WhyWeWork BrianVee
WhyWeWork BrianVee

Episode 50 · 2 years ago

#50 Allison Graham - Speaker & Author - BrianVee Whywework

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Allison Graham is a keynote speaker, author and problem solver. Join the light hearted conversation about some serious topics that tend to hinder productivity in the workplace.   

Contact Info  

Allison’s Profile linkedin.com/in/allisongraham  

Website AllisonGraham.co (Company Website)  

Phone 647-699-1233 (Work)  

Address 305-611 Wonderland Rd. N. London, ON, CANADA N6H5N7  

Email hello@allisongraham.co  

Twitter AllisonDGraham  

About

"The intensity of change and the number of obstacles teams face won’t change. The only aspect we can change is our reaction to what’s happening. When you do, it means less destructive stress, a lower risk of burnout and a happier, more productive workforce.  

If you want a speaker who can engage your audience, offer some fresh insights about how to deal with the constant pressure, and open an authentic conversation about the human experience during tough times, then let's talk! Interested? Working together starts with a phone call.  

Please use my online scheduler to book a time to talk or DM me.  

AllisonGraham.co   

**Follow my Linked In Stories (available on mobile only) for daily 20-second tips on life, resilience and growing personally and professionally. It seems that most tips are shot while I'm walking my dog or finishing dance class. They are authentic, in the moment and just 20 seconds to offer a reminder or fresh insight as you and I continue on our Resilience Mastery Journey." (LinkedIn 2020)

...welcome to why we work with your host Brian VI ous. He speaks to people like you from all over the world as we together dive deeper into our motivations, struggles, joys, seemingly missteps, hopes, warnings and advice which would be an encouragement to us all to get up, get going on, keep on working. Working is tough, but wait is good. Now here is your host to why we way. And this is why we work today. I have a great pleasure speaking with Alison Graham. She is an author and keynote speaker. She has authored a couple of books and the theme seems to be resiliency I want to dig down on even though life sucks how we can make it better, how we can endure how we can enlarge our capacity. So I want to dive deep in the difficulties of life and see what Alison has to offer us. Because we've all been there either major difficulties, major setbacks or minor ones that seem to add up through the day. I want to hear. And I hope you do, too, what Allison Graham has to say on resiliency. I'm Brian V. Actually, I was going to start this off by saying I'm Brian V, and this is why we work. But Alison, knowing some of the videos that I've seen of you and some of the things that you've spoken about, I'm going to say I'm Brian and I'm not an insurance man. I'm not selling insurance, Thio. I'm not selling insurance to you. Not all Brian's. Well, I think I've been accused of trying to be a seller, some sort. But I'm not selling insurance today, you know. Welcome. Nonetheless, we're gonna have to give contact. I will tell that story for the listeners. Well, can you give us a little rundown? I gave a little intro before we started on and just give us a little little rundown of you, and then I'll take us back a little bit. Okay? That's right. Because it's been quite, ah, work adventure for the last 14 years in business And even before that. So it was really excited to be on your show. And I understand this is number 50 So congratulations. Thank you very much. Being from Canada, I'm very happy to have you on right as Canadians. Alright, So for me, my work is very much about, um, helping people get out of their own way. Really? I believe most stress in our lives is self created and unnecessary, and we we cause a whole bunch of internal daily stress which actually robs us from the ability to deal with the rial life challenges, the adversities that we face. And so this is my work. I have a problem solving framework that I share with audiences and my coaching clients. And I love it. I love people being able to see that. Oh, right. I went down that rabbit hole, and I totally didn't need to. And Alison before we Yeah, you can keep going if you like. Go ahead. No, no. You got I I could I could refer five hours so well, Alison, before you do start reffing for Aziz long as you like. I have all the time this evening. I don't know about you in the morning, but can you take us back? Because, you know, I did get that idea from online. So if anyone wants to find you, they can find a lot of information about you. You've been on talk shows you you know, you have your own podcast and your keynote speaker, and they can get a really good idea if when they go and find you on the Internet. So that's where I got the idea. But Brian the insurance guy. But what about Alison in the beginning? Oh, my God. Oh, that'll be fine. Even further than what you might even be thinking. What was your very first job? Even as a teenager, I speak to a lot of Americans and I There's some law that I I just don't get because when we were kids, maybe I just broke the law. But, you know, the idea of working, I think I didn't mhm newspapers. I swept a barber shop floor and I don't remember it being against the law. And a lot of Americans keep stumbling upon that. Like, Well, you know, I had my papers at 14. What was the very first job that you did or something that got you? If it was out of the house too? Make a dollar. Okay, so the first where somebody employed me Waas d tassel in corn. So how does one go about doing that? 11 goes into those big cornfields and...

...pulled out all of in certain, Rose. You have to pull out all the tassels and eh? So it is the most grueling work I gotta tell you. Is that Is that literally? Do you have to cut the whole thing off the top? So when it grows, there were these little things that go, you know, like, uh, like a beard or something of sorts. Yeah. Like the pollen hanging out on it, I think. And then, how old were you then? I would have been about 14 I think. And I lasted a day. So my brother and I both came home and we were covered. We both have allergies, right? Way were covered in rash and spider bite and bug bite. And it was so hot. And I was so sweaty, and I'm like, I could never do it again. And why did you do it in the first place? Well, because we had to get a job. And that's what people did in the where I live, where I grew up. Where where did you grow up for you to have cornfields. A little village called Eerie Beach, which is next to a little town called Glen. Um eso I'm about halfway between Toronto and Detroit. Yeah, okay. So, like, you are working country girl I waas and a farm on the other end. Very good. So you didn't know just the one day? I'm pretty sure I may have actually walked off pretty quickly. Uh, anyway, my mom and dad were like, Okay, well, then you need to figure out how to make money this summer. And my brother and me eso they didn't even say. Well, you tried this summer. We'll try again next year. You know, you you still you got to do something. And we became entrepreneurs. So And when I use that term loosely, we became business. My brother started a lawn care service, and that's what we did all the way through high school. And when he went off thio the with your allergies. Yeah, but you know what? When you're not in the corn, it's a lot easier than being like on the We had a nice writing. Or although my brother got to ride that night to do all the trimming. But then when he went off thio the reserves Yeah, I took over for him and that was the You know, that was just a nice thing to do up and down the village. But the fun thing we did, and I'm so you know, I could see the pattern sometimes I don't finish things. I have great ideas. And I have really worked on that in my adult life. But we had a big book, a big book stands business. Remember that when we were kids, there were these huge books right there about this high, right? And you'd all sit around the elementary school thing. Yeah, well, they were to having for the teachers toe flip and hold at the same time. So we actually created stands so they could go. It was that we told them we told one to the not one. We sold the whole bunch to the board office in our area, and then we never went on with it. But we also did puppet stance. So we create these puppets stamps. Anyway, we could have been a very good long term. We were just like I'm kind of bored because, of course, being the younger sister, I always had to do front door. So sand and sand and sand, all the wood right And all the fine tuning. And my brother got to be the fun cutting and, you know, So this was in through tall high school. We would have been great. Nine. I would have been great on. He would have been great. 11. So, during this time of, you know, being in nature and cultivating and landscaping and cutting down trees of some sort, scraping them down and sandpaper sand, papering them and then varnishing them. Did you have some sort of hope of staying closer to nature in your aspirations after high school? Oh, I don't think so. I that was enough. I don't think so. Although what I've noticed now is s Oh, my. We still own that house back home, and my mom and I, we actually did a massive renovation. So get it, It read it. And that was a lot of work to do and a big investment. But it was absolutely were, and it was absolutely worth it. And no, I go back there whenever I don't need the Internet. I'm at the lake. The peace of serenity. Right? And so I do notice my connection with nature as I get older and like Oh, right. That's why I feel so at home right when I'm outdoors. And so that's a neat, neat piece. But it really I didn't have a sense of what I wanted to dio I Actually, when I went to university, I What did you choose...

And why did you choose it? Why did I choose university? I chose universe for and the and the program that you chose, So because my grandfather went to hear on and I thought that sounded really cool because I've never met him before. Um, and it was just something I always intended to do, right? I'll go to here on, I'll get a My intention was like a bachelor of commerce with no or something. I don't know. I was gonna do an MBA with a bachelor of commerce. That's what, uh, lot. Anyway, I only lasted a year. I went Thio. People are gonna think I'm really flipping, but here's the thing. All of these, Tim, it's all of that. Nothing. Nothing was flipping from that. At 14 you were stock. I don't know where you call husking or whatever getting corn. I wouldn't do that. Any picker that I've known blueberries or apples. They last a few days unless you know it becomes a job for them. Helping with a family business is not pleasant, so that's not flipping. And you know, most people I mean, a lot of people switch their ideas from school and for you to follow in someone's foot path. Just because you think it's a good idea doesn't always stick. It is so true, so true. And it wasn't like here. I knew I wanted a business. I didn't necessarily know what that meant. Yeah, I didn't know that my business professor had never actually run a business. Makes different. You can't make it teach. Isn't that how they say it? Like if you can't make a teach? So that, for me, was my intention was to be the prime minister of Canada, the first female prime minister of Canada. Like I go to the bars in first year university and a guy would ask me like you know, what do you want to be? I'm like, I'm gonna be the prime minister, E he'd like walk away from you. Hey, just happen to lift up his hand and turn. Yeah, it's like a too deep for the but And then I didn't up. Running for politics is you may or may not know through my story online. Well, the funny thing is, I was just thinking that he's like, Well, I was just gonna have a shot competition with you. I wasn't thinking that deep at the moment. It might have been a little bit too deep for that. That particular context, that's context. So that was what happened. And then I got an opportunity. Actually, the reason I left University, aside from the fact that it wasn't really resonated Waas two reasons Number one. I had an opportunity to go sailing, um, for Canada was putting together this. And when I say that sounds really exciting, like Canada was, there was nobody important in the sailing world. Who is making this happen? It was actually one regatta that was happening in France. There were 13 countries coming, and there was a team that had developed in southwestern Ontario. But they needed another woman who knew how to sail. You know, I grew up in the lake. I grew up sailing, and so I went and my brother actually ended up coming as well And the thing is that that that was right over the final exams for year one. So I had to get arrangements made or repealing E because I was like, I knew that was going to be an experience. Yeah, And so we did that. And then when I came back, the professors were kind of already wrapped up for the year, and they didn't want Thio issue or new exam for me. So they said, I'll just do it next year when you start, and then we start. And then I got very sick. I haven't eating disorder and ended up in the hospital, and that was the end of my university. So I never actually I have one half of credit from that. You know, I went back to college later in my life of PR, and God don't get there. Um, yeah, and you know, there could be the judgment of failure if you didn't resonate. But the truth is for me, I was It wasn't my Bailey with right. Like I wasn't inflow. I wasn't in the zone when it came Thio being at school. Then I didn't see it as the path Well, I know resilience is something that you speak well upon. So we're seeing it already in the beginning, right after this of, um, the early parts of your, you know, just getting out of high school. So where did this path take you after developing a eating disorder and thereafter? When did you know you begin to start a career in your chosen path? Uh, there's a few more steps. They're definitely Well, I know you had a decade of hell. Yeah. Hell, right, so that's not happening. Is interesting. Those air and I would never I would hope nobody would paint that as a failure or being flippant,...

...because regardless, no one is sure of everything they do, let alone one thing that they dio with absolute certainty that they know this is I mean, more people be doing well in the stock market or, you know, the lottery numbers. If you take it for that, if that was true, or there wouldn't be so many divorces or there wouldn't be so many, you know, houses sold all the sort of things, shows that we can't pretend that we know it all. And we go through a lot of these things that, as you say, little ours and big ours of resiliency. Yeah, definitely. And it's interesting because, you know, sometimes the answer for people is they think they have to feel like they'll force themselves through on something so they'll power through, even though it's not driving, even though it's not inflow, even though they hate it, even though they're not good at it. And I think very early in my life I learned instinctively that if this doesn't feel right, then I'm going to go somewhere else. And in many ways that could be a positive. It can also backfire, right? It could also be like, Oh, yeah, I don't like it over here. I gotta go over here All right. Call it My God ago technique. And so when we show up like that, it's easy to show up like that with our emotion as well. And so, you know, have a really bad day at work, and, uh, you know, then you quit, which I did that a few times. So I'll tell you those two stories in a second. But not being able to sit with the uncomfortable and not having the mental and the emotional discipline to be able thio. All right, you know, be like, you know what? This really sucks, but I'm gonna follow through because it's the right thing to do or, you know, So there's a balance, right? You wanna honor your gut, and you also want to honor your commitments. And also, I don't know what I actually I have no regrets on not finishing university because my career turned out great. Anyway, um, although I'm often curious, like, what would that have been? What? What would it have been like if I was hungry to learn, You know, And as I get older, I often wonder, maybe I'll go back, and then it's a fleeting moment, right? Like when I think that, but I think, you know, allowing that flexibility in our lives. So once I was go ahead. Um well, I was on a side note. I was saying this to someone else that when I went and did something for school, there was someone in my classes. She was 70 something years old, and she was getting a master's degree, and I believe she went on to get her PhD, Not even that. It is important to do. But if someone is inclined to do it, then there's nothing really stopping you, besides your own choice of not wanting to do it. And it doesn't add anything to you. If it's just something that you someone feels obliged to do, then go do it. But don't look down on someone that who hasn't or don't think that the people who have this higher education are so high and mighty because they make many of the same mistakes that everyone else does. Absolutely. And you know, many people who did the right thing went to school, got a good job, ended up with a big firm, never thought about AH lack of security. And they're working in their cash flow. You know, when Cove it happened, found themselves all of a sudden going, Oh my gosh, this wasn't what it was supposed to be like when Cove it happened for me like a Muchas I'm devastated for the world as much as I you know, all of those natural emotions. Three. Idea of having my business implode, right or explode, and having no idea where the next revenue was coming from and having no idea of how the business model would look was, like, comfortable. Like I know that sounds silly, but like it literally didn't feel anything I'm like, Okay, well, this is entrepreneurship. This is just what it's like to be in Busan. So I after I left university. You know, my parents weren't too impressed as you could. Well imagine before you get it. Because I know a little bit about, like with the book that you wrote that we'll get into a swell. How was your family with this? Like you say, you know, not too pleased. But they knew you, right? They knew what you were going to do. Then they knew You decided How were they in this process? And did that play a factor in what you did there after? Well, I think what helps is My brother went before me and did the same thing. Mhm. So we and my father's when my mom was a teacher and my mom actually used to teach like she's brilliant. She taught teachers how to teach, rightly she at the university. So she waas and she taught special needs like she was a brilliant teacher. And so for her, I've got to give her credit because she she didn't understand the entrepreneurial spirit. But she trusted my dad enough. And who was an...

...entrepreneur? Business businessman, right? And to allow us the freedom to be, You know, when we grew up, my dad always had two rules in the house, and that was it. And everything else was about respect. First one, you do not drink and drive. And number two, you always wear a life jacket in a boat. That was it boils it down pretty easily. Yeah, those were the two things and he was obsessed with both both of those things, by the way. And the rest was very much about I'm gonna let you become your own person and my mom, even though she was an academic, she didn't u s. So it was looking back when I love this a conversation because I'm thinking of all these wonderful times in my life. But how fortunate How blessed was I that even though she was upset, like, I think that was disappointing for her and an academic right, But she wasn't in any way limiting. Yep, is a Yeah, it Z. And that's why I ask, because I had a sense that maybe she was encouraging through this, even though maybe not completely. I'm done. Uh, you know, they're not going to replace Great. We were hoping you're you're going to say that, but just encouraging along the way to say Okay. And we trust that the next thing that you do is going to be wonderful. Well, and it isn't that was maybe misplaced trust. So I ended up going. They're hopeful. Yeah, I always hope. Like, I think one of my four values is hope. Like, there's always something going on that's that's a better way. Or like I just live that every day. Even when things air not going well, it's like I'm optimistic that there's going to be more, and I really want that for other people, which is why I dio and it went into a whole bunch jobs. First of all, I became a waitress and a bartender, and I gotta tell you, I believe at my core that that is the reason why I could do what I do today. I think it was the best training you can have on human nature. You know, if you could get a drunk man out of the bar at one o'clock in the morning. And he could still give you a 20% tip, like you understood human nature like you could interact. And so that was really good from the problem solving perspective. Great training. I sold makeup. I was in Amway. I think again, like multilevel marketing back then, that was really taboo. But I'll tell you, it was younger university and anybody who remembers those days, Dexter younger usedto, you know, do the huge conferences for, you know, people and teaching and teaching. And like we have less brown in and all these huge motivational speakers. And I tell you, I that is when I got my spark of like, 01 day, I'm gonna be there. You speak of spark. So what is driving you at this point? Survive. So after a mode of survival, you had and you had, you know, a setback and maybe a little minor ones along the way to that point. But it is just the hope Survival. Just, you know, I need to make some money, make puts, um, and Justus image naively, perhaps that I could have an impact on the world like like when you are. You're like a 19 year old. You think she's gonna be prime minister of Canada, right? Like, I can't think of a job I would like least for the record. But I actually believe that again. I actually thought that that was possible. And truthfully, if I would have worked hard at it and went down that path, maybe it could have been. Yeah. And so I just always had these bigger, this bigger vision for contribution. And my parents were very community oriented. They were always involved. They were, You know, when we were young, we were doing the Terry Fox run and all of those different things That was just part of my my life. And so I never considered it would be a different way. And as I continue down the path I sold cars. I, uh it was worked. I lost my job on. Then you know how you get a 90 day. I don't know if you get that's over there, but maybe in Canada, you remember you had a 90 day try. A where if they could fire you up to, like Davy nine. And if they did, he didn't owe you anything. Well, on the 89 I lost my job. Thrifty car on Trump friend Toll E because I was e once dinged a car on thrifty not too long ago, and they charged me 1000 bucks, and I'm like, I can lick my finger and wipe that away. And you're telling me that's 1000 bucks I'm not very happy with, you know, But...

...that's all right. That's za lot of money. I forgive them. Okay, well, I forgave them a long time ago, because what? I went, uh, selling cars left out very quickly. So it was just, like always these job. And then I was working as a receptionist by day, bartender and I decided I wanted more. But by this point, even though I had a big vision, I had created a very, um, negative internal view of myself. So very little confidence, self doubt, and really started to see me in a box. And I think a lot of time people get an image of who they are. And then they spend their days reinforcing that, And I was going down that town what you wanted out here. But how could I do this? Absolutely. So I ended up becoming an executive assistant, which was probably like every job along the way. I was so super excited for, and I could see the blessings in it. And he taught me about networking about wow, you know, getting involved in the community. I understood who players were in my city and then after 9 11. So this is like we're going back a ways right after 9 11. I remember I was at the office when that happened, and the like, two weeks later. I haven't quit my job, and my dad was like, Okay, you quit your job. He may or may not have inserted any explicit in it because, you know, extra words. Hey, might have said, At least you didn't drink and drive or you're still wearing your life, your life jacketed about right, um, again. And he said, So your job is finding a job? Absolutely. And he said, You need to call this person. So it was the wife of his lawyer and good friend who lived in the city. You need to call Aaron and I was so nervous I remember it. So it was the old days when you actually have a phone on the desk and remember like maybe you did this like when you're younger, but you dial like most of the numbers, but not all of the numbers and wait for the last one and then, uh, yes. So I did that and I was like, Oh, my gosh, I really have to do this with my dad is really ticked at this point. So I called her and I said, Hi, it's Allison Brand calling. Um, I'm sure my voice was shaking. I need to find a job, and my dad tells me that you'll help me Network. And she's like, Oh, okay, So I'm hosting this party at the law firm on Saturday. Why don't you come and help out? And I'm like, Okay? And on Friday night before the Saturday morning I call, I call my parents is that I'm not going and they're like, Oh, yeah, you're going. I'm like, No, no, no, I can't go into nervous. I can't handle it And then they're like, You are going to put your job, you go find a job. And I said, If I'm going your going and I made them come into town to take me with the the little soiree. But I'll tell you that morning changed my life. Yeah, changed my life. People in that room I am still friends with today many of them have actually passed away, Unfortunately, But they were my mentors. They were my links into politics. They were my links into a new job, uh, into raising millions of dollars for charity. And I'll tell you, I I could have slept through it. I could have slept through it. And so often parents were going to Yeah, right. Well, and my my parents like again. So I was supportive. And I understand how blessed I am because of that. And that's a very in hindsight, it's a very involved. It's a small thing on the one hand for them, just, you know, to come in okay, we'll take it, you know, you know, picking you up, bringing it to here. And on the other hand, it's huge. It was a huge assistance. It was a huge vote of their support. They're really awesome. My mom still my dad I lost my dad about 15 years ago, but, um yeah, like to do that and like to give up their Saturday morning and drive an hour and a half into the city because their daughter was too afraid to go to some. But they knew the power of getting connect. And, yeah, I learned it. I learned how to have confidence. I learned how to mingle. I learned how to network, and that was the the launch of my new book. My very first book and my first business, like 14 years ago when I started my business, was about teaching people how to network because from that morning until a couple of years later, I'll save you all the stories that there were many. But I was a columnist with the hottest column in the city called people. You know, I was. I went to 241 events in one year like I was...

...about town networking everywhere, connecting people, people like I need a job. I know where you could go here, and I put people together and like it was just everything in me and at that time was just raising money for charity. Not just I waas, And so when my dad died, I was really struggling, right? Like I'm trying to think of the time when it might have been mashed. But anyway, that's that's how my speaking world came to be was out at lunch. I was with a guy named Search who was a V P at a company, one of the firms, and he said So, Alison, he's like, you're really connected. And I remember when you first met you, you weren't connected. And I need you now that you know all these people to come and work for us so you could bring in this. And I'm like, I don't wanna work for you. And this is like a sort of rumblings. Like all these little job offers were coming and I talk to her. I said, I tell you what. I know you've offered me a job I don't wanna work for, you know, a sense. But what if I could teach your team how to do what I did? Mhm. And I'm like, would you pay me for that? And he's like, Yes, I would I said, Okay. And that was that was how that works. And that's how you did. Anyone ever did you see someone do that for this services like that or you were just like right. Because I was like, How do I? Well, actually, it was I don't know how much it s so it's such fun. Oh, my gosh. Thank you for your memory, Lane. I'm so excited. E enjoy hearing this, but this is why we work, right? And this is this shows how people's lives unfold. What seemingly is so unnatural. But in hindsight, it just things work out very well. When even gets even more into what you say about stresses and stuff, we worry about these things, and then you look back and like Oh, no. Yeah. If I wasn't so stressful, it would I could have enjoyed this ride a lot more. Exactly. So if we back up to when I was a columnist, so I for four years, I wrote four columns a week. Well, that's good, because when did you pick up the pen? Oh, my gosh. This is the best story of them all. Okay, so I had made a connection with the sports editor over at the Free Press, and there was a column called the People, you know and Carol Ki Ho used to write it. And I've been another couple times and as part of my work with the Salvation Army raising money and the Canadian Club, where which was like the speaker Siri's, that we'd have some valuable speakers in and I was on the board volunteering. So as a fundraiser, I'm running this big event and we I've made arrangements with Carol that she is going to come and cover the event and do a column, and that's going to be our coverage. And she everything is all set and I hear rumblings. I hear this rumor mill somebody says, Oh my God, did you hear? Carol is resigning from the column and I'm like, No, because all I'm thinking is I've got to get coverage with this event. I'm running to do that. So I call up Dave. Great to have connections. I said, Dave, is it true that Carol is leaving the column and he says, Yeah, why would you want to take it over? And I'm like, No, no, I just need to know how to get coverage. Yeah, and he's like, Don't right. Ali will take care of you. We'll send somebody out. It's all good clay. I go into my boss's office, Margaret and I said So funny thing Carol's leaving the column. But don't you worry. I figured out how to get it. So how did you get other coverage? And I said, Oh, well, I called up David, You're funny. He called me and asked me, uh, you know, he thought I was calling because he thought I wanted to take over the call. And she goes, Well, don't you? Oh! Oh, uh, and she goes, Are you know the girl into a corner? Yeah. Issues that Aren't you The girl who told me you're always going to talk yourself in the opportunity and not talk yourself out. And I'm like, Yes, and he's like, Well, isn't this an opportunity I'm like, Hello? So go back to my office, pick up the phone 10 minutes later. I like So yes, I dio goes, yes, you do what? E? Wanna take a column? He said Okay, so I know like your you've got the personality for it. You're out at all of these events like I get that so that makes sense. But he says, Can you right? Of course I could write. I have just written an email with the penner of the...

...typewriter eso I've never written anything like for this type of work and never had any aspirations to be a writer. And anyway, he said, Well, he said, Listen, I'll put in a good word for you, but you've gotta do the work. You've got to call Paul Burton And he was the editor in chief and I called Paul, and I left a voicemail, and I'm like Paul, is Allison Graham here? Listen, um, David tells me carols leading the column. I'm more than happy to take that over for her. If you would like to give me a call back, I am going Thio do a column tonight. I'll put it in your inbox and we can chat, you know, 5198519275 Having never written anything before, I'll take it over. So I said to to him second, two weeks to call me back and he said it took me over lunch. She says, Okay, write me three more and so I had to go and write three columns and I go to events and I pretend that I was you know, being, uh, pen and ear and no pad in hand. Yeah, I actually never took notes in front of people. I took them out in the car after the event, and then he took me for lunch and he said, Pretty good, right? Be three more and I did. And five months later, on the day that the Eastern Seaboard went into a blackout, the August blackout, my very first column brand absolutely step out. Yeah, and this is the whole thing. Talk yourself in the opportunity. And so often, like I had lived by that principle even before I had formulated it. Uh, in my twenties, when I was trying to get even that executive director job, I was like, I can't do this. I can't do this. I can't do this. And I'm like, No, screw this. I can't do this, you know? And I'm like, because we all have both sides, the one that's gonna be really supportive and one that's going to be like, You can't do this. You're not good enough. You're like, stop it. Mhm. And so I was just I committed Tau holding my breath and going into it as opposed to allowing me to retreat. You jumped ahead and then you jump back. How long was it from that point of five months? Did you write that first book? Oh, no, no, no. Okay, so that I got the column in 2003. My very first book was not published until 2000 and seven. You know, I interviewed someone, actually from Canada. She started writing her book in 2000, and she got a published in 2020. She was a writer. She was a writer prior to that. So nothing against her. But you only had a few years between ah, column and writing book. Yeah, that's pretty good. Yeah, that's great. That's good thinking. I, uh But, you know, it became such a natural way to communicate, right? And back then, you didn't have social media, right? Like so if somebody's young now, you would never think like being a columnist would be a big deal. It would actually you know who is reading the newspaper. But back then, we didn't even have social media. Right? So the column was the only way people got what was happening. So basically, I was doing the instagram with a bit of the linked in and the four people like it. I was like, Here's what happened years, Who's there? Here's the story behind it and my perspective on all of it. That's an interesting way toe. You'll have to explain it to kids Say, Well, I was doing something like Instagram, but it was on with a little Twitter there, and oh, okay, it's called a newspaper. But, I mean, they're not obsolete now. Yeah, so And how did your pace go after that? You know, after the columnist and then you're now a writer, and now you're also still leading groups. Right? And I was still involved in the charity, So the call up, even though four times a week, was still part time. So it was just something I did at night or very early in the morning. And so I was raising money for the Salvation Army. And then I was executive director of an eating disorder center, which probably doesn't surprise you, given the fact that I had an eating disorder and had overcome it ends. That was and then my dad died. Yeah, and that's when I left that world and I was on Lee writing the column. So at that point, did you feel...

...you were on the top of your game there? And then your dad passed away and there's more setbacks. And here's what I realized I was so busy doing that. I was completely out of touch with being mhm like I worked 18 hour days and I thought that was good. Everyone's doing it right And I actually had a little Post it note on my my mirror that said Deserved to hit the pillow. That's rough. There's a lot of pressure for somebody in their twenties and early. If I had to do that, I would never put my head down E about that. But it was such a pressure. I was said. And you know what? Actually, I think about me now and my age, and I look back on me then. I was probably so irritating just so many years people, because I was just like sunshine and roses And oh, you need that? Yeah. Let me help. Oh, I'm happy, Teoh. You know, like it was I was very naive. I was enjoying myself. Don't get me wrong. But when I stopped and when my dad died, I didn't have because the natural brief takes over and I didn't. I burned out, but I was burning out long before e didn't even know I was burning out. And I think so often people get caught up in this race and they're just going, going, going, going, going on there, never actually having a chance to sit back and go Wait a second. Is this where I want to be going? Remind just doing what other people need need to dio. And I think one of the blessings of Cogan, despite all the hardships that's brought for people, is that it has opened up an opportunity that is probably once in a lifetime, where people are forced to reassess how they built a lot forced to reassess. And for me, that was when my dad died. I mentioned this to you before we started that my mom passed away in February, and I rethink, you know, So I wonder about you of rethinking at that point how things could have been different. And it's not something we want to dwell on and, you know, regret and, you know, say I failed at something in the sense that I keep. I'm brought back to that point in time and I could never get over it. But, you know, should I phone my mom a little bit? Mawr Should I visited a little bit more? And this isn't for you and I so much. It's for people who are listening to say while you have those opportunities, don't let them pass you by because they so quickly dissipate, disappear like you know, sand through your finger and you can never get them back. You can. And I think it's, you know, the whole saying. You don't know what it's got to leave. It's gone right And I think that's a lot of truth in that I spent a lot of time with my mom. She's a wonderful human being, and I really feel fortunate in times when I'm like Oh my gosh, she's calling again. I am so trained in my mind to go Oh, Alison stock because one day she may not be able to call right, And so it's like, OK, yeah, we'll do that and, you know, very fortunate toe have a beautiful relationship with my family, and I know not everybody has that and you know we've had in the extended family, of course, times when people haven't talked for a while or whatever. But I that's reconciliation, right? That's that's the whole point of forgiveness and reconciliation because you still have an opportunity for that. However, it may flourish exactly. And I think swallowing your pride a little and not I think what happens is we we manufacture intent on other people's behalf. So what I mean by that is so you have a rift or something happens. And then we interpret that in a way that is totally intense, like what their intent, waas and how, what? How they meant that and how that was directed towards us and with the right questions and the right curiosity is very easy to figure out that that actually wasn't how it was from their perspective. I could I could help you for your future examples to people. I do it all the time because I'm in South Korea and I lived here for 11 years or so, but my Korean is horrible. My ability to speak Korean is horrible compared to a very difficult angle. It z some people have lived here a shorter time do rather well, but I am...

...horrible at guessing. Like I know some eso. I'm guessing what people are saying. I'm guessing their intent, right, what you're saying and I'm 99.99% of the time wrong, Like my wife, my dear wife could be talking to ship like, you know, Why are you talking about me about that? As an example, we were talking about going shopping tomorrow like, you know something along totally different. But that's along the lines of, you know, trying to figure out if there's a problem in the family, the intent of what someone else is doing. And like trying to understand someone else's language that you do not understand, you're going to get it wrong. And even if you're not getting it wrong, you're coming at them at an angle that's more adverse. Or, you know you're looking for a fight rather than trying to join one another. So what I think is so brilliant What, what, what? You said many things, but specifically is like if people could be listening to what's happened. So you are hearing another language, you're adding your story to their language and then it's wrong. And we do that within the English language with each other all the time. So at least you haven't excuse, because if I hear it like I'll here, you know, I used to work with this team, and one of the owners of the company was one of the guys that, like is really jolly when everything's going great. But if there's a problem, he's very focused. He doesn't talk to anybody and he's just walking to get his coffee. And people would literally get out of the way and be like, Oh my God, I'm losing my job Yeah, right, Because he liked me yesterday and I must have screwed up today and I'm like, OK, how the freedom in that office when they figured out that he was just focusing on something that was just thinking them just thinking huge, so huge. Push away the intent because you'll usually be wrong. Even if it's not wrong, you're going at it the wrong angle. Yeah, if you're trying to reconcile so continuous on on this path. Alright, alright. Quite a journey it has been. Bring us where you are. Yes, so right. I actually started house sitting friends of my mom's had left they anyway. What forever reason. I had this house out in the country with a hot tub and I spent my afternoon. So I was writing the column and I spent the afternoon laying in this hot tub reading books. I often joke that I think the people that chapters must have thought this girl has real issues because I would go by every self help book, put it up when I come back a couple of weeks later, and by another round, another round, not every time. What's that? You just had free time. I still am, like, not obsessed passion about that personal development, the self growth the human relations like even today, I'll watch at least one video a day on from a thought leader who, like That's how I go to bed is like thinking about different pieces of the puzzle of this human experience that we're all we're all part of. And so anyway, I was volunteering still, and it was my job because I was a columnist. I often would get asked to emcee events as you would well imagine, Right, Somebody media. I did a TV show. I did a little different things locally, and I was gonna ask the emcee events. Now we're talking a $50 honorarium, okay? Or not M c. That mhm and I was awful. And I don't mean that, like, I am embarrassed. And so I'm saying I was awful. I mean, I was such an awful public speaker that about five years ago a guy who runs the hospital came up to me at a party. He goes, Alison, I really need to understand this. This is really upsetting me. And I'm like, Yes, he goes You, Yeah. Earn your living speaking in front of audiences. And I'm like, Yes, I do any those Not possible. You're awful public speaker. That's how bad I waas. So the three things that would happen, Aziz, he remembered the first time you remember the first years, okay? Because I was involved in politics. I was young, I was blonde. I guess I'm blonde again. And I was in a room full of old gray haired hman so they would put me up there to bring...

...youth to the organization. And it was so uncomfortable. What was the politics slant to it? That you had a different way of speaking mawr of a politician, Sort of. Oh, no. I'd be introducing the politician who was coming in. So of like an MP was coming. I would introduce them. I would. I was sitting on board, so I would bring an update for you know, this or that. Not for policy. They weren't asking, but I was on the provincial executive. But did they think also that you had a little politician in you and then you spoke a little bit more like a politician rather than a speaker? Oh, back then, Yes, I was. It wasn't that I was speaking as apology. I wasn't actually speaking as anything other than a glittering trying to get their find your way. You're trying to find your way. I remember once I was introducing John Tory, who now is the mayor of Toronto, and I was just there couldn't be Was it him? I was Flaherty, anyway, doesn't matter who it was. I was running. I was so late because I used to not have time management skills, and I was had to run up the store stairs. They were waiting for me. If you can imagine the person who is supposed to introduce the politics later than the politicians and I got up there and I was so winded and out of breath and so nervous, like my voice cracked. But I didn't have to be running before I went on stage like I literally have my voice would crack, I would turn bright red, and I would say things that I would never say like I would ramble on and on on not. And I would often make it about me, which I think is the worst thing a speaker could. Dio character, when they are in that situation, is to make introducing someone else. Yes, take the spotlight. Yeah. Anyway, I I did all that and I got asked Thio EMC Ah, large event. It was 400 people. It was at our arena like the where we have our hockey games and they were putting it down and it was a black tie affair. It was returned, and I begrudgingly said, Yes, this is horrible. Alison getting ready for Why don't they keep putting me up there like this one guy? Oh, my God. I just had the biggest crush on him. and I went up and I just looked at his face and he turned bright red for me because and leans over. He goes, Why does they keep having speak? It's all about anyway. That was back then. So I was determined because everybody who was I wanted to impress was going to be in this room. I refused to be, have my voice cracked and to be bright red. And I wanted to know that I said the right thing to serve the charity. That was all that was on my mind as I was laying in my hot tub, talking on the phone, right with my friend, and she's like, Alison, you've got to figure this out. This is a big deal, and I like, How could you do this? And so that was one of the things in my first book was perspective, preparation and practice, right? How do you? The perspective was, It's not about me, it's about them. The preparation. I needed to know exactly what I was going to say, and then I needed to practice it. Now I don't practice anymore, as you can probably tell, uh, and very rarely like I prepare for my clients, obviously. Right. I got up there and the lights were on me. It was the biggest stage I've ever been on. And you could have heard of Kim Drum and I nailed it. It waas I remember that. Yeah, I nailed it. And that was the first time I went Oh, my God, like those Amway Jing's when that person was on stage and they end that motion and it all came flooding back to me. Mhm. And then I was on the dance floor and one of my like people who I respect the most, said Alison. I think you have a future and speaking. And I laughed so hysterically, guys that if I could live on $50 a time because that's all I dio that they would thank you were dancing with your 50 bucks in your pocket like That's great my little autumn area. And he looked at me, looked like this, the look of knowing and he started to laugh and he's like, Okay, you'll be fine. And then it was right after that that I had that meeting about the networking right? Can you teach, like,...

...can you come work for us. I said no. But what if I could teach your people how to teach your and that was $300? I charged. So you grew into your own role? How does that 100%? But here's the If every one of those failures for missteps along the way didn't happen. No, I would never be doing what I'm doing now. 14 years in business talking to people about their motivation, their life skills, like all of that, it would not happen. Yes, and I I rarely ever tell these stories. I go pick one or two that I'll tell every now and again like it's what a blessing to get to go through this, Uh, you know this memory lane? Because actually, as we're sitting here, my brain is going, Oh, that's how it unfolded. That's how it unfolded. And so I think, one of the challenges they say Hindsight is 2020 so we can look back and we can see it. But what I've chosen to Dio is live in the moment of thinking that the hindsight like the future, we may not be able to see it, but it's all coming together. So I have such faith that when something doesn't work here, it's okay. Like even I had a keynote that fell apart that I was going to do a few weeks ago. And I was like, At first Of course, you have that just disappointment. And I thought, You know what? When that that time when I'm supposed to be speaking, I bet you something else is gonna happen that I need to be available for that. If I didn't, if I was speaking, then I wouldn't have space for that to happen. And lo and behold, something did happen that was really great in. That's fine. And so I've just There's a old parable. It's so, so powerful and it z I would take the time to tell it all. But it's basically this farmer who's there are a whole bunch of bad things happen, and he's like, you know, don't know, like his son gets hurt. But then he's like, Oh, I don't know. Is it good or is it bad? Is it good? Is a bad Don't know, is it good is the bad, and then it turns out he broke his leg. The sun broke his leg and he's like, I don't know. Is it good? Is it bad? And the people were like, What do you mean? Is it good? It was bad and broke his leg, But then the draft came and because he had a broken leg, he couldn't go to the army. So was it good or was it bad? It was great. And so if we live our lives from that perspective, you know, like even I know for you like South Korea's like you'd love to be back living in Canada. And the truth is, if you are back living in Canada, you would not be doing what you're doing. You would not be inspiring people with this podcast you would be. Not yet. Episode 50. And so, you know, we judge all these things that happened there. Lives. If I hadn't have had that eating disorder, I wouldn't have had the experience on the personal side to be able Thio be the founding executive director of an eating disorder support center that went on to help all these other people. If I had never learned how to sell cars, I would never have learned how to do sales. Even though I did not like selling cars. Yeah, right. Like all great experiences, everyone's and the bad ones. Even the worst. And we didn't even talk about the decade of hell, But people could read the book on them because I know I don't know how long we have, but you have. Ah, you have a few books, do you Not I dio busy is a bad excuse. Yes. Married My mom burst the dog How to be resilient when life sucks. Got it From business cards to business relationships. The writer who never picked up a pen until forced to I'd written an email e did they? But here's the other thing. Like, if I would if I would have listened to that voice that said Alison, you didn't finish university. Alison, you've never written anything professionally. You don't even know. Like a columnist. I got any read columnist, right? Like, except for this one, Like all of that, if I would have listened to that voice, all those books would never have been written. And I think so. Often people are sitting there and they're talking themselves out of opportunity and like, stop. Thank you. If you are not happy and the work. You do responses? Yeah, changer. Or are you besides Covic? Kind of putting a twist on things for a lot, especially. I can't imagine being a speaker nowadays. Um, what is a regular day look like for...

...you? I mean, are you looking at writing another book or a book? Um, that's just in the editing stage that I'm not launching right now, so I'm just looking. Is it titled Take back your weekends. So it's about time management and, uh, using my problem solving framework, cranking out books. I love writing. Love it. So what is what keeps, I mean, taking back your time, But what is it that you're doing in in your work now? So building, obviously, like many speakers, my business blew up because everything was in person and I had to ship. So essentially, the blessing in it is that I used to do ah, half day or full day workshop with the team on the resilience work that I dio and the problem solving framework and because I got a call after it happened a few weeks into it that there was one of the banks wanted to do something with their leaders. They said, You know, they're struggling. We all are, and I think now is the time. But I couldn't take that, works long and do six hours online, right? Like nobody wants to sit through six hours of online. So the blessing was that I was able to split it into three workshops over the course of six weeks and teach the first part of the problem solving framework. Then give them a challenge in the email support in the meantime, and then give them the second part and then give them the third part. And by able by doing that, the impact of the work is significantly more because we have time to digest digest so blessing. Even if we come back to conferences, right? I've got one in person conference that is like 12 people all right, coming up in the next month or so. Everything else is virtual, But even if we had full conferences back, I would always offer the virtual as an add on into my business where I could do that training because I believe it's more effective. People are more. Actually, the connection can be a lot better, which is surprising but it really can be an impact. But also then I don't have to be on an airplane, right? I can speak on one side of the country in the morning and the other side in the afternoon, and my dog is in the background like you know it, right? Awesome. What is even if it's things are back to normal. What is difficult about doing what you do, whether as a speaker, maybe even as a writer. But that doesn't seem to be a big problem for you. But what is difficult about you in your work? I would say the hardest part is the sales aspect, because my sales process, because I used to teach networking, was go to an event, go to a conference, meet an executive, tell them what I dio. They recognized that they need it. I'd follow up. So So when you take that away, it's harder to be known for what you do and rise above the noise online. I think that is the hardest part of the actual session. The other pieces. There's a lot of details that are not that you didn't have a lot of details when you're hopping on an airplane that were frustrating to deal with. Like it's just not my strength, but behind the scenes that really had to invest a lot of time in developing systems so that I know where I need to be, who's going to be there, right, because you're only seeing leaders by phone or on a call, and you've got to remember them. But if you're in a conference, you know, maybe you've gone out for dinner the night before, so you've got some reference point, right, that chit chat stuff. I don't get the insides to before I start a speech. So that's that's probably the hardest part. What type of I mean you're dealing with leaders and helping them improve their companies and reminding people of some of the things you know, you're dealing with resilience or you have to be resilient because you've experienced all these things you're trying to get them to remember to bring that in their work place so they work together as teams. How do you What is something that you find is most satisfactory? Maybe at the end of a session, or maybe you get some feedback or just something that you do on a daily basis. I love hearing how my work is impacted people, right? Like I've always thought the best reward in life is being a part of somebody else's success story. Mhm. And so that drives me. And I remember, you know, like I got down there like notes, people who are like, Well, send...

...me, uh I don't even know the name like, I've never met him before. And they'll send in the snail mails a letter saying, You know, my dad just died. I was really struggling. I've had your book on my shelf for two years, and I finally picked it up because I thought the title sucks. But the book is amazing. And here's what it did for me like that. That means the world to me means a lot. Is it a little piece? Right? And I think the other thing that I find quite satisfying is I have no idea how or why I know this stuff, right. Like I just like that stuff come out and often it makes sense. And I think this is part of when you're in your flow. When you're in your zone. When you trust yourself, you could just show up is yourself. And because Alison, at 14. 18 wasn't going to do this. Oh, e mean, that's understatement, but right. But now that you've been through many setbacks on your comfortable, more comfortable with yourself, then to flow, you know, and to allow your mind, toe rest and work and produce comes a lot more easily to you. Yeah, and I think being okay with the imperfection, you know, the most freeing thing I've ever done is been vulnerable with my my fault. Mhm. You know, like I I am the first one to say I'll start something and not finish it. And here's how I'm using my own framework to change that in my life. But then when I got really focused on figuring out how to finish things, I realized that some things aren't meant to be finished, and that's okay. And so, But when you're doing it by default, that's a problem. When you're doing it by choice, that's that's where the gold is. So absolutely I couldn't do what I do, and I don't do enough of it like I would love to be speaking to audiences every day all day. Bring it on. Like, how can I share this? Have in the world? And, you know, I'm still relatively a secret, right? Like I'm not like I'm not known widely, like Mel Robbins or a burn a Brown or Gary Vander Chuck who are absolutely phenomenally impacting the world. You know, 11 comment at this time, right? And so for me, I'm like, how do I How do I get my work out there? That that's the hard part for me, right? As being the secret. What would you like people to know about you and your work in what you're trying to do or something in particular about, You know, maybe some of the different, Not not even the difficulties is just to know you better and what you're trying to accomplish. Well, I think they probably know me better than most after this talk, right? Uh, I just I don't know if in all the head shots and all of the big stuff, if people really, truly understand how desperately I want people to stop suffering big. Because if you look at all of those stories that I just told you and you watched it, there's a movie from the outside, you would think, Oh, my gosh, look at this girl. She's got it all together. She's, you know, doing dance. And she's this and she's that and you're looking on the outside. But I know what was happening on the inside. I'd had some traumatic experiences at a very young age. I had a lot of shame. I had a lot of self hatred. My internal messenger of Bs, which I talk about in my books and married my mom, Birth the dog. How to be resilient in life sex book I It was so strong, like I wouldn't walk by a mirror and not say something like, Oh, my God, you look awful. Where? Oh, my God, you're so fast. I would I would never have looked in the mirror. And if I looked in the mirror and I thought, Oh, that looks pretty good. I would find something to judge. I will walk into a room. The reason I love bartending and waitressing so much and why I was so good at it and so like uh, inflow and gregarious is because it meant that somebody had a reason that they needed to talk to me if I was just going into a bar unless I was with my people. I was quiet. I was...

...shy. I was. I felt out of control. I would overcompensate, right. I'd be on the dance floor, so I didn't have to talk to anybody. Like, I know what it's like behind the scenes to feel in love to feel, even though I had so much love from my family, so great, right? I had men who were, uh, some of them very abusive. I see that now. I had so much going on internally, that was turmoil. And yet I look so good on the outside. But it wasn't until I reconciled that. And then I realized, Oh, my God, this is the human experience. Well, that's what I'm thinking. As you're saying this, like for you to be able to say it and say it, um, with a sense of confidence. It's what many other people are unable to stay at this moment. Right? And so what? I wanted to hear it. Yeah, is like, I'll get emails after I speak right from senior vice presidents to write like down thio like the every level of business I'm happy to talk with because it is the human experience, right? But people who look at and you're like, Oh, my God, she got it, like, all together. And they're like, I was so alone and feeling like I was failing and beating myself up every day. And you gave me hope. Thank you for being so authentic because you were able to say aloud the things that I would never say in a meeting. Well, and businesses would surely appreciate your work because while it might in a sense seem crass, it's going to help their bottom line. If their employees feel good about themselves, they know who they are and that they're gonna be good team members and not too shy when they have these, you know, these kernels inside of them that could sprout to be something wonderful for their team. And when you helped bring that out, then things is when the company will flourish and and that's you know, that's the reason. But then the you know, the you know, the bigger world impacting thing is that these people are becoming who they were supposed to be. Absolutely, And just give me one second here because I realized I had a call, and I'm just gonna pause for everybody. Uh, there we are. Yes. Interview. Sorry about that. Okay. Uh, well, well, yeah. So you can type. Oh, yeah. Well, that's the thing you typing class in grade nine. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Mrs Dawson. You are amazing. Uh, we actually used to take typing class for anybody under 30 who is listening today. Um, yeah, I took time. So, e, I don't want to keep you from your time. Yeah, to help. I mean, as you as a professional, going into a business like that's why people call you. That's why more people should call you is because you add this thing that you know, sometimes employers look at employees as just the widget makers, but they're more than that. And if you want them to make more widgets, you want them to realize that a lot of you are. A lot of us are sharing some of the same problems. Well, and I think like you're absolutely right. And it is pulling that that common denominator of the human experience I would into the open because here's the issue number one issue. Number one risk to companies right now is burning like it's all over the news. It's really kind of people and thank goodness people are paying attention to it. Let's not forget that before Cove it happened. People were already stressed. People were having trouble keeping up and dealing with everything a lot. Then my believe to it, right? But I and then you add something like cove it to it, right? And it raised because a lot of the the ways that we would have dealt with it in the past. We're like leading on our fellow colleagues, bearing ourselves at work, right? We're all in the same position. And so what happens is when we only have so much capacity right, all of us to think, to feel, to do, to be and how you use at that capacity matters. So if you're using it up on things that don't matter or are causing unnecessary stress or adding worrying into your world or complaining or resentment or all of these different things that aren't serving you, but what they're doing is there stealing capacity away from your work day? They're stealing capacity away from yourself. Time or...

...from your family. And so, if you're spending the time worrying about you know, uh, whatever is gonna happen and you have absolutely no control, like one of the biggest things about Cove it is. It showed us that we have, like, we never had certainty. But people lived in a false sense of secure the security and thinking that things were certain. I'm gonna get up. I'm gonna goto work. I'm gonna have this. I'm gonna do that. You know, this is gonna happen. I'm gonna go toe job. I'm gonna get on an airplane. Like whatever the case would be, we had this false sense of certainty. And what cove it did. Is it broke that down to go? Uh, so now the question is, how do you become comfortable with uncertainty? And when you could do that, you could free up space to process all the emotions to go through and be like, You know what? Yeah, today this really sex, But I'm not going to get off track with that. Mhm, I thought. I mean, you love metaphors, and I saw that you beautifully wrote that you can fill in the blanks for me, but we are or workers are like ice cube melters. But what we tend to dio is pack it all with snow or snow impacts us, and it makes it much more difficult near impossible to melt their little ice cubes when this is our only task. And then we're chipping away at the you know, the Canadian blizzards all around us. Exactly. So it's the ice keep that became the snowman, and so often, like the ice cubes is you've already so articulately said. Our job, no matter what you do, is to melt ice cubes. And so you've got that one. That one. That one. That one. That's your work date. That's what you're paid to Dio, and some of them are a little bigger. They're obstacles, and maybe they'll take a little longer to melt. But essentially, that's it. But if we have sitting beside us, this huge snowbank and it represents worry complaining, procrastination, resentment, not being able to say no, not setting boundaries. Put whatever issue you wanna have, and we all have them got this huge snowbank and we take that snow and we pack it around all these ice cubes and now we have snow men to melt when we're starting our day instead of just doing the Ice Cube. And so my greatest compliment is when, you know, months after I talked to a group, I'll get a picture from them and they have drawn on their boardroom tape like white board snowmen like. And I'll actually say, Guys, what's the realize Cuba here? Because if we don't figure that out, then often we're solving for the wrong problem. I could just imagine you should get someone to draw it for your character chur. Just some, you know, downtrodden soul sitting scrunched beside the snow band, some kids. Oh, that's a nice snowman. Yeah, that's my snowman, right? I'm supposed to be melting ice cubes here, but I got a snowman, and the thing is, it's all self manufacturers, and it's all have it. Like even worrying. I did a YouTube video on how to stop worrying Ah, whole article on my website about it because it just robs your life. They I know we have to wrap up for time, but like I remember when my I don't have to wrap up, well, I had a call, but I am going to just see if she let me know that that's okay. I pushed it back. Oh, sounds good. Talk to you then. Okay. I didn't know. How much time do you have? Let's give it another seven minutes. Okay. That I got some rapid questions for you. Okay. You can finish your thought, though. You can finish your thought. All very good. Um, but here's the thing. When my dad was sick with cancer, and you could relate to this with your mom, right? I spent so many nights scared to death of what would happen, which is very nasty. But then I would go down this black hole of worrying about Well, who am I going to talk to every day? Who's gonna help me when I get into trouble? Who's going to do that? Like of worrying that truthfully, in hindsight again, Hindsight's 2020. I spent so much time worrying about the fact that my dad might die, that I robbed myself the experience of enjoying when he was alive. Mhm because it doesn't change the grease. It doesn't change the finality of the fact that he died.

And, you know, in the early days, I think we all kind of knew he had four brain tumors and, uh, lung lung cancer, Right? He lasted 18 months, and for 18 months I was obsessed with what's gonna happen when my dad does, and you know what? He still died. It was still gut wrenching, awful. And I don't think there's a part of it that the pre grieving is really valuable in our lives. But if you think about like, what's gonna happen, let's worry. If I you know the client doesn't pay well, let's wait and see what happens if the client doesn't pay or they can't they cancel the game right? Like and often the things that we worry about never come true or the things that do come true. We couldn't make them up anyway. It's not like the beginning of January. People were sitting there worried about their business and going, and now I've got to be prepared because what if a pandemic happens on the entire speaking industry? Implodes, right? Like people don't even know, because all fiction so and then that that builds together things like people aren't sitting there worrying and getting anxious about Oh my God, what happens if I win the lottery. Oh, my God. What will I do with all the money? How am I gonna handle it? They don't do they don't. They don't worry. And future rise the good stuff, something good. They do it with the bad. And so one of the ways I found interrupt that because I have lost my worrying habit is by recognizing worry. And then choosing a new storyline doesn't mean I don't get to have the bad storyline. I just choose a potential alternative that is much more positive. So what that does is it kind of re wires the brain a bit to think like, Oh, the way I'm going now, right, Like the path I'm on is is not the only path. And so because a lot of times when we worry and we create this story, we end up getting so anchored Thio this negative story line that that's all we see and what we focus on. But if we can create alternatives, say at least three different ways that the story could play out mhm, then our brain doesn't get so fixated on the worst. There you go. Then that gets us into our complaining and more stress and that snow starting to build up. Exactly. I do want to get through these questions because I think you'd have fascinating what keeps you productive. As you know, just keep working, keep plugging it out. What? What is it that keeps you going? I love that you think I'm productive and I am So I joke. But I do love a good afternoon naps for the record, right? Um, it's that greater purpose is the one day or even so far, it's been just such a small number of people that I have impacted, and I'm still grateful for every one of them. But I think this this thinking and knowing and feeling that there are people out there who desperately need me and other people, right? Like I think we all have a perspective that we can share. And, you know, I just did an interview it for a magazine and they asked, they said, like, Why should people share their stories? And I'm in their wisdom and I'm like, because every person has an absolute unique perspective. Mhm. And there is somebody you know. You've heard things a million times, and then one person says it a different way, and you're like, Wow, that's what they mean. And the thing is, there are people out there who are waiting for your perspectives that they can have that moment of going, Oh, that's what they need and you can choose who that is, but that drives me that. That's why I don't give up hope. That's why when there's, you know, the times that the business goes up and down and up and down, like many businesses in the times when it's in the Valley, I'm like, It's okay, Just keep doing what you're doing, what you're doing because I know that if I won the lottery, I would not change what I do. Well, you mentioned there's a proverb, but I heard one. I know one that's you know there's nothing. There's nothing new under the sun, and that's kind of where it ends. But the idea is that people's ears air open at different times. Thio here there was truce that people are constantly saying, and it takes an open ear and open heart Thio to really digest into implement what people are, you know, trying to impart into their lives. Now I won't get through these questions because you have a okay, you know, that's all right.

I I mean, she said no problem. So my call is good. Let's keep going. I love in our chit chat. What do you use? What a key. What's most your most prized tool that you use? Maybe, you know, you're so for book novelist, Um, a writer. Maybe it's the typewriters, a keyboard. It's the pen and a legal pad. Maybe it's it's speaking. Maybe, um, that your presence? What is something that you can't do without everyone? Tool. Oh, pen and paper. If that's yeah for my planning, I actually used like old school pen and paper, you know? Yeah, I've got no everywhere for Well, it's good. Like I love these things because people who would be, As you said, Well, if you're not under 30 you wouldn't know that. And that's right. And some people might think they shouldn't use paper and pen. I actually think it's a great way because your mind connects to it, and I can see things visually, and it also so I have a system for coming out of overwhelm on projects because projects like book writing and everything that that could be really overwhelming and daunting or running podcast or whatever. So it's like if you put on your list, I have Thio, you know, create an article, write an article that's going to take you longer right, And it could be overwhelming. And then you procrastinate on it, etcetera. So the way I do it is I actually go. Okay, I've got to write this article and then I break it into, like, five sub like I do little squiggly lines and I go, Okay, so I've got to choose the topics I've got Thio, you know, pull the picture. I've got Teoh, right? The outline. Then I've got Teoh, right? The pros. And then I've got Thio, you know, put it on the block, and then I've got to do the CEO. And then so I actually, like, make it into the smallest little possible trunks I can when I feel overwhelmed. And then you just go pick, pick picking and you get momentum. And at the end, you get the thing done and I find I do that best on headed paper. I was speaking to someone before, and they mentioned about the to do list. And I heard you speaking about the to the to do list that never really ends. So it doesn't have to accept. Stop being as long as you accept it today, it's gonna end. It's not. It's a circle e was shocked. I do list on a piece of paper, but as you have, she had like a notebook, and she keeps them like the whole thing. So she kind of chronicles all that she does. I was pretty impressed with that thinking of my audience and people who would listen. What is your top tip for people getting into work thinking, You know, the little girl husking the corn? I don't even know what the proper name Chasse Ling. Ah, or, you know, sanding Cem. Cem would and, you know, getting into work. You know, first couple of jobs didn't work out, but they were all great experience. What would your tippy for someone getting to work even if they're changing careers? Uh, I would say learn the lesson within the moments like like all the future, figure out. What am I learning from this now? Because I maybe would have been able to connect the dots faster if I had that mindset earlier. And the other piece, I think if I had one piece of advice for anybody with their work, is when opportunity presents itself. Talk yourself in. Don't talk yourself out. Yes, Speaking about looking at the future in the moment now. Sorry to go on a tangent. I was walking my daughter to school today and she want to go with her two friends. So I was going with my daughter anyway. But she's with her two friends, so I'm certainly going with my daughter. And there was this boy playing. He was kicking a container ahead of us a milk container and just saw and he tripped and fell and he was a bigger boy. My daughters only great five, and he's probably great. Six. And he fell and the three girls together just start bursting out laughing. And he was kind of a pretty big boy, but it was pretty funny because he wasn't showing off. He just found some garbage. He was kicking, and then he stumbled and rolled over, dropped everything. And so the girls start laughing. And this is not for me to boast about me. but I went over, helped him out. He speaks Korean, so we didn't have a long conversation. But he was so angry, so upset, and they start crying because the girls were laughing at him. So I tried to talk to him the best that I could. And then I went up there and I told my daughter to translate to these. Her two friends, because they don't really speak English is try to put yourself in their shoes at that moment, you know, rather than in his shoes at that moment. And think, if there was three boys and one of you girls just...

...happened to fall, how would you feel? And all three of the girls, even my daughter, Because they I think she was copying them. Oh, and then their whole attitude change. So thinking rather, you know, it's okay. It was funny. But understand why he would, you know, react the way he did. And that's what you're saying is using these moments and seeing in the future what you're learning from these lessons, and I find just as being a father, you you learn those things a little bit better. Being older. You think, Ah, different perspective, a different way to look at this, a different angle and, you know, like, so beautiful. And I'm glad you called them out on it because, like, laughing of it's Funny is one thing. But the way so thinking about that movie, the outside of what people see the embarrassment you said earlier, right? The tent. They were just like ha ha ha, not at him. But he took it like oh for sure and not good shape. Like right. He may never kick another camp. He may not become a soccer player because he is so embarrassed. Like I mean, I'm exaggerating, but not really, because it only on our brains as a young in are not formed, right, like they're not formed to understand perspective. So when something happens to you, it's like it's so big and it's so catastrophe like such a catastrophe. And if you don't have that conversation to say, like No, no, no, it was just funny the way it happened. Then let's have a laugh. And hey, let's kick again and get back on the kicking of the can or whatever you're doing, right? Uh, that could really impact somebody. So i e got him to say it was funny, though. I go because he could speak at the most Korean kids to speak of, like, you know, joke, joke. Um, you know, funny, right? Like a little funny. It was a little funny. So he understood. But just the laughing at him that I mean, that would have crushed me if I was doing that. Oh, my gosh. Oh, yeah. Absolutely. And I have done that. I've fallen on stage, so I get it. What is your work? Life. Balance. I heard someone say today, work life choice. Or how do you rest from your work? I mean, here it's kind of forced, but what do you normally dio? I will watch w network movies. I love that. Um I love my work so much that I do a lot of time in my computer. I don't know, even know what I'm doing, like writing or videos thinking, you know, strategizing. So I probably am a little bit more towards the working, especially during cove it because I'm on my own for a part of it. I had my mom with me, but not all of it. And so I go to the lake. That's huge, right? As long as I don't need the Internet, I could be out there because it's not very reliable, and I just am peaceful. But I also I'm always like listening to different speakers, right? I watch a lot of Tim Bill use interviews. I watch rich role. I watched very Vander talk. I watch, you know, Mel Robbins, burn a Brown. I also Russell Brand's lately, which I never thought would be something I'd ever do. And I'm like, Oh, he's gone through quite the journey. Um, you know, really find a lot of like little nuggets and what he's saying, So I'm constantly pulling that stuff in, But to me, that's relaxing, right? I'd like to talk more about each one, but I'm going to try to slow, you know, speed up for you. We can always do another one. You know, we could do it, but, you know, for your listeners who have been hanging in for an hour and 39 minutes there, I mean, they have pause. They have You can always come back. They can always come back. So something about you wish you would have known you know a big mistake that you've learned from those types of things. What has it been for you? Something that you have brought forward You wish you would have known. And maybe one of your biggest mistakes that has taught you a very valuable lesson. I'm gonna say it was being self conscious the whole time, like not being in like when I was younger and still to this day, Like my instinct, Like a bio to a party, I have to fight that inner like little girl who's like, feels left out, right, Like not part of the cool kids crowd. Um, it's just not my comfort zone. And it's funny because I teach networking. So maybe that's why I ended up teaching it. But is that self consciousness? I think everybody's kind of feeling it Maybe not in that particular way, But there is that self doubt and the am I good enough? And I wish I would just have let and still like I work on it. I find my framework. Uh, that's...

I wished those times when I was feeling insecure, I would have had a better perspective to understand. First of all, everybody is probably feeling similarly and what you're doing is not that long like, Yes, you said something and you sounded funny or Yes, you said something. You sounded like an idiot. Like whatever. Like another end of the spectrum. I wish I didn't judge. I guess that's it. I wish I wouldn't judge myself so much. It's the the idea of feeling inadequate. Unable, you know. But people are usually gracious. Oh, you're talking about being the horrible speaker, right? Like, you know, people allowed you to continue. Yeah, I just sent it to Kathy to say still on. No worries. Uh um, to yeah, yeah, e. And it's so much part of the human existence. And see, this is why I want us to have this conversation because everybody could lay out different stories of what they went through and or how they felt or how they feel. Even now, after so much experience. Oh, my gosh, You do a podcast too? If you ever talk to someone, then it. But there's no need. You have the experience. You know what you're doing, like what's What's the issue? What's the problem? And then sometimes we can't even put our finger to find out what it is and why is it there? But everyone feels it. Yeah, and is having that self awareness and then being okay with what you find right not being like Like, I think one of my gotta go techniques is if I'm feeling upset or embarrassed or, you know, even angry or whatever. Like all those like, important emotions that we have a human. I don't like the feeling. So my instinct is to grab my phone, right? I'm gonna gonna call somebody gonna go, sir, and like, got to go technique with that. And so now, because I become self aware, I'm like, that's not the healthiest answer. Because if we have embarrassment about something, if we can actually, like, sit with it and it will dissipate, it's when we just kind of keep it on the surface all the time, like, you know, just under the surface. And then I kept coming, like all those times when I bombed in front of audiences and things like that, I would feel like years later I think about it on then I'd like, distract myself, So I didn't have to deal with it. The telephone is big and you're not if someone does it, not referring to you. But I see it a lot here in Korea, like just some, you know, the just the genesis acqua those moments of you don't know and certainly people grab their phone as if the phone, whatever they're about to dio, is going to solve this problem or get this situation out of the way. And it's it's a really bad habit for people to be getting into. You spoke about education, and I think you proved by the number of books that you've written. Education is not necessary for everyone. But where do you value education in the learning process and the things that you've had to learn, whether just hands on learning well. And I think that this is really important because I highly value knowledge and wisdom highly and so, and I value the experience of going up getting that I don't necessarily believe the Onley way to get it history university degree or college degree or informal? Absolutely. And but I also want to be clear to say, and I also want to be clear not. But, um, did you say that there is a time and a place and a high value. If your brain works that way from a post secondary education, right, like there's not for everyone, but it is for someone. And I think that there are, Ah, lot of ways you can learn and the beauty of the Internet and YouTube. And, you know, online courses like I have four online courses right now that are available for people, right? It's is You can learn that way. Mhm and I've bought so many online courses. So you wanna be discerning like choose the ones that actually will solve the problem for you. Not everyone, because there's been a lot of money on that, but and I think here, too, with education in all forms, it's not about taking something, and having it is absolute right in black and white. It's about taking all of this knowledge and then mixing it around in your own brain, your own heart and figuring out...

...what what is the best advice for you based on you learning that new knowledge? Because just because somebody else says it doesn't mean it's absolute mhm. I know you highly value education learning, and I mean without learning where we're we're doomed. Anything else that you'd like to add? Alison Mawr of encouragement to listeners, Especially these times, you know, knowing the difficulties, you know, a decade of hell that Ah lot of people go through. And, you know, I think that's even being modest because you probably had more than a decade of hell. Like we didn't even talk about my decade of hell, right? But that, you know, however many decades we have, we all have that the feeling of something that's pretty horrible. If we looked at it from that angle right, there's a lot of different ways that we could look at the difficulties that we go through. So to encourage listeners, how would you go about offering some advice? There's always hope. There is always hope until it's over. There is always hope. There's always a silver lining, and I believe that finding the hope takes a shift in perspective that you need to take the thing that you're going through that is awful right? Maybe you've lost your job, or maybe you hate your job or, you know, whatever. And you've got to find places where you can find Joyce little moments where your life. Oh, look at that. Like I was walking yesterday, I do 22nd daily tips. I don't if you've seen those on LinkedIn, they're just random, like 20 seconds. Here's a tip. But I was just walking with my dog and the sun was shining and it was on my face and I just stopped and I looked up and I went, Oh, my God, that's so beautiful. Like, even if in the middle of all of the tough thing the Onley beautiful thing you can find is that the sun is shining. They need you to go outside and put your face up to the sun because there is always beauty in every awful experience. I wouldn't wanna bring sports into this, and I never have thus far. But I just know Dak Prescott just broke his leg. And no, if your NFL but snapped his leg in the bottom part rate kind of in half and being tracked out horrible situation. But everyone's cheering for him. Everyone is doing their best to encourage him, and you know, there's some really bad things that happen to people. And if we can just find that hope that you know, sometimes tomorrow doesn't come. But at least looking for tomorrow that things will get better, things will improve or something will come out of it that you never expected that would what would happen. And so I don't know much about sports or this player. I do know a lot of broken leg injury, unfortunately, but here's the thing. There will be something that when he looks back on his career, that be and I have no idea who this guy is, and I am just great, wonderful player is like, Well, hopefully he'll. So it was a clean break. He could get back up. Right? Um, there will be something that in two years from now he will look back on this time of healing where he shifted a perspective on Hiss. Uh, his thinking, his mental discipline in his relationship at home. Maybe he'll have a stronger connection at home. Maybe he will bring new people into his life. He will become some of his best friends, like we don't know. And this is why I believe if we're just making up the future anyway, why not make up a good story, right? You know the world gives you lemons. They say make lemonade if you like lemonade. Allison Graham, how can people reach you? Come on over to my website. Everything's there. Allison graham dot co dot c o not dot com eso Allison graham dot co and someone over and follow me on LinkedIn. I think that's where I spent most of my mind. That's how you and I connected and yeah, I love Thio. See people over there. One final question, Alison, why do you work? Oh, what a great question. Because I love it. That's who I am. What they dio changes, changes the perspective on the whole thing When you love what you dio Oh, yeah, I dio I love it. All I want to do is more of it. Allison Graham, Thank you for your time. You've been gracious with it. I have enjoyed this journey with you. And I hope to speak to you soon. And I can't wait. Thio, I'd like to be your next like your 150th episode. You're on all...

...right. And we'll look. We'll look for your book coming out soon. I'm not gonna release it until after the pandemic. That one I'm doing that won't be too long. Were optimistic about the end of the pandemic. Okay, good. I'm in. Good. Thank you. Allison Graham. Thank you. Thank you for listening to this episode of why we work with Brian V. Be sure to subscribe, Follow and share with others so they too can be encouraged in their work. E hope that you have yourself a productive yet joyful day in your work.

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