Category Archives: PERSONAL GROWTH

LIFESTYLE, PERSONAL GROWTH

Roy Craft: An integrated life, embracing change, and train for spontaneity

Joined on the show by Roy Craft, President of GroupSpace LLC.

Roy has had a long and varied career from technical and retail fields to international corporate business to non-profit and higher education. He has simultaneously had strong avocational interests in positive peace, sustainability, education and making.

Four key takaways from our conversation with Roy Craft:

1. The importance of developing an integrated life as opposed to a balanced life, and how the Millennial generation is showing us the way to do this;

2. The extent to which we have divisions and segmentation in our society which we accept as normal today, but which in an historical context have not been so….such as the idea that we need to educate differently for the sciences and the arts;

3. We need to embrace change and dynamism. Diversity is not enough, but it is a start; disruption is not the goal but it’s a beginning.

4. We can train ourselves in spontaneity and bring this into our lives to create something new, something happy, something wonderful and fulfilling of our lives.

This interview was originally published on A New Business Mindset.

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, PERSONAL GROWTH, WELLNESS

Dennis C. Miller: How business leaders can overcome depression and anxiety

Joined on the show today by Dennis C. Miller, motivational speaker, leadership coach, CEO, and author of the book Moppin’ Floors to CEO: From Hopelessness And Failure to Happiness and Success. Learn more about him here.

Discussion guide from my conversation with Dennis C. Miller:

1. How big of a problem is depression, anxiety, and mental illness in business today? Dennis believes at least 50% of executives are suffering.

2. Dennis explains his experience with depression and anxiety in a high-powered position.

3. Why do you believe mental illness should not be viewed as a character flaw?

4. Why is it a sign of strength to seek professional help, and not a weakness?

5. How does investing in your emotional health contribute to personal growth, happiness, and success?

6. How can CEOs recover from mental health issues without sacrificing their place professionally?

Find Dennis C. Miller’s book here:

About Dennis C. Miller:

Dennis C. MillerDennis is the author of “Moppin’ Floors to CEO: From Hopelessness and Failure to Happiness and Success,” and a nationally recognized strategic leadership coach and motivational speaker with over 30 years of experience. The former CEO of Somerset Medical Center and Healthcare Foundation, Dennis now works with leaders of nonprofit organizations and is an expert in board governance, leadership development and succession planning. As the Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Excellence in Leadership, Governance and Philanthropy at Farleigh Dickinson University, Miller also served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Saint Joseph’s Regional High School in Montvale, New Jersey.

Miller is a regular columnist for The Nonprofit Times, a leading business publication for the nonprofit industry. He has written three previous books about nonprofit organization success: A Guide to Achieving New Heights: The Four Pillars of Successful Nonprofit Leadership; The Nonprofit Board Therapist: The Guide to Unlocking Your Organization’s True Potential; and The Power of Strategic Alignment: A Guide to Energizing Leadership and Maximizing Potential in Today’s Nonprofit Organizations.

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HR, LIFESTYLE, PERSONAL GROWTH

“It’s” a Shame, Not Me.

I wrote and I published.

I recently published a post about an incident in Dallas while I was traveling for work. I was drugged at a trusted restaurant by a bartender / night manager, who followed me into the bathroom and subsequently tried to pull me in the men’s room. This happened in the middle of April, and it has traumatized me far more than I like to admit. I have kept up a good front and tried to smile through it all.

I originally wrote the referenced post a few days after the drugging occurred, but I was unable to actually hit the publish button until 4+ weeks later. I still suffer from nausea, dizziness, insomnia, digestive issues, and headaches. What I don’t know is if these are the ill-effects of the drug or is it how I have reacted mentally to what happened. I will survive, trust me and I will scream what happened to me from the rooftops. I will post, comment, tweet, snap, pin, insta, and link it to as many different sites, to as many different people, as possible.

Why the Follow-Up?

I write this follow-up because I have been overwhelmed by the hundreds of people who have messaged me in public and private about their own terror and their own brush with this type of drugging. Innocent women AND men who felt the shame I felt, who still carry those scars with them, who were violated in one way or another, who were raped or robbed, abused and broken.

In conversations, written and spoken with friends and others in my own town of Laguna Beach, I have heard from or about dozens of individuals who experienced this here, in their own town – they weren’t traveling and they were at popular, local restaurants or bars. Most had been raped.

I know I was lucky

I know this – I know that my situation could have been far worse. There have been times when I wish it had been, so medical professionals and law enforcement officers, and even some friends and family, had taken me more seriously. That is sad – that is horrifying. I KNOW it could have been worse, but saying to me, “At least you weren’t raped” doesn’t ease my suffering or take away my nightmares. It makes me shake with anger for the many who were, scream for the men who were robbed or beaten, and cry for the young girl whose boyfriend betrayed her, beat her, and dumped her outside of her apartment. And continue to weep for those who hide their shame, who still haven’t told anyone of their terror – because they fear, because they want to forget.
But they won’t ever. I won’t ever.

I know why.

I have also heard why they keep it a secret. Why they cloak their faces. Why they avert their eyes.
Why they feel shame.

“Well, you shouldn’t have been drinking.”
“See what happens when you drink?”
“You shouldn’t travel alone.”
“You need to be more careful.”
“Stop talking to people you don’t know.”
“Maybe you need to slow down.”
“This only happens at frat parties or on college campuses.”
“Such a new and horrible thing that is happening.”
“What were you wearing?”
“Did you show cleavage?”
“Did you flirt with him?”
“Why did you give him your name?”

“You shouldn’t have been drinking…”

  • I wasn’t drunk – I didn’t drink too much.
  • This happened to individuals drinking water, Diet Coke, Red Bull, Lemonade, and so on.
  • I have to travel alone AND I like traveling alone.
  • Yes, I will be more careful and will never again take a drink from someone I don’t know or don’t see them pour. Nor will I leave my drink alone or turn my back on it. This one I accept.
  • I will always talk to people I don’t know – it’s who I am, it’s what I do.
  • I’ll slow down when I’m dead.
  • No, it doesn’t only happen to young women in college. I’m 52.
  • NOT new. One friend told me about how it happened to her 40+ years ago. Oh, and Bill Cosby. Not new.
  • I was wearing a tank top with a sweater and baggy pants from Talbots (better known as the old lady store – because guess what? I’m an old lady)
  • Yes, cleavage was showing. Guess what? I have cleavage.
  • I wasn’t flirting, but if I had been – would that have made it ok? I was smiling. I was happy. Was.
  • He had my name because I paid the bill with my credit card
    (Which, interestingly enough was refunded a few days after the incident.)
  • And this happened because it just did and it does to too many people all the time, every day. And it happened because it is a crime that bad people get away with. No one presses charges because it is nearly impossible to get a conviction or even charges. And because someone close to them says or asks the things above. Because we, the victims, are shamed.

No, your Diet Coke won’t protect you.

Blame it on alcohol or the fact that I had a couple drinks?
Blame it on me for traveling alone?
Blame it on what I was wearing?
Blame it on me for being gregarious?

Blame it on everyone or every thing but the man who did this to me and the restaurant who covered it up?

This is real – this is a real danger we all face in our world.  This could have been your daughter, mother, sister. It could have been YOU.

No one “deserves” this.

I didn’t get what was coming to me and I refuse to be a woman who plays the victim, who locks her door every second of every day, one who carries a stick with her everywhere.
Because I fear. Because it could happen again. Because there are bad people.
There are also good people. There are more good people.
And there are MORE people than you know who have been drugged by someone who wanted to take advantage of them in one way or another. 

We need to make it NOT alright for someone to get away with this.

MANY people have messaged me privately and publicly to say this has happened to them, too. Thank you to those who were brave enough to do so, and I’m so sorry. To those who couldn’t or didn’t message me, I get it, I understand. You are not alone. And I am so sorry you went through this and felt you had no recourse, no one to share it with, no one to report this crime to.

It’s not just women who are raped.
It’s not just women.
It’s not just someone drinking alcohol.
It’s not just someone dressed sexily or one who flirts.
It’s not someone was out or traveled alone.

Not my first rodeo

This happened to me before at an industry event in Las Vegas, at a Human Resources and Recruiting Conference. Someone I knew drugged me. I kept quiet because I was embarrassed. Because I didn’t know what I could do. Because I felt shame. Because I wasn’t sure who did it and I was worried about them and not me.

I will not ever be quiet about this. I won’t be quiet again.

LIFESTYLE, PERSONAL GROWTH, WELLNESS

My Story, My Warning: I was Drugged.

I Was Drugged

Probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to write.

Mostly because of the shame attached to that phrase and the unpleasant explanation that follows.

I didn’t want to write this. I didn’t want to file a police report. I didn’t want to pee in a cup. I didn’t want to tell my children or my mother. I didn’t want to tell my friends.

But what I don’t want more than any of that is: I don’t want that creep to do it to anyone else ever again. Because, I know – I KNOW – he has done this before. He’s done it before and he hasn’t gotten caught. He’s done it before and no one has reported it, no one has filed charges.

The Story

I arrived in Dallas from LAX the evening before an HR technology conference, in time to have a friend pick me up at the airport and go to dinner. My friend Jackie selected one of her favorite Mexican cuisine restaurants near the Turtle Creek area of Dallas. I love Mexican food — being a California native and resident, it is often the meal of choice in my home and among my friends. The small beach town where I live has several Mexican restaurants to choose from, so I was excited to try a new place.

We arrived and were seated quickly – we ordered a couple skinny margaritas and cruised over the menu several times – plus talked incessantly about life, love, and work. We were having a great time. By the time we ordered our food, our 2nd margarita arrived. Between chips and the chimichanga, plus being a “lite margarita” – Jackie and I felt no effects of the alcohol.  A third round was ordered, but Jackie, being a wise and thoughtful friend, but also the driver for the evening, abstained.

It wasn’t long until a tray with two vanilla shots arrived, compliments of the Night Manager – “You ladies seem to be having a good time.” We were informed to sip it, not shoot it. Jackie took only a very small sip – but I drank it slowly down, still having felt no effects from the margaritas. Another tray of shots arrived, tequila this time. Jackie, again refused, the night manager insisted she, “Just take an Uber.” She stuck to her guns. I did the shot – within 10 minutes, the night manager was at my side, whispering and giving me a ‘scram’ head nod to, “Go the the bathroom, Rayanne.” I, innocently thinking, he wanted me to leave so he could flirt with my friend, did as he suggested.

I entered the bathroom and proceeded to use the toilet. While I was peeing, the Night Manager entered the bathroom – I froze – an intense feeling of personal danger suddenly came over me. I could see him through the crack in the bathroom door, he stood there, listening to me pee. I stared at his shoes. Then he left.

What do I do???

Thoughts began racing through my head and I felt like I was losing control. I know now, that the drug was in almost full effect at this point. I still did not comprehend the absolute fullness of what was happening to me. I washed my hands and left the bathroom quickly, but he was waiting for me outside the ladies’ room. He called my name and tried to pull me into the men’s bathroom. I pulled away and put my hand up in front of his face – my fingers extended – and screamed, “No!”

I walked/ran away as quickly as I could and grabbed Jackie, telling her, “We need to go – we need to leave – he just tried to pull me into the men’s room.” We gathered our things and went to the car — that is the last thing I remember – but not the last thing I did.

I sat down in the car, we drove to my hotel about 20 minutes away. I got out of the car, got my luggage and went to the counter. I checked into my room, giving the desk clerk my ID and credit card. I signed the receipt and put my license and my credit card back in the right place. I took the elevator to my room, used my key to enter my room, locked my door from the inside, set out my luggage, set up my computer and climbed into bed.
I don’t remember any of this.
NONE of it, I have a 4-hour block of amnesia. Complete amnesia – the next thing I do remember, slightly, is throwing up violently and showering and bathing, showering and bathing (yes, twice each) to try and rid my system of whatever I had ingested.

I was not drunk, I was not hungover – I was drugged.

How do I know? Because it has happened to me before and I was too ashamed to say anything to anyone until many years later.

When I woke the next morning, I was in bed – completely naked, my hair was sopping wet with only a vague memory of showering and bathing and throwing up during the night. I couldn’t even tell you what floor my room was on. My only clue was the key card and its cover sitting neatly next to my computer on the desk with the room number scrawled on it in Sharpie.

As I walked around my room trying to piece together what had happened, I felt a sharp pain in my foot. I looked down and saw my pinky toe sticking straight out from the side of my foot, swollen and red, bruising already started. I can only ascertain that I kicked the door jam in my hotel room in the middle of the night – I have no memory of that. But I sure felt the pain then.

I Had to Work

I was in Dallas for work — I had to pull myself together for work. I was responsible for getting things set up: for putting together equipment, for making sure everything was in place and ready for the event. I had to smile all day. And I could barely make it to the bathroom. I laid in bed wondering what to do – I shared my story, as a caution, with a FB group to which I belonged. Their support was incredible but a nagging theme emerged – while Thank God I was ok, I needed to report this.

I didn’t want to – I knew what a pain in the ass it was going to be. I pushed it to the back burner because, well – I needed to work. So, I girded my loins and I headed out the door to begin my day in an Expo Hall. A sickening nausea – the kind which accompanies a concussion – was my constant companion, along with a sore foot, dizziness, and general malaise.  I got through the day, doing all I needed to do, but I was a Zombie. Some of my light had left me. 

That evening I shared my story with my grown children via group text messaging. They were angry, of course, but also scared for what might have happened. They were disappointed I had not reported the crime – I countered that I didn’t have time – that I was there for work and there was still work for me to do. But I researched and researched some more. A blood test is no longer needed to see these drugs in your system – a simple urine sample will suffice, for up to 72 hours, after an encounter with Rohypnol – if it were GHB, it would already be out of my system within 12 -24 hours.  So, I started planning – how can I report this, get a lab test done, and still put in 4 more hours in an Expo Hall the next day, plus pack up everything?

The Uber Driver

The next morning, I pinged for an Uber. One arrived shortly: a compact white Mazda. Harold got out of his little white car and helped me with my luggage. I relaxed instantly. Until that moment, I had been afraid – I worried I would not be able to get in the car, that my fear would overcome me, that my trust was completely lost, and that I would hold the actions of one against the many I needed to trust in my life of travel.

But, the right driver was sent to me. I asked Harold to drive me to the police station – he turned, concerned and I told him my story – he stayed with me for the next 45 minutes. He waited outside the closest police station for me – but get this, it wasn’t open — just a remote station. He waited for me outside the Starbucks where I bought breakfast for us both, while I regrouped and re-planned how I was going to do this. I had asked Harold if he had an important lady in his life – he hung his head shyly and said, “Yes, I have a special lady.” I told him to care for her and share my story – this can happen to anyone, at any time.

My trip to the police station would have to wait until later that day — I had four+ hours of work to fulfill now.

He took me to the conference center and got out of the car – he gently shook my hand and looked me in the eye saying, “Take care, Miss Rayanne. I’m sorry this happened to you.”  Then he placed my luggage on the curb, looked me in the eye one more time and smiled with a nod. And with that, Harold restored my faith in mankind. He eased me back into my world. He, this man – a stranger – relit that light.

The Police Report

The day dragged with conference attendance lighter than expected. Once my colleague and I repacked all our gear and I was able to get the shipping of all our equipment secured, my friend Jackie picked me up out front. I had been given the run around over the phone from two different police departments, no one wanted to handle this. I was finally told that I should go to a local Starbucks and call 911 from there and an officer would meet me to take my report. We selected a shop right by the scene of the crime and waited for over an hour – with my flight time closing in, this inaction didn’t seem like the right course, so we bee-lined for police headquarters in downtown Dallas.

Jackie and I stormed the building ready to take on whoever got in our way. Stopped by what seemed a makeshift TSA checkpoint, two female officers were reticent to even let us in, let alone file a report. I think it became very clear that I wasn’t going anywhere until I filed a report. I said, once again – “What if this had been you or your daughter?” They let us through and I was getting ready to tell my story when I heard the sergeant say, looking down at us from behind the counter, “Unless you’ve had a lab test, there is nothing we can do.” I countered that I would be getting a lab test when I left the station – then came these words,

“Well, you weren’t raped, were you?”

I was stunned and nearly speechless. Nearly. Then I said, “So because I wasn’t raped, no crime was committed? The victim has no voice? What am I supposed to do? What do I tell my daughters?” Jackie started talking too and I think, at this point, the sergeant relented to shut us up.

What if this had been your wife, your mother, your daughter, your sister?

I wanted to scream. I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. My hands were shaking as I shared my story with a female officer who took notes and promised a detective would follow up with me. We left the station with little time to spare and a need to find a healthcare facility where I could give a urine sample.

The battle to get the right test ensued. We found a local urgent care center which couldn’t help us, not having access to a lab or the right kind of test. A nurse who heard my story and was compelled to help, made some calls and found a lab that could do the necessary test.

We called ahead, the lab assistant was ready to close for the evening. I told my story again and she stated she would stay until we arrived and take a urine sample to be submitted for a couple different tests – checking for Rohypnol and GHB. I was able to leave the sample and also had an immediate result test done that was inconclusive. The other two samples were sent off with results to be returned 3-5 days later. And I paid the $150 for the tests.

But the results were negative…

I was told that I should have had the lab tests done within the first 6 hours for the most accurate results. The disorientation and sickness caused by the drug kept me from thinking clearly in those first 12 hours. The shame and continuing sickness, as well as the need to work, kept me from going to the hospital or calling the police once I ascertained what had happened to me.

I wish I HAD called the police immediately. I just don’t how I could have done anything differently than I did. I met with my physician as soon as I returned home and asked how I might be able to follow-up with a hair follicle test 3 weeks following the incident. I had been told that the drug(s) might show up then. With four follow-up calls asking for a lab referral, I gave up.

I haven’t heard from the detective who was supposed to have called me back, though I have left two messages. Without a positive lab result, however, there is not much the police can do. It is my word against a restaurant employee of eight years.

Does it end here?

It could. It could end here with me just forgetting about it. But I cannot. I will not.

I wasn’t drunk. I didn’t have a hangover. I still suffer from the lingering effects of a drug that someone decided to give me. I was drugged by a restaurant employee I trusted who tried to drag me into the bathroom. His timing was off by about 30 seconds. I was lucky. I was lucky that I was still coherent; that I listened to my internal danger signal and my impulse to leave immediately.

But there are those who have not been lucky. And there are those who might not be lucky this weekend or next. So I bring this warning.

DO NOT ACCEPT A SHOT from a STRANGER. Any time. Any where. Ever.
DO NOT leave your drink or turn your back on it. Ever. And if you do, throw it out or get a new one. 

I never will again. I want the shame on the victim of this crime to be gone. There should be NO SHAME on the victim. We live in a world where we have to trust strangers. Uber drivers. Grocery store clerks. Restaurant servers. Baristas. Mailmen. Police Officers.

This was not my fault. I didn’t ask for it and I didn’t deserve it.

No one does. Ever. 

I’m not done telling this story.

I will not be quiet.

LIFESTYLE, PERSONAL GROWTH, WELLNESS

Sara Robinson Chambless: How to live mindfully, and why!

Sara Robinson Chambless is an inspired self-realization teacher whose writing, speaking, and wellness practice empower individuals to lead rich and satisfying lives free from worry, stress, and fear.

1. Learning from Thoreau that we do not need to lead “lives of quiet desperation”, feeling stuck on a treadmill, but rather can find what we are “supposed” to be doing and move to an authentic life;

2. Happiness is not something to be pursued in its own right, but is something that emerges when we make life choices that put us on the right path;

3. The key to all of this is living mindfully. And Sara not only gives us some general tips on mindfulness, but spends time making it practical and real in a business context.

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This episode was originally published on A New Business Mindset!

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BUSINESS, CONTRIBUTORS, LEADERSHIP, LIFESTYLE, PERSONAL GROWTH

Get used to being uncomfortable

I have a good friend going through a tough time right now. He’s just recently suffered a big loss, and despite putting out a strong front to the world, I know he is struggling mightily.

“I suck at this,” he says. Followed by “I feel so broken.”

I get it. We’ve all been there.

And then today, as I write this, I had a big business setback myself. A project I was counting on fell through at the very last minute.

“How could this have happened to me,” I yelled out loud earlier today, within earshot of my poor wife who had no choice but to listen to my frustrated rant.

I’m feeling pretty blue as a result. This despite the fact that at this very moment in my life, I’ve never been happier, I’ve never felt more optimistic, and the growth track with my business remains overwhelmingly positive.

But setbacks and losses still suck. They still hurt. A lot. And it’s easy to fall into a tailspin as a result.

Here is what I am learning: Setbacks are a regular part of life. As much as you don’t want them to happen, they do. YOU HAVE NO CHOICE IN THIS MATTER.

And instead of curling up in the fetal position, or venting through loud vocal obscenities and rage like I do, foolishly, you have to suck it up and move on.

As a new friend of mine says, you have go forward, “Always Forward.”

Business and life is uncomfortable. It just is. If you expect it to be smooth and easy, you’ll be disappointed.

But it is moving forward, picking yourself back up, taking one step forward at a time = THE ONLY WAY TO KEEP GOING.

You know this, even if you are unwilling to admit it.

All the great ones do this. You can too. I can too. And I have to, for people are counting on me.

Life is uncomfortable. And it always will be. You have no choice but to accept that, and take that on as a personal challenge, and embrace it.

The Sun will come up tomorrow, the clock will keep ticking, dust will keep going through the hourglass, and you’ll still be there…

The question is will you be wallowing in it and sucking on your thumb? Or will you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move forward…Always Forward?

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AUTHORS, LIFESTYLE, PERSONAL GROWTH, WELLNESS

Dave Griffin: How running leads to both personal AND professional growth

Joined on the show today by Dave Griffin, founder of Flying Feet Running Programs, and author of a new book called In the Distance: Why We Struggle Through the Demands of Running, and How It Leads Us to Peace.

Discussion guide from my conversation with Dave Griffin:

1. How the focus and drive needed to become a runner can aid and enhance professional motivation. This is more than just about running, it’s about professional development too!

2. How he used the benefits of training and running with others in his leadership of his corporate risk management team – his 4 unique takeaway tips.

3. The statistics that indicate successful leaders are also regular exercise enthusiasts – the psychological truths behind this.

4. How running takes us back to our early childhood years and why it is important to be in touch with that part of ourselves as we mature in business.

5. Of course, we discuss the health (and mental) benefits of running.

6. And for those who are NOT runners, Dave shares some insights on HOW TO START!

Find Dave Griffin’s latest book here:

About Dave Griffin:

Dave Griffin began running in 1976 as a high school freshman. He ran competitively through 1989 with PRs that include a 25:43 5M, a 32:11 10K and a 1:12:24 half marathon. After a 12-year period of casual running when his children were young, he returned to competitive running as a master.

Griffin started the Flying Feet Running Programs in 2004 while his daughter, Katie, was running in high school. The program has since grown to provide year-round coaching and support to runners of all experience and talent levels in the Carroll County, MD area.

Griffin began writing about running and life in 2006, when his bi-weekly column, Dave Griffin on Running, was introduced. In 2010, Dave published his first book, After the Last PR – The Virtues of Living a Runner’s Life.

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BUSINESS, INCUBATOR, PERSONAL GROWTH, WELLNESS

INCUBATOR 030: Jane Curth: Improve health by combining the power of an activity tracking device with expert evaluation

Joined in studio today by Jane Curth, Founder + CEO, of Healthyou. Healthyou improves users’ health by combining the power of an activity tracking device with expert evaluation. With data analysis, weekly feedback, and personal encouragement, users embark on a lifelong trajectory of healthy living.

Jan Curth

Discussion guide from our conversation with Jane Curth:

1. Healthyou background–including Jane’s background…what lead her to create Healthyou! And how was it started?

2. What does Healthyou do?

3. Importance of a healthy lifestyle. And why you have to set goals…

4. Importance of accountability in pursuing a healthy lifestyle.

5. We discuss the technology behind Halthyou. And its integration with FitBit.

6. Who is Healthyou’s target audience?

7. We discuss Healthyou’s ONLINE COURSES, who they are for… Hint: Continuing Education1

8. New initiative of Healthyou — starting a new initiative in education to enhance the work they are already doing. Online courses are being developed that will give pertinent information to clients. Also, online elite courses are being developed that will provide continuing education credits to personal trainers and fitness professionals.

9. We wrap up with THE WELA question of the week: “What is the best piece of financial advice you have ever received for given?”

About Jane Curth:

Jane started Healthyou amidst a life dedicated to educating and encouraging people on the benefits of living an active and healthy lifestyle. She has been an ACE (American Council on Exercise) certified Personal Trainer since 1998. She is also a retired college professor and has served for over 20 years in the field of Health and Kinesiology.

She has presented at over 18 state, regional, and national conferences on various health and fitness topics. She developed many online courses in her career and turned those experiences into her wellness coaching company, Healthyou. She is an active Baby Boomer living a wellness lifestyle and wants to help others in her generation, and younger, to live life to the fullest.

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The Incubator is made possible by the following partners:

MD Burns Nash

Wela Logo_Strategies

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CONTRIBUTORS, LIFESTYLE, PERSONAL GROWTH

You don’t need to get up at 4AM each morning to be a success

Every day, I read some article that, if true, someone far more awesome than me has already done the following by 6AM:

photo-1428954376791-d9ae785dfb2d1. They were wide awake, showered, dressed, and at their desk by 4AM…losing a half pound of weight in the process.
2. By 5AM, they had already written 2,000 words.
3. By 520AM, they had meditated for 20 minutes and achieved near enlightenment.
4. And by 6AM, with all the kids awake, bathed, and lunch boxes packed, they had also done yoga for an additional 20 minutes. Namaste my friend!

Let me boldly and proudly declare, that by 6AM, I haven’t gotten out of bed yet. But, according to the internet, I am the only person on the entire planet still sleeping at this time in the morning.

Other essays I’ve read, some of these even more amazing people have also run a 5K (or more), prepared food from scratch (that they harvested from the back yard garden), have read the entire Wall Street Journal by 617AM, and have even done a little work to lower the Earth’s core temperature by .05 degrees.

These are truly amazing people. And all doing overtly sustainable activities before the Sun even rises.

By 617AM, I have probably read one or two articles on the Red Sox. And by then I have a 5 year old Golden Retriever standing on my chest giving me the vulture look. I will usually pretend to go back to sleep to fake her out, but Shiloh usually doinks me in the eye with the cold tip of her wet dog nose to tell me I am full of it.

Around 625AM, I will have stolen a look at my lovely wife, who is forcing her eyes closed so that I am made to believe she isn’t awake yet. For she doesn’t really want to talk to me until 10AM at the earliest. Trust me, she’s awake.

Seriously, I am amazed at the amount of people who have rewritten the U.S. Constitution by sunup. Who are all of these people? Why are they so perfect? How is it that with all of these amazing people, we still have cancer, and why are geopolitical affairs still such a mess?

Are these people for real? Are they even real?

Despite my obvious failings in the wee hours of the morning, I am still happy. I am still running a growing and successful business, I have a wife that loves me (after 10AM), and I have two happy, healthy dogs.

And oh, I haven’t even told you the really bad news yet: The first two things I do in the morning:

1. Check Facebook.
2. Read my email.

Yes, since you started reading this essay, there have been about 300 new articles published condemning humans for checking email and social media before midday.

And yes, despite the fact that I DO NOT get up at 4AM each morning AND check email and Facebook whilst still in bed, here is a list of the things I happen to still accomplish:

1. I read a book a week.
2. I run at least a 5K three to four times a week.
3. I walk my dogs round Chicago the non-running days of the week.
4. I run a business.
5. I conduct a dozen radio interviews for my business.
6. I explore my city (which translates to: I eat a lot).

I do all these things when I can, and when I want to. I check email as often as I want to. I check Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram whenever I want to.

Look, I am not condemning people who have a set morning routine. I admire them for getting up early and achieving things.

It just doesn’t work for me.

For me, every day is different. My interview schedule varies each day. Some days I am on the road. Some days Stephanie and I have plans. Some days are running days. I just simply cannot follow a strict routine day in and day out.

But you do have to find out what works for you. And stick to it. Or at least know WHAT you have to do, and be disciplined to get it done over the course of the day.

Just don’t judge me when I don’t rise at 4AM. We are all different, and we are all wired in different ways. I am glad to hear you’ve figured out what works for you, and appreciate you sharing it with us. It may very well inspire someone to try something new.

Live life on your terms. Don’t be guilted into following a process that isn’t right for you, just to please some superhero that probably isn’t real…

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PERSONAL GROWTH

Todd Schnick’s 2015-2017 Reading List

A list of the books I’ve completed from 2015-2017 (most recent on top):

The Innovation Book by Max Mckeown.

Anything You Want by Derek Sivers.

Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products by Leander Kahney.

Do The Work by Steven Pressfield.

The 48 Laws Of Power by Robert Greene. An intense read, and what I believe is the modern guide book for those in business and politics. A 21st Century version of The Prince.

Open Up and Say AAAH: Discover…Who You Are Now Shape…Who You Are Becoming Create…What You Want to Experience by Erica Peitler.

Open by Andre Agassi. If you are a sports fan, you don’t want to miss this book. If you are a tennis fan, you’ll be over the Moon and will wonder why you waited this long to read this memoir.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F_ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson. I can only recommend this book to….pretty much everyone on the planet. As the author would tell you, you are giving too many fucks about too many (insignificant) things…

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight. I thought I knew the story of Nike, but I didn’t. This book is amazing. Rarely have I been more inspired. They always say a book might just possibly change a life. It might have just happened to me…

Reinvent Yourself by James Altucher.

Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley and Dr. Henry Lodge. A friend recommended this to me, not because I needed it (but I did), but because she wanted me to interview the authors. The best book I’ve read on how to slow (and almost stop) aging, and live a productive happy life well into your senior years.

The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday. If you see life as full of roadblocks, you desperately need this book.

Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. My all-time favorite book. I lost my old beaten up copy from high school in the move, so I bought a new copy from a cool, local independent bookstore in the Chicago Loop.

Alone on the Wall by Alex Honnold.

Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. My favorite business book, which I try to read at least once per year.

I, Sniper by Stephen Hunter. I interviewed this Pulitzer Prize winning writer a while back. I do enjoy his Swagger novels.

What Would Keith Richards Do? by Jessica Pallington West. If you don’t like all the usual writers of philosophy, you might look to Keef as your new source of how to survive and live life. What a fascinating read. A gift from my friend Bill Wooditch.

Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon. I try to read this book once per year. My all-time favorite read on being more creative. It’s a must read. In the book, he shares this simple manifesto: Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use – do the work you want to see done.

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway.

The Prince by Nicollo Machiavelli. The classic read on achieving and holding power, and one I haven’t read since my early days in politics. “It’s better to be feared, than loved.”

A Stranger To Myself by Willy Peter Reese. A German soldier shares his journal of life from the Eastern front of WWII. This is a horrifying account of war, and for me, an eye-opening understanding of a part of the war I knew very little about…Hitler’s invasion into Russia. A gift from my friend, Bill Wooditch.

The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More + Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier.

The Sun + The Moon + And The Rolling Stones by Rich Cohen.

Leading With GRIT by Laurie Sudbrink. And Laurie and I did a complete audio series around GRIT, which you can find here!

Washington’s Spymaster, the Revolutionary War memoirs of Col. Benjamin Tallmadge.

Thumbs Up: 5 Steps To Create the Life of Your Dreams by Joey Reiman.

Always Forward by William Wooditch. A great read to help kickstart your sales…and life. And Bill and I have recorded a new series that will launch late May 2016. Get a preview here – Be A Game Changer!

One+One Equals Three by Dave Trott. If you are in marketing, you need to read EVERY book by Dave as soon as possible. Will change your thinking instantly.

Life by Keith Richards. If you dig music, the sixties, and the history of rock n’ roll, this is a can’t miss. One of my favorite books of all-time.

The Call of the Wild by Jack London.

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells.

And the Good News Is: Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side by Dana Perino.

Not Taught: What It Takes to be Successful in the 21st Century that Nobody’s Teaching You by Jim Keenan.

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane.

The Crack-Up by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead: Useful Stories from a Persuasive Man by Jerry Weintraub. My second favorite book from this year. If you have any interest in the entertainment industry, you’ll totally dig this book.

Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation In Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself by Rich Roll.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.

Think Round: How To Own The Future By Focusing 100% Of Your Company On Customers & Consumers 100% Of The Time by Martha Pease. Click here to listen to my interview with the author!

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant.

We Learn Nothing: Essays and Cartoons by Tim Kreider.

Letters from a Stoic (Hardcover Classics) by Seneca.

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World by Gary Vaynerchuk. My conversation with Gary, where he teases the idea of this very book…

Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Businessman (Classic Reprint) by Robert R. Updegraff. Or, click here for the free PDF download!

The Dealmaker’s Ten Commandments: Ten Essential Tools for Business Forged in the Trenches of Hollywood by Jeff Cohen. You may know the author as Chunk from The Goonies, but now is a high-powered dealmaker in Hollywood, and this book is his process. Fantastic. And CLICK HERE to listen to my recent interview with him.

Thumbs Up!: Five Steps to Create the Life of Your Dreams by Joey Reiman. This book is in my 2015 Top Five. CLICK HERE to check out my recent interview with the author!

Just Add Water by Michael Baldwin. If you do a lot of speaking and presentations, this book is a MUST READ. Here is an interview of mine with the author.

The Sales and Marketing Nexus: A Quick Hit Guide On How to Grow Your Business and Increase Revenue by Travis Kennedy.

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story by Dan Harris. The best book I’ve read in 2015.

Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod.

The Effective Executive (Harperbusiness Essentials) by Peter Drucker. Here are some my lessons learned from Drucker’s book.

Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans by Peter Shankman. Check out my recent interview with Peter on the release of this book!

Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work by Steven Pressfield.

Prolific: The Art & Science of Collecting, Creating and Communicating Your Ideas by Scott Ginsberg.

Do the Work: Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way by Steven Pressfield.

Show Your Work: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon.

The Third Bullet (Bob Lee Swagger Novels) by Stephen Hunter. If you have any historical interest in the JFK assassination, you’ll be intrigued by this book. Here is a link to an interview I did with Stephen Hunter, the author.

The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere by Pico Iyer. We ALL need to read this. Because we all need to slow down and sit still…

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz. A great read for those of us in leadership roles with our organizations. This book will serve me well when I have to deal with tough situations. Worth the read!

Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy. A classic. Dated, sure, but still full of valuable lessons.

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel. If you have launched or plan to start your own organization, this is a necessary read.

Introverts in Business: Being Quietly Successful by Alen Mayer. Enjoy my interview with Alen on this book!

Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield. If you enjoyed the film 300, you should probably read this book.

Advertising with Balls by David Bonner. This book used to be available as a free download, but I can no longer find the website. Email me if you want me to send you the PDF.

Man 2.0 Engineering the Alpha: A Real World Guide to an Unreal Life: Build More Muscle. Burn More Fat. Have More Sex by John Romaniello and Adam Bornstein.

The Warrior Ethos by Steven Pressfield. This is yet another book that I read annually. It is my favorite book of Pressfield’s.

V Is for Vulnerable: Life Outside the Comfort Zone by Seth Godin and Hugh MacLeod. A short fun read. Sort of a Dr. Seuss book for adults!

Civil War Stories (Dover Thrift Editions) by Ambrose Bierce. As recommended by Ryan Holiday. One of the most unique Civil War books I’ve ever read. And I’ve read a lot…

Poke the Box by Seth Godin. Yet another annual read. I didn’t interview Seth about this book, but about V is for Vulnerable. Enjoy.

The Flinch by Julien Smith. Another one of those books I read every year. Here is my interview with Julien from 2011 on this mind-blowing book.

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon. One of those books I read every year. My interview with Austin on this book.

The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance, and Happiness by James + Claudia Altucher. This book started slow for me, but I am really glad I read it. It finished strong.

The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life by Chris Guillebeau. Here is a recent interview I did with Chris on this book. This is my favorite of his three books.

Marketing the Moon: The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Program by David Meerman Scott.