Is it possible to live multiple lives in this lifetime? Today, the three-foot giant Dr. Sean Stephenson joins us for a wonderful conversation on growth, purpose, and a lot more.
Continuing to Grow
Even after achieving his stature as a public speaker, Sean admits that he’s still growing. He was in business with his father for 22 years and didn’t leave home until he was 31. Perhaps owing to his severe physical disability, he was very close to his family.
His home life was wonderful, but as he got older, it got more difficult. Being in the same roof with his family, he always had a group thinking and felt like he was curbing himself. So he decided to go through a very painful business breakup and step out into the world.
Learning to Walk
We can’t read the label inside the jar. Sean didn’t know how much he was holding back his own opinions or how much he was fully being himself. But when he moved and broke away, he started seeing how there were new levels and layers to him.
The stark differences between his and other people’s experiences growing up shocked him. After all, he was used to a culture where not doing what the family wants equals being a renegade.
“I have decades and decades of education where I help people through their pains and their problems. But in some ways, I’m still learning to walk myself, learning to navigate this world, and I’m loving the experience of making mistakes.” – Dr. Sean Stephenson
Breaking the Mold
It personally sickens him to think that some people would want to live the same life a hundred times over. To continue his self-discovery, he would reorganize his life every five years or so. He wants to look back on the past five years with a stack of embarrassing mistakes to learn from.
Sean confesses that he wouldn’t hang out with his younger versions with interests that wouldn’t necessarily appeal to him now. He loves himself all the more for it. And he can only wish the version of himself five or ten years down the road would feel the same way with the present.
“Maybe there’s a wrongful belief out there that the version of you will always be the same as you get older but I don’t agree with that. I’m constantly breaking the mold and starting over and trying new things and figuring out what do I believe in.” – Dr. Sean Stephenson
To hear about why purpose is sexy and how Sean turned his “disability” into a competitive advantage, download and listen to the episode.
Dr. Sean Stephenson was predicted not to survive at birth because of a rare bone disorder that stunted his growth and caused his bones to be extremely fragile (fracturing over 200 times by the age of 18).
Despite his challenges, he took a stand for a quality of life that has inspired millions of people around the world.
Since 1994, his powerful message has been heard at live events in nearly all 50 states and in 16 countries.
Sean has presented at hospitals, universities, prisons, and to companies such as Nike, Whole Foods, Zappos, Walmart, and Sharp Healthcare. He has shared the stage with U.S. Presidents, billionaire business moguls, celebrities, and his Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
Sean has appeared on everything from The Oprah Show to Jimmy Kimmel, in addition to online videos with tens of millions of views.
The Biography Channel produced an hour-long feature on his life called, Three Foot Giant.
Mindie Kniss & Sean Stephenson his international best-selling book, Get Off Your “But”, has been translated into over a dozen different languages.
As a board-certified therapist, and doctor of Clinical Hypnosis, Dr. Stephenson sees clients in a unique 12-hour session that gets to the root of their fears, excuses, and insecurities.
Each year Sean hosts live events and group coaching programs to mentor individuals in the art and business of public speaking.
When Sean isn’t working he can be found in the gym, playing NBA 2K with his friends, or watching NBA basketball with his wife and business partner, Mindie Kniss.
Both Chicago-natives, Sean and Mindie have traveled the world, but now call Scottsdale, Arizona, home.
We hope you enjoyed Dr. Sean Stephenson on this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!
Why does being present mean losing oneself? On today’s episode, mindfulness guru Julianna Raye shares an insightful conversation with Christopher. Learn how you can apply your attention in ways to truly make your life effective.
Mindfulness and Being Present
Mindfulness practice entails knowing how to apply your attention through optimal ways. Understanding where to focus one’s attention alleviates even a simple headache. Opening up to the experience as it is happening will help release the pain, even if not always.
It turns out, there are two ways by which you can handle pain. One is to turn towards the pain and directly work with it or to anchor away from it. And it matters to be present in the situation in order to find a way to deal with it.
“I like to define what it means to be present in a way where people can actually understand how to do it—if they wanna do something.” – Julianna Raye on being present
Three Skill States
There are three skill states to consider to achieve mindfulness: concentration, sensory clarity, and equanimity. Julianna says that these are naturally-occurring. And they come up in life all the time, associated with the most fulfilling moments.
“The key is a lot of people don’t know that those heightened states—those skills—you can develop them and then they’re transferrable.” – Julianna Raye
When you achieve concentration, you get to spend more time focusing on what matters to you and less time being pulled into distractions. Nobody succeeds without figuring out how concentration works.
“Concentration is the ability to focus on what you choose.” – Julianna Raye
Christopher says that it’s interesting how you lose yourself in concentration. This means that the more present we are for us, the less alive we are. And the less present that we are, the more alive we are.
“It’s this amazing dichotomy to me that when we lose ourselves the most is when we’re alive the most.” – Christopher Lochhead
To hear more about the other skill states that affect mindfulness from Julianna herself, download and listen to the episode.
Julianna is devoted to deepening people’s understanding of research-supported mindfulness and empowering anyone to guide others in its practice. She has been training individuals and groups in the Unified Mindfulness system for nearly two decades.
Julianna is also a founding member of Brightmind Meditation, LLC—the developer of the Brightmind mindfulness app. She also consults and offers private coaching, onsite and online mindfulness training.
She has had more than 100 weeks of immersive silent retreat training in both the mindfulness and Zen traditions. Through these, she has completed over 12,000 hours of formal practice.
Along the way, she has participated in research including a UCLA study comparing long-term meditator’s brains with those of non-meditators.
She also designed and led the training for a workplace research study carried out under David Creswell, Ph.D. And that study showed positive outcomes with regards to improved employee well being and lower stress.
We hope you enjoyed Julianna Raye on this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!
How do you become happier in life? On today’s episode, four-time New York Times bestselling author Gretchen Rubin joins us for a fun, insightful conversation. How do you turn feeling envy and lying into tools for our own growth?
Relationships for Happiness
There are two ways to achieve happiness, depending on the mental framework that you use. One of which is that to be happy, we need to have enduring, intimate bonds.
“Ancient philosophers and contemporary scientists would agree that relationship is key to happiness.” – Gretchen Rubin
We have to feel like we belong, be able to confide a secret, get support, and give support. Anything that broadens or deepens our relationships is something that would make us happier. When we look at people who say they’re happier, they tend to have more relationships.
Self-knowledge is also Key
From a different vantage point, you can also say that the key to happiness is self-knowledge. We can build a happy life on the foundation of our own nature, interests, values, and temperament.
“It’s really by knowing ourselves that with this knowledge we can shape our lives to better reflect what is true for us.” – Gretchen Rubin
It should be fairly easy to know oneself when you hang out with yourself all day long, right? But the truth is that it’s not very easy at all. This stems from how we sometimes wish that we were different from who are or from how we are different from what other people expect or want us to be.
Envy and Lies are Helpful
Gretchen is keen on finding questions or indirect ways to help us understand ourselves better. For instance, whom do we envy? People don’t want to admit they feel it, but envy is actually helpful because it shows us what we wish we had.
Another question we must ask ourselves is, what do we lie about? Oftentimes when we lie, what we do doesn’t match up with what our value is and this is really important information to reflect on.
“The fact that you’re not being truthful about it means that somehow, you’re not comfortable with what your real answer is and that’s a sign—hey, maybe I need to get my actions and values into better harmony.” – Gretchen Rubin
To hear more about how we can achieve inner calm and peace from Gretchen, download and listen to the episode.
Gretchen Rubin is a writer who relentlessly explores human nature to understand how we can make our lives better.
She believes there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for becoming happier, healthier, more productive, or more creative; when we know ourselves and what works for us, we can change our habits and our lives.
And she hosts the award-winning podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin,
The New York Times calls her “the queen of the self-help memoir.”
We hope you enjoyed Gretchen Rubin on this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!
How do you know when to quit? Is there still a place for creative minds in the marketing industry? On today’s Q&A with Lochhead, Christopher answers these two questions sent by his listeners.
Category Leaders’ Share
Should you quit a company that’s starting to fail at the category king game? In writing Play Bigger, Christopher and his co-authors conducted a research project where they analyzed every venture-backed company found in Silicon Valley from 2000-2015. They tracked how these companies grew in value.
They looked into the data for an answer to an important question. What percentage of the market cap goes to the category leader? It turned out that the number was a whopping 76%.
Winner Takes All
In businesses today, there exists a winner takes all game. And you would want to be part of that company. It’s a bitter pill to swallow.
We learn so much by winning. There is also the halo effect that comes from being part of a legendary team, and these halos last forever. Christopher would know.
“The minute that you think your company can’t win the category king or queen game in your space, that’s when you need to start looking.” – Christopher Lochhead
When considering companies, you must also ask yourself these important questions: Can this company do product, company, and category design right? And can you make a contribution to that?
Creativity in Marketing
How about people who want to live off creative work in marketing? Is creativity still a fundamental asset in this landscape?
In business today, data and technicals are becoming increasingly important. Even so, creativity still comprises half the work in marketing, especially concerning new skills that companies require in new CMOs.
“Category design is now the number one skill that CEOs are looking for when they are recruiting new CMOs.” – Christopher Lochhead
To hear more about the role of creativity in the marketing landscape, download the listen to the episode.
We hope you enjoyed this Q&A with Lochhead
On today’s episode, Christopher talks about a relevant TechCrunch article on startup founders mental health written by Jake Chapman. He also shares how he’s able to go through his own mental health concerns.
“Just like we can proactively design our life and our business, we can proactively design our mental health.” – Christopher Lochhead
Entrepreneurs and Founders: Mental Health
In a study by Michael Freeman, it is said that 50% of entrepreneurs are susceptible to a mental health condition. Some specific conditions are prevalent among young startup founders. These include depression, ADHD, substance abuse, bipolar disorder, psychiatric hospitalization, and suicidal thoughts.
Indeed, Aristotle once said that there’s no great genius without a touch of madness. While some of the wacky can help a person be creative, it’s also quite hard to deal with. To address this, there first needs to be mental health awareness within ourselves and also in our entrepreneurial leaders.
“The second thing I tried to do is to create a structure for myself and for my life that acknowledges who I am.” – Christopher Lochhead
Christopher has personally gone through a lot of training and therapy to become a self-actualized person. He trained himself to increase his self-awareness. He used his own intelligence to manage his emotions and prevent them from getting the best of him.
“Even if I’m feeling really shitty, at least in some level, I know that this is an overreaction and that this, too, will pass.” – Christopher Lochhead
Getting Help from People
He also surrounds himself with people who know and love him for who he is. When he’s in a dark place, they know how to support him and love him through it. Most importantly, they know when to stop putting up with it and give him a nudge whenever he wallows in his self-pity for too long.
Professional help, of course, is always an option and nothing to be ashamed of.
To hear Christopher Lochhead share more insights into mental health, download and listen to the episode.
We hope you enjoyed this episode of Follow Your Different™ on Startup Founders Mental Health! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!
On today’s special episode, Christopher gets together with seven people from the leadership team of the Best Year Ever Blueprint event hosted by Hal Elrod and Jon Berghoff. What are their goals for 2019? And how will they overcome the things that might hold them back this year?
Accountability, Community, and Passion
Determined as she is, Stephanie knows that not all her goals for the year will be achieved. But to get there, she underlines the importance of surrounding herself with people who will hold her accountable. This comes coupled with consistency and being clear with her why and passion.
“It’s the accountability, it’s the community, and it’s holding back to the core of the passion.” – Stephanie Courtillier on how to achieve goals
She thinks it’s easier to do something for other people than doing it for herself. Ultimately, it all boils down to the impact that she has in someone else’s life and how she transforms them.
Not About Meeting Goals
Alissa Daire Nelson talks about one of her key takeaways from Dr. Shawn Stevenson. According to Shawn, it doesn’t matter if you don’t meet your goals. It is far more important to have them.
A goal-oriented person, Alissa has grown a lot shyer of putting out her goals in fear of failing. But being part of the Best Year Ever Blueprint made her realize the things that really matter. She looks forward to recalibrating her goals for the New Year according to these.
“It matters whether I shoot high. It matters whether I have the why behind it and that I’m measuring the things that actually matter to me.” – Alissa Daire Nelson
Alignment with Oneself
Stephanie Wankel came up with a theme to make 2019 her best year. When she makes her goals, they must align with her true self Whether they’re health or career-related, goals need to resonate with her first so she can achieve them.
To hear more strategies from 7 wonderful people of the Best Year Ever Blueprint, download and listen to the episode.
Bios and Links:
Founder, Integrous Women
As founder and CEO of Integrous Women, Stephanie is paving the way for the next generation of entrepreneurs. She is on a mission to inspire, educate and empower heart-centered women to create their own purpose-driven futures through a supportive, forward-thinking and compassionate community.
In parallel with helping women lead purpose-driven lives that enhance their professional and personal goals, Integrous Women seeks to take these skill-building tools to empower young women in Guatemala.
Alissa Daire Nelson
Alissa Daire Nelson is regularly featured on television news segments, inside major blogs and publications, and on podcasts from all over the globe.
She’s an accomplished Success Coach, Speaker, host of the Frickin’ Awesome Entrepreneur podcast. She is also a published Author of the book, From Frustrated to Frickin’ Awesome: 4 Steps to Achieve the Success You’re Wired For.
Rachelle of Nourishing Worthiness is a wife, dog mom, ultra-marathoner, outdoor enthusiast, blogger, and author.
Rachelle has been a student of personal growth and dealt with debilitating anxiety for decades. Now, she wants to share what she has learned and is on a mission to inspire individuals to make the transformation from fear to self-love.
Founder, New Heights Investment Group
The people at New Heights are passionate about connecting accredited investors to the very best real estate syndication opportunities in the industry. They help busy professionals learn about private investment opportunities that protect and grow your wealth effortlessly.
Coming February 2019: Frenzied To Financial Freedom Podcast:
Klaus Luhta is a U.S. Coast Guard licensed Master and a licensed attorney. He currently focuses his efforts in the areas of maritime policy, legislation, and regulation, both domestically and abroad.
Klaus regularly serves as a delegate at the International Maritime Organization in London, U.K., to advocate there on behalf of seafarers across the globe.
Linda Merrill is a software enthusiast and a former software quality manager.
We hope you enjoyed this episode of Follow Your Different™ on the Best Year Ever Blueprint! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!
Communications guru and podcaster Bob Evans joins us once again for today’s episode. He and Christopher have a thoughtful conversation on movies, technology, being direct and so much more.
Pondering the Past
Nowadays, watching the news entails being freaked out by the realities of the world. Given all that, would you consider revisiting the film classics like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Cool Hand Luke? Bob says that it might be a good idea if we did.
Remember the iconic scene where Jack Nicholson’s McMurphy tried lifting a water fountain? He couldn’t do it, but at least he tried. Then there was Paul Newman’s Luke who swore death against defeat and who thought nothing was a mighty cool hand.
“We are in a time now when so much of our life is restricted. We’d let our fear shrink our world. We let fear, you know, crush our dreams.” – Bob Evans
Beyond What You’re Dealt
The culmination of all these, Bob says, reflects how it’s not what’s around you that determines what you become. Your fate turns out the way you play yourself. Not much depends on the hand that you’re dealt.
“I think it’s good to go back and look at some of those things and realize we get to parts where we are today by letting it happen. Declining’s a choice.” – Bob Evans
Merits of Technology
When Bob left the media industry to jump into technology, a lot of people said that he was coming to the dark side. When he asked them why they thought so, they would say it was because tech people were dishonest. But to Bob, the change was like coming into a brightly-lit place coming out of the dark side.
People have plenty of valid reasons to “bitch about technology”, but there’s a big but, and Christopher has a few choice words for them.
“Innovation overall has massively increased the well-being of human beings, the lifespan of human beings, and the quality of life of human beings.” – Christopher Lochhead
To hear more about technology, the virtue of being direct, and the downside of judgment-free zones from Bob Evans, download and listen to the episode.
Bob grew up outside of Pittsburg with hardworking parents and his 6 siblings. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1978 and entered the business world, flowing his passion for information technology and writing.
He rose to become the editor of Information Week, one of the top two publications in technology at the time. Then he became the SVP and Content Director for Information Week’s parent company TechWeb/CMP.
After thirty years in the media business, he left to join the world of software vendors. Following a quick stop at ERP vendor SAP, Bob was recruited by the world 5th richest person, a legendary category designer and entrepreneur Larry Ellison the founder of Oracle.
At Oracle, Bob served as SVP and Chief Communications Officer for Larry. Today, Bob runs his own strategic communications firm, is a prolific writer, a tech industry commentator, public speaker, and a legendary guy.
He hosts the widely popular Cloud Wars Live Podcast.
We hope you enjoyed Bob Evans on this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!
New Year resolutions have been made. How do we keep from being part of the 6% of people who can’t follow through? Professional athlete turned fitness trainer and entrepreneur Joey Wolfe joins Christopher on today’s episode for some practical ideas to make fitness stick in our lives and improve our well-being.
“I was doing all these other stuff more so than putting my health first and that is completely changed, and I honestly don’t feel like it’s ever going to change again because it’s part of who I am now.” – Joey Wolfe
Coming Up with a Plan
Joey is the founder of Paradigm Sport in Santa Cruz, California, the gym Christopher personally goes to. Every beginning of the year, new faces fill the gym. Then by February, the same people disappear — a trend across the gym business.
You need to have a plan so you don’t become the person that’s done by Valentine’s Day. Everybody has good intentions at the beginning of the year, but you must be clear on what your goals are. And goals are different from results.
Important Behavioral Changes
When planning your fitness routine, you must focus on the goals and the measures you will have to take to fulfill them.
“What are the behavioral changes we need to make in order to get you to achieve those goals… what are the behavioral changes I can be making to make my goal a reality?” – Joey Wolfe
In order to make these changes, you must get into a routine. This is what most people find most troublesome since routines are difficult to establish.
Workout Buddies and Realistic Plans
Joey has never been a morning person, and it remains true until now. But he found a workout group composed of other goal-driven and like-minded entrepreneurs. They helped him ease into the routine of working out first thing in the morning.
An “accountability partner”, along with a realistic plan catered to your fitness level, will help you follow through your plan.
To hear more fitness tips from Joey Wolfe, download and listen to the episode.
Founder & CEO Paradigm Sport
A native of the Central Coast of California, his talent and passion for baseball took him to the professional level where he worked with some of the country’s best trainers. As an ACSM-certified trainer, he now shares his experience and enthusiasm with world-class athletes and fitness clients alike.
Joey has built a business with the goal of bringing the most advanced techniques and the highest levels of individualized athlete training to the Central Coast community.
- 30-minute workouts will suffice.
- Share your goals with those closest to you, or if you’re up for it share it on social media.
- Get a gym membership or outfit your garage with exercise equipment.
- Have a large visible calendar or “accountability mirror” to track your workouts in advance.
- Have workouts written in advance.
- Find a workout partner who can motivate you.
- Don’t get caught in the mental trap that “going to the gym” is the only way to workout.
What considerations should you make to become a legendary CEO? On this episode of Questions and Cocktails, Christopher Lochhead answers this question and offers his real-life perspective on designing a legendary career.
“I have learned more by being on a few winning teams than I ever learned from being on losing teams.” – Christopher Lochhead
Sorting Out One’s Priorities
How do you find the right job given a specific goal of becoming a CEO? Christopher says that this conversation has been a constant over the years. Just how do you pick the next opportunity to ensure your success?
It seems that many people make career decisions in the complete opposite manner he personally would. A lot of the people he would talk to usually pick salary first, then title, the actual job, and lastly, the potential of the company they will be part of. And while this thinking is understandable, it often isn’t the right way to go.
Team Potential is Important
Christopher would suggest inverting this list, that is, to put potential first before anything else. When making a career decision, ask yourself if you see a company’s potential for growth and its category potential. Mull over the possibility of the company becoming a category king or queen, or if they already are, whether there is a new category opportunity they will prosecute or expand.
It is better to ride on the bench for one of the greatest teams of all times than be a starter on the team that sucks. And it is also important to stumble a few times to learn what you ought not to do. But you should also be able to taste true success and you can only do that by becoming part of a team that will offer you the right opportunities.
Other Things to Consider
The job comes second, then the title. And while money matters, the economics will take care of themselves once everything else is in place.
To hear Christopher expound on these points, download and listen to the episode!