220 MINISODE – Paula Shaw: Change It Up

Paula Shaw is a life transition expert helping people navigate the crosscurrents and challenges of change. Often synonymous with personal and business growth, change nonetheless brings with it growing pains. Paula shares how the best way to cope with the entrepreneurial ups and downs is by learning to put yourself first, create space for solitude and not allow yourself to be blown off course by others’ agendas.

Melinda Wittstock:         Paula, welcome to Wings.

Paula Shaw:                      Thank you so much, Melinda. I’m delighted to be here with you.

Melinda Wittstock:         I am so excited to find out what’s inspiring you right now.

Paula Shaw:                      Wow. That’s a really great question. I think probably what’s inspiring me right now is I’m doing a new radio show. The new show is called Change It Up with Paula Shaw. And what I am loving … You know, in the beginning, and you did my very first episode with me, which-

Melinda Wittstock:         I know. I loved it. It was so much fun. It was awesome.

Paula Shaw:                      And the pictures of us in the studio are going to be on my new website too.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yay.

Paula Shaw:                      I’m excited about that. But you know when you’re creating something new, you think it’s going to take one form, and then it kind of decides of its own accord that it’s going to look a little bit different. So in the beginning, I was really thinking it was about creating a new kind of conversation between man and woman. What I’ve gotten to realize is that the title Change It Up, is really kind of perfect for me spotlighting people who are changing the world by changing it up. So, for example, last week on my shows, I do a Saturday evening and Sunday evening at 7:00 here in San Diego, and then of course we podcast it, so people can hear it all over the world.

But one show was a wonderful woman who I should turn you onto. She’d be wonderful for this show. Her name is Bianca Morales-Egan, and she works with CPI Global, which are doing amazing … or PCI. I think I said that wrong. PCI. Anyway, her particular area is working on ending human sex trafficking. I have to tell you when I learned the truth about that, the age of children who are being enslaved and the threats they live with and the horrible things, I couldn’t wait to have her on my show, and I think it’s a powerful show.

Then the very next day, I had Vivian Glyck who is the founder of Just Like My Child, which is a wonderful nonprofit organization that is changing the lives of young girls in Uganda. So between those two people, it was like so fulfilling for me and inspiring to be able to give them a platform. And so, what hit me was what I really want to do with this new show is give a platform and a voice to people who need one but don’t necessarily have one. So, that’s my long answer to your question of what’s inspiring me right now.

Melinda Wittstock:         I love that. I love that because in affirming and acclaiming women and men, who are really walking their talk on solving some of the world’s most intractable problems. You’re inspiring other people to do the same. There’s a nice amplifier effect to all of that. So you’re inspiring me.

Paula Shaw:                      I love that. Yay. You know what’s so wonderful is, people who are doing nonprofits are motivated by their passion, their inspiration and their love for other people. They’re not motivated by dollars, we know, because most of them are just barely getting by. So whatever those of us who have a platform can do to help get the word out there, because I think a lot of people want to help other people, but they don’t know how. They’re not aware of what’s out there and where help is needed. If we can increase that awareness, that kind of makes it really worth getting up in the morning. Don’t you think?

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh it does. It absolutely does. So while you’re doing all this inspiring, Paula, what’s challenging you right now? We all have something.

Paula Shaw:                      Yes, we do, and I would say my challenges are really in the same arena. Again, it’s with this radio show, because it’s not … Things don’t behave the way we think they’re going to or the way we want them to. And so, it’s always a challenge to have the sponsorship, to take care of all the costs and all of that. It’s always a challenge to find the right guests that are in alignment with what you’re trying to do. I think that it’s kind of birthing and then raising the child, right? It never goes smoothly. It’s never perfect. And truly, it’s like, it reminds me of that old line I read one time. “You want to make God laugh? Tell Him your plans.”

Melinda Wittstock:         Right. Yeah, that’s been one that’s been a fun one for me to learn over the years. Whenever I let my ego or whatever get in the way, and I don’t mean ego in the sense of like, “Wow, look at me, look at me.” I mean, in terms of that, some overthinking things. I think letting the left brain take too much control and trying to wrestle the specifics of the how … Excuse me. I lost my voice. To wrestle the specifics of the how. And then, that’s always where it starts to … Just things don’t work. They’re not in flow. It’s just much harder. So yeah, that’s a real work-in-progress. And-

Paula Shaw:                      That’s a good way to put it, Melinda, because just this morning, in the spiritual meeting — I attend the meditation — the leader was saying, “Somebody said to me once, ‘Why don’t you pray and ask God what God wants for you?'” Her response was, “Yeah, but what if it’s not the same thing that I want?” I could still relate to that. The person said to her, “That’s the point.”

Melinda Wittstock:         That’s very funny. It’s getting a good argument with God.

Paula Shaw:                      I’ve been there many a time. I don’t know about you.

Melinda Wittstock:         I think we all have … Universe has other plans, you know?

Paula Shaw:                      Yes.

Melinda Wittstock:         So what are your top three go-to pieces of advice for women in business and women entrepreneurs?

Paula Shaw:                      Oh wow. Okay. I think number one has got to be, take care of yourself. I talk to clients about this all the time too. I use the analogy that we’re all familiar with, you know, that they tell you on the airplane every time you get on — put the oxygen mask over your own face before you try to put it on someone else. We run ourselves dry. We run ourselves ragged with all the things we have to do, and I think, sometimes, we come last. It’s like our roots are showing and we don’t have time to color our hair. I’ve been there recently.

Paula Shaw:                      I can’t remember the last time I had a massage. So, I’m really trying to get on my own case to do this, too, to say, “It’s okay.” In fact, it’s not just okay. It’s imperative that we take care of ourselves. I think … I’m sorry. Did you want to comment about that before I go to number two?

Melinda Wittstock:         Well no. I was just going to say, “Yes.” This is so true, because often, as entrepreneurs, we’re so motivated by the end result. Especially as women, we’re so selfless in that, that sometimes we put ourselves last. We end up sacrificing ourselves to get this result. In the end, you’re not well and the company’s not well either. So, I mean, a really good piece of advice. What would be your second and third to build on that?

Paula Shaw:                      Well just one piece I want to add to number one. A dear friend recently told me something that I thought was a great line I want to share, and that line is, “Your inbox will always be full.” So, at some point, you just have to say, “Can’t do it all today.” I think maybe my second point then would be, get rest, and if you are a meditator or a prayer, get that alone, quiet time where you just go inside and listen, because in my mind that’s where my most creative ideas come from. That’s where the problems get solved. I’ve been a meditator since I was 21, and I really think it’s the main reason that I still have some semblance of sanity, because life is crazy, right?

Paula Shaw:                      And especially, for those of us who decided long ago that we weren’t going to work for the company store. And so, I think without that quiet time, without going inside, we end up more like that little sapling that’s blowing around with the wind, rather than a strong oak that stands tall no matter what’s happening. So, I’m very big on that, and that includes plenty of sleep. Sleep, quiet time.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah. Sleep is vital, absolutely vital. And so, what are some of the other things? Perhaps that you wish … advice you wish you had, perhaps when you were starting out or along your … Sorry. I’m just going to say that again. So Paula, let’s move on to two and three. Perhaps these are pieces of advice that you wish you had earlier in your career.

In terms of career, one of the great things a coach once said to me is, “Make your to-do list usually the night before, so that you already know where your day’s headed the next day. And then, prioritize it in terms of what is going to bring income first,” because it’s so easy to get caught up in how many things there are to do. We may not be doing the things that are really going to create income first. So I think that’s really powerful. Along with that, prioritize time to do those things that are most important. You know, when you’re not looking at your email, when you’re not checking your text messages.

Really carve that time out that’s just going to focus you on that one thing. I think that’s really powerful. Then the third thing, I think, that it took me years to get any good at it all, Melinda, and that was, tell your truth. In every situation, I have never been as amazed as I am at the power of words, both the words spoken and the words unspoken. In my practice, counseling people through life’s transitions, I see this all the time. Sometimes, there’s so much hurt and resentment and anger and all these feelings that have been stored up because of words that were said, and sometimes, you see the exact same thing because of words that were not said.

Paula Shaw:                      So, in my own life, I try to say what I feel as honestly and as clearly as I can. I’m not always great at it because as a child, I wasn’t encouraged like children are much more so today, to speak my feelings. Now, it was more like, “If you can’t be pleasant, go to your room so you can come out with a smile on your face.” So, I have to admit that oftentimes, when I’m not in a good place, I send myself to my room. Then I don’t call anybody when I should. When I actually need help, I wait until I’ve kind of worked through it. But fortunately, for me, since I have that interior practice of meditation, very often, when I’ve sent myself to my room, I do meditate and I do come out in a better place.

But there’s nothing wrong with speaking your truth and maybe going to solution much more quickly, especially in relationships with people. You work with people. You live with people you love. The more quickly … As long as there’s not the heat of the moment that’s going to distort what you really want to say. I think just to communicate with kindness and with consideration as quickly and honestly as you can, I think that’s a great rule for all parts of life.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh gosh. You’re so right. And so, Paula, how can people find you and work with you?

Paula Shaw:                      Well probably the easiest way to find me is at my website, paulashaw.com, or on my radio website, which is, changeitupradio.com. I do have a phone number too. Shall I give that?

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh sure, absolutely.

Paula Shaw:                      Okay. It’s 626-864-0756.

Melinda Wittstock:         That’s awesome. And Paula, we’ll make sure that all of that is in the show notes, so people can easily … If they weren’t standing there with a pen, they’re driving, listening to the podcast, whatever. They’ll be-

Paula Shaw:                      Yeah, nobody ever is.

Melinda Wittstock:         They’ll be able to get that. Thank you so much for putting on your wings and flying with us today.

Paula Shaw:                      Oh my pleasure, Melinda, always.

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