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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.

How to Be a Productive Leader- Scott Fulton

scott fulton on how to lead

Be a Productive Leader

Scott Fulton

Welcome to another episode of The LeaveBetter Podcast  where I interview high performers and business owners, gleaning from their wisdom, practical routines, habits, and mindsets.

In season 2 episode 31, we are pleased to have Scott Fulton, founder of Digital Rebels, a program designed to improve employee and customer’s experience in the digital world.

In this episode, we talk about how to be a productive leader, how to successfully work in teams, and how to deliver more, and talk less. 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.

[00:00:34] Digital Programs for the Police Force
[00:03:33] Management vs. Leadership
[00:05:51] Public Speaking
[00:08:34] Don’t Control Lead
[00:10:43] Nature of Work
[00:13:44] Be Brave and Act
[00:16:02] Coaching to Grow
[00:17:31]  Prioritizing
[00:20:32] Facilitating Meetings Well
[00:22:27] Have Other Passions
[00:25:12] Why Just One Thing?
[00:27:55] Delegation and Perfectionism
[00:29:37] Where to Next?
[00:31:29]  Where to Find Scott


Where to find Scott:

Scott Fulton

Digital Rebels

Rebel Diaries

The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

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.

Reflect On Your Year

Reflect On Your Year

Miriam Gunn

Welcome to another episode of The LeaveBetter Podcast  where I interview high performers and business owners, gleaning from their wisdom, practical routines, habits, and mindsets.

In episode 27, it is short and sweet. We are in between holidays, and I wanted to give you a quick message. 

In this episode, we talk about reflecting on your year and setting targets for the new one.

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.

[00:00:13] Holidays
[00:01:28] Reflect

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.

Align Your Purpose – Dr. Kimbi Marenakos

Align Your Purpose

Dr. Kimbi Marenakos

Kimbi Marenakos

Welcome to another episode of The LeaveBetter Podcast  where I interview high performers and business owners, gleaning from their wisdom, practical routines, habits, and mindsets.

In episode 25, we are pleased to have Dr. Kimbi Marenakos – a Family Nurse Practitioner and Behavioral Health Specialist.

In this episode, we talk about recognizing and managing burnout in our physical, emotional, and spiritual lives. Dr. Kimbi is passionate about caring for the individual and taking the time to make sure all of her patients are fully taken care of. 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.

[00:00:52] Interest in Medicine
[00:02:19] Behavioral Health
[00:04:11] Clinical Rotations
[00:07:20] Burnout
[00:11:32] Take Your Time
[00:16:46] Shortage of Service Providers
[00:20:11] Learning about Burnout
[00:28:20] Be Well

Where to find Dr. Kimbi:

Dr. Kimbi’s website, Wellness-loft.com 

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.

From Shame to Forgiveness to CEO-transcript – Neena Perez


Neena Perez

From Shame to Forgiveness with Neena Perez


[00:01:08] Intro Neena

[00:01:08] Miriam – All right guys. I’m so, so happy to have Neena Perez here with me today. I met her, I don’t know, maybe it was like a month and a half ago when you invited me to be on your podcast. I loved it, and I have not said this to anyone before since, but I was like, Oh my gosh, we would be friends in real life. We we’re almost like sisters.

[00:01:29] Neena –  We’re similar. Yeah, I agree. So many ways.

[00:01:31] Miriam – So I am gonna let you talk about your business, but I loved your podcast, Straight Talk, No Sugar added, and I was doing a little sniffing around on Amazon regarding your book, and it just seems to me that Not only do you care so much about like speaking authentically, but you’ve had some hard bumps in your life too that your book title- Hit Me With Your Best Shot :How I overcame a hard hitting life.

[00:01:58] You’ve had some hard spaces and you have like risen above that to a wonderful life. So let’s bounce in. Tell me a little bit about your business and then we’re just gonna talk where the conversation takes us.

[00:02:12] Neena –  Oh man. Miriam, thank you so much for having me. And you’re right, I do feel like you’re my sister from another mister, you know and you know, my business. So what I do is I really have finally aligned my business and you know, I started businesses, I’ve stopped businesses, I’ve gotten my degrees, all of that great stuff. But what I do now is I help women master their game.


[00:02:32] And what I mean by game, it’s an acronym for goals, their accountability, mind flow and energy. I do this by building or helping them build successful businesses and impact their lives the way they envision. So we create basically their step by step. And I have a whole team that I have built out that helps them create their funneling system, their software, their marketing, their automation, all of that stuff, because I realized that those were the things that were impacting me as I was trying to grow my coaching business.

[00:03:01] Miriam – I wanna see people rise. That’s really what I. I love it.

[00:03:05] Well, my audience is also comprised of men, so I’m gonna tell them, Hey, hang with us because we’re talking about self development and it doesn’t actually matter which gender you are when it comes to self development.

[00:03:16] Like, wow, these growth principles are the same, and the technical principles for growing your business are the same. Mm-hmm. .

[00:03:24] I think that the longer the, the longer we are alive, we find out which kind of problems we like to solve that don’t like rob us of our energy, and this is anybody and everybody. The longer that you’re in your job and you’re finding out. I can’t stand this.

[00:03:42] It’s so draining. You’re not in the right job or the right position.

[00:03:45] That’s right. And I think what I heard you saying is, you know, you niche down into the place that brings you the most joy. Mm-hmm. ,

[00:03:54] can we start with your book and can you just like give us a little bit, however vulnerable you want to be.

[00:04:00] Feeling Stuck in Abuse

[00:04:00] Miriam – Can you talk about some of the hard hitting spaces that may be motivated

[00:04:04] this book. .

[00:04:06] Neena –. You know what happened is I was tired of being stuck, to be honest. Yeah. I kept feeling around, like I was at this hamster on a wheel constantly. I’ve worked really hard all my life and I just felt like, what is, what is this for?

[00:04:19] Right? So what happened, I, I about 2018 I think is when I wrote the book about my life, because I finally said, I need to face these demons. I gotta face this. I have to go. And I’m gonna have to, you know, start walking the walk, right? So I started getting to the self development space maybe about 15, 20 years ago.

[00:04:40] I’m 50 now, so in my thirties and I went through a lot of my life.

[00:04:44] So, you know, it started young. My father, you know, and my mother were not married. They had an affair. My father was married, but they were married to other people. I was the product of that affair. And I think that, Already started me on the wrong foot, if you will.

[00:04:59] so then, My mother, I, I think she tried her best. She was young herself. She was in her, she was 20. But you know, I was abused. So when I, when she did remarry, her husband, you know, would physically abuse me, but then started to molest me. And that happened for, you know, a lot of my youth from my five, five or six years old to maybe nine or 10 years old, something like that.

Trauma at a Young Age

[00:05:22]. You know, it was just, it was just a very traumatic time because he was also very abusive physically as well. when he left, I was very happy. , I was very, very happy. But you know what, It left me damaged. So at like 13 years old, I met a, a man or a boyfriend. I was 13, he was gonna be 18. Very quickly got into a, a relationship that I didn’t know anything about at 13.

[00:05:47] Yeah, I was physically abused there as well, but that’s love, right? I mean, that’s what I knew growing up, so, mm-hmm. . But I had a child pregnant at 14 years old and eighth grade. I know I look at my kids now, I’m like, how did that even happen? 14 years old, pregnant. I had my child at 15. But you know what, Miriam, There was always something in me that just would not let this girl die.

[00:06:13] You know I tried to commit suicide when I was 13, so before I got pregnant because I couldn’t take it anymore. my boyfriend at the time, my son’s father, you know, was throwing me downstairs, was like beating me constantly. It was just an awful experience. I still have damage from that, like, One of my ears has a hole in it from when he punched me and the ear drum blew out and all that kind of stuff.


[00:06:34] the reason I finally left, I left that around, I think I was like 18. So I was with him five years of a seriously abusive relationship. And he put a gun to my head. Wow. he said, He’s gonna kill me. He’s gonna kill him. He’s gonna kill the baby, and then he’s gonna kill himself. when he, he put the gun to my head and he pulled the trigger.

[00:06:55] And when he pulled the trigger, the safety on the gun got jammed. I immediately went into what do I do? What do I do? So I started sweet talking him the only thing I knew to do while he was trying to unjam the gun, you know, Oh my, wow. So I was finally able to convince him that I loved him more than anything in the world, blah, blah, blah.

[00:07:16] And then, you know, right after that I left, I ran away. So I lived in a, a batter women’s shelter. I tried to get some therapy because therapy’s super important when you’ve had that much trauma. And you know, but life is, life still was hard. I had, I was a single mother now working a job, going to school, got remarried that, that with a narcissist, which was extremely hard to deal with that had a second child divorced.

[00:07:39] But now I’ve been married. I have to, 20. Wow. I think we’re going on 22, 23 years of With an amazing man. Yeah. We’ve gone through our tri our trials too, so there was a lot of stuff written in this book that he, he won’t even read it till this day. He’s like, I, I can’t do it. I can’t read it. Yeah.


[00:07:56] But self development and really looking at myself so I could stop self sabotaging behaviors mm-hmm. and realize that I am worth something. Is work. That took a lot of work. Yeah. But it also has been the best experience of my life. So, yeah, that’s it a nutshell.

[00:08:20] Miriam –  Mike drop .

[00:08:22] Neena – It’s a lot. A lot. I know. It’s a lot.

[00:08:24] Cut Yourself Some Slack

[00:08:24] Miriam – What

[00:08:24] do you say to a story like that? I mean, you are such a strong and vibrant woman. And the thing that I love about that story, that’s a story of redemption, of a space of second chances. It’s a story of Maybe natural consequences. Like, you know, you grew up in a space that taught you a warped version of love.

[00:08:47] So that’s what you followed until you knew better. I love this phrase, when I knew better, I did better. it gives us so much grace for those spaces in our life where we’re like, Why did I do that? Why did I choose that? it’s like, well, you know, we gotta cut ourselves some slack Sometimes you don’t have the best starting point. And I love, I love when you see someone coming from behind and they just blaze past, like you had to be someone who was so determined that this was not gonna be your life. You were not gonna do a repeat of what the first couple decades had been. So this space where he puts a gun up to your head and it misfires is the biggest aha.

[00:09:33] Of your life. Mm-hmm.  you do something about it. And then I’m gonna guess you had dozens of smaller aha moments. Can you talk about some other places where something in you clicked and you were like, I used to think this, or I used to do this, but no more. That is not

[00:09:53] in my future.

Writing a Book

[00:09:55] Neena –  You know, there’s, I don’t know if there’s like, there’s a few of them.

[00:09:58] So here, when I wrote the book especially, I started to relive a lot of those experiences because Sure. I didn’t wanna cheat myself. Writing the book, the book was written for me and then I realized the book was not even for me anymore. Yeah. It’s for someone else, right. And it’s impacted people in a very powerful way.

[00:10:16] So I realized that the book was for others. there’s five things I took away from writing this book that has really helped me, and I call it the fight back series, right? So mm-hmm.

[00:10:25] Shame

[00:10:25] Neena: One of them was shame. I had to realize. That there is shame that I was carrying for so long that didn’t belong to me.

[00:10:34] Mm-hmm. . So I, I learned how to navigate that within me to heal from that.

[00:10:40] The other one was forgiveness, because I can, can

[00:10:43] we slow down a little bit? Yeah. Because shame is like a buzzword these days. Mm. How would you describe what shame feels like to people? People sort of know they’re experiencing something, but it’s like, ugh, what

[00:10:57] is this?

[00:10:58] Yeah. You know, shame is, it needs a few things to operate and a couple things that it needs is for you to be silent for you to be secluded. Right. And for you not to, not to like speak up for yourself. Right? So shame is a very powerful feeling. I think. You co you get cowardice, you, you will coward back from things.

[00:11:23] You think that when others say and do something, you are extremely sensitive. So you get defensive. , Right? Because there’s something that is, that you think everybody’s against you because you know, they see you, they see something, and it’s not, you know, a lot of it’s not real. A lot of it is what we have been traumatized with and have made it that thing in our brain, right?

Shame Categories

[00:11:47] So when I had to go through shame, I had to. Put it into, And for me anyway, I had to put it in two categories. To me there was two different types of shame. There’s, there’s a, I call it a healthy shame. I know that’s a contradiction, but I’ll explain. And then the other one is a shame that is not, not for me, right?

[00:12:05] when my stepfather, for instance, was molesting me as a child, I felt extremely ashamed. And when I told my mother and she said, Shut up and stop lying. I immediately felt stupid and ashamed, so I carried that with me for a very long time. So all of the times that he was molesting me, I never said anything because I was ashamed.

[00:12:29] Yeah. And as I grew up, I realized, No, no, no, no, no. The shame is his and I’m make sure he gets it right back. He, he could take it with him, you know what I’m saying? So yeah, there you go. And so I went in and I actually confronted him. I called him my monster cuz he was my monster for a very long time.

[00:12:46] Yeah, he left my mother when I was about, when my mother left him when I was about 10 years old. So I didn’t see him again or even really wanna speak to him again until I was maybe 30 something and I went and I put my nose to his nose, my eyes to his. And I told him, I said, You know what? You did this and this and this.

Guilt and Shame

[00:13:03] He goes, I know what I did to you. I said, Do you cuz you were drunk half the time. He goes, Oh, I remember. And I, I know what I did. I said, Good. I said, You know what? I choose to forgive you. I choose it. Because I don’t feel like it, you know? I said, Cause if it was up to me, this would not be happening right now.

[00:13:21] I said, But I have a faith that I follow. I have a, I have my faith in God and I feel like the only way to release myself from this prison is to choose to forgive you. So I chose it. And then there’s that shame. If I do something to you, Miriam, and I know that it’s I moral and it’s wrong, I should be ashamed of myself.

[00:13:39] Yeah. So that I can change my behavior. Yeah. And do something different. Right? Yes. So that’s what I mean by the two types of shame.

[00:13:47] Yeah. I li I love that dis. Extinction. I’ve heard some people separated out like guilt and shame. Guilt is what you do, but shame is who you are. Right. And that you have to confront that.

[00:13:59] I cannot imagine the courage it took to face your monster

[00:14:05] in person. It was hard. It was hard. Yeah. You got guts, lady. Oh my gosh. I felt like I had no choice. Like I, That was like something I had to do, especially because he’s the father of my brothers. So he’s still alive. And I, I called my brother one day and I said, Okay, I’m ready.

Turn the Page

[00:14:22] He’s like, Ready for Wes, I’m ready to go see your father. He goes, For what? ? I think I was afraid of what I was gonna do, but you know, I was like, Yes, I’m a tough girl. Yes, yes, yes. But I’m not there to hurt him. I just, and you know what’s so funny, Miriam, the guy is like five feet, maybe four 11. Yeah. Right.

[00:14:40] But when you’re five years old and a man is beating you with a steel toe boot or beating your, Beating you to the point of cutting your back open, you know, stuff like that. Right. And you’re a child. That is a monster. And he is huge. They’re ginormous. They’re ginormous, right? Yeah. And so I, yeah, I chose to forgive them.

[00:14:58] And when I did that, he hugged me. I immediately felt that weight completely off of me. I was like, I am. I could literally walk away. And I am done. This chapter

[00:15:10] Miriam – is closed. Yes. Yeah, turn the page. That’s it. Yeah, that’s it. Okay.

[00:15:16] Forgiveness

[00:15:16] Miriam – So your number two thing was forgiveness, and I feel like you’ve already talked a bunch on that, but if you, you wanna add anything more to forgiveness?

[00:15:24] Neena: No, I mean, I think the only thing I wanna add to that is I just want you guys to know that it’s not gonna be a feeling. Yeah. I, I don’t feel like, I mean, I guess it could be a feeling, but for me it starts with a choice. It’s an action. It really starts with an action. It’s a choice. It’s a, you, Some people have gone through horrific, more horrific things than I, and some people hold on to unforgiveness for silly things too, right?

[00:15:49] We do. It depends on, on your metric, on, you know, But at the end of the day, you have to be with. And if you are struggling and you’re going through self sabotaging behaviors or you’re an all or nothing person, or you’re a perfectionist, or you’re going through these things that are stopping you from growing, you may wanna look into that.

[00:16:09] Yeah. And just choose. If Miriam had done something to me and I just choose to forgive Miriam, that doesn’t mean I got a ho. Go have coffee with Miriam. It doesn’t even mean that you have to do what I did. Right. That was just something I felt like I had to do. But that does not mean you have to do that.

[00:16:24] You can forgive them and move on. Yeah, choose it and sometimes choose it every day. Yeah. Must be real. It doesn’t just happen because you chose it. Yeah. No,

Control Fear

[00:16:35] Miriam – no. Those patterns in your brain of fear, and I’m gonna, I’m not saying you felt this, but people often feel fear or hatred or resentment or you know, terror, anxiety, all, you know, we mull over them and mull over them and they dig a path in our brain and I think the forgiveness process.

[00:16:55] And you would have to correct me if I’m wrong, is I choose to no longer mu over this anymore. Yeah. I release this, I release you. You know, whoever, you know, if you’re one of, if you are a believer in God, I have a strong faith as well. It’s like, God can deal with you. A my, my holding onto this isn’t punishing you anyway, whoever the you is, but B, it’s holding me hostage.

[00:17:24] Like when I talk to people, whether it is, it doesn’t matter your socioeconomic status, it doesn’t matter your gender, everybody wants to be happy. That’s what they say. You know, it’s like, and, and they go through different things trying to find happiness or joy. Yeah. Pretty much everybody. If you get like, Why?

[00:17:43] Why do you want this? Why do you want this? Why do you want, And you get it down to like the seventh, why? They’re like, Look, I just

[00:17:48] Neena – wanna be happy. Right? It’s like,

[00:17:50] Miriam –  okay, right. You’re not gonna be happy holding onto this thing that’s just around you. No matter what they did. You know, they may have stolen your past.

[00:18:01] Don’t let them steal your future.


[00:18:03] Neena – That’s it. Let it go. That’s it. I, I agree with that a thousand percent. And you know, I think. You also have to remember that you are in control of you. You’re in control of what you’re feeling. They might have done what they did. You have no control of that. You have no control of that.

[00:18:19] Yeah. But you do have control of you. Yes. And you also have to remember that there’s another strong piece to this, and it’s self forgiveness. Right. Because I think sometimes the most the, the hardest thing to do is to forgive yourself. Right. It’s, I, to me, it’s one of the most difficult things I had to do is to forgive myself for some choices that I had made that did not serve me well.

[00:18:42] Right? Yeah. Yeah. But the most important aspect of self-forgiveness is honoring yourself and knowing that you are, you are flawed, that you make mistakes and that it’s okay, you know, you don’t have to. You know, keep beating yourself up over the same mistake, but you can say, I made this mistake. And I’m gonna choose to forgive myself because I’m going to learn to change the tide here, love myself more, know I have one life, impact my life so I can impact others’ lives.

[00:19:11] It’s just as important as forgiving someone else. Oh my gosh.

High Performers

[00:19:15] Miriam –  I’m so glad you brought that up. That’s just so true. You know, my audience is primarily entrepreneurs and high performers, and so many times their drive. Comes from these spaces of whatever, abuse or hardship or neglect or whatever, and they said, You know, I grew up that way, but never again.

[00:19:37] And they don’t realize that that lack of self forgiveness, they think that that’s what makes them successful, right? And it’s like, no, you would be successful 10 x if you learned how to love yourself. And the people around you, whether it’s your team or your family, or you know, whoever, they would appreciate that too, because when you don’t love yourself, you don’t treat

[00:19:58] Neena: the people around you well.

 [00:20:37] Having Empathy

[00:20:37] Neena – Yeah. Well, you don’t have empathy, right? Yeah. And so and you, you miss a lot. You miss a lot, especially when you don’t forgive yourself. But one of the things happened when I, when I did this book, is I really had to forgive myself for, I, I had, I had abortions. I wrote, I wrote about it in the book. And and it hurt me for a very long time, but I just kind of suppress, suppress, suppress.

[00:20:58] And when I wrote the book, I had to confront it. And I remember talking to my husband at, at the dinner table. He’s like, What’s wrong? And I just broke like a dam. I was crying. It was bad. It was really bad. . He just sat there and held my aunt. But I realized that I needed that. I needed that. And I needed to say, You, my friends did the best you could with what you knew.

[00:21:20] Yes. And you got this. Yes, You got. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And so I’m learning. I’m still learning. I’m still learning. But it’s a beautiful, beautiful journey. Yeah. I’m

[00:21:30] Miriam – pretty sure Michael Angelo said at the age of like, somewhere in his mid eighties co impor. I am still learning. And I love that. I love that, that, you know, I mean, unless we’re dead, I hope we’re always learning right day after day after day, you know?

[00:21:49] So take us down your list. What’s number three?

[00:21:53] Standing in Truth

[00:21:53] Neena – standing in truth. I believe that there is you know, when you are going through shame, then going through the forgiveness piece, it’s important that you stand in truth of those things as well. Like I said, distinguishing shame. With what’s yours and what’s not yours, Taking personal responsibility, right?

[00:22:14] Mm-hmm. Having forgiveness for the truth of what happened. Not, not sugarcoating it, not saying it didn’t happen, not trying to avoid it, but actually looking at it. So standing in truth. In truth is a real big thing for me. I don’t deny things. I don’t lie. Things I don’t sugarcoat. My show is called Straight Talk, No Sugar Added

[00:22:34] It, it, this, it’s just not gonna serve you well, right? And it’s not going to help you. It’s not going to help you push forward. In fact, it impedes you, it stops you from being able to. See and feel and experience what’s really happening around you. So when I wrote this book, you know, standing in truth was really important cuz remember my mom and stuff, they’re still alive.

[00:22:55] You know, so I had to write this book, but standing in which what was true, regardless of other people’s feelings of what was going to be exposed, you know? Wow. That was tough.

[00:23:07] Miriam –  That, that’s tough. That takes, again, so much courage. I know so many authors who wait until their parents die before they write the truth.

Owning It

[00:23:16] Neena –  I considered it, she read about a chapter. Called me a complete liar and threw the book and didn’t speak to me for like six months. Yeah, yeah. Wow. And that’s okay. I expected it. I expected that we’re okay now we’ve healed. But yeah, it was, it was a tough one cuz I, you know, it was something that, you know, I, I grew up, you respect your mom, you just respect your mom, right.

[00:23:39] And that’s just what you do. But writing the book, I think felt to her like a bit of a smack in the. Because I exposed it and saw, I went to go visit her. It was about six months after the book was written or so, and she was done with me. And so she said, You lied. You lied. I said, Why mom? Why, why did I lie?

[00:23:57] Well, you said this. I said, this happened, this happened, this happened. You know what happened? I said, Okay, so now that we’re actually gonna talk about it, or at least I am, We’re just gonna go ahead. I said, we’re just gonna go ahead and just, I’m just gonna lay it out. And I did. And she did not like it, and I didn’t wanna hurt her.

[00:24:12] That wasn’t the intention. No. The intention was we can’t keep denying and lying. When I grew up, Miriam, it was in our household. What happens stays in the house. It doesn’t matter if the, because she was also abused. So domestic violence, all of that was something I grew up around. Alcoholism, all of that stayed in the.


[00:24:33] It didn’t matter. It didn’t matter how many people he did it to. It didn’t matter who he touched. It didn’t matter what happened. He stayed, it stayed in the house, and that’s where it stayed. So when I did this, Woo, it was like she opened up our door. What’s going here? It was bad. I had a, Yeah, I had some pushback, for sure.

[00:24:52] Yeah.

[00:24:53] Miriam – Well, you broke. You broke a family rule. Keep keep it silent and I’m impressed. That you were able to work it out with her, Because sometimes people can’t, Sometimes people just need the other person to acknowledge that it all happened and whatever, and it just goes south. It’s a testimony to just your vibrant, loving spirit that you were able to work it out with her. So well done.

Part of Forgiveness

[00:25:17] Neena: I had to. I had to thank you. Yeah. It’s a part of the forgiveness piece. Mm-hmm. , right? It’s a part of the, Yeah, and when I also owned my. I didn’t apologize for that because I didn’t have anything to do with that. But I did apologize for the hard time I gave her as I grew up. I gave her a hard time, but I gave her a hard time cuz I was angry with her.

[00:25:36] Yeah. You know? Cause she didn’t protect me and so but I said to her, I said, You know, mom, I’m sorry I gave you, I gave you a run for your money. She goes, You know what? I’m sorry too. That was the first time I’m 50 that she has ever apologized. Wow. I know. I took it. I didn’t even, I didn’t ask for an explanation.

[00:25:56] I took the, I’m sorry. I held it in my heart and that’s it. Yeah. Oh my gosh. So

[00:26:05] good. That is so good.

[00:26:07] Let Go 

[00:27:39] Give Yourself Space

[00:27:39] Miriam –  I love it. It reminds I was talking to my admin yesterday and she, I was asking if she’d had a good weekend and she said, Oh yeah, we went through our closets and we got rid of all of these things we don’t need anymore.

[00:27:52] And I said, Isn’t it. Awesome. Now you have this space and this openness and it feels like you lost weight. And she’s like, I love it. That’s what you’re talking about in an emotional, spiritual, psychological, all of that. You just get rid of that garbage. You don’t, It’s not that you’re pushing it down under, cuz when you ignore it, it always comes back to bite you.

[00:28:15] In the end. It, you have to deal with it. .

[00:28:19] Neena –  That’s the hard part, being self-aware. Woo, This is fun. Talk .

[00:28:25] Miriam –  All right, number five.

[00:28:26] Dream Big

[00:28:26] Neena –  Dreaming big. Yes. I realized that I was a very small thinker. And a lazy thinker. And what I mean by that is, is I’ve allowed many, many things circumstances, situations, media, whatever it is, influence my thinking and we follow along with the crowd.

[00:28:49] I’ve gone against a lot of things in my life. That’s why I’ve always been known as a straight talker. But there were things that I was accepting as my thoughts and belief systems that weren’t. So I’ve had to discover that for myself.

I decided that I’m going to stop being a small thinker and a lazy thinker. and that I’m gonna be somebody who actually does the research myself, checks things out for myself, does the reading for myself. and then open up my mind to dream big It has been that.

This whole process has all gone together, overcoming the shame learning to forgive standing in my truth. All of this is, is culminated to dreaming big, right? So that I can open up my space to all the different things that I need and want in my life, right? Yeah. So I, I think that all of this, at least for me, writing this, writing, just my autobiography alone, And I’ve written a couple of other little books here and there, but that one really helped me to dream Big Miriam and.

[00:29:52] Letting all those things go, like I, like I talked about, has, has really gotten me from a mindset of poverty, which I always had. I was always struggling and lacking and struggling and lacking. Even though I work really hard, it has nothing to do with that, right? Mm-hmm. . It’s just that I never thought I deserved more.

Open Your Mind

[00:30:11] Yeah. I just never thought that, and so now, Opening up your mind and dreaming like, Oh wow, I can actually, Why can’t I attain things in my life? Why can’t I serve others? Yes. You know, why can’t I have the things that others have? I never thought I could. And it was because I was just focused on working. I had to work, pay the bills, take care of my kids, work, pay the bills, take care of my kids, works.

[00:30:36] And I never looked up, you know, to take a deep breath. Yeah. And then when I did, All hell broke loose because Nina was like, All right, let’s go. So my goodness, year now, every year I dream big. Every year I get up, I say, Okay, this year, what am I going to do differently than I did last year? And that happened Miriam, because I used to journal.

[00:31:01] And when I opened up my journals, I realized that all I had to do was erase the number and put the new date in for the new year because it was a. every year. And I said,

[00:31:13] That’s a little shocking. That’s a wake up call. It was

[00:31:16] a wake up call. Yeah. And I realized every year I now dream a little bit bigger.

[00:31:21] Every year. A little bit

[00:31:22] Miriam – LeaveBetter Podcast Ep. 19: bigger. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:31:24] Boundaries

[00:31:24] Miriam –  Can you give an example of thinking small versus thinking a little bit bigger that isn’t necessarily. Monetary. I wanna give, you know, I, I feel like I’m tracking with you. I know what you’re talking about. You’re speaking my language, , but I want some concrete examples.

[00:31:43] You know, I used to think this way and it was a series of steps, but now I think this way,

[00:31:52] Neena –  you know I think that one of the things that I’ve learned is boundaries. Boundaries was a big one for me. I didn’t have. Right. Because my boundaries were crossed since I was a child, right? And so I didn’t really have boundaries.

[00:32:09] I was either very angry or very submissive, you know what I’m saying? So it was, it was like really opposite spectrums. And I realized that I was always the yes person, the people pleaser, the, you know, going there, you know? And yeah, I fought some people, but most of the time if I really wanted you to like me, or if I wouldn’t really wanted to be accepted, Then I would be over the top serving all the time, doing all the, to the point of my exhaustion.

[00:32:37] Yeah. Right.

[00:32:37] Miriam –  What did you, you learn that you could say no to? Boundaries are like my pet project. I love Boundaries. Boundaries. Is


[00:32:44] Neena – it? Oh, I love that. I love that. You know, I learned that I don’t ha, I didn’t have to be everybody. This is just small, but I didn’t have to be everybody’s taxi. Right, because my family didn’t have a car.

[00:32:56] I was the one with the car. It was like, Oh, can you pick me up here? Can you drop me off there? Can you pick me up? And then one day I was like, No. What, what? What did you say? ? Right? The answer was no. And I, and I, and let me tell you, it’s not easy, Miriam. I hung up the phone and I felt this overwhelming guilt.

[00:33:18] Yeah. You know, like, Oh my gosh, that was not nice, you know? Yeah. And then I said, No, you sit your behind right here. What does this feeling feel like? And this is before I knew about self development. This is just me talking to myself. What does this feel like? Why does you feel this way? Is this really the truth?

[00:33:36] This is me talking to me like, before I even knew what self development was, but I realized that every time you, you put a boundary, Not only are they gonna be uncomfortable, you are going to be uncomfortable. Yes. Yeah. You have to learn to be uncomfortable, you know? Yes. Because your life gets a hell of a lot easier, Miriam, Let me tell you.

[00:33:59] Nobody calls me today, .

[00:34:03] Be OK with Discomfort

[00:34:03] Miriam – I don’t. Know why in our era, our country, our society, you know, if you’re in PE or you have an athletic trainer, they tell you if you work out this muscle, you’re gonna be sore, drink a lot of water, it’s gonna be sore. It’s not a big deal, it’s just normal.

[00:34:24] But nobody tells you when you stretch yourself emotionally. Yeah, it’s gonna be uncomfortable. And what you described, you did such a good job of describing how it feels. When you give someone a legitimate no, it’s legitimate. You aren’t everyone’s taxi driver. And I remember the first time I told somebody I was no longer going to be attending all these meetings and they looked at me like I was crazy.

[00:34:51] I said, I still wanna be involved. Send me the minutes. I’m not gonna attend these meetings anymore. And my gosh, Yeah. My life, it was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. Right? You know, . But for a while there was that feeling of, Oh, are they gonna be mad at me? And how is this gonna look to people and blah, blah.

[00:35:12] And you have to get over that space and say, Now I’m not talking about being a selfish jerk. The people who need boundaries are like, Oh, I can’t. I can’t, I can’t. The people who don’t need boundaries are already selfish saying no to everything. If you say no constantly. You do a little evaluation and find out if you can be a little more giving.

[00:35:33] But in general, most people don’t understand actual boundaries where I end and where you begin. Where you end. Yeah, where I begin.

[00:35:46] You Can Say No

[00:35:46] Neena – LeaveBetter Podcast Ep. 19: Well, now I just say no is a complete sentence. Because what, what used to happen, and I think, I don’t know if this is more women, but it it because I work more with women.

[00:35:55] I think it is, and you know, from what I’ve observed is that we tend to say no with an explanation. And and I’ve given the women that I’ve been working with permission to just say, no. Without the explanation unless it’s needed. Right, Right. Cause you don’t have to be rude. No. But but if you’re saying no and the person’s like all offended and all over the place, cuz you’re saying no, you don’t have to explain.

[00:36:17] That’s their emotion. And they need to deal with that emotion. Yes, Yes. And you need to be okay. And I think that’s the hardest thing, at least for the women I’ve worked with and myself, was to say no. Pause, like, just literally just stop my mouth from speaking, right? Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. , but boundaries has been a beautiful, beautiful thing to learn.

[00:36:39] I’m sure I still have some to do, but the, the great part was, is that I started it in my life, but it has transitioned to my work as well. I’ve of course put boundaries up. I have to. Absolutely.

[00:36:50] Miriam – LeaveBetter Podcast Ep. 19: You have to. Otherwise it takes over your whole life. It does, yeah. And there are so many ways. I love your sentence that you don’t have to give a reason.

Make and Keep Commitments with Yourself

[00:36:59] I echo that a thousand times. There are other ways you can say, You can also say no. You can say no, but thank you for asking. Yeah. Or you can say can I get back with you in 24 hours? And then you can say no when you’re not with them. Some like the straight up no is a hard one for people to learn. They have to work up to that.

[00:37:22] Yeah. So there’s some, there’s some no steps that are, you can be gracious and not let the other person run your life. I can remember teaching people. , you can say, No, I’m sorry. I have a commitment already. That commitment doesn’t have to be to someone else. Sometimes that commitment was to myself. Mm-hmm.

[00:37:45] I had already said, I’m gonna spend X amount of time doing whatever. It wasn’t open space for someone else to run in and just, you know, run all over it. I’m a big fan of, of being truthful. And that was the truest thing. I actually had a commitment to myself, and when you keep commitments to yourself, then your shoulders go back and you walk a little taller and you value yourself differently.

[00:38:12] So I love, love, love. It’s so true that you’re a boundary person.

[00:38:17] Neena –  Yeah, I am . I’ve grown to be right. I wasn’t always, but you know, I think anybody, even in business, you know, you don’t have to, I always say that everything that glitters isn’t gold, right? Mm-hmm. . And so you know, one of the things that’s I think more difficult for entrepreneurs and, and leaders and stuff is to say no to another, yet another opportunity.


[00:38:38] Yeah, another opportunity, right? Yes. Because there’s thousands of them. You know, sometimes, especially if you’re on the online space, you’re gonna get bombarded with emails and texts and messages about go join this group and that group and join here and go this. And if you don’t learn to say no. Or this is not for me right now, you know?

[00:38:58] You are going to run yourself ragged and you’re gonna get very frustrated. I know. I was, yeah. I was trying to join everybody’s group that I liked them as people, so I joined everything. But then I realized that I felt bad at the end because I couldn’t commit to it all. Yes. Right, right. So it’s a boundary to you too, like you said, maybe committing to.

[00:39:18] And just saying no, because you need to, because you can’t say yes to

[00:39:21] everything

[00:39:22] Miriam – because we’re finite. We’re human beings. We are not, you know, digital bits that can be just, you know, shaved into smaller and smaller pieces. Right. It’s like we’re, we’re living and we need open space and we need time to reflect.

[00:39:38] We need time to connect with the people we love. We need the time to do our. own Jobs

[00:39:44] and it’s so easy to, at different junctures in your life, to be the yes man or woman where it’s like whatever the other person you wanna be liked and you wanna help and you want you, and then you lose your way. Mm-hmm. , so.

[00:39:59] Mm-hmm. , this has been really, really good.

[00:40:01] Noisy World

[00:40:01] Miriam – LeaveBetter Podcast Ep. 19: Tell me about some of the things that you are, maybe the concepts you’re chewing on right now, like in, at present day.

[00:40:09] Neena – LeaveBetter Podcast Ep. 19: Yeah, I’m thinking about a lot of things, right?

[00:40:11] So it’s getting busier and so now I have to start making some choices. Yes. You know, of how I will manage that calendar and, and schedule. Because you know what, Miriam, I also discovered that it’s very noisy in this world.

[00:40:24] It’s getting very noisy in my calendar. Yeah. So I, so that’s what I’m chewing on right now. How do I want to also be good to self, good to myself, good to my spouse, right? My children are all adults now, thank God. But my husband still needs time too. And when I’m coming home every day, like, sorry, got a coaching call.

[00:40:44] Sorry, babe, about dinner, you know, is in the pot. I’m gonna go downstairs. That’s not good either, right? No. So that’s what I’m chewing on my, my boundaries in life, you know, what I’m going to bring to the table, to this world, and what’s the best way for me to show up. I also try to now put everything in perspective of is it serving me or not serving me?

[00:41:04] And so I’m really just expanding who I am as a human being. Yeah.

Shed Your Shell

[00:41:09] Miriam –  Yeah. I appreciate you sharing that. The it, I mean, some people don’t like these analogies, but in order for a crab to get bigger, it has to shed its shell, you know, it breaks that shell and then it comes out and it’s all pink and soft and then it gets a new shell that’s bigger.

[00:41:27] I love that a snail has to like come out and go into a new one, or, I mean, not to get gross, but bugs have to do it too. And snakes like we have. Crack open pieces of us and get rid of it in order to move into that next phase, that next space, that next level. And part of moving into that next level is saying that used to serve me that idea that habits, that behavior, that relationship.

[00:41:56] And I’m grateful for it, but it isn’t taking me into this next space in life that’s, right You know, and that’s right. If we believe that we’re here for a purpose, each of us is looking for that space, How do I maximize why I’m here? How do I, not in a bad way, but how do I earn the oxygen that I breathe? What, what makes it worth me?

[00:42:20] You know, taking up this space. It’s this giving to the other people. It’s giving to the people in your, you know, your immediate area, your spouse. I, I really appreciate that you talked about

[00:42:32] Neena – LeaveBetter Podcast Ep. 19: that.

[00:42:33] Miriam – LeaveBetter Podcast Ep. 19: If you’re serving all of them and you lose this close to you mm-hmm. , that’s no good,

Find Order in Your Life

[00:42:38] Neena –  right? Mm-hmm. , Well, I was always like that.

[00:42:41] I was always like driven to work really hard, you know, like give my blood, sweat and tears to everything I put myself into. If my marriage is falling apart, that doesn’t make any sense because at the end of the day, he’s the one that takes care of me when I’m not. Not my job, not my company, not my business, none of that.

[00:42:58] My husband does. Yeah. Yeah. And so he comes first. It’s God, then my family, then it’s business work, all that stuff. Right? So that’s, that’s the order in my life. And and you know, I think I do a, a practice where I think things in my life, so like the old thinking, like you just said, you know, You know.

[00:43:16] Thank you for having, I actually do. I thank it. Yeah. I. The abuse in my life because it’s made me the strong woman that I am today, and I learned a lot from it. I learned not to be abused. It showed me how to see abuse in others to see if I can help in some way. Mm-hmm. , you know? Mm-hmm. , I’ve learned to pour into nonprofits that work with domestic violence.

Invest in You

[00:43:36] Right. So, So I think that issue, I think that experience, I don’t wanna go back to it, but I thank it. Right? Yeah. Same thing with the old ways of thinking. You know what, I used to think before that I, I thought you could squirrel away nickels and dimes to try to save some money to be, you know, wealthy. One day was actually making me impoverished until I realized that I needed to invest in me.

[00:44:00] Mm-hmm. and. You know, and so when I took my investment and I put it in my education and I put it in me, and I put it in my business, now I’m thrive. , right? Because I got out of the squirrly. Small thinking. Yes. And I think we all have to do it one step, one, one degree at a time. One step at a time. It’s taking 15 years.

[00:44:19] It’s not like I just got up as like you, I got this. No, . Not how that happens. No,

[00:44:25] Miriam – LeaveBetter Podcast Ep. 19: But I would bet that there was an aspect of I got this. For that time, that age of you, that version of you Oh yeah. Got that nugget and you ran with it, and now this age of you and this version of you is getting the nugget and running with it.

[00:44:43] Do It Afraid

[00:44:43] Miriam – LeaveBetter Podcast Ep. 19: Before we end, what, what would you tell your younger self? If you could just say something straight to her, what would you say?

[00:44:51] Neena – LeaveBetter Podcast Ep. 19: Do it afraid. Do it anyway. Just do it anyway. Cuz I used to live a lot in fear. Of getting in trouble, fear of getting hurt, fear of what will happen to me.

[00:45:03] I always say to myself, Listen girl, you’ve got this. Do it afraid. Do it. You got this. Oh, I love that,

[00:45:11] Miriam – LeaveBetter Podcast Ep. 19: Nina, thank you so, so much. My audience knows that we do a donation in your name to one of four charities you chose Best Friend’s Animal Sanctuary because you said that you had rescued quite a few dogs and cats.

[00:45:26] So we’re gonna do that in your name. Thank you for this time and just your wisdom and your enthusiasm. What a joy. And you better believe I’m gonna be. You know, knocking on your door, you know, six months or a year from now and saying, Hey, let’s do this again.

[00:45:42] Neena – LeaveBetter Podcast Ep. 19: This was good. This was so fun. Thank you for having me, Miriam.

[00:45:46] Thank you. You’re welcome.

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 LeaveBetter 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.

3 Ways To Sabotage Your Business

ways to sabotage your company

3 Ways to Sabotage Your Business

You know your business can achieve more, but you also know you are being roadblocked. 

What is getting in your way? 

A myriad of factors, but in the end, they all boil down to you. 

In other words, you sabotage your business by the choices you make and don’t make. 

Sometimes, you are aware of the way you bottle-neck your business, and other times, you are unaware, because it is more of a blind spot.

I hope this article helps you understand the some categories of behaviors that owners, CEOs, and founders tend to sabotage their businesses with. And that you find some practical ways to help yourself stop these non-productive behaviors. 

I want for you to experience the success and happiness that comes from a business that thrives and scales due to smooth operating systems within your business. 

Why Should You Listen to Me? 

First, let me introduce myself—I am an entrepreneurial and executive coach and therapist (and business owner myself) who has spent over 30 years helping others reduce their self-sabotage so that they can reach their next level of success and freedom in both their lives and their businesses. 

Each of us are masters at self-sabotage in our own unique ways. 

The following article will draw attention to several possible ways to sabotage your business, in the hopes that you can recognize these behaviors and commit to make some changes toward more rewarding behaviors! 

1. Hiring the wrong people / Not firing the right people.

    • Failing to fire someone. 
    • promoting someone, rather than dealing with their bad behavior. 
    • Hiring family / friends.

It is not uncommon for founders and entrepreneurs to hire family members or friends. Initially, this feels awesome, because the relationship are warm and you don’t have the “get to know you” period of time that makes hiring a new person difficult. Usually you trust the person. What could go wrong?

But often something does go wrong and when it comes time to fire them, many owners feel like they can’t. Sometimes these owners are just nice and they feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility for their employees families, which is good, however, not at the expense of their company.

Often you find that a “bad” employee will drive out the “good” employees. Learning how to set standard of performance metrics and then actually ending a person’s employment with your company will prevent a form of sabotage that, curiously, is fairly common in the companies that I have coached in. 

I think that there is difficulty knowing what is the right course of action vs doing the right course of action. A leader in self-development, Brendon Burchard said often, “Common sense is not common practice.” I couldn’t agree more.  Many owners / CEOs that I have coached have said to me, “I know I need to fire them, but I can’t because of ‘x’.” Later, after they finally DO fire them, they said, “Why did I wait SO long?”

I have seen people who need to be fired cost the company tens of thousands of dollars before they are cut loose.  Be honest: is this one of the ways you sabotage your business?

Promoting the wrong people

Under NO circumstance should you promote the person with the bad behavior just to get rid of them! This is a space where the owner / CEO has to have the foresight and backbone to do the hard thing, so that the company can thrive. (And so that the other employees are not incredibly frustrated with the poor management). Unfortunately, this is incredibly common in larger corporations and governmental agencies. Don’t let it be true of your own company.

In short, do not hire relatives without some clear guidelines as to how you will keep nepotism out of your corporate structure. Make it clear to yourself and to them what their standard of performance is and keep your compensation of them the same as others in your company working similar positions. There is no better way to create unrest in your company than to treat family and friends differently than your other employees.

Cue The Office where Michael Scott hires and then won’t fire his nephew…

Ways to sabotage your business—scene from the office

2. Poor Leadership is a key way to sabotage your business

Even if you are a company of ONE, you can still practice and exhibit good leadership in your company. Especially when you are a solo-preneur, it is easy to make excuses and foster bad habits. Later, as you add more people to your team, the infrastructure of clear leadership is not in place to help you and others succeed in your company. Start living now they way you wish to live when you have a larger company, in terms of leadership.

When a leader does a poor job of leading, the whole company does not achieve its potential and team members become frustrated, sometimes even to the point of looking for other employment.

What employees want from their leader

As I have coached other corporate teams, I have observed that people want a couple of basic things. Namely, the ability to grow and learn new skills and advance within the company or their field. Additionally, they want low drama and a non-toxic work environment. Finally, they want clarity of priorities and the ability to feel like their time and efforts count toward something.

With the absence of any of these three qualities, your employees will feel less satisfied and be more likely to search elsewhere for their employment.

Leadership on a larger scale

If you have ever wondered why there are so many books on leadership, it is because it is a dense and complicated subject with many facets. No two companies are alike and each needs something slightly different from their leader at each growth stage. However, there are some common aspects of leadership that are consistent across all companies, regardless of size.

Clarity of Vision / Clarity of the Next Actions

An owner / founder has to be crystal clear about what they are trying to accomplish within their company. If an owner has difficulty visualizing success, he or she will struggle to communicate their vision well.

The human brain is pretty good at figuring out the “how” once it knows the “what.” However, depending on the kind of brain you have, figuring out the “what” may come easy to you, or it may be quite difficult. Some people are wired to see the vision and others are wired to see the “nuts and bolts” of how to get there. You need both kinds of people in your company.

Once your vision is in place, then the actions take shape. I know several business owners that delay important choices by over analyzing or finding other less important things to focus on. The net effect is that they put off key decisions and hamstring the forward momentum of their company.

As a leader, you have to focus you and your team on the things that will take your company to its next logical level.

Feedback and growth

Here is a sabotage landmine: Not recognizing your weaknesses. Or being told about them, and not accepting the feedback. Any time someone does not try to improve or to work around their weakness—this is a key failure of leadership.

Sadly, I know of several CEOs where are not very open to the feedback of their team members. As a result, with one in particular, the company is losing potential revenue because of the high turnover of employees. The team members don’t respect the way the owner leads.

Additionally, hire for your weakness, and work like crazy to grow. If an owner struggles with having negative self-critical thoughts, there is a good chance that the over all ethos and culture of the company will be less positive. Motivation may come from fear, rather than desire to succeed. After a while, people hate coming to work and then the internal structure of the business begins to fail.

As a side note: part of good leadership involves praise and celebration of wins. Whether the work of our employees or ourselves. Positivity is extremely important for the morale of the team.

Not taking care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally

I’m not going to elaborate on this topic, because there is SO much being written about this. However, it goes without saying that when you don’t take care of yourself, your team sees this and they model after you. If you work 100 hour work weeks, then they think it is expected of you. If you work through lunch, they will too. If you eat junk food, they will too. Being a leader is a bit like being a parent. And the “do as I say, not as I do” motto just does not fly. People model what they see. Give them something worthwhile to model after.

Robert Iger, CEO of Disney

I am reading The Ride of a Lifetime; Lessons learned from 15 years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company. Here are several of the principles that Robert Iger lives by:

        • Optimism
        • Courage
        • Focus
        • Decisiveness
        • Curiosity
        • Fairness
        • Thoughtfulness
        • Authenticity
        • The relentless pursuit of perfection

Your leadership principles don’t have to be his, but you DO have to be clear on what you are working toward within yourself. Failure to do so is one of the ways you sabotage your business. Also, as a side note, check out this article on ways women sabotage themselves at work.

3. Poor Management of Tasks

Procrastinating what needs to be done

Especially in a new or young business, where you may be a solo-preneur, focusing on activities that may be summed up as “busy work” may prevent you from working on the activities that will move your business forward, like the generations of leads and sales.

It is easy to get into the habit of responding first to the “loudest” noise, as opposed to the most important action to move your business forward.

Sometimes, it is difficult to identify the next step that will move the machinery of your business forward. For example, which is more important: networking with other entrepreneurs or checking in with the the national or financial new? Do you really need to check in with your social media accounts again? Check in with your email once more? Often, I find that entrepreneurs do these behaviors in an effort to feel busy and like they are accomplishing high things, but in reality, it keeps them from having to do the difficult lifting of the activities that will really move their business forward, like creating a lead magnet or pushing into hiring a sales person.

Here are a couple other ways to sabotage your time management: Allowing constant interruptions. Letting outside influences disturb your workflow. Constantly worrying about what could go wrong.

Not Delegating

When you are a solo-preneur, you have to do everything. But at some point, you absolutely have to outsource work. Speaking from experience, it is difficult to trust someone else with tasks you know you can do faster and better. It takes a lot of work to train someone.

However, the truth of the matter is that you cannot be everywhere at once and failure to build a good team of employees mean that your business will not scale and you will hit a revenue ceiling.

We kid ourselves that we are brilliantly multi-tasking, instead of realizing that we are engaged in high-paced and inefficient task-switching. We fool ourselves by thinking we will not burn out. We delude ourselves by thinking we are succeeding as we work all the time.

At some point, you have to recognize that others can do some tasks as well as you can—and sometimes even better. Learn to delegate. Failure to do so ensures that you sabotage your business for a while longer.

In Summary

This article could be a book! There are endless ways to sabotage your business. However, these are the low-hanging fruit.

      • If you truly work on hiring (and firing) the right people,
      • Exercising your leadership skills
      • And utilizing your time well

You will see your company grow and reach that next level you have been hungering after.

I have found with the companies I have coached, that it is difficult to reach these goals alone. Sometimes, it is nice to have someone else in your corner, on your team, cheering you on and providing that feedback that is so necessary for growth. If you would like to explore that, reach out to me and let’s have a conversation about how coaching can help you and your company succeed.

head shot Miriam Gunn

If you look at the above list and find these ideas helpful in the functioning and success of your business, consider hiring LeaveBetter for some additional coaching. There are many other questions like these in key realms of business development that are strategic to the ongoing development of your business and life.

Reach out to me and we can get started working on that, or on your personalized Life Plan. As a certified coach and therapist, this is what I do best: helping people like you achieve the skills you need to reach your next level in your business and life.