#038: From Iron Man to Stronger to Serve: Teri Schmidt Says Make it about More than You

podcast Jul 29, 2023

So many gems from this conversation.  I can’t wait for you to listen.

My guest is Teri Schmidt who is the founder of Stronger to Serve, a start up that supports women in leadership.

I started the conversation by asking Teri about the Iron Man competition that she completed where she swam two miles, biked 112 miles and then ran a marathon–all in the same day!

She said that seemed impossible to her, but she was able to do it by taking consistent daily action.

But first she had a conversation with God because she did not know how she could do the yearlong training with two small children at home.

God’s answer:  Make it About More than You; Make it about being your best as a family.

So, Terri created a training program that included her husband and children.  And, she was able to do the competition and elevate her family at the same time.

When I asked Terri what’s her “impossible” today, she said creating workplaces that are compassionate and just where each person discovers and reaches their potential.

Sounds kind of impossible right?

So I asked Terri how she goes about taking consistent daily, small actions in this regard.

She says for her it starts with one leader in the workplace at a time.

She also recommends that each leader (and you are one if you’re reading these show notes), start by noticing your strengths and values and then building teams with folks who have different strengths so they can fill in where you don’t excel.

Every leader needs communities of support where they are not strong especially if you can’t afford to expand your team.  That could include a skills community, friends, a coach, etc.

Most importantly, make your “impossible” about more than you.

We also discuss Teri’s decision to lay down the non-profit she started and how she is moving through the grieving process.  At first she felt like a failure, but she’s coming to see that her non-profit was like a piece of art.  "When it’s complete, you can still appreciate it but you don’t have to keep working on it."

Building her own business, Stronger to Serve, is allowing her to focus on women leaders at work, and to bring into reality her impossible:  “Compassion and Justice in the workplace.”

You can get more info from Teri by going to Strongertoserve.com.

You can download Teri’s Values & Strengths Workbook for free by going to  https://www.strongertoserve.com/leadershipvoiceworkbook.

If you'd like to be part of these interviews live and connect with other women leaders creating the impossible, check out the Mother Tree Community. 


Teri Schmidt is passionate about human connection and the leadership potential within each of us. 

Her career has weaved through the educational, corporate, and nonprofit sectors but has had a consistent thread throughout: In each role, her focus has been either on developing the potential in others or working to remove barriers toward people expressing their potential. Using her 20+ years of coaching, leadership, and performance improvement experience in the corporate and nonprofit sectors, she transforms overwhelm into impact.

​Teri is the CEO of Stronger to Serve Coaching & Teambuilding where new and mid-level leaders hire her to gain the clarity and confidence they need to unleash potential, drive team performance, and become changemakers in their organizations and communities.

​She also hosts the Strong Leaders Serve podcast inspiring leaders to make their workplaces more compassionate and just through their leadership, without burning out.

​Teri is an Ironman triathlete and loves to be in nature backpacking, camping, and doing some occasional rock climbing.  She currently lives outside of Dallas with her three favorite people, her husband Jeff and her two teenage kids, Tyler and Megan.




Teri Schmidt [00:00:00]:


Aminata Sol [00:00:01]:

Excellent. Hey, everyone. It's me, Dr. Amanda Kemp, and I am here with a beautiful, beautiful leader, terry Schmidt. And we're going to be talking about what's good in the world today, but also what it feels like to lay down something that you really care about, to start something new, what it feels like to go for something impossible. So, Terry, I cannot wait to start this conversation. How are you doing today?

Teri Schmidt [00:00:35]:

I'm doing really well. Thank you so much for welcoming me to come on.

Aminata Sol [00:00:40]:

Yes. It's really been a pleasure to get to know you better. After you and I had already agreed that you would be on, I actually started to get to know you better, and I was like, , I'm so glad she's coming. So, Terry, tell us what is good? What's good for you today?

Teri Schmidt [00:00:59]:

Yeah. So I, right now, am doing an event that I am really excited about just because it combines three of my passions. And so I discovered an organization called Together Women Rise, and they support women and girls across the world. And so I decided I want to do something for them. So I'm doing this coaching for good event where if anyone makes a donation to them, they let me know that they did it, and I will give them a free 45 minutes leadership coaching session.

Aminata Sol [00:01:36]:

Wow. That model.

Teri Schmidt [00:01:42]:

I'm really excited about it. So it's going until May 10, so depending on when this airs may still be going on or not, but I'm just really excited about it, and I anticipate it'll probably be something I repeat in the future as well.

Aminata Sol [00:02:00]:

And the name of the organization that you're supporting is called what?

Teri Schmidt [00:02:03]:

Together. Women rise.

Aminata Sol [00:02:05]:


Teri Schmidt [00:02:06]:

Women rise. I just did a podcast episode with one of the co founders and the CEO on my podcast, Strong Leaders Serve, and it's just an amazing story. It started at one dinner party, and now they have 350 chapters around the world, and they have just impacted millions of lives of girls and women across the world.

Aminata Sol [00:02:33]:


Teri Schmidt [00:02:34]:


Aminata Sol [00:02:35]:

Okay, well, now I have to ask you this question. A few days ago on social media, terry posted about doing an Iron Man, and I was like, I can't believe you could run. What is the Iron Man? Tell us so we can really appreciate it.

Teri Schmidt [00:02:54]:

Yeah. So you start by swimming 2.4 miles, and then you go to the bike, and you ride for 112 miles, and then you get off the bike with nice, sore legs, and you run a marathon.

Aminata Sol [00:03:10]:

Okay. I knew it because I was like, Wait. I read it twice because I was wait. Do you do that in one day in 124 hours period?

Teri Schmidt [00:03:18]:

Yes, one after another.

Aminata Sol [00:03:21]:

Wow. So that's when I wrote back to you. Like, I'm just amazed. And then you wrote back to me. You said, Amanda, what's your impossible? And that question has been sitting with me for days now, what is my impossible? It's kind of crazy how it's possible to get so realistic caught up in the short term that you don't actually have something impossible that's long, long term that you're building for. So I guess I just want to talk with you about that. I don't know, why did you want to do an Iron Man? And why was that your impossible?

Teri Schmidt [00:04:04]:

Yeah, well, I have to kind of blame my husband for it. He did the first one. He grew up watching the national championship on TV. They do that in Kona. And he decided to do one in 2014. And I saw him doing it, and I not only saw him, but I saw everyone else who was doing it. Different shapes, different sizes, different all, different people, just able to conquer that immense feat. And I said I was at a point in my life where I didn't really feel like I followed through on much. And so I wanted to put this big challenge out and just discovered through it the power of small, consistent steps over and over again, because you don't start running a marathon. You start running or walking 2 miles, but you build up and you build up, and you build up, and you stay consistent with those steps, and you can do amazing things. So I applied that to a lot in my life. After that.

Aminata Sol [00:05:15]:

I'm looking at Terry with some incredulation because I'm like, really? If you start walking 2 miles, you could actually run a marathon?

Teri Schmidt [00:05:23]:

Oh, definitely. Yeah. I mean, it takes time, of course, and it takes commitment because you have to get just a little bit better every day, but you can do it.

Aminata Sol [00:05:35]:

How long did it take you to build up to this?

Teri Schmidt [00:05:38]:

So I trained formally for about a year, and informally. I mean, I was involved in sports in high school, so I had a little bit of a base. But, yeah, I was active to start off with, but definitely not capable of doing that beat.

Aminata Sol [00:06:03]:

And now that you've done that impossible, do you have a new impossible that you're working on?

Teri Schmidt [00:06:10]:

Yeah, I do. And it really relates to my company and my job now. I'm a leadership coach, and I have a vision of a workplace full of compassion and justice, a place where everyone is able to reach their to discover first and then reach their full potential. So I know those words may seem a little bit fluffy, but I really believe that we all have unique strengths and unique contributions to make. And it's about how do we remove barriers to people being able to realize that and contribute in that way. Because, for example, when you have a workplace that has diverse voices that are respected and sought out, that's when you start getting innovation. That's when you start getting business results. That's when the corporate workspace or any workspace can become a force for good instead of a force that is hurting our planet or hurting people or crushing people.

Aminata Sol [00:07:26]:

So tell me, when you're a walker and you want to run a marathon, you said you got to get a little bit better every day. So with your impossible of a workplace that's compassionate and justice, where everyone discovers their potential and reaches their potential, what are some of the baby steps we take along the way?

Teri Schmidt [00:07:50]:

Yeah, for me, it's how can I support one leader at a time? So that's kind of the baby step there. But if I was to dig even deeper into what are those baby steps with a particular leader, it's first doing the work to understand who you want to be as a leader and who you are. So what are your values, what are your strengths? What are your contributions that you and probably only you can make? Sometimes it's hard to take time to do that reflection when, especially in our current economic environment, people are just go go, get all the tasks done. But I've had clients come back where it was because they did that work that they were able to sustain the go go and get things done. And they were able to do the right things that were aligned with their strengths, do the things where they could make the biggest impact.

Aminata Sol [00:09:01]:

This is really interesting because I was looking at you had sent me a link for one of your gifts for our listeners today, and it was all focused on strengths. And I was like, oh, interesting. There's nothing here about where my weaknesses? What do I think about blind spots? And then what you're saying when you said the baby steps you can take, you said, notice your values and your strengths. So tell me, why is that the starting point for you?

Teri Schmidt [00:09:36]:

Yeah. And for me, throughout my career, it's been a bit of a winding path, but it has all been grounded in the belief that everyone has a unique contribution or contributions to make. So I found language in kind of the strengths focused leadership that really spoke to that because we're not all the same, thankfully. It'd be a little bit boring if we were all the same. We all have things that come really easy easily to us and give us energy and we enjoy and we can do with excellence, and those are our strengths. I focus there as opposed to what are you not good at and what you need to improve because you're just going to get more bang for your buck. I guess when you focus on what you are good at and then you find a way to, as a leader, surround yourself with people who have strengths that maybe aren't top strengths for you. That's when teamwork happens. That's when the beauty of people coming together happens.

Aminata Sol [00:10:47]:

Right, okay, that makes sense to me. So you're focusing on your strengths because it gives you joy. You do it with excellence with a lot of ease, and then you surround yourself with people who have other strengths, so you get the compliment.

Teri Schmidt [00:11:00]:


Aminata Sol [00:11:01]:

Okay. That does make sense to me, but one of the things that you said to me before we started the recording that I was like, oh, that's a good one. You said, where there's no challenge, there's no transformation. Talk to me about how you hold both of those together.

Teri Schmidt [00:11:19]:

Yeah. So when you're focusing on your strengths, it's not that you're not going to run into challenge. We all are faced with challenges every single day in all aspects of our lives, but it's how do you find a way to use those strengths to approach that challenge? And sometimes it's not you overcoming many times, it's not you overcoming the challenge yourself. It's in community, finding the right combination of strengths that can overcome that challenge.

Aminata Sol [00:11:55]:

Oh, wow. I love that. So in your taking on the impossible, you start with you, your values and your things you do with ease and joy that give you energy, make you feel good, and that you excel at. And you build this team of people who have other strengths. And as challenges come and they will come in anything we want to do, you then look to the community to help figure out the challenge or elevate to rise to the challenge of the challenge.

Teri Schmidt [00:12:34]:

Okay, exactly.

Aminata Sol [00:12:35]:

So you go from I to we.

Teri Schmidt [00:12:37]:

Yeah, exactly.

Aminata Sol [00:12:39]:

Okay, so maybe if you could give us an example. I think with Iron Man, a physical task like that, where you have to hit a certain number to complete of each thing, it's very clear. But when your goal is, if you can give us example from, like, the work world, I don't know, maybe it's a revenue goal, or maybe it's that you just want to serve more clients. I don't know what kinds of things people you've coached people through applying this, but can you give us an example yeah. From your own life?

Teri Schmidt [00:13:13]:

Sure. Let me think. I think back to my corporate career. I led a team that was focused on helping people to use data to make effective decisions. We put together a summit where we brought together people from all over the company who were using data, who didn't know each other. And I really like to bring together people and teach them, but I didn't necessarily I don't know if this is a great example, but I didn't necessarily have a focus on engaging them and fun and everything. That it. Takes to really bring a community together and had team members who happen to excel at that. Team members who were more about kind of winning other people over and exciting people and energizing people. And together, we were able to create an event that exceeded people's expectations. So that's just one example.

Aminata Sol [00:14:40]:

That's a clear one.

Teri Schmidt [00:14:42]:

Yeah. It's amazing to see what can happen when people are really focusing in on what they are good at and how they can contribute to each other.

Aminata Sol [00:14:55]:

And I wonder if that's a feature of women's leadership, if women tend to do that a little bit more. You're nodding your head.

Teri Schmidt [00:15:05]:

Say more to us. I am, and I thought about that earlier as we were leading into this conversation. That is the skill that women tend to excel at the relational aspect. And that's why I feel so passionate about supporting women to get into higher and higher leadership roles and to get more women into places where they are making decisions for organizations, because that is what is needed in our world today. There's so much uncertainty, so much volatility, so much just ambiguity. Those problems are not going to be solved unless you have someone who's looking at, okay, how can we all combine together to tackle this challenge as opposed to just, I know the right way, and I'm going to tell you what you need to do so that we can do it.

Aminata Sol [00:16:06]:

Wow, I'm just really loving this conversation. And I'm thinking about I'm a solopreneur and I think maybe you're a solopreneur. We have a small business, and I know a lot of people who listen to our show are founding projects, but they're still working with very small teams. So what you're saying about bringing people together to help round out your leadership, fill in where you know you don't have strength, I wonder how that applies to people who are founding, who are really working with tiny teams. For myself, for example, I know I hate it takes me a long time to do some kinds of technical tasks. I'm not a canva genius. I don't know. There's just a whole bunch of stuff I really don't really want to learn. So I do hire someone to help me out with that. So that's an example of what you're saying is building a team like that. But then how do you aim that at something impossible? It's almost like maybe you need a leadership coach to help you think about what's the big, hairy, scary goal, right?

Teri Schmidt [00:17:25]:


Aminata Sol [00:17:26]:

The Iron Man in your context? Not that you have to get there in a year, but what is that big fire in you that would inspire you, knowing that you could just take a little step every day?

Teri Schmidt [00:17:42]:

Yeah, I completely agree. You have to have that why if you're going to sustain your energy. And I think to your question about how do you surround yourself with people who have strengths when you are a solopreneur, I think definitely hiring someone like you were talking about. But there's also what communities can you be part of where in some way they can offer some support for those areas where you may not feel as strong? That's one way that I have handled it as well.

Aminata Sol [00:18:24]:

Give us an example of a community of support.

Teri Schmidt [00:18:27]:

Yeah, so I'm part of a community. It's called the sales maven society. But I knew sales was something that was going to be very challenging for me because I always, I think, had the typical stereotype of being salesy as being pushy and bad. And this community is really focused on sales being all about relationships and building rapport and so being part of the community. Not that they're doing my sales for me, but I hear about their experiences, they can share their challenges, and I can learn from that. And we can do role playing, things like that that can help you to strengthen those areas that don't come as easily.

Aminata Sol [00:19:20]:

Yeah. Yes. I was just thinking this morning about coaching because to me that's something else that a coach or mentor can help you with. Where you have, like, a mindset issue, where you have an internal limitation because of a belief you have that sales are bad or something, but can also help you chart your progress. Because even in something like that, it's one little step at a time.

Teri Schmidt [00:19:57]:

That's right. And a good coach will know you and be able to take that skill set that you want to work on and do it in a way that works for who you are as a person. So, like I mentioned, I wouldn't have a sales coach who was doing a really pushy approach that would not be a good sales coach for me. It would be more someone who was more focused on relationships or a coach who saw that I was more focused on relationships and was able to say, okay, these are the skills that we need to work on. This is how you can do it from your frame of reference and with where you're strong, how you can still do the same activity, but in a way that works for you.

Aminata Sol [00:20:49]:

That's so interesting. That takes us back to Iron Man. So maybe how you would run and how I would run would be different.

Teri Schmidt [00:20:57]:

Oh, definitely.

Aminata Sol [00:20:58]:

That marathon. I see.

Teri Schmidt [00:21:02]:

Yeah. But a good coach can adjust to what?

Aminata Sol [00:21:06]:

My body, because I've got a different body. I've got a different history of body parts than you do.

Teri Schmidt [00:21:13]:


Aminata Sol [00:21:14]:

And also I have a different internal limitation on how far I can run. Wow. One of the things I wanted to ask you about, Terry, is because of your even name of your company, Stronger to Serve. Obviously, you're a value centered person and your business is about what is it meant to accomplish?

Teri Schmidt [00:21:43]:


Aminata Sol [00:21:44]:

That's the center of the business. But before you had it as a business, you had a nonprofit that you started again with the mission at the center. Can you tell us why you decided to lay down the nonprofit format and morph into a business format? Does that have something to do with your strengths or was that just completely different issues?

Teri Schmidt [00:22:13]:

Yeah, to be honest were a lot of factors that went into it. I will start with my strengths and then we can kind of dig into some of the other factors if you'd like, just a little bit of history. The nonprofit, I'll go to the beginning of the nonprofit because it relates to the iron man. So when I was thinking about doing the Iron Man, I wasn't sure if I wanted to do it because I knew how much time it took. Because, like I mentioned, my husband had done one in the previously and I had two small kids at home, and so I was really kind of on the fence of do I want to make this commitment? Should I do this at this time? And my faith is really important to me. And at that time, I really felt a message kind of directly from God saying, we'll make it about more than you make it about becoming your best as a family. And so we focused that training period on getting our kids involved in the training as well, as much as they could. They would ride their bikes while we were running, for example, and also volunteering in the community together. So really kind of becoming our best people. And I had a little facebook page called project becoming our best, and it got a following. And I had a school teacher who said, you know, that I love that combination, like, for well being of volunteerism and physical fitness, I want to bring something like that into the school. So that was the beginnings of stronger to serve the nonprofit. So it really focused on getting families together for their well being, both physical, social, and community. And it grew, and it definitely had an impact, but it didn't really grow in the way I wanted to. And I felt just like an event coordinator and was really kind of hungering for what I was doing in the corporate sector, which was leading teams and helping people to reach their potential to excel even in difficult environments. And so I started doing a little bit of coaching on the side and then through some various factors, it turned out to be a good time to kind of lay down the nonprofit. And that was an incredibly difficult decision because as you can imagine, I felt like it was something that I received a calling to do and it felt a bit like a failure. But I really wanted, again, due to those other factors, we had, unfortunately, a death in my family and things like that, that led me to do the transition to really focus in solely on the business. And it hasn't been until just recently that I've kind of started to come to peace with that decision. And I think, you know, Marusha Murphy, she's going to be on my podcast in a little bit. I was listening to her on a podcast and something she said about her transitions made me think, maybe I can look at each of these phases in my life. Like, the nonprofit phase is like a beautiful painting that I added to a gallery somewhere. And it's a painting that has beauty, and it might have some pain in it, but it's part of my journey and I can look at it and admire what's in there and start the new painting as well. That has helped me to start to come to terms with some of the grief that comes along when you're transitioning.

Aminata Sol [00:26:16]:

Yes, and thank you for sharing that. I want to say out loud that there is grief when you lay something down, when something comes to completion, when it ends, when it dies, when it's time to walk away from that painting, it is done. And I'm not going to keep working on it, trying to make it better or adapt to the new situation.

Teri Schmidt [00:26:47]:


Aminata Sol [00:26:48]:

Sometimes the answer is to say it's complete.

Teri Schmidt [00:26:52]:


Aminata Sol [00:26:54]:

So for you, for grieving, is there anything you would say about your grieving process? How are you grieving?

Teri Schmidt [00:27:09]:

I just keep coming back to that painting analogy and it's taking time to look at that painting and see where the bright spots are and what I can carry forward into the next painting from those bright spots and what I can celebrate just for them being what they are. It may not mean that I need to carry it forward, but I can celebrate what was positive about that. I think that helps with the grieving and then just acknowledging that that was a time and it wasn't necessarily just a failure that I should hide under a sheet or something. Again, I'm thinking of the painting in my mind, but instead is something that I can celebrate, be happy about, and yet still move on.

Aminata Sol [00:28:06]:

Yeah. So I think relevant for us in so many things, like we may move on from a faith community, we may move on from a relationship, a friendship, we may move on from a romantic partnership or marriage sometimes. Or we have deaths in our families where we don't get to choose. But we can choose to move on or we can choose to keep saying the regret of what we wish it could have been.

Teri Schmidt [00:28:39]:


Aminata Sol [00:28:41]:

Yeah. I love that analogy of the gallery of appreciating, honoring and maybe taking forward something into the next. So when you took forward the idea of stronger to serve, of serving into your next iteration as a business, well, how long have you been a business entity now?

Teri Schmidt [00:29:07]:

Just since last December. So I was doing that coaching on the side for two years prior to that and of course coached in my corporate career, but formally as a business. We laid down the nonprofit last December.

Aminata Sol [00:29:26]:

So you're really in month April, so we're just four months in.

Teri Schmidt [00:29:32]:


Aminata Sol [00:29:33]:


Teri Schmidt [00:29:34]:


Aminata Sol [00:29:35]:

I feel like you've covered a lot of emotional ground, mindset ground. And then I'm not on the inside of your business, but on the outside I also see you establishing a space and a voice, and that's huge. That's so important, right?

Teri Schmidt [00:29:57]:


Aminata Sol [00:29:59]:

So congratulations on thank you. Stepping forward.

Teri Schmidt [00:30:04]:

Thank you.

Aminata Sol [00:30:05]:

Yeah. And also trusting yourself.

Teri Schmidt [00:30:14]:

That comes and goes. I'll say. I think any solopreneur out there goes through the ups and downs of believing in yourself. Definitely comes from my faith as well and from just having a village of support around me, different coaches and different friends and clients and things like that.

Aminata Sol [00:30:41]:

Yes, a village of support. I want to go back to what you said you felt like you got a message from God to make it about more than you. What do you feel God's message to you is about in your current business format?

Teri Schmidt [00:31:00]:

I think it's the same, actually, and I didn't even just realize that till you said it out loud. But the times when I get in trouble in my business is when I am focused just on me and what I'm going to I mean, yes, obviously you have to take care of yourself and develop your skill set, and you continue to evolve. But I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about more about, well, what are they going to think about me, or am I going to be accepted, or are people going to want to work with me, or am I going to make enough money to support myself when I get stuck in those thoughts? Instead of, who are those people out there that need what I have to offer and how can I find them and how can they find me? That's when the magic happens. So it is still about make it more than just about you.

Aminata Sol [00:31:53]:

Right. Wow. I feel like that's like we could just go home with that one because that one when I've shifted out of what do they think of me? Am I good enough? Those kinds of questions to one of my favorite questions used to be, how can I be of service here?

Teri Schmidt [00:32:17]:

How can I be of service?

Aminata Sol [00:32:18]:

I love that another way to ask it in terms of what you said about okay, how can I make this about more than me? Yes. Help me. Help me to make this more about me than me, please. I'm stuck in that kind of situation, and I love it's about more than you. Not to say don't make it about you, but it's about more than you.

Teri Schmidt [00:32:44]:

That's right.

Aminata Sol [00:32:44]:

You are part of the equation.

Teri Schmidt [00:32:46]:

Yeah, definitely.

Aminata Sol [00:32:50]:

Wow. I want to go back to that feeling like I feel like a failure because I think if anybody has started anything or really lived any measure of time, that judgment is going to come up. I have failed. I feel like a failure. I guess I wonder and maybe that's why we don't articulate impossibles for ourselves, because we are afraid of we don't want to feel those feelings.

Teri Schmidt [00:33:28]:


Aminata Sol [00:33:29]:

So I guess I wonder, like, when you were training for the Iron Man, surely you didn't have a good day every day? No. Okay. And maybe, did you feel like a failure at any point in that process?

Teri Schmidt [00:33:43]:

Oh, definitely.

Aminata Sol [00:33:44]:


Teri Schmidt [00:33:44]:

Definitely on a regular basis.

Aminata Sol [00:33:46]:

Well, then what do you do with that when that rises in you? What do you do with it?

Teri Schmidt [00:33:55]:

The first thought that comes to mind is keep moving. And it's, what step forward can you take? I'm not saying that because that could sound like an avoidance of that feeling, but I think sometimes there's healing in the motion forward, if that makes any sense. At least that's what I've found in my life. And again, I have to protect myself against just avoiding using it as an avoidance. And that's, again, why the painting image comes to my mind, because I still see those I kind of think of them as like red or black splashes of paint on there that maybe aren't that pretty, but how can you through, over time, learn to appreciate them?

Aminata Sol [00:34:56]:

I want to put something in here because maybe for people who are founders, entrepreneurs, whether you are creating an organization or you're creating a volunteer event or you're creating a business, there's probably something about us where we have a default or a tendency to keep moving forward. Because you can't be an initiator if you have that inside of your DNA. So it makes sense that we would tend to we'll just keep putting the foot forward. Like that could be a strength. I mean, that is a strength we have. And the thing is, and I will say that for me, when it comes to working out or meditating, just do it. The debate about it, I'm going to lose.

Teri Schmidt [00:35:49]:


Aminata Sol [00:35:49]:

If I enter into a debate, I'm not going to do it. So I have to just not debate it. I'm going to do this walking thing. I'm going to go to this yoga class. I'm going to do this meditation bing bong. But sometimes, and I'm thinking I'm probably a little bit older than you, one of the things I'm hitting in this point in my life as I'm getting into my late 50s is slow is good.

Teri Schmidt [00:36:25]:


Aminata Sol [00:36:25]:

So who in here is unhappy or neglected? Meaning in here, inside of me. So if I keep moving forward, I'm moving forward with dragging resistance with me.

Teri Schmidt [00:36:42]:

Yeah. I love that. Yeah, you're right. And I think that comes back to going again to an art gallery. You see people standing there and looking and resting and appreciating. So, yeah, I think there are times where just taking that next step is the right move, but there are times to sit back, to rest, to reflect, so that you aren't I love how you said that. So you're not dragging things with you.

Aminata Sol [00:37:24]:

Yeah. And as you talk, I'm realizing, too, for people, like, one thing is I used to be a sprinter, so my default is to move fast when uncomfortable, to run.

Teri Schmidt [00:37:40]:


Aminata Sol [00:37:41]:

It is not to. Slow down and deal with what is going on. It's like, oh, this is bad. Let me get out of here.

Teri Schmidt [00:37:48]:


Aminata Sol [00:37:49]:

And obviously that has served me well. I'm still alive know, but it can't be the only tool in the toolbox because it also has burnt me out.

Teri Schmidt [00:38:02]:


Aminata Sol [00:38:02]:

You know?

Teri Schmidt [00:38:02]:


Aminata Sol [00:38:03]:

It's it's also brought me to my knees. Honestly, you cannot go for it anymore because you are dragging so much behind you. I don't know if everything in this conversation is going to point back to coaching or community.

Teri Schmidt [00:38:23]:

I'm loving where it's going. Yeah.

Aminata Sol [00:38:26]:

You do need some outside support to help you see when is it time to rest or to engage the parts of you that are resisting digging in their heels and making it hard and when is it time to just, I got you, but I'm turning on the TV and doing my walking program anyway. Exactly. And then we can talk about it. Maybe that's what it is. It's like, okay, I promise I'm going to deal with this resistance, but right now I really need to meditate and then I'm coming back to you. Maybe that's what we need to do.

Teri Schmidt [00:39:06]:

It is. Yeah. It's about knowing yourself. And I think as we go through life, we gain, hopefully, greater and greater knowledge of what we need at different times, but hopefully those around us who love us also gain that knowledge. So that when we need the discipline to stop and reflect or to look at that painting, even though it's so painful and we just want to get out of there and we don't have the discipline ourselves to stay there, that we have people around us who love us and can support us in staying there.

Aminata Sol [00:39:48]:

Wow, this conversation has gone so quick, Terry. I can't believe we're kind of coming toward the end of our time together, but before we do that, I want to give you a chance to share how people yeah. Do you have a gift for us? So I wonder if you talk about the gift you have for us.

Teri Schmidt [00:40:10]:

Yeah, definitely. So I talked about the first step to really being an effective leader is spending some time getting to know your strengths, getting to know your values. So this gift, it just consists of some starter exercises to do just that. It's something you could spend ten minutes on or if you really want to go deep, you could spend more time than that, probably a couple of weeks. And it's really helpful to do with a coach, but you can definitely do it on your own and people can find [email protected] leadershipvoiceworkbook.

Aminata Sol [00:40:47]:

Leadershipvoiceworkbook. Oh, I didn't love that title. Because when you know your strength, you probably will have more of a voice.

Teri Schmidt [00:40:55]:

Yeah. And people know who you are as a leader and what to expect from you. And that's how your team gains stability when they know how you're going to make decisions, when they know what they can expect from you. That comes from doing that inner work first.

Aminata Sol [00:41:12]:

Oh, my gosh. That makes a lot of sense to me. If people know, for example, that I'm intuitive, I'm very creative, I come with a lot of ideas. We're not going to do them all. But I do say them all out loud. Don't worry, we're not going to do them all. I mean, that could add stability. Everybody knows how to listen, right?

Teri Schmidt [00:41:33]:

And that starts building trust. And trust is the key to surviving anything that our environment throws at us.

Aminata Sol [00:41:46]:

And that's another one. Trust is the key. Here's a statement. I've been working with Go at the speed of trust, and the first place to build trust is within myself.

Teri Schmidt [00:42:04]:

That's right.

Aminata Sol [00:42:05]:

And then you get to the other relationships that you need to build trust.

Teri Schmidt [00:42:08]:

With, and that's when you can get to the power of community. Without that, community is not going to happen, and it's not going to have the power that it could.

Aminata Sol [00:42:21]:

Very. Wow. Well, thank you so much, Terry. Thank you for being on the show today. Wow. Thank you for listening to your inner guidance.

Teri Schmidt [00:42:34]:

Well, I'm honored to be here today, and I just really appreciate you, again, inviting me and welcoming me.

Aminata Sol [00:42:43]:

And so everyone listening to the Mother Tree Network podcast, thank you for listening in today. Be sure to pick up your free gift. [email protected].

Teri Schmidt [00:42:57]:


Aminata Sol [00:42:59]:

Leadershipvoiceworkbook. I'll also put it in the show notes, and I hope that you'll take with you about making it bigger than you or don't make it about just you, but what is your impossible? Just give that some thought. All right? Peace and love, everybody.



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