Who decides what success is to you? Today’s guest is Laura Gassner Otting, the author of Limitless: How to Ignore Everybody, Carve your Own Path, and Live Your Best Life. Laura emphatically believes that only we can define what success is to us. After being a successful CEO, Laura was able to branch out and do what feels like success to her.
She is an author and keynote speaker who truly believes that we should all have the courage to find our personal calling and live a life of unlimited possibility. Laura shares her background starting in law school to The White House to CEO to creating her own personal brand. We also talk about some great concepts from her book that can help all of us open up to limitless possibility.
[08:07] Laura's new book Limitless was originally called Purpose. That book was about whether or not we feel meaningful in the work that we do. Does it add to lives that we want to build? Purpose wasn't really flowing, but Laura's editor knew she was on to an even bigger idea.
[09:46] She wanted people to stop being limited by everyone else's definition of what success should be or Limitless.
[11:13] Laura spent 20 years interviewing people who were at the top of their game, but changing careers to do something more meaningful to them.
[12:04] Laura went to law school thinking she would be Florida's first female Senator. An accidental stop at Bill Clinton's campaign office inspired her to work on the campaign and eventually even work in The White House.
[14:34] She did data entry at The White House, but felt imposter syndrome. As she was faking it until she made it, she realized that she could actually say "I don't know."
[18:10] She began asking questions and gaining mentors and champions.
[21:25] She got an opportunity to research for Peace Corps and worked at The White House for four years.
[23:33] She then worked as a headhunter in Boston until she had a moment of rage and realized that she wasn't part of the solution.
[27:18] She ended up starting her search firm with a phone call from a friend and taking a chance on a $100 an hour quote. She ran the firm for 15 years. They were selling trust and partnerships not talent.
[29:39] Laura decided to charge clients an hourly rate across the board to not incentivize the higher dollar searches.
[34:04] Laura sold her firm three years ago.
[34:41] She started writing and was invited to give a TEDx Talk. After the exposure, she was asked to give some keynote speeches.
[38:25] She then started training and met other speakers and now it's her job.
[42:59] Laura used to get nervous before speaking and get physically ill. One day it just stopped happening when she knew that she had mastered her material.
[44:57] We are limited by other people and their definitions of success.
[46:15] No one cares and no one is watching us. Most people will respond to you based on their own anxiety.
[48:09] Consonance is a feeling of frictionless belonging or momentum in stride. Everything you love to do is being called upon by the thing you care about the most.
[51:04] The four Cs: Calling or the thing you care about more than anything else. Connection or would anyone care if you called in tomorrow. Contribution is about you. How does the work you do enable you to manifest your values? Control or how much agency do you have to choose work that affects your life.
[52:22] Each of us are going to want these at different amounts.
[58:18] Work and life need to be aligned, not balanced.
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