You’ve heard it said that experience isn’t something you get until just after you needed it.
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t share our experiences in hopes they can help others not make the same mistakes we have.
In today’s episode, we’re going to share some of the most valuable lessons WE learned this year.
Lessons learned from leading 23 live events (3 of which were brand new), partnering with 20+ incredible organizations, hosting 46 podcasts, releasing 110 newsletters, writing 500 social media posts, hiring two new full time staff members and countless other impactful moments.
Hear from each member of our staff as we recount both the successes and failures encountered along the way including:
Operations advice from Liz Bartholomew – Director of Operations (10:00)
Effective prioritization strategies from Ali Kershner – Director of Creative Strategy (20:20)
The benefits of exploring new sides to yourself from Bekah Gold – Chief Everything Officer (38:20)
Advice on job transitions from Nate Hoffmeister – Director of Strategic Growth and Business Relationships (50:10).
For the full list of the lessons we learned this year, and how you can learn from our mistakes and apply them to your own life, download our FREE Podcast Reflection Worksheets.
Conscious Coaching Communication Challenge
The Apprenticeship Communication Workshop
AOC Podcast E100: Working With Your Spouse & Betting On The Future
AOC Podcast 49: Productivity The Matters
AOC Podcast E190: Why It Seems Like We Never Have Enough Time
AOC Podcast E142: Nate Hoffmeister: Dealing With Divorce: A Leader’s Guide
THE ART OF COACHING BLACK FRIDAY SALE IS ON! And if you’re reading this on Monday 11/21, you only have 24 hours left. We are doing 10% to 30% off all of our most popular resources. This means our CEU approved online courses. This means our live workshops. This means our one to one mentoring. And on top of those discounts, we are now offering gift cards so you can support the development of someone you care about and believe in. Follow this link NOW to save!
We’re also excited to announce our BRAND NEW, ALL-ACCESS DIGITAL COMMUNITY. If you’re someone who’s a lifelong learner, and you value feedback, and perhaps most importantly, you value getting around high level people, make sure to check our community out HERE. We teamed up with mighty networks to create something that would allow people to connect, learn, grow and share at a much higher level. See you there!
My last note for today’s episode speaks to something we do every holiday season. Each year we donate a portion of proceeds from my first book, Conscious Coaching, to the Leukemia Lymphoma Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Association. We sell signed copies of my book, because a core attribute of our business is conveying Midwest warmth and appreciation. So it’s a chance for me to say thank you, personalize these things and send them to you. So if you want to donate to a good cause, and you know somebody that maybe would appreciate the book, or maybe you want to buy a bunch of them for your institution as other organizations have, or whatever it is, go to Brettbartholomew.net/signedcopy.
Today’s episode is brought to you by:
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Welcome back to another episode of the Art of Coaching podcast.
We have a special one for you today, doing something that we’ve never done before. If you’ve listened to this podcast often, you have heard really one to three things you’ve heard solo episodes, you’ve heard me with a guest, you’ve heard me with certain staff members, most notably our Ali Kirshner, you might have even heard episode 100 with my wife, but we’ve never had the full staff on board like we have today.
Now there’s reasons for this. For a while, we did not have a full staff. It was me by myself, sitting here trying to do all these things and failing at most of it. Then there was assistants, then there was my wife, then there was Ali, then then then. And so this is the first time we’ve had them. Also, we wanted to wait a while. One – and any leader, manager, boss, anything like that knows this – you got to see if people stick around. You do. You know, we want to give everybody your time; we believe that all of our team has something to share. But you also want to make sure they stick around.
But two, if we’re doing an episode like we are today, we’re going to share some of the most valuable tips we have all learned from this year, which applies to any year, no matter when you’re listening to this, you want to make sure that they’ve had some reps under their belt. After all, if we say that “experience isn’t something you get till just after you needed it,” and you have people on the air kind of sharing superficial experience, what are you going to learn?
But by this point, every member of our staff and every member you’re going to hear today has had some strong takeaways. And we want you to be the beneficiary of those things.
So I’m going to introduce them one by one. And then they’re going to share, “Hey, these are some of the lessons I learned this year. Here’s how you can adapt them. Here’s some strategies.”
So make sure that you have a notepad ready. If you are driving or walking, screenshot certain parts of the episode so you can come back to it and make sure that you share it with your staff. So what you’re going to hear today in order, and we’re gonna go by seniority here, so we’re gonna go with my wife, Liz Bartholomew, who is our Director of Operations; you are going to hear from our Director of Creative Strategy, Miss Ali Kirshner; you are going to hear from our Chief Everything Officer, Bekah Gold; and you are going to hear from our Director of Strategic Growth and Business Relationships, Nathan Hoffmeister.
So without getting into anything else, and giving you guys direct and immediate value, let’s kick it off.
Liz, first of all, welcome back to the podcast, and take the mic. I want to hear what you’ve learned. I know you’ve been hands-on in so many ways – 23 events, 110 newsletters, 46 podcasts – and that’s this year alone. And these are old numbers by the time people will have heard this. Talk to us a little bit about your journey, your key takeaways this year, and how people can benefit from them.
Liz Bartholomew (10:00)
Yes, so I think my biggest takeaways this year, we’ve really been working on trying to scale our team. So a lot of it has come down to management styles.
Specifically, for me, a lot of it is project management. We have had a lot of new things that we did this year. So coming up with the design of that, implementing, testing… So figuring out how I manage our direct team or contractors in order to get that done – it’s a constant learning process.
So some of the things that I’ve been working on – One is, you don’t know what you don’t know – so doing a little bit more research on the front end.
I am a recovering grinder. So I will start a project with “all right, I’m gonna figure this out, I’m gonna put my head down. I’m gonna do it. I think we can do it this way.” WITHOUT doing a little research. “Oh, maybe there’s others who have already done this before.” Or “maybe there’s a platform or a software that can automate this and make all our lives a little bit easier.” Instead of spending hours just cranking away sending emails manually, checking boxes, etc.
So let me go back here. So yeah, doing a little bit more research on the front end. An example – we’re doing our Black Friday sale right now, and we wanted to come out with a gift card. So I was like, “oh, yeah, we can do this. We can put it up on the website, and we can follow up with people, make sure they’ve got it.” Ali, our Creative Director, helped me and found WordPress (our website host) has a plugin that you just put that in there and it helps automate that whole process for you.
So – easily done, and took a lot of work off our plate by utilizing some of our platforms.
17 Hats is how we do some of our emails, contracts, invoicing… they have things that can automate processes, and create checklists. As soon as you one tap, and do one task, it pops up the rest of it. So that way, you’re not having to go back and forth between team members saying “Oh, did you do this? Where are we at on this step?” It’s right there for them to check and go through as they go.
So yeah, I think the take home there is trying to take a few minutes on the front end, do some research, dive deep, talk to others who have maybe done those things before, so you can save yourself hours or days on the back end.
Brett Bartholomew (12:45)
And one thing, before you jump to the next one, but just to contextualize for the audience, and something I didn’t mention at the beginning is for those of you listening, you know, we’re all remote. So Ali lives in Palo Alto, Bekah lives in Texas, Nate lives in Tennessee, Liz and I live in Atlanta.
So some of the things you’re going to hear you might think, in your circumstance are easy, you know. But for us, we have to run these things completely remotely and trying to have a, you know, when you have a business that has three main legs, digital, bespoke mentoring, and live events, it is not just about managing the remote aspect, but all those moving parts simultaneously.
So it’s never just the defense is on the field, or the offense is on the field. Imagine trying to manage defense, offense, and special teams all on the field at the same time. So those are huge pieces.
The other thing is Liz mentioned something that’s really helpful. And most of you already intuitively know this – do your research beforehand. One thing that I learned that I think is just complimentary to Liz is, as a manager, even when I’ve tried saying this to staff, you do find that people have to learn on their own. And that’s not saying anything about somebody, you know, not being intelligent, like all of our staff, our staff is way smarter than I am. But you know, there’s some times where you, as a leader might say, hey, try this, try that try this. But people got to learn that. They got to learn that on your own.
And it’s not a matter of how perfectly you say something or, you know, your credibility. Just people have to learn on their own time. And then if you give them that, as much as that hurts, you’ll find that they may learn in a way better than you could have ever instructed them.
The example of what Ali did with Liz and their solution – well, if they would have taken my first suggestion, it wouldn’t have been as good as them kind of doing it together and being more cohesive. So remember, leadership is about being repetitive, being patient, a long-term commitment to suffering. And there’s ultimate humility in that.
But Liz, I love that tip, what would be number two?
Liz Bartholomew (14:35)
All right, so number two kind of fits in well with what you were just saying. You know, when I started this role, I had some different experiences that gave me insight on how to do it, but had never truly done a project management position.
And, and I’m a planner. I like to have a plan, start to finish, this is how we’re going to do it. This is what everyone’s gonna do. Here’s the deadlines – It’s all gonna work out great, right?
So being able to adapt – I’ve almost kind of switched to what in the project management world, but they’d call more of an agile project management style, where instead of planning it out start to finish and having this beautiful plan that maybe we get 25% of the way through, and then we kind of have to scrap, getting it started, and then having those checkpoints where we reevaluate, and we see, “Okay, where are we at right now? Is this working? Do we need to go this direct? Where do we go now?” and consulting the team more instead of trying to just rely on my own expertise. Give the team ownership of certain tasks and have them bring it back to me.
And so then it takes stress off my plate, and they probably think of something that I maybe wouldn’t have thought of. And just going at it from more that standpoint, instead of trying to stick to this A to B plan.
Brett Bartholomew (15:54)
So and that’s it. And if you guys are interested in more about that term, we’re going to discuss a lot of this more in-depth in our Mighty Networks community. So if you go to that link, you’re going to hear and get access to deeper dives of things that we talked about on the podcast, or vice versa.
If you’re in that community, we’re always talking about different things on the podcast, we try to have this really be a holistic ecosystem. But if you want to learn more on that, Liz will be doing a post on that in the near future, or probably by the time you’ve already heard this.
Really helpful there. Is there another one that you wanted to share with those two main learnings?
Liz Bartholomew (16:25)
Yeah, I’d say one more with that is, you know, as I’m working with individual team members, or even if we’re working on a project all together is, again, because I tend to get into that checklist mode – and here’s what we need to do and here’s the deadlines – I sometimes need to take a step back and remember the human side of working together, and give solid constructive feedback and remember, you know, because I’m constantly involved in little pieces of everything, I have a good idea where these resources are and how this needs to be done, where you can find things.
But just remembering where our team members are at in the process, what they’ve had exposure to, and being able to step back and say, okay, they might not be ready for this yet. Here’s, how I can help them or encourage them when they do the right things. And working on how I deliver that and the timing of that, I think would be the next biggest thing.
So one thing, again, because my brain works in checklist mode, being better about on the front end, establishing the why, when, and how so that way. when it comes to the time to give feedback, it’s more pointed. And then the team member will understand that better.
I think that’s the biggest take home there.
Brett Bartholomew (17:45)
Oh, that’s locked in.
And just want to throw you a curveball here because we’ve gotten the question a lot. And as I said, guys, you can go to Episode 100 – I believe it’s episode 100 – if you want to hear it, we were going to do another one, especially since we’ve worked together for a little bit more. But we get a lot of questions, especially when I’m on other people’s podcasts about working together.
So what is a take home that you have had this year about you and I working together as a spouse? So if there’s anybody listening, whether they just work, you know, in a business together, not necessarily one they own, or if they are business partners, what is something you’ve learned about balancing this aspect of being spouses, and also being colleagues and co-workers, and then we’ll take you off the hook.
Liz Bartholomew (18:25)
I guess this one might be cheating a little bit because it’s less to do with, I guess, it still has to do with being spouses, but – you and I work differently.
So finding the balance between, “okay, this is how he works” and you have to do more creative visionary things, I have to be more systems, operation minded, and finding that balance between how we can communicate what we’re doing with each other, what needs to be done, giving feedback – is a constant learning process. And then just being able to communicate in a way that makes sense for you or making it more visual, compared to keeping it in my checklist format.
And then you know, being able to separate between, okay, it’s “work time” or “spouse time” and finding just that constant balance and exchange.
Brett Bartholomew (19:18)
That’s helpful. You had me nervous for a minute, anytime your tips about working together as a spouse, and the first word was cheating. I didn’t know where that was gonna go.
But this is where I’d also you know, just realize Liz makes a great point. And something that I will unabashedly just say is relevant for my previous book Conscious Coaching – there are archetypes, right, there are workstyle archetypes, just like there are archetypes of individuals. And so, as you heard, you know, Liz has to be an integrator. As Bekah and some other staff, I do have to be a visionary plus an integrator plus these things.
So before you get frustrated, or when you’re about to give a staff member critical feedback, think, “Alright, how’s the feedback I’m about to give them tailored to the role they’re in, the context of the situation, and the way I know they need to work?” Right? Are you giving feedback based on a skewed lens of, “this is how I would do it?” (a hypothetical I). Because if you’re not in a position that requires the same working style, then that’s problematic. Then you maybe want to reach out to somebody else and say, “Hey, how would you address that?”So I really appreciate that insight and feedback.
Now we’re gonna go over to our Director of Creative Strategy, Ali Kirschner. And if you guys feel like “Wait, I still needed to get some of those points down.” These are all going to be listed out in bulleted format at artofcoaching.com/reflections, like a mirror artofcoaching.com/reflections. You’re going to be able to get a free download with all of those points. So if you want to re-listen to the episode, you can catch up.
All right, Ali, the mic is yours.
Ali Kershner (20:50)
Hello, everyone. I think Liz, first of all, those were some awesome points. It’s, uh, it’s gonna be hard to follow that one.
But, you know, when I was thinking about what I learned this year, I think it’s – it would be hard to not learn something from the fact that we created, ran and iterated on at least five new offerings, whether that be Brand Builder, or Speaker School, the Conscious Coaching Challenge, Mighty Networks, I’m probably forgetting some other things.
But you know, I think the cool part about working for such an agile small team is that you can have an idea and have it out into the market the next day. And I think I come from maybe, my mind works in more of a methodical, let’s plan this out, let’s really think about this. Let’s outline it, let’s wireframe it, take our time, and then put things out, you know, when we’re ready.
And what I’ve learned this year is that “done is better than perfect,” right? And in reality, the people that are producing the best work, know that you have to put things out before they’re 100% perfect – which, one they’ll never be, but two, that allows you to get immediate feedback from the people who are actually using the product. Like if you wait and continue to brainstorm and tweak before it even touches the hands of the consumer, you might be missing out on what they actually want or need. Right?
And so save yourself some time and money by putting out what we call an MVP, a minimally viable product, because that allows you to get the feedback that you actually can use to make the product better. And by and large, most people will still have tremendous value from that imperfect first draft.
So all of our products were first drafts. But we’re not going to apologize for that, because they were still really good content, they still helped a lot of people. And they allowed us to refine and iterate in a way that that thing will now be 10 times better as opposed to .05% better, because we waited a whole year to put it out.
So I think, quick to market, move fast, the whole move fast and break things kind of ideology, I think really does work for us in our environment. And I think that’s something that I really had to learn how to reframe this idea in my mind, because I didn’t come from that line of thinking in my previous job, or career.
Brett Bartholomew (23:16)
Yeah, I like that, especially because, and this is something that we’ve talked about before, you know, it’s not even just that “done is better than perfect.”
It’s like, that gives it the chance to make it perfect. And that’s something you do extraordinarily well. And it was hard for me when working with you in the beginning because I was like, “Alright, I’m a perfectionist – I’m a recovering perfectionist.” But now I’m in a role where not everything can be perfect, we’ve gotta roll. How will Ali take that?
You know, Ali, you know, cuz you don’t know. Like, hey, since we didn’t have a long history, you might be like, “Whoa, this wasn’t the standard I thought you would have set for yourself. I thought that you would not let this get out until every bug is squashed.”
And you are, I mean, it’s one of your best traits, you are so trusting. And you, you always learn something and immediately you hold on to it. You’re not one of those people that needs to repeat mistakes. You got into and you’re like, “Oh, this is why we can’t like just overthink it. This is why we can’t over-iterate it because we don’t even have the data we need to make it better until we’ve ran it the first time.”
So it wasn’t like oh, this is done as in this is shoddy. This is hey, this is more than enough for right now. Now let’s get data on it. And let’s shape it, let’s shape it. And I think it’s just a really hard trait to find in somebody because it requires emotional maturity, which you have in spades. So I love that you gave that tip.
Ali Kershner (28:48)
Well, the other thing is that, in our industry, in particular, when you’re dealing with people, it has to adapt and change. Because either the audience will change, the people you’re delivering a talk or presentation or workshop to will change. So if you get married to an idea or a way of doing things, as we’ve seen with the Apprenticeship, you’re kind of screwed, because it, by nature of the beast, it has to evolve.
So I think going into it with that mindset is the shift that I made this year that I probably didn’t have the first year that I was part of the team. So that was a fun one to learn.
The second thing is, given what Liz said about having a team that’s growing and scaling, having five or six new products that are coming to market, it is very easy to get caught up in how many tasks there are to do. So I think learning this idea of prioritizing based on a value complexity matrix, which I’ll explain in a second was such a massive light bulb moment for me personally, and this is something that we cover at our Brand Builder workshop. So make sure to check that out artofcoaching.com/brandbuilder is where you can find that.
But the idea here is if you look at a matrix, you have complexity of a task or a project on one axis, and you have the value that it can bring you or your organization on the other matrix. So as you can imagine, you have four quadrants. You’d have a quadrant where things are high value, low complexity. So they can do a lot for your company or yourself. But they’re relatively not very complex – maybe precomputed easy to you, and this is going to be so dependent on you, not even just in your organization, but what comes easy to you, as a person do these things first, right? Like knock these out, because they are going to bring you the most value for the least amount of energy consumption. So for us, that might be knocking out a newsletter, because that can reach a lot of people. And you know, provide them with value immediately.
Then you have things that are low value, low complexity, which are, you know, they’re not going to bring a whole lot of value, but they’re also not very hard. So these are things that you can say, Okay, let’s do these last, or maybe even come back to later. So, for me that’s answering DM after DM, because while that is a value, you could argue it’s not higher values than some other things that will really move the needle for our company. So I can come back to those when I’m sitting on the couch later. And I don’t necessarily need to be locked in focused on my computer.
And then you have things that are high value, high complexity, so they take time, but they can bring you a tremendous amount of value to the company or yourself. So for these come up with a plan, a strategic initiative that will allow you to get there over time, and maybe even prioritize those higher, you know, in your day when you have the most energy. So you know, for us that could be creating a free resource or a lead magnet that really provides value to our kids. Zoomer, we could cite better segment our newsletter list, which just means to basically target our audience with the type of newsletter that we’re sending out. So we make sure that we’re speaking directly to the person in front of us, as opposed to these broad brushstrokes.
And then the last thing is, the last quadrant would be low value, high complexity. So things that don’t bring much value, but are very, very complex. So for us right now, that would be like building out our own bespoke app, that might happen in the future. But we don’t necessarily need that right this second. And it will take a lot of time and energy and focus away from things that are bringing us already a lot of value. So I think, taking my list of day to day tasks, and asking myself, Where do these tasks fit in? And if there are any that fit into that, hey, let’s eliminate these for now. Do that. And then let’s get get started on the ones that are highest value, lowest complexity.
Brett Bartholomew (32:45)
Yep, spot on. I think, you know, those are things that if anybody was listening, just being able to I mean, you’re, what Ali did, there is basically how to save yourself time, energy and frustration, when you have so many things going on. And there’s inherent value that you see in all of them. And you’re just trying to figure out, where should I spend my time and energy? That is a core question.
So many people ask, or wonder, even if they don’t have the words for it, where should I spend my time, especially now, when educational resources and tips and tricks are coming at you from every angle, if you just go back and you check out what Ali’s talking about, and you take some notes, and you spend some time to map that out, you will save yourself not just minutes or hours, you will save yourself days, weeks, and probably your sanity. So please, please, please, please make sure to check those out.
You know, one example that I was talking to Rebecca about the other day, have an example of this of like, even if there’s something that is low complexity, high value, and this, this might seem silly to some of you, but you know, we always have to put out a variety of graphics and social media things and whatever.
But you know, there’s times where we could have got better at repurposing, so you know, I in the past would have to send quotes and we’d make graphics of it, it was just a belaboured process.
So I use an app called If This Then That. And so anytime I tweeted, if this then that added that tweet to a Google Doc. So we have 13, Google Docs that we don’t even have to touch that are called quotes for social media repurposing. And all anybody on our team ever asked to do is go there. And it’s got the actual tweet and the link if they need to go to it.
So that was an example of something that was like, you know, it might it might have been low complexity, low value sometimes. But sometimes it’s high complexity, high value. The bottom line is you have to, you have to produce content, today’s day and age, and you don’t want to forget what content you have produced, because some of this stuff I might even use for the book or whatever. But man capturing it was hard. So going back and using some of these tools and strategies and mental models that ally mentioned, helped me find a way to automate it. So I could save myself some sanity there. So we weren’t creating recreating work as a team. And that’s just a base level example.
Ali, was there anything else you wanted to say before we turn the mic?
Ali Kershner (35:03)
I’m so glad that you just said that. Because it’s almost as if you read my mind. It’s almost as if we work together every day, and I just spent the last five days at your house. I was gonna mention that.
I agree. I think something that I don’t do enough of is repurpose things for my own life as content. You said something a couple of weeks ago, which really hit a chord with me and something that I had to learn which is too many people on overvalue what they sorry, I want to mess this up. Too many people overvalue what they aren’t and undervalue what they are.
And I think, you know, if I look at my day to day, I can perceive what I do as somewhat, you know, normal, I guess, and just sort of the process and the things that I’m learning, they can start to feel a little bit just basic human, which is good, you know, like, as I’m getting better and more proficient, they, they don’t feel noteworthy if that’s, that’s how I put it.
And so I don’t choose to share those things, even if they could help more people. Because to me, it’s just like, Oh, if I don’t find that super mind blowing, then who else is going to find that? And I think one things you post to share and help people don’t have to be mind blowing every time we know the best stories are the ones that are the smallest moments.
And the best content is real life. Because the little thing that I learned this week, and I know Becca, you’re going to talk about something to do with copywriting.
But, you know, I think like that, though, even the word copywriting is not really a word that I even knew last year. So like that, in itself could help somebody. So I think all that to say, you know, don’t undervalue what you are and what you already bring to the table by virtue of what You’re learning and don’t be afraid to share it, I would tell myself,
Brett Bartholomew (36:50)
it’s just it’s so critical because so many times people think, well, I don’t have a business, I don’t have a brand, I don’t care. And we’re beyond the point that we’re ever going to try to talk anybody that doesn’t see the value in those things into it.
The point is, is even for the person that’s the most purest in their profession, and just doesn’t do social media doesn’t do that, well, they’re still going to have to deal with power dynamics and situations in the workplace. And they feel like, well, I got picked over, you know, somebody else got picked over me for a promotion, or somebody did this.
And the reality is, is because those people tend to make their thoughts known. It’s more easy to know what somebody stands for, when they do communicate, when they do share ideas when they do not hide, you know, and when they’re really transparent.
I think we talked about this, and it was somebody’s quote from our group, or maybe one of you guys, so many people say, hey, I want to be recognized as the best at what I do, even though I’m hard to find, and nobody really knows outside of my inner circle, what I think about things.
So we’re we’re just we’ve long now been in a society where if you want people to recognize the value in what you do, or if you simply just want to make a bigger impact, you are going to need to get more familiar with copywriting, you’re going to need to get more familiar with sharing your thoughts and ideas. And guess what they’re two in the same. copywriting is just a fancy term for writing as if you’re having a conversation with somebody that is not long, it is not like citation based, it is not fanciful wording, it is as if you are talking to somebody else, and having a casual conversation. So writing is one of the most critical skills anybody can invest in as they navigate their career at any level.
Thank you so much for the details there.
All right, Chief Everything Officer – somebody that has had to have been the personification of what was Atlas – where you came on board, there was some onboarding, but like the world, the internal world, the guts of Art of Coaching are on your shoulders.
And thank God, you can squat, lunge and lift a lot, because you had to meet that challenge. Rebekah Gold, take it away.
Rebekah Gold (38:45)
Thanks. Thanks for that intro there.
I, you know, what we were just talking about really transitions well into one of the things I wanted to share and talk about. And Ali, I really appreciate you sharing it because I also did not know what copywriting was, I had no idea what that term meant. And I’m like, day two, week two, and they were like “Okay, so now you need to learn how to copyright.” I’m like, “happy huh?” I have no idea. But it’s, it’s one of the coolest things because it’s probably one of the parts of this position that I have found to enjoy and enjoy the most. And it’s something that I did not expect myself to enjoy doing.
In the past, I’ve always kind of viewed myself as not a really gifted in that in the area of creative writing. But as I have continued to get better at it and just practice, I really, I actually do really, really enjoy it.
And I think the part that I can add to that discussion is, and it can apply to anything – for me it was copywriting – but as you are continuing to grow and have new experiences, I want to urge people to look for new experiences, and keep your mind open to enjoying new and different things.
Even if you don’t think you’re gonna like something, try it. Just go. Just go, spend some experience and if you don’t enjoy it, great, awesome. It’s exactly what you expect it to be, you know, no harm, no foul there. But what if you do like it? And what if you’re too afraid to try it? And then you never get to experience something that brings you joy?
I, you know, I think it’s the the risk is far less than the reward there for new experiences. So that’s kind of that call to action. And like I said, mine, you know, my experience came with learning how to copyright and learning how I can really provide that to people through that. But it could be anything.
Brett Bartholomew (40:55)
I think that that’s really critical because people don’t know what they – people are always “I know what I like,” said nobody that’s actually tried a bunch of different things. When somebody says, “Oh, I know what I like,” or they come into something and they feel like, well, have you tried this? Have you tried that we need to explore an entire range of things.
And by the way, you know, like, since our product is communication, there’s a range of applications there. That has to do with work, that has to do with exploring different aspects of your career field and skill sets, that has to do with intimacy in your personal relationships.
You need to like how does anybody grow by shutting down what they’re willing to learn? And I’ll say that again, how does anybody grow by shutting down what they’re willing to learn? And I can I very much relate to this because, I mean, I came out of being a strength coach for 15 years now I had to learn ads and copywriting and this and that, and I fought it tooth and nail. No, no, no, no, no.
And then I realized like, hey man, like, what’s the real issue here? Okay, like, the real issue is you’re scared of being criticized, you’re scared of doing this, you’re scared of doing that, like, go! You know? Because on the other hand, I wasn’t, I was more scared of my work not making an impact than I was thinking what anybody else was gonna say. And at the core of it, that’s why a lot of people don’t try something. They either don’t want to be confronted with the truth – that they’re not good enough at it, right, or that they need to work on it, or that they’re part of the problem. Or they’re scared of judgment from others, or they’re just scared of failure, because nobody would be scared to try something if they had the assurance that it was good, that it was tasty, that it was going to be successful, that it was going to be welcomed. Nobody would get nervous about that every all these lifelong learners would dive right in.
So I think that’s a real testament to like, alright, let’s see if you are – and that’s why you were thrown into that role, Bekah, you know? The Chief Everything Officer – that’s gonna be a rotating hat of people that come into this company to a degree. But it’s gonna say, like, it tells us right off the bat, are you open minded? If you complain in that role within the first couple of months, I mean, even within the first three to six months, that’s a red flag for Liz and I as management. And I think you see that now. As you continue to – and you’ll ascend to management and see these things like – no, no – like, you better learn how to do this, and you better understand there’s so much value behind it. So I’m glad that you locked that in, keep it going.
Rebekah Gold 43:08
Well, and you know, making that point of Chief Everything Officer, I’ll kind of switch gears here. Because the other thing I wanted to share is a little bit more task oriented. This is some, you know, one area where Liz and I are on the same, we’re usually on the same page. But something that has shown to be extremely helpful. And brings us back to earlier in the conversation where we’re talking about saving time, energy and frustration for ourselves, is creating what I call like a six list.
But really, it’s just the night before, you’re creating like a list of six things, just six things. And if you’re like me, you turned that six things into like 12 right off the bat, you just kind of numbered it strategically. So it only looked like six things. But listing out just six things that no matter what, that’s what you’re getting done tomorrow.
And and what it does really for you in the long run, is that it organizes your day right off of the bat. So when you wake up in the morning, you know exactly what you’re doing. It helps you to sleep at night. If you’re like me, you’re trying to – whenever you lay your head down at night – you’re like going through, “okay, like tomorrow, I need to do this, this, this, this, this,” and it keeps you up. It doesn’t allow you to get really good sleep. So it kind of helps you sleep a little bit better at night.
And it helps you identify, I think this is a really big one, for me, it helps you identify when you’ve been productive. It helps you mark those short term wins. Because it’s really easy, when your to do list is 17 pages long to look at the end of the day and be like, “well dang, I didn’t get anything done.” You know, makes you feel worthless if you haven’t gotten anything done at the end of the day. So allowing – creating that list, and on top of that, sharing it with your teammates, really allows for you to keep track of where you’re winning and how you’re being productive on a daily basis.
And it lets you know when it’s okay to stop. Working remotely, I think that was a big challenge for me is knowing when to stop on the daily, because you just don’t leave your office. So I think the six list has been a big bang for your buck process that Liz got started with us.
Brett Bartholomew 45:30
That’s a great one and and anybody who wants more resources on two things that Bekah really touched on, we have an episode it’s episode 49 Productivity That Matters.
Another way you can get really good at discerning when to stop is looking at your productivity through your values. You know, and we talked about in that like, if you feel like you get nothing done, which I often feel like I do, I at least say, “Alright, did I do something? Did I do something physical for myself in my body? Did I do something intellectual to grow? From an intelligence standpoint? Did I do something to help us grow financially as an organization? Did I do something from a spousal aspect to try to improve my marriage?”
But there’s other things there and then, man, Ali and Bekah hit on this hard episode 190 one of our most popular downloads – Why It Seems Like We Never Have Enough Time – Why It Seems Like We Never Have Enough Time episode 190. Again, all these are available on Spotify and iTunes or if you’re listening to this in 2038 then something else is available. This exists on the internet.
So check it out, because you’ll you’ll realize some of the fallacies of time management and some of the things that you’re doing to actually bear yourself Cool Hand Loop style, when you maybe just need to step back and reevaluate some of these pieces. Bekah, you’re on a roll. Is there anything else or was that the nail in the coffin?
Rebekah Gold 46:40
I did have one more and I definitely want to share it. I think this is more content related than necessarily coming from my experience working with Art of Coaching, but it’s something you said that you’re not an expert, unless someone invites you into their lives as one. And that one just in my previous line of work as strength coach, I am, I am the expert, you know? I’m given a team of people who, you know, have young athletes who I immediately have this kind of positional power over them.
And they, to some point have to, they have to listen to me, and they have to show up to the weight room. And so I just, I have that expert power, and it’s given to me, yeah. But I don’t have that with everybody. And it’s funny, because even though I don’t have that, I found myself really relying on rational persuasion in every context. To, like, I was always trying to educate people. And, you know, I’m always trying to give people advice. But at the end of the day, like, people aren’t going to take your advice, if that’s not why they’re coming to you, if they don’t view you as an expert. It doesn’t matter how many stats or facts or whatever. Like, it doesn’t matter how smart you sound. If they don’t care, or perceive you as having that power, then that influence tactic is not going to work.
So learning more and becoming more engrossed in some of our Apprenticeship material, some of the material we talk about in our online course Bought In – the power dynamics and the influence tactics – being able to recognize and identify where those are happening and present in your life. And being, like, it helps you to learn to better negotiate, and just to have better conversation on the daily and not walk away wondering why you feel like oh, I don’t know if they really heard what I said.
Brett Bartholomew 48:42
Yeah, no, and you’re spot on, I mean, for anybody that’s been to any of our workshops, and they’ve heard us talk about power dynamics and the interplay of influence tactics. I mean, you hit it on the head, that whole quote that you mentioned, is a testament to the fact that the influence tactic of rational persuasion will not work if you do not have a referent power, right? Like, power is always about the capacity to create change in a psychological environment of an individual, anything like that. But it also dictates what influence tactics you have available.
You know, people so often just think power is about the threat, a threat or the use of force. It’s not. It’s a resource. But if people don’t, if you don’t have this resource of relatability, likability or trust, no amount of information is going to change anybody’s mind. It just will not. And you’re lucky if it’ll change anybody’s mind in general, because, as we talked about in another podcast, logic is not generally how people make decisions. It just is not. So you’re doing a great job of applying that material. And that is, those are critical lessons to learn that can make your life easier.
So I hope everybody listened to that. And remember artofcoaching.com/reflections, because it’s one thing to hear Bekah, Ali, Liz talk about these things, and soon to be Nate. It’s another thing for you to tease out. How will I apply this right now? Only 3% or less of you will do that. And then so if you find yourself wondering, why am I struggling? Because it’s the people that apply it that are gonna get ahead and be able to counter punch when life throws a shit sandwich your way.
Alright, Nate Hofmeister, your turn, lock and load.
Nate Hoffmeister 50:15
Hey thanks for having me back. It’s been, I guess, well, I can’t remember what the number of the podcast I was on before. But I think probably the biggest thing – one, I’m the newest member. So I’ve been here, what four months. I think the biggest thing that I learned this year, Brett was that my previous roles, just through my career, kind of had led me to where I’m at today.
So when I think about back to my journey of being a strength coach and learning how to deal with people, and then as I got into administration, learn how to create processes and systems that led me into this and, and really had never thought about before. I’ve never been into sales or development before.
But really, when I was when I was a trainer, I sold my services every day. When I was as an administrator, I sold our school to people. So that came naturally I never even thought about it being sales. And now I kind of put that label on it. And it might be scary sometimes.
But the other thing with that is I’m really a product of AOC. From starting with the book as a strength coach to work through the coalition through my going through administration. That all led me to where I’m at today.
So all those skills that I’ve just developed over time, has helped me be in a role that I’d never thought I’d ever be in before, nor did I have any experience in if I had to be completely honest. So I think that is probably the biggest lesson that I learned this year is that, you know, don’t count out the things that you’ve done in your career that will you know, at the time that you’re doing something, absorb the services, absorb the knowledge, and then use you’ll be able to use those later on. As you move, maybe move into another role.
Brett Bartholomew 51:54
Yep, excellent point there nothing to add, keep rolling. I think that’s, I think that’s the end.
By the way, for anybody interested. It’s episode 142, Nate really hit on something that was a very, very special episode to so many folks. We talked about how a lot of things in leadership are swept under the rug. And Nate told us, the episode is called Dealing With Divorce – A Leaders Guide. There are so many things that make us feel less than during our journey as leaders, and he tackled one of the toughest topics we’ve ever discussed on the podcast. So make sure to check that out, or send that to a friend.
Keep rolling, Nate,
Nate Hoffmeister 52:28
I think the second thing is, is realizing that, and I get this question a lot kind of when I’ve when I get on some calls with people when they’re looking at calling us and, and diving into our services is, you know, what’s the transition look like? And it’s kind of a two part.
One, the transition isn’t as scary as you think it will be. And I think that came down to me realizing what was important in my life and what I wanted out of life. Did I want time and with my family, and for myself? Or did I want to pursue a career that that was not providing that. And I think, you know, at some point in life, we we do chase the career. But then there’s also a chance when we have to really kind of go through our Wheel of Life. I know, we go through that, and several of our I know, it’s in the apprenticeship, and then I know we did it at the coalition retreat.
You know, just trying to map out what is priorities and what’s what’s positive with… So essentially, it’s a wheel with with different prongs, and you right where you’re at on it based off if it’s good or bad. So I think, you know, as I get older, and I realized that that’s a priority for me, the stepping out what became a no brainer, but I know that’s a very scary topic for a lot of people when they call us, you know. Because they don’t know what’s next.
Which is gonna lead me into the second thing that I learned that, that the business world in the coaching world are very similar. Even though we don’t, we don’t think of it that way. So like, for example, when I was coaching, and even just, I’ll just use sports for a generalization here, like, I was a logistics manager when I was an admin. Now, that’s what you would call it in the business .world. But really all I did is scheduled transportation and hotel rooms. But it’s logistics. I oversaw a $750,000 budget for an athletic department, so I had budgeting things.
So I think we have to look at the skills that we have as coaches, or in the sports world, from multitasking, to just being able to deal with different personalities. Fundraising, for example, all those things are the key terms that businesses look at.
So for people who are looking to transition, tap into those skills. And then what I had to do is, then really kind of just research what is the terminology for the business world, and then what is the terminology in the coaching world, and then try to link those two together.
Brett Bartholomew 54:37
Yeah, I think that’s a huge one. And I’m glad to see growth on that end. Because people act, you know, and it doesn’t matter, you know, we use coaching as a synonym for here. But for those of you that are listening that from are from the performance or strength and conditioning world, people just forget, like, you know, long term planning, they’ll call it periodization, and strength conditioning. That’s just strategic planning long term and any other thing, right? Like, okay, you want to look at a regression and progression for an athlete that’s hurt? Well, we just look at that, as you know, the same thing in business, if something didn’t work, what’s an alternative strategy?
So you know, it’s funny. Man, people like to think that all their professions are so special and unique. They’re not. Every profession, by and large, deals with the same issues. I mean, there’s maybe 3% – 5% variance, unless we’re getting really extreme with a profession that’s, you know, kind of way out of the norm. But whether you’re working for NASA, or whether you’re working for Fordham University, or Facebook, or whatever, by and large, our problems come down to people, are they understanding what we’re trying to do where we’re trying to go, and can you get them moving in the same direction, which by default, is power, influence, and an aspect of sales. So I think that’s a critical point you brought up.
Nate Hoffmeister 55:49
Probably the last thing is that more and more as I’ve just gone through this year, I’ve realized that really, life comes down to two things. One, the relationships you have with people, and that’s the communication. And then, two, your network – how well you can use those relationships to benefit you.
And we’ve all seen people who have gotten jobs over us because they probably weren’t more qualified, it’s just because they knew somebody. So it just reminds me, that as I get older and I change careers, and I kind of just try to evolve and grow myself, those two are aspects of life that continue to just be evident to me -that the way we communicate with people and develop relationships are key. And then how do we use those. And I think that was one of the most valuable things that I ever learned when I was in the coalition, before I even came on staff, was the the power of of networking and the power of just building those relationships.
Because you know, I came on to, to develop my own thing at one time and then I was looking at how people in other parts of the US could help me by just being resources for myself, or promoting it. So I think when we look at our services, and when you look at our live events, it’s one of the most underutilized things that people, I think, notice is the ability to connect with others, and develop those relationships, because they’re crucial for just life. I mean, not only for your business, but just for our mental health, for us to be able to connect with like minded people.
So I think those are my three biggest takeaways from this year, Brett,
Brett Bartholomew 57:12
Those are really valuable.
And by the way, I mean, you guys collectively are winning an award for lack of disfluencies. This is good, because we’re a company that sells communication, we better sound like it. And for something that’s not scripted or rehearsed, you guys are doing a hell of a job.
Well, I know there’s not going to be any way that I get out of here without sharing something on my own. But we all know that I can be extraordinarily long winded. So what I want to do is challenge myself, especially because I show up every week and give some insights here, and and talk, you know, around the world. And so nobody needs to hear more of me. I want to do one. What’s one? And the one thing that I’ve re-learned and I really actually need to double down on – triple down on – and be held accountable to, is just letting go.
There’s a lot of things I’ve had to learn to let go. And I’m gonna be really specific. You know, our staff just came out here. And for those of you that don’t know, I’m working on a new book, I have a very intensive deadline of June/July, when I’ve got to turn in the manuscript of 2023. The, you know, the book itself may not come out till 2024, because it’s with a larger publisher, Penguin Random House. If you want to learn more, just go to artofcoaching.com/book, and we’ll send you updates.
Now, um, but you know, something that was said to my staff several months ago of like, hey, you know, we got a crazy 2022. But as we get through that, and now you guys get trained up, you need to know that 2023, you guys are gonna have to do some heavy lifting as a staff. For the first six months, I have got to turn my attention to being an author and getting this book done. Which means that I’m not going to be here every day in the way that you’re used to, to guide.
And now relax, anybody listening, we have systems. It’s not the – you’re not hearing the owner or the leader of a business saying they’re leaving. It’s me saying there’s going to be a certain amount of onboarding and guidance, up to a point. And then you got to show me what you have as staff. And that’s not coming from a place of rudeness or disrespect. That’s coming from a place that any leader knows, you can only guide people so much. Especially as a coach, right? Like, they’re going to improve far more than if I say, “Hey, you’re gonna have to deal with the failures and the successes, I’ve got to step away from it. And you’ve got to lock these things in.”
And by the way, for those of you that have a business, you know, that that’s the ultimate test of if you have a business. If you can’t step away, and your business requires you in every capacity, you don’t have a business – you have a very expensive job, you have a very expensive job. My team has got to do that.
But I think a bigger place where I’ve got to let go and just trust is I get really bad at saying no to people, especially friends. You know, I’ve tried so many times, whether it is tweeting something or saying something, “hey, you know, if this year, I’m going to be a pretty boring person. I’m going to say no to a lot of social engagements. There’s probably going to be some texts I, you know, I don’t always respond to,” and all that is not a lack of love or respect. That’s me having to set boundaries for myself.
And I think it’s something that I was always very careful to meta-communicate about or tell people why I’m doing these things, because I didn’t want it to seem like complaining.
But the reality is, is if you lived the day in my life, right, it gets very difficult to respond to every tweet and Instagram and text and this and that. And that’s not me saying, “Oh, gee, aren’t I cool?” That’s just me saying I was a victim of setting those expectations.
And as Bekah told me, she’s like, “you’re too accessible. You know, you’re too accessible to folks.” And she’s right, you know. And I did that, because I never had a mentor that put their arm around me. I didn’t have a lot of people that answered my questions, I had to figure out a lot of stuff on my own. So I tried to fill that hole by making sure nobody else felt that way. But something that helped over time is I started to learn the difference between people that want to be helped, and people that wanted to be saved.
And this is where I’m thankful for all of you that are in our community. Those of you, like you make it a really easy decision. If you’re somebody that’s like, “Hey, Brett, I recognize the value that you guys give for free. I want to invest in you and Art of Coaching.” I’m happy to give you my time, eight ways from Sunday.
But there were just a lot of people out there that it was never enough – a text, let me pick your brain – a call, let me do this. And they’d never show up for us. You know, they’d never invest in us and never do this. And those are the people really that criticize, “oh, you’re big time,” or “you’re not doing this.”
And, you know, I just got to the point where I’m like, you know, I’m fine letting those people go. If somebody is going to judge you, and I’m talking to any of you guys out there, because you can’t be everything to everybody at every moment. You can’t win them all. You can’t save them all. You can’t give everybody that needs at a moment of your time a second of this, a second of that. Like if they’re gonna demonize you for that without discerning the larger context, you do not need them in your life. You do not. You do not.
And and I just remember having a conversation with a close friend about this. He’s like, “Can I have five minutes of your time?” And I was like, “I can’t right now.” And he’s like, “Dude, it’s just five minutes,” and I had to explain to him it’s not just you that needs five minutes of my time.
Our business is one of coaching. There’s a lot of people that need five minutes of my time. There’s an assumption that there’s five minutes to give. You guys cannot forget Theory of Mind. What you think, you know, is not always the truth. People have different needs, different constraints, different limitations. There’s a time this year, a large part of it and I’m still doing it, well, I’m barely you know, I’m on social media, and then I’m off. Yet I’ll have friends that will say, “Why didn’t you like this? Why didn’t you comment that?” As if it has anything to do with them.
No – it has to do with the fact that I’m a distracted person, trying to do a lot, running a business and be a good dad. I get off and on, and if I don’t follow you, if I don’t like something, that is not anything other than what, you know, like, the reality of we all have limited time.
So I just think letting go is something I always have to, I don’t, I don’t need to over explain to everybody, I don’t need to over explain to my staff. I don’t need to over explain to pseudo friends in my life. I don’t need to explain.
If people want the best for me – and I, like, that’s me saying the best for you guys, all of you listening – they will give you grace. And if there’s a real issue, they will come at you from a place of understanding and seeking to understand as opposed to a place of accusation. They will.
So I think that is a representation of something all of my staff has said to a degree, right? Work your butt off, give value, see the world in a bigger way, adapt, but set limits. Set limits, and be unapologetic about those things. And you will see the people that you want in your life, you know, the type of people continue to improve, you will see that your time is better managed, you will see that your efforts are more often requited. And you will be in a better place.
So I’ll leave the final word to my staff. We’ll go around the horn real quick to see if anybody else wants to say anything before we sign off. Liz, anything else?
Liz Bartholomew 1:03:25
Oh, putting me on the spot. Again. The answer’s no. I don’t, I think I, yeah, like you said I’m proud of how our team represented here. Lots of good points. And I think lots of good takeaways that people can start to apply.
Brett Bartholomew 1:03:40
Ali Kershner 1:03:42
Yeah, no, nothing new. I did learn though, that Brett makes some really good smoked chili. So if you’re, I will say, I know you’re trying to protect your time, but if you’re ever in the Atlanta area, you might want to hit him up for the smoked, okay, not the regular, but the smoked chili. That is key. That’s all I got.
Brett Bartholomew 1:04:10
Note to self -please get the domain smokedchili.com. Okay, make sure you get that right now. It’s also going to be a rap name. Bekah?
Rebekah Gold 1:04:12
I just feel like, I’m just very thankful to be part of this team. And then, just what we get to do on a daily basis, like this is pretty cool. Like I’m working right now. And I’m really excited that I get to say that. So thank you to all of our supporters, all our listeners, like, you guys are the ones that made my job possible. So I appreciate it.
Brett Bartholomew 1:04:34
And not only are you working right now. Like these episodes get downloaded an average of what five to 10,000 times, you know, and then over time, I mean, in a couple years, this will be downloaded more than 40,000 times. So think about how many people you’re impacting.
And for all of you guys as well. Like, don’t ever limit or, or be-little the impact you make. That’s a big reason why we advocate many of you doing things like our Blindspot program, or Brand Builder. Like you should want your voice to be out there. It does not mean that you’re grandstanding. It doesn’t mean that you’re a know-it-all. It’s you raising your hand and saying, “I’d like to help. I would like to help.” That’s what it means.
Mr. Nate, any any closing thoughts on your end? Other than beard care tips or anything like that?
Nate Hoffmeister 1:05:15
No, I’ll just echo what Bekah said was just that I’m thankful to be a part. And I’ve enjoyed getting to know the community. When I’ve been able to outreach to people, I think the second thing is, is we’re a mean, Ultimate Frisbee team. So if anybody wants to play then we have five people on staff here at AoC that will take you on so I’ll leave you with that.
Brett Bartholomew 1:05:36
Absolutely. And guys, if I could just ask you one favor.
If this brought you any value whatsoever, and if it didn’t, I’m just gonna say check if you have a pulse. I’m not trying to be rude, but come on. You can learn something from everybody. If it did just share it with somebody share with somebody, leave a review. Spotify allows you to leave the reviews now iTunes, these aren’t performative pat’s on the back. These are things that so we don’t get swallowed up by, you know, the large podcasts that are sponsored by Sirius radio or massive organizations. We’re trying to bring you grassroots tips and advice for the real world that are also research backed. So help us out.
Come see us in person. We’re a bunch of weirdos, but we also go deep and we are just obsessive about trying to solve problems and we’d love to help you solve some of yours.
For myself and the rest of our team at art of coaching. We appreciate you go to artofcoaching.com for any other resources. We will talk to you next time.
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