Believing in yourself is a common mantra we hear for motivation, but it is easier said than done. Going past all of the self-doubts, worries, and fears due to imposter syndrome is hard, but we can definitely gain a well-deserved self-trust by seeing our uniqueness despite our flaws. Melanie Parish is joined by public speaker and philanthropist Angel Ribo to discuss how to embrace your true self and let it out for everyone to see. After all, we must not be dictated by our surroundings but by what lies inside ourselves. Angel also shares what kind of fears keep him awake at night, some tips regarding self-care, and experimenting in the middle of the pandemic.
Listen to the podcast here
I'm here with Angel Ribo. He's known as The CEO Confidant, is an influencer, international TV host, public speaker, CEO consultant, board member, and philanthropist. In the last many years, he has empowered more than 1,500 CEOs in 33 different countries. He was born near Barcelona and he has lived in eight countries and speaks five languages. He established entrepreneurs and corporate CEOs to hire Angel to bridge the gap globally for expansion and exposure. He sits on the board of the Evolutionary Business Council, an organization with more than 350 global transformational leaders with a combined reach of well over 600 million people. He’s based in Texas, and early in 2017, he launched his international foundation Wisdom for Kids and has helped more than 1,000 underprivileged kids in Latin America become entrepreneurs using their local resources.
Angel, I'm excited to have you on my show.
I fell in love with the name of your show because it’s experimental. It's been my journey since I started working internationally. It's amazing. Thank you for having me and thank you to everybody who's reading.
I can't wait to know why that title resonated with you. It's fun to talk about it. Let's dive in. I would love to hear about what you're up to in your work?
My brand is The CEO Confidant. I have two distinct audiences of people that I serve. First is Corporate America C-Level Executives and corporate CEOs. They hired me along with established entrepreneurs. They hire me to bridge the gap globally for expansion and exposure. I helped them strategize and implement growth acceleration strategies through expanding those businesses internationally. It's a mixture of marketing and sales strategies, business development internationally. I'm originally from Barcelona. I lived in seven different countries and speak a few languages. I had done that before helping other companies expand internationally in more than 33 countries. When I became my own boss a few years ago, I decided to keep on doing the same thing for myself because of everything that I had learned throughout my career and all the mistakes I had made.
How do you feel like you've been experimenting since COVID?
This question has many answers. We are all experimenting with a completely new life. We are all experimenting from a personal level. I had lived intensely the crisis in 2001, 2008, 2009, from a business perspective, seeing companies, businesses, and industries closing down, that's not something new. There are the whole environment and whole feelings. Tony Robbins says that “The quality of your life is the quality of your emotions and your feelings.” That has made a big difference, which means my experiments on my business and my life are trying to deal with this fear that is all over the place, regardless of what you do. This is the added ingredient of this general crisis. My experimenting has been, how can I better understand that position where everybody is knowing that we are all under this umbrella of fear? Understanding at a personal level, I deal with both Corporate America and entrepreneurs, everybody has a different perspective.
The ones that either lost their jobs or they are entrepreneurs and they still were trying to ramp up, they are more in fear because the uncertainty has increased. For me, number one, experimenting with these people that I know that their emotions are going through turmoil right now. Number two, how has that affected their businesses? Either their own businesses or someone else's businesses that they work for. How can I best support them? How can I keep on adding value to their lives and to their businesses regardless? When I say regardless, in some cases means serving people that unfortunately they lost their jobs or they have some financial issues. I've never in my life before have done more pro bono work and have supported and mentored more people now. These are all the experiments I'm doing, giving a lot of value away, doing more personal work along with the business one, and making sure that I'm there whoever needs it. That's important now.
I love what you're saying. As a longtime business coach, I've been coaching for many years. I do some business coaching and some executive coaching. I have to think about in these times, who should we save? Who do we throw life raft? I've come to the conclusion that there are businesses that will fail because they're not providing value in the marketplace because the marketplace has changed. It's not some failing that they had that they weren't meeting the needs of their customers, it's their customer needs have deeply changed. It is interesting to see people suffering because they watch a favorite business closed or someone lost a job. I have a daughter who's a chef who feels in peril as things tightened down again in Ontario, where we are. Will she be back on unemployment or something like that? She's been gainfully employed for a decade and works hard. Through no fault of her own, she becomes marginalized after braving the first round. What are your thoughts on how do we determine as a society who we save and who we don't save?
My main life purpose is to help underprivileged kids in Latin America to become entrepreneurs within local resources. For me, the greater good and saving whatever that is important. The first thing is that not everybody wants to be saved. If we pick who do we save, do we think that we have to save everybody? Does everybody want to be safe? I don't know. I'm not sure. When you mentioned those companies that maybe they are serving industries, that they're not there anymore, or the consumer needs have changed completely, what comes to my mind is I’m learning, re-inventing, and pivoting.
Regardless of the size of the company, I have a good friend of mine and colleague Neville Joffe who said, “Acres of diamonds that already exist in corporations right now and allow them to pivot successfully.” I think that everybody is in a position in which they can reinvent themselves, including corporations. They can still go to a market, their existing or another one, and still ask, “What do you guys need? How can we best serve you now? You're not doing this now, so I cannot offer you my services, but what else can we do for you right now?” It's one of the missing links. Not everybody's in the same position and same mindset.
You mentioned that you’re in business coaching for many years. Sometimes, we're preaching in the desert. Sometimes that's how much we can do. Through our coaching, we can ask those powerful questions to these people, these business leaders, entrepreneurs so that they reflect and they realize what they can do or what they shouldn't be doing. That's how much we can do. I think that if everybody's willing to reinvent themselves and is willing to unlearn and be in a different position, everybody is in a position to be saved. They have to unlearn and reinvent themselves in many situations. There are industries that are on the ground now. It's difficult to take them back, but nothing is impossible. What else can we do?
I love the question, “What else can we do? What do we need?” Let's shift a little to you personally. You talked about fear before. What keeps you awake at night?
Number one is serving my family. I still have young kids. They're going through so many things. I feel sorry for them that they're going through all these things that they never had to go through myself in my life. I've been so blessed that they had never had to suffer what they suffer when they go to school and what they have to do still talk to their friends, and all these kinds of things. That's one of the things that keeps me up at night. Going back to the same conversation as before, what can I change? Having a lot of conversations with them and tell them why this is going on, why that might be happening, what can we make of this, and how can we make this an opportunity regardless of what's going on?
Another thing is, “How can I best serve my clients?” I wake up at night because I always try to give this additional edge of creativity. I'm one of these weirdos that never stops thinking and I spot opportunities all over the place all the time. When I am serving, when I'm having a one-on-one with one of my clients or one of the partners I serve, I always on that space of, “I've been sensing this online. I've been sensing this on the Zoom call and this business meeting. I'm realizing that this might be going on. Why don't we change our marketing messaging a little bit? Why don't we change this value proposition that we're doing and we do it in a different way?”
I'm always trying to rethink and I'm always offering these new ideas. That's who I am. My brain is always effervescent. That has a good side and a bad side. The bad side is that sometimes I wake up at night or I wake up early. That's pretty much it. Since COVID start I have to say, my mom and dad still live in Spain. The US is apart compared to what's going on in Spain. I'm concerned about them too. They're 80 years old, both of them. They have been confined most of these months and I cannot be with them. This is something, unfortunately, is also a concern for me. The only thing I can do is to call them as much as I can and to tell them that everything's going to be all right. Regardless of everything else, they're going to be taken care of and happy by my brothers and sisters in Spain.
I'm in a similar situation. I live in Canada in Ontario, but my father is in New Mexico in the US, and our borders are closed. There's no possibility of visiting him for the foreseeable future. I'm challenged by that distance as well. I love talking to people who are successful and who also work with highly successful people. I love asking them to think about their thoughts on imposter syndrome. I don't ask people to bare their souls and tell me their deepest darkest secrets. I'm sure that you work with people who have figured out how to grapple with imposter syndrome. What are your thoughts on how to get through it? Anything that comes to mind when it pops up?
The first thing that comes to mind was when I left Corporate America. I underestimated everything I had done that I thought that everything I was doing at that point in time was fake. I was offering my services and I was thinking, “Medina,” they're going to say, “I'm not sure.” I was thinking like, “No, I don't deserve that person's business and that company's business.” I had never sat down and I had never written down everything I had achieved while I was working for other companies in other countries. When I started to write down and bring up like, “Let's count the number of companies that I served, the conversations with CEOs I've done, the number of countries, the number of business issues I've solved, and the number of salespeople I've trained.” I had this piece of paper in front of me that I have handwritten, and then I said to myself, “Angel, read to this list again. You deserve these people's business as much as anybody else, if not more.” How many people can say that they have done this? They might have done something differently, but not the exact same thing. We tend to think, for instance, we're both business consultants or business coaches. I might be afraid of you because you might take away a client of mine because of this conversation. Let's take this to an extreme.
We are complimentary and we will always be complimentary because I would never replace your experience. It's impossible for me to replace your experience and the kind of value that you can provide to the people that you serve. It's the same with me. Nobody can offer the same thing. Whoever will offer a different thing, a similar thing, but not the same. At the end of the day, what’s important is to be yourself, be genuine, be authentic, and be true to yourself. Imposter syndrome comes and goes. Maybe it's my education or my tradition. Spain is a very Catholic country. I don’t know if that's a tradition, education, or whatever.
Since we are kids, we are educated with so many boundaries and things that we cannot do. Maybe this fear goes with us all the time like, “You are not enough,” but we are enough. When you talk to people and business executives, when you doctor more successful than you the C-level executives, you realize that you still have a lot to offer. We all should know that we carry with all our flaws, mistakes, and our failures. We still carry a lot of stories and experiences that nobody else has made us have a completely different and unique perspective of the world and of the business world that can help others to do a better job. It's simple.
It's even more simple than that. Every single person has the capacity to be a sounding board. Even if you strip away the experience and your own perspective, you have the ability to ask questions and help someone become more aware of their own thoughts. If you're talking to the smartest person in the room, they may not have themselves talk enough to get the value. In my coaching, letting people talk, and then saying, “What did you learn as you heard yourself say all those things?” Sometimes it's not an earth-shattering shift. Sometimes there's real insight in allowing them to hear themselves.
That's why I said, “Stay true to yourself.” Be genuine and be authentic. I know it's fearful. I know it can be a social fear in the beginning. When I started giving away some interviews, I said to myself, “Maybe I don't have answers to the questions I'm going to be asked.” The more you talk, the more difficult the questions are, the more different and unique the questions are. The more you explore inside yourself, you realize that you have the answers.
There’s some answer.
When I am on the other side, I'm interviewing someone, I always say, “I'm not the important one here. The important one is you because my audience has to listen to your messages today. I know that some of the things you, Mrs. or Mr. Guests are going to say are going to resonate with many audiences.’” I know that for a fact. That's why I would want you to keep ongoing. Sometimes the most simple short statement can be the most powerful in the life of the listeners. Everybody sees their world in a different way. It's human nature. Imposter syndrome is a fear that you’re like, “I'm not enough. I will not be enough. I'm pretending to do and to be able to do things, and to deliver the things that I'm not able.” You are asking the wrong questions. The question you have to ask is not if or when, it’s how. How can I deliver that service? How can I do it? Going back to your original question about experimenting, how can I do this better for my clients? How can I do this? What else should I be trying in order to serve my market better?
My favorite expression is, take imperfect action now. Interestingly enough, it's related to experimenting. You will not know that that particular strategy or idea is going to be successful or you’re going to like it unless you try. You try but don't worry there's always a safety net. Try it in a particular environment that makes you be safer, try and see what happens. See what opens up for you. I'm sure that you've seen this a million times. When you try something, regardless of what it is, when you take massive action, things start to happen. It is what it is. It's like this universe where we are, our God rewards us for taking massive action, for going diligently to do something. I've experienced that so many times, suddenly things started happening around me when I take massive action or when I recommend someone to take massive action.
I love the idea of imperfect action because if it's perfect, it's no longer an experiment, it's a gamble. It's gotten too scaled up, too planned, or too organized. You've already invested too much to allow it to be an experiment. What can you think now that you're experimenting with tomorrow? Short timeframes. Another pivot here in our conversation, what do you do for self-care?
Number one, I do fasting often, which helps me from a health perspective. I love sunbathing against common belief. My skin is in great health. My age stopped many years ago and it becomes younger and healthier every single day. The second thing I do is very often, as you probably have realized, I'm a very passionate and optimistic guy. I use my incantations and affirmations every single day. It's very easy to see me in my car, at a traffic light, or on the carpool of my kids. It’s like me chanting something. I liked to take naps in the middle of the day. I believe that it's like recharging. I'm glad that being an entrepreneur, I can take 30 minutes in the middle of the day to do that.
The rest is to be present and not to be reacting. Reacting kills you. If you want, you can be reacting to something throughout the day. The good things about this situation that we are living in 2020, there are so many stimuli out there for many different sources that staying away from a reaction and looking at the world as an observer observing the world. I've never observed the world more than now. Trying to build bridges as opposed to being reacting and taking sides. That's helping me a lot to be in a place of sanity.
I love the sunbathing, incanting, and napping self that you describe. It's a refreshing view.
I also hike trees, but that will be too daring for me to share with the readers, which I do. I’m barefoot in the backyard.
Where can people find you?
My strong hole is my LinkedIn account. I'm there very often at Angel Ribo. You can find me anytime. My email is extremely easy. It's Angel@AngelRibo.com. Those are the easiest ways to find me. I'm very responsive. My team along with me, we are always willing to help and to support everybody that needs it.
It's been such a pleasure to have you on my show. Thanks so much for your time.
Thank you for the invite. I've enjoyed the conversation. Thank you to all your readers for their patient reading and for allowing me to be in their lives.
I've been talking with Angel Ribo and I love his connection to his own values and how he weaves that through the way that he works. I love that his answer to the question, “Should everyone be saved in COVID in terms of businesses?” His answer is not everyone wants to be saved, but if you do want to be saved, then that's the wrong question to be asking. It should be, “How do we ditch all of that?” I've enjoyed hearing how he lives his values in everything he does. I like the self-care that he does like sunbathing, having incantations, and taking naps in the afternoon. He defines his own reality as a leader. I love that he says, “If we're asking who should be saved, we're asking the wrong question. It's how should we do it?” I’m loving his question, “How do you take massive imperfect action?” I love the imperfection of that because it fits along the guidelines of the experimental leader to do short, quick, safe to fail experiments using prototypes wherever you can. Go experiment.
About Angel Ribo
I am originally from Spain. At 18-years-old I moved to Barcelona from my hometown. In 1996 I got married with my college sweetheart but 6 months later I got divorced. That crushed me emotionally. I had to start my life all over as a single guy... In 1999, after working a couple of years in Spain, I was looking for a position that would allow me to go overseas and I found one in London. I got the job and I moved to London. The First Defining Moment Of My Life In London I was working for an American company and they invited me to a Sales Training Bootcamp in United States, Massachusetts.
After that bootcamp I decided to take a couple of weeks off from my job to visit Mexico and then go to Cuba. At the time I was reading a novel called “The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield that discusses various psychological and spiritual ideas rooted in multiple ancient Eastern traditions and New Age spirituality. When I finished the book I was in the second floor of my Villa, overlooking the ocean, the sun was setting and it was an amazing sunset. For the first time ever in my life I felt this intense energy telling me that I had to go and work in Latin America. After my vacation and after experiencing this powerful spiritual moment I went back to London where I told my managers that I wanted to leave to Latin America and I asked if they could offer me a position there.
They said yes and after 3 months I was already in Mexico. I started working there and I was very successful at the beginning but then my boss started asking me to get involved with the weird illegal things that they were doing and of course I didn’t want to do that which led me to leaving the company in 2003. 2003 was a good year however, because I met my wife :)Things Weren’t Always Easy In 2005 I started working for a new software company after seeing an ad for a chance to open an office in Mexico city. I applied for the job and got the job. I was the the number one person of the company in Mexico. Out of intuition I had to build distribution channels and personal relationships with different people. Through hard work, by being a very good human being and by spending a lot of time with the people there, I was able to get some great results and I ended up helping them triple their revenue in 1 year. Because I got no directions I pretty much had to jump of a cliff and build an airplane while I was falling. At the time my mantra was, “I have to help these guys. I have to be with them.” And I just knew I would get results As I was so focused in my work I started to leave the family alone. I started to spend weekends away from home and my wife was thinking at the time that we were going to get a divorce. Mexico City where we were living was also a very difficult city to live in. As one of the candidates to the Presidential election in 2006 said that there had been fraud, living in Mexico City became impossible, so we moved to Puerto Vallarte.
I worked from Puerto Vallarta for a while and I got some really good momentum. All the people in the company knew, liked and trusted me. Then one day the Vice President for Sales came to Mexico and he said to me that if I want a better job I should move to the United States. Fast forward a few months and my family and I decided to move to US where I had the same responsibility as in Mexico. The Day I Discovered My Life’s Purpose In the United States I continued travelling for work and for pleasure through Latin America until one day, again in February, this time in Mexico City, something extraordinary happened again. I was there in an event that was meant for people from all walks of life and of social origin. In that event those people were taught how to become entrepreneurs. You could see all kinds of people but, among all, you could see the high energy level that everyone had there. The following day, as I was having a shower in the morning, before going back home a strong flash came to my mind. I felt this intense flow of energy, complete state of bliss like never before in my life... I started crying like a baby, literally. I suddenly understood why I had been called to live in Latin America instead of in Europe, and why I had travelled so much with that due to my work. The flash that came into my mind was that I had to take all the kids in need in Latin America out of poverty, through inspiration. Through the inspiration that everyone has an immense power to create their own reality. My mission would be to reach out to all the kids in need in Latin America and teach them how to become Entrepreneurs with their local resources.
And the way that I would use to create reach out to so many people would be a network of Angels, angels that would deliver those inspirations lectures over and over again. The Angels would inspire those kids to realize that they could start setting up their own ventures to help themselves and their families. This was the day when I discovered my life's purpose. My Mission Today And that's why now I have 2 missions in life. My number one mission and my life’s purpose is to help kids in need in Latin America with my non-profit, Wisdom for Kids. There are 81 Million kids living in poverty in Latin America right now and my goal is to help 810,000 kids in need in Latin America within the next 3 years. In fact half of my coaching fee goes straight to the non-profit and it’s tax deductible...
My second mission in life and really something that's connected to the first mission is to help 7,390 CEO’s within the next 10 years.. Why that number? That number represents 0,00001% of the world population and I feel that when I achieve that I’ve made a real difference in the world... I also believe CEO’s run the world so that’s why I want to inspire CEO’s to give back.
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Starting Businesses: The Business Plan That Works With Sean Castrina
I'm here with Sean Castrina. He's a serial entrepreneur. Having started more than twenty companies over many years, he still seeks to launch a new venture annually. He's an investor, a teacher, and a highly sought-after speaker who communicates with humor and a bluntness that engages and captures his audience. He's the author of 8 Unbreakable Rules for Business Startup Success, The Greatest Entrepreneur in the World, and World's Greatest Business Plan.
Sean, I'm excited to have you here on my show.
It's good to be here.
Tell me a little bit about what you are working on right now in your world.
I'm an entrepreneur. I have a company that has eight divisions. That's the one that pays the bills and gives me the money to bankroll all my ideas or other things I'm working on. I'm working on a company with my son. That's exciting, a platform building company to help people launch their books because every company I've ever started always came out of a problem I faced. I found when I launched my book, I felt like I had to have six people doing different things. There was no company that could launch my book. I either had a PR company, podcast company and Instagram company doing this. We're trying to put that all under one umbrella with one strategy. That's the project I'm playing with now.
I don't know if you know that I've launched a book in April. I have lived that reality of the multiple people doing lots of things.
It's expensive. I don't think it gives the best return on money and/or time. I find there's a lot of disjointedness. My fourth book will be coming out in November. I've worked with my friends that are New York Times bestselling authors. The independent publisher which is the future anyway. A million books are self-published a year. There needs to be a one-stop source for that person.
Which one is your new book?
The one that I wrote in 2020. I only wrote this one because I was helping my son with this business and I was trying to get him to do a business plan. I speak at colleges and I ordered one book after another on Amazon. One book was worse than the next. I looked at this and I'm like, “This doesn't work.” I said, “Colin, here are the 25 questions that I always answer before I start a business.” I wrote the book, the World's Greatest Business Plan: That Works! That was writing a book to my son, 151 pages on this is all that mattered. This is all you need to get a business off the ground, but you better have answers to these questions. The idea was, if I talk you out of starting a business, I'm as happy as you starting a successful business because some businesses are not made for the marketplace. They only sound good and the head of the founder. When they expose it to the marketplace, it dies a very painful expensive death.
I've been a business coach for many years. I can't tell you how many friends have come and said, “Here's my business plan. Here's what I want to do.” I said, “Walk me through how that business can replace your $200,000 a year salary,” and they can't do it. I feel so happy that they didn't start that business because they had convinced themselves it was going to be fine.
I always tell them my big thing that I preach, never quit your day job unless you live in the basement of your parent's house. Barring that rare scenario, you’ve got to earn the right to quit your job and a business plan doesn't earn it. It's implementing a business that can generate 50% of your current income back to you. That's when you've earned the right to take that risk. You jumping off a cliff is fine. You jumping off a cliff and taking your wife with you, two kids in a college fund I don't think you have that right.
I'm in full agreement with you. Can you give us a preview of a couple more of the questions like the top question that might be in your book?
The big thing that I try to go on is, I want to know why you want to start a business in the first place. I know that sounds very simple but I want to know why. “Why” has got to motivate you, why do you want to be a business owner? “I want flexibility of schedule. I want unlimited income. I want to control my own career.” Your why is irrelevant to me, it has to motivate you when things get difficult because if you don't have a strong motivator on why you want to be a business owner, one out of every two startups fails. Your why has got to be compelling to you. The other thing is, “Why do you think this business idea will work?” These are questions that are on the so basic level but give me your elevator pitch why this business. Who's your competition and why are you going to be better than your competition? It’s a very simple type of thing. All the costs, people get the cost to start the business and they forget about how much it's going to cost to sustain the business.
Another massive mistake they make is that they have this revenue forecast. I love this imaginary chapter in every startup book but mine, you have no idea what you're going to bring in. That is a fantasy. Every startup book I've ever read, ABC Tool Company starts in Chapter 1, Chapter 15 ABC Tool Company is making all this revenue. It's amazing how they make enough revenue to pay all their bills and the founder makes money. I've never had that startup happen and I've started over twenty companies. What you think you're going to make is complete and utter speculation. The only thing that you can count on is the money you bring to the startup because how quickly and what you're going to make after the launch is a complete fantasy.
How do you help people grapple with that fantasy?
I have a way of speaking in such a way that I don't hide the ball. My wife said, “Sean has a unique way, you won't wonder what he's communicating.” It's like in the book. I'm like, “Tell me how you can guarantee that? Have you ever owned a similar business that you can compare it to?” In other words, if you're projecting something, what is your validation for that? Have you worked for a company that launched a new division? If you've done something that's parallel, that might give you a general idea and it may give you more confidence that the revenue is going to come in, but you can't base your business plan on it.
What do you base it on?
I base it on what you have in your pocket. That's your runway. In reality, it's truthfully the only runway you can count on. Let's say that you sign a five-year lease, which I would tell you never to do. Why? You don't have guaranteed money that's coming in. By following my model, I would have you do a three-month temporary lease to make sure this works. Even if the lease is twice as much money, at least if it doesn't work, you're not on the hook for five years personally responsible. It forces you to think differently to be more nimble and to negotiate better. Maybe you did a temporary store, it was temporary and you went into it. I liked starting businesses at the micro level to get proof of concept, to get some level of traction, and then you push all the chips in a little bit.
I always love the idea of the prototype. How do you make the smallest thing you can try it to see if you get uptake?
A guy said something good on my podcast. I thought it was neat. He goes, “Show me how you're going to get one customer, then show me how you're going to get ten. Give me your plan for 100 and then give me your plan for 1,000.” His whole point was don't give me your plan to get 10,000 customers. I want to see how you're going to get the first one.
The first one is hard. I'm launching courses and full automation on the backend. It's hard to get the first client. There’s so much work.
In our imagination, we're going to get a fat 10,000. That big number because it’s so big. His whole point that I liked was knowing what I now know what's my plan to get my first customer? What's my plan to get us to ten then to 100? For most businesses, I thought that was great advice.
Who should buy your book, Sean?
Anybody who is starting a business or anybody who has a business that is stuck. Businesses need to be reimagined. Sometimes they need to be rebooted. If what you're doing doesn't work, you see your profit going down, you see your revenue going down every year, and you see more competition. You sense that you are a fish in a shark-infested water. When you sense that either of those scenarios and you're going to start a business and/or your business is stuck because a stuck business can redo a business plan. Start over. You have some great things going for you and that you have staff. You might have location. You have some customers. You have a lot going for you. There are some massive gaps in a business plan compared to maybe even if you did one ten years ago, or you didn't. Doing a new business plan helps businesses very much.
Let’s shift gears a little bit. I want to talk to you about yourself as a leader. What things are you experimenting on as a leader right now in your own life and work?
Everything dies and falls on leadership, John Maxwell. My number one responsibility is to recruit leaders and train leaders. My company cannot grow without leaders. That is the hardest thing to find. You can find salespeople. You can find technicians and they're valuable. I have found the only way I can scale divisions, start new businesses and max them out is my ability. I always took this as my superpower, my ability to see potential in other people before they see it in themselves, recruit them, retain them and put them in key roles. That's what I've done for many years. That's why I have six business partners in very varying industries.
As a leader, you make critical decisions. I get that, but your ability to recruit, build people, and make them as good as you, that's when you're great. When you can replace yourself, when at 2:00 AM you're not only one worrying about a problem. I love that when we face difficult problems, I genuinely have other people that have started thinking about that problem sometimes before it even got to my desk. Recruiting leaders is that skill you've got to have.
How is it different in 2020 than it was in 2019?
The key now is if you didn't have good leaders, you're feeling it because your culture is probably suffering. We're trying to piece together some type of corporate culture. The more people you have on your staff that has a flock of people that listen to them, the better. You're probably paying the cost for it, but I do think there's a talent pool out there. There are people that are working from home that are open to doing two jobs or two responsibilities. The 40-hour work a week will be demolished at some point in many industries. I even find it with me with the startup that we're working on. I don't care how many hours you do anything. I don't care if you work from a hot air balloon. I don't care if you live in Zimbabwe.
Here's the job. We define what we want out of you. Ninety-nine jobs out of 100 need to be clearly defined with measurable and let people do it. Don't pay them for the results. The truth is if I hire somebody who lives in New York or I hire somebody who lives in West Virginia, I'm going to pay more for the person in New York because living conditions are higher. If I don't know that then the job and the responsibility are still the same. When you start looking globally for talent, it changes everything. Your pay scale and how you define responsibilities. Your ability to create a virtual team that is global right now is the difference-maker.
How do you take care of yourself as a leader? What do you do for your own self-care to rejuvenate?
I exercise. I'm a fanatic about exercising because your morning is critical. Every book you've ever read on highly successful people. Your first hour in the morning is I'm selfish. I don't look at my phone. I don't look at my emails. There's nothing I can fix at 6:00 AM that I can't fix it at 7:00 AM. That's a reality. That's one of the things that I've learned. Number two is after 6:00 PM, rarely is there a customer issue I can fix so why am I going to get aggravated at 9:00 PM before I go to bed? There is a point where you’ve got to turn it off, you’ve got to shut it down.
I try to manage my stress level. I used to think that was like one of my things I bragged about my capacity to solve problems and all that. As I get older, I guard my mental health in that. I manage my stress loads. I involve other people in taking stress from me. You’ve got to have time for yourself and exercise. Exercise is a great stress reliever. I exercise and I guard my first hour of the morning. I know what time of day to start shutting it down. Another secret I've learned as I get older, it's I don't much manage the to-do list. I don't have a lot of things I have to do. I have key responsibilities, but it's not like I'm doing twelve things in the course of a day.
I have to get major things done. I have major meetings where I need to be on. What I've learned to do is manage my energy level. I schedule my day like an athlete. This is when I'm at my best. Mentally, I need to be on that window. When I don't have to have it on, I can do these types of tasks because they're mundane, they're repetitive. I find myself managing my energy level, which gives me focus. I manage that more so than ever before.
I'm fascinated by the idea that you don't manage your to-do lists. You do a couple of things a day. That's lovely to hear.
I tell people it's like Rummikub. It's like Rummi with tiles. You try to get rid of all your tiles and whoever gets rid of their tiles, wins the game. My week starts with getting rid of tiles. I delegate it. I joke I would delegate a bowel movement if somebody would come up behind me and clean me. I'm not confident they would so I don't. The point is taken. I comfortably delegate. I have a loop to where I make sure it's all getting done and I delegate it to the right people. I give them measurable and time to do it. The point is that I want to get everything away from me that I can focus on the few things that only I can do that my staff knows only I can do. My staff wants me to stay in that zone. My staff will say to me, “What can we get off your desk? Is there anything we can take care of for you?” They know where I'm gifted.
What are you thinking about for the future?
There will be entrepreneurial surge. We're getting a look at how you're going to have to reimagine yourself. Online is going to be bigger than ever. If Amazon and Netflix didn't give you the future, you’ve got it now. You're going to have a business that is extremely nimble. Restaurants are going to reimagine how they do business because it could be something like this happen again. How would you do it? I do believe restaurants that can deliver home-style meals to houses is a gold mine. I order like Grubhub, but I never feel like I'm getting nutritious food. I never get that feeling and then you’ve got the delivery meals, but they always take like 45 minutes to cook. They always tell you like 20, but they're always like 45. I've done them all.
I'm doing good PR for this company, but I ordered like they had this family bundle like bonefish. They gave me a nutritious meal. It was a salad. You get a vegetable. You get a starch. You get a protein, and it was at a reasonable price. This should be your model. Why is eating inside your restaurant the model? It doesn't have to be, we all have to eat so change the model. At the end of the day, people would like to eat something nutritious and fast with quick cleanup. I'm not a restaurant guy, but I just reimagine things. I'm like, “There's got to be another model.”
I want it to cost exactly $55. That's what I'm meant for.
We have a dollar figure in our head that we're good with and I would have you cooked dinner for us four nights a week.
I'm with you. We’ve done them all. We've done everything.
I've had chefs that deliver me stuff. The problem is that I give them my credit card to go grocery shop. I look at it one week and he spent like $160. I don't know what they bought. I have to fire them. All I'm saying is that the pandemic, we still have to eat. If eating as a family has been more common because you were together. I always try to look at, what does new look like? Things are different but it's new. It will figure it out and there's going to be a business there.
Thanks for that. How can people find your book and you?
I love to give before I sell anything. You can go to my personal site, SeanCastrina.com. I always give away a book right now. We're giving away my first book, which was a bestseller, 8 Unbreakable Rules for Business Startup Success. It’s a good book. New York Times bestselling authors endorsed it as well as top universities and business schools. That's for free. That's a great way to understand the rules of a startup. You can go to Amazon, World's Greatest Business Plan. You're thinking about starting a business. I'm telling you this truly is the best business plan book because my eighteen-year-old son could understand it. That's important because I don't think we're all that much smarter than an eighteen-year-old had just got out of high school. How many of us are that much brighter? I wrote it so that an average person could understand it.
Thank you so much for being on my show. I've appreciated having you.
Thank you for having me as a guest.
I loved hearing him talk about creating a small three-month temporary business, which equates with agile model or nimble model, a way to prototype a business as you're starting it. I also loved how he talked about guarding his mental health and how he manages the energy in his day. It's a cool way to try managing your output as opposed to a to-do list. I love that he thinks of himself as an athlete in the way he thinks about that energy. I was also fascinated by his questions, “Why do you want to start a business?” Understanding the “why” is important. In my book, it’s part of the vision in The Experimental Leader as to what your vision is of how you want the world to be. Your mission is what do you want to deliver to the world. I wholeheartedly agree that your mission and your vision have to motivate you because times will be hard in business. As a business coach for a long time, I have watched so many times people starting businesses and those businesses struggling. It's so painful to watch people sink their life savings into a business that never had a shot in the first place. It was a pleasure to be on with Sean. Go experiment.
About Sean Castrina
Sean Castrina is a serial entrepreneur, having started more than 20 companies over the last 20 years, and still seeks to launch a new venture annually. He is an investor, teacher and highly-sought-after speaker who communicates with humor and a bluntness that engages and captures his audience. He is the author of 8 Unbreakable Rules for Business Startup Success, The Greatest Entrepreneur in the World, and World’s Greatest Business Plan.
Driven by the need to help Africa prosper and develop, Clarah Manuhwa has created a platform for young Africans with the aim of connecting Africans to work together. Clarah is a young Zimbabwean entrepreneur and engineer. Today on the podcast, she sits down with Melanie Parish to explain what drove her to start the foundation and share how she’s motivating, empowering, and engaging young African women to do the best for themselves.
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Being a cancer advocate is a profession that carries a lot of heavy emotional labor, especially when you’re personally invested in it. Having had the experience of caring for her younger sister until the latter succumbed to liver cancer, the fight against cancer is a personal one for Andrea Wilson Woods, so much so that she is up to her elbows running a two-pronged war against cancer through her nonprofit, Blue Faery: The Adrienne Wilson Liver Cancer Association and her for-profit health technology company, Cancer University. At the same time, she is actively promoting her award-winning bestselling memoir, Better of Bald. How does she stay in peak mental, physical and emotional shape in the middle of this flurry of activity? Listen in as she shares some of her self-care routines with Melanie Parish on the podcast.
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One of the most booming industries globally, the construction industry is, without exception, fraught with many challenges. It’s a long-term game, and that is why it’s essential to work alongside people who understand the process and see the results. Joining Melanie Parish on the show today is Elinor Moshe, a mentor, speaker, and the host of the podcast called Constructing You. Elinor shares how industry professionals and future leaders can construct their careers in construction to achieve more recognition, higher compensation, and faster career progression.
Listen to the podcast here:
Constructing Your Career With Elinor Moshe
I'm here with Elinor Moshe, who's an ambitious and driven leader and a dedicated mentor in the construction industry. Her passion to guide, inspire, and direct future leaders and industry professionals to construct their career lead to her founding the successful platform, The Construction Coach. Elinor is the host of a successful podcast, Constructing You. As a number one bestselling author Elinor's book, Constructing Your Career is one of its kind for people who want inspirational practical action and unconventional career intelligence to construct their career. Elinor has been featured in Yahoo! Finance, Australia National Construction Review, Property Council of Australia's Top 500 Women in Property programme 2019, Top 100 Women in Construction, and is frequently a speaker guest lecturer, and panelist. She holds a Master of Construction Management and a Bachelor of Environments from the University of Melbourne. I'm glad to have her here on the show.
I am excited to have you on my show.
I am curious about what you do. I have a passion for real estate, so I'm tickled inside to get to talk to you. Let's start by talking about what you're up to in your work.
There are many things. Whilst COVID has presented a realm of opportunity, it's been fantastic to be able to release the podcast, and my book came out. People are sending me photos of them getting the book and starting to read it, which is an unusual feeling. You being an author can relate to both going through the process of releasing a book, but then being on the precipice of other people than yourself reading it. We team that with amazing clients that I get to work with at the moment. There is a lot happening and a lot in the pipeline. It's incredible what you can do as a thought leader and how much you can keep on expanding and adding to your name and your business fluidly.
It sounds like you're up to many of the same things I've been up to in 2020. I know the journey of all those things, releasing and starting up. How are you experimenting with your work now?
Looking where there is an opportunity and when nothing has been done before and then going, “That's the space that I'm going to operate in.” That can also be the scariest space because it's all new and you don't know how it's going to work. With the podcast, for example, that I released in March 2020, Constructing You. All podcasts in the construction industry are very technical based and mine is a non-careers careers podcast. It's about who you have to become to achieve what you have. It's this quite a large concept that I wanted to translate into audio form and it is working. At the time, I was like, “I'm doing it. This is what's happening.” That was an experiment within itself. When I wrote the book, it was the intention to piece together years of unconventional career intelligence and all acumen associated with constructing your career.
It's not a technical book by any standard. I said, “I'm going to put it out there.” That's exactly what happened. The presales have taken off and the first-week launch figures came in and I also took off. It's also about presenting different offerings to the industry, which hasn't been offered before that I know of in the forms of masterminds and different types of leadership mentoring that I do. I think everything that I've done this year has been an experiment because my business, The Construction Coach, is Australia's first construction coach. There isn't anyone doing what I'm doing in the industry for the industry. Every step that I take can feel like an experiment within itself until I've done it. You realize, “That was okay. It wasn't that scary. It's good. Let's keep going.”
Tell me a little bit about your clients, what do they look like? Who are they?
As a thought leader, we base our target market on psychographics, not so much demographics. For me, it's about people who have ambition, aspiration, and drive. They're my people. They understand that the construction of all things is a long-term game and it doesn't happen overnight. To boot your success, your career, or your business, whatever it is that you're aspiring towards your leadership proposition, it's a long-term game. I look for people who can understand the process and can see the results. They're the key metrics in which I work with on a fundamental basis. You do look for a certain demographic at different levels, but it comes down to the mindset because that's what's malleable. That's what people can change in order to get the results that they are looking to achieve.
As you're doing all of these things, how do you decide if one of the things you try is working or not working? What do you do in terms of data collection?
There's the hard data collection of LinkedIn, social media platforms, views per blog, and downloads per episode. I don't look for immediate results. I look for an upward trend and also understanding what is happening on all these platforms. I am also monitoring my engagement if I've changed my behavior with those platforms. You also look for the softer type of feedback. I'll be at the most important type of feedback and that is, “What are your clients saying? What is your community saying about the podcast, the book, the actual reviews and feedback, and the transformation and experiences that the community and the clients who work directly with me are experiencing?” That's the ultimate data.
That's a great way of looking at it, what's happening for people around as we're doing the things that we do and as we engage in thought leadership? What do you do to take care of yourself in all of that?
I am someone who has a higher achievement orientation. That means that I frequently don't stop because whilst I am proud of what I've achieved. I also have this constant dissatisfaction with where you are. That's what always drives me forward to keep on delivering, to keep on adding value, to keep on experimenting. I'm also cognizant when the body says, “I needed a day.” It's not always about stopping. It's also about building in daily habits, which create a sense of well-being, not on a superficial sense, but on acquire in an innate sense. I do that via meditation. It has been the absolute busiest months for me.
I haven't gone a day without meditating because this isn't a show about the benefits of meditation, but it has been beneficial. I also journal and journaling is one of my most important outlets. It's my most sacred space, but above all that, I have the best mentors behind me in my corner. It's actively being in conversation with what's going on with what's happening. I'm not someone who needs a weekend away or to stop completely or detached from what I'm working on. My work gives me a few, but I also recognize when I need space to recalibrate.
When you talk about mentors, how have you chosen mentors for yourself?
The story that I have with mentoring is a unique one. I am particular about the type of people that I consider mentors. There's mentoring with a capital M and that's a formal mentoring. There's mentoring, which is listening to a podcast or picking up a book. It's being conscious about the information that you are feeding into your mind. One of the key metrics of assessment for me is, would I swap places with the person? If I will, then I am more than likely to want their advice in order to achieve the results that they have. That's what it is because mentoring is the opportunity to save yourself time as to where you want to go. In the first instance, that's what's required. I think what the individual needs to know is what it is that they want and what their vision is because that's how I came across my mentor.
Through the journaling process, I slowly started uncovering the vision for my own life. I didn't know exactly the vehicle in which I would achieve all aspects of this vision. When you look back, you can connect the dots, but it was at an event that I saw my mentor and he immediately spoke to me. I knew that I had to come into his world and fast forward, I'm on the tail end of the mentoring program with him. In some sense, it's divine intervention as well. I also put it down to that. When you know what you want and you have this conviction that you're going to go after it, the universe aligns people and opportunities around you in order to make that happen.
I love the way that you're talking about mentorship. As coaches, we talk about coaching and mentorship often feels like this nebulous world out there to me. It's fun to hear how you're talking about mentorship. I would like to ask you about imposter syndrome. I'm super curious about it. As a coach, as someone who's working in leadership and how it shows up, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. You don't have to bare your soul, but when you've noticed that you or others have experienced it, what you've seen and how they manage it, or did they walk away from it?
It's an interesting topic within itself. The imposter syndrome is a consequence of when you don't know exactly on the macro and the micro of who you are, what it is that you're here to do and having that full conviction with your vision. When you can see your vision when you can project yourself out for years and you can see who it is that you are and what you have achieved, the mere fact that you can see that vision and the person that you are, it means it's a reality for you. That thought is already a metaphysical thought. It's one step closer to reality. When you are on the edge of something new or you are releasing a program, there is that sense of, “What am I doing? Am I good enough? Am I leading some of that?”
You have that conversation with yourself, but that dialogue doesn’t last for a day, a week, a month with us. It lasts for maybe five minutes, half an hour and then we get back to business. What always pulls me forward out of that funk of, “Am I good enough?” Yes, I am. I look at my future self and I know what she's had to do. I know what she's done. That helps me in the immediate term or immediate timeframe overcome what is classified as imposter syndrome. I also spend a lot of time working on my mindset and my skillset. I have backup women myself. I don't put myself in a mentoring position where I can't deliver to a client.
I don't ever put out content that I don't fully believe in. I don't go out and do something without, “First, what tools do I need? What my mindset needs to look like? What my skillset needs to look like?” That comes over time as well. In a work, out a work of confidence, it's been years of constantly working at it. The confidence that I have and for those that know me or interact with me for long enough, they know that confidence is my first language. Ambition is my first language, but it hasn't always been like this. I've been the shyest and quietest person in the room. I've been the person that delve down their power. That's when I felt the imposter syndrome of, “What am I doing?” That inner dialogue. It's been through that work, that discovery, that fulfilling your own purpose of being on the journey of listening to your calling, but eradicates that imposter syndrome. You're not asking, who am I to do this? The conversation then becomes, who am I not to do this?
I love the way that you're talking about this with. It's powerful. I love that you've been there. You've experienced it. I'm sure that you still do. After coaching for years, I know that we all, if we're working at the edge of our potential, then we're going to find that place. Where can people find you, Elinor?
If people would love to connect with my podcast, Constructing You, or read my book, Constructing Your Career, you can connect with me on Instagram @ElinorMoshe_. I am also on LinkedIn, Elinor Moshe. For everything else, go to ElinorMoshe.com.
It has been such a pleasure to have you on the show. Thank you for spending some time with me.
Thank you. It's been great talking to you.
I've been speaking with Elinor Moshe about construction, leadership, imposter syndrome, and all sorts of things. It's been fun to talk with her about many things. I loved hearing her talk about how she chooses mentors and wondering, “What if I swap places with them?” It's a great nod to vision, to what you will accomplish, to where the end state is. This is such a fantastic question to ask, to try to think about that end state. I've had a blast talking with Elinor. It's been amazing. Go experiment.
About Elinor Moshe
Elinor Moshe is an ambitious and driven leader and dedicated mentor in the construction industry. Her passion to guide, inspire and direct future leaders and industry professionals to construct their career lead to her founding the successful platform, The Construction Coach. Elinor is also the host of the successful podcast, Constructing You. As a #1 Best Selling Author, Elinor's book Constructing Your Career is one of its kind, for people who want inspirational, practical action and unconventional career intelligence to construct their career.
Elinor has been featured in Yahoo! Finance, Australian National Construction Review, Property Council of Australia's Top 500 Women in Property programme 2019, Top 100 Women in Construction, and is frequently a speaker, guest lecturer and panellist. She holds a Master of Construction Management and Bachelor of Environments from the University of Melbourne.
A public speaker, consultant, workshop leader, author, and Master Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation, from whom she received the Prism Award, Melanie is an expert in problem-solving, constraints management, operations, strategic hiring, and brand development.