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What It Takes To Be A Good Coach: On Leadership And Culture With Jamy Bechler

BYW 34 | Good Coach

 

Jamy Bechler believes that it is a coach’s responsibility to help and inspire their people to be the best they can be. They can only do that when they learn how to step outside of themselves and see where others are coming from. This separates the good coach and leader from the rest. An author, motivational speaker, leadership consultant, and host of the popular “Success is a Choice” podcast, Jamy fulfills his why of “makes sense” by seeking to find better ways to solve problems and get something that makes sense and useful.

With a background as a championship athletic director, award-winning college basketball coach, and business consultant, he works with high-level sports teams and businesses helping them maximize results. In this episode, he joins Dr. Gary Sanchez to discuss what he sees are the differences between winning and losing programs. He shares his understanding of what a good coach and leader are, all the while highlighting the importance of leadership, culture, and teamwork.

If you’re looking to step up your game as a coach as well as uplift others and build that bond with them, then join in on this conversation and allow Jamy’s insights and process to guide you.

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What It Takes To Be A Good Coach: On Leadership And Culture With Jamy Bechler

If you’re a regular reader, you know that we talk about 1 of the 9 why’s and then we bring on somebody with that why so we can see how their why has played out in their life. We are going to be talking about the why of makes sense. If this is your why, you are driven to solve problems and resolve challenging or complex situations, you have an uncanny ability to take in lots of data and information, observe situations and circumstances around you, and sort through them in order to create order. You consider factors, problems, concepts, and organize them into solutions that are sensible and easy to implement.

It is not even that you enjoy problem-solving necessarily. You simply can’t help yourself. It is the lens through which you view the world. Interestingly, it is not necessary for you to share your solutions on a continuous basis. It is sufficient that you yourself have solved the problem or resolve the complexity of the situation. Often you are viewed as an expert because of your unique ability to find solutions quickly. You also have a gift for articulating a solution and summarizing it clearly in understandable language for your benefit and the benefit of others. You believe that many people are stuck. If they could make sense out of their situation, they could find a simple solution and move forward. You help them understand and see their way through.

I’ve got a great guest for you. His name is Jamy Bechler. He is an author, motivational speaker, leadership consultant, and host of the popular Success is a Choice podcast. With a background as a championship athletic director, award-winning college basketball coach, and business consultant, he works with high-level sports teams and businesses helping them maximize results. He is recognized as an expert in leadership, culture, and teamwork.

Jamy, welcome to the show.

That was a mouthful. I appreciate the great introduction, Gary. Thanks for having me. I listened to that why and I’m like, “That’s a lot to live up to. Someone that’s solving stuff or make sense of the world that we live in sometimes.” As a motivational speaker, I’m not sure I motivate all the time. Saying a motivational speaker, that’s like someone introducing you as a comedian. “Say something funny, funny guy.”

Jamy, take us through your life. How did you get into coaching? Were you an athlete yourself? Did you play sports? Give us a little bit of a tour of your life.

I was a stereotypical kid athlete that played every sport. I went to camps. I did every sport possible because we didn’t have iPhones. We had a black and white TV until probably I was in high school, which is crazy with the three channels and then PBS. Younger people don’t even know what I’m talking about. We had to stay outside, so we played sports all the time.

There's always a baseline of competence in talent. Click To Tweet

Where’d you grow up?

I grew up in Michigan. Even in the wintertime, we’re shoveling snow off the cement in front of our house to shoot hoops. Eventually, my dad built this pole barn and he put this basketball rim in there. It was a little bit shorter. It was only 9’6”. A lot of us were able to dunk on that. All winter long, we’d be inside with this little space heater but it was great. We’d shoot. You had to know the right angle to shoot the ball, so it didn’t get stuck in the rafters. It wasn’t a big enough barn where you could put a lot of arc on it. The point is, we were always playing sports. We were always doing something. I’ve read this book in seventh grade.

Before getting into high school, at seventh grade, I’m in English class and my dreaded English teacher, Mrs. Shannon, who I thought was the devil, did one good thing in my life. She had this library in the corner of her room and we could check out books. There was a John Wooden book, the great legendary basketball coach from UCLA. There was this book called They Call Me Coach. I read this book as a seventh-grader. I would love to say that I was this mature seventh-grader that said, “One day, I want to be a coach like John Wooden. I want to be the guy that helps people. It doesn’t matter if you’re a benchwarmer or you’re a star player. I’m going to be the coach that loves you.”

I wasn’t that mature but I read it. I was like, “I want to have a coach like that.” I recognize that there are good coaches and there are bad coaches. I want a coach like John Wooden that loves me, even if I make a turnover or a shot. That was the first time I thought that there was a difference between coaches that there was good coaches and bad coaches, good qualities and bad qualities. I got a little bit older. I realized I probably wasn’t going to go to the NBA. I started thinking more about coaching.

As I got into college, I went from being a star athlete in high school to my best friend who was the water cooler and the athletic trainer. I started to look at basketball a little bit differently. I started to look at the whole forest and not just my tree because I wasn’t playing very much. A lot of people will be bitter, be mad, or be a victim. I started looking at it from the perspective of, “I’m not playing much but I want to be a coach. I know my career is not to play, so I want to be a coach. I want to soak in as much of this as possible.” I was a good athlete and a bad athlete at times.

I became a coach for about twenty years. I was Coach of the Year. I was a good coach. I was also fired. I also had losing seasons. I also have some players that hate my guts. I also have players that we still keep in touch with. I had some ups and downs as a coach is. We’ll get into what I’m doing in a little bit. That’s helped me because I’ve traveled by plane. I’ve traveled first class. I’ve had programs with big budgets. I’ve coached at all different levels. I’ve also driven fifteen-passenger vans after losses where you eat sack lunches from the cafeteria. You put your own peanut butter and jelly on. You put your ham and mustard on.

I’ve seen all these different perspectives, which has helped me in my consulting with sports teams because I’ve been where they’ve been at, whether they’ve been successful or terrible. Knowing what it’s like to struggle through a season, whether it’s your fault or not, you’ve struggled through that season. I’ve lived it all and been an athletic director as well. For years, I’ve been on my own. I’ve been self-employed or unemployed depending on the day as an entrepreneur.

We don't step out of ourselves sometimes and see from other people’s perspectives and where they are coming from. Click To Tweet

Where did you play basketball? Where did you coach basketball?

I played basketball in college at a place called Hiram College in Ohio. I was the epitome of mediocrity. Not only did I play basketball, I went to play basketball there but I also played some football and ran track. There are only two types of people that play multiple sports in college. One is the absolute maniac people that are amazing, the Bo Jacksons, the Deion Sanders. The other is the people that aren’t any good at any of the sports. The coaches are okay with sharing you because you don’t help them out anyways. I was fell in that category where the coaches didn’t care about me as much.

Where did you coach?

I coached a lot of schools, mainly in the South but I did start off at Kent State University in Ohio as a graduate assistant. I went to Anderson University in Indiana, LeTourneau University in Texas, Newberry College in South Carolina, Tennessee Temple in Chattanooga, Bryan College in Tennessee, and then Martin Methodist College in Tennessee was my last coaching stop. I was an Athletic Director at Marion High School in Indiana. The fifth largest gym in the world for high school. Nobody’s won more boys basketball state titles than that school had. That was a fun place to go to be an Athletic Director since I was a basketball guy.

That is a lot of interesting experience that you had. You didn’t just stay at one system and saw one thing. You got to see a whole lot of different organizations and leadership styles. What did you see was the difference between the winning programs and the losing programs?

Certainly, there’s always a baseline talent. No matter what we’re talking about, there’s always a baseline of competence in talent. Putting that to the side, the number one thing was the buy-in, the ownership of the players, and the coaches for a common goal. Are we bought-in to what we’re trying to accomplish? We can call this culture. Culture is a buzzword. Culture is something I talk about all the time. Ultimately, that culture is a buy-in tour. We’re all going to try to get to the same place together and in the same way. Sometimes we want to get to the same place but we don’t all want to go the same way or the same route. It’s having buy-in from, if not everybody, most of the people. That’s coaches and players.

Sometimes, the players and the coaches are on different pages. They’re not even in the same book. They have completely different agendas and selfish motives. You see this in businesses too, a lot. When I’ve consulted with a lot of businesses and I’m sure you’ve seen this as well, it’s the upper management, CEO level, or supervisory level. They’ll be like, “Come in and fix these.” We’re all part of the problem and the solution at the same time. It’s not us versus them.

I get that a lot with coaching. Coaches think, “It’s not my fault. Jamy is doing this, Jamy missed that shot, or Jamie didn’t know what he was doing.” It might not be your fault but it’s 100% your responsibility to help Jamy to know what he’s supposed to do, to help make Jamy the best he possibly can be, or to help have Jamy be inspired. That’s a big thing. We see this all the time with coaches. “These players are this. These players are that. They’re bored in practice or they don’t pay attention.” You don’t give them a reason because you don’t engage with them. You don’t inspire them.

It’s the same with businesses. “Our employees don’t want to be here.” It’s because you don’t make it fun. “I pay them a lot.” That doesn’t matter. How much you pay them doesn’t matter when they’re in that job doing it. That only matters on Saturday and Sunday, the days off, or on their vacation. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter how much you’re paying them. You have to inspire them in other ways if you want more out of them. Everybody being on the same page going together, it’s our team. It’s our goals. It’s not, “Gary is the boss, so it’s Gary’s team. It’s Gary’s goals. We’re trying to accomplish what Gary wants.” It’s not that. It’s, “We’re all going together. We’re all going to celebrate success together. We’re all going to overcome challenges together. We’re going to win and lose together.”

How do you teach somebody to get buy-in?

BYW 34 | Good Coach
They Call Me Coach

It’s a two-prong approach. In my case, I work primarily with sports teams. I certainly work with businesses but sport is my bread and butter. That’s my lane for the most part. You’re working with students but you’re also working with the coaches at the same time. With the students, you’re trying to find out what makes them tick. You’re trying to find out what their hopes and dreams are, what some of their challenges are, and understanding them. Also, trying to get them to understand the coaches, what the coaches are going through, and what the coaches are trying to get at. All of this comes back to trying to get everybody to see the whole forest and not just see their own tree. We’re trying to get them to understand as much as possible not to be understood.

A Stephen Covey’s great book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, one of those habits is seek first to understand then to be understood. A lot of us don’t ever do that. We want to be understood. “You’re not seeing where I’m coming from.” That might be true but you haven’t even seen where I’m coming from. It’s one of these things. As coaches, we don’t understand what a sixteen-year-old is going through or what a sophomore in college is going through. We can’t understand that as a 40-year-old, as a 50-year-old, we don’t understand them and they certainly don’t understand us. The thing is our sixteen-year-old self probably wouldn’t understand the sixteen-year-olds now in a lot of ways.

We don’t step out of ourselves sometimes, see where other people are coming from and see their perspectives. That’s one of the very first things we will do when we work with any team. It’s gotten them to see other perspectives. We have a lot of little activities we’ll do that are fun that blows people’s minds and different things like that of understanding in perspective. We talk a lot about seeing things from a different viewpoint, from a different lens because you’re never going to get common ground. It can’t be, “Gary disagrees with me on this. Gary has this opinion. I have my opinion and so we’re done.” You got to work with each other. We’ve got to figure out a way to how can, “I can do what Gary can’t do. Gary can do what I can’t do.” Together we’re going to fill in gaps. Together we’re going to complement one another. We’re going to play our roles to the best of our ability.

One of the things I talk about a lot is cars. I don’t know much about cars but with teamwork, with filling gaps and stuff, we’ll talk to kids, “What’s your favorite kind of car?” They’ll give this expensive $100,000 car. I’ll show them this little $5 spark plug. First of all, most kids don’t even know what this is but I’ll show them this spark plug. I’ll be like, “This $5, $10 spark plug can keep your $100,000 car from driving. It can sideline your car. This $5 spark plug can also make your car be $100,000, be cool, and work effectively.” Roles are important. Every role and person has value. We need to see the value and see what other people can bring to the table, whatever that is. Understanding in perspective is one of the very first things needed in order for everybody to come together.

What popped into my mind when you were saying that is tell us how you felt about that kind of a conversation when you were sitting on the bench as the player in college wanting to be the star but finding yourself next to the water cooler.

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude toward the problem. Click To Tweet

Most players that are in my situation would have hated it. I hated it because you’re embarrassed. As a college athlete, maybe you spent 18, 19 years of your life, depending on what the sport is preparing to be a college athlete and then you’re a failure. Your whole life, you’ve been successful. Your whole life, you’ve got up at 4:00 in the morning. You’ve grinded, rise, and grind type of stuff. You sacrifice. How many tens of thousands of dollars have you paid out or your parents have paid out to go to travel ball? You don’t expect to sit. It’s embarrassing, especially in a team sport.

Team sport is a little bit different than individual. In team sport, there’s a difference of opinion. There’s interpretation. It’s not just that, “I’m better than Gary.” We can’t prove that. Maybe I’m better than Gary at one-on-one or a better shooter but the team needs what Gary can offer more. In track, if I’m not on that four-person relay, it’s because I’m slower than those other four people. There’s some objective. Not that makes it easier but it’s less blame. There are more things that I can do personally to make myself better or to change the situation. In a team sport, most people sitting at the end of the bench are most people that don’t have a role that they don’t like. They’re not going to act the right way about that. They’re sometimes going to make the problem worse.

I love a quote from one of the greatest literary scholars of all time, Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. He talks about the problems not the problem. The problem is your attitude toward the problem. The problem is not that I’m sitting on the bench. The problem is my attitude towards sitting on the bench. Coming back around to answering your question specifically, what you have to do with a young person or with anyone, an employee. You have to connect with them and you have to develop a strong connection, a strong bond that you can have some difficult conversations with them.

We try to have tough love. “I’m keeping it real with you, Jamy. I’m telling you what you need to improve on.” We have these tough conversations but we don’t have a strong bond. “I don’t trust that person. I don’t trust Coach Sanchez when he’s trying to tell me something because we haven’t developed this bond. I don’t trust him that he has my best interest. I don’t care if he has the other people’s best interests. I want him to have my best interest. If he’s looking at me as a commodity or this is a transactional relationship, I’m not going to believe in what he’s saying.” As managers, as leaders, or anyone in a position of leadership, we do that all the time.

We try to have a conversation with someone without having a bond or any kind of connection. You have to have that so you can figure out what makes me as the athlete tick, what’s important to me. You also have to ask a lot of questions. Ask me questions. Find out where I’m at. Find out what’s important to me. Find out as much as you can about me as the person so that you know what buttons to push as well. There’s also one major thing that leaders don’t do very well is they don’t find a way to utilize me as an employee, to utilize my strengths, to add value to me, or to catch me being good. However, that is, they don’t utilize me. Going back to the basketball analogy, how many times is there a blowout in a game? “Maybe you leave the starters in an extra five minutes longer than maybe you should have. You could have utilized me in that game a little bit more. Maybe I’m a great shooter and the team was playing a zone. You could have used me to shoot the ball a little bit more.”

Have you always been a good problem solver?

BYW 34 | Good Coach
Good Coach: It doesn’t matter how much you’re paying your employees. You have to inspire them in other ways if you want more out of them.

 

I don’t know. I understand that why and I understand I do like making things better. Saying I’m a good problem solver, I don’t know that. My wife might say I’m not a very good problem solver sometimes. I like making things better, whatever that is. I will go into a fast-food restaurant. I can’t help it. I will see ways that they could be better at things, especially if I’ve gone into a Chick-fil-A and then I go somewhere. I’m like, “Why can’t everybody copy the way Chick-fil-A does their drive-through?” I’ll fly a different airline in Southwest. I tend to be a Southwest snob. I’ll fly Southwest Airlines all the time.

It’s only a problem when there’s a problem. If there’s a problem with your airline or with your flight, Southwest will try to work with you a lot more than another airline will. When you have a customer support issue or customer service, you see the culture of an organization. I do see things like that. How can we make things better? You always want to be improving. Probably the answer would be yes. I’ve always tried to make things better. I’ve always tried to make myself better in whatever way I can. You call it problem-solving. That’s great.

My wife, that’s one of her strengths. When she’s interviewed for jobs and stuff, she says, “I love to solve problems.” She comes at it from more of a puzzle standpoint. She’s also a person on our Kindle or on our tablet who’ll do puzzles. She loves to solve those kinds of problems. I never do any of those things. Life has enough issues and problems to solve. She likes it from almost a game standpoint. I see it as how we can always get better.

You’re the head coach. You’ve got a lot of pieces moving. You’ve got a lot of challenges that you’re looking at. Are you somebody that enjoys having a lot of things coming at you at once and trying to figure out what to do?

I wouldn’t say I enjoy it but it doesn’t intimidate me. It’s not something that I get stressed about it. I understand I’m juggling a lot of balls. If something’s going to mess up and I’m going to lose those 3, 4, or 5 balls, I’m going to make sure I catch 1 or 2 of those balls. 1 or 2 of those is more important than the others. You’re always going to focus a little bit more on a couple of things. I wouldn’t say I enjoy it but I certainly don’t have a problem with it. It’s something that I can take in multiple information. Let’s see a lot of different perspectives. One of the problems with that is sometimes I would be a little slower with making a decision. I have an athletic director who is one of the best athletic directors I’ve ever worked for. He would be somebody that says, “We may not make the best decision but we’re going to make a quick, good decision.” I’m not saying that was good or bad but it worked for him. I thought he was a great athletic director.

Take care of people the way they want to be taken care of. Click To Tweet

I tend not necessarily to be paralyzed, paralysis by analysis but I do tend to, “Can we find a better solution? We come up with this one but can we come up with a little bit better?” It’s one of those tinkering type of things where I tinker a little bit too much sometimes. Not necessarily drag my feet or that could be looked at. I’m not a procrastinator but sometimes I will wait a little bit longer to make a decision because I want to get a little bit, “Can we see this perspective a little bit differently? How can we look at this problem a little bit more so that we’re making the right decision as opposed to a good decision?”

When you walk into a sandwich shop that you’ve never been before and there are 30 choices of sandwiches on the menu, is it easy for you to figure out which one you want to order or does it take you a while to make a decision? If it does, how do you then make a decision?

Did my wife tell you to ask me that? I tend to go last, all under the disguise of, “I’ve got to pay for it,” so I’ll go last. Everyone can go before me. If I go into a new sandwich shop, it would be because I’ve heard that they make this good sandwich or they have this reputation for something. If it’s one of those, Gary that you’re like, “Let’s go to this shop,” I’m going to ask you, first of all, what are they known for? I’m probably going to look for do they have that little icon or little logo next to one of their sandwiches that’s the chef’s special or this thing that they’re known for? I know I’m going too deep into the details.

A hole in a wall sandwich shop, they’re known for something. That grandpa started that shop many years ago because he made one sandwich good for the family and then it became something else. I want to do what they’re known for. I want to experience that. If that’s not the issue, then I’m going to go with it. “I love Reuben’s. Do they have a Reuben something like that?” I’m going to try to find what do they have and then compare it to other sandwiches that I’ve had in the past. If none of that works, I’m going with, “I’ll take the club. Do you have a club?”

Here’s a question I have for you. Do you feel more successful when you’re able to make things understandable or when you’re able to find a better way?

I love the process part of it. I love working through the process. That’s not 100% answering your question. I would rather be having a good process and the result wasn’t quite what we wanted. The result will be there but the process wasn’t good. It’s not repeatable. It’s not something that we can rely on. I love process type of stuff. I love knowing that what we did was probably the right thing. I don’t know if that answers your question.

Here’s why I’m asking you this. I’m sure the readers that read a lot will know. As you’re answering questions, it sounds like your why might be to find a better way versus to make sense of the complex and challenging. However, what I’m thinking is your why is to make sense of the complex and challenging. How you do that is by looking for better ways. Your process is about finding better ways but your ultimate result is to get something that makes sense, useful, usable, and we can do something with it.

I want actionable. I want things, “How is this practical? What can we do with this information?” I wouldn’t call myself the best student ever. I was a good student but not a great student. I don’t want just academic stuff or theory. What can we do with the practicalness of it? What you say makes sense. Isn’t that the why part of what makes sense? We’re back to that.

That’s what I think your why is make sense but your how is a better way. How you do it as you’re in search of a better way? Ultimately, what you bring is something we can still explore so that we know, “What is that thing that Jamy brings?” Every time he speaks, coaches, and interacts with people, there’s something that you bring that you deliver. We can continue to work on that. While we’re thinking about that, Jamy, what is culture? How do you define culture?

Culture is the identity that your group takes on, to put it in the simplest way. I also think that identity is intentional. A lot of people will argue with that, they’ll debate that, or they’ll disagree with that saying, “The culture that we have isn’t what I wanted.” That might be true but you were very intentional about allowing your culture to be what it is. “I didn’t want it to be like this.” We make choices every day and you make choices, maybe as a leader. Your group made choices along the way to choose to do or to prioritize something over here, as opposed to something here. This got you to where you are. We’re always intentional about, “I’m choosing something over something else.”

BYW 34 | Good Coach
Good Coach: Culture is the identity that your group takes on.

 

Those choices don’t happen accidentally. What happens is the result ends up being something that we didn’t want sometimes. The culture is the identity of your group. I do believe it’s intentional because the choices we make every day lead into that. Our actions, our behaviors, and our thoughts that become actions, the standards, and the things that we allow or emphasized will end up being our culture. Sometimes as leaders, we don’t like that. We’ll say, “We don’t have a culture.” It’s like, “You do have a culture. You just might not like it.” If you don’t know what your culture is, then it’s probably not a healthy, strong culture.

Everything that you do should be geared toward where you do want to end up. Almost reverse engineer it backwards. How are we going to get there? What are the day-to-day things that we can do to help in that culture? When I was an Athletic Director, I was tasked with changing the culture. If I had $1 for every time somebody said change the culture, we’d be rich. Everybody talks about changing the culture and they don’t even know what they’re talking about half the time. I was tasked with changing the culture.

One of the first things I did is not necessarily to change the culture but we redid our whole athletic department offices. We put on fresh new paint, put new posters up, and did all this stuff. We also changed stationary, all this trivial skin deep type of stuff. None of that came close to mattering as much as how I treated my secretary. I could put out the best emails, put up the best posters on the wall, and have the best staff meetings but if I treated my secretary poorly and our interactions that caused her to maybe not be happy or inspired, she’s going to interact with hundreds of people that one day, either on the phone or the people that come into the office. She’s going to be the first face that they see.

I can do more for our culture, good or bad, based on one interaction with my secretary each morning. With your salesmen, with your HR people, or your billing people, you can do more for your culture than any memo you’re going to send out. Your culture isn’t your posters on the wall, your fancy slogans, your billboards, or your website. Your culture is what’s going on around the water cooler. When Gary and Jamy are talking at the water cooler or in the break room at 9:15 break in the morning, that’s your culture. If you want to know what your culture is, it’s what those employees or your team members are doing when you’re not around. That’s your true culture. That’s either by what you emphasize, what you reinforce, or what you allow.

Businesses are so different. For example, our company got team members in Austin, Denver, New York, India, and all over the place. How do you build a culture with more of the virtual type of companies?

It’s even more intentional at that point. COVID has introduced us to Zoom. It introduced us to a virtual type of stuff. Not working at the office, not having touchpoints, and not being in-person. That means that you have to be even more intentional about, “How I’m going to reinforce and emphasize the certain culture that we want. I don’t see Gary every day. We can’t high-five each other. We can’t hang out and watch the game together as easily. We can’t have casual Fridays.” Every Friday could be casual because we’re at home. We have to be more intentional about it. Some businesses have fallen way behind in their culture because they haven’t been intentional and proactive. They’ve been reactive.

No matter what business we're in, we're in the people business, ultimately. Click To Tweet

They’ve been reacting to everything that happens. They’ve almost been shaking their head saying, “We can’t do this.” Instead of saying, “What can we do?” Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do like some of the best companies, best teams, even. I work with sports teams a lot. I’ve had a lot of sports teams that I’ve been consulting with that have been in quarantine. I’ll give you one example. There are countless of these that I’ve dealt with. You’re in quarantine, whatever that reason is. One of your kids tested positive or you played a team that tested positive. You’re in fourteen-day quarantine.

You’re in a basketball team and the coach says, “What do I do? I don’t know what to do.” I’m like, “Have you had Zoom meetings?” “They’re all zoomed out.” I’m like, “What would you be doing every day with practice? What we’d have in practice? What time would you be having practice?” “3:00.” “You don’t think they’re all practiced out. You don’t think they hate to practice. They don’t like practice. You still do it, though. You need to do Zoom meetings.” “I know but they’re so boring. What do we do?” I say, “You don’t have to do it for your two hours but every day at 3:00, you need to touch base with them on Zoom or whatever platform you use. Don’t call it a Zoom meeting.”

Put lipstick on a pig. Call it something different like motivational Monday. “We’re going to have Monday Motivation at 3:00. We’re going to have a guest speaker. We’re going to talk about something inspirational. On Wednesday, we’re going to have Wacky Wednesday and we’re going to have fun. We’re going to have Tuesday Chalk Talk.” I know that’s not alliteration. It’s going to be X’s and O’s. Every single day of your fourteen weeks, you’re still going to have practice. You’re going to have it for 30 minutes at the normal time so you can touch base with them but you’re going to do something different every single day. You’re getting on Zoom but you’re never going to call it a Zoom meeting. You’re going to call it something different.

You’ve got three assistant coaches. They can come up with stuff and idea but you’re going to do something every day and you’re going to touch base with some of your athletes and some of your team members. You’re going to have them come up with some ideas as well. It’s not going to be all Jamy Bechler because Jamy Bechler is not smart enough. It’s not going to be all Gary Sanchez. Even though we’re smart as coaches, we’re not smart enough to come up with something creative every day for 16-year-olds or 21-year-olds.

We’re going to talk to some of our key leaders. Get them to come up with some ideas and have them have ownership in what we’re going to do. That’s one specific example. We walked through a lot of ways that they could execute that effectively. Essentially, what it’s doing is not looking at what you can’t do but what we can do. You can have Wacky Wednesday, karaoke night. They’re all there. They’re all singing the same song on Zoom being stupid. They can all have their phones go on and making social media of that. We’re all seeing the screen. We’re all having fun. You can watch a movie together. There are so many things that you can do.

The internet is full of Google, what you can do during COVID on Zoom calls. As a coach or as an employer, you’re not going to do quite that much as an employer but you’re going to figure out, “What can we do to make it a little bit more creative?” Gary, you as the leader, “What can I do to bring Jamy into this where Jamy’s all the way across the country? We can connect on Zoom but how can I make him want to be more engaged and want to make sure that he’s not checking his phone so often or not disengaged from this Zoom call?” It’s no different than when we have in-person meetings. If you have a boring in-person meeting, then your people are going to be disengaged. You’re not going to inspire them. You’re not going to have the culture that you want, ultimately. It’s finding solutions. How can you put lipstick on a pig?

Last question I got for you, Jamy. 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 I wished that I had always lived up to is, take care of people the way they want to be taken care of. We can get into nuances about different things but we talk sometimes about, treat people the way you want to be treated. Sometimes we project. I don’t like birthdays at all. I’m not a birthday guy or whatsoever. If nobody wished me a happy birthday ever, I would be fine with that. I project that onto others. I forget people’s birthdays or I don’t make it a big deal but it might be a huge deal to you, Gary.

Saying take care of people the way you want to be taken care of or treat people the way you want to be treated sometimes doesn’t go far enough. I 100% get the sentiment. It’s better than treating people terribly. Ultimately, you want to treat people the way they want to be treated. You want to find a way to inspire them. It’s about them. You need to understand them. No matter what business we’re in, we’re in the people business, ultimately. We need to treat people the way that they want to be treated whenever possible. There are some nuances to that and there are some dynamics. You can’t 100% do that in every situation but if you follow that road, it’s going to get you to a good place eventually.

Jamy, thank you so much for taking time out to be here. I appreciate it. If people are reading and they say, “I would love to have Jamy come talk to our group. I’d love to meet with him,” how can people get ahold of you?

The best way is if they’re on Twitter, they can follow me. My direct messages are open. That’s, @CoachBechler. In my website, they can get ahold of me, see my books, the podcast, and all the free stuff that we have. That’s at, CoachBechler.com. Those are the two best places. I’m on the other social media platforms as well but Twitter is the best place to get me if you’re on social media.

Thank you so much for being here. I appreciate it.

I appreciate the work you’re doing as well. This is a great show. Keep it up. Thanks for having me.

It’s time again for our new segment, which is Guess the Why. We’re going to look at the why of Kanye West. If you had to take a stab at it knowing the nine whys, what do you think Kanye why is? I think his why is to challenge the status quo and think differently, think outside the box, do things differently, not follow a traditional path, and do it his own way. He’s done that in the way he does his music. He’s done that in the way that he’s changed the direction of his life. He’s still married. I don’t know if that’s going to be the same thing when this show comes out.

I would guess that his why is to challenge the status quo. What do you think it is? Put it in wherever on your social media. Thank you so much for reading. If you have not yet discovered your why, you can do so at WhyInstitute.com. You can use the code Podcast50 and you’ll get it at half price. If you love the Beyond Your Why show, please don’t forget to subscribe and rate us. It helps us gain more readers so that we can bring the why to the world and reach our goal of helping one billion people discover, make choices, and live based on their why. Have a great week. We’ll talk to you next time.

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About Jamy Bechler

BYW 34 | Good CoachJamy Bechler is an author, motivational speaker, leadership consultant, and host of the popular “Success is a Choice” podcast. With a background as a championship athletic director, award-winning college basketball coach, and business consultant, he works with high-level sports teams and businesses helping them maximize results. He is recognized as an expert in leadership, culture, and teamwork.

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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.