Live and Lead for Impact with Kirsten E. Ross (leadership)

EP 156 Help Your Team Hurdle the Challenges of Change


Thrilled you are here - 

Congratulate you on – being here – embracing change yourself – 

Ready to replace, eliminate and conquer the challenges you’ve faced with your teams.


Here’s the truth – to make your biggest, boldest impact in the world you need to get the most from your team you need a productive team


Breathe in the possibility and breathe out the doubt!  I’ve had the privilege of doing this work for almost 30 years and have been witness to the transformation of teams in all kinds of industries……Often leaders are so much closer than they realize……change can happen swiftly with intentional action


The saying – Sometimes we are the most frustrated when we are just 3 feet from the gold.

I don’t think there’s ever been a time when we humans were bombarded with so much change. And this last year….well, how many times did we hear, it’s unprecedented?


Here’s a little stat – see if you can wrap your brain around this.


Over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every single day, and it's only going to grow from there. It’s estimated that 1.7MB of data are created every second for every person on earth.


I don’t know about you, but I can’t even begin to fathom how much data that is?  How much is a quintillion??


Clearly – change is a given – Before you start to feel stressed by this notion let’s stop to remember what our phones were like a few years ago.  Depending on your age, you can think back all the way to when phones had a dial and were attached to the wall.  A little farther back and an operator played an integral role in connecting you.


Look at all the change you’ve survived!


If you are old enough……you can recall a time when you had to go to the library to do research for a paper.  And if your topic was extra technical you might even have to go to the basement to work with a special librarian who’d retrieve the musty, dusty reference you required from a locked room.


Look at the change you’ve maneuvered.


Ask someone to switch from Coke to Pepsi and you’ll witness change aversion in action.

My Change Story – Moving 45 minutes away


We recently moved and I was shocked at my own response to change. I hadn’t anticipated it. I always look objectively at my own reactions to marvel, assess and take note.  I learn from my own experiences so that I can share with others.  


The move was only 45 minutes away but that required learning a new area, finding the grocery store I liked, testing out times and routes to work around traffic.  I no longer had routines in my home and, as an efficiency junkie I was struggling with decisions about where to keep things.  Where should each item find its home? 


I was tired and felt out of sorts.  I found myself exploring my new area in a tight circumference around my home.  No desire to expand my horizons until I had a good lay of the land close by.


It was unanticipated…..but this is what can happen when we move through change.

So, how can you help your team move through necessary change at work?  Here are some key strategies:

Give Grace  but don’t accommodate – 


  1. to expect that all will happily move towards change is setting yourself up for frustration as a leader – A realistic expectation is that people will be challenged….

  2. It is innately difficult for humans to undergo change – some will have an even tougher time.  Amygdala – Lizard brain function to keep all of life constant – doesn’t say no change – makes up reasons that feel like fact

    Not trying to turn you into a counselor and don’t expect to fully take on the role of helping them get to a place where it’s comfortable….BUT acknowledging it’s NORMAL will help both you and them…..

    So….acknowledge = empathize but move on -= the train is leaving…..

    Do they have any relevant concerns

Get Input – Example IT department – end users trying to give me all this input during the training


Veterans – For yourself OR to share with your leaders - you may see the end result – have higher level ideas immediately – new less experienced may take longer to get there…..let them go on the journey with you – takes a little extra time but can build buy in


Give them the chance to give input – don’t jump on ideas as wrong immediately – let it play out = help them take the journey to where you are = teach – 


Otherwise you may silence them – they will feel like their input has no value = And they DO have value -= new perspectives = make sure it’s not your challenge with change stopping you from considering alternative ideas


And……if you immediately think that idea is no good – is your Amygdala taking over?  

Reality check initial thoughts about new ideas.


See this often in family businesses when the next generation enters – there is conflict between old school and the new generation who wants to make a mark – but may be bringing new and great ideas learned from school, outside experience – which hopefully they have had


Communication Back – 

  • thank them for input – 
  • AND share at least general details about what was decided and why – if their input could not be used – ideas not implemented – were they considered?  Share that – share why they were not used or had to be tabled.

Review & Revise

  - Prep for hiccups and future change – most change happens in waves – it does and it SHOULD…


Change should include a checkup – how is it going – hiccups are opportunities for more tweaks – often organizations skip that step too – Communicate up front to create the expectation that it will not all be perfect – expectations equals easier to deal with  - 

AND something you can say to quiet those with louder amygdales

Provide opportunities for feedback AND ideas


Whining is easy

Pointing out problems is easy

Saying this will never work is easiest of all – 


Encourage or even require employees to provide solutions – if they see an issue, what ideas do they have to resolve it or make it better?

why decisions were made – 

Learn the Delegation Strategies I’ve shared with THOUSANDS and get your team to do what you need! Grab a copy of my EBook, The Six Simple Steps to Great Delegation


Kirsten Ross Vogel is an author, podcast host and CEO of Focus Forward Coaching where we help leaders 


  • defeat team drama 
  • to 4X productivity, 
  • wow their customers 
  • and improve their bottom line 
  • with simple, actionable strategies, systems, communication hacks and mindset shifts.

Ready for some individualized help for your leadership challenges?  Grab a spot on my calendar and let’s discuss how I can help you transform your leadership and your team.

Direct download: Help_Your_Team_Hurdle_the_Challenges_of_Change.mp3
Category:leadership -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Lyle Tard   Episode 157

Lyle is a 19 year military veteran who has been fighting to discover significance his entire life. In 2018, he founded IMPACT Servant Leadership because he realized that true success in life is gained through unlocking the significance in others through Servant Leadership principles teaching that "Leaders lead best when they Serve." 


Lyle was a military kid.  His life was dictated to him as he grew.  Then, he joined the military himself and was told what he should like, what he should do, who he should be.  


He now realizes how important it is to be who you were designed to be and wants to help others make their own impact.  His goal, help others become great servant leaders.  He gains inspiration from Dan Rockwell, Leadership Freak.


The biggest challenge he’s had to overcome is the same challenge he helps others overcome; selfishness.  Servant leadership requires something that is not innate to humans, selflessness.


He also shares that you should never be afraid to fail and quotes John Maxwell, “Failure is your fuel.”


Learn the Delegation Strategies I’ve shared with THOUSANDS and get your team to do what you need! Grab a copy of my EBook, The Six Simple Steps to Great Delegation


Kirsten Ross Vogel is an author, podcast host and CEO of Focus Forward Coaching where we help leaders 


  • defeat team drama 
  • to 4X productivity, 
  • wow their customers 
  • and improve their bottom line 
  • with simple, actionable strategies, systems, communication hacks and mindset shifts.
Direct download: 157_lyle_Tard.mp3
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:01pm EDT

EP 155 Susie Reynolds Reece

Susie is the founder and executive director of Suicide Prevention Allies a non profit that formed from community grass roots efforts geared at preventing suicide. Reece is no stranger to the desperate need for suicide prevention. Having dealt with major depression stemming from multiple traumas suffered during her early childhood. She shares her story of childhood trauma and losses to inspire others to speak about our most difficult human issues

Reece is a proud southern fried Asian A.K.A. Korean Arkansan style, published author, national speaker, and mental health advocate. As well as a seasoned suicide prevention strategist and consultant.

Learn the Delegation Strategies I’ve shared with THOUSANDS and get your team to do what you need! Grab a copy of my EBook, The Six Simple Steps to Great Delegation


Kirsten Ross Vogel is an author, podcast host and CEO of Focus Forward Coaching where we help leaders 


  • defeat team drama 
  • to 4X productivity, 
  • wow their customers 
  • and improve their bottom line 
  • with simple, actionable strategies, systems, communication hacks and mindset shifts.
Direct download: 155_sussie_reece.mp3
Category:leadership -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

EP 154 3 Keys to Retaining Your Rockstars – OR The Triple A Method

You Can NOT compensate your way out of a bad work environment….you can for a period but….it’s a downward spiral and eventually your rock star will be recruited away either for more money  - after all, in the end they were only with you for money – they loved what you were up to but the environment was intolerable……


Or….they’ll be recruited away for a better opportunity – maybe even for less money…..

  1. Key Foundational Assumptions – You’ll hear me say this over and over – all 


  • Feel like they are doing a good job
  • Known, Acknowledged, Appreciated
  • Feel like their life is part of something bigger than themselves


Here’s the Triple A Method (AAA)



  • See them
  • Thank them
  • Give them special attention – too often I see leaders worried about employees feeling bad if they aren’t getting recognition.   PLEASE do NOT design your recognition program in a way that minimizes discomfort for your non-performers…..Do that and guess who is feeling uncomfortable.  Yes, of course, your rockstars!  Who work hard and then feel invisible.

    You want an environment where authentic praise and recognition is abundant.  If an employee desires to have more recognition help them strategize about how they can modify their work or behavior to EARN what they desire.




Take one quick minute to visualize your lowest performing employee – I know you know who they are – now visualize what your business, office, department would run like if everyone performed at their same level – Yes, this is where I get the uncomfortable laughs……


what would happen?


Guess who is picking up the slack for their poor performance  - Assuring that what you just envisioned DOES NOT happen….Likely YOU – And….Your Rock Stars – and they are building resentment and beginning to burn out – and guess who has more opportunity out in the world


  • Your Rockstars are jumping up and down at least figuratively and possibly literally when they see you hold people accountable
  • When your leadership style lacks accountability your rockstars are likely part of the formula that sustains the business - the ones picking up the slack
  • Too often rockstars are held to a higher standard – Here’s what I see far too often – A leader starts thinking…..hmmmmmmm…I haven’t had any correction conversations with people in a while – well guess who’s easiest to talk to – the Rockstar who appreciates constructive feedback BUT – if you start talking to them too often about the miniscule thing they did wrong while you let the low performers slide – they will start to build frustration, resentment and more….and you’ll have them walking out the door.

Your high performing employees will leap for joy if you start holding people accountable! You don’t need to start everyone on a discipline path.  Just hit a reset. Put everyone on notice that these are the expectations and you need everyone the team to hit the bar you set.  If some continue to fall short, and they will until they realize you are serious, you’ll sit down individually to communicate the gap you are seeing and create a plan for improvement.  If the issues continue then start to walk the discipline path.




High performing employees love to achieve. Give them plenty of opportunities to Advance as they work for you – Otherwise their motivation to grow can have them walking out the door.  If you lead a smaller, flat organization, Don’t worry, there are ways beyond a promotion to help someone advance.  

  • Advance Skills – what skills could take them to the next level? What skills would they love to learn? What skills will they need in the next position?  Map it out and help them build those skills
  • Advance Coaching or Mentoring Opportunities – align them with  a personal resource that can elevate their work and life game.  Rockstars have high aspirations and coaching and mentoring can help them gain clarity and overcome personal barriers to achieving.
  • Advance Chance to Train Others – Finding these opportunities can create a real win win – Your Rockstars have mad skills and will feel honored that you trust them to share their knowledge with others.  A little caution here, however……I encourage you to give a monetary bonus or some other compensation to reward them if they’ll be doing a lot of training.  Resentments can build if they perceive you are benefiting from their skill without rewarding them.
  • Advance chance to Shadow
  • Advance chance to meet leaders in your organization – Or network with industry leaders outside the organization =- in other words, networking.  Pay for their membership, give them time to attend and pay for some events.
  • Advance chance to Represent the Organization – Events, Booths 
  • Advance in the company - Promotion

Learn the Delegation Strategies I’ve shared with THOUSANDS and get your team to do what you need! Grab a copy of my EBook, The Six Simple Steps to Great Delegation


Kirsten Ross Vogel is an author, podcast host and CEO of Focus Forward Coaching where we help leaders 


  • defeat team drama 
  • to 4X productivity, 
  • wow their customers 
  • and improve their bottom line 
  • with simple, actionable strategies, systems, communication hacks and mindset shifts.

Ready for some individualized help for your leadership challenges?  Grab a spot on my calendar and let’s discuss how I can help you transform your leadership and your team.

Direct download: Eps_154_Retain_Your_Rockstars.mp3
Category:leadership -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Phillip Andrew Barbb

Phillip Andrew is an Emmy-Nominated Los Angeles-based television producer who has been asked to speak around the country educating and encouraging High School and College Students through high energy entertainment and unforgettable storytelling.

Learn the Delegation Strategies I’ve shared with THOUSANDS and get your team to do what you need! Grab a copy of my EBook, The Six Simple Steps to Great Delegation


Kirsten Ross Vogel is an author, podcast host and CEO of Focus Forward Coaching where we help leaders 


  • defeat team drama 
  • to 4X productivity, 
  • wow their customers 
  • and improve their bottom line 
  • with simple, actionable strategies, systems, communication hacks and mindset shifts.


Direct download: 153_Phillip_Andrew.mp3
Category:leadership -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Episode 152


Life Lessons from My Random, Radical Tree 

Recently, I was gazing into my backyard and noticed this large tree that has grown through a decorative garden barrel. And as I looked out at it it brings to mind some life lessons. You see, I remember when that tree was very small. It grew from the seeds of a nearby tree. The first few summers I would think, "I need to pull that out of there. Then as it grew, "I need to get the shears and cut that out of there." The thing is....I never did either. And's this big full grown tree that would require a chain saw to take it down.

My first thought....."Oh my gosh I'm getting old! You have to be to see a tree grow like that!

Then I think...WOW does time fly!

But then the life lesson hits: How often do we intend to use that simple solution to take care of an issue but then put it off too long while the problem becomes bigger?

Yep....that's what I've done. And I guarantee there were other issues I intended to address but didn't. Lesson today....Don't put off what you can simply solve. At some point, time may create an emergency that will require your focus at an inconvenient time.

BUT…..then a second thought hit me and I was grateful for that tree.  You see, I believe that I actually chose well.  My kids got my time when we were in our backyard.  We played in the pool, talked, laughed and enjoyed.  Yes, I didn’t keep up with the gardening back there but man did we make some great memories!


Yes, time does march on. Be intentional about how you use it. Trees grow and so do your kids! 




Learn the Delegation Strategies I’ve shared with THOUSANDS and get your team to do what you need! Grab a copy of my EBook, The Six Simple Steps to Great Delegation


Kirsten Ross Vogel is an author, podcast host and CEO of Focus Forward Coaching where we help leaders 


  • defeat team drama 
  • to 4X productivity, 
  • wow their customers 
  • and improve their bottom line 
  • with simple, actionable strategies, systems, communication hacks and mindset shifts.
Direct download: 152_Life_lessons_from_my_random_radical_tree.mp3
Category:leadership -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Ep 151: Kevin Eastman


Kevin was in the U.S. Airforce with over 20 years of service including stints as a drill instructor and a recruiter. He is also the author of the book Don't Gamble on Life Improvement Until You Shift the Odds. Kevin has faced many obstacles and has been fortunate enough to overcome them. Now he is on a mission to help others do the same, by simplifying those obstacles. He believes the simpler things are made to appear the easier they are to understand and overcome.


Kevin is motivated by sharing his personal experience, in order to help others. He has overcome bad relationships, low self confidence, and repeating the same mistakes over and over. He believes an obstacle is only as large as you make it in your head. Perception is a key aspect to his success. He mentors and coaches others to see problems as they are rather than what we think they are.


Kevin mentors many younger people. He gives them the tools they need to be successful young adults. He believes you are never too old to be mentored. He always tells people “ it is not too late and you are not too old.” In order to accomplish a goal you have to be willing to go over, under, around, or even through, any obstacle in your way. 



A link to Kevin’s book:


A link to Kevin’s website:


Learn the Delegation Strategies I’ve shared with THOUSANDS and get your team to do what you need! Grab a copy of my EBook, The Six Simple Steps to Great Delegation

Kirsten Ross Vogel is an author, podcast host and CEO of Focus Forward Coaching where we help leaders 


  • defeat team drama 
  • to 4X productivity, 
  • wow their customers 
  • and improve their bottom line 
  • with simple, actionable strategies, systems, communication hacks and mindset shifts.
Direct download: 151_kevin_eastman.mp3
Category:leadership -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Isolation vs. Solitude  Ep 150



the process or fact of isolating or being isolated.

"the isolation of older people"

  • an instance of isolating something, especially a compound or microorganism.

plural noun: isolations

  • denoting a hospital or ward for patients with contagious or infectious diseases.



Done to you – not a choice – Often activated for the protection of others

  1. an act or instance of isolating.
  1. the state of being isolated.
  1. the complete separation from others of a person suffering from contagious or infectious disease;quarantine.

  1. to set or place apart; detach or separate so as to be alone.
  1. Medicine/Medical . to keep (an infected person) from contact with noninfected persons; quarantine.
  1. Chemistry Bacteriology . to obtain (a substance or microorganism) in an uncombined or pure state.

  1. a person, thing, or group that is set apart or isolated, as for purposes of study.
  1. Psychology . a person, often shy or lacking in social skills, who avoids the company of others and has nofriends within a group.
  1. Biology . an inbreeding population that is isolated from similar populations by physiological, behavioral,or geographic barriers.
  1. Also called language isolate. Linguistics . a language with no demonstrable genetic relationship, asBasque.
  1. something that has been isolated, as a by-product in a manufacturing process:



  1. the state of being or living alone; seclusion:to enjoy one's solitude.
  1. remoteness from habitations, as of a place; absence of human activity:

the state or situation of being alone.

"she savored her few hours of freedom and solitude"

A choice – positive connotation – something to savor…..look forward to – a way to invest in one’s self – find peace, calm become centered.  Connect with nature.  


Ultimately it really is about your state of mind.  Solitude is about savoring, embracing, enjoying, your alone time. 


When you find your quiet time will you call it isolation and feel alone or will you embrace the solitude and use it as a time to reflect, rejuvenate, rejoice? 


I look forward to mine

Learn the Delegation Strategies I’ve shared with THOUSANDS and get your team to do what you need! Grab a copy of my EBook, The Six Simple Steps to Great Delegation


Kirsten Ross Vogel is an author, podcast host and CEO of Focus Forward Coaching where we help leaders 


  • defeat team drama 
  • to 4X productivity, 
  • wow their customers 
  • and improve their bottom line 
  • with simple, actionable strategies, systems, communication hacks and mindset shifts.


Direct download: Isolation_vs_Solitude.mp3
Category:leadership -- posted at: 2:00am EDT

Martha Blessing


Freedom By Design


Martha G. Blessing is an author, speaker, body-mind and holistic wellness-expert, as well as a life/career coach. She is a sought after speaker and workshop presenter delivering visionary principles that inspire listeners to open to new possibilities for their lives. Martha devoted 25 years to mainstream medicine as a Registered Nurse in the specialties of Community Health, Hospice Care, and as director of an Alzheimer’s Unit.

After healing herself from cancer, over 10 years of chronic pain, three back surgeries, and living in a wheelchair, Martha knew that her greatest challenges had immersed her in accessing her life's lead others out of dis-ease and into their greatest potential. 

Martha is an RN who had 3 back surgeries and ended up in a wheelchair.  She was told that she’d never walk again.  She was not willing to accept that so she started looking for alternative solutions.  Within 9 months she was out of her wheelchair and off the prescriptions.


Now she teaches empowering strategies to others to help them deal with anxiety, depression, insomnia and more.  Help them get freedom from meds.  


Her biggest challenge was overcoming her negative self-talk. She had to learn to stop being in agreement with her inner critic.  Release feelings of shame and unworthiness.  And she helps others do the same.  


She starts her day in her meditation room.  She finds energy and instantly connects.  That first 30 minutes helps her start with a good tone for the day.

Learn the Delegation Strategies I’ve shared with THOUSANDS and get your team to do what you need! Grab a copy of my EBook, The Six Simple Steps to Great Delegation


Kirsten Ross Vogel is an author, podcast host and CEO of Focus Forward Coaching where we help leaders 


  • defeat team drama 
  • to 4X productivity, 
  • wow their customers 
  • and improve their bottom line 
  • with simple, actionable strategies, systems, communication hacks and mindset shifts.
Direct download: 149_martha_blessings.mp3
Category:leadership -- posted at: 2:00am EDT

Episode 148

Two Key Components to Living with Tenacity

Tenacity is a key component to success.  We must have it to reach our goals.  It’s the fuel that keeps us moving through the inevitable challenges.  But how often do we take the time to stop and think about what tenacity really is?  Let’s spend a minute to figure out what tenacity looks like and how we can create it to use to our advantage.

When I’m working with clients I often use the analogy of getting your screaming baby strapped into a car seat to illustrate tenacity.  Because, if you have kids, you have experienced tenacity!  When you are putting your child in their car seat your purpose is to make your baby safe.  Your baby hates to feel confined and wants nothing to do with it.  You cannot reason with a baby or explain your logic so you must just make it happen.  And, there is nothing worse than hearing your baby scream.  It’s so difficult to hurdle the challenge of lovingly strapping them in as they arch away from the confinement and scream with all of their might.  Your tenacity, however, dictates that the car will not move until the child is fully secure.

The dictionary has this definition:  strength of will, strength of purpose. And in the car seat example, your strength of will is equal to your strength of purpose.  You must have both to be tenacious. 

A strong purpose without will or strong self discipline and you get nowhere.  You’re like a race car in park, all the potential to move efficiently but you have no forward momentum.

On the other hand, strength of will without clear purpose and you are in constant motion seeking to achieve but in all different directions, more like a bumper car. 

If I am wishy washy about my desire to reach a goal because I lack the fire of purpose I will be easily stopped by any challenge.  I can tell myself that “it doesn’t really matter”, or, “this must be the sign that I am to work on something different.”  It’s also easier to make excuses, “I just didn’t have time for it” or, “other things just seem more interesting.”

When I was in college it took me a long time to pick a major.  So, while I was definitely driven to get my degree, I did not have a vision for the kind of impact I wanted to make in the world, so no specific purpose.  It was, thus difficult to determine which classes I should take.  It was a painful time.  I would literally close my eyes, flip through the course catalog (yes, it’s been THAT long!)  and drop my finger down on the page.  If the class sounded remotely interesting, would get me closer to graduation and was at a convenient time and location, I signed up.  I guarantee there were some missteps.  And that feeling that comes with uncertainty and lack of direction was uncomfortable at best.

In contrast, once I had my specific vision of helping others to create more purposeful, fulfilling, balanced work, I was on fire and anxious to make my class selections each semester.  Time, location, duration became much less important.  The only thing that mattered was what I could glean from a class to use to fulfill my mission.

Where is your lack of purpose and mission robbing you of tenacity?  What is driving your decisions?  Are you living your life like you’re floating on a lazy river, just bumping along with the flow of what’s around you, or are you grabbing those paddles to accelerate and steer with all of your might?

My hope is that you will take the time necessary to get as clear as possible about your purpose and that you’ll utilize whatever accountability structures you need to create the self-discipline to do what’s necessary to get where you need to get.  You have important work to do in this world – get to it!!  

Learn the Delegation Strategies I’ve shared with THOUSANDS and get your team to do what you need! Grab a copy of my EBook, The Six Simple Steps to Great Delegation


Kirsten Ross Vogel is an author, podcast host and CEO of Focus Forward Coaching where we help leaders 


  • defeat team drama 
  • to 4X productivity, 
  • wow their customers 
  • and improve their bottom line 
  • with simple, actionable strategies, systems, communication hacks and mindset shifts.
Direct download: 148_Tenaciously_Approaching_Tenacity.mp3
Category:leadership -- posted at: 2:00am EDT

Brian DiNapoli Interivew


He was severely bullied as a child and turned to alcohol.  He is now speaking

A Husband, Son, Brother, Godfather, Independent, Public Servant, Toastmaster, Speaker, Coach, Georgia Bulldog, who is passionate about telling his story of overcoming bullies and drinking and want to help you do the same. 

Brian was severely bullied as a child.  He was small and not athletic.  He began to drink and soon was drinking too much.  It was impacting his life.  He stopped drinking at 28.  It took a while to learn how to fit in as a non-drinker.  He had to learn to engage without the buffer.  Learn how to go to a football game and have fun.  Drinking gave him a false sense of confidence and lowered his inhibitions so he could dance and talk with people.  How could he do all that without drinking?


He soon learned that life is great without drinking.  And he is sharing that message with high school and college students.  There is life without it.  And, he shares strategies to help kids overcome bullying.  How can you feel safe at school? 

He wants kids to learn to never let anyone else let you feel small.


Tiger Woods recently won the Masters again after his rough personal challenges with addiction and major health challenges. He was not able to walk.  His story will become an inspiration for years to come.  


A link to Brian’s Book:

The link to the political organization that Brian is involved in with a focus on uniting!

Learn the Delegation Strategies I’ve shared with THOUSANDS and get your team to do what you need! Grab a copy of my EBook, The Six Simple Steps to Great Delegation


Kirsten Ross Vogel is an author, podcast host and CEO of Focus Forward Coaching where we help leaders 


  • defeat team drama 
  • to 4X productivity, 
  • wow their customers 
  • and improve their bottom line 
  • with simple, actionable strategies, systems, communication hacks and mindset shifts.
Direct download: dtd_147_Brian_DiNapoli.mp3
Category:leadership -- posted at: 2:00am EDT

In this episode Kirsten covers job share strategies that can help you and your potential partner achieve success in every aspect of work. This episode covers several topics involving communication, teamwork, distribution of responsibilities, and even the application process. 

Direct download: 146_Job_Sharing_Strategies.mp3
Category:leadership -- posted at: 1:09pm EDT

Ruchi Singh says, "I own my life and I help others to Own theirs". She says Violence changes something deep within us. But we have the power to decide what that change will be. Ruchi made a choice to take complete ownership / responsibility for her life. She gave a voice to herself and by doing so she has given a voice to countless others. She started giving talks to create awareness about domestic violence combined with the message that we humans have resounding power within us to transform and recreate our life. She is an inspirational speaker, mindset coach and a content creator. Currently, through her story, videos & coaching, she has empowered people from UK, India, Australia, Singapore, USA, South Africa, Canada and still counting.

Connect with Ruchi Singh on social media:


Facebook Page:




Direct download: Ruchi_Singh_Interview.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

I went through this same process years ago.  I was pregnant with my first child and decided that I really wanted to work part time.  Was I nervous?  Yes!  But, did all work out well.  You bet!  He’s in college now so it’s been a few years but I still remember the moments leading up to my conversation followed by the exhilaration of the positive response I got. It was so validating.  I felt valuable!  And I was excited to find a way to balance work I loved with family time.

What flexible work arrangement would help you balance your work and family obligations along with your focus on impact?  What would you like to do with your current role?  Set some goals.  Do your research. 

There are many different options available today and they are far more prevalent now than when I asked for my new arrangement!  I say all that to say, there is hope!

Here are some to consider:

  • Flexible Schedule: longer hours for less days, changing up your start time to earlier or later so you can get some life or impact activities out of the way before or after work.
  • Work From Home, also sometimes known as telecommuting. You still need to devote the hours but can save those commute minutes towards impact.
  • Job Sharing: with the right partner this flex work option can be amazing for employees and employers. Fill a full time job seamlessly with two people for a wider range of skills and built-in coverage for vacations or other time off.
  • Part Time

If you want to go part time, how will that impact your take home pay?  Remember, there are variables other than paid hours that you need to consider.  Will your dry cleaning bill go down?  What will happen to your transportation costs?

Once you know what you are looking for, start putting together a presentation and formal written proposal (if you think you will need it).

Start by anticipating what the issues will be for your boss.  Make a list and address each item in writing prior to the meeting.  Be very specific.  These items will become your proposal.  I would not reference having children at home in the proposal.  You can, however, talk about your desire to balance your rewarding career with your outside responsibilities and pursuits.

Here are some topics to keep in mind when thinking about potential issues.

Purpose: retention, increased productivity, decreased burn-out, increased effectiveness

Schedule: Outline the days you plan to work from home and what hours and/or what your total schedule will be (full or part time).  If job sharing, who will work what hours?

Communication: How will your co-workers and customers contact you while you are working from home?  How will you communicate the change?  How will you access email and digital information from home? If you will work part time, will you be available for emergencies?  Or, if you will job share, how will you and your partner communicate to provide seamless full time work?

Physical Set-up: What will your home office set up be?  Will you have a separate room away from home and family distractions?  Do you have the office equipment required? 

Evaluation: Set a timeframe during which you and your boss can re-evaluate whether or not the new schedule is working.  3-6 months with time scheduled for interim evaluation with opportunity to discuss any problems and resolve them.  Indicate that either party can terminate the arrangement at the end of the trial period.

Job Duties: Make a list of the job duties that can be performed seamlessly from home.  Provide details of how it will be transparent to customers where applicable.  Or, if you will go part time or job share, how will work be redistributed?

Conclusion: List examples of any departments in your organization who already allow telecommuting, part time, job share, flex time.  Indicate that you feel that you have the same work ethic, etc…and are committed to making this a success.  Discuss that many organizations are now using this kind of work arrangement for recruitment and retention of high quality employees.  Discuss the decreased stress and added productivity that will result from working from home (think of examples of distractions at work that will not be present at home)

Direct download: Ep_144_Make_Your_Impact_While_Holding_down_a_job_flexible_work.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Kathryn Brett Goldman Interview

Episode 143

Also on Twitter: where you can find a wealth of free information.

Kate is the CEO and founder of Cybermaniacs, an innovative new cyber awareness company. With over 20 years in the IT trenches, Kate brings a unique perspective from all sides of the IT/Business/Vendor equation. She has worked as the Director of a successful IT leadership consultancy, run global BRM for a major civil engineering firm, did a stint with Gartner and worked in a variety of trailblazing technology companies in the noughties. She is also a NED and Advisor to startups in the UK and US, acts as the Director of Development for the Ladies of London Hacking Society, and speaks internationally on leadership, cyber security, and technology change topics.

Her goal is to make what can be a scary topic lighter, or maybe even a bit humorous.

Cybersecurity poses a threat to all of us.  Smaller companies have been popular targets.  Often they have not done enough to guard against attacks and the cyber criminals know it.

She offers training services to companies to provide information in a humorous way that she hopes will inspire people to interact with their technology in a new way.

As an impact-maker, her biggest challenge has been juggling the duties of being a mom to 3 young kids while bootstrapping her start up.

To stay motivated through tough times she builds a well of positive stories.  She celebrates both large and small victories.

Direct download: Kathryn_Brett_Goldman_Inverview.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Fix Your Focus

  • In every moment opportunity to choose what you focus on – Hit will millions of pieces of data through all of our senses –
    • Notice your butt in your chair – weren’t paying attention – now you are
    • How do your feet feel in your shoes or in your socks?
  • We tell our brains what to focus on – what to leave at the ready for quick access – EVER forget to tell yourself to remember where you parked your car? It’s in there – you just didn’t file it close
  • Walking in the forest – can focus on the dirt and the soggy now rotting fallen leaves from last year - or look up to see the sun glinting through vibrant green leaves. – It’s a moment in time and we have each of those perspectives available to us. – Same is true for all moments of our lives -
  • Tony Robbins – Race Car – look at the wall – hit the wall
  • Focus on solutions not problems
  • Focus on what energizes you not what tears you down
  • Make challenges small and quick in your mind – don’t dwell on them
  • Look for what is in your control and focus there – capture your creativity – focus on the problem = zaps energy and you lose the opportunity to problem solve.

Sons young – No structure – no bedtime – didn’t focus on what was out of my control – the frustration – the mama bear wanting to come out – instead focused on a solution -

Alesha Sargent Interview

Direct download: Alesha_Sargent_Inverview.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

F it for Impact Fend off Fear and False Beliefs (4-5)

  • Amygdala – can’t stop it – don’t have to listen
  • Son – afraid of thunderstorms
  • Not just fear of actions – talking to a stranger, calling someone, speaking in front of the room
  • Fear of
    • disappointing others,
    • not looking good,
    • failure
    • Feeling useless
    • Making someone angry or sad
Direct download: Episode_140_F_it_for_Impact_Fend_off_Fear_and_False_Beliefs.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Micheal Turpin

A proud father of one, Marine Corps combat Veteran, Indianapolis Firefighter, mental health advocate, peer support specialist, with a mission to bring hope to the hopeless. Through his lifetime, adversity and turmoil strengthened and equipped him with experiences understand the misunderstood and love the unlovable.

Michael’s mom passed away when he was in 3rd grade.  His aunt signed paperwork so he could join the Marine Corps. Right out of high school.

He has lived through some very tough experiences and had a period where he felt that gave him license to make bad choices and be bad.  He says he had a victim mindset that infected his whole life. He had difficulty with substance use and came very close to taking his own life.  He felt hopeless and isolated.

He still works to keep the victim mentality at bay.  He has a plan and people he can call if he’s not feeling well.  His go to people are real and tough but also let him be heard and have empathy.  He also found God and turns there when times are tough.

Michael now provides that for others as a Peer Support Specialist for the firefighters he works with.

His words of wisdom for others:  process your emotions. Embrace the struggle and then move forward.  Lose the victim mentality. Instead of asking why me ask, what can I learn?

When you go for something go all in.  Screw it up with confidence.  Be intentional and learn from your mistakes.

Direct download: EP140_Mike_Turpin_Interview.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Be a person who follows through on commitments.  It will require you to be more intentional about what you say yes and no to.  

If you give yourself wiggle room it is easy to say an immediate yes and then figure it out later on the fly.  You can end up overwhelmed and filled with remorse as you hide from those you've let down.


Are you struggling with difficult relationships?

Head over to:

Direct download: ep_138_F_it_for_Impact_-_Fulfill_Your_Commitments.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Khalil Thompson

Empowered Readers Literacy Project

Khalil is a husband, father of 2 girls and a serial Enabler of Good. He was born in Oakland, came of Age in New Orleans, and became an adult in Atlanta.

Khalis is on a mission to help families build strong reading rituals.  Not teach people to read, but grow people who are excited about reading.  Give parents the tools to build the fun of reading into daily life by providing fun activities and also access to diverse books.  They focus on families with children from birth through age 8.

Khalil’s daughter is the inspiration for his work.  She came home from kindergarten one day feeling very sad that some children couldn’t read.  She was heartbroken that some kids didn’t have access to quality books.  Khalil and his wife tried to explain that every family is different.  His daughter didn’t like this answer. 

When Khalil and his wife started researching the issue they learned that literacy was directly tied to stats for time in prison.  Two thirds of children who are not reading well by the third grade will end up on welfare or in jail.  And the school dropout rate is high.  And, that prisons actually plan for jail space based on the dropout rates for an area.

Now they too were inspired to do something about this issue!  And that’s how Empowered Reader’s was born.

They are now encouraging reading in 3 main ways:

Books on the Green – outdoor reading or theatre depicting stories.

Educate Parents about fun reading activities.  Help to create reading rituals before age 3.

Books for Kids through free neighborhood libraries, books into homes through pediatrician offices and also Books for Kids by Kids in the neighborhood.

Khalil shared that he had just taken the leap of faith by turning in notice with his employer so that he could fully focus on the nonprofit. 

His words of wisdom for others, “You can either let tough times box you in or be the wind that moves you.  Have a vision and you can get there.”

Direct download: Khali_Thompson_Interview.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

If you are leading for impact you are not working for someone else.  No one will stand over your shoulder and tell you what to do.  And, you may be working from home where the laundry and dishes beckon, the tv sits there, neighbors are near and invites call..  It's important to create structure that builds in accountability.

Direct download: ep_136_F_It_for_Impact_Form_Your_Foundation.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Girl Boss Sports - An Interview with Sarah Wolfer

Sarah Wolfer is the CEO and Founder of Girl Boss Sports - a Greater Seattle area soccer company that is devoted to female athletes and coaches. Sarah is also a Professional Tackle Football Player with the
Seattle Majestics (#29) and is working on a book centered on women in leadership and sports in 2019.

As a female soccer player a turning happened when a male soccer coach got in her face and was very aggressive. She started crying and was kicked out of practice. She quit playing for a while and is not determined to encourage more women to become soccer coaches. And, she wants even more girls to play the game. She uses the sport to teach beyond the techniques. She teaches leadership and other life skills from the field.

A key to success, she says, is to have a great support system. Her husband and teammates are part of her strong support team. She also has an accountability call every Tuesday night. It’s also very important to engage in good self care. Get good sleep, find ways to feel inspired, listen to great music.

It’s okay to be scared! She was terrified before her first football practice. She did it anyway! One strategy she strongly recommends is the Power Pose that she calls the Fearless Girl Stance. Spend 2 minutes in the pose while saying positive affirmations and you’re ready!

Direct download: Girl_Boss_Sports_Interview_with_Sarah_Wolfer.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

F it For Impact - Fuel Your Fortitude  #1 In a Series

  • Commit and just don’t quit – Don’t give yourself the out – Table the Decision – don’t waste time pondering
    • Every day I learn new things
    • It will get easier
    • I will find a way
    • I haven’t tried all the possible ways yet
    • Play it like a game - have fun while you try new things – see what you can make happen

Here are the trip ups to avoid to help you fuel your fortitude

  • Know that Perfect Timing is a Myth – Sometimes you have the commitment BUT – you need to commit to action – NOT just committing to commit – Don’t delay action until you feel ready – get in research mode- feel like you have to have it all figured out first - you won’t know everything until you just do it – It’s okay to figure things out as you go – unitl the kids are back in school or the sun begins to shine - WRITING MY FIRST BOOK
  • Instant Gratification is Mostly a Myth
    • Bill Gates said, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in 10.
    • Impact takes time – commit to the specific steps you must take daily, weekly, monthly and just keep going.
      • If you have kids you know you had to wait for that first smile – that first little positive reinforcement while you fed, changed, burped, walked…..
      • Blogging, podcasting – anything where you are working to connect with people – can feel like it’s going out into a black hole – invisible – but…often people are watching, noticing….it takes time
      • Most famous people had years of struggle before you knew them. Much of what you see is the end result of years of sacrifice – to US it’s instant fame but that is rarely the reality
    • Your Why – I have my Objectives – WHY I participate in Network Marketing – Not heart centered – more practical – and then my WHY – Objectives also help and can be good when speaking to people – different things to pull from:
      • Solo Preneur 15 years – provides a team of goal oriented people into personal development – hard to find – NM provides that environment
      • Help More People – Coach, Speak, Motivate
      • An additional Stream of Income –

And then the WHY – Heart Centered – More than money – what that money or time freedom can do – MUST include an element of serving others – When speaking with others they need to feel that a part of your purpose is about them – This will also have you speak in a way that gives them freedom to say yes or no – to decide for themselves if it’s right for them.

  • Run Your Own Race – don’t compare -
  • Burn the Boat – Remove other options - earn the auto bonus, get the car
    • Downturn in the economy – single mom and business owner – started also looking for a job – realized – needed full focus on biz – couldn’t get my heart into working for someone else – my time and energy was divided – full force – highest earnings to date that next year
Direct download: Ep_134_F_It_for_Impact_First_in_a_Series.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 5:54pm EDT


We Are More Similar than We Know – He’s On a Mission to Ignite Unity Through our Stories

An Interview with Kenneth Williams Jr.

Kenneth recently graduated from Michigan State University with a Master's degree in Public Relations and a specialization in Nonprofit Fundraising.

In the fall of 2017, Kenneth was selected to be a Forbes under 30 Scholar.

Kenneth earned his Bachelor's Degree in Communication with a minor in Leadership and Integrated Learning from Michigan State University in May of 2016. He has extensive experience in various sectors of Public Relations including nonprofits, technology and crisis communication. Additionally, Kenneth has studied abroad in Mexico, Belize and China whilst also being a published author.  He was also on MSU’s Homecoming Court.

He contributed a section to an anthology published by the MSU libraries.

Kenneth’s mission is to connect people through story telling.  He is passionate about the power of shared experiences.  He has spent his life writing and sharing stories and learned early that, even when people seem very different, they can connect when they see themselves through someone else’s experiences.

One of his biggest challenges was dealing with the loss of his grandfather, who was always his biggest cheerleader.  He also struggles to maintain a good sense of his worth.  He works to know his value without feeling arrogant.

To overcome tough times he prayers every day.  His favorite verse is Luke 12:32.  He knows that he should not have fear.  God seeks to bless him beyond what he can imagine.

He encourages others to learn to love themselves and says that no one should curb their brilliance out of fear of fueling someone else’s insecurities.  –Be Boss-

For A Free Relationship Renovation Roadmap Tool Visit:

Direct download: EP_133_Kenneth_Williams_Jr.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Do you set goals and fall short of meeting them?

Do you make promises to co-workers or volunteers and then fail to follow through?

Are daily choices inconsistent with the outcomes you say you’d like to create in your work or life?

You are not alone. Whether it’s a New Year’s resolution to get to the gym 4 times per week or a commitment to an employee that you’ll be better at delegating tasks with a reasonable amount of lead time, we humans have a tough time breaking bad habits and implementing the new and improved.

We have great intentions. We just get stuck. And before we know it 5 months have passed without any noticeable change or personal growth.

So, based on the title of this episode you might be thinking, “oh yay! She’s going to tell me it’s okay. Everyone does it anyway. Move on and just be okay with how things are.”

Sorry. That’s not the emphasis today.

Yes, I will still encourage you to stop beating yourself up when you fail to meet a goal or a deadline. However, the reasoning is different. If you’ve been listening for a while or have worked with me you know that I’m all about defeating drama. Beating yourself up is just a waste of time. And it shifts your focus away from meeting your objective.

You see, when you are calling yourself names and mentally berating yourself, where is your focus? On you and how bad you are.

Is this motivating? No.

Is this time spent on creating a new plan that DOES move you towards your goals? NO.

Beating yourself up is just self-induced drama. It shifts your focus away from where it needs to be; on making the plan you must implement to meet your objectives.

And, too often our berating tends to lend the opportunity to give ourselves a pass.  Do any of these sound familiar?

  • I do this every time. I’m just not cut out to be successful.”
  • Why bother even trying? I’m just setting myself up for failure.
  • I have no will power.
  • I’m a complete loser!
  • I suck

Our mental beat down can become an excuse, a long term justification.

And how motivated do you feel while engaging in this kind of negative self talk?   Get over yourself and get on with it!

Now, I don’t want you to completely skip over the feeling of disappointment or the loss of what could have been. Experience the pain to motivate you to new momentum. So, notice it quickly but don’t park there. Don’t let a disappointment become a long term beat down.

When a client shares their story of a missed deadline or failed commitment my first question is always, “how does it feel?”

If it’s a failed commitment to another person I also want them to think how that person might feel or what their team might be saying to each other. I also ask them to think about how they might feel if someone failed to follow through for them in the same way.

This helps build the motivation for change. The goal is to reignite the commitment.

From there we move quickly to, “Now, what do you want to do about it?”

  • What did you learn? This is an important question. Perhaps you can glean some additional information about structure required to pull off the change. Are there ways to build in hourly, daily or weekly accountability? Do you need a tracking system? A notorious strategy for dieting is to keep a food journal so that dieters are conscious fo what’s going in their mouths. A tally of calories can be an eye opening experience. Information and facts are so helpful to maintain motivation.
  • Is there any clean up you must do as a result? Any apologies or acknowledgements to make? Is trust eroding or disappointment building between you and others? Acknowledgement and an apology go a long way to rebuilding trust and igniting hope.
  • How will you reaffirm your commitment to yourself or others to create accountability?
  • What actions will you take to keep your commitment?
  • What do you need to create logistically to succeed?
  • What progress, if any, did you make? Was there any forward momentum? Any positive steps? If so, take a moment to celebrate.


If you’re like most of my clients you have big dreams and a hearty list of goals to tackle. You have a vision for the difference you want to make. Don’t get in your own way. Break those goals into manageable stepping stones and create the positive mindset that you WILL make them happen one daily choice at a time.

And, if a bump in the road happens caused by you or something out of your control you’ll keep on keeping on. Your plans are too important to give up on!

Remember, the world needs your unique impact!  Go do it!

Direct download: Episode_132_Stop_Beating_Yourself_Up.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Tracey Maxfield is a nurse with over 36 years’ experience. She experienced her first episode of clinical depression in her twenties and lived with chronic depression ever since. However, nothing prepared her for the acute depressive episode she experienced in 2015. After enduring years of intense work place stress, harassment and bullying, she plummeted into an abyss of darkness, hopelessness and despair the likes of which she had never experienced before.

Encouraged by a psychologist, Tracey started a Blog, Escaping the Rabbit Hole: my life with depression, to better help her friends understand her depression. Over time, Tracey began to heal and found that out of the darkness and despair, there is hope, there is life after depression.

Since the release of her book, Escaping the Rabbit Hole: my journey through depression (, Tracey has become a staunch advocate for Mental Illness and Mental Health Awareness and Bullying and completed the course, Bringing Mental Health to Schools. She has met with teenagers ages 11 to 15 years to talk about bullying and mental illness and has appeared on numerous podcasts in the USA, Canada and UK, live radio shows and ABC KOMO News 4, KSHV 45, and NBC News 6 television shows. In June, Tracey was featured in a series of articles by HelloCare magazine in Australia.

In September, Tracey embarked on a new life journey, she sold her home, donated most of her possessions to various charities and made a commitment to try and make a difference in the world and is spending six months traveling in the USA, talking about mental illness and bullying in children and teenagers. Her philosophy is to Engage children and teenagers, to Educate them about mental illness and bullying and to Empower them to develop confidence and skills to continue to move ahead in their own life journey.

Tracey completed the Global 7/7 Challenge and recorded 7 days/7 videos on mental illness and bullying in children and teenagers In February, Tracey is heading to Kansas and Florida to appear on TV/radio shows and give talks at local schools.

She is also one of the ‘Break Out’ presenters at the TEACH 2019 Conference in Jacksonville, Florida on March 2, 2019.

Direct download: Tracey_Maxfield_Inverview.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

So often when I’m working with clients they share the list of things they’d love to make happen in their lives….. closely followed by all of the excuses for why they cannot start.  Often the excuse list can be boiled down to one short phrase, “The timing is not perfect.”

If this is you, I hate to break it to you but, as for perfect timing….…there is no such thing! 

If you want to live and lead for impact, you’ve got to know this to your core!  If not, you’ll waiting a long time for your impact and so will the world!

I have a good friend who is a project manager for a large, international company.  They pull the best of the best of the best to work on their projects….the best minds, best talent, best resources from across the world.  And, even they have never found the perfect time or had the perfect launch.

I look back on my life and there were MANY times when I just pushed forward rather than pressing pause when timing was far from perfect and I can say with certainty I have no regret about starting when I did for any of them

For instance, I remember deciding to write my first book. 

At the time, I knew nothing about writing or publishing.  I didn’t even know how many words or 8 ½ x 11 pages in a Word document would equal enough pages for a book.  I had to call a friend who’d recently had a book published through Wiley, Corey Perlman.  I asked him….so, how do you know when you have enough content?

He shared the number of words he’d been given as a goal and the number he’d ended up with.  Based on the information he shared, I decided I’d celebrate as soon as I hit 25,000 words.  When I did and still had plenty more to write about I knew I had a book! 

I still had a lot more to figure out beyond the word count too: Self Publish or look for a traditional publisher, editing, covers, formatting, indexing and more.

I was also a single mom with 2 young boys.  None of this made it the optimal time.

So, I just started.  I didn’t focus on any of the end of project tasks and instead just made a commitment to get up every morning at 5:30 AM to write. 

My first book came out in 2010, the next, 2012, then 2016 and 2017.  And, each time it has gotten easier and easier because I’ve learned so much along the way that I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t just started.

Similarly, when I was part of a team starting a ministry we talked about delaying launch until we did some more research, tweaked a bit more. But, the truth was, there really wasn’t more to learn from research.  Many of our questions could only be answered by doing.  There would never be a perfect time.

And then when I think about starting my coaching business almost 15 years ago.  Talk about not the perfect time…and yet, I’ve loved every minute of it and know that I’ve positively impacted so many people and companies. 

I started that business on the heels of an abusive marriage!  I’d spent years being berated and told I was worthless, lazy and a sham.  I was about to be a new single mom and had no family support.  The income from my new business needed to support myself and two young boys.

My ducks weren’t in a row, they were all over the place! 

And, yet….I started.  I had spoken to a few trusted advisors in my life and they had helped me identify my unique abilities. I took a self study course, created a business name and website and launched!

A couple of years ago I added a second business as an extra income source.  It’s well aligned with what I was already doing and I loved that I would have the chance to spend time with motivated, goal-oriented people, something that I miss, at times, while working for myself.

My kids were both going through major health challenges. Once again, it was not the optimal time to launch a new endeavor or meet a new team.  But….I jumped.

These are just a few examples.  I’m sure I could share more.  But you get it.

I can tell you that in not one instance do I regret moving forward during a time when things were far from perfect.

And, I know I’ve made an impact on this world each time I moved past discomfort to start or create a new something when it wasn’t the perfect time.

What if I’d robbed the world of my impact while I waited for all the stars to align?

What have you been pressing pause on?  Is it something for you, your family or your health?  Maybe it’s something you’d like to learn or train for, a trip you’d like to take.  Is there a new business on your brain?

Whatever it is just start!  The Perfect time will never happen.  Why is today’s barrier to perfection any worse than the one you’ll have tomorrow?

Don’t rob the world of your plan, don’t rob your life of your plan.

To what will you commit to today to put your plan in action? 

Today commit to taking the first step and tomorrow take one more.  Before you know it you’ll be well on your way and looking back with a feeling of satisfaction and a smile.  Impact made or lessons learned.  Either way a life enriched by a chance you took.

Vid Lamonte' Buggs Jr is an Athlete. Scholar. Entrepreneur. Philanthropist. Bestselling Author. Speaker. Poet. Consultant. Volunteer. Coach. A modern-day “Renaissance man,”

Vid Buggs is a man of diverse interests who directs his many talents towards bringing people together, encouraging them to look past their differences to unite to make the world a better place.

Vid and his companies 4-U-Nique Publishing and VLB/VBJ Enterprises have been featured in several publications including USA Weekly, Huffington Post, and Forbes. Find out more about Vid at 

Vid grew up in an area where the life expectancy for males was only 29 years.  And, he grew up in the United States, in a place many visit for the beautiful beaches.  I was shocked to learn that he was talking about the Virginia Beach area.  The area has many port cities where incomes are tied to the US military.  There are drug problems, high murder rates, and many low-income families. 

Vid has beat the odds, but had to power through a childhood filled with people telling him he couldn’t….they thought he wouldn’t run….and yet he went on to play professional basketball.  And teachers filled his mind with Don’t Do’s, but never replaced the void with what TO do.  How could he dream and set big goals? 

He took on a Warrior Mindset with a focus on Faith, Determination and Perseverance.  He now lives to fulfill his mission of instilling these important life skills into children and adults.  As a coach to young athletes he shares basketball skills, but more importantly, tenacity!

He also seeks to bring people together and minimize the division we have in our world.  He wants to overcome what divides us as we focus on the plenty that we share in common.  He shares his important messages through speaking and writing.  He also helps other authors get their important messages out for impact.

His biggest internal challenge has been his battle with perfectionism and his largest external challenge is being a minority in America.  When he walks into a room, stigma follows and he must work 10 times harder as a result.  In tough times he remembers those who came before him and worked through their own struggles and he also relies heavily on his faith, turning to the Bible for strength and perseverance.  With his focus there he can get up and keep moving to overcome his next challenge. 

For others who are working to make their impact, he shares that you must continue to take intentional and meaningful action.  Start small.  Small builds and the ripple will eventually create a wave.  Just keep moving!


Do you have some lingering relationships ... …tear you down….cause grief…..have baggage…..long histories…

……these relationships can and DO zap our energy, steal our joy, drum up false beliefs about ourselves, and sometimes even stand in the way of achieving our dreams.

Yes, addressing relationship stuff can feel overwhelming, but often remedies are simpler than you’d think if you know how to define the right fix. That’s why I’ve designed the Relationship Renovation Roadmap I can’t wait to show you how!

Go to to check it out!

I actually wrote about this life lesson learned from my car a few years back and as I’m revisiting it now had to laugh.  My son is currently on his way to get HIS car fixed with a similar issue.  He waited until the emergency situation placed on the side of the expressway calling AAA for service. I’d been telling him for weeks he needed to get it looked at. He didn’t listen and look…..neither did I….

Here’s my similar story with the life lessons it taught me…..

My car had had some issues.  I had to keep refilling the coolant reservoir.  I assumed that it was leaking, though I didn’t know for sure.  I’m not a big car person.  I don’t really enjoy dealing with anything to do with my car other than getting in and driving it where I need to go.  Beyond that I don’t want to take any time on it.  I try to avoid talking about it, getting work done on it, pumping gas into it, filling the tires or even shopping for a new one!  As long as the car I have can fulfill its basic function for me I’m good to go. 

Over time the coolant issue got worse and worse and I had to spend a bit more time and money dealing with my car.  I had to buy coolant and add it.  At first I needed to add it about once a month, then once every couple weeks, then once a week.  Finally I was adding coolant two times per week.  The gage I used was my air conditioning or heat (yes, this went on for months!).  When the air conditioner or heater blew out warm air rather than cold or hot I knew that it was time to add more coolant. 

It was working for me.  I knew deep down that I was spending a lot on coolant but I just didn’t feel like taking the extra time necessary to figure out what was really wrong.  I was just using the band aid method, coaxing the car along doing the bare minimum to keep it driving for me.  It was fulfilling its basic function so I just kept going with it.

Then one morning I went out to my trusty vehicle to drive my two boys to school.  The car failed me!  It would not start.  I checked the fluid.  I had just filled it.  I didn’t think that low fluid was a reasonable hypothesis since it had been bone dry many times with no starter issues, but it was worth a try.  That tapped my knowledge base.  I had a car that was no longer fulfilling its basic function.  I was finally forced into real action.  I called the mechanic who makes house calls.

The starting issue ended up being nothing more than a dead battery, an easy fix.  The leak, however, was a disintegrating radiator.  Once the mechanic removed it, he ran his hand down it to show me all of the little metal fins just falling away.  He said that it had been on the verge of failing altogether.  It would not have been drivable.  Coolant would have gushed all over.  There would have been nothing to fill.  I was now thankful for the dead battery.  It stopped my car from working and made me take the time to figure out what was really wrong.  Out of sheer luck, I was at home rather than on the side of the road somewhere. 

It got me thinking.  How often do we do this in our lives?  As long as something is still working, at least barely, we don’t put the time or energy necessary to address it at all.  We live with mediocrity rather than shooting for greatness.  We limp along rather than soaring.  We put time and energy into a band aid but nothing more.  And if we are lucky, a smaller issue will pop up to give us a wakeup call before catastrophe strikes.  So, what in your life needs more attention?  Where do you need a wake up call?

Are you just skating at work but feel like, hey, the job still pays the bills?  When is the last time you put extra energy at work?   When did you put not just your time but your passion into your work?  When did you last feel gratitude towards your boss, your subordinates or peers?

Or, maybe it’s your own business.  Are you feeling frustrated while you fail to do what you must to really succeed? 

Is your relationship with your significant other just a partnership of convenience?  Where have you set the bar?  Do you figure If the house gets semi-clean and there are some clean clothes, you both must be doing something right?  That’s good enough.  When is the last time you had a date together?  When did you last feel passion?  When did you feel an air of gratitude?  When is the last time you took a moment to appreciate the fact that your partner is in your life?  When did you last say, “I appreciate you”, with words or a gesture?  What energy is going to this important relationship to make it great?  Wouldn’t a rocking relationship be a better bar to set?  What would that feel like?

Does stress fill your life?  Are you slapping the band aid of alcohol or sleeping pills to keep going the way you’re going?  Who do you need to say no to with grace?  How do you need to revamp your expectations of yourself?  Are you shooting for that impossible goal of perfection?  What resentments are you carrying?  Where do you need to have a voice?  Where are you making assumptions that just increase your anger?

Do you have a health issue that you just work around?  I have to admit to that I have done this.  Are you putting a band aid on an issue?  What if it’s your tiny wake up call, the one that will come before catastrophe hits?  How can you get your body in motion?  What are you fueling your body with?  When did you have your last check-up?  What health screenings have you put off as unimportant?

Are you just tolerating your kids? Are they something to be dealt with, just another chore?  When is the last time you celebrated them?  Where can you pour more energy into their lives?  What wisdom can you teach? How can you shower love on them?  Where do you need to pull back the reigns and pay attention to their lives?  Who are they hanging out with, what do they do?

What in your life is slowly getting worse and worse?  What are you putting a band aid on rather than actually fixing?  What would it feel like to put full energy on fixing something rather than partial energy on band-aiding?  Where does your energy need to go before your kids are lost, your marriage falls apart, your health fails you, your boss fires you or your business fails?

Let this be your wake up call. You are a limited resource created for impact.  Learn this lesson from my car.  Take action now.  It’s time for you to soar!

Do you have some lingering relationships ... …tear you down….cause grief…..have baggage…..long histories…

……these relationships can and DO zap our energy, steal our joy, drum up false beliefs about ourselves, and sometimes even stand in the way of achieving our dreams.

Yes, addressing relationship stuff can feel overwhelming, but often remedies are simpler than you’d think if you know how to define the right fix. That’s why I’ve designed the Relationship Renovation Roadmap I can’t wait to show you how!

Go to to check it out!

Direct download: Where_Does_Your_Life_Need_a_TuneUP_Life_lesson_from_my_car.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Nela Dunato Art & Design

Find her book, Human Centered Brand here:

Nela Dunato is a designer, writer, and educator from Croatia. She’s the author of the book “The Human Centered Brand”, a practical guide that teaches service based business owners and creatives how to create an authentic brand and grow meaningful relationships with their clients.

Nela also teaches design as an Adobe course instructor, leads in-person workshops, and writes articles on design, marketing, business, and creativity.

She grew up in a small town, felt nerdy, isolated and was bullied, even by some teachers. Then she finally found and connected with her own band of misfits.  She quickly learned the importance of finding your peeps.

She is now on a mission to help others attract their people through authentic, intentional branding.

Words of Wisdom:  Don’t get hung up on a big huge vision.  Start small, but consistent.  Build community.  It will happen if you keep going with persistence and patience.

Direct download: Nela_Dunato_Interview.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Pop Psych 101

Mike hails from Kansas City, Missouri; Kansas City is in Missouri, not Kansas, for the confused reading this. CHIEFS!

Living in KC is a bit of luck on Mike’s side–being right in the middle of the USA is super useful for someone who’s terrified to fly. North, West, East or South, nothing is further than 27 hours drive. Doable.

Husband and Dad life are number 1. Talk show Host? Stay at home Dad. Pretty nice guy. Average height. Handsome sometimes. Driven by a primal urge to create and entertain.

That primal urge is called Bipolar Disorder. It’s actually super useful. Goal Oriented like crazy.

#1 creative and entertainment goal? Teaching people about Mental Health. It’s fascinating if you just listen for minute or two

Mike is working to spread awareness and bust the stigma of mental health issues.  He wants to normalize it so that at some point we can speak about it the same way we would talk about a broken leg.

He’s been a creative person his entire life and began adding to his portfolio when he was 13 years old. 

He now works from the speed of pedal-to-the-medal to huge downswings where it’s difficult to get up or do anything.

His wife is always there to encourage him and so is his sister, but there are also times when he needs to give in to the disease and tuck away in the quiet.

Mike and his podcast co-host, Ryan, a therapist, explore the topic of mental health through movies and shows.  They share ideas and reviews in an entertaining way and joke that their show has one therapist, one advocate and 2 perspectives.

Direct download: Mike_Grahmik_Interview.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Do you have some lingering relationships ... …tear you down….cause grief…..have baggage…..long histories…

……these relationships can and DO zap our energy, steal our joy, drum up false beliefs about ourselves, and sometimes even stand in the way of achieving our dreams.

Yes, addressing relationship stuff can feel overwhelming, but often remedies are simpler than you’d think if you know how to define the right fix. That’s why I’ve designed the Relationship Renovation Roadmap  I can’t wait to show you how!

Go to: to check it out

Your plugging along working and feeling productive with a vision of an on time exit from work when you look up to see the Workplace Whiner standing in your doorway.  Or, perhaps you work from home and the constant complainer enters your space via phone.

Oh No!! Not now! Not today!

The energy-zapping, soul-sucking minutes that can drag into an hour. Time you can never get back. You want to scream, slam the door in their face, or end the call, but you don’t want them to feel bad……or walk around complaining about you!

Years ago, when I worked in an office full time we had an employee who walked around for hours every day holding a coffee mug. We called the mug his “decoy”. He’d make it appear as though he was just out on a quick jaunt to refill, but this was obviously not his true mission.   Office by office he’d stop in for his chat, sharing tidbits he’d heard along the way. He was also known as the department spy.

Whiners and complainers can take many forms. They can be frustrated about co-workers or personal injustices. Whatever the topic, they are breeding drama wherever they go. They aren’t just looking for an ear to get through a tough time. They are built to look for the issue, the challenge, the drama.  If a frustration isn’t easy to find, they’ll flip a story to become victim, wronged yet again.

Your whiner may be at work, or perhaps provide service at a place you frequent.  Are they a friend who calls nightly to share their woes?

Many of my clients struggle to avoid whiners. Here are some of the key strategies I share with them. Pick the one that feels right for you and your circumstance.

  1. This one is the least direct but usually yields a good result. A quick excuse stated as you focus intently on your screen or head out the door. “I’m so sorry. I’m on a deadline so can chat for 5 minutes but no more. What’s up?”

I don’t condone lying. So, I’m not really suggesting that you say you are on a deadline when you aren’t. I just think it’s safe to assume that, whether at work or moving through life, there is always some kind of priority looming. Just fill in the blank with the actual time frame or leave it out altogether if you prefer to make an instant get away.

  1. This option is one that will achieve your end result over time. Ultimately, any whiner is looking for the sympathetic ear. That person who will commiserate with their opinions and validate their misery. They are intentional about their targets. It’s no fun to whine to someone who is coming back at you with butterflies and sunshine, or worse, someone who’ll share strategies or specific actions the whiner could take to improve the situation!!

    They aren’t looking for a new perspective. No, they seek someone to join them in their funk. So, I suggest that you begin sharing ideas about the more positive perspective they might consider as they describe their negative view. Or, share how wonderful you think that situation sounds or how they might improve the situation with a proactive approach. You won’t be the chosen one for long if you don’t empathize or commiserate. I promise! 

No beating around the bush with this one. The more direct approach that will earn you the quickest retreat is to simply state that you have made it your personal goal to remain focused on all things positive. You’ve given up watching the news and will be happy to engage in problem solving activities but are committed to steering clear of complaining or any other negative, low energy inputs.  It will be immediately obvious to even the most self-absorbed whiner that you are not the ideal target. Some will put up a bit of a fight, but stand your ground. ‘If you have any positive news to share I am all ears. If not, I need to stop you right there and get back to my work.”

The Relationship Renovation Roadmap

Go to: to check it out

Direct download: 3_Secrets_to_Stopping_the_Constant_Complainer.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Wrestling with Fatherhood

Matt Woodrum, married, with 3 daughters, is passionate about sending a call out to men to understand the value that they bring to their families. As someone who grew up without a dad and worked within the prison system, Matt has seen firsthand how growing up without a dad can negatively affect our children.

Matt is equipping men to become their kid’s biggest hero.  To often men minimize their value.

Matt found his motivation from his childhood.

As a small illustration of the kind of life he had as a toddler, Matt shares that his first words were Scooby Doo.

Matt was removed from his home and adopted out when he was 4 years old because he had been abused.  The man he called father committed suicide when he was 7.  He did not have a good role model after that. 

He credits his wife who, when they first met, encouraged him, telling him that he had a great future and could design it.  She also believed in him and his ability to do well in school when he felt like a failure.

As an adult he worked in a prison ministry and learned that 88% of men who were incarcerated did not have good father figures growing up. 

And, then he worked with women in prison teaching anger management and learned of the heartache so many had felt from treatment from men.

He knew that men needed to step up, do better and understand the value they could bring by living to higher standards. 

Next steps include Mastermind groups for men where they will find a community to lock arms with so they can encourage, uplift one another and hole one another accountable to exceptional standards.

Matt often struggles with not feeling good enough or questions how in the world someone with his background could ever be equipped to help men be great fathers and husbands.  He has no role model himself.  But, his wife is always there with words of encouragement and this keeps him going.

Matt knows that with a history like his he could either think poor me and use it as an excuse to do nothing with his life or, he could turn his trials into his testimony.

Direct download: Matt_Woodrum_Interview.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Do you have some lingering relationships ....that can be challenging …tear you down….cause grief…..have baggage…..long histories…

……these relationships can and DO zap our energy, steal our joy, drum up false beliefs about ourselves, and sometimes even stand in the way of achieving our dreams.

Yes, addressing relationship stuff can feel overwhelming, but often remedies are simpler than you’d think if you know how to define the right fix. That’s why I’ve designed the Relationship Renovation Roadmap  I can’t wait to show you how!    Go to to check it out!

Have you ever heard Jeff Foxworthy’s  “You Might Be a Redneck if…..” lists?

They are hilarious!

Well, I’m going to start with something similar, but you may not find it so funny.

I call it the You Might Be a People Pleaser if: 

  • If you Constantly feel overwhelmed and scattered…..You might be a People Pleaser
  • If you often feel unappreciated…..You might be a people pleaser.
  • If you feel resentment towards most people in your life……you might be a people pleaser
  • If everyone takes advantage of you….you might be a people pleaser….
  • If your life is filled with pushy people …….you might be a people pleaser
  • If you just want everyone to be happy and will do almost anything to make it that way….You might be a people pleaser.
  • If you rarely, if ever, ask anyone for help……you might be a people pleaser.
  • If you often feel disappointed in others……you might be a people pleaser.
  • If you’re afraid to share your disappointments or other negative feelings……you might be a people pleaser.
  • If you aren’t even certain what having feelings means…You are DEFINITELY a People Pleaser!

You tell yourself your friends, family members, employees, volunteers should just know what to do.  You stuff your feelings or are not even aware of them – Maybe you aren’t even certain what I mean when I ask about your feelings
You minimize your own wants and needs
You excuse or justify away your need to speak up

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had a people pleasing client tell me, I just want everyone to be happy.  I’m just really nice.

But here’s the reality; People Pleasers don’t just want others to be happy.  They NEED others to be happy!  And most are actually controlling and manipulating their way to that end.

Yep….It’s true!  Here’s the thought process:

I want to be okay.

I need you to be okay so that I can be okay.

I will do whatever it takes for you to be okay.

Doing anything can mean hiding true feelings, manipulating outcomes behind the scenes, having back hall conversations rather than speaking directly to anyone actually involved, avoiding tough conversations, lying or withholding information.

And there are many unintended consequences, beyond the personal build-up of resentments, overwhelm, frustrations, disappointments, chaos that comes with trying to control the lives of everyone around you so that you can feel okay?  The lost energy spent to track modified messages, make things happen covertly, stuffing true feelings while plastering a smile.

Yes, beyond these personal consequences are these:

Unintended Consequences:

You Rob Others of their Opportunity to Excel – They have no idea you’d like them to do better or be different.  By sulking in silence or complaining only to others you are robbing them of the chance to make a different choice.

People can’t trust you: – Yep, that’s right!  Whether it’s deep down or something they know to be true for certain, those around you can’t trust your words.  You say you are fine, but are you really?  You say you can help, but will you actually show?  You say you’re happy with their achievements, but have they really done enough?

Do you feel motivated to make the change that you must? 

Here 5 Steps to Stop Your People Pleasing

  1. Collect the Pain: Begin to notice where you feel resentment, disappointment towards others.  Notice when you are overwhelmed and frustrated.  Pay attention to all the times you put your agenda aside for someone else’s emergency or request.
  2. Determine What You Want/Need:  It may have been a while since you thought about what you wanted.  Practice doing some check ins throughout the day. Determine whether you are pretending to be happy or if you really are.
  3. Start Speaking Up:  Begin saying no to requests where appropriate and start setting boundaries and asking for help from others.  Set clear expectations for your employees.  Provide constructive feedback where necessary.
  4. Gather Successes: As you speak up or say no and get a good response, take note.  Remember all the times that your feared outcome did not happen.  Start with people who are easier to speak with.  Then work towards tackling the People Pushers in your life.

Build Momentum:  Continue to speak up as you build enthusiasm and feel empowered. Enjoy the feeling and keep going!

Click here to view more information on the Relationship Renovation Roadmap

Direct download: 5_Keys_to_Stop_People_Pleasing.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Matt is president and founder of Nonprofit.Courses, an on-demand, online educational resource for nonprofit leaders, staff, board members and volunteers. He’s the author of the Guide to Nonprofit Consulting, and teaches nonprofit management at several universities, via the web, and in-person in the United States, Africa, Asia and Europe. Matt’s past work includes fundraising for several nonprofits. He has an MA in Philanthropy and Development from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. 

Interview Questions

What impact are you motivated to make in this world?

Matt loves teaching. He began at a young age and knew immediately he enjoyed it. He just wishes he’d listened earlier in life while others were giving him clues that could have moved him in the direction of teaching topics helpful to nonprofits sooner. 

He shared that in Daniel Blink’s book, “Drive” he says to go do what motivates you.  Helping nonprofits across the world make their impact is definitely what drives Matt.

That has been his focus now for years and he recently launched a website that provides learning to nonprofits that is time-efficient and cost effective.  Many of the offerings are free, while others are modestly priced.

What life experience motivates you to make your impact?

His time as a young man in Boy Scouts is what first sparked the realization that it’s important to pay attention to how you are sharing knowledge.  He loved how hands on the learning was there.  That made it easier for he and others to learn.

What impact have you made that really fuels your passion?

What impact are you focused on next?

What is the biggest internal or external challenge you’ve had to overcome?  And how did you overcome it

For Matt the biggest on-going challenge to success has been self confidence.  He reminds himself often, “I can do this!” and, “I am good enough!”  As a solopreneur it is often challenging to wear all of the hats.  You get good at one thing and then need to add another task.  Social media has been a recent focus.

I love what Matt says about Persistence!  He says that the outcome of persistence is what people “suddenly see when they haven’t seen all the small steps.

How do you stay motivated and moving during tough times?

What words of wisdom do you have for others who want to make an impact?

His words of wisdom to others working to make their impact:

  • Speak Up
  • Ask Questions
  • Simple Do! If something is bothering you, you might be the one who makes it happen!

And he tells himself often, “If I got a paycheck job I wouldn’t be better off!”  It helps him prod through the tougher days!

He also stresses the importance of having a good support system.  He appreciates that his wife has been on this journey with him all along

What's one success strategy that has helped you?

And, on the importance of Nonprofits, some insights I hadn’t thought about before!

Nonprofits are an important conduit to our making an impact.  The prevalence of direct giving through sites like GoFundMe as increased the opportunity to misdirect money.  He shared a local news story where the story of a homeless man sparked a large giving effort.  However, the story turned out to be false and the funds did not ultimately help the man.

In addition, he shared how philanthropy survives in a Democratic society but can’t work is well without.  In his example, he shared that if someone identified and spoke about a problem of water quality in a place like North Korea you would be seen as questioning the State, an unwelcome initiative.  And, if you further had a desire to fix it, you would be seen as suspect.

In contrast, in a Democracy citizens can point out problems and seek to resolve them through philanthropy and nonprofits.

Matt's Website:

Direct download: Matt_Hugg_Interview.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Do you have some lingering relationships ....that can be challenging …tear you down….cause grief…..have baggage…..long histories…

……these relationships can and DO zap our energy, steal our joy, drum up false beliefs about ourselves, and sometimes even stand in the way of achieving our dreams.

Yes, addressing relationship stuff can feel overwhelming, but often remedies are simpler than you’d think if you know how to define the right fix. That’s why I’ve designed the Relationship Renovation Roadmap  I can’t wait to show you how!

Go to: to check it out!

If you’ve been listening to this podcast you already know that I spend a lot of time helping people overcome their drama in relationships.  It has no place in a life built for impact.

Often drama between people boils down to a lack of trust. You can have little or no trust for someone based on your experience with them; they’ve proven with their words or actions that they should not be trusted. Or you can lack trust because you don’t know them.

Either way, when we don’t trust someone we are more apt to assume the worst or assign mal-intent to their actions.

Of course, a history of bad behavior warrants less trust. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. In businesses and nonprofit endeavors, however, I often find that lack of trust comes from a lack of knowing. Sometimes leaders don’t give their employees or volunteers time to connect.   And this creates negative assumptions and drama!

Over the years I’ve had a unique perspective into so many relationships and can say with certainty that often these assumptions are not accurate. I would even hazard to say that rarely are the assumptions driving these negative relationships true.

When communication and connection happen, trust can build quickly. Assumptions are replaced with facts and relationships are transformed.

I worked with a group of 4 people who knew little of each other personally but had to deal with each other often to complete their work. The company called me in because the poor relationships were decreasing productivity.

I spent exactly one and a half hours with them and in that time they had many aha moments. “Oh, when you were asking me that I thought you were trying to pass your work on to me!”

“No, I’ve already tried 4 different times to get the numbers right by the time I’m asking you to clarify some things.”

“I thought you were just coming in early so that you could leave early and find things to complain about.”

“No, with the work changes I now have to come in early to get everything set up and do the inventory. I’d actually prefer not to start so early!”

On and on it went.   Gaps in fact filled in with negative presumptions quickly overcome with truth.

Each had painted a picture of the other like a paint by number gone wrong. The little assumptions all added to a perception of co-workers trying to avoid work, get each other in trouble and wreak havoc. Recent changes in roles and workflow had put them all together feeling uncertain and wary.

They needed to work together but had had no opportunity to build trust.

I am very visual so I almost always end up describing concepts with physical items.

I started using the term Trust Bucket to describe the level of trust we have with others. It’s just a nice visual.

So, an empty trust bucket means little trust.

A full trust bucket is like a full bank account of trust.

A full trust bucket and we are assuming the best of each other. If my co-worker of 10 years is late and I have assigned a full trust bucket to her I will assume she got held up. An empty trust bucket and I’m assuming the worst. “He doesn’t value my time or is disrespecting me.”

I find that people assign empty or full trust buckets to new people in different ways.

Some people tend to start new relationships with a full trust bucket.   “I will trust you unless you give me good cause not to.” At that point, they will have an empty trust bucket.

Others are more cautious and begin relationships with an empty trust bucket. “I need to see who you are first. Prove that you deserve my trust. You have to earn it. Then I will fill the trust bucket.”

If your impact requires a team of employees or volunteers it is so important to bring them together so they have an opportunity to know each other as people and fill those trust buckets!





Drama happens when trust buckets are low. As I often say, in the absence of fact, for some reason humans fill in the blanks with negative assumptions. A process falls apart and the first instinct is for employees to blame co-workers they don’t trust, “they’re just trying to make my job harder!”

Bring teams together and give them the chance to know one another and trust will develop. They will assume the best of each other instead.

So, a few thoughts and action items for you today.

  1. How full are your trust buckets with people? Do you start with a full bucket and empty with negative experiences or do you start empty and make them work their way to trust?
  2. Are there people in your life or work with empty trust buckets? Are you reaching conclusions about them out of assumption rather than fact? Are your beliefs accurate?  How can you get to know them to learn their true character?

If you are a leader, where do team members have empty trust buckets? How can you bring them together to meet, connect and build trust?

Direct download: EP_120_Build_Trust_in_Relationships_for_Impact.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

When you think about snowboarding, you don't necessarily think of Northwest Indiana. There are no mountains, or ski areas to speak of within 50 miles. However, this doesn’t deter Valparaiso resident and Army Veteran Kristine White. After a military injury, Kristine was told sports and physical activities would be limited. But Kristine chose to challenge what was thought to be impossible. She continues to do what she loves. You can view more about her at the link below:

Direct download: Kristine_White_Snowboarder.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Do you have some lingering relationships ....that can be challenging …tear you down….cause grief…..have baggage…..long histories…


……these relationships can and DO zap our energy, steal our joy, drum up false beliefs about ourselves, and sometimes even stand in the way of achieving our dreams.


Yes, addressing relationship stuff can feel overwhelming, but often remedies are simpler than you’d think if you know how to define the right fix. That’s why I’ve designed the Relationship Renovation Roadmap  I can’t wait to show you how!    Go to to check it out!


Much of what we need to get good at to make our impact in this world is related to our relationships.  Setting Healthy Boundaries is another one of those key strategies. If other people are demanding all of your time and you are not able to say no, how will you ever carve out the time you need to do what you’d choose?

It is not our job to make everyone happy.  And we cannot always give to others everything they want from us. 


What do you want, need or desire from your relationships to live happily and make your impact? Do you ever ask yourself this question?

Boundaries are rules of engagement for your relationships. If you are doing all of the modifying and all of the sucking it up without speaking up you will build up resentments with the people in your work and life. You will also tend to attract people who don’t like to respect boundaries.

You want a say in how your relationships work. People who are more passive in life, in particular, often forget to put themselves into the equation of the relationship. They become so focused on meeting the other person’s needs or fixing their next catastrophe that they forget to consider their own feelings, wants and needs.


Here are 5 Keys to Designing Relationships that Support You Towards Impact

  1. Create the Boundary: If you had your way, what variables would you like to change in your relationships?  Whether it’s work or life it’s time to take an inventory. Remember, what you tolerate teaches others.

Here are some common places to look:

  • Respect My Time: be on time or let me know ahead of time that you will be late. Or, perhaps it’s a neighbor who doesn’t understand that you work from home. Present doesn’t mean available for lengthy chit chat. 
  • Give Me More Notice: are you tired of putting out fires for a person who is constantly coming to you last minute to help with a project or fill out a form? Their sense of urgency cannot always be yours. Whether it’s a child, friend, or a co-worker, stop and think what you need in this area.
  • Watch Your Tone: whether it’s sarcasm, a condescending attitude or a too loud volume, teach people how you would like to be spoken to by speaking up when their tone is out of line. When my kids were little and they were whiney I would tell them, “I can’t understand you when you talk like that.”
  • Behave Appropriately: is it a co-worker telling off color jokes or a colleague drinking too much at the company picnic? Perhaps it’s a family member during a holiday meal.
  1. Consequence is Key:humans need a catalyst to generate change, it’s just the reality of things. Change is uncomfortable. If others are accommodating us in our current state we are unlikely to do anything different.  So, while in some of your relationships the fact that you’ve taken the time to share your feelings will ignite a positive reaction, in many instances the people in your life will need a bit more motivation to heed your request. If they don’t comply with your request, what will you do? The consequence should be related to the boundary.  Don’t think of the consequence as a punishment.  Instead consider an action you’ll take that accommodates your own needs around their actions.  Let’s go back through our original list for some examples:
  • Respect My Time: I will wait 5 minutes and then start without you – or leave. Or, to the neighbor, “I love our visits.  However, I work from X to X.  Let’s schedule a time after my work hours.  When’s a good time?
  • Give Me More Notice: if you give me less than 2 days notice I will not be able to help you.
  • Watch Your Tone of Voice: If you continue with a sarcastic tone I will end the conversation. Feel free to schedule some time to talk later when you are able to share civilly. I will be happy to listen.
  • Behave Appropriately: I will ask you to leave, or you will not be invited back, or you will be terminated, or you will be taken off the project.
  1. Communicate the Boundary & Consequence: creating a boundary and consequence doesn’t help if you don’t communicate them. Give people in your life the opportunity to make choices that are supportive of your needs. Too often we sit in silence as we build up resentments. I hear clients say all the time, “They should just know what I need.” Well…..most people I know aren’t mind readers…so they don’t! And working from the assumption that they should JUST know leaves you feeling extra frustrated and disappointed with the people sharing your life…. and that’s not good for anyone. 
    So let them know. 

    I recommend communicating it as a request. You cannot demand that someone do anything differently from what they normally would. You can only share your feelings and ask. Calling it a request and asking puts you in a relaxed mode. Your non-verbal communication will portray the same. Your friend or colleague will feel more freedom to say yes or no. Ultimately, they have final say whether you demand or request so might as well keep it low key and request.

Outline the consequence so that they are making an informed decision. Give them the opportunity to make a different choice. It’s often hard to act on the consequences we’ve outlined. Don’t give yourself an out by failing to communicate it. I see that one often. “Well, I didn’t really tell them that I’d leave if they were more than 15 minutes late. I’d feel bad leaving without telling them.”

And you have final say in acting out the consequence. It’s okay if they continue to offend. You have the opportunity to enact the consequence that you’ve forewarned them about. They’ve been given notice and had the chance to comply.  Remember, you aren’t taking the action as a punishment.  You are taking action that is necessary for your own well being.  And, you are allowed to look out for yourself always, but especially when others are not.

  1. Consider: I’m not trying to turn you into a dictator. If they are open to engaging in a healthy conversation, listen to your colleague, friend or family member. Are they willing to acknowledge their behavior and apologize? Are they understanding of your need to set boundaries and consequences? Are they able to hear and appreciate your point of view? Is it possible that they just misread the situation and had no idea that they were offending you or taking advantage? If this is the first time you’ve ever spoken up to someone it’s a possibility. Do they have an alternate idea for how to hold them accountable?

I once had a colleague share her story of frustration about her neighbor who constantly asked her to babysit. I asked what she had said to the neighbor. Low and behold she always told the neighbor she loved babysitting. Well, from the neighbor’s perspective, she had the best situation ever and had no idea that she was frustrating her friend. Don’t be that person! It’s a waste of time to share your thoughts with people not involved. Take the time to share your feelings with the person who can make a difference.

  1. Carry Out the Consequence:Follow through on your word. Make the request, share the consequence and if they don’t comply follow through with the consequence. It will probably be hard at first, but you must.  So, tell them what you’ll do. Remember, this isn’t about punishment it’s about protecting yourself. It’s rude for someone to keep you waiting when they’ve done it consistently for years. Set the consequence that you’ll wait no more than 10 minutes and then you’re moving on without them. Leave without them once and you may see a sudden and dramatic change. Continue to accommodate the offensive behavior and they’ll have no reason to change.
Direct download: episode_118_7_keys_to_desiging_healthy_reltationships_boundaries.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Tushaar is a 19 year old Indian Podcaster. He’s very passionate about podcasting and wants to make it more prevalent in India. He also practices drums and guitar.  He wants to be a motivational speaker and hold his own conferences.

He started his Good Vibes podcast a couple of years ago using What’sApp and had only a few listeners, friends and his parents.  

His plan is to impact the world by first being kind to himself and then modeling kindness to others.  He works to be kind to himself daily with his thoughts.  For example, on days when he gets up later than he planned he keeps a good mindset and doesn’t let it derail his day.  He just gets moving then!

Likewise, when something starts to put him off the rails by saying something negative he won’t let them.  Instead he visualizes 2 roads.  One is more enticing but does not lead him towards his goals.  The other leads him to impact. 

Once he gets in motion and action he is no longer thinking but is just doing and making things happen!

His words of wisdom to those who want to make an impact is Just Start!  Don’t wait until you have everything lined up or for things to be perfect.  Just move! 

He shared how he had nothing but his phone and a desire to make a difference when he started his podcast.  He still started!  It’s okay to start small.  Just start where you are. 

Now he has better equipment and is on iTunes and is grateful that he just got going and offers words of encouragement and wisdom for people his age. 

I look forward to watching him expand podcasting in his country while he motivates others along the way! 

You can find Tushaar here:

Do you have some lingering relationships ....that can be challenging …tear you down….cause grief…..have baggage…..long histories… 

……these relationships can and DO zap our energy, steal our joy, drum up false beliefs about ourselves, and sometimes even stand in the way of achieving our dreams.

Yes, addressing relationship stuff can feel overwhelming, but often remedies are simpler than you’d think if you know how to define the right fix. That’s why I’ve designed the Relationship Renovation Roadmap  I can’t wait to show you how!

Go to to check it out!

Where are you in the making an impact process?  Are you brand new and still working through the idea in your head?  Perhaps you’ve just started to share with others, or maybe you’re well on your way and enjoying some success. 

Whether you’re announcing a new business, podcast, book, network marketing endeavor, volunteer initiative, ministry or nonprofit dream……

One thing is certain……once you start sharing your idea, those with opinions thoughts, cautionary tales, similar stories they read about, something they heard one day ……..alllllllll start sharing theirs……

As the old saying goes, “Opinions are like a***holes.  Every person has one”…..

And you end up with all kinds of feedback and words of quote unquote “wisdom” whether invited or not: 

Are you serious?  I heard of a guy who did that too and it was terrible!

Why would you waste time on that?

Those are all scams!

I tried that and it didn’t work out for me at all.  It won’t work for you either.

You can’t do that!  You’re too busy already!

You don’t know anything about how to do that.  You’ll never get it done.

You’re too much of a quitter!

You’ll never be able to create change there.

The problem’s way too big!

That’s too hard!

You won’t get anyone else to care about that!

What do you know about that topic?

Why would anyone listen to you?

You should do this instead……

It’s important to keep in mind that most of these opinions, thoughts, ideas, cautionary tales are moving through their own fear filters, and are boxed in by their own life experiences and knowledge. 

And many times, they’re just thrown out there with little thought or any attachment to your success or future.  It might just be that the person wants to look smart for a minute.  Maybe they like to think of themselves as well-informed…..and maybe, just maybe……they fear YOUR success……and the words are shared to halt your progress.

Even when well-intended, words can be unhelpful and will get in your head to cast doubt where it doesn’t need to be if we give those opinions more weight than they’re worth. 

So why do we listen?!?

You are not obligated to heed the words or warnings of every person who shares advice.

Today I give you license to let words fall as if on deaf ears.

Instead, be intentional about who you give the privileged position of speaking into your life.  Some call it trusted advisor status.  Perhaps you call them mentors.  Whatever the title, choose wisely. There are specific characteristics that someone should have before you give them this esteemed role.

Here are 7 Musts for Your Mentors or Trusted Advisors

They Must:

  1. Have Knowledge or Expert Status about the Topic:They know it, have lived it, or at least studied up on it. They can share opinions and advice from a place of fact rather than busting out with info off the cuff.  And, if they don’t have specific knowledge they’ll go find it to share an informed opinion or stay silent on the topic.
  2. Have a Unique Perspective: they’ve been where you want to go or have done what you do, but with a twist. They can offer you real life perspectives to help you achieve your goals. They aren’t going to rely on some folklore passed down through generations as a cautionary tale to squash your dreams.
  3. Understand Your Perspective:they know your passions, desires and your vision.  Or, they’ll ask questions until they totally get what you are trying to achieve.
  4. Want the Best for You: they won’t feel like a failure if you succeed. They aren’t driven by jealousy. They truly want to see you reach your goals even if it means surpassing their success or moving away from them.
  5. Put Their Own Fears, Biases, Agendas aside: they are able to provide objective and well thought out advice with the pure intent of helping you achieve your goals.

    When you are starting a business, or taking on an unconventional endeavor, you’ll often get people weighing in who have a deep fear of taking a similar leap. They will warn you out of their own sense of dread. (facilitating an executives in transition meeting) Stay away and stick to those who can put their own fears aside.
  6. Allow You to Make Your Own Choices:(we probably all have that friend or relative who always thinks they know best…..they throw out ideas on every single topic and are offended if you don’t listen…….STEER CLEAR) Mentors provide their advice and fact-based opinions, share concerns and then sit back and allow you to make the final choice. They aren’t mad, disappointed or frustrated with you if you don’t heed their warnings or follow through on their counsel. They provide their ideas freely.
  7. The Relationship Lives On:whether you take their advice or not they continue to be in your corner cheering you on and wishing the best for you. 

If someone who is not a trusted advisor weighs in just listen to their advice, thank them and move on.   Sharing an opinion does not obligate you to consider or follow through based on that advice.

For More Information on the Relationship Renovation Roadmap...

Go to to check it out!

Direct download: EP_116_7_Musts_for_Mentors_and_Trusted_Advisors.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

He is a Hypnotist who specializes in helping people through heartbreak, stress, anxiety and trauma.

One of his favorite experiences is when he helped a close friend overcome the trauma of a major breakup.  In one session, he says she was able to clear years worth of heartache and was feeling ready to date within a week.

The biggest challenge he’s had to overcome is the stigma that exists for hypnosis.  Many people are afraid to be hypnotized and worry that the hypnotist can program them to do whatever they want.  Joshua says this is completely unfounded, but understands.  Even while hypnotized no one can make you go against your moral fiber.

Internally, Joshua struggles to focus on short term goals while he creates big goals for the future.  An important strategy is to step back occasionally to re-evaluate.  Take a little time away to make sure you are focused on the right things.

What does he suggest for others who want to make their impact?  Do everything that you can and whatever it takes to do it! 

You can find Joshua here:

As you Live and Lead for Impact it is quite possible that, at some point, you will draw upon the time and talents of volunteers.  I’ve worked with many nonprofits as a coach, have started ministries and utilized volunteers myself, have been a volunteer and have also served on a nonprofit board.  And, I know that nonprofits, ministries, churches, PTA’s, or other similar organizations often struggle to find and keep volunteers.  The keys I’ll share will also apply in other organizations like Network Marketing Teams, where uncompensated time can lead to profits.

How do you fuel commitment and ignite loyalty that generates a dynamic team that will show up, make an impact and keep coming back?

  1. Share Clear Expectations for Informed Commitment

Too often nonprofits, ministries or PTA’s ask for volunteers without communicating expectations clearly.  If people don’t know what they’re signing up for how can they follow through? Committing loosely leads to loose commitment.

Instead, design and document a combination of volunteer positions that fulfill your needs.  Share the documented expectations with potential volunteers so they know the kinds of tasks they’ll be working on and the commitment of time required per week or per month.  This allows your volunteers to make informed decisions about the role they’ll take on.  Commitments are then based on fact, which should increase follow through.
Documenting the requirements of each role will also help you avoid scope creep.  That pesky little problem that plagues both for profit and not for profit entities alike.  Someone makes a commitment, they do great work, you need some additional help, so you ask for more.  I’ll cover this one in more detail in a minute.

  1. Inventory Volunteer Abilities & Special Skills and then Utilize Them

Too often it’s an all hands on deck, with a grab whatever you can do, mentality.  But, asking volunteers to do what might be difficult for them can make them feel uncomfortable and the outcomes they generate may not be good.

We are all born with unique gifts, those skills that are innate or come easily to us.  Most often our gifts are aligned with our passion.  We love spending time in our area of gifting.  Time flies, we feel energized at the end of our task and the outcomes we create can be amazing.

Take the time to learn the special skills of your volunteers.  The exercise of asking will help them feel known, appreciated and valued.  If you take it a step further and tap into those skills, you will also benefit from the superior output they create while doing what they love and are good at.  A great way to get the best from your volunteers.

  1. Find Each Volunteer’s Currency and Fulfill it.

Even when there is real currency involved, you want the focus of a team to be on something beyond just a paycheck.  Obviously, it’s even more important to identify the alternate currency when we’re talking about a team that is not paid money for their time.

You need to answer the questions, “what’s in it for them?”  Let’s face it, people want to get something for their time.  We don’t do much of anything unless there is some benefit to us.  There are very few purely selfless acts.

Now, before you get all agitated with me, let me explain.  I am not suggesting quid pro quo relationships where I do for you and require an equal something back.  And I’m not suggesting that we all need to get paid for everything we do.  But, if you are spending the resource of your time on something you will want a return on that investment.  It could be the warm fuzzy feeling you get from serving someone less fortunate.  Perhaps it’s playing a role in someone overcoming a fear, getting out of a bad situation, or achieving a big goal. 

Figure out what currency your individual volunteers are working towards and help them enjoy that benefit.  Here are a few potential currencies your volunteers may be working towards:

  • They want to meet people interested in making an impact.
  • A personal experience has them attached to your mission and they want to give back in a meaningful way
  • They want to feel appreciated and would love to hear some thank you’s.
  • They want to feel a sense of purpose.
  • They want the chance to use their unique abilities to further your mission.
  • They like to feel needed.
  • They want to build new skills or find achievements to add to a resume.
  • They are exploring a new career and want to learn more about the field.

There are more, but this will give you a start.  Learn what your volunteers value to help them achieve their goals to keep them engaged and coming back.

  1. Allow Volunteers to Make a Meaningful Contribution!

As I often share, humans are driven by an innate desire to know that their lives are part of something bigger than themselves.  Let your volunteers find that fuel through their work with you.  Provide the opportunity for meaningful impact each time they volunteer.  If the work they do is far removed from the main mission, help them see how their activities are still attached, helpful and important.

Value the volunteer and value their time. If you’ve scheduled a volunteer or invited them to participate in your mission in some way, make sure you have something lined up for them to do.   

I still remember the time I showed up for a large church event.  I had signed up to volunteer and was excited to help.  Unfortunately, they had signed up far too many volunteers.  A good problem to have, I know.  BUT, for me, it was not a good experience at all.  The people heading up the event were busy and dismissive.  I walked around asking each team how I could help, but every area was overstaffed. My husband and I had driven together and he had a role so, I was stuck.  I ended up spending the entire night walking around alone watching as others experienced the joy of making their impact.  I’m not gonna lie, I felt devalued and alone.  I wasn’t able to participate in the event that was getting my time.  I had no role. I made no impact.  You do not want your volunteers to feel like that….EVER!

I had a similar, though longer-term experience, serving on a nonprofit board.  I was told that it was a “working board”, meaning, they wanted each member to contribute their knowledge, skills and abilities to the organization.  I was specifically recruited because of my background and was told that my talents were aligned with current and pressing needs of the organization and that, as a result, I’d be able to make an important contribution. 

This all sounded great to me.  I was not interested in spending my time as a rubber stamp or to be just a name on a list to add to some meeting minutes. I wanted to use my time as a true resource and was happy to give back in that way. 

I immediately began working on some human resource related projects, heading them up and pulling in colleagues who agreed to provide their talents as a favor to me.  I also began some work to improve processes and conducted some leadership training.

I believed in their mission and wanted to make a big impact with the team.  I was investing my time toward specific impact. 

The problem was, at every turn, my efforts were overturned or denied before implementation.  There seemed to be a “we don’t like change” mentality driving the team and an underlying false belief that change meant that the current systems were bad and they’d done something wrong. It, thus, became very difficult to make any real impact.  My investment of time was not making a difference.  I did not stay for an additional term on that board. 

I am not unique.  People want to feel valued and know that their investment of time is worthwhile.  Value the time your volunteers contribute and assure that they are able to make a difference. 

     5.  Avoid Scope Creep:

They are willing and seem to love working with you to help you make your impact.  You ask and they say yes.  What’s the harm?  Well……the truth is, some people have a hard time saying no.  And, while this is certainly something they should work on and it wouldn’t be all on you if they DID say yes when they wanted to say no, it is something you MUST keep in mind. 

Too often this scenario happens:  They keep working, you keep asking, they keep saying yes.  They are too uncomfortable to say no, or feel guilty for leaving you strapped, so they just keep doing more and more and more.    It is quite possible that the person who seems to be happily helping more and more is actually feeling really burned out, over-extended or maybe even used.  You don’t want a great volunteer who’s become overwhelmed to tell you no with their feet, as they disappear altogether! 

So, am I suggesting that you should never ask a volunteer to do more than what they’ve agreed to? No!  But, I am saying…be very careful about how you ask.  Make sure you are not adding extra pressure.  Do everything in your power to allow them the freedom to say no.  Assure them that you will be fine either way and will not think ill of them if they say no.

And, if there is anything in their body language or voice that tells you they are saying yes with duress, point it out.  “It seems like you might be saying yes when you really need to say no to me right now.  If you need to say no that is ok!  I appreciate all that you do and fully realize this would be additional work for you.  I’m throwing it out there in case it works for you but you are under no obligation what so ever to say yes and I will be fine whether you say yes or no.”

When you first bring them on board you’ve asked them to make an informed decision about the amount of time involved in volunteering with you.  And, you’ve asked them to commit to a specific volunteer role.  You, as the leader must commit as well.  Be true to the original request you made of them.  If you do ask for some additional support give them every license to say no. 

  1. Show Appreciation Often:

Humans have an innate desire to feel known, acknowledged and appreciated.  Fill that need for your volunteers. I’m not talking about all grand gestures.  Just a quick authentic thank you, a note in the mail (how often does anyone get a handwritten note these days?), a high five, a thumbs up.  Some love kudos in front of the team or at an event from the stand.  Be authentically appreciative of each gesture, no matter how small. 

I’ll share another personal story here.   I would often drop clothing and household items off at a local nonprofit. They didn’t have a pickup service, but I believed in the mission so took the extra time to drive and drop my donations.  Each time I was greeted by employees who treated my arrival like a chore.  They’d grab my items and immediately start tossing them into appropriate piles.  They were always very focused on the task and quite efficient.  It’s a pretty subtle thing but the one thing they forgot was to acknowledge my giving in any way.

Now, I didn’t take it personally or get upset.  But, since I work with so many nonprofits I’m always aware of potential problems.  And, dropping off items isn’t a volunteer position per se but it is a touchpoint with members of the community and failing to show gratitude was a lost chance to connect.  And, there are plenty of other places to donate to, most more convenient.  If someone’s currency is appreciation they were missing the chance. 

Show appreciation for even small gestures with at least a simple thanks.

Direct download: 6_Secrets_to_Keeping_Volunteers_Engaged_and_Giving_Thier_Best.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Animals Talk to Her and She Listens – Even Spiders!

An Interview with Victoria Stigliano-Dzuban 

Victoria Stigliano-Dzuban is an Animal Spirituality Facilitator, Enlightenment Mentor, and Energy Practitioner. She helps conscious, open-minded animal lovers and guardians learn to better communicate and connect with the animals in their lives so they can create stronger and more mutually beneficial relationships with each other.

According to Victoria, animals communicate in 4 main ways:

  1. Body language
  2. Verbally
  3. Energetically
  4. Telepathically

I just HAD to ask! What does Victoria do when a spider comes in her home.  She said there are rules, but the spider is allowed to co-habitate as long as it is respectful.  It is not allowed in rooms where they sleep and cannot build webs all over the place.  If a spider is no longer welcome she uses a special vacuum that sucks them up without injuring them so she can place them outside.  If it’s too cold outside she might put them in her basement.

The biggest challenges she’s had to overcome is rising about the untrue beliefs she picked up while young.  At age 5 she remembers adults telling her that horses did not have feelings.  Deep down she knew this wasn’t true, but what do you do with that information when you are young and think adults know better than you?

Overall, she tries not to think too much and focuses on a mindset of “just do it!”  She surrounds herself with a network of people who support her and believe in her.  Their voices are louder than those who don’t agree with or misunderstand her work.

She says just let passion guide you!  It’s there for a reason.  Make a plan, create a list and just go to it!  Make your impact!

You can find her here:

As I’ve often said, drama zaps energy and steals focus.  Holding grudges or living with unresolved frustrations towards others can definitely zap your energy.  And you need to harness your focus of energy and time with intention to make your unique impact!

So…….Does forgiveness need to be a part of your work?  Bitterness, anger, frustration, and hatred are all energy sucking emotions and are often associated with how we feel about those we believe have disrespected us, hurt us, or taken us for granted.

I’ve definitely had to walk some tough roads of forgiveness.  Perhaps I made it harder than it needed to be.  But, I definitely felt those negative feelings and more about the man who abused me.  I was angry!  I had a vision for what my life would be and he took it from me because he was unwilling to own his behavior, or change anything. 

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying, “holding resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the offender to become ill”.   Yes, those resentments will continue to impact you and have an affect on your current and future relationships. 

An important part of my healing process was the intentional act of forgiveness.  I needed to forgive him for what he did to me.   Forgiveness doesn’t mean what he did is okay. It does mean letting go, ending the bitterness and reducing the anger.   

Forgiveness certainly didn’t happen overnight for me!  As a matter of fact, it didn’t even enter my mind for a very long time.   To be perfectly honest, for the first few years after the relationship ended I collected his struggles and failures like little affirmations.  “Yep, I made the right choice.”  Or, “guess that’s what happens when you are such a horrendous person.”

I wanted validation.  The abuse always happened behind closed doors.  I wanted his life going forward to act as proof of what had happened to me.  And I loved taking note and sharing his continued indiscretions with friends.  “Look what I’ve had to put up with!” 

A nice secondary effect of my continued anger towards him was that it provided me a layer of protection for my heart.  Stopping to think about him as a broken human being who was not capable of doing better was too close to empathy.  Empathy lives very close to love and I did not want to feel any feelings that even remotely resembled love for him.  That chapter was closed and I needed to protect myself.

Truth was, I really didn’t have anything to worry about there.  I had successfully removed myself emotionally from him over the course of those years of healing but I continued to find comfort in the idea of that extra layer.

The act of forgiveness was very difficult.  As is always the case, however, forgiveness is a gift I’ve given to myself.  It took a lot of energy to hold on to the negative stories, took up time to re-tell them.  And empathy is okay.  It has softened my heart and I have compassion.  He is a broken man.  But….The truth is, we are all broken.

Forgiving continues as a daily choice, an ongoing challenge with new experiences to add often but I am getting better.

So does part of your preparation need to include forgiveness?  Are you wasting energy to hold onto resentments, frustrations, disappointments, or anger towards anyone?

Maybe it’s yourself you need to forgive.  The same concepts apply.  Whatever you did that led to the demise of relationships or choices that led to a life moving down an unintended path, it was you in your brokenness leading the way.   Question is, what have you learned from those consequences, what will you do differently going forward and will you forgive? 

The reality is, you can beat yourself up while you live the consequences of your actions or you can give yourself grace as you embrace your current circumstance.  From a place of grace you have more energy to devote to creating a better life and making your unique impact.

So…..we all know we need to forgive, but how do you actually do it?

Here are some steps to follow.  The steps are simple but the process can be very challenging. Start today so you can be on your way!

  1. Accept that it happened. After an event and while we are very angry we spend a lot of time thinking about all of the ways the situation could have been different.  Why didn’t he do that?  This should have happened instead.  If that was going to happen he should have done this.  It takes a lot of mental energy to think of all of the alternatives outcomes that would have been better, the paths he or she could have followed but didn’t.  With each new preferred scenario the anger increases. 

    It is part of the grieving process but at some point you have to embrace what happened. Those other things could have happened but they didn’t.  She could have made a different decision but she didn’t.  It is what it is.  Considering the alternatives does you no good because you can’t re-write history.  Accept what is so.  Avoid wasting energy on wishing it were different.  Harness that energy and move forward from there.
  2. Hear the Other Side: There are always two sides to a story and, at times, wildly different perspectives.  It can be challenging but, if given the opportunity, truly listen.  Try not to interrupt.  Make an attempt to see the situation from another point of view.  You don’t need to take on blame if they try to inaccurately reassign it but do listen for nuggets of wisdom or a new perspective that makes sense.  Sometimes hearing can increase understanding.  Is there a way to find common ground or work through the challenge together?  Can shifting your perspective heal the hurt a bit?  Is there validity to any part of what they share?
  3. Be Appreciative. Can you be thankful that you found out when you did? What did you learn?  How will you do things differently in the future?  Did you gain a new friend or strengthen a relationship?  Does the action validate a decision you made in the past?  In every circumstance is something positive and placing your focus there will help.
  4. See the Good: Can you still see value in the person?  Try to separate the good they bring from the bad thing they did.  Weighing the pros and cons will also help you determine whether you’ll leave them in your life or release them.
  5. Find Empathy: Chances are high that the person who created the hurt is a hurt person.  How does their brokenness negatively impact their life?  Being empathetic doesn’t excuse the bad behavior it just provides a reason.  Empathy can help you find a softer place to put this experience. 
  6. Express Your Feelings: It can be difficult to share our hurts with the offender.  If you are able and they are willing it is a great exercise in healing.  Do consider how they might respond and set your expectations accordingly.  If they have difficulty admitting fault don’t set an expectation of hearing an “I’m sorry”.  You’ll just feel disappointed.  Instead create a goal of being heard. If you worry that they may be combative have another person there as mediator or choose to write a letter instead.  The act of writing your thoughts is helpful whether you ever send it to them or not. 
  7. Give Yourself Grace: Maybe someone cheated you in some way and you’ve been beating yourself up for trusting.  The reality is that in relationships there are vulnerabilities. You have to let your guard down to let someone else in.  He or she chose the behavior not you.  Maybe someone stole from you or took advantage of you.  You might feel like you should have figured it out earlier.  None of us can know all immediately and you had the insight to figure it out when you did.  So, you didn’t realize as soon as you would have liked, tolerated behavior longer than you should, overlooked red flags that should have signaled the transgression.  That doesn’t make the infraction your fault.

    When people harm you, take advantage of you, lie, cheat or steal the bad choices are theirs to own.  Beating yourself up about not anticipating the wrong does you no good.  Part of forgiveness, whether you’ve played a part or not, will always include an element of forgiving yourself for any blame you assign yourself.

    Getting over the hurt and moving on must include placing blame where it belongs and giving yourself grace.   Now, it is definitely helpful to determine whether there are lessons to be learned for you from the experience.  And the answer is, probably.  Take those with appreciation and let go of the rest.
  8. Design the Relationship Moving Forward: Depending on the offense and circumstance, this person may or may not be out of your life.  If you intend to maintain the relationship or must, get clear about any new parameters, rules or boundaries.   Forgiveness does not require that you continue with status quo.  Healthy boundaries created and kept keep us safe.  Determine what you need to feel safe and whole in the relationship.  It might mean the person is out of your life altogether or that you limit time with them.  Maybe you’ll ask for space for a period or avoid direct communication.   Perhaps you need additional access to rebuild trust.  You get to have a voice in the design of the relationship moving forward and should not feel guilt for any change you request that benefits you.

9. Pray:  If it’s not your thing that’s totally fine.  However, if you are a praying person or want to give prayer a try, praying for God’s help in this area is highly recommended.  Pray to have him help you change your heart and see the situation through His eyes.  Pray to have discernment and wisdom.  Pray for God to guide you through next steps.  Pray to express sorrow to Him for your un-forgiveness.   Pray to have your offender gain wisdom, insight and healing.

Direct download: EP_112_Live_and_Lead_Forgiveness.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

A few highlights from a wonderful interview with AJ Roberts.  Take a listen to hear the full story!  You won’t want to miss it!

AJ is a 15 year British Army Veteran, a high-performance coach, loving father and husband who helps people daily become the best versions of themselves through fitness, health, nutrition and their mindset.

He also had a great Linkedin Post go viral recently – go check it out!  He shared a heartwarming story about a boy he stood up for 8 years ago – The boy was 12 at the time, the son of a single mom and he was being bullied. 

AJ stepped in, took him on a cool tour of barracks – got to see tanks -  AJ has mentored him ever since.  Now an adult, he is entering the military himself.

I am sure that AJ made a huge impact on that man and helped shape the life he lives now – we never know what impact a single action can have!

AJ is motivated to make his impact on the world!  He wants to help people overcome the traumas in their lives to be their best.  He focuses on work with mindset, fitness and nutrition.

AJ has experienced his own traumas.  As a Military Veteran who has been in many battle zones, he has seen things that are embedded in his brain.  He has also been through some difficult financial challenges that impacted his family.

In all he has created the mindset that helps him overcome these traumas to succeed.

His goal is to focus on the windshield not the rearview mirror.  And, he helps his clients do the same.

His advice to others working to make their own impact in the world; Be yourself!  Be authentic and share your struggles.  People will relate to you better.  There’s no value in pretending to be someone different.

And to all parents he shares, “spend time with your kids!”  Don’t come home to sit on the couch and stare at your phone.  Be present with your family.

You can find AJ here:

Many people I’ve worked with have difficulty saying no appropriately.

But, demands on our time, money and other resources can take all that we have if we allow it.  Failing to use this important word leads to resentments in our relationships, over-scheduling, overwhelm, over extending, frustration and inattention to our own needs or goals.

Saying no is absolutely a required skill if you want to live and lead for impact! 


Here are 3 Keys to Saying No with Ease


  1. Figure out Your Why


If you figure out your why it’s much easier to overcome.  It’s almost certainly a false belief or fear of some kind.  Give it a name and then make it go away!  Here are a few of the main reasons I see again and again.  Do you see yourself in any of them? 

  • You automatically feel guilty. “I feel bad.  They need me.  I should say yes.”
  • You like to feel needed. “What would they do without me?  Where would they be?”
  • You believe that to say no is selfish or shows bad manners. “I need to care about others and not just myself.”  Which begs the question, “when’s the last time you DID care about you?” 
  • You are seeking approval and care about what other people think. “I don’t want them to be mad.” Or, “What if they think I’m lazy?”
  • And from Christians, very often, “God wants me to serve others.” Let me pause quickly to talk about this one….I won’t go into full detail but…..God does not call on us to serve others based on all requests from people.  He asks us to serve others based on His call.  If people are dictating use of your time, there is no opportunity to hear from God or follow His call for your time.  I will also add……Serving God is not always comfortable.  He does not promise that.  But, serving Him will not come from a feeling of “have to” or “should” and will not build feelings of resentment or overwhelm.  A little food for thought. 

Ok…..I just had to spend a few extra minutes on that one.  Now back to our regularly scheduled topic…..

  1. Define Your Priorities Clearly

It is much easier to say no if you are very clear about your own purpose.  What main goals are you seeking to achieve?  The clarity gives you a framework to use to make informed decisions about your time. 

I’m very clear on the 3 main objectives I am working towards as overarching goals for my life.  It makes it so much easier to say yes or no to an invitation.  Whether it’s a social event or business-related request it’s fairly simple for me to evaluate it to determine whether it’s a yes or a no.

These 3 life objectives help me meet my more specific goals.  Mine happen to be intertwined as well.  So, I am often working towards all 3 at once, which is great!  I recommend that you create a similar list.

Here are mine:

Establish and Maintain Relationships with Goal Oriented/Motivated People

Help Others Succeed

Earn Money  And, money along with the design of my work, helps me to achieve some of my more specific goals.

And remember, I shared that these are overarching goals.  I do have more specific goals and tasks aligned with them that help me design each day.  But, the tasks or commitments of time will almost always be aligned with one or a combination of these 3 objectives. 

  1. Have some phrases that mean No memorized and ready

I encourage my clients to create some ready phrases so that they are prepared with a few more comfortable ways to say no.

Regardless of how you choose to say no, here’s the trick: 

  • Be authentic: Trust me, if you WANT to say no, you have a good reason. It’s just a matter of getting it phrased in a way that feels comfortable.
  • Make it brief:  Too much detail and you end up sounding defensive or whiney rather than assertive.

Here are a few “No” phrases.  Modify them to fit your own priorities and style.

1. I just can’t right now

2. I volunteer a certain number of hours per month and I’ve already made my commitments elsewhere.

3. My focus is on my family right now.

4. Sorry, but I won’t be able to help out this time.

5. My focus for the next several months is on a big career push. I won’t be able to help this time.

6. I would love to but my husband and I have made other commitments.

7. It sounds great. Not right now. Can you call me back in 6 months?

8. That is not my area of gifting. I’m really trying to put my energy where I can be my best self.

9. I’m sorry, but I need to decline.

10. No.

11. I’m sorry, it’s not a good fit for me.

12. Sorry. I’m already overextended.

13. I wouldn’t be able to give my best to that right now.

14. No thank you. I’m not interested.

15. I’ve been really overwhelmed lately so am practicing saying no.

16. That just doesn’t work for me.

17. No thank you.

18. Sounds like a great project. Let me put you in touch with someone I think would love to be involved.

19. My budget doesn’t allow for that right now.

20. I just have no time for that in my schedule right now.

Good luck!!  Now go make your unique impact!

Direct download: EP_110_live_and_lead_keys_to_saying_no_with_ease.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Jeremy Roadruck had some struggles early on in life.

  • He STOPPED smoking when he was 9!
  • Was kicked out of the gifted reading and math programs for challenging the rules.
  • His parents gave him unconditional love but they missed signs that he was struggling with himself.
  • He dropped out of college to work in a sandpaper factory,

But, at age 20 things began to turn around.   

  • He started martial arts
  • Earned his black belt in Kung Fu,
  • Became a multi-time US National Kung Fu Champion,
  • Became an International Kung Fu Champion,
  • Started his own martial arts school,
  • Wrote a best-selling book on parenting (while single, not dating, with no kids) that features a money back guarantee,
  • Finally got married at 38,
  • And became a father at 39.

He loves to light up others, to take the complex and cumbersome and make it simple, use the polysyllabic words, and help parents and kids find some more playfulness in their own lives.

His mission is to light up the world with game, set and match

A few notes from our interview:

He recommends the Tony Robbins program “Date with Destiny”

He shared about the 3 key false fears that can drive us for life:

  • I’m not Enough
  • I won’t Be Loved
  • If I don’t Get Love I’ll Die

Jeremy offers a process that will help eliminate Anger, Sadness, Fear, Hurt and Guilt.

5 Keys to Making YOUR Impact:

  1. Get Very Clear about your Impact and Don’t apologize for it.
  2. Get VERY Clear about your Why – Recommends reading the book “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl, published in 1946.
  3. Your “why” will give you the motivation
  4. Remind yourself daily WHY you do what you do – take at least 5 minutes.
  5. Have a peer group that you can share successes with and who will motivate you. Jeremy and his wife have a shared secret FaceBook page where they each post a short video.  In it they answer the question, What was Your Magic Moment?”  So, what did you love about your day?

Visit his website:

Click here to schedule a free consultation with Jeremy – Just add that you heard him on the Live and Lead for Impact podcast in the message for your free consultation with him

Direct download: National_Kung_Fu_Champion_Turned_Parenting_Pro_with_Jeremy_Roadruck.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Episode 108: Social Media:  4 Keys to Minimizing  Regret and Maintaining Sanity

Click To Download Your Free Sliding Into Self Care: Super Simple Strategies for Crazy Busy Lives

In the last episode, I talked about making things LOOK a certain way rather than having things BE a certain way. 

It all began with my trip to a wonderful destination where our condo was designed for an initial great presentation over the practicality of actually living there for a time. 

That concept also definitely leaves me thinking about what social media can do around this same concept.

How many people can scroll through their feed to say, “Yes, these posts definitely mirror my actual life!”

My guess is….No One!  And, the truth is, they really shouldn’t. 

Sure, you can share a bit about a health scare, or perhaps a quick quip about some unfortunate circumstance. 

But, social media isn’t really the place to air all of life’s challenges, missteps, snafus.

The problem is that, as we scroll through other’s feeds we can forget that this is just a snapshot, a small, mostly positive sampling of another’s life. 

We live in a world filled with happy, smiling faces on FaceBook and can sometimes forget that those images do not represent a person’s whole life.  Most share just the best, brightest happiest moments…. Some of those moments can be very fleeting, no longer than it took to capture the smiling faces for a post then back to unhappy, grumbling, fighting and more. 

So, to be our best selves we must stop comparing our full lives to the happy, window-in-time moments depicted on social media.  Doing that will, of course, leave us feeling like everyone else is living happier more exciting lives. 

These comparisons do NOT serve us!

My first recommendation is Avoid Social Media Comparisons

Here are a few more recommendations to avoid regret as you swirl through the virtual world of social media.  Used well, social media can add value, but, forget what you’re dealing with and you can add plenty of frustration to your real life.

Avoid Debates:  The reality is that, on social media, Ideas and opinions are shared AT people.  Sharing here will rarely mirror an actual conversation like you might be able to have in real life.  On social media it’s more about showcasing your use of “smart” words, sticking to the far side of a spectrum of opinion and driving an idea home vs. actually seeking to understand another person’s point of view.

Often in the middle of divergent opinions is a thought that makes a lot of sense.  But social media debates don’t move people towards compromise.  Instead sharing there continues to highlight and stretch our differences.  I do believe it is playing a large role in dividing us……We are all quite similar actually, I just think that communicating on social media helps us forget that as we focus on our differences.

Keep Your Digital Commitments:  We have become lax with our invitations and time commitments.  Where we used to use a mailed invite, many now use a tag on social media, an email or a text to announce a party or event. As a result, invitations all feel looser and less important.  People wait to reply while comparing other options, don’t reply at all, or say they’ll come but just skip it if something else comes up or they don’t feel like going when the event rolls around. 

Digital commitments don’t carry the same weight as the formal invites we used in the past.  It can lead to hurt feelings and a wedge in what might be important relationships.  So, my recommendation is… LEAST keep your digital commitments. If some of us continue to do this maybe we can help slow the deterioration of commitment to invites.

Don’t Let Social Media Replace Real Interaction:  Social media definitely increases your circle of casual acquaintances.  However, we sometimes spend less time in actual connection with those we’d normally see or talk to.  Social Media interaction doesn’t count!  The problem is that we feel like we know about the kid’s concert or the trip to Florida and there is less motivation to meet up or talk to catch up.

Our closer relationships can then diminish down to meet the relationships that we haven’t invested in at all, where most of our up-keep happens online.  Now we are missing real connection and getting only the made-for-mass-viewing version of a close one’s life.  This is not the same and can lead to feelings of isolation.

Make the extra effort to stay in connection to those most important to you.

So, can social media play a key role in our world today?  Sure!

You can

Share an idea, concept or more in-mass

Find others with similar interests

Reach out in support groups for encouragement

Share about public events, new business offerings, etc……

And, it is nice that we can stay a bit engaged in the lives of those we’d otherwise have zero contact with. 

Yes, social media has a place in our world  Just use with caution and keep the recommendations I’ve shared in mind to minimize your regret and avoid the frustration that social media can ignite.

Click To Download Your Free Sliding Into Self Care: Super Simple Strategies for Crazy Busy Lives

Direct download: episode_108_edited.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Episode 107

Living Right or Just Looking Good? 

Click To Receive Your Busting Fear: Jumping out of Limbo Land PDF Download!

Recently we had the chance to travel to a warm destination.  It was awesome! 

When we walked into the condo where we’d spend a week, we were amazed!  It was beautiful, open, and spacious, with an awesome view!

But then……as we moved through our normal living activities we found that there had been little focus on functionality in the space.

There were only a couple of small drawers in our bedroom and no room for a suitcase, making it impossible to have organized access to our clothes.  The bathroom had no place to hang towels or tuck away toiletries. Furniture in the living space looked nice but was not comfortable…….

And the list goes on……

The space was definitely designed for presentation over practicality.

Now….I certainly did not let ANYof this spoil our time away!

But….it got me thinking about a number of clients I’ve worked with and…just people I’ve run across through life, who put that same emphasis on looking good over actually living right.

A life filled with fabrication and dysfunction over real fruit.

Zig Ziglar, a popular motivational speaker, said, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”

Talking about what you’ll do or, worse, pretending to do what you’ve said is NOT the same as taking real action and never will be. 

Don’t let fear stop you from real action. 

Zig also said, “With integrity, you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide.”

And he’s right!  Fear can stop you from action but then you may have to live with the new fear of hiding what is true.

Working to make things look a certain way over actually making it so through work is exhausting and a waste of effort!  Trying to track words you’ve said without truth, failing to follow through on commitments.  Fear, hiding, and guilt that accompany all of these will steal your focus.

Getting others to believe things are different does not make it so!  And lies you tell yourself can keep you stuck in what you desire to change.

My clients leave each coaching session with a list of action items they’ve committed to take that will move them towards their desired goals. As we review the list from a previous week I must rely on self-reporting.  Did they do what they promised?

Most of the time my clients are honest, but, at times, it quickly becomes clear that they are working to impress me with fabricated success over what they’ve really achieved. And I have to call them out. 

The end goal can’t be about impressing me for a moment. I’m not going to judge or push for any agenda that is mine.  Faking forward momentum doesn’t affect me.

And fabricated looks don’t last.

So, ask yourself, do you want to create impact for the long haul or just look good for a moment or two?

Living and leading for impact requires integrity…..So, be real with yourself and others.

Make sure your words and commitments match actions.  And, where they don’t, clean it up!

Some Simple Little Things to Ponder from What I Shared Today:

  1. Be real.  Pretending to be something that you are not does not move you closer to who you want to be, but real change does!
  2. You only achieve what you actually achieve, not what you or others believe you achieve.
  3. Lying zaps energy and shifts focus. Why live in a way that ignites fear, worry, overwhelm, confusion and more lies?
  4. Getting others to believe your lies does not prove bad things about them, but it does say a lot about you. 

What are you really working towards?  Do you want things to LOOKa certain way or would you prefer them to BE a certain way?

Integrity is a key foundation to living and leading for impact.  End of story.

Fear can sometimes limit integrity.  I’ve got a free download to help you bust your fear.   You’ll find it on the show notes page for this podcast.

Click To Receive Your Busting Fear: Jumping out of Limbo Land PDF Download!

Direct download: Episode_107_Edited.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Click To Receive Your Busting Fear: Jumping out of Limbo Land PDF Download!

This Situation is Not Right For Me Now:


This Situation is Not Right Because:


I Must Make this One Big Decision or Move Next


I will put these Decisions or Actions on Hold for Now


Define Your Fear


The problem with fear is that often we focus all of our energy on avoiding it and no time at all on determining exactly what it is we are afraid of or how real the threat.


My fear is (be specific):


Reality Check It. What is the worst-case scenario? What are the chances of this happening – REALLY?!


I suffer these consequences by staying in Limbo Land:


I commit to taking these steps to diminish this fear to live and lead for impact. Start big or small, just get moving!


I have had these successes! Keep track! Success will give you the courage and confidence to take bigger, bolder action.

Click To Receive Your Busting Fear: Jumping out of Limbo Land PDF Download!

Direct download: Episode_106_Dare_You_To_Move_Edited_SF.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Maintain Motivation For Maximum Impact

Click To Download Your Free Sliding Into Self Care: Super Simple Strategies for Crazy Busy Lives

Once you awaken to your desire to make a difference it is tough to quiet the internal push towards action.

What does it mean to make an impact? The dictionary definition is to have an effect; influence, alter. The force exerted by a new idea, technology, concept, ideology.

So, anything that shifts the course of another.

At times it can feel like my impact isn’t enough…I want to be doing more…..helping more….serving more….I know for me, as each new year or birthday rolls around I feel it even more….time’s a-wasting….let’s DO THIS!

However, feeling this desire too much can leave you feeling frustrated or disappointed. And I don’t know about you, but, for me, when I’m feeling discouraged I am not living to create my best impact.

So, how do you keep motivation at a high and discouragement at bay as you work to create your unique difference?

Here are 3 keys to Maintaining Motivation for Maximum Impact:

1. Don’t minimize what you have accomplished. The truth is, we often don’t realize the full impact our words and actions have. When you are feeling low, quickly picture the ripple even a very small pebble can make in a lake. That one small act sends an ever-expanding motion through the water beyond where your eyes can see! The same is happening in your life whether you realize it or not! So, rather than assume you’re moving to slow, picture that ripple!

A few years ago, I got to see how one short conversation I’d had expanded to many. It was really awesome and has been a vision I’ve carried with me since to help me keep going when I needed it.

I was with a group of women and one offered up a thank you to a second woman in the room. She said, “I need to thank you for sharing that morning car routine with me. It has really made a difference for me and my son! I have been so much more intentional each day as I drive him to school! Turning off the radio and picking a topic has helped me capture those few moments for us. We’ve had a great conversation during that 10 minutes every morning since! I ended up sharing the idea with 4 other women that I work with and we’re all using our drive time for cool conversations now.”

The thing is….I was the one who had shared the idea with the women she was thanking! It was sooo exciting to think about my quick little conversation moving across people and impacting other families!

I also get to see my expanding impact quite often when I’m coaching leaders in a business. I’ll start to hear phrases or concepts I’ve shared during coaching sessions from employees I’ve never met. I know that those I’m coaching are sharing with their teams. It’s really rewarding!

Your actions are making a difference beyond what you see! Know that to your core! It will help you maintain the momentum you need.

2. Avoid Comparisons: At times I can hear about Oprah building an orphanage for girls or watch her show as it’s broadcast to millions and start to feel insignificant. And I’ve heard her speak at one of her huge events. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve left feeling deflated. I want to be making an impact like that!! I would love to watch my words and actions travel that far, touch that many lives!

If I continue to compare with that frame of reference, however, I can slow my progress. There is little benefit in comparisons that create jealousy or disappointment. I might not be making Oprah-level change right now but I’m still making an important impact! And…..if I keep moving, you never know what will happen!

And the same goes for you! Keep focusing words and actions on the impact you wish to make. Each step creates an impact!

3. Impact Can Happen in Any Role: Maybe you say you are “JUST” a volunteer, or JUST a mom or dad. Don’t do that! You don’t have to be the executive director of a non-profit, start a ministry or head up a huge company to make an impact in this world!

I look at the impact I’ve made being “just” a mom to my two boys as they struggled through tough health challenges. I’ve watched other warrior moms in support groups for these illnesses do the same! We fight, scratch and claw to get resources for our kids in our schools and as we search to find health practitioners who can help us heal our kids. We research, read, learn and re-design aspects of our lives to work towards wellness.

Yes, as “Just” a mom, I’ve made an impact! Even beyond helping my kids heal, I’ve made an impact by working hard to raise two respectful boys.

Your impact may be in a role you have already or a role you add on. You might make your impact as a business owner or parent but it could also be serving as a volunteer.

We were all put on this earth to make an impact!

Click To Download Your Free Sliding Into Self Care: Super Simple Strategies for Crazy Busy Lives

Direct download: Episode_Make_Your_Impact_Edited_-_11_23_18_4.55_PM.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Episode #104 – Podcast Relaunch - The Return Show Notes

From Defeat the Drama at Work to Live and Lead for Impact

Click To Download Your Free Sliding Into Self Care: Super Simple Strategies for Crazy Busy Lives

What I’ve been Up to in the last 3 years
My recent Reflect - Refuel and Re-Evaluate

Shift in Focus for the Podcast and Why – For now let me tell you – it’s all about serving you better and was sparked by my Re-evaluation work

What I’ve been Up to in the last 3 years

For the last 3 plus years I have placed a focus on my two boy who had been struggling with major health challenges. They both began suffering from different autoimmune disorders at the same time! At some point I will explore what shared variables could have caused that to happen!

Let me just say, it was a crazy, busy, overwhelming, scary, frustrated, heartbreaking, sometimes celebratory time.

My oldest son was diagnosed with HSP immediately after symptoms started while my youngest was already suffering the symptoms of PANS, but was undiagnosed. It took a full year to learn what was impacting his health and the road back to health has been long!

I’ve been doing advocacy and awareness work since so let me give you a brief description so you can learn a little bit and also get a very small sense about what we were dealing with.

With HSP the body’s immune system attacks all the small blood vessels. It is VERY painful!

Small blood vessels line the entire digestive tract and are in all of the major organs. For my son this meant that he had terrible pain in his stomach as it contracted and squeezed. He ultimately went into kidney failure, causing his hands and feet to swell to the point that his skin was splitting, his blood pressure skyrocketed and he had blood in his urine. His liver was also enlarged. The
first signs were red dots on his ankles and feet, which began to move up his legs. They call it a rash, but it’s actually broken blood vessels. Thankfully, he was diagnosed right away and began treatment that started with a hospital stay in Orlando where we were on vacation, and lasted for months.

PANS is short for Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome. Sounds like a terrible disorder…AND….it is! The body’s immune system attacks the brain, causing inflammation. This creates what looks and feels like OCD, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, sleep disorders, tics, ADD, brain fog and more.

Children regress with handwriting and often are not able to function in school. They struggle tremendously or are unable to participate in school at all. And,
accurate diagnosis often takes a long time or doesn’t happen at all. It took a year for us to get a diagnosis and made recovery more challenging.

Symptoms show up out of nowhere overnight or in a moment and continue. In our case it was overnight. He woke me before school to share that he hadn’t slept all night and had anxiety through the roof. He was suddenly completely confused at school and unable to understand anything the teachers were saying.

He would not leave his bedroom and had weird eating habits.

He began losing weight. Traditional treatments that can positively impact psychiatric issues generally do little or nothing as they are not caused by chemical imbalance but by inflammation.

That was our experience. And, as my son begged me to find help so he could feel better and be back to himself again, we struggled to find anything that could help.

I re-prioritized my life immediately during this period and so, pressed pause on my podcast.

I continued work with coaching clients and did some speaking, but my kids and their health definitely took center stage. To give you a small feel, in one year I drove approximately 3,000 miles taking my kids to appointments. Stop and think for a minute about the fear, worry, time, logistical challenges and money involved in that many appointments.

And, as I’ve said, I also began spending time speaking and advocating for my kids personally with the school and health professionals and also for others. The CDC estimates that 1 in 200 kids will be impacted by PANS or PANDAS each year and yet many health practitioners and education professionals are not knowledgeable or even aware.

My Reflect - Re-Fuel and Re-Evaulation

I dubbed the summer of 2018 My Summer of Self Care. I focused on me and took time to Reflect, Re-Fuel and Re-Evaluate.

Reflect: We moved fast and furious through 3 years and there was rarely time to think or process what we were going through. It was always just Do – Do – Do. It seemed like we moved from one challenge to the next. So, I took time to just think and remember and feel the feelings that I passed over during the many experiences we’d had. There wasn’t time to sit and let feelings flow.

I was too busy and focused on research and trying the next thing. I needed to revisit what we’d been through and cry and take time to feel what was tucked away. I needed to let a lot of it out.

And, I always try to focus on the positive so had definitely celebrated small victories and looked for silver linings. But, now I needed time to grieve. I took time for that this summer too. I grieved high school years that weren’t what we’d planned. Time lost. Memories not made. There were no school dances or basketball games. He barely left his room for a few years. I grieved or the college life that isn’t what we’d expected.

Refuel: I was completely depleted! There was nothing left for me or anyone else. I could NOT be my best self without a focus on me. I secured down time and used it to just BE, spend time in nature, be quiet, paddle board, water walk. I took actual time off. Normally I celebrate my ability to work from anywhere while blending vacation and some scaled back work. The only true down time I’ve had in YEARS prior to this was my week-long honeymoon in Mexico. We left our
electronics back home!!

I also used some of the self-care suggestions from this .pdf I created. Click on the link to get your own download! It has a lot of ideas!!

My Summer of Self Care – Sliding into Self Care – Super Simple Strategies for Crazy Busy Lives

Re-Evaluate: During that quiet time came some contemplation and I began to re-evaluate:

My Team – All of my relationships from friendships, professional, those I serve and more.

discovered many of my relationships were very one-sided or based on what I could do vs. who I was. I needed to build my Team Kirsten – those who could help fuel me so that I get back to supporting others.

My Time – How should I spend my time -

My Targets – expand – include all of me – to support and encourage all of you.

Out of that re-evaluation came a shift in focus for my podcast. not really a shift, actually, an expansion.

New Podcast Introduction - Summarizes it all...

You were born with individual strengths and a unique purpose. Don’t let fears, false beliefs, or life’s happenings diminish your influence! 

It’s time to Live and Lead for Impact!

Host, Kirsten Ross, expert of transformation, will help you Defeat the Drama and Overcome the Trauma that can stop you in your tracks. You’ll gain focus, find confidence, and take bold action…. Unleash passionate, purposeful you!
Let’s Go!!

I realized that to brand my podcast as Defeat the Drama at Work had me feeling fragmented………I kept bumping up against this wall at the edge of business topics with more that I really wanted to share but didn’t feel like I could and still remain consistent to the brand.

Over the past few years I began to feel more and more fragmented as some of my advocacy work took me in different directions with my speaking as well. It was then difficult to feel fully authentic when I spoke on leadership topics.
I just wanted to be all of me! It started to feel like an identity crisis…….

I’ve always had this call to action or wiring to share what I learn to help others. It goes all the way back to high school. As a result, I live my life on 2 tracks all at once. I live and learn as life happens. However, at the same time, I am also constantly looking objectively at my life and organizing what I’m learning with a plan to share what I’m learning to help others. The wiring has me planning that way and then my innate ability to simplify challenging topics helps me turn it into shareable information.

My podcast’s focus on work alone was what had me feeling fractured.
I’ll say that I’ve been blessed to have had many experiences throughout life that provide me the opportunity to share from a rich collection of life experiences.

I actually recently joked with a friend as she marveled at the wealth of life experiences I’ve had, “Well, I’m really hoping God is satisfied with the material I’m now armed with”….I was kind of joking but kind of not!

So…….The strategies I share with others have been used by many of my clients but also by me. Ironically, whenever I start with a new coaching client, one of the first things I share is this, “You are who you are in your life and in your work so we can work on either and we’ll impact both.” 

I immediately give license to my clients to be a whole human being SOOOOOO……Why on earth have I been limiting my ability to be whole too and share from my plethora of both work and life experiences? Ultimately, my goal is to help others make a positive impact and I don’t care where it happens! I believe to the depths of my core that we are each put on this earth with a unique purpose and wonderful gifts to share with others. Too often fears, false beliefs and the happenings of life stop us from fulfilling that purpose and we rob the world of us.

With this new title and focus I get to be all of me and can also help all of you! Don’t rob the world of you!! I want to help you defeat the drama and overcome the trauma that can block you!

Live and Lead for Impact is about making your difference in this world as all of you from the many different roles that you play. The reality is that you can make a difference as a leader, parent, community member, volunteer, an employee or something else entirely I want to help you make your important impact. Thank you for listening and I look forward to helping you and hearing about your journey to impact!

Click To Download Your Free Sliding Into Self Care: Super Simple Strategies for Crazy Busy Lives

Direct download: Podcast_Relaunch_episode_104_-_11_24_18_3.25_PM.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT