What We’re Reading: Captivating Business Influencers
Jen and Twila go raw and unedited in this episode, chatting about the influential books by business influencers. This lively discussion gives Jen and Twila chance to riff off of each other while giving listeners a few key business nuggets. No big spoilers – but you might discover something new you want to read.
Jen: [00:01] You’re listening to the Third Paddle Podcast, recorded live at the Vandal lounge in beautiful southeast Portland, Oregon. Why the third paddle? Because even the most bad-ass entrepreneurs get stuck in business shit creek. Tech Strategist, Jen McFarland and business strategist, Twila Kaye are your third paddle, helping you get unstuck.
Twila: [00:21] Hey, Jen. It’s Twi.
Jen: [00:23] Hey.
Twila: [00:25] We are coming to you all today raw and unedited. Why are we doing that? Because we take the professional route with all of our episodes. We have our editor, we have our producer, we got the whole crew online, but we just thought, “Let’s change it up a little bit today. Let’s just go raw and unedited so that people that we’re talking to, you out there, you entrepreneurs, you business owners who are worried about doing everything the right way and having things perfect can see that you don’t need to have everything done perfectly to just be able to get yourself out there.”
Twila: [01:20] Right.
Jen: [01:21] Right? This is a little different from that. We’re not actually going back on what we were saying. We’re saying is when you’re ready and you know what your brand is, sometimes it’s okay to go a little raw and uncut.
Twila: [01:35] That’s right, just to start putting it out there. You don’t have to be perfect. What’s good is good enough, and just get it done. You don’t have to spend a lot of money in big equipment or any of that kind of stuff, or teams of people to produce or some big production out of it that you can sit here like we are on the couch in the Vandal lounge with our mics in hand and just talking to you.
Jen: [02:03] What are we going to talk about today?
Twila: [02:07] I love today. I’m so glad you asked. I love today, because as a leader, as a business owner, as an entrepreneur, and someone who teaches and coaches people for a living, I am an avid, avid, avid reader. When you look at all the successful people that are out there, the number one thing that they’ll tell you is that they’re avid readers, so Jen, I am so, so glad today that we decided to talk about what we’re reading.
Jen: [02:38] Oh yeah?
Twila: [02:39] Yeah.
Jen: [02:39] You know me. I’m a recovering English major.
Twila: [02:44] Recovering. Yeah. How many majors don’t you have? Let’s just talk about that because it would be a lot easier to answer how many majors you don’t have.
Jen: [02:54] What? I only had a English … I have a bachelor’s in English literature, a minor in art, abstract painting to be exact, and a master’s degree in leadership. That’s all.
Twila: [03:06] That’s not bad.
Jen: [03:07] It’s not bad. It’s not a ton.
Twila: [03:07] That’s not bad.
Jen: [03:09] Yeah, and that’s fine. That’s enough. I’m not looking for more, but I do like to read everything. I’ll read everything from the back of a cereal box to the newspaper, to everything, and I always have been like that. I will tell you that I’m not a super fast reader, and so one of my favorite things now is Audible because I have so many meetings.
Jen: [03:29] I’m driving back and forth, I’m getting ready for new stuff, and I bounce around a lot on different Audible books, but I have been on, I will tell you, the best run lately of just listening to just phenomenal books. At the end of 2017, beginning of 2018, there was an Inc. article about leadership books that you need to read. I’ve gone through those before and been disappointed, but this list somehow was just the best list that I’ve come across, and so the books lately that I’ve just had like the best impact on me are Angela Duckworth’s ‘Grit’ and Amy Cuddy’s ‘Presence’.
Twila: [04:07] I’ve heard that both of those are really good. They’re on my list. I haven’t read them yet, but I’ve heard they’re super, super phenomenal reads.
Jen: [04:15] Yeah. I made like an Audible gasp when the ‘Presence’ book was done with Amy Cuddy. The idea of how your mind and your body are so connected, and how you can reduce anxiety, remain grounded, and stand in your own personal power just by standing … Some people say starfish up or standing like Wonder Woman with your hands on your hips, and just proud and like in your own moment.
Twila: [04:46] Right.
Jen: [04:46] There’s just something about that that they have found helps children, helps business leaders, helps everybody be more articulate, think thoughts through more clearly, and really stand in your strength, and I just thought it was so inspiring.
Twila: [05:03] It’s ironic that you’re talking about this because last weekend, I had just attended a seminar. I was a plus one of someone who had gotten a free ticket to a … It was called ‘Grown Up Sexy’, and so I thought, “I’m going to learn how to grow up sexy. I’m going to know how to pout my lips and wear that little nighty or whatever”, but no. It wasn’t anything like that.
Twila: [05:26] It was really all about standing in your confidence and your power as a woman. She quoted a lot of Amy Cuddy’s book, ‘Presence’, and actually had us do that exercise of standing in your Wonder Woman pose with your hands on your hips, and I have to say physically doing it, it changed my mental state immediately.
Jen: [05:49] Yeah. Two minutes a day is all that it takes.
Twila: [05:51] Yeah. Yeah.
Jen: [05:51] I mean, it’s just phenomenal, and so after that, I’m like, “That book is just so hard to beat”, and so I think what I’ll do is hand it off to you and see what you’re reading, but then I have one more, which is what I’m reading right now that I want to also talk about. Is that okay, because I just love reading so much?
Twila: [05:51] That’s okay.
Jen: [06:11] It’s so crazy. What are you listening to or what are you reading right now? What’s got you just super pumped?
Twila: [06:18] I love Audible myself, and I download books all the time to Audible so I can listen to them when we’re spending three and a half hours in this Portland traffic.
Jen: [06:31] It’s not that bad.
Twila: [06:32] It’s not that bad. Okay, two and a half. That when I’m sitting at home, I really like sitting with a book at night, so I have my library. You know. You’ve been in my house. I’ve got two bookcases that are just solid of books.
Jen: [06:48] Bursting. They’re just bursting with books.
Twila: [06:50] They are bursting with books. There’s no pretty things on there because there’s no room for pretty things on there. The book that I have recently went back to to reread … I do that too. I’ll read, and then I’ll come back to them, and I’m making a lot of highlights and notes and all of that, and it is Brendon Burchard’s ‘High Performance Habits’. I got to tell you, I’m loving it.
Twila: [07:17] One of the things that I just learned early on in the book that I went through the exercise last night with, is he was talking about when you’re feeling overwhelmed and you’re going from one thing to another and it just seems like you’re just really on that hamster wheel and you’re not really present in your day or present of what’s going on around you, that it’s all about managing your transitions. I never thought about it in that way before, that everything we do, every activity that we stop and start to do something else is a transition, like in the morning when you wake up, and then you get out of bed. That’s a transition, and you have your morning routine, and then you go to leave the house. That’s a transition, and you’re driving, and then you get out of your car and go into your office or to that meeting. That’s a transition, and during the way, you handle things in your office or at your table if you work from home, and then something interrupts you, or lunch comes, or another meeting comes.
Twila: [08:37] That’s a transition, right? At the end of the day, you leave and you’re on your drive home. That’s a transition, and you get home, and you park in your driveway, and now, you’ve got to go meet the fam. You got to meet your wife, or your spouse, or significant other, and your kids. That’s a transition because you’ve got to change how you’re thinking, what you’re doing, how you’re feeling, all of those things. He gave just a phenomenal way to manage all of those transitions, so one, you can be more present in your day, but two, be able to be the person that you need to be for whatever situation you’re walking into.
Jen: [09:15] That sounds great.
Twila: [09:17] It’s really great.
Jen: [09:19] It reminds me of a term that I’ve heard before. It’s mostly used around language, which is code-switching, and how you speak different languages with different people and stuff, but it’s about acknowledging all of those times that you make transitions throughout your day.
Twila: [09:38] Right.
Jen: [09:39] Yeah.
Twila: [09:39] It’s just recognizing them, so you have to be present to do that, right? You have to be conscious. You have to be aware of where you’re at, what you’re doing and what you’re getting ready to do, and his little thing … I’ll give it away but, because there’s so much in the book. You have to get it, but this is good enough that you’ll want to go get it if you don’t have it on your shelf now, is the way that he manages transitions are, it’s a mantra.
Twila: [10:07] It’s release tension, set intention, manage the transition. It’s whatever is going on, you just stop for just that quick moment and taking that deep breath, and just let it out, and let it go, and then set the intention. I think about it, and he tells the story about one of the high-powered executives in Silicon Valley that he was helping with this, and how he wants to be a better dad and husband, so he has him just for a few seconds when he parks the car in the garage. Just take that deep breath in, let it out, think for just a moment, “What person do I want to be when I walk in that door to my wife and to my kids, or to my husband and my kids, or whoever you’re walking into?”, and then go in and be that. Manage yourself in a way that you’re being that, but stop and just acknowledge and ask yourself, “Who do I want to be when I walk in that door?”
Jen: [11:11] I love that.
Twila: [11:12] I do too. I do too. I mean, it’s just-
Jen: [11:14] Have you been practicing it?
Twila: [11:15] I have, and I’m telling you what, it is changing … One, it’s changing the tone of every room that I walk in, and even my husband, Paul. You know Paul. I walked in the other night, and usually, when I’m coming back from my meetings and it’s later at night, and I’ve got my arms full with my briefcase and my purse and everything else, I just take off the shoes. Okay. Let’s just say I fly them off my feet.
Twila: [11:44] Wherever they land is where they land. I’m trying to fight through the dogs, and I’m just like, “Guys, let me in the door. Let me in the door.” That’s what I’m saying first thing. Then, Paul is like, “Great. It’s been a good day”, and it sets his mindset, but I’ve been doing this recently, and I’ve been just stopping in my car, taking that deep breath and saying, “Who do I want to be when I walk in that door?”
Twila: [12:06] I want to be loving. I want to be happy. I want to be a supportive wife. I want to be the kind of wife that he wants to see come home, instead of a dread come home.
Jen: [12:16] Right.
Twila: [12:17] I pick up my things, and I walk in, and the dogs hit the door, and I’m like, “Hey, guys. It’s so good to see you.” I take off my shoes versus fly them off my feet, and then I walk in, and I’m like, “Hey, babe. How was your day?” I’m telling you, just that little bit of a change, has totally he’s in such a good mood now.
Jen: [12:39] I bet.
Twila: [12:40] Such a good mood. Like he’ll call me during the day, even when crap’s going on at his job, and he’s just like, “Hey, babe. Just wanted to stop and just say hi and see how your day’s going.” I haven’t had that in a long time.
Jen: [12:40] Right.
Twila: [12:53] We haven’t had those kind of conversations in a long time, and I know it’s because I’m managing that transition from the end of the day, or even if I’m siting there working from home and he comes home, I take that second when I hear him get out of the truck and set the alarm on the truck, the horn beeps, and I immediately take that deep breath and think about, “Who do I want to be when he walks in that door?” I just be that, and it’s changing.
Jen: [13:19] Yeah.
Twila: [13:19] It’s changing that.
Jen: [13:21] It’s like there’s a lot there, and there’s actually a lot of overlap with like the Amy Cuddy book too where it’s really about whether it’s standing in your own power and being that person that you want to be in the moment for yourself or managing the transition so that you can be fully present with whoever is in front of you. There’s a lot of overlap in that in terms of being aware, in terms of thinking about your surroundings, like greeting them with abundance and just being happy and in the moment.
Twila: [13:21] Right. Right. Right.
Jen: [13:57] Sometimes, I find, it’s one of the things that’s really changed about me lately in the last few years is if I’m getting really stressed out, I might just sit there and be like, “Hey, wait. What’s happening at this particular moment?”
Twila: [14:12] Right.
Jen: [14:13] Then, everything’s calm because I look around and I’m like, “I have a wonderful husband, a great dog who’s a spaz who I love, awesome friends, a house.” I mean, what else could I possibly want?
Twila: [14:26] A thriving business, a podcast with Twila Kaye. I mean, what else would you want?
Jen: [14:33] A podcast with Twila Kaye.
Twila: [14:35] Lots of things. Lots of things.
Jen: [14:38] I’m just kidding, but it’s great. I mean, it’s like I’ve created this new life for myself that is wonderful, and not getting caught up in the moment, managing that transition between I’m working on this big project, but I don’t need to be stressed out when it’s not what I’m working on.
Twila: [14:56] Right. Right. Right, and think about it when you’re working on something, and then the phone rings. You get that interruption, right? Sometimes, and I’ve heard people do this, they picked up the phone, “Yes, Twila Kaye. How can I help you?”, like you’re already bothered that you’ve called in, right?
Jen: [14:56] Right.
Twila: [15:16] When, okay, if I just stop that second and take that deep breath really quick and think, ‘Okay. I want to be good here. I mean, I don’t have to go through a five-minute thing of who I want to be. It’s just I want to be present for this person if nothing else”, then I pick up the phone, “Good afternoon. Twila Kaye. How can I help you?”, and it’s a total different vibe that you’re sending the other person.
Jen: [15:37] Yeah.
Twila: [15:38] I got to tell you, I practiced it even this afternoon, going to our eWomenNetwork, Strategic Business Introduction meeting, parked my car, went to the meter, did that, and as I’m walking in, I’m taking my deep breaths walking in, and I’m thinking about, “What kind of leader do I want to be and what’s the outcome of this meeting that I want for the guests that are coming today?” I set that intention, and lo and behold, I got the result that I was looking for.
Jen: [16:08] Exactly. Exactly. Can I tell you about this other-
Twila: [16:11] I’d love for you to. I could go on and on.
Jen: [16:14] You normally do as a person who listens to the episodes.
Twila: [16:22] Yes. I got a lot to say.
Jen: [16:24] Who doesn’t?
Twila: [16:27] Tell us, Jen, what have you been reading?
Jen: [16:29] Okay. I’m just … I’m not complaining. It’s fine. My coach from Thrive Academy, [K. [00:16:34] Collins suggested that I read this book, called ‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert. Have you read that?
Twila: [16:41] I have. That is an amazing, amazing book. Amazing.
Jen: [16:46] I am so fascinated by ideas and the creative process and how it all works, and I’ve been working on this idea for a group program for a year.
Twila: [16:57] Right.
Jen: [16:59] Katie and I have been working through the parts of it. I’ve been working with another coach on some of the parts of it, and it hasn’t come together. She was talking about ideas, and so the story that has just captivated me, because I’m not very far into it, is the story of Elizabeth Gilbert having the idea for the book in Brazil, and working on it, making the promise to the idea that she’s going to write this book, and then life gets in the way, and she doesn’t work on it for a couple of years.
Twila: [17:32] Right.
Jen: [17:33] In the meantime, she meets another author named Ann Patchett who have read her books too. They become great friends, don’t talk about this book or this idea, and Elizabeth Gilbert gets back and sees that this idea has escaped despite all of her research and everything. She just doesn’t have the fire. The idea is gone.
Twila: [17:57] Right.
Jen: [17:59] She talks to her friend, Ann Patchett, and they’re talking just over a coffee, and they realized that about the time that Elizabeth Gilbert realizes she’s lost the idea, Ann Patchett gets an idea to write a book about Brazil. I mean, it’s almost the exact same plot as you know because you’ve read it.
Twila: [18:21] Right. Right. Right.
Jen: [18:22] Just this idea of how ideas can pass between people, but more than that, the idea of how Elizabeth Gilbert received that information. There was no way that Ann Patchett could have stolen the idea from her.
Twila: [18:37] Right.
Jen: [18:37] Not possible. They never talked about it. Nothing, but the fact that what Elizabeth said is it’s still possible that somebody could view it that way, even though that’s not what it was at all.
Twila: [18:37] Right.
Jen: [18:50] What she spoke about in that book that was so powerful is how you look at these things with abundance, so even when something happens, even when something doesn’t seem to go your way, even if you have this great idea and it’s lost in the wind, it may just be that it wasn’t actually your idea at all.
Twila: [19:08] Right. That it was there for somebody else.
Jen: [19:11] That it was there for somebody else. I just think that that is just this amazing twist on the creative process. Amazing twist on all of the ideas because for you, you get bombarded with ideas all day.
Twila: [19:25] All day long.
Jen: [19:26] All day long, and for somebody like me, I get a lot of ideas too, and then I’m like analyzing them to death, and so it’s just this whole idea that maybe ideas aren’t really something that we can control.
Twila: [19:40] Right.
Jen: [19:40] They’re just something there that we need to work with and see what happens.
Twila: [19:44] Yeah.
Jen: [19:44] I think that calling it ‘Big Magic’, I mean, it just is what it is, and it’s been so captivating for me to really think about that process, think about my own process and the big vision I have for my own company, and how the magic of these ideas can really propel things, and I’m really, really looking forward to the last four hours I have left. I was just checking how much more I have left on my Audible, because when I get a good book …
Twila: [19:44] Right.
Jen: [20:18] I mean, I have had times where I finished a novel not like on a Audible, but I’ll turn the last page of the novel, and I cry because I can’t believe I have to say goodbye to the characters.
Twila: [20:28] Right.
Jen: [20:29] I mean, I am ridiculous about books and stuff because I feel like I can see them, and I’m like the worst. I don’t like to see the movies because I’m like, “No. That’s not right that that person doesn’t look right.”
Twila: [20:43] Right.
Jen: [20:44] What do I know? I just read it. I didn’t write it. It’s stupid. So silly. I know that I’ll feel the same way when that book is over, and I think there’s a lot of opportunities in there to learn about my own process, about how I can help other people through their process and just leadership and creation just in general.
Twila: [21:09] Right. Just in general. I remember when I read that book and reading that part of the book. I had remembered … Remember that movie ‘Horse Whisperer’ that Robert Redford and Emma Thompson were in?
Jen: [21:25] Yeah.
Twila: [21:27] I had went and seen that movie, and the song that they’re playing when Robert Redford and Emma Thompson are dancing on the dance floor, and her husband is watching in the background. I was stunned when I heard that song because it was the same song that I had been trying to write myself.
Jen: [21:55] Oh my gosh.
Twila: [21:57] I mean, I was so freaked out about it that I called my guitar player, and I’m like, “Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy, it’s my song. It’s my song on this movie. What do I do? What do I do? They stole my song.”
Twila: [22:10] He’s like, “No.” He said, “There’s a song out there. Every song is already out there. You can’t write a song that isn’t already floating in the universe.”
Jen: [22:22] Exactly.
Twila: [22:22] “They just happen to finish it before you.”
Jen: [22:24] It’s like at every book signing that Elizabeth Gilbert has for ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, people tell her she wrote their book, and they get angry with her.
Twila: [22:35] Yeah.
Jen: [22:36] She wrote her book.
Twila: [22:37] Right. Right.
Jen: [22:40] It was hers to write.
Twila: [22:41] Right.
Jen: [22:42] She’s, even said she got very lucky, and it was successful, and it didn’t need to be. It just is lucky, and it happened.
Twila: [22:53] Yeah. Yeah.
Jen: [22:56] I’ve had so many book ideas myself because I love to write, and I have a goal to write a book, but I think it takes something special to sit down and write it.
Twila: [23:08] I think so too from beginning to end, because I’ve started writing about four or five different books, and I haven’t finished any of them yet. Thank goodness, in my past life, I was at least able to finish some songs that we could get out there and perform for people, but I’ve literally got four or five books that I’ve started that I can’t finish, and now that you’re reminding me of the ‘Big Magic’, maybe they’re not mine. Maybe they’re someone else’s and someone else out there is finishing them, and that’s okay. Mine’s still there.
Jen: [23:42] It’s still there.
Twila: [23:43] It’s still there. I think that’s a great reminder for us all, that ideas come and ideas go, and it’s okay. You don’t need to get frustrated or overwhelmed by them or anything else, that sometimes maybe they aren’t meant for you or in that way, and the next idea that comes along will be yours, right?
Jen: [24:07] I’ll tell you what I told this morning was the Women with Moxie Online Connection Café. I co-host that with Dill Ward every Thursday morning at [9:00] Pacific Time, and I was telling them about ‘Big Magic’ on there too, so if anybody’s listening, they’re going to be like, “Jen, you talked about this this morning.”
Twila: [24:27] Right.
Jen: [24:27] What I told them was if you have an idea and you’re stuck, then you need to also bring on help, so if you’re stuck on the technology part, give me a call.
Twila: [24:27] Right.
Jen: [24:40] If you’re stuck on the business side, give Twila a call. It’s one of those things where if the idea is yours and the comments in the chat, because we run that on Zoom, the Online Café, one of the comments in the chat was an idea on your kitchen table is just going to sit there.
Twila: [24:40] Right.
Jen: [25:00] It’s not really an idea at all.
Twila: [25:01] Right. It’s a thought.
Jen: [25:04] It’s a thought. That was from Patty Farmer, which Patty if you’re listening, big shout out to you and your online magazine. She’s been a great addition to the Women with Moxie Online Café, and I thought that that was just so valuable because if you don’t act on the idea, it will go away.
Twila: [25:23] Yeah. Right.
Jen: [25:23] It will go away.
Twila: [25:24] Right, it will.
Jen: [25:26] I think that we’ve talked. We can fill a lot of time. I mean, I’m just looking down at how much time this little rough cut took. We can talk all night.
Twila: [25:36] We can talk all night, but we won’t, or at least …
Jen: [25:41] Okay. We’ll turn the recorded on and keep talking.
Twila: [25:43] Right. We’ll turn the recorded on, and then keep talking, because it’s almost wine time.
Jen: [25:43] It is, really-
Twila: [25:48] It is almost … It is wine time.
Jen: [25:50] It is wine time.
Twila: [25:51] It’s past wine time.
Jen: [25:53] I’ll just say that.
Twila: [25:54] The sun is still shining. We had a beautiful day here in Portland.
Jen: [25:59] It’s a beautiful day in Portland, Oregon, so be sure to subscribe. If you’re listening on iTunes or on Google Play, be sure to subscribe, and go to ThirdPaddle.com to check out more. I’m going to close this out as if I am the announcer, which is super fun for me. Thank you for listening to the Third Paddle Podcast. If you like our show and want to learn more, check out our website at www.ThirdPaddle.com, or leave us a review on iTunes.
Jen: [26:28] Send questions or topic ideas to info@ThirdPaddle.com, and don’t forget to tune in each week to get even more technology and business tips to help you navigate business shit creek. The Third Paddle Podcast is sponsored by Foster Growth, online at www.FosterGrowth.tech, and Twila Kaye International, online at www.TwilaKaye.com, and don’t forget Kaye is spelled K-A-Y-E.
Twila: [26:58] Twila is T-W-I- L-A.
Jen: [27:02] Thanks for listening.
Twila: [27:04] Have a great one.