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- Learn how to ditch other people’s comments and prioritize what’s good for YOU
- Understand why it is important to be confident and its relation to being competent
- Discover what are the four important things you need to think about and prioritize first
- Wanting to Find Out How to Break the Boundaries and Become Limitless? Learn more about how you can live the life that YOU want instead of what others want: www.myfourquestions.com
Have you always been listening to what other people want for you instead of listening to your inner voice and heart?
Are you constantly tired of trying to live up to other people’s expectations of you?
Do you want to know the four powerful things you need to think about and prioritize to unlock the door to living freely?
Laura Gassner Otting speaks with change agents, entrepreneurs, investors, leaders, and donors to get them past the doubt and indecision that consign their great ideas to limbo. She delivers strategic thinking and well-honed wisdom informed by decades of navigating change across the star-up, nonprofit, political, and philanthropic landscapes.
In this episode, Laura talks about the key to unlocking the life of your dreams without other people’s comments, negativity, and dictation. She also shares her key tips on how you can carve your own path to build the life, self, and business you’ve always wanted.
Check out these episode highlights:
- 01:22 – Laura’s ideal client: “My ideal clients are people who are entrepreneurs. They’re either working for themselves or intrapreneurs, inside of organizations helping other people claim their dreams.”
- 01:35 – Problem Laura helps solve: “The problem I solve is helping people get unstuck. So we are all pursuing this idea of success that has been written for us by somebody else. This whole long list was handed to us by a guidance counselor or a career counselor at some point, telling us what success.”
- 02:08 – Typical symptoms that clients do before reaching out to Laura: “The people who experience this problem are the ones that got a checklist when they were 16, 17, 18 years old that said, “A good job”. What makes a good job good?”
- 03:03 – Common mistakes that people make before they find Laura’s solution: “I think some of the common mistakes they make is being all things to all people all the time. They say yes to everything. They try to solve all the problems, then all they end up doing is solving their own ego’s need to help.”
- 05:11 – Laura’s Valuable Free Action (VFA): “My top tip is to stop defining success, as it has been handed to us externally, but to start thinking about it in terms of four different things: calling, connection, contribution, and control.”
- 07:04 – Laura’s Valuable Free Resource (VFR): Check out Laura’s Website: www.myfourquestions.com
- 07:36 – Q: Does everybody need all four of these things? A: The answer is no. The answer is you only need as much of each of them as you need. And at different ages, in different life stages, it’s going to be different.
Tweetable Takeaways from this Episode:“Failure is not the finale. It's a fulcrum. It's where we learn and we grow. We innovate and we change.” -Laura Gassner Otting Click To Tweet
(Note, this was transcribed using a transcription software and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast)
Tom Poland 00:10
Greetings, everyone, and a warm welcome to another edition of Marketing the Invisible. My name is Tom Poland beaming out to you from little Castaways Beach in Queensland, Australia, joined today by Laura Gassner Otting. Laura, a very good afternoon, I guess this few. Welcome! Where are you based?
Laura Gassner Otting 00:24
I’m based in Boston, Massachusetts.
Tom Poland 00:26
Boston, Massachusetts! There’s a song about that somewhere, which I will not break into right now. For those of you who don’t know Laura, she’s got a terrific book out called, “Limitless”, which we’re going to discuss in a moment. But she speaks with change agents, entrepreneurs, investors, leaders, donors to get them past the doubt and indecision that often, you know, consigns great ideas to inertia and limbo. She delivers strategic thinking, well-honed wisdom, informed by decades of navigating change across the startup, nonprofit, political, and philanthropic landscapes. It sounds like it’s been a rich journey for you, Laura! The title today is, “Limitless:”, the same title as the book, “How to Ignore Everybody-“, subtitled, including your parents.
Laura Gassner Otting 01:11
It does. Absolutely!
Tom Poland 01:13
“Carve Your Own Path and Live Your Best Life.” Love it! Inspirational stuff. Laura, our seven minutes is going to start now. Question number one, who is your ideal client?
Laura Gassner Otting 01:22
My ideal clients are people who are entrepreneurs. They’re either working for themselves or intrapreneurs, inside of organizations helping other people claim their dreams.
Tom Poland 01:30
Perfect! Thank you. Question number two, tell us about the problem you solve for them.
Laura Gassner Otting 01:35
The problem I solve is helping people get unstuck. So we are all pursuing this idea of success that has been written for us by somebody else. This whole long list was handed to us by a guidance counselor or a career counselor at some point, telling us what success would look like. And then we fulfilled it. And we all felt empty anyway. So I help people figure out what’s actually going to make them happy. It’s not just success as written by the outside world, but how do we define it internally ourselves?
Tom Poland 02:00
Perfect! Thank you for that. Six minutes left. Question three, what are some of the symptoms of the people who are going to be experiencing who’ve got that problem?
Laura Gassner Otting 02:08
Yeah, the people who experience this problem are the ones that got a checklist when they were 16, 17, 18 years old that said, “A good job”. What makes a good job good? Is the money, is the leader, the mission, the skills you’re going to learn, the prestige, etc. But they were never told to prioritize that list for YOU. What makes a good job good for YOU? So the 16-year-olds that are making decisions about the rest of their lives, before we literally have a frontal lobe to make good ones, are dictating who we are at 26, 36, 46, 56. And then we wonder, why am I having this crisis?
Tom Poland 02:37
And they’re programming the voices, “Keep going”. So tell us where- you know, you work with people that are pretty ambitious. You know, we got startups. We got not for profits. People who want to make a difference, as well. So they’re going to be trying stuff. They want to get ahead. So tell us about some of the common mistakes that you see people making when they’re trying to solve this problem of happiness and fulfillment and playing live on their own terms? What are some of the common mistakes they make before they find your solution?
Laura Gassner Otting 03:03
Yeah, I think some of the common mistakes they make is being all things to all people all the time. They say yes to everything. They try to solve all the problems, then all they end up doing is solving their own ego’s need to help. So they ask, “How can I help?” as opposed to what needs to happen, and they end up being in the center of all of the solutions, but they aren’t actually the solutions that are getting calm that they want to solve. And so they exhaust themselves, costume changing, and code-switching all day long, so they can be all things to all people. And they don’t actually stop and say, “Strategically, what is the best thing I can be doing right now?”, “Who was the best person that helped me get there?”, “What do I need to learn in order to be where I want to be three years from now, five years from now, 10 years from now?” They don’t stop and think about what actually will matter to them. And so that’s what I do is I help clarify that for them by taking up this idea of success and talking to them about this idea of continence, alignment, harmony, the flow of when what they do matches who they are.
Tom Poland 03:56
Do people say that you help them to get very conscious about life? Because it sounds like a lot of those questions are stimulating that.
Laura Gassner Otting 04:03
Yes, I help them to get conscious but also confident. I think a lot of people don’t feel confident because they’re told, “Follow your passion.” And then they follow their passion only to find that it’s hard. And they’re like, “Well, if I followed my passion, but now it’s hard. Maybe it wasn’t my passion after all. Maybe I should do something else.” And so I help them understand that confidence actually comes from competence. It comes from failing and falling and getting up and learning and figuring it out. Because failure is not the finale. It’s a fulcrum. It’s where we learn and we grow. We innovate and we change. And so I help people understand how to develop those muscles so that they can get gritty and get resilient and get competent about what they want to do so they can be confident about the changes they want to take and the risk that they want to take.
Tom Poland 04:44
Perfect! Thank you. And that a wise person once said to me, “Tom, the word “no” can be a complete sentence.”
Laura Gassner Otting 04:51
The word no is a complete sentence.
Tom Poland 04:54
Use it sometimes, right? So thank you for that. Very well articulated! Three minutes left. Question number five, I want to give people an action item, a step they could take to fall in the right direction. It won’t solve the whole problem. It’s not the whole journey, but it’s going to start them off. What’s your top tip?
Laura Gassner Otting 05:11
My top tip is to stop defining success, as it has been handed to us externally, but to start thinking about it in terms of four different things: calling, connection, contribution, and control. Number one, calling. What is the thing that gets you out of bed in the morning, that driving force, the business you want to build, the practice that you want to develop, the bottom line you want to grow, the cause you want to solve, the leader you want to serve, the family you want to nurture? What is that calling? Connection. Does your work matter? What’s in your inbox, your to-do list, your calendar? And does it actually get you any closer to that calling at the end of the day than at the beginning of the day? Number three, contribution. Connections are all about the work, contributions are all about you. Does this job pay you the lifestyle that you want, give you the life flexibility you need? Does it allow you to manifest your values? Is it inspiring you? Is it giving you the career trajectory that you want? Does it contribute to the life you want? And then lastly, control. How much agency do you actually have over how your work impacts your life? Can you control how much your work connects to your calling, and how much it contributes to your life? And when you figure out those four C’s, how much you have, how much you need, you’re actually able to define success for you, and not all those other people that are telling you what it should look like.
Tom Poland 06:21
Perfect, thank you. Can you give us the four C’s again, please?
Laura Gassner Otting 06:24
Calling, connection, contribution, and control.
Tom Poland 06:27
And it would be terrific, folks, if you just start with the first one and figure out what your calling is. Get out your legal pad and a blue pen and start doodling, brainstorm-
Laura Gassner Otting 06:36
And what do you actually care about? And you don’t have to just have one. People aren’t born with a calling. We have different callings throughout our lives. And by the way, you’re calling only has to be your calling. If you want to cure cancer, that’s awesome! If you want to buy a Maserati and a beach house, that’s awesome, too. Nobody gets a vote. And we have to stop giving votes in our lives to people who shouldn’t even have voices. Your calling, your purpose is only yours and yours alone. And it doesn’t have to have a higher or a lock-in front of it, it just has to be the thing that gets you out of bed in the morning.
Tom Poland 07:04
Thank you for that! And question number six, I’m going to answer it just for the sake of time. Folks, if you want more resources, go to www.myfourquestions.com. That’s the word four, F-O-U-R. Myfourquestions.com. What are they going to find there, Laura? Very quickly.
Laura Gassner Otting 07:20
They’re going to find one question about each of the four C’s. A question about calling, connection, contribution, and control. And it will tell you exactly what you need to get more of any of these things in your life.
Tom Poland 07:29
Fan-dang-tastic! Question number seven, we’ve got a whopping 35 seconds left. What’s the one question I should have asked you but didn’t?
Laura Gassner Otting 07:36
The question that you should have asked me is, does everybody need all four of these things? And the answer is no. The answer is you only need as much of each of them as you need. And at different ages in different life stages, it’s going to be different. So don’t stress out if you don’t have one of them. You might not need it. And that’s okay! You only have to be in alignment with yourself.
Tom Poland 07:55
Laura Gassner Otting, thank you for your wisdom and insights and the rich experience you’ve just shared.
Laura Gassner Otting 08:01
Thank you so much, Tom.
Tom Poland 07:39
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