Client name: Jane Bishop
Website links: https://www.takethenextstepcct.com/
About page link or bio listed elsewhere: https://www.takethenextstepcct.com/about.php
Book: The Bread Box, Life by the Slice
Books, or any other relevant links:
- For an autographed copy: https://form.jotform.com/70205342227142
- On Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Bread-Box-Jane-Bishop/dp/1498485782
- On GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33268287-the-bread-box?rating=4&utm_medium=api&utm_source=book_widget
Transcript of Our Interview:
So I want to start just by talking a little bit about what is your “it” is your “it” something that you know, or possibly something that you still need to discover.
Well, thanks, Jess, those are both great questions and not to be trite, but it’s both that way. There are some people that are very clear about there ‘it”. In other words, what they want to go for, what they want to accomplish. And then there are others that are not so clear about it either. And there are a lot of reasons why. A couple of quick examples. One is either they’ve been told what they should do and go for, but that’s out of alignment with who they are. Or they’ve never taken the time to invest in themselves, you know, to determine it. So basically I use, go for your it to define what is a goal you’re working on. What is the objective? What is you’re here? So where do you want to go? What is it you want to accomplish? And it’s unique to every person or organization.
And so your “it” is something that’s going to change through time as you progress, you’ll have different “its”.
Oh, absolutely. I’ll use myself as an example. I am a self-proclaimed unplanned entrepreneur. My it in going to college was to be an athletic coach. That was my kind of lifelong dream. That has evolved through the years of my professional life. My core has remained the same. I am a teacher and I’m a coach. That’s my innate wiring. So I did that for five years in two small colleges. I was in tech, I was a teacher at two small colleges and an athletic coach, women’s basketball and softball. And then a transition into the corporate world that I thought would be a temporary transition that ended up to be very extensive. However, I was still teaching and coaching and organizing. I was engaging my gifts and skills. That’s another part of your it. How are you engaging your gifts and your skills because that’s where your passion comes out. When that became clear that was changing. Then I said, well, I’ll start my own business. So the core of who I am, his has not changed, but how I connect my gifts and skills and engage my passion, the it has changed in the environments through the years.
I like that. Engaging your skills, your passions and your gifts. I’ve been in different jobs and notice that I find even though they’re radically different jobs, I find happiness in them when I’m doing the same things I was doing in a different type, like I like teaching and learning as well and so when I’m doing those in that outlet I’m much happier and much more successful.
Exactly, and that means that you in that setting, in that context, you’re really aligned with who Jess is.
So if we don’t know what our it is right now, what are some tips that you would suggest to go about discovering them?
Other than hiring a professional coach and working with the coach to get you through that, there are three things that I can recommend. One take time, and it doesn’t have to be an enormous amount of time. That’s our culture now you hear the word time and, “Oh, I don’t have time, I don’t have time”. Block an intentional amount of time. It could be 30 minutes where you have no distractions, you have nothing. And think through everything that you can think of that you enjoy doing, either personal, in your personal life, or your business life, and just write or draw, depending on what you are.
Then take those items, the second thing is to take a look at the list and identify the top 10, depending on how many you have on your list, but in other words, you’re beginning to narrow the focus, that really rise to the top of your enjoyment and your contentment and fulfillment. Okay?
The third step is then to look at the top three of those that really, there’s no question, it energizes you, it’s not hard, you can stay invested in that particular area for whatever it takes and just feel this is great. You know, that sort of thing.
And then the fourth step, once you’ve done that, then where are you in life? Are you connected where those three can show up or are you not? And that will give you just an informal way to kind of identify the core, your core system. Of course, there are formal assessments that anybody can do and there’s a ton of them, so it would depend on what you’re looking for. Then talk with a trusted colleague or a mentor. This is a way of getting some informal feedback from them. Ask them, What do they see in you? When do they see you the most successful? The most effective? I use the word effective cause success has so different meanings to people. When are you the most effective? When are you the most content? When are you the most fulfilled? And then put all that data together and see what you come up with.
I like that. Yeah. A little side story because it’s oddly applicable here. When I started this business, the way that I started this business was to make two lists. One of them was all the things that I like to do like you’re saying. And I wrote down everything. I wrote down I like to play with dogs, I wrote down everything I could think of and then in the other list, I wrote down things I’m good at. And then I drew from the two of them to see because there are some things that I like that I am not very good at in a business capacity, but that experiment was what led me to start this business and helped me draw out those skills.
You gave yourself permission and you made a choice to take time to think about who Jess is.
Yeah. Which is, is so valuable and so underestimated.
Yes, for as many different reasons as there are people.
That’s great. So you mentioned already a couple of great questions to kind of ask yourself to examine your it and in my experience and at the time that I have known you, I have known you to be a master question asker. You’re very curious. You ask a lot of great questions and I think that asking yourself questions is a really powerful thing. So I’m sure you have up your sleeve a lot of great questions around this topic of your it that we can ask ourselves. Can you tell us some more of them that you have?
Sure. I want to say one kind of side note first. Anybody can learn to ask powerful questions. It starts with listening, and I have been told that listening is one of my strong skills and I value that. And listening is a skill that anybody can improve. And I’m not talking, listening, just hearing the word, you know, the auditory process. It’s listening. It’s staying focused. It’s being in the present. It’s not thinking, okay, well what is she saying and what answer am I going to have to come up with? It’s really focusing on giving that person your undivided attention. When you do that, even people who aren’t naturally curious, they can develop a curiosity. We had a conversation before we started this interview and its because I’m just naturally curious. I want to know the story.
But the questions that I would recommend people around thier it is, one, what is the story that you are telling yourself? People, we all tell ourselves stories all the time and typically they’re based on replays of what happened yesterday, which is based on replays of the day before or the day before. It just continues to evolve that way. The second question that I would offer is, what’s it costing you not to go for your it, or to take the next step.
Another question that I would offer in trying to discover your it is, when you give yourself that time and you start giving yourself rationale and excuses and Oh, I can’t do this or whatever, then think about this, what’s underneath that statement? Now that’s a little bit similar to what is the story you’re telling yourself, but that’s been able to go one level below. What’s underneath that statement? Well then you answer that and then you, well, what’s underneath that statement?
A colleague has said is asking the five levels of why? Well, why is that important? Well, why do you want to do that? You just keep drilling down. It’s kind of like the old peeling back the onion until you get at the root. What’s really driving? What has manifested up on the surface? And the last question, and I use this a lot with my clients when I’ve worked with them for a while, I try not to use it early on. Just say, well, how’s that working for you? Years ago I had a friend of mine, she was so excited, she said, “Oh Jane, I finally bought a treadmill” and there’s a whole backstory, but I won’t take the time to go there, but I say, great. And then I saw her six months later and she said, “Jane, I finally learned how to turn it on”. And I said, how’s that working for you? She said, “well, it’s not yet”. But just a little lighthearted way that we have to check in with ourselves. Well, how’s that working for you?
Yeah, because we don’t take the time to check in a lot of the time, and so I think putting these questions in always, at any stage, even when you know what your it is, is a very helpful check-in and unnecessary check-in for moving forward.
Those are really good questions. So once we have identified our it, the process of achieving it can sometimes feel a little bit overwhelming. Sometimes we have very big it’s. How does Living Life By The Slice, which is something that you’ve said, play into this idea of achieving your it?
One of the most common mistakes that people make going for their it, starting any job, starting a new eating plan, exercise, whatever, is trying to jump in the deep end and do everything all at one time. That’s where the overwhelming factor comes in often. Now that’s a simplistic way of, somewhat generalized, but you get the point of what I’m trying to say. For a person not to get overwhelmed, it’s a conscious choice to give themselves permission to invest in the process. Process in the nature of the word implies time. A process is not, there are going to be some processes, yes. If you’re baking a cake, you have that process of putting all the ingredients together. You will see the end product quicker then you will if you’re trying to make a sustainable shift in business. Okay. Just to give us two pictures.
But choose to invest your time in the process and that means one slice of time, whatever that slice is to you, and you know, Jess, the slice is based on a loaf of bread, you know, a slice of bread that we can get quick energy, sometimes with a slice or comfort food, that sort of thing. And be in that moment when you choose to live life by the slice, you’re in that moment. And I don’t mean literally 60 seconds, but in that setting where you are in that context of where you are and think about where am I, what are the information points that I can learn from this moment and what can I pull out of this time in this life by the slice that will help me move forward toward my it.
So here’s a quick example. I had a client recently who had left corporate, not on her own terms, but she was in that in-between trying to decide does she look for another corporate job or does she start her own business? So either one of those implied process cause nobody, well I won’t say nobody, it’s very difficult nowadays in some industries to get an interview, to get through all the algorithms. So we worked out a plan for her to clarify her It. Come to find out she was applying for all the wrong jobs because they were out of aligned with who she was and what she wanted to do because she thought she should go back into corporate. So once we took the time to uncover that, she clearly saw corporate was not where she wanted to be. She wanted to start her own business, but it required certain steps. So then we began to work through those steps. One being, okay, find a part time job, help you pay the bills till you get these other pieces going. But she chose to invest the time in that. That’s the point of that illustration. Had she not, she would either still be floundering or frustrated or in a corporate job that she was totally unhappy with and stressed out about. So let me just summarize. Living life by the slice is choosing to be in the moment where you are and choosing to give yourself time to work the process.
Great. Yeah. So then a, a bigger summary then of everything we’ve kind of talked about is that our first step is to give us some time to sit and think about ourselves, to think about our it, to think about our strengths and to carve out that space. And then we’re moving forward into having our it and breaking it into small actionable steps so we can take it by the slice and we can sit with that moment, sit with each of our accomplishments and learn from them and see them as valuable instead of focusing on, Oh, I’m not up to my big it yet. We’re getting a little bit closer with each step of the way.
Yes. Right, exactly. And I love sports, but football is, is my favorite spectator sport to watch and college basketball, but while we’re in football season, think of a football field, a team, their goal is to get across the goal line and score, but they have to go the full length of the field. Okay. It’s no different if they get one yard at a time and methodically marched down the field and go across the goal line. It’s still six points. Now, occasionally, yes, they have the good play, they have the one that gets them a lot more yards. It’s still an intentional methodical process. They have to go the entire 100 yards to score the touchdown, or to score a field goal. And that’s the way it is. Living life by the slice. It’s just being intentional to define your increments and then work them.
And I might argue, not always, but sometimes the running one really long run and getting a touchdown immediately can end up being a little more painful in the long run than the yard at a time. Because in that yard at a time, I feel like you’re it. It changes shape a little bit. You get a little more perspective, a little more wisdom. And I really value those one yard at a time gains.
Well, and that’s a good point, Jess, because every experience and opportunity that we have in life, those are really our one yards at a time. Those are things that we will build on and draw upon sometimes that we even forget about until we’re in a different setting. Where you are today is a different place than where you were five years ago. Yet what you had learned and gleaned five years ago, you’ve just built upon. You know, had I graduated from college, and my goal was to be an entrepreneur, I would not have the vast wealth of experience and knowledge and training that I had when I started my business 10 years ago. So everything builds like that one yard at a time down the field. So don’t undervalue that, I guess is what I’m saying don’t undervalue that.
That’s great. Well, are there any other tips you want to throw out for people seeking their it, people hoping to discover it, or people pursuing it, to kind of draw this all together?
I would say acknowledge that you’re worth it. You’re valuable. You’re worth it. You have your own it factor to bring to a sphere of influence that only you can bring, and be clear about that, stand on that, embrace it, be confident about it, and then you’ll be a greater influence on those around you.
I love that. Thank you so much, Jane. This was very helpful. Thanks for joining me.