Lisa Bilyeu on The Rich Roll Podcast

Episode 5: Podcast Summary

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(Mambo) Number 5. This series has now entered the "Full Hand Club." (Credit to my parents for coining that phrase, as they were experts at creating robust celebrations around otherwise trivial milestones, like a 5th birthday.)

In the words of Rich Roll, Lisa Bilyeu is a "force of nature." It's clear that her "force" comes from her conviction in her principles. It's also clear that this conviction was developed from others questioning said principles over the course of her life. Pressure-tested beliefs → reinforced beliefs.

If we’ve ever traveled, skied, hiked, or generally been away from the house together, then you’d know that a Quest Bar is often within reach. Since I was in college, the bars have been my go-to meal or dessert replacement (I am aware of my weirdness). So, I was hungry to hear how she contributed to the company's success. Not an ad, just a fan.

Worth mentioning that Lisa and her husband, Tom, are romantic partners and business partners. As if building a healthy relationship wasn't enough of a challenge... Thus, their advice on "relationship agreements" and communication was duly noted.

4 tactical tips from Lisa that have changed my life for the better:

  1. "Do you need me to listen or do you need me to fix it?"

    • My girlfriend, Erin, and I use this phrase religiously. After one of us shares a situation, the other simply asks this question

    • It's instinctual for both of us to default to "fix it" mode. However, so often, what the other person needs most is just an attentive ear. Someone to listen to their situation and truly hear them

    • My internal talk track: “Listen first, Trent. Offer advice only when it’s requested”

    • This ensures that I’m showing up for the other individual in the way they need me. And that proposed advice doesn’t fall on unreceptive ears

  2. Physical garment to signal a mental change

    • Lisa uses a Wonder Woman necklace to remind her to be confident. I've been using a bracelet to remind me to be positive

    • I first heard of the idea from Tim Ferriss, who referenced the quality-of-life improvement that stemmed from limiting his complaints (blog)

    • My tactic is to put the bracelet on my left wrist as I prepare to start each day. If I catch myself complaining (self-honesty is key here), then I switch it to my right wrist for the remainder of the day. I only get to switch it back to the left on the next day

    • So it’s more of a “no complaining bracelet” than it is a “positivity bracelet.” However, I've found that this is easier than telling myself to "be positive." Buffer against the downside (complaining) and the rest is upside (positivity)

    • I'll admit that it sounds silly, but it's been a powerful reminder for me. The daily ritual of putting on the bracelet is an affirmation that this is a trait that remains important to me

  3. Mourning another version of yourself

    • Making a decision, choosing to walk through the metaphorical open door, necessitates leaving all of the other doors unexplored

    • Lisa points out that we often charge forward to what’s next without "grieving" for the the lives we leave unlived

    • It’s not intended to be a regret-riddled, second-guessing exercise, as much as it is an honest acceptance of what never was (and might never be)

    • By experiencing the full range of emotions associated with leaving this version of us behind, we can progress forward with a clear mind

    • Lisa’s example is a particularly heartfelt one: after she decided not to have kids, she needed to mourn the version of herself that was a mother

  4. Having fun with it is the best way to keep showing up

    • Not particularly novel, but always an important reminder

  • Background

    • Co-founder of Quest Nutrition with husband, Tom

    • Lisa & Tom now run Impact Theory, a media company that "explores the mindsets of the world’s highest achievers"

  • Identity of the learner

    • I started by cultivating the identity of a learner. This made it easier to start, even when I didn't know what I was talking about initially. It helps alleviate the imposter syndrome by admitting that I'm still learning

  • Relationship agreements with your partner

    • Tom and I setup a series of agreements at the start of our relationship to help us communicate

      • Non-negotiables & words not to say

        • Example: we never say the "d-word" (divorce). We don't even joke about it

    • If I call him 3 times, then he will pickup regardless of what he's doing work-wise

    • When I say something is "important" then he knows I mean it. But I'm careful not to overuse the word. I reserve it for when it really matters (like crying wolf)

    • Asking your partner "Do you need me to fix it or do you need me to listen?"

  • Radical Confidence

    • Accepting your limitations today, but adopting a growth mindset for the future

    • Truly accepting all facets of who you are today. That breeds self-confidence

    • Also the name of Lisa’s book

  • Adopting an alter-ego

    • Wonder Woman necklace

      • I put on a Wonder Woman necklace every morning. This acts as my cape for confidence. It's a reminder to myself of how strong I am

      • The act of putting on the necklace is what switches me into a different mode. It makes me harder / more confident. Alter-ego effect

      • However, I can’t accept a hug from my husband when I'm in "hard mode." So I had to find a new way to unwind and become softer. I bought a pair of fluffy Wonder Woman pajamas to unwind into. When I throw these on, then that's a signal to myself to get soft

  • Becoming my own hero

    • I repeated to myself "I am my own hero," then I asked myself "What would that look like if I was?"

    • Where am I giving my power away to someone else? Where am I failing to see what’s under my control?

    • I had to evaluate where in my life I was relinquishing my agency over my own life

    • I asked myself "Who do I want to be? Am I living an alignment with the person I want to be? Am I doing this thing to serve the person who I want to be or some other person?

      • Maybe I do want to please others. Maybe I do want to care. But am I the one choosing to care?

    • If you do things exclusively for other people and to please other people, then you slowly lose yourself in the process

      • Discussed being there for Tom every day, doing whatever he asked, but then she lost her sense of identity in the process. She lost track of who she was and what she prioritized

  • “Transcend the purgatory of the mundane”

    • Gratitude can sometimes cause you to choose inaction. I was happy with my life. I kept reminding myself about all of the things for which I should be grateful. This served me in the short-term, but it also held me back from taking action to become the true version of myself. I call it the "purgatory of the mundane" because we can get lost in the contentedness of our everyday lives

  • Mourning another version of yourself

    • Just because we make a decision to pursue a life path and close all of the other doors of opportunity, it doesn’t mean that we might not need to mourn the life path that we didn’t choose. We might need some time to process the leaving of our other Self behind.

      • Tom and I made the decision not to have kids. We decided to make an impact through business. We have conviction in this decision. However, I needed some time to mourn the version of myself who was a mom. Tom needed some time to mourn himself becoming a dad.

      • It's important to ground yourself in your decision before you tell anyone else. Develop your own conviction first, then notify others. Otherwise, their own fears might cause them to try to sway you.

        • When I told my mom that I decided not to have kids, she told me that the only thing she wanted in life was to be grandma. That was heartbreaking. But since I developed conviction for what I wanted first, I was able to hold steadfast in my decision.

      • You have to stay aligned with who you are, even if you’ll hurt someone else you care about. You'll hurt them in the near-term, but living misaligned with yourself will hurt you much more in the long-term

  • Action vs Introspection

    • Pure external, no internal: To focus purely on action without doing the introspection to understand your actions is a missed opportunity

    • Pure internal, no external: justifying that you're "doing the work" because you're reading the books, listening to the podcasts, and seeing the inspirational quotes on Instagram. The work only matters to the extent you put it into action to change your life

  • Importance of having fun with it

    • Be silly. Play. Stay excited. That’s the best way to keep showing up

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