Auckland’s Catherine Newton is an internationally recognised success mentor, speaker and author whose services are highly sought after. MediaPA’s Lee Stace caught up with her to chart her rise to the top.
THE CIRCUS was on in Tauranga.
A five-year-old Catherine Newton was lapping it up. Carnivals didn’t come around often in her part of New Zealand and when they did, every child wanted a slice of fun. For them, it was the event of the year.
Her happiness was about to swell even further. After sampling many of the rides on offer, Catherine’s mother reached into her purse and handed her some money. She was then instructed she could buy some candyfloss.
It was while queuing for her sweet treat that her good time bubble was burst, albeit temporarily. Three burly teenagers arrived on the scene and pushed a young Catherine out of their way. Their disrespectful act also saw them commandeer her place in the line.
Most five-year-old girls would’ve turned on the waterworks. Others would’ve slid down to the back of the queue without saying boo to a goose.
Not Catherine Newton, though.
“Instead I just stood there and thought, ‘It would be nice if I could have my place back. It would be nice’. With that, this ball came from out of nowhere and hit the tallest guy on the head so hard that he fell over and his two mates went over to see if he was okay. It allowed me to jump back into my place in the line and get my candyfloss.”
Little did she realise at the time that she had just experienced how the law of attraction works; how it can turn a person’s desire into reality if harnessed in the right manner.
Fast-forward to today and Catherine is now a success mentor, speaker and author who is earning a great living from showing other people how they can use that very law to generate riches and happiness in their own lives
Her journey has taken her to many places since 2007. As the founder and chief executive of Catherine Newton International – a mentoring, training and life coaching firm which covers topics such as mindset, marketing, business and personal growth – she has spoken at various events in America, Australia and New Zealand, sharing the stage with the likes of Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and former New York mayor and 2001 Time magazine Person of the Year Rudy Giuliani.
Accolades have also come thick and fast. In 2011, she was named International Mentor of the Year at the Top One Awards and was a finalist in the entrepreneur and business of the year categories. As an author, Catherine co-wrote the best-selling book Over-comers Inc. Think and Grow Rich Today is her latest offering.
But wait, there’s more. Let’s not forget she has a healthy property portfolio and is being mentored by Donald Trump’s right hand man George Ross. The pair speak often and had a three-hour lunch date in New York last year.
Not bad for someone who confesses she used to be an introvert and could never see herself uprooting from her native Tauranga.
SPEAKING WITH Catherine Newton at her lovely abode in Glendowie, signs that she is passionate about what she does are strong. Good vibrations radiate from her. A pleasant smile is never far from her face, while she is quick to recite the odd positive affirmation – a tool she has blended into her daily morning ritual to ensure she maintains a positive headspace.
It’s clear she’s well suited to this success coaching lark. In fact, once you’ve had the pleasure of chatting with her (you will come away so enriched), it’s hard to see her not being one. She simply sounds the part.
However, Catherine hasn’t always been in this line of work. Other jobs paid the bills before she found her true calling in life.
Who knows. Perhaps she could’ve been a singer if she had put her mind to it, as she was a member of the Otumoetai College choir as a teenager. She once finished second in a talent show after belting out Jennifer Rush’s smash hit The Power of Love. (Catherine still has a good set of pipes, if the brief audition Yours Truly heard is a sound measuring stick.)
Be that as it may, it was teaching which initially commanded the affection of her heart – “I admired my teacher so much when I was young and thought it was the best profession in the world” – and after becoming qualified, she taught at Otumoetai Primary School. From there, her and her then-husband caught the travel bug and landed a gig at the International School of Beijing.
Her time in China would plant the seed for a career switch. After the pair returned to New Zealand, friends commented on some of the items they had brought back home with them. Soon they had set up a business which imported antique Chinese furniture, porcelain rugs and bed linen. During her nine-year lifespan with the company, they were supplying the likes of Smith and Caughey’s and Kirkcaldie and Stains, interior designers and boutique stores.
Never one to sit still, Catherine Newton’s passion for education saw her selling educational books published by British multi-national company Dorling Kindersley, which she did on the side. She quickly became their numero uno salesperson in New Zealand. And her young children loved the books she came home with!
She admits things were perfect during this period, “almost to the point of the white picket fence”. She quips the only thing needed to complete the rosy picture was a golden retriever. Life was good.
At least it appeared that way on the surface. Underneath things weren’t great and over time she started to notice a huge void when it came to her personal satisfaction. Initially she opted to ignore the problem. However, her inner restlessness grew and grew to the point where she realised she needed to re-evaluate things. “I woke up one day and thought, ‘There’s got to be more to my life than this’. I had the seemingly perfect marriage, the perfect children, the perfect house … but I kept feeling in my heart that there had to be something more – an inner calling that I was here for something different. Even though I loved my life, there was a part of me that was dissatisfied.”
That dissatisfaction eventually led to the end of her 16-year marriage in 2007. “I remember my husband standing in the kitchen, and this was about two years before our marriage ended, and he said, ‘I feel like I am losing you’. I was pulling away. ‘Good enough’ was no longer good enough. But it was like it was already mapped out for me – my destiny. And walking away from each other was the right thing to do. It wasn’t as if we weren’t getting on. At that stage, I was simply following a deep calling. I now realise if I has stayed in my marriage I would never be doing what I am doing now. It was destiny’s way of jumping in and all I could do was let go and trust.”
Despite that, Catherine is quick to point out the separation was amicable. The two, who met when she was in her teens, are still on good terms. So much so that she gives her ex-husband a glowing endorsement, calling him a “wonderful man” and “great father” to their two children, Jeremy and Jen.
“He came into my life to teach me a whole set of beautiful lessons that I’m ever so grateful for. I’m so grateful to have had that marriage and the children that came out of it. They have made me a better person.”
The decision to walk away from her marriage was what led Catherine Newton down her current career path.
It was a natural fit in many ways. She had always been fascinated by the intricacies of the mind, intertwining some psychology papers with her teaching studies. Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich – a book she dubs as “my bible” and an “accountability partner” – had also been read cover to cover in her early 30s. So, too, had The Secret. You can tell she has been heavily influenced by both.
Becoming qualified as a life coach and a Law of Attraction practitioner was the first step. She did that. The next step was attending as many events, both here and abroad, as possible. Things, though, didn’t really begin to take off until 2009. That, she says, was a “really big year”.
It was during that time, while she was in a bookstore, that she came across a copy of Think and Grow Rich which came with free tickets to a Think and Grow Rich conference in Sydney. Without hesitation, Catherine bought the book. Before she knew it she was boarding a plane.
Her time across the Ditch had a profound impact on her – especially when Paul Blackburn, the co-founder of Australian coaching firm Beyond Success, hit the stage. Catherine quickly signed up for his programme following his spiel. She knew she was on her way.
“What that did was it really confirmed for me that this is exactly what I am here for,” she says. “Without coming from a place of ego, I already got that there was something different about me and I believe it was because I had all those years of reading Think and Grow Rich and applying the principles in my own mind and then reading The Secret and understanding the power of manifestation of thought and the fact that we are the masters of our own destiny.”
The exact direction of Catherine’s destiny became all the more clearer while in Los Angeles at a seminar on law of attraction and marketing principals held by Clientattraction.com founder Fabienne Fredrickson.
“I sat in the audience and thought to myself, ‘Somebody needs to be teaching this stuff in New Zealand’. By the fourth day, it was like, ‘Oh my God, that person is me. That’s why I am here’.”
Catherine returned home determined to offer something similar in New Zealand. With a dollop of enthusiasm, a handful of commitment and a generous helping of persistence, she went about her task.
Doors quickly opened and opportunities were grasped. Every event was attended; every relationship nurtured. She said yes to speaking engagements, leading workshops and writing opportunities. More importantly, she kept thinking positively and never lost sight of her goal, regardless of what came her way.
Within nine months, Catherine Newton International was generating a six-figure profit. Other business owners started asking her how she did it, and she began teaching them. Things have snowballed and now her services are highly sought after.
“It’s almost like one thing has led to another. For me to map it out, it’s almost like laying down a line of dominos. I literally went from one event which led to another and then another. Along the way, I would meet people and they would say, ‘Come to this’ or, ‘Be part of this’ and that would create more and more opportunities,” she says.
“My success, once it started, happened really fast. And it all comes back to the principles in Think and Grow Rich, which are dominant thought and persistence. If you are willing to leave your ego, your impatience, your fear and this idea that life owes you at the door, I promise you success will come much faster.”
As successful as she has become, life has not always been beer and skittles for Catherine.
For instance, she grew up not knowing her father. He upped and vacated when she was very young (for the record, she holds no resentment towards him for doing so), leaving her naturopath mother – Dr Janice Priest, of Healthy Options and Rainbow News fame – to raise her and her sister. Catherine’s mother re-married and had two more children, both boys, but within five years her step-father was also out of the picture.
Catherine Newton has also lost her fair share of cash over the years due to naivety and bad investments. (She admits these so called ‘failures’ have taught her as much – if not more – than her successes!)
She and her ex-husband were duped out of $90,000 when an American con-artist impersonating a stock broker promised to invest money for them. Then there was the property they purchased sight unseen in Tauranga which was next door to the Black Power. It was offloaded at a considerable loss.
And even when she pledged her allegiance to be a success mentor, there were setbacks along the way that could’ve been crippling to her cause if she allowed them to best her during her quest. “There were days when I felt like giving up and not getting out of bed. Imagine if I had. I would’ve been so disappointed in myself and would be in a job that is quietly killing me because it didn’t resonate with me.
“Instead of focusing on what I’ve lost, I always focus on what I have gained from any failure I have had in life. By being able to apply that gain, it gives me that peace of mind and that’s really awesome.”
FOR SOMEONE who is paid by others to offer advice, it is interesting to know who Catherine turns to when she seeks guidance.
She has a few famous mentors. Top of that list is George Ross, who she met when she attended the Billionaire Experience event in New York in 2010. Ross took a shine to Catherine during the three-day event, sitting next to her at dinner after she questioned him enthusiastically about his charity work. Soon after, he offered to be her adviser.
Others who have become a sounding board for Catherine include Dr Bob Proctor, star of The Secret, Dr Nido Qubein, UFC ring announcer Bruce Buffer and leading coaching authority, Melanie Benson-Strick.
Catherine met Proctor after both were invited to speak at the Auckland Healthy Living Show in 2012 and is now a qualified Bob Proctor Coach. Qubein, the founder of High Point University, one of the fast-growing desirable universities in America under Harvard, Stanford and Yale, has been giving her a few pointers on speaking, building connections and how to build a school. (Catherine would love to create an educational facility to help other coaches become better at what they do.) Buffer’s pearls of wisdom have been sought in regard to marketing and branding, while Benson Strick provides coaching around mindset and mastery.
“George and Bob are in their 80s,” says Catherine. “It’s a good thing I’m able to tap into their knowledge while they are still around. I love the wisdom of these gentle souls because they know so much. I show up, get the mentoring and take the wonderful lessons away with me. And when you find someone more successful than you, they want to help you grow as well.”
Catherine plans to help plenty of others do that in 2014. It is the reason why she accepted the opportunity to be a contributing author for Think and Grow Rich Today, which she will launch in New Zealand at an event in Auckland on February 28. She penned the chapter on persistence – entirely apt seeing as it has been integral to her success.
“I realise now my burning desire is to help humanity,” she explains. “I’ve been given the key to success by these wonderful mentors … that it would be selfish of me not to share this message.
“I could never go to my grave wishing that I had told this story, written this book, spoke on stage or helped people. I want to have people stand at my funeral and say, ‘This woman inspired a nation. This woman was someone who influenced people, who motivated people, she was a leader. Not only was she a leader who created followers but she was a leader who created other leaders’.”
Contact Catherine Newton:
Phone: +64 21 360 891
Phone: 0274 587 724