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Starting the conversation:
Did you know the way you feel is a product of your beliefs? Your reality may be skewed by the perception you have of the roles you are in, and the labels you’ve accepted.
Host: Jess Dewell
Guest: Charles Rose
This is Uncharted, a series of candid conversations about facing uncertainty. When we are called upon to be courageous, the strength of our leadership is tested. Red Direction has developed a library of resources to help you stay aligned, and in particular, to develop your True North. Now, here’s Jess.
Jess Dewell 00:30
Everybody. Welcome back to Uncharted. This is where we are talking about things behind the things. What motivates us are the problems that we face as individuals as people going through our path in life and running businesses and leading others along the way. Charles Rose is with us today. He’s an executive coach. He brings his expertise as an entrepreneur, software developer, author and lecturer. His experience with startups has shown him that it’s the personal aspects of business that provide the greatest Two stumbling blocks, or the greatest opportunities. We’re going to talk about them today. I think Charles knows.
Charles Rose 01:07
Hold on Jesse.
Jess Dewell 01:10
Thank you. You think I’d read it 100 times
Charles Rose 01:12
Oh my God. Yeah.
Jess Dewell 01:15
Well, I am glad you are here today. And from my old stomping ground ish up in the Pacific Northwest. Yeah. Is it already rainy season there? Is it just weird,
Charles Rose 01:27
but yeah, it’s just one day for clouds. But it’s been, it’s been warm. It’s been like upper 20s celsius upper 80s Fahrenheit. So it’s been, it’s been warm. That’s just today we’re taking a break.
Jess Dewell 01:39
And at the time we’re recording this that there are a lot of fires in California. Are you being is your, is your weather being impacted by that?
Charles Rose 01:48
Not yet. Not yet. We’re not seeing you know that we had a pretty intense fire season last year but it’s been a little cooler this year. So we haven’t seen as many wildfires in BC.
Jess Dewell 01:58
That’s good. I’m glad because I don’t know how far that stuff goes, right? We’ve got stuff across the Rocky Mountains. That is actually we wake up in the morning. It’s like having frost on the ground, there’s a layer of ash on everything that turns it a little white. And none of the wildfires in Colorado are by us. So it’s impacting everything all the way around us and a lot of different ways, which is why I was asking the question, because whether we cannot control our internal responses we can’t control and we’ve all hit rock bottom, bottom at some point or another family. I mean, and people, those of you out there being like, No, I’ve never had that out. If you look hard enough, you have your rock bottom is just different than what you think it might be. And if we were talking about that, Charles and we’re talking about, you know, when we’re at those low places before we jump in to anything as an executive coach, you know, where do those places come from that resistance in that rock bottom.
Charles Rose 02:53
I think the rock bottom comes when we’ve exhausted our strategies for how we’re navigating life. And they run up against our reality. And they’re, it’s this period where Okay, change has to happen because we’re exhausted. And most people’s strategy for dealing with life is to kind of hold our breath. And we can only do that for so long. And typically people want to come to have coaching when they’re ready to try something new, you know, like, life has sort of broken them open, and there’s been some kind of crisis or the crisis is that they just can’t continue the way they’ve been continuing.
Jess Dewell 03:32
Oh, have you ever had that?
Charles Rose 03:34
Oh, my God. Absolutely.
Jess Dewell 03:38
I’m guessing it from that response. There’s more than one?
Charles Rose 03:41
Well, definitely, definitely. I mean, we always hit these sort of growth points in our life and you and I got to go through one of those together. So I co-founded a company with another gentleman in 1997. And you were part of that which was awesome. And then we sold that in 1999. And that was a high and a low point for me, because on the one hand, it was this achievement that I had been wanting to do for so long. And I realized later that part of that what was driving me was like, I wanted to please my dad, I wanted to show that I was successful. I wanted to show that I was a good entrepreneur. And I did all that and he was happy. But yeah, there was this piece where it was like, it wasn’t really fulfilling, because so much of it had been about getting something from me. And great, I got something for me. And yeah, now, at that point, I’m sitting on a pile of money, but yet, I haven’t really invested a whole lot into my family. I didn’t have a girlfriend, I didn’t have a lot of friends. And so it all felt kind of empty. You know, like that. That last night of, you know, the deal had gone through. I’m now a millionaire. I’m sitting there by myself in my apartment today. You know, eating a takeout pizza or drinking a Corona and watching Uncle Buck on the TV by me, it was one of the loneliest nights of my life.
Jess Dewell 05:07
Wow. Yeah. Wow.
Charles Rose 05:14
And it was sort of like, now what? You know, like, all my hopes and dreams have gone into this thing and thinking, Okay, well if we do this, and we sell this, then naturally as part of this, I’m going to be wildly happy. Exactly. Or I remember thinking, I wonder how I’ll feel when we’ve sold the company because I’ll be a different person than for sure. And what you find out is, Oh, my God, I’m still me. Right? And fundamentally, nothing’s really changed. Yeah, I got some extra zeros in the bank account, which is, you know, God, that’s wonderful. I can pay for stuff now. Yeah. But I haven’t fundamentally changed as a person. So my level of joy my level of everything, you know, because there’s this sort of Christmas morning effect with a lot of stuff. It’s like, yeah, I can go buy a home theater and then after a while you’re sitting there alone in your home theater like, Okay, this is a little lame. I kind of need people now.
Jess Dewell 06:14
Right? Wait. Yes. I love is that a real thing? Or did you just go in that the Christmas morning effect?
Charles Rose 06:21
Oh, I just made that up. Yeah.
Jess Dewell 06:23
Okay, it’s officially yours and I’m probably going to use it. I will pray to you. That actually should be hashtag Christmas morning effect.
Charles Rose 06:31
That’s it because there’s this, you know, initial just absolute excitement and then after a while the toys don’t have the samemuster.
Jess Dewell 06:41
No, they don’t. And they so so the excitement and the attraction is in the newness and the novelty. Truly, and so it makes me think about novelty. When when you were sitting alone, eating that pizza watching uncle Bach Yeah, your dad was happy you’d achieve that. And that was a big deal. Was that the beginning? Did you recognize in that moment that something was not right or were you still hiding from yourself?
Charles Rose 07:13
I’m still a bit hiding from myself. I just it’s something felt fundamentally profoundly off. Like my ideas of what this was going to be was Wait. What reality was? Yeah, I think everybody I see so many people entrepreneurs ads for people say, you know, if you just get you become a millionaire, you’ll be amazingly happy. And that’s always the assumption that that’s that that’s the magic formula for happiness and joy and fulfillment in life.
Jess Dewell 07:45
Right? You know, it’s true. And so is that like, did you, did you borrow somebody else’s belief then? Or that was like, it was it a way of life or You know, you’ve had it made when and so everything was gonna change when you had it made. I’m trying to think,
Charles Rose 08:06
Yeah, something like that. I would have it made and I would I think it, it came down to I would feel different. Turns out just mostly thinking about yourself isn’t all that satisfying. You know, it’s really only in serving others, you know that we are fulfilled, I find. And so after that I was living in the San Francisco Bay Area and someone introduced me to a woman who became my coach. And the level of depth that she took things to was just absolutely amazing to me, and it was like, Okay, I like this. And the more I get into it, the more I realized because she taught me about clarity and looking at, you know, looking at my purpose with different things. What are my goals with different things? Yeah. What are my fears? Yep. What’s my desire in terms of, say, my career or my relationship with my family, or girlfriend? Exactly. So she sent me on the path of starting to investigate all those things. Look at what, what my beliefs were because at the end of the day, the way I felt was a product of what I believed. And so we started to unpack all that. And some of those beliefs were false that I’d made up when I was a kid. And so that work was so profound that I thought, Okay, this is what I want to do with people, if I can support people, and having that clarity, having that shift to a place that’s more I mean, there’s a transition you can call a healing, but there’s there’s a transition people go through when they start opening up and realizing there’s a bit more there’s a different way of looking at things then they may have thought you didn’t like yourself very much. I didn’t and I That was, that was the biggest surprise of all because I, I had thought that I had thought of myself, you know, very positively. And I hadn’t realized that there was this underlying self-criticism, self-judgment that went deeper than I thought it did.
Jess Dewell 10:21
And I’m guessing nobody around you really knew that either because this is the first time I’m hearing this Charles and we’ve known each other for …
Charles Rose 10:28
Yeah, like 20 some years now.
Jess Dewell 10:30
Exactly. And I had and I had no idea because even, even after that, it was the way that you showed up and the way that you chose to be was very positive, even keel. I got this, um, and at the same point, but, but you were hurting and you were recognizing this is not good. And you met this woman who became your coach, was that something that did The universe help you did you ask for help? How did that introduction happen?
Charles Rose 11:05
It happened through. I think I probably did ask for help. Maybe not as as directly as you’re saying, but I think I was looking for help. I was looking for support. And a girl I was dating at the time, this was her coach in the city up in San Francisco. So she was like, Hey, you want to talk to my coach? And he was like, sure. Yeah. And I think we initially did it to work on our relationship. And then I liked this coach so much, it was like, how about we just talked to me? And so we did that and that was so powerful that I signed up to like, okay, train me as a coach. And that was, that was in 2000. I think 2000 2001.
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Jess Dewell 12:06
We all have parts of us that we don’t like. And we all have parts of us that we think other people don’t like. And I’m thinking about this being of service to others. And I’m thinking about this buzzword called authenticity, that of course, it’s been around forever, but then it became this thing. And now we’re all striving for it now. Because we have an expectation of authenticity that’s no longer real, either. And so how, how do you show up to that and help people really be authentic, be real, be raw, be beautiful, be excited and scared and all of those things, right in the moment, in a way that doesn’t have to live up to now this new label we have of what we’re supposed to be to be authentic. That’s kind of mine. No, it’s kind of like this weird thing.
Charles Rose 12:52
I find that area so fascinating, just because the authenticity I think comes from we’re losing and I find the self fascinate, we’ve lost trust in all of our leaders, our political leaders, our religious leaders are pretty much everybody, but maybe scientific leaders, I don’t know. But we’ve lost that faith. And so in order to develop trust, we need to be authentic, we need to be real. And so yeah, you’re right. There’s that expectation of authenticity. But how can you be authentic when you don’t really know who you are?
Jess Dewell 13:21
Yeah. And if you’re not, if you’re not who you are fully, how can you tell if somebody else is?
Charles Rose 13:28
Generally, I think it boils down to your feelings or your friend here. And so much of what we do is in our head, and it amounts to an opportunity to start listening to listen within and say, okay, is this sitting right? Is this feel right in my gut or in my heart? Is this really feel right for me, and then start to unpack that start to listen to yourself, because we tend to kind of put ourselves in a corner somewhere and it’s like, let’s just kind of be quiet and get through this. Huh, and at some point, being quiet and getting through this, it doesn’t work. And we can’t do that forever. You can only hold your breath for so long. And then at some point, you have to start listening. And it’s taking time to meditate taking time to, you know, maybe go for a walk in nature and see, wow, I’m really upset about this. What do I What am I you know, and then unpack it and start looking at.
Jess Dewell 14:23
Yeah, it’s a big, it’s a big deal. And so what was the outcome of this when you, when you recognize you didn’t like yourself very much and you went on this path? You know, what, what were the physical manifestations around you that as your because there had to been something that, that caused you to go, maybe I don’t like myself very much.
Charles Rose 14:45
Well, it was starting another startup later that didn’t, didn’t you know, Bloom into this massive success. And then you I developed these expectations of myself that if I’m not a success, then I must be a failure. And then I I start labeling myself that and then. And then, you know, I’m with my partner and she’s for a certain period of time supporting me. And then I feel like a failure. And it’s like, I’m supposed to be the one my value is the one who’s supporting everybody else. Financially, and if I can’t, then I must have must not have any inherent value myself.
Jess Dewell 15:24
So you had time, you had tied your ability to financially support to your self-identity.
Charles Rose 15:31
Exactly, because that’s what I’ve done with every other partner I’ve been with. This is worth them financially. And it’s like if I can’t do that for a time right now that I must not have value.
Jess Dewell 15:42
Wow. And this in the exploration with the coach, the outside set of eyes, the, the ability to be safe and vulnerable with somebody was really important. So how did you read how did you shift and reshape your goals and let go some of those labels?
Charles Rose 16:02
Well, forgiveness is an incredibly powerful tool. So when we are resenting anything, another person or ourselves, the greatest tool that I’ve found is forgiveness. And so what that would you have a forgiveness tool that I use with clients? I’d be happy to share that with you if you if you’d like.
Jess Dewell 16:26
You know what I’m in. I know our listeners would love that. To hear about it. Bring it bring it, Charles.
Charles Rose 16:32
So it’s a four-step process. Just basically what you do is you list your resentments in a particular relationship. So this might be with you. This might be with someone else. So you list the things I resent, you know, somebody for this I resent somebody for that, or is it somebody for this thing? Yeah. You list them all out and then you look at for each of them, are you willing to forgive these things? You don’t have to have done it. But are you willing to? Yeah, okay. The third thing is what have you learned from this? What has this experience taught you about yourself and maybe it’s taught you, I need to take better care of myself. Yep, I need better self-love or self-trust, or usually when we didn’t listen to ourselves. We’re always like, you know what I knew that wasn’t gonna work. But I didn’t listen to myself. And now I’m, I don’t forgive myself for that. It’s like, okay, so the opportunity to learn from this is to listen to myself more. Yeah. So then the final thing, the fourth piece is what are you grateful for in the scenario? And that gratitude shifts it from a contraction to an expansion? Yeah.
Jess Dewell 17:55
I know I’m listening and I wish I could have done it in my head. I was writing these down so I could sit with it later. And go through the process and, and I know that that’s very surface level because not only does I’m like thinking about this little so Okay, good. We can, it’s easy to say what we don’t like. It’s a little harder to say, am I willing to engage this differently? It’s even harder to then say, what have I learned? And even most important, especially when we’re hurting, it’s like pouring salt in the wound. Oh, can I, can I be grateful for this too? And you know what? Yeah, bigger little. That sounds like such a cool process to have you facilitate with people.
Charles Rose 18:38
Absolutely. Absolutely. It’s incredibly powerful. Yeah. Because that or is that you’re talking about is a holding on to a belief, your victimization or something? Yeah. And ultimately, it’s about taking our power back and realizing, okay, I can learn from this. I can act differently next time. I’m not stuck. I’m not damned. I’m not you know, I feel like life can go on I can improve from this I can learn and I can actually be more joyful going forward rather than just carrying this burning resentment around with me. That’s poisoning me.
Jess Dewell 19:13
Okay, so let’s talk about that right, before you realized you were lonely. And before you realize that you, there were parts of you that you didn’t like. And now I’m coming back to, I’m coming back to this because I’m wondering if there’s a connection here. There are people who will only look at the positive and they don’t want to talk to you if you’re real or pragmatic. Right. Right. Right. And so, I recognize that there’s a lot of opportunity to skip to step four. Without doing the work, how long does that actually work, Charles?
Charles Rose 19:45
Well, it depends on the relationship. I have found that there have been certain family members that I’ve had to do that process over and over again throughout the years.
Jess Dewell 19:54
Right, before I get on the phone before I send him a text message before I show up at their house for a family But
Charles Rose 20:02
But then there are others that you know, it’s a one and done kind of thing. Right? And it’s like, Oh, sure I can let go of that.
Jess Dewell 20:08
Yeah, yeah. And, and probably that comes with practice. Or you practice the, all the steps, the easier it is to recognize that. Um, how do you are people attracted to you who they’re like, oh, everything is good the pot You know, there’s silver lining on everything and I’m going to be taking care of no matter what but they’re actually not their own.
Charles Rose 20:31
Oh yeah, it’s usually the men. So many women have been built up and brought up in a culture of like Oprah when it’s okay to talk about your feelings and it’s okay. We haven’t had that. There’s no preferred guys that I’m, you know.
Jess Dewell 20:46
I’m not aware that either.
Charles Rose 20:49
So it’s it hasn’t been as okay for guys to talk about their feelings or process this stuff together or whatever. You’re just supposed to be generally stoic and kind of go on and so Yeah, very often if, if, if everything is going to be okay, it’s probably a dude that I’m talking to. And but it’s at some point you start realizing, okay, well, where are their frustrations in your life? Where are there because your feelings your emotions will give you a sense of either this is working because you feel great or it’s not. Yeah. And then it’s true. That’s your clue to go dig in and do more work.
Jess Dewell 21:27
So almost like trying to think what’s coming to mind, which is the weirdest thing is from the movie, A Christmas Story. And in the movie, the Christmas story, the main character of the little boy, he saving up all those little things and mailed off to get something so he could get a secret message and a decoder ring. Yes, and he gets the decoder ring, and he’s hiding and he’s so excited about this and the message was a pile of poo poo. He was like, drink my old teen will Is this I thought this was gonna really matter. And what’s funny is that feeling he let it go. And I’m glad I love that kids can just do that. But somewhere along the lines, we don’t let those little things go do we know? And they become part of our identity and what we think others expect of us. And now I’m curious for you, and that whole process, when were you able to shift away from this is the way that I am. And this is the way that it is into? Oh, that’s an expectation I give myself nobody actually ever told me that.
Charles Rose 22:28
When I got good and sick of doing things the way I’d been doing them, and realizing they weren’t working. Yeah, that’s when it was I was ready to shift because not I wasn’t before that was like, No, I’ve got this. Everything’s fine. It’s like No, it’s not.
Jess Dewell 22:42
Oh, yeah. And it manifests in a lot of way. For me. I would say my biggest manifestation of something like this that we’re talking about, was, um, I was in so much pain. I was on heavy narcotics, and I couldn’t walk. Yeah, yeah, showed up in my 20s. And I was like, Huh And so I recognize where you’re coming from. And I recognize what you’re saying. And I’m also saying, you know, so it could be physical, it could be monetarily, it could be, um, you know, it could be the expectations of others. So all in our mind, or other places that this friction could come from, but we can like, share a little bit with somebody who’s listening going, Oh, that’s not me. I don’t need to worry about this. Maybe you do?
Charles Rose 23:26
Well, yeah, sleep is one thing. If you’re having trouble sleeping very often, we will process our stuff at night. And so if we’re upset about something very often in the middle of the night, we’ll let ourselves know. And we’re up and we’re thinking and we’re pacing and we’re, you know, that’s always an incredible barometer of what’s going on. Yeah.
Jess Dewell 23:52
So where are you today with all of this right, your current executive coaching business, you’ve got a couple of interests going on right now. And they all have other things and they all have their own momentum. How are you showing up differently today than you did back then?
Charles Rose 24:06
Great question, Jess. I think was more humility was more listening with more of an intention to be of service was more of an intention to, you know, you started talking about authenticity when we began. So it’s I think this quest for being true to oneself is it’s ongoing. So I think today for me, it’s figuring out how to be the most authentic, I can be the most me I can be going forward. And so, you know, it’s combining because I’m a tech guy, and I’m an entrepreneur, and I’m a coach. So it’s like, kind of how do I combine all these things together? So I’ve been looking at, you know, I’m working on doing a video online course and getting some of that going and different materials and so that’s really the next focus for me is, is putting those pieces together. Mm-hmm.
Jess Dewell 25:05
So it’s allowed you to channel energy to recognize that you aren’t like anybody else, and that your unique skill set and your unique drivers actually have set you up to be exactly where you are.
Charles Rose 25:16
That’s right. Hundred percent.
Jess Dewell 25:18
And it’s only because of coming through that, that that path that that way forward. Not only is more fulfilling, but it’s also more fun and you can rely on it differently.
Charles Rose 25:33
Absolutely. Absolutely. I feel like my eyes are more open than they’ve ever been. And there’s more. Just listening to myself listening to my partner listening to sort of life and not trying to force it, I think like I was before, and like it all had to be my way kind of thing. So it’s, you know, it’s listening more to Okay, what’s going on and what’s going on with you and Being more in relationship with life, rather than just sort of being all in my head. And, you know, like that.
Jess Dewell 26:08
You heard it here, we got to get out of our heads, we got to get in touch with our feelings. And not only that, taking the time to understand what these skills are that help us use our feelings as a guide and really navigate through what we’re facing. Because when we can navigate through the little everyday things, we get to navigate through the bigger things with much more confidence and assurance that we are, who we are when we need to be there and how we can show up and really serve as Charles was telling us so thank you for joining us on this Uncharted. And guess what you are have this tool, you have access to Charles through LinkedIn and everywhere else. We’re tagging him for this program. So please stop by, ask him some more questions. And most importantly, stop by Red Direction and listen to some of our other programs.
Courage is something that’s strong from within. By listening to these programs using the Ask Jess Anything platform and by taking advantage of Red Direction’s Unstuck Quick consulting services, you know you have the just in time tools to chart your own course. And that will help you find your way forward during Uncharted Times.