Susan Sharp:

In this episode, I talk with Susan Sharp. Susan is a motivational speaker that helps people get unstuck. After a string of successes outside of higher education, including her book, Mid-Life Wisdom, and her art selected for use on the set of the Netflix drama Orange Is The New Black. She left life as a professor of 23 years in theatre and public speaking, to focus on her own speaking, art, and writing--all of which are about bringing a message of hope to people who feel stuck.  As a motivational speaker, she helps people get unstuck by breaking through the boundaries that are limiting them or the team and has them re-frame the problems they're facing. Her positive, motivational speaking inspires audiences to action. Whether it’s a mid-life rut, a lackluster workplace, or motivation to aim and dream bigger, Susan helps people make a lasting impact.

We talk about making the jump from a life with a safe and secure job as a professor, to jumping off the deep end into the world of entrepreneurship. She talks about the self-talk need to make the move and keep going forward. What the struggles were as a professor in this new world of teaching to the most sensitive person standard. Plus much more on dealing with unruly coworkers and navigating the risky uncertain self-employment world.

Artist & Motivational Speaker
Susan Sharp grew up in Eastern Iowa on the banks of the Mississippi River. That rural upbringing irrevocably shaped her to love quiet, fresh air, and open spaces. But for all the quiet she craves, she has a 24/7 internal buzz of creative ideas and she often cannot get them on paper fast enough. Susan just recently left her job as a professor of theatre and public speaking after 23 years to focus full time on honing her skills as a motivational speaker, artist, playwright, and author.

Mid-Life Wisdom: Looking Back, Moving Ahead

Susan's book is out! For those of you nearing mid-life, this book is part wisdom from Susan's own life and part journal for you to capture your own wisdom!


Are you at or approaching mid-life and starting to feel restless? Or perhaps you're asking, "Is this all there is?" Mid-Life Wisdom encourages you to look back to see just how far you've come, and to celebrate the wisdom you've acquired along the way. This book is a dose of encouragement, a nudge toward self-reflection, and a promotion of forgiveness--of self and others--as you move ahead to the best time of your life. The book is a unique format of journal, self-discovery exercises and candid essays from the author's own journey to mid-life that will help the reader to frame their own journey to this point. The reader is not instructed on how to survive mid-life, but rather to learn from the past, laugh at ourselves and embrace our middle years and make them everything we want. Forgive yourself, forgive others and move into a wonderful place of peace and self-love.

Humor, Insight and Light bulb Moments

     Susan Sharp is a motivational speaker that helps people get unstuck. After a string of successes outside of higher education, including her new book, Mid-Life Wisdom, and her art selected for use on the set of the Netflix drama Orange is the New Black, Susan has just left life as a professor of theatre and public speaking to focus on her own speaking, art, and writing--all of which are about bringing a message of hope to people who feel stuck.  

     Whether as a keynote speaker, a workshop leader, or in a small group Q & A, Susan helps break through the boundaries that are limiting you or your team and gets them to re-frame the problems they're facing.   From church volunteer teams to educational and non-profit organizations, Susan can help!  Let her show you how to move from the world of yesterday's regrets to the world of tomorrow's victories.  Susan wants to have real conversations about things that are keeping you in a rut! 

     Her positive, motivational speaking inspires audiences to action. Whether it's a mid-life rut, a lackluster workplace, or motivation to aim and dream bigger, Susan can help you reach your audience with lasting impact.  Susan speaks and writes about nurturing our creativity, finding one's most meaningful work, how to move beyond our past into a glorious future, teaching in higher education, the challenges of Christian living, and about the competing values which lead to interpersonal breakdowns.  As a Color Code Certified Independent Trainer, Susan can show you how to work with others with disparate ways of thinking.

    Susan is passionate about excellent communication and she gives each audience a loving kick in the patootie to make the changes they must while affirming the greatness that's already present.

Learn more at asharpdifference.com/speaking 

Source https://asharpdifference.com/speaking 

Book Recommendations

Your Inner Critic Is a Big Jerk: And Other Truths About Being Creative

This book is duct tape for the mouth of every artist's inner critic. Silencing that stifling voice once and for all, this salve for creatives introduces ten truths they must face in order to defeat self-doubt. Each encouraging chapter deconstructs a pivotal moment on the path to success—fear of the blank page, the dangers of jealousy, sharing work with others—and explains how to navigate roadblock. Packed with helpful anecdotes, thoughts from successful creatives and practical exercises gleaned from Danielle Krysa's years of working with professional and aspiring artists—plus riotously apt illustrations from art world darling Martha Rich—this book arms readers with the most essential tool for their toolbox: the confidence they need to get down to business and make good work.

You are a Badass Series (3 books)


In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, bestselling author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bitesized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word, helping you to: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want, Create a life you totally love. And create it NOW, Make some damn money already. The kind you've never made before.

By the end of You Are a Badass®, you'll understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can't change, how to change what you don't love, and how to use The Force to kick some serious ass.

The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion

There are two paths in life: Should & Must.

We arrive at this crossroads over and over again, and every day. And we get to choose.

Starting out or starting over, making a career change or making a life change, the most life-affirming thing you can do is to honor the voice inside that says your have something special to give, and then heed the call and act. Many have traveled this road before. Here’s how you can, too. #choosemust

An inspirational gift book for every recent graduate, every artist, every seeker, and every career change.

Episode Transcriptions Unedited, Auto-Generated.

Tyson (00:00:15):

Welcome to the associate chameleon show where it's our goal to help you learn, grow and transforming the person who I've become today. I'm talking to me as Susan Sharp. Susan is a motivational speaker that helps people get unstuck after string of successes, outside of higher education, including her book, midlife wisdom and their art selected for use on the set of the Netflix drama. Orange is the new black. She left life as a professor of 23 years in theater and public speaking to focus on her own speaking, art and writing, all of which are about bringing a message of hope to people who feel stuck as a motivational speaker. She helps people get unstuck by breaking through the boundaries that are limiting them or the team and has them reframe the problems that are facing her positive motivational speaking, inspires audiences to action, whether it's a midlife rut, a lackluster workplace, or motivation to aim and dream bigger, Susan helps people make a lasting impact.

Tyson (00:01:10):

We talk about a lot of different things here. She was a professor and so we kind of talk in that framework. I just, I don't want you guys to think that it, this only applies to that situation. We all work in some type of thing where there is these different types of things that she talks about different problems. We all deal with difficult people. It's not just a college university type thing. So take, take the lessons out of that, the things that are happening out of maybe the, the context of the university and apply that mentally to what you're doing in, in your situation in work, dealing with people's of that. I don't want, I don't want everybody getting caught up in, Oh, this is about college and this is about, you know, university of the higher education system or whatever.

Tyson (00:02:00):

It's just a where she worked and where she learned these things. So, so come, come into this episode with that mind frame of, of the lessons, are there the content not so much the context with any further, yet yammering on and yapping my mouth. Please enjoy my episode with Susan Susan, welcome to the social comedian show. Thank you so much for reaching out and getting on here. I look forward to our conversation here today. Thanks for having me. Yeah, you're welcome. I kind of want to just jump right in. I, you, you, you, you messaged me one of the, I guess, one of these great messages that really peaked my interest and I just want to kind of pose that and we can just talk from there. You said to me at 50, I quit my job, wrote a book and reinvented myself. Can we talk to you that you bet? Yeah, I suppose I had what a lot of people at midlife have, which is I don't call it a crisis because

Susan (00:03:00):

They don't really think it was a crisis. I truly think what I was having was real burnout in my career as a professor. Yeah. And I had tried to work through it five to 10 years. I probably should have left five to 10 years earlier, but I worked through it in various ways, but I was at the end of my creative reinventing myself in that job. And I don't think midlife is always about needing to get a divorce and quit your job and move to an Island. But in my case, I felt I had to have some change and a vacation who wasn't going to help. You know, it was more than that. And so I thought there's a whole lot of people in midlife, probably experiencing the same thing. And I think it's at that point where you take stock and you reevaluate and you say, well, if I'm not going to continue as I am, what am I going to do?

Susan (00:03:55):

And it was in that moment that I thought I need to write a book because if I'm feeling it, other people are feeling it too. And I felt that I had some perspective and value to offer people in a book through the idea of helping ourselves. So it's not just me telling you what to do. It's sort of a unique format in that it is part essays for my life and what I learned along the journey. And then about 60% of the book is actually a place for you to work out your own stuff through journaling.

Speaker 3 (00:04:28):

That that's a brave, I mean, congratulations. Most people, especially as a professor, you were, I believe 23 years. So I would assume you had tenure and everything and you were ready to go. Life was great. You really much, pretty much couldn't get yourself fired if you tried. I mean, that that's, that is most people would just be like, never forget it. What, what, what is this burnout? What was that? Is it just overworking? What, what was that about?

Susan (00:04:56):

Well, I was a professor of theater, so yes, I'm teaching classes did today, but a large part of my job was the creative end and creativity is wonderful and I've banked my whole life on my creative skills. But you get to a point where you can't muster the creative energy to do. I mean, I thought to myself, I have to audition one more play. If I have to build a set for one more play, it just became like, I can't do that anymore. I have no desire to do that anymore. And it's you're right. It was a risky thing. It was five years from retirement, very risky. But who said it? No risk, no reward. Right. I also like I also like what Picasso said, which is, I'm always doing something I cannot do in order to know what I can do. Right.

Susan (00:05:46):

So I guess maybe my, my propensity for risk aversion is maybe higher than other people's, but I just don't I really back and I think I didn't have a choice. I couldn't continue on the path there wasn't there wasn't I couldn't move into another job or stay at the same, you know, it wasn't, it was not an option to stay. So if you're going to leave, what are you going to do? Well, I've always wanted to work for myself and I've always had the side ventures. I've always had, I've always been writing. So it was a natural, you know, path for me, I guess, to, to try to break out and make it full time with my art, my speaking, and my writing.

Speaker 3 (00:06:29):

Why didn't you just get rid of those tasks? You didn't want to do? Why don't you just get the students or somebody to just make the sets and to come up with the plays and you just kind of oversee it and you just be that maybe the boss or the leader or whatever it is that just kind of facilitating everything and just get those things off that were making you feel burned out.

Susan (00:06:46):

I maybe it's because I'm an all in kind of person, I'm either all in or I'm all out. I don't really dip my toe in things. If I'm going to do something, I want to do it to the best of my abilities. And I only know, I guess, how to throw my whole self in. Maybe that's a boundary thing. Maybe I'm psychologically, not all there, but, but that's how I work. And I think that that's the curse that at the same time has made me very successful, but it's also led to the burnout and I don't necessarily have a great answer for, for that. I think it's a true mental health thing. I think that's a true, it's a true phenomenon that happens. I think our, our propensity or our what do I want to say? Our ability to deal with that gets gets shorter, the older we get, right. So how do you, how do you keep moving forward? And for me moving forward was I would have rather thrown it all in and failed big rather than just sitting where I was. I felt that wasn't an option. It's not an option for everyone. I'm not telling everyone to go quit your job. I think that would just be bad advice. Right. And as we speak, I just looked at my stock portfolio as I'm sure everyone is, you know, absolutely reeling today or this week. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (00:08:08):

February for reference point here, we're recording. Yep.

Susan (00:08:13):

And so everyone's feeling it I'm today. It's, you know, isn't it ironic that I'm on with you talking about how great it is. I changed my life and to here my stock portfolios in the toilet it's it's risk it's. I think that fits beautifully with your podcast. We, we do, we, we are social chameleons. We change and adapt and change our colors. And, and that's part of that's part of being a human it's part of being an adult.

Speaker 3 (00:08:44):

Yeah. And, and, and, and that's, you know, kind of the point of the show is to let people know, like, you can be more, you can move on. A lot of people get stuck in this thing. Like, I sounds like you were in this like, well, I'm this, I may professor and that's who I am. That's my identity at time, myself worth to that, all these things, I can't change. It can't be anybody else. I've been this for all these years. And then the people that do say, you know what? I can have another life. I can have another career. Another thing I've done this for whatever. Now I'm going to be somebody else. And like that, that's the thing, you know, that's, that's really it's really hard. It's, it's, it's brave to do it. There's so much that goes into that. And I commend you and all the people that do that, and this is, you know an episode of show, whatever it is, a platform to let people know what maybe to give them permission.

Speaker 3 (00:09:31):

Like I can do this too. And that's the things I like to bring out. And that's why I was excited about this conversation, you know? Cause it's so easy. I'm sure you probably could talk back with all your colleagues that have tenure. They're like, listen, I wish I could be you. I wish you could do that, but never. I busted my ass for these years. I got tenure. I'm not going to give this up and I'm not going to throw caution to the wind. And, and I'm just going to look back and regret my rest of my days or whatever it is, you know?

Susan (00:09:58):

Yeah. I don't, I don't understand. It's not in my wiring I guess, to coast. Yeah. You know, it's just never been who I am. And again, I'm not sure how many people could do what I've done, but I guess if you, you know, I'm unmarried, I don't have children. That's a different portrait than a lot of people. And when you're directly responsible for the care and wellbeing of other people, you might not make that decision. Whether the decision has been wise or unwise the year that I've had to really work for myself, the rest, cause I truly needed rest. It truly needed a different environment. A lot of people don't know how political and cutthroat higher education can be. And I really got tired of a very negative environment at times. And I wanted positivity. I just wanted to be around positive things and positive people. And I had navigated all of that adversity for so long. And I just thought, even if it's the same level of struggle somewhere else or doing something else, it's at least different, you know, and I needed that. I desperately needed that change.

Speaker 3 (00:11:17):

Yeah. It seems like it's kind of giving you some energy, some life and re maybe in beginning, big rated you a little bit. What, what is that, what was that self-talk like leading up to this moment and then, you know, the, the then the decision to do it and then doing it and in all this time, like, what was that all about? What was going on in your head?

Susan (00:11:36):

Oh, fear. A tremendous amount of fear. Like what if I go for it and fail? Like, can I save face? Can I a lot of fear I had some of my ducks in a row, but not nearly as many ducks in a row as I should have had when I being an artist, you know and an author for that matter life can be very up and down financially. You know, I just had a great big art commission, which is awesome, but well, I have that same level of commission next month for our, well, my book sales be as next the same next month. So you will learn to that feast and famine mentality you learn to save for the rainy days. And but there's a reason I probably should never be in finance because that isn't my gift.

Susan (00:12:27):

And so I I've made a lot of mistakes along the way. And every mistake I learned from, again, talking about my just cause it's so on my brain, looking at my stock portfolio and, you know, with a wide open mouth I've learned some things there. Everything you do is a learning opportunity. And so I really, I think what I've had to take stock of it is that I certainly didn't do it perfectly. I shouldn't be writing a you know, a Forbes article on how to quit your day job, you know, but for me, I weighing the risk and the reward. I thought that the reward was, was more, it meant more to me than the re then the risk taking.

Speaker 3 (00:13:16):

What was your, what was the thinking? Like what was the, maybe the strategies or things you did to get past the fear and then also to to get over these problems and you're, like you said, you made these mistakes, like what, what in those different scenarios or whatever it is, how'd you think through that? How'd you work through that?

Susan (00:13:34):

I'm a voracious reader and I've got a big network. And so I really reached out to people and asked, what would you do? What you know what would you what would you do differently if you were in my position trying to really put my unique scenario in front of them. And a lot of people said that they wouldn't do anything different, which was the affirmation, a few financial gurus in my network told me exactly where I went wrong and lesson learned for the next time. But I think the mindset is it's, it's really, it's really about that determination and that grit to make it. And I think that self-talk boy, I think negativity is like, it's like gravity, right? It will take you to the lowest point right now and you can stay there or you can keep climbing back up. And for me, I guess it's just my, my personality that I'd rather keep fighting the fight than just to give in then I, I believe in my abilities and that's the other, that's the other part of self talk is that you really have to believe in your skills.

Susan (00:14:45):

You have to really believe that, you know what you're doing. And even I made mistakes along the way. And the big picture is still feel like I know what I'm doing. May I have to go back to the workforce maybe, but I've had some successes in the year that I've, that I've done this and so far so good at. But, but it's a lot of positive self talk. It's a lot of networking with other people to, to, to get that, get that feedback. I mean, this is why platforms like LinkedIn are so important. You have a whole vast array of people at your disposal, if you want them. And a lot of people that are willing to mentor and give of themselves and, and talk about their, their own their own journey.

Speaker 3 (00:15:33):

Definitely. That's a good point. I talked to, and I've talked with, and I've heard a lot of people say, you know, like nobody's gonna, nobody's ever respond to me. Nobody's gonna give me back messages. And you'd really, if you just took that second or that two or whatever, and just, just throw out 30 messages or emails, whatever it is, you'd be surprised at how many people I would, I would guess at least 50% of the people or more we'll get back to you. Absolutely just overjoyed to respond to you, to help you and out of nothing. But I made these mistakes and I know where you're at and I would love to help you not do that. That's a good, good point. Where you were you emailing people? How are you reaching out to them? What what is the attendant you use? There's a few questions you asked. How did that look like?

Susan (00:16:19):

Depending on the person that I was contacting, I would, I believe in really researching the people that you spend time with and whether it's through a personal relationship or going to their various media and learning who they are as people. And that's it. So I never want a sort of a generic message, you know, I always want it to be what I want to get specific to. Cause I value people's time and

Speaker 3 (00:16:48):

Set of questions. You were looking at getting answers to, you know, four or five questions and maybe, you know, three of these are, are, are, are good for you, you know? Like, was there a list that you were looking to get?

Susan (00:17:00):

Not really, but often it was questions phrased with the, with the beginnings, like do you know the best resource for, okay. Can you tell me where you got this? I'm trying to get to the root of things that I valued in their own profiles, things that I thought that they would very clearly accurately and quickly be able to address. I didn't want it to be anything that anybody had to go and research. I wanted it to be something that they could quickly email back, or we could have a quick phone conversation. And you're you're right. A lot of people on LinkedIn did respond to me and we're very happy to help. And I think that's the, I think the original tension of LinkedIn was, was not quantity, but quality of connections. And that's why

Tyson (00:17:50):

They do try to limit you and they try to make sure you really know somebody. Yeah, I, I was very interested. I like that. I encourage people to try this and do this. And I like your approach of, you know, I know you, I know a little bit what you do and I have this problem and it seems like you're the person for it. And did you, did, was there any, I don't know wording or techniques that kind of let people not feel obligated to email you or write you back? Like, you know, Hey, I know you're busy, don't worry about it or something along those lines.

Susan (00:18:22):

I, a lot of times when it's a person that especially I was maybe really, you know, had admiration for and was maybe even a little intimidated by the level of their ability. One of the first thing I'd say is I'm not selling you anything.

Tyson (00:18:39):

Yeah. Yeah. Especially on LinkedIn. Yeah.

Susan (00:18:41):

That's the, that's the downside of LinkedIn. As soon as you make a connection, somebody wants to sell you something. And so it was, I tried to make it very clear. I need two minutes of your time. I'm not selling anything. I have no agenda simply ever a problem. I think you could help me with. And that was sort of the gist of every email. And that I think was, that was effective. And then it was just a matter of again, asking them something quickly and seeing every person as if I was doing a, a thousand piece puzzle, having everybody contributes something small to the puzzle, not looking to any one person to complete that puzzle. And, and so then each conversation was an enhanced LinkedIn contact. Now they had a face of voice, a name, not just a profile on LinkedIn. Now they, now they knew me a little bit. I got to know them a little bit and they added one little piece to the puzzle. They weren't responsible for, you know, making or breaking my business or my decision. It was just a little, a little nugget of wisdom. They gave me along the way.

Tyson (00:19:55):

I like that. That's a, I just love the strategy. Cause a lot of people get stuck there. And it's interesting to see how you, you got unstuck, it's easy to to get down and get knocked down and just say, you know what, I'm just gonna sit down here and I'm gonna stay here. This is easy. There's no effort. I can't get hurt anymore. I can't fall any farther, you know? And I love how you, you, you would just attacked it. And that's, I think there's some good things in there. Even if it's not in your personality. I think if you try a couple of these things, I think you can start to, you know, maybe get on one knee and start to stand back up again, metaphorically speaking.

Susan (00:20:28):

And what's the worst that can happen. They won't answer.

Tyson (00:20:31):

Right. Right. And we gotta be okay with that. A lot of people won't do these things because while they're not going to answer me, but maybe they won't, but that's okay. You got it out there. It's, it's off your mind. You can start to hone your message a little bit. You can start to look at other people. Yeah, there's a lot of good there. I just really like what you got, what you had going on there with that.

Susan (00:20:52):

And I guess the only other thing that someone could do that might irritate you as to answer harshly, but then are they someone you want advice from anyway,

Tyson (00:21:01):

But even even that, you know, it may be the way we read it or, you know you, you saw vocalize that or whatever. A good trick that I tend to try and do is I try to read it in a pleasant tone. Like I think you're writing this from a pleasant tone and it changes the message a little too, even if and I find myself, I like to, I sometimes I write some very, very brief and I don't mean to be harsh, but I'm not here to have a, you know, a 10 minute long conversation with you. And I think I can say what I need to say in a sentence or two. I have some people take that really, really badly, but I try to when I read messages I try to, or emails or whatever it is, I try to come from a positive frame of mind. And it really, like I said, it really, really changed the tone of the message. Even if they are being harsh, who knows, it's so hard with Texas and stuff.

Susan (00:21:48):

Yeah. I always take the position of, I always give them the benefit of the doubt that it was meant in the right spirit. And if, if it wasn't, I think that it will eventually come out and for future communication. But for the first one, I always, I was trying to take it with that mentality.

Tyson (00:22:05):

I want to kind of circle back a little bit here when you're talking about I guess being a professor of that college type, higher education being cutthroat, what, what do you mean by that?

Susan (00:22:15):

People jockey for position power. It's a power grab sometimes, right? Even though you're a professor, there's a lot of other duties and roles that one can play in higher education that people buy for. And it's, it's very political in that. There's a lot of ego and that's something that's a reason that I never fit in higher education. And an actually a reason that I felt some, some friction within higher education is for me, it was always a very pure endeavor of, you know, I'm there to teach them, you know, I'm supposed to be my, my image was very, or my, my role was very defined for me and having to, to, to jockey position in higher ed was never what it was about. So there was a natural discourse, you know, there for me, but the, the other thing is people can move up in higher education.

Susan (00:23:21):

And those that maybe had their eyes set on administrative roles would, you know, put their voice, their, their desires. And so that, that combination was just, it was, it was why my time in professional theater was very short because I, I didn't, it doesn't have to be all about ego, but I guess that's just not who I am. I'm not centric and ego driven in what I do. So I, I found that I was like a fish out of water. And in some ways I felt like a fish out of water in higher education as well. I ha I'm a conservative and most people in higher education are also liberals. So there's yet another way that I felt discourse. Even from students, even though you, you D I didn't necessarily ever talk about politics, but things come up and when you go against the grain or you voice an opinion, that is, is maybe contrary to what everyone else is speaking.

Susan (00:24:26):

You, you find yourself like really coming straight in the face of adversity. There are people who want to challenge your positions and tell you you're wrong. And I I've been told there are other points in American history where the political rhetoric was a little Knight. It was a little worse, but and where members of Congress actually brought firearms to, to work. But it's, it's pretty bad right now. And I find that that crept into higher education as well. And if you weren't liberal, you weren't welcome. That was a, that was a sort of a message that I got from both students and faculty.

Speaker 3 (00:25:01):

Did, did you, I've heard from other professors did you feel like your, maybe your job was in jeopardy or there was a fear of, of some type of lawsuit or something along those lines or students, you know, saying, you know, I don't like what you had to say there or anything along those lines.

Susan (00:25:17):

Oh, that's a, that's a great topic. We could do a whole podcast on that.

Speaker 3 (00:25:21):

I know several mentions it and all that,

Susan (00:25:24):

The reality is most people don't realize that professors are sued every day in this country, either for what they say, what they don't say, it's, it's become a, a popular thing to attack others that seem to violate your safe space

Speaker 3 (00:25:43):

Or have a different opinion of yours.

Susan (00:25:45):

Yeah. Yeah. And it's, again, I don't like conflict. I'll deal with it if I have to, but I don't necessarily love conflict. And so I always try to redirect, I think understanding that somebody is emotional about what you just said. I can't, I can't change the way they reacted to it. And if it was nothing, it was nothing that I said that was wrong. I can't take responsibility for how they, how they reacted to it. But unpacking, it tells me there's a whole lot of anger somewhere. It's it's probably not a me. I was just the messenger. But we, we, we now have a society where students want safe space that the world otherwise does not outside of higher ed. There ain't no safe space.

Speaker 3 (00:26:33):

Right. And if any, and that's the thing I think about if any place that you don't want, that you want people to have discussions in the base, it should be there where you can learn and go through these things and talk through these things in a, in a, in a manner that has no consequences necessarily you're not gonna be fired. You're not going to go to HR or something like that. You guys can have as students and teachers and whatnot have a debate. And that's a place where people should be able to allow to express himself and voice their, their thoughts or opinions without repercussions, or getting somebody fired or, or going on these rants. And he's having these protests and stuff. Cause the professor says about people being white or something who knows whatever, these weird things you see in the news nowadays.

Susan (00:27:13):

Yeah. I have found that the mentality that most faculty have these days are just put your head down and you to call the HR. That's what I hear. It's not an environment I want to be in. That's not why. I mean, that's, it's so radically different from the time I started teaching to the end of it, where you needed to be concerned about being sued by a student who didn't like what you had to say, right. Or who took something totally out of context, which actually happened to me, a complaint, a complaint where it was taken totally out of context made into be something that it was not. And pretty much I was in defensive mode. I had to, I had to defend myself versus understanding that I came from a good place in the beginning. It was just automatically assumed that it was, that it was intentionally. And that's another point about higher ed, which is that the, the economic realities of higher education have changed a lot as, as information and education is more and more online, especially at the community college level. They have failed to keep up with the idea that not everyone wants or needs space to face. In other words, we need new paradigms of education, but traditional college education is still very much the same format timeframe. Courseload, we're still dealing with the 1960s model of higher education. It is failed to keep up.

Speaker 3 (00:28:50):

I have my first year in college, I was forced to take all these classes and I had no interest in. And I, it cost me, I mean, I went to a community college and I mean, there's paid for, in my case, by the government. But I had to spend hours and hours and hours, and the government has been hundreds of dollars for books and for bees and all this stuff, I didn't even want to sit. I want to just drop it out. Cause it was just so frustrating. And, and at the time when I was in school, it was maybe 20 years ago. Now it wasn't easy to get information and it wasn't easy to get these things. You have to sit in the library. And that was that really. And maybe you get lucky and you buy a VHS or DVD course. Now I can go on any major university's website and I could take any lecture. I want to see exactly what I want to see for free. I know MIT is website right now, Harvard, I can watch free lectures. Unbelievable.

Susan (00:29:39):

And so what, what because of that, what has happened is people are second guessing the value of higher ed. And for the first time I saw, you know, in state, in the state of Illinois where I'm at, we saw the, the community colleges of Chicago, one of the largest community college districts in the country lay off hundreds of full time, tenured faculty. Wow. And we were feeling that even where I was in Illinois, we were feeling like if a program wasn't doing well, they were breathing down your neck. Well, why aren't your numbers better? Why, why is your program in the red? So now I not only have to teach the classes, I have to do the recruiting for my own classes. Then you got a student in there who doesn't realize why they need to be taking this class and then you have to justify your class. So I have to create the class recruit for the class, teach the class, justify the class

Speaker 3 (00:30:43):

It'd being tenured. Doesn't mean anything anymore. It seems like

Susan (00:30:45):

It doesn't if your numbers aren't good. So I just felt, it was like a kind of, I just kept thinking, wow, I just, I just didn't see that coming. I didn't see the day and age where I would, I, I would feel in such an outdated kind of paradigm of education. And I think the community college has a lot on their plate in terms of navigating the, the financial aid changes. And, you know, there's more and more scrutiny upon students who are just trying to milk the system for money there's and that's a good thing. That's a very good thing, I think, and as, as the money gets scarcer for higher ed in terms of grants and loans, I think the, the preparedness level of students is at an all time low. And so I think I, again, a whole other podcast we could do on financial aid, but I really think that we have to in this country address that, that big gap between being ready for college and funding college, cause there's a, there's a huge gap there. That's setting students up for failure. It's essentially, you know telling students that you may be actually in debt at the end of two years and no further along academically than when you began.

Speaker 3 (00:32:18):

Yeah. When I was in school, they threw money at us, tens of thousands. I have friends that took a couple of semesters of, and I think that's actually say like a few classes, a couple of semesters, they got tens of thousands of dollars in money and they're still on the hook for that. But I want to say over 30,000 plus dollars, I have that, that didn't even, and I mean, I would even, maybe even venture to say you know, it was easy just to sign up for a class, never have any intention of, of, of going or attending and in applying for $50,000 in student loans. And, and it was so easy, just like I said, if you had a heartbeat, if you could sign your name in any form, they would just throw money at you because they knew you were on a hook, the rest of your life for it.

Susan (00:33:03):

It's true. And I started borrowing for college in the eighties and there wasn't even an exit exams or exit exit interviews at that date for your student loans. Now, at least they give you the stern warning and verbally that you're going to be on the hook for this money. But at the time they didn't, they weren't even doing exit interviews and sort of reminding you, you just borrowed $50,000 for your degree. And and then you get to the point where your student loan your, that your original sell of your student loans is now less than the interest you owe on that loan. We have a, we have a big issue in higher ed in this country. The paradigm needs shifting the financial aid structure needs. You know, I have a solution for that, but that's maybe another podcast.

Speaker 3 (00:33:53):

Yeah, definitely. I'd like to jump off this topic a little bit here. I, I'm interested in, in dealing you dealing with egos did you have a solution? How did you go, you know, from maybe where you first started to where you are now dealing with Eagles, what were some tips or tricks or tactics or whatever it is you had to do with talking with these people, interacting with them on, especially on a day to day basis?

Susan (00:34:17):

I think when you're really tired mentally, that becomes very hard, but I, you have to keep reminding yourself that when people have ego and anger, that's really coming from fear. And if you can reframe that scenario and hear their words differently, and it might be coming out as anger or screaming or whatever, but really inside they're afraid of something. And I think it's really important to be able to reframe that. Now, I'm not saying I did that very well in higher education having a year now to reflect almost a year. I would do things maybe a lot differently, but when you're utterly exhausted, you, you do things, you do things in a, not the best way, but maybe the most efficient way. And so w what's that fear coming from again, if you think about the, the, the portrait of higher ed that I've painted, if faculty are giving you pushback, it's because they're afraid of losing their status, their position, their power.

Susan (00:35:29):

And a lot of times that's tied to assignments that are, have a dollar figure assigned to them. And so maybe they're actually afraid of losing income, right? Because you come along and you want to do something differently for students. I think it's fear of failure. I think it's fear of not doing things correctly. It's fear of being asked too much of, as I've seen the college population change, I feel like students in particular, they'll re their resiliency is much lower than I remember it being, they don't know how to deal with conflict. They don't know how to deal with change. And that's again where the need for safe spaces, but in the rest of the world, I would say that it, all of that applies as well, that if you come against ego and there's a lot of it in business, especially in sales, I've come up a lot along people that have a lot of ego ego. Isn't really the enemy. Ego is again, the thing that can drive you to great success. But if, if you, if you are in that situation, I think you have to where you're dealing with abrasiveness or power struggles. I see that all as somebody afraid of losing something or not getting what they want and fear is not a pure motivator. So fear will feel fear will drive the engine, but not very far before it Peters out,

Speaker 3 (00:37:00):

Looking back, like you were saying do you have a, maybe an example or some type of thought on how you, you do handle now maybe, or how you would handle these things?

Susan (00:37:13):

I think were students were concerned at the end of my teaching career, that burnout was so bad that my patient's level was very low. And so I didn't have the ability to separate my own emotion from the students' emotion. So there was, I had this very difficult student, I think my last year of teaching and he needed constant attention. He was add, and which I can relate to a little bit and but needed constant validation at the same time, being a constant pain in the neck in the classroom, had a comment about everything, had a joke about everything. Every rule he tried to break, he was just like that. He was just like that fly that kept buzzing your head. And I mean, I only went so far with him until I just didn't. I didn't have the mental energy to deal with them.

Susan (00:38:16):

Yeah. So it just sort of had a conversation with him. And I pretty much laid, you know, line in the sand if you will. And he's crossed yet, even that. And then it, then I, I don't remember what the, what the final scenario was for him, but I remember he came back to me after I had dropped him from my class, because we, we at the college I taught at, we had the ability to drop a student, either for academic performance, behavioral issues, whatever. And the combination of the things that midterm was such that he wasn't passing. And I dropped him. And then he came back to me and begged for, cause he was a student athlete. Now I was below the number of hours he needed, yada, yada, yada. And I remember saying to him, you burned bridges. You kept choosing to do exactly what I said not to do.

Susan (00:39:12):

And you burned bridges. I said, I don't know. I don't know what to do with you. My patients is, is, is tried. I don't have the ability to deal with you anymore. I would hope that today, I would never say that to a student. Sure. But I still feel like the outcome would have been the same. I probably would still not have done anything differently for him, but I pretty much gave him the, you know, the mom's speech. If I knew his middle name, I probably would've used it. I was at the end of my rope, like get a job, move out of the house. That was that kind of mentality. Like I'm done with you. And I don't ever want to be done with anybody. You know, I don't ever want to communicate out of anger. Yeah. But I, but that was a, that was a lesson for me to, to just affirm that I'm done mentally. I, I, and there's no equipping of faculty to deal with students like that. But at the same, I didn't mean this to be a podcast about higher ed, but

Speaker 4 (00:40:18):

It's okay. This is where the conversation's going.

Susan (00:40:21):

But I do feel like at the same time at the same time, students are ill equipped to deal with the challenges academically of higher education colleges are more and more in need of students for headcount, for money, for federal dollars. And the shift I, the dangerous shift that I see in higher education is that we will now take any student and pass any student to retain those federal dollars. Oh, interesting. That's a dangerous thing because now we're putting we're putting a, a different spin on what it is to have a college degree. And is it, is it still about achievement? Is it, or is it still, is it about the colleges need to stay open? And I think the higher ed is going to have to deal with this. The colleges in general are going to have to deal with this moving forward, just as much as they're going to have to deal with the paradigm shift of 50 minute classes or hour and a half classes.

Susan (00:41:26):

And the Monday through Friday schedule maybe at one point higher ed was about teaching you how to juggle five subjects. But I think most people growing up today have always been juggling a lot. If you think about it, kids entering college today have never known life without the internet, right. They have never known life without a cell phone. They have never known life without juggling three or four different. Yeah, I think we're all. I don't think that that paradigm of higher ed fits anymore. I always advocated for the one class at a time idea, you take one class for six or seven weeks and that's all you do. But for somebody like me, who struggled with math and science, I needed intensive help with math and science, but I was trying to get it in the framework of two days a week. And it doesn't, it doesn't work. I struggled greatly with those subjects.

Speaker 3 (00:42:32):

I guess going forward, maybe whatever how would you deal with somebody like that now? What, what is the lessons you learned in that maybe the shifts you've made in the way you look at things and conduct yourself? And I don't mean that in a bad way or whatever. We're all learning, we're all growing and stuff. You have ideas or what have you implemented or how these situations come up again and you like, I such a different way of handling this now. Is there something like that?

Susan (00:42:58):

I want us to approach everyone with compassion. I think we rarely know all of the difficulties someone is going through. Yeah. And so the students may have terrible behavior. The faculty may be petty and knowing their way up the ladder, but that's, that's coming from whatever there is in their life. And even though I don't like the behavior, it's so contrary to what I would do or I would, I would hope I would do. It's, it's still at the end of the day, I think dealing with people is, is, is all about being able to, to peel back the layers of the onion and, and realize that that's just the one thing that's on the forefront. Probably a whole lot of other things that we don't know about that are driving, how they're feeling or behaving. And I think the other thing is that I know that I can't change the higher education system.

Susan (00:43:56):

I knew that I wasn't going to have any more resources to combat student behavior problems. I wasn't going to have any smarter students who are more academically prepared. I don't feel like colleges are training or equipping faculty to do any more than they're doing. So I feel like we're all sort of winging it in that regard. And that's an environment I didn't like to be in. I didn't like that winging it aspect. I felt like colleges in general need to address the growing mental health crisis in our, in our kids. The growing mental health crisis within our, within our faculty. Let's face it. I think mental health in general, it doesn't discriminate. I think we're all dealing with mental health issues. It's just how bad is it? Right. And, and we also have to, to cope with the challenges of of day to day living as financial aid gets constrained restricted students are not going away.

Susan (00:44:58):

There's continuing to persist a come, but now maybe they're coming, even though they really don't know how they're going to get to class tomorrow, are they going to get the bus, the bus doesn't run after this time at that place? How are they going to get home? I think those navigating those lots of different socioeconomic factors, colleges have to sort of address that. And, and I don't see that really happening at the level that it should be. So, but personally, what I would do differently is maybe I would have given less homework to give myself a break. So I had lost a grade. I see my, so I had maybe more fuel. I kept, I kept fighting with myself for academic integrity beyond them. Now they're just, they're just going to get hit with at some point, you know, so I always felt like I had to keep my academic standards high, even though it would have been much easier for me, if I would have just shown a movie every day and had a quick discussion and let them go home early, there's no academic integrity there.

Susan (00:46:00):

So that was sort of at odds with my own internal ethics. And but I probably would have done less work. I probably would have done. I did. I kept doing smaller and smaller plays. You know, we were doing a lot of one acts towards the end instead of the full length, you know, two plus hours show. I had done a lot. I had already done a lot of compromising and, and pulling back, which is, again, another time I knew it was, it was time to time to leave. And I think when you feel like you're going against the grain, you're either in the right place, in the wrong place. And for me, I just felt like it was in the wrong place anymore. And I think a lot of faculty would say the same things. I don't think I'm alone. I don't think most people would say these things publicly, but I have nothing to lose. So

Speaker 3 (00:46:51):

Yeah, you're done with that game. I'd like to switch gears a little bit. I'm not maybe you could have a great conversation with somebody a lot more knowledgeable on this, on another show. I enjoyed it. I'm not saying that, but let's, I want to talk about some of maybe the more happy I know you mentioned it and it says on your site, you got some art in a pretty big production TV show. Can we talk how, I mean, from the beginning of that, like how, how it started, how that, and then through the whole process and, and how it ended.

Susan (00:47:20):

Sure. Well, there's not a ton to tell there, except that the set director for season seven of orange is the new black reached out to me and asked if I could sort of express ship some pieces from my shop. And of course I said, sure. And so, and then they bought four four piece, two pieces of my art and then two of my other handmade goods, a set of coasters and Christmas decoration. Awesome. And I was able to, that's not a show that I had watched prior to having my art on the, on the set, but in watching it, I could really only find two of my pieces on the set, but what a high to, you know, to see your art on, on the screen and pretty, pretty exciting that way. I don't, I'm not quite sure why they chose my pieces, but they bought from both my shops, which are not linked.

Susan (00:48:22):

I mean, you can't, you can't buy from both shops just by being in one shop. So they went out of their way to buy from both of my shops, which was really nice. And it's been, it's been interesting, the reaction I've gotten from that. And the set director was really, really cool and, and D definitely wanted things right away, but not a lot to tell other than, other than, you know, I have the photographic evidence that cause on the set and I worked really hard. I had worked really hard. I'm doing some marketing right before that. So I felt like that was a win, like some of my marketing efforts had paid off.

Speaker 3 (00:49:04):

Yeah. I'll link those pictures for you guys to see 'em on the show notes. How do you feel maybe you, you set yourself up to, to be in a position where somebody could see that and, and then, you know, maybe not necessarily have that stature, but you know, you, you had to have done things to, to, to be in the right places to do the right things. What was that about? How did, how do you think you went about that?

Susan (00:49:29):

I think part of it was luck. I mean, I happen to have the timing of my marketing efforts, the timing of those listings going up coincided not all of them, but, but one, one of the listings I had just listed that product and then they bought it. But yes, I, I think figuring out, figuring out how to drive traffic to your site is every everyone's right. Golden golden nugget. Right. And all I can say is that it was sort of consistent work to, to make sure that what I was, what I was selling was being search engine optimized and using the right tags and keywords and hashtags. And, and so it was, I do think it was probably 50% lock and 50% my marketing efforts. But I also think that the show has a very contemporary vibe and that's what a lot of my artwork is.

Susan (00:50:35):

It's very contemporary. And so I think it fit with what they were, what they were doing. They wanted something sort of, I, I perceive that they wanted something maybe outside of the norm, outside of the box, if you will. And, and the art, the large art piece that they bought definitely is not, not a typical kind of piece. It's a woven up-cycled piece. I, I got a section of old billboard painted an abstract painting over it, cut it up and then wove it. And that was the piece that they bought. And it's a very, very atypical, if you will. It's not like it's just a flat painting.

Tyson (00:51:17):

Yeah. Yeah. I saw it. I was trying to figure out what it was. It looked like I was like the little tiles glued on or something. It was the, it's nice to know you wove it. Okay. That makes a lot of sense now.

Susan (00:51:24):

Yeah. Yeah. So and I think the other thing is, again, how you, how you deal with people. You know, I was able to respond to them right away. Had I waited to respond or not check my email. Maybe they would have gone along and bought from somebody else, but I immediately responded to those emails. Can you express ship would you be willing to do this, whatever. And I was open to that. I was able to get it in the mail the next day. So I hopped on that opportunity. I didn't wait,

Tyson (00:51:58):

I guess sounds like the moral of the story, I guess, is keep working be ready for opportunity and embrace luck and, you know, make things happen.

Susan (00:52:08):

And then when you get that lock, make sure you share it because you're right. I say, it's lock. Maybe it's more strategy than luck, but but, but we willing to share the success you have along the way. One of the things that's been hard for me is self promotion. Again, I'm not, I don't feel like I'm really driven by my ego. I just want to help people. I want, I want to put good things out in the world that make people that make people better people. And I think you have to be willing to put yourself out there and share with the world what you're doing. I'm learning how to do that more consistently. But at the end of the day, I think people want to know what you're up to. They want to know, you know, do you have something to offer?

Tyson (00:52:49):

What are some ways that you've been doing or trying lately that, that you're, you're, you're, you're seeing some success and maybe some other things you've dropped that weren't really successful. Maybe you'd hoped or thought,

Susan (00:53:01):

Well, as an entrepreneur, you are bombarded with opportunities, software courses, books, platforms, you name it. How do you know what's going to be good and what's going to be bad. And I think I bought a lot of courses about a lot of books. And I think you have to trust yourself and you have to stop thinking that there's a, that there's a magic wand that somebody figured out how to do something easy peasy. And you're just going to buy the software, download it. And you're going to be a millionaire, right? There's so many of these things out there. And I think they, they prey on the best of the entrepreneurial spirit, which is that risk taking and that dreamer in us and that, that, that willingness to, to work hard. And, but I think there's a lot of things that prey on, on that good spirit. And so I think one of the things I learned to do is just to say, no, no, I don't want your software. No, I don't want no, no, no. And to say, cause I had said yes already to things that were working and I just needed to sort of tune those out and stop, stop thinking that there's something more, there's something better. I heard once that the reason that courses are so popular to sell is because 80% of people that buy them, never finished them.

Tyson (00:54:33):

Yeah. So evil don't even start them.

Susan (00:54:37):

Yeah. So because what you're really doing is they're, they're really selling you hope. Yeah. And I'm not buying hope anymore. I have hope from other places. Right. So stop buying hope, stop, stop thinking that somebody else had, it has already figured it all out. Cause they haven't, maybe there may be a lot more money than you, but they haven't figured it all out. And every, every thing you do has pros and cons. Right? And so if you do buy a course and you take it and you do very well at it, there might be a downside to that as well. So I guess stop feeling like everybody else has all the answers and embrace the idea that most people are exactly where you're at, which is that they're trying to figure it out day to day. And there is no, there is no, you know, there is, there is no magic wand.

Susan (00:55:35):

There, there is no one thing that you can do. That's going to suddenly bring in the money or suddenly it's a combination of things over time. Just like investing as you know, it's a combination of things over time. And so I think that was hard for me because it's like I'm like the, you know, the dog and up squirrel, right. I can be really distracted really add sometimes. And I, I shiny penny syndrome, whatever you want to call it, I can really get to me. And I think, Oh, well there's the answer? Nope. There's the answer. Nope. There's the answer. Just stay the course. Try one thing. Commit, commit to it. Yeah. You have a great marketing course. You've bought great. Now sit down and do it.

Tyson (00:56:16):

Yeah. And that's the key is, is doing it even with books. So I think something like a 

Speaker 3 (00:56:24):

Only like 3% of people ever get past the first chapter. Yeah. But you know, it's okay sometimes to say, no, this, this isn't for me. And you know, Chuck it away and move on it's time. And so, you know, finite, you know, if you're, if you're only gonna read 10 books a year yeah, sure. Maybe, you know, pick the first thing and go, but definitely I have that same problem. I don't know how many things I can look through and stuff I've started or finished or I bought it and I'm like, I'm going to do that. And then I'm just going to do this. And then I never did that because I got distracted something else. And yeah, that is the one thing I learned as well is just putting in the effort and just doing it and wholeheartedly just giving it an effort and tuning it and going and trying and just keep going. Yeah, definitely. That's that's good. So you wrote a book and I'm sure that was fun. What was the hardest part of writing books that you didn't expect?

Susan (00:57:26):

Well, I tried to write the book that I needed to read. And when I really got honest with myself, I needed to be a lot more vulnerable than I was being. Cause that whole fear thing that we talked about, I think I had to embrace that with myself. Well, what, what is my fear? What is my greatest fear? And I think I'm I think I found it and my fear is looking stupid. So I have, you know, two degrees certificate, but I still feel like I'm the stupid girl in the room. And I had to, I had to face that fear and it's, it's an irrational fear. I know I'm not stupid, but I felt stupid. And I think that feeling of being stupid was the fear, right. Or whatever everybody else finds out I'm stupid. And so I had a little epiphany in that, which is to, to share my vulnerabilities, to share that I felt like that because again, if I'm feeling and I bet other people are feeling it too.

Susan (00:58:33):

And so the book sort of evolved, it started out to be just a straight journal and then it morphed into, I needed to share parts of my own life and what I learned up to midlife. And so I took one essay from each decade of my life, leading up to midlife, along with some other essays that sort of showed the reader. What I had learned in the hopes that they would be inspired to write their own story or work out their own stuff. And so I wrote the book I needed to read and I really needed, I really needed somebody to say especially for women that we need to just let go of the stuff that happened 30 years ago, see women it, men, men might not know this. I, although I think most married men know this, which is that women do not forget when they were wrong.

Susan (00:59:28):

We remember the girl in third grade who pulled her hair. We, and we, yes, we may have forgiven her. Right. But we have not forgotten. And women especially need to get to mid midlife, especially we need to get to the point where we can sort of forgive others, forgive ourself. That's harder. Forgiving ourselves is so much harder from a, from a faith standpoint. I think that's why, you know, people have this image of God, is this, you know, as this Granby who wants to punish you, I really think the fact that we can't forgive ourselves as the greatest punishment, right. God's forgiven us. Right. But we're hanging on to it. I don't even know what you're talking about, but we're still hanging on to it. And so being able to forgive yourself to be able to reframe your, your regrets, your failures, all of the things that you cringe at now and go, I cannot believe I did that or said that right.

Susan (01:00:33):

To be able to just forgive yourself, forgive all. There's an and, and see midlife as the perfect point in life to reframe everything. You're wise enough to be a mentor to a young person, and yet to be the young person to an old person, you're at the perfect age, right? You're in the balance between maybe caring for aging parents at the same time, you're helping to raise your grandchildren, right? It's a perfect age to be able to take stock and look back, learn from all the mistakes and the failures, but to move ahead with it in freedom and move ahead with it and forgiveness and reconciliation. And sometimes that means you have to make amends and you have to say, I'm sorry. Sometimes that means you just have to let it go and forgive yourself and forgive others and move on. So that's what the book is about. And that's sort of where it came from is that I realized I was carrying a lot of regret from stupid things. Not even anything, you know, I didn't Rob a bank. I'm not a felon. I'm not, you know, it's just stupid stuff along the way that I'm so much I regret that I did or said and I'm so, so much a better person now. And, but I realized it was sort of holding me back.

Tyson (01:01:57):

No, that's amazing. Those are great points is so much of a struggle with that. And I ended up just being, my wife brings up things. I don't even remember if it happened. I get it. Is there any habits recently that you've added or remove that really made a big impact in your life?

Susan (01:02:13):

The first one is stop comparing yourself to other people. Absolutely. Again, from a place of faith, I think God has equipped us each uniquely with a different set of bills, abilities and skills. And when you compare yourself to somebody else, you're just, you're, it's like apples and oranges. It's not even meant to be compared, you know? And so I think I think that's a feudal exercise. It's an, it's a feudal exercise to keep comparing yourself. Well, he makes more than I do. Her book is better. [inaudible] Just keep your eyes on you. You know, it's like going back to kindergarten, right? Keep your hands to yourself,

Tyson (01:02:58):

Mind your own business. Like what you're doing. Yeah. That's a recipe for disaster.

Susan (01:03:02):

It is. And I think you also can't see the good that you can do from your unique position. If you're constantly, you know, I say this a lot, but you know, a bird spends no time wishing it were a squirrel.

Tyson (01:03:16):

Yes, yes.

Susan (01:03:20):

Zero time expended. And so just make it natural in nature. They don't, they don't compare. They're not envious such as like what you have for again, being willing to forgive others, forgive yourself, especially is another habit. And it is a habit because I may forgive the person today, or I may forgive myself today, but then tomorrow maybe I have a bad day and then I have to start all over again. I think this is again, going back to nature. Why, why do we have to eat several times a day? Right. It's cause it's not a one and done, you don't eat on Monday and then you're good until next Tuesday

Tyson (01:03:59):

You worked out once and I'm good. I'm healthy now. Yeah.

Susan (01:04:02):

Right, right. Although I really wish that's the way it works.

Tyson (01:04:05):

Sometimes I dream of that.

Susan (01:04:08):

Yeah. And so I think it's a, it's a daily thing. You have to, you have to pick it back up and do it and reconcile it every day and just keep, keep, keep it on.

Tyson (01:04:19):

Definitely. is there a book that you would say has, has changed your life the most?

Susan (01:04:27):

Oh, there's, there's, there's two that come to mind. Your inner critic is a big jerk by Danielle Krysa or Chrissa. Your inner critic is a big jerk. It's sort of like everything I could have said, but she said it even better. And it really is a kick in the pants to like, just get over yourself and stop being so negative. And then the other one is a year, a badass by Jen Sincero. Okay. And then sh the followup I think is even better, which is you're a bad ass at making money. Okay. And she has a whole bad-ass series, if I can say that on your podcast, but she has the whole bad-ass series. And this is a woman who was sort of really good at helping buddy everybody else, but couldn't help herself and learned how to reinvent herself was sort of living on friend's couches.

Susan (01:05:26):

And at age 40 sort of had maybe a midlife awakening, although she doesn't call it that and realized that her gift was helping other people, but she couldn't apply that to her own life. And so she gave herself a pep talk and a lot of other good strategies and almost, almost pretty quickly was, was very successful financially. And and that was, that's just a good read. That's like, if you were just dive into those two books and, and, and take nibbles of those every day, it would be great. There's that other bump that was influential in my decision to finally just leave work, even like didn't have all my strategy in place. And that was a book called at the I'm going to misquote it. I think it's at the, the crossroads between should and must really helping you to see what's, what's a definite should in your life. What's a must, right. So should maybe being out of obligation and must being out of necessity. And that was another good book. And I, again, I butchered the title, but correct in the show notes. Very good.

Speaker 3 (01:06:44):

And we'll have that linked up for you guys. Perfect. Those are great. I've never heard of those and they sound interesting. So I'm going to definitely add them to my reading list. Thank you for those. Where can people find out more about what you're up to and all the different things? What's the best places for people to head, to head over to

Susan (01:07:01):

A sharp difference? Dot com is my personal website. And that talks about all the projects I'm doing. It even talks about the books I've, I've written and and the all links to those are there as well. And my Amazon author page also has quite a lot of information and some value there

Speaker 3 (01:07:23):

I'll link all those for you guys. So don't, don't worry. I'll rush out and do nothing. We'll have that in the show notes for you guys all linked up super easy. Is there a, is there a social media use, social media dollars are a good place. People can connect and learn more about you there or,

Susan (01:07:36):

Well, because I'm not very good at all of the self promotion I'm learning, but if you can even go to a sharp difference on Facebook, if you look up that page, there's there's links there, and I've tried to cross link to my sites for my art. My art will be Susan D sharp.com. Okay. So I'll give you all of those and

Speaker 3 (01:08:01):

Perfect. Absolutely. We'll link all that for you guys, if you're interested in checking that out. And then before we wrap up here and the social community show we'd like to do a weekly challenge, either something we've talked about here, I mean, idea or concept or whatever it is or something completely it's up to you

Tyson (01:08:16):

Because I'd like to give you the opportunity to challenge our listeners and viewers for this week's challenge.

Susan (01:08:22):

I think the challenge is to find out what you really want. And I think most of us don't know what we want. So I think if you make a pros and cons list as old fashioned, as that seems, yeah. What do you really want? And what's stopping you from getting it. And if fear is the thing that is stopping you from getting it, that's a different conversation than money or, or anything else. But I think most of the time we find that we don't go after something because of fear. And that's exactly what I tried not to do. And that's why I left my day job for entrepreneur ship. And so I would just challenge people to find out what you really want. And, and it's, it's about goals, goals to get there, some baby steps to get there.

Tyson (01:09:09):

That's a great challenge. Thank you so much for all the things you shared and everything. I know we talked a lot about school, but I think we can kind of extrapolate the lessons there. You know, what was about college or higher education, whatever university type things. I think there's some good lessons there. So thank you, sir, for sharing that, you know even though the context is maybe a little, little different I really appreciate all your insight and everything. You have a great site and I loved a lot of things there and there's lot of things there. I loved the vulnerability and stuff in your book and everything. That's really great. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you again, Susan, for the wonderful advice, the amazing challenge, a lot of good nuggets wisdom in there. I also struggled too with data.

Tyson (01:09:54):

Imposter CISM is what they call it. I always feel like, you know, somebody's going to find out, maybe I'm not as good at whatever I haven't had as many clients as maybe they think I have or whatever. I struggle with it a lot. And it's really like she was saying, just keeping that frame of mind of, you know, let's put that away. Let's put that aside. And guess what guys nobody's thinking about you, it's very, very, very small percent of people. Everybody's worried about themselves, worried about how they are presenting and stuff, how they look, how they come off. So let's put that over our minds. If this episode was a help to you, maybe you want to discuss it with some of your friends or whatever. Family, coworkers share this with them. Let, let these people know. This is the best way to support the show.

Tyson (01:10:42):

If you like what we've got going on, leave us like on your favorite podcast app platform, lupus review. Yes. In messages. If you have ideas, questions, comments, everything, let us know. We would love to hear from you in between shows you guys can connect with us all week long, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at the social community show. If you'd like the video version, you guys have a YouTube. If you are on podcast, please make sure you don't forget to subscribe. If you're new to the show, or if you've been listening for a while and have haven't subscribed, make sure you guys do that for past episodes and things. Everything we talk about today, you guys can visit the social community that show until next time, keep learning, growing, and transforming into the person you want to become.

Speaker 5 (01:12:04):


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