Dec. 29, 2021

E164: Becoming Empowered You with Meredith Viguers | CPTSD and Trauma Healing Coach

In this episode, I sit with my friend, Meredith Viguers, and we talk about becoming empowered you. Meredith and I connected over dinner while we were in Dallas a few weeks ago during an event. And I had one of the best conversations I've had with...
See show notes at: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/e164-becoming-empowered-you-with-meredith-viguers-cptsd-and-trauma-healing-coach/#show-notes


In this episode, I sit with my friend, Meredith Viguers, and we talk about becoming empowered you.

Meredith and I connected over dinner while we were in Dallas a few weeks ago during an event. And I had one of the best conversations I've had with anyone very long time about leadership, entrepreneurship, and showing up for your people in about living life on your terms.

As many of you know, I'm an entrepreneur, Think Unbroken is a business; I run multiple other businesses as well, and often in the entrepreneurial space, it can feel lonely, for lack of a better term, but being in community is so important and so practical.

Meredith Viguers was born and raised in St Petersburg, FL, and relocated to Central Texas when her husband Jonathan received orders from the Army to Fort Hood. After years in the Insurance, Banking, and Real Estate world, she was ready to take a huge risk, and start her own business. She is the Owner of the Award Winning Central Texas catering company Let Us Do The Cooking and a Certified John Maxwell Speaker, Trainer and Coach. Meredith’s years of experience in the Corporate and Customer Service world have led her to become passionate about empowering others to discover, believe in and act on their full potential. That passion had led to her most recent endeavor with the start of Mpowered You. Here, she equips Entrepreneurs to smash through the ceiling of their limiting beliefs, and develop the right team to put systems and processes in place that allow them to grow more profitably with less of their own time.

Let’s get into the show; I guarantee that Meredith will bring us massive and tremendous value today to develop the right mindset for true success in life!

Smash Through The Ceiling Of Your Limiting Beliefs!

Learn more about Meredith Viguers at: https://www.letusdothecooking.com/

Check out her MpoweredYou website at: https://mpoweredyou.com/

Get a Paperback copy of Think Unbroken Understanding and Overcoming Childhood Trauma for FREE at: https://book.thinkunbroken.com/

Learn more about Coaching Program: https://coaching.thinkunbroken.com/

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Follow me on Instagram @MichaelUnbroken

Learn more about coaching at www.HealTraumaCoach.com

Get your FREE copy of my #1 Best-Selling Book Think Unbroken: www.TraumaHealingBook.com

Transcript

Michael: Hey! What's up, Unbroken Nation! Hope that you are doing well, wherever you are in the world. Super excited today to be joined by my guest and friend, Meredith, how are you, my friend? What is going on in your world today?

Meredith: Hey, I'm great. How are you?

Michael: I'm so good. Super excited to be here with you, so little bit of background for listeners. So Meredith and I connected over dinner while we were in Dallas, a few weeks ago during an event and I had one of the best conversations I've had with anyone very long time about leadership, entrepreneurship, and showing up for your people in about living life on your terms. As many of you know, I'm an entrepreneur Think Unbroken is a business I run multiple other businesses as well, and often in the entrepreneurial space, it can feel lonely for lack of a better term, but being in a community is so important and so practical. But before we dive into that Meredith, tell everybody a little bit about you, your backstory, and how we ended up in Dallas together.

Meredith: Yeah, so first of all, I want to say thank you so much for your time today and just the opportunity to continue our conversation. So I am Meredith Viguers, I'm originally from Clearwater Florida but I live in Texas have now for about 20 years and grew up in Florida as a pastor's kid and went through a lot of changes as things developed ended up in performing arts high school so I've spent a lot of time on a stage and in front of a camera, it's one of my happy places as crazy as that is for most people. And met my husband in Florida there and the reason that we're in Texas now is that I am a Serial entrepreneur and about 21 years ago we had our first rather expensive entrepreneurial lesson, and we went oh, we got to get jobs like we have to make some money and figure out how to do some things.

So his option at that time was United States Army and our first duty station was Fort Hood, Texas, we were literally using that for years to regroup, figure out what was next and during that time I started another company that would end up being our next, very expensive business lesson, but Texas kind of grew on us, we realized it was a good environment for our kids. We have three boys, our oldest son, Stephen is 24, he's in the Army now is stationed in Japan, our middle son Joshua's 21 and he lives about an hour from us in Austin, and our youngest son, Brayden is 14 about to turn 15 and then our middle son Joshua has a beautiful daughter named Olivia so yes, I am Mimi to an almost two-year-old.

We've been in Texas for a while now, I am the owner of three companies currently and investor in a couple of others, but my longest company is my catering company and still sort of the primary business called Let Us Do The Cooking and we've been in business in Central Texas now, for the last 15 years about a year and a half ago. I had acquired a 50% ownership in a honey company called Sweet Pea Gardens, which is also headquartered here in Central, Texas and then my passion and where I'm spending a lot of my time and energy now is in Empowered You, which is the company where I get to help other small business owners, like myself, figure out how to make business fun again because quite honestly, where I was about five years ago, was in a place with the catering company where I was done, I was over it.

We were 10 years in and by all outside accounts, very successful for everyone else and so I was working 80 hours a week, every week. I missed all my kid’s games, my husband was frustrated with me because I never had time for him, the money was never what it was supposed to be, I wasn't taking a consistent paycheck and I was fed up with it and literally ready to walk away not so just walk away and just be done. And so it was going to a conference much like the one that we're at a few weeks ago to be around positive people for a week that I kind of found myself again and realized at the end of that week that I was the one that was responsible for the outcomes I was dealing with and that's the hard truth to learn is that you don't get to blame anyone else, it was my fault I was in that situation 100%. And that once I realized how to really affect change in my own mind then the business could grow again and it was crazy that I wasn't doing anything different business-wise I just changed the way that I thought about the situation and it started to grow without me, which was the important piece.

And I really started learning about myself about my own thought processes, about the way that I could dictate the outcome that I wanted to have and I was able to start working with the team that I had developed over that time and really start building them. And so I changed my mind, the business started growing again, I was able to start developing my people and then they were able to start growing the business without me and so I could get out of the way and quite honestly, today, they run that company. And so as I built the other companies, I've been able to utilize sadly, which is a process I take a lot of my business owners through, in terms of changing their mind developing people and then getting out of the way because they're usually, the biggest hurdle to overcome is the owner of the business but yeah, so that's how I ended up in Dallas with you is that when I discovered all of that, a few years ago, I really, really started being intentional about growing and developing myself. And so I looked for communities and I looked for whether it was courses or groups or different things where I could just continually work on me and that's how we ended up having dinner together.

Michael: Yeah, I love that. And you think about this journey and so much of it is about mindset and mindsets of really tricky words, right? Because it gets thrown around in the nomenclature of personal development like no other but I don't really think people understand the power of what happens not only when you change your mind, but when you start living your life with intention. And, you know, I can rewind back to being 8 years old, knocking on the door, selling boy scout popcorn, and being entrepreneurial from the time that I was young and a lot of that being survival to, especially in my teens and just always thinking, like – I'm going to go, I'm going to show up, I'm going to do this finding myself in my 20s running successful businesses, but really like you being at rock bottom, being like what is going on and getting into this place where I decided; if I don't change the way I think about myself, about this business, about what I'm trying to do in the world, then I'm just, there's no reason to do this but people get caught up in it, right?

Whether it's in family or career or life, or even the church that they go to where they are just stuck in like – this is who I am and I'm not going to make changes and then suddenly you're like well now what. And you said something incredibly important that I hope that the Unbroken Nation is paying attention to and that is that you said that you changed your mind and decided to start living with intention. What was that journey like for you? What was the light switch there? What was it to step into that, so that you could then start to craft the life that you wanted to have, while understanding in this is special, that it was your fault that you didn't have the life that you wanted?

Meredith: Well, I think that's the first crucial piece that has to drop is that all of a sudden you've got to come to grips with the fact that you don't get to blame anyone or anything else nothing. There were circumstances that were going on at that time that would have been really easy for me to point some fingers at and quite honestly, if I told you, what all of them were today, it would still make sense where you could go, oh, well, yeah, that contributed to it and I could see where this but at the end of the day I have to look myself in the mirror and say that there was a decision that I made that put me in that place at that time with a result, that was very different than what I wanted. Now pieces of that were that if I look back now, and I'm really honest about it, I didn't know exactly what I wanted, I wanted a successful business, but I wasn't specific enough to say; I want this company to be profitable whether I'm there or not, I want it to be profitable without me working in it full-time, I want to have a great team who can take care of, I didn't know when enough at that point to be so specific about deciding what it was that I wanted in the business. I could have probably told you a dozen things I didn't want but as we all know, if you spend time focusing on what you don't want, whatever you focus on grows, and unfortunately, I was focused on what I didn't want and it just kept getting bigger and bigger.

So to own it and I often use this analogy, when I'm talking to people, if you don't own it, you can't change it. And if you think about the house, right? If you rent a house, what happens? You're not the owner, you don't get to go in and change the paint color, you don't get to move walls around, you don't get to redesign things, it's not your house, you're just renting for a while but as soon as you own that house you can get whatever you want.

So ownership creates responsibility and when we own our own results by saying, okay, clearly, I did something that put me in that situation whether I realized it or not, whether I wanted it or not it was up to me, I own it.

Now I can affect change in it because I've got responsibilities for it but if I don't own it, I don't get the change that. So that is the first shoe that has to drop I think for most people and this can apply to business, but it can apply to every area of your personal life too. You know, one of the things that I think I shared with you in Dallas that I'm being challenged with right now is just in my physical health, I said I wanted to do some things different this year I wanted to lose a little bit of weight and some other things and if I constantly look at myself in the mirror and say, oh I was busy today, so I didn't get to the gym or oh, yeah, I had to do the fast food thing because of this or because of that, I'm not owning that and this is an area, I struggle in, so this is just me being vulnerable and saying that I have to constantly remind myself that I choose the things that I want in my day. So if that is really important to me, I have to own my decisions around it.

So this is it's an aspect of every area of life. Once we own it, and we could affect change in it, then we have responsibility for it and if you think about kind of how we're wired is people when you have responsibility for something, you take better care of it, right? So there's an awareness that comes with that responsibility that allows you to treat it in a different way than you would otherwise and that was really the biggest thing for me is that I was able to start being super intentional. Now intentional doesn't mean easy John Maxwell said; “everything worthwhile is uphill and the only way to go uphill is intentional.” It is a pill, it doesn't happen overnight, but I can tell you it's a hell of a lot easier to do it that way and be intentional about it than it is to find your way, 10 years into something and go and how did I get here? You know, so it's a shorter period of time, it is more intentional and there's some hard work involved because you got to look at yourself in the mirror and own things that you probably don't want to own but as soon as you do, the changes come pretty quickly.

Michael: Yeah, and you said something really important in that and looking at the scope of your life. The truth is that you do have to take responsibility and that starts with acknowledging it and owning it but how do you battle that part of yourself that is still one to blame? Because I think and what I'm always trying to do is find out if there is a Mathematical equation in which I can find the variable to end and mitigate the risk of having to hit rock bottom before making that shift and so often and I raised my hand of being guilty this constantly. I always blamed everyone else, it's their fault, it's the government's fault, it's my parent's fault, it's the employer's fault, it's everyone else's fault but Michaels fault. How do you get and right now, especially in personal development is driving me fucking crazy that people are really okay with passing the buck and saying, well, it's okay, just accept it for how it is and they go, well, it's good enough and I always measure life as good enough is not good enough, of course, this is only a self-defined narrative no one else gets to say and what I choose to be good enough, but how do you start to step through to make that pendulum swing to go from I'm blaming the world to recognizing that through my actions I can create the life that I want to have?

Meredith: Yeah. So this is an interesting thought process and because it's something that I've actually been processing for myself for the last couple of days. I'm going through a bit of a journey right now, in terms of redefining some things and I think the first thing for me is, I don't get to say out loud that anything is anyone else's fault. So part of it is, you know, I think oftentimes, we feel like we have to make this massive change internally for anything else to occur and I think sometimes we do, just have to walk ourselves through it step-by-step, whereas even if I think cognitively this happened because and it's this person's fault, I don't get to say it and I'll get to open my mouth, so my brain does not get to hear my voice say that there's anything to blame anyone else for. So that's kind of the first step in that it's a really practical thing, right? That you can do because your words carry massive power in your brain and so that's a first step that I just don't get to say it out loud.

Now, the second step is I have to squash it fast when I think it, right? So, you know, one of the ways that people do end up with a lot of blame is they dwell, they dwell on things and the more that you dwell on it, the more power you give it in your thought process and so for me, I have to the second identify anything. And look as a business owner it's so super simple to blame a lot of things going on in the world right now and I won't go into them. It would be really easy and everyone around us is like, oh, yeah, no, this is why this and this is what? Okay, you know what? I don't get to; I get to figure out solutions. So what I look at is number one, I squash the thought as soon as I have it number two, it doesn't get to come out of my mouth but number three is anytime there is something that we want to blame someone else for it's because we have not yet come up with the solution on how to solve that problem for ourselves. So if we can flip the script and go okay, if I don't get to blame, anyone else, it's me, if I'm the issue, guess what? I'm also, the solution I get to solve this problem and so when we go into that thought process, then we always have something more to solve. And when it comes to this thing of, you know, what's good enough, right?

This is what I've been processing the last couple of days, so in fact, I was just telling someone the story yesterday. My husband and I when we first met in Florida, was literally our second day, we walked on the beach for four hours, we were engaged in five weeks, married in less than six months and honestly, if he would have asked me on that second date, I would have said yes, but we spent four hours walking on the beach dreaming our life together. We talked about kids and houses and cars and all of these different things, vacations, the kind of stuff that you get excited about. And what's interesting is today, 24 years later we live every single one of the things that we discussed all of them, it is our life. And yet I want more, I want more, it's good, but it's not good enough because now that I am where I am, my responsibilities have changed, I know that I have to certain more people. I know that I have to give more, I know that I have to be more and in order to do all of the things I need to do I've got to have more and so this whole thing of you know, when is it good enough, when is it good enough, it really happens, it will be because if it is, then we're not growing.

And if we get to this point where everything is now, that doesn't mean don't be content in the moment that you're in, and this is something that I struggle with because I'm so gold driven that I always want to move forward, so struggling to be content in everything that I have while I'm driven to move forward, is something that I constantly have to work on because it's very easy to get focused on the road and just go, okay, nothing's going to work until I get out there. But that's not a healthy way to go about it either, so it's kind of this constant struggle of I'm content with where I am because this is exactly where I said I wanted to be but now I know this isn't the destination, this was like a stopping point along the way.

Michael: Yeah, I love that and I totally relate. As a person who is so incredibly goal-oriented and looks at life from a perspective of momentum and really needing to understand the way that momentum plays a role in your life, IE the faster you go, the faster things start to happen and get into this place where I watch my life evolve and change because of the choices that I make, I'm an alignment with you entirely but it's so difficult, right?

When you sit down, you go, okay, I want to have this; people lose sight of the ability that they have to create the life that they want to have, and I often of said this many times. I believe that we live in The Matrix are we in a Malaysian, no, probably not but we are in this wonderful place in the world were now better than ever, we have the ability to create the framework of the life that we want. And it's literally at our fingertips and I look at the last 18 months of my life and I go, these are the best 18 months I've ever had And the next 18 will be better than these and so on and so forth, because I'm always thinking about what's next and that comes from being able to tap into my intention and I hear you very much as a person and from knowing you as this person who's able to not only tap into their intuition but bring it to fruition but that starts so much with listening to yourself. Has that always been something that you've been able to do, what was that been like? Because I know when I started like really getting serious about my journey to speak about Think Unbroken and step into this, I was like – okay this is terrifying, but I'm going to do it in every time I step further into my intended, my intuition and my gut I just kept being able to prove myself, right? What does that journey be like for you?

Meredith: So it's an interesting journey for me in that I think I am very intuitive, generally speaking. So I know what my intuition is at the same time I love to serve people and so I often in terms of finding my own voice stepping into my own intuition and things of that nature, I'd have let that take a backseat to all of the things that I do because someone asked me to.

And so a big part of that journey for me and this has really only happened somewhat recently is learning how to trust myself enough to say no and I think this is probably harder for women, generally speaking than it is for men and especially when you're a mom and you're a wife and you've got all these demands on your time, but understanding who I am and what I'm capable of is something that I've stepped into fully now, but I think for a long time there's a little bit of guilt that goes along with that, right? I'm going to say this specifically to women, they're listening to this because somebody really needs to hear it as a mom, especially we are made to feel guilty for starting our own business for not being there with our kids, every minute of the day when they're little, for taking them to daycare, for you name it, there's like, all of these kinds of things that people associate with that.

And what I want to say is you get to prioritize, just because you're a mom, or a wife does not mean that you have to step back and take a backseat, you don't have to wait 18 or 20 years until your kids are grown to do the things that you are supposed to do. And so for me where that really came into play is that when I started the catering company, I was six months, pregnant, with my youngest, son and my husband was in Iraq, okay, so I had two boys at home, he was deployed, I was six months pregnant, with my youngest son, no experience in the food industry, you know, when people say when's the right time to start a business, let me tell you. Yeah, I picked the perfect time, the reality is, there never is a perfect time, but there were people who gave me a hard time about like, is this really what your kids need from you right now? Well, you know what? Yeah, it was what they needed because they needed to watch me do the thing that I wanted to do because I was passionate about doing it because I knew I was supposed to, I knew I was supposed to. And so there was no question in my mind that I needed to move forward with it. And I think prior to that time, I might have let some of those outside voices, steer me in a different direction, but I'm going to tell you, I was so crystal clear on what needed to happen at that point in my life that you could not have told me anything different and in fact, so much that when I got the idea for that company because initially, I've been in banking for a while and I could not stand the thought of going back to a desk job, right? It's not me, I like to move, I like to be around people and sitting in front of a computer all day, is not my gig and so I was cooking for people because I enjoyed it my husband was deployed, I was trying to keep my mind occupied, right? And we had a fight over the phone about me, spending the money, I was making overseas, you know, providing meals for other families and so I had this idea that I could start this meal service, right? Clearly, if people called me all the time because someone just had a baby or was in the hospital, it needed some food it's because there wasn't a service that was doing that for people so that's where the concept came from.

And I just knew that I could make something work, I had no idea what it was going to be at that time. I mean, it's turned into this massive company and you know, thousands of employees over the years and, you know, all of these other things. But at the time it was literally just a way so that I could stay home with the kids and not go back to a desk job and my youngest son, his playpen was literally in my commercial kitchen to give you an idea. So when I called my husband and said, hey, I've got this idea, this is what I think I can do with this. He said, Okay, and like for anybody who knows us, I'm the crazy idea person, he's the no-man, like –he's very supportive but we have two very different risk tolerances and so when he said, okay, I hung up on him and he was in Iraq and there had been times where we had been on the phone and a bomb went off while we were talking. So, maybe not the best thing in the world to do, but I also knew at that moment that the second, he said, okay figure it out. If I stayed on the phone with him, if I gave him any more time to talk, he would have talked himself out of the okay, so I needed to take the affirmation that I had at that moment and go with it.

And three weeks later, we were knocking bricks out of the garage to turn it into a commercial kitchen, right? So when that intuition hits, and you know that you know, that, you know, that you need to move with something it's important that you move fast before, you have time to backtrack, before someone else gets in your head and that's how that whole thing went down.

But there were people, who did things, you know, this is not what your boys need from you right now. Well, yeah, it was exactly what they needed from that moment, and over the years, not my older boys they saw the struggles of that time because they were tendon seven, right? So they remember how tired I was sometimes and they remember some of the growing pains and all of that, but they look back at it now and are using some of those lessons to help them with other things that they're going through at the moment because they know that if they can watch me go through that and do everything I've done over that time frame, that they've got a lot of strength inherently in them just by virtue of being in that environment.

Michael: I love that. I would have got goosebumps. I wish you could see this because I sit here and I look at you and I go; wow! what an incredible human being because despite everything, I love what you said, like now is always the right time to do the thing that you need to do to make your life better. Quit the job, start the business, leave the relationship, ask the person to marry you, go on the trip, so all your shit, do whatever it is that you need to do because and I say this constantly to everyone who listens to the show, if you change your relationship with death, you will change the way that you act in the world because you may not get tomorrow, you may not get five minutes from now, you have to act. And I love by a very simple moniker, no excuses, just results. I very much hear that in you and that’s powerful. And first off, also, shout out to all of the amazing mother entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs in general and the world because we know this is not easy, especially when you're trying to create change impact lives, and serve people, it is an uphill battle, but one of the things that I think often debilitate people two things, actually, let's be clear about this; that debilitate people before they take action, is (A) trying to figure out all the damn pieces of the puzzle and (B) fear. How do you navigate these two things as a mom, as a wife, as a business owner, as a powerful leader? How do you step through fear and not have it all figured out?

Meredith: Yeah, so, you know paralysis analysis, right? People have heard that term for years and years and years but it is true. So this is the thing, a lot of people feel like they need to get it all together so that they feel like they can go do the fifth thing, right? And the reality is you cannot feel your way into action, but you can act your way into a feeling. So you don't get to feel a certain way before you're ready, you have to go do the thing and you'll become ready in the process. One of the phrases, in fact, I'm writing a book that this is the title to is, I dare you to jump and this is an exercise, you can do that does help with the fear. Okay. What is the worst thing that could happen? And I mean, think of every possible scenario that could go wrong, how bad it could possibly go and get stupid about it like things that are so wildly not probable, but if everything that could fall apart fell apart in the worst possible way, what is the worst thing that could happen? And write it down if you need to because once you've identified what that thing is like I said, take it really far then you can look at that piece of paper and go, okay, but How likely is it that it's really going to get this bad right? And then if you can look at that and go, okay, well, it's probably not going to be that bad, it may not be perfect but if this were to happen, I would still be, okay, right? You can kind of reason your way back out of the fear once you see how bad it could get that it's not going to and then you bring yourself back into a place of going, okay I'm probably ready to take a step and then take whatever the first step is.

So, you know, I ask people all the time when I'm speaking at conferences or different things to choose one thing that you do within 5 minutes now, I'm usually speaking to entrepreneurs. So typically this has to do with business, but it can really be anything in your life you want to do. So when you finish listening to this as an episode of the show, what is one thing you can do within five minutes to move yourself in action in the direction you need to go?

And that could be as simple as do, you need to make a phone call that you've been scared to make? Do you need to send an email? Do you need to have a rough conversation? Do you need to forgive yourself for something?

That's just one thing that you can do in five minutes, but it puts you in an active role because once you get into an active role in this is what I was talking about earlier, when I say, you can't feel your way into action, but you can't act your way into a feeling once you get into that active role and you start feeling the way that you wanted to begin with, it is so much easier to continue acting with that. But getting there in the first place is never easy and I know it sounds simple to say, you have to take the first step but really? where you go if you never take the first step, right? And so, all of the things, all of the analysis and trying to have it all figured out and all of that if you do all that, here's the other thing I can guarantee you, it's not going to be what you thought it was going to be. So everything you just analyzed out, you're going to have to change it anyway, so why spend the time to do it in the first place? Why not do something and then go, okay that worked so now I can put some things down here, oh, nope, that didn't work, we go back to the drawing board, we figure something else out but and with business owners specifically, it's why I hate business plans, it doesn't ever work the way you think it's going to it first. However, it never does so just go do something, put yourself in the mode of generating some revenue, and then figure the plan out as you go and that could be the same thing with Personal Fitness, right? Just go on the run, if you hate running, do something different tomorrow, but if you sit here and try to plan out your whole month's worth of activity it's not gonna go that way, just do something.

Michael: Yeah, and it never does, and it never does, I've never started a thing thinking to myself, I know exactly how to get there and then meeting every single marker on the way. Even this podcast, we just pitted the whole thing because of a conversation that I had with one of my mentors and I'm like, this is how it works, but it's more important to start get momentum, get the ball rolling, take an active role in your life, be the leader of your own life. You know, I talk about this with my clients and coaching constantly, you have to be the leader of your life, no one else is going to do this for you, nobody's going to live for you, breathe for you, act for you, love for you, this is on you, you're a leader. And that's one of the big reasons I wanted to have you on the show to speak to this audience because I've seen what you do, I understand who you are. But talk to me about the role that leadership plays in your life, what it means to be a leader, and more importantly, what it means for you to serve people?

Meredith: Well, that's what leadership is, it's service. So if you're not serving anyone, you can't lead them because people don't care about a title, people don't care about you being in a position of authority or anything else. You know, that's one of the things that I have subscribed to with my team, I have an amazing team and I have now keep in mind, I'm in the foodservice industry, it with this catering company and in retail, with the honey company and these are not historically Industries where people stay long term, right? There usually, very high turnover and typically, you know, you're dealing with lower skill and so lower-income and things of that nature. I've people who have been with me for 12 years not only that, but in 12 years, never called in sick one day, and that is because of what we've done as a cohesive team, and I can only lead them. Number one, if they allow me to because if you don't have anyone following, you guess what? You're not a leader, right? And then number two, is that I serve them and I find out what's important to them so that I can serve them in a matter or in a capacity that matters to them not that has anything to do with me. And I think that's one thing that a lot of leaders get wrong. Maybe they have the heart to serve people, right? Maybe they think they're doing great things but if you don't serve someone in a manner, that means something to them, they don't see it as service.

So I do talk to my employees, I find out what's important to them and their lives right now. Are they trying to save money for a house? Are they looking forward to a vacation? What's going on at home? Are things challenging at the moment? You know, if I can do something that helps them in an area of life, that's really important to them right now, they're going to be loyal because they understand that I care about who they are about what they're going through, and about what's important to them at the moment.

Now, yes, that benefits the company too, of course, it does, we're a business, right? So we're not there, you know, just around charity or anything like that but at the same time, if I was constantly having to find new people because every time someone had a challenge, I threw in an extra dollar an hour that's not a healthy place to be, but if I understand that somebody is going through a difficult time and the reason they're having some challenges at work right now is because of some stuff that's going on at home. And I have the ability to support the stuff at home, they're going to show up for me.

And so it's really important that the team understands that the dynamic of what we're doing is about helping each of them as individual people so that we can be a great team and you can do that at home. You know, if you're not in a position where you're leading a team at work, whether it's your business or you work somewhere else or anything like that, but ways, could you serve your family in a manner that is meaningful to them, right?

So if you're the type of person and for anybody who's listening, if you've never heard of the five love languages, it's a great book, but it talks about the five different ways that we give and receive love. And so, for your family like for me, I'm a gifts person, I love to give people gifts, it makes me stupid, giddy, happy to give people gifts, right? I love that, that is my husband's last leveling. So if I wanted to serve him in a way that I appreciate, I would go get him, things, guess what? That doesn't mean anything to him, it's not important to him, he's not a gifted person at all. Now that being said, I know that he really appreciates acts of service. So I know that the best way that I can serve him is that when he gets off a 24-hour shift from the fire department and he walks into the house and everything in his view when he steps foot in the house is clean and there's this feeling of peace that comes over him because I've, you know, lit, some candles so that everything smells nice, it's cleaned up and he knows that he can walk in, from that 24-hour shift and not have to do anything right away, right? That all he has to do is sit and have a cup of coffee, he knows that I'm serving him in a way that is meaningful to him, not as much to me, it doesn't matter to me in the same way, but that's important to him, right?

So, even when we're talking about leadership skills and roles, there are things, obviously that you can do in a work environment, whether it's your job or whether it's your business, right? So you can do that from any level and just to clue you into if you're an employee and you can learn how to do these things for the business that you work for, yeah, you may be an employee, but you're going to be one at a higher level because when people do this kind of stuff and they build the support and this kind of teams within organizations, those people get promoted. And so, you know, but you can look at all kinds of ways that you can do this in your community, I'm really involved in our local community, I just finished a two-year term as the chair of the board for our local chamber I said on the board for our Economic Development Corporation, we do a lot of work with our church and just serving in different capacities in the community. Well, if my community was riddled with trash in the parks and I went to them and said, hey, I'll come to feed people and they don't need food, but they need someone to come to pick up trash why wouldn't I just go do the thing that they need, right?

So learning to serve in a capacity that is received by the party that you're looking to serve, is how you create effective leadership and once you do that, and people know that you value them on a human level you can lead at a really high level from that place, but you've got to do it with the intention that you're looking to really place value on the individual and serve them in a really powerful way so that they show up for you as a leader.

Michael: Yeah, I could not agree more and so much of that starts with again, going back to intention like why are you doing this? Because I'll tell you right now, I've been leading people since I was 18 years old I had 52 people under me as a child, and let me tell you this, I have made every mistake that you can possibly make and leadership, which today I believe is made me an effective leader, but it all started with me being in a position in which I decided to believe, but I was capable of doing it and people will relate to that and people want to show up for you and this includes your family, includes your friends, including your partner, it includes everyone in your life, but it has to start with you and serving people and leading people can be a beautiful honor as long as you're doing it for the right purposes.

Meredith: It doesn't happen overnight because I look back now, you know, I was a 23-year-old bank manager, I was opening new branches for a National Bank and I was horrible, it was all like I have gone back to those poor people that worked for me at that time and apologized profusely because I had no clue, I had no clue at all. So it doesn't happen overnight, as long as you're working on getting better.

Michael: Yeah, but again it's to your point where, you know, what if you had all figured out you wouldn't know what you know now and you have to step into it, you have to be willing to take the risk. Trust me. I was terrified multiple times, throughout my career, hiring people, bringing people on training people, scaling businesses, speaking on stage as traveling, you know, whatever that thing is, but like if you don't face that fear, your life is not going to be different when you're gonna be laying on your deathbed, which you don't know when that is you're gonna be like, I wish I would have done something different. Meredith, that's quite conversations, so amazing, I could literally talk to you all day long but before I ask you, my last question, can you tell everyone where they can find you?

Meredith: Yeah, definitely connect with me on my website, it's mpoweredyou.com. You can reach out to me there, there's a free gift for anyone who is an entrepreneur or wants to know, five mistakes that a lot of small business owners do make in their hiring process, and how you can connect or correct, those that free gift that you can grab from my website if you'd like and yeah, I'd love to connect.

Michael: Amazing. Thank you so much for being here. My last question for you my friend is what does it mean to you to be unbroken?

Meredith: That is a great question. And I think what it means is that what doesn't break you does, strengthen you. And everything that we go through in this life might bend us a little bit but if we learn from it, it doesn't get to break us. There's always a point where you can look at something and say, okay, all right, I didn't like the way that went but I learned something from it and because of that, I get to move forward. It actually makes me think a little bit of the way that they construct and build bridges, right?

So if you're familiar at all, I don't know if anybody else when you were in fifth grade had to do that project with toothpicks where you build a bridge from toothpicks and then you see how much weight it can take before it snaps but if you look at the way that bridges are actually built and the way that the structures are designed, they're designed for movement because what's interesting is as that bridge moves, and it tugs and it bends and its suspension moves and all of that because it can be a little bit flexible and because it can be bend it doesn't break. And I think that's how we are as people, you know, we're designed to move a little bit to be flexible to bend and as long as we learn the lessons of why the construction is what it is, we don't break.

Michael: That's so beautiful. Thank you so much, my friend. I appreciate you being here.

Unbroken Nation, thank you so much for listening.

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And Until Next Time.

My friends, Be Unbroken.

-I'll see you.

 

 

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Michael Unbroken

Coach

Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.

Meredith Viguers Profile Photo

Meredith Viguers

Speaker/Coach

Meredith Viguers was born and raised in St Petersburg, FL, and relocated to Central Texas when her husband Jonathan received orders from the Army to Fort Hood. After years in the Insurance, Banking, and Real Estate world, she was ready to take a huge risk, and start her own business. She is the Owner of the Award Winning Central Texas catering company Let Us Do The Cooking and a Certified John Maxwell Speaker, Trainer and Coach. Meredith’s years of experience in the Corporate and Customer Service world have led her to become passionate about empowering others to discover, believe in and act on their full potential. That passion had led to her most recent endeavor with the start of Mpowered You. Here, she equips Entrepreneurs to smash through the ceiling of their limiting beliefs, and develop the right team to put systems and processes in place that allow them to grow more profitably with less of their own time.