GAIN THE PASSION
GAIN THE PASSION
Nov. 19, 2021

Traci Harrell - It's All Bigger Than Me. Leadership Perspective From The Ultimate Optimist.

Traci Harrell - It's All Bigger Than Me. Leadership Perspective From The Ultimate Optimist.

Traci Harrell is a consultant, author, producer & radio show host, happiness coach, diversity & inclusion change agent, trainer and an explorer on our shared journey of life.

Traci is the youngest of a family of 5, raised in Florida, attended the University of Florida, and she has two Masters level degrees in Finance, Business and Project Management. She has over 25 years of diverse professional experience in Corporate America including work internationally (8 years at IBM, 14 years at the Walt Disney Company and 5 years at Microsoft). Traci loves nature, is an avid gardener, and she considers herself a bit of a “flower child”. She is an eternal optimist…a Fearless and Courageous Change Agent, focused on “Authentic Living”.

Follow Traci on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/traci.harrell.12
Visit Traci's Website
https://itsallbiggerthanme.com/
Learn more about Traci's I.G.N.I.T.E. Series
https://igniteyou.life/why/our-mission/
Listen to the It's Bigger Than Me Podcast
https://www.podcastone.com/its-bigger-than-me-with-traci-harrell
Subscribe to Traci's YouTube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzw7ArhLA7yqoCnicIe7rcwShow Transcript
https://www.successcoachingpodcast.com/traci-harrell-its-all-bigger-than-me-leadership-perspective-from-the-ultimate-optimist-part-1-of-2/#transcript

Find out more about GAIN THE PASSION Coaching
https://www.gainthepassion.com
Access past episodes and more of the GAIN THE PASSION Podcast
https://www.gainthepassionpodcast.com

Transcript
Voiceover:

Welcome to the SUCCESS Coaching Podcast. On today's episode, our guest Traci Harrell shares her own personal journey to success. Because success is a journey, not a destination. Here's the hosts of the SUCCESS Coaching Podcast, Todd Foster, Alyssa Stanley and Kelley Skar.

Alyssa Stanley:

Welcome to this SUCCESS Coaching Podcast. My name is Alyssa Stanley and I am here with Kelley Skar and Todd Foster my co hosts. And I'm so excited to bring you a woman that I met just recently in one of our SUCCESS Coaching challenges, Traci Harrell, you're gonna love her, you guys she is outwardly expressing she lives her best life and she 100% puts everything out in this world to make it a better place to tune in, put your earbuds in, you're not gonna want to miss this. Traci, thanks so much for taking the time with us today.

Traci Harrell:

The SUCCESS Coaching Podcast, let's do it!

Alyssa Stanley:

So why don't you start off to tell the audience what you you would like them to know, first off, then we'll start digging a little bit deeper. But who's Traci right now?

Traci Harrell:

So Traci is someone who has, I don't know people say this, and I'm gonna say it. And I really mean I'm living my best life. That means is if you ever heard that term, iki guy where they talk about a Japanese term. It's really about how do you live your best life. And when you find what you love to do, people see and you've heard this concept, but you love to do what you do well, where there's a need in the universe. And where you can get paid those four intersecting circles in life is really where you're living your best life. So I'm actually got three of the four circles Dahmen at 100%. So I'm doing what I love I'm doing I know for 100% confident with 100% confidence. I'm doing what I was meant to do what I was put on this earth to do. I do it well, people like me, I'm like Kabbalah and it's fun. And it's high energy. So. So I'm doing what I love to do, I'm doing what, where there's a need in the universe. And so part of what I do is helping people to live their best life, that's part of it. The other half is really focused on this concept of leadership in the area of diversity and inclusion. So helping people to live their best life and being optimized in that area to be the connected. But those are the two focus areas that I'm that I'm thriving in right now in the fourth circle, which I'm not thriving is is I haven't been a coach. So when I saw the call to coach, turn your coaching into a business with one of yours challenges. I'm like, I got been doing this for free, because I feel like I have some level of accountability to take the things I've learned in corporate America apply them to this social challenge that we're all trying to figure out. It's actually not as complex as you think. And so for me, it's like, Yes, I have a coach, and I'm doing some coaching now. And it's like, yes, the will I know for a fact the world meets what I what I offer, but I've been giving it away for free because I wanted so many people to have access. But the truth is, but you guys taught me as being a coach, especially being a certified coach, which I'm all in to this certification with success is really how you get people to invest in themselves to invest in a process to truly invest in change. So you guys are my people.

Todd Foster:

I have a question for you. So you are animated, you're active, you're energetic. You're passionate about certain things in life, that sort of young age or when did that actually kick into Tracy?

Traci Harrell:

Oh my God, I wish I could get up and go show you. First grade Traci, she's adorable. So I actually did a lot. I do live podcast as well called bigger than me. And on my last show, I actually showed a picture of first grade Traci, and I am an internationally best selling author who's contributed three books. And I'm telling you that because in the last book called Ignite possibilities, I introduced first grade Tracy, she was a flower child. absolutely confident, courageous, super happy love flowers and birds. I still do. But yes, I would have to say I was blessed with this kind of inner knowing. Again, I'm a business woman who's worked 25 years in corporate America, but someone told me when I was younger, that I was you know, divine, the child of the Divine, the creator of the universe. I'm like, how cool is that? If you have that type of inner knowing, it's kind of hard. What are you worried about? Like, where's there any any energy to not thrive? So I would say yes, I've been pretty blessed. Some people think I'm ridiculously optimistic. And I think that's my charm. So yes, I embrace that.

Todd Foster:

That's awesome. So you were 10 years old, or six years old in first grade, I guess or, or you could have been three years old with your education. It sounds like and so just for everyone to know that Traci has two master's degrees. She's done all sorts of things with corporate work. The thing I'd like to really touch on is your time at Disney because many people talk about Disney being this cultural icon right where they have people come in and they have standards which are really high and provides an experience that many people will pay lots and lots and lots of money to attend not just the theme park, yet also their Disney University, or Disney College, call it can you tell us a little bit about what your experience was with the Disney Corporation?

Traci Harrell:

I can. And let me just start by saying, I'm a Florida girl. So I was born in Florida, I went to school at the University of Florida, we I grew up relatively poor. So I never really went to Disney. I don't recall growing up going to Disney. But I knew of Disney and maybe I went once or something as as a young child, I just think I went for grad night. So in high school, something like that, but it was not accessible to me as a child. And so my first job out of college was with IBM, and I worked in New York and North Carolina, Mexico City, Rio, Brazil, then I came back to Florida and work in South Florida as well. So and then, my dad got sick in Florida. So that's when I moved back to Florida and started with Disney. And that was kind of a dream job. And it was it was a family issue where I left living on the beach and Rio, I heard my father had colon cancer. And I thought, well, clearly I need to be closer to home. So I moved to Disney, and I moved back to Florida. And I went to the conference called the National Black MBA Association Conference, and got a job within I don't know, it was probably there for a couple of weeks, like it was a divine connection. And so I started with Disney and finance, which is the original degree my undergraduate degree. And Disney is not a Mickey Mouse operation. Let me just say that they are it's all about data and technology. And at IBM, when I joined, you know, my first corporate job. It was a 92. And they were moving from Big Blue, to a whole new shade of blue is what they called it. And so my brain was being tuned from this mat, you know, this, this this top five, you know, organization on the s&p 500, to an organization who is now focused on solutioning. And partnering and conducting. So my first job and my brain was kind of wired around solutions and collaboration and connectivity. So I brought that into Disney as if they needed that, right? Because Disney had this level of passion around customer service. So if you combine that Disney Experience of solutioning, optimizing, working together partnering with the Disney Magic, it is all about the magic, right? It's all about, you know, how do you Disney was about the term I would use to summarize Disney was surprise and delight. If you had expectations about what your Disney experience was going to be, they want it to surprise you and delight you and exceed your expectations, which is all about kind of how my mentality is as well. So My Disney Experience was amazing. I can stop talking until you tell you more. But it was amazing.

Todd Foster:

You were very happy at Disney, you enjoyed what you're doing yet, then it looks like you're offered other opportunities. So what was the experience? Like because you love Disney loved experiences? Was that a tough choice or a tough decision to say, hey, you know what? I'm leaving? Why? No, I've done this for what five or so years

Traci Harrell:

14. So let me be clear. I was at Disney for at IBM for eight years, at Disney for 14. So I had a number of different roles at Disney again, not a Mickey Mouse operation very corporate in nature. So I started in finance, forecast and planning team then I was part of a special project, which we designed a new forecast and planning system for the entire Disney enterprise. So there was a three person team there was one person in charge of the parks, one person in charge of the resorts, and little Traci was in charge of everything else. So marketing operations, you know, sports, etc. Because my brain like was able to connect all this information. We had to understand the businesses and create a financial system that would work for parks resorts and everything else. And amazing opportunity, very technology oriented, but also very much about listening. You guys talk a lot about active listening as a coach. And so that worked for me as a coach. Everything I did was I felt like I was a coach every day at Disney. Right. So I also was a leader of leaders. After that role, I worked in marketing technology sales strategy, I met the Sumur, one of the travel industry marketing teams, within a call center that I was part of their consumer insights or the research team. That was the last role I had and when they were doing the super secret, some super secret projects like the Disney band related to all the technology getting Disney is a high technology, amazing company focused on exceeding expectations but also being leading edge and technology and processing. Really that idea of coaching. It's always been key to the work that made me successful. So I think I'm a coach and you know, my core and I left Disney after 14 years. And there was an opportunity at Microsoft once again through the National Black MBA. Association Conference, which happened to be in Houston that that year, and I was visiting a friend for her wedding. And so I wasn't looking for a job. But it was like, you know, just Microsoft I could, I could explore an opportunity with Microsoft, and so met the most amazing gentlemen. Fred Jordan was his name. And there was an immediate connection. And what I loved about it is he offered to coach me, I was like the, you know, the leader of leaders. I was president at Disney, which at the time, was the largest single source, single site, employer in the nation. And I was president of their diversity resource group called Pulse P UL s. E, people united to lead serve in Excel. So I was leading things like I was I was a leader, and this guy actually said he would coach me, he said, I want to he wanted to be my Sherpa. Who doesn't want to serve by that's the term I use now, when I'm helping people. So I've been coaching people and leading people. And now I had someone who said, I would coach you. Honestly, that was my job. Full disclosure. When you said coach, good coaches need coaches. I knew that, but I wasn't getting coached at Disney. Not that there was anything wrong with that, because people were looking to me to be the coach. Great. But I needed to be coached. And there were a lot of project managers and project management roles at Disney. So I thought, This sounds like a stretch opportunity for me, like maybe someone could pour into me. And so I really went following this cool dude, Fred Jordan, who said, I'll be your Sherpa. And I moved from Florida, which is the furthest south east corner of the US to Seattle, which is the furthest northwest corner of the US. And it was it's been an it was an amazing experience as well. But it wasn't a leap. It wasn't I wasn't afraid. After the first interview, I called my honeymoon said, hey, when I get a job at Disney, at Microsoft, or you come with me to Seattle, it's it's ideal. Had no question that I was going to get the job. It was just perfect timing. And it wasn't a question because I needed to be coached. But I knew I was also a resource to help coach up.

Kelley Skar:

Was it you wanting to focus on leadership, then moving moving forward into your your current role. Is it based on on your, you know, past experiences in leading, you know, organizations? Or do you feel like there's a need for a, like a rebranding of source in terms of leadership in North America specifically, both is and I guess, is that what your focus is? Is that what you're is that where you're trying to accomplish?

Traci Harrell:

Yes, I'm gonna say both. And yes, and both of those answers are correct. So because I had cumulatively, I have now 20, over 25 years of experience in corporate America, eight years at IBM, 14 years at Disney five years at Microsoft, I won't do like a spoiler alert. But what I wrote about when I left Microsoft, what I wrote about was, that'll be we'll talk about that. And, Tracy, podcast number two, we'll go into some details on that. But to stay focused on your question, I had amazing leaders that were that poured into me and I got to pour into others and into other communities. I mentioned the National Black MBA Association twice. And I mentioned it because I'm currently the president of the National Black M V, A Association, I say MBA for Masters in Business Administration, not NBA because I don't have a hoop game. But my brain is my best asset. And I say that because there's 42 chapters around the country. I'm president of the Seattle chapter, the Seattle Tacoma Portland chapter, basically, we have a pretty broad reach. And as a leader of that organization, there was some some energy that I was expending being also part of, in Microsoft, part of the blacks at Microsoft leadership team. These are volunteer job roles, part of the women and operations leadership team volunteer role, again, leader of leaders, and then being president of the National Black MBA Association. And so Microsoft had amazing leaders has amazing leaders, again, one of some of my dearest friends are still there. But my level of responsibility and my obligation as a leader in both roles, right, was that, oh, boy, there's work that needs to still happen internally as it relates to equity and inclusion. My leadership team was all in. I started doing some additional training as president of the National Black MBA as part of the blacks at Microsoft leadership team, as the black woman in America trying to do the right thing, right, whatever you want to call it, right? As a coach, by trade, realizing that I could make a difference. So my coaching and my leadership was called, internally what's called the adaptive leadership, Equity and Inclusion Initiative. And it was like, Hey, we're saying all these great things, but the lived experience for some people, right? It's not aligned with what we're saying, but we can get there. Here's how we can do it. You know, I'm all positive you don't care. You know? People loved it, because it was the right thing to do when when when the truth speaks to your hearts. Anything is possible like when you take the next right action, so I was in a place to coach and to lead into train as a leader because to your point, there needs to be a different conversation around leadership. And adaptive leadership is about systems change. So it wasn't about what any one person was doing, it was about the system that we were all a part of. So we're all part of a system that we want to change, we have to first acknowledge that we're complicit in the process, right, good, bad and ugly, which means we're also complicit and able to drive change in the process. So that was the work I was doing within the organization. And it was because I'm a natural leader, a natural coach. But people also wanted to change, they wanted the work to happen. And they were saying all the right things. And my goal was to as a leader, I think you guys talked about accountability. You can't say one thing and let the lived experience or your actions to not align with that, like, physically, I couldn't, that was not an option for me. And so as a recruiter of people into the National Black, enter, through the National Black MBA Association, into Microsoft, I had a personal responsibility when people would share experiences to help make things better. And again, because all parties were complicit, they were also all involved. And so I was being successful, to a certain extent up to a certain point, actually able to make change. So that's what really got me excited and kept me excited for a while.

Kelley Skar:

What is so based on your experience, and what you've seen, what what do you see is one of the, the the biggest mistakes that leaders make today.

Traci Harrell:

So as relates to leadership, I would say especially now, we have to acknowledge where we are. And you all said this in the coaching sessions as well, being really clear about where we are. So we're in the middle of a pandemic. So acknowledging that people's lives have been disrupted, some more than others. And so it's trying to continue things as they were in the middle of a pandemic, is problem number one. So kind of acknowledging that you can't just move forward through current state. Number two is really acknowledging and being more aware that Zoom calls, right, when we do these communities, Zoom calls, I think they're amazing. But one of you all said on your coaching in our coaching session today, I like to see people face to face and I also like to connect with people one on one, so making sure that they take the time to also connect with individuals, one on one, oftentimes, people are not willing to say, you know, Xoom call is probably being recorded, but 20 people on the call for your team, what they're really thinking. So I think there's been a lot of disconnection, a lot of lack of connectivity, you know, with with people that you are responsible for supporting, right. And I think the other thing is looking beyond yourself. So my, my company is called, it's all bigger than me consulting. When I first left Microsoft, I started it's all bigger than me ministry, because it was like a ministry of the mind. I'm like, Guys, we can, like we can change things. And so bigger than me is the name of my podcast, bigger than me with Tracy Herrera. So really, I think a big problem is people not realizing that, that it's bigger than them. Like, it's not just about you, as an individual. You know, putting out that one widget, that might be your thing in business. I think as an organization, you're part of a system and you're part of a structures, I think, looking at the work that you do in a more systemic way, realizing that you're part of the solution, and being able to think bigger than themselves would be item number three.

Voiceover:

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Todd Foster:

It sounds like I need a flowchart for everything. I mean, I'm a visual guy. 14 spreadsheets. Yeah, so you will find out keep track of this. So you have a lot of success, your life and you're definitely happy and you love life. And I'm assuming you've had some failures at some point, too. Yes. Could you share with one of those failures that you had that you actually learned more from failing than you did from succeeding?

Traci Harrell:

I can't, and I can't wait for session number two, because I'm gonna have my books, which I normally keep right here. But like I said, I took them to the podcast this past Sunday, I haven't brought about so I was fired from Microsoft, people will consider getting fired a failure. It was the happiest day of my life. I wrote about it in the book called Ignite happiness. And what was so cool about that is I wrote what I wrote in the book, just to two minutes summary is that when I was younger, I learned about like this value by values, right? And there was this whole bigger than me concept in my head all along. Like, you know, I knew that I was meant to do something great in this world. I knew at some point in my life, I'd be in this iki guy moment where I was doing what I loved doing were, you know, doing work that was needed in the world and where I could get paid to do it. And so fast forward to the day I got fired. It was the day after had just done this amazing adaptive leadership Equity and Inclusion session where people from around the company was saying, oh, you should be doing this for a living. That was amazing. I'm like, I know. Like, thank you that I know that I was great, but I know this for a living. But I really liked the comfort of having my check arrived in my bank account. Every week, every bi weekly like there was something coming when you're poor. The last thing You want it to be poor again? Right? And so I've been successful, thank God, there's some divine intervention. I was did well in school without trying too hard. I'm thankful for that. I did well, at IBM, I did well at Disney, I was doing well at Microsoft, I did submit a, what do you call accommodations request? So it was more like I was willing to put my well being on the line for my people for the process. So if you say one thing, and that means we actually have to do this thing, or, you know, where's the fun in? Like, where's the? Where's the? Where's the fun in it? Right? So my show, so for me, it was like fighting a corporate bully. And I only use that terminology, not that Microsoft was bad. No, Microsoft was a wonderful leaders are amazing. But it's the system that we're all dealing with no matter what company it is, you can be as great and have as many awesome leaders. If you're not willing to go deeper at a systemic level and say, what are the elements that are? What are the what are the challenges that might be that I might be complicit with? Or in this process, what can we do to drive changes. So for me, I wrote about the first time I protected a girl that was about to be bullied on the bus, and I've been bullied for years. But you know, but when someone was gonna bully, this other girl who was new, I didn't even know her name. But I was just like, you know, enough is enough. And I described in that story, how I got off the bus. So I can't remember the details of it. But I got beat up. But as I was getting ready for I was feeling super good about myself because the value was in standing up for what was right. And so as I got fired from Microsoft, halfway through the session, right, halfway through my firing session, as I said, all I remember from the fight was this girl hitting me in the face. And my mouth filled with like blood, it was like this warm blood that filled my mouth. And I looked down, and I guess I had on a white shirt or light shirt, and it was blood on my shirt. But I remember my mouth feeling filling with, you know, something liquid, right? Tears, probably. There's a lot going on in that moment. So when I was when I was getting fired at Microsoft, halfway through the session, I literally heard this divine voice say it's bigger than you. And I was like, Thank you literally smiled to the second half of getting fired. I literally hug one of the ladies on my way out. I was like, oh my god, I said, we didn't want to happen. I said, You I said, Do you believe in divine intervention? And she said, Yes. And I was like, this is that moment for me. Like, I just remember, this is bigger than

Alyssa Stanley:

Compound component of what you've talked me. about with being a good leader and a strong leader is you never ask your people to do anything you're not willing to do exactly. And Tracy, you know, like, I believe in divine intervention. But girl, you have worked your tail off, you have done everything from the bottom up, that as a leader, you would ask your people to do can't do it any other way. And that has to have contributed to your strength as a leader.

Traci Harrell:

In some in some areas don't get too excited, because in some areas, yes. Like this was a no brainer for me like this was like, I'm president of the National Black MBA Association, Seattle chapter, which is part of recruiting in the year before that, I did this, like major push on Microsoft was represented at the National Conference with this amazing leader, the senior black female leader was there and we had all these booths and all these sessions. And it was amazing. And it was great the year prior. But again, that was my internal energy saying, Guys, if we say this, then we should be a part of this thing. And they were and it was great. Again, let me be clear, Microsoft is an amazing company. If anyone is going to be able to be a part of the solution. It's going to be Microsoft. So the leader who fired me, I actually who was actually the one who hired me, I've actually reached out to him. And he's like, Tracy, with the work I'm doing. I'm like, I'm all in. He's like, I'm all in. I said, Are you sure you're all in India? He's like, I'm all in. All in. So when I say these are leaders and people who recognize that, again, the best thing they could have done is fire me, because I wasn't I couldn't. Oh, so the key part. So what even though they were giving me space to do this training at a, like operations team was giving me space to do this training, adaptive leadership, equity and inclusion initiative, that the new person that came in from DNI, she was from IBM. She had worked at IBM for 30 years. So I know the IBM culture again, I was in the new, you know, phase of IBM becoming, you know, but if you've been in for 35 years, and you knew big blue when Big Blue was big blue, right? So you knew that space, and there's something about that energy. And so amazing lady, Lindsey Ray, I think her day was so amazing. We had some amazing conversations, but new so everyone's on a journey. They're just at a different point in her in their journeys. And so when Lindsey Ray came into Microsoft from Disney after being there for 35 years what she said to me lovingly and I'm so thankful for you, Lindsay right and why Milan LA is, you know, I she said, I'm Tracy I'm sure there's some pockets of Microsoft that are ready for what you're doing this bigger than me this this adaptive leadership stuff. I've only heard good things, but we're going back to the basics now. Back to the Basics means we're ready to actually to, to the things that we're saying, basically, we need to go back to the basics. So I can, you know, we thank you, that was the best thing she could have said and done for me. And so we lovingly, lovingly, and she said all the right things, like I said, everyone's at a different place. I was just at a place in my personal life where I needed to see change at a much, much more rapid space and a rapid, you know, pace. And I even had leaders come to me say, you know, what's the worst thing when you tell someone who's so smart? And you know, that, you know, we're a big organization, you know, it moves like the tech, like the Titanic, but like a, you know, like a tanker, right? You're not making any fast. You're not, you know, diving in between. It's a tanker type move. And so, you know, it's the worst thing for us. And I heard all the words, but nothing was slowing me down. As you can see, I got a little energy on this topic. Nothing was slowing me down. And I really couldn't hear it like I needed to be fired. So people consider firing a failure. It was the happiest day of my life, best day of my life. Because I went into, then I had to go into this work around how can I make the world a better place, like grateful for what I had, I had also saved money in my 401k. I've now cashed in my 401k. And I'm officially deficient when it comes to financial, which is why I say that that's the part of my life that I'm amplifying now. But I'm here to invest in myself, I need to invest in my community. So I came out starting this podcast, which was called bigger than me, the bigger bigger than me, right? And so that work was huge. It was the failure turned into a triumph, because it was like, I had to fight that corporate bully Did I did I went no, as I sat down, I say, as I sat there with the tears running down my face. I was like, I was just like, I didn't win the battle, when I first thought my first believe my first fight. I didn't win the battle. But I definitely won the war, right. Because inside, I knew that I had done the right thing, right. And the same thing happened. As I was leaving Microsoft, it was like, Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, for all I've learned. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, for all the amazing people that are here. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being honest, that you weren't ready to do this work at the level in the speed that I was moving. Thank you for cutting me free, basically. So I could go do some other things. And so thank you, and thank you, thank you failure, you know, being fired could be a failure, but it was the happiest day of my life. And it allowed me to create content that was really for others. So I was been coaching to the universe on a podcast.

Kelley Skar:

It really doesn't, it really doesn't sound like a failure turrisi at all, like you. So I think, and I think the reason why it doesn't sound like a failures is a couple of different things. First off, people are not as blessed as you to be able to have that perspective in the middle of a meeting where they're being let go from a company, right? They don't typically gain that perspective, if they ever gain that perspective, until, you know, days later, weeks later, months later, right? I you know, I've been fired from jobs. And it took me years to realize that, you know, the guy that fired me from, you know, the shop position actually did me a favor. And the funny thing is my brother actually is now working for that guy. And I told my brother, hey, go thank that guy for it. The next time you're talking to him, tell him he did me a favor, thank him for me, right? So years later, so you have this perspective. So that I guess that's probably why it doesn't sound like a failure. So I don't really, I don't know that I fully accept your explanation that being fired from fires for Microsoft is a true failure for you, just because of the perspective that you had the blessed perspective that you had in middle of that meeting. Second, second to that secondary to that is, you know, you also had the foresight to really know exactly, maybe not exactly what you wanted to do, but you knew exactly where your strengths were. Right. And you knew that doubling down on your strengths, we're going to, you know, as Gary, Gary Vaynerchuk, has said, this, you know, part of self awareness is, is understanding what your weaknesses aren't doubling down on your strengths. Right. And so this is, you know, you're very self aware individual, you have this ability to be able to, you know, take, you know, drain your 401k, double down on your strengths and push forward. So, I'm gonna, I'm going to push back just a little bit and say, this probably wasn't a big failure for Tracy that you absolutely, you had this divine in front intervention or perspective, whatever you want to call it. And then the self awareness and ability to double down on on what it is that a truly makes you happy and be, you know, the impact that you can have on the world. So congratulations to you.

Traci Harrell:

Thank you. And let me tell you, thank you. It's good to I think you almost have to claim the failure. I'm using the word failure because being fired isn't fun, right? And I wanted to make sure people knew that being fired is not the end of the world. It could be the happiest day of your life if you allow it to be and so I gotta say it and put it out there because I think people need to know that it's possible and like I said in the meeting, like I said, divine intervention, as the tears filled my mouth. Literally, I reflected back to the first time I was fighting a bully and those My mouth was filled with blood and it was it was was so surreal. I just blacked out for a minute, I think I don't think I even heard what they were saying at what part of so I just like stuff that like, thank you. Like, Wow, is this really my life? Right? They're like, yay. And so I sat there and just kind of wiped my tears and was like, all right now what's the next part? Called a friend of mine, I called two ladies who will testify that I called him I said, Oh my god, ladies, you gotta go out with Let's meet. Let's meet at there's a place called Blue bistro hits on the water, you get this beautiful view of Bellevue from the Seattle side. So it's gorgeous. So let's go meet for lunch. I had no idea. But I'm, I'm in celebration mode at this point, right? I'm like, Let's go meet for lunch. You have to get this lady one of the ladies. Her name is Kim Kim. She's a white lady. The other lady was a black lady. They both worked at Boeing. And, um, and, and when I said, you know, I was like, hey, so today is like I said, Remember how I talked about I wanted to do some, you know, coaching and I wanted to do this work full time. Well, guess what, today I got the full purpose approval to do that. I was like, I got laid off from Microsoft. And so now I get to bla bla, bla, bla, bla, bla, whatever those things are. And they're looking at me like she having a breakdown. I didn't know this until later, they were smiling. They're very supportive. But they told me like months later, they were like, we weren't quite sure if you were going to have a breakdown later, you were very positive in the moment, but they weren't really sure what was happening. And I was like, Thank you for supporting me, I didn't know that there was any doubt on their part. But yeah, it was pretty exciting. And then failure was just just just to clarify real quick, the failure part, I only use that I have to use that word, because I did invest in myself for X number of years. In October, I couldn't pay my rent. Like I just started coaching for dollars this month, like I just got those dollars. And so I'm not gonna call it a failure per se, but financially to go from the My biggest fear, which I talked about in book number one, I think it was, was, you know, being homeless, well, not being able to pay your rent is freaking homeless, right. So, to me five minutes from being homeless is a problem, clearly, and I wasn't ready to like make that switch, if that makes sense. I was on unemployment for a while the unemployment stopped early was supposed to go through November, it stopped in September, I was you know, living paycheck to paycheck, I live in unemployment, check the unemployment check for a while, and, and I was doing work for free for everyone because I wanted to change the world for free. And what I realize is that November timeline, just timeline, I was working toward November, it ended early, but I was able to get the check starting in November, like I thought was gonna be the plan. And so I'm not, you know, I'm not homeless now. But it was it was, you know, clearly facing my last fear, which getting fired was pretty high on the list, because I never really fit in, right, like, I'm always darker color louder. smarter, honestly, in a lot of cases. But that's a whole nother story. So you don't actually fit in, there's always this back of your mind, fear that you might get, you know, you might not fit in, you know, I mean, the whole point of human existence is being in tribes together and being on a team etc. So, you know, being not fitting in was kind of a challenge, always in the back of my mind, but also being comfortable being as authentic as I can, while also fitting in there was always that for me, so I got to face my fear of not fitting in and getting fired, it was like, Okay, those aren't your people anymore, but you can find your people. So, which is why when I say I sat in a class with you all just a few days ago, it was like, these are some more of my people I fit here, you don't have to fit everywhere, but I fit with people who are high integrity, will hold me accountable for me doing the right thing and help and help to elevate my game. So financially, again, that's the area of my life that I'm focused on right now. But this is gonna be a million dollar year. For me, I'm like, already, I've already seen that too. So I'm not concerned about and I'm gonna still be able to do tons of stuff for free. And to create this bigger movement, a messaging around what it takes to truly be inclusive. It's really not as complex as I think a lot of people make it.

Alyssa Stanley:

So I'm gonna counter Kelley here for a second, where he said that this might not be a failure, coming for you, Kelley. So I firmly believe that failure is a choice things that happen to you might be out of your control, but failure is a choice. So when you were sitting in that boardroom and you got fired, you had five seconds, five minutes, 10 minutes in your heart where you might have felt failure, but then you decided to make a choice or divine intervention or whatnot, to transfer that from failure to opportunity. So whether or not you failed for three years, or whether or not you failed for 10 minutes, failure is a choice. So I think I think that could be considered a failure. She just didn't fail for very long.

Traci Harrell:

I like her. I'm down with I like that. You comfortable Kelley with tha compromise?

Kelley Skar:

Yeah, you know w at, I think we're actually sayi g the same thing. If I I'm hon st, I mean, it's you know, it' this is all perspective, ri ht? I mean, you can, you can ither choose whether you're fail ng in that moment or choose w ether there's opportunity i that moment. So, you know, it's it's, it all matters in the cho ce in which which road you dec de to take, like, as an examp e, my brother who got hired by t e guy that fired me like yea s and years and years ag , was actually fired by, you k ow, a fairly large constructi n guy like there, finning is th name of the company, he's a mec anic, and, and so he was like, o buy them, and he, he's still eally upset. You know, I can jus tell by talking to him and seei g the Facebook posts and stuf , but he's sitting in that, ight, he's sitting in that yet h also got hired on by this c mpany that I was employed by, an he's making like seven or $8 extra per hour, right? And it's like, hold on a second, like, w y are you sitting in all of thi self loathing in this this ne ative environment? Why aren t you embracing what's, you kno , the true positivity, that' this happened to you here in th last couple of weeks, you kno , you got a big buyout fro that company, you're now wo king, making $8 more per hou , you know, than you were b fore. Like, there's so many pos tives to but he chose to go neg tive, you know, unfortunately, and I think it ultimately it comes down to a matter of perspe tive. And so I hope for him t at he gains that that same persp ctive that you found within, you know, halfway through your me ting, hopefully, it doesn't ta e him as long as it took me t gain that perspective, you k ow, a couple of years or whatno . But yeah, I think this I think we're kind of saying the same hing. Todd, why don't you jump i here and be our modera

Todd Foster:

I agree with both f you. I think all three of you re corre

Kelley Skar:

And there you go.

Alyssa Stanley:

I'm not coming for you, Kelley. Be a littl intimidating

Kelley Skar:

Alright, well, why don't we hold that thought, guys? You know, I think we've had an amazing conversation. So far. This has been, you know, probably one of the funnest, Todd, you nailed it earlier on that saying that this is probably going to be the funnest show that we've shot outside of the Ben Fairfield show. I mean, I think this is actually funner than Ben Fairfield I think t at's exactly what you said. B t anyways, let's let's leave i right there. Let's jump into yo know, the bad days and the chi dhood and all that kind of stuf . Let's do that on part two of he Traci Harrell interview. How oes that sound?

Traci Harrell:

Thank you for having me. I'm so excited.

Voiceover:

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