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Emotions and Entrepreneurs

Emotions and Entrepreneurs

If you are an entrepreneur or someone who is entrepreneurially minded, you know the complicated dance you have with your emotions. I write this as a business owner and human—one full of emotions that influence the decisions and actions I take.

Throughout this article, I am including techniques that I have found useful. I hope you do as well.

Entrepreneurs are a Different Breed

We all like to think of ourselves as rational beings, and we are, when we are calm. But get us excited, angry or confused and clear-headed thinking gets left on the sidelines.

How many of us have regretted things we said or did (or didn’t say or do) because of some emotional experience that caught us like viscous mud, slowing or stopping our better judgement?

As a licensed therapist and coach who has worked with entrepreneurs, business owners and high performers for the last three decades, I have seen incredible ideas get side-lined because of their owner’s emotions.

Male and Females, Entrepreneurs and Emotions


Interestingly (and certainly not always) it is often the male entrepreneurs that struggle with what they say and do and the female entrepreneurs struggle with what they don’t say and do. 

I’m actually going to contradict the sentence I just wrote, because men and women tend to react to certain emotions similarly. However, men have a tendency to feel anger in a direct manner and women have a tendency to shunt anger into depression.

Maybe a better way to say this is that heightened emotions like anger tend to create negative actions like hurling insults, prematurely firing someone, canceling an effort. Or destroying inventory or ending a relationship. These are actions that are clearly visible and directly attributed to the anger. 

Other emotions such as depression or anxiety tend to create inertia, paralysis, confusion and placating. Sometimes you can see a direct line of reasoning to something difficult and these lack of actions and sometimes it is less obvious.

Like the elite athlete, the entrepreneurial psyche is not the same as non-entrepreneurs. Something that I repeatedly hear from my clients is, “I tried meeting with a therapist, but they just didn’t get me.”

And I would say, “They thought you were too driven, right? Like there was something wrong with you and you needed to ‘tone it down,’ right?”

“Yeah, exactly.”

Therapist or Coach?

This is an ongoing conundrum with mental health and extreme anything—athletes, business owners, entertainers, high performers. These types of people want more than most humans. They want to delve into their own potential. They want to reach their peak performance. At the extreme ends, none of this sounds “healthy” to the average therapist.

This is why so many of these unique people choose coaches. Because they want someone to help them turn their volume up, not down. And yet, they are human, with all the same needs for sleep, relationship, self-esteem, security, and challenge that “regular” people have. 

Because entrepreneurs and high performers usually do much more than the average person, the kinds of pressures that they deal with are out of the ordinary. Sometimes a quick minute of mindful breathing can ground you in the middle of that stress.

Here is a quick overview of ‘mindful breathing.’ This is something you can do for just a few minutes and it will regulate your nervous system. For a quick calm, take a couple minutes to recenter. But for longer lasting help, practice this daily for 5-19 minutes.

  • Sit or lie in a quiet place.
  • Keep your back straight; close your eyes.
  • Focus on your natural breath.
  • Notice the air entering and leaving your nostrils or the movement of your chest/abdomen.
  • If distracted, gently refocus on breathing.

Unique Pressures

As mentioned earlier, entrepreneurs and high performers experience pressures that many people with a normal 9-5 have never even thought of.

For example, here are some of the stress points of some of the individuals I have coached: 

      • Directly overseeing multiple budgets that exceed high 8-figures. 
      • Having 500 people who depend on you for their paycheck. 
      • Having thousands of people report to you. 
      • Manufacturing or product procurement that spans international rules and regulations and supply chain issues.
      • Running out of capital and your product is so close, but it still doesn’t work. Soon, you will have to tell everyone that works for you that you no longer can pay them.
      • Trying to raise millions of dollars to keep the initiative live and moving forward.
      • Having your marriage really struggle or die while running your company.
      • Having your children cut you off while trying to keep all of the balls in the air.
      • Revenue going from high  $XXM to low $XM over a few months.



Entrepreneurs have all the same stressors that ‘regular’ people do, but in addition, they often deal with 100’s more details than their non-high performing counterparts. 

Their emotional struggles impact a significantly greater number of people. For any entrepreneur who is even remotely self-aware, this becomes a heavy burden. Knowing that their decisions and actions (or lack of actions) ripple out so much further than just themselves or their immediate family can create intense pressure.

I am not saying that entrepreneurism is bad. As one myself, I love the challenge, the ‘game’—life, to me, is so much more interesting owning a business. 

I have spent hundreds of hours being a Trusted Advisor to many entrepreneurs and owners. Hearing their struggles. Helping them navigate that lonely space of being the one where the buck entirely stops with. I do know when you have someone in your corner, it makes the load feel a little lighter and it is easier to see possible solutions.

Self Care

Some other ways to help increase one’s resilience in the face of pressures: self-care. It may sound trite, however, taking time for one’s self allows a break from the pressure and allows your physiology to ‘reset’. If you say, “I’d like to do that, but I simply don’t have the time.”— I’ll leave you with this idea:

You either take time to prevent illness or illness makes you take time. (Mental and physical).

Take time for a walk, a short nap, listen to music, get a massage or do some yoga or go for a run. All of these activities give your brain a moment to unplug and to remind itself that your business or dream is not you. It’s a huge part of you, but it is not your sole identity.

Uncoupling these can help you gain perspective on the pressures you experience.

Emotional Regulation Pro or Con?

I want to bring up the Steve Jobs and Elon Musks of the world. There isn’t a therapist on the planet who would say the way they treat(ed) people at times is/was ok. Here is the sticky wicket: They treat(ed) people so harshly in the name of getting stuff done and they DID/ DO get remarkable things done. Things no one else could do. 

I just finished reading Walter Issacson’s biography on Elon Musk. When Elon went into Twitter after purchasing it (now known as “X”) he intentionally set out to dismantle their culture of ‘psychological safety’. He said that it slowed down momentum and made people passive (my words, not his) and that it interfered with people really challenging each other toward greatness. It is reported that Steve Job acted similarly.

What do you think?

Do the ends justify the means?


There is a line somewhere between acting civilized and regulated and the energy that it takes to galvanize people and get them moving. The people who accomplish great things often abuse or trample those beneath them in the name of getting things done.

I look at athletic coaches who goad and scream at their proteges, or the military berating their enlisted. 

I simultaneously understand why there may be a need for this and yet fundamentally don’t agree with treating people this way. Like the ends don’t justify the means.


Enough of the larger ‘out there’ examples. Let’s bring it closer to home.

Regulating emotions


For the average business owner—what happens when you don’t regulate your emotions?

Your spouse leaves. Now your kids hate you. Your employees quit. Your business may be successful, but you know it would be MORE successful if you could control your emotions.

Yelling, breaking down doors, ghosting people. Leaving the room in a huff and slamming doors, medicating with alcohol. Overdosing on medication to make you calm down or sleep, buying the next big showcase item. These are all ineffective ways I’ve seen entrepreneurs try to manage their stress and deal with their emotions.

I’ve also seen much more subtle versions of emotions calling the shots toward poor management of the individual and the company.

For example, I have seen several CEO / Owners refuse to fire someone that was actively hurting their company because they were family or a close family friend or a (once-upon-a-time) close friend. 

Sometimes they know they need to kill a product, but they’ve invested so much time and energy and money into this venture that they feel like to eliminate it is to invalidate all the investment. So they keep throwing resources at it, knowing it’s not right, but feeling helpless to do anything about it. 

I have seen highly competent leaders fail to call investors, because they are afraid of their disapproval and they are ashamed to ask for more capital.

Trusted Advisor


As I partner with my clients, I regularly switch hats between Trusted Advisor, Therapist, & Coach. Usually ‘step one’ involves really hearing and witnessing the feelings. When someone feels seen and heard, they are in a much better place to figure out where to go next.

Often, the answer lies just below the feelings. If the emotions can be expressed in a healthy manner, clarity comes and actions become obvious.

One of my tag lines is: I create insight-to-action so that your next steps are inevitable and transformative.

Clarity begets actions.

You almost can’t help but take that next step, because it is so obvious to you now. Something that was once clouded under intense and confusing emotions.

Here are some small bullets toward creating emotinal regulation:

  • Recognize and name emotions.
  • Practice mindfulness and meditation.
  • Identify emotional triggers.
  • Develop healthy coping strategies.
  • Pause before reacting.
  • Practice self-compassion.
  • Seek support from others.
  • Reflect on emotional experiences.
  • Establish healthy boundaries.
  • Engage in regular physical activity.

The Crossover Emotions

It is not always issues with the business that create the headaches for entrepreneurs. 

Often the stress and involvement within a business creates issues within the entrepreneurs’ primary relationships, with their intimate partnership taking the brunt of the strain. If you Google divorce and business ownership, the general consensus is that owning a business is tough on your marriage. Divorce rates are said to be higher than in the general populous. 

I believe the non-entrepreneurial partner gets sick of waiting to be seen, heard, valued. There are so many crises in a business, especially in the beginning stages. Long hours and dozens of legitimate reasons to say, “Hey, I know we said we would do ‘x’ but if I don’t do this now, the whole thing is going to fall apart.”

The Unraveling


After enough of these conversations, the other person quits trying. And the relationship takes a downward spiral that often culminates in resentment, separation and sometimes divorce.

It doesn’t have to be this way—getting proper systems in place and having some accountability to not choose the business over the people you love—it’s more complicated than this, but at a fundamental level those two steps will help preserve and nurture your relationship with your loved ones.

Something that I have observed to be true: when your personal life is struggling, it is very difficult to show up as your best in your business. And, when your business is tanking, it is exceedingly tough to show up well in your relationships. Most people cannot compartmentalize these emotions. They tend to bleed out from one to the other. 

Business AND Personal


My clients often bounce between their personal life and their businesses in terms of the things we work on together, because they are inexorably intertwined. You really can’t have one not effect the other. 

The single-most useful intervention I have found with entrepreners is the formation of healthy boundaries. Boundaries are easier to talk about than they are to enact. It takes practice. Boundary formation is like a muscle—the more you do it, the better you get at it.

It take considerable skill to gain the clarity around what the boundary needs to be and then how to enact said boundary in a healthy manner that doesn’t harm those around you.

Here is where a therapist or coach (or both!) can really help you. A good book on the subject: Boundaries by Henry Cloud & John Townsend. They come from a religious perspective, but they do a good job of explaining what boundaries are and how to put them in place. Here is a podcast where I talk about managing time & money, also a form of boundary setting.

Entrepreneurs with Emotions Can Succeed

In conclusion, we all have emotions. How successful or unsuccessful you are in business and life really has to do with how well you harness these powerful feelings. Emotions give entrepreneurs thier drive and ambition. And they can also destroy those same ambitions. 

head shot Miriam Gunn

If you would like to explore what a Trusted Advisor / Therapist / Coach can do for you or your business, please contact me!

As someone who has been investing in people for over three decades, I am uniquely qualified to engage with your goals.

Managing Time and Money – Miriam Gunn

mangaging time and money

Some Thoughts on Managing Time and Money – Miriam Gunn

Whether you are an entreprneur or you work for someone else, if you wish to reach your next level, you have to learn to manage both your time and our money with a new level of proficiency beyond your current one. Setting yourself up for greater success by disciplining your choices, staying focused, and being proactive in terms of your actions regarding both time and money will pay your future self more dividends than you might imagine.

This article is derrived from a conversation I had with Kelly Smith on her show, the Podcast Launchpad. To listen to the full episode click here. For the transcript click here. 

managing time and money

The Undisciplined Use of Time

It is not uncommon for entrepreneurs to struggle with time management. We have a tendency to cram too many things in too little time, often believing that things with “magically” turn out in our favor.

Magical Thinking

Magical thinking is what is know as a classic “thinking error.”

Thinking Errors – also referred to as Cognitive Distortions – are irrational and extreme ways of thinking that are not grounded in reality.

Magical thinking occurs when a person believes that specific words, thoughts, emotions, or rituals can influence the external world.

For example, if you use magical thinking, you might think, “If I hope hard enough, I can make all five errends fit into ten minutes.” Or “I’ll have enough money to pay off that credit card by the time it comes.” Or “The customers will come if I wait long enough.”

It is not uncommon for each of us to utilize some form of magical thinking in our every day lives, but I encourage you to stand back and check your thought process, to make sure that you aren’t creating real damage to your forward movement with sloppy thinking about your use of time.

Rather than try to cram that last chore in before the meeting, I try to get into the car a minute early and pause—Did I forget anything?

I also try arrive to the engagement a minute or two early. This allows me to ground myself, rather than run in breathless and look and feel scattered.

Optimizing Time

There is always another layer to optimizing yourself and your use of time. That is what makes being a human being so incredible—we can always improve ourselves!

So maybe you aren’t a magical thinker, but there’s always another space of growth to be had. Until you take your last breath, there’s always something you can get better at or improve upon.

Maybe you take Sundays to look at your week and plan it out beforehand.

Perhaps you conduct a time audit and really look at where you are spending your time. You might be surprised.


Over the years, I have utilized many different time management systems. Presently, I color code my activities in my analog planner.

Pink for administrative. Yellow for product creation. Green for activities that make me money. Purple for seed activities that may make me revenue in the future. Blue for networking and friendships.

By doing this, I can tell at a glance how I am spending my days. It helps me keep my finger on the pulse of my business and life.

Staying Focused

One of the things that can eat up my time is ever-present distractions. It is SO easy to get distracted.

Sometimes I need to coach myself and tell myself that you can do it—I can stay focused. I can finish the task. Let me challenge you:

Push yourself a little bit.

Stay focused and take a break 10 minutes after you accomplish the next little thing.

Research is mixed about when you should take breaks, but you need to find what works for you.

What works well with your brain? Find out when your brain wants to take a break and make that work for you.

If you can stay in a flow for three hours without taking a break, do it. If you are someone that needs a break every 50 minutes? Be kind and give those breaks to yourself.

We are in the habit of taking direction from everyone outside of ourselves, but you know yourself best and know what you need.


managing time and money

The Undisciplined Use of Money

Talk About Money

Prior to coaching high performers, I used to do marriage counseling. One thing that I noticed (and is also supported in the literature) is that the two topics people fight about the most are money and sex.

This topic of financial resources and how they are allocated is stressful enough in a normal, two income family, however, if you are in business, the stress can get to a whole other level.

If you get yourself into a space where you don’t have enough money to cover your expenses, the stress becomes visceral because your team members, employees, and other people’s lives are involved.

I have seen things become dark and bleak for entrepreneurs in this situation. Sometimes taking your own life begins to seem like a viable option.

I’m here to say that nothing is worth that!

All these problems can be worked out no matter how many zeros are involved. Get some help. Go to a therapist. Find a coach. Find a friend. Don’t let something that is temporal (the situation) become permenent by taking such drastic action.

Understanding Your Financial Bottom Line

Let me encourage you to get in the habit of really understanding your finances and where your money is going.

There are so many people who are unaware of the actual status of their finances. They spend if they feel like it. If they have money in the bank, everything is good. But this isn’t necessarily the case.

I have observed that there are two different personality types in terms of how people think about money allocation: Lumpers and Splitters.

The Lumpers look at the bank account and if there is X amount of money in it, they are reassured and they spend.

The Splitters approach this differently. They split their resources into several different bank accounts and only if those accounts have money, do they spend.

I am a Splitter. I have bank accounts for everything. Health expenses. Vacations. Taxes. Auto Repair. Animal Emergency Funds. You get the idea.

There is no right or wrong here. However, either way, it is important to have a budget, personally and also as a business.



Here is a question:

What is your perfect scenario regarding money? Everyone has that internal ideal and it is different for everyone. It is extremely useful to know what your ideal is, because then you make decisions based on this principle.

For me, the ideal scenario is that I never have to make a decision based on whether or not I have enough money in the bank. I want to make decisions from a standpoint of —is this the right decision? Therefore, I need to have enough money to allow for my ideal.

What is your ideal scenario regarding finances?

Setting Yourself Up to be Proactive

You want to be proactive with both your time and money.

I have found that it is easier to become and remain “not stressed” than it is to talk yourself off the ledge, whatever it may be that created the ledge.

It is curious how willing people are to be in the dark regarding their life. They don’t know what is going on with their money and they don’t actually audit their time.

I have observed that as entrepreneurs get to a certain level, they start spinning off satalite businesses here and there and they begin to lose sight of who and what is supposed to be happening in each.

I knew one guy who lost over $13K, because he never invoiced his customers. His email inbox was overflowing.

You can’t run so fast trying to fulfill the business that you are not working on the business. (Which is a topic for another article).

Pay attention. What products are making you money? What products are costing you money?

Open your statements, create a plan, and take action.

Don’t put your head in the sand.


(This blog post was excerpted from a podcast interview that I did with Kelly Smith on The Podcast Launchpad. Click here to listen to the full interview.)

managing money

head shot Miriam Gunn

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.

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


head shot Miriam Gunn

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.

Why You Need a “Why” – Adam Tank

why you need a why

Why You Need a “Why”

Adam Tank is a entrepreneur who has found a passion for helping change the world in more ways than you can imagine. Finding his “why” helps him continue to change the world through water robotics, business coaching in prisons, and being a parent in the foster care system. Adam gives us advice on why you need a “why” and how to help you see people for who they truly are, challenge expectations, and become an entrepreneur.

If you liked this episode, check out Season 1 Ep. 26: Be the Change David Marquis and The River Always Wins  

why you need a why

The Water Challenge

The Big Problem

Adam was inclined towards technology solving challenging problems, especially in the water industry. He tries to bring products and services to the masses that are going to make a meaningful difference in people lives. When is the last time you thought about what it takes to get clean water to your house? No one thinks about that especially in developed economies. The infrastructure that brings us clean water and takes dirty water away is extremely complex. In the process, over 30% of the water that is treated for our consumption is lost in between the treatment plants and our homes. It either leaks underground because of buried pipes, or it is stolen or inaccurately measured. That is a big problem.


Our infrastructure is struggling. The things that were designed 50 years ago that made our lives incredible were never designed for the populations that we have now. 

Most of the pipes that were put underground were put in place in the 40s and 50s. They had about a 40-50 year lifespan. Now we are 70-80 years into that lifespan, and everything is breaking and cracking. This leads to more water loss. So, anything we can do to help the utilities, the ones in charge of delivering clean water to homes and businesses, is a win for everyone involved. Especially us as taxpayers.

Enabling the World

How do we enable the world to have more clean water? The way Adam is working towards that is working with a software company that designs this water infrastructure instantly using artificial intelligence. Previously, it would take hundreds, if not thousands of hours to design these unbelievably complex assets. However, with software you can do it in hours. It enables engineers, utilities, and people responsible for building this stuff to do it in a better, faster and more sustainable way. This brings water to the masses.



why you need a why

Business Coaching in Prisons

A Safe Space

We have all made mistakes in our life, we have all made bad decisions. We will continue to make mistakes and wrong decisions. We have all been hurt by other’s mistakes or decisions. However,, it is important to remember that the person is not their behavior. Being and creating a psychological safe space for people enables you to seperate the person from their behvior. You will realize that although the person is creating the behvior, the person and the behavior are not the same thing. We have the choice. We can choose to be whatever we want to to be. We have to allow a safe space for others to have that choice too.

Intimidation Factor

When Adam is in a prison, the first question the facilitator typically asks is “Who here is nervous?”. What you find is that in many cases the inmates are just as nervous, if not more nervous, to meet with you than you are with them. There is this sort of dialouge that is created in this environement that it is not a safe space to share your thoughts. There is no emotional connectoin.  

If you shared that stuff, you got beat up physically or metaphorically. However, when you walk in you realize we are all on the same page. We want to help each other. As much as you can help them think about the world in a different way, the inmate can help you see the world in a different way too.

Challenging Expectations

Expectations can put us into boxes that we may not want to be in, or at least stay in. Challenging them can be one of the hardest things to do. This comes through changing our mindset and realizing it is okay to live the life you want to live. You don’t need permission from anyone to just go do it. 

why you need a why


why you need a why

Foster Care

In This Together

If you are in a position where you can be someone who gives of themselves, of their time, their talents, energy finances, etc, then you should. You have one life to live, other people may not have it as easy as you. Why noth help others out? We are all in this together. It doesn’t matter where you are. Humanity, at the end of the day all wants the same things. We want to be happy, healthy, someone to love, people to take care of. That’s what go Adam into foster care. 

Having Kids

When Adam and his wife got married, they new they wanted to have kids, and start a family. However family could mean anything. There is a wide range of what a family truly is. They decided they had the resource to be able to help where they can so they decided to put adoption on the table. The more they got into adoption the more they foudn that the foster system is broken, and there is an unbelieveable need. They decided they had the space, the time, and the resources, so they decided to go for it. It turned out to be an amazing journey for them. 

Becoming Childlike

One of the biggest lessons Adam learned was to become childlike. In working in an orphanage in Mexico, he realized that you don’t need a lot to be happy. These kids don’t have a parent aroudn and are being taken care of by another entity. They had nothing, everything stripped from them. However, they were the happiest  kids on the planet. That goes for the kids in foster care. These kids of have come from the most hellish situations and they are just the happiest kids in the world. That just goes to show that no matter how bad it is, it’s going to be okay. There is always a silver lining. It is just all about perspective. In the entreprenuer world, there is not enough of that. You have to go back to “why are you doing this in the first place?”. So you had to miss a meeting. It’s not the end of the world. things are going to be okay. Regardless of how bad things may seen there is always something beneifical. There is always something you can move past, get over, and get through. 


Photo credits: Photo by Daniel Sinoca on Unsplash, Photo by Medienstürmer on Unsplash, Photo by Liane Metzler on Unsplash


head shot Miriam Gunn

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.

The Importance of Identity – Miriam Gunn

headshot of Miriam Gunn, Business Made Simple Certified Coach

The Importance of Identity

the importance of identity

Why Coaching?

When to Get One

When do you get a coach? Do you wait until everything’s on fire, and you really need some help, or is it when you have the self-awareness to try and get help sooner? Sometimes it is a mixture. I always say if you wanna learn how to play the piano or the cello or hit a baseball or whatever, you can do it on your own for sure. However you can like 2x, 3x, or 10 x that when you have a coach. 

the importance of identity

The Why

With a coach you can make exponential growth. Instead of one plus one. It’s 1, 10, 20, a hundred. Coaching gives you the opportunity to 10 x yourself. Sometimes people look at progress in a linear fashion and they’re moving along and they’re getting better and better at X.  Like for example, getting better and better at playing the piano. And sometimes a coach will come in and say, have you ever considered the cello? That person had never considered the cello, but maybe they’re uniquely designed for that, and all of a sudden they just take off.


the importance of identity

Importance of Identity

Imposter Syndrome

Self-confidence and imposter syndrome show up for everybody at some point in their life, and usually it’s when people push into that next level. I remember the first time I did a podcast. There’s the first time you do your own interview and there’s the first time you are interviewed. Each one of those come with these feelings of, “I don’t know if I know how to do this” and that’s imposter syndrome. Then you take the action and you learn from it and suddenly it doesn’t get you in that same space anymore. Then you end up having confidence and you end up having this ability to say “I can do that.” Because now your identity has shifted a little bit.

The Next You

Within business and high performing, whenever you wanna make a new leap into the next version of yourself, you have to work with your identity. The identity is weird because you’re not always aware of what’s happening in your thoughts. 


Some of these thoughts happen in a millisecond and you have to actually train yourself to hear what is happening between your thoughts. You have to get to the identity of I can make it happen. Some people have that identity in spades and other people have to develop that

Driving Actions

What are you thinking? What is your mindset? What are the values that drive your actions? Those are usually habits. I find that if you can get people to assess the actions they’re doing today that are contributing to the life they have right now. Those actions were usually created about six months earlier in terms of their view of themselves, their identity. It takes time to develop those but once you look back, you see the growth and changes you have made. That is what helps you change the identity to something you want it to be. 

the importance of identity

Changing Mindset

What Are You Thinking?

What you tell yourself matter. It impacts how you see yourself. What you think really impacts what you do. What you do impacts how you feel. What you feel impacts how you think. It is a cycle that goes around and around until something breaks it. Sometimes what breaks it is as simple as a question. Where do you wanna be in six months or a year, or five years, or 10 years? What are the actions that you need to do to get you there? What is the mindset that’s getting in the way of doing those actions?

the importance of identity

Action Then Confidence 

A lot of people want to feel confident first and then take action. However it usually happens in the opposite way. You take action and then the confidence follows. You need to take that first step. Even if it is just a small step, it gets you moving in the right direction. It may seem daunting, but it gives you that slight nudge to just start. Then determine what success is. Success is not determined by completing X, but by starting X. If it’s a workout, your success is not determined by, “did I work out for 40 minutes doing this or that?” The success is “did I change my clothes, put on my shoes and drive to the gym?” Did I start? Because usually if you start, your brain will say, you’ve already spent this time to get here, we may as well finish it.



head shot Miriam Gunn

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.

Ending Horse Slaughter in the U.S.

Ending Horse Slaughter in the United States with Christine Hajek

Ending Horse Slaughter in U.S.

Horse slaughter is not something many people think of from day to day. However, that is not how it is for Christine Hajek. She founded Gentle Giants, a non-profit that seeks to end horse slaughter as well as save as many horses from abusive and neglectful homes. 

ending horse slaughter

Gentle Giants

zThe Why

Christine grew up in a home with horses. As a small breeding farm, like most commercial equine ventures, the horses on the farm had to earn their keep. If they were not productive, they could not remain there. Which meant at the end of the horse’s useful, it was “liquidated” at an auction. This usually meant the horses did not go to a good home. Many were sold and slaughtered for meat eaten in Canada and France.

Not realizing this as a child, Christine was dismayed once she understood what happened to most horses at the end of their useful lifespan. This galvanized her desire to change this outcome, which brought her to creating Gentle Giants.

Her quest: to rescue, rehabilitate, retrain, and rehome.

The Mission

Rescue, rehabilitate, retrain, and rehome horses.

She and her army of volunteers and paid staff accomplish this through many different outlets.

Rescuing includes attending auctions and outbidding the meat buyers. Rehabilitating includes quarantining new horses to make sure illnesses aren’t passed, as well as assessments for injuries and other health problems. If they can be rehabilitated, they are. If they cannot, these animals are humanely euthanized while feeling safe and cared for.  


Retraining horses includes helping these horses learn of a new life beyond pulling a plow or a carriage. Many of these horses are then adopted after they exit quarantine and complete training.

How Do They Do It?

Equine resucue is a difficult endeavor, in part, because there are so many costs associated with horses and their equipment. Many people do not understand the scope of the problems that come with rescuing horses. Christine started Gentle Giants as a hobby, in her backyard, where she and her partner would rescue a couple of horses at a time.

As they started getting more and more horses, they soon realized this had became too much to do on their own. At this point, they didn’t need funding—they needed volunteers.

And with more volunteers, they soon reached a fork in the road and a decision had to be made: scale back, or incorporate into a non-profit.

They decided to become a non-profit, and Gentle Giants became it’s own official 503c organization. 

ending horse slaughter


ending horse slaughter

Scaling the Business

The Early Years

Christines prior career as a paramedic and firefighter gave her the grit and tenacity she would need in the creation of Gentle Giants.

She had seen professionals in the the non-profit sector regularly not be compensated adequately. There is the prevelant mindset that leaders of non-profits should be willing to sacrifice financial security or a competitive salary.

Gentle Giants pushes against this. Christine believes that people can still get paid well while doing good things in the world.

Initially, Christine felt that Gentle Giants should not have employees, only volunteers. However, she soon realized volunteers were not enough.

Business Structure

Non-profits are every bit as complicated, if not more so than for-profit ventures.

In addition to all of the normal business trappings, such as by laws and accounting, there is the additional stress of funding. Because you are not selling a product, you have to raise your funding.




So in addition to rescuing and rehabilitating these HUGE animals, there is the stress of continually getting the word out and creating financial partners who are also aligned with the vision of the non-profit. This can be exhausting and frustrating, as well as rewarding and enlivening. It’s both.

Social media creates it’s own pros and cons. It is an amazing tool to get the word out, but it also can trip an organization up.

A common question among non-profits: how much can you control the things your staff say? For example, if there is a sudden loss at the farm, you don’t want the staff to share that until there has been an opportunity to announce it.

These policies are sticky and necessary to help the business both stay true to its mission and succeed in maintaining good staff and volunteers.

ending horse slaughter

Horse Slaughter

Understanding the Problem

There are approximately 9 million horses in the U.S. and in 2020, about 140,000 horses got shipped to slaughter. That is less than 1% of the equine population.

Conversely, every year almost a million horses are euthanized because of illness, injury, and end of life decline.

This is the choice that responsible horse owners take.



An important clarification, Christine is not saying that everyone who buys a horse has to keep that horse until the day that horse dies. People can’t always do that, and that is understandable.

However, there are responsible option to rehome them or euthanize them, depending on the circumstance. Horses are feeling, sentient beings. 

Christine is confident that we could fix the problem if the equine community came together and refused to sell their horses for slaughter for meat.

She asks: what are the costs, and what does the care look like? If you can’t do right by it, then don’t buy it.


head shot Miriam Gunn

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.