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Challenging The Status Quo And Managing The Imposter Syndrome With Veronica Kirin

BYW 30 | Imposter Syndrome

 

Our society has expectations for us. That is why so very often, we tend to put ourselves inside a box, hesitating to go beyond it and do what it is we really want to do. It is time to get outside of the box and challenge the status quo as Dr. Gary Sanchez sits down with anthropologist, author, and serial entrepreneur, Veronica Kirin, to tell us how. Facing the natural struggle of having an imposter syndrome whenever we try something new, Veronica offers her insights and advice on how we can manage it. She further breaks down some of the common reasons we find ourselves feeling in the wrong place and how to overcome it. Veronica also taps into defining our identity, the choices we have to shape it, and the roadmap it provides to our lives. What is more, she then takes us into her award-winning book, Stories of Elders, an anthropological study about the paradigm shift of the high-tech revolution.

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Challenging The Status Quo And Managing The Imposter Syndrome With Veronica Kirin

We are going to be talking about the why of challenge. If this is your why then you live outside the box. You don’t believe in the norm, following rules, or drawing inside the lines. It is far more natural for you to rebel against the stereotypical or classical way of doing things. You aggressively seek unique ways of approaching the world and finding solutions that no one else has considered. You like to create and innovate, especially in game-changing ways.

You have eccentric friends, eclectic tastes, and a larger variety of both. You may have diverse interests with little in common with each other. As an entrepreneur, you prefer to create a new market versus serving an existing market. You love to be different, think differently, and challenge virtually anyone or anything that is too rote or conventional. People with your why often accomplish amazing feats. When you say you want to change the world, you mean it.

Pushing the envelope comes naturally to you. I’ve got a great guest for you. Her name is Veronica Kirin. She is an anthropologist, author, and serial entrepreneur who works with business leaders to scale their impact and income while managing imposter syndrome. She is also the author of the award-winning book, Stories of Elders and the creator of Stories of COVID, which documents the pandemic in real-time.

Veronica, welcome to the show.

Gary, thanks for having me.

Tell everybody, where are you?

I am in Berlin, Germany.

What the heck are you doing there?

We are talking about the challenge here. It’s so apropos for everything in my life. I wanted to have the opportunity to live in a different place than what I had grown up in. I wanted to see what else the world looked like in the pandemic. Believe it or not, it made that easier because it helped me cut ties, which is heartbreaking in a way. I desperately miss my friends and they know it but I wasn’t seeing them anyway because we wanted it to all be safe. When the opportunity came to move to Berlin, it was an easy yes, and we are loving it. It’s been glorious.

Where are you from then? Tell us a little bit about your story? Where were you born? How did you get into Anthropology versus where you are now? That’s an interesting twist.

It’s unusual for me to be asked where I was born. I’m usually the one asking where someone was born as the Anthropologist. I was born in Michigan, the Great Lakes State. I grew up in Michigan and a little bit between Michigan and Pennsylvania which is where my grandparents were. My grandparents were very old-world-style grandparents and lived in an old steel mill town. I got very used to this romantic feeling around brick roads and eating pellets and go with my grandmother, which is a Croatian style crepe, except for much more fried than the crepe is. It’s a lot better for you. I grew up already straddling two worlds.

Imposter syndrome is the feeling that you are in the wrong place. Click To Tweet

Talking about the challenge as your why. It appeared very early for me. I was bullied in school. I didn’t know it at that time, but I had that challenge in my head. When I was made fun of for being nothing like the other kids, I was going to the beat of my own drum. I was able to pull out of it and think to myself, “Why is your way the better way?” Automatically, the challenge was appearing in my life and it was protecting me. No surprise than that I would become an anthropologist if I, at that early age, was already thinking, “Why is your way, your society, and your culture the better way?” Anthropologists study cultures and intentionally remove themselves from their own culture in order to be as much a tabula rasa as possible thus having an unbiased lens to look into other cultures and societies.

There you go with that string of events. You ask where did I move to Berlin? The short answer is, I was living in Los Angeles at the beginning of the pandemic. I thought I wanted to try out the LA dream. I prefer warm weather because my blood is Croatian. I meant to be in Mediterranean-style weather. I simply don’t do well in the cold. It’s a running joke with friends and family. It’s the truth. LA didn’t feel very good to be surviving a pandemic and I didn’t have a support system there yet. I’d only been there six months. I went back to Michigan, where my partner still was. We regrouped in Detroit and moved to Berlin.

How do you like it there in Berlin? What’s going on there as far as the pandemic? How are you guys surviving there? Do you speak German?

I speak Spanish fairly fluently, French, a bit of Croatian, and a little bit of American sign language. None of those are helpful right now. We’re learning German but we love it. The status of the pandemic here is we’re in a soft lockdown. Public transport is still open. Grocery stores are still open but some of the bigger stores or the soft sell stores are all closed. We wanted to get new bicycle, and we had to find a store that was allowed to be open in order to buy a bicycle, for example. I can go on coffee walks but you can’t go on coffee dates. None of the cafes are open.

It’s an interesting way to learn a new culture and society because it’s almost like an intentional baby step into Berlin since nothing is open. I’m able to get to know public transportation in baby steps. I’m able to get to know the grocery stores in baby steps rather than doing it all at once. We love it. I’ve been having incredible meetings and networking with entrepreneurs since there are no networking events. We’re doing it all via Zoom. Everyone has been welcoming. It’s been fantastic.

Tell us a little bit about imposter syndrome and how did you get involved with that.

If our identity hasn’t shifted to the new level we’ve reached, imposter syndrome will emerge. Click To Tweet

I have faith n imposter syndrome. I was talking to a client about it because she’s experiencing her own imposter syndrome. She’s going through a growth spurt. I went through my growth spurt and with growth comes imposter syndrome. It doesn’t matter if you have done whatever you are doing now a million times. If you do it in a new and different way, in a new industry, or with a new title, oftentimes, imposter syndrome rears its head because it’s tied to our identity. If our identity hasn’t shifted to the new level we’ve reached, imposter syndrome will emerge.

What is imposter syndrome? Define that for us.

Imposter syndrome is the feeling that you are in the wrong place, you are literally an imposter, and you’ve fooled the masses into thinking that you are capable or knowledgeable. Oftentimes, it comes even more for people who are minorities, women, and people of color. They find themselves in a room where there are other people that don’t look like them, sound like them, or act like them. They wonder to themselves, “How did I make my way here?” Even though you have done it through your own merits. I work a lot with entrepreneurs with imposter syndrome because they’re going from founder to CEO mindset. That usually is when imposter syndrome rears its head.

Does anybody not have imposter syndrome?

If they tell you they’ve never experienced imposter syndrome, they are lying to themselves.

I’ve experienced that at many different times in my life. As you’re growing up, how could you not? When you’re thrown into a new situation, you’re the newbie, and you don’t feel comfortable. How do you help people with it?

The first thing is to identify what’s the root cause. Is it your inner child that is being triggered because something feels scary and you’re worried about being exposed? If you’re exposed, and you lose out on your subsistence because now nobody wants to work with you. Is it your inner bully? Sometimes, our inner bullies are our mom or dad’s voices in our heads telling us we can’t do it. If you’re feeling, “I can’t do it,” sometimes, that’s simply your inner bully coming out. We have to stand up to our inner bullies and tell them that we can.

Sometimes, it’s the identity shift. It’s nothing super psychologically profound, but it still needs to be resolved within us. What I told my clients was that, “This is going to take time, but remind yourself that everything you are being asked to do by these clients is all things you’ve done before. If you remind yourself of that, your identity will start to settle as a consultant and you’ll start to feel like you’re finding your sea legs.”

BYW 30 | Imposter Syndrome
Imposter Syndrome: Anthropologists study cultures and intentionally remove themselves from their own to be as much a tabula rasa as possible thus, having an unbiased lens to look into other cultures and societies.

 

How much of overcoming imposter syndrome is the action, just doing it? You have to do it. Can you not do something to overcome imposter syndrome?

No, because our minds are plastic the way our brains work, but they need new input in order to rewrite. Even if you’re sitting in meditation to overcome imposter syndrome, you are still taking action. You can’t do nothing but you’re never not doing nothing.

What got you interested in imposter syndrome? What was the story that led you to say, “I got to help other people with imposter syndrome?”

To rewind a little bit, I was thrown into some intense experiences when I was younger. Taking my why of challenge. I decided to take a gap year halfway between sophomore and junior year of university. I joined the National Civilian Community Corps, which is a branch of AmeriCorps in the United States. NCCC is the national guard but with hammers rather than guns. We train on a base and we deploy all over the United States. Sometimes, we do in partnership with FEMA or the American Red Cross. I was wide-eyed, bright eyes, bushy-tailed, suddenly I am down in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. I’ve been told that I am going to be starting the case working program for a nonprofit organization. I’d had no such experience except for I’m a people person, as you can tell. I did the research.

For those who don’t recall, Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast on August 20, 2005. The internet was a different place. The research was a different place. I was still using a flip phone. My research into figuring out how to make this happen was different. By the time I finished my role there, which was only two months, I had over 300 cases, 3 filing cabinets, all color-coded, all figured out, double lock and key, and making sure that people’s information was secure and safe. They’re also being served. I was a twenty-year-old having done that.

The first thing you start thinking is, “Can I do this? I want to do this.” It doesn’t matter if you want to do it because the brain still wants to go, “Can I do this?” As an entrepreneur, as I have pivoted into new roles throughout my life, it rears its head. Becoming an author rears its head. Becoming an Anthropologist and getting my degree. What does it mean to be an anthropologist? What does it mean to be an entrepreneur, especially a web developer without a degree in web development because your degree is in Anthropology, as a coach, and as a consultant?

We live our life by labels for better or for worse. Click To Tweet

For myself, I found it to be key. The faster I can pivot around imposter syndrome, the better my work is. As I am scaling clients because my work day-to-day is working with entrepreneurs who want to scale up their businesses or they’re in pain because they’re hitting their human 24-hour limit and they don’t know what to do. It’s time to scale. If you’re going to scale, you’re going to hit imposter syndrome. It’s critical that we work your way through that as fast as possible, but also as holistically as possible. Not ignoring it, you can’t ignore it, but it’s critical to work through it. That’s why it’s become enormously important in my work as an entrepreneur coach.

There’s going to be a lot of entrepreneurs reading this. They’re going to soon be facing that imposter syndrome. What do you do with them? What’s your process? How do you help them get past it?

It’s different for every case but there are broad strokes that are available. The first is to think about when has imposter syndrome ever reared its head before in your life. Is there a pattern? If there’s a pattern, that’s awesome because now we can start to see where your triggers are, and we can predict when it’s going to come. If we can predict when it’s going to show up for you, we can get ahead of it and be prepared. It will still happen, but rather than feel the panic and sink into the, “Can I do it,” instead we see it and say, “Hi, imposter syndrome. You’re here again. Let’s start working our way toward integrating this new identity of growth.” That’s the biggest key for me. It’s figuring out where your triggers are for imposter syndrome.

If you discover that it’s an inner child issue, something inside you feels unsafe because of this new growth. I asked my clients to tell their inner child that they’ve got this. That’s your mantra for that time period, “I’ve got this.” That’s where my client I said, “Everything you’ve done for your clients, you’ve done this before. You’ve got this.” It was the inner child coming out, then the inner bully is very mean. We are strong back at them and say, “No, you don’t know what you’re talking about. I can do it. You need to be quiet. Go sit down.”

Are those the two most common reasons or is there a most common reason why people have imposter syndrome?

Those are the broad strokes. There are all kinds of little nuances. Those are the two categories as to the voices in our heads that often are naysayers.

When you know this, are we able to preempt the strike? Imagine you’re on an airplane and you’re scared of turbulence. Turbulence is coming. You prepare yourself, “If there’s turbulence, this is what I do.” Is it the same thing?

Your identity is that je ne sais quoi part of you that comments on your own lived experiences. Click To Tweet

Yes. You train yourself almost like a fire drill like, “How do I want to react to this?” You don’t always know when the turbulence is going to happen, you know that it’s going to happen. “I’m on an airplane. It’s going to happen. I’m an entrepreneur, imposter syndrome is going to happen.” If you pre-train your brain and decide who you want to be or how you want to react in those moments in order to navigate it, you are going to have a better outcome. You’re going to get through it either way, but it’s that moment of decision of, “Am I going to get through this, learn from it, and grow, or am I going to let it get the better of me for days, weeks, months?” Heaven forbids you to get to the better of you and you let go of your business.

From my perspective, I would see imposter syndrome being a box that you put yourself into. We know how you like being put into a box. You’re like, “I’m not staying in this box. There’s no way.” Who says, “I have to be in this imposter syndrome box.”

Who says it has to be a box?

You help people get out of the box they put themselves into.

To grow the box, to reshape it, whatever it needs to be. We live our life by labels for better or for worse. That shapes our identities. We come straight down to identity. What box have you been put in or have you put yourself in, and how do we grow you out of that because the opportunities are in knocking.

Let’s talk for a minute about identity. I hear more about it. How would you define your identity? What is identity?

Your identity, in my opinion, is that je ne sais quoi part of you, that comments on your own lived experiences. We have this nature versus nurture balance, the question of the world. We all have experiences and our experiences shape us. Why do two people have the same experience and choose different things? It’s that je ne sais quoi, that part of you that we can’t define whatever makes us human or makes us conscious. I almost did a philosophy minor, but I didn’t. I’m not going to delve too far into this, but it’s that piece of you that even though you’ve lived for decades, your still you, and you know you’re still you.

Is your identity something that you define? Is it five sentences about who I am, is it a feeling, or what is it?

BYW 30 | Imposter Syndrome
Imposter Syndrome: It doesn’t matter if you have done whatever you are doing now a million times. If you do it in a new and different way, oftentimes, imposter syndrome rears its head because it’s tied to our identity.

 

You are delving into the realm of Plato, Socrates, Nietzsche, and all of the philosophers who have been grappling with this issue for the ages. Have we got a firm answer? Not really, but I can say as an entrepreneur and working with my clients that we have a choice that goes on top of our lived experiences. It is in those choices of who we want to be that can shape our identity. You’re still you, but it is you that has made those choices rather than those experiences making those choices.

In what way do we use identity?

It’s our roadmap for life. Our identity shapes our reactions to our experiences. It shapes the choices we want for our careers. Why’d I chosen Anthropology or Disaster Relief instead of Science or Math? If you could think of the folds of our brain as a map and our identity are those pieces, it tells us yes or no. It helps us to describe what we want. Sometimes, it comes straight down to what food do you want to eat that day. I identify as somebody who loves Italian food, so I’m going to choose pasta over the salad. It can be so tiny, and yet it shapes our world every moment of every day. I’m going to say the word guru because usually, the guru is applied to people who teach meditation or yoga. Meditative gurus would argue that we can reshape our identity. It’s that ability to make choices about ourselves. We’re choosing to change the roadmap, which then changes how we react to the world around us.

Tell us about your book, Stories of Elders. What is that?

That is an anthropological ethnography. It’s an anthropological study about the paradigm shift of the high-tech revolution. My favorite thing as an Anthropologist to study is paradigm shifts. In 2015, I noticed tech was affecting my life as an entrepreneur in tech, but it was also being talked a lot about in the news. My friends were talking about how uncomfortable they were with Facebook, which we’re all still having that conversation. I’m a challenge why.

I wanted to do something about it. I don’t want to sit around and let somebody tell me what to think. To me, life is understood through lived experiences and stories. That’s ethnography. I didn’t feel that I could adequately understand how technology is affecting our society unless I spoke with the people who had lived through as much of the high-tech revolution as possible. That’s why the book is called Stories of Elders. I went to people who were born before 1945. Before World War II, before that tech revolution that happened due to the war then afterward, we know it was an enormous boon to our economy and our technology. I spoke with people who grew up using crank cars. Now, they’re using an iPhone. That is the foundation for understanding that I was seeking. That’s what the book holds within its pages.

What’s the essence of the book? Is there a theme, “This is what I learned,” or more of the stories about those people?

Our identity is our roadmap for life. It shapes our reactions to our experiences and the choices we want for our careers. Click To Tweet

It’s less the stories about those people, although you get to know them because some of them appear over and over throughout the book because they’ve had such a front-row seat. For example, I interviewed Ned Gould, who engineered our first spy satellite for the US government. If you want a technological conundrum, try getting a film into space, taking pictures, and then sending it back to be developed. We have it easy these days with digital photography. People like that appeared over and over and you got to know their stories but it was about their reflection on technology. The book is organized into the twenty most common topics around technology that emerged through these interviews. Things like communication, relationships, community, and that’s what the book was seeking. How is it affecting our society?

If I were to talk to your parents and I ask them your upbringing or the way you lived your younger years more typical and traditional or more different in your way, what would they say?

They would say that a large part of our conflict came in from them being rather traditional parents and me being a challenge why. I was quite a good girl. I was Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady. I follow the rules but there was tension because I knew that I wanted to explore more. What drew me to Anthropology? Once I was allowed to explore myself and I found Anthropology at university, it all clicked together and I was able to explore both what makes me culturally, but then also what’s reinforcing that, what’s breaking that down, what’s reflected about me in other cultures, and what are other cultures reflected thing to us. It went on from there. It’s still going.

One of the interesting things about the why of challenge is how they react to people being bullied or bullies in general. What’s your take on when you see somebody being bullied or being bullied yourself? They’re the person that stands up for the one that’s being pushed down. Has that played out that way for you?

I’m oddly conflicted adverse. Instead, I befriend the person that I feel is being attacked and be a resource or a stanchion of strength for them to reinforce the fact that they are okay despite whatever is going on. I will stand in the way of somebody being a total a-hole. I’m not going to go to fisticuffs and I’m not going to go out of my way. I had a lot of friends who were on the fringes of our school society back in the day and I worked hard to make sure that they felt like they were okay as well.

Your friends were more of the eclectic ones that we talked about? You had a wide variety of friends, not just jocks? You had a lot of different kinds of friends.

You need to have a unique subset of friends in order to be a good coach and consultant to entrepreneurs. Click To Tweet

I was very much the floater.

One of my friends who’s one of the world’s leading economists. He writes a weekly email newsletter to millions of people. He has your why. I asked him one day, “Why do you have such a wide variety of friends?” I was at his 60th birthday party and there were many different kinds of people at this party. I couldn’t believe it from Newt Gingrich to the boyfriend of the hairstylist. He said, “It’s my job to be able to explain to the world what’s happening. If all I know is my perspective, then that’s one perspective. I need to be challenged by other people. I need to see it from other people’s perspectives so that I can accurately tell what’s happening versus one opinion.” How does it speak with you?

It feels very familiar. I have the full spectrum of friends still. You need to have a unique subset of friends in order to be a good coach and consultant to entrepreneurs because you’re going to have a variety of clients. I feel like if I had only one type of friend, I would get bored.

You got to keep you stimulated.

There’s so much out there to learn. We have one life that we know of. It’s already overwhelming to consider it, “How will I taste the fruits of this world while I have it?” It’s the same conundrum of people who love to read and they say, “I will never be able to read all the books in the world.” You’ll never be able to experience everything in the world. If I have only one type of friend, I’m already cutting myself short.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received or the best piece of advice you’ve ever given?

The best piece of advice I’ve ever received from one of my colleagues in NCCC when I was still wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, I was very upset that she wouldn’t wear her seatbelt. I’m a little bit like a Doberman in that way like, “The rules must be followed.” Oddly, for a challenge, “What’s going on? Why won’t you wear your seatbelt?” My nickname on the construction site is Vern. She turned to me and said, “Vern, not all rules are made to be followed.” I was twenty years old. It’s shocking and true as a challenge that unlocked something within me because, as I said, I grew up traditionally. To have somebody say that to me and validate that little whisper for me, that allowed me to grow into who I am.

The best piece of advice that I give is it’s for entrepreneurs but it works for anyone that, “If you have an idea, you wouldn’t be able to have the idea if you weren’t the right person to make it happen.” People like to fool themselves into thinking that they can’t do it for whatever reason. Here we are back at imposter syndrome but you have what it takes. If you didn’t, you couldn’t have conceived of the idea. If you have an idea of banging around in your head, you’ve got to make it happen. You know how to find the resources, get the education, and what you need to do because you were able to conceive the idea, so do it.

BYW 30 | Imposter Syndrome
Imposter Syndrome: We have a choice that goes on top of our lived experiences. It is in those choices of who we want to be that can shape our identity.

 

Don’t let anything stop you. Veronica, if people are reading this and they say, “I would like to reach out to you. I’d like to connect with you. I’d like to follow you.” What’s the best way for people to get in touch with you?

They can hop on my website at VeronicaKirin.com. All of my social media is on there. My books are on there and that email form goes directly to me. It does not go to my assistant. It’s a direct line to myself. If you want to talk more, go ahead and get in touch.

Thank you so much for taking time out of your day in Berlin. How long are you going to be in Berlin?

We don’t know yet but it’s indefinite.

It’s great to get to know you and know your story.

Thank you so much, Gary. I appreciate it.

There’s a lot in there for people. You get people outside of their box. They put themselves in a box, and you get them outside. What is your message as far as your coaching? Why would somebody choose you?

I have a unique take in a couple of different ways. I work to scale small businesses, but I use startup tactics to do it. Small businesses are the door that we can unlock to freedom for everyone, especially in the LGBTQ community. A lot of business owners don’t have the resources or attention that startups do. They get stuck at their 24-hour limit. They can’t grow, get stressed, and don’t know what to do. It wasn’t the freedom they had drawn out. Freedom is possible for them, but we need to unlock that door for them.

Not all rules are made to be followed. Click To Tweet

I get what you’re doing and I get the tactics that you use, but why would I choose you over everybody else who does what you do?

I’m not going to let you fail.

What is it that you believe? You’re the perfect person for what you’re doing and the reason for that is because people put themselves into a box, into limits, and limit themselves, and you don’t think that way. You’re going to get me outside and pass what I thought I could do. You’re going to push me beyond the box that I stuck myself into, whether that’s imposter syndrome or all the tactics that you have.

The question is not about what you’re going to do for me or how you’re going to do it, but it’s, “Why should I choose you?” Which goes right back to your why. If you start your answer to that question by saying, “I believe.” If I believe what you believe, then you’re the right person for me. If I don’t believe what you believe then you’re not the right person for me, and that’s okay too. If you don’t tell me what it is you believe, you’re telling me all these things that you do, you leave it up to me to figure out who you are.

I went inside my head one day and I thought hard about what is the meaning of life. What I came out with is that I believe that life has a chance to happen and we have this one moment in history to become everything that we were meant to be. My calling is to help you get there.

How I do that is by all these other things. What I am is an entrepreneurial coach or whoever you’re talking to at that moment. It starts with what you believe in. If you’re looking for people that are looking to do something amazing, in their own world amazing, and don’t know how to get there and feel like they’re trapped. What we talked about is to challenge that thought, “Who says you can’t do this? Who says you can’t have the impact you thought you could?” That’s where your why, how, and what. Did Dan take you through your how and what?

Yes.

If you have an idea, you wouldn’t be able to have the idea if you weren’t the right person to make it happen. Click To Tweet

What’s your how and what?

Making sense of the complex is my how, big surprise, and my what even bigger surprise is helping to contribute to other success. Big surprise that went into disaster at first.

What you said with your why, how, and what is exactly the summary of our entire conversation because you challenge the way things are done, you figure out solutions to big problems that people think are big, and you grabbed their hand, help them do it, and contribute to them. If it’s the imposter syndrome, let’s challenge that there even is such a thing or that it’s going to limit you. Let’s figure out what it is that is limiting you and then let’s see how we can have a bigger impact when you’re outside of the limiting factor. The better able you are to articulate that, the less you’ll get stuck on what you are doing or how you’re going to do it. This is what I’m going to do for you. How do you know that’s what I want? How do you know this is what I need? It allows you to get to the essence of, “Why quickly should I choose Veronica to help me move forward?”

It’s all of the things that I know but it’s easier to do for clients than it is to do for yourself. I appreciate you doing it to me.

That’s when you know their why, how, and what becomes crystal clear. I know the language that you speak now. I know the conversations that you’re having. I know how to create a program, a plan, or to help you get past those because I know the way you think. It speeds the process. Thank you so much for being here. I’m glad we got to connect. If there’s a way that we can help you, if there’s a way you feel the why, couldn’t work with what you’re doing, let us know.

Dan and I had a great conversation about how it can fit into my coaching, and I’m quite enthused. I love you, guys, for sure. Simon Sinek was an Anthropologist.

I can imagine that you are a lot of fun to hang out with.

Maybe someday, we’ll have that chance. I hope so.

BYW 30 | Imposter Syndrome
Stories of Elders

My wife has the why of challenge. I know what it’s like to hang out with you.

You have fun every day, don’t you?

Yes, I do.

Those fights are pretty fun, too, aren’t they?

No, they’re not. There is no filter. Here’s one of the things I’ve noticed about people with the why of challenge and maybe this isn’t you but it’s my wife and a lot of other people with that why that I know. Sometimes, I don’t feel like people with the why of challenge has a sense of the way they said something in that it can come off a little bit aggressive where they don’t even know it. “I’m just talking and we’re talking here.” “That wasn’t a talking conversation. That wasn’t a little bit more than just talking.” “What do you mean I was talking? We were having a conversation.” “That wasn’t a conversation.” I don’t know if those kinds of conversations were happening with you.

It certainly sounds familiar in my own relationship but I have found that one can turn it off or at least tone it down. If I’m being intentional about like I am on this interview, I’m doing a speech, or I’m talking to a client, there’s a bit of a switch that I’m able to flip in order to be a little bit more intentional with my words because I’m smart enough to be able to do that. When you’re tired and when the filter is off, sometimes the words come out, and you’re like, “That didn’t mean to sound like that.”

It would be interesting to ask your partner.

Who is an explainer, so that’s fun too. Dan and I talked about that because his wife is also somebody who wants to makes end and he’s a challenge. I found that even as a challenge as well, sometimes challenging in the argument rather than being a team member in the arguments was not where it should be even though the intention is to continue to argue as a team member.

Do you feel like you would make a good employee?

I’ve had one corporate position. I was only an employee at that company for four months and they promoted me. I went from executive assistant to the director of an entire department. Because of that, I had the latitude that I was comfortable with at that age. I didn’t know what I had within me and what I was capable of. At 23, it was the right position for me. I don’t think I’d be a very good employee anymore. I’ve been an entrepreneur for over many years. I know what freedom feels like. You’re not going to tell me what to do.

You show up on time or do it this way.

I will show up on time because I want to respect you.

Do you feel more successful when you’ve been able to help me or when I trust you?

When I help you because I’ll help somebody in the grocery store, they don’t know me. Do they trust me? I don’t know, but I still help them.

Thank you for being here. Have a great time in Berlin, however long that is. I’m excited for you. You did what you wanted to do and you’re making it happen. A lot to be said for that.

You are as well.

I retired from dentistry. It’s such a relief to not be in that box that I was in. My brother has the why of the right way. He’s very structured, rigid, and particular about everything, but it takes a lot of creativity out of you when you’re put in that situation. I had a lot of years of, “I’ll do it.” Not the passion for it. Now, every day is awesome.

Congratulations. Thank you. I appreciate it.

It’s time for the new segment, which is guest the why. We are going to guess the why of Madonna. What do you all think the why of Madonna is? I have what I think, but if you had to guess of the nine whys which why would Madonna be. I think Madonna has the same why as our guest, Veronica, which is challenge. She didn’t follow any rules. She didn’t do it the way anybody else does. She did her own thing, beat her own drum at every age, including now. I’m sure she’s doing it her own way. That’s what allowed her to be so successful, different, fearless, create things that we’d never seen before.

That is I think Madonna’s why is challenge. Let us know what you think. Thank you for reading. If you have not yet discovered your why you can do so at WhyInstitute.com. Use the code Podcast50 and you’ll get it at half price. If you love the show, please don’t forget to subscribe. Leave us a review and a rating on whatever platform you’re using so that our show gets reached by more people because our goal is to help one billion people discover, live, and make a decision based on their why. Thank you for being here.

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About Veronica Kirin

BYW 30 | Imposter Syndrome

Veronica Kirin is an anthropologist, author, and serial entrepreneur, who works with business leaders to scale their impact and income while managing imposter syndrome. She is also the author of the award-winning book “Stories of Elders” and creator of Stories of COVID™ which documents the pandemic in real-time.

Veronica Kirin graduated with anthropology honors and recognized as a Forbes notable graduate of Grand Valley State University with the intent to enter the nonprofit and humanitarian sector. She immediately enlisted with the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps where she was personally presented with the Spirit of Service Award by President George HW Bush and received the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Congressional Medals.

Unfortunately, that disaster relief work left her with PTSD, and she was unable to continue her service work. She suffered silently for years, afraid of the stigma that comes with the condition. In 2010 she founded a nonprofit organization in an attempt to continue her service work. Though that organization ultimately failed, it was the spark that lit the entrepreneurial fire.

Today, Veronica is recognized as a Forbes Next 1000 Honoree, 40 LGBTQ Leaders Under 40 by Business Equality Magazine, is Founder of the award-winning tech company GreenCup Digital, and Entrepreneur Coach to socially-minded business leaders driven toward positive worldwide impact. She has leveraged her anthropological training to study paradigm shifts, resulting in an award-winning book “Stories of Elders” which documents the high-tech revolution through interviews with those that lived it, and is today documenting the pandemic in real time through worldwide interviews.

She has spoken at entrepreneur conferences and events around the world and has presented two TEDx talks on her research. She is most passionate about LGBTQ Rights and Social Equity.

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