The Power of a Positive Mindset

Carrie Schochet Purple Squirrel Advisors

In the society we live in today, we’re being bombarded with negativity from many different directions — whether it be the news, social media, friends, family or our workplace. It is crucial that if you want to establish and maintain a positive mindset you have to choose to do so on a daily basis. We have to intentionally sift through all the negativity and consistently choose to focus on the positive. Our discussion today is around the power of a positive mindset, but not only how to establish one, but how to maintain it once you’ve got it. In this episode, we welcome guest Carrie Schochet. Carrie is the Founder and CEO of Purple Squirrel Advisors, a boutique executive search firm based in Troy, Michigan. With a passion for helping companies grow by creating exceptional leadership teams, Carrie has spent the past 16 years connecting C-level and senior executives with leadership positions in finance, accounting, human resources, operations, sales, and marketing. In our conversation, Carrie and I dive into the topic of the power of a positive mindset and the daily habits that help up to maintain this attitude.

Key Points From This Episode

  • Carrie shares on why it is important to have a positive mindset.
  • Some things Carrie does to maintain her positive focus and attitude: Creating habits.
  • The role journalling plays in helping you maintain a positive mindset and attitude.
  • Having an accountability partner and changing the outcome.
  • How Carrie makes meditation work for her and her lifestyle.
  • What are we doing that we shouldn’t be doing: Non-value adding areas.
  • The importance of taking time to reflect: Asking yourself why.
  • Scheduling your way to maintaining a positive mindset.
  • Why having a positive mindset helps you overcome challenges and reframe circumstances.
  • The importance of modeling resilience.
  • What advice Carrie would tell her younger self.

[INTRODUCTION]

[00:00:01] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to Branch Out, a Connection Builder’s podcast. Helping middle-market professionals connect, grow and excel in their careers. Through a series of conversations with leading professionals, we share stories and insights to take your career to the next level. A successful career begins with meaningful connections.

[00:00:22] AD: Hey, everyone. Welcome to Branch Out. I’m your host, Alex Drost. Wow! Can you believe we’re in Episode 20 already? A big thank you to everyone who has contributed to the show to make this a success. We want to hear from you, our listeners to understand what you enjoy about the show and areas that you can see for us to improve. If you like what you’re hearing, leave us a review on iTunes or share this podcast with your network, it really helps with our visibility.

Today’s guest, Carrie Schochet, founder and president of Purple Squirrel Advisors, an executive recruiting firm. Carrie and I dive into the power of a positive mindset and the daily habits that help us maintain this mental attitude I hope you all enjoy.

ANNOUNCER: Connect and grow your network. We are on LinkedIn. Search for Connection Builders.

[INTERVIEW]

[00:01:10] AD: Carrie, welcome to Branch Out. I’m looking forward to a great conversation here today.

[00:01:12] CS: Thank you for having me. I’m excited.

[00:01:14] AD: Talking to our listeners for a minute. We’re going to talk today on the power of a positive mindset. In today’s world and by the time this episode comes out, we’re going to be six or seven months into COVID, and we’re in a world that’s really negative right now. There’s a lot of reasons to be down and negative, but I think the power of the positive mindset becomes so valuable now. Again, it’s valuable in any time in any world, but in this environment now, it is so important so I’m really looking forward to talking and to say — and Carrie, maybe to kick us off here, can your just share some of thoughts on one, why is having a positive mindset so important and then what are the things that you’re doing to help maintain that and keep that into your life?

[00:01:53] CS: Sure. Well, it’s a big topic. As you said, an important one. In terms of positive mindset, I really believe that it’s a choice every single day. We can choose be positive or we can choose to not, and we’re being totally bombarded daily whether it’s on social media, or the news, friends and family with negativity and we have to sift through that. There’s a lot of studies on the impact of stress and anxiety on people. I think if we can, again, just back to the choice in trying to find ways to maintain that positive focus is something I’m working on every day.

[00:02:25] AD: Well, okay. So you say choice and I fully agree with that. I fully agree that being positive and having that mentality, it is a choice and it’s hard choice. It’s not one that we all naturally make. I struggle with this as much as anyone else. What are you doing in your life? How are you making sure that that stays front of mind, so that that is the right mindset that you’re going into?

[00:02:44] CS: Okay, so it’s a couple of things. First of all, it’s centered around habits. And for me, I’ve got three little kids under nine, busy household. I’m sure many do. I don’t think I’m any different than anybody else, but what I found is that waking up a little early to have that quite time for myself, that’s a habit for me. And I do some journaling and focus on writing things down in terms of what matters today, what do I need to get accomplished in order to feel good about my day. I start my day every single day with those types of journaling activities that has really helped to kind of frame out. Then as I start to achieve those things throughout the day, I’m like, “Okay, I’m getting things done. This is where I wanted to go with my day.”

For me, the other habit is exercise, so I’ve been an avid runner and cyclist for many years. That’s another form of meditation for me. I quite honestly, I don’t do very well sitting in silence or sitting still, so I ride my bike. That’s my time to process and to think. I usually come out of those bike rides or walks, or runs with a clear head, and again, more positive energy.

[00:03:48] AD: I love it. The exercise part I think is one. We’ve talked about this in other episodes here on Branch Out. I’m not the best at myself, the quarantine 15 hit me very hard. I’m not great at that, and I struggle to maintain that. I do think that’s important. I want to also dig in though. You talked about journaling. I’m going to share a little of my own experience here, and I would love, Carrie, for you to react to it. Journaling is a new thing. I’ve been trying to become good at journaling for like three years now. It’s really hard habit to stay into. The only place I can speak from is my own perspective here. For me, the last handful of months I’ve been in my writing streak, I write every morning. That’s kind of my goal and it centers me, and it helps me stay focused.

To your exact point, my writing isn’t always positive. It starts negative at times, but I process those negative thoughts and set the tone for the day. I’d have internal conversation with myself of, what am I going to do, how is today going to be a good day, and it doesn’t seem like it has that big of an impact in the moment. And you may not even feel it the second that you’re writing it. But again, speaking from my perspective, what I’ve seen in my life after doing it, especially for the consistency. I noticed noticeable differences in how I feel every day and just making a habit of absolutely get up and I watch CNBC and I write my journal every morning. That’s been really helpful for me. What have you seen? How do you make that happen? What is kind of your approach behind it?

[00:05:10] CS: No, that’s a great point. What I love about writing and journaling and having this practice is that, it’s a way to kind a measure where was I 30 days ago versus where am I today. So you can look back at what were you thinking a few weeks ago versus what my am I thinking today. That idea of, you can’t manage what you don’t measure. I think there’s almost a way that you can measure your thoughts by doing the journaling and being consistent with it. That’s just one piece of it, is like really kind of seeing that change over time and then being able to say, “Gosh, I was writing about this a month ago and I feel so much better about that today.” It’s a way to kind of track your progress, and if you’re not writing it down, you may have forgotten the way you are feeling a month ago.

[00:05:50] AD: I would challenge, you will forget. I’m a big believer that everyone believes that memories are concrete and that we remember things. We don’t remember stuff. Everything forms in how we think about stuff and what you think happened, probably didn’t happen exactly the way you think it did. And every time you think about it, that thought evolves. And recognizing that when you document it, and to your exact point, you get to reflect it.

I’m going to put a quick plugin here. This is not a sponsored ad or anything, but there’s an app called Penzu, and I’ll link it in the show notes here. Penzu is the app that I use for writing. What I love about it is, it’s on app I can get with an iPad, on the computer through the Chrome or through your web browser. It actually will send me and I can set up the rhythm, but it will send me periodic updates like, “Three months ago, you wrote this” or “One year ago, you wrote that” and it hits your inbox. To your exact point, you read that and you’re like, “Wow! I’ve come a long way.”

[00:06:40] CS: That’s awesome. I’m going to have to check out that app. I’m really became excited and just wondering about that. One other point on this is, if you have an accountability partner to do some of this with. So even if there’s some aspect of journaling that you would want to share with somebody, whether it’s a colleague or a family member or something, the accountability piece I feel like has been huge for me. Because then, I get the daily thought or whatever it is that we’re going to share about and then I’m like, “Oh! I got to get it back to that person” because they’ve sent it to me. Sometimes I’m first and maybe I’m going to inspire action from the other persons. I feel like if it’s something that anybody out there is having a hard time committing to, find somebody else that has the same goal, and figure out if there’s something you can share on.

[00:07:21] AD: I couldn’t agree more. Accountability changes everything. Accountability is hard, but it changes the outcome. Now, let’s get back on the power of positive mindset, right? So we’re journaling, that’s one thing that we’re doing, we’re exercising. Those are all things that are helping us maintain that strong mental health. I think I’ve talked before, in just real pure meditation. Meditation looks different for whoever. I’m on my own journey of learning what that means and by no means I’m an expert around it. I know it has profound impacts on the human brain when you really find that time. What have you done in that area? What have you seen and how do you see some benefits? Just for listeners that might be saying, “Hey, everyone talks about it but what does it mean?”

[00:08:00] CS: This is something that I really need to continue to work on. I’m not good at sitting still, at silencing and all of those things. But I have used a couple of apps. So Headspace is one that I’ve used, also the Palatine app has a meditations. I’ve done those with my kids at night actually and trying to get them to wind down. And even three to five minutes I think can make a difference. This is something that I know it takes a lot of practice and I’m not even, I would say, at an advanced beginner level.

[00:08:30] AD: It’s a journey for all of us. It really is. I want to say this to listeners. Listen, this is me when I say this. This is the pot calling the kettle black, because this is a bad habit of mine. I am an all or nothing kind of guy. I say, well, if I can’t meditate at least 20 minutes a day in pure silence, then I’m not meditating right. It’s hard and it’s something I’m personally — it’s a personal goal of mine to work up to being in that position. But even when I first started my meditation journey, it is, it’s taking three minutes in recognizing, “No, it doesn’t seem like it did much.” Do it three minutes every day for two weeks, and then start to see. Then you’re like, “Oh, I can do five.” Right?

Then the journaling is one of the great examples. Write down. When I first started to look back at my old journals, I wrote like two sentences. It’s a starting place and you have to start doing those things in — again, we’re all taking about positive mindset here. If you’re not doing those things and you’re not find that time to give your brain that space to process, to think, to be clear, to have a white space, the freedom to be positive, it’s very easy to get suck in the day-to-day grind. It’s very easy to get pulled into the negativity.

[00:09:32] CS: Yeah. I think that even during the day. So it’s really funny, I have the Apple watch and it really is reading me in terms of like if I’m starting to get stressed out, all of a sudden I’ll get the little notification to breathe. It’s so funny because I’ve noticed is even just a few deep breaths can be very cleansing for my mind and can help to kind of — I guess the word that I would use is reset. So when my kids start to get worked up like we use that term, like reset. “Hey, you just need to take a reset.” And sometimes, I have to tell myself that during the day too if I find myself going into an area of stress or negativity. Okay. I just need to reset; I needed a 30-second pause. There’s another one, the idea of responding versus reacting. That’s I think part of just being able to sort through it, take a breath and even the meditation can be 30 seconds and it can help

[00:10:17] AD: Absolutely. And the breathing, and this is a new one for me. I can’t remember where I picked this up, but it’s 468, four seconds breathing in, hold your breath for six seconds, exhale for eight. Do that twice and you will be blown away at how much your anxiety drops. I actually do it before speaking or presenting, or going into situations where I might have some spike of social anxiety or whatever it might be. That will level you out in a way that it’s unbelievable. It’s 468. Just keep that in the back of your mind and it’s so easy to do. We all discount it. “That’s not going to help” or “I don’t have time for that. It’s hard. Actually, I want to shift gears around that. I don’t have time for that. I just simply don’t have time for that. I’ve got a million things going on and you say all these things, and yeah, they make a lot of sense, but I just don’t understand how the heck to make it all happen.” What do you say to someone like that?

[00:11:07] CS: If it’s important, there’s time. We’re all busy. I know that everybody is being pulled in multiple directions, and if it’s important, it goes on the calendar and you make time for it. And if it’s not important, then take it off the calendar. So I actually saw somebody LinkedIn post today about removing appointments from the calendar or what are we doing that we shouldn’t be doing. And I feel like focusing on some of those types of things and figuring out, am I spending time in a non-value-added area? If I am, why don’t I figure that out and then allocate that time to something else.

[MESSAGE]

[00:11:40] ANNOUNCER: This is Branch Out, a Connection Builders Podcast.

[INTERVIEW CONTINUED]

[00:11:50] AD: This is a really important and again, one that I personally struggle with. It’s a level of reflection, it’s a level of finding out that time to really be reflective in nature, and say, what am I doing? Not just listening and — I live by my calendar. Like I don’t know what I do day to day. I wake up and I look and say, “Okay. This is what I’m doing today.” I think most busy professionals live their life the same way, but you do have to find time to audit your calendar. You have to audit and say, “Is this right? Is this what I should be doing?” and actually asking why. “Why am I having this meeting? Why am I doing those things?” Not just doing it because it’s there. And to your point, I’ve never thought of in the way of trim your calendar. I like that though; I think that’s really powerful to find that time to be able to do that.

[00:12:33] CS: Right. I’m not saying they cancel meetings and people or anything along those lines, but really thinking about, is there some sort of reoccurring event or meeting that I’m going to that really can be pushed to a priority two or three or however you want to do it. But those are just some of the things that I’ve looked at in terms of how to manage my calendar better. Because there are weeks where I’m like, “Oh my gosh! My calendar is a checkerboard. There is no time.”

[00:12:57] AD: Fifteen minutes between every meeting and it’s like, “How am I going to do anything?”

[00:13:00] CS: Well, and I think that what’s really interesting about that is, in this COVID virtual world, I feel like we’re over scheduling, because you’re not giving any time for a drive time, we’re not having those lunch meetings where it’s business but it’s also a bit social and it’s generally relaxing. I feel like right now in this COVID world, there are days where I wake up and I’ve got video meetings from 9 to 5. That’s exhausting to be on video or in a meeting all day with no breaks.

[00:13:27] AD: One hundred percent. Again, all back to the topic here. That will make you negative, that will wear you out. For me personally, one of my biggest things I’ve been working through is, I get to Thursdays and asked my wife this. If there’s every night of the week I’m going to come home crabby, it’s Thursday. It’s because typically, I try to keep my Friday’s open to catch up and to make sure I’m in a good place for the week. And by Thursday, I have jammed so many back-to-back meetings in that I’m just drained, I’m exhausted. And I’ve had to work really hard to be more conscious of what I’m putting on my calendar to make sure that I’m not getting there, and keeping myself, and recognizing what’s the balance between productivity and getting worked on that’s important my career, and to my job and everything I want to do, but also my own mental health, my own positive mindset when it comes down to it.

[00:14:18] CS: Yeah. So I think scheduling even time during the day for something that’s, for me, I’ll schedule a bike ride on my calendar in a work day and just knowing like, this is going to energize me for my afternoon or whatever the case may be, whatever that outlet that might be helpful. The other thing for me just like my environment in this COVID world where it’s just different, I’ve been getting fresh flowers. Then I have them on my desk and it just makes me happy and I know I’m supporting a small business, a farmer. So I’ve been pretty consistently having fresh flowers and just having that little environment, that little spark of color has helped me — it’s just makes me happy during the day. So that’s is one other little thing that I’ve noticed I’ve been doing since we’ve been in this virtual setting.

[00:15:05] AD: I love it. I love it. Let’s now talk on — we’ve talked a lot about how and the behaviors, and the habits, and the actions you can take to help build some of the positive mindset. Let’s talk about the why. Why you need a positive mindset? What have you seen in your life where the positive mindset has helped you overcome challenges or reframe things, just share some thoughts around why that’s important to you?

[00:15:27] CS: Well, so I lived in Chicago for 11 years. I worked at a global recruiting firm. It was a very competitive environment and I had my first two kids in Chicago, and I just found that it was less friendly. Once I had my kids it was harder to balance things. This inspired my husband and I to move from Chicago to Detroit. We move back seven years ago. I literally had to reinvent myself at that time. It was a bigger challenge than I anticipated because while I grew up here, I never spent time the business community. So really just kind of understanding how different Detroit is from a business community than like say, Chicago or some of the other major cities where there’s always so many people moving in and out. That was hard.

I just really had to be focused on I guess a longer-term success and not looking at like short-term maybe challenges, failures, whatever you want to call them. For me, mindset was really important initially and just focusing on, “Okay. Like if I can just have a little win.” It doesn’t need to be a big win. It can be a little win. I think that’s part of it, is like how do we quantify success in breaking the big old down to the little ones and saying, “Okay. Well, today, we’ll be successful if I do this.” I remember, that’s like kind of how I got through those earlier years of rebuilding here in Detroit. It’s something I’ve been focused on and practicing for years.

[00:16:47] AD: I love it. One thought that comes to mind as I hear you say that, when we step back and use the word failing or some of the challenges that you may come into. I question — we actually, one of the other podcasts, we do jump in to this a bit. What is failure? How are you not being successful, right? For me, I step back and say, “As long as I’ve learned, as I’ve grown, as long as I’ve gained experience, there is no failure.” Right? Failure is when I stop and throw the towel in and say, “Well, this is just too hard.” That’s failure. That positive mindset and the experience I’ve had, which has been big, launch to business that was focused on networking and a time that the world — now, network is different things, like everything is different.

Listen, I had a couple of hard weeks, there is no way around it. Mentally, it was very hard for me to keep my brain positive. But what I’ve learned and it’s still a lesson in resiliency, you have to keep focused on that. You have to realize that if you get yourself down, what is that doing? What positive like — and we’ve all had days, right? We’ve all had bad days where you’re mopey. What’s your productivity like? What are you really accomplishing when you’re in that mental state? I’d argue very little, and you’re certainly note effective at whatever you’re doing. Just talking the networking thing for second. When you go to a networking meeting, I don’t care if it’s Zoom or in-person. If you’re in a bad mood, people now. Like you can’t show up pissy and then put a smile on, then no one realizes it. Like people realize it, and that’s so important. You’ve got to remain happy and positive.

[00:18:16] CS: Well yeah, because positive energy is contagious. It really is. When somebody smiles at me, I’m likely to smile back. So I think we get out of the world what we put into it, and that positivity is contagious. We’re getting calls every day from people who have recently become unemployed or circumstances have changed due to COVID. Sometimes, we have to give them a pep talk or we have to talk about ways to flip the experience or to translate skill sets and try to give them that positive angle that they are just not able to see right now. I don’t know, I mean those are just some of the things that I’m noticing. But yeah, I guess the biggest thing is, I think about, “Gosh, I’m going to affect somebody else with my attitude, positive or negative and I don’t want to negatively affect somebody.

[MESSAGE]

[00:18:57] ANNOUNCER: This is Branch Out, bringing you candid conversations with the leading middle-market professionals.

[INTERVIEW CONTINUED]

[00:19:06] AD: I like that you aid positive energy is contagious. I would say all energy is contagious. Listen, we have all been there and I’m a Chick-fil-A fanatic. My wife and I like literally during quarantine, we’ve driven to Ohio to go Chick-fil-A, just for something to do. It’s insane, but it’s what we love. But why does America love Chick-fil-A? If you haven’t been to Chick-fil-A, go to Chick-fil-A and I can’t speak for all them, but the probably 20 different ones I’ve been to, they always smile, they’re always happy. They’ve built a culture around that. And the difference of going there versus going to Taco Bell, it’s a radical difference in how you feel when you walk into the place.

[00:19:41] CS: Absolutely.

[00:19:42] AD: And the as much as that’s just a fast-food setting, you’re in and out so it doesn’t matter, right? But at the same time, think about that. Think about when you’re interacting with someone or you’re in a workplace, you’re in an interview process or whatever it might be. If you’re coming in there feeling negative, so does everybody else.

[00:19:56] CS: Exactly, yeah. And if you can be that person, that beacon of light bringing that positive energy, it’s a game changer. It’s really is. I understand that’s hard, and it that comes back to everything we talked about in the beginning. If you’re not taking care of yourself doing those right habits, those right rituals to help you form the right place in your mind to be positive, then you can’t bring that energy. And if you can’t bring that energy, then you’re not positively affecting the situation that you’re in, right? You have to tie all that back together.

[00:20:23] CS: Yeah, definitely. I’m with you on the Chick-fil-A. My kids love it. If they know I’m in Troy, they ask me to bring Chick-fil-A home. But there is something about the experience of going there too and I’m sure there’s other examples that we can think of, but that’s culture.

[00:20:37] AD: Yeah, they smile. Their people work well together, and talking on this — I had no clue we’re going to take the podcast on the Chick-fil-A route, but I look in the effectiveness of their drive-thru and their order pick up system when COVID first hit. When the rest of the world was trying to figure how do we do this, they did a really good job. They had lines around the building and they still service customers because their employees worked in sync and in tandem with each other and execute it well. That does come from a culture of smiles, that comes from a culture of people showing up and saying, “I’m excited to be here. I’m going to do my best today. I’m going to work with other people and we’re going to smile at who we work with.” It doesn’t come from people that are coming to work saying, “I’m here today.” Right?

[00:21:16] CS: Well, yeah. So it’s resilience too, and so one of the things that I think is important is, being resilient, modeling resilience for your team, your kids. I feel like resilience is one of the most important traits and it’s like how you develop it. When I about even interviewing, when I see somebody that can talk about overcoming challenges, being resilient, putting that positive spin on the experience, it’s huge and you often can’t teach somebody to do that or can you? I don’t know.

[00:21:43] AD: It takes experience in some way. In some ways you have to, but we can all take our own steps to better prepare ourselves for those situations, to overcome that. In some level, you have to have experience. You only know the level of stress that you’ve experienced in your life. You only know the challenges that you have experienced in your life. And we’ve all experienced different challenges, and different stress, and different levels of things we’ve had to overcome. And if you haven’t experienced it, it’s difficult to wrap your brain around it.

Now that said, you’ve always focused on having a positive mindset and focus on the right thing. So that when those challenges come in, and challenges will come, they will come and for our entire life, we will hit challenges. But if you go into those with the right mindset and focus on it, those challenges become so much easier to overcome. Then the launching pad and the growth that you’re able to achieve through those challenges, becomes meaningfully different when you’re not trying to just pick yourself up off the ground, but rather you’re learning and running with the knowledge you gain, right?

[00:22:42] CS: Definitely, yeah. I think it’s important to kind of frame the challenges of like, is this a big deal or is this not a big deal? Taking a step back from it. I mean, we had water come through the ceiling of our house just over the weekend. We just moved in. It’s been like the third thing that we’ve dealt with. Initially I was like, “Oh, gosh! This is so frustrating.” Then I heard about something really bad, a terminal diagnosis or something bad, I’m like, “You know what? I can deal with a little bit of water in my ceiling.” This is an annoyance and that’s about it. I feel like our challenges can sometimes be like the biggest thing, but then we take a step back from another like, okay, it’s a big thing today but it’s not going to be a big thing tomorrow.

[00:23:20] AD: Well, in tying this all back to the beginning of the conversation. When you talk about meditation and journaling, and finding some of that space, that is one, it helps you build some of the mindfulness to help you bring awareness to that sooner so you can step back and reassess. Then those actions, those behaviors, those habits create the conduit for you to process those thoughts and really be able to say, yeah. I’m the same way, we had a laundry sink that overflowed in the basement, and I frustrated at the moment and to take a deep breath and be like, “Okay.”

[00:23:51] CS: I can deal with it, yeah.

[00:23:52] AD: Exactly, it’s nothing. In the big picture, in five years, I sure won’t remember it. Those are the things that we deal with all the time, but those are the little daily bottles that you have to come in your mind to continue to build that positive mindset, that resiliency and everything that comes from that.

[00:24:07] CS: And on the topic of building this over time and habits, the book Atomic Habits is an amazing book. It gives you the idea of — I think as we set these huge goals, and they’re unrealistic and then we’re disappointed when we don’t achieve them, really the idea of the Atomic Habit is to slowly change over time. That’s a way and I think with the journaling, and then again, seeing the change through journaling, those are just ways to really track it and make those —

[00:24:34] AD: If memory serves, I’ve read a few books on habits. I believe this came from Atomic Habits. Something along the lines of, “I meditate, that’s who I am. I’m someone who finds time to meditate.” Not, “I’m going to meditate and that’s something, a habit that I’m building. Yes, it is a habit I’m building, but I meditate. That’s what I do.” That internal dialogue is a game changer when you’re like, “I am a positive person. I bring positive energy to what I’m doing because that’s who I am.” I’m not great at it all the time. I have work to do, but that’s what I do, right?

[00:25:05] CS: It’s vision in statements. So instead of, “I’m trying to be healthy eater”. It’s, “I am healthy. I eat healthy. I am a cyclist. I am this.” And exactly what you said, and so it’s stating the ideal for who you are in the present tense.

[00:25:18] AD: Absolutely. Will make sure to link that in the show notes, that it’s a great book, well worth the time. So last question for you here, Carrie. I love to ask our guest if you could step back and go talk to the Carrie 15 years ago in your career and give some advice, what would be that advice be?

[00:25:34] CS: I’ve spent a lot of time at a big firm and I guess, it was a little bit insulated from just a lot of other ideas, networking books, a lot of the training was internal. And so for me, what I have found has made just the biggest difference us, stepping outside my comfort zone, always be learning and open to new things. Those are some of the biggest changes that I’ve noticed, and becoming an entrepreneur, that was a really scary thing for me. I really had to, again, have a positive mindset from the get-go. But for me, it’s been thirst for knowledge, curiosity and just continuing to focus on that every day. So I mean, I want to learn something every day.

[00:26:13] AD: We’ve said this and there’s at least three podcasts that reference this now. Be a student of life, be a lifelong learner and recognize that — you said comfort zone. I’m a big believer that you’re either comfortable or you’re growing. And in if you are comfortable in life, if everything feels great, something’s wrong. You’re missing something. The analogy, I’ve seen this before. You’re pushing a rock up a hill, and at times you can just stop and take a breather and you’re just holding the rock there and it’s not all that hard. But to get that rock to go up the hill, it’s hard, it takes energy. You have to continuously push and put that in. If you’re not feeling that, that rock is not moving and that’s not good. That rock should always be moving up the hill. The sooner you embrace that, I couldn’t agree more. I’m not saying it’s easy, but the sooner you embrace that mentality, I think it’s a game changer.

[00:27:03] CS: There’s one quote that I love and I also think is a good reminder is, we’re always going to have fears, but I saw the speaker, Judy Holler a while back and she said —

[00:27:13] AD: Your boss.

[00:27:14] CS: Yes. We’re not going to not have fear. We just need to fear fearless. So you can’t be fearless, but you have less worry about those fears. So for me, that’s huge.

[00:27:25] AD: I love that, and it’s just that fear is natural. It’s human instinct. It saves you, right? I mean, it’s meant to make sure that we aren’t dying, that we’re staying alive.

[00:27:32] CS: Right. Exactly. Right.

[00:27:32] AD: That’s why it’s here. It doesn’t mean it’s always rational in today’s world, but when you see it, that’s nothing more than an opportunity saying, “Okay. Why? How do I overcome it? How do I grow from it?” All the way back to meditation, journaling and everything else we talked about, that awareness, that mindfulness, that focus of thought. That’s how you overcome those things. That’s how you get there. So Carrie, this has been awesome. It’s a great conversation, really enjoyed it. Appreciate your time, appreciate your contribution to the show here.

[00:27:56] CS: Thank you so much, Alex. It’s been a lot of fun. I really enjoyed it.

[00:27:59] AD: Awesome. Thank you.

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