How to Keep Going When You Don't See Results

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How to Keep Going When You Don’t See Results

How to Keep Going When You Don't See Results

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Starting the conversation:

With a small shift in the way you think, you can become even more of a global citizen. Since technology connects us more than ever before, it is easier to think beyond our local community, take ethical action to help and have a commitment to using our advantages to help others. Charlie Bresler, Co-Founder of The Life You Can Save, shares about his consistent alignment to his values in order to be an impactful global citizen.

For many, the difference between passion and drive is blurred. Through reflection for self-awareness — rooted in values and integrity — intentional action becomes possible. The impact you want to have, the participation in something bigger than yourself, is BOLD. And it may take a lot of hard work to become the person you need to be to do it.

This program will present two questions you can ask yourself to reflect and confirm that your values align with your actions; what limiting beliefs actually do and how self-awareness can be a tool to navigate through; and the power of thinking bigger than your current community to be an active global citizen, bringing opportunities to others. Jess Dewell talks with Charlie Bresler, Co-Founder of The Life You Can Save, about why it is BOLD to be a global citizen and give others the opportunity to have some of the advantages you do.

Host: Jess Dewell

Guest: Charlie Bresler

What You Will Hear:

0:00 Charlie Bresler never thought he’d be a business person, let alone an executive.

  • His drive for his family and his passion is caring deeply about a cause to make a difference.
  • Passion is when change can occur with your own capability.

10:37 Partnership-driven is to work with others on a common goal.

  • Create as you go.
  • Recognize each opportunity and decide to choose it.
  • Great Gatsby quote: “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”
  • Decide and commit to your life pillars, obligations, and relationships.

14:00 The work “The Life You Can Save” aligns to Charlie’s life theme.

  • Interested in inequality.
  • Wanted success, and OK when it didn’t seem risky.
  • Leveraging his advantages to help others.

18:03 Get to know the stranger inside yourself.

  • Look at, acknowledge, and choose your values.
  • Be adamant when drifting away from those values.
  • Reflection and introspection necessary to live aligned.
  • It is the work of an intentional life.
  • Two questions: Are you discovering (and changing)? Are you creating (how do I build my life)?
  • Move toward action within your capability: How do you get real about what you are actually capable of?

21:11 Talking about the reality that limiting beliefs are there; can you find them?

  • Charlie Bresler shared about situations in which he limited himself and was open to receive feedback.
  • Charlie Bresler shared about a time he thought he could do something and then lacked the capability to do it.

30:12 About not listening to your values.

  • What became more important and how reward usurps values.
  • There is dissonance — it is felt throughout all parts of your life.
  • Hard conversations are necessary when your path doesn’t align with the path you are on.
  • Charlie decided to remove himself from being the CEO’s successor.

36:29 Be a global citizen.

  • Thinking bigger than our current community.
  • There is much we can give to do good for others.
  • Broaden the reach we have
  • It is easy to help — and an ethical obligation to help where we can.

42:39 Alleviate living in extreme poverty.

44:20  It is BOLD to commit to take intentional action to be a global citizen.

How to Keep Going When You Don't See Results - Charlie Bresler
How to Keep Going When You Don't See Results - Jess Dewell



Charlie Bresler 00:00
You and your therapist have this what I would call discovery metaphor. So you want to discover how you got to be so messed up. And you’ve been doing it for years and years and you think you have some ideas, but somehow that does end up changing you. I tried to operate from a different perspective, my metaphor is what I would call a creation metaphor.

You are listening to the Bold Business Podcast, where you will hear first-hand experiences about what it really takes to ensure market relevance and your company’s future.

Jess Dewell 00:33
Welcome to the Bold Business Podcast. I’m your host, Jess Dewell. Today we delve into the story of Charlie Bressler, who’s leapt from psychology professors to business leader and philanthropist showcases the power of pragmatic choices over passion. Charlie’s commitment to values and practical action has propelled him to make a lasting difference both in business and in aiding those in extreme poverty. Charlie, welcome to the Bold Business Podcast.

Charlie Bresler 01:01
Thank you for having me as a guest.

Jess Dewell 01:02
Once upon a time before you were the president of a very large organization. You were a psychology professor, when you were teaching and working with students and thinking about people and their behaviors and the way things the way we interact with each other. Did you ever think you would be doing that?

Charlie Bresler 01:20
No, absolutely not. I had no idea whatsoever that I would ever end up in business. I was somebody that had never thought about business, never taken a business course, was not particularly interested in any aspect of business.

Jess Dewell 01:37
When you went down the road to be a psychology professor, study psychology and people? What is that passion that drove you and drew you to that?

Charlie Bresler 01:47
I’m not sure I would just use the word passion in that context. I don’t know that passion has ever driven me to use that metaphor. anywhere outside of my family, maybe a few close friends over the years, made me my participation in the anti-war movement when I was in university. But I do not think that passion drove me into psychology or into business. And to be clear passion didn’t even drive me into it. So as we talk about that story, I don’t mean to come across as if somebody who’s not passionate, I think I’m extremely passionate. But I think it’s limited to a specific interpersonal sphere, and not so much to my career.

Jess Dewell 02:31
When I think of passion, I actually think of something slightly fuzzier. Something that like makes my heart get really excited. Some people might say, light your pants on fire, whatever it might be, to make you move forward.

Charlie Bresler 02:45
I assume that’s what you meant. And I spoke stick by my answer.

Jess Dewell 02:49
Can you give us more of a definite, I liked that I would love for you to explain more, because I’m still trying to grasp the way you’re defining yet as a not only as a difference, but I’m very curious, because I actually may be less passionate the way that I think also, now that you say it.

Charlie Bresler 03:07
To me, passionate is when you love somebody or cared deeply about somebody, or you care deeply about a cause, like I did, in university about overcoming American imperialism in the Vietnam War, or the way I feel now about many things going on in the world, I would say, I’m passionate about seeing change, but I don’t see it as my capability of creating that change. And so it’s a more abstract, Clinkard passion. But when it comes to my career, as opposed to those other things that I was noticing, I think I’d been driven by pragmatism, more than bash, I have to go back a little bit further. I graduated from university in 1971, at the height of the Vietnam anti-war movement, and I was thinking a lot about how I could make a contribution to ending the war in Vietnam as one small individual. And apart from going to demonstrations, giving talks, I thought, oh, maybe if I go to graduate school, and study history, and teach secondary school, I could have some impact on how adolescents evolve and think about the world. And so I went to graduate school, got my Master’s in history, education, and taught secondary school for three years. And it was a more intellectual decision about how to make an impact. It wasn’t, I didn’t feel passionate to use your term about teaching, or education, per se, but I did feel to use your term passionate about some of the messages that I wanted to try to get across online teaching. I did that for three years and found that I wasn’t having the kind of impact that I wanted to have. The word Vietnam came to An end, somewhere between 1973 and 1975, depending on you measure it. So I was at a loss at that point what to do, I wasn’t very materialistic. So thinking about a career that would give me a lot of money, or even a fair amount of money didn’t really matter to me. I decided to pursue my interests in tennis. And I managed a tennis club, and played a lot of tournament tennis, and got to be pretty good by New England standard. And that was what I did for seven years. But during that time, I found that I had to make some money. And so I was able to arrange a job as a psych tech, where I could carry a pager, and go in and do interviews of people who are acutely psychotic, to help determine whether they should be hospitalized or not, I will get into the details of how I came to feel qualified or be viewed to veal be qualified to do that. But I did that. So I did that for a long time. And then another pragmatic decision came along, my wife got into medical school, my wife and I’ve been together since high school. And I decided, I think I have a strong enough ego, to be hanging around a bunch of doctors who tend to be arrogant, and be a mediocre tennis pro, slash site tech. So I decided, again pragmatically to go and get my PhD in social and clinical psychology. Because I thought, practically that would be a good thing to do, it would solve my ego problem. And it would also put me in a position to get a different type of job. So I went to graduate school to do that. And I developed this very strong positive relationship with my dissertation director. And I had three fabulous years at Clark University in Worcester, which is noted for its psychology not and geography but not a lot else. It happens to be the one place that Freud and Jung came to talk when they came to the United States. Not that I was interested in shorter Jung, per se, nor was anybody Quark at that point. But anyway, I had a great education I, I enjoyed my time there. I also had a lot of fun. And when I was finishing, my wife is also finishing her residency. And we’re trying to figure out what we wanted to do. And I decided I wanted to live in California, Diana was fine with going to California she liked doing went to. So I said, she got a job teaching her family practice residency in Fresno, California. And I got a job as Director of Behavioral Medicine. But the decision was really driven by the desire to live in California, and much less by Oh, I have to teach psychology in graduate school, that’s going to be the really exciting thing to do.

Jess Dewell 07:57
That’s actually how I make decisions in my life. And I didn’t, I would have never said I was, I can be pragmatic about some things, but I never would have never called myself pragmatic. And I’m listening to you. And it’s we wanted to live in the Pacific Northwest. So what did we do? We figured out how to come here.

Charlie Bresler 08:12
So I got that job. Diana got a job. And I taught graduate school. Seven years, I started an anxiety and stress disorders clinic that treated people with agoraphobia and obsessive-compulsive disorder. And even the way I fell into doing that work and writing the grant to get their clinic going, was a bit odd. Diana had a patient Amman woman, Laotian bomb from Laos, who could not take care of her children because she had become agoraphobic. And Diana had no place to send her, even though she knew I really wasn’t interested in doing clinical work. This is the team again, pragmatism. She said, would you see this woman and I said, Gee, Diana, I don’t know anything about treating agoraphobia, and I’m not really interested in doing clinical work. My mother was in a mental institution, most of the time I was growing up. So I had really not a lot of interest at that time talking to people about their psychological problems. I know it sounds odd, even though as a psychology professor, but I thought a different type of psychology. Anyway, be that as it may, I went to see this woman, and she came to see me at the school, and her name was sawn. And I read all I could read about how to treat agoraphobia, developed a treatment program for her. And within three weeks, she was bad. She could take care of her kids, she could leave the house, just like the research showed what happened with certain people. And then Diana referred another person to me and she got better. And I said, Oh man, I’m on a roll because of my experience with the language in therapy, like my sister or in a mental institution like my mother, and they didn’t really get better. So I got excited about maybe that’s close to passion. And what a time came tears. start to write a grant for the the college and university that I was teaching at. I decided to try to start an anxiety and stress disorder, which is ironic, because I hadn’t been interested in anything other than research and teaching. And so I got the grant. And we started the clinic. And we started treating people with OCD and agoraphobia. And was interesting. I did that for seven years teaching at the clinic.

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Jess Dewell 10:37
Something happened. There was some action, sometimes it was an ask sometimes it was like the next step because there was an interest in that moment. And then planning occurred, and then adjustments were made. And then the next thing to do seem to make itself known Did you? Is it was it? I say it, and it sounds super easy. Looking back was? Do you see those transitions is also easy?

Charlie Bresler 11:02
Yeah, they weren’t difficult for me, I have a very supportive relationship with my wife. And we’re really focused on our children, enjoying our wives. And nothing I did seem, in those days difficult. I was, I’m a privileged person. I’m white. I’m male. I was born in the United States, not in a country that has a lot of extreme poverty or illnesses, people die out that they don’t need to be dying. Yes, I was unfortunate that I had a couple of pretty crazy parents. But for the most part, I just been privileged all my life. And yes, things have been easy, I have to say. And I have to remember, there’s a line in the Great Gatsby, the first page of The Great Gatsby, where the main character Nick Carraway says, My mother always used to tell me that I had to remember that not everyone in life had the same privileges that I bet. And I spent a lot of my last 10 years focused on those people who don’t have those privileges. And I was aware that people didn’t have those privileges. But things have been relatively easy for me.

Jess Dewell 12:13
Yes, it was easy. And the way you described it, it almost felt natural.

Charlie Bresler 12:17
It did, and it didn’t feel risky. There are times later on where there’s some risk involved. But, but it didn’t seem risky.

Jess Dewell 12:24
Did you have kids at this point, or was this pre-kid?

Charlie Bresler 12:27
We had one child when we moved to prisoner, and soon after we had our second child.

Jess Dewell 12:32
So even though it didn’t feel risky, there was risk involved in your family, you were moving your family around.

Charlie Bresler 12:37
My wife was a family doctor, so she could always make a living. So it wasn’t like we were going to be out on the street?

Jess Dewell 12:44
Are those the same pillars? From then and the story you’ve just been sharing with us then today in your relationship with your wife? Is that has that grown? Has that changed? What does that look and feel like today to have that support and partnership?

Charlie Bresler 13:01
It’s, I guess it’s grown just by time, it feels every bit as good as it did back then. But I also have the addition of two grown children and four grandchildren. So the pillars have grown. So it went from one other person now to in addition to Diana, to six other people plus my son and daughters partners. So that makes it easy. So it’s really extended, but the obligations have extended to have a lot of obligations to my grandchildren, who are attached to us to take care of them and to nurture them and to repeat, being a parent. So the pillars are more, but the responsibility has also grown.

Jess Dewell 13:48
You read a book, and then reached out to the person who wrote this book.

Charlie Bresler 13:52
I didn’t go from being a graduate Professor rose No, to being living in the Pacific Northwest, starting the life, you can sit with Peter Singer.

Jess Dewell 14:00
So here’s the thread that I am following the relationship, ideas that could become opportunities or not, and the choices to take those opportunities or not. And then yes, I skipped over a lot of experience and a lot of other things. Because I feel like when we’re talking about partnership, when we’re talking about privilege, and helping people with less privilege, when we’re talking about making change, and something that we’re passionate about, even though we’re also pragmatic about it sometimes or most of the time, and the passion comes in the way that it can. There is the life you can save. And was that also something that came out of the pillars of your obligation, the, the actions that came along and the planning that happened and the new opportunities that were acted on so that more planning could happen along the way.

Charlie Bresler 14:50
The whitening and save grew out of my longstanding desire to help people who are living much less privileged On. And that stemmed back to my university days, as I suggested, not only my efforts in the anti-war movement, but the little bit I did in the civil rights movement as well. I’ve always been interested in inequality. And so when I read Peter singers book, following this business career, that gave me both the financial wherewithal, as well as the freedom to do something to help people living in extreme poverty, I took the opportunity to do it and read the book was catalyzed by it not wasn’t an epiphany, but I found it catalytic. And I wrote, and I reached a period in my life, where I didn’t feel Undying, and I didn’t both felt like I didn’t need to earn any more money, which was part of that privilege. And that we could use some of the money that we had made inadvertently, almost by back, back to the business story, to start this nonprofit that would support people living in extreme poverty. I took that opportunity to follow your theme or your question, did it see risky, it seemed like it might not succeed. But it didn’t seem like a personal risk. Because nerd, Diana and I are not particularly materialistic. So giving away the money didn’t seem risky, we still lived really well, and tried to put my efforts into building like you can save didn’t seem risky, either. But it did seem more close to passion than either my graduate career or my career at the menswear. Much more close to passion.

Jess Dewell 16:44
Looking back, hindsight being 2020. Do you think that all of the experiences and the choices that were made in your household as well as for you, in each action that you were taking in each rule that you had? Do you think that consciously or unconsciously you were waiting for this to appear?

Charlie Bresler 17:03
I’m not one of these people that believes that everything happens for a reason, or that there’s some sort of destiny. Peter Singer says to me, sometimes, the reason that I was in business for so long, in spite of my values that which suggest I wouldn’t have been in business was because I was earning to get, I wanted to earn enough money that I could give money away, but actually wasn’t conscious of that I was conscious of earning money, so I could live well support my family, maybe even someday have money for my grandchildren. And it wasn’t like I became fabulously wealthy by today’s standards. But I became much better off than we ever expected to or cared to be. No, it didn’t seem like it would I was waiting for it to happen. But when it did happen, and it became clear that I could do something about it, I think I acted in a very strong way. And I took that opportunity that many people might not have. So in that sense, I was quick to act.

Jess Dewell 18:02
Something that’s important to you is getting to know the stranger inside yourself. Where did that come from?

Charlie Bresler 18:12
So that’s the thing you’re taking from my podcast music about ourselves of other strangers?

Jess Dewell 18:17
Yes, yes.

Charlie Bresler 18:20
It’s pretty superficial in the sense that I’m not looking, unlike my sister, for example, who was in therapy for 20 years before she died of an accidental overdose, I’m not looking at the causes, or the distal causes of why I am the way I am. I’m looking at what my values are, and how I can become a person that can look in the mirror and say I’m living closer to those values. And so my soul searching, if you is admitting to myself, when I’m far away from living those values, and trying to explore how I can get closer to living those values and be more like the person I want my grandchildren and children to remember, as opposed to really looking at, oh, my mother was so ill. And this led me to this. And this led me I don’t do introspection like that. But I do a lot of, I do a lot of introspection on how I can try to become a better person starting on the assumption that I’m not a really good person and trying to increase, try to get better all the time, like I was with my tennis. To make a stupid analogy. I had a really terrible backhand when I started playing tournament Dennis and I worked on it a lot. And I got better and better. And I had to worry about my forehand because it wasn’t as good as my backhand. But so it’s that kind of, I don’t know what you would call it superficial analysis or present analysis that I’m engaged in a lot.

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Jess Dewell 20:40
From all we’ve talked about so far, there does seem that another theme that is showing up is when we act with the knowledge of exactly where we’re at, we get to make a choice. And it sounds like the goal, the hope, in some instances is that we make that next choice and start acting someplace close to our values.

Charlie Bresler 21:06
Correct. And that we live a life where intention is really important, where we don’t just drift. But we have some fair amount of intentionality about what kind of impact we want to make, what kind of relationships we want to make, what kind of grandparent we want to be, what kind of friend we want to be, yeah, what kind of global citizen we want to be that there’s a lot of intentionality about that. And then how much energy we want to put into your personal development, or health and wellness kinds of goals like physical wellbeing.

Jess Dewell 21:42
A chapter, you’re catching this and making these great distinctions to be intentional to understand and to have something that’s right here, right now for us to be able to have this conversation that our listeners and anybody that is going to be coming along and watch our listeners and our watchers will be like, okay, am I being intentional enough is what I’m hoping is coming across with my little revelation right here. We can be introspective and reflective in a way that supports why we are the way we are or why we want to do something next or just to go do something next.

Charlie Bresler 22:19
Yeah, It is that it’s much more the last two. And then the first one. I remember years ago, my sister asked me, and she was really struggling, as your listeners can imagine, based upon what I’ve said, Charlie, why is it that you turned out to being happy and have such a nice life, if you will. And I turned out to be really struggling? And I assume to me, this is my simplistic answer. Vivian. That was her main mirror. Same name was my granddaughter I might say. So I said many because that was her nickname. I couldn’t get to this. I don’t know, I think what’s happened is you’ve been in therapy forever. And you have you and your therapist have this what I would call discovery metaphor. So you want to discover how you got to be so messed up. And you’ve been doing it for years and years, and you think you have some ideas, but somehow that does end up changing. I tried to operate from a different perspective, even though it’s not like I haven’t struggled believing in its struggle. But my men, my metaphor is what I would call a creation, which is okay, what kind of likes do I want to have? And how do I build that light. One is a discovery metaphor, which is intrinsic. I don’t want to get too much into psychological theory, but which is intrinsic to various psychological theories and therapies. My metaphor, like the one I use with song and some of my other clients over the years is, okay, you want to get out and let’s talk about how you can get not how you got to the point where you became a golf.

Jess Dewell 23:50
So it’s movement to action, always movement to action.

Charlie Bresler 23:53
Sensibly within the range on the person’s capabilities, I might have asked myself, How can I get to be a top 10 tennis player in the world, which was a desire of mine, but I couldn’t have done it. I didn’t have the physical ability to do it so that your intentionality your goals have to be in keeping with not your perceived limitations, but your actual limitations.

Jess Dewell 24:16
How do we get real and accept our actual limitations?

Charlie Bresler 24:21
Most people go too far, and they actually think they’re more limited than they are. There are people like Donald Trump, who are the opposite, but they’re few and far between? I think, I think most people limit themselves more than they need to limit themselves. I interviewed somebody today on a podcast without getting into the name or the my podcast, and the person super, super intelligent. And I was worried before the podcast, would I do well with interviewing this individual? A lot of the people I’ve interviewed on my podcast are very smart. But I was particularly concerned about this particular guest and I realized after the interview and after it Well, you know, Charlie, you’re a lot smarter than you think you are. And I think that my limitation has been me limiting myself, not being grandiose and think I could do anything.

Jess Dewell 25:11
Are there other times in your life, maybe during the time when you were B, you wanted to make change, and you were studying and became a high school teacher to when you became and when you moved into the realm of writing grants and opening clinics to when you were in actually the business world, to even today around that your own limiting beliefs and other places that people clued you in. And you were observant and open enough to receive.

Charlie Bresler 25:41
So the one that really comes to mind first is Amy Cedar about Amy Cedar bomb was a girl in 10th grade that I really wanted to ask out on a date, she was my sister’s best friend’s sister. Now, you may not most of your listeners may not think about these girls that they want to ask out or the girl in 10th grade or the. But anyway, I really want to ask her out, I remember how ratably nervous I was, before I picked up the phone, I can still visualize myself sitting there trying to pick up the phone and not and being almost paralyzed. And I think they’re probably other men and I say men, because in my day and age it was the man always had to do this woman. So now I watch movies. And it’s usually the woman who seems to be more the aggressor, not the man. But in that day and age, it was the boring, and we’re the boy this case. And anyway, finally I picked up the phone and I got me on the phone. And I asked her if she wanted to go to I can’t remember what it was, I think that far back my memory doesn’t go. And she said she couldn’t. And I remember being extremely deflated. But then she called me back 20 minutes later and told me that she got out of the things she was supposed to do and that she could go out. And that was a big victory. So yes, there have been a number of times in my life where I sold myself short. And other people other the world. Other things have told me, Charlie, you’re really more capable with this domain. The best way to do that is to actually achieve in a specific domain and then realize that you can do it. But sometimes people just sharing with you that you can do it is good. Not the one I’ve been struggling with my entire life is intellectual capabilities. By White was this most successful girl in our class, went to Harvard. I was like in the middle of our high school class, of course, I never bought a book. So my mother was institutionalized. I was depressed. But it took years for me to realize a variety of test scores and experiences like going to graduate school and going to Harvard myself, to guide me to realize when you’re probably smarter than you think you are. But for me, that was the particular stumbling block. And I got over the Amy cedar bound after a while. So yeah, there have been times in my life where I’ve felt way like I’ve sold myself short, wondering if there are other unit asking this question. Are there times where I actually thought I could do things that I couldn’t do?

Jess Dewell 28:15
Where do you think I was going next? You took the question right out of my mouth. Yeah, let’s go there, too.

Charlie Bresler 28:22
I probably thought because of my parents success in business, which was this meteoric rise in this public company, I probably thought I was better at business than I am. And I think I probably had an inflated view of my and still do in some sense of my business knowledge, that would be one area that I can think of, that’s an important area, I don’t know, we’d have to ask my grandchildren as to whether or not I have an inflated sense of my ability as a grandchild or grandfather, or my wife is whether I have one as a husband, but the one that stands out to me most right now and said, I think I’m not as good at business as my career pet would indicate. And maybe I believe my own press a little bit too much. And still do. That would be one thing that comes to mind. So that means you’ve said everybody who’s listening to your podcast should not invite me to be on their board or consolidate.

Jess Dewell 29:22
Oh, I tell you what, that’s interesting when. So I felt it coming up when we were talking about partnership. And when we were talking about the way that you and your wife made decisions for your household that impacted where you live, impacted, what opportunities there were to work, how your kids might be raised, what that meant for the work, the impact that you would have on the work. And then you were moving into this concept of staying aligned with our values and taking intentional action and being really intentional about it was there has that come naturally and at some point you would have been able to articulate it or was there this? Was there some pivot turning point in your life that you were like, I don’t know if I’ve been doing this, but I really want to and need to right now.

Charlie Bresler 30:12
Yeah, I knew that I wasn’t living my values relative to making a social impact. The entire time I was in business. From the day I started to the day, I went to the CEOs office and resigned. And I lived with that dissonance. And I was bought off. By the money I was making, the security I was gaining for my family. And the status I was getting being the being well received by other people being treated like I was important, actually doing things. Well, I mean, I talked about some of my deficits in business, I didn’t talk specifically. But there were many things I did do extremely well, and got rewarded for not only in terms of promotion, but other people’s appreciation and support. And I got an email from somebody a week ago, from their son of somebody who’d recently die, who was a salesperson manager in one of our stores in Florida, told me just how much his relationship with me had meant to him. And a guide those kinds of things from time to time. And I got more of that when I was actually in incubators. So those things were important to me and sustain me, but I knew all along, I wasn’t doing, I wasn’t really living a value based life, I may have been a progressive retail executive. But the bar for progressive and retail is extremely low. So it didn’t take very much to jump over that bar. So yeah, that was a time when I knew I was doing it. But as I got to be old, even old, I had, I was realizing I was reaching the point where I needed to do something or I would never do it. And I think combined with the fact that Diane and I had enough money to meet our material desires and what we wanted to do for our children because I think that was an important piece of it. And again, I don’t want your audience to get the idea that we’re like, really rich, but we’re very comfortable. Then at that point, I decided, You know what I’m gonna do and this is a risk, this is a time I took risk, a big risk. I went into George’s office, and he was the CEO, the guy and television, some of your viewers may remember George, and I went into his office, United State, George, I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m resigning as President. And I don’t want to be your successor as CEO, even though I was in wind to be the successor. And I want to do something else that’s more in keeping with my values. That was a big deal was a pretty big deal with the board too, because I was the obvious succession plant. Anyway, we worked through that. And that was a period where I decided once and for all, I was going to do something more in keeping with my core values, apart from family value.

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Jess Dewell 33:16
What distinction do you make between your values and family values?

Charlie Bresler 33:20
Let’s say only values within values actualized, within my family, the other values are the ones actualized within or not in my in society, where we see God lived my values with my family, but I don’t think I’ve done as well with society.

Jess Dewell 33:35
Do you have a set of family values or values that fit into your family? So this is a little bit broader than either of those groups that everybody just knows, within your family.

Charlie Bresler 33:45
I think Diane and I shared that being a good Global Citizen has always been a part of that even though I wouldn’t necessarily living that I think my kids are at different stages in their life when they could understand what that meant, knew that I think being respectful of people not being racist or sexist, valuing education has been another one of those core values in within our family, having fun, which is a value of mine, and being safe, which I think permeates a lot of my thinking and my family’s thinking, which is make sure you don’t do things that are too dangerous. And that’s been passed on to my grandchildren to my children. So I think they’re all of my I have a five-year-old granddaughter and a three-year-old granddaughter and I both of them are very conscious of being safe, physically safe, and hopefully my other two grandchildren will have that. So those are some of the core values in our family. Being generous. Generous is another one.

Jess Dewell 34:47
Our house rules. Our values are a little different. They fall into this but our house rules start out in number one, be safe. Number two, be kind. Number three. Have fun in that order.

Charlie Bresler 34:59
Doing well. One school was always really important to me and Diana, having our kids do well in school. And my son once said to me that I fooled him into thinking that it was really important to do well in school, my son is an organic vegetable farmer who will or went to an elite university. And his view is that was a waste of his effort to get in waste of his effort to be there. So he thinks that I pulled them because it turned out not to be that important that he just been learning farming from the time he was 11 years old, or 10 years old, he’d be far better off.

Jess Dewell 35:37
Interesting. Isn’t that interesting? We never know what the times will bring. And we never know when we’re gonna have to go there. So maybe he’s right. Maybe he’s not. You never know. I know. I still have a lot of things I say about to my parents, why did I have to be like this? Why did I have to be like that? Someday? They may prove me right. But someday, I may prove them wrong. You never know. Isn’t that buddy? It’s just through action and choices. The stories my dad told, and my experience with my dad growing up, I was like, Okay, if my child is even half like this, we I want I just want to avoid, I want to avoid unnecessary interruptions like emergency rooms. That would be great, though.

Charlie Bresler 36:23
It’s ironic because my son chose one of the most dangerous professions there is, which is Pharma.

Jess Dewell 36:29
It is and hey, got a good background doesn’t mean we’ll say can we be a global citizen in our own communities?

Charlie Bresler 36:40
I believe you can’t, you have to be. But I also believe that our community is a lot bigger than people think. If you think of the pandemic, how big is your community, it’s the whole entire world. If you think of the internet, it’s the whole entire world, if you think of climate change is the whole entire world. So I strongly believe that people need to be good within their own community, starting with their families, and exporting out and their local community. But I also think they need to consider the possibility that children living in Sub-Saharan Africa who are dying of illnesses that nobody in the United States will die on, like diarrhea, malaria, that there in your community, too. And so extending your belief of supporting your community, I’d like to see much broader than how people currently think when they think It All Begins at Home Charity begins at home, I believe it starts there, but it should end there.

Jess Dewell 37:43
To build on that actually goes back to a limiting belief we might accidentally have placed on ourselves in society that maybe it’s time for us to be breaking through is what I’m hearing you say.

Charlie Bresler 37:55
Before my parents were like completely out of it. I was raised to be an internationalist, my parents were internationalist. And so for me, it was really easy. For other people not so easy patriotism. us first, it’s in grant. And that’s true. And people in other countries, Australians and Brits, and French and cetera. I’m always stating that as I’ve done this work at the light, you can say, and realize that we can so easily impact the lives of people in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, for example, for $50, we can give a child sight by removing their cataracts. Whereas in the United States, it would cost $40,000 to train a guide dog to just help somebody for seven years with blindness, we could actually cure blindness for $50,000. And I could go on and on with the litany of incredibly high-impact interventions. And that’s why I say as we donate our money or time, we should consider broadening because we can solve some of these problems. In a world where most of us feel pretty helpless as you and I spoke about what we got on the on the interview, we feel pretty helpless a lot to be able to solve problems. And that’s realistic, we have a really limited ability to solve some of the global problems like what we see going on in Palestine, Israel or Gaza. But we had a tremendous ability to solve some problems, homelessness in our own communities, by increasing how money government spend money to help people who are homeless, provide affordable housing, all the way through providing bed nets and malaria Treatment Treatment for children who are sick in Sub Saharan Africa. And my suggestion is we need to consider being generous across the board.

Jess Dewell 39:51
Do you get to travel?

Charlie Bresler 39:52
I could travel but I haven’t been traveling to Sub-Saharan Africa. I’ve been in India a couple of times Sub-Saharan Africa. I really should. But I haven’t for a variety of reasons, some of which are not good reasons. But I speak with people who are living in those places, view the videos of people who are living in those places. And I have colleagues, many colleagues who are living in those places. And what I find exciting is that there’s so much opportunity to do good there. Because there’s so much improvement that can be done for such a little amount of money. And it isn’t a matter of turning these communities into Seattle or Bellingham or New York or whatever. It’s a matter of improving the living condition in the communities as they are.

Jess Dewell 40:43
Things that we have mastered, that are like our normal being in the country that we live in the United States, we can replicate for a small investment compared to a large investment.

Charlie Bresler 40:56
Like hydration, which can cure a kid of diarrhea is tragically free. Even in United States, it’s not that expensive. You can get out patient, hydration therapy, or Pdl, like but a lot of these various interventions are very inexpensive. But generally, they haven’t been used in the developing world. But there’s improvement, and we help create more improvement. And that’s what I’ve been focused on last 10 years.

Jess Dewell 41:29
You said the book was a catalyst? Was it because it was, oh, I don’t have to send I don’t have to worry about making sure people have clothes. I’m actually helping people Institute technology, or advancement or bringing in medicine, or whatever it might be was there I’m thinking about this. And I’m thinking about all the conversations I’ve had about people who think or know, they think they know about what’s actually happening. And I don’t claim to in any sense of the word, I am undereducated in this area. And so I would be curious, is this book about that particular thing, the amount that we can take just a little bit of money and make a huge difference for many people? Or is it about something else?

Charlie Bresler 42:09
Peter is an ethicist. So a lot of it has to do with the ethical obligation to help. Yeah, but a lot of it is how easy it is to help and giving you examples of that. The book is available, by the way, on our website for free. We have an ebook, which is available for free. And we have a celebrity read audiobook where you can listen to celebrities read chapters of the book that’s available from trade.

Jess Dewell 42:36
What is your goal?

Charlie Bresler 42:39
I think our goal is to increase the amount of money we raise for our recommended nonprofits by at least 20% per year compound. And our goal is also to distribute more of the books the like you can say. And related material, like videos, is, so that’s the gold for the likes, you can say. I went said to somebody this was years ago, I was sitting in a kind of upscale cafe in New York Midtown with a another person who worked in philanthropy. I said, if you went in here, and you asked how many people have heard it, Peter Singer just walked around all the table. Other than the two of us, it might be one person. This is Midtown Manhattan, okay. But I would like to think that 10 to 15 years from now 20% of that people would have heard of Peter Singer. So that’s another way of expressing that goal. Personally, my goal is to continue to try to find a way to help people who are living in extreme poverty, to be a really good grandfather and husband and father. And to, to stay healthy. Because I think when you’re 74 years old, that’s an important part of the goal. Because you can’t do those other things. If you don’t.

Jess Dewell 44:03
I want to know what makes a bold, what makes them bold, to pause and reflect on how we’re showing up in the world. So that we can intentionally make the next choice and take action on it.

Charlie Bresler 44:20
Bringing to awareness, something that may be you know, but that maybe we think of as tacit knowledge, you know it but you’re not always thinking about it. But it relates to a move that could be really beneficial to yourself and others, but really bringing it to awareness and being able to live with distance or discrepancy between what you’re doing and what it would mean if that you’re doing if you were to make that move, and living with that long enough that you go. You know what I can do this? I think that’s what makes a boat.

Jess hosts the Bold Business Podcast to provide insights for building a resilient, profitable business by deeply understanding your growth strategy, ensuring market relevance, and your company’s future. It is Bold to deeply understand your growth strategy with your host, Jess Dewell. Get more information about how to drive solutions and reset your growth mindset at Thank you for joining us, and special thanks to our post-production team at The Scott Treatment.