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April 4, 2023

E55: Unleashing the Power of Self-Leadership with Dr. Benjamin Ritter

E55: Unleashing the Power of Self-Leadership with Dr. Benjamin Ritter

In this episode, your host is joined by Dr. Benjamin Ritter, an entrepreneur and expert in self-leadership. Together, they dive deep into the power of self-leadership, discussing its impact on personal and professional growth. If you're looking to take your leadership skills to the next level... See show notes at: https://www.remotestartpodcast.com/e55-unleashing-the-power-of-self-leadership-with-dr-benjamin-ritter/#show-notes

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In this episode, your host is joined by Dr. Benjamin Ritter, an entrepreneur and expert in self-leadership. Together, they dive deep into the power of self-leadership, discussing its impact on personal and professional growth. If you're looking to take your leadership skills to the next level, this episode is a must-listen. Learn from Dr. Ritter's personal experiences and gain valuable insights that will help you become a more effective leader, whether you're running your own business or leading others as an employee. Tune in now and discover the power of self-leadership with Remote Start Nation. And don't forget to check out past episodes, including an interview with Janet Harvey on using mindset to overcome risks and resistance.

Learn more about Dr. Benjamin Ritter at:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/drbenjaminritter-leadershipdevelopment/

Website: https://www.liveforyourselfconsulting.com/

Personal Website: https://benjamin-ritter.com/


Learn more about the Remote Start Podcast at: https://www.remotestartpodcast.com/


Jim: Remote Start Nation, in past episodes, we've dug deep into a lot of topics that help us to be the best versions of ourselves. In fact, recently we had the privilege of learning from Janet Harvey on how we can use mindset when overcoming risks or resistance. And if you haven't listened to that episode, I recommend shuffle back, give it a listen after you get through this one. Today, I have a very special guest. I want to continue the conversation and discussion on self-leadership and whether you're in a leadership role in your own business, or leading others as an employee, self-leadership is very powerful and something I know for me personally, I'm constantly trying to improve on. So today I'm excited to have Dr. Benjamin Ritter on our episode, as we hear his story, not only on becoming an entrepreneur, but we're gonna deep dive into the power of self leadership. So with that said, Dr. Benjamin, I wanna welcome you to the Remote Start Nation. It's an honor and welcome to the show, may man.

Dr. Benjamin: I'm pumped to be here chatting with another self leader, so I'm really excited to dive into the topic and also maybe here's some of your stories around this concept.

Jim: Awesome, I'd love it. So tell us to get started, what did you do before you started your own business, tell us your journey.

How'd you get to where you are today?

Dr. Benjamin: Oh, yeah, okay. I'll give you the smaller version, if you want the larger version, at least in resume format, check out my LinkedIn profile, Dr. Benjamin Ritter. I actually have an entry on that talks about all the odd jobs I've had in the past. As for me, work has been this. I want to do it and make money, but I also want to have fun at the same time, and I also want to ensure that it helps me gain certain new characteristics and traits about myself. So you'll see like I bartended for 10 years, but it was for multiple reasons, I wanted to learn how to be more social, I wanted to get into places without having to wait or any tickets I want, like certain status, I wanted to make sure that I was, meeting new people, developing a community. I wanted to make sure that I paid for my doctorate, but there were a variety of other things, like I worked as a production assistant at a bunch of music festivals in Chicago because initially I wanted to get a ticket for my ex-girlfriend at the time, but I also ended up wanted to, I wanted to be in that scene, I wanted to learn about it, and so a lot of the different jobs that I've had were, because I was interested in something and then found a way to get paid for it while I was learning about it. Now when I moved into coaching, I actually was running a coaching practice at the time, which I wasn't really interested in, and I was working as a healthcare executive, as a manager of business operations, which I was actually also not interested in. So my professional world was pretty much filled with disengagement, resentment, frustration is going into work, not to work, and if you're a business owner and don't care about your job, don't care about your business, it's not gonna go very far, if you're a working professional and don't care about your job, you're not gonna go very far. And so basically, I was wasting time and I was a victim to my job, I was a victim to the organizations, I was basically waiting for them to make me happy. I was waiting for something to happen, for me to be like, great, I made it, things worked out, and I think I got to that point though, because throughout my professional career, despite the fact that I was able to get jobs and have interesting experiences, the things that I really wanted didn't really work out. I wanted to be a professional soccer player, that didn't work out. I initially wanted to get a nutrition major and become a dietician. They canceled my major, I was working in health policy for the Illinois Department of Public Health, they lost federal funding and they had to let me go. I got four different job offers, all signed on a dotted line, one from the CDC for a couple from other healthcare providers. They lost funding, canceled the job after I signed on with them, and so pretty much throughout my career had this limiting belief and story that developed over time. Hey, things aren't gonna work out. What do you, what you find is the thing that works out, low and behold, that is not the best mentality to have. It is not the mentality of a self leader and it doesn't lead to success, and I use that mentality to start with their businesses, and of course they weren't successful, despite no matter how much work and effort you put into them, there's this missing component of really accepting the fact that you're the reason why it's going to be success. So luckily I woke up, I was walking into work one day, dreading going into work again, and I'm really serious, I was going into work, not to work, people would come have a conversation with me, I'd figure out an excuse not to talk to them, ‘cause I didn't see the point in having the conversations. I would skip out midday to go to lunch, quote unquote. And really, I went to the gym for two hours, I would walk around the block just to avoid being seen by anyone in the office, and it was completely, it's unhelpful for my, for building career capital and for my success, and that mentality also didn't help me be creative, innovative, and really figure out ways to make my business a success or figure out the business that I really wanted to create. So when I have this little epiphany to say, Hey, it looks like everyone around me feels the same way, why are we doing this to ourselves? Why are we actually creating this environment for ourselves? ‘Cause we are responsible. I was able to then step back and say, if I am responsible, what is it I wanna focus on? What is it I need to do? How do I make the most in my environment right now? How do I nudge my environment to be best fit for me? And that eventually led to me realizing my true interests and talent development in leadership development and my strength and coaching, and so then I built a new path for myself forwards. That was back probably in 2015, ‘16, where I had that idea, and got outta my doctorate in 2018 while I was already running live for yourself consulting and just took it from there.

Jim: That's an incredible story. With live for yourself consulting, did you start off, did you know that's what you really wanted to do, was consult and coach, like you felt that, but did you just go after and start getting clients right away? Like how did that all build up?

Dr. Benjamin: So I knew from previous experiences, cause I actually was a dating and relationship coach prior to deciding to go into live for yourself consulting and more career and leadership coaching and consulting, cause I also did internal work at the time in corporate workshops and speaking. So I knew how to build a coaching practice. So that was really helpful, I knew I had an interest in personal professional development, but I didn't want to invest a bunch of time and energy into something that I didn't feel was aligned with who I was as an individual. Something that I could be proud of walking into a room, being like, this is who I am, this is who I want to be, because it actually hurt. It was really painful to throw away five and a half years of work. I had a podcast I was writing for Ask Men and Men's Health, like I had a pretty big brand in the space and was doing a lot of cool things, but to realize then really late in the game that oof, I probably don't wanna do this anymore, it took me about a year and a half to rebrand in my local community and that was a painful and a great lesson to learn. Hey, before you start something you don't have to do a bunch of work planning the business, you don't have to do, ‘cause really, honestly, if one should be focused on just generating revenue initially and making sure that your product actually works in your service, actually fit fits a market, or creating that need, but you do have to be sure that you want to create it. And you're not creating it for some reason outside of yourself, and my first business I actually created, because when I was on my own personal journey, part of that was getting comfortable, being uncomfortable, which involved as a guy who was not confident, who wasn't social, going out by himself and just being outside, talking to people. And one time I was out at a bar by myself talking to a group of people. And somebody stopped and said, Hey Ben, you know what you're doing? You're really good at it, you need to meet my boss. And so I met his boss the next day and he hired me to basically be a men's coach across the United States, and so that was my first kind of taste of coaching. And I was like, great, this is really interesting, I got to learn your business model, I got to do something that I loved and that I thought I cared about, but I didn't like his business practices. So then about after a year of working for him, I said, I still have something I want to give to this community, but I don't wanna do it with him. So how do I do that? And that's when I learned how to launch a coaching business. I actually wrote a book and I publish, I kind of self-published the book and realized that no one knew who I was. So I had to build a business to sell the book, and that's where I learned how to start actually being a coach and building a service-based business. But I never stopped to say, is this what I want to do after tomorrow? And so with this next business, I didn't actually I didn't go great talent development, I'm gonna launch a consulting practice, that was not at all what I did, I go, great talent development, I have a job right now, I want experience, I wanna make sure that this is what I want to do, I'm gonna go to my boss and ask them if I can do this type of work here. So I went to the VP who was a terrible leader at the time, but she did listen, and she gave me the AOK to go work with that corporate department within our system, we had 13 hospitals in our system and there was a talent development function, and so they actually said yes, and I started working on some projects with them, not the end of the story because they got, we got acquired for the third time and everyone I was working with got fired and all the products I was working on got centralized. So I go, great, that path didn't work out, what's my next path? I go, great, I need to learn about this industry. So I tried to go look for a job, I didn't know what I knew now in terms of how to enter the market and get a position that didn't work, and the opportunities that I got were a huge step back. So then the next option was, okay, I could start a business. But again, just like no one hired me for this position for a job, obviously I need to figure out a way to get people to answer the door when I come knocking. So I wanted to dive further into the space. So that's when I started pursuing doctorate, and I tested a bunch of those out, I volunteered in labs, and so you see this is a longer process than just, this is what I want to do, I'm gonna go do it. It's trying different paths to see if they work and if they align with who you are. The path that aligned the most was going back to get my doctorate, come in an expert in the space, basically reading academic articles nonstop, doing my own research, publishing that, but about in the, into the first quarter of my program on an airplane going into class. That's when I had my epiphany to say, okay, Ben, what has been responsible for your clients and for your self success when it comes to being a self leader, creating fulfillment in your life? And that's when I wrote down the acronym, live Life Intentions, values and Expectations, and built my first decision making framework and decided to launch Live for Yourself, consult. But that in itself has evolved over time, like through my program and through what I act, through my own expertise and through my own engaging engagement with clients, like the first tagline for Live for Yourself consulting was take back control of your life. Because for me, that's what I felt was important, but the market didn't. So actually, with Live For Yourself Consulting, I went through about three different variations of what am I selling? Because I learned what people want to buy now, it still had the same framework underneath it in terms of self-leadership, which that actually evolved through my experience with clients in terms of the three Cs of self-leadership and what I, how I work with clients. But it was almost like these constant mini tests to make sure that I didn't end up in a place that I didn't feel aligned, that I was actually selling something that the market needed that was going to be sustainable and scalable over.

Jim: I love that you hit on something that I really want to go back to in Remote Start Nation. This to me, I know you've heard me talk about this in previous episodes, and Dr. Benjamin, I wanna hear your thoughts even deeper on this, but it started with, you finding something that you were passionate about. It started with you finding something that you knew you wanted to do, it was your why, you knew you could help people, you started to help people, you got feedback on what you were doing was you were successful in before you made the decision, before you jumped, and then even then you went in and you honed in on your expertise before just making the decision to go full forward with it, right?

Dr. Benjamin: Yeah. And I was able to do that though, because I leveraged. So I always had multiple streams of income, I was making six figures bartending, and I was also had a full-time job working in healthcare and I knew what levers, the poll to see if this was gonna work. Like, I mentioned this in the beginning. All the business planning doesn't matter if you can't get a client, right? So when I went out there and I sold and I sold and I see what people wanted to buy and I increased prices when people decided to, and then I also made sure I was talking to my target. So I built my business initially off of in-person events. I was able to build partnerships with WeWorks and other event spaces that let me use their space for free, which also lets you market it for free because they have an internal community and membership, which you could also then market outside of it, I was able to reach out to a bunch of consumer packaged goods, like Better for You products, get free snack bars, free food free drinks. And then also get speakers for free around certain topics because, hey, I'm hosting this event, gonna promote you at it. We're gonna get to 50 to 80 people there all to listen to you for 10 to 12 minutes, come on in. And then also, I would get on stage and have the opportunity to connect with the audience, and then I would facilitate networking and community building within that space. That was the first way I built my email list, that's the first way I figured out what people wanted to buy, and so because of that, and with the global shutdown, I actually moved everything virtual and it was probably the best thing I was able to do for my business just in terms of building that email list still in community and reach and now, eventually, now actually, I get all my, a lot of my clients from referrals and just SEO people just inbound instead of outbound. But when you are able to immerse yourself into the people that might want to buy from you and then also test things out, you learn along the way. And if if you understand, you need to adapt and learn with the market, but not react to it, ‘cause too often I see entrepreneurs go, oh, this didn't work. I'm like, you talked to five people, right? They're like, go talk to 500, go talk to a thousand, and what percentage of those people were were interested? Do you know their full pain points? Are you able to talk to them and leave the and actually have them say, oh, this person understands me better than I understand myself, then you're ready, then you got something, then you can sell that really, but so sum it all up. I leveraged risk, make sure I had other income. I immersed myself and developed a community, and I did mini tests, but most informally going all the way back, I knew my values, I knew what I really cared about. I knew what my strengths were as a professional, because when you know what those are, the how you do things and the what you do can change because you'll still be fulfilled if it aligns with who you truly are at your core. And when it came to coaching and personal and professional development, that mattered to me ‘cause one, I went through it, I had terrible leaders where my coworkers were coming to me crying. I was a high achiever at work that was super disengaged and nobody noticed and nobody car, I received about six months of free life coaching from a federal grant for public health professionals. So I got to experience coaching, I was in a 16 month leadership training program and actually had my own leadership coach. I didn't know that position existed, by the way, until I met him and then met, like that light bulb went off. I had experience in personal development in coaching that way and built a different coaching practice for five and a half years. So it's like you look back and go, what am I drawn to? What gives, what lights a spark up in me? And then how do I leverage those strengths and skills to also encompass the challenges I want to face in the future? And then how do I make that a professional myself? And how the how and the what, again, can change if you keep that found.

Jim: I love that. And it, and you've said it like on your journey, you've switched your mission through times, you've switched your, what you're trying to do three different times, but it was because you didn't sit back and try to make it perfect the first time You went out and you got your feet wet, you learned, you asked the questions and so often we see entrepreneurs in use of this already, it's like you wanna make it perfect or you sit back and you don't really know your customer, you're not in front of 500 people asking them what it is, and that's what you should be focusing on the most. Once you understand your why and understand, like where you're passionate about and your values are, now, get out and start taking it to market, try to get people to buy it.

Dr. Benjamin: With the tagline piece, I think it's important. So the foundation of what I was selling stayed the same, like I had, yeah, the same framework. The live framework, which actually did adapt to the three Cs of self-leadership just due to the fact that I figured out, that people could be more successful if I focused on those pillars instead. But the way I worked with clients stayed the same, but how I messaged it changed based on the reactions from the market. And that's what's so critical to understand that we have to be a little bit flexible to really understand how do people interpret what I'm telling them? And not everyone's gonna interpret differently, but generally, does the majority understand what I'm selling or does my ideal client understand it? Because I'd go to someone and I'd say a tagline and they'd go that's not how I define it, I don't resonate with. Great, what do you resonate to, and maybe you don't ask them that specifically, but you ask them about what they're struggling with, what they wanna achieve, you pull out those keywords, you look at those keywords and say, how does this form, how does this create messaging and mar, it's just marketing, right? It's right when you go to sales, why does someone buy from you? They buy from you because they trust you, period. So for someone to trust you, there's different pieces of that, it's, they understand my problem, they have a solution, I believe that solution can work for me, period. It's just like it is that simple, but they have to think that you understand them. So you have to be able to understand them, which means you have to use words that they understand. Because a lot of times I'll work with someone that wants to start their own business and they're speaking in words that they themselves believe are important, but their target client doesn't.

Jim: Yeah, so true. So tell me more, right now live for yourself consulting, who is your client? Who do you work with and see the best results for?

Dr. Benjamin: Yeah, so I work with as senior leaders, you're looking at your director to COO, CEO. So I have some clients that are C-Suite and also some that want to become C-suite that are stuck at work, they just, they've been successful professionally but they don't feel successful, they feel something is missing. Usually what happens if they've changed jobs maybe in the past year or two, thinking that changing the job was gonna fix things, but they still have the same stories, leadership sucks. I have no free time, I'm overworked, I'm underutilized, I don't feel meaning for my work, and so they're trying to figure out what to do next that is going to lead them to a greater level of fulfillment presence, some more time, right? And energy for their personal life and their professional life, and honestly, a lot of them think that the solution is to build another income stream, right? To launch their own business, and they've been thinking about this for a while, but something is holding them back, and most of the time when it comes to the things that hold my clients back, it's fear, and it's self-doubt. And those are the same things that hold them back in their professional life and they're nine to five, right? Working in a corporate environment because if you go in every day and you're afraid and you doubt yourself, you are going to do things that don't serve you, not to mention if you don't really know what you should be doing, talk about being stuck, talk about being in an ambiguous environment, talk about stress. So I work with those clients to help them really define what it is they want to create in their career, make sure that their executive presence and brand aligns with that, and then we figure out how they want to actually bring that to the world professionally, either outside of an organization or even in an organization. I'm very much of the opinion, if you know what you love to do, then you can craft an environment in any situation to be fulfilling for yourself, and when we talk about safety and leveraging risk, as you think about this as a consultant, let's say someone comes up to you, and I might lose some people here because this is a personal belief, and this happened to me actually a year and a half ago, you go to a, you go to a potential consulting client, you pitched them an idea and they're, they really wanna work with you, let they go. Look, I love that you have your own business, I want you to keep running your own business, but we want more of you, this is what I'm gonna do, I'm gonna pay you three times what you want to charge me as a consultant. I'm gonna give you benefits, I'm gonna give you a 401K match, I'm gonna give you a limited PTO, but I want you to be a W2 employee with me, can still run your business, this is what I want from you, would you say yes, and it's like this, when I work with entrepreneurs, a lot of them will be like, hell no, terrible idea, hate it. And I go, great, tell me why. And some people have true reasons, right? They have this innate value and distaste, they have this desire to only be on their own, but some people just have this limiting belief that's built up over time because they've had really bad leaders in really terrible corporate environ. They can never have the work life they want working for somebody else, and I just don't like leaving money on the table and I don't like leaving experiences on the table because when I was running my own business and then this happened to me and I popped into an organization for a little bit, man, the ability, my brand shot up because now I was able to talk. An internal perspective and a consultant perspective per perspective, I got more speaking engagements, I got on more podcasts. I got people from the industry from that organization that became clients and then I left, right? And so you think about it now, like what can you do in your career today to help your career tomorrow? And if something comes up as an opportunity that's gonna be financially a good idea, it's not gonna jeopardize anything that you've built, you're gonna learn from it, you should give it a second thought sometimes.

Jim: That's great advice, and I don't think you lost anybody there, ‘cause I think that is Remote Start Nation, if you have an opportunity. And Dr. Benjamin, like you said, like it's, if it's in line with what you're doing and if you maximize it you're gonna benefit yourself, and if not, go back to where you were and you're not gonna lose anything.

Dr. Benjamin: One of the things that I work with clients on when they're looking for a new position, but also trying to launch their own business, is to look at every offer as an opportunity. And that means that if someone wants you to work for them full-time, but you don't wanna work full-time, ask them to work part-time. You don't wanna work part-time, but you wanna work for a six week engagement, ask them to work a six week engagement. If you wanna make a certain amount of money, ask for that type amount of money, it's, we have these thoughts and ideas in our head of what we want to ask for, but we don't do them. A self leader goes, this is who I am, this is what I'm capable of, this is what I want to try to be capable of, and I'm gonna go for it. Why? Because it's gonna serve me. I don't, I'm not gonna offend anyone by asking for something different, you're just having a conversation, self leaders have the conversations that other people don't have.

Jim: So let's talk about that. Let's get into self-leadership and to start it off, and you just hit on this, but let's define what self-leadership means.

Dr. Benjamin: So self-leadership, actually, you know what, how about we build off of a definition together? So when you hear the word self-leadership, what comes up for you?

Jim: I think what am I doing to be the best version of myself? What am I, how am I pushing myself? What am I doing daily to make myself better so then I can make the surrounding self or the surrounding team around me or my family or whatever it is, I can make them better because I'm making myself better.

Dr. Benjamin: You're taking care of yourself, you're leading yourself, I asked this, you are question.

Jim: All right, so when you say it that way, let me, I am doing the things in my life to be the best version of myself, so then I think I can make everybody else around me better. Is that, am I off or am I on?

Dr. Benjamin: No, I think you got some parts of it because you, for you, that's self-leadership. I think that's important, and I don't want to judge anyone that doesn't want to push themselves forward. Because if you for you yourself, your vision, for your own life and your career is to continue doing what you're doing and not. And you choose not to improve, then you're leading yourself and from what you're sharing with me, it's you have a very distinct direction that you want to go in your life and nothing's holding you back to get there. And that is a hundred percent what self leadership is. It's you have the clarity of knowing who you are and what you want to create. You have the confidence the believe, you're going to be able to get there and you create an environment around yourself to make that possible. You know what you can't control, you know what you can't and you focus on things that you can. So self leadership is just truly living for yourself, hence the name of the company. It's saying this is who I want to be and it, that's okay, that's okay. That this is who I want to be and it's okay that maybe you want me to be someone different or somebody else wants me to be somebody different, like that meeting that gets scheduled at seven o'clock at night, when you have a client call, sorry, I have a prior engagement, I'm gonna take that client call, that's self leadership, it's having boundaries, it's built in it, it's also creating that environment, focusing on certain relationships that all serve you.

Jim: So how does that tie into, as leaders, how do we become better self leaders, what do we do? What are the steps?

Dr. Benjamin: I can't tell you how many clients I start working with and go, I can't do that, I can't say that to my leader, I can't say no to this, I can't ask to work on this project, I can't say no to this project or as entrepreneurs, I have to take that client, I can't cancel this call, I can't take a vacation, I have to go to this event, I don't know how to do this, I have too much to do, I can't do everything. So we have, we basically self leadership goes, take all those excuses, take them all away, and what do you really want to do? And so in leadership, a lot of times someone working in an organization will complain and say, oh, my leader doesn't let me do this, or my organization is this, you're making the choice to make the most of your situation or not. As an entrepreneur, ah, I can't, I don't know if I should keep doing this, I don't know, but maybe I should give up, it's too hard, okay. Why? Why is it too hard? Is that really what you want to do or is it because maybe there's pressure from the people around you saying that maybe you should be doing something else, or maybe you get a negative comment online so you start to doubt. It's letting go of all the external reasons and excuses that are influencing your behavior and choosing to actually be responsible for your own behavior. It's being accountable for everything that happens in your life for the decisions you make, but also feeling empowered to make those decisions, and so when it comes to leadership, how do you want to show up for yourself, when was the lot of times people have worked in an organization and they maybe had one, a one-on-one with a leader. I'd like to ask, when was the last time you had a one-on-one with yourself about your career? You sat down, let's imagine that there's the perfect mentor, leader in front of you. Be able to answer all your questions, help all your own decision, get rid of all your stress. What would you talk about? What would the solutions be? And let go of all the limitations that you think are there. And have that 101 with yourself.

Jim: I remember personally for me, going back to, and I do this often on a small scale, but the last time I did a deep dive into exactly that was when, we got in Michigan, we got shut down with Covid, and the governor shut us down that day and without any warning. And I remember just sitting there and going, I'm about to embark on this journey with my family to travel the country in an RV. Like now is my time to change everything around me. And of course it's a buy-in from, my business partner and everything else, but it was self-reflecting, really understanding what I wanted to do with this next chapter that was going to benefit the company myself and everybody on my team. And yeah, that was the last time for me. I really sat down and really focused on that.

Dr. Benjamin: We often don't, we're so busy, that we don't pause and say, what are the real important things that I need to be focused on right now? And if you're an entrepreneur and you do feel stuck, and if you're a professional and you do feel stuck and you doubt yourself and you feel like you're out of control and you feel like you don't know what's in your control, then you have some work to do, that isn't the work that you're doing. You take a step back and you go, great, what are my goals right now? Why do I care about those goals? Where do those goals come from? Once you, when you actually figure out what the goals are that you wanna work on, you have to build a project plan, like you, you have a job, set a date, work backwards from that date. What's the one thing that's gonna lead me closer to actually achieving this goal today? And if you have 10 goals, you have too many, right? I have, honestly, there's, I have one goal, get clients, second goal, serve my clients. So maybe I have two clients, two goals, 16 clients, but you have two goals and it, and those are the things. And if I ask myself, what am I doing right now? Has this proven to me that I'm going to get a client? Has this proven to me that it's gonna serve my clients? No, why am I worrying about it? And goals will be different for different people, but very often we think we have to do so many things when we don't. Now we have to make sure that what our, that our efforts align, with who we are at our core, that we're doing things that matter to us, our values, and a little bit of a values geek. And leverage our strengths, ‘cause if they don't leverage our strengths or skills, we're not gonna be confident and help us feel like we're making progress and then we're learning something and feel a little bit challenged. And that's just the first piece, that's just clarity, there's some other things that hold us back, such as self-doubt, imposter syndrome, and an environment that is negative, and too often I see entrepreneurs that still have maybe, abusive relationship or that business partner that's not doing any work, or they maybe just spend way too much time at events and around people that aren't the same as them in terms of what they're trying to work on, what they're trying to achieve. Think about like yourself leadership is like a battery, right? And if you're doing things that drain that battery, you're not actually leading.

Jim: So what do we do? What do, how do we get that clarity?

Dr. Benjamin: So we can do a lot of different things, for the clarity piece, I actually, I think I just walked through to analyze your goals, make sure that you understand and define that those goals are created because there's a reason behind them that you can actually care about. Write down those goals into monthly and weekly and daily to-dos that truly matter. There's a great book, I believe, called the one thing that goes through like the 411, which is a breakdown of how to actually figure out what you need to focus on for your day and for your week, and for your month, and for your year. But you, if you have any experience in working for an organization, you're basically moving backwards from a timeline and saying, what would have to happen for me to actually reach this goal? And then what would have to happen for me to reach that goal? And what would have to happen for me to reach that goal? And you wanna make sure that you prioritize those goals as most important as, for me personally, am I gonna get clients? Great, that's number one. The other clarity piece is just making sure that you're focused on something that matters to you, because if you are focused on something that matters to you, then you'll have motivation to start working towards it, as well as you'll be able to walk into a room and talk about what matters to you and not worry as much about what other people think of you. As an entrepreneur, as honestly as a professional, that's huge, it's a huge part of your executive presence when you're in a room, if you're not worried about what are other people, how are other people reacting or what they're thinking, and more so just in the room to share the things that you actually care about. That clarity comes from sitting back and just doing a lot of introspection around, what are the things that create joy? What are the memories where you've been the happiest? What are the challenges that you want to face in the future? What are you really interested in? What brings out the curiosity in you? What are the things that you actually enjoy working on? What are your strengths? As I mentioned before, when I looked back at my strengths when I was a professional, coaching, shined out in like a light, and you can apply coaching in a variety of different ways, but also understand your strengths. And then, explore, and a lot of people don't do this, explore the times of your life where you are at your worst, because the times when you're in your life at your worst highlight things that you don't want in your life, and that's okay. That's your choice, totally on you, right? Accept it and take all that information and then start writing phrases about who you are. If I asked you to write your bio or your pitch for you who are, I am X, Y, Z. This is who I am or you can even write a letter from your future self to your presence self to say, I'm so proud. Sorry, you can write a letter from your presence, from your future self to the, who you are today saying, I'm so proud of who you've become. And then write what that is you're trying to do is get an idea of who you are at your core so that you can have, and trust and believe in who you actually are.

Jim: So let's talk about from an entrepreneurial standpoint, you've got a business and you do this self clarity check and your belief of who you want to become doesn't align with your current path right now, it doesn't align with your business partner, it doesn't align with your team, it doesn't align with your mission, now what?

Dr. Benjamin: It depends what else is going on. So do I have a safety net? Do I have another job? Do I have some financial security? Do I have another source of income in the family or is this job, the only thing that's my saving grace right now. And so building on that, let's say you do have a safety net, let's say actually you don't have a safety net, you need to build one. I think some people wanna flick the switch and have a completely different life the next day. And I'd say let's create options if you don't like your current option, and so that can be anything, it could be applying for a job, it could be getting another job, it could be building, doubling down in the business for a moment and saving as much as you can, it could be pulling out some investments or actually it could just be noticing like, I'll be okay, which is a lot of, most of the time, that's what a lot of my clients go through because of their professional success. It's accepting the fact that I will be, okay, great. So now that we have some safety, you can explore the things you don't like because if you believe you are safe, you can look at things with a much more critical and strategic mindset, and then you would have to explore, okay, this business partner, what sort of conflict mediation, can I even salvage this? Do I wanna salvage this? What am I unhappy with? What's preventing me from sharing this with them? How do we potentially fix this relationship? Can we fix this relationship? Do I just ultimately hate this person and wanna exit out? Great, what are the options that I have to exiting out? And so we're going through basically just simple problem solving, we are all capable of it, we just forget that we're capable of it in certain areas of our life because we're activated in this like anxiety mindset and this mindset of self-doubt. And so we're not able to apply logic and problem solving to situations that could be solved with our own level of intellectual capability.

Jim: That's huge. Unfortunately, we're our time is coming to an end here, bums me out cause I think we could talk about this for a lot longer and add a ton of value, let the Remote Start Nation know where they can find you.

Dr. Benjamin: Yeah, I said LinkedIn already, find Dr. Benjamin Ritter on LinkedIn, send me a message. I'd love to hear the one thing that you're pulling from this that is helping you out or a question that you had. So send that in a message, I'll read and respond to everything, it's nobody else. And if you wanna learn more about Live for Yourself Consulting, go to liveforyourselfconsulting.com, check that out. I mentioned I'll be the one reading the messages and I just have to say it ‘cause too many entrepreneurs and business professionals look at these influencers online, people that have built businesses over the years, and you don't even know their backstory, but, and you don't even know how they're doing. But supposedly they have this online influence and they're crushing it, and you go, man, I'm not crushing it, who am I? I'm not good enough, look at all these likes, look at all these hearts, look at all these comment, I'll tell you, you can buy likes and comments and most of the time, the person posting isn't the person posting. They hired someone for five bucks an hour potentially, and so all the things outside of your own self, you don't really know anything about them. So please when you compare yourself, to others, you really need to say, okay, hold on, the only person I need to compare myself is so the person I was yesterday, and am I leading myself in a way that I can be proud of? If not, do some of this work on self-leadership, send me a message, but if you take one step forward, even if that steps backwards and you're learning from it and you're making progress, doesn't matter what anybody else is doing.

Jim: I always end the show, what's one final point that you want the Remote Start Nation to take with him today? And I think you just hit on that, man. I feel like that's, that was so strong.

Dr. Benjamin: I'm taking it, I'm going with it. So everyone rewind, listen to that again, that's the end.

Jim: That's the end. I can't thank you enough for for joining us today, man. I appreciate your time and honestly the conversation was incredible and thank you so much for being a part of the Remote Start Nation.

Dr. Benjamin: It's been a pleasure. I really appreciate you having me in.

Jim: Absolutely. Remote Star Nation from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you all for joining me on this journey as we help to start a business, grow your brand, and create your desired lifestyle. Remember, leave a comment, subscribe, and most importantly, share this episode with your community who you think could learn from what you heard here today. So until next time, go start something, start it today and go build a lifestyle you desire by taking action.

Benjamin RitterProfile Photo

Benjamin Ritter


Dr. Benjamin Ritter, founder of Live for Yourself Consulting, is a leadership and career coach, Talent Development Executive, values geek, international speaker, online instructor of the course Be the Leader of Your Own Career and Create a Career You Love, and podcaster (The Executive, and The Live for Yourself Revolution), who’s passionate about guiding leaders to be the leader of their own career and create a career they love.

With over 11 years of experience working with clients from companies such as Amazon, Coursera, Doordash, Google, Fiserv, Northwestern, Pinterest, and Yelp, Ben understands how to navigate any career path you decide you want to travel.

From empowering professionals to get unstuck, to guiding senior leadership on how to stand out from the competition, develop executive presence, and feel confident in being a leader, Ben is an expert in his field and will guide you toward truly living for yourself at work and in life.

Ben received his Doctorate in Organizational Leadership with a focus on value congruence and job satisfaction and earned an MBA in entrepreneurial management, and an MPH in health policy administration.

Jim DoyonProfile Photo

Jim Doyon


My name is Jim Doyon. I'm a father to three awesome kids, husband to an incredible wife and the oldest sibling to a large split family.I'm currently on a mission and I can't wait to share with you. We sold our house back in 2020, and we've been traveling this beautiful country in a 42-foot Travel trailer ever since. We visited 34 states, and are about to embark on our second loop around the country, stopping at some of our favorite spots again, but also getting to see new areas that the US has to offer.We are trying to experience this life to its fullest spending quality time together. I'm running a business and building brands along the road. We've been fortunate enough on this journey to meet new friends, catch up with old friends and family on many of our stops. We love exploring each City from downtown's to the natural resources it has to offer. I'm passionate about mountain biking and it's not only in my way to get out and explore but to exercise, clear my head, think, and strategize.