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EP 69 – Paige Lawrence: Stepping Into Your Olympic Moment


Hey, hey! Welcome back to The Bullpen Sessions! As you guys probably know, this podcast has been undergoing a pivot recently. I want to really focus on the athletic mindset and how it translates to business. To do that, I want to interview some top athletes to learn more about the mindset tips and strategies that helped them get to the top. 

Today, I have the perfect person to help me do just that. Paige Lawrence is an Olympic-figure-skater-turned-expert-business-coach, and she is KILLING it in business right now! Like me, she comes from a sports background, but now, she’s finding that the strong athletic mindset that took her all the way to the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia is invaluable in business as well. She’s teaching her clients how to have that same mindset, and today, she’s sharing her wisdom with us!

Paige absolutely believes that we are all capable and deserving of our own moment of Olympic glory. We may not all get to compete among the top athletes in the world, but we all deserve the success and acclaim that go along with being a top performer. But it’s going to take the right success mindset to get us there. If you’re ready to learn how to get into the mindset of an Olympic athlete and have your epic Olympic-glory moment, read on!

Who Is Paige Lawrence?

Paige Lawrence grew up in the small town of Kennedy, Saskatchewan in Canada. When she was just four or five years old, Paige’s parents put her in skating lessons mostly because there wasn’t much else to do during those cold Canadian winters. But Paige quickly fell in love with the sport, and at age nine, she began training with the coach who would eventually take her to Sochi.

At just 15 years old, Paige started skating with Rudi Swiegers, and the two became pairs skaters ready to take on the Olympic competition. They were a perfect match — they’re both left-handed, which means that they can easily perform spins and tricks in the same direction on the ice. They quickly learned to work well together, and their partnership took them to incredible heights of success!

But Paige isn’t only an Olympic superstar. After the Olympics and her retirement shortly following, Paige experienced what she called the “post-Olympic blues” for a little while. However, it wasn’t long before she got back on her feet and created a new career for herself in business!

You see, Paige recognized the power of her athletic mindset, and she realized that many of the same lessons and skills she’d picked up on the ice could translate into the business world. So, she decided to launch her very own coaching business!

Today, Paige is an expert performance coach, and she’s helping her clients to reach their maximum potential and consistently strive toward their goals. She’s translating her biggest lessons from the skating rink to the boardroom, and today, she’s sharing her wisdom right here on The Bullpen Sessions!

In our conversation, we talked about two of the top lessons Paige learned as a professional athlete. We also talked about the top two lessons Paige likes to teach her clients that she draws from her sports experience — I can’t wait to dive into those today! And finally, I’m going to share a couple more valuable lessons I took from our conversation that I think is going to get you fired up and ready to succeed. Let’s go!

Lessons from an Olympian

I asked Paige to share with me a couple of key lessons she learned during her time as an Olympic-level athlete, and she did NOT disappoint! Here are the most important lessons she learned in her sports career:

#1: Take Responsibility for Your Work Ethic

In sports, it’s absolutely essential to take 100% responsibility for your work ethic. You have absolute control over the results you achieve. Your ability to succeed or fail entirely depends on how you show up for yourself and your team. 

“That’s something that I learned at a very young age from my parents, two hardworking people, and from my coach, who expected excellence every single day. And when things didn’t work out, that’s a direct reflection of what I did. … There [are] things you can’t control, right? That happens, but it still comes back to, ‘What do you want to do about the thing you can’t control?’” – Paige Lawrence

That’s so true. Sometimes in sports, unexpected things happen. Maybe you or one of your teammates get injured, and you have to put training on hold for a couple of weeks. Maybe something crazy happens, like a flight gets delayed and you miss a competition. Unexpected things happen, but you can control how you react to those things. And your actions and reactions determine your success or failure. 

The same thing applies to the business world, right? Crazy, unexpected things happen, but you can always control the way you react. Your actions determine the success you achieve, so always take 100% responsibility for those actions. (If you want to hear me talk a little more about the importance of taking 100% responsibility for your actions, check out Episode 44!)

#2: It’s Not About Resources — It’s About Resourcefulness

“It’s very easy to get lost in what you don’t have around you and how that puts you behind or puts you at a disadvantage. It’s very easy to look at what other people have and how that contributes to their success, rather than just looking in yourself and seeing … what you have and figuring out what you can do with it. So tag onto that. … Be solution-focused.” – Paige Lawrence

For all you athletes reading this — how many times have you been envious of another athlete? It’s easy to do, right? So often, we look at the people around us and wish we had their talent, their money, their strength, or their speed. But being jealous of others doesn’t get us anywhere. We have to be resourceful and use what we have to the best of our abilities.

And, of course, the same is true in business. It’s easy to be jealous of someone else’s platform, income, or success, but we can be a lot more productive toward our own goals if we focus on the solutions to our own problems and find creative ways to use our unique skills.

Two More Lessons — It’s About Mindset

Those were two of the most valuable lessons Paige learned during her time as an Olympic-level athlete, but I also wanted to ask her about the lessons she imparts to her clients. What mindset tools and strategies has she translated from the skating rink to the board room?

#1: Learn to Love Failure

“One recurring theme I’ve seen a lot of is taking messy action. … That’s something that I think a lot of people struggle with in the business world … making mistakes with purpose. … So one of the things for me is helping people fail purposefully [and] … learn to love failure.” – Paige Lawrence

In both sports and business, you’re going to make mistakes. What makes the difference is making those mistakes purposefully. When you take action and find that things don’t work out the way you’d hoped, don’t write the experience off as a failure. Take a closer look, reevaluate yourself, and find the lessons you can learn. 

Your failures can be your greatest teachers if you let them — and that’s how you can learn to love failure. If you have the mindset that failure is always bad, then it will be. But if you can get yourself thinking in an abundance mindset, you’ll realize that failures always bring opportunities to learn. Remember that it’s essential to take responsibility for both your failures and your successes. Continue taking action, and through trial and error, you’ll figure out what strategies work best for you and your business.

And if you need help getting into the right mindset, don’t hesitate to ask for it! During her skating career, Paige sought help from a sport psychologist to help her reach her full potential and get into the strongest athletic mindset. If you need to get in touch with a coach or mental health professional, do it — you’ll be glad you did.

#2: Deliberate Training

“What else would be notable? I mean, I think it’s creating consistent habits, right? In sports, we call it ‘deliberate training.’ It goes into those 10,000 hours. It’s not just … practice. It’s not just being busy in what you’re doing. It’s [having] a plan and [asking,] ‘How do these actions feed into that plan?’ so that you’re feeding into your bigger goal.” – Paige Lawrence

In sports as well as business, we use the word “hustle” a lot. We’re constantly talking about hustling toward our goals. We work from 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM just to accomplish our goals, and we have jam-packed every minute with work. But have you ever asked yourself, “Is all this work truly contributing to my progress toward my goals?”

Let me put it this way: When you’re learning to play a sport, it’s absolutely possible to pack your training schedule with things that just don’t need to be there. You can spend hours and hours every week practicing skills you already have, and while practice is great, constantly focusing on the things that you’ve already mastered isn’t going to move the needle for you.

Likewise, in your business or career, spending all day, every day checking your email and doing busy work is not going to help you reach the success you desire. You have to take action with purpose. It’s about being deliberate and developing the right skills to help you move the needle and achieve success.

Three Final Takeaways

Paige had so much brilliant advice to share, and I loved hearing about the key lessons she learned in sports that she now translates into her business and into her coaching. But believe it or not, those specific lessons she mentioned weren’t the only major takeaways I took from our conversation! Before I sign off until Friday, I want to share with you a few major takeaways from my interview with Paige:

#1: Make Your Team a Well-Oiled Machine

As a sports nerd, I truly enjoyed hearing Paige share some insider knowledge about the world of figure skating. One of the things she talked about was the importance of finding a partner with whom you can work seamlessly. If you’re going to skate as part of a pair, you have to learn how to anticipate each other’s movements and actions.

“The tricky part that comes with really time and effort is the nuances of a pair. … It’s like, the girl puts out a hand and the boy’s right there. It’s those subtleties that really define attention to detail, trust, commitment, and longevity of a career.” – Paige Lawrence

Paige and her partner Rudi had to learn how to work together and essentially skate as a well-oiled machine. I recently had a similar experience when I got to have the experience of pitting a NASCAR race car with a team. A pit crew has to be totally in-sync. They have to anticipate each other’s movements, perfectly play their parts, and work together to make the team succeed. 

The same is true in business, right? If you’re a business owner, you want your team to gel together. As a boss or CEO, it’s your job to create an environment and build a team that allows for that kind of unity and synchronization. When your team works like a well-oiled machine, you’re sure to succeed.

#2: It’s Okay to Suck at First

Let’s face it: When you first start something, you’re just going to suck. You’re not going to walk out on the field with all the skills mastered — that takes time, effort, and patience. And the sooner you accept that, the sooner you can get to work to do what it takes to succeed.

“I talk about my failures or my mistakes, and then [it’s] like, ‘Oh, the big wins!’ So you don’t have to actually sit in the suck, but getting from that point of … compet[ing] on the Olympic ice was really fricking hard, you know? And I think it’s important for us to talk about amongst ourselves more. … It’s okay for the hard to be really fricking hard.” – Paige Lawrence

Nothing worth achieving comes easily. It’s hard to succeed in sports, and it’s hard to succeed in business. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t meet with instant success, and don’t give up too quickly. Stay at it, plan for the long-term, embrace failure, and eventually you’ll achieve the success you’re after.

#3: Stay Connected to What Brings You Joy

“I had this beautiful realization right before I took the ice [at the Olympics]. … Essentially it was a reminder of that little four-year-old … that started skating because she loved it and how in awe she would be of this opportunity. And it’s like, ‘What would that little girl do?’ … That little girl would show up, step on this ice, … and have fun and strut her stuff with no extra thoughts. And that thought really … put me back in my skates. I turned to my partner, and I’m like, ‘We’re just figure skating.’” – Paige Lawrence

Do you remember that child-like joy you had as a kid? You didn’t feel the same pressure you do today — you pursued your dreams and did what you love to do. When did that stop?

I know that in professional sports or in business, the decisions you make every day are often more high-stakes than a four-year-old’s first skating lessons. But that’s no reason why you shouldn’t attack each day with that same energy and joy you had when you were little.

Guys, stay in touch with your childhood selves. Remember that joy you had when you were little, and let it give you the confidence you need to keep striving forward.

Why You Should Listen to This Paige Lawrence Podcast Episode Right Now…

Paige Lawrence is an icon and an inspiration. I learned so much from my conversation with her, and I hope you did too! She is a brilliant business coach, and I admire the way she’s transformed her life and continued to use the mindset skills she learned in her skating career.

If you loved this episode as much as I did, please post a screenshot of Instagram! And make sure to share your biggest takeaways — you’ve heard mine, now I’d love to hear yours! Don’t forget to tag Paige, @paigelawrencecoaching, and me, @andy_neary, so we can hear about your biggest takeaways!

Also, if you have a moment please head over to Apple Podcasts, subscribe to The Bullpen Sessions, and give us a five-star rating and review. Help us get the word out so more outstanding athletes and business owners can find us!

And finally, if you’re interested in working with Paige, I’d encourage you to head over to her website! She’s running a free diagnostic coaching session right now — all you have to do is take this short assessment, and Paige will pinpoint the areas where you could improve and help you create and execute a plan to improve them. This is an incredible opportunity, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of it!

Thanks so much for joining me today, guys! Before I go, I want to give you two special offers: Number one, I want to invite you to join my Complete Game Mastermind. This is my coaching program, and it starts in just a few days! Masterminds are a great way to get coaching and put yourself in rooms with other entrepreneurs just like you. You can start building your community and gathering people around you who will support you and your growth.

You can also join my FREE text community! Just text the word “Mindset” to 414-622-1462, and I’ll give you access to a TON of free weekly coaching. If you’re not quite ready to take the plunge and join the Complete Game Mastermind, this text community is a great way to see if my coaching might be right for you.

Until next time — go out there and make it happen, guys!

Andy Neary Signature

Resources:

EP 68 – The Greatest Advice You’re Not Getting

Hey, hey! It’s Friday, and you know what that means — time for Friday Bullpen Sessions!

Do you have a meditation practice? Meditation can be a powerful tool to help you get calm and centered in your head, and that’s important for achieving the clarity and focus you need to succeed. I’ve started meditating myself, and it’s been amazing! I recently had a particularly powerful meditation experience, and I want to share the lessons I learned with you today.

You may have heard of Jay Shetty — he’s a very popular thought-influencer right now. In fact, he’s just released a new book, Think Like a Monk, which I can’t wait to dive into. But Jay Shetty is not only an author — he also creates incredible and inspiring YouTube content. Recently he’s been posting videos every day as part of a 20-day meditation series, and I’ve been following along.

I had been listening to Jay’s daily meditations for a few days, and I was getting a lot of value out of them. But then, on about the eighth day, Jay walked his audience through an exercise that surprised me. I was not ready for the experience I had, and I got some advice from a very unexpected source. I’m excited to share that with you today, so let’s get started!

Talking to My Childhood Self

In one of his typical meditations, Jay walks you through some calming breathing exercises and helps walk you through some visualization. However, on this particular day, he did something a little different:

On day eight of the 20-day meditation journey, Jay started by asking me to close my eyes and go back into my childhood. He asked me to pick any age to imagine, and my mind immediately went back to my 11-year-old self at my parents’ house. I could clearly picture my 11-year-old self sitting across from me at the table on the back porch at my parents’ house. And boy, that brought up some old insecurities.

You see, when I was 11 years old, I was an overweight kid. Do you remember the “husky”-sized pants? I had to wear “husky” pants. I was so chubby, and as a result, I had a lot of self-confidence issues. I was constantly worried about being picked on by the other kids at school or in my neighborhood, and I had a lot of problems with insecurity and self-worth.

When I pictured my 11-year-old self sitting across from me at that table, all of those emotions came bubbling back up to the surface. I felt for that kid, and I experienced his fear all over again. Nevertheless, I continued with the meditation.

In the first part, Jay asked me to give my 11-year-old self some advice. We’ve all tried to answer that question, right? What advice would you give your younger self? I told my 11-year-old self all about how things will get better and how he’ll actually get to play professional baseball. But then, Jay flipped the script in a way that made me say, “Holy shit!”

After I gave my 11-year-old self some advice, Jay asked me to let my 11-year-old self give me advice. He wanted me to let my childhood self do the talking for a moment, ask me his questions, and offer me his advice. And guys, what my younger self told me had me in tears. I definitely got emotional because his advice was incredible. 

So today, I’m sharing with you the three pieces of advice my 11-year-old self shared with me. I hope they inspire you as much as they inspired me! Let’s dive into #1…

#1: Are You Happy?

As I imagined myself sitting across from 11-year-old Andy, the first thing I heard him say to me was, “Andy, are you happy?” And man, that made me pause to reflect. Am I happy? Am I happy with who I am? Am I happy with what I’m doing? Have I been taking the time to find joy in the little things in life?

If I’m honest, the answer to a lot of those questions is “no.” Don’t get me wrong — I’m not unhappy. But for the last 15 months, as I’ve been hustling to grow my coaching business, I’ve definitely been guilty of not taking the time to enjoy my life. And for that reason, this question made me a little emotional.

It’s funny — my own business coach, Christina, recently asked me that question, but it definitely impacted me in an unbelievably powerful way coming from my 11-year-old self. And now, I want to ask you the same thing: Are you happy? Are you happy with who you are and what you’re doing? Are you taking the time to find joy in the little things?

Take a moment to reflect on that. Because here’s the thing, folks: If you’re not happy, what are you hustling for? If your current situation isn’t lighting you up and fueling your passion every day, something needs to change. So ask yourself: Are you in the right job or career? Do you have hobbies that you enjoy? Do you have happy, loving, supportive relationships in your life?

As I recorded this episode, I can tell you that I sat calmly with a cup of warm coffee in my hand, watching the snowstorm blow around outside. I’m finding joy in the snowstorm we’re experiencing here in Colorado, and I’m hoping that it will be just what our firefighters need to stop the crazy wildfires from continuing to grow. I’m finding joy in small things, and I’m taking the time to appreciate the beauty all around me. I’d encourage you to do the same.

#2: Live for Today

The second piece of excellent advice I got from my younger self was this: “Andy, live for today.”

One of the biggest things I challenge my clients to do is to think and plan for the long-term. After all, business is the long-game, and you have to be prepared to grow slowly and steadily over time. However, it’s also essential to be present right here and right now. We’ve got to live for today.

One of the absolute best ways to do that is to express gratitude. Every day when you wake up, I want you to be thankful. Take a moment just to be grateful that you get to wake up every day and play this game, whatever this game is for you. It could be raising your family and being that father, that husband, that mother, or that wife. It could be building your business and being the best employer you can possibly be. Whatever the game is for you, be glad you get to play it.

Let’s face it: 2020 has been full of uncertainty. It feels like we haven’t stopped talking about it! But it reminds me of a powerful piece of wisdom: The future really is uncertain. And when the future is uncertain, the only thing left is today. No matter what tomorrow is going to look like, no matter how things are going to change next weekend or next month or next year, we have to live in the present and be here today.

So I want to challenge you: Take a look in the mirror, and ask yourself, “What do I need to do to be present today?” It could be spending time with your children or having a date-night with your significant other. It could mean taking the time just to take care of yourself, meditate, or spend some time outside. Whatever it’s going to take for you to live in the moment, I want to encourage you to do it.

#3: Leave It on the Field

The third and final piece of advice that my 11-year-old self shared with me was particularly special because it really got me pumped up. After hearing him say this, I was absolutely ready to go out there and crush all of my goals. The third thing my younger self said to me was, “Andy, I want you to wake up every day and just play all-out. Leave it on the field. Don’t take plays off today in preparation for tomorrow.”

How often are we guilty of that? Have you ever thought, “Well, I’ve got this big meeting tomorrow, it’s going to be a really big day, so I’ll just take it easy today?” I know I have! But here’s the thing: That’s not how the greats play the game. The greats are hustling day-in and day-out. They bring their all to the game, and they leave everything on the field.

Think about those summers when you were a kid. Do you remember those? If you were anything like me, you were outside playing at every waking moment. Your mom probably had to come outside and call you in for lunch just so you could run in, eat as fast as possible, and get back outside to play. And the same thing happened at dinner, right? I remember my mom used to ring the bell to call me in for dinner, and I always raced in to eat as fast as possible so I could get back out and play “kick the can” with the other neighborhood kids. (Remember, “kick the can?” Those were the days!)

Are you applying that same mindset to your work? Are you attacking each day with the same joy and energy and enthusiasm that you used to take outside with you during those childhood summers? Are you applying that mindset to your relationships? If not, I want to encourage you to level-up. 

I have talked to too many people recently who are just riding out 2020 and waiting for 2021 to get here so they can start being productive again. If that’s you, I want to tell you right now to knock it off and start playing all-out every single day. Whether in a relationship or in business, I want you to wake up, go all-out, and literally have to be dragged back in every night because you are so excited about your work.

It goes back to what I was saying earlier about gratitude: We are so blessed to have the opportunity to get up and play the game — why not play with as much energy and joy as we can?

Spend Some Time with Your Inner Child

And there you have it, folks — three pieces of brilliant advice from my 11-year-old self. I am so glad I participated in Jay Shetty’s meditation that day, and I’m grateful to my younger self for sharing his wisdom with me. It rocked my world, and it’s inspired me to keep showing up, living in the moment, and creating my happiness. I hope it inspired you to do the same!

And if you haven’t checked in with your inner child recently, I want to encourage you to do that. Talking to younger Andy was an incredible experience for me, and I feel as though my life has changed for the better. Your inner child might have some incredible wisdom for you, too — it’s worth getting in touch with them!

Thank you so much for joining me today, guys! I hope you enjoyed this episode and got some incredible value from it. If you did, please share it with your friends on Instagram, and make sure to tag me, @andy_neary, and tell me about your biggest takeaways from the episode. And if you have a moment, please make sure to subscribe and leave me a five-star rating and review over on Apple Podcasts. Your reviews really do help bring new listeners to the show!

Before I go, I want to give you two special offers: Number one, I want to invite you to join my Complete Game Mastermind. This is my coaching program, and it starts in just a few days! Masterminds are a great way to get coaching and put yourself in rooms with other entrepreneurs just like you. You can start building your community and gathering people around you who will support you and your growth.

You can also join my FREE text community! Just text the word “Mindset” to 414-622-1462, and I’ll give you access to a TON of free weekly coaching. If you’re not quite ready to take the plunge and join the Complete Game Mastermind, this text community is a great way to see if my coaching might be right for you.

Thanks again for joining me today. Now I want you to get out there, play the game as hard as you can, live in the moment, and create your own happiness. Go make it happen today!

Andy Neary Signature

Resources:

EP 67 – Your Story Is Your Ultimate Competitive Advantage with Colleen Blum

Hey, hey! Welcome back to the Bullpen Sessions! I’ve got another interview for you today that I think is really going to help you level-up your game and give you a huge advantage in your business. But first, let me ask you something: 

What is your story? And if you’re thinking, “I don’t know, Andy, I don’t really have a story,” my answer is: Everyone has a story. You have been on a unique journey to get to where you are right now. You have overcome challenges and obstacles, and even if you aren’t satisfied with your current level of success, you’re more successful than you used to be. You have a story to tell, and I’m here to tell you that your story is your biggest competitive advantage in business.

Here’s the thing: Humans buy from humans — they don’t buy from logos on business cards. Unless you are Nike or Amazon, people are not going to buy from you just because you have a cool logo. But they will buy from you if you have a story they can relate to.

Now, I want you to know that I get it — it can be scary to open up and share your story publicly. You might worry about what others will think of your story, and that fear can make it difficult to allow yourself to be vulnerable. But I promise you — when you start sharing your story in your marketing and on social media, the people who resonate with your story will be attracted to you, and the business will start flowing in.

Nobody knows that better than my guest today. Colleen Blum has been a friend of mine in the health insurance business for a long time now, and she is excellent at sharing her story. Colleen is not afraid to be vulnerable and share some of the skeletons in her closet with her audience, and as a result, she’s extremely successful in business. I think you guys are going to get a lot of value out of my conversation with her, so let’s get started!

Who Is Colleen Blum?

Colleen Blum currently serves as the Vice President of Combs and Company health insurance advertising agency right in the heart of New York City. At Combs, she is the head of the Individual Division and specializes in individual health, life, and disability needs. However, she’s also fantastic at group insurance. Colleen has been a friend of mine in the insurance business for years, and I can tell you that she’s great at what she does!

Colleen is also the host of the Try and Stop Me podcast, where she talks with other business owners and entrepreneurs about their own personal stories and how they achieved their success. If you need a little extra dose of inspiration, definitely check out that show! Colleen is not afraid to get real about the struggles and victories we experience as business owners, and her conversations with other successful entrepreneurs will teach you something new every time. (Make sure to check out the appearance by yours truly right here!)

In our conversation, Colleen and I dove deep. We talked about the power and importance of sharing your story and why it’s essential to be vulnerable. We also talked about the power of podcasting and why podcasting can be a great way to connect with people through their stories. Then, Colleen offered some incredible advice for women currently working in a sales-based industry. And finally, Colleen explains exactly how to get started telling your story. 

Guys, I learned so much from this conversation, and I think you will too. Colleen has so much brilliant insight to share, and I think you’re going to get a lot of value from what she has to say. So let’s get started!

“If You Don’t Know Insurance, Know Your Broker”

One of the things I love and respect about Colleen is that she is absolutely fearless when it comes to sharing her story. It’s not easy to be vulnerable and open up to people you may not know well, but it’s an essential part of connecting with your potential clients and customers. 

“If I don’t know you or know your story … then how am I going to expect that I’m going to be taken care of other than just being another piece of business for you? … Susan Combs came up with the best tagline years ago — ‘If you don’t know insurance, know your broker.’ And that’s exactly how we conduct every single day.’” – Colleen Blum

Let’s face it, folks: This is the 21st century. Maybe a few decades ago people would have been more willing to purchase from a flashy logo, but today, clients are wiser than that. People don’t want to be treated like just another business transaction — they want to be heard, understood, and served in an authentic way. That means that if you’re unwilling to be real and open with them about your own struggles, they’re not going to be interested in doing business with you.

I love that tagline that Colleen’s boss at Combs and Co. came up with: If you don’t know insurance, know your broker. If you don’t know exactly what you need, you want someone you know and trust on your side to help you figure it out, right? And if you know your insurance broker and have a personal relationship with that person, you’re going to get the service you need. Sales is a game of who knows you, likes you, and trusts you — if you have a reputation for being a businessman or woman who people know and trust, you’re going to get way more business than your competitors.

“I would say the Instagram posts that I do make … that are about business are kind of more structured. They don’t really get a lot of engagement. The ones that you write about something or it’s a picture of yourself — automatically when you’re in the photo or there’s something about real like in your posts, people engage with that way more than they do on the business side of things. … It comes back to wanting to do business with your friend.” – Colleen Blum

That has definitely been true in my experience. When I first started doing speaking engagements, I would talk about my baseball experiences, but I didn’t share my struggles. After those talks, people would come up and shake my hand — they were nice, but they weren’t overwhelmingly enthusiastic. Then, one day I just said, “Screw it,” and I started sharing stories about mistakes and failures I made in my baseball career. That day was the first time anybody hugged me after hearing me speak. People connected with my story, and that made them like me and trust me a whole lot more.

The Power of Podcasting

If you’re interested in sharing your story, starting a podcast may be a great way to do it. Hosting a podcast is a great way to share your own story and hear from other entrepreneurs across industries, too! 

“Podcasts, self-help motivation — it healed me. It helped me grow. … For me, listening to other people’s podcasts and how they were able to tell their stories and then drop the biggest value bombs at the end of every episode … I was like, ‘I can do that.’” – Colleen Blum

Sharing stories is a powerful way to teach valuable lessons that give people insight and wisdom into the ways successful people do business. What better way to share those stories and lessons than through podcasting? That’s a huge part of what I try to do here on the Bullpen Sessions, and I know it’s what Colleen does on her show, the Try and Stop Me podcast.

And if you’re thinking, “I don’t know anything about starting a podcast,” I assure you, it’s easier than you think! Of course, if you’re into audio engineering you can get down into the nitty-gritty of sound editing, but anybody can purchase a microphone on Amazon, record an episode, and upload a .mp3 file to a podcast hosting website. 

And if you’re worried about starting a podcast in a space where there are already a crazy number of podcasts, I want to share with you a little wisdom I learned from Gary Vayneurchuk. He said, “You remember that kid back in high school that was kind of a nerd, but his parents were gone every weekend, so he held the house parties where he allowed the cool kids to hang out with the cool kids? … He became the cool kid.” That really clicked with me. When you launch a podcast, you’re allowing other “cool kids” in your space to join you and tell their stories on your platform. And when you do that, you automatically become one of the cool kids yourself!

Don’t worry about being “just another” podcaster — if you start telling your stories and the stories of inspirational entrepreneurs around you, people will want to listen!

Colleen Blum’s Advice for Women in the Business Space

Since I had such a fantastic kick-ass businesswoman on the show, I wanted to take some time to ask her to share her advice for any women listening to the episode. If we’re being honest, the insurance space is dominated by middle-aged white men — it can be difficult for women to stand out. However, it’s not impossible, as Colleen has proven.

Colleen’s first piece of advice? Find a company that values you:

“I work with Susan Combs, … [and] I never feel weak in the sense of — we don’t have [to] one-up … the men because we know who we are we’re pretty strong personalities to be able to stand next to the men.” – Colleen Blum

To all the women reading this post — there are companies who will value you and your unique skills. Colleen found an incredible boss in Susan Combs who allows her to show up as herself. The environment they’ve created at Combs and Co. is one that values both men and women as individuals, so Colleen never feels any pressure to “one-up” the men in her office.

Additionally, if you’re a woman, don’t be afraid to use the stories unique to your experience to connect with your clients. You have experiences that salesmen simply can’t connect with, and that gives you an advantage. Don’t be afraid to open up about those things — your vulnerability will help your clients connect with you.

“My clients can talk to me about their … darkest days because they feel that comfort of knowing they can open up about infertility. They can open up about their cancer, they can open up about the problems that they’re having at home. … Show your strengths because we are different. We are different [from] men just like men are different [from] females.” – Colleen Blum

It’s true! Women and men are different. That means that women have advantages that men don’t have. Don’t be afraid to use the experiences and stories you may have as a woman to connect with your female clients! That vulnerability and authenticity will help you connect with clients, and that will improve your business in a big way.

Why You Should Listen to This Colleen Blum Podcast Episode Right Now…

This episode was so much fun, and I know I learned a lot! Colleen has so much wisdom and knowledge to share, and I admire how she’s using her platform to create abundance and success for herself in her career. I hope you enjoyed my conversation with her as much as I did!

Before I go, I wanted to share one more piece of wisdom from Colleen. If you’re excited about the idea of sharing your story with your audience but you’re not sure where to start, Colleen had some advice for you:

“First, I think you need to write it down in a journal. I think you first need to get out all of your deep, really dark emotions because there’s one thing of sharing your story and there’s another thing of completely blubbering and falling apart while you’re sharing your story. There’s that fine line of like, are you healed enough to actually take the step to find value and strengthen your story? … You could pull parts of your story that [make you say,] ‘Okay, that part was definitely a huge lesson, … and that could resonate with people in the future.’” – Colleen Blum

When you’re figuring out how to tell your story, journaling is a great place to start! Write down your story, find the major lessons you’ve learned, and figure out how to tell your story so that anybody can easily resonate with it and connect to the lessons you’ve learned.

Thank you guys so much for joining me today! I truly hope you got a lot of value out of this episode. If you did, please share it with your friends on Instagram! Post a screenshot of the episode, and make sure to tag Colleen, @collblum, and me, @andy_neary, and share with us your greatest takeaways from the episode!

And please, if you have a minute, I would appreciate it so much if you could leave this podcast a five-star rating and review over on Apple Podcasts. If you’re finding these episodes valuable, help us get the word out so more listeners can find us!

Thanks so much for joining me today, guys! Before I go, I want to give you two special offers: Number one, I want to invite you to join my Complete Game Mastermind. This is my coaching program, and it starts in just a few days! Masterminds are a great way to get coaching and put yourself in rooms with other entrepreneurs just like you. You can start building your community and gathering people around you who will support you and your growth.

You can also join my FREE text community! Just text the word “Mindset” to 414-622-1462, and I’ll give you access to a TON of free weekly coaching. If you’re not quite ready to take the plunge and join the Complete Game Mastermind, this text community is a great way to see if my coaching might be right for you.

Until next time — remember that being vulnerable and authentic with your clients gives you a massive competitive advantage. You have the opportunity to connect with people in a unique way — you’ll be amazed at the business and success that will come your way when you do!

Andy Neary Signature

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