(00:00): You're listening to the live happier longer podcast, episode 77
(00:15): Welcome to the live happier longer podcast. This podcast is equal parts, information, inspiration, education and motivation, all dedicated to increase longevity and improving overall quality of life. I'm your host, Molly Watts and I'm here to help you build the habits of a happier, longer life. Let's get started. Well hello and welcome. Welcome back to the live happier longer podcast. I am your host Molly Watts and I'm coming to you from a fairly gray and cloudy Oregon that was sort of anticipated. It is Memorial day right now, so happy Memorial day, even though you'll be listening to this when it's in the past, and I knew that this was going to be the case, but it does look as though the following week after today is going to be getting very beautiful here in Oregon and I am certainly looking forward to that. It's never really a podcast if we don't talk about the weather first is it?
(01:12): So this podcast is equal parts, information, inspiration, education and motivation and that it helps me bring in different aspects of that whether I'm sharing some ideas or sharing information, sharing science, reading books that are motivational or like today bringing on a guest who is inspirational by the fact that she is living her own version of a happier, longer life. And this particular guest, Deb Cummins Stellato, Deb and I met almost two years ago now at an Amy Porterfield conference and we met because we were in a little subset of people at that conference who were women over the age of 50, but Deb was just someone who I think I probably would have gravitated to anyway. She's got so much energy and she was actually, they're planning on building a course for nonprofit leaders, her own company where she has always been a leadership coach for nonprofits.
(02:14): It's called think good think good company has now taken on a new turn. And that is a podcast and a coaching business that she has created called think courageously. And Deb had has had a lot happened in the last two years and her story is inspiring because at the age of 58 she's doing something totally new, totally different, unexpected, and she's doing it with courage and I love that. So I wanted to share her with you because this is available to you too. It's available to all of us. This idea that you can start something and your life is not over in your late fifties early sixties whenever you can start something too.
(03:00): I love the ideas that Deb has to share and I hope you enjoy hearing from Deb comments stiletto. Hey Deb. Hey Molly, how are you? It's so good to see you. It's so good to talk to you. I'm so excited to have you on the show. I am so excited to be here. I cannot believe that where it's almost been two years since our paths cross. That just seems like ridiculous.
(03:28): It does seem ridiculous and it's been a pretty eventful two years for both of us, but especially for you and I'm, that's really the reason I wanted to have you on the show. You've launched your own new podcast and really you're, I don't know, did you, I mean let's think about that two years ago, did you ever imagine where you were going? What, what this would be like now?
(03:50): I had no idea that this is where I would end up two years ago and I went to that conference in San Diego. We were both lovers of Amy Porterfield and I thought I was going to build a course, a leadership course and write for nonprofit leadership. Yep, exactly. And I'm still doing a ton in the nonprofit space, but I have not built a course Molly, but I've done some other things instead that seemed to seem more important than of course for the time that we're in and then I'm in.
(04:30): Yeah. So let's talk about that because I know, like you said, I mean both of our paths have taken different, you know, which is funny cause I've ended up in the nonprofit sector, which has been an unusual turn of life events as well. But you, how long ago? Like six months ago. Is that about accurate or is a little longer that you completed your coaching certification?
(04:54): I actually, so I got my official certification. I was notified that I got it in January, but I, the program took me exactly nine months to end. So I had started whatever, like nine months before. And got the official, yes, you're a certified coach in January. I was determined to take my final exam before the end of 2019 and I actually recorded that on December 31st, 2019. Nice.
(05:30): You know, set a goal and accomplish it. So tell me about that decision. Where did that come from and, and you know, a life coaching is one of the things that I actually like knew absolutely nothing about when you and I met back then. Honestly, I mean I kind of, I think that's probably maybe one of the first my first for razor or talking to a couple of people that were at that conference and they were coaches. And I think that was kind of one of my first like real upfront crossing paths with that kind of life. And then over the course of my podcast, I actually, in not too long after coming back from that conference, interviewed somebody who was a life coach and, and even then, but she introduced me to the whole, the whole idea of it. And now it's a very, something that's so much a part of the self coaching and things that I do in terms of and following all of that, it has become something very important to me. So tell me for you where it came from, what happened and how you and went down that path.
(06:31): Yeah, so it's interesting. I was doing a lot of consulting and I was calling myself a leadership coach, which I was, I was a certified leadership coach when I started this, which means I was certified with a few assessments and as a facilitator for those programs and as a coach. But there was something from me that didn't feel a hundred percent authentic. I felt like I, I had known somebody and I'd actually been working for somebody who had gone through a certified coaching program and I had seen what heavy lifting that whole program was like. It was a lot. And so I felt that it was really important for me to to get that. And so I started doing some research and thinking that I might want to go that direction. And it's kind of crazy because as I was looking at coaching, I was looking at it that I already was an expert and I was just adding to my bucket of things.
(07:38): Right? And that is exactly opposite of where I've landed. So I think that that's really cool for myself to have that aha. And I was very much drawn to this iPad coaching model because it's really based on something called core energy, which I have always been really interested in the external perceptions of my own energy and when I don't have energy, how other people have seen me and what was that all about. And so again, I've had such monumental shifts in my own thinking about that, but AIPAC is the only program that is really based in this core energy model. It has a proprietary assessment that I really have fallen in love with, and I just felt like it was a good fit. So ironically I had started looking at it, I'm trying to think of the timing. Probably in like September, October now you may be even later. It's not important, but I had started looking at it before I lost my mom really unexpectedly. I had not made a commitment to doing it. And then when she died, I felt like it was the right, it was the right choice for me. It was something that I really wanted to do for myself and that I needed to do for myself. And it was without a doubt, the best decision I've made. It's been an incredible journey for me. And so, yeah.
(09:19): Tell me more about the, like you, so this, the, the coaching program in and of its, you know, not withstanding then, where did that take you into the thinking courageously and to thinking courageously podcast, what has that meant to you and where are you going with it?
(09:40): It's been life changing for me. So as I said, I thought I was the consultant going to learn coaching skills. Now I'm a coach that does consulting and that sounds like weird, very subtle shift. But it's not at all. And coaching is so much it's such this amazing, amazing journey for other people to figure out where they want to go. And the program for me actually the book ended, my, my parents died 364 days apart. My mom died of she had a traumatic fall and she died from a traumatic brain injury and it was literally like within 24 hours and I was completely unprepared. I could never ever have pictured anything like that happening to my mom in a million, literally in a million years. Right, right. Well, my father has been, he has Parkinson's, he had Parkinson's. He had been sick for what felt like years.
(10:47): And he died 364 days after my mom did. They weren't, they had been divorced for a long time. But in the middle of all of that was my journey with coaching. And one of the things that happened for me, I had a lot of Ahaz about the way that I was showing up in life. And one of them was around this really huge desire to please people. And even deeper. It was a lot around my huge desire to please my mom and really take on a lot of her playbook. And what happened for me really is this in my grief, I really leaned into gratitude that I had had this amazing mom, but I also realized that I had an opportunity to set myself free in so many ways. And, and yeah, I'm, I just turned 58 like, how do you live all those years?
(11:51): Not feeling like you are living true to yourself. Right. But, but through coaching I was like, Oh my gosh. Like I have been in some ways self-editing myself for so long. And so I learned to let that go and to really own my plethora of life experiences, personal experiences of work experiences and, and a feeling that I could actually help shine a light for other women on the power of the journey. And you know, it sounds really cliche, but it became like I didn't have to be the expert in the room. I could just be my true, find my true ness and share that. And that was exactly where I was supposed to be.
(12:45): Yeah, no it doesn't. You know, I think that's one of the things that I, I can appreciate because like I said, I really didn't have a good grasp on this whole life coach. Kind of what it meant. And just like you said, just really understanding where you come from in your life and truly being able to live your authentic life and be your best self. It does require doing some mindful intention work and that whole self coaching your coaching process. And, and I, you know, I really would, I, I don't know if you would agree with this either everybody in their life should either work with a coach or they should become a coach because it becoming a coach, you learn this thing, you know, you learn, right? But it's something that is truly been something very powerful for me as well. And I agree with you. You know, you can, it's a, it's an ironic thing that you can go through more than half of your life and never really understand this. I've always been loved motivational speakers and all of that stuff. I really never, the deeper part of that is where I think coaching takes you. And I think that's what is what I love about what you've been doing. And, and so tell me more about, think courageously why that and what are you helping women within that journey of thinking courageously
(14:10): When I was thinking about the direction I wanted to go, I knew that I still wanted to show up in a place of service, which I have continued to do a lot of work in this nonprofit space and I still love it. But I have also not felt that I was again, like telling and sharing my story in a way that would be supportive of women. Like I actually think that, you know, I remember the first time somebody said to me, I was, I was at a professional development thing. And someone's like, yeah, well the word I use to describe you as powerful. And I was like, I don't see that at all. I'm like this small little funny voice person. And I never, I didn't own that. And through coaching I have met, I'm, I'm so fortunate I met the most amazing people and what I've been able to do within courageously, and I chose the word courage very intentionally.
(15:14): Like I went through this exercise where I looked up persistent because I'm a persister. I looked up braid and of course like who wants to compete with Bernay? So that wasn't going to be, that wasn't going to happen. And for what, for a lot of reasons, this image of courage and, and I created this lioness, her name is Farah, that I've always been attracted towards line, you know, line and line and she's like this Farah is, is like this image of what I feel being female is about. Like she's pink and orange and she's alive and she's fierce and she's fun and she's feminine. And think courageously is all about my quest to support successful women as they find the courage to make pivots. And I've made a lot of pivots and a lot, most people, like through the podcast, people who know me really, really well are learning a lot about me that I chose to share.
(16:19): Right? I was just like, I had it together. I just want people to think that I, you know, I have it together and I do have it together, but I have it together in a, I webbed this life of a lot of pivots in both my personal and professional life. And I think for me being courageous is about experiencing multiple challenges and still like having the belief that there's something better on the other side. You know, it's, it's different than being brave, which is like a physical thing. Courage is like all about mindset. Like, yeah, I, I can see something that's bigger and better and I'm willing to screw up and make mistakes and be vulnerable to get to the other side of that. And so my podcast really focuses on the three pillar, these three pillars of success, courage and pivots. And what I've found is I've just met some really interesting women. I'm sure you've had this same experience where their stories, everybody's story is different. I ask people to choose the word that resonates with the most. Some people have been, you know, great at professional pivots, some have done personal pitch. And what I think is really interesting is that all of these women, regardless of where they've landed in their pivots generally have also redefined success in that and our limiting beliefs around success and encourage and pivots. So that's where it came from.
(18:06): I love that the idea of pivoting is something that is important in terms of, especially for women of midlife who have defined themselves in many ways for a long time, call them limiting beliefs or they're just, they've, they've characterize themselves in certain roles and now as things change in their lives, they need to make a pivot, right? And then they, they should make a pivot if they want to really experience what life could be and to find, and you know, that that courageous life for themselves, it does require a decision and intention. And tell me more about how, you know, when women decide they, they want to work with you, what do they, what are they coming in with? What are they bringing in that kind of, that sort of, this is what I've been doing now. I don't know what, cause I hear a lot of that. I'd let you know the next chapter not knowing where to head and, and a lot of us are, you know, it's a fearful, it can be maybe raise a lot of fears for women, for women and men I'm sure, but for definitely for women.
(19:29): Yeah. So that's a great question. I would say that I was intentional. For me, I wanted to attract successful women as coaching clients. I wanted, I wanted to work with women who had experienced in their own minds something around success. They had felt accomplished about something because in coping, right, some of what the work that we do is remembering or thinking about what that feels like and then figuring out how to duplicate or continue that. And so I have attracted I've, I've attracted mostly women, I would say between 40 and 60, which makes sense. Have experienced good things, but they see the possibility of more. So one of my coaching clients, she's a great example, very successful. She is in a commercial real estate business. She was doing really well, but she wanted to Uplevel her game. She wanted to play at a bigger level.
(20:40): And so we really did a lot of work around this concept of energy leadership and what that enabled her to do. And she describes it. So specifically she was able to show up in a much more powerful way. And because she was able to do that, she was able to achieve exponentially different results. Like the coolest part of that story is she had made the investment for herself into coaching. And because of the way she showed up, her boss recognized that there was a big shift and he ended up paying for her coaching because, yeah. And that to me is like, yeah, like that is, is the kind of result that is exciting for me. And again, she's somebody that I totally admire and I'd seen her leading organizations and I had seen her being very successful in this male dominated industry. And I think the women who are coming to me, again, they are successful but they want to make the pivot to play bigger, to, to be bolder.
(21:52): And so they are really considering what that's gonna look like for themselves. And I think what I also see with a lot of women, and now you've probably experienced this a lot in terms of people that you talk to on podcasts just because of the nature of what you're doing is that there is, there is a tendency for women I think at a certain age to just tolerate, right. It's w in coaching I've call it level three energy. It is what it is. I'm fine. You know, I don't, I don't want to step out. I, I not, why would I do that now? Like my life is fine the way it is and, and I just am fascinated by women who are just willing to say that's not enough. Like, I think I was put here for something bigger and grander and like more impactful. Like I really want to, I want to ignite my energy in a way that's different than what I've done before because the game's not over for me yet. You know, it's not even close. And I love that.
(22:58): Yeah. Well, I have gotten, you're right. I have got to speak to some really incredible examples of women who late much later in life, I have decided to level up their game. And I, I share those stories. I share your story. You know, at 58, this is a pivot for you. This is a different, you know, a different plan, a different course then you had even thought of two years ago. And even then it was, you were 56. You know, I mean, it's like this is the, the runway. You're just getting started. And I think that's so inspiring and I just want to share these stories with people because it's important to remember that our lives aren't
(23:46): The story's not over. You know, the final chapter is not written and we can keep on doing incredible work and doing great things and be of service and be, and really just like you said, finding new levels of energy and new levels of meaning in our lives. Well into our sixties seventies and eighties folks, this is not, you know, there is no reason to, to just decide that you need to be complacent and this is the best as it's going to be. Yeah. Like you, the people that inspire me and the way that I want to help people live that happier, longer life is to understand that these of these options are available to all of us. They really are. And you know whether or not someone decides to go become a coach or get coached the resources, there's just so much available to us.
(24:40): Even if you're sitting there and you're listening and you're thinking, Hmm, it's not a condemnation. It's just an option to people. This is available to you. This isn't what if, what if you could risk it and you could do it and you didn't fail. What if life could be even better? I think that that's remarkable. And I also think that as we get older, I love the fact that we can show up like perfectly imperfect in fact. Right? And there's more there. We have more grace for ourselves and sometimes other people have that too. And I remember you and I obviously I remember exactly when you and I met and we were in San Diego at this conference and I was looking around or I was watching this Facebook community, I was like, I'm going to be without a doubt the oldest person who walks into this room, like all these people are, maybe they're 29 are in their mid thirties but we, so I reached out like I had put a post on them and use the community like are they, is there anybody else that's like over 50 and we created that little entrepreneur group of women who are over 50 and it was so cool because we're all over the place where we are.
(25:58): We're showing up in different ways and, and sometimes I just, I find it really funny. I don't really think about my age much, I guess. Except, yeah, I had a birthday recently and I was thinking about it, but I don't like, I don't really think about it too much. And what I also think is really funny is I love surprising people, right? So all these people that are my friends through coaching or like you have podcasts, how did you figure out how to do that?
(26:32): I laugh at that because I think like you, it's why wouldn't I try it? And if it doesn't happen or actually if it doesn't bring me joy, I'm not going to do it. But I've found the podcast to be so much fun and on my podcast, I don't know how you're, how you do this, but I don't do any editing. I'm like, whatever happens, happens, we're going to be fine with it. And it can be perfectly imperfect and it can be be work. Like I'm not, I'm not going for a plus. And it took me a long time to get there.
(27:08): Yeah. Yeah. I haven't, I do have an editor, but I don't, she's more about putting in my intros and outros than anything else. But I agree with you and I don't, I don't, I never script my conversations. I don't like try to, you know, I'll, if I'm having somebody that's on that's an expert in a, or a scientist or something like that, I'll definitely do research. But I know a little bit more about what they've done. So I can ask intelligent questions, but I don't, I like to have my conversations be more organic and natural and go where they go and so, and, and some people don't, you know, they just could never do that. They have to have a script. They have to follow it and they really, you know, they get antsy if they don't have it. I don't, I don't do that either.
(27:52): So, and I guess some people would consider that the level of work, which is fine with me if I've learned anything in the last two years of this whole process. And I know you and I share that whole thing is the entrepreneurial spirit and starting something and learning all of that and creating a podcast, building a website, you name it. What I, I don't think people appreciate. Fair enough. And what I certainly didn't understand as well, mm before I did all this was that failing, failing forward, stumbling often making mistakes is not a sign that you're, that you're in the wrong place. You know, it's just a learning lesson. It's just something to, to pivot from. It's something to decide that you're going to, but that, that particular, whatever it was, that didn't turn out the way that you had anticipated. And it may not be the right building block for whatever it is you're trying to build.
(28:55): But that doesn't mean you're in the wrong place. That doesn't mean that things have gone wrong. That actually just means that, that, I mean that that's something catastrophic has gone wrong. It just needs, you know, it's something to learn from. And that has been a huge lesson for me. And I don't know about you, but that's, I know, I mean when you mentioned saying, you know, not doing a work or B, you know, being comfortable with B-level work, I think that's again the same kind of thing. There's a lot of wonderful growth and opportunity, especially for women or people in later midlife because we've had a lot of life experiences and we've, we've maybe become a little bit more set in our ways. We're not as, where's the 20 somethings, you know, they're not, they're much more like, it's, they, they don't look at it, Oh,
(29:42): I failed. They just are come into it more naturally would've been natural inclination of like, Oh, okay. Well, yeah, totally. I totally agree with that. And it's funny, I mean, I don't, I'm hard on myself and when I'm, when I have a consulting hat on and I'm expected to live, to deliver an outcome that's, that's different. And so I, that's where my whole, the way I show up has to be aligned with what that client needs. Sure. I just consider this space to be just more playful and and much more relatable. And I love the fact that culturally we're seeing the rise of all these women who are showing different ways to be women, right? So, you know, whether it's a Rachel Hollis, whether it's it's all these women who are saying, let's celebrate being authentic. Right? I mean, I think Amy Porterfield demonstrated that herself.
(30:52): Like I, she was not able to do that initially. And then I think she made some pivots and said, I got to let some of that go. So it doesn't mean you're not producing great work. It just means that you're, for me, it's this ability to be less scripted or feeling like I have to be in control of things. And, and I really appreciate that and enjoy it. I think the one thing that's interesting, and I'd be curious to know how you feel about this sometimes, especially with my coaching colleagues, they'll be like, Oh my God, dad, you are, you're your output. Like you're doing a ton of things. Like how are you doing that? And I do think that for me, it's, I don't feel like I have 10 years to figure this out, right? I, yeah. And so I'll say to them, well, I have a different runway.
(31:49): You know, I want to be, I want to have all these things up in place without a doubt in the next five years that I have some things in my toolbox that I can work for indefinitely, but I have to put that level of energy right now is really important to me and I have it and it brings me a lot of joy and it's motivating and I'm not, I don't see myself, I see a lot of my coaching friends, like I'm not ready to launch my website. I had to think about what my niche is. I'm not a hundred percent sure I celebrate and appreciate that's where they're at. If I don't, I literally don't get off my butt and move forward. I don't want to miss the window. Is the windows not totally open? It's not totally closed. It's somewhere where I have to at least my foot in there and hold a place for it.
(32:41): No, I agree. I think that I have had many a conversation with women on this podcast and in other, you know, just other influencers that I'm interacting with. And yeah, I would say that overwhelmingly those of us in our fifties are, there's a sense of urgency that doesn't maybe necessarily exist if someone's in their thirties or forties. They don't have that same like, you know, I don't have infinite time. I mean, none of us are promised infinite time. No, whether you're 30, 40 or 50. But it's definitely, yeah. But it's doesn't feel, I agree with you. For me at least, it doesn't feel like a negative push. It feels more just like, I really want to accomplish something. I really want to accomplish this while I still can, while I still have the energy to, and I hope that I'll have that energy all the way through. Like I said, for me, I'm hopeful that it's there. Even in my eighties. I know watching my dad.
(33:39): Turn, just turn 92 and he's still, he's still not done. You know, he's still aspires to do things and it's, it is inspirational. And I want to have that. I want to be like that as well. But it doesn't come without a plan. It doesn't come without action. And that's, I think what you're saying is that action is, you know, it's got to happen or it's not going to happen.
(34:05): Yep. And I think that's also where courage lives, right? So where you say, I'm going to, this is what I want. So I had been served as a CEO for habitat for our local habitat affiliate for almost seven years. And when I left there, I went to go work for this woman who I thought was, you know, she had shown up for me as a mentor and she was very, very powerful. Talk about powerful. I mean this woman was just, she was incredible and it didn't end up being a great experience. And I knew that I just couldn't wait it out. I just couldn't just see if it would get better. And that was, that was like what you just said around, okay, I'm going to fail fast. Like, I'm going to admit that this wasn't a good choice and I'm going to move forward with it and I, I don't have the luxury of just, we're just going to keep trying to figure it out. And also it was ridiculous at the time. It was around the time that I met you or right after I had left working with her and I was like, what? I mean when my dream is to have my own business to do this. Okay, what am I wait or this is re kill us. Right.
(35:16): So let's talk about, I want to have you share some last words of inspiration with women that are in their fifties who might be thinking about doing something of this, you know, doing something on their own or if they are looking for some support, how you might help them. Tell me how, share some words and then tell me how people can connect you best.
(35:39): Sure. Well, I, I would say my words of wisdom are, there's a freedom, there's an incredible freedom in allowing yourself to be an Explorer of life. And I've been very fortunate through this coaching process to connect with a lot. I have a coaching cohort. There are eight of us in this cohort that were assigned to work together in group coaching. None have chosen to stay together and we meet every other week. And you know, I've had friends in my life, I've had, I have very good friends. And I also think it's super important for women to keep thinking about the room that we're showing up in and decide if there are other rooms that we want to explore. Like that's okay. And it's exciting. And, and I love, I love this group so much. They have been, they've been so supportive of the things that I've done.
(36:43): So find your tribe let go of your limiting beliefs. And, and think courageously think differently because I learned, you know, when I lost my mom, she was a hundred percent in perfect shape. She was what? She never took any medicine. She was a hundred percent perfect. And life can change on a dime. Our lives, people we love, you know, their lives. And so I'm not gonna play with regrets. And I really feel like that would be an important message. Don't, don't live a life of regret. You still, whatever age you are, you have an opportunity to create something magical and wonderful and share it with the world. Nice. Oh, I love it. All right Deb, how can my friends connect with you? Well, thanks for asking Molly. You can find I am, I'm in a lot of places, so my Facebook is the thing, good company.
(37:46): Also think courageously. So either of those, my website is the think good company and that would give you access to learning more about working with me as an individual or if your organization is interested in working with me. And really my tagline for all of that is, you know, I see myself as ignite an igniter of people in organizations. So those are good ways in, I have an Instagram, but I don't know about you Molly. I find Instagram, I love it so much, but it's not, it doesn't grow that much. So I'm having fun. I actually have a Facebook community called the think courageously community. And so my website or any of those little tools will be great. Awesome. And you can listen to the think courageously on any
(38:36): Place that you can listen to podcasts, correct? Yeah. Thank you for reminding me. Yeah, absolutely. So I appreciate you taking the time to speak with me today and to connect with our audience and I just hope that people will find you as inspiring as I do. They will check you out at think good company or think courageously podcast and I appreciate you. So good to see you again too, my friend. It's amazing.
(39:14): New metal weekends. Awesome. Perfect. Thanks. Thanks for listening to the live happier, longer podcast. If this podcast is helping you and you'd like to go a little deeper, maybe track your progress on your habit building, you should check out our five for life planner. The planner is 13 weeks undated and you can start literally at any time to create the habits of a happier, longer life. It'll keep you motivated and it'll keep you accountable. Hand, Hey, it's affordable. So go to shop dot five for life.co. That's shop.buy for life.co and enter promo code podcast for a special discount.
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