• Kristen Moeller Podcast

The Bankruptcy of Magical Thinking with Kristen Moeller

Kristen Moeller is a literary agent, author, and speaker who lives in the mountains of Colorado. Her career includes an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing and executive publisher for Persona Publishing. She is now an agent at Waterside Productions, the literary home of Eckhart Tolle, Neale Donald Walsch, Jean Houston, and other luminaries. She has authored three non-fiction books, two of which include a foreword by legendary Chicken Soup for the Soul author Jack Canfield. A three-time TEDx speaker, Kristen has appeared on NPR, ABC, NBC, Fox News, and been featured in publications such as the New York Times and the Huffington Post. She even had a brief stint on TLC network’s Tiny House Nation after losing her dream home and all her worldly possessions in a devastating wildfire in 2012.

Today’s episode focuses on the subject of accurate thinking vs. magical thinking. Kristen shares her views about the bankruptcy of magical thinking and how quickly life can turn around when just a little accurate thinking is brought to objective situations like money and business.

For those unfamiliar, magical thinking is a term often used in anthropology or psychology. It denotes the belief that one’s thoughts by themselves can bring about effects in the world – or that perhaps ‘thinking something’ corresponds with doing it.

If you study the evolution of modern western thought, Magical Thinking appears to have been born of modern mysticism, pseudo-science and psychological studies which claim that confident belief in one’s vision (or one’s self) produces real-world effects. The occasional coincidence of belief and effect further confounds the error.

In the 2006 self-help book by Rhonda Byrne – The Secret, (based on an earlier film of the same name) extolling the law of attraction, claimed that thoughts can change the world directly – that people and their thoughts are both made from “pure energy”, and that through the process of “like energy attracting like energy” a person can improve their own health, wealth, and personal relationships. The book has sold 30 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 50 languages.

In this episode, we’ll hear more about Kristen’s own lessons on the subject – and – finish out the episode with a small bit of our Primer on the Transactional Approach.

Here’s the interview.

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.

by John Patterson
Produced by: John Patterson & Tyson Crandall

“I rely so much on my personality and so much on spontaneity but […] that really didn’t actually serve the bigger picture because I hadn’t done accurate thinking. I’ve spent a lot of time doing fun things but didn’t necessarily actually get me anywhere.”

John Patterson: Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you are in the world. I’m your host, John Patterson, the co-founder and CEO of Influence Ecology, the leading business education in transactional competence. We teach you how to transact for more of what you want. Broadcasting from Ventura, California. This podcast features case studies, stories, and lessons from business owners, executives, and entrepreneurs who found real solutions, real results, and real satisfaction, not only with work, career, and with money, but in every area of life.

You’ll hear how these ambitious professionals found that those who transact powerfully thrive. Kristen Moeller is a literary agent, author, and speaker who lives in the mountains of Colorado. Her career includes an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing, an executive publisher for Persona Publishing. She is now an agent at Waterside Productions, the literary home of Eckhart Tolle, Neale Donald Walsch, Jean Houston, and other luminaries.

She has authored three nonfiction books, two of which include a foreword by legendary chicken soup for the soul author Jack Canfield, a three-time TEDx speaker, Kristen has appeared on NPR, ABC, NBC, Fox News, and been featured in publications such as The New York Times and the Huffington Post. She even had a brief stint on TLC network’s, Tiny House Nation after losing her dream home and all her worldly possessions in a devastating wildfire in 2012.

Today’s episode is on the subject of accurate thinking versus magical thinking. Kristen shares her views about the bankruptcy of magical thinking and how quickly life can turn around when just a little accurate thinking is brought to objective situations like money and business. For those unfamiliar, magical thinking is a term often used in anthropology or psychology. It denotes the belief that one’s thoughts by themselves can bring about effects in the world or that perhaps thinking something corresponds with doing that something.

If you study the evolution of modern Western thought, magical thinking appears to have been born of modern mysticism, pseudoscience and psychological studies which claimed that confident belief in one’s vision or oneself produces real-world effects. The occasional coincidence of belief and effect further confounds the error. In the 2006 self help book by Rhonda Byrne, The Secret based on an earlier film of the same name extolling the law of attraction, claimed that thoughts can change the world directly, that people and their thoughts are made both from pure energy and that through the process of like energy attracting like energy a person can improve their own health, wealth, and personal relationship.

The book has sold 30 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 50 languages. In this episode, we’ll hear more about Kristen’s own lessons on the subject and finish out the episode with a small bit of our primer on the transactional approach. Here’s the interview. Kristen Moeller, welcome to the Influence Ecology Podcast. Pleasure to have you here today.

Kristen Moeller: It’s a pleasure to be here. Thank you.

John: Take a second and introduce yourself if you would.

Kristen: Hi, I’m Kristen Moeller. I am an literary agent, a published author, at three-time TEDx Speaker, a pit bull Mama, rescue dog lover, and a mountain girl. I live in a little town called Salida, Colorado. Three hours southwest of Denver in the mountains with my husband as well.

John: That’s fantastic. You first participated in Influence Ecology when?

Kristen: Let’s see. I know I watched my husband begin first. My husband David started and I really think that was 2012, maybe fall of 2012 and so I watched his progress. We had been to the introduction, an open training session in Denver. My interest was peaked, but I thought, “You go, let me see what happens. You go first.” Then went to the annual conference in Ohio. I guess that would’ve been the January of ’14 and something was shifting then. About a year after he started. I think fall of ’14 is when I started.

John: Very good. What would you say your primary lesson has been studying here? What’s the biggest takeaway you’ve gotten from studying here?

Kristen: The combination of accurate thinking and really seeing my naivety and my– Magical thinking is a little bit too, I don’t quite want to say I was that far out there, but I was definitely and I swim in the world of personal growth and so the world of some woo woo. I would say I had hopeful thinking, so moving from hopeful thinking to accurate thinking. I was thinking about this interview and I was thinking my theme might be, growing up is hard to do.

John: [laughs] That’s great.

Kristen: But necessary when you’re 52 years old.

John: Absolutely. One of the reasons that I was looking forward to this conversation was because of that. I know a great number of people who have been weaned on the nuggets of magical wisdom. I’ll say it though, I don’t know how else to say it and there’s a lot of great things out there, there’s a lot of amazing things out there. There’s a lot of spiritual things out there. There’s a lot of profoundly moving things out there.

There’s all of that. I’ve participated in some of those things myself and have been moved to tears over, I would say, some awfully magical, wonderful life inspiring things. I think what you’re pointing to is why I was excited because there’s nothing wrong with all of that. Certainly, in terms of making sure that life turns out for you, I think what you’re saying is that ultimately it may not have been good strategy. We could say it that way.

Kristen: I was just thinking as a long-term strategy by most of us, not effective as a long term strategy. As a short term burst of enthusiasm. I took a lot of really– a bold action and did amazing, amazing things, but all of it just burned and burned away. There wasn’t really anything lasting that I could say, “This is what I’ve created.”

John: I think that’s the great thing. Did you find that the long-term strategy that you did have was more about something quite spiritual or something perhaps in tune with the universe in all its cosmic order and good things happen to good people? How would you say it was for you? I’ve got my own version of it, but how would you say it?

Kristen: I wasn’t completely in the camp of the universe will provide, however, those words might not have come out of my mouth, but that was still the water I was swimming in, the air I was breathing. My skeptic mind, I think it was more trying to relax into that the universe would provide as a strategy but not believing it, but working with trying to believe that versus thinking, “Maybe there’s something else that might be more effective.” Something that actually has legs and has something I can count on and return to.

John: It’s really good. Like I said, you and I have the opportunity to make available a lesson if you will, a case study. Again, I am not committed that we sit here and dismiss magical thinking. I myself, my spouse says, “You have amazing carma.” We spell it C-A-R, carma because I always get a parking space up front. I enjoy the notion of having good karma and that I always get a good parking space.

Do I sincerely believe that it has something to do with my will over the universe to go my way, I don’t. Is it fun to think so? yes, it is. Do I think I have the same karma around money? I don’t, I certainly don’t. I think I used to. When a decade or so ago when we began this work, Kirkland had said this one thing that I thought was very powerful. Which is, all that stuff’s great, it’s not good strategy. It’s like winning the lottery, everybody has the opportunity to win the lottery. Don’t bet your future on it.

Kristen:  I love that. I love that. I mean it’s not a good strategy. I love everything you said. I think for me it’s wishful thinking, is really where I rested. If I’m good, if I’ve done all the right things, if I had a different kind of foundation. I have a master’s in counseling. I’ve done a ton of personal growth work. Am in the personal growth field, and I had done my time, I had the degree, I had the right connections, and so all of these elements coming together, I had hopeful thinking that it would then, then is when I guess the universe would step in or something that it would be the tipping point, it would just happen.

It’s not a good strategy, and now it’s funny because I can, maybe I could hear it, no I probably couldn’t have. I was going to say, I can spot it now in other people. I can really hear the naivety in other people. Then the tricky thing in my industry is that it appears “to work for some people” because they seem to be, that’s what’s coming out of their mouth. Vision boards, and if you think it, if you believe it, it will happen, and law of attraction, all of that kind of stuff is what comes out of their mouths and then a lot of them seem to be successful. There is this illusion that gets created that that’s true.

Then all these followers are trying to do what they’re doing, and not having success and wondering what’s wrong with them. I think that’s actually part of what happened to me is like, “What’s wrong with me? I am thinking positively, I have not maybe the best vision board but I have some, why is it not happening? I have this winning personality and I’ve made all these great contacts and connections, and I make a difference and I genuinely care and I’m helpful, and I’ve put people together and I’m a connector, why is it not actually then just happening?”

A pretty major crash of disillusionment and despair happened after all of that of just thinking, “I gave it my all. I don’t know what else I can give, because I gave it my complete all.” It’s very very upsetting. Then being upset in that world of law of attraction, if I’m upset then I’m just going to attract more upset. I was 22. I know, it’s like exemplified after. I felt like maybe I should just go and get a J-O-B and just forget all my dreams and goals and aspirations, just really throw in the towel and give it all up.

John:  I appreciate that you are transparent about the despair. It is our experience that oftentimes when people work for quite a while in what I think you termed the manifestation of something or the attraction of something, whatever the magical thinking might be, whatever the hope might be. When the hope runs out and you’ve tried all the things you know to do. When the magical thinking, the manifestation, and those things don’t pay out, and you have no alternatives then it makes you not only question your actions but it also makes you question some other things. What did you begin to question about yourself for or life at that time that threw you into despair?

Kristen: Well, I just want to add a little piece to that because I think it’s more than just– For people listening, because you may think, “Well, I do more than just sit and create vision boards, I’m actually out there doing things which is action.” Because I was doing a lot of action, I mean tons of action. Just so many things and speaking and radio interviews and had my own radio show and writing books and doing all these amazing things, where there was a lot of action, and coupled with the hoping that all of these factors that there would be some kind of conversion of all this effort, and then it would turn into my dream.

It was doing everything I was taught at that point, everything I knew to do to try to create this dream. The despair wasn’t just being– I didn’t actually know what else I could do because I was doing. I was taking actions. I was hopeful and doing all the internal aligning with. I was ready for that level of life. I was ready for my book to be a huge success. I was ready to be the next Elizabeth Gilbert.

I was ready to be on Oprah’s couch and I had people saying to me, “Oh, I see it. Kristen, I see it. You’re going to be on Oprah’s couch,” and I was like, ” I’m going to be on Oprah’s couch, really, it’s going to happen.” With all the actions and all the degrees and all the prep and then all the hoping to have it not actually happen, despair might even be too small a word. It was devastation really, but I didn’t completely want to admit because it was so crushing to that little hopeful part of myself of just this childlike hope. Because then without hope, what do you do? If there’s no hope, then what’s the point?

It was this kind of, “I really don’t know what to do.” It was a bankruptcy, an emotional psychological spiritual bankruptcy. Fortunately, not a financial bankruptcy but that could have been coming down the pike. It just really deeply impacted my confidence, impacted my– because I thought, “oh, bold–” I even wrote, I told people how to take bold action, “Take bold actions, you get results.” It’s like I’ve stopped wanting to take any bold action. I wanted to just really hide from the world and retreat completely and not say, “Screw you, I don’t want to put myself out there.” Really, it was a big, “Screw you world. I don’t want to do this, this sucks.”

John: I want to take a moment and also draw some correlations because what you described isn’t too dissimilar from people we see following any kind of popular idea about how to succeed. Let’s just say that you listen to all the people who say, “Well, you need to build your lead’s pipeline and automate your lead’s pipeline. It’s all a numbers game. All you need to do is increase your number of leads from 1 a week to 50 a day and then it’ll turn out.” Then people go do all of that. We watch them have the same, “Oh, wait a second. All the experts said, and all the things, and I did all the deed, I took the classes and I signed up,” and so forth and they have the same kind of bankruptcy.

I could go on with different popular things. You could say the same thing about a diet. There’s all the different popular, go do this thing. You go do those things it doesn’t turn out for you, so then it throws you into kind of bankruptcy. I think we can include those people because there’s something I feel that people begin to discover when they start thinking accurately. First of all, before we go to accurate thinking, anything that you’d like to say about that general thought of all of the ways that people tend to follow, some particular strategy and find out might be bankrupt for them?

Kristen: Yes, I actually can relate to as well, because I did then do some training to help me start to build that funnel and all of that and I still ended up in just exhaustion and kind of in the same place. I think that all these things that we do that aren’t quite getting it, that aren’t quite, it’s that– I mean, bandaids, I don’t mean to trivialize it because it’s like you said earlier. It all really serves a purpose. I wouldn’t be who I am today without having done all the various things I’m doing, I have done. I pay homage and tribute to all of that, and it wasn’t getting the job done.

John:  It’s worth acknowledging also you and other people, the ambition, the drive, the determination, the kind of not stopping, the face of all kinds of– You’re just determined. You’re going to go for it and make that thing turn out and all that. There’s all of that to acknowledge as well.

None of us would be where we are without all those lessons, none of us would be where we are without having developed our own will and determination and all those kinds of things. Yet, something is missing. You have pointed to something that you’re going to call accurate thinking. What did you discover then?

Kristen: Well, I think first I discovered that I wasn’t thinking accurately. Obviously, I’ve heard those words before, but it wasn’t something kind of removing judgment and again, like we’ve just said, not making anything wrong that I’ve done before, but just looking at how it went, the case study of how it went. All of that naivetY and hopeful thinking and the hoping that all of those forces would just conjoin and become the thing that I really wanted.

I never thought accurately about it. I never really took it apart, I never did like we do in Influence Ecology. I have a manual now for my business where I’m looking at different– everything I do is in the manual instead of making things have this structure that before I rely so much on my personality and so much on spontaneity. It had served me but then it could be the thing that I think I’ll just try my personality again in a different way. I’ll just take another bold action, I’ll just pursue.

The amount of energy and time that I spend going after particular things that really didn’t actually serve the bigger picture because I hadn’t done accurate thinking, I’ve spent a lot of time doing fun things but didn’t necessarily actually get me anywhere. If I took all those hours back and those days back and those years back and had put them into what I now know, then, I wouldn’t have spun my wheels so much and I would actually have something to show for it.

All those years I’ve been at the radio interview, yes I did, they were great. I got to know people and it was wonderful, but zero results like no results, no nothing other than relationships but as you know, some of us think that relationships equal results, and I thought relationships equal results. I have all these amazing relationships, but it wasn’t showing up as money in my bank and something consistent I could count on, and something that I knew was going to continue to come in. It was just something that really felt good and I was all about what feels good. I’m not afraid of hard work, but it’s got to feel good?

John: Yes. Oh, my God. I think people are going to love this interview. You’re describing so many people and what they truly think or go through. You’re giving some great language to it. It’s very good.

You did develop some really amazing relationships throughout this journey. I know one of the people that did the foreword for one of your books is Jack Canfield, an amazing relationship, an amazing person to be connected with, especially if you’re in the business of helping people as you are and the way that he has and does, and then you’ve befriended others in that camp. You want to say a little bit about what’s happening now and what you’re currently working on.

Kristen: Well, it’s to tie that back in because Jack was a role model and a hero for me as he is for so many people, but it was an area to where I had the hopeful thinking because I thought if I just get to know Jack and have a connection with him then something will happen. Yes, he wrote my foreword but then that was the next level. Then there’s, “If Jack writes my foreword, then something will happen.” Well, Jack wrote my foreword and that was amazing. For both books, he wrote my foreword. That’s awesome but that doesn’t again–

John: It doesn’t put money in the bank necessarily ma’am, necessarily. There’s still something missing.

Kristen: Ther’s still something missing. For me, I mean, it’s wonderful to have really highly connected people in our lives. It’s a beautiful thing, but it’s really looking and accurately thinking and doing an internal assessment of what’s the motivation here. Is it just feeding my ego? Is it just feeding my hope? Am I wanting to just be swept along with them or do I actually have something that I’ve thought about and considered and used accurate thinking to be an offer that I can present to them that will forward my aims? That’s a different story than just trying to ride along in their coattails.

I don’t mean to diminish even what I’ve done along the way. Again, it was fun to share stages with people like that but in the long run, it didn’t serve. Lately, ever since doing Influence Ecology, participating in Influence Ecology, I have been able to be much more strategic in my alliances and strategic in my relationships and really looking at is this a relationship where I’m just spinning the wheels and it just feels good to be in relationship with this person? How much of my time can I afford to spend doing things like that? Some of it as you know, you came to, I did a benefit concert with Jack and with some other people, some really heavy hitters, and it was amazing.

Did that actually forward my work? Not necessarily. I was consciously choosing that that was that one over here. It doesn’t mean you can’t ever do things that are feel good, that are just kind of the heart-based, heart-centered aspirations. I can do those, but before that’s all I was doing. Now, it’s like, “Okay, now, what is–” I’m connected to all these people and I became a literary agent a little over a year ago, which took my career identity to the next level as I’ve been in the book world ever since 2008 and started working behind the scenes and building my relationships there.

Becoming a literary agent was a strategic move, really done with thinking accurately, done with looking at– I had the idea and had the dream before, but I realized it was going to be more of that bold action kind of place. I sat with it and I kept thinking about it and I kept doing the work and I kept doing the assessment and I kept asking trusted advisors for feedback. When I chose to take that action, I had thought about it for a while. Now I’m a literary agent, but as a new agent, I was getting referrals from some of these heavy hitters, and of course, because they’re these heavy hitters, I’m like, “Of course, I’ll take on your friend and your referral.

They’re huge, and they’ve got this big name, and it’s amazing.” But what I found is I wasn’t doing accurate thinking in those early relationships. I took on some people that now a year later is much savvier this far down the path. I wouldn’t take on it because they weren’t ready. It’s that old tendency to want to be liked and want to be pleasing and be part of it all and then say yes and then like certain things about people and then say yes. Then, it turns out some have proven to be high-cost transactions as we learn about. That’s something I also could never stop before is when, how much is this relationship going to cost me? Am I really going to get the gain that I need for the amount of time I’m spending?

John: Absolutely. There’s a lot of different ways that we could point to accurate thinking and many people share similar kind of journeys. One of them is, if I’m going to think accurately about satisfying my aims, and they could be your aims for money, but they also could be your aims for spirituality, and everything in between. If I’m going to satisfy all of those aims, I have to think accurately about them. In other words, how much money would satisfy me or what kind of work am I willing to do or not and so forth?

There’s another part of accurate thinking I think that many people discover here and that is, when they start to understand what a transaction looks like, they start to see the parts that they’re good at and then the parts they’re not good at. Or you could even say the parts they dismiss altogether, as in making invitations and offers and requests and making those offers on a regular basis so that their financial needs are met and so forth. Anything that you want to say about the accurate thinking that you brought to making invitations, offers, and requests to yourself?

Kristen: I would say that I wasn’t good at making offers that felt risky, that felt where I was– I could offer something to someone. Offer as long as I felt like I was benefiting someone, interview them on a radio show. I could offer and I maybe was thinking along the lines of reciprocity, but I don’t think I actually was thinking too much along those lines. I would offer something that would benefit someone else, but I wasn’t good at asking for something that felt that I wasn’t sure what they would get out of it. I was too much out of my own realm into someone else’s concerns.

John: So too much thinking about them and not enough thinking about you?

Kristen: One might call that codependency.

John: [laughs] Right. Then you discovered that and did you correct that, or are you still at work on correcting that wherever you see it? [crosstalk]

Kristen: I think that my story is really a work-in-progress. I think that some of these tendencies are so hard-wired to fall back on relying on my personality and relying on not making the hard asks, so I’m a work-in-progress. What I’ve gotten much more clear about is determining, is really doing the work ahead of time with a potential new client about actually having the structures in place to determine what kind of client are they, what kind of customer will this be. Will they be a high-cost transaction?

It’s okay if people have some blips in the beginning, but really being able, training myself to watch for that rather than trying to continually beat my head against the wall with a customer who’s just on their way out the door the whole time. Because I’m in the world of the artist, the book writing world, people come up against a lot of walls and barriers and fears and concerns when they’re writing their book. So many people quit. Anyway, 80% of the population says they want to write a book, 2% actually will. It’s so easy to say, it’s so hard to do. That’s what I’m faced with anyway.

Actually using assessment, kind of reassessing my procedures and reinventing how I screen people going in and finding that fine line between not wanting to terrify people when I talk to them about accurate thinking, their own accurate thinking about what they’re up against and also trying to at the same time keeping their dreams alive. Not killing their dreams, but helping them to find that a little bit where they can stand in two worlds and be accurate in their own thinking, and then keep their dream alive.

All the while, I’m doing an assessment to try to see, if they’re cut out for it, if they’ve got enough of the elements in place or at least they’re willing to resource themselves, and then having those hard conversations with people when they’re not and actually saying to them, You’re not ready,” or “I’m not the right person for you. ” That’s been a really– How do I say that? It’s–

John:  Mature.

Kristen: Yes, thank you. That’s being mature. It’s that deep maturing because so much of what I was like, I want to help everybody and I want to give everybody a chance and anybody can do this if you just break through your barriers. Instead of like, no, maybe you really shouldn’t, and maybe you shouldn’t right now and maybe you really actually never should and maybe that’s okay, but I’m going to tell you the straight story versus lead you along and try to give you hope, because hope will kill you, hope will suck the life out of you.

John: [laughs]One of the things that we have said, we don’t often say it publicly but we might say, offering hope without a practical pathway is unethical, would you agree with that statement?

Kristen: Oh, I fucking agree, especially given that I just said hope will suck the life out of you. Hashtag that.

John: I think that’s a whole other cover, we could launch a whole other interview on that topic alone. Well, I want to switch gears just a bit. First of all, you and David have been married for how long or together for how long?

Kristen: David and I have been married since 1995 believe it or not.

John: That’s fantastic.

Kristen: Coming up on 25 years, is that right? If I can do the math?

John: I can’t do the math that quick, but I’ll accept.

Kristen: Yes, and can we say that Influence Ecology saved my marriage. We’re going to talk about that [crosstalk]

John: I was going to ask you about how it’s impacted your relationship. I do know you guys have been through some things because you lost your home in a fire in what year?

Kristen: 2012.

John:  2012, your book about that subject is called what?

Kristen: The book about that is called, Phoenix Rising: Stories of Remarkable Women Walking Through Fire.

John: Excellent and fantastic book, moving stories. My question to you is, in your relationship with David– I now remember you saying or maybe the two of you saying it saved your marriage, may have done so. Tell us a little bit about, why are you saying it saved your marriage? What happened?

Kristen: Well, I think in some ways it saved my husband which helped save my marriage. It was definitely 2012. We had just had the fire. The fire was in March and sometime that summer someone had invited us to go to the open training session in Denver. Like I said, we both saw that there was something there, but I was fried and I was, I just honestly couldn’t do one more thing. I was the one– I’ll scratch that. Anyway, he started participating with Influence Ecology and he got called out by you or Kirkland I don’t know. It was like, “Oh,” it just makes me actually almost want to weep right now. It was one of those things that when it was happening it didn’t seem great.

He got all kind of worked up about something. It was talking about the annual conference and ow extraordinary the annual conference was going to be, the setting that it was going to be in, and the people you might meet. He was just not buying it and got all– My husband is an inventor and inventors think there are the smartest people in the room because most of time they are. They like to remind you of that. They occasionally can occur a little bit arrogant.

You might not actually exist in a room if an inventor is in the room. David kind of got the inventor smackdown of, “Hey, dude. I see you, I got your number, you ain’t all that.” It was like, loving as well. It was also very kind and so it was really kind of just what the doctor ordered. At a time where– honestly that was a rough frickin fall. We had finally just settled into– We bought a house,d decided not to rebuild and this is after living in people’s basements, living in a trailer, fighting the state of Colorado because it was a state caused wildfire, and then we got audited by the IRS for just a random audit. We had no records, nothing to show them.

It was hell, we were going through hell. My husband was at his limit, absolutely at his limit. To have someone who really knew what they were talking about stand up to him but also stand up for him and be in his face like, “Dude, you got it all wrong right now, no matter how much you think you got it right, you got it wrong. Unless you deal with all that over there, you’re going down.”

He needed to hear that, and it just was humbling enough for him to step back because it was true and because it was spoken with authority and someone who really knew what they were saying. It called him forward, and it called forward the best of him. Fast forward however many years later we are now, due to his training here at Influence Ecology. He was able to spot something coming in a company that he was doing contract work for.

He kept saying it with authority to somebody he’s known for a very long time who at first was not listening. David was persistent. He was saying “This company is going down, and it is time for us to form that company, that business we’ve always talked about, now is the time.” Here he is, coming a year and a half into that. It is truly remarkable that it is just completely altered his path and who he knows himself to be. It’s not based on what we were talking about earlier of just like, feel-good stuff. David at that point, feel-good stuff was not going to do the trick anymore.

It needed to be something real and grounded and true. Like, this shit’s happening. He has created an international company that is with a three to five-year retirement plan. It’s real, and he’s working with a team. Seeing this happening for him, and it was just in seeing this sprinklings of him having mentorship in a way, having someone who he trusted and respected speak that clearly and directly to him, started to alter his behavior and how he showed up and what he paid attention to and where he spent his time and how he studied and learned and just threw himself into his career. The results are extraordinary.

John: I’ll love that for the team, so much. I do remember sitting on a little stool at a conference in front of David as he was talking about just having lost the house and the fire, just all of that and to now see Kim as having completed our entire curriculum, going from the fundamentals program to the advanced program to our most elite program. Now, on the other side of that, he’s now an esteemed alumni who’s just continuing to do so, so well. I’m quite proud of him and I’m quite proud of the relationship that the two of you share, it’s phenomenal.

Kristen: I’m quite proud of him too. In partnership, in long-term relationship, you do walk through a lot of things, a lot of life and we’ve walked through a whole lot. It feels like, I think because we’re both entrepreneurs, there’s something about how important it feels for me to be able to trust what he’s doing. He’s been forging this path in doing this work with Influence Ecology, and I’ve followed.

I can go to him and say, “What about this? What do you think about this?” It’s so grounded in something. There’s a confidence I have in his competence that is just really extraordinary and contributes to the relationship in ways that I wouldn’t have thought, I wouldn’t have expected.

John: Well, with that, I think we’ve said our peace here. I actually looked up, I was just fascinated we’re out of time. [laughs] I know, I’m going to have to go for something else, I’m so sorry. Any last parting words?

Kristen: I think for people like me, that come from the healing helping profession, we get to still do that work. We get to still do the helping-healing profession part. [crosstalk] We get to still have that be such an integral part. In fact, we can be more effective if we ground ourselves in accurate thinking because if we’re just living in the world of hopeful thinking, there’s not the ground underneath us that we actually need to sustain and also to help our clients.

I think I’m a much more effective coach and advocate. Well, I don’t think, I know I’m a much more effective coach and advocate for my clients who are still so in that world. I can be a bridge into accurate thinking, and introduce them to it in a gentle way that doesn’t feel like, again, the pain of growing up. It doesn’t have to be so painful to grow up. When we’re grounded in something like this, it can be actually a really great journey.

John: Kristen, it’s been a pleasure having you on Influence Ecology Podcast. Thank you so very much.

Kristen: Thank you. It’s been a pleasure being here.

[music]

John: In 2009, Barbara Ehrenreich, published Bright-Sided, how the relentless promotion of positive thinking has undermined America, as a reaction to self-help books, such as the Secret, claiming that they promote political complacency and a failure to engage with reality. Since publication, Rhonda Byrne’s scientific claims in The Secret, in particular, concerning quantum physics, have been rejected by a range of authors including Christopher Chabris, and Daniel Simmons at the New York Times and Harvard Physicist, Lisa Randall.

Mary Carmichael and Ben Redford, writing for the Center for Inquiry, have also pointed out that The Secret has no scientific foundation, stating that Byrne’s book represents a time-worn trick of mixing banal truisms with magical thinking and presenting it as some hidden knowledge. In the 2010 book, The Watchman’s Rattle, that author, Rebecca D. Costa, warns that time and time again, in the absence of a solution, pathway or sound strategy, humankind will turn to believe, hope and in magical thinking–we would agree.

In our work with people around the world, we observed them in the absence of a clear or pragmatic solution, hope and magical thinking takes many forms that undermine one’s ability to produce real solutions and real results. We’re not here to kill dreams, we’re here to merely point out that magical thinking is not a sound strategy to meet your aims for such pragmatic things like dollars in your bank account.

What is sound strategy? Great plans began with an inventory of your resources and the fitness to deploy these resources towards some tactics that when implemented, satisfy your aims. Here’s a brief excerpt from our primer on the transactional approach, written in 2014 by Influence Ecology co-founder, Kirkland Tibbels. It is common to hear people talk about money and career as though they are some subjective occurrence that will magically be taken care of if they just work hard, keep a good attitude and not rock the boat.

It is highly uncommon to hear people talk about money in any context except for how it is made. Few, those who know how to make it, relate to money as something that is objective and functional, a tool, not a mysterious happening. People who struggle with money like those who struggle in other conditions are most often blindly unaware of the condition at all. What most people do not know and therefore, cannot use to their advantage, is that these important and inescapable domains are only satisfied through transactions with other people.

In fact, transactions are the fundamental function to which all adults satisfy any condition of life, of a commonly defined as the exchange of an asset for payment. To consider this term philosophically broadens our understanding of the very nature of satisfying the fundamental conditions articulated here. Simply put. If we’re to satisfy our most important conditions of life, we can only do so through transaction. Even the most complex of transactions involving millions of participants and spanning multiple years, begins with and is constructed on the fundamental mechanics and practices of reciprocal exchange.

Whether we are transacting for a burger or transacting to take a burger franchise public, the essential elements required to fulfill these transactions are the same. Those who employ the fundamental mechanics and practices required to produce satisfying occupations of work, valuable professional identities, and acceptable incomes, understand the fundamentals of transaction. When adults learn and can competently apply these fundamentals, they are not only able to produce satisfying conditions for their work, money, and career, but are also able to satisfy many other conditions of life. Without the objective means to take care of them, all that has left is hoping, wishing, or good luck.

Money is a consequence of transaction. Any other orientation or activity that attempts to dilute our thinking about what money is, and how it is produced – is simply flawed. Money is a consequence of reciprocal exchange.

This is the purpose of Influence Ecology, to teach people how to think accurately about the transactions built to satisfy their aims. We say, those who transact powerfully thrive.

In our next episode, we interview Mora Clain, a health research consultant from Perth, Western Australia.

Moira Clay: Since studying with Influence Ecology, I actually took the time to work on my business to get help. I think the turnaround for me was getting help to recognize that I couldn’t do it all myself. Much that I loved the concept of being Super Woman, I was not Super Woman and actually, getting help was going to be the key. When I got help, I suddenly became a lot more focused on what it is that I do. I was able to say no to people. I had never said no to people because I was always scared that if I missed out on business, I was not going to be able to survive. Whereas now, I am saying no, I am getting help, and my business is flourishing.

John: Many special thanks to our guest, Kristen Moeller. 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. Some episodes include a transcript and support material. The Influence Ecology Podcast is produced by Influence Ecology LLC in Ventura, California. This episode was recorded on May 29th, 2018 and was produced by me, John Patterson and Tyson Crandall. This episode is made possible through the assistance of the Influence Ecology faculty, mentors and students around the world.

We’re grateful for co-founder Kirkland Tibbels and his 30+ years of specialized study in the philosophy of transactionalism and the fundamentals of transactional competent. This episode includes contributions by Karol Gregory and Tyson Crandall. Podcast team is by Chris Standring entitled Fast Train to Everywhere. You can subscribe to the Influence Ecology Podcast on Apple Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also find us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or via email at podcast@influenceecology.com. 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.

The Influence Ecology Podcast is produced by Influence Ecology, LLC in Ventura, California. This episode was recorded April 8th, 2018 and was produced by John Patterson and Jason Kelly. This program is made possible through the assistance of the Influence Ecology faculty, mentors, and students around the world. We’re grateful for Co-founder Kirkland Tibbels and his 30+ years of specialized study in the philosophy of Transactionalism and the fundamentals of Transactional Competence.

This episode includes contributions by Karal Gregory and Tyson Crandall. For this episode, the sound design and editing are by Jason Kelley. 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 podcast@influenceecology.com.

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

Podcast Bonuses:

www.kristenmoeller.com

View “Forged by Fire” Kristen speaking at TEDx Jackson Hole

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 Historic 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.

2019-06-03T09:53:24+00:00