Yet another great connection I made as a result of reading and contributing to Queercents has been finding Donna Mete. When Nina interviewed her a while back I noticed in her bio that she had trained with Debbie Ford. Thus, an instant connection was born. I recently had a chance to connect with Donna by phone and then do this e-mail interview. This woman is up to great things, so read on….
1) What was your inspiration to start A Lesbian’s Life?
A Lesbian’s Life was inspired as a result of an unusual experience I had one night a little more than a year ago. That experience changed me and I have not been the same person since. It was made clear to me that I was to provide a place for women to be seen, to find their voice and power and to take back mine. It was also made clear that I should never let another woman be alone in her experience and that through my book, website and show ideas, I would have a platform to help them be visible and proud. That’s been my mission ever since.
2) I see you have books and television projects in the works. Tell us a little more about them and what you hope the impact of them will be.
The book is entitled “On the Mend” and is a survival guide for lesbians who have been left by their partner and are faced with having to cope with the pain and loss after a breakup. I wrote it because there are no books like it from which we can understand or come to terms with the departures of a
(lesbian) partner. The book will provide comfort, wisdom, insight and healing for every woman who may be experiencing a broken heart.
The TV show is exciting because it captures lesbians in a way no one has ever done. I have created an unusual format, the content, and a multitude of real-life experiences I believe will keep viewers coming back for more.
Gay, straight, male, female, young, old – it appeals to a very broad audience. The feedback regarding the show has been positive, but it is also highly controversial. I hope it will be available for all of us to see shortly – in whatever format that may be. During this production, I have become very aware of the competitiveness, budgets and time tables that exist within that industry, and that it moves at a snail’s pace. I just don’t know what the future will hold, but the journey and the women I’ve spent time with have been pretty amazing so I can’t complain!
3) What kind of experience do you have/did you have before starting your business?
I am an autodidact and non-fiction junkie. When I was younger, I felt as though I had to work harder, longer and more efficiently than my colleagues to get ahead because I did not have a college education. However, I was blessed with a healthy IQ and a desire to learn. I have a knack for numbers and marketing – spotting trends and understanding people. I enjoy knowing everything I can about those I meet. I’ve been told that I am intense and probing. Today those words are happily embraced because they are qualities that have propelled me to create each of my businesses, to spot red flags sooner, rather than later, and to be successful. So, to answer your question, my experience was more of a belief in myself and my ability to create whatever I set my heart and mind to…and then accomplishing it. We all have the ability to triumph despite the odds.
4) How we first connected was when I read in your bio that you are involved with Debbie Ford’s coach training program. As someone who completed Debbie’s program in 2003, I’m always interested to connect with others in this awesome community. How did you discover Debbie’s work and what is it that drew you to it?
I was so surprised when I learned about your training with Debbie. We are a small but growing cadre of devoted men and women. I found Debbie at an Omega Institute conference in early 2006. I was drawn to her teaching methodology because it is one of the most comprehensive coaching programs I’ve seen and takes almost 2 years to complete. Their methodology is straight-forward, extensive, heart wrenching, empowering, dynamic, real and profoundly transformative. She and her teachers have changed many, many lives in this world and I hope to be one of those agents when I complete my training in 2008.
5) Can you share with us one benefit you received from being coached in Debbie’s School?
The first several semesters of Debbie’s training focuses on the individual and their “stuff” – their story and beliefs so to narrow down my experience to one benefit is virtually impossible. I think for me, and possibly anyone interested in her type of training and self-assessment, you have to be willing to give up and live a life that does NOT include:
1. False beliefs about yourself
2. Negative beliefs about others
3. Acting out from your life story
4. Trying to discard parts of yourself you don’t like or are ashamed of
5. Giving over your light and brilliance to others
And finally, we must all come to understand the power and impact of projecting, either upon others, or those who project upon us and stop it from driving us in unhealthy ways.
6) What makes your web portal unique and what types of things will visitor’s find there?
I am trying to create a mature site that talks about many, real-life issues among us. Young or old, we are still faced with the same life challenges. I’d like to provide a place for women to find answers to some of their issues.
I have spent a small fortune creating this community, and the format and content will always be changing to reflect what women ask of us, and what I see drives women to sites like mine. We are re-designing the entire website now and I hope to have a new, more active blogging community, podcasts and/or webisodes set-up shortly. Who knows what will happen after that!
7) What keeps you going on the tough days?
Wow, your questions are deep. Thankfully, I don’t have a lot of tough days but when I do, I listen to audio books and videos that remind me of who I really am: a spiritual being capable of creating whatever experience I want regardless of the state of mind I may be in at the moment. A year ago, I began meditating and doing various breathing exercises everyday so I start out very centered. This always helps me stay balanced if something goes awry. I also spend a bit of time each day in visualization so that I stay on track with my goals and desires. It’s that combination of meditation, visualizations and surrounding myself with positive people and experiences that keeps me rolling along – tough days or not.
8) What are your top three measures of success?
Happiness: If a person is able to feel and approach life from a sense of bliss, wellbeing, fullness and richness instead of anger, jealousies or resentments, then I believe they and their lives are successful. When you’re not happy, you believe you’re lacking something, and if you’re lacking something, there’s a sense of having experienced some kind of loss, or that you’ve failed and been UNsuccessful; therefore, I believe happiness = success.
Love and Acceptance: Are you able to be loved and to love others without running and hiding or hurting another.
Rilke says: “For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of our tasks; the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.”
I think if we can all learn to have some measure of love and acceptance for one another, with our flaws and many differences, then we’ve led a successful life and we’ve succeeded at one of life’s most difficult tasks.
Triumph: This is key because I believe we can triumph over anything – for some people triumph means they’ve overcome an addiction to alcohol, or maybe someone beat the odds and created extraordinary wealth, or, another person was able to triumph over adversity and become a powerful catalyst for change in other people’s lives. There are an infinite number of ways in which each and every one of us can, and do, triumph in some way. And, I believe the experience of triumph, no matter how great or small, is the pillar of success in anyone’s life.
9) What is the wildest success story you can imagine for your business’ future?
I would love to have each of the three businesses I’ve launched – the website, book and TV show – provide a platform to create a multitude of profitable products and services that add value and meaning to the lesbian community and those we interact with on a daily basis. The end result is to bring inspiration to women and to do whatever I can to get them in touch with their own greatness. I think we’ve been overlooked and underserved as a community and it’s time for change.
10) What brings you the most joy personally or professionally?
Two things bring me the greatest joy. The first is creating something that impacts and affects change in people’s lives in a positive and uplifting way. The second is sharing it all with someone I love. I don’t think it ever gets better than that!
Donna Meté is an entrepreneur who thrives on investing in and launching new companies. In June 2006, she launched A Lesbian’s Life web portal, began the production of a TV series and is the author of a soon-to-be published book for women entitled “On the Mend”. Donna’s other business interests include real estate, trade shows and the next generation of healthcare meant to be a win-win for all of us.
She is enrolled in the Ford Institute for Integrative Coaching and JFK University in an unprecedented collaboration to provide training combined with deep personal transformation in an educational program that brings innovation to the life coaching profession.
Donna is an autodidact and non-fiction junkie. Her experience, interests and studies include quantum physics, shadow work, transpersonal psychology, metaphysics and entrepreneurship.