SEP Solo Episode: Today’s My 31st Birthday

Title Graphic - Today's My 31st Birthday - Podcast The Story Engine

 

Today is my birthday. Not the day that I recorded this podcast, but the day that I published this podcast. I want to share some of my reflections over this last year and some of what I want to bring into this next year. So I’ve put together a list of some of my biggest wins from this year to celebrate. Some of the biggest lessons I learned, and some of the things I really want to bring into my next year.

 

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode


Story and Stage Execution Workshops by Advance Your Reach

Selling with Story

SOLO Episode Lessons From The Worst Typo Of My Life

The Story Engine on audiobook

Creating a Compelling and Contagious Vision for Your Business with Garrett Gunderson

How To Be Your Own Hero With Dr.Chris Zaino – The Story Engine Podcast

The Wim Hof Method

The Presence Process by Michael Brown

The Big Leap, by Gay Hendricks

 

 

 

Transcription


Kyle Gray:

Hello, and welcome to The Story Engine Podcast. Today is my birthday. Not the day that I recorded this podcast, but the day that I published this podcast. So in that case, Kyle, you sly dog you, have a happy birthday, if you’re listening to this. And for everybody else, I want to share some of my reflections over this last year and some of what I want to bring into this next year. So I’ve put together a list of some of my biggest wins from this year to celebrate. Some of the biggest lessons I learned, and some of the things I really want to bring into my next year.

 

Kyle Gray:

So let’s start with some wins. One of the best parts of this year has really been developing a better understanding of, embrace of who I am, and drawing closer to those who lift me up. I’ve really been experiencing better relationships with new friends, old friends, and in business and in personal settings. It’s really exciting to see that and feel that and to go deeper with a lot of the people that I’ve connected with over the last year.

 

Kyle Gray:

So the biggest highlight of the year was almost definitely traveling to Switzerland to visit my best friend Andy. I hadn’t traveled internationally in about three years, spending a lot of time focusing on my own health and the health of my business and I didn’t make it as high of a priority as I used to. Carving out the time and really taking some time to step away from work, go abroad, get creative, and be in an environment that I used to be in very often. I really love being a foreigner and having to work out how to communicate with people, seeing new places, taking in new sights and tastes. I find that very energizing. Plus, getting to spend time with one of my best friends who has been living out there for a really long time and who I don’t get to see very much was amazing.

 

Kyle Gray:

Domestically speaking, however, I was traveling quite a bit. I traveled at least once a month every month of this year. I was a regular in Denver and Milwaukee teaching at the Story and Stage Execution Workshops by Advance Your Reach, and I really found I enjoyed the workshop environment. Gathering a group of people together, being in person, working out ideas, and being really creative for a condensed period of workshop time is an environment I find very fun and exciting. It takes a lot of energy, but it’s really fun to be creative, to listen to people, and hear their stories, and help them put together their stories in ways that maybe they hadn’t thought of before or that really addressed the unique value in a way that they were never able to say before and just seeing them light up like you did a little magic trick.

 

Kyle Gray:

I’ve absolutely loved doing that work, and traveling to events where I’ve been speaking. I got to speak at Microbiome Medicine 2018 this year, which was an amazing talk, a great event filled with all kinds of gut health experts. I got to speak several times here in Salt Lake City, collaborating with Go Wellness and Regan Archibald, which was also so much fun to have somebody that I could work with and collaborate in person.

 

Kyle Gray:

For many years, I’ve been almost exclusively digital, working remote for startups, working remote for clients. So I’ve really really been enjoying the much more person to person and real human connection that my domestic travel attending events and speaking has really been creating in my life. I’ve also been coaching in digital workshops as well, though I do love traveling around, it does take a lot of energy moving around all the time. So finding ways that you can do this work remote, add a lot of value to people, like working with a business accelerator and healthpreneur group and working with a lot of amazing one on one clients, where I was also doing some part coaching and part implementation.

 

Kyle Gray:

I came out with one and a half books this year. The first, Selling with Story, which is definitely a labor of love and I’ve been loving the reception it’s been getting so far. Couple of rocky starts to the launch, if you listen to the last solo episode, you’ll know why. I also released The Story Engine on audiobook. I produced that over the winter of the past year, and released it right around my birthday. That has been an excellent resource not only because it’s helped me connect with people and create in a new medium, it really got me into audio, it got me into podcasting. After creating that first audiobook, I said, “Hey, I can do this, I can do more of this.” That’s what started The Story Engine Podcast a couple months later.

 

Kyle Gray:

Now, it’s nearly 60 episodes in since its launch in August. Over those episodes, I’ve made dozens of tweaks on how I record, the team I work to produce with, the questions I ask, and who I bring into the show. I’m really feeling proud of the increasing quality of content, I think I’m getting a lot better with audio, and I think the quality of the guests is going up. One of the things I’m most looking forward to with this is creating more solo episodes like this. Short episodes where I give you one quick tip or share my opinions or stories or ideas, and I also want to create more video podcasts.

 

I did two video podcasts this year, one with Garrett Gunderson, an amazing mind for finance and entrepreneurs, and Chris Zaino, one of the most successful chiropractors in the United States and a former Mr. Universe. They have amazing stories and I’ll put some clips from those interviews in the show notes because creating those was so much fun.

 

 

Kyle Gray:

So let’s move on to some big lessons. Some big leaps forward for me. So one of the most beneficial practices, lessons I’ve learned, things I’ve been incorporating into my life, is Wim Hof breathing. Wim Hof is a Dutch man who is known for being able to withstand extreme cold, climbing Mt. Everest in his shorts and things like that. He can do this because of a breathing technique. While it may be useful for training in cold temperatures, it’s also extremely useful to either help you go from low energy, not feeling great, to feeling more energy, to feeling uninspired to feeling creative, to feeling sad to excited.

 

Kyle Gray:

There’s a way that just by breathing deep in the way that he recommends, it brings a lot of zest into you. It’s been an excellent tool, if I make a flight during a weekday, maybe I fly on a Tuesday morning and still need to do work in the afternoon right when I get home, I’ll do a little bit of Wim Hof breathing, be feeling good, and power through the rest of the day. Or if I’m feeling uninspired, not too great, doing a little bit of breathing can really help me change my perspective.

 

Kyle Gray:

It’s also been something that I’ve just built into my morning routine. Each morning, I spend about 15 minutes doing this breathing and it’s just a great way to start the day and to really get the blood pumping properly. So I really recommend checking it out. If you go to WimHofMethod.com, he’s got a free three video course that gives you a little bit of the basics on it. It doesn’t take long. It seems strange, but it really doesn’t take long to start feeling the effects of this, it’s really powerful.

Wim-Hof-Infographic

Kyle Gray:

One big lesson is learning how to see when I’ve spread myself thin, and avoid spreading myself too thin. A good sign of a growing business and rising brand is getting lots of good opportunities coming your way. But if you’re taking on every good opportunity, then you forsake the chance to have a great or amazing opportunity if you’re too busy with handling all of these pretty good opportunities. I found myself in those situations a couple of times. So I’ve been learning to really trust myself and knowing that I can turn away a good opportunity that sounds good, that would feel like it could be a win, in order to trust and wait for something better. And I’ve been spending a lot of time asking deep questions to figure out what makes the better opportunities, what makes the amazing once in a lifetime opportunities? How do I know what to look for and how can I start moving towards getting those?

 

Kyle Gray:

On the flip side of that same problem, there is the strategist curse that I’ve kind of been learning about and working with. As a coach and a strategist and a consultant, I’m working with a lot of people, helping them implement great strategies, I’m traveling to different events, learning what the cutting edge is. As you become aware of all of these options available, and seeing all these shiny objects, you start to feel like maybe you’re not doing enough to push everything that you want out there. But again, this is the difference between trying to do good in a lot of different methods. Maybe building a social media following, building a podcast, a YouTube channel, speaking, and trying to do all these things at the same time and doing good in any of those. But just finding a couple of things to be excellent in.

 

Kyle Gray:

But really figuring out where you’re excellent requires a lot of patience. You need to experiment with a lot of different things, you need to make a lot of mistakes. You need to invest a lot of time asking difficult and uncomfortable questions. I think it comes naturally to some people. It seems like some people are able to click in right away, they know where they’re great, and they know how to apply themselves. I must admit, I really envy those kind of people. For me, it takes a lot of investment and deliberate work. But I know that it’s worth doing, and it’s worth patience.

The Presence Process Book CoverKyle Gray:

Next, I want to share some of the best books I’ve read this year. So my favorite book has probably been The Presence Process by Michael Brown. The basic idea of this book is during our first few years as a child, and growing up, we adopt these outdated stories that aren’t useful, that cause these emotional short circuits. And a story that you learned when you were very very young can cause you to respond to situations as an adult in very strange ways. This causes a lot of suffering for a lot of different people.

 

Kyle Gray:

This presence process is a technique to really bring yourself back into the moment, feel the energy, the old story that’s coming up in you as it’s happening, and then start to understand it so you can catch yourself, so you don’t have these little emotional short circuits popping up here and there in your work, in your life, in your relationships. It’s just helped me feel a lot calmer, a lot more collected, and be able to catch myself, whether I’m feeling anxious or angry or whatever kind of extreme emotion, to just be able to sit with it and understand it and see where it’s coming from. It’s helped me feel a lot more in control, but also a lot more open.

 

Kyle Gray:

Next on the list is a perfect compliment to it called The Big Leap, by Gay Hendricks. Similar to The Presence Process, this book makes the point that as we grow in our business, in our lives, in our relationships, we have certain beliefs that we have set about what we deserve or what’s possible for us that keep us from moving up in our lives, or advancing in our lives. We’ll self-sabotage and bring ourselves down to a comfortable level of mediocrity and safety. These are known as upper limit problems. This book shows you how to identify, how to speak to these upper limit problems and then how to understand yourself and really find your zone of genius. The things that you are amazing at compared to just good at, and how to really double down on those in your life. So if that sounds interesting, pick those books up together, I think they’re a great one-two punch for each other and helping you level up any level of your life that you’re looking for.

big leap Book Cover

Kyle Gray:

So looking forward, what do I want to bring into this next year of my life? In business, I want to cut out a lot of the distractions and get out of my own way. One of the biggest things holding me back is my mindset, which is why I would take a good opportunity at the expense of maybe taking an excellent opportunity that was a bigger risk. I want to really focus on where I’m my best, and take bigger risks and make bigger investments in the areas where I know that I am in my zone of genius.

 

Kyle Gray:

Number two, kind of alongside that, I want to spend about twice as much time in my zone of genius. Though I don’t know if this is measurable yet, one of my biggest areas I’ve been investing in to my business has been coaches to rework my business model, to cut out draining work and to only focus on myself and the areas that light me up. So some of these things look like dedicating more time to reading and studying. It can be hard to do with so much other work to get done and so many tasks to get done, but studying and growing is planting seeds for future growth, and it’s something I miss. I also want to start hosting and collaborating on some of my own workshops this year. I’ve been having a great time working with people and meeting people face to face, and I want to create more opportunities for people out there to connect with and engage with me and really receive my own teaching and my own style instead of the process of the other companies I work with.

 

Quote: " The Wim Hof method is extremely useful to either help you go from low energy, not feeling great, to feeling more energy, to feeling uninspired to feeling creative, to feeling sad to excited."Kyle Gray:

Another idea that I’m considering that’s really attractive right now is putting together some kind of mastermind. A small, tight knit community. I used to teach a class at the University of Utah called The Foundry, and students could build whatever business they wanted and we just had a simple system to set goals and each week share the plans and the progress, the problems and priorities of each week. It created this environment where people were sharing their ideas of what they were learning on the frontlines of growing their business. I think having a similar community of entrepreneurs in marketing and health, in cutting edge technology and business operations all serving and helping and lifting each other up and collaborating together, that sounds really fun and exciting to me.

 

Kyle Gray:

So that’s about all I’ve got to share for now. Thank you so much for listening through this and I hope you’ll join me because I’m going to keep creating episodes like this, sharing what’s going on, sharing what I’m doing. You can join me on this journey. And I hope to hear from you and learn about your journey. Feel free to leave an episode in the show notes of this podcast on how you are making this next year your best year ever, or reach out to me on email or social media. Have an amazing day, talk to you soon.

 

Kyle Gray:

Thanks for listening to the Story Engine Podcast. Be sure to check out the show notes and resources mentioned on this episode and every other episode at thestoryengine.co. If you’re looking to learn more about how to use storytelling to grow your business, then check out my new book, Selling With Story: How to Use Storytelling to Become an Authority, Boost Sales, and Win the Hearts and Minds of Your Audience. This book will equip you with actionable strategies and templates to help you share your unique value and build trust in presentations, sales, and conversations, both online and offline. Learn more at sellingwithstory.co. Thanks for listening, and I’ll see you next time.