Everyone wants to realize more of our potential as leaders and as people. Learn how you can move beyond the challenges we all face as human beings to turn your obstacles into opportunities.
In this episode, Stacey Ruth shares key insights about:
- The importance of the spiritual/purpose component to leadership success
- The importance of intuition in making decisions
- Getting in touch with the true motivations that drive you
- How to become immune to your circumstances
Read more about facing difficulties as a leader.
Brad Wolff: 00:02
Welcome to the “It Is About You Podcast”. Today I’m honored to have as my guest, Stacey Ruth with inside out marketing. Stacey, welcome to the show!
Stacey Ruth: 00:18
Thank you so much, Brad. I’m so excited to be here.
Brad Wolff: 00:22
Awesome! Now would you share a little bit about yourself and your organization?
Stacey Ruth: 00:29
Well, a little bit about myself. My goodness. I am a lifelong entrepreneur. And we don’t need to talk about how long that life is, but since I was 28 I have owned agencies. I’ve had a couple
Brad Wolff: 00:47
Well, so you’re about two or three years. That’s my calculation?
Stacey Ruth: 00:50
Two were three years. Yeah, just skyrocketed to the top for sure. And I also am a branding and marketing advocate
Brad Wolff: 01:37
Absolutely! And I think more and more people are realizing the spiritual component, which I’m classifying as the deeper purpose behind what we’re doing. It isn’t about
Stacey Ruth: 02:18
Absolutely! And, and I think it’s very important. You’re, you’re touching on something that I think culturally is part of
Brad Wolff: 03:14
Right? That there’s some deeper,
Stacey Ruth: 03:20
Yeah! And it’s not, it’s not a decision that the business leadership makes to be spiritual. They are spiritual. They got values, they got
Brad Wolff: 03:36
Stacey, I really appreciate your clarifying what you mean by that term because that term can be something that people get very uncomfortable with. And I think this really helps clarify what you mean because people do that. The term means different things to different people. I get that. So tell me a little bit about your journey that’s brought you to where you are at this point?
Stacey Ruth: 04:01
Okay! A little bit about my journey. Because you know, we’ve already determined it was only three years long. Right. So definitely I have found myself very much immersed in the business world, not just as an entrepreneur myself starting, I’d like to say I kind of came down from the mountain top, literally a and started my first business. I had not taken a vacation from my job previous to that for five years. I had worked nonstop for five years and long hours to boot. We’re weekends, the whole nine yards. So I really hadn’t stopped to breathe. And I took my first vacation and went all out and went to Sedona, Arizona, which is one of my favorite locations in the entire world. And it is just beautiful there. And I went, one of the
Stacey Ruth: 05:08
And so there are beautiful hikes, beautiful views
Brad Wolff: 05:57
Wow! And that’s going on. That’s going on faith. That’s really good.
Stacey Ruth: 06:01
That was going on faith big time. And was everything, you know, sunshine and rainbows and unicorns from there on him? No have solid.
Brad Wolff: 06:08
If you told me what was then I would say, well, I think you’re on the wrong show. They’d be living on a different planet. And I might show you. To qualify to be on this show, you have to be human and living on earth. Okay? I never put that in. It’s in the fine print.
Stacey Ruth: 06:27
Okay! Got it. Yeah! I thought I saw that there. But, but that’s what got me started. And then from there, all of my clients, whether they were startups, fast growth or whether they were fortune five
Brad Wolff: 07:09
And there’s only a few of them out there and no one’s inventing new ones. They just show up with
Stacey Ruth: 07:14
Exactly! And I reached a point where it was time for me to take all of that wonderful learning that I had soaked up in 20 years of doing that work and see if I could reach a larger audience
Brad Wolff: 07:57
Right? Because there‘s a real need, there’s a real desire bubbling up with people that there’s been something missing that they want. And that I think is coming out loud and clear. Now clearly you’re excited about what you do, Stacey. I don’t let them. If there’s any doubt, what excites you the most about what you do?
Stacey Ruth: 08:20
There are two things, I can’t just pick one. It’s too juicy. The first thing is absolutely watching the lights come on with a client. The transformation that is unfolding. I mean, you can see people when they hit that transformation point and it just touches your heart to be a part of that. Okay! Touches my heart to be a part of that. On the front
Brad Wolff: 09:22
Cause, it’s right. It may not happen now. It can happen at any time, but everyone isn’t going to have it happen just on command.
Stacey Ruth: 09:30
Right! and I’m not the catalyst for everyone, you know, different individuals speak different languages, but for those that I really can connect with and really can help it, it keeps me going.
Brad Wolff: 09:43
Absolutely! So based on your experience and with your work, what do you see as the keys to leadership effectiveness?
Stacey Ruth: 09:57
Brad Wolff: 10:27
Stacey Ruth: 10:28
There are many research studies, well at least five though I’ve seen by
Brad Wolff: 11:25
And the research is clear on that though, that’s part of the emotions that we are emotional beings. And in fact, if we are cut off and they’ve done research with people that are
Stacey Ruth: 11:44
Right? But there’s this pervasive myth, especially in
Brad Wolff: 11:57
Well, when you’re dealing with people, you got to say, no, we’re not logical.
Stacey Ruth: 12:01
Right? So, right.
Brad Wolff: 12:06
Sometimes we are logical, but that’s not
Stacey Ruth: 12:08
Exactly! And so the other part of this successful leadership is really recognizing what their driving motivators are to be a leader. What, why be a leader? And there really are three basic drivers for someone to be a leader. They want power. And you don’t need to apologize for that. If you want power, you want power, go for it. They want freedom, freedom to make their decisions, to do what they
Brad Wolff: 13:26
I want to highlight that one because I think it’s so big. And I also read
Stacey Ruth: 13:56
Absolutely! And then you know, there’s,
Brad Wolff: 14:37
So what I’m getting from what you just said, Stacey, is a few keys and your, as you see in leadership effectiveness, one is the willingness to allow for intuition and as a key component of their decisions and other is that they realize whatever it is that’s driving them has to be balanced by the bar. It has to be balanced. You can’t just have power without being balanced with responsibility, with vulnerability. You can’t just have freedom without being balanced with commitment. So, in other words, whatever it is that’s driving you to realize there’s an offsetting balancing factor that you may not like that is so critical if you’re going to be effective. So that’s what I’m hearing with your view of leadership effectiveness,
Stacey Ruth: 15:23
Brad Wolff: 15:25
So, those two key components. What are
Stacey Ruth: 15:34
Well, certainly there’s an awareness that has to be created, but, but ultimately I teach leaders that they are actually, believe it or not, immune to their circumstances. If they know themselves and if they realize that their success starts within, hence the name of the company inside out, they understand that their strength, their intuition, their value, their meaning, it all comes from within. Then they really are immune to the market. They really are immune to their competitors. They really are immune to circumstances that are going on around them. And the same thing is true of brands. They really aren’t immune to their circumstances. If they’re clear on their purpose and there I call it brand affinity, which is an emotional component that every brand has in seven categories. Not all of them, but one category is, can be really strong for every brand that takes
Brad Wolff: 16:50
And that’s the immunity component is because if you, if you have people that resonate with your message and your purpose, then they’re gonna. You’re eliminating the competition. Other things because they’re resonating with you, they identify with you and what you bring,
Stacey Ruth: 17:06
They self-identify with you. They see themselves as you.
Brad Wolff: 17:11
Right! So in other words, your circumstances aren’t a hindrance because there’s,
Stacey Ruth: 17:22
Correct! And there’s a whole, you know matrix that I take clients through that help them understand which component of brand affinity they really have. And I can do that internally with employees. I’m doing that in December and walking a group of employees through how they are representing the brand with their brand affinity and they’re the brand ambassadors. So
Brad Wolff: 18:10
Right? So as far as the ways that you help leaders develop, what I believe I’m hearing is that it’s getting in touch with that unstoppable, purpose-driven piece that’s just part of who they are inside and allowing that to be revealed so that it can attract people that, that resonate or identify with their particular unique message and energy.
Stacey Ruth: 18:35
Yeah! And not just revealed, but that they step into that, that they own that they exude that they’d be it. They live it. That’s it.
Brad Wolff: 18:48
Right! They don’t talk about it. They are that
Stacey Ruth: 18:53
Correct! Because too many organizations, too many brands have gone through the exercise and I hear them say, oh! We’ve done this, right. We’ve got our purpose. We’ve got our mission, we’ve got our vision, we’ve got our values. And they’re hanging up on the wall, but they’re not doing anything to live in those. And I shudder, well could upset somebody, but I shudder when I see a brand that has six or seven core values, six or seven is not core
Brad Wolff: 19:30
Right! It’s too many, got it. So basically you’re helping them really get to what’s core and live it and not get thrown off by all the distractions of what else they should be doing.
Stacey Ruth: 19:43
Or what their competitor’s doing or what the market is doing.
Brad Wolff: 19:47
All the external, you help them take their focus away from getting obsessed with all the externals out there.
Stacey Ruth: 19:53
Yeah! I mean,
Brad Wolff: 20:02
Right! But they’re not, they’re not considering their success based on
Stacey Ruth: 20:09
Right! And I’ll use my first agency though, the wow factory as an example because
Brad Wolff: 20:53
Right! And it wasn’t hurting though. It was actually the conditions
Stacey Ruth: 21:00
Well, and that’s the point where I started getting what brand Definity really was because we had created a persona around our brand. It was the wow
Brad Wolff: 21:55
Got it. So you had to practice what you preached.
Stacey Ruth: 22:01
Brad Wolff: 22:02
If you’re giving the advice that you’re not taking, it’s not
Stacey Ruth: 22:06
Hey, well that’s the truth.
Brad Wolff: 22:08
Stacey Ruth: 22:40
Yeah! Well, I mean, personal development is about really understanding who you are, what you believe, what’s driving you and then amplifying your strengths mitigating any weaknesses or blind spots and, allowing yourself to really evolve and transform and grow. Okay. And then were you asking about
Brad Wolff: 23:13
Stacey Ruth: 23:21
Oh! Well, I mean, so personal development is really about self-awareness at its core in, in my, in my definition of it. And leadership is about inspiring others into action. So if I’m going to inspire someone into action, I better be pretty self-aware. So,
Brad Wolff: 24:25
Right! They’re part of the same thing then based on as my understanding
Stacey Ruth: 24:30
But I think that as leaders, we are living examples. So if we want those whom we lead to be self-aware, we must be self-aware and we must say, and this is my self-awareness and you can have this too.
Brad Wolff: 24:51
Right! Because it’s what we model is going to have much more impact than anything we say.
Brad Wolff: 24:58
So what regular practices, Stacey do you have, that you find that is most helpful to your growth and development?
Stacey Ruth: 25:10
Well up primarily for me. And yeah, I am a licensed spiritual practitioner which is a fun five years of study. So I’m serious about my spirituality. But the spiritual practice that I have in the morning is non-negotiable. It doesn’t matter where I am. Next weekend I’m going to be at the national association of women business owners and I’m going to be rooming with one of my cohorts and she’s just gonna have to deal with it cause I’m gonna do my meditation and my prayer and my I do journaling morning pages because I’m also a writer and an author. And so I’m really going to be continuing that practice as I do when I’m in my personal space. So that’s crucial.
But the other thing for my personal development is my writing. That is part of who I see myself as a writer, as an author. I have been a
Brad Wolff: 26:49
Right! So what, it appears that you’ve got a committed practice that you’re going to do every morning, rain or shine, convenient or inconvenient, and that is something that you find is really important to your development and your effectiveness, as you know, because when I say as a person who you are as a person, as is what you take with you as a business, as a business leader or anything else. So there’s no separation because you, we bring ourselves with us.
Stacey Ruth: 27:20
Right! But there is a third, third key thing and that is to give to others. So I guess I practice
Brad Wolff: 28:18
Right! So what I believe I’m hearing is the motivation behind it is that you’re contributing and giving, not that there’s going to be some, you know, some immediate business or payment to you. That’s not, the driving force isn’t business to you. It’s the, it’s the driving force is actually giving and contributing. And I want to highlight that. So that’s a key. The energy that you’re doing it from is a key difference. Well, if I do this, then they owe me or whatever.
Stacey Ruth: 28:50
Well, yeah. And it’s, it’s not
Brad Wolff: 29:49
Right! And there’s nothing that they’re talking about with respect to helping you based on what you want or need.
Stacey Ruth: 29:57
Well, they think they might kind of maybe know what, but they never ask.
Brad Wolff: 30:03
Right! I’d have to be pretty lucky to just hit what, what is important to you without knowing you? And I’m usually not that lucky. I’m not that good that I can just like, oh! I know exactly what she wants and what’s important.
Stacey Ruth: 30:19
Well, and even if you did, I wouldn’t necessarily trust you out of the gate.
Brad Wolff: 30:24
Yeah! Why would you, if you don’t know me?
Stacey Ruth: 30:28
Brad Wolff: 30:29
That would be foolish. Just to trust someone you don’t know just because they appeared on LinkedIn or wherever. So Stacey, what’s the greatest success story you’ve been part of with the work that you do?
Stacey Ruth: 30:43
Oh, well, I’ll go back to the idea of coming down off the mountain top and with the inspiration and starting that first agency, the wow factory which had incredible success because I really do believe that that is walking the walk. If I’m asking other leaders to trust their intuition and to you know, follow that inner nudge that came from out of the blue and trust that I have to be a living example of that.
Brad Wolff: 31:25
So as far as the success story, is there any in particular that, that you’d want to highlight? As far as one of my clients? Yes. With the work that you’ve done with them and what impact it had on their success?
Stacey Ruth: 31:43
Well, definitely there’s, there’s one that is kind of a, I guess a passion, a story for me because I can so identify with this woman. She’s a photographer and she’s an excellent photographer who has had a lot of stories about why she couldn’t
Brad Wolff: 33:41
That’s an example of inside out because as long as the inside wasn’t accurate, really in
Stacey Ruth: 33:54
Brad Wolff: 33:55
One reason is always there.
Stacey Ruth: 33:57
Yeah! I mean there’s,
Brad Wolff: 34:09
Even an organizational story is a collection of individual success stories.
Stacey Ruth: 34:15
It is, And where you really get w where I really, you know, tear up or get choked up. And I, you know, there’s, there‘s my
Brad Wolff: 34:32
Right! That’s a big driver for you. Clearly. Being part of that transformation is
Stacey Ruth: 34:43
Yeah! And it reinforces that what I believe is key and crucial is key and crucial.
Brad Wolff: 34:55
So I’m a big believer in failures and obstacles as things that move us to find ourselves and move us to our success. And any particular one that you’ve overcome that you feel has been pivotal to your success? I know you had in your origin story of, you know, the experience with I think it was Sedona? Is there any particular failure or obstacle that you feel like has really helped move you forward? Despite all…
Stacey Ruth: 35:16
Forged me in Fire?
Brad Wolff: 35:37
Stacey Ruth: 35:39
And I don’t know if you know my story about the
Brad Wolff: 35:42
No, I don’t know.
Stacey Ruth: 35:45
Oh, well, that’s not my obstacle, but it is very metaphorical and representational of what has been my obstacle at my obstacle is I think it’s really a belief. And I’ve run up against that belief time and time and time again. I’ve gotten better and better at seeing it sooner and not throwing myself under the bus with it. But that belief is that I’m not enough.
Brad Wolff: 36:18
I think that is universal. It shows up in different ways. But I think that’s a universal belief of all human beings.
Stacey Ruth: 36:28
Absolutely! And you know, so for
Brad Wolff: 37:12
The self-doubts, which we all have. I think what you’re highlighting is how that is something that’s an ongoing thing and that underlying fear of I’m not enough and there’s something wrong right within all of us. It doesn’t just go away, but well, we, our ability to
Stacey Ruth: 37:42
Well, it will. And then sometimes it shows up like I’m a victim of the situation. And I think that that’s the case with a lot of individuals who are in jobs that they’re not happy with. And so I was working on a client project before I started inside out marketing. That was
Brad Wolff: 39:17
Right! You just chose
Stacey Ruth: 39:37
Well. And the shift is I believe always an internal shift,
Brad Wolff: 39:42
Right! Because if we’re looking for the obstacles that are external, then they’re always going to show up anyway. So until we shift internally, the obstacles will just never stop.
Stacey Ruth: 39:54
Brad Wolff: 39:55
It’s like the Indiana Jones movies where, you know, he kills this or fights off that and then you know, everywhere he looks as soon as he gets one of the years.
Stacey Ruth: 40:03
That’s absolutely the case. That and, and that’s many. I dunno most, but it’s many people’s experience and it doesn’t have to be that way.
Brad Wolff: 40:13
Stacey Ruth: 40:43
Brad Wolff: 41:33
Awesome! Well, I’m looking forward to hearing more about that book as this progresses. Stacey, thank you very much again, and
Stacey Ruth: 41:50
Well, thank you. I know we are both very likeminded individuals and it has been an absolute joy. Thanks!