So I’m elated that we’ve kept this connection in our journeys together in entrepreneurship, and I think I’ll put up the story you shared, which is on Unpack Your Truth, the blog that you had to write.

I think it’s an even deeper look, in some ways, to let you unpack and that experience, so I invite the listeners to visit there as well. But no, I think what we haven’t hit on, and I would just want to ask, because I wonder if others think it too is, one of the most common things we hear in entrepreneurship is the imposter syndrome.

Dee DiFatta: Oh my God, yes.

Katherine Morales: And I cannot help but think, or wonder, I guess, was there any point in this where you were like, “I’m not… I’m the positivity coach, but I ain’t feeling it right now.”?

Dee DiFatta: I’ve been struggling with it, or I struggled with that for two years. I tried to wrap my head around being a positivity coach, and I’m like, “Well, doesn’t that mean I have to be positive all the time?” Heck no. Heck no.

Katherine Morales: What does it mean?

Dee DiFatta: Because that is toxic positivity. That is not the positivity that I teach. The positivity that I teach is that you may be challenged with something and you may not be able to choose what you get challenged with, but you have 100% authority over how you deal with it. Your mindset, your attitude, your perspective, that’s up to you.

So yeah, I was not a happy-go-lucky, “Woo-hoo. I love this move, and I love going through all these old memories and crappy, negative emotions.”

Katherine Morales: Mm-hmm.

Dee DiFatta:  No. But you know what? I was very authentic and I just put it out there, and I put out pictures of me where my face was like, “Huh.”

Katherine Morales: It’s those moments too that… Thank you for hitting on. And then I’ll say it’s those moments too that people feel the most connected. Like, “Oh, good. Okay, she’s not…” Yes, positive, positivity, but she’s real too.

Dee DiFatta: Oh, yeah.

Katherine Morales: We all know, just as the day goes from sun to night, or every flower needs to… or I’ll say trees, but lose their leaves in the season and come back again.

Dee DiFatta: Yep.

Katherine Morales: I think it’s only realistic that you’re not always going to be positive.

Dee DiFatta: No. And you really have to embrace contrast.

Things aren’t always going to be perfect. There’s a lot of-

Katherine Morales: Let us deal with the flowers.

Dee DiFatta: But there’s so much more to life.

And you don’t have to be happy or sad. What about just being content? There’s so many emotions to be felt, and we’re always like, “No, it’s got to be one way or the other.” No, it doesn’t. No, no, no.

Katherine Morales: And I love that you said content because my last name is Morales. My husband’s from Bolivia and I know a little bit of Spanish, and it’s interesting because in Spanish, estoy contenta is, for a female, is for happy.

Dee DiFatta: Yep.

Katherine Morales: There’s feliz, which everybody knows feliz navidad and stuff, but content is happy in Spanish.

Dee DiFatta:  Oh, I like that.

Katherine Morales: So it’s really… It doesn’t mean the same in English, but I think it puts things into perspective a little bit.

Dee DiFatta: Mm-hmm, it does.

Katherine Morales: So you just made me think of that.

Dee DiFatta: Yeah.

Katherine Morales: But yeah, I know that we’re running… we want to give you back your day, so… Your day and your day. So this is where you can find Dee on her website. I know you’re more… I love your YouTube videos. I know you’re really active on Facebook in addition to LinkedIn here, so connect with Dee. She is full of PositiviDee and realness. And I’ll leave this up here for a moment, but thank you so much for sharing your message today and-

Dee DiFatta: Oh, thank you.

Katherine Morales: … having the courage to just be you. And I think that… Yeah, hopefully what the listeners have heard is an invitation-

Dee DiFatta:  Yes.

Katherine Morales: … to explore what lies within, what lies in the box in the corner, or those old files on your desk.

I think that here we are in spring. There is an invitation to spring clean.

Dee DiFatta: Yes.

Katherine Morales: Whether that’s the physical environment or just what’s in the back box of your mind.

It is living in your business, and that’s an opportunity, I think, to live in you in a positive way-

Dee DiFatta: Definitely.

Katherine Morales: … to shift your perspective. So thank you for enlightening our listeners on that. And I’ll just say that we would love to see you and the other listeners back here next month on May 19th at 1:30. We’ll be talking to Carrie Bebe, and she is a wonderful introvert who has learned how to network as an introvert, so it’s all about stepping outside your comfort zone. And as a 70% introvert myself, according to the personality test, it’s music to my ears. She’s a wonderful woman, so I’m excited for you all to meet her next month. But thank you so much, Dee.

Dee DiFatta: Oh, thank you. It was such an honor to be here. I really appreciate it.

Katherine Morales: Me too. Me too.

Dee DiFatta: All right.

Katherine Morales: Okay. Bye, everyone.

Dee DiFatta: Bye.

 

 

 

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