In this episode, I am joined by Vince Warnock as we dive into Overcoming Imposter Syndrome and Shame. This conversation hits home for me in many different ways, and I think it will work for you as well. We all face shame, guilt, self-criticism, and...
See show notes at: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/e163-overcoming-imposter-syndrome-and-shame-with-vince-warnock-cptsd-and-trauma-healing-coach/#show-notes
In this episode, I am joined by Vince Warnock as we dive into Overcoming Imposter Syndrome and Shame.
This conversation hits home for me in many different ways, and I think it will work for you as well. We all face shame, guilt, self-criticism, and judgment in this idea of imposter syndrome where we don't feel like we're enough and undeserving of wealth, status, love, happiness, contentment, whatever thing, maybe.
Vince shares some incredible insights, not only from his journey of stealing food when he was a child to build a multi-million dollar businesses, but facing the shame, the guilt, and the Imposter syndrome along the way and the power of stepping into what he's decided to be in his life while still combating this idea of maybe, do I, or do I not deserve it. Such a profound conversation because I see so many parallels in so many of our journeys when facing shame and facing this idea that we're not enough.
So if you feel like you're not enough, if you feel like their shame, if you feel like there's imposter syndrome in your life, in your experience right now. I want you to listen to this episode and honor yourself with some vulnerability and honesty that maybe you deserve the life you want to have.
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Hey! What's up, Unbroken Nation! Hope that you're doing well, wherever you are in the world today. Super excited to be back with another episode with my friend, Vince Warnock who is an award-winning business and marketing strategist, coach, author, and host of the Chasing the Insights podcast. Vince, my man, what is going on? How are you today?
Vince: Michael, I am so much better than that. I'm here with you, I just get to hangouts. I know we're doing a podcast, but he meant counts just you and me hanging out, that's good fun.
Michael: Yeah, I'm super excited to be here with you today. So for a background because you and I happen to know each other and I thought to myself, man. I gotta have Vince, come on, he's got an amazing story and amazing journey, this amazing thing that he's trying to build with the podcast. But for context, can you tell the listeners a little bit about your background and how you got to where you are today?
Vince: My background is pretty interesting. I came from and it's similar to probably low audiences as well. Came from a broken family, so as in an abusive household, I lived with abuse through most of my childhood, we grew up in poverty, we literally made my parents used to see me down to the shops, to steal the food from the bank so we actually had food on the table for our kids. So through all of that, never thought I had any chance of success like success was a weird foreign kind of concept, you know, I had no role models in my life, I had no examples of how I could break through all of this, in fact, we literally were taught that anybody who had wealth, anybody who had the success that was them and we are us, we are not worthy of that as and they don't deserve it, we should have it but we're not worthy of it, so, therefore, we don't get it, it's just such a weird mentality to grow up.
And so, so grew up in that environment and standard then becoming an entrepreneur at age 11, I decided I needed to escape this, I need control and either something I could hang on to. So, I learned how to make money and I learned how to start a business and that then started my whole trajectory ended up, studying electronics, and Computer Engineering, and software engineering got really bored of that really quickly kind of transitioned into working on radio, working in many different Industries and then became a marketer and that started this whole transition through my career of going in and out of both entrepreneurship and corporate life until I found myself selling my largest company ever, which was common Ledger, there was a big eight for your exit, which was very exciting after three, and a half years, it was very, very exciting. And then joining the team at sooner insurance, as the chief marketing officer and did that for about five years until this is the crazy about man did that for five years and talk about success and not believing in yourself and blah, blah, blah, I'm sitting there on paper everything seems like crushing it, I'm sitting there in my really awesome office and I'm looking at this game man, the results from getting here phenomenal like, I've double the revenue of this place, you know, we've grown and grown, since the time I've been there, we were there, seventh-largest insurance provider, and now we're in second place and online sales. The thing that everyone said you can't do; you can't do online sales when it comes to insurance, I'm like amateurs, hold my beer, let's do this, we took it from less than 2 percent to around 48 percent of our overall revenue. So on paper it's all looking amazing, published my first book while I was there, I'm like, wow, this is pretty sweet, got a heap of awards even got recognized by Adobe as one of the top 50 markers in the world, and realize I was completely utterly miserable, I was really unfulfilled, I wasn't enjoying life or certainly wasn't enjoy my job and realize I needed a change.
So that all came to know about November-December, 2019, made the decision over that Christmas break, that's it. I'm out of the are talked to the CEO, she thought I was nuts literally said to me, do you know how much we pay you? Man, I'm like, yeah, but that's not about the money, she goes, I don't understand, I'm like, hmm, that might be why I'm moving on. The whole goal, Michael was to leave them to become an author, I wanted to write my next book and I was going to write full-time, and that was going to be it. It changed after about a week when I got insanely board, won't writing one book tune into two books, now, I've got I think for books being published this year, another three next years and then watch the podcast of course, and the whole world, then turned upside down because of covid and a lot of the businesses that I was interviewing for my book, I'm writing a book on imposter syndrome. A lot of the people I was interviewing for that all see, the same thing, which was a Havens, we'd love to help you but right now, we're kind of freaking out. We've got no revenue coming in the or we've got all the same overheads, we just would be certain which one down, we just don't even think we're going to exist in two months time.
So that start of the next transition of my career, which as you mentioned, was being a marketing strategist and a marketing coach and that really came about just from not being able to stand by and let that happen.
I remember, looking at my wife and she goes, you're going to have to help out with you and she goes, you're going to have to give them the unhealthy. Okay, so jumped in and said look, let me come alongside you, let me see what you can, and discovered very quickly that all of them said, yes, but we had no casualties. Every single one of them managed to turn around and to profitable during a lockdown, in fact, three of them, double the revenue and we even have one triple their revenue through that. So that started the most fulfilling thing I think I've ever done, which is what I do now, which is given alongside entrepreneur’s business owners and powering them, giving them confidence and helping them to find that success that I never thought I could have when I was a kid.
Michael: Wow, that's quite the story man. And I took some notes while you're speaking and just thinking about so many different parallels that I've had in my life in yours, you know, growing up very young stealing food to survive, being entrepreneurial, and just looking at life and even though there was always this measurement of, like – I can do better, it took me a long time to wrap my head around the idea that I was like – allowed to have success. And I wrote a note here that I want you to go into, you said, I grew up with this mindset in this family of not being worthy of success, looking at the other people and going, that's those guys, this is us. We're never going to be able to transition into that, you know, when I think so many people suffer from that, I call that money trauma, right? You know, I look at calling it an abundance, trauma wealth trauma because the reality is, I grew up, I was homeless, I stole food to survive and look, I'm not a billionaire, I don't know that I will ever be but I live life through this abundance mindset where I go. Yes, I deserve to have this. What was it for you at such a young age that drove you to say, I'm gonna go figure this out because I don't like what's happening right now?
Vince: Yeah, I think well, I actually there was one very clear reason which was somebody speaking into my life and I think that happens to a lot of us, but there was this growing frustration in me and I was getting to the point where I'm a child and I wanted to snap. As in I was sick of being afraid, I was sick of living in fear, which I lived in all of the time at home and school was my happy place that was where I kind of escape to and things like that, but I never wanted to go home it was like, this is not where I want to be. So there was part of me that was just boiling on the inside of this and just going at something that needs to shift and change and then I remember when I got to age 11, so we have the way, the schooling system here works in New Zealand. We have what we call primary schools, that's aged 5 to 10, then we go off to intermediate which is for 2, years, that's age 11, and 12 minutes it's a transitional school before we go to what we call hot college everybody else seems to go high school but in a age 11, I find myself in this intermediate school and I was a bit of a cheeky kid, I was very, very bright and I lived in a very low decile so a very impoverished kind of area of New Zealand and I remember the teacher was getting us to do, there are a couple of things he said to me one day, he said; oh look, we're going to do these projects each year, has to do a presentation on it and I was doing when I shacks or something and I said, oh well, why we worrying about presentations, when are we going to get the opportunity to do a presentation? And he goes, okay, what about now is it come out the front bits? And I was like crap, so I got the front, there you go again. Classmates are going to do a presentation right now for five minutes. What topic is he going to do it on? Now, eleven-year-olds, inherently creative a kid and so all that you're come up with was an egg and they thought it was hilarious, so he said, you've got five minutes to speak on an egg, give me 20 seconds to prepare and he said, write your time starts now. Now at the moment, he said your time starts now, the only thought in my head was literally with someone said all I could think of was that old stupid thing of what came first, the chicken or the egg. So that's what came out of my mouth. He goes go and I said, okay, what came first, the chicken or the egg, and then I don't even remember the rest, it's like my brain went into a different kind of mode, and I just started talking, and people were laughing, and I was taking them on this journey for five minutes and then he goes, right, you've got 20 seconds, left, and everyone was completely engaged was like, honestly, I was like a drug, I'm just seeing the going, these people are just leaning into what I'm saying here. So then I just got to the last 20 seconds, I managed to wrap it all up and incident obviously, the chicken came first and they all, as the crowd goes wild, but the classes went nuts, and I remember turning around to the teacher and it was like this bossy feeling on the inside, man, but it turned around so many girls. Vince, that was actually fantastic, seriously, man, you've got a gift. Do you realize you could do something really significant with this? And those words were so foreign to my brain was so bizarre to hear out of his mouth, that's like something from a movie, there so something I would have seen on TV, it's definitely not something you ought to see in my own life.
And I had this weird feeling on the inside and I couldn't remember what it was, I couldn't think of what it was, but it was the sense of somebody believing in me and that itself was one of the most pivotal points in my life. Because two things happen there, one, I started to actually think that I could do something significant with my life, it actually shifted my thinking there because someone has spoken it into me, but the second thing I realized is that feeling that I had, that intense feeling of someone believe me that's what I wanted for other people, as well. I want everybody you have that same opportunity to be able to know that they are actually worthy, that they don't know that they actually deserve happiness, they deserve success. So that's why it's kind of automatically transitioning to where I am now because what I do now is literally help people with that.
Michael: Yeah, that's powerful and I think I feel so reminiscent of a moment that I had very similar to this. You know, teachers play an important role in our lives and I think as much as they can make our lives better, they can also make our lives worth because sometimes it's that single thing in passing will you know, 99 out of 100 kids would have had that experience and it would have done nothing for them, right? Or worse it might have belittled them or made them, you know, the teacher could have reacted in a number of ways.
And on the other side, you got the one where you're like – wow! this is an amazing experience where Vince has impacted in a way that changes the trajectory of his life. You know, I was 18 years old and I didn't graduate high school on time you know, your college and so the teacher goes, Mister Brush, I'll never forget him till the day I die. I walk up to his classroom, I knew that he had failed me, I knew I had to go to summer school, I wasn't going to graduate with my friends, you know, I was literally the laughingstock of the school and he comes, I go up to him and as I missed her bus, I can't believe you failed me, and he goes, I didn't fail you, you did this. He said on the first day of school I told you the only thing you had to do was a check-in with me, make sure that you check in with me and do homework, that was it because I wasn't going to his class, it was 7:00 in the morning saying I was out selling drugs at night not happening. And you know, he's a teacher he's done everything for a year, so he's not surprised by this and he goes, check in with me do homework, I did that zero times events and at the end of the semester, he said the most important thing anyone has ever said to me in my life because the thing about life is you are going to have to work for everything that you want, if you want something, you're not going to get by on your charms, in your good looks you're going to have to work and that changed everything for me.
You know, I think about that often because there are the ups and downs of this journey, like whether you're measuring success against money, or happiness, or whatever it is in your life and we often get in our own way, right? We get in this place in our life where we're looking at and we're like, yes, people are speaking into has and yes, we feel inspired, yes, we follow motivated, all of those things, but there's still that moment where that fear or what some people call, imposter syndrome where you're like, looking at your life and you're going money doesn't equal happiness, but I keep coming here every single day until the moment was for lack of a better term you just break and you go, I'm done. What I'm always trying to figure out is; is it possible to mitigate the risk of that happening, right? How do you give someone the tools to create this massive change to have courage in their life despite fear and make that decision sooner?
Vince: Yeah, that's a tough question, man. I think part of it is helping them to understand the journey, understand what they've been through and this, this was a big another pivotal moment for me as I remember despite having that moment with that teacher, Mr. Few, his name was honestly really an inspiring teacher, by the way, it's like a tangent, but we were talking about math’s one day and we were like you don't use mass in the real world, you know, we were kids that was we found that really funny, is mass in the real world he goes, well, I tell you when you agonize, you need it and when like what you guys in four years time, what we call school see maths, is it when you do your school see maths? You are going to need to learn that otherwise, you're going to be humiliated he goes and I said, we'll be fine or subway, some chick, you comment, you guys, okay, then here's what we're going to do. Over the next three weeks, I'm going to teach you calculus, simultaneous equations, and basic algebra, the three components of the major maths exam he goes and then you're going to sit a mock exam and he had like old copies of previous exams and it backfired on and be time because we did this the whole class really annoyed with me by the way because it was my cheeky comment that got us there. But at the end of we set that exam, was a three-hour exam, we set the exam and at the end of it backfired because two of us actually passed, in fact, one of them in the class he got sick because you had to get a 50% fat past, right? He got some like, 60, something and I got up around there, almost 90% Math and that's when the teacher went, oh, okay, well obviously learning normal mess isn't going to work for you guys. So he pulled us aside every time we do a mass and he would teach us advancements and therefore when we got high school or college, I didn't even really need to turn out to mess, I could pass that exam in my sleep and the lowest mark got from any of my high school was around 98% for math. So I'm like that's a piece of cake but so even despite all of that I still couldn't really break through properly and what I mean by that is I had tried to launch a couple of businesses early on, in my career, I was still really, really young back, bring it back when I was young and they keep hitting the ceiling, something went long, something I did screwed up, something just didn't quite click and I end up having to shut those companies down and I was having a pity party with a friend of mine. And I was just, I was moaning about the fact that it's not fair, it's not fair that I had to grow up in the family that I did, it's not fair that I didn't have the opportunities that other people did, how come I didn't have anyone that could teach me basic finances or could teach me, you know, how to build a business or any of that kind of things. Why did I hit didn't know have those role models when I was a kid, and I think I was annoying him because honestly, I was having such a pity party and he turned around and he goes, you do realize something versus it, what he goes, everything you've gone through, right? The good, the bad, the ugly, every single part of that actually counts for something and this was something that, before my brain, I was like – huh? What do you mean? He goes, well, he said I wouldn't wish the bad stuff that happens to you on anybody right? And neither would you. I wouldn't wish any of that, I wouldn't wish your upbringing on anybody anything like that needs to but I tell you what it's made you into who you are now and I happen to think you're pretty awesome. And that was a moment where I realized that we can either be held down by a lot of that we can actually cut look at that like I wasn't a victim mentality or I can break through that and go you know what that has made me into who I am now and who is that person? I had to learn to define myself, I delude that the things that I've been through helped me to be empathetic towards other people and help me like when I deal with anybody who's dealing, who's been through abuse? I can empathize with them because I've been through that myself, but I also know how to break through that. So this shifted my mentality, and I think because there's no magic bullet. I think for anybody, you can give them all the tools that you said, you can give them all the tools, the methodologies. I could teach any entrepreneur, how to make money it doesn't mean they're going to make money, they have to show up for that but to do that, I think they have to understand who they are, and that comes from the journey that they've been through. So, I think if we articulate that if we help them to, to own that story, to own the past, to own who they are now more important than I think that's going to help them to break through a lot of their stuff and actually turn up as themselves.
Michael: Yeah, I mean, I couldn't agree more. I think so much of this and look, Vince, I think we both can agree, it's difficult, right? You know, I often get this, people look at me and they go, well, you're somehow special, you somehow figured it out, I go well, Vince did too, and I don't think Vince is any more special than I am, I don't think he knows anything more than I know, I think that it's a situation where you know when you play the victim which I did for a very long time, so I always raise my hand to this and then you look at it from this space of accountability, and you say, well actually the reality, as I'm not culpable for those things, it's not my fault I was abused, I was homeless, I had parents who didn't do what they needed to do a community who didn't support me, that's not your fault. Like I think we both can agree on that but there becomes a point in your life where you have to measure your behaviors and your inadequacies and the things that you're not doing to take care of yourself and recognize that it is on you and I think that's such a difficult thing for people to the palate and what that was my experience too, that's why I found myself at 25 years old, 350 pounds, drinking myself to sleep, everybody knows the story. And then you have this moment where you say, I am going to take responsibility for my life and it's difficult and it's this incredibly hard journey because we sit here and we always are in this place of measurement. And what I mean by that we're always looking at other people, why can't I have this? Why can't I have that?
And I just think about this like, you can. So Vince what I'm curious about, how do we help people understand that they're capable of having that? And people use the word abundance, you can define that however, you are I just think about making your life different. How can we help people understand that?
Vince: I think one of the things we need to do like it was, first we need to address this whole thing, you just talked about which is because I do this as well as that comparison and also step where we go, I want to be like that person or I'm not like that person or I'm not like this person and things but what we discovered like – one of the family things I found out is and this is crazy news to a lot of people, we're all actually pretty similar like you said this and we're not any more special than each other, we're just individual and what I mean by that is often the people that we put on those pedestals that we want to be like other people that we comparing ourselves to they're not even there. Well, this is our interpretation of where they're at and I found this out first hand, so I got the ultimate honor of being recognized as one of the top 50 marketers in the world and that was for somebody who suffers from a pasta salad by the way that was a little hard to swallow. I'm sitting there going, literally, you want to list? I can give you a list of 100 people that have been in than I am at this, come on people, think about what you've done here or I thought when I got over, I was like, whatever the same for cisco and they were announcing that the 25 Keynotes at this conference, they were the top there, basically the first cohort of The Fearless 50, which is the top 50 marketers, and I'm looking going, this is insane obviously they've got wrong since we're not going to get a click and I'm going to get up on stage and it's like, oh, they turns out this to your the same name the moron. So I went through all of this, but one of the things I discovered was and I'm there at this conference being recognized with all of the people I look up to in the industry and these are the people that I idolize the people I consume every book that they ride are consumed every taught they put out there for starters I was going to hear them face-to-face, which in itself was like, well this is going to be amazing. But then you're at this thing they all want to go out to dinner afterward and they want to go out drinking. I learned two things there, by the way, number one, Americans are lightweights, when it comes to drinking, I'm sorry, but I'm a kiwi, we go to Whiskey Bar and you guys are sitting on the floor, go whoo-hoo, and I'm like, guys, I'm not even sorry buzz video. So I lived that but I also learned that when people start to open up, they start to show you aspects of their lives and you realize these people that I put on these pedestals that I want to be like that, have these ideal lives, these ideal journeys, these ideal careers are actually as much of hotness as I am. And I remember talking with one of my biggest idols I won't name him, I don't want to embarrass them but remember turning around my big guy Idols, and I was just passing that I was even in the same room as this person and he's chatting away when he gets a Holly's getting film for the drafting of thirds, you don't understand, man, it's so tough out there said, I'm pretty sure my girlfriend's going to leave me. I mean, won't you guys? Yeah, a man whose spending is out of control and just I know she's not happy and I don't feel worthy man, seriously she's going to walk and he goes. The worst part is all the spending has meant that I'm struggling financially and I'm going, hold on, why are you telling me all this? I looked at this person as though they had a perfect life, I looked at this person and I used him as a benchmark, I said, okay, if I'm not where they had in that gap between me, and them is my failure, that's the gap of what I haven't achieved, instead I started to realize, actually that gap wasn't the gap at all they were all over the place as much as I was. We're all individuals, we're all flawed, we're all failed, we're all just human beings trying to get by now that leveler understanding their understanding that, we're all in the level playing field will help you to understand that you deserve as much as anybody else. You've got as much right to success and love and happiness, all those things, as any other individual on this planet.
So I think that for me, is one of the things we do need to address, is this comparison. So, stop comparing ourselves to other people because they're not even there that's our interpretation of where they're at. Instead, look at where you've come from, look at how far you've come and life, look at the lessons you've learned along the way, so the things that you've done the failures that you've made the scar tissue that you've got from it. Look at successes, you've had, look at all these different things immediately, you are now based on where you were before, not where you're perceiving you should be.
Michael: Yeah, I subscribe to that and such an intense way, because I'm a firm believer that the narrative of life is much like literature and that it's you versus you narrative and when you look at life from the scope of comparison or jealousy, it leaves a lot of room for misinterpretation because the reality is, you know, and it's so funny because I'm lucky enough to have really incredible mentors in my life, people, who'd go, how did you get in connection with that person? And when you're in connection with that person what you recognize is like they have mentors too? Everyone is in this journey they're looking at the person one step ahead of them so they can go and create the life that they want to have. And I think about that every single day and for me, it started with this idea of, okay, where do you begin? What is step one? What is actually take? You know, not I measure this idea of my life and what I want to build and what I create against the goals that I put in place and I just go, okay, what do I have to do to get there? How do you get there? I think, one of the hardest parts about this Vince is that people are terrified to write down their goals because it's often preceded by, I'm not good enough, I don't deserve it. Who am I to have this thing? Talk to me about how you navigate that?
Vince: Okay. One of the things I did, which was funny, because I've suffered we call this imposter syndrome, obviously, this is a sense that you don't belong at that table, the sense that you don't deserve the success that other people here, are all the sense that you're going to get found out. Everyone's going to know, you have no idea what you're doing, by the way, I would argue that none of us know what we're doing, honestly, we're making this journey up as we go along, that's absolutely okay, that's not a problem.
But there was a couple of kind of pivotal moments for me, I remember one of them I was looking at other people's successes and I started looking at these; it is that I looked up to us looking at these people that we're making major coin of what they're doing, and I started to realize it was actually no pattern in amongst these people. You have Harvard graduates there who had grown up in wealth and growing up and surrounded by people that could, you know, help them and Mentor them and people that gave them good role models for all this and they were star pupils going through and I said, okay, well, they were obviously always going to succeed. And then you have the high school, dropout, your people at Russell Brunson, we failed at doing marketing school, you know failed at doing all these different things and yet it was crushing it and I'm like, the only consistent thing here is they believe in themselves. They've actually realized that they've got as much right to this success as all of us because if you look at it, there one thing that holds us back isn't other people, it's ourselves, it's our own thinking.
There's a conversation and share this about with a peer of mine, a friend of mine and she was somebody who consistently turn up online and what I mean, is that Facebook lives, multiple times a week, constantly putting content out there engaging with different people and just very vibrant kind of hyper-personal type person and I was like, this is cool and it's a good friend of mine. I thought I knew she was going through a launch, so I thought I'd reach out to her and see how things are going and I had looking realize, she's actually tune-up on social for a couple of weeks, she must be on holiday, so I thought yeah. And then I was like – I know, she's in the middle of a launch that can be Holly, just seeing her a message and said, hey just checking in, how are you doing? How are you getting on? And she came back with two words, I'm okay. Now, I'm okay from a person like that means a whole pile of other things. It means I am definitely not okay, Vince, I'm really struggling right now, I'm spiraling, there's a whole pile going on, I just don't know how I'm going to cope. So I thought, right, that's it, I need to reach out to it properly. So let's jump on his own coach because no, no, no, I had a catch-up on assume called now haven't done my hair and makeup and it well, neither have I, so you're okay and we laughed and finally got around to zoom call in, she just burst into tears and was like this, I'm really struggling, I'm spiraling right now and the reason it happened, funny enough was from success. So she was going through a launch phase forms to reach and said, hey we want to do this profile on you as an entrepreneur, that's a pretty big deal. So they said what we want you to do is we want you to fill out all this content, so they seem to these things that she had to write, at the same time she had a large corporate comes here and go, hey, I know you're doing your coaching work and things like that, but I really need you to do some consultation work for us, we're going to pay you back loads of money essentially. So can you put a proposal together for us?
So as you add these two things that she had to do a proposal and a writing up, the thing for Forbes and immediately didn't feel worthy of that, just sort of feel whelmed at this potential success right in front of her, so procrastinated. And in a week went by and she hadn't started either of those two weeks went by, same again, three weeks went by, same again to the point where it actually got really embarrassing and then shame kicked it.
And then she didn't feel like she was, like – comparing ourselves to other people would do this easily, why can't I do this easily? I'm such a failure. I'm such a loser and while she was describing, this to me, this was very wrong, and very open for her and she was talking about this pain that she had. I just turned around with, oh my goodness, same here, she meant what I said, oh, yeah was made last Tuesday and I said to him at the fact that I do this as well as he died, funny enough, it was a large corporate and reached out to me and said, look, we need your expertise and the weirdest thing is it was about lead generation for an insurance brokerage. I'm going, I could do this in my sleep like this is easy and they said, yeah, we just need you for a weekend, we just basically need you to put some effort into putting a strategy together for us and I'm like, yep, sure, not a problem, that's a great put a proposal together, huh? Okay, and then I got in my own head and I thought if I put the proposal together, then it's not to be as good as the agencies they normally deal with because I'm not an agency, and what if it's not what they expected to, what if they reject me? what if they think? Oh man, we want to have actually skies an idiot. What if you do all these thoughts and it just caused me to procrastinate and to the point where I didn't take any action.
So I told her that and I said, I had two fronts up to that and I told her what it did, I actually reached out to them I thought I woke up one morning and thought I need to change this pattern. I need to disrupt this pattern immediately, so I reached out to them and say, look, I just want to be open and honest with you. I'm really struggling to put this proposal together, it's not because I don't stand this, I could do this literally in my sleep.
You guys know, I'm the expert in this, I said, but the problem I've got is I started getting into my own head, I was really open with them. So I shall get in my own head about, you know what, you're expecting for the proposal, and that started to make me a bit overwhelmed, and I just, I procrastinated to the point where it's just embarrassing. So, totally understand, if you don't want to deal with me, but if you do, let's crush this and they said, actually we really need your help get into the office now, we got in there, we just wrote it up on a whiteboard. Done. No proposal necessary, that's what we need to deliver did that and got paid heaps of money for it. But I told her the story and in sharing that story with her and being open with her about that and her being open with me, we realize we all go through the same kind of stuff, I'd seriously we're the best at getting in our own way. And a lot of that comes from that insecurity in that fear or that's like the Imposter syndrome aspect of it. So having somebody else to talk to is incredibly important, but being emotionally honest about that is going to help you to deal with it.
So we started saying, hey we need to talk about this a lot more than other people, so we did. We even did a Facebook live and for this group and the two of us, just joking around talking about what we've been through and put ourselves out there very vulnerable, young man, like – very vulnerably that people could easily judge you for that kind of thing and say, well, you can't you procrastinate on putting together a proposal, what the hell is wrong with you? You call yourselves amazing entrepreneurs, like – people do this all the time, but actually, the response from people was, oh, so good to know I'm not alone. So good to know I go through that as well and like you guys, you know.
So I think that's one of the keys is actually being emotionally honest without it actually getting out of our own way essentially and having someone you mentioned it before having someone to hold you to account as one of the most important parts of all of it, it's one of the things that you said every successful entrepreneur and I mean, every, I'll be very surprised if there was a single successful entrepreneur that didn't have some form of mental or coach or someone speaking into their life and the reason for that is because they've realized the truth that we need to realize and that is you can't do this alone. You can't do entrepreneurship alone, you can't do life alone, we are not designed to be alone, you need people that can prop you up when you need to people that can lift you up when you fall down, people that can stand by your size, celebrate, your successes with you. So, you need to make sure you got people speaking to you.
Michael: Yeah, and I think also events, you need people to push you like – the truth of it, you know, and I think about this often, but there is a space in this conversation around mental health, around personal development, around growth, around everything, where, you know, you got to get pushed a little bit. Like if you really want it because you have to get so uncomfortable, this is why I think people fail to understand one of the greatest benefits of having a coach. It's so that you get so incredibly uncomfortable that you're forced to grow because you want the things so badly on the other side of the action, right? And it's difficult, right? Because on every on the other side of every single risk that you take is fear and that fear only goes away, like, it keeps you awake at night, right? You're like, man, you got to pull the fucking band-aid off, like – you have to put yourself in a position to be successful in your life by being willing to see what's on the other side of that fear. Leave the job, leave the relationship, start the business, travel the world, do the thing that keeps you awake at night and in that having some support having someone around you, not a cheerleader, but someone to be empathetic with you, someone to be compassionate with you, but simultaneously say, yo! get your shit together, like that is so game-changing right? I don't think someone like you got this really gets it done but I do think someone saying, I understand where you are, I have been there, let's go, make it happen, is the difference between success and failure in your life. You know, one of the things I'm really curious about is Vince, you know, the side to about chasing the insights. Talk to me not only about what the podcast is and what that means but as a whole, what kind of role does that play in your life?
Vince: Man, this place is a big one. So this came through early on in my career, a lot of the startups I was creating. One of the things I realized is that we come at it with this mentality, we come at this with this try or fail, so either succeed or fail rather, so, you come at these things and I was really on trying to build this business and it was like, right, okay, I need to test something. I went out there, I will need to validate this thing, so I went out and I thought I'm going to validate this idea of this business with building, I'm going to grab a clipboard again, grab a pen, give you go in the street and I'm going to get feedback from people and that was scary because what if they don't agree with me that this is going to be a brilliant, brilliant idea. I soon discovered by the way that when you grab a clipboard and go out in the street and try and interact with people, they think you're a crazy street preacher or all you're asking for money. So, I learned some new colorful, swimmers that were fun, but nobody really responded to me, but I finally figured out I ended up hacking a coffee line, so, I mean into a cafe and start sending people, I'll buy you a cup of coffee if you give me some feedback, so it's getting all this feedback around it. And one of the things I realized is when we come at things like that when we come at life and we come up business, we come with their own bias, we come with their own cognitive bias, which is we're looking to try and prove that we're right. We're looking to try and prove that we know what we're doing and that's how I was approaching this originally. I was looking at going, hey, I've got this great idea, do you agree it's a great idea? Rather than actually getting them to be truthful and open with me telling stories or that kind of thing.
So I started realizing that I was looking at this wrong, I was looking at this as I'm going to try something and it's either going to succeed or I'm going to be a failure. Instead, I had to reframe that in my mind and go I'm going to try something and I'm going to learn from it. I'm going to try something and it'll either succeed improve my hypotheses or it's going to disprove my hypocrisy and therefore I am now going to have learned something major from it, I'm going to gain more insights. So I started trying to bring that into my own life and then I started every time I built a team I was like, right, we're going to try experimentation, we going to try new things, were going to try all these different things to push the needle for our business, we're pushing it for what it was, we're building and I had to change their mentality and say okay guys, it's not about chasing the winds, it's not about chasing the success, it's about chasing the insights. When you approach this and go everything I try is going to be a learning experience for me, everything I try is going to add value to me that helps you to basically take that leap that you're talking about before Michael and helps you to actually press and go, you know what, I've got this because on the other side of this is either success or success its success or its learning. So that became the framework that I kind of started creating through my businesses and there. And then for me, I realized that transcended so much more about life than it was just about entrepreneurship and the biggest example because all the way back to that age, 11, because as well as having this inspirational teacher, as well as having this teacher that really believed in me I had something else at that school that I hadn't encountered before, well certainly had an encounter in the school environment. You see growing up in a home, where you have a bully, we have somebody who just oppresses you and makes you feel like you don't have any value. I still hate school as my safe space but at age 11, I go into this class and I suddenly found I had a bully at school and I was like, well now I have no safe space at all, now, I've got nowhere basically everywhere I am, I'm constantly anxious, I'm constantly in fear, so that was not healthy for me mentally obviously, it wasn't healthy for me at all.
So it's for two years, this guy made my life an absolute help then we got to age 12 or about to go off to high school off to college and he went to a different one to me. So I was like – then I am free, this is the best day of my life, I no longer have this bully, is going to be glorious. So we just got out a few kinds of mind abilities, but not to the extent that he had told me to me, for those two years. So, I went off to my college time, like right now, when I got to college, I made a decision at that point. I am sick of again being a victim, I'm sick of people taking advantage of me, so I learned to fight and I don't they threw do any martial arts, I did Thai boxing, I did boxing, I did come through and I threw myself into those, I was like – if I'm going to do this thing, I'm doing is hardcore. So I was training every single day, third angel, probably 17 and I certainly wouldn't be in an action movie but yeah, it was like, I could defend myself if I need to, but then came the glorious moment because I found out that this bully that I had many years ago and this Intermediate School, he was being transferred to my school now. I am an avid movie Watcher, I've seen every 80s movie, every John Hughes movie, I've seen Revenge of the Nerds, I know this narrative, I'm like, I know what's going to happen there, this is going to be glorious. This is the moment where the victim moment where they're pressed one comes out on top, the underdog, finally wins and the bully finally gets his comeuppance. I'm like, this is going to be a glorious moment man. So he transferred to my school and I saw him walk past and I'm like, here we go, so I yelled his name and I yelled some explosives and he turned around as he always did and he took some swings at me but this time it was different, instead of taking swings of them, connecting and moved out of the way. I'm like, no, nope, nope, and I'm like, cold is gonna be good as all building up inside me, I'm like, here it comes, here it comes, he finally took this other swing it, I lay them out. I'm not a violent person at all but I was like, this has been building up me for so long and he went down like a light he was out cold and I thought this is going to be glorious, except I felt terrible. I was like, this is not what I pictured, this would turn out late and then I found myself in the principal's office as you do when you fight at school, and the principal pulled me aside and he said, look, do you know why he got transferred to the school? And I said, I've got no idea, I don't care. You know, I was a seventeen-year-old, I was trying to be strong for my own, whatever he goes, well, you should care he said, because this boy and his sister and his mother had been brutally abused by their father since he was a toddler, in fact, the but the father had beaten them so badly that his mother actually passed away in front of him and his sister though is the dead murdered them in front of the, two of them. Now, the dad went off to jail and the two kids were put in the custody of an Auntie and Uncle who lived near our school and that's why they got transferred at school and I was, I remember the sinking feeling in my stomach knows, well, I didn't know that and he goes, I wouldn't expect you did he goes, but of all the people that could possibly have understood what he was going through of all the people that could possibly have been there for him, I would have thought you would have been the one. And that was a moment that hit me like a brick, Michael, because I learned two things at that moment, one I learned I wasn't the hero of that story, I was the villain, right? I built up all these 80s movies, by the way, 80s, movies, lie, to you, okay, any of those movies where the underdog comes out on top there, absolute rubbish, right? Violence solves nothing, trust me on that one but the other thing I learned there is, I had no idea this man's story, I had no idea why he reacted the way that he did, I had no idea why he behaved and way took it out on me, but by learning that I would have had the opportunity to be there for him. I have the opportunity to empathize with them to say, hey I've gone through the same man, you don't have to end the way that you think it has to end, now, it may not have helped him but it may have.
And that's when I learned, you have to get insanely curious about everybody, you have to understand and that's what drove me on the journey towards being what it doing, what I do know of and marketing itself is just understanding people's behavior, understanding their minds, but you have to be inherently curious, you have to look for insights, you have to look for all those little points that give you the indicator of what's going on in that person's life.
I was one of the things I've taught my kids, when we're walking down the street, I would teach them about this. In fact, one of my proudest moments as a parent, then they, I know you're not supposed to have favorite kids, both my kids, my favorite I'm just saying that out loud now in case they're listening to this, but I remember when my daughter she was at would have been wasn't college or primary school, she would have been around 10 just before 10, and she was hanging out with a group of girls that were typical girls of that age, they all come with their own baggage in their own insecurities and what had happened, there was a scenario that happened, it was right the principal's office and the principal called us into the school and well, I honestly man, my daughter was such a goody-two-shoes, we told her that like we're not going to celebrate every time you get, you know, top of the class and that anymore because it's getting boring. Like just do something naughty, do something mischievous, get detention then we'll celebrate will take you out for dinner with a half, joking with him, but we kind of secretly were hoping you did something naughty. And then the principal called us and said, I need to tell you about something that happened when she's done something wrong? They were like, oh, what did she do? But what had happened was the teacher the principal witness this entire scenario, so my daughter was there, the bunch of other girls and there was one girl there that was slightly overweight, right? And my daughter’s friends were there and they were all chatting away and one of them turned around said, oh we're going to go and play some sporty gamer, can remember it was like, netball or some we're gonna go and play netball, but obviously, you can't play that because you won't be able to keep up with us. And my daughter, just saw the look on the southern girls face, this look of rejection of just being judged of, you know, like shame and everything, but I do my daughter's been, no, and she walked in front of the girl, put her behind her, to protect it, she turned around, and she spoke directly to her friend, her best friend, who said this and she goes, I'm thinking I should probably change the names here, she goes, Jane, look, this person is my friend as much as your friend as much as all of our friend, right? And I don't like the way that you talk to you and I know the only reason you're doing that is that you're worried if we spend time with her, we're not going to spend time with you, but you need to understand you're as much of a friend as well and we value you and then she turned to the person next to it and she said, you're only reacting like this because you want to be included, you think, if you speak out against this even though, you know, that there was horrible, what just happened, you know, if you speak out against that, you're going to get rejected and you're worried about that, but you don't have to be worried we accept who you are. Then she spoke to every individual in the around their motivation as to why they were picking on the site, one individual, then she turned around, she said, look guys, I love you all right, but right now I'm going to go and play with her and you guys already come and apologize to it, we can hug it out and then we can all play together. And makes, you know, there was this crying and group hugs, or this kind of thing was incredible, beautiful moment, I'm sitting there and there's principal's office thinking to myself, hold it together, man, and they realize, I'm dripping tears everywhere I'm like, okay, I'm not holding it together at all and it was such a proud parent moment to know that.
She not only stood up for the skill, but she understood the motivation of everybody there, she didn't do the stupid thing that I did at college and lash out at that particular person for their behavior, she understood the motivations behind it. She understood the insights that she was gaining from the interactions, and she just went, I'm going to speak to that and I'm going to bring you all together. So she's a far better, human being than I am.
Michael: So amazing store events and I mean, there's so much you can take away from that and you know, the thing that comes to my mind is, you know, I used to be of the persuasion of the best way to make a bully, stop bullying you was to punch you in the face and it might actually just give them a hug, you know what I mean? And the reality is, and I love this idea of chasing the inside because you just don't know, it's the old adage like don't judge someone tells you, walk a mile in their shoes and I'm always, I think we're all guilty of this so, I don't want to pass judgment here, I'm always just trying to be better about. Don't judge that person, you have no idea, you know, and like, even though my life was like, really disastrous growing up there, whether there's was worse or not has nothing to do with the fact that it has nothing to do with me. And so the best thing is to live this life with compassion with vulnerability with hope, and just try to leave a better impact on the world than what you came into and that's such a big driver for me, obviously, you've impacted that in your kids and your lineage, and that'll live far beyond you and that's a really beautiful moment. Vince, my friend before I ask you, my last question, can you tell everyone where they can find you?
Vince: I made this super easy, but who just got to chasingtheinside.com Stockholm. It's the home of my podcast, I have amazing against on it including Michael, but also it's where you'll find my books, you'll find links to me on social and look reach out to me on social connect with me and this, you're a spammer I don't really like spammers too much but if you just really want to get to know someone have a conversation, I'm always available there and if you are an entrepreneur and there will be some of the audience here and you really are struggling with marketing there's also a link on the other book a free call with me, totally encourage you to do that. I give you a free strategy called where I'll give you clarity on any issue that you're really really struggling with their marketing.
Michael: Brilliant Vince, my friend, my last question for you is, what does it mean to you to be unbroken?
Vince: There's such a profound question, man. I love this. So, to be unbroken, to me it's not necessarily about not having scars, not having broken bits essentially, it's not being bound by that and what I mean by that, it's actually truly understanding who you are because in that is so much Freedom. It's understanding that you're flawed that, you know, I like the person that I am, I like the person that I am, I've always been told I'm too nice, always been told all these negative aspects of that and I went realize one day, these are not weaknesses, these are superpowers because this is how I want people to tune-up for me, right? So and I realize that's not for everyone, I realize that I have downsized I suffer from depression, I suffer from anxiety, I realize there are days where I don't want to give out a beard, I realize there are things that I do that irritate other people but by owning all of us by realizing hey Vince, you're a giant nerd, right? You're a Star Wars fanboy, you love everything Marvel, your comic book nerd, you're just owning who you are by owning all of that, the good, the bad, the ugly, and everything means you are unbroken because you are unfitted, there is nothing that is holding you down, right? Being unbroken is not about being completely whole, it's about not being held down.
Michael: I love that, very well said, my friend, thank you so much for being here.
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Author/Podcast Host/Marketing Coach
Vince Warnock is an award-winning Business and Marketing Strategist, coach, author and host of the Chasing the Insights podcast.
An ex-radio announcer with over 20 years in marketing. Vince has been recognized by his peers with numerous awards including being named a Fearless50, a program to recognize the top 50 marketers in the world who drive bold, fearless marketing and digital transformation.
Previously the CMO at Cigna, Vince has founded multiple companies including the Chasing the Insights Academy where he empowers entrepreneurs and business owners to make sense of marketing and grow the business they have always dreamed of.