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262: Emilia DiMenco: Our reputation is at stake

Emilia DiMenco Show Notes Page Emilia DiMenco is making a bigger impact in smaller ways. After completing a 30-year career as an executive vice president for a large commercial bank, she now serves the capital, loans, programs, and services that support and accelerate women’s business ownership and their impact on the economy. Emilia was born …

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126: Dorie Clark: I was forced to master the skill of resiliency

Dorie Clark Show Notes

Dorie Clark found her dream job. She thought it was going to last a lifetime. It lasted for only a year. As a journalist, the entire industry contracted and she had to adjust. Dorie was forced to master the skill of resiliency and it led her to write her first book about career reinvention and how to adapt to career change. Listen as Dorie shares how she was able to get over the hump…and help others.

Dorie was born and raised in Pinehurst, North Carolina, the golf capital of the world. An only child in what was essentially a small-town retirement community, she sought to escape this cultural void as soon as possible, so at age 14, she left to attend Mary Baldwin College, and later transferred to Smith College.

She graduated Phi Beta Kappa at age 18, and then earned her Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School at age 20.

After failing to get into any of the doctoral programs she applied to, she became a political journalist, and was then laid off. She then went to work for a gubernatorial campaign and a presidential campaign, which both lost.

She finally ended her losing streak by becoming the executive director of a bicycling advocacy nonprofit, which taught her how to run a business. In 2006, she launched her own marketing strategy consulting firm.

Today, she writes (her two books are Reinventing You and Stand Out), and consults and speaks professionally for clients including Google, Yale University, and the World Bank. She also teaches for the Duke University Fuqua School of Business, and is a producer of a Grammy winning jazz album.

Today, she’s proud that her work helps talented professionals get their true value recognized so they can share their best ideas with the world. She lives in New York City with her handsome cats, Heath and Phillip.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @dorieclark and get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet 

“Want to be really smart, think of your job as just one stream of income.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet

“We put ourselves at economic risk if we have one income stream.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet 

“Experiment on the side to give yourself more economic flexibility.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet 

“Start to think about ways to create an income stream for yourself.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet 

“You’re not going to get any data if you don’t do anything.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet 

“If you at least do something, you’ll get data to learn and adapt faster.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet 

“It takes a while to build a strong personal brand.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet 

“If you persevere you are so much more likely to be successful.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet 

“I was forced to master resiliency early on in my career.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet 

“You really can’t rely on other sources to carry water for you.” -Dorie Clark Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Dorie Clark found her dream job. She thought it was going to last a lifetime. It lasted for only a year. As a journalist, the entire industry contracted and she had to adjust. Dorie was forced to master the skill of resiliency and it led her to write her first book about career reinvention and how to adapt to career change. Listen as Dorie shares how she was able to get over the hump…and help others.

Advice for others

Look to develop ways to generate multiple streams of income.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

I’m a bit of a micro-manager. I need to work on delegating more.

Best Leadership Advice Received

Do not pay for an office.

Secret to Success

Forcing myself to do things that I do not want to do.

Best tools that helps in Business or Life

Schedule Once, a calendar software that cuts out the back and forth on when to meet.

Recommended Reading

Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It

Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters

Contacting Dorie

Website: http://dorieclark.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/doriec/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dorieclark

Resources and Show Mentions

Stand Out 42-page Self-assessment Workbook: Learn how to develop your own breakthrough ideas and build a following around them.

54 Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Competencies List: Emotional Intelligence has proven to be the right kind of intelligence to have if you want to move onward and upward faster. Get your free list today.

 

Show Transcript: 

Click to access edited transcript

126: Dorie Clark: I was forced to master the skill of resiliency 

 

Intro Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we explore convenient yet effective shortcuts that will help you get ahead and move forward faster by becoming a better leader. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.

 

Need a powerful and entertaining way to ignite your next conference, retreat or team-building session? My keynote don’t include magic but they do have the power to help your attendees take a leap forward by putting emotional intelligence into their employee engagement, customer engagement and customer centric leadership practices. So bring the infotainment creativity the Fast Leader show to your next event. And I’ll your attendees get over the hump now. Go to beyondmorale.com/speaking to learn more. 

 

Jim Rembach:  Okay, Fast Leader legion today I’m excited because the guests that we have on the show today is really going to help us with a career imperative. Dorie Clark was born and raised in Pinehurst, North Carolina, the golf capital of the world. An only child in what was essentially a small town retirement community she sought to escape this cultural void as soon as possible. So at age 14 she left to attend Mary Baldwin College and later transferred to Smith College. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa at age 18 then earned her Master of theological studies from Harvard Divinity School at age 20. After failing to get into any of the doctoral programs she applied to she became a political journalist and was then laid off. She then went to work for a gubernatorial campaign and a presidential campaign which both lost. She finally ended her losing streak by becoming the executive director of a bicycling advocacy non-profit which taught her how to run a business.

 

In 2006 she launched her own marketing strategy consulting firm. Today she writes, her two books are Reinventing You and Standing Out and she consults and speaks professionally for clients including Google, Yale University and the World Bank. She also teaches for the Duke University Fuqua School of Business and is a producer of a Grammy award-winning jazz album. Today she’s proud that her work helps talented professionals get their true value recognized so that they can share their best ideas in the world. She lives in New York City with her handsome cats Heath and Phillip. Dorie Clark are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Dorie Clark:  I am so ready Jim.

 

Jim Rembach:   Good. Now I’ve given our listeners a little bit about you but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we get to know you even better?

 

Dorie Clark:  Yes absolutely and I’m going to give you the North Carolina salute because everyone looks at the Fuqua School of Business and I can’t even tell you all the ways that they want to mispronounce it and you just nailed it right there, so congratulations on that. But, yeah, what I’m working on right now—I actually have a new book that’s going to be coming out in October which I’m very excited about. I submitted the final edits of it yesterday. So, I am done with that sucker so I can start promoting it soon, It is going to be called Entrepreneurial You it’s coming out from Harvard Business Review press and it is about how to monetize your ideas and develop a multiple income streams for your business, so, I’m very excited about that one.

 

Jim Rembach:  I listen to you talking I’m really excited that you actually have a new book coming out so that I can put that one on my shelf. We often think that today entrepreneur means someone who is independent. Not beg to differ because a lot of our listeners are actually career folks and I think when you start talking about benefit to the company, benefit to you, security net, you have to think like an entrepreneur working in an organization.

 

Dorie Clark:  Yeah, I think that’s really right. Obviously if you work for yourself that’s fantastic but the argument that I make is that if people want to be really smart these days about how to take control of their career if you do work within an organization that is terrific but you should start thinking of that as just one of your streams of income. It’s just like stock market investing if you put all your money in one stock we all know that that would be a stupid idea. You’re supposed to diversify your portfolio, you’re supposed to buy an index fund or a mutual fund or what have you and similarly we are putting ourselves at economic risk if we have one income stream and that is your company. I got laid off as a journalist I know early in my career one day I had a paycheck the next I didn’t I never saw it coming. And so if people are able to be entrepreneurial even in small ways starting a side venture just experimenting on the side that is incredibly powerful in terms of both giving yourself more economic flexibility and also giving you new skills that actually make you more promotable inside your company.

 

Jim Rembach:   I think you bring up a really interesting point too like for me I’m guilty of one problem when you start thinking about something that you mentioned and standout is that  you really have to focus in on your niche. And listening to all the folks who are—I guess you’d say marketing gurus and experts and entrepreneurial experts—they talk about niching then you niche again then you niche again and then when you think you’ve actually gone too far in niching you niche one more time, you have to really focus in on carving out your niche. Now, for me I always say that I like chasing shiny objects, I’m going to watch myself and then I start dabbling in way too many things. Even if I’m thinking about dual income or multiple income streams benefit to me really adding value and as I progress in my career do I really want to veer too far off of my core?

 

Dorie Clark:  Yes, it’s a good question and a good point. But I think that it doesn’t have to be a sort of reckless allocation of resources. I mean, I think if you were doing ten different things and not making progress on any of them then yeah you could argue that it’s a waste of time or a diffusion of your energy. But I think of examples—I wrote a piece a few years back for the Harvard Business Review called A Campaign Strategy For Your Career and I featured in a guy named Lenny Achon who at the time was the head of communications for the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. And he had a really interesting story he actually started as a nurse which is not at all where you would think they would be hiring their communications director from. But he was able to work his way up in the organization and the way he did it interestingly enough was he started an app business on the side. He just got fascinated by technology by his social media, you know what? I want to start an app and so he researched it he did what he needed to figure out about how to hire the coders and do all the stuff news pretty far outside is day-to-day duties. He did this in one day and he gets called in to his boss’s office and he thinks—Oh! No. Did I do something wrong? Was there some policy that I didn’t know about? What it’s going to be? And instead of being criticized, instead of being fired he was worried that’s going to be, his boss said, Hey, I heard you created an app. And Lenny said, “Yeah, I did.” And the guy said, “Do you want to run social media for the hospital?” Lenny said, “Yes” They just said Internet, they didn’t have a deep bench of expertise in that and Lenny was someone who knew the hospital and he had shown enough initiative that they said, you know what? Let’s give it to him. And so for there  was able to expand out his portfolio and eventually head up all the communications for the hospital but it was because of just independent skills building he did on his own dime.

 

Jim Rembach:  I think you bring up a really interesting point about the whole fear factor component. I think it’s possible that a lot of folks really choose to stay or nest or stay in a particular spot because of that whole fear of termination but I almost have to say that the bigger fear is being affected by surprise. So, what would you say to folks that are actually sitting in that spot to where they’re saying, Oh, Gosh! If I actually veer out, if I do something  I might get caught and get in trouble versus—Hey, I need to think about really planning for my family, my future and things like that and making myself a stronger free agent so to speak.

 

Dorie Clark:  Yeah, well I think the truth is there’s very few things that you can get in trouble with if you’re doing them in your free time and not on the company’s time. As long as you’re not creating something that is somehow a competitor to your company you’re providing intelligence other people as long as you’re not doing something that would be so horribly embarrassing to your company it’s your free time and you’re able to make choices about how you want to spend it. Now there’s a lot of things that I think most of us recognize as being good things there’s a lot of people that go back and maybe they get a part-time MBA, people might take a course of some kind, leadership or time management, maybe they’re taking a continuing ed course or they’re signed up for an online course of some kind you could even just be reading books those are great ways to build your skills. In a lot of ways when the rubber meets the road it’s actually starting to think about ways to create an income stream for yourself that’s the ultimate test where you’re able to gauge your progress and say, no I’m actually building in some options from myself now. So, it’s not really the first thing you do out of the gate but it’s something to consider as a form of professional development.

 

Jim Rembach:  Yeah, I think that’s a really interesting point is that oftentimes we think a professional development means that I have to take a step up and those don’t often exist but it should not stiney you or prevent you from  finding some other way of growing, so that’s a good piece of advice. Now I know you have yourself done a lot of things in regards to interviewing other experts and your pursuit to become one as well as a lot of research when it comes to writing but all of that when you we start thinking about this standing out there’s a lot of emotion in that and one of the things that we look for on the show in order to find some emotion are quotes, is there a quote two that you can share with us that gives you some energy. 

 

Dorie Clark:  One that I have always liked is by Theodore Roosevelt, we live in very uncertain there’s even there’s a little genre now sometimes people talk about VUCA situations. It’s like, what’s VUCA? It’s a whole genre, it’s Volatile, Uncertain, Something and something—but it’s literally the sub-genre referring to all the chaos and uncertainty in our lives. And with that in mind Theodore Roosevelt’s quote he says—in any moment of uncertainty the best thing to do is the right thing the next best thing to do is the wrong thing and the worst thing to do is nothing. And so I am a believer in forward action and forward momentum you’re not going to get anywhere including just you’re not going to get any data if you don’t do anything. If you at least do something you will get data whether positive or negative and you can learn and adapt faster. So, I think to me that’s kind of an encouraging quote. 

 

Jim Rembach:  That that is a very encouraging quote. I say all the time and said sometimes you have to allow yourself to take two steps back just to take one forward and the fear though from taking those two steps back is prevalent in society as well as for us as individuals. One of the things that I really got a clear understanding of and it kind of helped ground me a little bit when I was going through the book Stand Out is that this doesn’t happen fast it’s just not a quick fix I wish I could walk into a room and flip a switch and get to the old surprised and say hey it’s all there that’s just not the way it works. So, if I’m a person who really hasn’t done a lot in regards to standing out and building my platform finding my niche what can I expect as a timeline?

 

Dorie Clark:  I think you raised a really important point Jim. This is a good and bad thing I’m an impatient human being I always want things to happen way sooner than they do but also the silver lining of the fact it takes a while to build a strong personal print it takes a while to become a recognized expert in your field if you could do it instantly who wouldn’t do it the competition would be insane you wouldn’t be able to advance simply because there would be so many people just in line queuing to advance. What happens instead is that we think that it’s hard to become a recognized expert because you say—oh, there’s so many people, oh, there’s seven billion people, five hundred thousand lawyers whatever—how can I stand out? The truth is yes at the starting gate there’s everybody but almost everybody drops off and that is the secret because by the end you are not competing against five hundred thousand people you are competing against ten thousand or a thousand or a hundred people and so your chances of success are so much better. 

 

One study that I thought was really fascinating actually there’s an analysis done of podcasts, speaking of you, and in this analysis it showed that the average podcast only existed for 12 episodes and then hang over a six month period usually people were able to keep approximately a biweekly schedule for six months and then nothing. And you think about you think—oh, there’s hundreds of thousands of podcasts but you know what, most go defunct because their hosts just can’t or won’t keep it up. If you are one of the people that is a survivor, if you survive simply because you persevere and you make a decision to do it you are so much more likely to be successful and the competition is actually very thin at those upper echelons. 

 

Jim Rembach:  You’re exactly right. For me I have over a hundred plus episodes doing it for a couple years and my wife will always say—and so now it used to be like why are you doing this? I release the show on Wednesday mornings, Tuesday evening I’m up in my office and I’m queuing everything up to have it be released for Wednesday morning at 4:30 a.m. because Wednesday what? Hump Day, of course. And she’s like, why you doing this? Now she’s like, don’t you need to go to your podcast?  She’s telling me that I need to get up there. But you’re right, I have had people tell me, and I probably got about five or six PR companies that are constantly giving their clients to me as potential guests on the show and so now I don’t have to really try very hard to go get guest I really cherry pick on who I go after but you know what? Many of them told me said, we don’t even touch podcast until they’ve had 100 or more because there’s many out there. 

 

Dorie Clark:  That exactly right. Yeah, the attrition rate is enormous.

 

Jim Rembach:  It is. I know with that though there’s a hot a lot of humps that I’ve had to get over in order to persevere and do that and everybody has some say need to get over and for us there’s a lot of learnings in that. Is there a time that you can share with us and you had to get over hump? 

 

Dorie Clark:  Yeah. A big one for me was getting laid off and losing my first job as a reporter that was probably something that was a defining incident for me. Because I enjoy being a reporter and I thought I would probably just make that my career it seems like a reasonably good fit for myself. I liked I like reading and writing and asking people questions it was something that that I imagined I could do the rest of my life and instead of doing it the rest of my life, Oh, nope I’m going to do it for a year and then get laid off and ultimately I had to adjust. I thought it was just a problem with my newspaper and a recession and I tried to find jobs at another paper and I couldn’t no one was hiring and of course retrospectively it was because the industry was entering this contraction but which was an enormous contraction. In fact, forty-two percent of American journalists lost their job between 2000 and 2015 so it was a near universal experience it was like the Black Plague of journalists. But I had to readjust not willingly I would have been happy to just cruise into another newspaper but I had to adjust because circumstances demanded it and that actually turned out to be a good break for me. Because it meant that I was forced to master the skill of resiliency early on in my career and that actually led me ultimately to writing my first book, Reinventing You, about professional reinvention and how to adapt to career change or job change or setbacks of the ilk.

 

Jim Rembach:  Well I think for you that was like a sink or swim or I mean you lived that it was real. So, when you were actually going through and doing  research for that book how were you able to separate your own situation from giving people advice? Well fortunately I wrote the book a number of years after all this had happened so it’s sort of like writing a memoir. You don’t necessarily want to write the memoir like the day after somebody dies or you enter rehab or something like that you need you need a little while to get the perspective so that you can narrow the story in an appropriate way and kind of make sense of the overall context. And so for me I got laid off in 2001, in fact,  the great historical irony for me was the day they laid me off was Monday September 10, 2001, so of course next day was quite a day to be an unemployed journalist but which made everything that much more confusing and frightening and complicated. But I ended up getting the book contract in 2011, about 10 years later and then the book Reinventing You was released in 2013 from Harvard Business Review press. So I had a while in between I was to able settle into my new career and I then cool stuff in the interim some which you mentioned the bio working for presidential campaign, as a spokesperson running a non-profit, starting my own business, so I had that context but it was it was interesting and instructive for me for writing reinventing you to interview dozens of successful professionals who had made career trenches transitions for themselves because I was able as a result sort of extrapolate best practices from what they did and a lot of ways write the book that I wish that I had because I just kind of (20:20 inaudible)my way through it and it would have been a lot more helpful to have a roadmap for it, so, that was what I sought to try to provide other people in writing.

 

Jim Rembach:   Well, you even talk about that and standout where you have to have some type of framework in order to be able to operate on. But I know like now you talked about new book coming out you finish that got it to the final edits to the publisher that should be coming out soon but you’ve got a lot of things going on. If you were to think about all of those things what’s one goal you have?

 

Dorie Clark:   Yeah, so one goal that I that I have for myself just to pick one thing I’m excited about is I’m actually starting this year to experiment with live workshops and that’s the first time that I’ve really done that. I did a pilot session last summer for a small group, 10 people, did a kind of mastermind day. And as a result of that it went well I began to kind of learn more about what it took to put an event like that together and so I have organized a couple of open enrollment workshops that I’m doing for my readers and  people in my community this year. And so I’m excited about that just learning the process of creating content and sharing that efficiently. So, one is about rapid content creation about how—we all know we should be blogging for instance but a lot of people they’re not sure what’s great about the—it take some ten hours to write a post so this is really taking my methodology which allows me to very quickly create content within 60- 90 minutes tops just kind of bang it out. So, sharing that methodology with people who know they need to create content and want to be able to do it more effectively. And then the other one, the other workshop is basically based off of my new book it’s going to be piloting some of these concepts in a workshop format and it’s about how to create multiple income streams from your business. So, especially for people who are primarily relying on one stream with their coach, their consultant etc. what can you do to lay the groundwork and begin to open up other revenue streams so you can diversify successfully.

 

Jim Rembach:   And the Fast Leader legion wishes you the very best. Now, before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor: 

 

The number one thing that contributes to customer loyalty is emotions. So, move onward and upward faster by gaining significantly deeper insight and understanding of your customer journey and personas with emotional intelligence. With your empathy mapping workshop you’ll learn how to evoke and influence the right customer emotions that generate improved customer loyalty and reduce your cost to operate. Get over your emotional hump now by going to empathymapping.com to learn more. 

Alright here we go Fast Leader legion, it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay Dorie the Hump day Hoedown is a part of our show where you give us good insights fast. I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us some robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Dorie Clark, are you ready to hoedown?

 

Dorie Clark:   Oh, yes. 

 

Jim Rembach:  Alright. What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?

 

Dorie Clark:   I think something that quite likely holding me back is that I am a micromanager which is not a bad thing since I’m self-employed but I think I could delegate more and I could probably be more efficient about it. So, that’s something I’m thinking about how to do.

 

Jim Rembach: What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?

 

Dorie Clark:  The best leadership advice that I ever received was actually not to pay for an office. I have worked from home for 11 years and as a result I have probably saved well over six figures from it, and I spend quality time with my cats so I love it for that reason.

 

Jim Rembach:   What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

 

Dorie Clark:  I am incredibly good at forcing myself to do things I don’t want to do. And so I don’t really procrastinate or more specifically I do procrastinate but by doing other things that I will need to do eventually and so I don’t waste a lot of time. 

 

Jim Rembach:  What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?

 

Dorie Clark:   One tool that I use a lot and really recommend is called Schedule Once and it is a scheduling software similar to calendar which is another alternative and it just test out all the back-and-forth about when and how to meet, so, I find it really helps my efficiency.

 

Jim Rembach:   What would be one book that you’d recommend to our listeners, they could be from any genre, of course we’ll put a link to Standout on your show notes page as well.

 

Dorie Clark:  Thank you. One book that I think doesn’t get the press that it deserves but I really liked it a lot, it’s called Good Strategy Bad Strategy by Richard Rummells who’s a business school professor at UCLA. It’s one of the books that I’ve read about corporate strategy and how to be more strategic in your business.

 

Jim Rembach:  Okay, Fast Leader listeners you can find links to that and other bonus information which will include a 42 page self-assessment workbook on how to stand out on the show notes page for Dorie Clark that you’ll be able to find at fastleader.net/Dorie Clark. Okay, Dorie this is my last Hump day Hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity go back to the age of 25. And you’ve been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you. But you can’t take everything back you can only choose one. So, what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

Dorie Clark:  What I would take back Jim is that I was very focused when I was younger and building my business on building up social proof and credibility and name recognition and things like that and all is important but what I didn’t think about at all was building a following. I was reliant on other people’s outlets, on other people’s turf and I didn’t specifically focus on building email list. I’ve come to realize with the increased fragmentation of the media landscape you really can’t rely on other sources to carry water for you, you need to be communicating directly with people which is why getting people to opt-in to your email list is so essential and I would have clued into that a lot sooner.

 

Jim Rembach:  Dorie, it was not her to spend time with you today can you please share with the Fast Leader Legion how they can connect with you?

 

Dorie Clark:   Thank you so much Jim. Well, if people want to learn more if they would like to dive into my move so to speak there are a lot of opportunities. If they they go to my website which is dorieclark.com there are more than 400 free articles available there that I’ve written for places like Forbes and Harvard Business Review and Entrepreneur. And as Jim mentioned on my website, dorieclark.com you can get the free download of the Stand Out self-assessment workbook which helps you figure out how to develop your own breakthrough ideas and build a following around them.

 

Jim Rembach:   Dorie Clark, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom the Fast Leader legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. Woot! Woot.

 

Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps links from every show, special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.

 

END OF AUDIO 

 

 

125: Bernie Swain: Ronald Reagan brought us great legitimacy

Bernie Swain Show Notes

Bernie Swain was facing gargantuan competition to be the lecture agency that would represent President Ronald Reagan. He was certain that he would lose out to a more experienced and larger firm. When Bernie got the call, he prepared for the worst. Listen to Bernie share his story of how wining helped him to move onward and upward faster.

Bernie was born in Riverdale, Maryland but grew up in Arlington Virginia with his younger/older brother John.

As a young boy Bernie could always be found on the baseball on the playground or listening to a New York Yankees games on the radio and cheering on his idol, Mickey Mantle.

Inspired by his high school football coach, Bernie planned on a career in college athletics. Despite the fact that no one in his family ever attended college.

Bernie earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees from George Washington University. In the last few months of graduate work, he met his lifelong partner, Paula, a special education teacher.

When Bernie was 32 years old he became the assistant athletic director at a GW. When the athletic director announced his retirement, Bernie was offered the job. It was my dream job and at 36 years old, he far exceeded the goal of that high school boy who may or may not have ever gone to college.

Then in 1979 Bernie and Paula’s friend, Harry Rhoads, sent them the note that inspired all three of them to turn their lives upside down.  They quit their jobs to start a lecture agency—without experience, without a plan, and without a single client.

The trio worked from a small supply closet belonging to Chuck Hagel, who would later become Secretary of Defense. For eighteen rocky months, they sat in that closet with their savings running out, unable to compete against the dozens of established agencies up and down the east coast.

Then Bernie got his first exclusive speaker, sealing the deal with a handshake. That handshake became a “defining moment” for their company as word spread in the small town of Washington.

Bernie Swain is the author of What Made Me Who I Am and the co-founder and Chairman of Washington Speakers Bureau and today’s foremost authority on the lecture industry. Over the past 35 years, he has represented former US Presidents, American and world leaders, journalists, authors, business visionaries, and sports legends.

Today Bernie and Paula currently split residence in Nantucket, New York and Florida. They have three kids in New York City – Michael, Tim and Kelly and a grandchild on the way.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @Swain_Bernie and get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“We started our company based on handshakes.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet

“When an old person dies it’s like a library burning.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“Each life is defined by volumes that can teach us.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“Each life is a storehouse of wisdom and knowledge.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“Each life is its own library stuffed to the rafters.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“Sitting down and giving thought to who you are saves you a lot of time.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“Success you haven’t experienced before gives you a lot of temptation.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“There are no shortcuts to success.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“We have to pay attention to the defining moments and powerful influences in our lives.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“If we face our problems and find solutions then the load is easy to carry.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“In life, it’s a step at a time and those steps are building blocks.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“It’s paying attention to other people and learning from them that’s most important.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“Most of the heroes today are social media personalities that come and go.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“We don’t slow down to pay attention to our own life and learn from it.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“Young people today need heroes and examples to look up to.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“I have to stay curious about the world around me and then I can stay involved.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“I had the passion to look for skills and develop those skills.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Bernie Swain was facing gargantuan competition to be the lecture agency that would represent President Ronald Reagan. He was certain that he would lose out to a more experienced and larger firm. When Bernie got the call, he prepared for the worst. Listen to Bernie share his story of how wining helped him to move onward and upward faster.

Advice for others

Pay attention to the defining moments and powerful influences in your life.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Curiosity. I have to stay curious about what’s going on around me to stay involved.

Best Leadership Advice Received

It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry the load.

Secret to Success

Passion. And the belief in myself.

Best tools that helps in Business or Life

Strategic thinking. Think ahead.

Recommended Reading

What Made Me Who I Am

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Contacting Bernie

Website: http://bernieswain.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bernie-swain-0a704b4/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Swain_Bernie

Resources and Show Mentions

54 Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Competencies List: Emotional Intelligence has proven to be the right kind of intelligence to have if you want to move onward and upward faster. Get your free list today.

 

Show Transcript: 

Click to access edited transcript

125: Bernie Swain: Ronald Reagan brought us great legitimacy

 

Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we explore convenient yet effective shortcuts that will help you get ahead and move forward faster by becoming a better leader. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligent practitioner, Jim Rembach.

 

Need a powerful and entertaining way to ignite your next conference, retreat or team-building session? My keynote don’t include magic but they do have the power to help your attendees take a leap forward by putting emotional intelligence into their employee engagement, customer engagement and customer centric leadership practices. So bring the infotainment creativity the Fast Leader show to your next event and I’ll your attendees get over the hump now. Go to beyondmorale.com/speaking to learn more. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Okay Fast Leader legion today I’m excited because the guests that I have on the show today has some great stories to tell that are full of wisdom. Bernie Swain was born in Riverdale, Maryland but grew up in Arlington, Virginia with his younger brother John. As a young boy Bernie could always be found playing baseball on the playground or listening to the New York Yankee games on the radio and cheering on his idol Mickey Mantle. Inspired by his high school football coach, Bernie planned on a career in college athletics despite the fact that no one in his family ever attended college.

 

Bernie earned his undergraduate degree and master’s degree from George Washington University. In the last few months of graduate work he met his lifelong partner Paula a special education teacher. When Bernie was 32 years old he became the assistant athletic director at GW. When the athletic director announced his retirement Bernie was offered the job it was his dream job. At 36 years old he far exceeded the goal of that high school boy who may or may not have ever gone to college. Then in 1979, Bernie and Paula’s friend Harry Rhodes sent them the note that inspired all three of them to turn their lives upside down. They quit their jobs to start a lecture agency without experience, without a plan, and without a single client. The trio worked from a small supply closet belonging to Chuck Hagel who would later become the secretary of defense. For 18 rocky months they sat in the closet with their savings running out unable to compete against the dozens of established agencies up and down the East Coast. 

 

Then Bernie got his first exclusive speaker sealing the deal with a handshake that handshake became a defining moment for their company as word spread in the small town of Washington D.C. Bernie Swain is the author of What Made Me Who I am and the co-founder and chairman of Washington speaker’s bureau, today’s foremost authority on the lecture industry. Over the past years 35 years he has represented former presidents, American and world leaders, journalists, authors, business visionaries, and sports legends. 

Today Bernie and Paula currently split residence in Nantucket, New York and Florida. They have three kids all in New York City, Michael, Tim and Kelly and one grandchild on the way. Bernie Swain are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Bernie Swain:  Yes. I’m looking forward to it. 

 

Jim Rembach:   I’m glad you’re here. Now I’ve given our listeners a little bit about you but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?

 

Bernie Swain:  Well in the mid 1980’s Alex Haley kind of set me on a path to understand the people that I was representing to look at them not as clients but as people that I could learn something from, a classroom for instance. And so I’ve written a book and my passion at the moment is getting word out on that book and sharing it with young people.

 

Jim Rembach:   I appreciate—I had the opportunities to see you as well as here you on an interview with Doc Baron who’s also a guest on the Fast Leader show and I think you guys had a really great time together and I just got so fascinated by your story and how you’ve actually overcome a lot of the hurdles that so many of us have to overcome both in an organization as well as building your own organization and I thought you’d be a great guest on the show, so thanks for coming. But when you start talking about who or what made me who I am, for you without going through and talking about the entire book what are some of the things that stand out for you?

 

Bernie Swain:  Well, as I said we started our company as you said earlier based on handshakes and it was actually a mistake all the other lecture agencies at that time were signing people for one and two-year contracts and Steve came to us because his contract was up and they hadn’t produced for him so he says I’ll give you guys a chance and we had been in that stationery closet for 14 months when he came to us. I was so excited and went over to Steve’s office and shook his hand came back to the office’ tried to justify it to my wife Paula and our partner Harry by saying what good would it do to sign somebody to a piece of paper and that mistake on my part turned about out to be a defining moment for us because Steve went and then told other journalists that in Washington DC that if you didn’t want to tie yourself up to a written contract that you could shake hands with this new speaker’s bureau in town and walk away from them anytime you want. And what that did was establish for us the atmosphere of trust and honesty. 

 

In 1985 Alex Haley came aboard with us and Alex used to sit with me in the office for hours at a time and talk about family relationships and he used to repeat a phrase to me, when an old person dies it’s like a library burning. And that phrase stuck with me and as the days and months passed I began to understand what he was saying to me, that each life the lives of those that are listening today and the millions of people that go uncelebrated is defined by experiences that have volumes to teach us and that each life is basically a storehouse of wisdom and knowledge its own library stuffed to the rafters. I wrote this book for two reasons one is to share these collections of stories that inspired me for many years about and taught me something about life the stories of a compelling an eclectic group of my friends who were guided by their powerful influences and the defining moments and by recounting these stories to give others a better picture and understanding of their own life and the importance of the turning points on the process. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Thank you for sharing that. There’s a couple things that stood out to me as you were talking about that and also one of the things that I didn’t have the opportunity to share is the background of your parents. Both of them came from pretty meager means and even your father went through a lot of I guess you’d say issues associated with having a stable home, and grew up in an orphanage and all of those things kind of culminate into kind of what we are and what we have become. Oftentimes we lose sight of that because on the Fast Leader show often times it’s a little bit of an irony. In the Fast Leader show we talk about doing things faster but really the way to do things faster is to do them correctly. 

 

Bernie Swain:   Right, it puts us on the right path. We don’t off on tangents and make mistakes and have to re-correct ourselves. Sitting down and giving thought to who you are and the events and the people in your lives that have affected you and changed you in essence made you who you are saves you a lot of time and allows you to make fast decisions.

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s a very good point. When you talked about that mistake—you talked about how it was a defining moment, however, what was the temptation for you to go to that next speaker and try to actually get them under contract and use that piece of paper versus the handshake?

 

Bernie Swain:   Well, actually over the years—in 30 some years we have not yet re-signed anybody to a written contract. I remember in 1984, I was kind of anxious about having some success an initial success that you haven’t experienced before gives you a lot of temptation to cut corners and nobody and the industry had followed us with handshakes, we were the only people signing people with handshakes people could walk away from us anytime we weren’t tying them up. I was anxious to cut corners maybe to raise commission’s to do things to make success come quicker for us and in the process at the same time we were recruiting a football coach from the University of Minnesota who would later go to the University of Notre Dame named Lou Holtz and Lou was going to the White House to meet with Ronald Reagan and we read about in the paper and sent Lou a letter asking Lou if he’d stop by the office no one had been able ever to represent Lou, Lou had been independent and at the same time he was probably the best sports speaker in the country at the time. So, I asked Lou if he we could represent him when he came to the office and he wrote me a letter a month later saying that he needed to concentrate on football and that while he appreciated the offer he turned us down. Months later after that I get another letter from Lou and says, you know that I have two inboxes on my desk and one is for football and one is for speeches and the inbox for speeches is twice as big as the inbox for football and if I’m going to be successful in life I need to concentrate on football so if you’ll allow me I will love for you to represent me on three conditions and those three conditions were, do you care about me? Are you committed to excellence? And can I trust you? And I put that letter on my desk and left it there thinking I was going to file it away and for some reason it stayed there for a day and maybe two days or three days and finally it came to me why I couldn’t put it away. Do you care about me? Can I trust you? Are you committed to excellence? Those were the very reasons I walked away from GW and to start something on my own that I had never experienced before because I wanted to build a company that I was proud of and I was at a point where I was willing to cut corners and do anything for success and I suddenly realized there are no shortcuts to success and that totally changed my life and put us back on the correct path. If I hadn’t gotten that letter, if Lou hadn’t signed, came and shook hands with us I would have probably gone the path of other lecture agencies or done something different or maybe never been as successful as I ended up being.

 

Jim Rembach:   And so you have to share with me too because as I was listening to you talk I started thinking about the whole fast piece and that we kind of hit as they call a tipping point or we hit a point by which exponential activity starts occurring. In other words we have like 10 speakers, 20 speakers and all of a sudden boom! We have like 200 that we’re representing. So, to me I’m thinking that that slow growth actually did help with the acceleration to get to where you are today. Am I wrong in that thinking?

 

Bernie Swain:   No, you’re really right.  In 1988 in the fall we got a letter from the White House asking if we would be one of 30 agencies to interview to represent Ronald Reagan. The idea was that they would take—and these were not just the big lecture agencies up and down the East Coast but their Hollywood agencies because he was from Hollywood and so the idea was that you would take the 30 agencies have an interview whittle it down to 15 then another interview down to 7 and they would present the top two choices to the President and Mrs. Reagan for them to select it. You heard nothing for two months nobody knew what was going on and Washington is a very gossipy town so if you need to know something all you have to do is pick up the phone call somebody and they can find out what’s going on but there was nothing. Suddenly in the middle of February, two and a half months after the last interview, I get a call from Fred Ryan, who’s now publisher of The Washington Post, and he was the chief of staff for Ronald Reagan and I braced myself for the bad news because I kind of envisioned what he was going to say—Bernie, you’ve done a great job you should be proud of the accomplishments you’ve done in nine years and you did a great job with the interviews but I hope you understand we have to go with a more experienced agency. And so I picked up the phone bracing myself for that bad news and he got right to the point and says, President and Mrs. Reagan have selected you to represent them. I didn’t know what to say so I promised that we would do a good job, told him that we’d be in touch soon and hung up the phone. I remember sitting at my desk that day thinking how totally amazing it was that a President of the United States would select a fledgling agency and a group of totally inexperienced people to represent him and risk his legacy and I came to understand it after I got to know him that he was really a small-town boy who believed in entrepreneur-ism in the little guy and he wanted to give us a chance. It was exactly what years earlier Alex Haley has said to me that we have to pay attention to the defining moments and the powerful influences in our lives and that’s exactly what Ronald Reagan did. If I had that slow start, if I hadn’t paid attention to the experiences and the lessons that I was being taught for the people I represented maybe I would have never represented Ronald Reagan. Soon as that took place we were representing Margaret Thatcher and ended up representing the last six Prime Ministers of Great Britain, five secretaries of state and three out of the last four Presidents. 

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s absolutely amazing. So, I know now you’re sitting here with a whole slew and cadre of all of these folks who have been part of your life and that obviously you’ve been part of theirs because you said of the way that you do business you get to know them and you care about them so there’s personal interactions that are there. So, I can only imagine that there’s a whole lot of inspiration that you’ve received along the way. And one of the things that we look at on the show are quotes to help find inspiration. Is there a quote or two for you that you can share?

 

Bernie Swain:  Lou Holtz who has been a big influence in my life, I’m still very close to Lou, I just went to his 80th birthday party. He’s made the kind of life he’s lived. He has made a great influence on me and he gave me a quote years ago– It’s not the amount of the load we carry but how we carry that load. And what he meant was that we all have responsibilities we all have problems in life and if we allow those problems and responsibilities just to stay stagnant in where they are the load becomes heavy but if we pay attention to our responsibilities and handle them one at a time if we face our problems and find solutions for those problems then the load is easy to carry and we can carry greater loads, which we end up doing anyway.

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s very true. And I think the whole piece for me about just the movement don’t stay and don’t be burdened to the point to where you don’t actually make some type of movement even if it’s backwards at least is movement because eventually you will get moving forward.

 

Bernie Swain:  Right. In our business the thing you hate the most is that you schedule somebody to speak at an event and you may schedule them four months in advance and I remember at one point Ronald Reagan fell off his horse and I had three of speaking engagements for him and it’s the worst thing in the world to call somebody and say the person you’ve been depending on can’t come no matter how legitimate that is. I remember thinking to myself at one time I had two or three speakers that once had to cancel for very legitimate reasons but I just couldn’t bring myself to call the client and tell them right away and I was in the process of trying to find replacements so I have something ready and I let it build up and I remember that feeling of letting those problems build up without taking care of them immediately and it was an experience, I was living with Lou Holtz said not to do.  People say quotes to you all the time like Lou that quote to me but sometimes you have to experience what that quote means in order to understand it and for it to work for you. 

 

Jim Rembach:   I can imagine too then when we started talking about this that may be a hump that we have to get over quite often. And we shared one of the hump as far as starting the speaker’s bureau was concerned, but is there another hump story that you can tell us that we can actually gain some more wisdom from?

 

Bernie Swain:  I think the big hump for us was the Ronald Reagan story. Because what Ronald Reagan ended up bringing us great legitimacy. Nobody in Washington DC ever thought we would represent a Ronald Reagan and when that happened—I remember the next year Margaret Thatcher had resigned on Thanksgiving and it was hard to get a hold of people and I didn’t really know who to call to reach Margaret Thatcher and I remember getting a call from President Reagan the next day who said that I just talked to Maggie and she wants you to represent her. And so you just don’t know you build up step at a time when you build something or in life it’s a step at a time and then suddenly you find that those steps or building blocks where you build something that’s a solid foundation and that solid foundation then allows you to build a bigger house on it or have bigger opportunities in life. I remember that Ronald Reagan was the biggest hump we ever overcame in addition to the Lou Holtz story where it just changed my perspective on life.

 

Jim Rembach:   When you start thinking about over the course of the years and where things are going from a speaker and lecturer perspective, what do you see some of the things that are most profound in regards to the future and where you’re headed?

 

Bernie Swain:  It’s very interesting because with Donald Trump and what’s going on in the country today it’s totally different from the life and the people that I’ve experienced before. As far as our lecture industry is concerned I think it’s going to grow. Years ago they came up with an idea of teleconferencing so you would then be able to tell a conference to an event and for us the important thing is for people to be there in person and to touch and allow you to feel the experience that’s taking place. So I don’t see a great deal of change in our industry. I think it’s an industry that’s just going to grow because I think today we want to feel people and to understand people and to experience different experiences. More than ever today we can easily get lost in our own ideas of what we want to do and what we want to become but it’s paying attention to other people and learning from other people that’s most important. 

 

Jim Rembach:   I think that’s a very important point that we all should consider as a takeaway. Proximity and being able to have that flesh and that feel and all of that is extremely important so if we’re sitting there and we’re thinking about reaching out to somebody and making  a particular contact having an important conversation. How we go about them? The way that we do that is extremely important. And I’ve always said up for face to face and whenever you can get it and everything else comes way below that and i think you just validated that for me 

 

Bernie Swain:  Right. And I think that’s what your show does. Your show shares those experiences with other people so that they can take those experiences and use them in their own life. The point of what you do is that you’re giving kind of a guideline a direction for people to go so that they can make the most of their own life.

 

Jim Rembach:   I appreciate that. Now I know—and we talked about a grandchild on the way, we talked about splitting your residence, we talked about continuing to work as a Chairman on the  

Board of the organization—the Speaker’s Bureau—what’s one of your goals?

 

Bernie Swain:  Most of the people in the book that I wrote or people that are recognized by people that are my age, I grew up with those people, but young people today starting out in life don’t have the heroes or the examples in life that I had. Most of the heroes today are social media personalities that come and go and so my the difficult thing for me today is what I’m trying to do is to reach out and speak to schools and to classrooms and meet young people to share the experiences in this book and for them to understand the importance of finding your own turning points and own powerful influence as those turning points in their own life that can make a difference for them. Because I think today you order something one day and it comes the next day and things go so quickly that we don’t slow down as we said in our conversation, you don’t slow down to pay attention to your own life and to learn from it. And I think today young people need heroes and examples to look up to or examples to better understand their own examples in their own life. It took me, for example, how many people get to a certain age and they lose their parents and they think back—well, gee, if I’d only ask this question if I’d only known a little bit more with their grandparents and it’s the same thing wouldn’t it be better if we were in our 20’s and 30’s and we could learn the things that we would have learned when we were 50 and 60 and 70 years old and use those things.

 

Jim Rembach:   And the Fast Leader legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor:

 

An even better place to work is an easiest solution that gives you a continuous diagnostic on employee engagement along with integrated activities that will improve employee engagement and leadership skills in everyone. Using this award winning solutions guarantee to create motivated, productive, and loyal employees who have great work relationships with our colleagues and your customers. To learn more about an even better place to work visit      beyondmorale.com/better.

 

Alright, here we go Fast Leader legion, it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Bernie, the Hump Day Hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast.  I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us onward and upward faster. Bernie Swain are you ready to hoedown? 

 

Bernie Swain:  I’ll try all.

 

Jim Rembach:   Alright. So, what do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?

 

Bernie Swain:  I think curiosity is holding you back. I mean the fact that I have to stay curious about what’s going on in life and the world around me and the really important issues today. And if I stay curious about those issues then I can stay involved.

 

Jim Rembach:   What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?

 

Bernie Swain:  I think it’s Lou’s advice. It’s not the load that breaks you down it’s the way you carry the load. And I think that’s very important because things can get us down and we can lose perspective quickly because we can’t handle our own situations.

 

Jim Rembach:   What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

 

Bernie Swain:  Passion. I sat in that stationary closet for 14 months without representing a speaker. Every day I got up excited about a new day and I was facing and I would come home at night facing a lot of adversity because I’ve been disappointed that nothing had been accomplished I was virtually out of money after 14 months. I was not smart, I didn’t know what I was doing when I started this lecture agency so I think it was the passion to accomplish something and belief in myself.

 

Jim Rembach:   What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life? 

 

Bernie Swain:  Strategic thinking. The key to me when we sign well-known speakers and we’re competing with other agencies is to think ahead what the competition is going to say. I ought to know what somebody is going to say about me or what events going to take place so I have an answer to that question before it takes place. And if I think ahead—Tim Russert when he was alive, a host of Meet the Press, Tim would ask one question and then a follow-up question and his third question which nobody does today was what he knew would be the answer to the first and second question and try to get a correct answer rather than understanding what they were trying to say to us. So, I think strategic thinking is the key.

 

Jim Rembach:   What would be one book and it could be from any genre, and of course we’ll put a link to “What Made me who I am” on your show notes page, but what would be a book from any genre that you’d recommend?

 

Bernie Swain:  There’s a book by Angela Duckworth called Grit: The power of passion and perseverance, and it’s a terrific book. It shows that passion is much more important than talent and I think it’s a great book for anybody to read. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Okay, Fast Leader legion you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going too fastleader.net/Bernie Swain. Okay, Bernie, this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity go back to the age of 25. And you’ve been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you. But you can’t take everything back you can only just choose one so what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

Bernie Swain:  That’s such an easy question because when I started out I had one single ability and nothing else. You’ve got to remember that I started a speaker’s bureau by reading an article in Fortune magazine where article was about—it said, I don’t have any competition. It turned out there was no Internet back then and because there was no Internet I had no way to tell whether he was telling the truth or not. I was six months later in starting the speaker’s bureau and discovered because I got letters from other speaker’s bureaus that there was 12 other agencies in addition to this there was Harry Walker agency which was the subject of this article and discovered that I was facing a lot of competition. So, passion is the answer to your question. Without the passion—I built on skills because I had the passion to look for those skills and to develop those skills. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Bernie it was not her to spend time with you today can you please share with the Fast Leader Legion how they can connect with you?

 

Bernie Swain:  I’m on http://bernieswain.com. I’m on Facebook, LinkedIn. I love to connect with anybody anytime and I answer any questions that are ever sent to me so I’d love to do that.

 

Jim Rembach:   Bernie Swain, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom the Fast Leader Legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. Woot! Woot!

 

Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today for recaps, links from every show, special offers, and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and word faster.

 

END OF AUDIO 

 

 

 

109: Dayna Steele: I’ve never looked at it as failing

Dayna Steele Show Notes

Dayna Steele had a very successful career as a radio disc jockey. Then she decided to quit her job and move to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. After nine months she moved back home without a career in acting. But she never failed. Listen to what she actually did.

Dayna was born and raised in Houston TX with her Younger brother Scooter.  They were raised by two great parents, married over 50 years, but both now deceased.

Dayna actually chronicled her mother’s journey with Alzheimer’s in the book Surviving Alzheimer’s with Friends, Facebook and a Really Big glass of Wine.

Beyond being an author, Dayna has been on a microphone and a stage for the majority of her life. She worked with the world’s greatest rock stars as a Hall of Fame rock radio personality and now presents those true stories and valuable lessons learned to business audiences across the country.

Dayna is the host of The Rock Business, a television series featuring successful rock artists turned successful entrepreneurs with side businesses including coffee, wineries, inventions, bio medical research, foundations, hotels, restaurants, shoes, clothing, marketing companies and more.

Dayna herself is a successful entrepreneur having created The Space Store, Steele Media Services, and a success strategy consulting company. Throughout her career, Dayna has garnered national accolades.

She was named one of the “100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts” by Talkers Magazine, nominated as “Local Radio Personality of the Year” by Billboard Magazine and has been inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.

AOL called her ‘one of the foremost experts on career networking’ and Reader’s Digest Magazine named Dayna one of the “35 People Who Inspire Us.” ABC News has called her advice “ridiculously sane.”

As an author, Dayna created the popular 101 Ways to Rock Your World book series, LinkedIn: 101 Ways to Rock Your Personal Brand, and Rock to the Top: What I Learned about Success from the World’s Greatest Rock Stars. She is also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and is the Chief Caring Expert and spokesperson for Caring.com.

Dayna lives in Seabrook, Texas, with her husband, author, and former NASA pilot Charles Justiz, and has three sons. She is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and invests in Broadway musicals. She drinks good wine and plays bad golf.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @daynasteele to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“It’s not just talent. That’s the reason there’s rock stars and then one hit wonders.” -Dayna Steele Click to Tweet

“Find people that love what you do and deliver to their passion.” -Dayna Steele Click to Tweet 

“It’s not about you – it’s about the customer.” -Dayna Steele Click to Tweet 

“You have to have knowledge of everything around you to recognize opportunity.” -Dayna Steele Click to Tweet 

“It’s all about who you know and what you do for them.” -Dayna Steele Click to Tweet 

“Constantly let people know that you appreciate what they do.” -Dayna Steele Click to Tweet 

“None of us get to where we are without help, so appreciate it.” -Dayna Steele Click to Tweet 

“In everything you do let people know what it’s going to do for them.” -Dayna Steele Click to Tweet 

“When I call you I better not recognize you are reading from a script.” -Dayna Steele Click to Tweet 

“I don’t need your processes or your tech. I need to know you’re going to help me.” -Dayna Steele Click to Tweet 

“I didn’t fail. I discovered I couldn’t act.” -Dayna Steele Click to Tweet 

“I’ve never looked at it as failing. It just didn’t work.” -Dayna Steele Click to Tweet 

“Take the parts that did work and move forward.” -Dayna Steele Click to Tweet 

“If something doesn’t work set it aside and try a different way.” -Dayna Steele Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Dayna Steele had a very successful career as a radio disc jockey. Then she decided to quit her job and move to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. After nine months she moved back home without a career in acting. But she never failed. Listen to what she actually did.

Advice for others

Embrace absurdity and go for it.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

Wine

Best Leadership Advice Received

Always fight naked.

Secret to Success

Wine

Best tools that helps in Business or Life

My husband Charlie.

Recommended Reading

Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life

Contacting Dayna

Website: http://www.daynasteele.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daynasteele

Twitter: https://twitter.com/daynasteele

Resources and Show Mentions

54 Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Competencies List: Emotional Intelligence has proven to be the right kind of intelligence to have if you want to move onward and upward faster. Get your free list today.

 

Show Transcript: 

Click to access edited transcript

109: Dayna Steele: I’ve never looked at it as failing

 

Intro Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we explore convenient yet effective shortcuts that will help you get ahead and move forward faster by becoming a better leader. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.

 

Need a powerful and entertaining way to ignite your next conference, retreat or team-building session? My keynote don’t include magic but they do have the power to help your attendees take a leap forward by putting emotional intelligence into their employee engagement, customer engagement and customer centric leadership practices. So bring the infotainment creativity the Fast Leader show to your next event and I’ll help your attendees get over the hump now. Go to beyondmorale.com/speaking to learn more.

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay Fast Leader Legion today I’m excited because the person I have on the show today, when I met her—her feistiness is just something I had to share with you. Dayna Steele, was born and raised in Houston, Texas with her younger brother, Scooter. Dayna actually chronicled her mother’s journey with Alzheimer’s in the book Surviving Alzheimer’s with friend’s Facebook and a really big glass of wine. Beyond being an author, Dayna has been on a microphone and a stage for the majority of her life. She worked with the world’s greatest rock stars as a hall-of-fame rock radio personality and now presents those true stories and valuable lessons learned to business audiences across the country. 

 

Dayna is the host of the Rock your Business, a television series featuring successful rock artists turn successful entrepreneurs with side businesses including coffee, wineries, inventions, biomedical research, foundations, hotels, restaurants, shoes, clothing, marketing companies and more. Dayna herself is a successful entrepreneur having created The Space Store Steal Media Services and a success strategy consulting company. Throughout her career, Dayna has garnered national accolades. She was named one of the  Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts by Talkers Magazine nominated as Local Radio Personality of the Year by Billboard Magazine and has been inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame. AOL called her ‘one of the foremost experts on career networking’ and Readers Digest named Dayna as one of the “People Who Inspire Us.” ABC News called her advice “ridiculously sane.” 

 

As an author, Dayna created the popular, Ways to Rock Your World book series, LinkedIn, Ways to Rock Your Personal Brand and Rock to the Top: What I Learn about Success from the World’s Greatest Rock Stars. She’s also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and is this Chief Caring expert and spokesperson for Caring.com. Dayna lives in Seabrook, Texas with her husband author and former NASA pilot, Charles Justiz and three sons. She is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and invest in Broadway musicals. She drinks good wine and plays bad golf. Dayna Steele, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Dayna Steele:    I am. I am. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Now, I’ve given our listeners a little bit about you, but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better. 

 

Dayna Steele:    You know my current passion is the television show, it’s called The Rock Business and it came about from my speech and from my books where I talk about—what I learned about success from these rock stars, when I started noticing as a lot of the rock stars, especially the older ones, they’re in a position now where they’re successful they’re touring they have time off they have more money than dirt and instead of just playing golf and relaxing and doing nothing, they’re all entrepreneurs at heart. Sammy Hagar, of course, being one of them and the ones maybe people know the most about with his tequila company and his rum company, a lot of people don’t realize that Sammy’s been an entrepreneur for a long time. Way back when he was just a solo artist and he realized how much they were paying in commissions to travel agencies he got license he started a travel agency and that was a bone of contention between him and Eddie van Halen, a little bit later on when Eddie found out they were booking people every day through Sammy’s travel agency. 

 

Sammy was getting a little bit of money off of all that Van Halen travel.  Sammy owns a whole bunch of boutique hotels and restaurants now in the states and he recently, I think his most his latest endeavor is a fire suppression company. When he found out how much she was having to pay companies to put in sprinkler system. He’s just one of the examples you’ve seen, Gene Simmons and all of his businesses on Family Jewels and Celebrity Apprentice, another great story and I could go on forever, but these are the kind of artist we want to highlight. For example nobody knows Bob Dylan as a welder, he’s a certified welder. He welded the artwork that graces the entrance to a new hotel in Maryland. Can you imagine all of the construction workers that walked past this welder with his mask down and have no idea that was Bob Dylan. So I love the fact that I learn about business from these rock stars and then I’m discovering that these rock stars are like me, we are serial entrepreneurs, we can’t just relax and go play golf and leave well enough alone. We’re up every day going, “Okay, let’s start another business. Let’s drive ourselves absolutely crazy and try to create another successful business.”

 

Jim Rembach:    Thanks for sharing that. You know, as I was thinking and you’re talking about these different rock stars I started seeing this connection to the creativity the creation aspect of it and then the creation aspect that we need to have in business that oftentimes is missing. 

 

Dayna Steele:    I always say it’s not just talent, that’s the reason there’s rock stars and then there’s one hit wonders in any business, whether it’s music or insurance or whatever. You see some of these people that they’re so incredibly talented but they just can’t seem to get it together. They just can’t seem to succeed. And it’s the same with musicians and what I discovered working with these people and watching these people and studying and now writing and speaking about these people is that not only do they have the talent and that creativity but they have this incredible discipline and work ethic. They network like crazy. They’re extremely smart I narrow it down to make it easy for people, four rock star principles of success. 

 

The first one is ‘passion’. Obviously, loving what you. But finding people that love what you do and delivering to their passion in every single thing you do. It’s not about you, it’s about the customer. The second thing is ‘knowledge’. It’s constantly learning. If you’re not getting up first thing in the morning and watching the news and knowing what’s going on in the world whether you like politics or religion or sports or whatever you need to have a general idea of everything that’s going on in the world around you otherwise how are you going to recognize opportunity. And the third thing is ‘networking’. It’s all about who you know and what you do for them. And the fourth thing is ‘appreciation’ it’s constantly letting people know that you appreciate what they do whether it’s the fans or your coworkers or strangers or somebody that held the door for you, none of us get to where we are without help so you need to appreciate it. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Thanks for sharing that they’re a really good. And also when you started mentioning the part about customers and focus, a friend of mine who’s a recording musician as well and he shared with me, because I didn’t know the business very well, but he said, “I don’t write my music for me, I’m writing my music for my audience.” And so when you think about business and

these businesses it would seem to be that having that focus and that background in doing things for others, meaning writing music and the creative piece and owning businesses that they would bring that to their businesses and then therefore they would be more successful than maybe organizations that were already in place. 

 

Dayna Steele:    That’s like for example, if you want a raise, you want a raise or a promotion, don’t go in and tell your boss manager how great you are and how much you deserve it and me, me, me—go in there with your facts and figures and say, “I increased the company’s business, I increase the bottom line, if I was doing this instead of this it would make this much more profit. Let the people what’s in it for them. One of the greatest phone calls I ever got, having a husband who flew for NASA I’ve been around a lot of the astronauts for a long, long. Alan Bean, I guess the fourth man to walk on the moon, Alan’s a character and a half, he talks really fast, he talks—you spits it out, spits it out. I remember it was about five years ago on Christmas Eve I got a message from a number I didn’t recognize and I went back and I listened to the message and it’s like, “Dayna, Alan Bean, read your book, love it, love it, love it. Everything you say I love it except when looked at your videos on your website, I hate them. Call me, I’ll tell you why. Click. That’s another thing Alan never says goodbye, he just hangs up, you don’t know if you offended him or—he just hangs up. He’s the fourth man who walked on the moon, I’m curious so I called Alan. He said something that reminded me of something a program director had told me years ago, Allen said when you say the word “I” too much, you don’t talk to the audience about you, what this will do for your business, what you can be doing. He said, “When I learn to make my moon stories, their moon stories I became a much better speaker and a speaker in demand.” And it made me think back to something a program director had said to me years ago which I credit all of my radio success with, because I didn’t do a weather forecast any different than anybody else I didn’t play Stairway to Heaven and Free Bird any different than anybody else, but I spoke differently on the radio than every other DJ on the air and it was because of what I was taught. It doesn’t matter how many people are listening to you, this applies to an audience or a meeting as well, it doesn’t matter how many people are listening to you everybody has one set of ears and one heart and one soul and one brain and everybody wants to think you’re talking to them. So when I would say things like, “It’s really hot in the studio today or how are all of you?” This program director would hotline me immediately and say you just broke the connection, you just broke the connection.

 

And I try to remember that now when I’m onstage I speak as if I’m speaking to one person sitting right next to me maybe in a living room having a conversation, and that’s how I was taught to speak on the radio. You know, in your ads, in your marketing, I get up every morning and do the daily success tip I don’t know why I didn’t name it weekly success tip that would’ve been a lot easier. In everything you do, let people know what it’s going to do for them, it’s going to make them richer, it’s going to make them happier, it’s going to make them sexier, they’re going to get lucky, their family’s going to be happy, their wives going to be happy, their husband—what’s in it for them? 

 

Dayna Steele:    I think what you just said right there is something that I’ve been contending with a particular client of mine that is in the telecommunication space for contact center, they build Omni channel platforms. The marketing people go to the tech people and ask them about what are the things that they should be saying about the particular products. And of course they’re saying, features benefits, features benefits. Features benefits do not talk to the person—

 

Jim Rembach:    Is it going to work? Is it going to make my day easier? How do I make this stupid printer recognize I have two tray options? That’s all I want to know. I don’t want to know the specs. I spend all morning trying to figure out how to get one of my apps to recognize the fact that I have two trays in this printer and I won’t say names. I have looked it up and all I’ve seen is six google page search results of specs, I don’t want specs, I just want to use tray two. 

 

Dayna Steele:    Right.  I think being able to make that switch and understand how those features and benefits can talk to the individual that’s when they start being converted into value. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Yeah, I don’t care how many customers you have, you can be the biggest airline in the world but all I care is about my luggage today, who care about your systems, your processes, the computer doesn’t see it. I want you know real person cares about me and my wants and needs and it doesn’t matter how big your contact center is, when I call you I better not recognize your reading from a script. I want to know you have been waiting for me to call, whether you have or not, and that makes such a huge, huge difference. No matter how mad I am if I’m calling customer service, I learned a trick and I even used it this morning, I had to call on some medical insurance stuff one of the worst contact call centers in the world, but I always say you know they say, “Thank you for calling, this is Theresa. Your call may be recorded, blah, blah, blah—may I have your account number? Like, “hey Theresa, Happy New Year, how you doing today? That throws them off, every time. No matter what country they’re in, they’re like, “Happy New Year—but then you can yell—do see what I’m saying? It’s that human interaction. We’re all humans were not robots. I don’t need your processes, I don’t need your tack, I need to know you’re going to help me or make things better or when I buy your widgets I’m going to be widget happy, whatever. That’s a great piece of advice too because what you did is you cause the pattern disruption. 

 

Dayna Steele:    And you know how I like to disrupt the thing, that’s my job. That comes from years of rock and roll radio. I used to say if I hadn’t been called into the general manager’s office at least once a week I was not doing my job.

 

Jim Rembach:    Well without a doubt. You know you bring a lot of passion, you’ve had the opportunity and be blessing to be exposed to a lot of passion with all the people in the network that you built and the interviews that you’ve had and the people you’ve met. And one of the things that we look for on the show is a leadership quotes because they can contain so much passion and I shouldn’t say leadership quotes, just quotes in general. Is there a quote or two that you can share with us that has passion in it for you?

 

Dayna Steele:    A quote for me or one of my favorite quotes?

 

Jim Rembach:    One of your favorites. Or maybe one from you.

 

Dayna Steele:    Albert Einstein, “If at first the idea is not observed there’s no hope for it.” I got that on a coffee mug from Amazon, when I was one of their very first customers they sent their first customers every single first customer, like in this first year when I think Vesos who’s still in his garage got a coffee cup for Christmas that year—coffee mug—I was so sad when that finally broke a couple years ago, but that was the quote on it. It at first the idea is not absurd then there’s probably no hope for it, I love that. What you got to lose? That works for everybody unless you’re a brain surgeon, please don’t say that if you’re my brain surgeon, people always worry what are people going to think? What if I fail? I quit radio. I quit a pretty highly paid radio gig in 1990 because I always wanted to know what it was like to act for a living. I gave everything up, I sold my house, I surprised everyone, I moved to LA and discovered I could not act my way out of my box but I did discover you could put groceries on a credit card. So, I survived for about nine months ended up coming back and doubling my salary in radio. And people always say to me, well you know that time you failed in LA—it’s like, I didn’t fail, I discovered I couldn’t act and I have great respect now for people who do like toilet paper commercials and stuff it’s not an easy life out there. I think that’s probably one of the best things I’ve ever done in my entire career is to quit and moved to LA and try to act because I’ve discovered I can survive anything. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I love that. So, for me I’m going to definitely walk away with being able to embrace more absurdity.

 

Dayna Steele:    Yeah. Just go for it, what do you got to lose? Again unless your brain surgeon—please don’t do that. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Now, I also know too you just described one of the situations where you have a hump to get over, great lessons learned, but have to have those we have to embrace the absurdity and find out when—maybe it really was absurd, those are all humps that we have to get over. Is there a story that you can share with us when you have to get over the hump? 

 

Dayna Steele:    Probably the acting thing. Getting over the fact that—I can act, it didn’t work let’s move back let’s do radio, I don’t know—somebody said to me once—one of my record people, she even bought me a book, she said, “You tried so many different things and you failed so many times and you just pick yourself up and you just keep going. I really had to stop and think about that because I’ve never looked at it as failing. It’s like it just didn’t work, take the parts that did work and move forward and take the parts that didn’t work and remember that. There’s an old book, the book she gave me was called, There Must Be a Pony. And I love the story I tell this often on stage to all kinds of groups, and the short version is—there are two brothers standing outside a bar and they open the door, the barn is full to the rafters with horse poo. One brother looks at it and says, “Well there’s nothing about horse poo” and he walks off disgusted. And the other brother looks at it grabs a shovel and goes there must be a pony. You know, the hump is the poo. I’m just a firm believer that there is a pony on the other side of it and I’m just going to keep going and if something doesn’t work set it aside and try a different way. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay, but I got to know because you’ve got to share. You move out to California, you had all these high hopes, what transpired for you to finally say, Oh, I did the work. 

 

Dayna Steele:    What transpired in the first week, I didn’t know you don’t just go to LA and call a casting director of the number one television show on the air and say, “Hey, I’m in town can I come by?” But one of my record guy that I knew said, “You really don’t him that well, he called me and he said, “I’m just so impressed you would just give up everything and go so bravely out to LA” he goes, “Here’s my sister’s name and number when you get out there tell her I told you to call and who knows—she’s a casting director maybe she’ll have something for you.” But it turns out it’s running, yes cool, who’s casting LA Law, the number one TV show on the air at the time, and again I didn’t know you don’t just call and I think she was so stunned that I just want—Hey, your brother said call, can I come by? She said come by and we hit it off, she said I have a part in next week’s episode for a newscaster—you read this script. So I read the script—why don’t you come back and read for the producers and then we’ll get you in the episode next week. And I’m like, “Oh, that was so cool.” I drove to the gates of Paramount Studios, that you see in all the movies, and I came back to read for the producers and I froze. I was terrified. I had never read for producers, I had done a commercial in Texas at the time when AFTRA and SAG, the two unions were separated, but in Texas if you are a member of one you’re automatically member of the other, so I didn’t realize what sort of gold I was holding in my hand when I arrived in LA with the screen actors guild membership already in my hand, so they assumed I had done television or movies or something because I was a member of the Screen Actors Guild. And I froze, I just froze. And I went on several more auditions and more auditions I went on that very first major audition for the number one television show in the country at the time, I knew when I walked out I’m an incredible DJ, I can be Dayna Steele 24/7 but I can’t be anybody else. I suck. I’m just awful. 

 

I tried a few more and I audition for a cat food commercial that was based on the old Gary Larson comic, what you say to the dog and what the dog hears. And I had to audition in front of these producers and tell them in seconds how great the cat food was only using the word blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I was just dating Charlie at that time and he was in town so he waited for me in a coffee shop downstairs and he said you should have heard all these actresses going, what is my motivation? I’m thinking a paycheck, that’s my motivation. I walked out of that, I remember getting in the rental car, getting in the car with Charlie to go get something to eat, he goes, How did it go? And I went, I’m ready to come home, this is ridiculous, this is no way to live. If I loved it, it would be worth it. It was like when I took flying lessons, I had these visions of being Angelina Jolie getting out of my private plane at which point my pilot has said, “You know, she looks good taking the trash—you will get nothing this week sir. That’s why I took flying lessons until the guy said you’re ready to solo and I said, no I’m not. No I’m not, I don’t have the passion I don’t feel the confidence it’s not there. So, that was a hump I didn’t get over. You know you just listen to your heart, listen to your soul, you know if something’s working or not.

 

Jim Rembach:    Thank you for sharing. I had the opportunity to see you keynote at the ICMI contact center conference and that’s where we were able to connect and set up the interview for the show and I’m blessed—

 

Dayna Steele:    Which by the way I love all the people I meet at that conference, everybody is just so—I don’t know it’s always a great—I’ve been very fortunate to keynote that conference twice now and they just keep having me back, and I love them for it. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I’ve had the opportunity to go to a couple of different industry types of events and I’ve talked to people who actually put on those types of events and some of them work with a couple of different industries and they always say, I love doing the customer care events because the people are just so wonderful. 

 

Dayna Steele:    How can you be in customer care event and not care? If you’re in the customer care industry and you don’t care, it’s probably time to go—act in LA or something, I don’t know. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Tell the paper commercials are calling. 

 

Dayna Steele:    Yeah, yeah, go do a toilet paper commercial. There’s my quote, if you’re in customer care industry and you don’t care, get out now. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Definitely. So I know you have a lot of things going on and you talked about the TV show, of course you’re speaking, your media work, your family and there’s a whole lot of things that you have going on but if you’re to look at one goal, what would it be? 

 

Dayna Steele:    To get the rock business on network television. We’re in negotiations so I can’t say the network but it’s a network that does a lot of really fun cool business shows and it would just fit in that network so incredibly, perfectly. But it’s a long process and I’m not very patient, not only am I feisty, I’m—let’s go, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go it’s and television doesn’t work that way so I’m having to learn a lot of yoga breaths when I speak to agents and Hollywood people and I try learning I’m trying, that’s a jump out of my skin. But that’s my number one goal, is to get the rock business season one, eight episodes on network television this year. 

 

Jim Rembach:    And the Fast Leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor. 

 

The number one thing that contributes to customer loyalty is emotions. So move onward and upward faster by getting significantly deeper insight and understanding of your customer journey and personas with emotional intelligence. With your empathy mapping workshop, you learn how to evoke and influence the right customer emotions that generate improve customer loyalty and reduce your cost to operate. Get over your emotional hump now by going to empathymapping.com to learn more. 

 

Jim Rembach:    All right here we go Fast Leader listeners, it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown, Okay Dayna the Hump Day Hoedown is a part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So, I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Dayna Steele, are you ready to hoedown? 

 

Dayna Steele:    No pressure, yeah, go. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Alright. What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?

 

Dayna Steele:    Wine. 

 

Jim Rembach:    What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?

 

Dayna Steele:    Always fight naked.

 

Jim Rembach:    What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success”

 

Dayna Steele:    Wine. 

 

Jim Rembach:    What do you feel is one of the best tools that helps you lead in business or life?

 

Dayna Steele:    My husband, Charlie. 

 

Jim Rembach:    What would be one book, it could be from any genre that you’d recommend to our listeners?

 

Dayna Steele:    Who Moved My Cheese? 

 

Dayna Steele:    Okay Fast Leader listeners, you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/DaynaSteele. Okay Dayna, this is my last hump day hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you have been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything you can only choose one, what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

Jim Rembach:    Learning to listen more because I was a talker. I was a talker, I was a mover and a shaker. It was the eighties and rock-and-roll you’re asking me to remember the 80’s and rock-and-roll? Either to listen or to really have appreciated all of the situations I got myself into in the 80’s because I look back now and I was pretty lucky. I was in in rock and roll history in the 80’s it was pretty amazing. 

 

Dayna Steele:    But then but in the 80’s rock and roll the guys were wearing more makeup than the women weren’t they? 

 

Jim Rembach:    Yeah, they were. We shared eyeliner but—

 

Dayna Steele, it was an honor to spend time with you today, can you please share with the Fast Leader Legion how they can connect with you. 

 

Dayna Steele:    Daynasteele.com everything’s there, email I answer it, go for it.

 

Jim Rembach:    Dayna Steele thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom, the Fast Leader legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. 

 

Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps, links from every show, special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.

 

END OF AUDIO

 

 

101: Allison Smith: I found them very intrusive to life

Allison Smith Show Notes

Allison Smith was busy pursuing theatre acting but was finding the hours and the income intrusive to her family life. That’s when Allison realized that doing voiceover allowed to her to be creative and gain control. 25 years later, Allison is one of the most recognized IVR voice talents in the world.

Allison was born in Hinton Alberta along with two older sisters and an older brother.

Allison wasn’t a singer but as a child she would sing all the product jingles at the grocery store. She was very of branding/corporate identity from an early age. While most other teens were lip-synching into a hairbrush, Allison practiced reading ad copy from magazines out loud.

And when Allison got into voiceover – paying the bills in between acting jobs – little did I realize that it would take over as her mainstay. Especially voicing telephone systems, which is her niche. Although she always loved calling the time/temperature line and I remembered wanting to be the “time lady”.

As Allison and her husband I are finally doing their it’s occurred to her that she’ll be leaving behind quite a legacy of sound files, which he has appointed a group of trusted clients in the telephony industry to steward and see to it that they’re used responsibly and in an open-source environment. It was pointed out to her that – at any given time – there’s probably one of her telephone files playing somewhere in the world.

Currently, Allison is the CEO/Voice Goddess of The IVR Voice. She’s seeing big growth in my business, and when other voice talent ask how she’s doing it, she says, “I honestly don’t know.” She keeps in her lane. She keeps her head down. She does the best quality work she can. She attempts to give clients the best service she can, and she’s promised herself that if it no longer gives her joy, she shouldn’t do it anymore.

Luckily, after 25 years, that still hasn’t happened, and she can’t foresee the day when she won’t want to walk up to her mic and see what happens.

Allison currently lives in Calgary with her husband and dog Bailey, where she’s lived since the age of 6.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @voicegal to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“There is a skill set involved with anything everybody does.” -Allison Smith Click to Tweet

“The acting background actually gives me a little leg up.” -Allison Smith Click to Tweet

“Because of websites, anybody who calls in, is going to be a specialized customer.” -Allison Smith Click to Tweet

“There will always be room for an IVR.” -Allison Smith Click to Tweet

“People tolerate being on hold less and less.” -Allison Smith Click to Tweet

“If their time is spent on hold, there better be valuable content that they’re listening to.” -Allison Smith Click to Tweet

“IVRs can be used for so much more than just a mechanism to sort callers.” -Allison Smith Click to Tweet

“The phone system is an extension of the company’s brand.” -Allison Smith Click to Tweet

“People don’t see the phone system as something that should stay consistent with their brand.” -Allison Smith Click to Tweet

“A lot of meaning gets lost when it’s not in the spoken word.” -Allison Smith Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Allison Smith was busy pursuing theatre acting but was finding the hours and the income intrusive to her family life. That’s when Allison realized that doing voiceover allowed to her to be creative and gain control. 25 years later, Allison is one of the most recognized IVR voice talents in the world.

Advice for others

Make sure your voice system connect your website and your brand.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

Confidence

Best Leadership Advice Received

Keep your voice low, keep it slow, and don’t say too much.

Secret to Success

Keep your head down and stay in your lane and do your thing.

Best tools that helps in business or Life

Tenacity

Recommended Reading

Self-Promotion for the Creative Person: Get the Word Out About Who You Are and What You Do

Contacting Allison

Website: http://theivrvoice.com/

Email: Allison [at] theivrvoice.com

LinkedIn: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/allisonsmith3

Twitter: https://twitter.com/voicegal

Resources and Show Mentions

Leslie O’Flahavan

Call Center Supervisor Success Path

54 Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Competencies List: Emotional Intelligence has proven to be the right kind of intelligence to have if you want to move onward and upward faster. Get your free list today.

 

Show Transcript:

Click to access edited transcript

101: Allison Smith: I found them very intrusive to life

Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we uncover the leadership like hat that help you to experience, break out performance faster and rocket to success. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.

How do you get higher contact center agent performance? It’s when customers grade the call and their rating and comments are used to motivate and coach agent. Uncover hidden secrets and replicate your best agents with the real time insights from the award winning External Quality Monitoring Program and Customer Relationship Metrics. Move onward and upward by going to customersgradeacall.com/fast and getting a $7500 rapid results package for free. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay, Fast Leader Legion today I’m excited because I have somebody on the show that I guarantee you’ve heard but never seen or known. Born in Hinton, Alberta along with two older sisters and an older brother Allison Smith wasn’t a singer but as a child she would sing all the product jingles at the grocery store. She was very aware of branding and corporate identity from an early age. While most other teens were lip-synching into a hairbrush, Allison practiced reading ad copy from magazines out loud. And when Allison got in to voice over paying the bills and between acting jobs, little did she realized that it would take over as her mainstay especially voicing telephone systems which is her niche. 

 

Although she’s always loved calling the time temperature line and she remembered wanting to be time lady as Allison and her husband are finally doing there wills it occur to her that she’ll be leaving behind quite a legacy of sound files which she has appointed a group of trusted clients in the telephony industry to steward and see that they’re used responsibly and in an open source environment. It was pointed out to her that at any given time there’s probably one of her telephone files playing somewhere in the world. Currently Allison is the CEO and Voice Goddess of the IVR voice. She’s seeing big growth in her business and when other voice talent ask her how she’s doing it, she says, honestly she doesn’t know. She keeps in her lane, she keeps her head down, she does the best quality work she can, she attempts to get all clients the best service she can and she promises herself that if it no longer gives her joy she won’t do it anymore. But luckily, after 25 years that hasn’t happened and she can’t foresee the day when she won’t want to walk up to her mic and see what happens. Allison currently lives in Calgary with her husband and dog Bailey where she’s lives since she was six years old. Allison Smith, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Allison Smith:    I am definitely ready. Hello, Jim, thanks for having me, I’m so glad to be here. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I’m excited to have you here because…I’ve known you for a very long time and I chuckled with you when we chatted off mic about the fact that—I mean, I find myself making phone calls both personally and professionally to companies and I hear your voice, that makes me laugh. I’ve given our listeners a little bit about you but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?

 

Allison Smith:    Well, you know my passion happens to be this niche that I’ve gotten into—voicing telephone systems. And it seems to be something that just has recurring consistency and recurring revenue. Once you you’ve voice telephone prompts for a company and they want that consistency of the same voice, which hopefully they will because it gives them nice move, creative fee, hopefully they will return to the same voice talent again and again. So, I’ve blogged about it to other voice talent saying, “If you want really good recurring revenue and a good customer base that seems to grow year by year, telephone voicing is a pretty good niche. So I’m blessed, I have so many clients that comeback, Pet Smart is just one of many, many companies that I worked for. 

 

Jim Rembach:    And you also worked for the company that I work for, Customer Relationship Metrics, and you’ve been doing our survey files for many, many years and definitely it’s one of those things where the consistency is so important. When you start thinking about a lot of companies wanting to do their own personal brand and a lot of times they’ll have like that executive records the voice prompts and things like that, where have you seen an issue with that occur versus using someone who’s not in that role?

 

Allison Smith:    It’s such a great question. A lot of people think I speak, I can do this voice prompts, everybody speaks and it’s not seen as necessarily a specialized skill until you start to voice your own voice prompts and realize that there is actually a skill set involved. As with anything anybody does there is a definite skill set involve in voicing prompts that are clean, consistent, edited well, recorded professionally. And not only that if you get somebody in your company to voice the prompts as many people will do they’ll just grab the receptionist, she answers the phone anyhow let’s just get her to do the prompts, she may not be available to do things like updates she might get promoted, she might quit the company. Then if you just keep grabbing people on staff to do the voicing you’ll end up with a big mosaic of voices. I always tell the example of Shaw cable which is a really big cable entity here in Canada, if you’ve ever called for support, I think last time I called because we’re having issues with our DCT box I counted 15 different voices on their telephone system, which in my opinion sounds a little amateur and really doesn’t sound professional at all. 

 

Jim Rembach:    One thing that a lot of people don’t realize unless they are into the audio at a higher level is you start dealing with bit rates and mono and stereo and file sizes and all of those things, it does get quite technical. 

 

Allison Smith:    Sure. Oh, yeah. and you know you mentioned customer relationship metrics which is great company and when I do those surveys you have to realize that there needs to be a little bit of a mood or attitude change when you’re voicing an intro prompt as opposed to—“I’m sorry to hear that you’re dissatisfied with our company, please leave a message and let us know in which ways we can improve.” So they’re needs to be almost a little bit of care taking and management of customer dissatisfaction, if it does come up. So, this are the kind of little emotional changes that can be made in the telephone system that a lay person may not know how to maneuver around, if that makes sense. 

 

Jim Rembach:    It makes total sense to me being in the industry for a long time and I think all of us from a consumerism perspective, we’ve probably listened to hours and hours of those prompts as well as on hold messaging and telephone systems by the time we hit my age, which is almost 50, if I tabulated that all up it’s been probably hundreds of hours.

 

Allison Smith:    Oh, sure. Easily. Yeah, yeah. And you know I did one day of recording where I did the IVR for the Archdiocese of New Orleans and then right after that I did a customer satisfaction survey for Victoria’s Secret, it couldn’t be more different. And those two different clients required such a different treatments to record for. So, yeah, I’m happy to say that the acting background actually gives me a little bit of a lay gap. A lot of voice over people come from a broadcast background which isn’t bad but it’s amazing how options be acting sensibilities are drawn into even doing IVR voicing.

 

Jim Rembach:    That’s a really interesting point that you make because I think also from just a customer care and support perspective more and more organizations are starting to be more in tuned to the words that are being said, yes, but then also how they’re being said because right now everybody talks about this whole empathy issue. And trying to create rapport and build relationships with customers and how agents are people who are on the phone working for company’s sounds like it’s a scripted empathy. 

 

Allison Smith:    Exactly. It drives me crazy when they say, “Well, I’m sorry to hear you’re having that problem that must be very frustrating, well, I’m here to help you to that problem.” It just sound so rehearsed and so scripted. Yeah, it’s just one of those things. And also here’s something that I always mention in presentations when I’m talking about IVR’s best practices, think about the last time you pick up the phone to call a company because you had to deal with something chances are you’ve already been to their websites, you’re already familiar with what they do and your request is so specialized or your question has not been answered by any of the material you read on their website. So, if more people design telephone systems without understanding that anybody who calls him is going to be a very specialized customer or unfortunately sometimes it means they’re unhappy and they need to speak to an actual person to get to the bottom of their issue. If more systems were designed with that in mind, I think it would be kinder to the caller and would frustrate them less. 

 

Jim Rembach:    You know that’s a great point that you bring up with the impact of mobo and a lot of people think that people are using voice prompts and IVR and those systems less and less, people don’t want to call anymore they want to self-serve, they want to chat, they want to do all that. Have you seeing a downturn in your business because of the increase in mobo?

 

Allison Smith:    Actually no. I think there will always be room for an IVR and especially one that’s so intuitive that it is self-driven as you say, people are very self-serve specially the younger generation they want to be able to transact and take care of this without having to explain their issues to a live agent. So to answer your question, no, I don’t think self-serve pushes IVR out of the way at all, in fact, I think if anything it might impact the “on hold” industry because people tolerate being on hold less and less. And if their time is vent on hold it better be valuable content that they’re listening to. I like on hold systems that engaged the caller and ask them to participate in their care, while you’re on hold, make sure you have your contract number and blah-blah-blah, that sort of thing involves the caller a little bit rather than—“we’ve been in business for 40 years, we make widgets and here’s why are widgets are the best”—you know what I’m saying? 

 

Jim Rembach:    I can imagine from a customer experience perspective you just have a wealth of insight talking about that skill set as well as that the person who’s just picking up and recording a particular prompt has no visibility and understanding of really the—I don’t want to date you but you’ve been doing this for a couple of decades now. I can imagine the bank, the knowledge base that you built on doing this and also understanding all of those nuances that we talked about is quite significant.

 

Allison Smith:    Yeah. And you know  I think I had kind of aha moment, it was like an epiphany a few years ago, when I realize that maybe my job is a bit more complex than just recording telephone prompts and sending (11:21 inaudible)to the client and collecting the check. More and more clients are asking me for my opinion about—why are we having this big caller drop-offs? Why are people hanging up? Why are people thinking that perhaps our phone menu is a bit too labyrinth, if I could say. And yes, so it occurred to me that through blogging, through speaking at telephony conventions and doing things like this, kind of a podcast, hopefully it’s educating people a bit more about how IVR can be used for so much more than just a mechanism to sort callers, which is how it was explained to me when I first started doing it. They said it’s almost like an escalator that takes all the people in white jackets and sorts them off to the left and all the other colors go off to the right and then you’re not right facing stream there’s further sorting of other colors. I guess that’s a good way to explain it and yet I think IVR should be used for so much more than just organizing colors into the various departments. 

 

Jim Rembach:    In addition to that, what I hear a lot is people saying how you can divert people into low-cost self-serve options. But if that’s your mindset, what you had stated as well as it’s a cost cutting tool you’ll find that it’s a volume increasing tool and a customer defection tool.

 

Allison Smith:    Absolutely, there’s no question about that. Yeah, yeah. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Having a theatre background and being in this business so long and getting exposed to so many different types of environment you talk about the diocese and Victoria Secret, all these different clients that you’re dealing with, I’m sure you’ve been exposed to a lot of different cultures and ideas and thoughts and we have the opportunity to pull inspiration and things like there and on our show we look at quotes in order to help inspire us. Is there a quote or two that you can share? 

 

Allison Smith:    Yeah, you know I think I read a while back and it seems really resonates with me, the quote goes something like, “People will forget what you say and they might even forget what you do but they will never forget how you made them feel.” And isn’t it true that when you meet someone sort of leave almost like a little bit of a vapor trail behind you have that sort of scents memory of what it was like to deal with that person. So I always try to keep that in mind in any of my interactions whether it be professional or personal, I think you can leave someone with a very good resounding impression or it could negative it might as well be a good one. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I don’t have a massive sample of leaders in regards to guess who’ve been on the show but that particular quote by my Angelou has been the most memorable quote and recommended quote by guest on our show. The impact that that has and the depth that it has been tremendous and even fits into what we were just talking about a moment ago with what you are saying as far as it isn’t just a voice recording that’s on your system, it’s a way for you to leave a trail, make a connection and have an impact.

 

Allison Smith:    You know if I think about the idea of calling my bank, I instantly get a pit in my stomach because I think—ugh, great—and the I have to car (14:48 inaudible)probably 20 minutes to a half an hour to call, they’re going to ask for my PIN numbers several times during the process, they’re going to ask for my language selection because I’m in Canada and they’re going want to confirm that I still  English and not French and it’s exhausting, it’s never an easy call to make. What if Royal Bank of Canada, I’ll just say who they are, what if they decided to do things like other financial institution that I’ve voiced for in which they are trying actively not to appear to be intimidated, not to appear to be formal and to demystify money and to get people over there fear of talking about money. So that’s an example of an industry where they’ve had a certain way of doing things and now people are breaking out of that tradition and being very warm and very accessible. I think people will remember how a company made them feel when they’ve called them once, oh, yeah, frog-box recycling that was fun last time I had to call them I just honestly think that the phone system is the extension of the company’s brand but too many people don’t see the phone system as something that should stay consistent with their website personality and any sort of media buys if they do any radio or TV buys. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I had the opportunity to sit at the call-center conference and demo session that was done by Leslie O’Flahavan, she has been on the show as well and she specializes in writing and she was doing a session on brand voice, and what you were just talking about right there is brand voice. Having a consistent brand voice in everything you do whether it’s that scripted e-mail that you have to send, whether it’s a website page, whether it’s your IVR voice, your brand voice has to come through and be consistent so you don’t have that inconsistency which translates into an unprofessional feel and look throughout your different customer touch points and your interaction points. So, definitely brand voice, IVR voice they go together.

 

Allison Smith:    Absolutely they do.

 

Jim Rembach:    So, when you start looking at, gosh…getting into this business and doing what you’re doing in itself was getting over a hump. You talked about it feeling in between acting jobs, but there’s other humps that we have to get over life and they teaches a ton, is there a story that you can share with us when you got over a hump?

 

Allison Smith:    Gosh, I think I came to a realization when pursuing acting job got really, really difficult. And when I did get them I found them very intrusive to life, basically, because especially if you’re working with theatre it eats up your evenings and your weekends and that kind of compromises family time. So it just became clear to me at one point that this fill-in job of voice over was actually take over as my mainstay which was fantastic because the hours are better, quite frankly, the money is better  and just as a general lifestyle choice it just is so much kinder to my life and my family’s life. I make a firm rule, unless clients are really, really stuck, I make a firm rule of not recording in the evenings or on the weekends. 

 

Again, I will help clients out of there jam and I’m sensitive to other time zones. I did the IVR for a sandwich shop in Saudi Arabia, of all voices, and had to accommodate their time zone. But apart from that this is a fantastic way for me to stay creative and yet still have some control over my life. Even film I will do some commercial and the occasional some gigs if they come my way but they can eat up your entire day. I guess that that’s what I would consider to be a hump to get over, would be this idea of giving up acting is not necessarily a bad thing it was like a gentle redirect in another area that  just feels completely 100% right to me. And as you said in the intro, I can’t foresee a day that I won’t be doing this. I realize the voice changes overtime but as long as I still sound like me, I can’t really foresee a day when I won’t want to record every day.   

 

Jim Rembach:    It’s interesting that you said that, thanks for sharing. A lot of people when they often record they refer to hiding their own voice. I can’t stand the way I sound so I would dare to say that you probably called and talked to yourself in a sense more than anybody I know. So, what is it like when you talk to you or call you at a business? 

 

Allison Smith:    Yeah. It happens all the time. I ordered a hotel wake-up call in Dallas, Texas and I’ve forgotten that I did the wake-up system for the hotel chain and it was me waking me up. My husband also had the experience of downloading a workout program for a smart phone that keeps you motivated at the gym which kind of like having your own personal coach, I think you know where I’m going with this, they were a text to speech engine that I voice so it was me saying, “Come on five more sit-ups, you can do it.” And, you know, he actually had that changed to the Australian male. I think he didn’t want me pestering him at the gym, which is kind of crazy. But to get back to what you’re asking about, almost everybody hates the sound of their own voice because you’re hearing it muffled through home network of bone and tissue. And when you’re hearing your voice recorded you’re hearing yourself speaking to yourself. I on the other hand have this sort of detached view almost like a ballet dancer looking at their alignment in the mirror and going, “Opps that’s a little bit off.” They’re very clinical and I too because I listen and edit my sound files all day. So I do have that kind of that almost detached view that is almost like a product that I’m working with as opposed to being self-conscious about how I sound. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I think that’s a very  interesting point I found myself going through that same transition luckily by the time I started doing podcasting I had hurt my own voice so many times that it was like it wasn’t me. 

 

Allison Smith:    Yes, exactly. Another interesting are that I’m starting to get in to is vocal coaching. And specifically to the yoga community because I’m a big yoga practitioner. I’ve noticed that many yoga teachers will come in with an agenda, as in they want to sound like the mystical yoga teachers, but they actually come in with their persona also many of them are younger women who seemed to be prone to vocal affectation such as Upspeak where do you ends of all the sentences, sound like a question you probably heard younger women speaking like that. Also things like vocal fry, which is where they sort of sound like that and that seems to be almost like a trend with younger women, so, it’s interesting. I was actually hired by some yoga studios to come in and coach their teachers on how to use their voices more effectively, so I find that extremely rewarding. 

 

Jim Rembach:    That’s super interesting point because I was reading a study that was talking about the perception of somebody’s IQ and they were specifically referring to that whole Upspeak that you’re taking about. You end a sentence with ah, and then you do that, and they were saying how that people are actually do that as part of their habit that they’re perceived to be less intelligent that those that do not, so it does have an impact.

 

Allison Smith:    Yes. In fact I think it sounds the opposite of confident, I think it sounds like you’re questioning everything you’re saying and you’re asking for approval from whoever it is you’re talking to. It’s interesting though because as soon as I pointed out to someone—I actually did have a yoga teacher that was almost speaking in a valley girl kind of cadence she would say things like, “Move your leg. Move your head” the minute I pointed it out to her, she said, “Oh, my gosh, I do that” and she stopped doing it, so, there’s a good awareness that comes with monitoring your own speech patterns. A certain amount of affectation is normal and some of it is regional depends on where you live, but yeah, speech is fascinating to me. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Like you’re saying it has a much larger neuro scientific impact but then we really are even aware of. The way that our brain processes and interprets and perceives we still are at the very, very early stages of understanding all of that.

 

Allison Smith:    Absolutely. Speech we are so attuned to final nuances and accept that you cannot get across in social media and typing over email. So a lot of meaning gets lost when it’s not in the spoken word. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Absolutely. Yes, you been doing this for 25 years, however you talked about expanding and doing some other things, doing some of the coaching work, doing some of that—but when you start looking at all the things that you have going, what are some of your goals?

 

Allison Smith:    I think I will struggle with that question because really what I want to be doing is what I’m doing maybe on a bigger scale. I look at a contract like Siri, oh, my gosh! It would be incredible to be on that scale. So that’s always what I’m striving to is to be kind of like a Siri type voice, although many people have said I’m probably like a lesser known version of Siri because I do show up everywhere, it’s amazing how many different places I show up. I actually took a ticket out of a parking garage kiosk dispenser and it was me saying, “Please take your ticket,” just extremely treepy. So, yes, my goal would to do more of the same and also to leave my sound files as a legacy in a responsible way. I actually found an organization who I’m currently in touch with, they supply voices to disabled people and people who have lost their speech and they are after lay people all over the world even people without broadcast experience to contribute to their voice bank. And when I contacted them and said, “Well, you know, I have audio drives upon audio drives of sound files and what do I do with them after I’m no longer here? And they’re extremely interested and perhaps integrating my voice into their compendium of sounds, so it’s interesting. 

 

Jim Rembach:    That’s an interesting legacy.  

 

Allison Smith:    Yes, I would say so. 

 

Jim Rembach:     And the Fast Leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now, before we move, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor. 

 

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Jim Rembach:    Alright here we go, Fast Leader Legion, it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay Allison, the Hump Day Hoedown is a part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Allison Smith, are you ready to hoedown?

 

Allison Smith:    I’m scared but ready. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Alright. What do you think is holding you back from being even better leader today? 

 

Allison Smith:    Confidence. 

 

Jim Rembach:    What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?

 

Allison Smith:    Keep your voice low. Keep it slow and don’t say too much. 

 

Jim Rembach:    What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

 

Allison Smith:    Keep your head down, stay in your lane and do your thing.

 

Jim Rembach:    What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?

 

Allison Smith:    Tenacity. I really don’t see myself doing anything else so I’m determined to keep doing this. 

 

Jim Rembach:    What would be one book that you’d recommend to our listeners, and it could be from any genre? 

 

Allison Smith:    Oh gosh! Actually one of my go to, is a book called, Self-Promotion for Creative People or the Creative person. It was written about a dozen years ago, it’s fantastic. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay, Fast Leader Legion you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/Allison Smith. Okay, Allison this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you have been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything back you can only choose one, what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

Allison Smith:    I would say to 25 year old Allison, “Don’t worry so much.” That was my big thing, is almost seeing too far into the future and worrying and anticipating, it’s all going to shake out exactly as it should and it’s going to be better than you ever imagine it could be. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Allison, it was honor to spend time with you today, can you please share with the Fast Leader Legion how they can connect with you?

 

Allison Smith:    Absolutely, my website us theivrvoice.com, I could be emailed at allison@theivrvoice.com and on the Twitter machine I am @voicegal. Please connect with me I’m trying to reach a certain number by the end of the year, so I hope I’d get that. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Allison Smith, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom the Fast Leader Legion honors you and thanks you for helping you get over the hump. 

 

Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps, links from every show, special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster. thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom, the Fast Leader legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. 

 

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