Podcast 94: Get more out of life, an interview with Shenandoah Chefalo

For Shenandoah Chefalo, life started really rough. She called CPS on her own family and now if a speaker, author, and advocate for foster care alumni.

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PoP Culture meet Shenandoah Chefalo

 

Shen PhotoPlagued and embarrassed by her name, made worse by a nomadic childhood that made it impossible to build lasting relationships, Shenandoah Chefalo developed a tough skin at an early age. Along the way she learned to deal with disappointment, push through discomfort, overcome adversity and accurately gauge people, qualities that have helped her to succeed.

After spending nearly 20 years as a Law Office Administrator, Shenandoah became unsettled by the ever revolving door of people into the criminal justice system and set out to find a way to change it. She attended Coach U and became a certified life coach. Working through that program Shenandoah began to understand her childhood in a way she never had before.

She began researching and learned that there were nearly 400,000 children in the foster care system each day in the United States. Out of those children nearly 61% would age out of the system without having a place to live, nearly 50% end up incarcerated within 2 years of aging out and almost 80% of people on death row are former foster alumni. These and other statistics made Shenandoah realize that she had to do something.

She set out on a mission to tell her story and educate the general public about the grim realties of a life that she had always tried to hide. Through education, she believes that some of the grass roots solutions that she offers as well as ideas and solutions from others could change the lives of children and the landscape of the country.

Shenandoah has been building a network of professionals, politicians, agencies, organizations, social workers, foster care alumni and other interested individuals who crave new solutions and ideas to a problem that effects not only these children and this system but most of the other systems in our country.

Shenandoah Chefalo is a graduate of Michigan State University, holding a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Interdisciplinary Studies in Social Science, a Core Essentials Graduate from Coach U, a Certified Law of Attraction Advanced Practitioner, a member of the National Speakers Association and volunteers with several organizations both locally, nationally and internationally. Locally she is also much sought after for her advice and understanding of Social Media Marketing.

Shenandoah Chefalo is also the author of an e-book entitled Setting Your Vision and Defining Your Goals and is also working on another book Hiking for Stillness.

Resources from this Podcast

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Shen’s Info

Garbage Bag Suitcase blog post

Garbage Bag Suitcase


get more out of life

What you’ll discover in this private practice podcast:

5:29 The one thing that will help your practice really start to grow

10:56 What coaching did for Shen

22:45 Kids from foster care and what happens post-foster care

34:35 Experiences that are new when you were in foster care

49:06 Fruitless avenues and finding “perfect work.”

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Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC

Joe Sanok Private Practice ConsultantJoe Sanok is an ambitious results expert. He is a private practice business consultant and counselor that helps small businesses and counselors in private practice to increase revenue and have more fun! He helps owners with website design, vision, growth, and using their time to create income through being a private practice consultant. Joe was frustrated with his lack of business and marketing skills when he left graduate school. He loved helping people through counseling, but felt that often people couldn’t find him. Over the past few years he has grown his skills, income, and ability to lead others, while still maintaining an active private practice in Traverse City, MI. To link to Joe’s Google+ .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Podcast Transcription

Podcast 94: Get More Out Of Life, An Interview With Shenandoah Chefalo

[0:00] Music.
[0:07] The practice of the practice podcast with joe sam axe session number ninety four.
[0:13] Music.
[0:26] For folks can you believe it all my word we are just going full tilt had.
[0:34] Towards that number one hundred how exciting is that can be.
Well first i wanna think greater vision for being a sponsor brighter vision has been such a supporter of the practice the practice podcast.
And if you have not checked them out yet you gotta brighter vision dot com for slash go j oe.
And you get a month free of getting your website designed and for fifty nine bucks a month.
You can get an amazing website you can get hosting you guys as ceo you get updates on your site i mean,
really for what you get for fifty nine dollars a month it is such a deal and when you really break down the costs of having up the.
And getting a website quickly brighter vision just as a killer job with it so deftly check out preservation dot com ford slash jo.
[1:26] And i want to engage you the listener who has not done anything in regards to you connecting with me.
Episode one hundred m and m very special guests on that episode,
what i would absolutely love absolutely love would be to hear your voice,
either congratulating me on the hut hundred episode saying action you’ve taken the impact of this podcast i’m just any really short just sentence,
i want to hear from you and i want everyone to hear like what you doing with this information don’t just be a consumer so in that second set of one hundred.
Let’s really go from just listening and consuming this content to taking really hardcore action i’m just.
Putting this in place implementing the marketing in the business all in our private practice so we can increase our influence,
and increase our income so we can create a better world,
that’s what i would love for you to do is go over to speak pipe dot com forward slash practice.
And usually after your the question but just leave a short message for me that i can plan the podcast that would be so exciting.
[2:39] Speak type i don’t have the free version,
and so i can only have a limited number of people that do that after i download them then delete them then they can be more so please jump over there quickly so i can get a hand full or whole bunch of you,
and see what you’re doing how this impacted you up several hundred would love to hear some of your voices and have it be a little bit different type of episode.
[3:01] So that’s one thing that works tell you about also if you didn’t catch it,
i’m in one of the sponsors at the gavin institutes summit two thousand fifteen and some be hanging in seattle this october.
I would love to have you guys just go over there hangout with me in seattle and,
there’s a little bit of competition amongst the sponsors and kelly from z me as actually thrown down a little bit,
and i was gonna just be cordial about this but i’m gonna call brandon kelly and this and say i think i’m gonna get more people to go through my promo code.
Because we don’t get anything kinda back for it but i love john goblins work but the even we’re gonna send an email from the smack down about how there’s so much better than me so,
little fun competition here if you’re planning to go to the got man institute,
summit you can get fifty bucks off if you use my promo code that promo code is just got man go insignia gotten dot com for slash summit dash two thousand fifteen.
Gavin go not got mean whatever there code is that would be super awesome and help me throw down against using the girls he thinks think they’re all that.
[4:18] Anyways so i was actually after our conversation that kelly marie and and i had as we were planning the two thousand sixteen most awesome conference so i am happy to reveal to you,
that we are going to be doing in two thousand sixteen,
we’re looking at a few different ways to improve upon last year people get so much value out and we have so many great testimonials from people that have literally changed their practice and i just.
Chilling at,
and i just it’s it’s so exciting to think about right now the date for thinking and it’s making me all these days,
the range of dates may eighteenth or twenty third two thousand sixteen i’m more information for you about that later but hey block that off,
don’t get married that weekend come hang out with us in southern california it’s gonna be awesome i have so many like updates to tell you about forget to this amazing interview today,
and also really soon hear the consultant school is going to be launching and if you are interested in this new thing that i’m doing the consultant school dot com is where can get an early bird.
I can’t stand for that kind of the general public has access to it.
And honestly like even if your and just empire practice and not doing consulting yet the things that you’re gonna discovers through the consultant school.
It’s gonna help your private practice so much to so it’s really gonna be something that even if you on a private practice and you’re looking for an affordable way,
i have to get access to me get access to information on can the big components and having a consultant school.
[5:52] Is i wanna do you kind of like it you course that,
is gonna break down in sections on public twenty minute videos hydra specialty have my number videos there,
so how you can i get you mitch how do you need each reset how do you then growing audience and so that would be within your private practice or as a consultant.
He run income have you got your income specifically through consulting but,
so much of the plaster private practice to so it’s gonna be at least ten videos of me calling one part of it will a monthly q and a call during the semester so probably have three or four of those,
so can working out with can of the original founders that are joining me once you join,
you’re gonna have some feedback as to what you need also wanna make sure it’s really applicable and then for a small group within a bigger than calling the founders group so pay up to eighteen people,
in small groups of six each of those groups of six is going to have a mastermind call.
We’re they all call in and one person is on hot seat the whole time and in the other five people just brainstorm how to improve,
are your consulting practice your private practice in so it’s gonna be super individualised wanted to be super applicable,
a severe all interested in that go to the consultant school dot com and you can hear read more about an option to you get some e-mails when that goes live,
i’m thinking probably october first is when the general public will i might invite some people ahead of time that have been involved in console will see i can make it.
[7:27] Fair but also you know there’s people have been super involved if it i wanna make sure they and if they wanna get in so.
Holy cow lots of stuff to cover their also again greater vision got man most awesome conference the consultants.
[7:45] Man so many really fun things going on and oh i forgot to tell you.
I have an uncle my sister had a baby and she’s beautiful can’t wait to meter my sister and her husband are moving back to traverse city in just less than two weeks they’ve been dreaming about and planning that for years and.
Oh my gosh i just can’t wait to meet little penelope in person and she’s just so beautiful and awesome so uncle joe is in the house never been and uncle so really excited about that.
[8:18] So today shenandoah shuffle low is on the show shenandoah shuffle on the show gonna ram like i can’t get the float is in my name is joe and,
and what does those but pretty good for not writing anything down on the sea shining it is just a local celebrity here in traverse city she is a master networker.
She’s so many amazing things,
i just wanna be a little bit of her bio says she sent me she’s me expensive one so that i can pick and choose number she’s been building networks of professional politicians agencies organizations social workers foster care alumni,
others interested in creating new solutions and ideas,
to a problem that affects not only foster care children but the whole system and so she is doing some outstanding work,
around foster care and she is a former foster care she is a foster care alumni so she’s been in foster care she goes really,
deep in her just talk with me.
About just what life is like in foster care what she wants to change and it’s it’s amazing to just hear all that she shares with us.
So i’m not take any thing else away from her heart cuz she is has so much to share without any further do i give you shenandoah shuffle,
shenandoah welcome to the show how you doing today well thanks for having me,
yeah this is great to have you on you know we both live in traverse city here and you’ve been doing a lot of really great work and i’m just so excited to have you on the show today.
[9:56] I’m so excited to be here and i got a beautiful view like the smart home and i have a beautiful view of west base of three so i totally little bit about your story who are you.
[10:10] What should i know its full obviously and currently i am me.
Hopefully an author soon alright i’m waiting for the news any day the email joe so excited,
yeah we’re just talking before the show started and i said let me pause your story because i think we should just record the so tell us a little bit about the project that you’re working on and how people are saying you should write a book,
and then it will spark from there,
sure two thousand eleven i decided to transition i had been working,
and what this administration for about twenty years,
and was coming over frustrated with the circle of people that i was seeing your coming through the criminal justice system and so started looking into coaching.
And in doing that a bunch of people have results,
the only way to be successful in coaching mr right above and i said that’s great i’m on and off for.
And so writing a book is not in my wheelhouse that’s not gonna happen so gonna have to find a different way.
[11:17] And so in doing setting up and looking for material for my website trying to get good content and i was becoming really frustrated.
With my own biography and my website i just fell.
You know i had written a thousand attorney bad reviews for their websites before and i just felt that there was really no connection.
[11:38] In my biography and that the thing that set me apart and is having problems putting into my back feet and so,
was complaining about this over coffee with a girlfriend one day she said you’ve really got to meet my brother use to be a journalist and i think you could totally help you with us,
oh that’s an awesome connection right just kind of out of the blue she’s like this i know exactly what you’re saying you need to have connection with your audience.
So i sat down with him and we met and you said this is an easy project let me,
just interview you like i would a famous person for article i’m writing and will come up with something.
So is that a meeting was supposed to be about a half hour meeting ended up being two hours because we started this conversation on my tablet because he just kept asking more and more,
right investigate can and he became or more fascinated with something that i thought.
What was pretty calm and i didn’t think it was special in any way,
and he said have you ever thought about writing a book and i was like no other side of me writing a book but not me exactly,
and so for a week and a half and really pestered me via e-mail said just give me like five pages and i’ll tell you if it’s good.
[12:59] So i said to rate is five pages mostly to make this man stop e mailing me because i don’t feel like is gonna stop so i wrote five pages,
on the five k just turned into about seventy pages pretty quickly because it just kind of poured out of me and i said to him never to think about it again.
[13:18] About two hours later got a response email where he said can i have seventy more pages because i wanna know what happens next and so that was kind of the birth.
[13:30] I love the new black garbage bag suitcase,
and my journey actually doing less and less coaching and more and more working and speaking and talking and kind of this arena of foster kids and kids.
At risk in general with people so it kind of spun me into a whole new direction,
so for your own personal story i imagine you had to really can say will what i want to capture here would i not mean you could fill you know volumes and volumes we all could of our own story so.
What are some of the story is that can i do for you you thought the audience resonate with and maybe tell us just a little bit about that.
Yeah well so the story is really a memoir and entered nonfiction kind of merge together and that.
What people are really fascinated with right is the accident that they can take their eyes off when they’re not is the train wreck.
So my life you know i’m talking about the dysfunctional journey of my kind of nomadic childhood,
i went to thirty five schools before finally graduating from high school.
And so is talking about that no matter drury and the craziness of living with someone who is mentally l and has drug or alcohol addictions on top of that.
And then going into the foster care system and how old were you when you into the foster care system.
I was thirteen officially one when i officially when and i was probably homeless and kinda couch surfing for about eight months before that so.
[15:08] Yeah so it’s it’s going through that through the foster care system question yourself and if.
The decision to go into foster care is the right one because i actually call the authorities on myself so.
It was a conscious decision and of course questioning whether that was the right decision for a number of years.
[15:31] And looking at that and you know the story really is about this girl who’s just looking for somebody to love her.
At any cost in and what that looks like in so.
[15:45] What was struggling with them in the book kind of transitioned at sum point was everyone around me kept saying what’s the happily ever after what’s you know everyone one of those disney story of the,
finding my biological parents reconcile,
and having this series telling the and i knew that wasn’t possible from the day that i set out of writing the book.
I never knew how the story was really gonna and.
And what happened was is that in this journey of writing the first half of the book i realized there was a better way for the foster care system in general so the second half of the book is talking about,
really this will cost to foster care the lasting impression makes in your life in the way to.
You know foster care alumni tree food the way that they treat relationships,
the things that just kinda never go away you kind of just want to deal with this you go to sue for counselors that are familiar with foster care yeah i was a foster care supervisor so i know some kind of what you’re talking about.
Like people that don’t know what are some of those foster care alumni things that just don’t go away i use of food like what kind of things,
what issues are huge and almost every foster parent that you probably will meet will say this and it’s probably the number one question i get asked by foster parents which is so how do i do this to dishes.
No it becomes complicated because they kind of come out in different ways with different kits right because we’re all humans and so.
[17:17] It all comes out different for me because there was such a lack of food with when i was growing up and that food was very much a reward punishment sort of system is that,
you know i was a very skinny child was you know probably underweight ninety percent of my childhood and then.
Once i was on my own i just had no idea,
how much was too much because i was so afraid that,
raise the kid you just eight because there really might not be email for four days so you’ll be does not boss was hundred percent and see what when you bring me into an adult life where you are now taking care of yourself,
can quickly become a problem right because now i have every day and i can have twenty seven meals a day if i wanna.
So i still having same mental issue with it something you have to kind of overcoming realize now for me wasn’t so much just about ed,
but it was about like having a stocked pantry made i just had a house over and above so it’s beans are on sale,
for attention or whatever right hand for ten dollar each and has to bite like,
seventy dollars for beans just in case we have an apocalypse was funny cuz it’s like those kinda mentalities.
Becoming different ways not just in foster care of my mother in law when she cooks like any pasta salad or potato salad.
She can’t like half the recipe and so i can read moved back to tennessee we stayed with them for a bit and she would make this vat of like pasta salad and i would be eating everyday and one day my wife just said to me.
[18:55] Joe you don’t have to finish the pasta salad because in my family of origin it was like clean plate club like you finish the leftovers before you ever make something is from a guy i ever wanna eat anything mill,
i got a salad just retraining your brain understand where the come from,
and something with foster kids that can get confusing because right we have our biological families where we learn things,
but the odor various other families where we tend to pick up those habits to use your,
you’re trying to kill back not just the wires of your own child but the lives of like a lot child so yeah different experience,
every place says the who is the adult influence in your life was like i had my parents christina had her parents and we have to mail those two families where is you have,
all these adults the army lack thereof exactly and most foster kids that i’m at it was like they trust themselves first and then the other adults like second or third,
what is your parents and.
Hey of any child of any age right do you want your child to trust only the right right thing as a parent myself it’s like i got my thirteen year old,
only trust or the cia came in confident in her decision making at this point.
What is the other person in such a good point what what are some other commonalities with foster care alumni think it’s important for counselors that may be.
Having worked with foster kids or kids that are alumni or even a full grown adults understand some of those things is all.
[20:30] I’m on the list i was actually just talking to another alumni who is was a nasa scientist for most of her career right so she was very successful in her life and has been doing some really great things in,
we were talking about how we enjoy giving gifts to the ocean about.
Alright i’ll lose last night from her i will welcome back and see you were just talking about how,
and it just cut off when you were leaving the room there so it’s okay so what you saying is that we both feel like foster kids in general.
Really good gift givers and and most of the one that we know our people who would give you their last dollar there they’re really giving a warm really poor at is getting receiving.
Right so as i do that it makes us uncomfortable.
[21:28] Where were not sure what to do we never feel like we have the right reaction and is something link to the subject like my expected to do something because i got this gift oh wow i never would have even thought about that like.
Can a tit for tat side of it but it only makes sense though we will be delighted if a foster can.
And so at least in my previous life before foster care i did receive a lot of gas so you just never learned yeah.
And so although you really wanna make other people happy.
In it and logically as an adult i can say what people are giving me these just because they want to have that same feeling i,
i just don’t have that same feeling in my stomach but other people do when you get your nose very kind of uncomfortable and i never sugar,
you’re still don’t now it’s always like oh you know i’m very appreciative of it that’s not it it’s just like.
[22:27] There’s still that voice in the back of your head that say okay what’s attached to you yeah so i guess i have a question about,
foster care and transitioning through your teen years and being a successful adults i look at you i never would’ve guessed like,
that you had this hot three and i think he but,
nm you look at the statistics of percentage of kids from foster care the graduate high school graduate college and that is homeless major twenty two and i mean.
Through the roof use of california says that they claim that over ninety five percent of the prison population is made up of former.
Foster youth while so just think about it in those.
I see you as a really successful strong woman like what happened between leaving foster care and now that may be help you or that.
[23:20] What advice you have for any other either kids in foster care counselors were thing workmen people transitioning out of foster care,
so you’re asking me this i just a blog post that i haven’t quite hit send on yet before i started talking with you today.
And is it really as have you asked the question and it’s my call to.
Social workers and case workers and counselors and all these people that are working with kids which essentially is that have you ask the kids what they want.
[23:53] And i think all alot of times and specially with foster kids right nobody’s bothered to ask them what they want because everyone’s so busy planning what they need a,
where is the state regulations the funding are tied to let you have to go through the seven domain areas and talked about new things and the kids like i don’t care what,
and what does write social workers often are tied up in doing paperwork hey cousin governmental agency so ready to be done we have a uniforms and usually like a sixty page form that doesn’t format correctly,
hey what’s um you know and they have three hundred other kit for your not the only kid that they’re thinking about to do these forms for so.
[24:37] When we were kids and social worker so you don’t have.
The kid is awesome just forgot about and stereotypes that playing right so foster kids and their clearly disadvantage and they’re not capable of anything quote normal child would be capable of.
So because maybe not getting straight days because they’ve moved schools thirteen times sixteen hrs there,
they’re not college material right so is professional jobs are rd in mind for social workers case workers and judges,
not intentionally but the money started saying that’s not a good fit for this kid let’s start looking at becoming you know a plumber or.
You know an electrician or a contractor and then use the moment to well how can we justify unemployed.
Vs what they wanna do with their lives in talk about it in this new blog which is i had a social worker who came in to me.
To do some coaching and she said,
i feel like when i have a kid who is failing school and i say what do you wanna do and he says i wanna be a doctor i feel like i have a duty to.
Have become more realistic about his dreams and i was really shocked when she’s.
I mean i understand and i get it but are we supposed to be kind of the curator of the dream.
[26:09] Why is our job to say that’s not gonna be a fit for you or should we say okay if that’s what you wanna do then here’s the steps yeah and then there responsibility whether they take those steps in the book to enter,
it’s not our responsibility to say well that’s for you right,
and let’s talk about something more realistic when so often especially with kids in foster care of the experience severe abuse at younger ages,
yeah their development isn’t always say they’re eighteen they may be emotionally twelve or younger and how much would reset or,
my four year old you know what you want to be a unicorn when you grow up that’s just not realistic that we would never do that to younger kid,
exactly and again,
they have to go through more steps right if they wanna be a doctor anymore difficult there may be more,
any just mention years in community college they need to spend a year just getting the grades right for community college,
right but shouldn’t we be helping to cultivate that.
[27:09] So that i can see these things are possible and i think when i look at myself in my life and everybody says what’s the one that there is one thing and every,
we’re human so it’s different for everyone but the thing is is that i am new to,
at a very young age the only way out was college and perhaps because no one around me was going to college and that was kind of this i didn’t even really know what it was but i will that will get you somewhere,
so i think this sunday i’m just having.
[27:41] A big goal that seems unreachable not good grades for school but coming towards the and i had a guidance counselor who this is no joke.
Said people like you don’t go to college people like you surf the rest of us,
what is that was the expectation to show someone like me who this proves i wasn’t,
are you know i was never gonna go to harvard but you know i can’t get into a state school on it is just gonna jump up and get ready to just become a become a cashier,
and that was in his mind what foster kids that and so.
[28:27] I have a physics teacher who offered to pay my application fee because i couldn’t even afford to do that.
[28:34] And if i apply to her all matter which is it should stay.
And by march i got in when i got acceptance letter this is no joke i thought they made a mistake i call the admissions office and said are you sure that i got it.
I was so convinced at that point that i would never go to college,
what you just not guidance counselor that you’re gonna serve the masses and i’ll be honest wages does not a job i could never do that i do,
i did serving for a summer and then it switched over to catering in that was a little be easier with as a profession those people work so hard holy cow,
i don’t know i never do that okay so that’s let me just be clear it was not a job i can print so i’m.
[29:24] You know i think it’s just trying to get people over the stereo types that we have a cat or a map.
They should stand for expires the,
benefits and a pension every can go to college and you think this is a question we’re having in society right now about regular kids right so this is everyone dusted for colleges that the answer i don’t know but,
my point is is we should be facilitating the dreams of these kids yeah,
and i think in at risk populations that’s the biggest thing is having a conversation yesterday where sometimes.
[30:01] You know if you’re talking about poor communities sometimes the big fantasy dream as i would just like to have a steady job as a contractor.
And have my own.
Mobile home or trailer right like because they that holds most of their life so even just having that seems like a big dream but they can’t even imagine something beyond that.
And i say our job is just a society and a community is to encourage and help those people have experiences to shift their.
Ideas but they can see there’s even more that’s available,
so when i was working in the community college and helped do a program that is and having foster kids and other kids from at risk populations transition in college and i think one thing that was was tough for me as a counselor case manager.
Is that there is so much going on be on just the individual can of interaction and i can even meet with them like every day and there be so much extra going on that i would have no clue what’s going on but yeah,
for the the counselors case managers social workers that are working with like young say twenty something or late teens.
What advice you have for them as to how to best connect with kids are coming out of foster care what we say mean on their turf right.
So you have to kind of be where they are so meeting in places like the counseling office my not be the best idea because,
we’ve been to a lot of therapy and i’ll be honest at least in my experience a lot of it not good.
[31:38] Right where is very detached where you can say anything you want because it’s all getting reported to,
it’s getting according to a judge to a case worker to foster family like you that’s open and honest relationship with a therapist or counselor and so,
i think a lot of kids coming from those situations are already,
little doubtful mom those adults that are helping because nothing’s really feels like it’s helping my.
So the thing is is that.
[32:09] I find it said those types of kids are interesting because they are fairly independent on one hand you know they been taking care of themselves they can do tasks.
They’re shirley filling out more forms than most kids picture can you write began to notice.
[32:26] But emotionally they’re not necessarily nineteen or twenty.
[32:31] Six just have a gentleman who said he took a bunch of seventeen eighteen nineteen year olds out to the what’s right for camping experience,
and then he will this be greatly been living in their cars and on the streets like camping should be fun right have a great time.
And they see something was like being with a bunch of six year old suddenly when they were in the woods.
[32:52] Because i’m mostly they’re just not at that capacity to understand,
what’s going on yeah i remember is working with this one kid through our cell champion programmer took,
foster kids outstanding yeah he’s number of years ago and he said to me on saturday mornings he loves to get but just sugar cereal and watch like cartoons and this gives like sixteen but it was because,
in his early elementary years he was taking care of his brothers and sisters who is moving faster and he was like trying to reclaim is childhood and,
like just watching cartoons on a saturday morning and he has he’s finally control his online rate for the first time and hasn’t done all of those things right so those things that we take for granted.
[33:36] You know.
[33:38] A lot of these kids have an even experience in this is what i’m saying about the dream is that they have experience sailing so how do they know whether they like it or not right right.
You know so as i got older i was at my house the lights do all these crazy things and says it wanna do this like i wanted to go horseback riding write music because i’ve never done it so i don’t even know if i like it right right,
right i never thought i was good at sports mainly because i was never allowed to say that you get older like what what do you like to do,
i have an answer to that for people is never really done the right so i say what is really good at things that,
are like rich people,
like maybe i’m the world’s best polo player ever found out your grated squash available in my community we don’t have an adult,
football team here right now but maybe we should that would not i wouldn’t mind that foursquare for the guy who um,
yes that was just having have these experiences in all of,
playing on the soccer team because i cant afford to play on the soccer team right,
so i guess this year than working in law offices and you decide to launch your coaching business let’s fast forward because they really hear about that thing know you’ve really done a great job with that and then,
your new transition out of coaching and do more speaking i think that’s also an area that a lot of counselors just really are interested in some tickets to some of that story and process.
[35:12] What is an.
[35:14] It’s just kinda what bolts rides i’m a big believer and and never forcing anything that this is suppose to be it just kind of naturally happens and so that’s what happened,
this gentleman wrote my bio for my website and i put it on my website and.
It was the most read page on my website right so that’s interesting just like stop to think about that because.
I would think i don’t know the statistics but most people biography or about us page is probably the least red page for people from the least amount of time.
It is being the time people spend what happened was is that a woman in sweden alternately,
contacted me and hired me for coaching so i was coaching this woman in sweden.
Who then lied to all these clients in india so i was doing all of my clients ended up being international clients.
And inside was doing that but people kept hearing about this biography page.
And so then they want to know more about that may was interested in coaching more interested in the story so,
just a natural can you come talk to our women’s group about this can you cut right and so for me it originally started with this twist on my series of coaching kind of law of attraction stuff and all these things that i,
how to make you alive ryan helped me kind of growing my own person.
[36:44] I would try to new frozen but i’m far when people at the end of the talk with no hair the questions everyone wanted to know about care right right they wanted to know about that transition and how that occurred from the sf,
in excel in so that i can the stores yeah in.
That people want to hear and so that transition to more talking and more people say hey can you come talk at the human rights commission.
Because there’s not a lot of people and you know this from working with kids who are willing to share the story right right,
well i am i just read this book talk like ted where they took the top twenty ted talks and a look at all the stats and but they can only take the science of the of what makes on the top ted talks and overwhelmingly the ones that.
[37:38] Hello.
Hello there yeah i was put on hold that’s okay so overwhelmingly ted talks that are story based they have fifty to sixty percent story to make the point of the ones that are most viewed and i think it like goes back to just,
make our early human mind like sitting around a campfire and hearing stories and then live from that like it’s still compiling like even this podcast most of it’s been you just sharing your story and then we pull points out of that.
Right and i think people connect with and people want to know.
And writes the most question what made you successful question i always say there’s not one point and that’s what i kinda wanna drive home is that we have to remember a thing when we’re dealing with people,
that anything you learn.
Can i hold true for everyone you come in contact with him right so we’re still individuals right and and so i think that’s maybe one of the things counselors and social workers me and everyone.
Could really take away is that.
[38:46] Everyone’s an individual so we might learn the skills of these things that can work for all people yeah they might not always work for this one person write and so we have to be willing to do that.
You know and try new things and put ourselves out there is that make us uncomfortable.
This book for me is the way that makes people want the one to take a story like yours and say okay here’s the the process or the system that i can pull out that i can implement in my life,
and that’s not always able to happen because.
You know you’ve read books and you thought ashes persons on these great things let me try it and it just doesn’t work for you yeah.
Right like hey didn’t wanna book you trying to work sometimes because we have to try something else and i saying that’s the one thing that,
foster kids that society in general state were afraid to fail somehow or criticize if we try and fail and for me i would rather try and fail,
then just sit.
That’s when i was planning leaving my full time job back in march the big thing that i kept saying to myself is will i regret staying in not trying and just feeling safe and secure in this full time job.
Or will i regret trying and failing which ones into the bigger regret i realize that sitting in a full time job and not giving myself a chance to maybe go beyond what i thought i could go beyond.
[40:23] Like that was gonna just i was gonna die every day that i said that full time job right now and so that something like.
[40:32] And you are mine will immediately go to the worst case scenario yeah.
And so i did a lot with clients were just stop witches of a so,
tell me what the worst case scenario is ryan suddenly start on my mac and then like what if you don’t get that group of clients to pay you but what’s what’s moving through all the possible worst cases.
What is to become homeless.
And so that i don’t make sense like usually the worse case scenario whenever you’re talking about these things because you have no money and still does everything in your life with the force you and your kids live,
when you become straight and i only say,
so you will allow yourself to do that like nowhere long that process would you say go should get a job at mcdonald’s.
[41:18] What you were just allow yourself to completely lose everything and what work through.
[41:27] Yeah you’re probably right with just allow myself to do nothing you know i would do i would i need give up on the dream temporarily and i would go do something else all these terrible things happen.
[41:39] So what kind work through the worst case scenario and if it all this is doable,
well i’m really think you have a superpower cuz you’ve been homeless and you been in here and you realize,
not that was good but you survived do you got through it and so helping people go through those worst case scenarios i can imagine is a really powerful exercise what what’s going to happen.
[42:03] Right.
That’s where we’re usually afraid of nothing right off the only thing we have to fear is fear itself i mean what what is it we’re afraid of and it’s our cells and usually it’s we don’t wanna let people down.
Right we’re connected in this human emotion to other people.
We’re friends people are judging us were afraid that they don’t like us that we’re doing something to offend them what nobody’s thinking about us at all yeah.
Because they’re so worried thinking about the same things in our life right ray you will it it says we we put a lot of kind of.
I guess narcissism on ourselves that the world is really kind of watching us and you that much that and you know,
maybe for a small majority of people that are on television right we have to name names new emails maybe that’s by and large people don’t really care what you’re doing,
right right,
right axel rose send anna sorry i don’t care what you do just don’t do it to you think that’s probably for the motor is a rose that’s awesome,
the ultimate axel rose one your i do but just don’t do it to be and i think that sometimes people feel.
Right do whatever you’re gonna do as long as it doesn’t involve me i don’t care so i want to hear more about,
so you have the seventy pages and then there somewhere between seventy pages and actually launching a book like feeling like what are you wearing now what do you exploring just so that.
[43:42] God allow people that are listening to me like i would like to read a book someday but it’s like.
And the same whether to the moon like right well so i resigned on the accidental writer didn’t set up with so it’s me four years probably take someone else a lot less time.
But in honesty there a lot of times when i thought this is really just a self indulgent and ever on my part and i kind of was.
Annoyed with myself during the process where i would spend months where i wouldn’t even look at it because it’s just a second there’s another right because i had to remove some pretty painful things from my past where.
[44:23] I know how to approach it i didn’t know if i wanted that story to necessarily be included know if i to talk about those feelings so,
no
for me a lot of tears and a lot of pain and a lot of meditation in to get it to a point where i was finally like okay i can talk about any of this.
And truthfully what the book was cathartic which i’ve heard a lot of author say when they’ve written about these kind of trauma.
Yes for me it was kind of like perhaps the final time i had to really think about it cuz once it was kind of down in words.
I just read the book is kind of what i can write you know talk about it in great in graphic detail and what kind of blossomed out of it for me was.
Like right in ending that talked about the changes i wanted to see in the world.
And for me that’s what finally became enough of push to finish the book,
because they want time i struggled with the andy as i said everybody want this very tell which i knew could happen,
so how do you in the book because i’m still alive right separate does the book explain it’s not authentic to most foster care situations either like its you know you see these movies of kids in foster care and then everything xp,
perfect and its like when i come in like i never got my daddy war bucks really and national laser jet like you did for me and.
[46:00] Sandy the dog up right when i was a kid i was the only person.
Boston role model and yeah but never happened still waiting for getting more box so.
I am really struggled and sold the one thing like one of the reasons i stopped watching the news in general like i don’t care what news station you watch cuz it’s all the same to me.
[46:23] Is there really about complaining about something they offer few solutions.
[46:30] And it is a government general or just for now i think louie i think,
i think that’s a great observation because i see that you can outside of the news you know that even like with consulting clients are even audience members here its like people see all my private practice isn’t thriving,
okay what would you do about it like you evaluating your as ceo are you looking us market are you finding a client like.
What are you gonna do about it and so much easier to complain than to find solutions okay so the big thing and.
There’s plenty of complaining of my book right for me but just like,
i think anybody really that can be like okay with that person drop the ball like you can just make that has a fishing rodeo maybe that’s right and so.
I want to just be the stevie overview of the foster care system and how terrible it is.
A lot of people know that nigga don’t part of my books to educate them so they can see these enter connections between these other systems because again this is coming back to me i am a big believer that if we don’t fix foster care.
We’re never gonna fix,
the criminal justice reform that president obama was talking about earlier i mean that’s pointless in my mind that we’re doll fix,
the fact that ninety percent of the prison population is coming from the foster care population perhaps we should look at their first right there,
and welfare system homelessness like for me those problems will never go away until we first address this problem and so that was kind of the emphasis for the little second half of the book which is so what do we do.
[48:04] And is there a lot of time because.
I’m not a social worker right i just had all these i had an interesting life where i’ve been a foster kid and then i worked and criminal justice and is all about.
And then it came a foster parent for a short time and i solve that and the challenges there,
and now this person telling the story so i need to have this kind of unique three sixty view of the system as a whole and i get what people are saying and all those for snacks.
So what happened was i said well then the best thing for me as a kid in foster care like what and then the ideal situation because i knew.
At least in my opinion foster homes or not the solution to this problem,
first off will never had enough balls for the amount of kids that we have their were over four hundred thousand kids in care of the cleaning by the end of twenty fifteen will be close to half a million kids and carrots everyday.
Well enough good quality foster homes to me that need so going down the avenue to me seems fruitless.
So i just really thinking like what would be my perfect thanks and some doing work and talking about life successful in the world and what did they half.
Because after all that’s what we’re trying to do is make people successful right at least for me.
[49:30] This idea boarding schools really kind of popped in hey all these people who are getting into the bus six colleges in the nation are coming from the is,
private schools even when i started looking at college football players right that.
Are coming from the urban areas that everyone’s going in and recruiting from and then i started realizing also is there spending a year.
And this school in virginia you know getting ready for college and it started just kind of investigating got myself on this idea.
Doing a boarding school for foster kids were security and stability was the number one priority.
Ants that they can create families,
because i think that’s one of the really lacking things is that when you’re a foster kid you’re kinda supposed to forget about your first but it’s always for me that will always be mine will always be my dad.
No matter what good bad ugly or otherwise right if you ask me about my mom that’s the woman i think so yeah yeah is my biological mother so.
[50:38] You know how do you how do you even if they’re not gonna reconnect with those people later in life like myself.
Well then who do they get to spend the holidays.
[50:49] What will become a family when i move was gonna help them pack up the boxes yeah you test that,
most people with a regular family just kind of counterfeit there right like when they get married who’s sitting on their side of the aisle.
Right that’s that’s why we don’t think about who’s there supporting that and so.
I was assigned for creating a family and so started looking at things like the hershey school in pennsylvania and whatnot her she had first started what that’s kind of become.
[51:23] And was fascinated with what they were doing.
Didn’t have anyone leaving me her she portion to school unfortunately i’m guessing most of those people diabetes go to that school and the it’s actually really interesting,
there’s so much money that they will tear down buildings that are new because i have to spend on this trust because cash,
i it’s you for all the some cards right lol sold in the process of doing research that schools can’t really be that he,
and i got hooked to things like the aces study if you’re familiar with the you know adverse childhood experiences and how can we bring that and schools.
And then really fucked up with this awesome school in north carolina called the cross for school.
[52:13] Who is a party school but never charter school campus all their foster kids attend but is also open to.
The kids in the area of the charter school so their parents can life to happen go there and so they have this really great next foster kids and just regular school kids and.
They’re using an asis trauma based model and they are having fantastic results with no something like a ninety eight percent graduation rate witches more than most high schools.
Private or public anywhere close to the school across nor school cr oss no are you.
[52:52] Can go to the cross our school that or they’re just doing.
They basically were all the ideas floating around model for so now we’re talking about doing that northern michigan are some great opportunities opening up.
[53:08] Schools that are floundering some guidance and it is a ways to go and so you know,
i’m looking to live somewhere where people get one support so it’s that’s awesome so when it comes to the book working of the week with the next six months look like.
For the book.
The next six months for me is a number one priority building my email list for people to get information about kind of the cause of what we’re doing.
So i love so i can use that as leverage with agents anybody has written a book.
[53:44] I tell you may be my next career will be fixing the publishing world.
It is the weirdest business model i’ve seen any i’ve never seen a business model like this so what agents look for an email list just so that listeners can have a goal of the shooting for a book other looking for your platform,
dr and mrs while we keep getting more more books published by celebrities i think them than anything else which i think is a shame but,
are there certain numbers in the platform they look for or what is even more about i think it depends on your nish and and what’s there’s this is the whole business model of the publishing,
do they think they can some books period.
Yeah so what’s your nish and are really curious to know and how many people in your nice to have a list right if you have a hundred people that’s not a lot of books.
You know if you have ten thousand people were lot more interested,
sure because of you manage to get together ten thousand people which is kind of the magic number i think they think will with some real marketing and you getting used to these right things we can exponentially grow that for without much effort so,
and also shows that there’s somebody who’s probably interested in what your saying share for,
and how else can you tell us that currently right people don’t buy books like they use a.
Well that that’s good just camino but building a list and i think that also puts a big spotlight on you the way that you and i connected for the.
[55:19] Podcast was you sent an email to can your friends and family that said hey this is the projects and passion about and working on it for a while,
here’s a quick summary of like if you wanna join the list that here’s my goliad very specific numbers of one of this many people by the state this many people by the state.
And i email you back it’s okay you wanna be on the podcast cuz i think you have an important story to tell and.
So often were so scared especially is conference in private practice of reaching out and just asking for what we want.
And the last one thing you said the magic word to ask yeah right if you don’t ask the answer is always no.
Yeah and this is what i say in a kind of comeback four fair conversation if you don’t ask the answer is no so what’s the what’s the problem with asking.
Went for an email to a bunch of people right,
suck it responsible signal so be it and the right is a personal dig on the other people have right yeah and then you’ll get people like yourself and a few other people can say hey,
let’s do this yeah,
right in like perfect yeah and you think about that ask if everybody says no and then you get a podcast interview in a couple other people on the list your head of where you were.
Yeah i.
Can i go to my email list of like you’ve ever sent me an email asking for something your probably gonna get an email from v day saying great now help me do that straight so because i was a coach i have been on the list for like.
You know people who are looking for people to come present workshop some kind of do those things right so i need to a guy who is always marketing be about paying him forty nine dollars to be on this list.
[57:01] Can i say i’m doing so he in his wallet using the marketing to people who just mention the bottom of his boxers what’s up,
that’s freaking me that’s awesome shenandoah what’s one thing that every counselor in the world were listening right now you would want them to know.
[57:19] Yeah this brings me back to this article this blog gonna be putting and that’s just ask.
Ask the people around you see this for yourself for your family and for the patience of the kids that your working for what do people really wanna,
that’s the question what do you really want what is your spouse really one for your significant other really want what you can’t really wanna.
And when you get the answer try to let go of all your judgment about what you think they need.
[57:52] Right just lost let’s start having conversations about what you want,
stop with how’s your day going all good it’s sunny and let’s talk about i wanna build a school that’s gonna serve you now ten thousand kids and really make an impact and difference in our schools in our lives in our community is,
while we’re really want shenandoah what’s the best way for people to get ahold of you if you want to connect with your lester wanna just hear about the work your doing.
I would love to connect with my last making go to www dot garbage bag suitcase dot com.
And sign up for the email learn about book launch information and,
we’re gonna be doing awesome special events and special promotions through there gotta be only for email people who,
who is always they always get the best clothes together email address get the baccy do,
i do that as well and man,
you can always contact me on my contact information is is up on the website they can’t contact me through social media i’m really about connecting with people i can’t ever imagine changing that about myself even if the book.
I should say that if when the book becomes a new york times bestseller they go.
I still enjoy one on one connections with people yeah,
yeah we will have links in the show notes also to all of that and i’ll make sure that this podcast goes live after your blog post goes live swelling to that as well also shenandoah thank you so much for your time today this has been an awesome conversation.
[59:27] Thanks so much for having me joy i really enjoy.
[59:34] So there i am sure it happened early mall at in the field yet you will laugh about it all be repaired we’ll have a great day thank.
But i.
[59:50] Music.
[59:59] Missing at the wires of awesome on my gosh it’s it’s amazing how some these interviews that are in our long.
Just so much content so thank you so much for listening all the way through i know i’ve had a couple longer episode three silly but.
Sometimes you just rolling in just on split it up into two episodes on had all the in one scene catch all of sudden all those links in the show notes on all the things that i talked about a greater vision link.
We’ve got the government institute the consultant school shenandoah is information,
all those different things that can be practice and the practice dot com for slash session ninety four.
In i would just love love love love love to hear your voice so i can use that and episode one hundred so.
Thanks so much for letting me into yours into your brain and all of you binge listeners are being hearing from.
Literally every week i get a handful of emails of people that have spent the last like ninety hours listening to my voice.
Holy cow i am so proud of you way to take action and consume all but you content now is the hard part take some pics and action.
So you guys have a great week except for the new two years into your brain and i will talk to you soon.
[1:01:18] Music.
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Publisher,
where the gas memory legal accounting clinical or other professional information you should flying professional unit when this sunday for her phone.
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