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An Interview with Award-Winning Author Ellie Shefi — Tools, Strategies and her Multiple Books

Ellie Shefi is the very definition of tenacious. Having overcome a lifetime of adversity, including abuse, domestic violence, homelessness, cancer, and a myriad of other health issues that have seen her fight for her life for over two decades, Ellie has mastered mindset, resiliency, and resourcefulness, and she has dedicated her life to the empowerment of others.


Ellie is an attorney, entrepreneur, coach, business strategist, keynote speaker, and award-winning author; featured contributor to publications, podcasts, and television shows; teacher, trainer, philanthropist, and engaged community servant.

Ellie Shefi, Attorney, Entrepreneur, Award-Winning Author, Speaker, Strategist, and Coach
Ellie Shefi, Attorney, Entrepreneur, Award-Winning Author, Speaker, Strategist, and Coach


Ellie’s mission is to impact lives. A master problem-solver and opportunity creator who's determined to change the world, Ellie is the go-to expert for practical, easy-to-implement, results-driven tools, strategies, and resources that equip and empower you to take control and create the authentic, abundant life of your dreams. She is the creator of You Are Not Your Scars™, a movement that provides resources to empower women; Unlocking Your Superpower™, a program that provides resources to empower entrepreneurs; Creating An Impervious Mind™, a program that provides resources to empower the mind; and Made 2 Change The World™, a movement that provides resources to empower the next generation. Ellie is also the creator of Amplify Your Story Now™, a program that provides resources to authors and aspiring authors, and Sisters Rising™, a book series that provides women with a platform to tell their stories, showcase their businesses, and raise awareness of their work.


An award-winning author, Ellie's books include: Unlocking Your Superpower: 8 Steps to Turn Your Existing Knowledge Into Income; Sisters Rising: Stories of Remarkable Women Living Extraordinary Lives; and The Authorities: Powerful Wisdom from Leaders in the Field (which she co-wrote with Les Brown, Bob Proctor, Marci Shimoff, and Raymond Aaron. Ellie is also the author of the upcoming book SuccessOnomics, which she is co-writing with Jack Canfield.


Hello Ellie! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, what you do, and what inspired you to become a “changemaker”?


I’m an attorney, entrepreneur, award-winning author, featured speaker, teacher, trainer, strategist, and coach who is a master problem-solver specializing in identifying and bridging gaps to help people get from where they are to where they want to be with clarity and ease. I create and deliver practical, easy-to-implement, results-driven tools and strategies that equip and empower people to become the architect of the business, impact, and life they desire.


To do so, I call on my 35 years of experience teaching, training, mentoring, speaking, and coaching; 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur; and nearly 20 years as an attorney with the United States Judiciary. But beyond my decades of experience in education, business, and law, I possess a lifetime of practical, real-world experience that I use to powerfully serve others. Having overcome poverty, abuse, domestic violence, rape, homelessness, cancer, and many other challenges, I have learned to create an impervious mindset and mastered resiliency and resourcefulness. I am grateful to be able to teach others how to do the same.


For as long as I can remember, I’ve been driven to change the world—to give a voice to the voiceless; to fight for justice, equality, and opportunity; to teach, mentor, and empower. It’s my nature, my calling, and my purpose. Every obstacle I’ve overcome along my journey has deepened my commitment to helping others get from where they are to where they want to be.


Tell us more about the tools and strategies that you offer your clients.


I offer no-fluff, easy-to-implement, results-driven tools and strategies to action takers who are ready to level up their business and their life. My services are practical; I provide my clients with strategies to gain clarity and do more in less time with increased efficiency to attain their desired goals faster. I work with impact-driven clients who use their businesses and their lives as a force for good. For me, it’s about enabling my clients to achieve their desired time, money, and personal freedom so they can live a meaningful and impactful life they love.


To date, I am the creator of:

  • Unlocking Your Superpower™, Clarity to Launch™, and Bring Your Business to Life™—programs that teach entrepreneurs how to launch, pivot, diversify, and scale knowledge- and service-based businesses so they can provide for themselves, their families, their communities, and beyond;

  • Get Your Book Done™ and Amplify Your Story Now™—programs that teach authors and speakers how to find their voice, tell their stories, publish their books, and amplify their message so they can scale their impact;

  • You Are Not Your Scars™—a program that teaches women how to shed external labels and expectations, find their voice, step into their power, and decide for themselves who they are, what they stand for, and what they want their life and legacy to be; and

  • Sisters Rising™—a book series by women, for women, that provides women with a platform to tell their stories, showcase their businesses and raise awareness of their work so they can harness the power of the collective to reach new audiences, gain new clients, and use their experiences as a force for good.

It’s my mission to ignite impact, empower transformation, and facilitate change, and I’m grateful that my courses, books, workshops, programs, and services do just that!


Why should someone enroll in your programs over others?


There are two main reasons why my clients choose me over others. First, my clients choose me because I walk the walk. I’ve actually lived through everything I teach. Yes, I have the education and the teaching experience, but more importantly, I’ve been in the trenches—I have the real-world experience, the passion, and the drive. Because I’ve walked in their shoes, I understand my clients in a way that someone who hasn’t experienced the journey simply cannot.


When I work with entrepreneurs to bring their business to life (and later to diversify and scale), I bring decades of entrepreneurial experience—decades of launching, building, pivoting, diversifying, and scaling businesses in various industries. I’ve gone from homeless and living in my car to building highly successful businesses for myself and others. There aren’t too many things my clients will encounter that I haven’t. Sharing my experience with my clients allows them to avoid costly mistakes and go further, faster, with greater efficiency.


When I work with authors and aspiring authors to get their books out of their heads and into their hands, I call on my writing, ghostwriting, and publishing experience to create a powerful pathway to publication. As an award-winning author who has written and published thousands of pieces, including three books in the last five months of 2020, I’ve created a proven framework that allows my clients to write their books with clarity and ease. My clients know with absolute certainty that I will help them make their dreams of becoming a published author a reality.


When I work with speakers and aspiring speakers to find their voice, craft their message, and amplify their impact, my clients benefit from the wide variety of techniques I’ve learned over my lifetime as a performer and speaker. The depth and breadth of my stage and speaking experience instills confidence in my clients that I can help them navigate their fears, appear confident on camera, connect with different audiences in different formats, and deliver clear and concise messages that get them the results they desire.


And when I work with women looking to break free from external labels and expectations and define for themselves who they are, what they stand for, and what they want their life and legacy to be, there’s simply no one better to guide them through the darkness and into the light. I have overcome a lifetime of adversity and have emerged a limitless thriver, master problem solver, and opportunity creator who lives an authentic, aligned, joyful life of purpose and impact. I have crawled, clawed, and scratched my way through fire after fire and am an unstoppable force. My clients know that I see them, I hear them, I understand them, and I’m here to take their hand and journey alongside them as they become the architect of their lives.


So, who is your ideal client?


For me, it’s about alignment. I want to know a few things about a prospective client: (1) where are you in your journey; (2) where do you want to be (i.e., what are your goals and objectives); and (3) what do you perceive your greatest challenges and obstacles to be? Those three pieces of information actually tell me a lot about whether we’ll be a good fit.


I love working with action takers who are truly ready to make progress and get results. My clients welcome feedback and don’t make excuses. They show up, do the work, play full out, and engage. They are driven and determined to break through any blocks and level up their business, message, and life. They are hungry for change.


If I were a client struggling to start a business, what advice would you give me?


First and foremost, remember your core why and remain in alignment with your passion, purpose, mission, and vision. Focus on keeping your thoughts, your actions, and your perspective positive! After all, you can’t see possibilities, opportunities, and solutions in a negative state. Embrace a “how can I” mentality. When you believe that bigger opportunities lie on the other side of big obstacles, you’ll remain solution-focused and be driven to smash through whatever is getting in the way. You won’t take “no” for an answer, nor will you accept “it’s impossible” or “there’s no way.” By asking “how can I,” you’ll see possibility and either find a solution or create one.


Embrace progress over perfection (there’s no such thing!). Do something every day to move the needle in the direction you want to go. Celebrate all wins—no matter how small—because that will help fuel you to continue making progress.


Find your tribe! Surround yourself with people who lift you and empower you. Success takes a village so ask for help when you need it—no one does it alone!


And finally, know that you are stronger than you think, and you can navigate this!


If I came to you drowning in a myriad of responsibilities, what guidance would you provide?


First and foremost, breathe! Do the very best you can in each moment, be kind to yourself, and show yourself grace. Be intentional with your time. Intentionality, fueled by the power of clarity, perspective, and prioritization, will allow you to say “yes” to the things that truly need to get done at that moment and say “no” to the things that aren’t a current necessity or priority. In this space, you control your life; your life doesn’t control you.


Focus on the things you can control. Establish and uphold healthy boundaries for yourself. Show yourself patience and grace, be kind to yourself, and carve out time to practice self-care. Prioritize and do what you can, when you can, the best you can—and recognize that that’s all you can do and that it’s more than enough!


Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life and everything pulling at us, we forget that an empty vessel has nothing to give. It’s a bit counterintuitive, but taking time to rest and recharge (even when the “to-do” list is longer than Mt. Everest is tall) actually allows you to dive back in with more energy, focus, and productivity than if you kept plowing along.


In addition to creating your many programs, you’ve written multiple books. What would you like readers to know about them?


Each of my books serves a different purpose, but all of them provide practical, results-driven, easy-to-implement tools, resources, and strategies.


If you are an entrepreneur or budding entrepreneur (or if COVID has forced you to change careers or find supplemental sources of income), then you’ll want to pick up a copy of Unlocking Your Superpower: 8 Steps to Turn Your Existing Knowledge Into Income. I wrote it one month into lockdown when my friends started losing their businesses due to COVID’s industry shutdown restrictions. Unlocking Your Superpower: 8 Steps to Turn Your Existing Knowledge Into Income is a powerful step-by-step playbook that teaches you how to start, pivot, diversify, or scale a knowledge- or service-based business. It’s clear, direct, and designed to implement what you’re learning along the way.


The Authorities: Powerful Wisdom from Leaders in the Field, which I co-authored with multiple New York Times 1 bestselling authors Les Brown, Bob Proctor, Marci Shimoff, and other industry thought leaders, discusses business, real estate, retirement, estate planning, mindset, and more, so it’s a great book for a broader macro view.


Sisters Rising™: Stories of Remarkable Women Living Extraordinary Lives is the book series I created that women, for women, celebrate and showcase women. The first volume features a diverse group of nine incredible female entrepreneurs (I’m honored to be among them). Sisters Rising™ is the choice if you’re looking to learn from, and be inspired by, a powerhouse group of female entrepreneurs.


Do you have a favorite?


Wow, that’s a tough choice. I’m equally proud of each of them, but for different reasons! I’m proud of Unlocking Your Superpower: 8 Steps to Turn Your Existing Knowledge Into Income because it truly is an accessible and implementable resource for helping businesses thrive no matter what their stage. It has helped so many people whose income has been affected by COVID. I’m honored and grateful that the book and its corresponding program have become such an invaluable resource to so many.


I’m also proud of Sisters Rising™: Stories of Remarkable Women Living Extraordinary Lives because it is a platform that gives women a voice brings awareness to their projects, and drives customers to their businesses. Sisters Rising™ amplifies the movement that I created to empower women, You Are Not Your Scars™. I’m proud to be able to support women on a wide scale.


And I’m proud to be featured amongst legendary thought leaders, including Les Brown, Bob Proctor, and Marci Shimoff in The Authorities: Powerful Wisdom from Leaders in the Field. I’ve looked up to Les, Bob, and Marci for years, so co-authoring this book with them was a true full-circle moment for me.


Can you tease us a bit about the two books you’re currently working on—Women Who Shine and SuccessOnomics (co-authored with Jack Canfield)?


Absolutely! In SuccessONomics, I discuss my three main principles for success. I’ve recently submitted that manuscript and am excited to watch its evolution as we begin the editing process. It’s truly been an honor and a joy to work on it with the legendary Jack Canfield! I anticipate that SuccessONomics will be released in late summer or early fall 2021.


I’m also currently co-authoring Women Who Shine with a group of incredibly resilient and remarkable women. I’ve recently submitted that manuscript as well. In it, I discuss how to live your life as a force for good. Women Who Shine is likewise anticipated to be released in late summer or early fall 2021.

Speaking of using one’s life as a force for good, you have some ambitious and impressive community service efforts. What are they?


My life’s mission is to serve powerfully. It’s my purpose to help create a world where all are seen, heard, and valued—a world where people have access to clean water, clean food, shelter, medical care, education, and economic opportunity—a world where authenticity is welcome and differences are celebrated. That’s why I’ve established my non-profit, the Made 2 Change the World™ Foundation. It’s also why I’ve created You Are Not Your Scars™ and Sisters Rising™, why I coach, and why I mentor.


You’ve overcome a lot of adversity to become a successful powerhouse who lives in service to others? How?


One word—resilience! Yes, I’m a survivor—an abuse survivor, rape survivor, and domestic violence survivor. I’ve lived in my car and eaten the food restaurants were throwing away at the end of the night. I’m a medical miracle and a cancer survivor who has been defying doctors’ death deadlines for over two decades.


I know first-hand that you can’t control external situations and circumstances. But what I also know, however, is that you can control the words you use, the meanings you assign to things, and the perspective you maintain. When you reframe the situation and change the words you use to describe the circumstances or events to reflect an empowering narrative, you take control of your mindset and shift from feeling overwhelmed, helpless, unsuccessful, or behind to creating opportunity, seeing possibility, effective problem solving and forging a path forward.


Now, some days finding the empowering meaning and perspective in events and circumstances takes more work than others, but it’s always worth it. It’s a daily decision—a daily practice—through which I’ve trained myself to find the growth, lesson, and blessing in everything that happens, to be grateful for everything I have and everything I’ve experienced, and to remember that no matter what I’m going through, someone, somewhere is going through something much worse. Every day, I choose to take control of my narrative; and every day, I choose to claim my power, calibrate my compass, and put myself in the driver’s seat of my business and my life. It’s through this practice that I have developed an unbreakable, resilient mindset.


What’s your personal philosophy?


Life happens for me, through me, as me. I recognize and am thankful for my countless blessings. I celebrate living an authentic, abundant life of service, fully present and aligned in my integrity, values, purpose, and mission. I believe that each of us has value, has purpose, and is worthy of love, life, health, and opportunity. I also believe that our greatest growth can occur when we see each other, hear each other, include each other, and respect each other.


What is your ultimate goal?


I’m on a mission to impact at least 10 million lives. My ultimate goal is to be a catalyst for change who, every day, empowers, inspires, and equips people to find their voice, stand in their power, and use their business, their life, and their resources as a force for good.


This has been an incredible interview. Thank you! How can our readers connect with you to learn more about your services?


I love connecting! Reach out to me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and visit my website.

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