Carve your own Path! With Laura Gassner Otting

An interview with Laura Gassner Otting

Carve your own Path! With Laura Gassner Otting

My guest is Laura Gassner Otting and her new book is called “Limitless: How to Ignore Everybody, Carve your Own Path, and Live Your Best Life.” In the book, Laura interviews highly successful globe changers and has uncovered strategies to help you get unstuck. Laura’s background spans this world’s of successful startups and non-profits as well as political and philanthropic landscapes. She’s coming to us after being interviewed on the Today Show… so we’re excited to have her on!


Listen To The Podcast:



The Book:  Limitless

The Assessment:

Instagram: @heyLGO

Twitter: @heyLGO


LauraL Hey, hey out there to everyone in your Dream, Think, Doer Universe. I love that. I love people who are dreamers, thinkers, and doers.

Mitch: Right? It’s a great crew. And as we talked about before we hit record it’s an awesome, awesome crew. We tend to totally offend grumpy people so there’s just a lot of love here ’cause that’s what we do, I love it.

Laura: Fantastic.

Mitch: I could go through the list of successes that you’ve had in your life, I mean you were appointed by President Bill Clinton to help shape AmeriCorps, you’ve helped grow startups and non-profits, you’ve been interviewing globe changers for this book, it’s a bestseller, all of those things, but somebody might look at you and go, “Wait you’ve never felt stuck.” How about you? What’s a time in your life where you Laura personally felt stuck?

Laura: Boy where do I start? You know it’s really interesting this idea when people look at you and they go, “Oh she’s got it all together. He’s got it all together.” Cause I really do think that people see us as the fully formed person we are today, and number one, I hope that I’m not fully formed, I hope there’s still evolution and change and growth that’s going to happen, because boy it would pretty boring to stop here, right?

Mitch: Exactly. I’m done.

Laura: Been so fun so far.

Mitch: I’m done.

Laura: I’m all done.

So number one, A, I’m not fully formed and B, it’s not that I came into the world as this I’m just maybe five or 10 or 25 years ahead of the person who’s looking at me. I’m just the future them, and they look at me as this unachievable thing when in fact it’s completely achievable if they dream, think, and do.

So a time when I felt fully stuck was probably when I was at the big traditional gold standard search firm that I was at, and I was supposed to be happy. I had done all the right things, I had checked all the right boxes, I went to the right schools, I got the right jobs, I got the right promotions, and there I was as the youngest Vice President at this very well known search firm, and I wasn’t happy. And I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t happy, and I thought about the thousands of people that I’d interviewed for jobs who were all at the top of their game, who all were successful, and not all of whom were happy. And I couldn’t figure out why that was until I realized that I wasn’t happy either. And then I looked around and I thought, “Well why am I here? Why did I join this firm?” And I joined this firm because it was the very top firm in the country, in the world that was doing specifically mission-driven non-profit executive search, and I thought I was there to change the world.

Mitch: Yeah.

Laura: But then I realized that I was actually there to create profit for the owners of the firm. So my job was to sit on one side of the table with the firm and on the other side of the table as my client who wanted to cure cancer, or save the whales, or feed the poor, or create educational access, or anything else that it might be. And in between us silent unspoken was the elephant, the profit, and loss statement of the firm. And it turned out that I had two masters. I was serving the firm, and I was also serving my clients, and the truth is I wanted to be on that side of the table with them and not on my side of the table. And I felt stuck because I felt like my calling was to change the world through this lever of talent, but the work I was doing every day didn’t connect to that, and I certainly wasn’t contributing and manifesting the values that I wanted in the world, and I had no control at all over sort of who, I was and what I was assigned to, and how the work was being done. And so, I felt a lack of consonance.

Mitch: Yeah.

Laura: And so, I felt stuck and then I had this moment of rage where I realized, “I can do it faster, and better, and smarter, and with more authenticity, and more integrity, and a better profit margin than these traditional old guys in this traditional old firm.” And I had this sort of Jerry McGuire moment where I wrote this manifesto about how we could do it better, and I was basically told …

Mitch: Yeah. Peace out Laura.

Laura: Peace out, that’s not how we do things around here. And so, I started my own [crosstalk 00:05:32].

Mitch: Take your goldfish and go.

Laura: See ya. Goldfish and I left, and that manifesto became the foundational document of the firm that I founded and ran for 15 years.

Mitch: That’s awesome. So I love that story, and I know this so relates to the book as well, and talking with so many different globe changers who really kind of found that same thing of being able to say, “All right, I’m not happy. I better define what success is to get that happiness.” But I’m curious as far as for you, because I’m guessing a lot of dream, think, doers as you just old your story … ’cause there’s a lot of successful people.

I just talked to another one the other day who’s a regular listener, wildly successful by all global standards but inside just knows he’s in the wrong spot. And it’s that rut. He’s still in that tension of, “I just know it’s broken. I know there’s something that’s not right,” but he’s like, “But I haven’t figured out the thing yet.”

So for you, and I know you talk about this in the book, but it’s interesting to explore this little vein of gold here as far as for you when you were in that spot did you go away and spend a week at a cave somewhere or a Spanish villa, or something to be able to say, “All right, I’m going to go away and try to have this epiphany and one holy weekend,” or did it have to come over time?

Laura: Honestly it came out of me because it couldn’t not. We always seem like we strive for work/life balance, and we have to have everything that’s perfect, and you talk about this a lot in terms of congruence, and for me I talk about it as consonance. The idea that we’re going to do work, and we’re going to have a life, and those things are going to be separate, and we have to balance them it’s a fairy tale.

Mitch: Right.

Laura: It’s ephemeral.

Mitch: Totally agree.

Laura: Even if you do get to this as soon as something goes out of whack you’re a failure? I just don’t buy that. And so, I just felt exhausted and I wasn’t exhausted because I was struck by the cathedral of business, it wasn’t that I was trapped in the business, it was the exhaustion of code-switching between who I was at work and who I was at home, and going back and forth, and those worlds not being me. I know you talk a lot about this in terms of your personal mission and your professional mission, and they don’t have to be completely overlapping, but they have to have alignments.

Mitch: Absolutely.

Laura: And so for me I felt like if what I was doing outside of work was working on behalf of causes that I loved and what I was doing inside of work was working on behalf of causes I loved but really working on behalf of owners of a firm who I didn’t, it felt like I was working at cross purposes, and frankly I was burning out energy doing the things that didn’t matter to me as much just so that I could do the things that did, so why shouldn’t I do more of the things that actually do matter?

Mitch: Right.

Laura: So I didn’t go retreat somewhere and work on this, although I will say I did write the actual manifesto in St. Martin because we weren’t away for a vacation and I just sat on the beach and it poured out of me. And so, it became known as the St. Martin Manifesto.

Mitch: Oh that’s awesome. All right dream, think, doers we’ll heading to St. Martin because that’s where it happens.

Laura: We’re all going to St. Martin.

Mitch: I love it, that’s the holy land of manifesto.

Laura That’s the holy land of manifestos and I know you love manifestos. I tell people this all the time, I am a very fast writer but I’m a slow thinker, so I think things have to sort of percolate and then as soon as you figure out a way into whatever the thing is it just erupts out of you. And so, I think for me I had just gotten to a point where I finally had clarity on exactly the reason, exactly the thing that was missing. And what it was for me was this combination of calling, and connection, and contribution that I didn’t have in the way that I wanted it.

Mitch: Yeah I love that. To me it’s one of those that I get to talk with a lot of authors, and as you well know because you’ve read a lot of books too, sometimes you can tell with an author they’ve written a book because they see potential, they see financial potential, all of those things. And that’s great, that’s fine if that’s how you want [crosstalk 00:09:55] …

Laura: Cause you make lots of money writing books.

Mitch: Yeah exactly right. I love it when you can see that a book is pouring out of somebody, it’s like a part of who they are, ti’s a part of their story. And then to be able to do what you did though because this isn’t just your story, you went and you found other globe changers and said, “All right, are our stories the same? How was your story? How did your story play out?” All of that. So I love that this is in part your story, but also you went and found those commonalities, those things that other people had done too to reach the same kind of limitless success. When you’re helping people now, let’s talk about those four c’s you just pulled them right off, I love that. Calling, connection, contribution, and control. Let’s talk about those a little bit. Especially for that dream, think, doers like “All right Laura, I’m in, I’m feeling that tension, I want to come up with my manifesto. Via St. Martin, if we can do that.” Come up with your manifesto.

Laura: Or St. Paul.

Mitch: Where do you tell people to get started? I’m guessing that they’re feeling that rub, now they know, I’m feeling that itch. I don’t really want to admit it because that might mean some changes coming, but I’m feeling that itch.” Where do you take them next?

Laura: I think the people who feel that itch are the ones that are saying, “I want success to be meaningful to me. I want it to matter to me.” And I think we get in this trap because we’re listening to everybody else’s definition of what success should be. So, it should be the big job, it should be the big corner office, it should be the fastest most expedient route to the highest paycheck you can get. You should lean into everything, and we get to this point where we’re like, “Well I leaned in, and I filled all the checkboxes of everyone else’s version, along every else’s path to success, and all the checkboxes are full, so why do I feel empty? What’s missing?”

And so I would ask people to start by first ignoring everybody else. Just ignore everyone else’s definition of what you should do, and what you must do, and what you need to do, and just stop listening to Great Aunt Sally at Thanksgiving telling you what other people are doing, and playing that comparison game, because that is as the Buddhists say, the root to all unhappiness. So I think the first thing to do is to stop listening to everyone else and to start listening to yourself. And to think, what is that calling? What is the gravitational pull that you feel towards a goal that is larger than yourself? Maybe it’s a business you want to build, maybe it’s a leader who inspires you, maybe it’s a societal ill that you wish to remedy or cause you wish to serve.

We get it wrong because we think calling has to be cause-related, it has to have purpose, and we think purpose and we think, oh it has to be lofty higher purpose. Now I looked up purpose in the dictionary and purpose literally means the reason for which something is done. That’s it. There’s no picture of Mother Theresa, there’s nobody feeding the poor, it is just the reason for which something is done. So what is the reason that you’re working? Is it because you want to cure cancer? Great, let’s do it. Is it because you want to buy a Maserati and a beach house? Great, let’s do it. There is no judgment in purpose. So the first is calling and it’s being really truly honest with yourself about what your calling actually is. What that reason as you say, the reason you’ve been put on this earth. What is your calling? Number one.

And number two …

Mitch: Can I jump in there just for a second?

Laura: Yeah.

Mitch: Do you find that as people working on calling you almost try to get them to remove that from trying to get it assigned to a butcher, baker, candlestick maker job?

Laura: Yes.

Mitch: Cause I would imagine that as people are searching this out one of the first questions that are going to come to mind is, “Yeah, but can I make money at that? Is that really a job?” All of those things, but there’s power in giving yourself that permission to think about that purpose without necessarily thinking about what the profession has to be yet.

Laura: Yes. The can I make money at that comes later in some of the other c’s because of course those things matter, but you often find people say, I want to be an entrepreneur, I want to be a lawyer, I want to be a whatever. And if you keep asking them the question why.

Mitch: Yeah.

Laura: Why do you want to do that? Why do you want to do that? Why do you want to do that? You actually boil down to some reason that they’re like, “Well I want to be a lawyer because the law is the most expedient path to go into politics, and if I go into politics than I can solve the problems of people in my community.” Okay, so your calling is solving the problems of people in your community. Or, I want to be a doctor because I care about helping people and curing them of pain because I lived with a parent who had pain their entire lives. Okay, so you want to alleviate people from the thing that’s holding them back. Maybe that’s through medicine, maybe that’s through something else, but you can get to the root of what it is that they actually care about. So for me, my calling is to see the greatness in other people and reflect it back of them in ways that they maybe have never seen it before and finally are actually willing to believe it and act on it. I get people unstuck.

Mitch: That’s awesome.

Laura: That’s what I do.

Mitch: Yeah.

Laura: So I have done that through a career in politics, I’ve done it in a career in philanthropy, I’ve done it in a career of executive search, I’ve done it as an entrepreneur, I’m doing it now as an author as a speaker, so the label is irrelevant. The action and the result is what matters. And so, I think …

Mitch: I like that.

Laura: To think about your calling is what is the gravitational force? What is the thing that drives you? What fulfills your soul?

Mitch: Well I really like that and I like that being able to almost … ’cause I do think even the smartest of people, you know, even the most successful people go, “What’s my calling? Gosh, that’s a big question.”

But to be able to say, “All right, let’s break that down. What are professions you’ve been interested in or felt called to in the past?” And then break it down through a series of why’s. Like, “Okay if you wanted to be a lawyer,” which it’s funny you bring that up because I actually had thought about being a lawyer as well, applied to law schools all of that, and said, “Wait, is it really lawyering? Do I really want to be a lawyer or what is those things?” I realized I wanted to advocate for people. I wanted to protect them, and guide them, and all of those things. It’s like, I think there are better ways. So, I really think that that’s a very tangible strategy to be able to say, “All right,” kind of reverse engineer some of those things to get to that deeper root to that calling. So, I love it.

Laura: Yes.

Mitch: So all right, now we’ve equipped them to dig into the calling what’s next?

Laura: So the next C is a connection, and connection gives you sightlines into how your everyday work serves that calling by either solving the problem at hand, by growing the company’s bottom line, by reaching that goal. It’s how you know that you in that box on that organizational chart in that company actually matter. It’s how you know that people would notice if you called into work sick tomorrow. Does the work that you’re doing on a daily basis actually connect to the calling you want to serve, does it matter?

So in my case the work I was doing on a daily basis in that search firm wasn’t connecting to what I wanted to do, which was change the world, it was connecting more to building the bottom line of the company, which eventually helped to change the world but there was for me a more direct route I could take. And so, I felt stuck because I felt that I was disconnected from being in consonance with my calling.

Mitch: Yeah and that incongruency it is amazing how so often that incongruency is so subtle, right? And it does create that inner tension, but unless you’re taking these steps like you’re talking about you don’t quite feel it, or you don’t quite know it, you can’t put your finger on it, so you’re walking around feeling incongruent, but you can’t even necessarily verbalize why right? You see so many people. I have a buddy of mine that calls these people the grays. And they’re the people that started in an organization, or a position worked their way up and just became more and grayer because they started to feel that feeling but couldn’t figure it out, but they added more things to their life, the house, the cars, the all the responsibilities and now somewhere are kind of missing within all of that gray. So I love being able to say, “All right let’s identify that thing, let’s call that out, and let’s get congruent making sure that you’re connected.” So I love that.

Laura: Yeah. It’s so real and I think we get so busy with everything that’s in our inbox or the drive by’s at work. If you looked at your goals in life and then you looked at your to-do list they probably don’t match. And then even further if you look at how you actually spend your time they definitely don’t match. And so, understanding, is what I’m doing matter? How do I say yes to things? How do I say no to things? How do you make those decisions? They’re all based on thinking about connection and understanding that what you bring to the world is so very important. And I think this happens a lot with entrepreneurs because they start a company and they love the company and then the company grows if they’re successful, and it grows, and it grows, and it grows, and then next thing you know they’re no longer doing the exciting innovative thing, they’re dealing with managing staff, and managing client problems, and dealing with invoices, and suddenly what they’re doing all day long is not actually connected to their calling, which is to be 18-24 months ahead of the market and be innovative. And so, they get stuck and it becomes insidious almost. And they realize that the thing that they started to be limitless actually has become the thing that’s limiting them.

Mitch: Absolutely. That’s awesome. And I have somewhat of a sidebar question maybe a step to the side, but I know for you it meant a career change, right? It meant stepping away from the big firm, starting your own thing. With the people that you interviewed would you say that it often almost always involved career change or sometimes can this if somebody’s getting clarity on their calling, they start to realize may they’re not connected to it as much, does that always mean career change or have you found that sometimes it’s more of a mental shift.

Laura: Well it can either be changing career, it can be changing their workplace, or it can be changing themselves. So the first is obviously changing their career. So somebody who went from selling textbooks to becoming a salesperson for running equipment because he was a running coach and wanted to live in the running world all the time didn’t really change his career, he sort of changed what he was doing in his workplace. But I had other people who went from working in HR at Tesla to starting executive coaching organizations because they wanted to help people understand the real truth behind trauma. I had somebody who went from Delta Airlines to starting a non-profit to help women to recruit and run women for political office who then realized that in fact she actually hated raising money for non-profits, and then went back into Delta to make the lucrative salary so that she could fund the non-profit, and she could do both things.

You either have to change your career and do something entirely different or maybe you in your own workplace think about how you change the way you interact. So it could be as easy as talking to your boss and asking for site lines into how big decisions are made and why you’re assigned to certain things. It might not be that your work doesn’t matter it might be that you just don’t understand that it matters. And so, sometimes it’s as little as just having a conversation with people around you, and sometimes it’s thinking about how you value these different C’s in your life, because at every age and at every life stage you’re going to want and have more of each of calling, connection, contribution, and control.

Mitch: Yeah, I like that. I like that. And those are, that seasonal component does have an impact, and so that does make a difference. I wrote a book called Dream Job Redefined, and similar idea from the standpoint that some people were doing work they loved, but some people were very intentionally doing work that allowed them to do something they loved.

Laura: Yes.

Mitch: So your example from Delta I had a number of people that sat in jobs that they didn’t necessarily adore, but had big smiles on their face, brought excellence the whole time because they knew it was funding something outside, or taking care of something that they needed to take care of, or fueling another dream in some way. So, that’s important, the big thing though if I’m hearing this is the key is to dig in and be intentional about it, don’t let it happen by accident.

Laura: Yes. Well and this is where the third C comes in contribution. So contribution is understanding how this job, this brand, this paycheck contributes to the community to which you want to belong, to the person you want to be, or the lifestyle you’d like to live. So, does this paycheck allow you to have the lifestyle that you want? Is it contributing? You might be in a soul fucking job that you hate because you care about the Maserati, and the beach house, you may be in an organization where you’re doing work that doesn’t feel connected that much to your calling, but the company is manifesting your values in the world in such a major way that you love being part of it. It may be that you’re in a job where you are fetching coffee, but you know that if you’re fetching coffee in the CEO’s office as opposed to being the assistant to the assistant of a division manager that’s actually going to contribute to your career trajectory in ways that will help you grow. So the connection is about how does the work matter? How does the work that you’re doing matter to your calling, but contribution is do you have a smile on your face at the end of the day because this job is allowing you to have the kind of life you want? This work is contributing to the life and the lifestyle and the values that you want to live.

Mitch: I love that, and I think to your point earlier that whole thing of being able to say a lot of times our to-do list doesn’t necessarily match goals. As you’re thinking about and being intentional about the contribution side of it, to be able to say, “All right wait, if I’m not feeling satisfied at the end of the day was I intentional about my contribution? And am I in a position or am I moving towards a position where I contribute more?” So I love that awareness, I think this is giving people some buckets to be able to pay attention to the things that are going to help them be more intentional.

Laura: Yeah. For an example, in my life when I was 21 years old and I was working on the presidential campaign I had all the calling in the world, but I had no connection, what I was doing didn’t matter. I was making photocopies, I was hanging yard signs, I was not creating domestic policy.

Mitch: Meeting with world leaders, hello.

Laura: I was if you looked up the definition of unimportant you would have seen my face.

Mitch: Yeah.

Laura: It did not matter, but I knew that if he got elected I could possibly have a really interesting life, I could have a really interesting career. At this point in my life though my calling is important, and I do want to do work that makes the world a better place, but I also have teenage kids, and aging parents, and every time I sit down at my desk it means I’m not doing something else. So the work has to be connected to something that I care about and something that matters, and it has to contribute to me being able to have a flexible lifestyle where I can work from home, I can be on an airplane, but I can also show up at the school musical recital, and I can also be there for my friends and family and the causes that I care about. So the entire rubric of my season has changed, and so the four C’s of my consonance has changed to match.

Mitch: Yeah, I love that. I think it’s great.

Now let’s talk about that fourth one, which is control, which I’m sure everybody’s like, “Okay, I’m listening. I’m in.” Because control is that thing that we’re all wanting more of, but we have to be intentional about our goals here as well. So, when you start to talk with people about control how do you guide them on this subject?

Laura: Well I will say that your audience of the dream, think, doers probably has a leg up here because people who have become entrepreneurs have made specific changes in their life to give them more control. They have decided the heck with everyone else I’m going to create my own destiny. So this may be the easiest of the four for your dream, think, doers, but control reflects how you’re able to influence your connection to that calling in order to have some say in assignments, and projects, and deadlines, and colleagues, and clients, and input into shared goals, and to do work that contributes to your career trajectory and earning. So control means how much are you able to have agency over the money that you make, the hours that you work, the things that you do, and for some people they don’t care if they have no control whatsoever as long as they’re making tons of money, tons of contribution, and the work they’re doing actually feels like it matters, and who cares about the calling. For other people like me, I’m a huge control freak. Our mutual friend Scott Straten likes to say an entrepreneur is Latin for bad employee, and I was like, yep.

Mitch: That’s exactly. Does not play well with others.

Laura: Does not play well with others. I had an old boss who once said to me … I ran into him 10 years after I started my last company and he said, “Did you always know that you were an entrepreneur because I did?”

Mitch: A raging case of the entrepreneurial. Yeah, exactly.

Laura: Yeah, I was like, “Hmm I wonder why that is? I guess I was unmanageable.”

Mitch: Yeah exactly.

Laura: But so control, if control is important to you or if you’re always feeling like, “I have a better idea, I could do this smarter, there should be a different way. Boy if we only did it like this or like that.” It may be that you’ve got a raging case of the entrepreneurial and that you need to have more control than you have right now in you work. And so, control is really how much control do you want and need over the connection that you have to in the contribution that is involved in reaching that calling?

Mitch: Yeah. I think that’s great. It’s funny is I was reading that I was reminded I had a coaching client once who hired me and she said, “I’m hiring you to help me sell my company.” She’s like, “I want to get clear on this and I want to sell my company.”

I said, “Well that’s great.” But I said, “Is it okay if we go bigger than that? Let’s get clear on what you want first. And if selling your company is what you want then great, but if not …” and we dove in and basically she was an entrepreneur and she built this company, but to your point, she’d gotten off of what she’d really started it for. It was an IT company, she loved puzzles, she loved solving puzzles, but as she built this company she started to do more HR staff, she was in meetings all the time.

She wasn’t actually getting to do the things that she started the company to do. And for her it was controlling some of those things and saying, “Wait, I have taken on all these things, I’m going to offset some of those things and I’m going to get back to what I love.” And what was great was she didn’t sell the company but the company wound up being much more profitable, much more successful because she was focused in on those things. She took control and said, “I want more of this.” But it was only because she’d done some of the other things you’re talking about. Getting clear on that calling, and contribution, all those things. So this is huge.

Laura: I think the best way to do that … I just had a similar coaching client actually here with the same thing who he started this company and he was like, “Ugh I keep getting dragged … people keep coming to my office and asking me where the toilet paper is to refill the paper towels.” And he’s like, “Why do they keep disturbing me?” And he decides that his solution would be to get a satellite office down the street. It’s like, you’re not allowed to hide.

Mitch: Yeah right exactly. You cannot create a little hole for yourself, although it’s tempting.

Laura: It’s tempting. And we ended up actually coming to the same conclusion where he hired somebody to run that company, now he sort of sits on top of that company plus the other things he wants to create, because he had the same experience I did, which was when I was running my company I knew that my highest and best use was being 18-24 months ahead of the market. My job was to come up with solutions to the problems that the market didn’t quite know they had yet. That was my job as CEO, it was my job to be the visionary out the front leader and the champion of my people. Now my people who were doing professional services work their job was to just deliver, deliver, deliver with excellence today, this week, maybe think about this month. If I was really lucky they would think about the quarter, maybe, but …

Mitch: In probably relationship to bonuses as well, right?

Laura: And definitely relation to bonuses. So my job if I was firing on all cylinders was to be out there, and their job was to be in here. And I found that the better I got at my job, and the better they got at their job the further separated we were, and the further I felt every time they pulled me back into one of their problems, the further I felt from being connected to my calling. And every time I try to pull them into where I was they were like, “What? I don’t care about what we’re doing in 18 months, I got this report to deliver today.”

Mitch: Yeah exactly.

Laura: And so we were speaking in completely different languages. So for me, my decision to leave came because I felt like my highest and best use, when I was in my fundamental state of leadership, when I was doing the things I did best was not where I got to spend the majority of my day. And also, I sat down and I thought, what does this firm need? When we first started we started as a firm to do things completely differently than the way this work has been done in the sector ever before. And we spawned a lot of competition, which is how you know that people decided that we were onto something.

Mitch: Yeah right exactly.

Laura: So 10 years into it when we suddenly had competitors and everybody was trying to offer the same services that we were offering, I sat down, and I thought, you know the firm actually doesn’t need this sort of big math iconic clative we’re going to do things differently type of leader, it actually needs somebody who cares about the work, the today, this month, the this quarter, we’re going to so geeked out over excellence. And a few years into running the company I’d actually hired a business partner to help run the firm, and I turned to her at the 10-year mark, and I said, “You gotta buy me out. I need a mega strategy because the firm … not only am I not enjoying it anymore, I haven’t learned anything new in a while, and the firm doesn’t need me. The firm actually needs you, so I should leave. We should create a five-year plan, and I should leave.” And that’s really how I ended up in this new career of being an author, and a speaker because I knew that it was time for me to go because my highest and best use was no longer being used.

So I think for your dream, think, doers if they are wondering whether or not they’re feeling connected to that calling, and they feel like they’re in their stuck place, I would ask them the question of, when you were at your very best, when you were doing the thing that you do better than anyone else, when you were firing on all cylinders whether it was making it rain and closing a deal, or helping someone through a quiet moment, whatever the case may be is that where you spend most of your time? And if you don’t then you’re probably not in consonance.

Mitch: Yeah absolutely. And to be able to say, “All right that doesn’t mean the world’s ending it just means that there are some shifts that need to come.” And I think that is fantastic. You’re all about helping people be intentional, and it starts with getting some clarity. So I know that you put together a gift for a dream, think, doers, to help in this process, especially if they’re like, “Okay I’m in. I realize”

Laura: Now what?

Mitch: “I want more, but …” So I know that obviously dream, think, doers are going to need to grab this book, it’s called Limitless: How to Ignore Everybody, Carve your Own Path, and Live Your Best Life, but Laura’s taken one step further, for the family.

Laura: But wait there’s more.

Mitch: And put together something for us. Yeah, put something together for us.

Laura: Yes. So, dream, think, doers can go to a little quiz that I put together. It’ll take 10 or 15 minutes there are about 60 or so questions, and it will walk you through the four C’s of calls, connection, contribution, and control. And it’s at

Mitch: DTD.

Laura: DTD. So, and if you go to that take the quiz, in the results you’ll see exactly how much of each of the four elements of call, connection, contribution, and control you have, and also how much you want. And they overlay on this pretty little radar chart, and it will show you where you are out of consonance and give you some tips on the best things that you can do right now today to start getting your life in order, getting your life together, becoming limitless.

Mitch: I love it, I love it. So dream, think, doers go do that. We’ll include that link again in the post as well, but Laura I love this. So I want to ask one last question, gotta ask it. Especially for that person, again we’re talking with successful people, and I always think one of the challenges with success is you start to get to the point where you’re thinking, I don’t want to touch anything, I don’t want to break anything. Or, I don’t want to look like a fool because I’ve achieved some success. What would you say to that person who knows they’re incongruent, they’re not in their spot anymore? There’s a good chance maybe they were, but now maybe they’ve shifted or because of …

Laura: Or life has changed.

Mitch: Yeah life has changed, season change, they’ve changed, all of that. What’s one last piece of advice you’d offer them to get them moving forward?

Laura: Well I would say that if they either don’t have the luxury, the privilege, the audacity, or the bravery to do something big right now they should do what my 16-year-old calls a side quest.

Mitch: Nice.

Laura: Now I don’t know if your dream, think, doers are gamers, but it turns out that if you want to slay the dragon and save the princess, and the castle you need to have a horse and a sword, but in order to have a horse, and a sword you have to tend your crops and build and grow your wheat so that you can bring the wheat to the market to buy the horse and a sword. So if you are at a place where you can’t make the big move, if you’re waiting for your friend to finish family dinner with his parents so that he can log online and play the game with you, you can do a side quest. You can instead of going straight to the castle and trying to slay the dragon, spend some time tending your crops, make the little changes, take a course, have some informational coffees, read some books, listen to some great podcasts like this one. Start to imagine what life would be like by learning the language, and the networks, and the trends that are happening in that universe, and tend your crops, grow your wheat, then so when you’re ready to bring it to the market and sell it for money you can buy your sword and buy your horse, and go to the castle and slay the dragon and save the princess.

Mitch: Sidequest, I am all in. I love it. Well Laura thanks so much for being on, we’re rooting for ya and grateful that you wrote the book.

Laura: Thank you so much this was fun.

Mitch: Okay Dream Think Doer… leave a comment and let me know what stood out from what Laura had to say?  I LOVE hearing from you and can’t wait to hear what stuck with you!

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