The Magic of Connection with Brian Miller - Judd Shaw

The Magic of Connection with Brian Miller

Judd Shaw

Brian Miller

Episode Summary

Discover Brian Miller’s leap from shy kid to connection magician. Judd reveals how true engagement transforms lives. Discover magic in every meet.

Uncover the power of human connection as Brian shares his journey from a socially anxious sixth-grader to a master of magic and meaningful interactions. Judd and Brian delve into the transformative potential of authentic engagement, proving that every individual encounter can turn into a life-changing opportunity. Tune in to discover the magic within every connection.

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Episode 003

In episode 3 of “Behind the Armor,” hosted by Judd Shaw, the focus is on the profound impact of human connections. Judd engages with Brian Miller, a magician and a prominent advocate for fostering human connections. They explore how personal experiences and professional insights can significantly influence our ability to connect authentically with others. The episode delves into topics such as the loneliness epidemic highlighted by the U.S. Surgeon General, Brian’s personal journey with magic and its role in overcoming social anxiety, and practical strategies for enhancing interpersonal relationships.

Key lessons from this episode:

  1. Value Each Interaction: Treat every interaction, whether personal or professional, as an opportunity to connect. Acknowledge the potential in these moments to build meaningful relationships.
  2. Practice Perspective-Taking: Actively try to understand different viewpoints. This understanding can deepen your relationships and improve your ability to connect with others.
  3. Use Your Passions to Connect: Like Brian with magic, use your hobbies or passions as a bridge to connect with others. This can help overcome social barriers and create new friendships.
  4. Ensure Others Feel Heard and Valued: Make a conscious effort to listen empathetically and acknowledge others’ contributions. This fosters a positive environment and strengthens connections.
  5. Implement Practical Connection Strategies: Apply simple strategies in daily interactions, such as asking meaningful questions or showing genuine appreciation, to enhance your connections and open up new opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Guest This Week:

Brian Miller

Brian Miller is a former professional magician turned author & speaker on human connection who has shared his magic and message for 18 years across 5 continents. He helps organizations and educators build connected cultures where everyone feels heard, understood, and valued. His TEDx talk, ‘How to Magically Connect with Anyone,’ has 3.6 million views and sparked a global conversation about the importance of human connection. He is also the author of ‘Three New People,’ which Publishers Weekly raved, “brilliantly outlines a system for deepening relationships.” Brian’s work inspires audiences to lead the human connection revolution in their communities. He believes every interaction is meaningful, and every person you meet is important.

Show Transcript

Judd Shaw: [00:00:00] Welcome to Behind the Armor, where we deep dive into the heart of what matters. I’m your host, Judd Shaw, adventurer, storyteller, agent of change, and speaker on authenticity and human connection. Join me as we explore the complexities of human connection, featuring theorists, scientists, and speakers. Our mission is simple, to inspire you to reclaim your true self and create genuine connections with others.

Judd Shaw: Join me as we lay down our armor and live authentically. Hello, you beautiful people. And thanks for tuning in. Today we’re talking with Brian Miller, a magician at Creating Connections. Brian is an international keynote speaker, consultant, coach, and author. Brian’s work is focused on the power of human connections, and we share in the belief that people deserve to be heard, seen, and feel valued.

Judd Shaw: Well, are you ready to master the ability to connect with anyone? Let’s see what’s behind the armor with Brian. Brian Miller, thank [00:01:00] you so much for coming on the show.

Brian Miller: Hey Judd, thanks so much for having me. I’m excited for this conversation.

Judd Shaw: You know, you are a change agent in the space of human connection and like you, I deeply resonate with the belief that people deserve to feel heard and seen.

Judd Shaw: And in fact, our own U. S. Surgeon General released last year an epidemic warning of loneliness and disconnection, uh, right, saying that three out of four adults have reported feeling lonely or disconnected. What led you to such a critically important subject on Human Connection?

Brian Miller: Hmm. There’s two ways to answer that question.

Brian Miller: One is the way I fell backwards into it by accidentally giving a viral Ted Talk. We can maybe get to that second. The, the way I actually fell into it was, [00:02:00] I guess we could start in sixth grade, um, sitting in the second to last row of my English class at my desk. It’s book report day, and I’m completely prepared.

Brian Miller: I’m an A student who breaks the curve in every class. All the kids hate me. I have no friends, so I make up for that with achievement. And the teacher calls my name, I stand up, and I woke up in the nurse’s office. I had apparently passed out and just hit the floor. Uh, come to find out, I have a pretty severe Speech and social anxiety that did not make middle school any easier at that point to someone who was already struggling.

Brian Miller: So a couple of years later, I ended up, uh, switching schools when I went to high school for 9th grade. Just fresh start, start over. And I had been a lifelong nerd about magic. My dad loved magic. My grandfather loved magic. I’ve been around magic and magic tricks and learned magic tricks all my life.

Brian Miller: Here’s the problem [00:03:00] with being socially anxious and loving magic. Magic is one of the only art forms you can’t actually do for your own enjoyment, right? You think about most art forms. You see the guitars on the wall behind me. You can play guitar for yourself and just love it. You can write poetry for yourself and get a lot out of it.

Brian Miller: You can paint for yourself and get, but magic, Requires an audience because it’s only magic. If you don’t know how it works and if you’re doing the trick, you always know how it works. So it’s an art form that literally requires somebody else to be involved. And so I’m sitting in ninth grade at the, at lunch at a table.

Brian Miller: There’s some other kids at the table. I’m not sitting with them. They’re just by themselves. They’re friends. I’m sitting by myself at the same table and something came over me for the first time in my life, I felt this urge show somebody else a card trick. Like there was this card trick I’ve been working on.

Brian Miller: I was so excited about it. It was so cool, but. I can’t fool myself. I couldn’t get the experience of the trick the way it was meant for. And something came over me. I just said, do you guys want to see a card trick? [00:04:00] I didn’t even realize what was happening as the words came out of my mouth. And they’re like, I mean, I don’t know, I guess like, I don’t even think they realized I was sitting there.

Brian Miller: I mean, I was a ghost and I pulled a pack of cards out of my, my backpack and my hands were shaking, but. I did this trick. I made it through it. These kids freaked out. Holy crap. Smashing the tables, all that stuff. And they started, Hey, yo, come over here. Come check this out. And suddenly I was magic kid. I was just that magic kid and I had a personality and I got invited to parties as long as I was willing to be a magic monkey on command.

Brian Miller: I was very pop. And I was pockets full of magic, fake thumbs, coins, you know, all that stuff. And what happened was that was the first time I associated Magic with connecting with people. And that is, I didn’t, I would not have been able to articulate that then, but clearly in retrospect, that is what started me on the path because I used magic, uh, magic as a crutch for a couple of years to be, to be able to interact socially.

Brian Miller: And then [00:05:00] eventually I developed real confidence from all of those interactions. I didn’t always need the tricks anymore. And eventually I, I mean, magic saved my life. It, um, it taught me how to connect with others and, How to be a confident communicator and, and meet new people.

Judd Shaw: I love that. And there’s so much there.

Judd Shaw: I want to unpack for a minute. You know, um, I, and I wondered if, as you explain that a magician knows their own tricks and therefore you have that sort of perspective and whether your art of magic had led to you on this thought leadership of purpose. Perspective taking, which is so incredible. And I want to get into that in a minute.

Judd Shaw: But before I do that, I wanted to ask you about how you felt at times being the magic monkey, the magic puppet. And the reason I asked you that is for a while, my suit of armor was my shirt tie was my lawyer role. And what I realized is that if [00:06:00] I want a case or sign a client or trial or an arbitrage, whatever it was doing, the more successful I got at that, the more validation I had received, of course, external validation, and I was eating it all up.

Judd Shaw: So I was doing more and more of it, but then I realized what was happening was the more I was doing it for. Others in order to receive the external validation in order to feel valued and seen and heard, right? I was going to feel seen and heard. I’m going to put my face on every billboard. I’m going to be on every commercial and that made me more lovable and people were then applauding my, my, my facade, my veneer that I was putting out there, but I was really struggling inside and I’m wondering how does that resonate with you?

Judd Shaw: And sometimes having always. Be the entertainer and put on the show and wear that validation felt.

Brian Miller: Yeah, I relate to so much of what you just said, especially, you know, the, the shirt and [00:07:00] tie you’ve got the face in the posters. I mean, that’s where I went with my magic career. I managed to make it through the starving artist life, which very few people get to do.

Brian Miller: I, I started touring nationally as a magician, you know, I was. I got to be about as successful as you can be without being famous as a magician, you know, and that, that was incredible. The, the problem is that my personal life was in disarray. I was still terrible at keeping friends, great at meeting new people, great at attra I was funny, and I did magic, I was charismatic.

Brian Miller: But that was the persona. And I was good at that when it came to the reality of a relationship, the real stuff, uh, I was bad at it. And, and I got to a point in my early twenties where I realized that the people in my life didn’t feel like I cared about them. And that wasn’t true. I mean, I I’m a deeply emotional person, uh, but I realized it doesn’t matter.

Brian Miller: Like it’s not enough to care about somebody. It’s not enough to understand them. They have to feel understood. They have to [00:08:00] feel cared about. And so I realized that I was doing exactly what you said, which was I was using the persona to get my own validation. There there’s a joke among magicians that the magic community is very much revenge of the bullied.

Brian Miller: There’s something about magic that like we find this camaraderie, a family. We’re all connected over secrets, which is very fun and cool. Uh, but then you, you have this problem, which is if you’ve been bullied all your life, if you were always a social outcast and suddenly you’re in a position of power, you have command of the room, complete control, literal control tricks.

Brian Miller: You can control what people are going to feel at what time. I mean, magic is really bizarre in that way. Um, My one of my mentors used to in magic, he used to say magic is the only art form that produces wonder on command says like movies produce wonder shows produce wonder, but they don’t know exactly when it’s going to happen for the audience magicians know to the [00:09:00] second when you’re going to feel wonder that’s bananas, right?

Brian Miller: So that kind of power is easily. And so a lot of young magicians swing all the way the other way, just like I did, and it becomes arrogance, which is basically just a mask. It’s, it’s a, I’m, I’m still that kid that passed out in sixth grade and made a fool of myself. So I’m going to keep the armor up. I’m going to keep the walls up.

Brian Miller: And it wasn’t until I let the walls down and I decided I didn’t have to be a magic monkey. I didn’t need to be funny all the time. I didn’t need to be quick and quippy all the time. Um, that I started and, and, and that I wanted to make it my mission to make others feel heard, understood, and valued. And that if I spent my life doing that, it would come back to me.

Brian Miller: And that you can, you can, you can be, you don’t have to create a culture of connection. You can be a culture of connection.

Judd Shaw: Yeah. You know, a lot of the things that [00:10:00] success brought were material things too, but you know, the smell of a leather wears off that, that connection that you’re talking about that I resonate with is deep, sustainable joy, that service in others.

Judd Shaw: And, uh, and I just right now I feel deeply connected to you. And, you know, interestingly, what is coming To me in our connection is your own thought leadership about perspective taking. It was as if, if I told you how I felt about sort of like imposter syndrome, playing this lawyer and people pleasing and, and, and forgetting to, to, to To give myself some oxygen, and I asked you, and you gave me your emotional perspective, and now I feel understood.

Judd Shaw: How did you, how did you, how did you figure out perspective taking?

Brian Miller: Yeah, that’s, that’s such a good question. I had no idea that was a term or what. I had never heard of the term perspective. They [00:11:00] either until you said it. Yeah, it’s so right. So this is an academic like a psychologist. This is a psychologist term.

Brian Miller: This is something that they they use. And what’s so the way that that came about is in 2015, I had been invited to give a TEDx talk. I was never aspiring to be a, uh, TEDx speaker. I never wanted to be a speaker at all. I actually thought motivational speakers were super lame. I was not into it at all. But I was invited in the earlier days of the TEDx program.

Brian Miller: There was a local high school in Connecticut. I mean, run by teenagers. I mean, this was a low budget, rinky dink TEDx licensed production. And but I was well known in the community and they were looking for interesting people to talk and through a, through a mutual connection, uh, they got a bunch of different referrals to me.

Brian Miller: And I said, of course I’d love to. And I just had no idea what I was going to talk about. It’s not like Ted is now, I don’t know if you know much about the world of Ted. Now people spend years and a lot of money and a lot of networking to try to get themselves into a TEDx stage. [00:12:00] This was like, I got a call from a guy that was walking into a magic gig and he was like, Hey, I’m, I’m running a TEDx conference this year in Manchester, Connecticut.

Brian Miller: We got some people who mentioned your name. Would you like to do it? I was like, yeah, that’d be great. I’m going into a gig. Can we talk tomorrow? He goes, sure. And that was it. It was

Judd Shaw: like,

Brian Miller: it was, it was wild. And, and then he said, when I talked to him the next day, he said, well, what do you think you want to talk about?

Brian Miller: Like, it’s nothing like it is now where people spend years building their idea before they even apply. He’s like, well, what do you think you’d want to talk about? I was like, I don’t know. I don’t know. So what actually came about was I brainstormed a bunch of potential topics that I could as a magician bring to the table.

Brian Miller: And a lot of them, I just didn’t like them as they went on paper. They were all the same topics that the other magicians who had previously given Ted talks had talked about. The art of wonder, the art of misdirection. And I, I thought those talks were not very good, if I’m being honest. These are some famous magicians, some friends and colleagues of mine.

Brian Miller: The talks [00:13:00] themselves were great. But I didn’t think they were valuable to non magicians, which is what the TED platform was for. I was like, well, magicians care about misdirection, the beauty of wonder, but that’s geeky magician stuff. So I thought, what do I have to offer as a magician that a non magician watching this on YouTube has never heard of me would find valuable?

Brian Miller: And that’s when I realized that one of the things magicians do naturally is understand a different point of view. We have to because we know the secret to the trick. We know the secret to the trick. So the only way to create the moment of magic is to deeply understand the perspective emotionally and physically that the audience is encountering it.

Brian Miller: Magicians just do this naturally. At the time, my wife was in grad school studying to become getting her master’s to become a therapist, a licensed marriage and family therapist, which she is now. Um, And so what happened is on the months leading up to the Ted talk, I would take her to dinner once a week on a weekend [00:14:00] and we’d go to a nice dinner and over dinner, I would just pepper her with questions.

Brian Miller: And I would basically just go, Hey, here’s stuff that I understand naturally or intuitively. I just describe what I do as a magician. And she would give me what she was learning in her master’s program. She would give me the science, the terminology, the research and that I could go. And she gave me the term perspective taking.

Brian Miller: Okay. And so I looked up, I started looking it up and finding there’s this whole amount of research on it, and I was like, But this is, this is what magicians do. We’ve been doing this forever, and psychologists are like just catching up in the last couple of decades. And so that’s, that’s when I, that’s how I ended up bridging the gap and going, okay.

Brian Miller: Perspective taking is the ability to understand the point of view of another person. That’s it. It’s simple. But it is not easy, and so I went on this path to use magic, use tricks, um, that are fun, but also use magic language, ordinary language, funny [00:15:00] stories to explain this concept to people of what perspective taking is and how it could benefit their lives.

Brian Miller: So that’s, that’s where it all came about.

Judd Shaw: Let’s, let’s. Dive a little deeper under that because I find it fascinating. And I, and by the way, for any of the viewer, I never want anyone to waste time. I value time more than I value anything. I mean, right. It’s finite and let’s, but if anyone who is interested in your Ted talk, I am highly recommending, you know, how to magically connect with anyone.

Judd Shaw: It is a brilliantly funny. It’s entertaining. It’s impactful. The message of how to teach a blind person magic is fascinating, and we’ll leave it that because I want people to really watch it and get hopefully what I got out of it, which really was that beautiful, artful take on showing how human connection works through through an art and.

Judd Shaw: In perspective taking, there are those two steps, right? Which [00:16:00] is from what I understand your framework is. The first thing is, um, you have, you want to ask the other person, right? There’s a visual. I think we talk about perspective and emotional perspective and the emotional perspective is the difficult one.

Judd Shaw: We’re not mind readers. We’re not clairvoyant. And so sometimes, you know, we walk by Sally at the workplace or Jimmy and you know, we don’t. We don’t know what they’re thinking and sometimes the easiest ability to understand that perspective is to ask, but that second step that you talk about, that’s the, that’s the key, right?

Judd Shaw: It’s you can ask, but don’t just listen, listen to understand, tell me more about that. I love that.

Brian Miller: Yeah, listen to understand, not just to respond or to reply. So this is like old borderline cliched communication advice at this point. It’s been around, I don’t know, at least a hundred years. It’s on Facebook memes now.

Brian Miller: And I got to tell you something, despite the [00:17:00] ubiquity of that advice, I still give that advice and talk about it. In every speech, almost every day, in every organization I’ve been to anywhere in the world, and it lands every time. And the reason it lands is no matter how many times we’ve heard it, it’s another one of those things that is simple but not easy.

Brian Miller: The idea is simple. Listen to understand, not just to respond or to reply. Have you ever actually tried to do it? It’s incredibly difficult to do. What happens is while someone is talking, we’re like, okay, I’m going to do the thing. I’m going to listen to understand. I remember the magician guy with the eyebrows told me to do that.

Brian Miller: I’m going to do the thing. And we’re listening. And we’re listening to understand, we’re listening to understand, and then the person says something we find interesting, that we have an opinion about, or a story about, or a funny thing about, and our brain starts to go there, it just goes there on its own, it goes, Oh, wait, no, there’s a thing that I want to say about this, and then we look, and their lips are still moving, And we realize the social contract kicks in, well, I can’t [00:18:00] interrupt them, so I’m just gonna, okay, I gotta remember that thing I want to say, and then your brain just goes, remember that thing you want to say, remember that thing you want to say, remember that thing you want to say, and now their lips are moving and we have no idea what they’re talking about anymore, and when they finally stop their lips, we just blast them with whatever we planned on saying, it might not even be relevant anymore, we’re not We’re not even listening.

Brian Miller: So listening to understand is very simple in theory, but it’s incredibly hard to do. What it means is to listen to somebody without judgment, without a response that’s ready to go, without a story related to what they just said that you want to tell. Also, It’s asking yourself the question, why is this person telling me this?

Brian Miller: And I think this is a really useful question, especially in working environments where, and, and, and family environments too, but especially in working environments, if you’ve ever had somebody, uh, that you’re working with a colleague or somebody or, or a direct report, do something that you thought [00:19:00] was ridiculous, idiotic, stupid, moronic, like, you know, pick your favorite word.

Brian Miller: And what happens is we go to a hundred. We’re just like, why would they do that? Don’t they understand what and that is a complete lack of ability to listen to understand what’s really useful in these situations is to ask them meaningful and relevant questions and really try to understand why they did what they did or why they said what they said, because there’s a good chance if they did it, they thought it was the right thing to do.

Brian Miller: And if they said it, they thought it was the right thing to say. And that’s what, you know, Chris Voss might call tactical empathy. Uh, Seth Godin calls emotional labor. I don’t have a sexy term for it. Just listen to understand. And if we can do that without judgment and ask follow up questions, not leading questions, but legitimate follow up questions to try to get to the root, because there’s a really good chance that And I’m going to paraphrase Seth in this case.

Brian Miller: Seth Godin’s, you know, a hero of mine. He’s become a friend and a mentor. And [00:20:00] so I’m going to paraphrase him here, which is, if you knew what they knew, and you believed what they believed, and you wanted what they wanted, you would have done the same thing. But one of those things is different. Either you don’t know what they know, or you don’t believe what they believe, or you don’t want what they want.

Brian Miller: And if we can ask, And this is coming back to our conversation. If we can ask meaningful and relevant questions and listen without judgment, we can find out where the disconnect is. And only once we’ve agreed to the disconnect, can we now actually build the next stage of the conversation. Can we solve the problem?

Brian Miller: I mean, you can’t do it if you go straight to this person’s an idiot. Love

Judd Shaw: that so much. You know, I, someone had shared with me that in the beginning, if you listen, like you’d have to. You know, get a quiz at the end or repeat what the other person said. It helps you stay deeply engaged and mindful to the conversation.

Brian Miller: Yeah, no, that’s, [00:21:00] that’s right. This is a technique that I teach my workshops called reflective listening. It’s another one of these things that almost everybody has had at some point in an active listening training early in their career. And when I say to people who’s ever heard of reflective listening, most hands go up.

Brian Miller: I say. Who could walk up on stage and teach us how to do it. All the hands go down, right? We don’t know how to do it. And reflective listening is literally just paraphrasing back to somebody, something that they’ve just said. And here’s the key in your words, from their perspective. In your words, from their perspective.

Brian Miller: So here’s an exercise that you can try with at work, with colleagues, with coworkers, you can try this with your friends and family. Uh, I call this the, uh, the dream job exercise. So you get to, you get two people and, and you, you pair off and one person is going to be the speaker. One person’s going to be the listener.

Brian Miller: You’ll switch after the first round. So you’ll both get to do it. And the speaker. The question is, if you never had to work a day in your life, what would you do with the [00:22:00] rest of your time? Just, if you knew you were set for life, right, what would you do with your time? And you give that person just a minute to just freeform, freeform answer, right, the answer.

Brian Miller: And then what you do, is after they’ve answered for a minute, The timer goes off. The listener, their task is now to pitch the speaker a job offer that they couldn’t refuse. You know, they don’t have to work for the rest of life, but you got to pitch them a job offer. They couldn’t refuse, which means what you have to be able to do is just send back to the person What they just said, but it can’t be a parrot.

Brian Miller: It can’t be a mirror. You have to rephrase it in your words, but from their perspective, it’s a great exercise and you can pick any silly prompt to go with it, but that one in particular works pretty well. It’s a, and you find out how, how hard it is to do right away.

Judd Shaw: I love that. So would that be something like, I like travel, maybe I like medicine or mental [00:23:00] health or wellness and blah, blah, blah.

Judd Shaw: And someone says, okay, this is a job where you’re a yoga instructor and you get to go every country kind of like that. So there, yeah, yeah, listen, yeah, that’s a great, I love that. Exactly. Love that. It’s a great exercise. You know, tell me. I know that you do a lot of consulting, you do some great, uh, keynote speaking, uh, workshops and coaching.

Judd Shaw: Tell me what is, what is the power of human connection? And specifically with your, your thing, like perspective taking, what does that look like for company culture?

Brian Miller: It’s a great question, right? Why, why does this matter at all? And you know, when I started talking about this in 2015, that was actually a hard, you Boulder to roll up a hill because companies, executives, they didn’t, they were like, what, we would never invest in human connection.

Brian Miller: What are you talking about? We don’t want soft skills, right? We don’t want soft skills. Uh, it turns out soft skills are hard [00:24:00] and, uh, and the pandemic for all of the devastation. And it was obviously brutal. It was brutal personally in our family. It was brutal across industries. My whole, my whole industry globally went to zero, right?

Brian Miller: Live events disappeared. Um, There was an upside, and that is everybody, personally and professionally, became acutely aware of how important this is. Interpersonal interaction is, uh, the ability to make meaningful connections with others. So companies, it’s now one of the top topics that they, they book. I just, I just, I stayed in the game long at my manager said that to me.

Brian Miller: He was like, you were ahead of it. And I’m, and, and there were times when I wanted you to quit, but you just stuck it out and the world turned in your direction. I was like, like when you said, uh, at the beginning of our conversation that the surgeon general just like, it was like six months ago, just.

Brian Miller: Announced basically put out a huge report on how critical this is. And I was just there going, thank you for doing [00:25:00] that. But also I’ve been talking about this for 2015. Where have you been? Like, that’s actually how I felt about that. Like, where have you been on this? You know, this has been a big deal. So how does it affect cult culture?

Brian Miller: Well, when you build a culture where everybody in that environment and environment can be digital or. In person. I don’t believe human connection is only possible in person. To your point earlier, you said, I feel connected with you. Oh, we’re, we’re on zoom. We’re across the camera.

Judd Shaw: Great

Brian Miller: point. So for culture, building a connected culture is about creating an environment where everybody in that environment feels heard, understood, and valued.

Brian Miller: And what that does for companies is it makes it much more likely that you can attract top talent. Because top talent only wants to work in a place that is good to work, that is enjoyable to work, that has a sense of belonging and a sense of mission. It gets people aligned, right? Uh, it means that conflict is much more productive than it is [00:26:00] destructive.

Brian Miller: Because you’re, yeah, because, uh, one of my own clients is like a conflict expert. And, and what she talks about is, uh, basically conflict is inevitable. And so she’s like, so what are we going to do about it? Right. And it’s like, right. So we may as well have an environment where we know how to do reflective listening so that when there is conflict, especially as teams are becoming increasingly diverse, they’re deliberately, which is a good thing.

Brian Miller: We’re deliberately creating teams that are more diverse across the board for ideas, for perspectives, for identities, diverse teams bring a lot more conflict. Then homogenous teams. What do we do with that conflict? Well, we need to know how to respectfully and empathically give people a voice without it bringing down the work environment.

Brian Miller: Um, having a culture like that also means that interdepartmental communication gets much, much better. One of the big problems in so many bigger companies that I work with is like the engineers and the marketing department or the engineers in the sales [00:27:00] department, stuff like that. They just clash because they’re just talking in completely different language and they’re yelling at each other.

Brian Miller: This. The, the engineers are yelling at the salespeople for selling a product that doesn’t even exist. The salespeople are yelling at the engineers for not building a product that the customers want. And no one’s listening and it’s just toxic and it’s brutal. So just simple stuff like we’re talking about stuff that sounds simple to me and you, cause we already believe in this.

Brian Miller: If you can introduce this and even increase the ability for people to feel heard, feel like they belong by even like 10 percent when you get to organizational levels bigger, the companies get that ripples real fast.

Judd Shaw: I love what you said, and I totally agree. And that ripple effect is sometimes hard to measure, but it’s absolutely there.

Judd Shaw: And, you know, by background, I’m a lawyer and I have a law firm, Judicial Entry Law. Um, and a great, great group of talented people, lawyers and non lawyers alike who work there. [00:28:00] And you know, oftentimes the people who have been with me for the longest know the Judd 1 and the Judd 2. 0, right? And what they’re talking about is the version of, uh, I didn’t care.

Judd Shaw: If you felt heard, seen, or valued, because it was about me and I needed to feel that. And then, like servant leadership, switching and going and saying, the more you feel valued and heard and seen, the more ultimately I’m feeling heard. and valued and seen. And, you know, now we have a team who raises their hand and says, I got an idea before 1.

Judd Shaw: 0 ideas don’t come to the forefront. Frontline, uh, team members care at the end of the day, the job they do at the beginning with 1. 0. It’s just a paycheck, you know, now it’s purpose and meaning. Usually they find close friends at work. In my experience, uh, it’s more efficient and, and I love how you talked about conflict resolution because you know, when there [00:29:00] is a feeling of, of human connection between a team and everybody feels understood there, the emotional intelligence rises.

Judd Shaw: We become more aware of our own actions and also. The most important one for me was that I was able to come in, take that mask off and tell my team I was struggling, I was having a difficult day and letting the team rally around that and say, we hear you, Judd, we feel you, we got you today and that, that’s powerful energy.

Brian Miller: I love that. Can I ask you a question? I know it’s your podcast, but I want to ask you about that. Like, in that environment, uh, I worked last year with, with a boutique law firm for, for about six months. And so I’m kind of right here in that, in that space with you right now. Um, in that environment, you just talked about being able to, you know, take off your metaphorical mask and be, you know, be vulnerable and, and be authentic.

Brian Miller: At what point do you find [00:30:00] authenticity bumps up against just productivity and the rigors of of running a business at? Do you find that there is a misunderstanding of authenticity of what people like? You can’t. Everybody can’t show up every day and just be their true authentic self or work would never get done.

Brian Miller: So I come into companies from the outside, you’re in it from the inside, what do you see in terms of authenticity being where it might cross the line and, and, and become a problem?

Judd Shaw: Wow, that’s a great question. You know, there is a gap between, uh, the, the genuine version you think you’re playing in the authentic version you are.

Judd Shaw: Um, and I also. You know, always stress because I think it’s important that sometimes wearing a mask is okay as long as it’s the reason behind it. You know, for a while I was telling everyone, take a mess off, take the mess off, take the [00:31:00] mess off. And then I realized actually through my therapist, my guru who helped me understand it, that sometimes there may be a battered spouse who needs to play a role for safety.

Judd Shaw: There may be a person who’s so. Uh, can’t stand small talk and social things, but it’s the holiday Christmas party and it’s their work. And so they show up and you know, for that part, you wear a mask, uh, either I appreciate your safety and you know, only wish the best in this situation and the latter one, you know, good job for showing up.

Judd Shaw: But if you’re wearing that mask out of guilt, out of shame, out of fitting in, out of, uh, Worrying about judgment. That’s where that disconnect starts to break down. And so what I think is that the more authentic the leader is, the more I can be able to have clear boundaries, appropriate boundaries, but also let People understand that when you [00:32:00] come to work, when I say bring your authentic self, it means stick to your values.

Judd Shaw: Use that as your compass. Because if I’m hiring somebody for their generally for their personality, for their, for their mind, for their ideas, for their talents, for their skills, you know, it’s very few is it’s education. You went to this school, went that school. Doesn’t matter to me. It’s what it’s the mind.

Judd Shaw: It’s the idea. It’s the thinking out of the box. And all of that stuff festers and happens when we feel understood and feel valued and whatever. And so I think that authenticity is starts for the top and you can still have people show up authentically by staying with their core self to say, Hey company, I’m not comfortable with this.

Judd Shaw: What we’re doing only because I have to tell you as a frontline team member, I’ve seen this And this is what I think is going to be the bad result of that.

Brian Miller: Yeah, it’s, that’s such an, [00:33:00] that’s such a great distinction. It’s making me think about, um, something that a friend and mentor of mine, somebody who’s also in the space of human connection who you may or may not know, uh, or know of Tim David.

Brian Miller: Uh, he was a mentor of mine who’s become a friend over the years. And Tim, when he was on my podcast a couple of years ago, he talked about what he called misplaced authenticity, where people are. Only know how to be authentic to themselves, he said. So what you get when somebody only knows how to be authentic to themselves is they can They can really offend somebody and be like, but I’m just being, that’s just my authentic self.

Brian Miller: That’s just, that’s how I actually feel. So I just said it, that’s my authentic self. And he said, but really we want to be authentic to the environment, to the context of the situation. That’s, that’s a better way to view authenticity. You’re not going to treat your grandmother the same way you would treat your boss.

Brian Miller: You’re not going to talk to a client the same way you would talk to your kid. And so like, I think of them less as masks and more as. [00:34:00] What is the authentic version of me that respects the context that I’m in right now? And I think if we think about it that way, we get rid of some of the The destructive conflict that we’ve seen in increasingly diverse environments in companies that prioritize belonging.

Brian Miller: Like a lot of my clients, they prioritize belonging and then they have this problem of everyone’s just given their political opinions openly and all the time, and there’s all this clash and it’s like, yeah, well, are those political opinions relevant to the work you’re doing? Cause if not, that feels like disrespecting the authenticity of the work environment.

Brian Miller: So that’s kind of, that’s why I was asking about that. It’s kind of like where that falls.

Judd Shaw: You know, I think what. It, what we’re talking about too is how authenticity shows up in the world that we live in. We love work, live and play. I would want people to show up authentically is living by their core values because if I’m hiring [00:35:00] you and our core values are aligned with yours, which is we’re honest.

Judd Shaw: We own our mistakes. We don’t gossip. We don’t create drama. We serve our clients like a knight in shining armor by, if we say we’re going to do something, we do it. Those things are authentic, right? They can, you can show up by, by living the company’s values. Because they’re aligned with your values. I would suggest that if anybody doesn’t feel those values, go get a different job or the company has to let that person go.

Judd Shaw: But it’s more of aligning with values where I think they authenticity can show. And one of those values for me, if our core values are, you know, be a knight in shining armor, work the wow, be chivalrous to each other and to our communities and, uh, be, uh, continuously looking to develop. Um, so those kind of four core [00:36:00] values are what we hire for.

Judd Shaw: It doesn’t matter what you look like, you know, what you sound like, what you wear, whatever. I want you to live up to those core values. So I’m looking for someone authentically who cares about the job, who cares about their work, who finds meaning and purpose. And I think that’s what keeps that. When they.

Judd Shaw: gap of authenticity starts to disconnect. It’s because somebody comes to that office and now they believe that they, their core values are no longer aligned with the companies or they’re not living up to their own compass.

Brian Miller: First of all, I love that. I love that you have such clearly defined and very, very specific core values as a company.

Brian Miller: It’s very rare. And I feel like people like you who do that naturally don’t realize how rare that is. Cause like I go into all, lots of companies, most companies have a list of 10 to 15 values and the executives couldn’t tell you what any of them are. It’s like, you want three, maybe four most very specific and [00:37:00] everybody in the company should be able to just rattle them off if you just went, Hey.

Brian Miller: Bob, what are our core values? You know, or Hey, what’s our mission, right? Everybody should be able to go. If they can’t do that, something’s broken at good news is an easy fix. But here’s, what’s interesting about that. We’re talking now about how somebody, an employee, uh, might feel connected with the company because you are so specific about what your values are.

Brian Miller: Now, what happens. When we’re in an interpersonal relationship, and they don’t have a sign that says, here are my core values, right? This is where I think a lot of interpersonal connections break down or not even break down. They just never get started. This is the, the, the introducing myself to a stranger problem.

Brian Miller: This is where so many people are nervous to just meet someone new. And the older we get, the harder it gets. And that’s why I encourage some very specific, really, really simple questions that anybody can ask even a stranger once you’ve started chatting, uh, if you meet somebody [00:38:00] and they give you their job title, which by the way, what do you do is what I consider that the world’s worst question, uh, it, it, it doesn’t go anywhere.

Brian Miller: It’s not because it’s inherently a bad or uninteresting question. It’s because usually I go, what do you do? And you go, I’m a lawyer and you, what do you do? And I go, I’m a consultant. And we’re like, cool. And then that’s it. It just ends, right? Or you get something, maybe even really interesting. What do you do?

Brian Miller: I’m a marine biologist. And the person who, who asked the question, they don’t know anything about marine biology. They might think it’s cool, but their mind goes, they don’t even know what question to ask because they don’t know enough about it. And so, An easy question to ask anybody after they’ve told you what they do is, what do you love about that?

Brian Miller: What do you enjoy about that? You don’t need to know anything about being a marine biologist to say, well, what do you love about being a marine biologist? What happens is you get people instantly go one or two levels, sometimes deeper than the superficial. What’s my job title? And so they’ll start telling you about [00:39:00] a story of, of an animal that they rescued when they were a kid or, uh, going to the aquarium with their dad, or they’ll start telling you something gets right to their values and their beliefs.

Brian Miller: And we connect over values and beliefs. So the quicker you can ask somebody a question that gets them past the superficial answer, like just, What do you love about that? What do you enjoy about that? You know, if you’re talking to a student, you know, they say, well, I’m studying engineering. Well, you know, what are you hoping to do with that?

Brian Miller: What dent do you want to make in the universe? They just immediately start talking about something more real. And then you find that people you would never think You would have a connection with you can connect with. For example, I was last year I was in an urgent care at some point. I’m fine. I was in urgent care for something and and the nurse.

Brian Miller: She was really, really nice. She was helping me out and I and you know, I said we’re chatting and she said she was thinking. Thinking about changing careers. And I said, Oh, you’ve been a nurse for a while, though. She said, Yeah, like 10 years. And I said, [00:40:00] Well, presumably there’s something you, you like about being a nurse or you wouldn’t still be here.

Brian Miller: Like, what do you love about being a nurse? And she said, well, the thing I love most about being a nurse is being able to just be there for people to make people feel comfortable when they’re nervous or when they’re scared, you know, to just make people feel seen. And she literally said that. Now, I’m, I’m a consultant on human connection who also runs like a, a messaging consultancy.

Brian Miller: I don’t obviously have anything in, you know, I don’t know anything about nursing. I don’t like needles. I don’t know anything about medical. I don’t obviously have anything in common with this nurse that I just met for the first time. But as soon as she said, the reason she’s a nurse is that she loves making people feel seen and feel comfortable.

Brian Miller: I got something to talk to her about. I just found a deep value that we can connect over. And so I think in the interpersonal situations we find ourselves in getting good at asking meaningful and relevant questions is one of the best [00:41:00] skills that we can possibly have.

Judd Shaw: Yeah, that’s great. And that, and that’s the thing, you know, I love what you said about how the connection is happening between the employer team member and the company.

Judd Shaw: As a, as a, as a, as a living organism connecting with the values of the company, the work, the meaning, the purpose that gets out of it. And so that’s where, yes, we will show up differently, maybe at Thanksgiving with our family to how we are at work to maybe at. On the couch on a Sunday with our loved one to, you know, whatever, right.

Judd Shaw: It differently, but those values still, when you’re coming to the company, my, those values that we serve our clients first, we really worked a while we go above and beyond, uh, we’re chivalrous and compassion to each other, and we’re committed to continuous growth. And so those are the values that. When you can show up authentically at this workplace, you can connect with.

Judd Shaw: And so now someone says, I can deeply engage in my work. I can make an impact. [00:42:00] I could care about my, my colleagues, uh, and my own health. And I could focus on how I can grow professionally and personally. And those are the values that where we authentically connect in our workplace. Mm hmm.

Brian Miller: Yeah. That’s beautiful.

Judd Shaw: You know, uh, my framework, the connection cure starts with C for conscious awareness, which is an understanding first that may be the problem. Why you’re feeling stalker. You’re not really thriving or you’re in survivor mode is that you are lonely or disconnected. And then second, the, it’s a C U R E and cure you for understanding, which is learning about why beyond us being wired as humans.

Judd Shaw: That we need to connect both with ourselves and with others and then are for renewing those connections, meaning deepening and learning how to connect inward with yourself and then learning to connect with others. And lastly, the E, which is expanding, which means that once you’ve been able to do [00:43:00] that, now expand your connections because once you do that, that’s where you really begin to thrive.

Judd Shaw: And I wondered how that kind of like concept expand led to your. Your book, uh, Three New People, which I found, interestingly, about, basically, growing connections.

Brian Miller: Mm. I think I wrote a book because I was supposed to write a book. Uh, it was kind of, I had been a speaker for a couple of years, and if you’re a speaker for a couple of years and you don’t have a book, people start to wonder what’s going on.

Brian Miller: Right. And so you’re supposed to have a book, so I sat down to write a book, and the first attempt Uh, the first 50 or 60 pages, I think I wrote for the first attempt was just nonsense. I don’t know what I was just babbling on about whatever. I didn’t really know what I wanted to write about. And so I kept, I was like, maybe I want to write about kind of just my stories as a magician and what I learned and all this stuff.

Brian Miller: And it was in the research while I was like researching stuff. As a procrastination technique, you know how like you’re like, I’m going to, [00:44:00] I need to do some research before I can start writing again, which is BS. You just need to write like, just write if you’re like, that’s what I’ve learned as a writer is you just start writing.

Brian Miller: Um, but I was researching and I did, um, fortuitously come up upon this. Uh, calculation by a sociologist that we meet, uh, and interact with about 80, 000 people over the course of a lifetime. And I’ve got a degree in mathematics that I’ve never used. So this was my chance. This was my moment. And so I was able to go, okay, what’s the average amount of years that somebody lives and divide by that and how many days in a year and divide by that.

Brian Miller: You go to that. It was almost perfectly three. That’s as close to three as it could be. And it was like, Oh, we meet an average of three new people every day. Right. Right. Now, what’s interesting is, and this is perhaps a fault of the title of the book, uh, by being simply called Three New People, it’s open to interpretation.

Brian Miller: And a lot of people think what the book argues for, if they haven’t read it, is [00:45:00] that you should go out and meet three new people every day. That is not true. An argument in the book. It’s, it’s descriptive, not prescriptive. You do meet an average of three new people every day. The question of the book is, what are you gonna do with that?

Brian Miller: Right. And most of us, myself included, if I’m not focused on this, just waste those opportunities. They just, phew. Just go by. And I think so many people, when they feel stuck in life, when they’re not sure where to go next or what’s possible for them, they’re, they’re hoping that an opportunity magically shows up in front of them.

Brian Miller: And what they miss is that there’s at least three new opportunities a day that actually come in the form of other people. And these are conversations that if you’re not starting, you’re not having, you’re not invested in, you’re just giving up opportunities multiple times a day. Every single day and that was the premise on which I decided to explore in the book is what do we do?

Brian Miller: With these opportunities that we’re [00:46:00] already being given what if we just what if we just took those seriously, right? and that’s why the subtitle was make the most of your daily interactions and stop missing amazing opportunities and You know random chance encounters and opportunities like that have changed my life so many times.

Brian Miller: There’s so much luck I’m air quoting for those listening on on Listening on audio only there’s so much luck In my life that that has come in the for almost everything good in my life has come from a chance encounter that I took seriously.

Judd Shaw: I loved also the book. It, uh, it laid out well on how to make those connections right beyond just meeting how to make the connection.

Judd Shaw: And the key about that is what also led to my dark night of the soul was that at some point, Brian, I had a ton of. social connections. I mean, I forget it. A phone, it took me 20, you know, whatever hours for the next phone to download the contacts. [00:47:00] How many of them were authentic?

Brian Miller: Yeah.

Judd Shaw: How many of them really felt that I understood as opposed to just, I got a ton of names in my phone book.

Judd Shaw: Right. And I think that’s the, that’s the, The key is that, and that’s what the U. S. Surgeon General’s, you know, that was I think March or April. You’re right. Put out that whole pamphlet. And the idea behind that was don’t just miss the fact that you met somebody or meet somebody, meet them and connect with them.

Brian Miller: Yeah. Yeah. And it, and it doesn’t take as long as people think it does. And that, that’s one of the main messages, one of the big key ideas in my keynotes and my presentations is people think connection takes this huge amount of time. They say that they used to come up to me and say, boy, I loved everything you talked about.

Brian Miller: I love the stories. It was funny. It was great. It was whatever, but I don’t have time to do that. That was, that was the number one. There’s two main objections of my kids. It was, it was, I don’t have time for that. And I’m an introvert. Um, first of all, introverts are better at connecting with people totally.

Brian Miller: And [00:48:00] extroverts are, and it’s not even close, but that is a completely separate conversation that we have to table or we’ll dive into that because I can see you light up when I said that, that’s different, but the, I don’t have time for that is so crazy to me. Now, is there a qualitative difference between the connection you have with your grandmother that you’ve known for.

Brian Miller: 30 years, 50 years, whatever it is, and the connection you have with someone you just met in line at Starbucks, totally, totally. It’s not, it’s not all connection is equal, but you can make a meaningful connection in the span of 10, 20 seconds, 30 seconds a minute while you’re standing in line by simply asking somebody an interesting question.

Brian Miller: And more than anything, what people, what people feel connected when you simply acknowledge them as a person. In and of themselves and not merely as a means to an end that if you can just do that, the person taking your order, uh, at the coffee shop, these days, we are in a situation where we can literally look past the person to the [00:49:00] menu.

Brian Miller: We can look through the person to the menu. We can look straight through them, say our order, tap our credit card, or even just boop our phone. And then walk to go pick up our order without ever even making eye contact or acknowledging the human being in front of me and seeing them as simply a transaction, a means by which I caffeinate for the day.

Brian Miller: If you simply took a second to Notice their name tag. It says, you know, John, and you just say, Hey, John, thanks so much. I appreciate it. I noticed it’s pretty busy. How’s your day going? That in and of it almost doesn’t matter what they say in response. You’ve only got eight seconds. That in and of itself, you will watch people’s posture.

Brian Miller: They’ll literally stand up straighter when you do that. You will watch them smile, their whole aura will change because nobody does it. Most people go through life never feeling heard, never feeling seen. And I mean, never. That’s where the pandemic, the, the, uh, the loneliness [00:50:00] epidemic came from, you know, like you said, three out of four, two out of three, it’s getting higher and higher every year.

Brian Miller: It was two out of three. It’s like three out of four. Now people in America feel lonely or isolated on a regular That’s, that’s, that’s, that’s crazy.

Judd Shaw: That’s crazy. You know what I love about, uh, pointing that out is that’s where that ripple effect that people may not take account for, but now John turns around and you just made his day, right?

Judd Shaw: And John goes in the back and he’s like, Hey Amy, like how you do it? Like suddenly his mood and now he’s, Like, you know what I mean? You, you don’t know that what John does with that information or that feeling of feeling valued and heard and goes and makes someone else feel valued and heard and boom,

Brian Miller: totally one person at a time, three new people a day, incremental change creates revolution.

Judd Shaw: Brian, you are, I know magic is in your background, but you are really a [00:51:00] magician in human connection. What you pulled out of your hat with perspective taking and the thought leadership that you’re running. I think it’s brilliant. I think it’s impactful. I think it’s critically important and I love so much that I was able to have you on our show today.

Brian Miller: Oh man, this is such a, such a pleasure, such an honor and, and we’re, you’re just a couple hours away driving in New Jersey. And so if I ever come see you, you will know how connected we are because I would have to go to New Jersey to see you. Exactly, exactly.

Judd Shaw: You know, uh, how, speaking of if people want, uh, to reach out to you, uh, book consulting, speaking, what’s the best way to reach out to you, Brian?

Brian Miller: Easiest way, go to connect with and you can pop your name and email into the box. You’ll get our most popular resource, which is seven Ways to Connect with Anyone without looking like an idiot. It’s free. There’s no sales pitch in the emails. It just, you get, start getting my, uh, my biweekly blog.

Brian Miller: And if you ever decide you’re interested [00:52:00] in working together or connecting with me anywhere else, you can do it from there. So connect with

Judd Shaw: I love that. And being such a leader on human connection, I have to ask you, uh, cause I, I ask at the end for all my guests, the question is how does Brian Miller authentically connect with himself?

Judd Shaw: What’s, what’s the best way you connect with yourself?

Brian Miller: I gotta tell you, I connect with myself via music. Uh, if I get a chance, I got a three year old right now, so time is tight these days, finding free time, but if I get a chance to grab one of these guitars, I got walls of guitars in here, it’s my happy place.

Brian Miller: If I grab a guitar, Plug it in and just get to lose myself for a little bit in the music and the sound and the vibration and, uh, and whatever. That’s, that’s one of the ways that I connect best with

Judd Shaw: myself. What’s your jam?

Brian Miller: Well, I’m trained on eighties hair metal. I played lead guitar in an eighties hair metal band [00:53:00] for, for a while.

Brian Miller: Uh, but these days I’m, it’s like, as we guitarists, I don’t know if you play, but, uh, guitarists, as we get older, we play. Cleaner or something like less overdrive, less frills. I can still go like I still do the fast shredding nonsense. Most of the time these days, I’m more interested in just producing something that just sounds beautiful, a great chord progression, something I can sing over.

Brian Miller: Yeah, so. Just, uh, I’ve gone a little indie rock, a little indie pop in my older age.

Judd Shaw: Such an amazing background. I hope your next book is a story, uh, about all the things Brian Miller have done, because I’d love to read it. Thank you again for coming on the show. I am, I’m grateful and I am connected to you.

Judd Shaw: Thank you so much.

Brian Miller: Hey Jen. Thanks so much for having me.

Judd Shaw: I want to extend my deepest gratitude to you. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please follow us on your favorite platform or share this episode with a friend. You can also follow me on Instagram at [00:54:00] Judge Shaw official. A special thank you to Personal Injury Law Firm Judge Shaw Injury Law for.

Judd Shaw: It’s about being real. It’s about embracing our vulnerabilities, celebrating our strengths, and owning our stories. Until next time.

Orange Star

Behind the Armor:
Judd Shaw

Hey, there. I’m Judd Shaw—a lifelong adventurer, storyteller, and emotional intelligence speaker. Growing up, I grappled with feelings of inadequacy, tirelessly driving me to prove my worth in every aspect of my life. As a successful attorney, I reached the top of my field, but success came at a cost. Pursuing perfection left me emotionally drained and disconnected from my true self. It took a global pandemic and the breakdown of my marriage to shake me awake.

Amid the chaos, I embarked on a profound journey inward, delving into mental health, trauma, and the power of authentic human connection. Through therapy and inner work, I learned to regulate my emotions and cultivate a deep sense of self-love. I’m on a mission to share my story and inspire others to embrace their authenticity.

Orange Star

Behind the Armor:
Judd Shaw

I’m Judd Shaw—an adventurer, storyteller, and EQ speaker. Raised in adversity, I internalized a belief that I wasn’t good enough—a belief that drove me to chase success at any cost. As a workaholic attorney, I climbed the ladder of achievement, but a deep sense of emptiness lay beneath the façade of success.

It took a series of personal setbacks, including the upheaval of COVID-19 and the dissolution of my marriage, to jolt me out of my complacency. In the wake of chaos, I embarked on a soul-searching journey, diving into my psyche’s depths to uncover authenticity’s true meaning. Through therapy and introspection, I learned to confront my inner demons and embrace my true self with open arms. Now, as a leading speaker on authenticity, an award-winning author of the children’s book series Sterling the Knight, and a podcast host, I’m dedicated to helping others break free from the limits of perfectionism and live life on their terms.

Orange Star

Behind the Armor:
Judd Shaw

Hi, I’m Judd Shaw—a speaker on human connection and authenticity. From a young age, I battled feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. Determined to prove my worth, I threw myself into my career as an attorney, striving for success with unwavering determination.

As the accolades piled, I felt increasingly disconnected from my true self. The relentless pursuit of perfection took its toll, leaving me emotionally exhausted and yearning for something more. It took a global pandemic and the breakdown of my marriage to finally shake me out of my complacency and set me on a new path.

Through therapy and self-reflection, I began to peel back the layers of my persona, uncovering the power of authenticity in forging deep, meaningful connections. As a leading speaker on authenticity, an award-winning author of the children’s book series Sterling the Knight, and a podcast host, I’m on a mission to inspire others to embrace their true selves.


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