The road to becoming and finding success as an entrepreneur can be quite exhausting. Later on, in the sunset of our careers, we might even fall into a slump. One great way to overcome that is by having that guidance with our personal development. In this episode, Jen Du Plessis sits down with J.L. (Jani) Ashmore—an author, international speaker, and consultant—to talk about the inside job entrepreneurs also need to work on to get unstuck from that place of feeling unfulfilled. She shares with us the areas she collectively calls VALUES that can help us fully live our lives and move closer to our fullest potential. As much as we physically strive to achieve success in each of our businesses, it is important to keep what is within ourselves in check. Get inside this great conversation to realign yourself with your business and more.
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An Entrepreneur’s Guide To Personal Development With J.L. (Jani) Ashmore
I am delighted that you have joined us. If it’s the first time that you’re reading, thank you so much for joining us. I hope that what you learn makes you want to come back and learn more things and all stuff that we talk about on this particular show. If you’ve been with us 1,000 times, thank you so much. I appreciate it. I want to remind you that all you have to do is scroll down on your phone. That’s where you can write a review and give me a great five-star rating if that’s what you’re inclined to do, but I hope that’s what you do. I need those ratings. I need those reviews to keep me up on top here so that we can continue to grow the community. I can continue to bring in great guests and share with you as much as I possibly can so that you can move your business forward.
I would love to introduce our guest, Jani Ashmore. I had the wonderful opportunity to meet her at a retreat that both she and I were attending in Phoenix. If you can’t tell if you’re one of those regular readers, I always open this up. Wherever I’m speaking, wherever I go to a retreat, I always open it up for the people that I’m meeting to have the opportunity to come and share their message with you. I want you to have that personal and professional growth. Without further ado, Jani, welcome to our show.
Thank you, Jen.
I’m happy to have you. Let’s start with, if you don’t mind, telling us a little bit about yourself and what did you use to do? How did you get into what you’re doing? Tell us what your message is.
It was great meeting you at The Leaders of Influence Conference. It’s fun to reconnect this way on your show. I have been in business for more decades than I like to admit is what I generally say. I started out in the corporate world as a technical consultant and doing technical jobs. It was the aspect of teaching people that lit my fire even when I was in a corporate job. I left that and became a full-time consultant teaching people in corporations as well as individuals and how it is that they can live to the fullest potential in their life. It’s a pretty broad spectrum as to what it is that I’ve covered. There are lots of different topics that I’ve done. On the one hand, that’s what I’ve done in my business career. On the other hand, I’ve spent an equal amount of time on my own personal and professional development. I had the wonderful opportunity to be a trainer for such people as Tony Robbins or Jack Canfield. I have spent a great amount of time developing myself. Marrying together the things from personal development and what it is that I’ve done in the professional corporate world and business world too. It’s been fun along the way.
Are you from Colorado?
I am from Colorado.
It was funny because when I introduced you, I forgot about that until I heard your slight accent, which is similar to mine, which doesn’t exist but there’s enough of it where someone from Colorado would pick it up. It’s always great to have someone from Colorado on the show and wonderful. You had this long career and you said, “I’m done with it. I want to do something else and I have to make more of an impact in the world.” What was that transition like when you made that and what were you trying to accomplish by making the transition?
Jen, what I’ve done is I’ve kept both feet in each world. It’s allowed me to fulfill my passions on both sides because I do love working in business and in the corporate world. I also love working with individuals as well, because in any business and any corporation it’s made up of individuals. Sometimes I’m working with teams of people and sometimes in the private sector, I’m working with individuals. It gives me the opportunity to do both.
I’ve been there. For eight years, I was a straddler and did a little bit of both. One day, I got pulled one way and here I go. What do you contribute your success in being able to share your message with everybody? What do you contribute your success to as a general rule of thumb?Our purpose is what gives us direction. Click To Tweet
It’s being able to be in both worlds rather than only focused on one world. There are many great things and aspects of each of the areas that I focus on that can contribute to the other. It makes me have a much broader perspective and because there’s so much that I’ve learned in the corporate world that I can apply to people who are starting out in their businesses to entrepreneurs and individuals, solopreneurs, as well and vice versa. What I’ve learned in the personal development world is now, I’ve seen this change because of the amount of time that I have been in the corporate world. We’re doing more and more personal development in the corporate world, which lights my fire. When I first started, you couldn’t even say personal development in the corporate world, it was banned. There’s so much more that we can do that it opens up both worlds and blends them together. It’s not an either/or for me.
It’s going to continue. This is something that will continue for years and years to be developed. Honestly, there are many people that are becoming entrepreneurs that this personal development will help them at the latter part of the sunset of their career to be able to go into entrepreneurship. I love that you say that because it keeps your toes into what people are experiencing. You said, “I’m teaching people about personal development.” That’s a wide range. What is the personal development that you’re specifically teaching and helping people with?
One of the main programs that I share with people is called Aspire to Inspire, leading yourself and others. It works for individuals who are leading their own lives as a solopreneur, as well as for someone who might be an entrepreneur and have a small team of people they work with, or someone in a corporation that has a team of people that they’re leading too.
Are you more of a management coach? It’s funny because I got off of a webinar that I was a guest on. It was talking about management skills because it is a personal development area of an individual, if they want to be a leader. If they want to lead even in a team or on a team or be part of a team, it’s important that they up-level their personal growth in order to be able to take on that role. Is it more in the management piece of this, the awareness of yourself to grow or is this in general so that people can get as you call unstuck?
As we see, the terms are all starting to blend together. From my experience, I have trained in management skills, but I think of management skills as being more things like hiring, firing, motivating, and filling out your reports, those are all management skills. Those are the things we do on the outside. Personal development, those are more focused on the inside. How it is that we think, and then how our actions relate on the outside that it’s more an inside out job?
It’s an inside job. Let’s talk about the three things that you help people do. The question is if you’re feeling unhappy, if you’re feeling stuck and if you’re feeling unfulfilled, this is where you come in and say, “How can I help you get out of those feelings and move forward?” Whether this is in the corporate world or your personal world, a lot of people do get in a funk. Let’s call it a funk, get in a funk in a slump. Sometimes it’s short and sometimes it’s long. What is it that you help people do? If someone’s reading and they are, “I’m in a funk now, what do I do?”
I also want to make sure that we broaden the scope because it’s not just for an individual feeling that they might be stuck, but also for a leader, either an entrepreneur or in a larger organization that has a team of people that are stuck as well. The same principles apply to either an individual or a team. One of the first things I do in my programs is I use the word, VALUES, as an acronym. The V is for Vision of purpose. A, Aligned goals. Having goals that are aligned to your purpose. The L is for Listed actions. As we know nothing happens until we take that action. U for Undoing limiting beliefs. Get unstuck. The E is for Express success and then the S is for Strengthen with feedback. That helps keep us on course.
Let’s walk through each one of these. We’re stuck, so we need to have some vision. That’s going to be one of the first things that we do.
I specifically look at vision of purpose. What is our purpose in life? Our decisions that we can make, if we have that context of purpose, then that’s going to give us direction. If we take off on a trip and we don’t have a destination in mind, how do we know if we get there? Our purpose is what gives us that direction.
What is the process of defining that? I find that’s probably one of the biggest challenges I have with my clients. As you and I were talking before and most people know, my whole business is based on values, core values, vision and alignment, those types of things too, but it was in a different place. It’s a different type of approach to this. One of the challenges people have is if you were to ask anyone, and this is a rhetorical question for those that are reading is, what are your three core values? I have about ten of them. I’ve got to be honest. There are three that I live by and every decision is based on those three before I make a decision about anything. It’s, “Does it fit those and does it allow me to do that?” How do you help people identify those core values? There are plenty of values out there. You could be ethical, authentic, it’s family, faith or money. Money is a value for people. Presence is a value for people. Commitment and there are gobs of words out there that would resonate with anyone reading saying, “I like all those words.” How do you bring that down into what truly is that passion that you’re talking about?
I use a tool from the Barrett Values Centre that is an individual values assessment. It allows someone to go in and it’s a matter of choice we have to stop and take a look at it, even though there are lots of them to choose from what our top ten are. What that assessment does is get translated into a model that is called the Seven Levels of Personal Development. There’s also a model, that’s the Seven Levels of Leadership too. Have you ever seen Maslow’s hierarchy, the pyramid?
What Richard Barrett, the Founder of this particular system did, was he took Maslow’s Hierarchy and he identified the needs, but he looked at it more closely. He said, “There’s specific development that people go through in their lives, depending upon their age and also the circumstances what’s going on in their life.” He created a pyramid and then a reverse pyramid on top of that. It’s the figure eight in that way and then identified what the Seven Levels of Development are. What this tool does is then map people’s values to those Seven Levels of Consciousness.
What you’re saying is that your core values can change.
They could change because my core values are making a difference, serving others, working in the community and collaborating. However, if this moment where I lived in Southern California, a major earthquake then immediately I’m going to be dropping right back into the bottom of that pyramid of survival.
From where we’re coming from the lizard brain. If you have kids, your core values are different than if your children are grown and they’re out of the house and I have grandkids, you have other things going on. That’s important for people to understand and for people to know that your core values can change. You don’t have to be set in your core values. I honestly believe that too. Other than the fact that family and faith have always been my two tops. My third one is always changed. It depends on where I am in life. Having shifted from a 35-year career in mortgage lending into what I’m doing now, one of my core values became stability and making sure that I have stability. You have to recognize those triggers too, perhaps reassess them because before that, it was being present.
That was a core value is making sure that I was present, but that’s because I was going through a period of time that was chaotic, straddling doing both sides that I wasn’t present. I said, “This has to be a core value so that I can make decisions to ensure I’m present and accomplish that.” Here’s a core value, stability. Every decision is, “Will this make me stable?” Both in time and financial perspective. That’s important for people to know that they can change, but what is the recognition? What’s the trigger? I haven’t worked in this world. That’s why I knew that I had to reassess, but what’s a trigger or what frequency would you suggest for people to reassess those core values?
It’s common when people are in transition to fall back into the bottom of the pyramid in the survival and the stability. Oftentimes, people have financial constraints that come in whenever they transition unless they’ve been able to accumulate some degree of money. How’s that make that transition? In any transition in their life, you call it straddling. For me, it’s not straddling, and that’s somewhat of a negative turn for me. I’m choosing my passion, because I love working in both worlds. One of my early mentors Werner Erhard had said, “We can either live our lives, one of two ways, either out of circumstances or out of vision.” He also said that, “The greatest difference that we can make in the world is the difference we make in corporations because there are many people in corporations.” I have chosen to keep my options open in both worlds. It served me well.
When people make that transition, whether it’s to a new job, they get married, or not they’ve lost someone in their family, if there’s any big change in someone’s life, then it’s important for them to take a look at, has their values changed out of that? If they haven’t, if they’ve had some degree of stability, they may not have changed. However, if they at least look at that once a year, I always like on the last day of the year on New Year’s Eve before I get to party or whatever. I like to sit down and I do a reassessment of the year, what it is I’ve done and what is it I want to do? To retake a look at what my core values are and to change them, if they have changed at that time. It’s not a set in stone thing.
For a lion share of my readers who are loan officers, the mortgage industry went through a couple of different difficult times with 9/11 was one and then the credit crisis and then interest rates going up. Everybody was wondering, “Am I doing the right thing? Am I in the right business?” That seemed to be some major triggers for some people to assess. I can tell you from the people that I’m coaching, that’s what we’re going through. We’re reassessing those values to make sure that they’re on the right track, they’re on that path. We need to have this vision, we need to get our values in line and have the vision for what our purpose is and what makes us feel good then we had the alignment. Let’s talk about the alignment piece of this.
Before we jump into that, I want to mention that I would like to offer to your audience the opportunity to take the individual values assessment for no charge. In the end, I will give some information on how people do that. What’s valuable about this particular model is that it can identify potentially limiting beliefs, limiting values or negative values. There might be something where we’re feeling like we are an entrepreneur with a small team of people that are working with us, and we may feel like we need to keep everything in control. However, control can be a value that could be potentially limiting if we got to cross the line to the point of being too controlling.
I know that one.
That particular model helps people identify any potentially limiting values that they might have.The goals are what allow us to fulfill our purpose. Click To Tweet
I can’t wait to take it because I’ve done it the old-fashioned way through Darren Hardy. He’s one of my mentors. There’s an old-fashioned way of doing it. I’d be curious to see how aligned those values are with what my values are. I can’t wait to take it. That’s awesome. Thank you so much for offering to everybody. I appreciate that. Let’s go to alignment.
Once we have our purpose or our vision created, as you know, and then I’m sure that you coach with your clients too, is the importance of setting those goals. If we don’t set them, write them down, measure them, and follow them, then we’re much less likely to achieve our goals or get to fulfill our purpose. It’s the aspect of fulfilling our purpose or the goals are what allow us to fulfill our purpose.
You and I both had the wonderful privilege of having David Fagan speak with us. I love this guy. One of the things that he said is, “You don’t have a goal that your kids go to bed at 8:00 at night, you have an expectation.” There’s a mind shift that happens when you say, “I have an expectation of reaching this goal.” This thing, “This is my expectation for myself,” as opposed to goals. I started thinking about it and I’m thinking, “You’re right. Goals can be dreamy.” When I said, “I don’t have a goal of doing this.” I have an expectation, “That was a little scary because I had put accountability on myself.” I knew that I was going to not just write it down or tell people and say, “Let it be written, let it be done,” but I had an outlying expectation that I put on myself. I love that because a lot of people don’t set goals at all. It’s quite a long life.
I know we take it for granted because it’s something that we’ve done for so long. It’s true that the majority of people don’t or they might think, “I have a goal that I want to get a new car by the end of the year.” Even a simple act of writing it down makes it so much more possible that it’s going to be fulfilled.
I know that we have to take action. We’re going to talk about that too. We’re going to talk about Listed action. How am I going to get to that goal? That’s the next part of your acronym of VALUES.
One of my other mentors, Tony Robbins is the person who first taught me this. It was funny that I’ve been with a lot of the teachers that I’ve had. I was with before they became big and famous. I worked with Tony some time ago and was a trainer for him. One of the things that he taught me was chunking it down. That’s what identifying our actions can do is help to chunk it down. If we have the goal and even if we make it a smart goal, one is it’s specific, measurable and achievable. People heard all the things relevant.
It’s realistic and on a timeline.
Until they start to list what the actions are to achieve that goal, and if they do, then again, it’s going to be much more likely that they’re going to fulfill that goal and their purpose. It all trickles up and down.
Next goes, Undoing limited beliefs. I can imagine what this is about because as I’m writing down these goals and I’m using SMART if I want to and KISS. We want to Keep It Simple, Silly. If we’re writing down these goals, you know what’s going to happen.
A little voice comes in, “You can’t do that. You’re not smart enough. You are not experienced enough.” Whatever it is that limiting belief, which is a function of the mind. The way that I look at it and what I’ve learned along the way is that when we open up, we connect, we know who we are. We have that more of a spiritual aspect of ourselves, then we’re going to be able to achieve those goals and fulfill our purpose. I believe that this life that we have this plane of existence, this reality was created for a spirit to recognize itself for all of creation, whatever word you use.
All of that. The game that was created here in this place of existence which is we’re in a plane of duality. There’s right, wrong, good, bad, up and down, there isn’t one without the opposite. In order to experience self-creation, spirit, universe, God, whatever, there had to be creative, it’s the opposite of that. That’s what the mind is. The function of the mind is to come up with the opposite when we get close to that fulfillment and experience ourselves is why we can’t do that. That’s what that little voice does. “If you can’t do it, you’re not going to be able to do it. You’re not good enough.” Once we recognize that, then we can start to work with that and deal with it, if we see it for what it is rather than being at the effect of it.
What are some ways that we can work at it? I’ve walked around with but one limiting belief for many years. “I’m aware of it and that’s it.” What are some things that we can do to start working on it?
I get a lot of different modalities to work with limiting beliefs. It can be as simple as identifying what it is and then writing down what are the ways that we are saying that is true? Let’s say someone has a limiting belief that they’re not good at math. That’s a simple example.
I’m not good at math, so I back off and I’m not worried about it.
What’s helpful is to list the evidence that they’re focused on that says they’re not good in math. “I didn’t like math when I was in school, I didn’t get good grades. I made a mistake on my taxes.”
“I thought I can use a calculator.”
What’s helpful is to then create a more empowering belief. Even simply stating the opposite of the limiting belief and saying, “I’m getting better at math every day.” That’s more empowering than, “I’m good at math.” People start looking for, and writing down, “What is the evidence that shows that that is true?” What might that be, “I successfully balanced my accounting system.” I won’t say checkbook anymore because most people don’t have a checkbook. I used to use that one as an example. There was something else that I did specifically. “I’m taking an evening class in math. I’m getting better every day.”
My dad was great at math. I must have at least one good math gene in there. I was looking for evidence and I know this is a simple example, but any limiting belief we have, if we do that and we start focusing on what is the evidence of the empowering belief, then we start to shift it. It’s a matter of doing that on a consistent basis.
We want to Express success.Any feedback we get can help us if we go in the direction of our purpose in life. Click To Tweet
There are many ways and things that we say and do that get in the way of our success, the things that can help further our success. This is the section that’s more on communication skills. If it’s an individual who has a team of people they’re leading, not only how are they communicating to themselves, but how are they communicating to their team? If it’s individual, how is it they’re communicating to themselves inside? I look at the aspect of Albert Mehrabian from UCLA, did a study and looked at what is the impact of our words, our voice tone and our body language on any communication. Have you seen that study before?
I don’t know that I’ve seen that study, but I know that nonverbal is one of the biggest things. I certainly know that.
I use this in workshops that I do for individuals and for teams as well. When I ask people about that, sometimes people are like, “No, it’s the words that are the most important.” Some people say, “No, it’s the voice that’s most important.” Words are important. It’s not that they aren’t important. It’s relative to voice and body language was about 7% of the impact. Voice tone has 38% and body language has 55%. I help people see what it is in the words of what it is that they’re saying. If they’re saying, “You have to, you need to, and you should.” That’s counter. That’s resistant to what is happening rather than it’s important, valuable, and helpful. There are different words that are expressing success and different words and phrases that are keeping us from our success.
I don’t know if you remember when we were at the retreat, someone came in and taught a little bit about that. I can’t remember who it was. She was the gal who was putting on the Wish Man event. She’s part of Secret Knock, Michelle or something. She said, “We say I can’t all the time.” I said, “I can’t afford that or I have to do that.” Instead of, “What’s the way that I could afford it? What’s the way that I could get what I want?” Instead of, “I have to clean the house,” it’s, “I get to clean the house because I have a house. I get to make phone calls to clients because I have a job.” That’s important. That’s a small little shift, but it’s funny because I’ve been good for two months. I caught myself doing that, going, “I have to clean the house.” I said, “No, I get to clean the house because when I clean the house, I can have Airbnb, people come in to help me make money.” I make more money to pay for this wedding of my daughter. I had my whole purpose there, it’s like, “I get to clean the house.”
In addition to, “I get to,” is “I choose to.” It’s powerful, “I choose to clean my house because I love it when it’s clean.”
I do. I’m a German, and so it’s usually clean anyway. Let’s talk about the S in VALUES, which is Strengthen with feedback.
It’s going out and soliciting feedback, whether we’re an individual leading our own lives or whether we are a leader, leading a team of people is soliciting that feedback. When we get feedback, one of the things I teach people is that all feedback is positive and when I say that, some people go, “I don’t know.” I believe that because unfortunately, people have received so much negative feedback. Studies have shown that people need four times as much affirming feedback as constructive feedback. It’s been whether as they were being raised. Their parents were not informed about the importance of giving positive feedback, or when they got into work life. They had managers or leaders who also didn’t know that we’re not informed. They got so much negative feedback throughout their lives that they hear feedback.
They all become negative.
I love having the opportunity to teach people how it is to give effective feedback. I look at feedback is all positive because even the word ‘constructive’ is built on the word ‘construct’ means to build not to do them. Once people start to see that shift, they can change their speaking and how it is that they deliver feedback and also how they solicit feedback as an individual. Any feedback we get can help us if we’re off course, get back on course, and go in the direction of our purpose in life.
I do think that’s important especially in this day and age where we’re looking for reviews online and things like that. There’s a plethora of people that have jumped in on that bandwagon and have tons of reviews and then a huge number of people that are as equally as good, if not better, who don’t have any reviews because of the fear of asking for feedback. Fear that, “That’s going to hurt me.” It’s going to create more limiting beliefs and whatnot. If someone can go through this process that you have here at VALUES, they can redirect that into positive. I love this VALUES acronym. It’s wonderful. I hope that everybody who’s been reading has taken great notes on this.
I’ve mentioned that we’ve had a lot of mindsets and it’s important that we start redirecting ourselves before we set out on our business plan. We’ve got to get a checkup from the neck up before we start going out. This is great timing, but I know that there’s a tactical piece that you operate with as it relates to the corporations that you’re working with. How can someone open doors with you to have you come in and train a whole management team or a bunch of leaders? If they had some questions for themselves on how to overcome some of the obstacles that they have, what’s the best way for us to open doors for you and with you?
If people want to get in contact with me, I’ll give my email address. It’s JaniAshmore@Gmail.com. I would be delighted to come in and talk to a team of people or to any individual. I do want to offer the individual values assessment at no charge, then also a half-an-hour free coaching session to unpack what that does. To get it yourself, you might take some guidance to look at how it is that it relates specifically to the Seven Levels of Consciousness or the Seven Levels of Development. You can see where you fall on those Seven Levels of Consciousness or Development as well.
Is there a quick way or is it just JaniAshmore.com?
They can go on my website too, JaniAshmore.com. If they will look for the individual values assessment, if they send me an email, that would work best.
That would be JaniAshmore@Gmail.com. I want to say thank you so much for coming here. As we close out, I’d like to ask you or invite you to share a quote or share a book that you’re reading or that you just read for our readers or to perhaps pick up.
One of my favorite quotes is by Oliver Wendell Holmes and it’s, “A mind once expanded never returns to its original shape.”
That’s like a rubber band.
My hope and wish for everyone is that your mind has been expanded through the talk that Jen and I have had and that it doesn’t return to its original shape. You can move forward with an acronym of VALUES and looking at how you can more fully live your life to your fullest potential.
Thank you again, Jani, for joining us. Everyone, I want to say thank you again for reading. I am grateful as I always am. I don’t want it to sound like a mundane thing. It is important to me that I help you get to where you want to go and be one of the facilitators to get you there. Everybody who comes on our show, all of our guests who are willing to share and take that risk out there and sharing these ideas for everyone. Take some time to think about what your purpose is? What your goals are? What list of actions do you want to take? All the other pieces to soliciting the feedback, it can be life-changing. It’s a story I’ve told on my show 1,000 times. I’m not going to tell it again, but it can be life-changing when you solicit feedback from people. Thank you so much for joining us. Please take action, stop talking about it and you will get the results that you’ve been looking for. I look forward to catching you on our next episode. Thank you again, Jani.
- Jani Ashmore
- Barrett Values Centre
- Werner Erhard
- Darren Hardy
- David Fagan
- Secret Knock
About J.L. (Jani) Ashmore
Jani is an author, international speaker and consultant to corporations in North and South America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. She helps executives to front-line employees in: Leadership, Sales, Communication/Presentation Skills, Customer Service, and Team Building. She has contributed to 1,000’s of people in 100’s of organizations.
She has been a trainer for such luminaries as Tony Robbins and Jack Canfield. She is President/Board of Directors for the non-profit organization Global Family.
As a test of her physical abilities, Jani is an accomplished fire walker, black belt in karate, marathon runner, has parachuted/tandem sky dived, and hiked the Grand Canyon from rim to rim.
Co-authored 6 Amazon.com best-selling books: Success University for Women Series; Footsteps of the Fearless; Success Secrets; and Nothing But Net.