Author Interview "Monica Bourgeau"
Monica Bourgeau is an entrepreneur, coach, consultant & healthcare executive who leads and researches personal and organizational change. She believes we each have a duty to help leave the world a little better than we found it. Monica lives with her husband, daughters, and their two rescue dogs in beautiful Portland, Oregon. Learn more at www.MonicaBourgeau.com
Please tell our readers a little about yourself.
Hi, I’m Monica Bourgeau. I’m an author and business strategist, and I work with visionaries, leaders, and changemakers. I’m also a healthcare executive who’s spent two decades leading change and innovation, both in the C-Suite and at the helm of nonprofits.
I grew up in rural Montana and spent a lot of time in nature, doing everything from playing sports to captaining our high school debate team. I always felt the need to “make a difference in the world”, even at a young age. Although I wasn’t sure how. I even considered going into politics.
I went on to get a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Colorado State University, and a Master’s degree in Management with an emphasis on Organizational Leadership from Warner Pacific University in Portland.
I now live in Portland, Oregon with my husband, family, and our two rescue dogs.
My work has been featured in Huffington Post, Elephant Journal, Startup Nation, medium, and Along These Lines, a college writing textbook.
Could you tell us a bit about your new book and the inspiration behind it?
I’ve always felt like I had a responsibility to do something to help make the world a better place. I led change and transformation efforts in several corporations, but it felt like it wasn’t enough.
In 2011, I started writing and blogging, and in 2014, I published an article in the Huffington Post called “7 Ways to Change the World.” This brief article spread quickly, and people around the world contacted me to say it was inspiring them to take positive action in their communities. Then a few years later, a publishing company included that article in a college writing textbook. This really showed me the power of a simple, hopeful message.
Around the time of the 2016 elections, I’d hit a low point in my life. I was experiencing burnout in my corporate job and felt like the world’s problems (climate change, immigration, poverty, homelessness, healthcare) had become dire. As a generally optimistic person, I felt really discouraged. People seemed to be more polarized than ever, and I didn’t see how we could solve our way out of this situation. How are we supposed to tackle all of these seemingly insurmountable problems when we can’t even talk to each other?
I knew I needed to do more, but I wasn’t sure what. Then I discovered the work of Clare W. Graves. It gave me hope and helped me understand what was happening in the world today. It changed the way I looked at the world and I knew I needed to share it with others. I call it “the Change Code.”
The Change Code combined all of my passions for psychology, spirituality, and consciousness with my 20+ years of experience leading change and transformation efforts. I knew I had connected to what would become my life’s work.
As an author, what would you say were the three biggest struggles you faced while writing your book and how did you overcome them?
That’s a good question! I would say my biggest challenge was just juggling everything. I work full time in a career that requires me to travel a lot. I also have a family and try to maintain some balance in my life.
I was so driven to write this book however, that I wasn’t very balanced the last year. I ended up spending less time than I would’ve liked on things like my exercise routines and socializing with friends.
It also took a surprising amount of research to learn about self-publishing, and the editing process took much longer than I anticipated. I also started promoting the book a little too soon, I think, because I thought the entire process would take less time than it did.
What’s the most surprising thing you learned about yourself as a person while you were writing your book?
I learned that I really love researching and writing about topics that I view as important. I spent an inordinate amount of time researching topics related to polarization, and I would’ve enjoyed spending even more.
Can you tell us about some of the responses you’ve gotten about your book from readers.
The book just came out, but so far, the responses have been very positive. I’ve had people tell me they’ve already started to apply the Polarity Mapping® tools at work. I’ve also had a several people tell me that the book gave them hope for the future and helped them understand why we have so much polarization today. That was rewarding and was my goal when I wrote the book.
Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?
I wish I could say I had a great writing routine, but I found that I wrote when I had time and felt motivated to work on the book. Sometimes this would mean almost an entire weekend at the computer, which is hard on your body.
Is there a message you want readers to take away from your book?
I hope it’s that they can make a difference in the world today. They don’t have to wait to act, they can start right where they’re at. We need them to take action, even if it’s just making a commitment to be kind to others and show compassion. That one decision alone can make a huge impact.
On a more personal note: Tell us a little about your “real” (non-writing) life — family, job, hobbies.
I practice yoga, love hiking with my dogs, and am involved in several local organizations, including Conscious Capitalism Portland. I’m also very interested in mindfulness and resiliency.
Who is a creative person (not a writer) who has influenced you and your work.
I’m definitely inspired by music, especially Krishna Das and Karen Drucker.
Do you have any advice for the yet-to-be-published writers reading this?
My advice is to pick a topic that you are so passionate about that researching and writing doesn’t feel like work. If you’re not sure what that is yet, ask for guidance. I practiced Michael Bernard Beckwith’s Life Visioning process for many years, and that really helped me develop clarity around my purpose.
What's next for you? What are you working on now?
I’m really focusing on getting the word out about the book now, but I’m already thinking about my next book, which I plan to start in 2020. I’m also looking forward to focusing more time on wellness this year, including expanding my yoga and mindfulness practices.
What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, etc.) and link(s)?
Where can your book(s) be purchased?
The Change Code is available on Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, and in select bookstores. You can learn more by visiting www.TheChangeCode.net.
You have big dreams and yearn to live a purposeful life, but it’s hard to stay inspired in today’s polarized world. The headlines make you want to dive under the covers and the discord threatens your faith in humanity. Climate change, immigration, healthcare, addiction—how are we supposed to address the world’s biggest problems when we can’t even talk to each other?
In this turbulent time, when loneliness, fear, blame, disconnection, powerlessness, and polarization are the norm, there is hope. All of these are actually signals that we’re in the midst of a major shift in consciousness. You’ve sensed this change and know that you’re called to do something more, to live a higher purpose. But what to do? You know that lighting a candle or commenting on Facebook isn’t going to cut it. The Change Code is the roadmap for this new world, showing what’s possible. As you will learn in this book, you are capable of far more than you realize. In the 1970s, scientist Clare Graves developed a groundbreaking model for human change and development. Spiral Dynamics (a.k.a. the “Change Code”) reveals and explains the underlying pattern for human and societal change. It has since been used around the world in some of humanity’s most difficult conflicts—including ending apartheid in South Africa. And it’s incredibly applicable in our times today. When you read The Change Code, you’ll: *predict (more accurately) what changes will happen next, *have tools to improve your life and the lives of others, radically, *discover your own developmental path and purpose, *create a clear, focused vision for your future and the world, *find inspiring ways to serve that actually make a difference, *better understand and be able to communicate with others, integrate the best parts of their ideas with *your own, and develop bold new solutions, *become an Agent for Change and help shift our world For more information, please visit www.TheChangeCode.net Applause: "My grandfather, Mahatma Gandhi, believed as long as we live in fear we will never truly be free. We are afraid of change because we are afraid of insecurity. Yet change is the only way we will save humanity from certain disaster. The Change Code book will help you understand why change is necessary and how to achieve it. An excellent read." ~Arun Gandhi, Founder, M.K. Gandhi Institute of Nonviolence and Author of The Gift of Anger
Available on Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com and in select bookstores.