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Jun 04, 2024 | Podcast

The Art of Risk-Taking and Overcoming Imposter Syndrome with Lindsey Epperly

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About the episode:

If you often struggle with trusting yourself and taking risks in entrepreneurship, you’re going to take away a lot from this week’s episode of the Prosperous Empath®. I’m sitting down with Lindsey Epperly, CEO of Jetset World Travel which she has scaled from a one-person operation into a team of over 90 dedicated members in the unlikeliest of times – the COVID-19 pandemic. When the world shut down in March 2020, Lindsey was 5 months pregnant with her first child and her husband had recently quit his job in finance to integrate into her business. As travel restrictions were being put into place, Lindsey had to choose between betting on herself or succumbing to fear and uncertainty. Tune in for an insightful and motivational conversation on turning obstacles into opportunities, overcoming imposter syndrome, and being a light in a dark time.  

 

Topics discussed:

  • Lindsey’s story of scaling her travel agency while navigating her industry’s greatest crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic
  • How to improve your relationship with fear as an entrepreneur and become a resilient risk-taker
  • Battling with your inner critic and overcoming imposter syndrome so you stop being your own bottleneck
  • Giving up on the illusion of control, hiring a team, and realizing that your way is not the only and best way
  • How Lindsey navigates working with her husband as her business partner and figuring out the boundaries of personal and professional life

 

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Click here for a raw, unedited transcript of this episode

 

Catherine A. Wood 05:25
Lindsey, welcome to the podcast. I’m so excited to have you.

Lindsey Epperly 05:38
Thank you so much for having me, Kat, I know we are going to have a really good conversation today. I,

Catherine A. Wood 05:43
I always appreciate when mutual friends connect guests with me because they’re always such just like immediate connections. And I really enjoyed our first connection. And we share a lot of values and interests. So I’m excited for today’s talk. By way of getting us started, I’d love to invite you to share your pronouns. And a little bit about your story, because I think we all connect and learn through storytelling. Yeah.

Lindsey Epperly 06:10
So I am Lindsay Epperly pronouns she her and I own jets at World Travel, which is a modern travel agency, we are virtual before it became cool to be virtual in the pandemic. And I’m a mom of two little as I have a jester and one year old and soon to be four year old.

Catherine A. Wood 06:28
Just turned one and just turned four. Amazing. So

Lindsey Epperly 06:32
it’s a fun season. And I should add to boot I am married to my business partner. So everything is a little bit blurred lines when it comes to personal and professional in my life. Yeah,

Catherine A. Wood 06:41
I mean, I’m sure we could have an entire separate conversation around how you maintain those hats and those roles and be wife and CO parent and friend and business partner.

Lindsey Epperly 06:53
Yeah, you know, it’s interesting that you even think to include the word friend because that is such an important aspect still have our identities right. And our partnership when it comes to mine and my husband’s and it’s, there are a lot of hats to be worn for sure. Yeah,

Catherine A. Wood 07:07
totally. Well, I love the place I’d love to start the conversation is maybe you could just kind of jump into the story. But this really captured my interest because your travel agency has been around since pre COVID. And we all know that the travel industry was decimated during COVID and years as an international travel agency. And I’m actually not sure if I shared this with you but my parents are innkeepers by industry. I grew up in a bed and breakfast in coastal New England.

Lindsey Epperly 07:44
Oh, you sound like a beautiful novel that I would like to read.

Catherine A. Wood 07:49
I have lots of stories. And they ran the bed and breakfast for 29 years and retired during the pandemic. And honestly, it was a welcoming a welcomed I think not in the moment, but in hindsight, a welcomed change. And you made it you came out the other side. And so I would love to hear really how that how that journey unfolded for you.

Lindsey Epperly 08:14
Yeah, yeah, no, I didn’t know that about your parents. So I know that you can understand then that the travel industry was not the world’s best to be in during a global pandemic, when all flights are grounded, and we have no business to be doing. But it’s interesting that you, you talk about it being kind of a welcomed situation a welcome shift, because for me now, in retrospect, mine was as well. At the time, though, and I’ll kind of set the stage for everyone listening at the time, it was March of 2020. Of course, everyone knows what happened. But I was five months pregnant with my first little girl, my husband is my business partner, we had our home under contract that we are going to be bringing our daughter home to. And as this is happening, we’re having to make the painful decision of do do we keep the business or do we keep the home. And we decided to walk away from the home because we had these really grand visions for the business of okay, we know that this industry is going to come back. And we know that we want our, our livelihood to be around the freedom and flexibility of entrepreneurship. My husband, just the year prior when we got married had actually left his job in finance. So of course there were conversations of well, should he go back and get that job in finance is this actually a wise decision, especially as we’re bringing a baby into the world, but our guiding light and our mission was very much we just believe in this business enough to walk away from the home enough to make the sacrifices that we made and to say, we believe if we stick with it, we’ll be able to turn a lot of this obstacle into opportunity. And that’s exactly what we did through organic growth through an acquisition opportunity. And just kind of holding steady to the faith and something that we were building that was bigger than us.

Catherine A. Wood 09:47
How did you assess how did you make that decision? I mean, I could only imagine how, in personal and perhaps life connecting of a decision that would have been to walk away from the home or business, what kind of played into your decision making process?

Lindsey Epperly 10:05
It’s a really good question. And this is where it’s really beneficial to have a business partner who operates from a totally different side of the brain than you do. Right. So I am, as right brained, erratic, come up with a million ideas before noon, you know, just that type of personality, very creative, very emotionally driven. And if it were just up to me, I probably would have made decisions as the wind was blowing one way or the other. And during that time, it was very violently blowing toward, oh, gosh, just burn it all down and start over and or just become a mom, you’re just going to be a mom anyway, why not, you know, close the Sharpen and just do that. And on the flip side, I had my husband, who is very, very methodical, very strategic left brain. I will never forget the way that we did this from the methodical standpoint, because it’s not at all how I think, but we had a spreadsheet that we would consult every day called Project SlimFast. And it was all about, you know, cutting the fat and making sure that we could last and what is our runway look like? And an oh, gosh, the government just released a new round of funding. So now we can last another three months, right? Like it was constantly assessing. And so it was not one big decision, we’re going to stick this out forever. It was a million small decisions surrounding every day that had new facts add everyday, this lasted longer to right. The longer it lasted, the more we felt like, oh, on one hand, we’ve been in it this long, but on the other hand, we don’t have much longer to go. And so we’re just always very wise watching our money and making sure that we kind of kept up with that run rate. But I’ll tell you, from the psychological standpoint, maybe a number of your listeners can relate to this, if they’re founders or just the entrepreneurial type. This business that I have, will turn 10 This year, and I founded it before my husband came into it. I had founded it about five years prior, it was then called Epperly travel, which is my maiden name. As we were going through the pandemic, it was still called Epperly travel. We rebranded after we acquired a company in 2021, after we acquired jets at world travel. But I’m saying all of this to say that there’s a real, tangible situation that happens when you have founded a business and you are in relationship with that business. Right? It is, for all intents and purposes. For me, it was my first baby. And I had poured my entire 20s into it my entire heart and soul into this this company that I had such a interesting dynamic with. And then we have a play this dynamic of my my recent husband as he’s interested in the picture a year prior. And he’s saying, Well, what if we were to do this with it? What if we were to do this? And I’m like, no, no, no, this is this is my to make decisions around, right? There’s this like real toxic founder syndrome that was happening. And so as I’m making these decisions with my husband, I’m also making these decisions for what felt like almost like a living, breathing part of the family, you know, the business that you found it?

Catherine A. Wood 12:43
Yeah, I mean, our businesses, they have their own energy, like they have a relationship, we have a relationship to them. And as we evolve, both as people and the, the leadership in the company, our relationships to the business have to evolve also. So I know, I know, you love talking about impostor syndrome. And I’m excited to go there. And before we do, actually, I want to talk about fear, because I’ve been coaching for about a decade as a as well. And over the years, the client that I’ve most kind of been attracted to as shifted and evolved. And I love working with entrepreneurs, because of the entrepreneurs relationship to fear, and their willingness to embrace fear, to lean into change, to lean into that necessity to pivot and reinvent. And you were kind of given like a whole smorgasbord of conditions to really require you to face fear at a really high speed and velocity. Which I think is just really impressive. You know, like, I’m pregnant with my first now and I certainly have fear about my business. But you know, as the breadwinner, having just gone into business with your husband, you have once one sole income, expecting a first buying a house. Like all the things, how have you embraced your relationship to fear over your entrepreneurial journey? How have you how has it shifted? Like, I’d really love for you to maybe share a little bit about that. Yeah,

Lindsey Epperly 14:29
cat This is why we hit it off so well, when we first spoke because you asked such thoughtful questions. And and this is your You’re right. It’s such an intrinsic part of the entrepreneurial journey to know about your fear. And to be honest, up until that point, I hadn’t really thought about it because everything I had always done had succeeded. And it was all up into the right and so I was just constantly used to an upward trajectory. And I remember when this happened, it wasn’t even fear that I recognized it was that I finally understood the dark type of risk, right that always I had gotten reward, and oh, this is what they mean when they talk about being fearful. And an entrepreneur, this is what they mean by risk, right? Like we are set to and we’ll lose it all, depending on where the cards fall in this situation. And what was interesting was at the time, I lived in a lot of fear. I mean, it really when I talk about myself being kind of emotional and an emotional decision maker I, a lot of that is fear based, because especially becoming a mom to read, I think there’s this kind of like, biological thing happening where you just want to choose the safe bet. And you just want to be taken care of. And you want to of course, make sure you have a roof over your head, like everything in you is driving toward protect this baby, even it just that time five months pregnant. And so there were there are a lot of interesting things going on that were really really lighting up the fear card in my mind. And I knew our situation I knew we were not going to go destitute, we have wonderful family that we were always going to be able to fall back on. But there was always this level of like, I don’t want to have to do that. Right. Like I want to as an entrepreneur, I’ve always wanted to prove myself and, and my ambitions, I’ve always chased after so wholeheartedly that when this all happened, it felt like I was the failure, not just that the business was failing. And so I really had to learn to unlink that self esteem and self worth. But going back to the original concept of fear, I had it so gravely during that time. And what has wound up happening to me on the other side of this is being able to look back and say, Oh, wow, that all worked out in ways that I couldn’t have even imagined better for myself than it would have had status quo continued happening, or had I given into that fear. And so I would say what it has done for me, especially as an entrepreneur has enabled me to become an even greater risk taker. Because we have been to the bottom, we have seen what that is like, and we were able to survive. And so now we have a track record. And that helps to fight against fear.

Catherine A. Wood 16:52
I mean, I think that we all know that to be true that we all know that Hindsight is so meaningful, and that our our capacity to overcome and to lean into fear. Like it helps us build that resiliency muscle after the fact, after the fact. But in that moment, like in that moment of really needing to either kind of lean in or jump ship. I guess I’m just curious, like if there are practices or habits that you strengthened during that time that really helped strengthen your resolve and your willingness to lean in?

Lindsey Epperly 17:32
Yes, yes, there is one pivotal question that I recommend to anyone going through a similar season of life. And I actually learned it from I’m a Christian by faith, and I attended church with a pastor named Andy Stanley. And Andy posed the question one morning, what story do you want to tell when you’re in a time of crisis? And if there’s any practice that is better than the rest? It was it was being able to answer that question, right? It was constantly asking myself, what story do I want to tell? Do I want to tell the story that this is what decimated my business? And I accepted it? Do I want to tell the story that this is where it ended. And I then decided to go after the life that I wasn’t really as excited about without this business aspect of it, right? Like I, I didn’t want to tell those stories. For me, everyone has a different story they want to tell. But for me, I wanted to tell the story of we held steady, we remained faithful, we held on to hope in spite of the outcome. And we did right by our industry and by our teammates, we kept everyone employed, we kept the lights on, we really put out a lot of great leadership and great content into the industry at the time. That was all the stuff that helped me get through it was being able to answer that one question, what story do you want to tell? And from each of those aspects were how we got opportunities, right, the opportunity to acquire even came from one of the initiatives that we put out into the world because I wanted to tell the story that that we were allied in a dark time.

Catherine A. Wood 18:57
I really love that. Yeah, I really, I really hear perhaps your connection to your purpose, that connection to the purpose in the industry and the role that you wanted to play. I’ve actually been thinking about purpose a lot lately doing some work around it. And a quote comes to mind by Carl Jung. And I’m actually going to pull it up because I don’t want to screw it up. It’s so good. We’re just going to edit out that silence Yeah, Carl Jung said, living without purpose is one of the most grievous wounds to our soul. Yeah, and we all experience dark nights of the soul. And it’s really in that darkness that we get to discover who we are and what we stand for. And What we believe and I think that is the journey of the entrepreneur at the entrepreneur that thrives, right as they really have to reconnect and recommit to their purpose. Yes,

Lindsey Epperly 20:10
yeah. You know, one of the things that kept me going the most was, I had never had a greater opportunity to step up as a leader. And I felt a really strong mission and purpose driving me toward that of looking around and realizing there was, there was not a lot of examples of great leadership in my industry. At the time, it was a lot of quietness, honestly, a lot of silence, a lot of insecurity that was breeding from that. And I felt like, well, here’s a chance that I can step into what I feel like is my purpose, and then give other people a purpose as well, a place to come to exercise that purpose. And that was that was so much of how we grew during that time. So I, I completely agree, it was that shared mission that we were able to kind of set everyone marching orders toward, that gave us all a reason to continue doing what we were doing, which as travel advisors was simply canceling and postponing a lot. So the actions were did not feel at all in alignment with what our job description shouldn’t be or what we wanted to be doing. But we knew we’re marching towards something greater, and it was that purpose.

Catherine A. Wood 21:13
Mm hmm. Do you think you were connected with your purpose at the time? Like, were you clear on that on what you were standing for?

Lindsey Epperly 21:20
Well, yes, you know, in some ways, it was interesting, because I feel like I knew it for the business. But I don’t know if I knew it for myself. In hindsight, I know it more for myself. But for the business, I knew with absolute clarity. And I actually, very early on, I want to say like last week of March was able to to set an intention and a mission for our team for as long as this thing would last. And that mission was to be a beacon during the industry’s darkest hour. And so that was crystal clear. To me, this is our purpose. And when I would, I would I would show up to work, I would show up going toward that mission, just I know that this is what we are made for we as what was separately traveled at the time, what is now jetset world travel, that was what we were there for. For me personally, I think a lot of the stuff I was doing behind the scenes was the work of figuring that out. And to be honest, I have always wanted to write I have always wanted to communicate, which I do in my business all the time. But I wanted to do it for a larger appeal. And this is one of the reasons I even launched a podcast this year, right? Like all of this came from me working to discover my own soul’s purpose that was really ignited during a time of COVID. And it was so helpful. Because for all these different reasons, my husband stepped in and really started leading the company in a way that I was not able to, because physically with pregnancy, it was taking a toll on my body. And so I was able to actually carve out some time and space more than usual, and start leaning into Oh, this is this is what I’m crafted to do. I started making content, I started writing again, I started laying the groundwork for a podcast, like all of these things that I knew what were my calling as

Catherine A. Wood 22:51
well. I’m hearing just so many connections here, I think that, you know, there’s some real overlap between when we’re super connected with our purpose, it it’s a creates an easier invitation for others to join us and support us under a shared mission and vision. And I’m also curious about the overlap, that being connected with your purpose and the company’s purpose has for you. In relationship to imposter syndrome, because I think there’s a real overlap in how we can overcome and be in deeper relationship with with our own inner critics, which we all have, when we’re really clear on what we stand for.

Lindsey Epperly 23:38
Yes, gosh, I love this subject, as you know, I mean, I created a whole podcast called Who made you the boss? Because I have so often asked myself that question when looking in the mirror as an entrepreneur. But coming from the luxury travel industry, which I did not grow up in any sort of luxury world, or you know, the nicest thing I ever stayed in was a Sheraton, which is still very nice, but like then I enter into this luxury travel industry that’s like opulence all over, right. It’s all about five star hotels and experiences and, and I remember even I was 19 When I first entered into it, that was where I first recognized impostor syndrome was like, Who are you to play on someone’s luxury vacation? Right? Like you don’t even know what work do you use at dinner when you’re at a dinner party? I mean, I just all these things that I didn’t know that would start, the inner critic would start working on and I was able to, to kind of plow through that because I loved the action of the sale and I loved how I was serving clients. And all of these things overpowered the inner critic. But I always falsely believed that inner critic would go away with the more success and or the higher the ranks right when I became a mentor when I became a CEO, as the business owner, et cetera, et cetera. And I found that imposter syndrome just keeps churning in the background no matter what role and no matter how much you succeed, and if anything, it gets a bit stronger as you go up in the ranks because it’s a lonelier experience, oftentimes, right like as you are climbing and leader Yep, you are one of one in that organization. And that can really be a breeding ground for that little nagging voice to say, Hey, are you sure you should be the one that’s doing this? And I wanted to start talking about that I wanted to talk about that with really amazing, prolific individuals who have been able to interview with the podcast. And then I also want to talk about my own journey. Because I just actually feel countercultural to the idea of like, silence that inner critic and just move forward, I actually think we should embrace the fact that it’s there. Because it means you’re doing something outside of your comfort zone, it’s actually a good thing. Like, if you were not doing this a little bit, right, than you probably would not have a little bit of imposter syndrome. Right. So I do actually think it’s a it’s kind of a harbinger of something better to come. And I appreciate that of it.

Catherine A. Wood 25:46
Yeah, I think there’s a distinction I often use in my work called name and normalize, right? Like when we can name the ways of being or the those like fear mongers that this that we need to put at bay, like it can help us normalize them, and actually really appreciate what you just said, because my husband and I are putting an offer down on a home later today or tomorrow morning. And it’s been a journey as home buying often is, and something I’m just really connecting the dots for myself is that I was really scared about the house at first, my husband was all in. Yes, this is the house. I can see us here. And I was like, I’m not sure. I don’t know. And I actually think it was a little bit of my own imposter syndrome like allowing myself that caliber of a home, that standard of living that quality of life, which is really beautiful and worthy of Me and definitely outside of my comfort zone. Yes.

Lindsey Epperly 26:57
Yeah. It’s so interesting, isn’t it that it can just rear its ugly head and any in all scenarios?

Catherine A. Wood 27:05
Yeah. Totally. And like, sometimes we just really need to name it to normalize it.

Lindsey Epperly 27:14
Yes. Yeah. I love that you practice that I. There’s a great book that recently came out and I just interviewed the author, her name is Amy show unthaw and the book is called The setback cycle. And she has an entire chapter about naming your inner critic, which I’ve heard people do before, which uses a really beautiful job of like, actually visualizing hers, right? Like it was based off of a neighbor’s mom. And it’s got a specific name. And this is her accent. And this is how she shows up. And I just thought that was so good to almost personify it. And that way, it’s just another seat at the table when it comes to our emotions and what is present?

Catherine A. Wood 27:48
Totally, and I and I really appreciate the reminder that, you know, when our inner critic, when impostor syndrome shows up, it is a sign that we’re stretching and growing, it is a sign that we’re actually declaring beyond the bounds of our comfort zone. Yes. Yeah, not a bad thing. It’s actually a sign of growth. It’s an indicator of our potential.

Lindsey Epperly 28:09
Yeah, exactly. It doesn’t mean you have to listen to all of the lies, it’s telling you. But it doesn’t also mean that the thing we should do is just ignore it and move on, you know, like, it’s actually, let’s acknowledge it, let’s actually appreciate the fact that we’re putting ourselves out there and doing something important, and keep going in that direction.

Catherine A. Wood 28:28
So I think I was reading that you your company has 70 employees, is that correct?

Lindsey Epperly 28:34
So I think we are actually above 90 at this point and probably need to update. We were a team of both employees and independent contractors. And so our independent contractor arm is growing thoughtfully, but quickly. So that is probably why we have a different number. Okay.

Catherine A. Wood 28:50
So the reason I ask is because in my experience, impostor syndrome shows up a lot in leadership and supervision. Yeah. And so I’m curious, and particularly for Empath, printers, and sensitives, who are so responsible for our energy, and the kind of the vibe we give off, right? We’re often much more critical of ourselves and how people perceive us. How does how has impostor syndrome played a role in your leadership? And how have you transformed it or what have you learned from it over the years?

Lindsey Epperly 29:32
Yeah, Empath printers. I like that a lot. So I’ll tell you something about it is the culture of jet set is so professional and personal development based. And I like to really look at our team members holistically. And so that’s why we’re constantly pouring it into one another. And I’m, I’m very much the leader that saying, Hey, I’ve dealt with this and I felt this and I feel this presently. So when it comes to impostor syndrome, it’s allowed me to kind of step up and be more authentic again. It’s why Released a whole broadcast about it, because we talked about it so often that I thought maybe other people outside of the industry even would want to hear about this too. But when it comes to kind of protecting that energy, something that I’ve learned recently that I don’t know, maybe everyone knew this, but me, but it’s the difference between being a good leader and being a good manager, and that you don’t have to be both. And what I mean by that is, I always assumed the managing of people was also synonymous with leadership. And so I would beat myself up a lot, because I felt like I got some really good nods toward leadership. But man, the managing of people is just not my natural forte. And it actually wasn’t until last year when my husband and I were like, eight hours in on an HR thing, and we looked at each other. And we’re like, neither of us are equipped to handle this HR thing. Like, why is this that the business owner is, especially of a small to mid sized business, that’s often one of the last things we even think, to outsource because we almost feel like, well, outsourcing management means we no longer here, and it’s actually quite the opposite. It’s that we care so much that we don’t want to get it wrong. And why are we the ones that are judging jury on the situation, we are actually biased because we’re involved in the business, right? So I remember realizing that that those are two different things that I can still pursue being a good leader and excel as a leader, and tap in others who are really good managers to help manage the actual kind of people things and the team side of that that is, I think, very different from leadership. And so that’s one way that we’ve been able to kind of reconcile it, I would say, just a lesson I recently learned.

Catherine A. Wood 31:30
Yeah, I mean, I think through the lens of taming our inner critic, I hear, perhaps releasing that expectation or that pressure, that you need to do it all. Yes, that you need to be the one to hold all the hats, or manage all the balls. And that in reality in staying in your own lane, you can you can do in a more effective role. Yes,

Lindsey Epperly 31:55
yeah. And to be honest, this is maybe going to just be my constant life’s reiteration of having to learn that lesson that I for so long was the bottleneck of everything. And I think many entrepreneurs can relate to this, especially if you go from solopreneur being the lead practitioner to now building out a company around that service. And you have to make those active decisions of do I stay lead salesperson? Or do I serve the company better by growing into a leadership role and appointing others, right, like, it’s just a constant art of delegation. And I remember my mentor, my business mentor, saying to me at the very end of 2019, that the tighter you cling, the slower you’ll grow. And, and of course, at the time, I thought, lovely sentiment, I should let go of control a little bit, you know, and then life completely made me let go of control. So you’re right. It’s, it’s instead of assuming and expecting of ourselves that we wear all the hats and do all the tasks and that no one’s going to do it like us and all of that, right. It’s learning the areas where we can actually acknowledge that we don’t have to be the one that is doing that. And we there are people that are actually really great at it, who will excel in that role if we give them the autonomy to do so.

Catherine A. Wood 33:02
I’m curious about this idea of acknowledging, owning and releasing, being the bottleneck in business. From my vantage point, a lot of that is so much inner work, and detangling disentangling our self esteem from our self worth and realizing that it’s doesn’t have to be all about us that it’s not our job. So I guess I’m curious to maybe hear a little bit more about how did you release the bottleneck? That was you?

Lindsey Epperly 33:35
Yeah, it is a lot of self worth. Self work. You are right. And, and a lot of that was tied to what I thought was success than I thought that was my self confidence and my self worth, and it was all too inner mingled. Here’s a quick, tangible thing that helped me a lot. And I guess maybe like, listeners could like write this down and implement this today. If wanted, right. It was simply learning to delegate the what, instead of the how. And so for me, the reason I was the bottleneck is because I wanted everyone to do it exactly. Like I would do it whenever I would delegate an action or an act, you know, an item that needed to get done. It was always then, and this is how you should do it. Because this is how I would do it. And I realized like that is one of the reasons that everyone’s having to come to me and ask permission. And this is why my inbox is getting clogged. And they’re all waiting on me to sign off on it. And my husband was actually the one who pointed this out lovingly, so and say, you know, what, if someone actually had their own, how they were able to do it in their own way because they are uniquely equipped to do this job. But it still delivered the results that you wanted. And so we can set up kind of like accountability checks and balances in between, but as soon as you tell them what you need done, get out of the way from the how, let them figure out the how and that has been, you know, game changing for me.

Catherine A. Wood 34:54
I also think it it requires a willingness to check your own ego and that you’re Ways the right way, or the best way or the perfect way?

Lindsey Epperly 35:03
Yes, as an only child and single female business founder, when I found my business, I would say that I believed my way, it was the only way, right? Like I there was only one right way, and it was mine. And now building up a leadership team going into business with my husband, I’m so glad to not buy into that misconception anymore. Because I really see the beauty and the value in how many different brains we have, and how many different skill sets we have that are coming to the table. And of course, my way is not the only in best way.

Catherine A. Wood 35:39
So you’ve brought up your husband now a couple times, and we talk about relationships a lot on the podcast, because because we have a relationship to everything and everyone in our lives, right. And so I guess I’m just curious, through from the lens of kind of redefining success and reinvention, how do you and your husband, perhaps manage the many hats that you both play in your life? And how to how do you make it all work? Because it sounds like it works really beautifully? Yeah,

Lindsey Epperly 36:18
it sounds like that, because of how long it did not work beautifully. So don’t get me wrong a long time to get here. Now that we are here, it does because it serves our family really, really well. But I’ll tell you some of the mistakes we made early on in case this helps, you know, frame what we do now. But essentially, anytime someone talks about going into business with their their partner, one of the first pieces of advice either Jeremy or I would give to them is to make sure you really cultivate professional respect for each other. And this feels like it should be a no brainer, right? You love this human you have given your whole life to this human you are partners in life, it does not naturally translate to loving the work version of that person. Because we all have to admit like I show up to work as a bit of a different person than I do as a mom or as a wife at home. There’s a reason that the business has been successful. And it’s because I have a certain level of headstrong, willpower, that just kind of keeps me going. And I am not quite that aggressive at home. And so when we think about this, my work version showed up and my husband Jeremy’s work version showed up. And these two people were not desperately in love, like they are at home, like these two people actually did not get along all that well to begin with. And so we had to realize well, and we talk, we over communicate. So that is my number one tip for working with your partner, we over communicate everything. And we recognize this tension, and we just couldn’t figure out like, why is there such a tug and pull and and why doesn’t he want to do it my way? And why don’t I want to do it his way and why like, and we realized we were not actually giving one another, that professional respect, I wasn’t coming to the table and saying, but Well, I appreciate the way that you think is right. This is the one right way type of thinking. And he wasn’t coming to the table and saying, Oh, well, she’s built this whole business based off of the way that she thinks Right? Like we were both just very set in our ways. And so learning that and really what it boils down to is learning and identifying our lanes and then being able to maintain them. Because we trust the other person to get it done, you know, in their unique skill set and ability so but that did not come as naturally as I think people assume it would given you’re with your partner pretty frequently and you think you know that person? Well,

Catherine A. Wood 38:28
honestly, I think that’s the reason I asked the question because I think that anytime there is such an effective partnership, it is a sign of the work that’s been put in and a couple of the nuggets that I hear in what you’ve shared is first the the reminder to expect and welcome the best, right like having positive regard for one another, like really leaving perhaps your previous attachments or stories about how your partner is or communicates or acts or you know, finishes or doesn’t finish his tasks or follow through on his word right, like really checking your baggage. And then the second piece which you kind of glazed over but I’d love to dig in a little deeper on the second piece is over communicating. Because and specifically for my audience like I think this is so important empaths like we’re typically over givers and under communicators like learning how to articulate communicate stand for be generous but boundaries around getting our needs met is a practice it is a practice over a perfect you know, I come from a family that is very conflict avoidant, like I didn’t learn to over communicate. I didn’t even learn to perhaps articulate, you know, my upset or my needs or my hurt feelings and so all of that I had to acquire the skill We’ll set. And my husband comes from a very pro conflict family. So we really needed to learn how to over communicate in a way that allowed both of us to hear the other party. And and I think that that is a real super skill that many Empath printers they really need to work out in their partnerships, like, over communicating Yes. And ensuring that what you intend to communicate is what is heard and understood. Yes, gosh,

Lindsey Epperly 40:36
yeah, cat, I come from the background of we all should have the same opinion, right, like there. If we have differing opinions, then you’re wrong. And so I hear you. Yes. And so you’re right, like the one that was all learning to respect other viewpoints and actually embrace and realize this company’s gonna be better off because of it. But also, our household is right, like, the over communicating thing. And I think this is applicable whether you work with your spouse, or just you simply live in a home with another person, right? Like, we, because we work from home. So we would oftentimes find ourselves interrupting one another’s days, and nothing would drive each of us crazier than that happening. You know, I would come like, into the basement and say, Oh, I actually, I need to talk about this one thing. And then this one thing would be like a 30 minute conversation and Jeremy’s like, well, there goes, the time that I allotted for emails, you know, like, we’re both very boundaries with our time. And we’ve learned actually, we have a standing coffee date, where we just parking lot those types of conversations and ideas, so that we are able to carve out the time to over communicate around the topics that we know we need to give that space to, but it’s not done in a way that’s like totally derailing our partner getting their work done. So if anyone works from home with your partner, whether you guys work together or not, that has been a probably marriage saver for us to just have that intentional time for all the topics, whether it’s personal or professional. I

Catherine A. Wood 42:02
mean, and I think that’s such a beaut brilliant practice, especially for high achievers, because we often have this like necessity to get things handled now, right to get the answer I need right now to figure it out right now. So we can move forward. So that just that having that willingness to park this conversation, park this conflict park this topic, it requires a perhaps an internal deepening of patience and willingness to put something down? Yes,

Lindsey Epperly 42:34
well, and when you talk about self work, that is definitely something that I have had to work on myself that I just used to operate like, everything was on fire, always. And so now being in partnership, personally and professionally, and now leading a team I really have started assessing. Is that, does that need to be done yesterday? Or could we give that some space and time and that’s an important part of delegating, too, right? Like my tasks can’t come before every single other persons on the team I have to really be thoughtful about well, it’s okay. If it gets done by the end of the week, that’s not going to be the end of the world just because I would get it done by yesterday, you know, so that patient’s practice will probably also be one that I’m constantly learning.

Catherine A. Wood 43:15
Yeah, totally. I mean, absolutely. I mean, I think I’m thinking about motherhood and patients that’s off up obviously a place I will look forward to practicing.

Lindsey Epperly 43:26
Be careful what you wish for.

Catherine A. Wood 43:30
Well, yeah. Noted. Well, I’m mindful of the time and I guess I just want to perhaps put the ball in your court and see if there’s anything that I haven’t yet asked you or that we haven’t yet explored, that you really feel called to share or that you want to maybe expand on?

Lindsey Epperly 43:54
That’s a good question. I feel like you’ve touched on a lot of things that I am obsessed with thinking about because you are an empath printer, and it’s so helpful to have a conversation with someone else who feels all the feelings in their business, because I think a lot of times we’re taught to keep those two things separate. And I’ll tell you maybe just like to that note, one of the stories that I like to tell I’ve shared this recently on my podcast of talking about like, the traditional way we view business and how I once had a number of male mentors who were fabulous mentors, but one of the things they would always tell me when I was kind of feeling extra emotional about you know, a client situation or the growth of the business or something early on in my career. I remember he would always say well, you just got to get thicker skin, you know like that. This was like unanimous across the board the advice that I received as though I could just go purchase thicker skin from like Office Depot. And every time I would try that, well the way I get thicker skin is by continuing to callous just by inserting myself back into that situation that makes me very worn down and exhausted. And I just spent so many years hours like that until I started realizing like, wait a minute, actually, this thing that I thought was thin skin, this thing that I have is actually my body telling me, hey, you should move on and evolve from that particular task like you are not meant to stay and callous, you are meant to give that to someone else who might be more equipped to do it. And that’s, that’s honestly a big thing that I’ve learned with my entire partnership. And now with the leadership team, is oftentimes I think we misunderstand our own empathic ways. And our own intuition, as something that modern business in modern society will tell us, like, just ignore it, just get thicker skin and just build up around it. And actually, it’s a superpower. And so I love what you’re doing on this show, because it is talking to individuals who still want to pursue their ambitions and still want to be in the world of business, but also don’t want to glaze over how we’re uniquely wired. So I really appreciate the work that you’re doing. I

Catherine A. Wood 45:51
mean, I really love that we’re ending on that note, because that is entirely why I launched this podcast because I think that there is a marketplace. For Empath printers in the business world, there is an opportunity to do things differently. And it requires having models of successful entrepreneurs who are empathic and highly sensitive and highly sensory, and seeing versions and frameworks for how you can do business differently for how you can do business in alignment with your values that are the full expression of who you are, versus what you just traditionally see in the business world, what you’re still seeing on media and seeing in the business books and the business books that are authored by these, you know, traditional white male figures, like we really need models. We’re doing it our way. And so I’m so glad that that you put that in, and I’m so glad that you didn’t develop that thicker skin.

Lindsey Epperly 46:56
Thank you, Kat. Thank you for setting the way I mean, a show like this is exactly what gives me hope and inspiration. So I appreciate the work that you’re doing. Yeah.

Catherine A. Wood 47:05
Well, when we end I always ask all my guests what’s most supported you and becoming a prosperous and Beth?

Lindsey Epperly 47:14
What has most supported me in becoming a prosperous empath? Gosh, if I hadn’t just shared that story, that’s probably the one I would share. And that leaning into what I actually thought was a weakness has allowed us to, I mean, this company has grown more in four years than I ever even imagined it could grow right, we landed on the Inc 5000 List last year because I learned what it meant to give up the illusion of control and to trust others and lean into building and scaling a beautiful company that I have a lot of respect for because it is its own living, breathing organization outside of me. And so separating myself from the company success, all of that leaning into that superpower of what I thought was thin skin is is what I would say has supported me the most.

Catherine A. Wood 47:58
Well cheers to that. Lindsey, thank you so much for coming on the show is such a delight being with you.

Lindsey Epperly 48:03
Thanks Kat.

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Commanding the Stage: Effective Public Speaking Techniques for Empaths with Dr. Susan Laverick

If you’ve historically found it challenging to express yourself powerfully as an empath, this episode of The Prosperous Empath® is for you. Dr. Susan Laverick is a sought-after communications consultant with a background spanning Citigroup and the BBC in London to the international sector of Geneva. She trains peacebuilders, NGOs and future leaders to become effective communicators and speak with gravitas. Do you feel that you have a lot to say but find it difficult to figure out how to actually articulate your thoughts (or believe that your message is worth sharing)? By the end of this episode, you’ll feel motivated to embody who you are and communicate your essence with conviction so you can have a deeper impact on your community and become a better leader.

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