Laura Gassner Otting: Author of Wonderhell

Episode 368

Laura Gassner Otting, Author of the new, terrific book Wonderhell, gets us thinking about that feeling of accomplishing something that you weren’t quite sure you could? Ever ask yourself after experience what more you could do? Could you have done even better? That feeling of uncertainty, self-doubt, anxiety and more stress is Wonderhell. And Laura helps us think about re-categorizing all of the emotions and expectations. This episode is filled with so much inspiration and takeaways you won’t want to miss! On this episode of #TheKaraGoldinShow.

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Kara Goldin 0:00
I am unwilling to give up that I will start over from scratch as many times as it takes to get where I want to be I want to be you just want to make sure you will get knocked down but just make sure you don’t get knocked down knocked out. So your only choice should be go focus on what you can control control control. Hi, everyone and welcome to the Kara Goldin show. Join me each week for inspiring conversations with some of the world’s greatest leaders. We’ll talk with founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and really some of the most interesting people of our time. Can’t wait to get started. Let’s go. Let’s go. Hi, everyone, it’s Kara Goldin with the Kara Goldin show. And I am so excited to have my next guest. Here we have Laura Gassner Otting, who is amongst other things and author, a serial author of incredible books. But this book is her newest book that you have to preorder right now. And it’s called wonder hell. And we get to get a nice little preview directly from Laura, I absolutely adore her. She is one of the rare people that I have on a second time because she is so motivating, so lovely. And this is a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful book. So Laura, just to give you a little preview or a reminder about her, so she is kind of a serial entrepreneur in her own way. She started and sold a successful international executive search firm, built philanthropic and political action committees from scratch, and was a White House appointee on the team, which created the National Service project called a mirror core. And she’s not only, as I mentioned, an author of this book, but she has a few other previous books that did quite well, too. And she’ll dig into that I’m sure a little bit more. But the one thing that wonder hell really focuses on is digging into the question today, have you ever accomplished something you weren’t? So sure you could do only to start wondering what more you could do? We’ve all been there, right? For sure. Instead of hopefully, feeling like you’re totally satisfied, maybe you start to think, Oh, I could have done this better. I could have done this better. But Laura is going to talk to us a lot about how to actually take all of that energy and channel it into something else versus having a lot of doubt and anxiety and stress along with it. But wonder how, as I mentioned is a great, great, great read. And thank you, Laura, for being with us here today.

Laura Gossner Otting 2:52
Well, thank you for having me. And thank you for having me back. You know, I emailed you. And I was like, Do you ever have people had a second time? And I was like, Oh, I hope she says yes, because I loved being on the first time. And it was such a great conversation. So I’m really excited for today. Well,

Kara Goldin 3:07
super, super excited. And it’s amazing how, you know, even as a couple of years go by, and we’ve all gotten much better at the video and the audio and all those things. So I’m really, really excited to have you back for sure. So before we get into hearing about your terrific book, I love for the audience to hear a little bit more about your experience and kind of who is Laura, I mentioned a little bit in the intro, but I’d love to have you share a little bit about, you know what you’ve been up to over the last 30 years?

Laura Gossner Otting 3:47
Yeah, well, so I over the last 20 years in particular, I worked as a recruiter, I worked in an executive search. And it was my job to call the most successful people in the world and recruit them away on behalf of my clients. So I was calling them because they were super successful. But they were all calling me back because despite all that success, they weren’t very happy. And I became fascinated, fascinated with this question of why success doesn’t equal happiness. And what I realized is that probably for the 10 years prior, I had been thinking about it, but just not in this kind of organized way in my brain. And now since I sold that executive search firm to the women who helped me build it. I’ve just spent the last six years thinking about this question and researching this question writing two books on this question. Now I did a three year a three year assessment research project starting from January 2019, all the way through president with like 6000 responses from 74 Different countries about what actually engages people in their work helps them feel both successful and happy. So really, everything that I think about is how do we get rid of this external definition of success that was handed to us by somebody else? Figure out what actually matters to us. And then when we go after The thing that actually matters to us when we start to get it, and it’s really personal, why does it feel better? Right? Like, how come all these moments like what are the stages of success that either it doesn’t feel like it fits us? Or once we get it, it’s not right for us, and how do we actually find both success and happiness?

Kara Goldin 5:17
Definitely. This feels like a I bet you’ve had some dinner conversations or lunch conversations over this topic to that. It’s like, you know, these, this seems like a moment when kind of you were feeling it yourself. But you also started thinking back on many of the conversations you’d have with people and probably prompted other people to start to think about it along the way.

Laura Gossner Otting 5:42
Yeah, I mean, that’s actually why I wrote the book. So after limitless, my last book came out and it like debuted number two in the Washington Post bestseller list right behind Michelle Obama, I done the Today Show. I’m on an airplane. And it’s, I’m on a red eye. And like, I’m 52 like, I’m too old for red eyes at this point. Like I take a red eye and I can’t I’m like exhausted for three weeks. But I was at an event where I was one of the speakers leading up to the main speaker who was Malala like Malala Malala. Friday afternoon, my Goddaughters bought mitzvah Saturday morning. I’m can’t miss Malala. I can’t miss the bar mitzvah. So like, I got to take the red eye. And my client had booked me on a beautiful lie flat first class seat, amazing. And then there were mechanical issues. And they changed the aircraft. And I ended up on this like tiny little seat in the center with these two giant linebackers like snoring on my shoulders. And look, I mean, I know that sounds incredibly privileged and bratty. But like, you know, I travel for a living. So like if you’re on a plane every single week, like, that’s a night of sleep every single week. So I’m on the plane, and I had just had this experience with where the book had come out. And it was successful. And I was like, That is amazing. It’s exciting. It’s humbling, it’s wonderful. But also, if I made number two on the Washington Post bestseller list, how do I make Number One On The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times like I was on the Today Show, how do we get in Good Morning America? And who does Oprah talk to under the oak tree? Like she’s got to talk to someone, why not me? And so I started thinking about this question of like, if you can name it, you can tame it. And I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to name it. So I could claim it. I was like, I was going to be undaunted, right. I’m gonna, like go for the thing. And now I was like, it’s wonderful. It’s amazing. It’s, it’s exciting. It’s humbling. But it’s also anxiety provoking, and stressful and exhausting. And you know, who am I impostor syndrome? All of these things, it was amazing, was wonderful. But it was hell. It was Wonder hell. And so I decided in that moment that I was going to find a way out of it. So then I started talking to 100 different people, glass ceiling shatters, Olympic medalist, startup unicorns like you like I had these conversations hoping to find a way out of it. And then I learned from people like you, you don’t find a way out of it, it turns out that the only way through it is to get through it. But on the other side of it is another one, and another one and another one, because every time we succeed at something, we see that new potential of what else we could be. And then it all starts all over again.

Kara Goldin 8:21
Right? Well, and I think that you do have a choice, though. Like, I think there are people who choose not to do that. And I think that’s fine. But I think that the most successful people what you’re talking about, are you it’s consistent across the board.

Laura Gossner Otting 8:38
Absolutely. And you know, the book is organized as an amusement park, right? This idea that, like we think success is going to be fun. And then you get there and it’s not so fun, right? It gets harder and it gets scarier and you get hunger, you’re on the pace gets faster, just like you think the amusement park is gonna be fun. And then it’s like three o’clock in the afternoon. And you’re like sunburned and dehydrated and like the corndog in your stomach is threatening to make an exit on the ride for the roller coaster that you’re waiting for. You’re like, everyone told me this was going to be fun. Like, why isn’t this fun? So I organized it as an amusement park. And it has three parts impostor town, Deltaville, and burnout city. So the very first chapter of burnout city is is the ride of the merry go round. There’s 15 rides in the book all basically emulating an emotion that we have while we’re on this, you know, cyclical journey of Wonder hell. And the first one in burnout City is the merry go round where we decide maybe I want to say no to hustle porn, maybe I don’t want to keep going, maybe I don’t want to like go faster and bigger and better and more. Maybe this is the time where I just stay where I am for a little bit. And I can do the other things later. Right? So it’s not about like, Can I do it all? It’s just like, when do I want to do each of the pieces that I want to do

Kara Goldin 9:45
right now? And I love the way that you’ve organized that and it’s, it’s terrific. So So what surprised you most about the interviews that you did for Wonder hell, I mean, what was kind of the thing that maybe You knew you were going to be writing this book, you were doing these interviews, but what what really surprised you the most?

Laura Gossner Otting 10:06
What really surprised me. And actually I didn’t, I didn’t know that I was going to write the book. It’s funny, I posted this thing from the airplane that I was telling you about where I posted this long screed about how I’m like 1200 miles from where I’m going in 1200 miles, you know, from where I need to be. And somewhere between the blur that was yesterday in the blue, that will be tomorrow as a specimen right now. And the specimen right now is not wonderful. It’s wonder hell, and a bunch of people responded to that post, like 100 people in the first five minutes it was up, and they were like, That’s a great word. That’s the feeling I have, I didn’t know there was a word for that emotion. And then I did nothing with it for like nine months, and then the pandemic happened. And suddenly, we were all at home. So I, you know, went online every day like to talk to my community. And within like two to three weeks, I got pretty sick of my own voice. So I was like, I should talk to other people who were also sitting at home. And so I just started having these conversations. And they all kind of ended up finding a way like a gravitational pull to this moment where everything shifted in people’s lives, right this moment, wherever it was somewhere on their path. And then I started noticing that there were some themes around it. And eventually those themes became the book, but I kind of I forgotten even about this post that I’d put long before. And as I’m having these conversations, Facebook memories. Thank you, you know, Cheryl, and Mark, hands me this post. And I was like, oh, that’s the conversations I’ve been having. So I’ve even forgotten that I that I’ve done this thing. So what surprised me the most was how universal all of these emotions are that when you’re an entrepreneur. It’s super lonely, right? super lonely up there super lonely at the top, whether you’re CEO, entrepreneur, whoever, and you have success. It’s not like you can go like, complain about success to your pals, because they’re gonna be like, what’s wrong? Like, everything’s great? Like, how do marriage successful business healthy kids like? What are you complaining about? And yet, every time you see this next version of you that you can become, it creates this pressure inside of you. And so like, how do we how do we complain about it? And so what I realized was that this idea of Wonder Hill was this kind of universal emotion that people just don’t have a word for right now. And, and everybody that I talked to was like, Yes, I think I’m in wonder hell, too. And I was like, well, that’s the conceit of the book, because every one of us is somewhere between who we were yesterday, and who we’re becoming tomorrow. So we’re all constantly in wonder how but this idea that in wonder how you’re filled with impostor syndrome, and doubt and uncertainty and insecurity, and, and, and exhaustion and burnout, that everyone I talked to, no matter their age, or their stage still experienced it. So someone like Sally Krawczyk, who is the founder of LMS, right? She has $2 billion under management, she still has impostor syndrome and uncertainty and doubt. And I’m like, Well, if she’s got it, well, certainly the Olympic gold medalist don’t have. And then I was like, Well, what do you do? And they have the same thing, where they’re like, who am I, when I’m not on the ski hill, right? And all of us have these moments. And I mean, just the conversation that you and I had, where you were, like, I’m, you know, running this beverage company, and people are going to stores and buying them. And suddenly, nobody’s going to the stores anymore? And how do I figure out distribution and I have to, like, show up and drive the truck and go to the target. And so just no matter how secure you think everything is, it can change tomorrow. And so this the universality of never being fully arrived, it kind of horrified me, and made me feel better all at the same time. But it was definitely surprising that I wasn’t alone in this moment. Yeah,

Kara Goldin 13:46
definitely. Well, it’s interesting, because I often talk to entrepreneurs who are just starting out and they say, you know, you probably can’t even imagine these things that I’m going through. And I always, you know, kind of cut them off and say, you know, at every level, I mean, you talk about Sally. And at every level, there’s always going to be these new challenges, right? And that’s part of the fun of it. Right? But but

Laura Gossner Otting 14:15
everyone thinks you’ve figured it out. They’re like, Oh, well, care is successful. She’s figured out she’s fine. Everything’s easy for her now.

Kara Goldin 14:22
Totally. And you have to and I think you, you have to enjoy the ride. You have to just keep, you know, trying to figure out exactly what’s next and what can I learn from the situation and all of those things. So you have a story in wonder hell about turning down an offer of a lifetime. I’d love to hear that. Very personal. But yes, I love I love hearing that, or I loved reading all about that.

Laura Gossner Otting 14:51
Yes. So I was about three years into running my search firm as I wrote, and I got the call of most entrepreneurs dreams like Hey, Laura, we’ve been watching you, we think you’re up to good things. We’d like to buy your firm. And I was like, and I literally was like, I was counting the money before I’d even hung up the phone. I was like, I made it. I did it. I, you know, I found that the firm I built it, I’m gonna sell it. Cool. And then I went to the I went to the department store because I had to buy a pair of pantyhose, like, it’s like a very blue chip firms, I needed to like get dressed up and like we’re the, you know, fancy little suit. And I don’t think I’d wore a pair of pantyhose for like, 10 years before that. I mean, I like No, like the one of the things about being your own boss, you have to wear pantyhose ever again. So I don’t think I’d wear a pair of pantyhose for 10 years. And I’m standing in the department where I remember I had like baby in one arm and like wrangling the toddler with the other while like with my elbow I’m trying to like flip through the pantyhose on like to figure out the the periodic table on the back to figure out like what size my postpartum booty is right? I was like, how am I gonna figure this out, I go home, I put the pantyhose on. And I go down to the office and I walk in and the guy is like very conservative guy and like a blue pinstripe suit. And he’s got all these pictures with like presidents and you know, people all over the wall. And I’m like, I don’t this is like, who am I like, I don’t belong here. And we’re sitting at the table, and he slides a piece of paper across the table at me like straight out of a movie. And he was like, I believe that it is time for us to take your little firm to the place where it can be to the heights that it can be. And I look at the paper and it’s a glass table. And the folded piece of paper is there. And I see below the fold a piece of paper, my legs, suffocating in their little pantyhose prison. And I was like, You know what, and I take the piece of paper and I slide it back across the table. I’m like, I think I’ll be the one to take my little firm to the place where it can be. And I walked out. And I left I didn’t even open the piece of paper like to this day, I have no idea what that number wasn’t a piece of paper. But I knew in that moment, I was like if he sees that I can do this. And his giant research department is probably bigger than my whole firm sees that this thing can be bigger and that there’s potential and promise and possibility. Why can’t I do it?

Kara Goldin 17:06
Yeah, it’s crazy. And but that takes a lot of courage,

Laura Gossner Otting 17:10
or stupidity. I don’t really know. But I was so offended. In that moment. I was like, I put on pantyhose to be condescended to like, what, what am I? Who am I right? And in that moment, I realized that my definition of success was this idea. Like you build it, and you sell it, and then you build the next thing. And you’re like, who’s like bigger, better, faster, more like his whole hustle culture. And I realized that that wasn’t why I started the firm in the first place. It wasn’t what I wanted to do. I certainly didn’t want to work for this guy during the transition period. Right. I was like selling my soul to the very first buyer like what was I even thinking? It took a lot of courage to leave I I do regret not opening the piece of paper. I am curious, I still want to stay. But I have no idea. Probably for the best.

Kara Goldin 17:59
So ultimately, you ended up having your team take over the company. Right? And how many years later was that?

Laura Gossner Otting 18:06
Yeah, so that was around year three. And by year 10. I was like, Okay, we’ve grown this company, 100% year over year for 10 years. And I think I’ve pretty much solved the puzzle every way I can possibly be solved. And I’m not I’m I committed kind of malpractice at year 10. I went in for a pitch that I was absolutely not prepared for and I fancy danced my way to selling a pretty big project for our company that I had no business getting, I should not have been victorious in that pitch at all. And as I was in the elevator, going back down to the lobby, I texted my business partner and I was like, I think it’s time for me to go like that was there’s a chapter in the book, again, all the rides in the book called the loop de loop. And I talked about Whitney Johnson and the S curve where you’re like at the bottom of the S curve, and everything’s really hard. And then you get to the you start climbing up the s and things get much easier. And then you get to the top of the estimator like coasting. Well, I was at the top of the s for far too long. And then I started doing what you call self sabotaging. And that was definite self sabotage. I mean, I got really lucky that that went well. I could have damaged my reputation. I could have damaged my firm I could have damaged my people like that could have been bananas bad. And I that was the moment I knew I needed to leave. So I texted her and it took five years to exit the firm five years of, you know, denial and negotiation and anger from everybody there. But eventually, I did sell the firm to the women who helped me build it and I’m proud of that. Because the firm is thriving right now. I’m proud of it because the the sale of the farm meant that I had to convince them that they were able to run it without me that me as the like Moxie driven external person and them as the people who like I was telling everybody, we were doing great quality work and they had to make sure the quality work was done that they knew that they could rise into a different kind of leadership that they hadn’t had before. And I’m proud that I built an institution and not a cookie drawl, that it outlasted me. And that that probably took more courage than anything else.

Kara Goldin 20:05
Yeah. So wonder hell is an invitation not a limitation. But how do we change that voice? That’s telling us no more? Like, we don’t want to do that. I mean, I think it goes in both directions, right. Like, I think that there’s this balance that that we do have to find, and only we really know, but I’m curious how you know what you think about that?

Laura Gossner Otting 20:29
Yeah. I mean, I think every time we achieve something, we hear a voice going. This thing has legs. Yeah, it could be more. It could be bigger, right? If only you sacrifice everything you are and everything you want to be to this thing, like, yes. And so there’s a voice in our head that’s like, no, don’t do it. Stop. You’re an imposter or you’re gonna fail. Everyone’s gonna watch you it’s gonna be embarrassing. And so we have this voice that’s like, Oh, my God, I haven’t done this before. And it’s really about shifting that voice to understanding that the fact that we feel like we’re nine toes over the edge of incompetency isn’t. It’s not the limitation. It’s an invitation because it’s actually a very helpful ally, to tell us that we’re on the right track, like every time we feel, first of all, the word like the term imposter syndrome is such nonsense, right? Like, oh, you’re an imposter. You don’t belong here, you should leave or you’ve got a syndrome, you must feel sick. Do you want to sit down? Right? Like the goal of that term imposter syndrome? In and of itself is ridiculous. Plus, obviously, like the great research that that a lot of fellow women have done on on just the fact that we feel impostor syndrome because we’re operating in environments that weren’t built for us, or made by us or led by us, right? So there’s just so much garbage that’s around them. But I think if we can change it to like, Oh, my God, I haven’t done this before to Oh, my God, I haven’t done this before. And we see it not as I have to keep succeeding and succeeding. But really, I have to keep exploring, I have to keep learning, I have to keep innovating. And what I learned along the way, maybe that I want more of this. And maybe that I want less of this, but every answer is the right answer. As long as it’s the answer for you. Right? So we changed, we can’t get rid of the voice. But we can change how we interpret it. And we can renegotiate our emotions that we have with it, where we don’t say, Oh, my God, this is so hard. But we go, this is an opportunity to learn. I’m so lucky that I’m in this place now where I’m getting to try these things. Because if I failed all of my you know, if I survived all my failures, so far, there’s likely that I’m going to survive these. But I see it as an opportunity to learn and to grow and get better and spend a lot of time figuring it out. So it’s it’s the way we change it from that limitation to the invitation is really thinking about the emotions as a very helpful sign.

Kara Goldin 22:50
Yeah, definitely. I you know, I think about my own experience, too. And I don’t know if you know this about me, but when I left tack, I now look back on those days. And I think I was just burned out. And I and I kind of wanted to experience I had young children I want I didn’t want to miss that. Yes, aspect. And I didn’t think I was going to be out of the workforce for this long. But I was out for over four years. And there were many people who had told me I could never get I had been out for too long. I was never going to be able to get back on track. I was the youngest vice president at America Online, one of the only women in that position, and they were like, you just really screwed yourself. Yeah, they’re letting you laughs Yeah. And what I realized too, is that many of these people didn’t know right, like it was their opinion. And you know, and many of them the more experienced they were the more higher level they were I it bummed me out right that I was I was hearing from them because they had credibility in my mind. But then now, they were like saying, I think you really screwed yourself. But yeah, and then I started hint, but

Laura Gossner Otting 24:07
not only did they not know they didn’t know you right so like they had their best interests at heart but they didn’t know your heart. They didn’t know why you were doing it. So they didn’t know what you were capable of and what you were could have come back with so like it’s they they don’t know anything like it’s a lot of projection like they were afraid to leave.

Kara Goldin 24:25
Yeah. And people are people will project a lot of things and they don’t really know for sure. But I mean, that’s sort of my my own learnings, but when someone is burned out, but maybe they’re they’re not really sure what to do. What would you say because I really do think it’s not just about not climbing the mountain but maybe not climbing the mountain again right now.

Laura Gossner Otting 24:50
Yeah, so when the pandemic hit like a lot of people I stopped sleeping. I just had a hard time. I don’t know it was a combination of like perimenopause. cause and stress and teenagers hormones in the house. I don’t know, I just I didn’t sleep for like now probably a month I slept like an hour a night for a month and and I and I began to understand why they deprive prisoners of war sleep because it really does it really does things to your brain like I, I would try to cook dinner and I couldn’t remember like how many teaspoons of salt from like looking at the cookbook to like going to the salt container. Like I just couldn’t keep words and numbers in my brain. And I felt like I was damaging my brain. So I went to see a psychiatrist, but I was like, I think that I think I’m literally going crazy. Like I think something’s happening inside my brain. And I’m afraid that I’m forming new and very poor neural pathways that are not leading anywhere good. And he diagnosed me very, very quickly as being incredibly boring. It’s just like, there’s nothing wrong with you. You have overachiever who cannot achieve right now complex. That is the problem you have right now. Which is he basically said, so you’re an overachiever? And I was like, oh, yeah, I mean, I’m a hard worker. And he goes, Yeah, well, we could work on that. And I was like, Doc, I don’t want to work on that. That’s a feature, not a bug. And he’s like, Yeah, but it’s untenable. I was like, no, no, no, it’s fine. And then he countered with the CheckMate move of a lifetime, but you’re here. It was like to che and then he said something to me incredibly profound that I actually quote in the book. He said, you know, Laura, you don’t have to give the trophies back. And I was like, whoa, wait a minute. Wow, what? And he said you have spent your life collecting trophies. Achieving this best of that good grades here grade school there, right? Like, how prestigious is the job on my resume, like you have achieved incredible things. And you are carrying around that like wagon of trophies. Have you ever seen that? The the Roger Federer commercial where he’s got like the, like the wagon of trophies that he’s pulling from the private plane, it’s like, like, massive like, there’s like 100 trophies in there. Like I imagined myself like pulling the trophies behind me. And you know, they weigh a lot. And he’s like, You don’t have to give the trophies back. He’s like, if you don’t do anything tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, you will still be the Washington Post Best Selling Author of you will still be White House appointee. And he’s like, you will still be serial entrepreneur of he’s like, you will still have all those things. He goes and imagine how much later you will feel if you don’t have to carry the trophies everywhere you go. Right. And I was like, Holy shit, that was a sermon, like, okay, and just the idea that we are not like, I don’t know about you. But it was drilled into my mind that I’m only as good as my last client. I’m only as good as my last success. I’m only as good as my last killshot. Like, I’m only as good that’s only as good as the truth is, nobody’s paying that much attention to us to see that we’ve been gone like nobody’s waiting on my newsletter. If I forget to send it out on Tuesday, they’re not going to be like, where’s Louis newsletter, nobody cares, just don’t care. And when people project on us that look, if you stop running, everyone’s going to disappear. It’s because they are afraid that if they stop running, so I think we just I don’t know, I think we all need to like take it down a notch, know that we’re not that important. Know that people aren’t really paying that much attention. And just feeling things feel overwhelming and hard, you’re still the sum of everything that’s come to date, right? You don’t lose any of that,

Kara Goldin 28:22
right. And if you’re burning out, you can, like, you know, nobody really knows the true formula for how much time you can take off. And it’s really based on what you’ve accomplished, you know, to date and who you are, and also how you frame things. And nobody

Laura Gossner Otting 28:41
really knows what’s going on inside of you. So they don’t know when they’re giving you advice about how much time to take or not take they don’t know, like how deep your burnout really runs. And I would posit that most of us who are in burnout don’t know how deep our burnout really runs. Because we’re so busy running that we don’t have time to actually examine it until we stop and then we’re like, oh,

Kara Goldin 29:02
yeah, no, that’s true. It’s so much easier to look back on. As the Steve Jobs saying goes, connect the dots and sort of have that for I was and that period for sure. So you’re speaking to your, your younger self, sort of knowing that you’ve sort of had these moments where you were getting yourself to hustle even more, what would you tell yourself?

Laura Gossner Otting 29:29
Well, I would tell myself, I would tell myself, that if I’m collecting trophies for people who I don’t actually respect, I should stop working so hard to impress those people. I think I spent a lot of time in my youth collecting the gold stars and the trophies and the accolades and all of that to be important to people who aren’t actually important to me. And it’s not until, you know, I’m 52 now and it’s not until I got through what my mom calls the fu 40s That I was Like, Oh, yeah, I don’t actually care. I don’t actually care if that person thinks I’m good or not like they’re not paying my bills. I don’t care doesn’t matter to me. But I it’s easier to be it’s easier said now, you know, from 52 than it was from 22 or from 18. But yeah, I think that’s what I would tell myself is that I don’t work so hard to impress people who don’t impress you.

Kara Goldin 30:22
Yeah, no, I love it. So the overarching message you want to leave with people with wonder, hell,

Laura Gossner Otting 30:29
the overarching overarching message I want to leave people with is that wonder Hal, is kind of a sneaky bastard. By the time you’re in it, you’re stuck, like you’ve already seen your potential, you’re trapped, there’s nothing you can do, you’re already in it. But wonder how only presents itself to people who are worthy of it. So you wouldn’t see that potential? If you didn’t know you’re capable of it, and know that there was a possibility to get there. So bad news, you’re stuck and wonder how good news, you are worthy of Wonder health?

Kara Goldin 31:01
Yeah, well, I love it. And it made me really kind of think, a lot. And I mean, that and, you know, as I was going through the book, because I love all the different stories you have in there, too. And, you know, it’s it’s along the lines, but not really misery as company, right, where you’re seeing that other people are going through these phases. So it’s not just you going crazy, or trying to figure out if you’ve been out of the workforce for too long, or, you know, right, what you should be doing next, or whatever. And I think that there’s just a lot of really, really good it. It’s one of these books, where it just really has you thinking about things and anyway, highly encouraged people.

Laura Gossner Otting 31:45
I would say if misery is company, then company is knowledge.

Kara Goldin 31:50
Yeah, no, exactly. It’s like it’s it’s inspiration, I think to get you deeper Yeah. into into thinking about things I think, I don’t know, I just find there’s there’s a few books that just kind of get you thinking like that, like, yeah, as you

Laura Gossner Otting 32:07
said, like, you can connect the dots backwards. But I think so many people, so many stories are told, like he started Facebook in his garage, or in his dorm room in college, or he started, you know, Google in his garage. And look, now it’s a multibillion dollar company. Yay. But nobody talks about the messy middle, right the time in between. And so that’s why I you know, I so enjoyed the conversations I have with all those people. I so enjoyed our conversation about it. And just the messy middle is the part that I we just need to shine more light on, because that’s the really lonely part. That’s the hard part. But that’s I mean, it’s where the magic happens.

Kara Goldin 32:42
Yeah, no, I totally agree. Well, thank you so much for giving us a little bit of insight and, and we’ll have all the stuff in the show notes for where to get a hold of the book, but it’s available and any bookstore around as well as Amazon and all the usual places, but we’ll make sure to have all that in the show notes as well. Thanks again, Laura. Thank

Laura Gossner Otting 33:05

Kara Goldin 33:06
Thanks again for listening to the Kara Goldin show. If you would, please give us a review. And feel free to share this podcast with others who would benefit and of course, feel free to subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode of our podcast. Just a reminder that I can be found on all platforms at Kara Goldin. And if you want to hear more about my journey, I hope you will have a listen or pick up a copy of my book undaunted, which I share my journey, including founding and building hint. We are here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And thanks everyone for listening. Have a great rest of the week, and 2023 and good bye for now. Before we sign off, I want to talk to you about fear. People like to talk about fearless leaders. But achieving big goals isn’t about fearlessness. Successful leaders recognize their fears and decide to deal with them head on in order to move forward. This is where my new book undaunted comes in. This book is designed for anyone who wants to succeed in the face of fear, overcome doubts and live a little undaunted. Order your copy today at undaunted, the and learn how to look your doubts and doubters in the eye and achieve your dreams. For a limited time. You’ll also receive a free case of hint water. Do you have a question for me or want to nominate an innovator to spotlight send me a tweet at Kara Goldin and let me know. And if you liked what you heard, please leave me a review on Apple podcasts. You can also follow along with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn at Kara Goldin. Thanks for listening You