About Robin Reed
Robin Reed is the co-founder and Principal with EmFluent, a corporate coaching and consulting company that focuses on leadership strategy, talent optimization and sales arbitrage. Robin is also President and CEO of the Black Chamber of Arizona, and President of Occam Sustainability Partners (OSP) an international sustainability solution consulting firm that provides energy saving strategies. Robin is also recognized as a professional speaker and has spoken nationally and internationally on the topics of business development, strategy execution, talent optimization, sales arbitrage and mergers and acquisition. Working closely with an outstanding board of directors, Robin has transformed the Chamber into an inclusive and forward-thinking community organization that prides itself on collaboration and delivering quality tools and information to its member businesses to foster growth and development of their companies. OSP & EmFluent are privately held companies founded by Robin and address specific needs relative to their market segment. Prior to starting OSP & EmFluent, Robin was a financial advisor with two major wire houses. During his time in the financial services industry Robin specialized in restricted and estate stock transactions. An entrepreneur at heart, Robin has started, acquired, operated and sold several companies over his 40-year career. Robin’s experience in business ownership and business consulting has created a foundation in understanding the needs of business owners and individuals to help them define, execute and meet their financial and professional goals. Robin is originally from Northern California and current lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and has an adult son and twin daughters in college.
Lesson 1. Hard Work Trumps All 02:58
Lesson 2. “Motivation” Is An Accessory That Is Not Required For Achievement 05:08
Lesson 3. “Failure” Is An Idea, Not A Fact. So Is Success. 09:29
Lesson 4. Asking For Help Is A Strategy, Not A Weakness 11:54
Lesson 5. You Don’t Have To Have It All Figured Out Before You Start 15:52
Lesson 6. You Can Have More Than One Dream In A Lifetime And You Can Pursue More Than One Dream At A Time 18:53
Lesson 7. Invest In Your Own Happiness 24:42
Lesson 8. “Advice” Is The Opinions Of Others Based On Their Experiences 31:32
Lesson 9. Travel To Expand Your World View 35:05
Lesson 10. Stress Is Not A Badge Of Honor 42:29
Robin Reed – Stress Is Not A Badge Of Honour
[00:00:06] Diana White: Hello, and welcome to 10 lessons. It took me 50 years to learn where we dispense wisdom to an international audience of rising leaders. My name is Diana White and I’m your host. This episode is sponsored by the professional development forum, which helps diverse young professionals at any age, accelerate their performance in the modern workplace.
On 10 lessons, you’ll hear honest, practical advice that you cannot learn from a textbook. Today’s guest is Robin Reed. Robin is the co-founder and principal with EmFluent and executive performance consulting company that focus on leadership strategy, talent optimization, and sales arbitrage. Robin is also the president and CEO of the Black Chamber of Arizona.
Robin is recognized as a professional speaker and has spoken all over the world on topics of business development, strategy, execution, talent optimization, sales arbitrage, and mergers and acquisition. Originally from Northern California, Robin currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and is an avid golfer who enjoys getting out on the course three to four times per week.
Robin holds several board seats on various college university and non-profit organizations in Arizona. Welcome Robin.
[00:01:26] Robin Reed: Thanks Diana. Really happy to be here.
[00:01:29] Diana White: I am so happy to have you here. And your lessons were really, really powerful and amazing. and I’ll probably need some golf lessons after this.
So, let’s throw a curve ball question. We always do this first question I want to ask you is, what would you tell your 30-year-old self?
[00:01:48] Robin Reed: That’s a good question., I, I, as I recall, I really enjoyed my thirties. I would tell my 30-year-old self that. Although it’s clear, there’s a lot of life left to go.
Don’t forget. There’s also a lot of living left to do, realizing, you know, I, I had achieved some, some nice levels of success. By the time I reached my thirties, I’d owned a couple of businesses and done well with those. but felt like I had all the time in the world. and now as I am about to turn 60 in a couple of weeks, I look at how many things I still haven’t done.
and so, I’m traveling much more now, and, and just going to learn another language, just things that I always thought I had time to do., so it’s just remembering that not only do you have a lot of life left, but there’s a lot of living left to do as well.
[00:02:36] Diana White: I think that you’re spot on with that. I remember in my thirties, I thought that what I was doing was living right. But I wasn’t, strategic about it. I didn’t really understand where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do. And. I was really just going through the motions I wasn’t living. So that, that is powerful.
[00:02:58] Lesson 1: Hard Work Trumps All
[00:02:58] Diana White: Let’s go into that first lesson, hard work trumps it all.
[00:03:03] Robin Reed: Yeah. So, you know, my mother is from the south, and we were just always taught, do the work., don’t, fall back on any, excuse your race. Isn’t an excuse. Your gender is an excuse, your height, your weight, nothing. None of those things are valid excuses for not doing the work that it takes to achieve what you’re trying to achieve.
My mother had a saying, and I’ll, I’ll, I’ll say her saying, but then I’ll kind of paraphrase it into how I see it today. But my mother would always say, you know, never time to do it right. But there’s always time to do it over. And I align that more with, you know, I’ve seen people take more time to create a shortcut than often it takes to just do the work that needs to be done. That sometimes things take the time that they take. And the only determination of when you finish is when you start. So, just raise with a really strong work ethic. I’m very proud to have been raised with that, attitude., but I do think yes, hard work trumps all.
[00:04:03] Diana White: So, something that you said in there resonated with me, , greatly, , and I’ll paraphrase basically, you said the only sure way to know that there’s a finish line is you actually have to start,, I think that should be a bumper sticker that is, so many people get frozen because they are afraid of the outcome because they assume the outcome is going to be negative and they don’t even start
they don’t even start to see what may come. So, I think that’s powerful.
[00:04:35] Robin Reed: Well, you know, I, and I think this is a paraphrasing of a, of quote that’s been attributed to the late great Muhammad Ali, but he would say, you don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.
[00:04:47] Diana White: Yes. Yes. All right.
So now speaking of, because I, don’t know of another person, that easily comes to mind that talks about number two, that motivation piece as Muhammad Ali I mean, we all grew up watching him, just never give up, literally, being motivated.
[00:05:08] Lesson 2: “Motivation” Is An Accessory That Is Not Required For Achievement
[00:05:08] Diana White: And so, number two, your lesson is motivation is an accessory that is not required for achievement.
And, you know, there are a lot of people out there that will say, oh, no, you need motivation motivation is the key to everything. But you know, you say here, action is the only thing that creates results. And
[00:05:27] Robin Reed: Absolutely
[00:05:27] Diana White: epiphany for me to talk about that.
[00:05:30] Robin Reed: It is so, so as you know, I have a public speaking company and have been privileged enough to travel the world and have discussions with people, on a variety of topics.
And I will tell people I’m an activational speaker. I want you to take action. I want to activate something in you to get you moving and doing, because I can motivate you and you can lose that motivation before you get to the car. I can motivate you and a life event can happen, that can take you off course and if you wait to become motivated again, you might miss an opportunity. Action is the only thing that creates achievement. There’s never been anything that supports that motivation in and of itself is the determining factor for achievement. But everything supports that taking action is crucial to achievement.
If you never, do it, it doesn’t matter how motivated you were to do it in the first place. I call that you know, and I, and I have high regard for the individual, but I call it kind of the Tony Robins syndrome., you’ll go to an event of his and he will pump you up. Like you’ve never, ever seen for two whole days.
He’ll get you walking over hot coals.
[00:06:39] Diana White: Exactly.
[00:06:41] Robin Reed: Yeah, he’ll do all of those things. And then you’re going to get in your car. You’re going to drive home and depending on whether or not, or what you may have purchased at his event, the next step is, is the call to action. And if you never take that action, then none of that motivation that you carried.
Was good for you. However, you can go to the same event you can say, yeah, I’m not motivated. This did not spark something in me, but you know what, when I go home, I’ll do it anyway. Well, if you do it anyway, it still gets done. Whether or not you were motivated. So that’s why I say motivation is an accessory.
I’m not saying it’s not a great thing to have. It’s just not a necessity for an achievement.
[00:07:21] Diana White: I love it. And would you say that if you just start and you start to see results that, that in turn motivates you to continue.
[00:07:32] Robin Reed: Absolutely. I mean, you know, again, I’m not saying motivation is bad, I’m just saying it isn’t necessary for the accomplishment, but yes, you will start to find, you know, whether you’re that kind of person that has a, to do list every day, right.
That sometimes you’ll do the four or five things that are quick and easy because they get you into a rhythm. Right. And all of a sudden, you like that feeling so that when you’ve got to dig into that task, that might be an hour or two to get it done. You got. Momentum behind you., so I would also say that, taking action can create momentum, even in the absence of motivation.
I don’t know how you were as a kid, but, you know, we had chores to do, we had to clean the house and I can never tell you, there was a day I wanted to clean the house and I, and some will argue, well, the motivation was you’d get in trouble, but that’s not a really a motivation.
That’s a de-motivation, it’s a, I want to get away from something. But at the end of the day, the only thing that got the house clean was to pick up and vacuum and wipe you have to do the work. So yes, motivation is, is it’s a nice accessory, but it’s an accessory, nonetheless.
[00:08:37] Diana White: Oh, my mom, if she were on this podcast, she would regale you of the tales of me not doing a doggone thing.
So yeah, I had to learn how to motivate myself in other ways. A lot of it came through writing., you know, if I, if I had papers to write or if I had, at one point I thought myself, I was going to be the. Historical romance novelist, and I’d, I’d get writer’s block. And so, for me, it was as simple as moving away from that and just writing something silly, moving away from that consuming, something that started in my brain percolating.
And then I could go back to that. But once it became daunting, sometimes, especially when it’s in the creative side, you can’t push yourself through that. You really have to take a break and breathe. Right? Yeah. So, yeah, I love that.
[00:09:29] Lesson 3: “Failure” Is An Idea, Not A Fact. So Is Success.
[00:09:29] Diana White: So now we talked about motivation. Let’s go into failure. A failure is an idea, not a fact.
So is success. And I love what you say here. You say failure and success are moments in time based on mindset. All right.
[00:09:46] Robin Reed: First thing I will. tell everyone and I do executive coaching of pretty high-level individuals in very well-known companies. And I will share with you what I share with them, everyone that you see on any given day, your entire life at that specific moment in time has survived. Everything that’s ever happened to them.
Good, bad. And otherwise, you survived it. So, no matter how bad you thought it was going to be or how good you thought it would be you’re still you. You’re still here. When I say that failure is an idea because it is, when we, when we meet that person of our dreams, unless it’s the first romantic interest you’ve ever had in another individual, it’s likely that some of your other relationships didn’t work.
So, if all of that brought you there. Is, is that failure? Were any of those failures or were they simply part of a process? Right., you know, I, I think that if you’re hiking a mountain and you get a pebble in your shoe, do you take out the pebble and keep going? Or do you assume that because it causes you pain, you have failed and then you, you stop your attempt to scale the mountain.
So, failure is an idea and it’s always based on this moment in time, because there’s so many things in life that wouldn’t have happened for me, if something else had not failed to happen for me and almost everyone I know can say the same thing about their lives. It’s just remembering life is a continuum.
It is not a series of snapshots that we look through it is a constant rolling film where we can have flashbacks, but at the same time, it’s still moving. And I think that if we can get more people to understand that both failure and success are temporary, specific to a moment in time and are wonderful tools for learning how to move forward.
Because if we have success in our history, we can recall it and repeat it. And if we have failure in our history, we can recall it and avoid it.
[00:11:49] Diana White: Right. Absolutely. That’s amazing. That is amazing.
[00:11:54] Lesson 4: Asking For Help Is A Strategy, Not A Weakness
[00:11:54] Diana White: So, let’s go on to number five, asking for help is a strategy, not a weakness. Having tools makes the job easier.
Now that was something. When I read it, I saw myself, I saw myself because growing up in retail and. You know, with fear of, if they felt like you couldn’t handle it on your own, then you’re going to be out the door, asking for help was not just considered a weakness to me, but a detriment to my career.
And so, when I saw that, I said, man, now that I’m older and wiser, I see that in writing. And I’m like, ah, ha yeah, that is so true. But my 20, 30-year-old self would have said, are you kidding me? That’s going to get me fired. So, talk to me about that.
[00:12:48] Robin Reed: Yeah. And I, I have to admit, I’ve had that mindset in the past as well.
But again, these are 10 lessons I’ve learned, which means that any one of these things, I was on the other side of it before I learned the lesson and so as I look at that, yeah. You know, asking for help was always my belief system that it said I was deficient in some way. I didn’t have all the information.
I didn’t know everything. And the simple fact is you’re not supposed to. You’re not supposed to. What I have absolutely learned in the last 20 years is that asking for help is not only a really good individual strategy. It’s a phenomenal way of fostering strong relationships with others. Because when you ask someone for their help, you are respecting their knowledge on something in which you don’t have the knowledge and what greater way to make someone feel valued than to value them.
So yeah, I, I think that you know, I have, I’ve really gotten to a place where, I build a lot of relationships and when I need someone’s help. I feel confident asking for it because I know it supports something I’m trying to achieve. And at the same time, this is imperative that you also be someone willing to help when someone asks help of you.
That means that we don’t get to be in judgment of somebody that’s asking for help, because we’ve got a, we’ve got to then acknowledge. They’re also executing a strong strategy on their end.
[00:14:15] Diana White: Yeah. You know, it’s so funny that you talk about that because it took me a long time in my life to realize once again, we hear this all the time, but it is so true.
You do not have to be the smartest person in the room. As a matter of fact, you’re the smartest person in the room. If you bring other people around that make everything better. You don’t have to know everything and it’s okay to ask for help, but it’s reciprocal, right? You really do have to give back. And I, and I, do come from a kind of servant leadership, management style, where I’m not going to ask you to do anything that I wouldn’t be willing to do.
I’m going to try to learn from you. I see everyone. I come across. I don’t care what station they are in life. I don’t care what age they are. I see everyone as a mentor, as a learning opportunity. And then I’d also hope that I share something with you that makes you grow. And I think you, you can’t get there if you don’t start the conversation, ask the question, ask for help.
Especially if you’re in a position of power, because people will automatically defer to, to your tone. And so, if you’re, if you’re the king you’re the emperor and you don’t say, I want you to tell me, honestly, honestly, do you see clothes on me? If you don’t say it, you’re not going to get the answer that you want back.
Right. So, I really, that, that resonated with me, all of your lessons resonated with me, but some obviously hit that mark, you know?
[00:15:52] Lesson 5: You Don’t Have To Have It All Figured Out Before You Start
[00:15:52] Diana White: All right. So, number six, you don’t have to have it all figured out before you start.
[00:15:59] Robin Reed: Yes. So, I mentor a number of businesses and consult as well, and I often see.
Two ends of a spectrum, individuals that are woefully ill prepared to start something in this case of business and others that are waiting until they think everything is perfect before they start. And what I say to both of them is, you know, you don’t have to have it all figured out. Start when you have enough money, time, information research completed.
Start when you have enough, you have time to do more, and get more along the way but I always caution if you’re waiting for everything to be perfect, you’re going to get passed up by the person who didn’t wait. Again, sometimes first to market, wins
[00:16:52] Diana White: oh, I, I agree. And you know, both of us are in the consulting world and I know you have the same number of stories that I do of, founders coming and saying I’ve been working on this project.
Oh, that’s great. Where’s your MVP. Oh, it’s not ready yet. How long you’ve been working on it? Oh, I’ve been working on it for 10 years. Well, what, whoa, when are you going to get it to market so that people can beat it up and tell you what they actually want? Well, it’s got to be perfect. Perfect for whom?
Perfect for you. You are not your customer.
[00:17:25] Robin Reed: Right.
[00:17:26] Diana White: You know, so I wish that when we talk about life in general, not just entrepreneurship, that, that, that mantra is something that we set in everybody’s head because it’s so critical. It’s so important. And it, it actually helps you heal yourself faster when you get knocked down.
[00:17:44] Robin Reed: Absolutely. Absolutely. Because no matter how well-prepared you ever think you are, you weren’t prepared enough. You will always encounter something that was unexpected. Now that doesn’t always mean it’s a negative, but it was unexpected. And I’ve seen people fail because they didn’t take advantage of an unexpected, good thing, as often as when they don’t take advantage of, or when they don’t avoid something that was a bad thing that was unexpected.
[00:18:10] Diana White: Right.
[00:18:10] Robin Reed: You know, we, we’ve all heard of those companies that actually go out of business because they grow too fast.
[00:18:15] Diana White: Right. Right. And I’ve actually encountered founders and companies that, Because they have so much, ownership over, over this thing that they’re putting out to the world, instead of creating a solution to a pain point, they’re creating something that, that they can’t let go of that when they find out that their product or service is not being used, as they intended, they sabotage themselves, but they try to convince the world to use it the way they intended, as opposed to listening to what the world is telling them.
That’s amazing to me. Absolutely amazing to me.
[00:18:53] Lesson 6: You Can Have More Than One Dream In A Lifetime And You Can Pursue More Than One Dream At A Time
[00:18:53] Diana White: All right, lesson. Number seven, this one, I think, it made me smile because I feel like I’m doing that in my life right now. So, lesson number seven, you can have more than one dream in a lifetime, and you can pursue more than one dream at a time. Now there are a lot of people out there that will say, oh no, if, if I’m going to be a doctor, I got to focus on med school.
I got to do this. I don’t have time for anything else. If I want to be, you know, in the PGA, I’ve got to do this. I can’t focus on anything else and then there are people like me that said for many years, this is all I’m good for. This is all I can do. And in a new space now, knowing that the skill sets that I’ve gathered over the years translate into many different opportunities.
I saw this and I literally almost came to tears. So, talk about that.
[00:19:51] Robin Reed: So, as I’ve looked, as I in answering that question, when I looked back on my life, I thought, man, oh man, what are some of the dreams and goals I had when I was in high school and my twenties, my thirties, my forties, even my fifties. And I realized I’ve had a lot of them wonderful ones that were a lot of fun for me.
They weren’t all lifetime achievement goals. Some of them were, this is what I want to do this year. Some of them were, this is what I want to accomplish in business. And I was able to enjoy each of those at the same time. I, you know, I’ve always enjoyed, I was a competitive athlete for years as a young person in a few years in my twenties.
So, I’ve always enjoyed health and fitness. So, I’ve gone through so many iterations of, of what I could do in a gym, my capability. So, for years I was training with a bunch of power lifters and got really, really huge. And then for years, I really enjoyed the CrossFit phase and I got really, really agile and capable in my body movements.
For other years I was big in there running and cardio and now it’s more okay. What, what different ways can I shape myself that. That didn’t stop my business achievement goals that didn’t stop my marriage goals. That didn’t stop my parenting goals. And in fact, I think the fact that I was not so single minded about something is what allowed me to achieve so many of the things.
Because at that point you gave a perfect example of, writer’s block. Well, people have life block all the time because when you’re writing you’re writing a whole book, but you can’t write a whole book. You have to just write the next sentence. But if you got, if you get stuck trying to write the whole book, you start thinking way too far ahead of what the next line is.
And you freeze people do that in life as well. But when you get so laser-focused on something and now you might’ve been thrown a component that requires some external factor. To allow you to continue on, right. I need to wait for this thing that happened. Okay. Well, if you freeze there, sometimes it’s tough to get reconnected but if you have other things that you can focus your time and energy on other goals and objectives that are achieving along the way much as we talked about before with, motivation, not being a requirement, but that the action of it can create that momentum. It’s exactly the same way as you look at, having more than one dream or one goal at the same time is that sometimes when you, start to slow down on one, you can focus that energy on another make progress.
And that momentum brings you back to the one that slowed down with enough energy to now move that forward. Or maybe that external factor that you were waiting for has happened, but you didn’t lose any of the good energy that you had behind you. So, I always tell people, you know, life is this wonderful continuum.
It is series of twists and turns. And the more life you live, the more validated that statement becomes. Right. You know, when we’re young, we think we’ve got it all figured out because we, in many cases, haven’t even lived 5% of our life or 10 or 20%, you know, we really haven’t lived a lot. But as you get older, you start to realize how many different things that you’ve dreamt of many of them you have achieved others, you prioritize differently.
But yeah, I, find that there’s so much more fulfilment in life for me, when I’m able to pursue more than one dream at a time because each of them brings me happiness in different ways.
[00:23:39] Diana White: And I love that. And you know, the premise of an object in motion stays in motion is really resonant of what we’re talking about right now.
Right. And even if you’re not moving towards that original goal, you set for yourself, you’re still moving. You’re still learning. You’re still engaging. But if you freeze and stay in stasis, nothing’s happening, nothing’s happening. And I really, really love that and applicable to my life. You know, spending 30 years in sales and retail and then pivoting and ending up, the CEO of a technology incubator, and co-hosting a podcast and finally writing a book and doing all of these things that if you had asked me, when I was in my retail stasis, I would have told you, I what world are you living in?
This is not, this is not who I am, but it’s what I needed to become. You know, self fulfilment. So, I love that.
[00:24:42] Lesson 7: Invest In Your Own Happiness
[00:24:42] Diana White: Number eight, invest in your own happiness so many people when we say that line, and I know that a number of our previous guests have talked about that. I like the way you say it, and I want to read the rest of this, make sure you know, what actually makes you happy and invest the time energy and money into that.
And a lot of people stop at, you know, invest in your own happiness put, you first, or give yourself time. They give you all of these different things, but you are talking about it as it is an actual investment. I love that. So, talk about it.
[00:25:24] Robin Reed: Absolutely. You know, I think that happiness is a choice people make. It’s not the result of what someone else does. It is always going to be a matter of choice of what makes you happy, because what worked for me and creates happiness may not be for the next person. So, you can’t say that there’s a universal, cause for happiness. So, I always encourage people.
So, when you, when you learn, what makes you happy, invest in it if for me, for example, I am a high functioning introvert. So, you can put me in front of a microphone. I love talking to really big crowds and I, I’m very, very fulfilled in those moments, but in order to recharge that battery, I need to come home and be in my office or read a book or sit on my patio and smoke a cigar or whatever it might be.
I need that time to, to recharge. So, I invest in that. I block time through my day. For that I, you know, it makes me happy to be in, good health. So, I invest not only monetarily, but in terms of my time, I invest in going to, to a gym and working out now in order for me to get all the other things done in a day that I want to do part of that investment is time.
So, I wake up at four 20 in the morning so that I can get up and get to the gym and workout and still have a workday to put in. A, the gym is less crowded., B it gets my day started in a way that makes me very happy, but those are investments. So, it’s not just money, but it’s time. It’s intention. You know, when I knew that I, I knew that that physical fitness was a factor in my life.
And I also knew that I worked a lot of hours, and I also knew I wanted to golf several times a week. I had to create that.
So, I invested in a plan, my plan, and then I executed that plan. But yeah, I think that you have to invest in your own happiness, whatever that might be. And sometimes for some people, they might tell you, well, seeing that person happy, makes me happy.
Good. Then invest in making a person happy. Cause again, everyone’s got their own definition of happiness. And I think that when we learn to do that, we will quickly identify all of the places we are wasting resources on unhappiness. And I think that’s what a lot of people do. They waste resources on unhappiness because I do think that as a society, we’ve created a culture that supports it.
There’re support systems for that. We need more support systems for happy people.
[00:28:08] Diana White: Right. in my experience that the happier you are, the more, the people that are, that haven’t found fulfilment or happiness, wonder what is wrong with you? Like, why are you like that?
Let me, let me pick that apart and tear it down. And I want to go back to the introvertedness.
[00:28:25] Robin Reed: And before you do that, if I can interject, because this is something in people, I’ve said this for as long as I can remember, as my personal response, but I tell people and I’ve endured tragedies that, you know, the worst of tragedies people have seen in a lifetime.
Like everybody else, my life has no more special or less special than anyone else’s., but I will tell people in my lifetime, I’ve never had a bad day. I have had moments in a day that I didn’t enjoy. But I’ve never had a bad day. I’ve never woken up at four 30 in the morning. And throughout an entire 24-hour period of time, haven’t found something that I learned something that made me smile or laugh or a happy something that gave me an opportunity to help somebody else in every day of my life.
I’ve had those opportunities. So, I won’t claim to have ever had a bad day, but I do acknowledge that in a day, you can have moments that you don’t enjoy as much as others.
[00:29:25] Diana White: And I, I love the fact that you can compartmentalize that you can say, just because I had this bad thing happened. And sometimes I find myself spiralling into that.
This bad thing has happened. I’m an overthinker, I’m also an introvert and that bad thing that happened overshadows the rest of my week when it was just a moment in time, and I could move on and find joy in other places. And. Even to this day, I struggle with those things. Sometimes I also struggle with what I was going to mention earlier, which is when I tell people that I’m extremely introverted and they call me a liar, how are you introverted?
You do all these things. You, you speak in front of all these people, I know the things that I have to do. I know the things that I want to share. I know the things that bring me joy, but I also do know that those things. Drain me. It’s, it’s just like the exercise. You, get up at four in the morning, you go, and you exercise.
And yet the purpose of exercise is to get out that energy so that you can have some downtime and renewed energy. Right. And I, it’s so funny that people think that just because you have a podcast, you speak in front of people, you run organizations, you’re not afraid to go to networking events that you can’t be introverted.
And that is absolutely not true because after every event I do, I need to unwind I need downtime to recharge.
[00:31:01] Robin Reed: It gets a lot easier to respect people. When you understand that anything they say. is a matter of their perspective based on their experiences. And it has nothing to do with you unless you choose it.
And that, I think one of the questions we had in there was about advice. And, and I don’t know that you’ve asked it yet but there was, you know, advice is always a matter of the other person’s perspective and experience.
[00:31:32] Diana White: All right.
[00:31:32] Lesson 8. “Advice” Is The Opinions Of Others Based On Their Experiences
[00:31:32] Diana White: So, Speaking of the advice let’s bring us into number nine and that is advice is the opinions of others based on their experiences. Now, we we’ve kind of talked about that just a little bit briefly, but go into it. Tell me about it.
[00:31:53] Robin Reed: Yeah. So, I think it’s just so important to remember that anytime someone gives you advice, solicited or unsolicited, anything they share with you is going to be their opinion based on their perspectives and their experiences. I used to give this visual in my presentations about points of view.
And I created an image of a house that was painted blue on one side, the back and white on the other side, the front, then you send two people to the house. And you get them to tell you what the house looks like, same address, same street, and you listen to them, tell you what the house looks like.
And they will never be in agreement because they have different perspectives. They’re seeing the house from different angles. Now take the house out and just look at life. People see life from different angles. And so, it’s understanding that when someone shares something with you and idea, advice, and experience, often we’re wanting to hear what we want to hear, but if we just listen objectively, sometimes it can be really exciting to ask someone that’s really interesting.
How did you come to that conclusion opinion perspective? I think one of the more fascinating things in life itself, much like this podcast, is that at any time of the billions of people on the planet. And of the, you know, trillions of ideas and thoughts and experiences that have happened among those people.
When any two people come into a place and begin to share those ideas and experiences. How fascinating is that? Just that the simple act that, that those two people connected, despite all their experiences, because you and I may have not lived a single day of our lives the same, and yet we’re here today having this discussion.
I think that that is, it becomes really exciting then to look at advice. People give that sometimes I don’t take their advice, but I feel like I’m better because I learned how they came to their advice, their outcome, their opinion. and when you have an open mind, you also create a space there to reshape your own ideas and opinions, right?
Because. What we think is based on what we know at that moment, when you learn more, you might think something differently.
[00:34:13] Diana White: Amazing amazing. And you do see it all the time. You really do see it all the time it’s that old adage there are three sides to the story, you know, his hers and the truth, right? Yep.
And you know, I, I, I just, when you talked about that house, it reminded me of that, that viral thing that happened so many years ago with that dress is the dress gold or is it blue? You know, and the world was up in arms about this. Like this dress was, you know, breaking marriages apart, but it is all about perspective, you know,
[00:34:50] Robin Reed: Yeah, right, exactly.
[00:34:51] Diana White: So now we’ve been having such a great conversation that I’m losing track of the lessons and what order they go in. And I kind of don’t even care because I’ve, I’ve wanted to talk to you for a very long time, but we actually got two more lessons.
[00:35:05] Lesson 9: Travel To Expand Your World View
[00:35:05] Diana White: So that wasn’t number nine. Number nine is coming up now and it’s travel to expand your worldview.
And this one makes me so jealous, and I do know how much you and your wife travel. And I have not been able to travel as much. It is on my bucket list, and it will happen, but regale me of the benefit and maybe a couple of places where you’ve learned some things.
[00:35:30] Robin Reed: So
travel to me has always, you know, I’ve had the benefit of traveling quite a bit in my lifetime and have quite a bit more that that I’d like to do, but whenever I travel. I communicate with the people from my destination, but I don’t talk to them just about, you know, what it might be like to, you know, work at a resort or at a hotel or at a coffee shop.
I talk to them about what life is like for them. What does it mean when they wake up in the morning? Cause I travelled to some Caribbean countries, the weather virtually never changes. It’s 87 degrees forever. So, you want perspective, how does that feel to not really get the rain or snow and all those things?
But what is really fascinating is when you ask them what their perception of the United States is, and you get these views that are so comprehensive and so well thought out, and then you realize, gosh, I don’t hear that at home.
[00:36:29] Diana White: Right.
[00:36:30] Robin Reed: I don’t hear that depth of thought. I don’t hear that, thoroughness of idea, at all, you know, at home or not often enough, and yet people hear that, you know, work in fields or in roles, roles within organizations that we might consider lower on the totem pole, and they have this fully developed worldview.
And that’s why I think that travel is a great tool for that, because you’re not going to go somewhere and convince someone that your country, isn’t what they think it is. There again, using the information, they have to develop that opinion. So, it comes from their opinions and their perspectives. And it lets you come back home and realize, well, if someone in another country can have a different view then why can’t someone in the next office building have a different view or someone from a different political party have a different view? Why can’t they? And so, I think so, so to me, world travel, having a worldview gives you a much better sense, you know, not everybody thinks that we’re as great as we think we are.
and I, and I don’t, that’s not a criticism to me. It’s not a bad thing because if we were willing to listen to it, we might find ways to just be better as a country. You know, there’re, you know, there are countries where dark skin is the more favourable. Preferred skin colour among the citizens that status comes with how dark your skin is.
Where in America, we unfortunately don’t seem to have that open-minded view yet. And I’m not saying that one should be better than the other. I’m just saying one should not be worse than the other. So, there’s differences there. Ideas about possessions and needs. I was in Costa Rica, and I saw a family of like six or seven on a one bicycle.
So, father peddling kids on handlebars, mother behind father holding a child kids on the rack behind them. And there was nothing about anything in their behaviour that said that was anything other than a convenient mode of transportation to get to where they were going. And so, when you see that and you understand, or, or the number of countries that, as they focus on nutrition. They cook fresh food.
You walk to the store every day or two, and you get fresh vegetables and bread, you have fresh bread. And, and those things where, you know, here, you know, we need big box stores so that we can fill our SUV so we can come home and fill our two refrigerators, you know, so that we can function, even though the store is right up the street.
And it has plenty of the resources we need, we feel this other need to just amass, all of this stuff.
[00:39:17] Diana White: And you forgot one step of that too, to also fill the trashcan with the stuff that has expired or that we didn’t need all,
[00:39:25] Robin Reed: you know. Yeah. Right, right, right. So, it’s remembering that, that you know, this, this consumption idea needs to always be connected to the idea of what is wasted because consumption means consumption.
It actually means use, unfortunately, we are consumers. But we, but, but not consumers that focus on consumption, just we are consumers that focus on possession. And to have it, and I’m, again, I’m not casting aspersions at anybody who has things. I have nice things or things that I find value in, and I will invest in, but I, because there’s typically a story for me behind it.
Why do I love watches? it has to do with the conversation I had with my dad when I was five years old and it, it gave me an affinity for watches. So, I collect really rare, numbered watches. Do I have to do that? No, but it brings me pleasure. It connects me to something in my life that is important.
I think that that comes from having that, broader view, you know, that, that ability to see, see the world beyond what’s in my reach and, and help that shape and form ideas and opinions that I develop.
[00:40:39] Diana White: You know, I grew up in New York and it is a melting pot, and I did travel outside of my circles and engage with people from other nationalities that came to America for that so-called American dream.
And so often the conversations would start with why do you do this in America? Because it is so off from, from what they know and what’s logical to them and what they grew up with and quite as often, I didn’t have an answer. It was just looking, but that’s, that’s how it’s done. Why are, why are your portions so huge in restaurants in America?
Why, why are your drinks so full of alcohol in America? Don’t you want to taste the flavour of the drink and all its components? Why must it? I have no answer. I have no answer, you know, and, and it’s made me rethink a lot of things. And in growing up in New York and relocating to Arizona and feeling ashamed, literally ashamed of all of the things that I took for granted that I never took advantage of living there because I lived in New York. It was, it was always going to be there having people ask me, well, did you do this? Did you see that? Did you go here? No. You lived in New York, and you didn’t do these things. You lived in New York for the first 30 years of your life.
That’s embarrassing to even in your own country, not to experience the things that are out there.
[00:42:17] Robin Reed: You were living the message I gave my 30-year-old self. You think you’ve got a lifetime to do it, so you forget to live it.
[00:42:25] Diana White: That’s right. That’s right. That’s why it resonated. Yep.
[00:42:29] Lesson 10: Stress Is Not A Badge Of Honour
[00:42:29] Diana White: All right. And last lesson, before I throw you the curve ball, a second curve ball Stress is not a badge of honour. Stress is not a badge of honour. Now you’ll have to preach to me on this one because I think I thrive off of stress. Right? Most people do they think, oh my gosh, if we can get through this stressful situation, we have a Cape on our back. Right. We thrive off of stress.
You’ve heard that a billion times. Why is it not
a badge of honour?
[00:43:00] Robin Reed: Well, I could tell you right, right there. And I, I, I’ve probably coached more people on exactly what you just said than on any other topic. But if you create a reward system based on anything, you will want to create that same scenario as often as possible.
So, when you say, well, when I function under this stress and I produce, I get recognized, that recognition makes me feel good. So, I will go create stress again, so that I can keep saving the day. But how is that different than, you know, a firefighter that’s an arsonist, right? Well, you love being the hero.
So, you’re setting fires to create the scenario but that’s what we’re doing. Metaphorically, we’re creating these fires. And then we put them out because we were getting all this great recognition for being great under pressure, right. Saving the day. Why aren’t we celebrated for meeting the deadline taking all the days off that I was entitled to and not working on the weekend.
Why aren’t we celebrating that as well? You know, it’s funny, people ask me all the time. Why do you get up so early in the morning? Because the result of, of doing that is one that I find favourable. You know, where to them it’s w what time do you go to bed? I actually go to bed when I’m tired. I go to bed when I’m tired, because I don’t have to stay up so that I can tell you, well, I, you know, I just get by on this many hours of sleep, I sleep until my body’s done sleeping.
And sometimes that’s more hours than others. Sometimes it’s less hours than, than I would want, but that’s what my body’s telling me. So, I listened to it. But this idea of stress we already know there are catastrophic health risks associated with stress. And yet we celebrate it as if it’s a good thing to have, but why can’t we pursue a life that’s free of stress.
And honestly, I think the first step in doing that is mindset. if I stop celebrating, saving the day, I would just find that I get it done so I don’t have to save the day. Create a day that doesn’t have to be saved. That’s where we need to get to that will give you the piece. It isn’t doing less things.
It might just be doing them when you need to do them. You know, I always tell people you’ll always have two choices, prepare a procrastinate, you know in high school I was great. You know, I have an ability to recall short-term information very well. So, I was really good at cramming a day or two before an exam.
Um, retaining enough information to put it back out onto a page and get very good grades.
But when I learned, I didn’t have to do that. And I learned that if I could do that in two days, why not just do it in two days on the front end or two days a week before, instead of two days before, take all the pressure off. What I found was all the time up to that was different for me now, it was calmer.
It was more fulfilling. I got to see things that made me happy because I didn’t have the thing in the back of my head that I knew I still needed to do. Right. Because procrastination eats up your brain in a crazy way, because you’re not really putting it off. You’re just thinking about putting it off.
And then you’re doing it. So, you’re spending more time creating that mental stress. And I think that if we can stop celebrating stress stop complaining because we lived a really busy period of time because at the end of the day, isn’t that always a choice. If you don’t like working for an employer that makes you work 14 hours a day, a choice is to get a different employer.
If you don’t like, you know, always being on the run, change your scheduling, do less things., you know, I think that that is certainly one of the best things that’s come out of. The pandemic is people are remembered that the real value should be at home. That, that, that that’s home base home base in every kid’s game was safe.
And I think we got reminded that that was our safe place again. It wasn’t the place that we rested for a minute before we went back outside and lived our lives. It was where we lived our lives and everything else was just brought up, brought to that at home experience.
[00:47:29] Diana White: And I think, it’s trying to get across the fact that the omission of stress does not mean that you sacrifice productivity, that you sacrifice success, that you sacrifice anything.
It just means that you are going about it in a way that it’s almost akin to getting ready to go somewhere. You know, when, when you see the person that’s notoriously oh, I got 20 minutes. I can do it in 20 minutes. And the person that’s like, okay, it starts at eight. And I like to take my time.
I want to soak; I want to do this. So, I’ll start getting ready a little earlier. The difference in if you put them side by side, getting ready, the difference in the calmness and they both get to the party and they both have a good time. Right. But the difference in the preparation, I think.
[00:48:24] Robin Reed: So, I will tell you, and this is, this is I very rarely confess things, but this is a confession I will make.
So as a driver, I can be, I’ll say an aggressive driver, but I find that my aggression tends to be directly correlated to the time and my proximity to my destination. Simple words. If I’m running late, I’m more aggressive than when I’m not running late. And what I’ve taught myself. This has probably been the last five, seven years.
What I’ve taught myself is that at that time, when I’m feeling that, oh, we got to go, come on, when’s the light turning green and all that. I stop and say, Robin, you feel this way because you didn’t give yourself sufficient time. When you had it either, you packed your day too, too tight, and you didn’t have time in between to transition, to get into car and get going.
Or you waited till the last minute to shower and dress, or you didn’t have everything ready to go the way you know, you should. So, you find yourself and I bring it back to me. And what I’m responsible for. And then all of a sudden, when you do that, you realize the car in front of you, isn’t at fault. They might’ve given themselves plenty of time to get where they’re going, which is why they’re taking their time.
So that’s that. And I, and I find that if I, if I have that aggression and, and, and anxiety, when I get to my destination, it might reflect in how I interact with whoever I’m meeting. Conversely, if I’m cool, calm, and collected. And I was there a few minutes early, you know, checking emails, enjoying a sunny day.
So yeah, stress, isn’t a badge of honour. It is something we create. And if we can take away the, the personal reward system that we create around it and shift that reward system to being calm and deliberate and intentional, in what we do, I think that people can find there’s a whole lot of happiness there they are doing without from that simple mindset, but they think stress is a good thing.
[00:50:30] Diana White: Now I’ll tell you confession as well. I don’t know if it’s a big confession. I’m a new Yorker, so people should know that I’m an aggressive driver, but I will say. That two things stopped me from, feeling that tension and that anger, even when I knew I was going to be on time, I was going to be early.
Just me feeling like the rest of the world didn’t know how to drive and why am I here? Right. The first thing was having to teach my daughter how to drive. Once I taught my daughter how to drive, I saw people in front of me doing things that were different decisions that were different than not what I would make.
I saw them in a different light. I saw them as you don’t know, who’s in that car. That could be a student driver that could be a new driver that is scared out of their mind to get out of this lane and get to the exit, give them some grace, you know, and another thing that stopped me, I I’m a believer.
And so. There would be many times where traffic would be stopped., and I, I had to practice this patients very well, driving from Phoenix to Flagstaff, which is, you know you only have one choice of road. Right, right. And I would start saying to myself, okay, I’m stuck in this traffic. I’m going to be here forever.
This is ridiculous. And then my mindset changed to maybe there’s a reason maybe I’m stuck here because if I had sped the way I wanted to, I would be an accident. I would be a casualty up there. And I can’t tell you how many times Robin we’d finally inch along. And there was an accident. And that’s why the traffic was the way it was.
And so, for me, you know, I can’t say I’m fully cured every once in a while. I, I do a wonder why this car is just tra-la-la-ing along. But for the most part, I’ve changed my mindset on how I react to that stimuli. And I think it makes a big difference from my stress levels, you know?
[00:52:35] Robin Reed: Yeah. You bring up a really good point about using, using the analogy of an automobile, accident.
So, in Japan they don’t call them accidents. They call them collisions, right? Because they’re saying no, an accident. And it’s something that couldn’t possibly, it was unlikely to happen collisions because they believe so strongly in, in, in obviously the philosophy of physics. No, you know, how many times did we have the math equation in school?
If this thing leaves at this time, and this thing lived at this time, how soon before they that’s what’s happened, it’s a collision because you left your house, traveling at your speed. At a given time and someone did the same thing and you ended up occupying the same space on the planet while in vehicles.
so that’s a great, you know, great. A great attitude is sometimes what you think traffic is keeping you from is not at all what it’s keeping you from. It’s not keeping you from your destination. It might be keeping you from your demise. So, so it’s, so it’s understanding, again, it’s looking at life as a constant flow and not a series of snapshots that we have to look at.
[00:53:35] Diana White: So true. Well, I have to tell you, these lessons were very powerful, but now I have another curve ball for you. You ready?
[00:53:44] Robin Reed: Sure.
[00:53:45] Diana White: All right. What lesson have you had to unlearn?
[00:53:50] Robin Reed: I think honestly, Th the lesson that I unlearned was part of a lesson that I’ve learned. One took me into the other, which was the asking for help. I I’ve had to unlearn that asking for help represented a deficiency on my part that, that, because I didn’t know something, I was having to go to somebody else, but that’s why everyone goes to somebody else because they don’t know something.
And that was probably a tougher one because there’s just a stubbornness that was embedded in me. And again, I don’t know where I developed that belief system. And again, probably because I solved a problem sometime in my life. And I got positive recognition. And when you do that, all of a sudden you want that over and over and over again.
And that’s probably how I did it along the way, because I certainly wasn’t raised that way. My parents were big believers in, go get whatever help you need, whether it’s grabbing the encyclopaedia Britannica and looking it up, whether it’s calling somebody who knows how to do what you want to do. It’s asking for help.
I was a, I was a competitive tennis player as a kid, at a national level. And I was always taught. Find somebody that’s better than you and play with them. It will elevate your game. Yes, but that’s true of life. Find somebody who has something in life that you need, information, experience, advice, whatever, and go get it.
Cause then when you learn, you get better. And so, I think that that’s probably the biggest thing I had to unlearn was that asking for help could be perceived as a sign of weakness. I don’t think that at all anymore.
[00:55:39] Diana White: And neither do I. Thank you. Thank you for that. Well, this has been amazing. Thank you so much, Robin.
I truly appreciate you joining us, on 10 lessons learned and I’m going to close it out you’ve been listening to 10 lessons. It took me 50 years to learn sponsored by the professional development forum. PDF provides webinars, social media discussions, podcasts, parties, and more.
And it’s free. Visit professionaldevelopmentforum.org for more information, follow 10 lessons on YouTube and all podcast platforms. And don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn. Thank you so much. And thank you to my guest. Thank you, Robin.
[00:56:23] Robin Reed: Great, really a pleasure to be here. Thank you.