Nichole:  Hello, everyone. Welcome to Biz and Tell, the show where we feature coaches, consultants and professionals who share their business expertise. I’m your host, Nichole Santoro of As a podcast specialist, I help small business owners become the go-to thought leaders in their industry by helping them launch, market and maintain their podcast.

Today, I am so thrilled. My guest is Rita Hyland, who helps passionate professionals and driven employees break through the personal and professional barriers in a hectic world that are preventing them from leading their optimal life at work and home.

She helps individuals unleash dormant reserves of energy, potential and leadership so that that they quickly transform their work, relationships and home life into ones they love.

As a change agent, Rita is known for moving individuals’ lives from fine to fabulous within months instead of years. She helps clients transition into their ideal career, amplify their leadership, increase their income, create stellar health and enhance important relationships.

Her clients get much more than what they want even, using a process Rita calls Playing Full Out. It’s the practice of deliberately and consistently living one’s optimal vision of life and work.

Rita’s an entrepreneur, coach, speaker, wife and mother of three active children. She knows first hand the challenges of the many roles we have in today’s complex world. She says she’s made enough mistakes to stand by her conviction that, in every moment, we have the power to overcome challenges and make a difference as we create the business, work and home life we want.

To learn more about Rita, please visit her website at Hey, Rita. How are you today?

I am great. I’m glad to be here.

Nichole:  Terrific. I’m so excited. We were just talking for a little bit. Now as I’m reading about your background and expertise, it’s so funny that we were literally just talking about getting our kids ready for school day pictures, at the same time we’re preparing for our interview, at the same time we have to do some last-minute morning preparations.

I think everything I just talked about, as far as your background, is the epitome of what a lot of us really experience in our lives. I’m just thrilled to have you today.

Rita:  Thank you. I’m glad to be here, Nichole.

Nichole:  Could you share a bit about your path to becoming a coach?

Rita:  Yes. My story really began when I was working in the financial world in downtown Chicago. I was young and successful by traditional standards, I’d say, but not on my own. I’d go for a promotion and I would get it, but I never really felt fulfilled. I remember one day looking around this elite floor of colleagues I was working with and realizing that I didn’t want to be my boss or my boss’ boss. However, I had no idea of what I truly wanted or how to get it.

My real wake up call came right after that. I was on the L platform as I was getting off to work. As I travelled this one morning, I realized that something was different. I stepped on to the platform as droves of other people were getting to their work on time. Once I did, I realized I couldn’t move. My body was still and my breathing was laboured. I could see what I needed to do, but my body wouldn’t move.

I didn’t really know then how sick I was, but it was this point that I knew that I had to make a change in how I was living. The way I was doing it wasn’t sustainable. I was pushing and driving and hustling and grinding.

I was put on disability at 28 years old. It was definitely my wake up call and a path to move into a new direction. I realized then that the physical pain was a reflection of me and the emotional toll it was taking to not live my life on my own terms and do what I loved.

I achieved a lot of results in my life by being ambitious and hard working. However, I was realizing that no matter how hard I pushed, I seemed only to be maintaining, and what had previously worked for me wasn’t getting me any further.

At that point, I knew the way I was doing it wasn’t sustainable, as I said. This wasn’t all there was for me. I started to really examine my life. I wanted to know that when I got to my last day, I knew I had played full out based on what I decided and what my own definition was, not what others had thought was pretty, fine and good.

I networked and I read books. I took online courses. What I learned during my struggle is that I hadn’t a clue of how things really worked. I was in the throes of, what I call, the Nagging Half Version syndrome, where on the outside things look fine or even good, but inside I knew there was something missing, a part of me that was still untapped.

It was in just one afternoon that my life really changed. I was working with someone who insisted on asking me questions that I never really thought about before, and reflected back to me some of my observations, patterns and my internal blocks.

Why I was getting what I was getting really became clear to me. It wasn’t just that afternoon, but within weeks and not months, I was getting into work that I was called to. I met my husband after years of not dating. I started my own business, and I increased my income.

I did all these things. I was more joyful, confident and fulfilled. Again, what amazed me is how quickly some of this happened. It wasn’t from this drive-hustle point.

It was at that point that I decided that everyone deserves a chance to reset and to learn how to live their optimal vision of their life. That’s the long story of how I’m doing what I’m doing today. I became passionate about wanting to support others to do the same.

Nichole:  Wow. Sometimes we get wake up calls, but that’s pretty incredible.

Rita:  You get hit with a dead fish upside your head. I thought, “Okay. I have to keep moving.”

Nichole:  Oh my goodness. I’m so glad everything’s okay and it was really the inspiration for the work that you’ve done since then.

A couple things stood out to me. One is, you mentioned that someone was asking you questions you hadn’t thought of before. Were you working with a traditional coach or someone who had coach-like abilities or a friend? I’m just curious how that worked.

Rita:  It was someone with coach-like abilities. This was, if you can believe, 17 years ago.

Nichole:  I don’t believe it, because you’re only in your twenties.

Rita:  Exactly. I’m 26, always and forever. It was really a pioneer. The profession was really young. There was one coaching school. That person hadn’t done a traditional training, but was in the mindset of some of that coaching.

She was powerful, and she was sort of alternative. It was like I had a eureka moment. A lot of what I was doing was self-created. I was getting exactly what I was creating.

It was really empowering to me. I saw that all the good that I created was grand. I could keep on with that. The stuff that I didn’t like so much, I was also creating, but I could tweak to get different results. I knew a strategy that was different than the traditional ones I had known previously.

Nichole:  Wow. Something else you mentioned was that you got results a lot quicker than you anticipated. When we were talking about your background in the beginning, you mentioned that people, in working with you, tend to see results in terms of months instead of years.

Can you speak a little bit to that timeframe, perhaps the timeframe you saw for yourself and what makes the difference between speeding up that process versus the years and years that people sometimes thinks it takes to make such a big change?

Rita:  I believe that there are- if I put it in a framework to be practical- three steps to progress. The first is that we have a target. You can’t hit a target you can’t see. That has to do with vision. Even once we get that, even though sometimes it’s not a true vision, we often have a picture of what we think we want.

The second piece is that we need to have a mindset that’s on board with what success looks like. The third is a plan for consistent action. Often times, we have one and three. We have a vision and we have a plan, or we’re constantly moving and taking action, whether it’s the right action or not. Those two things add up to about 20% of a result and progress.

Nichole:  Wow.

Rita:  Yes. It’s not to say that your willpower and your hustle isn’t strong, but there’s something more powerful that hasn’t completely been tapped and that we weren’t taught in school.

Willpower and hustle are important, but there’s something even more powerful via @ritahyland… Click To Tweet

That is, are we on board with where we’re headed? If we say we want to go east, you’re driving a locomotive that way, but you have this tank on the back or a different locomotive heading you west, you’re negating all your efforts.

What I mean by that practically is if, for me in the business world, I wanted to move from very conservative workplace to a more alternative entrepreneurial endeavour, if I knew where my destination was, even the street address I could tell you, but if I was thinking, “I’m going to jeopardize my financial savings. Only two out of ten win in entrepreneurship,” it doesn’t matter how hard your hustle and drive in, you’ll be running and negating your efforts.

When people speed up, when we align that and we get everything driving east, and when we remove any types of obstacles, it’s just amazing. I work with CEOs and corporate leaders as well as CEOs of households. When we get everything on board and those three steps are aligned, it’s like a laser.

What’s hard for me is seeing brilliant, highly functioning, talented people, and I know unless they get on board with where they’re headed, unless they’re telling themselves a story that works with where they’re going, they’re going to wake up next year and be in the same place and think, “Wow, what am I doing? I’m trying.”

That’s challenging and painful for me to see. When our perspective, our story, gets on board, we take off, but we don’t often see that. We don’t often see where we’re off. That’s the challenge. It’s hard in our own mind to be able to identify that for ourselves.

Nichole:  Very interesting. I bet it’s painful for you because you’ve had the experience. You can honestly say, “I’ve been there. I know. I get it. Come on. Open up.”

This sounds like it could be a good segue into talking about your coaching process. I suspect that your process has a lot to do with a lot of those unseen blocks that we’re not able to see ourselves. Is that the case?

Rita:  It is. I touched on this, but what I realize in hindsight I was experiencing, it’s a theme that I see for people who are seeking a change. They feel like they’re operating at a half version of themselves.

It’s what I said before, the Nagging Half Version syndrome. It’s characterized by this voice that says, “I don’t know what I want, and if I did, I don’t know the next step or if I’m enough to do it.”

There are different pieces in that question. It’s this longing to move to the next. There’s this inner voice. We know there’s something else to us and that we, all human beings, want to keep growing. It’s the way we feel alive. It’s actually one of our needs, growth.

We look at internal obstacles. Breakthroughs can happen in one session. I had a man who had been unemployed for two years. Just recently, his wife actually forced him to see me, a good way to always start a relationship.

He didn’t realize that he was telling me this story. I call it the big story problem. I asked him if he’d be willing to look at a different perspective. I looked at his big story, and what I saw and reflected back to him was, “Corporate America wants to pay younger people less to do this. I’m never going to get paid to do what I love again. Corporate America screwed up.”

With this story, despite how much time he was telling me he networked, how brilliant he was and how many resumes he sent out, despite all the effort and action, he was at war with everyone in Corporate America. It was obvious and it was palpable.

I asked him to consider a different story, that he had a lot to offer, that companies wanted to pay generously for what he did, that it was his job to go out and share with them, that he had what they needed.

He said he was willing. I met him in May. Within one month, he wrote a letter that said, “Rita, on May 15th, I had an interview. I started work on June 1st, the day after Memorial Day. It’s in my wheelhouse, high compensation. It’s everything that I dreamed.” He just said thank you. This was one session.

This happens all the time. We don’t realize where we’re not on board with where we say we want to go. I tried to give an example of the power of reframing and having a story consistent with where you’re headed.

The point here is, it wasn’t the external environment that was creating the condition. He wasn’t a product of ageism. He was a victim to his big story problem, really. He was able to see that. After two years of working on something hard, it didn’t have to be hard. It had to be a shift so he could show up differently when he was doing the work he was doing.

Nichole:  Wow, that’s incredible. Not only because it was so fast- you’re obviously a very gifted coach- but also because that story is so prevalent. Anywhere on the news, it’s all about the Millennials. Everyone’s trying to figure out how to work with Millennials, how to get hired by Millennials.

I’m just in awe of that story shift and the impact to be willing to change a perspective and adapt a perspective that’s totally different than the mainstream, but just in pure faith that it’s going to help in your own situation. That’s really powerful.

Rita:  It is. This is why I couldn’t not do the work I’ve been called to do. I experienced this first hand. Our head wants to confirm what’s happening. Our mind wants to confirm. If we’re having challenges with money, that’s because the whole economy is having challenges with money. People don’t have money and that’s because this person’s been elected.

We start to write a movie and story. This is the power of the last generation. The biggest gift, perhaps, that we’ve been given is that brain science has confirmed what Western psychology and Eastern practices have put together over the thousands of years. We create what we’re looking for.

We all have to know this. This is a fun fact. We get 11 million stimuli per second. Our brain can only translate 40 bits per second. Which 40 bits we choose to be looking for will determine our destiny. How do we become fine tuners and consistently deliberate in what bits of information we’re seeking? Our story is our destiny.

I do this exercise with people called your movie. It’s right out of the gate. I wrote my movie. My coach had me do this in my second session with her. I said, “This is like standing on my head. This is so crazy. You’re pretending it’s already happened.”

I said, “I’m not doing it well, so I’m going to go with you for a second. I’m going to play this game.” So I did. The amazing piece is that everything in my movie happened.

It wasn’t just because we wrote it down. It was because I started to see it. I got crystal clear on my vision. I started to show up to it. I could see where the blocks were and could move it. That’s when getting out of debt, meeting an amazing man, starting a company, all of those types of things shifted.

I love the movie exercise. It’s probably my favorite exercise. My clients call all the time and say, “Oh my gosh. Another part of my movie just came true.” It’s fun. Does that answer your question?

Nichole:  Yes. This leads into your coaching super power. I’m curious, does that tie into the movie or do you have some other super power?

Rita:  My super power is that I really consider that I’m an expert at changing behaviour, which to me is more valuable than giving instructions. I get paid to help my clients make changes and to get results. I don’t stay in business if I don’t help them get results.

When someone says that they get what I’m saying, a lot of times they’ll say, “I get that. I get that,” I’ll always say, “I know you get that when we have a result that’s changing.” I really think that my gift. I’m both left brained and right brained, meaning that I can take theory and methodology and make it practical and actionable. I can talk at a certain level.

I dreaded my business career for 10 or 11 years, but I’m glad that I had it, because it’s supported me in being able to bridge the gap. I walked them. I know them, who they are in business. I work with a lot of those types of people now, leaders, employees and busy professionals. That was helpful. Even when we’re in the midst of something we don’t like, it’s a gift for something later.

Nichole:  That is so true. I love that. If we’re not seeing the results, then that’s how we know it’s not working.

Rita:  Right. Let’s get real.

Nichole:  Fantastic. You obviously have wonderful coaching exercises and a process to help people get results. I’m curious, during your path, what’s been the best advice or coaching you’ve ever received? I know coaching isn’t all about giving advice. A lot of times, it’s about listening. What’s impacted you the most?

Rita:  When we grew up, my family didn’t have a lot. We lived in an apartment until I went off to college. My parents worked really hard to give me a private education from grade school through college.

I was often with people who had more than me. The best advice I ever received was probably from my father. He’s a colonel in the U.S. Army. He had a really strong work ethic.

He told me, “If someone else can do it, you can, too.” It was really empowering to me, because I believed him. I didn’t have all of the same resources, but I looked at what was my resourcefulness. I sometimes had to work twice as hard to earn my grades or get a place on the soccer team, or I’d uber prepare myself for a job interview or work more to make money on the weekends.

I just used it. My question was not if I could do it, but how I am I going to do it? Even if it took me to 90 to become a coach, I thought, “How am I going to do it?”

How that has transferred today is that in my business, I am coaching and if I see something I like, I don’t get jealous. I think, “How am I going to do that?” It’s a better question. I’m inspired by people like Sara Blakely, and often people who haven’t come from much, Tony Robbins. They were determined and they just kept asking, “How?”

I think one of the big things today is to find the people who are doing what you want to do, the role models, and study them, what it is that they’re doing, and just imitate. Success leaves clues, as it’s said. We don’t have to reinvent things.

I started to coach at 29. Who wanted a coach like me? I was so young. All these coaches were failing and no one knew what this whole industry was about. I saw one person who I knew wasn’t failing and I said, “That woman.”

She was an up-and-comer in Chicago, and she’s a teacher now internationally. I said, “If she’s making that much money now, that’s all I’m going to look at. Tunnel vision. Thoroughbred with blinders on. I’m just going to stare at her. I’m going to study her down. I’m going to see what she does.”

Maybe I have stubbornness about me. Don’t tell me I can’t. Even if it’s crazy, pie in the sky, I say, “Okay. It’s possible. Let’s go.” The best advice, I would say, is if someone else is doing it, you can, too. You already have evidence. It’s my job to keep asking how and to take the action. I appreciate that.

Nichole:  Tenacity is the word that comes to mind. I love it. That’s fantastic. The success leaves clues. Look for that.

Following on that, earlier you were talking about how our brain can process a very small amount of information that’s thrown at us, so use it for good, not evil. Focus on what’s working and let that be your model. That’s so inspiring. Thank you, and thank your dad for that as well.

Rita:  Exactly. I really think that, every moment, we have to choose. You can choose to go left or right. Every moment is a choice. I say that to my kids all day, “It’s a choice. Is that your story? Is that the story you’re going to go with? How does it feel? How’s it feeling?” We have to choose what feels true to us or good to us at every minute.

Nichole:  We were talking a little bit earlier. I know this is all working out for you because you have an exciting event coming up. Would you like to share a little bit about that?

Rita:  I do. At the end of this month, I’m flying out to Garden City, Kansas for a ProWoRC Women’s Conference. I’ll be giving a keynote there and having some breakouts on some of these topics, the Half Version syndrome and the big story problem and the seven step strategy that I’ve laid out for Playing Full Out.

Playing Full Out is not about putting your foot to the pedal and working harder in things. It’s really about a more simple, organic, authentic approach to living consistently and deliberately into your optimal vision of life, and feeling more joyful, fulfilled and confident as you travel.

In essence, the bottom line is about taking bold action towards it, but we have to have some other things on board. The strategy supports day-to-day things of getting us to do that.

Nichole:  Fantastic. Congratulations. I’m super excited for you. When you were telling me about it, I thought, “Oh!” You’re just rocking and rolling, sister.

Rita:  Thank you. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

Nichole:  Do you have any freebies you’d like to talk about, if someone’s interested in getting to know you a little bit better?

Rita:  I do. If you go to my website, I have a few things, actually. You can sign up for the Get the Life I Want roadmap. It’s a PDF, as well as a free audio training. That will be sent to you immediately. It’s really powerful and great.

Right there along with it, you can sign up for a free CD, no shipping costs or anything. It’s Ignite Your Epic Life, uncovering the number one thing holding you back and why this little known secret to getting exactly what you want makes all others obsolete.

It has seven keys to guarantee that your next half is your best half. It goes on to share a lot of juicy, top, powerful information. I tried to make it a power pill.

I’m still an old-school girl. I love having things in my hand. I love paper. I love CDs. Both of these are two different products. One is an audio that you can download, but also, if you like to pop things in your car, you can still get the CD. Order it and it will come to you within the week.

Nichole:  Fantastic. Could you just share your website address one more time?

Rita:  It’s

Nichole:  Perfect. Thank you so much for being my guest today, Rita. I have had so much fun with you, and as usual, the time has just flown by. I really appreciate it.

Rita:  Indeed. It was very fun. Thank you, Nichole. Thank you for all that you’re doing, too, in the world, and your impact in the world. I appreciate it. Know that you help many people.

Nichole:  My pleasure. As you know, show notes are posted at iMarketingSalon, if you want to see anything that you may have missed in our episode. This is Nichole Santoro. Thank you so much for joining us. Make it a great day!

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