Episode 232 – Unstoppable CHIEF Coach with Paige Lewis

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This time we get to hear from Paige Lewis, a clearly unstoppable leader and executive coach. Paige grew up in the Phoenix area until she went to college at the University of Texas where she learned about advertising and business. After college she spent a year in Japan selling products for Estee Lauder after which she returned to the U.S. Through an introduction from a friend she secured a position at Disney in Home Entertainment. Later she moved to DreamWorks and then to Universal where again she specialized in Home Entertainment. At Universal she rose to the position of Senior Vice President.
Paige thought she had reached the “pinnacle of her career”, but over a short time she became seriously ill and was hospitalized for a week. As she describes that time now, she experienced serious burnout. She quit her position at Universal and began an analysis of her life which lead her to realize that she truly enjoyed mentoring people. She became a certified coach and has spent the past six years with her own business coaching and helping mainly senior level women to not “make the same mistakes she made”.
I think you are going to hear some good observations from Paige. She has wonderful life advice we all can use. I hope very much you enjoy what she has to say.
About the Guest:
Paige Lewis is a leadership coach who spent over two decades as a highly regarded leader in marketing, building some of the world’s most iconic entertainment brands for Disney, DreamWorks and Universal Pictures.  After being promoted to Senior Vice President of Marketing at Universal Pictures, Paige had reached what she thought was the pinnacle of her career.  But she ended up in the hospital with a deadly infection brought on by extreme burnout. 
Soon after, she left the corporate world to heal her body and figure out why she had reached a breaking point without realizing what was happening along the way. She has turned her experience into her mission: turning executive burnout into career success. With a unique ability to transform complex challenges into actionable insights and the real-world business experience as a former executive, Paige is a trusted guide for leaders seeking to excel without compromising well-being. She is dedicated to helping organizations and people realize their greatest purpose and impact without sacrificing their productivity, health, values and most meaningful relationships.  
Paige is one of the elite Founding Los Angeles coaches at CHIEF, a network recognized by Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list, created to drive more women into positions of power and keep them there. She has coached over 200 individuals and groups across Fortune 100 companies, nonprofits, media and marketing agencies, and start ups. She holds an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and a Bachelor of Science in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin.
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Ways to connect with Paige:
Website: ** https://paigeonecoaching.com; PaigeOneCoaching.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paige-lewis/;  Paige Lewis Sandford | LinkedIn
About the Host:
Michael Hingson is a New York Times best-selling author, international lecturer, and Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe. Michael, blind since birth, survived the 9/11 attacks with the help of his guide dog Roselle. This story is the subject of his best-selling book, Thunder Dog.
Michael gives over 100 presentations around the world each year speaking to influential groups such as Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Federal Express, Scripps College, Rutgers University, Children’s Hospital, and the American Red Cross just to name a few. He is Ambassador for the National Braille Literacy Campaign for the National Federation of the Blind and also serves as Ambassador for the American Humane Association’s 2012 Hero Dog Awards.
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Transcription Notes:**

Michael Hingson ** 00:00
Access Cast and accessiBe Initiative presents Unstoppable Mindset. The podcast where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. Hi, I’m Michael Hingson, Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe and the author of the number one New York Times bestselling book, Thunder dog, the story of a blind man, his guide dog and the triumph of trust. Thanks for joining me on my podcast as we explore our own blinding fears of inclusion unacceptance and our resistance to change. We will discover the idea that no matter the situation, or the people we encounter, our own fears, and prejudices often are our strongest barriers to moving forward. The unstoppable mindset podcast is sponsored by accessiBe, that’s a c c e s s i capital B e. Visit www.accessibe.com to learn how you can make your website accessible for persons with disabilities. And to help make the internet fully inclusive by the year 2025. Glad you dropped by we’re happy to meet you and to have you here with us.
Michael Hingson ** 01:21
Well, hi, and we want to welcome you to unstoppable mindset. This is our latest episode, needless to say, and we’re really glad that you’re here with us today we get to chat with Paige Lewis Sanford and I’m sure you’re all familiar with Paige. Oh, you’re not? Well, you will be by the time we’re done here. Paige is a fascinating individual. She’s worked to help improve and greatly increase the brands of organizations such as Disney and DreamWorks universal and my gosh, I don’t know what all and hopefully, her influence will rub off and help unstoppable mindset but we’re gonna see about that. So Paige, welcome to unstoppable mindset. And whatever happens, we’re glad you’re here.
Paige Lewis ** 02:07
Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here. Well,
Michael Hingson ** 02:11
it’ll be a lot of fun. And we’ll, we’ll make it useful and fun in some way or another. And as I told you earlier, one of the rules of the podcast is we got to have fun. So that’s as good as it gets. Well tell me a little about kind of the early page growing up and all that sort of stuff.
Paige Lewis ** 02:28
Well, I am a Phoenician, I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. So I am a lover of the sun to this day, and had a really a really lovely childhood. I have a younger brother. He’s 14 months younger, we were very close. And we spent a lot of our days inventing things and laughing a lot. My parents instilled a lot of curiosity in us. I’m grateful they exposed us to a lot of things. So whatever we wanted to try. We got to try even gymnastics, which I failed at. I was terrible. But thanks to my parents, I have a strong love of music. I have a lot of curiosity. And yeah, I am they made me who I am today.
Michael Hingson ** 03:15
So you grew up in in Phoenix in Arizona who have been there a number of times we’ve spent part of our honeymoon my wife and I a long time ago, at the point Tampa to hotel.
Paige Lewis ** 03:29
Oh, yes, I think I had a prom there.
Michael Hingson ** 03:35
Well, and our last night of the honeymoon, we went to the restaurant. At the point HEPA to which was up on the top of a mountain. And I think one way you look in there you see Phoenix and the other way, I think a Scottsdale if I recall,
Paige Lewis ** 03:50
a Scottsdale or Paradise Valley. Yes.
Michael Hingson ** 03:53
And I think it was a restaurant called a different point of view, which was cute.
Yes, yeah,
Michael Hingson ** 04:00
I’ve been there. My wife bought a lobster and she thought it would just kind of be a typical. So it ended up being a three pound lobster. And she didn’t know what to do with it all.
Paige Lewis ** 04:10
Oh, my goodness. That’s a lot of lobster was
Michael Hingson ** 04:12
a lot of lobster. But it was our honeymoon. So it was worth it. And the other thing is that that was when they made Caesar salad right at your table and actually created the dressing right at the table using rye eggs and everything’s still the best dressing I’ve ever had.
Paige Lewis ** 04:27
Amazing, amazing. Well, I hope you were not there in the summer, because that can be brutal.
Michael Hingson ** 04:33
It was no Well, we got married on November 27 1982. So it would have been we’ll see that was a Saturday. And so it would have been probably the well the third or the fourth that we went so of December so No it wasn’t. It wasn’t in the hot part or the hottest part.
Paige Lewis ** 04:57
That’s good. That’s actually a person Big time of year to beat. Yeah. Yeah, it
Michael Hingson ** 05:01
was great. We very much enjoyed our time there. So. So did you go to college in Arizona? Or did you go to college or what? I
Paige Lewis ** 05:10
did not stay in Arizona. I was 17 when I graduated high school, and I really, really, really wanted to leave Arizona. And I was very interested in getting a degree in advertising. And I’ll tell you why. And it sounds silly now. But I was very determined and stubborn at that age. I always know. I know. I know, ask my mother she uses could not change my mind. So I was fascinated with how people described products. So if you looked at a box of cereal or a bottle of suntan lotion, how did they come up with the coffee? I was fascinated by how they would construct that, which seems very simple, but so I was really determined to find a good school and advertising. And one of them was the University of Texas at Austin. I also wanted a very traditional college college experience. I wanted the football I wanted to, you know, big Grecian looking buildings and grassy lawns and never thought I would like Texas, but fell in love fell in love with the campus. And so that is what I what I chose. In retrospect, it was way too big for me was 49,000. undergrad. I knew nobody. This is a this is a theme in my life is I put myself in situations where I don’t know any anyone. It’s uncomfortable. But I loved it. I did. I did enjoy it. I learned a lot. I had a minor in Japanese at that point, too. And after I graduated, I wanted to become conversationally fluent in Japanese. And surprisingly, in college, we didn’t do a lot of speaking Japanese. It was a lot of fun and writing. Yeah. So I had an opportunity to go to Tokyo and work for one of the divisions of Estee Lauder, so cosmetics company. And some of you may remember the line prescriptives. Michael, I would not assume you would know this line. They had just opened in Japan. And so I got a job working in a department store selling makeup in Japanese. My Japanese was not very good. So it was trial by fire. Well,
Michael Hingson ** 07:37
my wife loved white linen. And when I worked in the World Trade Center, I discovered that there was an Estee Lauder second store in the tower one on the 46th floor. I think it was so little bit familiar with Estee Lauder and invaded the store often. Okay,
Paige Lewis ** 08:02
yes. So. So yeah, so I did that I knew nobody. And this was before the time of cell phones or even relatively affordable international phone plans. So I took two giant duffel bags, and my parents put me on a plane. And I showed up and they arranged for someone to meet me, a friend of a friend of a friend and I spent a year in Japan.
Michael Hingson ** 08:30
So why Japanese in the first place? Well, when I was
Paige Lewis ** 08:34
think I was a senior in high school, my high school turned into an international magnet program. And they offered what they thought were going to be the emerging important business languages of the world, which were Japanese, and Russian, in addition to what they already had French and Spanish. So I decided to Japanese my brother took Russian, I thought it would be handy no matter what I ended up doing. So that’s why I went with it.
Michael Hingson ** 09:03
I took a year of Japanese in college as well. I did it was in graduate school. It was one year and we talked some but you’re right. It was a lot of reading and writing. And I actually learned Japanese Braille, which was was kind of fun. I don’t remember a lot of that now. But still, it was fascinating to you know, to take and people said it was simpler than Chinese and given everything I’ve learned I think that’s probably very true. But I’ve spent time since in Japan when thunder dog our book was published. I was also published in Japanese. So in 2012 I went and spent two weeks over there and literally with the publisher of the book in Japan we traveled all around Japan took the bullet train from Tokyo to Hiroshima and all sorts of places in between which is a lot of fun.
Paige Lewis ** 09:53
Did you use any of your Japanese while you were there?
Michael Hingson ** 09:56
No, I didn’t remember enough. It had been way too long. So, so I didn’t didn’t practice up enough to keep it going all that well.
Paige Lewis ** 10:06
I understand that 100% Yeah, but that’s okay.
Michael Hingson ** 10:11
But I understood a lot about the customs and the people. And that was a big help as well.
Paige Lewis ** 10:16
Yes, absolutely.
Michael Hingson ** 10:18
So what did you do after a year in Japan?
Paige Lewis ** 10:23
Well, I came back. Yeah, it was a, it was a great growing experience. But it was challenging. And I missed, I missed America. So I came back. And I worked for a promotions company. And while I was there, the CEO introduced me one to Disney and to to his graduate school, which was an internationally focused MBA program. So I ended up going to Thunderbird. Some of you may have heard of it. It’s the International Business School of International Management. It’s now part of ASU and finished my International MBA studied more Japanese. And then at the end, when I was interviewing for jobs, there was a job at Disney. And I really thought I was going to do international business and work with Japanese companies. And you know, maybe Toyota or something like that. But this job at Disney came up. And I was fascinated by it. So luckily, I ended up getting it. It was in the home entertainment division of Disney, which was back then it was VHS tapes. You gotta remember those VHS? I do? Yes. The very, very beginning of DVD. So I took the job and I moved to LA and again, didn’t didn’t know anyone that my brother was there, but really didn’t know anyone
Michael Hingson ** 12:01
and VHS and not beta. Yeah, that VHS had won
Paige Lewis ** 12:05
the war. So beta was gone. Yes. It was VHS. Yes. Thank you for remembering that
Michael Hingson ** 12:11
show. Your brother was in LA. He was in LA. Yes, it was he.
Paige Lewis ** 12:18
He went to school at Loyola Marymount to study Recording Arts. So he’s a composer and he writes music for commercials. Okay. Yeah, he has a very cool job. Very successful.
Michael Hingson ** 12:33
So what did you do in home entertainment at Disney.
Paige Lewis ** 12:37
I started out in retail marketing, which means I was helping selling movies to the big brick and mortar retailers. So Walmart, Toys R Us, target all of those. And I did that for a few years. And then I moved into brand management, and was actually working on the strategy for selling some of the new releases. And I was there a couple of years and then a few of the Disney people moved over to DreamWorks. Everyone remembers DreamWorks. When DreamWorks started, Jeffrey Katzenberg went over there. And then a couple of people I knew from Disney, and they recruited me to come over to their home entertainment division, which was very small, very entrepreneurial, but a very exciting time to be there. As they were building the business and figuring out I got to work on track and the prince of Egypt and Gladiator Saving Private Ryan, a lot of those really great fun movies.
Michael Hingson ** 13:39
So that that kept you busy for a while.
Paige Lewis ** 13:44
And then I moved over to universal and spent 16 years at Universal Pictures and home entertainment. et
Michael Hingson ** 13:53
phone home.
Paige Lewis ** 13:56
Yes, exactly. Exactly. I didn’t get to work on that movie. But I mainly worked on the family movies, so a lot of animated movies. Shrek continue with Shrek and Despicable Me. I actually worked on a lot of the Barbie movies, which was which was really fun. And I eventually worked my way up into to senior vice president which was my pinnacle, which was what I really wanted to achieve in my career. But then, as we talked about a little bit, some bad things happened at that point in my career,
Michael Hingson ** 14:34
what kinds of things happened that you want to talk about? Well,
Paige Lewis ** 14:40
I ended up in a very dangerous burnout situation. So I had been promoted to senior vice president. And soon after that a couple of major things happened in my life. My father died and then a couple of very close friends passed away So that sort of shifted how I approach life and what I thought about my priorities. At the same time, universal was having its biggest year ever. So it was the year of Jurassic World and the latest Fast and Furious movie. I think another Despicable Me It was, it was just a very, very busy year. And I noticed I started having these symptoms, so I was getting sick a lot. I was really irritable and cranky. People actually had to come mention to me that I was acting a little out of character. I was getting strange things like I had this rash on my face for no reason. And then, you know, I just ignored all this and kept, kept working because I was an achiever, and I just wanted to get the job done. So then I started having I had this pain, and I’ll just say it on my butt on my right, but and it got so painful that I couldn’t sit. And I thought, Okay, well, maybe a spider bit me or something. And then at one point, it got so bad that I couldn’t I had to work from home, lying down. And at that point, a kind colleague said, you know, Paige, I think you might want to have that looked at. So I was like, alright, and you know, it was getting bigger and more and more painful. And so I went to my dermatologist, she took a look, she called in her colleagues to get a second opinion. And then they said, Alright, we’ve called the er, at the hospital next door, we need you to go there right now. So what I learned is that I had contracted Mersa, which is, yeah, an anti bot, antibiotic resistant staph infection. And it’s so dangerous that if it gets into your bloodstream, it can kill you. So I was admitted to the hospital for a week, they gave me a very heavy duty antibiotic that works on this. It’s so strong that it made my veins collapse. So they had to put in a PICC line. And it really, it was, you know, like they say, it was what it was my wake up call.
Michael Hingson ** 17:20
What year was this? That this was 2016. Okay, so that was your wake up call? That was
Paige Lewis ** 17:28
my wake up call. And then I went, and I had to take a month off of disability? Well,
Michael Hingson ** 17:34
certainly, that’s understandable, given the severity of it, and so on. And what did you do her think about during that month, and then going forward?
Paige Lewis ** 17:45
Well, I realized, as I you know, wine there in the hospital, that something wasn’t working, obviously. And I really, I really didn’t understand how this happened. How did I get a staph infection on my butt. And I just, I just figured I really needed to make a change I wanted to live, I did realize that. And I wanted to get healthy. I mean, something was really, really out of whack. So this is what really did it for me. I came back in January. And this was the time when Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds had passed away. And I went into the meeting into a meeting. And this was the first meeting my first day back. And what was brought up was, you know, Debbie Reynolds just died. Do we have any movies we can put out and leverage this. And that just hit me as being so distasteful. And I realized, this is not the business I want to be in anymore. This doesn’t fit. So about a week later, I went in, I quit. I quit my job, nothing lined up. No idea what was I was gonna do. But I knew it was the right thing to do. Yeah,
Michael Hingson ** 19:08
that, that just certainly seems like a pretty insensitive thing to say. I understand. Some people do that. But gee, when do you draw the line and recognize maybe it’s a time to just let people mourn? I mean, look at Debbie Reynolds for such a long time, and I are going to do is try to promote you in the brand. T does that really make sense?
Paige Lewis ** 19:33
Yeah, it just it just seems a little gross to me. So I quit and then I realized that I needed to figure things out. So the antibiotics I realized, after doing a lot of research had completely wiped out all the good bacteria in my gut. And I learned that you have to have that good bacteria to stay healthy. So and I also was a diet coke addict, big time diet coke addict. And I learned that one Diet Coke can destroy your gut biome. So I quit. I quit Diet Coke, it was not easy. I will tell you. I don’t know if you drink it. It’s
Michael Hingson ** 20:18
no, I’m more of a water drinker. I got to say, Okay. I’ve never been that much of a soda drinker.
Paige Lewis ** 20:24
That’s a lot better for you. Yeah. So I figured out my health. And then I started trying to figure out why this all happens.
Michael Hingson ** 20:33
Now, I was just gonna ask you what you decided about why it occurred? Well,
Paige Lewis ** 20:38
one, I learned a lot about burnout. And that stress can kill you. And that this staph infection was a literal sign, it was a literal pain in my butt that my work was a pain in my butt. And I needed I needed to find something different and, and after really thinking about things, I realized my values had shifted. So my values were no longer aligned with the work I was doing. And that caused a lot of friction, and disengagement, and stress. And so then I wanted to figure out, okay, all right, I understand that this job. Marketing movies isn’t a good fit anymore. But what is, so I let curiosity kind of leaves me and I did some research. I found this great book, I don’t know if you’ve heard of it. It’s called What color’s your parachute? It’s been around forever, I think, in my 20s, forever. And so I picked it up again. And it had me really think about what am I good at doing? How do I use my brain? What really drives me? And I also did some work, figuring out what my new values were. And I realized, I really like the mentoring part of what I do at work. I like solving problems. And I like helping people rise to their full potential. So then I started looking into, well, do I want to become a therapist? I’m not sure I want to go back to school again for that long and spend all that money. So then I started talking to coaches, executive coaches, and I realized, well, they do a lot of what I think I want to do. And they also can give you specific direction, and steps to take. So unlike the therapist model, where it’s just a lot of questions, you can actually draw upon your experience and share that to help people. And so So I actually, because every day, what I would do is I would get up and I would read, I would read articles, and I would just sort of follow the breadcrumbs. And I stumbled upon a woman who wrote a really great article, I reached out to her, she was a coach. And she was so motivating in that one conversation, that I ended up writing an article and ended up deciding I wanted to go get my coaching certificate. So this was this was end of 2017 into 2018. So I ended up getting my coaching certificate and started working with women so that they wouldn’t end up like, like I was, I really don’t don’t, there was no reason I needed to hit that level of burnout. Tell
Michael Hingson ** 23:46
me? Well, first of all, a little bit about why do you think you actually contracted versus and why do you think that? Or how do you think that happened? Do you really know?
Paige Lewis ** 23:58
I think my immune system was so beaten down and compromised. That it happened. I don’t know how it got there. I honestly don’t know. I promise you I’m a clean person. I take showers. I know like wandering around rubbing myself and dirt. I just I just think, you know, there were there were signs leading up to it other smaller illnesses and my body fine was like, Okay, you’re done. But I don’t know, I don’t know the source. Good question. Well, so
Michael Hingson ** 24:31
you went off and you started to study about being a coach and so on. What does it mean to get a coaching certificate? What’s the process?
Paige Lewis ** 24:39
Oh, that’s a good question. Well, there are lots of different coaching programs and the one I chose is based on human needs psychology and behavior. So I had been through a lot of leadership programs through my my days as a marketing executive. So I knew a lot of the traditional Leadership, procedures, methods, whatever you models, whatever you want to call them. So I really wanted to get into almost kind of going back to why I got into marketing, why people do what they do what’s driving them. So I learned all about the six core needs and what motivates people and really had to get into their brains and change behaviors and habits. So it was 100 hours of training. I think I did it pretty quickly. I was motivated, I think I did in about four months, and then was and then was certified. And then there are all different types of coaching programs, some people do mindfulness route, some people just do a very traditional corporate route. So I wanted to kind of balance out what I already knew.
Michael Hingson ** 25:47
Well, so you went ahead and did that. And you got certified, and have been coaching ever since. I have, I’ve
Paige Lewis ** 25:56
been coaching for about six years, and also doing excuse me marketing consulting, because I like to keep my toe and in that part of the world also.
Michael Hingson ** 26:06
So what Tell me a little bit about the the coaching program or what you do, then how do you help people? And where do you where do you help people all over? Or where does that all come from?
Paige Lewis ** 26:21
Well, luckily, I do everything virtually. So I can help people no matter where they are. My specialty is helping women executives, I want to help them excel in their careers without impacting their well being. Someone once told me, when you become a coach, your message becomes your message. So clearly, yeah, my my story of burnout is something that really drives me and it’s a passion, a passion of mine. So I typically work with women executives, who are director level all the way up to C suite. And they come to me one because they aren’t loving their job anymore. They don’t know why they want a career change. They’re in some sort of toxic work environments and don’t know how to manage it, they are experiencing signs of burnout, they don’t have the tools or skills to deal with it, I help a lot of people who are wanting just to jump jump a level or two in their career. So helping them with executive presence and managing teams, a lot of your traditional leadership development skills. So I love it tremendously. And it fits really nicely with my values.
Michael Hingson ** 27:44
I had a conversation yesterday with two women who also are very heavily involved in leadership and, and coaching. But a lot of corporate leadership training, they have developed a program that they describe basically is, well the company is missing logic. And the program is based on polarity, they talk about the fact that everything is really about polarity, and like breathing is polarity exhaling and inhaling, you got to do them both. And whether you’re dealing with work, or life and polarity, again, you’ve got to really understand that both are part of what your world ought to be. And so many people get stressed out because they don’t really look at trying to balance polarity, which is really pretty fascinating. We had a great discussion about it.
Paige Lewis ** 28:42
That’s an interesting way to think about it. I have stopped saying work life balance, and I call it work life harmony, because it’s never equally balanced.
Michael Hingson ** 28:52
Right. But at the same time, what what Tracy and Michelle would say is that you need both poles. And it’s a matter of finding how to, to have a well, I keep saying balance, but to have some sort of that making both poles work to help each other because one or the other isn’t going to work.
Paige Lewis ** 29:19
That’s that makes a lot of sense. Yeah, I agree with them.
Michael Hingson ** 29:22
It’s a lot of very fascinating discussion, but in your case. So you do that and you don’t necessarily use those terms, but it sounds like you end up getting to the same place. So you’ve been doing that now. Six years. Yes,
Paige Lewis ** 29:36
that is true. Six years. It’s gone quickly.
Michael Hingson ** 29:40
So you think you have now found a niche that’s going to last a while?
Paige Lewis ** 29:46
I think so. We still have a long way to go and getting women to an equal playing field as men. Unfortunately it isn’t. It is improving. But there are a lot of things that still Need to improve. So, for example, women experienced burnout much more than men 43% of women or executives experienced burnout men only 31%. And I think it just it has to do with the kind of silence responsibilities a lot of women take on, whether that’s Child Care caring for elderly parents, it’s taking more on at work, that’s sort of outside the your job responsibility or your job description. And women also don’t think that corporations are quite there yet. And having good strategies and good programs to have gender equity in the in the workplace. I mean, 92% of women don’t believe that companies are kind of walking the talk in that area. So yeah, I think there will be a need for a while it would be my dream, if there isn’t a need. For this, that means that women women are equal in the workplace in terms of opportunities and roles and pay. Yeah, that’s a good piece of news. I have a good piece of news, though, that I just learned, sorry to interrupt you is that there was there were, you know, people would say for a really long time, and there were stats to back it up that women were afraid to negotiate for salary or promotions, it’s actually changed. And women are just as likely, if not more, to negotiate for increased salary or promotion, whatever. So. So that’s some good news. And a common belief that is now has now changed. And
Michael Hingson ** 31:42
should, by any standard, we haven’t seen a lot of that yet, in the world of persons with disabilities, where we’re still even though we’re by any definition, the second largest minority, or maybe the largest minority will be the second because there are more women than men, although people keep saying women are the minority, but in physical sense, there are more women than men. So either way, you look at it disabilities as the second largest minority, but the most excluded from any of the conversations or any of the real involvement in the workforce, which is why we continue to face an unemployment rate in the 60 to 70% range among employable persons with disabilities, like, especially with blind people. And the reality is, it’s fear, it’s a lack of education. And it’s not understanding that, just because we may do things in a different way, it doesn’t mean that the technology and the tools that we need shouldn’t be part of the cost of doing business. But yet, that’s what happens. Those
Paige Lewis ** 32:49
are staggering numbers, Michael, but your company is doing a lot to help with that. Well,
Michael Hingson ** 32:54
accessiBe is doing a lot to help with that and is being pretty successful. And the number of people using the technology are are growing, or is growing, and excessive. He’s working on some programs to really teach more people about Internet access and website development with access and accessibility. So hopefully, that will continue. And we’ll be able to make more strides, but it is a thing that we face on a regular basis.
Paige Lewis ** 33:24
Yes, it is. So for
Michael Hingson ** 33:27
what you’re doing and so on. You’ve talked a little bit about burnout, are there different kinds of burnout? And do you deal with them all the same way? How does that address get addressed?
Paige Lewis ** 33:39
Yeah, that’s a great question. I think people generalize the term burnout and and the, you know, when someone is just stressed, they’ll say I’m burned out that the actual technical definition of it from the World Health Organization is that burnout is chronic stress in the workplace that hasn’t been successfully managed, which puts a lot of onus on on the person, right? If you haven’t successfully managed it, the company’s not really helping you set up any systems to help you with that you person has to have to deal with it. But
Michael Hingson ** 34:15
which is also I’d seems to be not totally fair either. Right?
Paige Lewis ** 34:19
Right. And there’s not a lot of progress in that area. Everyone is going to be burned out at some point in time. Everyone, everyone’s going to face it. But there are different types. There’s physical burnout, which is you’re tired, you’re getting sick a lot like I was you’re not moving around a lot. You’ve kind of forgotten to exercise or even stand up from your desk and those those signs can show up like headaches or just different physical things. And then there’s emotional, which I also had, that can show up as being you’re cranky, you’re short tempered, you’re impatient. and you’re not spending time with the relationships that you know are strong. Yeah, just maybe a little bit of a change in your demeanor. Then there’s there’s mind, there’s mind related burnout, which is, when you’re kind of in that fight or flight mode, and you’re spending a lot of time putting out fires at work, you’re distracted. You can’t focus. That’s that type. And then the last one is burnout of the Spirit, which often can show up as being bored. So a lot of people get really bored or uninterested in their job or whatever is important to them, and they don’t realize that it’s burnout. And so that could be you’re doing a lot of things at work that just really aren’t aligned with what you do. Well, what you like doing. And so you just kind of just kind of check out.
Michael Hingson ** 35:59
Do you find, though, that people that are, that are in that situation? Oftentimes haven’t really sat down and analyzed what they really want to do or analyzed? Am I really doing the right thing? And that contributes to that? Yeah, yeah.
Paige Lewis ** 36:17
100%, like, I didn’t know, I had no idea. I just kept a lot of people, you know, they’re on the treadmill. They just keep going every day. And it’s rare that people stop and they reflect and they reassess. It’s only when people get into a state of burnout, sadly, that they need to wake up and realize, okay, something isn’t working. But there are always signals, they’re always signals. And oftentimes, it’s more than one one type of burnout that’s hitting at the same time.
Michael Hingson ** 36:50
But you just you distinguish between emotional, mind and spiritual, if you will, they’re they’re all three different even though in one sense, it seems like they’re all sort of mental in one way.
Paige Lewis ** 37:03
They are sort of mental in one way, but they come out in different ways. And they the route of them is different. So there are two main ways to, to sort of manage burnout, the traditional way that everyone thinks is how you, you manage burnout, unfortunately, this is what companies kind of latch on to is just go take some time off, go to a spa, get a massage, and that’ll cure everything. This self care really only works for the body and the emotional burnout. Because that’s you’re just exhausted, those two are fall under exhaustion. And with that, you actually do need to take a timeout, and take care of yourself. You only need 15 minutes, but it could be you know, take a walk, walk away from your computer, or your phone, don’t take your phone with you on your walk. You know, just leave it alone. Don’t let anyone interrupt you. Call call a friend, just do something that’s enjoyable for you that is, will reboot your system. For the mind in the spirit burnout, which you know, is you’re just distracted and you’re or you’re bored. Or you’re in fight or flight mode, you actually are having cynical detachment. So, okay, yeah, it’s different. So you so self care actually does not work. Because when you’re in this space, you’re focused too much inward, and on yourself, and you’ve lost perspective. So what you do when you have that type of burnout is you need to clarify things. And it could be clarifying your role. So role clarity, write down the three to four most important things in your job. And then ask yourself are you spending time on the high value activities, because you may not be the other. There are three parts of this. The second one is relational clarity. So you may have lost perspective about other people in your life. So a way to break yourself out of this is write a note of thanks to someone, maybe someone on your team, remind yourself that you are not alone and all this. And then the last one is perspective, clarity. So a lot of people just completely lost perspective. So go do something totally different. Go watch a or listen to a comedy video. Call your mom and ask about you know, bring up an old memory just something that reminds you that work isn’t everything because these two types mind and spirit burnout, as these are a lot of the workaholics too, and they keep working, working, working and they’ve just lost complete perspective about everything else in the world.
Michael Hingson ** 39:55
One of the things that I realized during In the pandemic is that although, on September 11, I escaped and wasn’t afraid. And I knew why I wasn’t afraid, which is that I prepared and knew what to do in the case of an emergency. And as I now say, that created a mindset. But what I realized is that, the fact is, we can control fear, and we can control a lot of what we do. But we have to be mindful. And we really need to keep things in perspective. And one of the best ways to do that is to be introspective in our lives. And really practice that, until it gets to the point of being a habit, and you develop that whole introspective and self analytical muscle. And I, so we’re writing a book about all of that. And we’re going to, I’m going to, it’ll be out next year, and we’re going to talk about how to control fear and not let it as I would say, blind you or paralyze you or overwhelm you, but how do we get people to start to be more introspective in their lives and in what they do, and recognize that that’s an extremely valuable thing to do.
Paige Lewis ** 41:08
You make a really, really good point. I think a lot of it like, to your point about habits, a lot of us have, you know, that inner critic, who is just saying, you know, you’re not good at this, you shouldn’t try to do this. You always done it this way. If you can take yourself out of that, and almost become an observer. And look at your thoughts and what how you talk to yourself as just another person, you can even name it, that kind of helps you take yourself out of it so that you can change your habits. Because a lot of the what we tell ourselves are just habits. They’re not even true anymore. They’re based on beliefs that you you made up a long, long time ago and had value back then. But they’re not even true anymore. So I think we just need to be aware and stop ourselves. And remind ourselves, when we’re thinking things, you ask yourself, Is this really true? Or is this just the habit?
Michael Hingson ** 42:14
Good point. And I also learned that along the way, I always used to say, and I still do this, but I record presentations that I give, so I can go back and listen to them. And I always say that, I love to do that. Because I’m my own worst critic, I’m nobody’s going to be as hard on me as I am. And I learned, that’s the wrong thing to say. And that’s the wrong way to approach it. Because in reality, even teachers can’t teach me they can present me with information. But ultimately, I have to teach myself. And in fact, it’s not that I’m my own. I’m my own worst critic. I’m my own best teacher. And if I turn it around and use that terminology, then it becomes more of a positive process, to look at things and think about them and teach yourself even when something doesn’t go well. And even when it does go well. What can I better learn to even make it go better next time. I’m my own best teacher is such a more positive thing to say.
Paige Lewis ** 43:19
I love how you reframe that, that’s a great way to look at it. And, and also, you know, we talked ourselves worse than we would talk to our friends. Yeah. Which is just crazy.
Michael Hingson ** 43:32
In reality, we should talk to ourselves and really get better at thinking about things and saying, Okay, well, how do I deal with it? Don’t hide from it. And no matter what it is, allow yourself to teach yourself how to deal with it.
Paige Lewis ** 43:50
And it’s practice it. And then it will become a habit. Yeah. And just like we talked down to ourselves and criticize ourselves. It’s just the habit. Yeah.
Michael Hingson ** 44:05
And it is a habit that we can break.
Paige Lewis ** 44:08
Absolutely. And it’s just practice. It’s just practice, and it’s micro micro steps. You don’t have to get it perfect the first time. And we forget, you know, we’re not supposed to be perfect beings. We’re supposed to be in this world to try new things and learn from them. And we just are so hard on ourselves that we have to be perfect at every single thing we do. And oftentimes, other people aren’t even paying attention. And they forget about it
Michael Hingson ** 44:38
much more quickly than we do. And yes, there’s a lesson there too.
Paige Lewis ** 44:42
Yes, and I always I always tell my clients like when they’re all worked up about something or ruminating and countless something go, Well, this really matter. In two weeks. Will this matter in three months in a year? No. No one will remember you probably won’t ever remember To your point, learn from it, and just let it go. It’s hard, it’s practice, I get it. But just to put things in perspective, it usually is not as important as we think.
Michael Hingson ** 45:12
And if it really affects you, and you’re thinking about it a lot, then take a step back, as you said, and think about why is this affecting me so much? It’s appropriate to do that. It’s appropriate to help to understand you better.
Paige Lewis ** 45:31
Yes. And I’ll give you a tip that I give my clients that I actually learned from my dad, for people who ruminate a lot of worry a lot. Actually schedule worry time in your day. And don’t do it right before bed? No, no, because then you won’t sleep well, but schedule it at a time. Have no distractions, sit there for 20 minutes and worry about everything. And you have to sit there even if you’ve run out of things to worry make it up like, my my sock is starting to unravel, you know, stupid things. My dog is panting more than usual. Whatever it is,
Michael Hingson ** 46:14
I can’t figure out anything to worry about. I’m worried about that. Right? Exactly.
Paige Lewis ** 46:18
I’m worried about that I have to sit here. And Paige said I can’t move for 20 minutes. So you do that every day. And what’ll end up happening is one, you’ll realize you don’t really have that much to worry about to you train yourself that you can only worry during a certain period of time. So you’re not spending your whole day worrying and ruining your day. And if you start thinking about something out, or you’re worried time you say, okay, Paige, no, you’re scheduled to worry about that at 10am, from 10am to 1020. And it’s remarkable how people improve with the ruminating and the worrying.
Michael Hingson ** 46:56
So what mostly do you coach about what what is your specialty, if you will, overall,
Paige Lewis ** 47:01
my specialty is helping women leaders excel in their careers without impacting their well being. So a lot of that is what we’ve talked about today, how to handle burnout, how to manage your thoughts, how to improve your leadership skills. You know, I mainly work with pretty senior women who don’t have anyone else to talk to, and this is this is a theme that I’ve come across a lot, and I felt myself is a lot of women leaders don’t think that they have people they can talk to at their companies or within their industries.
Michael Hingson ** 47:44
Yeah, that was what I was gonna get to. Is it true that they don’t, or they just don’t think they do have people to talk to?
Paige Lewis ** 47:54
Well, a lot of times, it’s difficult to talk to people, I do work with an amazing organization called chief. And they’re a private network for women. But what they’ve done is they have put together peer based groups, they curate these groups of women at similar points in their career, similar levels, so that they have a safe space of peers from whom they can learn, get different perspectives. Because I, when I was first, you know, talking with Chief about coming on, as one of their first coaches, I said, if this had existed when I was at Universal, and burning out, I would not have burned out, because a lot of a lot of the struggle is feeling like you’re the only one and not having the tools and the skills to manage through it.
Michael Hingson ** 48:46
And a lot of times we don’t look for people to talk with, because we just feel that we’re an island in the middle. And oh, I don’t want to talk to people who work for me because that that wouldn’t be good. I mean, there are just so many excuses that we can come up with.
Paige Lewis ** 49:05
Yeah, or you’re embarrassed and you are you’re embarrassed. You know, I’m the only one who’s dealing with this, I must be crazy. Imposter Syndrome comes in a lot. So, no, almost everyone is going through the same things. And it’s just really reassuring and helpful to know that other people are going through it, and can share some ways that they have managed it. It’s these these meetings are so powerful, I can’t even tell you they really, really are amazing.
Michael Hingson ** 49:39
What do you say to people who are thinking of a career change or who don’t know where to start? You know, because I’m sure that comes up and what you do?
Paige Lewis ** 49:48
It does and it can be really scary. And I think I think people don’t give themselves enough credit. What what helps most of my clients and help me is having a having a mindset of curiosity. Because I know for a fact that people have transferable skills, it’s just getting curious and following the breadcrumbs to find out what else is out there that aligns with my values that motivates me. And that uses my skill set I can do. So one, one of the exercises I have people do is to think about sample some activity that they’re doing. It doesn’t have to be related to work where they are completely what you would say in flow, meaning they lose track of time they forget to eat, they know that they’re kicking ass and what they’re doing. And they are loving it. So it could be for example, gardening. Who knows it could be gardening. And so then what I asked them to do is, okay, really, really dissect what you’re doing. What, like, how are you using your brain? Maybe you are researching the different kinds of plants that work in your soil, maybe you are laying out where they go, maybe you are looking at the different seasons? And what works best and what time of year? And then how are you interacting with people? are you collaborating with the you know, the gardener at the nursery? Are you talking with friends who have who’ve made great gardens? And then what skills are you using, researching, maybe strategizing, maybe organizing, and then what you’ll end up seeing, and it’s something totally unrelated to your job is here, all the things? And the way here are all the different ways of thinking parallel the skills I use, and here’s what I love doing, and you find this intersection. And then you use your curiosity to find out okay, what industries are interesting, and what are the jobs? You reach out to people, it’s curiosity. If you lean into curiosity, you cannot go wrong. And
Michael Hingson ** 52:16
all too often, we don’t.
Paige Lewis ** 52:21
Correct, we kind of block ourselves. And
Michael Hingson ** 52:24
many times were discouraged from it. I mentioned earlier, the whole concept of if I’ve been talking to people this morning about people with disabilities, and then somebody said, What can we better do to improve the world for people with disabilities, and my response was, include us in the conversation and so many times, I can be somewhere and when when I went to my wife was live with her, she was in a wheelchair, and people would come with their children, and we’d be in a store, whatever. And a child would ask a question and say, I want to go meet that person, I want to go look at that wheelchair. And the mother would say no, don’t do that. They might not like it, or that dog might bite you. And we we we discourage curiosity, especially in children, who are the most curious people of all? Mm hmm.
Paige Lewis ** 53:12
Yes. And wouldn’t it be great if we could bottle that curiosity and take it with us? Our whole lives? Yeah.
Michael Hingson ** 53:20
It’s important to do that. I think I think you use the term superpower, everybody has a superpower? Or how do you how do you teach people to to find their superpower? What does that mean?
Paige Lewis ** 53:34
Yes, this is this is an important piece of finding a career that works for you. And so if you think about a Venn diagram, I’m a big fan of Venn diagrams, there are three components. So they’re, they’re your values, you have to get really clear on what your values are, what you are good at doing and what you love doing. So when what you love doing intersects with your values, you have a passion for what you’re doing. So let’s say your values are adventure, and learn learning and experiencing new cultures, you may be passionate about traveling. So you can kind of see how those work. Now, when your values connect with what you’re good at doing, you’re going to be engaged. So if you’re really connected and aligned with your values at what you’re doing for work, you’ll be engaged, you’ll be interested, you’ll be connected, you’ll still be excited to go in every day and do your job. And then what you what you love doing and what you’re good at doing intersect. And I’ve mentioned this a little bit for you’re in flow. So that’s when you just are just completely happy because you’re doing what you love and you know you’re doing your best at it. So the superpower comes in when those three things connect, when your values, what you’re good at doing and what you love doing connect. And I truly believe everyone can figure this out. Once you know that, you can find a career that meets that 80% of the time, if you have that, you will be happy, you’ll be happy in what you’re doing. So it’s a little bit like the Japanese term of ek guy, which is finding your purpose. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that. Remember that. And that actually has been attributed to longer life. So this idea of IKI guy or finding your superpower, and living to that will make you happier. But it also helps extend your life because you’re getting up every day, and you’re doing what you love doing and what you’re good at doing.
Michael Hingson ** 55:56
And I find that when people are happy, they self motivate themselves. And in general, they have better days. Yes,
Paige Lewis ** 56:06
yes. And the bad days can roll off a little easier. Yeah.
Michael Hingson ** 56:11
You need to learn to live more like dogs, you know, and live in the moment and forget all the other things. And there are so many things we can’t control. And we worry about them. Dogs don’t
Paige Lewis ** 56:20
write, I would like to come back as a dog. Dogs have the best lives. And I think we we also have this culture of busyness being the new status quo. And we forget that we’re human beings and not human doings. And I think that’s where people get in trouble.
Michael Hingson ** 56:44
We so greatly overanalyze everything and not necessarily in the right way. And again, as we talked about, we don’t step back and really look at it, which is part of the problem.
Yes, yes.
Michael Hingson ** 56:58
Have you written a book or anything about all of this?
Paige Lewis ** 57:01
I’ve written some articles. I have not written a book. I have not written a book? Well, if
Michael Hingson ** 57:06
you do, you’ll have to let us know.
Paige Lewis ** 57:08
I will, I will do that. Well, if people
Michael Hingson ** 57:11
want to reach out and get in touch with you, maybe explore using your services and skills. How do they do that?
Paige Lewis ** 57:19
Well, you can reach out via my website, which is page one coaching.com. And it’s spelled out I’ll spell it. It’s P a i g e o n e. c o a c h i n g.com. And you can also find me on LinkedIn at Paige Lewis Sanford, my new married name, yeah, you can. Yeah, you can also email me at page at patreon coaching.com.
Michael Hingson ** 57:44
So what is your husband do?
Paige Lewis ** 57:45
He is a naturopathic doctor. Oh, so he focuses on root cause? And getting to you know, the bottom of what is causing your symptoms and, and managing that and addressing that versus just throwing things like antibiotics all the time, which, you know, don’t always work out. Not very good for you overall, long term. No.
Michael Hingson ** 58:10
And ultimately, we have to take a little bit more mental control over ourselves. And that’s another whole story. Yes,
Paige Lewis ** 58:20
I totally agree with that. Well, gee,
Michael Hingson ** 58:21
maybe we should explore getting him to come on and chat sometime. Oh,
Paige Lewis ** 58:25
I think he would love it.
Michael Hingson ** 58:26
I’ll leave that to you to set up. Yeah. I want I want to thank you for being here. And I know, you’ve given us a lot of really wonderful ideas. And I’m very grateful for you being here. I’m glad we had the opportunity to meet and hopefully we will do more of this anytime you want to come back on. You just need to let us know.
Paige Lewis ** 58:46
Right? I would love it. Thank you for having me. It’s been great talking with you.
Michael Hingson ** 58:51
Well, this has been fun and I hope that you enjoyed it listening out there. Reach out to Paige she I’m sure we’d love to hear from you and if she can help you in any of the decisions that you need to make. That’s what coaches do. So reach out to Paige. You are also always welcome to reach out to me, we’d love to get your thoughts on what you heard today. You can email me at Michael M i c h a e l h i at accessibe A c c e s s i b e.com Or go to our podcast page www dot Michael hingson.com/podcast and Michael Hingson is m i c h a e l h i n g s o n.com/podcast. Of course as we asked and I really appreciate y’all doing it, please give us a five star rating wherever you’re listening to us. We love your ratings. We appreciate your reviews, and any thoughts that you have and for all of you listening and Paige, as we sort of alluded to just now if you know of anyone else who would be a good guest for unstoppable mindset. love to have you let us know. We’re always looking for guests. I believe everyone has a story to tell and this is As a way to get the opportunity to tell your story and help us all learn that we’re more unstoppable than we think we are. So again, Paige, I want to just thank you one last time. Really appreciate you being here and hope that you had fun.
Paige Lewis ** 1:00:14
I did. Thank you so much.
Michael Hingson ** 1:00:20
You have been listening to the Unstoppable Mindset podcast. Thanks for dropping by. I hope that you’ll join us again next week, and in future weeks for upcoming episodes. To subscribe to our podcast and to learn about upcoming episodes, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com slash podcast. Michael Hingson is spelled m i c h a e l h i n g s o n. While you’re on the site., please use the form there to recommend people who we ought to interview in upcoming editions of the show. And also, we ask you and urge you to invite your friends to join us in the future. If you know of any one or any organization needing a speaker for an event, please email me at speaker at Michael hingson.com. I appreciate it very much. To learn more about the concept of blinded by fear, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com forward slash blinded by fear and while you’re there, feel free to pick up a copy of my free eBook entitled blinded by fear. The unstoppable mindset podcast is provided by access cast an initiative of accessiBe and is sponsored by accessiBe. Please visit www.accessibe.com . AccessiBe is spelled a c c e s s i b e. There you can learn all about how you can make your website inclusive for all persons with disabilities and how you can help make the internet fully inclusive by 2025. Thanks again for Listening. Please come back and visit us again next week.

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