Success Hangover: Kelsey Ramsden

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Kelsey Ramsden, author of Success Hangover, is an award winning business mogul. She actually won top entrepreneur in Canada at one point and is ranked among the top women entrepreneurs in the world.

This episode is about the biggest lie in business, and that lie is that once we achieve great success will finally feel complete, accomplished and whole. And Kelsey doesn’t believe that’s right. The truth she says is that success creates a wicked hangover and that’s what she went through.

She scaled multiple companies to millions of dollars she won all these business awards while she was battling cancer and raising three kids. She just didn’t feel complete, even though everyone else had put her on a pedestal. She felt hollow and empty inside. That’s what we talk about is what that experience was really like and how she ultimately got out in the lessons that she learned.

If you’re somebody who feels successful on paper or you feel disconnected when other people give you praise for what you’re doing, this episode is definitely for you.

Get Kelsey’s new book Success Hangover on Amazon.

Find out more at Success Hangover.

Kelsey Ramsden: By the time I finished high school, I actually believed I wasn’t very clever. In fact, I nearly didn’t graduate. I went in and saw my principle, who was the coach of the rugby team and I was the captain of the girl’s rugby team.

I said, “I just want to let you know that unless I get a 49 on my physics exam, I’m not going to graduate from high school.”

I was going to leave that information there and walk out, you know? My hope was that he would sort it out for me, because I figured it wasn’t looking very good. Sure enough, when I got my transcripts, I got a 49 in physics.

We never discussed it.

I don’t know if I actually got a 49 or if he helped me out.

But secretly, somewhere in my gut, I always knew I would do something interesting. I was kind of this inner battle of “you’re not good enough” but “there’s something there.”

Just a Feeling

Charlie Hoehn: How did you know there was something there?

Kelsey Ramsden: It was a bit of a feeling. I mean, I know that sounds a bit woo woo or whatever, but you know when you have a belief that you could do something, you just haven’t found it yet? That was one thing. And then, people liked to be around me. I was kind of like, the social convener.

I was the kid who planned a party and was the captain of the team and did all that stuff. Socially, I did okay.

I went on and I did my undergrad, and I was on academic probation half of the time. I just never really got my stride going, and I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. It took me a long time to figure that out.

One of the things that people assume is that people who wind up doing okay always knew what they wanted.

I bet anybody who is listening to this could ask their grandmother, “Do you know what you want?” and she would probably say, “Well, yeah, there are a few things I know I like, but I’m not done yet.”

This idea that we’re supposed to have it all figured out and ace all the things and whatever—it took me too long to realize that nobody really had it figured out. I thought everybody else had it figured out and it was only me that was walking around feeling like, “What the hell?”

No One Has It Together

Charlie Hoehn: Why do you think we have that? Because I totally remember realizing adults and grownups are equally lost.

Kelsey Ramsden: I am a slow learner apparently, because that didn’t land for me. I mean, I got like sniffs of it, but it landed when we had our first child, when we had Sophie.

I remember being like, my God, I have no idea what I was doing. Then I was like, wait a minute, my mom had an idea what she was doing. What?

I didn’t think there was room for negotiation or change—I just thought she had it all dialed in. There was some plan.

Turns out, there were zero plans with parenting.

There’s like, please survive and hopefully you’re a good, kind human who contributes to society. Outside of that, we’re winging it.

Charlie Hoehn: Right, don’t choke on this grape for the next two years and we’ll be good, I have succeeded as a parent.

Kelsey Ramsden: I say to myself every night, if I go to bed and I can say my children need me less and want me more, I’m moving in the right direction.

We’ll find out—wait 10 years. My kids, they’re 11, 8, and 6, so you know—so far so good.

Making It Work

Charlie Hoehn: You eventually found something?

Kelsey Ramsden: Yeah, I mean, in the end I did okay. As I grew up, my mom had a cleaning company and my father had a construction business. I grew up working for them on the weekends, and in the summers, I would go and work construction.

My first job was the girl on the side of the highway that with the slow and stop sign when I was 14.

We call them flag people up here. On the highway, when there’s a big highway job going on and they need like the traffic to stop, there’s someone standing there with that sign on a broom handle basically and stopping traffic.

That was me when I was 14. Working up on the Alaska highway, living in a trailer on the side of a highway.

That was my first real job.

I worked construction all the way through, and then I did that undergrad trepidatiously that took me five and a half years to finish. Then I went and worked some more construction for some other people.

I loved it because I liked the people I got to work with, they were like me, they were just regular people, have a good laugh, have a beer on a Friday.

I like building something. I like driving away from the thing and looking at it…

When I was, I guess I would have been 24, I figured I better go and continue my education. I did my MBA, and in fact, I applied to every MBA school in Canada. I did not get into the worst school, but I did get in to only one school, which happened to be the best school.

When the envelope arrived, my first response was “My gosh, they’ve made a mistake, I better wire transfer them the money before they figure it out.”

I called my dad and I was like, “Dad, I need to borrow $70,000 from you today.” He was like, “What did you do??” Which clearly illustrates where he thought I was going in my life.

I have $30,000 saved up and I need $70k more, like now, before they figure it out.

Long story short, I go to school and I’m really involved there. I meet this woman who says, “Kelsey Kitch, I remember your application.”

She said, “Yeah, I walked in to the admissions room, it was on the top of the no pile, and I picked it up because it was a drawing—a hand drawn thing in pencil crayon on the front. I’d never seen someone apply to MBA school like that before. I read it and I said to the committee, ‘I think we should let this girl in off the wait list, she might do something interesting.’”

They put me on the wait list, and yeah, someone didn’t take their spot and they gave me a holler and there I was.

Charlie Hoehn: You applied to MBA school with a hand drawing in crayon?

Kelsey Ramsden: Well, it was pencil crayon.

Charlie Hoehn: Okay, I’m sorry.

Kelsey Ramsden: Okay, what happens is they ask you this really like base question which is “Tell us about yourself.” Most “good” MBAs would say I’m intelligent, I work hard, I have volunteer hours, I’m going to become a consultant or a financier, I’m going to give money back to the school, I helped a grandma across the street…

That’s what you’re supposed to say. I did not say that.

I decided to compare myself to the interstitial, intergalactic universe and talk about me from like this really grand level as I’m a human, all the way down to the cellular level about who I really am and what I would really do with my life and why I thought that they should give me the chance to pursue that, and I knew I would need an MBA to do it.

Clearly it was a bit out there but I guess, you know, in those moments in my life where you have a shot…I’m from Canada, so there’s a saying, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. It’s like a Wayne Gretzky quote. I remember thinking that.

In that application, I was like look, I’m not the smartest person in the room. I did some volunteering, but you know, I didn’t really do a lot. Mostly I built roads and worked hard and could outwork anybody. I knew that.

But I could make great friends, and I knew I developed relationships, and I knew I had something. It was just kind of this thing, like give me a crack in the window to figure it out, because I know this is the right path.

Give it a shot. And it all worked out.

I met my husband there in the program, I graduated, I became a consultant for a period of time before I decided there was no air in there and I hated it.

So one day I walked in and I looked at my boss and I thought, “If I could put a hundred bucks on her or me, who would I put it on?”

So I quit.

Charlie Hoehn: Boom. That is a great question to ask.

Kelsey Ramsden: I called my now husband and I was like, “Hey, I quit my job.” And he was like, “Awesome.” He knew I was unhappy. “What’s the plan?”

I was like, “The plan is that you do not quit your job. I don’t have a plan yet.”

That was really kind of the success bearing moment where I was like, what do II love to do? What am I good at?

For me, I went right back to I love to create things and I’m good at pulling people together. Why don’t I start a construction business and build some stuff with people that I used to work with, maybe they want to work for me?

That’s where it started. So since then, I built a couple of businesses in civil construction. We build highways, bridges, dams, airport runways, that kind of thing, and then do land development. Put together parcels of land and rezone it and cut it up and put up some condos or houses. That’s what started getting me all the awards and the other stuff.

Writing the Success Hangover

Charlie Hoehn: Tell me about the Success Hangover.

Kelsey Ramsden: I did okay with these businesses, so I made a bit of money and people started noticing. I was 28, 29 when I started the business, so now I’m 32, 33. I was named Canada’s top female entrepreneur, as everyone knows, and then I did it the next year. I had these three kids, and it seemed from the outside that I was just killing it.

I had all the things. I’d figured it out.

The second year that I won, about two months after that, our son was two months old. I was diagnosed with cancer. And this particular type of cancer has a 17% survival rate.

In my mind, I thought, well, there you have it. That’s the show.

So I figured out that I had a pretty brief period to dance around this little blue marble out here in space, so what was I going to do with it?

It occurred to me how sometimes you have those epiphany moments where you have this ultimate sense of high and then immediately followed by like a gutting low. People are surprised to hear that when I found out I had cancer and I found out I’d won this award—one was the best thing that ever happened and one was the worst.

But the best was the cancer diagnosis and the worst was the award.

Because I realized I’d spent a whole lot of time building and amassing things that I really thought I wanted, but truly on the other side of all “success,” I still felt un-satiated.

Totally hollow.

And gee, that’s a bummer. When you’re going to die, you’re thinking, that was a good run. Looks great on paper.

I was in the cover of like four magazines that month, flying around the world speaking at all these I international conferences.

Charlie Hoehn: But very little joy.

Kelsey Ramsden: Pretty well zilch. Outside of our children, right? My husband and the stuff that we always talk about matters.

The great thing about the cancer diagnosis, it gave me immediate perspective. It was like “Okay, seriously man, the clock is ticking. Now what?”

Like all good MBAs, I sat down and made a quadrant.

I was like hey, let’s build a model and figure out what am I doing with the rest of my life.

All these a-has started coming to me, and even though it sounds like it happened really quickly, it was a period of a couple of years on the back side of all that success that I had treatment.

I am now well and I lived and it’s amazing and miraculous.

But I felt in the dark because I had no one to talk to say, “Hey, I know it looks great, but it’s like hell in here.”

It’s not cool to say “I’m successful but I’m dissatisfied”—at least it wasn’t.

No One Talks About It

Charlie Hoehn: I want to dig in to this point here because I not only know countless people who have experienced some version of what you’re talking about, I’ve experienced it as well. What held you back from sharing that?

Kelsey Ramsden: Number one, no one says it openly, you know? It’s just so politically incorrect to have what you said you wanted and still be dissatisfied.

Also, it feels a bit like “what the hell?” It’s a bit embarrassing to come out and say, “I spent all this time building this thing and it’s just okay for me.”

In the last year, tons of people that everyone knows, Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade—people who have it all, and they’re just not having it all.

Charlie Hoehn: They’re trapped and isolated by their success.

Kelsey Ramsden: Totally. There’s a number of ways to talk about that, not to lighten them. My favorite quote from the book, it’s like being in the missionary sex of your career, you know? It’s decent, it counts…

You’re waiting for this orgasmic conclusion to this epiphany.

And it’s like walking across the stage to get my degree the first time, and that gave me nothing. I walked off and I was like, “What? That?”

I spent four years and giving my pound of flesh to society because I’m supposed to do this thing, and the best part was sitting in my car, rocking out to a tune and smoking a joint, which I could have done without having had to do the degree

I think that the reason that I chose to write the book, was this idea that because of my success, I happen to have the great fortune of hanging around with a lot of other people who have done okay and have interesting ideas. At the back of cocktail parties, we talk about things that really matter that we would never say out loud.

This kept coming up all the time. People are like, “Actually, you might relate…” and then they’d say it and I would say, “I totally get it.”

They would say, “I’ve written five New York Times bestselling books. I don’t want to write a sixth but I don’t’ know what else to do.”

Who am I? What am I? Is it the same thing? Is it what I do or is it who I am?

After every one of these interactions, I would kind of work a little bit harder and dig a little bit deeper and try to figure out how can I get out of this thing and help all my friends get out of this thing.

It wasn’t the intention actually really ever to write a book about it, it was just kind of like, let’s get us all out of the trenches because here’s all these latent amazing potential.

Whether it’s the New York Times bestselling guy or the person who just graduated from undergrad…Have you ever seen a person Double Dutch skip? It’s like two skip ropes going back and forth over one another.

Okay, there’s someone standing beside the double Dutch rope and they’re like leaning in and out, trying to time the jump, yeah? It’s like that.

It’s like all these people with tons of potential doing that. It looks like they’re skipping, but they’re not.

It occurred to me that actually, if I put what I figured out together in some form that people could understand, maybe I could actually get a lot of people out of this latent default, future, missionary sex of their career life back in the game, feeling alive. Actually wanting to do it. Whatever the new it was.

That’s what I did, through like a figuring out a bunch of ways to do it myself. It’s just my journey. I’m not going to say I’m the prophet, I’m the oracle of whatever.

It’s just my journey, and it’s a journey of a few of the people that I know who know a few people too, and we worked out some models and some training and exercises so people can do it for themselves.

This body of work that helps people understand that that’s totally normal.

For people who are driven and ambitious, we have the sense that there’s an arrival, but that doesn’t happen for us.

For people like us, comfort is really in the discomfort of pursuit.

That’s where we’re best.

As soon as everything just gets a bit obvious, it’s disengaging because we’re – our minds feed on challenge. Have you ever gone to go to a place, you driving home from work or whatever the case and you get there and you’re like, wait a minute, did you I make that left?

It’s like highway hypnosis.

Charlie Hoehn: My mind has been driving and I’ve been somewhere else, yeah.

Kelsey Ramsden: That’s how people are living, and then they wonder why they’re so bored. In certain cases, you know, at some of those parties, people come up to me and say, “I think I’m burned out.”

They talk about it and I’d say, “You know what? Honestly man, I think you’re bored out.”

Just yesterday, I did an event around the book with my former MBA schoolers. Of course they think of things totally differently than I do, and a woman said, “You know it’s so interesting about the story is that you can actually speak to it from a number of different things,” in that I had the traumatic cancer thing that took me out that wasn’t in my control.

I’ve had the peaks that I controlled and had to get out because it wasn’t the thing that I love.

I’ve kind of created my own monster.

All of these kind of things that we’re talking about—the people who want to kill themselves, I thought that was a good idea at a point.

There is a way to not only abbreviate the dark side after your success but do something about it as you are approaching the peak so that the fall is either non-existent or really a lot less painful.

I mean the cancer thing was a huge gift, but I will tell you what—the last thing I figured out for the book was this part of disassociating what I did from who I am.

That was actually the part where I was like, “Oh my God, I did it. I’ve done it. Now I have to share this thing.”

So I worked out this way of thinking about in all the things in my life that I have done, that I’ve done reasonably well at it or enjoyed—what’s the silver thread?

What is the thing that goes through them all?

And I went through a number of different iterations and you know how we introduced ourselves? I’m Kelsey Ramsden, blah-blah-blah, awards and scholastic achievements, a bunch of other stuff. Do you know how many times I’ve bred a human, whatever.

Or the city I live in, like that is where I parked…it is not really an accomplishment but you know so we talk about these things but really what is a lot more engaging and interesting and the thing that has helped me worlds is arriving at a place where I can say, “I am Kelsey Ramsden. I am a creator who deeply values intimate connection.”

This is the other problem is when you get success, you get more opportunity and then it is harder to choose.

And so then how do you take all of that stuff, all the things you now could do and discern what to do next? So for me, I just took who I actually am and I looked at all the opportunities, and I said, “Where can I apply this in a way that I just absolutely know without a shadow of a doubt that it is about creating something and I can intimately connect with people?”

I don’t want people to get distracted by the word intimate.

Because to me, designing a road as intimate connection with someone because someone is going to teach their kid to ride their bike on that road and it matters, you know?

Who Are You Really?

Charlie Hoehn: I am curious, how did you arrive upon that personal, almost spiritual mission that you had?

Kelsey Ramsden: I guess I figured there was no other way out, you know?

So there is an exercise in the book that goes through this. All the exercises they’re on the website anyway. You don’t have to buy the book, but it would be a lot cooler if you did.

Charlie Hoehn: Definitely buy the book.

Kelsey Ramsden: But I went through all my accomplishments because that’s the only place I knew where to start, right? Kelsey Ramsden, MBA, this award, that award, number of children, where I grew up, blah-blah-blah. And then in the next column I went through it and then I went, “Well okay, why does this matter to me though?”

I mean it matters to the world in that they say it’s important, but what about this actually, why did I even bother completing this?

Okay, so if I look at my undergrad, I did my undergrad because I wanted my parents to approve of me, and I wanted to party with my friends.

That was about it.

But when I was actually there, this thing I was most proud of was this one particular class. It is a physics class. I liked physics. We got to create a comic book, and it sounds really bizarre but my whole undergrad career that was the one thing that I was like, “I loved that,” okay?

That was it. What about the others that I love? What was the abstract?

I was creating something from nothing.

Then on—why did that whole undergrad experience even matter to me? It was all about the intimate connections I had with my friends. Every minute that I could remember about it, it was a moment staring into someone’s eyes going, “We did it.”

So I just kept going down the list and trying to discern why did I bother? What mattered, what stuck. And going deeper and deeper into it until finally I landed on, “Oh that’s true,” as ugly as it was.

It is not that cool to admit that I’ve spent five years and the biggest thing that came out of my undergrad was a comic book. Like, come on.

Charlie Hoehn: That’s pretty cool, I mean it says actually more I think about schooling and the way we approach it than it does about you.

Kelsey Ramsden: Well I appreciate that. I echo your sentiment, but you know a lot of people are stuck in this idea that someone is going to tap them on the shoulder and tell them it is their time.

Someone is going to give them a grade, someone is going to say what you do next is this thing. And what happens for a lot of us who are driven and ambitious or whatever we want to call us is that we do all that hoop jumping. I always call it smart hoop jumping monkeys.

We’re like, “Boop-boop-boop, I’ll do your thing, I’ll jump your hoops.”

And then at some point we get to this elevation that there is no one putting hoops up anymore and that’s when people start to freak out.

Just tell me what to do next.

And that is why I think a lot of people they had an early success, whether it’s when they wrote their first book and it did well and they’re like, “Great I am a writer!” and then they just start at writer and they write and they write and they write and one day they’re like, “Wait a minute, oh my gosh I don’t want to do this anymore.”

So I think the thing that crystalizes it for a lot of people is this idea of a default future.

Digging Deep

Kelsey Ramsden: Are you cool if we do something weird?

Charlie Hoehn: I say yes to that all the time.

Kelsey Ramsden: Okay and everyone who is listening can do this along with us, but don’t be afraid. I mean it is weird, but you are not going to harm yourself.

I am going to ask you two questions, and you are going to not answer it out loud, just answer in your head, okay? And then I am going to read your mind, cool?

Charlie Hoehn: I like it, yeah.

Kelsey Ramsden: So the first question, I want you to think of something you know very well. Something specific that you know—you know it really well. Got it?

Just whatever comes to mind. There is no right answer.

Charlie Hoehn: Something that I know very – Yes.

Kelsey Ramsden: Cool, now I want you to think of something you remember, something specific, a memory, something you remember. First one, it doesn’t matter. You got it?

Cool, so I have done this a lot with a lot of people this works—the thing that you know really well, I am willing to wager that you can teach it to someone else. So let us move on to the thing, the memory that has three tags to it.

One is it’s highly a mode of love, lust, hate, fear, something there is an emotion, yeah?

Yeah, the second thing is it couldn’t be repeated the exact same way twice. Yeah?

And the third thing is that you either shared it with another human being by virtue, you did it with that person and they were there with you, or if you did it on your own you told it to someone else in the human element, like not on Instagram or whatever. You stared a person in the eye and you told them about it, yeah?

Charlie Hoehn: Yeah.

Kelsey Ramsden: Winner-winner-chicken dinner?

Charlie Hoehn: You got it.

Kelsey Ramsden: So that’s because from wherever you are in the world, wherever I am in the world, I can read your mind, because there is a way that our minds work. When you are talking about accumulating experiences, it reminded me of this thing.

It is in the book, it is called the Three E method. I will tell you about the fourth E in a second, but the reason why the first question matters, that thing that you could teach, is most of us associate our sense of who we are with that thing.

Charlie Hoehn: What is funny about this, the first answer that came into my mind I edited it out because I try to get away from my association with that thing, which is book marketing. I know book marketing like the back of my hand, but it is also very routine and formulaic after a certain point. So it is not very interesting to me and I don’t really want to help people with it.

So I moved onto the thing that I know not quite as well but I love, which is editing video. So I was like, “That’s my answer.”

Kelsey Ramsden: Well what is awesome about that in it of itself is your mind immediately gave you the thing that is most obvious to itself and that plays perfectly well into the reason that this works. Because that’s what people often see us as and we associate ourselves with who we are.

That is who your mind believes it’s what you know really well. That is the first thing you’ve answered when you were asked with that question.

And the scary thing if you want it to be a little bit weird is that if you can teach it you can program it, ultimately. It may be a few years but that thing that we all associate ourselves with probably is not a wise idea to cling to that super hard.

The thing that makes us exceptional, an exception to the rule of book marketers, is who you are.

There’s a lot of book marketers, a lot MBAs, a lot of physicians, a lot of all those things.

The thing that makes you an exception is you.

The more we get greater at things, what tends to happen is we narrow our experience subset and stop doing new and interesting things.

We stop doing it with other people because we are afraid of what other people would think if we were doing those things. So this actual identity piece of who we are starts to fizzle away when mastery becomes mundane.

The cool thing and, what abbreviates that shadowy period for people on the success hangover side of the spectrum, is strategically engineering those activities for themselves.

If you can strategically engineer them and you say, every day, I am going to do something that has those three components.

So today, my plan is I am going to talk to a stranger and I am going to make it a stranger who looks a little bit, you know, not like a person I would normally talk to and I am just going to ask them for some free directions even though I don’t need any.

The Four Es

Charlie Hoehn: Can you say what those three components are again?

Kelsey Ramsden: Yeah, so it’s emotion. So pick any emotion, in this case for me it is going to be nervousness because I don’t know the person. This is a really minor example right? This is something super base, this is junior varsity. Everybody could try this.

So I am not going to meet that same guy. It’s not going to be today, it’s not going to be whatever.

One I’d like to use is go a different way to work. Engineer something different—easy one. An experience that you couldn’t do the exact same way twice. And then the third one is share it with another human being. So in that case, I am doing it with another human being.

It has a lot to do with how we’re actually soft wired. How our brains function from a long time ago. And storytelling was a means of communicating. That is actually how it retains information.

There is a whole lot of science behind it, and there is a bit of it I included in the book. So it is not just a random thing, but it occurred to me randomly.

I put those three things together because I kept saying to myself, how is it that I am such a dummy and I am so poor at school and I do all of these stupid things and whatever—but I keep winning.

I realized that it’s because of who I am.

And then I tried to figure out, “Well how did I arrive at who it is that I am? What are these memories that clashed together to create all of these good ideas?”

If you engineer those things with enough frequency, it actually calls your mind to attention. See, what we’ve done with this mastery thing when we go to the thing that we do and it is so easy to us that could be taught and da-da-da, is that we just shift to right down into neutral.

Your mind is not even paying attention. It is not taking any lesser, it is just doing what it does, so why would it show up?

So that’s why the fourth E comes in, which is the epiphany. So everybody is sitting around after their success, and they’re seeing their hangover going, “What’s next? I am waiting for the idea, the big thing, the aha moment, the feeling alive again….” They’re giving themselves no opportunity for that to happen, and the only way that I found for me and people that I have been hanging around is to strategically engineer those first three Es.

Then the fourth E comes a lot faster—the epiphany.

The truth of the matter is if I could put this book out in the world without anyone’s name attached to it—the Forrest Gump feather, and it landed on the right people’s lap and the right time randomly and sporadically—I would 100% do that. Because I just happen to be the guy who wrote the book.

There is a lot of people just like you and me who have experienced this thing and worked bloody hard for a long time to figure out the way out and perhaps not everyone figured out how to articulate it ,but there’s a lot of people who are working hard at trying to get on the other side of it.

Success isn’t singular.

This idea that you just do it once is horrific. So for me, it’s like when you see something in a shop and you know it is already yours like, “Oh that’s my hat.” It just happens to be in the show. I know that it belongs to me. I have to buy it.

This book to me had to be a feather—if it lands in someone’s lap at the right time, from a friend who goes, “You’ve got a success hangover. No big deal. I get it. I’ve had one too, this is going to help you out.”

Connect with Kelsey Ramsden

Charlie Hoehn: Where can our listeners either follow you on your journey or if you want to be contacted, what is the best way to do that?

Kelsey Ramsden: So of course the site is successhangover.com. They can follow me just @kelseyramsden and all the way through the book, and then I am totally open with this. Reach out to me, tell me what you’re thinking, what are your thoughts, what are you experiencing, because I feel just like that. We are kindred spirits because we just had this really personal conversation and I am just happy to be people’s wingman.

I don’t have the answers but I can help. I can show up and give a bit of my experience or other people’s experiences and so I am happy to connect in all of those places you will find the ways to get in touch with me next level if that’s what you are interested in, too.

Charlie Hoehn: And my last question for you is, give our listeners a challenge. What is one thing they can do from your book this week that will have a positive impact?

Kelsey Ramsden: So I believe very strongly that to be exceptional you have to be an exception to the rule, yeah? And people like us want to be exceptional in some way—maybe not stand out, but we get bored pretty quick.

I would say think about the rules you’ve constructed for yourself, whatever they are, and decide intentionally to break one of them.

So simply put, for me today, I am going to talk to a stranger which is not something I would do. It’s not expedient. I like expediency. I like to get places where I am going and get there quickly. I like to have a plan. I like intimate connections—so why would I waste my time talking to that stranger for 30 seconds?

Find a little rule, some things that are so low risk, and break it. Let that be an opportunity for you to see how many choices you actually have in a day and how many rules you are carrying around that you have not even pressure tested lately.

I would ask them point blank, “What rule did you break today?” That’s it.

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