Tess Wicks is a wealth and mindset coach. Traditionally trained in finance, Tess now works with individuals and business owners to help them cultivate the right mindset around money. She talks about the ideas that helped her manage her money, why boundaries bring freedom, and why her business has 4 bank accounts.
How did you learn about managing money?
Tess has a degree in finance, but that didn’t her to manage her money or to manage the finances of a small business. She learned to manage money was from a mentor who came to college and talked about the importance of managing money that made her aware of how important it is to manage your money.
We have all had the experience of knowing what to do but not doing what we know. There's a performance gap. How did you close that gap?
It starts with simple ideas, like paying yourself first. And learning to set aside 10% of your paycheck. That helped her understand that managing money has a simplicity to it.
Something as simple as paying yourself first – a lot of people don’t do it. Why do you think that is?
Some people truly believe that they need every dollar that they make. Parkinson's law states that you will use every resource that you have. When most people earn more, they spend more. Budgeting is about setting boundaries with your money, and many people shy away from that because it feels restrictive. People feel like they deserve the position they have reached and should be able to have that money. Tess tells them that having rules about money can create freedom.
A lot of us get into self-employment for freedom and when you put rules in place it can feel confining, but these rules are really just boundaries to create even more freedom rather than restriction.
Entrepreneurs tend to be very sensitive about their time and put boundaries on their time. If you can respect your time, you can also respect your money. Putting boundaries in place is a way of respecting your money.
I like the idea of delaying gratification. Which I think is getting harder for our society as a whole because we have the internet and things we can get right now. We’re getting used to this instant gratification, and I think it’s important to train ourselves to love the immediate discomfit for the long term gain.
Our society has become much more impulsive. We have trained ourselves to believe that we need immediate return or intimidate gain. We have to get used to enjoying the good kind of pain.
Was it helpful to you when this mentor described putting a small amount of money away and looking at it from a long-term perspective? How can that impact your long term gain?
Tess found it impactful to take a step back. Every decision we make in our day to day has an impact on the long term. The best teachers put things into perspective in really great ways. If you earn $15 an hour and save $3 an hour you’re earning $12 an hour and that is actually a small difference that can have a greater impact. He also broke down different spending patterns that people have after college. Such as leasing a brand new car over driving the one you’ve had as a teenager. Every decision we make have long term repercussions including the short term gratification ones.
It’s interesting to me that you were having this experience of being educated in a conventional way. You took courses in mathematics and finance. But then this mentor put it in a personal and practical way. And that’s where you had your a-ha moment. And I think that’s missing from our education system.
All of Tess’s financial classes were focused on big business and after college she worked as a consultant to big corporations. This knowledge didn’t help Tess’s personal finances and she made a lot of mistakes. She was fortunate to find her mentor. She also had the influence of watching her parents manage their money. And she had a lot of nerdy friends who were also actuaries, and they talked about things like maxing out Roth IRA’s and what they were doing with their 401K’s. She knew other people did not have her financial understanding and were confused about how to manage their money. She wanted to provide that level of mentorship for people.
You mentioned paying yourself first? How do you do that?
It depends if you’re a business owner or traditionally employed. If you are a business owner your business needs to be on a budget just like your personal finances. Often we pour any money the business makes back into the business. But it is important to take money out of the business for yourself. This means that you can see that you are getting something out of it but it also creates an important boundary. Even if this is just a small amount. It is important to set aside some profit and to get into the habit of doing that. You could start with 1% and build in up to 5-10%. You business will adapt to that boundary. Tess does this twice a month. She takes a small amount of all the money she’s made in that fortnight and transfers it to another account. This is in addition to paying herself.
Is this money you are saving? Or money you are using to enjoy and buy things that you want?
Tess gives herself a paycheck twice a month. That is the money she lives off and she saves a portion of that. She has a SEP IRA, which is a retirement account for self-employed people. She puts a percentage of her income into that, saves money into a variety of savings accounts.
How many accounts do you have?
Business-wise she has 4 accounts. 2 checking and 2 savings. She separates her revenue from her expenses. Her 2 savings accounts are for profit and taxes.
So let’s say you have $3000 in your travel savings account and you want to go on a trip that is $5000. Do you wait until you get to $5000 to book that trip?
You would save until you have that money. Tess doesn’t want to spend money she doesn’t have.
I love how you are using the word boundary. Let’s start with our relationship to ourselves. You put a boundary in place, and you honor it. I think that’s so important for building our own self-worth.
Tess thinks we should never let the numbers in our bank accounts or our net worth impact our sense of self-worth. You have to set a boundary between the numbers and your self-worth.
There’s a huge wave of self-love popularity right now. I’m going to love myself so I’m going to just buy the shoes. Tess tells her clients that taking of themselves is taking care of their finances. The harder decisions of not buying that thing because you don’t have the money is taking care of yourself and loving yourself. We don’t need some of these extra things that are going to make us feel good in the short term to actually make us feel good.
I’ve been online shopping and not buying. It’s really fun to load my cart up. I do this with Amazon all the time. I add things to my cart and save for later. Many times I decide I don’t want it. When you have a budget in place, it takes a lot of the decision making out of the equation, which I think is really helpful.
Tess has her clients do a unique way of budgeting. They have a dollar amount that they can spend every day. This means they don’t have to catergorize their spending or decide what category something fits in. They get to spend that daily amount however they want. She separates fixed and discretionary expenses and doesn’t let her clients add groceries or gas to their fixed expenses. When you get a daily number, it can be low at the beginning of the month but will add up over time. What if you didn’t say yes to every happy hour or every invitation to go out to dinner for the first 7 days of the month? That can be a boundary that then gives you more money to spend at the end of the month on whatever you want.
It seems like you have created your own system.
As the money coach Tess always wanted to provide tools that really worked for her. A lot of the tools out there didn’t work for her. When she works with clients, she tries to find what works for them and apply certain rules that help them build wealth and live a financially free life.
What’s been some of your inspiration?
Tess gets inspired by working with her clients and seeing them crushing it. It shows her that she needs to keep doing what she’s doing.
Can you share a story of someone who implemented your system and a result that they had?
One of her clients is an accountant who is traditionally employed but also has a side business. She was stressed about her money. She felt that she should know this stuff, especially because she worked in finance. She felt disorganized, was spending a lot and considering buying a house. After they worked together, she realized that she loved renting and putting her money into the stock market. She increased her net-worth by something like $10000 in 6 months. When you put your mind to something, you can achieve a lot. Her entire mindset and outlook on life changed.
You just said ‘Do a lot with the money that you have,’ I love that so much. There’s such a mindset of more and such a mindset of lack. We’re very conditioned with this type of thinking from a young age.
Tess gets her clients to look at their priorities and core values. And then line that up with the money they’ve been spending to see is anything is out of sync. It’s really useful to see what truly makes you happy and fulfilled versus what you believe makes you feel fulfilled. It’s not about not spending money. It’s about spending money on things that you value and prioritize.
What is something practical that someone who is feeling a bit overwhelmed can do? Where do you suggest people start?
Sit down and identify all of your mandatory expenses. What do you need to pay for to live your life? Such as rent, mortgage, insurance, debt payments and utility bills. Determine what is essential and what is excess.
There can be this feeling of shame around money. Money does not equate self-worth. It’s really about the integrity that you have with yourself.
It is all about doing what you say you will do. After we get over the shame of whatever is going on with our finances and make a plan, then it’s about committing and following through. Our self-worth can ebb and flow depending on whether we follow through on the promises we’ve made to ourselves. How much money you have compared to someone else means nothing.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
When Tess was in high school, she was a diver. They had a quote - “Feel the fear but do it anyway.”
Tell us how we can get in touch with you
Wander Wealthy: https://www.wanderwealthy.com/
I listened to the audiobook, You Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins, and it's a story about his life. The basis of it is that growing up he had a really tough abusive childhood. When he became an adult, he was overweight, not loving himself, and tired of his life. He looked at himself in the mirror and really honest with himself. And he decided that he was going to change his life. And he studies to become a Navy SEAL and there are many obstacles he faces along doing that and many setbacks that he faces along the way. He just keeps getting back up. Even after he becomes a Navy SEAL, he goes on to embracing challenges in many other forms. What I loved about his story was it's really a story about mindset.
One of his messages is that we've become too soft. It's easy to complain. It's easy to make excuses. It's easy to feel sorry for ourselves and get into a victim mentality.
These things are easy to do because we're living in a very complex modern society and world. We're constantly bombarded with information. We are lacking wisdom. We're lacking the ability to really push through our challenges. We think things should be easy, that we should get instant results.
Now, maybe this isn't you, but I can tell you from my own experience that I pushed myself. I'm somebody who's always looking to grow. With that being said, I still get into ruts. I was in a rut and I wasn't fully aware of it, because oftentimes we think our excuses are real.
And for me, this was especially true when it came to my physical capabilities. I'm not talking about physique or the way that I look. It doesn't have to do with vanity, it's more about being in great physical condition. I want to be in good shape because I want to have energy. I want to have the energy to be able to serve, be a good mom, and feel good.
I waking up feeling not so good, even if there are good things in my life. I was kind of boggled by this, but I would let it go and settle - just thinking of it as just 'how it is - a little bit tired.' And I was working out several days a week, but I wasn't pushing myself - I was maintaining.
After reading this book, I have created a few physical challenges for myself merely because when you move your body, you move emotions, you move stuck energy, you move things that have kept you in a rut. So, if you are feeling stuck, if you are feeling in a rut, take on a physical challenge, run a race, climb a mountain. These are some things that I'm doing. If you've been a runner and you've been climbing mountains, do something different. The key is, is to move your body in a very high-intensity way so that you actually can face some of your mental blocks within that arena.
I've noticed that with running, doubt will creep in and I keep going. The first race I ran, my deal with myself was no walking. At one point during the race, there was a very long hill, and this soft voice crept in that it said, "It's okay. You could walk a little bit." I noticed it, and I kept going.
This past weekend when I ran a race, my self-talk was tremendously better. I was thinking, "I love doing hard things." It was a very different dialog. I didn't even have the thought of walking. And I beat my score by two minutes. I've made progress. Tony Robbins talks about how progress equals happiness. Which is why I like using the physical arena as the ability to know that you're making progress.
If you're not making progress in an area that's important to you, whether it be your career, relationships, or physical fitness, take on something that's bigger that you haven't taken on.
I use challenges as a tool to better know myself and where am I getting stuck. What has happened is because I've busted through certain limitations running, I notice when I get too tired, for example folding laundry, I keep going. But before I might have stopped. I see this strong mindset carrying over into my life. It's a training.
So, let me know. What physical challenge are you going to sign up for? What's something you have never done before?
Put something on your schedule that is big, that is challenging.
I signed up to climb a mountain next year in October. I'll be training all year for it. It's the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest.
Jenna Irvin became a business owner straight after college. In her senior year of college, she made the decision to use all the money she had to open a Pure Barre franchise after falling in love with the technique. By the age of 23 she had opened, sold and bought a business. Opening a business is never easy, no matter your age or experience. Jenna talks about the franchise process, deciding to sell and leading with your heart.
How do you start a franchise?
In her senior year of college, Jenna decided she wanted to open a franchise through Pure Barre. She sent in an application for the market she was interested in. The first step was to prove that there was viability for a studio by looking at the area, the demographics and the real estate available. Interviews then progressed to ensure Jenna had the funding and then the third round looked at Jenna’s ability to run a business. The following day after a 4 hour in-person interview, Jenna found out that she was approved to be an owner. She signed the agreement and paid the franchise fee.
How much is it?
For Jenna, it was $46K
How did you have the money? You hadn’t even graduated from college yet.
Jenna had invested money in stocks. The franchise fee was almost exactly what she had in her investment account. She decided she wanted to take a leap and invest in herself. Even though she was young, it felt like the right time because she was only responsible for herself.
How did you know you wanted to take that risk? To dive right in and have your own business right away?
She has the kind of personality where she dives right into things. She gives everything her all - her friends, her relationships, her career. Jenna believes that when our strengths are turned up, they become weaknesses, so she has learned to temper it. She spent her childhood watching her parents run their own business together, and this also influenced her.
What business do they own?
Her parents own a cabinet and mill-working company. She grew up listening to her Dad have business conversations. She saw him bring a positive impact to someone’s live through cabinets. In college, she discovered Barre, a ballet based strength workout. She fell in love with it. Jenna couldn’t touch her toes when she started and had also struggled with an eating disorder. She had a lot of insecurities with her body, and Barre turned that around for her. It was the first time that she wasn’t in competition with others or even herself.
I want to ask you again about your Dad and how he held people's hearts.
He has a way of holding people's hearts while he holds them in the professional space. Jenna believes that we have to connect first as people and then connect professionally. When anybody walks through her studio doors, she wants to know who they are.
I want to ask you about the first Pure Barre class you attended
Jenna was horrible at it. She has been 6’1 since 6th grade and for a long time was so much taller than everyone else. In sports, her height was an asset but it also meant she didn’t have to learn how to be agile and quick on her feet as she could use her height. Her coordination and flexibility were always things she struggled with. Although She wasn’t good at her first Barre class, there was something about it that made her want to figure it out. The more she did it, the more she felt the connection to her body and how to learn to be graceful in her own way.
Sometimes we say - ‘oh I’m not flexible. I’m not agile’. But we can learn to love the thing that we didn’t think was for us. Is that your experience?
A lot of the stories that we tell ourselves don’t have to be our story. She told herself that she was the tall girl and wouldn’t be flexible or be able to do things that smaller people could do. Telling that story was easier than doing the work it would take to get there.
How old were you when you took your first class?
Jenna was in her 2nd year at college.
Was there a moment when you decided you wanted to be a Pure Barre studio owner?
Jenna was at home for the summer before her senior year. She wasn’t someone who like to work out at home and there wasn’t a Barre studio in her home town. But if she stuck with the workout, her Dad said he would look into owning one. She did Barre in her attic over the 3 months she was at home. Then Jenna talked to many studio owners as she could in order to understand what she was getting herself into.
Did you have any conversations where you were like ‘maybe I shouldn’t do this’?
Jenna was conscious that she was young and investing every penny she had into the business. She was constantly questioning her decision. She knew she needed to separate herself from the good and the bad experiences other people were having. She was gathering data but didn’t want to let it influence how she felt about the decision.
How do you work on your mindset?
Jenna has learned to hear herself first but it has taken a long time to get there. She has realized that she is not her business. Her mindset is terrible when she is evaluating herself based on how her business is doing. She did this exercise, where she had to have coffee with her business. To have a conversation with her business meant it was separated from her. She found the exercise eye-opening.
What was something that came out of that conversation with your business?
She realized that she puts a lot of pressure on herself. Sometimes a goal is unrealistic, and sometimes it is just not right for that time. If she sets a goal and something happens, it’s not a failure, it’s an opportunity to adjust and an opportunity to grow.
You built this business without any connections. How did you start? When you opened the doors?
When Jenna opened the studio in Frederick, Maryland and she didn’t know a soul. She was terrified because she had always lived in places where she was very connected. From the beginning, in her marketing, she told her story. She talked about what the technique had done for her and what she hoped to create in Frederick. She was there from open to close, and although it wasn’t part of the plan, she ended up teaching 37 out of 42 classes every week for the first 3 months. But this meant that her clients knew her and she knew them.
Did you go to local business and introduce yourself?
She did. She researched local businesses that had been open the longest and did her first pop-up at one of them. This connected her with someone who turned out to be important in helping her form other connections. You don’t need to connect with everybody, just the right people.
What do you think is a mistake you made with hiring?
Jenna googled ‘How to hire’, found a guide and followed it. She didn’t listen to her intuition at all. She hired based on people's background and experience and not on whether they showed traits that were in alignment with her. Form her first batch of hires, she only had 1 person pass the certification.
What happened when you followed your intuition?
She had a client who had been taking classes from the day the studio opened. She was always just there to work. One day after a class she talked to Jenna and showed an interest in being a teacher because she wanted to show her girls that when you work hard, you can do anything. She hired her on the spot. This hire reminded Jena that she knew what she needed and the factors that were important for the hire.
I want to ask you about selling the business. You sold the business in Frederick, although you still have the one in Hilton Head Island. Tell us a little about how you sold the business in Frederick.
Selling the business was not part of Jenna’s plan. She moved to Frederick thinking she was going to live there forever. She had lived in Hilton Head Island to gain more teaching experience while her studio was being built and fell in love with the place. Her studio in Maryland did in the first month what she had predicted in the first year in terms of membership numbers. The studio in Hilton Head Island came up for sale 3 months after Jenna had opened her Frederick studio. Her accountant told her that she would be able to sell her studio for twice what she put into it. Jenna had to make a decision about what would be most fulfilling for her. The sales process took about 5 months.
What are your failures? I know you’ve had some heartbreak?
When she took over her new studio, she thought that purchasing an existing studio would be more easier than starting one from scratch. It was actually harder because she had to try rewrite that existing business. It was a challenging process.
Jenna was terrible at balance and couldn’t keep balance with her friendships. Her relationship ended when her business opened. She threw herself into the business in the first 3 months to the extent of everything else. With her new business she is trying to keep a better balance with her life. Don’t let moments pass you by because you fell that your business needs all of you all of the time.
You played Basketball. How long did you play that for?
Jenna played basketball from 3 years old to when she graduated from high school.
How do feel sports has impacted you?
Sport has given Jenna the work ethic and discipline that she has. Sport required responsibility discipline and dedication so when her business requires those things, she doesn’t bat an eye. Sports taught her to be a team player and take ownership of the things she could’ve done better.
Do you still attend Barre classes? Do you do anything else for fitness?
Jenna does Barre 4 times a week and has gotten into lifting weights and running. But Barre is where she grounds herself mentally and physically.
How do you fell Pure Barre has helped you mentally?
Pure Barre has transformed her mentally. It has transformed her insecurity. She had to overcome an eating disorder and a place where the scale had power. She was concerned about calories and did exercise to burn off what she had eaten instead of moving her body because it felt good. Jenna pushed her body on days it needed to rest. It was all out of tune with her own needs, and it is impossible to be out of tune in a Pure Barre class. In a Pure Barre class, you have to be connected to your muscles so your mind doesn’t have time to go anywhere else. It has been the biggest part of her healing from the eating disorder.
In Jenna’s studio she tries to keep the energy about being welcoming and accepting. It is not about changing anything about yourself. It is about celebrating that your chose to be there and you are choosing to get stronger. It is a celebration about all that you are and all that you will become.
Can you give a quick example of a movement you would do?
There is a movement called chair. You pull off the bar with straight arms. Your seat is at the level of your knees. The back is flat and the chest is proud. And you hold that. The work is isometric, you want to focus on the contraction. The movement is secondary and a mental distraction. The isometric work is where the magic happens.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
This comes from her Dad. Before every basketball game she would take her hand to her heart, tap her heart and point at him. It was a reminder to lead from her heart. He also tells his kids to never look back. Which is her reminder that she can dream as big and as passionately as she wants to.
Tell us how we can get in touch with you
Julie Renee mentors ambitious women leaders who refuse to play small but are being held back by exhaustion and fuzzy brain to regenerate their brain and play full out again. After launching her first business from her tiny San Francisco studio apartment in 1993, she has prevailed over the worst of human health challenges from multiple cancers, life in a wheelchair, and literally surviving death. She is the author of the groundbreaking book ‘Your Divine Human Blueprint.’ Her unique gift of healing defines the energy-science of Cellular Quantum Mechanics. What that means in laymen’s terms is she has defined the way to regenerate the body from the cells on up and does it with ease. The unique process of brain regeneration is done through a technique that she developed over the last seven years working with the individual stem cells and the quantum field.
Can you take us back to when you were living in an environment that wasn’t so healthy?
Julie Renee survived the Atomic Bomb testing in the Nevada desert when she was on vacation as a child. She had 17 surgeries, multiple cancers, and even died twice. The first time she died, she was 24. She felt like she was on earth for a reason and pushed to get back into her body and survive.
What do you mean when you say ‘the first time you died’?
She was 24 and in her living room when her body fell to the floor. Her spirit was up above, looking down at her body. She was in the middle of being treated for cancer and only weighed 95lbs.
She looked at her body on the floor and decided she was not ready to die. She saw her life flashing before her and decided to shove herself back into her body and fight to live.
She tries to remember why she is here and activate her miraculous healing system. She has had 2 death experiences and 5 that were very close. Each one has taught her something and she has gained strength and power. Most people don’t realize that you don’t have to leave when your body shuts down. You have to help your body heal.
It seems like you gained a lot from those experiences. Can you talk about what you’ve learn about our bodies ability to heal?
There is an ancient part of us that is part of the Field of Perception. It is pre spirit from when we were one being. It provides very powerful life energy. There are a couple of ways that we can access this power than we don’t realize that we have.
Towards the end of her long period of being ill, Julie went into her garden and told God to either take her or make her well. After 2 hours of meditation and chanting, she saw in her mind's eye a master cell go from being very sick cell to being a healthy cell. She realized that everything is divine and of light. Although it might feel like our bodies are made of clay, we are part of a beautiful field of oneness and light. Every cell is equipped with light and this causes the body to rejuvenate. She has defined how this works as The Miraculous System and has taught this as a training program to doctors and scientists who were interested in the changes in her. Understanding what happened in her body, Julie Renee has been able to recreate this in others. She helped a woman regrow her colon using The Miraculous System. It is possible to use this process to regenerate the body to good health.
What are some practical strategies that you would use to regenerate a cell?
There are two types of physics – Newtonian physics and Quantum physics. Newtonian physics is gravity. Quantum physics is about vibrating particles. Depending on how the particles are vibrating, you get a good or less good result. In spirituality, this is thought of as the field of oneness. We are in a lower frequency but through unconditional love and mastery, we can go into a higher frequency and this is known as the field of transformation.
Julie Renee starts the process with a prayer and then an affirmation that anything and everything is possible. The next step a song that elevates spirit and energy. The cell regeneration process starts with a clearing to clear all obstacles to having a healthy heart. They can clear about a thousand things. They set an intention with the mind, look at a chart, and do a hand movement. What the mind can conceive and believe it can accomplish. After the clearing and prayer, they go into an active process of regeneration. The aim is to bring the master or stem cells in any area up to 100%. This also involves a hand movement. Once that is achieved, they do an activation to all the surrounding cells that are operating at a lower level. This causes a flood of light to go through the body. Then they activate the mitochondria to spark the growth of new cells.
When they do cell regeneration in the brain, it can bring 180 days of new cell growth. There is a 15-35% increase in brain function. They have tested 200 students over a period of 6months. Julie Renee did a study last year looking at regeneration in the brain.
I want to ask you about the hand movements. Where did that come from and what is the purpose behind that?
The first movement came to her in that first experience in the garden. As Julie Renee has progressed with this method, she has sensed that she needs to move her hand in a certain way and developed a new hand movement. There are now 12 hand movements. The hand movements really help people whose frequency is below 1000. Julie Renee's frequency is usually around 4000.
So is this something you discovered through doing your own research and healing?
On a very simple level it is a yes. Julie Renee is also aware that she has been on the planet 6 times. Each time her purpose was to remind people of The Miraculous System. The reason her life has been so difficult was so she could understand what humanity is facing right now. And that people would appreciate what she was saying in the context of her history. If Julie Renee could do it, so could they.
You mentioned earlier the studies that you have done. How do you measure the progress?
Julie had 200 of her students agree to go through brain regeneration and periodically fill out a questionnaire. They asked the students about memory, vibrancy vs. depression, relaxed brain vs. headaches, sleep challenges, and speech issues. Memory improved by 26% with one 3hr regeneration session. They didn’t think they had a depressed group, but that had a 37% improvement. There was a 19% improvement in sleep and a16% improvement in speech.
I want to ask you more about The Field. Can you explain it?
Julie wrote Your Divine Human Blueprint, and in it, she describes 4 fields.
1. Genesis – this is the field of creation
2. The Field of Embodiment – what supports the spirit to be able to maintain living in a body
3. Quantum Field – The field of vibrating particles
4. The Field of Amplification – this is the law of attraction field and can attract negatives as well as positives
Technology has changed so much of our world and the way that we live. In some ways we’ve become more disconnected from nature because of technology. What do you think the impact that is hving on humanity?
There was a study that in children who had an iPad or iPhones, their brains were not developing the ability to hear sounds in nature. Julie goes on a walk with her daughter every morning between 5:30am and 6:30am. She can identify owl sounds and different birds. Teenagers send 4000 texts every month, which is one every 6 minutes. They are living a life interrupted by bells and buzzes all the time.
Check you email twice a day, say 9am and 4pm and that is it. If you use social media to connect with your family, set aside time to do that, such as lunchtime so that you are not constantly looking at it.
The less I check things, my email, social media channels, the more my happiness and contentment increases.
Something like 73% of people check their phone as soon as they wake up. Only 10% hug their partner. 54% of people take their cell phone to the bathroom. It’s addictive. It releases a little hit of dopamine in your brain. Social media companies have mastered the art of pinging that part of your brain. People stop being connected with each other physically to get these pings.
Is there something you can offer us in how to interrupt those habits and patterns around checking and our compulsion to technology?
It’s not about willpower, it’s about discipline. Make a plan and follow through on it. Plan out the times you will access certain things. And when you catch yourself doing it anyway, forgive yourself and get back on track.
Then look at the balance in your life. Are you getting the social interactions that you need? If technology is giving you something, it’s probably because something else is missing.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
If you seek to love and you seek the goodness in life, and you seek the goodness in others, you will have a beautiful and blessed life.
Tell us how we can get in touch with you and find out about your work
A gift of meditation: http://julierenee.com/quiet-mind/
Amanda Robbins is the Co-founder and CMO of Performance Coach University. She is also a business growth coach and marketing strategist. In this episode, she talks about why she has so much positive energy, the idea of stacking to conquer overwhelm and why eating healthy requires simplicity.
You have this positive energy. Is positivity something that is easy for you or something that has been a challenge for you?
Amanda has a simple of phrase that she has been using for a while – moment by moment. When something happens during the day that upsets her she just focuses on that phrase and she can reset to what is great about the present moment. It allows her to come back to a more positive place. And she genuinely wakes up feeling grateful and happy to be alive.
When she was a child, about elementary age, her mom tried to take her own life and her Dad tried to cover it up. She had always seen her mom as the happiest person, full of love and fun. When she asked her Dad why her mom did that he told her that she was really sad. Amanda kept asking why. He told her that her mom had voices in her head and sometimes they didn’t say nice things to her. We all have voices in our heads and Amanda could relate to this. She immediately associated negative internal thoughts with the ability to put someone in a hospital bed. She was scared to be sad and wouldn’t let herself go to that place. She decided to focus on goodness and love and was scared of sadness. She is now at a place where she can share her emotions and deal with the negative emotions while still having a positive outlook.
I want to ask you about stacking as it relates to not wanting something.
Amanda and her partner are in the middle of fertility treatments, buying a home and moving out of a rental. There is a lot going on. She could stack that list very high. Having so much on our plate makes us feel sluggish and heavy. It’s hard to feel energized and easy to feel overwhelmed when we stack things so high. She will write down everything she has to do as one big list. Then she will unstack that list by crossing off things that are not crucial. She will delegate, automate and eliminate as much as she can. Then she’ll ask herself – What’s the one thing she wants to get done today? When you tackle one things at a time it makes you feel like you’re progressing.
You can also stack pain and pleasure. Most people trend towards pain. They will be called to action when the pain of doing or not doing something is so high that they have to take action. But if you keep stacking pain too high it can cause issues. On the pleasurable side you can create loving memories and feel the love for life.
You get to choose your emotion. Moment by moment. If you are someone who just reacts, you need to learn to slow down. Meditation is a really great way to do this. But just learning to pause can be really beneficial, so that you can pause before you are triggered. You have to practice the skill of pausing. When someone asks you a question, take a pause before you speak. Train you brain not to immediately react and respond, but take a little space before you speak.
Slowing down is so helpful because we are so go, go, go. The funny thing about slowing down is you actually speed up results.
There is so much research that shows how incredibly powerful meditation is. In recent years people from all walks of life, including the military and executives, are taking it seriously. Meditation is a game changer. To get people into meditation, Amanda likes to use Muse. It’s a headband and app that is really great for people who like to track things and see visual progress. Apps like Headspace and Insight Timer are also terrific for making meditation a practice.
Meditation is like training a muscle. You just have to keep at it. Even staring with two minutes a day can be a great way of getting started.
When did you start meditating?
Amanda met her husband in 2012. They were both at a point in their lives where they were they comfortable being who they are. Her husband is big into meditation. He encouraged her to meditate. Although she struggle with the chanting meditation they did together.
So how come you kept going back for more?
She did feel really great afterwards. It was a unique way to connect with her husband. They actually have a lot of practices they now do together. They do a gratitude walk, a Sunday ritual where they share love lessons, they mediate together and they do yoga together.
I know you are into health and wellness. I follow you on Instagram and see that you drink a lot of smoothies. What’s your favorite smoothie?
Amanda uses a chocolate vegan protein powder from Thorne. Then she’ll add a berry like blueberries or cherries. She adds spinach. Sometimes she throws in an avocado or some Udo oil. She blends it with water. She wants to make it simple so that it is easier to do.
And no milk? Just water?
Water. We have to stay hydrated and so Amanda tries to add water to things as much as she can. Whenever something calls for milk she’ll use water.
So much of it comes down to habits. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. But there are so many habits people have around food.
Amanda tries to keep things super simple. They pretty much eat the same thing every day. If it’s simple it’s easier to eat healthier. Every day they have salmon and broccoli for lunch. They throw it on the steamer, add ghee, salt and pepper. Dinner is normally a salad with some protein on it.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
She was in a taxi recently after being picked up at an airport. The driver looked like he was in his 50’s but turned out to be 69. She was amazed and asked him what his secret was. He said his Grandfather told him - “Don’t worry about things that you have no control over. If you can’t control it, it’s out of your control. Don’t worry about it.”
A big root of our suffering is trying to constantly control. It creates a lot of worry.
Amanda thinks we should have more faith that life is rigged in our favor. That things are happening for us and not to us.
What drives you?
Love for people overall. There is a lot of bad news out there that can make it feel like the world is ending but there is actually a lot of goodness in the world. What really drives her is the human spirit and its resilience, love and compassion. She inspired by people.
Tell us how we can get in touch with you:
Thorne Protein Powder
Martin Rutte is the co-author of The New York Times Business Bestseller, Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work, translated into over 20 languages, with sales over 1.1 million copies.
Martin has worked with many corporations such as Sony Pictures, Virgin Records, Apple Computer, and more — assisting them to expand their outlook and position themselves for the future.
For over 15 years he has been exploring peoples’ visions for the kind of world they deeply long for – His new book on this subject: Project Heaven on Earth: The 2 Simple Questions That Will Help You Change The World...Easily,has just been published.
There is a desire, a longing in each of us, for the unnecessary, immoral, and recurring problems of the planet- war, hunger, poverty, disease, hatred, addictions, abuse, crime, pollution, and more. Not just to get better, but too once and for all end!
We’ve suppressed these yearning that arises from our soul, yearnings for a world that inspires hope, creativity, and engagement. What keeps this self-censoring in place is a culture that believes having the kind of world we yearn for is simply not possible.
Fundamentally, it calls for re-envisioning who we are as humans and as Humanity. From our most profound cores, we continue to know the kind of world we want. Let’s discover and create our new, collective story – Heaven on Earth.
How did you get started with bringing spirituality into business?
Martin has a traditional background as a management consultant and speaker. About 25 years ago, he came back from consulting in Hong Kong and found himself in a bit of a funk. He ended up at an Augustinian Monastery and realized what was missing was God. At the time, everybody advised him not to talk about spirituality. He realized that his fear was holding him back and decided to explore the intersection of spirituality and work.
What did you see as some of the results of bringing spirituality into the workplace? Were people happier?
People realized that they could bring into work this part of themselves that they didn’t think they could. They were happier, calmer and excited about being able to talk about spirituality at work.
What does spirituality mean to you? How would you define it?
Martin purposefully doesn’t have a definition. It means different things to different people and he didn’t want to lose his audience by trying to force them to agree to his definition. He wants people to feel they can bring more of their soul into work.
Project Heaven on Earth is very ambitious. So many people are wandering around and wondering what their purpose is. But you ask a much bigger question – what is Humanity's purpose?
Many years ago, Martin read a paper that asked the question – What is the common purpose of Humanity? The idea of Heaven on Earth came just before he was making a keynote speech at a conference. He was meditating and asked himself, ‘If every business is spiritual, is that what you want?’ He realized that if we can transform business, we can transform the world. This formed itself as the idea of Heaven on Earth.
What were your next steps following that thought?
He was in Toronto in the late 80s, running a management consulting company, the first time he heard the word vision. He knew he wanted to talk about it, but everybody told him he was crazy and that no-one would take him seriously. So when he had the concept of Heaven on Earth it concerned him that people might find it controversial.
So project Heaven on Earth lets talk a little about what that is.
He many people and distilled down these 3 questions:
When he asks these questions, no one ask him -what do you mean by Heaven on Earth. He believes this is because we all have within us a knowledge of what Heaven on Earth is.
If one person believes from their soul that something is right and someone else believes that something else is right, how do you work through that? To create more Heaven on Earth?
For many years Martin led dialogues with opposing parties. They would come in ready for a fight and then through good dialogue processes they started to find some overlap. One of the roadblocks that comes up in a highly polarised time is ‘they are not with me.’
You talk a lot about belief
People think ‘In order to do something you have to believe that you can do it. In order for someone to do X, they need to believe they can do X.’ They can either wait for the belief to come or they can set the goal lower so the belief is not needed. Martin thinks that belief is not necessary to accomplish something. He asks the question – Have you or anybody you know done something that they didn’t believe was possible for them to do? Everybody says yes because belief isn’t necessary.
What you’re saying is take action even if you don’t believe it’s possible?
You also have to make a commitment. For example, someone wants to end hunger in the world but doesn’t believe it is possible. The commitment is the end of hunger and the belief is that it’s not possible. The belief could stop them which would be justifiable. Or they could say I’m working on ending hunger and I have a belief that it’s not possible. The belief is there in both cases but in one there is stoppage and in the other there is action.
You tell a story about running a marathon. You’d only run 5 miles and you signed up for a marathon. It sounds like you didn’t really train for it?
His friends encouraged him to sign up for a marathon and the most he’d ever run was 5 miles. To this day he doesn’t believe that he did it. But he did.
There’s this messaging in the personal development world that you have to believe it to see it. But you’re saying that’s not always true. Somebody didn’t run the 4minute mile until they did.
Shortly after Roger Bannister ran the 4-minute mile, other people achieved this too. He broke the belief that it couldn’t be done.
What are some conversational tools you can use to bridge gaps?
When Martin has a fight with his wife the essence of it is always – you’re right and I’m wrong. They’ve been together long enough that they can recognize what is happening and go into separate rooms for a moment. When they come back together, everything is fine. The key is to break the pattern.
How long did it take you to write the book?
25 years. He needed to get clear about certain things before he could write it. It was tough. Martin doesn’t like writing. He likes the results but he doesn’t like the actual writing.
How would you describe your younger self?
Martin was a kid who loved to play. He still has a playfulness about him. As a child, he knew he was here to change the world. It was very clear to him.
How do you play?
He does a form of printmaking called monotype. He loves playing with children and making jokes with his wife. He’s become fascinated by comedy and has been watching a lot of Martin Short and Jerry Lewis.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Follow your passion. Follow what is true for you. And when people say you can’t do that, it forces you to look and see if your truth is still your truth.
Project Heaven on Earth
Tarzan Kay is a launch strategist and copywriter who teaches women (and a few good men) how to sell bigger, so they can serve bigger. She also helps freelancers and service providers package up their magic and turn it into products that sell.She found her way to the online space through blogging and social media.Today, Tarzan calls herself the Empress of Email, and teaches other freelancers how to price their services, close higher ticket packages and attract the best clients using her signature method: Celebrity Marketing. Tarzan runs her business through email because she consistently writes really good emails. And she always position herself like a superstar…and when people come to hot, they are willing to pay because they want Tarzan. She currently lives in Niagara with her partner, 2 kids and the feisty furball, Cosmo.
How did you get into e-mail marketing?
Tarzan started out as a copywriter about 4 years ago. Early on in her business, she knew she wanted to focus on launching courses Joanna Wiebe from Copyhackers held a competition which Tarzan won. This helped put her on the map as someone who was really good at email and led to some incredible opportunities. It helped her realize what she was really good at.
What do you think makes you so good at writing emails?
The secret to being a great writer is simply to write. Tarzan has written thousands of emails, and although some of it comes naturally to her, consistent writing has really developed her skill. When Tarzan does emails for an online course this could include 7-8 emails to get someone to come to a webinar, another 8 show-up emails and then 10 or more promo emails. The more customization and tailoring, the more emails that will need to be written. A single course launch could include 30-40 emails. With so many emails involved in the process, Tarzan was able to really hone her writing skills by writing a lot of emails and seeing what worked.
My guess is you also have a natural genius?
Tarzan knows that she has a bit of a superpower when it comes to writing, but it is still a skill that you can learn. You don’t need to be born with a special talent, and it is mostly practice. What Tarzan sees in people doing really well at email is an ability to be open, vulnerable and really tell their story. That is something we can all learn how to do.
Email is so important. Is there a certain way to get somebody’s attention?
Tarzan talks about the 4 different personality types, which is based on DISC. It puts people into 4 color categories -blue, green, red or yellow. She likes to use Game of Throne characters to describe these 4 types of people.
The red personality is like Daenerys. They are leaders and super action orientated. They want what they want and want it yesterday. When Tarzan is writing for the reds, she wants to make sure there is very clear hotlink text. That they can skip to the bottom and see very clearly what is there. They love super short emails that are very to the point.
The yellows are like Tyrion. A deep sense of adventure, loves people and loves fun. They are the life of the party, they are always late, and we love them even though they are annoying. Tarzan likes to use makeagif.com to make something funny that will appeal to the yellows.
The blues are emotionally driven and love stories. They have the loyalty of John Snow. To appeal to blues you want to tell your story.
The greens are very detailed orientated. If you’ve ever wondered who reads long from sales pages – it is the greens. They will read the entire page and actually read very long emails. Tarzan will make sure to have an FAQ email that will have all the information in there for the greens.
You don’t have to make sure every email covers every personality type, but it’s worth thinking about how to include the key things that appeal to them. Have a clear action, share a story, add an element that’s fun and make them feel something.
Email marketing is something I would like to get better at. I have some resistance around email marketing that I’m aware of and sometimes it holds me back. It’s vulnerable to send email to somebody. What advice do you have for people who feel scared to email people or to ask for something they want?
Part of what makes email so magic is that it’s very personal. You can only get into someone’s inbox if they invited you in. It can feel scary to send email because you are infringing on their sacred space. But when someone signed up to your email list, they came to you with a problem, and they are hoping you have a the solution.
We’re all afraid of getting bad email replies, but great email is polarising. So you have to be brave, and you have to say what you think.
So much of doing well in business and life is being brave and vulnerable. How do you manage vulnerability within your own self?
She knows her business can only grow as much as she grows. She is always working on herself. Because that will allow her to do what she needs to do and make the bold moves. And ahe makes sure she has a community she can lean on to get through the hard times.
What kind of work on your self do you do?
Her favorite thing in the last year or so is breathwork. You lay down on a yoga mat and breathe very deeply in an intentional way for an hour. You take deep inhales of breath fast and consecutively. This has been some of the most transformational work she has ever done.
I want to ask you about your upbringing and your mom. I know your parents got divorced when you were 15, and your mom went on a spiritual journey. Was that the beginning of your spiritual path too? And I know your mom went on a special kind of diet.
Tarzan’s mom heavily influenced her spiritual journey. 20 years ago, her mom went on this diet. She was cutting out gluten before it was trendy. Her mom cut out all wheat and all sugar, including fruit. She also cut out the vinegar and anything fermented. The purpose of the diet is to kill off all your internal flora so that it can regenerate from scratch.
That seems really challenging.
Tarzan did it in college for about 3 months and felt really good. She felt elated. Her mom did it for a year and felt so transformed by it.
Do you have a certain way that you prime yourself for writing?
Tarzan writes every day and it comes naturally to her. Because she is consistent, she doesn’t need to have rituals around it.
Do you have something you do have drama around?
Social media. Part of her story is about how she has built her business solely by using email. But she knows social media could also help build her business. Tarzan worries that using it will take time away from other parts of her life and that the platforms can change or disappear. She struggles to be consistent with it.
How do you recommend people grow their list?
It is possible to do it just through email. Tarzan has 5,000 people on her list which is considered quite small and is on target for earning 7 figures this year. The number of subscribers is mostly meaningless. It is all about your relationship with those subscribers. Are they opening those emails? Are they enraging with you? Do you know them? Do you have personal relationships with them? She doesn’t treat her emails subscribers as leads but as people. She goes out of her way to cultivate relationships with them. Tarzan recommends that as you build your email list, you really focus on building and nurturing the individuals that are joining your email list.
What do you think is the best frequency?
It’s highly dependant on your market. Some audiences are less tolerant than others. Once a week is the minimum. If you commit to once a week it will transform your business.
I really like your message here. You’re saying your email list doesn’t have to be that big for you to do really well.
If all you need is 5,000 subscribers. That isn’t hard to do organically by going on podcasts or going guest blogs. You can even just purchase 5,000 leads and nurture them.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Her business is in a transition right now, and she is busier than she normally is. She works a 4-day workweek, and it ends up being about 30 hours a week. Monday and Fridays are reserved just for her, and she doesn’t do client work. She may record training, outline future training or communicate with her contractors. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, she does client work and delivers live training.
What is the best way to plant seeds in emails?
The biggest mistake people make when planting seeds is only to plant one. A lot of us aren’t clear about what our major mission is. When we get clear on that, it’s easier to plant seeds. We should be planting seeds all the time. But first, we need to be clear about what we’re selling and why people will want to buy it.
Is there a process for how people can get that clarity?
The biggest thing is to keep moving. It can often be a process of trial and error. One of the great determiners of success is the speed by which you can implement. Even if you implement the wrong thing. We spend so much time agonizing over making the right decision when really we should just keep moving.
How does spirituality play out in your life? Do you have spiritual practices?
She has practices she does on and off as needed. She struggles to have a consistent meditation practice and uses breathwork when she really needs it. She finds that for some things she just has to pay for it so that she actually shows up to the workshop. One of her most important spiritual practices is a gratitude practice that she does with her business associate. Every day they send each other a message of gratitude on Voxer.
Are there any organization tools or apps that you use to keep organized with email?
For launches, she uses a promo calendar that she has created in a google doc. It’s a table that she can add in webinars and the promo sequence. At a glance, she can see the entire promotion, and she finds this visual representation really useful.
What’s been your favorite email that you got the most replies on?
Tarzan is working on getting less attached to the business and seeing herself as the star that has to do everything. For a recent promotion, she hired a copywriter to write an email for her. That was difficult for her to do. She hired Alison wh had been through Tarzan’s email course. Fro one of the emails, Alsion did a ‘take-over’ and shared her story. It was a great email, and Tarzan got so many replies and so many sales.
What is an action step somebody can take to improve their email marketing?
Just show up consistently. Make a commitment to email your list weekly. Schedule yourself a half-hour each week. You don’t need more than that.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Tarzan’s mom is a financial planner and has her own business. She watched her mom develop herself and her business. When Tarzan didn’t have much money and was starting her business, she went shopping for some new clothes. When she showed her mom, she said ‘Beautiful clothes are one of the best investments you can make in your business.’
Anything else you’d like to share?
How can you let it be easy? Tarzan tries to find ways to let in more support in her life and when she comes across advice or a new idea, she thinks about how she could let it be easy.
Rebecca Louise is a fitness and nutrition expert and an online influencer. Born in a small town in England called Eastbourne, she came to California on a whim in 2011 to get her commercial pilot’s license. After earning her pilot’s license, she discovered her true passion was in fitness and helping others to improve their lives through living a healthy/active lifestyle. Like a lot of people, it took her a while to be comfortable in her own skin. At the age of 17, she suffered from anorexia and terrible complexion, which led to depression. Discovering the proper balance of exercise and great nutrition set her on track to take control of her health, wellness, and life! Her mission is to help you feel like the best version of yourself every single day by bringing you exciting workouts and tasty recipes, as well as giving you the motivation to do it.
How many jobs have you had? I know that you’ve had several.
Rebecca has worked in a bank, got a pilots license, done babysitting, poker dealing and been in a girl band. She has had 20-25 diverse jobs that cover so many different areas..
Well, you beat me. I think I’m at 12. I had 10 jobs is 6 years and it was pretty messy for a while. I love that about your story because I think so many people think they have to do one thing or think there is this pressure to be on a career path.
A lot of people ask her how she knew what she wanted to do. She didn’t but she’s grateful she was able to do all the exciting things she did. Since life is so amazing why not do a bunch of things.
What is it about your mindset which makes you able to pivot so well?
Nothing is impossible. If you have seen somebody else do something, then you know that it is possible. It’s just about if you are willing to do the same work, take the same actions, and do the same process that that person did. It is about building that confidence that we can do it because somebody else has done it before us.
In the age of comparison if every time you see somebody who has what you want, you say to yourself - I can do it too. That is such a better view of the world.
Comparing doesn’t make sense because you’re comparing yourself to somebody who is completely different to you. Who has a different background and is on a different path.
Let’s talk a little about rejection. I was listening to one of your podcasts and you said ‘expect rejection’. Can you talk a little about your view?
Rejection is just a part of life. Sometimes things can just be a numbers game like in dating or job hunting. You could be going to jobs interviews and getting rejected because that is not your path. You just haven’t hit that number yet. When Rebecca finds herself getting rejected she believes that just means there is something better around the corner. Rejection feels awful but that mindset helps Rebecca get through those moments and ultimately enjoy life more.
Some people might say that’s a negative view, to expect rejection. In the law of attraction it is to expect miracles. I’m curious about your viewpoint on that.
The rejection could be the miracle because then you don’t go down a path that is not right for you. There is a lot of talk right now about manifesting your life and honing in on what it is that you want. Alongside that has to be work ethic. If you really want something in life you can’t jut manifest it, there has to be an element of grit and work.
From the Buddhist perspective, they often say ‘expect things to go wrong’. Not everything is going to go your way and I think that’s actually a positive spin on it. Because when things do go wrong you are able to say ‘ok thing went wrong’ and don’t get thrown off the path.
When things are going well we don’t grow. It’s only in those times when things are difficult and tough that we grow.
What does the work ethic look like for you?
Rebecca works a lot, but that’s because she loves what she does. When you start a business, you have to learn every single skill. There are things she doesn’t love to do that are a part of what she needs to do. When she started making workout videos, she had to learn editing and didn’t enjoy doing it. Over time she got to a position where she was able to hire somebody to do it for her.
You went from being broke 4 years prior to making half a million dollars in a year. Tell us about how you did that.
Rebecca decided that enough was enough. She was in a toxic relationship and was in a circle of friends that was constantly partying. She started looking for something else. Her goal had been to retire her parents and although she had the work ethic, she wasn’t finding the right opportunities. She was hanging around the wrong people. The biggest change came when she got an opportunity to work with a nutrition company and was given a mentor. Rebecca became a student and followed his advice. He had the lifestyle that she aspired after.
What did he say to you that made a big impact?
He cast a vision about what was possible for her life if she worked hard. She believed it and didn’t question him because he had what she wanted.
How did you find your new crew?
Her new crew are all in the fitness and nutrition space and have a discipline and a work ethic. She surrounded herself with people in the same industry. She is now very picky with who she lets into her life. When you let go of the old people, it allows space for the new people to come into your life.
So you went and got your pilots license?
At 23 she decided she was going to learn to fly airplanes. Rebecca is from a small town in England, and at 18 she moved to London, lived there for 5 years and did a wide variety of jobs. She was again hanging around a group of people who liked clubbing and drinking and staying out late. London had a volcanic ash cloud cover it that grounded all the planes. She was watching the news and saw a plane land. She decided that it was something she wanted to be able to do. She was at such a low point in her life and needed a reason to get out. Rebecca decided to go to America and become a pilot.
What is it like to fly a plane?
It’s pretty crazy. Looking back she now can’t believe they let her fly a plane solo.
I know at one point you were 86lbs and struggled with an eating disorder.
In her teens, Rebecca went to a new private school that she worked hard to be apart of. A girl that had just left told everybody at the school to bully her. At the time everybody wanted to be skinny, and many women aspired to be a size zero. All of that came together, and Rebecca realized that the only thing she could control was food. She had no energy or zest for life, and it really took a toll on herself and her body.
What’s your drive? What keeps you going?
Rebecca has no plan b. There is nothing else she wants s to be doing so she needs to make this work. She has built up resilience and knows that as long as she works for it, it’ll happen.
Can you tell us what your nutrition plan looks like?
She used not to eat enough food. 6 years ago eating a healthy breakfast was a new habit for her. In the morning she eats a smoothie with herbal tea and some aloe for digestion. The smoothie contains protein, good carbs, and good fats. Throughout the day, she eats every 2-3 hours. Maybe some Greek yogurt as a snack. Lunch is lean protein, a big handful of vegetables and a fist-sized portion of complex carbs. A few hours later, she will snack on something like almonds and cottage cheese. Dinner will be similar to lunch, and then a few hours later she will have another snack. She counts her protein but doesn’t count calories and makes sure she drinks enough water throughout the day.
So much of maintaining a fit body is not exercise, but nutrition. But I’m curious about your exercise routine.
80% is nutrition, and 20% is exercise. People find her YouTube videos addicting. Longer routines can be found on her app. Rebecca works out whenever she can each day. She tries to work out at 9am each day after doing a bit of work. But sometimes that doesn't happen and she does it later.
What is the first YouTube video you made?
She had a $150 camera with no sound and she went out onto the beech, laid out a yoga mat and did a 10-minute ab workout. The sound was terrible and the editing was basic.
And what happened? You just stayed consistent?
She just kept putting out a video every week. And for 4 years, she has not missed a week.
Did you find that it grew naturally or were you intentional about growth?
She utilized Instagram, YouTube and Facebook to cross-promote her content. Every Friday, she does a fitness challenge with a guest.
What is something which was painful in the moment that you can see now was a facilitator in helping you grow?
Her divorce. She grew her business all through her divorce. She wanted to be able to have her business at the end of it all. They were together for 4 years but married for 9 months. Looking back, she knew it wasn’t right and should have broken free from it earlier that she did. But she is glad she went through it because it has given her so much strength and understanding about rejection.
Do you pay a lot of intention to your intuition?
Rebecca feels like your gut is there for a reason and follows her intuition. You know deep down if something is going to work or who someone really is.
What do you do to feed your mind?
She reads a lot. She likes to have a morning routine of incense, listening wave sounds and reading her book while drinking her tea. She really likes having that time for herself. She didn’t use to do it and finds it really beneficial to her mood.
Are there exercises you do to help uncover your visions and goals?
She follows some of the Wim Hof practices like breathing exercises and cold showers. She loves to write things down, especially her ideas and visions.
How do you distinguish between what you want to do and what is not for right now?
Rebecca thinks you don’t really know if something is right or not unless you give it a shot. She likes to try things and then decide if they are aligning with her goals or not.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t take advice from someone you wouldn’t trade places with.
What would you tell someone who is having trouble getting motivated in terms of fitness and taking care of their nutrition?
Find a community and add value to that community by contributing. The people who post pictures, make comments and interact, get the best results. They are in it and are holding themselves accountable. If you’re on the sidelines just watching, you don’t get results because you are not in it. Add value to the group and you will get more results.
Tell us how we can get touch with yourself
Burn App: https://icanfeeltheburn.com/app/
Any last words?
People say that they are stuck. But you are not stuck right now, you just have to take the first step. Once you take the first step, you are going to be unstuck.
Jezzibell Gilmore is SVP Business Development and Co-Founder for packet fabric. Jezzible’s career path hasn’t been a straight line — starting in her 20’s she had many different jobs and then she put the pieces together and realized that technology start-ups is where her skills, passion, and purpose come together. PacketFabric is building a next-generation networking platform to redefine network connectivity. PacketFabric is the ideal combination of carrier network and software as a service, offering a wide range of connectivity solutions between colocation, cloud, and to business partners. On Tuesday, August 27th, PacketFabric Secured a $75m Joint Venture Funding with Digital Alpha Advisors Supporting Connectivity Advances for Next-Generation Networking Platforms.
In this episode we talk about:
* How your career path doesn’t have to be a straight line
* How everything you do contributes to the end goal and no time is ever wasted
* Bouncing back from failure
* Throwing yourself into the fire as an entrepreneur and more
Ani Manian is widely known as "The Entrepreneur Whisperer" and he helps entrepreneurs & high impact leaders like you exponentially accelerate your business & personal growth and finally experience 7 & 8 figure freedom, wild success, real impact, true alignment with your purpose, and live an exceptional & meaningful life with a profound sense of calm, clarity & joy.
On paper, he had it all. He was making hundreds of thousands of dollars, driving strategy for billion-dollar companies working with the most influential people on the planet. He had a fancy title, he was speaking at conferences, he had traveled to over 60 countries before he turned 30 years old.
His family was impressed, and his friends were envious.
Everything seemed perfect about his job and his life — except for one important thing: he was miserable.
He felt disconnected and alone. he felt empty, unfulfilled, and he knew I was capable of making 100x the impact but he felt trapped in the same comfort zone he had worked hard to create.
ALL THAT CHANGED WITH A SINGLE PHONE CALL
After two years of battling liver cirrhosis, and waiting for a liver transplant, his father passed away suddenly.
Ani always believed he would pull through and never entertained the idea of actually losing him.
What followed was the darkest period of his life, but one that completely changed the course of his life.
His father taught Ani many things, but in his passing, he taught him how short life is.
How the most precious thing in the world is time, and no amount of money or success can bring that back.
THAT WAS THE MOMENT HE DECIDED TO DEDICATE MY LIFE TO HELPING PEOPLE REALIZE THAT THEIR PRISON WAS OF THEIR OWN MAKING.
He has combined the best of what he has learned over countless hours of trial and error, blood, sweat, pain, heartache and hope into a unique method which he now shares with you.
It has helped people around the world harness the vast power of the mind, permanently overcome their limiting thoughts and self-sabotage, and connect directly to the infinite source of creativity, vitality, energy, and intelligence that each and every one of us has inside.
In this episode, we talk about the power to realize your limitless potential but it requires a certain combination of mindset, behaviors, and practices - such as meditation, visualization — letting go of the past & familiarizing yourself with who you want to become.
The subconscious mind is a tricky one because it is subconscious. A lot of the time we don’t know what our subconscious mind is guiding us towards. How do we unlock it?
Every single thing in our life, our business, our work, our relationships, and our health is a direct reflection of our subconscious identity. There is a quote: As above so below, as within so without. The inside world we live in creates our external reality. If our relationships are full of love, support, and understanding that is because in our unconscious minds that is who we are.
So subconscious identity. A lot of decisions we make are made very early on. Is that what you find?
Between the ages of 0 and 7, our brains are in a theta brainwave state where we are absorbing everything that is happening around us in a state of hypnosis. Hypnosis is just a brainwave state where we are able to bypass our conscious mind and our unconscious is recording information. When we watch TV we are actually in hypnosis. That’s why advertising is so enticing, they are using tricks to program us at the unconscious level. We can actually do the same and reprogram ourselves to get the things we want.
What are some tricks that can actually help us reprogram the identities that are no longer serving us and how can we actually program what we want?
Step 1. The first thing is getting clear about what we actually want. Most people have a vague idea about what they want but aren’t actually specific about it. We must work from our vision and not to our vision. When we work to our vision, we’re working from our current identity and circumstances. Working from that place causes us to repeat our current vision.
Step 2. The subconscious mind speaks in an emotional language. This is why TV ads are so visual and full of imagery. The logical mind is only 5% of our mind. The unconscious mind speaks with emotions and imagery. Once we get clear on the vision we must really understand how it would make us feel. What we would be seeing and what we would be hearing. Engage all of our senses.
Step 3. We have to reinforce and condition that feeling from step 2. We have to really sink into that place where you have all the things that you want so you can manifest the behavior that will get you what you want.
I grew up playing tennis. I had been playing competitive tennis for 9 years and was playing in the Maryland State Tennis championship. I knew I could win the tournament and saw a sports psychologist. For weeks in advance, I prepared and I visualized winning the tournament over and over again. I won the first couple of matches and made it into the finals. Went down the first 3 games and then won 6-3, 6-2. It was the first tournament I had ever won and it was so clear to me the role that the mind plays. The mind doesn’t know the difference between what is real and what is not. How can we use visualization on a practical, day to day basis?
It is about rehearsing our ideal situation. Say you are about to speak on stage and you are really scared, afraid of what people are going to think and are worried you will stutter or stumble over words. A great practical way is to visualize walking up the stairs and getting on stage. Visualize looking at the audience and the audience looking back at you in the way you want them to. Smiling and waiting for you to speak. You have to really go through the details. Rehearse the entire arc and then repeat it. We should always think about things the way we want them to play out rather than the way we fear they will play out. The energy will bring to a situation will really inform what will happen. Our primal brain wants to keep us safe. But in today's society, the only threats we have is to our identity and self-esteem. That is the fear that keeps us staying small.
How did you get into this type of work?
Ani spent 15 years as a corporate executive in the technology startup world. Entrepreneurship was something he always wanted to try. When his father passed away, he had a wake-up call. He realized he was becoming a lot like him and he didn’t want that. He started studying neuroscience, psychology, meditation, and spirituality. He wanted to really understand himself. He realized that the more he understood himself, the more he understood other people. The more he loved himself, the more he could help other people love themselves. Initially, he started answering ‘calls for help’ on forums online. People who had hit rock bottom were feeling suicidal, had lost jobs or marriages. He would talk to them and help them turn their life around.
Did you have training for that?
He spent years studying psychology and ways to make changes in the brain. At the time he was working on a nutrition/ mental health company. The people who he helped started telling him that this is what he should be doing. He decided that he would find nothing more fulfilling than to help people uncover their blocks and help them create success.
What do you do as your spiritual practice? And the subconscious practice that has enabled you to finally start your own business?
Ani starts every morning with what he calls ‘The Power Hour’. It starts with 20mins of meditation, 20 minutes of gratitude work and 20 minutes of visualization. When he meditates he clears the vessel and comes to a place of stillness. Gratitude is one of the most powerful things to develop a sense of well being. Visualization allows him to put out the right energy and to really see how he wants his life to be.
What do you say to somebody who has visualized something but still doesn’t have what they want?
Visualization is only one part. The other part is taking a lot of action. We need to uncover the unconscious blocks which stop us from getting the things we want. When who you are matched what you want then the results appear like magic. For the people who are struggling there’s probably a part of their subconscious which is telling them they can’t have it. Most people think that seeing is believing but in fact, you have to believe first then you can see it.
I think it is a universal belief that we all feel not good enough on some level and if we are not good enough we won’t be loved. It’s part of the human condition. When we feel wounded, when we feel our wounded inner child, what kind of work can we do to get into that aligned action?
A really powerful technique is connecting to our inner child. Lie on your bed, close your eyes and think back to the time when you experienced the wounding and talk to that person, that version of you. Tell them all the things they need to hear. Give them the love and reassurance that they need. Often just visualizing this is a powerful cathartic release. Another way you can achieve this is by writing a letter. Forgiveness is a powerful tool.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t compare your insides with someone else’s outsides.
You are just one thought away from the life that you want.
Tell us how we can get in touch with you
Quantum Leap Course: quantumleapcourse.com
Ani Manian: https://animanian.com/
Shana Yadid is the Founder, CEO & Lead Trainer at Yadid’it! Dog Training. The most pivotal moment in Shana’s life began shortly after her 21st birthday when she started reading Temple Grandin’s "Animals in Translation, Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior." It was then that her understanding of her relationship with animals began to unfold.
One of the things that fascinates me about dog training is the use of practical psychology. So if you don’t have a dog, this episode isn’t just about dogs, it’s about behavior training. In many ways, we can be very similar to dogs in the sense where we make associations — especially when a situation was painful and we can reassociate.
In this episode, we talk about neural associations, classical conditioning, redirecting attention and more.
Shana Yadid is the Founder, CEO & Lead Trainer at Yadid’it! Dog Training. The most pivotal moment in Shana’s life began shortly after her 21st birthday when she started reading Temple Grandin’s "Animals in Translation, Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior." It was then that her understanding of her relationship with animals began to unfold.
One of the things that fascinates me about dog training is the use of practical psychology. So if you don’t have a dog, this episode isn’t just about dogs, it’s about behavior training. In many ways, we can be very similar to dogs in the sense where we make associations — especially when a situation was painful and we can reassociate.
In this episode, we talk about neural associations, classical conditioning, redirecting attention and more.
So you grew up in New York? And you didn’t have a dog growing up?
Shana grew up in New York. She didn’t have her own dog, but she had everybody else’s dog. There were over 700 apartments in the building she lived in.
You now have how many dogs?
She has six dogs. They are all rescues.
Did you know that you wanted to be a dog trainer because of your love of dogs?
She came to dog training in her early twenties after being a pet sitter. She read a book by Temple Grandin about using the mysteries of autism to translate animal behavior. Even though Shana isn’t on the spectrum, it taught her a lot about how she thought and how she learned.
There is so much psychology in dog training.
Shana thinks of herself as a novice behavioral scientist. She doesn’t have a degree in it but has read widely on the subject of both humans and dogs. She finds the brain fascinating.
I have a dog, and I love dogs. I have a 4lbs teacup Yorkie. Her name is Brook Lyn. Let’s get into psychology. I find it fascinating how behavior can be facilitated. I know you also have experience with traumatized dogs. How can you tell that a dog has been traumatized?
It’s not just about if a dog has suffered trauma or not. Some dogs just have anxious genetics. When you have a rescue dog that came from a shelter, certain assumptions can be made when you have no information, and you see certain behavior. If a dog runs across the room and hides under a table because you touched a broom that is likely to be a PTSD response. You shouldn’t feel bad about touching the broom. We have to train the dog to reassociate the broom by changing their neural pathways and how they view the broom.
Neural Association. Can you explain what that is and how it works?
With a dog that is afraid of a broomstick, Shana would first lay the bro0m on the floor and take the dog over to it, as close as it will come without panic. Then she will get excited, tell them they did a "good job" and give them a treat. For Shana, when she sees all of the current legislation that is questioning women’s bodily autonomy, that is a trigger for her. That puts her into a headspace, which makes it hard to remember she is worth anything. Then she puts on a song like Brave by Sarah Brellis or another motivational girl power song. She sings it to her inner child. That reawakens her spark. Although it might feel like she doesn’t want to push forward, that’s her brain taking all these traumas and telling her something which is not the truth. If she can figure out what the trigger is she can reassociate it. With the dog, she is trying to teach them that broomstick means treat rather than broomstick means beat.
You literally associate a new meaning with the trigger. From a coaching perspective, we go back to an event and identify the meanings which were created during that time. Then we create a new meaning which is essentially a new association.
Let’s get into some practical dog stuff. Stating simply, how would you get a dog to sit?
You move your hand in a certain direction so that the dog ends up in the position you want. For a sit, she would bring her hand over the dog’s head until their butt hit the ground. Sometimes you have to change certain things to set them up for their best success, so you can give them the reward. Once they have earned the reward they are much more likely to repeat the behavior. You start with food law. Then that turns into a hand signal which gets overlaid with a verbal command. That’s how a dog learns verbal clues. Shana thinks that non-verbal commands are often more effective and more helpful. One of the first things she teaches is a focus command – Watch me - and requires eye contact.
How do you get a dog to stop barking at the door?
There are a few different ways. With terriers, they are often just alerting. Shana has taught one of her dogs ‘thank you, that’s enough’.
How did you train that?
They start barking. You acknowledge what it is they're barking at. Say they are barking at the window. You go over to the window and lookout. You’re giving them the impression that you recognize what they are alerting you to. Then you give them a thank you and something else to do. Shana will give her dog a treat and then put him on the couch or take him with her to another room.
So classical conditioning.
Classical conditioning is the use of positive and negative reinforcement and positive and negative punishment. All 4 facets come into play when you are training a dog. In positive based training, you give them a treat whenever they get it right. Every other time they still get the treat and you rest after.
What do you mean by positive punishment?
Negative punishment is the removal of something such as a treat and positive punishment is giving something such as a leash correction. Positive reinforcement is you get the treat. Negative reinforcement is you get a correction. For Shana balanced training is about explaining to a dog why they are wrong with a verbal or physical cue. They try again and if they get it right they get a treat. It’s clear balanced communication of both yes and no.
Do you think dogs can read energy?
Absolutely. Her dog Amber went with her to her level 1 Reiki attunement and now does reiki on people all the time. Shana catches her doing it and thinks it’s adorably hilarious.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
You don’t have to be the richest, smartest or prettiest person in the room. But if you want to succeed in business the one thing you should always be is the most adaptable person in the room. That is the key to success.
Tell us how we can get in touch with you?
Sustainable Dog Rescue: https://www.sustainablerescue.org/
Yadid’t Dog Training: https://www.yadiditdog.training
Ross Everett is an award-winning actor, comedian, Internet personality, and writer. His YouTube videos have been viewed over 45 million times, landing him on the front page of HuffPost, Buzzfeed, and Reddit. His comedy has been featured on NBC, Hulu, Fox, and Sirius XM. He can be seen touring with his critically acclaimed comedy show Stop Stopping The Unstoppable a personal development seminar parody, where he plays a motivational speaker, Dale Thorhammer.
How did you get into comedy?
There wasn't a time when Ross wasn't into comedy. He loved things that made him laugh from a very young age. If people are funny, then everything else was forgivable.
Were your parents funny?
Not intentionally. Ross' Dad has good comedy thoughts but poor delivery. His mum is adorable in her own way. When she runs, she looks like a duck running away from a car. They aren't people who can engage a crowd in a comedic way.
Delivery is key.
Delivery is all of it. The most important thing in comedy is timing. But this can also apply to life. How are you delivering anything you want to be delivered? It is a real shame to say something that is meant to be heard in a way it can not be.
Personal development plus comedy. That's awesome.
Ross wants to create joy and help other people find their joy and go after it. A lot of comedians come from this negative place and then find this desire to make people laugh. A sense of humor is often a defense mechanism. Ross didn't want to be a comedian who was depressed. He loves personal development and wanted to find a way to combine the two. As a comedian, you get to deliver joy and happiness. As a kid, he wanted to be famous so that he could have friends all over the world. He admits that a lot of this comes from feeling uncool and unpopular at school. He wanted people to like him. Sometimes we become good at something because of a trauma or as a defense mechanism. We can heal the underlying wound and still maintain the benefits that that wound gave us.
How did you get started? Comedy is not an easy path.
As a kid, Ross loved watching scrubs and Family Guy. He and his friends would reference those TV shows and make jokes that could've been in the TV shows. It was their joy. He started writing his own scripts and ideas for TV shows. In college, he began making things with a video camera. They started putting their videos on YouTube and gained a following. After graduation Ross worked at the Colbert Report as an intern. He got a joke on the show and it was a lightbulb moment to know that his joke was going out to the country.
Ross learned a lot from Colbert about how to approach comedy. He considers Colbert and Conan to be big inspirations to him. Colbert told him one of his humor philosophies. You never make the victim of a situation the punchline of a joke. People will laugh, but it will sound like they have blood in their mouths. He made a joke about Lindsey Lohan and felt bad about it because she's just a human being going through her own thing. He won't punch down on people.
There's a lot of risks that you take in comedy. Not only in content but in how it's received.
You can't control how something is received. Ross makes sure that he feels good about what he's putting out there. He has his own guidelines for his comedy.
What are they?
Never punch down.
The guidelines shifts as society shifts in the way it perceives people. Ross gives himself permission to elevate his standards with the times while forgiving himself for the stuff in the past before he knew better.
Tell us about your failures.
He took his show to Adelaide, Australia for the Fringe Festival. When he was flyering, he would pitch the show by saying, "Do you want to come see a feel-good comedy show?"
This woman walked by, heard him say this, and went to see the show. She sat in the front row. The show is a parody of a self-development seminar, and he plays a guru. It's a very interactive show with a lot of audience participation. There's a moment where he takes the audience through a funny guided mediation. He tells them to go back to their childhood when everything was okay and feel that now. He noticed that the woman had moved into the fetal position. He though great I can help her. He had a part of the show where he bought someone up on stage and made them dance. So he got her up and she meekly came on stage. He noticed this look of fear in her eyes.
She said, "Please don't make me do this."
He quickly reversed and put her back in her seat and told her to stay after the show because he wanted to make sure she was okay.
The show ends with people saying, "I love myself!" He noticed the woman was not feeling it. At the end of the show, she bolts out of the theatre. He runs after her. She shouts that "she's fine'." He can't get to her and thinks that his show just ruined someone's life. He feels he pushed on someone he shouldn't have pushed on. He goes back to the artist area, devastated. He thinks that he can't do this anymore and that the show is dangerous. He believed that a lot of people call themselves life coaches after reading a book or going to a seminar. If you unearth someone's deep traumatic stuff and can't bring them back up again, you've done damage. Ross's number 1 rule is don't do damage. Even though the show was about doing it in a silly way, he still did damage.
He checks his email, and there was an email from the crying woman apologizing for running out after the show. After crying in the bathroom for 15 minutes, she was fine. She thought the show was brilliant and thanked him for doing it. He met up with her to talk about what happened. She said she was in a down mood anyway and her childhood wasn't great. He asked her what he could say instead, and she said - 'go back to a time when everything was great.' Everybody has a time when everything was great. So he changed that part of the show. He made a new rule that if somebody is resisting him, instead of trying to get them out of their funk, he will play towards the people who are already loving it.
You do some coaching in the show.
There is some real personal development in the show. But the comedy comes first. He takes real personal development concepts and wraps them in idiocy and comedy. He wants to make it fun and palatable. But he realized that he has to be careful with his words. Although that failure was a nightmare, he learned from it, and it made the show better.
Do you go to self-development seminars?
All the time. He used to be resistant to personal development seminars. He would wonder what they were trying to sell him. He wouldn't trust them. That's why he wanted to create this show. Because he doesn't ask his audience to trust him, he asks them to play with him.
Comedy is funny because there is truth in it. Do you think people are more likely to go to a personal development seminar after seeing your show?
Ross hopes that his show arms them to go to a seminar and not have to take it too seriously. He wants people to be able to go to these seminars and have fun with them.
What's your favorite seminar?
Ross loved Tony Robbins, Date With Destiny. That was fun and impactful. Watching Tony Robbins do his stuff is amazing. He is a master and a showman.
I'm a huge Tony Robbins fan, but there's all this stuff in the media right now. I'm curious about your authentic take on him. Do you think he's the real deal?
Ross thinks Tony Robbins show's up as Tony Robbins when that is who he needs to be. And that he's human like the rest of us. Ross thinks Tony Robbins does good work and he provides a tremendous amount of value to people.
What's the best advice you've ever been given?
Never leave the site of a decision without taking massive action that forces you to commit.
How can we learn about you?
JV Bharathan reached darkness and found his way out again. He credits this to his autistic son and his undying optimism. JV is a coach, an author, and an entrepreneur. He wants people to find hope within their suffering. Hear him talk about his story, the power of helping others and what he has learned from his son.
I know that you had a moment in time where you had a couple of events all happening at once. What were those events?
JV grew up in India, moved to the US when he was 21 and found a good corporate job. Following the Indian tradition, JV’s parent arranged for him to marry a woman from Sri Lanka when he was 25. He didn’t like her but married her in order to please his Dad. The marriage didn’t work out so they divorced. There was a custody battle over their son.
How old was your son when you divorced?
He was 4 or 5 years old and it was about 6 years after the marriage.
What happened with the custody battle?
JV felt like he was treated as a 2nd class citizen by the courts and police and automatically seen as guilty. It was a challenge to prove that he was a good dad. They now share custody of their son.
How did you get through it?
JV lost everything. He was homeless, jobless and bankrupt. He only had two things left. His son and his undying optimism.
Where were you living?
He sometimes stayed with friends and sometimes slept on the street. This period didn’t last too long as he found his light pretty quickly.
What was it like sleeping on the street?
It was not easy but JV recognizes that went you go through situations like this, you become stronger. Now he can sleep anywhere.
JV found deep meaning through his son who has autism. He mostly communicates non-verbally. At 13 years old he can speak a few words but is unable to form sentences. JV realized that his life was bigger than him and that he needed to take care of his son. He needed to be a voice for his son. That is when everything changed for him.
You say everything changed, what do you mean?
He had been feeling like a victim and blaming his wife for his circumstances. But that didn’t give him any power. He knew he had to take radical responsibility. So even if something is not your fault, you take responsibility for it. That gives you the power and allows you to take actions you didn’t think were possible.
Were you reading a lot?
He was reading frequently and went on a journey to the Himalayas to stay with monks. They taught him that your life is not about you. It is all about the people in your life. Your family, friends and local community. That’s when he started to take himself less seriously and focus on what others need.
I studied Buddhist psychology. There are two parts to the root of our suffering self-grasping and self-cherishing. Cherishing yourself as the most important person on earth is one of the roots of our sufferings. It sounds like you had that insight. When we ere suffering who are we thinking about? We are thinking about ourselves. That causes a lot of suffering. That shift to thinking about others is huge and with it brings happiness. So you went and hung out with the monks. What else did you learn?
They taught JV about money. Money is a form of energy. Many people tell themselves stories about money – I can’t afford it, I don’t deserve it. JV thinks this is silly. Money is just energy exchanged for services. If you focus on how much value you give to people, the money will come. Money is a tool and doesn’t bring happiness.
So you went to the Himalayas and you meditated?
He meditated and did a lot of yoga. He lived a very simple humble life.
When you came back, how did you integrate?
He did a lot of coaching and leadership classes. He started to focus on other people starting with his son. He wanted to look beyond his sons ‘problems’ and look at how he could add value to his son’s life. He started a non-profit for autistic children.
You created a non-profit. What else?
JV wrote a book despite not learning English until he was in college. When he was in his period of darkness he started writing as a way of venting his frustration. One day a friend of his accidentally found his journal and started reading it. He told JV that he should turn it into a book. Now he is writing a second one.
What is your book about?
Undying Optimism is about JV’s journey into his darkness and how he got out of it. He wants his book to give people hope. We are all suffering in our own ways. He wants people who read his book to ask themselves questions about their own lives and find meaning in it. The book gives people hope in a world which doesn't always seem to have a lot of hope in it.
You do coaching?
JV does coaching for people going through transition and change. He went through a lot of transformation and change and wants to bring that experience to help other people.
Do you want to get married again?
It’s hard to find the right partner especially when you’re entrepreneurial. His son is a massive part of his life. He is open to the possibility of someone but isn’t focused on it.
Do you still talk to your son’s mom?
He used to call her his ex-wife and then realized he needed to give her respect. He now calls her his former wife. They don’t talk a lot and when they do it is focused on their son. But he has forgiven her.
How did you arrive at forgiveness?
It was not easy to forgive her. She put him in jail. Forgiving is one of the most selfish things you can do. When you forgive you allow a space for new things in your life.
How long did it take you? Forgiveness is a process.
It took him 3 years.
I have a question for you about sadness. I’ve had my bouts of depression. The happier I’ve become, the more I focus on others, the more I serve the more sadness I see. But when I’m sad, I don’t notice the sadness. I was curious about your viewpoint.
If you don’t experience sadness you are not going to experience happiness. If you don’t experience darkness you are not going to experience light. If you don’t experience sunset you won’t experience the sunrise. But when you realize you are sad, you need to see how you can shift that. Be with it. Ask yourself why you are sad. Try to change the situation if you can. Help someone else. Be grateful for the things in your life.
What is a question you can ask?
What can I do? Why am I suffering? What is causing me suffering today?
What is a question you ask yourself which keeps you focused?
What can I do today that’s going to make someone else’s life better?
What is next for you?
JV does have a plan but does not put timelines on things anymore. He likes to follow his intuition. He is writing his second book and has just joined a venture firm in Boston that will focus on organizations that want to solve humanitarian issues.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Be in the moment.
So you meditate?
Every day for at least 15 minutes. He does it as soon as he wakes up and has been doing that for the past 5 years. He finds meditation keeps him calm, makes him grounded and allows him to focus on the things he wants to focus on.
How do you feel that having a child with autism has shaped your view of the world?
His son is JV’s biggest teacher. He has taught him patience, to focus on the process and empathy.
How can we get in touch with you?
Elinor Bazar has a B.A. In Psychology and Religious Studies from Georgetown University, an M.A. In Counselling Psychology from the University of Victoria. Before opening NeurAlive Neurofeedback Centre, Elinor worked in private practice specializing in play and expressive arts therapy with children of all ages and was a school teacher early in her career.
Three years ago Elinor was on the lookout for more tools to help my family and my counseling clients. When she found Neurofeedback, I was intrigued. Something that we could simply and painlessly connect our brains into for training self-regulation was showing powerful results for a range of mental, emotional and behavioral issues in people of all ages. She researched the technology for two months and decided that I’d like to try it for herself. She chose NeurOptimal® Dynamical Neurofeedback®, for its ease of use,safe and holistic approach. Many people were reporting excellent results from using this system, relieving symptoms associated with a variety of issues, like ADHD, PTSD, chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, brain injuries, neurological and developmental disorders and more.
Over the course of 3 years, she used the technology with my clients, primarily children, and my family. She saw fairly consistent results ranging from mild improvement to almost miraculous improvement for a variety of conditions.
What is Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback involves using an EEG device with sensors on the brain to track electrical activity in the brain. Displaying this information on a monitor allows the brain to self regulate. Elinor uses the NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback system which allows the brain and the nervous system to self-correct by giving it information about itself.
How would you define self-regulation?
The nervous system is constantly processing information and detecting a change in the environment. A self-regulating system is flexible, resilient, and can adapt to change easily. It can bounce back from negative events. A lot of people are suffering from an overburden nervous system, and that can show up as anxiety, depression, fatigue, headaches, poor sleep patterns, and poor digestion. Having better self-regulation in the nervous system can help ease all of those symptoms.
When we go through a trauma or a stressful event, does that interrupt the body’s ability to regulate itself?
Trauma can impact the nervous system, and we can get stuck in a flight or fight state. It always feels on guard; it doesn’t feel safe and can be on high alert.
I first discovered Neurofeedback in 2013. I reached out to a therapist because I was struggling with ADD/ADHD, and she suggested Neurofeedback. It was pretty incredible. I only did it for a couple of months, but I felt calmer and more organized. I could definitely see the difference. It was pretty incredible. I had the sensors on my head, and there was quiet music which dropped in and out due to activity in the brainwaves. I have also done a version where I was playing a game by doing something with my brain. I love that it can provide an alternative to medication and can be a tremendous holistic tool for anxiety, ADHD and depression. And not a lot of people know about it.
It is non-invasive and natural. The NeurOptimal® approach it is to meet the brain where it is in that moment and feedback the to the nervous system. This allows the inherent healing capacity of the nervous system to self regulate.
Why do you think not a lot of people know about it?
Elinor had heard of Neurofeedback but didn’t know what it meant until one day she looked it up. She discovered all the research showing how effective it is. It is only now becoming more accessible to the public due to the cost of equipment becoming more affordable. NeurOptimal® was created by Dr Sue and Val Brown, two clinical psychologists in the biofeedback field. They developed NeurOptimal® when they realized, through their clinical research, that it’s not necessary to push the brain because it will self-correct. Just giving the brain the information is enough. It’s so easy to use that it is possible to rent or own a unit. A big part of Elinor’s practice is renting systems for home use.
How did you get into Neurofeedback?
Elinor was a therapist specializing in working with children through play and nature therapy. At the time, she had just gone through a separation, and life was stressful. She was having all the symptoms of an overburdened nervous system. The word Neurofeedback popped into her brain, so she looked it up and spent hours researching the topic.
So what did you discover? You had these symptoms and used Neurofeedback. What happened?
Elinor bought a NeurOptimal® system and started using it on herself and her daughter. Once she got to 10 sessions she realised that she was no longer experiencing her previous levels of anxiety, she had more energy and was much happier. For two years she had experienced heart palpitations every single day. They went away completely. She used to find that drinking coffee aggravated her nervous system too much, but now she was able to start drinking it again. She used the system with her daughter who experienced stress at school, which was manifesting as ticks in the body. She would repeatedly stretch her neck. After three sessions, the ticks were completely gone.
Elinor has found that Neurofeedback can be incredibly impactful for children. She had a child who was dealing with severe separation anxiety when going to school and after 4 session was able to go to school.
Kids brains can be so receptive and malleable. Adult brains are less so, but they are still malleable. Can you speak a bit about the adult brain and how it is still receptive to this type of intervention?
Due to neuroplasticity, it is possible to change how our brains are wired. Sometimes change happens quickly, and sometimes things happen more slowly. Adults need to take a holistic approach with the Neurofeedback. We still need good sleep and good nutrition. It can give you more motivation to put other things into practice like exercise and meditation.
There are different brainwaves like alpha and beta. Can you explain a bit about brainwaves?
Types of brainwaves is a way of categorizing ranges of brainwave frequencies. In conventional Neurofeedback they look at those categories of brainwaves to see what needs to be altered whereas NeurOptimal® trains all the frequencies simultaneously.
When someone does a neurofeedback session is there a length of time the session should last for?
With NeurOptimal® a session lasts for 33minutes long. It depends on the person for how many sessions will be suitable for them.
How does that 33min session work? Do they have to do anything else?
With the NeurOptimal® system, there isn’t anything you have to do. It works at an unconscious level. Adults will lie back and close their eyes. It can be deeply relaxing. Children can play with lego or color while they have the sensors on and the earbuds in.
What about Muse? Are you familiar with that?
Elinor hasn’t tried it but is aware of it and think it seems great. But it is intended to produce a meditative state. It’s cool to get the real-time feedback. One of the other technologies Elinor likes to use, particularly for meditation is, Heartmath, which is heart rate variability training.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t give up.
What would you recommend to somebody who is listening to this podcast and this is the first time they have heard about Neurofeedback?
Google it and find the research. There are so many different approaches and systems. Do your research and follow your gut instinct about what is right for you.
Do you think that Neurofeedback is going to be something everybody knows about in 10-15 years?
Elinor thinks that we are already reaching the tipping point where it becomes mainstream.
What do you think about prescription drugs? And how do you see that playing out with the ability to also have Neurofeedback?
There is a time and a place for prescription drugs. You can use Neurofeedback while you on prescription medication, but it is worth keeping doctors informed. Sometimes people find they need to reduce their medication as their bodies become more receptive.
If people have questions and want to know more, can they reach out to you?
Elinor can be contacted at NeurAlive:
David Wood is a personal and business coach. David left his cushy Park Avenue job 20 years ago to explore both the outer world and his own inner world.
At the individual level, he helps high performing entrepreneurs, executives, and leaders to Play for Real – in their own growth, in their relationships, and at work. By integrating three main principles of Real Truth, Real Daring, and Real Caring. At the corporate level, he helps companies to improve performance and retention. He has consulted Fortune 100 companies – such as Sony Music, Proctor & Gamble, and Exxon. He was recently voted into the Transformational Leadership Council, along with such thought leaders as Stephen M.R. Covey, Jack Canfield, John Gray, and Marianne Williamson.
In this interview we get real honest, in fact, David reveals something he has never shared on a podcast before — The real question is….what will “Play for Real” mean to you?
I’ve been coaching for over 10 years, and when I first started coaching your website came up a lot. You were owning the life coaching scene.
There was a point where David was the top 3 results on the search engine. He was fully committed to coaching. After becoming burnt out, David retired, but he is now back on the coaching scene with renewed passion.
You have figured out how to do something most people dream about, which is living an abundant life, making a huge contribution, and having a blast every step of the way. What is your secret to success?
David is very self-directed. He creates a vision he can be excited about, and then he uses hacks to create productive days so he can do what needs to be done to fulfill his vision. It can be hard to carry out consistent action in the face of no results. For people who can’t do that, a simple hack is getting yourself a coach.
David considers himself a possibility generating machine. Other people assume that something can’t be done. If David is told that something can’t be done, he will go out there and do it.
What are some of those hacks? How do you get yourself in the right state if you aren’t feeling it?
He has had a lot of depression and anxiety in his life, which can be several weeks of darkness but can also manifest as not wanting to send an email or do anything at all that day. But his job requires that he does stuff to bring in revenue. One hack is caffeine (although he restricts himself to one cup of coffee and one cup of tea a day). Once a week he takes adderall which enables him to get a solid 8 hours to work done. He likes to do morning pages which are supposed to be 3 pages of stream of consciousness writing and never read it. But David likes to use it to uncover the things he wants to do.
Some of those hacks are things that people often try to steer us away from, such as caffeine and other stimulants. Particularly in the self-development field. Thanks for sharing that.
David used to think that all medication was bad. It is worth being wary about medication as humans have a tenuous relationship with addiction. If you like coffee, you’ll probably drink more of it and run into problems because you are abusing it. David went from thinking all medication was bad to taking antidepressants. The turning point came when he was talking to a colleague who took Welbutin and asked her why she took it since she was into personal growth. She told him that she likes herself better when she’s on it. So he got off his high horse. He tries to be careful with how he takes medication by doing research and mixing things up to avoid tolerance.
Is that part of the caring element you were talking about?
David believes in 3 core pillars – Truth, Daring and Caring. He acknowledges that caring isn’t the sexy part. David had a breakdown. He would be unable to sleep because adrenaline was shooting through his boy. A doctor friend told him to go on medication, but he refused because he wanted to heal it naturally. David had reached rock bottom and realized that there is a time and a place for daring, but if you don’t acknowledge your limitations and nurture other areas, things will fall apart. He realised he needed to add the 3rd pillar of Caring.
You had all this success. Then you had these breakdowns. Would you agree that in many ways breakdowns can actually become the catalyst to success?
Recently, David heard someone say - “Your core wounds can become your greatest gifts.” Many of the people in the coaching community have some kind of wound or past trauma they have had to overcome. If David hadn’t had the breakdowns or experienced childhood trauma, he wouldn’t be on this path. When he was 7 he watched his 5year old sister get killed in a traffic accident. He learnt how to shut down his emotions and not feel anything. This is when he started to be solution-focused. In his 20s he went to a psychiatrist who helped him to realize that he hadn’t grieved. He has now spent the last 25 years reconnecting to his emotions and learning how to feel. He now gets to bring that to other people who are system and task-oriented but would like to have deeper connections with themselves, their partner, their kids, and all the other people in their life.
How do you understand yourself so you can find those gifts that allow you to get paid for who you are?
David used to teach people how to be a coach. Then people asked him how he was able to travel and coach all over the world. So he wrote the book Get Paid For Who You Are. Now he’s interested in how do you love your life. He wants people to be able to be on their deathbeds and have no regrets. Part of how you do that is to have fulfilling and gratifying work.
How do you find your gifts?
There isn’t a magic answer. When David started coaching, it happened organically, but then he stopped. Recently a friend suggested that he get back into it and he realized how much he loves it. Then within coaching, he has found the core themes which light him us - Truth, Daring, Caring and Connection. The short answer is to read the book The Passion Test and get yourself a coach.
I like how you say it takes time. Sometimes we don’t respect the process.
You have to take action. Even if you don’t know if it’s the right action.
How do you view the coaching industry at this point in time?
David is fascinated by the state of corporate coaching today. The role of coaches is now accepted in the corporate world.
What are some of your favorite coaching questions?
What question would you most like to be asked right now?
What coaching would you give yourself on this?
You have an app right?
David has an app called Get Real.
I found this question on there. If you had to make one rule which everyone must follow, what would it be?
That you must speak the truth all the time with the exception that if you lie you must preface it by saying I’m going to lie to you right now.
So many people are lying to themselves as well as to others. It’s so toxic because people are afraid to say the truth.
It takes a lot of guts to tell the truth. What if they don’t like who I am because of something I said? What if I don’t get a promotion because of saying that? It can be transformative to share your inner dialogue. It can take a lot of courage.
One of the greatest hacks you can play on yourself is to tell on yourself. Tell someone your inner thoughts and dialogue.
Do you have a question that you repeatedly ask your self?
What did you get done today? David finds it useful to acknowledge what he achieved in order to appreciate himself.
What is one thing you would love to do before you die?
David wants to play drums in a band for one public gig. He has done it as a guitarist and now wants to experience it as a drummer.
How can we get in touch with you?
David has a new podcast – http://playforreal.life/podcast/
David invites people to request a discovery session with him at http://playforreal.life/
Get Paid For Who You Are by David Wood
The Passion Test: The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purpose by Janet Attwood and Chris Attwood
The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
I talk to a lot of people who want to find more clarity in their lives. And I want to talk about subtle ways that can have a profound impact on your life. This is a practice that you can continue to do because once you connect with clarity, it doesn't stop there. It's a practice that you want to continue to engage in.
Here are three steps.
In 2005 the National Science Foundation published an article regarding research about human thoughts per day. The average person has about 12K to 60K thoughts per day of those thoughts. 80% are negative and 95% are exactly the same repetitive thoughts as the day before.
If you're finding yourself cycling around negative thoughts you are not alone. What we need to understand is that we have a "negativity bias."
What does that mean?
It means we pick up negative information faster than positive information. And the reason why is because we're wired for survival. We are not wired for happiness.
We've all had the experience of getting feedback and somebody tells us a bunch of positive information - things we're doing really well but then somebody gives us one piece of information that's slightly negative. And what do we seem to harp on? That one piece of information that's negative. And that's because we have a "negativity bias." We need to know that that's operating and it's operating to help us to protect us to look out for danger and to not believe those negative thoughts.
The way that you can start to change the pattern is by actively seeking the good. Dr. Rick Hansen is a neuroscientist and he talks about this concept of taking in the good and really absorbing it. You take in a positive experience for an extra 10, 15, 20 seconds. As you absorb these good moments what happens is they gradually weave good experiences into the fabric of the brain. Instead of good experiences being passing mental states, they become net lasting neural traits.
Here's how I practice this: When it's a moment that I see my son playing - I really take that moment in that moment of joy that I feel when I'm watching him play. If I'm driving in my car and listening to a song that I'm really enjoying -- I really take in that moment. Since the weather has been so nice when the sun is shining and I'm feeling the sun beating down on my face -- I love that really taking that in.
There's a saying in Tibet: If you take care of the minutes the years will take care of themselves.
Alan Stein is a speaker and author, after spending over 15 years as a basketball coach. He has coached some of the top players and now brings what he learned from the world of sports to the world of business. The same skills and strategies that help basketball players be the top of their game can help top performers in the corporate world too. Alan believes in the power of doing sports throughout childhood and the traits and qualities they can instill in young people. He is also the author of Raise Your Game: High-Performance Secrets of the Best of the Best. In this episode Alan talks about finding your passion, letting go of what you can’t control and the power of self-awareness.
You grew up playing sports competitively and reached a high level. And you coached for many years. Are you still coaching?
Alan doesn’t coach anymore. Now he can be found on the sidelines watching his 3 children compete. Many of the traits that have helped him in his life have come from doing sports as a young person.
What are some of those traits that you learned from sports that have helped you in business and life?
Passion. Finding something you love and being able to spend time doing it is really important. That was the first lesson sport taught Alan. Learning to be coach-able. Having the discipline to go in and get reps done. All the little things that can add up and can have a profound impact on your performance. Being a good teammate. That when you sign up to a team sport you are a part of something much bigger than yourself.
You mention passion and when I’ve seen you speak, that passion really comes through. You seem to love teaching people and helping them be better.
Alan wants to be a servant leader who fills other people’s buckets. Sport was always just his vehicle to do that. It wasn’t just the sport that gave him so much enjoyment, it was the ability to be around other people and help to make them better with what they were trying to do.
I grew up playing tennis, which is a very individual sport. In your book, you talk a lot about teamwork and I realized that I’ve been on a very individual path with both participating in an individual sport and working for myself.
It has been Alan’s experience that people, especially in sport, tend to gravitate to one or another. He tried to get his kids to experience both so they could see what they liked. Even if you are a solopreuneuer you still work with other people and teamwork traits are important. A family can also be a team. We ebb and flow from one to the other throughout our lives. Sometimes you’re the player, sometimes the coach and sometimes you’re on a team.
Part of being a good teammate is being a good leader.
There are traits that we all should be working on regardless of our specific scenario. The traits of being an effective leader and being an impactful teammate. They have such high utility and can be applied to any area of life, personal or professional. They are important skills and can be reinforced through sport. Alan encourages his children to play different sports so that they can work on those skills. They will learn things through a sport that they won’t learn at school and that is hard to teach as a parent.
What about emotional intelligence?
That is another skillset which can and should be developed through sport. Emotional intelligence is about the ability to be aware of and manage your emotions and the emotions of others. Be able to read other people, know when and what to say and how to show somebody that you care about them. The best leaders and coaches all have very high emotional intelligence.
How do you think you can develop emotional intelligence?
It is a skillset and like any skillset, can be improved with purposeful practice and repetition. Repetitions is the oldest and most effective method of leaning in existence.
I think one of the biggest things that I learned through sports was losing and dealing with those emotions of loss. And getting back up, looking at what I did right or wrong and then going back out there.
Some of that is grit and resilience. But also have some self-compassion for yourself when you do lose, or make a mistake or don’t perform well. Being able to forgive yourself so you can move on but also learning a lesson from it so that you become better moving forward. No matter what happens in life, it is important to find a way to take from it and use it to inch forward. Rather than it being something that makes you regress and move backward. We hold that power. We can’t control what happens but we can control how we move forward. You choose that. If you want to be a high performer you will consistently choose something which serves you and helps you move forward. Alan recognizes that it isn’t always easy to do, but that is what you have to do if you want to be the best you are capable of.
Managing the emotional part really makes the difference for someone who is going to be a high performer. If you let your emotions get the best of you, they will get the best of you.
If you’re sitting in traffic, which nobody enjoys, what are your options? To let your blood pressure rise, get frustrated and honk your horn? Putting yourself in a negative mood just because there are more cars on the road doesn’t help you move forward or serve you in any way. Why do we consistently make choices that don’t serve us? You have a choice for how you respond to that. Maybe you make some phone calls or listen to a podcast.
This line really struck me from your book - ‘Control the controllables.’ You have a choice to be able to have control over the things you can control. You can’t control the traffic but you can control the thought pathways that you choose to go down and how you choose to respond.
The number of things we have complete control over is actually pretty small. However, there is a significant power in the things we do have control over. These are primarily your effort and your attitude. These are incredibly influential and impactful. Many times it is not easy to make that choice. A lot of stuff happens in life which is challenging to deal with. But we always have that choice.
One quote that gives Alan comfort is - ‘This too shall pass.’ Our moods are important too. When we are in a bad mood we are going to react to things more than if we are in a good mood.
I was talking to a client who hadn’t slept well because she was traveling. And I said to her ‘be gentle with yourself.’ I know that if you haven’t slept the quality of your thoughts are going to be poor. Sometimes you have to ride that wave and be gentle with yourself until that negativity passes.
It takes high self-awareness to be able to recognize that. Many times people identify with their thoughts but really we are separate from our thoughts. We can often see in a friend when they are in a bad mood and give them space. It’s harder to do that with ourselves.
You say something in your books something which I love - ‘self-awareness is one of the highest predictors of performance and the least utilized criteria.’ It is not being taught, it is something we have to seek out on our own, which is something high performers tend to do.
People who are not self-aware, don't know that they are not self-aware. Self-awareness can be looked at different levels. At a surface level, it’s just about knowing who you are, what you stand for and what your goals are. It is also having the courage to look at the darker stuff -what are you scared of, what are your insecurities, what are the things that give you the most shame and guilt. This can be uncomfortable but is crucial to get the full overview of who you are as a human being.
It is important that the way you see yourself is in alignment with the way the rest of the world sees you. This is not about pandering to other people but that you see yourself accurately. An example would be if someone asked you if you were a good listener and you said yes but then they asked 5 friends and they all said no. That would be a lack of self-awareness.
The last level is being able to look at your emotions and understand why you’re feeling that way. When you get frustrated in traffic because someone cut you off, there’s a deeper reason as to why you’re frustrated.
I love how you talk about the unseen hours. With social media, we see so much outward success but we don’t see the unseen hours. What have you seen or observed or practiced yourself in the unseen hours?
Most of what we do is in the unseen hours. When you’re working on your self-awareness, that’s unseen hours. When an athlete is in a gym practicing a move over and over again, that’s unseen hours. The relationship you have with your significant other is heavily predicated on the inside work you do to be the best version of yourself during the unseen hours. Most hours are unseen but they are the ones that dictate how well we do when we are seen.
Sometimes we try to cut corners as we live in a fast-paced world and want everything now. I think it’s actually slowing us down in terms of our performance.
Mastery takes time and it takes a lot of reps. Social media can be great but it encourages us to play the comparison game. We have plenty of opportunities in the unseen hours to get better at anything we put our mind to. We have to be willing to put in the work. If you can find alignment between what you love and what you’re good at then it doesn't always seem like work.
If you don’t have that passion it can be really difficult to put in the work. You are likely to just quit.
Absolutely. That is why you have to find that alignment. Find what you love, find what you’re good at and then find the place where those two things overlap.
I’m curious about your journey. You were in youth sports and coaching for 20 years but you recently made a pivot.
Alan’s passion in the youth sports arena was starting to wane so he decided to make a change. In teaching and coaching, you have to be all in. He decided to make a pivot into the corporate space as a speaker and author. He now has a passion back for what he is doing. The things that you love and what you’re good at will change over time.
Some people might be feeling like they need a change but don’t know what the new thing is. What was your process for going through that? Was it an ‘a ha’ moment or were there lots of little moments which added up to the new direction?
For Alan, it was both. A few years ago he was in Germany speaking at a basketball conference and he realized that it wasn’t exciting him as much as it should. Then a friend asked him to give a keynote at a corporate retreat after somebody had dropped out at the last minute. He was asked to give a speech on leadership and when he stepped offstage he felt alive and invigorated. He knew it was what he wanted to start pursuing. If you don’t know what you want to do, it is worth considering what you would do if you could take a month off from work. What would you do with your time? Whatever it is you would be doing is probably close to what you should be doing.
So I’m curious about the difference between the talk in Germany and the talk at the corporate retreat. Was it the audience? Was it the content?
It was both. He realized that a good portion of his time in the basketball space was filled with 15-18-year-old teenage boys. They are very narrow in what they like to talk about. It’s mostly basketball and girls. In the corporate space, Andy is around peers who are teaching him as much as he is teaching them. This has invigorated him. The content that people want from him has also changed. As a coach, people wanted to know how to run faster and jump higher, but Andy has always been interested in leadership, teamwork and building a winning culture.
So, how do you jump higher?
One. Strengthen the major muscles in your body. It’s not just the legs that are needed for jumping. You need core strength and even the upper body is involved by providing momentum. If you can produce more force against the ground, it will propel you higher.
Two. Practice jumping. Practice the skill. And practice it in the way you want to use it
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Find what you love. Find what you’re good at and find where those two things intersect.
From a coaching standpoint: Every coach should look in the mirror every morning and say ‘it’s not about me, it’s about them’.
Tell us how we can get in touch with you
Christine Egan is a health and wellness expert. Catherine Egan is a breast cancer survivor. Despite her background in health and wellness, breast cancer woke her up to figuring out what being healthy actually means for her. Now she brings this idea to other women. In this episode, she talks about when working in the marketing division at McDonald's was her dream job, how cancer changed her mindset and running a marathon a year after her cancer diagnosis.
Do you feel like you’re a resilient person?
Christine has never really thought of herself that way. She wants to be thought of as someone who beats to her own drum. She wants her actions are aligned to who she is.
Does that come naturally to you, or do you have to work at it?
She works at it. 2 of her 3 children were born at home. Learning how to have a baby at home rather than in a hospital set her on a different path. She learned everything she could so that she could make an informed decision. When she had her first child she decided she wanted a home birth with a midwife. She started exploring what it meant to have a home birth and what she was and wasn’t willing to do.
Were you into health back then?
She used to work for the McDonald’s corporation in their marketing division. She loved that job and at the time it wasn’t out of alignment with who she was. It was a dream job and she loved it. She did it for 5 years. Then there came a point in her life where she needed a change. She moved from the Midwest back to Long Island and that was when she started to move into the health and wellness space. She became a licensed massage therapist, a certified homebirth instructor and a certified health coach. She now has over 25 years of being in the health and wellness field.
Did you eat McDonald’s when you worked there?
Of course, she did. Part of her job was to go through the drive-through and rate the quality of the service and the food. She wasn’t a big fast food eater but it wasn’t a disconnect for her.
How do you see it now, as a health professional?
It makes her sad now, knowing how inexpensive that food can be. For some people, that’s the only food they can afford and it is so easily available. It takes more of an effort to eat a healthy meal when fast food is so easily accessible. For her and her kids, it is just not part of her lives. It makes her sad to think of people drinking soda on a daily basis or having fast food as a regular part of their diet.
What does your personal diet look like now?
As a family, they eat mostly plants and fruits and use meat as a condiment. They don’t eat meat as a meal or as a major part of their meal. If they do eat meat she knows what farm it comes from. They don’t eat anything from a box.
I’m so blown away by this information I’m learning about you about McDonald's. And how big of a contrast it is. I think we can all have those experiences where early on we are doing something and then we completely outgrow it.
She did what she was supposed to be doing. She graduated and got a great job that took her to New York and then the Midwest and she was happy doing it. Until she wasn’t. This gave her an opportunity to change the direction she was in.
Was there a specific point that was a turning point for you?
No. It was just that opportunities allowed her to leave the midwest and move to Long Island and things came out of that. But there wasn’t a lightbulb moment for her.
How old were you when you got breast cancer?
How long were you on health journey prior to that?
And what was that moment like, when you found out you had cancer?
She had a private health coaching business at that point, helping women in her community get healthier for themselves so they could get healthier for their families. She had information about cancer with her in case the women she was working with needed it, but she didn’t ever expect to be the one who needed it. He dog Zoe was what alerted her to the lump in her breast. She was lying down and her dog clawed at her breast. Alarms went off in her head that said pay attention to what she is doing. She found a lump. She didn’t immediately think it was cancer. She got a mammogram and it was clear. She had pushed to get both a mammogram and a sonogram. The sonogram showed the lump and it became clear she had cancer. She interviewed 9 surgeons to decide which she wanted to go with. She decided to go with surgery to take the lump out.
Stress levels. When she was undergoing treatment it she needed to rest to let her body do what it needed to do to get well. This meant saying yes to the things that were really important and no to the things that weren’t. It became really clear to her what was important. Spending time with her family was the most important thing. Which meant watching movies together or making meals together. And not rushing out to karate lessons or dance lessons. Being together as a family, resting and doing simple things together became the priority.
Do you feel you made any decisions about how you would live differently?
She doesn’t stress as much about her kids. Homeschooling her 3 kids was stressful. Were they doing the right thing? Were their kids socializing enough? Christine realized that there comes a moment where you just have to accept the decision that you made and be okay with what happens. And if things change you will figure out what should be done differently. She had this attitude to cancer too.
So you ran a half marathon after 33 radiation treatments. And a full marathon to celebrate your remission. Incredible.
She ran half marathons prior to being diagnosed and kept running during treatment after reading about the importance of exercise during treatment. She wasn’t trying to break PR’s but if she felt good enough, she went for a run.
She had a sign in her house that said: “What would you do if you could not fail?” Her answer to that was always run a marathon. After going through cancer treatment she decided to do a marathon and one year after she was diagnosed she ran the Disney Marathon.
Do you see certain patterns in mental and emotional strength to get through difficult times?
Cancer showed her the urgency to do the things you want to do and stop putting them off. Because there is never going to be a perfect time.
It’s easy to put things off. It’s easy to get caught up in life without pausing to say ‘What is it that I want’ and giving ourselves permission to do what we want right now.
That was the wakeup call of cancer for Christine. She now teaches workshops with people who have finished cancer treatments and she tells them that they can recreate a life for themselves and how do they want that to look. For many people that is so scary. It’s really hard for women to figure out what will bring them joy. Some women will figure out what will make them happy do it for a few weeks and then stop. They will come up with reasons and excuses – my family needed me, I needed to put in more time at work. The whole idea of figuring out the things that bring you joy is that you do those first so that you are a better wife, mother, friend or worker. Those things have to be done first so that you can then do those other things. Sometimes people don’t see the benefits right away and think it’s not working. But it’s like a bank account. We have to give it time to build up and then you get the benefits. When you stop doing those things, you can get a little bit crabbier, you are short with your kids or husband. You start feeling the differences when you let those things go.
I see that with my meditation and yoga practice. I’m much more patient as a mother and a wife. I’m more tuned into my work. People will start doing something that brings them joy, they start to feel good and then they stop. And we need to understand that it’s a cumulative effect
It starts with baby steps. What bite-sized pieces are you willing to do today. When she works with women she gets them to come up with a buffet line of things they know they want to do in the day that makes them feel healthy. If these are the things that make you healthy, what are you willing to do - to do those things? It’s a buffet line because you can pull different things on different days.
My spiritual practice doesn’t look the same every day. Sometimes I need different things. Today I did an at home yoga practice, I don’t always do that.
What made you sign up for this extraordinary event the Everest 29029?
It’s a crazy event that Jesse Itzler puts on where he rents out Stratton Mountain in Vermont. You climb Stratton Mountain 17 times to equal the height of Everest, but you only have 36 hours to do it. She wasn’t expecting it to be as difficult or the terrain so steep. It was gruelingly steep. It was snowing and raining. She was shin deep in mud. She had trained hard with her husband and was using the event to It was a way of celebrating her 50th Birthday and bring cancer free for 8 years.
What was the inner game like for you?
They had trained for it and had a gameplan for how the event would go. They knew how long they had for each ascent and still be able to sleep. The event started at 6 am. Once they had done the 3rd summit and came back down, Christine broke down and cried. She had expected to feel tired by the 10th summit and not the 3rd. She had to make a decision about what it was going to take to get up the mountain. She decided she was going to stop at every aid station and talk to the volunteers. She was going to tell everyone it was her 50th birthday. She was going to make it fun. She decided that for the really steep section she was going to put her headphones in and listen to podcasts. They hiked for 19 hours straight. They wanted 10 summits by midnight and they reached 9 which felt close enough to their goal. In the end, they managed 11 summits which are the height of Kilimanjaro.
What is the lesson that you learned?
That it’s not all or nothing. Even though she hadn’t reached her goal she still achieved. It was something really cool thing that she wanted to do. She now intends to do the event again.
Did you feel high afterward?
She was happy with what she did. She hiked for 18 hours straight and was really proud of that.
Why redefining healthy? Where did that come from?
Redefining healthy was all about helping women post-cancer. She is teaching people how to tap into what is it that makes you feel healthy. Christine was able to feel healthy even though she had cancer. She needed to redefine what healthy meant.
Do you feel like that’s your purpose?
She feels like working with women post-cancer is an important part of her life’s mission.
Do you find that people can go on the way or the other? That after cancer they can either be more confined or more willing?
People run the gamut. She doesn’t take it personally and just shares her knowledge and research. Some women are ready to do the hard work and some aren’t and that’s okay.
What’s an action step or piece of advice you might have for how to take charge of your health?
Drink more water. It’s as simple as that. And eat more fruits and vegetables and less processed foods. There’s no one specific diet that helps cancer. We don’t need to complicate it. We just need to eat more fruit and veg. Do more of the things which light you up and less of the things that don’t.
The stories we tell ourselves are important and we can choose what those stories are. Christine experienced this with both cancer and Everest 29019. She could have told herself negative stories about what was happening, but she chose not to.
Were you always like that or did cancer change your attitude?
It was cancer. Or more specifically it was the blood clot after she survived cancer which she thought was going to kill her.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Do your best and forget the rest
Tell us how we can get in touch with you
Her Website: www.redefining-healthy.com
The Healthy Girl's Guide to Breast Cancer by Christine Egan
Living with the Monks: What Turning Off My Phone Taught Me about Happiness, Gratitude, and Focus by Jesse Itzler
Living with a SEAL: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet by Jesse Itzler
Elicia created the Core Emotional Healing® process as the culmination of 10 years of intensive training, personal healing, and empathic intuitive gifts. Based on her personal and professional experience, she developed a guided step-by-step process to address the emotional root cause of symptoms and suffering.
Elicia provides insightful, direct, compassionate guidance to inspire and support others to be responsible for how they feel, ask for what they want, and to set healthy boundaries. She helps others feel safe and supported so they are empowered to freely express their true selves.
She is the author of the ebook Detox 101 and coauthor of the books, One Crazy Broccoli and What’s Left to Eat. Her new book, Your Symptoms Are A Gift, to be released in 2019, is an inspirational guide to help readers realize the emotional connection to their symptoms. The book details the Core Emotional Healing® process to help anyone heal from physical, emotional, and relationship challenges.
Along with her husband, Psychologist Doug Miller, PhD, Elicia offers Core Emotional Experiential Therapy Private Healing Immersion for individuals and couples in Costa Rica.
Tell us about the work that you do and how you started on that journey.
Elicia grew up with a rageaholic father who controlled all of the emotions in the household. Elicia knew what was happening was wrong but when she would try to stand up to him, she would be shamed by her mother for doing so. Elicia coped by numbing herself through drinking, drugs, and sex. She had a lifetime of repression and shaming of her emotions.
When she was 38 she had been healing herself for 8 years using every healing modality she could find. She realized that the pain she had been feeling was connected to her childhood. She knew she needed to take care of her emotional needs from the past and the present. And then everything went away. Her addictions, eating disorders and relationship patterns. She found a deeper connection to herself to take care of herself on an emotional level.
There were several years where you were struggling with addiction. It sounds like there was a point where you shifted from drugs and drinking to detoxing and spirituality. When did that shift happen?
Elicia left an abusive marriage after 3 months when she was 30. That was when she decided to stop living an unconscious life. She asked herself - ‘what made her choose him?’ An experiential therapy course helped wake her up. She realized she could take care of herself and make decisions for herself. She didn’t need somebody else to do that. She started taking lots of courses and connected with helping people in that way. She left her corporate sales job and became a journaling coordinator. She started creating after telling herself she wasn’t creative all her life. She started to feel real happiness. From this deeper connection within herself, she stopped partying and going out. It didn’t stay that way though, things came up which threw her back into her old coping ways.
You mentioned that you had all these symptoms in your life but were then able to get to the root cause. How do people access the root cause in their lives?
It’s not just healing and going back and feeling these repressed emotions. It also working from your experience. What did you believe about yourself? What did you do to protect these wounds and feel love? We live from this false sense of self that formed from the core wounds. Addressing the core wounds can help shift everything but we need to be aware of what we really need and what we do to get our needs met. But some of the ways we get these needs met are preventing us from living life fully.
Let’s use the example of your story. You had a dominant, controlling father and knew this from a young age. Often we can see that somebody mistreated us but what is the actual wound?
There are many wounds. We struggle with the emotional disconnection from our vulnerable self. We don’t process our feelings and take care of them. The disconnect is what causes the problem. We have to reconnect to the vulnerable part of ourselves. Elicia calls this our wounded inner child.
If somebody is listening to this and wondering about their wounded child is, what’s a question they could start with?
The wounded inner child is a part of ourselves that we all carry. It is the wounds we are trying to compensate for. It is the part of ourselves that doesn’t feel good enough or needs to be right or always feels sad. It gets triggered. Or wants to find a way to feel better instead of feeling what it is feeling. The wounded inner child is the part of you that needs you to go into these feelings and take care of them. It is underneath all of the adaptations we form to cope with the world. Things like people pleasing or perfectionism.
Is there a specific question that can help access the hurt or the wound?
Triggers can be a way into the wounded inner child. How do I feel? When did I first feel that way? A trigger is when you feel disproportionately angry or sad or you withdraw from what just happened. Ask yourself - ‘When did I feel that way as a child?’
What’s your relationship with your dad like now?
Elicia has managed to heal her relationship with her father. It took until she was 38 and she had to stop talking to him completely. After her father divorced her mother he went to therapy and did a lot of healing himself. He has become a more loving and supportive person. Elicia has also worked out what she needs and where she can get it from, so she is no longer looking to her father to give her that.
Can you tell me a bit more about experiential therapy?
Experiential therapy is more of an active process than talk therapy. It uses other people to act out roles and situations. Someone might act as a parent and this helps draw the true feelings out of you. It can help bypass our defenses. Elicia and her husband developed a process called Core Emotional Experiential Therapy which uses over 100 objects to work someone through this process. They use the objects to lay out relationships which can bypass defenses and bring out the subconscious.
Sometimes we can get caught up on this never-ending ‘fix-it’ mentality. Do you think this could be another part of the wounded child?
There are a few things that could be going on. Never feeling good enough comes from toxic shame and can drive people to continuously want to improve themselves. Reading self-help books can be a way of bypassing what is really needed which is emotional healing. Books can support the process, but focusing on them can be about bypassing the emotions.
There are a lot of layers to this.
The process is about reconnecting to your emotions and wounds, and then learning how to take care of yourself. Then when you do that you can handle more things. Then more things come up but you know how to work with them on an ongoing basis.
What does it really mean to be self-aware?
You are the observer of yourself. You notice when you are in a pattern. You notice when you don’t feel good. You notice that something keeps happening. To be self-aware is to continue to seek help when you are in some kind of pattern or are triggered by something. The more we heal our emotional wounds the more we integrate our true self. From that place, we are really able to be our true selves.
It’s funny how we think we can know ourselves. We think ‘I am not a creative person’ and then realize that we are that way. It’s a huge shift in identity.
Elicia used to say that she wasn’t a writer. This comes from wounding. Now she writes all the time. But as a child what she had to say was dismissed, especially by her mother. Her true and authentic voice got blocked. And the protection of that was to say - ‘I’m not a good writer.’ Once she healed herself she was able to write and connect to her creative authentic voice.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Just keep writing.
Do you feel that because you have done so much work, the depth of beauty, joy, and peace has expanded?
Absolutely. When she had really connected and healed with her inner child, Elicia started singing and making up songs. That is a part of her natural expression which came out as a joyful playfulness.
Tell me how we can get in touch with you.
Healing The Child Within: Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families by Charles L. Whitfield M.D.
The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You by Karla McLaren
There is a story about a little boy who was playing outdoors and he found a caterpillar. Then he saw the caterpillar climb up the tree and act strangely and his mother explained that the butterfly was forming a cocoon.
The little boy watched it every day waiting for the butterfly to emerge. And one day it happened a small hole appeared in the cocoon and the Butterfly started to struggle to come out.
At first, the boy was really excited but then he became concerned because the butterfly was struggling so hard to get out and it looked like he couldn't break free. It looked desperate. So the boy was concerned and he wanted to help. So he ran to get scissors and he snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger and the Butterfly quickly emerged.
But when the butterfly came out the boy was surprised the body was small and the wings were shriveled. And he continued to watch the butterfly expecting that at any moment the wings would dry out enlarge and expand to support the swollen body.
But that didn't happen.
The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It was never able to fly.
And the boy tried to figure out what had gone wrong.
He went to a local college to see a scientist and he learned that the butterfly was supposed to struggle. In fact, the butterfly struggled to push its way through the tiny opening of the cocoon pushes the fluid out of its body and into its wings without the struggle. The butterfly would never ever fly.
So as you go through life keep in mind that struggling is an important part of any growth because it allows you to develop your wings.
In 2009 Tara Newman and her husband declared bankruptcy. The business Tara’s husband had started had failed. In this episode, Tara tells her powerful story.
Tara now has a business of her own. She is a high-performance leadership coach. After years in the corporate world supporting leaders and high performers, she created a thriving business, coaching high-achieving clients. In this episode, she talks about getting through the bankruptcy, starting her own business and how a high achiever becomes a high performer.
I know that you had many experiences, including overcoming bankruptcy and starting your own business. How did that all come about? How did you fall down and pick yourself up?
In 2005, Tara’s husband decided to start a manufacturing business. It came with significant start-up costs to purchase machinery, materials and build out a manufacturing space.
What kind of business?
Her husband manufactured rotationally molded plastic parts which include things like mannequins and rock climbing holds. Initially, he had success but then the 2008 financial crisis happened and people started sending this kind of work to China. They lost two of their biggest customers. Then in 2009, the bank called in their line of credit. They were given 30 days to repay $100000. Tara’s dad was the 3rd partner in the business and he had put up his commercial property as collateral. They were also getting foreclosure notices on their house.
How were you feeling?
Terrified. Shut down. Catatonic. But she was also grateful for what they were going through because she knew it was going to be the greatest lesson of their life if they survived.
Was there an ‘if you survived’?
Tara felt stuck but she didn’t feel hopeless. She knew there was something on the other side of this.
Tell me about the lowest moment.
It was all low. And then there were moments of hope. The book The Secret had just come out and Tara’s mum told her to read it. She read it and it was the right book for her to read at the time. It helped her frame things more positively. It helped her seek solutions from a positive perspective. She started journaling and they had garage sales every weekend to help pay for groceries.
Getting the foreclosure notices was a moment. She didn’t know how to process everything. She had never felt anything so catastrophic in her life.
What was the turning point?
The turning point when the bank called in the note. They were only keeping that business open to meet that financial obligation to the bank. They had the thought that once they had paid back the credit to the bank they could quit the business. After the note was called in Tara’s Dad liquidated some assets to pay it. When Tara and her husband realized that they couldn’t close the business, pay back her Dad and pay the credit card debt they had, they decided to declare bankruptcy.
Tara is a fighter and she decided that this wasn’t going to define her. Even though when they declared bankruptcy, it felt like a death sentence. Tara had been wanted to start her own business and it no longer felt like that could happen.
When did you declare bankruptcy?
In 2010 they declared bankruptcy. So they are in year 9 of an 11-year term.
In 2010 you declared bankruptcy. For the next year, what did that look like?
There is not a lot of information available on how to overcome bankruptcy. Tara’s husband closed the business and was able to liquidate some of the machines and leftover material. He wasn’t in the right state to get a job. So he used some of that money to buy a trailer and do handyman services for a year while he wrapped up the business and figured out what to do next. He felt like a colossal failure and needed a lot of coaching and support to be able to out there and get a job. With Tara’s support, he was able to find a well-paying job.
Over this time they learned so much about money - how to save and leverage their money. They became minimalists and learned that they didn’t need much. Each time they had a garage sale they had to dig a little deeper to find more stuff that they could get rid of
What were you thinking? What was a thought that was going through your mind?
When you go through something so traumatic, the ability to think and feel shuts down. The way you take in information changes. Tara could be in in the line with a cart full of groceries and two babies as her card is being declined.
What’s going through your mind though? Is it ‘I don’t want to be doing this anymore’?
When Tara’s husband was doing the home improvement work, things weren’t much better. And she told him she was done. He needed to go and get a job because she wasn’t losing the house.
And how did you come back?
For the most part, when they were going through this they were terrible communicators. They didn’t want to voice the reality of the situation and talk about being afraid. Once they started talking about it, the stress started to decrease. Having kids helped because they wanted to give them some sense of normalcy. Tara journaled a lot as a way of communicating with herself
What was your first step to working again?
Tara had been working full time throughout this time, even while helping her husband on the business.
What was one of the biggest lessons you learned?
You can live on a lot less than you think you need. They didn’t realize how little they needed to live on and to thrive.
After declaring bankruptcy, her husbands way back to himself was ironman triathlons. He would train 20 hours a week and threw himself into redefining himself and his success. In 2014 he raced Ironman Lake Placid and stood in the finishing circle. Tara looked at him and felt like she was in the shadow of his success. That’s when she decided she was going to start a business. In August 2015 she left her corporate job. She had started her business and it was doing ok. There was enough to indicate that she’d be able to support herself and bring in money.
Were you scared?
She wasn’t scared because she’d spent 9 months building her business while working full-time. She knew that she had started to build something and that the worst that could happen was that she would have to go back to work. She wanted to put away some money because the first year of business was going to have a lot of ups and downs. Her husband declared they were going to go on austerity and spend nothing. Tara knew she couldn’t go back there and that wasn’t going to work for her. She decided they were going to work on what they needed to thrive. She wrote a whole page of things in her journal. And was shocked to realize that none of them cost money.
What was in there?
To have a cozy blanket to sit on the couch with
Intimate time with her husband
Time spent with her kids
Hugging her kids and telling them how important they are to her
Time to read
That list became the basis on how they spent their time, their money and their energy. It allowed them to save a tonne of money. If something wasn’t on their thrive list they didn’t spend money on it and if it was, they did.
I love this idea of what do I need to thrive.
There some things on the list that were silly. Tara knew she wanted a manicure once a week. That made her feel good about herself. It became a touchpoint for herself. She would look at her nails and think where is your mind at if you can’t spend $20 and 45 minutes to get your nails done.
So what happened? Did you start to feel like you were thriving?
Tara really did. She’s been wanting to leave her job for 10 years but the moment when you get the thing you dreamed about, it can be tricky. She had a few moments. She had the thing that she wanted and now she couldn’t lose the thing. In her worst moments, she knew that she just needed to go back to that list of things and she would be alright.
Tara reflects on the failure of her husbands business and realizes that it was not the fault of the economy. They were in survival mode and couldn’t bring themselves to take the actions they should have taken. They could have hired coaches, employed more people or invested in sales training.
Do you think to have a catastrophic failure gave you confidence and showed you how resilient you are?
Absolutely. The worst thing that can happen to her business is that she goes bankrupt. And she’s been there.
Don’t you think that the fear of the worst that can happen stops a lot of people?
But you’ve seen it so nothing can stop you because you got through that.
Sometimes we can’t formulate beliefs because we don’t have proof. Tara has found it useful to borrow someone else’s proof. That’s why she shares her bankruptcy story. So that other people can borrow it.
You work with a lot of high performers and achievers. Do you think they take it harder?
When you are a high performer or achiever you face more fear than the average person because you are leaning into your growth edge. You are taking on challenges that most people won’t.
I told one of my clients that she was a high performer because she was being really hard on herself and she was achieving. It was the first time that she had heard that identification for herself. Often high performers look at where they’re lacking because they want to achieve even more.
When Tara worked for a corporate company she was running the performance management function. She created the way they measured performance and helped people evaluate and improve their performance. Every employer who was labeled as high potential would rate themselves harder than anyone else. People who were low potential had an inflated sense of their own performance.
How do you inspire bold leadership for high performers?
Most high performers who think of themselves as high performers are high achievers.
Can you share the difference between a high performer and a high achiever?
Tara thinks that being a high performer or a high achiever are both great things to be. But if you can turn a high achiever into a high performer it makes them even better. High achievers are really hard on themselves, try to control the outcome, set really big goals for themselves and don’t chunk things together. They achieve a lot of amazing stuff but struggle to find their wins and burn the candle at both ends in their pursuit of achievement. High performers know that you can’t burn the candle at both ends and that there is an equation to growth. Stress + Rest = Growth. They are as serious about their recovery as they are about their work.
Sometimes I dance between a high achiever and a high performer. When I’m a high performer, I perform better. When I’m in high achiever mode, I’m typically stressed and unhappy and I know I need to shift. So you can oscillate between the two?
Having an awareness of where you are on the spectrum can help you achieve with greater ease. High performers close the majority of their tabs. They know how to focus and have an appreciation for deep work. High achievers spin out quickly and get distracted. It doesn’t mean they aren’t achieving things. But do all those little achievements add up to the thing you want the most? High performers are incredibly discerning. They will slow down before they speed up. Society wants you to be a high achiever. That’s how we’ve been conditioned. It takes a lot to go against that conditioning and do the deep work on yourself to be a high performer. You have to be really bold, have strong beliefs, strong boundaries and have some unwavering and unapologetic ways about you. And you’re going to piss people off. Not everybody is going to like you or agree with you and that requires you to be bold.
How do you think people can shift into a high-performance mindset? What’s a really practical way people can get into the mindset of a high performer?
Tara likes looking at results. Everything is a result but it may not be the result you want. Was the result you got worth that time and effort? It’s important to be really intentional around your actions.
I have recently shifted from achiever to performer. I put a hard stop to social media. Deleted Facebook, stopped scrolling and now there are no more comparisons. I felt like I was losing time and the result was I was beating myself up about what I wasn’t doing compared to other people. If you’d have told me this in achiever mode I’d have known I should quit social media but said I’m not going to do that right now.
Another thing you should be monitoring are your ‘yeah, buts’. Because it’s a sure sign of resistance.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
“The secret is I care but not that much.”
Tell us how we can get in touch with you
Bold Leadership Podcast: https://www.taranewmancoaching.com/podcast
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
Rachel Wright is a marriage counselor and licensed psychotherapist. She is recognized as one of the freshest voices on modern and millennial relationships. Referred to as “bridging the gap between a self-help book and a therapist’s couch, she is one half of Wright Wellness Center, where together with her husband Kyle, they are helping people have better sex, relationships, and mental health. They’ve created a healthy, communicative, and passionate relationship by using the very same techniques they teach — Everything we have developed is research-based. She has been featured widely in the media including Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, PsychologyToday, and dozens of other outlets.
How did you and Kyle meet?
They were both working in restaurants. Rachel had just completed her master's degree and needed a part-time job. She started working at a brand new restaurant as a server and Kyle was part of the training team. Immediately they hated each other. They would frequently argue and she thought he was an arsehole. After the training Ryan would stay in touch by contacting her on Jewish holidays. A year later Rachel joined Kyle and the training team to open the companies 4th restaurant. And they could now stop talking. They connected deeply and realized they had both found their person.
Can you give me a little snapshot of the timeline?
Met and hated each other. A year later reconnected and kissed. 3 weeks later Ryan told her that he loved her. 6 months later they moved in with each other. They were engaged after 2 years and married after 16 months. They have now been married for 2.5 years.
How’s it going?
Phenomenally. People think just have a great relationship that they don’t work on. But after both of them saw their parent’s go for divorce they knew they had to put in the work if they wanted a relationship to last a long time
I had love at first sight with my husband.
What was that like?
We were on a blind date set up by one of his friends. We met at a wine bar and when he walked in there was an energy about him. He was so sweet and I just got that immediately. I hadn’t felt like that before, it was so easy. For me, I felt like I could really be with this person. I kinda just knew. I know that sounds weird but that was my experience.
We all have these judgments around things in our lives, especially when our friends experience things very differently. It strikes us as weird.
And it’s natural to have some uncertainty, right?
A lot of times the uncertainty is about us more so than the other person. For Rachel, she had a lot of uncertainty when she first met Ryan. But what she didn’t consider was the ability for people to change. When she saw him a year later he was not the same person.
So how did you go from training in a restaurant together to having your own relationship company together?
After she completed her Masters, she continued her psychotherapy training by getting her 3000 hours for her license and started her own practice. She had been working towards this for so long and it was amazing. For about 3 months. Her focus was on couples and sex therapy. People would come in with the same issues. Body image, anxiety, their upbringing around sex and communication issues. Couples would come in calling each other names and were not able to decide what they wanted for dinner without arguing. Kyle was still working in restaurants and had worked his way up to a fancy restaurant in San Fransico as the Head Bartender. Rachel found she wasn’t actually doing any therapy and healing people. She was teaching them how to communicate with each other. Although she enjoyed doing that work, it wasn’t what she went to school for. Kyle thought she should create an informational package about how to talk to your partner. As she worked on it Rachel realized that Kyle had an ability to take her technical knowledge and put it into layman's terms.
She sent the packet out to prospective clients and then realized that her clients stopped coming in. They no longer needed to come in for therapy. The law in California was so strict that she wasn’t able to sell the packet. They decided to create something online to provide this information to people. They realized there is nothing between self-help books and going to therapy. Rachel knew that Ryan was an important part of this idea because he could take the complicated things Rachel explained in a way people understood. Rachel wanted to go into business with Ryan but he was reluctant because he had these narratives about how he was in restaurants and hadn’t been good at school. In 2015, they started their business. They weren’t even married yet.
I love how organic it was.
They had the business idea long before they thought about starting a business. Rachel didn’t even see her private practice as a business.
When did you shift into that business mentality? I know that can be difficult for some service practitioners.
She will approach things as a clinician and not as an entrepreneur. She will look at the decision from the point of view as both a clinician and as a business person. She thinks there should be more business training in therapist training.
Does Kyle have a degree or certification?
Rachel jokes that he has an honorary degree because he now has enough knowledge to pass the licensing exam. Fiends and family wonder what Kyle does in the business because he doesn’t have that piece of paper.
We all learn differently and it’s important to respect that.
When Kyle is passionate about something he learns it quickly. But at school, he didn’t want to study things that didn’t mean anything to him. When they started the business, Kyle definitely felt some imposter syndrome.
When did you start therapy? What was the reason?
Rachel started therapy when she was 14 after her mum read her diary. She thought Rachel was hiding things and after reading the diary discovered that Rachel had smoke marijuana and slept with her boyfriend. Rachel was sent to therapy. She was pissed. However, after her first session in therapy, she knew she wanted to be a therapist.
What about it had you feeling that way?
She had never felt more seen, heard and understood. Her therapist matched her cursing and agreed that the way she ended up at therapy was not right. She helped Rachel understand her parent’s motivation and that they cared.
So what happened?
She left and told her parents that she had done nothing wrong but would keep going because she really liked it. She saw her therapist throughout high school and on and off during college. And now they are colleagues.
How long were you in therapy for?
Weekly, for about 3 years.
What was the biggest thing you got out of that experience?
She learned that she was a people pleaser and that if she ever wanted to have a healthy relationship with both herself and a partner, she was going to have to navigate anger and conflict.
It such a big part of the human experience. We’re going to experience conflict if we’re going to express ourselves. How to manage that skilfully is so important and we are often not taught how to do that. We reap so many rewards when we work through conflict.
One of the biggest misconceptions around conflict is that it’s bad. In relationships, whether it’s friends family or lovers, conflict is what helps us grow and get closer. If we don’t have conflict, that means that we don’t care because we’re not speaking our truth. We don’t get taught how to communicate and handle conflict but we also don’t get taught how to identify our feelings.
How would you recommend someone who is experiencing conflict, in any relationship, be it intimate, at work, with family members, navigate the situation?
Conflict is often due to different beliefs, values, opinions, and priorities. We need to listen to understand instead of listening to respond. In our culture, we are trained to listen to respond because if we don’t respond immediately we can be mocked for it.
We’re not taught how to listen.
Listening is half of communication. Relationship researchers John and Julie Gottman have this term ‘share meaning’. Which means do you share the meaning your partner assigns to things. Do you share the same meaning about what a home means, what money means, what communication means? We have to get on the same page about what things mean in our lives.
I heard John Walker speak at his Launch Con, a few years ago. And he said - “All problems boil down to a problem in communication.” What do you think?
She agrees that most problems come down to communication and that we’re all afraid to ask for what we need. When Rachel was a teenager, her people-pleasing came from a fear of asking for what she needed because she didn’t want to be judged and she didn’t want to cause anybody discomfort. We have to ask for what we need because nobody is a mindreader.
What is a practical strategy that you use for communication?
Rachel and Kyle have scripts that they give out for different situations. You pick out a feeling and put it into a script. The scripts all follow the same process which is based on the acronym AEO which stands for Acknowledge, Explain, Offer.
Acknowledge means just acknowledging what’s going on and bringing words to the elephant in the room.
Explain is an I statement. We have to explain how we’re feeling and why. “I get angry when you don’t wash the dishes after you eat.”
Offer is what is your proposed solution to this. “Hey, I know that last time we talked about this it kinda got out of hand. I don’t want that to happen this time. I feel angry when you don’t wash your dishes after you eat lunch. What I would like for you to do is either wash them or just soak them and leave them in the sink. How does that feel to you?”
We’re often not taught these ways of communicating. It really takes mindful attention and practice. Sometimes we might be sloppy and come out with an accusation because we haven’t practiced this.
It’s a muscle. This is where self-compassion comes in. We’re going to make mistakes and you can’t shame yourself for things you don’t know. It’s important to try this when you’re not in a reactive state. You can practice with things that are silly to get used to the flow of the formula.
What is the question that you ask yourself often?
How do I want to feel?
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Follow what makes you feel good.
If you can replace should with want, it’s a game changer.
Where can we get in touch with you:
The Gottman Institute
Amy E. Smith spent years finding her voice — Buried under other people’s thoughts and opinions and notions about who she should and shouldn’t be. She was motivated by two primary things: Guilt and Fear. Can you relate? Fear of not fitting in, of rocking the boat, of speaking her truth and losing relationships. And Guilt around following her intuition.. but not anymore - she learned how to stand up for herself! It’s time to stop caring so much about what everyone else thinks! Now she helps people radically shift people-pleasing behavior and find your voice. She is a confidence coach and self-love expert. She helps people access self-worth so they can live joyful lives. In this episode, we talk about the many facets of people pleasing, how she worked on her relationship with her mother — and went from feeling angry to communicating her needs with kindness.
In this episode, Amy Smith starts by discussing why people pleasing tends to be a female quality. Looking at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, one basic human need is a sense of belonging. Back in the day, that meant belonging to a tribe. Nowadays, subconsciously our instincts are to make people like us. Most people love the people pleasing versions of us because that means they are getting their way. Then, Amy reveals details about her relationship with her parents and why her mother felt she had failed as a parent. She learned that her mom’s truth did not need to be her truth.
Making up catastrophized ideas about what something means is what happens when we experience an uncomfortable emotion. One of the biggest things that hold us back is what other people think. Amy says to allow yourself the understanding that you are allowed to be attached to these people, but you are not responsible for these people. It is irrational to think that you will not care what your partner thinks; however, it is not going to be the final say in our decision-making process.
Amy discusses emotional intelligence and the ability to understand our feelings. Most of the time when we feel uncomfortable, we collapse a story. Instead, we should pay attention to these feelings and dig underneath it. Amy has a seven-step process to follow when engaging in uncomfortable conversations. What you have to determine first is if the conversation is not up for negotiation or if the conversation is up for a collaborative effort. Amy reveals the rest of her conversation tips including how to soften your start-up, being quantifiable, and watching the tone.
Nicho Plowman who is the co-owner of Insight Timer the number one free meditation app. It's the most popular meditation app in the world has the largest network of meditators which is 7 million. There's 3000 teachers and 6000 groups. Nico is also the co-founder of Edmund and Amelia, a retreat company and he is a Vedic meditation teacher. He brings an intimate and inspired approach to working with individuals and small groups who are committed to creating lasting positive change and contributing to the greater good. He has over 20 years of experience in both the corporate and startup sectors.
How did you get started with meditation?
Fifteen years ago Nicho started exploring different things. He was in the midst of building a company and he wasn’t living a very healthy lifestyle. He found some peace by going on meditation retreats but when he returned to his busy life he found it difficult to continue with it. 7 years ago he learned Vedic meditation which is a 20min, twice daily, mantra-based meditation. After 12 months he decided to move out of the industry he was in to teach Vedic meditation.
How did you stumble upon Vedic meditation? There’s so many different types of meditation.
Nicho tried lots of different types of meditation. A friend suggested he try Vedic meditation, so he did. He found that it was the method that resonated with him the most.
A lot of people can resonate with dabbling with meditation but it sounds like you then took a deep dive. Was there a tipping point for you, where it was enough or was it because you were exposed to a type of meditation which really resonated with you?
Nicho wasn’t happy with his life and he feels that the meditation practice was long overdue. Vedic meditation came along at the right time for him. He finds the simplicity and practicality of the practice really attractive. It is doable to find 20mins to practice every day, even if you are busy.
You’re married, you had 2 daughters and you were running a business. To become a meditation teacher is a big change. Where does the money piece fit in?
Nicho sold the business he had been building which gave him a bit of breathing room to transition into teaching. He was able to build up some momentum in teaching quite quickly. He realized that some teachers had difficulty finding students. He realized that there was a place for a platform for meditation teachers and with his brother purchased an app called Insight Timer.
Sometimes we think that when we switch gears, we leave the experience we have had behind, but there can be overlap between our previous experience and who we are now.
When Nicho and his brother bought Insight Timer they had the skills and experience to move very quickly with improving the app and making into what they envisioned. He wanted an easier way for teachers to connect with students and be able to take the step to be a full-time teacher.
When they bought the app they were only 5-10 teacher on there, many of whom were well known. They believed that you didn’t need to have been teaching for a long time to have value in the mediation world. It gives anybody who has something to say, an opportunity to get out there. Then the audience can decide if they get value from it.
Have you ever worried about quality control? Or since there is instant audience feedback, do you not have to worry about that?
They are very mindful of quality. There are over 15000 guided meditations and more waiting to be published. They do quality control over audio quality but the content is rated by their audience.
How do you think you grew so quickly? Was it word of mouth?
They don’t advertise and so it has all been word of mouth. They now have over 7 million mediators. So far it has felt right that all their users have come through word of mouth.
I have a couple of different mediation apps on my phone and Insight Timer is my favorite one because it’s so easy to use.
Nicho does worry that the amount of content and features can complicate the app. They have worked hard to make sure that it is easy to use, despite the amount of features.
What’s your experience with being more deeply involved in meditation as a teacher? How has your experience with your own mind changed? Do you find the quality of your thoughts to be different?
Nicho has noticed how he responds to things change, such as food, friends, family, the content we consume. He notices that when he meditates he releases stress and fatigue. He finds he bounces back from stress easier. As we meditate more our bodies release stress and fatigue which help us deal with stress better.
In a stressful situation, we don’t have to react. We do have some control in that.
Stress is a physical response that can be a survival tool. But sometimes it feels like that fight or flight stress response is there the whole time. Which is an unpleasant place to be. Meditation can allow you to engage in the world in a way which is not overwhelming.
Meditation can be a really useful tool. I know it’s helped me tremendously.
There’s a lot of people experiencing deep pain and it feels like the noise is ramping up in the world. But there is also an increase in meditation apps, meditation spaces and yoga studios. Something to counterbalance all the noise.
There’s a lot of misconception about meditation, especially for beginners. A lot of people will say ‘I tried to meditate and I’m not good at it’ or ‘it’s really hard for me to sit still’. What’s your answer to those types of objections.
Often people may not have come across the tight practice for them. There’s a misconception that when people meditate their minds should be free of thoughts and if you can’t do that then you’re not a good meditator. Meditation is a practice that should be effortless and it may take exploring different styles of meditation to find that. There’s a danger that when people find a practice that works for them, they find after a while they feel better and so stop meditating. Then 6 months later they’ll back to where they were.
What’s your vision with Insight Timer?
They want to continue to provide people with these tools and resources. Nicho recognizes that Insight Timer is its own entity. But they want to have 100 million meditators because that will lead to a more conscious planet.
What’s a question that you continuously ask yourself?
Nicho hopes that in 20 or 30 years time he can see that his efforts went towards positive change.
Tell us how we can download the app and get in touch with you.
Insight Timer: https://insighttimer.com
Nicho Plowman: https://www.nichoplowman.com/
Edmund and Amelia