[00:00:00] Welcome to the School of Moxie podcast brought to you by Sensible Woo. This is the podcast where we break the mold around business podcast conversations. We make it fun around here by using television, movies, and entertainment as a jumping off point for conversations about how we navigate the world as individuals.
I’m your host, Mary Williams, and I’ve been an online creator since 2010. I’ve seen a lot of trends come and go over the years. But one thing that has persisted is a struggle among entrepreneurs to connect more authentically with their audiences. As a business systems process and operations coach, I’ve seen how much my clients and subscribers have benefited from learning how to incorporate their fun sides.
So we’re going to demonstrate this for you here on this podcast through analogous thinking. Not only that, but we’re using media and entertainment as the lens through which we reflect on our own desires and strengths. Fiction is the vehicle that gives us words to articulate our value systems. And tells people who we are.
I find that a lot of my [00:01:00] audience, and probably yours as well, struggle to find words for their problems until they start thinking about how to use analogies. Analogies help us build bridges between something we can’t describe into a new area that we are in the process of developing. As humans, we are a languished species, which means we find context and meaning in our lives through the ability to put our feelings into words.
This podcast is going to help you normalize this process and see how it’s done in real time as my guests talk through their own experiences in relation to the episodes they’ve been assigned for this show. Our first season of this podcast is centered on the first season of the HBO original series The Last of Us, based on the video game of the same name.
Consider this your official spoiler alert. On this podcast, my guests are going to jump right into the conversation and we’re going to spill all the tea on the story and the plot. So if you enjoy being surprised, I encourage you to watch the episode first before listening to our discussion. Before we get into this week’s episode, [00:02:00] have I told you about the weekly readings that I create for entrepreneurs just like you each and every week?
I am an Akashic Records and Tarot reader, and I’ve been giving clients intuitive guidance coaching for just about 20 years now. That’s a long time. I know that most readers out there don’t focus on your business needs. So that’s where I come in readings with me are only about your business development, and it helps you feel more aligned with your intuitive messages so that you can incorporate those gut feelings and inner knowings into your business data for better results.
Click the link in the show notes and subscribe to my weekly email updates where you can get a free reading sent to your inbox every single week. If you want more, you can subscribe to the weekly extended readings, which are just 9 per month and help you get focused on your business energy every week.
No more Sunday scaries. You’ve got this better in hand than you know, and I’ll help you see it. Now let’s get watching and talking.
Hi, this is Mary, your host for The School of Moxie Podcast. Thank you so much for joining us in our first season. Now that you’ve watched the show and listened to the discussions with each guest, I wanted to take a moment together… just you and me, in your ears… to take a breath, take a moment, and do some reflections on what we’ve experienced together.
I’ve been a coach to small business owners since 2016 and if there is one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s that our modern world, while very exciting, moves at such a fast pace that we frequently skip over the gracious moments that life gives us to integrate the information that we consume.
As our business coaching industry goes through necessary evolution at the time of this recording, I want to make sure that I uphold my values on this podcast by making space for integration and reflection rather than jumping from one flashy topic to the next. I think I developed this type of patience when I was younger through my classical music studies. And while I didn’t make a career out of music, the patience for the study and understanding of nuance and detailed choices has really stuck with me.
I feel that this is what we are missing so much in our business activities right now and my hope this season was to kick off The School of Moxie Podcast with a season that was entertaining, engaging, and gave us all some proof of concept. You see, when I watch my television shows and movies, I like to really feel through them and think about them. It might be my nerdiest quality… and lately I’m discovering that it might also be my biggest advantage in entrepreneurship.
How we do things like consuming a television series reflects a lot back to us as individuals about how we do anything else. If you struggle to finish watching a series, even if it’s amazing, do you also struggle to finish your business goals? Listen, I’ll be the first person to admit that nothing is absolute. Sometimes we are better at this than other times and there are a wide range of factors that can impact or influence our ability to finish things.
If it hadn’t been for things like my classical music studies since childhood, I might not be as good at finishing things and it’s honestly something I still struggle with. But the repetition in my studies of learning a piece of music and taking it to a completion point, such as a performance or competition, instilled something in me that I notice regularly in my daily business activities. I see entrepreneurs from my coaching seat struggle with this as adults and it’s something we don’t talk about a lot or it gets wrapped up in a lot of extra stuff like mindset, productivity, or even manifestation practices.
But the thing that all these coaching modalities have in common is that we, as humans, as entrepreneurs, are seeking completion. We want to reach our finish lines. To meet our goals. To finish the darn thing.
And that has definitely been the biggest overarching lesson in season one of The School of Moxie Podcast. When you listen to each of the guests this season, more people than not freely admitted that this is not the type of show they would have finished watching. But because they had committed to me, their friend, they did finish the assignment. What you didn’t hear was some of the behind-the-scenes discussions I had with guests who admitted to me that they would watch up to their episode, then procrastinate, and then quickly binge the rest before our recording session. I found this behavior pattern to be absolutely fascinating.
Why is it fascinating? Well, I think it shows us all that especially for women entrepreneurs, we are trained in life to do more for others than ourselves. I will be the first to tell you that this insight as the producer of this podcast, also helped me identify these patterns in the rest of MY life as well. We don’t miss our appointments. We go above and beyond for our clients. But if the activity will benefit us personally, and especially if the activity rubs shoulders with leisure activities, so many of us will put it off until later.
Something that shifted for me and might also work for you is this: Treat your business goals this coming quarter as if you have a standing appointment with someone. The homework is due by a certain date, just like my guests had a deadline before their scheduled recording dates. If you have to actually make a scheduled appointment on the calendar with someone else to create a finish line, then do it.
This topic of finishing the darn thing also gets into a secondary theme that showed up this season, which is stepping outside your comfort zone with a low stakes endeavor. I didn’t even know until rather recently that my business of helping entrepreneurs with their systems was born out of my own ADHD coping mechanisms that I developed for survival and success since I was a teenager. Before we can finish things as neurodivergent beings, we have to also get started, which can be just as frustrating.
One of the reasons I love entertainment is because you can try all kinds of genres and if it truly is unpalatable, you can simply turn it off. Maybe it’s also the librarian in me… after leaving my corporate career and working in a public library for a brief period of time, I had to consume content that wasn’t my normal go-to genre. You cannot sit at a reference desk as a librarian and be unfamiliar with the entire collection. You don’t have to be a master of it all, but you do need to know of it, know what is in it, and know how to help someone who loves it get more of it.
It’s true that I really did love The Last of Us to such a degree that I produced a whole season of a podcast around this title alone. But I also picked it strategically because I knew that having a lineup of guests model real human behavior would be way more powerful than me simply telling you over and over about how doing something like this can rewire your brain and open up new strategic thinking pathways.
Why do we watch TV shows and movies, anyway? Why read novels? Why listen to podcasts? Why does storytelling exist? It’s been a part of the human experience since the dawn of communication. It’s not just about being entertained. It’s about processing your life’s experiences. It’s about having a source that reflects back to you an experience that you might not have words for yet… but the story gives you words. The story gives you courage to express yourself and grow in this lifetime.
So here’s the tough lesson… if you only stick to the same old material again and again, and you never branch out from that, your world becomes increasingly smaller, tighter, with less room to grow and expand. Now, if that’s your life’s goal then you can probably stop listening to this right now and you probably won’t like much of anything that I produce around here.
Because I’m talking to those of us who want to expand and make changes in the world. When that’s your primary aim, you have to try things you haven’t done before. You have to learn to get past fears that are not real. To keep your hand away from the remote control and let the episode play all the way through. To watch the whole thing without distracting yourself.
What do you see? What do you REALLY see? Where do these patterns of behavior show up in all of the other areas of your life and business? Can you sit with the emotions that you need the most right now?
In the case of The Last of Us, those feelings were intense and sometimes scary. But they were also full of pathos and a painful form of love. We have to be able to process these feelings if our businesses are going to also help our clients feel something as well. How about, to feel brave enough to say yes to your offer. To feel bold enough to pay your full rate and invest in work with you.
I noticed through all of the Covid pandemic and then this long period of us adjusting to a world that is forever changed, that because of our own daily survival needs our businesses have been trying to hack the systems, find the shortcuts, and bypass the human side of the work that we do. And honestly, it’s worked kinda sorta OK for the last couple of years. But I pay attention to people’s patterns and in my Tarot-Akashic channeling practice for my clients, I am always looking for the collective energy and how it’s moving. I can say with full confidence that our collective energy that affects our customers and sales is in dire need of a human touch.
And that was another reason I chose The Last of Us for season 1. This television series asks you to evaluate your humanity. Which brings me to my third and final reflection for this episode… As you listen to the guests this season it’s inevitable that you’ll love one person’s voice and perspective and not feel as connected to another’s. Why do you think that is?
For all of my fellow A++ gold star students out there, we can put our overachiever pencils down right now because there is NO right answer to this reflection. It’s about how you feel. Feelings. How do you feel? You’ve probably noticed how much I’ve asked you this question in this episode and there’s a reason for it! If you’re not feeling something, even if it’s in disagreement with the majority, then we are not engaging with our humanity.
Remember that note on finishing things? Can you finish an episode where you don’t feel the same as another episode? I saw a lot of viewers of this show bounce out after the Bill and Frank episode. Now, let’s be fair here, that was seriously some of the very best television we’ve had delivered to us in an awfully long time. That episode hits you in a way that makes your heart ache with both joy and loss… which is something we’ve arguably been feeling in the last few years… collectively… as well as individually.
But just like a whole series of a TV show like The Last of Us, not everything is a championship winner like the Bill and Frank episode. Some episodes are quieter. Some set you up a bigger storyline in a future episode. That’s kind of the point of storytelling… and I would advocate it’s also kind of the rhythm of your own business journey with your offers. Not every offer and every year in business is a winner. It can’t be. If they were all the same, you’d never know the difference between things.
So when you listen to the guests I invited onto this season of The School of Moxie Podcast, you’ll notice the same pattern show up. Some guests are clearly experienced at showing up, being recorded on a microphone, and having an engaging conversation with a host. Other guests are clearly less experienced and sometimes really struggled to find their thoughts, their words, and show up with their true feelings, not just the staged version of ourselves.
Where do YOU notice this showing up in your field of awareness? The answers you have are going to be different from the person next to you. Your super expert guest voice may not match with another person’s opinion and experience. Tune out what other people think or say… what about yourself? What do these voices reflect back to you about yourself?
If you find yourself disengaged or critical when you hear someone’s interview… that is show you data about yourself. The ones we love, they’re easy peasy lemon squeezy. It’s TOO easy… and it’s also the surface level that most of my entrepreneurial clients get stuck inside of for too long. It doesn’t matter how much revenue you can generate each year or how many people are on your email list. The addiction to only the things that are easy and that reinforce only our light qualities are the things that get us into trouble.
We’re talking about our shadow qualities. Did any guest this season make you want to recoil? Or check out of the conversation? Did you feel jealousy or envy at any point? Did you wish that you were on the mic instead? What do these feelings tell you about yourself and about what you need to do moving forward as a business owner?
Maybe it’s data that shows you how you want to show up more visibly in the coming year and that you want to exercise your voice to say what you’re thinking and feeling. Maybe it’s data that shows you how you want to change some of your offers so that both you and your clients are more excited to do some work together. Maybe it’s data that shows you how you’ve been hiding behind a curated persona rather than being who you feel you truly are in this world. Whatever it is… that part of you wants to talk with you. We’ve modeled how to do that through a podcast… you might take this into biz buddy conversations or through a journal writing practice or maybe through consistent marketing like your email newsletter.
And all of this comes from watching a television show. Who would have thought it? Well, I’ve been thinking it for years and I’m so thrilled that I’ve been able to evolve this analogy exercise into a podcast because we’re really going to be able to do cool things in this space together. Before we finish this season, I’ll be giving you a sneak peek into season two, which is already in pre-production.
I’m so grateful to my brilliantly insightful guests this season. They were so brave to do this project. They talked about their experiences and thoughts on the mic and you’ve now had the chance to hear them struggle to find their words sometimes and have so much to say in so many other ways. It’s an empowering experience to hear other people model this work of being a more relatable human and I know you’re never going to be the same either.
I am definitely not the same after producing this season and some of my own takeaways have been deeply personal as well as strategic for my own business’s development. We’re going to spend the rest of this first season doing some more deconstructing exercises and I’m also going to bring you behind-the-scenes production information that you’ve been asking for over on the socials.
I would love to know what your biggest reflection has been. Be bold! Leave a review on this podcast with your comments and thoughts and I’ll see you in the next episode…
This has been the official story. School of Moxie podcast with your host, Mary Williams. The show is written and produced by Mary Williams, and the episode was recorded in Vancouver, Washington at the Sensible Woo Home Office. Chris Martin from Chris Martin Studios is our editor and the sound engineer for this episode, additional Production and marketing support is provided by the AK Collective, founded by Amber Kinney.
I’m Mary Williams, your host, and the founder of Sensible. Woo. You can watch the HBO original series The Last of Us on max. com. As a librarian, I will always encourage you to check out the companion book Bittersweet by Susan Cain at your local library. You can find this show wherever you listen to podcasts and all of the links to resources, guest information, and anything else we might reference in an episode are in the show notes.
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Until next week, be sensible, be Woo, and most of all, be you.