Dare to Leap Podcast with Kathy Goughenour
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Part of the Journey is Learning How to Fail with Dr. Cheryl Lentz

Dr. Cheryl Lentz is known as the Academic Entrepreneur and is a keynote speaker and best-selling author. She teaches others how to process their failures and move forward more effectively. The reality is, if you want to get to the other side and succeed, you have to embrace failure! Dr. Cheryl shares her thoughts and tips on how to overcome what’s holding you back and to make the entrepreneurial leap.

Part of the Journey is Learning How to Fail with Dr. Cheryl Lentz

Hello, everybody. So excited to have Dr. Cheryl Lentz here today with us. She has given me permission to call her Dr. Cheryl. And I’m very excited to be able to do that. I just want to tell you a little bit about her professionally before we jump in and just know this is going to be a red-hot interview. So, strap in, get ready for the ride because we are going to have a lot of fun with Dr. Cheryl. She is a keynote speaker and international best-selling author.

She is known as the academic entrepreneur. She is a dynamic speaker who intensely connects with audiences around the globe. One thing that I’ve already found incredibly interesting about her is that she has one foot in academia and one foot in the business and entrepreneurial space. And her goal is to offer audiences pearls of wisdom they can use in their personal and professional lives. And we’re going to dig into all of that a little bit with Dr. Cheryl. Welcome.

Hello, hello. It’s such a pleasure to be here. And I have trouble saying that entrepreneur thing I can do it once a show. So, don’t ask me to say it again either!

And you know, I could probably say it tons without being on here. But as soon as I am recording, my tongue starts getting tied. But hey, I am all about progress, not perfection. That’s so insane in fact Dr. Cheryl, I hear you are actually famous for talking about the F word.

I am, but I guarantee you it’s not the F word your listeners are thinking about right now. So, let’s reframe that one just a little bit, the F word are talking about is failure. And this is something that is a difficult topic because most people don’t like to talk about that F word. I cannot I can tell you that we don’t teach it in academia except for me. We don’t teach in Corporate America, I’ve had bosses absolutely back off and resist and my whole point is fail faster, succeed sooner, I want to get everything out of your system the wrong way around that Mulberry Bush so we can get it to the right way. And anything’s easy once you know how.

But that process. Yeah, we don’t like that. We don’t like how it feels. We don’t like what it looks like. We don’t like how we actually have to say it because it’s emotional. And that’s the part that failure has for whatever reason, it’s another four letter word like work and, and pain and things we like to avoid. And I did and I have some epic failures that I talk about in a lot of the keynote speaking and doing and will be the focus of my TED Talks here in October. But it’s an interesting opportunity to be able to look at what is failure telling us.

And here’s a little inside baseball, that failure is a gift. And I know we don’t think of it as such, we think of it as anything but! I am going to run as fast as my little legs can carry me out the door and to avoid it. And the only ones who really get failure are the people who run into a burning building, and you will run towards it. I’m not suggesting you seek it out. But I’m not suggesting you run away from it because some of my greatest triumphs came from my most epic failures, and they were not the easiest lessons to learn.

Wow, well, thank you so much for sharing with us about the F word, which is failure. And congratulations on your upcoming a TED talk in October.

I am really excited about that. It’s been 10 years in the making. I’ve always been a bridesmaid never a bride. And this one, they really like the idea. And this is going to be around the anatomy of failures, where failure lives in the brain and in the heart. And it’s very interesting to look at some of that biology about it because we talk about it. But that’s part of the reason we run away from it because we don’t like how it makes us feel. So, we just assumed that if we don’t feel it won’t affect us. The answer is no, that’s not the easy way forward.

If we want to be able to look failure in your eye, we’ve got to be accountable to it. We have to own it. We have to process it, but there’s no shortcuts. And as a matter of fact, one of my favorite quotes It’s a quote by Napoleon Hill, and it’s gonna be the title of my next book I’m working on, it’s called “Failure has no alibi”. And it’s such a powerful meeting of going, yep, the buck stops here, baby, we’re gonna go ahead and look at it. And only when we can do it, can we take our power back and look at it that this isn’t a bad thing?

It’s actually a good thing. And I’ve had some amazing failures. But it’s took me decades, I’m sorry to say, to learn how to process them. And so that’s what I do with my students. And a lot of my consulting clients, I teach them how to process failure so they can get there faster and get going with things as opposed to staying stuck and remaining stuck, if not completely ignoring it for the rest of their lives. And I don’t think that’s the right answer. And around the fairgrounds, you know.

Thank you so much for sharing all of that. A question that I have for you is, because by the way, I totally agree with you that failing fast is the way to succeed even faster, because I too, have experienced some epic failures. But I had the fear of failure. And so for many, many, many decades, I would resist doing anything that I felt like I might fail at. Do you have any tips on how to stop resisting that failure and just running towards it. And through it, and any other wording you want to use?

Oh, there’s two strategies that are really helpful here. And part of it is looking at start at the end and work backwards. What do you want? And then ask yourself, what do you really want? And what are you willing to give up to get there, and a lot of times is, and I use this example is in their toddlers have the most amazing way on how to learn failure, because they at their age, what are they about two do not have any kind of stigma with failure, what do they do, they fall down, they get up, they giggle, they fall down, they giggle and they do it some more. And they rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat, because they’re not interested in the failure that we get stuck on. They’re interested in the cookie that mom has got. They want that Grandma, right.

And it’s going to get in there faster. As they’re listed. As they figure out how to do this a walking thing, it’s a means to an end. And if we can look at failures, just the process, because failure is not us. Failure is not the outcome. Failure is not the destination. Failure is not who we are. And that’s why we’re afraid of it. And that’s why we have fear of it. Because it hurts when we do it, well then don’t stay there and just figure it out, get the you know, do the walking thing, get a little giggle get to make a game out of it. If I could turn every one of your listeners into a two-year-old, it would take away because here’s what we learn. We learn the pain of failure. We don’t think of it as a game. We don’t think of it as fun. We think of it as a Hey, I want to avoid that pain. So, if I don’t do it, I won’t get the pain.

Just like with the Oh, those of us because I’m divorced. And the idea of getting remarried is a oh my gosh, I went there done there and got the T shirt not interested. Not because I don’t want the good part of marriage because I’m afraid of what happened in my last one that didn’t work out so well. The idea is if you can simply look at it, it’s a process. It’s a learning it’s a means to an end and not get stuck there. The fear will go away. But here’s the other thing, one of our famous presidents FDR World War Two, feel the fear and do it anyway.

Those of us who are on the other side of it, it’s not that we’re not afraid. It’s not that it doesn’t hurt. But there are no shortcuts. And you have to get to the other side. And you have to do the work. And a lot of us are just Yeah, I don’t think so. And when I have one of my epic failures, when I was in my 20s, I just decided going, I’m done. First time, and many of us you have to rinse, repeat, you have to rinse repeat, you have to rinse repeat. Think of Edison and the light bulb took him 997 ways how not to build light bulb, 998 work, because he kept showing up. And I imagine Edison just sitting there taking off things going out to didn’t work 15 didn’t work 365. And it wasn’t a big deal. It was simply a systematic way of deciding things didn’t move forward. No big deal because he didn’t put the emotional pain of failure. He just kept doing it. Because the goal was to get the light. The toddler, the goal is to get the cookie. It is not to focus on the end destination. But we hear when we fail, we suck and we internalize it in the head. And we’re going oh, I must be awful. Like No, no, no.

Here’s the second key. Separate yourself the person lovely, amazing, terrific. I’m sure your listeners are brilliant people. separate that from your skill. Yeah, nobody comes out of the womb walking and talk and nobody decides they’re going to be a rocket scientist today. You don’t leave med school being the world’s best surgeon. You’ve got to have the ability to learn. We’re all a work in progress and you got to forgive yourself when you don’t kind of get it right. But Edison, you got to keep showing up. And unfortunately in my 20s, one of my epic failures, I stopped at one and I let it stop me for 30 years.

Kathy, I am the queen of failure 30 years and I’m thinking your audience a whole lot better than I did. Because I just avoided it, I put in this nice pretty little box, I put it in the back of my closet, and I let it sit there. And I ignored the messages and the messengers. And at some point only recently, November of this year, actually did that messenger come back and say, Alright, it’s time when the student is ready, the teacher appears. And I was open to being able to have it. And it’s funny because I was dismissed from the program at the University of Illinois in the School of Music because I wasn’t good enough.

And a piano found its way to me in November, brought music back into my life, I hadn’t played 30 years. Now, I can’t say I’m the maestro that I used to be in my 20s his fingers don’t have that magic weight anymore. But that has brought a point that I had a choice to correct a failure for 30 years, Kathy, and it was painful. And it was awful. And my Husky still leaves the house when I play as good as I once was. But that’s the point of I was ready. And I went through the tears and I went through the emotion and I went through it and then it just the heart The Chains around my heart just started to melt because I was willing to take that power gone. I sat back that I didn’t do it. But now I have the chance to make it right. And it was still scary. But if I would know now what I knew, then maybe it would have taken a few weeks, maybe a few years, but certainly not three decades. So, get there a little faster than I did. I’m just saying.

Yeah, and I love that. I love what you’re talking about with the process, think about feeling as a process, because it really does take the emotion out.

And it took some time because I can still remember and I’m one of those annoying people valedictorian, the whole nine yards. And I remember getting my first see, that was more than 35 years ago. I remember the first F and it didn’t stand for fantastic. I was traumatized. But the point my parents were trying to list because that f is what made it on the refrigerator, not my thousands of A’s you know and all my brilliant work. And I can still remember that that less than that is a process even though I eventually did get my A that semester, but I worked my darn toots off to get it, let me tell you, but it was a fear factor of a Oh my God, I’m not good enough.

That’s what we hear. That’s what we internalize. We need to change that soundtrack and say, No, no, no, it’s just a little it’s just for today. I didn’t do really well on that test. It wasn’t the final grade. I didn’t do really well on this skill. It’s not the final outcome. Malcolm Gladwell says it takes us 10,000 hours to master everything. So, think about driving a car, we fail at that every time trust me, some people still fail in that even though they have the license, right? Seriously, looking at it, it’s a skill. And so that really is the secret is separate your person from the skill. Keep working on the skill, but don’t tie that ego so that anytime somebody gives you feedback, notice that I use a positive word because even criticism everyone’s like, Oh, we cringe. For my students, if I call it an exercise instead of an exam, another four letter word, their scores go up 20%. Why? Fear.

They had a bad exam and they remember it. And so they will do anything. And the minute I say test, and then I say exam, they’re like, oh, everybody in the audience just cringes. They just drop it in tonight. But if I call it an exercise, oh no big deal, so a rose is a rose is a rose, not quite this time, Shakespeare, what we call it impacts how we feel about it. If we can take that emotional sting out of it, no problem. So I just get up one more time and I got down, dust myself off. And here we go again. Part of failure is just showing up.

And if you can’t learn to fail, you won’t succeed. As most people are more afraid of success than they are of failure, but it’s simply a process and somewhere along the line failure got a really bad rap. And you got to go make friends with failure. Just say hey, it’s just part of life. I got this. I didn’t do so well today. I’ll do better tomorrow. And that’s it. But we put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect. Trust me, former valedictorian, perfectionist, here we go. All of the books that I’ve published 45 of them, trust me, I had to get over perfection because they’re not perfect. I’m sorry to disappoint you. They aren’t. But they’re there.

What is failure telling us? Failure is a gift and I know we don’t think of it as such. Share on X

Because there was an important message to say and I kept showing up and I have four more books gonna be out before the end of the year and I even did my first children’s book that I’m a little bit fearful of quite candidly. Because that’s not my M.O. I am the academic, I am the all in now my first children’s book and I’m just working on the cover. It should be out by October. I’m really worried, going what is the world going to think About a children’s book. But I tell you, my publisher keeps or my production guy keeps telling us, don’t you have that book coming out called Failure Has No Alibi?

You better get moving on this because you made a promise you made a commitment and is going to publish this like, absolutely it will. I’m just so I’m still fearful even though I do things, but the fact is, here’s the secret, you got to take action, you still have to do them and understand that anything you do, you’re taking a risk. You’re putting a target on your back and saying, great, and so I asked people when they you know, they comment, even if they don’t like one of my books, that’s okay. But my question to them is always how many books have you published? How many speeches have you made? How many companies do you own, and then they say, Oh, it’s like, if you didn’t vote, you don’t get a right to complain and be part of the process, we can have an honest dialogue.

If you’re not willing to vote, you don’t be part of this election in there, I wouldn’t let people in my classes that used to annoy my bosses on election night, if you didn’t vote, I won’t tell you who to vote for. Did you get to be part of process? Take some action, join the rest of us, publish that first book, if you have something to say, share it with the world, and we’ll have a dialogue with you. But if you’re not willing to share, you got to be a little careful people in glass houses, I’m just saying.

And oh, my goodness, you are such an action taker, I am so impressed with all the things you just rattled off that you have accomplished.

And that’s all because people say that he’s paralyzed them. And I’m thinking, this is an opportunity here and I understand the little virus is screwing with us and a lot of levers, I get that. But you have a choice. You can either a year from now be having a year has passed, despite whatever that’s going on. Or you can take a lot of action. And during COVID I’ve actually done more speaking and more books than I have in the last two years. It’s like an opportunity for me.

Yeah, I say you can wallow and worry. And the year is gonna go by, or you can take massive action. And the year is going to go by.

And I’ve screwed up the children’s book from the get go. It’s already four months behind where it should be because again, I had thought because I’ve published 200 books, and that’s my company I own a publishing company has three imprints now. We’ve got 25 Awards and all stuff. Eventually we figured it out. But the children’s book was kicking my butt because it was very different than anything I’ve ever done before. Did I fail epically. I went through three illustrators, quite a few things and kept doing it wrong.

And now it’s like, Ah, now that it’s done, I get it. So now, all someone is, is who’s an expert is someone who knows more than you. I tell my students, I’m not above them. I’m ahead of them or above them or below them. I’m just ahead of them the process why I’ve got 74 grads, you think by now I’d figured it out? Did I know it for the first one? No, probably not even by six or seven. You just got to keep showing up. And that’s part of that mental track as a lot of things I’m doing is not perfect, but I’m doing and that to me is amazing. And I get better. The first ones aren’t always stellar. But I’m hoping the first children’s book will be it’ll be out in time for Christmas.

Well, it’s definitely going to be amazing no matter what. And I’m looking forward to it. I have grandchildren. So, I’ll be checking that out. Do you know the name of it yet?

Yes. It’s called Two Babies In A Manger. It is a story that I heard, believe it or not, have any of us can remember any sermons. We’ve had a church, I remember two. And I’m 53 years old. And I heard this one or actually, this one found me Christmas Eve last year. And it was a I’m crying in church. And I’ve never had that experience save for one other time. And when I started retelling that story throughout the entire holiday, everyone’s like, you need to go do that children’s book. But I don’t do this show that that’s not my M.O. I’m going well, Alrighty then. So, this is a story who needed to be told, and I took on the mantle. And trust me, it has been nowhere near where I thought it would be.

But I’m hoping when I see the final product that I’m hoping by the end of next month, I’ll actually have a proof in my hand that I’ll be looking at it going. Wow. So, do it wrong, do it badly. Just do it and then figure out how to do it right. And that’s just part of the process. But I can tell you a little nervous when it puts it out there you’re gonna see all the other really impressive books and then you have a first children books, I hope, if anything, it will say we did it during COVID we did it because it’s not something they ever wanted to do. And a lot of people have been asking me how to publish children’s book and I always do everything first.

I can know how to do it wrong. When I’m their mentor and their coach now I can say oh yeah, you want to do Yeah, no, that didn’t work out so well. And oh, we don’t over here. Following my footsteps because it’s so much easier than trying to reinvent that wheel that we do 1000 times a day. And just go ahead and find a different way forward because make your own mistakes. Try not to make the mistakes as you’ve heard because we’ve been there, why bother doing what we do be your own mistakes?

I love that, yeah. Because you can go a lot faster when you learn from someone like you, Doctor C. See, and not make those same mistakes, and then make whatever the mistakes are going to be unique for you. So, let’s just keep practicing.

I like that experience by proxy, I love it. There are so many things I want to talk with you about. I’m going to shift topics here and go to your book. And your whole, I don’t know if you call it a system or about it, but there is the Refractive Thinker. And the subtitle is Project Management Strategies to Enhance Workflow and Productivity. Could you start by just telling us a little bit about the Refractive Thinker and your thoughts behind that, and then we’ll talk a little bit about productivity?

Perfect, I’ll kind of start a little bit backwards. The Refractive Thinker is trademarked is now going to be, we actually have the new one coming out October 23 of this year, and it will be volume 21, I’m sorry, volume 19. There’s 21 in the series, because we did one three times. But this point was, it’s just for Doctoral scholars, and I’ll do the name. And then I’ll do the reason why we did this, I was a critical thinking professor, for my first seven years of teaching, I’ve been teaching about 20 years now, it was 20 years in January. And I always found it to be incomplete. You’d always have in the box out of the box in the box out of the box. And it really annoyed me. Because the point going is that all there is because if thinking is inside the box, and critical thinking is outside the box, what lies beyond the box.

And that’s where the name Refractive Thinker. So, it’s now adding a third leg to the stool because we as Doctoral scholars, we are in the business of looking at what’s next. What’s the next step? How is it different? What is the new twist that’s going to be the innovation the outside? Or what if it’s not a box at all? This is the Einstein type of thinking, the Da Vinci type of the inventors, the newness of we don’t know what it is yet. Maybe it’s a triangle, maybe it’s a hexagon, maybe we don’t know. But what do you do when it’s in process in development, as it’s coming to fruition? And so when I looked at that, when I graduated, gosh, more than this is actually when I started my company more than 14 years ago.

It was the idea of how do we get research that is from academia, because we Doctoral scholars, we spend years. It took me four years and three months to earn my Doctorate. And I know others that have done it year and a half I know my mentor did his in ten. So, the question is, you got all of this research that’s stuck in academia. But it’s put in a format that even forget I tell my students though, since academic gobbly gook, you don’t want to read 676 pages of that academic stuff, but you will read a synopsis. So, my goal for my company was always to what’s next? What are we talking about what’s new and research that the business owners need to know? But they’re not willing to invest all those hours to read it.

So, we do is we do this series, and it’s called the Refractive Thinker. And then we pick a title. And the subtitle is a word like project management. What we’ve done, we’ve done healthcare, we’ve done nonprofit, we’ve done culture, we’ve done women in leadership, we’ve done strategy and innovation, our next one is going to be on social media. And part of this is what is the research around this topic, that we can take about a 10 to 12 page executive summary, to be able to say, here’s what we found, here’s why you care and, business owner, here’s how you make or save money at it. And now we’ve culled all that down, we write it with our marketing hat, and we give you inside baseball tips and tricks that you need to know without having to go through all the stuff. I’m really trying to build a bridge between academia and the business world because we have to do all the research.

There are no shortcuts and you have to get to the other side and you have to do the work. Share on X

But the business owners don’t have time and they need it. I want to connect the two. So, this is how this has come to be. And we’ve been doing this for 14 years. We’ll have quite a few in the series. And it’s been very, very popular. Many of them are number one international bestsellers themselves.

Wow. And it’s so interesting, because one of the things that you and I were talking about before we started recording, was your thought on theory is helpful. But it isn’t enough. You know about that?

Sure. When you’re looking at it, there is a study done and everyone knows John Stossel, but they had a fact, give you $100,000 to start your own business or go to school and get a degree, what’s the most effective outcome? And the answer really, is neither. Because you need to have some kind of a foundation, when you build a house, you have to have the concrete foundation that you just can’t go ahead and start decorating and moving the furniture in until you build the house.

And I think the theory in academia is where we build the house, we start setting you have the building blocks, you know what leadership is, you know what management is, you know what the tools in the toolbox are? Now we go about and use those tools to be able to build this. So, this connection, but somewhere there’s a disconnect, because most of academia teaches W2’s. I look at my students and it’s like, well, there’s yours. Whereas the business owners were the entrepreneurs, if you don’t own your own business I own two, that you don’t get theory is just what we know until proven otherwise, business has to go out and use it therein lies the academic entrepreneur, I want to be able to teach you the building blocks, I want to teach you to go out and use it.

And it’s so funny when I have my reading, my students actually sound surprised when they work. And I have to sound surprised, really, it works is that exciting. And I know that that’s the idea of action. And there’s a disconnect between academia, in theory, we know about it, I want the business we want to do about it. And therein lies the connection, because that’s how I’ve done everything I’ve done. And most of the compliments I get from any of my business coaches is that you’re an instant implementer. I do it, I’m thinking, I’m spending a lot of money on your services, I’m pretty sure I want to do my homework to get the ROI, the return on investment out of this.

But a lot of people don’t think that and I get frustrated. So therein lies that action step. But you don’t know what to take action, unless you have the building blocks. So, leadership, medicine, healthcare, whatever it is you’re studying, then you know what the terms are, what the tools are, then we give you the application to go and use them on there or find new ways. But there is sometimes a disconnect between my textbooks are not a good story. Okay, I don’t want you to go, oh, isn’t that sweet.  I want you to look at the leadership.

And I’ll actually take the leadership and actually implement it because there’s too many of my students who are so frustrated, they have such poor leaders. And their question is, you see the I love me while behind me, we all have degrees, we all have that fancy certificate. And most of us from a leadership standpoint, have had to take leadership classes. I have a doctorate in leadership. But the problem is there’s a difference between knowing and doing.

And I want that take the building block. And I want you to take that theory and I want you to go use it, go build something go change the world instead of going Oh, isn’t that a nice story? It’s like, yeah, that doesn’t work for me. So, thank you. It’s the biggest compliment. Most people will say it’s like, but you go and do things. Yes, they’re not perfect, but they’re there. And that’s really the goal.

That is so huge. And I made a couple of notes to go back is that there’s so much in what you just said, I just love it. So, one thing that I hear time and time again, from people who are considering starting a business is I don’t want to start over. And I tell them you’re not starting over. And what you just said about it being important to build that foundation, they are just building on top of what they’ve already done. The education, they already have the experiences in their corporate world, or wherever that they’ve already done. I love that you mentioned that.

Well, here’s the disconnect, I think people don’t quite understand is when you’re paying an expert, we think we hire a plumber that comes into our house, right? They’re their own business owner. We’re hiring a plumber and very annoyed by the way that we’re paying a plumber for maybe $150 to fix our sink in that moment, because they’re there maybe 10-15 minutes. But the question is, is you’re not paying them for the time you spend in your home, you’re paying them for the time they went to learn how to do it the wrong way.

You’re not paying the doctor for the 10 minutes, you’re sitting in their office writing a script, you’re paying him for going to med school, they know which script to write, we know the symptoms because they understand the patterns. This is something that all a business owner is, you’re going to create a business perhaps from scratch. But it doesn’t start from simply starting at the beginning. Because you do have to start. I have to start with my first book. I just start with my first blog, I had to start my first YouTube video. Now there’s thousands of the millions of them hits that are going, but I had to start with one. And a lot of people going well, I’m an executive, Yeah, y’all start the same place. We all do. So, you’re just gonna have to look at it. But the sooner you get started, the sooner you get to the good stuff.

Yeah, and one of the things that I like to think about and you kind of mentioned this before, too, is I don’t want to focus on the pain, because to me, that’s looking backwards. And seeing how hard this has all been. or looking how much further I have to go. I like to look at the game and see how far I’ve already come in life.

The best business advice I’ve ever been given one of them is be a solution to someone else’s problem. When you’re looking at we only have two options when we’re looking at marketing, you need to create a need or fulfill a need. If you already know that somebody has a pain point, give them an aspirin, if I know how to do a lot of things right now. And it’s particularly right now because I’m a 20-year college professor who teaches online. When COVID came in, they shut down the school system.

My world didn’t change. If anything, I felt a little guilty and a lot of our colleagues came together and we published a book in 48 hours so that by Monday morning, they would have all the tools to be able to look at what do you do when you have to go online. You’re not going to learn what I’ve learned in 20 years in 20 minutes, and the people who were in charge of the school systems didn’t know what I’ve known in 20 years to teach to them how to do it in 20 minutes. And so I call my colleagues around the world like, what do you have by five o’clock? And we’ll get it in a book and it was there by 6am. Monday morning.

They said it couldn’t be done. We did it. Anything’s possible once someone does it, right. But the point was, how do you teach, and I still feel a little bit guilty that I’m sitting at home, and I’m carrying a lot of students now because they can’t spend enough of us up who do what we do, because there isn’t enough training, eventually, they will get there. But it’s taking me years to hone my craft. Sure Oh, I know, after 20 years, what I’m doing in the expert, if not, they need my money back. But this is the part that we’re learning is that people need to learn these tools. And we know how to teach them. I spent a lot of time if there’s anybody in the audience listening and you want some free advice and how to do this call me I feel more useful than sitting at home and doing whatever was done.

Because COVID didn’t change my world. I’ve been doing this for more than 14 years exclusively online. And so, there are ways to do this. And anything is easy. Once you know how to talk to us who’ve done it for 20 years, we’ll teach you all the things you need to know. You can start and do it quickly when you need to because of it. And it’s become just another tool in the toolbox.

That is so very important. I look for professional women who I can help start businesses online. And I will tell you that when I have someone with a Doctorate reached out to me, and asked me, Do you think I have what it takes? I’m like, Oh, my gosh, please come, I can help you so fast. Because you have this amazing foundation that we can build from.

That’s it. Part of it is yeah, to have that feel. But we don’t often in academia teach the business part of it. I was amazed at the fact that I have 24 years of all this fancy education, and so much of the stuff I don’t need to know I had to go out and still find coaches to help me in business to keep me in business to look at all the things to start my second company. Now it’s just rinse repeat. Now I teach others how to do it. Why I’ve done it. I do it the right way. Let me tell you, I’ve had to redo my company several times because it was it. Yeah, we didn’t get that part, right, because I didn’t have the blueprint. I knew some of this.

So, I think there’s a point that you have to have that lab step, that action step that Yeah, I’ve done all the knowledge. But that’s not how people work, all that fancy education. And I didn’t even have a business degree, I have a leadership degree is a little bit different. But you don’t have an MBA, and you’re looking at numbers and money and everything I had to go back and learn. And so, you go and find someone who’s done what you’ve done successfully. And you have them teach you how you did or your pay him how to teach you how to do it. Now I got there faster going, Oh, really. So now I’m on to the next step. I am learning so much cool things. And there’s just not enough hours in the day because I’ve got to teach my students and then I have to go and learn me. I’m a lifelong learner, I learn crazy stuff all the time. It’s fabulous.

It is so exciting to keep learning. And I really believe if you’re going to be a successful long-term business owner, I personally don’t think there’s any such thing as a get rich quick scheme, that you’re going to actually make money long term out. But if you’re going to do that, you have to be a lifelong learner.

You also have to lose the ego. And this is the part with some books that you have to be teachable. You have to be coachable. You have to be able to say I was wrong. I don’t know a lot of people who can say that, and I I’m wrong a lot. Thank you very much. But you have to be able to say, oh, okay, so you know more than I do great. Even with the Doctorate, I know a lot about a little. But there’s so many other things that you have to know when to step up, when to step out when to step back. And to know that we don’t know everything.

And that’s a challenge when it comes to the more education you have and the more expertise you have. You just got to lose the ego and be willing to follow others who know more than you again, I’m not above anyone. I’m not below anyone just ahead of you in some quirky little things. I’ll teach you what I know. And you teach you all we know, and we make the world a better place. Isn’t that a wonderful way to go?

I love what you just said you have to learn how to you have to learn when to step up, step out and step back. Thank you for sharing that you’ve got so many little great sayings. I love them. By the way, when if you’re not watching us on YouTube, if you’re just listening to the audio, you might not have seen my jaw dropped to the floor. When Dr. C said that she wrote a book in 48 hours when COVID hit. So that was amazing. Congratulations.

We gave it away free. And it actually within two hours went bestseller because you can do that on Amazon for a few days. Now it’s available for 99 cents but anyone contacts me I will give you the free copy. Our goal is to change the world. That’s our mission. And there is no reason for you to sit at home and struggling when we have the answers no reason whatsoever. And so I feel obligated. I’m the 1% to be able to share what I know because that’s my responsibility. And I take it very seriously. I am here.

I do a lot of training. I’ve been doing a gratis since COVID started There’s no reason I need to sleep at night if you need something I have and your administrators and whatever school, I mean, we have one of the schools I teach for I think we spun out about 26,000 students over the weekend to an online environment, we even hiccup, I should hope not. That’s what we do. But for many people who don’t do what we do, I think it’s our responsibility to help teach them and there’s no reason you’ll figure it out eventually, but we don’t need you to figure it out three years from now, we need to figure it out today.

If you can’t learn to fail, you won’t succeed. Share on X

So wasn’t one of the best books we ever wrote, let me tell you, but it was one of the quickest ones and we were able to do it, it’s an E book. But we’ll get you a copy of it. Our goal is simply and we tried to put as many variables in there as possible. We have stuff from psych stuff, how to be able to help with the stress, how to deal with the nutrition part of this, how to deal with the actual time management, classroom management, here are the tools to be able to do and then here’s something unique, every chapter written by one of my colleagues, I think there’s nine of us has their phone number, their contact information, and they’re willing to talk to you for free on their nickel to be able to help you out because we want to know that we can sleep at night to help you sleep at night. Because we know and now we’re going to help you know and that’s our job. And we’re more than willing to share it with you just loves good business.

I’m telling you, that is amazing. What’s the name of that book?

It’s called Bricks to Clicks. It’s the transition from online, from our from the classroom to online. And the cool thing is an eight-year-old, wrote or did the cover for us. And she was so excited we were doing that and came up with the idea. And her Aunt is on my team and said you can figure out how to do this or eight-year-old did it and we put the cover together and, we’re off to the races Monday morning and it was there for everybody.

That’s fabulous. Well, this is going to be great information to share. Because a big part of my audience here, it’s teachers.

I’ll just give you a copy. If there’s some way they can download it by all means it’s gone around the world right now. Again, it’s 99 cents if you had to do it to Amazon, because they won’t leave it perpetually free. And that’s the lowest we could make it. But in the event that you just email or I’ll get you a copy of it.

We can include it in the show notes. If you’re okay.

That’s fine, I’m happy to just get your copy of it’s a PDF files easily downloadable and any email-able.

Yeah. Thank you so much. I can’t even believe where all this has gone already. I knew we had a lot to talk about, but that you’re just blowing my mind in every way. Thank you so much for sharing this. I want to go back to one thing that you mentioned, which is the way you think the way the Refractive Thinker. A lot of what you’re doing is looking at innovative things. And I’d love to get your opinion on the future. What do you see happening for us? Predictions? Any thoughts you have? I promise, I won’t hold you to this and come back and go, you said, but I am so very interested in people who think the way you do and what you see for us coming up in the future, anything you’d like to share?

Well, I know that the tools that we are being forced to comply with right now, which is what it’s not. Change Management is a different concept of being able to say when we need to change, there’s a benefit to change. But there’s a psychology of change. And we didn’t care what the change is we don’t like it. Because we like to stay where we’re comfortable, even if it’s wrong, even if it’s bad, change is traumatic because you know the devil you know versus the devil you don’t know.

And so, when we look at this, as my hope, is force compliance is making things go faster in a variety of areas. Because think about our world wars, for example. Remember, I was a history professor, things move faster in medical discoveries and logistics and things because form follows function. You don’t have five days to be able to do this, you need to do it in five hours figure it out. And so that’s what COVID is forcing people a tool that we’ve always had in the toolbox. That’s why I’m amazed when people are saying, Oh, well, they’ve discovered zoom, and they’ve discovered it’s not like it was invented yesterday.

We’ve had this for 20 years. Matter of fact, I’ll tell you when I first did distance that I lived in Tokyo, Japan, and I wanted to stay with the university that I was with when we transfer back stateside and I didn’t want to transfer so back then distance and online education was an email address, and a VCR tape if you know what a VCR tape if not ask your mom. And so, this is the part that now what I’m doing the class I teach tonight is going to be at military bases around the world live and in color from Chicago to their house. I had a student last term who was in Jerusalem on the other side of the world got up at two in the morning just to take my class photo.

So now the point is, is here’s a prediction. We need to keep these tools in the toolbox because there are five different hybrids right now for the online different versions and for every type of learning styles out there. You don’t have just one and I teach the same course. And five different modalities five different ways. I want teachers to give these choices because some students are going to thrive in this new environment, because it’s going to push them forward. Others are going to be able to find a different way because you’re some students love online some people need in person.

I don’t think either one of those extremes are the answer, I think somewhere in the middle that you’re going to have to hybrid, they’re gonna have to take both some classes I teach actually have both components in one class, others, they’ll take an online class, they’ll take an in person class, and then there’s hybrids and a few other modalities in the middle. So, my prediction, and my hope is that we continue to keep these tools that we’ve been forced to use, as always a tool that we’ve had in the toolbox, because then it brings us all forward. My biggest fear is that we’re going to go back alright, COVID is over now back to baseball.

And what we need to do, these are fabulous tools, advances in medicine advances and technologies, zoom has added so many features, because there’s now millions of people using it, where we’ve been using it for the last 10 years. And it’s like really, so more people means more pressure, on getting innovation going forward. My hope is that you’re going to see some amazing things that I hope we can maintain, if we take the time, because here’s a history quote that bothers me. If we do not know our history, we are doomed to repeat it. Edmund Burke, he said that centuries ago, I don’t want to reinvent the wheel. But this wheel is now here, we’ve been forced to endure it, let’s make sure that we keep the lesson so that we can move forward with it, not put it on the shelf when we’re done with it and go back to what we’ve always done.

Because Einstein has a brilliant, brilliant quote, you cannot put the seeds, you don’t the seeds of solution cannot be from the same ways we created the constructs of the problem. You’ve got to find new ways. The question is, can we keep them so that we can now put this, that’s the new line in the sand that we can move forward? I don’t want to move back. But I suspect that we might for a little bit because many people are gonna say, Oh, thank God, I can go back to teaching the way I’ve always done it’s like, yeah, that’s not gonna work.

So I’m hoping we can just learn to breathe through it and keep working and talk to people like us that eventually the new normal will have and you’ll be as competent as we are an online that again, my world changed, I actually felt a little guilty because it didn’t. But for some people, their entire world shifted.

Yeah, and I love that prediction, because that’s actually my prediction for the business world too, and my hope for the business world is that corporations will no longer be so resistant to having people work from home or wherever they want to work to work remotely, to work virtually. And they will allow that hybrid without forcing people back into the office.

For some jobs, you’re going to need have that flexibility. Now we’ve learned through this, I know commercial real estate will never be the same. There are a lot of people that are going Why am I paying all this overhead, they can just do it out of their house, and I pay them a second, all kinds of different hybrids out there. But there are some things that you’re going to need to have people, I can’t imagine a surgeon being able to operate from home and just say, they’re gonna have to go to the hospital.

But for some things, we’re looking I call it the Uber effect. Uber didn’t build a new system, they use the capacity of an old system. So did Airbnb. They didn’t have to build a new widget, they used a new application. So can we just look at what worked with some of these things and find new ways because I guarantee you the commercial real estate that’s going to be empty by businesses that no longer need it, it’s going to be filled in another way by something that’s even better than we created before. That’s just evolution, we just need not be afraid of it. And most people are.

Yeah, absolutely. And like you said, this has forced schools, businesses, everything, to let go of that resistance because they had to. And now just like you’re saying, I do hope that they will use what they’ve learned and adapt to what’s going to work better going forward.

And try this as I take is if we start at the end, and tell them what’s the benefit. If we already know that we’re resistant to change whatever that change is, then we can we know how change management processes work, what’s in it for them, show them the benefit, do it slowly, but do it over time and build that capacity build that change, and it will stick. But it’s just like a garden. If you don’t water it, the weeds will come and the old way is stronger because you’ve done it longer doesn’t mean that it’s the best way.

But even Microsoft will eventually force compliance because they will obsolesce this system that we had 3.1 that was 20 years ago. They said we’re not supporting it anymore, get on the new train or find a new system. And so sometimes you have to obsolesce yourself in order to be able to get that force compliance because we don’t like changes. That’s just human nature.

So, the name of this podcast is Dare To Leap and I feel like you’re talking about that right now. That daring to leap forward requires your willingness to change. And any other factor?

Oh, sure, the point is, is you’re going to have to look yourself in the mirror and have the advice that one of my best friends gives me, he knows every time I call him, this is not going to be a pleasant conversation, he only says one thing, suck it up, Buttercup. And I will remember that forever. And say, another friend of mine has the same concept of embrace the suck. And I’m thinking either one will work but you have to be able to dive in, you can’t be a little bit pregnant here, you’re going to have to be able to peel off the band aid.

Now if you have to go a little bit more slowly, I will admit that at 53, change is not something that’s easy. For me, particularly with technology, give someone a 12-year-old for cell phone, and they can do and they give it back to me and I don’t even know how they did whatever it is that they did. I now have to teach another year, a younger generation how to teach us the new technology. But we have to show up. I know, unfortunately, are some people who are so afraid of technology right now. And we need their wisdom.

We need that brain trust, and they’re giving in the retirement papers because they’re too scared. And I’m going we can’t afford to lose your experience. We just need to find a new way to marry it. We’re now looking at accountability partners. Let’s pare some of the folks who have the wisdom with some of the people who can do all the fancy tech stuff because I get there eventually. But I am not an early adopter, by any means. In order to dare to leap, you got to have faith. You got to be willing to take that first step.

I’ll tell you a quick story as I started my first nonprofit organization way back in 1997. When I was in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I knew there was a need. A friend said you figure out how to do this. I’ll send you the crate, we’ll get you started. We’ll get that first dog out of the shelter. We have now saved over 1000 Siberian Huskies in my 501c 3 is still there, even though I started it, but my crew is running it because I’m 2000 miles away. That’s a leap of faith.

I’m not sure why anyone followed me anywhere back then. But here’s the courage of leadership, be willing to take the first step. And you will have people follow you. You’re not alone, that many people think they have to solve world hunger. Make a sandwich. We’re not asking you for kidney or for you to be a rocket science. We’re not asking you to the moon. We’re asking you change your little corner of the world and have faith and know there’s enough around us take that leap, dare to leap. There’s going to be a whole lot of other people that can support you because we need you. You have to be here right now because we don’t have an option. You can’t sit on the sidelines. Jump into the deep end of the pool. We don’t always get it right. But I guarantee you’re gonna have love and support to help you when you don’t. We’re right here, I promise.

And that leads me right into people who are listening to this and they say I want more Dr. C. How do they get it?

We’ve got quite a few options you can type in Dr. Cheryl Lentz and you’ll find me all over the internet. I’ve got about 12 different websites. My YouTube videos, I do a new YouTube video usually once a week for my students. You can me find it all the time in there. And it’s usually this week, it’s all about l The L Word meaning love is damn good business like Steve Farber, his new book, It’s Fantastic. You can catch me there, you’ll see all the links below.

I also have DrCherylLentz@gmail.com. I do a lot of speaking, my TEDx talk will be out of TEDx Farndale, 2020, October 10, out of New York. There’s lots of ways to find me, even my cell phone, just don’t get excited. It’s a Vegas cell phone, I’ve moved 38 times, my friends know to keep my address in pencil, but keep my phone and I just kept my Vegas number. I’ll be there, but it’s a matter of I’m always about trying to change the world. And I’ll do it one person at a time because you shouldn’t have to struggle. If some of us have the answers are going to help you now that we’re on the other side of it, call me I’m here.

Well, Dr. Cheryl Lentz, I want to thank you so much for sharing all of this information. I’m pretty sure I’m gonna need to have you back on because I have so many more questions for you!

I am more than happy to do this part of this, there’s so much amazing things. Here’s what the I will leave your listeners with, though. I want them. I know we’ve shared an awful lot this last hour together. And it can be a little overwhelming. Pick one thing that has touched your heart that we’ve said, Take one action step. And then the next day, take another again, this can be overwhelming when you see so much.

I didn’t do all of this in a day I graduated back in 2007. I just do what’s called focus learning. I do three things a year most of the time, and I’m doing six or eight, but at least three. And this is something that you’ve got to take action because action relieves stress and action changes the world. Don’t try and solve world hunger. Just make a sandwich one random act of kindness, making a smile for someone will change the world, idea the power you have in your hands. So, go do it.

Thank you so much. And with that we will end on that wonderful note.

Thanks so much for having me, Kathy, it’s been an honor and a privilege. Go forth and conquer, do great things. We’re waiting for leaders like you. See you around the quad!

About Dr. Cheryl Lentz

DTL 010 | Dr. Cheryl Lentz

Dr. Cheryl Lentz, Keynote Speaker, International Best Selling Author, known as the Academic Entrepreneur, is a dynamic speaker who intensely connects with audiences around the globe. Having one foot in academia and one foot in the business and entrepreneurial space, her goal is to offer audiences pearls of wisdom today they can use tomorrow in their personal and professional lives.

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