Episode 12

SMILES and SUSHI with Loubna Zarrou | LAYC12

Heroes are the ones who have courage to be different, to change status quo, stand for something and start a movement that uplifts and inspires others.

Heroes are not born. Heroism is not inherited or something you can purchase. SHEroes and Heroes evolve from struggles and trials and awareness. 

Loubna Zarrou was shy, introverted and bullied as a child. She made a choice to rise above limiting circumstances and become a hero, role model and mentor for herself and many others.

In today’s episode we talk about the power of a decision, smiles and the influence we have on others – when we accept that responsibility.

And we talk about sushi, podcasts and building success ladders around the world!

My special guest today:

Loubna Zarrou

The Exponential Hero - strategic mentor empowering purpose-driven entrepreneurs to work smarter & happier

https://podfollow.com/entrepreneurs-sushi-club

https://www.facebook.com/loubnazarrouofficial

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/happiness-more-than-thinking-positive-thoughts-loubna-zarrou

Loubna Zarrou is an international bestselling author, certified professional speaker and multi-award-winning Strategic Dynamo who is globally recognized for her extraordinary skill of being able to mentor Entrepreneurs to gain clarity, focus and momentum with lightning speed. She is also the creator and co-host of the Entrepreneurs Sushi Club Podcast


Before starting her business and becoming the CEO of The Exponential Hero, Loubna spent over 18 years managing projects both in IT as well as change management in the corporate sector. It was during these years that Loubna was able to hone and utilize her expertise in helping people enhance their happiness at work, as well as strategies for more success in the boardroom.


Loubna has now been able to take this a step further with her unique and innovative approach to mentoring through her A.C.T.I.O.N. process and regularly speaks to her audience on the importance of strategy, planning and the science of happiness to increase their impact, influence and income.


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/

 

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

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Transcript
Speaker:

Welcome everyone!

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And I am so excited today to be interviewing a guest.

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And this is like a confession, I'm nervous, because I've been

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watching or, following her and listening to her podcast.

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And I am just like...

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over the moon excited to have this new friend, and inspiration in my life.

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So joining me today on the Lift As You Climb podcast is Loubna Zarrou,

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she's an international bestselling author, she is a certified professional

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speaker, and award-winning...

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and this part I know to be true, strategic dynamo, and she is globally recognized

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for her extraordinary skill of being able to mentor people, give them clarity

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and results with lightening speed.

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She is the founder, the host, the brilliant, the wit, behind the

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Entrepreneurs Sushi Club podcast.

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Totally, totally recommend this as a good listen.

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It's an uplifting, fun experience, but also with guests that have a lot of great

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material wisdom, experience, to share.

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So Loubna, thank you so much for coming in today from the Netherlands to join us!

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Oh, thank you, Isabel for having me.

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And your very kind words.

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I only have known you for about two months, but they have been a

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wonderful experiences, it says over the past two months, learning new

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things, making new friends and...

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discovering how many other amazing women are out there...

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creating podcasts, sharing messages, lifting, and climbing

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with fun and sass and substance.

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Entrepreneurship is what brought us together.

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I invited you to be an expert speaker on the Global Serial Entrepreneurs Summit.

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This affinity or of our like minded and style, that I think keeps us connected.

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At least I hope so.

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I'm hoping to find long-term relationship.

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Well, I've already been on Summit and one and Summit two..

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So.

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And, and there will be many more to follow.

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To allow our...

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to support our...

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audience to get to know a little bit about you...

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Can you just start with the Loubna story and, rewind a bit to

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what brought you to here, today?

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Oh, that is a long story.

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I mean, I'm 42 now.

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So, we could be here for a while if I shared that story...

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You...

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give us the high notes, and then that way, you'll build some anticipation

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for our listeners to go and check you out and get more details by following

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your bio and listening to your show.

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Yeah.

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Awesome.

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if you had known me when I was 12, 13 years old, you would have met

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the most shy girl in the world.

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I was so introverted.

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You would not believe it.

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People that know me today, they think that I'm absolutely lying

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about that, but it is a 100% true.

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In that period of time, I would have rather spent time reading a book of 400

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pages than interact with other people.

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I love being alone.

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I still do sometimes, and just...

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study and learn and read books.

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I rather spend time in the fantasy world that is in those books,

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than I would in the reality.

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And that had everything to do with I've been bullied in that period of time.

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Which made it very difficult for me to even be outside.

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I didn't know, barely any friends, and I would rather

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buckle down and not do anything.

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And it wasn't until...

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I don't remember exactly, what sparked it or what was the trigger for me.

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But one day I decided I am done.

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I'm not going to listen to those children.

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That call...

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when they call me...

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They say Lumpia...

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which is egg roll in Dutch.

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And I thought, how can you go from that...

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to my name, which is actually Loubna, but as we know, You can't even really

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understand why people do what they do.

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So I was bullied, and I'd rather be alone than anything else.

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But I made that decision.

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I said, I'm done!

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I'm not going to listen to them!

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I'm going to stop listening to them when they mention my name,

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because one of the things that.

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You tend to do, at least that's what I did, is when someone calls you...

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is to actually turn around...

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Which I later learned...

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That's exactly what bullies want.

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They want to get your attention, but when you don't give it to them, you

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actually take away their power over you.

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I don't remember exactly the incident.

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Why I made that decision and what sparked that decision.

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But I made it, and that opened up a world, because now it wasn't about

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what other people thought of me.

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No.

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It was what I thought about me.

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And valuing that, and embracing that, and not giving too much

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attention to other people.

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And I kept that with me, all through high school and university.

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It also gave me the opportunity to tap into my passion because, I wasn't

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listening to other people anymore.

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I was listening to me.

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I was listening to what my heart was telling me, my soul was telling

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me, about what I needed to do.

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Where I should be spending my time, energy and attention on.

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And I started using that as my guidance system, instead of other people's opinion.

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So that led me to.

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studying health policy and management at university.

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And the very first year, I already had a computer at home, because

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my Father bought one from his work, because they changed them.

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So I've already used a computer, but what I didn't know was the internet.

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I didn't have an email address until I started my very first year of university.

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I know that if you're listening to this, or you're much younger than I

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am right now, then you're thinking...

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No...

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the internet has always been around.

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No, there used to be a time where we had chalkboards and chalk at school, where

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we had overhead projectors and sheets to present something that wasn't on computer.

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There was another time.

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And for me, as soon as I was introduced to the internet, I

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was like a kid in a candy store.

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Oh my God, I love this.

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And I went completely wild, uh, because I didn't know that there

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was something like IT in the world.

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I didn't know anything.

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And I just, as someone who loves to learn through books, because then you didn't

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have Google, didn't exist at that time.

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I just read the very little books and articles that were out there

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about the internet, because again, it was the very first, start

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of the internet into the world.

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I learned myself HTML, which is the programming language

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for building websites.

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My very first website I made, coding, is a website for a friend of mine

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or for the parents of a friend of mine who had a store, a physical

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store, in Amsterdam selling party clothes, Moroccan party clothes.

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So that was my very first website.

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I had images and coded and learned everything that I needed to

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learn on how to create a website.

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And that's where my passion for IT started.

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I did finish University because I thought I've already spent two and a

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half years here, and I just need 18 more months, and then I've got a diploma...

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so, why stop and switch, if I can just finish and then start again.

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I've been in IT for almost 15 years after that, a passion of mine.

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I got to learn everything, from very infrastructural, digital, nerdy stuff

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to organizational governance stuff.

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So, yeah, I've just followed my passion, followed my energy, followed my internal

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guidance system, to where I am today.

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And today I'm an entrepreneur who mentors and coaches, purpose-driven entrepreneurs

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to work smarter and happier because after all of that period of time, what I

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discovered is, that there are so little people that actually enjoy working.

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Whether you're a corporate professional or an entrepreneur...

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They don't enjoy it!

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And I'm thinking, you're spending a lot of hours at work or working,

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depending on how you want to see it.

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You want that time to be enjoyable.

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It was enjoyable for me and it still is for me, but that's not for everyone.

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And I am for, if you have to stay in a job because you need to pay the mortgage

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and a family, you don't have a lot of opportunities out there to switch, to

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really tap into something that you enjoy.

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But still...

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even if you can start a side hustle, or a hobby.

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Make that time count, because, we only have one life and you

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want to be able to enjoy it, because it has a spillover effect.

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If you're not enjoying the work that you're doing, whether you're a corporate

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professional or an entrepreneur, again, if you're not enjoying it, you're frustrated.

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And you're bringing that home with you, to your family, to

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your children, to your friends.

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You're not even present, because you're not in a good state to be in.

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Love that there's several things that really, piqued my interest, when you

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were saying that, first of all, I'm so happy that you made that connection,

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that awareness as a child, about bullies and taking the power away from them.

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I have such an abhorence for bullies and I believe that there's so much more

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that we can do to help our children.

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That's a long process, and it starts, right at the top with

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parenting rather than experience.

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I too, experienced what you said, for different reasons.

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Is there any correlation between that bully experience, starting from that

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foundation, and the fact that you named your business, The Exponential Hero?

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No, there's no correlation between the two.

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Hero, as being the opposite of the bullies.

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So Bravo for you.

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No, there is no correlation to be fair, and that name was...

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a friend of mine came up with that name when I was looking for

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a new business name, for what I pivoted into a couple of years ago.

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I was very fortunate to have asked this friend, a couple of friends of

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mine, to help me think about a name.

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Because it's not something that I'm good at, I don't enjoy it, because it's about

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me, and you always have blind spots.

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So I tend to ask other people to brainstorm with me and I'm very capable

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of saying that's a good name, that doesn't resonate with me as much.

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And he just used everything that I shared about what I want to do for purpose

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driven entrepreneurs and what he knows about me, how I show up in the world.

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And I'm, bubbly.

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I'm positive.

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I light up a room.

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That's the type of feedback that I've been given back.

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But also, empowering.

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I am so mindful of the fact that I'm a role model, that I know

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that people are looking at me.

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They're following me on social media.

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They are looking at me, my nieces, look at me on how I show up in the world.

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So knowing that and being very aware of the fact that every

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single one of you that's listening to us right now is a role model.

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But are you the right role model?

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Are you showing up as someone that shows the opportunities, that

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shows the possibilities, that shows that you can be, do, and have,

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anything in life that you want?

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Because it all boils down to a decision and the courage to act on that decision.

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I'm mindful of how I show up.

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I ask feedback consistently.

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I even warn my friends, if you ever see me exhibiting behavior

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that's out of alignment...

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please tell me, so I can snap back.

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Uh, yeah.

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And he just combined those two things...

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You know, who you are?

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You're an exponential hero...

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You work with lightening speed.

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You do not waste time.

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You just go...

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People can tell you two sentences and then you go, okay...

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You know what you need to do?

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You need to do one, two, three, four, five, and, be mindful about this and that.

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And just go!

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All right.

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I just pictured you in the Flash's costume...

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lightning speed.

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I recorded an episode about one whole life.

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Your comments about, our personal life and our work life and making those choices,

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really resonate with me, and that episode where I talk about that, that we...

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as, and you know, I'm mostly talking to women, I know that you serve

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both males and females in your work that as a woman, we don't have a

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personal life and a professional life.

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And there certainly is no such thing as work-life balance Because for

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me, if, if something is imbalanced, it's not moving, it's completely

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static and there's no movement.

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And therefore there's no growth.

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Right.

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You're not creating energy.

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You're not giving energy, not receiving any energy.

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So good for you because that's the whole thing about that choice about, okay.

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Choosing how much energy to put into that professional life, because

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it supports the personal life.

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That is the one that is the most important, and making our business or

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our career, our J.O.B., as a means to fulfill our lives the way we want to.

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And I so applaud you for taking on the responsibility of being a role model.

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That's the essence of Lift As You Climb, It's that reciprocal action,

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the reciprocity, but it can only happen if you really truly care about growing

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yourself, which then gives you greater influence and impact, and the people that

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are observing you learn by your behaviors.

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So thank you.

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Thank you for that.

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Yeah, it's my pleasure, and to be fair...

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What I think what's important is you realizing that you already

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have an influence and an impact.

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Well right now, whatever you're doing right now, you already

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have an influence and an impact.

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The question is good or bad, good, or bad or neutral.

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You already are having an influence and an impact on the people that

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you surround yourself with on how you show up each and every day.

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So you already have it.

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The question is...

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Is it the influence and the impact that you want to have on other people?

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Is it what you want other people to know about you?

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Is it what you want...

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What you're standing for?

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Is it an accurate representation of you or not?

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Because.

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That's the key.

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It's not, as after you make a decision to have an influence and

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impact, then you start to have it.

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Now you're already having it.

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The question is...

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Is it the right way?

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Is it that is how you want to be or not?

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And for me...

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I realized that very early on, that people are looking at me.

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Very early on in my corporate career because I caught people

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asking me questions when I started my second job, as an it auditor.

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In the very first six months, a colleague of mine came to me and he said...

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Were you already a certified IT auditor?

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And I'm like...

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I started here five months ago.

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He said, yeah, but how you show up...

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You seem to be an expert, you already know all of these things.

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I didn't to be fair.

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I hadn't even started the formal education that is needed to become a

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certified IT auditor at that time...

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cause that didn't start until August.

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But in how I showed up on the workplace, he perceived me to have been a colleague

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that is already a certified person.

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And I didn't even know what that would look like or that would mean.

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But.

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As soon as he said it...

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I'm like, okay...

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that's the influence and impact that I have.

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That's how people are looking at me.

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So I need to be very mindful that I keep up with that, because people

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value my opinion, value my advice, and take that advice on and implement it.

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So if I want that advice to be valuable for them, I need to be mindful about

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what I say when I say it, and how I say it, because they're taking

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it on whether I am intending...

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whether it's intentional advice in a coaching conversation or not.

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I don't know if it was in your childhood, but thinking back to my

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generation, it was a very common phrase to hear a parent say to a child...

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Do, as I say, not as I do.

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Okay.

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That's something you better think about, right?

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And so, to your point...

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In every facet of our lives...

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What we, how we actually show up...

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is all that people are going to remember.

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What is it Maya Angelou said...

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People will only remember how you made them feel So good for you, for catching

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that, and knowing that, because once you start being inconsistent about your

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values, or how you show up in the world.

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You've lost trust.

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You've lost respect.

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Yeah, absolutely.

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Because we live in a world where currency is trust right

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now, more than anything else.

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It's not even your titles, it's not even your accolades...

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It's trust because you can have all the titles in the world...

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But if you don't show up from a place of integrity, you have nothing.

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It's absolutely nothing.

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And I was very lucky that early on, I asked for a lot of feedback.

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I asked my managers, I asked my colleagues.

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I knew that the only way to be able to know how you show

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up, is by asking other people.

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So I've been given so much feedback from people and honest, constructive

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feedback of things that I did well, of things that had a negative impact.

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So I could experiment with different kinds of behavior...

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it didn't change who I am, it didn't change my identity, but I

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could be flexible in my behavior depending on the context that I'm in.

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And that's where you need to be.

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You need to be in a place where you can take that on.

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And really, really look in the mirror, because it's not easy to be fair...

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You could get some feedback and you think...

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Ohh, but that's so hard to change...

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and it is, it's messy in the middle, when you're making

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changes, it's absolutely messy.

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It's difficult, but it's so rewarding.

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It's so extremely rewarding because, you get to impact and influence people, you

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get to be the best example, you get to contribute to a world that you leave in

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a better place than how you found it.

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For me, someone who's now in the phase of her life, that is more mindful

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about purpose, then anything else...

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That's where I'm at.

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Now, as you're listening to this, you might be thinking, yeah, but...

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I'm still in the phase of...

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my J.O.B.

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is, the financier for my hobbies and personal life.

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You might be in that phase.

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I started like that exactly, when I finished university and attitude was

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okay, I want a job, I want to make good money, so that I can travel so that

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I can buy this or that or whatever.

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Each and every one of us starts and has a phase where they go through that.

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But for me, that morphed really quickly into...

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Okay, my work is a way for me to personally develop.

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It was my personal development and personal growth playground.

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So I thought, what can I learn about myself?

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And how can I throw myself into different experiments?

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Take on projects that, people were saying...

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Oh my God, are you sure?...

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because it's either career suicide, or you've got fame for the rest of your life.

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And I'm like, yeah, I have to try.

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I feel that calling of trying it, because I don't know...

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The only thing that I know now, is this is my comfort zone, this is

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the level of comfort that I feel.

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But I'm not comfortable with that comfort.

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If that makes any sense...

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I want to see how far I can take it, and just push through.

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That's where I, that was second phase of me, in the third phase, which I've

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been in a couple of years now, is...

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I want to contribute to something bigger than me.

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It's not about me anymore.

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I try, I've played, I've done things that I'm really proud of.

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I still experiment with getting out of my comfort zone.

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But it's all in relationship to something that's bigger than me, to something

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that's contributing to something.

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And each and every one of us goes through those, three phases each and every one.

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So wherever you are, as long as you're aware of the phase that

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you are in, and plow through.

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You're going to move through all of them.

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I'm sure.

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All right.

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So let me ask you a question, because it might seem, too daunting

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a task, insurmountable for people, as you say, if you're in that

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earlier stage of development, your evolutionary journey, right?

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To go well...

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How can I possibly have any influence or impact?

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I'm just little old me.

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Would you agree with me that influence an impact is very scalable?

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You can start with small gestures and build on those.

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The key to this, no matter how grand or how small...

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Is to be consistent, to show up, always with absolute integrity, I

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was going to say authenticity, but, I'm getting a little tired of how

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that word has been slopped around.

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So for me, it's like the true essence of your values, your core, what

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your capacity is to want to grow?...

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As an individual and develop.

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You figured this out at a young age, and kudos for then figuring it out,

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and also, standing out there vulnerably and sharing it with other people.

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Yeah.

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influence and impact is scalable.

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Yeah.

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I mean something that each and every one of us can do right now,

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no matter in what phase you're in.

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Is to adopt a practice where you smile to every person that you meet on the street.

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Yes.

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It doesn't matter if you know them or not, but just meet them with a smile.

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Now that is something you don't need to learn that skill,

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because you know how to smile.

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You may need to find the courage to smile to a stranger because you

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never know how they will respond, in my personal experience...

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Everyone will smile back.

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Even the grumpy ones.

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Absolutely!...

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Believe me.

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I've done crazy things with this smile practice each and every

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one, some of them will go...

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What just happened?

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That person is smiling to me...

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and everyone in that moment in time thinks...

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Do I know her?

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Does she need to meet?...

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Then they smile because they're reminded...

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and there's something very powerful with this practice specifically, because our

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brain is programmed to mirror behavior.

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So when you're smiling, the other person cannot not smile.

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Just try it.

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If you're, if you have someone around you just.

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Sit across from each other.

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Now tell the other person to do whatever they can to not smile.

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And you smile.

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I can guarantee you they're smiling with you within five seconds.

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All right.

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So we're going to have a party.

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We're going to serve sushi, and we're going to have smile challenges.

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Right?

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Good.

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Well, so I'm right out there with you.

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I'm the crazy.

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When I go for a walk, I say hello and wave to every single person.

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And...

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initially, some of them gave me that sideways suspicious look.

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I also noticed, which was very funny for me, that they would look

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over their shoulder to see if there was somebody behind, wasn't them.

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But now, it's, so joyful because I'm seeing these people on the

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same walking route, and they're now they're waving and smiling.

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And, we still don't know each other.

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We don't know each other's names...

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Especially since, during COVID where we're not interacting

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socially, but, still there's that...

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Oh, that's so nice...

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Hi, haven't seen you for a while.

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How have you been doing right?

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Or if you don't even say anything...

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still, it's a validation that we matter, that we are alive.

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A smile means that you're acknowledging the other person, and

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every human being wants to be seen.

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By smiling, you're actually communicating...

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I see you.

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And so just as an example of how you can scale this and believe you me...

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you never know what the other person is going through.

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You might encounter someone who is on his or her way to kill themselves.

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Right.

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You never know, or they are depressed, or they're having a bad day.

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And just because you smiled, you changed their state, because they smiled with you.

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Which releases a whole lot of chemicals.

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And I'm not going to get scientific on you, or nerdy on you, right now,

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but that will change their state and you will just make their day.

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So just the smile.

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That's how you can start, each and every one of us, can start.

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If you want to scale that...

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you go into...

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Good Morning.

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Good Afternoon.

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Good Evening.

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You add that to the mix, how it is, how you scale.

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If you want to scale that you go into, Hey, how you doing?

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Right.

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And you can take it as far as you want.

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If you're standing.

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I don't know.

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It's very difficult to imagine now in, the global pandemic, but...

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If you're in a coffee, shop ordering a coffee, you can strike up a conversation

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with the person standing in front of you.

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I've had the most amazing conversations with people and

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most of them like it, and you can.

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As soon as you've got this practice nailed, then you can see if they're

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open or not, but just by the smile, you're opening up the door to...

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Hey, if you want to take this another step we can.

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But this is how you can scale your impact, and you never know

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what that will do for a person.

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I used to...

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when I was still in my corporate job, the signature that I had underneath...

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I would say with sunny greetings.

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Consistently.

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Or with appreciation...

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something that is disturbing the pattern of how most people end their emails.

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Right.

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And one colleague, when he saw me.

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And he said...

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Loubna...

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You make me smile every time I receive an email from you.

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And I tend to send you an email, just so that you can respond

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with Sunny Greetings to me.

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Okay.

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So there is another example of the exponential impact of your philosophies.

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Thank you!

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Yes.

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I see you doing this, or well, I hear you doing this, on your podcast too.

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I love how in the Entrepreneurs Sushi Club Podcast, you start with

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that, recognition of the person.

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I know you're bringing experts on to talk about, entrepreneurial value and skills...

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But that beginning part, where you're engaging with the person,

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having some fun, making smiles, is so great because I'm smiling

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while I'm listening to the podcast.

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Everyone can hear a smile.

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It sounds counter-intuitive.

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I know, but you can hear when someone is smiling or not, you can hear that.

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So that's the power of the state that you are in...

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even when you only have audio.

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So you can even have impact audio only.

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Absolutely you can, infact, that was something that I had as a

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policy with my team, when I had my brick and mortar business.

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When we talked about customer engagement, and whenever you answer

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the phone, I always said, smile first, before you pick up the line,

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that transmits, that energy is going all the way through that phone line.

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So that the person on the other end, know that you really care that they called.

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Yeah.

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So we can.

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Such easy things to implement in our life and give us benefit back.

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Right.

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Because that energy comes back.

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Great.

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Yeah, Absolutely.

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And this is a small thing.

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Everyone can do this.

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And you can start with the people that you know, if you're uncomfortable doing

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this with strangers, and then decide as soon as you feel comfortable with that,

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go to the next level, go with strangers.

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You can even do it with cashiers, when you go to the supermarket.

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These are all small acts.

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They have a big impact.

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So you don't have to think about, Oh God, I have to get permission

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where I say, I want to impact 10 million people in the world.

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You don't have to, really don't have to.

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Start small, start with these little practices and grow into it.

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I've spoken to people that say my purpose is to be the best parent

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for my children, that I can be.

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Which is a great purpose to have, because you are contributing

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to the next generation.

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Yes.

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It doesn't have to be the 10,000.

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And I know that on social media, you can see those stories, we can watch those

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videos, where people go big and bold.

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And think, okay...

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I don't feel comfortable doing that.

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And that is absolutely okay.

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It could be as small as I'm committing to smiling to every

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person that I've met on the street.

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Or, my purpose is to be the best parent.

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Whatever it is for you...

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as long as it is...

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you being you.

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Yes.

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Yes.

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Thank you for reminding that...

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because you can't be artificial about it.

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That's very obvious, right?

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It has to be with true intention.

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That you want to make a positive difference in somebody's day by, ...Right?

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Smiling at them, bringing the neighbor's trash can in, when you're walking back.

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One of my favorites is handwritten notes.

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I love to write a card and send it to somebody, not on a milestone

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occasion, like not on their birthday, or not at Christmas.

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But at unexpected times.

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And so I do, I think that, just starting even with...

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What would we like somebody to do for us, or

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How would we like them to respond to us?

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Uh, it is a great way to go.

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Hmm?

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Yeah...

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I could implement that practice.

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I've noticed that servers in restaurants, they're trained to say...

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How are you today?

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But, I...

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Usually get such a surprise when I go...

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I have a great...

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have a wonderful day.

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How about you?

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How's your day been?

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And they'd go...

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Wow...

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Like...

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You really cared?

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So now, I think that their training...

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or forced greeting, means something for them, because there was that

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reciprocity of human contact.

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Yeah.

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And you can get a lot done.

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I mean, one of the sushi restaurants, that I go to...

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because I do that...

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I am interested in people, I really do.

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And I smile and talk to anyone.

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People talk...

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start talking to me, even if I do or do not know them.

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That got me into...

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every time I go to that restaurant.

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Whether it's the owner that's walking around, or one of our staff,

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they know that I have a favorite place that I would like to sit.

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So if there's no one sitting there, I'm sitting there.

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They give me that spot.

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And...

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They know that I love to have a cappuccino after I have my sushi dinner.

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So they bring me a cappuccino even before I ask.

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And it's always on the house, always without exception.

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Even if I haven't been there...

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As soon as I go in, they say...

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Oh, it's been a while since we've seen you!

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That's the power.

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It is powerful.

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All right.

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Everyone...

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Who's listening...

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Please, get your journal, start jotting down some ideas that you can go out, and

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exponentially increase the joy in the world by small gestures, small gestures,

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adding up to quite significant results.

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I appreciate that.

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It hardly seems necessary to ask you...

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in context of Lift As You Climb, because I already see so many ways it

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shows up in your, behavior, your M.O.

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are there any particular moments in your life where you reflect back and go?...

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That was a real climbing moment for me.

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And who, who was part of that?

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Oh, yes.

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Yes.

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I wouldn't be where I am today.

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If it wasn't for a couple of people that have been an amazing mentor toward me.

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And the very first, uh, story I can share about that, it was

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with my very first real job.

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Now I've been in jobs since I was 14.

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I started fairly, young, but it was all because I wanted to have a little bit of

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money that I can spend on myself instead of, My parents giving me an allowance.

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When I started my very first real job.

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They had just gone through a reorganization.

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It was a teaching hospital, and they had decentralized, and I was hired

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to work as a project manager and IT consultant, for the biggest business

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unit of that teaching hospital.

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And the very first conversation that I had with my manager, when

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I started, he said, your job description has not been written yet.

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It doesn't exist.

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We've just barely gotten out of the reorganization...

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And...

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It's a new job, because it's IT oriented...

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We didn't have that.

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because they had quality, they had finance, but IT was new.

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So they didn't have a clue.

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And I was presented before they had time to write the job description.

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I still remember that conversation because it It has impacted me tremendously...

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is that...

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Your job doesn't exist...

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So I...suggest you just go out there, and see how you can provide our clients

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with value, our colleagues with value.

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Who are all medical specialists, by the way.

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I said to him, well...

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If the job description doesn't exist...

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You tell me what I need to do.

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Now that is what I was conditioned to believe...

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Go to someone else...

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To tell you what you need to do...

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and he said...

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the famous sentences that have been the biggest impact in my career ever.

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Mark said to me...

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Loubna you're the expert.

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You're the ITer...

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I'm not the ITer...

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I'm the Manager.

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My job is to facilitate you...

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the expert, in whatever you need, to be able to perform your job.

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Have you ever had someone say something to you and think he's right.

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And I spent at least what seemed 10 minutes, but just about 30 seconds trying

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to come up with a counter argument.

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I couldn't, because he was so right.

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He was absolutely right.

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I was the ITer they had hired, he wasn't in IT....

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He didn't even know anything about IT...

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He said...

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I hired you because you've got expertise.

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So I can't tell you what you need to do.

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You need to go out and discover it.

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I've never looked at a job description ever again.

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Doesn't matter...

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All of the jobs that I've had since then...

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I could care less because he threw me in the ocean and basically said,

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you know, something that the other person needs, just find out what

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they want and need, and fill in the gap with the service, with your

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consultations, with whatever they need.

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And that is a skill that has had the biggest impact in my career.

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Because now you can throw me anywhere.

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I know, and I'm confident enough that I can discover how I can help you.

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And I know that it's going to be valuable because that is what I spent doing...

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for a couple of years.

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You and I see things, so similarly, it's just wonderful...

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So in my vernacular, in the Lift As You Climb training that I do, I talk

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about building success ladders...

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and that description...

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was it Mark?...

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I just got a picture of...

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He just pushed you up several rungs on your success ladder.

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Because he said...

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No.

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You get out there, you could do this.

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Nobody's going to tell you...

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yay Mark!

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Oh yeah, yeah.

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Yeah.

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I tracked him down.

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I'm not connected to him on LinkedIn because I don't, I don't

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think he is ever really known.

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The impact that those two sentences have had on me ever, ever.

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I mean, I've had managers since then who were completely the opposite of

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Mark, uh, because they were nobody.

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You need to do this and that.

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And, and I was already conditioned, but I'm the expert.

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You hired me as the expert.

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If you had my expertise, you would need me.

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So why tell me what I need to do and how I need to do it because.

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That seems like a waste of your time and energy.

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Uh, but yeah, no, he was, um, extremely grateful that the very first

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interaction career-wise I've had is an interaction wasn't interaction with

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Mark and what he did for me, because I don't know where I would be today.

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If I had met a manager who was like...

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Okay, I want you to do this, and this, and this, and this.

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That is definitely a defining moment.

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And I'm so glad that you were open to it because you could have gone the other way.

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You could have just dug her heels in and said no, but you didn't.

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You did have to pause a bit, and absorb it.

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Right?

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It wasn't like it was like instant...

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but...

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the other thing is...

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Have you noticed that often...

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Those really, really defining moments.

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Those heroes...

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Who have helped us, lifted us are completely unaware of the

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major impact that they have had.

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And I just...

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I have observed that often.

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I'd go, huh?

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I didn't realize, but I'm glad, because we're just doing

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what comes naturally for us.

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Right?

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When we help somebody by suggesting something or sharing

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something, teaching them.

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Then if they choose to absorb that, we've just gone on.

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With doing whatever we have to do for somebody else or with somebody else.

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Right?

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And we don't get to see how that plays out all of the time.

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So kudos and kudos for you for reaching out to Mark.

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Oh yes.

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No, I really wanted because he has had such a tremendous

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impact, that I was curious to see where his career had led him.

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He's now the CEO of a of another hospital here in the Netherlands.

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On the point that you mentioned...

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We...

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Whatever we do, we may never know the impact that we've had on another

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human being, unless they tell us.

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Right.

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And only 1% of the people that you interact with will tell you.

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Just 1%, that's it.

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Some will tell you, will give you that feedback.

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Some will mostly be quiet.

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I mean, I've had people reaching out to me on LinkedIn, for example,

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that said, I've been following you for years and I love your content.

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And I'm like, who are you?

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They had never engaged with any of my contact and it had been years.

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And then it was right for them to reach out and go.

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Would you mind having a cup of coffee with me, or I want to buy you a cup

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of coffee because I want to pick your brain about something because

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now I'm ready to take the next step.

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So you will only hear about this 1%.

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So for me, when I remembered Mark's name, I thought I want to track him

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down, because I want him to know the impact that he's had on me.

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Because surely, he will not know, because for him, it was so logical

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to say my attitude of being a manager is one where I facilitate the expert.

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That's how I see my job, this is how I see my work.

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And, uh, if you've ever worked for a manager who does not have

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that attitude, you know how absolutely horrific that can be.

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I wanted to, knowing that only 1% will ever let me know the

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impact that I've had on them.

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I wanted to gift him that, I want to give him, the gift of that appreciation

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and gratitude, even after...

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What...

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15 years.

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I still think it was an amazing gift, a thoughtful gift.

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And it's a good reminder, for me as well to think back because I

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have been very fortunate, very fortunate throughout my life.

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So many people have lifted me and you're right to...

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Let them know.

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Yeah, that's really important.

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Loubna, I would love to keep talking and peeling back all these layers of...

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just exponential...

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I want to just use your word...

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exploration because as we share and talk about these things...

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how wonderful it was today to be reminded that impact, influence, is so scalable.

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And to begin with something as simple as a smile.

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And to be reminded to let the people know...

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Who were our mentors or our influencers, how that made a difference.

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And that...

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Each and every one of us, if we are doing that, again exponentially increase

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good lifting and climbing in the world.

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So.

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Would you come back another day, and we'll continue to see how we can spread

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some smiles, and some joy in the world.

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And also...

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really good wisdom, because you've got a lot.

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It would be my absolute honor to come back, Isabel.

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Yay!

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And I'll buy you coffee and sushi and anything your little heart desires,

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when we can actually meet in person.

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I'm looking forward to that moment already.

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All right.

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So thank you very much to our audience for listening, and I hope that.

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Some of our conversation.

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Our sharing today, has inspired some ideas for you, about

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your own influence and impact.

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Who's watching you?

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And...

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Who you can really make a difference in their life, in small ways, that

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are not a sacrifice for you at all...

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but really create a richer life experience for all of us.

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So in our show notes, you're going to have all of the opportunities

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to follow Loubna, contact her.

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Subscribe to her podcast, and just become part of this great movement of optimism

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and personal growth around the world.

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And...

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I look forward to talking to you again next week and...

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You just never know who else might be on this show.

About the Podcast

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

About your host

Profile picture for Isabel Banerjee

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