Episode 10

Gratitude with Michele Bailey | LAYC10

From a preschool age, Michele Bailey demonstrated her entrepreneurial skills and passion for spreading joy and gratitude. She continued to hone those skills and build businesses, teams, and relationships underpinned by her values and gratitude principles.

Today, Michele Bailey is a renowned international speaker, author and award-winning serial entrepreneur - and one of my most treasured Vitamin G friends!

I am deeply honored to interview Michele as the first guest on the Lift As You Climb podcast and to feature her the same week that Forbes Books launches Michele’s highly anticipated book “The Currency of Gratitude: Turning Small Gestures Into Powerful Business Results” (Release Date: April 13, 2021 – available on Amazon)

The title of her book suggests some of what Michele and I discuss but you’ll have to wait until the end of her interview to get your homework assignment. Trust me – you don’t want to skip this part!

https://forbesbooks.com/michele-bailey/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/michele-bailey-a111b6a/

About the Host:

Isabel Banerjee - Your Next Business

Strategist and Transformation Catalyst

 

Dynamic, a self-made entrepreneur who overcame obstacles with

an unrelenting positive nature, a farm girl work ethic and a

conscious choice to thrive rather than survive, Isabel Alexander

Banerjee cultivated an award-winning, $10 million+ global

chemical wholesale business and grew it from dining room table

to international boardrooms.

 

Isabel’s strengths include the ability to initiate & nurture strategic

relationships, a love of lifelong learning and talents for helping

others maximize their potential. An inspiring speaker within both

industry and community, she is a driving force behind those with

the courage to follow her example of thriving against the odds.

With 50+ years of business experience across diverse industries,

Isabel is respected as an advisor, a coach, a mentor and a role

model. She believes in sharing collective wisdom and empowering

others to economic independence.

 

Founder of the Lift As You Climb Movement (www.facebook.com/groups/liftasyouclimbmovement)

and

Chief Encore Officer, The Encore Catalyst (www.theencorecatalyst.com) – an accelerator for feminine wisdom, influence, and impact.

also

Author & Speaker ‘Who Am I Now? – Feminine Wisdom Unmasked Uncensored’ (www.IsabelBanerjee.com)

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/isabelalexanderbanerjee/

 

Thank You for Listening!

It means so much that you listened to this podcast!  If you know of anyone else who might find this show valuable or entertaining, please share it on your favorite social media platform.

If you have questions about this episode, please send me an email at Hello@TheEncoreCatalyst.com

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Ratings and reviews from listeners are used to improve the podcasts.  They also help others find this series in their podcast ‘App’ so reviews are very much appreciated!

As mentioned in this episode:

The Global Serial Entrepreneurs Summit 2.0

https://www.theencorecatalyst.com/summit-registration-serial-

entrepreneurs

Meet the Speakers:

https://www.theencorecatalyst.com/summit-meet-the-speakers-

serial-entrepreneurs

Transcript
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Welcome everybody, this is a particularly happy day for me...

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Because this is the first time, you are witnessing the first time...

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That I am interviewing a guest on the Lift As You Climb podcast.

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Up to this point, you've just listened to Moi!...

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And now it's time to expand what we're doing here in the universe, and start

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to share with you some very, very special relationships I have with

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women who also lift as they climb.

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Today I am interviewing a dear friend, a long time mentor,

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inspiration, cheerleader of mine.

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And her name is Michele Bailey.

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That's Michele with one L, make sure you spell that right when you Google her.

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And she is the founder, CEO and inspiration of multiple

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organizations, enterprises.

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And those details are going to be shared in the show notes.

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We're not going to take up a lot of time to tell you about those businesses,

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but I can tell you that two of my favorite ones are Blazing: The Agency.

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And the other is My Big Idea.

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And if Michele, if I didn't quite get blazing moniker correct,

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you can, you can fix that up.

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Okay.

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So welcome today, Michele.

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Thank you, Isabel.

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I am so delighted to be here with my dear friend of many, many years.

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Yes.

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Yay!

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The reason Michele and I met in the beginning was about being an entrepreneur.

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The first introduction to Michele was a when another bad-ass femmepreneur, put

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her arm around my neck and took me to a WPO Women Presidents Organization meeting.

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And that was when I first met Michele in Toronto, Canada MMM...Years ago.

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And yesterday, I realized it was the 32nd anniversary of me

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becoming an entrepreneur, and starting my first, all me business.

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Michele, I think you probably have a few years on me in terms

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of owning the entrepreneur title?

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Correct?

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When did you start your first business?

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26 years ago, Isabel, for me.

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26 years!

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And look how young we are.

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By the way, the podcast right now, of course, you probably listening

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to us on your favorite podcast app.

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Uh, but it's also soon going to be on his own YouTube channel.

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So you'd be able to check how cute Michele and I are.

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And that 26 and 32 years of entrepreneurship have

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only enhanced our glow.

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So today Michele, I was so grateful, and I am using that

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word purposely, for all of you.

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The word gratitude is the theme, the anchor, for this episode.

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It is only appropriate that Michele should be the guest because today we

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are celebrating the launch of her new book about gratitude in the world.

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So by the time this episode airs, her book will be available internationally?

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I believe Michele?

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So why don't I have you tell us about the book, and where

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people will find out about it?

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The book is called the currency of gratitude.

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It is being published by Forbes Books.

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It will be available on Amazon.com starting April 13th, after

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they launch it in Times Square.

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Ohh!

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Really!!?

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I didn't know that!

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That's so cool.

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Darn.

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If it wasn't 2021, we'd be off to New York to just to celebrate it

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right there in Times Square, right?

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Absolutely.

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Isabel!

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That's the one thing we can't do, but it will be in Times Square on the Jumbotron.

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Oh, I am so excited.

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I'm going to get ... What time of the day do you know yet?

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I don't know yet.

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Okay, so I will be sure when we have that information, we'll add it to

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the show notes so, well, I guess by that time, it will have been a

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"Fait Accompli", but, maybe we can find it on YouTube and rewatch.

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All right.

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So.

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We've established, that you're an entrepreneur, a serial entrepreneur,

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which is another reason I'm grateful for you in my life, because you spoke on my

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first Global Serial Entrepreneurs Summit.

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Now we've established that you're an author.

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I happen to know this isn't your first rodeo, in writing

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a book or publishing a book.

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How many books have you written Michele?

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This is my second book, "The Currency of Gratitude" is my second book, the first

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book was called "It's Not All About You".

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It's about the company you keep.

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And I actually wrote that book Isabel, because so many women were asking me for

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coffee dates, lunch, date, wine dates.

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They wanted to get into my mind as an entrepreneur and

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find out all kinds of tidbits.

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So I launched that book because I didn't have a tremendous amount

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of time to do all these dates.

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So I just would give people the book and tell them, read it.

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It has lots of entrepreneurial hints and hacks for you to live by.

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That was brilliant.

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That was very generous of you because then they could take it away.

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And at any time, you could be with them, because there was that resource book.

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I still have my copy.

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I treasure it.

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I have, repurposed many books in my lifetime, but I will never repurpose that

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one, because it serves as a reminder to me constantly that I really am the product of

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the women that I spend the most time with.

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And to be very wise and careful about where I put that time, and

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also how I reciprocate with others.

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So thank you.

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So I'd love to know.

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Do you recall an age as a child that you were aware of the word gratitude?

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You know, Isabel, I believe, I became aware of gratitude in a very big

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way when I lived in Manchester, New Hampshire, between the ages of 3 to

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12, my parents were extremely gracious.

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My Father was a medical doctor and working all the time.

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And we lived in this big house on North Bay Street.

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So what my Mother did, is offer the home to exchange students from Nigeria, Quebec,

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she brought her parents to live with us, she opened up her home and heart to

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people who needed a little bit of extra...

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extra help, extra guidance.

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So I started to see how graciousness and gratitude started to play out.

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Then I've always been an artist.

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I would go to my room in the evening and with a pen and ink, I would draw hand made

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cards, and then I would sell these cards and bunches three and five, with matching

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envelopes, door to door, to my neighbors.

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So they too, could write gratitude notes or thank-you notes to other

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people, done by Moi, a young artist.

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I love that story!

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This reveals that you were an entrepreneur and also generating the

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currency of gratitude as a child.

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It just went from there.

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You know what Isabel absolutely did.

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So it started there, and then we moved so many times, we moved multiple times.

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And what I've found is in different places, we moved, whether it be different

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countries or different States, making new friends, trying to fit in, I became

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very grateful for people who allowed me into their life because I was the newbie.

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Trying to make friends, especially through high school, I was in 5 different

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high schools, very hard to fit in...

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in 3 different countries.

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So I really had to hone a sense of graciousness, and kindness,

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and generosity, to people who allowed me to join their cliques,

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because I was an outsider.

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You could have gone the complete opposite and withdrawn or been bitter,

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but fortunately you're, you, and you recognized that the way to find your

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own happiness, was to continue to improve on that skill of sharing your

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graciousness and your gratefulness.

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I know, and anyone knows you personally, I know, will support me

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in this statement, it's contagious, when we are with you, Michele, it's

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contagious to want to be more generous, more appreciative, more grateful.

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In, I, I hope that in a very significant way, the release of your book, will cause

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a gratitude explosion around the world.

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I truly, truly hope that I couldn't think of a better time in history.

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Although history always provides us a reason to make that choice.

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Right?

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To be grateful or miserable.

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So thank you.

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I'm putting that in my arsenal.

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Is there a pre-sale of your book, just for my own knowledge?

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Yes, pre-sale, you can order, go ahead and order on Amazon.

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Forbes has it up.

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So feel free to pre-order.

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When we do the actual virtual launch on April 29th, we will have bundled packages

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with audio, the My Big Idea planner.

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We will have gratitude cards and the book, that you can bundle together.

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We are doing a promotion on April 29th, when we do the virtual launch,

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and it will be our friend, you know her well, Christine Magee.

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On April 29th at 1:00 PM Eastern time.

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I have already saved that date on my calendar, and I'll be sharing

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it with the audience and with our entrepreneurial circle, because I

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don't want to miss a good party.

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I know you always have a good party.

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And what an opportunity and you just thank you for giving me this segue, because I

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wanted to ask at the end of the show...

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Would you come back another day, on the podcast, and talk

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about My Big Idea with me?

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I just feel this is a time also where it would be so important

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to people to understand that concept of having a big idea.

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Setting the goals, and the process that you created, that I have

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used multiple times in my life.

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Absolutely Isabel.

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And you've already taken the program several times, and I would love

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to share how to get a personal and professional work-life blend.

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We're already working on My Big Idea, 3.0, we're including the COVID fatigue

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and what has shown up, or not showing up for people throughout COVID.

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Diversity and inclusion in both our personal and professional lives, and ESG.

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Let's bring it all together, and let's address, the issues

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that people need to talk about.

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Whether it's recognizing it in themselves, but moving forward...

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because we have to have a more inclusive and grateful

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world, as we come out of 2021.

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That is so important, and the timing again, absolutely, perfect.

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Thank you for doing that.

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This is news to me, and I'm excited to hear about this.

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All right.

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So, I'm going to fess up, cause I'm going to guess, I may not

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be the only person listening.

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What's ESG?

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Environmental Sustainability Goals.

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Yes.

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All right.

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Whoa!

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I don't get full marks.

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But I get part marks for remembering.

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Right?

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Okay.

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Which is very important, everybody out there, because I'm a farm girl at heart,

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and always will be so environmental sustainability started for me as a child.

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Okay that's really, really exciting to know about that.

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And it's so cool because you know what we are talking about

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in the current Summit, is...

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How we as entrepreneurs, femmepreneurs.

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Take the lessons that we learned through difficult un

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scheduled, inconvenient times.

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Of which, there always will be, in history.

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The current one that happens to be called a pandemic.

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And how we take the lessons that we learn.

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And then we transform, improve, innovate our businesses.

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And, what I'm hearing is you recognize there was an opportunity

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to up-level, the My Big Idea reach because of this, is that right?

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Absolutely, Isabel, because in the My Big Idea program we asked

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usually 10 questions per section, but they are simple, but profound.

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Through this pandemic, who showed up for you that you

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least expected, and who didn't show up for you, that you expected?

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What value have you relied on through this pandemic?

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What new habits have you created that you will still have when this is over?

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Different questions like that, to make you reflect and really think

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about your life moving forward.

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I love those questions.

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And with your permission, I'd like to include those in the show notes,

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because that's a good thought starter.

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And that's a good...

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Get off your ass and change your own world.

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Way to begin.

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Right?

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Absolutely.

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Coincidentally, a bout 2 episodes ago, or maybe 3 on this podcast, I did an episode

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about one whole life, and I spoke about our dear friend and Mentor, Marg Hachey's,

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revelation that she shared to me that as women, as femmepreneurs, entrepreneurs...

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We don't have one professional life and one personal life.

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That in fact, we have one whole life.

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And I said, that work, life, balance, is BS.

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Because it's my experience, my opinion, that if everything is

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in balance, nothing is moving.

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Nothing is changing, nothing is growing.

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There has to be movement and give and take.

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And so when you first expressed, the term work-life blend, I went,

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yeah, okay, that I can buy into.

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It's a blend, and each day I'm in charge of the recipe.

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Right?

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How much of the professional part I put in?

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How much of the personal part I put in and I'm the cook, Thank you.

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Thank you for that.

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All right.

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Going back to.

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The currency of gratitude concept.

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Was there any particular moment in your business career that you remember the

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catalyst, let's say, for you to start to incorporate that practice of gratitude

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in your business and with your clients?

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Because...

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I know because of our relationship, that you do a lot of gratitude work

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with your major clients and their teams.

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Well, actually, gratitude for me, was second nature, it is second nature.

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About 4 years ago, my managing partner Eric Marshall, I went to him and I said,

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I've been asked to open a woman's summit with a 5 minute speech on my passion.

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And he looked at me and said, and what are you speaking on?

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I said, personal professional goal setting for work-life blend.

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And he looked at me and said, Michele, that's your process.

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That's not your passion.

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And this very cynical man looked at me and I said, what do you mean?

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That's not my passion?

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He said, no, that's your process.

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Your passion is gratitude.

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Everything about you is about being grateful.

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And he walked off!

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Yay, Eric!!!

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And then I sat down, and I thought about it and I thought, he's absolutely right.

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It is about gratitude.

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Because gratitude opens up so many doors for us, and it's

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a gift that keeps on giving.

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It's a gift we give out that comes back to us, threefold in whatever

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way, gratitude shows up for people.

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And I'm not just talking about a note.

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I'm not talking about a lovely email.

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I'm not talking about a phone call.

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I'm talking about all the ways gratitude shows up and you don't expect it.

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An unexpected, sincere smile from a stranger.

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Someone walks by you, especially if it's a woman and says, darn it, you look awesome.

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Buys you a coffee, whether it's in the coffee line, drive through or someone who

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just shows up and puts a cup on your desk.

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Things like making a call to someone that you know is struggling.

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And just being there to listen to whatever it is they want to say.

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Sometimes, it's just letting silence do the lifting.

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It's just a really, really great hug where people know you care.

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There's so many ways, gratitude, kindness, empathy, show up.

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Figure out what works for you with the person you're with.

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I hear you and I, walk in your shoes in that area.

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It's something that, not every day, certainly, am I as good

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at doing that, consistently.

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And I want to do better, I know you work with large brands and major corporations

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in your, advertising, branding business, your digital marketing business.

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How do you convey to a CEO?, or a manager in a larger organization, that they can

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recoup the investment, so to speak, to make that currency in their business?

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Well, that's actually why I wrote The Currency of Gratitude.

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I teach people how small gestures create big business results.

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And I like to teach them by starting with example, I ask, it doesn't matter

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if it's the CEO, it's a VP level manager.

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Whoever the people I work with are the people that have

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been trusted us in their care.

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I often ask if we can meet for coffee or lunch.

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I take the time and often they send me, I don't have any time

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that you're going to have to eat.

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How about I bring lunch to you?

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And all I do when I'm meeting with them is say, I'm here to

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get to know you as a person.

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We're not here to talk about business, unless you want to talk about business.

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That's not why I'm here.

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I'm here to tell you, that I appreciate what you do.

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The work you give us.

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You've got awesome people.

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We love working with them, but I'm just wanting to get to know you as

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a person and how I might be able to help you in whatever way I can.

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Isabel, this takes people aback.

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They kind of look at me and cross their arms.

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Like we just want to talk.

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Yes.

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And I'm doing that through this last year with the pandemic.

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Zoom, I have virtual lunches.

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Make sure you have your lunch.

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I have my lunch and we talk about everything, but business.

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I have to tell you, I cannot get off the phone with my clients

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until we booked the next one.

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They want the next one booked because it's just fun.

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We're just sharing ideas, strategies, talking openly, talking vulnerably,

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being vulnerable, being transparent.

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I often, again, lead by example.

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You know, a client might say to me, so how are you doing Michele?

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And I might say, you know, this has been a really hard week for me.

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I'm really struggling.

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I'm really struggling to be positive.

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And I know I need to be positive for my team, but I'm having a really hard time.

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So I find myself doing, and then don't look at me and go, wow.

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Then let me share with you my week and then becomes open, honest,

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vulnerable, and real right now we don't have time for the superficial.

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Because we are all struggling differently in our own way.

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And I tell people when I have energy, it is my job to pay it forward

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and give energy to somebody else.

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Just like if you have energy Isabel, you need to pay it forward,

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because we need to keep lifting each other up lift as we climb.

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We need to do that to one another.

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Thank you.

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You know, just thinking energy isn't pie there.

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Isn't a limited number of slices, right?

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Energy is un-limited and continues to expand and how brilliant to think

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We're not trying to sell ourselves, but we are giving of ourselves.

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To that other relationship by being human and really caring about them.

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The old, masculine style of salesmanship, this is a far

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better, more enduring, sustainable way of building a relationship.

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We know the person, what their goals are, their struggles are, and figure

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out what we have to offer, how that will support them to accomplish what they

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want for their own personal satisfaction.

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You know what, when you're vulnerable and open, it comes back to you

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Isabel, you know that, we've been in many places together.

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Yes, absolutely.

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as I, often kid people, that I'm willing to be the person that'll

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sit in my underwear in the room, be vulnerable and awkward, so that

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everybody else can let down their armor and let's find the solution.

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Let's figure this out.

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So But then again, you taught me a few things about good

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underwear, so that's good.

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Okay.

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So where do you go from here?

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Like how, what are the other ways that this message,

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which is more than a message?

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Really?

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It's a, culture that we could spread, one at a time, multiples

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of us at a time, this new awareness of how gratitude is good business.

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Isabel, I would love to start a gratitude movement.

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I love to teach people how simple it is, to recognize, another individual.

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If you start following me on all my social channels.

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This Is My Big Idea, and LinkedIn: My Big Idea.

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You are going to see how we are trying to dial up the conversation,

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and show people how easy it can be.

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I undertook this, how can I say this?

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It almost, wasn't an option for me not to write this book, because they had heard

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that I teach a very simple, but powerful way of how to acknowledge people in your

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life, through the, My Big Idea program.

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They approached me and they said the business world needs to get this.

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What can you do?

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Can you write this book?

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So I thought about it, and Isabel, what I did is there's, "Placing gratitude

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at the center of your personal brand", is the first chapter, creating brand

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ambassadors in your own corporation.

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How do you do that?

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Gratitude and winning business.

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Gratitude as a means of retaining clients and customers, gratitude and self care.

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Gratitude in times of crisis, and then making gratitude a habit.

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Those are the chapters of the book.

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I think I've, crescendo-ed all the areas and show, using real business

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cases, ones that out there, and ones that I've employed in my own

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business, that drive the message home.

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And at the end of each chapter, I have reflection questions, simple...

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write right in the book, but this will help you on your gratitude journey.

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This is making gratitude outward facing.

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I love this, Michele.

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I love it on all levels.

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I love that, as you said, gratitude can be a very small, no cost, way of

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reaching out and touching somebody deeply, personally impactfully.

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You can start small and build.

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I love that it involves every one, so it's inclusive.

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and I think there's like this sort of exponential effect that happens...

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It's like a catalytic reaction the more someone else's.

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Grateful the more that creates, it just continues to ripple out.

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And I love that.

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this is a way that, our teams can get behind and involved, in our

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companies and feeling incredible pride in the brand that they work for.

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And just so many ways of looking at the opportunities that gratitude

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creates for us, and creates for others.

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I'm a hundred percent behind your movement.

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It's definitely needed.

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We've had a really good opportunity in this past, lock down,

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withdrawl, to reflect on what's most important in our lives.

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What we miss the most, and to think of different ways to do

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things, and this is so timely.

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Thank you.

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You're so welcome

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All right.

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I know from experience and imagination, that I could talk to

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you for days and days and days, and we would never run out of ideas.

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So I'm going to say, please, let's get our calendars out another time

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and make a date to do this again.

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I'm inviting our audience, to comment and send us suggestions that you'd like

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to hear Michele and I explore deeper, or invite other women to talk about,

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because that is part of Lift As You Climb.

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We are all learning, we are women under construction, women in progress.

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But we are very happy to share what we learn as we go.

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And, we'll come back together, but before you leave us today, I would,

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there's just so much to know about you.

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And there's a lot out there in the media about you, Michele Bailey, but is there

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maybe some thing that might not be on Google that you could share about you?

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Well, Isabel.

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Considering that I own a digital advertising agency.

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What people might not know about me, is I'm an old-fashioned analog girl.

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I love pictures.

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I love memories.

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I love creating memories for people.

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So I print out photographs, and I create scrapbooks.

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Stickers...

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all of that.

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I have done over 57 scrapbooks.

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I give them to friends for special occasions where I've traveled with them.

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So if people say what's Antarctic like?

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What's Chile like?

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What's...

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I just pull out the scrapbooks.

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It's not about looking perfect.

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It's about capturing the memories of the country and all the

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energy that goes around it.

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So in 5 minutes, people can look at these scrapbooks, and they go...

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People ask me over and over again.

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I want one of these.

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I need one of these.

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I said, but you do digital books all the time.

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No, I want one of these.

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You know what, I create scrapbooks.

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I'd say that's an example of sensory gratitude.

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Thank you, Michele.

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All right, everyone out there in podcast and YouTube land, I hope

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that you have enjoyed this time with Michele as much as I have.

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She definitely is gratitude, deep, deep, deep in my soul, and continues

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to lift me, every day, by how she shows up in the world, a sincere,

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flawed, awesome individual, and she is not afraid to show it.

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And I encourage you to be who you really are too.

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Michele.

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Thank you.

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Get out there and make some more people grateful.

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Yay!

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In closing Isabel, I want to thank you for everything you're doing.

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Especially for women.

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Especially for women entrepreneurs.

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We have to stop being crabs in a bucket.

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We can't pull another down when they get to the top of the bucket.

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We need to lift as we climb, so we can change the world together.

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Thanks, Isabel, for including me in your world.

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Thank you, Michele.

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Well said, actually, I think we should give them some homework.

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Michele, how about we get everybody out there writing some thank

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you cards and gratitude notes?

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I would love it, if you could put your assignment for the week, to write 2

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gratitude cards a week for 4 weeks.

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Read them directly to somebody through zoom, or in person, and

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watch the magic that transforms.

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Go for it.

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Awesome.

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Okay.

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There's going to be a gratitude explosion now in the world.

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All right, everybody do your homework.

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I'll talk you soon.

About the Podcast

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Lift As You Climb
Live Your Legacy; Empower Others to Create Theirs

About your host

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Isabel Banerjee

Dynamic, self-made entrepreneur who overcame obstacles with an unrelenting positive nature, a farm girl work ethic and a conscious choice to thrive rather than survive, Isabel Alexander Banerjee cultivated an award winning, $10 million+ global chemical wholesale business and grew it from dining room table to international boardrooms.

Isabel’s strengths include the ability to initiate & nurture strategic relationships, a love of lifelong learning and talents for helping others maximize their potential. An inspiring speaker within both industry and community, she is a driving force behind those with the courage to follow her example of thriving against the odds.

With 50+ years of business experience across diverse industries, Isabel is respected as an advisor, a coach, a mentor and a role model. She believes in sharing collective wisdom and empowering others to economic independence.

Isabel Banerjee
Your Next Business Strategist and Transformation Catalyst