“Finding something we don’t expect is the reward for seeking the unknown” according to Tracey Ivanyshyn.
Tracey shares how she has used this philosophy to help her through numerous “what’s next” moments and how it’s led her to finding a place where her gifts are most impactful.
Stephen Christopher 15:47
All right, what’s going on everybody, Stephen Christopher here with my awesome co host Loura Sanchez. Hey, and welcome to another episode of the exciting unknown. We have one of my most amazing friends in the entire world, literally the best, most caring and giving human on the entire face of the planet. And I do not and I’m not lying about that. I’m not making that up. Like literally there are hundreds of people in our friend group in our mastermind groups that say the exact same thing about this person. Tracy, Ivanisin. Tracy, welcome to the exciting unknown.
Unknown Speaker 16:36
Thank you so much. I’m so happy to be here. Both of you. And thank you for inviting me and thank you for the very kind intro.
Stephen Christopher 16:45
Well, don’t worry, you get a little bit more on your intro too. So just a little bit of background on Tracy Tracy runs a company called uplevel Global. I’ll let her tell you exactly what it is they do because she has these really cool spins on making something That might be kind of a normal scene business, said a little bit differently. But her company has done her and her company have done some absolutely amazing things. So they are one of Canada’s fastest growing companies, one of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Companies, Canada’s top 100 employers, and female entrepreneur of the year and everybody within these these very high level mastermind groups that I’m in with Tracy, she always speaks about culture. And she’s built an absolutely amazing culture within her business. And had people in industry where I think the the turn rate of employees is like, what, probably a couple months and she’s had employees for like 20 plus years. And yeah, so lucky. Yeah. So you’ve done absolutely amazing things. So you know, now that I’ve kind of shared that just tell like the the current business that I’m talking about, like, what do you guys do just for context?
Unknown Speaker 17:59
Yeah, so Thank you, you know, some of those nominations and awards expand, you know, over, you know, a number of years and I feel really, really fortunate that in most cases that were clients who, you know, referred us and suggested to us nominated us. So that was pretty cool. What we do in a nutshell is we have outsourced customer care teams that we create for various different companies, sometimes it’s large, large companies, sometimes it’s startups, but basically any customer care whether it’s, you know, traditional kind of voice, you know, telephone, customer care, or digital channels, social media, chat, email, all of that kind of thing. Basically, what we do is we just create this team that becomes, you know, a, an arm of your business, and knows your brand loves your brand and just like makes it they’re calling to create people who love your company and love your service. So that’s basically what we do. And the fun part for me, is, I love people. As Steven mentioned, sometimes Love welcoming new people onto our team. And we do cultures really, really important. So I love sort of taking people who probably, you know, working in a contact center, if that’s sort of like the technical terms that how we see it, but the technical term probably isn’t anybody’s first choice. You know, if they don’t sort of grow up thinking, that’s what I would love to do. And sometimes people come in as serve an interim step to something else, or maybe a starting step. And they probably picture in their minds that on a scale of one to 10 they’re probably gonna like it about a five. And so what I find really, really fun is finding ways to kind of get that number to go up and up and up. So just kind of been watching and watching kicking, get it to six, can we get it to seven, we get it to eight, you know, just I just love. I love people’s energy, no extra feeling into that energy and thinking can we get that as high as we can possibly get it and what can we learn about that person? What can they learn about themselves? And and then how does that translate to the kind of energy that happens on the phone, or via chat for our clients, because I think that it’s so connected, you know, how people feel about themselves and how people feel about the people they’re sitting beside, translates into how we can serve our clients. And so I think it’s all totally connected. And the other thing I love is watching our clients get to focus on the stuff, they’re great at, you know, growing their business or like their product, the stuff that they’re really passionate about. And then let us handle like this building rapport and like, just creating this great bond between their customer. So they don’t have to worry about that from the technology or the people or the vacations and scheduling and illnesses and things that happen when you have, you know, large groups of people to deal with. But so that’s it. I really love them. I love just watching the energy of both people that work with us. We call that our work family. And the people that we work for as they get to grow their companies and talk about 10 year are average 10 years 8.9 years which In our industry is like unheard of our industry kind of thing sort of quotes, like 24 months, being sort of an average because a it’s usually a job that people like I said they weren’t dreaming up their whole lives. And I kind of also talked about it sort of like the three S’s like there is no, it’s not a job, there’s a lot of status. And it’s not a job that has a huge salary. And it’s not a job that’s really sexy. So if you don’t have any of those, then you got to have like the fourth pass or thirds, like style, you got to have style, you got to have like this physical environment and this nurturing environment, and it’s not perfect every day, I promise you. But you have to have these things that help people feel like they’re part of something that really matters and part of them a work family that really cares about them for the time they’re going to be with us. So I find that part is the most fun part of my job. And you know, what’s
Stephen Christopher 21:53
amazing about that, that I just thought of is that you’ve basically helped people Understand that it’s possible to create fulfilment in a way that they never would have thought possible. You’ve taken an industry where the average you know, whatever average employment is 24 months, and help them understand that fulfillment is not based on all all of these external things that most people think about, especially when you start talking about entrepreneurs, right? We start companies to maybe make more money. You know, we do say we want to impact the world, but we oftentimes don’t necessarily find fulfillment and you’ve taken that, you know, entrepreneurs, I think it’s a little easier for us because we have control over it say, Okay, I want to find fulfilment, I want to go in this direction. I want to do this, but you’ve done it with employees, when that’s even that’s even harder. Like that’s, I just want to point out that Yeah, that’s great analogy. Amazing. And it’s possible to do this, right. It’s possible to, it’s possible to find fulfillment in literally anything that we’re doing and that’s a huge part of the exciting unknown. It’s about finding fulfillment now, and experiencing the fulfillment and everything that we’re going through, not just all find fulfillment when X, Y and Z
Unknown Speaker 23:10
when I get one of the SS, when I get a big salary, then I’ll feel fulfilled or when I have status, right? Yeah, exactly. That’s a great, that’s a great takeaway from that.
Stephen Christopher 23:21
Unknown Speaker 23:22
thank you. Well, you know, what else is fun about it for me is that what it proves to me is that you can find purpose in other people’s growth. Like once you really understand what so for instance, what some of our clients are building, which is pretty incredible. Then you don’t have to create it that yourself, you can say, like a really important part of their journey. I can look after this whole piece, so they don’t have to. And then so each one of our team, they’ll be watching our clients who are building a company and they’ll be like, look at that. Like when another book comes out. We’re like, Oh my gosh, like, we’re so excited about it for them, and we see the calls increase and we see like the emails come in, we see these like requests for more. And we’re like, wow, you know what we can help look after this piece and this person gets to impact way more people. And, and you can, like, you can find passion and purpose. And just being a great party. It’s it’s pretty fun for me just to see how As humans, we are tied to growth and it doesn’t have to be our own physical or our own personal growth of a company, we can get pretty excited about growth for anyone that we think is impacting the world in a great way.
Stephen Christopher 24:32
Okay, so I’m going to turn from the direction I thought I was going to go with this and go a little bit different now based on this here in the beginning, because I want to pull a couple things out of this, like, Are there are there a few things that you do as a leader as a company to help people get that fulfillment or help them like how do you help them find fulfillment in like others growth and in their own personal growth, it Is there you know, either a structure or even just one or two things that you think that you guys do really well, to help somebody who probably never would have thought, Oh, yeah, like, Hey, I’m, I’m looking for fulfillment there. Maybe in the beginning, there’s like, I’m looking for a job. How, like, how do you get somebody to go from that to that? Is it just?
Unknown Speaker 25:20
That’s a? It’s a great question. I would love to tell you, we do it really well every day. But the truth of it is, you know, in any business, there’s chapters, right. And in some chapters, we do it so well, in other chapters, just like any business, when you’re running a million miles an hour, you maybe don’t do it as well, and then you can see, Oh, I should have done x, y and Zed. You know, so I think that it’s just a constant learning. And, you know, times like in the last three months, well, we’ve been going through, you know, some pretty big challenges as a globe. You know, you probably, truthfully don’t get as much time or at least you’re definitely making a pivot to working remotely now and you’re not getting as much FaceTime. So I think that’s something that you can constantly learn and evolve about. For me, I think that if you care, and I know you do, and I know anybody’s gonna listen to this, when you care a lot about people that have come onto your path, then it’s a lot easier to get invested in, okay, what’s in this for them? because anybody can trade time for money. And I’ve done that myself, there’s nothing wrong with it. But when I get a choice between trading time for money, or being part of something that’s actually going to impact the world, then if I’m going to spend eight hours or more, I want to do it in a way that’s going to impact the world. So actually, on everybody’s first day, with company or sometimes first or second day, depending on what my schedule is, like, I get a chance to sit down with people and I have this exact conversation. And I and I talked about, you know, the choice between trading time for money or being part of the greater purpose I talked about this clients that we serve and how they’re impacting things. You just have to tie
Unknown Speaker 27:05
things to your passion and your purpose.
Unknown Speaker 27:09
And then understand, like, what’s their passion? And, you know, how can I help them grow? And how can I take an environment? One of the things I think we do well is how can I take an environment that as you can imagine, seems like it doesn’t allow for a lot of creativity, because there are scripts in our brands. And there’s things we want to make sure we’re really in tune with, of course, really understanding. So it might seem like there’s not a lot of room for creativity. But humans love creativity. So we had to kind of find ways to build in just how do people get to share their gifts? And so, we’ve done a number of things which you know, we can go over but for any business, I think if you find a way it’s not gonna be one example. When we did an employee satisfaction survey, this is some years ago, we had an overwhelming number of People who had an overwhelming number of people who really wanted to be part of the training team, and they wanted to be, you know, part of the education of the new folks. And we didn’t have enough positions on that team. It’s not a big enough team. But we said, You know what, I think every person could be part of it. What if we created these things, we call them what’s new Wednesday, or like Ted Talk Thursday. So we’ve got two options. One, if anybody in the company, whether they’ve been with us for like 20 minutes, or 20 years, they could all sign up to be party this. And it’s like a lunch and learn format. What’s new Wednesday is you can take any topic that interests you anything, and we’ll pair you up with someone on the management team who will kind of be your coach. And you can just pick a date sometime in the future on Wednesday, and we do this Lunch and Learn you get to just like, share whatever it is that’s like, lights you up anything that’s interesting, whether it’s like a trip you’ve done in the past or a hobby or passion, whatever it is, and this together you’ll create like a presentation of some kind and it can happen Be multimedia. But basically you get to share it with all three locations, you know, virtually, what your passion is, and you get to be part of, you know, educating and training people about something that’s really important to you. So what’s been amazing about that, and we haven’t done it in the last few months of course, there’s more virtual but what’s amazing about that is watching people decide if they want to sign up to do it. And then watching them kind of learn through the process and you know, kind of go from having those nerves to them going and doing it. And what I love is I always watch people’s faces throughout this process. It’s kind of like slow motion, and I watched them as they kind of walk in the room that day, I always make sure I’m physically where they’re going to be. And I watched and I just like, know that they’re walking in as a person who you know, as part of our work family in this context center. But then then I watch them kind of like deliver this go from like, the nerves to like, feeling more confident, like seeing like the feedback. And when they walk out. I know they’re a third entity now. They’re an educator. And watching that shift, watching the energy shift and knowing that they’ve actually shared something really special and they’ve overcome these jitters and they got to do something really creative that their actual official job description, didn’t call for it necessarily, but they got a chance to do it. And TED Talk Thursdays is kind of a similar, maybe less intrusive kind of thing where they just go home, they watch 10 TED Talks, they decide which one they think would bring the most joy or truth or awareness to the team, they kind of do a brief intro, we watch it, and then they kind of facilitate a roundtable on the topic at the end. And the same thing happens. You know, they sort of walk out the part of that team and, you know, they put something new on their resume, they’ve, you know, had an experience which they hadn’t had before. This wasn’t how it was designed. But what’s happened is almost every person who’s raised their hand and offered to do this has eventually seen a promotion and some new opportunities opened up because I got to see them that I wouldn’t have gotten to see them. But more importantly, they got to see themself in a way they did wouldn’t have gotten to see themselves. And their peers got to see them in a whole new way that actual job doesn’t call for. But then we’re all way richer because we got to share this time together, which was really cool. So that’s, that’s awesome. That’s,
Unknown Speaker 31:21
that’s a great idea.
Stephen Christopher 31:23
I know, a long winded answer. No, that’s fantastic. I really appreciate you sharing it. And I think you know, from a specific tactic type thing, that’s something great that anybody listening that works within a company, whether you’re the owner or leader or manager or an employee, like that’s a great thing to bring in. You know, one of the things that I kind of pulled out of that is just remembering that it’s, it’s not about you, it’s not about us, it’s about how do we empower others to serve others? And so how are you empowering your team? How, how is your team empowering and caring for the client and like, just remembering like, it’s not about us, right? Like we get focused on us a little too much. Especially when we’re stressed and constricted. So remembering to like, take a step back, I always tell our team, if you ever get stressed, take a step back, take three deep breaths, and think about three other people. And what you can do to serve them, and it’ll kind of it kind of stops stops. Yeah. Or at least dramatically decreases it. Yeah. Cool. I dig it, Tracy. So let’s, let’s talk a little bit about kind of your journey now. And you’re I want to get into like this calling, right? Because part of the show we’re talking a lot about the exciting, unknown and leading into it and how we all most of us, most of us, that are listening are in some sort of leadership type position entrepreneurs, whatever. And at some point in our life, either we’ve gone through this or we’re going to go through this and we’re experiencing it at different levels. We feel this calling right we feel this poll to maybe be doing something a little different, or maybe be Spread just knowing that we are capable of of more. And you know, before we started the show, you said something interesting. Maybe we go through this process a couple times or multiple times over life. But Has there ever been a specific time in your life where you either kind of knew that you were being called to something different? Or maybe that you already feel that you found your calling because you run such an amazing company? And I can only imagine. I mean, I’ve known you for a long time. I don’t have to imagine I know it because we’ve had conversations about it, but you run such a great thing and from the outside looking in, you have like the perfect life, the perfect company. You’re very successful. Everybody loves you. But you know is there has there been like this different poll of a calling or it just just talk to me about that?
Unknown Speaker 33:54
I’d love to you know, it’s it’s fun because I feel like throughout my life You know, there’s been big for specific callings. And I know Stephen at one point where you and I had this conversation about the third mountain, and you know, just how, you know, you start the path in one way, and you think this is what it’s gonna be, you know, you picture this is what I was meant to do. And, you know, when I think about my calling what I change, you know, any part of it, I’m sure there’s like, you know, a few missteps here and there, I think, Oh, yeah, I could have avoided that. But for the most part, like, I’m just so grateful for every step because it’s a really windy road. And so I kind of prefer to think about like chapters. And it’s funny because I’ve had certainly many times where I felt like this chapters ready to close, and how do I want to close it with grace, and sometimes I’ve been successful. And it kind of ranges from like, like the silly to the sacred. I’ll just start at the very beginning when I went to school the first time so I grew up in a very small town in Canada and You know, my family was, but in small towns as it goes, you know, you’re kind of everybody knows everybody, and you really can’t get away with much of anything. Everyone’s there’s eyes and ears everywhere. And so when it came time to finish high school, you know, you’ve got the strikes in Canada anyway to go through the four years or five years. If you go through four years, you’re probably going to college. And if you go to five years, you’ve probably gone to university and I thought, well, I can’t get out here fast enough. I mean, I love my friends. I had lots of fun, but I was just ready to spread my wings. So I thought, well, what can I take at college that I might really like? And I thought, oh, nursing, that’d be great. I’d be a great nurse, sometimes nurturing really love that and the outfits are cute, you know, you’re 18 so you’re making choices, you know, not from your highest so it’s a kind of cute, I might need a doctor. It was probably like a lot of fun camaraderie amongst nurses. Yeah, I think that’d be great. So I went to nursing college and it’s just funny. I asked my parents one day like, Did you think I should volunteer at a hospital first, like does anybody give me some guidance to find out if this be a great fit because there I was in nursing college with, you know, have the outfit like Nursing had and stuff and I think it was like, maybe my second week, like being actually in the hospital. And I was witnessing a childbirth actually passed out, I fainted. I didn’t realize oh my gosh, like this whole, like physical pain and bodily fluids thing is really not for me. And then maybe like, six weeks later, I was doing this other rotation. And I realized that I actually freeze in emergency situations. I just like totally freeze. None of these things are good. If you want to be a nurse. It’s like I totally knew that calling was actually not for me. It had a ton of fun socially, college was really great. But I knew like in that moment, oh, this was not but that wasn’t really a bad choice, or was it really actually a great gift to sort of help me understand it’s actually the nurturing piece is actually the calling. And it’s okay to figure out some of these other things are not my calling, and that’s okay. It doesn’t make me a bad person just sort of helps me kind of hone in. So then I realized Okay, so nurturing so went back finished my fifth year. School and then went to university for social work, which was totally my jam. Totally my jam. I loved it. I worked on a bunch of different settings. My favorite one was hospital setting with patients who were dying. Patients who had been injured patients who had been in either an abusive situation whatever brought them to the hospital. And I loved, loved loved that job. I knew it was totally my calling, and had some my favorite moments. sounds sort of odd, but my favorite moments were working with patients who were dying. And so I knew that was my calling. And I ended up knowing though that that chapter I was called by the administrators in the hospital and then through a variety of other steps to sort of like, expand my range of impact, knowing that I could impact people one to one as a social worker and loved it. But I could as I moved up kind of into management and then got involved with the government and sort of creating some new policies around long term care and end of life choices. I knew I could impact More people. So it’s kind of like the chapter on doing it directly kind of closed, turns out not forever, but kind of closed. And then I got into the ministration, and so on. And I just loved that calling too. And then
Unknown Speaker 38:13
one day, I got a call from my father actual voice call.
Unknown Speaker 38:20
asked me if I could come and help him with the family business. And there had been some, this has been alluded to a number of times, like sort of like, I don’t think that’s supposed to be but for a variety of reasons and a variety of circumstances that came the right time. And I offered to go and help him which I thought was going to be very short term. And that was 24 years ago now. And I came into the the start of this, what we what we run now, but it was one of the companies and we had six employees, which was much different from what I was used to. And I thought I would hate it. And then over time we started you know, I bought that company from my dad and started some additional companies in the meantime, and grew the company to from six employees to like 160 employees because what I knew I loved most was the people. And so I knew in that chapter, the solutions that we were creating and the outcomes for clients are really, really important. I loved it. And the people that were kind of being drawn to my path were being brought on for a reason. And that could create this culture. And it just started reminded me that if you’re passionate people, you really can find meaning in whatever you’re doing. So I took this detour into the private sector, which I’m still technically in, and I love these, this group of companies, and I love the people on the clients of the people. I always stay involved with it. But it’s been really cool because another chapter I can feel and Stephens alluded to. We’ve had some chats and other chapter is emerging. And that chapter is actually going to bring me back to this real passion I had in social work in a slightly different way. That chapter actually started three years ago, well, actually, maybe four years ago now. And that chapter started when my mom was diagnosed with cancer and was terminally ill. And I never thought I would say it this way at that time, but it was like, such a beautiful gift, this gift of watching her through this transition, and it was like, painful. And there were all kinds of moments that were messy and, and, you know, as you would imagine, because my mom and I are really, really close. But it also was this time of such immense learning and it it brought me back to these moments that I had in the very early going of my social work, career helping people through their transition. And lessons I had learned like nudges and downloads I’ve been given back then when I was like 27. And then fast forward to you know, my mom’s what we call now the good by year because we had an amazing full year to be with her and kind of walk with her on that journey, and just the nudges and lessons I was provided with, during that time and all the ways we were able to, you know, kind of almost freeze time in that year and create amazing memories with her and all the lessons I had and people, people that contributed to making that journey is as rich as it was. And as beautiful as it was. Those things are all just such amazing gifts and it really got me into this next chapter, which is accelerating right now. And that is this chapter where I really believe I get to go back to this place where I can help people with planning for their ideal end of life we know doesn’t always happen this way. But I believe that thinking about Planning towards really meaningful end of life work transition, or an assessment, call it goodbye. And I’ll tell you why. I don’t really think it’s actually Goodbye forever. And that’s my own personal belief. But
Unknown Speaker 42:14
I think people understand that you know, in the goodbyes and our life and we’ve had so many goodbyes as we think about our lives open had the goodbye to a love affair. We’ve had a goodbye to a geographical place that we loved. We’ve had goodbyes to titles and goodbyes to buildings and goodbyes to loved ones. We’ve had so many goodbyes, and I just, it just fills me up. When I think about all the things we learn and all the love we get to share and all of these pivotal moments that happened in the goodbyes. So I have a new passion project, which is called reimagined Goodbye. And it’s all about finding the wisdom and goodbye, whatever the goodbye happens to be and then planning, you know the ultimate goodbye for this earth. planning it, not just when there’s a sense of urgency or like when the clock is ticking, it’s really important. And if you haven’t started planning until then, I think it’s so important to have someone who can guide you through some of the questions that you maybe won’t think of, because there’s so much else going on, or guide you or your family through creating a legacy project that will make the transition that much easier and allow everyone to just sort of speak their truth. If they’re ready for that, answer the questions they want answered. Capture the memories and capture just those the energy so that it’s can be a really beautiful and sacred experience instead of you know, really frightening, frightening experience. And so I think that just planning the goodbye is just a beautiful gift, and it’s a gift I just want to share with people I have done a lot of studying on this positive death movement. I’ve done a lot of studying on death doula, I did a certification in end of life doula, and I really believe in the benefit of having a doula or a midwife in birth. I just completely believe in the benefit of having a midwife. At the at the end of your life as well. I think there’s so many ways it can become this beautiful, rich, sacred gift, instead of what often happens, which is it’s medicalized and like shrouded in some kind of like, shame people kind of speak in whispers when there’s a death that’s imminent. And I think that’s a mindset which is understandable. When we medicalize things when we talk about you know, biohacking to live 250 somehow you can feel like if you don’t somehow make it that long, you might have some, maybe there’s some sort of sense of shame like, Did I not care enough about my body didn’t like did I fail somehow because you know, something’s happening earlier than what I had anticipated. And I think you can move all of that aside if you have three guys And people around you. And sometimes your family is amazing at this. And sometimes they’re amazing at it. But when it’s their own mom, they’ve kind of forgotten some of the pieces because they’re a little bit in shock, or they might have some fear. And so I just love this notion of people having someone to help them navigate and guide them. That’s pretty cool.
Unknown Speaker 45:20
So I have a question Tracy. So when you’re talking about the different college you had, and you go to work at the family business and and you’re loving it, you have a passion for it, you’re feeling like okay, I’m getting to bring my love of people together. nurturing the people within your company, helping them become the most. And then you have your mom getting sick. Were you leading up to that? Were there nudges where you like, Hey, I’m getting a little burned out. I’m frustrated. Did you have any of those feelings about what the need for something next or did it really happened in a moment of like, holy cow. Wow. I have now going through this and I’m seeing that I need to be called. I’m called as opposed to searching. Is that how it played out for you? Hmm, that’s a really good question. I think that I always knew there was going to be a passion project
Unknown Speaker 46:19
that would come alongside the family business. And some of that came when we started sister companies. Well, I started the sister company, and those were real passion projects and still are. And it was something that I started myself and got to grow. So it felt pretty great. But I think I always felt like there was going to be something and I have great friends like Steven and a number of other friends of mine that have said to me a couple of times, to like your actual gift is like love and presence. And do you think that the world is getting as much of your gift as possible in a corporate setting and I kind of liked it. Challenge of it, you know, creating a work family and through being a little bit unique in terms of our culture, I kind of liked, like the challenge of trying to bring it. And actually when my mom got sick, what I realized, and I had none at all, but what I could see was that this, this business, actually was such a huge gift. And really, although it looks like a business on the outside, it really was just this container of love that was actually just sort of placed there so that people would come into it. And maybe not stay forever, maybe do stay forever. We’ve got lots of both of those, but people come into it, either as a client or as an employee, or through a mastermind like Steven, but people this business was like a construct that would just bring people on the path so that we could all leave each other better. And in the moment where my mom was sick, I knew my life was gonna change forever because she was such a huge part of it. I knew this container actually had held space for all of us. In this work family through everything we’ve all been through over the all these years, we went through so many chapters birth, death, weddings, divorces, illness health, moving on to like new amazing things. new chapter so I realized, wow, this business and businesses are always can be challenging and, and also fun. But all through every challenge, I felt this way at the start of COVID. Also, I realized, like, wow, although this business can be challenging and sometimes daunting, it’s created this beautiful container that has held all of us and actually on our boardroom table, we have a boat like a physical boat. And we often refer to like the company we say, it’s like this boat. This has carried all of us through every storm in every beautiful sunny day. It’s carried us through all of that. So I love that I’ve had this chapter and I think I’ll stay involved with this in some way because out of perspective, and maybe, you know, COVID ends up Alternatively path for this business, that’s okay too, because it’s just been this beautiful thing. And I’ve also known kind of alongside of it that there was other things I was going to do, as well. And I’ve been lucky, I’ve been so lucky because I’ve been called to be on some pretty interesting committees around corporate culture. So things that didn’t impact our business directly, but where I could actually help impact other people’s thinking about culture and ideas about what they could do, and I’ve had tons of ideas shared with me, it’s a community through the virgin group of companies that is chock full of people who love culture and get to share so I feel like there’s been office always been like a little side Avenue where I could just like, flow a little bit more love and creativity and ideas that could be impactful. And so this is I feel like another one. I feel like this one’s really this passion project. reimagined goodbye. is like perfect for right now. It’s like a gift that will you know, as Steven has challenged me how What gift is there? That actually takes, you know, the most of your strengths and allows people to really, you know, feel it and experience it outside of the corporate world. And eventually I think that there is a, an opportunity to
Unknown Speaker 50:16
Unknown Speaker 50:19
I’m not gonna call it a business, but to be part of this positive movement and be part of people’s journey, not just as I said, at the end, when there’s a death that’s gone, we know what’s going to happen, but really, it’s about thinking about your legacy, even now, it’s perfectly healthy people, hopefully, decades before, we need to think about our legacy and thinking about when it happens, that it’s my turn to, you know, open that other door and walk out of it. What do I hope? Either people would say, What do I hope I would feel, what am I hope I’ve done and what’s the legacy that I’ve left and You know, as I think about all those things, I think about how I would like to pass, it will inform the way that I live my life now.
Stephen Christopher 51:09
Yeah, that’s such a great. I mean, I know you and I have talked about it a lot. But I think about it a lot more now that you’ve shared, that is what you know, how do I want to pass out what you know, what legacies? Do I want to leave? How do I want to feel basically, on my deathbed, what would I look back and say, okay, hey, I wish I would have done this, or I wish I would have done this. And now it impacts my decisions now, in the face of what becomes a lot less scary. You know, right now, making a decision to make a big move might be scary. But when I look at it from that perspective, I’m like, Oh, cool. It’s actually not that bad. Yeah, just do it. Like this is what I want to feel and live and be at that point, you know, when it’s almost at the end, and so that’s been super helpful for me since we’ve been talking about it
Unknown Speaker 51:58
well into this feeling That xy Check, check in with both of you like, do you get this feeling like the goodbyes in your life? You know, the significant goodbyes that have happened in your life that there, there have been turning points. They’ve been like a lot of a lot of lessons, a lot of things that if you could sort of distill it down to like, one or two bullet points, it would just be such a story.
Unknown Speaker 52:25
To get out, I think, yes. I mean, the short answer is yes. I think that though there are, there’s something more behind it of
Unknown Speaker 52:36
what do you do with those goodbyes? Like, how does how does it impact in? Sorry? How does it impact in what you do next? Right. I mean, just thinking about, you know, a breakup of a marriage, and you know, it’s easy to look at it and say, Okay, yeah, this is a new chapter. Now. I get to do things different regardless of whether you wanted it or you didn’t want it or whatever. But how how you handle that? how it impacts them? What do you do the next time? I think that’s what so many of us, we have a goodbye, we get through it the best we can. Right? So what? How could we take that? and say, Okay, how does this affect them? How I’m going to live in the future? I think that’s really where the work comes in. And that’s the hard part of it.
Unknown Speaker 53:23
I think so too. And I think it has to do with how able are you? Or can you can you learn to get quiet with the reality of the goodbye? Yeah. What was what was my role? What did I learn? You know, if you can get quiet with all of that and reimagine the Goodbye, it can totally inform how you’re going to take those next steps. And one, one good example of this is like a quick little exercise you can do for yourself. When you think about just as one question, which is, what am I most afraid of as I as I envisioned that last year? Firstly, goodbye. As I picture that transition, what am I most afraid of? When is like as I really if I could get quiet with what is the fear? What is it? And then as you sit quietly with that, and the answer sort of come to you, I, what I’ve because I’ve done this now with numerous people done it for myself. And what I think can happen when you can really sit quietly with that and
Unknown Speaker 54:26
really get in touch with that is that
Unknown Speaker 54:29
you can see the pattern, there’s a pattern in your life you know that saying like how you do anything is how you do everything. So once you can use that final goodbye as the framework and see what the fear is, you can actually notice where that fear has shown up in so many places in your life. And you can decide how you’re going to let that change the way you live. So for a quick example, my my biggest fear in that moment, his pain and I physical pain. It’s not my jam. I’m a bit A bit of a waste. But more specifically, I’m causing someone else pain. And more specifically than that, sort of looking into someone’s eyes and seeing pain, and knowing that I contributed to that. So when I realized that when I came to realize that that is my biggest fear. I said, Okay, so how you do anything is how you do everything. And I realized that almost my entire life, I have tried to avoid pain. And you know, they say like, the greatest suffering actually comes from trying to avoid suffering. And what I realized then was, you know, I don’t have any urgency to plan my death, I don’t think who knows. But I don’t think there’s any urgency but in that lesson, it’s like, hmm, if Tracy could just learn how to be okay with pain and knowing it’s going to be there, it’s part of life, instead of trying to avoid it instead of trying to just play I kind of dodge it, I could just learn how to like, sit with it, acknowledge it, know that it will pass, that’s a moment, I could totally change the way I live my entire life. So it doesn’t actually have anything to do with my death. I mean, it will eventually. But it will inform the way that I live, if I can get it right. And so it’s just a matter of having that moment, that quiet moment with that Goodbye, that sort of planned good pie and the other goodbyes have had in my life, and really just understand what the lesson is. For me, it can totally change the way I live every moment up until when I get there.
Stephen Christopher 56:41
You know, and I think you mentioned one of these tools are some of the tools right? Because I was going to ask, okay, how do you start to do this stuff like, how do you even become aware and some of those basic steps are things like mindfulness practices, practicing awareness, learning to feel what emotions Am I feeling right now? Because those emotions are a guide, and you know, then you can get into like intuition and stuff, you know, we all have that capacity. We just have to learn how to listen to it. meditation can dramatically deepen that. And, you know, those are those steps initially to start paying attention to those things. And then we can learn more from them. Once we learn to experience it, and one of our actually all three of our mutual friends and a coach Trish Blaine, we were talking to her about being able to experience both at once. So if you have pain and suffering in one hand, but you also have a desire to be, you know, happy and loving and giving and caring, being able to experience both of those at the same time. Because neither one is isn’t maybe necessarily good or bad, right? They are just things we are experiencing and, and Tracy like you mentioned, what can we learn from that thing. So this practice of awareness and mindfulness and meditation to just become aware of it, and then this other practice of You know, how do we learn from it and not kind of get stuck in it or be ashamed of it or think it’s a bad thing or think it’s, you know, we’re just not cut out to feel pain. Because I mean, you know, Tracy, you say that you avoid suffering, but you’re so great at, you’re so great at it. Like when you’re in it, you’re so great, internally being aware of it, and you’re so great at helping other people through it. So they’re actually, I would say you’re the opposite of a wuss when it comes to that. So, you know, that kind of leads me down this road of has there been? Has there been a time where you, despite all external circumstances where things are crazy, and maybe it’s even like through through COVID, and stuff, like all of these things are happening in this outside world that are not in alignment with your vision, your goals, like where you thought you were going. So despite all of this stuff, not necessarily going the direction that we Thought it was or that you thought it was where, instead of, well, basically where you started to lean into that, and just start to more naturally go with that flow. Because I know at least for me, when I was a lot younger and less aware, I would push against that I would be like, Nope, I gotta force it. Like, I got to do
Unknown Speaker 59:19
what I do, and it’ll be fine.
Stephen Christopher 59:21
Yeah, force it to go through, like, I’m gonna hit that goal no matter what. And now, it’s more like, Oh, well, life is actually happening for me. So I’m gonna go on this ride hence me the whole freakin podcast, the exciting. No, this is exactly what we’re talking about. So any examples of stuff like that come up for you, or even along that path, and along that journey, because we really want people to understand as well as the learning that we’re getting here that this is a better path.
Unknown Speaker 59:52
Yeah, it’s a really good question. And
Unknown Speaker 59:57
I think that I have experience says, you know, sort of dotted along the path that I’m really aware of. And then there’s parts of the path that I I missed seeing also, you know, I wish I was aware of like the five points on the path and I could explain it but I’m not there yet. Um I do know and I read I’m sure you’ve probably read or you know people have read the surrender experiment. of that book and it came to me a really good friend of ours mutual friend of ours gave it to me at precisely the right time. And so the idea behind the book as most of you know, which is that actually what what life or the universe or source or God or whatever you want to call it, whatever the Divine Will call it has in mind for you is actually way better than the picture that you have in your mind for yourself. And I like throughout my life like this idea of me being a nurse. So I would have been a you know, would have left that life and I love you know, I love that whole caring thing, but I like I truly wasn’t built for it, the medical parts of it. And so I just think about the number of times in my life and Loura yours and Steven, yours were plan you had for yourself was great. But the plan that actually came after that was like even better. And even this family business, I call it a detour, but but I’ve loved every minute of it. So I don’t want to diminish it. But even the family business that I did not intend to be in. I’m so thankful that I did go with that flow. Because had I not done that. Oh, my gosh, I wouldn’t know Stephen would No, no, you Loura. I there’s so many people, I would never have met the people in my work family. But it’s just incredible the richness of that. And so I think back in the earlier part of this we were talking about when people come to work at our company, and it’s not sort of like their biggest dream, you know, to come and work at the company originally. But it’s like, what could be the surprise that they weren’t intending? What could be like, the better thing that they have no idea what’s going to come from this as someone they’re going to need or something they got to do that they didn’t even know they could or is it like some sort of belief in themselves? Or is it just a stepping stone to something else? It’s gonna happen, this is gonna blow their mind. You know, it’s like, I’ve come to realize that
Unknown Speaker 1:02:24
Unknown Speaker 1:02:26
what really if I had to, like boil it right down what really gets me excited is finding light where I expected to find darkness or like a shadow. Or where am I expected something small, finding something big. You know, it’s it’s so exciting. And I’ve been to two prisons now to maximum security prisons now one in Kenya and one in LA. And in both cases, I’ve prepared myself for this feeling of darkness and Just was blown away by how much light was there? That’s one example. And I’m sure you can all we can all think about these times where we are expecting one thing. And then based on the surrender experiment or any other version of that, we’ve got this amazing surprise, something that we weren’t expecting. So I don’t know if that answers the question, but I hope it’s been very similar like that. I know, we had talks in the early going up at Stephen where I was, I was nervous for for business. Our company was founded 50 years ago. I’ve been there for 24 years. And I was very worried that this could be, you know, the end and I went through all the stages of grief, I think around it and then came to settle on. Well, it’s been this beautiful container and maybe nobody promises us forever. Anything. Maybe it’s it’s served its purpose and if it has, I will, you know, manage that. And the biggest thing for me is like the people, you know, the people that are in it with me and the people we serve And all that kind of thing. So I had to go through a lot of a lot of them sort of thinking about that. But then what what has happened, which has been like a total surprise is what I felt like was a bullet coming straight towards us has somehow become this blessing. Like this amazing blessing. Some parts of our company are doing better than they did last year at this time, which if you would have asked me like, six weeks ago, or eight weeks go back, it happened, I would have been like, Oh, that’s not gonna happen. But it’s happened. And so for all the people who had to listen to me go through this fearful phase, thank you for sticking with me. Because in the end, it’s just like that words, you’re expecting one thing and then something else happened. And so I think it happens often and I’m grateful for it.
Stephen Christopher 1:04:50
That’s awesome. One thing that I pull out of that is having a sounding board right. You mentioned all the people that kind of listened and you know, we all have those people, especially through COVID stuff. That were kind of our sounding boards because we can generally others can generally see us our true self better than we can a lot of times, especially in times of mass fear and concern and things like that. Because we all knew, Tracy, that you were going to be fine and something amazing was going to happen. But you can’t always say that sometimes you just have to be there and be present and help, you know, help hold those, those, those emotions or those people up, and then they find their most amazing path even better than what we could have helped create, letting it letting it unfold. Mm
Unknown Speaker 1:05:35
hmm. That’s really true. That’s that metamorphosis. Yeah. Right.
Stephen Christopher 1:05:40
Yeah. From from bullet to blossom. That’s what happened.
Unknown Speaker 1:05:45
A little quote you just came up with did you make that up? Yeah. Look at that. Never heard of it.
Unknown Speaker 1:05:50
I love it. I love it a lot with Stephen.
Stephen Christopher 1:05:54
I try ramen. So I’ve won at least one last kind of question. comes to mind and then more if you have anything. Has there ever been a time now looking back where you maybe held on to something too long, waited too long knew a right answer or a move to make but, but hesitated and kind of waited and like, you know, any advice, you would go back and give your past self to whatever process through that faster or even a tool that you wish you could go back and give yourself because often those experiences are all very powerful, and we don’t want to give those up, but maybe something that you wish you would have had or a time you can think of where you’re like, Oh my gosh, I held on to that for three years too long.
Unknown Speaker 1:06:44
Yes. Oh, that’s a that’s a brilliant question. And the first thing that comes to mind is
Unknown Speaker 1:06:52
that feeling that we all
Unknown Speaker 1:06:55
can relate to that sort of imposter syndrome. You know, kind of experience That sometimes holds you back where you feel the nudge, and you actually see the path you’re supposed to be on. And actually one time I almost think I audibly heard a voice saying to me, you’re on the right path. So you think that would be enough to just like speed you on. But for whatever reason, and I’m going to say imposter syndrome, sometimes you do you pull back. And I was actually on a call the other day and Seth Godin was on it, and he gave the most beautiful advice about imposter syndrome. He said, someone asked the question, you know, like, have you ever felt that insert a solution or you said, you know, there is no solution. impostor syndrome is, is real, we are imposters you are and I am, we are all just acting as if, oh, being an imposter in service to someone else. And I loved that and I think if I could give a gift to myself is that when you get that feeling It says, well actually do I have everything I need? So for instance, with this reimagine Goodbye, I think the timing actually is perfect. But one of the things that has helped me back is that, of course, my social work days were a long time ago. And even, you know, the clinical side of it, and sort of the registered social worker piece doesn’t apply to me, because I’ve had this detour in the private sector for so long. And so I asked myself, Well, do I have the actual credentials anymore? And, you know, I’ve been in the public or the private sector now, you know, doing this entrepreneurial thing, what do I need to do to really not feel like the imposter and then I was so glad that, you know, Seth Godin said that and I’ve had these other experiences that say, you know, really, what you have is, is the gifts on loan that are given to you right now. And your job is to use them. Your job is to make sure that you are sharing them with the world and when You get the nudges and the downloads that that tells you you’re on the right path. You take the experiences you have, you take the love that you have, you take this vision that you’re given, and you just go do it in service to other people. And so the advice I would give to my younger self is much younger self is that you know, there are going to be all of these moments in your life, there’s going to be moments of like amazing joy, there’s going to be moments of pain, there’s gonna be moments where you feel so proud of everything that you’ve built and the people that you love, and there’s going to be these moments that where you feel like you’re not enough and there’s gonna be like, everything on every spectrum is gonna be all these moments and then what I would say to my younger self is to just love every single one of them because they’re all these layers that make you who you are. So love everyone but then also know that they are just moments and they also will pass and When you have a moment where you feel like maybe you’re not enough, or should I go and do this thing that I’m feeling nudged to do. I’m just really advice I give to myself is just to know that you get to give meaning to every moment in your life. And I think that regretting the times that you didn’t listen to that voice. We’re all going to have them. But let those be. Let those be like the lesson and the fuel to pushing towards what, what you are meant to do. And just trust yourself. And trust the divine guidance and just go do it. And don’t worry if you’re not good enough. Just be in service to other people. And surround yourself with people who can shine a light for you and with you.
Stephen Christopher 1:10:55
Well, that’s awesome. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 1:10:58
Stephen Christopher 1:11:01
Cool. Any other any other things pop up for you, Loura. I
Unknown Speaker 1:11:07
think I’m good at the moment. I feel like there’s so much I’m still trying to like process it all. So yeah.
Stephen Christopher 1:11:13
Cool. Well, Tracy, I think that this has been absolutely amazing. I love you so much. I’m so appreciative for you. You have so much to share. You’re literally one of the brightest lights in the entire world that I’ve ever met. And, yeah, I appreciate you so deeply.
Unknown Speaker 1:11:30
Yeah, it’s been amazing. I like I said, I think there are so many things that you’ve shared with us in some really different ways of seeing where we’re at and where we can go, that I don’t want to be processing this for quite a while.
Stephen Christopher 1:11:46
Cool. Well, so Tracy. What we’ll do is I’ll have you share a little bit about where people can find you. I’ll have Loura share a couple key takeaways, and we’ll wrap up but if people want to get in touch with you or find out more about You, how can they find you?
Unknown Speaker 1:12:03
That’s a great question. So, um, I guess it depends if if what they want to know more about so if you I’m, I’m just so open and loved to have conversation about corporate culture, love that, how to mentor and coach people love all of that. And I think probably just email is probably the best way for that. And emails pretty simple. It’s just firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in just chatting more about this whole notion of reimagining goodbye. The website is reimagined goodbye.com and it’s a passion project and a kind of a newish venture. So it’s probably not in its best iteration right this moment, but it’s a way to connect. And I love having conversations about goodbyes eventually. I think we may do a podcast The idea is to do one on sort of the goodbye Chronicles or gifts from Goodbye, you know, I’m talking about that. All that great learning all those, you know, amazing things that come from so many goodbyes all the different goodbyes. And so I think that’s, that’s probably the best way I’m really open to hearing from people. I loved this conversation with both of you and Steven, I’ve loved all of our conversations, they always lead to somebody, you know, revelations and sort of next iteration. So I’m excited to see where this goes. And I love the exciting I know.
Stephen Christopher 1:13:30
Well, thank you. So do we. Awesome.
Unknown Speaker 1:13:33
Let’s see what what I like is I don’t even know where to start. Um, I think the first thing that that hit me was the the concept that Tracy shared about your existing business, your existing world, be a container to carry out your passion, so that you can do other things. And I think we’ve heard some similar things from some of our other guests. about kind of being in the now, but also looking to the future. And how she’s done it with her company, I think is that that hit me. The whole discussion about goodbyes, all kinds of goodbyes, not just the final goodbye, and how those are places and opportunities to transform how we see the rest of our lives. I love the takeaway that she gave us about, you know, asking what your biggest fear is, with that final goodbye to the life as we know it, and then saying, Okay, if that’s my final and asking, Is that really the ultimate fear? Is it does it go deeper than that? And then using that to say, Alright, well now how am I going to do things differently so that I don’t have that fear anymore. And then I think the last one was, the recognizing that the plan that we have for ourselves is not necessarily what the divine has for us, but that as we go through that plan that we have for ourselves, it creates experiences, the opportunities for us to step into maybe that other plan that exists, if we’re aware of it, and if we know ourselves enough to be like, Okay, I got this opportunity. She said it was a detour. It was a really a detour, maybe, maybe not, maybe it was so that she could come back fully to whatever that ultimate plan was. I thought that really stuck with me.
Unknown Speaker 1:15:29
caustic, awesome, was
Unknown Speaker 1:15:31
great. I can’t wait to see what’s next. And we’re going to get to chat about this a little bit more on our follow up segment to Tracy and talk about kind of some of how some of these things have come up in our lives, which will be really fun.
Stephen Christopher 1:15:43
Yeah, absolutely. So thank you again, everybody for listening to this absolutely amazing episode of the exciting unknown tune in for after this for when Loura and I kind of go back and we discuss what we’ve taken away what we’ve put into practice in our lives. From what we learned from our dear friend Tracy. Today, so until then, have an awesome day.