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[Podcast] Living a Brighter Life (Sherry Walling)

By Bob Sparkins  |  Published Aug 03, 2023  |  Updated Aug 03, 2023
Bob Sparkins
By Bob Sparkins

A marketer with 17 years of experience, Bob has taught over 1,000 webinars and spoken at over 50 events.

Blog Sherry Walling 2

Dr. Sherry Walling is a clinical psychologist serving startup founders, and the creator of ZenFounder.com. She's also the author of Touching Two Worlds: A Guide for Finding Hope in the Landscape of Loss.

In this episode, Sherry shares her perspective and strategies for becoming a high achieving human up to cool things in our world.

Key Takeaways

  • Your personal story is not permanent. View your story as a springboard for growth rather than as an unchangeable cage.
  • Grief is another side of love. Embracing the transformational power of grief allows us to turn unraveling moments into stronger relationships with self and others.
  • Hold space for business grief, too. Whether it’s the departure of an employee or the failure of a business venture, giving time to emote within a ritual helps you (and your team) process and grow.
  • Get your dopamine fix from wins. Taking time to celebrate and acknowledge your business wins prevents burnout from the never-ending cycle of success seeking.
  • Avoid burnout with an unrelated hobby. Spend some of your non-working time pursuing hobbies that tap into completely different aspects of your physical and mental capabilities.
  • Defeat the noise of imposter syndrome. You bring value to your customers in a unique way that should be championed, not restricted.
  • Alternate seasons of priorities with an entrepreneurial spouse. It’s near impossible to have dual high growth phases within a dual business family — so communicate and share whose turn it is for the next 6 months to a year.
  • Have help at home. In a dual entrepreneurial home, it’s particularly important to hire help in household tasks as you are able.

Resources Mentioned

Podcast Block Blog@2x

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Who is Sherry Walling

Bob Sparkins: Dr. Sherry Walling. So good to have you on today's episode of The Lead Generation. Thanks for being here.

Sherry Walling: Good to be with you. Thanks, Bob. Thanks for having me.

Bob: I'm really looking forward to diving into a range of topics because you are a multi-faceted, multi-talented entrepreneur and psychologist. Before we get into the meat of the matter though, I'd love to know what's one way that you feel you transform the lives of your clients?

Sherry: Wow, that's a beautiful question, but I guess I'm in the business of transformation. My role in people's lives is often to help folks get unstuck and to find creative or alternative ways to think about what they're experiencing in their lives.

Often that's accompanied or it's accomplished through a level of safety and a level of acceptance that most people don't experience in a lot of their relationships.

We bring all of the nitty gritty, shadowy stuff to the table and see if we can help rearrange it in ways that allow people to live brighter and better in their businesses and in their lives.

Bob: Yeah, it's amazing the work that you do, and I can't wait to get some tips to have everybody learn a bit from you today.

Before you entered into the world of psychology and entrepreneurship, you had a previous life. Tell me a little bit about what that was like and what made you want to pursue this career of helping people discover what the best version of themselves could be.

Sherry: Well, it actually has always been my vocation in one capacity or another, but I trained as a fairly traditional clinical psychologist, largely in the areas of trauma and traumatic stress. So I worked with people who had really high intensity jobs, people in the military, mostly, folks who were first responders, a lot of ER docs, so people who had very high kind of life and death experiences happening in the context of their work.

And then we're trying to put that work back together within themselves and then go home to raise kids and make dinner and do their laundry and live like normal folks.

That's how I spent the first part of my career, doing that kind of clinical work and then largely working as an academician. I did a lot of clinical research and a lot of writing, spent a lot of time in the library.

My sort of jump into the world of entrepreneurs is largely through my husband Rob, who some of your listeners may be aware, was the original founder of Drip, which was acquired by Leadpages. Through his trajectory as an entrepreneur, we just had lots of entrepreneurs in our living room, and that's who our friends were and who we were spending time with. I heard some of the same mental health kinds of challenges in that community that I heard in my clients, which made me very curious about how to really come alongside and support entrepreneurs with their own mental health journeys.

Growing Up as a Parentified Child

Bob: That's cool. And that's actually where I want to dive into in just a couple of minutes. But before that, is there an incident or two, maybe when you were a kid, that inspired you to want to pursue this field in the first place? I'm always curious what might be the seed that brought you into this world from a little bit further back.

Sherry: Well, I think most people who become psychologists or mental health professionals are sort of raised to be that in some capacity or another.

For me, I was the oldest child in a family where my mom had multiple sclerosis, so she walked with a cane or used a wheelchair. She had very significant physical limitations in how she could walk or move around the world.

Then I had a dad who had some mental health challenges, who had some depression and other things that were going on with him. I was kind of the big kid, the oldest child and a daughter who helped raise the others and helped kind of keep the peace in the family and just was basically a helper from the time that I was four or five.

There are some difficult parts of that kind of a story. Sometimes in the psychological world, we call that a parentified child, but there are some gifts in that kind of a story where I think I learned from a young age that I could be helpful, right. I had something to offer that was useful and helpful and meaningful.

I also had a lot of sense of responsibility from a young age, which, again, cuts both ways. It's wonderful. It's a gift in a lot of ways. And then it's like, I didn't have a lot of fun when I was a kid.

All that to say, it was a series of experiences that led me to follow a vocation of just jumping in with people into the hard parts of their lives to see how I can be helpful.

Bob: Very remarkable. I'm the youngest in my family, so I appreciated the help that I received from the older siblings. I was definitely impacted in not the same way, but in something parallel.

Sherry: Yeah, we all have kind of our family roles and family stories, right?

Bob: Exactly.

Story as Fuel and Kryptonite

And that's interesting that you say that, because, as you know, my wife's an executive coach, so we just were having a conversation this week about “story,” and I'm wondering, as you think about the way that story plays out for people, what do they hold on to, what do they let go of? Is there anything that you can help our listeners resonate with in that area that might help them to just take a new look at what that idea of personal story can mean for them as an entrepreneur?

Sherry: I think one of the places where story can become problematic is the extent to which it becomes fixed, right. This sort of idea of how we map our stories onto our fixed mindset or our growth mindset.

So if I were, for example, to only see myself as a helper and to just really dial in on that one element of my personal background or life story, that could get really out of balance, and it could keep me from seeing myself in other ways, or exploring other possibilities, or being open to the potential of me receiving help myself, for example.

Stories become great gifts when they become sort of a personal narrative or a myth or a way of seeing ourselves, when we see ourselves in possibility, but they become a problem when we see them as sort of tattoo markings that can't be changed or they're unalterable.

Bob: Yeah. I can see that idea as maybe a springboard as opposed to handcuffs, right?

Sherry: Yeah.

Embracing Grief as an Exercise in Love

Bob: As part of your story, you talk a lot about grief, and I want to talk about grief in a little bit of a different way than what you normally do. But I have your lovely book that you wrote that you have behind you as well about the loss of your brother and his life. I'd love for you to share just for a moment, a little bit about your perspective of what grief in tragic loss means, because I think it's really refreshing for a lot of people to take a new perspective of it and follow a bit of your lead on this.

Sherry: Well, when you say tragic loss, what do you mean exactly? Like where there's a loss of life or when loss is sudden?

Bob: Yes. In both cases where people normally would think of a tragedy, you have a different perspective of what that means. And I think you have embraced how to celebrate life in a different way than what average people, what I run across in an average way, seem. I don't want to call people average. I'm saying the typical response is tragedy makes me….

Sherry: The most commonly occurring.

Bob: Exactly. Makes me suffer. I have to mourn it in a particular way. And I think that you have a fresh approach to this that I'd love for you to touch on for a moment before we go into the entrepreneurial version of this.

Sherry: Yeah, so I definitely learned in graduate school that grief was sort of akin to pathology, right. You don't want to get stuck in grief or lingering grief too long, or be too griefy, really, because that means that you're not doing your work or you're not out there in the world building your kingdom.

I think when I experienced deep grief through the loss of my brother and my father, actually, in a six month period, I really came to understand grief as a deepening or as I guess, another side of love.

And that grief is not something that we get over, it's not something that we try to move through as quickly as possible so we can get back out there into the race, but the grief becomes part of us.

It's sort of this shelf that we set up in our inner world where we keep the pictures and the tokens of the one that we love and we hold it with us, inside of us. And it isn't an anchor, it isn't a pathology, it isn't a brokenness or a weakness, but it's an expansion that is a way of learning to love both people who are with us and people who have passed on, but to hold them quite intimately and closely.

I think those kinds of experiences, these moments in our lives where we are unraveled and taken apart and the assumptions are challenged or taken away from us.

I don't want to sound sort of Pollyannaish by saying there's a silver lining around each heartache because I would definitely trade any growth I've experienced in this loss for having my brother actually back. But I do think that those moments of unraveling do allow us to be re-formed and that grief is part of that new creation that can happen in us when we allow ourselves to dive into the depths and to not be afraid of it.

Bob: Yeah, I think that's a really interesting way and loving way to approach it. I know a lot of our listeners are wondering, this is an unusual part of our conversation to the rest of the Leadpages podcast. We don't talk as much about this kind of thing, but we have a lot of people who they're going to have elder parents or they're going to have siblings or they're going to have kids and it's part of their life.

And if they're entrepreneurs who are pursuing their own lifestyle business and things like that happen, is to figure out a way to approach it, handle it, deal with it, whatever the case may be.

So I want to talk about the loss of a business as well in just a moment, but is there any other just approach other than I'd love for people to read your book because it's really amazing, but anything else to kind of consider when that happens and business still exists at the same time as this grief process is going on?

Sherry: I just chuckle a little bit because as I was in the process of pitching this book and the book was making the rounds through the publishing world, people were like, but you work with entrepreneurs, you're a psychologist for entrepreneurs. Like this book isn't relevant to them.

And I was like, really? Because they're humans. And they're humans who are trying to do big things in the world.

In a way, it's almost more relevant for you, for me, for us, because we are really bad at giving ourselves the beat, a moment, or opening ourselves up to a process like grief. Because normally we're so oriented towards building and making and producing.

The book is actually called Touching Two Worlds to speak to that very conundrum that I experienced as someone who is building a business, a growing business, raising children, having an active speaking career. Lots of things in my life were very much alive while also sort of living in this world of illness and death and tragedy.

I think to normalize that we can have both. There's room for expansion within the human soul and the human experience to account for both. So I think we tend to think about entrepreneurs and just think about the business problems, but often it's the human problems that become business challenges or business opportunities.

I'm grateful that you're having this conversation about grief for an entrepreneurial audience, because, as humans, none of us are exempt from these experiences of loss or of dis-raveling or unraveling.

Bob: And it makes me think about corporate policies of you get a bereavement leave, and you can go and do your thing and then come back after two weeks or whatever the time is.

As an entrepreneur you likely haven't thought about that for yourself. I know I don't think about it that way, but we both have kids that are coming home right at the end of this particular recording that we're doing. Like life is part of those things that you need to do.

Growing from the Grief from a Business Loss

In a related way. And then I want to talk a little bit more about entrepreneurship mindset, questions that I have for you. But sometimes loss comes in the form of a failed business project or in the form of a business relationship that sours, or a launch that just doesn't do what it's supposed to do. Do you have any tips to kind of parallel from what is a little bit more of a substantial deep loss, towards a business loss that still feels heavy and requires a bit of a mental judo, I think in order to get ready for the next version of whatever that business can be?

Sherry: I think the framing of grief is really helpful for a lot of different kinds of losses.

We probably most often associate that word with the emotional reaction to loss via death. But there's lots and lots of losses in the life of an entrepreneur, whether it's as you've identified a launch that didn't go as expected, a team member moving on, a business idea that you gave your heart and soul to that didn't work out the way that you'd hoped.

The ability to create a little space and to use the label of grief to give some emotional legitimacy to the kinds of reactions and feelings that you have that range from disappointment to maybe a sense of listlessness or lostness, the exhaustion that goes along with trying to create something that doesn't work out.

I really think that the framework of grief is helpful because it gives us permission to emote. So in the case of a business that's needing to close, I was part of a number of these stories, certainly during the COVID pandemic, where businesses, despite their best efforts in all of the right directions, were not able to survive.

In that case, we would have a funeral. We'd have a memorial service for the business. And that means you gather the key people and you say a few words. Maybe it means that everybody takes a piece of the logo, or in one case they got tattoos of the logo, which is not necessarily what I would recommend for everybody.

There's something that marks the occasion and creates emotional space and then creates a little bit of ritual around the sense of loss.

We can do that in our businesses in lots of ways. When an employee leaves, for example, have a ritual of departure. How we thank them, how we send a thank you card, what kinds of things we do when we send them off on their way. Those are all grief practices. And they do help us to work through loss by honoring that this time that exists now is different than the time before, that we're a new team now, absent the person who's left, versus the one that we were two months ago.

So when we take time to acknowledge those shifts and changes, we give ourselves space to rearrange and to reorient rather than feeling in a place of stuckness around things are just not the same.

Take Time to Celebrate Your Wins

Bob: On the flip side of that, I'd love to have your thoughts on this idea about celebration.

On the positive side of growth, success, achievement, something like that. I think a lot of entrepreneurs, they're reaching for some goal. They hit that goal and then they just reach for the next goal and they don't take time to celebrate.

I think that leads to some burnout and some challenges. So what are your thoughts around that that can help our listeners to make sure they're taking time for that kind of celebration too?

Sherry: Oh, yeah, we've got some great data, actually, that one of the sort of liabilities for burnout is the lack of celebration, lack of taking the moment to really acknowledge the arrival of a goal.

Neurologically, when we finish something, our brains get this dopamine hit and that feels really good in our brains. Our brains love that. It's those little bounces of dopamine that can kind of keep us motivated. It's like the premise of video games, right? There's a gamification to it. But that exists in our big grown up jobs, too, is the sense of satisfaction when a loop is closed and then when we celebrate it, when we call it out, it just deepens the neurological effects of that accomplishment.

When we don't do that, we're kind of under-nourishing our brain with dopaminergic motivation, and so our brains can get fatigued and tired, which is really what burnout is. Burnout is a repetitive stress injury on our brain. And so dopamine is a lovely counterbalance or sort of fuel for our brain to keep going. One of the best ways to give ourselves some dopamine is a great celebration.

Bob: That's awesome.

Lessons from a Part-Time Circus Life

I'm thoughtful now or reminding myself about some challenge that you put in place for yourself, which is to learn how to fly.

You went and joined some circus activities, and I imagine went through similar activities of: you have a goal. You first are doing different routines. I'm not an aerialist myself, so I'm going to pretend like I know some things because I've seen your show and seen your Facebook and everything. But you get on the trapeze and you make a catch and then you celebrate it, hopefully, and then you keep reaching for that goal.

I'm wondering if you can share a little bit about what was a recent goal that you set for yourself, whether you achieved it or you struggled for it, and what are some parallels that we could have for our audience to learn from.

Sherry: Yeah, well, thanks for calling out my circus life. I love to talk about that. You're right, it very much has to do with burnout prevention.

One of the best strategies that I know of to help people stay mentally healthy and really on their game is to have a hobby, something that's really different than their day job.

Because my day job involves sitting and listening and using a lot of verbal capacity, it's not very active. I really did a deep dive into a hobby that uses a very different set of circuitry within my brain.

One of the things that I love about circus arts is, as you're describing, I can learn a new trick in, depending how complicated it is, one class, maybe three classes, maybe a week, maybe a month. And so my brain is on this really lovely streak of I'm learning something, I'm doing something, I'm accomplishing something.

In my life as a psychologist, although my work feels very, very satisfying and I can't imagine doing something else, the tail of closing the loop is much longer. So having something where you are, having these little celebrations more frequently can be really lovely for your brain.

So most recently, I started training on a new apparatus which is called a swinging trapeze, which is different than a flying trapeze. So I can appreciate that it sounds confusing, but it's a pretty unusual apparatus to train on, but you're very high up in the sky, and you swing back and forth like a pendulum.

Then at the height of the edges of the pendulum, you can do some very cool kind of dance oriented tricks or drops or spins or flips. It's a very athletic, sort of gymnastics oriented trapeze or routine. And I just had my first performance on that apparatus, which was very satisfying.

Bob: Congratulations.

Sherry: Thanks.

Bob: It's a wonder to see how far you've come in the last couple of years, too, just being able to see you personally doing the things that you've done myself being really intimidated by the things that you're doing, but want to applaud you as you do it.

Was there a comfort zone, panic zone sort of issue for you to say to yourself, I'm going to do that because of XYZ reason, because I know for some people they're not going to do something because they totally have a fear moment about it. Is there anything in that as you learned how to be a better circus performer?

Sherry: Yeah, I still feel a lot of fear over the circus work that I do. Probably a good amount of fear that helps me to stay safe, because I do do things that are quite dangerous. I started spinning fire and flying on a trapeze without safety lines. So it's legitimately, like, you got to pay attention.

So the fear is helpful. But I think I also had to overcome a lot of beliefs about myself, right.

I've never been a gymnast, I'm not a dancer, and I'm in rooms often with people who have lots of experience doing physical activities that really support circus arts.

And I've never done it.

I'm quite old to start a circus life. I started right around the time that I was 40. And again, circus performers often begin in their teens or even as young as elementary school.

So I feel late to the game and I don't have the right skills, and I'm scared as hell, but I'm just going to do it anyway. And luckily for me, it's been very joyful in addition to scary. So it keeps me doing it.

Bob: Yeah, it's amazing.

How to Deal with Imposter Syndrome

I'm reminded also of this idea of imposter syndrome, which I think everybody listening likely has had at some point in their life, if not going through it at this moment. I'm sure you probably have it when you're in this room full of really skilled, more experienced people.

How do you handle imposter syndrome for yourself, but also with your clients as they maybe show some form of symptoms of that so that they can use it as fuel instead of as a holdback?

Sherry: Yeah, I talk about it in two diametrically opposed ways.

So one strategy for imposter syndrome is to really recognize it's not about you. You are in your role, you are in your business, you are creating your content as a service to your customers or to your community.

The more that you're in your own head about should I, is it me? Am I the best person? It just is a snare and a mess that has nothing to do with your greater purpose, which is to be of service to your customers. So it's not about you version.

The alternative strategy to think about imposter syndrome is to say it's all about you.

That's what works for me in circus. Like I am doing this because I want to, because I'm choosing it, because it's fun. It doesn't matter what anybody else is doing. It only matters what's happening in my heart, in my body, in my sense of adventure and satisfaction.

I think either strategy has a place depending on what you're doing. But generally speaking you just want to turn down the volume of the noise in your head and focus on the work at hand.

Bob: Yeah, I think that's really good advice.

Hone Your Abilities of Cross-Discipline Problem Solving

It leads to my next question which is about proving to your potential clients that you are qualified to do the things that you do. Recently saw a lovely post you had on LinkedIn about your own credentializing with your multiple degrees and claiming your doctorship and so forth in circles that might not recognize you as such.

And we live in a world where people are turning to AI to create content or to deal with whatever it is and you have people who can hang up a shingle and be called whatever they want to be called.

So I'm wondering if you can spend a moment to talk about credentializing oneself so that whether it's alphabet soup behind their name or it's some other just practicing with some mentorship. Why is that so important? As we move forward in this age where we really have to deal with an authentic ability, as we evaluate the people that we work with.

Sherry: I think it's really important to be able to describe your experience and what that means for your client, what that means for what you have to offer.

I have this traditional training as a psychologist which means certain things. It means this many tests passed, it means 3000 hours of client work just to finish graduate school. There's a lot of numerics that go along with I did this, I did that, I did this, I did that.

What that means is I have a very finely honed brain. Like my brain works super well. It's been challenged and tested in a lot of different ways.

I think there are equivalent processes of thinking through: I've led this many people, I've launched this many products, I've published this many articles or books. Each of those tasks is an accumulation of experience and of learning and is a touch point into the world where hopefully you're offering your services to your clients.

I do think that it's hard to substitute the kinds of expertise that humans create, certainly when we function across disciplines, and we can pull in different ideas and weave them together in a way that I think might be kind of difficult for AI. Maybe eventually it'll get there.

But the fact that you can combine different things and think outside the box, as well as think in a very disciplined way, I think is a pretty compelling argument, especially if you can anchor it to exactly what the ROI is for your client.

Marriage Tips for Entrepreneurial Spouses

Bob: That's really good. I want to ask you now about this person who's in your life that you mentioned before, Rob, who is, in his own right, an entrepreneur, successful, blah, blah, blah. I don't want to belittle the blah, blah, blah. I'm just getting to the heart of the question, which is: there are people listening who have that dual entrepreneur family, and sometimes they're working very closely together and they're a team, and they're executing the same business.

There are people like yourself who have your own distinct, independent pathways that, on occasion, sort of helix them with themselves in and out of each other's professional lives, but otherwise they're relatively independent.

For those that are in that kind of camp. How have you balanced the needs of each other's entrepreneurial journey while having children in your home to enjoy and love and care for, et cetera, while also having conferences around the world and all the other things that are happening? How do you balance those things out? What kind of communication do you rely on in order for that to really succeed?

Sherry: Yeah, we have a lot of communication.

We have big picture communication, which usually happens in December or January. We sort of choose we kind of lay out the year.

We have found this is maybe not true for everybody, but we have found that it's difficult for both of us to have a big growth year. One person can have a growth year, and one person can have a maintenance year, but if we're both in, like, a growth year, it gets too chaotic. So, frankly, we kind of take turns.

I had a book come out last year. Rob has a book come out this year, and I'm not launching anything major this year because Rob is. And Rob gets a little bit more of the travel priority this year because last year I did, and his schedule was sort of secondary to mine.

Obviously, there's still negotiation within, hey, I have this cool opportunity. I really want to do it, blah, blah, blah. But I think one of the things that has made our partnership really, really successful is that we are very authentically overjoyed when the other person is successful.

It hasn't felt like two ambitious people competing for finite resources. It feels like, oh, if his book kills it, great. That's good for me. It's good for my career. It's good for our bank account. I'm happy for him to succeed.

I think couples get into trouble when it does feel like you're kind of jousting or competing for whose vocation or whose role is most important. And thankfully, we have really been intentional about doing away with that or not doing that.

The other thing that I think has been super helpful for us is we do have a lot of help. We have people that help us do lots of different things, whether that's drive our kids to school or clean our house. I have a chief of staff that just organizes me and my calendar.

I think really recognizing how to leverage your time well and getting support and resources that can be offered to other people is very helpful and important and keeps us from nagging at each other. Like, whose turn is it to take the trash out? Like, we don't take the trash out. Our household manager does it or our kids do it or something.

Becoming an All-In Leader

Bob: I love it. I have two questions remaining, I believe, of course, they may bear some fruit, but one of them is, in your work as a psychologist, you've worked a lot with people who are leaders inside of companies that they didn't start. And you have clients that are entrepreneurs, like your husband that started a company, and they're learning how to navigate their own teams, but it's their baby that they're growing up.

Do you see any specific characteristics of the leadership styles or the mindset that the entrepreneurial person has that makes them more successful versus someone that kind of lives in that employee world, even if they are a leader?

Sherry: I would say that the vast majority of folks that I work with are entrepreneurs. They are the founder of the company, and I like all humans, but I particularly like working with that type of leader because they're all in.

They are really assuming responsibility for the company, sometimes to a fault, but they are understanding that this is their passion, this is their baby, this is their thing, that they really want to be successful.

That's definitely not untrue in other domains, but I think there's a level of investment when you are the founder. Actually, there's been some studies that have looked at this neurologically and have done brain scans of entrepreneurs when they're thinking about their business. And very literally, their brains are activated in the same kinds of ways that the brains of parents are activated when they're asked to think about their children.

So I appreciate and respect people who are all in. And so that's what makes working with entrepreneurs super satisfying for me.

Bringing More People to Psychology

Bob: That's awesome. My last question is a little bit more in the cultural world, and I didn't ask you this before we started the conversation, but in the cultural milieu, if you will, that we live in, Apple TV has been trying to introduce the world, I think, a little bit more into the world of psychology with Ted Lasso and Shrinking. We had Frasier way back in the day, right in the television world.

If you were to make a case, and I don't know if you would or not, this is part of the asking of the question. We talked a little bit about loss and grief and when people think about visiting a psychologist, I think what my impression is, and perhaps it's my own assumption as well, is that you need to be going through something difficult, a divorce, a loss, or something in order to go see a psychologist. And so that we have the stigma in our culture of what that means versus the opportunity that working with the psychologists at any stage can provide.

What is your take and what is your, I guess, manifesto if you have one of getting more people to think very positively about working with psychologists, coaches or whomever to help have that sense of self be improved without having to rely on it coming from some kind of dark place to begin with?

Sherry: Yeah, I'll take all comers. I think it's wonderful for people to work with a psychologist or coach when they are just seeking growth. Like, let's see how fast we can drive this car.

I think there's this whole way of kind of a newer way of thinking about psychological work that is about optimization and about health promotion and about prevention. Let's not get burnt out. That is not part of the requirement for having an amazing career. We can prevent that from happening. So let's do that.

I think the sort of positive psychology movement, the health promotion and the prevention psychology movements have been really lovely in recognizing that there's significant utility to having an assistant who can help you be very self-reflective, who can help you be very growth oriented without there being a crisis.

All that to say, a lot of people are in some level of crisis. Like life is rough. Whether you're an entrepreneur or you're just like raising kids or you're just a human in the bot in a body. There are all manner of griefs—capital G and lowercase G—that we experience in our lives. And I think the more that we are proactive in helping those hurts to heal well, the better we are for our lives, for our families and for society.

So whether it's prevention or whether it's healing, I don't know where I would be without my psychologist.

Combining Psychology and Circus to Serve Clients

Bob: That's great. I thought I was done. But I do have one more question for you, which is how are you marrying your two passions of psychology and the physical circus arts to help serve clients? I understand that you have a unique way, I think that you're serving people in this particular future of yours.

Sherry: Yeah, one of the things that I love to help entrepreneurs do is to play, to get into their bodies, to get into some mischief and to practice some learning and maybe things that they didn't think were possible for them.

I've been doing a series of workshops for all manner of people but combining circus and mental health. So I have one coming up at the beginning of August that involves the flying trapeze and some acrobatics and all kinds of things that are surprisingly available to people who may not have a circus background, but who just want a new experience, who want to play, who want to maybe see themselves in a bit of a different way.

Bob: Awesome. So for people who want to find out about that or want to take a look at your book, what's the good first step for people to do as they finish listening to this episode?

Sherry: Yeah, I have ZenFounder.com is the name of my business. I also have SherryWalling.com, which is a little bit more full picture of all the things that I do. And if you love circus, I do a lot of circus videos on Instagram, so that's a nice place to follow me as well.

Bob: That's awesome. And your podcast is excellent as well. So if you do enjoy podcasts, make sure to check out Zen Founder podcast, and I can't wait to see what else you get up to in the years ahead, Sherry. It's a really great pleasure to have you on this week's episode. Thanks for being here.

Sherry: Thanks so much. Take good care.

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Bob Sparkins
By Bob Sparkins

A former high school history teacher turned entrepreneur and marketer, Bob has educated business owners worldwide on how to leverage lead generation to grow their brands for over 18 years. Bob is a conversion expert, specifically when it comes to landing pages. Hosting over 1,000 webinars, he has walked thousands of business owners through advanced strategies to help them optimize their pages and maximize their leads and sales. Bob works with Leadpages affiliates and users to ensure they have all the tools, knowledge, and resources they need to build high-converting landing pages that grow their businesses.

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