Find Your Message & Superpower in the Voice of Influence Academy

Episode 29 with Linette Bumford

Do you ever feel like you just know you’re feeling a tug on your heart to offer more of yourself to the world in some way, but you’re not sure what it is? A year ago, Linette Bumford came to the first iteration of the Voice of Influence Academy (at the time called the Core Message Course) with that feeling.

She knew she wanted to write a book but she wasn’t entirely sure of the message. Through her own exploration and with a little assistance from different aspects of the course, she came to truly own the gifts of her personality and gain a clearer sense of her core message and how to use it.

It allowed me to take really difficult things captive and own them and not look at them like scars but swords. And at the end, that little spark will be an unstoppable fire. When I was done with the class, I was unstoppable.

Linette Bumford is a Jesus Follower, Wife, and Mother. She is an ambitious, focused, and determined thought leader. A veteran of the USAF, MBA graduate, trusted advisor in her profession, and author. Linette drives excellence, confidence, and high quality standards to every aspect of her personal and professional life. She is passionate about inspiring others to invite failure to seek wisdom, live with vibrant boldness, and to achieve their dreams and goals through practical and real action.
Linette’s awe-inspiring story of finding humility, unwavering perseverance, and the tenacious determination in spite of overwhelming obstacles is expected to release in 2018 in her book called Getting There: An Inspirational Guide to Navigate Life with Unstoppable Perseverance. She lives in Maryland with her husband, daughter, and their dog Titan.

You can find Linette at www.linettebumford.com.

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Full Transcript

Linette Bumford: For a long time I was trying to figure out what I wanted to say and there’s so much in my history that I thought “Well, do you just start with one thing and maybe do a series and whatever?” But when I was going through the Core Message class and kind of making the transition from working fulltime to part time, I was going through a couple of different things.

I had surgery on my wrist, which stopped me from writing for a little while and everyone just keeps on asking me because there were so much going on. They were like “How are you doing?” How’s your wrist? How’s this and how’s that?” And the words “I’m getting there. I’m getting there and I’m getting.” I think we say that so kind of haphazardly where I was like “Yeah, I’m getting there.” I really start to think about what that means, you know what it that means when you’re getting there.

So I thought, “OK, let me break that down a little bit.” And really I think it’s a couple of different things but for me it’s that journey of life. We all have an ultimate destination but what is getting there really look like. There are these two words, getting there means you’re getting, which is the act of doing something, right? Either obtaining it or moving through, but it’s an actionable word and that was when I think that I was passionate about with my message was having an actionable thing, you know doing something with your faith.

I was talking to my husband this morning and I was like “You know, I think as I prepare to go on a mission trip in January and preparing to do a testimony. And I think “Oh testimony of my life where you’re getting up in a puppet and sharing some crazy story.” But I do really think about what my testimony was and early on in my life, I was a believer but it was until later on in my life that I became a follower of Jesus, you know what I mean?

Andrea: Hmmm

Linette Bumford: And it was kind of breaking all of that down, so it was believing in something with no action but then later on following Jesus which was actually putting my faith and my trust in Jesus to where I can actually do something about it. So “Getting There” to me is a journey of using inspirational stories but also just some practical every day signs to help us navigate through whatever life turning us because the Bible says we’re going to go through stuff. We’re going to be faced with challenges but it’s about navigating through those with the everyday practical signs that God puts in front of us. Yeah, I’m really so excited about it. I know it took me around six to eight months to get to a certain point but it’s just flowing so easily and I’m so excited!

Andrea: Oh good! What do you think it’s taking you to get to that point where you’re in the flow?

Linette Bumford: I think for me, it was trying different things, right? Again, it was going down to a certain path like if I was inspired by something, I was saying “Alright, let me take that. Let me see how that fixed.” I think we had this conversation before; you try different things on to see how they fit. And sometimes we’re like “Huh, this looks good but it’s kind of uncomfortable.”

And so it’s jeans or that outfit where you’re like “Oh this is so cute but really not for me,” or then I would do something else and it was too simple where I was like “Well, this doesn’t really accentuate certain parts of my story.” And it was just continuing to try different things and at the end of the day, I thought you know getting back to that authenticity like “What is it about me?”

I actually started asking people. I was like “Why do you ask me? When you think of me, what goes through your mind?” And sometimes it was asking for that real honesty from people that you trusted and I really appreciate getting that feedback because it gave me things to literally, I would put sticky notes on my wall and I would look back.

Sometimes you have to take a step back and I would look and say “OK.” It would almost form by itself. You know, I pray a lot. I would pray over the words or the feelings and just putting all that out there and asking God, “OK, God, what did you make me for? Why did you make me this way?”

I think one of the key aspects was going through the Fascinate Assessment. I told you this, it was when I took that assessment and I read through that, it put it altogether and I was like “Yup, that’s me, ” and then it forced me to own it. I could no longer look at those characteristics and not completely own them and then it gave me permission. I felt like it gave me permission and then I was like “Alright, this is my outfit.”

It’s like superheroes like Captain America is not Spiderman and Wonder Woman…they are made a certain way. They all have that superhero commonality but they all were given specific gifts. And I think in any of their stories, I think they were confused about what’s happening. We are all are confused by what’s happening to us but it’s when we come into our gifts that I think is when we truly blossom and we can fully be utilized by God with confidence.

That was my biggest thing. You wouldn’t know that probably in my professional life because I had all kinds of confidence over there. But I think in my personal life, I didn’t feel like I have the confidence to own what God had done in my life that it would mean anything. When I say that it would mean anything outside of what it was doing for me, right?

Andrea: Exactly, yes!

Linette Bumford: I was like “Yeah, this is great that God has hold me through so many different things and it has been the fuel that has helped me succeed or helped maybe a couple of people here and there that I could actually be used for a greater good maybe. Because I think sometimes we take our faith and we take our struggles and we put them on a box and we put this puzzle together and we’re like “Oh great, what a beautiful picture. Now, I see what that was all about. OK, put it back on the box and maybe we want something else.”

We don’t really say that “Wait a minute, you can put that puzzle together, you can frame it and other people can be inspired by it.” So I think that just again growing in my faith and really praying about what God wanting me to do. I think I mentioned it to you before this book concept of sharing my story if you will was something I thought about 10 or 12 years ago, but it just sat there. I was like “Yeah, OK, sure.”

But I got to tell you and I’ve said this probably a hundred times, just the cover of your book alone was all it took for me to go like “OK, God, I hear you.” Like I had been frozen in that area of my life for that whole time like God said “You’re gonna do this. But I just wouldn’t let Him thaw that part of me, you know what I mean?

And it was so profound that I told someone recently at work you know and they were like “What made you want to write a book?’ And I said “The fire inside of me and the inspiration if you will of the Holy Spirit was so strong that I felt like if I didn’t that it felt like I’d be doing something wrong.” I almost felt disobedient for not following rather than fearful of not succeeding, you know what I’m saying?

Andrea: Yeah!

Linette Bumford: Don’t you think because they’re like “What if you fail?” I’m like “If I don’t do this it will be a failure.” So it’s not about how successful it will be, it’s about doing what I’ve been called to do out of obedience to what the Lord has done for me. Then it became where I was like “Well, I have to do it. No, turning back now.”

You know, it was holding myself accountable to that for once because sometimes I’ll dream big dreams but I won’t hold myself or let people hold me accountable. But this was the big dream that I said “Alright, this is super real.” I started reading books, “OK, how do I do this?” Because that’s what I do, I’ll go learn. And so one of the first books that I read was You Have to Start Talking About this and Not Shut Up, like you have to talk, talk, and talk and tell anyone who would listen and you tell them because that will keep you from just putting it back on the shelf.

Andrea: Yeah, so who did you talk about it with? Was that a significant part of your accountability then?

Linette Bumford: Yes, absolutely! Neighbors, friends, community group, church and then obviously, I had to make a huge shift at work. I mean, the moment I sit down with boss that’s when it became really real.

Andrea: At what point did you sit down with your boss and what did you tell him?

Linette Bumford: Probably the day after I saw you book cover.

Andrea: Wow!

Linette Bumford: I’m telling you, if I didn’t take action immediately then I don’t know if I would be where I am today. Like it was one of those things that God said “OK, you’ve already gone down these paths where you’ve worked for me and not done anything. You already know what’s gonna happen if you don’t take action immediately.”

So I knew that I had to verbalize it immediately. If it wasn’t the next day, it was definitely within a couple of days that I sat down and I said…I didn’t say I’m going to quit my job but I went to my boss and said “I had such a disturbing, like it was a positive disturbing feeling in my soul.” I was like “I don’t know what this looks like, I will get back to you but I just need to tell you that something is going to change very soon.”

He was receptive and he completely understood and I said “I’ll get back to you in a couple of days but I just wanna let you know that I’m strongly concentrating a change in what I’m doing right now.” After I kind of wrapped my mind around things, you know, I had some good conversation with my husband then we realized that this book and me writing was definitely something God was putting in my heart. It was just too strong to ignore. I think it was a week later when I said “Hey, I can’t do this, what I’m doing fulltime, anymore.”

He was fully prepared I think emotionally to be like “OK, good luck with that.” But God immediately showed up so quickly to be able to work part time. You don’t have to know the whole journey to know what it looks like, you just have to take the next step.

And I think what I try to tell people is you don’t have to know what the whole journey is going to look like; you just have to take the next step. You just have to put one out there. I think I’ve mentioned this once before. There was a scene in a very old movie that I used to watch as a kid called the Labyrinth and they have to get across this really disgusting moat or something and these rocks come up from underneath just as they’re staying, right?

But they had to have faith as they kept moving that those rocks are going continue, otherwise, they could be stuck out there in the middle, right? Or how are they going to do that and I think that’s how we feel, right? I’m going to be stuck out there in the middle with no way out but that’s just how God is. He’s like “Get out of the boat. Don’t worry about the storm. Don’t worry about the waves, just step out of the boat.”

And in those moments, it’s still really hard for me to explain people I’m like “It’s inexplicable.” It literally feels like God is right there. This massive force is just in you and in the moment and I think that’s all the things that we see that’s what inspires us that’s what get us excited.

Andrea: Oh yeah, it’s so empowering. I mean, I that weird vulnerable sense. It’s in your weakness, this is when I’m strong and it’s like that when you are totally vulnerable and you’re totally putting yourself in that place where you’re about ready to fall but you’re stepping out in faith that’s when all of a sudden, you feel so strong. But you know that that power doesn’t come from you which makes it even more reliable.

Linette Bumford: It’s ridiculous. Again, it’s so hard to explain but you did a very good job there. I think our minds and the world and things around us tell us like it’s about finding that self fuel if you will. But I’m like “You don’t have to do that because then you’re relying solely on yourself and that is the limited resource or anything. There’s not enough of you.” And I think it’s in that sense when God shows up and says “You don’t have to do any of this by yourself.”

Andrea: Have you seen Wonder Woman yet?

Linette Bumford: I haven’t.

Andrea: OK, you totally should. You’re going to love it.

Linette Bumford: I know.

Andrea: What I love about it is that it’s not teaching me anything, it’s just giving me imagery for things that I already know to be true. One of those things is that like she knows inside from a very early age. You’ll see it in her eyes when she was a little girl. She knows that she’s meant to do something really big. She’s got it in her.

Linette Bumford: Oh yes!

Andrea: But as she grows up every battle that she fights, she kind of like owns herself a little bit more and realizes her own power a little bit more. And every time and every battle was bigger and it was more intense too as she gets older. I just think of that it’s so incredible. If we don’t get into the fight if we don’t go into battle, we won’t know the kind of power that we have.

Linette Bumford: Right. Again, going through like I bring up the Fascinate Assessment because it really helped me. When I did the assessment and I was the maestro, it talked about this confidence. And I thought “Where does confidence come from? Where do people just know that they can do a thing?” Sometimes it’s practice, something as simple as riding a bike, right? How do kids get that confidence of riding a bike with those training gears? Well, it’s because they’ve done it over and over and over and then they just know. Well, I’ve been there. I’ve done that.

I thought about that, even in that sense this like of kind of conductor, this maestro; more times than not, they’ve been in those seats. They know what those folks are looking for. They know the different parts of the orchestra or they already know how to play multiple instruments themselves or things like that. They’ve experienced what they people who are looking to them for leadership, they’ve been there. They’ve been in their shoes and that confidence comes from, like you said, being in the battle, being a part of those experiences so that you speak form a place of truth.

I’ve seen people, I’ve listened to different speakers, and even some pastors like they speak truth but not from place of experience. And there’s a difference when you can speak to someone with truth and the experience because it brings so much more power. Like I’m not just telling you what the Bible says, I’m not just telling you what these folks said, I’m not just telling you what you already know from the truth, I’m telling you because I have been in that battle, I have done that thing.

When I’m at work and someone asks me to do something like give this speech or presentation and I don’t know the content, I am funky mess out there. You know, I’m scared. I’m nervous. I’m shaking. I’m stumbling and I don’t know what I’m trying to say because I don’t understand the content you know what I mean? I’m like “I don’t know what I’m saying up here. I can’t speak to you confidently about something I know nothing about nor should I be,” you know what I mean?

Andrea: Yeah!

Linette Bumford: About a year ago, I’ve done a presentation and I knew every detail. I knew what the people in the audience were going to think. I knew what they were going through. I knew they were going to think I was crazy. I knew how much work it was, but I was so confident because I was like “We’ve been there. We did that. We went down the wrong roads. We tried everything. This is wherever we came up with.”

After that session, I remember just kind of like walking away and finding a quiet space and I just kind of smile you know like “Did I just do that?” It was that place that said “yes” because you were speaking from a place of confidence. And so again when everything came together after I took the Fascinate Assessment, I realized that God was just asking me to speak from a place of my experience not talk to people about things I could not relate to, you know, maybe that’s for another day. He probably asks more experiences lined up for me and at that time I can speak from that place, but it’s about just owning the battles I’ve already been through and sharing the truth and love, right?

Like in sharing truth and I do have ways sometimes of being a little too forward or direct with people, but at the same time, you know I think that’s why my girlfriend who I asked I said “You know, why do you come to me?” And she said “Because if I really want the real truth, I know you’ll give it to me.” And I was like “OK,” it was a common theme with anyone I spoke to.

Andrea: Oh yeah. The whole point of the Core Message course, the one you took and the academy that I’m trying to make now that I’m excited about, I mean, the whole point is to get down to that, like to get down to that work and say it. Don’t try to talk in generalities, number one. And number two, don’t try to say something…again, we care about a lot of different things. How do you decide what you’re going to actually end up focusing on? I’m so convinced that it has to do with our experience.

Linette Bumford: It does. I absolutely 200% agree with you and I think for me, it was mapping out my experiences. Even that, I told you that it was one of the hardest things I had and I was like “Oh gosh where to start,” you know. And it doesn’t mean like “Oh, if I don’t have dozens and dozens of experiences that I still can speak from that place, you might have one thing that is very important to you that’s OK. You own that one thing and go with it that’s it. You don’t have to have many obstacles. You can have just one.” Like you were saying, you might believe in the broader sense.

Again, going back to the kind of superhero like they all believe in good but how they achieve and support and defines good is in different ways and always that you got to be everything for everybody. And again, it’s going back to what are you? I’ve got good friends, they are the heart. They are the encouragers and sometimes I get jealous because I’m like “I’m so not made that way. I wish I could be like that.”

But then I have to remind myself that they aren’t like me you know what I mean? And they probably in these certain characters speak about me and I tell them I’m like “I wanna do that.” They would probably see the things in reverse so I can admire what God is doing in them and in those gifts and somehow encourage that to them and in turn, it’s kind of like this reciprocation. Their encouragement or their gifts helps me continue to be the way God made me. Once you get that, it’s such a freeing feeling.

There’s no more comparison because I don’t compare myself to that encourager, that heart, or that person who’s always serving. I’m like “God, made me this way so that I can serve in my capacity.” And that’s kind of hard sometimes, we try to do everything and be everything. But even at work, I was realizing that I was only giving about 10% to things and I didn’t feel like I was really doing a very good job even though they were saying I was doing a really good job, I was like “I don’t really feel that way though.”

I know I’m doing a good job when I can really give at least half of myself to something. But to really pour yourself into something that you absolutely passionately believe in, I think is when we really feel what success looks like. You know what does success looks like? Success is a feeling and it’s when you know you really poured your heart and soul into something and then it’s realized.

Andrea: I like that definition of success. Going back to your superhero comparison, the other thing about those superheroes with their suits and stuff, if you see Captain America’s suit and his shield and you know you can rely on him in battle. You see the Black Widow and you know what she’s going to be able to do in battle and what you should, you know how to rely on her in battle. That’s what I see in personal branding.

We throw on that superhero, those suits, anything that’s going to magnify, those characteristics about ourselves that make us you know, “This is what you can come to me for. This is who I am so that you know.” When I first started about hearing branding, immediately my mind went to the mask that we put on trying to be for other people or whatever and I’m like “I’m sure that it can be that, of course it can.” But just like life, I mean if you’re going to be authentic, I mean you can either throw on a mask or you can throw on your superhero suit but it’s an actual magnification of who you are.

Linette Bumford: That’s very true. I think it kind of goes back to what I was saying before, like when you put your mask on, if it’s not your suit, because you can just imagine putting the Hulk in the Captain America, it’s going to be uncomfortable and it’s going to look awkward.

Andrea: And nobody believes you.

Linette Bumford: And nobody believes you. Imagine seeing this you’d be like “Something is just not right here.” You know what I mean? You’re going to feel that. That’s what uncomfortable is for? That’s what those feelings are for. They are a gauge, right? They are a radar for you to be like “Something about this is not right so I’m gonna just not pay attention.” You’re not going to listen what they have to say and so that’s what happens when people are not authentic with you, your heart and your soul know that.

I could see that in other people and then I begin to think “Wow, the reality is I do that too.” I am not authentic with people. I either act the same way or I would say certain things because I thought that’s what they wanted to hear. It’s exhausting. I was tired. I was like “Yeah, I’m not just gonna do this anymore.” It’s just too exhausting. I think of what this saying is but it’s like you know people who lie, they have to keep up with the lie.

Andrea: Yeah. Right, right!

Linette Bumford: You have to keep up with, “What did I tell so and so? Who was I for them? And who was I for…” This is what you get, you know what I mean? I am a work in progress. I did this and I have done this. We all see this but I think we just don’t show it. And I started doing this to other folks at work and saying, “You know what I really don’t like to be angry like that. I’m really sorry, I’m just making it known that that was struggle for me.”

It invited other people to run kind of examine themselves and if they were contributing to my struggle or also hold me accountable. Again, once I started verbalizing those things, it gave me room to grow. It gave me permission to be authentic.

Andrea: Yeah, you didn’t have to be perfect. You weren’t holding yourself to this perfection standard.

Linette Bumford: Exactly! It doesn’t mean that I don’t have a message. You know it doesn’t mean that I can’t still be used. It so easy to just get down on yourself and I’m like “Yeah, actually that’s exactly who I am because if you want to follow perfection, follow Jesus, don’t follow me. I am not perfection. If you wanna see what transformation looks like, if you wanna know what change looks like, if you wanna know what struggle looks like, you can follow me all day.”

Andrea: That is awesome!

Linette Bumford: “If you want to know what it looks like for real give me a call,” you know what I mean? I talked about this a little bit in my book but you know there’s this point in my life in which I really made a significant change. I just said “OK, I’m going to follow, I’m gonna take actions to follow Jesus.” Shortly thereafter, the next chapter is called “Road Work” ahead because there’s a lot of stuff in my life and it is dirty. It’s is ugly. It is bumpy. It is inconvenient, all of that.

But as He does that, He was also laying down new road that’s smoother and easier, you know like He says “My yoke is easy and it’s beautiful and it’s new.” I read a quote not too long ago and it said something like a success and whatever comes from hard work, no excuses. It’s work and if you think it’s not then what you’re after is probably not sustainable and what you’re going to get is not sustainable. I refinished the table recently and I used a lot of analogies, I apologized. But I can’t say, I really refinished it, I just painted over it.

Everyone kind of asked me “Did you strip it? Did you send it and did you do this?” I was like “No, I slashed a page on it.” “Why would I go through all that trouble?” But then I thought about it because the reality is that’s only going to last so long. Eventually, the pain doesn’t have anything to really hold on to you. And then I thought “Well, when I get that point, I’ll just throw it away.” But it did keep me thinking about, sometimes you have to strip it. You have to save it down in order for what you’re going to lay down for it to last and then you have to pull away the olds in order to lay down the new for it to really last the long haul.

Andrea: Totally true. Oh that’s great! I love the picture. I don’t know where you at now and where you headed and what do you need?

Linette Bumford: I need another five hours in the clock, right? Right now, I am in full transition or post-transition. I’m working part time and it’s been an amazing experience. So many people come alongside and just supported and it’s one of those decisions that it was a little scary at first. But the way God showed up through opportunities and connecting me with other people and other writers, I have a coach who is helping me right now. She’s amazing. Her name is Renee Fisher, she’s amazing.

Again, everyone needs kind of guidance like I’m going down this path and it’s something I’ve never done. So she has really helped to keep me motivated. Sometimes we want to do things by ourselves because we’re like “OK, I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna do it alone.” And I read something from, again another great blog, Jeff Goins had put article out and it was about doing this in community. We’re not called to do this alone.

And again, it goes back to the superhero thing. Sometimes, they gather together to fight that battle, right? You got a combined forces and that was a little bit difficult for me. You know, I had my reservations but I trust it that God has been showing up in the process. Anyway, so I’m working on the book actively. We are looking for early spring of 2018, which would be awesome. And I’m probably going to be going into maybe more of like a pre-marketing phase of things. It’s weird but it’s so real because you know it takes time.

Sometimes I think some things happen for people very quickly. You know, I am still at work and it’s interesting. I think you said something the other day or it was only message that you said in the academy you know. Early on in the process, I thought “OK, well, I’m gonna have to completely give up my career in order to do this thing.” And then I thought “Well, maybe I’m doing this for now to help me be better in what I do as a career, or it doesn’t mean you have to always give up one thing to do something else. It maybe you need to slow down in one area in order to build the authenticity of where God is taking you.”

And I see that in a sense of, you know, I was struggling out to really be a leader. I felt like in different ways, I was a manager and I was a leader. I was like hitting the ceiling like almost like an emotional or like a growth ceiling. I met with my mentor and he said to me, “You have to do this. You have to go part time; you have to go follow this dream, this feeling inside of you.” And I was like “What? You’re the same one who mentors to like keep growing.”

And he said “Doing that will make you a better leader if you decide to comeback.” And I thought “Wow, OK.” So I table that and I thought “Well, that’s pretty powerful.” Sometimes you have to step to decide. You have to go and dig up an area in order for all of you to move forward and then he said “And when you get there, you just turnaround and help someone else do things.”

And I thought “OK,” and it was after that conversation that I’d really, really like I made the decisions anyway. I hope that that make sense. But yeah, I think I was excited and open. I think at this point, I don’t have it all figured out but I’m open and initially, I was like “Oh my gosh, I got to learn about social media. I got to learn about this and God said “No, you don’t. Nope, you just need to tell your story and I will help you when the time is right to get to those other points.” I was like “I’m just gonna focus on what God has put on my heart and tell the story that He has done in my life.”

Andrea: Yeah, it’s like that. Going back to your analogy about taking the step like you can’t take all the steps at once.

Linette Bumford: I’m not just the next-step kind of person. I mean, sometimes I do those huge leaps of faith, right? And those are exciting too but you can’t leave that everywhere. You have to say “Just take a step,” and I think this was another thing I heard early on and I was like just the torch bearer, right? We talked about this early on.

When you’re in a dark cave and you have a torch, it doesn’t light up the entire cave or all the ways out, it just gives you enough light to get a few feet ahead. And we just have to trust that that God is that light for us our relationship with Jesus is to have just enough faith to take the next step and not fear the failure.

I think of it like a maze, right? We try to figure out this maze and we go a certain direction and it’s a dead end. Well, things happen along the way, right? So it’s about what you experience along the path and to me that makes the light brighter, like in video games, you go down this level and you gather up you know whether it’s trinkets or whether it’s coin. And then you go down a certain path and you gather things for the rest of your trip.

And then you’ll come across another obstacle where you’re going to another path and you go “OK, I need a hammer for that, you know, I need this little trinket.” I just kind of think about things in that way like that’s what our life is about. We go down certain paths to obtain certain experiences and certain nuggets of wisdom so that it can be used later on in the journey. And it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be there forever, it’s just now you have it, you’re going to need it, right?

I think that’s why they exist; you’re going to need it for something, just hold on to it. And when the time is right, you’ll know when to reach into your little wisdom pouch, pull it out whether it’s for someone else or for you to sustain you through a hard time. That’s really what it’s all about, right?

Andrea: So when you took the Core Message course, it was basically a three-month period. I thought that it would be a 5-week deal but I realized very quickly that you guys were like “Woo, wait a second this is a lot more to process than I have time for in one week at a time and it made total sense as we kept going.”

So I tried to take all of what you guys were saying then I also listened to some other people who know a lot of people say they want to make changes or they want to figure stuff out for themselves. They want to find their things. They want to find their passion but they need accountability and that sort of thing.

I thought all this together seems to me like what people really need is they need bite size things to chew on for a period of time and over a period of time. That’s the reason why I went with 6-month program because I thought what would be the most transformational thing I think would be a coaching program for six months.

And if I could just disseminate the information a month at a time with a module at a time, something for people to focus on for one month and then move on to the next thing that maybe would make more sense. So that’s the reason why you guys and your feedback was so helpful to me in deciding what to do here.

Linette Bumford: Again, it has taken me all this time, but life had to happen. I had to let things call today or culture. I had to let those things happen in order for God to show up like when we want to do the fast diet. Oh well, it’s going to happen but it’s not going to sustain you, you know what I mean? So yeah, I think it’s progress and I think that’s really a good observation on your part.

Andrea: So who do you think should consider doing this program?

Linette Bumford: You know, I don’t want to speak for everybody but what I’ll do is I’ll speak for myself. I knew I had something inside of me. I knew that I was being called to something. The question was what was the thing? What made me me? Not made me different, didn’t make me special, right? I mean, I am different and I am special. We are all different and especial. We are who we are, right? But what was it about me that I needed to own but what was it that made Linette Linette, and it was my experience. It came down to figuring out what it was about my experience and then what was it that I had to say, I guess.

It’s great to just tell people “Yeah, I’ve been through a lot of stuff. You wanna hear about it? Here it goes.” But what was the purpose in all of that and then finding a way to own it? So being creative is sometimes an agonizing process. You taught me about the six stages of creativity, like there’s a very agonizing stuff in there where you’re like “Huh, this is just too hard.” You know, I want to go to the easy thing, the thing that I know how to do right.

But if you look at yourself in the mirror and you’re like “I’m ignoring something. I’m ignoring the gut feeling. I’m ignoring my heart. I’m pushing something aside,” and you are getting frustrated by that and you know that there’s that thing inside of you, take the class. Don’t try to figure out what it is before the class because the course is going to pull it out of you. I’m just saying. It will pull out of you. It pulled it out of me in a way that I just never imagined but don’t try to figure it out.

Again, I’ll plan this out, I’ll figure it out, or I’ll go into the class. I’ll be the superstar. I’ll be the teacher’s pet like that’s all we do, right? We try to over analyze it and I did it. I said “No, I’m just sure; I’ll sign up for that. I don’t know what the heck I’m doing.” I said it from the very beginning. I was like “I haven’t had any clue, but I’m open and that’s all you have to do.”

So if you’re feeling it and your heart flutters when you think about whatever it is and you just have no idea how to wrap your mind around it, take the class. It’s going to help you bring structures to the chaos. It’s going to bring clarity where there’s fog. It will help you own you. I think sometimes we let the story or our experiences own us and take us captive but it allows us to take those things captive.

Andrea: Amen! Oh my gosh that’s the perfect way to put that. Yes, yes, I just got goose bumps all over my body and I’m even crying because that is so what I want for people. That is so what I want for people.

Linette Bumford: I’m telling you that as a student and I love that at the academy, yes, it did that for me.

Andrea: Oh so cool!

Linette Bumford: It allowed me to take really difficult things captive and own them and not look at them like scars but sword and at the end like just that little spark, it will be an unstoppable fire when you’re done. When I was done with the class, I was unstoppable.

Andrea: Yes!

Linette Bumford: I still don’t have any idea what I was doing but I was unstoppable.

Andrea: Exactly! It’s like the internal positioning like that “OK, there are still stuffs to be done but I’m ready to go.”

Linette Bumford: I’m determined and I’m energized and I’m going to keep going. And having that fuel, I want to get there and that is my story. We’re all getting there, right? So yeah, I want to get there. I’m going to do it. You know, people come to me and they’re like “You’re so audacious.” And I’m like “Why not? How do you live with yourself going what if?” I’m like “No, I’m not a what if-er, I’m a why not-ter, because I have a hard time with the what ifs.”

I have more regrets, not with what I did but it’s what I didn’t do. I’ve learned that failure, I almost chase it now. I’m like “Bring it on.” And something that may seem small for us could be huge for someone else. We never know when that’s going to inspire greatness to someone else, right?

Andrea:   Totally!

Linette Bumford: So yeah, if you’re feeling the thing, if you’re feeling anything, if you’re hearing this and you are like “Yes, yes” then take a class, just take it. I had a hard time believing that words are not going to show up and really help you own and take your personality and take whatever your name is and whoever you are, take that captive. And sometimes that’s all you need. You just need to have permission to take your life captive and sort of your life taking you captive.

Andrea: Awesome! Thank you so much for your generous endorsement and for sharing your own story and feedback along the way. And yeah, I’m excited for you and where you’re headed. I have another friend who said to me before “You know, it just seems like we’re not supposed to know where we’re getting to because it could just overwhelm us like we just don’t know and maybe we can’t handle that right now and I think of that with you for sure like who knows. I just don’t know but it’s some place, I’m pretty sure. Some place special.

Linette Bumford: Yeah. I hope I’m going somewhere. I know I am.

Andrea: Yeah, absolutely!

Linette Bumford: And again I write about the goal, the goal, the goal but even through the process, I’ve had to learn to appreciate the journey and pulling over and taking it all in because it’s so easy to get somewhere. I still do this when I’m driving around, like “I gotta go, I gotta go. I’m late, I’m late.” But I was just missing it and I’m still learning. I’m a work in progress but you know I’m learning to just slow down and just enjoy the little things because God is everywhere and He’s everything and He wants us to like the arrival, right? The arrival, the steps along the way, or the “Mile Markers” you want to call them. He wants us to get there but He also wants us to get there happily, does that make sense?

Once you get there gradually, like “God, I finally arrived. What a trip!” How many people have come home like “Oh it was traffic. There was this.” “I’m so sorry that your trip here was so exhausting.” We want to arrive like that. He wants us to arrive happily like “I’m so excited to be here. Let me tell you all these things we didn’t plan but it happened along the way?”

How difference that would make when we interact with people? I thought these amazing things that I just didn’t plan but happens along the way and how awesome it were. Even things like getting a flat tire or bad weather or whatever. If we can just look at them as God’s way of slowing us down and just appreciating those things.

Andrea: Well, thank you, Linette!

Linette Bumford: Welcome! Thank you for having me. I’m so excited to help with the academy. I mean just watching you of what it was about a year now, right? It was last August that I began to see you progressing and succeeding and the fire that you continue to have to help people. I’m excited to see how God continues to move in your abilities to help us find our voice.

 

END

Your Mess Can Become Your Message

Episode 16 with Megan Swanson, Miss Nebraska 2014

A 24-year old CEO, Singer, and International Speaker from Omaha, Nebraska, Megan Swanson is a real go-getter.

As a former Miss Nebraska, having represented her state at the Miss America 2015 pageant, Megan is passionate about equipping young individuals. During her year, she traveled 40,000 miles, speaking to tens of thousands of individuals regarding her platform of Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, and Financial Wellness. After her year as Miss Nebraska, Megan realized there was still MUCH work to be done- and her pageant coaching firm “Powerhouse Pageantry” was born, equipping young pageant women all over the United States to win in their interviews and on stage questions.

Megan now travels the country speaking, coaching, and performing her music.

She can be found on all social media outlets @megan_swanson, or at go.mspageantcoach.com

Listen here, on iTunes or Stitcher.

Also, grab the summary of the first 15 podcast guests:

Tips & Strategies for Emerging Thought Leaders and Message-Driven Creatives: Volume 1

 

 

Finding the Real Power in Your Message

Voice Studio 14

In this episode, Andrea discusses the importance of connecting deeply and personally with the message you’re wanting to get across. People connect more to your transformed vulnerability than your natural ability…trust me.

Mentioned in this episode:

Thank you for rating and reviewing the Voice of Influence podcast wherever you listen! Your voice matters.

Listen & Subscribe Below, on iTunes or Stitcher

How Good Businesses Can Build Influence

Episode 03 of the Voice of Influence Podcast

Mentioned in this episode:

Listen here (press the play button below) or find us on iTunes and Stitcher.

Transcript

(This is an approximate transcript.) Adrienne Dorison is a business consultant, podcast host, and the founder of Good Businesses Do Good, who helps entrepreneurs get focused and strategic so that they can be more profitable and sustainable in way less time. She is a LEAN business expert who believes in generosity, relationship building and doing less, better. Adrienne loves dog, cookies, Crossfit, and long-distance triathlons.

Andrea: Adrienne, it’s so good to have you here on the Voice of Influence Podcast.

Adrienne: Thank you for having me. I love hearing my own bio read back. That’s me!

Andrea: Yeah, I do love those things.

Adrienne: Yeah, I do love cookies and Crossfit and dogs. I’m excited to be here.

Andrea: Do you have any long-distance triathlons that you’re training for right now?

Adrienne: No. I need to sign up for one. It’s one of those things where I don’t just like pay the fees and sign up then I keep putting it off. So I need to pick a race and get training that’s what I need to do. I think it’s like most things in life right? Like we just keep procrastinating or putting it off until we invest and book a date.

Andrea: I agree. I agree. Yeah, my husband is signed up for the Boulder Half Ironman. So I don’t know. Adrienne: That’s hilly, I bet.

Andrea: I think not too bad. Anyway, it will be fun.

Adrienne: Well, I live in Florida so…

Andrea: A little more hilly maybe. It’s kind of on like a flatter ground I think, but it still yeah, it’s kind of fun. So Adrienne, I asked you if you have taken the Fascinate Assessment before and you said you had, so I’m curious when you’ve done that before.

Adrienne: You know, it’s really funny, because I know you know Amy Porterfield, and she had Sally on her podcast and that’s when I first took the assessment, was once I heard Sally on Amy Porterfield podcast and I was like “Oh this is interesting, I’m gonna go to that test.”  I got my responses back, my assessment back and I was like “Maybe my husband watch this video,” He was like “Oh my God!” I’m like “This is me.” He was like “Yeah, that’s exactly you.”

Andrea: So fun and I told you previously, you’re the Ace which is alert plus power which is what my daughter is. Yeah, she’s 10 so I’m like “Oh, I’ve got a picture of what her personality might be like as an adult.”

Adrienne: It’s crazy that like within here now. Did you see change overtime? I’m so curious.

Andrea: I definitely see it in here. Yes and her favorite words are plan and organize. Does that sound familiar?

Adrienne: Yes.

Andrea: A little bit maybe? Well, anyway, it’s fun. So I’m curious about you. Do you feel like your voice in a way that other people perceive you, the way that you interact in the world – are those sorts of things, things that have the way that you are now, do you think that that’s you have been since you were a kid too?

Adrienne: No. I would say that…I had a pretty traumatic experience in my childhood like growing up with my mother at first. She was alcoholic and lived in an abuse at home and so I think that like at aged 10, I probably was not the A’s in terms of how the world perceives me now. I feel like I’ve definitely evolved into being more confident and more comfortable with sharing who I really am and being okay with that as well as like having a voice at all.

Because when I lived in that home, it was not okay to speak up or have thoughts and emotions. And now maybe because of that experience, I’ve actually shifted. I’m like swung to the other side of the pendulum, right? Now, I do have a voice and I’m not going to not talk about these things anymore, right? So I would say I had taken it up that time, it would not have been the Ace. So it’s just interesting like I want to follow back up in 20 years and I’ll ask what your daughter if she’s still that way because I definitely evolved as a person.

And I always wonder the same thing with Myers-Briggs. I am like “Am I still the same personality type as I was 10 years ago?” And I don’t think I am and it’s so interesting. And I think if I’ve taken a couple years from now, I’ll maybe even be a little bit…I don’t know, a little bit more different, possibly evolving in that voice and getting more comfortable and confident in it in who we are as we learn what it is.

Andrea: Right. I think that’s the key is understanding that there is, I don’t like the potential for our voice is different than how far we’ve taken it so far. And as we continue to grow and experience these new areas of our lives that it does seemed to really expand. But I don’t know that it’s necessarily changes who we are in the beginning. Maybe it really does sort of just swell, you know. As we mature, those different parts of us are able to come out in different ways too. But yeah, I do think you can look like a different person for sure. So that’s really interesting!

Adrienne: And maybe it’s more of the peeling back of the layers, which I think I’ve done a lot of. And you’re right like maybe that’s more of a swelling. Maybe it’s more of like the allowing at this point of my life for those things to lead versus suffocating them as I was told to do as a child. And maybe, you know, like most children aren’t told to suffocate those things, which is great like they shouldn’t be, but maybe this was always who I was. And as our influences start to permeate us, we start only saying and using our voice that we think we should use versus what we actually feel and know is our truth.

I know it’s just an interesting time in the world right now. And I think that the political climate can have an environmental and the social climate can have an influence on how you’re using your voice and what layers of that onion are being peeled back and kind of like what knife is being stuck into them that you’re more willing to show the real truth and actually use the voice that you’ve always had but maybe even didn’t know until these things start to trigger it.

Andrea: So when you look back on your life then, do you remember or recall any particular triggers that really started to peel back those layers for you or release that in you?

Adrienne: And I think about like current circumstances right now because that’s like what’s most obvious to me. Like the election, I think definitely shook me a little bit. I think a lot of people, a lot a bit so that’s been something that I’m exploring a lot of my own beliefs a lot more and trying to get educated as long as using my voice in a more powerful way. Because I think in the past, I felt like I didn’t know enough, so I wouldn’t say anything about anything, right?

Andrea: Right.

Adrienne: Then really understanding my not saying anything was real tolerance of the things that I didn’t believe in. And I was like “Oh, I mean not using my voice; I’m actually supporting the other side.” So being more proactive about that has definitely…I feel like there’s more of a sense of urgency right now as well as I’ve built this platform. So I feel the person responsible to use it.

So that’s like a big ownership thing that I feel. As well as like I would say at certain times of my life, I’ve gone through like some religious experiences that caused me to challenge my own thoughts and beliefs and speak up more vocally and use my voice around those things as well as like shapes my voice, right? Because I was actually questioning myself versus taking things at face value, which helps me understands what that voice was even more. I think when we take things at face value, we’re just using societal voice versus our own voice.

And it’s really easy to get trapped up into that especially with how noisy the world is to be like “Oh, is that what want? Is that what I believe? Or is that what’s easy to believe or what someone else told me I should believe. And when I really peel back those layers, it’s not actually what I believe because now I have the energy, the time, and the space and the knowledge to go and search out like what I really believe the truth is or my truth is. I feel like that’s a deep yet, non-specific answer.

Andrea: No, that’s okay. I think that this podcast and I, in general, tends to be a little bit both of those things.

Adrienne: I mean that’s broad but…

Andrea: Yeah, yeah that’s okay. I love this kind of conversation because I think we are all kind of trying to feel our way through it all and to hear how other people are gruffling with their own voice, and how to use their platforms is really important. I think the person listening right now is somebody who does or wants to have more of a Voice of Influence of some kind. And so I’m curious for you and your platforms. Why don’t you tell us a little bit more about what you’re doing and your platform is based on?

Adrienne: So my platform specifically is helping people grow their businesses so that they can then give back to the world in more meaningful ways. So I talk about earn more to give more because I think it’s like really unique points in the world right now. There’s global internet economy that we have access to that we can create limitless income for ourselves. We can create our own businesses. There are more entrepreneurs now than there have ever been. By 2020, there will be like this crazy amount – forgot the numbers right on the top of my head.

But there’s going to be a crazy amount of entrepreneurs continuing to enter the world in the economy like leaving corporations, leaving jobs and moving towards starting their own businesses. So we have this potential to earn more money. So #1 – We have to embrace that. We have to be okay with that. There are so many people, women specifically, that are uncomfortable with earning more money and that’s a problem, because if you want to have a major impact in the world, we know that money is a large part of that.

So first of all, we need to get comfortable with earning more money and we need to know how to actually do that, right? So that’s the first piece of what I help people with. It’s like getting comfortable with that wealth creation at a mindset level and then strategically knowing how to do that in people’s businesses. And then to give more peace, so I have this side of my business called Good Businesses Do Good, because I truly believe that good people with good money do good things, right?

So let’s be part of an opportunity that we have to change the world much more quickly than we have ever had the opportunity to do in the past, because we now can control a lot of that money and where it’s going. So let’s use our wealth creation for more good. So instead of just building a business that supports your own personal lifestyle, which you can still have, I have this big calling and mission on my heart to show people that the hunger, the motivation that keeps you going is actually having the cause outside of yourself that impacts the world in a meaningful way.

So giving back generously whether that’s through your financial side of your business or through your time or through your energy or through your gifts, etc, so that we can really change the world much more quickly. But I think that we have to have both sides of the equation like the earning more and then the giving more. And with those powers combined, it sounds like Captain Planet..we really do have, not just an opportunity but like I said, the personal responsibility to use our businesses positively.

There are tons of studies that to show that businesses that actually do good, give back to socially, environmentally, responsible causes, they do better. Like people want to invest their money in those companies, so why not be one of those companies? Why not meet your personal needs in your life and then your lifestyle but then also use your business to support other causes around the world.

And by doing that, you’re actually also helping your customers make a decision to work with you because that’s something that a lot of people use to decide when they’re choosing between Company A, Company B, and Company C; is this company doing good things with the money we’re investing in them? So you get to help them align with their values by also showing what your values are and helping them make a decision because they want to invest their money in good businesses. So let’s be a good business and let’s show the world who is good businesses are.

Andrea: That is really powerful stuff. And I think that for me, it was about a year ago when I started to really kind of shift my own mindset on this. I kind of come from a ministry background so my thought was always, you know, that I would never make any money and that I probably shouldn’t. And because if I was starting to help people that I shouldn’t try to profit from them or whatever, so it’s just never even entered my mind that I was a business woman of any sense. And so I wrote a book and I decided, I needed to sell it in order to get a message out. I actually had to do some marketing.

And what I realized was, I ended up taking BSchool, and what I realized was that actually I could give maybe this message out even further and I was going to have to build a platform. I was going to have to get those email addresses and all those sorts of things that you kind of need to be able to do to get a real message out into the world beyond your kind of immediate location. And so that’s when it started to kind of shift for me that “Wait a second, maybe I have something professional to offer to besides just a message.”

And so I had to be going to do some digging but I think that a lot of people do good in their hearts, you know, they want to do good, they want to help people, they deal with a lot of guilt around this idea of making money. They feel like they shouldn’t. So how do you help people to see beyond that guilt?

Adrienne: Uh-hmm. I mean, it’s a huge emotion and attached to money for some reason, right? Whether that’s from your childhood or from something that someone told you at some point in their life or from religion that you’re part of that or maybe believes that or you’ve just created that assumption from something in your past. But I think that if you really do believe in the work that you do or the message that you have to share and you believe that can serve and support other people, then it is your personal responsibility to share it with more people.

And by you feeling guilty about making more money, you aren’t able to help as many people as you may want to. So there is money rotating around this world, energetically being exchanged between people and wouldn’t you rather that be in the hands of people that are going to do good things with it, right? Because there are people that need the service or the product or the offer that you provide. And if they don’t buy it from you, they’re probably going to go buy it from someone else. So if you feel guilty receiving that money someone else does not. And so that’s why I think the earning more, yes this is important but then the giving more means that now you have c

ontrol to say “Okay, I earned more and now I feel it’s my personal responsibility to go back and do what I really feel is on my heart to change the world in a bigger way.” So that doesn’t mean we need to be directly through product or service that you provide. So many people that I have spoken to, you know, whether it’s related to their business or career, I’ve heard a lot of people like what I used to be really involved in a church felt like they weren’t doing God’s work if they weren’t in ministries. I’m like “What can you do… #1: Given these gifts or you’re selling this product or service for a reason like it does directly help someone in some way.

But then what can you be personally responsible for after that to then do what’s been placed upon your heart, right? Whether that’s investing that money into an organization that you really want to support or to a nonprofit or spending your time and energy with people that need love and caring and whatever it is, there’s no reason to feel guilty about making more money if you truly believe in giving back in a positive ways. And I think that actually freeze you up to give back in more meaningful and positive ways when you are earning more money. And so actually if you’re not doing people a disservice, you should feel guilty about not making more money.

This is how I get my people because they don’t want to feel guilty about not serving, about not giving their gifts to the world. You know, what I always knew is that if I wasn’t paid for the work that I do, I would have to go back to a job. If I’m not paid for the work that I do going back to the job doesn’t help the people that I know I can serve directly through my work, but it also put at risk for this bigger mission of Good Businesses Do Good and how I financially giving back to other causes. I can do that as greatly if I have to get a job, right?

So I need to be paid to do this if I want to continue to do this and if I want to reach more people doing this. So I think that there’s a huge disconnect for people that are feeling guilty with what impact they could be having if they went through some of those emotions and really understood them a little bit better, right? So it’s easy to say on a podcast but really going back and like digging, I’m like “Why do you feel guilty about making more money? What is it about money that has attached guilt to it in making money, right? Do you believe that rich people don’t do good things with money and why? Some of the most wealthy people on the planet are doing some of the greatest, most charitable, most selfless and acts of giving that I’ve ever seen, so why not want to be part of that?

Andrea: Yeah that’s really interesting. I was thinking about the person listening who might have that message that they’re wanting to get out. They might be where I was maybe a year or two ago where it feels like this message is the thing. And this is what I need to do when I need to get this message out by writing or speaking or whatever it might be. But that message of itself may not be something that would make money.

Adrienne: It’s not monetized or monetizable.

Andrea: Right, right. So how did they look at? Is there a way for them to create a business either around that message or do you recommend that people do it outside of the message and that the message is the give back?

Adrienne: I think it depends on looking at a business specifically and saying “Is there really nothing here we could monetize?” I think that’s very rare with a message, and so usually that’s just like a personal block that you’re having that you can’t see it because you’re too close to it. It’s too easy for you which is something that comes up a lot for people when they have a specific gift or skill set or expertise. They don’t see the value as much because it comes so naturally for them, whereas other people would absolutely be willing to pay you for that specific expertise, right?

So that would involve like you or maybe just asking someone else to really give you an outside perspective and someone with much expertise on this, could this be monetizable? How could we monetize this? Get creative with how you monetize this. One of my mentors, Jadah Sellner always talks about the cash project and the heart project, right? So for some people, you have this heart project that really isn’t monetized or don’t want to monetize it at all. And in order for that heart project to be able to be moved forward and have the impact that you want to have, you actually do need to hang on to the cash project.

Whether that is a different business or a different component of your business or a job like whatever those things are that will actually provide you with the financial stability and security that you need to push the heart project forward maybe until you understand how to monetize the heart project. So I would say like don’t throw out that cash project yet until you figure out how to move that heart project forward in a way that have the impact that you wanted to have or you’re able to monetize it in a way that it feels really good. Because again, in this current online technological economy that we live in, people can actually and are just monetizing followers.

So if you’re able to create the impact that you wanted and have a really powerful message to share, you could absolutely monetize it if you work on that heart project piece of just getting people onboard with this idea in creating a large following or a large audience for it that had your back. That’s monetizable, right? Even if you don’t directly see that yet, something that’s like not been available to us before.

Andrea: Right. Yeah, I found myself just being incredibly grateful that I’m where I’m at right now in this time and history, I guess. Because it seems like it’s a pivotal moment in history as well, like you said there’s going to be even more entrepreneurs in the next few years. But right now, there still aren’t, you know, we’re still building on that building the momentum thing. So yeah it really feels exciting.

Adrienne: I mean, when you think about it, because we’re early adaptors, even though entrepreneurship has been a thing and has been a growing trend for probably the last three or four decades.   It still pretty new, because when you think about the majority of your like in real-life circle, if you’ve left a job or if you have a side business, you are the minority, right? And I think that that will start to shift for over the next few to 10 years in a much more drastic way. I mean, even kids were making millions of dollar on YouTube. That’s going to be the new norm in the next 10 years.

Andrea: Yeah, I don’t know how many people would find that normal but I hear what you’re saying.

Adrienne: Yeah, just like entrepreneurship in general, like it’s being more accessible and normal for that to be how people make their living and share a message and monetize their life or their message or the service or expertise that they have. So we are like new and still share that with friends or people at my job “Oh you’re the first?” I’m like “There are few other people that do, but they’re always like super intrigue, right? Like “How do you make money?” Like “What is that look like?” “How did you do that?” Because people don’t like and not in my online circle and when we’re on this online circles, we forget that like “That’s not really normal world yet.”

Andrea: So true. So Adrienne how did you get started then in this online business world.

Adrienne: Yeah, so this is another thing that my mentor  Jadah Sellner asked me. She calls and asked me “What’s your daily drug so I’ll get through the online space.” Because usually because once you find that person, what happens is like you ripple effect to my client this other you know like snowballs and you find that you find these other people. So I started to think back to that when she asked me that question and like “What was my gateway drug?” And my daily drug was actually Dave Ramsey.

But it started with Dave Ramsey because I went to Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University which is how I got out of $48,000 of debt in six months. So that was the turning point for me to start like really cleaning up my financial life and money mindset and really doing that work. And I didn’t have a side business at that time but during that time when I was working through his program, I started the side business just for fun because I felt like suffocated at my job and I was blogging and talking about that. And then I stumbled on to Dave Ramsey to Jon Acuff and I read his book, Quitter, and then I found …

Andrea: Umm good one.

Adrienne: Finally, and then I quit my job and then I stumbled upon Jeff Goins and I read his book The Art of Work, and I interviewed him. And then the ripple effect, the snowball continue to happen and continue to like “Oh you know, Jeff interviews need to, you know, this other person.” And then I was introduced to Chalene Johnson and then I found this person.

So once you stumbled upon like one of those people that can open the gateway, I feel like they’re usually connected to other people and that’s how I kind of found my way to this world. But I started by really trying to get my financial ducks in order and growing the side business and helped me pay off that debt really quickly and helped me really find what I’ve really wanted to do and then I was able to leave my job and start doing this fulltime about six months after I first started.

Andrea: You recently shared an episode on your podcast, you have a couple of different podcasts currently but your main podcast – you shared about a Dear Diary episode where you were discussing the fact that hadn’t been as consistently with your content. You’re taking kind of a sit back, reevaluating, trying to figure out what you want to do for this year. So I’m really interested in the voice aspect of this. How did you decide whether or not to share this process, the fact that you were in process, with your followers rather than maybe faking it until you figured it out and then you start with your new message or you start with your new, you know whatever. Why did you decide to go ahead and be vulnerable, or in a sense vulnerable, and share that you don’t have it all together right now?

Adrienne: Yeah. This is such a good and timely question because I’m still going through this, but I’m sharing the actual process. And I just aired a new episode on The School Self-Mastery, which is the podcast that you’re talking about. I was kind of making follow up to that Dear Diary. It’s a great episode, which I continue to kind of go through this again peeling back the layers like really open book process. And I sent an email to list which was well-received by some people and then I actually gotten some negative feedback around this sharing this process and you sharing this voice.

Andrea: Really?

Adrienne: Yeah, which is why I bring it up because I think it’s a really interesting conversation to have, right? I’m really processing this as you asked this question because I haven’t answered this question before. “Why I’m actually doing this? Why not just air some old content or just power through and do some posts.” I actually have recorded episodes in the drawer like in the bank that I haven’t aired and I’m not airing them. I could be doing that, so why do this instead of that and instead of being silent because there’s been weeks and weeks where I’ve read just silent and then I reappear and say like “Here’s what’s going on.”

And the reason is because it felt so uncomfortable like I felt like I was hiding a secret from my husband or my bestfriends, because I felt such a close relationship with my audience. And because I’ve really made it part of my business and my mission to be an open book with them and to tell them like “Hey, I’m gonna be on this ride with you.” It might be a couple of steps ahead of some people. It might be right next to some people.

Some people might be ahead of me but they just like following me in terms of the content that I put out there. I want to be on this right with you and that means showing up and talking about this even when I don’t know what to say, and even when I’m feeling inconsistent or feeling like I’m not sure with the message is meant to be. Or that I don’t have it all figured out because I just feel like I was trying, like when I would record an episode and I wasn’t saying all those things, I just couldn’t do the episode.

“How do I hide this from them? How do I not talk about this? How do I just keep putting out content that doesn’t really bring the main thing that’s going on for me to the table?” So I almost just feel like I couldn’t escape recording and not sharing what was going on and will I lose followers? Absolutely. But I’ll gain more of the right ones and people I think trust that more and they relate to that because that’s how a lot of people being like “You know what, thanks for saying that because I felt like that too.” Or “I’m not knowing how to express what’s going on.” Or “I felt like it wasn’t okay for me to express that that what’s going on for me because of what I’ve built so far, or what I’ve been talking about so far, so thanks for opening up that door for me, right?

And really what this is is permission to self express and that’s the greatest freedom that we have #1: (I’m American citizen, right?) As American citizen as human beings is that freedom to self express and I think that most people where they want freedom, they say they want freedom. They want financial security of course and that provides some freedom. But really, what we’re saying is we want freedom to express ourselves. We felt so suffocated maybe in this corporate world or all over this place.

And I created a business at a certain point that I wasn’t giving myself permission to self express and I’m like “Well, I’m not doing that that I’m really just creating another job for myself, for my values and freedom and self expression as one of my highest value that I have to open with that conversation.” So yeah there’s been some negative backlash in terms of, you know, what I wrote yesterday saying “I need to be real with you.” And when I got a response back “No, you don’t. You don’t need to be real with us. You need to just keep doing what you do like putting out content, why tell us this.”

And I was just like “Wow, that’s actually maybe something I needed to hear because it fires me up even more that I have [crosstalk] and then I will not and then I will not be suffocated by other people not wanting me to share that story. And this for me comes back to childhood and not being able to use my voice, and not being able to say the things I wanted to say if I was self expressing in a way that I wanted to. And over the past years when my business has gained more popularity and like, you know, I’m searchable online. I’m not like famous or anything. But I’m searchable online and people can find me which means that my biological mother has found me on the inter webs.

Again, from birth having that childlike feeling of someone saying “Don’t share this story. You can’t talk about this.” It completely reminds me of why I need to share the story and why I need to talk about these things and why I do have responsibility to myself and to the people I serve to use that voice and self-express, right? And I think that that just has been coming up for me like so much more clearly that I just felt like I owed it to my audience and it almost felt like a big exhale to talk about it. So that’s kind of like a little bit of the behind-the-scenes on like using that voice in a way that feels a little bit messy right now to be honest.

Andrea: Yeah. You know, Adrienne, you really struck me as someone who longs for authentic connection with other people. Obviously, not just fake but also deep authentic connection and it sounds like what you’re doing by being honest and being both authentic and transparent about your experience right now with your business and with your message, you are sort of offering a filter to people and saying, “Look, this is what I’m really going for here, really wanting this kind of connection with you. So if you’re not interested that’s okay, but this is me and this what I want.”

And I have a feeling that you’re going to find or that most people are going to really appreciate and do really appreciate the transparency that you’re offering because they can relate more to it. And I feel that they can relate to you and then the people who don’t are typically just afraid of their own stuff.

Adrienne: Right and they don’t have to listen. That’s the beauty of me being able to share that message. And I think there’s this just something, you know, we teach what we need to learn. I had a client I was talking to yesterday and she was talking about how it takes hours and hours to write and email to her lists. And I said “You know how long it took me to write my email this morning to my email list?” I said “It took me about 10 minutes.” And I said “You know why, because I wasn’t filtering myself. I just wrote it and I didn’t care.”

The reason it’s taking you so long to write that authentic feeling email because you’re not being authentic, right? She was in tears because she was afraid. She was afraid to talk about the things that she really wants to say. She’s afraid to say the things that are really on her mind right now because of the pressure to make something super valuable. Oh my God like if one more person tells you like “Make sure, you bring out some valuable content, right? Don’t put anything else that’s not valuable.”

And to be honest I’ve said that a million times. And I’m like “Oh my gosh, I have to release that pressure off myself too because who am I to say what some others going to find valuable from this or not. I just need to self-express and the people who are going to need it at that moment or going to get it or people who don’t, will just leave and move on for the day. No worries. But the more we filter, the less we get to self-express and actually the less value we provide because we’re trying to self filter and gauge what other people are going to find valuable or useful. And I’m like “What did you just get something out there?”

Let other people decide what they value and feel it useful because truthfully, I don’t know if this has happened to you, but every time get out there and share a message what I think is going to be the most valuable piece never really is, right? If someone comes back and they’re like “Oh my God, you said this one line that was so impactful for me.” And I’m like “I said that, right? Okay, if that’s what what you got from it, that’s what you were meant to get from it.” But if I continue to filter, they may never get those things because I’m just siding what they need to have as most valuable, right?

Andrea: You know there are two things that makes me think of that. I know we’re kind of running low on time here, but I think #1 – People are valuable inherently and the idea of connecting with another person is invaluable. It is so hard to find that, and so I think that that is valuable for sure. But then the other part is that I think that because you’re taking the time back and you said you stepped away from producing more content and that sort of thing. You were wanting to sort of take a step back and really reevaluate. And I think what that means is that you really know who you are. You’re trying to know who you are.

I think a lot of people don’t already know that, and they don’t take the time to go there. And so then when it comes to just turning on and just figure their heart and just pouring out their 10-minute email, they don’t how because they don’t even know what they want. They don’t know who they are. So Influencer who’s listening, know you are. Take that time back or step back like Adrienne is doing and feel free to be able to do the digging that you need to do so that you’re in touch with who you are and what you think and what you want to say. So that when you do come to that email or that conversation, it’s automatically more authentic because you already are who you are and you’re not having to fake it or try to come up with something.

Adrienne: Uh-huh. And I think a lot of us know who we are and again, we filter that because we’re afraid of what other people would think about who you really are, right?

Andrea: Yeah.

Adrienne: And so it’s like, you’re right taking that set back and say…you know, sometimes just writing for the sake of writing versus writing for a purpose or for someone else can be very really helpful to figure that out. It’s like, “What would you say if no one was going to read it, you just write that out.” And that’s like one of the exercises that I do and another exercise that is super helpful that I have recently picked up from Jess Lively is writing to your intuition and asking your intuition questions and then allowing that intuition to write back to you.

You could ask your intuition like who am I really and just see what comes up for you because it would probably be really insightful and interesting and you just need listen and not try to judge it, because that’s what immediately going to come up. But you just listen and didn’t judge that or didn’t allow the external noise to tell you what you should be or what you should write or what you should do which is very heavy and distracting in online space, so you need to take that time with self to figure that out for sure.

Andrea: So good! Adrienne, I am so glad that you took some time today to be with us and share your story, share your heart, share your message, your voice with us. I’m glad that you’re out there doing that in the world and I hope more and more people do it because of your example.

Adrienne: Well, thank you! It was super fun to be here. This is a really awesome discussion and I think even just thinking them out how to find that voice even more like having discussions, you know, sometimes this is where or some of that comes out and you’re like “Huh, did I just say that that was really good, right?” Like “I never thought about that or that’s a really good question, let me think a moment to think about that.” And so I love doing podcast and this is one of the reasons. It’s like really help me understand what that voice is so this is reciprocated like the value is totally here for me too, so thank you so much!

Andrea: Awesome! All right, will talk to you later Adrienne.

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