Women Worldwide with Deirdre Breakenridge

Did you know that it’s not only possible to achieve your lifelong dreams, but the process of doing so will increase your success and competency in other areas of your life too? This is exactly what happened to today’s guest Karen Brown. Karen was successful, but she always felt she was missing out on a calling or purpose. She also was always drawn to Ironman races. One day, it finally hit her that her calling was to compete in an Ironman race.

She did this, and the challenge and discipline of preparing for the race improved her life in other areas. She was even able to take what she learned along the way and use it to focus on leadership coaching. This conversation with Karen is really inspirational. She shares knowledge based on science that we can all use to shift our mindset and use the power of our subconscious thoughts to create any habits we want. Karen is an expert in leadership and professional performance and the author of Unlimiting Your Beliefs: 7 Keys to Greater Success in Your Personal & Professional Life. She shares so much truth and knowledge in this episode that you won’t want to miss it.

Show Notes:

  • [03:32] Karen was climbing the corporate ladder as a leader for about 20 years. She had the outward trappings of success, but she felt like something was missing.
  • [04:01] She was feeling a lack of purpose. She was wondering what this was all really about.
  • [04:20] Whenever she watched the Ironman World Championships on TV, she felt these emotions.
  • [05:00] 1982 was a dramatic Ironman year for women.
  • [05:53] Watching the Ironman made Karen wonder if she had something inside her similar to that in which she hasn't tapped into yet.
  • [06:51] Karen truly believes that she was meant to do the Ironman World Championships because it was the toughest thing that she could fathom at the time.
  • [07:11] It forced her to stretch and expand her comfort zone. It became her personal growth and development vehicle of choice.
  • [07:53] She thought that professional capabilities and personal goals and dreams were completely separate, but they are actually inextricably linked.
  • [08:15] The doorway to being able to access her abilities came through achieving a lifelong dream.
  • [08:30] Once Karen stepped into the pursuit of her dream, she was able to elevate.
  • [09:14] All of us have a lifelong dream whether we admit it to ourselves or not.
  • [09:35] There are scientific reasons why we tend to back away. Yet this is the exact thing we need to do in order to transform.
  • [10:27] People limit themselves because they are scared. Our unconscious mind makes it a behavioral pattern kind of like a habit. The pattern of limiting beliefs repeats itself.
  • [11:47] Our default pattern is not to try something new.
  • [13:43] Women's typical limiting belief is some version of I'm not enough, while men feel like they have to do everything themselves and can't ask for help.
  • [15:23] Conscious thoughts are actually gateways into our unconscious mind. We also compare ourselves to other people who are already doing that big goal. This is called comparison bias.
  • [17:11] Our subconscious mind is the most simplistic yet powerful machine. It will believe and carry out anything we tell it.
  • [18:46] Conquering limited beliefs is a three-step technique.
  • [19:08] We also need to tap into our dreams and harness the power of our unconscious mind.
  • [20:16] We need to do whatever it takes. Have “No Discipline” or the ability to say no to the distractions and things that will get you off-track from achieving that lifelong dream.
  • [22:41] Feedback is always tainted with our own personal filters and values. Think of it as perspective.
  • [23:58] Change your company's feedback system to a prospective system. Other people's perspectives are the best way for us to see things in a different way. This is a gift that allows us to grow and change.
  • [25:17] Women will hold their thoughts back in the boardroom until they've thought out every option. Men just talk on the fly.
  • [26:34] Comparison bias. Our subconscious is also judging. Once we understand how our operating system works, we are really only in competition with ourselves.
  • [28:53] Once you know yourself better and know how unconscious behavior patterns are formed, it's so much easier to change them.
  • [30:32] It's common in our culture to look for a quick fix instead of looking inside of ourselves.
  • [31:19] We need to be present when we are talking to people and really listening.
  • [33:03] The younger generation immediately switches into the how. It gets in their way and stops them from harnessing the power of their unconscious minds and coming up with incredible solutions.
  • [35:33] During Karen's journey with Ironman, she learned how to manage distractions.
  • [38:31] Part of Karen's morning routine includes getting enough sleep. Then she wakes up early, works out, and has quiet time. She spends at least 30 to 45 minutes learning or whatever she feels like doing in the moment.
  • [40:55] Pay attention to whatever your lifelong dream is and put it front and center. It's the key to everything you're looking for.
  • [41:50] Our unconscious mind can carry out anything that we think up.

Links and Resources:

Direct download: WW224.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

I am so excited to have Dr. Erin Macdonald on the show today. She is an astrophysicist and aerospace engineer. She has managed to take her childhood love of science fiction and the X-Files and turn it into an exciting career. She is a teacher and lecturer who puts as much emphasis on her language and communications skills as she does on her scientific knowledge.

Erin makes science fun and inspirational for her students by explaining how science and movies intersect. She also consults for TV, movies, and video games and found a way to make math fun, because once you progress past a certain point it becomes like a new language that you can communicate in.

Erin is a role model and mentor for up and coming women and girls who are interested in getting involved in STEM careers. She is an extraordinary guest and you won’t want to miss this interview.

Show Notes:

  • [03:16] Kids love space and dinosaurs. Erin loved the X-files growing up. When she looked into things she found out that she could learn how the world works. She was inspired by studying astrophysics.
  • [04:47] She started teaching and got involved with aerospace engineering.
  • [05:41] Math is like a language. It will come together once you get into it. Erin came to a point where she could describe stuff using math.
  • [06:32] Stick with math, don't let poor teaching get you down.
  • [06:53] Being able to write and having the ability to communicate your ideas effectively will get you very far in the field.
  • [07:15] Being able to convey very complex ideas in a very succinct way will get you very far.
  • [08:06] Public speaking is important. When you’re in an academic environment you do have to go to conferences, you have to explain your research and answer people’s questions. So, being able to talk is very important, plus you have a lot of teaching that you need to do.
  • [10:04] Scientist need to have the ability to communicate and not make the other person feel dumb. This is crucial to society's perception of scientists.
  • [10:56] In the fields that Erin has been working in, there has been about one woman for every seven guys.
  • [11:45] Erin did have trouble finding other women mentors (other than Dana Scully from the X-files). The biggest surprise in her field was the lack of support from the older generation of women.
  • [13:01] It was kind of like she had to earn the right to be there.
  • [14:05] It would be wonderful if women would lift each other up and find and build a community. Even if you don't have mentors, you could have female peers to help and support each other.
  • [15:57] Erin feels lucky that she was able to craft her dream job. She always wanted to be behind the scenes in the entertainment industry.
  • [16:40] She started speaking at science fiction conventions, and she was able to share scientific information with a diverse group of people. She also started meeting actors, writers, and producers while she was there.
  • [18:21] She started making connections, and people started reaching out for advice about the science behind the shows that they were writing.
  • [19:16] She recently worked on a scripted live sci-fi show called Orbital Redux.
  • [21:33] Erin answer question #35 from Answers for Modern Communicators book - “Is it better to be a Type A or Type B personality?” Her Type A personality helps her with that, but diversity is important.
  • [24:29] If we aren't challenged, we aren't doing it right. Having to pitch herself is the most uncomfortable thing that Erin has to do. She has to convince them that she is different.
  • [27:42] Her tough skin has helped her become more confident with whatever she is doing.
  • [30:13] Erin had to give a speech to non-scientists. She started taking acting classes and getting out of her comfort zone.
  • [32:41] Talking about science fiction can be an anchor to teach real science.
  • [33:59] A day in Erin's life. Public speaking and science communication is a skill. She gets up early and works with the Air Force. Then she does doctor errand stuff at the end of the day. She also goes to the beach to decompress or takes breaks when she needs them.
  • [36:26] Burnout warning bells put you in a negative space and not wanting to do stuff. It's being tired and irritated. Physical anxiety. We know when we are pushed too far. The difficult thing is fixing it.
  • [38:33] I'll work better if I get the rest that I need. Self-care is so important.
  • [39:46] Relentlessly pursuing happiness is the way to find what work is for you. It's okay to walk away and think outside the box and pursue new things. Confidence is contagious.  

Links and Resources:

Direct download: WW223.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

Statistics show that anxiety is on the rise for Americans and for younger people. Conditions such as anxiety and insomnia can have a negative effect on our lives and prevent us from doing what we want to do or just make life more challenging than it needs to be. Fortunately, I have anxiety expert Stephanie Dalfonzo on the show today. Stephanie has an interesting story and career trajectory.

She began working as a DJ, then she started a hypnosis practice and now she helps people overcome their issues with anxiety. Stephanie is the author of Goodbye Anxiety, Hello Freedom, and it’s such a pleasure to have her on the show. She shares techniques and wisdom to start fighting anxiety with simple practices that anyone can do. She has so much knowledge to share and this episode is packed with wisdom and resources.

Show Notes:

  • [03:33] About 20 years ago, Stephanie was a celebrity radio DJ. She developed insomnia and went to the doctor and got a prescription. The prescription worked but only for a short time.
  • [04:52] She started researching just for her own sanity. Through her research, she realized that she had struggled with anxiety her entire life.
  • [05:22] She started looking for ways to manage her emotions. We can control our emotions by learning new healthy habits.
  • [06:02] Stephanie went to coaching school and learned hypnosis. She ended up having a successful hypnosis practice for 10 years.
  • [06:22] Most of the people who came to her had issues rooted in anxiety. According to a Gallup survey, Americans are the most stressed people in the world.
  • [07:13] Stress, worry, and anger lead to feelings of anxiety. Kids, teens, and young adults are also experiencing crisis levels of anxiety.
  • [08:07] Anxious parents have anxious kids.
  • [08:40] Signs of anxiety include anger and being controlling. Hopelessness, sleeping, and withdrawing are also signs.
  • [10:48] Stephanie's book has 35 techniques for dealing with anxiety, and they are all in alphabetical order. This is intentional because simple shifts create lasting change.
  • [12:36] We have to continuously empy the stress bucket with these simple techniques.
  • [17:02] Smile and your subconscious mind will think you are happy. Express 3 things you are grateful for first thing in the morning because gratitude is so powerful. It will set the tone for the whole day.
  • [20:46] Turn your affirmations into a question. Why am I healthy and well? You’ll start seeing possibilities.
  • [24:14] What we focus on becomes our reality. The best way to handle rejection is to shift your focus.
  • [25:16] Breathing takes us to the present moment.
  • [29:06] Standing in a power pose will give you higher testosterone levels and lower cortisol levels.
  • [32:02] Tony Fadell talks about how devices are intentionally addictive and give us a dopamine hit.
  • [37:15] Stephanie starts her day with gratitude. She also has a daily yoga practice.
  • [40:00] Crossing left and right sides of the brain is balancing.
  • [42:26] Adverse childhood experiences can lead to problems later on in life. If you have childhood trauma, you need to do the healing work.
  • [45:40] For the next seven days, choose a couple of techniques and practice them.

Links and Resources:

Direct download: WW222.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

Statistically, women are underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and there are many programs encouraging girls to study STEM careers. In spite of the stats, women have made significant contributions in these fields. My guest today is one of those women. Diana L. Burley, Ph.D. is a globally recognized cybersecurity expert and Executive Director and Chair of the Institute for Information Infrastructure Protection (I3P) at George Washington University.

Growing up, Diana was always interested in technology and how it affects the behavior of people involved with it. By going into cybersecurity, she found the perfect intersection of people and technology to research. She is at the forefront of the latest research in cybersecurity and the evolution of new threats like holes in the world of the Internet of Things. Diana has always been a problem solver and shares the aha moment she discovered in Graduate school along with her no-nonsense approach to everything cybersecurity.

Show Notes:

  • [03:16] Growing up, Diana was always very interested in technology and how it shapes people and their behavior around it. Her expertise is the intersection of people and Technology. She's now a cybersecurity expert.
  • [04:39] Being a woman in cybersecurity can be lonely. Diana thinks of it in terms of the impact that she can make.
  • [05:45] Diana suggests that young women follow their passion and be prepared for whatever field they're going into and don't let fear stop them.
  • [07:03] Cybersecurity is a very broad field. Whatever your path make sure you are taking courses that help you solve complex problems, develop analytical abilities, and develop communication abilities.
  • [08:21] You will need communication skills wherever you go.
  • [08:56] Relationships are key for making introductions and seeing pathways that you wouldn't normally see.
  • [10:27] One of the things you need to think about with cybersecurity is what are the motivators for the people involved. The issues need to be looked at holistically.
  • [12:09] People, process, and technology takes a lot to get up to speed. There needs to be a constant state of vigilance because threats are always evolving.
  • [14:29] Understanding and using technology as it involves is all about not being afraid to try things.
  • [15:22] There's constant learning that has to take place in the cybersecurity field. If you have passion, it doesn't feel like work.
  • [18:54] Even without reading the terms of service, you should assume that your data will be used online.
  • [19:35] You can help yourself with cyber hygiene. Use strong passwords. Use different passwords for every site and change them regularly. Don't click on links from unexpected emails.
  • [21:24] Tools like LastPass can be very helpful.
  • [21:42] Diana runs a research institute and is developing some executive education courses for the university.
  • [23:44] When a situation looks grim, Diana looks for solutions. Once you break the problem down into pieces, you can chip away at it.
  • [25:59] One of the things that has surprised Diana is the impression that she has made on people.
  • [28:32] When Diana was working on her dissertation, she focused on the individual tasks. She was actually stunned when, after completing a task, her advisor said she was done. Anything can be completed if you break things down into small doable tasks.
  • [30:15] Diana is a researcher. Mistakes are more like options that didn't work and can be crossed off the list.
  • [32:34] Diversity and different experiences and backgrounds help inform gut reactions. Bringing together differences of opinion and thought helps create very robust solutions.
  • [34:31] Diana is primarily a researcher. She could be working with a client to develop a strategic solution for their cybersecurity program. She could also be working with a research team for deeper analysis. She could also be giving speeches or talking to students. She also has quiet days where she can just sit and write.
  • [38:38] People can be a cybersecurity weak link. Changing behavior is very important. Another hot topic is cybersecurity and IoT devices.
  • [40:44] The best advice Diana can give is to be proactive about your security in the digital space. Be an active participant.

Links and Resources:

Direct download: WW221.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

How we feel about ourselves can be a big part of how confident we feel. Like it or not, things in our appearance like our hair make a difference in our inner confidence. Today’s guest has not only found a way to empower women when they need it the most, but she has built a solid business around it. Caliz Sotelo Moore co-founded Wigs.com in 1999. She was exploring online niches and was fortunate and wise enough to stumble onto the wig niche.

When she realized that there was a need to help people with alternative hair and how empowering it could be, she made this business her sole focus. Things paid off and Wigs.com is the world’s largest online wig retailer. She now focuses on education and building a team that is empowered and passionate about their work. She has partnered with BreastCancer.org, and she has a huge soft spot for children’s charities. Carliz works passionately to make the world a better place one life at a time.

Show Notes:

  • [03:25] Carliz started Wigs.com in 1999. She has been entrepreneurial since she was a kid.
  • [03:50] She was helping write business plans and noticed that niche markets online were wide open.
  • [04:16] Her goal was to get 10 online platforms with products shipped from the manufacturer to the consumer. The wig market was wide open. It was also very needed and educational aspect was very important.
  • [04:49] Alternative hair ended up being the only thing that they focused on. There was such a need.
  • [05:34] Her parents and grandparents were entrepreneurs and it just was in her DNA to become an entrepreneur.
  • [06:14] As an entrepreneur, you can make the necessary improvements you want.
  • [07:07] When you empower your team they have exponentially more passion.
  • [08:18] Passion is the personality trait that Carliz looks for. Team members get ownership of what they do.
  • [09:44] Everyone has passion, we just need to figure out what sparks it.
  • [10:45] It's important to push yourself out of your comfort zone and keep improving.
  • [12:30] Alopecia is on a scary rise. Hair loss in general is up for women.
  • [13:15] We lose 80 to 90 hairs a day. Hair production goes down in our 30s.
  • [14:14] New wig technology is so beautiful and well made.
  • [15:29] Quality is great now. Wigs are like human hair. Wigs are fun to experiment with.
  • [17:22] There is a medical need for alternative hair, but it's also a fun way to express yourself without added chemicals, time and expense.
  • [18:23] With a wig you can have perfect hair in an instant.
  • [18:28] Their biggest partner is BreastCancer.org. Anyone who purchases on Wigs.com has the opportunity to give to BreastCancer.org.
  • [18:54] They also help with educational videos and answering questions women don't know about wigs.
  • [19:05] Carliz loves charities related to kids.
  • [21:17] What skills do you need to get noticed? Be of value and put yourself out there. Don't be afraid to be unique. Find value and be yourself.
  • [23:53] Carliz has surprised herself with her ability to stick to it. She had a gypsy spirit, but fell in love with the client base that she serves.
  • [26:29] Four or five years ago, they put out a survey and decided that they needed to listen to the client. Without listening to the client you will miss some things.
  • [28:53] Women in business have different challenges. Women manage differently than men. Women seem to have a higher EQ. It's positive but can be draining. Women need to get out there and do it.
  • [33:49] Carliz has a great group of people that she bounces ideas off. We do need a network.
  • [34:55] Find a group to connect with peers. Look for networking groups like EO or Vistage of other peer groups.
  • [36:32] There is always someone who can share a unique perspective.
  • [37:14] Carliz learns from clients and any related resources that she can find.
  • [38:22] She loves engaging in all aspects of her company. There are different things every day, and she is thankful for her amazing team.
  • [40:25] Follow your gut and listen to your instincts. Never give up and make a difference. You are successful if you are passionate about what you are doing and getting paid for it.
  • [42:11] Don't settle. Find the right team and find a job where you can make a difference.

Links and Resources:

Direct download: WW220.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

Emily Pereira was living the perfect life, but deep down she knew that something didn’t feel right. When her life and relationship came crashing down, she realized that perfection wasn’t the answer, it was the problem. She went on a quest to find her real life’s passion and through writing and creativity, she discovered her authentic self and true happiness.

Emily is a life and love coach, author, creator, retreat leader, mother, and an advocate for finding creative passion within to live your true magical and radiant life. She lives in a magical world in Costa Rica with her partner and her daughter. She now allows her creativity to flow and helps other women do the same. You will laugh and be inspired with this wonderful conversation I have with Emily.

Show Notes:

  • [03:09] Emily is a mompreneur who holds retreats in Costa Rica.
  • [03:23] About 10 years ago, Emily started wondering when she was going to do something that truly mattered to her.
  • [05:12] She worked for a Fortune 500 company and lived on the beach with an original Internet  tycon Myspace founder.
  • [05:53] She did more of what she knew. She worked more, shopped more, and escaped more.
  • [07:02] Emily was working from a framework of external happiness and deep down inside she had a nagging feeling that this wasn't working for her.
  • [08:02] Her boyfriend cheated on her, and she moved out of the beachfront property. She was full of pity and blame.
  • [08:40] A beautiful new beginning can be disguise by a painful ending. She connected with a powerful spiritual teacher.
  • [09:47] She discovered that her pain had more to do with the illusion she had bought into than what had actually happened with her breakup. She didn't have to be perfect.
  • [10:42] All of our thoughts have an energy validation.
  • [12:02] It's not about being perfect, it's about being authentic.
  • [13:02] Creativity is a natural part of being human.
  • [14:06] You don't have to be perfect to participate, you just have to give yourself permission to be a beginner.
  • [14:48] She began tearing down illusions and taking radical personal responsibility.
  • [15:56] When are you going to do something that matters to you? This question kept coming up.
  • [16:37] She knew she needed to write her story.
  • [17:10] She began writing a little before bed. The words flowed freely when she suspended judgement.
  • [18:57] The floods of creativity burst forth from her, and she started doing all types of creative endeavors from painting to dance.
  • [19:45] She discovered that creativity was connected to spirituality.
  • [20:05] She felt connected to who she was and why she was here in those moments of inspiration.
  • [22:16] Writing is a super powerful way to draw the authentic out of you.
  • [22:57] She also suddenly felt a camaraderie with other women. She discovered her life's work was going to be helping other women see the truth and beauty of who they are.
  • [25:14] For Emily, success is touching lives and moments of bliss.
  • [26:51] Emily had an epiphany where she discovered her new version of her authentic self.
  • [28:53] Radiance and consciousness is an everyday practice.
  • [29:42] Every morning she writes down 10 things that she is grateful for.
  • [31:11] Things change, and there are going to be challenges.
  • [33:05] Time management can be a challenge for a busy mom.
  • [34:19] Emily lives in Costa Rica with her daughter and life partner.
  • [35:40] She works with women who want to attract love.
  • [36:36] The nature, jungle, and life force of Costa Rica is amazing. As well as the fruits. They have a very International community.
  • [38:20] There's absolutely nothing wrong with you, if you aren't happy. You just bought into an illusion. There is a wellspring of magic living inside you. Tap into your creative passion to fulfill who you really are. Permission. Passion. Purpose.

Links and Resources:

Direct download: WW219.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

Rebekah is a Nashville, Tennessee based writer and entrepreneur. She joined the founding team of PRTech company Onclusive (formerly AirPR) in 2012, where she helped build the industry’s first PR attribution technology, while also convincing PR and Communications professionals to embrace data. Now she is on the Advisory Board, and is thrilled with the progress the company is making under new leadership.

Prior to this she has started one of the fastest growing PR firms called talkTECH with her dear friend Kristen Tischhauser-Grossi. She now has her own writing collective she calls WriteVest where she works on the types of projects she wants to work on and gets paid fairly for doing so. We talk about how PR, writing, journalism, blogging, and content creation using data has all changed. We also talk about how important it is to remember that there is another person on the other side of that computer screen.

Show Notes

  • [04:12] Rebecca built a Communications and PR Company. Then she was a co-founder and helped build are PR. She sense left that company and now launched right vest.
  • [04:43] Her and her friend founded a percomplaony, now It’s AirPR
  • [05:08] She took time of to just explore what was her passion and what does she love. We need factful writing and critical thinking. We need an outside perspective on things and people who can tell a thoughtful storyo.
  • [06:02] There is a need for good writing that is thoughtful
  • [07:12] It's important for professionals to dive into data, but there is also the creative side.
  • [08:00] Being a good communicator doesn't mean you're able to write content that is compelling. After looking at different data points she discovered different content is for different customers.
  • [09:03] There is a good need for good writing and content. The press release isn't the best way to tell a story.
  • [10:31] PR was the writing. The sizzle came from the marketing. The role of PR is to adapt and be flexible when needed. What is going out is all considered PR.
  • [12:55] Part of it being creative. Part of what you are doing is trying to connect with a customer base.
  • [15:03] The thinking part is taking a topic and tying it into a granular topic.
  • [17:51] Marketing, writing, and advertising all have to work together.
  • [18:47] Everybody is media to day. Look at yourself as a publisher and storyteller.
  • [19:49] We need good journalism, but we also need people created content.
  • [20:50] Data shows us what's good and not good. Communicate effectively.
  • [23:24] Look at the value of the content produces. Get paid as a creative person first.
  • [26:05] How you share information when you have writer's block. Lock yourself in a cabin for four days or get out in nature. Reading good writing helps.
  • [30:25] The biggest thing she has learned is that she doesn't know anything until she shows up.
  • [32:28] Behind every computer screen is a person.
  • [33:03] Be open to what comes. Don't take too much on and don't let it bother you when things don't turn out as they should.
  • [34:32] After grief, you learn who your people are.
  • [36:58] Important things are what matters, don't waste your energy on the little stuff.
  • [39:36] It takes a lot of humility to be a good leader. Good leaders need to be able to listen.
  • [40:50] We can only see if people show up consistently as the same person.
  • [44:30] Do what brings you and work with people who align with your value system.

Links and Resources:

Direct download: WW218.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

Have you ever thought about intentionally designing your life? The beginning of our lives are usually shaped by external factors and people like our parents, teachers, communities, and culture. Once you reach a certain point, you might realize that you want to live with intention and design a life of your choosing. You don’t have to wait until your in your 50s to do this, but that’s what happened to my guest Kelley Connors.

She reached a point in her life where she decided it was time to be brave and take charge of the second half of her life and live with the kind of impact that she wanted to make. She even became a coach, so that she can help others do the same. In this inspiring episode, we talk about choosing a pathway that works for you, practicing the power of positivity, the importance of slowing down, and how Kelley helps people navigate through awareness.

Show Notes

  • [04:47] When Kelley turned 50, she started thinking about the second half of her life. She thought it would be great if she could be more of a designer of her life and be more intentional instead of just living out habits. If she was more aware of what was possible in her life, would she create a different future for herself?
  • [05:40] She decided to help other women do the same thing and learn from the experiences that she had.
  • [06:59] Something may just stir in you, and you might realize that you want to live with more impact in your life.
  • [08:23] You are worthy of a life where you can work well, live well, and thrive.
  • [09:24] We've been shaped by parents, teachers, neighborhoods, and culture by the time we're in our early twenties. These are external factors that impact how we see our life.
  • [09:51] Reshaping your life requires an understanding and belief that you can let go of those habits.
  • [11:39] We evolve throughout our whole life with experiences, but we also have the ability to change our thoughts.
  • [12:48] We are now more aware than ever because of communication and mindfulness.
  • [14:24] The first steps are slowing down and pausing. Use the power of whole being.
  • [15:24] Recognize that your body is connected to your head. Bring awareness to how you are feeling in your body.
  • [18:06] Constricted energy points are fear, and bravery is an everyday opportunity to break through fear and feel vulnerable and connect with others.
  • [19:37] Getting in touch with your gifts is finding what you can offer the world that makes you happy.
  • [24:03] Coaching is different than consulting, because you have to inspire people with a promise of something better.
  • [26:55] There's new research that says self-reflective people are more creative. Solitude improves your ability to be self-reflective and that improves your ability to be creative.
  • [30:23] Energy is your superpower as you age. You have to be smarter with how you use energy.
  • [31:28] You can generate life force with positive thoughts.
  • [32:34] Kelley has learned by quieting down and being interested in others. She also reads a lot. She has been learning from other people, because she is writing a book about bravery.
  • [35:49] Kelley is launching a Life Work Collaborative so others can reignite their life's work.
  • [37:41] Social media actually disconnects us.
  • [38:41] Kelley's mom was a key inspirational figure in her life, and she became that even more so after she had a stroke and became disabled.
  • [39:39] If we knew more about others, we would be happier.
  • [42:19] It's important to have a couple of good friends in your inner circle.
  • [43:19] Spend some time every day and slow down and be quiet. Notice your breath and embrace positive thoughts.

Links and Resources:

Direct download: WW217.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

Donna O’Donnell Figurski and her husband David were just going about their normal morning routine when something went terribly wrong in David’s brain. When he was doing his morning workout, his brain started bleeding while he was doing his 13th chin up. He felt pain, but thought it would be okay. After a short time, Donna called the paramedics, and it led to a life or death situation, several surgeries, and Donna unwittingly becoming a caregiver before she even realized what that role meant.

Donna is here today to talk about traumatic brain injuries and the role of a caregiver. She shares her story, and gives a lot of pointers and advice for people who find themselves in this situation. She stresses asking for help and taking time for self care. Donna is the author of Prisoners Without Bars: A Caregiver’s Tale, and you can find her writing and speaking about this topic online and in magazines. She also publishes children’s stories, but her greatest accomplishment is being caregiver for her husband and high school sweetheart.

Show Notes

  • [04:01] On January 13th 2005, Donna's husband David did 13 chin ups during his morning workout and something burst inside his head.
  • [05:33] The pain in his eye and head was so bad that Donna called the paramedics. He had a bleed in his brain. He had emergency surgery with a 1 in 20 chance for success, and Donna was instantly turned into a caregiver.
  • [08:39] Donna was glad that she happened to be at home during that time. Things could have turned out a lot worse.
  • [09:21] It took many years, before Donna realized that she was a caregiver. It never crossed her mind until she wrote the book.
  • [11:06] Things are a lot easier now 14 years later. At first, she had to help him with everything.
  • [12:43] The surgeries and all of the treatment was a huge hurdle for Donna.
  • [14:32] Donna never believed that all of these problems would be forever. The neurologist always gave them hope.
  • [15:40] They kept going towards the little glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
  • [17:18] She got David transferred to Columbia Presbyterian after the neurosurgeon said David would be a good organ donor.
  • [19:22] She knew that the transfer was the right thing to do.
  • [23:50] Donna learned that she was stronger and more capable than she ever thought she was.
  • [24:55] Donna had to take over all of the jobs that David used to do including paying the bills.
  • [26:26] She had to step up and learn and now she does everything even the taxes.
  • [26:59] It's important for others to know your partner's job, so you can take over if you have to.
  • [28:13] At the beginning, Donna accepted help from family members and close friends. On the first day of surgery the nurses and the receptionist took care of her. They were her support system until family arrived. When everyone left she was on her own.
  • [30:59] Donna used the email updates she sent as fodder for her book.
  • [31:24] David's also helped with his students and his lab. His students even came in while he was in rehab. He had his cognitive abilities, he just had physical issues.
  • [33:56] David was a keynote speaker a year-and-a-half after his injury. Donna credits the man who invited David to speak for giving David back his scientific life.
  • [36:09] At the time, Donna lived in the moment and just dealt with the stress by getting stuff done and keeping her head in the sand.  She now encourages caregivers to take me time.
  • [38:03] Donna puts little stones in her pocket to remind her to take me time.
  • [40:06] Donna needed some time alone to cry when things first happened. She didn't want her kids or David to see her upset. David said he wasn't worried because he know that Donna was there taking care of everything.
  • [41:46] Take care of yourself. Get some stones for reminders. Accept help.
  • [42:42] Don't take it personally when someone has brain injuries. Don't be afraid of people who are different. They are just people.

Links and Resources:

Direct download: WW216.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

We have an impressive guest today. Sue Bhatia is the Chairman and Founder of Rose International which is a global IT and business services provider. Sue immigrated to this country to pursue the American dream. She was happy with her job, but felt climbing the corporate ladder would take too long, so she took a big chance and founded her own company.

She is now able to do that she loves and create a positive impact. She works to help promote and develop women entrepreneurs, and she is passionate about everyone finding work that they love. She has won several awards including Fast Company's Top 25 Women Business Builders in North America and Enterprising Women of the Year from Enterprising Women Magazine. She is passionate about the future of work and technology and shares why reskilling the American workforce is a must.

Show Notes

  • [03:18] Sue grew up in New Delhi, India. She came to the United States in 1987.
  • [03:45] Her first years here were hectic. She got married and received her masters degree in management information systems. She had two children and was really happy with her job.
  • [04:39] She thought she was living the American dream until she was offered a raise and realized that it would take forever to achieve the type of success that she wanted.
  • [05:11] She had seen her workplace hire many temp workers, and decided to start her own agency.
  • [06:00] In spite of naysayers, she quit her job and got to work. She got a lot of rejections and realized that it was harder than she thought.
  • [07:08] She kept trying and got three large contracts and business began to take off.
  • [07:16] In six months, her husband had to quit his job and join her.
  • [07:32] He ex-boss also came and joined her.
  • [07:44] The business has come a long way. They hired 10,000 people in 2017 and 10,000 people in 2018.
  • [09:54] The future of work is here. A lot of skills are going away because of automation. We are going through a huge digital transformation.
  • [10:18] Next year, there will be twenty billion Internet of Things connected devices.
  • [11:21] There are 30 million us workers in danger of losing their jobs to artificial intelligence. 1.4 million of these jobs will be disrupted by 2026. 57% of this will affect women.
  • [11:40] Women are in more support positions than men are, and these are the jobs that are going to be automated.
  • [11:58] In order for people so survive in their jobs, we have to learn new skills and reskilling is.
  • [12:16] 65% of kids in elementary school today will be doing jobs that don't even exist today.
  • [12:24] One of the most valuable skills right now is emotional intelligence combined with artificial intelligence.
  • [12:37] All of our jobs are being impacted by artificial intelligence, big data, and virtual reality.
  • [12:52] We all need to be open to change and lifelong learning.
  • [13:48] Relating to people and thriving in a team culture and being collaborative are valuable skills.
  • [14:18] Soft skills are really going to be in demand going forward.
  • [15:02] AI is humans coding machines to learn over time.
  • [17:39] Colleges need to find a way to incorporate soft skills. People with STEM skills earn statistically $30,000 more.
  • [18:45] Students need to be open to learning and not narrowly defining their goals. Be open and let the market and your internal definition of success take you in the right direction.
  • [22:46] Sue studied architecture and then management information systems, but the skills that really helped her as an entrepreneur we're having a goal-oriented mindset and having the ability to take risk.
  • [23:29] One of the main risks that she took was immigrating to America. She is open-minded and is willing to try things and see what happens. Flexibility has also helped her a great deal.
  • [24:28] Having a business is like surfing. There's no firm ground under your feet.
  • [26:14] Sue loves having the ability to make a positive impact in so many lives through her business.
  • [28:03] People do business with people they like, so relationships are key. It's important to have a transparent honest relationship with everyone involved with the company.
  • [29:51] With entrepreneurship, the key is to enjoy the journey, and you have to adapt and reinvent yourself over and over again.
  • [30:55] Leading by example is very important. It's also important to create a positive work culture where people want to do their best.
  • [31:37] Leaders are also responsible for watching the market and keeping track of the latest trends in their industry. And always leading from the heart. As well as, creating a ladder for people to move up.
  • [32:29] Leaders also need to have the resilience to face the ups and downs.
  • [33:51] Her most pivotal moment was starting Rose International. She also realized that she is more capable than she thought.
  • [34:50] She saw an Iraq Vet panhandling. Which then led to starting Deployment to Employment this is a program set in place to hire veterans. They have hired 800 veterans over the last couple years. They have created a support system to help veterans find a job with resume writing workshops and more.
  • [37:44] Stress is a part of life. Negative thoughts are part of our survival mechanism. To handle stress Sue practices mindfulness and keeps things in perspective and focuses on the positive. She also loves connecting to nature.
  • [41:00] Define what success means to you and be clear about what you want to do and research very carefully.

Links and Resources:

Direct download: WW215.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:29am EDT