How Resilient Are You? with Kim Corbett

Success is not for the faint of heart. Lofty goals are challenging to achieve, and most won't reach them. But why do some quit while others bounce back? How do some muster up the resilience to try again when faced with failure? Maybe some people are not equipped with the constitution to handle failing, much less, repetitive failure. Likely, most of us wouldn't stomach 10,000 failures in search of success. So, how do we develop the resilience we'll require for our ambitions?

Why do some quit while others bounce back? Chances are you’ve heard tales of Thomas Edison overcoming failure. Edison (1847-1931) most famously invented the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb and is credited with developing devices for electrical power generation, mass communication, sound recording, and motion pictures.

As a master of trial and error, these innovations have had a widespread impact on the modern industrialized world. When asked about the many thousands of failures he had when trying to create the light bulb he famously said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Success is not for the faint of heart. Lofty goals are challenging to achieve, and most won’t reach them. But why do some quit while others bounce back? How do some muster up the resilience to try again when faced with failure? Maybe some people are not equipped with the constitution to handle failing, much less, repetitive failure. Likely, most of us wouldn’t stomach 10,000 failures in search of success. So, how do we develop the resilience we’ll require for our ambitions?

Perhaps it is useful to consider resilience in a new light. What if it isn’t an inherent trait or behavioral characteristic? What if it isn’t something fate happens to bestow upon us. Maybe there is something we’ve overlooked. What if resilience is not an individual trait but to a greater extent, an environmental phenomenon?

In today’s’ episode, we’ll hear Kim Corbett, a poster-child for resilience, talk about how she’s built a surplus of help to bounce back during challenging times.

Below you’ll find a transcript of this podcast episode that has been edited for your reading pleasure. You’ll also see links at the bottom of this post where you can find more information on the people and ideas mentioned in the episode.
Produced by: John Patterson & Tyson Crandall

“I had a high, ambitious aim for this year, to triple my income. And I thought, ‘How in the world… I am not fit for it.’ And to confront the lack of fitness was upsetting. I had a few moments of, ‘Forget it. What were you thinking?’

I thought, ‘No, do not move that target. How do I start studying and talking to people that can help me in the company? Hey, how can I reach that? How do I do that? I’ve never done it.’ And I would have been embarrassed in the past to do that.”

John Patterson: First of all, for our listeners, if you would please introduce yourself, say your name, where you live, and all that good stuff.

Kim Corbett: I am Kim Corbett. I live in Carmel, Indiana, which is a suburb of Indianapolis, Indiana.

John Patterson: And what do you do for a living?

Kim Corbett: I work as a territory director for a diagnostic imaging company, the largest in the country. We provide radiology services. I set up cancer programs and such in hospitals throughout Indiana and Kentucky.

John Patterson: Then you have a son aged 22, right?

Kim Corbett: Yes. Yes. Ryan.

John Patterson: Good.

Kim Corbett: Yeah. Very proud of him.

John Patterson: Good. And you’re also health enthusiast.

Kim Corbett: I am. Yep.

John Patterson: Good. Anything else we should know about? We want to get the full round of the character that is Kim Corbett here.

Kim Corbett: Oh, let’s see. I can’t think of anything. Those are my main…

John Patterson: Okay. Good.

Kim Corbett: Yes.

John Patterson: Okay. No worries. No worries. First of all, you and I had a great conversation on an earlier podcast and we wanted to invite you back. And we’ve had this kind of conversation also with several others, Marcus, Joe and Joni, Paul Adams, and the likes. There’ll be several more. Really the purpose of this conversation is to find out, where are you now? A lot has happened since we last talked, from what I can tell. And you’ve been studying with us from… When did you start studying with us?

Kim Corbett: 2012.

John Patterson: 2012.

Kim Corbett: Yes.

John Patterson: So, seven years ago. And when we last talked, I think you had made some moves. There were some accomplishments that you had noted. We talked a little bit about the whole world of selling. But where are you now? What’s happening with you? Kind of take us to the end of your journey, where here you are. You’ve been studying with us for seven years. What’s happened?

Kim Corbett: Wow. Well, from the last podcast, I’m still with the same company. My goal within that company was to move into more of a larger complex sales role. So I worked on developing my identity within the company, and being well known by volunteering for projects. And I watched out the company for opportunities for growth. I was last year promoted to a director level. So I went-

John Patterson: Congratulations.

Kim Corbett: Thank you. Thank you. Because that was quite an accomplishment. It took work. So I worked my way. I, in, my last role became… Because they said, “Well, prove yourself.” So I became number one in the company, won president award, won a trip to Turks and Caicos from that. Took my son on that. But then I worked into this role where I now work with very large multi-million-dollar contracts, which is… that’s what I love.

Kim Corbett: I love working with the hospitals. I work with very large academic teaching hospitals throughout Indiana and Kentucky, so I am responsible for a large quota and retaining these multi-million-dollar contracts.

John Patterson: That’s fantastic. Congratulations.

Kim Corbett: Thank you.

John Patterson: I am so happy for you. I knew you way back when, right, of…

Kim Corbett: 18 years ago.

John Patterson: I know you’ve been working with Influence… Yeah. Yeah. That’s really fantastic.

Kim Corbett: Yeah. That was a lot.

John Patterson: You should be proud of yourself.

Kim Corbett: I am. I am. Because I think back where I didn’t think it was possible ever. First of all, ever to even get in the six-figure range. But then I thought… I’ve worked in diagnostic imaging for several years. And in our world, we call them modalities. And so, there’s mammogram and x-ray and MRI. But when I started studying and learning about PET scans, I was so drawn to that. But the company I worked for previously didn’t offer that. And everybody on my dad’s family had cancer, and I wanted to work in something where I could make a difference, but also make money, because it was always the other way. I was always giving and I thought there’s no way to marry the two.

So, for me, to then look at working for the largest company in the country that offers it, but I sub-specialize mainly in PET scans, and then all of the new things that come out with cancer. So I educate the hospitals and the physicians, and encourage them to offer… A lot of them are all focusing on building robust cancer programs, so I come in and help and partner with them. So it’s pretty exciting.

John Patterson: For the lay people, including myself, a PET scan is…

Kim Corbett: Is for instance if you have cancer and you want to see, has it spread to other parts of your body. So you need a… or if you are getting cancer treatment, is the cancer treatment working? Yes. And they do some of the scans for brain, so there are some new things coming out with Alzheimer’s where they’re detecting signs of Alzheimer’s in the brain. So it’s a very precise test.

John Patterson: Fantastic. And you mentioned that you, in your early days, couldn’t imagine both making a difference and making a good living, and now you do both. In the early days, what’d you deal with about that? Do you remember?

Kim Corbett: I worked hard at fixing my personality. I thought there was a flaw. I thought, “I have to fix… There must be something wrong with me. I don’t know how.” Then I thought, “Well, if I just hoped and wished for it, that it would just turn out.” And I knew though. Deep down, I knew I was in trouble, so it created a high level of anxiety.

And since studying with Influence Ecology, that’s where I learned to do accurate thinking and think, “Okay, I have this skillset. I have this aim. How do I take it with what I already know, with my education background. And then how much do I need to make? And then where do I want to work where I enjoy it? What do I want to do, and how do I put that all together?”

And it looked impossible. Especially as I’m getting older, I didn’t think I could. Some people told me it was impossible. They said, “Go and get married to a rich man and just hang it up.” And I thought, “No. I don’t want to do that.” So I found a way-

John Patterson: Fun.

Kim Corbett: I know. I hear them more often than you can imagine. I still hear it. Why are you working so hard? And I love what I do. So I’m having fun.

John Patterson: Oh my gosh.

Kim Corbett: I know.

John Patterson: That’s a topic for another day.

Kim Corbett: I know. Exactly.

John Patterson: So since 2012, you doubled your income, at least that and more, and expected to do that again and so forth. Really, congratulations on all that you’ve accomplished.

Kim Corbett: Thank you.

John Patterson: It’s really amazing.

Kim Corbett: Yeah. It’s hard to believe. Sometimes I forget about it. I had a friend, within Influence Ecology, that I’m close with. She had me step back and take a look at that recently and said, “I want to just look at where you’re at in comparison to the statistics in the country. You’re up there for your age. You’re a single woman. This is what you’re doing.” So it’s important for me to reflect on that occasionally.

John Patterson: It is. From time to time, I’ve gotten out I think it’s the US census on income or something like that. And there’s a particular set of ranges that people can look at and get the truth about where you are in those different levels of incomes. And I think many people that work with us are kind of surprised, like, “Oh, I’m kind of up there. I’ll take it.”

Kim Corbett: Well, and it never seems like… For a while I thought, “Okay, is it enough when I didn’t measure it?” Because a lot of people said, “Well, if you’re going to spend your life just chasing that, what kind of quality…” So that’s why I’m not doing that now. I look at all the areas of my life. What does it mean to be satisfied? And then, where do I say yes and no to, and then where am I going to focus? And that’s what I’ve been doing.

John Patterson: That’s great.

Kim Corbett: Yeah. And then to see people in my life like my parents who… they’re starting to be a demand for satisfaction. My dad’s in his 80s, my mom, late 70s. And so, first of all, it’s getting on them… Even my son, he’s aiming to be high honors in college and graduating next spring. That’s been the bonus part of me studying here, is watching them watch me, and then how they’re taking it on as themselves. So that’s exciting.

John Patterson: One of the things that I’d love to talk to you about and get your thoughts about, because I know people… You and I, again, we’ve known each other for so long, right?

Kim Corbett: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John Patterson: And sometimes there are people, and I think of them, and I think, “Oh, studious.” Or maybe somebody else, I think of them and I think, “Oh, they’re hilarious.” When I think of you, I think of the word resilience because you’re resilient. You bounce back. You aren’t thrown by the… everybody has peaks and valleys. You don’t seem thrown by that, the valleys. I’m not saying you’re not bothered by them. I’d rather have just peak, peak, peak, peak. But you tend to be rather resilient around your own health, around your money, around what’s happened in your earlier days around your own son’s health, around your moves.

When I said earlier that you’ve moved around a bit, know that you did a lot of moving, some of which was not of your choice, right? You’re like just this resilient woman, and I just wanted to find out if you have any secrets to share with us about that.

Kim Corbett: Something Kirkland pointed out is he said he watched how I related to things as they came up, as it’s another transaction. It’s not to say that I don’t get upset and I’m not distracted and delayed. But I don’t stay there. There was something you said early on in my study, is, “You transact for help until you’re satisfied.” The part, for me, that I’ve learned the most, because I’ve been very independent and never ask for help in the past, what I’ve done since 2012 and I continue to do it at higher levels every year, is ask for help.

I don’t spend a lot of time suffering. I get help and I get more help, and I just continue to do that. That’s why I get through things. I have a study group that I’ve had now for a couple of years. We call each other beyond our study time and I get help from them. And I don’t have a problem any more with shame or embarrassment, that I have weakness that I have to ask for help. So that has been the biggest impact for the resilience and bouncing back and just doing what has to be done.

John Patterson: I was going to ask you about that because you wrote in your notes something about… You said it and I wrote here. You said you ask for help and ask for help again and again and again until you’re satisfied. First of all, I think it’s very brave. I would, as in an Inventor Personality, tend to want to look like I’ve got it going on, I’ve got it all together. Took me a while to learn to ask for help. So I’m glad that you brought that up because I’ve never thought about that as maybe a key to resilience.

Kim Corbett: Oh yeah.

John Patterson: Anything else you want to say about it?

Kim Corbett: Yeah, because I think about… It was late last year, I lost everything I owned to a flood. And I was studying at the time-

John Patterson: That’s so funny. I’m laughing now because, if anybody’s listening to this went, “Oh my God.” Oh yeah, I just lost everything. Oh fire. Oh yeah, my house just… Oh yeah.

Kim Corbett: Yeah.

John Patterson: Please continue.

Kim Corbett: I started studying minimalism right before it happened. I didn’t think I’d be impacted to lose so much. I went to start replacing my belongings. And I went to a furniture store and I froze. I could not even think straight. So I went to my study group during one of our calls, and I was embarrassed that I was in that state of mind and mood, because I thought I should be able to have it all together, I’m strong, I’m confident. But I wasn’t at the time.

And so, one of the people in my study group suggested hiring somebody and getting help. And I never would have thought of that. Not only did I replace, I went beyond what I ever imagined because I asked for the kind of help that I need. Then there is times that I ask for my health. At my age, I feel like I’m 30, and I sometimes when I’m having problems with hormones or hair loss or whatever, you go to some physicians and they’ll say, “Oh, it’s just part of aging.” And so, for a while I started accepting it. Then I thought, “No, I’m going to decline that,” and I went to another physician and another one and another one, and I got help until somebody said, “You can still lose weight. You can still get your hair back.”

And so, I was unstoppable because I thought, “All right. I want to live with vitality into my 100s,” and my goal this past January to mid year for our conference coming up was to lose 10 pounds, and I did.

Which was going to be impossible. That all came from asking for help and keep asking for help. And I researched and studied health, and then I finally hired them and built a team that could help me with that. Now it’s starting to pay off. I learned stand-up paddle boarding with my 22-year-old son, and I did a 20-mile bike ride a couple of weeks ago from… They did a night ride here in downtown Indy, 11:00 pm till 1:00 in the morning. I did 20 miles straight without stopping, with 2500 bikers.

So now I’m like, “Wow,” and I feel fantastic. And I need that kind of vitality to do the kind of work that I want to do and fulfill on my… Part of my work is legacy because I am making sure these hospitals offer the top possibility for detecting cancer early. And some hospitals are… So I need to have that, and for the kind of money that I’m aiming to make. So it’s part of my plan, is to have a level of vitality. So it’s all fitting together.

John Patterson: Now, for it to make the kind of impact that it could, do you mind saying your age?

Kim Corbett: I’m 56.

John Patterson: That’s fantastic.

Kim Corbett: I know.

John Patterson: Fantastic.

Kim Corbett: And I went kayaking. My son visited recently from college, so he stayed with me. He’s 22 and he’s 6’2, handsome, very lean. And we went kayaking on… It was windy. There were white caps on this lake. We kayaked for about an hour and a half. And he had to stop and rest, and I kept going. I do weight training, personal training, two to four days a week. And I hate it. I’m not going to lie. I’m not a fan for it. And I hired somebody to work with. So it’s paying off.

I work with 30-year-olds who, I’m passing them up even with work measures. So I love it. And then also to be asked out on dates from 30-year-olds, that kind is fun, but I don’t go that route. But it’s still fun.

John Patterson: Just to know you could.

Kim Corbett: I know. Yeah, it is.

John Patterson: Just to know you could.

Kim Corbett: I know. Yeah. That’s a little added…

John Patterson: Well, so 56 years old. So you bounce back from the flood. There are some other bounce-backs. What are some of those other bounce-backs. Your son’s health.

Kim Corbett: Oh yeah. While the flood was going on, my son had a very high-risk health issue. He was in ICU. He had blood clots above his heart, so that was life-threatening. It was all around the same time, and I really didn’t think I could make it through that, watching your child, they’re doing this drip in ICU trying to break it up. And the risk of it going to his brain or heart was high. That’s why I was determined, watching that, I was going to win that president’s club trip and take him to Turks and Caicos.

I asked him. I’m like, “I know I’m your mom, but would you want to go with me?” And he said, “Yeah.” And at the same time, he had a goal to be high honors in college. So when he was sitting with the doctors and they were telling him the kind of surgery he needed to be able to live through all of this, he was like, “I’ve got to get back to my classes.” So he started transacting with the professors and he got back on track. And he’s going to do high honors, so even with all of his health stuff. So it’s been phenomenal.

Even years ago, because I didn’t know how to transact before I studied with you all, I spent years in court with his dad because our personality types clash. So, now, the level of friendship that I have with his dad even is phenomenal, and the kind of partnership that we have. When my son graduated from high school, and I think, “Man, if I would have known how to transact, I could have saved 16 years of being in court. I could have saved thousands of dollars.” So I really would love to see this in every level of education, that people know how to transact.

John Patterson: I’m imagining that some people might listen and think, “Oh my God. If I had her life, I’d be exhausted.” But I don’t think that’s how it is for you.

Kim Corbett: Mm-mm.

John Patterson: I don’t think, when we talk about all of these different conditions of life… And for our audience, just to say a moment about that, we’re talking about being satisfied in many different conditions of life. So while you’re very satisfied with money and health, for example, you can’t do that and then trash everything else.

Kim Corbett: No.

John Patterson: No. So there’s a real balance that people take care of here. Anything you want to say about all that?

Kim Corbett: Oh yeah. I no longer accept… Even different friends that invite me to go places, I am very conscientious about time and my rest, and my downtime, and my sleep. Some people might think I’m boring, but I make sure to rest, and I take care of myself. I nurture my relationships even with my family who live in another state. I don’t want people to misunderstand that being ambitious is like that type A personality where you’re driven to exhaustion. I don’t do that. So there is a complete difference of that, because I look at my sociality.

Kim Corbett: When I even moved here, I didn’t know many people in Indianapolis area. So I wanted girlfriend relationships. I knew the importance of the sociality. So I started a book club to meet girlfriends immediately. And so, I already have a connection of people here that I can call on. We study fun books, and then now we’re starting to explore nice restaurants in the area. I found a biking person, a friend. I’m not exhausted. Now, sometimes, I mean, I may get tired. But I mean, I’m not an exhausted, worn-out, overdriven person.

John Patterson: Yeah. I’m so proud of you.

Kim Corbett: Oh, thank you. Back at you.

John Patterson: I’m so very proud of you. We’ve actually covered a lot of ground here because I think resilience points to a variety of things. One of the things that you do, as a specialization, is to help poorly performing markets produce record-breaking sales. So you help companies bounce back too.

Kim Corbett: I do.

John Patterson: Well, can you tell us about that?

Kim Corbett: Yeah. For instance, I took over this market now for Indiana and Kentucky, and I’m responsible for not only retaining the market, but I also need to bring in a million dollars a year. I really love messes because I know how to take a step back. And I have what we study, the judge personality. I take time to analyze, assess, talk to people. And then I look at what’s the company’s goal, what’s my goal financially, and then I create a plan before any action is taken. Where there’s other people who will just get out and start doing the hard work.

Kim Corbett: I started this position the end of November last year. And then I moved here December 1st. And so, I had a goal, a six-month goal. I had three pipeline development goals that I had to obtain. So I hit two of those three but I exceeded the two of them. For instance, to have 2.5 million in the pipeline. I had 5 million. And to have three joint-venture leads which are substantial, multi-million-dollar contracts. I have six.

And for third quarter, I’m probably going to close 5 million. And my annual is a million. So I don’t just do it in a hopeful space. I first of all look at who has to be taken care, and that’s always what I’ve done, like coming from the level of, we call it, influence ecology, customer intimacy, that’s what I do. I look at what customer relationships need the attention immediately.

And so, I’m working right now on saving… Out of Indiana right now, it’s 2.9 million. We’re at risk of losing 2.5 million. And I’m pretty close to saving… And it looks impossible to the company because people with the odds were against normally doesn’t happen. Again, talking about the resiliency and if people are thinking I’m exhausted, I really manage… Because my thing was how do I stay at high-level vitality and energy in a high stress environment of work where there’s pressure? If I lose $2.5 million, 13 people lose their job. You can imagine the pressure.

I know what it feels like… I know what my blood pressure feels like. I could measure it, so I know what it feels like if it’s rising. To avoid it going high, I will stop and take walks. I will take a day off if I feel like I can’t even… My health and wellbeing is number one, that I focus on that.

Now, I still have room. I’m studying people in the company who seem to have that figured out, and I’ll ask them, “What are your routines?” Some of them go to bed by 9:30. They never miss a day of exercise, especially cardio. They start their day… Some of them meditate. So I’m studying the practices of people who are well. Because when my son got sick, I didn’t feel well. And I thought, “Okay, I need to find people who…” I talked to people who lost their children who had similar things, “How are you staying healthy? How are you staying focused,” because there’s other people that I still have to take care of like my parents and my job. So I would never have done that level of attention without knowing what I know with my aims. That was a long answer.

John Patterson: No, it’s great. It’s great. I’m just studying resilience. And like I said, I was very interested in talking to you. One of the things that we’re dealing with this year, as you know, is this is the year of ambition. And because this is the year of ambition for Influence Ecology, many people started out the year with an ambitious aim. And by that, it’s an aim that is difficult to achieve. So, ultimately, when people start out looking at that aim, it’s difficult to achieve, they start out, they’re not fit for it. They don’t know how to do it. They don’t have the help to get it done. If they did, they’d be doing it. So there’s something that people begin to confront about moving towards that aim.

I have seen you on many membership calls or webinars where we’ve been in conversations about that, that we’re headed towards, in the latter part of the year, one of the topics will be resilience. And your life is a study in resilience, as far as I’m concerned, and from people’s health and wellbeing, to what you need to do, must do, have to do, if you’re going to be up to big things, the degree to which your health is numero uno. I think that’s a fantastic lesson for anybody.

But also, the degree to which you just ask for help and ask for help and ask for help until you find something that really does work for you and help you satisfy those particular aims. So I think we should just put you up as a poster child for this and just… we’ll just have a, “All right, today’s webinar is with Kim Corbett,” because it really is something that, if we could all be a little bit more resilient, we could all reach it a little higher, but not exhaust ourselves.

Kim Corbett: Yeah. And that right there is the key because I watched two… There were several people within my company that died because they didn’t take care of themselves. They pushed it. It’s a high-pressure… When you’re working with anything to deal with healthcare and cancer and the equipment and all the changes in healthcare, I love the industry. And I don’t want to leave it. And I had a high ambitious aim for this year, to triple my income to me.

And I thought, “How in the world… I am not fit for it.” And to confront the lack of fitness was upsetting. I had a few moments of, “Forget it. What were you thinking?” I thought, “No, do not move that target. How do I start studying and talking to people that can help me in the company? Hey, how can I reach that? How do I do that? I’ve never done it.” And I would have been embarrassed in the past to do that.

Plus, companies usually just say, “Here’s where we expect you to go.” And nobody goes and says… They say, “All right, well, that’s our target.” But what if I want to make this much? How do I do it? And I learned somebody surpassed that, so I listened during our different sales meetings of how did people… It is possible. It may not happen this year by my deadline, but I’m not moving it, just like my weight loss. I’ve been working on that for a while and I didn’t move my aim for it.

John Patterson: It’s great. It’s really great. Last thing I want to ask you about is, you say in your notes that it’s now clear more than ever that you become who you hang out with. Tell us about that.

Kim Corbett: Oh yeah. I have preached that to my son since he was little, that you really do become who you hang out with. And I’ve had my eye on this team that I work with now, and I was intimidated by them. It seemed like in my past, I was always on the top where the cream rises. And I thought, “Okay, well, I’m not learning anything.” Then I realized, oh, because I didn’t put myself out there for more challenging environments because it’s hard. It’s embarrassing, because I don’t like making mistakes publicly and flailing at the beginning. And I am doing that a lot. Very humbling. So I needed, with Influence Ecology, I have people, from all walks of life, from around the world, that it’s almost like… I don’t have that anywhere else where I have other ambitious people with their health, with their money, with their legacy, with their family relationships, with intimate relationships.

Even now as I move trying to find new friends, it’s surprising now, especially in my 50s and I’m looking to date, how many people are in their space in their head that they think… They’re disappointed by how life turned out. They’re divorced. They paid child support, alimony. These men now have to rent. They don’t have a home, and so they gave up. So they’re depressed, they’re drinking, and they’re overweight. But they’re not putting themselves in an environment where they can reinvent themselves. And that’s where I want the world to get, that if you put yourself in a place…

I interviewed a lot of personal trainers in gyms because I knew I had to go two to four times a week, and that person better be walking the talk because it’s going to get on me. I mean, I interviewed a lot before I even came to Indy, and I found a woman who’s in her 50s, rocks it in a bikini. She lives and eats very healthy. She’s mentally and spiritually healthy, and I’m with her two to four times a week. And we laugh a lot, but I figure I’m going to become what I hang out with.

I know because I used to hang out with people who love to go and eat an eight course meal, and eat cake for dessert. I liked it because then I had the permission almost. But I can’t do that for my health. I would love to, but I can’t. I know that was a long answer as well.

John Patterson: No, no. They’re fantastic answers and examples.

Kim Corbett: Good. Good.

John Patterson: Yeah. I don’t accuse you of being long-winded.

Kim Corbett: Okay, good.

John Patterson: You’re a storyteller with some very good examples. Well, I think that we’ve covered most of what you’ve offered in some of your notes here. I just wanted to find out, before we end this today, is there anything else you would like to say or share?

Kim Corbett: Well, just, I know another podcast, because I listen to them all. I love them. I travel a lot and it’s great listening content. But you are sometimes on the Soapbox and I was thinking about that, and I just want people to… the exercise of asking for help and asking for help and keep asking for help. I don’t care what age you are, where you’re at. You don’t know everything. And that it’s too late to reinvent. Just because life didn’t turn out how you expected, and there’s still some level of satisfaction and legacy for somebody no matter what they did. But you need help. And you need the environment of people to surround yourself. I would love for that to get out to people in the world.

John Patterson: And Kim, you’ve never occurred to me as somebody who’s too proud to ask for that help. Is that true? Would you say that that’s true, or you just learned to sort of mitigate your own pride.

Kim Corbett: No, I learned here in this study because I didn’t want to ask for help. I was always a bubbly Doris Day kind of que sera positive-

John Patterson: It’s all good.

Kim Corbett: Yeah. And people-

John Patterson: I’m fine. I’m awesome.

Kim Corbett: Yeah. And if I was sad, people are like, “No, you can’t be.” I couldn’t even tell people if I suffering because they didn’t know how to be with it. They’re like, “You always have it figured out. You’ve got it together.” I would try to ask for help and it didn’t even resonate with people that, hey, her ship is sinking. So it took something for me to… At the beginning, I had to ask for help a lot before people could even here it. And then I was more of demanding and a command for help because I didn’t want to waste… Now I don’t waste time.

It’s getting to be such a muscle. Like in this new position, I work remotely and we’re all throughout the country. Everybody’s busy, so there’s times I’d call and I couldn’t… I would call 12 people until I got the answer, because I’m dealing with two-million-dollar contracts and I’ve got language that has to be corrected. I have somebody possibly not following legal healthcare guidelines, so I don’t waste time now. I get on the phone and I am non-stop. And I even reach out to people at night. I’ve learned, do they respond by text or phone call, or I’ll do all three. Then I get compliance. That’s why everything’s moving faster for me, is because of that.

John Patterson: That’s great. All right. Well, Kim Corbett, it’s a pleasure to have you on the podcast.

Kim Corbett: Thank you.

John Patterson: I can’t wait to share this with the world.

Kim Corbett: Thank you. It’s been an honor and lots of fun as usual.


Drew Knowles: Here’s what autonomy is all about. It’s a condition where you have more help than you require, not one where you’ll be able to act alone as you see fit without the need of others. It’s the opposite of that. It’s a surplus of help. It’s demonstrated when you start to see autonomy, and many of you will begin to see this a lot more out of your step of Influence Ecology. When you’re bumping up with people out there, you’ll see it’s demonstrated by those who have their invitations, offers, and requests met quickly and at low cost.

I’m going to keep expanding this for a moment to have you confront and see and inquire further into, like, “Well, what does that look like? What does having more help than you require look like, a surplus of help, and how do you actually get that?” We have this really well-thought-out step that John and Kirkland came up with called Build and Expand Your Influence Ecologies and Cooperation.

Power in the marketplace is determined by your ability to get things done. Now, that takes the cooperation of many people who comply with your invitations, offers, and requests. Now, cooperation requires co-existence, coming back to what we were just saying of relying on yourself and not depending on anyone else. You are not going to create any cooperation because cooperation happens with others in reciprocal relationships.

So if you start to get your head around what build and expand your influence ecologies and cooperation means, it really starts with, how much cooperation do I have? How many reciprocal relationships do I have where if I made some kind of invitation, or offer, or request, that would get accepted and somebody else, not me, somebody else would coordinate some kind of action or work to get a thing done that helps me meet my aims.

When you’re building and expanding your influence ecologies and cooperation, we’re not talking about networking. It’s not to say that if you go to some kind of networking event or you’re doing the activity they call networking… The market out there has this name called, “I’m going to do some networking.” The pitfall people can fall into is they…

I talk about it like this. If you can imagine a dartboard and grabbing a handful of darts and throwing them all at the dartboard from quite far away, maybe 20 or 30 feet away, and hoping that one of those darts hits the bulls eye. It might not, which is…

I’ve been to those network meetings, John, and hoping that I could hit the bulls eye if I gave out enough business cards, and it was a useless waste of three hours of my time. In fact, a whole lot of other people just wanted to get me to home their business. How about if you really thought out some very specific series of exchanges that needed to take place with some specific individuals, that if you had some sort of invitation or offer or request accepted by that individual, that exchange could move things forward for you to meet your aims in a very, very powerful way?

That takes some time to slow down to really think through, what would I need to do to get into that center of influence. I’m going to talk about that in a moment. But I love this quote here, John, “No individual has efficient experience, education, negative ability and knowledge to ensure the accumulation of a great fortune without the cooperation of other people.” What kind of other people? Well, hopefully, a center of influence.

John Patterson: Hey, before we go to center of influence, I want to just back up for just a second because, Drew, one of the things that you’ve done such a great job in distinguishing for people here at Influence Ecology is you often talk about having a surplus. And so, an example might be that you have a surplus of health, health fitness. And if you have a surplus of health, then what that means is that you’re able to manage the threat to your health in ways that someone who does not have a surplus of health does. So you’re able to manage the threats in a different way.

When you have a surplus of something in any condition of life, then you’re not threatened in the same way that other people are. So if you have a surplus of money, you’re not threatened in the same way that other people are. And so, one of the ways that we’d like for you to think about a surplus of help, help, H-E-L-P, is as something that is available to you to produce autonomy.

One of the things that I don’t think that we often do is make the connection between autonomy and a surplus of help. And I just want to take a second and create that connection because many people imagine autonomy as that condition where they can do what they want and have what they want, and live as they want, and so forth and so on. But no one ever says how you get there, how you get to a condition where you have the freedom to act as you’d like, is because you’ve removed all threat.

How you remove all threat is you have a surplus. In every condition of life, you have a surplus of help. So when there’s a breakdown around money, you’re not threatened. When you have a breakdown in your career, no problem. I’ve got a surplus. When you have a breakdown in relationship, no problem. I have a surplus. You have a surplus in those conditions of life. So autonomy is about having a surplus of help. Well, I’ll just say the same thing again. So, Drew, I wanted to connect those dots for just a moment. Is there anything you want to say to add to that?

Drew Knowles: Yep. Two things. It requires you to take some time to really think about and sit down and look, what would that look like for you, having a surplus of help? Just taking the condition of life, health, for example, who do you need? Basically, you use this term in America, but who do you need in your Rolodex or your address book, or your iPhone or whatever it might be, where if just about anything comes along, that challenges your health or the health of someone that’s very close to you, do you have some very, very professional and successful and specialized people that you can call upon to stave off any threat to your health? Or people that can actually call you on if you’re not acting as you should regarding your health.

In the domain of money, like you said, John, do you have professionals and people that are guiding you and that it’s like, all you need to do is follow their advice and do what they say and you’re going to be well taken care of with your money. And I could go on and on. One example I love, John, is a friend of both yours and mine, that works in the government. And some media and press came out about him that was inaccurate. Before he could even try and do anything about it, or anything, the community that this person had produced so much value in of his help, rose up and basically declined it on his behalf. That is what I would call a surplus of career, of identity.

John Patterson: That’s right. It’s a great example.

Drew Knowles: I’m not saying this person… Maybe now they would because they really understand career. But I don’t think they would have been diligently working on having that surplus of people in such a conscious way that it came along like that, it would stave off that threat. But you can do that now that you know, and you can do it consciously.

The last thing think, John, was this doesn’t happen haphazardly. It’s not just going to happen if you ran around transacting as well as you can. It’s you’ve got to think it out. You’ve got to spend some time and look, who do you need in your ecology. And, John, that will lead into our next conversation.

John Patterson: My special thanks to our guest, Kim Corbett. In our show notes, you’ll find links to connect with her and all the links to websites, books, or downloads mentioned in this podcast. The Influence Ecology Podcast is produced by Influence Ecology, LLC in Ventura, California. This episode was recorded July 16, 2019 and was produced by Tyson Crandall and John Patterson. You can find a transcript for this and other episodes at This episode is made possible through the assistance of the Influence Ecology faculty, staff, mentors, and students around the world. Co-founder Kirkland Tibbels and our colleagues comprise an international collective of professionals who are active in the development of the philosophy of Transactionalism and the discipline of Transactional Competence™. Kirkland is considered a leading philosopher and authority in the field and he has authored more than 500 papers on the subject, study, and discipline.

This episode includes contributions by Karal Gregory. The podcast theme is by Chris Standring and titled “Fast Train to Everywhere.” You can subscribe to the Influence Ecology Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also find us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or via email at

If you haven’t yet offered a rating or review, I ask that you take a moment to go to iTunes or your podcast app and let us know what you think. This helps us more than you know.

Podcast Bonuses:

Previous Episode with Kim Corbett
Kim Corbett on LinkedIn

Influence Ecology is the leading business education specializing in Transactional Competence, having published and contributed to the only comprehensive text on the subject, Transactionalism: An Historical and Interpretive Study by Trevor J. Phillips. Co-Founder Kirkland Tibbels has authored more than 500 papers on the subject, study, and discipline of transactional competence and is a sought-after lecturer at universities, major corporations, and civic organizations around the world. 

Influence Ecology’s curriculum includes conferences, webinars, online tools, podcasts, and mentorship utilized by men and women in over seventy countries around the world. Our membership includes an international assembly of accomplished professionals, faculty, and peers from a variety of countries, industries, and cultures.

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