Lisa Lopez on Surviving Narcissism and Breaking Free from 9 to 5
Lisa Lopez had survived it all, from Domestic and Narcissistic abuse, to owning a small business with looming credit card debt. Here’s her story.
I’m honored to have this interview with you, Lisa! You have a powerful story that I am curious to learn more about. So, let’s get started!
First off, how was your childhood, what did you want to become when you “grew up,” and what did your parents do for a living?
Hey Erik what a pleasure thank you!
My childhood was pretty amazing. My parents were hard workers and always made sure we had the best of everything. I was very privileged and supported by a loving family.
I always wanted to be an interior designer when I was younger, I would draw my designs out over and over again, always looking up the latest furniture for my bedroom and making plans of where everything could fit and what colour schemes I could go with.
I must have changed my room around every other week! Lol and loved buying interior design mags. I also wanted to be a radio presenter and my friend and I would actually make our own radio station shows up, like remember when cassette recorders were about?
We would record ourselves with a mic and then record music (our favourite tunes Madonna) in between live voice overs, lol oh boy this is bringing back some happy memories!
By the end of it we would have a entire cassette tape full of our live radio show , forget what we actually called it now but it would go something like “This is the Friday night show with Tammy & Lisa and on tonight’s show,” blah blah….. we use to do live quizzes etc. Think this may have a bearing on my now FB lives! Funny that!
Was there any Entrepreneurship in the family as you grew up?
Yes, my mum always ran her own show. She was very entrepreneurial. She had several businesses. In her younger years, she owned a catering establishment, a truckers motel. She ran the kitchen and cafe side of things while my dad ran the motel and bar side.
Me and my siblings would skate through the dorms , I was only about 5 at the time and my elder sister would say the potato shed was haunted, I remember it being cold and dark in that shed! I use to sleep on the kitchen side whilst the cooks made yummy homemade apple pies.
My mum later went on to be the first Woman taxi driver in my city and later opened an all women’s taxi firm called Feline taxis.
There was a massive increase in rape cases in the city and women were scared to get in taxis on there own, etc, so my mum opened an all women’s taxi service to make women feel safe again.
So I guess I get my entrepreneurial streak from my mum! I used to go to dance school from the age of 2 when I got to about 9 until I left at 14.
I started a canteen and would sell toasties , drinks and cakes to my fellow dancers. I made a menu, got stocked up, and asked permission for me to use the kitchen facilities on site! It was amazing I used to have an hour break and in this hour I would sell my goods lol.
You are a survivor of Domestic Abuse. I’m sorry to hear that. One term that I don’t hear often that you used in your bio, (and something I have written on) is “Narcissistic Abuse.” How prevalent is Narcissism today, how can we spot it, and how can we heal from it?
Oh gosh! Where do I start with this one! Narcissism what’s that?
Exactly what you said Erik, this term is not heard often and I was also oblivious to Narcissism until I found myself under attack! And I don’t say that lightly!!
This is a vicious attack of one’s soul , one’s being and if not spotted can absolutely strip a person of their identity! No matter how strong a person you feel you are. I urge anyone experiencing such abuse to seek help and support ASAP.
How I like to describe a Narcissist is an alien walking around in human form, this is not to be taken lightly, these people will go to any length to get their narcissistic fixes.
I remember receiving a TEXT MESSAGE from my abuser. It was so verbally abusive I instantly felt winded! It was like he had come down the phone and punched me in the stomach, I nearly fell on the floor with the blow!
I for one did not know how widespread narcissism was until doing my own research on this topic and I have done extensive research on this particular disorder….
I can spot a Narcissistic person a mile off and they are every where even in our own families , friends, work colleagues I suppose it’s a bit like that saying ” you are never 6ft away from a rat.”
How can one spot it? There are 2 types of Narcs introvert and extrovert.
Biggest sign are:
- They have no friends or family, they have literally been disowned because their behaviour is unbearable!
- They find fault with everything. You could be having the most amazing experience, time of your life and a narcissus will find fault and quickly turn it into the worst experience.
- They blame or find a way to blame you for their outrageous behaviour.
- They will always ruin every special occasion , birthdays & holidays as these threaten the attention being taken off them so they will find a way to sabotage it in order for the attention to still be on them.
- They make a mountain out of a molehill , they will take something so minute that a healthy person would see as irrelevant and turn it into a full blown Narcs attack.
- They blame the everybody and anybody for why they are not successful.
- They hate everyone.
- You will never win an argument NEVER.
- They disregard your feelings like they are nothing and will sweep them under the carpet as if nothing ever happened.
- If you pull them up on they behaviour they will punish you mentally.
How to heal from such abuse:
- Recognising the signs and gaining awareness of what is happening is important.
- Educate yourself.
- Tell people of your concerns and get a support system in place.
- Break away and go cold turkey, these people are literally like a drug a very bad drug. When you educate yourself it raises awareness and you can start making better choices. When I say cold turkey I mean literally!! Feel the pain go through the withdrawal and absolutely 100% know there is light at the end of the tunnel and you will survive and thrive!
- NO CONTACT EVER! EVER!
- Read self help books and start nourishing your soul again.
- Practice self love – I am now running a 21 day self love challenge you can register on my site
- Practice spirituality along with regular reiki healing.
- Be gentle on yourself and know you are grieving what your feeling is normal!
- Contact me for guidance and support I now empower woman to go on to create outstanding lives for themselves and their children through personal 1 on 1 coaching.
You eventually opened up a couple small businesses, what were the advantages and disadvantages of owning a traditional business?
I did Erik! I always have been unemployable! Haha seriously from the age of 13 I worked along side my mum in her businesses and flew the nest around 20 – 30 and tried my round in employment, never lasting more than a couple of months before returning to my mums businesses.
But, you know I watched my friends going for interviews and thought I’d best go get myself some experience in that field just in case. I could never last any length of time in a job and at first I thought there was something seriously wrong with me!
Like I thought, is there something wrong with me? I don’t like time here and all my friends were loving their new found roles!
While I was asking the manager where is the guy that runs this show? The manager responded, he lives in South Africa in a penthouse and his wife drives a pink Cadillac with custom design trim!
I was like, does he ever visit to thank his workers for allowing him to live this lifestyle, she was like never! Seriously I sat there thinking this.
I’m sitting here making this guy all this cash flow and he can’t even come and say thanks! I thought that’s where I want to be and that I would make a point of visiting and thanking my people!
I had written a business plan after this realisation but could never really get it off the ground. Then one day after trying yet another job I got sacked! Like seriously, I was like you are freaking kidding me!
And at that moment I made a decision that I would employ myself because I couldn’t sack myself. I thought if someone can just get rid of you just like that then nothing is safe!
And I need to run my own show because there’s absolutely no way I can sack myself. So the business plan came out and this time it worked because I was absolutely 100% not going back to a job!
So November 6th 2006 I went into business. I started an outside catering biz and in same month 2 years later I opened up my first cafe premises so I could serve the general public and do my outside catering from the back of my shop.
I loved it, it was mine, and although I had to work 7 days a week it didn’t bother me because it was mine! I had the privilege of catering for Pete Townshend for his Quadrophenia tour and the enemy and really built a good brand and local reputation.
Then I fell pregnant and everything changed and my priorities changed. My business was 7 days a week and so was my new son, so I had reevaluate things.
I needed something that fitted around my son and not my son fitting around my business and besides the business was not giving me what I wanted it to give me.
I found I had basically employed myself , I had no time freedom , I was working more hours than in a job and I had shut loads of overheads it’s just not what it’s cut out to be.
When did you discover network marketing, what did you think about it, and what were the first couple years like?
This is when I found network marketing. I seen a friend doing really well and I wanted some of it. I quickly discovered this was everything I had wanted from my traditional business.
The first few years I sucked! !! I mean I really frigging sucked like I was thinking what the actual F*** seriously it was mentally hard I couldn’t understand what was happening , why can’t I do this , I knew I had it in me but everything I tried just did not work.
I could see people flying in the biz and I was like what are they doing that I am not doing. It was frigging hard!
What was the hardest lesson you learned from that time?
I don’t think we ever stop learning to be fair. Lessons are alway presented to us everyday! Thus, life is a journey of lessons and learning what works and what does not work. I just look at things different now!
Whenever I face a challenge now I know it’s growth in disguise! Looking back at my journey I wouldn’t change it, everything has happened exactly the way it was meant to be so that I can learn and grow from it.
What can network marketers learn from overcoming adversity?
Keep going! Seriously God is testing you on how much you want what you say you want! You gotta fight for it and don’t let anyone talk you out of your dreams, even when it looks like you are getting nowhere, know that YOU ARE.
Everyday you get up and TAKE ACTION you are getting 1 step closer to your reality. Lay 5 bricks each day in your business and don’t go to bed until they are laid!
What is the biggest problem you see with new network marketers, and what should they focus on in the beginning?
They are not being taught how to market their business correctly, sure network marketing companies give basic training, but No real MARKETING.
Training and marketing is at the heart of any business. Effective marketing is what sets you apart! IF you think about a traditional business essentially you need to market it.
Your network marketing business is no different. So putting a business plan together along with a marketing plan and knowing your target market & customer avatar are imperative! Network marketing companies don’t teach this!
I love your blog? How old is it, how many posts are on it, and what is the daily traffic like to it?
Hey Thanks Erik ! I built that baby myself and just goes to show you don’t have to be technical to build a blog! Boy, I couldn’t tell you how many blogs I have on their to date I’ve lost count now! Yes I have some good traffic over there now I’m always pointing people to my blog, it’s my home here on the Internet. Without one you are virtually homeless.
Why does branding yourself matter, especially if you’re an internet marketer?
I love it! When I was presented with the idea of branding myself in network marketing it totally appealed to me after being a traditional biz owner.
I totally got it! And I knew that instant this had been what was missing all along! I wanted a totally online biz , I was sick of hotel meetings , 1 -1’s and all that traditional jazz ….
I wanted to purely build online so I could be anywhere in the world and run my business. So, as an online network marketer branding is essential.
What is your favorite book right now and why?
I’m currently reading “the Miracle Morning” and totally loving it and this new lifestyle I have started to create works …. there’s just something about getting up at 5am when everyone else is still in bed.
It feels really spiritual and mystical, I spend the first hour of my day in 10 minutes increments of gratitude, prayer, visualisation, exercises and affirmations.
It’s crazy how productive you are when you rise at this time , it’s actually really addictive! Good habits.
What are your goals for 2017?
2017 boy! I’m looking forward to this year.
I’m really homing into my women’s empowerment this year. My aim is to help and inspire as many other survivors of narcissism to live outstanding lives! A bigger goal over the next 10 years is to build a women’s and children’s home in rio and teach empowerment.
So, this year I’m going to set up a charity and do some charity stuff to start making that long term dream a reality.
Another goal is to speak on stages around the world, so I have just invested in my education for this!
I have set a goal to hit L5 in my company by August 2017, which will see me traveling to Austin, Texas.
And to take my kids whilst I’m on that side of the ocean to Disney and New York, might as well make it around trip right?
I have some personal goals for my family also…. but these are few of my chunkier goals!
What is your favorite quote and why?
Why play safe in a world where no one gets out alive!
Thank you so much for this interview, Lisa!