Jim Lawless: Overcoming Fear and Operating With Risk

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What if you could start doing things that you never thought you could do? How would your life and business change? In this episode, we speak with a top-ranking expert about overcoming fear and operating with risk so you can break new boundaries.

Jim Lawless is the elite team coach of choice for many senior leadership teams around the world. He has been the architect of high performance and change in global organizations, governments, and Olympic teams for two decades. Ranked #6 globally, #1 outside of the USA, by Global Gurus in their 2020 ranking of motivational speakers, Jim has inspired and educated over half a million people on five continents through his mindset-shifting keynotes and workshops and many more through his bestselling book, ‘Taming Tigers’ (Penguin Random House). He delivers in business but also tests his frameworks personally and in extreme settings, giving him unparalleled credibility with his audience. Jim used ‘Taming Tigers’ to become a televised jockey within a year of starting to ride and to become Britain’s deepest Freediver in just 8 months of training. Both whilst delivering his day job (a key element of change). Jim was elected a fellow of the UK’s Royal Society for the Arts in recognition of his writing on culture and change.

Learn more about Jim and his work at: https://www.jimlawless.com/

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Transcription of Interview

(Transcribed by Otter.ai, there may be errors)

Adam G. Force 00:10

Hey, what’s up everybody? Welcome back to the Change Creator podcast show. This is your host, Adam force. I hope everybody’s doing well and making out okay during all these crazy times with the political unrest and the Coronavirus. We are definitely living through some important times in history here. So if you missed the last episode of the show, it was with Dan Hill. This was a really unique and interesting conversation. We spoke about reading facial expressions. This is really telling it’s pretty powerful. So Dan Hill also wrote the book famous faces decoded. So we kind of dive into all this really interesting stuff and he gives lots of tips for you to keep an eye out. So when you’re on those sales calls, do you have something to think about? Okay, and that brings us to our next guest, we’re gonna be talking today. We with Jim lawless, and he’s actually a top level, or I should say, top ranking team coach of choice for a lot of senior leadership teams around the world. And he’s been, you know, the designer of high performance and change in global organizations, governments Olympic teams for two decades now, which is a pretty darn long time. So he’s been doing this for a while, has a lot of experience. He’s actually ranked number six globally and number one outside of the US by global gurus in their 2020 ranking of motivational speakers, which is pretty cool. And he’s really inspired a ton of people around the world, right? And through his workshops, and keynote, he does a lot of talks and things like that. But he also has a best selling book called taming tigers. And that’s something you might want to check out. He’s got a lot of great insights. Today we’re going to be talking with Jim about overcoming fear and how to operate with risk. All right, and he has a lot of interesting background because he became like a free diver and This is some it’s a really interesting sport. And I haven’t ever spoken anybody who has done something like this but it is talking about overcoming fear. I mean going and through that process is really it’s it’s something that not a lot of people can really do. So we’re going to dive into lots of different dynamics here and and tackle this topic of fear. And one key thing we noticed with a lot of people when it comes to fear that holds them back, they will say things like, I’m not ready yet because or, you know, my business isn’t ready yet because and they’re not they’re not ready. What they’re saying is they’re not ready to invest in something for themselves for themselves, and a lot of times that is, that is just a sign that you are making up reasons to avoid the risk, right? You don’t believe in what you’re doing enough to actually move forward. And I say this because it is when you say you’re not ready. That is Not a circumstantial thing, it is a decision, you’re deciding that you’re not ready. It’s not the situation or the circumstance, it’s actually the decision. So when we’re not getting the results we need for our business, that’s not the time to hold back. That is the time to reach out for help. That is the time to get fresh perspective, because we have to kind of step into a new role of who we are, if we want to get where we want to go. And if we don’t know what that looks like, it’s really hard, there’s gonna be a lot of trial and error. So working with people who do know what it looks like, can help you get there a lot faster. We’ve noticed this with so many entrepreneurs who have disconnects. And we don’t want them to lose their businesses because we’re here to make a difference in the world here at Change Creator, right. So you know, when your messaging is not connecting with people, this is going to be a big problem. And so this is where we focus on with really supporting your business by putting storytelling at the heart of your marketing in an authentic way, right to really build trust. And finally, get those Consistent sales. So you can stop by you can get on our waitlist right now to enroll in the captivate method, you’ll get a chance to check out our masterclass, learn a ton more about it. I think you guys will have a lot of fun with it. And it’s gonna be super valuable because it’s not a course this is a program with a full coaching experience, right? So you can think of this as a mastermind. And it’s going to take you from point A to point B, way faster, and you’re going to be in a community of people who are your tribe, right? Alright guys, without further ado, let’s jump into this conversation with Jim lawless. Okay, show me that heat Hey, Jim, welcome to the Change Creator podcast show how you doing today?

Jim Lawless 04:41

It was a great pleasure. I’m very well thank you very well.

Adam G. Force 04:44

Excellent, excellent. Um, you know, you have a pretty, pretty interesting and intense background from free diving to steering leadership as some of the biggest brands around the world. So give us a little bit of a snapshot of kind of like what’s going on in your life. world today and how you got there?

Jim Lawless 05:03

Sure, I qualified as a corporate lawyer, worked in the City of London doing mergers and acquisitions work. I left that world at about the age of 29. And I began to work in communications, and communications drew me in to change and change communications change drew me into speaking about that topic and studying it more deeply and then beginning to get really interested in the human, the human aspect of change, which I don’t think we’ve given very much attention to, to be quite honest, how we, how we ask people more and more to go into uncertainty and risk and to adapt at a pace that humans aren’t naturally equipped to adapt at. But we don’t ever teach the skill of adaptations. So I think we’re seeing a lot of issues come out from that my world. Working with that on the broadest sense, and then working with organizations and senior teams, and individuals to assist them come together and deliver change. Hmm.

Adam G. Force 06:13

So what kind of gap care? Do you think like you mentioned that we don’t teach certain things around adaptation and change? Can you give an example or two of the types of gaps that are missing and maybe how they start over how we start overcoming them?

Jim Lawless 06:28

Sure. So we’ve we’ve all been raised for the industrial age, to get it right first time to the satisfaction of an authority figure who can define right and I’ve got two daughters, ones aged six and ones aged 22. And don’t ask is a story for another day. And, and they’re both of course absolutely wonderful. My 22 year old now at university in the UK, studying biochemistry having been completed trained, trained to get it right first time to the satisfaction of a higher authority figure which she, she does admirably. She’s now having to adapt into into a different environment. And that’s causing her some interesting discussions. my six year old, she’s going to be trained in exactly the same way Get it right first time for the boss, but with the with swiping, and and digital tools to help her get it right. So whilst they might be digital natives, they’re not. They’re not in any way trained for a disruptive, uncertain age. They’re being trained in many ways, more than my generation was so going to school in the 80s, where there was still a good degree of risk and experimentation that was it was safe, impossible for us to undertake. So we are asking people to go into risk and uncertainty. That’s all that changes. And we are not teaching people to do that you are saying that’s the broad picture as I see it. Yeah. And and there are two sides to that. One is management and organizations creating impact. vironment where it is possible and safe. So we get into the buzz phrase of psychological safety, which is an important phrase as a how to managers do that in a world where they were told to be the boss bigger and make sure everyone got it right first time historically? And how does the individual who’s received no training, start taking risks when their jobs on the line and so we go around saying, But you mustn’t fear failure, embrace failure and fail faster, which I personally don’t have a lot of time for. In any event, but but it’s utterly meaningless when the big boss says that from a stage and somebody who’s going to get fired if they don’t hit target is listening, thinking but this doesn’t translate to the words that I that you require me to inhale. So we’ve got some real disconnects. Now, when it comes to them, what are we not teaching people what are the gaps, and even just the emotional awareness of what it feels like to go through change or what what is going to happen to the body when we missed it? The sensations we get, which are all fear and anxiety. When we leave this famous comfort zone, we mistake those for genuine, immediate threat. we’re unable to query ourselves and ask why is this happening? Why is my heart racing? How can I work through this situation alone or with others to understand me as a machine as I go through uncertainty, risk and change, which, for example, is a key task for the free diver. Man back to that, but that’s why it was fascinating to go to that work. So I went to horse racing to sit on a thoroughbred racehorse, so I could experiment with this within myself. Robin just just talked about your studying, but we don’t help people understand that process. Therefore they can’t control it. They can’t bring it back in and therefore they can’t go through change. Mm hmm.

Adam G. Force 09:46

Interesting. And I love that you just kind of defined it so simply changes the risk and uncertainty. What does it feel like and you know, as you were saying, that I’m like, so as people today, we have these I guess like these definitions in our mind, which, like you said, what you talk about on stage is not applying to the people and the reality that they live in. And it made me think about when we’re young, and I’m like, you know, we get up, we fall down as a toddler, we get up if we fail constantly, but we never think twice about that risk of falling down or getting up. We’re not afraid of it at that point. So it seems like it’s something that we’re taught over time, to fear risk and change is and it sounds like maybe you’re saying that this is this is the industrial thinking. So it it is it is through a process of how we learn and when we grow up. So is it Am I making sense? You know, what I’m saying like how we I don’t feel like we have those barriers when we’re young. Is that true? Or do you think we’ve always have that fear?

Jim Lawless 10:46

No, we don’t have those barriers when we’re young was, but we acquired them very early on. I was raised Catholic under a very strict school and So I learned to fear making mistakes very in my in my life and how to keep quiet and sit at the back and not put forward my own unique and innovative ideas on things. So so so we learned this early on I think as adults we have to have one not keen on the don’t fear of failure we take bets you know, we have to take bets and that can be a bet within an environment at work and I can I can negotiate with my boss in very real sense about like, I can try this new thing that you’re talking about, but it may have this consequence Are we okay with that boss? So we can we can define parameters of failure and agree the downside of the bet what happens if if we don’t pull this off? And, and we have to any innovative organization is having those conversations on an almost algorithmic level that senior exec level then then we, we in any area of change, we’re going to be placing these bets we have to assess downside either alone or with others or with spouses or with business partners or with boss it’s a downside acceptable we we proceed if it’s not we don’t and that’s why I get in into tangled who’s don’t fear failure and embrace it might be okay if if you’re if you’re a Silicon Valley billionaire me personally I’ve got I’ve got a young a young daughter and there’s that there’s a level of risk of failure beyond which I will not, I’m not willing to tolerate for good reason, you know so. So I think we we need to have adult conversations about what don’t fear failure means but I think we do learn it earlier. Early on, I think we have it in us within for good reason is an evolutionary force. That is that is asking us to resist change, change equals risk and uncertainty that equals danger to us. It’s an evolutionary wiring an ancient wiring that fires up and it does require our obedience, but it does not if we can understand it. Sorry, it requires our attention but it does not if we can understand it before. Find out obedience, we can override it. And when intellectually we believe and can see that that is a good thing to do. I don’t think we’re teaching people how to do that.

Adam G. Force 13:10

Yeah, I mean, and so, I mean, it sounds like you feel there’s probably just a shift in how we’re educating youth in order to be better prepared, I guess, to take on this stuff, because, you know, I think there’s a lot of, you know, fixing around the schools and stuff like that. So as we think about entrepreneurship, you know, we’re not really being taught to become our best self, per se and be creative. You know, one of the most popular TED Talks is how schools like you know, destroy creativity and kids, right? So it’s like, this sounds like there’s just every loose evolutionary shifts that are necessary to help people understand and I guess better embrace these types of things. Is that sound right?

Jim Lawless 13:57

Yeah, I think so. But But, but when Never too late to learn. I mean, I teach this in organizations and in a one hour keynote where I can set up the the basic concepts and constructs and and we’ll talk about really simple ideas like going to approach her a powerful or an attractive other human being and the and the emotions we go through just in facing about risk and uncertainty and consequences are of doing that which are totally manageable, but we don’t, we don’t want to tolerate them, and how we can look to override that risk of that fear of risk and still carry on with with that, with that task. If we decide that I mean very simple ways of helping people understand this emotional challenge what happens when we leave the comfort zone, we don’t even talk about it do we don’t we don’t have a name for that place. We say leave the comfort zone but we never say where you go or how to survive mapless without but it is totally mappable in terms of how we can negotiate and navigate. But I in an hour on the stage people are totally ofay with the principles and within Two hours of workshopping and planning next steps afterwards, they’ve got a plan, which is it doesn’t take long but we just don’t do it. We’ve always focused on the leadership community and got them to, to sort of mix up some metadata. Stephen Covey talks about sharpening swords it seems we’ve always made the the leadership arm that, that moves up and down stronger and stronger and is teaching how to drive change and tell people that icebergs have melted or that cheese has moved. And what we’ve never done is helped all those little teeth to sharpen you know, little people they use and the me’s, the cellular level of the organization to understand how they can each do the new stuff that we’re asking them to do. So instead of just scaring them evermore with these metaphors, why why can’t we help people to understand what how they can move to do things they’ve never done before, which is all that changes at a cellular cellular level in the organization.

Adam G. Force 15:58

Right, right. So Like the example you gave of approaching, you know, powerful or good looking, you know, person and you know, we all like clam up and get so nervous to like approach our guy or whatever. And really in that situation, it’s not like you’re risking your your life, you’re not risking all your money. It’s just like, and we still won’t even tolerate that fear of what rejection, right?

Jim Lawless 16:25

And that’s because the system, the process, the physical process that we never get taught about takes over doesn’t it, and you and I, and anyone listening immediately, if we had measuring equipment on now, our heart rate should be increasing just by the contemplation of this. And because we don’t understand the bet the consequences and why our system is reacting as it is, we move back, you just put your finger on it, that there’s nothing actually at risk here. There’s only three types of harm a human being can come to physical security, either Economic or, or reputational, of course, we’re facing reputational harm, which is why most people would rather rather go out and play a game of American football than then give a presentation, right? Because one’s physical damage written all over it. But however, the other has got reputational damage, which historically, of course, is much more dangerous to us or getting excluded from the community a long time ago was used seriously. So we do once we can understand what it is that our whole body and subconscious mind is, is protecting us from we can intellectually take the risk. So there’s a constant fight between the frontal cortex where the executive decision making the human ability to postpone gratification, to, to want to make a contribution to want to build, to leave legacy, all of that happening in the frontal cortex. All of that requires going into places of uncertainty and risk. And then we’ve got this massive evolutionary system saying don’t go there Adam and Eve. We can understand how to use that piece of kit and override it when necessary requires our attention, not our obedience, we can’t move forward. So, so so everything you described that is absolutely accurate. We don’t want to go and make that interaction, why what’s at risk? And how do I override my physical body, which is saying runaway runaway? Yeah.

Adam G. Force 18:20

And I mean, I, as an entrepreneur, there’s obviously an entire journey of unknown. So I mean, if you if you can’t, if you can’t figure this out, and you know, we always say take calculated risks, like to your point, there’s things you will tolerate that, you know, you have a family and stuff you have to concern yourself about. So you have a tolerance level for certain extreme extreme pneus of risk. And I think as entrepreneurs, I’m just trying to align this here because it’s like, well, we do have to put money in the machine and invest or take a chance on ourselves and believe in ourselves and there’s gonna be things that work out and things that don’t. And one of the things that has helped me overcome certain blocks over many years is really to stop looking at it and saying, Oh, this cost a lot. And I’m worried about this loss. And I started really just saying, What’s the return on the investment that I could get here? And just seeing, you know, is it worth it to me or not? And that has made a big shift for me. So I’m curious if you have any thoughts on the application of, you know, the types of fear we face as entrepreneurs, and some of the steps we can consider or think about so we can intellectually take the risk?

Jim Lawless 19:29

Yeah, sure. I, you know, we went into Nitty gritties, I guess earlier on so let’s, let’s, let’s, let’s come back up for a moment. I think before to address that. We, we, we hold the pen, we’re writing the story, the story of our lives, which will touch potentially millions, even if we don’t set up IBM still going to touch potentially, potentially millions of people. And, and we write that through our decisions and our actions and our results. Every day, what is the story that we want to write during what is a very brief I mean long enough to do great things but a relatively brief time we get in the words of Cat Stevens to dance on the planet and and so that that becomes I think the the driving the driving force for many of us who are entrepreneurs and and whilst I work in the business I do I produce widgets. I’m very much an entrepreneur and set up my own business many years ago. So So I that I think, is a driving force, what’s my contribution? What do I want to make? And we have to keep a sight of that. And then with that, we decide what what am I willing to tolerate in terms of risk along the way, and what am I willing to tolerate in terms of not Dunn’s? And this is really important because the flip side of taking a risk and doing something of course is not doing anything. What does that tack take me on what’s that dirt compass direction, what’s the destination of that if I don’t act and take the risk, and that’s something again, we can we can not take into into account as we live for the moment, I don’t know, the ins and outs of what’s happening in the United States at the moment with the risk of dating and this, this podcast by by going there but at the time of recording, we’re in the middle of it. In the UK big debates about how if we don’t, the cost of not intervening heavily in the economy is actually going to be far out we will multiply if we don’t, the cost will be bigger, in terms of the wreckage caused if we don’t take out loans and and try and preserve the economy through this period. So there’s always a cost both economically but also in terms of life possibility to not acting and then the other element which becomes really important in assessing this risk is Is our perception. And of course we sense the world and we have a perception of risk, according to that, so most of the, the inspirational slash self help literature goes to places like well, you know, never forget that they Walt Disney was sacked as journalists and told it never amounted to anything and Fred Astaire you know, can’t sing can’t act can dance a little and, and so we tend to try and tell stories to ourselves to remind, to remind ourselves that when we look at other great success stories, they didn’t start there. There were setbacks. So when we come to don’t feel failure, let’s let’s not fear failure that we have assessed as tolerable. And let’s, let’s take those risks that we have agreed the downside We will live with if it should come to pass, then that’s like really hard against it. Let’s work really hard and make things happen and move forward. But that’s let’s have those in mind. as entrepreneurs as we move forward, and I think one last thing is that we are in a rush at the moment, so everybody wants to admit it before they’ve paid their dues. And good luck to you. Good luck to you. But I’ve not found the shortcut. And I’m watching everybody do that. And I’m not seeing them having found the shortcut. And I know Mr. Zuckerberg, you know, got it right first time to Harvard or Stanford, I can’t remember was the Facebook Thank you. But but that hey, maybe there was a bit of luck in that. I don’t know. But so that’s that’s not going to be extrapolated across the population of entrepreneurs. And so we are going to take time and maybe we need to go back and pay our dues somewhere to learn the trade before we come out. I set up a retail shop I missed this chapter. When I came out of law. I thought I’ll set up a shop selling environmentally friendly goods to save the planet at the age of around 30 and I went bust real fast. I should have gone and worked in retail for a while. I didn’t know anything about it. I was just going out.

23:58

Yeah,

Adam G. Force 23:59

yeah. Jim, did I lose you?

Jim Lawless 24:06

I’m still him. Oh, oh, I think I pose for you.

Adam G. Force 24:11

This is laughing. No, it’s true. It’s, you know, don’t pay their dues. It is, you know, we hear this a lot, especially from early stage entrepreneurs who are getting started and, you know, they’re like, well, I don’t have the money for this or that I’m like, well, the reality is you will probably have to straddle two worlds for a while, or you know what I mean? Like, you’re gonna have to have a way to fund your ideas. And that means probably working another job, and then building your dream on the side until you can, you know, shift over. But we also like for me, just as an example, I tested out just like you like I started stuff for, like hemp water bottle business, trying to help with plastic pollution, or a rain forest advocacy group and all these different things. And I actually ended up doing a lot of volunteer work in order to get familiar because these were new fields. This is not where I had my corporate experience. And then I put my corporate experience which is digital marketing and media and it came out to Change Creator and that made life a lot easier when I wasn’t starting from scratch again completely I and it’s and it’s so… I will get 21 year olds writing to me saying I want to be a speaker and how should I do it and I said well give us give us a call and in 10 years and I’ll stay in touch in the meantime it gives a call in 10 years because because as you’re gonna have to have something to speak about and you know, I look back just as you as many other people empathize listening on the audio, the broadcast it back, I studied acting and I took lessons and I listened to comedians, obsessively in my car, about how they were crafting their material. I listen to people from Zig Ziglar to whoever else in terms of business speakers, and concepts that are being put across. And then I went and lift them on horseback being dumped at seven o’clock in the morning by a racehorse into the hedge, and then being screamed at by the trainer, and then I then I checked it on out under meters under the ocean, and then I started bringing it back into the corporate world. And that takes a bit of time, and you probably still hadn’t heard of me, but it’s gonna be Seth Godin or Anthony Robbins, and that’s fine. We’re all making a different contributions, we’ll make our different contributions but but those those days are often are often going to have to pay now that’s not to make it sound like some old guy making out that the only way to get ahead in life is discipline and hard work or that probably is true. It’s really to say as reassurance as reassurance It’s okay if you haven’t made it at a young age, and also give up with the with the lifestyle and I mean, it is that there are times when you just can’t do the lifestyle because, yeah, you’re not willing to invest the time to earn the money to do that. Because you’ve got a big dream to pursue. So if we are speaking at some any entrepreneur but potentially younger now if I’m going to take that back because I know I know lawyers who are my age who became lawyers with me who still tell me they can’t pursue their dreams because they can’t give up the big money so you know, you just can’t give up the big house and the nice car you can give it all up you know, you then go go do it. So so we will sometimes have to make real life choices and the Instagram idea of everyone’s made overnight whilst we’re in the top brands whilst so it’s just you know, as clearly as nonsense So, so let’s, let’s, let’s be focused, placed a bet. Gather great people around us be humble, be curious, be be be knowing that we’re going to fall over and bruise ourselves more ego hopefully than anything else. But that will all take us in the direction. Yeah, yes. Makes a lot of sense. And I’m curious, you know, do you tie in when you’re on stage doing your talks and stuff? Do you talk about your freediving experience? And things like that any, any examples of your own life experience, you know, overcoming these challenges.

Jim Lawless 28:06

freediving is, is a beautiful metaphor. And I mean, I didn’t realize how beautiful when I took it on. I took it on for a number of reasons, not least of which my eldest daughter was very unwell. At the time side, I raised some money for pediatric medical research at the time buff the, the metaphor of literally leaving the comfort zone and going into what I call the confusion zone. All right, it’s rehearsed, you’ve practiced so it’s not entirely confusing, but you’re going into a realm of uncertainty, an incredibly hostile environment, and yet an incredibly beautiful environment. At 100 meters, you’re receiving the biggest hug. It’s 11 times the Earth’s atmospheric pressure. That’s 33 times the atmosphere change coming in to land at an airport and you do Another 60 seconds, and not in a pressurized container. It’s amazing, literally being hugged by the planet. But the primary, the primary challenge for the free diver is mental and emotional discipline and control, I have to override the system telling me to run away. So so it’s an act of mindfulness and meditation and it’s an act of remaining in my frontal cortex, never going anywhere near my amygdala being entirely in charge of what neurotransmitters and hormones are active in my system. And should I lose that even if something goes wrong and I move from a potential anxiety which I avoid into real fear because something has happened? Even then, I do not benefit from releasing adrenaline. Most situations we do a free dive, we do not so so that control becomes vital. So it’s a miniature exercise, in moving from certainty into uncertainty in an undeniably hostile if included right to be beautiful environment like a mountain incredibly beautiful, incredibly dangerous environment, going through extraordinary physical change, where the primary job that you have to succeed is the ability to mentally and physically and emotionally retain control. So it’s a wonderful metaphor and the way I use it on stage, I’ll show the film of my dies and I invite everyone to come and hold their breath. And I’ll make the point the breath holding is actually the easiest part. The mental part is big, and then the managing of pressure changes is the huge technical exercise in the breath hold is really housekeeping. But so I’m inviting to hold their breath and we’ll go on this journey together. But during that I’ll talk about the importance of making a decision to leave the comfort zone behind move to the other side. Even if we keep the day job or whatever other elements people need to be considering. alive. Whilst we whilst we do the transfer. We have to commit to get to The other side because the risk of course if I decide I’m going to go to 80 meters and stop there and have a little thing can see with I like it well yeah may not feel like good 80 meters if I stop and have a think about it I probably better just to move past that point and get on with the job and and come home and you know going going through any adventure of change there’s going to be some really rocky days and that’s real and that’s live and that’s why we admire people who’ve been through this journey and and we make movies about people who’ve been through on an extreme level and that they because they they have had to go to places dig deep get stoutly working harder late make me I’m not gonna say sacrifices but big priority decisions in order to get to the other side. If we don’t make that commitment across the the gorge of the confusion zone to reach the sunny uplands. We will will quit and will either come home and get a job. Back in the safe zone, or will quit somewhere in the middle never never really know what our True Potential was. So I like to use a die to answer your question, Adam, in a long answer there, because I wants to talk a lot about the divers, you raised it. I the way I use it most on stage is to talk about the commitment required. I have to decide at the beginning, okay, we’re doing this now. We’re going to 100 meters and we’re coming home unless there’s a big emergency that I’m gonna bail out. If it all goes well, I’ve got to have the mental capacity in the decision to go through that as no point. At the start of this thinking I’m going to go to 80% See how it’s going because 80% anything could be happening on 80% of the journey.

Adam G. Force 32:40

Yeah, no, I love that. You got 100% commit, prepare yourself. It’s an interesting process. What’s the deepest you ever have gone?

Jim Lawless 32:48

One I want the record. I wanted to be the first Brit past 100 I knew that somebody would break my record, right? Because that’s, that’s the deal. But I thought if I pass 100 and I’m the first guy to do that first. To that from my country, I can always say that at dinner parties as an old guy, I can always say, Well, I was the first to pass. Like, we’re not not as impressive but high performing in Maya, right. I mean, that was seriously impressive, but kind of kind of, I thought I’d always have that little thing. So it’s 101 was the deepest. Wow. It’s not, it’s not super impressive, but but for me, it was it was impressive. I think

Adam G. Force 33:26

it’s impressive. I mean, I’ve seen the deep diving through some videos and stuff. And it is, I can imagine as you’re really getting down there, and that you can feel the pressure, the silence, and you’re really, that’s intense. I can imagine the panic that can overcome you.

Jim Lawless 33:44

Yeah, except that emotion. I mean, it isn’t. It’s beautiful. It’s beautiful. It’s I if I’ve created an impression of it being anything other than stunning, I’ve done a poor job. It’s an exercise in mindfulness and meditation being utterly present. In, in mental discipline in I can’t have the luxury of a little drama moment. I’ve got no one to blame. There’s there’s utter accountability and responsibility. I have a tremendous team on the surface, who have worked with me on this and all support me should anything go wrong, but they can’t do the die for me. They can be in charge of how I conduct myself far away from them at the most critical points. So I have huge responsibility and accountability. And so it’s a little bit like I learned to fly recently and I and I am went solo in a helicopter. It was a little bit it really reminded me of that because there’s a moment when the instructor gets out, and you’ve got utter accountability for this slightly flammable bomb above other people’s houses and, and you just got to get it forget, you know, you got to get yourself back right for everybody underneath you. It’s a it’s a I like going to those places where I have to deny my natural ability and I certainly have the natural ability To let what I call the tiger on that, that force, it says back off, you can’t do it right. back into the comfort zone. I like testing those places. And it’s critical, I think, for my job that I have been there.

Adam G. Force 35:14

Yeah, no, I mean, overcoming those things, I always found that exciting too. I like to do push the boundaries and stuff like that. So I have a respect for people that are out there doing that kind of that deep that free diving and those things are pretty intense. And so I always found it interesting. And, you know, I, you know, as you think about being an entrepreneur and running your business, it’s kind of like, you know, how deep Do you go and are you 100% committed because I feel like a lot of entrepreneurs really will. They, they tend to have that fear factor that we’ve been discussing, and because of that, they end up playing it safe, like I don’t want to get too crazy. So I’m just gonna test the water just gonna go in a little bit, and so everything becomes half ass, and it ends up really creating more problems than good because Because they’re not 100% committed, and they’re constantly playing it safe out of fear.

Jim Lawless 36:05

That’s really interesting. I mean, we have to be when I say playing it safe I think it’s important people take bets that they are willing to lose on the downside. I can tolerate that convert so so playing it safe in that regard. Yes. playing it safe, however as in just just just holding back not fully committing and yeah, that that that is that’s that’s a different conversation. I think. I think that’s very dangerous. So it’s like going into a free dive on committed I mean, you could you could there’s anything you need to know you’re gonna go and do and I think that’s definitely the case with with entrepreneurship. And then I think with for entrepreneurs, I would always say, x together. For any for anyone I’d always say work with a mentor. Now this doesn’t need to be a paid. But it could be that’s that’s the paid coaches job. But that job of the mentor who’s been there before, or the paid coaches to challenge the perceptions Why are you seeing this as a risk? Why are you seeing that? You can’t do that? Yes. Because we will put these barriers up. And it can be extreme. Why are you saying you can’t walk across and speak to that senior person? Or that that that person to whom you are attracted? Why, why Why are you saying that? And that can be an What have you got to lose if you did, and those can be very important questions that can help us catapult forwards, a catapult forwards. So don’t do this in isolation. And that comes back to humility, knowing how to ask for help, which we were not taught to do. We were taught to get it right first time independently at our desk, the smartest in the class better than everybody else. This was the prized possession right, right back to the beginning of our conversation. And now we find the people who are really rattling ahead are the people who turn up willing to look the dentist in a meeting and they’ve done their work. They’re not actually dim, but they are willing to ask the big the big open helped me understand educate me quite You know, rather than and then go off and deploy that alongside their own mighty skills, rather than coming in, looking, looking to show off their skills and leave having acquired no more. So there’s a tremendous amount of humility, that, that comes with learning, taking risks entering into uncertainty. And if we’re not able to, to demonstrate that humility or ego needs, need something else, I think we have, we have a problem, a project an existential problem as an entrepreneur.

Adam G. Force 38:33

Yeah, yeah. You know, I, I’ll wrap up on this note, but I some of the things that I’ve read, which are similar, like you talked about going in the room, being willing to ask what some might say is a dumb question or whatever. You know, it’s this act of also just the willingness to be vulnerable, right, putting yourself out there and so many people do when they want to hide in the back of the classroom or, you know, they don’t want to be the one to put their hand up because God forbid they get the answer. are wrong and they look stupid, you know, that vulnerability is part of it too, I guess.

Jim Lawless 39:07

I think it’s the other side of exactly the same coin, you’ve you’ve, you’ve put your finger on it, if we’re going to create change, we’ve got it, which includes setting up successful businesses to create whatever that may be, we have to do things that no one’s ever done. And that certainly we’ve never done. That means by definition, risk and uncertainty. And if you put me out there in public, surrounded by risks that I might get this wrong, uncertain as to how to act, I’m by definition, in an extremely vulnerable naked position. And if I’m not willing to go out there and and tolerate that and have some strategies for surviving with other people who can hold my hand in that position, then I I am at risk as to my success. Yeah, exactly. It is vulnerable. It is vulnerable, and that’s why we admire it and that’s why when you when you speak to someone successful, unless as in some major figures, they inherited it from their fathers and may or may not have enhanced that fortune over time. If it’s somebody who’s gone from the bottom and made it, they’ve got time for you. They’re very genuinely, generally, they will have time for you for a lazy slacker who’s clearly not doesn’t mean they’re going to contribute anything because that’s against their ethos. But if you’re turning up humble and clearly willing to work and interested and asking big questions, I’ve never met one of those folk who was not humble and willing to engage in a conversation with me.

Adam G. Force 40:32

Interesting, interesting. Well, Jim, I really appreciate it. Man. I love these conversations. I think it’s so important. You know, one of the things I’ve learned over many years of doing business and stuff is a lot of it comes down to the way we think and how we respond to challenges and situations and you know, the mindset and the tactical part and the strategy part we can all figure out right? It’s just really how are we responding to those things and approaching them. So I find these conversations to be super valuable. And I appreciate you sharing your experience and expertise.

Jim Lawless 41:04

Adam, it’s been a huge pleasure, great fun to meet you and talk with you and I wish you and your listeners every possible success.

Adam G. Force 41:10

Thank you very much. We’ll talk soon again. That’s all for this episode. Your next step is to join the Change Creator revolution by downloading our interactive digital magazine app for premium content, exclusive interviews and more ways to stay on top of your game available now on iTunes and Google Play or visit Change Creator mag comm we’ll see you next time where money and meaning intersect right here at the Change Creator podcast.

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