Today's guest is Stephanie Dalfonzo, author of Goodbye Anxiety, Hello Freedom, & long-time practitioner of integrative hypnosis.
From alter ego DJ Stevie Knox to the first automated voice in the 80s to integrative hypnosis, she has been using her voice to change people’s lives for years.
For the last 16 years, Stephanie has been running a successful integrative hypnosis business to get to the root cause of why other entrepreneurs struggle. She shares solutions for combatting imposter syndrome & the benefits of surrounding yourself with encouraging & inspiring people.
- To kick things off... you were the first automated voice in the 80’s — can you share some more about that experience?
- You went from that into a career in hypnosis — how did that happen?
- What is the biggest misconception about hypnosis?
- What types of results have you seen your clients achieve with hypnosis?
- How do you think hypnosis works for entrepreneurs in particular?
- You’ve been doing this for over 16 years — what advice do you have for our audience when it comes to keeping a business going and growing that long?
- To wrap it up, tell us more about you — who you like to work with, what you do for them, and how someone can find you if they want to learn more.
Thank you so much for coming on our show and sharing your expertise with our audience — this has been great!
Links and Resources
- Stephanie Dalfonzo @ stephaniedalfonzo.com
- Your Own Private Paradise @ meditatewithsteph.com
- The Book: goodbye anxiety, hello freedom @ amazon.com
For more entrepreneurial insight, subscribe to ETA, helping you build a business that enables your lifestyle instead of taking over your life.
Christina Hooper: Hey, busy business people. I am here today with another entrepreneur taking action, Stephanie Dalfonzo. Stephanie is the very first automated voice back in the eighties, and she's celebrity radio DJ, Stevie knocks. These days, you can find her helping others through her integrative hypnosis business, where she helps people live a more balanced life.
And I'm going to be finding out more about her, so stay tuned.
All right. So to kick things off, you were the first automated voice back in the eighties, like share a little bit with me about that experience. What was that like?
Stephanie Dalfonzo: So back then we had no idea all this technology was coming,right? I was just, I was doing my radio DJ thing. I had a side hustle doing radio and TV commercials.
So I did "move your bananas to the belt to listen to your messages, press one." So my husband, we lived in south Florida at the time and my husband would travel around the country. And so this was pre-cell phones and he'd be in a hotel room in Chicago and whoa, they had voicemail. That was the cutting edge technology back then.
And so he'd be in Chicago. I'd be in south Florida. He'd be checking on that germy phone. I mean, I couldn't imagine picking up one of those phones in the hotel room now these days, but he'd be checking it and hearing me saying to listen to your messages, press one.
Christina Hooper: And that would be surreal. That is so cool.
Stephanie Dalfonzo: Yeah. And again, we had no idea where we were going with all this technology back then.
Christina Hooper: And I've seen people that interviewed like the lady who's the voice of Siri and stuff like that. I can't even imagine, like hearing yourself everywhere you go as this little automated voice and things, it would just be so trippy, so weird.
But like, you went from that to a career in hypnosis. So it's like deejaying being an automated voice, all that to hypnosis, like, how'd that happen?
Stephanie Dalfonzo: So, all right. So first of all, you've got to understand, I now understand I've been hypnotizing people my whole life. When I was Stevie Knox, I was hypnotizing my listeners to come back and listen to me day after day.
Right. So then, my last radio job was the morning show. And my son who's about to turn 30, was still in diapers. And so I have two small kids, husband who travels and I'm getting up at 3:30 in the morning. And I found myself at my kitchen counter smashing a bag of Cheetos because I had insomnia. I could not function.
So I went to the doctor and the doctor said, "Well, your insomnia is because of your anxiety." I was like, wait, what? I did not know for the first half of my life that I struggled with anxiety. I thought it was normal to walk around with my shoulders, like earrings and to constantly worry about everything, but just not just worry about everything, worry about the worst case scenario.
So my last job was in Portland, Oregon, and then we moved here to Connecticut and I had an opportunity. I had a choice to make where, okay, I could. work for minimum wage at the local radio station, which my ego was not going to allow, or I could travel into New York city. I'm about two hours outside of New York city and, you know, get a good job there, but then who's going to raise my kids?
So, stay at home mom and my husband was told he went into liver failure and it was told he needed a liver transplant. And so here he went in and out of liver failure, a dozen times, maybe more Christina and each time literally he was that close to dying. And so now. I don't have my career anymore. I went straight from high school into radio.
I, you know, I didn't go to college. So I like, oh my gosh, what happens if he dies? And how am I going to support these kids? So, again, this was in the early two thousands and cutting edge technology. I could go to school on the worldwide web to be a life coach. So I was like, okay, that's what I'm going to do.
And then along the way, I noticed like hypnosis kind of coming into my awareness. And I was like, okay, I think I need to check this out. Now. This is mind you. I've already done so many millions of trainings. I need to check out hypnosis. I tell you the first day of my training, I felt like the skies opened, the heavens were singing.
I was like, oh my gosh, change can be so easy and so fast. And before that, my teacher had never seen this before, before the training was over. I had rented an office, gotten a phone, gotten a website, which again, you know, back in 2003, that was like, ah, right. So I had all this stuff and I knew, I knew that this was what I was meant to do.
Christina Hooper: I love that. I mean, it's like people say all the time, like I was talking to somebody the other day and he was like all of life and all of businesses, just a series of problems, strategy, solution. And it's like, and you just kept hitting them. He kept hitting problem, finding a strategy, finding a solution to land you to where you are right now.
And I think that's absolutely amazing. It's like, I'd never thought about that the other day and this young, like, so you hear me talking now this young, like 24 year old, I think he's 28. Now. He figured that out when he he's like 24 and whe was like, "That's just all life is". And I'm just sitting here like. Dude. You're like a decade younger than me. And like...
Stephanie Dalfonzo: And you've got this wisdom.
Christina Hooper: I know I keep meeting these young people nowadays. And it's because of that, learning that access to things like that. I mean, you just, there's so much knowledge out there. Like if you don't know what it is you want to do, and you're not happy with what you've got going on, or you have problems or challenges, like there's so much that you can do and learn.
So I love that. That's part of your story. That just is awesome. Awesome. Now I know talking about hypnosis. There's a lot of misconceptions. We all talk about like the, you know, the LA Vegas style with the little watch and they was going to make you clock on stage. Like what's the biggest misconception that you think a lot of people have about hypnosis?
Stephanie Dalfonzo: You;re getting very sleepy..
It's not like that at all. You know, thankfully the stage hypnotist are what. Hypnosis going, because I forget what the timeframe was, but, there was a period of time where hypnosis, like the way that I do it was like, that's it? No, it was totally off, off, off balance. And the stage hypnotist kept it going, but that's all for entertainment, right?
It's not, I don't do entertainment. I'm doing major life changes. So, if it's okay with you, Christina, can we just do a quick little exercise? Yeah, go for it. Okay, great. So, unless your listeners are driving, I invite you to join us along. If you're driving, do not close your eyes, please. As long as you're not driving, go ahead and close your eyes, or if that's not comfortable, bring them to a soft gaze.
I just want you to bring your awareness inside. And I want you to imagine that you and I are sitting across the table from each other. Maybe we're hanging out having a glass of tea or, maybe an adult bed. It doesn't matter. We're just hanging out, having a good time. And for some weird reason, I reach into my purse and I pull out a lemon only.
It's not just any lemon, it's a Costco lemon. So it's huge. And whether you see it as a picture in your mind's eye, or you simply imagine, you can imagine that dimply, thick, pitted skin and the little two pointy sides on it. Right. And so now I start rolling it around on a cutting board to loosen up the juices. Maybe you give a little hint of that lemonade smell and let it take up a very sharp knife.
And I sit right in half. It's just a start spraying. You can really start to smell it now. And then you pick up one of those halves and you bring it up onto your nose. Oh, well now you really can smell it. And then Christina, you're going to open your mouth and take a big, juicy bite out of that lemon. And what just happened in your mouth?
There's no lemon. We're not in the same room and you puckered up right. So that's my way of saying your subconscious mind doesn't know the difference between real and imagined. And that was just a little bit of hypnosis and there was no swinging pocket watch. She didn't have to be laying down on a couch or anything.
Hypnosis is a focus state of awareness. It's something we are in and out of all the time, how have you found yourself sometimes driving somewhere, you get to your destination. And you don't remember the drive, right? That's called highway hypnosis. And when my daughter was taking driver's ed, when she was 16, she came home all excited.
One night ,"mom, mom, we talked about highway hypnosis." It's simply a focus state of awareness. And so we're in and out of hypnosis all the time. It's just, you know, the, what they put on the movies and TV, it's all for entertainment. So I had a guy, I had an in-person office for 10 years, locally here.
And then I was ahead of the curve and I stopped my, closed my in-person office to go virtually because I wanted to be able to reach people across the country. And I've got clients up in Canada too. But when I had this in-person office, there was this guy named Tom. And every time I would walk into a Hypnos, networking event, he'd go, oh, watch out.
She's going to make it bark, like a dog or cluck, like a chicken. And unfortunately I let him get into my head. I let him get under my skin and I stopped leading with hypnosis for a while where I was just talking about coaching. And you know what, there's a million coaches out there, but my secret sauce is the hypnosis and how I call myself an integrative hypnotist, because I'm integrating all these other modalities that I've learned over the years.
I'm bringing essential oils into it. I'm bringing sometimes I bring sound, music into it. So I'm bringing all these different things. And so I let this guy get onto my skin. I'm sharing that with you because I bet there's somebody listening now who has heard naysayers has naysayers in their life as entrepreneurs.
We're like targets for that, right? Because people who work nine to five don't understand us. They don't understand what we do, why we do it. And so if you're listening to this and you think, "Wow, it kind of sounds like me." I would really encourage you to just say, okay, you know what, I'm going to back up and I'm going to stay with my truth because my truth is I am an excellent hypnotist.
I also throw coaching in there too, but my secret sauce is the hypnosis. And so I let this Tom, you know, get in my head and get under my skin. And no really just if you know, in your heart that you're meant to be doing what you're doing, stay true to that, and surround yourself with people who are going to lift you up instead of, I don't know if you know, in, with crabs, you put them in a bucket.
The reason they don't climb out is that when one is climbing up, trying to get out, the rest of them are dragging them back down. Right. So you don't want to be in a bucket for the sum total of the five people we spend most of the time with not just in person, but online too. So you want to surround yourself with people who are going to lift you up, not claw you back down.
Christina Hooper: Absolutely love that. That's something I preach all the time is that if you're going to succeed, you've got to have three things. You've got to know what your superpower is. You've got to surround yourself with people that if you spent all day everyday with them, they would make you happy, you know, and only then can you invent the service.
I mean, you really kind of have to stay true to that superpower and into, you know, these people that you'd love to spend your time with and then invent what they need, invent what they need that closes that gap. You know? So it's like, I love that. I love that you stayed true to hypnosis. That's your superpower.
Stephanie Dalfonzo: And I share that though, because I didn't, you know, I, I veered off my path and I, you know, I'm willing to share that, you know, it doesn't do me any good. It doesn't do anybody else any good. If I'm, like oh, yeah, I've got it all together. I don't right. And so I share that. So if somebody is struggling with imposter syndrome or, you know, something like that, to really put it out there that, oh, I let that happen to me and my derailed myself for a couple of years.
And then I circled back and what do I lead with now? It's hypnosis because hypnosis is. Incredible. It is absolutely amazing what we can do. Sarah came to me for her crippling fear of flying and not only is she skydiving out of an airplane, she was 19 when she came to work with me and oh, she totally changed the trajectory of her life.
And she built a very successful business as the Five Foot Traveler. I kid you not, she, you can find her on social media. Her website is thefivefoottraveler.com and you know, she would never be doing that if she hadn't been courageous enough to say, okay, I want to get over this fear and can you help?
Christina Hooper: I love that. And I mean, like, you hear all of like, you know, we all follow all these gurus and experts and stuff as entrepreneurs, and you hear them all echoing different versions of the same thing, right? Like Dean Graziosi was like, don't be afraid of your messy middle. Don't be afraid to share it. You know? Ryan Deiss is like, done is better than perfect.
You know, like all these people are telling you to do something. I was talking to ??? Him the other day. And he was like, you know, I think the one thing all successful people have and all people to succeed in their happy in life. Huh. Is there not afraid to look like a fool. Yeah. Yeah. Cause I mean, like you have to do that.
Like even somebody coming to you when she first had to come to you and say, Hey, this is my fear. This is how badly it's impacting me. She had to be willing to look like a fool for half a minute to achieve the outcome, you know? And I think we all have to do that. And fortunately, Yeah, I think hopefully you can tell, you know, I'm coming from that heart space, right.
Obviously this is how I make my living. And yet it's really just it's that deeper knowing that this is my purpose. And so I can easily put people at ease. I could tell you stories, which I won't of things that would just be like, and I don't ever judge, I don't have ever, you know, go like this it's oh, okay.
Let me meet you where you are. It's not a question of me trying to get you over here to where I am. Cause it's not about me. It's about you. And so, oh, let me meet you where you are and help you discover your inner golden Buddha. Now, if you haven't heard that story. Now I haven't heard that one.
Stephanie Dalfonzo: Okay. So I read this in a Chicken Soup for the Soul book, so I wasn't really sure it was true at first, but then I found out it really was true that in the late 1950s, long before you were born my friend, over in somewhere in Southeast Asia, there, they were getting, putting a highway in and there was this two ton, clay, Buddha statue in the way. So they had to move it and you can imagine that's a big undertaking. It started to rain. So they cover it up with tarps.
Somebody goes out at night with a flashlight, check it under the tarp and see something glinting back at it. And it's like, whoa. So they go and investigate and they open it up a little bit more and they find out that under this.
Clay there's a solid, gold, two ton Buddha statue, but apparently the villagers had gotten word that they were going to get invaded. And so they covered it up with the clay and then the whole village got wiped out. So there was nobody left to say, "There's gold under there." Right. So I look at each of my clients and I see that inner golden Buddah.
Right. And so I help you uncover that inner golden Buddha, whether you call it clay, or I like to call it, something else. It's, it's uncovering that and allowing that inner golden Buddha because we all have it, you know, I totally believe we come into this world. Perfect. Absolutely. Perfect. And then the world starts having its way with us.
So that's how I look at what I do is I help you uncover and reconnect to your inner golden Buddha that most of my clients don't know it's there. And when they discover it, it's life-changing.
Christina Hooper: Yeah, I love that. It's like, I do the same thing with people, but I call it super powers. And then we talk about how they can build businesses and marketing and stuff where you're helping them, like, you know, achieve life goals and, you know, reduce anxiety. It's like, we're kind of doing the same thing at different worlds. I love it.
Stephanie Dalfonzo: Yeah. And so Christina it's because one size doesn't fit all. There is no one way to do things, right. So that somebody could hear your message and really resonate with you and not resonate with me and vice versa. So yeah, a lot of us are saying the same thing, but we're saying it in different ways where people can actually get it.
Yeah. I mean, so many people think that they have to follow a certain path. They have to do things a certain way. I mean, I went through something similar. I mean, I started my business journey in web development and helping people do that kind of stuff. Everybody's like, well, you can't build a successful business as a web developer.
It's a bunch of project work. You have to be in marketing. So I said, okay, I'll be a marketing agency. And I said, this is how you be a marketing agency. And I followed that book and I did what they said to do and I was miserable. It's like, I don't want to do that anymore. So now I do this, I do this with ETA.
Cause I like working with small business owners. You know, they told me some marketing agency you just see, you can't work with small business owners. They can.'t afford you. I was like, but that's what makes me happy. Right?
Stephanie Dalfonzo: Right. We have to watch out who they are and whether we're listening or not just like me listening to Tom. Right. I let him, I listened to him and let him get into my head and get under my skin. And I derailed myself for a couple of years. And so when, you know in your heart and you know it Christina, you know, in your heart, exactly what you're supposed to be doing, then let that be your north star. Yep. I think there's so much power to that.
Christina Hooper: And I hope everybody resonates with one or the other of us, and really adopts that mindset that you don't have to go the traditional path. You have to kind of build your own, find your own north star or find your own golden Buddha, find your own superpower because like you said everybody has it.
Stephanie Dalfonzo: Just by the fact that we're all entrepreneurs, we are definitely not on that track, you know? I knew it's interesting because, when I was 14 years old, I knew I was going to be a radio DJ. No, nobody was talking about law of attraction. I had no idea what it was. I just knew, oh, I'm going to be a radio DJ. And so I'm part of the lucky to be alive club, Christina. You might not know what hitchhiking is, but here I was at 14, I was thin, I had this long hair. I was a really attractive teenage girl out in the country hitch hiking to get rides to the train station so I could go to downtown Philadelphia and hang out at the radio station. So Maureen Flarity from WYSP was my inspiration.
She was like who I wanted to be. And I had a clipping from the newspaper, her then long flowing hair. Queuing up a record album. And I can say that now because they're coming back. So people do know what they are. And then fast forward, only a few years later, I'm in south Florida, Miami Fort Lauderdale is the 10th market in the country.
And here I am in the Fort Lauderdale newspaper thin long flowy hair, queuing up a record. Exactly like. Now, I didn't know what the law of attraction was. I just knew I was going to be a radio DJ. And so coming back to what people, you know, what we let in with other people's, you know, saying to us, I had gone down after a horrible snow storm.
I lived outside Philadelphia, horrible snow storm, and my boyfriend had moved to south Florida to go live with his father. So I went down to visit him. Oh my gosh. I've never seen paradise, this beautiful ocean and palm trees and all of this. And I was like, whoa. So I go back to, my boss, I was, I conned my way into a secretary job.
I had no secretarial skills. But I was cute and he, he hired me and I said, "Hey, do you think I can get on the radio in south Florida?" And he goes, "Yeah." So I was like, okay. I put my notice in, I packed up what little belongings I have. I drove down to south Florida. I did make it happen. I see him many years later.
And he goes, "I didn't think you'd really make it. I just didn't care what you did." But I took that. I took him say, "Yeah, I think you can," as a vote of encouragement. Oh, man. I love that. I know we're kind of, I try and keep these about 20, 30 minutes and know we're hitting about 20 minutes right now. I know you've been doing this for over 16 years and most of our audience is entrepreneurs.
Christina Hooper: You understand them, you understand what they're going through. Like what's some advice that you have for our audience?
Stephanie Dalfonzo: So, first of all, I'm switching. If they go look at my website, you'll see something different in a couple of weeks because I'm circling back to focusing on entrepreneurs, because that is the way I believe that a rising tide raises all ships.
So when we, as Lightworkers or however you want to call it, if that's too ??? Of word, you know, use your own word, but when we can lock arms and raise each other up, we are putting such good out into the world. And so if you're on the entrepreneurial journey and you're stuck or you're feeling like, oh my gosh, I should be a head of myself.
First of all, check, who are you surrounding yourself with? What is the diet of social media that you're having, right. Be aware of what your adjusting, what you're letting in and find your peeps. Right. If you can't afford to hire, a hypnotist or a coach to help you then find some other people and start a mastermind, keeping in mind that you want to make sure that it's not a bitch session, sorry.
If this is not a, clean show, but to support each other. Right? So everybody listening is at a different paints in their entrepreneurial journey. And it can be very lonely. I think we all will say yes, a got that. Right. So if you are struggling and you cannot afford to, and I would highly recommend it.
Very opinionated when it comes to this, those really big coachee coats, expensive programs. I'm not a fan, I'm not a fan because I got burned by one. And you know, I'm not faulting the other person. It's like, okay, that was my experience. But, it's, it's all ego driven. And I was into that, you know, when I was in that, that arena and it was all ego-driven and money and you know what, just keep coming back to your purpose because that will be your north star.
Christina Hooper: Yeah, I love that. Now we've kind of touched a little bit on what you do and who you like to work with. I want to give you a chance to just kind of elaborate on that some more like, you know, we already said you like working with entrepreneurs. Tell us a little bit more about like what it is specifically you do with them and like how they can find you if they want to talk to you.
Stephanie Dalfonzo: Great thank you, so it's an individual journey for each person because one size doesn't fit all. So it's okay. Are you struggling with, visibility issues? Are you struggling with imposter syndrome? Are you struggling?
Because you know, you're not making, you're not making the rent, right. Is it, you know, whatever you're struggling with.
All we have to do we think of our mind in terms of seeing an iceberg from the side, there's 10% above the water, 90% below. So that's where our strength is. That's our subconscious mind. So I have this incredible ability to help you find where that root cause is. We all know in childhood, some of us experience capital T trauma, some of us experience these small t traumas and on the surface. Christina that on the surface, it looks like, well, that's not a big deal. And yet here it is affecting you all these years later. So I'm like a detective I can very easily and gently. It doesn't have to be a hard process. You don't have to re-experience trauma, but sometimes these look even significant or seemingly insignificant things.
I like that pebble in your shoe and you just I have to stop and empty the pebble out. And so, if peeps want to find me, hopefully you'll, put my, my website in the show notes because who knows how to spell Stephaniedalfonzo.com. But also I have this really amazing meditation called Your Own Private Paradise.
And I would like to gift that to anybody who wants to get that it's meditatewithsteph.com and it is truly, it is only your experience and nobody else will have the same experience as you.
Christina Hooper: Awesome. Yeah, I'll make sure I have both of those links, wherever people are watching this on the web beause we put it everywhere. I'll make sure I have those links around it. Thank you so much for coming on today and for sharing all of this with our audience. I think it's really great.
Stephanie Dalfonzo: Thank you. Well, I think, I think there might be, it might be a little symbiosis with ??? The blue. Huh? I love your blue hair, awesome.
Christina Hooper: Even got the water bottle. Yeah. Thank you so much for doing this day. This has been absolutely awesome.
Stephanie Dalfonzo: Thank you. The time flew. Thanks for a great conversation.
Christina Hooper: And entrepreneurs guys, this is your call to take action, right? You know, join our email@example.com. Do what Stephanie's told you to do, surround yourself with other people and lift each other up.
That is literally what we're trying to do at ETA. To help you build a business that enables your lifestyle instead of taking over your life. We're bringing in great people like Stephanie in all the time to help you learn things and move yourself forward. So definitely join. See you there. Bye guys, until now.