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Dec. 16, 2022

192. The Art of Introspection with Wendy Nash

Learn to look inside yourself for peace, guidance, and direction to help you clarify what is useful and what isn't in your life (know what to spend time on and how).

Learn to look inside yourself for peace, guidance, and direction to help you clarify what is useful and what isn't in your life (know what to spend time on and how).



Wendy is a Meditation Coach who teaches startup founders and CEOs the art of introspection to navigate the emotionally, physically and financially taxing process of building a business. 

She believes the CEO is the foundation of whether a company does well and her observation is that whatever the CEO isn't owning within themselves is what gets played out at work. 

Her approach is to be kind and direct in order to see what’s hidden in the blind spot.





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When you sit down in bed at night, you set the timer on your phone, you put it on airplane mode and you set it for 1 minute 60 seconds. You do that for one week and then the next week you do it for two for two minutes. The week after three minutes.


Welcome, everybody. I'm excited today to have Wendy Nash with us to talk about the art of introspection. She brings a perspective I think you're really going to enjoy and I'm really happy to have her here. Thanks so much for joining us today, Wendy.


Thank you very much. It's lovely. Before we just get into it, I wanted to say thank you for all the prep work and for meeting me ahead of this. It's really nice to feel that you care a lot about your audience because I always feel that the prep work is so much about how much you care about your audience. So thank you very much for all that thoughtfulness and kindness. I also want to say that I'm calling from Australia and this is actually Aboriginal country, and this country that I'm calling from is Darragh country. So just as an acknowledgment of respect to the Aboriginal people who have been here for 100,000 years, I just want to put that on the table. So thank you very much, and thank you very much for having me on your show.


Awesome. Thank you so much, Wendy. And thank you for recognizing that I do what I can. So Wendy is a meditation coach who teaches startup founders and CEOs the art of introspection to navigate the emotionally, physically and financially taxing process of building businesses. She believes the CEO is the foundation of whether a company does well or not. And it's her observation that when the CEO isn't only within themselves certain things, that's what gets played out at work. Her approach is to be kind and at the same time direct in order to see what's hidden in the blind spots that can hopefully lead to progress. So share a little bit, if you don't mind, Wendy, your path. What got you into this work? Because it can be sometimes a thankless job to talk to CEOs about things that are more abstract or some people call them fuzzy or woohoo or things that don't seem to lead to the bottom line. And yet, in my experience, when they're done well, it can be so important. What got you excited about this?


Basically, I worked for 30 years in office work and I saw how terrible it was. And actually, leaders and CEOs are so focused on the externals and all those things that you've just described. So what they're not so good at is looking inwards and downwards and not understanding that when people are not happy in the workplace, that ricochets in all sorts of different ways. It has reputational risks, it has systemic risks. People don't contribute well. People don't come up with ideas there's bitching and all sorts of bullying going on and these are all really destructive qualities. So that's why I'm so interested in this. And as for my own journey, I've just crashed and burned so much in my life. The reason I'm so interested in introspection is because what I really found out is that when I become more aware of my own inner experience, I just don't ricochet rubbish and things outwards. Who doesn't want to live in a kind of world? So that's my contribution to a kind of world.


Awesome. Thank you. Yeah, I think a lot of people, hopefully are evolving in their perception that there's the possibility of both and as opposed to either or. I know when I was in the workforce, a lot of the ideas was either you're coming from a left brained approach or right brained approach. And that was the languageing. So it was almost either your left brain, which at least generically meant Western world, which generically meant body and mind, or you're coming from your right brain, your heart and your spirit, your east. Like just all these oversimplifications of people that fail to acknowledge that all of us in some way are either motivated by things or at least the most I would see at times would be that conversations around our emotional nature were, okay, well, how can you get somebody excited? So you get buying. Or how can you get a prospect, perhaps fearful, so they'll buy your product? And as far as the spiritual side, well, yeah, let's just talk about the mission. We'll talk about that and we'll still get them back to the buying. So it wasn't it never felt like this genuine sense of, wow, how do we really integrate all these pieces of us?


Would you share a little bit about what you find as far as maybe some of the pieces that people forget to look at that they neglect? And what are some of the sort of natural consequences of either not looking those or, as you say, having these things be hidden in the blind spot?


I think the key thing is actually that people don't see the kindness that goes on around them, that they are part of a larger thing. So for insurance, your listeners won't be aware that you do a lot of prep work for this, so they may not have realized quite how you've thought about it. We've spoken before you've thought about some questions. There's a whole lot of acts of kindness that you do for your listeners, also making sure that the recording is of high quality. They sound small and kind of yeah, well, of course, but actually there's a lot of thinking time about that. When I looked at my calendar yesterday and I thought today we were going to meet, I thought, I'm really looking forward to it, and I really like the way that you're trying to set up this place of three days, three day entrepreneurs and and I really like that that work is not everything. So that kind of lifted my spirit. So there's this all sorts of subtle ways that around us all the time. We are on the receiving end of kindness and we don't recognize that. I think that is a really big blind spot that leaders have because it's so much about what am I?


What's the output, but actually not seeing what is the input? Is the biggest blind spot. Not seeing how people are contributing, not seeing any of that. And I think as for what people don't see is sort of, I guess the easiest way to work around the blind spots. One is obviously to look for all the acts of kindness and the other one is to before going for a run or meditating. I'm a big meditator, that's my business. But that's my journey too is to ask yourself what am I not seeing about this? So you bring to mind a problem you've got you might have, I don't know, a technical issue or something you're questioning how do you go about that? And then you go, well, what am I not seeing about that? Go for a run, clean the house, whatever it is that you do something fairly mundane and the answer will just arise. And that is actually kind of what people that is the biggest blind spot is not trusting that inner process to come forward. There's so much noise, particularly in the business space about Jargon and have you done this? And bottom line and all sorts of noise, how can you listen to yourself?


So that would be the way that I would say is the best way of listening to yourself in amongst the noise which gives really the chink to the blind spot, it sort of starts to break that space. So I'm hoping I answered that question in the way that you wished for.


Yeah, that helps a lot. I think back, I remember one of my favorite books is a book called Atlas Shrugged. And in the book there is a gentleman who he's really challenging a lot of the way things are done. And then when people say, but it's so it's this way. And he would just simply say rather than arguing with them, he'd say, Is it really? He said, check your premises. Like are you missing something? And I think your point about the kindness this is something that I've heard some people say, that whether you believe the world is primarily a kind and loving and nurturing place or a hurtful, harming place really impacts how you see the world, how you perceive people's behaviors. It seems so subtle. And of course, if you've had perhaps a smoother upbringing, maybe that's easier. Perhaps if you've had a rougher upbringing in life, just for whatever reason, maybe that's harder. And yet it still comes back to when something happens that we don't understand, how do we explain it or what angle do we put on? And I just love that piece you said about the kindness that's missing because most of us are showing up.


There's this idea that nobody really wants to show up and do a horrible job at work. Nobody wants to come in and say, I just did just a horrible job today, and they still paid me. That's not what we're looking to do. And yet, if we don't have a sense of what's sort of most important to us, it can be difficult. So introspection, again, to a lot of perhaps CEOs, small business owners, it either feels perhaps either like, well, that's not as effective or maybe even in today's world, as opposed to maybe, let's say, 2030 years ago, more of, well, you know what, Wendy? That sounds really nice. And that's so great that you're out somewhere in the outback and you've got time to do that, but you don't understand, Wendy. See, I'm in the real world, and I've got all these real just the whole story of, I've got all this stress, and you can't do it or wait. You're working your four days and you have these three day weekends, but you live, and it almost seems to be it's easier, of course, in some ways, at least in the short run, to not look at things.


But for somebody that perhaps is sort of resistant to looking in introspection, how can that start for somebody? How can somebody, in a way that isn't going to take 30 minutes a day of meditating if the person says, I don't have time for 30 minutes a day, Wendy, I barely have 30 seconds, how can a person start? And what does that feel like? Or what does that start to look like when people start doing that?


So I'll describe one of the guys that I'm working with. So he's left one of the big high tech companies. He's just started. He did a little bit of meditation, not really much. He wasn't a big part of his life, and he struggles with it, for sure. And he actually came to me because he's got quite a temper on him. So he's used to kind of stomping his foot, and he realized how much that that was negatively impacting his relationships, his opportunities. So that had actually been a real career stunter. What do they call it? A career emitting move, I think somebody once called it, because he had this foul temper. So we've been working, and it's a slow process. It's not like you start from this and then you can sit for 30 minutes a day. Like, that is just crazy. To think that that because the mind is so wild that if you were to do that, you'll go crazy. There's no two ways about that for people who aren't oriented to introspection. Usually people find that if they go for a walk or a swim, there's something they're doing. Usually that gives them that space, because I think the mind likes to find that space.


There are also lots of meditations that you can do that take no time. So one of them is that if you have a cup of tea or a water is just to feel the texture of the mug as you touch it. So that's not really doing anything other than to stop the crazy thinking, the crazy mind, you know, you can touch your mouth, anything like that. There are some simple breathing techniques. So if you breathe in for the count of four, hold for two and then breathe out for the count of six. That's to do with the way the sympathetic nervous system works. So when you breathe in, that triggers, I'm told, the sympathetic nervous system, so that's the arousal so that will keep you alert, but you hold it for two to slow down the heart and use all that oxygen, and then you breathe out for six, which is a longer outbreak, and that triggers the parasympathetic nervous system to calm you down. So that has a sort of a capacity of just keeping you alert and awake, but not over aroused. So that's a really nice one to do. No one will tell in a meeting that that's what you're doing.


You can do that before you can do it in an interview, while you're speaking. That's easy to do. Or before you go in another one you can do is just in terms of everything is to, like I said, go for a run, clean the house before you do. You say, what am I not thinking about that? What am I not seeing about that? So that's a really important thing, I think, receiving gracefully. So actually, Fred Rogers is that his name? I think Mr. Rogers, is that his name? So there's a really lovely clip with is it Charlie Rice? And he talks about so in the he talks about the importance of receiving gracefully. So really acknowledge when somebody's giving you, for insurance, a cup of tea or cup of coffee or anything, to really notice that they have done that and just pause for a moment. This is no extra time. So these are very small ways of just slowing down the wine so you're not going so crazy. Not everybody is oriented to introspection. Like, it I'm working with a woman at the moment and she is just she wants to sort of get through stuff.


And I said, start with the joy. Start first finding ways to kindness, looking for lovely things and all that, and for the joy, because there's a point. The second phase of introspection is kind of unpleasant. It is where we become aware of all our acts, of where we where we are not kind, where we are horrible, where we are unpleasant. And that's quite a difficult time to go through. It does pass and then you end up to the other side where you go anyway. So I have so much shame. It doesn't really matter. It's like, in this moment, I have shame, and in that moment I am happy. It's all just part of the big human experience. And allowing ourselves to have shame actually is part of the thing. When somebody comes to you and they say, oh, my God, I made this complete stuff up at work, I feel awful. Then it's like, you can really know what it's like. You can meet that person in their shame and you just go, that's just man, I feel for you. I've been there. It's awful. It'll be okay. But wow. I'm here for you need to talk through anything.


So I think there are stages, but it's going slowly, definitely, and building it up. One thing that I say to people is to when you sit down in bed at night, you set the timer on your phone, you put it on airplane mode, and you set it for 1 minute, 60 seconds. You do that for one week, and then the next week you do it for two for two minutes. The week after three minutes, I have one client, and she will she's been at two minutes for about three weeks because her mind is so crazy. She were to do more than that, it would be too much. So I'm hoping I answered your question.


Yeah, there's so much there. So you mentioned not sure if people would notice it. I've been doing the four breaths in, the two breath pause and the six out for the last since you mentioned it. And you're at the beginning of your day in Australia, I'm in Florida, in the United States, and I'm towards the end of my day. And for me, literally just the pause, just like, okay, because I'm so used to almost that towards the end of the day, or especially if you're just pushing to get something done or being prepared or finishing things up. And for me, when I'm present, I just feel like I'm such a different person. It's not quite jekyll and hide, but I think of it as a continuum. When I'm in my least centered place, my not so calm place, that's usually when I do the things that I say, the things I regret or I make the decisions in business that are hasty or let's just do that, let's move on, let's just ignore that, or that clients pain or that will never work. But they're usually either fear based or limiting sort of decisions. And when I'm more centered, it's almost as if there's this other perspective that I'm able to hear that is from this wiser part of me that, first of all, acknowledges that, look, no one thing is going to make or break your entire business or your life or your world.


You've been on the planet 50 years. Let's put this into perspective. Kind of the whole thing of will it matter a year from now or five years from now. And then when I take that perspective, just that that's perhaps the common element, and then I'm more centered, then I actually feel like I'm in a calmer place, and I can make a better decision. And if anybody thinks that sounds odd, look at a five year old when they're centered and when they're not. And when I'm not centered, I'm not too different than a five year old in a lot of ways. I want everything now. It's got to work. And if it doesn't work, somebody's to blame or I'm mad. And there's all this if you were talking there's yang, aggressive, angry, has to get done energy. Like, I'm going to make it work. And some of my worst investments have been things where there were signs like, way to get out of this, move away. But no, they said this, and I'm going to do this, and I'm going to thread. Two friends of mine and I, we're going to get this real estate property.


This guy is getting out of it. And we each bought the right to lose a lot of money, and the signs were there. And if we were more steady and more centered and not fear based, literally so it'd be something that's so perhaps intangible has become something very tangible for us in the money lost. And it's a life lesson. So it's part of life. But that's the part for me where, especially if you're a CEO, those things magnify you think of people's career as that one thing that a person says in front of a thousand people, and then they say, oh, you just said that wrong. Now you get apologized backtrack in ten years. 15 years of work can really be kind of put backwards. So if a person says, okay, I'm open to this introspection piece. What are some of the things that people can do? So to look inside, what are some of the questions they can ask yourself? And you mentioned I love that you mentioned this kind of two parts. What are some of the lighter questions? And then what are some of the questions that become perhaps a little deeper, a lighter question?


I'm not so good on being light. I'm not quite as serious insect. I sort of want to go back a little bit to what you were saying a while ago about how if people have easier lives, it's sort of smooth ascending. It's easy to find kindness and things. I actually had quite a difficult upbringing. I had both my sister and my father died when I was in childhood. My mother is a very difficult character. I was bullied massively at school. I failed school. I did not have a glorious career. I lived in different countries. So I definitely divorced. Yeah. And I've been in really bad relationships. So I don't want to like it's not I don't want to say that I had an easy upbringing. I am white and I am from an upper middle class background. But what that means is from a social perspective and sort of social capital perspective, I have advantage that is undeniable and I have a lot of privilege that comes with that. But I look at my family members and they are still in that place and they're not as bitter and hurt as I was, but I was definitely very bitter and hurt.


Basically everything that you do is kind of in this moment. So I used to have a foul temper. So I used to say a lot of horrible things. It still happens. It's not always cured, but it's in this moment that life happens. It's not in the past or the future. And I know that sounds a bit whatever and a bit ekitoli or something like that, but even if you're imagining the future, it is in this moment that you are imagining the future. If you are remembering something from the past, it is in this moment. So the emotions that are going on in this moment are what are triggering the thoughts. And so it's really engaging here and saying, well, the buck stops here. So it's quite a practice if, like me, you have a foul temper to pull that in. And if the only thing you can do is to walk away and come back later, then do that. So I would say that that's about as light as I get and obviously practical things of making sure that you're eating well and healthily in terms of introspection. And I just want to talk a little bit about the ego formation, if that's okay, because everybody there's a lot of talk about ego and ego formation.


People have this idea that if I'm, you know, I've got ego, then it's bad. Everybody, even ecotol, has ego. The problem is not the ego. The problem is when we inhabit it and we, oh gosh, this is a little bit woo woo, but that we believe it. So I'm just going to go into the little bit of the developmental stages of how the ego comes into, according to my observations and a little bit of study. So I've been looking at Narcissism for about 20 years, mostly because that was my own journey. I had to go from being quite a Narcissistic character and now into a much more loving open space. And basically what happens is that when we come into the world, you have children. So you will recognize this as you come in. The baby is super connected to, I'll say the mother in this instance because it's just easy to talk about that and there isn't really any separation between the mother and the baby from the baby's perspective. But there's a point, I think, would it be at about six months old, where the baby starts to separate and starts to see themselves as slightly separate and recognize that this is mummy, this is daddy and start to really conceptualize different people in the environment.


And some of those people, when they're near them, it feels, it hurts. And so that's kind of a person they tend to avoid or moments that tend to avoid. And then that's how we start to form those things. And then as we then go to school at about five and we become aware of all these kind of people who we like to be near because they make us feel calm. And other people we don't like to be near because that feels like we hurt inside when we're near them. But there's a point where when we start to own our own Shark Tank humiliation and guilt in relation where our relationships are starting to form more nuance. And the adolescence is really that time when we're looking at those more complex, unpleasant emotions and if we are lucky enough to be with somebody who we can share our humiliations and pains and guilts and shames with, then it stops. We can allow ourselves to own being imperfect and fallible and all that sort of stuff. But that bit where if we don't own the shame and everything to do with that, then it becomes hard, that's a part of us, it's like we've had to rise above it and we've had to push ourselves through.


So I think you talked before about pushing through, so that pushing through is the ego, which is rising up and over to avoid feeling shame. So underneath that experience, as you described about the real estate with your friend, perhaps there's a sense of shame and deprivation. I haven't got enough money, so I don't feel part of the group, I don't feel successful, something like that. So I'm guessing that will be part of the framework. And I don't think you're Robinson Crusoe there feeling like you're not Jeff Bezos in your bank account. But if we can own and integrate all that shame and all that sort of stuff, then we can really loosen that and we stop inhabiting it. It stops being such a huge part of us and we can start to relinquish it. We gain a bit more space. The ego is just very tight. It's very focused, it's very narrow, it closes us down. And even you can do a very simple exercise, actually, with your eyes. So when you look forward and you just bring in the periphery, you actually change your mindset very, very quickly. So instead of it being tight, so if you look and you really focus, like just right in front of you, you can see my face.


I don't know if people can see me, but you can see my face is really focused. But if I sort of do a little bit more wide, then I become the peripheral and then I become more open. And that's how you shift the ego space very, very quickly, actually. But it is about not inhabiting the space and I did have a day or a few hours last year where the Buddha described I mean, I follow Buddhism. I'm happy for anybody to follow any religion or not. But the Buddha described that the ego is a series of bubbles on the Ganges, and each of those bubbles is a story in your mind of a beginning and middle, end and end, but we stop inhabiting it. So the ego is each of those thoughts. So if you think about normally when I've got a wearing mind, it might be something like, what have I got for breakfast? And has my partner gone shopping? And what's he going to cook today? And for breakfast, whatever it is. And each of those sort of cluster of thoughts, each one is a separate thought, which is the ego. And it's joined together by an emotion which I have yet to own, which has usually got this sense of deprivation with it.


But if you just own that emotion, whatever it may be, it might be hurt, might be joy, might be love, might be anything, might be yearning of some kind, just usually it's to do with a sense of lack. But if we join them all together, if we own that and look for the common emotion under all of those, then usually that relinquishes, that tightness in the ego. And then we can be more spacious, and then we have more capacity to shift gears, change direction, think about what else we want to do, maybe look a little bit broader and wider. So I'm hoping I answered your question.


Yeah, it just reminds me of the concept of emotional rigidity. I'm a big fan. I've read some of the works in Buddhism. I'm a big fan of the Tao, I think similarities, at least similar philosophies. And just the idea of that there's a line in the Dow that whoever's really rigid but rigidity is basically leads is like an energy of death. It's very limiting as opposed to flexibility, which is more about life and supplements. And I think years ago I did some work around Shadow work, and I had such a hard time. I was like, what do you mean own this stuff and own this stuff? And I was like, come on. And then I finally understood, like oh, you mean accept that, for example, as a business owner, that I don't know everything, that I don't have to have every answer all the time? That it's actually and so much more. Liberating to say, oh, does anybody on the team have a suggestion, as opposed to this pressure, that I have to have everything, which usually comes from some sort of epic entrepreneurial myth, which are very popular, at least in the Western culture of some hero that knows everything, saves everything, does it all.


And as opposed to, I'm just part of the team. And my name might happen to be on the door, or I might happen to be the. Owner, or I might happen to be a supervisor or an executive, but we're all going to make it happen. And I remember I learned this somewhere with the idea of if there's myself, let's say, and nine other people in the room, and let's say I'm the I'm the CEO, I'm the owner, whatever it is, I'm not superior. From a business power standpoint, it's still all ten of us that are responsible for what happens. And so I might have 100% or 97% or at least appear to have 100% of the decision making power. But number one, people can walk out. But also, as far as the environment, it's all of us that are creating the environment. And just this understanding of so much of psychology, at least from years ago, was about trying to push away what we didn't like about ourselves and try to outgrow it and try to run away from it. Or one of my mentors would say, just put ice cream over it. It's like, no, it's still there.


And unless you, you know, if you put ice cream over the poop, you still have poop underneath it. You can have ice cream on top, but the poop is still there, as opposed to just technology. No, I'm not always perfect. Yes, sometimes, like you said, sometimes I might say something I don't like, and I can either. Then if I have lashed out against somebody I love, I can either get guilty, sad, shut down for the next three, five days and see what happens to a relationship that way, or I can come back as soon as that person is at least open to hearing from me and say, wow, you know what? It's not really what I wanted to do. And I think in a business way, just so much of what some people do now call the toxic male, this masculine bravado that I know everything I do, everything I tell you, I call it the cowboy mentality. Sometimes I'm going to do this, we're going to do that, and if you don't go away, you don't do what I say, we're firing everybody. And it's just aside from the fact as a male sometimes look at other males, it's so sad looking.


If you understand what's going behind it, it does not look powerful. It does not look majestic. It does not look regal. It looks clownish at best. And yet, I think for a lot of people, this acceptance, when there's money, it then becomes difficult. Okay, well, how big of a mistake? Like I mentioned, the real estate the real estate amount was a pretty large amount. So I can handle the five dollar mistake I made, but when it's a bigger mistake, all of a sudden now you add a couple of zeros to it or a few. In my case, it was a few zeros. And there's a little less compassion for myself. Like, I can understand you making a five dollar mistake wade, but a $75,000 mistake, wow. And it's the same mistake. It just happens to in the financial world, have much more significant consequences. And were I more aware, which obviously I wasn't, I would have done the research to realize, oh, wow, I'm in an area where I could be making a $75,000 mistake. I didn't wasn't aware I could do that. I was so in other spaces. And so this concept of being present you mentioned Eckert Toll.


I love I watched seeing him speak, and he just gets so present to where he is. What would you say to a CEO who's saying, look, I'm having a hard time, I'm overwhelmed. I'm trying to make good decisions. I've got 1020 years under me. So it's not about whether I know the information. I mean, I'm supervising people that are doing a job I used to do. So I have that knowing. And yet there's this balance of how do I engage people emotionally? How do I hear them? And yet how do I still be present in a way that's not dictatorial and yet still lead? How does presence help with those sort of challenges, which for CEOs or leaders seem to happen multiple times per day?


So there's a few things there. It's true that maybe you did that job 20 years ago, but, hey, what job is the same now as it was 20 years ago? So actually, you didn't do that job, and the job was quite different. The environment was quite different. So I would ask you, so say, for instance, tell me something, just something small about excuse me. That you know the most about in your whole life. So? Maybe. I don't know. You did sales. So you would say you know a lot about sales. Would that be a fair call? All right, now, I would say for.


Me, sorry, I'm sorry, I'm asking you. For me, I'd say coaching would be even more so than sales. I'm familiar with sales, but coaching, connecting with people, hearing people well, helping them feel heard, and team building. So team building coaching, that's what the.


Leadership all right, so if you were to think about how much do you of all the things that you can be 100%, you absolutely know, you can unequivocally say, I know this is the truth. As a percentage of all the team building coaching things, what is your percentage that you can be completely clear about, unequivocal about?


Wow, only a few things. They're usually the negative things, like yelling at people doesn't help. Cursing at people doesn't help. There's a few things that I know that don't work and, you know, so I could even so if I, if I bet, let's say 20, 30%, okay, here's some things that almost always fail. But as far as what works, wow. That depends on the situation, the person, the timing. I can't really go to any one thing. I mean, maybe kindness usually helps, but it doesn't guarantee I'm going to solve the problem. It just leaves it's better than not being kind. But, yeah, there's there's there's not a whole lot of guarantees I can make.


When I ask this question there. And the answer is usually about at the best 5% 5% people are 100% sure about, you might say about. And I did this because I was I used to be very arrogant. I, you know, had to have the answer, and I was, you know, like, I was a teenager too, you know, so I didn't stop it being a teenager. Unfortunately, it's the reason I divorced. So basically, you might say, okay, well, I've got about maybe 15%, ten to 15% that I'm a little bit more sure about. So there's a good chance that you will be wrong 95% of the time, and there's maybe 80% of the time when you probably will be wrong. So actually you hardly know anything at all sorry about that. In the area that you know the most about. And I would say that to the CEO who maybe did that job 20 years ago, actually, you don't know that job because you don't know that person, and you don't know what they're going through. No two people will do the same job in the same way, so you don't know. And so I would say improve your listening skills.


Start with humility and going, what do I what am I not seeing here? What do I not know? And then become very curious and opening. So there's a couple of really good so a couple of things. One is, I would say ask questions that start with how or what? So how is that going for you? How are you going about doing that? What are the particular steps that you're doing? So those two questions actually draw out. They are ones that are open. So that's the way to start pretty much every single question. So in this interview, you've started most of your questions with what and how. So that's really good. The other thing, and I learned it from a book called Rapport by Emily Allison and Lawrence Allison, who are forensic psychologists now, completely brilliant. And they looked at terrorist and criminal interviews with police and investigators to find out what gives credible, useful information. So you can terrorize somebody but and waterboard them, but that's not going to give you an answer that is going to be useful. You do actually have to build Rapport. And in that book, they basically talk about four different characters.


But the essence of it is to learn to listen better. But I found that the best question, two questions to keep in mind when somebody is asking a question, it's sort of speaking about something is what does this person care about and what does this person feel? And my thought is generally don't talk about what does the person feel? Because that isn't appropriate in a workplace. I don't think but you can talk about what does this person feel, what does this person care about? So I don't know if I said that the right way round. Don't talk about, don't, don't go into the feelings. Go into what the person cares about. So for you, I would say that what's important is in this interview is that you what you care about is providing good quality material for your audience. And you care about having being an example to others about how to divide your week. So it's not so work oriented, so how to engage with your children. These are things that I have heard that you care about in this interview. And also that you care about business leaders doing well and having good team players and understanding that.


And also that you care about showing that you're not a perfect person. So these are the things that I've heard about. And if you just a presence practice in conversation, just those two questions what does this person care about? What does this person feel? Then, a it keeps you very present. B you'll see that it starts to change throughout the conversation. And it means that when you provide an answer, which may be hardly anything at all, like you may not say much at all, you will have a very good idea about it. That person will feel really hurt, actually. And then you can really elicit a good leadership thing. I'm actually reading a book on leadership and social identity theory. Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of the book. I'm happy to provide it afterwards. But basically what it says to be a good leader, you actually need to harness the values and norms of the team and kind of embody that. And also not through your words. Your words kind of don't mean so much. You need much more to show that in good record keeping, keeping good notes, being very clear, being very constructive, being very attentive, and making sure that it is demonstrated, not just words.


So I would say that. So I've given you a few books there. But in answer to your question about how to be a good leader, basically you need to be a better listener.


Absolutely. One of the things that you mentioned we talked about was this idea of always being kind to yourself. Now, as somebody who's been in the business world as an athlete, I remember at times I was told as an athlete, you need sometimes to get on yourself, to motivate yourself, to push yourself. And that was something at least it did not work well for me. When I played tennis, I had to be kept away from the fences because when I get mad to hit my head against the fence, it's not very effective, by the way. It doesn't win you more points. But it was like more of a release of frustration and I wouldn't stop. And apparently I was like twelve or 13. They're like, well, wait, if you keep doing that, you're going to have to run. And so I hated running laps more than I hated whether or not I could hit my head against the fence. So I stopped doing that, and finally I realized, okay, this isn't really getting me anywhere. Why is it important to be kind to yourself? And I'm seeing two parts to it. When you are versus when you're not.


How does that impact you? How does that impact the people around you and then ultimately your ability to lead? Because we're talking again about entrepreneurs, CEOs, founders, startups, people being able to lead people and inspire people and like you said, connect with people in a way that's real, not just some check in the box way. Well, you said this and therefore blah, blah, blah. But to really fully be present, why is being kind so necessary? And how does it hinder you if you're not being kind to yourself?


Tell me this. Who do you like to hang out with? Who do you trust? Who do you think is not the person? But think about people you like, who you see as good leaders, people who use words you trust. Tell me, what do they like?


They are fundamentally happy people. They are fundamentally centered. They're fundamentally honest. I don't mean they're perfect, but their default may be better than fundamentally. Their default is that they're going to be honest, they're going to be truthful. They're going to see the positive side of things. So I don't have to wonder whether or not will they be nice to me because they like Wade? No, that's just their default. Chances are nine times out of ten or whatever, they're going to show up as happy, kind, optimistic, trying to make a positive thing happen. Their cup is full, or pretty darn close to full. They know how to meet their needs. They definitely are kind to themselves. And it seems to be that in some way connects to the idea that then they're kind to others and they're able to extend those same things. It's like they know how to speak that language, and they've learned how to be effective in a way, as opposed to needing to resort to manipulation, bullying, yelling, screaming, violence to get what they want. So it just it just feels safer and much lower maintenance and much more pleasant than to be around somebody that by their default, usually is not those things.


So when you work for those people, what's your productivity and your motivation like?


It's very high, because I don't have to think about anything else. I can just focus on the work. And even if they're not like, huge into, oh, you did a good job. Some people say, do they need a lot of validation? It's not that I need a lot of validation. I personally and I've seen maybe I think a lot of people like this. I need whenever I've been either an employee or when I work with clients. If you want me to do X, I need you to trust me to do it. And I'll report in at certain times, but I also kind of need you to get out of my way. And so if you're constantly either upset or nervous or worried or anxious, then you're constantly asking me all these micro questions, and it's for me, it's so distracting. It's not even eventually becomes annoying, but it's very distracting. And then your insecurities are bringing me down. I can't so now I've got to carry you. And is it going to work out? Is it going to be okay? Oh, man, just go do your job. I'll take the fall if I do it wrong, but I need that level of stability, and it's not apathy, but just confidence that, okay, Wade is going to do what he needs to do, and even if he doesn't, it's still going to be okay, and we'll figure it out.


Yeah. So no micromanaging. Yeah. I think that we live in a very, very anxious world at the moment. It's a very punitive place to be. I don't think it's never not been like that, but I think the employment conditions often undermine our capacity to feel confident that we will have a job tomorrow. And I think that's been a strategy in the last 30 years that has kind of undermined the sense of security in life. And we can see that kind of come up in the extreme left and the extreme right with some of those insurrection and also the Wall Street demonstrations in the 90s, in the 2000s. This kind of start to fracture in society because we are working in an environment which is looking to erode our sense of safety and security, to have a safe place to live, have good relationships, and be in life. Right, but you answered your own question, so why is kindness important? So there you are. You've answered that one. Says that you're trustworthy that you have candor. It doesn't mean pandering. There's no way in there that you said it was about being weak. I didn't hear any of that.


I heard a lot of candor, a lot of trust. I heard that you were very productive. I heard that you were very engaged, wanted to do the right thing by the company, wanted to do the right thing by yourself, by others, by your customers. You weren't going to cut corners. You were building the reputation of the organization and your team, and you probably got on very well with your colleagues.


Yeah, that's pretty true. And for me, the people that I saw that were like, that is who I like to work with. And those are the types of clients I gravitate towards and especially some of my friends that are entrepreneurs at times. There's this almost implied shame as an entrepreneur, that if you ever have to go back and quote unquote get a job that you did something wrong. And so I have a friend who recently she's been an employee, she's had her own business, and she's doing some work that helps youth to keep it simple. And she wasn't able to find a way to simultaneously help the youth with her programs and make enough money to do what she's doing. And yet, as she's done all this work, she recently just started a job where she's making more than she's ever made. She's working for a company that's fully aligned with us that they want her to do exactly that work. She's working four days a week and making more than she's ever done before. And she almost was apologetic. And I said, look, you talk about manifesting. You manifested the whole team around you to help you focus on just what you do.


Because she said, I don't like doing the whole business part of entrepreneurship. I just like doing my thing. Said, well, great, and maybe you'll come back out later and do things differently. But it was just so interesting. She's getting to do what she does, and that's her main focus. And I thought, that's so powerful, as opposed to being caught up in what it should look like. But again, she was willing to question her assumptions. A lot of introspection and a lot of looking to other people for feedback and being open to hearing other perspectives than her own. And this reminds me of something else we talked about. You talked about emotions being assets. Now, when you and I talked in the pre interview, and this is something that you almost never hear in the business world, emotions they're feared. It's The Tempest, it's Pandora's Box, it's oh my gosh, please do not tap into their emotions unless it's some quick yay and then move on. How can emotions be assets for leaders, for people who are trying to help other people in a way that's positive without it no guarantee that it will never be toxic.


But how can people lean on that side or be more centered in that way that they're going to get that part of their emotions that are actually assets as opposed to liabilities to be feared?


So a few things in that. So one of them is that in Australia, there was recently a television series called Misrepresented, and it was about women parliamentarians and the very successful ones. One of them is very astute, and her name is Bunny Young. She's fantastic's, amazing life. And she said she was asked the question, so what is the difference between men and women and how they work? And she said, it's not that men don't have emotions. Actually, what it is, is that women include emotions as part of their decision making process. Men often make very emotional decisions, but they call it logic, but they're often really emotionally driven. And I think that's speaking to something about why emotions are seen as bad. And I think that that comment that she made is very good because it does say emotions are bad. And you can see why, because you go, that's an emotional decision. That was a really bad decision, but it was because the guy didn't own their emotions. They didn't kind of recognize that they were working from an emotional space. So you've got to kind of go into there, and it is a bit horrible.


There's no two ways about it. Who wants to sit there going, oh, man, I'm like a really horrible person sometimes. I feel so ashamed. And this morning in my meditation and my partner, too, he said, wow, because we get to the end of the set and we just go, so how was your set? And he said it was all about humiliation and how he felt that as a teenager. And I talked about me in times, actually, that I have humiliated others. And when I know that I have the capacity to do it and I really own it, I'm just not going to spit it out. I think that's what I mentioned before, but I feel like I haven't answered your question because you're asking something slightly different, I think. How can we see it as an asset? It's an asset when we know what our emotions are. When you tell me a time in your day where there is no emotion, none at all.


If I'm doing programming work, I'm so focused on the task, I'm not happy, I'm not sad. I'm just focused. And so I guess I don't know if that's no emotion because usually if I'm doing something, there's some anticipation. I don't know if that's quite an emotion, but that okay. This is going to lead to a positive place. So there's an anticipation of some sort of positive feedback. And so in that sense, I can see that that helps. But I guess I don't feel emotional. I don't feel overrun by my emotions. I feel like, oh, they're here, they're supporting me. They're in some way fueling me, I guess, because I'm looking to go from point A to point B. But I guess that positive expectations keeping me moving in a positive direction versus if I'm really upset about something. And I guess that's even as males, we're almost taught, or maybe just even in entrepreneurship, yet positive emotions tap into those all day long. So yes, but once you start talking negative, ruin, it will push those under the COVID Or just as a guy, the male thing would just take it or suck it up or don't be a softie.


So, yeah, so I'm not sure if that would be emotion, but yeah, when I'm excited about something, so I guess that's emotion, yeah, I'm excited. I'm about to make something cool.




Yeah. I don't know. I guess I can't think of a time when I grab an emotion other than if I'm just really in a meditative calm space, but I'm usually not working that time. I might be doing breathwork or something.


Like that, but even so, you're going to be in that same thing as just like there is an emotional quality there. There's always an emotional quality. The human condition is emotional. And to deny that is really just a fantasy. Like, you cannot not be emotional. It's just not the human condition. And if you imagine you are otherwise, you need to go to see a counselor. I actually have a well, I was.


Going to say that's what we've been told we're supposed to do so many at least in the business world as males. I don't know, the female journey of rising up through the corporate or in the business world with the menace. At least. Not true. Stoicism. But you're supposed to be this stoic, this figure that can take anything, all the slings and arrows and just just look around and just handle them. No problem. And again, the way we're taught, at least we're told sometimes having I've grew up I'm 50, so I grew up in in the 80s that yeah, you just you if you can show no emotion, that that's some sort of strength, some sort of asset, which not sure that's really the case.


Yeah. And you know, like Dr. Phil's question and how's that working for you? How's that working out for you? You know, you've got to ask that. Well, you know, probably you might have been drinking a little bit too much. You might have been eating a bit too much. You might have been hacking up your body with, like, driving with exercise or something. Perhaps you were not very pleasant to be around in those sorts of moments. Yeah, I just I can't see that that would be, you know, if you wonder why we are anxious and depressed, well, look there. How's the marriage? How's the relationships? Yeah, that's got to be a pleasant way to be because the other thing is that if you deny the bad stuff, you deny the good stuff. And you talked before about what you like are people who have candor and who are kind, and you are motivated with those people, and that's what is really, really important. They're all emotions.


Wow. Thank you. I just had myself on mute there for a second. There's some noise in the background. Thank you so much. There's so much that I've gotten from this, and I just think there's so many things that people can get from this kind of work. Obviously, we'll put all the links and the notes in the show notes. Where can people reach out, Wendy, to learn more about you and the work you do and how you help people?


So I have a website kindly cutthecrap.com. People ask me about the company name, and basically I'm very straight to the point. So that's what that is. Cut the crap. But I do, as you know, believe in being kind. So it's called kindly cut the crap. And I like alliteration and double meaning. So that's what all that is about. And I have a LinkedIn profile, Wendy Nash. And so I'm on there too, and I'm quite a frequent poster. I tend to avoid any more social media than that. That's more than enough. It's addictive. I'm already way too addictive as it is.


Awesome. Thank you so much. And I can just share with you all so much of what Wendy shared really is mirrored or at least reflected or connected to a lot of what I've experienced. There is a kinder, gentler path on yourself and it seems when we're gentle on ourself, things work a lot smoother. So again, Wendy, thank you for coming out and for all of you listening. As always, I look forward to helping you impact more people and make more money in less time doing what you do best so you can better enjoy your family, your friends and your life and enjoy a much, much smoother journey. Thanks so much for listening.


Wendy Nash Profile Photo

Wendy Nash

Wendy Nash is a Meditation Coach. The company name says it all: Kindly Cut The Crap. Wendy teaches startup founders and CEOs the art of introspection to navigate the emotionally, physically and financially taxing process of building a business. She believes the CEO is the foundation of whether a company does well and her observation is that whatever the CEO isn't owning within themselves is what gets played out at work. Her approach is to be kind and direct in order to see what’s hidden in the blind spot.
Wendy has a 4-year somatic psychotherapy diploma, her Bachelor of Psychology Honors thesis studied the effects of loving-kindness meditation on prosocial behavior and she’s been practicing loving-kindness and other meditations for almost 20 years. She is currently studying a 2-year diploma of Mindfulness & Compassion at the Insight Meditation Institute.