We are going on an incredible journey to the banks of the Danube River. Based in the beautiful city of Novi Sad in Serbia, Catherine B. Roy has so far led a life that has been far from ordinary – to say the least! We will learn how the different facets of Catherine’s mind-blowing personal and professional experience have contributed to forging her unique, powerful mission.
Born in ex-Yugoslavia into a dysfunctional family, Catherine has lived in fear for most of her life. This has left a huge emotional trail in her heart. Recognised as one of the “smart kids” at high school, she was invited to attend a scientific centre. She enjoyed her four years there as a linguistic researcher, publishing her first scientific work and becoming a public speaker at the young age of 17. Unfortunately, this was in the tragic year of 1999, at the height of war in the Balkans. Despite surviving bombing and living in a basement for 78 days without electricity and very little food and water, Catherine found her spark there helping younger children and finishing her second scientific work. After that was over, she graduated in economics and business information technology, leading her to start working for a huge international company. Catherine enjoyed vast success there, but, visibly, the Universe had others plans for her. One day she began to feel very weak and ended up in hospital. The diagnosis was another blow for Catherine: coxsackie virus, affecting her heart, with a prediction that she will only live for one-and-a-half more years. Having already survived the trauma of war and bombing, Catherine was determined to also get past this. She decided to spend a week’s retreat in the company of monks at a nearby monastery. The experience there was extremely profound and mystical, literally saving her life. Upon her return from the retreat, Catherine underwent further tests at the hospital which showed she was “miraculously” cured from the deadly virus. Fast forward to another seeming setback. Catherine had always wanted to be a mother, but was diagnosed with infertility. Gaining strength from her past experiences, she set her mind on also overcoming that obstacle. And she was successful in that! Three years ago, Catherine gave birth to her beautiful son. “We can do everything if we set our mind to work for us and not against us,” has become Catherine’s mantra. This powerful mantra also applies to her professional life. Today, she is a CEO and Founder, an internationally recognised personal growth and business coach, a human potential thought leader, a Mensa member, and an award-winning artist and scientist whose stimulating, upbeat and inspirational work has helped countless people in the world. Catherine’s writings are published in The Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Simple Reminders, McGill Media and many others. She was featured as a guest expert at many summits and as a participant and expert speaker at numerous international conferences. Catherine enjoyed the distinction of receiving the “Top 20 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Future of Work” as well as the “Top 30 Under 30” awards, and is an experienced linguistics researcher, certified in the fields of emotional intelligence and assertive communication. To top that off, Catherine is also an international best-selling author.
Emerald Jaaz is honoured to interview Catherine B. Roy, an extraordinarily lovable soul who is convinced that by blending the force of the heart and the mind, we can live our most fulfilled lives and achieve anything we want. A meeting with Catherine puts us on such an energetical high! Let’s dive right into this beautifully unique encounter.
“We can do everything if we set our mind to work for us and not against us.”
– Catherine B. Roy
Emerald Jaaz: Catherine, what do you enjoy the most about your current lifestyle?
Catherine B. Roy: My profound life experiences made me decide to live life to the fullest and start my own business to help people tap into their heart and mind to grow personally and professionally, on their own terms. The most rewarding thing about my current lifestyle is that I get to help others both on a spiritual and professional level. I am convinced that both are intertwined. I also appreciate that this setup allows me to manage my time to be with my son, husband and all those who are dear to me. Plus I get to focus on learning, interacting with like-minded people from all around the world and, naturally, I am passionate about growing my business.
Emerald Jaaz: What does your current professional activity consist of?
Catherine B. Roy: I started my business in February 2015. I am a personal growth and business coach and have one mission: “To help people do what nourishes their souls and makes their dream business flourish”. In line with that mission, I have recently published my book, “Live from Your Heart and Mind”, which had become an international best-seller on the day of its publication. I am the guiding force behind the “LHM” system for increasing a person’s emotional and intellectual capacity, changing their mindset and inspiring them to positive change and accomplishment. I am convinced that having the “right” mindset is a prerequisite to building a successful business. I also help people generate leads on LinkedIn and other social media to gain more clients and develop their business much faster. I specialise in video production and help my clients understand how algorithms work. My past career as a web programmer enables me to give them valuable insights into boosting their online visibility. I have to say that, since I started my business, I have progressed enormously – as well as encountered and helped so many inspiring souls. It hasn’t always been smooth and there are many things that I would do differently in hindsight – which, I think, is the case of most entrepreneurs – but the journey and learnings have definitely been worth it! I have come a long way if I think back to how I lived in constant fear as a child. And I feel it’s only the beginning!
Emerald Jaaz: What made you choose to live the life you do today?
Catherine B. Roy: I realised that my life was unique and that if I tell my story it would help a lot of people. Knowing my story would avoid others going through the difficulties that I went through. My idea was to tell people that they really can go out there and create their lives. That is, in short, the basis of what I do.
Emerald Jaaz: What are your main interests and passions; and what causes are close to your heart?
Catherine B. Roy: I love helping people. That is who I am and it is deeply rooted in my heart. I’m the older sister and to my younger brother, so I’ve been in the helping mode all my life! I couldn’t be happier than to see my clients reach the goals that they have set for themselves. The love I give out on social media through telling my story and sharing my pain points comes back to me in increased amounts; and that fuels my passion to help even more people, so we all grow together. I believe that people feel the love that I give. I don’t struggle with people finding me because I believe that I establish healthy human connections. That for me is the most valuable. It’s not about me, because I am convinced that if you go alone, you will go there fast; but if you go with people whom you help on your path, you will go wide and build a sustainable momentum that will really create an empire.
Emerald Jaaz: What do you like most about the city you currently live in?
Catherine B. Roy: We currently live in Novi Sad, Serbia. We were planning to move to the U.S.A., but I ended up becoming pregnant, so we decided to stay. I have to say that every step that I make in this city makes me realise how much I am in love with it. I just can’t describe that! In this region, Novi Sad is known as the city of love. It’s also the European Capital of Culture for the year 2021. It’s extremely beautiful and I just feel the energy here which fuels me. The Danube River flows through my city and, when I need inspiration, I go alone to sit by the river. It’s actually difficult for me to imagine living somewhere else – except maybe on some Greek island! I have been living in Novi Sad since I started going to college and am in simply in love with it. That’s what is keeping me here.
Emerald Jaaz: What is the source of your inspiration and motivation?
Catherine B. Roy: My son. I now have a completely different purpose. Through helping people, I am being a true example for my son. This is teaching him to grow and become a healthy human being in all kinds of ways. I am showing him how to build something sustainable so that he doesn’t struggle like I did, so that he remains safe and can face life’s challenges.
Emerald Jaaz: Please give us an example of one of your typical days.
Catherine B. Roy: Every single one of my days is different! I like to sleep and am not one of those 5 a.m. club people – I just can’t do that! I tried going to the gym very early, but realised that it’s not for me. I give myself permission to sleep as much as I need. Everything else in my day is based on creating content, having coaching sessions, interviews, and building my business – or, as I like to call it, my empire – one step at a time. I try to manage my agenda as best as possible since working with and coaching people in different time zones, such as the U.S.A., Canada or Australia, can sometimes be a bit messy! I reserve “me time” in the day to create something new, whether it be content that I share on social media, a new product or learning something. I also spend a lot of time with my family. Having said that, a balance with all of what I do and self-care, like going to a spa with a friend, is essential for me.
Emerald Jaaz: Please give us an example of one of your ideal weekends.
Catherine B. Roy: I like to go to the nature a lot. I taught my 3-year-old son that when it’s the weekend, he doesn’t have to go to kindergarten, so he’s asking me every day if it’s the weekend! If I reply that it is indeed the weekend, he always asks me, “Where will we go?” So every weekend we go somewhere! We love to spend our time in the mountains or at a nearby monastery that has beautiful parks. I find my peace there. My weekends are spent focusing on my son and my husband.
Emerald Jaaz: Among the places you have visited, which one moved you the most?
Catherine B. Roy: Apart from my city, Novi Sad, I am in love with the Ionian Sea. For the last 15 years, I’ve been going there – every time exploring a different Greek island. The sea is amazing there and I love to discover the various islands. As much as I also love to travel and explore big cities, I prefer peaceful places. Greece has an incredible array of wild beaches with few people and that is perfect to regain my energy. My favourite is the Ionian Sea side of Greece.
Emerald Jaaz: Which place do you like to return to regularly and why?
Catherine B. Roy: Apart from Greece, I fell in love with Egypt. I know people have different thoughts about Egypt, but I felt some kind of special energy around the pyramids. Egypt is definitely up there on my list! I know I am a little different: I am not so in love with the “western” culture. I seek out much more “exotic” places with ancient histories. I must have lived there in one of my previous lives!
Emerald Jaaz: Which place would you like to visit that you haven’t yet visited?
Catherine B. Roy: You probably won’t believe this, but I haven’t visited Paris yet!
Emerald Jaaz: Please share with us a couple of your favourite places to hang out, to eat, to mingle, to reflect or simply to watch the world go by.
Catherine B. Roy: There is a particularly beautiful place in Novi Sad, just across the Danube. It’s an ancient fortress. When you climb up, you have an incredible view of the whole city and the river. There are many nice restaurants, so it’s a perfect place to spend some relaxing time. I love being close to water and in the nature – and this place has both. It’s definitely one of my favourites.
Emerald Jaaz: Any recent cultural tips?
Catherine B. Roy: Since I’m a public person, I come into contact with people from very different cultures. I often receive holiday greetings from them, be it for Christmas, Easter, and so on. But being an Orthodox Christian, my Christmas is on the 7th of January and not on the 25th of December; and I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving or Halloween! There are a lot of cultural differences. We are influenced by how we grew up, what traditions we were taught. On another note, when I visited the pyramids in Egypt and I realised what people could achieve back then with no technology, it simply took my breath away. I truly admire ancient Egyptian, Greek or Roman cultures and can’t get my head around how they managed to build such incredible and sophisticated cities.
Emerald Jaaz: What motivates you to achieve your goals and to get out of bed in the morning?
Catherine B. Roy: I have a strong passion for what I do and it definitely changed my life. Now I can be my authentic, unique self. My goal is to share even more. I know why I am doing this; I know that I am helping people; and I know that I am building a better future for my son. There is nothing that can stop me! It’s a higher purpose in my life. I can also see my son choosing where he wants to live, which college he wants to go to and so on. I didn’t have that choice when I was a kid. So that is a very strong driver for me.
Emerald Jaaz: What are you most grateful for?
Catherine B. Roy: I am one of those people who practices gratitude every single day after all those things that happened to me. I am not a materialistic person. I am grateful that I can wake up and know that I can live throughout the day. Having gone through such serious events in my life puts things into perspective. I am grateful for everything – and my son is on the top of my gratitude list! I was told that I couldn’t be a mother and now I have a three-year-old who is making a mess every single day!
Emerald Jaaz: What values are key to you?
Catherine B. Roy: Integrity, honesty and lovability. If a person doesn’t have the first value – integrity – we shouldn’t even bother with them. When I refer to lovability, I mean how a person can be vulnerable and share that with others.
Emerald Jaaz: Please share with us an important lesson you learnt in life.
Catherine B. Roy: Everything is temporary and we should stop thinking that we have unlimited time. We should approach every day with gratitude and show people who matter to us how much we care about them. We truly don’t know when it’s going to be our last day. I want to live in a way that, when I turn back, I don’t want to have any regrets. Even if my last day were to be tomorrow, I am very happy and satisfied with what I have done until now.
Thank you wholeheartedly, Catherine, for this beautifully inspiring interview!