Fear is Just a Chemical Reaction

Jen speaks to Lisa and Liz about how fear is just a chemical reaction and doesn’t mean anything. Listen to hear what to do when fear takes over your brain. It may not be what you think.

0:00:11.4 S1: Welcome to Bossy, Brilliant and Badass, a weekly conversation that business, careers and personal development, designed to inspire, educate and motivate you and sometimes ourselves to show up powerfully, live fearlessly and to find an unleash your inner badass. I’m Lisa Lindsey, I’m Liz Green. Welcome to the show. Welcome back to another episode of Bossy, Brilliant and Badass. My name is Lisa Lindsey, and I’m here with my co-host, who is up early in the morning? Liz Green. Hey Liz. Oh my God, I can’t… It is so early. Lizard-

0:00:49.8 S2: A first for us recording this early, but our guest, I mean, she’s so incredibly busy, this was the only time that she could do it, so

0:00:58.8 S1: we’re here and ready. So we’ll see how this goes. It’s too early. Let’s just introduce our guests and get going… Yeah, let’s do it. So

0:01:07.6 S2: Jennifer Thornton is the founder of 304 Coaching and has developed her expertise in talent strategy and leadership development over a 20-year career as an HR professional, and she led international teams across China, Mexico, the UK and the US, and she’s expanding into new markets, managing brands and franchising businesses. So welcome, Jennifer, thank you so much for being here. We’re so excited to talk to you today, and why don’t you just kick us off with sharing a little bit about yourself and how you became the founder of your own company. Awesome, well, thank you guys for having me, it’s been a pleasure to get to know both of you. And how I got here today and how I kind of landed as an entrepreneur and owning my own business, my background is all in retail, and I spent the first half of my life in operations, the second half, an HR. And one of the things that I was usually tasked with was the new brand or the new project, the new… The new country, and I was constantly that person that was kind of put on that team to create something new, and I loved it, and that’s probably why I did so a otic ’cause I love doing it.

0:02:25.6 S2: And I remember the last couple of years in corporate, I kept thinking, me, I am making these guys a ton of money, I am going all over the world, I am figuring out… Being dropped off in foreign countries to figure out how to open new businesses and they are cashing the checks, and I thought, You know what, surely, if I could do this for a 4 billion dollar public company, I could probably figure this out on my own. And so I will never forget that moment. I think we all have had those. Where I was in a board room, this certain executive walked in and every balance of my internal being said, Oh, I’m done, this is it like I’m done, and I just was ready to do this, and so I kind of spent about six months figuring out exactly what I wanted to do and how it would look. And that was four years ago, and here we are today

0:03:17.0 S1: At I so resonate with, I’m doing all the work and you’re cashing the check, I mean… Let me tell you, I love to hear that. So that’s fantastic. So I think a little bit about what we’re gonna talk about today is conversational intelligence and what that could look like in our conversations and how that bring about fear and things like that. So tell us a little bit about what conversational intelligence is.

0:03:44.8 S2: Now, that’s an interest, I don’t know if I’ve ever heard it put like that before, that’s interest. Very curious. So conversation intelligence is a methodology to really understand the neuroscience of the minds and understanding how when we enter into conversations, there are chemical reactions happening that we cannot control inside of our mind and it’s affecting our subconscious and it’s either moving us towards fear or trust, and all conversations do that. And when we are in fear, our primitive brain is in charge, which means we’re kind of in that place of protection, fighter flight. Absolutely, and our pre-frontal cortex closes down, which means the part of your brain that creates new ideas, innovation, collaboration, I’m learning, all of that actually gets turned off, and so when we are in fear, whether it’s conscious or unconscious, all the stuff we need to be successful as business owners is actually just not there, and we need to really understand how these conversations not only impact us when we’re having them, but understand how our language is impacting others around us, especially our teams and even our clients, so that we can have better relationships and better business outcomes.

0:05:08.5 S1: Alright, excellent, so that’s very interesting, like this says that’s something I’ve never heard termed in that way before, but I certainly understand the idea, but I wanna dig a little bit deeper into that because it’s sort of… Okay, a conversation is… The conversation is a conversation, so why is it… What is it that marks it in our brain, so that our subconscious says, Okay, this is a conversation and you should be in fair of this type of conversation versus another one with trust, is there something external that really triggers that…

0:05:40.9 S2: Yeah, there’s something very internal that triggers it, and what happens is that back in the day when we were evolving as creatures, we were in tribes, and we had to be in a tribe because without our tribe, we could not provide shelter and food and protection and warmth all this stuff you need to physically stay alive, we could not do that by ourself, so we had to stay within our tribe, and the fear of getting voted out of the tribe met death, and so we are hard-wired to stay inside a tribe, we’re hard wired not to get in trouble or to do things that would get us kicked out because that could mean death now in today’s world… That’s the same thing. So when we enter into a conversation and someone around us, we think is judging us, and we think, Wow, if we’re not gonna lay on this client or if I’m not gonna be successful at this job, then we may not be able to provide housing and food for our family, so it’s still the same. Our brain still use it the same, I mean, it obviously looks different, we’re not living in caves, but our brain still tries to keep us in a cave ’cause it’s really safe in there.

0:06:55.8 S2: Yeah, yeah, that really resonates with me. So what do you do that as an entrepreneur, if you are in that flight, right, do you feel like your throws in that say you know you’re going into that big meeting or you’re coaching that first client or what have you… Is there anything we can do in that moment? Yeah, there’s a lot we can do, and it takes a little bit of practice, but what I like to remind everyone is fear is just a chemical reaction, it doesn’t mean we’re going to get hurt, and just like if you’re on a tall building and you look down and your stomach kinda does that flip-flop, that’s fear going, Oh, don’t fall, it’ll be bad for you, but there’s a window there and there’s a glass there, and you’re not going to fall out of the building, but your body still responds that way. And so when you’re going into a situation and you can kind of start to fill yourself emotionally react, whether it’s fight or flight or freeze, it’s about stopping and saying, this is only a chemical reaction, I can set that aside and start to cognitively think about what is best in the situation.

0:08:06.8 S2: And just knowing that and just being able to stop and recognize that fear that you’re feeling, it’s just a chemical reaction doesn’t mean anything.

0:08:17.5 S1: So I’d love to get an example if we could, so literally say to yourself, Hey, this is just a chemical reaction when you’re having that fear, feeling, this is just a chemical reaction, does that work? Just saying that to yourself.

0:08:31.9 S2: Now, so I had to use it this week. I am pitching multiple… Project has multiple components to it, a couple of different layers of education programs, everywhere from top level executives to entry level managers, and I’m looking at what I’m proposing, and then my brain starts the… Well, do you think they’ll really like this, do you think this is elevated enough… Well, what if they… This is a multi-cultural environment, what if this culture doesn’t get… All of that stuff started happening and I was like, Oh, and then I was like, I don’t really wanna do that, just all that self-talk and I was like, Hold up just to just fear, this is just my brain, say and don’t go out in the cave might be judged if you leave the cave, they will, they could judge you and that might not feel good. So stay right here. Don’t pitch. Don’t be bold. And I was like, no chemical reaction, I’m gonna fight through it. I am not letting all that negative talk that’s built to keep me safe interfere with what I wanna do in the future, but I do it all the time, we’re human and that are…

0:09:36.3 S2: Those thoughts are in our heads all of the time, and they’re meant to keep us alive and safe, so you kinda have to make friends with them because they’re there for a purpose, or keeping us alive and safe. Yeah, I believe that 1000 is like reframing it and then just becoming aware that this is a part of me actually, that’s trying to protect me…

0:09:56.6 S1: I was just gonna say the same thing was that that sounded so much like your diphtheria in terms of family systems, it’s all about protection of self. And that’s basically what’s happening here. That’s very cool. I like that idea. I like that, I like that, and instead of saying.

0:10:13.9 S2: Oh, go away. Get out of here, it’s just, it’s gonna come back with the veneer, at least that’s what I’ve noticed with myself back in the day, whenever I would get nervous or I was pitching or what have you, and go ride nasty thoughts. Judge mental thoughts. Oh no, they’re not Bungie friends with them and know that there’s a purpose, a reason. So I really love hearing that you articulated that in a fantastic way. Yeah, it is interesting because fear… We always talk about how is this bad thing and how when you… If you have fear, it’s gonna hold you back. And I’m like, No, it’s giving you a live. And so I think that we’ve been trained through just life that fear is a bad thing and it’s not… It’s what is keeping us alive in our brain, doesn’t necessarily understand the difference of a snake coming up our Lake and Oh, I’m gonna get judged if I go out with this new book or this new proposal, your brains has Ferber and so you have to be okay with it, because we need it.

0:11:27.9 S1: Right, excellent, absolutely. So at the beginning, you talked a little bit about how our language impacts that… Right. So tell me a little bit more about that. Tell us a little bit more about that in what your theory is about that…

0:11:43.8 S2: So with our language, when we are in conversation with someone, We… Our brain unconsciously is making adjustments, they’re deciding, is this person a friend or foe, should I be comfortable with this person, should I be in fear? This person… And you’re creating history and your brain is saying, Okay, I’ve been around this person 10 times, this new co-worker, and all 10 times have been incredibly pleasant, and so every time you see that person, you get happy thoughts, you’re like, Oh, it’s all done, men it like Oh, she’s fantastic. I love her ’cause your brain is created this a wonderful connection because all experiences have been good, flip side of all the conversations with someone have been judgmental or threatening, and our regular language is very threatening, and we can go through some examples of that, but if we have been in a place that the last several conversations have felt scary and there’s been fear, then every time we think of that person, those fear hormones fear chemicals start to resonate. So if you’re a leader and you’re having conversations with your team, every sentence you say in print on them, how they need to be around you, how they need to respond to you, and if they can trust you or if they are in fear of you, even your good morning sometimes can do that.

0:13:08.2 S2: And it makes a difference. So what would be an example of that? So one of the examples that I think all leadership a lot of times is like, You know, if you’ve got a sales team, you’ve gotta be tough on themselves people, you have to tell them that they’ve got to make their quotas, and if they don’t, it’s gonna be heck to pay, like this old mentality of if you do not get your quotas, you are gonna lose your job, which instantly put someone in fear, I’m gonna get voted out of the tribe, which means all of the creativity that they need to figure out how to get in the door of that client just got turned off and their prefrontal cortex, so you actually just shut down your whole entire theory, and the flip side of that is you could say, Hey, we are struggling right now for whatever reason, we’re struggling to sell this product, so instead of getting mad at everyone because we’re struggling, you get supportive and you get curious, and you say, Let’s all figure out why are we struggling with this… Get honest, that’s the hardest part, is really honest with why we’re struggling, then become innovative around it, and then go out and use those innovative ideas, but leaders get fearful, and so when you are fearful, you’re in that fight or flight until they’re fighting.

0:14:26.6 S2: Right, get it done or you’re gonna lose your job, but just ’cause they’re scared about their own job…

0:14:31.6 S1: Yeah, that’s fascinating to me, right? As you were talking, I was thinking how much that’s personally resonating for my days in corporate because people… Think of fear is a motivator. Right, so if I am afraid of losing my job, which like you said, I have this personal theory that your job is everything, that your job feeds your life, right, so everything you do comes through your job, even if it’s your ability to go to the movies, back in the day when we could go to the movies, to go all day, even if it’s your ability to entertain yourself, all of that comes through your job because your income comes to your job, right. And that is probably everybody’s biggest fear, it impacts them so very deeply. So as you’re talking, I’m thinking, Oh yeah, as a leader, they think this is actually a good thing because you should be afraid of losing your job, but really they’re harming their teams, and even as entrepreneurs people that we’re working with, we’re harming ourselves in our teams and the people are… We’re collaborating with five trying to instill fear as a motivator, so I’m just curious what you think about that.

0:15:44.2 S2: You’re absolutely right. And that’s kind of like the 20th century leadership style. It was a very fear-based and where we’re going, that didn’t necessarily work all that great, we probably thought it did, but it didn’t, but where we’re going in leadership and where we’re going in the world, there’s enough fear in the world to go around. Pandemic social media, politics, there’s just so much that we now worry about, so if you go into work and more fear is put on and you’re already struggling with fear at home, you’re kind of blowing everything up, and wouldn’t it be great that if you went to work it would be a place of trust and innovation, and learning how to be honest and be creative and actually step outside of that fear you’re feeling outside of your work and actually find work as a place of safety, and I know that people talk a ton right now, about psychological safety in the workplace, and they talk about that, but we can’t create psychological safety until we get honest with the chemicals of someone’s brain, because we can’t stop the way we were physically made, and that’s what leaders try to do, they try to lead in a way that isn’t consistent with science, and it’s never gonna work, we can’t help it, we are all made the same…

0:17:10.1 S2: It doesn’t matter who we are. Yeah, exactly. And maybe this kind of fear-based way, people end up meeting their deadlines and things like that, people are nervous and they meet their deadlines, but what ends up happening is they become… Because of the fear, not in touch with their creativity, they don’t feel… In order to be in touch with our creativity, obviously we have to feel safe and we have to be able to get in touch with our spot maybe, so… Yeah, all that goes out the window, right? Yeah, so someone may do the work, but you may not have gotten the best work, and here’s the thing, You didn’t teach them how to do that work on their own, you taught them to do it right at that moment out of fear, so you’ve made… No long-term progress. So chances are, you will have to cause fear again, and when I get a call from a CEO and they’re all worked up about their talent, ’cause it’s… What I do is talent strategies, how do we get the people to do what we need them to do? And so they always start out with, my people don’t make decisions on their own, my people don’t…

0:18:16.4 S2: They never come to me with new ideas, there’s all these things that you don’t do, and I’m like, Well, great. Let’s talk about your leadership style. And why that’s happening? They’re like, No, it’s that. Or them never me. Oh my God, you were so living up my HR brain happens in that moment when they’re like, Well, what? Across leaders that are defensive and have a really reactive system, what do you do then when they kind… They’re like, Great, now, it’s not about me. What I do is, I’m

0:18:44.6 S1: The greatest leader ever. How would you coach? That person.

0:18:50.5 S2: I know I… There is, there’s a whole… Depending, it’s so good, but I really enjoy it because when you can get to a leader like that and you can get them to change, man, their business just fires up, and so I say, You know, okay, let’s talk about your actions and why your actions make that happen and they do that, like What? It’s me, then I stop and say, Okay, so everyone here in your organization, we hired them, none of them just showed up one day, right, so either we hired the wrong person or we gave them the wrong work, or we led them incorrectly or develop them incorrectly. Some decision along the way created this, who owns all of those decisions, and they’re like, We do, I go, there we go. But how do we take those decisions now and turn them on their heads so that people are making their own decisions, and there are reasons why every time you give feedback to your boss or you make a decision like, now that I don’t like that, and that’s wrong. It’s just one more reason not to make a decision again, and I see high-level executives that I coach, I’m like, Tell me why are you struggling to make decisions and we’ll tell me, it doesn’t matter what decision I make, the CEO does what he wants.

0:20:06.4 S2: Anyhow, so I just said, here and wait to be told what to do.

0:20:09.0 S1: Oh my God, I love it. Yes, I wish everybody I know when I was working in corporate can hear what you’re saying right now because it’s… I somehow feel like I was saying that nobody was listening to me, because maybe I didn’t have your language like, Oh my God, right. But that is so, so true. Because if you don’t sort of cultivate and work with your people and speak to them in a way that encourages them to actually make mistakes, then they don’t make mistakes. And it kinda goes back to a question that I wanted to ask you earlier, which is whether you can… You were talking about those conversations, your 10 interactions with a co-worker or a colleague, and those interactions were all great, so your brain starts to learn to trust or the opposite. And I was wondering, and I’m sure the answer is yes, but I was wondering, can you start to turn trust feelings into fear and what’s the impact of that? Yeah.

0:21:09.1 S2: You kind of think about it on a continuum, one side being just completely shut down and protected the other one, 200% trust and amazing. And there’s a sliding scale in between that’s sliding all day long between everyone, and if you have built trust and something happens and they slide back a little bit, they’re like, Oh, that wasn’t them, but you go right back into a great relationship, you’ll probably hold that trust what’s really difficult, and when we work with organizations and we’re trying to get people from protection, I’m protecting myself, and a total state of fear to trust, if you move someone slightly into like, maybe he or she’s changing and maybe I could trust a little, and then you go back to who you are. Done, because it’s like your body is like, You know what, I gave you a chance and look that you said the stove wasn’t hot, I touched it, it still hot, and that’s the side that you have to get really worried about… And we have to get really honest with, because when you’re trying to change your consistency is gonna mean everything.

0:22:16.0 S1: Right, so the biggest part of all of this becomes consistency, doing the same thing over and over again to maintain a trusting relationship… I love that, I love that so much. So going back to this idea of the leader who is unwittingly, let’s say… Because I don’t ever think… Sometimes I think it is winning and deliberate, but most of the times I think it’s un-winning, like you kind of develop your personal leadership style and you willingly alienate or cause the people who are reporting to you to not do the things you want them to do. And you sort of blame the new point outwards, how does that process of getting them to look inwards looks… And what changes have you seen in that regard?

0:23:09.4 S2: So it’s such an interesting process, first thing is really discovering where these tendencies show up and how deep-rooted are they… So one of the things that it can actually happen is we can actually get addicted to being right, and when we are right, we get a dopamine hit, just like when we get some sugar… Retail, yeah, you get some sugar, some retail therapy, it’s a dopamine head, and what do we know about sugar or… Retail therapy or alcohol. A little did you find today, but a lot’s gonna do you better tomorrow and be writes the same thing. And so when you start to see leaders who skyrocket in their career and they get accolades after accolades for being right, being the more boisterous person in the room making great decisions as they start to get a further in their career. That’s their drug of choice, as I am in power and I am right. And that’s one of the things I look for, because if that’s happening, we have to attack that before we can make progress anywhere else, so where is someone attaching their success and is that success attachment alienating other people around them? And that’s one of the first things we start to look at and how do you do that? I don’t think there’s anything…

0:24:33.3 S2: Right on a Masai. Love that.

0:24:38.6 S1: I would probably be a member, but I saw… I would be like, Oh yeah, I’m righteous. Or husband, right? That’s what we’re doing, that we’re starting out being right, anonymous, yes. It’s gonna be great, it’ll be perfect, but we’re always gonna be… Right. So it’s fun to find…

0:24:58.8 S2: Best idea ever. Yeah, exactly. So you discover this addiction in this person… So what would you do in that scenario? How would you approach that? So I approach it by starting to explain, how does that actually happen? And we set up some test and we test our theories and because if you’re really love being right, you really don’t like me telling you that that’s a bad idea, and so we have to do some task to do a little proof of the pudding, and so one of the things we do is we think about a really difficult feedback question, and we call the team in and we are like, Give us feedback on this, that and the other, and we start to watch the reaction in the room if everyone stays silent and starts looking at each other, it means they’re waiting for the boss to tell them what they’re supposed to think and answer… If they start answering and the boss is like, Nope, nope, that’s not it, that’s not it, that’s not it. Then people stop, and then I know that they don’t wanna hear the truth because the truth attacks something in them, and so we set up those tests and I’m like, Watch your team start to watch and often times when there’s someone that’s like that there is one person that’s allowed to be honest with them, and the team kinda uses that person and we kind of talk about that relationship and they’ll say like, well, people can be honest with me, just look at so and so, and I’m like, it’s that one person.

0:26:33.9 S2: The chosen person, and we start to look about how their relationship is different than others and have… And again, as they built it, they’ve built a way to be honest without fear, but for whatever reason, they may fear the other people, and oftentimes, there’s no scientific proof to this, this is just my own experience watching, it’s usually the male leader with a large male team with only one female leader, a leader is the only one who can be honest, yes, because they’re not going after the manhood and they’re honest in a different way. So again, there’s no research, I’m just telling you from my personal experience, that is how it rolls…

0:27:17.6 S1: You just did the research. You’re 100% right, ’cause that has been my experience as well. I’ve also seen it a little bit differently too, I’m thinking about one person in particular, and the way I’ve seen it is this person was not a challenge to them, it was a strong man leader, but he did not see him as a challenge to his intelligence at all. So I think you’re right about the challenge piece, and whatever they are afraid of being challenged on… Yeah, interesting.

0:27:53.5 S2: So is there any particular language this leader… Would you coach them around any particular language that they can use… Yeah, it’s a 100 person and the language, and so we start by finding some areas in which we can start to make some different… Start to physically show people we’re growing and we’re different, so for example, one of the exercises I do, I call it crazy idea meeting, and so we set it up very particular… There’s something in the company, there’s always something in the company, we have to work on it, so say it’s getting the cells up in a certain product, we need to get them up, we’ve lost 2% market share and we need to gain that back. And so what I do is I have the leaders set up an email out to the group that says, Hey, on this state at this time, we’re gonna talk about how to regain our market share. And what I want you to do is I want you to bring me the most ridiculous in saying crazy, nutty, crazy ideas. And in fact, I’m gonna reward the person who comes to me with the most ridiculous idea now, and then we have the meeting and I have to…

0:29:06.3 S2: I love when I can be there ’cause I can kind of manage the leader react, the leader has to get excited about the ridiculousness, and we put all these ideas up on the wall and then we build on the ridiculous ideas and we build on them, and we build on them and we celebrate… That is not a yes. Let’s celebrate it. And then at the end, what we find is we find common threads that we can actually do, so if something may be like, take the product to Mars. Okay, probably can’t do that. But a lot of people started talking about taking the product to a new market, maybe that’s actually the idea in there. Right. But when we’re rewarding innovation and not in trouble for innovation, and we’re not in trouble ’cause our idea is stupid or wrong or not available, when we’re rewarded for thinking that big, then we start to find new ways to do what we need to do or change something. Then at the end, we give awards out for ridiculousness because that’s what we committed to, and then we very specifically send some follow-up because that team may be going home going, Oh my gosh, my boss is gonna think I’m a…

0:30:14.6 S2: You start the fear. Right, that was fun. But, oh, and so we send out a closing email that says, We appreciate how crazy these ideas were, this was amazing, we walked away with this with Keep thinking big, but you have to do some stuff that kind of breaks the thought to our patterns, and then you have to keep accepting ideas when someone gives you an idea, and even if it’s not going to work, you don’t say… That’s a ridiculous idea. You know, it won’t work. You can say things like, I don’t see it. But change my mind in that I like that. For me, whenever I have an idea, the worst thing to hear is now I don’t know, that’s not gonna work right now, and I start shutting down, and I get nervous about coming up with new ideas if the language is… Oh, interesting. It’s about changing the language, and it only just takes a little bit of effort to do that, and I know I actually do that with my husband, say if we’re brainstorming and he says something like, Well, this… What about blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, for your podcast or for your business? And because he’s so close to me and I feel comfortable with him, I lose that and I say, No, because they did a dark and then say, I’m not even gonna try and help with any ideas that…

0:31:31.7 S2: And I realize I have to take a moment and say, Wow, that’s really interesting. I’ve never thought about it and not wait. And like you say, You know, change my mind or whatever. And so using that Weybridge, I think is really important. To have both sides of that.

0:31:49.9 S1: I think that that’s a fantastic tip, gen, and they want to sort of go back to the idea of… ’cause we talked a lot about leaders and we’re thinking about them more in a corporate setting, so re-focusing us a little bit on entrepreneurs and probably people who are solo, who don’t necessarily have a team, but Logan, a collaboration, or anybody who might be thinking of getting a team, ’cause I come from the school of prevention is better than cure. So I like for people to not incur that debt, not get to the point where they are, let’s say, 10 years into their career as a leader, and then all of a sudden their team never wants to work with them. So what do we do to prevent that as you’re thinking about maybe hiring your first employee, or as you’re thinking about working with other people, maybe as a silicone, what are things that we can do to sort of prepare ourselves, so to speak.

0:32:50.8 S2: Yeah, I love that because when you start off on a great foot is just so much easier, and so when I was a solo entrepreneur, I have several people who work with me, I have a marketing person, I have a program manager, we have a team, and so when I bring someone in, I give them brown dolls, but those ground worlds are, I hired you because you’re an expert in marketing, I am not… That is not what I do, I don’t get it, I don’t wanna do it, I don’t know it. That’s why I hired you. So when you work with me, I need you to talk to me as if I don’t know. And explain things to me, and then if I get it, I’ll tell you. I also need you to say to me, if I have an idea and you’re like, Yeah, that’s not gonna work, or, this is really what you need. I need you to be honest with me. You have my permission to be honest, and in return, I’d like permission to be honest with your work, and so we set that up at honesty, and then I try to stay really true to it, so when someone comes to me with a question like, How do you wanna do this, or how do you wanna handle this? My response always is, I hire you as an expert, what does your expert voice tell you…

0:34:07.5 S2: Yeah, and then they’ll tell me and I’m like, Let’s talk that out. We may go with that idea, we may not, but it’s about the conversation, and then what I’m teaching them is to make decisions where I don’t have to be involved, because they’re learning how… I think they’re learning through these conversations, we’re setting ground rules and experience and history, and so the next time a question comes up, then they’re like, Oh, we’ve had this… I’m pretty sure this is a way she wanna go, I’m just gonna go with this, so it makes their job a lot more fun because they get to be them… Makes my job easier because I’m not having to make decisions. They’re making them because I’m not an expert in it. It’s easy, easy empowerment is what I like to call it. Yeah.

0:34:52.9 S1: Yeah. Knowing as a business owner that you’re not an expert in everything, and I let go and trust that somebody else can do their job and we’ll do their job well, ’cause I think sometimes it’s all open ours, we want to micromanage everybody that… At times, ’cause it feels, I guess, I don’t know. Say for me, or you… We say for it, I was gonna say, if you’ve been doing it for a really long time also, it becomes hard to let go… Right, ’cause if you’ve been doing everything for… Let’s say like I have been for four years. When you get somebody else in, it’s hard to let go because you’d been the one making those decisions all the time, but you’re at the point of needing help, and how do you grow your business if you don’t… Start to let go, right?

0:35:42.1 S2: Yeah, there’s no scalability without some change and flexibility, and it’s trust, but you also have to hire the right people, and that’s a lot of times I think we’re solo entrepreneurs, they meet someone and in five minutes they’re like, Oh, they’re gonna be great, and they don’t really vet them out, and you don’t give over the keys on day one, you build that over time, and so it’s really about the selection and it’s about knowing what your business needs. I have five people that I work with, none of them are full-time, but what happens is solo entrepreneurs think they need to hire one full-time person who’s kind of okay at a bunch of stuff, which means no, no, ’cause then nothing’s getting good. But if you hire expert in every area that you need and they only work for you a few hours a week or month or whatever you need, they have their own business and you’re a client of theirs basically, then you’re getting the expert everywhere you need it, instead of someone just hoping they can figure it out, and two often entrepreneurs, higher generalist and you got a higher specialist.

0:36:49.6 S1: 100%, and that’s another piece that I advocate for as well, that you’re really focused on selecting the right person and understanding what your business needs, what you’re… Again, Liz and I don’t really like to use strengths and weaknesses, but they come all the time for some reason, so we’re gonna have to find new words list, but… I think so, but the things that you are not good at where you need to improve and really being honest and self-aware about that, and really making sure that you’re selecting… Like you said, Jen, the right person to do this job, have the right person in the right seat on the bus. And that way we can all sort of move forward together, I absolutely love that because that’s… I swear, when I’m talking to my HR clients on a daily basis, this is what I’m telling them, you did make the right hire, and at four or five years in that person is so embedded that it’s hard to get them out, and your business is stalled for that reason, so… Excellent.

0:37:51.3 S2: Right. Yeah, wow, I learned so much in this conversation, I have to say boldly, this has been… I think one of my favorite conversations.

0:38:02.3 S1: Now, I know why it is the list because it’s been… It’s 9 o’clock in the morning on the amber.

0:38:08.8 S2: Our best that not… Maybe we should. There’s a new thing. The new thing, but also Jen, thank you. I mean, it’s just been such a wonderful experience talking to you… You’re awesome.

0:38:21.6 S1: Yeah, is there any last bits of information, any last tips that we should get out there before we sign off and wrap up.

0:38:29.2 S2: So here’s my tip of the day, find a way to use some form of this conversation every single day asking someone, what did I not ask you that I should have asked you. What did I not hear that you said to me today that I need to slow down in here, what should I learn in this situation? What’s important for me to know in this situation, and so using a form of that type of question at least once a day guarantees that you’re gonna learn something new every day, and a year later you’re gonna be that much smarter, and that’s how we keep people engaged in how we keep the lines of communications. ’cause we’re learning from each other.

0:39:11.0 S1: Excellent, brilliant. Love it in a much.

0:39:14.7 S2: Thank you so much. So where can people find you, Jen? So you can find me at 304 Coaching, and in fact, you can download the directions on how to have a crazy idea meeting from there. And you can also find me on LinkedIn at Jen Thornton ACC, and we can continue the conversation at cohan

0:39:33.7 S1: You. And thank you for being our Badass of the Week, Deb. Thank you so much, it’s been a great time talking with you, thank you by… That’s it for us this week. Remember, you can find anything we referenced in the episode, in our show notes on our website, boydell ant badass dot com. If you enjoyed the show, please subscribe, greatest and leave a review. It helps us get found, and thank you for listening. There’ll be more bossy, brilliant, bad ass next week, so until that, be a bad asso.

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