Aug. 17, 2022

Natalie Dawson - Finding Confidence and Courage | Trauma Healing Coach

How Do You Build Confidence in Yourself? Confidence can be a tough thing to build up. But today, we will talk about how to put together some handy tips to help you and be the hero...
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How Do You Build Confidence in Yourself?

Confidence can be a tough thing to build up. But today, we will talk about how to put together some handy tips to help you and be the hero of your own story.

In this episode, we have an amazing guest – Natalie Dawson, who serves as the EVP of Operations focused on talent acquisition, development of business growth strategies, and strategic workforce planning activities.

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Michael: Hey! What's up, Unbroken Nation. Hope that you're doing well wherever you are in the world today. I'm very excited to be back with you. Another episode with my guest and friend, Natalie Dawson who's the EVP of operations at Cardone Ventures. Natalie and my friend, how are you today? What is happening in your world?

Natalie: I am doing fabulous today. My world is looking very bright because I get to go to Cabo San Lucas tomorrow. So, I'm just busting out some last-minute things to do. And then it's all SPF and sunshine.

Michael: Awesome. Well, I appreciate you being here before, you know, what's really funny is whenever I travel, sometimes my brain gets erased and I'm like there already. And so, I appreciate you being present with us here today, it's gonna be super exciting. For those who don't know you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got to where you are today?

Natalie: Sure. So, I grew up in Vancouver, Washington, and it was a very small town, I felt like I was around people who were really choosing to be just average. And if you've ever been to Vancouver, Washington, it's rainy, everything that contributes to you, not feeling great on a day-to-day basis are all of the circumstances that is Vancouver, Washington. And so, as I went through college, I got an internship and the company was owned by a guy named Brandon Dawson. And this was about eight years ago and Brandon Dawson and I ended up falling in love. I've been working with him now for eight years. We are now married and I've had just the most incredible opportunity to work alongside not only my best friend and the love of my life, but also somebody who is an absolute genius when it comes to all things, business strategy and leadership. And so, I've learned skill sets. From a very hard like standpoint because being the girlfriend and the younger girlfriend was very difficult for me very early on, cuz I didn't know what my place was, and I didn't feel the confidence because I didn't have the experience yet. And so, it's been something that over the years I've worked through to were now. We started a business about three years ago called Cardone Ventures. And we partnered with Grant Cardone and Elena Cardone on it, and now I have 120 team members after three years and we're just crashing it, being able to help business owners grow and scale, but it was quite a journey from Vancouver, Washington to here.

Michael: Yeah, and you guys are crushing it as someone who knows a little bit closer than most. I wanna start with Vancouver because as someone who spent a significant amount of time in the Pacific Northwest over the course of the last six years, who now lives in sunny, Denver. The one thing that I felt really, really strongly as I was there is that people have a sense of desperation in their eyes. It's like, there's something about being in that environment in which you kind of watch people's dreams die. And look, we're not shitting on Vancouver. Let's be very clear. I wanna be very clear about this, cuz this is an international epidemic. What was it like for you growing up there and kind of experiencing that in real time?

Natalie: You know, I think the weather like is as silly, but like not silly as it sounds, weather really does affect your mood and that has been clinically proven. And I don't think I recognized it until I was out of the environment. I started spending more time in Scottsdale, Arizona, that's where I am right now. We also spend a lot of time in Miami, Florida, and the Washington thing like once you're in an environment that has a certain cadence and rhythm to it, you kind of think it's normal. And when you're growing up in an environment you've never really experienced anything else so, you just think that everybody else is experiencing that, but I'll never forget. I was traveling one summer, a few years back and there was two stops on our trip. One was Scotland and the other was Florence and Scotland was rainy and cold in August and Florence was beautiful. And I really realized, like you have the ability to choose where you live and you don't have to be stuck with where your family grew up or where you have all of these connections, you can move. And if you feel better and there's more opportunity in a different place, you should go there. So, I really feel that way about Vancouver now. I wish somebody would've shook me a little bit earlier and said, Hey, maybe this isn't the right place for you and I think I would've gotten further ahead much sooner.

Michael: Yeah. I agree. And you hear that whole adage from GC himself. To get what you want you gotta give something up. I've found that very true in my life now, having moved, traveled, lived in 12 different countries, tried different things just to see what it's like, but it feels to me. And I've experienced this in my own life, that there is this pulling in your environment that it's the people around you, it's the circumstances around you where it's like, don't go, don't do that, you're totally taking a risk, this is not gonna work. There are people listening right now, I know who so desperately want to step into what's next for themselves and end their lives but they feel trapped literally by their community. How do you navigate that?

Natalie: You have to just put it aside. You have to start thinking with and I feel so blessed to have chosen to fall in love with and marry somebody who's 25 years older than me, because what it does for me is put into perspective how short life is. And I tell Brandon this all the time, it's not his favorite topic, but like, I only have a finite amount of time with him and knowing that I only have a finite amount of time with him, I want to make the most out of that time. But then I also, it makes me remember like, wait a second, I also have a finite amount of time here. And so, this idea of death and having death around me, not that Brandon's dying eight times in, this is part that Brandon doesn't love so much, but like this idea and this kind of constant, like just thing that's in my life with him and our age difference really does put into that perspective that I don't want to be 85 years old and be stuck around the same people that I was stuck around and to be talking about the same things and to have not really gone after it. And I do believe for anybody who's listening to this right now. A lot of people have those feelings, but you have that moment, you watch a movie that's inspiring or you go listen to a podcast and then you get back into your normal environment and you don't take the action to make the change. And so, I like to think of it in the reverse of like, how do I make this experience so painful for myself? How do I really live in? Oh my God, Natalie, what if you were in Brandon shadow the rest of your life because you never figured out how to publicly speak because you were so embarrassed and insecure. Like imagine being 85-year-old you and feeling this way. And all of a sudden, as soon as I think of 85-year-old, Natalie, I'm like, she is not gonna feel this way. I'm gonna conquer whatever I need to conquer now in order to not have to show up as that person in this lifetime. And death for me is a significant motivator more so than the opportunity, you're like what a glamorous awesome life could look like right now ‘cause that oftentimes doesn't actually force the behavior change.

Michael: That's such a great point. And I've often said, if you can change your relationship with the death and time, you will change the way that you operate in the world because assuredly it's fucking coming, whether you like it or not. And one of my people ask me all the time, what is my fear? I literally only have one fear in my life and that is that I will die with regret and anything shy of that like I'm fucking jumping off the diving board. Now I will say this, it took like rock bottom to be able to get to that place, to even be able to say that. What was your journey being able to step into this mindset, because I'm gonna guess, and I don't wanna put words in your mouth that this is not where you started.

Natalie: No, it's totally not where I started. I was so insecure for so long and in my story, you know, sometimes you look at people and you think, man, they were born like that. I look at my husband or I look at people like Grant Cardone and it's like, they must have come out of the womb and just been able to be charismatic and energetic and I had none of those skill sets. And so, I really felt very introverted being around people like that. And I told myself that story for the longest time, until it really clicked for me. I was sitting at a 10X growth conference back in 2019, and a guy by the name of Pete Vargas, went on stage and was talking about how you need to be able to share your message and your story in order to make an impact. And that message at that point in time, really pivoted my mindset around how selfish I was being by allowing myself to become so introverted that I wasn't able to help other people. And at the time I was more focused on helping other women specifically in age gap relationships, because it's a difficult thing to navigate and not a lot of people talk about the challenges because it does seem like it's something that comes from privilege but really what happens is you get lost in yourself. So, I had worked with Brandon for many years before, and I had this business skill set, but this thing that was really plaguing me was the insecurity around the relationship and this idea of 85-year-old, Natalie, dying on her deathbed, still being introverted and having lived in Brandon shadow for the rest of my life was the real catalyst for me to say, okay, I'm gonna own my story, I'm gonna learn how to communicate with other people, I'm gonna do the things that I need to do to get confident in myself, I'm gonna work out every day, I'm gonna wake up early, I'm gonna read books, I'm gonna become that person. And that catalyst moment happened to be at the exact same time that we met our future business partners, who allowed us to join for forces with them and start connecting with their audience, which also gave me the encouragement being around the same type of like-minded people who are the 10Xers. And their growth and their stories kind of fueled me and propelled me to just continue with it and not give up.

Michael: I think there's so much space in which we make that declaration to ourself. Right. I'm gonna do that thing. I'm gonna show up. I'm gonna wake up early. I'm gonna execute. Was it literally a 180 for you? Because for me it was a struggle. Like I go look at from 26 to 29, these three years of my life were so fucking difficult because it was like one step forward, 8 million steps backwards. I think people often get caught up in this idea of like, oh yeah, they just made a decision and everything was different.

Natalie: I love that you talk about this and ask this. This is such a great question, because I've never been asked this question before. But no, it wasn't one decision where all of a sudden there was this 180, in 2019, I made the decision that I was going to start public speaking, that I was gonna get a speaking coach, that I was gonna go through courses around my story, so the journey really started in 2019 in January of that year, working out three times a week was the original target. And then the real catalyst for me was actually COVID. And I'll never forget when the whole world shut down and I heard Grant Cardone on a webinar, telling people that now is the time to get your discipline in, it is not the time to sit on the couch, it is not the time to drink excessively, it's not the time to just panic and freeze. Now is the time to reinforce and really implement those things so that you have confidence during a time when everybody else is likely lost their confidence. And so going into COVID and quarantine, everything changed for me then I moved from going to bed at like midnight, most nights, waking up a little bit later to I was in bed every single night by 9:30. I worked out every single day. I did Card University trainings every single day. I entirely changed my diet, and one-and-a-half-month span that we were in quarantine in the Pacific Northwest entirely changed the trajectory of the past two years, because it gave me the discipline that I needed. And it was that, that was like to me, the biggest pivot. But now those things are routines and habits that I can't imagine living life without, because I know how strong it made me, but know it was initially this constant battle for about a year and a half of one step forward, maybe not 8 million steps backwards, but maybe like three or four steps backwards and then feeling a lack of confidence in myself.

Michael: You've used that. You've said that a couple times now I wanna dive into that because especially, I know that people listening right now in this audience, as we talk about mental health, as we talk about discovering who we are, becoming the hero of our own story, it's that thing about confidence that I often point to as being the differentiating factor between success and failure in life. And for me, I look at discovering confidence as an equation where it's consistently doing incredibly uncomfortable things continually that help you become who you are. When I discovered at about 27 years old that I had no confidence nor had I ever had confidence, honestly, it was kind of like a fucking baseball bat to the face because I was like, oh, this explains so much about why it's drugs and money and cars for me and not this internal drive to be the best version of myself. What became the shift for you in confidence? First off, how did you identify that a - you recognize you did not have it? How did you reconcile that experience? And then how did you start to gain confidence?

Natalie: You are fantastic at asking questions. Have you ever thought about being the host of a podcast?

Michael: Once or twice.

Natalie: Because has that ever come across. You're phenomenal at asking great questions. Wow. So, just a little aside on this, have you watched the genius documentary with Kanye West, the three-part net Netflix series?

Michael: Yes, it's incredible.

Natalie: Like the fucking confidence that he had prior to launching college dropout, to ask somebody, to film a documentary of him when he had $10 to his name, moving to New York, it blows my mind. And so, when you talked about being in your late twenties and not having confidence, and then juxtaposing that to Kanye West in his early twenties, it does make you wonder, like where does this thing called confidence come from? And the Kanye West thing like I still recently watched it so I'm still trying to process my thoughts around why he was so confident and yet I didn't have either.

Michael: I have a theory on that if I can tell you really quick. Go and watch the scene where he's in Chicago after the radio station, his homey blasted him and he comes back home and his mom opens the door, it's like two in the morning and they sit around and they're having wine and drinking and talking and having fun and she's singing back the lyrics to his song to him. And you just watch like that belief, I don't know, because I wasn't there, but my theory is that his confidence came from his mother believing in him. And for me it was like looking at my confidence grow was from others, believing in me as well, but also showing up every day.

Natalie: Interesting. I'm not disagreeing. I just have to like really, like, my parents were really supportive of me and I feel like I grew up in this like bubble of an environment where people, it wasn't quite to like the Donda level, like his mom's name Donda, for those of you who aren't super fans of Kanye West, it wasn't to like Donda level where he could do no wrong, it seemed like to her. But I just feel like I had people who were telling me I was doing a great job and like get after it and yet I still somehow started my early twenties, nowhere near that level of confidence and really questioning myself. Do you have a theory on this?

Michael: I don't because I didn't live your life.

Natalie: Fair. I appreciate like the healthy discussion around this cuz there aren't very many people in life that you can really like talk about these types of things too.

Michael: Yeah. Well, and look also that I think there's that space in which sometimes, and again, I wouldn't live your life, but there's kind of this polarizing experience where on one hand you have my childhood homeless as a kid drug addict at 12 years old and at 15 years old, getting expelled from high school. Right. And having to fail my way into it and then there's the other side, the juxtaposition where some people do have these great relationships with parents and, you know, Grant talks about good enough, you're great how you are and that becoming this thing that ultimately can hinder you. So, I don't know, it's weird cuz I think about it all the time, but ultimately something happened for you in the same way that it happened for me. And so, what was the shift for you and how did you go through that process of like recognizing fuck, maybe I don't have confidence?

Natalie: I had a speech. I think I was fairly confident in high school, but I had a speech that I gave very early on in my career to 45 people around this U-shaped room. I was supposed to be speaking for 45 minutes and I'd given some public speeches before. I'd always gotten nervous, but I never bombed it. Uh, and I always felt like I was like in my high school class, I was valedictorian, I always knew like category like I'm smart, I've I did well on my SATs, I always did well on standardized tests. And so, I had this presentation that I felt nervous going in for, but when this presentation happened, I completely bombed it, I gave a 45-minute presentation in under five minutes, it was just horrifyingly embarrassing that I proceeded to stand at the front of the room while somebody from the back of the room gave the rest of my presentation for me. And from that moment forward, I could not be in a meeting with more than three people and actually communicate the thought that I wanted to communicate in my head, it made sense, but it just came out in these jumbled sentences that were run and all convoluted. And so, that's when I knew, like I lost my confidence and I allowed myself to be in that for about five years, I would not give a presentation, I would not give a speech. And Brandon, my husband said to me, you've made it to this level in your career, you will never get to the next level, unless you really develop this and you make this a focus. And that was kind of a little bit of a kick that I needed, but more so it was watching other freaking badass women go do the things that I wanted to do, and really recognizing like Natalie, if you would just get over this whole thing. You could go do that too. Like you have everything in you to be able to do that, but you're choosing to hold yourself back and not really go for it because of your lack of confidence. And that to me was like, I just had to keep surrounding myself of images with these women or of these women and surround myself with documentaries of them, even watching people like fricking Beyonce. Beyonce to me is such an inspiration watching her and hearing her story, I would play those videos over and over and over again, just to be in an environment that I kind of fabricated for myself in order to be around people that were doing the things that I wanted to be doing, not that I wanna, you know, shake my ass on video and sing anytime soon, but just like the presence and the story and the change and the impact that she's made that was a big portion of my evolution to just believing that I could become something different than what I was at the time.

Michael: Yes. And I wanna see if I can go a little bit deeper in this, because I believe that there are a lot of people who will do that. You got the fucking vision board, you have all the journal notes, you have all the things in the world about what it is that you want. And yet they lack the most important part of that and that's action. How do you step into action when you've decided about who you want to be? Because I still feel like there's so many people where they're just like, fuck, I want to do this so bad. And it's just like, tick, tick, tick.

Natalie: That's another fantastic question. Cause I really do follow and like I prescribed to all of the vision board and the book reading and the podcast listening. Man, what was so uncomfortable for me, it was being around Grant Cardone and Elena Cardone and in a new environment that demanded Natalie became a different person. Like I could not have continued to be in Brandon's shadow and continue to not communicate even though I had things to contribute if this new business and this new opportunity was gonna work out. And so, being in that environment, I remember the first time that we took a trip with them, it was like a couple months into the partnership and they worked out every single morning. I was like, oh my gosh, I have to get in the gym and work out with them because I can't let them think that I'm not 10X, cuz I know I can be 10X even though if I'm not all the time, 10X and like those moments of actually being in an environment where there's pressure to see, okay, am I gonna make excuses for myself or am I gonna let myself off the hook and just continue to coast in the way that I was, I think was a big contributor. I think that's really ultimately when the change happened, but then that COVID piece, you know, when the quarantine hit. We were calling like Airstream vendors so that we could create an Airstream Park on our property in Vancouver, Washington, because we were so terrified about what was gonna happen. And we had so many business owners depending on us, so having that external pressure of, you know, that people, even if they're not actually looking at you, how do you conjure and make up that somebody is paying attention to what you're doing? And if you had a video camera on you at all points of the day, would what you say and what you think and what you want actually be congruent with those actions. For me, it felt like quarantine we did have a video camera on us the whole time, because we were constantly talking to clients and constantly talking to people who needed our help and when a catastrophe like that happens, and everybody is in panic and shock, I made a very conscious decision, I want to be the person that somebody calls as somebody who is stable and can help in a situation like this. I don't wanna be the person that's just checked out or gonna go on a trip and just entirely leave the business behind. And so, I think that also like that call to be a leader that everybody had the opportunity to either step into or bow out of was the like ultimate catalyst for me.

Michael: That's powerful. And I heard someone say recently that even if you don't think people are paying attention, that they are. And that was a really interesting thought process to have, especially with what we're doing and building over here. And I think about this idea about leadership frequently, because truth be told we all in the same way that you had that experience with Pete, it's like we all have to step up and use our voice to make the world and be the change that we want to see in the words of Gandhi. And I think, a huge aspect of that truly is stepping into the discomfort of being around people who are above you and level. And I don't mean that they're better than you, let's be very clear about that because I do think about people as my peer, maybe I'm just not there yet. What role has that played in your life by putting yourself in the right rooms, by investing in yourself, by making those decisions?

Natalie: It's changed everything for me because it's made it real that, what they are doing is possible until I have a picture. I'm not some visionary, I'm not Elon Musk who can just imagine like going into space and creating something. And I honestly don't think that most people are, I think most people, was not born with that. I'm great at other things I make up for it in other ways. So, I really do look for people and I've always done this since I was in middle school. I remember picking up my very first book, it was called the Starbucks experience and just being around information and people who produce that information, that show you that something is possible for you. And like the peak conversation and sharing your story, you have no idea when you're making the decision, how fucking selfish you are being by introverting your story and not sharing it people just because nobody else has your story or you haven't found somebody, who's an example of success that has your story.

So, you introvert, you don't share your story, you look at other people who are similar to you and have done things that you want to do and maybe you've done a few of those things, but you're unable just because of your own lack of clarity in your own like visualization of what your life could be to actually go out and share that. And yet that's the exact thing that somebody needs in order for them to be able to step out, cuz they don't see themselves in the person that you look up to and the person that was the inspiration to you. But when you're making the decision, you don't think of it as being selfish, you think of it as being shy or it like it masks itself. I have to tell myself all the time, Natalie stop being so fucking selfish, you having a bad experience and you feeling insecure about yourself, even this podcast, like me sharing these things, I'm in a operating role where I have 120 people who report to me every single day and it's scary at every level to be able to be vulnerable and share like what hasn't worked for you, but how selfish is that of me? Or you, if you were embarrassed about being addicted to drugs when you were 12 or Grant, if he was addicted or if he was embarrassed about that and he never shared those things, like the whole world would be a different place if you guys weren't making this impact, if all of us weren't really choosing the unselfish path. But you have to really tell yourself I am being fucking selfish to snap yourself out of the self-doubt that you can sometimes create for yourself.

Michael: Yeah. Oh my God. I love that so much. And you know, I look at my life when I was 25, I was 350 pounds smoking two packs a day, drinking myself to sleep and I was being so selfish then. Cause the only thing I cared about was like make money, buy cars, I'll age, myself, Sean John suits, and like being like this is my life and fast forward a whole decade plus later. I was actually funnel hacking Grant, I saw the 10X roll pop up in my Facebook feed and I bought it and it came in and I was like, okay, cool, I have a book, I'm gonna see how this works. And so, for funnel hacking, if you don't know what that means, basically you look at what somebody does on their website, you try to implement and do the same thing. As a leader, I'm all about vulnerability, I'm all about honesty, I'll tell you exactly what we do at all times it does not bother me. And so, the book comes, it's sitting on my desk and I had the weirdest sensation, Natalie, I was like, read this book. Right. Cause a lot of times like the book, it'll just sit there, you know how this goes? And I fall asleep reading the book and the next day I start listening to an audio and I clear my schedule, I listen the whole damn book in one day. And at this point I'd never heard of Grant Cardone. I was like, oh, who is this? This is incredible. I've never heard anybody talk like this. And I said, is there anything else that he does? Like, does he have training? Does he do conferences? And this was March of 2021. Nine days later is GrowthCon, I buy a ticket, the most expensive plane ticket I've ever bought that wasn't international, cuz it was COVID and I fly to Miami and I hear this opportunity, Hey, if you join this thing, you can pitch your business to Grant Cardone to get invested in potentially. And I remember thinking to myself, yep, I already won that literally in my head that's where I was fast forward to April, we're on stage 10,000 people watching, we all think we have five minutes to do this pitch. And Grant being classic, Grant goes, no, you guys get two minutes and you just see a little bit freaking out. He goes, who wants to go first? And I raised my hand so fast, I pulled my freaking shoulder outta socket. Why? Because our message is so important. And I knew that if I could go first, no one would be able to follow me and sure enough, that's what happens. And Grant invests in the company, I get a call Grant, a business partner. I get to meet you and Brandon and all this community. Why? Well connect the dots. At one point Grant made a decision to use his voice, to speak his truth, to make the world a better place and not be fucking selfish. And because I was willing to do the same on a long enough timeline, it leads to this place where, because you were willing to do the same, we're having this conversation. And I really want people to sit in that and understand this for a second, because I know for a certain, like, I remember we were in Miami and one of the first times you'd gotten up in front of like one of the sales workshops might have been mark marketing workshop. I don't know. And you told everyone, Hey guys, I'm nervous about doing this, but I'm gonna be my best right now for you. And I remember sitting there and being like, that's why I love these people, that's why I love this to next community because people are willing to step outside of their comfort zone. And so, all that diatribe is leading to this question.

Natalie: I love the diatribe. It was great.

Michael: Thank you. What role does discomfort play in your life?

Natalie: Oh my gosh. It is present every single day like I really do subscribe to that saying I would fuck up sayings by the way, let me think about what the saying is, like, do something you're scared of every single day, is that the right saying?

Michael: Yeah. Close enough.

Natalie: Sounds great. I can't imagine now that I'm in this three years ago, I would've thought that that is like the craziest thing I've ever heard. Like every single day you have to do something that you're uncomfortable with. Today, I've already had three conversations with people that made me incredibly uncomfortable, and this discomfort comes from not having done before what I'm currently doing. And if you've ever experienced that discomfort, once you have mastered it and you've like taken that on and you recognize that that is part of the game that we are playing on this planet earth and that this is what we're doing in this lifetime. You're like, okay, I'm good with it. If this is the game and taking bigger risks and being more direct with people and having bigger goals is what we're here to do, you start too just be good with it. It never gets any more comfortable, but you start to understand that this is the point. The point is not being in your like fuzzy slippers and binging on Netflix constantly and scrolling social media all the time, like this life is not created for people to be comfortable and yet social media and all of these media outlets would create all of these illusions and great things to make you think that that is the right thing to do, but it's really not. And so, once you master that and really come to grips with it and you become okay with it, all of a sudden, if you're not pushing yourself, you're gonna be unhappy, you're gonna be frustrated that there isn't some other thing.

We have this vacation in Cabo tomorrow, I have meetings scheduled all day tomorrow, all day Friday, I have workouts already scheduled at 6:00 AM. If you would've told me three years ago, even two years ago that on vacation, I would feel this way, I would've thought that you were fucking insane like I would not have believed you. And now it feels really good to just know that I'm the person that I've always wanted to become, but it comes with the initial discomfort to then figure out and get good with and get some reps in with that. So, that the discomfort that you choose in the future, you're able to recognize that it's part of, what's gonna get you to that next level. So, you're just, you're good with it.

Michael: What is it like for you to be the person that you knew you could become?

Natalie: Oh, it's so great. It's so great. And it's so awful at the same time, because it's like this it's this paradigm, it's the craziest thing. My husband's birthday was on Sunday. He turned 54 years old and we went out to dinner that night, he had worked his whole birthday, which didn't even feel like work it like wasn't even a question. And we went out to dinner with him and Grant and myself, and the entire time at a birthday dinner, instead of talking about how great and happy we are and how everything is fruitful and thriving, what is the conversation about? All of the disappointment that we have, that we are not further along, that we have not impacted more people that the reach isn't greater, that is what the entire two-and-a-half-hour dinner was. And so, once you become this person that you dream of the next game and for us, and to me, what 10X is, it's like, okay, once you figure that thing out, as you approach becoming that person, you realize what the next level is, because if your reality is not equally what your potential is you're going to be upset with your reality. And as you continue to push yourself, your potential increases, cuz your belief in yourself increases. You move from thinking you could impact one client to what if I could have 10 clients? Oh my gosh. What if there's a hundred clients that could benefit from my services and then I go hire people? Oh my God. What if a thousand clients could be impacted? How would that change the world? Well, as soon as you start reaching a thousand, then it's gonna become a hundred thousand and then the game becomes a million, what would a million people? And then you have people like Grant who are totally 10 X and he wants to have every single person on the face of this planet, know his name. And at first that sounds crazy to people but when you think about somebody who's playing such a big game, he's excited about who he is and all of the change that he's made from the time he was, you know, struggling with drug addiction to now, but he still knows that his reality even now does not equate to his present time potential.

So, it pulls him forward to continue to do more. So, it's like this love, hate relationship where I'm so fucking proud of myself and I like sometimes like pat myself on the back of just like you were doing such a great job and I'm so thankful for the work that you've done on yourself, but there is so much left to do and it's not over yet, this is not a time to sit back and relax. This is the time where you have confidence to go all in on the next level of whatever that journey feels like. And it doesn't come from like a you know, like nice quote place, it comes from holy shit, I wanna hire thousands of employees, I want to be responsible for a billion-dollar organization and we wanna do this within the next couple of years. Like, this is not some far off dream, it's like, it's becoming bigger, but then who do I have to become in order to be that person? And who would I have to become in order to be an executive at a publicly listed company? And what is that skill set? So, it's just more, but not in a consumption way, it's my potential and it's who I'm meant to be and that person I will always be chasing for the rest of my life.

Michael: I absolutely love that. I always say my goals are 37 years away. And in five years, they'll still be 37 years away. Right? It's a mind trick. I play that I parlay with who do I need to be today for tomorrow? And when I do that, what it does is it forces me into learning, it forces me into personal development, showing up, doing hard, difficult things, asking people for help, right? Even you being on this show, I go, my mission and my goal is to end generational trauma in my lifetime, through education and information, by empowering people with the tools to become the hero of their own story. Well, fuck, I can't do that alone. Who do I know that's incredibly intelligent and powerful. Let me reach out to them. Will they help me in my mission? Right. And so much of that has come to pass because of the willingness to seek it, in the same way you've sought your mentorships I've done that in many ways in my own. One of the things that I have been trying to navigate is having these gigantic missions and goals like what I just laid out while simultaneously, like, recognizing that you do still, even though these roles are gigantic, have to deploy patience. How do you navigate those two things simultaneously?

Natalie: Oh, the patience game. I tell myself it's okay not to be patient. I like, I don't use that as a value of like, I'm prideful that I have patience because I feel like if I valued patience in my growth journey, I would put off things that I know I need to do right now. So, I'm not trying to be patient, I'm trying to recognize that I don't have patience. And when I recognize I have these moments, I go into big spaces, God, where were we? Oh, we were just at the formula one race two weekends ago in Miami they had the first, very first formula one event in Miami. And I watched all of these celebrities be on the track and I sat there and was like what do I have to do in order to get there? But instead of feeling like bad or sorry for myself, or like, oh, you know, that's for other people. I was like, no, the game has to change in my head, I need to go find somebody in PR in order to change my strategy, to get to where I wanna go faster. So, every time, like this discomfort happens, it's always about reaching to the next thing that's gonna get me there faster granted, I could go through five PR companies and they're all gonna be, not delivering what I want, the opportunity doesn't come, whatever, but I'm at least just like hounding after this thing that I want and pivoting my thought process instead of just working the traditional path, leading this team, continuing to do the operations and really prioritizing my time in a way that is suiting me today I focus on, okay, what would need to be brought in? What do I need to get rid of that's not serving me right now? I probably have to stop doing a lot of the team things I'm doing in order to be really paying attention to the opportunities that exist with somebody who could represent me and Brandon and the company and grant from a PR standpoint.

So, it's like this pivot process instead of, I'm just gonna be good with how long, cuz to be honest with you, I'm like I'm fucking pissed off that I'm so far behind where I know I could be if I was smarter about the strategy. And this has proven to me every single day by people that are 17 years old, who have 70 million followers on TikTok or a hundred million followers on TikTok like they did something different, they saw an opportunity that I did not see to be an early adopter in something. Next time there's like this early adoption thing, I'm not gonna be one of the late adopters, I'm gonna adopt it early ‘cuz I learned something that's so freaking painful to me because some of the TikTok stars were on the fricking the race track. I could have fucking done that, there's nothing more special or smart about them that allowed them to do that, they were just willing to take a risk that I wasn't, and they saw something that I wasn't. And so, this patience thing is not something I'm very good with if you can't tell, and I don't want to be good with it, cuz it's really part of what fuels my drive.

Michael: I love that perspective. And I don't think there's anything wrong with that. And I think, you know, we all have to understand ourselves inherently and I've often said that patience is not a virtue, cuz I think it's not. I think that's bullshit. I think patience is a skill, it's something that you have to like be able to step into deeper. You use the word pivot and I wanna touch on that quickly because as I've grown, as I've changed in my own personal life and as I'm sure you have in yours and your business life, there are pivots that happen and particularly those around the people around us. As you've grown, have you experienced and had to not only remove people from your life, but surround yourself with different people?

Natalie: Absolutely. All of the above, I don't have the similar friend group, the similar information inflow, people I follow on social or like that I don't watch on social, all of that has had to be re-looked at and really examined for me to get to where I'm at right now. And then now it's like this new level of cleansing. Just about every friend from college and high school, I know they'll come back in my life for a different purpose, but there's not a lot of time that I have to be spending with people who aren't doing something that's similar to what I'm doing or who aren't doing, like a business that we're interested in that would be a part of what we're doing, or if they wanna work with us, like, that'd be great. But to be honest with you, I work 80 hours a week, we've already this year, it's middle of May, we've hosted 84 events so far in this calendar year, we're not even halfway through the year. Like there is no white space on my calendar for quote unquote friends to just like, shoot the shit and hang out with my friends are the people that I'm in the trenches with every single day, trying to fulfill this mission, this incredible impact that I'm destined and determined to be able to make. And I've shed myself of a lot of the limiting people that I was surrounding myself with. And I don't, you know, I'm sure some of them will hear this and I don't want it to come across as like, they were bad people, they just weren't doing the things that I wanted to be doing. And if you're surrounding yourself with anybody, who's not doing the things you wanna be doing, you gotta stop spending time with them, you have to stop listening to them, even if it's just for a short while, but oftentimes a short while people can't hang in there long enough to know that it's about you, it's not about them, it was never likely about them, it's about you taking this different path and going down this different. And I've lost friends over that, but I do have the confidence to know, Hey, I'm a good person, I needed to change, the world needed me to change. If I offended 20 people in the process because they thought all of a sudden, I became too good for them, couldn't be further from the truth, I wasn't good enough for myself. And once I recognize I'm not good enough for myself and I need to make these changes, it was never about them and I can explain that later once I'm able to have this metamorphosis this transformation that will demonstrate in reality what I was feeling inside. And I'm a believer that people come back around and understand things when more context is given but I couldn't tell them that they weren't being supportive, cuz it really wasn't about them, it was about me.

Michael: I literally have goosebumps right now because you've saying that I've had to make very difficult decisions of my peers, my friend’s groups, relationships over the years, as I've grown, as I've stepped into the version that I am today and I will, again, as I continue to progress forward. And the one thing that I've allotted myself, the space of is to not feel guilty about it, to not feel shameful about it, because ultimately, if those people loved me, cared about me, believed in me, then they would support that effort, they would support that endeavor and not wanna pull me down. And I think so often people feel like, yeah, but they're my parents, they're my friends, they're partner even it's like, yes. And, but what do you want? Who do you want to become? Because I can give you every fucking excuse in the book, why you should stay exactly where you are, but I promise you you're gonna die with regret. And that to me is terrifying. Natalie, my friend, before I ask you my last question, can you please tell everyone where they can find you?

Natalie: Oh, yes, you can find me on Instagram. My name is now Natalie Dawson. However, I haven't updated my Instagram. So, I am still @natalieworkman on Instagram, that is the platform I'm most active on.

Michael: And of course, we'll put the links in the show notes for the Unbroken Nation. My last question for you, my friend, what does it mean to you to be unbroken?

Natalie: You know, I've had all of 15 or 20 minutes to think about this. And as I've tried to be thoughtful about it, this idea of unbroken to me is actually a very positive and maybe it is for other people. I don't know. I would think a lot of people would originally think unbroken is like, there's a breaking that has to happen. So maybe there's a negativity associated with it. But to me, it's like this catalyst and this change and this ability to be resilient like you're unbroken, which means you're unbreakable, maybe break for a moment, but if you are in the present state unbroken, that means whatever breakage happened ahead of time, whatever friends you lost, whatever bad decisions you made, whatever lack of confidence you had, you are in today's present moment in time, not broken, you are unbroken, and therefore you can do anything that you want to do and that you set out to do.

Michael: Brilliantly said my friend. Thank you so much for being here. Unbroken nation. Thank you so much for listening.

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Natalie DawsonProfile Photo

Natalie Dawson


Speaker. Podcaster. Educator. Natalie serves as the EVP of Operations focused on talent acquisition, development of business growth strategies, and strategic workforce planning activities.

Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


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