Episode 137 Getting to Great with Madeline Weiss
From the center of the universe, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This is the SDM show with your host Rob Cairns. The SDM show focuses on business life productivity, digital marketing, WordPress and more. Sit back, relax, grab your favorite drink and enjoy the show. Here is Rob.
Everybody, Rob Cairns here, I'm here with my friend Madeline Weiss. Today Madeline and I are going to talk about her new book, getting to great a five step strategy for work and life. This was a really interesting, engaging conversation we had so please sit back, relax and enjoy this podcast.
Hi everybody, Rob Cairns here, I'm here with Madeline Weiss, and we're gonna talk about her latest book called Getting to great. How are you today? Madeline.
I'm wonderful. And I'm happy to be here. Thank you for having me. And hi to all of your listeners.
Yeah, it's a it's a pleasure. And it's a pleasure to be talking about a self development book because that's maybe I'm wrong. But that's what I considered this to be a little bit. And I'm a little bit of a take care of yourself, junkie. So that kind of helps. So I wanted you to start off and tell a little bit about yourself your story and why did you write the book?
Yeah, so you know, the book, the kids book? metalline. Yes. To the tiger in the metalline just said to clue. Yes. That's my avatar. Okay. So I was like that. I feel I'm a little bit. So here's where it gets sad for the moment. I'm just preparing you. When I was 15 years old, my father died suddenly of a stroke. Wow. And I because I was such a mouthy little kid was punished for most of my childhood. I was grounded. So when he died, I did what kids do. Things sort of make everything their fault. And I went for a number of years, I think into my early adulthood thinking that he died of me, until one day at the cemetery when I broke down with my mother, finally, because you know, back in those days, people didn't talk to their children and listen to their children like they do now. This took years. And I told her, how bad I felt about how long my fault it was. And she said, in her shining moment as a mom, No, honey, it wasn't you it was work. So no surprise. I help hard driven high achievers. Master their minds. So they can find more hours in the day, more peace of mind, more energy, more freedom and fulfillment, to be able to maintain and enjoy satisfaction and success in all areas of their lives without burning out or worse, like my dad.
And I, and I think the key and that was in their minds. And I really believe that I I always say in life, I have a phrase I use with people and that is 90% is in the brain and 10% is the execution of doing what's in the brain.
Yeah, you know, because of the book, when when I was in Business School, the one course. So I graduated with like the 3.97 out of four, what brought it down was marketing. I could barely sit in the marketing course. That's how much that's how I struggle with the whole concept. Because I'm so like authentic and all that. So but because of this book, I really felt that to do justice to my baby book, that I should learn something about how to market it because I can't be the only person on the planet. Who knows that I wrote that. So in the course of taking to your point, this is where I'm going in the course of taking these courses. I met some of the very highest powered marketing gurus in the States. And they said, they say 80% is mindset. And then they add. And if we're really going to be honest, it's 100%. It's all mindset.
I would agree. It's funny when you talk about marketing, not to derail the conversation a bit, but not when I was a college student. So we'll go back over 35 ideas ago. And I had a marketing professor in my first year that would walk in, sit on the desk and say, I'm only here to get my summers off. I don't care about the students. I'll grade your papers, and it's all in the textbook. So I looked around and said, Miss Kim, and she said, What? I said, Could you give me a list of the exam dates, and I promise you only see me on those exam dates, because if it's all in the book, I don't need you. And I swore I should tell you, I got an A, I swore I would never work in marketing, or like marketing again. And what have I done for the last 12 years? I know what you do? Yes, exactly. Because I'm doing it on my terms of something I love to do, instead of somebody who was there and should not have been doing that, because you could have cared less.
Well, how did you make friends with it? What did you learn to appreciate that you could implement in a way that was nourishing to you and others?
Yeah, um, I basically learned that I was going to overcome her attitude and get my a, I mean, I was on the Dean's list, I was a 4.0 grade point average for three years. So I was on the Dean's list. And I made a decision then and there, I wasn't gonna let her drag my average down. And I knew if it was all in the book, I would be fine because of the way I studied. So I just said, Oh, this is great, because I just freed up four hours a week.
Do you think that there's any connection between the reason that you mastered the marketing and the fact that that's what you that's your work?
I only got into marketing like full time, like 12 years ago, I was in technical support for 20 years before that, so no, then it's just something I like doing a lot. And another example of that is photography. Well, like about marketing, I like to challenge I like making businesses succeed. I like helping people. Yeah, my mantra what work always is a good day at work is how many people I served in help get their job done, because that's my job. So that's always been my mantra is how many people can I help them better their life?
Well, that is the secret, by the way, as far as I have learned it, to making friends with marketing and being it's someone like me, you know, I was trained initially as a classically trained psychotherapists, and there was no part of my training that had, not only was there no part of my training that had anything to do with marketing, but as a matter of fact, you had that schooled out of you, you didn't promote yourself. There was an indignity to all of that. So I really had to overcome a lot to be able to make sure that I did justice to this
book. It's, it's hard as a psychotherapist, I think I told you when we did our pre talk, I worked for a psychotherapist for two years, three days a week, and I set up all his digital marketing. And he and he actually decided to let his psychotherapy license go in Ontario, and call himself a business coach. Because the industry if you call yourself a psychotherapist, so regulated by the College of psychotherapy, and one of the things they don't like, is their psycho therapists doing online training, whether or not online training Well, they're against it. So he let it go and call themself a business coach and say goodbye.
I wanted to put testimonials for me online. And I called my licensing board. And they said to me, not only can you not ask them ever to do that, but if someone tells you they want to do that you have to recommend against it. Yeah. So that was like so different from it. The 180 degrees different from what you learn when you take a marketing
course. So Oh, no question. When you take a marketing course the first thing they teach you is ask everybody to sing your praises and talk about you and yeah,
yeah, I put a yesterday was, yesterday was everything yesterday was the International Day of women. And it was also my book was on a 99 cent Kindle sale for the next few days. And marches, optimism month, and spiritual wellness month and marches. Also, March 20. Is the International Day of happiness. Plus, it was my birthday. Yeah, but more importantly, yes, everything. So I put this thing I was going to do a live on Facebook, I was going to force myself to do that. Finally, I couldn't I chickened out. But I put a note on there thanking all the people on Facebook, who have supported this baby book and me and just thank them for putting up with me. But it's a journey. It's a long journey. Everybody's been so wonderful. It's like, Oh, my God, I can't stand myself. How can you stand me. But they've all been like, they've been wonderful. And the thing that helps is, and I hope some of your readers know this for themselves someday soon. I think it's a good book. So I think there's a lot of good cons I I'm a brain science junkie, I love to read science, I actually started my career in a clinical chemistry lab, work for the USDA biological control lab. Cardiac catheter research what? So I have like, wow, actually, it's been tested twice. And equally balanced, right brain and left brain. So there's this little friendly book is brimming with science. So I think there's something for everybody there at least I tried to craft it that way.
That's really amazing. One of the things I always say, and I'd like to get your take on, talk to us a bit about your writing the book is if you want to make life great. And you want to make you great, and you want to get to great. Don't you have to love yourself first.
I think you have to get out of your way. Okay. So let me tell you, I've been, you'd like to think deep, right? All the time. I do too. So I'm going to submit this to you. And you can tell me what you think. I don't know whether you're familiar with Ernest Becker's denial of death, heard about it haven't, I haven't read it, even wait actually like that. It's an old book. And he won a Pulitzer, I think, for it or whatever. But he says that the world is divided up into two kinds of people, you know, the premises, that we're all spending our whole entire lives trying to ward off the one thing that is certain to occur, we're going to die. And there are people. And this is a lot of alpha leadership kinds of people who are wired more than others to fight that. And then there are all the other people who are wired more than others, to attach themselves to that kind of power. So when you consider that there are 7.8 billion people in the world, the two things together, one, that if you feel like a little speck in the universe, and you don't count for much, you're kind of right about that. And then once you absorb that, the next thing is, and pretty soon, you're not even going to be here and there was a time when you weren't here. And another one, when you're not here and while you are here, you're one of 8 billion people. So why do we wonder, why do we think it's illness? Why do we wonder that people feel vulnerable? Why, like, how bring that do you have to be to not feel vulnerable? We never know what's going to happen tomorrow. You never know what the next pandemic is coming down the pike. No, it's true. Very small. We're very vulnerable and I believe that those who I was talking about making friends with marketing, those who can make friends with that, and then live a robust, joyful life anyway. But I think first we have to come to terms with our vulnerability. And maybe you're saying you have to love yourself, I'm thinking more in terms of, we have to appreciate who we are, and who we're not all kinds of energy doesn't go into trying to make ourselves someone that we're not, and then making ourselves and everyone else miserable in the process.
Yeah. And I'll take that one step further. And I'll say accept others for who they are, and who they're not as well.
which becomes much easier when you know, like, charity begins at home. Yeah, much easier when we're caring for ourselves like that.
I mean, I understand that, I mean, I've gone through phases where I find in my life, I take care of other people first. And I and I've kind of gotten a whole circle in the last probably four or five years and said, I need to take care of me more. And by doing that, then I can do the things with other people I want to do. And, and I think that's part of it, you have to take care of yourself first.
Well, probably I'm gonna speculate that some of the things that you were doing that look to you like taking care of someone else, yeah. were driven, maybe not consciously, as a way of taking care of you. Yeah, I would agree. Then the transformation becomes, how can you take care of you more simply and directly, then having to go the long way, in a way that doesn't usually bear the fruit that you want?
That's true. I would agree. I would agree wholeheartedly. So let's move on. Before we get into the book. One of the things I've discovered a lot in the last year, is the art is the art of meditation. I was never, I should say, a big fan. And I had tried it in past. I just couldn't get my head wrapped around. And I was telling my therapist on Monday night she said to me, how has that been going and I said, you know, I've only missed one day since September the first one. Now, the way I thank you and the way I have done that. And there's different things for different people. The number one meditation app on the net, is called con, CA lm. And, and I and it's not cheap, it's $80 USC, and being a Canadian add 30%. That's about what the dollar conversion is today, give or take. And as far as I'm concerned, it's the best 110 bucks I spent all last year. It's great. And they have different things for different people. So if you want to meditate to Bird sounds, you can do that. If you want to meditate to ocean sounds, you can do that. I do twice a day, when I get up. It starts my day when I go to bed, it ends my day. How long do you do it each time I'm when I get up 15 minutes, when am my day 35 to 40.
I want your listeners to know that on my website for free. And I want you to know there's a there's a box ft. If you scroll down past the part where I'm carrying on about my book, down at the bottom, it's in the middle ish. It's right under that. You'll see this box that the complimentary pull down. And there's something called the breathing. There are lots of exercises on there. But there's one called the breathing room, which is a meditation that people can have. And there's something else on there that is really powerful. And it's I've called it power breathing. It takes under 30 seconds. And you can use it anywhere, anytime. And one of my clients, I don't know if I told you this I might have. He had a very racing mind. Everything was pretty good in his life. But he was tormented by this racing, this thinking thinking thinking all the time. And so I did this exercise with him this under 32nd exercise with him. And when he was finished, he said, Wow, it was like a psychedelic drug or something. He just had this immediate calm. Yeah, it's not just for the calm. And I want to make a big deal about that. Because people worry that when they're calm, they won't be as smart. They they won't have as much energy, they won't be as focused. And they won't perform as well. But I don't agree. Right. So you can tell your audience why you don't agree.
I bet I've been through that state. Yeah, I've been through the state where I wasn't as calm. Where I got agitated by things that shouldn't have bothered me. I get angry over things that I shouldn't have got angry for. And I think the anger was more to kind of take control of the situation more than anything else, but going about the wrong way. And I decided one day, I don't want to do that anymore. I want a dog.
So do you feel smarter? No, I miss finders. So theoretically, so there's something Can anybody see us? Or is no, this is audio only. Okay, because I was going to show you the hand model of the brain. Yeah. So if you make a fist, your wrist area is the lower brain. And if you make a fist, you have your thumb in the middle. And the thumb is that is where all that agitation is. And when that thumb is going berserk. It throws the higher cortex offline, you have heard that. And so when that happens, you're not doing your best thinking. And in the simplest terms, you're not as smart as you could be. Because the executive functioning is absent. It's out of the room. It's awful. So that fear that if people are calling, they'll be dull, isn't right, because the calming of that emotional center allows the executive functioning brain to be back integrated into the system. So the agitated part of you can say to your executive functioning brain, I don't like what's happening here. It doesn't feel good. And I'm worried Can you help. And the higher functioning brain can say, I got this. Thank you for letting me know. I'll take care of this. So that's where this power breathing. Anybody wants to pull that off the website. That's where the power of breathing just puts, like Humpty Dumpty just puts the whole brain back together again, so that it can function optimally. Yeah,
that's such a good idea. The other two things I do, and I'll share this before we get the book because I think it's value. One, I journal every day. And I've journaled every day for 27 years. So, and I don't journal for my partner, I don't journal for my kid. I don't journal for my friends. Because if you read my journals, and people would read them someday, they say, Did you really say that? I journal for me. And you know, I you all use language I would never use often in person. I will say that, I'll admit, but I'm not writing for to make somebody happy. I'm writing isn't that what? You have some very good habits. Thank you. You're welcome. It was one I picked up in in a productivity course, many, many years ago, I talked to you and I just and they said, try journaling. And then the third thing and we're talking about this before we went there, I walk every day, rain or shine, snow or whatever. And I started walking back about six years ago as in what I consider a really bad relationship. I'm separated now but different reason different time. And I really didn't like going home. So I used to walk to clear my head before I went on. Yeah. And that walking, turned into started about 15 minutes. They have funny turned into an hour and a half a day. And by doing that, I lost 120 pounds. Yeah, that's amazing. My head was 10 times better because I had time to think I used to walk without using just me. And I also worked myself down in weight so I came off all diabetic medication I was on. And that's amazing when you consider I'm 53 this year 50 For in the fall at 41, I spent my 41st birthday in the ICU and hospital in Toronto, because of a diabetic attack.
Oh my god. So, yeah. You know, not everything. Like say journaling is somebody's cup of tea and not someone else's cup. But the fact that you've put together this constellation of things that are helpful for you that things that work for you, is really impressive.
It takes time, and it takes effort. And it's funny, we'd go back to journaling for set my journals beside me. And I'll pick it up in the middle of a workday and say, geez, I should write that down. And I'll put stuff in it like, today was a busy day. So I said that lunchtime, I wrote down said, this is not going to be a busy day, there's stuff coming out of nowhere, and it's going to be one of those weeks. No problem putting it down. And I was sharing this actually with my director the other day, I said, she was asking me how I seem to keep so level keel. And I said, Well, part of its being organized. I'm a bit of an organizational junkie, so I mainly organized. And that drives a lot of people note. So I'm a Virgo if you believe in astrology, and Virgos are known for being organized. So if you believe or don't believe, um, but I was sharing with her and I said, Jane, I journal every day. And she said, Does that help? And I said, Yeah, and then some days, I'll write five lines. And Sunday, I wrote four pages. It all depends on what my mood is. And it depends who I've crossed paths with who I've talked to what I've done, what I'm feeling, the journal is a good way to put emotions down. So I'll say, oh, today was a tough day, this was an easy day.
Well, there's something about writing that kicks things up to the left brain takes some of the stain out of the emotion.
Yeah. So so that that kind of helps. And I think what people need to do is recognize not every strategy works for them. Exactly. Find the ones that do. Exactly don't criticize your friends, because found something else because we're all different. And that's why there's 50 million books out there. There's 50 million techniques out there. I'm not saying millions, but you get what I'm saying? Yeah, and people got to realize, even in time management, you know, away from this, managing your time, I manage my time very differently than many people. And but because I do, and it works for me, and I've done it that way. For years, My days are better than most people's days.
I have a chapter in getting to grade, that the title of the chapter is the tyranny of time. Oh, wow. Talk about that from it. So time, and we forget this now, time is something that we made up to serve us to track the flooding of the Nile for agricultural reasons. We track the sun, the moon, the stars, again, to help us to survive and to thrive. And we forget that we were the master and time was the flame. And now the forgetting has turned it has flipped is that somehow we think time is like a god. Time reigns over us. And we bow to it. And it's backward, because we made it up in the first place. That's true, is a figment of human imagination. And it has so much power over us because we forgot what it was. Therefore, we forgot most of all that we put it there. We made that up.
It's all people's perception. Another phrase I go by is a lot of friends and people I know, live to work. And I say Really? And I say maybe that's why you're miserable. And they said What do you mean? I said I like to work to live. There's a big difference.
Well, actually, let's I think judgey because I love my work. So do I And it does bring me so much. You know, I hate to use the buzzwords but a well. meaning and purpose. I feel like especially like what happened with my father, for example, I feel like if I can help one little boy girls, mommy or daddy or anybody at all, for that matter, you done your job, have a happier, healthier, more prosperous and productive life. I'm doing what I'm here to do. So do I live to work kind of?
Do my my best friend out of my marriage is 62 years old? Yeah, she's a school teacher. She teaches great seven tough times. Right now we're covered going on. I'll tell you that. Right sevens a tough time. hormones are changing, kids are changing bodies are changing middle schools. I'm wondering, and she's in the middle school, we stole some middle schools in the Toronto area. And one of the things her and I talk about is a lot is what makes a successful year. And she always says if I've made a difference to one kid, one kit, and she's got
heard that a lot from teachers. And I know what that feels like.
And she's got a student who's now I think, Ashley's 29. So x. And Ashley's mum died of cancer. And my friend wife says mum died of cancer. And last, they talked to her a lot when she was going through it. And she's out in Vancouver in the film business. And she still stays in touch. Because let's say we made a difference to her life. And those are the days that matter. Yeah, they really do. Yeah. So let's go back to the book for a sec. On the sales page on Amazon does a really good quote. And I want to read it. And I think I know which one you know, I'm gonna read a great life depends on a great fit between who we are the environment, we work and and I've watched it sorry, live and live. How do you feel about that?
That's the first line of the book. I feel very strongly about that. I feel like that's the whole ball of wax, let's the whole thing. And it always wants the whole thing. So I'm an I'm an evolutionary psychology junkie. So I've read a lot of that for years. And you don't even have to do that to know about Darwin and survival of the fittest and adaptation. And the world belongs to those who adapt and adapt or die and all of that. And that's as true today as it ever was, that those who get to great in their lives are in really good alignment with who they are, and the environments in which they work and live, you know, like to my bones, what that feels like. Yeah, so when people come to me, typically they don't. They're typically out of alignment and miserable. And that's why they come to me. And I, I hold that space until they can step into it. Like it's a hologram for them. Because everyone can have that.
Yeah, I would agree. And then lines may do an interesting topic. That's kind of going to stir up some controversy in the productivity space, not your space. People like to talk about work life balance. Yeah, I don't like that word. I don't either. I knew you weren't gonna like that word. And I always say, there's no such thing.
Well, I don't like what it implies. Okay. I think that right off the top. It implies equal parts. Yes. And that's not how it works. No, I know
that there's some times in your life when you're very focused on one part of your life to the exclusion of another part of your life. And that doesn't necessarily mean that you're out of alignment. Yeah. I'll tell you something funny. So in one of these marketing courses, Somebody else, as somebody like me was talking with the marketing guru about how to package his program. And he said, I am having trouble with that. We're, you know, the work life balance, I'm having trouble with the word balance. So I put in the chat room. And this isn't even the word that I use in the book, the word that I use and getting to great is work life quality. Yes. But for some reason, I put integration in the chat room. And the other person like me, said, Madeline just said, integration. What do you think of that? And he's, like I said, He's really highly educated more than most people just say, balance. And I just, I just broke out laughing. And then they put in the chat room. She's laughing. Just, this is terrible. But yeah, so a lot of people are struggling with the word balance. I've actually read articles slamming the word balance. So I don't think I don't think a lot of us really even like that.
I don't I certainly don't. Because things shift depending on what priorities are. And, and they should. And they should, like, for example, a day like today for me was a heavy workout, I guarantee you, Saturday will be a heavy personal thing. That's just the way it is. So what do you think about quality? Does that? Does that? I think quality of life matters. I think I that's a better word. I think it matters more than people realize. Table of Contents. Make sure I called it work life quality. Yeah, I think that's a better word. Thank you. I really do. Um, so we talked about work life balance. And in the book, what is the number one message you want somebody to get from reading? The first line?
great love depends on a great fit between who we are. And the environments in which we work. And live. A lot of times when I'm being interviewed people will say, like what you just said, and I have a different answer that I'm going to share with you. There's something called good company. And I told you, I studied VEDA they done to pre Hindu tradition, believe it or not, for over 20 years, and still do. And that's where that concept comes to me from. And good company is not just the people you hang out with. But the books you read, the wine you drink, the food God, simply good that you listen to listen to this, this is really important. The thoughts in your head? Yes, good company. And then of course, the people you people your life with. And we do have some choice over that. And so the finest quality of all of these things that we can find and afford. And I believe that if we create that kind of life, we really enhance our own happiness, which helps us to bring more goodness to the world.
And I think that's the important thing. At the end of the day, it's what you can bring to the world. I really believe that. Yes. That's so well said. You're welcome. So to get to that greatness, can you give the listeners two quick tips? I know everybody's different.
Well, except so the reason that I wrote this book, I said to myself one day, all these people I'm working with are so different. And my toolkit has so much different stuff in it. Yes. What the heck is actually happening here that's putting a smile on their faces. Yeah. And I, I was looking for common denominator. So even though we're all different, and they are all different, what is it that they had in common that got them to this much better place? So it was the five steps. I put into five steps and I I was really happy when I saw that it worked into the acronym great. That made me really happy. And it's so there are five tips. And, and they relate to that sentence that you and I like that a great design a great fit. So the G is for grounding. Number one, first of all, you have to believe. And again, people don't come to me believing but in due time they do that. It's not about just getting relief from your pain, you can actually build a great life so that you don't have to fight this pain so much all. So it's grounding in that belief. The R is for recognize if a great life depends on the fit between who you are and the environment, you need to know who you are. So there's that part of the process. And once that is better understood, than the E is for going exploring, and all of my clients start dreaming away. things they never thought of, or things they thought of, but said now I can't do that. And that's fun. But that's not enough. Yeah. Because William James said that action doesn't guarantee happiness, but there's no happiness without it. So they, they have to really start experimenting with some of that. And then they'll get to this better place. And human beings. There's a book called The big leap, but gay Hendricks do. I know the book? I haven't read it. Okay. Yeah. So the concept there is that there's an upper limit, all of us can only be so happy and so successful without the resistance just looming. And so the T is for tackling the resistance. So that's a process that everyone in anyone, and all of my clients I've observed go through.
And it's an important process. And I think one that everybody should go through frankly. Well, if they want to uplevel Yeah. Yeah. And I think most people do, and they got to think up leveling, like staying within the box, I don't think gets you anywhere, personally. Well,
I always like to say this way. The tree wants to grow, and the bird wants to fly. And so
now what what I would suggest to anybody listening is get out to Amazon, get Madeline's book, read it. It's probably going to be one of those books that you're going to want to read a couple times. I would think
somebody said that actually, one of the people who reviewed the books said, and then I go to her. She's an author. I know. I said he really reading it twice. She said, Absolutely.
Yep. Yeah, read it once. And then the way I like to read books like this as I go back through the second time, and I take notes when I read the second, no. So go read it. Madelyn brings a lot to the table. If somebody wants to get ahold you share your website share the best way to get
madaline weiss.com ma de la NEWS s.com. All my social media links are right on there. There's a link if you want to buy the book from there. Again, it's the Kindle version is 99 cents right now for the next day or two. And I would love to hear from you.
You know, get the book drop mad on the line. I'm sure she'll love to hear from you. And thank you for spending some time today and going through your journey in the book.
It's been my pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.
You're welcome. And have a great night everybody. And as I said, Go get the book because you'll be glad you did. Bye for now. I want to thank Madeline Weiss for joining me on today's podcast. Go check out her book getting to great a five step strategy for work in life. I really think this book is a must read if you want to improve yourself. So go check it out today without delay. Thanks for listening to the STM show. It shows the production of stunning digital marketing and all rights reserved. Rob can be reached by email at VIP at stunning digital marketing comm on twitter at Rob Cairns on his website stunning digital marketing calm and on his website, there's links to all his For media platforms, this show is dedicated to my late father Bruce Cairns. Dad, I miss you very much. Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars make your business succeed.