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Utilizing Worms and Laughter -Cathy Nesbitt


Utilizing Worms and Laughter

Cathy Nesbitt

Welcome to another episode of the Leave Better podcast where I interview high performers and business owners, gleaning from their wisdom, practical routines, habits, and mindsets.

In season 2 episode 40, we are pleased to have Cathy Nesbitt, founder of Cathy’s Crawly Composters, where she uses worms to compost everyday garbage into nutrient-rich fertilizer to help reduce the amount of garbage going to landfills!

In this episode, we learn why we need worms, how to overcome the fear of the unknown, and how to utilize laughter more to increase the joy in our lives. Enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts, or wherever podcasts are found.

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Remember: The actions you take (or do not take) today set you up for six months from now. Make sure you do something today that pushes you toward that next level of you.


The transcript of this episode.

[00:00:42] Behind the Worms
[00:03:59] The Ups and Downs
[00:10:09] Going Beyond
[00:13:06] Bringing the Joy
[00:18:29] Laughter Yoga
[00:21:45] Caring for Yourself
[00:25:58] What’s Next?

Where to Find Cathy:

Cathy’s Crawly Composters




Music by Tom Sherlock  

Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

All LeaveBetter Podcast episodes can be found here.


Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts, or wherever podcasts are found.

head shot Miriam Gunn

If you are curious to know more, please contact me!

As someone who has been a therapist for over a decade and has been coaching people for over three decades, I am uniquely qualified to address your concerns.

Utilizing Worms and Laughter Transcript – Cathy Nesbitt


The Crawley Composters: Why We Need Worms – Cathy Nesbitt

Kathy Nesbitt

Miriam: [00:00:00] All right folks, today I am happy for this interview. It’s gonna be super fun. It is with Cathy of Cathy’s Crawley Composters.

Now, in case you’re wondering what this is, I was just charmed by her application to be on the podcast.

We’re talking about worms, folks. Composting worms, , and I love that Cathy has made a a viable business out of this.

You’ve been in this for over two decades, so I’m excited. I wanna just say welcome and let’s see where this conversation takes us.

Thanks, Miriam. I’m excited to be here.

So why don’t you give us a tiny background as to how you got into the business of worms.

[00:00:42] Behind the Worms

Kathy: I’m located, nor just north of Toronto, largest city in Canada. And in 2002, our landfill closed and Canada’s pretty large country, second largest I think, in the world. And we couldn’t find a place to site a new landfill. Can you imagine? So we started to export our garbage to the US.

Sorry.[00:01:00] A thousand trucks a week. Wow. And it, it’s just, it’s heartbreaking when I think about it. What a waste of like, shame on us as Canadians for shlepping our garbage out of the country, and double shame on the Americans for accepting our garbage for cash and not the people.

The decision makers like, right, who decided? Right. Come on. Right.

Miriam: Where is it going? Do you know?

Kathy: Well, now it’s, it’s finished now, but for it, it went on for, Hmm. I would say at least 10 years.

I just think we don’t, we don’t really think about stuff.

We’re like, oh, there’s room. Oh no, we, today’s load fit. We don’t have to think about it. And then it filled up. It’s like, the landfill filled. How did that happen? I didn’t see that coming.

Yeah. 6 million people. Right. Oh my gosh. Anyway, so what I’m proposing is indoor composting with worms. So 6 million people half live in condos and townhouses without space to do outdoor composting.

Miriam: So tell us a little bit about the the mechanics of it.

I mean, I love being [00:02:00] outdoors and I think worms are incredibly valuable. I know it’s pretty easy to have dead soil. I have tried some composting in some spaces and found out the hard way that. This isn’t working.


Kathy: Yeah. So composting is nature’s way to look after our organic matter, our food scraps paper, our, you know, weeds from the garden and it’s usually done outside. No special equipment is required. Maybe a pile or. A composter proper, a plastic thing or wood.

Okay. So it’s creating the right carbon, nitrogen, ratio. So the carbon is your browns, your, you know, brown leaves against straw, cardboard paper, and your, your greens is your nitrogen. So that’s the fuel. Your green leaves, your green, your food scraps from the kitchen. Your manures are all nitrogen rich, and it’s the microbes that actually do the work.

Okay, . So what I’m proposing is indoor composting the worms. And so what happens with the worm? [00:03:00] Same idea. They need a carbon, nitrogen, red mix. It’s in like a rubber made tote or something. Or if you have a compost, like a fancy system The carbon or the bedding is your shredded paper or your confidential docs.

Managing the Compost

Imagine. Make sure you’ve done your homework kids before you feed it to the worms. , , the worms ate my homework. , . And then a little bit of soil. Again, you’re adding the soil for the little microorganisms some eggshells water. Mix it all up, add your worms on top, and then when you’re feeding your food scraps, you bury the food in the beddings.

Make sure it’s covered so you don’t get fruit flies.

So more management is required in the house. So it’s aerobic process, meaning with oxygen, so it will, it, it shouldn’t smell like rotting food.

Miriam: Interesting. Well, I love this idea of all these people who are living in these condos and spaces.

This is actually a really brilliant idea.

Talk about the little ups and downs as you started to make a business out of this .

[00:03:59] The Ups and Downs

Kathy: Well, . [00:04:00] First of all, I chose a business without repeat customers.

Oh, no. What? How did that happen? Who was my business coach? Oh, there wasn’t one . That’s right. I remember now. That’s right.

Let’s hear it for the business coaches, . Right. Nobody would’ve said to do this business.

Thank goodness I did. You know, here I am. And I really think I needed to create the market. I didn’t know at the time,

And I also didn’t know that people don’t buy what they need. They buy what they want. ?


So many, I guess learning curves there,

you know, the worms ate better than I did at the beginning. That’s, that’s always bad. When your employees eat better than you when they’re worms , right?

 I thought I launched right into this thinking I have a solution for this big problem.

I’m gonna stop all those trucks from being exported to the US. Yeah. So we can use our tax dollars for something other than just shipping our garbage around. Like, what a great idea.

. I have a psychology [00:05:00] degree and now I’m a worm farmer.

Yeah. That’s really brilliant too. Actually it is cuz I’m curious about people. I love people and I’m fascinated. Mm-hmm. and . I’m meeting people as a, at a, as adults who were traumatized as children by a sibling or someone at the schoolyard after a reign by a worm being chased around with a worm. Interesting.

Understanding Worms

So if you’re afraid of something, you’re not even looking to that as a solution. Like, nope, you’re not looking, you, you’re not reading that article, . So, as much as I was pounding the pavement trying to get the message out, rah rah, you need worms. It’s like, no, no, no, no, I don’t like worms.

Miriam: How did you go about helping them understand, no, actually you really need this. I mean, 20 years is a long time to have been in business and most businesses don’t make it past, you know, the first year or two. So you’ve been doing something.

Kathy: A few things happened in the early part. I started networking and I met this [00:06:00] dynamic, oh my gosh, amazing woman. And I say that she launched me three years ahead of where I would’ve been. At the beginning, she was a connector. She suggested if you’re gonna do exhibiting, get t-shirts that have your name on and then on the back it’s got your website, so they see you coming and going.

And I was like, oh. And as a non-fashion person, what a gift. I was doing a hundred to 200 events. I still wear the same shirts today. Like I saved a wack-o- dough and, and I’m branded.

there. You, you go and connected. You know? So yeah, getting connected early on to people that could help me. It’s not, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, then you gotta prove yourself.

 She connected me to these people in the food and beverage industry.

Converting to Worms

I have composting, right? Rotting food is a problem. You pay a lot of money if you’re a business. Restaurants, grocery stores, universities, hospitals, they pay a lot of money to truck away all this stuff because it was the, it was yesterday’s dinner, but today it’s the devil . That’s right. [00:07:00] Yeah.

Miriam: Can you tell a couple stories of maybe some people who you were able to convert to your worm system

Kathy: I’ve converted many, many people and I would love to talk about how it’s not gendered.

If you love the garden, you love nature. You could be male or female growing your food, you know the value of the compost, and you probably love worms and I have probably 50 50 split of men and women.

Okay, so people will arrive. I live in a small house. I work from home, and when people pick up worms, . . If it’s a couple, they’ll both come in. And I have composters in my kitchen. And the one that is interested, they’re all excited. It’s like they’re picking up a puppy,  they’re like, yay, my worms, I can’t wait.

And the other one’s got their hand, on the door to leave . Mm-hmm.

and I, they say, you know, I’m just here supporting my, you know, boyfriend, girlfriend’s, spouse, whatever, whoever. And. And I say to them, then I speak to them cuz they’re like, yeah, I don’t really wanna do this, but whatever. I love them[00:08:00]

So then I say, oh, can you smell anything in the kitchen?

I’ll take them over to my composter and. You open it. It’s like, Wow. It’s counterintuitive. It doesn’t smell, it just looks like earth. And then I say, come and have a look.

Fearing the Unknown

And then I kind of get them to go s. Close and with their nose so that they can see that it, or, you know, smell that it doesn’t smell. And it’s so beautiful watching them kind of transform.

Yeah. And, and teachers. So I’ve had teachers say to me, oh, I’m afraid of worms. This is a cool idea. I would l Oh, the kids would love this, but I’m afraid of forms. What do I do? So I say, here’s what you. You get a worm bin in your class, , you have me come in, I’ll do a workshop, , and you get the kids to manage it, and then you let them know how ridiculous your fear of worms is.

Because it is, because fear is just the unknown. It’s a great teaching moment where you can say, I’m, I had an experience when I was a child, or whatever happened. That Why you don’t like worms. And then, but [00:09:00] they’re so beautiful, these worms, so I’m gonna let you kids manage the worms. And then eventually they overcome it.

And when I do my workshops, if the per, if the teacher has expressed interest in kind of overcoming that fear, Then I’ll say, I’ll ask them like, do you wanna overcome your fear? Because I can help you right now. And then I’ll get them to put their hand out. And they’re so afraid. Like they, you can see they’re, they’re tense.

Being a Worm Person

They’re really, they stopped breathing like five minutes ago. And then I put it in, and it’s just like they, they become spaghetti. They soften. They just are like, oh, and you can feel it moving. And they have five hearts. What’s not to love about that? Oh, and then you have life in your hand.

You feel it moving. It’s just, and they’re they, and then they’re over their fear. Then boom, that’s it. They’re. They’re taller. That’s it.

Miriam: You’ve converted them and they’re now a worm person. So I assume at some point you were like, oh my gosh, this is the best. Everybody needs worms. And you [00:10:00] probably were giving worms to everybody initially, and then at some point you thought, Hey, wait a minute, this could be a business. Where did you go beyond workshops with kids?

[00:10:09] Going Beyond

Kathy: I was working at a group home with challenged adults. They had 10 homes on a farm, and I thought I had come home.

so when I, when they It was 24 7 facilities. So they had a lot of food waste and they didn’t compost. And, and as an avid gardener and compostor that’s one of my superpowers is I see food waste everywhere.

 I approached them about that and they said, ah, we don’t need fertilizer because we have cows. , but you have a vocational program on a farm where these challenged people come to do work.

I don’t know why people can’t see what I see.

I worked 14 hour shifts. It’s not even legal anymore. But it was so great for the client because they would wake up and there we would be. Yeah. And when they went to bed there, we would be just that one staff change.

I was bringing home the food scraps from that house. So there was nine people living in the house I worked at and so I was bringing home 30 or 40 pounds a shift. [00:11:00] Food waste and just tossing it in my comp. I know. Well, right? Yeah. Yeah. So just tossing it in my composter.

 When the greenhouse manager said, what about worms? I got that feeling, Ugh. , but then I thought, let me do research.

So I started to research and I was like, oh my gosh. Second introduction, right? Sometimes the first time we’re like, Ooh, no. And then the second time was like, oh wait, maybe. Mm-hmm. .

The Red Wigglers Worm

So when I started to research the Red Wigglers, they eat half their weight per day in food scraps.

They turn garbage into black gold. They nourish the soil. They have five hearts each. A group of them is called a squirm. I mean, I just was like, and my fear went from oo to oh.

And so I set up my bin, it was August and there was two companies in Toronto and I was, they didn’t have worms. They’re like, no, we don’t have worms. And I was like, oh, can’t get red wigglers in Canada. Year. Curious and it was time for my outdoor composter to be emptied and I’d be adding [00:12:00] all that food in there.

And so I take my last bucket of stuff, dump it in, and then I open up the trap door at the bottom. I’m taking the stuff out. Holy moly. There is a mass of red wigglers right in my backyard. Compost.

Wow. What? Right. Like I couldn’t buy them. They were waiting. Right. So many signs I was put on earth for this

Changing for Joy

Thank you for letting me share that story cuz it, it’s, it really takes me back to, oh my gosh, 20 years ago.

That’s, that’s what happened. . That’s what happened. That’s how, that’s how, so I grabbed them, I put them in my bucket,

that was the seed stock of my business. Wow. And then I got, then I got injured at work,

 When I started my work life, I said like, I, never staying in a job that didn’t serve me. We spend so much time at work, I better love it.

And so I, I changed jobs a lot and, and I never stayed in a job that didn’t serve me. I feel so, so happy about that part of my life that I honored that I said that, and I did it. I never [00:13:00] stayed.

Wow. Even if like, even if it was hard, even if it was like, I don’t know what I’m gonna do, but I can’t stay here.

[00:13:06] Bringing You Joy

Miriam: I appreciate what you’re saying. I don’t remember the exact statistic, but it’s like some ridiculous amount of our adult life, like 77% of our adult life is spent at work. And if it’s not serving you and you don’t love it, what a shame.

I think something that’s interesting is not everybody would want your life, but you want your life. You know what I’m saying?

Not everybody would want this particular business, but it’s clear, it’s bringing you so much joy, which I think is amazing.

Not everybody would want my business.

And you look at. Various businesses along the way and people and lifestyles. It’s so important that you find something that brings you joy because we only have one life folks. We only have one life, so let’s act accordingly and make good decisions.

I have to back up.

You said a group of these little red sliders [00:14:00] are called a squirm, which I believe is your Twitter handle, right @ squirm. I love that.

Kathy: I, wasn’t a child thinking I, I’m gonna be a worm farmer. A worm farmer, you know,

I grew up in a hospital- clean house. Yeah, like with lots of chemicals and like it was clean

let me ask a couple clarifying questions. What do you do with all the wonderful black gold dirt that your worms make? Do you sell that?

We Need Worms

I do. Nice. I do. And I, I do wish that, that if, you know, if anyone’s listening, thinking they would like to have a worm business, we need more worm growers and we need all aspects of this business.

We need people to grow the worms, which I was doing, selling by the pound. We need people to create the soil so you’re not selling worms, , because if you sell the worms, they’re the workers. They’re, they’re the ones making right. So I would suggest going into a business selling the compost because we are.

Maybe not going out of our conventional farming, you know, our [00:15:00] chemical agriculture, but I, there are more people returning to organic methods and compost is really one of the key components to permaculture.

Miriam: I think at least where I’m living, I’m seeing a resurgence of an interest in organic everything.

And if you go to the store in the spring and you buy organic soil, it’s about $15 for a 20 pound bag. It’s a lot of money for a 20 pound bag, and it’s in plastic, which always makes me ask the question, okay, so you’re putting my organic soil in this plastic bag, how I’m, I don’t know what’s happening, but I can’t imagine as it sits out in the sun and bakes that this is a good thing.

So anyway, yes. On onward with this. So you sell the worms, you sell the soil, do you sell kits? Like to make the whole thing? .

Kathy: Yes. I did have this kind of, it was like just a Rubbermaid tote, but it had my company name [00:16:00] on it. They were manufactured, and then I went up to a  layered system that looks like a stool.

Personal Story

And we were the Canadian distributor. I mean, a beautiful story about how I met this engineer the first year of my business. He’s about maybe two and a half hours drive from me, and he ordered 50 pounds of worms my first, like, month or two of business. And I was like, I did my little happy dance. I have a business.

I’m in business. 50 pounds. Are you kidding? Wow. So instead of sending them, I drove them all the way to London. So I drove five hours to deliver this, this about my profit.

I didn’t know. I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to meet this guy that wanted 50 pounds of worms .

That’s awesome.

And I didn’t know that he was the manufacturer of a. Tower composter. It was called a worm Chalet at the time. And then he, so he asked me if I wanted to [00:17:00] carry this composter and I did.

And then 20 12, 1 more person said, Ooh, worms in the house. and I heard it. It hit my heart and I was like, oh. I started to question everything, like, why do I care? Why doesn’t anyone else ? What you know? Why don’t I just get a job? It’s gotta be easier. Like this is ridiculous. Living my life, always chasing the next customer because I don’t have repeats.

Yeah. Once you get worms, you got worms, , right?

The Power of Laughter

Oh, so then, and then the very next day, the universe is a fascinating place if you pay attention. The very next day I was, I was introduced to laughter yoga at the place where I wrote my business plan. I didn’t have a, a coach, but I did write a business plan and where I wrote my business plan, they had meetings I would go back and talk about media and you know, how I was doing in my business.

And so they had this laughter- yoga woman do a five minute introduction. I was like, laughter yoga? Wow. I don’t even do yoga. That same week I was at a [00:18:00] networking event hundreds of people. The very first woman I met was a laughter yoga teacher. And I was like, oh. I said to her, laughter yoga’s mainstream .

And she said, no it isn’t. And so we t trooped around together and I said to everyone, have you heard of laughter yoga? Have you, have you? Have you nobody had? And I was like, holy cow universe.

And here’s another thing, she, this was Toronto. She had a monthly laughter club that was five minutes wa five minute walk from where my mother-in-law lived.

[00:18:29] Laughter Yoga

Miriam: Just, can you explain laughter yoga? Just Yes. A little bit. Yes. So that we have, have an idea. Mm-hmm. . Absolutely.

Kathy: So, started in 1995 by a medical doctor. It’s, it’s just laughing for the health of it.

It’s not doing yoga and laughing, it’s laughing. There’s no jokes or comedy there is like, Little games that you play and there’s clapping and chanting, and the clapping is you clap palm to pump. So you’re activating the [00:19:00] meridians and the rhythm is 1, 2, 1, 2, 3. And the words are very easy, ho ho, ha ha ha,

And that’s, you know, for the natural laughers, you don’t need priming. You just love to laugh. So going to a laughter club, it’s like, okay, how fun is this gonna be?

But for those that are very serious, And especially during this cuckoo time, there’s more and more serious people around that are living in fear. You know?

They’re so tense. Yeah. Yeah.

The la the, the clapping gets them in. So you start by, you know, you start the thing by saying, ho ho ha ha ha. And everybody’s doing it, you imagine in person. Mm-hmm. . And it’s so magic. It might start off simulated where you’re like, I don’t know what’s happening here.

But then you, then it becomes real and, and as we’re laughing, we’re secreting all the love drugs.

dopamine. Mm-hmm. , oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins.

You get your daily dose when you laugh. Yeah. Versus cortisol and adrenaline when we’re stressed. Yes.

Miriam: Something I don’t know that people really realize [00:20:00] is how contagious some of these states are.

Social Contagion

Anxiety is extremely contagious and so is laughter and it’s, I can imagine what you’re talking about that initially it is semi- forced or mechanical, and then it becomes organic and natural and you end up with a bunch of happy people leaving that space. That’s pretty cool. Non-drug induced.

Kathy: We’re in charge of our own pharma, in fact. Yeah. We get to choose what we’re secreting, right? We’re either secreting like either we’re sympathetic or parasympathetic.

Sympathetic means cortisol and adrenaline. Parasympathetic. They love drugs, you know, and it’s kind of, I, I didn’t understand, of course, I have a psych degree. I love biology and all that stuff, but I never really understood sympathetic and parasympathetic. Why is laughter the best medicine?

Why does everyone say that?

Mm-hmm. . And, [00:21:00] and so as a laughter teacher, I incorporate tapping E F T and emotional freedom technique. I know speaking letters brain gym and other healing modalities to just to help people get out of stress and into joy. I really want people to live like I am. . Yeah.

And I, you know, like you don’t have to wait. I live everything by prevention. I’m living my life. I wanna be healthy. I wanna live to 110 or 115 or, but I wanna live to that age and not just to just get there.

I wanna be vibrant and still living in my house and cooking and doing my own laundry still and driving, I st. I want all those things. Yeah.

In order to get those things then means I need to take care now. Yes. Yes.

[00:21:45] Caring for Yourself

Miriam: Which is a perfect transition into self-care. I think that that’s something that’s important to you.

Talk about what it means to be preventative and to take care of you now in a way that then you have what you [00:22:00] want.

Kathy: In 2002, my very first exhibiting event, I met a man that was selling a super simple sprouter.

And I didn’t know anything about sprouts or sprouting and they were flying off the shelf. He was a professional ballroom dancer .

He was 72 at the time and I was amazed that, you know, he was 72 and still working. Cuz I didn’t know really about being an entrepreneur. I was just launching into that. But I was young and.

 He was just so, so vibrant and so vital and, and 72. And so he told me about Sprouts and so I said, wow. I’m in, I’m, I’m gonna do it too.

And. So he said, if you’re gonna, if you’re gonna do this, start your day with two tablespoons of the sprouted mung beans every day for the enzymes, up to a hundred times more digestive enzymes in raw sprouts than raw vegetables. Wow.

I mean, in plus fiber, protein, minerals, everything our body needs, they’re hydrating, alkalizing, [00:23:00] regenerative Biogenic, and the enzymes.

And you can grow them for pennies a day. You know, like you just buy the seeds, have this little, the grower helps. I mean, you can sprout in jars or paper towel,

 I was like, oh, maybe worms and sprouts are gonna solve world hunger. And so I’ve been sprouting. For 21 years as, as long as I’ve had my worm business and, and every day.

Being the Hero

So starting my day. So again, 2012, I seem to go in 10 year cycles. 2012. Tony, Tony I saw him at an event and he was like, Hey. Oh, so he was 82.

Wow. So he was still working at 82.

He said to me, why don’t you sell this SP sprayer and beans with your business? And I was like, oh my gosh. That’s a great idea. So then I started selling the sprout. The sprouter and the beans.

And then people would ask, what else can you sprout?

Their question would be, don’t you get sick of mung beans? And, and then it hit me, oh, people think of this as food. I considered it my health plan. [00:24:00] I considered it my multivitamin. Yes, this is something I do for me.

I wouldn’t go without them any a day. So then I said, oh, huh, that’s a great question.

Here’s one back. Would you, would you get tired of something that that made you feel great and gave you tons of energy?

And you know, that question is interesting cuz people do love their story. Oh, I’m so tired. Oh, I worked so hard.

And they love that they were the hero. They, they did the job. They drove the kids everywhere. And they did all the jobs even though they were Oh, so tired. Because we, that’s our society. We’re like, look at them. Go rah, rah. No, we’re, we’re not. We don’t need to be rocky. Like we just need to take time for ourself.

If you’re tired, sit down.

Choose a Better Story

Miriam: That’s interesting. What you’re saying when people love their story, there’s something noble, I’m gonna put that in air quotes, noble about being overworked [00:25:00] and you know, just running, running, running the martyr. I think there’s a story about the martyr and how somehow in the end they’re the winner because they gave everything and I, what I hear you saying is, no, let’s get rid of that story. That’s a bad story.

Let’s choose a better story to live in. How about we take care of ourselves in such a way that we feel joy, and feel energy and have some good connectivity with some good people and occupation that feels meaningful or worthwhile or like we’re doing good.

That’s what I’m hearing you say in these various stories.

Kathy: Exactly. That’s it. I mean, what I’m doing for my businesses is my life. Yeah. I know for some people there’s separation and that’s fine, but for me, there really is not. Yeah. It’s, my husband and I, we’re in this together.

We’re, we’re thriving here. We’re, we’re doing really great.

[00:25:58] What’s Next?

Miriam: Kathy, [00:26:00] I’m getting sad because we’re gonna have to be done pretty quick here, but this has been so much fun. What do you think is. Like if you had to anticipate or what is your “what next”?

Kathy: My big what next is teaching.

 Teaching folks with Down syndrome to be laughter yoga leaders so they can lead laughter for their demographic. That’s where my heart is. I have a really soft spot.

And you know, that, that vision came to me in the summer of 2021. And since then, I. So many things have happened I called a woman who I network with and I knew she had a, a daughter who had Down syndrome, but I had never met the daughter, but the daughter was the one that appeared in in my vision.

So I said to her, this is gonna be a weird call, but , here we go. And I told her, she said, I’m always open for things for Tori.

In Canada we have a ridiculous program that when young folks with special needs are [00:27:00] 21, they’re out of the school system. And then they get placed on O D S P, which is a disability pension, which is a ridiculous amount of money that they could never live on independently.

And if they. It’s clawed back from the meager money that they give. It’s like, well, they don’t care about money. They wanna be part of community. Really? Mm-hmm. , that’s what everybody wants. Mm-hmm. . So I think it was from there.

Fan Full Access Network

And so this young man started this organization, organization called Fan Full Access Network. And he’s taking folks that are high functioning because he wants to introduce them into the community and do things in the community and let people see them and, and, you know, hire them and let them be a part.

So he loved my vision.

It was May 2021 till December, 2022, every Friday I went and did Laughter Yoga with those folks. Wow. And it was so beautiful. I, you know, there was one, [00:28:00] one Young, there was several of the folks had Down Syndrome, but there was a, a whole variety of Diagnosises, I guess sees, I would say

And one guy was just like, he was the cool guy and I thought if I could get him to co-lead with me, I was like spying him to be the one that I was going to to teach. But he, whenever he stood beside me and wanted to lead, The others followed. The others participated more fully because they saw Eric there and I was like, it’s powerful.

And I said to him, you’re powerful. Just know that you have this incredible power that people look up to you.

Being an Amazing Force

Miriam: That feels like a really important place to sort of underscore somehow or other, you manage to find the magic of reaching people who need to be reached, and you understand that somehow you are the conduit to find the person and teach the person, train the person who [00:29:00] can be the leader.

You’re not actually interested in being the leader. You’re interested in being the teacher and the facilitator.

And I love your vision. I love what you’re bringing to people, and I did not expect that little twist and turn from our original conversation about the worms.

People are so much more than they think, and I, I love that you would be willing to share your life with us in this, you know, 40 minutes that we’ve had together to see what an amazing force for good in the world. You are.

Thank you for the work you’re doing on multiple levels, and I hope that we have the opportunity to remain in contact. You’re a fun person, .

Kathy: Oh, Miriam, I appreciate it. Thank you.


End Credits

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts, or wherever podcasts are found.

Full audio episode found here.

Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

All Leave Better podcast episodes can be found here.

Music by Tom Sherlock.

head shot Miriam Gunn

If you are curious to know more, please contact me!

As someone who has been a therapist for over a decade and has been coaching people for over three decades, I am uniquely qualified to address your concerns.

Becoming an Entrepreneur – Greg Hickman


Becoming an Entrepreneur

Greg Hickman

Welcome to another episode of the Leave Better podcast where I interview high performers and business owners, gleaning from their wisdom, practical routines, habits, and mindsets.

In season 2 episode 39, we have Greg Hickman, owner and founder or AtlAgency who helps consultants and digital agency owners productize their services, monetize their knowledge and systemize their operations.

In this episode, we learn how entrepreneurs grow through overcoming cognitive distortions, operating with fear, as well as defining your success. Enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts, or wherever podcasts are found.

*Before you go—Sign up for my newsletter at Leavebetter.com.  Once a week, wisdom and practicality in your inbox.

Remember: The actions you take (or do not take) today set you up for six months from now. Make sure you do something today that pushes you toward that next level of you.


The transcript of this episode.

[00:00:44] Greg’s Success
[00:03:25] Becoming an Entrepreneur
[00:07:35] Gambling vs. Being an Entrepreneur
[00:10:36] Self-Sabotage
[00:13:25] Getting a Therapist
[00:15:17] Cognitive Distortions
[00:17:35] When is it Enough?
[00:20:02] Turning Back Time
[00:23:42] Your Own Playing Field
[0027:23] Admitting What You Want
[00:31:54] Output and Input
[00:35:10] Focus on the Little Things
[00:38:09] Where to Find Greg

Where to Find Greg:

Greg Hickman


The Alter-Ego Effect

Music by Tom Sherlock  

Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

All LeaveBetter Podcast episodes can be found here.


Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts, or wherever podcasts are found.

head shot Miriam Gunn

If you are curious to know more, please contact me!

As someone who has been a therapist for over a decade and has been coaching people for over three decades, I am uniquely qualified to address your concerns.

Becoming an Entrepreneur Transcript – Greg Hickman


Becoming an Entrepreneur – Greg Hickman

Greg Hickman- AltAgency

Miriam: [00:00:00] Hey friends, today I am super happy to have Greg Hickman with us today. He is someone, I’m gonna be as bold to call a friend. I took a class from him in the fall with his company, alt agency. Their mission is to help every agency owner or service provider basically create a situation where they can provide abundantly for their family. They help you productize your service so that you can just do a better job getting it out to the people you serve. 

So anyway, I loved the course. It was super fun, Greg, and I’m so appreciative that you’d be willing to spend some time today with us. 

Greg: My pleasure. 

[00:00:44] Greg’s Success

Miriam: Excellent. So I think where I wanna start with this is you are in a space where you’re, you’re someone I would call pretty doggone successful.

You have gone from a place, I mean, you’re in a multi-million dollar business at this point, and it wasn’t always that way. So I would [00:01:00] like to hear a little bit of your journey from how you thinking about what it is that you help people with 

Greg: yeah. So I kind of fell into what we’re doing now. I was kind of an ex agency client- side brat, if you will, who left the agency space after the better part of a decade or two decades. And. I started using a tool called Infusionsoft, which is like a marketing automation tool, I had been researching, you know, growing a business and stuff like that, listening to podcasts. And came across like, you know, online entrepreneurship and a handful of people that were actually using this Infusionsoft tool.

I was like, wait, these people inspire me. I could help them. And so I kind of became like my, my own agency was really like behind the scenes of these like [00:02:00] influencers, if you will, authors, speakers, coaches building out their like marketing automation, their webinar funnels and all that.

what happened was we, like, we were like most agencies that at least we talked to now, like full capacity, don’t really have the bandwidth yet. We’re not making as much money as we’d like working nights and weekends. I was on a sales call and like really could help the person, but like just didn’t have the bandwidth, like no more hours left in the week and I said, look, like.

Doing it Yourself

I have a wait list but I can show you how to do it yourself. And I charge him 50% of what we normally charge to do it for them. he was like, I’m in. And I got off the call and I was like, what the heck just happened? ? Yeah. Yeah. I’m like, I don’t even know what, I just sold this person. Like I just sold him that I’m gonna show him how I do what I do.

So I met with him a couple times. I gave him, Stuff that I had built over the years and examples, and he just went and did it and he like loved it. I was like, wait, there’s something to this. 

And [00:03:00] then did that enough times and people like yourself, other agency owners, other service providers just started like, Hearing about it from me, talking about my own journey on a podcast that I had and and YouTube.

So we kind of like hung the agency hat up, if you will, and kind of went all in on, on training others how to productize their service. And we’ve been doing that since 2017.

[00:03:25] Becoming an Entrepreneur

Miriam: Let me see if I’ve got this right. Yes. So, at one point you worked for someone else, like you traded your hours for money for someone who was your employer and you were like, This kind of sucks. I’m done with this.

Yeah. And you went out on your own still doing the same skillset. You were doing it for the entrepreneur. They would come to you and say, I need funnels, I need this, I need that, I need marketing. And you said, I’m your guy and you did it. 

Greg: Before I went outta my own, I, my last employer was Cabela’s. I [00:04:00] was the head of their mobile marketing department in their digital marketing team. And so that was like my last like employer. So we had been working with, Outdoor retail. And so when I went out on my own, my first like attempt at working for myself was, well, I’m just gonna help the smaller Cabelas do what I did for Cabelas.

That was really difficult because independent retail is like 10 years behind. Everything. And so like, it was really difficult to get really any traction. I was kinda like stuck at like 5K a month and like hitting my head against the wall when the, the automation thing for the online entrepreneurs thing happened.

Learning Curve

So, The first go was not pretty, and the second go was a slow start, so, right. It wasn’t just automatic. 

Miriam: Okay. I just think that people need to hear that because there is some something in our, I think potentially the fact that there is Google and YouTube and you can look anything [00:05:00] up makes people think, eh, it’s not that hard.

No, it actually is really hard, you know? Yeah. In some places, and there’s a learning curve and I, what I hear you saying is you knew you hated working for someone else, and you’re like, why can’t I not do the same thing that I do for them? Why can’t I not do it for me? Then you found out there’s a bit of a learning curve there, 

how did you coach yourself through that space of, first of all, it’s super scary to leave a business where you are being paid and your insurance is being taken care of. Oh yeah. And then you’re like, I’m gonna start on my own. I mean, I assume at that point you were married and had had little people.

I know you have little people now. No. So 

Greg: no little people. I actually Proposed to my now wife, sold my house and quit. Quit that job at Cabela’s all within a matter of three weeks. Wow. And that was 2013. So I finished out the year with Cabela’s in [00:06:00] full-time on my own 2014. Okay. And have been, and have been since.

Build the Other Side

So like, I was living in Denver, my wife my now wife she was just finishing med school and was gonna be matched, if anyone’s familiar with that process. Like, so she was likely going to be anywhere in the country, but Denver. And so the market was really good and I sold my, my hou, my, my.

That my nice six figure salary from before was giving me As, and I used that as like a safety net for going out on my own. I had some side business. It wasn’t like a, a full leap, like some stories, I was generating some money on the side enough to like cover my rent and most of my expenses. But I also had the, the savings and safety net from selling selling my home.

Which was a bold move. I wish I did not in hindsight, while I, I don’t say I regret it, but like it would be worth way more now cuz it was in like a , [00:07:00] it, it was in an up and coming area in Denver. Sure. And it blew up and it’s like, man, I could have gotten a lot more if I held on . But nonetheless I was anticipating having to move somewhere across the country.

Then my wife matched, matched here, so Course, but it still was that, it was definitely nice. Mm-hmm. , knowing that I had that, like a runway that I knew would last me a couple years. Yeah. 

Miriam: Which I think actually is super important. I always tell people, build the other side of your bridge that you’re gonna walk from A to B.

Yeah. Don’t just leap without a parachute because that is called gambling. That is not called entrepreneurship. 

[00:07:35] Gambling vs Being an Entrepreneur

Greg: Yeah. . There, there is a, there is a point where like you need to kind of draw the line especially if it’s like I. Drags out too, too long. Yeah. Because if the side thing does pick up enough traction, it will create a lot of friction.

And there is still that little bit of a leap of like, well, this thing isn’t gonna grow anymore than it is unless I have more bandwidth to put towards it, and that bandwidth [00:08:00] gonna come from me leaving the thing that is currently safe. Yes. Which is why for me, having sold my house, it was like, all right, like I have.

Nest to. Used if needed, which was definitely used . 

Miriam: Yeah, yeah. No, I appreciate you saying that. The, I think that we don’t talk enough in the entrepreneurial space about the fear. Fear that can really pr keep you from making the move you need to make. Sometimes the fear is wisdom and it keeps you from making the move that will destroy you. 

But there is a space where if you’re really gonna do it, you have to say, okay, what do they say? I’m gonna burn my ships. I’m burning the ships. Yeah. Burn the, yeah, burn the ships. 

Greg: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. I mean, I think you just have, if as an entrepreneur, I think like you just have to learn how to operate with a certain level of, certain [00:09:00] level of fear.

Operating with Fear

Because like, it’s not gonna go away. Like there’s still moments where I’m, I, I operate out of fear sometimes. And I know people well ahead of me that would agree. So it’s like, it’s not like, oh, when I’ve reached x I won’t be afraid. Like that’s that’s a fantasy like you’ll be afraid of something at some point.

And yeah, so it’s like, okay, cool. Like I just have to learn how to operate with a little bit of that in my life, however, yeah. 

Miriam: That feels like wisdom. 

Greg: Yeah. One thing that I actually just shared this earlier in, especially around like the, the leaping part or like finally you know, the, the example of like, Tarzan, like you ca, you, you gotta let go of the, the last vine to reach the, the new one.

Like, there’s that moment where it’s like you can’t be just holding onto both, you know? Yeah. And if you think of like two, like a Venn diagram, like two circles overlapping and one is fear [00:10:00] and one is excitement. Like that the overlap, that sweet spot I think is actually like, The perfect place because if you are if you’re all fear and zero excitement, I would say that you’re not ready.

And then mm-hmm. , if you’re all excitement and no fear, I would say that you’re probably not taking whatever the thing is serious enough, So you kind of need a little bit of both. 

Miriam: I would agree with you in not only just business, but also life, that that plays out in a lot of other things like relationships or big purchases or, oh, for sure.

[00:10:36] Self-Sabotage

Miriam: Let’s talk about maybe some self sabotaging mindsets, thoughts or behaviors you saw in yourself earlier in life.

How did they hold you back? How did you address them? How were you released from them? 

Greg: If I’m honest, I am not fully released from them. They still find their way in and out of my life. That’s a good question. I [00:11:00] mean, I think one of my mentors, Dan Martel he, he calls him entrepreneurial hand grenades.

It’s like you have something going well and then like you kind of just throw the grenade and blow it up and start from scratch because you. You feel comfortable in the phase from starting to where you were at, where you decided to self sabotage. It’s like, because going to the next level is uncomfortable, there’s uncertainty you don’t know.

And so I feel like that’s usually where I’ve found myself wanting to potentially self- sabotage. 

So once I kind of learned and realized and became self-aware of that the biggest thing I did was just surround myself with other like-minded people, which came by the way, of investing in coaching programs and masterminds and being around other people that would understand what I was going through and would be a like a filter for, Hey, this is what I’m feeling and thinking.

This is what I’m [00:12:00] thinking about doing is in any way does this sound like I’m self sabotaging? 

Outside Perspective

You know, like, and I had that conversation two days ago, like me calling someone saying, this is what’s happening. This is what I’m thinking about doing. Is this a dumb idea? Like, is this, does this sound like I’m retreating or does this sound like, I’m like thinking about this with a, like with a, with like, you know, a smart mind.

And you have to like, run it through because, you know, you can’t see the, what is it? You can’t see the label from inside the bottle. So you gotta, you gotta be able to get external help from someone that gets it, I think. So I’m definitely guilty of it to this day for, 

I don’t think this should not be talked about, but like I started seeing a therapist and she introduced.

The concept, which was very new to me, cognitive distortions. She sent me this list of like the top, I don’t know, 11 cognitive distortions. And I was [00:13:00] like, within seconds of reading each one I had like an example and or a re like very recent story of me doing the thing that I just read. I was like, I operate, Like this almost is like an operating manual for me.

What is going on? This sounds horrible, but like it all started to make sense. Like I didn’t know what these things were. So now understanding that those are there, and again, having someone to talk to about it has been like extremely helpful. 

[00:13:25] Getting a Therapist

Miriam: Yeah. I appreciate you saying all of those things.

It takes a certain amount of humility to be able to say, I’m gonna get someone else’s eyes on this and hear from them, not get defensive, not push back, not tell them why they’re wrong, not make excuses, just hear from them. Yeah. And see if they have a different perspective. You know? That’s what I hear you’re doing with your mastermind groups, with your Yeah, yeah.

Mentors. And I also, I mean, I am a therapist also as well as a coach, so I, I can appreciate what you’re saying and I understand cognitive distortions we all [00:14:00] have. Yeah. Yeah. 

Being Humble

Greg: And I, I would argue, actually tweeted it this morning cuz I was talking with a friend about my therapist and I was, Now having, and I’m, I’ve, we worked, me and my wife, we worked with a marriage counselor once for a little bit.

It’s like, that was like up until now my most recent, I’d say, dealing with a, some sort of therapy. I’m only like a month and a month or so in, so still very new, but like three calls, it’s like the exercises, like you had really has you seen things differently. It just kind of dawned on me like this morning in this conversation and I.

Man, like so many entrepreneurs are like out here looking for a coach when like, they should probably go get a therapist. Like, yeah. And like it’s, and I still haven’t, not quite nailed the difference. But like, I think there’s a need for both. And so, yeah, I mean, to have the skills of both in one is, is pretty, is pretty sweet.

But yeah, I mean super, super insightful. I mean, [00:15:00] introspective yeah, it’s. I think much needed for most entrepreneurs should probably have a therapist, in my opinion. 

Miriam: Can you share, I mean, you said there’s like this whole list of cognitive distortions.

Can you share a couple that stick out to you where you’re like, ah, I do this all the time, or whatever. Yeah.

[00:15:17] Cognitive Distortions

Greg: Totally. Lemme just pull up that list cuz there were a lot of them and I, I’ve looked up a couple different times and some of them, some places label the same thing with a different label, so.

Sure. Overgeneralization so overgeneralization when you overgeneralize something, you can take an isolated negative event and turn it into a never ending pattern of loss and defeat. 

Miriam: Yeah. I mean, it’s always this way. 

Greg: Perfect example. One client says something bad, all of my clients hate us. , Uhhuh, , Uhhuh.

Like that’s a, like all the time. Yeah. 

Jumping to conclusions. And like the people listening, if you’ve never even heard of cognitive distortions, like, which I didn’t, but like I’ve heard of jumping to conclusions. Sure. Like when [00:16:00] you look at that as, people operate this way, like, and how like toxic it could be personalization.

Things in Your Control

So lead you to believe that you’re responsible for events that in reality are completely or partially out of your control daily.

One of them was, and this list that I’m looking at has a different name for it, at least I’ve not found it was like, like all or nothing or something like that. Like, or black.

Black and white. Mm-hmm. where it’s. Looking at everything as like either or, and it can’t be like situational or so yeah, I definitely, oh yeah. All or nothing. Polarization or all or nothing. All or nothing. Thinking totally. Like when you engage in thoughts of black or white with no shades of gray, this type of cognitive distortion is leading you.

Yeah, I’ve definitely felt that. Leads to extremely unrealistic standards for yourself and others that could affect your relationships and motivation? 100%. I mean, I can’t think of an entrepreneur that probably hasn’t thought about that. 

[00:17:00] Like if I don’t make x million. My business is a failure. It’s like, okay, well what about like a half a million, less than that?

Are you still a failure? Like why that number? Like it’s like, it’s like it has to be that thing and there’s like no real, it makes no sense. Yeah. But I do that . I’ve definitely been guilty of it. 

Miriam: Well, I’ve seen this in businesses where if your revenue doesn’t go up every single year, you’re a failure somehow, even though you’re making more this year than.

Year and when is it enough? And most people don’t have any answers for that. Yeah.

[00:17:35] When is it Enough?

Miriam: You know, yeah. I was doing some consulting in a company and they had one of those little charts that shows your revenue. It was like 5 million, five, 6 million, 7 million, 15 million, 17 million down. And the last one. Went off the chart, the other direction. Mm-hmm. so it wasn’t the 5 million. And they were all like, oh my gosh, we’re all gonna lose our jobs. We’re failing, we’re [00:18:00] whatever. And I’m going, what?

What was your projected growth for that year? And it was something like 12 million. What did you guys make? 77 million. I don’t think you are failures. yeah. Yeah, because you know this weird, that is a cognitive distortion, right? There is. If you’re not always going up into the right, oh, I guess we suck.

Yeah, totally. Yeah, 100%. 

Magical Thinking

So do they have one on there called Magical Thinking? That’s what I always see entrepreneurs doing. 

Greg: Not on this list, but it might be called some, it might be called something else. 

Like, yeah, my wife, my wife likely won’t listen to this, but she does one also. It’s called Always Being Right

That, that’s on here. So, yep. What you, what you just thought? Your wife being your wife is actually a cognitive distortion. So you guys should all sleep well tonight knowing that , that your spouse might have cognitive distortion as well. 

Miriam: Yeah, I was gonna say, I, I think that [00:19:00] that can go both ways, Greg. Yes.

Well yeah, I think this is a fascinating topic and I’m so glad you brought it up because it isn’t one that I’ve talked about on my podcast before and it is one that plagues entrepreneurs everywhere and honestly just human beings. Yeah, for sure. It’s, it’s why it’s the thing. So let’s, let’s switch this, the topic just a little bit.

Hmm. If you were to turn back time, what would you say to younger Greg and at what age would you say this based on what you know now? 

Greg: Man, that’s a good question. I would say what I would probably say is make sure you define what success looks like and feels like for you. Mm-hmm. and like have it written down, . So I would definitely say that. And what was the second part of the question and why? 

Miriam: Well, first, why, why would you say that? The, the second part of the question is h at what age would you tell, would you [00:20:00] go back in time to tell that version of you?

[00:20:02] Turning Back Time

Miriam: You know, some of these things we gotta know really early and some, maybe a little later in life. 

Greg: Yeah, I mean, I would probably, I wouldn’t go back as far as I like, part of me wants to say like 20. . Okay. For the record, for anyone? Listen, I’m 40 , so like, I don’t know, like when I’m like in the wor early, early stage workforce, like trying to figure out what I want to do.

Yeah. I met my wife. True adulthood. 

Yeah, yeah. You know, like you were a, when you’re actually starting to think about what you want and what you care about. Yeah. So I think. Somewhere in my early twenties. Early to mid twenties. 

Miriam: So you would say, Hey, let’s, let’s define younger. Younger me. Let’s define what success is so we know what we’re chasing.

Yeah. Tell me how your ideas of success have shifted and changed from 24 to 44. 

Greg: Oh, easy. They’re mine and not somebody else’s . [00:21:00] Yeah. 

Miriam: So what did it look like when they were somebody else’s? Well, It was a lot about what people had and like what I thought their lifestyle looked like, or how big their business was, like random, arbitrary numbers things like that.

Or certain maybe accolades or recognition, blah, blah, blah. And what it is now it’s more about Peace. And I’ll even read some of them to you because I have a little document that I read in the morning that reminds me of what it is. 

So success to me the business is big enough and profitable enough for me to hit my money goals and my team to hit theirs.

What is Success?

I can wake up every day and ask, what did, what would I like to do today? My passive, and I put passive in quotes, revenue income exceeds my lifestyle. I’m working on projects that excite me and allow me to do my best work. I can disappear for several months with no effect on my income. There are no whiny people in my life.

I have no [00:22:00] time. There are no time obligations or deadlines. And I work with great people making great things being a good example to my children, Sarah, my family team and peers as a good husband, leader, mentor, and life- liver. Having a marriage and life that inspires our children and even family and friends around us to be better.

Having a team that is winning at life, not just in business. And then happy clients that share how we’ve helped without asking, and even sometimes when we do. 


Being in Competition

So that’s like reminders of what, like, and for anyone that just listen to that, please recognize that there’s not a single number or dollar sign in any of that.

And or item or item, you know, material thing. Yeah. So yeah, I think that’s like the huge swing. And you know, to your point earlier, like YouTube, all this stuff, I have been, so, and this is very recent for me too, like, and I’m still working on this all the time. Cause I think it’s, with the way that our world [00:23:00] works and our, like, the amount of information at our fingertips, I think it’s very easy because it happened to me for us to blindly adopt someone else’s goals and or definition of success and operate as if they were our own.

Which is weird because you end up feeling at least like I did that you’re like in this race and you’re losing. Then you didn’t even realize you entered the race. Like you’re like, you just feel like you’re losing and like competing and you’re like, I never knew that I was in a competition. . You know? And it’s a pretty crappy feeling.

[00:23:42] Your Own Playing Field

Miriam: And what’s actually interesting. If I can I don’t know if you know of or heard of Todd Herman. Mm-hmm. He wrote the, the Alter Ego Effect okay. Or the ALT and New York Times Bestseller. He’s a high performance coach, worked with a lot of like professional Olympic athletes and entrepreneurs, and he’s one of the [00:24:00] first entrepreneurs to, or first people to teach entrepreneurs the way that he teaches people in sports.

He tells this story of he was working with like a famous athlete, I forget what sport, and he made the comment that coaching entrepreneurs is like infinitely harder than coaching an athlete. And the athlete like who is I think played in Wimbledon, it might played in like, like you, we would all know the person’s name if he had said the name.

That’s how well-known they were. It was shocked that it was harder. Do mental fitness, mental performance for an entrepreneur than an athlete. And the reason was so insightful, tied to just this, was he goes, when you step on the, the tennis court, the net’s already up. The lines are already on the court and you, and you know the rules of the game.

Most entrepreneurs jump into business. They never drew the [00:25:00] lines for their own court, their own field of play, and they never made the rules. Like so they just went out there and were figuring it out. And yeah, it’s like, how do you, how do you win a game? Or how do you at least feel like you’re making progress if you don’t know the rules?

Drawing Your Own Lines

Like you don’t even know what strategies to use if you don’t know the rules. So you could be going down some tactical rabbit hole using the wrong strategies simply because you don’t know what the rules are, and or what’s inbounds what’s out of bounds. And so like that really hit home and it was.

As entrepreneurs, and I think honestly just in life, like we need to draw the lines of our own field of play and make our own rules because we live in a time where we can, which is great. And like then play by them because if we’re just like bli, like blindly operating and we see ourself losing, like that person might be playing a different completely different game and have a different strategy than [00:26:00] you.

You probably shouldn’t even follow it . And so like, but yet you compare yourself as if you were losing compared to them, but you never kind of defined your own field of play. Like that was like, man, like I was operating that way. You see someone saying, I have a whatever figure business, and you know, X employees and served blah, blah, blah, featured in blah, blah, blah.

And you’re like, that’s what I need to get to or else I’m not successful. And then like, when I really think about it, I was like, man, if I could take Fridays off, which I do and I can mountain bike two to three times a week when it’s not snowing, I. I get to drop my kids off and pick them up every single day from school, which I do.


I’m like, that’s winning to me. I’m like, wait a minute, I’m, I’m already successful. , like, yeah, like I’m there, like I’m doing it. And so I don’t know if that’s just like getting older and you just cuz of wisdom and then also having kids. But. Yeah, like my definition and my of that and my desire of what I [00:27:00] want is has changed.

And one other thing that he said, sorry, I’m on a rant, is that, you know, cuz this was happening in a mastermind that we’re all in and one of them posted like the leader this mastermind posted. The most difficult thing arguably in life is to know what you want. And Todd replied and said, actually, it’s not knowing what you want.

[00:27:23] Admitting What You Want

Miriam: It’s admitting what you want because you’re afraid of what other people will think of you —if it’s what, not what they want, or something that they might think is not that great. We’re actually thinking like that.  He goes, what we need to do is obviously not worry about what other people think, and this is something I was getting hung up on, maybe this all or nothing, cognitive distortion, the mm-hmm.

He’s like, we all go through seasons of life. I’m like, I was making decisions. well, if I gotta do this in five years from now, here’s what I gotta do now. Sort of, sort of behavior. And he was like, you know, it’s [00:28:00] okay to want what you want right now and not have to tie it to like, like permanence.

Like, like you can want what you want for this the next two, three years of life as a season. And guess what? Your kids go to school, you’re gonna want something different and you’ll be in a different season and you’ll have different motives to go pursue that. He’s like, stop making decisions as if the decision you make now and or the thing you want now is something that you’re gonna have to say you want forever.

Like disconnect from the forever thing because that’s not how it works. Like you can want something for the next three years and then want something different. And I was like, oh my God. Like took the shackles off. It was like so purine. Yeah. But yeah. I think that’s why I would say that to myself because for years I was just like, probably felt way worse about myself than I really needed to.

Comparison and Individualization

Yeah. Well it at the heart of all of that, that you’re talking about it, it has to do with [00:29:00] comparison and individuation. This ability to say, I’m gonna compare. the me of today to the me of yesterday instead of the me of today to the you of, you know, whatever. If I compare myself to you, we’re, we’re in completely different places.

You’ve been in your business twice as long as I’ve been in mine, and we are chasing different things, et cetera, et cetera. And so how do we become okay with comparing the me of today to the me of yesterday? Like there had to be, I’m sure it was gradual. Space in you of what you wanted not only became more clear, but also you became better at not comparing to the other person.

Do you have any kind of thoughts on how it is that you made that transition? Yeah, and I’ll still, again, honesty, still struggle with some of the comparison stuff. Yeah, we all do writing it down. Yeah, writing it down. I mean, like I literally, for those that aren’t watching a video [00:30:00] of this, I read off of a document that is called My Morning Ritual Document, and it has a bunch of bullets for daily reminders some bullets around my immediate goals, and then those bullets that I read to you that were my definition of success.

So it’s like, I feel like every morning, and I don’t do it every morning, but I do it most mornings, just whip open my phone and I read it on my phone. I’m having coffee. It’s like my, like daily recalibration of like, hey, like let me start from a place of like, I know what game I’m playing. Remind myself of the rules that I’m playing by.

Having Your Own Goals

So that when I know that I scroll on Instagram and I see the thing that I don’t wanna see or not that I don’t wanna see, that then could influence that. I’m like coming from a place of like, I started grounded. So that’s one. Write it. Which shockingly takes time. Like the, so making space, like disconnected, like on a pen and paper.

Ideally to go right, like on some of these things. I think as busy entrepreneurs, I mean, it’s so much easier just to like, [00:31:00] oh, I’ll take what she has and I’ll adopt that goal. And that sounds nice, like scrolling through Instagram. I like that heart, that bookmark, that that’s gonna become my belief.

It’s so easy to collect other people’s goals and beliefs and like not create and define your own because it takes time and it takes work and we’re busy, you know? So it’s like you gotta like pull yourself out and disconnect and like spend some genuine time trying to do that. And I think that’s kind of when I finally just said, okay, like I need to do this.

It really started. Coaches, mentors, therapists active conversation, because this is not like a set it and forget it thing, like it’s, you know, every day. Like, you’re, you’re, you’re on the battlefield, you know, you gotta deal with these things. So that’s helpful. I unfollow, like if I’m on social media which I try not to be on as much, but like Instagram, like I love Instagram, but I don’t follow anymore.

[00:31:54] Output and Input

Miriam: A lot of business people. That’s like where I follow, like all my mountain bike [00:32:00] outdoorsy type content that like lights me up and inspires me. Not like, but if I scroll by anything on Facebook, Instagram, that is someone else. And I catch whether they’re like, by the way, I do this with some of my friends, like peers, mentors were like, I, I catch myself feeling bad about myself or less than from their message, which obviously has nothing to do with and everything to do with me, I will unfollow them. Or like in, in Instagram, you can like mute people for 30 days. I use that feature all the time, like mute for 30 days.

 let me see if, when it comes, when it comes back up, if I’m still feeling that way, mute ’em again or unfollow or unfriend. And just like cleaning out the input, right?

Things to Look Forward To

Like our output’s only as good as our input and so I gotta, I like really try. and I go through waves just like anyone. Throttle that and like filter that and, you know, [00:33:00] constantly pruning what are my inputs. So that’s like the tactical things that, that I did that, that helped me. One other thing that I did which I may or may not have told you on one of our calls,

I, and I don’t know how this this necessarily ties to it, but it, it helps me. I try to have something on my calendar every 48 hours that like, I’m looking forward to, that’s like not business related. Mm-hmm. , whether that’s like a, a workout or like going for a ride or we’re having, you know, x, y, z friend over for, you know, dinner date night, you know, oh, this, we’re gonna watch this movie this night, this week.

Like I try to have something.

Still related as much as possible. Some of those things that I look forward to are entrepreneurial, but yeah, having that on my calendar is really helpful. What’s your best guess? I love this idea. You’re the first person who’s mentioned this kind of frequency. What’s the, what’s your best guess as to the 48 [00:34:00] hours?

Little Doses

Like I’ve heard some. Influencers say, you know, every 90 days, make sure you have something relatively big to look forward to. Why, why 48 hours? I mean, I don’t think it takes a, like, I don’t think it needs to be a big thing. So I don’t know. I’m a believer of like 1% better every day. And so like, like I know me like this morning.

Something that I’ve been experimenting with just in the last like 60 days is like, I’d rather work out six days a week for 20 minutes than work out three days a week for an hour. Or two hours. And so like, I went in and I picked three exercise, four exercises, and I did five sets of bunch of exercises.

I was done in like 18 minutes and I feel good. like I yesterday and I’ll do it again tomorrow. And I don’t feel like I’m, like, it fits with my schedule right now. So like the, the, the little, the little doses for me. Work really, really well. 90 days is long. I mean, it’s [00:35:00] not, but it is . And like I do have big things that I work on, but I don’t know, like the big things are made up of a lot of, a little, a lot of little things , so, yeah.

[00:35:10] Focus on the Little Things

Miriam: Yeah. Why not focus on those? I love it. I, I mean, I think that there’s something to that it reminds you that your life is more than your business and it, you’re getting, yeah. You’re stacking up small wins that you know will work for you. I unfortunately am paying attention to the time and realize we probably need to draw this to a close.

But one, one fun question, then I’ll let you, you know, share how people can find you. This is kind of a weird, is a Tim Ferris question. In the last six to 12 months, what have you purchased a hundred dollars or less that you’re just like, oh my gosh, I love this thing. Oh man. I feel like I have the king of $100 purchases in the last six to 12 months.

Yeah. I really, this is like [00:36:00] six days this. Is arguably the best water bottle that I’ve ever had in my entire life. A wallah, I bought two of them, a 24 ounce and a 32 ounce the like mouth lid for those listening, I’m like showing the water bottle right now. It’s like 24 bucks I think on Amazon. Some YouTuber that I follow did a review on it and, This is the only water bottle you ever need.

I need a new water bottle. Done. Amazing. I’m gonna give you one more just cuz it’s I also love it and it was tough to decide. There’s this company called Uug Monk and they have this thing called analog. I’m a huge analog fan meaning just actual the word analog, like not digital, but they have this tool called analog and it’s this little wooden tray and they have these to-do card.

Under $100 Purchases

It’s like you put the date on top and you write your to-do list and there’s a little stand and you can have it right in front of you. And then it’s a tray that has all of them inside and they have one. They have ones that are white that say to-do or today, and then they have ones that say next.

And they have ones that say [00:37:00] someday and it’s a little magnetic. I think it’s like, Just over a hundred bucks. But like I take my to-do list and I put it for the day on here and I close the digital to-do list because I like feel so much better crossing things off. And there’s a little note, like kinda like notes grid on the back.

I love this thing, like, and there’s a little travel pouch you can get for it. If I travel, like I bring a couple blank ones and I write my to-do list on there. I love it. It’s clear. You, I mean, your voice got excited. Your face lit. Yeah. It’s, and for people who are listening, it’s so, I like look at it.

Yeah, it’s, I mean, it looks like it’s black walnut. It looks really attractive, so yeah. That’s, that’s fun. They have a couple different. Okay, I’ll put it in the show notes just because I just think it’s fun to see. One of the problems with algorithms is you see more of the same, and unless you have someone you know like give you a different idea, you don’t, you just see more of the same.

So it’s kind of fun to hear what other people are buying and thanks for those [00:38:00] ideas. For sure. Under $100 purchases. I make a lot of them.

[00:38:09] Where to Find Greg

Miriam: Oh my goodness. Well, before we have you share how people can get ahold of you and look into your program and stuff, I just wanted to mention, you know, before we got on, I talked about how we like to do a donation in your name just as a thank you for your time and the charity you chose is best Friends.

Best friends.org. They are really committed to ending senseless euthanasia in animal shelters across the US by 2025. They’re gonna do it. I mean, I’m looking at their numbers. They’ve been at it for about 15 years. I’m so excited I get to interview the c e o next week. Her, that podcast will probably land maybe a month from now, but Anyway, we’re gonna do that in your name, and thank you for your time, Greg.

And why don’t you just tell people how they can find you? Super simple. I would say, if you [00:39:00] want more of what I was talking about I have a YouTube channel where I release a video every single week. And the fastest way to get there is just go to greg’s videos.com and it’ll redirect you right to my YouTube channel.

Or you could just Greg Hickman on YouTube and you’ll find. That’s so fun. Greg’s videos.com. How many people have that u url? Well, just you obviously just me, but yep. It’s good. It’s good. Well, Greg, it’s super fun to just see you again and again. Thank you for your time and wisdom.



End Credits

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Music by Tom Sherlock.

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If you are curious to know more, please contact me!

As someone who has been a therapist for over a decade and has been coaching people for over three decades, I am uniquely qualified to address your concerns.

Saving Animals with Best Friends Animal Sanctuary- Julie Castle

julie castle with best friends

Saving Animals with Best Friends

Best Friends Animal Society is a place that provides animals safety and a sancuary. They beleive every pet has a story and each one is worth saving. They work hard and strive to acheive no-kill across the entire country. It all comes down to the small and simple acts that helps save animal lives. Everyone deserves access to loving pet, and pets deserve a loving home. Learn more about Best Friends at  www.bestfriends.org

best friends

Behind Best Friends

Where did Best Friends Come From?

Best Friends Animal Society is an animal sanctuary that works to provide homes for homeless pets as well as work to achieve no-kill across the country. Animal shelters began to pop up after people stood up against hiring bounty hunters to grab animals and kill them as a method of population control. This was a terribly inhumane way to control the situation at hand which was homeless animals and pets. Shelters were people’s way of providing more humane treatment, however, the killing was still happening, just behind closed doors. This method of population control went on for decades.saving animals

Then Best Friends came along. They asked the question “Why are we doing it this way? Why are we thinking about the best ways to dispose of our best friends, rather than trying to save our best friends?” Best Friends became the beacon of light in this broken system. 

The Mission and Strategy

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary has built a strong team and continues to try to improve. Julie gives us some insight into how they built and maintained a great team. People need to understand why they are here, why they are helping, and what they are focussed on. This provides a “why'” and can instill motivation and passion. This is the foundation, that is the first step. The next step is empowering your team based on that vision, that “why”. They are going to create their own roadmap to success. They become their own problem solvers once they know the direction they are going to go. This ihelps the team grow which in turn helps the organization grow. This has provided the opportunity to achieve their vision and mission.


saving animals

No Kill 2025!

What Does “No-Kill” Mean?

According to the Best Friends website, in 2021 about 355,00 dogs and cats were killed in our nation’s shelter because they didn’t have a safe home to go to. Best Friends wants to change that. They are leading programs that provide support and training for animal shelters and rescue groups, as well as getting the community involved. Aminals deserve to have happy homes all across the nation.

The “Big Fix”

Part of the initiative to end the senseless euthanasia of healthy animals has to come down to having fewer animals to begin with.  Animals deserve to have a loving home. If we don’t neuter animals, then it leads to more animals than we have homes for. One of the first mobile spay/neuter clinics started in Utah and it would travel around offering discounted services to communities in Utah. This spread awareness and got people to more fully understand the why behind spaying/neutering your animals. This provided many people with opportunities in helping to stop the “hamster wheel” and reduce the amount of pregnant females that would give birth to animals that may not have homes to go to.


Keeping Up with Breeding Cycles

One of the hardest things is to keep up with breeding cycles. If you go into a community once a year, you’d be wasting money because you can’t keep up with the breeding cycles. Every community has different demographics. Some communities have more animals than others. It all comes down to targeting. It’s about formulas and following the data and being smart about the resources you have. The resources have to come from the community. Look at how the shelters are doing in your community by using the Pet Lifesaving Dashboard! Go to bestfriends.org and find your state and community and see how your shelter is doing and what you can do to help!

best friends

saving animals

Being a Woman CEO

nThe Woman’s Role

We live in a society that has core foundational issues when it comes to women and the woman’s role especially in the workplace. Julie explains her experience in Best Friends. She started in the mail room and did virtually every job in the organization until she became the CEO because it is a very matriarchal organization and always has been. However, there is a certain collaboration that comes with women leaders. It is less about a sprint to the finish and more about the essence of stongers together. We are not saying men who are leaders don’t have these attributes, but there are certain things that women do that should be celebrated more and valued more in the workplace. 

Environment of Kindness and Generosity

Women have this ability to create an environment of kindness, generosity, love. This is not to say that men aren’t capable of that, but it seems to be women’s innate nature. That why women are mothers and grandmothers. It is the nurturing side of humanity that creates a beautiful environment. These are the qualities that are hard to monetize in a capitalistic society. Most of the time people are chasing after that almighty dollar and they don’t appreciate collaboration unless it addes six or seven zeros to the bottom line. It might not be the most direct route, but it is the most sustainable route. 

Investing in the Culture

When you think about life, you go through high school, maybe college, you graduate, you get your first job. Then you work from that point forward until you are 67 or 70 and you are spending most of your waking hours with a group of people that you don’t really have a choice over. Then you retire and you maybe have 10-15 years left. It’s kind of a sour view of life, but that means that where you chose to work and where you work should be incredible. The experience there should be one of respect, kindess, generosity, where you feel safe and where you feel like you are truly taken care of. That is Julie’s number one goal in being the CEO of Best Friends. They were on that everyday. When people feel that way, they show up and do their best everyday. That is the outline of the Best Friends culture.

saving animals with best friends


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If you are curious to know more about how I can help you achieve your business or life goals, please contact me: Miriam@leavebetter.com

As someone who has been a therapist for over a decade and has been coaching people for over three decades, I am uniquely qualified to join you on your quest for seeking the best version of you possible.