Building start-up companies is always an admirable endeavor. Though it opens a lot of doors to various opportunities, it also poses different business challenges. Joining Dr. Diane Hamilton is speaker and author Jeff Wald to discuss the right way for such companies to innovate, adapt, and scale amid the struggles of the modern world. He also dissects the major takeaways of his book, The End of Jobs, which dismantles the most common conclusions and predictions about the future of work. Jeff also touches upon the pros and cons of relying on technology, the importance of data structures, and the power of a workplace culture centered on empowering people.
Sabrina Espere Carrington has proved many times over through her work that a life coach touches everyone in unique ways. But everything always boils down to building relationships. She joins Dr. Diane Hamilton to share her work that transcends the impact of nutrition on emotional value, the importance of seeking the most effective mentorship, and finding the right motivation in every venture. Sabrina also talks about the evolution of dating in this time of the pandemic, emphasizing the best way to navigate dating websites and online interactions, which might be full of red flags.
I’m glad you joined us because we have Jeff Wald and Sabrina Carrington here. Jeff is the Founder of WorkMarket. He’s the author of The End of Jobs. Sabrina is a life coach, columnist and author. We are going to have a fascinating conversation.
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The Future Of Start-Up Companies With Jeff Wald
I am here with Jeff Wald who is the Founder of WorkMarket, an enterprise software platform that enables companies to manage freelancers. It was acquired by ADP. He’s also founded several other tech companies, including Spinback, eventually purchased by Salesforce. He does get interesting companies looking at his work, that’s pretty impressive. He’s also the author of a couple of books. One is The End of Jobs. I’m excited to have you here, Jeff. Welcome.
Thank you so much for having me.
I was looking forward to this. This is interesting to me. My daughter works for a lot of startups. One of them was in that trying to get acquired space. That’s a big deal to be acquired by ADP and Salesforce. You go for the top, I see.
We got lucky. My first startup got acquired by the bankruptcy court. That is the more likely outcome.
You probably learned the best things from some of your failures, as we learned on this show.If you're going to start three companies and have one of them fail miserably, make sure it's the first. Click To Tweet
It is true. The biggest takeaway I have is if you’re going to start three companies and have one of them fail miserably, make sure it’s the first. If you’re going to have one that bankrupts you, make sure it’s the first one that wipes you out.
It seems like you learned how to do it right. That’s amazing to get such a success. I see that you’ve done a lot of writing too. You have an MBA from Harvard and you’ve gone to Cornell. You have quite an interesting background. I’m curious what led to your interest in finding these companies. You are a curious person, which I love with my background. Can I get a little backstory on you for those people who aren’t familiar?
I started my career in finance and was going down a specific path. I was an M&A banker at JPMorgan, and that’s what I was going to do. I overreached a little bit and made some demands that a junior banker probably shouldn’t make, and they let me go. It was devastating to me. If not for that happening, I would have stayed on that path and that would have been my career. I was tossed out so I started a journey that included entrepreneurship, which for me, that journey started at a venture fund. We invested in entrepreneurs.
I got enamored with these men and women who were saying, “There’s a better way to do it. I’m willing to risk my capital. I’m willing to risk my time, my career, other people’s capital, my friends and family. If it works, we’re all going to make a lot of money, but I understand the probabilities that it most likely won’t work.” I found it all so fascinating. To me, that is truly what makes America great. It’s this entrepreneurial culture and people that are curious and want to go take those risks. I eventually said, “I’m going all in.” Two years later I was all out. I got a call from my mom, “Do you need to move back home?” I was like, “I got one more month of rent. I already paid my rent this month. We’ll see how I do in 30 days.”
When you get down in those dumps, every entrepreneur will get there, either you get there in a big way because your company failed, or you get there in a thousand little ways as you’re going along the journey. When a customer that you thought was going to sign, doesn’t, a customer you had walks away, a team member walks away, or an investor you thought was going to help fund the company decides not to. You get knocked down again and again. You got to look for those hands that are reaching out to help pick you up.
Don’t count your chickens. I’ve found that one very true. Having been in sales most of my life, I dealt with a lot of that. Your eyes get big and you think, “This is going to be such a huge thing.” A lot of people say they’re going to do things and then they don’t. That’s tough. It’s a lesson. I’m teaching a lot of different entrepreneurship courses. I have a lot of students in these courses. We have a week where we talk about how you’re going to finance it and where you are going to get your money. A lot of them say, “I’m going to go to Kickstarter and I’m going to start.” What do you tell people who think that that’s the answer?
A lot of time as an entrepreneurial society, we spend celebrating the successes. I have friends, I’m sure you do, and we all know the public stories of companies that do get started at Kickstarter and raised their money. What they don’t tell you is how that’s 0.001% of the companies that have tried to do that. It is not a well-worn path. It is not a path with a high degree of success. The number one place money has to come from is from the people who know you, that have been in the trenches with you, that know your character, that know what you’re trying to accomplish, because if they don’t back you, why would I? There’s that “I don’t know anybody with money.” That’s fine too, but then there is a well-worn path of tens of billions of dollars looking for great companies to invest in.
There are great accelerator programs and incubator programs and all kinds of Angel groups. You have to go and find the ones in your area and spend that time. It’s not that you shouldn’t start a company if you don’t have money or if you don’t have friends and family that have money. Recognize that if you don’t have those resources, you have a decreased probability of success. That’s okay, but that means you got to increase your hustle to make up for those things. There are well-worn paths, but there’s a time where you should say, “There are tens of billions of dollars out there looking for good companies. I’ve had the meetings. I’ve gotten in the room and nobody’s given me money.” There’s a time where it’s not everybody else that’s dumb, it’s you. The idea is not that good. You got to walk away.
What do you think of SPAC? I don’t know enough about them to even ask you an intelligent question about it yet. I didn’t hear too much about SPAC funding situations. Is it a big fund waiting for the next startup? Is that what they’re doing? Do you know much about those?
I know enough to be dangerous. The fact that the SPAC market is so hot points to a clear dislocation in the IPO market. If the IPO market was efficient and reasonable for companies, investors and founders, then people wouldn’t need SPACs. SPACs are coming about because bankers are taking a huge amount of the IPO proceeds. The stocks run-up tremendously on the first day out. If the stocks are running up tremendously, it’s great, but the company sold shares in that IPO, meaning it left money on the table. Is that the right thing for the company? Maybe, maybe not, but the SPACs, which move around that whole process have an important place to play in the capital-raising system because the IPO market isn’t getting it done.
It’s interesting to see where everything’s going. One of the first talks I gave was what’s the future of the workplace going to be like. One of the first jobs I had was working in software where everybody thought all the jobs were going to be replaced by computers and everybody’s freaking out. We’re talking many years later that we hear the end of jobs, we hear that term. I thought it was an interesting book to write about what’s happening with technology. Tell me a little bit about what this book is, what’s the focus and who are you aiming at with this.
The focus of the book is this stuff is complicated. There are a lot of people out there peddling simple solutions, and you need to call them to task and say, “What’s the data?” The point of the book is to use history, to use the data in the world of work and to use the actual decision-making process that the executive teams make when determining their labor resourcing. If we combine those three and we look through those lenses of the history of work, of the data around the world of work, of what corporate decision-making means for workers, then we have a higher probability of having accurate predictions about the future of work. That’s what I strive to do in the book.
You say there are six takeaways that you include. What’s the biggest thing that you want people to take away from this book?
The biggest thing I want someone to take away is to be wary of predictions about the future of work. This stuff is complicated. It is very nuanced. It is different industry by industry. It is different job function by job function. Any simple conclusions are usually wrong.
The conclusions that they were always saying in the past was, “We’re going to have more computers doing things, but you’ll need computer operators, so it creates more jobs.” Who knew there was going to be a social networking service that you could hire somebody to do that for you? There was no known social networking back then. All these things have been created, but some people will say, “That was true back then, but now it’s created so quickly that there’s so much more that computers can do that it’s not quite the same.” Do you agree with that?
I do not. We have a long 200-year history of almost uninterrupted job growth and the number of hours worked declining. We have a strong history, almost 200 years long, of an increasing standard of living. To think that those are going to change and that is “different” this time, I would love to see somebody’s data and the evidence when they point to that. We have a lot of evidence and we can point to countless examples throughout history. My favorite that I dive into in the book is around the ATM where everyone said, “All the jobs are going to go now because this new technology exists.” That is not what happens almost ever. I won’t say ever.
There are some industries and there are some job functions where a lot if not all of the jobs are going to go. We have always created more jobs, whether it is in industries because the productivity increases and therefore we need more of X, Y or Z, because automation made it so efficient to produce, whether it was normal economic growth, or it is those new industries that nobody ever even thought of. I can assure you in twenty years, there will be millions of people employed in a job function neither you nor I could even imagine right now. Only because it always is the case.
Everybody wants to be very innovative. In my research for curiosity, it surprised me a little bit to find out some of the things that were inhibitors to curiosity, one of them was technology. I knew fear would be big. I knew the assumptions or the voice in your head type of thing would be big, even your environment. Technology was one I hadn’t thought about until the data came back. I started to see people either over or underutilized it. Maybe you’d be the greatest mathematician in the world and they throw you a calculator, but never gave you the foundation behind it. Is there a pro and con to relying on technology? Where does that stand in what you wrote about in your book?
For any specific individual, we can find patterns and we can find examples where they were underutilized because of technology. If we were to look society-wide which is what we tend to do, which is no solace to the individuals, the families, and the communities that get displaced by automation, automation being another word for technology. Technology’s ability society-wide to have driven this massive increase in the standard of living that we enjoy while having to work fewer hours to enjoy that standard of living is unquestioned in the last 200 years of the job as it has existed.
There is this almost uninterrupted pattern over the last 200 years of an increased standard of living. Is technology a panacea? Is it wonderful in every single way? Of course not. Do we need to adapt as new technologies come on stream and we misuse them? Do the externalities or the negative effects from them take most of our mental energy and cover the headlines? Of course, there’s always an adjustment period, but the idea that it is going to be an inhibitor, history would tell us differently. Inhibitors for some people, of course.
In the companies where I’ve taught this, there’s an overlap between the fear and what they tell themselves and whether they explore technology. No matter where I go, all these companies are trying to be innovative. We knew Google had given some time to work on pet projects. You hear different companies do stuff to try and get people to be thinking outside of their normal way of doing things. You’re sharing some of the things that you’ve learned from all these startups and all the things that you’ve gone through. What do you think of those ideas? Is there some big, great piece of advice somebody has given you that has helped you? I know there’s no panacea cure-all type thing of advice, but what’s the best thing anybody did for you that told you, “This is what I need to do to get better?”
The book borrows heavily on my experience having built and run the work market and having worked with 1,000-plus companies as we help them transform their labor model and bring organization to their on-demand labor, which is an important trend in the world of work. I would point to the last acquisition and me working at ADP. ADP is one of the world’s great companies. It doesn’t get nearly as much credit as it deserves. It is a monster. It has 810,000 corporate clients and corporations around the world that use them. They’re moving trillions of dollars around the planet. When I got there, I’m a startup guy. I’m an entrepreneur. I’m used to moving quickly and breaking things. That isn’t going to cut at ADP.
I thought a lot about can elephants dance and all the things that we’ve thought about in terms of corporate innovation. Here was my conclusion as unscientific as it may be, speaking on the corporate level, we can bring it back to the individual. Corporations that can innovate are corporations that have a clear understanding of their data and decision-making. In the early days of the WorkMarket, all the data flowed to me as an individual. I had a long desk that set right in the middle of our large open office space. There were no offices. There were a few conference rooms that you’d go in for a private call, but everything was out in the open. Everyone that built the product was to my right, all the engineers and product people and QA. All the people that move the product were to my left, sales and customer support and marketing. On this big, long table were the operations people, three of them, myself included.Companies that have a well-documented culture will end up performing better. Click To Tweet
All data float into the big table. I knew what was going on at any given time because it was a company of 100 people. I could manage that data inflow. The decision-making was also clear. I made the decision. It was my decision. If you don’t like it, either present me with new information or quit, those were your choices. If I have no information, I will change my mind. When you get to a big company, the data doesn’t flow. People don’t know what’s going on in the field, what’s going on with this product versus that product, what customer is doing this, that or the other thing. They don’t know what people think when you have an organization with 60,000 employees. It’s tough to understand what’s happening all over the place. The decision-making is unclear.
People go through this process of CYA. They’re making sure that they don’t get fired because it’s not 100% clear that’s their decision, even if it was their decision, they don’t have the right data to make the decision, and because they don’t have the right data, they’re not even sure if it’s their decision. They tend to do nothing because they don’t want to get fired. That was my conclusion, not just at our friends at ADP, which is an amazing company. It probably does this better than most large companies. Having worked with large companies my entire career as customers or as partners, or at the beginning of my career having worked at JPMorgan, decision-making and data will lead to innovation.
I worked at AstraZeneca for twenty years, so I’ve seen large organizations as well. What do you think is the solution? Is it because they have to scale so many things that there isn’t a solution? Did you address that in this book, or would you like to address it now?
The solution involves data structures. When you have a company that’s built through acquisition or has a bunch of different products, the data is not in the right place. It’s not structured the right way and you have difficulty getting the data out and understanding what’s happening to your company. Corporations that have been built over the last twenty years with a data–centric approach, having set their data architectures correctly, setting their data flows correctly are at an advantage because nobody’s sitting here and saying, “Amazon’s not innovative.” Amazon can still be innovative because they are good with data. It’s probably the best in the world. Google may be is better than them, but also an innovative company. They have the data flow. They know what’s going on with their products and with their customers at any given moment.
If you don’t have that great data flows, which is difficult to do, you got to give legacy companies another 10, maybe 20 years to get their data correct and to transition all their customers onto the new data platform and get all the new information, then benchmark it. It’s going to take a long time for companies that didn’t go down this journey, but then there’s the decision-making. Is it clear who makes what decisions about what that is empowering your people to take risks? We know all this. If you empower people and you don’t punish them for failure, you get a more innovative culture. Empower your people as to which decisions they can make.
That comes up a lot in my discussions about curiosity. Francesca Gino did a great piece for HBR about how leaders think that they reward curiosity, but when you ask the employees, they don’t think they do. There’s a disconnect. When I wrote my dissertation on emotional intelligence, I thought, “The people who need this aren’t going to read this.” I wrote about curiosity, it felt the same way. If you could get to the top to see the need for culture change, then they spread the message down. Do you find that you can get to these leaders? Was there anyone that’s going to change Steve Jobs’ mind? Do you think it has to start at the top? If the top has a negative idea of culture, then what do you do if you work for a company like that?
I’d love to do a study on this back in business school. This is exactly the thing I’d be working on. Companies that have a well-documented culture will end up performing better. They’ll not only end up performing better as the world evolves quickly as we saw in 2020 but as the world continues to evolve with robots and AI. You will have the entire team bringing their authentic selves to work, being capable of having constructive conflict, being able to get to a decision as to where is the right path and then go execute on that. The issue with corporate culture is you have managers that say, “We reward creativity. We’re a creative culture. It says there right up on the wall, ‘Take risks. Take chances.’”
If you have a corporate culture and it is not codified, meaning you have an actual document that says it, people don’t know what your corporate culture is because they’re not reading the wall, they saw it once and they forgot all about it, but that’s not important. What’s important is what are the policies, procedures and behaviors that you are setting in, in terms of your policies, procedures and behaviors that you’re rewarding that backup that value? If you say you’re creative, what does that mean? What policies are you putting in place? Are you putting in place the famous Google 20% of your time? Are you following through on it?
If you don’t have the policies, procedures and behaviors associated with value, then you will have that dissonance between the people that created that document who said, “We believe this and this,” and the people that have to live it, “This is all a bunch of bullshit. This doesn’t mean anything.” Put those policies and procedures in place. Put them down on paper and tell everybody, “This is who we are.” I will argue that Netflix is the most famous corporate culture doc. They share it everywhere, go check it out. If you do that, you have a much higher probability of success.
Even Enron had a code of conduct. I’ve read their code of ethics and it sounded good.
It said, “Trust and integrity.” They would be better off and potentially be still around. I would challenge it this way. If they had said, “Our policy is to make every dollar at every cost. Go after every single dollar,” everybody would have known, “This is who we are. Let’s make sure legal, HR and all these other teams are building the policies and procedures to support that because that’s who we are. Let’s not pretend.” They were pretending to be ethical, honesty and integrity, but then they were doing a bunch of shady things that people didn’t understand, and therefore the house of cards fell.
Looking at the future of what’s going to be the next thing, I’ve had a lot of experts on the show who talk about things like, “We get to fake it until you make it sometimes,” but then you get the Theranos thing where she’s got a product that doesn’t work. You deal with the future a lot in what you’re predicting. The future of work prize competition, I’m curious about what that is. Did you launch this? What is this? Can you talk about that a little bit?
Writing a book sucks. I enjoyed it at the beginning, but it took me seven years to research and write this book. Hundreds of interviews with lots of HR, executives and industry leaders, regulators. The number of times that I would sit there with the manuscript, with the book and I would be marking it up and I would throw it into the air and storm out of the office, say to my assistant, “I’ll clean it up. Don’t worry about it. I’m leaving.” I was so frustrated. I wasn’t finishing.
A friend of mine came up with the idea, “You’ve interviewed all these amazing people and you have your framework.” My framework, history, data, how companies engage workers are going to give us a good lens to look out for in the near term and the medium term. “What if you asked all these amazing people that you’ve interviewed to write what they think the world of work would look like in 2040?” I had said 2040 is our medium-term benchmark. I was like, “That’s amazing.” I reached out and I was like, “Can I get you to write 4 or 5 pages as to what you think the world of work is?” These are heads of the largest labor unions, heads of the largest staffing firms, heads of industry associations, some of the largest investors in this space, the CHROs that are making the decisions impacting the future of work at some of the world’s largest companies.
They came back and they said, “Yes, I’m happy to do it.” I was like, “We’re going to Tom Sawyer this thing, where you get a bunch of other people to paint the fence here.” I am an advisor to the XPRIZE. I’m a huge fan of XPRIZE and all their work. They’re doing a project right now that I’m deeply engaged in called the Rapid Reskilling challenge. When we think about the future of work and the real challenges, I don’t think jobs are going to be lost on a net basis, but there will be a lot of job loss. We will need to move people from the jobs and industries that are dying into the jobs and industries that are growing. When you look historically, retraining is always the key to making this transition as smooth as possible. The XPRIZE is focused on technologies, teams and process that are going to make this retraining much more efficient than retraining is now.
When I thought about doing the book, I thought, “Let’s borrow a page from XPRIZE and I will put up a $10 million prize for whoever is the most correct.” They’re making predictions in 2040 and I am not capitalized as well as the XPRIZE, so both of those things led me to say, “I’ll do it in 2040.” Our friends at ADP, since I was still an ADP employee when the book came out, they made me take enough money that in any reasonable scenario can grow into $10 million and put it into a separate account. The prize is fully funded. In 2040, each of the writers, God willing, they’ll all still be with us, will get a vote. They can’t vote for their own piece and they will have to say who was the most correct. It’s my favorite part of the book, not only because I didn’t have to write it, but because their pieces are amazing. We got more than twenty, but we called it down to the top twenty and we put them into Chapter 10 of the book.
I’m excited for you with this book. I hope it does well. I’m sure it will. It’s so timely. Many people are going to want to read it. I was hoping you could share how people could find you, find your book or any other thing you’d like to share.
You will be the first place that I say this. Even though I bought the URL in 1998, I have finally put content up at JeffWald.com. You can find all the places to buy the book, Amazon and Barnes & Noble and everywhere and anywhere. You can see some of the other pieces that I have published and the books that I’ve written. LinkedIn is always the best way. I’m a huge fan of LinkedIn.Either you win, or you learn from your mistakes. There's no such thing as losing. Click To Tweet
I am as well. This was interesting, Jeff. Thank you so much for being on the show. It’s a unique look at what the future holds. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you so much for having me.
Building Relationships With Sabrina Carrington
I am here with Sabrina Carrington. She’s a life coach with more than ten years of experience in counseling, group counseling, motivational speaking, you name it. She’s the author of an upcoming book series, My Gut Feeling. I’m so excited to have her here. Welcome, Sabrina.
Thank you for having me. I’m happy to be on your show, doctor. I’m going to call you Dr. Hamilton.
Please call me Diane. It’s so nice to have you on the show. I know that you do a lot of interesting things. I didn’t know which one to introduce you to. One of the things you do is dealing with the emotional impact of eating, and different aspects of things that affect our lives, nutrition, stress management. I want you to give me your backstory so I know what led you to this spot.
I cannot say in my life that I did not have examples or fantastic people that went before me that paved the way because I certainly did. It started with my mother. She is a phenomenal woman of more than 40 years in the Federal Government working for the Secret Service. She has so many amazing accolades, but one thing that I could be thankful for with her is that she always told me to go after my dream and to keep on pushing. There’s no such thing as losing. The only thing there is either you’re going to win or you’re going to learn from your mistakes, but there’s no such thing as losing. She was my first motivating force. After her, so many phenomenal women came into my life, throughout high school, I call it my waver years, through college, when I was moving on my own. I always had fantastic, phenomenal, professional women that were right there in my path along the way to motivate me and keep me encouraged.
Up until now, my spiritual godmother, her name is Gro Mambo Angela Novanyon Idizol. She is a spiritual advisor and she’s also the Chairperson of the National African Religion Congress. I’ve had these great women with great stories, whether they’re entrepreneurs or whether they were professionals in their field that kept on pushing me no matter what. With that came the idea and the passion for women’s empowerment. That’s what I’m about. I’m a women’s empowerment coach. I coach women whether they’re in their 20s, 30s going all the way to their 70s. Whatever is going on in their life, different transitions, I try to be there for them, give them the encouragement they need and give back because I’ve had that my entire life.
I’m also an advice columnist with ENSPIRE Magazine. I take that advice column called The Girlfriend Corner to hone in and tell women like, “If you need someone to talk to, you’re going through depression and anxiety, let’s figure this out and let’s get through this together.” Women’s empowerment is my number one focus and passion. From that, they went into depression and anxiety, to combat these issues, especially during a pandemic. I can’t tell you the many calls that have come through, the emails, the different requests of women that are like, “I need help. Pick me up. I need a new life, a new job. I need someone to be there for me and to stand in the gap.” That’s what I do and that’s what I’m all about.
That’s a big thing to take on because a lot of people right now are having a lot of issues with this. People just want out of their house. Are they depressed? What’s the biggest thing you’re hearing?
In the beginning, it was that, but the trend that I was seeing with a lot of women specifically was trying to figure out their passion, whether their job laid them off or they couldn’t go into their place of employment. They tried to figure out, “What am I going to do next? What is it that I truly love? I haven’t taken time, so I look at what do I love to do. Do I want to start a business? Do I want to start an organization?” There were a lot of women seeking help to find themselves. A lot of them put a lot of attention on their children. Their children are maybe out of the nest and they’re like, “What do I do now?” Their children are being homeschooled because the schools are closed so they’re like, “I’m doing this, but what about myself? What about me? What makes me happy?” I find that the pandemic did some good for us because it allowed a lot of us to look in the mirror and say, “What about my life? At the end of the day, what about me? What life do I want to live?” Life is so short, and it’s not promised. When you turn on the news and you see the mortality rate going up and up and you’re thinking, “What about my life?” A lot of people are looking for direction.
It’s a hard thing for people. Sometimes you get in your own head and you don’t know what you don’t know. I think mentoring is going to be a big area. Where do you suggest people find mentors?
They can find mentors by way of online web looking for life coaches, looking for whatever that they’re into, whether it’s a mentor for their careers so they’d have career coaches, you have family coaches, you have relationship coaches. You have so many people that are saying, “Let me step out of my life and step out of my box and let me help someone else.” Finding a mentor, a coach or a counselor is so easy these days, but it takes time to build a relationship. That’s one thing they have to realize. A lot of people will say, “I’m going to test this person out.” They’ll have their first consultation. They’ll get some good tips, but it’s a building process. The counselor or the coach or the mentor has to get to know you and then vice versa, and then together, create a plan to build for that person’s elevation. Be consistent with that plan, that’s important too. When they’re trying to find a mentor or someone that can help them and build them up and guide them, it’s about consistency. “Can I get in touch with them? If I’m in a situation, can I give them a call? What’s the next step? Where’s my blueprint?” These are things that you got to ask because it’s your life at the end of the day.
I know you focus on something interesting. I had mentioned your upcoming book series, My Gut Feeling. You’re addressing the emotional impact on one’s gastrointestinal life. We know the gut–mind connection thing, is that what you’re focusing on? If you have healthy eating, your brain will think better. I’m curious where you are going with that.Your happiness is something that should never be disturbed, regardless of what goes on with you or around you. Click To Tweet
That healthy eating, but also a healthy lifestyle straight across the board, mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually. The things that you need to do to make sure that you are okay. Over the summer of 2020, I had my gallbladder removed. I was laying in the hospital and I had a horrible gallbladder attack. That was my moment. “What am I going to do? Why am I here? What got me here?” I remember, for years, since I was twelve years old, battling digestive issues. It’s all tied to stress. When I was in my teens, I try to go to school, not going to school, wanted to fit in, not wanted to fit in.
In my twenties, it was like, “This relationship, that relationship, this job, that job, let me find myself.” In my 30s it was like, “I need to have certain things together because if I didn’t have this by 30, I’m not going to have it by 40.” There are so much stress and pressure you put on yourself, especially women. We put so much in ourselves. We tend to take on other people’s stress and their pressures, and then we forget about ours or say, “Later for that, let me put that somewhere else.” It then hits you. You have a problem, whether it’s IBS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, whether it’s an issue with your gallbladder, whatever the case is, it all goes to your gut. Even how you eat is tied to how you are emotionally and mentally. Did you have a good day, a bad day?
One thing that I’m going to focus on in the book is your happiness. Your happiness is something that should never be disturbed regardless of what goes on with you or around you. You have to find your happy place. You have to be okay with what’s going on. You have to be okay. I can’t stress that enough because, at the end of the day, your body will respond to it. With women, a huge thing is your gut. You have to go with your gut feeling. When your gut says, “Slow down or don’t do that. Go this way, not that way. Lend them some money. No, don’t lend them anything. Yes, take that phone call. No, you don’t have time for that phone call. Get some sleep.” Listen to your gut feeling because it’s deeper than just a feeling. It can impact your life.
After you had your gallbladder out, did you feel better or worse? My daughter had that where she had her gallbladder out. That’s what started her problems in so many ways because she was always sick after having her gallbladder out. Did you find that it helped you or hurt you?
It helped me. The pain that I was experiencing for so long, I didn’t know what it was, went away. What it did was I had to pay more attention to my eating habits. As far as cholesterol, a lot of things with a lot of fatty foods, I had to buckle down and say, “I know I’m not supposed to have this. This is what started the issue. Let me get on the right track.” It’s being real with what you can eat and what you can’t eat and then being okay with, “I can’t eat that. Here’s an alternative.” There are so many alternatives these days.
I’m a huge ice cream fan. After my gallbladder was taken out, I couldn’t have ice cream anymore. If I would have it, if I was being disobedient to what the doctor was saying, I would have the worst night, but now you have non-dairy items. There are alternatives to eating so you can still enjoy it. Enjoyment of eating too, I had to learn that. Taking the time to stop running around like a chicken with my head cut off from one end of the Earth to the next, standing up eating, “I got to go.” Sit down and make the plate aesthetically pleasing. We’re in a pandemic, so we’re not going to restaurants anymore, but create that environment in your house. There are different things that you could do to help you with whatever digestive issue that you’re going through to make yourself more comfortable.
It’s interesting how different things impact that. When I had my ovaries out, all of a sudden, I couldn’t eat chocolate anymore. That was a tough one to give up. That was just one of the things. I couldn’t eat onions and garlic. A lot of things happened after that. It’s hard when you go through an experience where what you are passionate to eat, you can’t eat any more. A lot of people find that challenging. You mentioned that you have an advice column for ENSPIRE, how often do you write for them and what issues do you address there?
Typically, I will write every month. I took back a little bit of a mental break, but it’s every month. We’ll have readers that will email and they’ll say, “I’m going through this issue, that issue.” What I do is I look at all the issues. I try to combine them into a good column to help everyone out at the same time. A lot of it has been finding and discovering yourself, what is true self-care, finding time for yourself, even in the midst of having so much time during the pandemic, and then relationships. Relationships are huge. When they write in, that’s what I do, I skim through them all and say, “Everyone, this is the column that we’re going to have for the month.” I’ll come out with a theme.
What is the biggest relationship issues you hear?
Relationships over 40. It’s trying to find your match, but then also not wanting to make the same mistakes that you made before. We have such a high divorce rate. You have the divorce parties, “It’s finally over,” but then after your divorce party and after your girlfriends have gone home and then you’re sitting in the house by yourself, you’re like, “What do I do?” It may have been a great idea for you to leave that toxic relationship, but then what’s going to keep you now from making the same mistakes. We go right back to that cycle, getting to know yourself and self-discovery. I can’t stress it enough.
It’s going to be horrible to try and meet somebody now during COVID too because you can’t meet, you can’t go out. What are people doing?Don't be afraid of the no's before you get to the yeses Click To Tweet
A lot of people are on social media. I had a whole column about that, what to do as far as online dating. You have to have a guidebook. I even told my mother like, “You’re doing this online dating thing. You need to know exactly what to do and what not to do.” First of all, it’s okay to talk to someone by way of a direct message, and then you lead up to, “Can we exchange numbers?” You want to hear that person’s voice because the last thing you want is some person who is not who they say they are. You want to hear that voice.
The next thing, because we’re in the day of modern technology, it’s okay to do a video chat. You can do it by way of Zoom, Instant Messenger, FaceTime. You want to see that person. I even encouraged in that column, have a virtual date. Decide if you are going to dress up or not. You could say, “This is what I’m cooking. This is the recipe. Let’s cook this. You cook that over there. I’ll cook that over here. We can take pictures and see what it’s about and compete.” There are games that you can play while you’re on Zoom or whether you’re on FaceTime. There are a lot of different ways to meet people by way of social media, but there are rules to this. You have to talk to them, and you have to see if they’re real. There’s so much fraud going on. I hate to say, a lot of women are giving so much information about themselves, and then they’re wondering, “How come this happened to me?” Identity theft or whatever the case is.
Don’t give up so much information. You have to take your time. Think of online dating like the old pen pal method. Back in the day, you wrote letters back and forth. Do that. Text things about yourself and treat it like, “Let me take this time to get to know you.” Get to know this other person. Don’t rush it. That’s the worst thing. You have to remember, we’re still in a pandemic, so you have to be safe. After you’ve gotten to know them for some time. You’ve talked to them and you’ve seen them. Sometimes, I’m not saying over a week, don’t rush at all. Maybe 2 or 3 weeks, even a month, take your time, then you can build up to a safe place to meet. Don’t be so upset if the person is not who you think they are by way of social media. That’s the purpose of getting to know them.
It’s a different time. Everybody’s got so much content on these sites. What do you think of the sites like the Match and the different ones where people are meeting?
They’re okay, but you have to have rules for yourself and take it like a grain of salt. A lot of people exhaust so much energy in it and they’re like, “It didn’t work out.” Try again. That’s my theory. Keep it fun and light. It’s all over the place. It’s bad enough we have this pandemic. Everyone, whether they admit it or not, we‘re going through something. There is pressure that we’re all feeling. Life is not the same. In different areas of your life, relationships, friendships, your job, all these things, you have to have some balance and flow with it and not be so hard. We have enough pressure.
You deal with all these life coaching issues and we’ve talked about them, but I also noticed you do some business coaching. I’m interested in that. What do you do in that respect and what issues do you deal with?
With business coaching, I call myself the authentic computer geek. Let’s see your profile online because that’s the nature of the day that we live in. As far as search engine optimization, seeing where they are, what they’ve done, what they haven’t done. Are they on direct listings? Are they popping up? That is crucial because everyone and their mama have a smartphone. When they want something, whether it’s a service or a product they’re going straight to Google. Are you on that first page? That’s important. A lot of people coming for business coaching, I’m like, “Let’s see what’s your problem.” Most of them are, “I need more clients. I need more visibility.” “Let’s see your online profile.”
I do the whole scan with them and step by step and a lot of them laugh. A few of them say, “Ouch.” It’s real. What are you doing? What are you not doing? What does your website look like? What does it not look like? What is your social media? Does it complement your website and vice versa? It’s important. A lot of people are like, “I have this business. I have my website and I’m popping up, but I want to connect with someone else.” Collaboration, they’re looking at doing different things with social media influencers, then step out on it. Connect with people. Don’t be afraid to connect. Don’t be afraid of the noes before you get to the yeses.
We had other businesses that are brick and mortar, and due to the pandemic, they can’t have any more. What do they do? Let’s build your online store. Let’s see what we can do online. Let’s see if we can build a tribe of people, let’s build a network of people within your industry so you can bounce off each other. It’s so much better to work with someone or another company or another organization or whatever the case may be, as opposed to doing it on your own. You now have more leverage when you work together in a networking atmosphere. It’s a lot of different things in business. Business has changed, especially since the pandemic.
Are you dealing with small business people that are starting out? Do you also go to large organizations and deal with their staff?
It’s small businesses that are starting, but also people that have been around for years, organizations that have been around for 20, 30, 40 years wondering, “Because of this change, where do we go from here? Where do we go from here as far as marketing? I have to lay off 20, 30, 40, 50, 100, 1,000 people. Who’s going to replace them?” It’s a lot of different things going on now. The biggest piece of advice that I give to any business owner is to have an open mind and go with the flow of the world. We can’t be staunching our own ways.
This is such an unusual time. You do many different things. How do you find time to be in many aspects of coaching?
I try my best, but when you love something that you’re working on, you have a passion for something, or you love your career and your life, it makes it all worthwhile. It’s a big difference. There are 24 hours in a day, if you love what you’re doing, you don’t mind doing an all-nighter. You don’t mind saying, “I’m going to bed at 4:00. I’m going to wake up at 7:00.” Different things like that. You don’t mind when you love it. When you don’t love it, forget about it. You have to love what you do.
I could tell you do. I was looking forward to having you on the show because you do so many unique, different things. A lot of people will want to follow you and find out more from you. Is there some site or something you’d like to share?
I’ve never been huge on social media because I always push my clients to be on it, but now I’m like, “This is a good platform for people to contact me.” Instagram, @SabrinaEspere, and then Facebook. Everyone finds me on Facebook. You type in Sabrina Espere and I’m the only one. A lot of people connect me by way of social media, that way, we could do those video chats and those direct messages. They can learn more about me and see my business side, but then also my personal side and see that I’m human, which is important, and then vice versa.
The Espere thing, I have you as Carrington. I’m curious, do you want to explain that?
Sabrina, that’s my first name. My middle name Espere is a spiritual name that I was given. I’m an African-based religious tradition, but then Carrington is my last name, but I do go by Sabrina Espere.
I want to make sure everybody was able to find you. This was so much fun, Sabrina. Thank you so much for being on the show. I enjoyed it.
Thank you for having me. Thank you so much.
You’re welcome. This was fun.
I’d like to thank both Jeff and Sabrina for being my guests. We get so many great guests on the show. If you’ve missed any past episodes, please go to DrDianeHamilton.com. You can find everything you want there. I hope you enjoyed this episode, and I hope you join us for the next episode of Take The Lead Radio.
- Sabrina Carrington
- The End of Jobs
- Jeff Wald – LinkedIn
- @SabrinaEspere – Instagram
- Sabrina Espere – Facebook
- Rapid Reskilling
- Amazon - The End of Jobs book
- Barnes & Noble - The End of Jobs book
- National African Religion Congress
- The Girlfriend Corner - ENSPIRE Magazine column
About Jeff Wald
Jeff Wald is the Founder of Work Market, an enterprise software platform that enables companies to manage freelancers (acquired by ADP). Jeff has founded several other technology companies, including Spinback, a social sharing platform (eventually purchased by salesforce.com). Jeff began his career in finance, serving as Managing Director at activist hedge fund Barington Capital Group, a Vice President at venture capital firm GlenRock and various roles in the M&A Group at JP Morgan.
About Sabrina Carrington
Sabrina Carrington is a Life Coach with over 10 years of experience in Counseling, Group Counseling, and Motivational Speaking; An Advice Columnist and Contributing Writer for Multiple Publications; Author of the Upcoming Book Series, “My Gut Feeling” – Addressing the Emotional Impact on One’s Gastrointestinal Life.
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