Joining me for this podcast is a provocative speaker, author and mentor and the founder and CEO of The Baca Institute, Laurie Seymour.

Laurie studied Psychology and as a successful psychotherapist, she devoted years to exploring and to teaching the inner workings of the human experience. Her research even proved that unlocking your potential was more powerful than believing you needed fixing.

This made her leave her career as a psychotherapist and later founded The Baca Institute which is a place of inspiration and guidance for those who desire to understand how life can work. In The Baca Institute, they work with conscious entrepreneurs and visionaries and helps them access and activate their innate creative intelligence.

If you want to know more about Laurie, The Baca Institute and her other amazing works, you may visit her website by clicking here.

I hope you enjoy this engaging interview with Laurie Seymour. Thanks and happy listening!

THE INSTITUTE

The Baca Institute is for conscious entrepreneurs who aims to have an abundant ease and flow in everything they do. Their programs work particularly valuable for those business owners who want reliable access to creation, confidence to activate action plan, and right timing.

“When you are flowing in co-creation, new seedling ideas become projects faster, clearer and with more success. No longer are you stalled with ideas that seem grand, but have no place to go.”

THE CEO

Two-time international #1 bestselling author, host of the Wisdom Talk Radio podcast, Executive Coach, international trainer and speaker, Laurie Seymour, M.A., is the founder and CEO of The Baca Institute. She has dedicated her life to showing you how to reliably connect with your energetic creative intelligence (Source), dissolving old patterns of difficulty, struggle, and self-sabotage.

 

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transciption (not edited) of the interview.

Greg Voisen
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen and the host of Inside Personal Growth. And joining me from Denver, Colorado is Laurie Seymour, with the bucket Institute, and I know Laurie through Kathy Sparrow who is assisting me in a book project we're working on, called wife on the precipice. And we connected and we started talking and we said, Cathy said to me, hey, probably be a good idea to interview Laurie. So, Laurie, good morning to you in Denver. How are you?

Laurie Seymour
I am wonderful, Greg, I am glad to be here with you.

Greg Voisen
Well, we're glad to have you and an opportunity to speak about what you do, how you do it, and how you can help those people that are listening today. And I'm gonna let the listeners know something about you. Two-time international number one bestselling author, host of the wisdom talk radio, podcast, executive Coast International trainer and speaker. Laurie is the founder and CEO of the Buck Institute. She's dedicated her life to showing you how to reliably connect with your energetic creative intelligence or what she refers to as the source, dissolving old patterns of difficulties struggle and self-sabotage. almost 25 years ago, she was honored to receive stewardship of special energetic technology and accelerates the process of connection and creation in individuals and groups. After twice leaving successful careers, first as a psychotherapist and trainer and then as solutions engineer in telecom, Laurie founded the bucket journey to honor the 25 year of inner research she and a small group of people had done to exploring human potential through activating new energy systems. Well, Laurie, it's a pleasure having you on inside personal growth. And it's a pleasure to speak with you about what it is you do. And for our listeners, we will put a link to this, but it is the bacainstitute.com. So that's B A C A institute.com. And there you can learn more. It's a lovely website. And there's a lot of ways to get in touch with Laurie and interact with her. So Laurie, I told the listeners a little bit about why you did the Buck Institute. What do you do at the Buck Institute? And how can you help our listeners really, who are seeking with, you know, maybe having some of these struggles that you're talking about home patterns, and difficulties struggling with self-sabotage, which seems to be a pretty typical thing in the world? So can you give us an idea?

Laurie Seymour
Certainly, certainly, I hope so. So, let's elevate that for a moment if we can, to not so much focus on what's what the problems are. But what do people want. People want more freedom, more time, freedom, particularly more money, let's say better, more clarified a client's you know, greater success and what they're doing, and maybe even that want or desire to bring your great idea into the world and have it have it really be something that impacts people. And so, the Buck Institute is the place for, for being able to do that, for being able to reach those places. Because when you are connected with your own inner guidance system, and I know we're going to talk about that at length, then what happens is, you're not operating out of the old operating system, which is really what we've been trained in, in our lives, we were trained in a very linear way. This is about bringing in that creative intelligence, which is how we connect with the quantum, the quantum universe, how we are able to make quantum leaps, so that what we do is we get peace of heart, we get clarity, we are able to focus. And what happens then is that you attract to you those things that you really want that that time, freedom, that money, more success in your business. Well,

Greg Voisen
some people take a spiritual path, while other people who might be listening might be agnostic. But in essence, the terminology the way in which you describe it, it is about getting a deep relationship. In the way I look at it. We've kind of have a higher self a higher calling something your intuition. You know, I wrote a whole book on intuition. So, I understand that you work with entrepreneurs and visionaries. These are people that are achievers, high achievers, most of them. And in a recent interview, I looked at the side that Marshall Goldsmith talked about regret, all the way on the other side, which is happiness and joy, and meaning and purpose, and that we go through this continuum, right? How do you help these achievers that you're working with these visionaries and conscious entrepreneurs? Find this quantum connection? Okay?

Laurie Seymour
Can I first start by saying, you don't have to be a spiritual person, or a believer. Because what we're really talking about, we're talking about the quantum field, we're talking about the research that the quantum physicists have been doing for decades now, and have established the fact that one everything is energy. And to that we live in a quantum field, we are part of this quantum universe. And without going too much into that, when we understand that we have an innate intelligence, then we get to where we really have to explore what does that mean, you know, how do we connect with that? How do we live from that? How do we?

Greg Voisen
How do I how do you how do people who come to you who have no understanding of this, find an acceptance of it,

Laurie Seymour
they usually if they have no capacity to even, you know, wrap their head around that they usually don't come to me, or they don't stick around, or they start having an experience. They started having experiences that they never had before, and there for them to begin with their inexplicable experiences. I mean, they start attracting things to them, that they say, well, how did that happen? Oh, that was luck. Well, when they when it starts happening over a period of time, and it's consistent, you know, you're going beyond luck, into something where you're, you're really operating differently. So I, you know, I work with the people who are open to exploring something new, that know that, you know, we are so much more than we have ever been shown how to work with, we are so much more than what our eighth-grade teacher

Greg Voisen
taught us about, right? Well, those are those patterns that you talked about in your bio, where people get stuck, because they're, no matter what it is, it's the ego to move beyond that, or to move beyond these beliefs, these limiting beliefs that they're carrying around that get them caught in the fences, I call it, you know, a great way to put it. So, you know, if my fence is here, and somebody else's is here. And if you're willing to expand. I'm going to say your willingness to look at the world, your perception of the world is what you're really asking. And you have an opportunity to explore that. And you get out of your comfort zone. And one of those is getting out of those comfort zones. Because we were in the US State in your bio that over 20 years ago, you were honored to receive the stewardship, a special energetic technology that accelerates the process of abundant creation in individuals and groups. You speak with our listeners about the special technology and what this was all about.

Laurie Seymour
Yes, it is something called Teresa. Teresa was brought through by my teacher, who I studied with for until her passing for over 25 years. And we can talk about it in his grand spiritual terms, but we don't need to, because it's almost like the implementation or of an app. And that's, you know, from a very simple level of how we connect with that energetic reality of the universe. So, my work is because I was initiated as this steward, as you said, of this technology. My work is about opening people up to activate that inner wiring, it's already there in place, it's there in the cells. And we just need to have that activated so that we can start using what our what our original blueprint, really is. We have so much more to us than we've ever really recognized. And when that's activated, when you start to have the when you start to practice when you start to know and how to use it, when you start to recognize what's coming into you from, from the universe from this, this quantum field, that that you're being that those awarenesses are being activated, and you're being shown almost from the inside out, how to make use of them, how to tap into it, and then how to decode what that is so that you, you can actually bring it into physical being in your life. So, when you were,

Greg Voisen
let's say, gifted this or did you go through some trainings? Or how did you come about with this? Because, you know, we've had lots of people on here talk about Akashic records. And, you know, you go back into that, and that's supposed to be I'm not gonna say that it is or it isn't, because I'm not gonna lay judgment, what people's history is, you know, and so this, this is a bit, you know, when you talk about it, maybe a theory or to some of these people that are out there listening going, okay. Laurie, tell me a little bit more about this. Okay. How did you get where you are,

Laurie Seymour
this is still going to probably sound a surreal to a lot of people. However, I work with initiations, the process of initiation, and that is how I received this capacity is that I was initiated and over a series of time I was initiated in deeper and deeper levels of this. And what initiation really is, is that kind of quantum leap that is enabled to take place within your, your physical and energetic body, so that you get opened up to these new dimensions or new frequencies, we know about frequencies we know about vibration. And we say, well, you know, if you're a low vibration, you get sick, you feel depressed, you feel you're struggling, but oh, you just have to think differently, and your vibration elevates. And that's true. And there's more. And that when you receive an initiation, what is happening is that there are openings, really, that are there happening within your cell that activate these, these systems that are already in place within you. This isn't about implanting something new. It's really about activation.

Greg Voisen
You know, I'm, as you're speaking, I'm reflecting back to a conversation with Bruce Lipton, Lipton. And again, around the quantum Yes, the quantum, if you want to call it quantum physics, how about that? Well, that works. And that, you know, and another one I had with a very famous doctor, around you say openings, and you look at people's health, and their issues that they have and what they manifest with inside themselves. And that they don't have to accept that that is, you know, in other words, the power that we have talking speaking about power, these are physicians, these are people that became MDs, right? So, they're saying, you know, that beyond pills and potions is, is this energetic ability to overcome so much. Now, in your website, you speak about the BOC NS two core operating principles, if you would speak to the audience about those principles, and how they can use them in the quantum connection style. So hopefully, I teed that up with Bruce Lipton.

Laurie Seymour
Well, the quantum connection style just to take the second piece of that is really about the fact that each of us have our own unique ways of interacting with the world, and interacting with what ultimately what I see as the our own quantum connection or the way in which we interact with life. So, there's a great quiz on my website about you know, seeing what your what your quantum connection style is,

Greg Voisen
I saw that so they take that it'll get back some feedback on their quantum connection style. And then if they have more questions, then they can contact you right

Laurie Seymour
now they can have a quantum connection call with me that that is complimentary, okay. But it gives them that what they'll get though, is though, they'll get what their style is, they'll get their mastery key, they'll receive, you know, what am I needing to actually develop more in myself so that I can become that master in my own life. And the core operating principles for the Buck Institute relate to all of that, that we actually have an innate intelligence, and that is not just a metaphor. You know, we think that we think of inner compass, oh, that's a metaphor, we actually have this ability that every cell in our body has this, this intrinsic knowing it's beyond intuition. And it's that intelligence that's contained throughout your body in every cell, we, we have the capacity to tap into our creative genius, that each of us have that and that learning how to access that learning how to create with our, with this energetic source with this higher intelligence, if you will, it gives us our ability to be able to navigate through life. But life happens, you know, life is going on all the time. Well,

Greg Voisen
you did say, you know, you said that. Everything is energy, energy is vibration, everybody vibrates at a different level vibratory kind of attunement. The higher you go on the scale of vibration, the higher the level of the consciousness is. And I remember a workshop I went to power versus force. And, you know, the, the interesting thing is that the, whether it's Ken Wilber on lines and levels, or it's I trying to remember that gentleman's name, but he became very famous on power versus force.

Laurie Seymour
That, you know, you could

Greg Voisen
look at the Dalai Lama vibrating up here, many masters, right? And again, when you usually see these masters, whether it's Gandhi, or the Dalai Lama, or Mother Teresa, or whoever you want to say, the vibratory levels are quantum in comparison to the average people down here, right? Yes. And so, you're actually helping people elevate that? Yes. Is that correct? That is absolutely correct, right, their own vibration in every cell of their body, to actually be more in tune with this quantum force,

Laurie Seymour
yes. So that then they start attracting to them, because they have that, that, that integrity of heart, they have that, that, that joy in their own heart, and they're really tapping into I mean, it's just something that I that I know is true, is that everything is love, that that high vibration is really that vibration of love. And that when we tap into that, when we become that we're not we're not passive, we become an active co-creator with the universe. And that's part of, you know, my own core operating principle. And everybody, in your

Greg Voisen
estimation, you've led 1000s of people through these courses and done lots of one-on-one coaching. Are they in a space where they know how to accept it?

Laurie Seymour
Not to begin with, necessarily, but so many of the people come to me with that sensing of I know, there's more, and this was true for me in my own life. That's what propelled me, it propelled me to first study psychology. I know there's more, you know, what I'm seeing in my family. That's not all there is. And I didn't know how to find it. So, psychology was the natural way that I saw, at least in my own limited ways of tapping into that. So, I became a psychotherapist, I studied psychology, I studied human design, I studied how we work. But that kept going on and I kept going on to look more and more deeply at Who are we? What's our potential? And so often, the people that come to me just have that feeling. They don't know how to tap into it. They don't know how to get to it, but they know that there's something more and it's almost like, like life won't let them relax, you know, and just say, Oh, well, yeah, that's, that's all well and good. It propels them to keep looking.

Greg Voisen
Well, that's a good explanation of it. Now, you state that you were gifted by the universe with this unique package. And I would agree with that, that advice that what advice can you give our listeners with the same gift to see that a vision is often far bigger than they expect? In other words, I think, you know, it's, it's saying, Do I go grab for the brass ring? Or do I have these fears and inhibitions that hold me back from taking that risk? And it is about the version to risk, which is what's being has been programmed inside of them. And I wouldn't say if you're going to do your work, that you can be risk adverse, because you're going to have things happen to you. And what I understand that probably you have to be very open to. Right. So, my question is, is how do you get? Or do you work with your people to look at this grander vision, far grander than they ever expected to attract into their life? And help them manifest that?

Laurie Seymour
Absolutely. Because it's not that people don't have that big vision already, you know, somewhere that's there inside of them. And they haven't yet perhaps come into that place where they were they trusted or believe it? And then the other piece of that is knowing then how do you how do you hang out with that? You know, how do you get to know it? And that's, that's part of what I think is so important is getting to realize that yeah, this is a big vision. But you don't have to you don't go so far down the road in your thoughts, like, how am I going to do it? What's it going to mean? Do I have to leave my spouse, you know, all those things might happen. But we don't have to put our head down there, we have to stay with where we are right now. And continue to develop that inner connection, because that inner connection of we could call itself with self is what's going to carry you through so that you aren't so scared. You develop the ability to quantum think, as my friend Diane Collins loves to talk about, she's brilliant at it. And it's the willingness to, to step into and be curious about, who am I more, you know, in this morning, this place?

Greg Voisen
Yeah, I'd recommend she was on the show and her book quantum thinking that the same one? Yeah, it's been a while ago, but I would reference my listeners who are listening to my podcast, might want to go back and listen to quantum thinking podcast, it was really good. And she's great. She's great. I've interviewed her too. So, you know, you speak about the five elements of co creation? Can you share those with our listeners, and how those powerful in how powerful they are in creating the foundation, to bringing and I just said this a minute ago, you know, on one end of the continuum, we've got regrets. And on the other end, we're looking for purpose and meaning and joy and happiness. And in your case, a foundation to bring purpose into implementation. Because we're saying what is the grander bigger purpose for our lives? And I think many people go through their lives, seeking that purpose, maybe never understanding it. Many go through, as has been many times said this quiet life of desperation, right? seeking something, not knowing what it is and not finding it. How do you help people find that purpose through these five elements of co creation?

Laurie Seymour
purpose for is not a one and done kind of thing. Right? Purpose evolves over time. And we don't just have one purpose. So that's first of all. So my work is I start people out with the inner guidance, mastery Blueprint Class, and that develops that inner connection, that ability to tune into one's own inner guidance system. And

Greg Voisen
partake and learn more about that on your website to Oh, yes, click the button on. And I would say for everybody, that that mastery blueprint course, would, that's your starting point with you. Right?

Laurie Seymour
It is, you know, once they have a quantum connection call with me, that's the first step that I guide people to great. That's the first part of the quantum connection process. Because the whole process is about the wiring that connects you with this field of creative intelligence. We hear about emotional intelligence, we hear about all sorts of things, but that field of creative intelligence is that quantum field and so that our, our vibrational frequency that we've been talking about, is continually upgraded. It's again, it's not a one and done thing. Oh, now I'm at a high level, or high vibration. And I can relax here because nature is not static. So if we're going to continue to be to be evolving, and we are by our nature, we have to continue that process and our vibration is continually upgraded, right? And so that energetic frequency is what gives birth to the new ideas that we want to bring forth into the world. And we have to have that ongoing connection and communication with our inner compass in order for that to happen, so that we don't just receive an idea. Yeah. And say, okay, I've been inspired, you know, people talk about I've downloaded, I downloaded this idea I received this idea. Okay, does that mean you're done with staying connected with your own inner guidance system? No. Because your inner guidance system, and this goes to the work of the My inspiration into action course, or retreat. It's about bringing that idea into manifestation and staying connected with what gave birth to that idea, that original interconnection, and spark of brilliance. I think, for all the steps

Greg Voisen
for all these skeptics that might be thinking about, you know, what is Laurie? Dixon, your audience? I would think there are some. And if you are listening, and you are a skeptic, I would just reference you to maybe read some of Albert Einstein is one of the greatest scientists around who had this perspective, or David Bohm. You know, there are lots of people out there who were very famous scientists put these laws into practice, many doctors so it isn't so ethereal, when you look at what was created as a result of them, having an expansion of their own consciousness, to be able to create what they created. And every probably great scientists around had some perspective, I know, there's been many out there that say, no, I don't believe in this stuff. And you know, it's this is, this is my material world. And that's where I stay,

Laurie Seymour
but it's been demonstrated hasn't met Greg,

Greg Voisen
it has been demonstrated over and over. And I think that's the important point. Now this, that, if you would you have this quantum co creation program. And, and why do you call it that, and it's the most accelerated path to your callings fulfillment, you say? So tell us a little bit about the quantum co creation program. You just talked about the blueprint program? So is this another program that's up from the program? No,

Laurie Seymour
people start out unless they're working with me one on one, people say no, I'm not waiting around for you know, the next time you do this, I want to dive into a one on one that's so that we're going to take that off the table. So they start with that inner guidance, mastery blueprint, then they go into inspiration into action, that's that next level, where they're actually being initiated into these frequencies. And, and being able then to take the their inspiration into action into physical manifestation. Then the next piece, and this is by invitation only, is the quantum connection process. It's a six-month program. And what I mean by co creation is two directions, I mean, co creating with that quantum field, we can say with presence with the energies, you can, you know, we can talk about in so many different ways. So that's this connection. And then it's the co creation that happens when you're there with a group of visionaries with a group of people that are also there, in that, that inner co creation connection, and what happens amongst them, because it's so exciting to see a group of people that are that are in that space. And so, one person is saying, this is what I'm working on. And everybody else starts coming from their own perspective. But they're coming not from an intellectual. Here's what I've done before kind of place. They're bringing that in, because that's part of your package. But they're bringing that in, and they're bringing in their unique connection with that quantum field. And they're able to add that into the mix. And so sometimes what starts to happen in these in these gatherings are that people come together with a new idea, like, oh, I hadn't thought about, we can do that, plus this, and you and I can work together and we've got something brand new that we're

Greg Voisen
creating. Well, I see why it's by invitation, because you're right, basically tracking the individual's progress and you want to determine how ready they are. So if there was like a readiness assessment, so let's encourage the listeners to go to your website and take the quiz and get the result. I think that would be the best thing, there's a button right there on the website, all you have to do is click it. And then you'll get your results back from Lori and then reach out to Lori for it's a complimentary consult with you. Okay, so you guys can read it together, understand it better she understands you understands where you are, I haven't even taken it. So now I'm going to take, that's good. So, what's wrong? So, I would say this, in wrapping this podcast up, Lori, you obviously have lots of skills, lots of talents, lots of abilities. You have most of this through these courses, which you offer to people and coaching, which are offering to people if there was a way for you to sum up three things that a listener today would take away from this and understand better about the quantum fields or quantum exploration, what might that be?

Laurie Seymour
One is that all of this requires your participation. In other words, this is not a passive journey. This is not a passive process. That is, so my meditation teacher to and one of the things I do is to re a meditation, and that requires your presence, your engagement. So this is this is something where you don't get to sit on the sidelines. So that's one. And that there's always more, there's always more and so we don't get to just sit with. I've made it you know, I've gotten to the top of the mountain, you still gotta get back down the mountain, right? Because you've been you were in your work with with bows book. That's a big piece of the whole process, not so much getting down the mountain, but you have a brilliant idea. How do we bring it into the world? There's such demand right now in the world, we look around, we just have to, you know, pay attention for a moment. And we see the need that is here. And I really want to say to all of the listeners, your contribution, your brilliant idea, your heart is what is needed. And so remember that allow that and allow yourself to receive because it takes it takes a different kind of attitude and pushing. It takes your willingness to receive something new, something brand new. And to know that you're the one that is here to bring this into being.

Greg Voisen
Well, I think you used a couple of words. And one of them. I thought I heard I want to make sure I'm right is this interconnectedness. You know, I go to meditation retreats, usually every August for seven days on the orcas islands, and in the process emerged from that understanding about all our connections. When I say all our connections, I think Laurie, the key is how you're going to contribute to the world is by fundamentally the compassion and love. You said it earlier that you're going to be willing to give and receive and how much you're going to be willing to let go. And that's not me speaking. That's the Dalai Lama. On the other sense, every connection you make throughout the course of your lifetime, has an impact in some way in some meaningful way. A kind word, a kind deed a kind thought, an opportunity to reach out an opportunity to collaborate on a project, which could assist not only you, but 1000s, maybe millions of other people in their life. That's how we're going to heal the planet, both all the way from the environment, all the way up to you know, co2 emissions to everything else that's going on. And it's about our deeper understanding of this deep interconnection. And as Laurie says, It's Quantum. So, you know, that is, you know, I think Mother Earth, speaking with us, saying, everybody, listen, listen carefully in silence, wake up, and listen. Yeah, wake up and get quiet and wake up. And it's a pleasure have bring you on because I believe that what you're doing at the Baka Institute is good work. And it's work that's going to help people awaken to not only their possibilities, but the possibilities of making a huge impact on our planet today, in any way that shape and form that they can. So Laurie, Blessings to you. Namaste to you. Thanks for being on inside personal growth, spending a few minutes with our listeners and getting them to understand more about you and the Buck Institute. When you go to our website as well. She has wisdom talk radio, if you click to the right-hand side of her landing page, or I should say our website. You'll see some of the interviews she's done with various people over the time on wisdom talk radio. And Laurie, thanks for being on. Thanks for being my guest. And thanks for sharing your story.

Laurie Seymour
Thank you for having me on, Greg. It's been an honor.

powered by

I gladly introduce this podcast’s guest – Pamela Slim. Pamela is an author, business coach and the co-founder with her husband Darryl of the Main Street Learning Lab in Mesa, Arizona.

Pam focused her first decade in business as a management consultant and has advised thousands of entrepreneurs as well as companies serving the small business market. With her skills and experiences, Pam has already written three books: Escape from Cubicle Nation (named Best Small Business and Entrepreneur book of 2009 from 800 CEO Read), Body of Work (2014 with Penguin Portfolio) and her latest The Widest Net (2021 with McGraw Hill).

The Widest Net explains how to build strong diverse relationships, identify and connect with new partners, expand markets, generate leads, and find new customers in places you may never have considered. It aims to guide you discover and create a dynamic new model for growing your business by connecting with customers outside your usual field of view.

If you’re interested to know more about Pam and her amazing works and accomplishments, you may click here to access her website.

I hope you enjoy this engaging interview with Pamela Slim. Happy listening!

THE BOOK

The Widest Net aims to guide you discover and create a dynamic new model for growing your business by connecting with customers outside your usual field of view. It also show how to:

  • Search outside your own lens/bias/routine/history to target ideal customers.
  • Attract the interest and attention of new leads by learning more about them authentically.
  • Develop products and services suited to these customers.
  • Sell through a trusted reciprocity framework where your customers become part of your ecosystem and you each help the other grow.
  • Build and sustain loyalty and trust with new customers.
  • Nurture a diverse and resilient customer base by identifying and adjusting to the ideal customer target over time.

THE AUTHOR

Pamela Slim is an author, co-founder of a small business learning lab and small business expert. She founded her company in 1996 and focused her first decade in business on creating and delivering training programs for large companies such as HP, Charles Schwab, 3Com, Chevron and Cisco Systems. Since 2005, Pam has advised thousands of entrepreneurs as well as companies serving the small business markets.

 

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transciption (not edited) of the interview.

Greg Voisen
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen and the host of Inside Personal Growth. And joining me from Mesa, Arizona, she was just telling me that a few days ago, it was like 115 degrees today maybe not quite as hot and I made her turn off the fan, unfortunately. So if we just got the ACI is Pam Slim, Pam, Good day to you? How are you? I am wonderful. Thanks for having me here. Well, it's good to have you. She has her own podcast show. For all my listeners, you can get her at Pamela slim.com. There you can learn more about the learning lab, her classes, her books or services. The last time we had her on was 2014. And that was for a book that she wrote called body of work.

Pamela Slim
And it was Cubicle Nation. Before that. We'll put links to those in our blog entry for all of our listeners. You're really going to enjoy this listener of this podcast. Do you have a copy of the book near you?

Greg Voisen
Why does Merritt here? Yeah, let's angle it out. Look up. That's book because I don't have the book itself. But that is the book we're going to be talking about. It's called the whitest net. And if there's anybody out there that could be qualified to speak about casting a wide net, it will be Pamela Slim. Let me tell you a little bit about her. She's not their business coach and the co-founder with her husband Darrell at the Main Street Learning Lab in Mesa, Arizona, former corporate director of training and development at Barclays global investors. Pam focuses her first decade in business as management consulting, working with large companies such as HP, Charles Schwab, three M, Chevron, and Cisco, and many more. I'm 2005, sous vide 1000s of entrepreneurs as well as companies serving the small business market, such as key Progressive Insurance, Constant Contact Prezi. And on and on, pram partnered with author Shawn Kane to build and launch the quiet revolution. She's written three books, as I mentioned, escape the Cubicle Nation, the other one, which was the body of work, and this one, which we're going to be speaking about, she lives in Mesa, Arizona with her family. And if you go to her website, you'll see a beautiful picture. I was just commenting about her husband and two children. Well, Pam, now my listeners know everything about you. And they can always find you on the web anyway. Find them on Facebook or LinkedIn or Twitter, wherever you want to go. She's there. She's out there. Because believe me, she's great at what she does. Your book, the widest net, unlocked untapped markets and discover new customers right in front of you. I think that's a common problem that people have is finding customers right in front of them. But I wanted you mentioned in the book and the acknowledgement in this book that it was a collaborative, this collaborative effort, this book between you and the key guardians, at Main Street Learning Lab, and it's Ke Ke is that he said,

Pamela Slim
would be the phonetic way to say it. It's a Navajo word. Yes, yes.

Greg Voisen
And the Navajo, obviously, your husband looks like he's of Indian descent, Native American Indian descent. And what a beautiful thing because they have such understanding about how to take care of the earth. I just love it. How to live right. Can you speak about the incubator you started with your husband, Darrell and Mesa and how this influenced you writing the widest net?

Pamela Slim
Absolutely. I often call myself an author practitioner, because I instead of thinking up cool ideas, I tend to write about the kinds of things that are important to my clients, and then the core of work that I'm doing. So a lot of the impetus for the widest net was spending many years working with business owners who as you said once they knew what they wanted to build, always had the question, where's my audience? Where are my customers? And then also, as I looked at really more than 30 years as a community builder, believe it or not, my degree in college was community development. And so I've always been fascinated about how it is that we create a really inclusive environment and one that reflects the communities that we live in. So a lot of the route for establishing the Main Street learning lab was recognizing through I did a 23. City Tour in 2015, is early research for this book. And I asked a central question in each city. How many of you have ever seen a Native American business presenter presenting at a business conference topic? Not many, only seven out of 23 cities and a few 1000 entrepreneurs. So my husband and I just said wow, the problem is not that they don't exist. There are 10 10s of 1000s of amazing indigenous entrepreneurs, the problem is there's no visibility. So we set out to do very deliberate, slow, integrated, taking your time community development here. And our mission, at the heart of what we do here is really just to highlight the leadership that exists but is rarely seen. And then locally to do I know I do everything I can to be connecting that amazing talent and leadership to opportunities that we have happening here.

Greg Voisen
Well, if they want to, they can learn more about the learning lab by just going to your website and clicking on the learning lab. It's actually a physical location, you'll actually see some pictures than working with people. Yes, they've opened up a brick and mortar Learning Lab, which doesn't, just isn't online, which is really cool. Because if for my listeners, for those of you who have never been to Mesa, Arizona, a great place to do it, and such a burgeoning big city that's growing with a big presence of Native American. So, you know, I think you hit the nail on the head. Now, we'll kind of switch gears because the Learning Lab is really, I can tell your love along with your husband. But writing and lecturing, and coaching and speaking to people and advising businesses, is really your love, love. That's your big love. Right? You tell a great story. In the introduction of the book about Carly the founder of a brand new business, it was in Canada, that was quite successful in the beginning when she started, and then it began to taper her revenues. Your advice to her was instrumental to getting her back on track. And the result of that was this widest net method. Can you tell the story and how you came about developing the WnM method?

Pamela Slim
Yes, Carly Cunningham, who runs big bold brand in Vancouver has been a longtime friend and client. And like many people who have been in business for a while found herself in that place where she had always been great at what she did, she had plenty of clients. But she spent a little too much time in delivering the services and not enough time in seeding opportunities. So when we started working together, she was at one of those dry points that probably many of your listeners have found. I've been in business 26 years, I know that they happen if you're not consistent and taking action. So what I noticed about Carly, and for her in particular, it was the part of the widest net method that is about tiny marketing actions, she was at a stage where it can be frustrating can be a bit overwhelming to know how to kick start when you've had a thriving business. So we started really small looking at some of the science of books like tiny habits by BJ Fogg or atomic habits by James clear, that states the truth, which is if you focus on tiny steps, small incremental changes every day, you're much more likely to sustain the habit of marketing. And you're also much more likely to have consistency in building relationships. So I started with this method inspired by a lot of what I was seeing and habit change. And Carly is a very competitive person, she's done competitive sports. She's always if you have a plan, she will stick to it. It's a really a favorite characteristic and a client. And so she was very serious about her pattern and method of tiny marketing actions. And she did them every day, and gave herself gold stars when she did them and ended up having a really profound turnaround, and just a whole shift change in the way in which she grew her business. So she I tell her story throughout the book.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, you do. And I remember reading that tell the listeners of just a few because we're gonna get into more of this. But some of those tiny actions, you know, BJ Fogg has been on here. And again, to get people into the psychology that's required to take those small steps is one thing. And then the next thing is the actions they've taken and the results from the actions because she actually started having quite a bit of success as a result of that. So what are a few of those things that you advise her to actually change the habit of and do regularly so that she could actually have greater results.

Pamela Slim
The process of tiny marketing actions is where you zoom up for a minute, and you do take a snapshot of what are the best strategic areas to be focusing those actions in we'll talk about this I know a little bit later in our conversation about the bigger method. But when we looked at her best sources of work in the past, very often it was because she was active in her community, she would have coffee dates with people she would be connecting with who I call peanut butter and jelly partners, people who served a common client, but in a highly complementary and non-competitive way. And so for her or where we leveraged what she was good at doing before we reactivated, where she created a specific list of people who she hadn't connected with recently, she reached out just generally with texts or with a quick LinkedIn message to do a check in. And she set up a time on Fridays where she actually set up in a cafe. And she would have a rolling cast of friends and characters who would stop by the table and check in for coffee. That was one thing we found for her that for the region where she lived, the kind of network she had was a really powerful way of reactivating. The other thing we did is a tiny marketing action was for her to begin to share more of her expertise in small ways on LinkedIn, so that she was more visible to people who were in her broader network. The thing that's important about tiny marketing actions is there is the habit of just giving yourself permission to be reaching out and sending the email and introducing yourself to somebody I always say, if you have the instinct where you're like, oh, that's an interesting person, just continue leaning in and fire off the email when you have the inclination. But the strategic part is identifying for you. Where are those areas where you're most likely to have an effective connection? And so that's what we did with her. Yeah, zoom in. Yeah,

Greg Voisen
I think as they say, who's your avatar, you get into that kind of defining who your best prospect is, was a prospect. In this case, now you have 10 important steps in the book, and each is a chapter. And you start with finding the mission at the root. And I agree that this is very fundamental. But a lot of times, it's not where people start, they start just go ahead and marketing. And you mentioned that we spend an inordinate amount of time and money figuring out how in our business, but that we fail to define the deep compelling why that is the Simon Sinek. Why, why are we doing what we do? Like you did with Main Street learning. So why does having this compelling mission affect all the stakeholders in a business in your estimation, because there's so many stakeholders, there's vendors, there's your clients, there's the employees, but it's so important to have this mission. And that's where you want people to start.

Pamela Slim
It, it's the central part of the method, because it's the entry point for understanding how it is that you begin to define your other ecosystem partners where you're identifying people who are also serving your ideal clients in a highly complementary way with useful tools or resources or information. So it is often extremely unhelpful, the way that we generally approach mission, and I say we, in, in the world, and generally in corporate in the b2b world, where it's super comfortable with mission statements. We know for a lot of companies, they have them, it's an anchor for branding, it should be an anchor for leadership behaviors for the culture of the company, it really is that true north, that becomes a decision making mechanism so that you make sure that you are always acting in alignment with your mission. And making decisions, I think, is one of the biggest parts of running a business. If you're if you're unsure what marketing strategy to use, or who to partner with or who to work with, you always are going to come back to that place. So that to me is just the starting place. That's so critical. And I really focus on it more, as in I know more of the independent consulting or in the world of internet entrepreneurship, there's a lot of focus, where people might say My mission is to be location independent, and to have passive revenue, to which I say, that's amazing. That's part of what you want as a person. But that does not a business make, right, that's a quality of life for you. That's not contributing to something valuable in the world. And your customer is not going to be excited that you work one month a year and you spend the rest in the French Riviera, like they may be jealous, but it's not really connecting with what's important to them.

Greg Voisen
So important, so important. And I think really, it's one thing to write a mission statements, it's another thing to live it, you know, because a lot of consultants come in and do mission, vision, value purpose, right? And you see the values hanging on the wall and you wonder if the culture really gets it. If the culture is living it if the culture is I say imbibing it in other words, are they drunk with it? You know, and I don't find it happening as much where people are drunk with it. There are some companies that you and I could talk about where the employees are drunk with it. You know, as they say, they kind of drunk the Kool Aid. They helped make that mission statement and, you know, they're really they're really engaged. What are the four critical principles to the widest Neff method to creating a clear mission for the business.

Pamela Slim
The first is, as I said, to make sure that it's centered on your customers, it's not about benefits to you as the business owner, it is really centered on what is your customer trying to do. So that's the first part. The second thing is, it is really deeply rooted in this problem that you're solving. The I often look the central part of my work over 26 years and different iterations, as a management consultant, as a coach for a long time, as an economic development person. Now here in Mesa, it really is just reducing that kind of anxiety people have when they don't have financial stability, that's a mission to me, that's just so resonant all the time. It sucks. If anybody's been in that place, if you might have you know, had a childhood where you're struggling for money, if you're a parent, and you're trying to provide for your kids, just any form of not having an economic foundation can be so disruptive. So to me, when I always think about the way in which my work might be plugging into that. I love purpose, I love passion, motivation, all that's so important. But that's an example of really connecting with a deeper root in your mission, and then it's also when you're creating a business or growing into new areas in your business, it has to be a problem that your audience views as critical. That's where often I will talk to people who are super fired up about their idea, they're passionate about it, they build it out. But then you want to make sure that there are people who are actually willing to invest money in order to solve that problem. So that's where you always want to be leaning more into conversation with your customers before building the product. And then finally, it connects with your deeper root as a founder, I often think for myself of the way that I spend my precious time on Earth, the way that all of us spend it. Personally, I would rather spend it activating businesses that I believe are doing good in the world are making a positive change. And that's, for me an example of something that's a deeper root of purpose. For me, that gives me great joy and value.

Greg Voisen
Well, I think, you know, it's planet purpose, people profits, you know, it, I know that we talk about what order that comes in. But the reality is, if we're doing good for the world, we're helping this planet become a better place, whether it's, you know, through the way that our children are educated, all the way to the environment and global warming. And I think companies that have a focus on that today, have a heads up kind of an advantage. And I think it's an important one, because, you know, we need to have more people focused on that period. And hopefully, we'll see a massive movement in that direction, which we're beginning to see now. Can you speak about and identifying your values? We just talked, I talked about that a second ago. And most of my listeners have heard about the importance of doing this. But what about how we live our values, and I said imbibe them in the culture of the business. And you suggest, and if you would speak about the VA, because I took it. I actually went to the website, and did the BIA character strengths. From your friend, Greg hurdle, is it hurdle, hurdle. And I found it very interesting. I got the results back, I have them sitting right over here. And so

Pamela Slim
are you brave enough to share maybe your top five I'm curious.

Greg Voisen
honesty, kindness, humor, spirituality, creativity, gratitude, judgment, appreciation, beauty and excellence, and social intelligence.

Pamela Slim
Interesting.

Greg Voisen
They are?

Pamela Slim
Yes. Well, it's so it's so interesting. Yeah, the via character strengths are developed. I love it. Because it's a free assessment you can take online, it's academically valid, which is different than some of the other assessments you have out there. And it's based on global characteristics and positive psychology that span cultures, which I love as well. So it's not just unique to one particular cultural lens. And so the idea that I like of thinking about centering values, as really this driver of decision maker and driver of behavior that you have in your organization, is the more that you know, it's aligned with you and who you are, and having that, you know, honesty and kindness, those things that makes so much sense. When you look at the way you operate, how you approach your work, how you're going to be approaching conversations, the way in which you might create a customer experience for me, I can't I should know this, but I know my top two are actually love and justice. And so it's interesting because to me with having those as threads, they work so clearly together, that I think it's why I'm so passionate about organizations that are doing work specifically to create more safe, equitable spaces where we're really doing things that create a better world. But always the thread that is weaving through that is with love is really with having that that deep connection we have that's what the word cat in my husband's Navajo language means the name of our physical space. It's a system of kinship in Navajo way when Navajos meet each other, they introduce themselves by their four clans to maternal and to paternal. And when they figure out specifically how they're related, that feeling is the way to really understand how you're connected all the way down through generations. And that is so much at the root of what we believe in community building, we don't have to come from the same cultural or ethnic background. But that's always what we're looking for is the place to connect. So we can create, you know, more justice, so that it the way it weaves just like with a mission, when you know the mission that you're on the problem that you're going to solve, then how you're actually approaching it. Your theory of change is the way I refer to it, my old training and development days, it drives the way in which you're going to talk about the problem, the way you're going to approach it, you're going to choose what you stand up for how you do it, where you do it and so forth.

Greg Voisen
Well, I found taking this little they said 15 minutes, it didn't take very long. So for my listeners, we'll put a link to the V IA Institute on character. So they can take this it's in Pam's book as well. There's a there's a link in the book. Pam, your third step is to describe the customer of our dreams we talked about, you know who that avatar is a second ago, you state that is impossible to market to everyone and that we should visualize the person right down to what they're wearing? What are some of the tips that you can leave our listeners with about defining the customer of our dreams? And if you would speak about the audience audit exercise? And who do you want to work with exercise? There were two exercises there.

Pamela Slim
Yeah, in the book I have been I use the method of my friend and collaborator Susan buyer, who is an attitudinal segmentation researcher here in the Phoenix area. She helped me see so clearly through her method that a lot of the ways in which we're historically taught to think about your ideal avatar is based on demographics, what kind of car do they drive? How old are they? What race are they, where do they live, and it's actually extremely unhelpful for us to understand where it is that we can find people because if you might say I want to work with 55-year-old women who drive Subarus, then it can be a little bit hard to also find like who are other customers who are serving those that demographic, because it doesn't say anything about what they're trying to do. So everything about the essence of this approach, the audience is defining it by a problem that they have, or an aspiration that they want to attain, I think about for my clients, I work with a lot of thought leaders who have really powerful bodies of work, they have amazing intellectual property. And usually they're at a stage where they've grown as much as they can, they're starting to burst at the seams, and they realize that they can't just continue to be speeding up what they're doing, they need to start to scale through their intellectual property, it's like, they're just at the stage where like, I have all this stuff. I know, there are many people who want it, but I can't jump on another plane and deliver all the workshops myself, right, or jump

Greg Voisen
on Zoom. So running, they're running out of energy.

Pamela Slim
That's right, they're running out of energy. So that when I describe it that way, when I when I can connect with other people who are also working with business owners who want to scale who were really like, you know, super busy. I can also find other ecosystem partners of, you know, operations managers that help them streamline their business, people who can help, you know, zero in on their ideal client, you know, Avatar, people who can help them to reduce stress so that they have the time and energy in order to, you know, get their planning and their work done. So that's really key in the method is that you are defining your client by core problem challenge or aspiration. And a lot of the work that isn't Susan's methodology, which we use in the chapter is about understanding uniquely like, how, what is that problem that they have? What have they tried before? And why didn't it work? This is a gem of a question to be asking a client a prospect, no matter what your profession is, when you're coming in, they're saying, you know, my servers keep crashing. And we're just, you know, out of our mind trying to figure it out, just say, Well, tell me what have you tried before? And why didn't it work? This can immediately give you such valuable information to know what's important to them or what's missing. And this is as much for you to be positioning what you do, as well as driving your understanding of what you need to build to uniquely solve that, that challenge.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, that's a great way to approach it. You know, when people have a lot of intellectual property like that, like you're advising these people content and They want to get it disseminated to the world. You know it they you talk about casting the widest net, most people think that everybody wants it. Well, the reality is that's not true. You know, you have to become more narrowly focused, understand who your audience is, understand the demographics, psychographics everything that you've spoken about. And I think that's important. In those questions that you asked, and that I was intrigued in that chapter, really great questions that you're asking the reader to ask for themselves. Now step,

Pamela Slim
I just want to say a quick clarification. Because I don't actually say cast, the widest net, it's really to build the widest net, the net to talk about in the widest net, is the net of support beneath your ideal customer, to make sure that they will never fall and they completely solve their problems. So it's a really important distinction.

Greg Voisen
I thank you for clarifying. You know, for me, I looked at everything you said in the book, and I did a really deep dive and you know, it's just kind of you get caught up in a book and certain chapters, you know, and that is kind of how this is, and the one that I really liked was the offer they can't refuse. You tell a great story about Wesson Gaghan B. And he actually, I don't know if I'm pronouncing his back last name, right? How do you say it be? A biani. They were the cofounders of Udacity. And in the founders of Maven, well, as a result of reading your book, I went back to Maven, because I knew Maven was really in a work in progress. It hadn't been done yet. But yet, it looks like it's about ready to really kind of take a huge launch here, because I was on their website yesterday for probably about 20 minutes going through this. This is a software where top creators teach cohort based courses, again, in a very unique way that they're approaching this, because I could see that because many of us out there that are trying to get our content disseminated. This would be a great place, or it's a great, how do you call a new guy on the street with new technology? Can you tell the story and the four parts of building an offer because it was really around? How you talked about the offer that people couldn't refuse?

Pamela Slim
Yeah, westco, she is an amazing thought leader, she created Seth Godin old MBA program, and just did a deep dive with a lot of other clients about the specifics of a cohort based class really looking at the statistics, which are dismal that only four to 6% of people ever finish an online class. So everybody wants to have one. The reality is most people are not finishing it. And so through research, they found cohort based classes, deeply built highly interactive classes are a much better way to make sure that learning happens. And God, as you said, was the was the co-founder of Udemy. And so they formed their team, they have been growing by leaps and bounds. And I've known West for a very long time. So I've always loved her work. And what I appreciate about it is they really zeroed in on this issue of most people are not finishing online classes, there's this promise for people who want to teach it, that people often have this like highly unsatisfied kind of like eating cotton candy, it sounds like a good idea at the state fair. And about five minutes in you regret the fact that you started eating it. That's the experience many people have when they're in online classes. And so what they did is really look at the entire way in which you are engaging with interacting with people in an online environment. And yes, they do have a technology platform of a central place where everything is all together. So the syllabus, the events, the calendar, the updates the forum, that community, so there's a simplicity to that platform. But to me, the magic, in what they understand is in solving the problem of keeping people highly engaged in these cohort based classes, everything about the way that they onboard their instructors who are teaching through Maven is really in modeling, exceptional instructional design and training delivery. I've been a training developing person for my whole career. I was astounded by how smart, interesting new cutting edge they were in the way in which they work with R Us as a cohort of instructors.

Greg Voisen
Well, their model two classes, you know, when you look at it, they're vetting the Instructure. Instructor. Yeah. And whereas many of these programs don't vet the instructors, they just want to get more instructors on so they can generate the override cash from whatever's generated off the sale. In this case, you could see it was a unique approach right off the bat, because they're saying you have to submit your information. We're gonna vet it, you could tell that was happening. I liked that approach. I think they're going to be quite successful with Maven. I think

Pamela Slim
so too. Yeah. So that I just I love that as a model because they're so intent on it. The four parts of figuring out the offer is real. They first figuring out the transformational journey. So going all the way back to what we've done, based on the problem you solve based on your particular client who has a problem that you want to help them with, where are they starting? Where are they going from maybe being stressed, overwhelmed, not having it together to then where's the end part of the journey where their problem is fully solved. And so you need to define first, what is that transformational journey, then diagnose what's preventing them from solving it. And there's usually a whole number of things within that for your business, decide what parts of those problems to solve that you actually want to solve. And then absolutely, you know, refer the rest, that's a very important thing for having a focus and a niche is not trying to do at all because that's where you just build a big behemoth of a company, and zero in on the part you can really help them to do. And then you're going to be engineering, this steps leading up to your offer and leading away from it, that creates this really exceptional customer journey.

Greg Voisen
So well put, and I think it's true when you find the companies that find this kind of magic formula that follow those four steps to creating the offer, you know, the uptake, or the people who have interest is huge, but they're not, again, trying to capture the whole world. That's that what they are very focused on the kind of people they want to capture, and they've done their work. Now you have step five is the watering holes where they gather, you state that the ecosystem has become a buzzword in economic development. You also mentioned one of the foundations that wrote and I actually went to their website as well, on ecosystems 2.0, you've mentioned that there is nothing you have seen, that helps business owners grow more strategically and quickly than looking at their marketing through the lens of an ecosystem. Can you explain the ecosystem in the watering holes? And also, what are the 10 segments? If you could mention them? of the ecosystem? We'll

Pamela Slim
Yes, so as we're looking, we're talking through the overall method of the book, the first quarter we just talked about is really the foundation, what is that strategic view that you have about what you're doing, the mission that you're on and how you're going to do it? The middle part is really understanding where is this ecosystem that is surrounding your ideal customer. So we take that definition of an ideal customer, for you put them in the middle of an ecosystem. And I define that by the places in person and online, where there are other people, companies, organizations, who are offering information, resources, tools support to help them solve that problem. And so from that context, you have in the ecosystem wheel. As an example, there are thought leaders and influencers who are helping solve the problem. There's governmental institutions, media hubs, blogs, podcasts, news stations, there are for profit companies, people building apps or tools for people to solve that problem. There are events, faith communities, in certain cases, there are nonprofit entities, their academic institutions that often are focused on solving that problem. There are associations and clubs. And then there's all kinds of service providers. So in my own experience, looking through the lens of an ecosystem, when I'm helping people to really scale through IP effectively, by definition, I work every single day with intellectual property attorneys, web designers, graphic designers, branding experts, sales experts, all kinds of software companies that are powering the business of the clients that I that I'm working with. And all of us together are creating this net of support for the ideal client. So when you look through that lens, strategically, at first, when you zoom out and see the totality of the market of what's in the ecosystem, then you're going to really narrow in and find what I call watering holes. So these are the places in person and online, where you have a great number of ideal clients as an audience that are gathered by somebody other than you. So this is where it can be super strategic to be on that podcast, where somebody has spent years building an amazing audience. And so when you connect there with your interviewer, all of a sudden, you have this beautiful connection with other people who are aligned, or like I've done a lot partnering with companies that serve the small business market, I might work with somebody like keep or GoDaddy, and I could be delivering a webinar on tiny marketing actions. GoDaddy is bringing in 1000s of their customers, which is so great for me, but I'm also providing something to their customers, which is hopefully valuable to them as well to help them grow in their business. So that's the whole idea is interdependency, having lots of referral partners. And when you get to know the key partners who are the best for your ideal customer, that's where you have a lot A lot of efficient and effective referrals that drive your business.

Greg Voisen
Well, you had mentioned and I was meant to say this, but for the listeners in the book, The Kauffman Foundation and the entrepreneur ecosystem, building playbook 3.0, which was something you had mentioned in the book. I actually went to the website and I would say to people who want to learn more, you're gonna get Pam's book. But if you want to take a deeper dive, you might want to check out Kaufman dot O R G ecosystem. That was something that you had mentioned in the book. Yeah, it's causing.

Pamela Slim
And I'll say, you know, there's so much wonderful research, I've been people focused on ecosystem for a long time. The story I used for the chapter on ecosystems was crossbeam, which is a software company. Yes, sir. SAS companies. And I just spoke at their conference actually a couple of weeks ago in Philadelphia. And these are all tech partners who have been talking about ecosystems for years in the SAS world. This is a known entity, they know that their own individual software is never going to be solving all the problems for their clients. Right, the most effective way for them to build market share, is through partnerships. So I love the fact that they have been far ahead. One of the things Bob Moore, who's the CEO of crossbeam, said he said, he built his old company, which was also built around data. But he said we basically built a place where data went to die trying to just do everything for our clients and customers. His competitor at the time sold their business to Google for I think,

Greg Voisen
2.8 billion $2.8 billion. Yeah, that's quite that much

Pamela Slim
for his. Yes.

Greg Voisen
He was a little miffed. I think you made a kind of sound like that. But that yes, I remember reading that book very clearly

Pamela Slim
in your book. Yeah, that's, that's what got me excited about his story is, you know, he said, like, never again, will he look to just building individual empires, it's really about ecosystems of partnerships. And I just think the entrepreneur world is a number of steps behind where a lot of the SAS world has been for many years.

Greg Voisen
I would agree. And that's because the, that hasn't been their focus, whereas the SAS world, that's how they make their connections. And that's, you know, that's really the world. But the I would say, after having gone to this website, and looking at the ecosystem playbook, built building ecosystem playbook, 3.0, definitely, for my listeners, we'll put a link to that, you know, the seeds you plant start off with a great conversation that you had with Heather Kraus about building, we all count a project with the mission of creating equity and data science. You mentioned that there comes a time in every client's journey, where they realize that all the conceptualizing, planning and strategizing about building and an audience needs to end in a process of connecting with real live human beings needs to begin. And I think that happens in a lot of people there. They do way too much research, and then they don't ever do anything with it. Can you speak with our audience about creating their seating plan? And what are some of the tools that you would use in creating the seating plan?

Pamela Slim
Yeah, Heather is one of my favorite people and clients. We I started working with her when she just had the idea. So we started from the ground up for this initiative, as a data scientist herself. And she's also a very clearly self-professed introvert. And she joked with me when I that I wrote about in the book, she said, if you want to know how much I don't really want to be building community, if I go to a Starbucks, and they start to know my name, I will drive 10 kilometers to another one. Not know that. Whereas I am like running to people on the street is complete strangers as a total extrovert. I love to build community more than anything. It's so helpful to use this method with her. She's a wonderful, lovely person. And she, you know, she loves people, but just her inclination is not to do that. So what we found with her, after doing this strategic analysis of the best places for her to begin to connect with other ecosystem partners, as she was building her initiative, is to create these very small 15 minute conversations where she could begin to connect with people and just get to know them a lot of the human connection. I think the reason why people do spend so much time in research mode is all of a sudden, it makes us feel like we're a junior high person at a dance that's just so awkward. And all of a sudden, you feel like you just can't go and you can't ask somebody to dance or you wait for somebody to ask you to dance. It kicks us into our most vulnerable human state, especially early on in a project where we're just exploring connections. So what I learned with the work with her is to create a very specific structure so that when she had those conversations, the first conversation is never ever going to be Hey, this is who I am. Do you want to work with me because that's not the way it works, you wouldn't do that in person walk up to somebody on the street and ask if they want to support your business or partner with you? You just want to start to get to know each other in small ways. And through doing that. It's been astounding to see how it is that she's grown. She's now working with virtually every large University, Oxford, you know, Harvard, Stanford, huge companies, huge foundations have trained 1000s of data scientists in her method. But what's important to me is recognizing that you don't have to be a raging extrovert, you don't have to constantly be generating activity. She was very specific with her analysis of who would be the best partners to start with. And it's been astounding to see your success.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, it was, it's a great story. And um, you know, you and I are obviously extroverts, I wouldn't be doing a podcast show if I, for 15 years, and 950 podcasts, if I didn't have this ability to be a Maven and connect and do the things that I do. And people are always amazed that you know, how many people I can connect them with? They go, Oh, my gosh, can you help me? You know, get to Marshall Goldsmith, and I said, Yeah, it's a personal friend, I have a problem sending an email to him. And 99% of the time he answers to and then they're so astounded, because he answered, because you have equity, build up with people, as a result of doing something good for them. I think that's the other thing, if you just keep doing good, and do your best, and ask the right questions. The reality is it comes back. And the benefits are huge, right? So I tell people, you know, I know you're an introvert. And I know you must have some trepidation about making that first step. But really, it's not that difficult if you ask questions about them, and listen, and just listen, just ask questions about them. And listen, because everybody, I remember this from Dale Carnegie, everybody wants to talk about themselves, you know, so I think it's a great one. Now, Pam, the widest net, as I say, is a book that is filled with data, stories, information on how to take action to become a better marketer, and manifest what you need. In your business and your life, you didn't leave out one or the other, you actually put them both in there. What are three takeaways that are imperative for our listeners to understand when growing their businesses in your estimation?

Pamela Slim
The first is to, I invite you to have a strategic focus to really build these ecosystems of support for your customers, not an empire for yourself, that is based on self-interest. And you and I have shared what our values are, we know we're both very much driven by the greater good society good. Not everybody is driven by those values. And that is okay, for people even that have different value sets, I do make the argument that it is more effective, more strategic, and you will be more successful in business, even if your goal is to, to you know, get more money and get more opportunity, it is going to be more strategic, where you're looking at the bigger opportunities in the market for partnerships. But if we do that, and we're centering our customers, that is critical, overall with to your success and sustainability. The second thing is that you need to do that work of analysis and strategy before tactics. So much of business advice specially in marketing is very tactical. So people are looking for that magic formula, that's gonna get them everything, you need to take a strategic analysis about where the places where I want to go, who are the people who I want to partner with, you have to be defining your ecosystem by shared values. It's not everybody who is solving that customer problem, who would be your partner. And this goes to what you were saying, and who you're introducing people to, I am very discerning about who I might introduce people to because the Fit I'm looking for is the fit in the value set of the person I'm working with the fit and the value set of the other person. And then with permission, you know, asking them for that consent. If it's a mutually beneficial, you know, connection, it will work, which is the way I know you do it and having this deep equity within your network. Because otherwise, if it's just transactional, it's never going to work. So always strategy and analysis first, and you're like you're, you're bumping up and down, you're going to zoom up, get down with some tactics, zoom up again, make some adjustments and then get back to your tiny marketing action. So that's the second piece. And the third really is around 20 marketing actions. When you do get a clearer sense of the kinds of connections that you want to make. Then it can totally drive taking small steps every day towards it. I have a person who I love who's a thought leader, influencer and amazing artists John Legend is somebody I've written about for years over a decade. He was a former manager MIT consultant. So I love his story escaping Cubicle Nation to be an artist. But I've literally talked about him in every book, every talk just about every podcast. And I'm right now actually in deep communication with his team, that after so many years, we're beginning to look at some threads of ways in which we can possibly connect and to meet. That's the joy of having a longer term strategic perspective, whether it's your big win for a client you want to get, whether it's that podcast guest you're looking to get have the patience to be taking small steps every day. And that's what ends up creating much more sustainability in your business.

Greg Voisen
Great, great wisdom and advice from my listeners, especially those that have businesses, but there's so much weaved into this book. And if you would hold the book up again, because I don't have a copy go the widest net. There you go. I'm gonna put a link to that on Amazon. I'll put a link to her website. Does the book have an its own landing page? Or is it just your website?

Pamela Slim
It does its panelists live.com, forward slash the widest net.

Greg Voisen
So for all of you listening, we'll put a link to that as well. Pam, it's been a pleasure having you on I know that I made you turn off that fan, you can turn it back on again now because I know it's a blazing there. But I appreciate you. I appreciate your contribution to the world and what you're giving, both through your learning lab and Mesa. And through the work that you're doing working with people that have content and you're trying to get it out to the world. I know that you're a huge benefit to them. So thank you, thank you for everything and stay to you. Thanks for being on personal growth.

Pamela Slim
Thanks for having me.

powered by

Joining me for this podcast is an experienced executive mentor and speaker for high performance CEO’s and business leaders across North America and the author of Three Big Questions That Everyone Asks Sooner or Later – Dave Phillips.

Dave work covers topics ranging from the boardroom to the bedroom in some of the most challenging and even troubling areas of the leaders’ life. He does not only supports CEO’s and business leaders, but also their teams to make a greater impact and provide long-term solutions.

His book, Three Big Questions That Everyone Asks Sooner or Later, was designed to lead you through a unique, integrated process that will help you to answer critical life questions. With this, some may find that this process is the start of a transforming journey while others may find that it crystallizes and clarifies the dreams and desires that have been floating through their minds for a lifetime.

If you want to know more about Dave, you may click here to visit his website.

I hope you enjoy this enagaging interview with Dave Phillips. Thanks and happy listening!

THE BOOK

Do you ever wake up wondering why you are about to spend your day doing things that don’t really bring you any sense of satisfaction or meaning? Is that all there is to life?

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do – people from all walks of life eventually come to the place where they recognize their innate need for purpose and meaning. When that happens, they inevitably seek answers to three questions:

1. What is my purpose for living?

2. What will be my mission in this life?

3. What will be the vision for my life?

THE AUTHOR

Dave Phillips is an experienced executive mentor and speaker for high performance CEO’s and business leaders across North America. His work covers topics ranging from the boardroom to the bedroom in some of the most challenging and even troubling areas of the leaders’ life. Regardless of your business size and revenue, the tools and capacity-building programs that Dave offers will improve business communication and the overall health of the business.

 

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transciption (not edited) of the interview.

Greg Voisen
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen and the host of Inside Personal Growth. And joining us from Vancouver, Canada. Is Dave Phillips. Dave, Good day to you. How you doing? Oh, fantastic. I felt any better. I'd be twins. I'd look as good as you, Greg. Well, I appreciate your compliment. I know Dave, by way of Beau Parfitt, and many of my listeners know, he's been on the show before, I think a couple of times. And most of my listeners don't know I'm in the midst of helping him write his next book. And we're getting closer and closer but Dave met bow and then Dave introduced us. Or I should say bow introduced us to Dave's wife. And I'm gonna let my listeners know a tad about you. We're going to be talking about his book called the three big questions that you ask sooner or later. He's a business owner, board member, author, columnist, TV host professional athlete, world record holder, father and husband and it pretty much describes David Phillips. He has also been a stunt man, professional ski show performer and coach for some of Canadians finest athletes. Dave broke two Guinness World Records for ski duration, the first on snow by skiing continuously for at three hours 500 chairlift rides and over 340,000 vertical feet. It's a long way. But considering you did that Navy three hours I could get it. It went up went down went up went down and the second on water but skiing for 20 140 kilometers 57 hours so from almost from Vancouver to Winnipeg, with partner Ralph Haidle brand. Dave also has been awarded the Bronze medal for bravery on his part in a lifesaving effort currently spends his time speaking and leadership mentoring for CEOs and business leaders. His top rank YPO Young Presidents organizational resources, Prentiss presented groups in Canada, US and UK. Over the last 25 years he served on boards and several public and private companies. As I mentioned about his wife, he's married to Ontario native Olympic gold medalist and alpine skiing, Kathy Phillips. And they now live in northern Vancouver and have three grown children. Nelson, is it lami? Liam? Liam. And what's the last one? Keller? Mikayla? You guys, you guys did a good job naming your kids. So the host of a podcast would have a tough time with that.

Dave Phillips
We weren't thinking about this podcast at the time, sir.

Greg Voisen
Yeah. Well, that's a great background about you. And I think to just kind of dive in here, you know, most of my listeners will probably want to know what these three big questions are, that are referred to in the book. And you know, you're really very purpose driven, people go to the website at D phillips.com. You can learn more about it. He's got also another website that's linked to that. So once you go over to the courses, and you click on the course, about purpose, it'll go to the purpose process. And there you can sign up for the course you can get involved in, you know, we'll talk a little bit about that course. But you know, for years, Dave, whether you're a CEO, or you're an individual, or you're working in a corporation purpose, mission, vision values have always been a big thing. What are these three questions? And what regardless of my listeners’ capacity out there, whether they're an individual, a mom or a dad or listening to this, or they're a CEO, or executive, are those questions that maybe they should be asking that they're going to ask sooner or later?

Dave Phillips
Yeah, wow, Greg got a great, fantastic question, you know, and the reality is, I didn't I didn't actually just kind of make this stuff up. I started mentoring folks, many years ago, two and a half decades ago, I guess. And, and, you know, so we started talking, you know, one of the big things that comes up is what should I do next? What's my next role or job? Or should I buy another business? Or what should I do? You know, people are wondering how to spend their time. And so they would come in and we talk about this. And, you know, at first they started saying, hey, what's my mission? Or in other words, what is it that I do because everybody knows the purpose for your life is about what you do. Of course, we'll talk about that in a minute as well because that's a myth. But the this whole notion of how do I spend my time what's my mission, everybody wants a mission to fight right? And so They would come to this and they would go, Okay, well, they were smart guy, so you get a job or buy another business or something and you know, move them off on their way. And everybody was happy, except they would come back a couple years later and ask the second question, right. So they asked the middle question first, which is, what's my mission? But then they come back, and they'd say, you know, this time, I want to talk about and understand why I would do that. So in other words, what's the purpose for that? In fact, the bigger question was, what's the purpose of my life? Why am I here in the planet, right? And see, we determined that the purpose for your life is not actually to do something to do your mission that brings meaning to your life. But really, the purpose for your life is to first be someone. Because really, it's about our character, right. And in fact, we don't really care very much about the missions of our children, or those who are close to us if they're bad people, we want to say, what is the purpose for my life to first be someone of character? And then how do we describe that? So really, that's the foundational question and the purpose process.

Greg Voisen
And I think, Dave, maybe one of the things that you could do for my listeners, because, you know, it's a big overarching question. It's a very big question, and one that maybe my listeners have, or have not spent time trying to evaluate, or they want to reevaluate it, because they've done it, and it's time to revisit it. Yeah. And you know, it centers around values, for the most part. And to get a clue to find out your purpose, you really have to have a pretty good idea of your values. Could you speak with us a little bit about helping one to find those values? Which I'm sure you do in your, your purpose? Process course? Yeah. Gotta be part of that course. And how those values help guide and direct them toward finding that purpose. Which they then define a purpose statement, I'm probably I'm assuming. Yep. And then they can start to use that as the North Star.

Dave Phillips
Yeah, well, yeah, of course, you stepped on a landmine? Great question. Again, Greg. It's a very interesting thing. Values exercises make me crazy. Because they tell kids in university, hey, here's a list of 300 values, pick three and live your life. According to that. Well, when I was like, 20 years old, are right in that age category, I would have picked traveling in snow skiing. And so actually, which is kind of what I did. But then I realized, well hang on just a second, like, Hey, this is fun. But you know, you pretty quickly learned that you don't want to jump off big things for a living all due respect to my friends who are still stuck, stung. You know, and so you realize, hang on a second, what is it that I really value? Well, the reality is, Greg, that there's three kinds of values, there's not just one kind of value. And the younger you are, the more likely you will get stuck on what I call activity values. Those are the first kinds of values like I like to travel in snow skiing, waterskiing, and do all the fun, they're fantastic. There's nothing wrong with them, you just can't fully live your life by them. And that's what they're telling kids pick your values live by them. Okay, well, great. But actually, the further along, you go get a little older, and you say, oh, no, you know, I need to think about my competency values or my superpowers, what is it that I do? Well, what do I value doing what I like to do my passion, for example? And what does the world value enough to maybe pay me so I can eat? Right? So these are the competency values. So we have to have these, you know, these activity values are important, but competency values are really important. So the superpowers, but then also below that are the identity values, right? And the identity values, you know, this has to do with character, it has to do with who we are in the world. And I'm not just making up the identity values, these are the, I'm going to say about 18 not a hard and fast list, but I'm gonna say about 18 values that have basically held the human race together since the beginning of recorded history. It's the foundation that we build civil society so on. And so this is classically how we have described character, it's the things you want everyone around you to be know like, you want them to be honest and good and gracious, and you want them to be compassionate and you want them to have courage and experience justice and humility and grace, and so on. Right? So you these are all things that everybody thinks are good, and they are the things that we describe character with. And this starts the journey to say if there's these 18 Then how can I maybe pick three? And I'll tell you the dirty little secret as you start to really understand those three, you describe them with the other 17 It's a it's a very interesting process to go through. And I can tell you a legion of stories about this, but really when you start thinking about identity, used to ask people to ask people who they are, and they'll answer with their roles they'll answer with the things they do, they will not answer with the description of character identity. And this is the beginning of the life purpose journey is understanding character, and who you sometimes aspirationally want to be?

Greg Voisen
Right, right? Well, you know, we do have these various personas, we're a husband, and we're a business person. And we're this and we're that. And frequently, we act a little differently. And each one of those roles, right. But, you know, I remember having Simon Sinek on the show not that long ago, actually. And he got famous from a TED talk about our why, what is your why? And, you know, you say who we are, which is fundamentally at the core level of this is like, who are weak? That's a question I think people ask for a long time, you know, who they are. Because when you look at it, you have this emotional element, you have the spiritual element, you have the physical element, like you said, you were a stunt man, you're jumping off stuff and doing crazy things, and Senator Guinness records. But really, the when it comes down to it, how would you help people define their why? You just said in our first part, why we exist, right? And at the core of why we exist, is fundamentally should be their purpose.

Dave Phillips
Right? Right. And so the implication all due respect to Simon, the implication is that the purpose for your life is actually to do something. But the problem with that is if it's to do something, if you've caught your goals or purpose for your life, when you achieve your goals, you lose your purpose. And so I would call that purpose full, but not the purpose for you see, this is why we really need to answer the three questions, not just one. Because the purpose for our life is to be a person that we're going to be satisfied with, at the end of the day, do things that are going to be meaningful to us in the world around us, and have a direction that will drive us beyond the end of our lives, ideally, which is vision. That's the third question. Do you see this is the purpose, the mission and the vision? And it's like the, it's like the soul, or the operating system that every person on the planet is wired? To answer these three questions. I didn't, I didn't actually think of this stuff. I just saw people coming back over and over again, asking these three questions. It was never two, it was never four. It was always three questions. And so finally, a client said, you know, he's write a book about this, Dave, that that's where it came from. It came from a whole bunch of, you know, business leaders all over the world who were saying, Gosh, this seems to really work well, like, Oh, why don't you write a book about this?

Greg Voisen
Well, and I think it is three questions. But fundamentally, to even get there, it's almost like a, it's a process, that you're weeding through lots of years of being conditioned, living in this physical world, the challenges you have, and I really think purpose is, and I'm to say this fundamentally, I think it's a spiritual quest. It's an inner spiritual quest for each individual. Now, I just recently had Marshall Goldsmith on here, like literally two weeks ago. And in his book, The Earned life, something came up for me. You know, he said, Dave, we live on one end of the continuum, which is regret and the other end of the continuum, which is purpose, mission. Its happiness, its joy, its contentment, contentment, and they've got this continuum, right. And one thing I didn't know about him is that he speaks to CEOs and executives just like you do and coaches them about non-attachment, and impermanence. And I'm like, those are Buddhist concepts, which I've known for a year. How and I said to him, I said, martial and I'm going to give you this question to how can you speak to achievers? Who are big achievers, about non-attachment in impermanence. It's probably not even in their sphere. And he said to me, it's not only not in their sphere, it's like nothing they've ever before been questioned about. And you speak about in your book four levels of happiness as described by the great philosopher and teacher, Aristotle and the rich reason I asked this question is because I'm linking it back to happiness. If on one end of the continuum is happiness, see Kumar Rao, all the people that have had on that have talked about happiness, lots of books on happiness courses at Harvard on happiness. How would you help? The listeners who are trying to find a purpose with one of those core fundamental elements being happiness, joy, contentment.

Dave Phillips
So there's 26 questions in there, Greg, just to be clear,

Greg Voisen
okay. It says four levels of happiness, but you say a 26 questions. Okay.

Dave Phillips
Well, there was a whole bunch of questions in there. But you know, the four levels of happiness is a fantastic model. Okay. And so, so if you take the, you know, Aristotle's four levels of happiness, and frankly, take all the happy local happiness research has been done, like fantastic work by guys like Martin Seligman, and, and so many others. Now, Dan, I'd recommend people read Solomon's book, you know, I think in about 2000, he wrote a book called authentic happiness. I wrote another one where there's three I have, the second one he wrote was called Thrive, which was an advanced, I mean, fantastic books on happiness. Another one called what happy people? No, those are sort of my top picks, I guess. But you know, when you think about the four levels of happiness, it kind of fits with this, like, how conscious are we in the world as well, right. So but having said that, let's just go back to level one level one is immediate gratification, right? And we all know, a little immediate gratification, you know, we watch a Netflix movie, we have a drink, we do something, you know, fun, and fantastic. There's nothing wrong with but you just can't live your life at level one. So people realize, you know, it's got to be one more thing that will give me a little bit higher. And so they thought, you know, what, if I achieve something, I actually am a little bit happier, right? And so this is kind of the mission question we were asking, right? So if we do something, we are going to be just a little bit happier. So gratification through achievement. But of course, you know, you can't get stuck in gratification through achievement, because then you end up in this endless loop of just achieving to get immediate gratification. Well, everybody knows that doesn't work, right? So then the human condition goes on and says, Well, you know what, as it turns out, I like to take my immediate gratification, my contribution, or my achievement and make a contribution. So that's the third level of happiness, the people who want to make these contributions and on the planet, right. And so that kind of brings level two and level one into engagement, right, but the, the problem is, like, for example, fundraisers love this, right, because they know that if you've got if you're living at level three, and level two kind of dipping into one, that you're going to feel guilty next year, when they come back again, right, because you're giving the contribution for a level one gratification, that becomes an endless loop, right? Where you're kind of living outside yourself. So you've got this, you know, immediate gratification, then you have this, you know, sort of achievement, then you have contribution, but it's the fourth level where you really cross over the Gulf. And this is where you, you realize that the very happiest people historically, and this is I'm gonna start, I mean, I'm gonna maybe I'm pushing my luck a little bit, I would say this is, broadly speaking, 7500 years of recorded history on happiness boiled down into one sentence, but one paragraph, and I would say that the very happiest people are those people who have become, I'll say it twice, but they become the kind of people who naturally or spontaneously engage their signature strengths, to make a contribution in a virtuous fashion. So those historically are the happiest people. So but the first part is about the being, well-being who are we going to become? Right? So this is where we start talking about these ATM virtues are higher values, like this is the thing that describes that describes character. In fact, if you were to take all of the spiritual concepts, and then try to get some sort of a word to describe a spiritual concept, that's really what the virtues are, that's really, you know, essentially that's, that's kind of what they are. Right? So would you also

Greg Voisen
refer to it as kind of a self-actualized state like Maslow used to? I mean, when Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs goes way back, many of my listeners, you know, recognize that the levels that people are at as they grow, yeah. Is it that and the, the stuff that Richard Barrett speaks about and all of his things as well, so I look at it as kind of the top realm. Repeat your sentence again, is very good.

Dave Phillips
I mean, firstly, just to clarify Maslow on his deathbed, kind of renounced some of the things that he said because I think he'd been speaking to Viktor Frankl right about purpose and meaning that can create right so I mean, there's some there's some interesting stuff in there, right? But if we come back to the, to the, to the being, right level are the happiest people have become the kind of people. So it's both a character formation of the virtue, how do we describe ourselves that aspirational sense of self become the kind of people who know one, another door sells so well. And they've done the work. And they've done the behavioral assessments and all those sorts of things to determined listen to other people, they've determined what they naturally do, what's your signature strength, right, or we talked about the values of competency values, right? Become the kind of people who naturally know and engage their signature strengths are the things we do well, but not just for them. They're happier if they do it to make a contribution. Right. But it's not just any contribution. It's a contribution that FITS in keeping with what all of humanity has said are good things during the course of human history, right. And whether you're a theist or an atheist, right, it doesn't matter. Everybody kind of agrees on this formula. They might disagree on the origin, for example, but they all agree that these are the very happiest people, the people who are being good people, we listened. I listened to a 92-year-old, our local billionaire Jimmy Patterson speak the other day. And essentially, he said, like, what's the summary of my career? Work hard to be a good, honest person?

Greg Voisen
I would agree that's the simplest way to do it. You state there's five why's and the five questions that lead to discover your real purpose and motivation. Speak with the listeners about the five why's of purpose. Well, and again, these

Dave Phillips
Are these are just little exercises that you can drill to drill down. You know, the purpose process is something I've designed to kind of fill in the gaps. So you know, if you don't take all the seven steps that we'll talk about in a minute. The I'm sorry, restate the question again, the five the five Why's the five why's? Yeah, so the five why's are this exercise that I'd heard of. And I have to be honest, I'm the time when this slapped me in the face was when I was breaking this crazy waterski world record. You know, we're out there, waterskiing. And we had come to, you know, three, four or five, 600 Miles like everything, by the way, after about 300 miles, everything starts to hurt, and you got another you've got another, you know, 1000 or so miles to go and you know, so you're dealing with pain, right? It's the closest thing honestly, Greg that I can think up to being tortured. Because it was I've never been tortured. I don't think maybe my teenagers from time to time have tortured me. But I honestly the there well beyond that stage now. You know, the when you are out there waterskiing, 345 600 miles, everything hurts, so you got 26 bones and each foot and then you take those and swell up all the connective tissues to that and then just slap it 20 or 30,000 times and you tell me how you're feeling? You lose your sense of humor in a hurry, right? At about 800 miles, I'm out there kind of desperate going, how am I ever going to ski another four or 500 miles, right? Like this is unimaginable, right? Then like the closest thing that I can imagine to being impossible, right? And so you would think at that moment, Greg, I would ask myself a question that I should have asked a long time before then what would the question be?

Greg Voisen
Why am I doing this?

Dave Phillips
So you do you ask the question. Okay, well, so either the user I didn't get to five, maybe I did, I came up, but I'll tell you the things I can remember clearly. And Greg, I cannot properly put into English. What happened in this experience? Because it was an experience that you cannot fabricate or, or makeup. But I started asking the question, why are we doing this? And I thought, well, we want to we want to break a Guinness World Record at that point. Who cares? Right? I thought well, what's why would that be important to break the world record? Well to raise some money for cystic fibrosis, because it was terrible. CF is a terrible disease and, and so I thought well to raise money for this. And I thought, you know what, write him a check. I mean, these are distinct memories I had at that moment of this conversation I was having and then, and then I asked, Well, why is it important to raise money for cystic fibrosis. And then all of a sudden, I entered into a daydream, my mind drifted back to the beach. And there's these two little girls, both four and five years old named Joan and Allison Brennan. And they were dancing around the beach and having a great time. Both of them had cystic fibrosis, they were the most spectacularly beautiful little girls you could even imagine. And to know that their lives were going to be cut short. And I thought in that moment, you know, Greg, I'm getting goosebumps as I tell the story even all these years later. Isn't that a strange Same. And as I remember those two girls on the beach, I thought, can I give them another life breath, another, another, another breath another day of life. If what I'm doing now could give them another minute, another day, another month, from research from awareness from whatever we're doing out here. I thought that's enough. And in that moment, in that moment, I can't and I can't properly explain it. But somehow, the impossible, flipped the switch and became possible. There was a whole new gear that I got, and I cannot properly describe it. It's as though had come to the end of myself and my magical athlete, big strong guy trying to do all these things in a row was like I had come to the end, we did not find out how strong and invincible we were, in that event. Great, we found out how weak we were. And we found out how important others are, and how important this contribution is. And to do this good thing. It did, I

Greg Voisen
think, I think it's this may sound a little trite, but it does answer the question just like you were talking about that billionaire in Canada, you know, work hard, do good. You're really any end, working towards something that's greater than yourself. It's like the sum total of have so much effort. I mean, your partner was with you, you were doing it, you were trying to break these Guinness book records. It wasn't about the record anymore. It's about the two little girls with CF, right and something much greater than the record. Nothing to do with the record, even though you did break the record. And that's what you can say, what you really can say is that you raised enough money to help research to help more people actually live longer. Right. And that's the that's where you are now you speak to the listeners, you refer to this as your unique, your unique personal passion. Why? Why would you recommend people to figure out, what are some things worth dying for? Now, you might know, you might have been on that water thinking, maybe I'm going to die out here just because this is so much pain that crossed my mind. It might have it might have not that maybe you would have died, but you maybe you could have hurt yourself eating legs would have gotten weak. Great.

Dave Phillips
Well, the bottoms of my feet were numb for two months and some parts for two years, just to be clear are crazy. This thing was

Greg Voisen
Yeah. So it might not. The question would be I look at all these soldiers in Ukraine right now. putting their life on the line for the country every day. I don't know the numbers that have died. I don't claim to know, I know that the losses are crazy. And there's no way to put a good thing. But when somebody says, Hey, I'm doing this for something greater than me, my country, it's not about me, it's about everybody else, you begin to see how heroic many of these people are that are stepping up to do that to put their life on the line. Now that's happened war in in war out war in and war out in Vietnam, whatever. Granted, we have war resisters that ended up going to Vietnam and fighting anyway. But would you say that that might be this unique, personal passion that would be beyond that? Would you find that in skiing across, you know, from here to Winnipeg? What is that? Because you said it's worth dying for?

Dave Phillips
Well, the pathway again, to answer the question what's worth dying for? We need to determine first what's worth living for. Right? And so the mistake that people make is they over index on their mission. They think their goals are the purpose for their life. So say you win the war. But then you go, Well, what's next, right? I mean, my wife won an Olympic gold medal. And that when she was 10 years old, and she was walking through the she was walking me through the process of doing this she thought, boy, if I could just win an Olympic gold medal that would be the purpose for my life. It was the be the grand achievement. Well, fantastic, which she actually won the gold medal. Good news. The bad news is like what next? There is no higher, there is no higher gold you can get in the world of sport. So you know, if you call your goals or your mission, the purpose for your life, when you achieve your goals, you lose the sense of purpose. Right and so This is this is the grand mistake that people make, and they don't circle back to this more spiritual thing that you were talking about. And, you know, we can even kind of de spiritualize it for those who are scared by the word spiritual. And say one of the functional aspects of the of, you know, of the sense of the sense of goodness or virtue, I mean, you know, I'm not gonna dive into this, but you know, I rewrote a definition for love great, because I'm so very disappointed. And all of the notions of you know, love as being purely emotional or feeling based or emotion based it is all of those things they will love is a love is a what I would call a mystical, unifying, generative force, right. So it's certainly all of those things, all the definitions are written on that. But really, the practical application of it like how we would treat teach our young people teach my daughter how to find a young man and love him. But so beyond this mystical unifying force, is, is the practical application of these identity values, in relationships with people and planet. These are the values that have held us together since the beginning of recorded history, yet we don't talk and this is, this is essentially how you create all the emotion by loving somebody in this way. And yet, we don't give a proper balanced credence to the practical aspects of what does history say about what it means to love.

Greg Voisen
Now, once you've defined all these things, Dave, and you're now speaking about something that's like, Okay, what is love? What is this purpose mean? What advice would you provide to the listeners about contentment and equanimity? You know, we go through ups and downs in life. You know, life is not just one continuum. Sure, it and it everything is perfect, right? Whether it's a marriage or a business or right financial and whatever it is, and purpose, a well a purpose, a purposeful person, well grounded, would, in my estimation, understand equanimity, and understand contentment? In other words, if you're supposed to be this person living your purpose, yes, no matter what goes on around you, you should be steadfast. Okay, right. And what advice would you provide? Or what thoughts might you give our listeners about being? How do you want to call it equal mindedness? You know,

Dave Phillips
you know? Sure. Well, the, again, the foundation of equal mindedness comes in the balanced application of these higher values and understanding what they are developing opera essentially developing operating principles around it, and then practices. Right. I mean, this is really the view of this right now, you know, my view, and I would say, a lot of history would support it, certainly, you know, from, from a practical perspective, right. Like, you know, we've got all kinds of dysfunction run on all over the place, right, that blind that blinds us, the father wounds that the abuse that happened, the, you know, the misgivings that occurred to the broken families, and so on, you know, a lot of that has really taken us out, and people don't take the time necessarily there to focus on what those wounds are, that are that are kind of taking them out. And, you know, on one hand, I've heard it said nobody achieved anything with a little dysfunction. On the other hand, I've heard it said that, you know, sometimes the dysfunction can take us out. And so having people do the work on what the dysfunction is, what are the things that you know, consume your mind, find people to talk to, we are in a better time, the best time of history to be alive, to determine what these things are, although we're not perfectly clear, boiboi We're getting closer. And, you know, either talk therapy or different types of modalities can be very helpful for people to figure out how to solve those things, so that they can get back on to what I call the center line, Greg, a lot of people ask me, you know, I'm off track, I just don't know quite what I got to do. And I say, Well, you know, we're on track is, and they go, Yeah, I'm not exactly sure. Right. And so, this purpose process, really is the on track version, not based on what Dave saying, it's kind of based on what all of history is saying, you know, there's seven steps. You know, it's what's the purpose for my life? What's my mission? What's my vision? Those are the three questions as the book is about. That's where people start, right? But then they would come back later, actually, and they would say, Dave, what do I do with this? Great, what do I do with it? In a practical sense, you live that out to your primary roles. So you'll have different roles, you know, you'll have you know, community member Her father career finances, spiritual personal development, and so on, yeah, five, or six or seven. Based on that you then set your goals, I'll tell you the biggest single mistake people make the biggest single mistake people make in their lives, Greg that throw them way off track is they set goals without first having the context of the roles. So in other words, they become really successful a business and 100 pounds overweight, right? Well, that doesn't work, or they get in really good shape, but they're broke. Well, that doesn't work either. So roles, goals, from the goals, the tasks come from the task is a task to populate your calendar. Most people are living in their tasks and their task list in their calendar. And then they go, Oh, I better set some goals. And then oh, it's a better decide on some roles. And then it's why am I doing all this stuff? Right? And usually, the younger you are, the closer you are to the seven step. The older you get, the more you are focused on purpose, people usually start asking the questions when I'm 25 years old.

Greg Voisen
Well, I appreciate I appreciate you mentioning the emotional baggage that people carry, because that does get in the way of them being able to advance themselves. And always, you know, say Are they on the learning line, versus the goal line? The learning line looks at all of these experiences and lives as an opportunity to transmute it, learn something from it and move forward. Sure. Versus just checking off the box. I made this goal as you said, Okay. So, you know, and the learning line is a continuum, it doesn't end once the goal has been achieved. So that's important. And I'm glad you mentioned that. Now, you know, in kind of summarizing here, you have these three questions. But you also have this course called The purpose process. Can you give the listeners three takeaways on what you think would really be important for them to consider maybe applying somewhere in their life that could help them move beyond as you keep referencing a goal, but more a purpose? And what would those be?

Dave Phillips
Well, the three, I guess, the three takeaways. The three things that I'd like people to really think about is, you know that firstly, life purpose is three questions. It's not just one, right? So ask the question of sort of the Who am I the Why do I do what I do? It's really an identity question, right? The second word, what's my mission? So we spend all of our time the universities and schools and so on? That's where they spend all their time. But the third question, of course, what's my vision, and most people don't even really have an idea of how to think about the irrational process of vision. But you will never do so well, unless you understand the mission and the purpose. So it's those first three, three questions. There's, there's three, there's not just one question. You know, and then the second thing I would say, is that, you know, if you don't know where on track is, how do you know, when you're off track? You know, we must come back to this place where we start thinking about what are the central values that define my character, my purpose? What is my mission? What am I good at? Where's my center line in terms of my signature strengths? How I spend my time? What is my state of division? Where do I want to take all this right? And then the roles the, you know, the seven steps, right? The purpose, mission, vision, roles, goals, tasks, calendar, you know, how is it that I can build my centerline, so that I can be clear, right, we need to, we need to know when we're off track by knowing where on track is, and it's not just Davis, and this is I've looked at all of history is really saying, these are kind of kind of the quickest way to think about this. I'm saying it's not for the faint of heart, to be honest, it's it. But it's, this is the pathway that everybody's going to walk sooner or later. Unless

Greg Voisen
It is and I think for my listeners, and they've heard me say this before, because I've done other shows on purpose, but it's worth repeating. I used to teach a course that Kevin McCarthy created called the on purpose person. And I became a facilitator for that. And after two days in the course, now, your course, I think, runs anywhere from six weeks to 10 weeks, you say, and it is online, so people can go online and watch the videos and do the exercises and so on. But mine was a three day eight hour per day course. So whatever however many hours that is, at the end, I defined my personal purpose which hasn't changed, and is I exist to serve to inspire passion. Now, for me, what did that mean? Why do I do this podcast? Sometimes people ask, you know, you've done 950 Plus episodes of the show. Well, number one, this is my learning ground. I learned from everybody that I interview. Number two, it's my way to disseminate information to the world to inspire people to actually make that change. And it's moving people from and here's the most important point, a point of confusion and misunderstanding about something to understanding and being clear, right. And so when I say Passion, Passion actually can be defined as getting somebody from not having clarity to having clarity about where they want to go, or what they want to do. And to me, I think in life, somebody like you can help somebody get clarity around their purpose is very important. And we help meaning you as thought leaders, facilitators, light workers, or whatever you want to call us, our role is to help the people do that. And, Dave, I want to thank you for being on the show, spending time with me articulating what this is, what the questions are, people should be asking. And then I'm going to direct all of my listeners to go to Amazon to get the audio book, or to buy the book. And then we'll go to his website, which is D phillips.com. That's where you can learn about more of his corporate stuff. Then there'll

Dave Phillips
be there's a link to buy the book on the website as well, which might be the easier pathway,

Greg Voisen
okay. And then the other one is, you can virtually go to his course section at the top, and just click on core courses. And when you click on the first button there, you'll find the course on purpose. And this is something that's a synchronistic. So the one of the questions asked was, well, can I take it anytime? Yes, you can. Because it's recorded. And it's Dave speaking. And literally, you can go up there and pop in and take your course. And I will say it's very reasonably priced. The whole thing I think, was, if you bought it all at once was 997 cents, right? Yeah. And if you pay it in payments, it's three payments. So do go to Dave's website, check it out. There's a lot of places you can go to understand purpose. If it's, you know, getting his book right off the bat to ask the three questions and start the work. But I'd say you got to start someplace. So I'd encourage you guys to start everyone is listening, start. Dave, anything you want to say to sum this up?

Dave Phillips
Well, I, I just people listen. And they know that there's something that they should they should do. And I would I would encourage I would encourage the listeners to just write down that one thing that came from today's call, whether it's by a book or determine my identity values, whatever it is, everybody's usually Everybody's got something to take away because there is some great energy inside each of us to do some great thing. And I would encourage you to remember that direction is more important than position and could that one thing change your direction? One degree today?

Greg Voisen
Uh, Dave, thanks for being on inside personal growth and sharing the three big questions.

Dave Phillips
My great pleasure, as I'm sure you can imagine, Greg, thank you.

powered by

My guest for this podcast is the author of Decoding Your STEM Career: How to Exceed Your Expectations – Peter Devenyi.

For the last thirty-seven-years, Peter spent his engineering career in software and technology development in the fields of networking, telecommunications and logistics. With his skills and expertise, he held senior technical executive positions at large global companies such as RIM and Dematic, leading hundreds of technologists around the world.

Peter also came up with a book entitled Decoding Your STEM Career: How to Exceed Your Expectations. This book is a must-read for STEM graduates who aspire to be the technical leaders and executives of our next generation. Here, he discusses the importance of a never-ending commitment to technical education but recognizes that it can only propel a leader so far.

If you want to know more about Peter, his book and all other works. please click here to visit his website.

I hope you enjoy this engaging interview wtih Peter Devenyi. Thanks and happy listening!

THE BOOK

This book is also for mid-level technical managers who seek to move up the corporate ladder but are not sure how to differentiate themselves from their peers. Pete Devenyi highlights ten capabilities that technology leaders must develop and nurture in order to achieve their full potential. He shares learnings and techniques through a collection of compelling, real-world stories from his own 37-year technology journey.

THE AUTHOR

Over 30 years experience leading technical organizations in defining and developing large scale, mission critical applications, with a primary focus in the fields of logistics and telecommunications. Peter’s specialties are warehouse control systems, logistics operations, enterprise software development, product management, large scale technology leadership, web technologies, mobile device management, public speaking engagements. Furthermore, his overarching goal has always been to develop great products that leave a lasting impact on society.

 

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transciption (not edited) of the interview.

Greg Voisen
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen and the host of Inside Personal Growth. And joining me from Toronto, Canada. And Peter, I'm gonna let you say your last name because I do not want to screw it up. He has a brand new book out called decoding your STEM career, how to exceed your expectations. Peter may say your last name for me, I should ask you before we got on, but if any Devenyi. So Peter has this new book. And I was impressed with really Peter, because in for all my listeners, they know I do pre interviews, and really what he's attempting to kind of communicate to people that are coming into a career in technology. And I'm gonna let Peter, the listeners know a little bit about you. He spent 37 years engineering career working in software and technology development in the fields of networking, telecommunications, and logistics, he held senior technical executive positions at large global companies such as rim and dimetric. I think that's how you said it leading hundreds of technologies around the world. His overarching goal has always been to develop great products and to leave a lasting impact on society. He is an accomplished speaker, and an author of this popular book, which you can get off of Amazon, and we're gonna have a link to Amazon to get that as well. And it's also in Kindle version. And decoding your STEM career, he earned his bachelor's Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto and continues to consult actively in the fields of warehouse automation, software development and robotics. Well, you're certainly well, you know, have a background to be able to address this, it is something that I think, you know, given no matter what happens to our economy, no matter where this goes, because we're all in a kind of a strange situation right now, technology is always going to be a leader. It may not show it right now because of the stock market. But the reality is, it'll be the technology fields and the advancements in science and technology that always move society forward. You know, and you wrote your book to bring awareness to 10s of 1000s of students and I say, students, whether they're graduate students, are there any kind of students that are in their STEM programs, and even they will emerge with these technical skills, right? To advance themselves in their careers and associated with programming and technology. And you can see, there's a critical element that's missing. And I would say that's true with probably almost any education you get when you come out of a university. Whether it's accounting, whatever it is, it's one thing to have the skills to do accounting, or to be a software engineer. It's another thing to work in a company and apply the skills and also what I call your emotional intelligence skills. What's missing? What are the recommendations that you have for any of these students, graduate students at or, or and or budding managers, who are maybe currently now in a position just coding all day long? And they want to be a manager?

Peter Devenyi
Yeah, thanks. And I really appreciate being on your program. Greg, and to this conversation. It is it is amazing what when you actually look at the number of, of those of people globally graduating every single year from STEM programs, it's millions, somewhere in that over 10 million. I think in the US alone, there are half a million graduates from STEM programs every single year. And what's amazing to me is that so many of these graduating students and as they progress early in their career, have similar aspirations. They want to move up in the corporations, they want to move to other companies that that hopefully they will get better opportunities at and have more promotional opportunities with and perhaps the template that they were at. Yet none of it is taught in, in universities, these university programs and engineering, science, math, computer science, are so technically heavy. Very few of the universities have programs that that focus on leadership and engineering and what is it going to take and I wish it was, you know, one magic bullet secret thing. My book focuses on 10 principles. And we will talk about some of these in in the, in the podcast, everything from your integrity and how you use that integrity to communication skills and how you build up those communication skills is still in a technical context to how you continue to further your technical skills, even when you move into executive level position so that you're making big technical decisions thoughtfully, and you're involved in those conversations, you can't usually leave those to other people, because you are the one that ultimately is going to have to bear the consequences of whether you made a good decision or not, or not a good one. So there are so many of these attributes, characteristics, principles, that that these students who then evolve in their career need to take seriously a need to learn. If they are going to achieve their full potential, and they're all learnable. They're all relatively straightforward, but you need to understand what they are, and you need to practice them. You need to learn from your mistakes, you need to figure out how not to make the same mistake over and over again. And that was the motivation for the book to give a head start to people to really understand what are these things that I need to focus on as early as possible, so I maximize the likelihood that I will be able to achieve all the goals that I set for myself early in my career.

Greg Voisen
Well, I think, you know, Peter, the software engineering side and electrical engineering side, it's a teamwork kind of system, right? In other words, I don't care if you go to Google, or you go to Adobe, or you go to metta, or you go to any of these places where you're developing software, in most cases, you have to learn how to work in a community, a team, you've got to be a good team player. It isn't an individual stick sport, right? It's like basketball, right? You're going to have certain people that will code this and certain will do this, and you'll come together and you'll build a product, and you'll know where you're going. And you know, the book offers up 10 capabilities that technology leaders should develop and nurture in order to advance their full potential. And one of them is actually you. I said it was team building, you know, in working in teams, what are some of those capabilities, and we're gonna get into them. But as a broad brush, there's 10 of them that you put in the book, each chapter is dedicated to that. Also, each chapter has a lot of takeaways, I'll tell those people who, you know, want to do a quick read, the chapters aren't long, it's an easy read, this book is certainly not going to be like one of your textbooks that you know, take out on engineering, electrical engineering, or engineering. But it is a book that gives you the basics, the fundamentals of what you need. So once you cover those 10, or as many as you can, and then let's go in depth into those and talk a little bit more about the ones we have time to talk about, that I have questions for that I think are really meaningful.

Peter Devenyi
Yeah, and, and I'll go through the 10 Very briefly, and then we can we can dive into them. And in the book, I try to focus on all 10 through a set of relatable stories, and they're not all happy stories. A number of these stories are mistakes, even embarrassing situations that I found myself. And like everyone I learn as much as possible or more from my mistakes than I do from my successes. And it was important to me as I wrote this book to, to share some of the failures that I've had, where I've made mistakes, how I learned from them how I did better the next time I was confronted with this similar situation. And I think it just makes it easier to relate to and more interesting read hopefully for people as they struggle with some of the same issues that I struggled with through 37 years but if I go through the 10 first one solid, basic technical skills, and I mean that, that you need to focus on it throughout your career and not just when you're doing coding, not just if you're designing electrical circuits or new products, you need to continue to advance in technology STEM careers in general. Certainly when you get into the you know field of computers and networking and robotics, it just changes so much that you know, unlike some other fields that perhaps don't changes dynamically, you will not be long term successful unless you unless you continue to make that commitment.

Greg Voisen
And then relevant your relevancy as a contributor actually goes away, if you're not a continual learner, and one of the things you stress in there is, you know, you've got to be a continual learner, you've got to want to keep to stay up to stay on top of the latest and greatest coding, the latest and greatest engineering techniques, whatever is being used, if you're not, you're irrelevant, and you're going to lose your job.

Peter Devenyi
At some level, you have to, you don't have to be the best, but you have to know enough to be able to get to the nub of the issue to, to engage in meaningful conversation. And to be able to make decisions that you can stand behind, it's crazy to think as you move up to, let's say, executive levels in these corporations, the decisions you make can be million dollar decisions. And if you are not equipped with the basics, to make those decisions, and to have the necessary dialogue that leads to them, then you're going to find yourself in problematic situations, it's only a matter of time. So

Greg Voisen
fundamentally, and let me kind of throw this question in. And then we'll keep going down the list of the 10. You know, as you graduate, or move into jobs in management, let's just say you were a coder, and you decided that's a career you want to you want to go down to management and you get the opportunity. And then one year goes by two years goes by your managing teams, maybe you're managing 3040 50 people doesn't matter what the number is, the point is, you don't have the same amount of time to stay on top of all of this, you have to actually be more of a you're developed your emotional intelligence skills to be able to connect the dots and put things together and look at the bigger pictures. But it's a whole different subset of skills that you talk about in this book, that are foreign to most disease, people who've been sitting in a desk coding. And when you're going in this what advance advice would you give them? Because you know, if they really like coding, and that's what they love doing? And they try and go in management and they hate it. What advice would you give them because there is, you know, there are people that will probably never get out of that position. They don't want to they don't want to do that?

Peter Devenyi
Well, first of all, there are many, many ways to advance a technology career other than going into management, and you gotta if, if you choose to go into management, hopefully, people are doing that for good reasons. But many others want to remain technical. And the advice I would give is to try to find a company that actually rewards values, technical growth, IBM was wonderful in this regard, I speak about it in the book, because they value technology careers so much that they had parallel career paths, you can advance to an IBM Fellow level and be as senior as the most senior management executives, same pay same opportunities. But you were just moving up a completely different career path. And more often. And that was this whole IBM Fellow designation that so many technologists aspire to achieve. More and more companies are doing that these days. So many of the principles and characteristics that I talked about that that you should aspire to achieve are equally relevant, whether you stick to, you know, pure technology careers, as well. But, but if you go into management, you've got to do it for the right reasons. You just feel that that is where you are going to make the most impact, you feel a passion for it. So I think you have to listen to yourself and know you're doing it for the right reasons. And if you make the wrong decision, then go back into a purely technical role. And

Greg Voisen
Nico. Yeah. Well, you know, one of the ways we can cover these is I have questions about each of them. So I think it'd be a good opportunity for us to kind of slide into them. And the first one was you speak about establishing a solid base of technical skills and never stop learning. We've talked a little bit about that. We know that the power of being a continual learner is important. But why is it so important for somebody in the technology centered arena, and somebody who's moving into management because even while you're in management, you want to keep this continual learning foundation Jim?

Peter Devenyi
Yeah, I mean, the best way I think to answer these some of these questions, this one in particular is, is maybe with an example. And, you know, one example that comes to top of mind for me is I found myself at a company that a small company, I was the CTO of the of the company, we were acquired by a larger company. And, and the technology landscape changed shortly after the company acquired us. And they actually no longer needed, the product that they bought our company for, was all about supplier integration into marketplaces, etc. And I found myself in this precarious situation where I'm leading a team of people that was just acquired by a larger company, and they didn't know what to do with our technology. So happened, that I knew the architecture of the product that we brought in well enough, the company that acquired us had ran into a number of challenging problems that they didn't know how to solve with a completely unrelated opportunity. But I could tell that the architecture of our product would be well suited to be adapted to support this other opportunity, as well. So I put a proposal together in that case, to effectively discontinue working on what we had previously that the company acquired us for they no longer needed, and that we revamped the technology to address this other more significant opportunity. And with that, because I understood the architecture of what our capabilities were, and I didn't do it entirely on my own, it was originally something that came to mind. And I worked with the rest of my technology team to figure out how we would do it. But we were able to create a whole new mission for the company, and probably saved a lot of jobs in the process. Because we could adapt the technology to work on something completely different. And, you know, I think that's an example of what's a great example, why are they do right? Why is

Greg Voisen
no, it's a good example. And then you know, the other thing is to keep in mind when you move up from in your STEM career, and you do move into management, you know, all these software, software engineering companies, they have budgets. And now you become responsible for looking at the cost of actually developing XYZ piece of software, whether it's a CRM at Salesforce, or it's something at Adobe, or whatever it might be. And, you know, for the most part, I think frequently from what I've heard, and you can tell me, you know, you've got a budget in mind, and you've got management even above you, who's saying, Hey, are you running on budget, you guys got to be able to get this thing done? When's the, you know, when's the release date, we're going to get it out, all of those things are things that you're now thinking about a little bit more. And like you said, you came up with an idea that could actually have saved this new company, a lot of money. Starting from scratch, we took something new, it sounded like to me and adopted it. So you have these takeaways in each of your chapters, which some of the takeaways regarding improving communication skills, which this is such a critical area, I don't care what company you're in, if the if people aren't communicating, and they're not effectively communicating, it becomes a real issue, and especially when you're building technology stuff. Now, I will say, and I'm gonna mix another question into this. Usually people that are engineers, and software technicians, whatever, they're coders, they're not like the biggest fans of communicating really? Well. I mean, they have most of these companies have more problems in those teams and trying to get those teams to work together. What are some of the takeaways about communicating that you'd give, that are really important that people learn, and really could help somebody advance their career?

Peter Devenyi
Yeah, I love the way you phrased it. And it's true that, you know, those that go into engineering are least likely to be perhaps on the drama team and in high school and get exposure to some of the softer skills and communication skills, making them feel comfortable.

Greg Voisen
Let's put it this way. They don't have the most outgoing personalities. Well, I have a son who's a software engineer. He's wonderful young man. He's beautiful, but he won't engage in conversation unless you actually ask him the question, right. So in other words, that's the way he is, but he's very effective at what he does. And I think that's what's important to understand. It is you, you don't throw the baby out with the bathwater, you give them the skills.

Peter Devenyi
Yeah. And that can be fairly, fairly common. It's, of course, not true for everyone. But it's true for a lot of a lot of people. And I found myself in a similar situation relatively early in my career incredibly nervous I wasn't, I wasn't comfortable speaking in front of large, audiences not even comfortable speaking in front of small audiences in many cases. So, for me, I took early on, out of absolute necessity and intensive communication course, at IBM, and just drilled into me over and over and over and over again, how to present effectively to even a small audience and how to get your message across. And that is something that I would advise anyone to do. So many people are uncomfortable with it, I'm going to be videotaped, I'm going to be critiqued, I'm going to be critiqued by my peers that are also in the class, they're going to look at every little idiosyncrasy, and you have to live through that you have to watch yourself, you have to be honest about it, you have to take the constructive criticism and improve on it. And what struck me in that course at the time was, when we did these back to back presentations of the first one we did on day one, and the last one we did on day three, the same presentation, the remarkable difference there was in the to how much more comfortable I was, given the tools that I learned at that course. And, but what I learned, or realized afterwards that it was more than the presentation, it was the confidence that instilled in me to have one on one conversations with people effectively to listen more effectively to know how to run meetings more effectively, to let to lead them in a way where the right people were speaking at the right time. And I could I could manage the conversation in such a way that we ultimately realized our objectives, how to give constructive criticism to people how to run effective performance reviews, all of this is all about communications. And you need to get comfortable in your own skin that you can do it. And so many of the learnings are equally applicable, whether you're speaking in front of an audience of 6000 people, or you're having a one on one conversation with someone, you need to be comfortable that the right words are going to come to you at the right time. And that you're responding. Based on what you heard, you're not you're really listening to people, you become an effective listener. And based on what you've heard you, you are thinking on the go and you're responding in a way that makes sense to ultimately have a meaningful conversation at the end. And that's what communication is all about. And that takes practice. And you know, some learning by taking the right course, at the right time to help you along the way. And engineers frequently need that.

Greg Voisen
You know, it's a it's very, very important skill. And it's a skill that requires continual practice. And I say this, not lightly because communicating whether you're doing a podcast show, or you're or you're a keynote speaker, or you're somebody working in smaller teams or teams, all of it requires a high degree of emotional intelligence skills. As you said, you reiterated, basically, what like listening skills, you've got to be able to hear what the other person is saying. And I say that's probably one of the biggest, no matter who you are, is to be able to listen. Now I appreciate your chapter in the book about doing what you say you will do in committing to it. And, you know, in today's world, for some reason, I don't know we have four generations working in the workplace today. It's challenging at best, and I'm sure you've run into this in your consulting. There seems to be a different set of values between different generations, it seems it's not always apparent. But you talk about doing what you say you're going to do and committing to it. What in your estimation, you believe this skill is so hard for people to get and what takeaways do you have for people that might be struggling with committing on follow through because, hey, I think this is an important point I'm gonna make if someone gave you a deadline to do something, no matter what generation you're from, and you don't believe you can make it you should renegotiate the deadline. Okay, simple thing, but because some people do One was face, they don't want to renegotiate their eight the deadline, and then they don't make their commitment. And you know, this happens in teams all the time. My son deals with it frequently. Okay. And I think it's especially when it comes to being a software engineer and trying to get something out on time. Right? What advice would you give?

Peter Devenyi
So, you know, great question. It's often, you know, the million-dollar question for so many engineers, software engineers out there. You know, no matter what it is, what product you're trying to get out, you're under pressure, you're busy. You don't like to be interrupted, either. If you if you've made a commitment, and somebody else is, is coming out to trying to get your help for something. You know, too often people say, Yeah, I'll get that done, I'll do it. And yeah, they don't even have any intention of actually doing it, they're just trying to get the person out of your office, don't do that you hope. People sometimes think that? Well, they'll probably forget, I just I told them, I do it, but I'm not going to do it. People remember, and that will hurt your career. If you do that sort of thing, you have to find that balance to do what you say you are going to do. When you get into these larger projects, and you're really on the hook to deliver something of substance, you've got to be careful. And you've got to have courage. And you've got to find the courage to say I can't do that. But you focus on what you can do. And what is possible, it isn't just time I need to get that project done. When a certain time you often there's the ability to negotiate the level of functionality that is going to be included within that period of time. It's incumbent on professional people to come up with alternatives, executives will often put pressure on you to deliver something on a certain point in time. But really what they're asking you is, if you can't get it done exactly the way that I have specified it or that I'm expecting or that we think we need, what is it that we can do that you can commit to in that period of time. So you really have to take ownership of that early on. And when you make individual commitments to people around you, they will remember, even if they don't confront you about them afterwards. And if you build a reputation for not delivering on those small things, it will hurt you in the long run. So combination of lots of things like anything else, it's a set of skills that people get better and better at as they build experience. But it's important to be conscious about it. And it's important to really think about the importance of your word. And you know, that notion that My Word is my bond, and you have to take it seriously. Even when it's an unpopular decision, I've made a ton of mistakes that I talked about in my book, in that respect, you have to own up to the mistakes when they happen. And the most important thing is when you know you can't do something, figure out what you can do, and turn that negative into a positive somehow. And then you can have a meaningful conversation. And you will earn respect of those around you. And at the same time.

Greg Voisen
Well, I know the readers will learn from your book by reading the stories. And there's a story in there that I found. Yeah, kind of actually quite interesting. You speak about working at RIM in the mid 2000s. And the fact that everyone had a Blackberry and that you're all connected you know I think you said was I don't know if it was 5000 employees whatever it was, but what in your estimation did having the BlackBerry do to enhance the teamwork because you said it was everybody was really focused they were trying to get this done we were all committed to getting the job done. And then you just a minute ago said we're contradictory I don't want to be interrupted and the reality is switch tasking doesn't work. We really can't do weaken switched switch tasking is what we do multitasking does not work and that having the BlackBerry enhance the teamwork. Why is the teamwork and imperative for individuals that we've been talking about this but or that are working in software engineering, and especially this story because I found the story kind of on one sense it to me Peter was it was great all these blackberries were going off because everybody was getting these messages. On the other hand, it seems like it would be quite disruptive.

Peter Devenyi
You know, I talk about the story frequently and people's reaction to me That sounds horrible. Sounds terrible. Oh my goodness, you were in meetings and everybody had their BlackBerry's out and you're half paying attention in the meeting and your, your half responding to people. I'm not saying it's, it's, it's even right. But it was certainly a learning opportunity. And there were some really good things and emits some bad things that that we had to we had to work through. But it was a connected company, meaning there were 5000 people at the time grew to 20,000 as at the height of BlackBerry success. But everybody was on a common mission, everybody understood that it wasn't about what you did individually, it was about the team, it was about getting that next product out, it was about changing the world, when we were at Blackberry changing how people worked, redefining what mobile communications meant to the world, and you couldn't do that on your own. That was, that was the responsibility of 5000 people that were hyper connected with one another and supported each other. And when somebody needed information, the culture of the company was get back to them quickly. And, and it was the only company I ever worked at, where nobody would say put your mobile phones away, I need your undivided attention at the meeting that wasn't at all the way the company work, the company worked, like pay attention at the meeting. But we totally understand if you're going to be getting messages respond to your messages as well just don't get caught in the meeting, you need to figure out a way how you can you know, pay attention to both things, both things at the same time. And that too, is a skill that that most people develop some better than others. And yeah, some sometimes we got embarrassed at a meeting that that we were asked a question, and we were somewhere else. But overall,

Greg Voisen
I think that just a curious question here. You know, I understand there's still blackberries out there. Maybe not very many of them. But they're still there. What, what do you think? I mean, look, the company grew super fast. It was like the only game in town. It was wonderful in the mid 2000s. On a side note here, why do you believe their demise came so quickly?

Peter Devenyi
I'm asked this question often. And it's, it's an interesting case study.

Greg Voisen
First of all, I have to go in all the details. But I'm curious myself as to what the overarching management decisions that were made that really lead it down a path of its demise.

Peter Devenyi
So the first thing I think is important to understand is that BlackBerry created an industry and I think it's important for people to realize and recognize Blackberry, more for its accomplishments, as opposed to its ultimate demise, if you will, of the great device itself, because it really was a remarkable achievement. What happened is that the biggest companies in the tech world in the world went after that space, Apple, Microsoft, Google said BlackBerry invented this industry. They're the undeniable leader, we want to go after this space. They did a phenomenal job Apple certainly did. Coming out with the iPhone, they had two orders of magnitude more money $300 billion in the bank compared to BlackBerry that had $3 billion in the bank. So you really are going after, or competing, all of a sudden against massive companies. And there were some difficult decisions that that had to be made, I would say this single fundamental, biggest mistake that BlackBerry made, was coming out with a third ecosystem coming out with it later than they wanted. They called it BlackBerry 10. And the world at the end wasn't willing to adopt BlackBerry 10, on top of Android on top of iOS was just one to many ecosystems, if you will, probably there would have been some other decisions that could have been made but many very smart people there and

Greg Voisen
I'm gonna date myself Peter, but you know, I used to carry around a palm pilot and we used to swap people's business cards through the Palm Pilot when we were networking was really

Peter Devenyi
and blackberry did to Palm Pilot to palm what, you know, Apple to BlackBerry in many ways, right?

Greg Voisen
They just they just disappeared. Yeah, they did. They did just disappear. Now if you would speak about our listeners about the art of listening to be understood, and staying in the moment, obviously our example we just talked about with all the people on their BlackBerry's was not staying in the moment. And it, it certainly could interrupt someone's listening. And while these blackberries are going off, what benefits are there, both the listener and to the person communicating their idea or point because the worst thing can happen is, somebody is in a conference or a meeting. And I said this yesterday, you know, this multitasking doesn't work. And the other thing is it disrupts relationships. You erode in a relationship, the minute your focus goes away from the person that's either talking or listening, or whatever. And if you don't think they know, believe me, they know. And especially if you're in marketing or sales, so if you're, if you're there, and you start, you know, goofing around with your Blackberry, or your iPhone or your whatever, can be critical mistake.

Peter Devenyi
You're absolutely right. Look, everybody notices. We know internally, when we're bored at meetings, our mind is drifting. You can't stop that from happening all the time. But you can stop it from happening. Most of the time. I know early in my career, I was terrible at it, I was good at participating in meetings, when I really cared about the subject matter. And when the subject matter was something that was a little bit tangential to what I was working on, I would I would zone out and think about something else. That was That hurt. My career Early on, I had to actually focus and learn to stay in the moment to listen and contribute to all sorts of topics, whether they were top of mind top of interest topics, to me, it was my responsibility, if I'm spending the time in that meeting, to really listen, and I watched some of the best leaders in action, do that and do it way better than I was capable of doing it. And I've just committed to doing it better, because I knew it was something that that was going to help me and certainly was going to help my career if I got if I got better at it. That's saying that also don't listen with the intent to respond, listen with the intent to understand it is so critical that you are truly listening to what somebody has to say, thinking about it and responding based on that. And that's true in technology fields so often that we have strong views, strong ideas of how something needs to be built or developed, somebody else comes forward with different ideas. The instinctive reaction so many engineers will have is to argue before they actually listen to think that whoever they're talking to is wrong. And I'm formulating my idea before I actually really listen to them. And again, so important to figure out how not to do that, and how to let yourself be educated. Even if it's, you're talking to somebody that you don't particularly like, I had many of these conversations with people I didn't I didn't really even like working with some of them. I didn't like their style. But you still have to listen to what are they trying to say? And is there something that I'm actually missing? That may impact my thought process? And I need to be willing to give myself to that conversation before I actually respond with my thoughts. And, and so often, I changed my tune when I learned how to truly listen. And I think it's a skill that people again, have to practice and learn and they will feel themselves get better at it as they go on.

Greg Voisen
Well, I know you and you mentioned this, you know, Apple and Steve Jobs, you know, and I remember interviewing a guy that used to work quite closely with Steve Jobs and kind of early years, early years. And you know, a lot of people said he was prick and I'm sure he was. But on the other hand, he did say when the engineers came together and he would say this repeatedly, you leave your ego at the door, and you come with a beginner's mind. And you know, that resonated with me. It was like, wow, here's somebody who can just be an asshole when he manages people. But on the other hand, when he knew he needed to get the creative innovation, energy and the lift where he needed to get it, he knew how to create an environment in which people could work and say, Look, leave your ego at the door and come here with a beginner's mind. Come here with an open mind. Because we're in this you know, innovation stage. I think it was just so important. Now, in wrapping up this interview, the book is filled with takeaways every chapter has clearly 1012 takeaways and you articulate these very well, at the end of each chapter? What are the three most important takeaways in your estimation? And what do you want the listeners to understand about preparing themselves for becoming this maybe manager executive or moving up in their organization in some way? What three major things would you want to leave them with?

Peter Devenyi
So always toss right to say, what are the three, I would say the following, I would say, number one, it's a process, you need to understand a framework for improving a wide variety of skills. And progress will be slow, but steady, but achievable and recognizable as you get better at them. If I'm to narrow it down to three primary areas remaining technically proficient reading, doesn't mean you're reading the same stuff, the same technical work, when you move to another level tends to get broader, your butt, but you have to stay technically proficient, if you want to advance in a technical leadership role in whether it's a management role or an individual contributor or leadership role. Learn to listen and communicate well. And with humility is so important, you are not going to be the expert in everything. Listening is as important as speaking. And you need to listen and speak well in a wide array of environments that you find yourself in. And maybe Lastly, be kind focus on the team commit to help other people and good things will happen, far better things will happen than if you try to put yourself in the center of the of the process. And, and I have 10 principles in the book for a reason. I think as people get better and better and better at each of those principles, their careers will markedly improve over time. But maybe those three, encapsulate what some of the key learnings are that I would I would say people have to focus on, I'll

Greg Voisen
show the listeners the book this way. And for those of you watching this on YouTube, you can see it, it isn't a thick book, you can read this on a plane ride somewhere, decoding your STEM career, you and the takeaways meaning, the most important points are already articulated for you at the end of each chapter. You know, I say if somebody wants a quick read, just go to the takeaways and highlight them and start thinking about them and reflecting on them, ask yourself questions about them. And that would actually I am opening up to the first set here. Every one of these is you just said focus on being kind and go out of your way to help others succeed. That's right at the introduction of the book. So I would say everyone we'll put a link to Amazon will also put a link to Peter's website. There. You can learn more about Peter, it's p-e-t-e-r d-e-v-e-n-y-i.com.

Peter Devenyi
It's actually it's actually p-e-t-e dropped r.

Greg Voisen
Sorry. Sorry. P-e-t-e you know what I added the R must be dyslexia. I think because the book is Peter. And I just thought that's what it was. But he's right. It's Pete de venyi.com. That's what we'll put the link to, for my listeners. But thanks for being on inside personal growth and spending a few minutes of your time talking about your new book, talking about decoding their STEM career and really giving them some additional opportunities to learn skills that are going to be necessary to advance their career. It was really fun speaking with you this morning, Peter.

Peter Devenyi
Same here and thanks so much for having me on. truly enjoyed it.

Greg Voisen
All right. Have a good day. You too. Thanks.

powered by

Joining me for this podcast is the president and founder of Exit Consulting Group, Inc., and the author of Exit & Answers: Make Better Decisions When You Sell or Exit Your Business – John Ovrom.

As a serial entrepreneur, John personally understands the day-to-day challenges of running a business. He’s been the owner of large and small companies and his passion is to create lasting value for customers through creating unique solutions to business challenges. Results driven, John focuses his energies on creating the opportunity to achieve your goal.

John uses his more than three decades of hands-on experience and his never-quit attitude to help owners get their wins. He even came up with a book entitled Exit & Answers: Make Better Decisions When You Sell or Exit Your Business. It offers insight and inspiration to business owners and entrepreneurs from someone who’s been there. Hence, John shares the richness of his first hand expertise and experience from both a seller and a buyer’s perspective, exploring all those things he wishes he had known before he sold his first business.

If you’re interested in knowing more about John and his amazing works, you may click here to visit his website.

I hope you enjoy this engaging interview with John Ovrom. Thanks and happy listening!

THE BOOK

Exit & Answers is a must-read for business owners and entrepreneurs who are contemplating selling or exiting their businesses. The book touches upon all major aspects of the business exit/sale process so business owners can become better educated about which decisions are right for them and their respective situations. The author explores the various stages of the business selling process, including ways to optimize the value of a business so it is as attractive as possible to prospective buyers. Ovrom looks at everything from financials and operations, to tax implications and negotiations, to what comes after the sale.

THE AUTHOR

John Ovrom is the president and founder of Exit Consulting Group, Inc., a company dedicated to developing roadmaps for business owners anticipating exiting or selling their businesses. He has more than three decades of hands-on experience building, growing and selling S-Corp, C-Corp and LLC businesses. John uses his personal business experience, transaction experience and never-quit attitude to help owners get their wins.

 

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transciption (not edited) of the interview.

Greg Voisen
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen and the host of Inside Personal Growth. And for all my listeners, John, we have John Ovrom, and John is joining us from Coronado, California, just down the street from me. Most of my listeners know I do this podcast, they also know that I'm involved in succession planning, I got to know John, through the succession planning, business and introduction through various, actually was an accountant that introduced me to John. And I've always been impressed with his business acumen, his ability to put the dots together. And while this particular podcast is really more about your business, it's probably the most important podcast about your business that we could speak about. Good day to you, John, how you doing?

John Ovrom
Neuro wonderful, great, happy Thursday to you, buddy,

Greg Voisen
it's good to have you on inside personal growth, and to speak about something that you and I obviously believe is probably the biggest, most important thing that a business owner could do, or plan for. And I'm gonna let the listeners know a tad bit about you. John has written a book, which I'm gonna hold up here. There it is. The book is called Exit and answers. And this is version 2.0. We had a 1.0 version. But this is the 2.0 version. And he's the founder of exit Consulting Group. And he shares his expertise and written richness on the firsthand experience inside this book based on working with hundreds of business owners over the past 15 years. He explores and provides insights on all the things he wishes he had known before he sold his first business. This book dives into the buying and selling process both to the external buyers, as well as to family key employees and business partners, highlighting common pitfalls business succumb and to the opportunities for businesses to implement value drivers. The book outlines how to attract multiple qualified buyers to your door. If you want to know more about John, his company, and all of the great staff that he has there, just go to Well, the book website is exit and answers.com. His website for the consulting company is exit consulting.com. So either of those will get you there. Is that correct, John, or don't Consulting Group,

John Ovrom
the exit Consulting

Greg Voisen
Group, I left off the group part because actually when you push on your website that actually goes to exit and answers.com on the book itself. So for the book, we'll put the link to exit and answers.com great book for you to get, we'll also put a link to Amazon because book now is on Amazon for you to be able to get that book. And I think it's a great starting place for people. And that's why I want to start this conversation really ever and make it a dialogue because more important that the people that are listening are really kind of listening to not only understand better what they could do, but more importantly, to gather knowledge and information. And so go to John's website to do that as well. John, you've consulted business owner sirs, as I said, 15 years, it's in your bio. You mentioned in the introduction, that there'll come a time when we're all going to access it. And we are whether we die and exit from a death or we exit through some great planning that we did. And we hired somebody like you or myself to help that. Yep, can you briefly discuss with our listeners about the ways an owner can exit their business successfully now there's a lot of ways to exit unsuccessfully. And we could talk about those as well. And I've seen many of those happen you know, fire sales and auctions and all kinds of things that sure people get involved into because they over committed themselves and had to get out of the business quick. So yeah, let's talk about those successful ones and maybe those not so successful ones.

John Ovrom
Well, thank you, Greg, thank you so much for all of our years together as well as you know, the partnerships that we've had and thank you for giving me the opportunity. I mean, we're both very passionate about this. So I can sit around and talk with you for a long time and I know we could give out a lot of stories to a lot of a lot of your listeners on wins and losses and things we've seen and things we wish they would do when wish they didn't do but you know we're all here because we care and that's why we're in the service provider side. You know, I would say that the there's kind of five exits that we start with, you know, you either do an inside sale, which is going to be your key employee family members, you know, a partner, you know, somebody that already knows the business and outside sale by the strategic anyone in their competition. Right, you can do a liquidation, which is still an exit, you literally can just shut your doors and do that. You can do what we say die at your desk, which is I don't want to deal with this. And we've worked with owners that literally say, this is not going to be my problem, I'm gonna die on my desk, I'm gonna leave it to somebody else to deal with. That is still an exit plan, wouldn't

Greg Voisen
all we say is not a good one?

John Ovrom
Not a great one. But let me just say, can we talk to your wife? Can we talk to your kids, you talk to the state, because they're the ones going to deal with the exit? So we'll work with them. But it is an exit. Yeah, it is, you know, and then the other exit is hire someone to run the company, you know, so many owners feel like an exit means that they have to sell and leave. And our concept is an exit is you leaving the business, and then deciding what to do, those are two separate things as an employee or as an owner, most business owners think they're both the same. And in reality and Exit Planning, those are two totally different steps, you exit as an employee, and or you exit as an owner are two different conversations. But so many owners say I, I can't do one without the other. If I if I own it, I have to be there. Or you know, I don't want to be part of it. And so there's just a lot in the gut, what is an exit? And how to be successful in that is defining what is your exit? And what do you want out of it personally, as an employee, and you as an owner? And then how do you set those strategies up to be successful?

Greg Voisen
And I think that brings us to kind of the size, the psychology of success. And you know, we might lead on with that, you know, when a business owner reaches a ripe old age of Acts, and it's different for everybody, they start to think about their life they start to reflect on are Is there anything else that I should be doing, besides coming here every day, and managing employees and finances and so on? The biggest stressor that I see, and a lot of these people, even after we finish the succession plan financially, and all the rest of this stuff is like, hey, what am I going to do? Where am I going to go? Do you want to address that a little bit? Because that that that could be a good kind of jump off point for the following question here. It's really, you know, like, they're sitting there, and they're contemplating Mike and play golf every day. No, I don't really want to do that. I'm not going to pay bridge with my wife every day. You know, I don't like that I'm not going to Las Vegas and gamble my money away. So what do you what do you advise people? What would you say?

John Ovrom
So when it comes to figuring out your exit, we throw them into three buckets. You know, if you're going to Vegas, you pull the slot machine and you get the three little things to get the perfect exit, it's is the owner ready? And is the owner emotionally ready? Is the business ready? And then is there a market that actually wants to buy your business, and you try to align those three items up? When it comes to owner readiness? It really becomes what am I going to do next? What I have got so much value out of my business, and I have associated who I am. And my relevance, and the probably the biggest term that we hear from owners after the sale is I don't feel relevant anymore. Right. And it's true. I mean, they're very successful in their business, they have everything made all the money, they transitioned it, the key employees are good, they're happy with everything, their life is good. And they still sit and go, I just don't feel relevant because that was who my friends were, those were my peers. People would call me people would ask me questions. And it's a reality, particularly with Generation One. G one founders have really associated their business and personal value in their business because they're all in. And so acknowledging it is the first step, and then finding the fact finding something else that will give you the passion. Right? Right. If you don't have it, you're never going to leave because you're scared. You don't know it emotionally. But you've seen it Greg, these people struggle with not they'll use price as a reason, though, you have a bunch of reasons why not but internally, they don't know what they're gonna do with their day every day. And they don't know how to fill their batteries out. They're still you try to get well you tried to get Tom Brady off the football field. Right, right. He's competitive. He wants to win he's been how do you take a Tom Brady? How do you take a LeBron Jax? How do you LeBron James? How do you take these people that are phenomenally successful have gift and they love what they do and this is their life to say you're done, walk off the field walk off the court, even when in when you're doing really well? And it's really an emotional process that we have to deal with. Now, if it's death or divorce, you know or the company is starting to fail or you know, AI is taking over their business or they want to move or they want to there are good reasons that Make it easier, but still, the emotional process of leaving your company is by far the biggest hurdle in being not having a successful exit.

Greg Voisen
It is. And it's one of those that a good succession planner is going to address with you, whether it's still sitting on the board of directors, and playing some active role, whether it's having a small role in the company, where you're still advising as a consultant to the company, whatever it might be, to keep what you call the relevance. And I think that's important. And that is part of what a good succession architect will do. Now, you state that most business owners want to know how much they can receive for their business. And that's true. That's one of the first things they want to know, what's the valuation, but what's most important element is not the gross selling price, but the net after tax value they're going to take. Can you talk about some of the considerations of businesses might want to take into account when selling or transferring their businesses to take to get the most out of the business?

John Ovrom
Sure, I would say most brokers investment bankers, transaction people, always pitch sale price, how much can you? How much can I get for your business? How much can I get for it? And for me, prices, ego prices, I sold my company for this much. But in the end, if you don't get paid for 10 years, and then the company goes BK, and you don't get all the money, it doesn't matter what you sold it for, what matters is how much money did I actually receive? And then how much risk was associated with him? And how did I get paid? So one is price, but we don't. Price is where we call the ego. What matters is how much cash do I get in my pocket? When the deal is done? How much does it cost in a transaction for transaction fees? What's the value of those fees? How much do I have to pay in taxes from the state and the Fed, depending on where you live? And then what can you do from a strategy pre close versus post close? Because there are pre close transactional opportunities of where you live? You know, where your revenue comes in, what state there is, is it in a trust, there are creative solutions that people smarter than I can come up with, I can give you ideas on pretax, pre-close, and then post close. Whether you do charitable remainder trusts, you do sales, or maybe you sales, deferred trust, there are other strategies on installment sales, that might give you an opportunity to defer or even be exempt from sales from some of the taxes. So the game is, as the business owner, no one told me this. I just they just said, Hey, I can sell your company go for it. And I didn't know what that really meant. I didn't know what cash free debt free. I didn't know what earnouts were. And it really for the for the listeners they need to be aware of how much do I get at the end?

Greg Voisen
Right? Now, let me ask you this, how many of your business owners that fall in that 5 million and under and I know this isn't the biggest part of your market. But let's when we say 5 million $5 million, are doing installment type sales, you know, promissory note installment sale, waiting for the money collecting it over a period of five years, or whatever it might be from a key employee who bought the business. What comments would you have about that? Because there obviously is some risk there. Right? Associated with that. But do any of your trends are any of your transactions in that realm? Or is everything you're dealing with much larger than that?

John Ovrom
So we do a lot of transactions between our minimums $1 million sale price. So we do a lot of one two fives because we're in San Diego and there's still a lot of smaller two three $4 million sale price which is good money, you know, and that San Diego is a small market we're not Orange County la San Francisco we're playing with you know, good, you know, just regular Mom and Pop service based manufacturing machine shop, you know, contractor type people when it comes to deal structure, rarely, anything over a million bucks, there's always some seller carry. If you're going to be selling your main street, USA flower shop, restaurant, shoe shop, you know, for a couple 100 grand, you usually get all cash, but you start getting a million dollars on up. And particularly when you get an SBA financing. SBA likes to have an owner have to see you know, the seller have some skin in the game in order to make the deal so you'll get 90% down on the smaller deals, and then a 10% seller carry for a couple of years to five years depending on what SBA is requiring. But those are usually loans and they're usually fairly strong but you Get 90% down, when you get into the, you know, 5 million on up, really, the part that you get strung out is, how realistic is the sale price associated with the revenue, right. And if the revenue is stable, and you've got a recurring revenue stream, and you are just a recurring revenue model, then generally you can get most of your money up front, if you are project based service based, if you're a dentist, doctor, lawyer, CPA, contractor, any of these where your relationship depends on the future. And because it's project based, you're gonna have to if you want a good price, you want a better higher sale price, they're gonna have to pay you over a period of time to make sure that that revenue stays.

Greg Voisen
Yeah. Oh, there's so many things. There's so many just packed into that answer that we could talk about. But let's leave it at that. We'll kind of move forward here. But the point is, folks, go get the book, contact John, you can have these kinds of discussions more in depth, because no matter what you do with succession planning, there's always the next question, and then the next question. And the next question. So you personally have sold businesses that you owned, and you learned that it takes time and patience to sell a business? How long can a business owner expect that it would take them to sell or transfer their business effectively from the time they start planning, so let me preface this sure, to the time they actually exit because, you know, some of the one the gigs I've worked on a couple of years. And I know you've been involved, too shoring business up getting the right financial, getting the right people, making sure there's somebody there with the ability to take it over and run it. So just generally comment on that as a general timeframe within maybe categories, you know, that, that that flower shop, that's not going to take very long to do, I'm really talking about businesses that are much larger than

John Ovrom
I would general and we're going to overgeneralize, because that's what we have to do, I would generally say the sale process, if you call today and you said I'm ready to sell, I would tell you plan for a year before the transaction is closed, and then plan for at least one year continuation agreement for consulting, and maybe two, depending on the sale price. So, so minimum, two years, if you want to be done paid, you know, no longer showing up. And I'm done, done. If it's an inside sale, and you want to sell it to your kids, or a key employee or an ESOP, where there's a lot of seller financing, because they don't have any money. Or let's say your partner wants to buy you out, and he's buying you out at the 50% that he's not giving you any money, those typically takes seven, seven to 10 years to pay out, because they got to pay you back with after tax cash. And so it's a minimum of five. And I would say usually seven and depending on how big the deal is, it could go to 10 years before an employee, a kid can pay you back at a decent multiple.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, and the thing you've got to do there, and I'll just add this to it, is you've got to forecast that period of time, the five year seven year to make sure that there's enough cash flow in that business to not only sustain the payment that's going to be made, but also so that there's enough profit for the person buying the business to say this was worth buying, right? Because I took an increase in pay and my equity was going up at the same time. Right? So you want to look at the balance sheet too.

John Ovrom
It's a great, great point, right? That's exactly right. You're 100% right on. Yeah.

Greg Voisen
And if you don't do that, I think you could be in trouble. Because the reality is you may not get fully paid out. You know, you have a list of takeaways from the first chapter and all the subsequent chapters as well, which I think is great. It's, you know, it's a way to kind of summarize a chapter and just get to the heart. And so it's, it's a great summary, can we discuss some of the takeaways that business owners should be considering? If they're planning to exit their business? So in other words, generally, there's, there's takeaways, everybody on every chapter of the book. Sure, but there really are kind of general takeaways that you could take from this. And that's what I'm asking about here.

John Ovrom
From the overall perspective of exiting your business, the general takeaway? Yeah, there's probably three points. One is it's going to take you longer than you think. It's going to be harder than you think on you emotionally. Because it actually is a it's an emotional process to let go. This is a child that you just raised, and you've grown this thing up and you've been a helicopter parent, and this person is trying to move Have out and go to college and get married to somebody else and you're like, but no, I want you to stay home and you know, you're finally becoming fun. And, you know, now you're an adult, we can do things together and the adult children are going, that's cool that we're good. We're going and the parents and, and so they, they just want to hold on even though the company is outgrowing them. And you know, so it's going to be hard, it's going to be hard, and you need help, don't try to do it yourself this this, you know, it's a complicated transaction. And there are a lot of tax consequences. And there's a lot of deal makers out there that are professional, and they will take advantage, all the people that are always calling all our clients, Greg that are like, Hey, Greg, you know, I just got this person. They said they're interested, Greg, what do you think and you're like, Guys, we haven't even taken to market, we haven't been prepared, you haven't, they said they would give me a great offer. And you're saying, there’s no such thing as a great offer from someone who doesn't even know your business, and you haven't given them anything, these guys are professional leeches, that are trying to take advantage of an opportunity of an owner who's just done that day. Because we all as business owners know there are days where we just sit around and say, What, why?

Greg Voisen
Yeah, well, and the last thing I'd add to that is that, you know, whatever expense you're anticipating between attorney’s fees, and tax advisers, and consultants, and so on, you may want to think about, you know, as a percentage of the total, what are the all of those fees going to be, and you know, some of that strings out over a period of time. And I'm not going to say it's always going to be more than you anticipate. But it probably is more than you would anticipate. And the reason is, is it's very complex. Like John said, this is not like something you just take lightly, you've been working at it 25 years. And there wouldn't be anything else that you would do. It's not like having a house that you sell after 25 years has a ton of equity in it, you put it in escrow and you it's gone. There's too many moving parts, there's a lot of moving parts.

John Ovrom
And Greg, the other point on the value that I was that I tried to get a hold of these clients, particularly with $5 million dollars down low and sale price, is the owners are so involved in the business, that the opportunity cost of them taking their hands off the steering wheel of their own business, trying to do something for their first time and trying to learn if the company starts to slow down, and the revenues go down, or we miss a job or people employees move away, or we lose a client bid, and the opportunity of just staying in your business 100% focus like that's all you there's a significant value, you will lose hundreds of 1000s of dollars. If you spend a year or two trying to do something you've never done instead of focusing on growing your business, and all that because you'll lose it either in losing a cash flow, or you're gonna lose it in value because of the multiple on the value of what you've just lost. And they just don't understand that cost.

Greg Voisen
Well, and I think it's important what you said earlier, about 15 minutes ago, you know, and you refer to it in the book as an annuity. I think if a person's not really willing to let go and wants to stay on board and wants to find someone to run their business. Yep. And collect the chips that keep coming off of the business, the annuity payment, whatever it is the 400,000 $500,000 year, that is your that can be an exit strategy. Right. Exactly. Yeah. So it is something to think about now. You speak about lifestyle versus investment. Yep. And most of these businesses, you say are lifestyle businesses, which they are you mentioned in reality that they are lifestyle businesses, although a lot of owners would disagree with us. Sure. But the reality is they still are. Can you speak with us about the differences and the questions business owners should be asking of themselves regarding this lifestyle versus investment kind of business?

John Ovrom
Sure. The best is a visual, I would tell you an owner operated lifestyle business is where this is a wagon wheel with the owner in the middle and everyone reports to them. They've got their hands and everything. Maybe not personally every day, but everybody knows they better go by Greg to make sure that this gets done and Greg has to be part of knowing what's going on, from sales to marketing to ops to finance to HMI there, they are the blue and they are the middle versus professionally run, which is more of an org chart where you actually have delegated middle managers that have authority and responsibility that report to them and all the employees don't report to you the only ones that report to you or your C suite. And that's it or one or two people and everybody else runs everybody else. It's probably the most visually clear way to explain to an owner that a professionally run company is where it's not if you pull the owner The whole thing doesn't fall apart. Right? And that's how I would define it

Greg Voisen
well, and it's a great definition because you know, when you're going to duplicate, you need to have those managers in place, right. And those departments need to be responsible for their own p&l. In other words, what I'm saying is, okay, you can have direct expenses and indirect expenses, and you deal a lot with contracting as I do. So, you know, as these are being allocated over the budget, it's really important to understand that if you do have the big of a company, and you have those mid line manager, people, that all they're doing is you have the top people reporting to you on all the progress that's being made in those departments. That isn't investment type of business. If you're involved in every one of those departments, that's not as John was saying. And that's the easiest way to look at it.

John Ovrom
Greg, that's what we're calling me the biggest discount the biggest haircut that buyers do, they'll give you the multiple, but then they'll take a discount because of the owner involvement. And the owner risk, they'll say, Sure, I'll give you that multiple. But because the owner is so involved in it, I got to do a haircut because they're, what if my employees leave, and my vendors leave, and my suppliers leave? And then I gotta hire three people, because they're working 6070 hours a week, I've been doing it for 35 years, and I gotta hire three people to do that job. Man I got this isn't the same company post owner. So then they get a haircut on it for sure. The biggest haircut we get is owner engagement.

Greg Voisen
Well, do something for me, it wasn't one of my questions. But you know, many owners out there aren't going to understand some of the things we're talking about. Many of them do. But when you recast numbers, you're talking about a recasting of numbers, because a lot of people in this financial world will ask them to recast the business's profitability without them, you know, what have they been taking out of the business? What is the cost for them and recasting speak a little bit, a few minutes, maybe about recasting what it means, and how important it is, in considering the real value in the business.

John Ovrom
So on, mainly on the smaller businesses, because bigger businesses, people don't run as much personal through smaller businesses, because it's a lifestyle, they'll have their wife cell phones and their kids’ college and their medical and their trip to whatever, right. So what they're basically saying what we have to do is we try to take their profit, start with their profit or loss or take their profit at the end of the year. And then we do add backs for what we call sellers, discretionary earnings. And those are things that the owners are running through that if they weren't there, we wouldn't pay for, right. So we got to add back all of the, you know, the scrap metal that you get cash for, right or the travel, the trips that you're putting through that really aren't there that you added some other people to it, well, you can call it what you want to call the meals, the auto the boat that you know, the kids this, the Hey, I got some work done at my house, you know, had them run it through here, hey, I had my personal seat, my CPA, do my personal and also run it through the company. You know, I had my trust get updated, and I had them build my company, all those things that if you're not there, we add back in to come up with what a real business would do if you didn't have all of your personal run through it. And then that gives you your SD or seller's discretion, or that's how much you actually make between your salary, and your 401, k's and all of the your car allowance. And all this is literally what you're taking out of this business. That's the number we want. Because that's the number that buyers will actually be buying. Because that's what you're really running. That's not what your k one looks like. That's not what your W two looks like. But that's really what your company runs through. And that's what we mean by recasting is tell me how much you're really making out of the company before you start scraping it out. Through salary through distributions through benefits through expenses.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, and that's a great way to explain it. You know, you speak about inside sale versus outside sale? Yep. Obviously, inside sales to a key employee or to somebody like that outside sale is to a company that wants to acquire, can you discuss the pros and cons of each type of those kinds of sales? Meaning? Sure, hey, I'm going to, I'm going to sell this to a key employee, let's say, who actually has no ability to qualify for a loan?

John Ovrom
Well, they have my last name, so they must be qualified to run the company. By definition. Yeah.

Greg Voisen
So just speak with us some of the pros and cons if you would about those two, because, look, if I'm sitting there saying I'm going to sell to a key employee, or I have a lesser offer, from maybe an outside company that wants to buy it, and somebody is trying to make a judgment as to, hey, I want to be nice to the key employees and I'll hold the note now. Collect my note over Ciao however long it is, I just want to know what you're thinking about pros and cons.

John Ovrom
So my advice to owners that are looking for an inside sale to a key employee or to family or to any ESOP, not if it's a business, if it's a partner buy out. So if you and I are partners, Greg, and we're 5050, and I sell to you already know the company, you know, that's different, because you know, we've been partners, but on an inside sale to a key employee or family, that's, you know, a generation below, the game is only about legacy, do it because you want the legacy, don't do it, because you think you're going to make enough money out of this, because you're going to be disappointed, particularly when it comes to family, because you've seen it, I said, if you're going to sell it to your kid, and what happens in five years at Thanksgiving, when he doesn't make the cut, because the economy turns every 10 years, and we know it, and he's made some decisions, or she's made some choices, and they're going down a different path, and they're not paying you and they can't afford to pay you how was Thanksgiving gonna go, how's the time with your grandkids, because they're going to be resentful for you that you sold it to them for too much money, they can't afford it, you're going to be mad at them for not making the payment, your wife's gonna be mad that she's not able to, to, you know, provide and then she's gonna see the grandkids, make sure that if you're going to do an inside sale to Family First, understand it's not about the money, it's about the legacy, it's giving them the opportunity. key employees can be a little different, but just, you have to take so long for them to pay you back, that you just have to stay on board. So if you want to stay on board, and you want to keep working for a salary, I would say stay on as long as it is for you to get paid. Because once you leave the company is going to tank and just be prepared because they're gonna buy it from you because they don't have to put any money down. The employees gonna come to you and say, I'll ask you to buy the company from me, Greg, whatever profits we make, I'll give you 50% of those for the next 10 years. And I keep the rest and like well, what risk? Are you putting? You're putting any skin in? Well, no. What do you then why would I do it? Well, I'm telling you don't do that. But if you want to do just be aware that there's a lot of value for the sake of a legacy, and just treat it that way.

Greg Voisen
And I would agree that is the probably the only reason you would do the only reason you do that, that you want that legacy. Now you speak about the timeline associated with planning and sale and business, we talked a little bit about it. And we said, two years, you state that most business owners should take between three to five years before they leave the business. Speak with our listeners about what it takes, or why it takes this long to plan and execute on the sale of their business. Because a lot of people would be saying, Hey, I'm ready to sell now. And you're saying, No, you're not ready to sell. Now we did the readiness assessment, right Readiness Assessment doesn't tell us that you're ready to sell, and especially not at the highest price that you potentially might be able to sell it for again, and the terms you'd like to sell it for. So

John Ovrom
we're there because of the three trigger points on a readiness, business readiness and market readiness that really is what's determining time, our opinion is set your company so it's always ready to sell, run your business. So it whenever you're ready, and the market is ready, you can sell it. Most businesses, particularly the smaller ones, the one to $5 million sale price, once they it was just an owner walks in and goes, Okay, I'm done. There's no, it's when the owner is ready. And then the business hasn't been running correctly. They haven't managed their cash flow. They haven't been putting money aside, they just bought some big piece of equipment, they have a bunch of debt. They just took out a big PPP or an eidl. And there was no strategy around it. And so it costs them money. If you can, if you can come up with what's the win. What do you want? Do you just want it to be a legacy? Is it a sale price? You want that you need an after tax cash? Have you worked with your financial planner? Do you know how much expenses you running through the company that you've been taking pretax that you're now going to have to take post tax? And do you have that? Do you have medical insurance in the future? Like how are you going to do this practically in the world and from this point forward? You're good, like you're set. And it's the it's the evaluation with your financial planner, the evaluation with your broke business broker, your transaction person, it's your valuation with your CPA. It's getting everybody in a room and saying what's the win getting it with your spouse and just saying how much is enough? In How do I drive towards that? And then what does my company look like for that value? Because we've had I had someone say I need $3 million and after tax cash and I just said the based on your company, you're just not you're gonna have to triple the size or you know, and you don't have it in you. So instead of that, why don't you you're making half a million dollars a year, work for the next three more years. take that money out, reinvest it in something else and then sell it for a million and a half, which is what we could sell it for. It's still a good exit. You still got the number you needed. It's just the ego says, right? Why money and let's say, you so you got to get out of, it's just a lot of processing that they just don't think about. And the more that you get them to think about it, and understand that there is a goal here. And what is that goal, the longer we know what that goal is, the better we have a chance of achieving.

Greg Voisen
It's a, it's a lot of assessment and readiness assessment, as we just said, and the challenge with it is, is, as you said, and when you look at is he personally ready is the business ready, is really cleaning things up, I'm gonna call it scrubbing everything, you know, like Clean up, clean, clean up, that has to be done, to make sure that everything is ready. And I like your point about, you know, look, the business for most people in this range, there's $5 million range, it's, that is their biggest asset. If you look at their house, look at their cars, you look at their 401 K plan, or their IRA accounts or other real estate they own, they'll unequivocally that is the biggest asset they have. Right, right. And you're looking at this asset saying how am I going to now extract cash from it? If I'm not there? Meaning, what are what are the mechanisms that will trigger that? Grant? I think it's so important. What are some of the things that you find happen, that need to happen? In kind of cleaning up a business, when you go in? Let's talk about, you know, doing some housekeeping. What are typically the things you find that most business owners aren't thinking about? Or if they are, you know, you find them and you see there can be more efficiencies?

John Ovrom
So we call those value drivers. Right? One of the things, Greg, that you've been there we go through it and kind of go what are the things that can drive this company higher value or lower value? So things that we would look at is customer concentration, right? Do they have one customer that's 80% of their business? Really anything over 15% becomes a risk to a buyer and they're going to discount it? So do they have good customer concentration? Do they have good customer diversification? product? Or service diversification? Is there only one product, they might sell 5000 skews or do one service? But if they did three services, or five or different products, which ones are the more diversification they have? Then the better it is? And you know, so it's customer concentration, vendor concentration, if they only have one key vendor in a particular area, and they change their pricing, everything changes? Because they're a reseller of that product. Employee and then really their org chart, and how does their middle management work? Again, owner involvement is a big haircut. So we really spend time on job descriptions, evaluations, you know, how are you doing on your training and promoting people? I'd also say a big haircut we're getting right now is it right? A lot of the 60 and 70 year olds that are selling for 5 million around, they haven't invested into the technology. And don't really want to, to be honest, this is how it's always worked for the last 30 years and they're leaving money on the table, but they just don't have the energy or desire to convert to an inventory management system or a sales management CRM or get my books into the latest program management tools that are available out there. They just go this is how I've always done it. And they'll give it to somebody else. So you know it sales operations, which is their org chart, and how that works. Are problems and then their financial records. By far our biggest challenge is crap in is crap out. If the owners aren't keeping track of their numbers, and they're not giving us trustworthy financials, how can a buyer take that to a bank or take that to an investment group? Or take that back to their CFO who's the no person in every deal? And you know, and show them within competence that these are my numbers. They foot they tie they tied to my sales tax and income tax they tied to everything ties and floods and balances and everything you see is legit. And they spend the time to do so instead of I don't know that's my bookkeeper. They did it. I don't know why that balance sheets that way. I already know how much I need. I already know how much I have. And they don't spend the time with buyers’ eyes. Put the glasses on where the buyers’ glasses and say would you buy your company the way this is?

Greg Voisen
That is probably the best advice you've given. And I think that and in the way that I'd say that is if you were to look at it, you need to look at it with those goggles on the buyers’ goggles. Because what's happening is you're missing all of this most important stuff that needs to be cleaned up right now. And that stuff being cleaned up is the stuff that's going to drive value you call them value drivers, it's going to drive the value out, right. But more importantly, it's going to give confidence to the buyer to say, hey, this guy has run his business properly. And if it takes you two years to get that done, Alright, with that stuff that John just said, then that's probably the best two years you ever spent. Right? 100%.

John Ovrom
Because remember, it's a multiple on the money that you make. So if you, if you get a three time multiple, and he made 100,000, or change, you just sold it for $300,000 more, right? Because you took the time to do it. Plus, it actually ups the ante that someone actually might want to buy it. Because they feel confident that you know that it actually is going to be a business that can survive without you.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, and I think a lot of it is the confidence that they have that the business can sustain its current sales and grow, does it have the ability to grow? What kind of industry? Is it in? What are we doing this unique that other people don't do that possibly gives this business value more value than others? You know, who were our competitors in the market, all of those kinds of things. Now, throughout the book, you provide lots of takeaways for me to the chapters that you said, if you were to summarize these takeaways, which you gave me three earlier shirt now, what are the key things that you would leave the listeners with, with regarding need to know and the research that they might want to do before selling their business?

John Ovrom
The number one challenge we have in selling a company is understanding what's the trigger for them to sell? What is it? Is it health? Is it a number I need? You know, is it so typically, what we want to know is why is it that you're just done, it's just the timing, I'm not, I'm just done, it can COVID We had some people just going you know, I just done I've had I got enough, retired, I've got enough money, I'm doing fine, I'm just done. I just want to be done. Sometimes, I just don't want to put any more risk into it. I've invested enough I have enough stuff, I just want to get out because of risk. Sell it for what we can sell it for some people are this is my liquidity event, and I need this dollar amount. Some people are Hey, my partner's leaving. And I don't I'm not ready to go yet. So I want to buy him out the game is why? Because there are so many the owners say they want to do this. But so many people also want to lose 20 pounds. You know, so many people want to travel more, you know, support my wife and love show her love more love. I mean, there's so much that people want, but the reality is, not many people do and it's not very many can do it successfully. And in the number one key to success is that they go in it with their eyes open and get educated on what it means. How much do they need? What is it worth? What's the what's my risk in my business? Evaluate the challenges, how does the buyer look at it, get educated, just plan and you learn, which is what you and I do, Greg, I mean, we're just out there trying to educate 80% of our of our time is just education. 20% of it's the transactions, very little of it, and very little of it because the transaction is great. Once you've done the education, everyone knows the word they understand what it means. And they it's their emotionally mentally financially prepared.

Greg Voisen
And I think it's the kind of Simon Sinek question is the why you just said that? Yeah. What's that driver? Right? Has their health changed? Has have they had a change in maybe a divorce or a separation or an issue? There's all kinds of triggers, let's call them triggers. Have you lost key employees that potentially you're trying to find replacements for but it's driving more stress in your life, because you can't find the new people to fill the positions, whatever it might be? You'll find at some point there's a trigger that gets people to want to talk about it.

John Ovrom
We break it out into two Greg we break it out when we do the interviewing those triggering events we break it out is are usually is the goal. For us. This is an internal evaluation when we when we meet with them, is it out of cars? Or is it out of convenience? Because if it's out of cars, then we can actually help them. My husband passed away I haven't changed my partner's leave. Like there are reasons where they have to like this is there's a reason I'm going to then there is out of convenience, which is you know, maybe I just want to retire I've been done. I think I have enough and then that's a different element when it comes to pre-qualifying our clients because we know for cause they're gonna get out.

Greg Voisen
Yes, definitely. And for convenience, you don't know. Don't know. Chances are they're going to stay on the board, and they're gonna work in the business. For all my listeners, we've been on with John over from exit consulting group.com is the web Right there'll be a link to the book is called Exit and answers. Navigate your business exit like an expert. This book really is a fire starter. Not I don't mean literally put it in the fire, fire starter for your thought process your thought it gets you thinking. And I think that's the best thing that John could have done was to provide a book that he says exit and answers. I think he, the answer is within sight of them. But the reality is, is that this book helps drive you to understanding more about what might be causing that right what you're going to do. Absolutely. So. So John, thanks for being on insight, personal growth. Thank you, Greg. I'm with the listeners. It was a very dynamic, good podcast. And I think for the people that listened to it, they'll get a lot out of it. So

John Ovrom
I appreciate it. Greg, you're awesome. We love working with you. You're passionate about the same thing and helping all of your clients. So thank you for what you do, and hopefully we can change the lives.

Greg Voisen
We certainly will. For the better for.

John Ovrom
Exactly. Okay, thank you. Okay. Okay.

powered by

Returning for this podcast is a founder and designer of The Regenerative Business Development Community – Carol Sanford. We recently had a podcast together for her book The Regenerative Life: Transform Any Organization, Our Society, and Your Destiny and now she’s back to share another another one entitled Indirect Work: A Regenerative Change Theory for Businesses, Communities, Institutions and Humans.

Being a founder and designer of The Regenerative Business Development Community, a bestselling author and with all her amazing works and achievements, Carol was recognized as a Thought Leader Lifetime Achievement Award from Trust Across America-Trust Around the World, and received the Athena Award for Excellence in Business, Mentorship and Community Service.

Meanwhile, Indirect Work offers clear and practical approaches to test any change theory or programs for your organization, community efforts or personal growth, before you start or to examine what you do now. It can even help in making sense of past failures.

If you’re interested in learning more about Carol and her amazing works, you may click here to be directed to her website.

Thank you for joining Carol Sanford and I in this podcast. Happy listening!

THE BOOK

Indirect Work is translated and tested with study of thousands of years of effective change based on:

  • Indigenous ways of living in community and on the planet from across the world
  • Threads that run through wisdom of all lineage teachers across the world
  • Quantum Cosmology about how the universe works on individual, social, and plenary level.

THE AUTHOR

Carol Sanford is a consistently recognized disruptor and contrarian working side by side with Fortune 500 and new economy executives in designing and leading systemic business change and design. Through her university and in-house educational offerings, global speaking platforms, best selling multi-award-winning books, and human development work, Carol works with executive leaders who see the possibility to change the nature of work through developing people and work systems that ignite motivation everywhere.

 

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transciption (not edited) of the interview.

Greg Voisen
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen and the host of Inside Personal Growth. And we have a returning guest author coming to us from the Seattle Washington area. And her name is Carol Sanford. And Carol has well she's got a series of books, the regenerative life, the indirect work, but we're going to be speaking about her newest book called indirect work, which I know all of my listeners are going to find fascinating. Good day to you, Carol. We were talking about the weather a minute ago before we got on here. And it sounds like things are great up in the Seattle area.

Carol Sanford
They are in good money to you, Greg, I'm glad you're getting sunshine to.

Greg Voisen
We are indeed. And I'll let my listeners know something about you even though we did do the regenerative life podcast that we'll put a link to as well. This is another new book of Carol's Carol is consistently recognized, disrupter and contrary and if you listen to the last podcast, you'll be able to see that side by side with Fortune 500 companies, new economy executives and designing and leading systemic business change in design through her university and in house educational offerings, global speaking platforms bestselling multi award winning books and human development work. Carol works with executive leaders who see the possibility to change the nature of work. They're developing people work systems, and ignite motivation everywhere. For four decades, Carol has worked with great leaders of successful businesses such as Google, DuPont, Intel, p&g, seventh generation, educating them to develop their people and ensure a continuous stream of innovation, and continually deliver extraordinary results. If you want to learn more about Carol, just go to her website. It's Carol Sanford c-a-r-o-l-s-a-n-f-o-r-d.com. There you can learn about her offerings for books or resources. She's got a plethora of information, you can also go out on the internet and see interviews with Carol, on YouTube. So, Carol, this book, I found quite interesting, because it's really, when you say indirect work, it's the indirect work we got to do on ourselves. You know, and if you would tell the listeners about the premise of the book, indirect work and why you believe that the work of inner and outer transformation is the hardest work to engage in, so that we can evolve as individuals.

Carol Sanford
I think I would summarize that the reason I wrote this book, and what it's about is, the ability to create change doesn't come from working at it head on with other people or ourselves. If, for example, we try and do mayhem and modification ourselves, we mostly call attention to the thing we want to have change. But if we work on the capability to be differently, that twitcher, that inner work, we begin to see the world different and we get engaged differently. And the second thing that happens then, is we affect other people around us because we're different. But what is probably most disturbing to people is the you can and well, we know we can't change other people, but we don't quit trying. So in our marriages, our partnerships, we're always saying, well tell people what you think about what they're not necessarily telling them or trying to make them change, but working directly on the subject. So for example, if a child is being rude, our immediate thought is correct them in the moment and say, Now, we don't want to be rude. Think about how you'd feel. If that happened to you. Now that's direct. If it turns out what that does is within our brain, their psyche, it locks in the thing we did wrong, it doesn't necessarily give an image even though we may tell them what to do. What works better with children but also with employees is you engage in developing their capability to discover their own behavior, their own outcomes, and give them capability like with children, I run parenting groups also. You might write a puppet show and have the kids write and be involved in writing the show or writing a story or creating a play. I've actually done this with 1112 13 years old who are trying to figure out how to cope They write a play to help people understand something, and it changes them. But it's indirect. It's not head on.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, know that. Yeah, philosophy, Carol, I think is so appropriate, especially as the if you're going to evolve the consciousness of the individual. In other words, it gives them the opportunity to use their own critical thinking skills to do that. And I think one of the things that we see Carol Moore missing is really the use of these critical thinking skills in society today. And I don't say that it's being accelerated by the use of technology, but technology certainly isn't helping it any. Because we're dependent on Google to go search something or we're doing whatever versus us going in thinking about it ourselves. Now, in your chapter, chapter entitled, a new map, you state that most approaches to change, are all working from the old mind. And I've heard this terminology by many people that have written books, what we have modified or said, what we have modified, what we do, but we haven't addressed who we are, which is what you said just a minute ago. What advice would you give the listeners about finding out who they are so that they can make sustainable and meaningful change in their life?

Carol Sanford
Where I hear AR get to be contrarian? I did. Advice is the opposite of what I'm suggesting in this book, if I'm giving advice, then I have the ideas you're borrowing my it is you're not developing your own thinking. So what I work on is always building capability. So people select out of their own experience what's going on. So my first piece of advice is, don't ever take advice. Don't seek advice, don't ask other people's opinions. And that that's been indoctrinated into his for the last 100 years by something called behavioral psychology. And the whole foundation of behavior, wisdom was built on convincing people they can't think for themselves, it's Book Seven, there'll be out in a year. And if you go look there in order for psychology to get a foothold, particularly behavioral psychology, they set out and they put this in writing to convince each human, each parent, each child, each boss, or leader in some position, that they didn't actually know enough, you needed other people's advice, and you needed research based on positive, not your own examination. Wheel critic critical thinking skills, as you're talking about, are based on a friend to trust that we can discover if we experience and reflect. And that's the hard part is learning to be able to observe ourselves in real time, we will notice that that's a lie. It's a false premise that we can't do that. And yet every HR program in every company, all the parenting browses, all of education, is based on external feedback. And I wrote one book called onward feedback with all that research. What we have to learn to do is help kids to grow up and go to school, and people who work, learn reflection, and it's very learnable. But it's been taken out of our culture. So the real thing we all want to do is take back our own mind, not borrow ideas, unexamined, and not seek for other people how to vote, how to look for a job, what our career should be, think about the number of things when somebody else tells you that and grade you and ranks you. That's why I think that's even more an undermining factor than technology. Although I do watch the kids and I have a lot of 20 somethings in my groups. They have gotten pretty much addicted to the technology. And they'll tell you, it's so easy to kind of let your mind go blank. And another word for that is passive. So if you're passively taking in things from end to person, immediate somewhere, you're not working on active capability building and that's the foundation of good critical thinking and a society that works a democracy that works.

Greg Voisen
And I agree with you and I would say and I would add to that that you So one of the things that most entrepreneur business owners will speak about is development of their intuition. And I think that intuition is something that, and I wrote a whole book on it. And I did a lot of research for that book. And it's interesting how some people say, Well, I'm not intuition, and then I say, how did you come up with the idea? And they'll say, Well, I put the dots together, you know, I put this.that.net, not together. But ultimately, in the end, there's an action taken on the thoughts that they're thinking. And Carol, this isn't an act, this is an actionable book. And I want to make sure I get this term, right, I'd never heard it before, inter mesmos. And are met, so met and are met. So well woven into each chapter. And you state that this requires the reader to use intentional self-observing, then creating of a conscious awareness separate from ongoing mental activities, that allows one to objectively observe those activities, if you would speak about those inter mesmos. And, and what that's all about, because you have them at the end of each chapter. And I think it's great because it's very thought provoking.

Carol Sanford
Sure. And then Hermeto is an idea that originated in during the Enlightenment, whereas music and art, and everything were coming out, were flourishing, and had people supported the artists. And there was the idea of opera and symphony, as because the opera and Symphony were long there were breaks, you see two of them with at least one that were intermediate between the kind of the inner and outer story. And you're like, where it began, and where it ends in the opera, or in the symphony, the unfolding of the war and the settling of the war? What those inner battles were about, would you reflect on what was happening to you, we don't use them that way anymore. But if you're listening to an opera, you went out into the 48, or in the aisle, and you talk, you said, wow, as I was listening to that crescendo, it's, you know, move into a certain way, I was thinking it was making me think about, you know, my grandmother, and the stories and how I grew up, etc. So the inner mento, which is designed to give you a pause, and to reflect on what was happening to you, when I have written my previous five books, I noticed that people consume them. And I have an unusually high level of people reading the whole book, from beginning to end your life, people read the first chapter too, but I actually know that sounds great, right? But it turns out, what it means is, they're taking notes, underlining of borrowing my thoughts, absorbing them quoting me everywhere, and again, you think that'd be great, that terrified me, it was the opposite of what I wanted. So I decided, as I almost finished, indirect work, I had to slow that process down. I had to convert people to not talking about the story of the opera, and then what Carol wrote what she said, and how they were gonna use it, put these pieces apart, but instead say, ha, I can see how I'm reading. I'm reading in a way I'm not thinking, I'm not thinking for myself at all, I'm assuming Carol knows it all. And then I give people set of questions at the end of each chapter, which are inner reflection. And noticing that pattern I had so many people tell me after reading this book, they can never read any of the books in a passive way, in absorbing way, in a borrowing, all the ideas are examined without generating their own thinking. So I thought, haha, the opera internet to work. However, I've still had about 30 people who said, Well, I decided to come back and do the internet observer understood everything you were saying.

Greg Voisen
No, no wish you hadn't. Yeah, wish

Carol Sanford
you hadn't. So that was the purpose of it. And they build a bit right they go back and look at what are you learning and how's it working? So it's a I got the idea, I think not only from opera which I love the RMS house, but from breathing Lawrence Darrelle, the Alexandria quartet when I was 16 years old. It was a third book fora understood. And for anybody who doesn't know the quad, the four books, it's the same story from four different worldviews, literally, I mean, different voices, but just like someone who sees the world differently in you all of a sudden go, oh, my gosh, I can now see so many versions of this story. Why am I never done that anywhere else? And that's a child. I wanted to go look at everything from different worldviews. So that's where I borrowed well, and modified my idea. Well, I think you,

Greg Voisen
I think the Enter Mentos is, is a great opportunity for reflection for people. And I would say, definitely, when you read through this, and you look at what she's put it in there, it's kind of grade, you'll see it at the end of each chapter. Definitely go reflect on how you're feeling about what you're thinking, not about what Carol's thinking and right Carol's telling you in the book. Now, Carol, you tell a great story about the Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan and coach, Phil Jackson. And you weave this throughout the book, which is really I thought, kind of unusual, actually. Because of the number of times that you actually reference back to it as a way to speak about indirect work. Now, this is truly a great story. And it sets the stage for our indirect work can transform lives and teams, which it obviously did for Phil Jackson, can you tell the story of what happened to the players and the team because I actually, I read it and I was like, Well, I knew Phil Jackson was a great coach, probably one of the best basketball coaches of all times other than who was the guy at UCLA? He's, he's equally as good. I'm trying to think of his name right now. I will. He passed away at 101 years old, actually. But Phil Jackson, obviously has it going on. You know, most people when they see him from the sidelines, they see a very peaceful man who's not, he's not agitated, he's not upset. He's holding a space for his players. And he's holding a space for you know, actually, I even think the audience too, because observe him. It's, it's he engages everybody. So I'd love you to tell him the story because I think it's a great one.

Carol Sanford
Well, he is the winning as coach in our basketball history. He has 11 NBA rings, you know, he then as he says, I don't have enough fingers. For all we have been in ever since I he's, he was a coach for most of the players we know names. Well, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal. And that was with the at the Chicago Bulls and the LA Lakers. So this is Pro Bowl, you're thinking about college, and I can't think of who you're talking about either. But what he knew was that most basketball all basketball was driven toward drilling people so that they are shot became stars. They awarded and gave all kinds of bonuses for the number of shots and number three point shots and competing trying to move people around. So he was a big deal. However, he never told people he said, don't watch the scoreboard. Watch how well we as a team, are being in community. And think about that the work we have to do in the world, we will win. That will happen but it's not our work to win. It's our work to teach young black men in the inner cities, that there's a way to play and be in sport that is not cutthroat. There is not trying to compete and win, it's happening everybody play and he worked with a method that Tech's winner of the University of Texas figured out which had to do with making sure there's an equal distribution of scoring and covering across the team no stars, and they you learn to pay and triadic relationships so the you can move more quickly. But he also in the locker room didn't Arang drinks like you were describing on the sideline. Instead, he would have them sit and breathe together and starting with like, sit and notice grown breath. Now notice after a few minutes that you can actually experience the breath of the person next to you and I in a few minutes we can fill all of us remember breathing again. What does that have to do with how we plus, and they would reflect on that. So his whole way of working and he learned a lot of it from Lakota elders, where he grew up in the boarding house, his parents ran, where many Lakota young man came for work and live there. So I give many of certainly not all the indirect methods. At each point that is relevant, I picked him. First, I love basketball. I love Phil Jackson. But it allowed me to teach the messages of how much power can happen with a group of people when they don't try and win the game. They try and win their life while they're playing with themselves. And with one another is an amazing, I had a few people who were furious with me for using Phil Jackson, they said, well, it didn't change basketball at all, you know, a bet to people who were in the head office never got raises so well, it Phil Jackson had been in charge they probably would have. But it was never about money. So that's the Phil Jackson story of why I chose to use it?

Greg Voisen
Well, I think it's to use the kind of, I wouldn't say as cliché as but it's kind of like, you know, when people finish those games, those players have almost an out of body experience, right, and it gets something greater than the sum of the total. So the experience that they have, and when they would interview those players after a game, you could see that, and it wasn't just Michael Jackson, it was all the other players as well. And I can appreciate you using that story. And I want to thank you for using the story because I think it's a great way to weave it into the book to really tell what was going on here. And you mentioned that we need a way to Regulus rigorously examine our thoughts and those of other people. And that is that the role and the frameworks to use to disrupt the models implicit in old ways of thinking. What is that framework? And what are the you referenced them in the book, and I didn't give each one of them. But these levels of worldview, you just mentioned that you had read a book as a as a young adult, that gave four different worldviews, right? And or perspectives, per se, let's put look at it that way. What are those, and that framework if you could speak about,

Carol Sanford
so I didn't read a book. These are things I figured out after studying with Thomas Kuhn at Berkeley, who was the author of the structure, the scientific revolution, and the idea of paradigm shifts. It was amazing. I was 20 years old sitting in his class. And he kept saying every few decades, which science changes, what it thinks about how the world works. And then we still dry that old worldview with that old paradigm. And don't let go and I and a few ask him, well, how do you help people move? How do you know what those are? And he said, that's your job to figure out. I took that turns very seriously, personally. And by the time I was 27, I had learned the idea that frameworks can help you see the world at different levels. So I created something it's in all of my books, which is

Greg Voisen
where you also Carol, pardon me, but where you also I remember reading David Boehm. Yeah. Was he one of the people that had some influence on you as well, because I remember studying his work Personally, myself, because he's obviously fascinating. He was in England, most of his life was me.

Carol Sanford
Well, he was in the state. I never knew him. He was older than me. And they'd been at Berkeley. I think, 20 something years before me, but his students, and he was working on a doctrine. So a few professors who'd worked with him, were in the concerts, I had to take basic physics. And we did, we talked a lot. So those I got to meet Kuhn, because he was on campus for, I think, 18 months as a scholar or fellow or something. So I didn't I took bombs work when I was later and create something out of it. And well, yes, those people both had a huge influence on me and quite a few other people. But you asked for the framework, and I think it might be helpful. The world views framework starts with an extract value. And that means I'm trying to give all I can so when somebody is in giving advice mode, you tell me or give me your takeaways or what when am I gonna get there? extract value. The next. And we knew that a lot with the earth with not the earth with earth gets that turn name. And we will do that in transactions, the next level of paradigm is arrested disorder. And you can look into the world and even Jackson talks about, we spend so much time turned to stop all the bad stuff. And so that arrested disorder, we can look for the next level up, which even Jackson talked about, then he was trying to do good in the world. And I think if he had known there was a fourth paradigm, he would know that much of what his work was about was not do good, because do good can be dangerous, it can be my good I want you to I will be good for you. And colonize your nation or take your children away and reeducate them. Those are all done in the name of do good. But the last and highest paradigm we can see the world from is living systems, how life works, how, how it comes together. So learning that one of hundreds of frameworks and there are no set number, but mine I will come through lineage teachings or with you know, they come to famous, my Buddhist teachers or Hindu teachers, there are threads through all of those that can give us and help us overcome mental models which are invisible, and causes us to see the world in one of those, but partial. So I think what Jackson was working on and what I worked on is giving people frameworks or ways to develop frameworks that open their mind to other worldviews. I think that's what happened to me. It's a 20-year-old.

Greg Voisen
Well, I remember interviewing not that long ago, you know, Ken Wilber and he has one of his books was like, the worldview of everything, right? And it was interesting to, for somebody to actually take the length of time that Wilbur had to try and put all the pieces together. It was it was fascinating. But you know, Caroline, you know,

Carol Sanford
I need for you to know, I don't think he did that. I think that was his intention. But he what he did is took the work that Sri Aurobindo and The mother had done and translated it, I think, poorly and too popular.

Greg Voisen
And I would agree with you, but he, he at least made an attempt. And it's like anybody in this world who's either writing a book or trying to get a message across, I think he's trying to reach a certain audience that might that have that appeal. Let's face it, that's kind of what happens. But in you know, in your chapter, a theory of change, you speak about our own personal transformation from the fundamental Christian beliefs to that of embracing science. Now, that's a that's a big step, you know, you're looking at these fundamental Christian beliefs, then you state for the next 15 years after arriving at Berkeley, that evolution of paradigms within a culture has was not a linear process, if you would speak with us about the fourfold path of the matrix, the way implicit orders, order and indirect work, because that is really kind of at the essence of, you know, where you're where you're going. least that's what I felt.

Carol Sanford
So I would add this a little bit to your interpretation of my life, which is important to the answer to your question, which is, and went from my mental models of Christianity. To for a while point I would call positive as scientists, science and modern popular science. But I quickly went past him.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, I'm sure there were steps. I'm sure you just didn't go from Christianity to what

Carol Sanford
I went past both of those I let go of all of the positive is science and joined indigenous science and lineage science and quantum science. And those are very important. And that's where David bone came in. Yeah, David Bohm talked a lot about the kind of science we do nowadays fragment in thing is it a part one of his book, wholeness, and the implicit order said, we have to let go of Newtonian science. And Einstein has a great story, which I think encapsulates my, my matrix idea and science that goes with it, which was, Einstein had some famous quote saying, don't use the old mine that created the problem, to cry and find the new one because he won't be any better. Right? And someone said when he was inception. And one of the professors I had at Berkeley was in concert with him at Princeton, and told this story and I published it a few times. He said, Well, what do you mean by that? Dr. Einstein? He said, Well, I mean that if you are using Newton's idea of physics, you're seeing the world, the through the view of it being a billiard ball table, I think he meant pool because he said, there are pockets on it. And you're defining the pocket, and you're figuring out who the cue balls are, and you think you're the cue stick dancer balls into the pocket you chose, and then people will go there, it doesn't work that way. They said, if you understand quantum science, it's sense a world is a matrix. And if you think about the matrix, like when a baby is born, it's in a womb, which is the matrix, and that womb is nurtured. And but the baby and the fetus chooses what it takes, you don't feed the baby, you don't decide what their arms or legs look tall, again, these organs and when the heart, but all of that is in the control of the being the scrawling, when we screw up in society, it's because we think we're Kusik. And because we try and do something other people, that's the direct way we picked the pockets, we are the Kusik. Instead, we are the nurturers of a woman to make sure the room is healthy to choose from, for it to grow from. So one of the reasons I talked about is how to build a culture and I hear people write about culture is a billiard ball game, where you get these things to happen, you put these in place, and then all that will happen. And your role is as a leader demand all that's a definition trying to take the matrix and make it valuable table. And so Einstein meant he told his students in his words, you have to let go of the billiard ball view, the pool table view, and switch to a matrix view. And that when I was why was using,

Greg Voisen
I was gonna ask you, though, but that let me use this term, maybe I think my listeners might relate that a femoral element versus a construct on one side. In other words, the construct is the is the cue and the ball and getting it into the pocket. And we are kind of, I don't, I'm not saying we have to be designed that way. But we kind of are designed to that way as human beings to try and find a solution to try and provide advice to do. And I'm not saying that this is what we want the listeners out here to take away and say, That's what I am. But they've got to break an old pattern, you said an old mindset, and that that mindset is pretty ingrained in a lot of people. I mean, if you look, you work with CEOs all the time, you've got to restructure this thinking, because I would almost guarantee you that 80% of those CEOs are thinking about the billiard ball, and, and the and the accused stick, trying to get it in and reconstruct that way. Because that's the way they're used to doing it. They're not used to creating a womb and saying, Okay, we're going to nurture the womb, that isn't how they think. Right,

Carol Sanford
and they don't even create their womb, they nurture one. So first, I do not think we're built that way. I do not think we're designed. I think we're conditioned that way. And that became very popular at some beginning of 20th century with behaviorism. Because the whole behaviorism idea was would decide what you want a child to be like for anybody to make our society work, where we don't have to have bad people in them. And so we were all taught to do what you just said to advise. We were net, we lost all the capacity for our sacred schools. They don't exist much except in little hidden places and around the globe. We were lost our capacity for self-observing and self-remembering and actually think we can rebuild that capability and when all my work is by referral, one executive to another who said this changed my life and it changed my business and be able to get my website you'll see. Read the referrals are all the introductions in my book. It's not about me, it's that I've stumbled on something that is really powerful. And if I don't think I'm making them any particular thing, I don't have a symbol and I don't have a program. I don't have a way you work. I educate so that they develop in the mind and understand that they are learning to look at rigid patterns, like even Phil Jackson said, I didn't copy the Lakota, I became the Lakota, I had to really work on seeing the world differently. And one time I did, no one had to tell me what to do. I knew my job was a role that was serving the development of the womb, He uses the term womb also, and the womb of his team.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, and I think I totally get what it is, it's like an artist with a canvas, you know, you're providing a canvas. And they're able to draw whatever they want on the canvas, or to create whatever they want to create. And I think many people don't look at it as a canvas anymore as a blank canvas. Well,

Carol Sanford
I think I'm teaching them to paint. So they discover what the medium is they want to use it, we all think t that would be direct shell, the indirect is all I do is build capability, build cultures, and build consciousness, I should not use the word I in any of those sentences, take them all back. I am worried that the capability and the work that allow people to do that for themselves?

Greg Voisen
Well, I think maybe a good way to do this would be to talk about the way triad and the three disciplines that describe the way or the goal point on the change framework of capability and culture and consciousness. Also, if you would reference back to Phil Jackson, and how he utilized this change technology, I called it technology call it at will to transform his team and his players, because he did do. I mean, you know, we've referenced him once already, I think in the book, you reference him, almost in every chapter. But you know, the reality is you've used this story and weaved it in. And it's a really live real story about a team and a coach. And it works. So the question is, if you would reference back to Phil, and what to utilize the change technology to transform his team and players. So I'll

Carol Sanford
remind people that the way of segment is a social technology, right, rather than physical one was he was always working on making the capability of his team greater, not on print here, role plays running through the motions, and figuring out how you get some extra attention. He would do lots of reflection in the locker room. And so you would ask them? Well, if you think of our audience, and he had three nests, and he had all the people who were watching a game, people who ran the game, but always the mostly black kids who were following these fires, and he would say, Now, if you think of all them as things, what would you think of and people say, well, tickets to the game and people who post their picture on social media? If you think I'm gonna miss types? No, this was a different level, right of seeing. All right. What do you think of as you think of our, our audiences, people who go from things, she kind of types or some broad sense? And they'd say, Well, I guess I began to see him growing up and really get them becoming winners or losers or something, they become more alive. And he said, why? laughs What happens if you think of the essence of each child, or even each audience member, and there would be a lot of quiet, at least your report is where people just shifted gears. It's like it went from no longer some objective, objectifying view of them as money and some kind of good or bad, you instead really begin to think of particular kids who come up to you after the game, or in the neighborhood. And you realize that each one of them had a deep essence where they were seeking to bring themselves into the world a more meaningful way. And what they would report after doing those exercises regularly for a couple of years, is they couldn't go into a neighborhood anymore. And now look at each child, not connect with him not listen, what they bring in, what are they struggling with? They went into classrooms and hospitals, not as thinking these people the kid, you know, and not black and white kids and I gotta help With this one, but more, each child has something and my work is out, bring that out that change how they thought when they were in the arena playing, there was there were children there, who had to up until then be more like tickets to them in their previous coaches tickets to the game followers on social media, although they didn't have as much social media then. But followers that ability to have a kind of capability to see the world and go into a different view a different way of understanding change who they were?

Greg Voisen
Well, I think, if I'm not, if I'm not mistaken, you know, what's popping up for me intuitively is labeling. Yeah, categories. Were saying when label somebody as a ticket, we label somebody as a, you know, participant or something. Instead, remove the labels. I think everywhere you go, even in a structure of a corporation, unless it's flat, but you have this hierarchy of labels, you got a president, you got to CEO, you've got no, you've got a CTO, you've got and you define and as you do that, it's not just people coming together, it's certain individuals in there, I mean, would that be a great, or that'd be a way to kind of look at it is remove these labels?

Carol Sanford
Well, that's the second level. And you remove the second you do that by going to the third level, we're talking about our framework, right. So as a bone says, we categorize everything in the man we categorize, we have to have a name for it. So it's the thinking that creates the category we have to remove not, you can't remove the label, as long as you still got the idea of their categories. And if you don't have the idea that everything has an essence, so third level to our framework, you don't know what why get rid of categories, you'd say, well, what do I call them? Right? You just create another category that was maybe less racist or less hierarchical like associates, that is still categorizing what we want. It's a framework. That's the key to this book, not an action plan, stop using labels, which I agree we should. But the key is, that's not what Jackson did. He taught people see, there were actually four levels, I went to three, because all we have time for today is to notice why try to notice when we're thinking, notice when we're categorizing and noticing the effect of that that's the important work is noticing and using it to self-observe. And then notice, when you step into a real person, they have their own unique being learning to use that framework. It's what he worked on.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, I and I think you say the essence of the book is that you call it thinking you've said thinking many times, if you could, if we could get away from thinking stuff, people and look at the framework, the larger you say, three levels, there's another level as well. But I think that this book, is designed for us to question that it's designed for us to look at the work we have to do within ourselves to actually make this transformation and to open our minds of the readers. And for them to see the world order in a transformative way. What takeaways would you like to leave listeners with regarding the book and how it can help them personally and professionally transform their thinking and subsequent actions to make this world a better place because in the end, this book is about improving ourselves to make the world a better place.

Carol Sanford
So take aways is direct write that to ask you for advice, and creating what I think is bad from quartet the opposite books, so let me enter question but a different way. That's fine. Okay. Listen for how often we want direct or not, not just you, I do it too. It's like we fall into what are the key points? What the advice what can I do to change that? What expert and I think the most important thing for us to do is to notice how passive we are to our own critical thinking, our own personal development. We don't observe the effects of how things are happening. Like if you wanted to do anything with this podcast, and sin of if you took notes, throw them away and ask what questions would you would it be great if you were out asking you now that you build a long thought on and what I mean by long thought it you say, I'm gonna start writing about that subject, like, learning to observe myself. And I'm gonna write a new version of every day, I'm not going to accept the answer I had yesterday. And we keep working on building a deeper and deeper thought, that's my own. That's the most important work we can do and catch ourselves when we think someone is an expert. I mean, hopefully, I've gotten all the word expert and leader out of all my bios, because the minute we do that, we're creating categories, like you said, labels. And so become mindful, that's the most important thing I think we need as a country as a people.

Greg Voisen
Well, I, your comment about a long thought is really, really, I think, excellent. You know, I did say takeaways, because, you know, usually at the end, when there's podcasts, people are looking to say, okay, how am I summarizing this? Now, what I'm saying is, if you removed the summary, and all they took away, I'm going to use the word again, was long thought that, that really today, what I got from Carol, was to write about something, and then write about it in a different way, tomorrow, and then the next day, and the next day and 10, you continue to evolve, that thought that what we were talking about your critical thinking skills. I think that's the best thing that anybody could do. Now, it's not my job to provide advice on somebody else's book, your job as a listener, is to go by the book, read it and create your own thoughts around the book, not mine, or Carol's, because that's what Carol is basically saying, pick up the book, read it, take some time, digest it, you know, use it as she was talking about. Let me let me just show her math SOS, the inner Matt says, I'm trying to find them. There's the inner matzos in each of these chapters. Those right there could be all that you really need. You know, if you did the internet since that time to think and reflect. And, Carol, I want to thank you for being back on again for taking some time with our listeners to explore the indirect work. And I actually liked the term indirect work, although I'd say it's just work period. We've got we've got to do the work. And I think you, you, you give people so much to think about and I think that's the best thing is you're stimulating their thoughts. Thank you so much for being on inside personal growth, sharing your wisdom. But at the same time, with that wisdom, giving us the opportunity to create our own wisdoms, and thoughts and ideas, that is the most important part because we all have our own ability to think through our critical things that are happening in our life and what we need to do about them. We don't always need somebody else's advice on how to solve something right. Thank you so much, Carol. Have a good day.

Carol Sanford
Thank you and thanks for being so present greatly enjoyed it. Thanks.

powered by

Joining me for this podcast are the authors of book entitled Joy Cards – Lilamani de Silva and Michelle Burke.

Lilamani is an accomplished painter who has sold paintings around the world. In fact, the beutifully illustrated cards of Joy Cards and of their first book 15 Minute Pause were made by her. Additionally, she is a nature enthusiast, enjoys reading, and racket sports. She​ ​holds a Masters in Biochemistry from the University of Otago in New Zealand.

On the other hand, Michelle Burke is an entrepreneur who loves writing, travel and sports. She is also the Founder and President of The Energy Catalyst Group, a consulting, coaching and training firm for well-being, dedicated to helping leaders and teams be more mindful, engaged and energized at work.

Their book, Joy Cards, aims to inspire you to keep your cup full with the good thoughts and actions so you can move through life’s demands with greater ease and joy. With regular practice, Joy Cards can be a fun, long-term solution for managing stress and make a busy day better!

If you want to know more about Michelle’s company The Energy Catalyst Group, you may click here to visit their website. You may also visit Lilamani’s Facebook page to see more of her amazing art works.

I hope you enjoy this engaging interview with Lilamani de Silva and Michelle Burke. Thanks and happy listening!

THE BOOK

Rediscover your inner happiness with Joy Cards. With 48 original paintings crafted into fun activity cards, you will be inspired and motivated to experience more happiness daily. The deck also comes with a fun, fact-filled, science-based guidebook that will help you relieve stress and anxiety so you can find and appreciate the joy gems that surround you daily.

THE AUTHORS

Lilamani is an accomplished painter who has sold paintings around the world. Her career has spanned across different industries including media relations and film production. She has worked as publicist at London Zoo which led to the production of natural history documentaries for ITV, Discovery and Animal Planet. On the other hand, Michelle Burke is a highly respected and sought-after consultant, team and leadership coach, facilitator and speaker. She is also the Founder and President of the consulting, coaching and training company – Energy Catalyst Group.

 

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transciption (not edited) of the interview.

Greg Voisen
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen and most of Inside Personal Growth. And joining us from London, England is Lilamani de Silva, and her partner, Michelle Berg joining us from Los Angeles. No, where are you? You're just a little north of Los Angeles, right? Yeah, I'm in Valley, in the valley in the valley. And we're going to be talking with these ladies this morning. About two things, we'll blend it together, you get twice for this interview. One is about these Joy Cards that they have just released. This is a beyond words, release this one. And we'll also integrate in here, the 15 Minute pause because you can't get one without the other. Let's face it. It's all kind of a blended thing. So, but the Joy Cards are really interesting. And I want to let our listeners know, inside this box, are all these Joy Cards, but also a great guidebook. And we're going to be asking them some questions from the guidebook and also from the cards themselves. And we'll be weaving in 15 minute pauses for everybody. How's that? And let me just give you a little bit of background about both of our people that are speaking with us, I should say authors in card because Lilamani actually designed all the cards. And so she's quite the artist that is part of her input. But Michelle is a highly respected and sought after leadership team strategist, coach and speaker, as founder and president of the energy catalyst group, which is where all of you can go to learn more about Lilamani and Michelle is energy catalyst group.com. She's been consulting and training companies on wellbeing. She's devoted 20-year career to helping individual’s teams and organizations ship unproductive attitudes and behaviors that get in the way of thriving, and so energizing the workplace and life. And when you go there, you'll see she's got lots of partners as well, and law nominee to silver as a master's in biochemistry, and papers in psychology from university. Out ago in New Zealand. Her eclectic career has spanned across different industries, including media relations and film production. She was a clinical audit facilitator at Hammersmith hospital for many years, of course, and public relations lead to PR role in London Zoo, her keen knowledge of zoo world and background and endless launched a new career as a researcher then at AP in production of natural history documentaries. And you're probably thinking, how did this woman get to designing these cards? Well, because she likes to do a lot of different things. That's the main thing. So let me this first question is for both of you, and you each can respond. If you would tell us a little about the formation of your partnership, I think which would be a foundation for this as well is why you both decided to write these Joy Cards. And I can only guess it was right in the middle of the pandemic, as you guys mentioned in the book. We all needed a little more joy then and we all need even more joy now. So tell us a little bit about that. Who wants to go first?

Lilamani de Silva
Well, I can. We met in Seattle, Washington. I really believe it was sort of a serendipitous meeting. I was filming at the time for the Discovery Channel. And Michelle was a keynote speaker for the World Wide conference with Microsoft. And a friend introduced us and that's that that history? I mean, we ever since then, what it's been over 20 years, isn't it? Michelle? Yeah. Yeah. 20 long years? No, 20. Great Year.

Greg Voisen
We've had Michelle. What about you, Michelle, what would you say about this partnership?

Michelle Burke
I would say Yeah, well, I mean, it's certainly that was exactly how I met. And I think it's, it's grown over the years. You know, we when we started out, it was, you know, we knew that we had some things in common. And we also shared a common purpose that we both wanted to make a difference in the world. And we did it from different perspectives. You know, we had different backgrounds and different perspectives, but we shared a similar purpose and philosophy in life. And I think that really helped us create the various products that we've created, including the Joy Cards.

Greg Voisen
Well, let's talk about these Joy Cards, you know, we have probably more female listeners than males. And usually males, you know, it's like, Oh, Joy Cards, why do I want to have a joy card with a nice picture on it? I think that's just the male side. But, you know, Hay House has been putting out cards like these for a long time. I think both of us talked about this last time on the show. And I've always bought cards or decks that I really liked. And I'm willing to for my listeners, because I think it's really important to actually show them a couple of the cards. This, that's the guidebook. So there it is. And let Lilamani great work on the artwork on these cards, by the way, oh, so this is a judgment free Day card. And there's the other side. So you have a beautiful picture. So you could read this and like stick it right in front of your computer, on your board, or whatever you wanted to do. But the point is, is to use these cards, right? So speak with us, if you would, about you had a party in here from Notes from the creators, that life's little pleasures and acts of kindness is evolving, practice wherever we go. Fortunately, Joy gems are everywhere, if we look for them, right. And I think the key is, this reminds us to look for them. The cards remind you to look for them speak about having a judgment free day, I just told you guys a minute ago, we're in the midst of I was ranting about these shootings. And I was definitely creating a judgment was an eye. And as little woman he said, well, sometimes you have to do that. But give us your judgment free day, first card in the deck and a way to shift our perspective and experience for more joy in our lives. out

Lilamani de Silva
it I think in terms of joy gyms, I'll just go into that a little a little bit. So Joy gyms are what we coined the phrase over a period of time, what they mean are the simple pleasures in life. I mean, it's a very, that's the everyday things that we miss, because we're too busy. And we haven't had a chance to stop. And really think about things like for example, you know, tasting your coffee, Michelle's book talks about tasting her coffee, I don't drink coffee, but tasting my tea, every English person has a cup of tea. And just making the time to do that or observing these, you know, buzzing around flowers, simple, simple, everyday thing. And we just wanted people to appreciate that, you know, we can miss those things if we because we are too busy most of the time.

Greg Voisen
So Michelle, and I look, you spent a lot of your time in corporate America. I would think that these would be really perfect on everybody's desk, you know, or even if they're at home, right? Because a lot of people are working from home these days. And you're getting on Zoom calls like we are here as well. What is the what do you think could happen as a result of individuals working inside of corporations, team building, utilize these Joy Cards?

Michelle Burke
Well, it's interesting that you, you bring that up great, because actually, I've heard now from a few different people that they are putting the Joy Cards on their desk, and their coworkers are coming into their office every day to pick a card. And now they're having an actual conversation because they're going and doing the activity different people are coming in at different times and pulling a card and reading it out loud. And then looking in the booklet to see what it means and what the health benefits are. And just having that conversation is spreading joy. You know, you're talking about something joyful, and now they're going in, trying it out. And then coming back and sharing what they experienced. And to me just even shifting that and integrating that type of a conversation into your workday is like a huge shift in the way that we look at work because most of us go into our office, whether it's at home or into an office at work. And we're you know, we're tunnel vision, you know, we're Check, check, check, check, check, check, check all are to dues. So many people aren't even taking lunch, right we get caught up and like what Lilamani was saying about the joy Jim's taking those moments. Just a moment out of the day a pause Thank you great love that yes, that is the word thinking of pause to actually have those moments and appreciate those moments of joy and that everybody deserves that. I think

Greg Voisen
We will ask you hit something and I'm gonna take this off in a different little direction here but it's okay. You know recently did an interview with Marshall Goldsmith on his new book called The Iron life, and on one end of the continuum, he has joy. And on the other end he has what he's calling are the meaningful things, your purpose in life, your meaning in life, happiness. Let's talk about happiness for a second because joy and happiness go together. You know, he has all these achievers which you work with Michelle, and you both work with. And these achievers, no matter what happened, he said, would come in and they would say, Well, you know, I got the PhD, I got a double PhD, I invented something that made me 10s of millions of dollars, and he's coaching some of the top people in the world, right? I have a beautiful house, yet. They had so many regrets, and no joy, no happiness, they had no time for happiness. It was like it eluded them, you know. And you know, what he did speak about which I was interesting to address with you guys just kind of this concept, which I didn't even know Marshall did this is about impermanence, right? And non-attachment. It's a Buddhist concept. But you know, when you want to have joy, and this is the question Sigmar Raul says, you have to choose happiness. You have to choose it first. Right? It's not something that it doesn't happen unless you choose to have it. What would you say? Because joy and happiness to me are kind of the same thing. Are these cool? Are these supposed to bring awareness so that we choose joy?

Michelle Burke
You know, I actually think it. Yes. And I would say that there. It's a pathway. It's a tool to and it gives you permission to experience and bring joy back into your life or rediscover what brings you joy, or bring more joy into your life. And so yes, it definitely brings awareness because if you are engaging with the cards, you're learning, right, and you're trying possibly something new, or maybe you're doing something that you haven't done in a really long time, like Lilamani. And I discovered when we were challenging each other during when we were creating these cards, and that in and of itself brings joy.

Greg Voisen
Well, what I like about these cards, and again, I'm not going to belabor this for the listeners, but you don't even go anywhere in the deck, pull a card out, stick it up there. And in less than 30 seconds, read the statement and turn it over and look at the beautiful artwork. And I think just that in of itself, because you know, people say, Well, do you want to read another book? And you're going like, I don't need to I don't want to read a whole book. What can I do in the moment right now to shift my attitude to shift my emotions? And I think that's what these cards do. Right?

Lilamani de Silva
Yeah, absolutely. And like you say, it can be getting joy is a choice, it is a choice. But sometimes we do need reminding. And, you know, these cards are a reminder. And it's a very quick and easy way of changing like you say a mood, because there are lots of health benefits associated with each card, you know, you can you can lower stress, because sometimes when we're stressed, the cortisol levels are so high that we can't even get back to back to normal. So with a quick positive vibe or a different mindset, it can be done, you know, and with a little gratitude, or changing your mind and going outside and looking at things that you're curious about, it can make a whole lot of difference like

Greg Voisen
This, you guys have you have backgrounds in science, so the oxytocin actually can get released as a result of these Joy Cards. Right? So that reduces hormones. Well, but I mean, when you look in your adrenal glands, and what's actually being on the top of your kidney, right, yeah, that's where it's coming from. But what happens is when you go into flight, fight or freeze, which is that other state, because that's the limbic side, right? We're virtually not doing that we're getting more cortisol. Right? And the cortisol is blocking the ability to produce the oxytocin. Yeah, I mean, I don't know if that's a correct scientific approach to this. But what I'm saying is, fundamentally my listeners get it. You if you go into that mode versus picking up one of these cards, and just putting it in front of you and choosing joy, right? You even if you're going to just choose toy for the next half an hour until the next phone call comes then pick up another one right or whatever. That's way to do it. But you mentioned the guidebook that Joy Cards act as a catalyst to spark fun in unexpected ways. And our long term solutions for managing stress and anxiety, which we just talked about, speak about the joy card remembering happy memories, and how this act shifts our mood I, it's something that I don't think people do often enough. It's like, we're always on to the next, it's always about the next. You know, I say yesterday was a canceled check tomorrow as a promissory note, the only thing that you really have is now, right. So if we did live our lives this way, which in the Western world, I think it's the Western disease, right? We could have a lot more joy. So what about remembering happy memories? Who wants to address that?

Michelle Burke
Well, I think that I think that's a great example, you know, one of the many examples of how quickly we can get back to a joyful place. You know, if we take a moment and remember, something, a happy memory that we've had when we were a child, or, or, or an adult, and reliving that moment in our memory, again, helps release those happy hormones. And so it immediately makes us feel good. It's like listening to music, if you if you hear a song that that reminds you of a happy time, you immediately have a smile on your face, you can't help it like if you're even telling a story about a happy memory, Greg, you immediately get a smile on your face, when you're telling it your vocal voice changes into a much more positive place. And so those are things that everybody can do me much like the jumps that Lilamani was talking about earlier, those things are small, and yet they have a huge difference. And they don't take much time. And they don't cost anything. And that's the one thing that I think we're really wanting people to understand is that these Joy Cards allow you to have access to joy, right? To bring joy into your life, without having to think that you have to spend hours of your day, or spend millions of dollars to do it.

Greg Voisen
And it's technology free. Meaning it's not something on your iPad, it's not something on your iPhone, it's not something on your Android device or your tablet. It's actually a physical card. Which, you know, some people say that's kind of old school, why didn't they digitize right? There's a reason why you did digitize them. Because the tactical pneus of actually holding a card and reading something, I think is really important. And I don't want to sound old fashioned here. But the reality is that is your intent behind this, I would assume right? Yeah, absolutely.

Lilamani de Silva
Yeah, you can, you can touch it, you can feel it. And you and the end, the four areas are really important as well, because it's mind body, heart and soul. So we, we divided it into those areas so that people could if they wanted to concentrate on the mind, because then you know, if your mind is hyperactive or overactive, and you need it calm, there are cards that can do that for you like the happy memories, and you can slow it down. Or you have the heart connection, you know, heart so you can connect and reconnect with people. It's just a reminder of and your body, you know, you need to move your body you love gardening and the things that you might have forgotten to do. And just go back to again, it's just a reminder, and it's a very positive reminder.

Greg Voisen
Well, you know, it people will say, Well, we live in a complicated world, we live in a complicated world because we make it so you know, if you literally shut out the media and shut off the things, and grew in your garden, like you just talked about and did things that way, which it's almost feels like sometimes people are out of reach with it. You know, it's like a can't I can't get there because everything's moving so fast. And I think this is intentionally designed to slow you down. To take a deep breath. Let's talk about the wellness elements of this. You mentioned that the Joy Cards are based on research that you conducted specifically in the areas of positive psychology, health and well-being. Can you speak about the scientific studies that prove that stimulating joyful feeling stimulates the neurotransmitters which we were just kind of just talking about, but you know, I don't know who wants to just that? Is that you Michel? Sure. Is that Lilamani?

Michelle Burke
I think we both could be speaking to that. I know that one of the reports that I spent a lot of time researching is the stress in America report comes out every year. It's been coming out for decades. And certainly in the last few years in particular, stress levels are at an all-time high, which is no surprise, given everything that's been going on. And, and understanding what the impact is on our physical, mental and emotional and psychological being is enormous. And so an example of gratitude, there's been so much research just on gratitude alone, to show that by just the simple act of being genuinely grateful, will release dopamine and serotonin in your brain immediately. And actually, that brings your that cortisol level down, and actually makes you feel better. And each of the cards were intentional in that way that alumni were looking at, we were like, what is that? What is the wellness benefit of doing this particular activity? What how is it going to help you in that way, because we, we want everybody to feel and experience more joy. And we want them to actually feel it like inside because that's, that's where it will shift your life in a really positive way. If you if you're willing, right, like that choice piece that you talked about earlier, Greg, choosing it is a big part of, and being willing to try it out to just try it each day one little thing, it doesn't have to be a big thing, it could be a small thing. Great. Being grateful, takes no time at all, you know, I started my day with gratitude. Writing a handwritten note to somebody, just the act of writing it out and sending it or giving it to somebody actually helps you. Look what I

Greg Voisen
Kept. Look what I can't.

Michelle Burke
Is that my oh my gosh, that's my car to

Greg Voisen
your handwritten note with your insurer, and the 15 Minute pause on it. So that's fantastic. That just shows that your cards work. Now, I would say that, you know, we're all day long, given a certain amount of energy your company has called the Energy catalyst group. It's about the focus of that energy. And the ability, what I would say, and I'm going to ask you this question. Do you see that when people work with these cards, whether you whether it was just the two of you, or you have more research than this, that they found that they were more energized, that they were more inspired? I use inspired instead of motivated, because to me, inspiration comes from within? It's a spiritual kind of experience. And I think these cards are designed for all those who are my spiritual listeners, which there's lots of them. It is about bringing that connection to a higher self to making that connection. Neither of you want to comment on that.

Michelle Burke
Or died. Yeah, I would. Like there was a lot of I know. Well, I agree with you, Greg. I mean, I think that when allometry and I were creating these cards, we were really looking at how do you help people cultivate it from the inside out? Because otherwise it won't last. And that's why we call it a joy journey. Because it is a practice, right? Like it is a choice that we have to make for ourselves and say, Yeah, I deserve this. I want more of it in my life, I want to feel more joyful. And I think that in that in and of itself, just doing that act alone is. Well, it's a positive thing. But the thing that you talked about the energy, it does energize us, and energy is contagious. Like it and so is joy. And so Joy carries that positive energy, right? And so if you're feeling joyful, then that's going to that's going to impact other people that you're around when you walk in the door and you're in a great mood or something positive happened or you've you just smell the roses on your walk back from like I do with my dog JD and I'm like smiling and happy about it all, you know, I whoever I'm going to be interacting with next is going to get the benefit of that. You know, so I think it's I think we don't realize that when we feel joyful moms out there who have kids, when you're in a good place and you're feeling positive that impact directly your children you know, they see it and feel it. In fact, in our research Ludlum you remember that with it that the research about the moms who are really stressed out and the one thing that kids when kids were being asked about their moms, and what was one wish that they wanted from their moms. their kids’ response was, they would like to see their moms be less stressed and more joyful. Yeah.

Lilamani de Silva
It's not more, you know, it wasn't more money or more time, it was actually less stress because it definitely influences them and their lives. And I definitely think joy just makes our busy day better. And the more the more joy you have, the dopamine cycle is a reinforcement cycle. So the more you do, the better it is. Because the more you want to do, and it's just getting into a practice in a rhythm, really, and changing some habits a little bit.

Greg Voisen
Well, this is this is my listeners’ investment into wellness, right? Yeah, look, you guys can buy a peloton, you can go do yoga, and you can run on the beach, you can walk in the woods, you can do whatever you want, physically. This is a mental health card. And when your mental health is better, everything else is better. So that's my, my plug one of the plugs. Now the guide book, you speak about the different ways we can use the Joy Cards and Lilamani you started talking about it? Can you talk about the use of the category of the cards in the mind, the heart, the body in the soul? Because we literally now you have those four categories. And the last one I was speaking about soul is the direct connection to spirituality. So to speak, I guess will allow me this questions for you. Michelle, it's for you, too. But you want to start Lilamani?

Lilamani de Silva
Well, I mean each and each and every one of those areas is quite important to make you more rounded really, emotionally, mentally, and physically. You need you need to be balanced all the way around. So I think if one area's out of out of sync, then it can affect the others as well. So they're pretty much integrated. But the soul obviously soul is very important. It's again, what's inside. So building your strength on the inside out. It's about self-worth. And, and loving yourself, really. And that's where it starts, I think,

Greg Voisen
I think you mentioned a very important thing. And that's self-love. You know, if I have bunch of regret in my life, I probably don't have a lot of self-love. Because I'm regretting things that I didn't do or could have been or whatever. But if I'm on purpose, and I have meaning, and I have joy, and I have happiness in my life, there's a good possibility that all those chemicals we were talking about the need to be released are being released regularly. And I'm feeling a lot better about the world, my life and the people around me. Yeah. So

Lilamani de Silva
absolutely. Tell yourself you love yourself every day, and then that'll change as well. No matter, it's a matter of convincing yourself like you say, you know, fake it till you make it. But again, it's, it's that sort of a thing. But the more things you do, and the more you give yourself, you know, positive reinforcement, really, the more likely you're going to really appreciate the person you are because you see yourself in the mirror every day and you are the only person you can fully truly rely on probably so and you've been there all the we're all the way all through your journey. So self-love is so very important really?

Greg Voisen
Well physical wellness is starts with the mental wellness. And, you know, because it's so difficult for people to get inspired to go do what they need to do, if they're not there, right? But what I was saying is that when we're adjusted mentally and emotionally and spiritually, it allows us to go after the physical with what with much more fervor, you know, in the United States and I'm sure Michelle you know this because you're in the wellness side of things and both of you know, we're kind of epidemic proportions on diabetes, and now on overweight, England's got its own problem with overweight so it is New Zealand now so does Australia. But to do those kinds of things that help us release that weight, which is being okay with ourselves number one first, so that we have the energy to then go do the jog or whatever it is we need to do or to have the portion control and still feel good about ourselves, whatever it might be. So Michelle, can you to dress that, because these cards I think, actually are the first part to start for wellness.

Michelle Burke
I love you, I agree in terms of, it's a great place, if you're if you're needing some support around shifting in that in that area, whether it is physically or mentally or emotionally, I do believe that these cards are the instigator, you know, they're a great way to spark your mind shifting, so that you can do something different. We it's hard to make a better decision for ourselves, if we're making it from the same place that we've been stressed it. So we have to find a way to relieve that stress long enough to make a healthier decision for ourselves. And these cards really are a way of, of helping people do that. And I think if you can mentally, I mean, we've got a big mental health care problem here at Bragg, as you well know, I mean, that's, that's gone up tremendously given the pandemic. And so being able to help people find moments where they can have more clarity and clarity, meaning that the brain chemistry has shifted so that it can be more positive, that allows them to think more clearly. For them to be able to go, Oh, I do need to go out and take that walk, I can do that my card says take a walk today, I can do that. Even if it's just for 10 minutes, it doesn't matter. It's the act of getting out there and then doing that thing for even 10 minutes will shift the brain chemistry to help. And then it has a longer effect, right? It has the it states it doesn't just snap back. And that that allows you then some momentum, hopefully. And we also encourage law. This is why the alumna and I did this together is that it really helps if you have a buddy to do it with if you can't, whether it's over zoom, remember the law money and I live in two different countries. And we were able to do, we were able to support each other and still continue to support each other to this day, and challenge each other to get out of our doldrums to shake things up to shift things. And I'm not saying it's easy, this is not like, you know, snap your finger and upset and everybody gets to feel more joyful. It is however, a real way a tool, it's like adding a tool in your toolbox to help you feel better. And that's the first step is being able to help you feel better, so that you can then keep making better healthy choices to go forward. And if you have somebody to help you with it, that makes it easier.

Greg Voisen
I think exam pills out always help people and real quickly. You know, ex-President Obama did a speech at Stanford about two weeks ago. And he was speaking about the importance that social media has played in actually the divisiveness of this country. And the fact that these companies are responsible, they're responsible for what gets out there. And they need to take more responsibility. And he said, what's being pumped is sewage. And then I he said sewage, because it can confuse people enough to make inappropriate decisions to do things. Maybe even that example of yesterday. Yeah. So what he then went on to say, or I should say, I heard another young lady who has become quite famous, she literally was spending 14 hours a day on the internet, building her profile and got suicidal came to a point where she was suicidal, because of just listening to all the noise, I call it the noise, call it the sewage, the noise, whatever you want to listen to. And now he's made a career of helping teenagers and young adolescents actually get away from it, divorce themselves from it, remove themselves from it. And I think this joy card, whether you're alone, or you're in company with somebody can be the greatest mental health solution that you can have. Because just taking time to reflect and not being influenced by somebody else outside their comment. This is you writing you journaling you looking at a joy card and using it and I think just for that reason, people need to grasp onto it. And as you know, we live in a world that's always on technologies created and helped to create this what I call always on world. And that's my comment here about the social media. 14 hours a day on social media. Come on. Speak with what? Yeah, speak with us about your joy card. Tune in to tune out I think what I just said is probably the best reflection. But I want you guys to comment. Because if we tune inside to tune out what else is there, we get to hear that voice of reason we get to hear the voice of a higher power, we get to hear this voice that's speaking with us. And that is encouraging us. And I think that I want to talk a minute because I know both of you understand this, just the power of the reprogramming the subconscious. Speak with us with you would about the tune and tune out and reprogramming our subconscious?

Lilamani de Silva
Well, I think tuning out is very important. It just allows you to have a little silence. Because so much, you don't really get it really understand what's actually going on out there until you have that silent. And it's amazing. Like we said, Joy is so unexpected, you don't know what's going to happen until you stop, isn't it that 15 minutes, even if it's 15 minutes, and tuning out of social media is brilliant, because, yeah, you get to connect with yourself, but you can also sleep better and, and have some quality time with the people you love. You know, it's so important, isn't it? Right, Michelle?

Michelle Burke
Absolutely. And I also think that we're like, you were just saying, Greg, it's become an epidemic, right of addiction to our technology and to the social media and checking in and seeing how many likes we get, and if we didn't get enough likes, and we feel bad about ourselves. And when we were talking about self-worth and self-love, it's really hard to keep your mental health about it. When you're getting all this noise and sewage, like you were saying earlier, from people you don't really even know. And yet somehow we put all this emphasis outside of ourselves, rather than coming back here and checking in with ourselves to say, what do I really think? What do I What do I care about? What? What matters to me? And what does bring me joy? What? I'm a human being just like the next person, and so I deserve to have that time for myself. I give it to others, why not take it for myself, even if it's just 15 minutes. And I think that if we, if we could take a little break, you know, from the from the social media that will help us allow ourselves really to be that reflective human that we need to be in order to know what we love, what and what brings us joy and what matters to us. If we don't ask those questions of ourselves. We can't really know them. We're just taking in everybody else's opinion. And kind of going along the flow of things rather than going wait a second. Do I want that to I care about that? So

Greg Voisen
you said Michelle about it not being an easy route. And it isn't an M for all my listeners. Look, the three of us sitting here. It hasn't always just been about us being joyous and happy all the time. And everything's been primrose and whatever. But the reality is, you know, self-love, you know, is so important. And, you know, I keep thinking about kind of as you were speaking, you know, you look at maniacal Mr. Putin if he'd only had a few more hugs during his lifetime, maybe he wouldn't be as maniacal and crazy as he is. You know, I think there's a lot of people that have deep wounds. And any of you listening out there who have these wounds that you're trying to heal that are have been there for a long time. And I'm not your psychologist, although I am. I am a psychologist, I would say that you that you really start to look at those and journal about them and, and get in community and talk to people and try and work through them. I think we'd have less of what happened yesterday, if people were doing these kinds of things. And you know, you speak about forgiveness, both of ourselves and others as a way to bring more joy into our lives. I actually heard one of the women from Buffalo, a black woman say she didn't have it in her heart. I think it was her sister that got killed in the grocery store to say she's forgiven it, but she knew she had to forgive him. She even said on the news. I know I have to forgive this other soul. And I thought, man What bravery what? Just amazing thing to be able to know right now it's hard for me to forgive, but I'm going to forgive. What's the best way of letting go of our grievances and angers and you speak about this in your guidebook and on card 14, titled, forgive. I think this is a big thing in the world right now. Because we can't cross the divide unless we forgive. Because everybody looks as this divisiveness between people, whether it's Republican, Democrat, Independent, whatever party they're in, or whatever they voted for and ever, and they're like, I'm right, you're wrong. You know, and I think it was the old. I want to say this and forget it. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, you know? And it was like in I just did one called the Go Giver marriage with a man is interesting what they all say. And I think we all know this, but do we really know it? Because the ego gets in the way. It's like, would you rather be in love? Or would you rather be right? And that's what that's what John? What was his name? John, something John Gray, John Gray used to say, would you rather be in love? Or would you rather be right? And that applies? Yeah, that applies to both the relationship and your relationship with yourself. Because it's about self-love as well. So if you guys would talk about this forgive card. This is a big one.

Michelle Burke
Yeah, I agree. It's, it's one of the deepest cards we have in the deck, I will, I will say that it's forgiveness has so many benefits. And if we have to start with forgiving ourselves, we, we hold on to old stuff that we did, regrets things we said or did in our past that it's like, literally like a weight that we've carried around with us, most of us. And if we have that weight, that weight shows up in the way that we respond. And I get triggered by other things and other people and what's going on in the world. And oftentimes, I always my I can't remember who said it, but it's not about the chicken. You know, like when we get into an argument with somebody, it's never about usually what we're actually arguing about, it's usually has to do with something that happened, who knows how long ago that we didn't resolve. And so we can resolve within ourselves first, and forgive ourselves, then it makes it easier. And I'm not saying it's easy to do this, because I've struggled with it, I've had various moments in time, and I still work on one thing that I'm still, I still feel like I have a thread left of, of feeling like I didn't do enough for my dad. And I know intellectually I did. But I it's, it's, it's what matters is what's in here. And so being able to really get to that place and allow yourself to forgive yourself is a great place to start. And then being able to do that with others and, and other situations. Because the truth of the matter is, it's gone. It is in most of these situations are already in the past. So why we're holding on to it isn't helping us, it isn't serving us and it isn't helping anybody that we interact with it, that cortisol that we were talking about earlier, when we're in resentment mode, or anger, or all of that are coded cortisol is off the charts. And that doesn't help us make healthy choices for ourselves or for others. And so we're not doing ourselves any favors by carrying that around with us. And I

Greg Voisen
think people love harmony, the people just want, they want respect. You can still disagree. But they still want respect. And if you can respect somebody, it doesn't mean you can't disagree with their point of view. But you can still respect them. You literally can create, in this estimation, a place for forgiveness.

Lilamani de Silva
Writing forgiveness, definitely. Yeah, it's not I mean, there is respect you have respect for yourself, first and foremost, probably. And then from there, you have respect for others. So you can treat people the way you want to be treated. And I think acceptance of a situation which you no longer have much control over is probably the best way. You know, it's about letting that go. Because you know yourself like Michelle just said, it's really not serving you. It's not it's not doing you any good. So the sooner you can move on from that particular scenario, the better. And it's hard. You can write it down. You can send someone a letter, and you can burn you can you write it down and then burn it so that it's gone. You know, it's out, it's gone. It's forever gone. There are different methods of how you might go about doing it, but really the only way you can move on and have a better life. Like that lady said, you were just mentioning, she knows that the only way she can move on and have a better life is to actually forget.

Greg Voisen
You know, and I think no matter what you do, whether it's these Joy Cards, or it's journaling, or it's a meditation or a mantra, or it's something you're repeating yourself, I think the key is, all of these are tools to make it easier to make the path easier, and I think, again, the Joy Cards are about easing you into a position to have an acceptance of joy in your life, if you're not finding much joy there right now. And, and you, you know, it's like fire starter, you have to spark somewhere, you know, you've got a spark somewhere. So why not spark with a lovely card on your desk, place to start, you know, or if you're into journaling, and you don't want to buy these cards, they're not very expensive, you can get them on Amazon, including the guide book, I think for like $18, or whatever it is, we're going to put a link to that. Now ladies, we're going to leave the listeners with three takeaways from working with the Joy Cards. And we will also put the link to this book as well. The 15-minute pause using even though you can say we didn't speak about it, we really did speak about it, we've been speaking about it for the last 45 minutes, because every one of these Joy Cards is about taking a pause. It's about actually getting to a point of understanding what it is action you can choose to take to change your situation. Give us three takeaways from the Joy Cards and the benefits of the 15 Minute pause, both emotionally physically and spiritually.

Lilamani de Silva
I think for me, I would I would start with you have a choice. Everyone has a choice. And joy is a choice. That is a takeaway from me.

Michelle Burke
Yeah, yeah, I would like to add to that, I think that's the first step. And I also think that joy, joy is our right? We have we have a right as human beings to feel joy filled. And we need to take ownership of that, and take a step towards that each and every day. And it doesn't take much time. And it doesn't take millions of dollars. And it feels good. It feels good inside when you feel joy. And that joy is contagious. And so why not feel joy. If you have kids out there, I'm telling you, as parents, you need to go out and feel joyful. Because that joy is contagious to your kids. It's like a little kid, you know, opening up a gift for their birthday, or seeing the big birthday cake or a cat running around in circles. And they're chasing their tail or whatever. These little simple things actually bring a smile to your face. They can make you laugh out loud, and you just want to mark those moments. I mean, that's the time to go yes. And have more of those moments. That's what I say be a joy spreader.

Greg Voisen
Well for all of you, for all of you who are watching this on YouTube versus listening to it. What I'd like you to do is look at our faces. Look at Michelle's face, she's got a smile, look at Lilamani and look at mine. Because a question around smiling, there's a card about smiling. You if you walk into a room with a smile, or at least that smile attitude. It's contagious. So thank you both for being on inside personal growth spending the last 45 minutes or so engaging with me and my listeners. For all my listeners, we'll put a link to the Joy Cards which you can get from Amazon, we'll put a link to the energy catalyst Group website, we will put a link also to the book The 15-minute pause which is by both of them as well, I'd say get this as a bundled package, put it together, you might as well have this pause, do your Joy Cards, and you're in for a good time and just enjoy it and then spread it as they said, you know, push it around to the rest of the world. Everybody needs more people that are having fun and having joy in their life around them. Because we have so much we could say that we're not so joyful about but the reality is, we live in amazing times. I think people look at it even though we've got all this stuff happening. I'm trying to put yourself raise yourself above the cloud and look into the stratosphere of what is available. And there's so much available to us and you two ladies have been a blessing to be available to my listeners during this last 45 minutes. Thank you both. Namaste.

Lilamani de Silva
And can I just say in case they want to have a joy, we do have a joy retreat, potentially coming.

Greg Voisen
I saw that on your website is that going to be, I hope a physical retreat, you can do those now. Now, you know the only thing I will say, well, mommy, the website is beautiful. There's four of you walking at the joy retreat, and there isn't one man in that picture. Well, welcome. Welcome, anytime. So maybe you want maybe you want to add some guy in there. Thank you guys.

Michelle Burke
Thank you. Great. Thanks for having us.

Lilamani de Silva
You're welcome. Thank you very much.

powered by

My guest for this podcast is speaker, author, lawyer, real estate broker and instructor, and Life Alchemist – Sallie Wagner.

Continuing her mission which is to impact lives as she coaches and guides you discover, create, and live the life that makes you come alive, Sallie uses outcome-based techniques, including Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), Evolved Neurolinguistic Programming (eNLP), and trauma-aware modalities.

She also comes up with books and one of those entitled A Quick Guide to REBOOT Your Thinking With MSG was the main subject of our discussion. Reboot your Thinking helps us to get rid of beliefs that hold you back so you can discover, create, and live the life that makes us come alive. It also encourages to just follow the simple steps of MSG — Mindset, Skillset, and Get Off Your Asset!

Get to know more Sallie and her works by clicking here to access her website.

I hope you enjoy this engaging interview with Sallie Wagner. Thanks and happy listening!

THE BOOK

As you explore this book, you’ll learn about each of these three steps and you’ll see how important it is to make sure they all work together:

  • Mindset – your mindset will either move you forward, or hold you back;
  • Skillset – you need the right skillset to get the right mindset;
  • Get off your Asset – you absolutely must take action to live the life that makes you come alive.

THE AUTHOR

Sallie Wagner — your Life Consultant and Alchemist, guiding you to identify and get rid of:

  • Habits and behaviors that you keep trying to change — AGAIN
  • Fears and phobias that drain your power
  • Limiting beliefs and decisions that no longer move you in the direction of your goals

 

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transciption (not edited) of the interview.

Greg Voisen
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen and the host of Inside Personal Growth. And joining me from I know you're in Florida what city again in Florida are you in Sallie?

Sallie Wagner
I'm in the Tampa Bay area.

Greg Voisen
Tampa Bay, Florida is Sallie Wagner. And Sallie is an intentional life coach. And she has several books, we're going to be speaking with her and talking with her about one of her books, which we'll talk about in a second. But I want to guide everybody to her website. For those who are listening. It's intentional life coaching.net. There, you can find out more about Sallie. You can also learn more about her high frequency mindset podcast, and her courses and programs. So it's a really good website, to just learn more about Sallie and what she's doing. And it's a pleasure having you on the show, Sallie. And thanks for taking the time. I'm gonna let my listeners know a little bit about your background, because I think that's really important. She's a Life Consultant and Alchemist, guiding people to identify and get rid of bad habits, fears and phobias. When limiting beliefs which we all could use. She uses e f t, which is Emotional Freedom Technique evolved in NLP, neuro linguistic programming, and trauma where modalities so that you will launch into action and gain access to rapid concrete results now, so she's helping people get results. Now by using these techniques that she implements, EFT and E, NLP, or energy psychology therapy approaches that let you get rapid results. And you can make some real changes in your life. So what I would recommend is that you reach out to her just go to the website, you can contact her through there, that we'll put a link to that. You can also find her on Facebook, and LinkedIn, and YouTube. And you can listen to some of her interviews she's had, she's been on Fox, she's been on CBS, NBC, CW and ABC, and her podcast can be heard on all the major channels. Well, that is the introduction. I think that the best part about this was this quick guide that you have up on Amazon that we'll put a link to called reboot your thinking with MSG. And again, for all my listeners will have a link to that. And you can get it as a Kindle book as well. Sallie, tell the listeners a little about yourself, your background, your history, how you got where you are, and let them know a little more about the reboot program. And how it helps them uninstall apps and reinstall better apps.

Sallie Wagner
So a high level overview. When I was in college, I started as a physics major and ended up in theology. So it was kind of physics to metaphysics. And then I got distracted, I went to law school, I did all those things that were supposed to do. And yet I still maintained the passion for the science and the spiritual aspects of everything from believer into your discharge, and that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. And just so about 16 years ago, I suppose I started working with people with EFT Emotional Freedom Techniques. And then I just continued to add skills onto that, ie NLP trauma where modalities. And I began to really purposefully coach people, as a life coach as a life Alchemist. And a couple of years ago, I developed the reboot program, it was just there in my head, you know, it's like, I gotta get this out. And you mentioned apps, mind apps, uninstalling those mind apps, I just updated the language for paradigms because hard to conceptualize what a paradigm is. And yet we all know what apps do on our phones and our devices, right? They slow things down, they drained the battery, they have competing purposes. And we have the same thing in our subconscious mind. Once we can identify those, we can take some steps to uninstall them and install the things that are going to move us in the direction that we consciously choose. So the reboot program as all of out, reclaiming conscious choice over our lives?

Greg Voisen
Yeah, it's interesting. You've talked about the subconscious. I think so many people go throughout life, not realizing how strong the subconscious is, and the end the programming that it has, and the way to do to get to the subconscious than hypnosis, which is one great way to get to it would be actually somebody coaching you, like you, and using these techniques and programs. And once you reprogram it, it's so surprising some of the things that start to happen in your life. And you speak to our listeners, if you would about living that, living the life that makes you come alive. And that's what you just said about yourself. I went to law school physics, none of that stuff was right for me. I didn't choose that path. But I did it anyway. Because that's what the world said I wanted was supposed to be. How do we work with these beliefs? And how do you guide people who are listening today? Towards loving what's next in their life when they probably don't know what's next.

Sallie Wagner
Right? Yeah. And it goes back to that live the life that makes you come alive. And I would love to take credit for that. It's not mine. It's from a quote from Howard Thurman, who was a mentor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and he said, Don't ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. And I think so many times you're right, we're living the life that's expected of us the life that we were programmed to live. And that's really not what makes us come alive, is so there's a whole series of steps that we can take, we can ask ourselves the right questions, we can do all kinds of things that will begin to open up our minds to the possibility of there's a life that I would love to live and here's how I'm going to do it.

Greg Voisen
Well, the techniques you use or are, how do I call them? The interventions are good. You know, I know a lot of people today, you know, they'll go do Ayahuasca because they want to get to those deep trauma places. They'll go microdose, psychedelics, LSD, even, to in small doses, and it's a big thing today, it's not it's a big thing, because there's a lot of hurt that they're trying to get to, and they're trying to clear without going through those Sallie meaning Ayahuasca or micro dosing. Can you actually get to those places of hurt with people using your techniques? And how effective are you at doing that?

Sallie Wagner
Yeah, the EFT NLP, the trauma where approaches are incredibly effective at helping people to do those kinds of things. Because you're right, we all have trauma in one form or another. Russell Brand says we're all in recovery to recover the person we're intended to be. And it's our calling to do that. And so when we use those energy psychologies, we can get to that subconscious level, we can get to the quantum timeline of our lives, and really have concrete interventions. And when I work with somebody with these techniques, there is a visible change in them, how they present themselves, how they hold themselves, their faces look different. It's an amazing process that people can experience.

Greg Voisen
How do you work? You know, let's say they coach with you for a while, but then they stop. How do we? How do you ingrain this and put it into their DNA so that they can sustain it? Because I've seen so many people go, they get coaching, and they stop? Yeah. And then they fall back into old belief patterns and things. And it's seems like a lifelong challenge. Is it something where, in your estimation, they need to sustain the coaching or they need to sustain listening, reading, having an open mind, whatever it is that they need to do? What would you suggest because sustaining it seems to be the biggest issue? That's why we both have podcasts on personal growth, right?

Sallie Wagner
Yeah, yeah. And you're right you know, the spirit is willing in the flesh is weak, and we all have those backsliding moments we fall off the wagon however you want to express it, and the daily practice is so important that That's how we really make change in our lives at the daily activity level, right. And, and so I have a fabulous practice that I can coach people in so that they learn it from themselves. And they're not dependent upon me or any other practitioner. People can learn to do EFT for themselves. Again, they're not dependent on me or any other practitioner. And so you just make it part of your daily regimen just like you brush your teeth and you brush your hair and you shower and do all those things every day, right? Mental Hygiene. Let's think of it as Mental Floss. We do those things every day.

Greg Voisen
Interesting. As you get to these places of emotional connection. Are you using any tapping techniques? Yes, absolutely. Okay. Yeah. Okay. So I was just curious. So in the book, in the section about MSG, G, he'll speak about simple steps to get somebody started to reboot their thinking and get the results that they want. If you would speak with the listeners about the MSG, what it stands for, how each of them can help our listeners discover, as you say, the life that they want to live. And it makes them come alive.

Sallie Wagner
Yeah. So MSG, stands for mindset skill set, get off your asset. And I think it really encapsulates a lot of very important principles. You know, it's not just cute and funny. There are some really important concepts, their mindset, we all hear about mindset, there's a lot to mindset. It's not just thinking happy thoughts like Peter Pan, right? We can't just affirm ourselves into a fabulous life, it takes work. And so mindset has to do with the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. In most cases, it's not what we don't know, that holds us back. It's what we do know that's not true that that's a good one. Yeah, we tell ourselves so many things that are not true. That's mindset, right. And so we need to become aware of what our mindset is, if we ever want to have any hope of changing it, right. That's where the skill set is going to come in. Because we for the most part, we're not taught to have a forward looking mindset, we're taught to look at our past hurts and our past traumas. And until we overcome those, we're going to continue to look in the past. So we need skills like critical thinking, and, and we want to think about stacking our skills so that they're multiple complementary skills that move us in the right direction. So we start at that macro level of life skills, like, as I said, critical thinking, then we want to think about communication skills, then we want to think about skills to build a life strategy. And then we get down to the level of goals, and then we get down to the level of daily activity. So those are all skills that can be learned. And then the last piece, the Get off your asset part is we got to take action. We don't want to be so spiritually minded, that we're no earthly good, we've got to put it into practice, so that we're actually living life instead of just it's a nice philosophy, right?

Greg Voisen
Well, that action step is it is a difficult one. I mean, when you look at goals or aspirations, you know, I just had Marshall Goldsmith on here. And you know, the world's most recognized coach to executives across the world. And the new book is called The Earned life. The interesting thing was, it's about a continuum from regret to fulfillment or fulfill errs. And I think many of this, many of the things that slow us down to take action are those regrets. And as you know, you, you can't be get attached to the way something turned out. That's a Buddhist philosophy. It's something that he talks about one book, which I was actually quite surprised, in, and this whole concept of impermanence, you know, and so what I'm saying here is what Sallie is saying is that, you know, this action step has to be incentivized or motivated by something you really deeply want to change in your life. And you state that mindset is absolutely the most important of the msgs. And developing the right mindset is having the right attitude about what you're doing. I love the part about attitude and why we're doing it. You state that further most of us need a new skill set to have the right mindset. To speak with the audiences about skill set. And with that will help them harness the power of the right mindset. Because you talked about these skills, so obviously, we're going to teach you these skills. So you can make a shift in the mindset.

Sallie Wagner
Yeah. So I've already touched on some of the skills, you know, the life skills about critical thinking about goal setting in and overall strategy for life. And then,

Greg Voisen
let's talk about let's talk about that one, because critical thinking skill has diminished over the years. And it's been proven, because of the fact that we're dependent on computers. You know, we can go to Google, we can Google anything, we can pick up our phone and get, like you said, all the apps that we've got a zillion apps that do this, and this and this, if you would, and I don't want to get so deep in the weeds here. But this is a big one. Critical thinking skills, you've started twice now with that as the first one. So it must be extremely important. What do you define as a critical thinking skill? And how do you get somebody to actually? How do you want to embrace it? Yeah, use

Sallie Wagner
critical thinking starts with questioning. You know, and, and I encourage people in a lot of questioning modalities. But you know, critical thinking is to question things to have some discernment. So you know, rather than have an opinion that's assigned to me, because I belong to a certain group, I'm going to question that opinion. You know, do I really believe this? Because it's true to me, or is it? Because somebody has told me that I should believe it? You know, so it starts with those kinds of questions about why is something important to me? Is it important to go to law school? Because I really want to go to law school, or is it because somebody told me I should go to law school? It's those kinds of things. Right, that we want to question about everything that we believe we believe, if that makes sense?

Greg Voisen
Well, I think it's the, you know, you ask people about what is the big T the truth for them? For them? Yeah. Some people want to impose. And we've seen that on the internet, like crazy with social media, whatever their truth is on somebody else's truth. And then people start a jumping on each other's truth. And then that really brings up a lot of emotion, right? And so critical thinking skills, I think, if I was to kind of expand upon what you've said, for the listeners, really, it's about, as Buddha said, I have this to teach to you, but question everything I give you, because you, it has to be right for you. And that is really the individualistic side of this. We all have free will. Right? So now it's really down to this decision. And having an open mind to listen to both sides, reflect and open up a dialogue, which critical thinking skills now come into play, because it gives me a way to assess something a little bit differently, you know, and maybe look at a different viewpoint and not be so stuck, because somebody else wants to teach you something that might actually help you. You know, so I like that. Now, you mentioned that the first principle to help build these is making it big. When you talk about goals, make sure that they're big enough. What advice would you give the listeners to make sure that they're designing and building the right goals for the life and then I'm going to pause. And I'm going to say, look, this limbic brain of ours has this modus operandi kind of that fight, flight or freeze, it's built in, we're still coming from that, even though this is 2022. The other side of it is, is that we still go to homeostasis, which is comfort. You know, we all want to just, hey, and when you give somebody these huge goals, which you're talking about, this gets to be very uncomfortable. How do you help people deal with that default mechanism that says, hey, I'm going to homeostasis? You asked me to lose 50 pounds and I gotta get on the lifecycle every day and I gotta walk and I got to do whatever and they're like, No, No effing way. I still want my burgers and my fries and whatever. Right? All right.

Sallie Wagner
Yeah. So lots of things there that we can approach. And the first thing is, you know, of course, we want that big goal. And we want to take an upper level, what is the life strategy that that goal is supporting? So we want to put it at that level. So if I want to lose 50 pounds, why? Why do I want to lose 50 pounds, because I want to have a life strategy of living a long, healthy, productive life? And that goal of losing 50 pounds supports the strategy. And then I break it down from there into my daily activities. So I

Greg Voisen
think I think the Sallie not to interrupt and I apologize, you know, when people have a lot of weight to lose their it's been proven psychologically, and you understand this doesn't matter if it's a man or a woman. You know, they're hiding behind that way. Yeah. Because they don't either want to be in a relationship, or they're, they're they had a trauma in a relationship, whatever it might be, and I'm sure you get coaching clients like this, this isn't the first for you. What advice would you have? Because that's a really big one, you know, when you hang out there, yeah. And you decide to hide, because you don't want to be attractive to the opposite sex no matter which sex you are. It's a big issue.

Sallie Wagner
It's a huge issue. And until we address that level, the things, the strategies, the goals, the daily activities are not going to work, right. And so we begin to question what is that relationship that we have with food, what is the purpose it's serving, because all of our apps, all of our mind apps were installed, to help us and support us. And now with our grown up selves, they're not so helpful and supportive anymore, right? We don't need to eat for comfort, we can find other ways to comfort ourselves, we can find other ways to protect ourselves. We don't need to isolate and insulate ourselves with physical weight. Because we're grown up, we have other ways to protect ourselves. And so we get to that level of what is the purpose that this is serving? How can we meet that need in a different healthful way? Because if we just remove the, you know, the, the symptom without addressing the cause, it's still going to show up. It's like the dry drunk analogy, right. You know, people stopped drinking, but they haven't addressed the reasons they were drinking. And so nothing really changed. And it's

Greg Voisen
those people that imbibe or do that, yeah, whether it's food, or it's alcohol. Yeah, that's let's face it, we have lots of things that bring comfort. We did. Sacks food, yeah. Alcohol

Sallie Wagner
is live. streaming shows,

Greg Voisen
people that like to go out and just excessively jog. You see people that get really addicted to that because of that. endorphin release. Yeah. What would you advise people that are caught in that cycle, because the comfort that they have there is the comfort they want, they don't want to break it for the other comfort they could have. Because it seems so far away. It's a big goal. It's a really big goal.

Sallie Wagner
Yeah, it is a big goal. And we can to go back to the whole notion of break it down into daily activities, we start small, because the only way to make lasting change is to incorporate it into something we're already doing. And so that's the whole process, whether it's with our thought process, whether it's with a physical activity, we glom it on to something we're already doing.

Greg Voisen
So that, yes, go ahead.

Sallie Wagner
So that it's, it's repeatable, and it's something that we can easily and readily and willingly do every day. So if I'm working on comforting, you know, in ways other than eating or binge watching TV, or whatever it is that I do, then I'm going to reinforce those thoughts with every time I brush my hair, I think about it, every time I brush my teeth, I think about it. And I'm also going to use interventions like EFT NLP, that can really get to that subconscious level.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, it's interesting, you know this, but when I go out on the streets, and I interview people that are homeless, and you look at what's going on in their minds and how they got there, because that's the question I ask is, you know, how did you get here? This circumstances range but the willingness to do exactly what you're talking about here, set a goal and get themselves out of it. They seem to be very caught, you know, it's caught, it's tough. And, and so this is needed by everybody. Because I will tell you, some of those people out there I've interviewed weren't much different than you. And I, they just had a set of unfortunate circumstances that that got him there. And frequently, they're not blaming somebody else. They do blame themselves. And we're, we're 100% responsible for all of our own actions, whatever happens. Yeah. So in your section here about get off of your asset section. And this is a perfect timing for this question. You speak about fear. And fear is a big one as a factor that stops most people from moving forward from developing the right mindset, learning the right skill set and designing their goals. What advice can you give about overcoming the fear that holds them back? And I'm going to add, there's two fears here. Fear usually, you know, everybody in my shows heard this false expectation appearing real. The other side of it is fear of success. Yeah. The one side is fear of failure. Yeah, right. And overall, fear is probably the biggest stressor in everybody. So what happens inside your body as a result of anxiety attacks, or whatever? creates this vicious cycle? How do you break it?

Sallie Wagner
Yeah. So you're right, if you're it can be multifaceted. And I think the big ones are fear of failure. And as you said, fear of success, you know, kind of like if I'm responsible for my own success. What does that say about me if I'm not as successful as I thought I wanted to be or should be, you know, those kinds of fears that we've faced and, and so it's, it's that questioning to get to the root cause of what's the fear? Is it? Is it a fear that I'm not worthy? Is it a fear that somebody told me I don't deserve it? You know, what is the source of the fear? And we can use things like EFT and NLP to get to that, and we can actually resolve it with some of those techniques.

Greg Voisen
It sidebar question here for you, Sallie, you know, we've just come through. And, you know, you're, you're talking about Florida, one of those states that didn't have all this masking, but we had COVID here, right, let's see the last two years. Sure. Probably the biggest fear induced worldwide by anything, this pandemic, right. And we saw so much divisiveness you know, California, Texas, Florida, you name it, the states, they all had different things they were doing. And people were up and around wearing, you're wearing your mask on a plane and I still here today. And if you were to take it on that massive of a scale, right? What comment might you have about what we just came through? And how people could better deal with it and be more civil with one another? Yeah.

Sallie Wagner
So wow, a lot there. And I think it has to do with it, you know, and I won't comment on you know, what forces I think we're fomenting that fear in divisive pneus I think clearly, we've all suffered collective trauma PTSD for a lot of people. I mean, you see it in you hear it in the statistics. I think understanding and when this thing first started a couple of years ago, I was offering a special coaching, mini coaching bundle for people to just kind of help them get through a complimentary because I felt there was such a need. I think one important thing to think about fear is most fear is not real. And I'm not discounting that there are real things out there in the world be afraid of the world is a scary place. And for most of us our fears are not real. They're shadow fears. And so a couple of things about that. I'm reminded of words from one of the songs you know, yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, important word there is shadow. It's not real. And if you remember, you know, the, the run on toilet paper, was there really a toilet paper shortage or people just You know, it was like that was something concrete that we could do to assuage our fear. When we had this greater fear that we weren't, we didn't want to think about. And so the fear is my security as a person, my knowledge of who I am as an individual, and I think when you're secure in that knowledge, then you shine that full light of knowledge on the fear. And all those shadow fears disappear. Because what is Shadow, it's when there's an object that comes between the light, and it casts the shadow, but when you shine the light of knowledge on it, the shadow goes away. So that's kind of a philosophical answer to the whole notion of fear.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, the darkness serves the light is, but I see that, you know, one of the things from a spiritual standpoint, last time I checked, none of us getting out of here alive. Yeah. At least last time I checked. The question is once finitude meaning, you know, how long am I going to be here, I think the biggest fear that probably most people still have is that fear of death. It's a deep interpersonal connection with some higher power, something that they've got to get spiritually to make a connection. Before they know when they do pass to whatever astral plane they're going to or wherever they're going, that they feel more comfort, you know, because everybody connotates it with pain. You know, I've done a lot of interviews with doctors that have been on here with, you know, all kinds of speaking about afterlife experiences, or near death experiences, and all this kind of thing. And this wasn't part of the show. But it's a question for somebody like you who's quite spiritual. If that is one's biggest fear, and they have no belief around that, how do you help guide them through it?

Sallie Wagner
Just matter of factly? You know, I, I believe the my understanding and it's very limited of cutting edge in physics is that everything is energy. Energy, it influences energy, right. And so our energy may change form, it may change frequency, but our energy continues. And so from a scientific point of view, I think there is continuation there's, there's never, at least, my understanding is the sum total of mass and energy is neither created nor destroyed. And now we know everything's energy, right. So energy exists as far as we know. And so people, even if they don't want to put a spiritual connotation onto that, I think it's clear that their energy is going to continue in one form or another.

Greg Voisen
Well, you not that you have to comment on this one way or the other. But do you have a belief in reincarnation, that people are going to take that energy and it comes back? Or do you believe that the energy dissipates someplace else?

Sallie Wagner
I believe that certainly reincarnation is a possibility. Okay. I don't know what form the energy is gonna take after it leaves this particular form. Right?

Greg Voisen
That's good. There's I mean, you know, I didn't mean to stump you, but it is what it is. Yeah, I used it. The quality of life is determined by the quality of the questions we're asking willing to, in starting the process to reboot your thinking with MSG, what are some of the questions that our listeners should ask themselves to make sure that they're on the right way to live the life that they want to, and one that makes them come alive?

Sallie Wagner
Yeah. So we've already kind of touched on some of those questions. They're fabulous questions, as we've discussed here, one of the first questions I would encourage people to ask is, why is something important to you? And we asked a similar question earlier, is it important because you deem it to be worthy of you? Or is it because somebody told you it should be important to you? And so that would go with, you know, all of your choices in life? What kind of car do you drive? What kind of clothes do you wear? Or what kind of career Do you pursue? All of those things that we ask, is it truly important to me? Or is it because somebody told me it should be? So that's the first question to ask and then another question that I've loved and probably this is my favorite is, who are you when you're not doing what you do? We all get so busy fulfilling all these roles. We're busy being a child, a spouse, a parent, a partner, you know, all these things in life. Who are you when you're not doing that? Good question. When you can peel away all those layers and get to that core or essence of who you are? That's the question to answer.

Greg Voisen
Great questions, great questions. You state that the most important thing someone can do to maintain this right mindset is develop the right skill set and to get off of the use your asset by taking the right action to put the right support structures in place. You say every great athlete, every great achiever has a coach or mentor, share with our listeners, what the right coach should be, and what are the right ingredients that separates an ordinary coach from the extra ordinary coach.

Sallie Wagner
So the choice of a coach is so personal and important, you know, it sounds like an infomercial. And yet it is, and I think there are some guidelines that we can use, you know, is the coach able to offer a customized approach for the person and what they're trying to accomplish? Or is it just the, you know, pull the box off the shelf, and here you go, here's your coaching program. And, and those kinds of things are not necessarily reflected in the price of what you're paying, I've paid for some high level coaching program and didn't feel really enlightened by it, you know. And then there are some programs that are perhaps less expensive than they are much more effective. So you can't always judge by the price. And it really is going to be a personal relationship that you have with the coach. So you know, bottom line, do you feel comfortable with that person? Because you may be sharing some very important intimate details of your life?

Greg Voisen
Well, that coach is asking questions, and eliciting responses for you to get to think about, and it's the sum total of that. And, you know, the, the reality in the end is, you know, we still are in the skin last time I checked, yes. And, you know, the gurus in the mirror. Yeah, you know what staring, what you're staring at yourself in the mirror is the person that's got to make the decisions, the coach doesn't make the decisions for you, maybe influences them, or influences them by asking you critical questions about what you're doing. But in the end, you're the one that's going to make the decision to pull the trigger, or do whatever you're gonna do, leave your job, leave your wife, take a trip around the world, do whatever that it is that you want to do to fulfill whatever strong drive is you have with inside of yourself. And that's, that's really the reality. And I think you'd agree with that. So coaches are really, they're not on the sidelines, but they are on the sidelines in the sense that they're telling you, here's the play, you might want to try, you go try the play, and you make it a little further down toward the goal, right. And you go, wow, that was a good play that they gave me, I really liked that. And then you keep coming back for more. And that's what a good coach should do. And you should be ultimately able to kind of manage that on your own if you become a good critical thinker. Sallie, if you were to leave the listeners with three takeaways from our interview, and something that could apply to their life and careers. What advice would you give them? What takeaways would you like to tell them from the reboot process, the MSG, mindset, all of the things we've talked about.

Sallie Wagner
Yeah. So really a summary of what we've already touched on. First thing is, it's not what you don't know that holds you back. And what you do know that's not true that holds you back. And so as you begin to think critically about things, start to identify those things that you're telling yourself that are not true. And then the next part, and it's kind of a natural progression from there is guess what the things you've been telling yourself are your choice, you can choose what you tell yourself. And then the corollary to that. The third point would be, we can reframe our circumstances. And that doesn't mean we're lying to ourselves, it just means that we're choosing an alternate interpretation that has more utility. And so as you choose the stories, you tell yourself about yourself, reframe so that the story you're telling yourself has more utility and is going to move you in the direction that you choose.

Greg Voisen
Well, I think that's a great summary of what we've talked about. And Sallie, I'm gonna direct my listeners to go to your website. It's intentional life coaching.net Ne t. There you can tune into high frequency mindset podcast. You can also just type that high frequency mindset podcast into your favorite channel that you listen to it on. On whether it's iTunes or Spotify, or wherever, and you'll be able to get her podcast because it appears on all those Sallie pleasure having you on inside personal growth and taking a little bit of time to talk about truly some life changing and life altering elements that people could implement into their life. And along with a life coach, make some major strides toward new as you call them big goals, and then not be afraid to actually take those steps to reduce the fear as a result of it because you're making progress because I just said, and I can see how you would be an excellent coach for anybody out there. So I fully endorse you calling up speaking with Sallie sending her an email, getting in touch with her or website, you can do it through our website. It's been a pleasure. Thank you for being on inside personal growth. Sallie. Thanks for spending the time. Namaste to you.

Sallie Wagner
And I must say thank you so much.

powered by

Returning for this podcast is sociobiologist, futurist and the author of On the Verge – Rebecca Costa. She has already been a guest of Inside Personal Growth way back 2015 for her book Watchman’s Rattle.

Rebecca is a renowned global expert on the subject of “fast adaptation in complex, high failure-rate environments”. Her career spans four decades of working with founders, executives and leading venture capitalists in Silicon Valley and her work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, The Guardian, and other leading publications.

She also uses her expertise and experiences to come up with writings. Her first book, The Watchman’s Rattle: A Radical New Theory of Collapse, was an international bestseller while her follow-on book On The Verge became Amazon’s #1 New Business Releases. Rebecca’s On The Verge shows how predictive technologies and science are redefining modern leadership. It is a landmark examination of big-picture forces affecting society today.

If you want to learn more about Rebecca and her accomplishments and works, you may click here to visit her website.

I hope you enjoy this engaging interview with Rebecca Costa. Thanks and happy listening!

THE BOOK

On the Verge shows how predictive technologies and science are redefining modern leadership. It is a landmark examination of big-picture forces affecting society today. The book consists of combination of Rebecca’s unique sociobiological perspective, her ability to blend humor, breaking science, and insightful personal stories.

THE AUTHOR

Rebecca Costa is an American sociobiologist and futurist. She is the preeminent global expert on the subject of “fast adaptation” and recipient of the prestigious Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Award.  Her career spans four decades of working with founders, executives and leading venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. She presently hosts the popular news podcast, The Costa Report, along with 12 world renowned subject experts.

 

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transciption (not edited) of the interview.

Greg Voisen
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen and the host of Inside Personal Growth. And we have returning author and guest joining us from near Astoria, actually. And she's on the coast of Oregon. She says just a little bit away from Washington. She was a guest back in August of 2015, about her book called the Watchman's Rattle, which really is extremely best way to put it a very thought provoking book. She subsequently wrote another book and this book isn't brand new by any means. But I wanted to get her on the show, because there's so many things that she's speaking about in on the verge that really relate to the world today that are definitely still very valid today. And I always like to make these discussions. Stimulating. Good day to you, Rebecca, how are you doing this rainy morning for you? And this dry morning for me down here in San Diego.

Rebecca Costa
All we have to do is find a way to build a pipeline from a story where we get 18 feet of rain, not inches 18 feet of rain to you in Southern California. Yeah, well, then we've got the problem solved. And you

Greg Voisen
Can solve your economic problem too, because we probably pay a lot for that water. So Oregon and Washington could solve it. Well, I'm gonna let my listeners know, the prior podcast was podcast 536 I think it was we're now on 900 and something. So it's been 400 podcasts ago that Rebecca was on the show, we're gonna put a link to the watchman's rattle podcast is well, because it was I just listened to it again. It still gets lots of downloads even after almost seven years. And that's the interesting thing about podcasting is these are evergreen. They stay out there, they get circulated. And so I encourage my listeners to go back to the archives as well. But Rebecca is an American social biologist and futurist, she's a preeminent global expert on the subject of fast adaptation. And, and, and a recipient of the prestigious Edwin O Wilson biodiversity technology war. Her career spans four decades of working with founders, executives and leading venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. Rebecca's work has been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post USA Today, the guardian of the leading publications, she presently hosts the popular news podcast, the cost of report, and I would encourage my listeners to go to her website, it's just Rebecca costa.com. There, you're going to find very interesting opportunities to engage, to get more information to sign up for her newsletter, as well. And I would do that if I was you, because she is still writing another book, and it continues to do her research. And it just wouldn't be a great place for you to go to kind of keep pace of what's going on in the world. So along the 12, world renowned subject experts and also serves on the Advisory Committee of the lifeboat Foundation, along with futurist Ray Kurzweil, and Nobel laureate, Daniel, how do you say his last name Kinnaman. Kahneman, Kahneman, okay, and many others. But Rebecca is really just a global thinker. There's much more you could get from her bio by going up to her website. Without further ado, though, I'd like to get into it so that we don't just use all my time reading her bio, because her bio is, is long, because she has quite a history.

Rebecca Costa
But that is that's what happens when you get old.

Greg Voisen
I know, I was too long. You know, my bio, maybe isn't as long as yours. But I tell my listeners, I'm going to be 68 in July and I don't know how that crept up on me. But you know, it is what it is. I have seen the hair go gray hair as I've been on this podcast, 15 years. You know, I did say that we conducted this podcast back in August 15. About the Book the watchman's rattle thinking your way out of extinction. And you know, historically, civilizations have gone extinct. And I think there's many books out today, you know about hey, how, however we do, is this society going to go extinct? Is that society going to go extinct? And if you looked at all the nexus of everything that's going on right now, you might say, wow, we're all doomed to go extinct, right? Just because it seems like there's a perception that that's what's going on. I know that you're working on this other book, and you just gave me the title of it, and I won't give it to the listeners. But on the verge, you know, it focuses on pre adaptation, the ability to adapt before the fact. And that's a word I think you coined, because I actually looked it up. And I hadn't seen it anywhere. So I was looking to see, you know, was that a Rebecca Costa thing? And I think it is actually because it's nobody else. So if you'd speak about our listeners about big data, which they know about predictive analytics, genomics, and artificial intelligence, and are making pre adaptation possible, and what does this mean for the civilization as we know it? Because if these Predictive analytics can help us mitigate all this, why are we still having all this challenge with what we're doing our environment, our world, everything else? Because there is a lot of technology out there, but it on the outside world doesn't seem to be solving what the problems seem to be getting bigger and bigger and going faster and faster?

Rebecca Costa
Well, you've summed it up. And that is the million-dollar question. Well, so let's start with data. The amount of data that we're creating right now, and this will not come as any surprise to your listeners, in particular, we create as much data in just a few weeks, as we created since the beginning of humankind, right to present day. So the volume of information is phenomenal. And far more than any human can wade through, all you have to do is be a nonfiction writer like myself, to know that you write a book and 10,000 people say, Hey, you left this out, you left that out, you What about this study, you know, and suddenly comes flooding in and you feel like you wrote the most incompetent book because you didn't get to all of the data, right? So

Greg Voisen
or you just go to Amazon, and you look at all the new releases, and you say, data, my goodness, I mean, like, can't

Rebecca Costa
read every study, you can't, you can't stay on top of it. Exactly what but there's a benefit to all of that data. And that is that we have artificial intelligence. And artificial intelligence is like taking, you know, the human brain and you know, boosting it up to levels that we can't even comprehend where AI machines can look at all data at every single nanosecond in time and make analysis. And what that's done is it's created a sea change. Because now combined with predictive analytics, we've gotten very, very precise at being able to anticipate with very high degrees of accuracy, what the next event is going to be. Now I'm going to use a very simple example that I think I use in my book. And that is that today, we can predict that you're going to trip and fall within a two to three-week window with about an 85% accuracy. I know you're going to trip and fall with such and we know if I if it's 85% accuracy today, we know how technology goes, it'll be 86% 87% until we're gonna get to the point where I can predict with 99.9% accuracy, you're going to trip and fall in the next hour. That's how technology moves. Now, that'll be good. I know that

Greg Voisen
that'll be good because senior community. Well, I think of

Rebecca Costa
How many seniors lose their ability to live independently? After they trip and fall, they break their habit. It's kind of the beginning of the end of living by yourself or living in your home. But

Greg Voisen
Speaking about that, you know, I worked with a young gentleman at UCSD, who was measuring seniors gait, and when the gate changes, literally, that's when they can predict that these people are going to have a fallen and a lot of times a serious fall that ends up in their finitude. Right now

Rebecca Costa
you're walking your normal walking gait. Everybody has a normal walking gait, it changes by to somewhere in the neighborhood of two to three centimeters, right? Indiscernible by the human eye right. But if you put a Fitbit type of motion detector on a senior's ankle, it would be able to ping your phone right or ping your caretaker and say, hey, this person is in danger of tripping and falling because we now know which we didn't know before, that the change in your normal walking gait is the precursor. So now that we have that information, we can do something to head off the negative consequence? Well, but negative outcome

Greg Voisen
this thing does now that's,

Rebecca Costa
that's right. That's, that's right. So. So when you really think about it, we're in a position now, where we know the future, we know where the tornado is moving. We know, right, we know where the weather events are going to occur. And we're getting more and more accurate, because we put those ghost satellites up, that gave us four times and five times the resolution and data, and five times the data translates into an incredible increase in accuracy, not five times, but many full times agreed. So as we're getting better and better at predicting the future, it changes the actions in the present. Right, we can evacuate entire cities, prior to floods, we didn't have that ability. In fact, here in the northern coast of Oregon, the other day, I was getting ready to go take my dog for a walk, and my phone ping. And it said rain in five minutes. Could you even imagine that? I mean, 10 years ago, could you imagine that you would be warned that it was going to rain in five minutes.

Greg Voisen
I couldn't imagine it. I also can't imagine I'm an avid cyclist. And I just showed you this watch. When I hit a bump hard in the road, the accelerometer goes off and sends a message. And it says SOS and it says, are you okay? Did you fall? Right? So in other words, this little device is actually amazing. Besides all the other things it does, it's your otoo and your, you know, your heart rate and everything else, I would have never imagined that 10 years ago, I would have a device that would do all of this stuff, measure it.

Rebecca Costa
It's crazy. And so when you look at all of that data, it presents an opportunity, right? In the opportunities are twofold. One, the opportunity to head off a negative outcome or experience. And the opportunity to get the jump ahead of everybody else on what's coming. Right. So this is where predestination comes in place, we're no longer adapting to change, we can't adapt to the speed of change anymore. That's that game is over, you're now adapting to the speed of what the future is likely to bring. And then so we have to get out in front of change. It's no longer sufficient to say, Oh, the storm is here. Maybe I better go look for some sandbags. It's just too late. And so many times when I'm consulting with large corporations or governments, you know, I just came back from Dubai, where I was, you know, consulting with the government, you have to have a program that is out doing reconnaissance, and in grid and investing in predictive analytics to know what's about ready to hit you. Because if you aren't preparing for that, and you aren't adapting to the future, then you're just in a reactive mode. And that's a losing proposition, when you consider the speed of change, and how much available data and I'm not talking about getting into private citizens’ data, talking about public data. You know, in my book, I talk about Recorded Future, Recorded Future went out and got just public data. And months before the Arab Spring began, they predicted it would begin in Yemen. And it would spread to other Middle Eastern countries. Now, needless to say, their biggest client is that US CIA, and intelligence all, you know, organizations all over the world, because they knew the data was out there to predict revolution and revolt. And they were right.

Greg Voisen
Well, look, if you look at, and this is a nexus of all of this data, if you look at COVID, and you look at the war, and you look at inflation, and you look at what's going all of these things that are happening right now, is the same time sign on simultaneously. Could we have predicted this nexus of all these various things that are occurring that are having supply chain issues that you know, we're we've run into? I mean, the myriad of problems the labor problems, it goes on and on and on. I mean, if you want to start chucking

Rebecca Costa
is it's a difficult question to answer because when you say Could we have predicted well of saying no, the human brain, right is limited. We can only we can only track four things at one time. And that's on a good day. Because, you know, I asked multitaskers this question all the time, I say, how many things can you keep track of? And it's always 1012. What? And I go, No, actually, we've tested this, your brain can only track four things on a good day. So the other things are pretend multitasking, right? That you that you think you're monitoring. So when you ask the question, could we have predicted? I'm gonna say no, humans couldn't have predicted machines, artificial intelligence, married with predictive analytics have predicted? The answer is 100%. Yes, yes. All of the all of the things, the greatest threats that humanity faces, whether it's war, whether it's an epidemic of depression, or addiction, right? The panic, the viral, how the virus was going to spread, and how many were going to die? These are all known things, that we know them before they occur that this is the sea change. We know what's going to happen before it happens. In no time in human history, has that been possible? So what we paid, we paid tarot card readers, and, you know, people to predict the future. But now it's data based. And we have an incredible amount of accuracy.

Greg Voisen
But data is absolutely no good. If there's no action. So look at the prior administration. And they had the data about COVID, but didn't take the actions necessary. Now, the Chinese government on the opposite side is super precautious. With this, and I'm just saying we have data, but if administratively a government, a person of whatever, is either blinded by or can't see, or somehow has the data, it's presented to them. They don't have the critical thinking skills. What good is the data? That's my point. And I'm not trying to.

Rebecca Costa
I'm a socio biologist. So I do not look at our inaction the same way that maybe politicians do or economists do or other people do. So I'm going to present to you a kind of a radical way to look at our inaction. Okay, right. We're all trapped in this biological spacesuit, I know that we believe it has infinite capabilities. But as I pointed out, you're only able to track four things at one time, not 12, not 15, just because you wish it to be so got it. In that same way, this biological spacesuit is designed to look for lions in the Serengeti. If we if we if if we come upon a snake, our bodies are rushed with chemicals, immediately, it's instantaneous, and we go into fight or flight mode into action, or freeze. Or well, we generally won't freeze those are the people that don't survive, and were the survivors and those that ran or fought that there's genetic filtering that goes on. So we like to think that we're the descendants of those that did not freeze, those that genetic pool went away. But what I want you to think of your body of being trapped in this body that has all the information that knows what's coming, but is not designed to have its heartbeat even go up one beat in our right when I talk to you about global warming, or global burning, as we're discovering, and we made that transition to global burning now. So we are not designed physiologically to do anything about a long term threat. We are only designed to respond to an immediate threat that threatens our survival. And so you can give somebody all the data in the world and say, you know, look at this movie on this dystopian future. Look, we're gonna run out of water, we're all gonna burn up. We're gonna have to escape to another planet and go to Mars and make our preparations. Now you can tell people all of that and nothing happens to their body. Right? We have not evolved that capability yet. And we must remember that we're prisoners of our body of our biology. What has happened now is we're a little bit our biology. Our the evolution of our biology is very, very slow. It changes in millions in mail over millions and millions of years, and yet the environment that we're trying to adapt to is changing in in nanoseconds.

Greg Voisen
Exactly. I'm so glad you pointed that out.

Rebecca Costa
Word we haven't we have, we're out of alignment with our environment. Well, fast enough.

Greg Voisen
I have this debate with many authors that come on the show, depending on the genre, they're speaking about, whether it's spirituality, or we're trying to transition and become more conscious and aware individuals, and I think it's aware, but it's also to have the intelligence to act. Right. And, and we are evolving. I do see that happening. And as you said, I see it happening very slowly. You know, I, I know that and, and I turned off all my cell phones, but the cell phone obviously has become the one instrument in the world that connects everybody. And you state, it wasn't until recently, for the first time that predictive algorithms, powered by lightning fast computers and mobile communications brought the entire universe of human knowledge to man's fingertips, okay, they're getting knowledge, are they doing anything with it, or they just playing on Facebook? That this technology has made it possible to string together millions of variables in real time you stated in the book, you state this has given us staggering power, the power to reverse engineer the consequences of our benign actions? Just when I said it go. If this is the case, why have we not seen more advancement regarding the most concerning problem that I see, which is global warming, global burning, will say global burning? You know, you just talked about having a huge rainstorm up there. And I talked about having nothing down here. California's fires last year burned millions of acres. You know, we see this happening all over. Insurance companies are concerned, they're raising rates, they're using computers to try and predict all this stuff, and figure out if they can withstand the risk. There's a lot of different things going on. Could you address it, though, from your perspective?

Rebecca Costa
I still get back to you know, we, we haven't come to terms with what humans are and what we're not. And if we would just admit to ourselves, hey, we're not hardwired, to respond to long term threat, no matter how much data and how much for knowledge we have, we are unlikely to act in time. We keep making the mistake that we think we have more time than we do. And part of that is also physiological and biological. Our brains think of problems in a linear way. So when I give audiences that I speak to simple exponentiating problems, right, nobody likes math problems, but very simple problems. They always get them wrong. Because our brains don't think in exponentiation. So the worst type of problem we can have, like climate change is one that is exponentiating. And moving quickly. Right? That combination is deadly to the human brain, because we think we have time. And isn't that the situation? We thought we had time to vet, you know, certain countries for NATO. Right. The Ukraine, we thought we had time to let their government form and prove that they had weeded out corruption. Right. We thought we had time to admit Finland and other countries into NATO. No, no, we didn't. We think we have time to deal with the deficit. Right. And the fact that the United States is just printing money as a solution to the virus to you know, what all the financial problems that we have. We don't by the way, I'm going to take a little offshoot here because it's relevant, most of the best economists that I know, predicted high inflation, runaway inflation, and I listened to them and a recession. I don't know about the recession. I you know, the data is mixed right now, to be honest, but going into hyperinflation was not even something that was surprising. And here's one reason why, because the only lever that a government has to bring down a growing deficit Right is inflation. Right? Right? If $1 is only worth 10 cents, then your debt then your deficit has come down. 90% Correct. Wow. In proportion, what we owe, will be reduced by hyperinflation. So eventually you run out of levers you run, notice

Greg Voisen
that the good news you have for inflation

Rebecca Costa
will go down in a very significant way with hyperinflation.

Greg Voisen
I agree with you. But at the same I hate to

Rebecca Costa
say it, but you know, if you want if you're looking for a lining in the in the dark clouds,

Greg Voisen
well, that is the lining. You're absolutely right, because you've put the variables together, and you've gone to the, the nexus of it, and you've said, hey, look, the good news is that we're going to have a reduction in our debt, because I get that inflation is going to create that.

Rebecca Costa
Right and that and that's, that's the positives. But if the government can't do anything about its deficit, that's the last the place of last resort. So I'm not exactly convinced that the government is going to move quickly enough to bring inflation down, because there is the government may need inflation.

Greg Voisen
Well, let's talk about

Rebecca Costa
now I'm not an economist. So you know, people should take what I'm saying about the economy with a grain of salt, but and in an inflationary environment, you have to remember, you don't want to be holding cash, you want to be holding hard assets go out and buy cars, houses, anything that is tangible, anything that's tangible, will go up in value. So you know, don't all of you retirees like us, you also hold on to cash.

Greg Voisen
Since you and I have been, it's been seven years, you know, we've seen the invention of Bitcoin. And I'm not going to take a lot of time off on this. When I talk about the construct of money, how we actually think of currency. Obviously, today, we're seeing a new currency, a different currency. But still, it's a construct that was made up, just like the currency was supposed to be backed by gold certainly isn't any more. It's not backed by something hard. Like you were saying an asset like gold of value. Um, do you have any thoughts about it from your perspective? And then we'll go back to these other questions, because we, we kind of got off on this tangent around the economy. But this whole construct of currency, the construct of the Bitcoin, the Bitcoin being kind of fought by many financial institutions today, and they're trying to figure out how to do it and what where to go with it and whatever. What would be Rebecca Costas take on just that whole construct of currency and the new Bitcoin.

Rebecca Costa
Well, any currency needs critical mass, you know, in terms of acceptance. So one of the principles that I talked about in my book, just to tie Bitcoin back into it, is that there can be no change without critical mass. Right? Right. So using an example of the Vietnam War, right. For years, people were trying to get out of the Vietnam War through several presidents. And it wasn't until mothers and fathers got out in the streets, because the jungles of Vietnam were being brought into their living room on black and white TV. I believe every night I remember watching it, yeah. And suddenly, they were seeing, you know, 18-year-old drafted boys, right, on their bellies, in the jungles of Vietnam being killed. And that spurred mothers and fathers and families, brothers and sisters to get out in the street. It is sad that you have to have 3%, somewhere between one and 3% of the population. Right, adopt anything, right? Or or protest. But that critical mass of that population until you get to that threshold, the change is impossible. That was true of civil rights. It's true of the Vietnam War. It's true of phones, the internet, till you get to that one to 3% threshold of critical mass, you're not really going to see a change. We're below that on Bitcoin. Bitcoin feels like the strange currency that might be a ruse, because nobody, nobody, because people don't understand the technology behind it. But we also don't understand how currencies valued correct. So I don't see any difference. I mean, it used to be as you point out tied to gold. But then we got away from that now it's just politically valued, right? It is whatever you say it is and it's the same with Bitcoin it is whatever you say it is. So I frankly don't see much of a difference if you don't understand the engine that's producing regular paper and coin currency then you know what, why do you care about Bitcoin?

Greg Voisen
Good predictive analytics from your estimation, not that you know the answer to this question. Actually see it hitting critical mass where the adoption of it is more you know, we're seeing it using other credit cards, we're able to trade it we're able to do things with it, which we're getting

Rebecca Costa
There. We're getting Bitcoin you know, I don't want to say Bitcoin because that's only one-time No, I understand. They say cryptocurrency, right? First of all, I think there's a there's a name problem with crypto because it sounds like you're being ripped off. Yeah, to begin with, but crypto currency is already gaining so much momentum. Yeah. Right? that banks are having to adapt, and people are having to accept it, you know, Amazon, all of these guys. So you're already getting to that 3% Critical Mass, again, as we look at pre deputation, right, let's, let's look at the future. If something's headed toward one to 3%, critical mass, it's going to go mainstream. We don't have to fight it. We don't have to guess. You know, we're not making bets when we make investments in the future. We know 3%. It's mainstream. So if you see, if you see the population moving in that direction, and you're getting close, they're doubled down on your investments, you see it's in the future is not unknown.

Greg Voisen
This morning, oh, what's coming, plug in this morning at 38,000, which is the lowest or 35. lowest it's been a long time. Now. We're going to switch gears for a second, because we've talked about a lot of really good, juicy stuff. And we've informed our listeners, at least from the social biologist standpoint, what how this limbic brain works, and it's pretty hard to get us moving in a direction, we kind of wait until it's right smack dab in front of us. It's almost like a train coming ahead as we finally move out of the way you tell this great story about wanting to get to purchase a Volkswagen bug when you were 16 years old. I love this part in the book. But did you mature? You didn't want to ask your father's advice. But your dad was very stubborn when I had advice. Yeah, he your dad had advice anyway. He said, Well, when you look under there, make sure there's no oil leaks. Remember that? I don't know why remember that statement you made. But I could see your dad talking to you at 16. When I was reading that, that was that was like me, I was like oh I and that was my first call car was a book. And I and I chopped it all up and made it into a little dune buggy, right? So you can tell the story, which leads to us understanding the advancement in technology in automobiles. Now we're at autonomous drivers. Now we've been electric cars to drive the cars longer, because then you talk about your car that you have today that has 270,000 or 90,000 miles on it. And I was thinking you probably don't have that car anymore, because you wrote this book in 2017. So I presume I have it. I still have it. How many miles is on it now? Well,

Rebecca Costa
I grabbed it because I have another I have a hybrid that I drive most of the time and that that it was a Toyota Land Cruiser. I took it in, I think at 275,000 miles or something. I took it into the Toyota dealer who I'd have had servicing it, because I was driving it from my home in California up to Oregon when I moved here. And I said look, you know, I'm a gal. I you know, not unusual. I don't know about cars. Because there when I was growing up, we didn't learn about cars. You know, we were learning about typing and home economics. That's how it was. I mean, I'm not saying it was right. I'm just saying that's how it was. And I said I'm going to be driving a really long distance Could you take a look at it and they attached a bunch of wires and they said lunch leave it for a day we'll just check the whole thing out so you're safe for your trip. The guy came back and he said, this is gonna be good for another 290,000 Miles he said 500,000 Miles, I think I read that. Yeah, you said 500,000 miles on a Toyota Land Cruiser. No problem is one that you have serviced this well, and he said, By the way, in Africa, they're no longer driving Range Rovers. They're driving Toyota Land Cruisers. Because these are like tanks. They just, you know, if you service them, right, they just keep going and going and going. I was very shocked. Because as you point out, when I was 16, I had I had a little part time job babysitting and, and how sitting for people and all of that, and I saved up enough money that I could afford a US bug, Volkswagen bug. And I was I was very excited to go get a car and my father kept offering to help me. And I was very stubborn. And I didn't I didn't like my parents, unlike, you know, like a lot of teenagers. In your 60s You don't like I knew better. And one day when he was leaving for work. He said, Well, I know you don't want my help. So I'll tell you what, just look for oil under the car, and he dropping some oil. And if the car has 100,000 miles on it, you're begging for trouble. Right?

Greg Voisen
I remember him saying

Rebecca Costa
100,000 Miles meant something. Right? In the 1970s. Now we're in 2022. And the 1970s, a car that had 100,000 miles on it was likely to have a transmission problem and engine problem. You weren't you were in for trouble. Right? You were in for trouble. Think about that now 100,000 miles to 500,000 miles, right? On my land cruiser. Think about electric cars. Think about autonomous cars. Think about in my lifetime. What has happened, right? And why is that happened? It happened because along the way, we invented technologies that allowed us to build better engines to predict what was going to fail first, second, third, fourth, and to address those, right as we kept perfecting the longevity of life of that vehicle went on and on and on. The same thing is happening in health care. Think about the extension of life. Right now. Oh, yeah. Think about your parts, your knees, your elbows, you know, your heart, your heart that are wearing out because you're living longer. And think about 3d printers that are now in the operating room that now can build a custom part for you that a surgeon can almost on an outpatient basis, you won't be in the hospital more than one or two days before they send you off to physical therapy. I mean, think about what is going on. Right? Is that because we could predict what's going to fail, we could predict what was going to happen now. And 1970 If you needed a replacement part it was a cadaver part. A cadaver some dead bodies part was put in your body and your odds of rejection were extremely high.

Greg Voisen
Yeah. That no, you cite some really good points regarding the advancement of technology, in healthcare in automobiles and all of these things. And I would add to that, you know, from the automobile standpoint, I don't know what big data says right now. And I would have guessed that the insurance company would tell you that most people are telling their insurance carriers, they're driving less than 10,000 miles a year. The pandemic really put a kibosh on people driving to work. It also put a huge kibosh. Now I know the airlines are back flying like crazy now. But the point is, I think that's here to stay. I don't think we're going to have as big a community anymore, or as many cars on the freeway, or as many of us anything because of the acceptance like Airbnb just said the other day, live anywhere in the country and work for our company. And you can stay in one of the Airbnb, and it's going to attract the right kind of people that they want. You know, you when you look at these things that are changing, they don't actually have an impact on co2 emissions as well. I'm looking at it from an environmental standpoint as well. Do you know anything about big data that would say with sense of the pandemic, we've had a reduction in our driving and we've had a reduction in co2 emissions?

Rebecca Costa
It's difficult to say, the impact on co2, co2 emissions over the long haul. You know, I'm an evolutionary biologist by training and I look at datasets over millions of years. Okay, well, 12 months or 24 months, right, right. So when I'm looking at trends, I'm looking at trends over many, many, many, many years. So it's difficult to answer that question what I can tell you is that with autonomous vehicles, and even with the emergence of Uber, you know, and, you know, kind of transportation on demand. Yeah, afternoon Uber, yeah, Lyft and Uber, um, that the transportation on demand market probably is going to have a greater effect, or equal effect, as the work from home. idea. I think that and, and, and, and a third factor is that, we see that millennials and Gen X's don't really want to own things. Correct that many of them don't want to own a house, they just want to rent a better house. And so I think this idea of people owning a vehicle will probably erode. People don't want to pay the insurance, they don't want to maintain it. And, and, and if transportation on demand becomes increasingly easy, because I don't have to call a Lyft or Uber anymore, I just have to poke my phone, and a driverless vehicle will immediately the nearest driver's seat, driverless vehicle will come and pick me up, right? There's no need for me to own a vehicle. At that point,

Greg Voisen
I see that happening. I watched Anderson Cooper, report on 60 minutes about the I'm going to call it the flying car. But the FAA right now is very close to approving. They say what the next two years, Uber like vehicles, were four to six people will get them in into them and be able to fly short distances at very inexpensive prices. And they'll continue to drive those prices down. Because they're all battery powered. They're all these are all battery powered vehicles that are flying in the air. And I think it's fascinating to see the advancement and the amount of investment that's being put in by many different companies to actually perfect this technology. And there's one company that is doing it autonomous with no pilot. So now we're looking at you know, I must remember when I was a kid watching the Jetsons, it's like, I had robot in the house, and I flew around a little spaceship. But it's it is going there. We are getting there. And you've talked about it. Great.

Rebecca Costa
Well, we we've been trying to perfect. Flying cars for the past 12 years. Yeah. And, you know, they're only going to cost about $60,000. And you only need the runway space equivalent to a football field. You don't even know but you will see along the sides of the freeway are those landing pads, those takeoff and landing pads. So you can imagine you're driving along, you run into traffic, your vehicle lifts up out of traffic,

Greg Voisen
the ones that it

Rebecca Costa
takes off. But those are those have been around those vehicles have been tested and approved in Europe and Scandinavian countries for over a decade. It's they're just coming into the US right now. And we have a lot of FAA issues. I mean, we have to, we have to create the infrastructure that makes it safe for those vehicles. And that is very slow. As you know, Edward Wilson's quote. We have Paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions and godlike technology. Yeah, that's, that's the best way to sum up where we still

Greg Voisen
probably in our lifetime, it's coming. And the reality is, is that the show I saw with Anderson Cooper, those were vertical, there was no runway required. They were lifting off just like, like helicopters. So the reality is you needed no runway, you needed no nothing. So, but

Rebecca Costa
you know, some of those will probably, I mean, I think the market will diversify some lightning runway, some might be vertical, there will be different price structures, different operating systems, we'll run them. Again, remember when we get to the one to 3%, critical mass, it's going to be mainstream and available to anybody. Well, let's

Greg Voisen
go to the healthcare for a minute. I'm going to switch topics you. You cited a great story in the book about fuzzy logics and the ability to predict opioid abuse before the person the prescription was handed to the patient. I I did not know this. I was like, totally informed. Could you explain how this fudgy logics works and how it's being used to proactively reduce the opioid problem? And why this technology is being used to predict accurately that other problems that might occur as well. I mean, I

Rebecca Costa
as you know, we have a really big fentanyl issue. Yeah,

Greg Voisen
we've got a huge drug problem in this country. And it hasn't been attacked. But if this computer system can actually predict accurately, and I think you said in the book, like 90% accuracy prediction, that if I hand you this prescription, I know you're going to abuse it.

Rebecca Costa
Well, again, this is this is all about data, right? Yeah. data points together, your predictions become very accurate. So if I, if I monitor your Fitbit data, your amount of physical activity, if I have information about your behaviors, right, whether you tend to be violent, whether you had problems with alcohol in the past, whether you overspend and allow yourself to get into debt, a lot of different and surprising sometimes surprising. Behavioral metrics, like do you have someone that you can reach out to in times of trouble that live within one mile of you, that you might not think that matters, it actually does. So. So. A lot of these behavioral metrics, geographic metrics, all of these things combined, and your physical and medical condition, what condition you're trying to mitigate by going on pain medication, your history, with any kind of medical challenges that you've had your family's history, when we take millions of data points, and we put them in the computer, the computer will tell us, if you are highly predisposed to become addicted, or very low, it have a very low probability of becoming addicted. Now, I know for myself, I would come in at low because there's no addiction in my family, which can be hereditary. Your predisposition can be a hereditary. inclination doesn't mean you will, but it means you could be predisposed. So I would come in very low because when I go to the dentist, they give me painkillers, I never finished the painkillers, right. You know, I think pain is there for a reason to remind me that not to do stuff like go either job, right? It's there as a reminder, so as you know, if the pain is good, I'm gonna let the pain you know, settle itself. Do you remember Juju beads? So no, no. So I Oh, I don't, I would not I would be in the low category. But here's the thing. By taking a questionnaire opening up your medical information to a physician in advance, we can use artificial intelligence to predict your likelihood of becoming addicted. Here's what I don't understand. Wouldn't it be a good idea before I write you a prescription because 90% of the people that move on to fentanyl and heroin got a doctor's prescription they started on a doctor's prescription. This is very important to know, they got started legally, and then went to illegal street drugs. So wouldn't it be a good idea to require every physician to test that patient before they wrote that first subscription? The

Greg Voisen
prescription an awful good idea? Yeah.

Rebecca Costa
Because if I know you were in the 90% probability of becoming addicted, I could guide you toward a different pain medication. Right? Right. But I don't even have that opportunity, when I don't have the knowledge when I'm not taking advantage of all the knowledge and data that is available to me as a physician. And so this is where we are not taking advantage of the data to pre DAPT to do something in the present to avoid a negative outcome. And still back to that we have the knowledge we're not acting on it.

Greg Voisen
No, but look, I agree with everything you said. And I also believe that you're saying why aren't we acting on it because we saw during Trump's administration him trying to do stuff with the opioid addiction, but agreed that If we have these predictive abilities to look at data set points, what act next action would I don't know? Does the legislature say, Hey, doctor, you've got to do this before you make this?

Rebecca Costa
Yes. I mean, the government could the government could contract with fuzzy logic to develop this program and say, before you can write a prescription, you must put this data in. And we will tell you the likelihood. And as a public service, I think it's a great service that says before you can write the subscription. And then once you do if the person is above the 50% probability level, you can't write the prescription. And if they're below the 50%, or 30%, or 20%, wherever you want to sit, the level will give you a code and you have to put that on the prescription. Right, right. I mean, there's so many, there's so many ways that we could avoid this. And by the way, for people that might know someone or are suffering with fentanyl addiction,

Greg Voisen
we don't have cures for addiction. We can mitigate, we can manage. But once you've become addicted, urine addict, yeah, yes, your likelihood of going back is very high, particularly on a drug like fentanyl. So you're sentencing someone to a lifelong battle with addiction, once they go down that row. So this brings up unacceptable, this brings up an issue of just when is the species if you're looking at millions of years, and your studies going to transmute so that the ethics in which we operate as a species says I shouldn't I don't need the government to tell me to do that. I have the data on my own, I know that I should be doing that versus a law being written that says, I've got to do this to write this prescription. I mean, it to me, it comes down to ethics and morals and all kinds of things that we're talking about. And I know that we're, I don't know what we are, we're almost like the consciousness level of the society at times seems so low.

Rebecca Costa
Well, I don't, I don't attribute it to consciousness. I listen to your program and want to make it an ethical or spiritual issue. To me, I don't, as a scientist, I don't delve in in that area. My specific area of interest is how we're hardwired, how we've evolved, just to behave, right to react to respond, versus the information we now have. Right? I started out this this discussion saying, why aren't those in alignment. And that is because we have not come to an honest assessment of what this biological spacesuit is designed to do. Right, versus what the environment is requiring of us. We're out of alignment with progress, progress has moved at the speed of light, and evolution is crawling. And so we have this schizophrenia. This is the first time in human history where we, you know, think about it, the Neanderthals didn't know what was coming. They didn't couldn't have known if climate change was coming. They didn't know addiction was going rampid. They didn't understand how viruses move. You know, we're the first group of humans that have the knowledge of the future and are doing nothing about Yeah. And we're going to look bad 100 million years from now, I'm going to tell you this, this group of humans, this era, the techno, I call it, the techno lithic era is going to look really bad. really new and didn't respond.

Greg Voisen
And we knew, but we didn't do. Hey, yeah, Rebecca, you give the readers in this book 12 principles in the book that I believe are kind of paramount to read at pre deputation. We don't need to speak of all of them. I chose the one before you started talking about critical mass as my selected one to speak about. But maybe we had to choose one of the other ones and say, speak about some of the principles and choose one maybe other than critical mass because we've talked enough about that one. That's a prerequisite for change is what you said about the critical mass. Do you want to pick another one out of the book?

Rebecca Costa
Sure. I will say that in a complex environment, right. When you have so much data and so much information, you tend to want to freeze. And freeze is not an adaptive strategy. You have to keep moving, you have to make decisions every day about your life. So one of the things when you're when you're met with greater complexity than your brain can really manage or handle without the help of a computer, the best thing to do is to think about diversification. Diversification is an antidote to complexity. So the example that I use is, maybe you're investing on Wall Street, right? It's so complex, you're not a brave broker, maybe you trust your broker, maybe you don't maybe he's making Commission's on his trades. And you know, you don't really know what's going on. But one thing you do know is if you diversify, you're pretty safe. So you put some money in bonds, and you put some money in ETFs, and stocks, right, and spiders, and you and you put somebody in real estate, maybe and you and you, and you buy a car and you and you, you kind of spread your money around with the idea that when one thing goes up, the other thing might go down, but what you hope to come out hole, that's how US retirees manage your money, we just go I can't make winning bets, because the idea that you're going to make a winning bet each and every time is called the gambler. And I'm not a gambler. So I watch it bonds go down stocks go up, you know, you know, they won't pay much on CDs. So maybe I'm gonna do corporate bonds. I just moved

Greg Voisen
on here. So your principle here is diversification, diversify, so

Rebecca Costa
that what does that mean? That means when you have to make any kind of decision, the quick the first quick decision, the first thing that you want to think about is, is it mutually exclusive. Right? We our brains want it to be this or this, I stay married, or I get divorced. I buy the car or I don't buy you know, I my kid goes to college or doesn't go to college, we tend to want to our brains want to bifurcate it wants to go to a simple it was it goes. And 99% of the time, there are many, many, many options. And if you can choose multiple options, choose multiple options, because your odds of betting correctly, get lower and lower and lower, the more choices there are. And there are never been more choices than there are today. So in a complex environment, when you there are more poor choices than good ones, you have to diversify. And then the most important thing, forgive yourself when you're wrong immediately.

Greg Voisen
That's a psychological. I get it, I get it. We're all there.

Rebecca Costa
I don't peep people think, you know, gee, you write about, you know, the future. But you're so cheerful. And you seem so happy and well-adjusted to everything. And I said, Well, I forgive myself instantly.

Greg Voisen
Well, then, that goes along with the personal growth show that I've been doing for 15 years that you know, look, number one, we're 100% responsible for our own actions, nobody else. We can't blame the outside world for what happens to us. If you choose happiness first. That's what you're going to have in your life. Because the reality is you need to you need to make a choice. And that brings me to this question. You mentioned that free will is not always free. That for centuries, we've been struggling to come to terms with the fact that human beings are born with predispositions Oh, most certainly are we? How much of our inherited programming can be overridden so that we can adapt and adapt? What is to come in the future? And how will our species have to transform in your estimation?

Rebecca Costa
Well, the biggest lie that was told that has harmed us so badly is the blank slate lied. You're born a blank slate, and your parents write on it. Your teachers write on it and your experiences right on it. And then that made you. Everybody went Oh, okay, simple, but we've left out biology, we left out your hardwiring.

Greg Voisen
You know, what is your belief? What is your belief around epigenetics?

Rebecca Costa
Well, what, first of all the minute you say epigenetics, everyone's going to turn the program off.

Greg Voisen
I don't know. Maybe

Rebecca Costa
epigenetics is a new field and it's a controversial field. But I want to get to the thing things that are not controversial, okay, you're born predisposed for certain cancers. Okay, you're born predisposed for certain behaviors. If your father or mother were violent sociopaths, that's a heritable quality, as we found in the Las Vegas, mass murderer, the mass shooter, his father was a violent sociopath that was imprisoned for life. And unfortunately, he was given some drugs, Diana Pam, which should never be given to somebody who has that family history, right? So six months before he went to Las Vegas with his guns and shot into that concert, that we can go backwards, but I'm asking us to go forward. I'm asking us to say if we know we have genetic and behavioral predispositions, it doesn't mean you're going to become a mass murderer. It means you're predisposed, you should not be prescribed Diane's or Pam, you should watch your own behavior and say, you know, am I am I pushing people away? Am I isolating? You know, should I go and get help? I mean, wouldn't it be good to acknowledge the hard wiring so that we can do something about it before it becomes problematic. And so the blank slate idea is a lie that it's very dangerous because we nobody taught us to stand on our two feet. Nobody taught us to, like certain music when we're a toddler. You know, nobody, nobody taught us to. You know, I don't know, smile at our parents, so they would pick us up. These are These are behaviors that are innate. And those behaviors don't end when we're a child. They continue. They continue when we're an adult. So you might have a predisposition for, you know, the man, Craig Ventnor, who, who broke down was responsible for breaking down the human genome. He discovered he had a predisposition for antisocial behavior, was the first genome that was broken down. And when he discovered that it explained a lot about why he was an introvert. And he preferred not being around people, but

Greg Voisen
as a buyer. But as a biologist, don't you believe that these environments, you know, you look at I remember, Margaret Wheatley, and speaking about all of these environments, and we look at cultures inside of companies and where we work and who we've married, and all these other kinds of things. They all influences. They're all our huge influences on who we become. I don't take the fact that because my parents were my parents, that I was predisposed to a lot of things. That's maybe where we do disagree somewhat. I think you can create through your environments and choices that you make a new life for yourself. This is inside personal growth. This is all about people transforming their lives. You can

Rebecca Costa
I We're not in disagreement, right? The nature versus nurture, right. I'm asking us not to deny nature.

Greg Voisen
Well, I'm not denying it. I know that.

Rebecca Costa
If you're predisposed to certain cancers, their actions, you can take food you can eat, live a healthy lifestyle, go in and get regular checkups. There are things you can do right. Now, don't smoke. I mean, there are things you can do to not trigger that. And there are things you can do that make you much more likely right to trigger that cancer. We don't know how the genetic behaviors or diseases or anything are triggered. We don't understand that mechanism right now. But we know that there are certain things that we should try to stay away from, of course, and in my family, I had two parents that were prone to alcoholism. So I am very, very careful, right in the amount of alcohol that I am around or that I drink, right? Not that drinking would make me an alcoholic. But with two parents like that. Why take the chance? All right, I mean, better to subscribe to the Better safe than sorry.

Greg Voisen
Look, what you have done is you have consciously chosen to take actions that would help you like when you get in a room and there's a lot of wind flowing, you're probably the kind of person maybe has one glass of wine is great. That's it. That's the limit. You understand that because you don't want to go down that path. And I think that's being aware and awareness is a huge factor in us changing anything in our life. And as long as we're aware, and we're consciously aware we can make Good choices now.

Rebecca Costa
And the other thing it does is it helps you not to be judgmental, if everybody else wants to drink a bottle of piece of wine, right? They don't have the same predisposition. I do. Have a great time agree

Greg Voisen
with you on that one. Because I'm not a big drinker. I'm not a drinker at all. But if I do drink, it's like maybe one little sip. And it's not because there was predisposition in my family. Because what happens when I drink alcohol? I get heartburn. And I don't even know I need it. It literally, it literally makes my stomach upset. So I don't do it. But I do come Bucha. And that seems to be okay. Hey, look in in the last question here. And there were quite a few questions I missed. But you know, the book is filled with great stories. So thank you examples. Thank you. 15 pages of facts. Thank you, because they're all listed in the back. What would you like to leave the listeners with allow them to better predict their future and as you end the book, and become the aspiring Masters of the Universe, and that I think those were the last words in that chapter on the last chapter.

Rebecca Costa
Well, we have such a wonderful opportunity to take the data that we're amassing, right, and to use quantum computers, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics, to head off negative outcomes for not just humanity, but individually, like heading off the potential for becoming an addict, through a doctor's prescription, an opioid, we have so much information, but we have to come to terms with the fact that biologically, we're not designed to respond to that information. And so if we could just close that gap a little bit through awareness, through awareness, as you point out that, that that is the bridge, that's the bridge between the data that we have, right, and the action that we're not designed to take is when you have awareness, you're able to then translate that into some action for yourself or for society at large. And so you know, my hope is that by acknowledging what the what physiological obstacles we have, right, we're still looking for lions in the Serengeti, when that isn't our situation anymore. There are no lions, and I'm not crawling, crawling around the Serengeti, waiting to be eaten. So that's not our situation anymore. So we can use the data to pre DAPT. And I hope that people will get the book and that they will see that there's a reason for optimism.

Greg Voisen
Well, you know, all I can say is that of those examples of those facts of the stories that you tell, it starts to get put a picture together for the reader of predestination. In other words, what we really need to do. And then I say, the, as you said, Don't freeze, you basically want to diversify, no matter what it is, because it's going to do it. And I think in this world today, as we speak here, today is May the sixth, it's my son's 41st. Birthday, that that though, we need more ability to make these decisions, right, we need to be able to take the actions and its books like yours, they get us to understand why we don't. So it makes us aware of how we can take the action. And I want to thank you for that. Because it's books that stimulate these thoughts that allow us to say, okay, great, I understand what how I'm hardwired, I understand that I can change it, and I understand what I have to do about it to make the change. So thank you, thank you for the book. Thank you for being on inside personal growth and spending some time with our listeners. And for all my listeners. I'm going to pull the book over again. We're going to put a link to the book. It's called on the verge. I love the little picture with the little girl on there. We're going to she looks like a mad scientist. We're get literally, me. Yeah, yeah. So is that you as a kid?

Rebecca Costa
No, but it could have been Yeah.

Greg Voisen
So we will put a link to this book. We will put a link to Rebecca's website as well. Please reach out to her. Please get the book. better understand your world better understand yourself so you can make better choices. Thanks so much for being on.

Rebecca Costa
Thank you for having me back. I enjoyed it.

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