Empowering leadership: Emily Ford’s journey of empathy and success

March 8, 2024

“I am who I am today because I am not who I once was.”

These words echoed through my living room as I interviewed Emily Ford via zoom a few weeks ago, out of the comfort of her beautiful Californian home. Her journey from humble beginnings to becoming a beacon of inspiration has captivated the hearts and minds of many, including mine. Ford is a well-known figure in the network marketing and direct sales industry. She gained popularity for her success as a top leader and influencer in several companies, including Isagenix. Currently, Ford is known for her motivational speaking, social media presence, and leadership development skills and coaching. I sat down with her to do a deep dive into her success, personal mantra and inspiration to females around the world, just in time for International Women’s Day today. 

One of Emily’s recent successes is her podcast, the It Factor. The podcast is led by Emily and centers around her sitting down with various thought leaders where the topics of discussion range from the impacts of overcommitting, to the journeys of human trafficking survivors. The podcast aims to inspire and empower listeners to unlock their potential and create the life that they desire. Empathy and heart-led leadership are at the forefront behind any of Emily’s ventures, which is also heavily emphasized and visible in her podcast. When asked about the inspiration behind all her achievements, Emily reflects about her childhood that started it all. 

“I was raised by a single Mom and I pretty much had to raise myself most of the time. We had a very toxic upbringing and I had to find my way; it was either do or die. I always felt like I was an old soul, I felt 10 years older than I actually was, because of what I lived and saw. My ‘Aha moment‘ happened early, it was when I was in middle school. I realized I just wanted to love everyone, no matter [who they were]. I wanted to be friends with everyone and truly felt like it was the right thing to do. I carried that notion with me my whole life, and as I got older it allowed me to build a lot of empathy. And now, through the work that I do, I realized that’s what I am supposed to pass on to the rest of the world.”

As a leader in the health and wellness industry, Emily champions a holistic approach to leadership — one that embraces both strength and vulnerability. Consistency, for Emily, is not merely a matter of discipline but a reflection of inner alignment and authenticity. Her secret to staying consistent lies in being in touch with one’s soul and embracing honesty and her faith — a philosophy that permeates every aspect of her life and work.

“Consistency is possible when you are in touch with your soul and being honest with yourself,” she says. “For example, to my mentorship community, I send a voice message everyday and remind them to be honest with themselves. My best moments of self-reflection are done when I am alone, and I recently had to check myself into a hotel for a weekend to escape any distractions and comforts of my own world and mind. It is in moments and places like that, when I am isolated, when I can be truly honest with myself and be in touch with my inner voice. This habit has helped me be consistent in life and business, and truly face even my own nonsense”. 

All of Emily’s entrepreneurial ventures have included coaching programs, nutrition products and mentorship platforms, providing valuable resources for individuals seeking to improve their health and lifestyle. She has spoken at numerous events, seminars and conferences, inspiring others to pursue their goals with passion and determination.

As a leader in the health and wellness industry, she emphasizes the importance of embracing her own femininity in leadership, citing her journey of rediscovering balance and harmony. 

“There was a time when my cortisol was out of whack because I was not in touch with my heart and my feminine nature,” she reflects. Through intentional shifts in mindset and habits, Emily redefined her approach to leadership, emphasizing heart-centered principles and nurturing relationships over authoritarianism. “I focused on shifting my mindset to the more feminine, and that included changing my habits. What I do every day are feminine things, walking in nature and even my workouts are feminine. I work out like a ballerina, I take baths at night and I don’t burn myself into the ground with work. When I am coaching and training my team, I am bringing heart-centered leadership and not dictatorship. It is about being intentional,” Emily highlights.

Beyond the realms of business, Emily finds inspiration in the beauty of art, music and her faith. She has recently married the love of her life, Jake Havron, and they have embarked on a journey of collective entrepreneurship, with him actively involved in the It Factor podcast and Fortitude mentorship program. During her downtime, she likes to engage in activities that set her soul on fire. For example, the last thing she marveled at was a riveting Hanz Zimmer candle-lit piano ceremony, which she emphasizes is important to fuel the power of creativity and to stir the soul. 

Emily’s fashion sense is a reflection of her multifaceted persona — timeless yet edgy, exuding confidence and sophistication. Her style embodies the essence of individuality, a testament to her ability to stand out while staying true to herself. When asked about the importance of looking good, Emily’s response offers a glimpse into her entrepreneurial journey and the ethos that drives her success. For her, looking good is not just about aesthetics: it’s about embodying confidence and self-assurance. She recalls starting her first business while sleeping on a mattress on the floor. She recognized the value of investing in personal appearance over having a bed and that was one of the key determining factors of her road to success. 

She emphasizes the transformative power of self-perception. “How you dress is how you want to be addressed,” she asserts, highlighting the profound impact of personal presentation on one’s professional trajectory.

Looking ahead, Emily’s vision extends beyond personal success to empower others on their journey towards fulfillment and success. Her latest venture, Fortitude Mentorship, offers individuals the opportunity to access mentorship without the hefty price tag. With a monthly live master class and a faith call, direct messaging, accountability keeping and beyond, Fortitude Mentorship embodies her commitment to democratizing access to knowledge and guidance. It’s a manifestation of her commitment to empowering others and creating accessible pathways to personal and professional growth.

“I am very excited about what I am doing now,” she says. “Sometimes you just expire from doing certain things and I am looking forward to the future of what I can achieve with Fortitude and beyond.”

Photos provided courtesy of Emily Ford.


Story by Ada Yakobi

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