053. Taking a Brilliant Gamble on Yourself with Blaire Palmer

By on April 30, 2019


Download this episode

First, Blaire went grey, then she took her daughter out of school, sold her house, bought an RV, got passports for the dogs and hit the road. How’s that for a midlife crisis?

But Blaire doesn’t call it that. She calls it her Brilliant Gamble.

Why is Blaire a great guest for your show?

There comes a time in life when you want to live on your own terms, when you think ‘If not now, when?”.

Blaire is a “serial Brilliant Gambler”​​, ​​having ​​shaken up her life over and over since she first left her secure job as a BBC journalist to become one of Europe’s first certified coaches at age 29, nearly 20 years ago. ​Recently – even with all of her experience of changing her life – midlife hit Blaire like a blow to the head. And she’s not alone.

We live in a world where women still bear the brunt of most of the childcare and household chores, juggling “life” and a hefty, high profile, high octane career. Add to that ageing parents, our own changing bodies and a slow dawning that we’re more than halfway through our allotted time on earth. Quite frankly, it’s why a lot of people find themselves saying, ‘screw it’ a lot.

Blaire is brutally honest about the realities of changing your life. She’s passionate about breaking the rules of work, living on your own terms, creating a unique blend where work, life and self sit in harmony and helping others to take the road less travelled.

And Blaire doesn’t just spout endless theory. She puts her theories – conventional wisdom, personal hunches and inspirational ideas – to the test. As she says “I wouldn’t have any credibility to help other people change their life if I wasn’t willing to have a go first”.

Key Points from the Episode with Blaire Palmer:

  • After a successful career in journalism at the BBC and elsewhere, Blaire took the leap to go off on her own as a leadership and business consultant nearly 20 years ago.
  • After a couple of decades in her independent practice, she decided she needed to shake things up in her business and life, and decided to take a year with her daughter and dogs to travel around Europe and experience things first hand – something she calls her Brilliant Gamble.
  • She could have looked at all the reasons not to do it or barriers to doing it, and say it’s rational to let that idea fizzle. There were risks that it wouldn’t work – that her business couldn’t keep running while she’s on the road, that they would run out of money or any number of things that would make it a failure.
  • Blaire decided she needed to rip the band-aid off, take away the connections to not going full-force forward, and go for it.
  • To do something that’s hard, you have to make the status quo so uncomfortable that the pain of change is less than the pain of staying put.
  • She and her daughter bought a camper van and drove all over Europe, having experiences first hand. At the same time, her daughter was home-schooling (or van-schooling) and Blaire ran her consulting business. The logistics of the travel meant she had to learn two things:
    • How to make her business run even if she only had a couple of hours of solid internet connection to make things work
    • How to let things go when things just didn’t align for it all to go smoothly (e.g. files not uploading fast enough).
  • Interestingly, the forcing mechanism of the logistics taught her really well how to see what 60-70% of what you’re doing isn’t translate to being valuable so she could make smarter choices than she used to.
  • Blaire says she’s made it impossible to do the wrong thing by putting barriers in place, like the demands of running her home, home-schooling her daughter, etc. That keeps her on top of making the right choices with her priorities and keeping from going back to 9+ hours of desk work each day.
  • We talked about the idea of control. While Blaire wouldn’t say her day to day is 100% in her control, her overall life is. There are things that come up that are not of her choosing, like illness in the family or emergencies that pop up. However, the life she’s living is of her choosing, and that’s the most important form of control.
  • She came away from the trip with several key pieces of knowledge:
    • You won’t know until you go. Waiting to be ready won’t teach you what you need to know. Only embarking on the journey will reveal what the journey is going to be about, whether you’re ready or not!
    • Changing your situation won’t change your statebut it will reveal what state you’re in​​. Changing your life is not the end of the journey. External changes (new house, new job, new location, etc) are only the start of the emotional and psychological journey you’re thinking about.
    • If you’re alone you’ll go home. Most of us think we can do this on our own but we need a community.
    • There’s no such thing as a balanced life…just a balanced mind. ​​No amount of money or time will make you feel good about your life unless your mind is balanced, you are present in the life you have and you appreciate that everything is just right already.
    • Rolling the dice is your job. Where it lands isn’t. Change is unpredictable and we must learn to accept that the journey is never what you thought it would look like when you took the first step…but, that’s the fun! You throw the dice but you don’t control where it lands, only what you choose to do once the numbers are revealed.
  • Fear of failure and fear of success are huge barriers for adults. She advocates to have a worst-case scenario plan so you know what you can do if things don’t work, but most of our fears about failure are unfounded. The only time you really fail is if you stop playing the game.
  • We talked about whether some people are wired to be able to take brilliant gambles than others. Blaire has seen people who are definitely more risk averse or risk tolerant, but it’s never too late to change. We need to ask, if we aren’t going to do something that gives us joy and challenge now, when might we do it?
  • I asked if it’s about the fear or missing out or the draw of opportunity. Blaire feels it varies by person.
  • Instead of believing something isn’t possible, you have to believe that it is, and ask the questions about it from there. If it was possible for me to do X, how would I do it? What might I have to do to make it happen? This helps draw us past the barriers and toward the way to make the possibilities work. Frame from possibility to find solutions rather than failures.
  • We did talk about the word choice of “Gamble” in the name of what Blaire did. It shouldn’t have to be a gamble to take a chance on ourselves and going after what we really want. We should be the best place to bet on, so that’s what makes it brilliant. And it’s a gamble to sit still and stay with what you have now – we just don’t usually see it that way.

Links:

Subscribe to The Do a Day Podcast

   

Keep Growing with Do a Day

052. Living As You Need to From Your Perspective with Dai Manuel

By on April 23, 2019


Download this episode

Dai Manuel is a super dad, dating his wife and currently doing life with his family around the globe. 

He is also an award-winning digital thought leader and author, executive performance coach and certified lifestyle mentor who empowers people to lead a FUN-ctionally fit life through education, encouragement, and community. 

Dai models his work based on 5 F’s: Fitness, Family, Finances, Faith with an overarching roof of FUN, built on a rock-solid foundation of Health. 

As a former partner and Chief Operating Officer of a multi-million dollar retail company, a keynote speaker, brand ambassador, competitive athlete, a family man, and community leader, Dai knows the struggle of the juggle and keeping his health and happiness a priority.

Dai and his family are on a mission to impact one million role models through education, entertainment, and inspiration by 2020. He’s also a good friend who became a mentor to me when I was starting my journey to create what became Do a Day, including pushing me to see what I could create by bringing my thoughts together in my book. Dai is an amazing human being full of inspiration, and he shares that with us here.

Dai’s gifts to help you make life more awesome:

  1. Join the free 28-day Whole Life Fitness Manifesto program and learn how to maximize your body, mind, and spirit in 30 minutes a day. www.joinwlfm.com
  2. The 99 Bodyweight Workout Guide www.DaiManuel.com/99
  3. How to Develop a Positive Mindset www.daimanuel.com/positive-mindset
  4. The 10 Most Common Low Carb Diet Mistakes www.daimanuel.com/lowcarb 
  5. ‘Why Your Kids Make You Fat’ with the Ultimate Role Model Checklist www.whyyourkidsmakeyoufat.com 
  6. 6-Week Done-With-You Lifestyle program – the RBT Shred @ www.rbtshred.com 

Key Points from the Episode with Dai Manuel:

  • We touched on the interview we did years ago where we talked about Dai’s transformation from being a fellow “Fat Kid” to being this amazing fit and healthy (and inspiring) man. Like me, his original motivation was about not being seen as the fat kid and having girls like him.
  • That set him off on a journey to want more and masking his true feelings with other things – having things, alcohol, narcotics, women and more.
  • That reality existed for over a decade until his wife sat him down, looked at him and asked, “Are you being the type of man that you’d want to marry your daughters?”
  • That hit him – he wasn’t being that man, and he asked himself why.
  • While he initially pushed back on his wife, he did start to reflect and realized how much change was needed, including a lot of self-work. He started to change who he was around and the choices he was making, especially in the career he was in.
  • He had the option of taking over the business he was in, and instead, he and his family broke free. Three years ago, they decided they wanted to hit the road, travel and take in the world.
  • They set out on a road trip for a year across North America, taking in the world first hand. That eventually lead to moving to Bali (at least for a few years).
  • I had to note how different of a man Dai is today versus the last time we talked. There is something so much more profound and open about him after this shift he and his family made three years ago. That experience of the world has clearly moved his sense and understanding of himself.
  • We hit on the Buddhist notion of non-attachment, and how that can lead to such strong self-awareness and movement away from the auto-pilot way we tend to live.
  • When we get on auto-pilot, we tend to stop questioning things and growing – truly growing. Dai’s hope is that people get the chance to pause and ask those questions so they get to have that wake up moment.
  • We touched on the idea of commitment. Part of why they have made things work and grown so much is that they fully committed to the journey. That created a freedom and dedication to going for it and making it work. If you aren’t fully committed, you may do things in a way that holds you back – even slightly – so that you don’t do them well enough to really succeed.
  • We talked about Dai’s childhood, with his parents splitting up, being raised by their mother, and his father’s career. His dad had a successful business he eventually sold. After selling the business, his father started having health issues including cancer and lifestyle illness complications. While Dai was traveling around North America, his father’s health declined, so the family went to spend time with him.
  • After his father passed away, the family decided to travel to Southeast Asia for a three month stay.
  • They rented a home in Bali, and fell in love with all of it – the people, the food, the culture, but mainly the pace of life.  They went back to Canada briefly for business, and then decided to come back to Bali for at least a year.
  • We really started to talk about why Bali feels so good. The pace of life there seems to be a foundational point – when everyone is free of the sort of high-paced burden we tend live with, it almost reframes our humanness and how we relate to others and ourselves.
  • The amount of growth he and his family have experienced as a result of the lifestyle is so strong and recognizable. The full-conviction and commitment to it has been a key to allowing for this growth.
  • We talked about the moments where doing less of the self-work allows for some negative self-talk to creep in. The doubts about career, the future, capabilities, etc creep in.
  • For him, he’s gotten to a place where he knows enough about himself and what his capabilities are, so he’s able to reel that feeling back in, but it still happens. He just has the tools to recognize and face it when it does.
  • When you have a Plan B, that can be helpful, but it can also be a hindrance. He knows there’s a Plan B for him (he can always get a job), but he doesn’t rely on it or think about it actively as it would hold him back. Because of that freedom, they’re now so far down the path away from Plan B that it doesn’t come up anymore.
  • That freedom also has allowed them to see new options and choices they likely wouldn’t see if they were still holding onto the past or the safety-net-style options of Plan B.
  • We hit on the big question of whether you make a leap like his cold turkey, as some advise, or get your ducks in a row and build to it. His advice is to live as you need to live from your perspective. It is your life – own it. Some will need more security, while others will grasp onto that security for perpetuity and never make the leap. If something is making you unhappy, then leave that thing as you need to. If you really need to do it, you will figure out a way. You just need to figure out the process for you.

Links:

Subscribe to The Do a Day Podcast

   

Keep Growing with Do a Day

051. From Homeless to Helping Through Vulnerability with Jaime Jay

By on April 16, 2019


Download this episode

At the core, Jaime Jay is a connector of personalities and brands. He constantly challenges himself to be a better human being. He is also an amateur hockey player and starter good who truly enjoys helping his clients rediscover themselves, their companies and how to realize their “Why.” He has worked with clients across the world, co-founded and run a publishing company, virtual assistant service company, and hosts the popular “Culture Eats Strategy” podcast – a top 100 podcast in the Business category on iTunes. He is the recipient of the Army’s Achievement Medal for Meritorious Service.

Beyond all of that, he is an amazing, humble, giving person. The reason why is rooted in his life story, which started with homelessness, and a rollercoaster experience from there. Jaime shares that story, the lessons he learned and a big piece of himself in this episode of the show.

Key Points from the Episode with Jaime Jay:

  • Embracing vulnerability and being true to yourself helps so much in your personal growth and in business. Jaime goes on to talk about how important it is to be selfish, but in a different way than people may think. He means it positively, in terms of taking care of yourself since you can’t take care of others if you aren’t ok.
  • This sense of needing self-care started in childhood when Jaime dealt with homelessness when his adoptive father moved the family for a job that didn’t materialize. Jaime and his little brother watched an auctioneer selling all of their stuff as they lost everything and lived out of their car for months.
  • He got a job at McDonalds to help support the family, and he would have his family go through the drive-thru so he could give them extra food. He also would take leftover food and give it to his family and other homeless people.
  • Through the homelessness, he struggled to meet requirements at school and had repeat a year and ultimately had to get his GED so he could join the Army.
  • We talked about the timing of this experience given that he was in the midst of his teenage years – a time when most kids struggle with figuring themselves out anyway. Obviously, that only complicated things.
  • Another common issue people deal with after coming back from homelessness is one of the scarcity mindset, which he says has been very much alive in his business decisions. It has impacted him positively around his sense of what being content and ‘having enough’ really means.
  • Jaime shared that his family actually was homeless twice as his father was arrested for embezzlement. It lead him to try very hard not to be a burden on his mother and brother, which is part of why he joined the Army.
  • On top of the issues with his adoptive father, who also made Jaime feel stupid an incapable so much of the time, Jaime’s biological father left when he was five and was a bad drunk.
  • I had to call out the interesting way Jaime has kindness, calmness and gratitude that you might not expect given the tumultuous life he had. He said it stems from his strong desire for no one else to feel what Jaime has felt, so he may go far on the other side of the coin.
  • Jaime shared how his brother got addicted to drugs while Jaime was in the Army. Given how inseparable they were, this hit him hard.
  • He left the Army to be with his wife at the time, with whom he had a child. When he left the Army, he came home to his wife asking for a divorce, leaving him homeless and penniless again.
  • He spent the next decade never really feeling confident or secure, with this unhappiness and fear of what will go wrong.
  • From the age of 21 to 30, he was married and divorced three times.
  • On August 23rd, 2005, his brother was hit by a semi truck and killed when Jaime’s sister-in-law was pregnant with their second child. That devastated Jaime, and threw him into a backward spiral. That day in August is always so hard for him.
  • He started a successful advertising agency in 2006, which was hit hard in 2008 when the economy fell apart. And he was drinking and not saving at that time, which added to everything ending in 2008 with Jaime becoming homeless again, and he had to move back in with his mother at age 38. His perspective at the time was very much one of “The world is doing this to me. Why me?”
  • Sharing his story is tough because he doesn’t feel good about what he did or what happened. He is concerned with what people might think about him. But looking at this through the self-care lens, it helps him tremendously to be open about it, and it serves others through those who identify with his story and find inspiration in it for how they can move forward.
  • Today, he’s been on a different, empowering and gracious path. He’s surrounded himself with the right people who share his positive, kind values, including his girlfriend of seven years, who has been a crucial part of Jaime’s better life.
  • Jaime gave us a challenge. When we feel like someone is a jerk or is behaving badly, look at yourself and your behavior. Did you perhaps provoke that behavior in them? Often, we miss the trigger we are responsible for.

Links:

Subscribe to The Do a Day Podcast

   

Keep Growing with Do a Day

050. From Addiction to Peak Performance with Nick Elvery

By on April 9, 2019


Download this episode

Nick Elvery is a Peak Performance Coach who helps CEOs maximize their focus, energy and productivity.

Nick Elvery has overcome over a decade of hard drug and alcohol addiction.  His experience gave him the insight into just what it takes to create lasting change and build a fulling life that allows for hard work and health.

Watching his father’s health decline over his life and eventually pass way really gave Nick a different perspective on the importance of health. His mission is to help CEO’s take back control of their life and health so they can be there for their family without sacrifice the mission of the business.

We talk about the journey Nick went on, the struggle with addiction coupled with a desire to develop as a human being, the moment when he woke up and decided to change, and how his message is helping others today.

Key Points from the Episode with Nick Elvery:

  • Nick opened the conversation sharing the challenge he overcame – spending 12 years as an addict of hard drugs and alcohol.
  • Like many kids, Nick grew up experimenting with smoking and drinking. At the same time, his father’s health was declining in front of Nick’s eyes due to Multiple Sclerosis, ultimately claiming his life.
  • Watching a capable, driven, full-of-life parent degrade like that created a very strong emotional response in Nick, which drove further and further decline into addiction.
  • We talked about why Nick fell into addiction, and he talked about ego – the drive many of us have (especially when we’re young) to prove ourselves. This played a big part in his addiction where he seemed to need to prove he could do the most and the hardest drugs. It was a mix of seeking popularity and escaping the reality of his father’s decline.
  • The drive to fit in was a big theme for him, leading him to live like a chameleon rather than figuring out who he is and how to live as himself – something he’s focused on helping others are today.
  • Only when we become happy with who we are will people respect and accept us since only then do we accept and respect ourselves.
  • Everyone ultimately has a want to connect, and Nick felt like he didn’t fit in early on and was labelled as different, so that desire to fit in lead him to change his behavior in hopes of fitting in.
  • His addiction went so far that he found himself in Asia doing crystal meth in motorcycle chases with meth dealers – and he didn’t even think that was unsafe or anything at the time.
  • Paradoxically, while his addiction was growing, Nick was also diving deeper into self-discovery and personal development after getting introduced to Tony Robbins when he was just 16. It’s as if there was a struggle within him to self-destruct and to self-develop.
  • Doing some self-help work was what struck him hard enough to realize just how far he had gone in the wrong direction. It also gave him access to the path to change – a decision he made in a single moment of self-realization.
  • The word he ends up coming back to is Tenacity. Living by the tenacity of not giving in is a motto and approach he things we could all benefit from.
  • There is a need and value to do self-work that applies to all of us.
  • Nick has had a fascination with what makes people tick – what makes people succeed, why we get out of bed, why two people who have had the same experience yet come out very differently.
  • Nick’s advice to anyone facing a struggle – whatever it is – is to never give up. Anything you want to create in your life is totally possible. We may not be able to see that alternative, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It can be scary to look at such a different future, but it is still possible. You are worth saving and you can do it.
  • Surround yourself with people who care and see that future, too, and you can create whatever you want for your life.

Links:

Subscribe to The Do a Day Podcast

   

Keep Growing with Do a Day

049. From Dented to Thriving Through Serving Others with Mary Shores

By on April 2, 2019


Download this episode

20 years ago, Mary Shores started with an idea. Today, she is a successful entrepreneur with a multi-million-dollar, heart-centered business and a best-selling book, Conscious Communications.

But she didn’t start that way. Mary hit rock-bottom after enduring the loss of her daughter within the first year of her life, and while Mary was still very young.

She survived an unstable past filled with abandonment and instability stemming from her mother’s mental illness, but found within herself the strength to rebuild by founding an industry-changing business. She now inspires others with lessons of resiliency and empowerment nationwide.

Mary shares her gripping, emotional journey as a point of inspiration that, regardless of what we face, we can come through. And she talks about her business, debt collection, to show that regardless of the work you do, you can do it in a way that has an impact and does good. In an industry not known for such things, Mary is proof that you can rewrite the script and still succeed – something she’s done time and time again no matter how things were playing out.

Key Points from the Episode with Mary Shores:

  • Reflection has brought an understanding around the theme throughout her life around the fear of abandonment
  • Mary was taken in by family in Illinois from her home in Southern California when she was just three years old due to mental illness her mother struggled with
  • Later in her childhood, she was reunited with her mother while her little sister stayed with the family who took them in when they were young, creating a sense of separation and loss from the person closest to her.
  • At 13, Mary’s mother left again, leaving her alone with her step-father so she chose to go from friend’s couch to friend’s couch throughout high school rather than having a stable home. She looks back on her view of that time as exciting and one framed by strong independence.
  • Mary became pregnant at 18, and ended up giving birth to a daughter when she was 19 only to lose her 18 months later due to complications her daughter suffered around oxygen deprivation during the labor and birth process and brain damage that resulted.
  • Mary didn’t just lose her daughter, but the process was so extreme because of how drawn out it was, and how much she was exposed to in the hospital; and of course she had nothing at the time as she and her boyfriend basically lived on the floor of their daughter’s hospital room.
  • While this obviously was a major trauma, it was also the spark for a resilience that has defined Mary’s life since then.
  • After her daughter’s death, Mary went through the lowest point in her life, feeling dented, damaged and like a failure. She decided in that process not to be a statistic and instead started a business. It wasn’t from a place of empowerment, but rather a desire not to be a failure.
  • Mary got into the debt collection business, which she says isn’t really most people’s dream or passion. She noted how so many people talk about following your passion, and collections isn’t really that, but there are things that can align to passion regardless of what the actual work is.
  • She wanted to be different, and take an approach of positivity-based selling of collections. She focused on the idea of how great it will be to get out of debt while everyone else focused on the same and fear of being in debt in their approach.  She failed miserably.
  • Being interested in neuroscience, she understood that people have a negativity bias, so the positive outcome wasn’t enough to overcome the unwillingness to pay in a way that fear can. This all ties to people feeling unworthy.
  • Figuring this out was an ah-ha moment for Mary, and she said, “I want the next person I work with to be happier at the end of the call than when it started it.” That approach worked.
  • The approach was so successful that Mary started to reach it more broadly, which is what lead her into her work as a coach and author.
  • Mary shared one of her favorite quotes, which is by Maryanne Williamson, “A miracle is but a shift in perception.”
  • Conscious Communications, her book, focuses on several key things to use to start your path forward. One of the key ideas is Gratitude.
  • She talks about the word, “Empowerment,” which gets so much focus, but what does it really mean? It’s really about an internal sense of feeling good.
  • All the focus on Happiness has people thinking that we have to be happy all the time. But the reality is, we aren’t. And we aren’t meant to be. And that’s ok. The key is to understand what we’re feeling and why we feel it, and learn and grow from that. But you shouldn’t judge yourself for feeling that way or ignore or diminish it.
  • She reminds us of the importance of self-care, which is a buzzword that’s thrown around a lot, but what does it mean? For Mary, it’s about taking time for yourself.
  • Cleanse or clog – everything you do in those smallest moments of life is always working to make a closer connection to what you want and desire or to stand in the way of it.
  • The choices you make will shape your life forever.

Links:

Subscribe to The Do a Day Podcast

   

Keep Growing with Do a Day