4 Goal-Setting Tips to Stop Entrepreneurial Overwhelm and Guide Growth

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4 Goal-Setting Tips to Stop Entrepreneurial Overwhelm and Guide Growth written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing Have you ever felt as though managing a business is a perpetual climb or that you are spinning too many plates, constantly working to keep all the various projects and responsibilities moving without letting anything fall apart.If you find yourself nodding in agreement, know that you’re in good company. The path of an entrepreneur often […] The Power Of Mattering written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing Marketing Podcast with Jennifer Wallace In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Jennifer Wallace. She is a freelance print and television journalist who began her career at 60 Minutes. She’ a frequent contributor to the WSJ and the Washington Post.  Her upcoming book Never Enough: When Achievement Culture Becomes Toxic-and What We Can Do About It, explores the deep roots of toxic achievement culture, and finds out what we must do to fight back.  Key Takeaway: Mattering is the idea of feeling valued for who we are at our core by our families, by our friends, by our community, and also being dependent on to add meaningful value back to parents, to friends, to the community. Jennifer highlights that many parents today inadvertently place excessive emphasis on their children’ achievements, associating their value primarily with academic performance, extracurricular accomplishments, and external recognition. This approach, while intended to motivate and prepare children for a competitive world, often leads to unintended consequences such as heightened anxiety, stress, and a distorted self-concept. It’ important that parents adopt a more balanced and holistic approach by fostering a sense of mattering within the family dynamic. By prioritizing mattering, parents help children develop healthy self-esteem and self-worth that transcends external achievements. Children who feel valued for who they are tend to exhibit greater resilience in the face of setbacks, fostering a growth mindset and a willingness to take calculated risks. Furthermore, the conversation extends the relevance of mattering beyond parenting and into other spheres of life, including the workplace. The concept of mattering holds the potential to humanize organizational cultures, enhance employee satisfaction, and contribute to overall well-being, Questions I ask Jennifer Wallace: [01:31] Why did you want to tackle this topic? [02:44] So as a trained journalist, you actually did a whole range of research subjects for this book. Tell me a little bit about this. [04:46] There are a lot of things that have changed generationally but do you think that every generation has felt the same way to some extent? [06:27] How much of a crazy sort of reset did COVID cause? [08:22] You spent a great deal of this books talking about something you call mattering. What do you mean by that and what the implications are of not mattering? [11:20] How has writing this book changed your parenting? [14:46] How much of that mattering is considered mattering for your parents? [16:49] What role does social media have on competition striving that may create some of this stress? [17:40] Where’s the healthy balance? Because some achievement is not all bad. [19:15] A lot of the work that you write about could really apply to a workplace, right? [20:13] What’s the solution to this problem? More About Jennifer Wallace: Jennifer’s website Pre-order Never Enough: When Achievement Culture Becomes Toxic-and What We Can Do About It More About The Agency Certification Intensive Training: Learn more about the Agency Certification Intensive Training here Take The Marketing Assessment: Marketingassessment.co Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please! Duct Tape Transcript Download New Tab John Jantsch (00:00): Hey, marketing agency owners, you know, I can teach you the keys to doubling your business in just 90 days or your money back. Sound interesting? All you have to do is license our three step process that it’s gonna allow you to make your competitors irrelevant, charge a premium for your services and scale perhaps without adding overhead. And here’s the best part. You could license this entire system for your agency by simply participating in an upcoming agency certification intensive look, why create the wheel? Use a set of tools that took us over 20 years to create. And you could have ’em today. Check it out at dtm.world/certification. That’s dtm.world/certification. (00:55): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Jennifer Wallace. She’s a freelance print and television journalist who began her career at 60 Minutes, and she’s a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. We’re gonna talk about we new book Never Enough: When Achievement Culture Becomes Toxic and What We Can Do About It. So Jennifer, welcome to the show. Jennifer Wallace (01:22): Thanks for having me. John Jantsch (01:24): So I always like to, this is a big topic. It’s an important topic. I always like to start with like, why’d you want to tackle this topic? ? Jennifer Wallace (01:33): Yes. So, yeah, it, it, I have three teenagers of my own. I’ve been a journalist for 20, 30 years, but I know what it takes to write a book. And so I’ve been very reluctant to invest in a book until 2019 when the varsity blue scandal hit. I don’t know if you remember that, but Sure, sure. Parents from the East coast and the West Coast went to jail for conspiracy to bribe their way in their kids away into a, a highly selective college. And so I thought to myself, how did we get to a place where parents were now willing to go to jail to get their kid into a school? And I wasn’t buying the narrative that parents just wanted status and they just wanted the bumper sticker. I knew there was something deeper, and I also had my own three kids who were nearing high school age. So I wanted to know, what, where should I be focusing my parental energies? What’s the best way to secure a a, a fulfilling successful midlife for my kids? What can I do now to kind of put those roots in that could come to fruition throughout their lives? John Jantsch (02:44): So as a trained journalist, you actually did research. Not every author does . Talk a little bit about it because obviously psychiatry, psychologists, I mean, there’s a whole range of research subjects involved in this. Curious how you tackled that. Jennifer Wallace (03:01): Yeah, so I wanted to make sure, so I’m raising my kids in Manhattan, and I wanted to make sure that the anxieties I was feeling, uh, in my own, you know, children’s childhood and that I was seeing in my community among the parents, that it wasn’t just an east coast thing or a west coast thing. Mm-hmm. I wanted to know if these anxieties were being felt around the country. And the anxieties that I’m talking about are the feeling that as parents, we are responsible for launching our kids into a, a successful future. And so I teamed up with a researcher at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and, uh, we surveyed 6,500 parents throughout the country, which was an extraordinary sample size. We were hoping to get a sample size of a thousand, but within a few days, uh, 6,500 parents had filled it out. (03:48): And what I found was that the anxieties and, and fears I was feeling were also being felt in Alaska, in Maine, in Washington state, in Jackson, Wyoming, in Cleveland, Ohio, in Florida, in Texas. It was everywhere. So this was, you know, uh, if you want, I could read you a couple of questions. I asked these parents because I found it so fascinating. I asked them on a scale from one to four how much they agreed or disagreed with this statement. I feel responsible for my children’s achievement and success. 75% of parents felt responsible. And then I’ll read you one last one. I wish today’s childhood was less stressful for my kids. 87% of parents agreed with that statement. So I wanted, uh, to get, I wanted to kind of dig in and get to the roots of these, um, fears and anxieties and this intense pressure that’s on parents today. John Jantsch (04:45): Okay. So there, there’s a lot of things that have changed generationally, but do you buy the idea that every generation has felt that to some extent? I mean, I’d like to hope my parents thought that a little bit . I certainly, you know, felt it about my kids. And obviously now my kids have kids. Isn’t that just something every parent feels? Jennifer Wallace (05:05): I think it is something every parent feels, but I think when I was growing up, for example, just in the seventies and early eighties, life was generally more affordable. Housing was more affordable. Sure. Healthcare was more affordable, higher education was more affordable. Parents could be reasonably assured that their kids can make some wrong turns and still wind up. Okay. And over the generations we’ve seen that, that kids for the most part have been able to replicate their childhoods, if not do better. We are now looking at the first generation that is not doing as well as their parents. And parents are feeling these macroeconomic pressures that are in our environment, the steep inequality, the crush of the middle class. And they’re nervous. And I think they have reason to be John Jantsch (05:49): So, so it’s not just that the parents are crazy, um, are crazier. Now what you’re saying is that the, the children of today, uh, millennials, you know, even now are not affording houses. And, uh, even though they’re making far more than, you know, baby boomers did when they came, uh, outta college. They’re, it’s a whole new set of circumstances. Jennifer Wallace (06:10): Exactly. John Jantsch (06:12): So how much you, besides say, you know, you talk to a lot of folks in interviews and you talk about, you know, things like, and these are maybe symptoms, right? Of the circumstances. Loneliness is an all time high. And how much of a crazy sort of reset did Covid cause? Jennifer Wallace (06:32): Well, covid, I, so two things I think happened in Covid. I think it, if we’re talking about youth today, yeah. It, particularly the population that I studied for this book, I, I looked at the top 25% of household income. So this is, you know, parents who could generally choose where they live and what was happening in these communities, in these upper middle class communities. Things slowed down. Parents weren’t traveling for work anymore, kids weren’t doing those extracurricular activities. They were sitting together at the table as a family. And I think for a minute, kids, well, the researchers not just, I think this, but the researchers who studied this population at the start of covid the first month or so, despite the fears and the anxieties, kids were doing fairly well in be because they were feeling the support system. Mm-hmm. of their families. Um, and then as time wore on, the anxiety started to increase. (07:30): Oh my gosh. What happens to the internships? What happens when, um, you know, when uh, acts and SATs become optional? What does that do? How do I now make my kids stand out? And so where I thought, I’m in the early days of Covid, I thought maybe I won’t have to write this book. Actually, I think the need is even greater. And what I’m finding coming out of Covid is that the anxiety and the depression and the loneliness that kids were feeling became exacerbated. Mm-hmm. . And so while I thought in 2019 when I sold this book, it might be a hard sell to tell parents to widen their definition of success. I think parents are seeing what’s working and what’s not working, and they’re scared. Mental health concerns top the list of parent anxieties today. And I think parents and including me, we’re looking for answers. John Jantsch (08:22): You spent a great deal of this book talking about something you call mattering. So I think we probably ought to go into what you mean by that and what the implications are of not mattering. Yeah. Is that the way to say the opposite of that ? Jennifer Wallace (08:37): Yeah. So I went for the book. I went in search of healthy strivers. I wanted to know what, if anything, these healthy achievers had in common. And John Jantsch (08:46): I, so maybe you ought to define that. What a help. I mean, what is that Jennifer Wallace (08:49): Achiever? So the way that I defined it, and I worked with a researcher at Baylor who helped me with this, was kids who were doing well. Despite the pressures by doing well, I meant that their parents, their peers, teachers at their school identified them as doing well as kids who were able to bounce back from disappointment, who had a good support system and often had a sense of purpose to what they were doing. What these healthy achievers had in common was a high level of mattering. And mattering is this idea of feeling valued for who we are at our core, by our families, by our friends, by our community. And also being dependent on to add meaningful value back to parents, to friends, to the community. So the kids who were doing a high level of mattering had this, um, kids who had this high level of mattering. (09:45): It was like a protective shield. They still experienced step backs and failures, but they were able to bounce back from them because it wasn’t an indictment of who they were. They already felt valued. And the kids who were doing the worst felt like their mattering, their value was contingent on their performance. That I only matter when mattering has been around since the 1980s. It was originally conceptualized by Mars Rosenberg who brought us self-esteem. And what he found was that kids who had a high, a healthy level of self-esteem enjoyed a high level of mattering. They felt important and significant to their families. And mattering matters, not just in adolescents, but really throughout our lives. Mattering at midlife, mattering in retirement. John Jantsch (10:28): Hey, marketing agency owners, you know, I can teach you the keys to doubling your business in just 90 days or your money back. Sound interesting. All you have to do is license our three step process that it’s gonna allow you to make your competitors irrelevant, charge a premium for your services and scale perhaps without adding overhead. And here’s the best part. You can license this entire system for your agency by simply participating in an upcoming agency certification intensive look, why create the wheel? Use a set of tools that took us over 20 years to create. And you can have ’em today. Check it out at dtm.world/certification. That’s dtm.world/certification. (11:14): Alright, so I wanted to find this question. How has writing this book changed your parenting? Jennifer Wallace (11:22): Oh my gosh. In so many ways. In so many ways. I feel so lucky that I had access to the greatest researchers on achievement and, you know, living a life of wellbeing and meaning. And so what I do now, I no longer solve. I have three teenagers. I do not solve for their happiness at home, which I used to do. I now solve for their mattering. So when they’re not acting like themselves, when they’re feeling down or anxious or off, I think, are they not feeling valued by the family? Are they not feeling valued by their peers? Are they not being dependent on to add value? Because a lot of kids in these high performing schools spend a lot of time building their resumes and hearing from their parents perhaps that they matter, but they lack social proof. And I think as parents, when we don’t give our kids the social proof that they matter, we make them more vulnerable to life’s and downs. (12:20): But if a child, for example, oh, how’s a way to give a child social proof that they matter chores, meaningful chores at home? What are ways that your child, and I’ve thought about this in my own home, what are meaningful ways that my kids can give back to our family to improve our family wellbeing? Well, uh, two have become tech experts for me. They kind of go on off and on depending on who’s in the house. Um, my daughter, you know, uh, my older son was, uh, tasked with bringing my younger son to school, even on days that he might have off or a free period, he still had to go in early to take his brother. He was dependent on, we relied on him to keep the family functioning. Before I would go on reporting trips for this book, my daughter would, I have a bad reputation with tech at home. (13:07): So my daughter would check my carry-on to make sure that I had all of my chargers, that my laptop was charged, that I had a battery, and the battery was charged for my recording device on my phone. So they, we in our home, we have figured out, we also have something that we leave on the refrigerator called family matters. And these are things that we’re trying to wrestle with as a family that we need solving. Like for example, one family matter was, you know, we have a closet really close to our front door, but for some reason the shoes never went in the closet. And instead they would just pile up in front of the front door. And I would trip every time my guests would trip coming in. And so a family matter was like, what could we do in our home to make the entry into our home a little smoother for ourselves and our guests? And so my son said, well, here’s why we don’t put our shoes in there because nobody organizes and they just throw their shoes in and then when you’re running late, you can’t grab your shoes. So he researched it and he found this shoe rack on Amazon that could easily put our shoes out and now the shoes go away because we solved it and he solved it. So, John Jantsch (14:13): Alright. So how much of this idea of matter, because that, what you just described is obviously in the crush of parenting can be hard, but it’s just a good parenting skill, you know, to make people realize they matter for what they, you know, care about. But there’s a whole lot of parents driving children to believe that they will only matter if, and you know, I think some of the stress that a lot of kids feel is like, I don’t really wanna be a doctor , but that’s the only way I’m gonna matter. So how much of that mattering is mattering for your parents? And I’m gonna have a question in here somewhere, but do you see what I’m getting at Jennifer Wallace (14:54): ? Well, I do. And I, so I did the 6,500 parent survey and I surveyed 500 young adults and I asked them about when they felt valued and appreciated by their parents, and 70% of them reported we had respon 500 respondents, ages 18 to 3570% of them said that they felt like they mattered more to their parents, that they were more valued and appreciated when they were doing well in school. Mm-hmm. , 50% of them thought they were more loved and 25% of them said they thought that a lot, the highest measure that our survey. So one in four kids thought their parents loved them more when they achieved. Yes. That was very hard to read as a parent. Yeah. Yeah. And I think we love, there’s no parent I met in doing this book that did not love their child unconditionally. Not one I’ve yet to meet one that says, oh no, they only matter when they get straight a’s . (15:49): But what our kids are hearing in the messages, in the subtle messages we are sending them, is that they matter most when they’re doing well. And so what I would say to parents, if you think that, you know, if you’re wondering what are the messages that you’re sending in your house, Tina Payne Bryson, who’s a psychoanalyst, gave me four questions to ask to kind of take that temperature once she said, take a look at your child’s calendar. How are they spending their time outside of school? Take a look at how you spend money as it relates to your child. Number three, what? Take note of what you ask your child about every day. Mm-hmm. . And number four, notice what you argue with your child about. When you look at those four things, it will show you the message you are sending to your kids and how it can be interpreted as contingent mattering, contingent love. John Jantsch (16:42): So a lot of things have changed, of course, in parenting technology is, you know, I hear from young parents now is, you know, is really the bane of their existence. Various forms. Social media can be thrown into that at, you know, what role do those, like seeing other people strive, you know, now because everybody wants to talk on Instagram about all their successes and things. How much competition, you know, striving creates some of this stress? Jennifer Wallace (17:08): Oh, I think it has exacerbated it. So I don’t believe this, that the, I don’t believe social media and technology is the root, but I think it’s a magnifier and an accelerant. So I think the, the root of the anxiety and the loneliness and the depression, we are seeing this huge rise is this unmet need to matter for who we are at our core. And social media and technology just exacerbate that. John Jantsch (17:34): How far can you take this? Trying to use the right words here. Where’s the healthy balance? Because some achievement is not all bad. . Oh my, this is totally, and so there would be a way to interpret this as just let ’em be kids. But where’s the balance? How do you find Jennifer Wallace (17:50): Those? Not my message. Yeah. That’s definitely not my message. This is not an anti ambition, anti achievement book because I, I’m highly ambitious. I’m just ambitious for more than my work success. I’m in mm-hmm. , I’m ambitious as a wife. I wanna have a great marriage. I’m ambitious as a friend. I wanna have deep, meaningful friendships. I’m ambitious with my hobbies. I wanna be okay on the tennis court. So I want for our kids to, to be ambitious for more than just their work. But work is important if it, because it feeds us. And so I want kids to understand why their, you know, why they’re striving, what is it all for? It is not just to be better than other people, it’s to, as one school puts it that I interviewed, that I visited, not to be better than others, but to be better for others. Teaching kids how to connect achievement to making a greater impact on the world. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. I certainly don’t want a generation of anti ambitious kids that soci our society can’t take that. We need healthy ambition. And what I wanna give in our kids with this book is, uh, a way to motivate them with a healthy kind of fuel that will sustain them. Not a dirty fuel that will break them down. Yes. John Jantsch (19:06): So, I know you don’t go into this in the book, a lot of my audience are business owners, entrepreneurs, they’re in toxic cultures inside of organizations. So really a lot of the work that you write about this could really apply to a workplace, couldn’t it? Jennifer Wallace (19:19): Absolutely. I wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal in December about the power of mattering at work. The surgeon general names mattering as one of the key pillars to workplace wellbeing and mattering at work is, you know, a way to retain people. Yeah. It’s a way to encourage high performance. It’s, yeah, we need to humanize the workplace and mattering. What’s so great about the framework of mattering is that it’s intuitive and it’s actionable. Right? Mattering is about recognizing other people’s accomplishments, telling them why they matter to the organization. Get just slowing down enough to recognize them and treat them with dignity. That’s what mattering is. John Jantsch (20:05): So now that we’re almost done, I’m gonna say, what do we do about this ? Yes. We spend a lot of time defining the problem. What’s the solution? Jennifer Wallace (20:15): The solution is to bring back mattering. I mean, the way we are raising our kids today is so different than the way we raised them when you were growing up or when I was growing up. I mean, success was part of a child a, a childhood, but we weren’t defined by our successes or our failures, the way too many children are today. So I think the solution is at home to make your home a haven from the pressures and to lead with mattering and to lead with at every chance. Telling your kid, showing your kid that you value them for who they are at their core. Get a PhD in your child, find out what uniquely makes them tick. What are their strengths? One way to, one place to go. You could visit the mattering movement.com, which is, uh, nonprofit I co-founded that gives tools to parents and teachers and educators on how to foster cultures of mattering for young people. John Jantsch (21:10): Awesome. Well, Jennifer, I appreciate you taking some time to stop by the Duct Tape Marketing podcast. You want to find out or you wanna share with people where they might connect with you and, uh, obviously find out more about Never Enough. Jennifer Wallace (21:22): Oh, I’d love that. So you could head over to my website, jenniferbwallace.com, and I’m not sure when this is airing, but the book is coming out August 22nd, and lots of goodies and pre-orders. If this is running before then, John Jantsch (21:35): Well th this’ll run probably around then, but also, you know, live out there on the podcast webs forever. So hopefully people will take some time to listen to this important topic and check out the book. And again, as I said, I appreciate you stopping by for a moment and hopefully we’ll run into you one of these days out there on the road. Jennifer Wallace (21:53): Excellent. Thank you so much. John Jantsch (21:56): Hey, and one final thing before you go. You know how I talk about marketing strategy, strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that, what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It’s called the Marketing Strategy Assessment. You can find it @marketingassessment.co, not.com.co. Check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That’s just marketing assessment.co. I’d love to chat with you about the results that you get. Scroll back to top Sign up to receive updates Enter your name and address below and I’ll send you periodic updates about the podcast. powered by

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