This episode’s guest on #MWL is Laura Gassner Otting. She and I discuss life as we enter the “new normal,” her course, and her book, “Limitless.”

Laura's journey into entrepreneurship is a good one, and the lessons learned could be a huge help to potential entrepreneurs themselves!

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what's up it's thursday I still

have not slept a decent night in three

days and that's all because of you


who have kept me running on adrenaline

with the launch of this book

um thank you so much it's been a

completely I was just talking

with uh our guest for the day about how

humbling this moment in time is when you

you spend all this time working on

something and you put it out in the

world and you just can't believe

anybody actually wants to spend a second

reading what you

wrote um and so to get the feedback that

i've gotten this week has been

incredible but this is a really good

time to

transition into my guest who has far

more experience in this thing that i'm

currently experiencing

uh she is a best-selling author uh she

has a fantastic course that i've been

able to audit

for uh the last couple of weeks in

preparation for our talk

uh and just sort of a total badass

person so i'm happy to have her on the


uh you can find her everywhere online at

hey lgo this is

laura gastner odding laura what's good




marcus thank you for having me today and

what a great week to be

here i'm so excited yeah 



yeah it's it's


I think this is this is perfect right

because i'm feeling

uh uplifted right now i'm feeling super

excited about things and at the same

time like I really want to talk about

um you know what we

what we need to be thinking and feeling

and doing in this in this moment to

totally take advantage

of of this moment you know what I mean



yeah absolutely but can we take a minute

and just celebrate that your book

launched number one in the

entrepreneurship category on amazon i

mean that's

huge that's amazing i'm so so exciting

yeah thank you thank you we that was

like that was like the stretch goal

um and uh my publishing partner scribe


you know zach over there was like dude

i've seen so many people get close they

get into like number three on that


so for you to get to number one is a big

deal I don't know i've never done this

before like I don't

you know I don't have a frame of

reference but um it

it certainly felt validating to to hit

that that mark so thank you very much



yeah I mean I think there are a lot of

people who are like i'm a number one

amazon best seller but they're like

number one amazon and like some teeny

weeny little

unimportant strange like you know

one-handed birders who juggle category

right like no offense to the birders who

juggle right or who have one hand but

I I I can see the hate mail coming but

entrepreneurship is huge and so I think

what that says

is you have a lot of people in your

corner who are excited about this who

have listened to you who

know what you have to say who know your

message and you've who you showed up for

for a long time

who are now showing up back for you so i

think it says both that you've got a

great network and that your message is

one that's resonant and needed right now



well uh again i'm humbled and uh

thank you for more kind words um

you know I just feel very optimistic

about the world at the moment

even in the midst of everything that's

going on and uh that's why I think

you're the perfect guest for today so

uh if you would let's just take a second

because I know this is gonna be a very

fast 30 minutes between us



Just share with the viewers and

 listeners your story.



Yeah so my story is... I am an accidental

 author. I'm an accidental speaker. I

 grew up thinking I was going to be the

 first female US Senator from the great

 state of Florida.

 And then I got to law school, and I was


 “this sucks. I don't want to be here.” It

 was like organ rejection, and so what do

 you do

 when you're in a bad place? You date a

 guy who's terrible for you. So I started

 dating a guy

 who -I like to say had great taste of

 precisely two things:

 the first being obviously girlfriends,

 and the second

 being unknown presidential candidates

 from tiny southern states- and

 one day, it was raining and he drove me

 home from

 from campus and he's like, “I just want to

 stop at this guy's office. He's running

 for president.

 I want to pick up some paperwork” because

 this is like back before the internet he

 actually had to like

 go to campaign offices. And I was like

 Governor who from where?

 MississippI or sorry...

 Arkansas. Like not a chance in hell. Yeah

 and um

 and uh I walked in and there was this

 this video of then Governor Bill Clinton

 telling the story about uh how there's

 nothing wrong with America that can't be

 fixed with

 what's right with America. And he offered,

 as a policy proposal,

 um community service. Community service

 in exchange for college tuition, and I

 was like oh my God yes! That has to

 happen. So I dropped out of law school, I

 joined the campaign,

 and then the next thing you know, he gets

 elected president.

 He ends up in the white house. I end up

 in the White House. I helped create the

 Americorps program,

 which was a crazy first job. And then

 after about four years I was a little


 I wanted to do something else. I come to

 do the thing I wanted to do, and I

 went to talk to a headhunter. And that

 headhunter was based in Boston, and the

 guy I was dating then

 -who was a much better guy for me who

 I've been married to for almost 25 years-

 was about to move to Boston, so I was

 like, “well that's really interesting.

 I should work for you.” and he's like, “you

 should work for me.” And I was like, “great

 what do you do?”

 And so I ended up in Boston as a

 headhunter, and I worked for him for four

 or five years

 until I had that moment of rage that

 every entrepreneur’s had

 when I realized I can do this better and

 smarter and faster with more

 authenticity and more integrity, and

 probably more profit for myself

 and less cost for my client. And I walked

 into his office and I was like, “here's

 the way” and he was like “there's the door.”

 So I started my home company, and then I

 ran that for 15 years and I sold it

 five years ago yesterday to the women

 who helped me build it. And after that,

 I had this moment of like, I don't know...

 identity crisis when I was like, “if I'm

 no longer “LGO,

 CEO. here's my card…” who the heck am I?

 Right so I started blogging, and um

 the executive producer of TedX Cambridge

 saw one of those blogs and said that

 would make a great talk. And I was like

 no way,

 I don't want to do a talk. I don't want

 to do a Ted Talk. I don't want to speak...

 that sounds

 terrifying. And my then 15-year-old

 looked at me and was like,

 “um don't you tell me I always have to do

 hard things?”

 That's the thing that my kid decides to

 listen to, so the next thing you know, I'm

 on the stage.

 2,600 people, three mezzanines, beautiful

 gold guild walls, you know crystal

 chandeliers, and I'm speaking. And then

 that talk gets attention,

 which gets attention, and i'm moving on

 and on and I'm getting offered to speak

 places for money. And I was like, “well

 that's an interesting job.

 Tell me more about that.” And then when I

 started getting offered

 even more money, I noticed the other

 people on the stage at you know 10 and

 15,000 all had books, so I was like well I

 better get me one of them.

 So I wrote Limitless, and that brings me

 here to you today.



wow great job encapsulating

decades uh multiple relationships

you fit the child in there I mean that

was that was fantastic um

what what a great background so so let's

let's uh let's

circle back to the the moment

where there's a couple of things I want

to jump on there uh the moment where

you're at the company and you real you

have that moment of rage

um I I tried to frame that

in my book as a personality type

that I that I basically call uh


creative rebels which are these people


it's very very difficult for us to exist

in someone else's structure

like like like because because

you know it's it's it's not that they're

doing it wrong

they're doing it wrong for us 



and you

can't help but see possibilities so

you know about five years into starting

that my own company I ran into my old

boss from the white house the man who

helped you know who ran the office of

national service to create americorps


and so this is you know 15 years later

at the time or 10 years later and and he

was like i've been watching you i've

been watching your company grow i'm so

proud of you

did you always know you were an

entrepreneur because I did yeah and i

was like

thanks and then I went home and I was

like wait a minute

did he just call me unmanageable I think

he just called me unmanageable

and you know I you know our our our

mutual friend scott stratton likes to

say that

entrepreneur is latin for bad employees

maybe that's true but it's not that you

can't exist in someone else's structure

it's just

you you always see improvements and

possibilities and so when somebody

else who runs the structure doesn't or

doesn't want that or has their ego so

wrapped in it that they can't handle it

you can't help but just you can't be

frustrated you can't be there


yes ex that's exactly right that's

exactly right the best job I ever had

was a startup where I was a fifth

employee and I stayed there for four

years and it was unbelievable because

there was more work than there were


right so we're all too busy to be in

each other's shit you know what I mean

yeah and and and the point at which i

had my

micro rage it wasn't a full-on rage but

where I had my microwave was we got

from from five people to 50 people and

politics just start setting in yeah they


they just do like I wonder even as the

ceo of the company that you eventually

sold to the women who helped you build

it like did you

feel like you had built something and

then started to feel like a slave to it

in some ways like



oh boy yes so there was the mobile like

okay so every entrepreneur I know goes

through this right where you

leave where you are because you have

this idea this innovation is this

iteration of something and you do it

and then you you you grow it and you're

doing the work and it's great and then

it's successful so you have to bring on

more people so you bring on more people

and all of a sudden

all of a sudden instead of being the

person who's out there creating the idea

or being the iconoclast to saying like


sector this should be done differently

look at my solution and they go whoa

okay you're busy managing people and all

of a sudden you've got like mary from hr

talking to you about sick leave policies

and you've got you know joe from


asking you about like well what

percentage should we charge for people

want to pay credit card versus

checks and you're just like I don't care

not interesting and so for me the the

the big

aha moment was the day that I realized i

don't actually like

executive search like the work that my

firm is doing like I love

solving the problems for our clients

because that's entrepreneurial that's

innovative but I don't actually like

executive search and

and I had we started the firm because i

thought of an entirely new way that this

service should be delivered to the

entire non-profit sector

and then all of a sudden rather than

having to be the person walking into

pitches convincing these like you know

old you know traditional white guys that


virtual firm this is back in 2002 like

virtual didn't really exist

rather than having to convince them that

we were the way they were like oh yeah

every firm we're interviewing today is


and I realized I I we grew this firm 100

every year for the first 10 years and i

was busy pulling the firm over the next

hill of innovation

and my team was like awesome could we


take the car out on the road and see how

fast we can drive it like

stop fussing with the engine and I was

more interested in the fuzzing and the

improvement and the innovation

yes and they just wanted to run the

company and here's the big

moment that I realized it was when I was

complaining to an old

mentor of mine and I was like the people

who work for me just aren't that

entrepreneurial and he was like

no you're the entrepreneur they don't

need to be entrepreneurial

they have jobs that's right you're the

entrepreneur and I was like whoa

just because people want to work in a

really entrepreneurial setting

doesn't make them entrepreneurs and that

means that no matter how like

i'm never going to be speaking their

language and that's hard

that's lonely it is lonely 



it's so


and like you almost have to go through

one entire cycle of that experience

to get it no one can explain it to you

because when people come in

to a two-way startup like i'm talking

sub 10 employees when those people come


like they're there for it and we're

shoulder to shoulder and we're all

working on it and that still

doesn't mean that they're actually an




so when I the day that i

announced to the firm that I was leaving

I can't tell you how many people came up

to you they were like you can't leave

I I was thinking about you know maybe i

was going to leave next year or the year

after that but you you can't leave and i

was like

because I founded the company i'm

supposed to die in this chair right no

thank you

so here's the other thing that I that i

realized is that

my job as the ceo as the entrepreneur

was to be 18 to 24 months ahead of the

market at any given time

like I had to be determining what the


what the solutions were to problems that

the market didn't even know existed

because that's how I got the jump that's

how I was ahead of everything

so if I was really good like firing on

all cylinders

I was 18 24 months ahead of the market

now my team who's delivering services if

they were really good

if they were firing on all cylinders

they were focused on

this client this report this day this


this you know this month maybe they were

thinking about the quarter

maybe so the better they got at their

work and the better I got at my work the

further divorced we were

and that's a pretty I mean you want to

talk about lonely the better I did my

job the better they did their job the

lonelier we all got

and so that's a you know it's hard to

go and talk to your team about

where the firm is going when they're

like I got a client report due tomorrow

right right you're like charlie brown's

teacher right so to continue to always

have to give them their kool-aid while

you're going thirsty


it's so hard it's so hard yeah it's so

hard i

am I am relating so much to everything

you're saying right now

and it makes me feel very validated

in terms of how I have navigated

my my you know because even if you're an

entrepreneur like you still have

a professional life right it's like you

know what is it that you do

and i'm still an owner

and a I didn't sell my ownership in my

in my venture

fund but like i'm not their day-to-day i

don't have

like direct management responsibility

yeah and it's so much better for

everybody like it's

so much better for everybody 



well there

was also the moment where I realized

that I was a terrible manager

like terrible like bad like abusive




yeah yeah I mean like like you you

the way you manage yourself you can't

manage everyone the way that you manage

yourself right that's not

that's not something you you can do and

also I think back to your point about

not caring about the uh

you know how much gets spent on uh how

much gets spent on

I don't know this expense or or this

sheet of paper

it's like if you don't love it it's hard

to be good at it right you know what i


if you don't love it 



and it's hard to

fake it

for an extended period of time yes you

can fake it once or twice but like you

can't maintain that

so you know I am I am a

great champion I am the friend you want

in your foxhole I am the friend you want

in the corner i'm like I will go

toe-to-toe with like a six foot 10 400

pound guy in a bar fight

yeah for you i'll never do it for myself

because i'm deeply confrontation averse

but if you attack my people I am like

all over you like if and

and if i'm gonna celebrate I will scream

from the rooftops like the jewish mother

maven yenta that i

am but I am not a manager and when i

tried to manage it was like

it was like it was like when I try to

have those conversations with those

teens and they're like looking at me

like they

know they have to pay attention but you

know they're like I wish I could be

anywhere else like they can't fake it i

couldn't fake it

and my team they were doing such amazing

work that I knew that they needed

somebody better in that role and that's

a hard thing in entrepreneurship to be

like you know what

I actually suck at this the fact that i

suck at this means that

my people aren't being as great as they

can be which also doesn't allow me to be

in the space where i'm

really shining and I have to this is the

time I need to bring someone in both for

their own protection but

also so that they can they can grow and

thrive and so I can as well


so this is uh I think a wonderful segue

to talk about your book because

there is something very counterintuitive

when we've all sort of been taught

from a young age we've been conditioned


this is the way you go to school and

then you go to grad school and then you

get said job and then you

ascend in that company and you manage

lots of people

and that is the path to excellence and

you know achievement and all that other

kind of stuff 

I think it's so

 refreshing to hear you talk about all

 the things that you were not good at and

 all the things you had to shed

 on your path to writing a book called




Yeah Limitless, how to ignore everybody

 right. How to ignore everybody, carve your own path, 

 and live your best life.

 So when I left the White House and I

 ended up at that big search firm -which

 was the

 biggest search firm and the the marquee

 firm the top firm in the country that

 did specifically non-profit and mission


 executive search- I thought I'd made it. I

 was like, “this is amazing. This is

 terrific. I'm at the best firm,

 check, right. High marquee value, check. You

 know, good brand prestige, check.”

 Now I need to lean in. I need to say yes

 to every single thing. I need to figure

 it out later. I need to sacrifice friends,

 and relationships, and all of that,

 and I did. I became the youngest vice

 president in the history of the firm.

 And I got to the top. I was in the corner

 office that looking over all of Boston

 -the Boston Commons- and I looked around

 and I was like...

 the top of what? I'm sitting in the

 office, and my clients are on the other


 and we're about to seal the deal on a

 big contract. And

 I realized that I didn't actually care

 that much about their mission. I was

 doing the math in my head about whether

 or not I'd make my nut for the quarter

 early so that I could impress everybody

 around me. And I

 realized that what I actually cared

 about -the reason I was doing this work-

 was because I actually wanted to help

 change the world. I wanted to help those

 clients to

 do the amazing work that they did even

 better with the

 lever of talent. That was what I brought

 to the table.

 And I was sitting there patting myself

 on the back all proud of myself, and my

 fancy title, and my fancy view,

 and my fancy bonus that I was gonna get,

 and I actually wasn't living in


 uh with the with the values that I held

 dear. And that was a moment where I was

 like, “I need to leave.” Like I leaned in,

 but I leaned into what? And I think that

 happens to so many of us because

 look... I had a huge problem with lean in

 when I first read it -and it's not

 because I was upset about Sheryl

 Sandberg and

 sort of how she uh got her success. She

 has, you know, huge amount of privilege,

 and good for her. She'd be folly not

 to use it; we should all use whatever

 privilege we have-

 my issue was how she defined success. And

 she defined it as like

 this one, fastest and most expedient path

 to the corner office, and if you aren't

 doing that, you're failing.

 The same with entrepreneurs. If it's not

 bigger, better, faster, more...

 you're failing. So fast forward a number

 of years, and I'm sitting at my search


 and we brought in this very impressive

 Harvard Business School

 professor to come and facilitate our

 retreat. And there were like 30 of us

 there at the time,

 and she went around the room as her

 opening question, and she said, “I want

 everyone to tell me how many people do

 you think would be the ideal number of

 staff members

 for this company?” And so everyone's like, “75...

 32... 12…” Like people are just pulling

 numbers out of their

 buttholes, and they she got to me at the

 very end,

 and I said, “actually I think that's the... I

 think that's a terrible question.” 




 what does that question even mean?


Like why? Like are

 we maximizing for profitability?

 Are we maximizing for impact in the

 world? Are we maximizing for personal

 flexibility in our own lives?

 Tell me what we're maximizing for ,and

 then I'll tell you the kind of company

 we need to build to get there.

 So I think a mistake that we make is

 that we think we need to lean in. We

 think bigger, better, faster, more. We think

 the bigger title, the bigger house, the

 bigger car, the bigger whatever

 is success, but I'll tell you... in 20 years

 of doing executive search, I called

 thousands of people on behalf of my

 clients. These bold-faced super

 successful names,

 and they all took my calls because even

 though they were super successful,

 they weren't actually all that happy.




so so so how how does that like how how

did you take that

and put it into the book like

give me give me the give me the the one

one minute drop on the book because i

want I want to get into the course

and yeah yeah 



so the book is based

around this idea of consonants

right if if if uh bigger better faster

more if everyone else's definition of

success doesn't make any sense

what does make sense for you how do you

be both successful and happy and

the way you do that is you live in

consonance with who you are and we all

know consonants

it's alignment it's flow it's when the

what you do

matches the who you are and what i

learned is that it's made up of four


and those are the four things that we

talk about in the book and in the course

and just quickly

there are four there's calling which is

this gravitational force the thing that

gets you out of bed in the morning it

could be

a cause that you want to serve it could

be a leader who inspires you it could be

a family you want to nurture it could be

a business you want to build

then there's connection connection is

does the work you're doing

actually matter can you see a direct

line from the work you're doing right

now today your inbox your calendar your

to-do list

to the calling you want to serve third

is contribution

does the work contribute to the life

that you want to live the money you want

to earn the career trajectory you'd like

to have the values you want to manifest

on a daily basis

and then lastly is control and this is

where us entrepreneurs really

you know can feel it do you personally

have control do you have

agency to affect how much your work

connects to that calling and how much

the the work that you do uh contributes

to the life that you want to lead



love it I love it that's yeah

yeah the 



simple framework 



that's a great

framework that's a really good framework



each of us at each age in a different

stage of life want different things so

when you were 24 you probably wanted

different things than you want right

when you want right now

and when you're 54 you're going to want

different things so the amount of

connection calling contribution control

will change at every age and every life

stage but we get it wrong because at

16 17 years old someone says pick a job

pick a trade pick a college pick a path

and we're like okay

right but we don't have a frontal lobe

so we actually make a decision

based on the rest of our life before we

literally have

the mental capacity to make a good one

and then 20 years later we're like well

I thought I was supposed to be a lawyer

I thought I was supposed to be a

accountant I thought I was supposed to

be a whatever and now there's sunk costs

so I guess i'll just keep doing this

life is short like why would you do that

and especially now during covet and

people keep

talking about the new normal I reject

the new normal because I rejected the

old normal you're an entrepreneur we

have rejected the old normal so

when life goes back to normal is the

life you want really

that's probably not so this is such a

great time

to actually think about what do you want

your new normal to be what do you want

this life to be that you only get one of

and you might even be halfway through at

this point



so so when did you shift from the book

and speaking to making an actual

course like what was what was the what

was the leap there was it was that like


oh I see all these people with with

books that are speaking also have

courses I better get one of those too or


Was there something where

 you felt you wanted to uh

 engage more deeply with with the people

 who were resonating with the book?



Yeah well so I kept, I kept getting...

 coming off of stage,

 and I would sit in these uh in the lines

 where people would would uh...

 I'd sign the book for people, and they

 would say, “God you know, I love it. It's

 great… they would like blow

 smoke up my ass, they were like so

 complimentary. And they were like,

 “uh how can I go deeper?” And I was like,

 “you can't,

 sorry.” Like I just didn't, I was... honestly

 when the book

 when when the book first came out, I

 wanted to have a course that went along

 with it, but

 I was too much of a wimp. I didn't think

 I could get it right. I didn't know how

 to do it. I was overwhelmed by the


 and then fast forward to covid, and it's


 March 12th, and my kids are going to be

 out of school on March 14th for spring

 break and I'm thinking they're probably

 not going back.

 And at that point, we were all

 thinking we're all gonna get

 sick so I was like, “I better get this

 thing done before I get sick because

 people are gonna be home for a long time.”

 So I just said it's time I gotta just do

  1. I'd worked with Pam Slim

 a couple months earlier just thinking

 about the outline, and then I just kind

 of got distracted and

 and just was scared to pull the pull the

 um pull the rip cord.

 But then when covid happened, I was like,

 “Well stages are going away,

 this is going to be my stage now. I

 better figure out how to do it because


 what I want to do... if my life's work

 is to help empower

 and engage people and living it fully...

 living into the life that they want -like

 leaning into their best version of

 themselves and not everyone else's

 definition of it-

 if that's what I want to do, and the way

 that I do it is by helping people


 how to actually create their own

 definition, well what's the best medium?

 And if the best medium used to be a big

 stage in front of thousands of people,

 and that's gone, well now what's the best


 I thought it was the second best medium,

 but it turns out there's more people


 than there were in that room. And also,

 it's never been so democratized

 to be able to be in front of more people.

 There's no gatekeeper. There's nobody


 “you can be on my stage. You can't be.” I

 just create my own stage. I just go live

 every day, and I

 create my own stage. And it's incredible

 to me what just a little bit of

 creativity and that entrepreneurial


 suddenly it's like the whole world is




Yeah I mean you're you're one of the


 that I have been watching as I've been

 on this journey of going live every day.

 Like you, Joseph Jaffe,

 Chris Brogan... you know these people who

 just like sort of leaped in, and I was


 “I can do that.” You know what I mean, like

 I can and should do that. It's just

 it's just a good practice. And it's also

 keeping me sane by the way. Like you know

 as you as you said...

 so my everyone's got like a different

 take on the new normal. Mine is

 is “build the new normal.” Which, and you

 know the point just being like,

 this is the opportunity of a lifetime.

 Like literally. Everything is kind of

 flattening out,

 and we can build it back up exactly how

 we want. And are you gonna step into that


 or are you going to let it happen to you?

 Like, you know, there's never been a

 time like this.



yeah I mean there's a part of my course

there's an exercise where it's you know

it's it's

called the driver's seat right and are

you in the driver's seat of your life

or are you in the passenger seat of your

life and I think so many of us

think we're in the driver's seat of our

lives and then we kind of get complacent

and the next thing we know we're like oh

well why do I go to this place on

vacation or why am I working

so hard to send my kids to that school

or you know why do I feel like I need to

chase that next promotion

yeah I don't know like we kind of forget

and I think what happens is

you know in our companies we have

regular meetings you know at weekly

meetings quarterly meetings etc to think

about strategy

but we don't have it with ourselves we

don't have it with our families

my family we have a weekly family

meeting and we sit down and we talk

about our goals and who we are and what

we're doing and who's where each week


you know who needs a new bathing suit

and you know stuff like that

but you know we've only been we've been

doing it for like four years or so but

it completely changed the way we run our

family because

now we're actually all going in the same

direction right and I think

it's time this this period in covit has


has been so incredibly uh

difficult and and uprooting and you know

it's like it's like seismic shifts in

the earth

and tectonic plates and we're falling

through them and yet

we've survived it so far I mean I know

some people haven't right I mean

I I understand that this is real we're

talking about the collective

society like a society like we've made

it this far

we're going to keep making it what are

you going to do with it and and and are

you going to look back on this time and


I was actually able to reset

to refocus to re-strategize to take

control over a light that I didn't even

realize that i'd lost control over

it's it's it is it is a a gilded

opportunity that's being handed to each

and every one of us i

completely agree so what are you most

excited about

right now you were talking can you talk

about the thing you're getting ready to


yeah yeah I wonder how yeah yeah yeah


preview yes yes yes so

when limitless came out it debuted at

number two on the washington post

bestseller list

right behind michelle obama amazing

wound I got like nine

million more books to catch up to her

but i'm i'm working on hey that's a good

number two that is a solid number two

girl let me tell you it's a solid number

two i'm proud of that

and I also shared the stage with malala

took a selfie with malala when I got off

stage right so I was like michelle obama


no matter how long I lived this would be

the weirdest week of my entire life

so i'm on a red eye on the way home and

I was supposed to be you know beautiful

live flat first class booked by the

client you know great

uh red eye and i'm too old for red eyes

but I had a big thing the next morning

and I was malala friday so like i'm i

couldn't miss either one of them so i'm

on this red eye

and there was a there was a mechanical

problem with the plane so they switched


the plane before we got on and rather

than being in this great live flat seat

i'm in an

upright center seat in coach you know

why aren't

right but still I was exhausted I left

it all on the stage

I was I was at the end of like book

debut week so you know right i'm


I get it so I at 4 30 in the morning i

open up my laptop and I was just like

it's 4 28 a.m or maybe it's 7 28 a.m or

maybe it's 1 20

8 a.m I don't even know where I am right

now but I think i'm somewhere like 13

000 miles away from vancouver and 700

miles to go back to boston but somewhere

between the blur that was yesterday and

the blur that will be tomorrow is the

space i'm in right now

and the space i'm in right now is wonder

hell and it was because I realized that

I was so

incredibly moved and humbled that

anybody wanted to spend as you said even

five minutes thinking about this thing

that I wrote

it was so wonderful and also I had never

been so tired of my entire fucking life

it was hell it was wonder hell and

here's what I realized about wonder hell

wonder hell made me really hungry

because wonder hell is the space in your

psyche where

your burden of potential comes and

unpacks its backpack and camps out with

a little cot and goes hey

hey buddy what you got for me you have

just realized that you

set your goals here but the world is

saying it should be here and are you

going to live into that or are you going

to let it pass you by

and once you see that potential you see

through the rubicon of what you can be

and you know that it's just there with

maybe just a little bit more work

you can't unsee it and so i'm fascinated

by people who have lived through these

moments of wonder hell where they

have realized that there is multitudes

of more

inside of them and they have to dig

deeper to get it and they actually

realize they want it so I was like if

people keep telling you if you name it

you can tame it i'm like that's

that's horseshit if you name it you can

claim it like it's not just enough like

today's show great but I want to be a

good morning america I want to be in

bruce witherspoon's book club I want to

be under the oak tree with

oprah I mean she's got to talk to

someone all right

why not me right so I realized that like

your burden

the burden that you feel of your own

potential is only as big as your ego and

what I realized was

I actually have a pretty big ego i

didn't I didn't know and

i've been taught my entire life because

that's how we're socially

you know that's how we're socialized but

especially as a woman

probably you as a person of color were

like don't be too ambitious

right don't have too big of an ego don't

get don't don't get too big for your

britches and all of that

and what I realized was the hell with

that if my mission on earth is to

empower people

and help them live an even bigger life

if I don't do everything I can to do

that then i'm stealing from them

i'm stealing from them so I want to live

this future

I want to live into my potential so my

next book is um

i'm just going to interview people who

have lived through these moments of

wonder hell

and who have thrived in them instead of

the ones who have

been drowned by them because I think

that there are lessons that we can learn

and so

you know I started going live every day

on facebook and then I got sick of my

own voice so I was like i'm just going

to interview other people lgo tv and so

you're going to come on

I think in next week or the week after

and so we're going to talk about you and

you know I think your story be a great

story for this but you know that feeling

that feeling of

I can't believe this is working and also

oh my god i'm so tired

uh I I love that so much because

uh it gives me a framework for what I am


right now i'm so tired and i'm so

humbled and overwhelmed and uh because

this is live streaming you know we get

some chats and like I don't

I I can never respond to the chats in

real time but

kate o'neil who is like my sister from

another mother I love her so much

has so much to do with the fact that i

actually got this book out the door

uh just gave us a nod for discussing the

burden of potential

um and yeah it's a thing it's a

real thing yeah and the thing about the

burden of potential

is that is that you don't feel it if you

don't recognize that you actually have

that potential so it's not like a

false thing it's not like you just have

this inflated sense of ego

like as soon as you feel that burden

it's because you recognize that you

actually do

have another gear inside of you like you

you wouldn't you wouldn't feel the

burden if you're like this is all I can

do like I left it all on the field

but the fact that you know that you have

more that's why you feel that weight

so heavily on your shoulders so i'm just

i'm fascinated by people who

see that who feel it and then who figure

out how to kick it up yet

another notch okay fastest 30 minutes

love it that's what you said it would be

dude uh any anything else

oh gosh um well people are interested in

fighting so much oh i'm gonna do that

for you don't worry i'll

do that for you anything else oh I just

can't wait to have you on mine next week

okay that would be that's gonna be

amazing um you are

unbelievable we're gonna have we'll have

to do this more regularly just because

like totally just

selfishly this was really good for me

this was really good for me

yeah you're good I would love to do this

and i'm very good at what you do laura


um thank you everybody out there I know

you want to go follow this incredible

woman uh

hey lgo I love also the lgo thing I just

think that's a

badass handle um that's super slick so

it's really easy to find her everywhere


hey lgo um and uh if you want to

learn more about the book and the course

and all that good stuff

uh as for me this is as I think

most everyone knows book week and it's

been really great and

I am uh just grateful humbled and

everything we just talked about

uh but if you haven't picked up a copy

you know where to get it you can go to

amazon it is still

only 99 cents for uh another four days

or something like that on the kindle but

you can also buy

signed versions which so many of you

have and i'm grateful for that

at my store uh the

podcast marcus whitney's audio universe

everywhere that you get podcasts

and marcus whitney everywhere online

that is it

we will be back tomorrow with the final

final episode of the week and send y'all

into the weekend

safe and inspired and until then let's

build a new normal y'all peace

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