Episode 9 - Align yourself for better job satisfaction
This episode features Benjamin Ritter on the Ready.Set.Glo! Podcast 💫
In this episode of Ready.Set.Glo, Dr. Benjamin Ritter talks about self-leadership, job satisfaction, and leadership development. He is here to encourage the overall concept of self-leadership and the permission/empowerment to move toward what YOU want to achieve in your career.
Ben has a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership with a focus on value congruence and job satisfaction, he is an expert in his field, and will guide you toward truly living for yourself at work and in life!
With over 10 years of experience working with clients from companies such as Amazon, Coursera, Doordash, Google, Fiserv, Northwestern, Pinterest, and Yelp, Ben understands how to help you navigate any career path you decide you want to travel.
Align Yourself For Better Job Satisfaction with Career Consultant Dr. Benjamin Ritter
Mary Harcourt 0:05 Welcome to Ready Set glow, a podcast where I interview the person behind the brand. We're gonna talk about what it took to get started, the lessons learned along the way, and the advice they have for you on your own journey. I'm your host, Mary Harcourt, founder and CEO of Cosmo glow. Today we're going to be talking to Dr. Benjamin Ritter. He's an international speaker podcaster, author, mentor, and he's passionate about guiding leaders in finding creating and sustaining a career they love. With over 10 years of experience working with clients from companies such as Amazon, DoorDash, Google, Yelp, and Pinterest. Ben understands how to navigate any career path you decide you want to take from empowering professionals to get unstuck and feeling confident and being a leader. Bennett is an expert in his field, and will guide you to truly living for yourself at work and in life.
Today, I have Dr. Benjamin Ritter with me, Dr. Ben, introduce yourself,
Benjamin Ritter 1:11 Hey, everybody, how's it going? My name is Dr. Benjamin Ritter, as you so nicely introduced me as and I'm working in the fields of organizational leadership and talent development and coaching, mainly, I just want people to be happy at work. And a lot of times that involves getting out of our own way. Having the right mindset understanding, also our person, our personal brand, so where our strengths are. And really, that we can accomplish anything that we want. A lot of times we set our own limiting beliefs. And so I'm here to take them away, knock them away, and I got to this point, it wasn't always like this, I've had a lot of really crazy jobs. And I'm sure we'll get into that. But that's at least where I am. Now.
Mary Harcourt 1:51 I love that I totally agree with you on that fully that we sometimes put ourselves in our own little prison. And I hope we can break down some of those barriers tonight. So you have a doctorate in organizational leadership and job satisfaction, which already makes you my hero. But I didn't even know that you could go to school for that. Can you tell me a little bit about what these focuses are about?
Benjamin Ritter 2:13 Yeah, I think I went to school for everything that someone didn't know what it was about. I remember every time I went to school for a degree someone's like, what is that? But really, my my background educationally is about how to grow leaders within organizations. And specifically, my focus was on job satisfaction, motivation and value congruence. And so organizational leadership with kind of a as base, basically, how do we grow as leaders?
Mary Harcourt 2:44 Awesome. And then what is your definition of a leader?
Benjamin Ritter 2:48 Well, we can't have leaders without followers. So there needs to be at least someone and that could even be yourself taking action towards something. Because I speak heavily towards self leadership. And so you know, the most important leader is the one that lives within you, a leader really like their role is to help create an environment around another person that motivates them to utilize their skills, their strengths, to develop, and to hopefully accomplish something. And that thing could be nothing, honestly, because that's what you need to do. But that's what I believe leadership is,
Mary Harcourt 3:20 well, you have over 10 years of experience in leadership, I love your mission, guiding and empowering leaders to create a career they love. So how does one create a career they love?
Benjamin Ritter 3:33 That well, going back to this concept of self leadership, very often, where people tend to be reactive to their careers instead of proactive. So if something's not right, you don't really believe we don't really feel accountable for fixing it. And as an entrepreneur, that's like a death sentence to say that I am, what my environment dictates me to be. And so if you want to create a career that you love, instead of going home and complaining about what's going on with your career, it's about being solution driven, solution oriented, and figuring out okay, this is draining me. Is this a mindset issue? Is this an environment issues a people issue? Is it a work issue, the actual work that I'm doing? Is it a novelty challenge issue? Is it just that I'm stressed from other things in my life, and it's not really an issue, but I'm just worried about money and worried about my relationships, and my dog just like got hurt, and I have to go to the vet like, is it that kind of issue, so it's bringing a certain level of awareness to what makes us happy, what energizes us what drains us and then curating our jobs to be best fit for us?
Mary Harcourt 4:33 It reminds me I just heard this little story recently of someone saying, when you put a seed in a little pot, it only grows so tall, but if you can remove it from the pot and put it into the ground, it can grow to be a big tall tree. But so many times this happens to people and do we ever blame the seed? We always blame its surroundings. It must have not been good enough soil must not have been good enough pot. Maybe it didn't get enough sun and maybe it didn't get enough water, but it's so relatable to real life, because so many times we feel like we're not progressing the way we should. But we fail to reflect on our environment and see if it's really the place that we should be to excel.
Benjamin Ritter 5:11 And take it a step further and just or I guess, narrow it down a little bit more and say we restrict ourselves by our job, or jobs can be a pot, the pot, the company can be the pot, our community can be the pot, and we limit ourselves based on what we think we are capable of what's awesome about making money from a skill that you have is you can make money from that skill in a variety of ways. And that skill has other skills that are associated to it. So for example, if you're working day to day, can you sell those skills as an information product? Can you say those? Can you sell those skills? As a trainer? Can you be more of a brand ambassador for something that uses those skills, there's so many different avenues to create income streams, do you want to learn a new skill in your time and your free time because that's what you've done, to allow ours ourselves to expand and to grow past the definitions of the job that we've had for our whole life.
Mary Harcourt 6:05 So when you work with people, and you find that they're limited by their mindset, what would you say is the most common denominator that they all have in common that it limits their mindset.
Benjamin Ritter 6:17 So there's three C's of self leadership and clarity and confidence and control. And so mindset tends to really relate to, we're just not clear on what we want to create in the world. And that's either because we haven't spent time thinking about it, it's because we have way too much peer pressure in our life. We don't have, we haven't expanded our horizons. So we're kind of living in a bubble, one of the best things you can do if you want to learn something in your life is to surround yourself with it. So you listening to podcasts like this, you reading books, articles, or you meeting new people in the industry and talking to them about what they're doing. Because that allows you then to expand how you currently perceive your own job and what's possible. And so as you figure out where you want to go with your career and with your life, understand those are just goals. But what's more important is Why do you do what you do? So who are you? What do you like, what do you bring to the job, what's your attitude, that's the that's your unique value prop right there is you as an individual, because you you do have skills, but you're the one delivering those skills. And so when your mind is getting in the way, you're not, you don't fully realize it when you know who you truly are, that leads into confidence and that confidence and allows you to start exploring and discovering new things. And a lot of times we just hold ourselves back, we're very critical, we give the microphone to our inner critic more than our inner champion, and we don't spread our wings, we kind of live within our own victimhood of what we think we're capable of.
Mary Harcourt 7:35 So how do we spread our wings a little bit more and silence that critical voice?
Benjamin Ritter 7:41 First off, give yourself some grace, that I think too often we, we think we're supposed to be somewhere that we're not. And so we don't think and we think we're good enough is where we where we are isn't good enough. And so we're looking at the mountaintop throughout this article before about what is what is kind of the thing that holds us back the most as entrepreneurs. And it's because we tend to see the mountaintop, and then we don't see the trail to get to the top. And then we see where we are, and we see everybody else at the mountaintop, we don't pay attention to the people that are next to us behind us maybe a little bump up in front of us, we don't pay attention to the tools that we might need to start our journey, we just see the summit, and we go that's really far away, I'm not going to be able to do it. And if we can fill in the gap, have clarity in terms of little steps. Because if you're headed in the right direction, that's all that matters, you're headed in the right direction, that's going to get you to where you want to be. And so we can focus on that we can then we can turn our heads away from I'm not good enough. I'm not where I should be. I haven't done enough. I'm stupid, I'm not capable. I'm a failure, where we're focused so much on that gap. And as someone that is, as we build, you know, as you build a book of business, that takes time, it takes brand awareness that takes building trust. And honestly that does that can literally not happen, there's no way that can happen overnight unless you get on Oprah or something. And so it's understanding that there's there's a process, and that through that process, you can make progress. And through that progress, you can reach whatever goal you have set for yourself, it is all possible. But not being happy with the pace of that progress is the thing that can hold us back the most and kind of give that microphone to the inner critic more
Mary Harcourt 9:15 well, you make it sound so easy. But I do agree with you is all the little pieces and all the little pieces, all of those steps, even if sometimes it's more of a dance and you go a little backwards and then a little forward. It is all about progress. At the end, you're gonna look back and see how far you've come. Even if it wasn't in a straight line, you still were able to get to your goal based on breaking it down into those little pieces and those little chunks and going you know, one at a time.
Benjamin Ritter 9:41 Yeah. And it's if you focus instead on the gap, and I'm not good enough and you're focusing on the inner critic, that how are you showing up every day? What are people going to feel from you, when they engage with you? It's not going to lead you towards your goals. And so if if you say okay, I'm on the right track, and if you're not on the right track fact, by the way, so it's a wake up call, then you feel you feel off because you're something inside us telling you pay attention, are you doing the right things and something inside, you doesn't feel confident enough in it. So you need to prove to yourself that you are confident enough, which means sitting down, figuring out, Am I doing the things that move the needle, if I don't know what moves the moves the needle yet, then I need to go talk to people that are moving the needle, I need to go learn a little bit more. And then once you actually feel confident in the steps that you're taking, and you're gonna give yourself a six month window, or more to see if it works without changing things. And I'd say you can make some slight adjustments, but you have to give yourself some time and see if things work, then during those six months, you are present, you are happy, because you know that you're doing. You're experimenting life and building a business is experimentation. And eventually that experimentation leads to some pretty amazing results. And once you figure out what works, you can stop worrying about what works, which is just an amazing place to be as an entrepreneur.
Mary Harcourt 10:59 Yeah, I totally agree. I love that. I think sometimes you question your own capabilities. But when you take a couple steps, and it gives you that feeling of like, oh my god, I'm doing what I love, especially if you have a side hustle, you just learned how to do lashes, if you just went to esthetician school, but you're still holding down that job that you left because it wasn't fulfilling you, you are so scared to start. But once you get started, you all of a sudden become like obsessed and rushed with this feeling of just joy, which shows you you're on the right path. And if it doesn't happen for you take an inventory and figure out why it's not happening.
Benjamin Ritter 11:39 It's so it's so interesting is you know, school is not quick. And so a lot of times in this industry, people dedicate a lot of time and energy to school, and they know what the endpoint is. So they're like, I'm gonna invest three to four years of training and sweeping and putting in the grind, right? To get to a point where then I'm going to expect things to be done the next day. Okay, hold on a second, what are the next four years? Now you're in a new training program? And then if you go start your own business, what are the next four? What are the next four years? And so remember that every time you do something new every time you open a new door? You're you're starting a new training program? And can you can you approach it with the same mindset. And that's gonna be really helpful.
Mary Harcourt 12:20 That is very helpful. So you come from a quite impressive list of companies you've worked for you have worked with Amazon, Yelp, Pinterest, Google DoorDash, the list goes on. How do you link up with these companies? What do you do for them, and how kind of has that persuaded your career
Benjamin Ritter 12:39 varies depending on how I work with them. So sometimes workshops for some, some will come in and build talent development programs, some will just work with your executive leaders and coach them on leadership development, some come to me on their own and want to hire me because they want to leave their job and start a business. So it's different depending on who I'm working with, in the situation at the time. But how I developed that business, I think it's the same way that you develop any service based business, a lot of times people get really scared about going off on their own or worrying about how they're going to build a book. And you know, they're like, maybe up to these ads, maybe I need to pay this person to help me build a funnel needs. And in reality, like, think about how your customer is finding somebody, think about why someone would want to hire you, and then figure out how to get in front of that person, like where does that first person spend their time. And so for me, my job was to figure out what this person wants, they want to create a career that they love, they want to get unstuck. They want to unlock their professional superpowers. Great. So now I have a tagline, I have something that's going to resonate with them. And I know how to describe what I do in a way that people are going to remember, now that I have that message. And that's a clarity piece. I need to go put this where that person. And for me, that's events that focus on professional development or entrepreneurship that I hosted myself, that's speaking on podcasts that those people listen to, and that's having conversations with people so that they in a way that they can remember me so that they they they either will sign up themselves or tell other people about me, the worst thing that people do is they're just they don't tell people what they do. And then the second worst thing that someone that people do in kind of this world is they don't tell someone what they do in a way that's memorable. And so for me personally, it's selling is really easy selling is having a conversation with someone and eventually that person, you're going to talk to someone that wants what you want, it's more likely that person's gonna want what you're what you're selling, if you find where they live, and where they breathe and where they eat in Reno, etc.
Mary Harcourt 14:33 So you brought up being helping people through getting unstuck. Let's talk about that because I feel like that's something that every single person can identify in life at one point and possibly right now.
Benjamin Ritter 14:45 Yeah. So what is what is being stuck mean to you?
Mary Harcourt 14:48 I feel like you just question What am I doing? And is this what I was meant to do? And then furthermore, is what was I meant to do? Like where am I meant to be? plug in. If I were to define unstack,
Benjamin Ritter 15:02 what am I meant to do? That's such a, it's such a huge amount of pressure placed on yourself. Like there's something that you should be doing with your time other than other things. And I get it like there, there are goals that we apply our time to. There's things there's things that we're doing on a daily basis to achieve something that makes sense. But what matters most about that, and this is where the emotions come from, is why are we doing it? Like what's the reason behind the thing that we're spending our time doing? And very often we get focused instead on the thing that we're doing the action, the goal and not the meaning behind the goal. And so when you when you ask the question, what am I really supposed to do, that tells me that you don't feel connected enough to the thing that you're doing. You'll see this a lot with like relationships, people have one foot out the door and one foot in, because they're not sure if they should be spending their time with this person. So they're always doubting it, and never fully committing. And there's a big switch that happens in a relationship. When you fully commit, when you stop looking for excuses to leave. And when it comes to our career, very often we look for excuses to leave. Because we feel that there's something that we should be doing more so than what we're doing today. Instead of deciding to commit, and then like, attributing meaning to what we're choosing to commit to, I wake up, I don't always love my job. And I've chosen this job. But if I catch myself and go, Why do I love my job? Why am I choosing to do this, and I have answers to that, then I'm motivated to do the work. But too often people especially individuals that kind of are in service based businesses that aren't have ups and downs that aren't always fun, that turn the mirror on yourself a lot because it's you know, you're it's, it's, it's tough to work to work really on your own. Because every emotion you feel from your business is an emotion that you feel about yourself, it's really easy to lose touch with the meaning that the reasons why we do what we do. And to look for other things that might give us more meaning when one of the worst lies I've ever told myself was to find my purpose. And that's because purpose, no matter what anyone says, is still something that you give to something. And so you have to ask yourself, Am I willing to wake up and give purpose to the thing that I'm doing on a daily basis?
Mary Harcourt 17:10 It is a lot of questions. Sometimes I think you get in your head, which we talked about earlier. So if someone's in their head and limiting themselves, what are some of the mindset, things that you help them through to get out of their own prison that they put themselves in.
Benjamin Ritter 17:25 So if you're listening, and you're like, oh, Ben's just a rah, rah guy. Well, I believe 100% in the potential, the capabilities and the opportunities in the world for every single person. Now, people start from different places, and some people have a head start for sure. But it doesn't mean that you can't get somewhere. So the timing just might be different. And this is why if we're focused on the finish line, we're going to feel bad about the distance that we have to run. Especially if we're sprinting the entire time, we're going to get really exhausted. And so we have to realize that it is not a race, it's a journey, right? It's something that we have to enjoy. It's a hike in nature. And and I like nature a lot. But we're going to we're going to really not and we're not going to enjoy the ride. And we're going to look for something else, if we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to achieve a certain outcome. When something by default takes a lot of time, it takes a lot of time to build the business. It is tough. And everyone has different environments, different communities that make it easier for them. And so if you compare yourself to others that are in a similar industry, you're gonna lose, unless you're comparing yourself to yourself. And if you compare yourself to yourself, you can say, Did I wake up and do the things that move the needle today? Yeah, great, I feel good. I have to feel good about myself. And that's tough, you have to remind yourself about it. But it does take that. And so some strategies you can use are identifying your negative beliefs. So say, What am I saying to myself that is negative, and then coming up with real reasons why those negative beliefs are not true. And what you would like to believe instead, every negative belief we have is just a, there's a reason behind it, it's there to help us survive. So if I am afraid of presenting, is because my body some at some point learned that being in front of a group of people is dangerous to me being socially accepted, or me succeeding in life. And so we have to identify that belief and say, Okay, if my success depends on me getting up in front of people and teaching them, then that old belief about it not being helpful was wrong. And now what skills and strengths do I have that actually highlight that I'm a good public speaker? And if you're not, then that's a sign to say I need to go it's I need to join Toastmasters. I need to go record myself speaking, I need to go hire a coach. Because then we can provide that evidence to that belief and reframe it. But a lot of times people say oh, just tell yourself an affirmation. You're beautiful, you're strong. Well, your body's not going to believe that unless if it's if you haven't, if you have a negative belief that your brains used to going down. And so you have to actually target that negative belief and say, not just I'm beautiful. But if your brain is telling yourself that you're ugly, you tell yourself instead, you know that I find myself beautiful and there have been multiple people in my life that find me beautiful. And this is this is one specific piece of myself that I feel that's beautiful. And then I'm always a work in progress. And I think that's, I think that's beautiful. Like you have to, you have to really tell yourself things that are that you can literally believe, for you to start changing a belief.
Mary Harcourt 20:21 I agree with that fully. I have never been into affirmations and my cousin broke it down for me where she was like you're not doing it correctly. You're telling yourself stuff that your self doesn't believe. And I love you walked us through that entire process because it really is true. And you have to give yourself something believable. And I love all the examples that you use you are a work in progress. I do find this beautiful about myself, because those are believable. And you can grasp onto that and get confidence from that and almost fight back. Like I don't care what you say, here's what I believe. You also brought Toastmasters. So you're a speaker. Were you nervous when all of this started? Because now you've obviously mastered it.
Benjamin Ritter 21:03 I appreciate that. Thank you. I remember actually that I've always been pretty comfortable getting up in front of people and talking. I don't know why. I don't think I was very good at it. But I was comfortable at it. And I don't know where that came from. Honestly, I have no idea. Because I had I had some pretty bad confidence issues when I was younger, related to trying to achieve goals that didn't, didn't succeed. I was too attached to like external outcomes. But in terms of talking and presenting in front of people I really enjoyed it. With with talking itself though. Five years of editing your own podcasts will make you stop saying so in, in, in having weird tics. I'll tell you that.
Mary Harcourt 21:40 That's a good hint. It's so true. So let's talk about your career. You're at a great place now, where did it all start? And obviously, there is troubles and challenges along the way. Let's dive deep into that. Yeah, I've
Benjamin Ritter 21:53 done one of everything. So I flipped burgers and handed out flyers. I was a movie promo character as a barback as bartender, I was a server as a you know, Marketing Associate and worked for a nonprofit for a bit I worked in policy and worked in healthcare. As a dating coach. I mean, there's a lot of things that I've done, I was a brand ambassador for a bit. And so if you were, if anyone hasn't been a brand ambassador, you work for like a variety of different brands of variety, different events, everything from walking people on stage at a conference, to walking around downtown Chicago with a big sign for pizza on your back. You know, I was a camp counselor, as a daycare worker, fix homes with my dad when I was kid. And so work for me was always just kind of work. And I think it was probably because of that. I also wanted to be a soccer player growing up, so I never really thought I'd be behind a desk. And so I really tried to go pro for a bit. And, you know, the the odd jobs came about because I realized that one I wanted to make money, but I wanted to push myself I want to put myself in uncomfortable situations, you know, so I kind of I've never had one income. Growing up, I've always had multiple streams of income. Not a lot of sleep, but multiple streams of income. And that's that's led me down a variety of paths of meetings, pretty cool people learning some new skills, and you you it part of it is also like not being reliant on one thing. Diversifying skills, seeing work isn't is an opportunity to grow new skills and to learn new things about yourself, as well as not to get into a situation. So when I went back to get my doctorate, I didn't want to take out loans and debt. So I went back to bartending four days a week where I worked full time as in health care, and as well as trying to grow my business at the same time. So it's when people say, I don't have time for something, I go, where are you spending your time that you can stop? What are the things that are most important about things that you need to accomplish? And can you do those and put everything else aside for now, everything has a time and a place? You know, sometimes businesses are in growth phases. Sometimes businesses are just in sustain. Sometimes the business is let's do the least amount possible to eat and have rent because you're focused on other areas of your life. When you own a business, when you work for yourself. The timeline is infinite. There's no ticking clock.
Mary Harcourt 24:09 Like you said, it's a journey. There is no finish line because as an entrepreneur, I think we're always questioning what's next we just move the finish line every time that we see things aren't working correctly or not correctly. It's like well, let me reevaluate. And now here's what I want to get to next, and then I'll get halfway there and go okay, well, I'm gonna move it again. Because here's my new goal, which I think is something with all of your different jobs, you are trying to find something that brought you joy and fulfillment and use your skills. If you were a confident speaker, you're not getting that flipping burgers. But if that was a means to an end to pay your rent, look at the person that became from that situation. It is important
Benjamin Ritter 24:51 to pick positions, jobs, as well as how you approach those jobs with intention. So even if I was bartending Paying, you know, three, four nights a week, it's easy just to call it in, take some shots, party it up, it's, it's a lot harder to say I have to wake up at six in the morning to go to the gym and then go to work and do something for my business at night. So I probably shouldn't drink, or I'm going to really make it a point to talk to people before it gets too loud, to see if there's anyone that I can connect with. Because every person you talk to when you run your own business is a potential client is a potential connection. And all the time you are representing your brand.
Mary Harcourt 25:35 So you also went to school, earned an MBA in entrepreneur management and in health policy administration. What is this cover? What made you add that into the little hot fudge sundae you got going?
Benjamin Ritter 25:51 I remember when I when I went to school for entrepreneurial management, there's just like, why you went to school for that when I went to get my MPH? So like, what does that mean? And so out of undergrad, I, I really didn't like any of the job opportunities that were available to me. I initially wasn't good. I was studying dietetics and nutrition and they canceled my major halfway through school. And so I got to a marketing degree, because it was there and didn't really like the positions that were available. So other than almost starting a company, I really was just disinterested with, with with things that were there. And I was like okay, so what what could I potentially do that was related to health and nutrition and making a difference in the world because I cared about social impact. And I saw this joint program at UIC. And at the same time I was I ended up getting hired. So they got a graduate assistantship. So I worked for the school and the student employment office managing the office, and a job placement program. So they paid for most of my school, and which allowed me to go and then study found that I could study public health to make a difference. So I can get involved in food policy. And I could learn how to be a better business owner. And those are two things that I really cared about. And I ended up working for the Illinois Department of Public Health for a bit I did out of grad schools was another story for two and a half years, I would get a job offer like the Illinois Department of Public Health gave me a job offer a few other places give me a job offer, the CDC gave me a fellowship. And they were all canceled pretty much the next day after I signed it on the dotted line. So I ended up falling into a position in health care through networking. So a lot of my career was very reactive to the environment and not proactive. You know, I think there were some reasons why I ended up where I was just due to no fault of my own, but also the fact that I gave in to certain things. And that ended up me being in a career and with a business that I felt kind of resentful towards, I didn't feel like I picked and feel like I really took control of my career. And that's when I really did a heart audit. And that's where I realized that I cared about talent development and leadership development. And I saw my strengths and coaching. And so wanted to leverage those and was able to make the pivot into this industry,
Mary Harcourt 27:55 I was actually going to bring that up, like look at all of the jobs you had, and all of the skills that you tried on to see what fit which how many different types of leadership, you came across in that diversity of all of the different jobs, the different school avenues, the different everything, just to get you to where you're so well rounded, to be able to communicate with people and understand every area that they're coming from. But I think this ties right back into how to be satisfied with work when you work for yourself. Because you clearly were never satisfied with what you were doing. You were always trying to figure out where you fit in. And now you have this business that you are helping others, which is right where you needed to be probably the whole time. But you had to gain that experience in that skill along the way.
Benjamin Ritter 28:44 Some of the major faults that I made along the way, were really just feeling like I had to find the thing to be happy. And that's kind of what I do, what I do in a way to is just that to help people realize that if they're waiting for happiness, they're never going to get to it. Or at least they're going to regret the times that they weren't happy while they were either struggling and waiting for it. Job satisfaction really relates to three main things and it's so it's the meaning behind the work. So our perception of the work and the actual meaning. So meaning is two things meaning is how we view something and the actual impact that something has, we can change how we view something and make it meaningful. The second piece is the actual work that you do that also has to do with the work you think you're going to do. So and that's also like skill development where you're going, but are you doing work that energizes your work that D energizes you and the third pieces of social relationships? Are you working with people that bring you joy and happiness or you're working with people that bring you conflict, all those both those things are largely within at least some parts of them are within your capacity to influence. And in my career, I was all too often giving my power away and not leveraging my strengths. Because if I if I thought about Okay, so what is the work that I love to do? I wouldn't be leveraging my strengths. I'd take my strengths and apply it to the job that I was doing. And I'd be perfect. It'd be pretty happy. And so that's kind of where You know what I realized? Where I realized I kind of missed up in why I have the theories that I do. Right? And why I work with people the way I do.
Mary Harcourt 30:06 Yeah, I mean, you bring up a great point is you have to be happy in your daily life to be happy in the job. And I think so many people blame it on the job, without taking a look inward, and kind of seeing what is your environment, as we talked about earlier? Or how are you feeling towards things? Is there anything you need to iron out in your own personal life, that you're putting it on the job, but it's really not the job. And if you can get yourself to be in a really good position day to day, then you're going to be happy in any job, you might just find one that you prefer better than the other one?
Benjamin Ritter 30:39 Yeah, very true. We do, we can find positions that are more well crafted to us, we don't have to give away our power for in a place that we know we're working towards something that we would prefer more, like, I don't want people to stay in the job they don't like, I feel like you have an opportunity to to go somewhere that's best fit for you, if you have that level of awareness, for sure, you have permission.
Mary Harcourt 30:58 So this is something that comes up in the beauty industry quite often is they are working in normal nine to five, whether it'd be an accountant or receptionist or who knows what it could be a teacher. And they they go to Beauty School at nights and they get through and they realize they have this love and passion for the beauty industry. But they're very scared on taking the first steps. What advice would you have for somebody who hears what you're saying it resonates with them, and they're like, I've just been miserable at my day job I really want to take on this new opportunity. But I'm scared. What advice do you have for them for making that transition?
Benjamin Ritter 31:35 Fear is the best trigger alarm warning sign for you're in the right place. Pay attention, because you're about to do something uncomfortable, you're about to do something new. And so your body, your body can't decide if it's a tiger or if it's a pot of gold, there's no idea, you have to make that decision consciously. And when it comes something that isn't a tiger, like you're not actually going to get hurt, you have to decide that it's a pot of gold. Because if you do get excited about something, then that fear is going to transfer into that feeling of excitement. When we get nervous, we are afraid we have the same physiological signs as we do. So when we're excited, our palms get sweaty, we breathe faster, we get like a little knot in their stomach and our throat, you kind of don't really want to face it went all the way. Same signs. So how do you want to interpret that? And so what is the first step that you need to do the little step? You know, I started coaching, I started coaching people for three people for free. I built a referral network from this to people. I learned what I did, right and what I did wrong, and I told them, so things might go wrong. Like you may not, you may not like what happens. But so how are you know, what is the one one step you can take towards taking your dream, taking your passion, taking your hobby and making it into reality. And you have a network right in front of you start telling them what you do. You're a teacher, you you're going to Beauty School, tell people, but you're gonna get a bunch of people that raise their hand and say, Oh, do you do indigent trial colors? Oh, do you want to do some trial cuts? Oh, do you want to do some trial extensions? Like, I'm pretty sure there's people in your life that would love that. Like, absolutely. And that turns into one you hone your craft, you get more confident, you build a network of individuals that are willing to build your business for you. Because you have some you have some you have some requirements, okay, you want this, this is what I need from you, I need you to contact three people, I need to post a picture on Instagram of what you just didn't tag me. And so now you're you're taking a step forward to pursue your dream. And it is a step forward, any step forward is progress. Now, if you're too afraid to put yourself out there, no, no artists got famous by painting and and hiding them in a closet. That is something you have to personally either say like I'm willing to face and willing to be okay with this discomfort and this fear because it's something new. And I'm going to be my biggest champion in the process. And make sure the people that you that you do start working with initially maybe are people that also think that that you're awesome.
Mary Harcourt 33:54 Absolutely. I mean, that's great advice. And what if they get to this point, but in the back of their head, they still have that little voice that says, I hear what you're saying. I totally agree, but I just am too scared to fail.
Benjamin Ritter 34:08 Okay, let's name that fate. That voice. Let's pick a someone that you don't respect. Someone that you're not fans with. I had a we had a few political figures that were named when I was working with some clients and a few other people like someone person in someone's life that really burned them. They don't respect at all, that if you've heard that person, talk to you and try to give you advice you just say no. In joking, I mean, listen, you so named that voice and start responding to it in that way. And you may not act tomorrow, but you may act next week. You're too afraid to act too afraid to do something. Well, up to this point you've been acting. Why aren't you afraid to have done what you've done so far? Why aren't you afraid of the fact that you haven't been pursuing your passion? Why aren't you afraid of the fact that you're unhappy at work? Why are you afraid of the possibility of me more money. Why are you afraid of potentially having more control over your time? So start asking yourself those questions too.
Mary Harcourt 35:07 So let's talk about you, you have your own podcast, your podcast is called the executive podcast, I was listening to a few episodes last night, and one called me was listening to the power of influence. And I love that it was said to applause someone in public, and give them constructive criticism in private, which is great advice for anyone that has a staff or you're new to understanding how to have employees, what are some other tidbits you have when it comes to working with employees in the workplace? That piece
Benjamin Ritter 35:39 is about giving feedback. It's praise someone in public and give criticism and private or constructive feedback. And private, people get very defensive, whenever you you say something to help them grow. And so it's helps them feel like they're in a more of a safe space, so they won't get as defensive and be more open. The moment someone actually ends up getting defensive, or, or feels like they're afraid or not safe, is when the critical thinking pieces of their brain stop working in so no matter what you tell them is, they're not going to be able to actually interpret it and take it take it to heart and grow with it. So part of that with feedback is a model that you can actually follow called SBI. See, Situation, Behavior, Impact and then commitment. And so when you're giving feedback to someone, you want it to be very specific, you don't want it to be broad, because people can't actually take broad and make it actionable. And you want it to be not about a behavior or assuming of behavior from somebody. Because then they're going to get defensive because you can't tell call someone lazy for being late. Now you a person showed up late that was the behavior lazy as a way to get them angry at you. So basically, let's say someone is late situation would be at this morning, you showed up at 830 instead of 8am. So as situation, impact your client load for the rest of the day was delayed. And the first person actually ended up canceling and walking out because they couldn't wait because they had to go to work. So that situation, impact the behavior that happened was that they were late. So hey, you shut up at 830. This caused people to end up you know, you lost lost a client, other clients were delayed. This, this ends up actually losing money for you losing money for the business and hurts, you know, customer loyalty. So it loses money in the future. You know, what can you commit to moving forwards, so that you're able to either communicate ahead of time that you're not going to be able to get in at a certain point in time, or to show up in a way that actually serves your clients. Because right now, it's and this has happened, this has happened a couple of times, it's hurting your ability to really build a sustainable business instead of I can't believe you shut up late again, everyone was complaining about you. I don't know how you expect me to run a profitable business when you're just lazy and don't care about anybody. So just when you give feedback, just try to remember to give specific tangible pieces of information and ask for specific intangible commitments for the person. And the same thing for giving positive feedback, you want the person to be able to actually know what they did, right and to be able to repeat that.
Mary Harcourt 38:09 So we already brought up your speaker, we brought up your podcast, the executive podcast, are also a consultant. If someone's interested in working with you, what options do they have fun working with you? How do they get started? Where do they find you?
Benjamin Ritter 38:22 I mainly work with clients one on one. And depending on what your goals are, we can work in three or six or 12 month increments. And I also work for organizations so I can go in and do leadership workshops, manager trainings, so the two buckets that I work in. And if you want to find me connect with me on LinkedIn, send the message to Dr. Benjamin Ritter or go to the website live for yourself. consulting.com That's live for yourself. consulting.com and you can just send me a message. There's a scheduling link for a call there too.
Mary Harcourt 38:52 Awesome. Sounds good. Well, thank you so much for being on the show. Do you have anything that you want to add in any topics to cover?
Benjamin Ritter 38:59 So emotions are real, and we literally cannot be happy all the time. Like neurologically like chemicals in our body cannot sustain, you know, consistent period. So you're gonna have off days, you're gonna have days that you're feeling really good. It's okay to have off days, it's okay to take a day off of work. And it's okay to feel good about that. You have to sometimes play with what you got the cards that you're dealt. That also means though, on the days that you're feeling good to do the things that move the needle towards the goals that you have for yourself. And if you have a bunch of days in a row where you're not feeling good, take control that to do the things that fill you up. honor that. But then also do one or two things that move the needle because a lot of times we can we can sit in our in our negative emotions in the down and hope that we come back up. It's a lot easier to do the things that help us come back up.
Mary Harcourt 39:52 So you add a little bit of human back to everyone's seen an Instagram picture of we have to live this perfect life. I love you bringing element of you don't have to be okay all the time. What is some of the things that you feel like pull people down that don't necessarily need to
Benjamin Ritter 40:09 Instagram, we're so worried about other people we forget to worry about ourselves. And it's so weird about that, as we think we're worrying about ourselves by worrying about other people are taking so much of our time and energy away, comparing ourselves to what other people are doing in the world that could be used for ourselves. And then when we don't feel good, we go spend our time and energy on things that we think are going to make us feel good. So we drink, we do drugs, you go on dates, people we know we shouldn't go on dates with, we watch TV that we shouldn't be watching, you know, and we don't do the things that really help us personally.
Mary Harcourt 40:42 How does one get out of that cycle? If they're relating to this right now going, Oh, God, that's me. What? How do we stop the process and get life back on track,
Benjamin Ritter 40:51 one of the worst things that people try to do is to do everything at once. So you finished this podcast, and you know, I need to get things together. So you cancel your Netflix subscription. You delete your Uber and Uber Eats app and Instagram app and you load up on you do eat, I want to do a juice cleanse. So you order $800 Juice Cleanse, and you sign up for some sort of CrossFit membership. I don't know or buy a Bowflex, I don't know. And so you just set yourself up to fail. Our bodies really like the schedules that we have, even if you don't have a schedule, that in itself is the schedule, give a routine. And so we need to start small, even if it's reading for 10 minutes, not every day, one day a week, the easiest day, Saturday morning, I'm going to read a book 15 minutes. Great. So now you've chosen one thing, smallest Dominator, and that's what you hold yourself accountable to period still got to go party still get to. And then you know, what tends to happen is as you focus on that, you may end up reading twice a week. And the times you read twice a week might be about a book that's related to one of the goals that you have for yourself. And then all of a sudden, you're reading three times a week, or instead of reading three times a week, you're now listening to a podcast from the same author because it was interesting to you. And so things tend to have a way of compounding on themselves. If we allow ourselves to do one thing consistently. I like to say that serendipity is consistency, and a little bit of luck. And we can't get consistent if we if we try to do too many things that we're not consistent with already. So keep your schedule the way it is change one thing, right? What's the thing that's draining you the most, what's the what's something that you really have been wanting to do, but that in the start, because it is just about starting? Because we make it we make it so hard, right? We I think we we choose to make it hard,
Mary Harcourt 42:38 you make it seem so easy, it's great. I love books, I'm a huge book advocate, I think everyone should read as much books as possible, or at least get that education. And I also find that when you do feel a little stagnant and stuck, it's usually that you haven't learned anything new, or haven't had any light shed on the situation you're going through. So it's just pure frustration, which then shuts you down. Where if you give yourself it could be 15 minutes, and I wrote down a note because it's never 15 minutes, it might be the first time the second time the third time. But when you see the amount of value that comes out of reading and experiencing someone else that's giving you amazing advice in a situation that you're going through currently, that 15 minutes tends to turn to more and more. But it is a pivot where all of a sudden, you now want to go back and do a better job, you have a little bit more skills on how to handle the situation, you see life on the other side and want to get through it quicker. And I just wanted to throw that in there. Because that's something I experienced in myself, if I ever get to have stagnant Law point, it's always going back to books, or podcasts or documentary, but something to like, re align you and give you a brighter light, where all of a sudden, you do get out of that little prison you put yourself in because it's a big world out there.
Benjamin Ritter 43:54 If you're not feeling confident, I should see on every single one of your podcasts, something about confidence, why not pick one thing and focus on it? If we know where we need to focus. The other piece is this idea of patience, you see something that you want, and you think you're supposed to have it tomorrow, but you forget how long it's taking you to get to where you are today.
Mary Harcourt 44:12 And like why is that? Is that just human nature? Are we trained that way? Is it all those little voices in our head?
Benjamin Ritter 44:18 It's fear. So it's, you know, our bodies are programmed to avoid loss to avoid danger. And if we're safe in an area of our life, our brains know that we don't have to pay attention to it. So we put the magnifying glass on the things that are wrong. So we have to choose to put the magnifying glass and things that are right.
Mary Harcourt 44:36 Yeah, I love that. Well, Dr. Ben, thank you so much for being with me. I really appreciate this time that we had going over just a lot. I feel like you have so much information. I hope all of our listeners will reach out to you find you on LinkedIn, follow you on the social media platforms that you have available. And check out your website. I think you have a lot to offer and I'm so glad that you were able to spend time with us tonight.
Benjamin Ritter 45:00 Thank you so much for having me. Yeah, serious. If anyone wants to reach out, send me a message. I'm happy to. happy to chat and let me know that you heard me on the show.
Mary Harcourt 45:09 That wraps up today's episode. For more information on our guests. You can find them at Mary harcourt.com under the episodes tab. You can always find me on Instagram at Mary Harcourt underscore an app the cosmic glow light. I hope you enjoyed today's episode and many more to come.
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