PR Barb | Resilience In Leadership

 

Pivoting from one profession to another can be life-changing. Barb Stuhlemmer, the CEO of BLITZ Business Success and an international speaker and author, shows us how changing one’s path can be handled with ease. It takes resilience in leadership between oneself and others. Barb is a business owner, an author of hundreds of articles and books, a speaker on entrepreneurship and a college professor. She talks about her road to becoming a resilient leader and shares her personal rituals for success, including being grateful every day and sharing her time with people with whom she has synergy.

Enjoy more episodes of The Conscious PIVOT Podcast at AdamMarkel.com or download them on your favorite podcast player.

DOING THIS for 10 Seconds Can Change Your Life! Click here to watch Adam’s Inspiring TEDx Talk.

Looking for more wisdom, resources and support for your own business or personal pivot? Join our incredible PIVOT community on Facebook at pivotFB.com and visit StartMyPIVOT.com to download your free Kickstart Guide!

Watch the Episode Here:

Listen to the Episode Here:

Read the Show Notes Here:

The Road To Becoming A Resilient Leader with Barb Stuhlemmer

I’m excited for this moment, excited for this breath, and for all the wonderful things that are happening. There’s a lot that we look at and think isn’t so great in many ways, whether it’s in regard to our physical environment, our politics, business, money or anything. Everything can be a source of a complaint. I will not lie to you and say that I don’t complain sometimes because I do. Even though I know every time I complain, I could figuratively imagine taking out a knife and slicing my throat because I think that’s what complaining does. It’s very self-defeating. In the workplace, we know that complaining is toxic. It’s a tremendous toxic energy around people that are focused on what’s wrong versus the solution to things. It’s not so much the Pollyanna side or what’s right, I think it helps to be focused on what’s right, but to be grateful for the creative opportunities. The challenges that present us is another way to look at challenges.

I was always a big fan as a CEO and even in the company that I run smaller than the larger enterprises I’ve been involved in the last few years. It’s still the same even with a small team. Managing energy is so important. To be able to bring solutions to the table is a big deal because when you bring a problem without a solution, it is the definition of a complaint. I’m thrilled to be able to be here with all of you with no complaints. More than anything else, I have gratitude for the conversation that I’m envisioning having with Barb Stuhlemmer. Barb is an incredible woman. I’m going to share a little bit about her. I’m going to read some of her bio and then dig right into the juicy stuff that I know you all love and I love as well, which is a rich conversation. In her 30-plus years with small incorporated businesses, Barb Stuhlemmer has seen exactly how owners struggle to balance the requirements of growing a business with the financial and time restrictions that growth brings.

Through her journey as a laboratory technologist, medical research assistant, then transitioning into high tech customer support and being a technical writer, Barb found that she had always been in small businesses. She defines that as being under 50 employees. She’s learned firsthand the challenges that have collapsed great businesses and the wins that drive business owners to continue through adverse times. The ability to navigate the tough times and come out on the other side we call resilience. What does it mean to be a resilient leader? Barb is a business owner herself and author of hundreds of articles, traditionally published book, a speaker on entrepreneurship and a college professor. She started her first full-time business in 2003. She has since helped hundreds of business owners manage the planning, implementation of strategic growth and change in their businesses. That’s one of the most glaringly lacking aspects of most entrepreneurs or startup entrepreneurs is the implementation side. They’re lacking in the skill of implementation. First of all, Barb, thank you for being on the show. It’s a pleasure to have you.

I am so honored to be here, Adam. I’ve listened to many of your shows and the people and the conversations are so rich. I’m honored to have that opportunity as well.

PR Barb | Resilience In Leadership

Resilience In Leadership: A pivot is realizing something you didn’t have before and taking action in order to achieve it.

 

I love your bio and there’s a lot in there. It’s a meaty journey there. What’s not written in this bio that you would love for people to know about you?

It does say that I’ve been in small business most of my life, but the key to the challenges that I had over the years was when I was a young person, I was very spiritually connected to everything that I did. I was connected to the people around me and the things that I did. When I got into university, I just focused on the tech. My whole life switched over to this idea that I had to have a good education, get a good job, make good money and that’s what life was about. I lost touch with all these pieces of who I was and it took me a long time. I was in my late 30s before I had that moment again. You refer to pivoting a lot and that moment is when I realized that I miss the business side. That business side, the connection to small business and the spiritual connection I had to everything that I did start coming back. I spent a lot of time researching, paying for education on it and anything that I could do to become a better person so that I could help people in a different way. Helping people was important but I couldn’t help people as a technical writer. I couldn’t help people as a laboratory technologist. It was interesting and that relationship piece was missing. That’s the piece of who I am that doesn’t show up in my bio.

You brought up the word pivot and obviously, it is a big part of the conversation here. What’s your definition of a pivot? How would you define that?

For me, a pivot is coming into the realization of something that you didn’t have previously. It might be the realization that you needed to make changes in your life or you’re not in the right place. That’s the realization and then taking the action. It’s two-piece. Making the realization or finding that point where something is not working for you and then taking some action to whether you end up in a better place or not. It may or may not be true, but it’s the action afterward that makes a difference.

With the amount of changes in society, some people do not know how to handle the amount of accelerated change. Click To Tweet

I assume that you’ve had those pivot moments.

I don’t think you’d get through life without them. You’d be a teenager for your entire life.

It was painful. I can only go by my own experience. Being a teenager was not an easy go of it. Some of us when we get to a certain age would go, “I would love to go back to the time when I didn’t have to have a job and all that.” It was fairly torturous to be a teenager.

I feel quite sorry for people who say, “Those were the best years of my life.” I’m thinking, “If every year isn’t getting better or feeling like you’re adding on to life, then you stopped living at some point.” Going back to the pivot, there’s a constant lifelong learning, and implementation. When I turned 30, they go, “You’re turning 30. How do you feel?” I’m like, “I don’t feel any different. This is great. The twenties were much better than my teens. The 30s, I’m expecting to be much better.” When I turned 40, people are going, “You’re turning 40.” I go, “30s were better in my twenties. I expect the 40s to be veterans.” When I’m turning 50, they’re going, “You’re turning 50.” The same thing happens every time. Every decade feels like it gets better and better because there’s so much richness that you can continue to add to your own lives.

PR Barb | Resilience In Leadership

Resilience In Leadership: We cannot connect with our children at a soulful level when we can’t teach them things that we do not understand.

 

It’s wonderful to hear you say that, Barb. I’m going to be a Debbie Downer because I want to bring up a statistic or not so much that statistic, but the increase in a statistical segment of our world that is disturbing. I didn’t expect that maybe our conversation would go here. When I see how you’ve laid out this trajectory of the higher ground as a human being, I have my challenges in my twenties but it was a good time. I enjoyed my twenties. My 30s were not without challenge, but they were better than my twenties. My 40s were better than my 30s and on and on. That’s a contrasted by the stark reality that a lot of people out there are taking their lives or attempting to so suicide rates are up. The statistics don’t tell the full story of the people who’ve attempted it or have thought about it seriously.

Then there’s another whole category of people that maybe haven’t been in that place but are unhappy, even depressed or are taking meds like Xanax and other things just to get through a day. They take Ambien to go to sleep and to get up. I’m not knocking any of that because honestly, whatever works to get you to the next day is important on some level. It’s also important that we look at that and talk about it. Part of the challenge for people who are feeling that way is the feeling as well that they’re alone. Somehow there’s something wrong with them or that they’re alone and nobody can relate to the feeling of, “My life doesn’t feel great. I don’t love my life.” Do you have any thoughts on that? I was rambling through there.

I didn’t hear that the suicide rates are going up, but not as a little shocking. I’d be interested in knowing at what age the average increases happening at.

In different places in the world, there are different groups of people. In Australia, when we first started hearing about this, my wife and I were traveling and doing some business there. We heard that it was the largest segment, increase wise in the suicide rate were late teens into twenties. We thought, “That’s upsetting to hear that.” Only a year or two later, we’re in the United States and there was a front page of the New York Times, where the statistics of a fifteen-year research study on suicide in the US and Canada was published. It was of North American based. The highest increase was among women 50 plus years old. I thought that’s disturbing.

When delivering a pitch for your buy-in, you have to force your inner salesperson that your action is meant for positive change. Click To Tweet

Women at that age are where I would think, “There’s just all that goddess wisdom that’s all that understanding of life and having all this rich life experience.” To be taking your life or thinking about it or considering or trying or attempting it was disturbing. There are these ridiculous numbers about military veterans that take their life on a daily basis something like 22 or 23 that they take their life every day. There’s another demographic of very young teenage girls. A very small number, but the uptick was significant. Do you have any thoughts about what that might be and what the conversation ought to be there?

They would be for various reasons in different demographics. You have various concentrations of reasons. I’ve been looking a lot at Millennials. I teach at the college and I guess the Millennial age is starting to finish up. My cutoff for that age is 2004. There are all kinds of different demographics on that in different ages and whatnot. I find very interesting that the front end of the Millennial demographic and the back end are very different types of people with a very different background. The front end is most likely to have been raised by Boomers and the back end are most likely to be raised by Gen Xers. Because there’s been so much change, we don’t know how to manage this amount of this accelerated change that we’re going through. We don’t know how to teach our children the different things that they have to encounter. We try to relate them to the things that we had when we were young, which are very different than the things that they have when they’re young.

My youngest is at the end of the Gen Y may be considered a Gen Z depending on who you’re talking to. They’re the generation that has grown up always connected. There are lots of people who are always connected but they don’t know any different. They’ve never seen a time when their parents didn’t have phones and when you couldn’t text someone. There’s a lot being lost in that communications on how you connect. How do we become human beings as we grow up? How do we connect on a soulful level when we can’t teach our children the things that we don’t understand? There was a lot of pressure on parents to learn not only what it is that you have to learn to become a parent. You’re a parent. I have three and my niece lived with us as well so I certainly understand. That piece when you had the first kid and you go, “I’ve got a child. What do we do?” There’s no manual and there are lots of people who can teach you, but there’s no way to know how your interaction with your kid is going to go based on what your background is, what you’ve learned growing up, how you’re going to interact and react.

You have the second kid and then you have the third kid and you go, “We’re now outnumbered. How do you deal with this stuff?” You’re learning this and it’s a huge learning component. Every child, when they get into school have different problems. Learning different learning disabilities and different psychologies that I learned from my kids, and I applied it to my business, which works well helping other people be able to do things. That is a huge amount to learn, but the fact that as Gen Xers and Baby Boomers would have been even more difficult had to learn all of this tech at an age when it wasn’t easy for them to learn it. You weren’t growing up with it. You didn’t get easily get put into it. You didn’t have to use it when you’re a kid. Everything you did was so much more analog. There’s a disconnect with relationships and teaching relationships to people who are so connected.

PR Barb | Resilience In Leadership

Resilience In Leadership: Your business upbringing in the family greatly influences how you will handle your business.

 

It is an interesting thing and we won’t go much further down that path in this conversation. It feels like there are all these online connections and offline loneliness. It’s an interesting thing to be observing how tied to the devices we are and tied to technology. I grew up without any of that. It’s so much a part of my daily experience of living. I’m not saying I would choose it but I do choose it. It’s not a matter of whether I would, I do. I’d pick up the phone, I look at it and we’re constantly on it for what “business reasons” or what have you for a lot of things.

The idea that we are spending so much time looking down at a device and not necessarily looking up at the world around us might sound like, “That’s far out of stuff.” It’s true. It doesn’t take a lot to look at people in your environment around wherever you are and see where their attention is focused. At a meal, even in a public place or a restaurant sitting at a table and they’re looking at their phones. They’re looking at their cellphones in the airport and they’re looking at their phones while they’re walking. Many of us are walking and texting, walking and reading a post or making a post. It’s fairly interesting. It’s going to be great for sociologists to be writing for about years from now.

There are going to be lots to research. That’s for sure. Bell Let’s Talk Day, which is a big movement by Bell to bring awareness to mental illness. I have quite a few friends that have gone through something. It’s either someone in their family or themselves and it is a difficult thing to live with. It’s a difficult thing to understand. Even when you know people and you have to go through it yourself, it’s still difficult to deal with.

I have a client of mine who’s got a foundation called Journey’s Dream that’s all about bringing increased awareness to mental illness. Our foundation is called Peace Feels Like and that foundation is going to be committing resources to do a youth TEDx event where kids get to speak. They get to tell their stories of what peace feels like to them as a part of bringing that conversation about suicide or the times when mentally we’re not well. There’s so much charge around mental illness that we lump mental illness with somebody that’s diagnosed as schizophrenia or something or has a personality disorder. I’ve got a bit of a chest cold, it’s working through me and I’m getting better. A week from now, I won’t have a chest cold but when I’m sick, I’m sick. When we’re not feeling well mentally about ourselves in our life and whatever that looks like for people feeling lonely without some hope or something, that could also be very akin to having flu or something. What’s the day that you mentioned?

Resilience is about being able to understand what you have control over what really is and isn't. Click To Tweet

It’s called Bell Let’s Talk Day. I’m not sure if it’s specifically a Canadian thing. They donate $0.05 for every post that is put up with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk.

I would love to dig into the pivot. You were obviously going down a certain path at a certain point professionally and you had a moment. What was that like?

My family have businesses for generations. Growing up to a certain point, we were part of that and then my parents both went and got blue-collar jobs or white-collar jobs. When I grew up, I changed the way I thought about entrepreneurship not realizing that every job that I had, I got it because I knew the business owner. I was always connected to the business owners. I was always on the inside of what was going on because they would be friends of the family. I’d know when they were having financial problems. I remember when my parents had to loan friends of ours back in the ‘80s when the interest rates went through the roof. Their interest rate had come up and they had a payment that needed 20% interest on it and they were going to lose their house. They had a business and it was doing well. They had several employees and they were going to lose their house.

I’m getting to this point where I realized that this is a tough thing for people to do. I was still an employee at that time. As I went through all the tech and all the education and the jobs working in medical device and doing technical writing, I came out at the other end of that wanting to be more connected to my kids. I live in a city that’s outside of Toronto and I was commuting. I would leave at 7:00 in the morning and my husband may be getting my babies out of bed. I’d come home at 7:00 at night and he’d be putting them to bed. I’m like, “Why am I a mother? Why did I do this? This is crazy. I took on motherhood and I couldn’t even be around when my kids were up.” I decided to start a business. I did technical writing for medical device and software development. In the first six years of that business, I had other engineers that were doing technical writing for me and whatnot.

PR Barb | Resilience In Leadership

Resilience In Leadership: To make changes easier, it is ideal to take it with people who will surely give their full support.

 

I found that I was more interested in helping my clients be able to make money on their technical writing. I was interested in the business for them. I wanted to see them become successful. I kept seeing incredible business owners that were fighting to keep their businesses open that were taking incredible products to market that was changing people’s lives. All I was doing was technical writing. It just wasn’t enough. I wanted to help them on a different level. I spent those six years investing about $60,000 in my knowledge of how businesses work and that’s where the pivot happened. There’s a very specific story that shifted me because I had no plans on giving up that business or not doing that work. I had been offered to take over another business. They wanted to sell their business and their business was to help new business owners become successful.

She had seen in me exactly what it was that I couldn’t see in myself. The person who wants to see other people successful that cared enough to step up, do the work and knew what it was that people needed and instinctively knew it. My training made it easier. During that negotiation, I realized that her business wasn’t the right business for me, but then I was in the wrong business. It was a two-day event where I just spent the whole weekend evaluating her business, what I’m doing and why I wanted to do it. I came out of that weekend going, “I’m in the wrong business. I’m glad I’m in business but I’m not doing the right thing. I can’t make a difference. I’m not fulfilling my purpose and I can’t help people on the level that I know I’m able to do doing the work that I’m doing right now.” That’s when I changed. That was 2009 when that change happened.

That’s got to be at that moment like it is for all of us when we are going to contemplate making a change. That’s the pivot by design. These are the terms we use like pivot by design and pivot by default. When you design that pivot, there’s one process that you go through on hills and valleys and things. Sometimes when you ignore the call or that urge to do something or that wisdom or guidance that seems to be coming from within, you ignore it because fear says no, other people, circumstances or lack of whatever you want to call it. Those limiting beliefs say no. Sometimes those pivots happen by default as in the universe says, “You don’t want to change voluntarily.” I feel like it’s some old mafia movie saying like, “There are two ways we can do this. We can do this the easy way or we can do this the hard way.” I don’t know that there’s an easy way. You were on the design side.

I don’t know that it’s any easier because when you’re forced to do it, everybody around you has to fall in line. There are no options. You may not get buy-in but you get understanding like, “It has to happen because of whatever.” When you’re designing it, you have to pitch it to everybody. Your inner salesperson has to step up and say, “I’m doing this because I’m making this change. This is the benefit.” For your spouse or your partner, you have to be clear about this. Unless you happen to be a serial entrepreneur as well, it’s very hard to be a partner of someone who is an entrepreneur when you are an employee and have an understanding like, “You just put six years into this business and now you’re doing what? This isn’t a free for all. You have to make money. You have to do things.” It is difficult.

The way how you explained that was eloquent. When it’s not your choice on some level because your job ends, you get fired or whatever the circumstances are that lead to a change, people don’t have to necessarily be bought in, but they understand. It’s a rallying cry because it’s a do or die time. On the design side, you’ve got to be a salesperson. You literally got to get the buy in. You’ve got to pitch what you’re doing to other people because you need their involvement. You need their support and you need their understanding at a minimum. That’s a very challenging thing at times for people.

One thing that makes it better is if you’re choosing to be around the right people. You can’t always choose your family. My parents didn’t necessarily understand what I was doing at any point in time. In fact, most of the time they said, “She’s in computers.”

My parents still don’t understand me. When I was a lawyer, they go, “He’s a lawyer.”

I do talk a lot about who is it that you spend a lot of time with. We’ve all heard that statement that you are the combination of the five people you spend the most amount of time with. There was a doctor at Harvard University that said that 95% of your successes or failures can be contributed to who you spend your time with. It’s your reference groups. When we want to make changes that are easier for us, we need to first take it to the people who are going to support us because of their buy-in and their acceptance, they’re going to go, “I’m not sure I understand. Tell me more. That’s interesting. Have you thought of this?” They’re going to buy in with you and they’re going to help you find the way through it. Afterwards, you can go back and tell your parents or that sibling that always thought of you as, “Finally, they’re doing something crazy. They’ve always been a good person and now I can be a good person,” or whatever your relationships are. Leave them to later because you don’t have to have full buy-in from them. It makes it easier.

PR Barb | Resilience In Leadership

Resilience In Leadership: Learning isn’t spending time filling your head with new information but about how actions can be made better.

 

In our book, we call it your pivot people, the stakeholders.

Your book is on my book list, but my book list never gets shorter. Do you have that problem?

Without a doubt. What’s helped me is that I love to listen to books while I’m on the elliptical machine at the gym. I love being able to do positive things for my mind and my body at the same time. Our book is an Audible version. I read the book. I lost my voice interestingly enough when I read that book because it took four days to read about 70,000 words. I’m used to speaking to people for days on end, training and things like that and I’ve never lost my voice. After four days of speaking in a soundproof room with a microphone and no interaction and no energy at all being exchanged between myself and anybody else, I was in laryngitis mode the next week, which had never had happened before. It’s interesting. For that reason alone, go get Audible. The thing I wanted to track, which is also a part of the topics that we cover in the book. It’s relative to these times in our life when we’re getting people to buy in and we’re getting ourselves to buy.

This is not an easy transition for a lot of people. You can become depressed. It can contribute to that feeling of, “I am alone.” Being an entrepreneur or solopreneur can be lonely. It can feel a very solitary existence at times. You don’t have a business that’s so fully matured that you’ve got 100 employees and all that thing going on. You specialize in working with companies that are under 50 and all that thing. To me, the term that we are fascinated by and the research that we’ve been looking at has been incredible on the topic of the resilience. How through those times and through that period that can sometimes last years. How is it that you create resilience? I’d love to know what your own personal understanding of resilience is, maybe even definitionally, the language that you use for it and how important you think it is for small entrepreneurs or small business owners.

Resilience is a word that is becoming popular. It came into my awareness because it’s not a word that I’ve used myself. I recognize it as being very valuable. I just described in a lot more words not as succinct as resilience. I find that when you’re going through those pieces, particularly at the beginning of owning a business, there is that feeling of, “I’m not doing enough. I’m not enough. I’m not making enough money.” When you start a job, you immediately get a paycheck. When you start a business, you don’t. When people look in from the outside, the only way that people can judge whether you’re doing well is whether you’ve got a paycheck or not. It’s easy to feel like you are not confident, you’re not capable, you’re not as good as other people. You were talking about the depression that comes along. It can be very overwhelming for small business owners to manage this.

They start hiring other people and they’re still not getting it. I have clients that are like, “I’m three years in, I’ve got five people working for me, I’ve got ten people working for me. When do I get to take a paycheck?” Understanding that there’s always this piece that almost feels like it’s out of their control. Resilience is about being able to understand what you have control over, what is and isn’t, when you’re not good at something and when you are good at something. You can be good at business and still take eight months to break even and another two years before you start becoming excessively profitable. Knowledge makes everything a little bit easier as long as the knowledge is relevant to what you’re trying to do and is real and true. Knowing things isn’t enough but knowing things that are helpful makes it easier to get through what you’re trying to get through.

There are a lot of parts to resilience. The part that I don’t hear all the time being discussed is what you just said. That’s helpful for a lot of people to understand that you can’t bury your head in knowledge gathering. There’s a lot of professional seminar goers called seminar junkies and you can get caught up in that. I’m a learner. I’m a student and you’re perpetually a learner and a student. We know that when we’re at college age, we’ll look okay if a person is getting that second degree in the fifth year. Maybe it goes back to get a postgrad degree or whatever. At some point, if we get to be 35 years old and was still attending college courses exclusively, there’s a problem. It becomes a failure to launch situation and we know we have to launch.

When we talk about learning, you learn so much more in the game than you do even just looking at the game or studying the game. What you brought up is that while you’re in the game, learning can help you to feel more confident. In the midst of feeling whatever it is you might be feeling, alone, solitary or even depressed, listening to podcasts where the topic is brought up, reading the material, finding out more about things and being curious is a big part of how it is that you can feel more empowered. You know that you’re not alone and you always have options.

You may have done this for your kids when they were smaller, but I know when my kids were little and I also hear this from my clients. When something was new to them, they would say, “I tried that and I’m not very good. I don’t want to do it again.” I would look at them and go, “You’re not an expert. You’re not the best in the world at this. You’ve tried it once and you don’t have a down path. I don’t understand.” Another piece of resilience is humor if you can add humor to the things that are going on without belittling people through humor. I find that now my kids roll their eyes at me and go, “I need to do it more than once to be able to say that I don’t like it,” which is fine. You can never say, “I can’t do that,” because if someone is capable of doing it, so are you. I believe that we’re all capable of learning something if we’re interested enough in learning it and taking the time to practice the new actions that you have to do to make yourself better at it. I love that idea. Learning isn’t about spending time filling your head with new information. It’s about, “How can I make my actions better. How can I become a better person with everything that I do?” That’s where the learning fits into life.

I would love to know a little bit about your own personal rituals for success. You can share one or a couple if you like. This is the kind of thing that buoys us in times to keep the theme in place here, where we are feeling like we’re underwater just a bit. To me, this is like that buoy that you can put both arms around and it will keep you above the water. It’s those rituals that you have for yourself.

You spoke of gratitude. The key one that is specific to me and how I spend my time when I’m alone and where my mind goes when I want to spend time meditating is around gratitude. That kind of spiritual connection to the universe and everything that’s downloaded. I feel extremely wealthy in that aspect of my life. I would say the second thing that is a big part of the ritual of how I spend my life is who I spend my life with. Back to the people that I spend time with, there are people in my life and they have their own way of doing things. They don’t completely align, but I love them anyway. I don’t spend huge amounts of time with them. The people that energize me that I can spend an hour or three days with and I’ll still leave with more energy, more ideas, I’ll feel better about myself and they’ll feel better. We work in synergy.

I have selected people as I go through my life and I check in with them regularly. I have four people that I check in with on a regular basis. We have phone calls and some of them are local enough that we can get together on occasions and some of us aren’t. We see each other once a year or once every couple of years and that’s fine, but we see each other in Zoom once a week or once a month. It makes a huge difference when you can describe what’s going on in your life with someone who is going to listen, is going to understand, is not going to let you get away with just poo-pooing yourself all the time. They’re going to make you step up. They’re going to celebrate the wins and they’re going to feel with you when things aren’t going the way that you want. I find it very important.

That’s a tangible and tactical piece of advice that you gave to everybody. I’m restating it for the purpose that I think people should want to write that down. To have a regular group of people, those people that you’re curating that environment with for that purpose where they’re holding you to a higher standard, helping you to hold yourself to a higher standard, celebrating the wins with you and doing all that great stuff is terrific. Yogananda said, “Long ago, that environment is stronger than will.” The environment is so very important, the people that are around us and the environment that we create for ourselves in every waking moment that we have. We get to do that at the beginning of every day. We all got to wake up, which was an incredible gift. I am grateful that you woke up and I am grateful that I woke up. I’m grateful that everybody that’s checking this out. What a blessing that is. This is my prayer that we all get to do that again.

I would love for everyone when you do wake up that you have some moment, even a brief moment as you’re lying in bed. This is my waking ritual. You have this awareness for a moment that it is in fact special. It’s a sacred moment. It’s a holy moment. It’s not religious if that isn’t your bag, but it’s spiritual to me that you realize that there is something not ordinary at all and certainly not something to be taken for granted if you’re given another day. In that moment, where you have that awareness. If you’re also inclined to create an even more rich context for your day, this is a ritual that you can start your day that creates a context and environment on an internal level. That is to put your feet on the floor and take ten seconds to feel appreciation for yourself, unconditional love and appreciation for you. Even declare these words out loud, “I love my life.” Barb, do you love your life?

I do love my life. When I heard you say that the first time, I thought, “That is so beautiful.” The first time I ever learned that in that transitional time in my late 30s. When I said to myself the first time, “I love my life.” I remember crying. I couldn’t understand why I’d never said this before. I’m feeling a little sensitive about it right now. It is such a beautiful moment when you realize that you can love yourself first and what a difference it makes on how you show up for other people.

It’s the ultimate giving. It’s a very interesting riddle. We live long enough and we realized life is just filled with riddles. This is just one of them. What a blessing to have you on the show. Thank you for being our guest.

Thank you so much for having me.

Ciao for now. As always, we’d love to get your comments. Join our Facebook page. It’s at StartMyPIVOT.com and you’ll get right to the front door. We’ll see you very soon.

Important Links:

About Barb Stuhlemmer

PR Barb | Resilience In LeadershipIn her 30+ years with small incorporated businesses, Barb Stuhlemmer has seen exactly how owners struggle to balance the requirements of growing a business with the financial and time restrictions that growth brings. Through her journey as a laboratory technologist and medical research assistant then transitioning into high-tech customer support and technical writer, Barb found she had always been in small business (<50 employees). She has learned first-hand the challenges that have collapsed great businesses and the wins that drive business owners to continue through adverse times.
Barb is a business owner, an author of hundreds of articles and a traditionally published book, a speaker on entrepreneurship, and a college professor. She started her first full-time business in 2003 and since then has helped hundreds of business owners manage the planning and implementation of strategic growth and change in their business.