Do you want to be part of a greater cause – something that is bigger than yourself? Do you want to stand out and not just blend in with everyone else? Do you want to feel a part of and relish the success of your team? If you said yes to those, then you the WHY of Contribute just like your guest today, Brianne Ligori.
Join Dr. Gary Sanchez as he talks to Brianne about her WHY of Contribute. Brianne was always told that she was shy and quiet, but after she found her authentic self, she opened up. She is now the co-founder of Leader Coach Intensive and is the author of Claiming Your TGI Today. Learn how she found her passion in coaching and helping leaders improve. Find out how she found her true joy and how she defines true success. Find your life’s purpose by fully aligning with who you are!
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The WHY Of Contribute: Building Up Your Confidence With Brianne Ligori
Welcome to the show where we go beyond talking about your why and helping you discover and then live your why. If you’re a regular audience, you know that every week, we talk about 1 of the 9 why’s, then we bring on somebody with that why so you can see how their why has played out in their life. In this episode, we’re going to be talking about the why of contribute, which is to contribute to a greater cause, add value, and have an impact on the lives of others. If this is your why, then you want to be part of a greater cause, something that is bigger than yourself.
You don’t necessarily want to be the face of the cause, but you want to contribute to it in a meaningful way. You love to support others and relish successes that contribute to the greater good of the team. You see group victories as personal victories. You are often behind the scenes looking for ways to make the world better. You make a reliable and committed teammate and often act as the glue that holds everyone else together. You use your time, money, energy, resources, and connections to add value to other people and organizations.
In this episode, I’ve got a great guest for you. Her name is Brianne Ligori. She lives and leads from the heart. She believes that everybody can and should live a life of purpose and joy. In her writing and coaching, Brianne is focused on a worldview of infinite possibilities and relentless pursuit of purpose. She sets an inspiring example by standing firmly for living according to her inner truth. Choosing joy, Brianne bravely set aside her dazzling corporate career to follow her bliss, sharing purpose-driven choices with the world.
Brianne worked in the corporate world for many years where she raised the bar in varying roles in sales, marketing, and training. Her desire to help people grow and learn led her to a professional coaching certification through ICF and certified training and development designation. Through coaching and training, Brianne has left an indelible mark on people by igniting their sense of purpose but her more significant legacies to build new coaches.
She put her designation to work in our corporate world by creating an internal coaching certification program, thereby empowering other leaders to leave their mark. Going even deeper, Brianna embraced her emerging passions to touch people more profoundly and launched two new businesses. Brianne cofounded The Leader Coach Intensive, a coach certification program, specifically targeting developing leaders of the future. Brianne is also poised to launch a comprehensive learning program to accompany her inspiring book Claiming Your TGIToday. You can be in awe of how Brianne lives her life with passion and joy, or you can jump into her safe hands and learn how to live yours that way. Brianne, welcome to the show.
Thank you so much. I’m so excited to be here, Gary.
That was a mouthful. We’ve got a lot to fall back. Tell everybody, where are you at now? Where did you grow up? Take us back into your childhood and give us a sense of what you were like when you were younger.You're not shy. You just need to build your confidence. Click To Tweet
I am now in Paris, Ontario. For anybody who doesn’t know where that is. It’s about an hour outside of Toronto in Canada. I grew up in Brantford, so down the road from here. I had a great family, amazing parents, and a close bond with my mom, and still do now. I love athletics, which goes with a profile of contribute. I was a competitive swimmer up until university. I did racing but also did synchronized swimming later in high school. I had lots of fun with that.
As a child looking back, I was always labeled as that shy, quiet child. Looking at me now, I would never think of myself as that. It’s interesting how that path has unfolded from seeing myself as shy because that’s what I was told I was, so I started to become that to now, I’m living my true, authentic self, which is super far away from being shy and having lots of fun getting out there and speaking to people all over the world.
When did you have that revelation that, “Maybe I’m not shy. I am different than what I’ve been told I was?”
It’s quite interesting. It was one specific moment. This wasn’t until after I had my kids. I have twins. This goes back to when they were babies. I had a fantastic manager at the time. It was in the pharmaceutical industry. Her name was Mano. I remember coming back after maternity leave going, “I feel like there’s something else. I want to do something more than my current job.”
I remember approaching Mano and saying, “Mano, I want to try something different, but I’m too shy and quiet to do any of the leadership that is available.” She said, “Put the brakes on. You are not shy. You need to build confidence.” That is exactly what we did together. She supported me to build my confidence, so I was comfortable starting to step into some of those leadership roles. That is when I started to get my stride. I owe so much of where I am now to Mano. I’m so grateful, and I know she knows that. That was the moment. Sometimes these one moments can make such a difference in our lives.
You graduated high school and went off to university. What did you study at the university?
I ended up studying Kinesiology and Health Science. I am one of those girls that didn’t feel like I fit in any of the boxes. Back in the ’90s, it was like you went to school to be a lawyer, teacher, or doctor. For me, I had no clue what I wanted to do. I never felt like I fit into any of those things. Being a leader wasn’t on the list at all. I had no clue. That came later in life. I took something that looked like it looked good on paper. “Kinesiology and Health Science, that sounds cool. I think that might please people.”
I took that program, but it wasn’t in my heart, and because of that, I sucked at it. I got kicked out of my program first year and had to take the full rest of those four years to get back into the program with my cumulative average, so I could graduate from that program. I got that, which was great but it was a grind because it wasn’t who I was. I didn’t know that at the time to be able to label that. I just felt like something was off or wrong. I didn’t feel myself. I then learned a lot through that experience. That’s for sure.
For the regular audience that knows about the WHY.os, your why, how, and what. Right before we started, I had Brianne take her WHY.os, the full WHY.os, so we knew her why, how, and what. Brianne’s why is to contribute to a greater cause as we talked about. How she does that is by challenging the status quo and thinking outside the box, and ultimately, what she brings is a better way to move forward.
When you were talking about, “I don’t fit. I always felt like a fish out of water. I didn’t feel like I knew what direction to go,” that is so in line with the WHY of challenge, and in your case, the HOW of challenge. You don’t think the same as everybody else. You weren’t born to fit in. You were born to stand out and try to fit in. What was that like for you to try to be shy and be the one that fits in?
It was painful. I didn’t get to the place until I was in my late 30s now going into my 40s where I’m truly in myself. For so many years, I wasn’t sure what it was. Everything looked okay from the outside. I was in the cool crowd and got invited to parties and all those things, but when I was doing all of those things and the things that you’re supposed to do, like the rite of passage things, it felt almost sick to your stomach like, “What’s wrong with me?” You start thinking there’s something wrong with you. Knowing some of these deeper pieces around the why is so helpful. It’s putting a lot of the pieces of the puzzle together for me now.
You graduated with Kinesiology and Health Science. Where did you go from there?
I did what everyone you would think I would do coming into kinesiology. I became a gym manager. It was expected of me, and I hated every minute of it. It was terrible. Going around the club and talking to all these people I didn’t know was not for me. Through that, I met a great woman named Paula. She owned an insurance brokerage. She said, “Why are you doing this, Brianne? Come and work for me. Come and do sales.”
I ended up going to work for Paula at her insurance brokerage. I was a sales rep for a couple of years with her. I didn’t love insurance. It didn’t quite feel right there, but I love the connection with people that I was having, and starting to gain confidence in that area. Through that, I ended up getting an opportunity at a medical device company. It was Bayer at the time. I went and worked with them.The leadership of the future is coaching. Click To Tweet
That was the start of my many years of a corporate career in pharmaceuticals and so many different roles. I had a blast. I had so much fun. I didn’t leave that because I hated it. I left it because I was being pulled towards something different. That’s where I started to get my stride because I was able to show up as who I was, try leadership roles, and back to my why, help people. I was leading teams. I was training coaches to be better at what they’re doing. It’s all making sense now.
Was it fun because you weren’t in a box? Was it fun because you weren’t told what you had to do? Was it because you could choose? What made it fun for you?
It was fun because it was always a challenge. I had ten different roles in those years, looking back at my career. I was jumping every year and a half to two years to a new opportunity so that I could learn something new and try new skills. I would grab those skills and then go to the next thing. I’d apply them there, learn some new stuff, make some things better, and go to the next.
You started coaching, then what called you?
What sparked me to leave the business is that I had this one particular role. It was a coach training role. I created a coach training program for the entire organization, all of the managers at one of the pharma companies that I was working with. Through that, I met my business partner in my coach training business, who is Belinda Clemmensen. I hired her to help me build this program. Sparks flew. We connected like there was no tomorrow.
We had fun because we were creating this amazing program that had never been created before. It was like unchartered territory. As we started to roll this out to the organization and the leadership team, people were like, “You folks are good at this. You should make a business out of this.” At the time, I was still very much in my ego where I was like, “I need to climb the corporate ladder. I need to go to the next role.” I wasn’t ready. I said, “Maybe one day,” but over maybe a 3 or 4-year period, it kept coming back.
People kept bringing this up and saying, “You need to start your own business.” The ultimate moment where I made the choice was when one of the Women’s Leadership groups that Belinda and I were leading at the time said, “We want to become certified coaches and learn from you.” They didn’t give us a choice. It was like, “This is happening.” Belinda and I looked at each other and said, “Okay.” We started building it. We started piloting the program while I was still at my full-time job as if I didn’t have enough to do with two kids. I’d started a couple of businesses on the side. We built that, and then I left my corporate job.
What’s the name of your company now?
One organization is called the Leader Coach Intensive. In that program, we train people to either become certified coaches or go into organizations to help their leaders become more coach-like because that’s the leadership of the future as coaching.
What type of coaching is involved in leader coaching? What do you do? What do you work with them on?
We develop their coaching skills. We don’t necessarily do a bunch of executive coaching with them. If they want that, we can. We pull in other people to do that work now. We’re training them to become coaches and build their coaching skills, so they can help their team to be better. It’s connected to my why of contribute. It’s supporting people to be better leaders and be more human in their leadership.
Rather than the old traditional hierarchy like, “If I’m the leader, I’m up here. You’re down here,” it’s helping bring them more to a human-to-human level because that’s where the connection is going to happen. It’s not going to happen when I’m up here and you’re here and I’m scared of you. It’s when I feel like we’re side by side walking this path together. We may have different roles. That’s okay but we’re humans in this together. That’s what we’re supporting people to do in that business.
On the note of what you were talking about there, as far as your why is concerned, another way that I’ve heard people talk about the why of contribute is to be that pebble that causes the wave or the ripple effect that goes on and on in the lives of others. You’re that little pebble that’s helping create this bigger impact. That’s how you maximize your impact.
That’s a great way to look at it.You don't have to feel happy in a moment to feel joyous. Joy is about knowing who you are and being aligned with that. Click To Tweet
You developed the TGIToday.
My book is called Claiming your TGIToday. That’s my other business. What was I thinking about launching two businesses at once? For some reason, I thought I could do it. It’s a lot of fun. I ended up starting to write this book a few years ago. The way this happened is I was starting to see, myself included, the world in this state of what I call TGIF.
We live in a TGIF society where everybody’s wishing for the next thing. It’s cool to love Fridays. We all do, but it’s when it’s more than Fridays when we’re looking for that next promotion, house, or relationship. Sometimes people even say, “I can’t wait until retirement. I’ll be happy then.” Sometimes that’s 10 years or 20 years away. People are looking for happiness in the future. That’s what I was noticing rather than finding it now. My book is a journey to help people shift from trying to find joy in the future to finding it now because we never know if the future will be there for us.
How do you define joy?
Somebody asked me that. She said to me, “What do you think the difference between happiness and joy is?” I started to dive into that because I thought that was such a great question. Happiness is it’s in those small moments. If I get that promotion, I feel happy for a moment. I went out for a great meal with my family, and I feel happy at that moment, but joy is a deeper feeling. Joy is something where we don’t have to feel happy in a moment to feel joyous. Joy is about knowing who you are, what you want, and being able to live a life that is aligned with that. That is joy to me.
Living in alignment with what?
With who you are. It’s what matters to you at a core.
We talk a lot about living in alignment with your why because that’s when you have passion for what you do. In your case, you’re living now in alignment with your why of contributing to other people’s success, and that brings you joy. That’s the lane where you feel at your best, have the most energy, love it every day, do it for free, and probably have many times. I did thousands of why discoveries for free because it was a better way. I couldn’t stop myself. It’s what you can’t stop yourself from doing.
It’s those things. It’s almost like time stands still in those moments. It doesn’t feel like work because you have that passion for it.
How do you go about helping people to find their joy?
The journey in my book is all based on my TGIToday formula. The TGIToday formula is purpose plus people plus pace, and it sits on a foundation of the power of choice. When I was doing a lot of my discovery work around this and a lot of my pilot projects and all of this, we dove into the factors that came together to bring people joy. These were the main ones that kept coming up as a theme. Purpose, we know that. That’s pretty much connected with your why.
It’s, “What am I here on earth to achieve? What lights my fire in my belly?” It’s surrounding ourselves with people that are going to lift us up, support us to find joy, and support us to meet our goals, rather than dragging us down and draining our energy. Next is pace, living at a pace that is right for you. This is one that I’m finding is probably the biggest opportunity for most people. Our lives are busy. We are working often and caretaking for people. We will often have a partner that we’re supporting as well. Maybe aging parents. It’s all sorts of different things. In life, we feel like we have to be everything to everybody.
It can be hard to keep up with the pace and the demands. That’s another key factor that we look at in the book. All of that is dependent on the power of choice. If something in your purpose, your people, or your pace is not lining up with your joy, you have the power of choice to do something different so that you can design a life that you love.
Do you mean it’s up to me? I thought it was up to somebody else.Success is about taking the time to dedicate yourself to self-reflection. Click To Tweet
It’s all in your control.
If you’re not getting the results that you thought you should, could, and would, you can change that?
You can. Use your power of choice. A lot of times, people don’t realize that. We didn’t get taught that in school. It was always somebody else’s model we were being taught in school. We didn’t grow up in that way. Things are changing now. I’m seeing that with my kids. It’s shifted to a lot more internal. The thing is when we chase this TGIF life, a lot of the things that we’re seeing as success is outside of ourselves, “What’s the next job title? How much money I’m going to have? What’s the relationship I might get? What do people think of me.” All of those things sit outside of ourselves. If we want to shift that inside, we need to relook at how we define success.
That was a huge eye-opening moment for me through this journey. For me, I was defining a lot of my success on all of those great jobs and titles that I had. It could have been part of the reason why I always move in and am shaken in the corporate world. I realized I needed to shift success to mean knowing myself, who I am, my why, my purpose, what I care about, and what lights my fire in my belly. When I know those things, then I can make choices to live by that. That, to me, is success.
How do you help someone define success? That seems like a challenging thing to do because we all have our experiences, parents, or what we thought it was. How do you go about taking somebody to help them define success? It sounds like that’s a very important starting point.
It is. I lead workshops to help teams and organizations to define this. I use the framework of my formula. I take a dive into each of the phases. Those are purpose, people, pace, and power of choice. We start to look at that for each individual and what that means. We use questions. I’m a coach, so you’re going to notice when you see my book. It is all reflection questions. It is a book that you do. Defining success is about taking the time to dedicate to self-reflection.
What I see in the world, and I see this myself when I get busy, is that we don’t take the time to self-reflect and pay attention to the things around us and our inner voice because we are so busy. There is so much noise in our lives. It is about dedicating time. It doesn’t need to be hours. It can be 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there, whatever works for that individual. That’s how I designed my book in small bite-size chunks because I found myself as a busy working mom that I didn’t have hours to devote. I know I needed to make a choice to invest and dive deep into what is success to me.
When you’re talking about taking time to dedicate to yourself, and it doesn’t have to be a lot of time, what do you do in that time? Let’s say I’ve dedicated the next ten minutes to myself. What do I do in those ten minutes?
There are different things you can do. One of the things that I do is get quiet because I believe that we can’t make room for new things to come through if our head is noisy with other things. It’s all of the things that we should do on our to-do lists and all of that. For me, when I go for walks, I don’t take music and podcasts. I’m just with myself. That’s where I get the most creative ideas and insights and, “I love doing that today. I should do more of that.”
It allows me to start paying attention to what I call in my book breadcrumbs. It’s those little tiny signs and clues, those gut feelings, and those things that keep happening like my journey with the coaching program. It allows us to tune into those. The first thing I would do is I would say tune in to almost that gap between the noise of your day because that is where the inspiration is going to come through.
It’s so easy to get schedule every minute of your day full. It’s funny. I even have scheduled thinking time, and half of the time, I still don’t even do it.
I know. It’s the first thing that goes when we get busy and overwhelmed. I hear you on that.
It’s like, “I’ll take the thinking time and do something during that.” Even for tomorrow, I’m looking at it now. Something’s gotten put on half of my thinking time. It’s easy to bypass it then get in the rat race and stay in the rat race.
It sure is. That’s what I recommend. Start with 5 or 10 minutes until people get into a habit of it because to block an hour or two sometimes can be overwhelming to think, “Where am I going to put all my meetings around that?” Starting small is, for me, always the best way as a coach that I would work with some people.Know that you don't have to know it all now or that you have to have all the answers figured out. Click To Tweet
What has getting out of the corporate world and into the coaching world and the TGIToday brought for you? How has that changed the Brianne from ten years ago to the Brianne now?
My light is on. When I see myself speaking to you, I am overjoyed. You can’t take the smile off my face. I can speak freely, be myself, and feel like that is right, whereas when I was in my corporate job, I was often very prim, and proper, and felt like I had to impress the powers that be and maybe do things that didn’t feel 100% aligned with myself and deliver a message in a specific way that was more robotic because it wasn’t my true self. Now, I am able to fully let loose, be comfortable, and be in the moment. It’s a completely different feeling until you experience it. It’s hard to describe, and I’m sure you’re in this place as well doing the work that you love.
Maybe it would be interesting to see a video of you dancing fifteen years ago and dancing now.
It’s a totally different person. I wouldn’t be so square and awkward. Where now, I let it all hang out.
That’s awesome, Brianne. Here’s the last question for you. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever given or the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
The one that’s coming up for me lately is around not feeling like you have to know it all now or that you have to have the answers figured out. There’s a lot of pressure on us in our younger years. I see it even with my kids. Coming out of high school, eventually, I remember feeling like I needed to know exactly what I was going to do. I realized that is not the case at all.
Would I have imagined that I was going to be an author back when I was eighteen years old? Not a chance. I believe that we need to allow each step to unfold and trust that what’s meant to happen will happen if we lean into what matters to us, to our passions, to allow that and not get too attached to anything, and following that success will naturally happen for us.
That’s awesome. Brianne, if there are people that are reading that loved your energy and loved what you’re doing and want to connect with you, what’s the best way for them to get in touch with you?
Thank you so much for taking the time to be here. I’ve enjoyed your energy. I’ve enjoyed learning about joy and how you’ve brought that to your life. That you so much for being here.
Thank you so much for having me, Gary.
It’s time for our new segment Guess Their WHY. For this segment, I want to use Johnny Depp. He’s been in the news. He’s got a big trial going on now. We’ve seen him in lots of different movies. I’m wondering what would be Johnny Depp’s why. What do you think his why is? I think his why is to challenge the status quo, think differently, not follow the rules, do it his own way, get outside the box, and not do what is typical.
You see that in his marriage and what’s coming out in the trial if you’ve read much about it. You see that in the movies and the parts that he’s taken. I believe his why is to challenge the status quo and think differently. I want to thank you for reading. If you’ve not yet discovered your why, you can do so at WHYInstitute.com. You can use the code PODCAST50 and get it at half price. If you love the show, please don’t forget to subscribe. Leave us a review and rating on whatever platform you are using so that we can bring the why and the WHY.os to more people. Thanks for being here. I look forward to seeing you on the next episode.
- Brianne Ligori
- The Leader Coach Intensive
- Claiming Your TGIToday
- Belinda Clemmensen
- @BrianneLigori – Instagram
About Brianne Ligori
Brianne Ligori lives and leads from the heart. She believes that everybody can—and should—live a life of purpose and joy. In her writing and coaching,Brianne is focused on a worldview of infinite possibilities and a relentless pursuit of purpose. She sets an inspiring example by standing firmly for living according to her inner truth.
Choosing joy, Brianne bravely set aside her dazzling corporate career to follow her bliss—sharing purpose-driven choices with the world.
Brianne worked in the corporate world for many years, where she raised the bar in varying roles in sales, marketing, and training. Her desire to help people grow and learn led her to a professional coaching certification through the International Coach Federation and certified training and development designation.
Through coaching and training, Brianne has left an indelible mark on people by igniting their sense of purpose, but her more significant legacy is to build new coaches. She put her designations to work in her corporate world by creating an internal coach certification program, there by empowering other leaders to leave their mark. Going ever deeper, Brianne embraced her emerging passions to touch people more profoundly and launched two new businesses.
Brianne co-founded the Leader Coach Intensive—a coach certification program specifically targeted to developing leaders of the future. Brianne is also poised to launch a comprehensive learning program to accompany her inspiring book, Claiming Your TGIToday.You can be in awe of how Brianne lives her life with passion and joy—or you can jump into her safe hands and learn how to live yours that way.