Powerful Leaders Can Shift their Mindset with Vanessa Shaw

Every leader is looking for an edge or advantage. Powerful leaders can shift their mindset by understanding what it is. I had struggled at times with my mindset, especially when I was not aware of its impact on everything we do. In my journey to serve powerful leaders, I use mindset shifts to help them transform from the inside. Today, our guest is Vanessa Shaw. She is a fellow coach and works in similar areas as I do. We sat down to discuss the mindset of powerful leaders. We look at what gets in the way and how to leverage a mindset shift. Discover how you can be an influential leader and create more powerful leaders in your organization in this interview.

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Vanessa Shaw: The Transcript

About: Vanessa Shaw has dedicated her career to helping people achieve greater success, happiness, and fulfillment in their personal and business lives. As a leading Business and Success Coach, she has a track record of helping many international clients to overcome business challenges and create lucrative businesses that positively impact the lives of others. She is passionate about helping entrepreneurs, business owners, coaches, and consultants around the globe to step up powerfully into the world of business so that they can achieve the results and impact they truly desire and ultimately deserve.


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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.


Vanessa Shaw: [00:00:00] I’m always curious about expanding my mindset, which is. Thinking bigger. Right. Am I really going for, and for me, by the way, the root of that for me is tapping into my desires. Right? What do I really want? And I’ve been working on a body of work called desire intelligence, which is really understanding like different desires that we have like a little bit like emotional intelligence, right. Being able to name and identify the desires. And really understanding those ones that are kind of fleeting, nice to have.

[00:00:37] Intro: [00:00:37] Welcome to Growth Think Tank. This is the one and only place where you will get insight from the founders and the CEOs, the fastest-growing privately held companies. I am the host. My name is Gene Hammett. I hope leaders and their teams navigate the defining moments of their growth. Are you ready to grow?

[00:00:54]Gene Hammett: [00:00:54] When you think about mindset, do you think that that’s just a bunch of hooey? That you don’t need to pay attention to the way you think the way you perceive the world, the way you see things. Well, mindset to me has been a very powerful game-changer inside my own world. As an entrepreneur, as a leader, as a father, as a husband, in fact, mindset is probably 90% of the results I’ve gotten from all of the things I’ve done in my life. This is good and bad. Well, when you think about mindset, I want you to think about this one phrase. You must work harder on yourself than you do on your business. I think Jim Rohn said that or something similar. But I share all this with you because today we’re going to talk about mindset. We’re going to talk about really, what does it take for you as a leader to shift your mindset? Some of the key elements inside that with my special guest today, Vanessa Shaw, Vanessa is an old friend of mine. I say old, but she’s amazingly beautiful. And she’s incredibly powerful at what she does. I had her come on here to talk about mindset because this is one of her areas of specialty. It is something I do, but I didn’t want this to be a solo episode. So I use a little bit of my insight and knowledge and experience I have with coaching CEOs of the Inc 5,000. But I shared this with Vanessa so that we have to have a really different kind of conversation to help you grow as a leader, help you understand what’s getting in your way, and help you create more power and more clarity in who you’re being to be the leader that your team craves. All of this is just for you now. Here’s my friend and incredible coach, Vanessa Shaw.

[00:02:30] Hey Vanessa, how are you?

[00:02:31] Vanessa Shaw: [00:02:31] Hey, I am good. Delighted to be here, Gene.

[00:02:34] Gene Hammett: [00:02:34] Well, you and I have been friends for ages. We went through a coaching program together where we were all leveling up. This was about five or six years ago, right?

[00:02:41] Vanessa Shaw: [00:02:41] It was longer than that. I know the time goes quickly, but it was, it was at least seven years ago, first in the state. So that’s when it was.

[00:02:51] Gene Hammett: [00:02:51] Well you have been coaching people in high-performance and helping entrepreneurs really try to understand what’s holding them back from the success they create. You know, over the last four or five years, what have been the, you know, the biggest things that you have seen that hold people back from being stronger leaders and the entrepreneurs that they really want to be.

[00:03:09] Vanessa Shaw: [00:03:09] Yeah, like one thing, or should we start with the whole shopping list?

[00:03:13] Gene Hammett: [00:03:13] Let’s go with one or two things that you think just really just cornerstones to who they are.

[00:03:17] Vanessa Shaw: [00:03:17] Yeah. I think, you know, one of the things that we’ve been really looking at and dieting in with a lot of our clients is I think as people have this misconception that as they grow. Like growth in business means they kind of have to take on just more and more and more, which is actually a corporate mindset. Right. You know, corporate mindset is you just thought to put in the hours, you work hard. Of course, you’re building out teams, right. And you’re delegating and all of those good things, but there’s definitely that mindset incorporate that, you know, You’re supposed to take on more, juggle, more like more responsibility, more, you know, more of a burden, which frankly was a lot of the clients. And I was working in Europe would come to me, just feeding, bulks down with everything. And so what we’re really working with our clients on is this whole shift. They kind of come oftentimes with that, not realizing that there’s this unconscious pattern that, Hey, I’ve got to do it all. And it’s all about taking on more complexity, kind of wearing more hats, more responsibility. We’ll say actually, what if it was less. You know, what if leadership was like, we’re going to really reverse that model. And instead of taking on more of stuff, frankly, that you’re tired of, that, you know, doesn’t light you up anymore. The stuff that helped get you to this point today, cause you had to do it, especially in the entrepreneurial world, but like it’s not in your zone of genius.

[00:04:37] What if you were no longer doing that stuff. And we started to focus on a lot of the things that you’re tolerating because you think you need to keep doing them. Right. But they’re actually really draining energy from you. And B what if we start to really hone in on what is your zone of genius that only you can do? And the zone of genius is always, always, always identified by. You know, a massive flood of energy, right? It’s where we’re really passionate. And it’s that area that we can dedicate a lot of time and energy. And we can frankly, imagine dedicating years. To really honing and building that level of mastery. And that’s where we’ve been putting a lot of our focus. It’s getting phenomenal results with our clients until I would say the end is when they come in, you there’s that. Like skepticism, like, hang on a minute, like really like that could work, you know? And then oftentimes, Jean, I’m sure you’ve seen this as well with your clients as well. It’s like they kind of get in, you know, they’ve liked the idea that that could work. And I know that it’s working when they start to come back with it. I’ve got free time and energy now. I’m wanting to show what to do with that, right. Because they’ve been. Used to be so like frenetic and frazzled and busy and back to back and over-scheduled know overwhelmed and stretched in multiple directions that now all of a sudden they’re like, okay, this is new. But like, this is, this is very unfamiliar. It’s actually scary territory than the over-scheduled and super, super busy.

[00:06:07] Gene Hammett: [00:06:07] I totally see that too, because when they’re over-scheduled they feel like they’re contributing in a way that, that that’s what they’re used to and it’s during control because they’re in all the meetings. But when they don’t know what to do, cause I’ve had a lot of conversations of this last month about optimizing your time as a CEO. In fact, we’ve done a whole series of how do you optimize your time, but I really appreciate you bringing that up here, Vanessa. I want to dive into something. You said that this put a spotlight on this tolerations because a lot of people don’t understand. That they are tolerating something and what impact that has around their leadership and around how they’re impacting others. That is tolerating.

[00:06:43] Vanessa Shaw: [00:06:43] Yeah, absolutely. And I, you know, I wrote a book on it right. Called the million-dollar question and I’ll, you know, kind of give the background to why that was even the million-dollar question. I mean, you, you know, again, you’ve known me for years, you knew me in the time when I was. Running live events, you know, with 150 business owners in a room and, you know, teaching from the stage. And I was teaching this concept of, you know, when, again, we think about, I like the metaphor of this, as we think about wanting to climb a massive mountain. Like let’s think about Kilimanjaro because actually one of our clients said it is a goal and did it a couple of years ago, but like you climb Kilimanjaro. I mean, The aid that you’re going to be going through, you know, lots of different climates and lots of challenges on the way. And you know, all of the altitudes, you know, challenges you have to deal with, but you’ve got to really think about, you know, do you want to take the bare minimum to the top of the mountain and like those the essentials that are gonna get you there? Or do you want to be carrying multiple backpacks filled with tons of junk and the kind of like, well, just in case stuff, right? You’re going to be. So weighed down by the backpack of climbing up to the mountain. So think about that as a metaphor, I was running an event and was teaching around that. Now I kind of think about, you know, the mountain is like the mountain of your dreams and desires, right. That you really want to get to the top of. And I was teaching this and in the break, a doctor, very well known doctor and she’s nationally recognized. Top doc here in Phoenix comes up to me in the break and she has scribbled on a piece of paper and she says, oh my gosh, I went through that process of really understanding what I was tolerating in the business, but where I was taking, it was putting a dollar amount to the tolerations.

[00:08:20] I can emotional, you know, costs. And then a financial cost, like, what’s it really doing? Like weighing you down? And she said I’ve just done the math on this. And I am tolerating, not taking a decision that I really want to make in my business. And I’m fearful of what other people will say. She was potentially fearful, especially in the medical world of actual peers. What would other doctors say and what she really wanted to be doing kind of on the other side of what she was tolerating was she wanted to move her practice from insurance-based to concierge. And she’s a very well-known functional doctor here, you know, functional medicine. So looking at the root cause and you know, not looking at, you know, just prescriptions and everything is kind of solving, you know, health issues. She said we don’t get to do what I’m tolerating. Not doing our best work because of the insurance system that we’re bound by and B, then the, you know, worrying about what other people were thinking of backlash from the medical profession. And she said, I’ve done the math on this and it’s a million dollars. And basically, she says, I want to hire you to flip our medical practice. Hence the million-dollar question, because it really came from somebody going through that exercise. And, and we worked together to completely transform her practice. But coming back to what you said, you know, there’s, tolerations that we’ll know on a surface level, right?

[00:09:44] Just it’s back to looking at where are you hated? Where are you frustrated? Like where are you like getting that, those negative vibes energy from often times it, especially when it’s happening many times, right? Over a period of time, we’re tolerating something. So classics can be team members. Those are underperforming, right? With tolerating, you know, wearing too many hats with tolerating, not hitting those financial goals. So if we kind of look at where our energy is, most times I can find toleration. Now the surface level is one thing, right? Gene, and, you know, kind of easier to find. But then I really worked with our clients to say like, let’s dig deeper. You know, you start to build the muscle of. Recognizing them at the surface level, but what are some other things that you don’t even kind of realize where your energy is low? And there’s possibly toleration there and it’s like the dripping tap, right? It’s like a slow drip that we no longer notice. We just get like, you know, blind to, until somebody points it out. And we’re like, Ugh. So we kind of got to look at it through like what straining our energy. And then I often, you know, I’ll ask my clients, but let’s just imagine, you know, we’ve got a process for helping them kind of, you know, understand what’s keeping them stuck in the toleration, but. First and foremost, I’ll go to, well, let’s just imagine that you were no longer tolerating that like, we’ve just solved it.

[00:11:09] Like let’s not even worry about the house for now, but that thing you’re no longer tolerating and. Absolutely 100% of the time, 100% of the time, the answer is always this release of energy, right? Oh my gosh. That would be amazing. I have time for this. I’d be more creative. I’d be no longer barring about it. My anxiety would go down. I mean, it’s. Always right. The only other side of tolerations is this new energy that we can use to take the business to the next level. So that’s why I always start with like, let’s look at, you know, a, not what you want, but like, let’s look at what you’re tolerating because that’s going to be like the. Unconscious break that you keep putting your foot on, that stops you from getting what you want. And as I say, we kind of, you know, go through a whole process of that. So now we do that on a quarterly basis on a monthly basis. Funny side story, Jean is I wrote the book and then discovered it. Not really funny, but again, you would know this right. Discovered a whole host of my own tolerations as I was diving into writing the book and it was like, oh, okay. Now, you know, it’s not surprising that we’d have like a list of things, you know, personal and business. And then we start to kind of strategically work through.

[00:12:25] Commercial: [00:12:25] Hold on for a second. Vanessa just talked about what is draining our energy. Have you ever sat down to think about what drains your energy, what pulls away from the energy that you have? Well, identifying what’s pulling away that energy is one way that you can lift your energy because when you learn to let go of those things that drain you, you can play live at a different level. When I had to let go of certain things around my business and that were, I just didn’t want to do. I ended up giving them and delegating them to my team, which is the right thing to do. As we grow our businesses. But it was freeing. It was lifting and giving me energy and the same thing in your business. But here’s the thing. It’s not a one-time thing. It’s something you do continuously. You’re always identifying, what’s draining your energy and you want to make sure that you can learn to let go of that and learn to feel it and really experienced the results behind it when you let go so that it becomes easier. The next time. Now I look for things to let go of. Give my team and empower them in new ways. Just a little bit of a commentary to share with you what draining your energy is and how you can do it for yourself and the impact that’s going to have. Now back to Vanessa.

[00:13:35] Gene Hammett: [00:13:35] You know, a lot of people say that the best book that you’ll ever read is the one you write because you have to take your, your messages and really try to understand them and, and really looking hard into your life. I can remember writing chapters in my book and coming home crying.

[00:13:49] Vanessa Shaw: [00:13:49] Yeah.

[00:13:49] Gene Hammett: [00:13:49] It was not normal. Like this is not something I do on a regular basis. It’s not because I’m too strong for my enemy. I’ll cry in any movie that that has or this is us, it tears me apart. But I would just the work that it took to, to be able to get that message out there. So that being said, Vanessa, one of the reasons I’m having you on the show here is because not just because you’re a great coach because you opened up. In social media, about you working on yourself and working on some of the things that are going on, not just your business strategy pivot, but you really work on your own mindset. How is it that you see that you need to work on your own mindset?

[00:14:24] Vanessa Shaw: [00:14:24] To me it’s just continual like I’m constantly looking and by the way, a lot of this stuff we can’t do just yet. By ourselves, right? Like a little bit. I mean, you’re a guy Jean, so patch, you can cut your own hair, but right. I’ve got long hair. Like I would say to people like don’t ever try and cut your own hair, especially the back of it hair, like my weight, same thing as being a coach. It’s really difficult to see this stuff for ourselves. Although of course, I self-coach, I’ve been a coach for nearly two decades now. Right. So at least I’ll start there. But I, I’m always curious about expanding my mindset, which is thinking bigger. Right. Am I really going for, and for me, by the way, the root of that for me is tapping into my desires. Right. What do I really want? And I’ve been working on a body of work called desire intelligence, which is really understanding like different desires that we have, like a little bit like emotional intelligence, right. Being able to name and identify the desires and really understanding those ones that are kind of fleeting. Nice to have. Right. You know, I use the example for me that if somebody gave me a Tesla and I were talking about nice cars just before, right. If somebody offered me a Tesla like I totally take it.

[00:15:37] Right. I’m personally not motivated to put in the effort for a Tesla. Right. It’s just not my thing. So for me, that would be like a fairy godmother’s desire, like a wave a magic wand thing. Give it to me. Sure. That would be nice, but I’m not willing to put in the effort, but then there are other things where I tap into those desires and look at the right. Am I willing to do the work and put in the effort? Now when we start to really tap into those desires of what we really want, I think is the place for them, kind of that mindset to come in. Right. Of is this really possible that you possibly those demons of. Who do I think I am, you know, do I find myself quit making excuses of I’m too busy? I haven’t got the time or I need to learn something more about that. Right? Those can be some of, kind of my go tos. And so understanding where I’m going to, you know, get in my own way. And in my own way means an expression of those desires that I really want to be bringing about in the world. So I think, you know, expanding that mindset is always important. And for me, it’s not just the thinking. I think the mindset is one of those things that so many people think of it as kind of positive railroads thinking you can do it, gene, go for it. Right. If that’s all it is right, we’d all be a lot more successful. But for me, it’s understanding was I say I’m kind of constraining myself in my thinking, but it’s digging deeper into.

[00:17:04] My emotional wellbeing, you know, emotion is what drives so much of our mindset and how we perceive the world. So if we’re only working at that, like the cognitive levels thinking level, and we, you know, think kind of, we think that we’re improving mindset, but yet we actually haven’t. Expanded, let’s say our emotional repertoire understanding. And this is for me, this is really important as leaders because as leaders, we set the temperature for everything in our organizations, whether we like to admit that or not. Right. And it comes a lot from our emotional wellbeing. So for me, it’s about understanding that that emotional repertoire does I have the ability to change and transform my emotions when I know that they are not. Serving me. Right. And then not going to lead to good outcomes and be able to bring about that behavioral change. And then for me, the whole piece of mindset is around that being right. Who am I, who am I being? Who am I really showing up as in the world? I might, am I showing you, oh, as the woman, right? That’s required the leader that’s re you know, my vision requires of me. So for me, mindset is, as I say, more than that thinking It’s an interesting one. Now, Gene, for me, it’s one of those it’s so entrenched in who I am and how I show up in the world that it’s kind of like saying, you know, what does air look like around you? Right? Because it’s just become very habitual. And it serves me really well because it always gives me places, right. To look, to kind of check-in with myself and to really do those check-ins with me first so that I can lead more effectively.

[00:18:45] Commercial: [00:18:45] Hold on, Vanessa just said something really incredible. She put a question out there. Who do I think I am. I’ve been thinking about that question a lot as it relates to serving you the founders and CEOs of fast-growth companies. Who do I think I am? Well, the way I’ve done this in the way of overcoming any inner critic or any negative voice that kind of comes up when I’m trying to step out and do something bigger than what I’ve done before is by going back and really looking at it. What have I accomplished? Who am I? I have built multiple businesses to multi-million dollars. I’ve created jobs for a hundred people. Plus I’ve created opportunities in the marketplace. I’ve made an impact on people’s lives. I’ve grown multiple businesses, probably six over $10 million. I’ve had another 10 businesses I’ve worked with that have grown just $10 million in a year. Now, why do I share this with you is not because I’m trying to brag, but it’s because I’ve been doing this every day where I write down all the things that I am. I’ve been the person who’s done that. I own the fact that I have made these kinds of results in impact. And that gives me the strength to do something bigger and better than ever before this one exercise of who do I think I am. And you actually writing it out, all the things that you’ve accomplished. Looking back, Jack, we’ll give you some strength because I know if you’re listening to this. You’re already successful. You’ve already accomplished a lot. And so you’ve got a lot to write down and that will give you the recall you need and remind yourself that if you want to do something bigger and better than ever before, and you want to realize your dream, that you can do that because you are the person that can make these things happen. I share this with you because I want you to be able to learn that tips and tricks and hacks to be a stronger leader, to be the best leader you can be. Now, back to the interview with Vanessa.

[00:20:36] Gene Hammett: [00:20:36] Vanessa that’s what we’ve been talking a lot about mindset. And I want to, there’s been a word that you’ve been dancing around, but you haven’t said this and maybe it’s not a part of your style of coaching. It is a part of mine, but the sense of identity, I think a lot of leaders work really hard to reach a certain level of authority and influence. And success within their, their companies. And then they think they can coast or they think that, okay, well, I’ve, I’ve made it arrived. Do you work with identity much with your clients?

[00:21:04] Vanessa Shaw: [00:21:04] I was just kind of avoiding using that word here because sometimes people don’t get what it really means. Right. And absolutely. So for me, in a way, everything that I was talking about there. Is absolutely linked to identity. And as you will know, through the work that you do, we can never outperform our own identity. So for me, that when I’m looking at that mindset, and as I say, the emotional, you know, kind of emotional agility, if we like, and kind of that beingness, it’s all about X. Spending my version of self-expanding, you know, who I am, being, who I see myself to be, who I want to be, who I want to be proud of in the world. Right. Expanding that identity so that all of those other things. Become easier, not easy, cause it’s just not the way it works, but they certainly become easier when we’re really leading with that version of self that’s required to fulfill on, you know, dreams, desires, and goals.

[00:22:05] Gene Hammett: [00:22:05] Wrap this up with, I don’t know what you do with your clients. I know what I do with mine. I know that there’s an identity shift that’s needed. I can, I can share that with us and we can talk about it, but I’d rather, you just kind of share with us. I know that there’s a fight because they fought hard to reach a new identity wherever they are. What Le let’s say, the company is doing $10 million. They fought hard to get to that place, but then. In order to get 20 million or hit 50 million, that identity in my world has to shift. How do you get people to start to make that shift in your practice?

[00:22:36] Vanessa Shaw: [00:22:36] Such a great question. And not necessarily, it’s not a, you know, again, qualify this with, it’s not necessary. Saturday a one and done, right. As you know, it’s obviously an iterative process, but oftentimes it really is that, what do you need to, you know, it’s like, what do you most need to let go of in order to get to the next level? Right? Is which funny enough, the person that wrote the forward to my book actually used my own coaching against me. And when I was in a funk at one point, because I was holding on. So tightly right. To something that I had created. And he said, I remember a very great coach that said to me, you need to let go to grow. Russ was his name. He runs a mega mega-company nowadays. I was like, ah, and I just knew that he got me right in the heart of, I was holding onto some things too tightly that were wrapped up in my own identity.

[00:23:29] So asking ourselves at that point, you know, like really, what do I, what do I really need to let go of right, right now. And I honestly find that what it is, Jean, and I’m sure you find the same thing is we’re overly attached to everything that we’ve worked so hard to create. And that was, I, you know, I witnessed it firsthand for myself. I mean, we did a pivot in our business before pivoting was fashionable, like November of 2019. And I realized that it was like, oh my gosh, my identity was, was cool talking this. I didn’t realize it until, you know, somebody called me out on it. And. We hold on to all of those things, kind of. So tightly as we’re growing that it’s like when I got to 10 million, I’ve worked so hard. And like my whole identity is tied up in this instead of working on, you know, like, what do we need to let go of that would actually make the 20 million a lot easier. Right. More joyful, more fulfilling, more sustaining. And if we’ve got things, you know, tied up in our identity of like working hard, driving bottom-line results, or, you know, being the last in the office or wearing all of those hats or knowing everything, you know, all of those things that can come into play. We’re, it’s going to make, getting to that next level really difficult.

[00:24:43] Gene Hammett: [00:24:43] You really expanded my own mind about what you’re doing. I appreciate you sharing Vanessa about how you’re engaging others in different levels of thinking and the tools that you’re using and sharing with the audience today that want to continue their growth. So thanks for being here.

[00:24:57] Vanessa Shaw: [00:24:57] It was so much fun, always good to reconnect with you.

[00:25:00] Gene Hammett: [00:25:00] Well, what a powerful episode here? I love talking about mindset because it has changed the way I operate in the world. Let me give you an example. When I was an entrepreneur running my business from zero to 6 million in about three years, I was pushing the limits of what I could believe. I actually didn’t have many limits in the very beginning because I didn’t think I could fail. I thought I was smart. I thought I could execute on this. It was a great time to start my business. And so zero to 6 million was pretty easy, but then my mindset shifted somehow when I had something to lose, I started playing not to lose. And that was actually, my downfall was the shift I had in not playing to win.

[00:25:42] Now you may think this is a small thing, but I can tell you firsthand that I thought about the innovations my company needed, but I wasn’t willing to do that. I didn’t have the courage and the confidence in myself and what was really going on inside this world. Even though I could see it as clear as day, I could see the opportunity, but I wouldn’t let myself do it. I ended up losing everything. You probably know my story. If you follow me, if you haven’t, I lost $3 million in one day and on a bad business deal with my best friend.

[00:26:11] Now I’m not here to complain about this whatsoever because it was one of the best things that ever happened to me because I was able to re-look at myself and reframe how I would rebuild my life. And I love what I do now. Coaching founders, CEOs. Helping them with their mindset, helping them with their identity, helping them truly become the strongest and the best leaders they can be to be more effective, to drive more impact and more influence. That is what I do. And it’s what I do day in and day out. If you have any questions about how you’re growing and transforming, make sure you reach out to me at [email protected]. When you think about growth and you think about leadership, you think of Growth Think Tank as always lead with courage. We’ll see you next time.


Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.




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