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#4 – Happily Ever After Again ft. Sharilee Swaity

Transcript

Alisia Young
Hello everybody and welcome to teach me freedom. I am so excited to bring you today’s guest, Sharilee Swaity, she is a lady of many hats. She’s the creator of the company happily ever after. Again, she’s also the author of the book we’ll be discussing in today’s show, which is happily ever after, again, hope, healing and love for second marriages. And she’s also a relationship coach, a podcast host and a loving wife and stepmother, among many other things as well. And I just want to welcome you Sharilee and I want to give you all a context for the discussion that we’re going to be having today. I’m really excited to ask Sharilee many questions. So as some of you know, part of this podcast is about exploring different aspects of life and living a freer life. And for the questions I’m going to be asking, Sharilee, they’re coming from the angle of me being a childless woman, and who’s in the stage of dating. And part of that may include dating individuals who have possibly already explored marriage, and some individuals who may already have children, or a combination of the two. And so I’m really excited to learn more. I really enjoyed reading Sharilee’s books, I’m really excited to ask those questions. And so that’s going to be a topic along with blended families. I know we see on TV like The Brady Bunch is a family Sharilee you mentioned in the book and then Modern Family is a show that I’ve really enjoyed watching a lot of my friends have as well. So anyways, that’s kind of the context that we’re going to be coming from. And before we jump in? Sharilee, please feel free to add anything that you’d like. And then you’re welcome to kind of share with us what, what your book is about before I actually jump into asking you some questions.

Sharilee Swaity
Sure, thank you so much, Alisia, for having me on the show. Really appreciate it. It’s great to be here. I’m pleasure. I was gonna mention that actually, it’s funny how Alisia and I met was, she was my coach a few months ago. It was wonderful. And she’s helped me get to the point of having a podcast and start to really get my business going. So thank you.

Alisia Young
Oh, that’s fabulous. You’re awesome.

Sharilee Swaity
Yeah, so definitely was wonderful working with her. Yeah, so um, yeah, this book I wrote about three years ago, I guess, three and a half years ago, 2017, four years ago. And it’s written specifically for people that are in a second marriage, either for their selves, or their spouse, so maybe their partner’s been married before, or they’ve been married before, or they’re thinking about it. Or it can even be for people that are in a step family situation, they might not have actually married, but they’re in a common law relationship. So, so many of the issues are the same. Also, it would work for therapists or pastors who were, you know, talking to people in that situation as well. And we go through the steps of, first of all, why did you get married? You know, the decision to get married is quite different if you’ve been married before, because you’ve already gone through that process. So it’s usually more complicated. And then we get into healing from the past. Sometimes there’s a healing that still needs to take place. And then we get into connecting together as a couple, which is what all couples need to do. And then into the step family situation. So kind of just covers the gamut of the different issues that come up in a marriage when you’re married for the second time.

Alisia Young
Wonderful, thank you. Thank you so much for sharing this Sharilee and for sharing so much of yourself in the book. There was a lot that I learned about you, and it takes a lot of bravery to share who you are and share your experience so that others who are maybe going through a similar experience or just embarking upon new water can have something to work with. So thank you so much for sharing that.

Sharilee Swaity
Thank you for saying that. It was not an easy decision to share. But I felt, and my husband was comfortable with me sharing as well as if it did help others than it would be, you know, worth it. And we all have our stories, and you know, just being able to be open with it. A lot of times help someone else, it’s in a similar position. So definitely, time to do it. So yeah.

Alisia Young
That’s so wonderful. And so what I’ll do is I’ll jump into some questions that I have now. So one of the first things that came to mind that I really appreciated when you said forming step families, that it’s kind of like merging two businesses. And I thought that was very interesting, because I’ve heard before of, like, when people are making decisions, whether it be forming a partnership,that they say it’s like, it’s as intense or more intense than, than marriage. And so, I was interested in hearing more about how you came up with that kind of analogy for forming a step family?

Sharilee Swaity
Oh, sure. Yeah. Um, well, when you when you get married, even if they’re not in a step family, I mean, it’s two different worlds coming together, right. And we all have our background, we have our culture, our way of doing things. But when you get into the step family situation, it’s even more so because you’ve already developed a way of doing things like in a company, you have your routines, you have your power structure, you have your motto, your you know, your culture. And so you’re you’re stepping in, like if you’re married someone with kids, you’re married into their culture into their whole way of being. And when two companies merge, you have to make decisions, like, both cultures can’t completely stay. So you’re making decisions to make something new. Right? And it’s just like, I don’t know exactly where I came up with that analogy, but I’ve just, you know, heard stories of companies having to merge and there’s decisions that have to be made, right, because you have the two opposing sides trying to come together and meet. And it can be very different, right. And it’s the realities, they’re in any kind of marriage, especially in a step family, because you already have a whole family that’s already set up. And it’s been going for a while. It’s more complicated. You know, and I just thought it was a lot like two businesses coming together.

Alisia Young
That’s so interesting, I actually experienced being part of a company when they were going through a merger. So it was interesting to see them coming together. So it was interesting to witness and be a part of like some of the decisions that were being made and in preparation, but even down the line, and then looking at how the different companies, as you said, like, we have a different way of doing things beforehand. And it’s like, how do we make it work? Some people need to stay, some people need to go, some processes, you need to stay and go. And so it just it makes when you when you say it like that about a step family. It just it clicked for me. I really liked that analogy.

Sharilee Swaity
Yeah, that’s interesting. And there’s a lot of negotiations that have to take place to get there. Right. It’s not, it’s not going to happen automatically. Yeah, that’s neat that you’ve actually experienced that too. Like, I think I’ve just seen it, maybe I don’t know, I don’t know if I’ve ever gone through that myself. But I’ve just heard stories about it. And that’s sort of where I got it. Yeah, that’s neat.

Alisia Young
It is.

Sharilee Swaity
Yeah.

Alisia Young
And then something that you mentioned, which I really, really appreciate it because it’s something that I’ve been learning about relationships in general, of the importance of maintaining your own identity in marriage. And I would like to hear more about that. Why is that so important? Is it more important in any way? If it’s just step family versus just like, say it’s a person’s first marriage, for example?Or your your thoughts on that?

Sharilee Swaity
For sure. Yeah, no, I appreciate that. Um, well, I think it’s always important, you know, and to be honest, I think even since I wrote the book, I begin make that higher and importance of, you know, like, self care of just doing things that you really enjoy, right? Because it makes you happy. And then you really do have more to offer into the relationship, right, and you have a different perspective. Because if you’re always running on empty within the relationship, then it’s hard to give and you easier for resentments to build up. I think in a step family, it’s even more important. Because you’re entering into this new, like, for example, I know, you mentioned about being someone without children, and that was my situation as well. And so I’m entering in, and there’s this whole structure and family that’s already been going on. And so it’s easy to kind of get lost in that if you’re not careful. And you’re just sort of it can be very overwhelming to enter that kind of situation at first. So having something that grounds you to remind you of who you are, you know, it’s really important. Because you’re going to deal with, with situations that are difficult. And we get to kind of lose our, our energy, if we don’t have things that remind us of who we are. Yeah, it’s easy to just lose our kind of lose ourselves for a while. I think that’s all stepmoms often feel at the beginning, because it can just be depending on what’s happening, but it can be really overwhelming, you know. So it’s really important. Like I said, even the last little while I think I’ve become more aware of that self care part is more important than I even maybe emphasized in the book.

Alisia Young
Reading your experience, I felt like I could kind of imagine what life might be like, just through hearing you share your experience. So it was that message definitely came through of this is important, because you talked about some experiences that you had and what some of the consequences were. So it definitely rang true. Because you shared that in the book.

Sharilee Swaity
Right, yeah, I guess I shared how maybe I wasn’t taking that self care that I that I should have. I think it took me a while to realize how important it was. And then, you know, when I started to do more of that I think it did, it got better easier to handle some of the stuff that went on. So yeah, yeah, for sure.

Alisia Young
That’s great. That’s great to hear that things, things improved along the way as you took that time for yourself. And then another thing that was really on my mind as well, when you talked about this excitement, like being excited, but jaded. And when you when you shared this, it was something that’s kind of always come into my mind. When I first was realizing that as I’m approaching a certain age, the reality of the dating pool is such that for what I’m what I’m looking for, it’s likely that I will be with somebody who has already been married or has children, or both. And that’s something I started to worry about. I’m like that excitement versus jaded. And you talked about it like, oh, for me, if we get married, it will be my first marriage. And for them, it might be like a been there done that. If we get a house, I’m so excited…for them been there done that. If we have a child together, they’ve already done that. So it’s like this. I like how you touched on that. Because it’s like, how do you manage those emotions? Because you want the other person to be? How do we manage that?

Sharilee Swaity
Yeah, no, that’s, that’s a really good question. I love that question. And I think first of all, being aware of it. And like the fact that you, it’s interesting to hear from your point of view, that from someone that hasn’t been before, and thinking of how it might be. And I think part of that is you want to make sure that both people are ready to get married, you know, if that is kind of going on that they’re ready to feel that excitement again, with someone else, you know, and so you don’t want to get married too soon after. You know, just somebody that’s immediately out of another relationship, it’s probably, you know, might not be a great idea to get married right away until they’ve had some time to heal, you know. I think the healing process, it can help you to feel that excitement again. But if a person is still hurting from that, and really, not ready to feel excited then. But if it’s already happened too then I think you can look at it and say, “okay, that was normal, but we can heal, wherever we are.” You still have that, you know, capability to heal, and to be ready to move forward. But, it can be a sign that if somebody is feeling really jaded about things, maybe they’re not, maybe they haven’t quite healed. And it’s not necessarily they might say, well, don’t ever get married or don’t get married, but maybe do some healing first. Wherever whatever stage you’re at, but try to look at healing, I think if that’s the feeling that’s happening, but from your point of view, sorry, I’m going on.

Alisia Young
Oh, no problem, like, I enjoy both perspectives because it’s helpful to know what to look for in the other person as well.

Sharilee Swaity
Yeah, yeah. And with your feeling, I think if a person has healed, then they, you know, they feel that freshness, to do it again. But even if they’re feeling a little bit jaded, I think your understanding of that can go a long ways to, you know, to help them they need to trust again, right. So they may have to work through some of them to trust again, that could be a process to, you know, does that kind of answer what you’re asking?

Alisia Young
Yes. Yes. That’s helpful. Because, it would be one thing to just be like, Oh, just wash away that feeling. But it’s just reality. So knowing to look out for signs of healing versus not healing, and then just being understanding but self honouring at the same time is what I’m hearing.

Sharilee Swaity
Yeah, no, that’s really a good way of putting it. Yeah. And it’s not necessarily taking it personally, but allowing that allow them to feel what they’re feeling. No, but don’t be threatened by it necessarily. It’s just, it is kind of the way it is sometimes. But it doesn’t mean that they can’t feel it. They, they might be able to just move past being jaded and, and really feel excitement again. But it might be a process. Right?

Alisia Young
That makes total sense. Yeah. Wonderful. And then I also wanted to ask you about step parent stigma, because that’s actually something that I’m terrified. And it’s something that’s seen in, different shows, and you may have mentioned it in your book actually about how in these fairy tales, the stepmother is made as this evil person. I just find all this stigma around being a step parent, and then step families and you mentioned as well, like, even in church, in a community where you would hope that you’d be accepted, that there was still some healing that needed to be done there, in terms of accepting where things were at. So I was wondering, why do you think this stigma exists? And what do you think are some things that we as a society need to do to eliminate or overcome the stigma towards step families, towards step parents, towards second marriages? Sorry, that was a mouthful by the way.

Sharilee Swaity

I understand what you’re saying, no, it’s good. It’s good. That’s a good question. And the stigma, I did talk about that. And it came up a lot in a studies that I looked at when I was researching my book. There was stigma even for professionals, like, doctors or nurses, when they found out was a step family, they would find that they treated them a little bit differently. Like they did a study where they set that up, so it’s definitely a real thing. I think it’s less than it used to be, which is good. Because blended families are such a reality. So I think it’s less but I mean, it’s definitely still there. And I think a lot of it comes from people just not being real about the reality of their families and wanting to deny it. And some people don’t want to mention that they’re a blended family because it’s, you know, like they’re afraid of mentioning it themselves or really seeing themselves as any different. So sometimes people aren’t even honest about themselves. But what to do to heal – it’s a hard one to say you know. I think part of it is, a lot of stepmothers have come forward and got support for each like with each other’s lot of groups out there now more than when I started. And so stepmothers themselves, not taking that shame on that sometimes this may be put on them. But I think that one level where we can change is at the church level and I really am a big believer in having like churches helping step families. Some awareness there, some maybe step family support groups. And that’s happening at some churches, but you know, as a body, we need to be aware that, families are complicated a lot of times nowadays. I know for myself, going to church, I didn’t always feel that acceptance at the church level, and people that are in these situations really need the Lord’s love and they need understanding and love from the body. Because not all marriages work out. And there’s a lot of situations where people are in a more complicated situation. To ignore that is, like missing a big part of the body.

Alisia Young

Yeah, I agree. I agree that need for support and love. And that understanding because I feel like sometimes people think oh, it’s like, that’s not my situation. So they must have done some….not that they’re necessarily thinking that to that extent, but it’s like, what, what’s the reason for the barrier? Where’s the love? Where’s the support?

Sharilee Swaity
Yeah, it’s kind of like people think, exactly what you said is, it’s not my situation. So maybe it’s a little bit of like, just to label all those people over there. They’re different. They’re different than us. But it really could happen to any of us that were in that situation. It’s not a certain kind of people that get divorced, or certain kind of people, I think are widows. You know. There’s all of us, I think, are touched in some way by blended families at some point.

Alisia Young
Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for your your answer and for sharing that light on that, because it’s still a common issue. And then you also talked about, there’s a term I’ve never heard before, called loyalty bind. And this is the way that a child feels a conflict between their biological parent and their new step parent, they may feel that that liking or showing kindness to the step parent is in fact being disloyal to their own biological parent. It’s brought memories because I remember…so my parents are divorced. And I remember one of them was was dating and I just remember just loving people. But I also remember feeling guilty, that “Oh, but I can’t, I can’t love both.” And by doing that I’m like, hurting…And so when you talk about that, I just had all these memories fresh in from when I was younger, and didn’t know that it’s okay. You don’t have to pick sides. So I love that you shared that term. And I just wonder, how can the the step, step parent who’s stepping in…I mean, I’m curious about how all sides can be supportive. But I understand that sometimes, depending on the dynamics of the family, that sometimes one of the biological parents might not be supportive of a new relationship and can play into that bind. And so I’m wondering, what are some suggestions that you have for navigating that? I’m thinking for myself, the person who I’m with, if I end up meeting their child, and then the biological mother…and I don’t know how the dynamics are going to play out. So it’s like, how do you manage that – when you feel like you’re finally bonding with the child, but then they step away?

Sharilee Swaity
Yeah, yeah, it’s tough. That’s a good question. I think even just being aware of it is a big step. And thank you for sharing your story. Wow, that’s really interesting to hear from your point of view. You know, and you didn’t have a name for it, but it was something that you experienced. But I think being aware of it, makes it less puzzling when it happens. And I would have that with one of my stepsons that lived with us. And I would feel like I was really making strides and getting to know him and trust in every trust building. And then, you know, the next weekend, he might come back, and then it was like, he was distant again. And when I didn’t know about the loyalty binds, I would feel really so confused by it, you know? And it’s like, well, “what did I do wrong?” And it really wasn’t that I did anything wrong, but it was just that sometimes it is the other household, sort of adding to it, but sometimes it’s just within the child. You said you felt it when you were a kid, which is really interesting. So it’s being aware of it. And I think part of it is just not not getting too close to the child too soon, like letting them take the lead. And I’ve heard other people say, letting the child take the lead as to how close you get, and then letting them go, letting them kind of keep their distance to not to put the pressure on and not to take it personally. And I think another way that you can show that, you know, one thing I talked about this quite a bit is just to make sure that a talk in your household is always positive about the other household. That goes a long ways to building that trust, right with the child, that they don’t have to choose sides. That you’re going to your show support to the other household and you’re really trying not to show if there’s frustration, because sometimes it can get ugly, you know, between the two. Some relationships are totally peaceful. And that’s the ideal, right? But sometimes it’s not. But if you can just always have a positive, like, show that you’re supportive of the other parent, and also encourage your partner to be positive — and that can be hard if there’s a divorce, and if there was still hard feelings between them — But just try to really encourage your partner to always speak well of the other house. I think that that was a long ways. And being understanding what they’re going through. And even being willing to listen sometimes about their other parent…and that can be really uncomfortable with the stepmom or, you know, step parent to hear, oh, this happened with mom or, you know, this weekend. But I think you have to be willing to accept that that’s part of their life. Not make them feel like okay, I can’t talk about that. No, because that builds up the sides. Like, I can’t talk about my other mom when I’m with my stepmom you know, but just be like, yeah, okay, how was your weekend? How was your time over there? You know, be willing to hear it. That’s part of their world. I think those are some things that can help in that. It’s a dynamic that I think is just going to be there. But you can help them feel like they, the more you can help them feel like they don’t have to take sides, the better.

Alisia Young
Yeah, I love that, letting them come to you and having that kind of openness, understanding and just that respect for the other household. But like really making it something of top priority, especially because children are so like, sensitive. They pick up, on energy. And oftentimes people think that, oh, they can’t hear what we’re talking about…we can hear. Or I’m not, I’m not a child anymore. But I have memories. And like, I was able to hear a lot of things, even though they thought that I didn’t. And it’s like now I understand where they were coming from, but it’s like…maybe it could have been done differently. So this is helpful to hear. So you also discuss the importance of marriage counseling, and how that was something that was very helpful in your relationship. And it’s something that you recommend, like, even before getting married, or if couples are noticing that there’s some issues or things that need to be overcome or just need support with. Can you speak more about what it was about marriage counseling that you felt was helpful for you why it’s beneficial to explore it. I’m already pro therapy, pro counselling. But I know that there are some people who are really resistant to it. So just would like to know how it was beneficial. And your thoughts on that?

Sharilee Swaity
For sure, yeah. Yeah, I am a big believer in getting help. Right, when you’re struggling in your relationship, and whether it’s marriage relationship, like therapy, or marriage coaching or reading a book or, you know, getting a program or, for us it was marriage counseling helped us so much. I know I share I share about it in the book kind of in detail about how we were wondering if we were going to make it…if we might have to divorce or whatever. And we went for help to our neighbors, and he recommended a counselor and then we just started talking. And it was, like having someone to talk to what was happening. Because when you’re in a marriage, especially I think even in step families, you feel more of a pressure cooker, right, you can really feel it. And you don’t know where to start to fix it. So for us, having that counselor just to listen to us, that was sort of the main thing at the start is just listening to both of us. And by getting it out and talking it through, we started to see what was happening between us, right? So it’s that listening ear, it’s having another person just to give feedback. And feeling not alone. Right, because you you feel really alone, especially, you can in a step family. And sometimes counseling could be like, one of the people going in and getting help, and just being heard, right. But I, yeah, I’m just such a believer in getting help, you know, the kind of help is it might not be counseling, I think counseling worked for us. Sometimes maybe all you can afford to do is read a book on marriage, but that can be huge, right? Or sometimes there’s a lot of online programs that you can take now, you know, with online education, like sometimes it might be talking to someone on the phone, you know, if you can’t go on person, but I just encourage people to get help. You’re always better off, if you can get some help, than trying to, you know, struggle through it and feeling like it’s just not gonna, you know, wondering if you’re going to make that sort of thing? I think it’s important, you know, we, we invest in our businesses, and we invest in, like, our homes, and we invest in so much. And my husband when you talked about being resistant, right? My husband was so like, he didn’t want to go. And it’s kind of typical with with men, that usually the man is more resistant to that idea. And, you know, we were at that point where he had a friend that, because his friend recommended it. And we went to a couple to talk to them, and because he recommended that he was, you know, it’s a pride thing. You know, what people feel like, “I’m okay, why would I need that?” But I would say, even if someone’s partner is resistant to it, I would say, go yourself, just to have someone to talk to. And maybe in time, the other person might come on board. But even on yourself, you can get a lot of perspective and about what’s going on with your situation can make a difference even on your own. I think we can change a situation even despite our own behavior, the dynamic changes, so yeah.

Alisia Young
Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. I agree. And, I love how you even said, it doesn’t need to necessarily be counseling.There’s so many other resources, depending on people’s price points, or preferred way of interacting or consuming. So I really appreciate how you said that, how you mentioned that as well. It’s very encouraging. It’s so great to hear that it really helps you both to be able to work things out. It’s really wonderful and encouraging to hear that. You also discussed attachment disorders, and I love that you touched on this because I had become aware of attachment disorders, um like more so from the standpoint of being kind of anxiously attached in my previous relationships; like I’d be drawn to people who were more avoidant, and I don’t feel like I was ever really like the neutral secure person nor have ever dated somebody who’s secure. And I realized that some people who are listening might not even have heard the of the attachment disorders. So if you wouldn’t mind, can you please summarize the different styles of attachment and let us know how attachment disorders may play themselves out in marriage.

Sharilee Swaity
In my situation, like with my husband and I, it did come up with the counselor where she talked about attachment disorders with my husband moreso. He was adopted when he was really little and kind of some trauma there when he was little. And so they would call him avoidant, like he just didn’t want to be close. And with my experience, we didn’t really talk about it. But I mean, I was anxious, I was like, you know, kind of scared of someone not being close to me. So it was sort of the typical male / female that you hear about is like he would be not wanting to talk and I would be chasing him, begging him, almost forcing him to talk, let’s talk about right? I was so nervous about losing him that I would just like, kind of press in on him. And then he would just totally shut me out. And so when we got into counseling, she really got into that moreso with him, about the avoidant thing and how that was affecting him. And it gives us a lot of healing that happened. Even from his divorce. So the counsellor really helped work through some of that. And, I’m not an expert on this topic by any means. But just the things little things that I’ve read about it is that it’s pretty common, especially for the men more to be the avoidant one and the women to be more of the anxious one, right? And there’s this dance that goes on, where you’re chasing your partner to talk to you, and then they’re just shutting you off. Right? And so, healing can really help in that, because you’re looking for that love or else you decide, okay, no, I don’t want to get hurt. So people with avoidant will try to, like, basically, they don’t want to have too many emotions, right? They associate that with hurt. I’m not really an expert on it, except for what we’ve we went through ourselves.

Alisia Young
Thank you so much for sharing that. Because it’s helpful to know that when somebody goes through this experience that it is possible to overcome it, because it can be very scary. It feels very scary, if you feel like the person is going to leave. And I imagine like if this is trying again for the second time, I imagine there might be additional feelings of like potential failure or, intensified emotions on top of that. So thank you for sharing that.

Sharilee Swaity
Yeah, no, that’s a good way of putting it. No, that’s so true. I don’t know if I had necessarily attached that to like the attachment disorders myself, but you’re right, it is. Because when you’ve gone through divorce before you’ve been abandoned, right? Besides whatever things happened in your childhood, it can be kind of a complex trauma that you’ve gone through with your childhood. Plus, whatever, if it was a divorce situation that you felt hurt from, it can really magnify where it’s just hard to trust people. And we dealt with it in different ways. My husand was more on the angry side, he would just get kind of just gruff with me. But I was more like crying. So people deal with that in different ways. But, healing comes in, for sure.

Alisia Young
Absolutely, absolutely. Thank you so much. Sharilee, it’s been so wonderful to be able to talk with you about this more. And thank you for the resource that you’ve created. So that a lot of us who are looking for more information or want to share this, with other people seeking that support, or just that insight, that we have that resource we can share. And my last question for you is, what are your top three books or resources that you would recommend for individuals who are wanting to learn more about step families, or what happens when you’re joining or creating a blended family?

Sharilee Swaity
One of them that I recommend, and it’s not necessarily for step families, but it’s just marriage in general that I really enjoyed. And I found it I read this book, maybe I think three times. Once when I was married the first time, and then once when I was married the second time, but it’s called mystery of marriage. It’s by Mike Mason. And it’s just about how the things that we go through in marriage; he talks about marriage as being like the big tree in the living room that you can’t get around. We know it’s a funny image. But it’s like that, always there. And you’re kind of shocked by the fact that they’re always there. And it’s like, well, they’re still there. But I just I love that it’s a very poetic book. But I think it applies to if you’re single person or if you’re married, it’s just about marriage itself. And mystery of marriage even has a very poetic sound, but I really recommend that. The other one that that I really liked is a smart step family by Ron Deal. And he’s written a lot of books. And he’s, he’s really good. He gives you some statistics. It is written from a Christian faith based perspective. But it’s really just gives you a really good overview of what to expect in a step family, and how it takes quite a long time. It’s very research based. It’s called Smart step family. And he has a lot of other books as well. Yeah, it’s pretty good. And then this is this last one is called the single girls guide to marrying a man his kids and his ex wife. That one I read when I was dating my husband, so it’s kind of a fun. It’s very anecdotal, she just tells her story of what it was like; this whole process of going from being single to suddenly having all this stuff in your life. So I recommend that especially for somebody that is without kids, and they’re looking at marrying somebody. It’sfunny, like, it’s really cute, but it’s got some really good things that are realistic.

Alisia Young
All those sound great. Thank you for sharing, really, like excited to look into those. This was so much fun. And thank you again for creating this resource and being open to talk about it more. And please, everybody, please make sure that you check the show notes because I’m going to be including Sharilee’s contact information and details, how you can connect with her and also check out her podcast as well. And definitely looking forward to staying connected with you, Sharilee, thank you again, for such a fun conversation.

Sharilee Swaity

Okay, thank you so much for having me. It was awesome. Nice to see you again.

Alisia Young

Likewise. Absolutely. And remember everybody to honor your time and your energy. Bye, everyone. Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of The Teach me freedom podcast. We hope you enjoyed it and found it beneficial. Feel free to reach out to us at Teach me freedom 20 twenty@gmail.com and if you haven’t done so yet, subscribe to the show on your favorite platform for streaming content. Feel free to comment and leave a four or five star review if you feel so inclined to connect with you next time.

Sharilee Swaity
Okay, thank you so much for having me. It was awesome. Nice to see you again.

Alisia Young

Likewise. Absolutely. And remember everybody to honor your time and your energy. Bye, everyone.


#3 – Done By Noon® ft. Dave Ruel of Effic

Transcript

Alisia Young

I am so excited to bring you our guest expert who is Dave Ruel, he’s the creator of the “Effic” company, and he’s the writer of “Done By Noon,” the book we’ll be discussing here. And he’s also the creator of this wonderful tool, the Effic planners, which I’ve been using for close to two years now. So really excited for him to be on the show. And we’ll just start by discussing how we first met. And then we’ll go from there, because I’d really love for you to hear from Dave and some of the questions I’m so excited to ask.

Dave Ruel

That’s hilarious. The way we met because well, I think I was speaking at Megan Walker’s event in Toronto. And and you were there. Right?

Alisia Young

I think I went to the 2019 one, but yes, I did attend one of those for sure. Yeah

Dave Ruel

You came to know of us through Megan?

Alisia Young

Yes. Yeah.

Dave Ruel

And I remember – so here’s the thing, I have you know, Cedric and I have Chloe at customer support. And they were both on vacation. Right? So I was like, You know what, no worries, guys, I will I will cover for you. I mean, usually, like it’s pretty smooth. And, we don’t receive that many calls. So we have we have a one 800 number but you know, usually all the support is done through the ticket system. And we receive a call through the one 800 number. It was actually redirected to my phone line and I talked to you. I remember you were like, you know, the CFO is like answering? I was like, Well, you know, they’re on vacation. You know, I’m filling in for them. Let me know, I’ll check on it. And it was something with your order. I can’t remember what it was.

Alisia Young

Yes. Yeah, good memory!

Dave Ruel

Yeah, so there you go. So and we made it that way. And after that, we you became interested in the certification, we were launching and then obviously, you became an Effic certified coach. And then and we kept in contact, obviously, you know, you’re in the Effic environment now. So we contact regularly but, but you’re always, here’s the thing I like about you, Alisia is that you always have a smile on your face. Always. Even sometimes you’re like, hey, can you guide me on this or that but, but you always like have a smile on your face. And it’s always fun to be around you.

Alisia Young

Thank you so much. That means that means so much. That means a lot. Thank you, I’m, I’m so grateful to to have to have met you through through Meghan and learned about like your tools and just your whole philosophy. So I’m really grateful for that. And I’m excited about the changes that I’ve seen in my life in my business and just my perspective on time. And, really realizing – one of the biggest things that I recognize from your book, and we’re gonna jump in, and actually, you’re going to read us as some bullet points from what your book is about – but you’ve really taught me some important things such as the importance of self leadership to be able to even lead or make your goals come true. We have to lead with ourselves, and taking that self responsibility. And really, when you emphasize the importance of our time, the importance of our creativity, you really had really shifted my perspective on what I do is what I contribute to the world and you helped me to value my creativity and realize that that is what drives everything that we end up building or what we end up putting into the world. So you really helped me to really appreciate that much more and want to take better care of it. So thank you for that. And so would you like to walk us through your book about what we can expect to learn from and implement with the one by noon book?

Dave Ruel

You’re welcome. I love it and I love that you highlight it so much!

Alisia Young

Many highlights in here, I want to read this annually.

Dave Ruel

The inside pages now match the cover, right? Because yellow and blue yellow in there. But, you know, we’re gonna expand on different points. But the main thing with Done By Noon is that if I tell you what if you could be done by noon, it’s going to obviously appeal to you from something because of something that you don’t have or that we don’t have any more. And that thing is freedom. And that book really is to make you understand how you can better connect with, I would say, the three freedoms, which are your freedom of time, because when we start a business, we want to do things when we want, as you said, your creative freedom, which is, in my opinion, the most important freedom, because as entrepreneurs, that’s the one thing that we have that sets us apart from, you know, other people is that you have that creativity, but also have that freedom of expressing that creativity. And more often, when we start a business, that’s what we want, we want to work on what we want. But then we drift away from that, because obviously, we get busy. And there’s other things that happen in our lives and our businesses. And we end up drifting, you know, from that. And the third one is your obviously your financial freedom, you want to make a living out of it, you want to be paid, you know, to do what you do well, right. So these are three things. So pretty much in the book, we talked about how you can accomplish more by noon, than other experience in a full day. So what you do in less than 20 hours, then what you used to do in 40 hours, plus, we talk about different, you know, high performance routines and rituals that you can implement in your life, really how to, you know, multiply your productivity by focusing on the two types of tasks that really, really move the needle in your business, we call them the power moves. And, I assume we’re going to talk about it later in this chat. And how to really harness, you know, how to manage responsibly and sustainably your three finite resources that you have as an entrepreneur, your time, your energy and your attention. And it’s not easy as an entrepreneur, but we look at it through I would say an efficiency lens. And we have an efficiency first approach to productivity that we can also talk about. But as much as we have systems and we have, you know, different tools that you can implement as much as it is a mind, as you said, you know, mindset shift that I want you to have, you know, for for, for your business in your life.

Alisia Young

Absolutely. That’s so beautiful. That’s so well said And honestly, like hearing those points, I just, I was like, okay, teach me how to do this. Now. I need to know how to do this now. And I feel like a lot of people feel the same way because our time is precious. And, and oftentimes, we may look back and be like, Oh, well, I mean, look at all these hours that we’ve already lived and going forward really want to do things differently. But it’s like, how do we actually do that differently? What actions do we need to take? What systems do we need to put in place? And what mindsets do we need to shift in order to make these things reality? So thank you for sharing that. And one of the one of the exercises I want to share because – this was very monumental for me. So as some of you may know, I’m currently do have a business. It’s called Eat ‘N’ Live Free. And I’m also an author. And so I’m building those sides of my life, but I’m also in the working world as well – so I’m also working in the in the real world, not just completely in my business. And so this exercise was a big deal for me, because it made me think about is it worthwhile to do everything yourself, especially when you’re starting off or building and have a limited amount of time. And so this is a drifting costs cost exercise. And, basically, before we actually discuss it, I noticed that it was an exercise that helped us to determine the value per hour of doing something versus something you really emphasize in the book with which is delegating or outsourcing different tasks. And so can you speak to more about these, you talked about these different zones of geniuses? So can you walk us through what those zones of geniuses are, and kind of a little brief description about each and then I’d love to share about how this has helped me to make some big decisions. And I know I’m going to be using this going forward as well.

Dave Ruel

And that’s a tool you’re going to keep using you know most of your life and here’s the thing, right? When you when you do something, especially in business, you don’t know what you don’t know. You think that things are going to be a certain way and they’re they’re not because you don’t know what, like we never really know what we’re doing. truly great. Until we do it, we never know what we really like until we try it. And, you know, it’s like cheese tasting food, right? Like, if you have a son, you can assume that you can do something or not do something about it, or like something or not like something that it’s on until you actually taste that food that you’re going to know, right? Like you don’t know, is the same thing I think would work. And it’s having that that self awareness piece of understanding that for yourself, and that’s not going to be a perfect, you know, science, but we’ve developed that little exercise and that little calculation to make you understand or realize how much money actually because, you know, humans are really good at understanding when we put $1 amount to what they do, it’s not going to cost you this. And it’s not necessarily like what you like what you lose for money, it’s the opportunity cost. And it’s, it’s, it’s extremely important. Even when you start you know, I’m always like, Okay, try to do things like see what you’re great at, and what you suck at. And that’s what is great thing to go about it but then is having the self awareness to understand, okay, now, here’s what I’m really good at this is the things that I should not be doing right and having a cost associated with it makes you understand better. So we have that little little map and, and we go with the principle that there are things you know, a handful of things that we do better than most people. And we call that your power zone. So it’s a handful of things, usually in revolves around what we call the superpower, which is usually one thing, and it’s very hard to pinpoint exactly that thing. And that’s why we’re saying like, the power zone is everything that usually gravitates, you know, around that, right. So if you can do things that gravitate around that, and you can actually pinpoint what they are, and that your actions and that you start focusing on that. But understanding that in business, business is composed of multiple types of tasks over different nature, there’s different contexts, they’re different, you know, situation and situation. So you have to take that into account. But the core thing is that understanding what you are actually better at, and the things that you are not that great at. So we talked about drifting a lot into book meaning that if you picture yourself you’re going from to you’re going to specific destination, and the fastest way to go there is in the straight line. But little by little you start drifting, of course, until you actually know on the road anymore, and you’re lost in some kind of wooded area. And it’s hard to get out of because you’re totally, you know, lost in the dark shadows. That’s the same thing in leadership, you know, we do things that that we Oh, we want this and all of a sudden, we start drifting. So there’s different zones, so and which age zone, there’s a coefficient attached to it. So we call that the drifting coefficient. So let’s say here, so you have your power zone, you have your average zone, you have your subpar job zone, and you have your ignorance zone. And you don’t want to go there, obviously, but we all do at one point. And it’s understanding, you know, the opportunity cost. So the calculation based on that is, take the amount of money that you make, and divided by the number of hours you work per week, multiply by the number of weeks your work per week, and you’re gonna get an actual hourly rate. Like that’s how much money you’re making per hour. And understanding that every single time you’re drifting away within, you know, within your, your, your zones of activity, you will understand that there’s a cost to it. So let’s say I don’t know your hourly rate is $50 an hour, and or 30, that whatever we say it’s a 50, because it’s easier to multiply. But when you venture into, for example, your sub power zone, which has a coefficient of four, that means that you are not making $200 that means there’s an opportunity cost of $200 per hour. And now you’re going to have to understand that okay, well, I’m doing all this and I do this for five hours a week. Well, there’s $1,000 you’re not making and we’re not talking about obviously, it’s not an exact science, but to make you understand that in the future, this is the the amount of money you will be, you know, you’re willing to kind of let go by doing that. It’s like you’re seeing someone that every time you get drunk, you know, it takes away a week out of your life. You’re gonna think about Okay, well, maybe I should not get drunk like that often because I don’t want to die at the age of 37. Right. So I should be dead by now. I know, but I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s important to understand that so and it’s part of you talk about self leadership, but it’s part of the self leadership process, which is composed by say self, first of all, self discipline. So understanding on their standard, just things small things need to Do right? Understanding self awareness, understanding yourself and it’s a never ending process. That’s a great thing about it, you know, you’re what you thought could be a superpower. And you realize that you think and you realize that okay, well, that’s actually my power zone. But that’s my true superpower. Right? And you only do that by reflect and understanding and doing. And the self respect, piece of self leadership, self respect, is understanding, you know, your own ambitions, your own limitations, your strengths, and and yeah, going back, you know, to to that that composes self leadership, and a better selfie, or you can be I can promise you that the better your business will, will be.

Alisia Young

There was a brief lapse of issues with the Wi Fi. So you’ll notice that the conversation takes a little bit of a shift here.

Dave Ruel

Where is computer technology in your zone of genius? In your power zone? Is that in your average zone?

Alisia Young

That’s a good question. I would say it’s in my average zone, definitely not my power zone. But I like technology, and I become more patient with it. I don’t freak out as quickly as I used to in the past. It’s definitely not my power zone. I don’t like it. But I like the benefits that it provides.

Dave Ruel

I think a lot of entrepreneurs are like that, you know, where it’s all like, you know, our average zone, but you know, we do it with this account. That’s a good thing that you’re you’re especially with podcast and looking at, like different aspects of producing a podcast.

Alisia Young

Yes

Dave Ruel

There are things that actually it’s a great exercise that you’re really great at. And there are things you like, like show notes, for example, like, the show notes, I was like, that is in my ignorance zone. I’m terrible at that, you know, let’s look at the ways to delegate, outsource or automate that, you know,

Alisia Young

Yes, yes. And just have people who love doing that and who are great at doing that.

Dave Ruel

Oh, my gosh, I’m amazed process. You have Andrew does ours, I was like, You are amazing how you do that? That’s just normal. No, it’s not.

Alisia Young

That’s awesome. That’s the thing about, like, having a great team, you can all like, bounce off of everybody strengths and become a strong unit. As a result of that. That’s the beauty of it.

Dave Ruel

What you suck at someone is actually great at it, and loves doing that thing. So there you go.

Alisia Young

Absolutely. And so my next question is one of a relational nature. Because something that I really admire about you is, is the importance that you place on your relationship with your wife, Katherine, and sorry, my pronouncing her name, right, Korea. Okay, perfect. And then your two daughters, and it’s something that you’ve, you’ve read about in the book, you also discuss it in the course. And even with communications, it’s so clear that not this is this is like non negotiable. You talk about how you’ve structured your days to make sure it’s non negotiable. And so that brings two questions. But I’ll ask you the first one, and then I’ll ask you, the next one is how do you think your life would be different if you didn’t make these make these these changes? Or how do you think things? I know it doesn’t really help to think of, Oh, this is how things would be? Because it’s, we’re not living that life. But when you decided to put these things in place, like why was it so important to you? And how do you think your life would be now? When if you hadn’t made those changes?

Dave Ruel

Oh, well, I mean, you know, I think my family last life impacted a lot the way I operate, you know, in the world, and I think, you know, a lot. That’s, that’s what do you see, like, you know, it’s, it pretty much goes back to everything, you know, understanding why you’re in business in the first place. And for me, when I was doing that, there was always you know, we do the big picture exercise, like you have the 13 questions in the book, for example, you can answer but there’s an exercise you coach your students do with understanding, like what you truly want ultimately. And the big picture exercise helps you understand Yes, like, you know, where you want to be, and the things you want to do and on the perfect day, but also, it’s going to highlight your core values, it’s going to highlight not only what you value, but what you values are. And for me, it’s always very clear that sustainability is a big, big piece, and loyalty as well is a big, big piece. And everything I do in life is based around that. So I’m asking myself always the same question Is that Is this what I truly want for myself and I had to make very tough decisions in my professional life in my personal life to stay true to that. Like for example, in 2016, when I sold by optimizers, and then like 2017 start ethic, kind of by accident, like as a result of that, but in 2016 Dean, I had bought into that supplements company in 2014. And I was acting as the CEO for for two years co co owner and CEO for for two years. And we did great. Like we did really, really well turned around the business in 18 months. And in business, we’re doing extremely well. But then me and my two co corners are like, Okay, why don’t we bring them and my two friends who are still the the owners of the company, like, No, they didn’t have kids. And it was a different reality. For me, my youngest daughter was turning two. And it was a different vibe, you know, a different dynamic in my life. And they were like, Listen, we really want to go pedal to the metal for the next three to five years. And we think we can bring it there. And I was like, totally in with that, obviously, with the mission and everything. Because the mission like and I’m I mean, I’m still a huge fan of by optimizers. And the company and meccanoid are still, you know, some of my best friends. But the decision was that it’s not the way I Picture My Life. You know what I mean? And even though we can tell it’s only two to five years, get you to five years, my daughter is going to be seven is going to be five years where I’m going to be working quite a bit, where this is not what I picture for myself. So it’s not about all I want to get there. But I’m willing to sacrifice everything. In the meantime, it’s understanding how I can be fulfilled by what I do also stay true to my values. So I had to adapt things, I sold my shares of my company because like, Listen, guys, it’s just not like, I’m, I’m not willing to do that right now, like this is these are my priorities. And it was great. You know, it was very true to myself. I’m also very clear now on the type of business that I want to run, or how I want to have my days, you know, I kind of made peace as well, like, you know, we talked about ambition appropriation, we’ve talked about it in the book that it’s I’m not sure if that question was coming or not that Alisia talked about it. It’s understanding that ambition permission is looking at other people’s ambitions and thinking, this is the way I should do, I should go about my own ambitions. And in the entrepreneurial world, we glorify money quite a bit, especially in North America, we glorify, you know, there’s different things that we’re like, we think we should have, but do we really want that. And, you know, I had to be very honest with myself, you know, and respect that we talked about self respect, but for me to become a bit of self leader was understanding what type of what I wanted to have, you know, in my, in my life in my business, and for me, it was very specific, you know, that freedom of time and freedom of creative freedom was very important, too. So that was a big important piece of the decision was like, Okay, I’m acting SEO right now, SEO is not about creating SEO is about operating. And, you know, I can do that, well, there’s no problem, like, I’m grid coordinator, but I’m an entrepreneur first. And I love creating, and I know that when I’m not creating a miserable, so or, or I can go about not creating for a little while, but I’m going to crave that and now I’m going to go and binge is that good, because you’re going to create stuff that doesn’t matter. And, and it’s having that space for me to keep creating while you know, having, you know, a sustainable type of business. So that was another part, you know, for me that it was not about the money. He was really and he was about some of the time, obviously, but also the freedom, the creative freedom, I wanted to keep creating all the time, and I know my patterns now with business and how it works, and how it attaches to my values, that sustainability is big, and everything I’m building now. Well, not now, like everything that I’ve built in my life was made to last, you know, I built my house, not to resell it, I built my house to have it last, you know, decades and where I’m going to my kids are going to grow up and leave at one point or not maybe I don’t know, I have not. But But everything that I do is like with ethic, for example, that was another shift. It was understanding that it’s like okay, it’s good to create, but your values are you wanting to be sustainable. That’s why we shifted the model from coaching to, to certification. So you know, and you’re, you’re, you’re an epic certified coach. We’re like, Okay, if we want to have something that can live, that can live, even if I’m not there, for example, or the team is not there. You know, the best way to do that is to partner up with coaches who actually serve other people and the more we’re going to do that The more we’re going to impact people and the more epic is going to have a life of its own, you know, it’s going to have sustainability. You know, even if I’m not there, I hope this the methodology or the philosophy of the word philosophy that backs it, will, will live, you know, for for a long time, you know, possibly forever work really evolved. But I mean, you know, it’s just like what we put out in the world will we’ll have sustainability. So, you know, it’s very important to understand what your ambitions are. I digress, I can remember when was the original question, but no ambition provision is a big problem. And and yeah, back to Yeah. Kareena, my. And my daughter’s you know, it’s no, they did literally, everything that I do is based around not just dum bum, but my, my whole family unit and work life harmony. Yeah.

Alisia Young

Wow, that’s so beautiful. And it’s really cool to hear, like, it’s hard to believe that, like, I don’t even want to think about if if you had kind of stayed if you hadn’t really reflected on where you’re going and what’s important to you. Because then that may mean that this book, and the planners and just the whole system may not just like such an easy way to put together productivity principles, but also how it connects to all of our lives and our values and all of that, like, it’s hard to think of these things not existing. So it’s, it’s a big, it takes a lot of courage to, especially when you’re in a place and you’re like, Okay, well, this is kind of what I noticed what I’m used to, I’m good at it. And then to be like, you know, what, take stock and be like, I’m gonna go in a different direction, because I, you know, because you have a vision. And these things were, were these on your mind at the time, by the way? Or did they come later? Do you mean the ethic principles or what we share in the book? Like the actual, like, did you have the idea that you wanted to eventually write a book about the epic principles and no, manner? it?

Dave Ruel

No, like, it really like, I, here’s the thing, like, I believe, like, when you are, you know, your life is not just a collection of random things, things are connected, the only thing is that you only see the connection, when you turn around and actually spend time looking at the connections, you know, and finding the connections together, your life is just, you know, just a bunch of things patched together, it’s just not true. And, you know, for me, like, when I start, no, was a was a physique athlete before I was an entrepreneur. And that was my, my passion. And my obsession, too. And then, when I discovered online, built, like direct response marketing and online business building, I kind of treated that, that passion for fitness to another obsession for business. And, and I realized that a lot of the things that I had implemented my life were actually, like, in my personal and fitness life, actually matched the way I should behave in the, in, in the entrepreneurial world, but it happened. Because here’s the thing, which human beings were really good at understanding things when our backs are against the wall, or when we hit rock bottom, you know, and for me, I needed to burn out in order to understand that, why are you doing you’re so great at doing this, and you’re not implementing that. And I realized that this is when I started, like, actually sitting down, look back and say, load management, it’s a thing. You know, what I mean? How can I apply? load management in my, in my career, understanding how to manage better my workload, right, rest and recovery? Like it’s part it’s an important part of a workout routine. It’s an important part of a program. How come I’m neglecting that in my professional life, right? periodization working in 90 day cycles, how come I do that in my head, I don’t do that. And I realized I started putting things together. And I started building things and understanding, you know, it was fine tuning, but then I, you know, obviously I built businesses that way, it enabled me to, like, work better, and work, right. The thing is, that working right also means that you are aligned, you know, to what you want to do. And this is when like, that’s another reason why frequency of alignment is important. It’s like looking back but frequently, you know, understanding that okay, I’m here now it’s great, but is it what I really want and always asking yourself that and when I so when I decided to sell by optimizers and then life life is funny, you know, I had the opportunity to coach you know, I was starting always doing I was already doing some coaching. I was coaching Um, you know, kind of on the side, because people were seeing me building online businesses like, we want to build online businesses to market like, Why? Well, I want freedom. You know, that’s all. That’s all they wanted in one time, they wanted creative, and they wanted financial freedom. And when I started coaching these people, the students, I realized that 99 100% of them didn’t need more strategy, more tactics, what they really needed was actually structure. And it’s not native to entrepreneurs to have that type of structure, even though like, I looked at myself, like you had it as an athlete, and you were not even able to understand how can someone who’s never had that type of discipline and structure you had in your personal life, like actually build that in their professional life, just not gonna happen natively, they will have to burn out, they will have to, and it was like, Okay, how can I show them that? Like, how can I show them my systems, and this is when I started, like, working with them and sharing them with them. What I had built for myself, they were like, Oh, my god, yes, yes. Yeah, that’s what I needed and and eventually became, you know, standardized, and, and epic was born. And you know, it was more and it was understanding as well, like, why are we building all this? Like, are these not just a collection of tools? It’s because you get a training is just a training program, is that just a collection of exercise of exercises, there’s actually a reason for the program to exist. There’s actually a sequence, there’s a reason for each exercise, there’s a way to do a movement that has a purpose. And it was the same thing with what I did, and it made a cohesive unit. But the main thing is that, yes, productivity is what we all want, well want to do more, right? But the key is like, how can you work, right? Because this thing’s about entrepreneurship. That is one thing we’re going to like, you know, that we’re going to say right now is that entrepreneurship is hard. Okay? It is not easy. It is hard, I don’t think but it’s like anything else. You can love playing hockey. And if you’re a, let’s say, a high professional hockey player, it’s not easy to be an NHL player, it’s actually very, very hard. You know, because you you’re playing against people who want to rip your head off. And you know, it is a survival sport, but you love the sport. It’s the same thing on intrapreneurship. It’s not easy. It’s hard, but you love it. Right? So it’s one thing, it’s hard. But people say, well, it’s hard. But I work smart. Yeah, well, if you’re not working smart, that’s actually not smart to not work smart. Like just working smart means that a you know, you’re just optimizing, you know your way you work. So you should always look to work smart, it’s just a given you. The problem is that people looking like when you think about working smart, they think about hacks. And collecting hacks will not make it a productivity approach, just like a collection of exercise will not make a workout program. So the key to understand is how do I work? Right? So based on what, based on the outcome, what do you want to accomplish? What do you truly want, when you’re talking about the alignment, the big picture, understanding that and start breaking it down into you know, okay, that’s my ultimate goal that I want. What about the next year? What about next 90 days? What about my next week? What about my next day? What about my next action? Right? So understanding that and putting that into context. So having that but also understanding in the process, how to properly manage your time, your energy and your attention, right? It’s understanding that, okay, if I want to go there, like, I want to do it sustainably. And you’re gonna realize along the way that the, let’s say, like, picture a mountain at the end of a long, long road, and you want to get on top of the mountain, the goal is never to get on top of the mountain. The goal is actually to enjoy the ride on your way there, always. And the more you’re going to go, the more you’re going to like get closer to always always love us like picture. You’re in Calgary and you see, you know, the Rockies there and you want to go to the mountain and as you get closer to the mountains, you see that there’s more peaks, there’s new mountains, you never thought were there. You’re like, Oh, this is nice. This is great. I love and it’s all about the journey, right and to fulfillment through that journey. It’s important, but understanding how to manage your time, your energy and your attention properly along the way. If you go full crazy, you know, your pedal to the metal with your car, you know on that road? Well, I can assure you it will break down while the same thing would you as an entrepreneur, you need to understand, you know that you’re going to need to have some schedule, you’re going to need to have things you’re going to need to pay attention to and you’re going to need to look into your energy and manage it properly. If you want your car To drive sustainably, right. And and yeah, so it’s a whole, it’s holistic. I mean, it’s funny, because what I say, resonates with a lot of attendees, like, you know, it’s it. I’m all about seeing it as a holistic thing. And not just like, again, collection. It’s a whole, it’s a yin and a yang life. And it’s just a whole, it’s how you’re going to address that that matters.

Alisia Young

Absolutely, yeah, I love how you put the, how you put the pieces together, how it all works together. And, and starting with that, that idea of starting with the end in mind, but I also especially love how you said, enjoying the journey, because I feel like that’s something that a lot of us forget, because we get so tied to this is where I want to be I want to be here yesterday. And then like it’s not just like doing things because they need to be done and getting frustrated by by different events along the way and not being enjoying them not enjoying it anymore. And then actually questioning, don’t even want to do this in the first place. So like that

Dave Ruel

You mentioned that major point, we get caught up in that right? It’s so it you see that and you when you coach people, you realize that a lot of here’s the thing, like that’s what you’re sold to right quick fixes, like as North American, we’re exposed to that all the time, take this little pill and it will pain will go away, right away. But you see it in medicine, you know, the MDS, and you know, the MDS have different approaches, you want to do the same thing? Yep. This different approach is the same thing with productivity and the way you approach on entrepreneurship as well.

Alisia Young

Absolutely. Love that. Thank you, Dave. The last question, before I asked you your wrap up question is, I wanted to know, because you you explain that like entrepreneurship is, is hard, you explain some of the reasons why. And I would like to know, how would you? What advice would you share for individuals who are in relationships who are like it could be romantic relationships, like, can be marriage, dating or serious relationships, even just relationships with close friends and family? How? How do you best support them? For example, if there’s a there’s a partnership where one person is now making that decision to explore entrepreneurship, how do they best stay connected? And if both people, my understanding is current is also an entrepreneur as well? So it’s like, yeah, how do you make those dynamics work? So you can, and I know, you’ve mentioned some things that you keep in your life, but you can speak more to that as well.

Dave Ruel

Well, you know, and we’re gonna go back to what we said about the big picture, I think the thing, number one thing you should be doing as a couple is to do your own big pictures, like, you know, do them separately. The thing is, and then you compare notes, you read it, you read them to each other. So there’s two things that are gonna happen, you’re going to realize, like, honey, we’re totally aligned, we want the exact same thing. And it’s great. Like, if that happens, perfect. It’s awesome. And this is an extra you should keep doing. We recommend you do it annually, like every year you redo that exercise, because things change and things evolve, right? Yeah. So that’s one thing this, the other case scenario is that you will do that. And you will realize that we’re are not heading to the same mountain. Right? So there’s two things that can happen. I mean, obviously, you can ask yourself, Is this the right relationship for me or not? Or you know, or it’s opening your eyes to other ways to do things or the destinations to your partner? and say, oh, wow, okay. You want to head there, but I want to go to this mountain. But you know what? Let’s move on and see if there’s like, a mountain that we see that we both like, Oh, here it is, you know, I think a lot of people like for example, they’re really quick to jump to conclusions without knowing. And when you do that, you understand, first of all, what really motivates the values that are motivating, you know, that person to go there. And usually, you know, even though it might look, you want different things, it’s really the values that you have, that will make it really stick together as a couple. Right? So I see Karen and I, you know, loyalty is huge. Sustainability is big, and we’ll have the stuff out. So that doesn’t mean that the road is not bumpy. It is bumpy. It is bumpy, often, you know, but we learn to manage, like, hey, when the road is bumpy, we’re going to slow down. And we’re going to learn to deal with that, you know, we’re not going to freak out. We’re gonna, and yeah, so do that first. So first of all, do that big picture exercise, understanding that and understand, again, that self discipline doesn’t happen overnight. It will be One supporting your spouse or you know, your significant other to be self discipline. So implementing things in your life that you might not have implemented yet, but that’s part of being a good entrepreneurial self leader. helping your partner to be more self aware, you know, so allowing that to happen, but through discovering through, sorry for the words, but fucking up, you will fuck up in your, in your journey. It’s, it’s, you know, it’s inevitable it will happen. And also self respect respecting the other person for what they want. And, you know, the thing is that it’s a journey again, like you will understand things along the way. And like I like, I like this morning that and Carrie and I talk about that all the time. Like we question each other all the time. Like, I reevaluate my life as a whole regularly, like, I’m just like, thinking about things and what I want. And, you know, there’s things that arise one year that were not just there last year, like, should I follow that or not? You know, should I look into this? Should I, you know, and and things change, things evolve, you know, and it’s part of the certainty of living, and especially as an entrepreneur is that things will change. And you got to be okay with that.

Alisia Young

Absolutely. Yeah. Thank you so much for sharing, sharing your words of wisdom, especially because you have, like you have continued to make that a priority. And it’s, it’s, I know, it’s something that a lot of a lot of people, myself included, is it’s something that’s a huge importance. And it’s like, when you’re making a decision to go in a certain direction. It’s like, how do you make things work? Or do your best to make things work along the way, so thank you so much for sharing that

Dave Ruel

it’s, you know, it’s all goes back to like working out, for example, working out will always be hard, you know, men will, it will be hard left? hard. It is. But it’s consistency that matters, right? It’s discipline, like what what’s hard for you now, will become easy, will be easy in two years, that doesn’t mean that you’re not going to be working out hard. You will, but it will not feel as heavy. Because you are used to a discipline brought that, you know, for you. So it’s the same thing with everything, whether it’s you know, your personal life or your professional life, it’s allowing time to do its thing, you know, staying consistent and aware and respecting that.

Alisia Young

Absolutely. Absolutely. Thank you so much, Dave. And so the last question that I’d like to ask you is, what are three of your top books that you would recommend for those of us, those of us who are seeking time, freedom, financial freedom, creative freedom, and are looking for and these books can either be things that are philosophical, or things that are action oriented, or combination? So yeah, what? What would you recommend?

Dave Ruel

So here’s the thing, I’m not an avid reader, I got actually quite a bit of books. But I’m a weird reader where I don’t I never really, I rarely read a book cover to cover. Mm hmm. And there’s a few that I did, though, and I’ll tell you when they are, but there’s, if I’m not, I usually go by topic. So if I want to know something, I’m going to go and take a look. And I’m going to browse, you know the book and understand and see patterns. That’s why academically It was hard for you, because I was never able to just like memorize something and just like, say it again, it was I need to understand it, I do look for every angle. And I guess that’s the way I operate. But there’s a few books I’m turning around here I’m looking at my bookshelf, but there’s one book that I really love called Built to Sell BY JOHN warrillow. And I always I always recommend this book to people who have who have more of a service business. So because you’re so tied to serving other people, like it’s very hard for you to understand processes and products and building projects that way because you’re just so used to serve as a back and forth mechanism. And in the book and it’s a business it’s a business story. So it’s it’s there’s lessons but through business story about how to actually productize your services to be more you know, streamlined and and also focused on the things that you offer, but also where you can charge more money and have a sellable business in the end. It’s a great story, but for people who understand that a, it’s not just things that I do in my business is actually step one, step two, step three, step four, and step five in my Offering and that’s my system. And that’s what I’m offering. Like, it just helps me gain a lot of clarity. I loved it. It was great. What other books? Anything? So anything from Patrick lencioni? For example, what do you have? are getting naked is great. What is the go giver? That’s this book to great book. Um, I know, I’m gonna sound weird, but honestly, like done by noon is wrote it, but honestly, like, it’s, it’s, it’s, I read it often even like something, you know, I, I keep reading it in order to remind myself of everything in some ways or the system or you know, things that are wanting to remind myself I’m like, yeah, you know, I’m still doing that or because I don’t I kind of don’t think about it anymore because it’s all you know, embodied. And I’m like, okay, and and so, yeah, it’s weird to say my own books, one of my favorite ones, but pretty awesome. But what do we have? I have a few ones rocket fuel is fantastic. Because, yeah, rocket fuel by Gina Whitman and Jhansi winters, it’s about the relationship, if you’re in a partnership, it really shows you the type of personalities that you have. And he talks about the integrator and the visionary, and how these is the perfect combo when you have a business. And that’s the reason why a lot of partnerships don’t work. And, and why partnerships also work. I’m a big fan of partnerships, but in the right context. And, for example, Matt Golan and I had a business together before reading this book, and I’m like, what, why? How come our business work? Well, you know, besides the fact that, you know, we, we like each other and you know, we’re friends, and we have a weird sense of humor, skin understand, but no, but it’s just we understood the dynamics between co founders and what it takes, you know, the visionary and the integrator. And as in that context, it clicked. So there’s that rocket fuel. Traction as well, which is a great system. You can you can read that try to feel like traction, and I talked to I was actually talking to, to someone the other day, who’s a who’s an EOS certified implementer. So, it’s funny because we kind of do to say, I got inspired to do a certification based on Eos. And the same thing, the way they operate. And it’s kind of the, some of the principles that they have are similar principles. For the business side, like for the organization as a whole, what we share in done by noon is mostly for, you know, the entrepreneur in the person. All right, yes, obviously, it’s organized the way you approach your business. And Jen, you know, you approach your tasks and everything. But traction is really about the organization as a whole. And they both fit so well together that you know, it was I always love traction. And then there’s so many other like, books that I read, I read biographies. I love biography. I’m reading Samuel de Champlain Champlain’s biography right now, it’s like 800 pages, it’s probably gonna take me 17 years. I’m doing the same, like, I’m reading things, and I’m like, going back to his childhood and then going back to the reading, like when he started hanging out in my area where now anyway, um, and there’s so many books right now. I’m reading like, the new fish wave right now, which is a book on sustainable, sustainable fishing and creation of marine byproducts in nice land, which is totally weird, but I’m talking to that right now. Okay. Yeah, I’m, yeah, I’m reading this. But yeah, yeah. That makes sense. Yeah. That’s funny, because see, that’s part of my core values. And I created a nonprofit. So we incorporate not too long ago, but I created a nonprofit here for my community, in Yucatan Peninsula, here in New Brunswick, where all it’s based on on on different theories on different approaches. And, and obviously, what they’re building in Iceland, where we get inspired by that, but also based on acid based community development. And that’s another thing I’m geeking out on. Like, it’s the way like, because sustainability is such a big part of my core values that bring that to my community is is is important. And we have actually an economic engine where we help entrepreneurs, first of all, number one is that we help entrepreneurs become better entrepreneurial leaders. So there’s a lot of things that I teach at Effic that, you know, I brought to this nonprofit To teach local entrepreneurs to become better entrepreneurs. But second, we have another piece that creates projects for the community. So for example, we started a community warehouse and fulfillment center here in the peninsula where entrepreneurs who have ecommerce businesses can come get good warehousing and fulfill their orders from the peninsula here, because there was no infrastructure. And the thing is that this structure, this is kind of a little business in the business generates profits, and the profits are being redirected our are being put into a fund. And this fund is to actually use that as leverage to create new projects, which will be profitable and more all the profits go back in the pot, and the pot serves to create new projects. And we do that and the goal is that in 20 years, we’re gonna have 10 very profitable, small businesses that bring money to that. And the great thing is that entrepreneurs see that as like, how can we collaborate with you guys? How can we how can we contribute? And we’re getting contributions, we’re getting sponsorships, as well, because local entrepreneurs sponsor younger entrepreneurs in order to, to to become, you know, the next generation of leaders, and we have community donations, it’s fantastic. Like we’re building something that is so totally, like, sustainable. And then yeah, you know, it’s a big, big one, the more I go with, it’s funny, because the more I talk about it, the more I realize that that’s kind of my superpowers to make something sustainable. And yeah, everything that I do professionally, it’s just based on that. But I’m very, very, very into this right now. So I’m really Alisia Young 51:50 Yeah, yeah, that makes total sense. Wow, that was that was so cool. Thank you, thank you for for sharing all the resources that you suggest that we look into and more about your nonprofit and the different that kind of compounding effect that you’re, you’re helping or contributing to generating and excited to hear about how that how that continues to build down the line as well. I can’t wait to I mean, it’s just the beginning. Right down, I’m putting it all together with a group of local entrepreneurs. Where we’re seven on the board right now. And yeah, it kind of originated from kind of an idea of what we wanted for the community. And, and so I brought my knowledge other people brought their, their resources and and we’ve built that, and it’s for so here’s the thing we’re very targeted to with French speaking, rural communities, on the Canadian east coast. So we have a many, many, many communities here that are there that rely on fishing as their main resource, right. So they fish, they, historically to take the fish, they fillet the fish, they sell the filets for no profit, and to just explode the resource. And that’s all they know how to do. And we’re like, well, first of all, what they do in Iceland is that they have a movement called hundreds and fish that how can we produce all we can transform, like more of the fish? So instead of just filling the fish and having 50%, that we just, you know, which is more of a business mindset? How can we have more of an entrepreneurial mindset and say, Okay, can we how can we take the extra 50% that is not being transformed and created by products with it. So right now we’re looking, for example, to create marine collagen with, with different types of fish waste, we’re looking to create different different products, whether it’s, it’s supplements, or food or, or even clothing or things for fun, like we’re looking to all this in order to to to do that. And so there’s different projects and tasks, then we collaborate with research institutes. And, yeah, it’s just, it’s fun. But because of that, you know, we’re trying to expand your entrepreneurial mindset and culture into smaller rural communities, we usually don’t have access to it, and helping them and enabling them to create, you know, these assets for the community that are going to generate profit and ensure economic resilience to, to their community. So yeah, it’s interesting. I can’t wait to see like, what we’re talking 20 years and see, like, I remember we talked about this. Yeah.

Alisia Young

That’s absolutely phenomenal. Wow, I’m so impressed. Because I did not know I had no idea about that is phenomenal. That’s amazing. Well, thank you so much, Dave, for being here. Really appreciate your time and all the knowledge that you shared. so grateful to have talked to you and everybody, please check out the show notes. We’re going to be talking. I’ll post the information that David shared and some other information about epic and some other stuff as well. Thank you again, for your time and wonder wishing you and your family a wonderful day. Thank you. You do it. Thank you so much. Thank you. Bye bye.

#1 – Introduction to the “Teach Me Freedom” Podcast

Transcript

Welcome to Teach Me Freedom. I’m so excited that we’ve entered each other’s worlds. I’m Alisia Young. And in this introduction episode, I’m going to be sharing with you the intended vision and purpose for this podcast along with introducing a little bit more about who I am.

So first, I’ll start with where the seed for this podcast was sown, along with how that relates to the title. But first, I will also say the title was also influenced by one of my favorite personal finance books, which was I will teach you to be rich by Ramit Sethi. So that was definitely a big influencer of the title of this podcast. So I’m a huge lover of reading and journaling, very nerdy. And I was fortunate enough to have the creative juices and resources to publish my first book in late 2020. And it’s called Congrats Superwoman: When You’ve Climbed The Mountain And Still Don’t Feel Good Enough. So that’s something I would love to share with more about with you in a future episode. But basically, I have a goal of sharing some of my life experiences as a tied to being a millennial, along with being a woman of colour, along with entering my 30s. And after over a decade of just the pursuing and actually completing a series of training and higher education, and then getting to the other side and finishing it and entering the real world; going through a mini identity crisis and questioning my path along with whose guidance should I really be trusting going forward… and realizing that, you know, being in school, there’s a lot. Especially if you’re in a devoted field, there’s going to be – if you’re putting a lot of time and effort into certain fields, you’re training to become an expert. So that’s going to require an investment of time and mental energy and intellectual energy. And that can come at the cost in some ways of learning other things that might be more applicable, depending on where you are in your life and what your goals are.

So one of the goals of that book was to was to kind of vent in a productive manner, but also to forgive myself because I had been harboring a lot of anger, and just sadness about what I felt like, was a good chunk in some of my better years that I had given and really committed to something where partway through, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue, but kept going to persevere and thinking it would be the better thing to do. But anyways, that was kind of what was influencing the book, and also wanting to move forward in life, through letting go of the past to be able to move forward, but really strongly hoping that it would really help others and be a source of inspiration for others, so that other people – maybe like you who’s listening – can realize that you’re not alone in your frustrations, other people are not alone and in their frustrations as much as it can feel that way.

And also, a big part of it is as well is I find that as I’m getting older, this is really important to me, especially as I tutor several individuals who are younger than me and entering that stage of finishing high school or, or early years in university or college, and just wanting to provide that mentorship that hopefully, they can learn from some of my mistakes, but also contextualize it to where they are in their lives. So while while I was writing Congrats Superwoman, I had started my business, which is called Eat ‘N’ Live Free. And it’s really focused on food freedom, especially with that concern of overcoming binge eating. But of course, there’s other things that are related to it, such as stress eating, overeating, emotional eating, that kind of thing. And so the theme of freedom was something that continued to be the thread throughout many projects that I was working on. And so after creatively giving birth to Congrats Superwoman, and just kind of taking some time to let it be that, okay, this has been created, it’s out there now, like, just give yourself a time to rest. And I had to focus on some other stuff that were job related. I just kept getting these ideas of topics that I really wanted to go more in depth that were touched upon in the book. And so some of those topics include emotional freedom, time freedom, career freedom, creative freedom, financial freedom, productivity, and then certain things that are kind of really at the forefront of my mind, at least at this stage of my life, for example…

comparing homeownership versus renting, dating, relationships, potentially marriage, potentially pregnancy, to have children or to not, fertility, and then self love and acceptance.

So that has led to one of the major goals of this podcast, which is to encapsulate all of that. And so I aim to do that through sharing thoughts and lessons that I’ve learned from books that I’m reading, along with some life experiences and anecdotes. But also one of my favorite parts will be interviewing guests on the show – I love learning from other people. And I feel we can learn so much from reading different books, reading the words of others and, and actually getting to go into their head…people who are not even with us anymore, and reading the words that they had had written to get an idea of what they were thinking, and also picking the brains of other people who are doing certain things that we’re like, okay, that’s amazing! How did you achieve that? And what steps would you encourage us to take because when we have the opportunity to apply certain things to our life, it can help us to live a little bit more freely.

So before wrapping up this introductory episode, I’ll just share a little bit more about me and I’m sure you’ll learn more as time goes on. So first and foremost, I am a huge nerd and a massive homebody. So right now I’m very blessed, I have the opportunity to be working at a role where I’m currently remote. Because right now, it’s still in the quarantine – it’s currently may 2021. And so I love being at home. And my dream in the future is to be able to be at home most of the time and hang out with puppies and cats. And yeah, so that’s what I look forward to. And I really enjoy reading… very nerdy. And some of my favorite things include book clubs, and one on one fellowship. For example, with some of my closest friends, closest family, and just having heart to hearts, or even just vibing out with good company, even if we’re not saying anything, just feeling the good vibes of each other’s company.

So as you’ve heard, I’ve spent a large chunk of my life in school. And one of the biggest things that kind of is the underlying aspect of this podcast is that I feel – and you know, some people who I’ve talked to feel like – we didn’t really start really growing up until we entered our 30s. And, it’s like that failure to launch kind of feeling. And of course, we need to be very compassionate with ourselves and understand that we’re doing the best that we can with the knowledge that we have. But sometimes we also need to accept that we’re feeling certain ways. And so now, just at this stage in my life, I’m currently navigating the working world while building my education and coaching business. And I’m also entering a second career. And so in addition to all of that, just really trying to find balance and stay mindful, and aiming to keep my fitness and nutrition on track. And really, really wanting to kind of stay in tuned, because I’m a believer that God has a plan for me. So, that’s something that I tried to keep into perspective as well.

So in terms of the show, I aim to release one show every three weeks. And then get to a pace of once per week, depending on how things unfold. And so my goal is to have a connection with you. I would love to know who’s listening and what you’re gathering from it. And that’s one of the things I love about globalism and technologies – that ability to connect with people who are not local to you. So I would love for you to reach out to me. The email address is teachmefreedom2020@gmail.com. So if you glean any insights or if you have any suggestions or if you just want to connect, please feel free to reach out to me. You’re also welcome to post a comment.

And so, thank you so much for tuning in for the first episode. I look forward to connecting with you. And please remember, this is a key thing I’d hope a key message I hope to share in this podcast is please remember to honor your time and your energy. So this is Alisia Young, signing out and have a lovely, lovely day.

Season 1 Trailer

Transcribed Notes

Hello, hello, my name is Alisia Young and I’m so excited to tell you about the Teach me freedom podcast.

So this podcast is about attaining freedom and looking at what freedom means. And the different elements of freedom include time, freedom, financial freedom, emotional freedom, nurturing creativity, and just what does freedom even mean?

This is specially for those of us who are millennials and have taken the pathway in life, of going to school pursuing higher education and on the other side in the real world are realizing that maybe it didn’t pan out as we had expected. And we’re now kind of re navigating to, to really identify what freedom and happiness and a full life looks like for us and what steps that will take to achieve that.

So what you can expect in the show is that it will be a combination of solo episodes with me, your host Alisia Young, and I also aim to interview other experts, authors and entrepreneurs who talk about these different topics. I’m aiming to release an episode once every two to three weeks and then in the future seasons aiming for once per week.

You can also look forward to potential bonus podcasts with other content that may not be the same as what’s just previously been mentioned. In terms of where you can listen to the podcast.

You can find it on Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify, or your other preferred podcasting apps. And I invite you to subscribe so you can be notified of when new episodes are posted. I’m looking forward to connecting with you then.