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Caught Between CEO & Calving Cows, Courtney Chose Her Calling
Episode 24527th March 2024 • The HERO Show • Richard W Matthews
00:00:00 01:13:43

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In this episode of The Hero Show, we have an incredible story of courage and determination. Courtney Addy, a young woman torn between her passion for entrepreneurship and her love for farming, shares her inspiring journey. Join us as we explore how Courtney navigated the challenges of being caught between the corporate world and the call of the land. 

Discover how she embraced her true calling and found fulfillment in a life that combines her business acumen with her love for calving cows. Don't miss this captivating episode of The Hero Show!


Richard Matthews: [:

why don't you start off

with who are you?

What's your business like?

Who do you serve?

What do you do for them?

Courtney Addy: Yeah

I'm a former executive

turned entrepreneur

I had a very long career

in corporate America

and after it was time

for a change

began to rediscover

who I was

and what I wanted to do

and I stumbled on this word coach

and at first

I had this extremely

visceral reaction to it

and the more

that I dug into it

and the more I understood

what it was

and the power that it had

the more sort of

hooked I got on the process

and so after coming through

corporate America

and first starting

a consulting business

and then moving through

a series of other opportunities

primarily I was in marketing

for a very long time

I stumbled on this business

of coaching and really decided

that I was gonna move

from a career as a corporate executive

in marketing into my calling

which is coaching

and so now through

the Beacon Collective

I have the opportunity

to work with hundreds

of amazing C-suite leaders

and their teams

bringing them a little bit more

of an alternative approach

to what I would call traditional


name's Richard Matthews, and [:

Courtney Addy: I am here, Richard, how are you?

Richard Matthews: I'm doing wonderful. Glad to have you here, Courtney. I know we were chatting just before we got on the call. You're coming in from beautiful sunny Michigan there in not Michigan where you said Massachusetts, right?

Courtney Addy: Western Massachusetts. Yes.

Richard Matthews: Yeah. And you live on a farm, is that right?

Courtney Addy: I sure do. I was not born a farmer, but I am now. So,

Richard Matthews: Yeah. My wife has already informed me that once we're done traveling, that we're going to become farmers. So, this is, you can gimme a glimpse into my future, so.

Courtney Addy: Have her call me first. Chickens are the gateway animals.

Richard Matthews: Yeah. The gateway drug I've seen the chicken map on TikTok. You get one chicken and you get two chickens and you get six chickens and you get a hundred chickens. And then you get goats and ducks and, you know, it just goes from there.

Courtney Addy: It does. It's very similar to that story. Yes. We've learned the hard way.

ll just dive right into your [:

She brings a highly integrative approach to her practice through a synthesis of conventional and holistic coaching techniques. She's a passionate storyteller, a LinkedIn top leadership development voice, and will make you laugh about her adventures as an accidental farmer. So, with that brief introduction, Courtney, why don't you start off with just really simple question, who are you?

Which basically two questions. What's your business like? Who do you serve? What do you do for them?

ed I got on the process. And [:

I stumbled on this business of coaching and really decided that I was gonna move from a career as a corporate executive in marketing into my calling, which is coaching. And so now through the Beacon Collective, I have the opportunity to work with hundreds of amazing C-suite leaders and their teams, bringing them a little bit more of an alternative approach to what I would call traditional leadership coaching, which we can happily unpack as we go.

red a coach for martial arts [:

And I have for a long time been working on trying to like, hit some goals physically like, you know, more than a decade. And trying to do it myself and you know. Learned a whole bunch, but never really had any success with, and it wasn't until I had a coach who is willing to, you know, I think there's a couple of things. You're on the calendar with them. So if you don't show up, you just point someone else, right? And not just yourself. And then they push you farther than you push yourself. And they make you move into uncomfortable places and do things that you won't do to your own, self. And I was like, there's just so much like benefit that comes from having a coach.

And also the feedback loop with a coach is immediate, right? It's a very short, quick feedback loop of like, you do something and you get immediate feedback on it, and you can progress just significantly faster. And I gotta say, I'm now officially a whole convert. Like if you wanna get good at something.



Courtney Addy: Hooray.

Richard Matthews: ire a coach.

need coaches. And one of my [:

So if you can work with another human to actually unpack and unfluff and take like what's hiding in plain sight behind that tip of the iceberg in terms of our contrast and awareness and like get us to go deeper, it can be a really remarkable experience. And again, I grew up in one of the biggest, you know, corporations and leadership development companies in the world. And when I stumbled into coaching at around 45 years old, I was like. Where has this been my whole life? Like I can't even imagine what kind of leader I was, but could have even been if that I had a coach with me all the way.

e days. I was looking at the [:

Richard Matthews: It's one of those things that like when you think about it, you have, you know, we have in a lot of different areas of the world, you look at like, you know, politics is another one that pops up. There's these two different like ideals. One of them is the individual and the other one is the community.

And then, you know, you see that show up in politics with like, the conservative side is like all about the individual and liberal side is all about the community and like to the exclusion of each other. And you find out, like the reality is somewhere in the center where like, yes, the individual is important, but the individual doesn't operate without a community. And so that's where you come into, like you can't do this thing called life by yourself. Right. And.

Courtney Addy: Not very well anyways.

ake each other better, which [:

Courtney Addy: Yeah. Well I got bit by the bug. Hard as, like I said, it was very visceral. I was like, oh, Courtney, for goodness sakes, like you're gonna call yourself a coach now and luckily enough, I had a lot of guides along the way. I went back and trained with the international coaching federation. A wonderful woman named Corey Robertson up in Canada has a leadership academy for coaches. And you know, have built up some of the, you know, whenever you're stepping into a conversation with someone about coaching in the future, and it's very different. Like therapy is about the past, coaching is about the future and all the modalities are a little bit different.

But you wanna have a certain amount of integrity 'cause you do get in there and you start unpacking people in a way that, you know, can really drive them towards action and things that they never thought that they were ever capable of before. And it's just wonderful to be welcomed into that conversation and bear witness to it with another human. It's a gift.

ok has an origin story. It's [:

Or did you know, essentially how did you get to where you are now?

Courtney Addy: So, I actually married a man with big ambitions who I didn't know at the time wanted to be a farmer. And so we bought a farm. We bought an old homestead in Western Massachusetts and we didn't even really know what was here. And turns out there's old ancient orchards and fields. It used to be a dairy and cider farm.

And, you know, soon enough we decided to, you know, get a couple well chickens first we did talk about chickens being the gateway drug, the gateway animal. And pretty soon we had cows come along and, I didn't know at the time but one of our cows was pregnant and she went into labor. The morning that I was in the process of having a really big job interview, I was in the middle of a career transition. I'd come through corporate America, I'd gone into online retail and I'd gone all the way to agency side working in performance branding.

And I'd left that role and [:

Richard Matthews: There's a baby cow coming right now.

Courtney Addy: There's a baby cow coming right now, and I'm like, zoom ready to go like head, you know, waist up, ready, camera ready. And I'm looking at it and it's, you know, I'm waiting and you know, I've known enough now this is actually her second baby.

So the first one came right out. It was like, this is gonna be over without any big issue. The second one, an hour went by and another hour went by and it was like clear that this mom was gonna need this mom to get in that field with her, and we were gonna do it together. Me and Daisy Cow. And so I typed this email to the internal recruiter, like, oh, I'm so sorry, but I know what we did to get on this calendar gonna have to postpone this interview. I'm so sorry.

you wanna still talk to me, [:

And you know, really began to sort of start this journey of figuring out how to go from the job, which we all start with, just to make money into that career where we're building skills into that calling, where we really feel like we have this more integrated purpose-driven life. And that's how it happened. A cow went into labor and here I am, and the rest is history.

Richard Matthews: Nice. So I know you said chickens are the gateway drug. What do you have on your farm now, just out of curiosity?

There's a little pig called [:

But if you come to my house, there's a little stone pig with a little dog collar that says Arnold on it, right to greet you. And I think that's where the journey stops for animals, for us.

Richard Matthews: So I said at some point my wife and I are gonna stop traveling and she wants to start a Homestead. And I'm like, listen, the only thing that I want to have, I was like, we can have all sorts of animals, but like my requirement, I want to have those miniature, fluffy donkeys.

Courtney Addy: Oh, they're very cute. But donkeys are really loud. So do you know what's interesting about donkeys? They're actually guard animals, right? Do you know that about donkeys? Yeah. So are emus. When we actually first bought the farm, it came with an emu, but that's a whole other story. A very large bird that is also a livestock guardian for animals.

If you didn't know, now you do.

Richard Matthews: My wife and I follow a lady on TikTok who is an emu farmer and she's got an emu and I can't remember the emu's name for the life of me, but every time she does videos about her farm, the emu comes over and knocks her phone over.

ney Addy: Yes. They're very, [:

Richard Matthews: So, it sounds like you had an interesting start to getting into this entrepreneurship calling journey, but what I want to find out from you is your superpower that you have developed in your business. Right? On this show we talk about, you know, every iconic hero has a superpower, whether that's their fancy flying suit made by their genius intellectual, the ability to call down thunder from the sky, or maybe they have, you know, super strength like Superman.

In the real world. Here's what I call a zone of genius, which is either a skill or a set of skills that you were born with or you developed over the course of your career that really sets you apart and allow you to help your people slay their villains, come out on top of their journeys. And the way I like to frame it for my guests is if you look at all the skills that you've developed over your career, there's probably a common thread that ties all those skills together.

And with that framing, what do you think your superpower is in your coaching business?

me is the ability to welcome [:

And if you think about, you know, how much we have this, you know, everywhere now this disembodied communication where we're talking, you know, beyond each other and not really able to sort of bring it down into this really full embodied conversation. Really question with curiosity and take all of this chaos and turn it into this distilled little simple nugget. Like no matter what I've done in my career, that's basically been. One of the things that is definitely a superpower. Now, I've also and we'll talk about the common enemy, but I can only welcome and organize and tame chaos when I'm not sitting in a place of judgment if I'm judging the chaos or going like, oh my gosh, it's just such a show and a half, right?

And if I let my judge or the [:

Richard Matthews: So I'm gonna go super nerdy in my response to that as superpower. Hope you don't mind. But one of the things that I find really fascinating is I love the discussion of order and chaos and so order and chaos is seen all over the place in religious texts and just in discussions about almost everything.

And what I find fascinating, this is sort of like a theory that I've been working on, is I think that the ability to make order out of chaos is the most you know, it is the spark of life that we got from our creator is our ability to order chaos. And so, you know, if you look into what is it, Jurassic Park, you know, the famous line that life finds away, right?

uld be essentially chaos and [:

And then, you know, what God did in the creation story is he took essentially the chaos and ordered it into life. And so it's like the most divine sort of characteristic we have is our ability to order chaos.

Courtney Addy: It's

Richard Matthews: yeah, It's very true. I actually, I have a stack of books that I haven't gotten to yet. Have you read the "Tao of Chaos" yet?

I have not, but I should probably put on my list.

Courtney Addy: Put it on your list. Because yes, there's something to be said about all of that. And interestingly for me when I look at my change algorithm, right? What actually is the catalyst the catalyzing condition for me to change or for me to move or to do something different every time when I go back and I look through my own patterns, like one of the things that I need to do as a coach, like my, one of my sacred desires is to make sure that I'm living and doing all of the things that I'm unpacking and I'm fluffing for other people.

f these patterns in my life, [:

So when I tell you that my superpower is actually right, managing chaos or welcoming chaos or bringing in the second it gets stagnant, the second it slow down or gets boring or gets predictable, I'm out of there. I'm out of there because I've almost diluted my ability to tap into some of my gifts. Right?

Richard Matthews: Like ordering, chaos is sort of like an ethereal thought. So like the thing that I've always talked to people, like if you wanna put it in more concrete stuff, you're a farmer. And if you look at like order from chaos, like chaos is nature. It's life without human involvement. And when you take that down into farming or gardening or horticulture or any of, you know, any of the agricultural stuff that we do that is essentially ordering chaos, right? We're ordering nature.

hought that like chaos, it's [:

Because of the stuff we do with ordering that nature and the chaos there. And that's, you know, that's just an example of that. But that's where I see, you know, the ability to order chaos is your ability to unlock the potential in nature essentially, or in your nature, in your world.

state New York is the second [:

Right. And it's like farmers are the ultimate entrepreneurs in terms of like, trying to figure out how to manage through various different cycles of unpredictability and chaos. It's a great correlation and it's a good thing. I said to my husband the other day as I was going through, you know, this dialogic reflection with a coach of mine and I said, well, it's a good thing we bought this farm because, you know, we're gonna keep ourselves busy and I'm not gonna be bored for the rest of my life. And it's kept its promise so far.

Richard Matthews: Absolutely. So I wanna flip that coin, right? So if one side of the coin is super power, the flip side of that coin is always the fatal flaw. And so just like Superman has this kryptonite or wonder woman can't remove her bracelets of victory without going mad, you probably have a flaw that's held you back in your career, something that you've struggled with.

ich meant I didn't have good [:

So I think more importantly than what is the flaw is how have you worked to overcome it. So our audience might learn a little bit from your story.

Courtney Addy: Oh, this is a great story. And it, and bear with me 'cause I'm gonna unpack it a little bit further. So, around the time where we were talking about the cow being born, I was really struggling with like, you know, thinking about my purpose and what I wanted to do and like, you know, really getting into that part of stagnation and I had this moment, like every superhero needs their squad, right? They all need all the other superheroes to work together. And one of my superheroes is a really good female friend of mine who said to me, court, are you okay? I haven't seen you like this before.

es in the world the Coactive [:

And he had just created this program and she was learning how to be certified as a coach. And she asked and welcomed me into going through the program with her and what I realized for the first time was really understand my thoughts and our mind and how it works and neuroplasticity and neuroscience and all of these master things.

And the way that Shirzad's program works is that we all have the universal saboteur. Like, if you just take for a moment and think about like the work of Carol Dweck and growth mindset. There's the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. There's the survival brain and there's the thrive brain, there's the saboteur brain and there's the sage brain.

and she is famous for saying [:

And then there's nine other accomplished saboteurs that'll get in there room with the judge and like dance and like really kind of like mess you up mine are the hyperachiever and the controller, you know, surprise. But there's others in there. And they're all based on our origin stories actually from childhood and our earliest stages of human conditioning, right?

lf up and I didn't even know [:

And what happens is, even coming through the pandemic and all of that, we've all built neurologically. This we have the survival brain and we have this thrive brain. There's two different sort of parts of the way the brain works and we've gone to just like creating this neural network and this neural pathway because all of us who've lived on this blue and green ball have gone through this moment of like survival, right? Of just moving through it and getting through the pandemic. And in doing that, what's happened is the thoughts that we have immediately go into that sort of judgment phase or that place of self-sabotage as opposed to the growth side of it.

eness of those thoughts, but [:

And moving it into another part of my brain. And they say that with the study of that program within eight weeks, you can take somebody from the beginning. Through the program and put them in an MRI before and after, and you could actually see the gray matter on the other side of the brain thrive. And I was completely hooked the program just brought back something for me in terms of my resiliency that I didn't have access to ahead of time, and it was because it was at a neurological level integrated into my self-awareness of my thoughts.

here was no space in between [:

So that's a little bit of a longer story, but you know, through my other superheroes, my superhero girl squad they were able to help me unpack those nasty villains, right? The saboteurs and figure out how to slay them to the ground. And now actually, after going through the program, I actually got certified in the program myself as a coach because I think the value of the work that Shirzad has built with this program is just so phenomenal. So.

stimulus response, there was [:

The path to mastery is learning how to spread those apart so you can master every decision that your body's making in between. And then learning how to shrink that back down again so that you are automatically making the choices that you want to make, right? You're being the person that you wanna be.

And that's where you learn to master yourself. You learn to master skills anything you want. That the path to mastery is stimulus. Spread out your spot your space so you can learn to master each of those choices and then make those choices and then learn to turn those choices down back into second nature.



Courtney Addy: I'm gonna let you ask me about my tools, because that's where decision-making comes into play.

tly have to fight against in [:

And it's a mindset or a flaw that they come to you with, that you constantly have to fight to overcome so you can actually get them the result that they came to you for in the first place. So in your world of executive coaching, what is that common enemy, that arch nemesis that you have to fight against regularly?

Courtney Addy: There's two. One is like we talked about the universal saboteur and the judge. And the judge is really about judging the past, where we like ruminate in something and we go over it and over and over again. The other common enemy is fear, or what I like to call false evidence appearing real, where we're really worried about something in the future.

gned. Fear is always present [:

Unless there is a tiger jumping out of the woods at you, right? Or you're at risk of dying. The likelihood of that fear being real is unlikely. And so I would say that a lot of times it's really being able to unpack and usually it's through their experiences going deep into their experience to understand, you know, tell me a time when like you've slayed that dragon.

Tell me another time where you've been afraid of something. Tell me another time where you've been afraid of something and you move before it. And what you'll see is that those superpowers come right into focus. So they can tap into them without necessarily being hijacked by, you know, false evidence.

Richard Matthews: Yeah, one it cracks me up. One of my wife and I's favorite jokes with each other is that worrying and being afraid is super effective 'cause all the things I worry about and I'm afraid of never happened. So it's obviously working.

Courtney Addy: Yes, exactly. I.

Richard Matthews: So she's [:

Courtney Addy: Well, and it can be so paralyzing. And I'll say the other thing in terms of fear, most people fear like financial ruin and money. Like money is the gateway to sabotage. Like, it's the one thing that just basically like, you know when I say the word money, right? Anybody who's listening to this podcast, like, I just fired a neuron in your brain, and you were like, oh, it either traveled down to like, oh my god, scarcity, like, scarcity mindset or you're like, oh yeah, it's a thing, but you know, it's okay.

tep into their purpose, like [:

And I think that we're conditioned to think that we need or should want certain things. And when you begin to pull back the layers of what you know, the heart's desire is the closer you can get to sending somebody on their way.

Richard Matthews: I have two thoughts about that. One is on that second part, the abundance part, one of the things that, like I realized, you know, as a young entrepreneur, I was always like, I wanna make a million dollars, or, you know, insert some large number of money that I wanted here. And along the way I hit a much smaller income, like much smaller income. But early in your career, you hit an income, you realize like, I actually have everything I want, right? Like, I can take care of my family, we can go out to dinner occasionally if we want to. We can travel, we can like do the things we want.

dred thousand dollars a year [:

And so that helps alleviate that fear when you sort of realize, you know, what does abundance actually mean in my family and for myself. And then what skills and stuff do I have now to get back there if I, you know, the worst were to happen. So that's the first part. And then the second part for me was realizing that action in spite of fear, is where your greatest breakthroughs happen.

And so for, you know, and I think that's the more powerful sort of part of that. And so for me, I've got a lot of things that I'm like, I actively do now that I don't actually know what the outcomes are going to be. And I don't even know what the possibilities are. So like, just as an example, one of the things we're working on is a work culture in our company that's a, you know, I'm trying to build a 32 hour a week work culture that outperforms a 40 hour week work culture.


And like, the goal is I wanna build a business that like, supports our community. And by supports our community, I mean that we show up for them, not them show up for us, right? And that's our team and our clients and everything in between there. And so, like my staff, they all know, I'm like, you don't ask for permission to go to your son's baseball game. You show us pictures when you get back, right? And that's kind of thing that's it's not a typical how you build a business thing.

So I don't know how it's going to work and it scares the crap out of me. But at the same time, it's like the only way that you accomplish things is by acting in spite of fear. And that's just one, I've got a whole bunch of little categories like that in my life. And I realize that like that's where your big breakthroughs happen by acting in spite of that fear.

Courtney Addy: Yeah, it's true.

emy, right? Because you know [:

So, the flip side of your common enemy. If your common enemy is what you fight against, then your driving force is what you fight for. So just like Spider-Man fights to save New York or Batman fights to save Gotham or Google fights, to index and categorize all the world's information.

What is it you fight for in your coaching business, your mission, so to speak.

Courtney Addy: Well for me, in terms of like my motivating factor, my sacred desire is I again, we'll talk about values in a minute, but like for me, one of my core values is abundance. Right? But below that, deeper, like when we talk about core values, is our identity. When you go deeper and deeper, like underneath that iceberg down to the sacred desire, like for me, I wanna be fundamentally unlimited in terms of how I care for myself and how I care for my community, right?

rtant things to get a handle [:

And, you know, it's the discovery of that and the anchoring of that for me, that drives. All my decisions most of them, sometimes I don't get it right. But drives all of the places where, you know, I decide to work with individuals. I'll decide to work with companies. Like I'll go in and really ask myself, is this an alignment? Is this an alignment? You know, is this, you know, something that I should be spending my time and energy on? Even if, you know, on the surface it looks like an easy yes or an easy no, I go deep into that level of, you know, integrated awareness in order to actually like, make decisions.

I use the term functionally [:

So we don't need a $5,000 a month budget or a 10,000 or a hundred thousand dollars a month budget. Like, 'cause a $2,000 a month budget for food is functionally unlimited for our family. And so what I've started looking at and it goes right back to that, like we talked earlier about abundance and like realizing what abundance actually means is that for me, I'm always looking at what does functionally unlimited look like in five categories.

And so the five categories that I look at I call them the five freedoms, but it's your time freedom, your location freedom, your financial freedom, your health freedom and your political freedom. And so those are like the areas that I care about. And so what it essentially means is, you know, time freedom is I get to choose what, you know, when I work and when I don't work.

I have a billion dollars in [:

My bank account doesn't dictate to me what I can or can't do. Right? Health freedom is the same way. If I wanna get up and go hiking today, I can get up and go hiking today because I've taken care of my body such that I can do that, right? I'm not limited by my health capacity. And so in each of those categories, that's really what I'm looking at is what does it mean to be functionally unlimited?

Courtney Addy: Yeah, it's very powerful, right? You know, we talked a little, you know, entrepreneurship is a spiritual game. Like you have to really understand who you are and what your motivating purposes are in order to like get this. I know a lot of, I coach a lot of executives who have also gotten to that place where they wake up one day and they're like, how did I get here?

those experiences and really [:

Richard Matthews: That's been foundational for me and being able to grow our company the way that we have over the last several years is understanding that aspect of myself is like, what actually gets me to get up and want to go in the morning? What is my identity and who I want be and how I wanna show up for my wife, how I wanna show up for my kids, how I wanna show up for my team, my clients, and everything else that we're doing.

It's just, it goes right back to that identity portion. And when you get into understanding that about yourself it opens up a lot of doors, right? It opens up a lot of ability to really push and to grow and to do things that you didn't think you were capable of doing.

Courtney Addy: It's very true.

Richard Matthews: Awesome. So let's get into that practical portion, right? The tool belt, right? You know, we talk about on this show, we call it the hero's tool belt. And just like every superhero has their, you know, awesome gadgets like batarangs or web slingers or laser eyes, or the big magical hammer that you can spin around and fly with you know, we're gonna talk about the top one or two tools you couldn't live without in your business.

is essential to getting your [:

Courtney Addy: Yeah. I love this question because so much of the work that I do, and it's so funny because this tool was discovered for me on the other side of resistance. We talked a little bit about my female friendship earlier, and she had this deck of cards, core values, cards. And she was at my house and came over and she's like, Hey, Court, let's do this game.

And I was like, get that away from me. Like I'm not doing that. And on the other side of resistance, right, she find I always tend to find abundance on the other side of resistance. And what she was talking to me about was a core values exercise. Now interestingly enough, a lot of coaches use psychometric tools. I've taken them all. myers-briggs, disc, enneagram, you know, you name it, any level of like letters, numbers, colors, categorizations, boxes, labels. I was a junkie for all of them. And none of them I find to be really integrative smart goals, all of that stuff.

ng in chaos in a mashup is a [:

And I came up with this one it's called "Core Values" by the Best Self Company. And there's about a hundred twenty-five different cards in there, and some blank ones. And what I'll do is I will work with, there's an exercise that I do no matter where, who I'm working with or where I start every client that comes through my door does a core values exercise first.

ues exercise, and we'll talk [:

Who decides to take a step over the threshold and go and throw the ring in Mordor, right? Decides to make a decision and go on a journey. And I work with my clients to understand, okay, what is the mindset? Where are you now and where you wanna be? Right. And where do you wanna not go back to again, like at the end of the story, Lord of the Rings. Like he gets on a boat and goes away and never goes back to that mindset or that place where he was before. And so what is the threshold you wanna cross and sort of stabilize in for yourself? And then how do we unpack your core values and your identity in order to help you do that?

how up on Monday morning and [:

So we get down to three. And then what I do is I'll ask them a question, right? First I'll ask 'em what it looks like. So for me, I actually have two core values, authenticity and abundance. We talked an awful lot about abundance, but anytime where I can't show up as myself authentically or create space for others to show up authentically, it's just no bueno for me. I feel very like, tight in my chest and like sort of, I feel that stress, you know, in my heart. But you know, you talked an awful lot about freedom, so I'm assuming somewhere in your ID identity, like freedom is one of your core values. Now, when you say freedom, and I think freedom, I think something different based on my experiences and can actually introduce a ton of bias into that.

Unless I ask you Richard, specifically, when you say freedom, what does that look like? And you're like, oh, it's these five things. This is what freedom means to me. And I'm like, oh, okay. And then I would ask you three times, tell me a time where you've experienced freedom the way that you've described it.

ll me another time. And then [:

And I show you back the patterns. And what happens is that value comes to the surface. And then I say, okay, how do you want that value to show up for you? In your life as you make decisions, as you cross this threshold, and it's absolute magic. For me, abundance is an aspirational value. I grew up in corporate America where there weren't a lot of other people that looked like me, right? In the seats of leadership.

ret sauce. I'm giving it all [:

I have had people come back to me. After one day and go, holy, does that work? Right? And I've had people who have said, I don't know if I should go or I should stay in jobs and relationships. And I said, okay, if you wanna cross the threshold of knowing whether or not you should stay at this company, or you should stay in this job, or you should pivot careers, right?

How do your core values inform that decision? And then they either quit the next day or they stay a little bit longer, but they're anchored in no longer dealing with the anxiety associated with that, you see? So yeah, core values play a part.

ear so often in coaching and [:

Courtney Addy: Right. So you, it feels like you were eavesdropping I was working with Carolyn Malloy, who's my book coach, and she was like, I was like, don't do that Simon Sinek thing to me. I love Simon Sinek. Like, but it is a stone cold open to ask somebody to tell you what their why is. And he said, start with "why". And I was like, no, you can't start with "why" it doesn't mean that "why" isn't important to sow that. Right?

integrative. It doesn't mean [:

But I think to your point, you start with know you first. Knowing you first knowing your values, knowing your thoughts, knowing your energetic design and blueprint, understanding your context and conditions that make you successful. Understanding your sacred desires, understanding all those juicy things then enable you to then Dr. Bertise Berry has a quote that says when you walk with purpose, you collide with destiny. Right?

The purpose really comes from that. And I know all those self-help books. I have a shelf full of them over here. They all have a core values exercise, and they all have a, like, find your purpose. And I went on a complete, you can tell how passionate I'm in this. I went on a complete rant going like, this is everything that's broken with why this doesn't work right now. So this entrepreneur over here is on a mission to help people know who they are first before they.


Richard Matthews: Yeah.

rents when I was a teenager, [:

So like I've been through all, like, all of the big self-help books and all the leadership books and all the business books and everything. And the, that "why" exercise I struggled with for probably a decade 'cause I was like, why requires knowing something about yourself that you can't start there. And I said, I don't know how to describe it for people other than like, you have to know your identity first.

Courtney Addy: Yes.

Richard Matthews: Who's the person that you wanna show up in the world as what is, you know, to your point, what are your core values? And once you know what your core values are, then it's really easy to get into a why, right? It's really easy to get into like, why am I doing this right now? And those whys can be everything from something really simple to like, I wanna buy a nice new kitchen knife to something big and fancy.

like all of that's gonna be [:

Courtney Addy: Well, and why? The way that the "why" exercise is set up I'm gonna throw another pink in there. It like doesn't really work. It's not dialogic, right? You're required to ask yourself why, as opposed to let someone else ask you why. So if I said, Richard, why do you wanna do this? I want you to respond with a because.

And so I actually have an exercise that I use in my practice called the because manifesto, right? Where you have to write that threshold down that you wanna cross and free write no less than 150 times because what is your motivating force in your context and conditions that you like?

ecause there is some sort of [:

the "why" exercise [:

Richard Matthews: I love the because manifesto, I should probably just do that myself because I've got a couple of things that I, you know, big aspirational things I'm working on right now and I'm like, man, you asked that. But, you know, because, I'm like, I could give you a whole list of becauses for.

Courtney Addy: Like we're off to see the wizard. It's a little bit of like, right, because, because, because like why are you off to see the wizard? Right? So that's the thing I create my own tools, like a little bit of that superpower, like the chaos associated with the " Y why" exercise.

Right? Chaos. Anybody? Right?

Richard Matthews: Here's the, I know I we're gonna spend a little more time on this because I think it's really important and I like the conversation where we're going with it. I think what's interesting about why is seasonal and core values are not.

Courtney Addy: No.

hen I first got married. And [:

Why is not a foundational aspect of your life, it is a seasonal aspect of your life. And I just wanna get your thoughts on that.

Courtney Addy: Oh, I agree completely, right? Even when you look at the way that the work, the "why" work is designed for companies, it talks about the fact that the "why" can change based on the context and conditions in the environment, right? Why you might be doing something, what your purpose could be, will completely change when a Black Swan event comes in or a major like market move happens, right?

hing, it would just be like, [:

And your values can change. Like they can update, right? I think that when we think about our identities, like my identity now is not what my identity was when I was in my 20s. Right? Based on the conditions of how I'd been raised or where I lived or where I went to school or the experiences that I've had. And the more that sort of unfolded and opened for me, it's a little bit different now. So your core values can change over time because there's shaped by your experiences. But yeah, I think your why in terms of your purpose.

Richard Matthews: Yeah your core values will change over time. The way, like the tectonic plates shift on planet earth. Like they do move, but they're slow. But your "why" changes as soon as you see the cow giving birth outside your window while you're in an interview. Right?

the direction of your life. [:

Courtney Addy: Exactly. If he had not written the book, start with "why", I would be like, amen. But the fact that like he, everyone has to start with that. It is just such a mental, like the mental gymnastics of trying to step into that are just, they're not fair.

Richard Matthews: Agreed.

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And now back to the [:

Richard Matthews: Well, that was a wonderful long discussion on tools. I wanna get in and talk about your own personal heroes, right? Every hero has their mentors, just like Frodo had Gandalf, we talked about him already a little bit. Luke had Obi-Wan, Robert Kiyosaki as his rich dad, and even Spider-Man had his uncle Ben.

Who were some of your heroes? Were they speakers, authors, peers who were a couple years ahead of you? And how important were they to what you have accomplished so far in you.

Courtney Addy: A lot of my heroes are teachers. A lot of my teachers are healers. Right? You know, the lines get a little bit blurry sometimes when you step into coaching in terms of like, you know, why you're even drawn into the calling in the first place. I would say a lot of my heroes are people who have, you know, along the way, especially in corporate situations, had so much alignment in terms of, you know, my values and their values, whether that was like, clearly on the surface at the time.

the trajectory of my career. [:

And for me it was like that little beacon, that little ray of light and hope of like somebody sort of getting to this elevated position of leadership and like shining the light backwards for the rest of us. And so, yeah, when I think about Mike Rowan, definitely one of those people in my life who, you know, I didn't know it at the time, but I know it now as I've been, you know, as I've matured and gotten older in terms of those moments that are catalysts for tremendous amounts of change.

mental tools of it so that I [:

And then of course, like put my own layer on top of it. And I would not be the coach that I am today without the work of Dr. Melissa Peet. And the ways that she has taught us to ask questions that unpack people like that generative knowledge inquiry, that asking somebody that experience three times, like, because three is where the pattern really comes out. And this whole entire notion of being in dialogue with other people. I mean, I would follow her to the ends of the earth just to learn more of her tools. But yeah, I've had a lot of teachers along the way and they've pretty much all aligned to some degree with my core values.

Isn't that funny? Right. Of authenticity and abundance.

sticks out to me is that if [:

It's generally a one-way street, meaning they don't always know that you look up to them as a hero. And that always reminds me is like, there's probably people in my life that are looking up to me as a hero. And if that's the case, am I acting in such a way that I deserve that recognition? Right. And it's always just a reminder that to like, just myself, that like, hey, there's always people.

If you are doing something of value in the world, people are going to be looking up to me. Like, I wanna be like him or like her and I wanna have, you know, the results or the lifestyle or the outcomes that they're having. Like, you know, it's just a good reminder to me.

Courtney Addy: Yeah, it's very true. Aren't we like really lucky when we get the opportunity? I'm sure you've had this for somebody just that you've touched their life in a way that you didn't really even know at the time, but you just showed up like in your authenticity and that just like made a mark on someone else.

o that I can, you know, be a [:

Richard Matthews: Yeah. The other thing that popped in my head while you were talking about your heroes was, you know, because you were talking about people, like the executive that you were working under, I can't remember his Mark was his name?

Courtney Addy: Mike Rowan.

Richard Matthews: Mike Rowan. So Mike is an executive in the company and one of the things that I've been thinking is, you know, I mentioned before we got on the call, I was like, oh man, I think I have to call myself an executive in my own company now.

And one of my thoughts that's been going into my head a little bit over the last couple of months as we've brought our company quiet a lot this last year it has been like. Do I need to start learning how to be a better coach? Because part of being an executive is also being a coach. And so like to your point, like you've been through training on how to be a coach and instead it's really impacted your ability as a coach.

And then just thinking to myself, I'm like, I have children to raise and I have a, you know, a company to continue to lead. Maybe learning how to be a coach is one of the things that should be on my list of things to do.

urtney Addy: Well, I had to, [:

And those are things that are also really good for executives to do. But most of my career, everybody was looking to me for my opinion, right? And so you can see, I can talk very freely, right? Really quieting down and getting into that active listening space where I was holding space for another human to just ask a very good question, pull it forward, and then just, you know, pull the thread and unpack the pattern really took a completely different skillset and mindset for me to develop.

ve listening. Like, how many [:

Richard Matthews: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And I know, I feel like I get a little bit of a cheater on that because I do this podcast, right? And I've done hundreds and hundreds of interviews where like you have to actually actively listen. And one of the things that I find fascinating about active listening is in particular for like the type of stuff that we do is active listening is not just hearing what you're saying, but also connecting your stories together.

Courtney Addy: Yeah.

Richard Matthews: And I think people miss that 'cause active listening is, means that you're a participant in the listening. Not that just you're receiving information, but you're participating in the mutual exchange of stories.

t space you're listening not [:

Without your own bias. Without putting your own bias into the situation. Like what is really going on. Right? And so one of the things that I ask I tell all executives to do all the time. And even people who are going in for a job interview, I said, if you have been asked a question and you don't know what they mean, unpack the verb.

exactly what has been asked [:

Like linguistics. We can talk about linguistics forever, but like language and words matter, right?

Richard Matthews: Yeah. Formula that I use for that. I call it the WWHN formula. Stands for what? Why? How now? And so when someone says something and we use it a lot for copywriting and other things, but when you're talking active listening, it's like, okay, so what do you mean by digital marketing? Okay, tell me why that's important to you.

Okay. How does that look in your life? Right? How do you actually implement those kind of things? Okay. Now that we understand those things. What are the actions that you're gonna take, right? And so that what, why, how now really helps you understand where they're at and what they're thinking from, like, from really baseline understanding of that's why off of the levels of awareness, which is, can't remember the guy who came up with that. But he talked about the the level of awareness. And that's, What? Why? How? Now.

ght? You know, feedback does [:

Right? It's how someone is experiencing you. And so, you know, I coach leaders an awful lot to say, you know, here's what I'm experiencing. Here's what I'd like to experience. Instead, here's like examples of what they're experiencing. Here's what they'd like to experience instead, and here's what would happen within and around them as a result. Like Contextualize it, like deepen like the narrative around it.

You know, because, we are in the season right now of performance reviews and again, you know, how effective is all that time and energy really going into a lot of the check the box exercises that some of these big companies are doing right now, and they just, they haven't figured out how to do it differently at scale. And like, that's the chaos that I wanna take on.

n, one more question for you [:

And so, you know, as we wrap up the interview, I wanna talk about the top one or two principles you use regularly in your life. Maybe something you wish knew when started on your own hero's journey.

Courtney Addy: Oh, you know, I would go back to so many of the themes and patterns of what we've talked about. Like they're all popping up, like, the whole entire notion of know you first. Right? Know your values, know the thoughts know where you're sabotaging your potential. And we didn't talk about energetic blueprints, but really understanding your energy and how it's designed to move.

e equipped with all of those [:

And then we wake up one day going like, oh my gosh, those aren't the rules. Why didn't anybody tell me those weren't the rules? But fundamentally, I also go back to this like, you know, in terms of guiding principle, like this ultimate desire to just be unlimited in the way that I can take care of myself and take care of the people that I care about in my community most, for me, that's really, you know, a guiding principle in terms of how I make decisions about where I move my energy and how I spend my time is going back to how much or how little will it be helping me actualize that.

Richard Matthews: Yeah. I love that. I know for me, one of the things I've looked at a lot has been recently in the last, like four or five years, is really protecting energy. And you realize that like there's a lot of things that you know. Tasks and people and other things. It's less about, you know, what you like or don't like, or what you enjoy and don't enjoy.

nd more about what zaps your [:

And the other thing was the rules. This is something that I've started talking a lot of too people about because, you know, I do podcast rounds too, and people always ask questions, something like that. And the thing I've started telling people recently is that everyone is wrong, right? And what I mean by that is that like the things that they think the rules are or that the world thinks the rules are, none of those rules apply to you, right?

It's like outside of like our baseline societal rules of like, don't murder people, don't rape and steal and pillage and like, you know, you after you get past like the 10 Commandments, like generally speaking, all the other rules are made up.

Courtney Addy: Well, they come from those saboteurs like, like how I'm gonna judge myself? Am I afraid what other people will think about me? Like, Ooh, look at this circumstance. It's just, it's again, it sits in a brain that was designed for humans before we got to where we are in our evolution. So,

Richard Matthews: yeah.[:

Yeah. It's like it, like everything, like which marketing thing works for your business and you know, how many kids should you have or what you should eat or what the best diet is, or like what's the best way to work out everyone's wrong, right? Like, find the things that work and do those things, right?

Base it on the results, not on the rules that you think you have to follow.

Courtney Addy: Exactly. They can all be debunked, right?

Richard Matthews: Yeah. Everyone's wrong about something, whatever it is. So I think that's a great place to wrap our interview. But I do finish every interview with a simple challenge. I call it the hero's challenge. And we do this help get ourselves access to stories that we might not otherwise find on our own. So the question is simple.

Do you have someone in your life or in your network who you think has a cool entrepreneurial story? Who are they? First names are fine. And why do you think they should come share their story with us here on The Hero Show? First person that comes to mind for you.

umber one on my list. I'm so [:

One of my first trips outside after the pandemic was to a farmer's market, a local farmer's market, and there was a farmer there, and he had all of these coolers of meat and they were all empty, not because he'd sold anything but because he was required to use a USDA facility to slaughter his meat in order to sell it at a farmer's market.

I got it started, you know, as a farmer who is going to have animals on her farm. I began to sort of study and go deeper into this journey of what this looked like. And what I found out was most of the meat that we consume in this country goes through four 85% of it goes through four major processors in the United States.

And so, there are a bunch of [:

And it's not a sexy topic. I mean, you can raise a few eyebrows when you walk around talking about, you know, slaughterhouses and what it takes to humanely process meat you know, in cocktails and like podcast conversations. But there's some very entrepreneurial people, especially in the region in the Berkshires right now who are doing that, that I'd love to introduce you to their stories. They're quite remarkable individuals and their level of resistance and their values are what we all need more of.

Richard Matthews: I would love to get some farmers on the show. We have not yet had any farmers on the show. We've had everything else for everything from like coffee shop owners to like venture backed companies up in Silicon Valley to coaches and consultants. We've not had a farmer on the show yet, so I'd love to get a farmer on the show and start talking about that world.

our connection to our land. [:

Courtney Addy: I think so.

Richard Matthews: We need it. Like it's not an optional thing. We're gonna continue to thrive.

Courtney Addy: Yeah, and I've it's not for the faint of heart. I mean, I've spent some time with some of them, and the mental health of the young farmers is really in a devastating place right now. I mean, the Berkshires have never been this rainy, they've never been this windy. I mean, if you look at the impact that climate change is having on this region in particular you know, it's a whole story for another day, but I welcome you to give voice to it with some of the entrepreneurs that are actually my heroes.

Richard Matthews: Awesome. Well, we will you know, connect over email afterwards to see if we can get some introductions and maybe we can get a few farmers on the show. That'd be great. So for just the end of this show, our send off in comic books, there is always the crowd of people who are clapping and cheering for the acts of heroism.

cutive coaching. And I think [:

Courtney Addy: First of all, anybody who watches this and feels compelled to come find me. I wanna talk to you. I wanna hear your story, right? You can find me at You can find me on LinkedIn Courtney Addy. You can email me at

And again, I would say that, if any part of this conversation has lit a spark or, you know, created a curiosity I try and figure out, and this is one of the biggest challenges of my practice, is figuring out how to help everyone. Like all the world needs a coach, right? All the world needs to understand and harness the pure value of their core values and their identity.

t's primarily because of the [:

So just the beginning. And if you're compelled to find me, then that's where to look.

Richard Matthews: Wonderful. Well, thank you so much for coming on and sharing your story today, Courtney. I really appreciate it. We'll definitely get those links into the description of the show for people. And I guess before we hit this stop record button, do you have any final words of wisdom for my audience before I, turn this off?

Courtney Addy: Oh, this has been so fun. I'm just grateful to have the space and the platform to have the conversation with again, a like-minded individual and I'm excited to see what happens next.

Richard Matthews: Awesome. Thank you, Courtney.






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