Living and Growing Yourself and Your Business Consciously with Kim Ades – Episode 65
Kim Ades, the Founder and President of Frame of Mind Coaching, joined TREPX Podcast host Micky Deming to talk about mindset, journaling and getting ahead in business. Kim coaches executives and leading entrepreneurs to become emotionally resilient. ”Coaching, up until recently, has been highly focused on helping people take actions in order to reach their goals. It wasn’t really focused on emotional resilience,” says Ades. Ades described emotional resilience as “the ability to bounce back from adversity with speed and agility to leverage the adversity.”
During our entrepreneurial journey, and discovering how to grow a business that’s bigger than just ourselves, we often try to forget adversity rather than utilizing it to move forward at a greater pace. Ades talked about the false concept of “balance,” and posed the question “do we really want balance?” She says that balance isn’t what we actually want. “What we are after is engagement. We are after passion. We are after being turned on. We are after being fully engaged and present. That’s a little bit different from balance.”
Ades says that the adversity we’ve gone through holds us back. “People have experienced things in the past and they carry those experiences to the present, and those past experiences will debilitate them. (Past experiences) will hold them back.”
As entrepreneurs trying to move forward in our businesses, we try to plan ahead and think of where we want to be in 5, 10, or 20 years. But what about the present? “I would say that the single most important starting point is to take stock of where you are right now,” says Ades. “Taking an assessment of where you are right here, right now with all kinds of areas in your life is super important,” continued Ades.
It’s amazing that we can go through life without stopping to think where we are in relation to where we want to be, but this zombie like thought process of going through the motions without understanding who and where we are is far too common. “People live unconsciously. Like they are walking, but they’re like zombies. Right? They are not going anywhere in particular. You know, they get up, they go to work, they come home, they watch TV, they go to bed, they get up, they go to work, they watch TV. You know, it’s the same life over and over and over again, and it’s the person who is determined to have a little bit more, to really kind of milk their lives that take a moment to say hold on a minute here — this lifestyle of mine, this way of living, isn’t enough for me. It’s not all that I want. I want more.” Only by taking an honest look at where you are can you fully comprehend what you need to get to where you want to be.
Listen at 17:30 for Kim’s powerful journaling exercise. Kim offers to personally review your results, but you have to listen and do the exercise first! Check out more insight and tips from Kim Ades at Frameofmindcoaching.com and contact her at Kim@frameofmindcoashing.com.
Micky Deming: (00:30) Hello, this is Micky Deming. Welcome to the TREPX Podcast where we talk every single week with successful entrepreneurs. This podcast is all about helping you, as an entrepreneur, grow beyond where you are today. I think everyone looks at their business that way. Where you know, how can I take a step forward? How can I move one little bit forward to get some momentum? And I think one of the best ways to figure out how to do that is to get out of your own mind and hear from people who have done it before, who have already been there. So our goal is to chat with people who have been there to not only learn from their experience, but to learn practical applications that they can help us implement in our own businesses.
Today is no exception. I had the chance to interview Kim Ades from Frame of Mind Coaching. She is an expert in the mental aspect of entrepreneurship, which is the most critical part of entrepreneurship, because if you can’t get yourself in the mindset, the right frame of mind as Kim would say, you are always going to be limited. And no matter how much skill you have, that will not replace having the mental ability to grow and so this interview is awesome! I loved what Kim had to say about emotional resilience. That is a key phrase you will hear coming up throughout this and for her, she says that is one of the biggest differentiators for successful people versus people that are not. As people that have emotional resilience, the ability to get stronger when they run into adversity.
I am grateful for Kim taking the time. This was an awesome interview! Please check out her website at Frameofmindcoaching.com and learn all that she has to provide and of course you can see this interview at TREPXGroup.com. While you’re there, definitely check out what we have going on at TREPXGroup.com/accounting. If accounting is something you struggle with, we have a pretty awesome solution to make it a lot simpler, so check that out. But before you do that, definitely listen to this interview! Get yourself in the right frame of mind so that you can be ready to take yourself to the next level. Thanks so much to Kim! Please enjoy this interview with Kim Ades.
Hello Kim! Welcome to the TREPX Podcast! How are you doing today?
Kim Ades: (02:49) I’m great and super, super happy to be talking to you!
Micky Deming: (02:53) Oh that’s good! I love it, I love hearing that! I don’t want people to be like “I don’t want to talk to this guy right now”, so I hope you mean that with all your heart!
Kim Ades: (03:02) I really do!
Micky Deming: (3:04) Good, good! I’m excited to talk to you too. I think there is a lot to learn from what you’re doing and even just, as I’ve dug into your website and read some of the stuff you have written, it’s just like there’s a lot to take from. So I’m pumped to dive in!
I think a good place to start is just at a big picture level. Your core business is Frame of Mind Coaching, so can you just share with everyone what that’s all about?
Kim Ades: (03:28) What the heck do you do? Umm, really we coach very high end, high profile entrepreneurs, the corporate people, innovators. We coach people who are determined to really live an extraordinary life and make the most out of their lives and what we do is, we look at how their thinking either propels them forward or holds them back and we use the process that I created that includes journaling and phone calls and certain framework that allows us to really dig deep and into a person’s thinking patterns and identify how their thinking is working for them or really against them.
Micky Deming: (04:08) I like that, I like that! I want to dive in and learn about this framework, but first I’ll ask, how did you come up with that? What experiences lead to you developing this?
Kim Ades: (04:18) Well, the first experience was that I used to own another company. I’m this serial entrepreneur kind of person and we used to build simulation-based assessments and the purpose of those assessments was to help companies make better hiring decisions. So we created this assessment that would determine who was a top performer in any field and any industry for any position and what we discovered was that, you know, for different positions intelligence was more important than others and for certain positions social skills were more important than others, but in all positions there was one real finding that we extracted that kind of superseded everything and that was if a person had a high degree of emotional resilience, they were going to be much more likely to succeed significantly better than anyone else.
That was a very, very crucial finding, because what we realized is where are we teaching people to build their emotional resilience? Not anywhere, really. Even in the coaching world, coaching up until recently has been highly focused on helping people take actions in order to reach their goals. It wasn’t really focused on emotional resilience, so that was part A.
Part B was, and before I get to part B, when we look at “what is emotional resilience”? What is that? It’s really the ability to bounce back from adversity with speed and agility and leverage the adversity. So the idea is when something bad happens to you, what’s your response? What’s your reaction? How far do you fall? How quickly do you get back up and what do you do with experience? How do you make sense of it? How do you take it and package it and run with it? And so those people who are able to package it and run with it in a useful manner get a lot farther.
Micky Deming: (6:12) So when you were digging in and coming up with this framework for assessing talent and peoples likelihood of success, that was the one thing that you really were seeing that no matter what peoples position, no matter what their skillset, no matter what they were going through, if they had this emotional resilience, the ability to bounce back, that was the thing you felt like no matter where they were, that made a huge difference in their success?
Kim Ades: (06:36) Massive difference and it’s a massive difference not only in their professional success, but in the quality of their relationships, in their health, in their attitude, in their happiness, and their overall well-being.
Micky Deming: (06:48) Right, ok, yeah that makes a lot of sense. So, at what point, so you had this great idea and this framework, at what point did you realize like “I want this to be a business. I want everybody to learn this”?
Kim Ades: (07:00) Well what happened, of course, was that I had my own adversity and it was a tough time. Like, I own this business and one of my partners was my ex-husband, is now my ex-husband, and so you know, I just went through a really, really tough time. Not only did my marriage fall apart, my business had to be divided and I had to sell it off and I found myself suddenly as a single parent, not knowing anything about the dating world, and like my whole entire life got disrupted and completely challenged. So how did I cope with that? A) I read everything I could about personal development, marriage, relationships, everything I could get my hands on and the second thing I did was, I journaled. I journaled a lot and the reason I journaled was because I had a lot of very, very intense feelings. I was scared. I was disappointed. I was fearful. I was pissed off at the world. I was nervous, unsure. All of those things and so my journaling, in a way, was a source of oxygen for me because I would write down what I felt and that would kind of release things. Make it a little bit more bearable and then, the critical part here is then I would say, ok, so these are all of the ways I’m feeling now. Where do I want go? How do I want to be feeling? What kind of relationship do I want to have? What kind of job do I want to have? What do I want my life to be like? And that act of turning things around or pivoting towards what I wanted was so crucial to my, let’s call it, faster recovery.
Micky Deming: (8:40) Mmmhmm, that’s really fascinating. I am intrigued by this. Here is what I like about, is because I think so many people and I see this in myself too, is that we at all costs try to avoid any type of conflict, any type of setback. And it’s not like we should plunge ourselves directly into setbacks or challenges, but I think we hurt ourselves because we’re not emotionally resilient that we are like “Ahhh, I just want my life to be as comfortable and as easy as possible” and that is kind of our way of dealing with it. If you’re confident that when you run into setbacks you can get better, I think that even when things are going well it kind of frees you up in how you can attack everything you’re doing.
Kim Ades: (9:26) Well, that’s right. We’re looking for smooth, smooth rides, right? The turbulence creates fear and nervousness for us and it’s something do try to avoid at all costs. And so the idea is, like I mean, when we’re flying we often go through turbulence, literally, but we don’t freak out. We might get a little nervous, but we don’t freak out. We know, like ok, it’s part of the ride, there’s bumps sometimes. No worries. Like we’re going to get there and you know, 99.9% of the cases and so if we can really look at the turbulence in our lives in a similar way that would make a huge difference for us, but we don’t. We don’t.
Micky Deming: (10:06) Like, I mean, wouldn’t you say that smooth is just a myth? Is that even really a possibility in life?
Kim Ades: (10:13) Well, you know, whether it is a myth or it not, it doesn’t matter, but smooth is not necessarily useful. Right? It’s overrated.
Micky Deming: (10:23) That’s true. It’s boring.
Kim Ades: (10:24) Well, it’s boring. You know, somebody asked me on one of these podcasts the other day, like you know, how does one acquire balance? I am like why is that something that people are after? You know, if you go to a playground and you go to the seesaw. What happens when the seesaw is perfectly in balance? What happens?
Micky Deming: (10:43) Something has to tip one way or the other.
Kim Ades: (10:44) Well, nothing happens when it’s perfectly in balance. Right? There’s is no movement. There’s no momentum. There’s no action. There’s nothing going on and so, you know, I think balance is not necessarily what we are after. What we are after is engagement. We are after passion. We are after being turned on. We are after being fully engaged and present. That’s a little bit different from balance.
Micky Deming: (11:09) That’s great! That’s a great point. Now the next natural question that a lot of people would come up with is, you came to this assumption not only that emotional resilience is very, very important and critical to success, but then taking a step further, that it can be taught and that it can be learned and it can be improved. A lot of people, I think, that’s one of those things that is like I’m wired this way. This is how I react. This is how I am. So how did you come to the conclusion that you could actually teach it to others?
Kim Ades: (11:38) Well, the conclusion was that if we can really see the way people think and identify the patterns that they tend to fall into and illuminate those patters. Show them their tendencies and demonstrate how some of these tendencies create negative outcomes for them. Simply being informed and aware automatically changes the course and if we take it one step further, replacing the patter with something slightly more useful makes the massive difference in people’s lives.
Micky Deming: (12:14) Interesting. Yeah and so what are some of the patters? Like what are some of the common patterns that people fall into who haven’t been through any type of this training? When they resilience, what negative patterns do they fall into?
Kim Ades: (12:28) So what we’re looking is where do you experience frustration, resistance, anger, disappointment? Any negative feeling, where do you experience that? Normally what we do is, when we coach people we ask them to journal in an online journal and they are journaling every single day for the duration of the coaching period and the journal goes to the coach and the coach reads and responds to the journal, but what the coach is doing is extracting data and picking up patterns and connecting dots that don’t necessarily, easily seem like they go together, right? And so what do we see in terms of what patterns do we pick up is that people have experienced things in the past and they carry those experiences to the present and those past experiences will debilitate them. Will hold them back.
They have been brought up with certain ideologies or beliefs that they can’t shake and those ideologies prevent them from stepping into the things that really, really want and love. It could be as simple as you’re interested in starting a business, but you have all these reasons why that’s impossible. Well, I can’t leave my full-time job. I need that ongoing salary. I can’t take that leap, it’s impossible, it’s too risky. I have responsibilities. I have kids to take care of. I have dependents who are really counting on me to pay the bills, etc. I don’t have the resources. I don’t have the experience. I don’t have all the knowledge need. You know, I’m really good at this one thing, but I don’t know how to run a whole business and on and on and on and on. And what you find is those are the stories that we tell ourselves that really hold us hostage and prevent us from taking action.
Now, the last thing I want someone to do is just take action anyway. What I want them to do, because if they do they’ll set themselves up for greater disappointment, because their belief is that they’re going to fail and we always, always prove our beliefs to be accurate. So I don’t want anybody to take action when they’re loaded up with ideas that say this isn’t going to work. What I want them to do is start to identify those thoughts, those beliefs that say this isn’t, you know, I’m not totally lined up with this goal. I’m afraid. Ok, what are you afraid of? Let’s address that and when your thinking can be lined up with your goal, then you can experience massive success and as long as you’re thinking clashes with the goal, you will bump into problems.
Micky Deming: (15:10) Right. Yeah, I think it all ties together in everything you’re saying and just this idea of emotional resilience and I have the ability to, when things knock me backward, to turn that into a strength. Then also, I have this ability to just understand my own thoughts and to get a handle on them and how important that is for, like when you set a goal, like you’re right, if I don’t really believe in my ability to achieve that goal then what’s the point of making that a goal? You know, it needs to connect with the thoughts that you have, so I think this is all good. So I am just curious, what are some of the things people can do to start to train themselves? Start to improve? Start to get a handle on their own, you know, emotions and the way they respond to situations?
Kim Ades: (15:57) I would say that the single most important starting point is to take stock of where you are right now. The critical piece to the puzzle is figure out “where am I now?” and we always talk about what goals you want to achieve. Where do you want to be in five years? Like, what are your ambitions, you know? That type of thing and I think that that’s a good question to ask, but it’s a secondary question to ask.
The real question is, are you happy with where you are right now? And if not, let’s identify where you’re unhappy and what thinking causes that unhappiness. So taking a snapshot, right? Taking an assessment of where you are right here, right now with all kinds of areas in your life is super important.
Micky Deming: (16:40) Yeah, that makes sense. Like, how often do you recommend people do that?
Kim Ades: (16:43) Well you have to start with today and then say, “ok, so there are some places in my life where, you know, I want things to be different” and then the question becomes, how am I thinking about these things that, how’s my thinking preventing me from having it the way I want it to be?
Micky Deming: (17:03) Yeah, that’s great. Then as you do that and you start to uncover, you know, gosh I’m really negative when I’m around these people or whatever. Lots of different eye opening pieces come together. What are some of the ways to move forward and some of the like day-to-day practices? I know journaling, you talked about that. I think that is really intriguing as a way to force you to process what you’re going through. How does that fit into the?
Kim Ades: (17:29) So let me give, with your permission, can I give everybody a journaling exercise?
Micky Deming: (17:34) That would be great!
Kim Ades: (17:35) So here is something that is super powerful and you start off with, there are three questions. So the first question is what do I really, really want? Like more than anything, what do I want? And that thing or those things can be physical things. They can be achievement oriented things. They can be relationship things. So tangible or intangible, what do I really want and why do I want these things? Why are these things attractive and desirable to me?
The second question is, what would my life be like if I never had those things? Would that be ok with me? Could I live with it? Is that tolerable? Is that, you know, ok for me?
The third question is, what’s preventing me from having what I really, really want right now? Now that third question is super important. Why? Because that’s the question that starts to identify the thinking and the beliefs that are standing in your way and the answers to those questions, let me assure you, are all invented! We invent the reasons. We make them up. We use them as our reality, as our excuse, for not living the life we really want to live.
Micky Deming: (18:46) Right, I like that! Yeah it’s like when you identify and just a recap, what do I really want? Why do I want that? What if I didn’t have that thing I wanted? And then finally, what is preventing me from getting it? I think that question is really important, because you know even if there is something that is preventing you, like just defining it, I think, a lot of times makes it a whole less intimidating or like insurmountable. Like you can actually see it on paper and think, “ok, how do I get around this”?
Kim Ades: (19:15) Right and what I want to say is, if anybody who’s listening does this exercise, I will personally review it with you. So send it to me and we will hop on a quick phone call and we’ll look at it together and I will give you my own time, because if you’ve taken the time to do this it means you are serious about moving forward.
Micky Deming: (19:37) That’s cool! Do you have a, for the what do I really want, is there a recommended timeframe? Because sometimes it’s like something 20 years in the future or like.
Kim Ades: (19:48) What do I want right now? What do I want? What do I want to have in my life? What would I like to have in my life right now?
Micky Deming: (19:54) Boom! And then what’s stopping you? And then we’re going to send it to you. I’m going to take you up on that, so.
Kim Ades: (20:00) Perfect!
Micky Deming: (20:01) You’re going to coach me and I’m going to be more emotionally resilient. I’m excited about that! This is good! I think this is extremely helpful, extremely practical, and just my question to you is, for people, because my thought would be that the reason people don’t do these things is because they just keep moving forward. Like, we’re so busy and we just are distracted or moving forward and we don’t even take the time. Do you think that’s really the issue with people?
Kim Ades: (20:25) But they’re not moving forward. They’re just spinning. They’re just spinning.
Micky Deming: (20:29) That’s a good point!
Kim Ades: (20:30) Right? Like people live unconsciously. Like they are walking, but they’re like zombies. Right? They are not going anywhere in particular. You know, they get up, the go to work, they come home, they watch t.v., they go to bed, they get up, they go to work, they watch t.v., You know, it’s the same life over and over and over again and it’s the person who is determined to have a little bit more, to really kind of milk their lives that takes a moment to say hold on a minute here, this lifestyle of mine, this way of living, isn’t enough for me. It’s not all that I want. I want more.
Micky Deming: (21:12) I like that! Yeah, and actually that leads me to my follow up question, because so the model that you have, you have coaches then coach people through, through this process and help them and there is different, I guess versions of it. So I’m curious if you’ve gotten this feedback from your coaches, like what is that puts people over the edge? Like, what motivates them to take action? Is it like most people that are like hitting a really, really low place? Like, what is the common motivator for people to say, ok I want to go through something like this?
Kim Ades: (21;44) Umm, the motivator is a real realization of where they are now and that the place they are now is not really what they want for themselves and it’s that decision that says, I would not be happy if I didn’t have the things I really want. That would not be ok for me and I am making a decision that says my life is important in my life. Right? So people do all kinds of things, like they spend money on vacations and they buy luxury items and they go out to eat and they do all of these things and all these things are fine, but they have a short enjoyment factor, right? And what this really is, is a change that is sustainable that makes a massive difference over the long haul.
Micky Deming: (22:37) Mmmhmm, absolutely! And I think, yeah, it all ties in together. I mean, the way we talk about it around here is just to be intentional. I think that is exactly what you’re talking about. Do you have, are you being intentional? It doesn’t mean that everything is going to work perfectly and that’s like what you said at the beginning. Like, when things go wrong, when things go off, if you’re still intentional about where this is all going then you’re going to be better equipped to respond to adversity to the things that go wrong. Is that really how you approached the emotional resilience aspect of it and how to deal with setbacks?
Kim Ades: (23:09) Well, I love the word intentionality. I mean that’s a huge part of it and it’s also really building a muscle of interpretation. So, things happen to you and the way you interpret those events will determine your measure of emotional resilience and so it’s catching yourself when you’re interpreting things in such a way that doesn’t serve you and saying, hold on, this is in my control! I am not a passive participant in my life and I don’t have to be!
Micky Deming: (23:39) That’s great! Do you think that this really comes down to, and I think journaling probably helps with this, that probably the missing piece for a lot of people I just that ability to pull themselves out of their mind, out of their life, and kind of look at it as an outsider? Like you were saying, like people are not moving forward. They are just kind of scrambling, like going scattered and in this routine that is going nowhere and I think that just happens because we’re just so “in it” every day and it’s like, really if you’re able to pull yourself out of your mind and look at it objectively, you can start to piece some of these things together.
Kim Ades: (24:19) Yes, and it’s about making choices, right? So when you can see what you’re doing and you can understand the relationship between your thinking, your actions, and your outcomes and you can say hold on a second, that’s not where I’m heading, that’s not what I really wanted. What I really wanted was this other thing. When you can start to become conscious about that, you can start to shift your focus and then your actions and move towards those things that you really want.
Micky Deming: (24:45) That makes perfect sense. I love it! So as we start to wrap this up, I think people will have a lot to think about as they hear this episode and I know there are so many people who are moving day-by-day and there is not a lot of intentionality, not a lot of purpose, or they feel just kind of stuck. I think this will help a ton. So to conclude, what is one thing that someone can do right now to start to get a better sense of who they are, where they’re at, and what they need to do to go forward?
Kim Ades: (25:18) Again, I mean I want to invite everybody to take an assessment. We have an assessment on our website. It’s called assess your frame of mind, but just taking stock of where you are right now is the best, best first thing for anybody to do to say, like, are things ok? Or am I kind of walking through my life with a blindfold on? And that action of assessing where you are allows you for a moment to take off the blindfold and say where do I want to go now?
Micky Deming: (25:49) That’s fantastic! This is great! This is really eye opening and extremely helpful. I really appreciate you being on, Kim. Where can everybody find out more about the great stuff you’re doing and do these assessments?
Kim Ades: (26:01) Frameofmindcoaching.com. On the website there is a ton of information. There’s blogs. There’s a free e-book. There’s the assessments, so go and do all of that and then I offered before to read anybody’s little journaling assignment that I gave you. Send it to me. It’s Kim@frameofmindcoashing.com.
Micky Deming: (26:20) Very cool! We will take you up on that and I will have all of the instructions on the website on how everyone can do that, so very cool and I appreciate you making that offer. Thanks so much for joining us and hope you have a great day!
Kim Ades: (26:31) Thank you! Thank you for the opportunity, it was great!
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About TREPX Podcast: TREPX Podcast provides insight, stories, and tips from entrepreneurs to help strengthen and grow your business. Starting in early 2015, host Micky Deming has interviewed dozens of founders, experts, business professionals and fellow podcasters to understand how they got to where they are now, and share their stories and expertise with others seeking to achieve their desired level of success.
Guests include Peter Shankman, Michael Port, Mike Michalowicz, Aaron Walker, Pam Slim, John Lee Dumas, and Jack Zerby. Discussed topics include marketing, mindset, customer service, business growth, social media, and much more. For audio to every episode, visit TrepXGroup.com/podcasts, or listen to the TREPX Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.