Be the Person You Need Right Now with Don Wettrick

Media Thumbnail
  • 0.5
  • 1
  • 1.25
  • 1.5
  • 1.75
  • 2
This is a podcast episode titled, Be the Person You Need Right Now with Don Wettrick. The summary for this episode is: <p><strong>"This is the true joy in life; Being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to make you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it what I can. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations." - George Bernard Shaw</strong></p><p><br></p><p>This week on Write Your Own Story, Rebecca is joined by&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Don Wettrick</a>. Don is the CEO &amp; Founder of The STARTedUP Foundation, where he empowers student entrepreneurs and provides training and seed funding.</p><p>In this episode, Don and Rebecca share insight into how we can create opportunities for ourselves and begin our hero's journey.</p><p><br></p><p><strong>In this episode, you’ll learn:</strong></p><ul><li>How Innovate Within helps younger generations become entrepreneurs</li><li>Why it's important to take chances over and over throughout your life</li><li>The impact something as simple as being kind can have</li></ul><p><br></p><p><strong>Things to listen for</strong></p><p>[04:48] Innovate Within: Don's statewide competition</p><p>[13:18] Living your life as a continuous hero's journey</p><p>[17:40] How to take chances at opportunities</p><p>[24:58] Don's advice for those deciding on their next step</p><p><br></p><p><strong>Resources:</strong></p><p>Join the&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">1000 Thriving Women Movement</a></p><p>Learn more about&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Rebecca and her work</a></p><p>Get your copy of&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Write Your Own Story</a></p><p>Listen to Rebecca's Audiobook&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Write Your Own Story</a></p><p>Take the&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Badass Quiz</a></p><p><br></p><p><strong>Connect with Rebecca:</strong></p><p><a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"></a></p><p><a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"></a></p><p><a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"></a></p><p><a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"></a></p>
04:11 MIN
Innovate Within: Don's statewide competition
03:11 MIN
Live your life as a continuous hero's journey
03:16 MIN
How Don hopes and helps others to take chances at opportunities, & start their journey
03:50 MIN
Don's advice for those deciding what their next step in life is
03:01 MIN

Speaker 1: (singing).

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: This is Write your Own Story: Three Keys to Rise and Thrive in Life and Business. I'm your host, Rebecca Fleetwood Hession. Hey y'all. You know what I hope this episode does for you today? I hope this episode helps you feel better. That's all I want from this episode. I want you to feel better. We're going to give you some tips and ideas. In fact, I can promise you on this episode, you're going to learn some things, you are going to be inspired, and you're going to have your perspective changed in a way that you will want to choose some different behaviors. And isn't that really at the core of everything? This is important to me today, that as a result of this episode that you feel better, because I have really witnessed a lot of hurting and pain. And some groups and some clients have been talking a lot about burnout these days, and I'm seeing it in really deep, profound ways. And when there's a really hard problem, it's typical for us to think that the solution is also going to be hard, and that's not always the case. Now, I will say, as it relates to burnout, that it's not a quick fix. In fact, on a future episode, I'm going to talk to you a little bit about what I know it's going to take to, as my tagline says, ban burnout. For today, we're going to go into this episode. And here's what I want you to visualize or pretend is happening. You ever wander into a coffee shop, maybe a bar, restaurant, I don't know, someplace. People are just hanging out and having a conversation. And you run into somebody, wasn't really planned, and you just jump in on their conversation, and you realize, oh my gosh, I am so glad that I ran into this person who introduced me to this person because it created this amazing exchange that I hadn't anticipated. And man, that felt good. That's what I want for you today with this episode with Don Wettrick, because Don is an old friend of mine, and we hadn't chatted in a while, and we are so aligned on things that we care about and the work that we do that I just said, " ump on on the line and we will talk about what you want to talk about." So it's like you just sat down at the table at a coffee shop with us and this conversation is already in progress, which is how this episode actually is. But I also want you to look into Don. He is the CEO of STARTedUP Foundation and is doing amazing work. He was previously an educator, a teacher. And now, as an entrepreneur and CEO of this foundation, he is doing amazing work around the world and helping students see the world as entrepreneurs, but also in a myriad of ways that you'll hear about today. There is a competition in Indianapolis on June 15th, a pitch competition that I would love for you to consider, attend. Come find me. I'll be there. Let's meet and continue this robust conversation. But at its root today, what I want for you is for you to feel better, and you're going to find that there are just two things out of this episode that are so important that we can simplify the answers to really complex problems. And one of those ways is to go be the person that you need right now. Let's hear Don and I just break this all down. What's a topic, a challenge, something that is really on your heart maybe that you haven't had a chance to talk about in other places or context, just something that would feel really good to talk about that today?

Don Wettrick: It's something that I talk about, but I don't feel like I talk about enough. I guess for context, I run a program, it's a statewide competition and curriculum. It's called Innovate Within. By the way, our foundation is called the STARTedUP Foundation, but we're startup mindset in education. And so what a lot of people think and assume it is like, " Oh, you teach entrepreneurship?" I'm like, " No, I teach students how to see problems as opportunities," which is another way of saying entrepreneurship, but sometimes gets lost in translation. We'll get people that say, " Oh, let me pass you on to the business department." I'm like, " No, pass me on to the home ec department. Pass me on to the English teacher. Pass me on to the whatever. It's not a business thing until it becomes one." And by that, I meant if you have an innovative idea, if in school you write it for an audience of one, you got A, big freaking deal. It was an audience of one. I think seeing a problem as an opportunity, and then wanting to launch it is entrepreneurship, but back up to steps of seeing a problem as an opportunity is the thing. And this is where... I've probably said this so many times that Seth will probably eventually thank me for it, but Seth Godin in Linchpin said, " Education can really be boiled down to two things, solving interesting problems and the leadership to get it done." That's what we do. Our curriculum, we sit out there, we're like... We tell students, " Do not pitch us on t- shirt lines and food trucks, unless that is a part of a solution." We had one student that said, " Hey, listen, I did a data study. This zip code has no food trucks. I surveyed 300 people. They are screaming for a taco truck." I'm like, " Oh, then you're solving a problem." So yeah, I want to get students, hell, adults. We are really good.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: I was going to say this is not just about students. If you can get everyone looking at problems as opportunities, yes, the world changes.

Don Wettrick: Yes, because we're good at... I try not to swear too often, but we're good at bitching, and I get it. But when we go, " Okay, what would you do?" And I think that was the hallmark. And obviously you've met two of my children, but Ava and Anna have already got that... They know what's coming. If they say... So we had dinner, we talk. And if they're going to complain, I'm like, " What says thou? What you going to do?" And that's...

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: I have often said to women's groups, stop bonding over bitching. I love women and I'm shocked that I created a business that serves in, because I grew up with all men and all boys, and even had male roommates. God has such a sense of humor. But the first thing I said was, I refuse to stay in a room where if we're going to bond, it's around who we collectively don't like or what we don't like. Nope. Nope. Unless, to your point, unless we're saying, what did I do about this? How are we going to move ourselves out of it? A hundred percent.

Don Wettrick: Yeah.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: The other thing that I love about what you said, when I think about my work and helping people know their gifts and talents, my next directive to them is, figure out how to make those relevant. And that's what you're talking about, is what's the problem that you're solving because... And I think especially in students in the demographic that you work with is the copy and paste. " Oh, I saw somebody was successful on Instagram with a food truck, so I'm going to do a food truck." Not if there's a hundred other food trucks, it's not relevant. So you're looking for, yeah, be yourself, but find a relevant problem to solve for yourself.

Don Wettrick: Yes. Because watching what Gary V. did is that was his path that he blazed. And I'm not bashing on them. I think there's a lot of good, but I can't tell you how many people that have tried to make money telling people how to make money in drop shipping, not actually drop shipping. I've got a course on how to make money in drop shipping. Have you ever done it before? No, but I'm telling people how to do it.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: No, but I read a book on it.

Don Wettrick: Right, right, right. So because someone else is going to do it, I'm going to copycat it, and hopefully that works out for them. Meanwhile, you have a perspective. And we talk about diversity. Well, diversity also of insights, diversity of opinions. And so when you hear somebody like, " Hey, I don't like this about the thing," your insights have value, especially if the insight you have has never been done before. That is so powerful and valuable. And what I'm also trying to... When I started talking about see a problem as an opportunity, the second part of that was a very Seth Godin- esque and the leadership to get it done. The leadership, the first of it is, I can do this. I can't do it alone. We incentivize in our program teams. We pay out more if it's team. And that is a skill of saying, the confidence of saying, I'm going to lead this, but I don't know how to build all of it.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: And we're all unique down to our fingerprints. So somebody's unique perspective on a similar problem or opportunity is valuable if you can own that authenticity. I think there's a lot of fear about being myself that holds people back from what could be really great. And I was that way because I was in this corporate world where I'm working with Fortune 500 CEOs. I grew up on a small farm in southeast Indiana where we talked terrible language and nobody graduated college. I was this weird anomaly that after I ran away from home at 18 and worked MTV's first Spring Break, then I went and did corporate life and I was scared to death somebody was going to ask me about my background in the beginning. And then I realized my background, being able to talk to anybody at any stage of life was my greatest gift. The fact that I could hang with the plumbers and the farmers and all the people made me better. So it took me a while though to be like, oh, this is my value. It's not because I got the best degree, because I can relate to people better than others.

Don Wettrick: Well, yeah. I'm going to share a story of a young lady who is now graduating from Purdue, and she was, in some ways, " I don't want to graduate because I'm surrounded by people that think that I'm smart. Meanwhile, I'm hoping they don't figure out that they're the smart ones." Because she would come up with these great ideas and some of the engineers knew how to build it. And they were looking at her like, oh my gosh. And she was looking at them like, oh my gosh, it takes both. And so you're right. That unique skillset is valued. Sometimes we feel as it's not as big of a deal. In my current role, I cannot believe, and actually I feel bad about it, is like, " Hey Don, you need to go to these two cities and speak." And they're like, "Oh man, public speaking. Oh, feel sorry for them." And I'm like, wait, instead of working on some spreadsheets... And by the way, God bless you if you're an awesome spreadsheet, but I'm like, this isn't work. And meanwhile, they're like, " Oh, how can you want to do that?" So that unique talent is yours. Own it. Go with it.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: We do take it for granted. That's one of the things that I help my clients do, is hold up the mirror to help them see how important their unique talent is, because you discount it. You're like, that's not a big deal. I'm like, yes, it is. To everybody else, that's a really big deal. And if you don't bring it to the world, we suffer. Stop holding that shit back. We need it.

Don Wettrick: Yeah. Yeah.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: I want to dig into, since I've known you seven years ago, I found you on LinkedIn. I'm like, he's cool, he's local. We had coffee. I just fell in love with the work that you were doing in education because it's what I really wanted to do, and you'd already started doing it. Yay. And your life is a series of fortunate events versus the movie of series of unfortunate events. Yours is literally a series of fortunate events.

Don Wettrick: Yeah.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: What do you think... I have some ideas, but what do you think it is that puts you in this position that those opportunities present themselves?

Don Wettrick: Thank you for bringing this up because I... I'll tell you on the negative side, I sometimes really do think here soon, that Keanu Reeves is going to come up to me and say, " Hey, it's over. This was all a simulation. Everything has gone your way, and that's not the way the world works." Also, I don't want this to be too self- congratulatory because I'm hesitant to answer how I'm going to answer, but you're right. The last seven years, even on when it's shit, it has been the greatest thing ever. Matter of fact, I even can tell you a story of how I met my wife. It was the worst night of my life, and it turned out to be the best night of my life. But I think the reason why it happens is that, number one, I understand the hero's journey. I started off with this eye- opening experience. And honestly, I was always a weird teacher. In my book, what people quote more is my dad's quote. And my dad was like... I told him I wanted to be a teacher, which he was a teacher. He never complained. But he said, " Donnie, I don't care if you teach for the next 20 years. Please don't teach one year 20 times." That resonated with me, didn't resonate until year two or year three, but I've always been on this mission of what would've I have appreciated? Because as a child of a teacher, I had to do well, but I didn't like school. So I had a mission and I was on a journey. And as I kept meeting resistance, I chose to see it as Joseph Campbell, which by the way, that was one of my favorite classes in college. I basically took Joseph Campbell 101. Understanding that, when everything is at its lowest point, I knew that I was going to meet Master Oogway or Yoda or Ben Kenobi or somebody, so I actively looked for those mentors. And they're out there. Because those mentors are going to see you and go, " Oh my gosh, I was you when I was 22 years old or 16 years old." So finding those mentors is really important. And then when you're at this petit despair, when all things are bad, you know that you're going to reach rebirth. And then completing that journey, the hero's journey isn't done until they go back and introduce a new status quo into the original spot so that you come full circle. And I realize that my life isn't just one, but it's several hero's journeys. That is not to feel like I feel like I'm a hero or I'm heroic. I just want to take that journey. And when you put yourself into those companies of people, they get it. Because like you said earlier, when you surround yourself in a room with people like, " You know what sucks? Everything," not a effing thing gets done, nothing. It makes you feel good temporarily. The world's against me. I hate things. People are bad. Okay, all right. But when you put yourself in the company and people are like, " Yeah, I got through that shit too," strange things happens. And so yes, fast forwarding to last week, I was... This family's story is crazy, but I'll skip ahead by saying, " Hey, we heard, you know how to create some crazy ass ideas." I had a royal family from Europe come to me and said, " We heard you knew how to execute on some crazy ideas." That's nuts. So when you put that vibe out and eventually it resonates people, those people congregate. It's a small world inaudible is a small world.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Yes, they find you. Yeah. Be yourself and the right people for you will find you. And I think a significant part of that hero's journey, which I got emotional as soon as you said that, because I was like, I want everybody in the world to be required to understand the hero's journey, that was a 101 for my parenting as well, is when you're in the pit, when you're in the heart, when you're in the suck, I think especially for high achievers, because that's typically who I'm working with and who's listening, we want to hide when we're hurting because we either think that we did it to ourselves or we're going to be embarrassed when people know we're in the suck. And instead of embracing it as the start of something growing and beautiful and looking for that mentor and looking for the, what am I going to learn from this, we go, I'm just going to hunker down until this gets better because I don't want anybody to know that this sucks. And that's where we ruin this. We break the cycle of the hero's journey right there.

Don Wettrick: Yeah. Well, I hope more people work with you when they realize that. It's funny, I don't really have time or even really movies anymore unless they're animated. I think a metaphor of... I have gotten more spiritual journeys out of Kung Fu Panda, out of The Incredibles than almost anything, Fantastic Mr. Fox. These are movies that my family is memorized because the story arc is so good, but it's so right there in front of you. There is a fat panda that fate happens to him and he goes on a journey. And even though he's been told that he's a chosen one, he's at level zero. He sucks. And going through that is what I want more students to go through, is where they make that transformation that they know that they have that potential of going from a no nothing fat panda. That sounds derogatory, but I'm using the movie. But someone that doesn't know where they're doing, and they go and they meet a mentor and they realize they're at level zero, and that's okay. Because I'm desperately afraid, for adults and students to be stuck in this, " Well, what are you going to do?" and" I couldn't possibly." And then denying themselves a chance at an opportunity to take the journey. That's what motivates me, that's what keeps me up at night, and that's what... I think our proudest moments is that the students to go through this and go, " Oh my gosh." And sometimes the ones that even win, the ones that just figured it out and have great stories. This is also why I'm so... I hate competitions and I love them. The level of quality has gotten so ridiculously high with Innovate Within, ridiculously high that we're now actually having some students go, " Oh, I don't want to apply. There's no way I'll win." I'm like, no, no, no. So that's why I'm so desperate to get more incentives, to get more celebrities or Colts players or whatever, because just you going through this and making it to the regional level, or not even making it to the regional level, it's so worth it because we've had... Actually, some of our most successful dollar- wise out of this program didn't come in 10th. They weren't there yet, but they continued on. And they built a network and they meant those mentors, and then they went on and succeeded. That's the darned if you do, darned if you don't situation. If it's not a competition, this really stays mediocre. But at the same time, it's gotten so good that I'm hoping I'm not dissuading kids by looking at it and say, there's no way in hell.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: I see it in adults too. If I can't win, I'm not even going to start, and if I can't be great at it. I tell a story about my daughter when she was nine, was all excited to go to her first soccer practice until the night before when she realized that she didn't know how to play soccer, so forget it. She wasn't going to go. I'm like...

Don Wettrick: Yeah.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: ...that's what the practice is for, is to learn. But there's this belief that I got to be good at it before I should even start.

Don Wettrick: But see, God bless you, Rebecca, that your daughter had. What hurts my soul is that there are so many students that don't have that, that one encouraging word sends them over the moon because it's the first time they've heard it. We've got a dad epidemic in this country, and I'm not going to blame it and put it at the feet of just men. And I get it, man, life's hard, and so sometimes adults that aren't supportive, they don't mean to be that way. I think in a lot of ways, this competition is an exercise in mental health. It is not a business pitch. It is a see a problem as an opportunity. What could you do? How could you grow it? What solution do you have? And by the way, a lot of our contestants this year, a lot of them pitch solutions for mental health issues.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Your generation is opening up and talking about it. It's never been talked about it before. But what you're articulating is everything that I believe in, which is the human needs first, the story first. Then we'll build the business model to support the story and the human needs. But you got to solve the human problem first. And the other thing that you said is so important, and this is the same for adults and organizations and leaders, is affirmation is far more powerful than feedback, and we have an obsession with feedback. Nobody ever showed up inspired by, " Hey, I want to give you some feedback, meet me for coffee." You're miserable in dreading that until you get there anticipating that your life is going to be worse because you had the conversation. Affirmation is where people change and get inspired and want to be more of themselves. Affirmation says, you see me? So from a basic human needs first, you're inspired because you're seen. And once you're seen and inspired, you can build from there some of your own solutions. You don't need external validation and feedback. So when you can go from the inside out versus the outside in, your life fundamentally changes forever.

Don Wettrick: Yeah, yeah.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: That's my entire life's belief and legacy. If I can get people to know they've already got what they need in here and to stop looking out there for somebody to tell them who they are and what they're great at... And with students, I agree.

Don Wettrick: Yeah.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: I'm so afraid. And I don't use that word very often because fear is rarely the right word unless it's physical and imminent danger, but I feel the imminent danger of about so many of our youth not being allowed to be themselves or having someone hold up the mirror to help them see themselves.

Don Wettrick: Yeah.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: So people listening today are probably nodding their heads in two ways. One, they're thinking to themselves, I need to do better at this as a parent or a leader or a friend. And two, they're saying, I wish someone would do that for me. And I don't care if you are 15 or 57, there's always a part of us that wants more of that in our lives. The last two weeks, I've had situations where I've had groups of women where we're talking about burnout. And Don, I asked them to talk about what's their why for changing their lives into something better, because to change your behavior, there needs to be something compelling. These people, these women especially are saying that they don't know if they can go on.

Don Wettrick: Yeah.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: I'm not talking about I want a better career. These women are saying to me, " I don't want to be on this planet anymore if I can't feel better." The number of times I've sobbed in the last two weeks after an event or a call feeling the collective pain is just fueling my fire, number one, to keep going, but the hurt is real. So as people are listening today and saying, " I want to live more in that hero's journey, I want to be more affirming or get more affirmation," what would you say to somebody that's just in that place of, okay, what can I do next either for myself or my kid or inaudible?

Don Wettrick: Yeah, I know exactly what to say. And it's funny, I just had this conversation with Grant. I just got back from a 328th grader bus trip to Washington D. C. And yeah, I know, what was I thinking? Although I loved it, but Grant would rather hang out with adults. And he is confident enough that when he get excluded, he doesn't take it too hard. And when some of his friends did include him, when somebody else more popular comes along and they hightail and run, he doesn't take it too hard. But I told him... He was getting a little down, and I said, " Please observe people." I said, " Notice how many other students are feeling exactly the way you do. They actually outnumber everybody else." I said, Feel an opportunity to be the person you wish would come along and be nice to you." Because when you do that, there's an opportunity. Just walking around trying to see an opportunity. by the way, it's selfish. You're making yourself feel better. Here's the spoiler alert, by you being nice, it's actually selfish. Now, do you have to go and put it on YouTube? I bought a guy a cup of coffee and then videotaped, okay. By the way, I actually am not too against that because it does inspire people, but I'd say walk around. When you see somebody hurting, " Hey, man. How you doing?" People will first, " I'm fine." " No, seriously, how you doing?" 90% of the people are like, will then unload on you. You don't even say anything, "Man, I understand. Hey, I just want to let you know I'm thinking about you." Dear God, there's that right.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Yeah.

Don Wettrick: Pulled up the quote by George Bernard Shaw. I'm going to try not to get emotional reading it. George Bernard Shaw, " This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognize yourself as a mighty one, the being a force of nature instead of fever, shellfish, little clot of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world does not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community. And as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle for me. It is a sorted, splendid torch, which I have to hold for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible for handing it on to future generations." Yeah.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: That's the heart of everything that humanity is about.

Don Wettrick: Yes. Yeah.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: One of my favorites too. Actually, you'll love to know that my previous boss, Dr. Steven Covey, God rest his soul, that was one of his favorite quotes.

Don Wettrick: I know. And that's how I discovered that quote. It was in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: 7 Habits. Yeah, he loved that quote.

Don Wettrick: And it was like what, like 1993? And I read it and I'm like, holy shit. And I didn't know who George Bernard Shaw was. That guy was just a quote machine. So the fact that Covey did put that in his book is exactly how I discovered it.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: He used it every time he spoke. Loved it.

Don Wettrick: By the way, other than recommending the Bible and Jordan Peterson's 12 Rules for Life, the most practical book in the world is still Covey's original. That is the most practical book in the world. Read it, memorize it.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: And if you don't want to read the adult version, read his son Sean's teen version. It's the same principles written in more common everyday language if that's your bag.

Don Wettrick: Yeah, I read that, what, in 1993, '94? And I had more parenting advice in my head. So I had my first child in 2001, so it really wasn't parenting lessons until 2005. Years later, I'm like green and clean. I'm like, there's just so many things.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Right.

Don Wettrick: So yes, if you're listening to this as a teacher, that is your homework assignment. Pick up that book. It changed my life.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Mine too. Mine too. And in fact, it was rated right under the Bible as the most read book for decades.

Don Wettrick: Yeah.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Those two, one and two. One and two

Don Wettrick: Deservingly so.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Yeah, I love that message. I even think, gosh...

Don Wettrick: Yeah.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: I feel like wrapping with just a underscore of go be the person that you need is so beautifully simple and profound. And beautifully simple most often or the most profound. We want to overcomplicate the solution.

Don Wettrick: Yes.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Let's go read another book. Let's go watch another Ted Talk, let's go do... The answer is out there. No.

Don Wettrick: Yes.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: It's right here. Go be the person that you need and see what kind of good vibes and amazing opportunities to speak in the Czech Republic show up in your life a few years later.

Don Wettrick: Well, those are catch phrase in class, opportunities are everywhere. I signed off every podcast that way. I would end every classroom that day. I'm like, " Hey," to the point where I'm like, " Don't roll your eyes, but you know I'm going to say opportunities are everywhere. Bye kids." Because when you walk around... And here's the hard thing, especially for any Gram Sevens, there's so many damn opportunities. I want to do them all. But once you unlock that, if you're just walking down the street and you see somebody that you can tell they're about ready to cry and lose their shit, be nice. Now, I say that. Unfortunately, the world's a crazy place. That person also may be mentally ill and stab you. I hope not. I'm surprised that I haven't been physically attacked for some of the crazy things I do, but...

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: The lord got you pretty covered with all the good you're doing in the world.

Don Wettrick: But at the same time, there are so many opportunities just to be nice. And like I said, will just be honest with you, it's selfish. I want to feel good. I like helping people because I get that hit of dopamine, and that's fine. Do it, be a nice person.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: But when you take care of yourself, it's actually an act of service. Because when you don't take care of yourself, you are not good to be around. Nobody wants to be around that person because you're exhausted, your nervous system's all jacked up, your vibes are not good vibes. And so it may be selfish, but it's an act of service to self- care.

Don Wettrick: Yes.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: And when you say that about see somebody that's hurting, loneliness, isolation and loneliness is number three under smoking and obesity for health related issues. And we don't really talk about it. People don't walk around, especially high achievers, and go, " Oh, well, the reason my life isn't great because I'm lonely," when that actually is the case, because they're just so focused on achievement and work that they've disconnected all of their real relationships. And so when I'm helping clients work on connection, fine community, I live alone, largely, my kids are in and out, but I have to be really mindful about isolation, loneliness. And I'm a smart person. I've got good friends, but there are times when I've spent a long time alone and I have to say to myself, oh, I'm feeling kind of crazy because I have not had a meaningful connection. And not all the time are your friends or your family or somebody available to do that for you. So you know what my secret is? I go to Target and I look for someone that looks like they might need a conversation or a compliment. I just stand in the towel section and I go, " Hey, how are you?" Or if somebody's holding up something in the shirts and t- shirts, I go, " That would look amazing on you." And I only see if it's genuine. I don't blow smoke up people's skirts. But if I really feel like, or if somebody looks nice, I go, "You are amazing today." Or I go get a coffee and I tell the barista, " I love coming here because you're always so nice to me." In 20 minutes, and a new candle, new hand towel, my entire world is changed because I went and sought connection in Target.

Don Wettrick: Yeah, I love that. It's funny because my kids, I'm so happy they still think that I'm all right because they're 21, 18, and 14, but they always notices that. In some ways, it's... By the way, I despise the fact that on the progressive commercials, they make fun of dads that just make idle conversation to everybody because damn it, that's what we're talking about. But they're like, they know that that's going to happen when I'm like... I'll just make idle conversation in a fun, happy way. So I do, I hate that. You get on the elevator and you're the guy that's talking like, " Hey, this is a crowded elevator." Like, " Dad, don't." They know that that's going to happen. But ironically enough, most people let their guard down. They crack up because they're like, dads.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: It may have been their only good interaction that day for crying out loud. I ain't mad about being that for them.

Don Wettrick: Yeah.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: My kids, when we'd go through the airport, they'd be like, " Just try not to talk to everybody." I'm like, I don't think I...

Don Wettrick: That's not going to happen. Yeah, that's not going to happen. Well, I'm even, and I'm sure you're this way too, I will also go out of my way to then put in customer compliments. And I'll shock them every now and then. I'm like, " I need to see your manager." And they're like, " I thought I was nice to you." I'm like, " Just, give me your manager." I love doing that. " Yes, sir. Was there a problem?" " Heck no, there's no problem. Matter of fact, why can't there be more employees like Judy here? Judy was so nice to me, and she gave me recommendations that weren't upselling. I just love Judy." " Yeah, Judy is amazing."

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Absolutely.

Don Wettrick: Yeah. Yeah. And yeah, man, because... By the way, if you haven't worked at a restaurant or worked retail, everybody should. That should be almost like a duty to your service and to your country.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Both my kids in retail, yep.

Don Wettrick: Yeah.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: We say the same thing.

Don Wettrick: Because you'll be a nicer person. Right. People are jerks. Well, then work retail and you'll be nicer to people.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: And then they come back to you. I was on the phone with a customer service person one time, and my son walks in, who's the number one guitar salesman in the district for Guitar Center for a reason because he's good with people.

Don Wettrick: inaudible talk to people, absolutely.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: And he heard my tone be a little harsh. And I was not in a great state that day, I'll admit it. And after I hung up, he looked at me and he said, " You have no idea what was going on with that person today. And the chances are that they had nothing to do with the thing that you were frustrated about, but now you put your bad mood on them." And I was like, oh, I hate it when it's a full circle moment.

Don Wettrick: Yeah.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: I hate it when they come back and hold up the mirror for me to see me.

Don Wettrick: That's awesome.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: That's the ripple effect, man. If you put it out there, it will continue. Thank you for being you...

Don Wettrick: Oh man. Yeah.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: ...and for being here.

Don Wettrick: Thanks for having me on. I hope that if you have kids, you've taken us to heart. Or if you don't have kids in some of these things that resonate with you, go out there in the most simple way, just find an opportunity to be nice and see what happens

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: So we should just challenge everyone. Go out there, do it today, and then message me and tell me how it went. We could build a whole episode off of all of the great things, the ripple effect of what happens...

Don Wettrick: For real.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: ... from20 people on the podcast. They're listening to the podcast, doing the thing.

Speaker 1: (singing)

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Thanks for listening to this episode. I would love it if you would leave a rating and a review on Apple Podcast, and then go to wethrive. live. First thing you'll see is a place to drop your email and join the movement. I'll send you tools that you can use to thrive in life and business

Speaker 1: (singing)

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Hey, y'all. Fun fact. Did you like the music for the podcast, that is actually my son, Cameron Hession. And I would love it if you would go to Spotify and iTunes and follow him and download some of his other music. My personal favorite is TV Land.


"This is the true joy in life; Being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to make you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it what I can. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations." - George Bernard Shaw

This week on Write Your Own Story, Rebecca is joined by Don Wettrick. Don is the CEO & Founder of The STARTedUP Foundation, where he empowers student entrepreneurs and provides training and seed funding.

In this episode, Don and Rebecca share insight into how we can create opportunities for ourselves and begin our hero's journey.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How Innovate Within helps younger generations become entrepreneurs
  • Why it's important to take chances over and over throughout your life
  • The impact something as simple as being kind can have

Connect with Rebecca:

Today's Host

Guest Thumbnail

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession


Today's Guests

Guest Thumbnail

Don Wettrick

|CEO, The STARTedUP Foundation