EP109: Lauren Handel Zander - Face Your Fears & Live The Life That You Want


Every time you take one, it will either work out or not.

But, both results will teach you something.Our guest, Lauren Handel Zander, who is a life coach, author and co-founder of the Handel Group, mastered a revolutionary approach to life and created a groundbreaking methodology called The Handel Method.

Through this process, you will understand your own inner dialogue and where it comes from. You will develop personal integrity and align your heart, mind, and actions with your dreams. You'll rewire yourself to speak and think the way you would design it versus the way you were born into it.

Lauren has fixed corporate business relationships, mediated contract negotiations, reconciled marriages, and helped resolve complex family issues.

The Handel method has been taught in over 35 major universities and institutes of learning across the country.

During this interview, you'll discover...

  • The importance of correcting a conversation to make a difference

  • Why it's crucial to have one bold move every day

  • How to resolve your personal history and manage your mind

To learn more about her website, visit here.

For her LinkedIn page, click here.

For her Facebook, go here.

For her Twitter, explore here.

To buy her book, Maybe It's You: Cut the Crap. Face Your Fears. Love Your Life., click this link.

Find out which areas of life you may need to work on with the free coaching tool from Lauren Zander and Handel Group, The Current Reality Quiz. It’s an easy (and fun!) way to self assess. Check it out here.

If you'd like to connect with someone to find out more about our coaching options, schedule a free, 30 minute consultation at this link.


Michael Palmer: 00:59 Welcome back to The Successful Bookkeeper podcast. I'm your host, Michael Palmer, and today's show was going to be a great one. Our guest is a life coach, university lecturer, public speaker, and the cofounder and chairwoman of the Handel Group. She has spent over 20 years coaching thousands of private clients, entrepreneurs, couples, families, professors, politicians, Emmy winners, Peabody and Academy Award-winning artists, grammy-winning musicians in fortune 500 CEOs. My goodness, Lauren Handel Zander. Welcome to the podcast.

Lauren Handel Zander: 01:34 Thank you for having me. This can be fun.

MP: 01:37 Yes. Well such a, I mean you've worked with so many people, outstanding people right across the board. So I'm, I'm excited to hear what you can share with our audience, but before we get into that, tell us a little bit about what you've been doing leading up to where you are today and your career.

LHZ: 01:56 Wow. So I started, I got a degree from GW in environmental science, environmental studies back in the 90s, early nineties. So I was little Miss Environmentalist and uh, got my first big job at the United Nations Global Environment Facility and had an amazing discovery. I hated the job. I loved the cause, didn't like the work. Right. And then I was, I'm really out of luck, like truly on my knees, devastated, gave myself two choices, which is figure out what I really want to do or go in the Peace Corps. Um, and never made it to the Peace Corp, switched from the earth, switched basically from saving the trees to saving the people so they could see the trees. Right. It like, it all made sense around 22, 23 that I had done all the wrong work. And then I got into the self help business world like when after it and then uh, basically figured that it was a wild west. Like it was an open frontier to do really good work in the world and it really is the future, you know, emotional intelligence, making humans better. Humans was like, oh my God, this is going to be fun. And I was ballsy and started building that business when I was 28. Wow. And now I'm 40.

MP: 03:26 Wow. And you've caught like you've accomplished so many things, like you've been on various shows and publications. I mean it's really remarkable. You've gotten your work and, and intellectual property and just thoughts on how to help people in the world out to so many to avenues. How, how did you go about doing that?

LHZ: 03:50 I would say one of the biggest things I teach is located like is understanding your own inner dialogue and where it comes from and really had a, a rewire yourself to speak and think the way you would design it versus the way you're, you were born into it. And so then in that intersection, what I teach is how to face the voice of fear and everything that's stopping you from, you know, going after anything and everything you want, whether it's a lover, a house, money, success, like anything. Right. And then we, and then the joke I make is we all have phd's in why things won't turn out. And we have very little in of our own building up our, the muscle of um, kicking fears butt and going for things and learning how to live with failure, learning how to live with, you know, if you're not willing to fail, you can't succeed. Sorry, I'm sorry. So it's on the other side of failure is everything you want. And so you have to actually get really good at failure and most people, you know, puke right there and go back home. Right. And Go, obviously there's something wrong with me and there's nothing wrong with anyone. It really is that challenge that I make people face, whatever the fear is.

MP: 05:18 Wow. So you make people throw up.

LHZ: 05:21 Yeah. I, I think happiness is on the other side of it. Exactly. They throw up and that are incredibly happy. Well, the, the truth is, in my opinion, that every time you take a real risk, it inspires you to take another one. You either will get the results you wanted or not get the result you wanted and both are actually really good learning. Right. And they both feel better than justifying not going for something and blaming, you know, people end up in a voice of a martyr. Like I, you know, I tried it once. I, you know, I failed. I couldn't be with it. It ruined, you know, whatever people ha that's the phd in explanations for why you can't chase your dreams. But the minute you start chasing your dreams at all the line is that providence moves too. Once you commit to something, it changes the reality. And I have never been more inspired than being able to give someone that insight. Like, whoa.

MP: 06:28 Yeah, I think it's fantastic. I mean, and, and quite connected to our audience. I mean, I would say if we were in a big, uh, auditorium with all of our listeners, and I said, you know, is there anybody out there that lacks, you know, at times I would say that they lacked confidence or assertiveness or, or you know, had things that were preventing them, felt like they was things in their way, preventing them from getting what they want and living the life that they desire to live. You know, we probably have a pretty good room full of arms going up. Yeah. And so this is, and I think because our listeners are, are, are mostly bookkeepers, right? They, they're technicians, they're good at what they do and they, they serve a really important role in the business cycle. But that they, they, they didn't necessarily, uh, start with businesses or have business experience or sales experience or any of those things and that, and they've got this story that, well, you know, it's not for me. Or they, you know, their approach isn't, you know, what's in line with what most people would expect. Like a person going to sell something, you know, they have sales skills and all that good stuff. So they have lots of these closed doors that they've maybe closed themselves. Yeah. A on their journey. So this is perfect to help kind of unlock that.

LHZ: 07:50 Yeah. And how I've been teaching this for a really long time, and it really works if, if you want this breakthrough in your life is you have to have a big dream. And then once you have a big dream, you call the big dream and the voice in your head, you know, anything that supports the dream is your higher self. Anything that argues you can have your dream is your lower self and your lower self just wants to protect you and keep you safe and basically have an explanation for why it's not your fault. Right. And, and there's nothing wrong with that safety, right. Except you never get your dreams right. Right. And you never end up truly proud of yourself and inspired by like feeling like a bad ass that you're really living. And um, it doesn't matter. One of the things I teach, like if you're listening and you're a chicken, which we all are, right?

LHZ: 08:48 Like you go, Lauren, are you still dealing with how your a chicken? The answer is 100% I've just way further along on where my chicken still roosts. Yes. Right. It used to roost on just telling someone I was building a business and it used to roost on walking up to the guy I wanted to talk to. Right. It used to roost on telling the truth to my mother about what I thought about what she just said. Like it could be the smallest to the biggest, but what an individual needs to do is to build courage, is to understand, pick any one and, and rock today. Yeah. And it, and it builds. It's just like any muscle, right? It does better tomorrow and the next day and the next and the next day. And if you literally stop taking those actions small, you know it's over, right? It doesn't, it doesn't get you anywhere that you did it today. It only gets you the understanding of it's you do it again tomorrow, you'll feel good. Right? If you stop, you'll start back into blame.

LHZ: 09:54 Right. And it's like a stagnant, probably that's where life starts to get smaller and stagnant is when you're not moving your chickens. Yeah. Eight year your, I can just appreciate that for myself, right. I have my own roosting chickens and I've done lots of, I've moved lots of chickens in my life. But yeah, I'm just sitting here thinking, oh, maybe I should be moving some of my chickens along here.

LHZ: 10:18 We, we naturally are squatters. Right. And that's it. You know, and the other voice in your head, that is a very popular one that I recommend. If you go, I'm not a chicken so much, then you should ask yourself, if you're not such a chicken, are you a brat? I'll do it tomorrow. Leave me alone. I don't care that I don't care about that. Right. It's the voice of leave me alone. I'll do it later. I don't want to do it. You can't make me. Right. So for all the voice. So there's really like two modes we're in when we're hiding from having a dream life. One is we're moody and temperamental and we'll put it off and the other is I'll, you know, I'll die of embarrassment. I won't be able to live with myself if it doesn't go the way I want. I'd rather just live with not having it then live with the failure not of of going for it and failing like that's way worse.

MP: 11:26 Well, even just talking about moving the chickens is making me uncomfortable. Like I feel that in my, in my stomach. It's like, well, what? It's like almost, I'm sure every listener right now is sitting there, has butterflies in their stomach because we're almost asking, you know, to take up the chicken moved and do something that we're uncomfortable doing and, and so, but what's beside that as well as excitement about what's possible. Yes. When the chickens get

LHZ: 11:53 Yeah, to killing a chicken, like having the conversation. I'm asking for what you want. Anything really trying something new. All of these things are out of our comfort zone, right, of what's predictably, you know? So, so to think outside of that box is not very long distance thinking. Yeah. Right. It really is. Ask that couple for a date if they'd like to come over for dinner. Right? Like it's, it's the smallest thing builds courage and I don't care where you are. There really is a small little list of little breaks or as you could have today and do it. Yeah. Right. It changes everything. It just changes everything. It makes you feel like you're in the driver's seat versus reporting on how you've always been.

MP: 12:47 Yeah, absolutely. And that's that. Where, where that providence moves in happens too, is it starts to bleed into all sorts of other areas of life. It's like, well, why is that happening and working now, which is exciting. And the other piece of data here I'll give you is that we've surveyed thousands of bookkeepers on just very simple survey around what, you know, what's their biggest challenge? What's their biggest fear? And fear. Biggest fear out there, hands down by a long shot, is fear of failure. In their business either starting or growing their business. It's like they're afraid that they'll fail or that failures eminent.

LHZ: 13:23 Yup. I have a nickname for it. Ready?

MP: 13:25 Yes.

LHZ: 13:26 Called your double agent. So a double agent, right? If you think about making a bet, right, and if you could bet on two hands instead of one, doesn't that increase your odds? So humans fundamentally that on themselves and against themselves at the same time like, well maybe if I did it, it could work, but if it doesn't, you know, I'll be so embarrassed and I'll have given up that job that's making me miserable. Oh my God, let me like engage in it a little because what if I'm wrong? So they, there's always a head versus the only way to really succeed is no parishes. Right? I'm going for it. I'll give it six months. I'll speak to three people a day and we'll see what happens. And I saved this money so I have this time to see if I can really make this happen in this time. Right? You organize with no choice of success, right? You're going, you're either succeeding or failing. There's two options versus a backup plan the entire time. Yeah. So I just teach action based results and inventing the right actions builds confidence. Confidence is a verb, not a noun. It's not something you have.

LHZ: 14:51 Right. And people want it to be something they just have. Yeah. And, and if you even studied in an area, you have it in that area, you are reliable for producing results because you keep taking those actions, right. So people don't realize where the confidence comes from

LHZ: 15:11 that just appears. And all of a sudden now it's just normal.

LHZ: 15:15 Well, the, it's natural for you to care about exercise, right? Oh, that it doesn't take anything for you to go for a run in the morning where someone else, it's like a miracle if they even set their alarm and then don't go right. That was a big upgrade. Right. But the person who exercise every day doesn't realize that there's a way they talk to themselves. There's the way they think about the future. There's a way they think about to present their, their cost analysis. Right. Is constant. Right. I get one cookie because I went for a run. Right? So, but you're not doing that in all areas of your life. So you know, this is very much take the model of the place you're succeeding and start to understand your inner dialogue, your vision, and your self respect towards actions. Right? Any place that's great in your life is an imprint of a workability that could work in another area. Of course.

MP: 16:08 Yeah. So it's moving, moving that, moving out into the other areas. And so you, you've written a book, maybe it's, you cut the crap. Face your fears, love your life. I love the title. Maybe it's you cut the crap. Face your fears, love your life. Tell us about it.

LHZ: 16:28 well first of all, the title is my tagline for me, my whole life, like the revelation in the moment I'm like, oh, maybe it's me, right where it's been, you know, it's my mother's fault. It's everybody else's fault. So it's the revelation. Maybe it's me, cross out the maybe, and then you have all the power back in your hands. Right? So that tag line kind of encapsulates the joke and the mission and the message all in one little phrase. And it's very much kind of the flavor of our brand. So what happens in the book is it's my 20 years of work, which means I finally figured out how to say it in a way that you'll be laughing and getting it deeply. And I have great real examples of four different people that you know from losing a hundred pounds to building a business, to finding love to like I took the main areas people suffer in and I took clients that rocked it and all their homeworks. And what happens is, is it's very much a book like the artist's way that it's a, it's a storytelling workbook that I swear to, but Jesus, if you actually do it, it will rock your world. It will rock your world if you read it to just learn.

MP: 17:54 That's interesting. You will learn. But the difference between, you know, doing it and reading it and going that's funny or interesting is 100% different.

LHZ: 18:03 Yeah. There's no substitute for action. I mean, you can intellectually can understand, but until you've applied and applied something and, and feel, felt the experience and gone through the experience, it won't typically make a difference right there. Just ideas and turn them into.

LHZ: 18:20 And do you, if you don't learn how to meditate and meditate and then really stay meditating, you will never understand meditation. You don't have to do it for the rest of your life, but for God's sakes, know what it is. Yeah. And you can't know what it is until you actually do it for a while. Right. Give it three months. Right. And then see how you feel and what you think. Yeah. Right. So if you, if you just is a, there's meet your maker really does mean if you really want to shift something, there's a sh there's real work that goes into it and that's just right. It's a rite of passage.

MP: 19:00 Yeah. And so I love the sound of the book. I can tell already it's going to be a book our listeners are going to want to read. I mean, I, I'm going to be clicking the buy button here shortly after we get off the call x. I like the sound of it and, and you know, just the way you're describing it. Um, sounds excellent. Tell, tell me a little bit about, like you mentioned some stories, I'd love to hear some memorable stories of, of clients that you've worked with where they cut the crap and they faced their fears and, and turn into loving their life. Do you have any notable ones that might be relevant to our audience?

LHZ: 19:34 I would say this owner's technical AA. Yeah. I would say the push to build a business from sole practitioner to a vision of five to 10 people, to 20 people to 30 people, right? Is something very popular amongst my clients over the years. And the, the concept of, you know, how to eat an elephant is one bite at a time over time, right? Like you don't have to know how to do it to build it. So here's a, here's a great story, but it's in the financial world. Okay. So it was a guy who was, you know, graduated from college, went to work in New York, in the financial industry. But really his dream was to have a fund and to get to make his investment choices. And he, he wasn't going back to school, he already was married, had a kid and had no right to stop doing what he was doing to start something new.

LHZ: 20:40 Thanks. Science like that was not going to be cool. Yeah. Okay. So then we figured out how much money, if we changed his, we had to change his spending. We had to get his wife on board. We had to organized his financial situation to in a whole year to be able to take a year to start to build it. Does that make sense? Like we rewired everything. Very book bookkeeper. Brilliant, beautiful. What? But what I just laid out is everyone can scream. I can't do it because they can't see a two or three year plan. Yeah. And so this guy, so I still coach him, it's about eight years later and he just finished a single raise with one company that they give you no money managers give people money and he just got his first $15 million, you know, money for like ever. Right. And I got a call screaming that, you know, uh, what you, when he was really screaming about his, he said it wouldn't happen til the seven year mark and it were at five and a half years.

MP: 21:54 Wow.

LHZ: 21:55 Right into his business versus the setting up that he could start his business. So I think one of the most beautiful things that we forget is his time is a medium that we can respect and negotiate with. And, and your dreams don't need to be perfect or something. You can flip a switch, right? And then it all turns out in two days. And so if you're scaring the bejesus out of yourself that you can't build something or start something, you might want to go, oh, my relationship to time is what's killing me. Right. And then, right. And so lay things out over time, which is such a bookkeeper's philosophy, right? Like how to afford something, how to grow something, how to get something like it's over time. It compounds like compound thinking. So that's what I would say will happen in the book is a vision that then understands daily promises and really understands workability. If you have a family, if it's like for whatever it is, even if you run a marathon, you're a hundred pounds overweight and you want to run the New York marathon, you wouldn't go next year. You would go in three years and then and then back out. Yeah. And so that will happen naturally in the book and the stories will show how that changes everything day in and day out.

MP: 23:29 Beautiful. You know, I think it, it, it is one of those things that many don't realize is that to move yourself forward, you need to have that constant application. Like it's, it's everywhere in nature, right? If, if we look sand,

MP: 23:45 you know, it started as a big rock. Well that took time and it took consistency of hitting the water, hitting that, bringing other little rocks up and knocking it down and crushing it down. I mean it's just, it is like a formula that we can rye on that with time and pressure you can create anything. And so many think, oh well you know, if if that like they're not in an environment, they're not at a practice, they're not in a some way that's going to make sure that, that what is leading them to this life that they want to lead is habit happening little by little every day. Like biting, biting a bit of the, I'll offend every day and I love the way you put that. I'd never, it kind of had a little bit of a spin on the context. It's like you can't, you know, building a business, you do it one bite at a time. You don't necessarily need to know how to bite the whole elephant. You just need to know how to find, you know, find a bit of it's tone now and start there and we'll figure out the rest of the foot later on. I just love that.

LHZ: 24:46 Yeah. And then my story, I have no business like I'm teaching at Business School, I'm teaching at Stanford Business School. I'm teaching, you know, I had a white paper written on all, on my, my seven years of work at MIT by the head of a psychology department who then figure it out. My references based on what I do, not based on that I ever read a book. Yeah. Right. And so this world is so much more exciting than it's a linear have to do it this way. I didn't do this, I did this. I didn't do that like that. I'm standing up at Stanford business school having taught two courses with, you know, it isn't because I studied that and understand it. It's because I, I built something naturally that I just kept being willing to learn on the court. And so I, I also think people think that everyone else is ahead or because they didn't do this, this or that, that, you know, this is, comes back to like, what's the logic that you're deploying that entitles you to fear. And so when I have people go through in the book, you start to really pull out all your beliefs and theories that you can only get to in answering, you know, through my model, right? Because it pulls out your dreams and pulls out your inner dialogue and all your negativity and where you came from and your family and your heritage. Right. And it starts to have you understand why you are who you are according to you and how easy it is to change it. If you face these things,

LHZ: 26:28 that's great. And so I just want people to understand I, I make no sex. Right. I don't, I didn't follow any plan.

MP: 26:47 That's what I love about it. It's just really an interesting, I mean, it's a remarkable story and, and just the fact that you've come up with something that was not from traditional academia. Yeah. Right. Is that you created something from your own life journey and applying that life journey to others and working in, I mean, it's obviously we're not talking, you're like a 20 year instant overnight success. Right? But like you've the New York Times, you've been on the Dr Oz show, you've been on television shows, featured in movies, your team, your, your process, the handle method has been all over. And I think that's, it speaks a lot for the work that can, that's possible for people to actually grab this and start taking a look at this. And I'm, I'm excited about it because what we want to do on this podcast is inspire people, bookkeepers to, to live their best life, to be inspired to go there because the work they do, they can bring that to small business.

MP: 27:53 And when they're doing, bringing that to small business, those small businesses are doing better and communities start doing better. You know, there's more money to go around. It's like be, you know, people have money to spend more time with their children to take them to school. Like it really is my belief, one of the key secrets to having successful thriving communities and bookkeepers play an incredibly large role in that and will continue to play a major role in that in the future. So I'm just so excited that we've been able to bring this and you and some of your thoughts and ideas to them. And I want, I want to make sure that they, they take it on.

LHZ: 28:28 You know what else I just thought of that I think would also be a very good pitch for why read the book. Yeah. What a bookkeeper has to get stuck dealing with is someone who will not do the right thing for themselves. Right? So they see all the behaviors that don't work right. In spending money that that person should be spending or using it that way or, right. So a lot of what happens is that they, they see everything. But do they know how to craft a conversation to make a difference? Mm. Do they know how to hold someone accountable without getting their feelings hurt or thinking they're being mean or it's not their place? Right. So the nature of my book is, is boundary moving and getting agreement and having very difficult conversations about what really needs to be discussed. And so that is run through the whole book is the reason most of us are chickens is because we're afraid to have the hard conversations and we don't know how to manage them over time.

LHZ: 29:36 And I, you'll have a phd in being great leading through accountability, like causing accountability. Cause the main thing I teach is personal integrity and being able to keep a promise to yourself. And so you'll make the right promises to yourself that you then can get permission from your clients to hold them accountable or not. Right, right. And, and it makes it fun cause it's all about how funny humans are that we don't do what's best for ourselves, like eyes about pathetic or interesting or funny, right. Like enter comedian to keep us laughing while we are needing to change. And so that would be an amazing voice for a bookkeeper to have. I am sure that's what's driving them crazy.

MP: 30:24 Oh yeah.

LHZ: 30:25Yeah. You've nailed right.

MP: 30:26 Yeah. And it's, it's, you know, part and parcel. It's like, you know, there's, there's things they need collaboration with their, with their clients that often they're chasing people and it's constant. And this would be a conversation that everybody's like, oh my God, you know, like this is absolutely, this is a problem. Like, you know, so there's no question in my mind this is such a gem of a find to be able to have you and such an honor to be able to handle, have you on, on to Tacos your process. And now, you know, in terms of leaving our, our listeners with some actionable things that they can go off and do right now. I'm going to take one for sure. It's like go buy the book. Maybe it's, you cut the crap face your fears, love your life. This sounds like such a perfect book for our audience. Uh, we'll have of course the link in the show notes, but what if, if you were sitting here in the audience and it's like, okay, everybody, here's what I want you to do today. You've just listened to this. What can we send them off with?

LHZ: 31:26 One bold move. Like it's the thing you don't want to do that's on your list. That if you did that, you'd be proud of yourself. Everyone has one every day, one a day. And, and the ideal would be before, before you eat lunch, like before you get your meal, right? Get something off your list that scares you, that you'll be proud while you're chewing.

MP: 31:50 Beautiful. One bold move every day. So listeners, you're listening right now. I want you to write one thing down. If you're driving, you're going to have to just put a mental note, but write down that one bold move that you're going to do. If it's before lunch right now, then great, we've got 10 still time. If not tomorrow, what's that one? Bold moved. Oh maybe just do that one bold mood today. Get it done.

LHZ: 32:13 You know it's, it's fire a client. Tell them how much longer they have before they owe you the money. Like things you're scared to say is always a place to start. Always. You'll always find a bold move. And what, what you're not saying

MP: 32:29 Beautiful. This is so exciting. Bold moves are going to be happening across the nation, around the world. And it's leading to you having the business that you love, your life that you love. And what an honorable journey to, to embark upon for that. Yeah. Thank you. That was awesome. Lauren, thank you so much for doing this. I mean it's such an honor, such a pleasure to have you be on the podcast with us. [inaudible] and a big thank you from all of our listeners, Mike. I, I fricking love humans. It shows, it really does show how long team let's do this. Yes, it does show. I, I, I will, I will hope and pray that you're able to be on our show again sometime in the future. We can talk about success stories of our audience and maybe even bring out would be awesome that have bought your book and, and done some things and changed their life and, and uh, all that good stuff.

LHZ: 33:28 So I'm excited. I just got a good feeling about it. Yay. Yeah. MP: 33:32 Beautiful.

LHZ: 33:33 Well thank you again and our us Americans might move to Canada soon as things don't change over here. So yes, we're coming to a theater near you. Canada never looked so good.

MP: 33:40 While we've got lots of space up here, there's no question about that. We can accommodate. Lots and lots of land, so we'd love to have you.

LHZ: 33:45 Thank you. I might be coming.

MP: 33:47 Beautiful. Well, thanks again and we will look forward to the next time. That wraps another episode of The Successful Bookkeeper podcast and what a wonderful podcast episode it was to learn more about today's wonderful guest and to get access to all sorts of valuable free business-building resources. You can go to Thesuccessfulbookkeeper.com don't forget, bold moves ahead. Take those bold moves, and until next time, goodbye.