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Q&A  •  7 December 2023


Shannah Kennedy and Colleen Callander explain what the word 'elevate' means to them

We caught up with the co-authors of Elevate to learn more about their work, their goals for 2024, and their best advice for getting out of a slump.

What does the word ELEVATE mean to each of you?

SK: ‘Elevate’ means lifting something to a higher level. It's about taking your life and habits to new heights, whether via ideas, actions, or even your mindset. It embodies growth, improvement, and reaching greater potential.

CC: 'Elevate' signifies a dedication to continuous improvement and lifelong learning, recognising the extraordinary potential within each individual. It's the pursuit of becoming the best version of yourself. 

Despite your common interests, you have had different careers/backgrounds. How did your unique perspectives come into play while writing the book?

Shannah's two-decades-long experience as a high-performance executive life coach has brought a wealth of expertise in guiding individuals to achieve their absolute best. 

Meanwhile, Colleen's experience as an award-winning former CEO of two Australian fashion brands has provided insight into leadership, brand, and culture strategies. 

Combining our unique strengths and practical approaches allowed us to infuse the book with a blend of practicality and a high-performance mindset. These varied perspectives formed a powerful synergy, making it relatable to a range of readers seeking personal and professional growth.

This book comes out just in time for end-of-year reflections and New Year’s resolutions. How do each of you hope to elevate in 2024?

SK: We believe 'elevate' will be the defining word of 2024. It will be a year of fine-tuning our habits, collectively aspiring to new levels of personal and professional growth. 

Our goal is to become prominent voices and role models for women in their 50s, showcasing this age as the onset of prime years. We're eager to inspire and empower women to prioritise values, vision, mindset, confidence, fulfilment, and personal growth, believing that we can all elevate our lives by taking intentional steps towards a better, more fulfilling future.

CC: In 2024, my commitment to 'elevate' involves taking a holistic approach to enhance various aspects of my life, leadership, and longevity. I plan to prioritise self-improvement by maintaining healthy habits and refining daily routines to optimise my physical and mental well-being.

I also aspire to elevate others by sharing the valuable insights and strategies in our book, Elevate

Where did you get the concept of elevating, and what inspired you to write an entire book about it?

The inspiration for the book stemmed from recognising a universal desire for growth and improvement and the belief that everyone can reach higher ground in their lives.

After identifying a gap in addressing three crucial pillars – life, leadership, and longevity – we aimed to create a roadmap for individuals that would help them elevate their lives, regardless of age or stage.

In the book, you advocate for people to write as they go through the chapters and prompts inside. Do you each keep your own journals or have any other regular writing practices?

SK: Yes, I keep journals to capture my thoughts, insights, and aspirations. Writing is reflective for me, and I find immense value in maintaining a gratitude diary. I have also used vision boards for the past twenty years to visually manifest my goals and aspirations. These practices anchor me in my personal growth journey, providing clarity and inspiration for continual progress.

CC: Yes, I write to capture my thoughts, ideas, successes, challenges, and the things that inspire me. 

I maintain a handwritten calendar because there is something profoundly impactful about the written word. When I put pen to paper, it becomes a personal commitment.

That's why we've included spaces at the end of each chapter for readers to reflect and write. By writing, readers will make a personal commitment to themselves. We hope it will help them take action and make positive changes.

What advice would you give to someone who knows they want to improve but is perhaps feeling a bit lost?

We encourage readers to feel empowered by taking control of their growth journey. 

One exercise in the book, the 'Start, Stop, Keep' list, allows readers to actively participate in creating change. 

By writing down what you want to start doing, what you want to stop doing, and what you want to keep in your life, you can take ownership of your path to improvement. 

It's a proactive step that allows for self-reflection and prompts actionable change. Each entry in this list becomes a catalyst for transformation, putting you in the driver's seat towards purposeful growth, success, and fulfilment.

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