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Three real stories of change
Episode 1292nd April 2024 • The Happy Entrepreneur • The Happy Startup School
00:00:00 00:50:45

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Our previous episode covered the theory along with Laurence, Carlos and Lana’s own stories of change, both small and large. On this episode, we invite some of our now 120-strong Vision 20/20 alumni – aka the Vision Tribe – to share their stories.

These 3 amazing humans have been living their excite strategy by working out loud. Others have connected with their story, and helped them to reach their own goals.

  • Ray Martin is an author, coach and explorer who just just published a book – Life Without a Tie – about this 13 year (yes thirteen) adventure around the world
  • Beccie D'Cunha is the founder of Courage Lab, a mediator and coach who launched her Courageous Leaders group coaching program after graduating from the program
  • Serena Savini is a beautiful soul who has turned adversity (a life changing illness) into her superpower, creating I'm Back: a podcast and community of people that have also experienced challenges going back to work after such an experience

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Carlos:

If you weren't with us last week or you haven't, caught up with the recording, we were talking about, uh, the stories of change canvas that we've developed over the last actually month or so, or developed more clearly.

Carlos:

We've been using something similar, um, over the past six tribes of Vision 2020.

Carlos:

And now we got to this place where it feels like it has more structure and more meat.

Carlos:

And what we're doing here today is using that approach to surface and share some stories of people who've been through Vision 2020 and their, uh, and the program to kind of illustrate a bit of what, what that journey is about.

Carlos:

But also to just hopefully inspire anyone listening to follow their own story of change, maybe identify with some of the stories that you hear, to get you going in the, in the right direction, and the right direction's always the question.

Carlos:

Uh, and so we'll be talking about that.

Carlos:

How do we define that.

Carlos:

So what I thought we'd start off with is just to share briefly why, what is the story of Change Canvas, uh, and why we've come to really including it more intentionally as a thing within the program.

Laurence:

So we tackled this in depth last week, so if you didn't listen to that, and maybe if you wanna learn more about, I guess, the theory behind it and where it all came from, then that might be a good listen.

Laurence:

But, um, I guess headlines from that in terms of why we focus on it now, um, is we found where we get to, so module two of the program is product.

Laurence:

And in the past we would get people to start thinking about who they wanna serve, who their customer or ideal customer might be.

Laurence:

Now, a lot of people really struggled with that if they weren't a hundred percent clear on what it is they're creating and who it's for.

Laurence:

And so in some ways that was a bit of a speed bump for people when they started to think about, um, some of the tools that we were giving them.

Laurence:

And the Satir change model was one that we introduced, Lana introduced at the start of the program couple years ago.

Laurence:

And again, because you might not have clarity on who you or who might be, if you start to use a tool and then you start to think about where your customer is at and what they're trying to achieve, then again, you just hit a bit of a roadblock.

Laurence:

So we wanted to get people to actually take a step back from the sort of story of change of their customer to actually start thinking about their own story of change.

Laurence:

What is it that they have done in their past, and also where are they heading?

Laurence:

And then using this tool, inspired by the Satir change model to help you understand your own story and your own story of change, and then start to use the tool to apply it to the people that you might want to help.

Laurence:

And so in some ways, it was really a way to get people to.

Laurence:

Learn a tool with something that they already know rather than something they don't.

Laurence:

And yeah, it's been, well, really interesting to see the response from people in the current tribe in terms of just clarity on their own story and where they've come from, and actually understanding a little bit of where they might be going and how this can help with that.

Carlos:

Uh, and so to do that in a bit more, put some more meat on the bones with that, we thought we'd just invite some real, real people.

Carlos:

Uh, and we've given them a prompt to, to use the, the story of change framework or approach to share their story.

Carlos:

Um, and we're hoping when you hear about the things that they've achieved for themselves and where, um, ultimately seeing what they've achieved for themselves, being inspired by that, maybe seeing how you could do something similar, uh, and a side benefit as well is just seeing how our workers fit into that story and to that journey, because we're very conscious that we we're trying to help people

Carlos:

move along with our ideas, but ultimately it's all about what they're trying to achieve and that what the broader story of their, um, journey on entrepreneurship and, and in this case also life.

Carlos:

And so what we want to do is we're gonna, uh, we have three stories to share today.

Carlos:

Um, we have three alumni from the program.

Carlos:

We've got Ray Martin, uh, Serena Savini, and Beccie D'Cunha, uh, and they, they kind of for us, uh, are examples of different ways of thinking about change.

Carlos:

And so to begin with, I'm gonna bring him with Ray.

Carlos:

Ray Martin.

Carlos:

Ray, remind me, which tribe were you in?

Ray:

I was in the 2020 20/20 program, if you like.

Carlos:

2020.

Ray:

I dunno what, what the number of the tribe was that was within with Beccie.

Ray:

And you were my, group leader, Carlos.

Carlos:

one of the big things that you've, you've done over the past couple of years, release your book, um, Life Without a Tie.

Carlos:

You, you were one of the earlier members of the tribe, so you didn't actually use this canvas.

Carlos:

So we'd be curious and I shared it with you and I'd just be curious to hear how you interpreted that, or we could use that in telling your story.

Carlos:

Maybe start with just introducing yourself a bit more and then share the story that you wish to share.

Ray:

Okay.

Ray:

In up to about 2005, I was, most people would've described me as a successful CEO running a business living in London.

Ray:

And everything was great.

Ray:

Um, my business partner was my wife, and one day she said, I'm leaving you and I'm leaving the company.

Ray:

And it was very sudden, and that obviously started as a process of change, which I never saw coming.

Ray:

And I tried, tried to resolve that by taking a sabbatical for six months on the advice of friends who said, why don't you just take six months, do a bit of traveling, go somewhere, clear your head, et cetera.

Ray:

I thought that was a good idea, but life had obviously a different plan in store for me because a series of unforeseen events led me to live out of that backpack on a great nomadic journey for 14 years.

Ray:

I came back to England, moved to Brighton in 2019 when I returned, still reflecting on those 14 years, and were halfway through writing the book about it, but not finished.

Ray:

And it put me in a place returning to England where I thought, actually, I'm not, how do I describe myself now?

Ray:

How do I communicate to the world who I am and why I'm writing this book?

Ray:

I'm not a CEO.

Ray:

I am, I know what being a CEO is, but it's not me now.

Ray:

I was working as a leadership coach, but it was partly my work as a coach that I wanted to talk about, but it was really about the journey and how do I mix those.

Ray:

And I had a lot of confusion about my own way of looking at myself and describing myself.

Ray:

And I used the 2020 program to get really absolute clarity on that.

Ray:

And I can share some of the things that came from that if you want, if that's useful.

Carlos:

Yeah.

Carlos:

No, I think, um, following the, the journey of the cannabis is like, yeah.

Carlos:

What, what is it that you found that was helpful?

Ray:

Yeah.

Ray:

I mean, the two things that really stand out for me the most was I came up with a simple mantra through the process of describing myself in the playbook, uh, that really, really resonated for me.

Ray:

And I thought, whatever I do in the way I speak about my work and myself, I want to do it with humble curiosity.

Laurence:

Mm-Hmm.

Ray:

And that has been so powerful as an anchor, I felt that's really kept my feet anchored firmly to the ground in all the conversations I've had since then.

Ray:

And it's really affected my mental and emotional state, how I show up for interviews and discussions and, you know, people that I talk to about the story.

Ray:

And another thing that, um, you encouraged me to think about, and it was absolutely great that you did, was you asked me to think about what I would describe as my zone of genius, which I'd never thought about at all.

Ray:

You know, a combination of all of the things I've described.

Ray:

And I came up with this sense that I really, above all else, I wanted to radiate a calmness that cu cultivates curiosity in others.

Laurence:

Mm-Hmm.

Ray:

And, and I think Carlos, you even suggest, I call it my zen of genius at one point, which really stuck in my mind as well.

Ray:

And so that as well is really kind of flavored and altered in a really positive way, the way I even do my leadership coaching.

Ray:

And partly the way I was writing the book, because I was only halfway through when I started the program, and the, and the feedback I've had and the reviews that I've had suggested that I've been able to incorporate that as well.

Ray:

So it really helped me describe the journey from a humble place.

Ray:

So those are two really clear examples.

Ray:

We also looked at what success looked like for me as coming out of this program.

Ray:

And I, and I've sort of passed the point in my life where I'm setting goals that are kind of measurable and hard, like I wanna earn this much money or I want to have this many clients or something.

Ray:

But the things that struck me, uh, around my financial goal was I wanted to be in a place eventually where I just had no worries financially, so I could be generous towards others.

Ray:

So I set that as my compass point, and that's really worked powerfully for me.

Ray:

I also wanted to experience sort of a lot of love and abundance and frequent expressions of joy and gratitude.

Ray:

That was one of the intentions that I set.

Ray:

Because, you know, writing a book's really hard work.

Ray:

You, you lose the, you lose the plot sometimes get really irritated and annoyed, but you've got, and I kept reminding myself all the time from that while I was doing it.

Ray:

And, and another thing that came up from this program that we did together was seeing that miracles could be a part of everyday life.

Ray:

Having a, what I call a miracle mindset, always being able to spot those because a lot of miracles I think, bypass our attention as we are focused on other things.

Carlos:

One of the challenges we have, and I, I assume anyone who, you know, does kind of a programmer based approach to, to their work coaching or learning, there's this, why there's this kind of like hope or desire for some tangible outcomes, particularly when it's business oriented.

Carlos:

Like you talk about metrics around money or maybe reach or whatever it is.

Carlos:

And what I'm hearing from you and I'm, I'm, it feels like there was value there.

Carlos:

There's, there's also this kind of clarity aspect of things.

Carlos:

Is there like some of the more intangible sort of benefits from spending some time on ourselves.

Ray:

Mm-Hmm.

Carlos:

Would you say that just you, I, I assume given you your coach as well, that that's an important part for your work as well?

Ray:

Yeah.

Ray:

It was great just to have that space to actually think out loud, be heard by my colleagues in the group and you know, actually get input and feedback, 'cause we did that a lot with each other.

Ray:

That was one of the great parts of it was getting the feedback from members of the group.

Carlos:

And having you part of my buddy group, and given your own experiences and your ability as a coach as well.

Carlos:

I think that it's one of the things that we really appreciate when we're running something like this is, is not only having people who want to achieve something or get somewhere, but are able to come and contribute with their own energy and skills and experience.

Carlos:

Because that adds to not only the value for other people, but I hope the value for yourself.

Carlos:

'cause that's that sense of contribution.

Ray:

Yeah, it definitely does.

Laurence:

I wanna say well done for not taking 14 years to write the book because I think, I think I'm, I'm heading for that 14 years to write a book rather than a 14 year journey to talk about.

Ray:

Well, the bad news is Laurence is, it did take me six and a half years to write it.

Laurence:

Okay.

Ray:

But I started while I was still in the journey, but in the last two years when I came back to England, I could accelerate it.

Ray:

And, and the pandemic actually was a bit of a gift in that sense because I was a lot locked down at home and with very little work at certain points.

Ray:

So I cracked on with it.

Carlos:

And it's interesting that, um, you know, you'd said you started the book while you're still in the journey.

Carlos:

I'm thinking about also the way our approach or thinking about, um, starting a business.

Carlos:

It's you kind of like you are, you are creating it as you are moving, going along.

Carlos:

You know, the clarity comes from the action from living it.

Carlos:

And how that molds us as we're going through it.

Ray:

Yeah.

Ray:

I think for me it was a, a reflection of my relationship with intuition that I started when I was in the journey.

Ray:

Because when I left on the suggestions of my friends to take sabbatical, I had no intention ever of being a writer.

Ray:

I was going to do it, I was just for myself.

Ray:

But when I kept meeting people and they asked me my story and I told them, many of them, I said, well, if you ever write a book about that, I'd be really interested to read it.

Laurence:

Mm-Hmm.

Ray:

I ignored those comments until about a hundred people had said it after three or four years.

Ray:

And then I thought, wow, the universe wants me to write this book.

Ray:

I better get started because it's gonna take a while.

Ray:

And that's what made me start just literally the constant messaging that the universe was sending to me all the time.

Carlos:

It is quite interesting parallel to, um, the Lean Startup approach that we used to push very early stage at the Happy Startup School.

Carlos:

And even as an agency, there's a difference between the push and the pull.

Ray:

Mm-Hmm.

Carlos:

Sometimes entrepreneurs we're trying to push things.

Carlos:

You're like, all right, this is what it is.

Carlos:

And try to create a solution and then find the problem for it to be solved as opposed to it being pulled from us.

Carlos:

Like, we want this, we want to hear from you, we want to know that, or we need you to help us with this thing.

Carlos:

And so

Ray:

Right.

Carlos:

It then means that you are, you are creating something that people want rather than trying to make people want things.

Laurence:

Plus saves you saying, telling the story thousands of times.

Ray:

No, you still do that.

Ray:

You still do that.

Ray:

I've been on a few podcasts in the last few weeks.

Carlos:

So we, I'd like to hand over to Serena now.

Carlos:

Again, briefly introduce yourself, what you do, uh, and then share your story, in the way you see most energized to do.

Serena:

Uh, thank you so much for the invite.

Serena:

My name is Serena Savini, I'm Italian.

Serena:

So right now I'm a podcaster, but before Vient 2020, it was not possible for myself to imagine to become a podcaster like in one year's time.

Serena:

My podcast is called I'm Back, and it's about, uh, supporting people that are coming back to work after a life changing experience like the one from Ray.

Serena:

Um, and I remember that when I, uh, started to attend the fireside of the Happy Startup School, I was super inspired by all the stories that you were sharing.

Serena:

But I was completely lost.

Serena:

I didn't know what, what I wanted to do, I felt disengaged, uh, in my work.

Serena:

I was losing myself, uh, between all the society standards of success, KPIs, career growth, this kind of things.

Serena:

And I was really unhappy.

Serena:

And somehow the question that is the first question of the change come canva, where I was, uh, it's really resonating with me right now.

Serena:

Because, uh, I was in a really negative place in my life.

Serena:

And I remember really well that when I first had the session with Lauren, Laurence, uh, about the possibility of joining Vision 2020, I was saying to Laurence, I don't know what I want to do.

Serena:

I don't have any idea.

Serena:

I don't have any product.

Serena:

I don't even know why I am talking with you right now.

Serena:

And I remember that Laurence was really, um, accepting and welcoming my not knowing and my I feeling so lost.

Serena:

And so I decided maybe I can give a try.

Serena:

And it was so super important for me because with Vision 2020, I was allowed to express my uncertainty, my self-doubts, my questions out loud in a safe environment with a structure that you were putting in place, with some accountability also in not knowing what I wanted to do.

Serena:

And this was really powerful and important for me.

Serena:

Because in a way, even if I was keeping saying, I don't know, I don't know how for, let's say the start of the Vision 2020 and for the few, the first few months, I was able also to see that things were changing within myself.

Serena:

And I remember that with all the Vision 2020 sessions, buddy groups and these kind of things, I was able also to speak out loud about a lot of different ideas.

Serena:

And I changed my mind like 100 times.

Serena:

And, and then, uh, out of the blue one of, my Vision 2020 colleagues, Nirish was sharing in a group session, oh, I am going to start a podcast.

Serena:

And I don't know, again, I don't know why or how, uh, I immediately said to myself, oh, I'm going to start a podcast too.

Serena:

I don't know anything about podcasting.

Serena:

I'm a really shy person.

Serena:

I don't want to talk with people.

Serena:

I'm not a native English speaker, but I'm going to start a podcasting to do podcasting.

Serena:

And it was really a crazy idea, and I really believe that without the support of, you, uh, Laurence, Carlos, Lana, and the group, I would not allow myself to say yes, I can do it because I was full of seven pounds.

Serena:

Uh, and I was full of, I mean my imposter syndrome was really kicking off.

Serena:

Um, but at the same time, I was able to find something for myself that was really part of my healing process also, to get out from a really challenging personal situation.

Serena:

And I was able to find my who in the process of, uh, having conversations with people.

Serena:

So what I wanted to say that the canva of change for me was really powerful, even if I didn't have the question, or even if I was able to find the answers later on.

Carlos:

I think one of the biggest things about your story is, is the courage, also the trust that you had in us, but more, more importantly for me is the courage to act despite all the fear and the hesitancy.

Carlos:

And I was wondering if you could talk a bit more about the support that you received, because one of the things that, um, is important to us, it isn't just about following a process and getting somewhere.

Carlos:

There's, there's a real aspect to this about meeting others that we are happy to ask for help from and feel that we can receive support from.

Serena:

For me it's really hard to ask for help, and Vision 2020 really helped me in finding the strength to ask for help.

Serena:

Because we had our buddy sessions where, I had to share something and I had to ask for help.

Serena:

And this was really powerful for me.

Serena:

We had the group discussion where people were so welcoming of everything that was, uh, coming out, without judgment.

Serena:

Uh, and it was really a safe space, uh, in a moment of my life where I didn't have any other safe spaces.

Serena:

And Lana was a big part of this, uh, of course because, she was challenging me, but in a way that was helping me to discover something that I was not allowing myself to see.

Serena:

And another things that was so important for me is the network that Vision 2020 is able to create.

Serena:

Because it's like knowing that you can rely on a group of people that somehow has the same values or a viewer that are really kind people.

Serena:

And so, uh, for example, as I said, I didn't know anything about podcasting, but I was able with, uh, Vision 2020 to find someone in that network that is Mark, that is uh, podcasting genius.

Laurence:

Mm-Hmm.

Serena:

And I didn't have to think about it if I wanted to work with him because I was sure that this common experience, even if in different cohorts was already a stronger enough bonds, uh, and I can, could give him the trust to do that.

Serena:

I love that, uh, we are supporting each other even after the cohort.

Serena:

So for example, I did a series of content creation in December with Veronique, uh, that, uh, was part of my core is like creating something that is not going to stop after, um, Vision 2020 because the meaningful relationship that you are able to build are the relationship that will support your change also going forward.

Serena:

I'm feeling that I'm still in the Vision 2020, to be honest.

Carlos:

We can never leave.

Laurence:

Always, always a student.

Serena:

Yeah.

Carlos:

Awesome.

Carlos:

Thank you very much.

Carlos:

That lovely to, and, and I'm assuming, resonates with everyone who's experienced the program and experienced the community.

Carlos:

It's one of the things that we get value from as well, having people around us that, that just get the way we wanna work and the way we wanna be with people.

Carlos:

Joyful, bubbly people, just like Beccie D'Cunha

Carlos:

And so, the story that we are trying to tell with, with our three lovely guests, I think on one hand we have someone like Ray, who, who's already on a, his own journey.

Carlos:

He, you know, he is, had this book, he was trying to express it, and there was something about the program that just gave him some space, uh, space for reflection, but space for connection.

Carlos:

We have someone like Serena who, who's gone from a place of fear and not sure about what it wants, she wants to do, to courage, to really put herself out, not firstly within the group, but now within the wider world and with her podcast and the real, she talked about

Carlos:

knowing her who, and one of the things that we talk about in the program is rather than just making stuff, who are you trying to help?

Carlos:

How do you understand that person and the journey that they want to get on and how you can help them?

Carlos:

So her having that clarity that seems to have motivated her to then start talking about stuff that's passionate for her, and hopefully helps others.

Carlos:

And then we have Beccie, who's created quite some, something quite interesting as a part of the program.

Carlos:

So it'd be interesting to hear your take on the Vision 2020 journey and at the beginning, of course, introducing yourself for, for people who haven't met you before.

Beccie:

Thanks, Carlos.

Beccie:

So my, I'm Beccie, my, I'm in Brighton.

Beccie:

Um, and my business is called Courage Lab.

Beccie:

So my work is, it's all about, uh.

Beccie:

Courage.

Beccie:

It's about courageous relationships at work, courageous conversations.

Beccie:

So I've been mediating for 20 years now, and I've also got a lot of leadership experience.

Beccie:

So I guess I was bringing together leadership with the mediation.

Beccie:

In terms of setting up Courage Lab.

Beccie:

It's all about helping.

Beccie:

A lot of my work now is about helping other leaders to, to be courageous.

Beccie:

And by courage, I, it's, I guess Brene Brown, kind of very connected to Brene Brown's work.

Beccie:

It's the courage to be vulnerable, to be empathetic, to speak from the heart, to, um, build kind of meaningful relationships at work.

Beccie:

So where I was, I, I was on the same cohort as Ray Different, uh, buddy groups.

Beccie:

Um, so I was with Laurence.

Beccie:

And so that was September, 2020, I think.

Beccie:

So I was a couple of years into being a freelancer.

Beccie:

And obviously Covid, it was Covid year, year of lockdowns.

Beccie:

But I'd just kind of launched Courage Lab, launched the business.

Beccie:

So I'd worked out that it was all about courage, my work.

Beccie:

But I was in a place where I guess a lot of my work was parachuting in, doing, uh, short-term projects with clients.

Beccie:

So it could be a one-off thing.

Beccie:

Often I was called to mediate a say a toxic situation in a team, a team that was maybe completely dysfunctional because of conflict.

Beccie:

It'd been avoided maybe for years and years, and I'd be parachuted in to, to fix it, to kind of, to get to repair those relationships.

Beccie:

And I love doing that work.

Beccie:

But I guess I was in a place where I had lots of clients, a lot of it's kind of very complex work that's really tiring.

Beccie:

And then moving from one of those to the next one and all different clients rather than long term kind of client relationships.

Beccie:

And it was also all remedial work, I guess to use that word.

Beccie:

So it's busy, but also exhausting and, and not always getting to the root, well, it's getting to the root cause of a problem when you mediate, but it's not getting to the systemic problems, I guess it's fixing a problem over there, but the pain, there's so much unnecessary

Beccie:

pain that can cause the parties, because they've been in conflict for so long, some of the damage can't be undone, and that's reset.

Beccie:

So I, I came to Vision 2020 knowing I wanted to develop a Courageous Leaders program, the group coaching program.

Beccie:

So I had quite a spec in many ways.

Beccie:

I had quite a specific goal in insight in doing the program.

Beccie:

And the reason I wanted to do that, it was partly about addressing the, some of the root cause stuff, the systemic cultural stuff that was causing conflict in organizations, which is often that leaders don't dunno how to address conflict or they're fearful and they avoid it for a long time, shove it under the carpet.

Beccie:

It's often artificial harmony.

Beccie:

People are kind of nice to each other.

Beccie:

Uh, I wanted to kind of, but not talking about the real, talking about what's on their mind, not being honest with each other.

Beccie:

So I wanted to address all of that.

Beccie:

I wanted to do deeper work.

Beccie:

I wanted to have greater impact in organizations rather than just piecemeal bits.

Beccie:

And I also wanted to build a more sustainable business, I guess, where I had longer term relationships with clients and it wasn't kind of such hard work all the time, facing kind of the next bit of business.

Beccie:

So lots of kind of reasons that I've kind of came to Vision 2020.

Beccie:

I guess the stuff, the, the stuff that was kind of getting in my way was that, um, I didn't really know where to start with running a program like that.

Beccie:

Um, I, I've done a lot of training in my time, but I'd never done a group coaching program before.

Beccie:

I didn't know for instance, like, how long should the program be, how much should I charge, who should I have on it, how many sessions, all of that stuff.

Beccie:

It felt like a bit of a beast.

Beccie:

And, um, and because I was kind of stuck in this busyness, you know, this chasing my tail, it was kind of hard to know where to start.

Beccie:

I, I also kind of, it was quite a big shift for me to move from charging for my time, I guess, to something else, kind of having a product.

Beccie:

And Vision 2020, it's been lovely reflecting on it a little bit actually this week, knowing that this was coming because it was transformational in so many ways.

Beccie:

I think in terms of the courageous leadership program, it, well, one of the things that I, I shaped through the Vision 2020 was with a lot of help from Laurence and my buddy group was my a Courageous Leaders Manifesto.

Beccie:

And that was really helpful 'cause it helped me to kind of work out a little bit like, why I am doing this, why this is important.

Beccie:

And it kind of, I guess it spoke a bit to the who that people, the kinds of people that I want to work with because I, I realized through Vision 2020 and since that it's not about a sector or an industry or, um, it's, it's more about the kind of person le I like working with leaders who

Beccie:

want to become more courageous, who are willing to be a bit vulnerable to do the inner work as well as like learn outer kind of skills change.

Beccie:

So it helped me to clarify that.

Beccie:

So loads of help, kind of both.

Beccie:

Laurence might remember that everything from designing it, he ified it.

Beccie:

He actually turned it into something that I could put out in the world.

Beccie:

And then just the help with, um, you know, shaping that manifesto.

Beccie:

The feedback from the buddy group was really invaluable.

Beccie:

It also really helped me just kind of experiencing how you, Laurence and Carlos, how you ran the group coaching program.

Beccie:

And experiencing how powerful that is as a participant helped me to realize what kind of experience I wanted my, the leaders that go through my program to have.

Beccie:

And then there was the kind of accountability, like me, momentum side of it, just that, you know, knowing that I've set myself this, this goal, I need to, you know, like we got to January and I was like, yeah, I haven't, uh, I I need to launch something soon.

Beccie:

And then all the kind of practical advice like the, again, particularly from Laurence, how much to, to charge, whether to have an early bird, all of that stuff that felt overwhelming on my own, I'd get in my own head and it would just be complex, the, just having that, the sounding boards with all of that.

Beccie:

And then I think there are also some stuff around mindset shifts that, that Vision 20, this kind of unexpected stuff that came about for me that I, it helped me to just move to that kind of more towards a ship it mindset.

Beccie:

Like not having, it didn't have to be perfect.

Beccie:

So rather than planning out a, which I'm not naturally a detailed planner anyway, I'd prefer something that's a bit more emergent, let's say, um, and to go with the flow a bit.

Beccie:

So to realize that I didn't have to know exactly what the program was gonna look like, I just needed to know the eight modules, over, nine weeks, it is now with a gap in the middle.

Beccie:

Um, I kind of mapped out the journey at a very high level just with Post-Its on a, on a big board.

Beccie:

And all I, I realized I think through Vision 2020 that all I really needed was a slide deck that said enough about the program to get people to have a phone call with me to check if it was for them, check if they were for me as well.

Beccie:

And that was really groundbreaking for me because it meant that I could do that, you know, a couple of months after the program finished, I think I did that and I ran the first program in May.

Beccie:

So a few months.

Beccie:

It started kind of maybe four, three or four months after the Vision 2020 finished.

Beccie:

And it also shifted me towards being a bit more mindset wise, ambitious about kind of pricing that it was okay to, to price the value of the, the program, not just that.

Beccie:

See, because what I found in delivering the program is that, Ray talked a bit about the zone of genius thing.

Beccie:

I feel like I am in my zone of genius when I'm running it, 'cause it, I've, I've.

Beccie:

Found a structure, but so much of it's about in the moment, facilitation and coaching, which I love.

Beccie:

It's about holding a space for people to be courageous and to experiment within a safe space, safe, courageous space with, to try out empathy, to try out honesty, to try out nonviolent communication, et cetera, vulnerability and that group.

Beccie:

And then to try it between and bring it back to their peers and get support and feedback, et cetera

Beccie:

. And so I love that kind of working and it made me realize, yeah, it's possible to do work that's easier, and that's okay.

Beccie:

And I can, you know, and it, I don't have to charge, you know, a pound for it.

Beccie:

So in terms of, um, so I found eight people to do it.

Beccie:

I, I embedded kind of Lumina in it, which is a product, a product I use of, um, psychometrics, personality style thing that I use and that part of it.

Beccie:

So when reader get, know themselves better, and, and a lot of it's about kind of understanding themselves, noticing what goes on for them in difficult situations, et cetera, or conflict, and then building the skills to be courageous.

Beccie:

And just to say in terms of the change it's brought about for me, it's, it's massive.

Beccie:

So the, the program itself, I expected it to be an open program.

Beccie:

I'd run again, I was kind of a little bit unambitious about it.

Beccie:

I, I think I thought one or two programs a year, um, as an open program.

Beccie:

And what happened was that first program, I got eight people on to do it, and some of them I knew already.

Beccie:

One actually came on because, uh, Laurence encouraged me to do a video.

Beccie:

I dunno if you remember Laurence, but I'd never done LinkedIn video, and I was mortified at the idea of it.

Beccie:

Which is weird because I like talking as people can probably, I was, I had this real phobia of doing a video.

Beccie:

And I just said, Laurence used to every now and then, you sent me this video, Laurence, where you were like lounging back in your garden with, um, in the sun.

Beccie:

Just this really casual video to kind of show that it's possible it polished.

Beccie:

And so I did it.

Beccie:

I literally, I, I had no gear.

Beccie:

It was a really widy day.

Beccie:

I just sat in the garden, no makeup looked the right state, windswept, propped up my phone on some Duplo blocks that are lying around, and I just did, I planned a few, like bullet points, I literally wrote five bullet points I think of what I wanted to cover.

Beccie:

And that's kind of how I told the world about the program on LinkedIn.

Beccie:

And I got somebody signed up for it because she liked the kind of vulnerability of that, that I wasn't trying to do a polished video.

Beccie:

And she, and we've had continued the relationship since she's brought me in to do more work with her team and senior female.

Beccie:

So yeah, so a lot mindset shifts.

Beccie:

Have I, but after that program, what was really exciting was that, because people, those eight participants, those courageous leaders were seeing, um, they really got to experience what it's like to work with me, and because I knew that they were the right kind of people, so I'd done a bit of the work

Beccie:

beforehand to make sure they were the right kind of, I like working with, they know how I work, and most of them have brought me back in to do work since.

Beccie:

One person in, she's from a big NHS trust and she told her head of education and head of culture about the program.

Beccie:

And they got in touch wanting me to run it two times a year for their, for leaders across this NHS Trust.

Beccie:

So that's now given me this kind, it's basically given me this solid foundation of income now, two of those programs a year.

Beccie:

Uh, it also led to other in-house programs to senior leadership coaching, there a couple of the other leaders that came on it, 'cause they, yeah, they know what I can do now or they know how I work, there's a, there's a trust there.

Beccie:

And then the final kind of couple of things I'd say is that it, so it's transformational in terms of, it's built a really sustainable business for me.

Beccie:

The business is now growing.

Beccie:

I've got brought in an operations manager to join the team a couple of months ago.

Beccie:

So I've become a limited company.

Beccie:

It's not, you know, it's not just me as a freelancer now.

Beccie:

And I'm doing work that has really deep impact now.

Beccie:

I see this amazing transformation with these leaders and then their teams and it spreads, spreading courage, which is what my manifesto is all about.

Beccie:

And I've also kind of realized as well as all of that, it's kind of changed my relationship to, well it's me, Vision 2020 got me kind of reflected on my relationship with time and my relationship with money, both for kind of icky ones.

Beccie:

So I, it's helped me to price more confidently so that I can have more time and to not feel guilty about that.

Beccie:

And with that time.

Beccie:

I've got more time now, you know, I, my, my week now structured around yoga and exercise and being outside and being with people I care about.

Beccie:

And, um, there isn't that kind of relentlessness anymore.

Beccie:

It's not the, the pace has changed.

Beccie:

Laurence used you about ease being one of your core needs.

Beccie:

Laurence, I remember being like, Hey, that's mine.

Beccie:

I don't want any, I don't want ease in my life.

Beccie:

I like, you know, can't remember what mine were, but it was much more about struggle.

Laurence:

Chaos.

Carlos:

Yeah.

Carlos:

Yeah.

Carlos:

Probably that

Laurence:

You still have your serendipity days.

Laurence:

You remember you did used to do that on that Monday.

Beccie:

Well, I kind of, no, mainly because I realized I was coming into Brighton too often.

Beccie:

It was a bit too tiring as in quite nice to just have a day at home.

Beccie:

So Monday's become more of a day, but I have built in more serendipity.

Beccie:

I've got actually Vision 2020 helped me with was just to realize what my needs are to build that into my business.

Beccie:

Now I can do like samba in my lunchtime.

Beccie:

Sometimes it's like, you know, my business doesn't allow me to do those things, what's the, what's the point?

Carlos:

I'm waiting for the Instagram account.

Carlos:

Ah, look at my lifestyle.

Carlos:

Look at the I money.

Carlos:

Look at like this.

Beccie:

Yeah.

Beccie:

I should.

Carlos:

I'm very grateful.

Carlos:

You, you just, uh, basically told the story of make money, do good, be happy.

Beccie:

There you go.

Carlos:

In a nutshell.

Laurence:

It's Beccie now the poster child of the movement, is that you're saying?

Carlos:

Exactly.

Carlos:

I'm gonna have you on the T-shirt, um.

Laurence:

Yeah,

Carlos:

I was, that's wonderful.

Carlos:

I think what I'd like to go into is just have an opportunity now everyone's heard each other's stories.

Carlos:

If there's anything that you would like to reflect on, given maybe the connections or the contrasts between each of them.

Carlos:

And for me, one thing that's really arising, particularly after what Beccie was saying, there's this, this kind of going to a space of clarity and confidence about why you're doing something.

Carlos:

Not getting bogged down into the detail of how it's gonna be done, but being able to tell a story of the change you wish for people, what you wanna do, why you wanna do it, and also share your commitment.

Carlos:

I think that's the thing, the energy I'm getting for everyone's like, I am committed to doing this for other people or for whatever, there's a change you're committed to as opposed to, oh, it's got this many modules.

Carlos:

It's this takes this much time, blah, blah.

Carlos:

I'm invested.

Carlos:

That's my feeling around all this.

Carlos:

I'm invested in this path that I've, I've decided to choose.

Ray:

I've noticed in recent conversations I've had with clients and people I'm working with as a coach, that that always comes up.

Ray:

The why.

Ray:

I always think that's the most powerful thing behind everything, you know, like why you are doing it rather than the what or the how, because those are things you can get help with, but the why it's very hard for someone to really help you with that.

Ray:

So I, I, it, it, that's really, um, resonating with me what you're saying.

Ray:

Carlos.

Beccie:

Yeah, I agree with that.

Beccie:

And for me, what was powerful about Vision 2020 and this community generally is that it's both.

Beccie:

It's the, when I was reflecting on it, on what's support kind of, I had, and what helped me, it was the big picture stuff.

Beccie:

The why, the purpose, like thinking about your purpose, your needs, all of that stuff, and the why behind why you want and telling that story.

Beccie:

But it was also the mi help with minutia that can get in the way, you know, the practical, tangible things that just to help me just get something out.

Beccie:

,That I think it's that combination that, that I, and I like both of those because I, I like being in that big picture space, but I also wanna get stuff done.

Beccie:

And, um, so that combination is powerful, I think.

Ray:

My concern when I signed up to do the program was that I was doing it too early because I hadn't finished writing the book and I knew it was gonna take me a while.

Ray:

And I never imagined when I signed up for the program that it would actually affect the way I wrote the book.

Ray:

It was more for me, like, how do I speak about myself after the book's finished?

Ray:

I could just wait till I finished the book and then do the program then, and then work that out, like a take add-on.

Ray:

But actually, it fundamentally changed my view of who I am in the world.

Ray:

And it actually changed the way I wrote it.

Ray:

So it gave me something really unexpected in that sense.

Ray:

and I'm only really to able to say that I'm experiencing the full benefits of being in the program now when I'm actually out in the world talking about it to people, because at the time I couldn't really even apply what I'd learned fully a, a little bit.

Ray:

But, you know, I think it's one of those things in life, we often think we wanna do something where we get results immediately or sort of quickly.

Ray:

and I'm questioning at the moment through my own coaching, whether, whether that's a valid approach because I actually, I see a lot of people take sometimes a few months or a year or even longer, to really make the change that they know they want to make and they know now know how to as well.

Laurence:

That's one of the reasons we wanted to do this today was we're at the point in the current cohort where there's this feeling of some excitement because they wanna put ideas out there, but some resistance because it doesn't feel right, the timing's not right, life's

Laurence:

got in the way and something's happened, they don't, they're frustrated because they haven't got the time to devote to do what they wanna do.

Laurence:

And so hearing these different stories with different timelines is really interesting, like you said, because it creates this picture of possibility that might take months or years, but the bedrock of decision making might happen earlier.

Laurence:

And so that's the fascinating thing.

Laurence:

The thing, well, Serena might, you might wanna come up.

Laurence:

'cause the thing that interests me with Serena is she seemed to go from not doing anything to suddenly being this creative like, you know, superhero where suddenly even Mark said, she's just giving me more episodes, she's done, done them all.

Laurence:

You know, this insane amount of creativity seemed to find in a very short space of time.

Laurence:

Once you got that, as soon as you said, I'm not gonna do a podcast.

Serena:

Yeah, but for me it was also allowing myself to just experiment and do not have all the answer or any answer.

Serena:

It was so hard for me to say I want to create this.

Serena:

I'm sure that this is going to be, uh, what I am going to create, it was impossible for me.

Serena:

When I started to say, okay, we'll just a fun experiment, talk with people, and that's it, I was able to, to do it because I, I wanted to know their stories basically for myself.

Serena:

This was also the gift of Vision 2020 for me because it, it really allowed me to experiment and to try things, uh, work things out cloud, and go in different direction, almost every week

Carlos:

Really grateful for, for you to take us to that point because we're within the program, we are asking people now to start working out loud and to start, and you know, part of it's this seven day content challenge where we try and get people to just write and share where on whichever platform they wish.

Carlos:

And there is resistance, of course, for some people.

Carlos:

So as a final sort of share, I'd be curious to hear if you had some advice or some experience of that process of working out loud what, or, or maybe ident ident, connecting with where the fear may be or what experience you may have had of it, and then how you've worked with it or overcome it in any way.

Laurence:

And just, and to add to that, this idea of, which you've all exhibited starting before you're ready.

Laurence:

You know, in terms of I'm scared but I still move forward despite that anxiety uncertainty.

Ray:

I think over the period I, one of some of the things I, I learned to change in myself first was to not beat myself up about it if I felt like that was a major change, had a lot of encouragement to just be okay with not feeling like it.

Ray:

And then always coming back to who I was doing it for, and just then waiting to reconnect into the energy that, that, that would bring.

Ray:

And, and talking with friends about being stuck and asking them how I could move through it.

Ray:

You know, I just, those are the three of the things that I did that useful.

Beccie:

I've probably spoken to this bit a little bit already with the, on the video front.

Beccie:

You know, doing that kind of first ever LinkedIn video as well as launching the program in some ways or before I'd actually planned it all out.

Beccie:

Like I, you know, I was kind of, that was I suppose, an experiment in terms of its checking, is there demand for this?

Beccie:

Why can't you, there would be, but yeah, just seeing who, who's interested and then doing more of the planning after I've got people that have signed up.

Beccie:

I think for me it's something about, I guess it's when we do that, and I think I've experienced this myself, it's that it's the journey of vulnerability ourselves, isn't it?

Beccie:

And for people connect with that.

Beccie:

I think, I genuinely think people, we show our kind of humanity and people will respond to it.

Beccie:

And we are kind of modeling, I guess this is relevant in my work, in that I'm modeling vulnerability and curiosity and courage, and then seeing what happens.

Beccie:

And, and that's what I, what I'm hoping others will do.

Beccie:

You know, in working with me, they're, I'm, I'm inviting that in them as well.

Beccie:

So if they see that in me, they're more likely to want to work with me and take that step themselves.

Serena:

For me personally, um, it was really important to find someone that was trusting me even if I was not trusting myself.

Serena:

Uh, so it was really, really important to feel that trust and feel that people were supporting me.

Carlos:

Thank you very much, all three of you.

Carlos:

It's been wonderful to hear your, your stories of the, the journey of the program and also just your experiences, which we hope anyone listening to will feel energized by.

Carlos:

And, and I think that last bit of just what Beccie was talking to and all of you who kind of alluded to just like this connection with a human being, You know, you all shared, you know, your own various journeys and, and how and human journeys as opposed to like, my business plan and this is my targets and this is my metrics, et cetera, et cetera.

Carlos:

No, this is me trying to do this thing.

Laurence:

You're now all elders of the community.

Laurence:

Old as in minedset, nott in age.

Ray:

I actually am older, you know,

Carlos:

Oh but young at heart, Ray, very young.

Ray:

Yes.

Laurence:

Thanks everyone.

Laurence:

Thanks again, everyone really appreciate it.

Carlos:

So, one hand is, I, I am anyone listening to this who is, who resonates with any of those stories and, and is really wanting to go on this, um, journey of change, you know where to go.

Carlos:

Uh, hopefully as well, you'll have got a sense of the type of person we can work with, that openness, that real desire to be vulnerable, um, potentially if that need to be vulnerable, um, to be open to experiment.

Carlos:

Um, that's so important for us.

Carlos:

Uh, it's, it's been such a hard time, running an agency and being in a world where it's all like, uh, really quite aggressive.

Carlos:

And the other aspect of this is the, the patience.

Carlos:

Things happen when they need to happen, and that requires a lot of trust, um, which is something.

Carlos:

It's hard to do, I think, in this fast paced world.

Laurence:

Just quickly, I was chatting to someone the other day who's, uh, gonna join us on the next cohort, and she's coming from the corporate world, been in it for 20 years.

Laurence:

And the way she describes trying to get any ideas through is everything seek, she needs to seek permission for every decision she made almost.

Laurence:

And just how draining that is when there's this culture of fear or lack of trust, and how debilitating that can be creatively and energetically.

Laurence:

And so, yeah, sometimes I think we just remind ourselves of how important it is just to have someone believe in us and to give ourselves a little playground, a little oasis of chance to experiment and, and just have a bit of fun with it as well, and not be so worried about what someone thinks or that we're gonna lose our job or that it's gonna cost me money or a relationship.

Laurence:

So this is why it's nice to hear these stories, to be reminded of that.

Carlos:

I like that contrast.

Carlos:

I think if, you know, if you're experiencing a culture of control like that and then wanting to be curious about what you are really capable of.

Carlos:

If you were less, if the shackles were free, if you were able to do what you really wanted, and of course the question is what do I really, that's the thing.

Carlos:

But you were, if you did manage to start getting clear on that, what could, you could be capable, what would be, what is possible?

Carlos:

What is allowed.

Laurence:

Mm.

Carlos:

Um, and I think that more and more, I'm discovering that's what, what seems to be one of the biggest benefits of, of going, working this way is, you know, realizing that I am capable of more, and it's, I'm also capable of the stuff that I didn't think was possible.

Laurence:

I, that's why I like Ray's story about the mantra because it's not a tangible outcome, but it's a, it is a tool that you can use.

Laurence:

And I found this too, that it's a tool that you can use again and again in every decision you make and how you show up and how you write and how you communicate.

Laurence:

And that is something that, we wanna arm people with more of that because, um, we found the value of ourselves.

Carlos:

So at the very least, hopefully this podcast is an invitation to just consider what you're capable of and what might be getting in your way and how clear you are about what you want.

Carlos:

And so if you are in any way curious about the work we're doing, then please go to the website, vision.happystartups.co.

Carlos:

Or you, if you know, our email address it's laurence@happystartups.co or carlos@happystartups.co.

Carlos:

Just ping us an email or find us on LinkedIn, we'll be more than happy to just at least share our perspective to then help you realize whether it's something you need help with from us.

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