Welcome to the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview with Mary Marshall
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Introducing Mary Marshall
Mary Marshall is todays guest, joining us on the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast.
She is a lady who has been showing the businesses of the world how to get unstuck and prosper in a turbulent world.
Since being nominated by the U.S. Small Business Administration this year for outstanding achievement, she was in the perfect position to deliver to the world the book Putting Together the Entrepreneurial Puzzle: The Ten Pieces Every Business Needs to Succeed
As she says “I like putting things together, figuring things out, for me it’s the puzzle aspect that I enjoy most about business.”
But her own life has been a bit of a puzzle too, and isn’t that what makes a life?
Originally she entered business as the manager of a family owned scuba diving shop in Oregon.
How The Dots Joined Up For Mary
She was 23, and had no business training in any shape or form.
You might say Mary Marshall was wet to business.
Or she was out of her depth……you see what I did there?
And added to the mix the issues that come when raising children, going through a divorce and struggling for money, she had one thing that pulled her through.
And that was her determination to make her life a success.
So roll on 30 years, and with awards, a successful business and a history of helping others do the same, what are the talents that she has which she feels are lacking across the globe?
And how did she keep going on the dark nights when everything seemed to be going in the wrong direction?
Well let’s bring onto the show to start joining up dots, as we discuss the words of Steve Jobs in business coaching podcast, with the one and only Mary Marshall
During the show we discussed with Mary Marshall such weighty topics such as:
How she realised early on that if she didn’t focus on the obstacles and issues that she encountered she would just keep on repeating them time and time again…so learn from your mistakes!
How people are so happy when they are in an area of strength, and should actively seek to discover the things that they can do more easily than anyone else!
How Mary Marshall had no strategy in her life and more often than not just went with the flow. And wasn’t she glad she was flexible when opportunities came her way!
The reasons why people have two directions they will move in during their life….passion and pain, and how sometimes they will move towards the wrong one!
Why she loves to lead people in her coaching programmes to water, but make them so thirsty that when they get there they drink. Quench the thirst and overcome the fear and you have made progress!
How To Connect With Mary Marshall
Or if you prefer just pop over to our podcast archive for thousands of amazing episodes to choose from.
Audio Transcription Of Mary Marshall
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK, David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:26]
Yes, hello, bear world. How are we are we rocking and rolling and looking forward to another amazing episode of Join Up Dots when I’m certainly looking forward to one because I’ve got a lady on the other end of the line, who was just about five minutes ago, her world went into spiral. She had no control other machine and PC started beeping and whooping and doing all sorts of crazy things. So hopefully we will get through the entire show without RTD to sort of fighting back and screaming at as it was doing earlier. She is a lady who has been showing the business that the world how to get unstuck and prosper in a turbulent world. Since being nominated by the US Small Business Administration for outstanding achievement. She was in a perfect position to deliver to the world the book, putting together the entrepreneurial puzzle, but 10 pieces every business needs to succeed. She says I like putting things together figuring things out, for me is the puzzle aspect. But I enjoy most about business. But her own life has been a bit of a puzzle to And isn’t that what makes a life after all. Originally, she entered business as the manager of a family owned scuba diving shop in Oregon, she was 23 and had no business training in any shape or form. You might say she was wet to business, oh, you might say she was out of a debt. You see what I did, I was good. And add into the mix. The issues that come when raising children going through a divorce and struggling for money. She had one thing that pulled her through and that was her determination to make her life a success. So rolled on 30 years and with awards a successful business and a history of how helping others do the same. Well, that’s how she has what she feels are lacking across the globe. And how did she keep going on in the dark nights when everything seemed to be going in the wrong direction? Well, let’s find out as we bring on to the show to start joining up the dots, the one and only Mary Marshall. How are you, Mary?
Mary Marshall [2:18]
I am terrific. Thank you, David. And thanks for having me.
David Ralph [2:21]
It’s lovely to have you on and it’s nice and quiet at the moment. There’s no beeps, there’s no whoops. There’s no squawks it all got a bit frantic a little while ago didn’t it?
Mary Marshall [2:30]
It was a bit frantic. And and that usually is not how I start these. So I’m very happy to say that I think we’re going to have a great conversation today. Without my computer doing it’s weird thing
David Ralph [2:42]
is funny about computers, I always do the weird thing, when you least expect them to do the weird thing. I’ve been sat here for sort of like 30 minutes preparing for a show everything calm. And then suddenly it starts updating or going into Microsoft weirdness or whatever it does. And you my whole life sort of spirals out of control. Why does he ever do it? So during the night? Why is it always and I’ll tell you what else it does. Maybe I don’t know if you find this when you’re working late at night, and you’re really tired. And you want to turn your computer off because you go to bed and you go and shut it down. And then it starts doing 100 million updates. And you’ve got to set up a four hours waiting for it to finish. Do you ever have that?
Mary Marshall [3:20]
Oh, I’ve had that more times than I care to count. And it’s like shut off shut off. Go away.
David Ralph [3:26]
Yeah, I don’t know. Why does that done? But your life has been? Well, I’ll be honest, once I started stalking you and looking into your life, which I have been doing over the last days
Mary Marshall [3:39]
is waiting now that we’ve established your stalker, that’s good. Absolutely
David Ralph [3:42]
is one of my talents. I’m a virtual stalker, you had no idea I was behind that being and behind that tree all the time. You’ve got sort of different levels. I mean, you were many people would get to a certain level that you did, and change direction or stay. But it seems to me and we’re going to touch on is when things got more difficult. That was when Mary Marshall really flex their muscles and started sort of them gunning for success. Did you feel like that at this stage in your life? When it really did get tough? You actually found more about yourself at those times when any other?
Mary Marshall [4:18]
Oh, absolutely. I think that in looking back now at my advanced age, I can see that every obstacle that was placed in front of me had lessons in it. And if I didn’t pay attention to those lessons, guess what, I got it again. And so what I tried to do probably about 1015 years ago was really pay attention to those saying, Okay, so what did I miss? What am I supposed to get here? And then persevere been one of my strengths is perseverance. And sometimes that’s not always served me because I’ve persevered through things that probably I shouldn’t have been in the first place. But, you know, take from it what you get.
David Ralph [5:04]
That’s a key point, isn’t it? I was reading on what was it today, but dip by Seth Godin. And he talks about when to dip out of something and when to carry on going. And I was looking at it and I was thinking, that’s all right to say. But when you put so much passion into something to get something going, it’s very difficult to actually walk away from it. Because you always do feel like you’re you know what they say three feet or six feet from gold. And you just have to keep on pushing on pushing, pushing on. So you found that a lot of you?
Mary Marshall [5:36]
Oh, yeah. And part of the problem is, is that when you get into something and you’re fighting for survival, in some cases, you cannot see everything that’s around you because you become singularly focused on whatever the mission is at hand. And you ignore all the advice that everybody else is giving you about this, hey, Mary, you might want to pay attention to this, hey, Mary, you might want to look at this. Here’s like, Oh, no, I’ve got to accomplish this, I’ve got to accomplish this. Well, what I’ve learned over time is that accomplishing the goal is one thing. And in some cases, you really should take it all the way to the end. However, you’ve got to remember what the purpose of accomplishing that goal was. So if if it sometimes the purpose changes in the middle of that, and sometimes we completely lose sight of that. And so what I always go back to is instead of what the goal was, what’s the purpose? What is it that I’m doing this for? Is it to learn something? Is it to meet somebody is it to help someone. And as long as I’m staying within the bounds of that purpose, I’ll keep on. But if the goal isn’t matching my purpose anymore, I ditch it?
David Ralph [6:45]
Well, I’m going to be a difficult host here. And I’m going to throw some questions out. Because so many people out there will be listening to this. And they do listen to it on a daily basis in their thousands. And they are at that point where they can’t even see what their thing is. They can’t see what this is. So how do they kind of get going in the first stage, when we’re saying, hey, you find your purpose, find your passion, work towards it, and then know what your goal is, at the end when they’re going? No, I’m too tired after a day’s work. All I want to do is sit on the sofa and eat Doritos and watch Netflix, I just can’t think of my passion. So how do I get going?
Mary Marshall [7:21]
Well, the way that I’ve always done it is I’m fascinated by how human beings work. How are we wired? Why do we do what we do? And I love the fact that we’re all very, very different. But what I have learned is that people are so much happier when they’re in an area of strength when they’re in something that comes natural to them. But to others think they go oh my god, how did you do that. And so there’s a I’m sure you’re probably familiar with Strength Finders, and you know, there’s 100 different profiles out there. But the whole, Gallup did a whole bunch of work with this. And what they found was that people can only really operate at their potential in an area of strength, forget about fixing people’s weaknesses, because that’s just never going to happen. It’s It’s too hard, you can’t do it, and you won’t have fun with it. And when you’re doing a job or doing something that you absolutely, truly love, time goes by so quickly, you’re very, very good at and you think it’s very easy. And everybody else thinks that it was a miracle or so difficult. They couldn’t do it. And that’s because it’s not necessarily their thing. So what I encourage everybody to do is really dig down, and what are those things that you do so well and come So naturally, that when you’re doing them, it’s actually fun, you’re in the zone and you love it. And and there there are certain strengths. And then once you identify those strengths, there are hundreds of things that you can do with them. And there’s hundreds of different businesses or areas that you could make a difference. You know, my personal mission has always been to Sorry about that. Make a difference. People who care. And so if I can’t make a difference, I don’t have much fun. And so I opt out.
David Ralph [9:05]
You never apologise when I started button marry you. You fight back, because it’s you. That’s the most important person on this show tonight. So okay, when you aren’t getting your strengths together, because yeah, I’ve been through Strength Finders, 2.0. And it was amazing. And I’ve spoken about it numerous times on the show, where you have to do an online course and you do about hundred and 75 questions. And at the end of it, you find your five strengths. Now, I got my strengths out, and I kind of bought into the first two straight away. And the other three, I kind of thought, oh, not too sure about this. But since I’ve been doing this now, I can actually see it was right. And the fascinating thing about it was this test knew me before I knew myself, and we do kind of project our talents probably a little bit bigger than they actually are, until we actually develop those talents. And then I started to become realised and we all sorts of our Yes, we could be the world’s best golfer, oh, yes, we were the world’s most attractive person and all those kind of things. Is that is that a flaw in humans that we do actually expand on our perceived talents without actually assessing what our talents are?
Mary Marshall [10:20]
Well, absolutely, I mean, I think some people just look around and they say, Oh, that looks cool, or that person is doing something cool. I can do that. And I’m a firm believer in you know, boy, if you believe you can do something, go for it, give it a shot. However, you’re going to be more successful, if it’s something in your wheelhouse. If it’s something that innately you have a natural talent for. However, talent, Tiger Woods didn’t become Tiger Woods, because he didn’t practice God knows how many times and people don’t get really good at things or really have them be fully realised strengths and lyst they practice. And so it’s about identifying those talents and practising taking them doing something with them every single day, it’s not something that you can just say, Well, yeah, I’ll get this know you’ll be good, but you won’t be great. You know, and to have a lot of fun, you need to be great. You need to really, you know, take it to the next level and figure it out, just like you’ve done with this show. You’re a natural connector, you’re curious. You like people and you want to you have a mission. And so you’re out there doing a big and large, that’s awesome.
David Ralph [11:29]
It kind of is awesome. And I accept that I sit with people and we have a pint. And they become like my groupies and Danny Montgomery in Harrison, I’m saluting you again, if you’re listening to this episode, and I say groupies, I shouldn’t say but they are at work colleagues I used to sort of work with obviously, and now I’m doing this thing. And they get so much enjoyment out of seeing me progress, and develop and push on and ready kind of big me up. And like I know this is great. And that’s great. And you’re getting much better doing it, you’re doing much better than doing that. In my head, I kind of think oh, I should have said that, Oh, I should have done that, oh, it could have been a much better episode. And I’m constantly beating myself up, where it’s only when I’m with other people, but they’re actually my supporters. Now, in a kind of Randy way, Mary, what I found is when you start something, and this goes out to the listeners, and I think I might have touched on this before in in numerous episodes, but when you start something, it is hard, hard, hard to find many people to support you. And so you really do feel on your own. But once you start getting a certain amount of momentum, I class it like a success back home. And people have a like minded mindset, you can have a like minded mindset suddenly start migrating towards you, and actually kind of being sucked into your your realm. And when you find it even easier, because you’ve got champions all around you that are pushing you on to to work harder and to fulfil their dreams of you a few things battle.
Mary Marshall [13:01]
Oh, completely in some of the most darkest moments when you’re working your hardest, is when everybody sort of looks at you like you’re a bit nuts. And and it’s like, really, I’m not sure you should be doing that. It’s when I that’s how I became a business owner originally was I did a turnaround for this business. And literally, I’m not sure going backwards if I would have done it again. Because knowing what I know now, however, I learned so much from it, and it was the right thing to do for the business at the time. But looking at it on paper, there’s no way that that thing should have succeeded. No way it should have failed by all accounts. And in fact, it succeeded. And that’s how I became an owner of a business. And you know, it was just taking all the little pieces and moving around and having conversations with people and getting it back on track. And going back to the core purpose of what the business was really good at. But I’ll tell you what, during some of those months, I thought, what the heck am I doing here? This is never going to work. Of course, when it was successful, I had all sorts of friends. But when I was down deep in that trough, yeah, not so much.
David Ralph [14:10]
You would have had me maybe I would have a friend.
Mary Marshall [14:15]
Yeah, and it’s you know, and just like with writing the book, I started this book, oh, gosh, probably seven or eight years ago, when I was working with CEOs, and coaching them. And just you know, I’m so fascinated by business. And I love to find out how each of them works and what each strengths people brought to the table and how they got it started. Because every story’s unique and different. And they’re all just amazing. And so but I found that they were common themes that they were missing, you know, the places that they got hooked up, or the constraints that they had when they were running their businesses. And so I put together the book, not as a sit down, read the whole darn thing at once, but 10 chapters of different things that people were missing. And so you can take one chapter, you can read three chapters, whatever. But these are sort of the 10 things that I found myself repeating over and over and over again, I thought this should be in a book because nobody’s going to read all the books they have in their bookshelf, I’m you know, definite centre of that I have lots of books and skimmed most of them read a lot of but this was to be an easy plane ride book, or you know, a few chapters, you know, just when you got stuck, because these are all smart people, they know what they’re doing. And you know, they don’t need to read a giant tome on something, they need some practical hints to get moving. And so that’s sort of how that came through. But I put the thing on the show for five years, because I just wasn’t getting any traction, I kind of kind of got stuck at chapter seven. And then a couple years ago, I dusted it back off and found that most of it was still relevant, put it back together, and then really got serious about it. And suddenly all these people to help me with it sort of showed up, which was amazing,
David Ralph [15:56]
wanting you to stop at seven chapters, then why did you have to keep them going?
Mary Marshall [16:01]
I’m a bit of a perfectionist. And there were the very last trap chapter is exit strategy. And so there’s it’s a very thoughtful, purposeful book. And if I would have stopped at seven, seven, you wouldn’t have strategy and operations, finance and exit strategy. And those are kind of key to a business.
David Ralph [16:20]
Did you when you were putting the book together? Did you kind of look at anything? And I imagine it, you wrote it, and then you went over it? And you sort of reviewed it? Was there any power back that you kind of Oh, actually, I’m not sure that I am very good at this myself.
Mary Marshall [16:36]
Well, so in going back through a few chapters, I went, Wow, did I really, right? This, this sounds really good, you know, and I was like sort of patting myself on the back. And then I got to a chapter, I think it was chapter four. And I went, you know what this whole thing stinks. I need to start from square one, because this is not gonna work. No one’s going to read this. So I had to go back, do a little more research, rewrite it. And fortunately, I had a fabulous editor who very much helped me out with the what was really good and what was good and what was really not good.
David Ralph [17:11]
It’s difficult, isn’t it? Because I do a daily show. And so I know that every single show I do I want it to be the best he possibly can. But on the other side, I think Well, if it isn’t quite as good being you’ve always got the next show coming along. But when you write a book, and it’s up on the bookshelf, that is bare forever, isn’t it? That’s you know, if that’s not as good as you can possibly do at that time, you’ve let yourself down?
Mary Marshall [17:34]
Yes, yeah. And that’s where we we went through several. I mean, it took probably six or eight months in the Edit process, just because it has my name on it. And I wanted to be really sure that that’s exactly what I wanted it to say what
David Ralph [17:51]
let’s take you back in time, because this is what we doing Join Up Dots. And when you were no gotta go back even further, when he was 23 years, you jumped jumped into the the scuba diving company. But even further back, you got a degree in psychology. And it was that something that you were just interested in. And when you thought I need a degree, what is going to be the easiest thing to do, or was that part of a strategic plan, but later on?
Mary Marshall [18:19]
Well, let’s just be clear that nothing about my life has been very strategic. It’s been, here’s what happened. And I sort of took it and made something with it. I actually was the change student in high school, I was gone for a year in Costa Rica when I was 15 years old. And I was fascinated by languages and travel. And I decided I was going to be an ambassador. And so when I went to college, I was majoring in international affairs. So for two years, I took all these really fascinating classes and some very boring classes on international politics and law. And then just as a whim, I took a psychology class, my junior year. And I’d also done a an overseas programme and college of psychology. And I was like, Oh, my God, I was meant to do this stuff. I love this stuff. This is amazing. And I come from a very large Catholic family where we have all sorts of drama. So you know, clearly, I decided that I had a lot of background in this stuff. So I switched my major, and my junior year had to work my tail off to get through. And so I ended up getting the degree in psychology with a minor in international affairs. And then of course, life happens, I was going to go to graduate school and get my clinical degree and become a clinical psychologist. And I ran out of money and got married, had a child and then got divorced. And you know, none of it none of it was going to happen. And I just thought, Well, you know what, I’m not sure I wanted to be a psychologist anyway, because I couldn’t stand, sit and listen to people why no.
David Ralph [19:58]
We shouldn’t go married. I
Mary Marshall [20:04]
found out that that foundation of mine and the fascination, again, one of my strengths, understanding other human beings was great, but just not in the psychological not sitting across somebody, you know, helping them through some sort of personal problem. But what I do on the business side is almost the same thing, because I’m really helping them with their business, how to help their business, which is on the business level. But at the core of every business is an entrepreneur who started it’s the person who’s reading it, it’s the person who’s dealing with it. So all that stuff is really helped me in what I do today. And that’s where sort of the intersection of it all came together, just like you talked about joining the dots. That’s the doc that didn’t show up until I got into the business world and really started coaching and helping other business owners,
David Ralph [20:51]
when one of the things that we’ve come up with on the show, and it’s been a theme that kind of arose, maybe in episodes 15 or 20. And it’s now almost every single show it comes up is the fact that the tagline of the show is connecting our past to build our future. And when we talk about finding your passion, and you know, I always do this boys and a lot of the guests are doing this voice as well now, find your passion because people say that all the time don’t know, you’re going to find your passion and you think oh shots, just leave me alone. And let me find my passion. Or the world’s worst, when you find it, you will know. And you just don’t ever find it until it suddenly hits you in the face. And you think oh, they were right. I’m absolutely right. It’s absolutely true. When you’re sort of sitting there, and you’re thinking to yourself, you know, what is my passion? If you go back and look at the things that you liked, as a child, sometimes a very young child, and they would have things that you would have done for free and you just loved because they are your natural things. Because Hey, you are a child and you just do what you like. They are actually the things that you should be focusing in on when you are you’re looking for your passion. And if you are a youngster and you love to dancing and movement, then you shouldn’t be in an office sitting at a desk every day, you should be doing stuff that that is free and sort of liberating. And if you are somebody that liked building things, and using Lego bricks and all that kind of stuff, once again, you need to sort of construct. So we’ve you I think the psychology bit, I reckon we could trace it back quite far to your interest in people. But also your sort of analytical puzzles, self, we use somebody that as a small child love the jigsaw puzzle, and sort of Lego bricks and all those kind of music.
Mary Marshall [22:37]
Oh, totally. I made you know Lego cities. And back then, you know, date myself here, you know, Legos were square, people were square, we didn’t have all the little fancy ones, but I made cities out of those Legos. And you could do all sorts of things. And and, and I was the oldest girl have a very large family. And so you know, by 567, I was doing a lot of stuff as a lot of people were to take everybody and so to get the younger kids to do what they were supposed to do, I had to use a lot of psychology, it wasn’t just do it, or I’m going to smack you around. Because that really wasn’t too great. But it was you know, how can I get them to do this other stuff? So I don’t have to actually have to do it and how can I convince them and all this kind of stuff. So I ended up using a tonne of it. And what I found was I love to organise things. So organising my brothers and sisters organising the you know, chores are organising things at school, and I would just sort of naturally got into the place. Okay, well, this is what we need to get done. Okay, great. Well, here’s how we’re going to do it. And, you know, I would never call that leadership, I would call it organising and putting the puzzle together, because to me, everything’s just a big puzzle. And you just have to figure out where the edges are, and then sort of work your way inside. And how long have
David Ralph [23:49]
you realised that that your, your true passion has always been with you? Or is it something that only recently or within the last 1015 years, that you kind of thing? Oh, yeah, she remember, I’ve always done this, and I’ve always loved it.
Mary Marshall [24:04]
And you know, I don’t think I really became aware of it until probably about 15 years ago, maybe 20 years ago, 30s and my 30s or so. Because I think that in your late teens and 20s, when you’re supposed to be deciding what you’re going to be when you grow up, or what you’re going to do, I think you’re too full of yourself to even know that. And I think you in my case, I lacked confidence. And so I wasn’t sure and I didn’t have any good role models to tell me yes or no. And so I was making a lot of this stuff up. And let’s just be clear, you know, at age 20, or something, you make a lot of stuff up about yourself, which may or may not be true. And and so I think you know, you have to have a little bit of reality check, you have to skin your knees a few times. And you have to kind of run into a few brick walls, because it’s not until you run into those that you really find out what you’re made of, and how you’re going to get around that wall. Because we all get around it differently. Some people never get around it. But you know, if you’re really going to find out what you’re made of, I don’t think you’re ever going to get there if everything is just handed to yours. Like I used to call them. You know, the lucky jeans factor where you know, we’ve we’ve got parents who’ve got a tonne of money and a tonne of resources and Connexions and everything sort of just handed to you. I don’t know that those people ever actually figure out what they’re made of or what the real passion is, because nothing’s ever very hard for them. Because
David Ralph [25:25]
I think over my life, I’ve always known what my passion was. But I didn’t realise I could build it into an income. And I think now it’s very easy to find your passion, but actually vein monetizing it, that’s a different ballgame. And that’s the sort of the real joining the dots, the nuts and bolts. And it’s only now in all my life, I pretty much have been able to stand in front of someone and kind of go I you should be able to do this, why not do that. And I could see them getting really sort of worked up. And the amount of times I would have conversations with people and I would go up Batman is here, you don’t need to do is I tell your storey Marianne, I’ve never told this on any show. And it’s just popped into my head. But many, many years ago, I used to run in production courses for a big bank up in the City of London. And so all the newbies would come in, and for the first three days I would be with me. And funnily enough, later on in my business life, I did the same kind of thing. But this was when I was about 22, something like that. And I used to teach them the nuts and bolts of working in this office and being I would throw them out and they would be realised members of staff and they would just sort of slip into their role. And away they go. And I started to get a bit kind of jaded by this. And so I started to get a bit passionate about thinking it’s my job to inspire them to greatness is not my job to actually just show them what to do in this office. So there was this one course I had 13 new starters on a Monday morning. And the first two hours I was saying to them, Look, this is a good place to work. But it’s not brilliant, you know, but what you will get is, you know, an understanding of business, you get to understand how to work on a nine to five blah, blah, blah, you can do this. But then maybe a year’s time or maybe even six months time, go out, get your CV your resume done, and you can go on to greatness and I was really getting passionate Bunim and by all went out to lunch, and what do you mean by only one person turned up, and every single quit the job they only started that morning. And I couldn’t understand happened until I was in a bar about six weeks later. And I met one of them. And I said, What What happened, you know, it’s not the P Muta triangle, you just went off in an episode you again, and I said, you so inspired us to greatness, we realise that we could do better, and they all went out. And like kind of a sacrifice, they they just quit and they went off. And I’ve never told and I won’t say the name of the company in case I can get me. But I realised I’ve always had that ability to sort of inspire passion in people. And it’s only now
Mary Marshall [28:09]
David Ralph [28:10]
Yeah, come out and put it put it into the world, put it into a microphone and blast it to the world and see if I can get people resigning from company. So all over the world. That’s not a good thing. Not a good thing, too. But yeah, it’s the finding your passion is easy, but it’s actually monetizing it, which is difficult. Well, I’m going to play some words of somebody who’s quite famous. And I’ve started throwing these into the show. And it’s all about taking a risk and finding the thing that you love. And it’s quite obvious Mary Marshall, but you love what you’re doing at the moment. So I’d be interested to see what you think about these words. This is Jim Carrey,
Jim Carrey [28:48]
my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was like, go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love. Have you heard that before?
Mary Marshall [29:16]
I have not. That’s great. He’s powerful.
David Ralph [29:19]
Isn’t it powerful stuff that
Mary Marshall [29:21]
it is very powerful. And I love Jim Carrey, too. So
David Ralph [29:25]
what do you think that that is so true, I think it’s true. And every single year Episode 145, and every single guest thinks it’s true. But if you’re in a job and you’re stuck, you think that it’s the only job you can do you don’t think that you’ve got the ability to take that risk and find the things you love. And I keep on saying that everybody I believe can have a kick ass life. They just need to, you know, take action and find their thing. Why do you think that people don’t believe those words, if they’re not, quote unquote, successful?
Mary Marshall [29:56]
Well, um, I think everybody probably believes it. At some level, they may not articulate it, but I think that they probably believe it. They don’t necessarily act on it. And the reason people don’t act on it is because of fear. I mean, we we human beings do things for two reasons to go towards pleasure or away from pain. And realistically, going away from pain is more powerful than going to pleasure. So when the risk of when the pain of the change, going towards something else becomes less than the pain of where they’re at is when change finally happens. And so everybody has a different tolerance level for that whole pain. And so when people are stuck in a position that they hate, and we all know, those people, or they can they say they can’t change, what’s the only thing I can do? Well, I’ve got all these bills, while I’m stuck here, this that and the other thing, these are all just excuses, because they’re afraid, they’re afraid if they actually took a step that something worse might happen, that it might actually be worse than where they are today. And therefore that keeps them absolutely stuck in the tar pit of settling. And so they have to be willing to what I call sort of lean into the fear, you just have to lean into that wind is if there’s a big wind coming up and trust that that wind is going to hold you up. And you’ve really got to just lean forward and go for it. And yeah, you know what you might fall on your face, and you’ll be fine, you’ll pick up, you’ll figure out something else. Every human being has the fortitude within them to actually do something to survive, we have a very, very strong survival instinct. So there’s not many of us are that are just going to lay down and die if you know, the first thing we try doesn’t work. Some in some people, it’s stronger than others, but everybody has it. And so I think if you can just understand what that fear is, what is it that that the you think will happen if you actually take this chance. And sometimes what I do is I make people sit down and write me a list, okay, you take this chance, and it all falls apart, play that out for me play out the scenario, well, I’m going to lose my house, I’m gonna lose my spouse, you know, my kids won’t be able to go to college, I’ll be out on the street, you know, and I just make them go into the absolute worst scenario that they could think of, and then go Okay, so how would you survive if that happened? And every time to a tee, they’re able to walk me through how they would take care of that if indeed that that ultimate scenario happened? And then I go, well, then what are you afraid of?
David Ralph [32:42]
is quite simple. Isn’t it? Really, when you say it like that?
Mary Marshall [32:45]
Yeah, yeah. And they and it’s just, it’s just about playing it all out. Because fear of the unknown is worse than fear of the unknown. So if you play it out, now, you know what it’s gonna be.
David Ralph [32:55]
I saw this thing on Facebook today. And it was from Bruce Lee, and I’d never heard it before. I’ve got it in front of me, because it’s on my screensaver now. And I thought this was quite amazing. And Bruce Lee said, I don’t know if I should do Bruce Lee accent, I’m going to try your limits on what you can do. Physical, I know if that’s a tough one. If you’re always put now that’s Mexican, I’m just gonna say I’m just gonna say, if you always put limits on what you can do physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life, it will spread into your work into your morality into your entire being, there are no limits, there are plateaus, but you’re not, must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you, a man must constantly exceed his level. And I saw that today, Mary, and I thought, Blimey, that’s, that’s strong as well, because we do, don’t worry, we get into our comfort levels. And we go, yeah, this is where I feel good. This is what I want to do. And the worst case is, is when you get paid quite well for being in that comfort level. And you just don’t going and I did this for years, just going through the motions. And I just went to work. And I came home and I went to work and there was nothing conspiring, there was nothing bad. There was nothing good. But just years went into other years. Now I’m doing this, I overcome challenges every single day, and I’m terrified every single day, every single day that I’m doing this I kind of thing, is it going to grow? Is it going to dry up? Is the guests gonna hate me blah, blah, blah, all those kind of things? Are the listeners gonna hate me. And I find that invigorating now, but I didn’t have that time. So I’m actually sort of trying to break those limits that we set on ourselves, you don’t seem to have limits? Looking at what did you do? Do you have limits that you set? Or? Or are you somebody that can just overcome fear,
Mary Marshall [34:51]
I know I have lived a lot, I’ve made a lot of fear based choices, then those are the ones I wish I would would have made a different choice. But I learned a lot of things through all of those. And so I you know, I have tonnes of fear. But at this point in my life, I’m actually really happy, I’m happy with, you know, what’s going on in all aspects of my life. And what I know about myself that I didn’t know, back then is that I thrive on change. Some people have called me a change agent. So when I get into a situation, once I’ve gone in, sort of fixed it up, you know, move people along, and there’s nothing new to sort of look at, or there’s nothing new to do, oh my god, I am bored. I can’t handle it, you know, and that’s when I go into this, oh, well, and I start complaining and all this stuff. And I’m like, Oh, Okay, time to move on. So I know that I have a limited span of anything that I’m doing. Which is why if you look back on my career, I changed a lot, you know, every three or four years, I was sort of doing a different thing, usually in the same vein. But just because I got bored and you know, not because I couldn’t handle it. Now I look back and understand. That’s simply how I’m wired. Whereas for a lot of time, I thought, oh, what’s wrong with you that you can’t stick with anything? You know, that’s terrible. But it’s it’s the it’s the curiosity. And me, I’m just I’m very curious about how all things work. And you know, we only have a limited amount of time here on earth. And you know, I want to figure it all out. So that kind of
David Ralph [36:19]
ties into you saying that you had no strategy, the fact that you were to go with the flow. But that brings in opportunities, which people that are structured, and are focused on goals miss out on?
Mary Marshall [36:33]
Yes, yes. And so you know, and there’s a place for those structured people goes back to their strengths, being really structured, although I can certainly put together the biggest structure plan and fill in all the details for you. And I will get it started, I would not be the one to maintain it that would drive me credibly crazy. And there are wonderful people whose strengths it is to do exactly that. And they would be in their zone. And so that’s the what I really like is for coming out who is good, where here’s what needs to be done to achieve whatever we’re going to achieve. Here’s the different people with the different strengths to go in there and do it. And that’s the whole big puzzle piece for me. And so changing all the time is really just a part of my strategy to keep me fresh and moving forward.
David Ralph [37:19]
Well, when you see somebody that is unable to move forward, do you find it difficult to express what they need to do because you operate in a different way, you’re more free flowing? Is it harder for you to say, this is what you should do? If it’s not actually what you would do, but you know, it’s right for them?
Mary Marshall [37:40]
Well, what happens to me is in coaching, so there’s a difference between consulting and coaching, consulting, you just tell somebody what to do, here’s your plan, you get paid for that. And they either do it or they don’t do it. coaching, which is where I prefer to be is getting somebody to solve their own problem. So the only way I can get them to solve their problem is for them to solve it. And that’s through asking questions. So I just have to keep sort of like leading that horse to water and hoping that I’ve made the water so compelling, and that they’re so thirsty, that they’re going to take a drink, you know, and it’s and it’s really getting them to create their own path to get there. And, you know, every now and again, giving them a swift kick in the rear to you know, get their face in the water, and and take a chance on it. But it has to be their way. I mean, a lot of these businesses got started, not how I would start them. But how these people would start have started then. And I have to get them to solve their own problems in that exact same way too, because my strategy won’t work for him. Because they’ll go Oh, well, that wouldn’t work. For me. That’s just you. That’s how you do it. And they’re right to some degree, because that’s how I would do something, not necessarily how they would do it.
David Ralph [38:48]
But But when do you know that when you know you’re doing psychology, when you decide you don’t like psychology, so you go into business, and then you decide you don’t like that. And when you move into something else? How do you know but you’re on the right path. And you’re not just going round in circles constantly?
Mary Marshall [39:06]
Well, mine all connect. So mine all connect every every opportunity or everything that I was doing presented yet another opportunity that was connected and bigger and greater and and more fun and, you know, had a little bit more for me. And the way how I know that they’re all connected, and that they’re all right for me is that they’re all grounded in my personal values. And mine are creativity, caring, curiosity and authenticity. And what I know to be true is that as long as the entity, whatever it is, the enterprise is letting me have, you know, full rein at all of those. And I get to be involved with people in business. Pretty much it works. And and it’s only when I stray from those is when I get into an environment that doesn’t allow me to be creative, or is not caring or doesn’t honour my curiosity, or you know, God forbid, it’s not authentic. I know that’s not for me. And so I really encourage everybody to identify with, you know, what are your core values. And usually, when you’re in your 20s, you’re starting to identify what those are, by the time you’re in your 30s, you should, you should know, and you should have that conversation with yourself. This organisation fits my values, this one does not it doesn’t mean that the organisations are bad or good they just are. It’s about finding one that fits with you. And then layering on top of that, your strip your talents that then can become strengths
David Ralph [40:32]
is fascinating to hear you talk about seeing bigger and bigger opportunities in that because that is what scares people. Am I elbow to step up to the bat? Am I going to be able to succeed in this environment? Is this going to be too big for me? And you’re constantly doing that? So does just one, that’s the first step lead to the second step. And the third step to the fourth step? Is that how
Mary Marshall [40:55]
you? Yes, yes, and what happened, I think where, and I’ve been scared to because what happens is if you go, if you make too big of a leap from where you are to one that is beyond your current skill set or strength set, you will fail. And, and in that failure, you’ll learn a lot about yourself what you’re made of and why that didn’t work. And that’s the step from, say, 124. And you missed two and three. So you got to go back, it’s like the you know, the sorry, game, when you get the car, you know, go back, she landed on the wrong step, you know, because there’s something that you didn’t learn along the way. And so for me, it’s all just like, schooling, it’s all just an adventure. And you know, as long as you’re picking up something at each step, or getting a, you know, oh, I learned that skill, or I learned how to deal with this type of individual or I learned, you know, that I really enjoy this. And so any further, you know, job or opportunity, I better have this in there, I’m not going to be happy. You know, as you build up, you know, by the time you get into your 40s and 50s, all sorts of opportunities will be in front of you. And you’ll know which ones are the ones that are going to really make your soul sing,
David Ralph [42:11]
no experience is wasted.
Mary Marshall [42:13]
Right? Exactly, even and especially the bad ones. So
David Ralph [42:18]
let’s touch on. I don’t want to focus in on bad ones. But it is, you know, we find this more often than not on the show. We call it our big dogs now. And it’s the moment in people’s lives that I look back and I kind of go god, that was dreadful. I wouldn’t want to go through that again. But I’m glad I did. Because I wouldn’t be here. Now. Have you got any of those?
Mary Marshall [42:37]
Well, I have lot. But I’ll go with one that was relatively recent, let’s see what is it 2014 was about eight years ago. And I and this is a I’m going to connect it here for you. But I was getting something down out of the garage and fell off of a ladder onto a concrete floor. And I broke all sorts of bones in my body was the trauma Centre for three weeks and then recovery centre and in a wheelchair for I think four or five months facilitated meetings and did coaching from a wheelchair. It took a full year or so to recover many, many surgeries later. And when I was really at the peak of my career, when I was a Vistage cope, I was number one in the nation I was you know, really on top of it, I was working with 50 CEOs at the time, I’d won all these awards, and I fell off a ladder. And I’m like really, really just when I get here seriously. And what it was for me is that I was doing way too much I was so over committed to so many people. And on I was every new little thing was fascinating. Oh sure, I can do that, Oh, sure, I can do that we are you can do it, but should you do it. And so it was a you know, giant smack in the face of Hey, slow down. You know, pay attention to what’s really important and get back in touch with you who you are what you want to do your family, you know, the volunteer things and, and, and just slow down. Because you know what, you don’t have to do all of this. Because Because I’m not doing it for the world. And I need to do it for myself. And so my I changed dramatically after that point, and really only took on jobs and people that I really liked and enjoyed and really got in touch with what was important to me and what wasn’t and I shed a lot of the stuff I was doing and just sort of forget it. I’m not doing this anymore. And you know, so consequently, today I do stained glass I garden a lot. I don’t play golf as much as I used to, I still totally go out with lots of friends and family. And there are that’s all really important to me. But I make time for those things that really feed my soul. In addition, what I do, you know, to make money, I think I think that’s fascinating that Mary,
David Ralph [45:03]
because you know, I’m sitting here listening to you and assessing my own life. It is like therapy doing this every day. It really is. I when I started this, I realised that I did not want a boss. And that was the main thing that was the main reason if you go back to the early episodes, you will hear me talk about how I got to this point. And it was that I had this horrible woman as a boss. And I thought I’m never going to put up with this again. And now the show is successful, I’m getting lots of opportunities come my way, which would be very lucrative and would really sort of make things a lot easier. But I just keep on looking at them and thinking, if we accept this opportunity, is this going to be another boss is this somebody then going to be saying, you’ve got to be doing this next Tuesday, you’re going to be doing this next Thursday. And I can even keep on pushing back pushing back pushing back because all I’m focused on is my I suppose my values. And the reason why I put this together in the first place, which I’ve never assessed beforehand. I’ve just thought I was being a bit bloody minded. But now if I’m listening to you, I think actually a more bloody minded and I’m going to really sort of hold down. And if it’s not something I really fancy doing and excites me, no matter how much money they throw at me, I’m going to say no, yeah,
Mary Marshall [46:19]
yeah. Because ultimately, you’ll be happier. And there will be other opportunities that come along that are within your value set that will bring money to the table. And it’s just about paying attention to them. I have found if I look back on my career, 930 or whatever years it’s been, there were opportunities all over the place. But I was so single focused about what I was doing at the time that I didn’t even see them, I was like I had blinders on to them. And so now I’m very curious about whatever comes along. And so like doing a radio show like this, I never would have thought I would have done this. And it’s their lot of fun. This is great. It’s, you know, been a terrific chat. And, and if I can inspire with you more people to to do what it is that they really want to do, or to have lots of opportunities where they’re actually happy. Terrific.
David Ralph [47:12]
So I think what we need to do really is play the words of Steve Jobs, which is the theme to the whole show. But say, before we get to that point, Mary didn’t really have a clue. She’s got to this point by stumbles and trials and tribulations and successes, and one leads on to another but if you hadn’t had that ability to try these things, you would still be in that scuba shop.
Mary Marshall [47:40]
Yes, I would. And as Matter of fact, I know somebody who’s still in that scuba shop 30 years later,
David Ralph [47:46]
that’s, that’s Triton you when you when you sort of look at that person, because I know certain people that I look at now and I kind of think like God, I could have been there, I really could have been that person. And for some reason, and I haven’t really saw a quantum in my head when the things moved, that made me feel differently and want to do different things. I’m still sort of working through that on myself. But I do look at these people and think good, God could have been me. And so sort of this, they’re not even unhappy. They’re just kind of dead somehow. And they it’s like they they had this fire in them when they were younger. And it’s just gone out. And now they just think right, it’s what I do. And you say to them, you know, How’s work, and I go, it’s their job. And you think Oh please, please be passionate. Please love. And so do you to look at scuba woman, or scuba man and thing go darker to begin
Mary Marshall [48:37]
with? Well, I know I never would have been because I don’t have the patience. I know that about myself. And I probably knew that about myself then. However, when I look at them, I just feel bad I feel sorry that they have not had the the courage to take a leap and to take a chance and to go for it and to do something different because I just think it’s sad. I think I feel really bad when when people aren’t able to fulfil their humaneness. You know who they are. And and you know, now be really clear. Some people could have the same job for 40 years and be happy about it. Okay, that’s fulfilling your dream, but the majority of them don’t, you know, and so those are the ones I really feel bad for.
David Ralph [49:25]
Yeah, if you’re in a job and you love it, and you’ve got a great boss, and yeah, Was it good? Yes, just just, you know, just do your thing. But if you’re not, and that you’re the listeners that I’m talking to, if you’re in there, and you think, oh, how many hours I can go home or Bry to the weekend. And then as soon as Sunday evening hits, you can Oh my god, it’s Monday to get again, just do something, just do something. And even if it’s not, like straight away, you at least would have made motions. And you will realise that you’ve left a job and you’ve got another job. And then you can start sort of planning. I think that’s the main thing. The first step, the first steps this Yeah, everyone. And once you realise that, actually, I’m paying my bills, and then you can start working on different things and seeing where you can go.
Mary Marshall [50:10]
Yeah, and just, you know, getting in touch with that entrepreneurial spirit, if that’s what you have in you. And deciding that you’re a terrible employee, which I kind of decided I probably was now, if I had the right Boss, I wouldn’t be a terrible employee. And I’ve had some really good bosses over time. And I’ve had some really bad ones too. But ultimately, you know, I get bored, and I need change. And you know, I’m probably a pain in the ass as an employee. So who would want me anyways? So it’s a whole lot more fun, you know, just doing my own thing. And then guess what, I have one person to be responsible to if I’m not happy, and that’s me. Absolutely,
David Ralph [50:46]
man, let’s play the words of Steve Jobs. Because I want to know your feelings about these words, because they are the theme of the show. This is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [50:53]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards. 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference
David Ralph [51:27]
relevant to you. I think they are really aren’t they?
Mary Marshall [51:31]
Oh my gosh, absolutely. Well, one of my favourite quotes is by searing Kirk, a guard which is life can only be understood going backward but lived going forward.
David Ralph [51:40]
Did you gain comfort from that?
Mary Marshall [51:42]
Yes, absolutely. Because everything does make sense. When you’re looking back at it, but you don’t, you don’t know that going forward? You don’t you know, purposely say, Oh, well, this dots going to connect to this. And sometimes we don’t even know how they’re going to connect. But that’s so true, completely true.
David Ralph [52:02]
Because the thing that I’ve got from these shows Mary, and I don’t think I had the at the beginning. Or maybe it was in me but didn’t really come to fruition or it wasn’t in my mind is dream big, and Ben dream bigger. And I’m finding the more I focus in on something that is scary. And then I kind of try to push it to the next level. I seem to achieve it easier. And it was only as one or two of the guests said that at the very beginning. And I used to think really, really it’s that that’s kind of madness. But once you hear it so many times you kind of thing. Okay, I’ll give it a go. And once you do dream big and men dream bigger, you realise that the only person that’s holding you back is yourself?
Mary Marshall [52:45]
Absolutely. Yeah, nobody else controls us. That’s the whole thing. Even when you’re working for somebody, no one controls you, you have complete freedom to do what you want, quit, stay there, learn something, don’t learn something. Whatever, you you always have that ability. It’s when we settle that we lose.
David Ralph [53:07]
So before just at the end of the show, I’m going to send you back in time on the Sermon on the mic. But I’ve got couple of questions. And number one is, what super talent has you have you got back? The world hasn’t what’s made Mary Marshall, the success that you’ve been that somebody listening in at the moment just hasn’t got a chance to have?
Mary Marshall [53:27]
well, I think the thing that I do, really well that comes easy for me but I get I get it doesn’t come easy for everybody is to look at a situation with an individual in it, you know what it is they’re trying to achieve, and very quickly assess how the whole thing should be put together, and then communicate it to them in a way that they can take something and do with it. So it’s that ability to see that bigger picture, but yet with all the details and everything coloured in. So it’s that puzzle being put together, I can see how the puzzle goes together.
David Ralph [54:02]
I’m going to say a kind of sexist comment here. And I don’t want it to be a sexist comment. But that almost sounds like a sort of man’s brain I spend a lot of time with, with ladies, I’ve got a whole house full of women. And I will look at something and know how to sort of put it together and they just haven’t got a clue. Is that kind of unusual? Or are there sort of thousands of millions of business women out there that have that same brain that I just haven’t encountered in my life? And honestly, that’s not sexist at all. That’s just me
Mary Marshall [54:33]
know, and I totally get that. And I’ve been accused of being a guy before two in the business world. And most of the business I’ve been in, I was the only female. But I gravitated there, but it is a definitely, you know more of an analytical kind of a brain thing. What I bring to it that I think is different. That is definitely a woman thing. Is the people perspective. So how does the people put in it? So other than sort of an engineering perspective? Oh, how does this little gadget work? Which I could never figure that out? Mine is the bigger, you know, human thing, the organisational structure, the people the the who fits where because what do they do? They’re each piece of the puzzle. And so you know, I’ve met some women that do that. But I don’t think that’s a sexist comment at all. It’s probably an accurate comment.
David Ralph [55:20]
Last question, when do you think all our listeners out there can have a kick ass life? If they want it?
Mary Marshall [55:25]
Absolutely, there is no question about it. It’s about simply building on those dots, connecting with others, identifying your values, and never settling, finding out what your strengths are and your talents and then building on them. And and you’ll know you’ll know, when you’re in the zone, nobody is lives on earth that has not been in the zone at least one or two times in their life. So what does that look like? And what’s in there that makes you happy?
David Ralph [55:55]
Well, let’s find out what made the young Mary happy because this is the end of the show when we send you back in time to have a one on one with the young Mary. And if you could go back in time, what age Mary would you choose? And what advice would you give her? Well, we’re gonna find out, because I’m going to play the theme tune now. And when it fades out, you’re up. This is the Sermon on the Mount.
We go with the best beer of the show.
Mary Marshall [56:37]
So I’m going to go back to my 20s. And I’m in college. And the thing that I would tell myself is college Mary, is have a little confidence girl. Stop measuring yourself against all these other people and you think you don’t measure up. Because in fact you do and you have have lots of gifts. And if only you had some confidence to go along with those gifts, more doors would have opened up for you and more dots would have been connected at that time. So it’s not about you know, what you do or don’t have, it’s about having a belief and confidence in in what you like to do and what you can do and acknowledging your strengths. And this isn’t particular for women, we tend to you know, not acknowledge it. And so when somebody compliment you, you say thank you and said, Oh, no, not really. So confidence would be my theme that I would give women and men. You know, at that age, when you’re trying to decide, what do you want to do? Go for it. Have a little confidence in that. And know that inside there somewhere you’ve got gifts and talents. Love it.
David Ralph [57:55]
Love it. Mary, how can our audience connect with you.
Mary Marshall [57:58]
So the easiest would be on my website. It’s Mary dash, Marshall calm. I do a weekly blog, usually business related with people related. I’m also on LinkedIn. And those are probably the best two ways to get ahold of me.
David Ralph [58:16]
We will have all those links on the show notes. Mary Marshall, thank you so much for spending time with us today. Join me up those dots. And please come back again when you have more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Mary Marshall, thank you so much.
Mary Marshall [58:33]
Thank you, David. It’s been a real pleasure. And thank you to the audience. And I hope that they all do connect their dots because I know amazing things will happen when they do.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up Dots.com download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.
David Ralph [59:10]
Thought you got rid of me. Now I’m just going to ask you a favour anyone out there who’s enjoyed the show, and has enjoyed all the shows. Could you go over to iTunes and leave a review the more reviews I get the better the show will perform. And then it’s a win win. You’ll be getting me every single day for the rest of your life. Don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. But yeah, iTunes, David Ralph, Join Up Dots and I love you so much or even come down to walk your dog. Thanks very much. Bye bye