Confidence Through Adversity with Heather Monahan

About This Episode

You may have seen a Tedx video circulating online last year that featured Heather Monahan sharing a powerful story about getting fired from her C-suite position and what it means to be true to yourself when faced with adversity.

Heather is a best-selling author, keynote speaker, entrepreneur, and founder of Boss In Heels. Heather was kind enough to come on Decision Point to share more about the event that changed the course of her career and what she gained from that difficult experience that has helped her become a leading voice when it comes to creating confidence in others. Listen in to hear her story.

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Decision Point Episode #5: Confidence Through Adversity with Heather Monahan

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Heather: [00:00:00] I tried to ignore it because I wanted it to go away because I felt that this was what I was supposed to do, even though in my heart of hearts, I knew that wasn’t true. I was just too scared to step out and make a change. That was the bottom line. And when someone made that decision for me, That’s when I took a chance to say, okay, am I doing what I love? The answer was no.

[00:00:24] Brad: [00:00:24] Welcome to Decision Point  -a podcast about mental toughness and overcoming adversity in sales. I’m Brad Seaman.

[00:00:34] Late last year, I happened to stumble upon a TEDx video that really inspired me. The woman giving the talk shared a powerful story about getting fired from her C-suite position and what it means to be true to yourself when faced with adversity. Her name’s Heather Monahan, she’s a best-selling author, keynote speaker and entrepreneur and founder of Boss in Heels.

[00:00:53] Back when we were ideated  about what the show would be, Heather should out in my mind is a glowing example of someone who knows how to [00:01:00] step directly into tough decisions with confidence. I asked Heather to come on the show to share more about the event that changed the course of her career and what she gained from the difficult experience that has helped her become a leading voice when it comes to creating confidence in others.

[00:01:14] I love Heather’s passion for empowering others to overcome their insecurities and find new found confidence. And I think you’ll hear that come through. As she talks, let’s take a listen.

[00:01:26] So excited today to have Heather Monahan, the Boss in Heels. Heather has a 20 year sales and sales leadership background. 14 of those years, you spent in radio and advertising, and most recently held the CRO title. She’s like glass ceiling award winner. And also the winner of the most influential woman in radio, which she won in 2017 and 18.

[00:01:51] She’s also a coach and author of the book, Confidence Creator. So Heather excited to have you on today.

[00:01:58] Heather: [00:01:58] Well, I’m also a TEDx [00:02:00] speaker, a keynote speaker, and a podcast host that’s ranked number 17 on the Apple podcast business charts.

[00:02:09] Brad: [00:02:09] There was so much stuff on your bio. I was having a hard time. I was having a hard time squeezing it all in it. Yeah. I came across you initially, cause I saw your TEDx talk and then Scott McGregor, we had on the show and I was prepping for his, his show. And I saw in the book that you had written an exerpt and that you had done as his forward.

[00:02:29] Heather: [00:02:29] I was going to say, you know, the topic of Scott McGregor is an interesting one. That’s sort of relevant to your, to your audience. I, about four years ago, I decided to launch a personal brand, which entailed creating content every single day, specifically for LinkedIn. Which is where I get 90% of my speaking engagements, which is my number one revenue driver for my company. So I, I didn’t know that at the time.

[00:02:54] So if whoever’s listening right now, if you don’t have, I have a strong profile on LinkedIn, take the [00:03:00] time to get the professional picture, update your resume on. The platform and share reviews and recommendations of your work and start sharing content and creating content there because that’s actually how I ended up meeting Scott McGregor was on LinkedIn.

[00:03:15] He lives in New York, I’m in Miami. We would have never knowing each other otherwise. And I had a friend that was trying to get into NYU. A friend’s daughter and I typed in and why you to my list of contacts and Scott McGregor’s name came up, he was an adjunct professor there or something. And so I sent him a DM and just said, Hey, Scott, I don’t know how we’re connected, but I see you’re connected to NYU.

[00:03:39] Can we jump on a call? I need a favor. We jumped on a call and he helped me out. And I said, if you ever need any help with anything, you know, you’ve got my number. And he said, well, I’m actually writing this book and I would love if you would consider being a contributing author. And I said, absolutely, you just helped me out.

[00:03:56] I’d be happy to help you. And that one [00:04:00] bizarre connection on this random platform has created a friendship. He and I have worked on two different books together. We are unbelievably close friends. I speak to him all the time. He’s introduced me to Jesse Itzler, which introduced me to Sarah Blakely. You know, I’ve gotten so many amazing contacts and connections and business opportunities from that one platform.

[00:04:21] And, um, that’s a first thing I think about is just the irony of how close Scott and I are now. And how I wouldn’t have known him if I had never launched a personal brand and become active on LinkedIn.

[00:04:32] Brad: [00:04:32] The Jessie Itzler thing’s. It’s funny because I heard you say you did a. Maybe the growth conference and you interviewed Jesse and Sarah, and you had talked about wanting to go out there to Jesse, Jesse rapping.

[00:04:44] And they sort of get, put the kibosh on that because they thought it was too, too buttoned up. So I was like, well, maybe we could, maybe we could start the podcast out with a Jessie song, but then I listened to a couple of them. And I decided maybe not for this podcast.

[00:04:59] Heather: [00:04:59] Jesse [00:05:00] Itzler’s stor is another great story. So Scott had, I had launched my podcast almost a year ago now. Um, it was back in may and I wanted to land some really big names. I had landed Gary Vaynerchuk as my first guest, and I wanted some followup, big guests. And so Scott and I were brainstorming again, the person I met through LinkedIn we’re brainstorming, who would be some ideal podcast guests.

[00:05:23] And we throw Jesse Itzler’s name and he said, Heather, I know him. Let me say that. I’m a message. He ended up getting me the contact. I got to the station. She booked it, but he wouldn’t, he refused to let me come and do the interview in person, which pre COVID. I always did interviews in person because great things happen when you are face to face with someone, for sure. A hundred percent. And so he refused to do the meeting and person said we could only do it via zoom. So the day of our podcasts, we get on zoom and zoom drops out and we get back on and a zoom drops out. Who’s having internet problems. And [00:06:00] so he ends up asking the assistant for my phone number.

[00:06:02] He calls me from his cell and he says, listen, I am so sorry, but my internet is terrible today in Atlanta. And I don’t know what to do. I said, well, I do, I’ll jump on a plane and I’ll be right there. And he said, are you really that crazy? He said, Oh yeah, I really am. And so I flew to his house and spent the afternoon with him.

[00:06:22] He and I hit it off. So much fun, so funny. And then what was really great about that opportunity and why I’m so glad. I, you know, I went through the trouble of flying out to Atlanta to go meet him face to face. We had a great podcast, but then when there was a speaker opportunity and they were looking for someone to interview, he and his wife together for a sales conference.

[00:06:42] My name got thrown in and he immediately said, Oh yeah, I love her. She’s great. She’ll do a great job. And so it’s just so interesting to me when you take the chance and, you know, put yourself out there and go after things, how that domino effect can occur.

[00:06:56] Brad: [00:06:56] Well, let’s talk about chances, cause it seems like, you know, [00:07:00] based on what I can tell, there’s kind of a natural kind of grip it and rip it attitude that you have about taking chances. Um, talk to me a little bit about that, you know, talk to me about taking chances.

[00:07:11] Heather: [00:07:11] Yeah. So for me in business specifically, I’d say probably for most of my career, I definitely been a big risk taker. I’m definitely the bull in a China shop type mentality. And I believe in speed to market, I believe in break things until you figure out how to make them work.

[00:07:30] And that has served me incredibly well and incredibly well, even right now I’ve reinvented my business. As I mentioned, I. Had I was the number one revenue driver for my company was my speaking engagements, which were face to face and everything for the remainder of the year got canceled. I’m a single mother.

[00:07:52] I have massive bills to pay. I went into panic mode at first, and then I said, all right. Pick your head up and look around for the [00:08:00] opportunity. One I haven’t personally that can connect through various platforms. I don’t have to meet face to face, so I had to figure out how can I remark it myself? How can I pivot here to repackage myself so that I can sell my unique value proposition?

[00:08:15] Via zoom or via the internet instead of that face to face. And so there was a number of different things I did to build that business out. But now that business is up and running and I have two paid virtual speaking engagements this month, just a few weeks later. The other thing that I did was I listened to my audience and I’m always getting asked, can you mentor me?

[00:08:33] Can you coach me? And I never had time to do that. So I just did a post on LinkedIn and I said, I am launching my first ever may mentoring program. Here are the specs and here’s what I’m charging. And immediately I had 10 people sign up. I had it tap it out because I was realizing I was taking on too much work.

[00:08:54] And here I am. Today’s my first day in the program. We had a great morning kickoff [00:09:00] session. I. Had a few different private coaching sessions after, and I’ve learned since I, you know, ran and took a chance and just launched this, I offered way too much of my time. Nobody offers as much of their time. I charge far too little.

[00:09:14] So I made a lot of mistakes in this first month’s program. And I’m only in day one and I’m realizing it. And that’s giving me the opportunity to reboot and change this program for June and moving on, which I will ultimately set up. As a plug and play program that will exist beyond the coronavirus, which I’m super excited about.

[00:09:34] So, you know, I definitely have applied that sort of just take chances in business and figure it out along the way. And I’ll tell you, that’s not unique to me. That’s unique to any successful person in business.

[00:09:47] Brad: [00:09:47] Yeah, that’s, that’s kind of been the anchor point for all of our, our conversations that we’ve been having is the ability to really move from one thing to another thing with resiliency.

[00:09:59] It seems to be the [00:10:00] common. Kind of cornerstone of, of any success. So can you tell me a little bit, you know, you mentioned TEDx speaker. That’s how I came, came to know you. Can you talk a little bit about what kind of, what I’m going to refer to as the event, kind of how you got

[00:10:14] Heather: [00:10:14] About getting fired?

[00:10:18] Brad: [00:10:18] You put firing your villain, you can sort of talk about it. How whichever way you feel likes to. A better way to talk about it.

[00:10:25] Heather: [00:10:25] I really want to talk about it as getting fired right now. Cause I know so many people have lost their job recently. And I, number one, I want those people to know you are in good company because I have been fired.

[00:10:36] Oprah Winfrey has been fired. Mark Cuban has been fired. JK Rowling has been fired. There is not a negative connotation with that any longer. I refuse to allow that to exist. It really is in good company. And it’s a huge opportunity for anyone to really take a step back and say, am I living a purpose driven life?

[00:10:57] Am I pursuing my passions? [00:11:00] I love going to work everyday. Do I love the people I work with? You know, those. Key questions. Aren’t for fairytales. It’s for you right now to ask yourself. And I was given that opportunity when I got fired a little about two and a half years ago to take a step back and say, okay, I’m missing.

[00:11:18] I’m sad. I been in a position where I was treated terribly at work by someone who was very jealous of me. I tried to ignore it because I, I wanted it to go away because I, I felt that this was what I was supposed to do, even though in my heart of hearts, I knew that way. True. I was just too scared to step out and make a change.

[00:11:37] That was the bottom line. And when someone made that decision for me, That’s when I took a chance to say, okay, am I doing what I love? The answer was no, I was making money for the quote unquote man for the shareholders. I didn’t feel like I was living a purpose driven life. I didn’t respect the people that I work for and my ideas and my innovation that I brought to the table.

[00:11:59] Weren’t being [00:12:00] implemented. Because I was working with people who were driven by fear and didn’t like change and that’s not me. So I had that, that moment to say, okay, I’m going to build a 30 day plan, which essentially allowed me not to look too far into the future because I didn’t know what the future looked like, but allow me to set up a strategy and a blueprint for how to move myself to that next position.

[00:12:21] In those first 30 days. And the number one thing I did was I posted on social media. I have just been fired and it. Feels awful. If I’ve ever done anything to help you over my past two decades in corporate America, I would love to hear from you today. And that post went viral and I heard from so many people, including froggy from the Elvis Duran show that tweeted at me, I would love to help you.

[00:12:49] Brad: [00:12:49] Oh man. That’s awesome. I mean, the thing that’s so crazy to me when I, when I listened to your, when I listened to your story, just all the things that have happened from the point that you got fired. [00:13:00] Then what you turn around and in, and we’re able to accomplish in such a short period of time.

[00:13:05] It’s, it’s really, it’s inspiring for sure. So let me ask you this. Cause I just had a couple curious, you know, I have some curiosity. So you mentioned going through, you know, before you got fired your TEDx talk, you talk about. Coming up with a, kind of a personal, uh, confidence campaign and you build this personal confidence campaign.

[00:13:26] You’re sort of at the height of it and you get, you get fired and then you have to really kind of execute on all the stuff that you’d been teaching yourself. What was going on. Um, at what point do you decide, Hey, I’m going to launch that campaign because the thing that I found really interesting in all the reading.

[00:13:43] You know, the professional reading and the personal reading, I’ve always found insecurity to be a really, really interesting because the thing that people are insecure about is typically not the stuff that other people see in them. Like they don’t see the same thing. [00:14:00] And, um, you decided to launch this campaign.

[00:14:03] You, I mean, I’m assuming, and let me ask you this. I don’t have to, so I don’t assume. Did you feel confident at work? Like when you were interacting with your clients and you were selling to them, did you feel confident or did you feel unconfident?

[00:14:17] Heather: [00:14:17] In that portion of work. Yes. If I was communicating with my team or doing presentations for my team, clients, or otherwise, yeah, I was very confident.

[00:14:27] However, I wasn’t confident when I was at the leadership table with my peers and my boss, because there was someone there that. Treated me horribly and I would try to ignore it instead of address it. And so I felt very insecure in those board meetings. In that board room, it was, it was always a negative experience.

[00:14:49] It was always, you know, someone trying to set me up to sabotage me and I felt very insecure in those situations.

[00:14:55] Brad: [00:14:55] So let me, so let me ask you this. I think one of my favorite quotes is earn the right to [00:15:00] be proud and confident, and it’s a John Wooden quote. And I think when you’re in work, it’s really easy to be proud and confident because you ha you get the notoriety, right? You have the awards, you get the success. As you close the deal. It’s easy to tie back successes and to be able to step into that. But personally and relationally, it can be a little more, it can be a little more difficult if not impossible to do that.

[00:15:22] So one, what do you think about that thought? And then two, do you have any concepts or ideas on how you kind of accomplish that relationally?

[00:15:32] Heather: [00:15:32] Yeah, no, I think that’s about you. Whoa. You just really gave us a little insight into yourself, which is interesting. What I, what I would say is that, you know, if you have a roadblock with your confidence in any aspect of your life, it’s going to permeate all aspects of your life.

[00:15:48] So the fact that I was allowing myself, you know, people will treat you the way you teach them to. And I had taught someone, it was okay to treat me poorly. Which had chipped away at my confidence and that was [00:16:00] affecting all aspects of my life. I ended up throwing my back out at that time. I mean, physically, it was affecting me.

[00:16:06] It’s really, yeah. Impacted me in such a negative way. And that’s the same, whether it’s in your relationships or at work or wherever. And that’s why it’s so important that people, you know, follow their passions and find work that really touches into the, what they’re supposed to be doing because. If you’re not, if you’re out there living a lie in any way, shape or form, you’re in a bad relationship, you’re being treated poorly by people.

[00:16:29] You’re treating yourself poorly. That’s going to permeate everywhere and everything you do. So fixing those one, you know, that one instance where for me, you know, no longer, you know, firing my bill and no longer allowing someone to treat me poorly at work that really boosted my confidence in my personal life.

[00:16:47] Because I had more respect for myself. And in any moment, you’re either creating confidence or chipping away at it. And when you begin to evaluate your choices in that regard, it becomes much more [00:17:00] simple to create confidence in yourself in any situation.

[00:17:03] Brad: [00:17:03] Yeah. You know, as we were sort of talking early on. Um, you know, one of the reasons why I asked about that, the difference in the, to the person and the professional is, you know, I personally don’t, I don’t feel that way. Like, I feel like I’m the same at work than I, than I am at the office, but I do see people and I hear people talk about, and I felt like I saw that in your, your reading, that you’re kind of a personal person that you were then your business person, there was some.

[00:17:27] Things that weren’t congruent. And then I was, I was telling you, I know you mentioned you were going to write a, potentially wanting to do a movie and I would, I would love to see this as a scene. Where your kind of personal self and your business self in this room, um, together there, and you had a decision to make when you got fired.

[00:17:46] And that decision was whether you were going to stay true to yourself, or whether you were going to let somebody else dictate who you, who you were. And the two people kind of meet together and you become who you are today, or you had an opportunity [00:18:00] to, to allow her to dictate it. And then those two people aren’t going to meet up at the same time.

[00:18:04] So, um, why do you think, um, do you think you sort of answered the question that I was going to ask, which was. Why do you think that  dichotomy exists, where people are different at work than they are at the office. But I think that probably has more to do with being true to who you are at every moment of your life outside of anything else.

[00:18:25] Heather: [00:18:25] Yeah, for sure. And the, I think the example that you’re alluding to is when I was actually in the room with this woman and she was terminating me. She tried to hold money over my head as a way to essentially get me to sign a piece of paper that I would be giving way all of my rights to ever talk about any of my experience at the company to ever talk about anything that happened while I was there and really tried to bully me one last final time.

[00:18:54] And in that moment is when I stood up for myself for the first time to this woman. And [00:19:00] I pushed those papers right back at her. And I said, I’m not signing this. I didn’t write this. And if you have nothing else to say to me, I’m out of here. And that was a pivotal moment in pivotal decision. For me to truly create confidence within me, regardless of if it was personal or work related, but to stand up for myself, which is a huge way, build confidence within yourself.

[00:19:24] And even though it was devastating, as I drove away from that building that I had been going to for 14 years, as I thought about, you know, losing the employees and the teams that I had built, as I thought about, you know, all the great work that I had done and that. Guarantee. I thought it was quote unquote guaranteed income.

[00:19:41] I had coming to me and not knowing how I’d make income, all of that was debilitating, but at the same time, I truly felt so good about myself and my decision that that’s somehow how I was able to break through and continue to make decisions based off of that. And, and really, you know, stop [00:20:00] ignoring the negative things that have been happening and, and start stepping into my power.

[00:20:04] Brad: [00:20:04] So, you know, the next, I guess the kind of, you know, where I’d want to shift the conversation. Cause I think you hit on this earlier. I think probably something to talk about, um, kind of the firing piece. So, Hey, I’ve been fired, maybe they did furloughs maybe, you know, I may be going back to work. I don’t know if I’m gonna go back to work.

[00:20:24] I just straight up got fired. They’re not bringing us back. All right. Step one. What do I do?

[00:20:29] Heather: [00:20:29] The first thing that I suggest to people is one, let people know, you know, so many people have a negative connotation with getting fired. No one can help you if you don’t tell people what’s going on. I liken it to when I got divorced.

[00:20:41] If I didn’t tell anyone I got divorced, no, one’s going to ask me out on a date. So why is this any different? If you don’t let people know you’re available for work, no one is going to be able to extend an olive branch to you and help you. So that’s the time that you want to ask people for help. You want to share your story with other people.

[00:20:58] People will [00:21:00] appreciate it. They will show up to support you guarantee it. So that’s number one is ask for help and put yourself out there. Sharing what happened. Okay. Number two is I would create a 30 day plan. You do not want to look five years into the future right now. That is not going to be helpful.

[00:21:14] You need to live in the present and take action today. One of the ways that I did that was literally right, sitting down on a piece of paper, 30 squares. I was actually looking at it this morning. And it’s so unbelievable how much can change in one month’s time. And when you give yourself that opportunity to write down, here’s the action steps I took today.

[00:21:33] Here’s what I’m grateful for today. Here’s who showed up to help me today. And then you start doing day by day and crossing off the days to get you to day 30. You are going to feel entirely different. You are going to be sitting with very different options and opportunities that you didn’t know were going to show up, and that momentum is going to give you hope for them, for your future.

[00:21:54] Even if you haven’t figured out. I, at 30 days, I didn’t know that I was going to work for myself. Still [00:22:00] teetering with the idea of going back to corporate America. You know, I still didn’t know exactly what was going to happen, but I knew I felt much more confident in myself and I believe much more in the opportunities that were starting to present themselves.

[00:22:13] Brad: [00:22:13] In Scott’s book. You shared a story about someone named Rafe, who, who had really impacted you. Would you share that story or maybe another story of someone else who has made an impact on you personally?

[00:22:25] Heather: [00:22:25] Yeah, no, that’s a, that’s a great story. Actually. I forgot about that story, but you know what? I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you a better one.

[00:22:31] I’ll tell you one with Taylor Swift, where she really, it was that, that was actually in my book too, where she bailed me out. I was at the same company that I ended up getting fired from. And this is years ago I had been. I’m elevated to executive vice president at the time of the company. And I was much younger than everybody else back then that I worked with and I was the only female other than the daughter.

[00:22:54] And so I definitely stuck out. And one gentleman at an [00:23:00] annual meeting decided to roast me, unbeknownst to me. I had no idea. I didn’t expect this. And. It was a really awful situation as a young professional unexpectedly being roasted. So since I didn’t know what to do, and I was, I was, I was more naive than I am now.

[00:23:21] I sorta tried to laugh it off. Well, Taylor Swift happened to be sitting at the table I was sitting at, she was, this was the year before she became famous. Before she really broke out big. I think she was 16 years old at the time she leaned over to me. She was performing for us that night. We were a radio company and she leaned over to me and she said, what’s that man’s name?

[00:23:40] And I told her, and she said, I’ll be right back. At 16 years old that young lady went and sat in the hall and wrote a song about the man that just roasted me. And they called Taylor Swift up to sing because it was time for her to perform. And she performed the song that she had just written, roasting this guy to [00:24:00] shreds.

[00:24:00] And it was on believable, how talented she was and how amazing it was that she didn’t even know me. We had just had dinner together. I maybe spoken to her for 10 minutes and she felt that it was so wrong and unjust that somebody would do that to another person that she wanted to give this guy payback. And she certainly did.

[00:24:21] Brad: [00:24:21] What was on his face when he realizes the song was about him?

[00:24:25] Heather: [00:24:25] He, you know, he’s a kind of bizarre guy, older guy. He tried to, you know, he went up and shook her hand and said nicely done, you know, from one person to roast another, you know, in good company kind of a thing. So he definitely tried to play along with it, but I can tell you he was shocked.

[00:24:41] Everybody was, it was, it was pretty powerful

[00:24:43] Brad: [00:24:43] When I read that I just could. So that’s awesome, what a great story. Um, and I think that’s awesome for her to stand up. She just seems to have the, you know, in the line of. Being courageous, which is, I think a lot of what I, you know, I see it, you, you have the ability to stand up and do what’s right.

[00:24:59] Um, and she’s got [00:25:00] that same, same quality. So it would make sense that you guys would have a bond there, but I was shocked when I read that, that that was okay for company culture, um, for there to be for there to be open roasting.

[00:25:13] Heather: [00:25:13] No, it, it, it breeds that underlying backstabbing, you know, kind of toxic environment that for some reason, I, I just tried to ignore instead of just saying I’ve had enough and leaving. So, um, you know, things are different today. I, I, I love my boss because my boss has me and I don’t believe in toxic cultures. I believe put it on the table, work things out, deal with and communicate. And if an a people are backstabbing or tech or toxic, or if anyone’s listening to this and you work in a toxic environment, there are other opportunities and you deserve more. Leave.

[00:25:49] Brad: [00:25:49] All right. Well, let’s do the powerplay round. So Heather, are you ready for the power play?

[00:25:54] Heather: [00:25:54] Sure.

[00:25:55] Brad: [00:25:55] All right. How do you define success?

[00:25:58] Heather: [00:25:58] Success is health. [00:26:00] Oh my gosh. Health now more than ever. Happiness and abundance.

[00:26:06] Brad: [00:26:06] All right. What’s the toughest decision you’ve ever had to make?

[00:26:10] Heather: [00:26:10] Getting divorced.

[00:26:11] Brad: [00:26:11] Biggest regret.

[00:26:13] Heather: [00:26:13] I should have left that fricking company years ago. My personal company would be so much more robust right now. So I regret that I didn’t pull the trigger and fire that villain earlier.

[00:26:23] Brad: [00:26:23] Alright. Well, I think that’s, um, that’s it, Heather? I, this was a good, this was good. I appreciate you coming on. And, um, do you have another second book in the works?

[00:26:33] Heather: [00:26:33] Yeah, so I just, we just inked the deal with Harper Collins for my second book. It’s called Leapfrogging Villains and that’ll be out in 2021.

[00:26:45] Brad: [00:26:45] So I want to give a huge thanks to Heather for taking time to chat with us. Her perspective on being fired really resonated with me. And I think it will, with a lot of people, I’ve got our producer Kiel Hauck here, Kiel, what stuck out to you?

[00:26:58] Kiel: [00:26:58] Well, yeah, it was really [00:27:00] that, that story and, uh, you know, it’s a big part of, uh, her Ted talk as well.

[00:27:05] But what I thought was so fascinating, she was so insistent during the conversation of saying like, yeah, I was fired. I want to talk about it that way. It’s not something that. I feel like I need to hide or that I should hide and it was really counter. So I think, uh, the way a lot of people think about those kinds of things, cause she could have taken the angle of like, Oh, you know, these, these people kind of did this to me and you know, but she, um, obviously talks about the toxicity of that situation, but also owns up to like, you know, I’m the one that walked away from this.

[00:27:36] And so I think that her, um, her insistence and talking about it that way as something that she feels is. Um, really powerful for a lot of people that may have already gone through or be going through a similar situation.

[00:27:49] Brad: [00:27:49] Yeah. And she made a really good point. Cause I think she used the analogy of dating.

[00:27:54] She’s like, if you’re dating somebody in your break up, you got to let people know that you’re not in a [00:28:00] relationship anymore.

[00:28:01] Kiel: [00:28:01] Yeah, that was actually a really good analogy. And, you know, and I think it’s something people are becoming more, uh, open to just in the, on the job front. I know I’ve seen just even on LinkedIn kinda, um, have people that are more open to share, like, Hey, my job situation changed for reasons X, Y, and Z.

[00:28:18] See, um, you know, I’m out here, I’m on the market. Um, People are finding new ways to, to network as that happens. Um, people I feel like are shifting to a mindset of like, I’m going to. Talk about what my situation was, what I learned from it and where I’m ready to go now.

[00:28:36] Brad: [00:28:36] Right. I think it definitely helps, you know, having a platform that sort of pushes you out past your immediate network.

[00:28:42] Cause I think that’s the group of people. That’s probably the most embarrassing for. Um, meaning your close friends and family to have to go to them and say you’re fired. But having that extra layer of kind of semi-detached people, it’s almost like a job, you know, jobs typically come from the most jobs, as [00:29:00] it pertains to referrals, I’ve heard come from not a person, you know, but somebody that’s connected to them.

[00:29:05] And I think that’s what something like LinkedIn does. Is it a really allows you to get into that kind of third layer of referral folks.

[00:29:14] Kiel: [00:29:14] Yeah, no question about it. I’m interested. What was your take on, uh, Heather talking about this idea of living a lie and sort of say staying in a toxic or negative situation, just because you feel like you convince yourself that that’s normal or it’s fine versus kind of her perspective of like a mentally tough person can identify when they’re in a toxic environment and feel strong enough to walk away from it.

[00:29:38] What, what was, what were your thoughts on that?

[00:29:41] Brad: [00:29:41] No, I think the big takeaway. That I got from that comment was I think it probably depends. Right? I think the situation probably is contextual to try to understand what the best mental, mentally tough situation is. [00:30:00] Um, you know, she’d been in a sense, like it’s easy to get in toxic.

[00:30:04] It’s easy to get in a toxic relationship and it’s easy to allow somebody to treat you, um, a different way than you than you want to be treated. Uh, you do things like, Oh, you know, you sort of play it, you know, sort of downplay it. I, you know, I do think it’s probably a good, um, you know, there’s a proverb that says it’s good to downplay, uh, uh, to overlook an insult.

[00:30:28] So it’s like, you know, you start short of downplay and insults and trying to, you know, just trying to look away. But then at some point you have to sort of address that behavior. And I think she just got to the spot where, you know, she, she kinda in quotation mentioned living at lime and at some point you’re, you’re kind of two different people.

[00:30:47] You’re the person you are and the person you want to be, and you gotta make a decision on whether you’re going to allow those two people would be congruent. And I think that’s ultimately what she did. And I think the real power in the story [00:31:00] is the part in which she served the two pieces of paperwork.

[00:31:05] Um, Hey Heather, you can sign. This one, or you can sign this one and she decided, Hey, I didn’t write either of these. I’m not signing either. And she pushed it back and said, Hey, do you have any, this I’m not signing you out. I didn’t write them. I’m not signing them. And she made a decision to be well, I, well, I felt like was being true to herself.

[00:31:24] I mean, she was not comfortable. Um, signing that paperwork, she did reference that there was money tied to it. So it was a big decision. And I look, I think she probably, you know, and she noted, she went out of the room and she felt good. I think she made the right. I think she made the right decision. And I think it was just in that one little moment, she had an opportunity to sort of be who she really wanted to be, which was not the person that this gal was dictating that she was.

[00:31:50] Kiel: [00:31:50] Yeah. And that’s really, you know, when you think about it, that’s what this show is about. Right? When we were first brainstorming the idea of this podcast and even coming up with the name, decision point [00:32:00] Heather’s story was top of mind for us. And now she’s been on the podcast to tell that story. That’s pretty cool.

[00:32:06] Brad: [00:32:06] So, yeah. Yeah. When we think about decision point, I mean, I think all big decisions. Have this kind of top of the roller coaster experience where you’re just like, really you’re, you’re scared of the consequences of the decision that you’re going to make, and then you make it, and then you get the, the thrill going down the roller coaster of making the right decision.

[00:32:29] Kiel: [00:32:29] Yeah, definitely. So this was a, this was a really fun conversation. So, uh, so great that, uh, Heather was willing to come on.

[00:32:37] Brad: [00:32:37] Yeah, she was, she was awesome. What a great, what a great story. And I think. She really stepped into herself. Um, she’s got a great book. Um, she’s got a great platform and, um, I do think that she did a good job of really highlighting.

[00:32:51] If you’re out there and you’re looking for a job, Hey, don’t be afraid that you got, that you got fired. Let people know, particularly in this environment, [00:33:00] um, being fired and COVID-19 era is not the same thing as being. Fired from your job at the general cinema where you were irresponsible. Lots of people were getting fired.

[00:33:12] Lots of people are getting laid off. Good people are getting laid off. So I think stepping into that, embracing it, letting people know that it’s happened. I think those were all really, really good points. That I’m glad she circled back on that.

[00:33:23] Kiel: [00:33:23] Yeah, absolutely.

[00:33:25] Brad: [00:33:25] All right. Well, that’ll do it for today’s episode.

[00:33:27] Remember if you’d like some further reading on how to grow in mental toughness or become a better salesperson, you can download our mental toughness playbook, get it for free by going to And remember to subscribe to your favorite podcast app and leave us a review on Apple podcast until next time don’t let what you cannot do, interfere with what you can do. [00:34:00]

[00:00:00] Heather: [00:00:00] I tried to ignore it because I wanted it to go away because I felt that this was what I was supposed to do, even though in my heart of hearts, I knew that wasn’t true. I was just too scared to step out and make a change. That was the bottom line. And when someone made that decision for me, That’s when I took a chance to say, okay, am I doing what I love? The answer was no.

[00:00:24] Brad: [00:00:24] Welcome to Decision Point  -a podcast about mental toughness and overcoming adversity in sales. I’m Brad Seaman.

[00:00:34] Late last year, I happened to stumble upon a TEDx video that really inspired me. The woman giving the talk shared a powerful story about getting fired from her C-suite position and what it means to be true to yourself when faced with adversity. Her name’s Heather Monahan, she’s a best-selling author, keynote speaker and entrepreneur and founder of Boss in Heels.

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