Coach yourself confident with Julie Smith

Many of us wrestle with self-doubt.

Whether it leaves us exhausted by over-preparing for things, or feeling frustrated and unfulfilled because it's holding us back.

Join me on this episode of TIE Unearthed as I engage in a conversation with Julie Smith, the bestselling author of 'Coach Yourself Confident.'

Julie's journey from corporate life at Mars and PepsiCo to founding Talent Sprout is truly inspiring.

 Throughout our discussion, we delve into the motivations behind Julie’s focus on confidence in her book, exploring its complexities and how it evolves. We also uncover the often-overlooked pitfalls of over-preparation and overwork driven by self-doubt.

Julie generously shares invaluable tips for mastering presentations, navigating the “self-doubt tax”, as she calls it, and then vividly depicts her own journey of writing the book. As we wrap up, Julie leaves us with a poignant quote on confidence saboteurs, emphasising the importance of embracing authenticity and staying true to ourselves. Expect insightful reflections, practical advice and some stories to bring all of this to life.

So throw on those running shoes, or grab that favourite beverage, and here is Julie. Please don’t forget to let us know what you think of this episode, leave a review and subscribe.

If you would like to be reminded of future podcasts and other inspiring stories from TIE, join our newsletter ⁠here⁠.

If you would like to order Return on Humanity: Leadership lessons from all corners of the earth, you can do that ⁠here⁠.

And if you would like to order Coach Yourself Confident, you can do that here.


Welcome to the show where we expose new perspectives on our ever evolving world through the lenses of various industries, cultures and backgrounds.

Our guests are disruptors united by a common goal to bring their purpose to life.


Whether they’re from the commercial world or third sector, from the global north or the global S expect an inspirational journey that will transform your perspective on just what is possible.

My name is Philippa White and welcome to tie on Earth.


So today we are going to be talking about confidence.

Perhaps you’re an exhausted achiever, or perhaps you’re feeling frustrated and unfulfilled because self doubt is making you hold yourself back.

Confidence is such a fascinating topic and in this episode of Thai Unearthed, Julie Smith is going to give us a bit of a deep dive into the insurance and outs of it.


Hello and welcome to episode 88 of Thai Unearthed.

Julie Smith is a fellow author and friend whose book Coach Yourself Confident has recently launched and made it to best seller status.

She’s also a sought after coach who’s been supporting leaders to grow their confidence for three decades.


More than 15 years in corporate life with Mars and PepsiCo gave Julie first hand experience of what it takes to succeed in a demanding, fast-paced organization.

In 2010, Julie founded Talent Sprout, a highly respected leadership consultancy, and since then she has coached hundreds of executives and leadership teams internationally.


Working with L’Oreal, Mulberry, Unilever, Expedia, HSBC and more, she’s designed and delivered development programs that participants describe as life changing.

Now today, we’re going to talk about self doubt.

What unlocks self belief?


And then Julie will leave us with some great takeaways that you can start to use immediately to unleash confidence.

This is a super light hearted and very helpful conversation, so throw on those running shoes or grab that favorite beverage.

And here’s Julie.

Hello, Julie.


Thank you so much for joining us today.

It’s wonderful to be finally talking about your very exciting book.

Thank you very much for having me.

It’s very It is indeed wonderful to be, and particularly talking to you, Philippa Kevin, that we’ve been on this journey together.

Talk about my book.

Thank you for having me.


Before we get to coach yourself confident, it would be wonderful to just understand a little bit about you before this journey that you’re on now.

Yeah, I’ll maybe start with what I do now, my business and then I’ll just do work back a little bit.


So my business has just had its 14th birthday.

So for the past 14 years I’ve been the owner of Talent Sprout, which is leadership development consultancy.

So I I’m a coach.

As you know, I’m a coach.

Individuals coach teams, develop leadership programs, develop culture change programs.


That’s the sort of territory that I work in.

And then before that my corporate career which is still a little bit longer.

So I think 15 years in total corporate career.

I had the first few years at Mars graduate training program and then went into HR and then eleven years at PepsiCo where I did started off as the HR manager at the biggest crisp factory in the world, potato chip factory in the world.


I like that stat.

I don’t know whether it’s still true.

It was at the time, and then a series of bigger HR roles and and left to set up Thomas Sprout in 2010.

Wow, You know what?

I didn’t know that part about you.

I knew PepsiCo was in there, but I actually don’t think I’d ever even asked you what your role was.


So that’s great.

I’ve just learned something new.

We have been talking for over a year.

So that’s yeah, that’s obviously makes total sense.

So what was the catalyst then to doing what you do now?

I’m I’m fascinated by you being in those roles, but something happened and I’m just curious as to what was it.


I think it’s probably a couple of things I’d say.

One was I found what I loved.

So the last role that I had at PepsiCo was I was HR director for talent, learning and culture, which to me were like all the best bits of HR and pretty much the territory that I now work in.


So I really found what I loved.

PepsiCo paid for my coach training because wanted me to do that.

I was acting as a kind of an internal exec coach.

I also then got a bit of I wonder what it’s like elsewhere.

I’ve I’ve spent eleven years at Pepsi and I loved it all.


Like, I just felt like I wanted something new and I couldn’t imagine finding a better organization.

Which sounds a bit stupid now in hindsight, but I really loved Pepsi that much.

And I guess that combined with I’d had one child.

I ultimately had another one quite soon after leaving Pepsi.


So the flexibility of working for myself really appealed.


Moved towards a world in which I could decide my own hours.

I could travel less and I could really focus on all of the things that I loved in the people space without 250 emails a day and some of the the directives that I didn’t like from New York and all of that kind of bit the the little bits of corporate life that I didn’t enjoy.


Yeah, I know.

I feel that.

And it’s it’s interesting in the space that I work in as well.

And also I talk about it in my book Return on Humanity.

I started my business 20 years ago.

And without question, I feel so lucky that I was able to have that flexibility to be able to be close to my kids, to be able to have lunch with them, to be able to work once they’ve gone to bed and then you know, before they get up or you know, I I always get the work done, but it just can’t fit into the specifics sometimes.


And of course you have the, you know, key meetings and you just sort of work around that, but just having that flexibility.

But in the, you know, in my book I also just talk about, I’m sure that you come across this as well is just that importance for people who are in the corporate world, who are leading teams, who are developing those cultures.


Just the importance of listening to this, If you are listening to this and just thinking what are, I would like to say it isn’t always women, but unfortunately it does tend to fall more on women.

What are women needing in order to keep them in your business?

Because if you don’t figure that out, they’re not gonna stick around and they are gonna be going off and we need women in business.


Absolutely, yeah.

And often going off at the point where they’ve got a really great career, they’ve got a lot of experience that they’ve gained.

There are maybe a, you know, good sort of senior level really contributing to the organization.

It is such a loss and I think often it’s a one way.


So I know, I know a number of people like you and I who have chosen to step out of corporate and made a real success of working for themselves.

Can’t imagine.

I can’t imagine going back into corporate.

So it is a quite often I want my door and I think a big loss.

And I think you’re right.


It’s often women.

Mainly Women, not always, but mainly.


And we know that businesses are more successful, more competitive, more on all of the metrics if women are in business.

So, yeah, no, I hear you.

So talk to us about your book.


So you have launched it and it is very exciting for our listeners.

We did a program, we did it with Alison Jones and Practical Inspiration Publishing.

It was an extraordinary journey.

I personally absolutely loved it.

I don’t wanna put words into your mouth, but it was certainly amazing, the camaraderie and everything that was felt throughout that course.


And then of course, we continued the various different stages to then publish a book and we did this together.

And so we were in that from the beginning.

And so I’ve seen the journey.

I’ve been a part of it too.

I’m excited obviously to just hear your thoughts on it.


So talk to us just about the start of that journey and what was that for you?

Yeah, I have loved it as well.

I know you said you didn’t want to put words in my mouth.

I have loved it from that’s finished and love to doing it in Community with particularly you and Ollie, who we’ve been.


We’ve got a little trio that I think we’ve really supported each other well.

So the start of that journey, Why did I start?

I think it’s probably 2 threads.

One is love.


Have always wanted to write a book, write a book, thought I could write a book.

So I’ve always enjoyed kind of write writing.


There was a pull there.

And then I guess you’ve got to have a good idea.

You’ve got to have an idea that you are happy to live with for a long time because it’s a lot of effort, you know, it’s a lot of effort to write the book.

You’ve already got to spend a huge amount of time inside your idea and then it’s there forever.


Then coming up with what felt like a meaningful idea.

So I am very aware of my own sort of personal journey with confidence in the way that a lack of confidence has held me back at times.

So there’s definitely a sort of personal thread, but there’s also very much a professional thread where there are so many leaders, amazing people who’ve come to me for coaching, who lack confidence.


And actually they might come and say I want to work on, I don’t know, work, home balance or strategic thinking or something else.

But actually as soon as we start to get into the conversation, what becomes clear is that what sits underneath that is a degree of self doubt.


Actually, it’s not, you know, for example, it’s not a skill that they’re lacking in terms of strategic leadership.

It’s the fact that they don’t see themselves as strategic would be you know an example.

I’m really pleased with how I’ve been able to work with individuals, individual coaching clients, and help us with their confidence.


But there’s obviously a a limit to the sort of impact that you can have, partly because it’s expensive, like exec coaching is expensive, so it’s exclusive by its nature.

And I thought I had this idea that if you can package up, if I could write a book that packages up some of the benefits of exec coaching to help somebody build their confidence within the covers of a book which is much more accessible, both in terms of you can pick it up whenever you like and in terms of cost, then it just, it felt really worthwhile.


So actually just going back a little bit because I didn’t ask you, perhaps you can just let us in a little bit.

Your 14 year journey and what you’ve been doing with Talent Sprout, have you always been working in the area of confidence and has that always been your focus?

Is the book just focusing on one area?


Just be interesting to just cover on that and then?

Yeah, great.

So talent Sprout is all about growth.

So let’s explain the name of it.

So talent Sprout, Sprout as in growth.

You know, I’ve aimed to catalyze growth whether that’s with individuals that I’m working with or teams or broader organizations in terms of some of their big leadership programs or or culture work.


I would say that leadership is the space that I’m in.

And within that confidence has been a thread and a thread that I’ve been particularly interested in.

But it is only a thread.

So it’s not, it’s not the answer for everything and it’s also not necessarily yes.


It’s an area that I feel I can specialize in and I guess particularly after the very intensive process of, you know, researching and writing about it.

But it’s not, it’s not the only thing I want to look at.

So it’s a sort of specialism within a broader offer around leadership.


Yeah, that and and I thought that was the case, but I just wanted to clarify that as we’re going to now start really going into the area of confidence, which is obviously what you have spent over a year working on in a lot of detail to be able to write a book.

So I think what would be really interesting, I’ve read your book and I loved it and obviously I work in a similar area of leadership development.


Obviously, we all come at this from slightly different points of view.

I loved reading it from a very personal point of view, because even as someone who works leadership development, somebody who runs their own company, somebody who’s constantly having to kind of go out there and put yourself out there, it’s unbelievable the amount of times, you know, and I do see myself as a confident individual.


But even still you get sidelined and there are things that you sort of start kind of feeling and you think, Oh my God.

And as I was going through the book, you know, just reading things and thinking, God, yeah, that’s actually such a good point.

And that point for me was the self doubt tax.


I thought that was such an interesting insight and also just how you named it.

I thought that that was really great.

And I just wonder, can you talk to us about that?

Because I do think that our listeners, even those people out there who are listening, who are like, I’m super confident, I don’t have a problem with confidence.


You know what?

We all do in some way or another.

And sometimes, sometimes it plays out in ways that we didn’t even see it as being that.


And that’s where I it was.

Some of those examples, I thought, Oh my God, that’s really interesting because perhaps that’s what I do then, so I’d love you to just bring that to life.


Yeah, definitely.

And I think the first thing to say in response to that is I just like the way you framed it, that it’s not the case that, you know, you’re either a confidence person, confident person or a not confident person.

It’s actually, you know, for all of us, I think confidence kind of goes up and down over the course of our lives in our, in different contexts, different hours of the day.


So it’s just not a static thing that you sort of have or you don’t have.

So the self doubt tax, my whole idea is about right sizing self doubt.

So we can’t and actually don’t need to eradicate self doubt.


It’s part of our human experience.

It has some important aspects that you know, perhaps it helps us to be less certain.

It helps us to be curious, it helps us to see, to collaborate, to see what we bring and what we don’t bring and what we you might need to invite in from other people.


So self doubt as a thing is not bad.

Too much self doubt has a cost attached to it and that’s what I call the self doubt tax.

So if our self doubt is oversized, then the tax gets paid in one or one of two ways.


So either, and this might be the classic way people think of lack of confidence, it gets paid in missed opportunities and unfulfilled potential.

So it it that’s where we doubt ourselves and as a result we step back and we stay small and we stay safe.


So we don’t apply for that job or we don’t speak up in that meeting, we don’t put ourselves forward in some way.

The other way that the self doubt tax can be levered, which is the one that I am very familiar with personally, is in overwork and exhaustion.


So this is where I think sometimes people might not see it.

It might not be evident as a lack of confidence, but it’s the compensating for.

Because I don’t have the full belief in myself and my abilities, I’m going to compensate for that by over delivering.


So I’m going to put in, you know, more prep than is necessary for every single meeting.

I’m going to, I’m not just going to hit my objectives, I’m going to completely smash them, which is you know, great to have somebody like that in your team, not sustainable for that, great in terms of you know, the results that are being delivered.


The ultimate risk is burnout.

So there’s a connection, I think, between potentially between kind of self doubt or lack of confidence being compensated for by this overwork over delivery that has the cost of being utterly exhausting and unsustainable.


So interesting.

And that for me was there’s a quote that I have in my book because I talk a lot about as experts as well.

You kind of fall into this place of, well, I, I, I know, I know this area.

And you know, vulnerability doesn’t come in all that often because you sort of feel like an expert in that area.


And if people kind of doubt it, it’s kind of but.

But Voltaire says doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.

And I love that.


And I love that because actually you need to have the doubt, right.

But in this area of confidence that you bring out in the book.


And again, I went into reading the book being like, yeah, I feel like I’m a pretty confident person and it’s so crazy because even just sort of going in it.

And then when you you mentioned that, I thought, Oh my God, isn’t that funny.

How, you know, that is such an interesting way that it can play out and that people don’t necessarily see that.


And it’s not trying to just make people not feel confident or to sort of suddenly have, you know, that’s not the point.

The point is just being aware of these different ways that it can kind of play out.

And then of course you’ve got these amazing frameworks and suggestions of how people can respond to that.


Yeah, what I’d love to just hear from you.

So I I do see myself as someone who is quite confident, but interestingly to put myself out there sometimes.

And it depends.

And like you say, it depends on the day.

It depends on what’s going on in your life.

It depends on the moment.

I mean, it depends on so many things.

Sometimes it’s not a problem, sometimes it is.


And it’s really weird, isn’t it?

But for those types of situations, do you have something that people can do before they’re about to go out there and put themselves out there, perhaps in a way that they might not usually so on stage, for example, And what can someone do?


And then what would be so interesting as well is on the flip side.

So if you suddenly, you know, if you do read your book or if if you’re listening to this and you thank God, I I do actually probably do too much.

And maybe that is me trying to overcompensate for, you know, a lack of confidence in a certain area that I hadn’t even seen it like that.


What would you suggest that someone does in that kind of situation?


So the first one was kind of almost public speaker on stage, putting yourself in a position where you’re more visible than you’re used to.


And the second one was the kind of overwork as a result of lack of confidence.

Yeah, it’s such a classic, isn’t it?


The public, public speaking, you know, there’s that stat that people say it’s people are more fearful of that than of death or you know, it’s it’s really up there in terms.

Of night fairs that people have.

You know, you.

It’s like suddenly you’re out on stage and you’ve forgotten everything and everyone’s looking at you.


I mean, you just even think of that.

It’s going to fill your body with dread, right?


Yeah, absolutely.

I think there’s some really, I mean, there’s some really basic things.

The first thing that came to mind, I think prompted by what you were saying about, you know, generally confidence.

Sometimes it’s easier for you than others.

One of the things that might make a difference is just our level of tiredness.


So there’s something about part of the preparation.

If you know you’re heading for an event, if you like something where you are going to be on stage and where it might take something from you that it requires you to sort of overcome a degree of self doubt.

I think just preparing, including not only what you’re going to say, but focusing on your energy.


How much sleep am I going to get?

What have I eaten?

What, you know, when have I eaten?

How much have I eaten?

All of that kind of stuff.

Actually, the sort of physical bit is important.

I think there’s something in the book, and I forget the quotas from the very wonderful Steph Reed, who’s a Paralympic athlete, and it’s around butterflies.


It’s around our relationship to butterflies.

So she, I think she says something about butterflies.

Are our body getting ready to go?

And I think there is this idea of excitement and trepidation, feeling the same physically.

So almost.


How can we tell ourselves?

Actually, I’m excited and just use the, yeah, the feeling of butterflies as a signal that this matters to me, but in a way that I’m, I want to step forward into.

I’m excited about doing it.


It might not be usual for me.

There might be something that’s a bit uncomfortable about stepping out here, but I want to do it.

And the butterflies of my body getting ready to go.

It’s not somehow a sign that I’m incapable or I God, I should never have volunteered for this or any of that.

It’s actually just adrenaline and being ready to step forward and do my best.


I love that part of your book as well, actually, because I I thought that was such a clever way.

She I think she said that it’s if you ask any athlete how they feel, they’ve all got the butterflies in their tummy, but they their response to that is excited, being excited.


No one said nervous.

And it’s it’s about a mental state, isn’t it?

Completely, yeah.

And I mean there’s a lot in the, in the book as you as you know about sort of, you know, in a critic and what we tell ourselves and I guess it’s the, you know, that often focuses on not believing everything we’re telling ourselves.


But the other, the sort of other way around works, the sort of reframing in a positive way.

So this is excitement.

Butterflies are a good thing that works because we do kind of listen to what we tell ourselves.

I think the other thing about, I guess particularly about that sort of setting where you are speaking to people or presenting to people, I think if we can focus less on somehow this is a performance and all eyes are on me and it’s a performance and and everything that goes with that, that then feels slightly terrifying and you know, and therefore what if I get it wrong or I mess up or I stumble or whatever.


I think if we can put out our focus right from the start of the preparation on the audience, that really helps.

So putting our focus on what is it that we want them to know what is useful for them, what’s the what are they taking away from this?


That then what we’re doing is more in service of those individuals and the focus is on them which is both a really good thing in terms of honing the content that’s going to land well.

But it also can serve to take some of the it’s sort of rather than putting the spotlight on yourself and all of these.


It’s all down to me.

I’m on the stage.

Your focus is on them and I think that can relieve a little bit of the the anxiety and.

For the flip side, you know there’s a lot of frameworks and activities in the book.


So if I am one of those people who tends to overcompensate, yes.

Do you do you have a favorite framework or activity that you could bring to life to just help someone?

Perhaps try and not do that as much?

Yeah, I do.


I have a favorite.

And funnily if it enough, it’s also the one that the first time somebody who I didn’t know got in touch with me about the book and said that it had been useful to them.

It was this tool that they really talked about.

Yeah, so it is my favorite for a number of reasons, including that.


So it’s one that I call preparation calibration.

So I think often the overwork, the sort of self doubt fuelled overwork shows up in over preparing for a meeting let’s say.

So the idea of this is to retrain yourself I guess and calibrate what is the preparation that I need to do.


So what I suggest is sort of, you know, think of a particular meeting, a particular task or meeting that’s coming up and then write down everything you could do to prepare for it.

So just write, you know, let your over preparation tendency run free, write it all down.


Write a really long list of everything you could do to prepare.

Then set it on one side for a moment and write down in what ways am I already prepared?

In what ways If I walked in having done nothing else, am I already prepared?

So then we’re just reminding ourselves of the knowledge that we hold the experience that we have, the way, the number of times we’ve done similar meetings before, what we’ve already thought about this particular conversation, let’s say.


Then go back to your list, your really long list of everything you could do, and take a red pen to it and just cross stuff out and really challenge yourself, OK, what’s the minimum that I’m going to to do on the basis that I’m if I did nothing, I’m probably pretty well prepared.


What’s the two or three things from the 15 that I’m going to choose to do?

To be prepared and try that and see what happens and see how you feel about.

It’s a great idea.

Isn’t it?

Yeah, I think part of what is powerful about it is the first thing it does is give rain to, yeah, go for it everything you could.


Of course you could do all of those things.

Go for it to really think about those and then make a choice.

Remind yourself how you are prepared, prepared, and then make a choice.

That’s the power.

Yeah, you know, it it kind of reminds me and it’s the craziest analogy and maybe it’s just two bonkers, but because I travel so much, I go to England for work and so I need to sort of make sure that I have everything that I could possibly need for those meetings.


So sort of like the specific outfits.

So I sort of feel that would work.

And then my passport, obviously, and my money and then the UK bank cards and whatever, you know, just all all the stuff that I need.

And as every single time as I get into the taxi and I’ve got my suitcase, which is full and I’ve got my, you know, my carry on, which is full.


And then I got my my bag or whatever.

And then I’m like, OK, well, I’ve got my passport necessary and my phone and my cards, my money.


And I’ve got a suitcase full of stuff.

So the thing, yes, comes to the worst.

I know I’ve got the key things that I need to definitely know that I can get into the country and I can live and I have a bag full of stuff, so I’ve got something to wear.



Anything above that, great.

And I kind of feel like you’re listing is that it is?

I think that’s a great analogy.

It’s exactly that, that as long as you’ve got your pass, your equivalent of the passport, bank cards and phone, everything else could be sorted out.

Everything else could be.


Improvised somehow.



And if you don’t have that white undershirt thing, you can go to wherever and just pick up another one and.


Yeah, yeah, that’s really great.

I love that you talked about a woman that, you know, got in touch when she, when she read your book, which I can’t even imagine that feeling.


Just having that.

That would be amazing.

But I just wonder if there is it through work or is it stories like this that now are happening as you’ve launched your book?

But are there any stories, the projects perhaps, that come to mind, that resonate with you or that help people understand the power of this work?


So I suppose a few things come to mind.

One is a story from yesterday.

So I had a final coaching session with a client.

So it’s sort of number six of six.

And one of the things that she, one of the themes had been how hard she is on herself.


There’s a real sort of perfectionism trait in there that she recognizes and working incredibly hard to prove herself to herself and to others.

So, you know, I guess it’s a, in a way, it’s the sort of self doubt tax that I described.


And there was just a moment yesterday where she said I don’t have anything that I need to prove to anyone.

And there was just this, we weren’t together.

We were, we were virtual like this.

But I I felt like if we’d meet together, I might have leapt out of my seat and wanted to give her a hug because it just felt like this really important moment.


And she had done it.

She’d done an enormous amount of work on herself and that, you know, this coaching relationship was part of that.

It was one of the contributing factors, but she had found a way to shift her mindset from I’ve got to prove myself, I’ve got to demonstrate that I’m worthy of this role, I’ve got to demonstrate that I can operate in this way in this new type of organization, this new type of role, to enough, she said.


It’s enough.

I don’t need to prove anything else to anyone and I just think that’s incredibly liberating.

So love that and I guess coming back to the the book, what I’m hoping is that some of them it might not be as dramatic as that, but but if it can be a catalyst for some of those realizations, some of those setting aside that people can do of you know way of thinking that has a cost for them than than fabulous.


There’s another story.

It’s a little, it’s a different in nature I guess That story I did, I was invited to do a talk for International Women’s Day for a client.

And so based around the book, we had 100 ish people.

I don’t remember exactly how many.

And what was one of the things that was just really wonderful was I talked about the idea of distancing yourself a little bit from your inner critic.


So you know a part of how you can do that is naming them so you can kind of go, oh that’s Nigel off again.

Or it helps you to remind yourself that you don’t have to listen to it, that they might be telling you an untruth and you don’t have to listen to.

And what was lovely then in the chat on this team’s call, you know, with the 100 or so people, and then started popping up people’s the names for their inner critics, Griselda or Gertrude or Margaret or.


And it was just brilliant because it was, it was one of those things that felt really it was funny.

It was genuinely funny.

There was a real sense of humour and like fun in that and it felt really meaningful at the same time.

That’s really great.

You know, it’s funny.


When my daughter was growing up, there’s less of this now.

She’s now 13.

But when, oh God, she was tricky.

It’s sort of 567.

I I remember feeling this too, but I certainly wasn’t as in touch with myself as she is.

But she, she would just become just really angry so she could be putting on a new jumper and it doesn’t feel good.


And then she gets just really upset.

It’s not feeling good.

And then it’s like this spiral of just craziness.

And I didn’t know how to deal with it.

And I don’t even know where that came from.

But I love this part of your book because it just reminded me of this.

There was one day she was learning tables or something.


And again, she would sort of spin out of control.

And we named it.

And so we said, OK, yeah, I need you to name this.

What is this?


Because I know you feel it.

You feel it, like, coming inside you, and it starts coming out and it just takes over.

And you could see it’s like there’s no turning back.

I had to, like, leave her alone.


And then just when you’re on your own, I will be back in half an hour and then we’ll start this again.

But like, there’s no, there’s nothing we can do with this.

And so she named it the Gordoba, and so the Gordoba.

And so it’s so funny because once she named it, I’m like, yeah, it’s coming.



So I can see it.

I can see it’s coming out, I can see it’s starting, it’s starting.

Game over, game over.

The Gordobas arrived.

We have to just it has arrived.

It’s totally arrived and it was transformed.


You can.

Interrupt what was before a process that you sort of couldn’t interrupt.


It feels like naming it for her was was incredibly useful, yeah.

So she, yeah, totally.

And so she, I mean now there, it happens a lot less.

But there are times where it happened yesterday, actually.

And I was like, yeah, she goes, I know, yeah, it’s here, it’s here.


It’s fine.

Let’s just let it.

Just let it.

You go out and you know it’ll be fine, but it’s great because then suddenly you you kind of gain control of that, right?

Yes, that’s yes, that’s that is the fundamental point and interestingly you can be more and more shorthand.

So in what you said about yesterday, you just need to say you only have to say beer and then she she was like, yes I know as long as it you didn’t even have to name it at that point it gets easier and easier to see it coming and interrupt it.


No, that’s, I think it’s really powerful.

I loved it as I came to that section.

I was like, oh, that’s so funny.

The Guna Nova, that’s exactly it.

Nigel, Nigel, Nigel and the Guna Nova.

So what gets you excited every day with what you’re doing?

I mean, and and I guess there’s, you know, it’s, there’s two things, right, there’s talent Sprout and these kind of conversations that you’re having.


But obviously the book is feeding into that.

You’ve just launched the book.

So, I mean there must be lots of different layers of excitement that you’re feeling.

I’m just curious.

You know what?

Definitely gets you.

Excited right now?

That’s a great question, actually.

Lots of things actually, which is good.

I was having a conversation with my daughter yesterday saying that I’m, you know, fortunate enough to love what I do.


So work doesn’t feel like work, but lots of things get me excited.

One is new clients.

So I’m always I just love the process of learning about a new organization.

I feel like it’s such a privilege and it’s one of the best things about consulting actually, is that we get to learn about lots and lots of different organisations.


And the book has literally in the last two days I’ve had conversations with two new organisations that are new to me about initially going to do a talk about the book.

And I see it as potentially that might be the start of a bigger partnership or, you know, involvement with the organization.


So there’s something really exciting in that because it’s just fascinating to understand more about different business.

One is a food business, one is a tech business, said yeah, entirely different and can’t wait to find out more.

I still get really excited.


Maybe this will never change.

You still get really excited when I know someone’s bought the book.

So someone on this call yesterday with one of the new clients, she was like, on the call.

She said, right, I’ve ordered it and it’s coming tomorrow.

And I was like, Oh my goodness, that’s exciting.

I know I’ve sold a copy today, don’t know how many others, but I know I’ve sold one copy and that’s really exciting.


New Amazon reviews also really exciting because there’s just something about, I guess maybe that’s about impact.

So when it when someone has taken the time to write, I found it useful and This is why that is amazing because the bit, the best thing I think is feeling like you’ve done something useful and of value.


Maybe this is maybe this comes down to something that’s really important to me.

But I think whether I’m working face to face with somebody, whether I’m working with the whole organization, whether it’s somebody who’s picked up the book, that feeling of I’ve made a difference in some way.

I’ve had an impact that is completely addictive that’s that’s I suppose that’s probably why I do anything that.


So, yeah, and I mean it’s not a surprise.

You worked in people management and talent management, HR and you’ve always obviously liked to see the impact of people’s careers and and growth.

So it’s not a surprise, but I hear you because I share the same excitement.


Yeah, yeah, definitely.

That’s great.

What haven’t I asked you that you’d like to share with our listeners?

I guess the thing that comes to mind is, and I would love to hear your response to this as well actually is to what we’ve each learnt through the process of writing the book.


Because I think I mean it’s fabulous to have a book at the end of it.

But actually we got, I got much more from the process, much more value.

It was incredibly developmental, which I I perhaps didn’t anticipate and I think so.

Maybe one of the things that I feel I kind of gained or learnt from the process and then see where you would go with that is the going for a shitty first draft.


So I can picture my little post it that I had on my computer monitor for months.

That said, the AIM is a shitty first draft and as a perfectionist it was the most helpful thing because I feel like it goes obviously it’s applicable way all beyond writing a book.


It was just the permission to start write something and iterate and I feel like that has it worked very very well for me in writing the book and I feel like I’ve taken that forward that in same thing whether I’m designing a program or whatever I’m doing just start just start and then iterate.


That’s been AI was going to say a revelation that which sounds a bit like I know how am I so stupid.

I didn’t know it before but there was something that was unlocked about about anti perfectionism.

Yeah, that’s so interesting.

I can echo that from the point of view of David Hyatt is somebody who I follow on LinkedIn and I really love his brain from Hyatt Denham.


But he’s also the do Lecturer’s Co founder and or founder.

He he says write every day, write something every single day.

And the writing the book forced me to do that.

So writing a book forced me to write literally every single day.


And we had our kind of four hours a day or three hours a day of whatever it was and we had to kind of, I mean even just how Allison got us to organize, you know, OK, so you’ve got this amount of time and you’ve got this number of chapters and in each chapter you’ve got this number of sub chapters.

And so it’s doable.

You need to write a subchapter for a couple days.


And that’s like, yeah, that’s easy.

I can do that.

I can write an article in a couple days.

I can do that, no problem.

So and then it just gets you writing and because you have to.

And the shitty first draft is such a great example, because when you write the first draft, to you, it makes sense.

So you’ve written it and you’re like this.



And then you show it to someone else and they’re like literally no idea what you’re saying.

And you’re like and he takes lane what I’m saying.


OK Well, that’s a good point.


And so it’s just really interesting because it is it’s you iterate and then you sort of you do it to get the ideas out there.


So you know what you’re talking about.

And I think and and it’s funny actually.

So just to compliment what you’re saying.

My daughter back to my 13 year old.

She asked me the other day.

She said, what are the last five words of your book?

And I’m like, what?

That’s such an interesting question.


She said, no, I’m curious, what are the last words of your book?

What do you end your book with?

And I said, well, actually it’s, I do know it’s the time is now.

And I am a big believer that the time is now.

And to your point, it’s like run before you’re ready and jump before you’re ready.

Or, you know, just do it and then iterate and make it.


But if you don’t do it, the time is now, do it now.

It complements what you’re saying.

But also it’s such an interesting insight because having gone through this process, she actually, she said to me every time she reads books, she goes to the end first because she wants to know what the point of the book is.

So it says, oh, the time is now, that’s really good.


I really like that.

And I was like, thank God for that because I had everything.

I didn’t even think that that was even a thing.

But but yes, the time, the time is now and do it.

What are you waiting for, you know?




And I think there’s a, yeah, there’s almost a an addition to that is the number of people who’ve said to me since I’ve published that, you know, oh, I could never write a book and I keep saying to them, you absolutely could, of course you could.

It’s not somehow that we’re special in some way.


It’s that we we chose to do it.

I mean the.

Hell, I guess Alison definitely helped, because I’ve wanted to write a book for years.

I’ve had it on my list of things through.

I’ve gotten.

I keep my I use my emails as sort of filing as well.

So I had this e-mail that was literally the bottom of all the emails, and it was flagged and it was linked to a Google Doc, which I still have it in my e-mail just ’cause I find it fascinating, ’cause I just think it’s so funny that it’s there and it’s all these different ideas and potential names of the book and case studies.


And I just sort of filling it up.

And it’s been going for about, yeah, probably around 10 years, but I just don’t know where to start.

I didn’t know how to do it.

I just didn’t really know what the focus should be.

And that’s where Allison is in legend, because she draw.

She drew that out of my soul.


And I don’t think I could have done it on my own.

I think I needed to have.

That code, Well, and she draws it out of your soul into a structure, which is quite a thing, right?

I mean that’s amazing in a in an incredibly supportive way.

But would also have told us if we were if it was crap.


To a loser, yes.

So this, you know that’s important.

That really matters that how ruthless she is.

Her feedback is exactly that Ruth is sort of caring.

I love that.

But I think that’s that could be her strap line.

Maybe we should suggest that we.

Should suggest that pretty useful.



Yeah, I love quotes.

My my book is full of quotes.

Do you have a quote that perhaps sums up what we’ve talked about today?

Oh goodness, gosh, I do have a quote that’s in the book because I just think it’s so powerful.

In the territory of confidence.


So it’s from a councillor and author called Craig Lounsborough.

And he says I decry the injustice of my wounds, only to look down and see that I’m holding a smoking gun in one hand and a fistful of ammunition in the other.

And I just think that’s brilliant.


The idea of what we do.

You know so often we we do it to ourselves.

I I don’t go on in that chapter to talk about confidence saboteurs and the fact that most of them are in our heads.

You know that we do we’re creating the issue for ourselves.

But yeah that’s one that I that I came across in the research for the book and just love it.


It’s so powerful.

How about you come off in a prime.


Oh, I’ve got.

I’ve got loads of quotes.

Well, I did.

I’ve already given you doubt.

It’s not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.

But I I love the Rollo may quote, The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice.


It is conformity.

Now that has to do with my work specifically, obviously, with it being a return on humanity.

But I just feel that a lot of people just feel that they need to conform.

And actually to have strength and courage is to challenge.



And being a coward, that’s that’s not the opposite of being courageous.

The opposite is is conforming to the.


I love that and I feel like that actually is a lovely quote.

That’s sort of almost the crossover between our two books, because I think conformity is the safe or the easy option if you doubt yourself.


Actually, I think there’s almost, you know, part of what I talk about the confidence to be yourself and be fully yourself, not the version you think others expect of you or a sort of watered down version or anything like that.

So I think there’s a real connection to yeah, it.


Yeah, yeah, both territories.


Well, this has been an absolutely fantastic conversation.

Julie, thank you so much for joining me.

I’ve adored this and it’s just such a great insight into the power of your book.

It is such an easy read, so I highly recommend it.

Of course I will put the link to the in the bio.


It’s quick, it’s.

Full of so.

Many amazing takeaways.

It’s light, fantastic stories.

I highly recommend it.

Thank you very much.

It has been a joy, enjoyed us a lot.

Speak to you soon.

Bye, bye.

Hey everyone, this is Philippa again.


I hope you enjoyed listening.

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